Church kicks off Women’s Day events with prayer breakfast
PHILL WILSON: CDC locks out Black providers See page 4
Sybil Cage to perform again in New Smyrna SEE PAGE 3
East Central Florida’s Black Voice
SEE PAGE 3
APRIL 3 - APRIL 9, 2014
YEAR 39 NO. 14
SunRail to start with free rides County Council members seek expansion to Daytona Beach BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS DAYTONA TIMES firstname.lastname@example.org
SunRail officials have announced that passengers will ride Central Florida’s new commuter rail system free for two
weeks beginning the first day of service on May 1. The free service will last through May 16, allowing passengers to experience commuting on SunRail, and becoming familiar with the schedules. Regular revenue service for paying passengers is scheduled to begin on May 19 with more than 12,000 pre-sold passes already purchased. On Saturday, March 29, the Florida Department
of Transportation invited the community to the new Volusia County SunRail station in Debary for an exclusive sneak peek inside the trains. The first phase will have 12 stations from Debary in Volusia County through downtown Orlando, ending at Sand Lake Road in Orange County’s tourist district. “It was nice,” Sandra Cosmas of DeLand said
of the new rail system. “I work in Orlando so I’ll try it out a few times when it is fully up and running and see if it is really worth the time of driving to the station, parking and then getting to work.” SunRail is a commuter rail system, which means its primary purpose is to get people from home to work, and then back home again, while providing an Please see SUNRAIL, Page 2
JESSICA KEANE/FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
The Debary SunRail Station will be the first of 12 stops heading west to Orlando. Passengers can ride free May 1-16.
F.A.I.T.H. to focus on homelessness, criminal justice during April 7 assembly BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS DAYTONA TIMES email@example.com
Homelessness and criminal justice will be the topics of discussion at the Performing Arts Center of BethuneCookman University on April 7. The Annual Action Assembly of the Fighting Against Injustice Toward Harmony (F.A.I.T.H.) organization will meet with local city and county officials to discuss their concerns. F.A.I.T.H., an inter-faith organization comprised of 32 congregations in Volusia County, has a 13-year history of mobilizing large numbers of people around issues of injustice. More than 2,000 people are expected to attend the event. The Action Assembly is free and open to the public. It will be held April 7 at 6:30 p.m. At the Action Assembly, F.A.I.T.H. will ask for commitments from members of the Volusia County Council to donate land already owned by the county for a shelter to be open 24 hours, seven days a week that will include case management, intake center, beds, food and medical services. All Volusia county cities will be asked to work together to fund the shelter and the City of Daytona Beach to operate it.
Goal: 250 beds Father Phil Egitto, co-chair of F.A.I.T.H., Please see F.A.I.T.H., Page 2
State of the County address to be rescheduled STAFF REPORTS
The State of the County address scheduled for shortly after 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 3, during the Volusia County Council meeting, will be rescheduled due to an unexpected absence by County Chair Jason Davis. Davis, 52 will miss the April 3, meeting due to medical reasons but will deliver the address in two weeks. “The State of the County will be at our next county council meeting,” a good-spirited Davis told the DayJason tona Times from his Davis Halifax Health Medical Center room Wednesday evening. “I should be right as rain, back on my feet and rocking and rolling. So it will be in two weeks.” No other items on the County Council agenda will be affected.
PHOTOS BY DUANE C. FERNANDEZ, SR./HARDNOTTS PHOTOGRAPHY
This 1950 Cadillac Nash was one of many classics at the Spring Daytona Turkey Run March 28-30.
Spring Daytona Turkey Run was place to marvel, reminisce FROM STAFF REPORTS
ar lovers and hot rod fans who attended the Spring Daytona Turkey Run were in heaven last weekend. The spring show was held March 28-30 at the Daytona International Speedway. The event included hundreds of classic and unusual automobiles and drew thousands of spectators. The car show was sponsored by the Daytona Beach Racing & Recreational Facilities District (“The District”), which works in partnership with the Daytona Beach Street Rods to produce the Turkey Run on Thanksgiving weekend and the Spring Turkey Run. A replica of Batman’s Batmobile from the 1960s was one of the vehicles that turned quite a few heads last weekend. A 1969 Corvette Stingray, a 1950 Cadillac Nash and a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport were just some of the many vehicles that got the hearts racing of those who love old cars. According to spokeswoman Jennifer Labonte, the two car shows each year “provide a considerable economic boost to Daytona and Volusia County.’’ Created in 1955, the District has a long history in the community, according to information provided to the Daytona Times. Its original purpose was to fund and build a racetrack in Daytona but International Speedway Corporation (ISC) built the Speedway in 1959. Since then, the District has leased the land to ISC and continues to annually reinvest the show proceeds back into the community.
Community endeavors In addition to overseeing the two car shows, the District funds many programs and projects that improve residents’ quality of life year-round.
A 1969 Corvette Stingray is pictured above.
In its history, the District has reinvested more than $7 million to build and improve recreational facilities like parks and walking trails in Daytona Beach, Holly Hill, South Daytona and unincorporated areas of Volusia County.
Additionally the District has helped fund many local organizations such as Halifax Youth Sailing, Halifax Historical Society, Museum of Arts & Sciences and the Daytona Beach YMCA.
HEALTH: A PRIMER ON PROPERLY CARING FOR YOUR EYES | PAGE 5 SPORTS: FLORIDA GATORS ARE FACING A FAMILIAR FOE DURING FINAL FOUR | PAGE 7
Left: This 1969 Chevrolet Impala (left) was an apparent Dream Lover at the show.
APRIL 3 – APRIL 9, 2014
Black preschoolers’ suspensions triple that of Whites BY FREDDIE ALLEN NNPA WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
WASHINGTON – Even before they typically learn to read, Black preschoolers – some as young as 4 years old – are taught a disgusting lesson: They are three times more likely to be suspended from school than their White classmates, according to a recent study by the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Education. “Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than White students. On average, 5 percent of White students are suspended, compared to 16 percent of Black students,” the Department of Education study found. Black children account for 18 percent of the nation’s preschoolers, but nearly half of students in that age group suspended more than once, compared to White children who represent 43 percent of preschoolers and 26 percent of students suspended more than once, according to the report.
