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PRESS ROOM: Largest-Ever HBCU Week Coming to Walt Disney World Resort Next Month

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Disney’s involvement in HBCU Week is part of a relationship between HBCU Week Foundation and Disney on the Yard, an initiative focused on deepening Disney’s engagement with HBCUs. By working more closely with HBCUs, Disney aims to continue building a long-term pipeline of Black employee talent through the development of student internships, mentorship opportunities, career and employee spotlights, scholarships and more.
The post PRESS ROOM: Largest-Ever HBCU Week Coming to Walt Disney World Resort Next Month first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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HBCU College Fair, Parade of Bands, Battle of the Bands and ESPN First Take live broadcast among event’s key components; Record number of HBCU college scholarships expected to be awarded on the spot

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – High school students from across the Southeast and beyond will descend on Walt Disney World Resort next month for the largest-ever HBCU Week featuring a huge college fair, a parade of high-stepping marching bands, a fierce battle of the bands and a live ESPN broadcast.

A record number of high school students (more than 5,000) and Historically Black Colleges and University representatives (nearly 50) will take part in the weekend event, October 7-9, 2022, when more than $10 million in scholarships are expected to be awarded, which would be another event record. Since 2017, more than 3,500 on-the-spot admissions have been offered, along with more than $23 million in scholarships.

This is the first time in its five-year history that the HBCU Week Foundation is hosting its annual event at Walt Disney World Resort, which is expanding the foundation’s ability to stage new and more high-profile activities for its attendees. As a result, this year there will be a parade of HBCU bands down Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park; a battle of the bands at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex along with the college fair; a live broadcast of ESPN’s First Take show featuring HBCU Week ambassador Stephen A. Smith and show host Molly Qerim; and several Lunch and Learn seminars for students to gain educational and career insights.

Delaware State, Bethune Cookman, North Carolina A&T, Winston-Salem State and Alcorn University will participate in the parade at Magic Kingdom and compete in the Battle of the Bands.

“We are pleased to share in the mission to highlight the rich history and cultural significance of HBCUs, creating educational and, ultimately, career opportunities for students,” said HBCU Week Founder and CEO Ashley Christopher. “Hosting this national event at Walt Disney World Resort helps amplify the mission of HBCU Week, attracting more parents and students throughout the country to our events and helps make an even greater impact in fostering opportunities for thousands of students.”

Disney’s involvement in HBCU Week is part of a relationship between HBCU Week Foundation and Disney on the Yard, an initiative focused on deepening Disney’s engagement with HBCUs. By working more closely with HBCUs, Disney aims to continue building a long-term pipeline of Black employee talent through the development of student internships, mentorship opportunities, career and employee spotlights, scholarships and more.

“This event is an ideal collaboration in that it highlights Disney’s commitment to supporting HBCUs and the mission of HBCU Week,” said Avis Lewis, Vice President Human Resources, Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Parks International. “We are pleased with the immense momentum we are seeing already, with unprecedented attendance at the college fair and a host of exciting events planned. We look forward to seeing students and parents from all over the Southeast enjoying this event and all the magic of Disney while they are here.”

Disney theme park admission and reservations are required for entry to Magic Kingdom Park for the HBCU Week band parade. Tickets are also required for the Battle of the Bands at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. There is no admission charge for all other HBCU events.

For more information about HBCU Week and for students to register for the College Fair, visit http://www.HBCUWeek.org. Follow HBCU Week at FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

About HBCU Week

HBCU Week was founded by Ashley Christopher, Esq. in 2017. It is managed by the HBCU Week Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. HBCU Week consists of multi-day events held throughout the nation each year, designed to encourage high school-aged youth to enroll in HBCUs, provide scholarship dollars for matriculation and sustain a pipeline for employment from undergraduate school to corporate America. A highlight of our events is the College Fair, which offers on-the-spot college acceptance and scholarships to qualified high school seniors. http://www.HBCUWeek.org. Follow HBCU Week at FacebookInstagram and Twitter.  

