Archive | September 2011

A Time of Rememberance & Reflection: Troy Davis’ Execution & Burial

After a valiant effort to halt his execution, on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 11:15PM, people from all around the world said goodbye to Troy Davis, a death row inmate, in the state of Georgia’s penal system. As was aptly stated by Edward Dubose, Georgia State Conference, President of the NAACP, “Troy’s execution, and the exceptional unfairness of it amidst so much doubt, has galvanized a global movement in his name. Troy’s is remembered not only because of the circumstances around his case, but because even in the face of death he understood that his story had the potential to change this country forever. There is much work ahead to ensure the end of the death penalty in the United States, but we will do it together, and we will do it in Troy’s name.”

On Saturday October 1, 2011, Troy Davis will be buried in Savannah, Georgia. People from all over: the state of Georgia, the United States, and the world will be in attendance. The Davis family remains in countless hearts and prayers during this incredibly heartbreaking and hard period in our nation’s history.

The services below are open to the public, but cameras and video recorders will not
be permitted:

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Wake and Memorial Service

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

New Life Apostolic Temple

2120 West Bay Street

Savannah, Georgia 31415

Saturday, October 1, 2011

“Celebration of Life Service” (Funeral)

11 a.m.

Jonesville Baptist Church

5201 Montgomery St,

Savannah, Georgia 31415

If you will be unable to attend, you can send a letter of condolence to the Davis Family. The letters to the Davis should be sent to:

“I am Troy Davis”

P.O.
Box 2105

Savannah,
GA 31407

In lieu of flowers, donations may be mailed to:

I AM TROY FUND

Capitol
City Bank

339 MLK, Jr., Blvd.

Savannah,
Georgia 31401

Troy’s story touched countless hearts and minds. When commenting on Troy Davis’ execution, Larry Cox, Amnesty International executive director, offered that, importantly, the massive movement that developed around this case offers an opportunity to question this country’s values. This tragedy offers a chance to engage more people who are repulsed that the state would murder in our names and yet remain silent about it. “We have to take people who were against the death penalty and never did anything about it,” Larry Cox told Amy Goodman of Democracy NOW, and mobilize them. “Now is the time.”

As Kai Wright and Jamilah King wrote in their provocative and thought-provoking article entitled “The Long, Murderous Arm of the Law Has Killed Troy Davis” in Colorlines, “Davis’ case offers a bracing and depressing illustration of capital punishment’s many problems.” In the State of Georgia’s “…eagerness to prosecute a black man, [Troy Davis], for murdering a white police officer, [Mark Allen MacPhail], local officials set in motion a
killing machine that, once turned on, is near impossible to halt without executive intervention. Much has already been written about the details of Davis’s case; no reasonable observer can deny there is significant doubt as to his guilt. But our criminal justice system is anything but reasonable. Those who don’t come into contact with it can sit in self-satisfied assurance that our cops and courts measure out blind justice that keeps society well ordered. The evidence simply does not support that fantasy, as Davis’s life and death so dreadfully illustrate. In fact, if we are to judge our criminal justice system by its outcomes, it is built to round up masses of black men, transfer public funds to private companies to warehouse them, and then kill them in cold blood.”

With that said, here are three (3) important things you can do RIGHT NOW to advance the fight to stop the death penalty:

1) Sign the pledge (NAACP and/or Amnesty International) and join the movement to eradicate death penalty.

2) Contact your local Amnesty International State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinators (pdf). Ask about the death penalty in your state and how you can get involved locally.

3) Reach out to other death penalty organizations operating in your state/country. Find out more information.

Amnesty International Pledge:
“Not in my name” <http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.7741827/k.62FF/Not_in_my_Name_Pledge/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&amp;b=7741827&amp;en=dmIPI6PPJcIYLgOSLbKULiM9LvL9KmN4LtI9LqNaIAK>

Source(s): www.colorlines.org. www.rockstarfresh.com. www.truthout.org. NAACP. Amnesty International.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Child Hunger In America

This spring, the U.S. House of Representatives proposed cuts to the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition and health program (WIC). WIC provides much-needed health care and nutrition support for some of our most vulnerable families, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, infants, and children under the age of five years old.

Hunger in America is prevalent. Hunger poses a clear and present danger to the health and well-being of  an ever-increasing number of infants and children.  According to the WIC website, “…[when] WIC was permanently authorized, 88,000 people participated. By 1980, participation was at 1.9 million; by 1985, 3.1 million; by 1990, 4.5 million; and by 2000, 7.2 million. Average monthly participation for FY 2008 was about 8.7 million. Children have always been the largest group of WIC participants. Of the 8.7 million people who received WIC benefits each month in FY 2008, about 4.33 million were children, 2.22 million were infants, and 2.15 million were women.”[i]  Estimates from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities show that funding WIC at the US House proposed low-level would result in eliminating 200,000 to 350,000 eligible low-income women and young children from WIC next year.[ii] It is a well-known fact that proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of healthy children thus highlighting the need for continued funding for feeding programs such as WIC.

