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Florida A&M University and the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative announce Recipients of Medical Marijuana Research Grants

THE WESTSIDE GAZETTE — Florida A&M University (FAMU) today awarded 14 grants totaling $98,000 to more than 20 faculty members to conduct research on marijuana as it impacts diverse minority communities. This research is a component of the University’s Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI), which was launched in response to the Florida Legislature’s funding allocation to educate “minorities about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on minority communities.”

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By Carma Henry

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. Florida A&M University (FAMU) today awarded 14 grants totaling $98,000 to more than 20 faculty members to conduct research on marijuana as it impacts diverse minority communities. This research is a component of the University’s Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI), which was launched in response to the Florida Legislature’s funding allocation to educate “minorities about marijuana for medical use and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on minority communities.” As part of the 2017 legislation, FAMU receives $10 for every $75 identification card purchased by individuals approved to buy medical marijuana.

MMERI Director Peter Harris, JD. says, “when it comes to Florida’s diverse minority communities, this is a critical initiative. FAMU is unique in this space and our research will guide policy in Florida. We are fortunate that the Florida Legislature understands the vital role FAMU can play.”

MMERI Research Chair and Dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, Cynthia Hughes-Harris, Ph.D. says, “As the use of both prescribed and illegal marijuana becomes more prevalent in our society, many questions have arisen as to how marijuana can and should be used. These questions are particularly important to marijuana use in minority communities. The primary approach to answering these questions is through formal research processes conducted by experienced researchers. FAMU is particularly qualified to address these issues due to the talents and skills of FAMU faculty, as researchers and as educators, combined with our understanding of the target communities throughout the state of Florida.”

This first round of research funding will enable FAMU to build a repository of information for medical marijuana education and research. Among the objectives of the repository are to establish the University as a touchstone center for marijuana information, fill in the gaps in medical marijuana research particularly as it relates to diverse communities and to inform public policy, in Florida and beyond, about the impact and issues presented by the developing marijuana industry.

Faculty members from such disciplines as agriculture, allied health, architecture, law, pharmacy, business, and social sciences will conduct funded research. The grantees were selected by an impartial panel of experienced FAMU researchers and content experts who rated each application on objective criteria appropriate to the goals of the grant. Each grant award is $7,000.  The research projects are expected to be completed by June 30, 2020.

The research focus and the awardees are:

  • Knowledge and Perception of Pediatric Cancer Patients and Caregivers on Medical Marijuana, Aksal Ali, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy.
  • Assessing Disparate Impacts: The Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Florida and the Legal Implications for Florida’s African American Communities, Jeffrey Brown, J.D., Associate Professor, College of Law.
  • Marijuana, Mental Health, and FAMU, DeAnna Burney, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Huijin Li, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Assistant Director, Center for Ethnic Psychological Research and Application, Department of Psychology.
  • Medical Marijuana Dispensary Locations and Neighborhood Crime, Andrew Chin, Interim Dean, School of Architecture and Engineering Technology.
  • Exploring Black Entrepreneurs’ Access to Opportunities in the Medical Marijuana Industry, Jennifer Collins, Ph.D., Assistant Dean and Associate Professor, School of Business and Industry and LaTanya White, MBA, Instructor, School of Business and Industry.
  • The Effects of Medical Marijuana Use by Multiple Sclerosis Patients on Select Measures of Muscular Strength and Endurance, Dr. Brian Hickey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Physical Education.
  • Assessing the Knowledge and Perceptions of Community Members Specific to the Compassionate Use of Marijuana, Marisa Lewis, Pharm.D., MPH, Associate Professor, School of Allied Health Sciences and Lon’Tejuana Cooper, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Allied Health Sciences.
  • Mixed Methods Study of Medical Marijuana Use Among Minority Patients, John Luque, Ph.D., MPH, Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Arinzechukwu Okere, PharmD, MS, MBA, BPCS, Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • Assessing African Americans Preference and Willingness to Pay Values for Medical Marijuana as a Treatment for Cancer…a Minority Perspective, Carmen Lyttle-Nguessa, Ph.D., College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Gilbert Queely, Ph.D., Research Associate, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences and Cassel Gardner, Ph.D., Professor, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences.
  • Increasing Minority Access to Medical Marijuana (MM): Simplifying the Process Through Research, Outreach, and Education, Gilbert Queely, Ph.D., Research Associate, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences
  • An Investigation on Marijuana Consumption in the Construction Industry in Florida, Behnam Shadravan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Engineering Technology
  • To What Extent Do Mental Health and Psychosocial Factors Predict Risk for Misuse and Neuropsychological Impairment in African American Marijuana Users, Gwendolyn Singleton, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology.
  • Marijuana Wellness Intervention for Community, Coping, Substance-Awareness, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Regulation Enhancement via Education, Novell Tani, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Arie Christon, Department of Psychology.
  • Investigating Levels of Awareness of Medical Marijuana and the Correlation to Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms Within the Criminal Justice System, Gari Tookes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work.

