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Community Leaders Heartened by Portland Response to Proud Boys Rally

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “My read of the situation is that we wanted these White nationalists and alt-right leaders out of our community. And the police gave them the quickest and most expedient way to get out of our city, and I feel comfortable with that,” Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center, told The Skanner. “We saw a five-hour rally that lasted for less than an hour, and then (protestors) requested to be escorted across the bridge by law enforcement. We have groups who were trying to create the conditions for another Charlottesville…”

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At a press conference prior to Saturday’s rally, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty told the crowd, “I unequivocally support people who stand up against white supremacists, white nationalists, and people who are filled with hate and bile.” (Photo by Saundra Sorensen)

Proud Boys outnumbered by counter-demonstrators in largely peaceful event

By Saundra Sorensen, The Skanner News

Black community leaders found reason to celebrate in the aftermath of Saturday’s gathering of right-wing extremists in Portland.

“My read of the situation is that we wanted these White nationalists and alt-right leaders out of our community. And the police gave them the quickest and most expedient way to get out of our city, and I feel comfortable with that,” Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center, told The Skanner. “We saw a five-hour rally that lasted for less than an hour, and then (protestors) requested to be escorted across the bridge by law enforcement. We have groups who were trying to create the conditions for another Charlottesville. They started coming here looking for fights, and this time they didn’t really get that. And then most couldn’t find their way back to their car. I think that really described the day,” he said.

Members of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group Proud Boys organized the unpermitted rally at downtown Portland’s waterfront, with the stated purpose of getting antifascist demonstrators in the city denounced as a monolithic domestic terrorist organization by officials.

Police estimates total attendance at the protest and counter-protest at about 1,200, with members of alt-right groups numbering about 500. Local media estimates placed the number of Proud Boys at 200 to 300 and the number of counter-protesters at 1000 to 1,200. Law enforcement officials kept both groups apart, allowing Proud Boys members and supporters to exit east on Hawthorne Bridge after a brief demonstration.

Police said they arrested 13 people during the demonstration, most on charges of disorderly conduct, and seized a small number of weapons including bear spray. Alexander G. Dial, 37, was charged with attempted assault in the second degree and unlawful use of a weapon, and Brandon Howard, 33, was charged with assault in the fourth degree and disorderly conduct in the second degree.

“I think the community came out strong,” Kayse Jama, executive director of Unite Oregon, told The Skanner. “It really became more of a festival celebration mood than a rally. The community outnumbered the White supremacists in large numbers,” he said.

Ward and Jama said they were satisfied with the police response to the rally, and praised city leadership overall. Such commendations did not come easily.

Last week, Mayor Ted Wheeler held a press conference at Pioneer Square in anticipation of the Proud Boy rally, warning of a zero-tolerance policy for violence. The event featured a more than 80-member coalition of supporting agencies, nonprofits and individuals in the community, with brief speeches by legislators and community leaders. Both Ward and Jama spoke, and both took exception to what they saw as “false equivalences” from city officials that White supremacist demonstrators and counter-protestors posed an equal threat of violence.

“Let me speak first to our law enforcement community: There is no neutral ground,” Jama said at Wednesday’s conference, pointing out that White nationalist groups planning to attend the rally “are well-trained, armed militia.”

At the scheduled start time of the rally Saturday, a handful of White nationalist protesters in paramilitary gear milled around the esplanade of Tom McCall Waterfront Park south of Morrison Bridge, where they were outnumbered by photographers and other members of local and national press. North of the bridge, a larger group of counter-protestors assembled for an adapted Shabbat service led by Rabbi Debra Kolodny in front of the Battleship Oregon Memorial. At one point, Kolodny, of Portland United Against Hate, showed the crowd where she’d written the number of the National Lawyers Guild on her forearm.

“My great aunts and uncles had numbers of death written on their arms, and I have numbers of solidarity and support written on mine,” Kolodny said. “While many of us might have our epigenetic trauma triggered by what’s happening right now, I want to assure everyone that what happened before is not going to happen again.”

Portland NAACP President Rev. E.D. Mondainé followed, telling the crowd, “It is time to rally our allies and quickly recruit them as accomplices that will stand with the disenfranchised and those who are marginalized in our cities across America in our fight for freedom.”

Kolodny told The Skanner that the event was part of The Spectacle, Portland Popular Mobilization’s counter-protest, which aimed to distract from White supremacist demonstrators.

“I went to an organizing meeting of Pop Mob, and I learned of their desire to create a counter presence that they called ‘The Spectacle’ that would be filled with song and dance and music and juggling and satire and humor, to create a unifying community experience that was joyful and connecting, and just counterbalancing,” Kolodny said.