‘Every data point represents a life impacted and a future potentially diverted or derailed. This administration is moving aggressively to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline in order to ensure that all of our young people have equal educational opportunities.’
High in Florida Daniel Losen, director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies for the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, told the Associated Press: “Just kicking them out of school is denying them access to edu-
Eric Holder U.S. Attorney General
cational opportunity at such a young age. Then, as they come in for kindergarten, they are just that much less prepared.” Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina reported the widest gaps in the racial disparity suspensions between Black and White students. New Jersey, New York and North Dakota reported the smallest gaps. Black students also account for nearly 30 percent of students referred to law enforcement in what many civil rights advocates have called the school-to-prison pipeline. “Black students represent 16 percent of student enrollment, 27 percent of students referred to law enforcement, and 31 percent of students subjected to a schoolrelated arrest. In comparison, White students represent 51 percent of students enrolled, 41 per-
cent of referrals to law enforcement, and 39 percent of those subjected to school-related arrests,” stated the report.
Implicit bias For the first time in 14 years, the Education Department collected data from all 97,000 public schools and its 16,500 school districts, responsible for 49 million students. “This data collection shines a clear, unbiased light on places that are delivering on the promise of an equal education for every child and places where the largest gaps remain. In all, it is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release. “As the President’s educa-
tion budget reflects in every element – from preschool funds to Pell Grants to Title I to special education funds – this administration is committed to ensuring equity of opportunity for all.” The Education Department report comes on the heels of research funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundations that showed that implicit bias contributes to racial disparities in student suspension rates from kindergarten to the 12th grade.
‘Misperceived’ to be adult In a study titled, “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children,” researchers from the University of California, the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the University of Pennsylvania, concluded that after 9 years old, “Black children and adults were rated as significantly less innocent than White children and adults or children and adults generally.” A majority of the survey participants were White women, the same group that is also over-represented among public school teachers. Researchers found that Black boys may be perceived as more than 4.53 years older than their actual age, which meant that a 13 year-old might be “misper-
ceived” to be an adult by law enforcement officials. The report continued: “These outcomes are particularly worrisome for Black children, who are 18 times more likely than White children to be sentenced as adults and who represent 58 percent of children sentenced to adult facilities, the report stated.
Holder: Work together In recent speeches Attorney General Eric Holder has urged school administrators, lawmakers and parents to work together to dismantle the school-toprison pipeline that often has far-reaching consequences for young people that get swept up into the criminal justice system. Holder said that the report was critical and showed that racial disparities in school discipline policies are not only well-documented among older students, but actually begin during preschool. “Every data point represents a life impacted and a future potentially diverted or derailed,” Holder said. “This administration is moving aggressively to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline in order to ensure that all of our young people have equal educational opportunities.”
SUNRAIL from Page 1
alternative to driving I-4 every day. Its peak operating hours are going to be when I-4 is at its worst: 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. During those times, trains will run every half hour. During off peak, trains will run every two hours. The last trains will start their trip from the ends of the line between 9 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. so they can be done and off the tracks by 11 p.m.
Multi-level partnership “The SunRail commuter train is a partnership that includes Osceola, Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties; the City of Orlando; and the state and federal governments. The County Council showed leadership and courage in voting to become a SunRail funding partner, as it is no small commitment of county resources,” Volusia County Councilmember Patricia Northey explained. Service for SunRail begins May 1, connecting Volusia County with the growing Central Florida region and I-4 corridor, one of Florida’s biggest economic engines. This train represents a Vision for Central Florida’s future transportation picture; it will relieve congested I-4; it will be good for the environment; and it is already spurring transit-oriented development around the stations, she explained. During the free trial period, SunRail ambassadors will be available at each station and on board trains to answer any questions that SunRail riders might have. The Ambassadors will also be available on May 19, and for several weeks thereafter, to assist customers with pass purchases at ticket vending machines located on each platform, and to remind
F.A.I.T.H. from Page 1
expressed his concern with the growing homeless community in an interview with the Daytona Times. “We really need the entire community to care about our homeless brothers and sisters. There are veterans, the mentally ill, there all types of people who are homeless,” Egitto remarked. “Our goal is to get a 250-bed facility for people who are homeless.” “Conservative estimates
JESSICA KEANE/FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Volusia County Council members and other elected officials attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Debary SunRail station on March 29. riders to “Tap On” at ticket validators before boarding SunRail, and to “Tap Off” at their final destination. “Check out the project coming out of the ground around Florida Hospital in Orlando. It is changing the landscape and the development of the community around the hospital. Right here at home, DeBary, with its green field, is well suited to capitalize on the opportunities of new development,” Northey explained. “SunRail benefits all commuters and it will be a welcomed alternative for those 35,000 daily commuters that call Volusia home, but earn their living
are that there are between 2,500 and 5,000 homeless every night in Volusia County. Even if they are approved for Section 8 housing, where do they live while they wait for Section 8?” According to F.A.I.T.H., there are more than 2,000 homeless children in Volusia County’s schools and although there are more than 5,000 homeless people in the county, there are only 21 emergency beds for single homeless people.
Concerned about youth arrests The
“As a former I-4 hostage for 20 years, I am confident that we will have no problem filling the trains. In addition to being light, bright, and handicap accessible, the rail cars are functional and modern, with Wi-Fi and bike racks.” Northey would like the expansion to come to the eastern side of Volusia to Daytona Beach. The Stop in DeBary is just the beginning of the potential for rail develop-
ment in Volusia County, Northey explained. Phase 2 of the rail project sends the train north to a terminus point in DeLand. Currently the Volusia TPO is undertaking an Alternatives Analysis that will look at route options for a Daytona Beach rail connection. There already exists a rail envelop inside Interstate 4. My current thinking is to move the DeLand station south to State Rd 472, run a spur to the Interstate, and point that train east to the Airport! It is important to link the east side of the county to the west and than to the region through rail, giving everyone op-
tions for mobility. “Can you imagine reading your paper, working away on your laptop, or perhaps enjoying quiet conversation with your neighbor as the train quietly glides along the tracks to your workplace? All in a very affordable rate, providing mobility for those who are looking for an alternative to an automobile , as well as those who cannot afford the costs associated with an automobile. SunRail works for all,” Northey exclaimed. “But there is more to SunRail then just as a transportation alternative. Many of us see this rail
line, not as the end, but as the beginning of adventure for those of us who value natured-based tourism. Volusia is known for its ECHO assets and I am confident we can nurture and sustain an economy that showcases the best of us without harming that which is special to us.” Northey advises Volusia County residents to stay tuned for more information from the council as a plan is in the works to bring bicycling tourists to Volusia this summer via SunRail to ride the River to Sea Loop.
