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FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021

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NO REDO NEEDED — THIS TIME, IT’S OFFICIAL Lacretia Wimbley becomes president of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

Who could forget the events that transpired in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6?

As a journalist, Lacretia Wimbley was glued to her cell phone, glued to the television inside her North Side residence, as her Pittsburgh Post-Gazette colleagues also watched

from afar supporters of former President Donald Trump storming the U.S. Capitol building. It was a sight unseen, complete with defiance, destruction and death. Trump sup-

LACRETIA WIMBLEY made history as a junior at Mississippi State University, becoming the first African American to lead the independent student newspaper, The Reflector. (Photo by Russ Houston/ MSU)

porters were protesting the presidential election results that showed Joe Biden was the clear victor over Trump. The insurrection, as it was widely described, didn’t change any results. When the smoke cleared (literally), the electoral votes were confirmed by Congress, deep into the night. But Jan. 6 holds another meaning for Wimbley, the 28-year-old breaking news reporter for Pittsburgh’s largest newspaper organization. Late that afternoon, members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, of which Wimbley is a member, held a membership meeting. Three members were nominated to become the next Guild president—Andrew Goldstein, Melissa Tkach and Wimbley. Wimbley, who is African American, was just one favorable election away from becoming president of the Guild. But she had gone through this once before. Following the abrupt resignation of Michael Fuoco as Guild president in September 2020, a special election ensued in November 2020 for his replacement. Wimbley, to the delight of some and the ire of others, defeated her opponent, Tk-

LACRETIA WIMBLEY has worked at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette since 2016. ach, who is White, by a 5552 margin. Wimbley did it. She was president of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh... Until...she wasn’t. After just six days as president, the Guild’s election committee announced it had discovered “two irregularities in the conduct of the mail-in ballot election,” and Ed Blazina, who had been interim president, returned to the role as interim president. The election committee decided to hold a new election, which sent Wimbley steaming. She addressed the union members in an email

(which was first reported by the online publication “Payday Report”), saying that “I have never felt so disrespected and unappreciated in my life—simply for trying to make a positive contribution to our union and adequately serve our members.” Wimbley also said she felt the election “was stolen” from her, as she questioned “the integrity of the process regarding the timing of discovery of errors made, the incoherency of information provided to me initially, and the lack of SEE WIMBLEY A2

As the pandemic upends normal college visits, high school seniors seek a different view of campus by Naomi Harris PublicSource

Getting into college is not what Avonworth High School senior Liana Simmons is worried about. With five college acceptance letters in hand so far, she’s facing the daunting prospect of choosing a campus to live, study and grow for four years without ever having physically been there. “Unfortunately, the thing that I need is to be on campus because I’m not confident in myself that I’m going to make a decision or a confident decision of where I want to be if I have not yet stepped on that campus,” said Simmons, 17. Simmons is one of many

students who hasn’t been able to visit college campuses due to restrictive rules barring formal visits and tours caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadly virus reduced national college enrollment, particularly for students of color. The percentage of high school graduates who went to college immediately after high school fell by more than a fifth last fall. Colleges and universities have made attempts to adapt recruiting efforts to avoid a similar or more severe drop from this batch of high school seniors, but it is unclear how students will respond, even amid vaccine distribution. To help students transi-

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tion, school counselors are advising students interested in post-secondary education to sign up for virtual events, talk to current students and connect with admissions counselors. But top of mind is stepping on campus and actually visiting the school, said Nicole Levis, a school counselor at Avonworth. “My campus visit many years ago solidified my choice — it just felt right,” Levis said about Westminster College, her undergraduate alma mater. “This is gonna sound odd, but it was just a feeling, a gut instinct that I had that the school I chose was where I belonged. And you’re not going to get that feeling by looking at videos on a website.” High school seniors are about to hit a full year of online or hybrid learning since schools first shut down last March. Schools had to quickly pivot to continue providing virtual education. And colleges and

EBENNIE DAVIS, 18, is interested in connecting with students and professors at the University of Pittsburgh. But she finds that difficult after a long school day. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource) universities had to shift to attracting students online. Brian Dwyer, assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Chatham University, said he works with prospective students

to see if Chatham is the “right fit.” “I think one of the biggest goals that I try to focus on with students — and I’ve really been focusing on this given everything with

the pandemic — is ‘let’s just take a step back and talk about you’...and then how can I discuss why our SEE COLLEGE A8