Groups involved in The Spectacle included NAACP Portland, Portland Jobs with Justice, Rose City Antifa, Portland Democratic Socialists of America, the Interfaith Clergy Resistance, Portland Industrial Workers of the World, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and the Queer Liberation Front.

In practice, The Spectacle encouraged a gathering of not just masked protestors often associated with the Antifa movement, but also colorfully dressed and costumed demonstrators.

Ward praised Pop Mob’s “commitment to providing alternatives to toxic masculinity” in the protest.

“It was really overshadowing of the White nationalist movement,” Ward said. “Pop Mob has really engaged in a new set of tactics that were creative and celebratory, and I want to acknowledge that, and acknowledge that leadership.”

“They might come back,” Ward said in response to Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs’ threat that his group would return for monthly rallies. “Every dollar spent when they come back that continues to strengthen the unity of Portlanders, is a dollar well spent. And if they want to give us the opportunity to do so again, we should be joyful about the opportunity to celebrate Portland.”

Ward added, “I’ve been in many a protest. I’ve been in some amazing community mobilizations against bigotry. I’ve not in my 30 years seen such an organic alignment, that was so celebratory, as Saturday. People felt empowered and not disempowered. And the fact that Joey Gibson and Joe Biggs are spending Monday working so hard to convince media and their followers that they were successful tells me how much they’re scrambling. They’ve never had to scramble to declare a win before. They ran out of gas in Portland. And I think it’s significant and I think other cities should take note of it.”

 

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Carolyn’s Kids Foundation Honors Graduates

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Each 8th-grade student received a $100 gift card to go towards their high school fees. Additionally, two high school seniors received the CKF HBCU-Jackson State Bound Scholarship. Jamari White and Kevin Barber Jr. both received $1000 each. Two $500 scholarships were awarded to mothers who are continuing their postsecondary education.
The post Carolyn’s Kids Foundation Honors Graduates first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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On Sunday, June 5, 2022, the Carolyn’s Kids Foundation honored 140, 8th-grade students across Chicagoland areas. Hosted at Visions Events Chicago at 11901 S. Loomis, parents, students, and schoolteachers participated in the 6th Annual CKF Scholarship Luncheon.

HBCU Bound Scholars-Jackson State University Carolyn Griffin Palmer, CKF-CEO, Kevin Barber Jr., Jamari White, and Brendolyn Hart-Glover, President of the Jackson State University Chicago Alumni Chapter

HBCU Bound Scholars-Jackson State University
Carolyn Griffin Palmer, CKF-CEO, Kevin Barber Jr., Jamari White, and Brendolyn Hart-Glover, President of the Jackson State University Chicago Alumni Chapter

HBCU Bound Scholars-Jackson State University
Carolyn Griffin Palmer, CKF-CEO, Kevin Barber Jr., Jamari White, and Brendolyn Hart-Glover, President of the Jackson State University Chicago Alumni Chapter

Each 8th-grade student received a $100 gift card to go towards their high school fees. Additionally, two high school seniors received the CKF HBCU-Jackson State Bound Scholarship. Jamari White and Kevin Barber Jr. both received $1000 each. Two $500 scholarships were awarded to mothers who are continuing their postsecondary education.

Carolyn’s Kids Foundation has awarded over $50,000 in the past 5 years, and this year $17,000 was distributed to the Class of 2022. To support the Carolyn’s Kids Foundation and learn more, please visit their website: www.ckfchicago.org and follow them on FB @ckfchicago.

The post Carolyn’s Kids Foundation Honors Graduates appeared first on Chicago Defender.

The post Carolyn’s Kids Foundation Honors Graduates first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Justice Department Announces Investigation of the Louisiana State Police

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Every American, regardless of race, has the right to constitutional policing,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Based on an extensive review of publicly available information and information provided to us, we find significant justification to investigate whether Louisiana State Police engages in excessive force and engages in racially discriminatory policing against Black residents and other people of color.”
The post Justice Department Announces Investigation of the Louisiana State Police first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a pattern or practice investigation into the Louisiana State Police (LSP) to assess whether the law enforcement agency uses excessive force and whether it engages in racially discriminatory policing.

According to a news release, the investigation will include a comprehensive review of LSP policies, training, supervision, and force investigations, as well as LSP’s systems of accountability, including misconduct complaint intake, investigation, review, disposition, and discipline.

“Protecting the civil rights of all Americans and building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve are among the Justice Department’s most important responsibilities,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the release.

“This investigation, like all of our pattern or practice investigations, will seek to promote the transparency, accountability, and public trust that is essential to public safety.”

The DOJ said it’s conducting the investigation pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which prohibits state and local governments from engaging in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers that deprives individuals of rights protected by the Constitution or federal law.