This article originally appeared in The Westside Gazette

#NNPA BlackPress

Biden Administration Focuses Money on HBCUs After Bomb Threats

NNPA NEWSWIRE — On March 16, in a small auditorium at the Old Executive Office Building next door to The White House, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke on the plan. The allocations, coming from existing money from the Department of Education budget, comes to about $150,000 per school.

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By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Shifting funds from the Department of Education to assist Historically Black Colleges and Universities experiencing sporadic bomb threats, several top officials in the Biden Administration spoke out. Over the last two months repeated bomb threats have been made against several HBCUS including Morgan State, and  Howard University.

On March 16, in a small auditorium at the Old Executive Office Building next door to The White House, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke on the plan. The allocations, coming from existing money from the Department of Education budget, comes to about $150,000 per school.

HBCUS have received a record amount of funding from the federal government over the last year into the billions.

“At the Justice Department, we believe the time to address illegal threats is when they are made, not after tragedy strikes. We also know that the threat against HBCUs and their students has deep, historical roots… In the over 150 years since the founding of the Department, the threats posed by hate-fueled criminal acts have taken on many different forms. But our task remains the same: to use our resources and our legal authorities to prevent and confront bias-motivated violence and threats of violence,” the Attorney said in front of education officials, reporters and supporters of HBCUs.

Black Press USA asked Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond about the historic allocations.

“If you look at our Administration, if you look at what we’re doing we’re making sure we empower our universities. They’ve done great with less for far too long,” Richmond said standing in the White House driveway.

Members of the CBC received a briefing on the bomb threats from Department of Justice officials in early March. In an era of divisive politics and a former President, Donald Trump, who negatively openly targeted Black members of Congress and cities with large Black populations such as Baltimore and Philadelphia, concerns for HBCUs have remained high.

“The threats made against our nations Historically Black Colleges and Universities are far from new, and I commend the Administration for finally allocating the necessary attention and resources to HBCUs as we work to end the string of threats and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Rep. Frederica Wilson in a statement.

“Our administration is sending a very clear message that intimidation will not stand and we will not be intimidated. We will do everything in our power to protect all our communities from violence and from hate,” said Vice President Harris.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is a political analyst who appears regularly on #RolandMartinUnfiltered. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke

The post Biden Administration Focuses Money on HBCUs After Bomb Threats first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Crime

Assemblymember Demands Probe into Bomb Threat at California’s Only HBCU

Earlier this month, there were bomb threats at approximately eight historically Black colleges across the country: Spelman College in Atlanta; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Florida Memorial University; Norfolk State University in Virginia; North Carolina Central University; Prairie View A&M University in Texas; and Xavier University in Louisiana.

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Founded in 1966, CDU has trained more than 8,000 health care professionals, including doctors, nurses and public health specialists.
Founded in 1966, CDU has trained more than 8,000 health care professionals, including doctors, nurses and public health specialists.

By California Black Media

Following a racist bomb threat Jan. 11 that disrupted operations and terrified students, faculty and staff at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) in Los Angeles, Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) is calling on state and federal authorities to investigate.

CDU is the only historically Black college in California. It is also designated a “Minority-Serving Institution” by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights.

“As I heard about the violent threat leveled against California’s current and future doctors, nurses, and first responders, I was utterly enraged and pissed off! How can anyone threaten to take the lives of those who have committed themselves to provide life-saving services? This makes me sick to my stomach,” said Gipson in a statement.

Located in the Willowbrook community in Los Angeles, CDU prides itself on its high enrollment of minority students. Its student body is 80% students of color. About 71% of its faculty is Black, Latino or another ethnic minority.

