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Jemele Hill: ‘I’m sort of all out of apologies.’

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Jemele Hill was featured at this year’s Annual Norm Brewer First Amendment Lecture. She had famously tested the limits of the First Amendment while at ESPN when she tweeted that President Trump was “a white supremacist who surrounded himself with other white supremacists.” The White House called for her immediate dismissal.

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By Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell, Special to The New Tri-State Defender

There was no way the University of Memphis Journalism Auditorium was going to hold the crowd waiting to hear TV sports journalist and political lightning rod, Jemele Hill speak about the First Amendment. A quick shift to the University Center Ballroom solved that problem.

Despite a very public and controversial departure from ESPN, Hill brought the smoke. Hill is no shrinking violet and she continues to tell it as she sees it. She was engaging, unapologetic, and still controversial – a full-fledged champion of the First Amendment.

Hill was featured at this year’s Annual Norm Brewer First Amendment Lecture. She had famously tested the limits of the First Amendment while at ESPN when she tweeted that President Trump was “a white supremacist who surrounded himself with other white supremacists.” The White House called for her immediate dismissal.

But it was a separate Twitter post that sealed her fate. Hill blasted Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who told his players that anyone who kneels would not play. Hill said Jones had put African-American players in a difficult position, adding, “Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers.”

Given that ESPN broadcasts NFL games, network executives bought out her remaining $2.5 million contract to end the relationship.

“I could have stayed, but I knew it was time to go,” she said. “And they knew it was time for me to go. That’s just what it was.”

On Tuesday, Hill took on every subject, no holds barred. Students asked pointed questions and she answered them all without hesitation. Hill expressed concern for the direction journalism is going and urged students to push themselves.

“I am deeply concerned about journalism in this era,” she said. “It concerns me when being educated and well-read is called ‘being an elitist.’ I am disturbed when being dumb and not well-read is more desired.

“When I was in college, I did not read one book that was not assigned,” Hill continued. “Before college, I read everything. After college, I read. But while I was in college, I didn’t push myself, and I should have. Push yourself to be the best. Don’t just do enough to get by. Push yourself.”

When asked about the public’s right to know the details of Colin Kaepernick’s settlement with the NFL, Hill had this to say about “Kaep:”

“We do not have the right to know about his settlement because it was a labor issue,” she said. “Kaep defeated the NFL. He kneeled to protest the continuous killing of black men and boys. They blackballed him from the league, conspiring to shut him out.

“The NFL is known for pummeling people in court, but when they dealt with Kaep, they had to write a check. We don’t need to know the details because it was a labor issue. Kaep won. That’s all we need to know,” she said.

Some students expressed the desire to excel in sports journalism as “black women.” Hill told them that the career path comes with hate mail and death threats. “It comes with the job. You have to deal with it. That’s just how it is.”

Hill found life after ESPN at The Atlantic monthly print and digital news organ. Her political commentary, no matter how controversial, is widely celebrated.

“I like being at The Atlantic,” she said. “I’m a lot less apologetic. I’m sort of all out of apologies.”

Hill was named the 2018 “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists.

The Norm Brewer First Amendment Lecture at the University of Memphis was founded by Professor Otis L. Sanford, author, columnist, TV commentator and holder of the Hardin Chair of Excellence in Journalism. This was the lecture’s eighth year.

The event is named for Brewer, a political analyst and news commentator in Memphis – first at WMC-Channel 5 and later at WREG-Channel 13. Brewer passed away in 2010 at the age of 76.

“I think Jemele presented an appropriate message at a time in our society where women are speaking out, mobilizing, challenging the status quo and moving into more positions of authority and power than ever before,” Sanford said.

“Her comment that journalists should be disruptors is spot on. And I was thrilled to have her appear before such a warm and receptive audience. The UofM is a place that fosters relevant dialog and encourages critical conversations. Jemele’s lecture was an ideal example of that.”