continue a conversation on how young people are marred through adulthood, being arrested in schools and left with a permanent record. Volusia County is the sixth-highest county of youth arrests in the state. F.A.I.T.H. proponents argue that this record is a barrier to future employment, military involvement and college scholarships. The Rev. Nathan Mugala, also a co-chair of F.A.I.T.H., doesn’t believe that bad behavior should go unpunished. However, he says that alternate measures,
which do not have permanent effects, should be put into place, including civil citations. “Right now the numbers show that in Daytona Beach only two percent of those who qualify for civil citations actually get them. Our goal is to make sure that information is shared in our community and across the county so that people know that civil citations are available for those that are first-time offenders and it is just a misdemeanor.” At the April 7 Action Assembly, the group will ask Margaret Smith, Superin-
tendent of Volusia County Schools, to recommend changes to the Schools Code of Conduct based on best practices across the country that reduce out-ofschools suspensions and referrals to law enforcement. “They should have to do community service or there may be other repercussions but it doesn’t go on their permanent record,” Egitto said. The group stresses that as the City of Daytona Beach has very low numbers of eligible youth being offered civil citations. They are asking Chief Michael
Chitwood of the Daytona Beach Police Department to significantly increase his officers’ usage of civil citations to eligible youth and to be an advocate with his fellow police chiefs for them to use more civil citations as well. If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, call the United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties at 2-1-1, the Volusia/Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless at 386-279-0029 or the F.A.I.T.H. office at 386-2387060.
in Seminole and Orange County,” she continued.
Talks of station coming to Daytona
M A YNEWS OR
APRIL 3 – APRIL 9, 2014 COMMUNITY DECEMBER 14 - 20, 2006
Prayer breakfast sets tone for Women’s Day Adding to a theme, the Rev. Mattie Riley Hayes gave meaning to certain Scriptures that kicked off a prayer breakfast as a first of three events for Women’s Day. At the focus of the events is a Women’s Day White Elephant Sale, Spa Day, and the actual Women’s Day event of Sept. 7, followed by the Women’s Day Dinner. It’s also worthy that the Women’s Missionary Society will sponsor a luncheon come April 12, 11 a.m. Hayes, who is the fiery, powerful pastor at New Zion AME Church, Williston, was the guest speaker, working around the occasion that enhanced stunning table decor and fellowship. Community and congregation packed the prayer breakfast at First Church, where the Rev. Gillard S. Glover is the pastor. It was a culinary payoff of sausage, scrambled eggs, hashbrown potatoes, grits, rolls, and fruit salad – and through sponsors and boosters, who helped underwrite the occasion. It displayed the theme, “Women Working for the Kingdom”; however, Hayes took her cue from Nehemiah 4:8-15, and remade the theme, “Women Working for the Kingdom: Show Me What You’re Working With.”
Teary reaction A push of God’s Spirit filled the place, and golden nuggets – from the Word of God, which the messenger preached – were welcomed in the hearts of those heeding God’s Word. Some time later, a woman
Summer camp scholarships available Summer camp scholarships are available to income-eligible children and children with special needs through Volusia County’s Community Assistance Division. Families with children ages 5 to 12 who meet residency and income requirements are encouraged to apply for scholarships. To be eligible, 5-year-old children must have completed kindergarten. Children must be entering first through sixth grade. Scholarship awards are based on income-eligibility and will be awarded according to funding availability.
How to apply Scholarship applications will be available Thursday, April 10, at all Volusia County public libraries and the Human Services offices at 123 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand; 250 N. Beach St., Daytona Beach; 107 E. Canal St., New Smyrna Beach; and 775 Harley Strickland Blvd., Suite 104, Orange City. Applications also will be posted at www.volusia.org/
PALM COAST COMMUNITY NEWS JEROLINE D. MCCARTHY
came forward overwhelmed by the move of God – and choked up with tears – sought to renew the hope of being used by God, despite attacks from the enemy. Both Pastor Glover and Rev. Hayes prayed for the woman and sought God for His outpouring of change in the woman’s life. Regardless of harassment from the enemy and distress by God’s people, Nehemiah, the king’s cupbearer during the Jews’ captivity in Babylon, carried out his assignment of rejoining the exiles to rebuild the broken-down wall of Jerusalem for the return of worship. Hayes preached that prayer is essential for what we are working with. She exclaimed that Nehemiah prayed for God’s cleansing, which narrows down to our cleansing from our dirt and the mess of sin. She exalted that while we are on assignment, we are in great affliction and have no time to play church. And so, we must both pray and fast. She said if the devil came to Jesus, he will surely come to us. Show me your prayer life and God will put people in your life who will help. Moreover, Hayes said that Nehemiah made his request known to God, and it was then that the king allowed Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem. community_assistance/applications.htm. Completed applications will be accepted at these times and locations: • 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, April 11, in the first-floor training room of the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center, 123 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library, 1001 S. Dixie Freeway, New Smyrna Beach • 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at the Deltona Regional Library, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona • 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, April 28, at the Daytona Beach Regional Library at City Island, 105 E. Magnolia Ave., Daytona Beach After April 29, applications may be submitted in person or by mail to the Volusia County Community Assistance Division, 110 W. Rich Ave., DeLand, FL 32720. Faxed applications will not be accepted. Applications for eligible clients will be placed on a waiting list until an opening becomes available. For more information, call Peggy Johnson at 386-736-5955.
Safer homes, fewer burns Florida Power and Light Company Line Specialist Wallace Boone checks meters, overhead facilities and transformers for conditions and hazards on Wednesday. The City of South Daytona, South Daytona Fire Rescue, Halifax Health and FPL partnered to visit up to 50 homes in South Daytona as part of a “Safer Homes, Fewer Burns” public service outreach program. The teams of experts shared tips and advice to help homeowners make their homes safer and more energy efficient.