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Camarda-Webb named Cal U’s interim Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Freedom, Pa., native has worked at university for 30 years by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that alumna and longtime California University of Pennsylvania employee Sheleta Camarda-Webb is now the university’s interim chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. She started in her new position on Monday, Feb. 15. Camarda-Webb has been an employee at Cal U since 1991, when she returned to her alma mater as a residence hall director, according to a release from the university provided to the Courier. Over the past decades, Camarda-Webb has filled a variety of roles in student affairs, residence life and diversity education. Throughout her career, Camarda-Webb’s work has focused on LGBTQA+ issues, power and privilege, race and cultural identity. She has advocated for and informed

university policies around topics such as the use of preferred names and gender-inclusive restrooms and housing. Camarda-Webb has been director of the university’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office since 2015, when it was known as the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the release from the university said. But last summer, it was Camarda-Webb that urged the university to change the DEI Office name from “multicultural affairs” to the “Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” which is located on the first floor of Carter Hall, on the campus, which is about 35 miles south of Pittsburgh, towards Uniontown. “There is nothing wrong with ‘multicultural affairs,’” Camarda-Webb, a Freedom, Pa., native, said in a campus-based article in June 2020, when she was Cal U’s associate director of on-campus living

and director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “But sometimes people focus mainly on race and ethnicity, and we want our campus to be as open and welcoming as possible to all, and for our name to reflect that. We thought that leading with ‘diversity’ was very significant. It applies to race, ethnic culture, nationality, gender— many, many things. We want to consider equity in every facet of the university. How can we provide a quality education for all of our students? Inclusion means that we are all invited to the table.” Camarda-Webb is a founding member of Cal U’s Safe Zone Allies Program for gay, lesbian and transgender students. In 2019, she was named cochair of the university’s Presidential Advisers for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. SEE CAMARDA-WEBB A4

SHELETA CAMARDA-WEBB now holds the position of interim Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for California University of Pennsylvania.

Lacretia Wimbley becomes president of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh WIMBLEY FROM A1

legal knowledge and experience regarding conducting fair and mistake-proof elections.” The Guild later said officially that the procedural missteps included “a violation of the U.S. Department of Labor rules that require ballots for local union officer elections to be sent to a secure post office box. Secondly, 33 of 107 total votes arrived in outer envelopes that lacked a voter’s name, signature or a return address.” The Guild said those 33 votes were not allowed to be counted. Wimbley stopped short of claiming that she felt the election was stolen from her because of her ethnicity. But overall, the topic of race has plagued the Post-Gazette over the past nine months. In June 2020, a Black reporter at the PG, Alexis

Johnson, was banned from covering the local protests related to the George Floyd death in Minneapolis because of a Tweet she wrote, which top editors at the paper deemed showed bias. When another Black employee, photojournalist Michael Santiago, retweeted Johnson’s original Tweet, which showed a correlation between protest destruction and destruction left after a mostly-White Kenny Chesney concert at Heinz Field, he was banned from covering the protests, too. The decisions made by now-former top newsroom editors Keith Burris and Karen Kane were met with strong opposition, not only from the local Newspaper Guild, but the Guild’s parent group, the Communications Workers of America. Grocery chain Giant Eagle stopped selling the

Post-Gazette in its dozens of local outlets, including GetGo locations. Blend it all with the miniscule number of Black employees at the newspaper and PG Publisher John Robinson Block’s open support for Trump, and the Post-Gazette wasn’t going to be on anyone’s list of “champions for diversity” awards last year.

row seat to watch all of this unfold. She knows how some members of Pittsburgh’s Black community feel about the Post-Gazette (here’s a hint: it’s not positive). She knows that, in addition to her, when she looks around the PG newsroom, there’s stalwart columnist Tony Norman, business reporter Tim Grant, and

Wimbley officially was named president of the Guild—again. And this time, there’s no dispute. No redo. No recount. No “hanging chads.” Wimbley will serve out the remainder of Fuoco’s 2020-21 term, ending Oct. 31, 2021. She’s off to the ground running, figuring out ways to bring the union

Tony Norman, of the Post-Gazette, said that “the general perception about the PG among Black and minority journalists across the country is that this is a terrible place to work for Black folks. I hope Lacretia’s presidency of the Guild begins to counteract that perception.” Both Santiago and Johnson decided to leave the Post-Gazette, and as of Feb. 17, Giant Eagle still isn’t selling the PG. Wimbley has had a front


