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Civil Rights Icon Andrew Young Reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy and America’s Progress on MLK Day

One of the last surviving members of King’s inner circle, Young, sat down for an exclusive interview on PBS-TV’s The Chavis Chronicles with National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., where he shared valuable insights into his historical journey as a leader of the civil rights movement and his own enduring legacy.
The post Civil Rights Icon Andrew Young Reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy and America’s Progress on MLK Day first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown

NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

@StacyBrownMedia

As the nation commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, civil rights icon, diplomat, and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young reflected on King’s legacy and progress in America since the 1960s.

One of the last surviving members of King’s inner circle, Young, sat down for an exclusive interview on PBS-TV’s The Chavis Chronicles with National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., where he shared valuable insights into his historical journey as a leader of the civil rights movement and his own enduring legacy.

“I do this,” Young said, reflecting on challenging injustices like the false arrest and imprisonment of the Wilmington Ten in the 1970s, “because it’s the right thing to do. I wasn’t being militant or outspoken I was trying to get people to see just what it is.”

From his beginnings in segregated schools in New Orleans to his early graduation from Howard University and later studies at Hartford Theological Seminary, Young’s commitment to justice emerged during his time as a pastor in southern Georgia. Organizing voter registration drives in the face of death threats, he played a crucial role in the campaigns leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Elected to congress in 1972, Young became the first African American representative from the Deep South since Reconstruction. His legislative efforts included establishing the U.S. Institute for Peace, The African Development Bank, and the Chattahoochee River National Park. He left an indelible mark on the city by negotiating federal funds for vital infrastructure projects in Atlanta.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Young as the first African American Ambassador to the United Nations, where he played a crucial role in shaping U.S.-Africa policy based on human rights. His efforts contributed to ending white-minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Reflecting on his experiences, Young shares poignant moments during the interview, including facing violence during the Civil Rights movement. He recalls, “When the Klan came marching down in the community, they wanted to provoke a fight. They had guns under their sheets in Lincolnville, Florida,” he noted. “The same Black folks who got beat up with me said they had the love of Jesus in their hearts; that spiritual witness of nonviolence and forgiveness moved the Congress, and the next week they passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”

Assessing the progress in civil rights, Young emphasizes the strides made, saying, “If anybody says things are no better now than they were then, they don’t understand how well we have it now.” He acknowledges the challenges but underscores the opportunities for education and progress.

As Young reflects on Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, he interprets it as a call for equal opportunity. “We are no longer slaves; we have equal opportunity to make this a great nation if we are able to work hard. The educational opportunities are opening up,” says Young. He acknowledges the partnership with white folks that contributed to Atlanta’s success.

Young said he remains optimistic about the nation’s future, echoing Dr. King’s words: “It’s inevitable to me that this nation, as Martin Luther King said, will live out, one day, the true meaning of its creed.”

Click here to view the full episode with Ambassador Andrew Young.

 

The post Civil Rights Icon Andrew Young Reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy and America’s Progress on MLK Day first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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OP-ED – Reimagining America: Biden is Not the Only Way Democrats Can Win

NNPA NEWSWIRE: We need a leader who understands the struggles of everyday Americans and has the vision and stamina to lead for the next eight years. Vice President Kamala Harris embodies these qualities.
The post OP-ED – Reimagining America: Biden is Not the Only Way Democrats Can Win first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Rep. Ron Reynolds

After last week’s highly anticipated debate, I couldn’t shake a deep sense of unease. I watched the debate in its entirety, and I was deeply disturbed. I didn’t want to react out of frustration or emotion, so I took a night to reflect. The next day, my disappointment had not subsided. As a Biden DNC National Delegate, I firmly believe we need to make significant changes.

It’s time to replace President Biden at the convention and nominate Vice President Kamala Harris. This isn’t a cavalier statement; it’s one I stand by. I welcome debate and criticism, but my primary goal is clear: we must defeat Trump and the MAGA movement for the future of all Americans.

Recently, I have been criticized and even threatened with censure for expressing my belief that the Democratic Party might fare better against Trump with a new nominee. This perspective was formed long before recent public opinion polls supported my concerns. To be clear, I will continue to support President Biden if he remains our nominee. Nonetheless, I will persist in making good trouble, fighting, and speaking truth to power.

Democrats claim to support free speech but then criticize each other for speaking their minds. This kind of internal conflict plays right into the hands of Republicans, who benefit from our division. To truly stand united, Democrats must encourage open dialogue and respect differing opinions within our party.

Our nation faces unprecedented challenges that require fresh, dynamic leadership. To meet these challenges head-on, the Democratic Party must embrace innovation and diversity. We need a leader who understands the struggles of everyday Americans and has the vision and stamina to lead for the next eight years. Vice President Kamala Harris embodies these qualities.

The Democratic Party prides itself on being a party of inclusion, representing a broad coalition of people from all walks of life. Yet, our leadership doesn’t always reflect this diversity. It’s time for a change!