Visit us online at
daytonatimes.com East Central Florida’s Black Voice
COURTESY OF HERBERT H. BOOKER
At the prayer breakfast were the Rev. Cheryl Daniels, Mary Davidson Hinds and the Rev. Mattie Riley Hayes. In the background is First Church First Lady Sachiko Glover.
More on Nehemiah Hayes evangelized that Nehemiah kept what he was doing a secret; he took inventory of what he had to do, and did not boast or procrastinate. He was prepared and began working, while – unlike many of us who are unprepared and unequipped – we do not have the right words because we do not attend Sunday School and Bible study. Hayes pressed forth showing that Nehemiah started his assignment whether anyone was there or not. No matter how old or young we are, we have what we are working with, and our ministry must be taken seriously.
Another tool, from Hayes’ message, which shows what we are working with, pinpoints that we are never to stop praying because the enemy thinks that he’s smart. Still, the contents of the occasion included the Rev. Cheryl Daniels leading the invocation and blessing the food; Stephanie Dennis carrying out the Scripture reading, and Marsha Rode offering a solo in song. The other credits included Sondra L. Henderson, the Women’s Day Chair, and Vivian Richardson, the Co-Chair. Yours truly had the function of being the worship leader and the chair of the Prayer Breakfast
Committee, which was made up of Nellie Chapman Davis, Mattie DeVore, Carolyn Able, and Virene Garrett. I extend my many thanks for the marvelous contributions from everyone. ••• As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted and bereaved.
Celebrations Birthday wishes to: John McVay, April 4; Delcena Samuels, April 7; Eugene Price, Darthula McQueen, April 8. Happy anniversary to: Robert and Lynne Williams, April 7.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Sybil Cage is a regular performer in Volusia County.
Jazz and blues singer to perform at library Jazz and blues vocalist Sybil Gage will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library, 1001 S. Dixie Freeway.
Her performance will include pre-war blues, vaudeville, traditional jazz and original compositions. Born and raised in New Orleans, Gage had front-row schooling in jazz and blues. She has released two CDs of original material, has performed on
Open Mic Poetry Festival set for April 19
Huger golf tournament set for April 19
Experience the power of poetry during the sixth annual Open Mic Poetry Festival at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 19 at the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library, 1001 S. Dixie Freeway. Poets of all styles are invited to perform their original works. Participants must be 18 or older to read. To register to perform, call 386-424-2910 or sign up at the library’s reference desk. The festival is hosted by the Poet’s Corner Poetry Workshop and sponsored by the Friends of the Library in recognition of National Poetry Month.
The Beta Delta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will present its third annual Jimmy Huger Scholarship Golf Tournament April 19 with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Huger is a longtime member of the fraternity. The tournament will be held at the Daytona Beach Golf Club, 600 Wilder Blvd. Proceeds from the event will fund scholarships for local high school seniors attending college as freshmen in the fall of 2014. For more information, contact John Huger at 386-566-8393.
Free smoking cessation class starts April 8 A free, six-week program designed to meet the needs of smokers who want to quit will be held at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center, 301 Memorial Medical Parkway, Daytona Beach. The program begins April 8 and meets each Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. until May 13. Participants are encouraged to get support by attending as many programs as they want and can attend over and over until they are confident about being smoke-free. Registration is required; call 1-877-784-8486.
Bourbon Street, and is a regular at the New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival and the Noble “Thin Man” Watts Festival in DeLand. Reservations are not required. For more information, call 386424-2910. More about Cage is available at www.sybilsings. com.
in approved containers; the containers will not be returned. Businesses are not eligible for free disposal. Residents also may bring their household hazardous waste to the Tomoka Landfill in Port Orange or the West Volusia Transfer Station in DeLand year-round for free disposal. The landfill is open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The transfer station is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Both facilities provide free paint exchange programs and electronic waste recycling. For more information, call Volusia County’s Solid Waste Division at 386-947-2952.
County to collect hazardous waste in DeBary, Ormond
Assistance for homeless veterans available
Volusia County’s Solid Waste Division will host free collection events for household hazardous materials April 11 and 12. Residents may drop off old paint, solvents, automobile and household batteries, pool chemicals, pesticides, motor oil, gasoline, other household chemicals, and up to 10 fluorescent lamps at these locations: • Ormond Beach Public Works, 501 N. Orchard St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 11 • DeBary City Hall, 16 Columba Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 12 Only unmixed household hazardous waste will be accepted. Insulin needles will be accepted
The Salvation Army offers help to homeless veterans and those at risk for homelessness through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The program is available to all veterans in Volusia and Flagler counties who meet eligibility. For those veterans who are homeless, it can provide assistance to help them transition into permanent housing. For those who are housed but at-risk, it helps to maintain them in permanent housing. For further information or to set up an appointment for assistance, call 386- 236-2020 ext. 213 or email Ivelisse_Cancel@uss.salvationarmy.org.
APRIL 3 – APRIL 9, 2014
CDC locks out Black providers On March 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded $115 million over five years to 21 organizations to provide technical assistance (TA) and capacity building to health departments, AIDS service organizations (ASOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) implementing high-impact prevention and improving outcomes in the care continuum for people living with HIV/AIDS. Not one of the new CDC grantees is a Black organization. The effect of this decision is that Black organizations have been locked out of leading technical assistance and capacity building in this country for the next five years. It is obvious why this should be an issue of concern for Black people, for the overall public and for anyone who is sincerely interested in ending the AIDS epidemic in America. Let’s look at the numbers: There are about 1.2 million Americans living with HIV today. Nearly 50 percent of them are Black. Of women living with HIV in the U.S., nearly 64 percent are Black; among gay and bisexual men, the rate is 32 percent.
Organizations are needed At a time when Black Americans are less likely to be linked to care, are less likely to be retained in care, are more likely to be diagnosed later in their disease, have poorer outcomes and die quicker than any other racial or ethnic group in the country, the decision by the CDC not to fund any Black organizations in this program further dismantles what little infrastructure exists in Black commu-
PHILL WILSON NNPA COLUMNIST
nities to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. To exacerbate this problem, over the last few years, a number of Black AIDS organizations have had to close their doors because of lack of funding. Both CDC and Black AIDS service providers will offer various reasons that this happened. The CDC might maintain that the pool of Black organizations that applied was small, some did not demonstrate sufficient programmatic capacity, some had administrative challenges, while others were eliminated for technical reasons associated with the application. ASOs and capacity-building assistance (CBA) providers might counter by saying that the process completely disregards the value of cultural competency, denies Black organizations opportunities to focus on areas where they are strong, and inherently advantages larger organizations that can farm out their grant writing over smaller organizations that are better equipped to deliver the needed services but less equipped to prepare the grant applications.
