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PGA Tour and Wells Fargo Embrace Golf’s Color of Change at TPC Potomac

NNPA NEWSWIRE — At the championships outside of Washington, D.C., the game’s inclusivity proved discernable in key places if not yet on the course itself, where Howard University phenom Greg Odom Jr. stood out as the only Black player to participate in a field of 156.
The post PGA Tour and Wells Fargo Embrace Golf’s Color of Change at TPC Potomac first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

If there were ever a perfect marriage between a corporate sponsor and one of golf’s alphabet soup organizations, the Wells Fargo Championships at TPC Potomac Avenal Farm provided such a bond.

Wells Fargo, the namesake for the tournament and one of the world’s most prolific financial institutions, has again become embroiled in controversy over accusations of discriminatory residential mortgage policies and lending practices against its Black customers.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour has worked diligently to ensure that, after decades of anti-Black behavior, it’s slowly and relatively quietly becoming one of the more inclusive sports in America – if not globally.

Both entities have forged a working relationship with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association of America’s 230-plus Black-owned newspapers and media companies.

Together, both entities are working to change negative optics for which both understand they are responsible for their reputations.

At the championships outside of Washington, D.C., the game’s inclusivity proved discernable in key places if not yet on the course itself, where Howard University phenom Greg Odom Jr. stood out as the only Black player to participate in a field of 156.

At the exclusive “Executive Club,” where corporate citizens enjoy birds-eye views of the beautiful 16th hole and 17th tee, a fantastic mix of about 525 patrons yukked it up.

They talked golf, dined on catered meals, swallowed Bud Light, Stella Artois, and Coca-Cola, and enjoyed a full bar.

Interestingly, the large and exclusive tent highlighted how the color of golf is changing.

“I don’t think the game, or at least the PGA Tour and some of its sponsors, see Black and white anymore,” Daniel, a D.C. lawyer, said as Stewart Cink botched a birdie put on 16 just as another downpour emptied the seating area just off the tent.

Daniel didn’t want his last name used because a rival law firm had provided him the expensive tickets to the Executive Club.

“I’ve loved this game forever but could never understand, even as a wealthy white guy, why there wasn’t this effort or idea that having Black people, all people, included would only make it more attractive,” Daniel remarked.

Even as Odom – who had little time to soak in leading Howard University to the PGA Works Collegiate Championships a day earlier – failed to make the cut, there were many opportunities to realize the newly found inclusivity that golf offers.

Near the Wells Fargo Welcoming Center at Avenal Farms, African American bank representatives greeted patrons.

They helped the thousands of fans in attendance find their way to and from parking lots, hospitality areas, the course itself, and shuttle buses.

Ticket takers, traffic enforcers, and executives worked while several took time to talk golf.

When Montgomery County, Maryland native Denny McCarthy strolled from the driving range, a small group of fans braving the early morning elements yelled encouragement.

That small group included Darryl McKinley, an African American who works for a bank not named Wells Fargo.

“First, I’m just glad the championships are here because I live about 30 minutes from here,” McKinley asserted. “But to see McKinley representing Maryland and Odom repping Howard University and all HBCUs is exciting on different levels.”

McKinley explained that the presence of McCarthy, who is white, and Odom, a Black man, had encouraged many like him.

“Denny is from here, so it lets you know that this area can produce champions,” McKinley explained further. “Then you have Greg, a Black man, a Howard University dude doing his thing and shining a spotlight on us in this game. What else do you need to see to be convinced that the doors are now wide open for everyone in this game.”

Though Odom missed the cut, it wasn’t just the amateur who had problems with the weather. Veteran Sergio Garcia fought both the elements and officials after hitting a tee shot that went astray from the rolling terrain at Avenal Farm.

Garcia became frustrated with an official after being assessed a penalty for taking too much time while looking for his ball that went into a hazard.

Players are allowed three minutes to locate the ball once they arrive in the general area where they hit it.

“You want me to swim through the river?” Garcia barked at the official. “I wasn’t looking for the ball there. I was looking for the ball once I got onto this side. Does that make sense?”