We need leaders who reflect the realities of America today and understand our unique challenges—those who can garner a wide base of supporters. Kamala Harris has a proven track record of fighting for justice and equality. She knows how to build coalitions that include people of all races, genders, and backgrounds. She can energize young voters, women, and people of color—voters crucial to our success.

Innovation is not only about who leads but also how we lead. The Democratic Party must adopt new strategies and technologies to effectively engage voters. We need to leverage social media, data analytics, and grassroots organizing to build a movement capable of countering the well-funded forces of the right. We must engage voters on the issues that matter most to them, from healthcare and education to climate change and economic inequality.

Moreover, we need leaders willing to take bold stands on critical issues. We need leaders who will fight for a living wage, affordable healthcare, and comprehensive immigration reform. Leaders who will stand up to special interests and prioritize the common good. We need leaders who will advocate for peace and stability globally, calling for ceasefires in conflict zones and working towards lasting solutions.

The Democratic Party has a proud history of innovation and progress, from FDR’s New Deal to Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It’s time to renew that legacy. We need leaders who reflect our multicultural society, embrace innovation, and fight for a brighter future, not the status quo.

America deserves better than the status quo. We need leaders who can inspire and unite us. This is our moment to infuse new energy and vision into our party and country. Let’s nominate a leader who can lead us to victory with the passion and dedication that our great nation requires. It’s time for a change, and I firmly believe Vice President Kamala Harris is the leader we need.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

 

The post OP-ED – Reimagining America: Biden is Not the Only Way Democrats Can Win first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Celebrate America’s Birthday by Thanking Those Who Teach Our Youngest Learners

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The CDA Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education and it’s a key steppingstone on the path of career advancement in the sector. The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards that guide early childhood professionals toward becoming qualified educators of young children.
The post Celebrate America’s Birthday by Thanking Those Who Teach Our Youngest Learners first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Andrew Davis, Chief Operating Officer, Council for Professional Recognition

As we mark America’s Independence Day, I’m reflecting on the role education played in my family’s journey to this incredible country and the educators who helped make it happen. I was born in Antigua in the Caribbean, where my father’s family had lived for many generations. They coped with extreme poverty and many challenges — my grandmother was blind, for instance. Yet, from a very early age, teachers pushed my father to fulfill his potential. Their encouragement led him to attend university in Barbados and eventually earn his doctorate at the University of Sussex in England. Later, we settled in the United States, where my dad is a professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Each step of the way, a mentor encouraged him to keep growing and expanding his mind. Their support not only changed his life but also paved the way for future generations of our family. I was so excited to spend time recently with about 150 students at Florida International University in Miami who completed their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential coursework through the Professional Development Institute at the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe. Through articulation agreements with higher education institutions in Florida, these students can receive college credits toward an associate or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

Davis (left) met with education leaders and supporters who helped students complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential coursework through the Professional Development Institute at the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe.

Davis (left) met with education leaders and supporters who helped students complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential coursework through the Professional Development Institute at the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe.

The CDA Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education and it’s a key steppingstone on the path of career advancement in the sector. The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards that guide early childhood professionals toward becoming qualified educators of young children. Our nonprofit, the Council for Professional Recognition, works to ensure that the nationally transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development. CDA educators know how to put the CDA Competency Standards into practice and have an understanding of why those standards help children move with success from one developmental stage to another. Put simply, CDA educators know how to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children.

It was an honor to recognize and celebrate these scholars, who participated in 120 hours of instruction and at least 480 hours of on-the-job training. They also compiled a professional portfolio and created a center-based capstone project. At the graduation ceremony, I told these students that they should feel proud of their achievements and be empowered to become advocates for early childhood education. I emphasized the importance of cultivating resilience in the face of challenges and embracing lifelong learning. That lifelong learning can include earning additional degrees as well as serving as CDA Professional Development Specialists, who use their expertise to assess CDA candidates’ competencies and facilitate reflective conversations with candidates for the credential.

Most importantly, the CDA scholars I met in Miami and other ceremonies this year are now serving as early childhood educators in communities across the U.S. They’re professionals who support safe and healthy learning environments, provide positive guidance, successfully engage, and interact with families and contribute to ensuring an early learning program is well run. I know their work will pay off. Years ago, my dad’s teachers had no way of imagining where their influence would lead. Indeed, when I look up to the sky on the Fourth to watch the fireworks, I’ll keep in mind the educators who help their students reach higher and higher for spectacular results and the bright futures they create.

The post Celebrate America’s Birthday by Thanking Those Who Teach Our Youngest Learners first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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LIVE! : Make it Plain at the White House

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Rev. Mark Thompson interviews Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo LIVE from the White House.
The post LIVE! : Make it Plain at the White House first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Rev. Mark Thompson interviews Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo LIVE from the White House.

The post LIVE! : Make it Plain at the White House first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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