On May 31, 2011, in response to the devastating funding cuts proposed by House Republicans, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the Education and the Workforce Committee, issued the following statement about the proposed cuts to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).[iii] These cuts further the attack on poor and working class Americans outlined in the FY12 Republican budget which proposes to severely cut funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, by $127 billion over ten years. [iv]

“House Republicans are trying to deny low-income mothers access to healthy food options. Their priorities are sorely misplaced. They push for tax cuts for big oil companies and threaten families with the greatest needs in this economy. If children don’t develop healthy habits early, if they don’t have enough food, they can struggle in the classroom and in life.

“Just a short time ago, President Obama signed into law transformational legislation that will dramatically improve school meals and other child nutrition programs. We came together in a bipartisan way to pass this legislation, to cut hunger and improve the meals our children eat in and out of school. And now, the House Republicans would reverse the progress made and threaten the mothers, families and children who rely on WIC on a daily basis.

“It is absolutely necessary to take a long hard look at government spending to avoid wasting any taxpayers’ dollars, but time and time again, Republicans wrongfully make their cuts on the backs of poor and working class Americans.”[v] For more information on WIC, visit the WIC website at www.fns.usda.gov.”

Sources: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Voices for America’s Children’s Action Alert. WIC’s website. U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA)’s website where he released his statement on the proposed WIC Cuts in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art


[i] WIC  website

[ii] US Representative Miller website.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.

Join the Battle Against Breast Cancer

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is fast approaching. The month of October has been designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM).  It has been reported that the first NBCAM program took place in October 1985. It was a week-long event. The overarching objective of the event was to fill the information void in public communication about breast cancer.

Despite on-going cancer research, cancer still attacks 10,000,000 people per year worldwide.  Annually, 1.3 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer and nearly 555,000 people will die in our nation this year alone. According to the CDC, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women.

In 2006 (the most recent year numbers are available)—

  • 191,410 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.*†
  • 40,820 women died from breast cancer.*†

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer.[i] Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer).[ii] Although African-American women have a slightly lower incidence of breast cancer after age 40 than Caucasian women, they have a slightly higher incidence rate of breast cancer before age 40.[iii] However, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age. Breast cancer is much less common in males; by comparison, the disease is about 100 times more common among women.[iv] According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 1,910 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among men in the United States in 2009.[v]

If you are concerned about developing breast cancer, or if you know someone who has  been diagnosed with the disease, one way to deal with your concerns is to gather  as much information as is available. For more information, you can visit the websites for: American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and the National  Cancer Institute.

†Source(s): U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer  Statistics: 1999–2006 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report.  Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs. www.nbcam.org.

*Note: Incidence counts cover approximately 96% of the U.S. population and death counts cover 100% of the U.S. population. Use caution in comparing incidence and death counts.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art


[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.

Day of Rememberance: Troy Davis Lives

Today, Laura Moye, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign Director at Amnesty International, wrote that “the state of Georgia shocked the world when it took Troy Davis’ life last Wednesday. But in the wake of that outrage, the movement to end the death penalty has only grown in numbers and energy.

We have heard innumerable stories of consciousness raising and transformation.
People did not go home from the various protests despondent. Like us, they have
 committed to not forgetting what happened and are emboldened, redoubling
efforts to end the callous system that has demonstrated it has no business
taking human life.

On Saturday, October 1, join us for a Day of Remembrance. Join us in
Savannah for Troy Davis’ funeral. The service is open to the public, but media
 cameras will not be permitted:

October 1, 11am at “Celebration of Life Service” at the Jonesville Baptist Church
 located at 5201 Montgomery St., Savannah, Georgia.

For those of you who cannot make it to Savannah, please wear an “I am Troy Davis”
t-shirt or black armband with “Not in my name” written on it and change your
Facebook profile picture to this image posted on Amnesty’s website.

Those wishing to send cards or donations to the Davis family: “I am Troy Davis,” P.O. Box 2105, Savannah, GA 31407.

Contributions to the Davis children’s college savings accounts can be made payable to Martina Correia, put “college fund” in the memo.

