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Líderes de la fé hablan en contra de los peligros del carbón

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Decenas de líderes religiosos del área de la bahía, incluyendo representantes de las comunidades Bautista, Judía, Católica Romana y Episcopales, se reunieron en las escalinatas del ayuntamiento el martes, reuniéndose en contra de la posibilidad de transportar millones de toneladas de carbón a través de Oakland que saldrá de la antigua Base militar.

 

 

El martes, el Consejo de la Ciudad de Oakland fue programado para votar sobre la aprobación de un contrato de $208,000 con una empresa privada de consultoría para analizar los posibles impactos sobre la salud y seguridad que el exportar carbón tendría en las comunidades adyacentes en West Oakland.

 

 

El asunto fue finalmente retirado de la agenda.

 

 

En una conferencia de prensa del Ayuntamiento, pastores, rabinos y activistas ambientales de diversas congregaciones y organizaciones locales hablaron de la oposición de gran alcance para exportar el combustible fósil por ciudad que ya experimenta niveles altos anormales de asma y cáncer inducidos por el ambiente.

 

 

De acuerdo con una nueva encuesta dada a conocer por el Sierra Club, el 76 por ciento de los votantes de Oakland dice que se opone al envío de carbón a través de la ciudad, incluyendo el 57 por ciento que se oponen “fuertemente”.

 

 

Los oradores en la manifestación incluyen al Rev. Chauncey Mathews de Iglesia Bautista Corinto, Rev. Laurie Manning de Skyline Iglesia Unida de Cristo, Rev. Curtis Robinson, de la Iglesia Bautista Fe, el rabino David Cooper, de la Comunidad de la Sinagoga Kehilla, Rev. Ben Daniel de Montclair Iglesia Presbiteriana , Rev. Daniel Buford de Allen Temple Baptist Church y el Rev. Dr. Kwasi Thornell de la iglesia episcopal de San Agustín.

 

 

Los líderes religiosos y sus seguidores se unieron el el Sierra Club, Interfaith Power and Light and United Native Americans, Inc.

 

 

Expresando su apoyo a la campaña Sin carbón en Oakland en la reunión del consejo en el Ayuntamiento el martes por la noche estuvieron el Obispo Frank Pinkard Jr. de Evergreen Baptist Church, Ministro Keith Muhammad de la Nación del Islam, Theo Williams, de tambores SambaFunk! y el Rev. Dr. Jim Hopkins de Iglesia Bautista Lakeshore.

 

 

“Hay una larga historia de las comunidades urbanas pobres siendo envenenadas por los residuos del medio ambiente, y no vamos a dejar que eso pase más tiempo”, dijo el Rev. Buford de Allen Temple Baptist Church.

 

 

“Los afroamericanos son por lo general los canarios en los pozos de las minas de racismo institucional”, dijo Buford. “Las cosas que nos matan primero te matarán después.”

 

 

Rev. Manning de Skyline Iglesia Unida de Cristo vinculó los potenciales impactos sobre la salud que el envío del carbón a través de Oakland con la crisis de salud en curso en Flint, Michigan, que ha afectado principalmente a los niños de color y posteriormente llevados a descubrimientos de niveles peligrosos de plomo en el suministro de agua de muchas otros de las ciudades en todo el país.

 

 

Miembros de la comunidad se alinearon en el Ayuntamiento para hablar en nombre de y en contra de la posibilidad de que el carbón sea uno de los productos que se enviarán fuera de la antigua base militar.

 

 

Un grupo de miembros del clero afroamericano del Ecumenical Economic Empowerment Council (EEEC) dijo al consejo que el proyecto crearía un importante impulso económico para la ciudad y suministraría específicamente puestos de trabajo a las comunidades afroamericanas de Oakland. Los pastores vinieron con un grupo de personas de Men in Valor Academy, que ayuda a los hombres que han estado encarcelados a que adquieran habilidades de trabajo.

 

 

Los miembros de EEEC estaban molestos de que el consejo había tirado el voto de externalizar un análisis de la salud y la seguridad de la consultora privada Environmental Science Associates, ya que retrasaría aún más el avance del proyecto.

 

 

“Por qué estamos retrasandolo?”, Dijo el pastor Kevin Barnes, de la Iglesia Bautista Misionera Abyssian. “Algunos de estos jóvenes realmente quieren cuidar de sus familias si tuvieran un buen trabajo, y este es el vagón de cola económica que se lo va a dar a nuestros jóvenes.”

 

 

“La gente está hablando acerca de cómo este problema está dividiendo al clero afroamericano. El clero afroamericano no está dividido, tenemos diferentes opiniones acerca de las cosas”, dijo Barnes. “Algunos de nosotros queremos que la gente consiga trabajo, algunos de nosotros podría importarles menos.”

