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Black History

Eight Black Media Outlets Win Over $5 Million in Grants

The six Black-owned media organizations targeting predominantly Black audiences that received grants are: California Black Media ($400,000); The Black Voice News in Riverside County ($100,000); L.A. Focus ($96,000) in Los Angeles County; Pace News in Los Angeles County ($95,150); The Precinct Reporter in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties ($88,000); The San Francisco Bay View ($85,000); The Sac Cultural Hub in Sacramento County ($80,000); and Indian Voices in San Diego County ($59,741).

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Several supporters and news publications said they are pleased with the intention of the program and support the scaling up of it over the next few years.
Several supporters and news publications said they are pleased with the intention of the program and support the scaling up of it over the next few years.

By California Black Media Staff

Eight Black-owned media organizations serving African American audiences across California are among 46 ethnic media news outlets awarded over $5 million in grants by the state.

The grant program is a collaboration between the California State Library and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs. It was created to support media outlets serving communities where hate crimes are likely to happen.

The funding will also help raise awareness about a related program: the Stop the Hate campaign that the California Department of Social Services has been spearheading with an initial investment of $20 million over the last year.

The campaign funds community-based organizations working to reduce hate crimes and promote intercultural and interracial cooperation and understanding.

“Crimes targeting victims because of their race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender or a disability have no place in the state of California,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The six Black-owned media organizations targeting predominantly Black audiences that received grants are: California Black Media ($400,000); The Black Voice News in Riverside County ($100,000); L.A. Focus ($96,000) in Los Angeles County; Pace News in Los Angeles County ($95,150); The Precinct Reporter in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties ($88,000); The San Francisco Bay View ($85,000); The Sac Cultural Hub in Sacramento County ($80,000); and Indian Voices in San Diego County ($59,741).

According to the California State Library the grants will allow ethnic media outlets to hire or contract with “specialized reporters, fellowships, and internships at ethnic media outlets, news briefings and roundtables, digital and social media content, community gatherings and partnerships with grassroots organizations and Community Based Organizations.”

“We live in the state with the most racial, ethnic and cultural diversity in the United States. Yet, the deep tensions and misconceptions among us can trigger violence and rip our communities apart,” said Regina Brown Wilson, executive director of California Black Media (CBM).

“This funding is necessary because it equips media organizations with resources we need to educate, inform and connect the communities we serve, encouraging honest conversations, which are believe are opportunities to teach each other and learn from each other,” Wilson continued.

The grant program is a part of the Asian and Pacific Islander Equity Budget, a three-year investment of $166.5 million allocated to address the sharp increase in hate incidents.

“The California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (API Caucus) and I pushed for these funds to help strengthen California’s more than 350 ethnic media outlets,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). “We’re looking forward to subsequent grant awards being even more helpful to more ethnic media outlets around the state.”

Joe Bowers, a Los Angeles County-based researcher, will be working on identifying multicultural communities vulnerable to hate crimes that Black-owned newspapers in the state serve. He says he looks forward to providing data that will be key to helping CBM’s partner publications target their audiences with information that elevates and promotes interracial and cross-cultural relationships in their communities.

“There have been a number of demographic shifts in the state. It is critical for media to understand who their audiences are, where those people live, who they live next to, and what the potential challenges and opportunities may be,” Bowers continued.

Several supporters and news publications said they are pleased with the intention of the program and support the scaling up of it over the next few years.

Most publications are expected to kick off their programs over the next month.

Black History

Ketanji Brown Jackson Sworn In as Newest Supreme Court Justice

Replacing Breyer, Brown Jackson made history as the first African American woman to serve on the highest court in the U.S. and will assume duties immediately, but her formal investiture will occur in the fall.

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Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as the first African American woman to serve on the highest court in the U.S.
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as the first African American woman to serve on the highest court in the U.S.

On Thursday June 30, 2022, Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, was sworn in by one of her mentors, Justice Steven Breyer, while her husband, Dr. Patrick Jackson, held both the family Bible and one donated to the Supreme Court in 1906. Replacing Breyer, Brown Jackson made history as the first African American woman to serve on the highest court in the U.S. and will assume duties immediately, but her formal investiture will occur in the fall.

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Black History

OPINION: Black Women Will Suffer Harshest Consequences After the Overturn of Roe

The impact of new abortion bans and restrictions will be felt most acutely by poor and working-class Black women — Black women are significantly more likely to live in poverty compared to white women. For these women, the overturning of Roe won’t mean that abortions will end; it will mean that access to critical, potentially life-saving healthcare will move hundreds of miles out of reach. It will mean time off of work (likely unpaid) and travel and childcare costs — expenses that may not be possible for women living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to simply put meals on the table.