About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, located at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, is a premier site for amateur sports in the nation. The complex has hosted more than 100 entertainment and sporting events each year and has accommodated 70 different sports featuring athletes from 70 different countries. Designed to provide professional, amateur and youth athletes with experiences synonymous with the names Disney and ESPN, the 220-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including 16 baseball/softball fields, a 9,500-seat ballpark, 18 multi-purpose outdoor fields for soccer, football, and field hockey, three indoor venues for basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, dance and other indoor sports, a track and field facility and a cross country course. For more information, visit disneysportsnews.com for news releases, photos and videos, follow on Twitter at @ESPNWWOS and at Facebook at ESPNWWOS.

About Disney on the Yard

Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do at The Walt Disney Company. Disney on the Yard was established to deepen engagement and relationships to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We are energized and committed to creating meaningful connections through student internships, networking, mentorship opportunities, career showcases, and more. We will continue to make a difference and move in a more inclusive direction where everyone can be their authentic selves.

The post PRESS ROOM: Largest-Ever HBCU Week Coming to Walt Disney World Resort Next Month first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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FILM: Top 10 Must-See Black documentaries

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From “I Am Not Your Negro” to “High on the Hog,” each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.
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By The Houston Defender | Word in Black

The AFRO’s October Special Edition is all about the roots of our culture, our family lineage and the return to old ways and traditions. Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by our Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From I Am Not Your Negro to High on the Hog, each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.

#10: Attica (2021) 

In September 1971, Attica Prison became the location of one of the largest prison riots in US history, taking place just weeks after revolutionary activist George Jackson was murdered by prison guards at Rikers Island, an act that initiated the birth of Black August and the prison reform movement. The constant abject cruelty and inhumane treatment doled out to the incarcerated (who were overwhelmingly Black and Latinx) by Attica guards (all White) created the context. The riot itself, and its aftermath, are something all human beings should be required to reckon with.

#9: Quincy (2018) 

If you’re Black, it literally doesn’t matter when you were born, what generation you’re a part of, or where you’re from. You’ve been impacted by the genius of Quincy Jones. We’ve all been influenced by the genius of Quincy Jones. The music he made, the albums he produced, the artists he developed, the movies he scored, and about a gazillion other things Jones did, means, as I’ve already said, if you’re Black, Quincy has had a hand in your life. Don’t believe me. What Black person do you know who isn’t a Michael Jackson fan, who hasn’t seen The Wiz, or who doesn’t have a family member who worships jazz music? Quincy Jones had his hand in all that and so much more. Directed by one of his daughters, actress Rashida Jones, this doc is most definitely a must see.

#8: Four Little Girls (1997) 

On Sept. 15, 1963, just 18 short days after the much-celebrated March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed by four members of a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated racist group. Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, four African American girls between the ages of 11 and 14 who had been attending the church’s Sunday school, were killed in the blast, an act of White domestic terrorism that served as a horrific and sober reminder that Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not enough to end the hold the myth of White supremacy had on so many. Director Spike Lee tells this powerfully compelling and important story as only he can.

#7: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019) 

For generations that came after the Baby Boomers, it’s hard for us to fully fathom how big a star Sam Cooke was. Think of the biggest singer of any generation. That was Sam Cooke in his heyday. And not only was he hyper-talented, but not only did he call some of the biggest names in Black history his personal friends (Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X just to name a few), Cooke was a man of the people. And he was heavily invested in the Civil Rights Movement and an advocate for Black self-determination and Black ownership. Cooke even pulled a “Prince” long before Prince—gaining ownership of his own music, something that was as rare then as it is today. This documentary chronicles Cooke’s life, rise to fame, and eventual end, though his influence never died.

#6: Thunder Soul (2010) 

Here’s a hometown entry. Thunder Soul spotlights the extraordinary alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band which the iconic Conrad Johnson led. These alums return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old ‘Prof’, their beloved band leader who transformed the schools struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s. This one will have you out of your seat and dancing in the streets. Check it out.

#5: Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (2021)  

In this documentary, criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson “draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America.” It’s that simple, and yet that complex. And it goes without saying; it’s a must see.

#4: Jeen-Yuhs (2022) 

No matter where you score on the Love Ye / Hate Ye scale, this 2022 documentary about his rise to superstardom is beyond compelling. I mean, who thinks to chronicle their every move from the moment they start pursuing their dream until they either give up on it or see it to fruition and beyond? Who does that? No one but this negro Kanye. He may be the only human being with an ego big enough to conceive of such a project. And believe me, the scope and scale of this documentary match that galaxy-sized self-obsession brahman has that make him both insanely talented and just plain insane at the same time.