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sports reporter Nbuyjas Wilborn as the only Black full-time reporters left. There are five additional African American staff members in the newsroom in various positions. The Courier has learned that there currently are no African Americans in any upper-management roles at the Post-Gazette. Tyler Batiste, who is Black, left his position as assistant managing editor/sports in November 2020. After initially not wanting to run again for the Guild presidency, Wimbley gathered her collective thoughts, and found that the desire was still there to effect change, to place her fellow union members in a better position than they’ve had in years. “I’m very compassionate about our efforts and goals as a union and I care about our members,” Wimbley told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview, Feb. 5. Turns out, the second time around was the charm for Wimbley. Following the Jan. 6 Guild membership meeting, both Goldstein and Tkach declined their nominations for president. Wimbley accepted hers. On Jan. 25 at 5 p.m.,

and PG ownership closer to a new contract, which the Guild hasn’t secured since the last contract expired in 2017. “This is ridiculous,” Wimbley said in a Feb. 8 statement released by the Guild, “because there’s no reason the company shouldn’t be willing to negotiate in good faith with us. The legacy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is truly hanging in the balance.” Norman, the longtime columnist and book review editor for the Post-Gazette, told the Courier on Feb. 15 that Wimbley will be an “exceptionally empathetic and goal-oriented leader” of the Guild. “She is also mindful of the need for consensus as well as moral clarity when the stakes are as high as they are. Lacretia is going to bring both optimism and realism to the negotiating table. She’ll be a ‘Factor X’ as far as the Blocks are concerned because they’ve never dealt with anyone like her before. Neither has the union, to tell the truth. She’s a fresh new chapter in a very old book when it comes to labor/management relations at the PG.” Wimbley, in an interview with the Courier, said she is confident in her abilities to lead the

way for the roughly 120 members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh. She’s been with the Post-Gazette since 2016, when she came to Pittsburgh from the Magnolia State, Mississippi. Born and raised in Jackson, Wimbley graduated from Mississippi State University, while making some history of her own. As a junior at MSU, she became the first African American editor-in-chief of the independent student newspaper, The Reflector. Now fully entrenched in the Steel City, Wimbley is spearheading the efforts of the Guild in what it calls a continuous “fight” with PG ownership that centers around three major pillars: Respecting union journalists, strengthening local news in the region, and creating an inclusive newsroom which reflects the community that Guild journalists represent. “After everything happened with Alexis (Johnson) being barred from protest coverage over the summer, there was hesitancy on my part in running for Guild president,” Wimbley told the Courier exclusively. “But in thinking further about it, I was more focused on the bigger picture. If anything, it’s because of what happened with Alexis and our paper’s owners endorsing Trump...that I felt an even greater need to rise to the occasion and to go for it, because we need people of color in leadership. We need people of color to be included in rooms and to have their voices heard.” Norman, who is easily the Post-Gazette’s most recognizable African American staffer and one of the most widely-read columnists at the PG overall, told the Courier that “the general perception about the PG among Black and minority journalists across the country is that this is a terrible place to work for Black folks. I hope Lacretia’s presidency of the Guild begins to counteract that perception.”


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‘Malcolm & Marie’—the couple is toxic, toxic...but the film is innovative by Merecedes J. Williams For New Pittsburgh Courier

In most cases, when a couple slips into their pajamas, grabs a box of instant mac and cheese, pours a glass of Satan’s juice, and turns on some James Brown, you can bet there will be an argument. You know, one of those arguments built on resentment where old issues are dug up from 2006, a small appliance or shoe is thrown, and tissues just will not clean up the tears. That pretty much sums up “Malcolm & Marie” on the surface. But costars and co-producers Zendaya and John David Washington peel back so many layers to the dy-

ZENDAYA AND JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON star in the Netflix movie, “Malcolm & Marie.”

namics and multi-dimensions of Black love. On the surface, Netflix’s newest virtual box office film is about a movie-maker and his actress girlfriend the night of his big movie premiere. On a deeper level in the film, jealousy, insecurity, and poor communication all play serious factors in an emotional roller coaster. “Malcolm & Marie,” as a couple, are toxic, toxic. So dysfunctional that it begs the question, “Do couples like this really exist?” The relationship is so unpleasant you will re-evaluate your own relationship, asking yourself, “Are we ‘Malcolm & Marie’ toxic?” For my husband and I, it was clear that copious amounts of trauma, distrust and personal struggles might be the foundation for “Malcolm & Marie,” but not for every couple. What did rise from the dark ashes of this blackand-white film are two incredibly talented stars who played a significant role in creating “Malcolm & Marie.” Writer and director Sam Levinson, Zendaya and Washington joined me and other members of the African American Film Critic Association for a virtual roundtable to discuss “Malcolm & Marie.” For all three, this passion project is about more than the White woman at the L.A. Times or an inaugural film. “Malcolm & Marie” is ironically two actors expressing their cinematic creativity who also play two industry people fighting for their autonomy and acceptance in Hollywood. “This film is as Indie as a film gets,” said Zendaya. The 24-year-old actress did not have many people to answer to when creating “Malcolm & Marie,” providing her with “equi-