The statute allows the DOJ to remedy such misconduct through civil litigation, and law enforcement practices under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as under the Safe Streets Act of 1968 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Officials called the investigation separate from any federal criminal investigation of LSP troopers.

Before the announcement, DOJ officials informed Governor John Bel Edwards, Colonel Lamar Davis, and Deputy General Counsel Gail Holland of the investigation.

According to the news release, each pledged to cooperate with the investigation.

As part of the investigation, DOJ officials will reach out to community groups and members of the public to learn about their experiences with LSP.

The Special Litigation Section of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana are conducting the investigation jointly.

“Every American, regardless of race, has the right to constitutional policing,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

“Based on an extensive review of publicly available information and information provided to us, we find significant justification to investigate whether Louisiana State Police engages in excessive force and engages in racially discriminatory policing against Black residents and other people of color.”

Clarke continued:

“The Justice Department stands ready to use every tool in our arsenal to confront allegations of misconduct and to ensure legitimacy during encounters with law enforcement.”

The DOJ ask that anyone with relevant information to contact them via email at Community.Louisiana@usdoj.gov or by phone at (202) 353-0684.

Individuals can also report civil rights violations regarding this or other matters using the Civil Rights Division’s reporting portal, available at civilrights.justice.gov.

The post Justice Department Announces Investigation of the Louisiana State Police first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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PRESS ROOM: 81 Grassroots Organizations Awarded a Total of $750,000 in Grants through Industry’s ‘Make Golf Your Thing’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The grant program is part of the industry’s broader commitment to making the sport more inclusive for all. Last month, a new Make Golf Your Thing search directory was launched for consumers, consisting of more than 8,400 registered golf programs and organizations across the U.S.
The post PRESS ROOM: 81 Grassroots Organizations Awarded a Total of $750,000 in Grants through Industry’s ‘Make Golf Your Thing’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – 81 grassroots golf organizations will receive a total of $750,000 in funding to further their efforts to engage underrepresented populations of the sport. These groups (*full list below) are being awarded with a grant through Make Golf Your Thing, the industry’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in making the sport more welcome for all.

Initially introduced in 2021 (by the Make Golf Your Thing youth & adult player development work group), the grant program to date has provided 155 grants to 111 unique grassroots organizations, totaling more than $1 million overall (May 2021: 43 grants totaling $150,000; Jan. 2022: 31 grants totaling $150,000).

The program was established to support organizations dedicated to increasing participation among golf’s underrepresented populations (i.e., Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous communities, as well as women, LGBTQI+ individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities).

“When the game comes together and pools every resource to grow and broaden the reach of the game, only great things can happen,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA and executive sponsor of the youth & adult player development work group for Make Golf Your Thing.

“This unifying movement is helping to make a difference in communities across America and advance the game in ways none of us can do alone.”

“Access to golf in a business context is a pathway to opportunity,” said Anna Alvarez Boyd, co-founder of FairWays to Leadership (one of the 81 grant recipients).

“Our group’s mission is to increase diversity in business and in golf by teaching college students from diverse backgrounds the skills they need to become effective leaders. The financial commitment of the grant program to organizations like ours will only further golf’s collective efforts to bring new and diverse audiences into our sport.”

The grant program is part of the industry’s broader commitment to making the sport more inclusive for all. Last month, a new Make Golf Your Thing search directory was launched for consumers, consisting of more than 8,400 registered golf programs and organizations across the U.S.

The directory allows individuals to search for programs and events using filters such as location, age, ability, gender, etc., giving new and diverse audiences an opportunity to become more engaged in the sport through programs in their own community.

Formally launched in May 2021, Make Golf Your Thing is the industry’s movement to make golf accessible to individuals from all backgrounds.

Led by six cross-industry work groups, the initiative is specifically focused on: education & skill development, talent acquisition, procurement, human resources, youth & adult player development, and marketing/communications.

Funding for the grant program is being administered by the American Golf Industry Coalition, a partnership among golf’s leading organizations to promote and advocate for the collective interests of the sport.

Financial support for the program is led by a contingent of industry supporters committed to making the sport more welcoming and inclusive for all.

About Make Golf Your Thing

A multi-faceted, multi-year movement, Make Golf Your Thing is a collaborative effort across the industry to invite more people to golf from all backgrounds.

Six cross-industry work groups are committed to making the sport more diverse, equitable and inclusive, with a specific focus on: education & skill development, talent acquisition, procurement, human resources, youth & adult player development, and marketing/communications. For more, www.makegolfyourthing.org.