“In light of the seriousness of this threat and the threats against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the nation, I’ve contacted the Governor’s Office, Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Department of Justice, and President Biden to take action against this racist attack NOW,” continued Gipson.

Earlier this month, there were bomb threats at approximately eight historically Black colleges across the country: Spelman College in Atlanta; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Florida Memorial University; Norfolk State University in Virginia; North Carolina Central University; Prairie View A&M University in Texas; and Xavier University in Louisiana.

On Jan. 11, CDU officials say they discovered a bomb threat that had been e-mailed to a generic university e-mail address on Jan. 9.

The sender identified himself as a “Neo Nazi Fascist” and wrote: “…I will detonate all 3 of the Titanium Nitrate Sulfuric bombs. My reasoning … I want to show the Black Population what the White Man can do, we will take back our land!”

“The threat claimed that explosive devices had been planted on the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science campus in South Los Angeles. Out of an abundance of caution, CDU immediately closed the entire campus and notified authorities,” read a CDU statement.

CDU Campus Safety and local law enforcement completed a review of the grounds and facilities and determined that the campus is safe.

The campus reopened for operations Jan. 12, according to Jonathan Zaleski, CDU director of Communications.

Founded in 1966, CDU has trained more than 8,000 health care professionals, including doctors, nurses and public health specialists.

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#NNPA BlackPress

IN MEMORIAM: Cheryl Hickmon: National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dies

NNPA NEWSWIRE — THE BURTON WIRE — Hickmon, a beloved and celebrated member, served the organization for 39 years. The Connecticut native was initiated into the Alpha Xi Chapter at South Carolina State University in 1982 and was an active member of the Hartford (Conn.) Alumnae Chapter. The national office of the sorority released a statement announcing Hickmon’s  death which reads as follows, in part: “It is with great sorrow that Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. shares the passing of our beloved National President and Chair of the National Board of Directors, Cheryl A. Hickmon. President Hickmon transitioned peacefully on January 20, 2022 after a recent illness.

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Cheryl Hickmon, national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, the nation’s largest African-American sorority.

By Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D, NNPA Newswire Culture and Entertainment Editor

The nation is mourning the passing of Cheryl Hickmon, national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, the nation’s largest African-American sorority. Hickmon was elected president of the organization dedicated to sisterhood, scholarship and service  November 21, 2021 at the 55th national convention held in Atlanta, GA.

Hickmon, a beloved and celebrated member, served the organization for 39 years. The Connecticut native was initiated into the Alpha Xi Chapter at South Carolina State University in 1982 and was an active member of the Hartford (Conn.) Alumnae Chapter. The national office of the sorority released a statement announcing Hickmon’s  death which reads as follows:

“It is with great sorrow that Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. shares the passing of our beloved National President and Chair of the National Board of Directors, Cheryl A. Hickmon. President Hickmon transitioned peacefully on January 20, 2022 after a recent illness.

President Hickmon was a devoted member of Delta Sigma Theta since 1982 and served in various capacities at the chapter, region, and national level before being elected National President. She is remembered not only for her role as a leader but for being a colleague, friend, and most of all, sister.

The entire sisterhood of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated mourns the loss of President Hickmon. During this difficult time, we ask that you respect her family’s privacy and keep them in your prayers.”

In addition to serving as the national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Cheryl was employed at Montefiore’s Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Health in Hartsdale, NY where she supervised the In Vitro Fertilization Laboratories for Andrology and Endocrinology. A licensed Clinical Laboratory Technologist, Hickmon worked in the Reproductive Medical Laboratory for more than 30 years.
Members and supporters have been offering remembrances and calling for prayers in response to Hickmon’s death. Florida representative Val Demings,  who is a member of the sorority, shared her thoughts via Twitter:
Organizations including the NAACP and fellow Black Greek Letter Organizations like Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma and Alpha Kappa Alpha have issued statements about Hickmon’s passing.

Cheryl Hickmon is the daughter of the late Dr. Ned Hickmon of Hartford, CT and Bishopville, South Carolina and the late Consuella Anderson Hickmon of Hartford, CT and Cincinnati, Ohio. She is survived by her two older brothers Ned and David Hickmon.

Hickmon’s bio reads, “Cheryl lives her life by the motto … ‘Don’t measure life by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away.’” She was 60.

This obituary was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Instagram or Twitter @TheBurtonWire. 

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