Outcomes and process The CDC appears to be more obsessed with having a pristine grant-making process than with making sure the outcomes of that process reflect the communities
most at risk for HIV. Many Black AIDS organizations have prioritized cultural competency and resisted retooling themselves in order to respond to the changing HIV/AIDS landscape. Whatever the reasons, it’s imperative that communities, ASOs and government agencies like the CDC work together to make sure that we have a geographically and racially diverse HIV service-delivery system – including Black providers and those with expertise in other heavily impacted communities. And that all HIV service providers – regardless of race, ethnicity or region of the country where they provide services – have both the cultural and subject-matter competency and the administrative bandwidth to deliver the services that our communities need and deserve. There is plenty of blame and finger-pointing to go around, but it all misses the point: No one can argue that, even though we have had some successes, we are failing in our fight to end the AIDS epidemic in Black communities. Indeed, in some areas we are losing ground where we had previously made progress. (In the interest of disclosure, The Black AIDS Institute is a small subcontractor to one of the CDC grantees in this program.)
Phill Wilson is the president and CEO of The Black AIDS Institute, the only national HIV/ AIDS think tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people. Write your own response at www.daytonatimes.com.
Can we make it to the ‘Promised Land?’ Friday, April 4, marks the 46th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jrs’ assassination on a balcony in Memphis. Black America and people of goodwill in the nation and the world were stricken by grief, frustration and anger at the murder of this great man of justice and peace. Indeed, rebellions erupted in urban centers across the nation by people who could not fathom how an apostle of non-violence could be struck down so viciously and violently. It was clear that America was at yet another cross-road in the quest to achieve racial, economic and social justice. Despite constant death threats, Dr. King never flinched in his determination that this nation should be made to live up to its creed. The night before he was murdered, he reluctantly mounted the podium at the Mason Temple Church in Memphis and seemed to have a premonition of his impending demise. Yet, he proclaimed that he was not afraid dying. In the most memorable part of his oration he took the audience to the “mountaintop” with him and declared that he had “seen the promised land.” Sensing that his life would be cut short he said, “I may not get there with you. But I want you to
RON DANIELS NNPA GUEST COLUMNIST
know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”
Will we make it? As we reflect on King’s courage and optimism in the shadow of death, the question is: Can we make it to the Promised Land? Clearly Dr. King was speaking to the long suffering sons and daughters of Africa in America when he referenced “we as a people.” But given his fervent belief in the promise of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, there is little doubt that he also believed that one day America as a nation must arrive at the Promised Land. King also knew that for the “promise” to be realized Black people and people of good will in the “beloved community” would have to struggle to achieve its fulfillment. There would be trials and tribulations because there were forces deeply committed to restricting economic and political democracy to an elite “few” to the
exclusion of the “many” in this society. As Dr. King peered over into the Promised Land, he saw a nation that embraced his concept of an Economic Bill of Rights modeled after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms,” where every human being would have a decent standard of living: a land where noone would lack for a job with a living wage or guaranteed annual income, quality affordable housing, healthcare and education. As we witness the calculated, mean-spirited assault on Blacks, labor, women and poor and working people by rightwing extremists, the explosive growth in mass incarceration within the prisonjail industrial complex and the ever increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, we must continue to be inspired by King’s view from the mountaintop. Black people in particular must be dedicated to leading ourselves and the downtrodden/dispossessed to the Promised Land.
Ron Daniels is President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and Distinguished Lecturer at York College City University of New York. Write your own response at www.daytonatimes.com.
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: OBAMACARE COUNTDOWN
JOHN COLE, THE SCRANTON TIMES-TRIBUNE
An attention span beyond flight 370 If you missed the news about the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 over the Indian Ocean, you must have been buried in sand. For three weeks, we have been bombarded with theories – was it terrorism? Pilot error? Something else? Now the story has evolved. Were pieces of the plane found? Is everyone dead? How are the families of the presumed dead feeling? (This is a really stupid question. How does the clueless reporter asking such a question think the people feel?) CNN may well have been called MPN – the Missing Plane Network. An evening of watching covered the same angle with a different host and guests. Dome of the focus was certainly understandable, but other networks managed to find news of things going on that did not involve Flight 370. Still, the prevalent and relentless emphasis on the missing plane was excessive.
Airtime for other crisis Couldn’t some of the airtime granted Flight 370 have been used for equally critical matter? There were 239 people on that plane, and there were more than 300 killed in 2013. I’m not suggesting an equivalency in the two types of tragedies, but I am suggesting that the media might focus more on gun violence, its sources and possible solutions to end senseless violence. Of course, that might anger the National Rifle Association whose specious slogan – guns don’t kill, people do – ignores the harm done by the proliferation of guns in our nation. President Obama has challenged our nation’s educators to increase the percentage of young people attending and graduating from college, so that we might better compete with other industrialized countries. People applaud at these sentiments, but these educational goals get little media attention. Yet, such coverage would raise an important issue and, perhaps, push us toward solutions. I do not begrudge the extensive coverage of Flight 370. The disappearance of a plane is both a mystery and a tragedy. But the excessive coverage of Flight 370 reminds us of the power of the
DR. JULIANNE MALVEAUX TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
media. If something is repeated enough, and repeatedly enough, it wiggles its way into our consciousness. Thus, the pilots have been tried and convicted by media speculation, without anyone actually knowing what happened.
Highlight economic challenges What if such repetition were used to highlight some of our nation’s most serious social and economic challenges. What if we could get a couple of networks, just for a week, focus on reading proficiency, or the environment, or poverty and inequality? The media is used to rivet attention toward an issue or challenge. Unfortunately, it has rarely been used for good, although it could be. What if viewers demanded that there is some focus on essential issues? What if there were a media campaign to encourage children to read more, and encourage parents and teachers to encourage this reading. Such a campaign might include paid advertising, but much of it might be driven by news stories. May I have your attention please? Might I have your attention about poverty and unemployment? May I have your attention about the status of our young people? What about the literacy issue? The paucity of open space in some cities? May I have your attention about the importance of getting out the vote? In the wake of the Flight 370 tragedy we will learn, undoubtedly, about those who lost their lives because of the tragedy. Only rarely, however, will we learn about the most recent victim of gun violence. May I have your attention? Please.
Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based economist and writer. She is President Emerita of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C. Write your own response at www.daytonatimes.com.
Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.
Russia is not the only aggressor I have found myself getting a bit nervous as I hear various U.S. politicians rattling their swords in response to the Russian aggression in the Crimea. Before we lose our minds in this crisis let’s consider a few things. First, there was a revolution in the Ukraine that, no matter how justifiable, put into office a new government that from the beginning was quite hostile to Russia and to ethnic Russians in the Ukraine. Second, ever since the final years of the Soviet Union, the USSR and later Russia have pulled back militarily from Eastern Europe, only to see an expansion of NATO that the U.S.A. promised would not happen. An expansion, it should be added, that has been pressing up against Russia’s borders. Third, Western Europe has a demonstrated history of provoking or encouraging secessionist movements, as it did in the former Yugoslavia, and/or encouraging smaller nations to provoke Russia, as it did in the case of the Georgian Republic. Now, none of this excuses Russian aggression. None of this lets Russian President Putin off the hook for inflaming ethnic nationalism in Russia and the Ukraine.
BILL FLETCHER, JR. NNPA COLUMNIST
But what this does help us to understand are the conditions in which this aggression took place and that the West, specifically Western Europe and the U.S. are not blameless.
U.S. is not blameless The United States has been willing to engage in all sorts of military aggression within the Western Hemisphere when the ruling elite believed that its interests were in danger, whether that was against Haiti in the 19th century through today; Cuba; or the countless interventions in the Caribbean and Central America. Despite this history, U.S. politicians have been acting as if they have never even heard the word “aggression” in the context of U.S. foreign policy. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), for example, has offered rhetoric that would lead the uninformed to believe that U.S. foreign policy has been guided by nothing but
sweetness in comparison to the policies of the Russians. I believe that Senator McCain, and the Obama administration for that matter, need to re-read a bit of the history of U.S. foreign policy. Before we hear any more discussion of sanctions and military force in connection with the Russian/Ukrainian crisis, it is instead time for a different approach. There needs to be an actual honest broker who starts speaking with both sides to pull everyone back from the brink. If that is not the United Nations, then perhaps it can be an assortment of countries from Europe and the global South. “Discussions” and “negotiations,” in either case, should be the watch-words. In the meantime, class is in session for our politicians on the history of U.S. foreign policy. Anyone ever heard of the works of Howard Zinn, for instance?
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a racial justice, labor and global justice writer and activist. He is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions. Write your own response at www. daytonatimes.com.
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HEALTH MA YOR
APRIL 3 –14APRIL 9, 2014 DECEMBER - 20, 2006
PHOTO COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES
FINDING AN EYE CARE PROFESSIONAL Finding a qualified eye care professional to help keep your eyes and vision in tip-top shape doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Follow these tips from the National Eye Institute to find a doctor in your area: Ask family members and friends about the eye care professionals they use. Ask your family doctor for the name of a local eye care professional.
FROM FAMILY FEATURES
When going through your health checklists, you probably think about your blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels. But what people often neglect is actually right in front of our eyes — our vision. Properly caring for your eyes is important for preventing vision loss and blindness, as well as protecting your overall health. As with many other aspects of personal healthcare, routine exams and preventive measures go a long way to ensuring healthy vision and helping you see well for a lifetime. The experts at the National Eye Institute recommend following these five steps to take care of your eyes and protect your vision. Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many com mon eye diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration, often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages. During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye. This enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease.
Live a healthy lifestyle Living an overall healthy life is good for your eyes. This includes: Maintaining a healthy weight Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other health problems that can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma.
Eating healthy foods You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes, but eating a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale or collard greens, is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too. Research also has shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut.
Know your family history Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s impor tant to know if anyone has been diagnosed with
Contact a national, state or county association of ophthalmologists or optometrists. These groups, usually called academies or societies, may have lists of eye care professionals with specific information on their specialties and experience. Contact your insurance company or health plan to learn whether it has a list of eye care professionals who are covered under your plan. An important part of good eye health is quality com munication with your doctor. Remember to: Ask questions until you understand the information your doctor is giving you.
Not smoking Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration or cataract, both of which can lead to blindness. Managing chronic conditions Many conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis, can greatly impact vision, resulting in inflammation of the optic nerve, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and even vision loss. Managing these conditions with the help of your health care provider can often prevent blindness.
Call the department of ophthalmology or optometry at a nearby hospital or university medical center.
a disease or condition because many diseases tend to run in families. This will help to deter mine if you are at a higher risk for developing any of these problems yourself. Use protective eyewear Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protec tion for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of
polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Wear sunglasses Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important function is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for options that block 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. You can find more information on these preven tive measures and dozens of other vision-related topics at www.nei.nih.gov.
Take notes, or get a friend or family member to take notes for you. Or, bring a tape recorder to assist in your recollection of the discussion. Ask your doctor to write down his or her instructions to you. Ask where you can go for more information. Other members of your health care team, such as nurses and pharmacists, can be good sources of information. Talk to them, too.
APRIL 3 – APRIL 9, 2014
IN THE MATTER OF: Treyvon Pope A hearing regarding Child abuse will be conducted by the court on April 30, 2014 at 1:30pm in Macomb County Circuit Court – 40 North Main Street, Mount Clemons, MI 48043 before Referee Transit. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Weston Pope personally appear before the court at the time and place stated above. This hearing may result in the termination of his parental rights.
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APRIL 3 –14APRIL 9, 2014 DECEMBER - 20, 2006
Familiar foes facing off in Final Four Florida Gators and UConn have rematch Saturday at 6:09 p.m. BY EDGAR THOMPSON ORLANDO SENTINEL/MCT
GAINESVILLE – It has been 30 games — and 30 wins — since the Florida Gators lost on a buzzerbeater at Connecticut. It might as well be 30 years to senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin. “The game was such a long time ago,” Wilbekin said. “It feels like forever.” Much has changed during the four months since Florida’s Dec. 2 loss and the teams’ rematch at 6:09 p.m. Saturday, April 5, in the Final Four. The Gators have not lost a game, while the Huskies had to shake off a 33-point loss to Louisville March 8 to stay in contention for its fourth national title since 1999. Yet, there is a familiarity between Florida and UConn uncommon to many of NCAA Tournament matchups.