ty and ownership in the film.” Both Zendaya and Washington said they felt safe and free on set even during the pandemic. “It felt like a summer camp to explore,” said Washington. Not too often do Black actors have the power to go on set and let movie executives or directors know how to move forward with a project. Zendaya and Washington were afforded a rare opportunity, and it paid off. In September 2020, Netflix acquired the worldwide rights to the film. The “Malcolm & Marie” cast and crew shared a portion of the proceeds of the sale with Feeding America, a nonprofit network of more than 200 food banks that feeds more than 46 million people. That is huge for an independent film where the cast only consists of two Black actors, who also produce. I believe it is this movie-making freedom that solidifies their on-screen chemistry. Zendaya and Washington are extremely compatible, and despite the age difference, the sparks are evident. I would not mind if they became an item in real life. While we are on the topic, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a 36-year-old dating a 24-year-old. Consenting adults can easily navigate through relationship waters with merit and maturity. Because the film had one setting, I struggled with the length of “Malcolm & Marie.” But I understood the unpacking of the movie required the time for some explaining, some powerful monologues, and openness for multiple interpretations. “Malcolm & Marie” is available now and currently No. 3 in the country on Netflix.


“Each of us holds multiple identities—race, gender and so much more,” Camarda-Webb said in a statement. “We have to be able to live and learn, educate and excel in an environment where we all can be our authentic selves.” Camarda-Webb also will work with Dr. Denise Pearson, vice chancellor and chief DEI officer for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, and her PASSHE counterparts to address issues at the System level. Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education encompasses 14 schools, including four in the Western Pennsylvania area—Cal U, Slippery Rock University, Clarion University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. One of the schools is a historically Black college, Cheyney University, near Philadelphia. The State System took a giant step in advancing its diversity and inclusion efforts systemwide by hiring Dr. Pearson in August 2020 in the newly created vice chancellor and chief DEI officer. According to the State System, the office is meant to “engage institutional and system leaders to develop, implement, and evaluate outcomes-based strategies that address inequities in all areas including but not limited to student access and achievement; faculty and staff recruitment and development; and campus receptivity. The work will be grounded in, will build upon, and will elevate the promising initiatives and thought leadership already occurring across the uni-

versities.“ As Dr. Pearson will work with Camarda-Webb, she also works with lead diversity officers from the local State System colleges: Rogers Laugand (Clarion); Elise Glenn (IUP); and Terrence Mitchell (Slippery Rock). You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who knows the ins and outs of Cal U better than Camarda-Webb. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Cal U in 1989, but it was in 1986 when she got her first taste of leading fellow students in an official capacity. That year, as a sophomore, she became a resident assistant at Clyde Hall. After she graduated, she worked at Potomac State College, in West Virginia, but returned to Cal U in 1991. Along the way, Camarda-Webb earned a master’s degree in secondary education/social science, as she continued to mentor and uplift the younger students. Apparently, Camarda-Webb isn’t done with her professional learning. She’s currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in marriage and family therapy at Northcentral University. Camarda-Webb, according to interim university President Robert Thorn, will be a welcomed presence in his executive leadership team, given her wealth of knowledge about student needs and diversity-based programs. “We must do more than talk about these issues,” Thorn said in a statement. “Diversity, equity and inclusion must be at the forefront of our thinking as we make decisions about our university and its future.”



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CCAC to host webinar series on STEM education with Pitt African American Alumni Council The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that the Community College of Allegheny County and the University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council will jointly host a new webinar series, “Bridging the Digital Divide.” The series, which is open to students and the general public, is designed to educate the community and CCAC students on careers in STEM education. The first session in the webinar will take place on Thursday, Feb. 25, from 6 to 7 p.m. Subsequent sessions will be held every other month. The webinars will feature University of Pitts-

burgh African American Alumni Council speakers, who will detail their career path and highlight their chosen career field. Speakers will also serve as mentors to participating CCAC students, guiding students through their education journey to a career in a STEM-based field. The first guest speaker will be Byron Allen, project manager at Highmark Inc. Collaborating partners are CCAC Homewood-Brushton Center, University of Pittsburgh Community Engagement Center: Homewood, University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council and Neighborhood Allies.

Attendees are encouraged to register in order to receive follow-up information; however, registration is not mandatory. For more information and how to view the webinar, email Chance Wideman at cwideman@ccac.edu or call 412-371-1056.