 

 

En una entrevista con el Post, el Obispo Pinkard de Evergreen Baptist Church dijo que es escéptico de que estos puestos de trabajo irían primero a la gente en Oakland o que los puestos de trabajo se limitarían a los más necesitados.

 

 

“Qué tipo de salvaguardia tienen en su lugar para que el medio ambiente contaminado ya no llegará a ser más contaminado en Oakland, efectuando la salud de nuestros hijos”, dijo Pinkard. “Tenemos que pensar a largo plazo en lo relacionado con la salud de nuestro pueblo.”

 

 

De acuerdo con Derrick Muhammad del sindicato de los estibadores en Oakland, ILWU Local 10, la idea de que el proyecto suministraría puestos de trabajo a desempleados y ex presos es “falso”.

 

 

“Las organizaciones de Comercio en esta zona no tienen una práctica de reclutamiento en los barrios afroamericanos”, dijo Muhammad, quien se opone a la terminal de carbón junto con el sindicato de estibadores. “Y si no eres ya un miembro de un sindicato, entonces, cómo tienes un trabajo en un proyecto que es un proyecto sindical?”

 

 

“Usted no va a conseguir estos puestos de trabajo, no vas a conseguir empleo. Punto”, dijo Muhammad.

 

 

Para alivio de muchos activistas anti-carbón, el asunto del consejo fue retirado de la agenda a petición de la Concejal Rebecca Kaplan para que el personal de la ciudad pueda ser capaz de considerar la información y sugerencias adicionales.

 

 

El Ayuntamiento tiene previsto regresar con una actualización sobre el tema del carbón en su primera reunión en abril.

Community

La Clínica de La Raza Selected as 2021 Nonprofit of the Year

Celebrating its 50th year anniversary this year, La Clínica’s sites are in the district’s most underserved areas where the need for healthcare services is the highest so resources are closest to those who need them the most. 

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La Clínica de la Raza/unknown

Senator Steve Glazer, D-Contra Costa, has chosen La Clínica de La Raza as the Nonprofit of the Year for his Senate District.

La Clínica has been critical to Contra Costa County’s vaccination efforts, teaming up with Contra Costa County to facilitate COVID testing and vaccinations for communities of color and other underserved and disproportionately impacted segments of the population.

“I am proud to honor La Clínica for its vital work in providing much needed health services when the Coronavirus pandemic was at its worst,” said Senator Glazer. 

“Without La Clínica’s devotion to maintaining health care access, there is no telling how much worse the effects of COVID-19 would have been to communities of color and other underserved people. We are indebted to nonprofit organizations like La Clínica, which are fulfilling a truly critical mission that is so valuable to us all,” he said.

Celebrating its 50th year anniversary this year, La Clínica’s sites are in the district’s most underserved areas where the need for healthcare services is the highest so resources are closest to those who need them the most. 

Their six locations in Senator Glazer’s District are in Oakley, Pittsburg and Concord and include three medical sites, two dental offices and a mental health clinic. La Clínica has provided health care services since its formation in 1971 by a group of UC Berkeley students and community activists. Through 2019, La Clínica served 91,523 patients with 367,074 visits.

“La Clínica is honored to have been chosen as the Nonprofit of the Year,” said Jane García, La Clínica’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re thankful to Senator Steve Glazer for selecting us and recognizing our efforts to ensure that vulnerable communities have equitable access to vaccines, testing, and other healthcare services they need and deserve.”

The founding UC Berkeley students and community members, influenced by the philosophies of Martin Luther King Jr. and César Chávez during the social justice movement of the 60s, opened the original community-based storefront clinic in East Oakland. Aware of the gap in health care for lower-income populations, the goal was to ensure every person had access to high-quality, culturally appropriate health care, regardless of their ability to pay.

This is the sixth year of the California Nonprofit of the Year initiative. In this year of extreme uncertainty and suffering, nonprofits have continued to step up to support our communities as circumstances and needs change swiftly.

“Nonprofits are a community of stubborn optimists,” explains Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). “Our belief that the world can be better – more equitable, more kind – is powerful. Honoring a California Nonprofit of the Year shows that elected officials recognize and celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts.”

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Bay Area

Incidents Like Gabrielle Union’s “Too Black” Hair Will Soon Be Protected by New State Law

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On Jan. 1, 2020, California will enact a new law, the CROWN Act or Senate Bill 188, that protects Black women and men from discrimination in the workplace for wearing natural hairstyles.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law, the first of its kind in the nation, in July.

Authored by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), who is African American, the bill expands the definition of racial discrimination to include hair.

“We believe this is just the beginning of the end to hair discrimination. It’s another chink in the armor of racial discrimination in this country and I’m just proud to be part of the movement,” Mitchell said when the governor signed her bill.