The moment also provided a glimpse of the change in golf for some.

“They never used to argue,” Alexis Battersby, attending the event with a group of other women, stated. “But, this is fun because the game seems more real to us,” she said.

Battersby, who said she would attend the entire weekend, joined a group of 12 Black women at the championships.

Meanwhile, back inside the Executive Club, Daniel, the lawyer, offered a course for Wells Fargo and the PGA Tour.

When told Wells Fargo provided the Black Press with unlimited access to the event, he shook his head in approval.

“That’s a start,” he asserted. “They have to do many things to improve access for their African American customers and engage Black people the right way by doing more with you guys (the Black Press).”

He said the PGA Tour’s efforts are more pronounced.

“You got Odom playing here, and I’m certain they would like to see more people of color on the course,” Daniel stated.

“But, I’m also aware that in the corporate offices and other places within the PGA Tour, there are African Americans – men and women and who knows, LGBTQ individuals, who are working important jobs.

“But, if I’m you (the Black Press), I keep pressing. I’m never satisfied, and neither should African Americans until there’s concrete proof that the efforts have been sustained and the word ‘diversity’ isn’t needed in our vocabulary anymore.”

The post PGA Tour and Wells Fargo Embrace Golf’s Color of Change at TPC Potomac first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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OP-ED – Reimagining America: Biden is Not the Only Way Democrats Can Win

NNPA NEWSWIRE: We need a leader who understands the struggles of everyday Americans and has the vision and stamina to lead for the next eight years. Vice President Kamala Harris embodies these qualities.
The post OP-ED – Reimagining America: Biden is Not the Only Way Democrats Can Win first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Rep. Ron Reynolds

After last week’s highly anticipated debate, I couldn’t shake a deep sense of unease. I watched the debate in its entirety, and I was deeply disturbed. I didn’t want to react out of frustration or emotion, so I took a night to reflect. The next day, my disappointment had not subsided. As a Biden DNC National Delegate, I firmly believe we need to make significant changes.

It’s time to replace President Biden at the convention and nominate Vice President Kamala Harris. This isn’t a cavalier statement; it’s one I stand by. I welcome debate and criticism, but my primary goal is clear: we must defeat Trump and the MAGA movement for the future of all Americans.

Recently, I have been criticized and even threatened with censure for expressing my belief that the Democratic Party might fare better against Trump with a new nominee. This perspective was formed long before recent public opinion polls supported my concerns. To be clear, I will continue to support President Biden if he remains our nominee. Nonetheless, I will persist in making good trouble, fighting, and speaking truth to power.

Democrats claim to support free speech but then criticize each other for speaking their minds. This kind of internal conflict plays right into the hands of Republicans, who benefit from our division. To truly stand united, Democrats must encourage open dialogue and respect differing opinions within our party.

Our nation faces unprecedented challenges that require fresh, dynamic leadership. To meet these challenges head-on, the Democratic Party must embrace innovation and diversity. We need a leader who understands the struggles of everyday Americans and has the vision and stamina to lead for the next eight years. Vice President Kamala Harris embodies these qualities.

The Democratic Party prides itself on being a party of inclusion, representing a broad coalition of people from all walks of life. Yet, our leadership doesn’t always reflect this diversity. It’s time for a change!

We need leaders who reflect the realities of America today and understand our unique challenges—those who can garner a wide base of supporters. Kamala Harris has a proven track record of fighting for justice and equality. She knows how to build coalitions that include people of all races, genders, and backgrounds. She can energize young voters, women, and people of color—voters crucial to our success.

Innovation is not only about who leads but also how we lead. The Democratic Party must adopt new strategies and technologies to effectively engage voters. We need to leverage social media, data analytics, and grassroots organizing to build a movement capable of countering the well-funded forces of the right. We must engage voters on the issues that matter most to them, from healthcare and education to climate change and economic inequality.