About the American Golf Industry Coalition

The American Golf Industry Coalition advocates on behalf of golf’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts; environmental and sustainability initiatives; contributions to the economy (local and national); health and wellness benefits, as well as charitable giving.

The organization unites the golf industry in pursuit of goals designed to enhance the vitality and diversity of both the business and recreational levels of the sport. The American Golf Industry Coalition is a division of the World Golf Foundation.

To learn more, visit www.golfcoalition.org.

Grassroots Organization City/Town State
A Perfect Swing Foundation Inc. Charlotte NC
Adaptive Golfers North Myrtle Beach SC
Annika Foundation Orlando FL
Be Counted On Foundation Gahanna OH
Black College Golf Coaches Association Vestavia AL
Button Hole Providence RI
Cameron Champ Foundation Citrus Heights CA
CitySwing Foundation Washington D.C.
County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation Alhambra CA
DC on the Green McKinney AL
Edu-Sports Academy Willingboro NJ
El Dorado High School Golf Team El Paso TX
Excel Youth Academy Lawrenceville GA
FabNewport, Inc Newport RI
FairWays to Leadership, Inc. Orlando FL
First Tee – Central Florida Orlando FL
First Tee – Central Mississippi Flowood MS
First Tee – Greater Charleston Mt. Pleasant SC
First Tee – Greater Richmond Richmond VA
First Tee – Greater Sacramento (Sacramento Area Youth Golf Association) Sacramento CA
First Tee – Greater Trenton Trenton NJ
First Tee – Greater Tyler Bullard TX
First Tee – Greater Washington, DC Washington D.C.
First Tee – Greater Wichita Wichita KS
First Tee – Indiana Indianapolis IN
First Tee – Jersey Shore Point Pleasant NJ
First Tee – North Florida (Rising Leaders of North Florida, Inc.) St. Augustine FL
First Tee – Omaha (Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes) Omaha NE
First Tee – Pittsburgh Pittsburgh PA
First Tee – Southeastern New Mexico Roswell NM
First Tee – Tennessee Knoxville TN
First Tee – Triangle Raleigh NC
First Tee – Tulsa (Youth Development of Tulsa) Tulsa OK
First Tee – West Michigan (Lake Michigan Junior Golf Association) Kentwood MI
Fore Life Inc. Lauderhill FL
Fore the Ladies Sylvania OH
Future Successors Atlanta GA
Gator Junior Golf Association Gainesville FL
Girls Golf of America, Inc. Greensboro NC
Golf. My Future. My Game. Washington D.C.
Greater Cleveland Junior Golf Scholarship Fund Bedford OH
Harris Park Midtown Sports & Activity Center Kansas City MO
Hi-Tee Junior Little League Golf Program Renton WA
Hit It Straight Golf Academy Homewood IL
I AM a Golfer Foundation Dallas TX
iGolf4VETS, Inc. Riverview FL
Inland Golf Academy Riverside CA
Inner City Youth Golfers’ Inc. Palm Beach Gardens FL
Inspiring Greatness In You Covington GA
Jackson Park Golf Association Chicago IL
Ladies of Futurity, Inc West Palm Beach FL
Latina Golfers Association Foundation Los Angeles CA
Little Linksters Sorrento FL
Matrix Human Services Detroit MI
Michigan Women’s Golf Association Detroit MI
Midnight Golf Program Bingham Farms MI
Milwaukee Area Youth Golf Academy, Inc. Glendale WI
Moore-Myers Children’s Fund Jacksonville FL
My Vision Golf Fayetteville GA
New Jersey Golf Foundation Inc. Bedminster NJ
Next 18 Fox Point WI
Northern Texas PGA Foundation – Fairway to Success Dallas TX
One Hundred Black Men, Inc. New York NY
Par Excellence Youth Development Huntsville AL
Range Fore Hope Foundation Blythewood SC
Rose Hill Schools Rose Hill KS
Southern California Golf Association – Junior Golf Foundation Studio City CA
Southern Area Youth Program, Inc. Los Angeles CA
Special Olympics Connecticut Hamden CT
SwingPals, Inc. Durham NC
Ted Rhodes Foundation, Inc. Chicago IL
The Caddie & Leadership Academy Kenosha WI
The Darby Foundation Lafayette LA
The Glove Foundation Mobile AL
The Honors Junior Golf Program Corona CA
The Pinkney Foundation Pittsburg CA
Upstate-Carolina Adaptive Golf Greenville SC
Western States Junior Golf Association Las Vegas NV
Women Golfers Give Back Plymouth Meeting PA
Women in Golf Foundation, Inc. Ellenwood GA

The post PRESS ROOM: 81 Grassroots Organizations Awarded a Total of $750,000 in Grants through Industry’s ‘Make Golf Your Thing’ Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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