Just weeks before the law takes effect, news broke that SAG-AFTRA, the Los Angeles-based labor union representing more than 160,000 television and film industry professionals, is investigating the circumstances of popular actress Gabrielle Union’s dismissal from her job as a judge on the NBC television series “America’s Got Talent,” partly because of her rotating natural hairstyles.

Four sources who claim to have insider information about the way decision makers at the television competition series treated Union say the actress received more than six notes describing her hairstyles as “too Black.”

Union, known for her roles in more than 25 films and as the star of the long-running BET series “Being Mary Jane,” has not made public comment about the incident. But her husband, NBA star Dwyane Wade, has tweeted about her firing.

If Union decides to sue NBC or the show’s producers for hair discrimination, she will not be able to stand on the CROWN act, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair, because of the timing of her case.

But the show producers have confirmed that they are speaking with Union’s representatives to resolve their differences.

Some Twitter users are calling for a boycott of the show.

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#NNPA BlackPress

Birmingham Promise Education program exceeded expectations, city officials say

BIRMINGHAM TIMES — The Birmingham Promise Initiative, launched this summer to build pathways into quality jobs for Birmingham City School (BCS) students, came to a successful conclusion last week, said city officials. Last week, 23 BCS students finished their apprenticeships at companies across the metro area and the program had an impact, said Mayor Randall Woodfin and Councilors on Tuesday.

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Birmingham City Council (Photo by: birminghamtimes.com)

By Erica Wight

The Birmingham Promise Initiative, launched this summer to build pathways into quality jobs for Birmingham City School (BCS) students, came to a successful conclusion last week, said city officials.

Last week, 23 BCS students finished their apprenticeships at companies across the metro area and the program had an impact, said Mayor Randall Woodfin and Councilors on Tuesday.

“There’s now more work to do to make sure that many more high school students can participate in this program, so I’m proud of the success of the pilot but . . . I’m looking forward to engaging parents directly, students directly and employers about these opportunities and so to employers,” Woodfin said.

“Our economy is changing and you all talk about your gaps in workforce, here’s an opportunity to close that workforce gap . . . our parents need to know these options exist before their children walk across the stage and to our children who have the passion, as a city we’re here to support your dreams and make them come true before you walk across the stage.”

Councilor John Hilliard said during Tuesday’s council meeting, “We must change our direction of how we deal with education . . . we have to meet the demand the corporate community is asking. A four-year education is important but it’s not the only way to go . . . I think it’s important we instill in our young people a different type of work ethic and give them the opportunity on the front end rather than the back end to make things happen.”

The seven-week summer pilot is part of the larger Birmingham Promise Initiative, which will offer multiple pathways for Birmingham students to “earn and learn” as they develop skills to prepare for jobs in industries that are growing in the regional economy.

The inaugural apprenticeships involved a vocational education component and work-based learning opportunities that were guided by a mentor. The pilot was complemented by the City of Birmingham’s partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, a national leader in delivering digital education to youth, the Jefferson County Commission on Economic Opportunity (JCCEO) and the city’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.

Councilor Wardine Alexander said the Birmingham Promise prepares students to be college and career ready.

“When I served on the Board of Education, I had the pleasure to shake the hands of every student who graduated from the City of Birmingham… I think the mayor will remember we had one board member who would always ask the students as they were going through the line, ‘what’s your next goal’ and often students were not able to tell us what their goal was or what they were going to do,” said Alexander.

Birmingham Promise gave students the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 companies, earn a salary and have an idea of what they were going to do, Alexander said.

Council President Valerie Abbott, who attended graduation ceremony for the students along with Mayor Randall Woodfin, Alexander and Hilliard, said she was inspired by the students.

“Just to see those young people, they were full grown adults and doing those jobs, it was very impressive,” said Abbott. “We do need more people in the corporate community, but businesses of any kind can use an intern. It doesn’t have to be a corporation… we have so many students to benefit from that opportunity and only a handful got to participate in this pilot. We need hundreds of businesses to take on these young people so they can learn. I was just inspired by the quality of the young people and how inspired they were and their level of enthusiasm was just wonderful. I think we all need to encourage as many businesses as we can to participate.”

The following employers participated in the Birmingham Promise pilot program this summer:

  • Alabama Futures Fund
  • Alabama Power Company
  • Altec
  • Baptist Princeton
  • BIG Communications
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Brasfield & Gorrie
  • Encompass Health
  • HOAR Construction
  • Mayer
  • Pack Health
  • Protective
  • Renasant Bank
  • Regions
  • Shipt
  • Spire
  • Vincent’s
  • Theranest
  • UAB
  • Vulcan Materials

This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times.

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