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Alliance for Police Accountability to turn in more than 65,000 signatures for ballot initiatives Late Tuesday, Feb. 16, the New Pittsburgh Courier learned that the Alliance for Police Accountability (APA), a grassroots organization pushing for reconstruction of the criminal justice system, will file more than 65,000 signatures in support of two ballot initiatives. The organization will file 43,000 signatures for an Allegheny County initiative ordinance limiting solitary confinement in the county jail, and 21,000 signatures for a City of Pittsburgh home rule charter amendment prohibiting the use of no-knock warrants by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. “These two initiatives are critical to the public health and safety of

the residents of Allegheny County,” said Brandi Fisher, founder and president of the Alliance for Police Accountability, in a statement. “The community has the power to make the decisions that impact their lives and this initiative is one way for that to manifest.” “More than a thousand people, organizers and volunteers, have spent seven weeks in the cold and damp circulating these petitions,” said campaign manager Daniel Moraff in a statement. “We have demonstrated in dramatic fashion that when legislators fail, the people of this county will not stand idly by.” The campaign invested in directly impacted communities and individuals, with several for-

merly incarcerated staff, including the subject of a recent article on the use of the restraint chair, which would be prohibited by the proposed county ordinance. The petitioning effort led by the APA featured more than 100 volunteer-run signing stations across the county. The effort received critical support from New Voices PGH, SEIU Healthcare PA, Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, Pennsylvania United, and dozens of other local organizations. After a county review of the signatures submitted and the text of the legislation, the charter amendment and ordinance will appear on the May 18 primary election ballot.


As the pandemic upends normal college visits, high school seniors seek a different view of campus COLLEGE FROM A1

institution is a good fit,’” Dwyer said. Like other schools, Chatham hosted virtual events, and Dwyer said such opportunities have expanded the geographic boundary for students in different places and time zones to participate. Online tours and seminars come with their own set of challenges, especially because students spend so much time online for high school. Ebennie Davis, an 18-year-old senior at City Charter High School, said she wants to connect with current students and professors at the University of Pittsburgh but is already exhausted by the end of a school day. “I’ve been slacking on it to be honest because having everything virtual...after the day, you just kind of shut your computer down and take a nap,” Davis said. Levis said many of her students at Avonworth are not as excited to log back on to another virtual call or event after spending the majority of the day online. “They’re on some sort of device, eight to nine hours a day, because they have to be, not because they want to be. So the last thing they want to do is sit at their

computer and watch a tour online,” Levis said. Simmons said virtual tours could make everything look nice and polished, but she would like to know more about a campus and the surrounding area. According to a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, far fewer high school graduates went to college immediately after high school in the fall — a decline of 21.7% compared to 2019 graduates. In particular, there was a drop in college enrollment for low-income students and those from high schools with large Black or Hispanic populations, the report said. Homewood Children’s Village, a youth educational enrichment organization, aims to offer students and families resources to succeed in school and in post-secondary opportunities. Flolena Stitt, the organization’s post-secondary student support manager, works directly with high school students to create plans for after graduation. She’s seen that some students have trouble staying engaged online. She said one of her students became disinterested in online education. To help him feel more connected to learning, she remembered his

interest in stocks and business and recommended he join the entrepreneurship club at Westinghouse Academy. Stitt pivoted her goal-setting lessons online so her students could continue to develop their “post-secondary plans.” In her online classroom, Stitt created lessons for students to develop goals that align with their interests in ways that are specific and measurable, she said. For example, one of her students initially said he would attend his online classes, but Stitt encouraged him to be more specific to help sharpen the goal — showing up for class every day until he graduates this spring. Despite some challeng- LIANA SIMMONS, 17, has yet to formally visit the colleges she applied to, an added stress to her decies, the incoming class of sion-making process. (Courtesy photo by Kelly Hansen) college freshmen might have some advantages. The pandemic has not letters have started com- In fact, the family has adLisa Simmons noted that her daughter may adjust a disrupted everything: Ac- ing in from schools like opted the motto: adapt, adlittle faster to college than ceptance letters are still Kent State University, the just and overcome. University of Buffalo and “I think my college expeher older son because re- just as exciting. “It was like an amazing Penn State University. rience will be fine because mote learning has given Simmons, who is inter- it’ll be something new and Liana a chance to “navi- feeling because honestly gate and manage her time.” like before all this hap- ested in majoring in digi- unique,” she said. “And I For Davis, learning on- pened, I was kind of ner- tal media productions and guess I won’t have anyline at City Charter had an vous,” said Davis, who is film, said getting her first thing to compare it to.” (Naomi Harris covers higher planning on majoring in letter solidified the fact unexpected benefit. education at PublicSource, in computer science informathat she was going to be “I honestly feel like havpartnership with Open Campus. ing (learning) online helps tion systems at the Uni- able to attend college. Her mother said it is im- She can be reached at naomi@ me be more focused. I think versity of Pittsburgh. The Simmons household portant to help her daugh- publicsource.org. This story was that’s just me because I’m really good at kind of like is trying to plan out how ter navigate her feelings fact-checked by Megan Gent.) working individually and they will visit college cam- and concerns about senior puses now that acceptance year and college obstacles. being online,” she said.

