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Tennessee Student is Centennial Scholar Recipient of Ossie Davis Scholarship

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Earlier this month, after a rigorous selection process, the family of the late actors and activists, together with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), announced that Lane College senior, Jade Allen, is the recipient of the Ossie Davis Legacy Scholarship. “We are always motivated by mom and dad’s love of education and what a struggle it was for each of them to get higher education and the sacrifices that their parents made,” Davis Day told NNPA Newswire.

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2018/19 Ossie Davis Legacy Scholarship Recipient Jade Allen (Photo: uncf.org)

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

Nora Davis Day and her sister, Dr. Hasna Muhammad, never seem to tire of talking about their famous parents – Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

Along with their brother, Guy Davis, the two have worked to live up to their iconic parents’ civil rights and philanthropic legacy.

Earlier this month, after a rigorous selection process, the family of the late actors and activists, together with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), announced that Lane College senior, Jade Allen, is the recipient of the Ossie Davis Legacy Scholarship.

“We are always motivated by mom and dad’s love of education and what a struggle it was for each of them to get higher education and the sacrifices that their parents made,” Davis Day told NNPA Newswire.

“So, when we’re reading all of these applications, I remember with Jade something just clicked, and we said yes, that [our] dad would want us to give her this $10,000,” Davis Day stated.

Both Nora and I are educators, and we’ve had the opportunity to deal with students in public and through to higher education,” Dr. Muhammad stated.

“One of the things relative to choosing Jade for the scholarship is that we recognized the quality student in her, and we did so not only from the emotional component of trying to choose a candidate but as educators as well.”

The sisters said their parents weren’t much for naming anything after themselves, so it was not easy to put Ossie Davis’ name on the scholarship.

“But we know that they would want us to be part of making it possible for someone to get an education and to have money where they might not otherwise have been able to get it,” Davis Day stated.

Allen, a senior Communications major at Lane College, a historically black college located in Jackson, Tennessee, is currently the highest-ranking senior in her graduating class.

She maintains a 3.9 GPA, and in honor of what would have been Ossie Davis’ 100th birthday, Allen is acknowledged as the scholarship’s Centennial Scholar.

“It is an honor to receive it, I’m thrilled,” Allen told NNPA Newswire.

“This does relieve any stress, and I can further my education in my chosen field without worrying about [money].”

Known as much for their activism as their award-winning stage and film careers, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee were both named to the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame. They each were recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts.

Davis was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame and starred in films like “The Joe Louis Story,” “Malcolm X,” and “Dr. Doolittle.”

Dee counted a Grammy, Emmy, Obie, and Drama Desk Award winner, who starred in such films as, “The Jackie Robinson Story,” “A Raisin’ in the Sun,” and “American Gangster.”

For her “American Gangster” role, Dee received an Oscar nomination for her performance as the mother of the Denzel Washington character, Frank Lucas.

None of that history is lost on Allen, who has already completed her first film, “My Father’s Grass.” She said she plans to continue creating biopics that highlight a myriad of world cultures.

“With the scholarship, I’m in a good position to go back to studying filmmaking and understanding the technical aspects of it, and hopefully I can get my name out there,” Allen stated.

Established by the Dee-Davis children, along with close friends of Ossie Davis, the scholarship has awarded four students with scholarships totaling over $60,000 since 2007.

The merit-based scholarship is awarded to a deserving African American student currently enrolled at a select UNCF member institution. The student must be pursuing a degree in African American Studies, Communications, Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Performing Arts, Political Science, Social Science, Theater Arts/Drama, or Visual Arts.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative that young people of color arm themselves with the necessary tools to confront and combat many of the same social injustices and biases faced by our parents. And we are humbled by the generous contributions to the Ossie Davis Endowment that makes this scholarship possible,” Dr. Muhammad stated.

“The heart of the Ossie Davis Legacy Award is to ease financial barriers for that African American student who is on his or her path to higher learning,” she stated.

“Each year we are amazed by the academic success displayed by the Ossie Davis Scholarship applicants, and we look forward to following Jade and prior recipients’ achievements throughout their college careers and beyond,” UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax, stated in a news release.

“Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee were torchbearers for truth, black culture, civil rights equality and the arts – among other causes. We are thankful the Davis family entrusts UNCF with awarding dynamic students year after year to fulfill their dreams of a college education.”

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Brittney Griner Sentenced to More than 9 years in Russian Prison

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision. “We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

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

WNBA Superstar Brittney Griner has been sentenced to more than 9 years in a Russian prison following her conviction on drug charges.

Her lawyers called the verdict a disappointment and vowed to appeal.

The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision.

“We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

“The court completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea. This contradicts the existing legal practice.

“Taking into account the amount of the substance (not to mention the defects of the expertise) and the plea, the verdict is absolutely unreasonable. We will certainly file an appeal,” they added.

Russian officials contended that Griner committed the crime on purpose. They also levied a fine totaling about $16,400 American dollars on the basketball star.

Authorities arrested Griner on Feb. 17 at an airport in Moscow after finding less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

She has been detained since then.

Recently, American officials revealed that the Biden-Harris administration had offered notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” President Biden said.

