Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Apply for a $500 Disney Be Inspired Grant

Pitch Your #SummerofService Idea and 
Apply for a $500 Disney Be Inspired Grant
Do you know someone making a positive impact in your community? Disney and YSA are awarding kids, 5-18, working with organizations $500 Disney Be Inspired grants to carry out their service projects in the fall. They can submit their ideas through September 30, 2017 by visiting www.YSA.org/BeInspired

Watch Jimmy Kimmel, Miss Piggy, Clary Fairchild, and Mal pitch their project ideas on ABC Be Inspired's Spark Tankwww.abcbeinspired.com/summer-of-service/

Serve & Remember: Make 9/11 a Day of Unity, Empathy, Kindness, and Hope

Serve & Remember: Make 9/11 a Day of Unity, Empathy, Kindness, and Hope
Honoring this moment in our nation's history by serving in your community helps transform 9/11 into a day of unity, empathy, kindness, and hope as an enduring and positive tribute to those lost and injured on 9/11, and the many who rose in service in response to the attacks, including first responders, recovery workers, volunteers and members of our military.
Make your commitment, get ideas and resources, and tell us your project plans at www.YSA.org/911Day  

Target Field Trip Grants

Deadline: October 1
It's become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help them out, Target stores award Field Trip Grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued up to $700.

GYSD Lead Agency Grants

Deadline: August 31  
YSA is now accepting applications for the 2018 Global Youth Service Day Lead Agency program. As the official organizer of GYSD in their region, GYSD Lead Agencies build a coalition of K-12 schools, youth development organizations, and community-based organizations in their region to activate youth, ages 5-25, to acquire 21st Century Skills by solving community problems through service or service-learning projects. Community-based organizations located in the 50 U.S. states + DC are eligible to apply. 50 organizations will receive grants of up to $1,000 to build a partner coalition of at least 10 other organizations that collectively activates at least 500 youth volunteers on GYSD (April 20-22, 2018). Learn more and apply at www.YSA.org/LeadAgency  

Genesis Housing "Events" for August 2017

Ladies Guild Society of St. Dorothy Church "Western Round Up" Everyone is invited

Charlottesville, Virginia - Heroes and Bad Men; In Detroit, a Battle Over the Right to Literacy; 231 Cities Join Million Father March

Table of Contents
Heather Heyer - 1985 to 2017
Fought and Died for A Just America
What Are You Willing Live For?
Heather Heyer died 'fighting
for what she believed in'

By Steve Almasy and Chandrika Narayan, CNN
August 14, 2017

Heather Heyer dedicated her life to standing up for those she felt were not being heard, her family and friends said. She died fighting for her beliefs and campaigning against hate.

"She was very strong in what she felt and she spoke with conviction," Heyer's close friend and co-worker Marissa Blair told Chris Cuomo on CNN's "New Day."

"She would never back down from what she believed in. And that's what she died doing, she died fighting for what she believed in. Heather was a sweet, sweet soul and she'll never be replaced, she'll never be forgotten."

Thirty-two-year-old Heyer was killed Saturday when a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters gathered to oppose a "Unite the Right" rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups. Nineteen others were injured in the incident.

A 20-year-old man from Ohio, James Alex Fields Jr., is charged with second-degree murder in Heyer's death.

Heather worked as a paralegal for a Charlottesville law firm, assisting clients through the bankruptcy filing process. The Miller Law Group said in its online bio of Heather that she was born and raised in Virginia, and had a wealth of knowledge and experience helping clients in the bankruptcy field.

Larry Miller, the president of the firm, told the Daily Beast that Heather had a big heart. "She'd hold their hand and make sure they would get the stuff in timely, that way we wouldn't have any issues," Miller said. "She was really good at that."

Heyer had just celebrated her fifth anniversary at her job.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe praised Heyer.  "She was doing what she loved," McAuliffe said. "She was fighting for democracy, (for) free speech, to stop hatred and bigotry."


Click Here to Read Full Story 
Serving Virginia, Serving America
     Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48     Trooper Pilot Berke M.M. Bates
     Virginia State Police                   Virginia State Police
Virginia state troopers killed in helicopter crash monitoring Charlottesville clash

August 13, 2017
Two Virginia state troopers killed doing surveillance work during Saturday's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville were well-known to Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

H. Jay Cullen, 48, was a veteran pilot who spent several years shepherding the governor around Virginia. Berke Bates, who would have turned 41 on Sunday, was just beginning to realize a lifelong dream of becoming a helicopter pilot.

"I was close to both of those state troopers," McAuliffe (D) said at a memorial service in Charlottesville on Sunday morning. "Jay Cullen had been flying me around for three-and-a-half years. Berke was part of my executive protection unit. He was part of my family. The man lived with me 24-7."

Cullen was the commander of the State Police Aviation Unit.
"They're still coming to terms with it," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said of the troopers under Cullen's supervision. "It's very raw."

While mourning their lost colleagues, troopers spent the night dealing with the aftermath of Saturday's violent clashes in Charlottesville and investigating the cause of the helicopter crash. The Bell 407 helicopter that Cullen piloted crashed about 5 p.m. Saturday in a wooded area on Old Farm Road in Albemarle County. The crash was a few miles from the explosion of violencethat left dead one woman who was a counterprotester to the demonstration by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members.

The National Transportation Safety Board also is investigating the helicopter incident. Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the NTSB, said a preliminary investigation of the cause of the crash will take one to two weeks.

Cullen of Midlothian, Va., graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 and joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999. He became commander last February. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Bates met his wife, Amanda, in Florida. They were married in Richmond and have twin 11-year-olds, a boy and a girl.