Baltimore Black Baptist Ministers Conference expresses opposition to proposed Maryland menthol ban by Stacy M. Brown For New Pittsburgh Courier

(NNPA)—The state House Economic Matters held a public hearing and accepted comments on Wednesday, Feb. 10, regarding proposed legislation to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and menthol cigarettes in Maryland. A companion bill (SB 177) already made it through the state Senate Finance Committee, which opponents say is troubling because the legislation likely would increase negative interaction between law enforcement and communities of color. “I am really concerned about this banning of menthol cigarettes. It was originally for flavored tobacco products in the bill, but they have mixed in menthol, which includes

the Newport brand that many in our community uses,” Bishop J.L. Carter, the president, and pastor of the Ark Church in Baltimore, said during a Baltimore Baptist Ministers conference call on Monday, Feb. 8, prior to the hearing. The call included National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.; St. Louis, Missouri-based community activist Mike Brown; Law Enforcement Action Partnership Maj. Neil Franklin; and National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) Past President, John Dixon III. It also included several members of the local clergy and community activists. “Other places in Massachusetts, and San Francisco and Fresno (Calif.)

have always experienced the repercussions such a ban would create,” stated Dixon, who, like Chavis, Franklin and others, noted the unintended consequences of a menthol ban. “We have to protect our people from some of these laws, some of these public policies that get passed that has unintended consequences,” Chavis remarked. “I’m concerned about our people who smoke, and disproportionately, our Black and brown brothers and sisters smoke menthol cigarettes,” he continued. “Why is it that the state legislature is trying to ban what we smoke, but they make an exception for cigars and other kinds of cigarettes that a lot of White folks smoke? “Why target the cultural affinity of Black people? We have too many of our

brothers and sisters in jail in Maryland, so we don’t need to pass any law that will give police more reason to interact negatively with our community.” Dr. Chavis further questioned the benefits of such a ban and whether lawmakers would commission a racial impact study before instituting such a law. “Eighty to eighty-five percent of Black people who smoke choose menthol,” Maj. Franklin stated. He related how he and other law enforcement officers in Baltimore previously targeted individuals selling loose cigarettes at Lexington Market and Penn North. “We would go make the arrests just to pressure them to tell us who has guns and other things,” Maj. Franklin recalled. “We would arrest them for minor things, and who

knows what kind of damage we did, especially to our young brothers and sisters. “Now, at a time when we are moving away from arresting so many people for marijuana because we are changing those policies and going in a different direction, now we will end up doing the same thing with menthol cigarettes.” Maj. Franklin noted how Black and brown individuals might be stopped by police so that officers can ascertain what kind of cigarette they are smoking. He further revealed how officers could quickly turn such a stop into a significant problem for specific individuals. “The legislation proposed may say it’s not illegal to possess menthol cigarettes, but it’s illegal to sell them,” Maj. Franklin asserted.

“Policing is creative. So, when given the task of finding out who might be smuggling menthol cigarettes from Richmond, Virginia, which is not too far and where there is not a ban, we may not be able to arrest a person for possessing, but we can hem someone up for jaywalking and tell them that we need to find out who is bringing in the menthols,” he continued. “We can get a person for disorderly conduct by saying they are speaking too loud. We know the disparities that exist with that. Young men and women have been stripped searched in the middle of the street in Baltimore, where there is now a consent decree. So, this is not good policy, and it will only cause more negative interaction between the police and young people in our community.”



FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021

Mrs. Vivian Zenobia Moore — Happy 95th Birthday!