Moreover, we need leaders willing to take bold stands on critical issues. We need leaders who will fight for a living wage, affordable healthcare, and comprehensive immigration reform. Leaders who will stand up to special interests and prioritize the common good. We need leaders who will advocate for peace and stability globally, calling for ceasefires in conflict zones and working towards lasting solutions.

The Democratic Party has a proud history of innovation and progress, from FDR’s New Deal to Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It’s time to renew that legacy. We need leaders who reflect our multicultural society, embrace innovation, and fight for a brighter future, not the status quo.

America deserves better than the status quo. We need leaders who can inspire and unite us. This is our moment to infuse new energy and vision into our party and country. Let’s nominate a leader who can lead us to victory with the passion and dedication that our great nation requires. It’s time for a change, and I firmly believe Vice President Kamala Harris is the leader we need.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

 

The post OP-ED – Reimagining America: Biden is Not the Only Way Democrats Can Win first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Celebrate America’s Birthday by Thanking Those Who Teach Our Youngest Learners

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The CDA Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education and it’s a key steppingstone on the path of career advancement in the sector. The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards that guide early childhood professionals toward becoming qualified educators of young children.
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Andrew Davis, Chief Operating Officer, Council for Professional Recognition

As we mark America’s Independence Day, I’m reflecting on the role education played in my family’s journey to this incredible country and the educators who helped make it happen. I was born in Antigua in the Caribbean, where my father’s family had lived for many generations. They coped with extreme poverty and many challenges — my grandmother was blind, for instance. Yet, from a very early age, teachers pushed my father to fulfill his potential. Their encouragement led him to attend university in Barbados and eventually earn his doctorate at the University of Sussex in England. Later, we settled in the United States, where my dad is a professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Each step of the way, a mentor encouraged him to keep growing and expanding his mind. Their support not only changed his life but also paved the way for future generations of our family. I was so excited to spend time recently with about 150 students at Florida International University in Miami who completed their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential coursework through the Professional Development Institute at the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe. Through articulation agreements with higher education institutions in Florida, these students can receive college credits toward an associate or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

Davis (left) met with education leaders and supporters who helped students complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential coursework through the Professional Development Institute at the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe.

Davis (left) met with education leaders and supporters who helped students complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential coursework through the Professional Development Institute at the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe.

The CDA Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education and it’s a key steppingstone on the path of career advancement in the sector. The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards that guide early childhood professionals toward becoming qualified educators of young children. Our nonprofit, the Council for Professional Recognition, works to ensure that the nationally transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development. CDA educators know how to put the CDA Competency Standards into practice and have an understanding of why those standards help children move with success from one developmental stage to another. Put simply, CDA educators know how to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children.

It was an honor to recognize and celebrate these scholars, who participated in 120 hours of instruction and at least 480 hours of on-the-job training. They also compiled a professional portfolio and created a center-based capstone project. At the graduation ceremony, I told these students that they should feel proud of their achievements and be empowered to become advocates for early childhood education. I emphasized the importance of cultivating resilience in the face of challenges and embracing lifelong learning. That lifelong learning can include earning additional degrees as well as serving as CDA Professional Development Specialists, who use their expertise to assess CDA candidates’ competencies and facilitate reflective conversations with candidates for the credential.

Most importantly, the CDA scholars I met in Miami and other ceremonies this year are now serving as early childhood educators in communities across the U.S. They’re professionals who support safe and healthy learning environments, provide positive guidance, successfully engage, and interact with families and contribute to ensuring an early learning program is well run. I know their work will pay off. Years ago, my dad’s teachers had no way of imagining where their influence would lead. Indeed, when I look up to the sky on the Fourth to watch the fireworks, I’ll keep in mind the educators who help their students reach higher and higher for spectacular results and the bright futures they create.

The post Celebrate America’s Birthday by Thanking Those Who Teach Our Youngest Learners first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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LIVE! : Make it Plain at the White House

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Rev. Mark Thompson interviews Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo LIVE from the White House.
The post LIVE! : Make it Plain at the White House first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Rev. Mark Thompson interviews Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo LIVE from the White House.

The post LIVE! : Make it Plain at the White House first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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