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The Biggest Afro Business Association in the World Visits Cali, Colombia

NNPA NEWSWIRE — NBCC is the biggest Afro business association in the world, established in 1993. It has more than 120 local headquarters in 40 states in 50 nations. The Chamber is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining Afro American communities, through the business spirit and capitalist activity within the United States and through the interaction with the Afro-Diaspora. Cali has the greatest concentration of Afro Colombian population in Colombia, with 1.1 million people; and it is the second in Latin America.

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By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow, NNPA Newswire Contributors

The potential of the city region and its progress are presented to the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC).

Dateline: Cali, Colombia — The city region has competitive advantages that are focused on: A diverse business fabric; its disposition towards international markets; highly developed human capital; presence of foreign investment; the primary services pole; the most developed and sophisticated network of roads in the country; an international airport; and Buenaventura’s port – the country’s main port in the Pacific Coast — as the commercial canal to Pacific Asia.

For such reasons and others, NBCC will be in the city – event organized in collaboration between the Secretary of Economic Development in Cali, and the Promotion Agency for Investment in Valle del Cauca, Invest Pacific. During their weeklong visit, NBCC will evidence the economic and business potential of the region which will allow value connections between the entities as well as contributing to the strengthening of the city’s businesses.

“This is a business association of African Americans interested in investing in Colombia and they’ve chosen Cali for being a diverse city and with active participation of the Afro population. Furthermore, it’s been chosen for its competitive potential as a service city. From the Maurice Armitage Administration, we aim to improve the income generation and opportunities of the people of Cali and the Afro population. We will present to them all investment possibilities in different sectors from infrastructure, services, and technology, among others. And we hope these businessmen will take back with them the best image of the city region,” manifested Angélica Mayolo Obregón, Secretary of Economic Development in Cali.

“Invest Pacific, in collaboration with Cali’s City Hall, through the Secretary of Economic Development, continues to strengthen the promotional strategies and relationships between global key players and our local business fabric. The visit from these business owners affiliated to such an important Chamber of Commerce, represents an opportunity to explore related projects and stretch commercial bonds with the region,” informed Alejandro Ossa Cárdenas, Executive Director of Invest Pacific.

NBCC is the biggest Afro business association in the world, established in 1993. It has more than 120 local headquarters in 40 states in 50 nations. The Chamber is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining Afro American communities, through the business spirit and capitalist activity within the United States and through the interaction with the Afro-Diaspora. Cali has the greatest concentration of Afro Colombian population in Colombia, with 1.1 million people; and it is the second in Latin America.

During their visit, the two co-founders of NBCC, Harry C. Alford and Kay DeBow will be present. Mr. Alford is characterized as the most important person in the empowerment of Afro American businesses in the United States. He uses a visionary concept of what Afro descendants should do to occupy their place in the primary economic current. Creator of a global organization that has won its place at the table of the White House and in the higher ranks of corporative America.

Ms. Courtney Reynolds, chairman of the NBCC states, “I am in Cali on behalf of several businesses of the State of Louisiana from various industries. It is important that we seize these international opportunities which represent win-win opportunities for all.”

Harry C. Alford, president, and CEO stated, “The NBCC has been working diligently for over 10 years to bring our businesses and resources to Colombia.  Our goal is to work with the Federal, State, Municipal, and Territorial interests of the public, private, and civil society. The NBCC has signed MOUs (Memorandum of Understandings) with the City of Cali, Comfandi, The University of Santiago de Cali, and the City of Quibdo. The purpose is to: to increase opportunities for Small Businesses, and industries of Cali and the Pacific Coastal areas with members and affiliates of the NBCC throughout the Diaspora to work together to reduce the barriers of trade and investment and demonstration of social responsibility; and job creation for economic empowerment”. Other North American business owners interested in connecting with Cali businesses related to bioenergy, bio-business, and construction will also be participating. They will be looking to create relationships and increase the possibilities of a commercial network between Cali business owners and NBCC.

Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce ®. Ms. DeBow is the Co-Founder, of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Emails: halford@nationalbcc.org   kdebow@nationalbcc.org

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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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