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Curious about Quakerism? You Are Welcome at our Meetings for Worship Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Pittsburgh Friends Meeting 4836 Ellsworth Avenue www.quaker.org/pghpamm/

V.Z. DICKERSON (later V.Z. Moore) as a nurse in 1951. The New Pittsburgh Courier salutes Mrs. Vivian Zenobia Moore on celebrating her 95th birthday on Feb. 5, 2021. She was born Feb. 5, 1926, at a home that was above a store on Liberty and Penn avenues in Bloomfield. She attended Schenley High School, where she graduated in 1944. Back then, Schenley had two graduations per year, and Mrs. Moore graduated in February 1944. Following high school, she joined the Army. Her Army unit was all women and negro, plus medical. Her basic train-

ing was done in Georgia. She remained state-side. Mrs. Vivian Zenobia Moore was part of the Womens Army Corps. During World War II, members of the WAC were the first women other than nurses to serve within the ranks of the Army. Some of Mrs. Moore’s titles included co-clerk/tech sergeant (3 stripes), and admin non-commission officer. Her daughter, Shelby Moore, penned the following to her mother in a letter to the Courier: “Mom, you served three years, three months, first

under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and when he died, then President Harry Truman. During these years the races were deliberately separated under Jim Crow laws. The two U.S. states under such discrimination practices that were so nasty to your WAC medical unit were Oklahoma and Wyoming. “My mom was honorably discharged in June 1948. Upon returning to Pittsburgh, she received acceptance into Montefiore Hospital’s School of Nursing. She chose psych as her specialty and re-

mained with them as a private duty nurse. She graduated from the nursing school in 1951 as a full R.N. She later had contact with a man who would become forever famous — Dr. Jonas Salk (who invented the polio vaccine).” Mrs. V.Z. Moore worked with other hospitals and medical centers like the Alma Illery Health Clinic, Job Corps, John Kane Regional Center, the Shadyside Nursery Baby Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the VA Hospital and Western Psych. Shelby Moore’s letter

continued: “Mom, you are the matriarch of the Moores, Dickersons, Coxs, Jenkins’, S. Flurry and Family, E. Smith and Family,” among others. “Blessings to you, Dear Mom, Vivian Zenobia Moore, we love you and hope your remaining years are the best for and to you!!” Forever your daughter, L. Shelby Kathryn

Join our growing Praise and Worship Church Community! For rate information, call 412481-8302, ext. 128.

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V.Z. MOORE, with daughter, Shelby Moore.

New Pittsburgh Courier 315 E. Carson St. Pittsburgh PA 15219 Or Email us! religion@ newpittsburgh courier.com

V.Z. DICKERSON (later V.Z. Moore), pictured at right in this 1946 photo.

The Courier is THE VOICE of Black Pittsburgh. V.Z. DICKERSON (later V.Z. Moore), pictured in this 1950 photo.

New Pittsburgh Courier




This Week In Black History A Courier Staple FEBRUARY 17


1902—Opera legend Marian Anderson is born in Philadelphia. Her tremendous operatic talent was revealed at 17 when she was entered into a New York Philharmonic competition and placed first among 299 entrants. Despite her fame she suffered from racist rejection. On Easter Sunday 1939, she performed an open air recital at the Lincoln Memorial because the all-White Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow her to sing at Washington, D.C.’s Constitution Hall. (NOTE: Throughout her life Anderson gave her birth as Feb. 17, 1902. However, newly discovered evidence suggests she was actually born Feb. 27, 1897.) She died April 8, 1993. 1942—Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton is born. The Panthers were perhaps the most militant Black organization of the 1960s. At its height, it had thousands of members in several major cities. But it was also the target of massive operations by the FBI and local police departments. Dozens of Panthers would be killed, often under suspicious circumstances. A little known fact, however, is that throughout it all, Newton, an illiterate high school dropout, taught himself to read and in 1980 earned a Ph.D. in social philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His dissertation was entitled, “War Against the Panthers—A Study of Repression in America.” Newton was found shot to death on an Oakland, Calif., street in 1989. 1963—Perhaps the greatest player to ever dribble a basketball, Michael Jordan, was born on this day in Brooklyn, N.Y. However, his family moved and he played high school basketball in Wilmington, N.C. 1982—The nation’s greatest Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk dies. Born in Rocky Mount, N.C., Monk moved with his family to New York City when he was 4. His classic work was “Round Midnight.” 2006—African-American skater Shani Davis wins the men’s 1,000-meter speed-skating race in Turin, Italy. He became the first Black person to win an individual gold medal in the history of the Winter Olympics.

at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The squadron served with honors in Europe. During the war, the nearly 1,000 pilots who had been trained flew 15,000 sorties, destroyed 1,000 German aircraft and earned more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses.