Big shot maker For one, the Gators will not be taken aback by the quickness and shot-making brilliance of Huskies’ guard Shabazz Napier. Napier hit the buzzer-beater to beat Florida, scored 25 points Sunday against Michigan State and was named a firstteam All-American Monday by the Associated Press. “He’s a great scorer,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said Monday. “He can do it by himself. He doesn’t need necessarily a lot of help or a lot of screening. He’s been a big shot maker his whole entire career.” Meanwhile, UConn knows it will be locking horns with a UF team that gives no quarter for 40 minutes. “Every cut they make is hard,” Huskies coach Kevin Ollie said. “Every screen they set is hard. For us to beat a team like that, we couldn’t relax one minute.”
Series of blind dates Donovan said the Big Dance usually is a series of blind dates that make preparation more challenging than usual. The Gators, for example, had never faced a 6-foot-9 point guard like UCLA’s Kyle Anderson. Anderson
MARK WEBER/THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL/MCT
Florida players celebrate a 62-52 victory against Dayton in the NCAA Tournament’s South Region final at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., on March 29.
‘They’re playing their best basketball right now, and I think we’re doing the same. That’s what you have to do to be in this position. I don’t expect anything less than them to play their best game.’ Scottie Wilbekin Florida point guard
kept his team close during the Sweet 16 until a lategame flourish by Wilbekin pushed Florida to a 79-68 win. “That’s what happens in a tournament sometimes,” Donovan said. “You don’t see things personnel-wise, size, quickness, speed. It’s a little bit different when you haven’t had a chance to prepare for it.” In the case of UConn, Donovan said, “you at least a reference point of what you’re dealing with there.” The win over the Gators has been a key reference point during UConn’s postseason turnaround. Ollie made his team watch clips of the UF game after the Huskies lost 81-48 March 8
at Louisville. “We can beat No. 1,” Ollie told his team. “We already proved it.”
Confidence in Hill UConn (30-8) will have to do it again with Wilbekin and freshman backup point guard Kasey Hill at full strength. Wilbekin rolled his ankle with 3:01 remaining in the first meeting. He sat in a training room without a television when Napier hit the game-winning shot, hearing the news from a member of Florida’s staff. Hill was stuck on the Gators’ bench, nursing a high ankle sprain. The past few weeks, Hill has sparked the team off the bench, high-
lighted by a 10-assist game against UCLA. “Kasey has come on,” Donovan said. “I have confidence in him. He makes our team faster.” The Huskies are surging since Ollie replayed the Gators’ game a few weeks back. UConn beat two higherranked teams in the American Athletic Conference Tournament — Memphis and Cincinnati — to get another shot at Louisville, falling 71-61 in the final.
No. 1 seed A No. 7 seed in the East Region, UConn defeated St. Joe’s 89-81 in overtime, No. 2 Villanova by 12 points, No. 3 Iowa State by five and No. 4 Michigan State by six to make an improbable run to the Final Four. The Gators, the No. 1 overall seed, have won their four games by an average of 12.3 points and not trailed during the second half in any game. “They’re playing their best basketball right now, and I think we’re doing the same,” Wilbekin said. “That’s what you have to do to be in this position. I don’t expect anything less than them to play their best game.”
BRAD HORRIGAN/HARTFORD COURANT/MCT
Connecticut Huskies’ Ryan Boatright celebrates at the end of the NCAA East Regional Championship final against the Michigan State Spartans. The Connecticut Huskies defeated the Michigan State Spartans, 60-54, at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 30.
Busch holds off Johnson to win STP 500 in Virginia BY JIM UTTER CHARLOTTE OBSERVER/MCT
MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Kurt Busch was not seeking redemption, just a victory. He found both in Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Busch, 35, who has been involved in a number of controversies on and off the track during his career, found his way back to a top-level organization this season and didn’t waste any time taking advantage of the opportunity. On a track where he has rarely found success, Busch outdueled one of its masters in six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson to earn his first victory of the season, second at the track and 25th of his Cup career. The victory also snapped an 83-race winless streak that dated back to October 2011, when he still competed with Penske Racing. “This is an unbelievable feeling, to get back to Victory Lane after this tour that I’ve been on, to find this opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing, and to win — it means the world to me,” Busch said.
25 wins “That’s what I’ve al-
ways driven for was just going for the ‘Ws’ and you let the rough edges drag on the other side. You get compared to guys that are sponsor dreams and they’ve won one or two races. “Now I have 25 wins, a championship and (can) hoist a trophy at a track that I would draw a line through every time I’d show up because it was one of my worst.” Busch’s other victory at Martinsville came in 2002, and he hadn’t finished in the top 10 there since 2005, a span of 17 races at the track. Busch spent the past two seasons rebuilding his career with two fledgling organizations — Phoenix Racing and Furniture Row Racing — after he was released from Penske at the end of the 2011 season. He hadn’t won during that span but had run competitively with teams that had not near the resources of organizations such as Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing or Richard Childress Racing.
‘Never gave up’ Gene Haas, co-owner of SHR, decided to start a fourth team in the offseason and tapped Busch as
its driver, providing perhaps a final chance for Busch to compete on the same level with the sport’s best drivers. “It’s been a process,” Busch said. “It was a challenge to work with those Furniture Row guys. I thought we were knocking on the door about the 10th race in last year, and we couldn’t win. It’s amazing how many things have to fall into place. “I never doubted myself. I never gave up. I kept trying to find little stones to uncover and rocks to overturn to try to make teams better. It’s great to win six races in with a brand-new team like this and have that feeling of a competitive organization around you.” Clint Bowyer took the lead on Lap 450 of 500 and appeared to have a good chance at earning the win when a caution was displayed on Lap 460 after Carl Edwards spun out. Bowyer’s Michael Waltrip Racing team had a subpar pit stop, and Johnson came off pit road first and assumed the lead. Busch was third.