“It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

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Report: Human Rights Violations in Prisons Throughout Southern United States Cause Disparate and Lasting Harm in Black Communities  

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

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NNPA Newswire

NEW YORK – The Southern Prisons Coalition, a group of civil and human rights organizations, submitted a new report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on the devastating consequences of incarceration on Black people throughout the southern United States.

With the long-term goal of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination in the criminal legal system, including the carceral system, the report describes the widespread, disparate harms resulting from the arrests, harsh prison sentences, and incarceration on Black communities.

The report also cites the devastating impacts of solitary confinement, prison labor, the school to prison pipeline, and incarceration of parents on Black families.

On August 8, 2022, the UN will review the United States’ compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination for the first time since 2014.

Among the ongoing stark racial disparities throughout prisons in the southern United States, Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated in state prisons.

In states like Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, where Black communities comprise 38% of the total population, Black individuals account for as much as 67% of the total incarcerated population.

While incarcerated, Black people are more than eight times more likely to be placed in solitary confinement, and they are 10 times more likely to be held there for exceedingly long periods of time.

By submitting the report to the United Nations, the Southern Prisons Coalition hopes to solicit concrete recommendations from the UN Committee as well as commitments from the United States delegation about their plans to address systemic issues in the United States prison system, particularly in the South.

According to the report, several states in the United States have also failed to meet several of the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of incarcerated people, including:

  • Work should help to prepare incarcerated people for their release from prison, including life and job skills;
  • Safety measures and labor protections for incarcerated workers should be the same as those that cover workers who are not incarcerated;
  • Incarcerated workers should receive equitable pay, be able to send money home to their families, and have a portion of their wages set aside to be given to them upon release.

“The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“We hope the Committee will help to shine a light on these very dark truths and prompt the U.S. to take its obligation to make significant improvements more seriously.”

“The abuses of forced labor are inextricably tied to racial discrimination in our nation,” said Jamila Johnson, Deputy Director at the Promise of Justice Initiative.

“In Louisiana, for instance, people are still sent into the fields to labor by hand in dangerously high heat indexes, for little to no compensation, and with brutal enforcement reminiscent of slavery and the era of ‘convict leasing’.”

“This report reveals the suffering of Black people in southern U.S. prisons, whose stories of marginalization and discrimination echo the racial subjugation of slavery and convict leasing during our country’s most shameful past,” said Antonio L. Ingram II, Assistant Counsel at the Legal Defense Fund.

“Despite widespread knowledge of the longstanding racial inequalities in the criminal legal and carceral systems, the United States continues to allow egregious human rights violations to persist for Black incarcerated people in violation of international law. This report serves as a sobering reminder of how far we need to go.”

Read the full report here.

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Celebrate your birthday with 10 free items

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

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By Angelina Liu, Entertainment Editor of The Trendsetter / Texas Metro News

Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

1. Chocolate Secrets

At Chocolate Secrets, located at 3926 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219, you can celebrate your birthday by getting one free piece of candy under their candy cases.

2. WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”

Head to WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”, located at 684 W Pioneer Pkwy Suite 100, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051, to claim a free small personal daiquiri on your birthday. Quench your thirst with signature flavors such as “Strawberry Shortcake” or “Bahama Mama.”

3. Sephora

Sign up for a free, Beauty Insider account and receive your choice of 250 bonus points, Laura Mercier, Amika or Tatcha sets on your birthday. The choice of powders, lipsticks and skincare is bound to make you look fabulous for your special day.

4. Starbucks

Need a quick pick-me-up on your birthday? Starbucks has it covered! Join the Starbucks Rewards Program seven days prior to your birthday and make one purchase. Starbucks will then email you a coupon for a free food or beverage item two days before your birthday. The birthday reward qualifies for anything on the menu, including any size handcrafted drink or food item.

5. Jersey Mike’s

In the mood for a sub? Head over to Jersey Mike’s and receive a free sub and drink. Make sure to sign up for the Jersey Mike’s Subs Email Club prior to your birthday to receive this reward. Nothing tastes quite like melted cheese and meat in between a toasted baguette, along with an icy cold drink.

6. The Cheesecake Factory

Celebrating with friends? Tell your server it’s your birthday and receive a free treat as well as a song. It may be mildly embarrassing, but hey, it’s free!

7. Culver’s

Need something cold and sweet to beat the Texas heat? Head to Culver’s for a free sundae when you sign up for their rewards program. The sweet creaminess will surely not disappoint.

8. IHOP

Want to indulge in a sweet breakfast before birthday festivities? Join the International Bank of Pancakes rewards program to receive a free stack of pancakes on your birthday. Pair your pancakes with a choice of chocolate chips, syrup, fresh fruit or a dollop of whipped cream.

9. McDonald’s

Need a snack before embarking on your next birthday adventure? Download the McDonald’s app and join MyMcDonald’s Rewards to receive free large fries. Mmm, the taste and smell of fresh, perfectly salted french fries.

10. Smoothie King

Want to celebrate your birthday with a healthier option? Enjoy a birthday smoothie at Smoothie King. Download the Smoothie King app to receive this offer.

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