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Fighting an Unjust System, The Bail Project Helps People Get Out of Jail and Reunites Families

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

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Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.
Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily — many find it challenging to pay bail

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

As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build — and as the pandemic raises the stakes higher — advocates remain adamant that it’s more important than ever that the facts are straight, and everyone understands the bigger picture.

“The U.S. doesn’t have one ‘criminal justice system;’ instead, we have thousands of federal, state, local, and tribal systems,” Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner found in a study released by the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative.

Together, these systems hold almost 2 million people in 1,566 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,850 local jails, 1,510 juvenile correctional facilities, 186 immigration detention facilities, and 82 Indian country jails, as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories,” the study authors said in a press release.

With hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily, many find it challenging to pay bail.

Recognizing America’s ongoing mass incarceration problem and the difficulties families have in bailing out their loved ones, a new organization began in 2018 to offer some relief.

The Bail Project, a nationwide charitable fund for pretrial defendants, started with a vision of combating mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system.

Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

“We have a mission of doing exactly what we hope our criminal system would do: protect the presumption of innocence, reunite families, and challenge a system that we know can criminalize poverty,” Johnson stated.

“Our mission is to end cash bail and create a more just, equitable, and humane pretrial system,” she insisted.

Johnson said The Bronx Freedom Fund, at the time a new revolving bail fund that launched in New York, planted the seed for The Bail Project more than a decade ago.

“Because bail is returned at the end of a case, we can build a sustainable revolving fund where philanthropic dollars can be used several times per year, maximizing the impact of every contribution,” Johnson stated.

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

Johnson noted that officials created cash bail to incentivize people to return to court.

Instead, she said, judges routinely set cash bail well beyond most people’s ability to afford it, resulting in thousands of legally innocent people incarcerated while they await court dates.

According to The Bail Project, Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by cash bail, and of all Black Americans in jail in the U.S., nearly half are from southern prisons.

“There is no way to do the work of advancing pretrial reform without addressing the harmful effects of cash bail in the South,” said Robin Steinberg, Founder, and CEO of The Bail Project.

“Cash bail fuels racial and economic disparities in our legal system, and we look forward to supporting the community in Greenville as we work to eliminate cash bail and put ourselves out of business.”

Since its launch, The Bail Project has stationed teams in more than 25 cities, posting bail for more than 18,000 people nationwide.

Johnson said the organization uses its national revolving bail fund, powered by individual donations, to pay bail.

The Bail Project has spent over $47 million on bail.

“When we post bail for a person, we post the full cash amount at court,” Johnson stated.

“Upon resolution of the case, the money returns to whoever posted. So, if I posted $5,000 to bail someone out, we then help the person get back to court and resolve the case,” she continued.

“The money then comes back to us, and we can use that money to help someone else. So, we recycle that.”

Johnson said eliminating cash bail and the need for bail funds remains the goal.

“It’s the just thing to do. It restores the presumption of innocence, and it restores families,” Johnson asserted.

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PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina

NNPA NEWSWIRE — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and other participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.
The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Administrator to honor legacy of environmental justice and civil rights at event in Warren County, site of protests that launched the movement 40 years ago

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2022) – On Saturday, September 24, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will travel to Warren County, North Carolina to deliver remarks on EPA’s environmental justice and civil rights priorities and the progress we’ve achieved since the first protest and march that launched the movement 40 years ago this week. Administrator Regan will make a significant announcement on President Biden’s commitment to elevate environmental justice and civil rights enforcement at EPA and across the federal government and ensure the work to support our most vulnerable communities continues for years to come.

Administrator Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.

Who:
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Leaders
Warren County residents and community leaders
Additional stakeholders

What: Remarks on EPA environmental justice and civil rights priorities and honoring the legacy of the environmental justice and civil rights movement
When: Saturday, September 24, 2022,
Doors Open: 11:30 AM ET
Program: 12:45 PM ET
;
Where: Warren County Courthouse
109 S Main Street
Warrenton, NC 27589
Livestream: A livestream of this event will be available at epa.gov/live.

The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane

Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …
The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …

The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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