Third for Earnhardt Jr. Busch quickly moved
JOHN SLEEZER/KANSAS CITY STAR/MCT
Kurt Busch walks to the garage after hitting the wall during a practice session on Oct. 5, 2013, at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. On Sunday, he won at the STP at Martinsville Speedway. into second and over the final 28 laps, and he and Johnson traded the lead three times before Busch took the checkered flag. Johnson led a race-high 296 laps but said he didn’t feel like he let a win slip away. “I couldn’t have done any more. I just got beat,” Johnson said. “You’re going to have those days, and you’ve got to recognize when you get beat and you’ve got to recognize when you make mistakes. “Today we just got beat.” Dale Earnhardt Jr. fin-
ished third and took over the series points lead. Joey Logano was fourth and Marcos Ambrose ended up fifth. Busch nearly didn’t have the chance to compete for the victory at the end. During a round of pit stops on Lap 43, Busch ran into Brad Keselowski on pit road in an incident in which Kasey Kahne was also involved. Although Busch attributed the incident to the tight quarters of Martinsville’s pit road, Keselowski was incensed. After making repairs to his car in the ga-
rage, Keselowski returned to the track and slammed into Busch’s car several times in retaliation. Kahne “was trying to pull into his box, Brad ran into the back of him, I steered right to go around Brad and then he clobbers our left-side door,” Busch said. “It was like, ‘OK, accidents happen on pit road.’ “Then once we were back out running, he targeted us, he was aiming for us. He tried to flatten all four of my tires. He will get what he gets back when I decide to give it back.”
7 PERSONAL FINANCE
APRIL 3 – APRIL 9, 2014
WOMEN VS. MEN
Older women are much more likely to be in poverty or near poverty than older men. Social Security benefits for a female retiree are about $3,800 less each year than for a male retiree as a result of lower pay and less work on average over the woman’s life span. Unpaid caregiving and interrupted work histories play a role. Older women are less likely to have retirement savings from an employer plan. Women tend to outlive men, so they’re living longer on less. Lack of income or savings means older unemployed women are likely to take Social Security early rather than wait until their full benefit, which decreases their benefits over their lifespan. LARA SOLT/DALLAS MORNING NEWS/MCT
Antonia Williams-Gary, 65, pictured at her home in Dallas on March moved there last year from Miami to pursue a new career.
Older women face unique obstacles when looking for jobs BY PAMELA YIP DALLAS MORNING NEWS/MCT
When Antonia Williams-Gary moved from Miami to Dallas a year ago, she wanted to do something different with her career. “I really was in search of something brand-new in a brand-new place,” said Williams-Gary, 65, who had worked in nonprofit executive management and the specialty publishing industry. Although she has family in the area, she wanted to find other women her age who were also looking for jobs in today’s ultracompetitive job market. She found them at Ladies 1st at the Senior Source, a free program aimed at helping women 55 and older find jobs. It offers support groups, mock interviews and mentoring.
Struggles not reflected While older men and women face challenges in searching for jobs, women face unique obstacles, experts said. “The job search technically is the same in terms of what we teach them in job search readiness,” said Claire Turner, director of the senior employment program at the Senior Source. “Except for women, in many cases, they are people who have just lost a spouse and have become the head of household and their child has just lost their job, their adult child has just moved in with them. “All of a sudden, they feel like they need to go back to work to bring in more household income to support now a child and three grandchildren,” she said. “We’re seeing that a lot.”
At first glance, the struggles of older jobless women aren’t reflected in unemployment figures. “In the few years prior to the recession, the male and female rates (for those 55 years and older) were fairly close together and very low, running around 3 percent,” said Cheryl Abbot, regional economist in Dallas for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “During the recession, the male rates climbed markedly above 8 percent due to the heavier impact of the recession on male-dominated goods-producing industries.”
Job-seeking advice The jobless rate for older women also rose, to around 6 percent, Abbot said. Since then, the jobless rates for both groups have fallen, she said. “The jobless rate for men has
SOURCE: NATIONAL COUNCIL ON AGING
improved to the point that older men and women once again have about the same unemployment rate,” Abbot said. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story about women in midlife seeking jobs, said those who work with Williams-Gary and others offered other advice for older women seeking jobs: • Don’t rely on computer job searches alone. “Spend X number of hours being out and about, talking with people, volunteering with organizations,” WilliamsGary said. • Do something every day. “It’s critical that you take action every single day or Monday through Friday,” said Turner of the Senior Source. “This can be as simple as attending a networking meeting, launching an email networking campaign or researching companies you are targeting. Try setting three job search goals per week so that by Friday, you can celebrate your progress.” • Trumpet your age as an asset, not a liability. “Go in and don’t apologize for your age,” said Carol Gardner, a board member of
OWL, which advocates for the interests of midlife and older women. “Brag about it and say, ‘At my age, I’ve learned a lot. I’m great at time management.’ Be really positive about your identity and who you are. That will excite employers.” • Make yourself stand out from the competition. “Do research about a company and the industry,” Gardner said. “Think of who your competition is (for the job). What one thing can you do that is daring and different and smart and that will get the attention of whoever is hiring you?” • Update your wardrobe. “Clothing can immediately date a woman’s appearance and give the impression of being out of touch,” Turner said. “Discard that bright yellow jacket with ’80s giant shoulder pads. You don’t want to dress like a 20-year-old, but you don’t want to be outdated, either.”
Dye the gray hair? Turner also advised women to consider dyeing their gray hair. “Gray hair is a sign of age, so should you consider dyeing it?” she said. “Answering that question is a personal preference, but you should think carefully about your hairstyle. Is it the same haircut you’ve had for 20 years and a bit outdated? Is it time for a new look?” Get comfortable with video interviews. “This trend is growing, and recent studies have shown 6 out of 10 recruiters are using this technique,” Turner said. “How you handle this process can demonstrate to the employer whether or not you are technology-savvy and adaptable. You don’t want to look washed-out on video, but remember not to overdo it on the makeup or eye shadow or length or color of your nails.” The key is remembering that you don’t want to look outdated in appearance or attitude. “We were constantly reminded that we need to be relevant,” Williams-Gary said. “We need to be relevant with our resumes, we need to be relevant with our language, we need to be relevant with body of knowledge.”