#3: I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 

This documentary by Raoul Peck, director of Exterminate All the Brutes (2021) which made the first list of must-see documentaries, introduced the brilliance and unabashed Black of James Baldwin to a whole new generation. Described as a work that imagines the completion of Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House (about Baldwin’s personal reflections on and recollections of three of his personal friends who were killed during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), I Am Not Your Negro is about so much more.

#2: The Last Dance (2020) 

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to get caught up in the chronicling of the last run at an NBA championship by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls who had been told before the season began that the team would be broken up. The doc not only takes you on that 1996 Bulls’ championship ride, but it also digs deep into the past of players, coaches, and family members, spotlighting triumphs and tragedies that are part of the human story, not just the story of professional athletes.

#1: High on the Hog 

How African American Cuisine Transformed America (2021)

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for anything that celebrates our history, especially those things that connect us to our African roots and our Pan-African family. This documentary does all that and more. Because the main character is food. Our food. The stuff we grew up on. The meals many of us are eating right now, and never stopped eating since our youth. This beautifully filmed, beautifully narrated piece of art is full of both the familiar and the foreign; or rather, things we’ve come to believe are foreign to us, but are really part of our story and our heritage. And the okra on top? High on the Hog has a powerful H-Town connection. A few, in fact.

This list of documentaries based on the roots of African American culture was compiled by Word In Black.

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

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Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades

NNPA NEWSWIRE — According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.
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Black Information Network | Atlanta Daily World

A new lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) alleges that the U.S. government discriminated against Black veterans for decades.

On Monday (November 28), the suit was filed by Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic (VLSC) on behalf of Vietnam War veteran Conley Monk Jr, whose applications for education, housing, and disability benefits have been denied since he returned home from the war, per The Hill.

According to the suit, discrimination by the VA has left Black veterans without benefits more frequently than their white counterparts.

Yale’s VLSC said the lawsuit could “provide a legal pathway for Black veterans to seek reparations from the VA.”

“This lawsuit seeks to hold the VA accountable for years of discriminatory conduct,” Adam Henderson, a law student working with the VLSC on the case, said in a statement, per the Hill.

“VA leaders knew, or should have known, that they were administering benefits in a discriminatory manner, yet they failed to address this unlawful bias,” Henderson added. “Mr. Monk — and thousands of Black veterans like him — deserve redress for the harms caused by these negligently administered programs.”

According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.

VA press secretary Terrence Hayes said the agency is working to combat “institutional racism.”

“Throughout history, there have been unacceptable disparities in both VA benefits decisions and military discharge status due to racism, which have wrongly left Black veterans without access to VA care and benefits,” Hayes said. “We are actively working to right these wrongs.”

The post U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans For Decades: Lawsuit appeared first on Atlanta Daily World.

The post Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together, when Bennet gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday.
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‘A Basketball Hero is Born’ is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which aims to inspire youth to make a positive change in their communities and the world in general

Widely celebrated African American author, Jerald LeVon Hoover, is once again inspiring young people to make a positive change in their communities with the launch of a new children’s book. Titled A Basketball Hero is Born, the new children’s reading book contains colorful pictures that warm the heart and keep young readers glued to its pages.

The plot follows the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson who gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday. Affectionately naming the new basketball “Lucky,” the story unfolds as young Bennett tries to take his new best friend everywhere, including the dinner table, to school, and to bed when it is time for sleep.

Jerald L. Hoover

Jerald L. Hoover

Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into Bennett’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together. Currently available for purchase on Amazon, A Basketball Hero is Born is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which emphasizes instilling a love of sports and friendship in young readers.

About The Author

Jerald L. Hoover is a multi-talented individual with countless accomplishments in the creative, literary, and entertainment worlds. After winning an award for “The Best New Male Writer of the Year” for his fictional novel, My Friend, My Hero Jerald went on to be listed from 1994 – 1996 as a best-selling author among young Black writers in various African American publications. In 1995, he was awarded the Writers Corp Award by then-President Bill Clinton. In 1998, Jerald was inducted into the Mount Vernon Boy’s and Girl’s Club Hall of Fame. Since then, Jerald has won several other awards and is also an in-demand motivational speaker who overcame a childhood speech impediment.

The post BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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