Click Here to Read Full Story 
These CEO's Stood Up for Justice
Kenneth C. Frazier, CEO - Merck

Kenneth C. Frazier, the chairman and chief executive of the U.S. drug maker Merck, resigned from President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday morning, saying in a statement, "As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism."
Kevin C. Plank, CEO - Under Armour

Under Armour founder Kevin Plank became the second CEO to resign from President Donald J. Trump's advisory jobs panel on Monday after the president was widely criticized for not quickly denouncing groups that marched at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Plank said, "I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council," Plank said. "I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion."
The statement also said that Under Armour "engages in innovation and sports, not politics."

Brian Krzanich, CEO - Intel
The CEO of computer chip maker Intel is resigning from President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council, bemoaning "the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues."
Brian Krzanich's resignation comes after Saturday's violent confrontation between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump initially bemoaned violence on "many sides," though on Monday he described members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as "criminals and thugs."
Krzanich wrote that while he urged leaders to condemn "white supremacists and their ilk," many in Washington "seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them."
These Men Knelt Down For Justice
Colin Kapernick has been blackballed from the NFL because he wanted a better America.  Other NFL athletes have been charged and/or convicted of rape, domestic violence, assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse, drug possession and worse, but they were not blackballed from the NFL.  After Charlottesville, Virginia, the question is why aren't all Black athletes and all athletes in every sport taking a knee for America!  Colin was right!   
Marshawn "Beastmode" Lynch sits during national anthem.  
In Detroit, a battle over 
the right to literacy
August 10, 2017 

"I feel like I've been cheated."  It's one of the first things Jamarria Hall said about his education at Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy, a Detroit public school. Hall is 17 years old, tall and gangly. He spent grades nine through 12 at Osborn, one of the five lowest performing schools in Detroit named in a federal suit against the state of Michigan. The class action lawsuit filed in September 2016 alleges that the public school system in Detroit denies children their constitutional right to literacy under the Fourteenth Amendment. 
Detroit's complicated public school system has, since 1999, been in some form of state control. It's a hard network to navigate, a constantly changing mix of public schools and charter schools that has been managed by a dozen authorizers from all over the state of Michigan who determine where and when to open public and charter schools. 

Jamarria Hall, 17, at Grandy's Koney Island III in Detroit, Michigan - Eliza Mills - Marketplace
This fall, the city's independent school board will take over running the schools for the first time in over 15 years. The city has some of the worst test scores for reading and math in the country - only 7 percent of 8th grade students are proficient in reading.  There were 263 teacher vacancies as of this spring.

And then there's the state of the school buildings themselves. "There are teachers who walk out of the classes, saying they can't deal with it because it's hot in the classes," Hall said. "Boiler pipes are broken so there might be steam coming out of the heat. Then when it's cold outside, it's super cold in the building so people might have coats on ... then there might be rodents."

Hall is not the only one to complain about the condition of the schools in Detroit. Those indictments have echoed in testimony and reports from students and teachers all over the city. Public Counsel, the pro bono firm representing the plaintiffs along with local firm Sidley Austin (working pro bono on this case), said that these problems - the teacher vacancies, the poor conditions, lack of textbooks and materials - contribute to the issue of illiteracy in Detroit schools and violate the constitutional rights of the students who attend public school in the city. 
The state argues that it can't be held responsible for illiteracy. The state motion to dismiss reads: "While pointing the finger at Defendants, Plaintiffs ignore many other factors that contribute to illiteracy, such as poverty, parental involvement (or lack thereof), medical problems, intellectual limitations, domestic violence, trauma, and other numerous influences." Citing ongoing litigation, the state has declined to comment on this story.
"There's research that shows that it's more difficult to educate students who experience these sort of high poverty issues ... but just because it's hard doesn't mean that it's not achievable," said Michael Griffith, senior school finance analyst at Education Commission of the States, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works with state policymakers to improve public education nationwide. 

Griffith says other districts don't struggle in the same ways Detroit does. "There are districts around the country that have high poverty rates, that have low education achievement rates in their area, yet still are able able to graduate their students, to get them up to state standards," he said. Literacy is a much lower benchmark than many state standards, Griffith said. He compares Detroit to other school districts with high poverty rates - Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia - all with better test scores than Detroit.  
The state of Michigan's assertion that it's too hard to trace illiteracy to a failing on the part of the state-run public school system doesn't sit well with some teachers who work in Detroit public schools. They said parents and students are engaged, and with the right resources, anyone can learn. 

Full economic revitalization is not going to be achieved when the illiteracy rates are so high," said Savit.  "Literacy is foundational." 
Detroit's once-vibrant economy has struggled for decades. The unemployment rate is just under 8 percent, nearly twice the national average. Even as new businesses come to the city - bringing with them new construction projects and jobs - Detroiters are often disqualified from open positions, most frequently because of lack of literacy and numeracy skills, failed drug tests and lack of transportation. 

Click Here to Read Full Article
Join the Million Father March231 cities have 
signed up for the 
2017 Million Father March 
Is your city participating?

Click Here to sign-up your school, organization or city for the 2017 Million Father March.
Click Here to see an inspiring video of how the Million Father March impacts children, schools and communities. 
Click Here to see if your city is one of the 231 cities registered for the Million Father March 
The Black Star Project's Summer STEMM Camp 
Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (Law and Finance) and Medicine
Dr. Tommie Berry, seated center, with participants in the first Black Star Project's STEMM Camp.  Parents and community members are standing around the students. 

August 17, 2017
August 24, 2017
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois

On Thursday, August 17, 2017, we will focus on Law and Finance.  Please Register Now. 
5th- through 8th-grade students can learn about careers in medicine, science, enginering, technology, and math (and finance), and what it takes to get there.  

Please call 773.285.9600 to register