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Glynda Carr is president and CEO of Higher Heights for America.
Glynda Carr is president and CEO of Higher Heights for America.

By Glynda Carr

The Supreme Court just dealt a devastating blow to reproductive rights. With its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, five Republican-appointed Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court swept away half a century of progress and eviscerated women’s rights and equality. After last month’s leaked opinion, we knew this moment could come, but that doesn’t make the news any easier to digest.

For Black women in this country, the decision is especially devastating. Thirteen percent of American women are Black, but 38% of people receiving abortion care are Black. Abortion is necessary healthcare — and a lack of access can quite literally mean life or death for many Black women. This is especially true for Black women who have lower incomes, live in rural areas, and do not have access to health care because of systemic racism and discrimination.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, Black women are nearly three times more likely to die during childbirth than white women and are more likely to face maternal health issues. With new abortion restrictions and bans, these health outcomes are expected to get even worse: a 2021 Duke University study estimated the potential death toll following a total abortion ban and found a 33% increase in Black women who died due to pregnancy-related complications.

The states that are already moving to ban abortion are among those with the largest Black populations in the country. Consider Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of Black residents in the nation, and one of the 13 states with a “trigger law” that ensured the decision would result in a near-immediate ban on abortion access. Three other states with the highest proportion of Black residents — Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas — have these trigger laws in place, and many other states, especially in the South, are moving to severely restrict or outright ban abortion.

The impact of new abortion bans and restrictions will be felt most acutely by poor and working-class Black women — Black women are significantly more likely to live in poverty compared to white women. For these women, the overturning of Roe won’t mean that abortions will end; it will mean that access to critical, potentially life-saving healthcare will move hundreds of miles out of reach. It will mean time off of work (likely unpaid) and travel and childcare costs — expenses that may not be possible for women living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to simply put meals on the table.

At a time like this, when daughters suddenly have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers, it is challenging to imagine a way forward. But the answer is to do everything we can to restore our rights and ensure every woman has access to the healthcare they need and deserve, a right afforded to them under our nation’s Constitution.

To do that, we need to elect and elevate more Black women. Black women have been at the forefront of the fight to protect and expand reproductive rights — from members of Congress like Reps. Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley, and Lauren Underwood, to our first Black woman Vice President Kamala Harris, to soon-to-be-seated Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

We must elect Stacey Abrams to lead the state of Georgia — one of the states that is now positioned to severely restrict — or overturn the right to access abortion care under the leadership of their current governor, Brian Kemp.

And finally, we need to not only encourage, but throw our unwavering support behind more Black women from all across the country to run for office — women who personally understand the deep impact that a lack of healthcare and abortion restrictions have on communities that have lacked fair representation for far too long.

Today and every day, I stand with my partners and allies ready to continue the critical fight for access to affordable, safe, legal abortions for all women, no matter where they live, how they identify, or how much money they have. We will not back down.

Glynda Carr is president and CEO of Higher Heights for America, the only national organization providing Black women with a political home exclusively dedicated to harnessing their power to expand Black women’s elected representation and voting participation, and advance progressive policies.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.

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Bay Area

Oakland Mayor Greets Old Friend at Lakefest

Both Oakland natives, Jones and Schaaf became acquainted when the mayor was an Oakland City Councilmember representing District 4. Back then Jones taught her his breathing/aerobics exercises at his fitness studio in the Laurel District, which the mayor has utilized ever since, and which has been an invaluable tool in contributing to her overall health and wellness.

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Jonathan ‘Fitness’ Jones and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
Jonathan ‘Fitness’ Jones and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

At Oakland’s Third Annual LakeFest celebration on June 25, 2022, Oakland Post Ambassador Jonathan ‘Fitness’ Jones ran into longtime friend and supporter Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

As Schaaf exited the stage after making remarks at an event touting Oakland culture through music, dance, fashion, food and more, she greeted Jones by demonstrating his highly acclaimed “breathing aerobics” technique.

Both Oakland natives, Jones and Schaaf became acquainted when the mayor was an Oakland City Councilmember representing District 4. Back then Jones taught her his breathing/aerobics exercises at his fitness studio in the Laurel District, which the mayor has utilized ever since, and which has been an invaluable tool in contributing to her overall health and wellness.

With over 30 years of experience in the health and fitness field, Jones is a member of the African American Sports & Entertainment Group and creator of Breathing Aerobics, a health and wellness company that specializes in teaching specific breathing exercises to improve overall health. He has taught Breathing Aerobics on major television and radio stations, which has earned him the moniker, “Guru of Breathing.”

For more info on Breathing Aerobics go to www.breathingaerobics.com

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