Flowers and plants can be sent to: Sidney A. Jones and Campbell Funeral Services
124 West Park Avenue, Savannah, GA 31401-6439. (912) 234-7226”

In her post, Laura reminds us about the importance of signing the “Not in my name” pledge.<http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.7741827/k.62FF/Not_in_my_Name_Pledge/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&amp;b=7741827&amp;en=dmIPI6PPJcIYLgOSLbKULiM9LvL9KmN4LtI9LqNaIAK>

“Troy Davis did not die in vain. We will make certain of that.”—Laura Moye

Sources: Amnesty International.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

2011 United States Conference on AIDS

Date: November 10-13, 2011

Venue: Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers

Location: Chicago, IL

Contact: conferences@nmac.org or (202) 483-NMAC (6622)

URL: http://www.nmac.org/index/2011-usca

“The United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), set for November 10-13, 2011, at Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, in Chicago, IL, is an event you cannot afford to miss. For nearly two decades, USCA has sought ‘to increase the strength and diversity of the community-based response to the AIDS epidemic through education, training, new partnerships, collaboration and networking.’

It is the largest AIDS-related gathering in the U.S., bringing together over 3,000 workers from all fronts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic—from case managers and physicians, to public health workers and advocates, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/As) to policymakers—to build national support networks, exchange the latest information and learn cutting-edge tools to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS. We hope you will be one of them.” –Paul A. Kawata, The Executive Director of the National Minority AIDS Council

Sources:National Minority AIDS Council.  Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

37th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes

Event Dates: October 19-22, 2011

The 37th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes will be a three (3) day event held from October 19-22, 2011 in Miami Beach, Florida. The meeting announcement indicates that there will be plenary sessions, symposia, paper and poster sessions, and workshops addressing the cutting edge science of pediatric diabetes care.

The theme of the 2011 meeting will be “Possibilities for Prevention of Diabetes and its Complications.” Alan Delamater, Conference President, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, states that, “We all work to prevent complications in our patients with diabetes. The best chances for accomplishing this is through integrated comprehensive care addressing medical, behavioral, and psychosocial needs and this issue will be highlighted in the meeting. We will also focus on primary prevention of diabetes. My colleague and co-chair of the organizing committee, Jay Skyler, MD, will lead a special session on the latest efforts to prevent type 1 diabetes in children, and we will also have sessions focusing on obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

Venue: Miami Beach, Florida.

Website: http://2011.ispad.org

Organized by: K.I.T. Group GmbH.

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Kinship Care

Many of today’s grandparents have become full-time caregivers for their grandchildren. United States Census 2000 indicates that 4.5 million of our nation’s poorest children reside in grandparent-headed households and that number is escalating rapidly. Data indicates that approximately one-third of these children have no parent present in the home. The number of children in grandparent-headed households has increased 30 percent since 1990.

Research data indicates that in New York, there are 297,239 children living in grandparent-headed households which constitutes 6.3% of all the children in that state. Twenty-eight percent of these grandparents live in households without the children’s parents present. The literature on this phenomenon suggests that there are probably many more children in informal care arrangements residing with their grandparents than the data can capture.

AARP indicates that the majority of grandparents rearing grandchildren are between ages 55 and 64. Approximately 20 to 25 percent are 65 or older. While grandparent-headed families cross all socio-economic levels, these grandparents are more likely to live in poverty than are other grandparents. AARP materials also state that there are eight times more children in grandparent-headed homes than in the foster care system.

Although the phenomenon of grandparents raising grandchildren is neither novel nor new, this emerging social issue is garnering a great deal of national attention due to its impact on the welfare of an ever increasing number of our nation’s children. The rise in the number of grandparent headed households is due to serious family problems. The reasons for the increase in grandparent headed households include but are not limited to: AIDS, abandonment, child abuse and neglect, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, death, divorce, incarceration, and the parent’s lack of employment.

Caring for their grandchildren can have life altering consequences for the grandparents. Many grandparents have not planned to raise a second family or may be retired and living on a fixed income. Having sufficient income or resources to provide housing, food, clothing, medicine, and school supplies for their grandchildren may be of critical concern. Research indicates that children raised by their grandparents are more likely than children in traditional foster care to live in poverty, to have special health and educational needs, and to lack access to health care.

While grandparents have played a significant role in the lives of their grandchildren for generations, the increasing numbers of grandparents with responsibility for their grandchildren and the rise in social factors necessitating this arrangement have created millions of vulnerable families with unique needs. For further information on the topic of grandparents raising grandchildren or to get help, please call or visit the website of: AARP’s Grandparent Information Center: 202-434-2296; and Generation’s United: 202-289-3979.

Sources: Children’s Defense Fund website, AARP’s Grandparent Information Center website, US Census Bureau, and Generations United website.

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art