1895—The great Black leader Frederick Douglass dies at 78 in Washington, D.C. Douglass was the foremost Black abolitionist struggling to end slavery in the mid-1800s. He used his great oratory skills and his abilities as a newspaper publisher on behalf of freedom and justice for Blacks. Most of his early work emanated from the Rochester, N.Y., area. But after the Civil War he moved to Washington, D.C. Douglass was the nation’s foremost Black leader for nearly 40 years. 1927—Actor Sidney Poitier is born in Miami, Fla., and grows up on Cat Island in the Bahamas. However, by the early 1950s, he was establishing a career in movies. Indeed, it can be said that Poitier was the first Black actor to make it in mainstream movie roles without having to play stereotypical and often demeaning “Black roles.” 1963—Basketball great Charles Barkley is born on this day in Leeds, Ala. SIDNEY POITIER


1933—Song stylist and activist Nina Simone is born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, N.C. She was a child prodigy who was HUEY P. NEWTON playing the piano by age 4. She had numerous songs to her credit, but one of the most memorable was “Mississippi Goddam” which was composed as a protest against the terrorist bombing of a Black church in Birmingham, Ala., which resulted in the deaths of four little Black girls. Simone, often referred to as the High Priestess of Soul, died in France on April 21, 2003. NINA SIMONE 1965—The most prominent Black nationalist of the 20th century, Malcolm X, is assassinated on this day in Harlem, N.Y.’s Audubon Ballroom while giving a speech which was to issue a call for Black unity. Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb., on May 19, 1925, he graduated at the top of his high school class but had his dream of becoming a lawyer crushed when a teacher told him that was “not realistic for MICHAEL JORDAN a Nigger.” He gradually drifted into the underworlds of first Boston and then New York where he became a drug dealer and gangster known as “Detroit Red.” He was friends with FEBRUARY 18 comedian and upcoming star Redd Foxx who at the time was 1688—The first formal protest against slavery is conducted by a group of known as “Chicago Red.” Malcolm was arrested and jailed for Quakers in Germantown, Pa. They denounced slavery and the slave trade. The robbery at age 20. While in prison he converted to the Nation Quakers were perhaps the only religious group in America that never comproof Islam and after his release in 1952, he became the leading MALCOLM X mised and consistently opposed slavery. force building the group into a major national organization. 1913—The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated at Howard UniHe was a brilliant orator and organizer as well as a fierce opponent of racism, versity. imperialism and the non-violent approach to combating the nation’s evils. But 1931—Author Toni Morrison is born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, disagreements with Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad led to a split. Ohio. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1993 for her novel, “BeHe then formed the Organization for Afro-American Unity. However, 11 months loved.” after his split with the Nation of Islam he was assassinated. Many in the Black community felt the New York City police and the FBI played a role in his death. FEBRUARY 19 1919—The “first” Pan African Congress is held bring- But three man associated with the Nation of Islam were tried and convicted of ing together prominent Blacks from throughout the world his murder. to chart a program for Black unity and betterment. AfriFEBRUARY 22 can-American scholar and activist W.E.B. DuBois was the 1950—Basketball legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving is born in Roosevelt, N.Y. He chief organizer. The gathering was held in Paris, France, was the most dominant NBA player of his era. The former Philadelphia 76’er and drew 57 distinguished delegates including 16 from the United States, 14 from Africa and others from the Carib- was 6’7”, 210 pounds. bean, South America and Europe. (The 1919 Congress is FEBRUARY 23 considered by many the “first” but another such Congress 1868—Dr. W.E.B. DuBois is born William Edward Burghardt had been organized in 1900.) DuBois in Great Barrington, Mass. DuBois can easily qualify 1940—Smokey Robinson is born William Robinson in as Black America’s leading scholar and intellectual of the late Detroit, Mich. He formed “The Miracles” in 1955 while 1800s and early 1900s. He was also an educator and social acstill in high school. With his voice and poetry of song, Robtivist fighting tirelessly against racial injustice and U.S. imPAN AFRICAN inson led The Miracles as the group became one of the allperialism. He started the NAACP’s influential “Crisis” magaCONGRESS time best record-sellers for Barry Gordy’s Motown music zine. He organized what many consider the First Pan African empire. Congress. (Actually, it was the second. The first took place in 1942—The Tuskegee Airmen are activated for service 1900.) However, in his later years DuBois became increasingin World War II. The all-Black pursuit squadron, later desly frustrated with American racism, injustice and hypocritiignated 99th Fighter Squadron, was organized and trained W.E.B. DUBOIS cal brand of democracy. He turned to socialism around 1927 and despaired of the NAACP’s legalistic approach to obtaining rights for Blacks. He nevertheless authored several influential books including “The Souls of Black Folks.” DuBois finally went into self-imposed exile in the West African nation of Ghana saying, “In my own country for nearly a century I have been nothing but a Nigger.” He died in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Aug. 27, 1963. He was 95.



FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021



FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021



New Pittsburgh Courier

More Republican anti-1619 Project bills J. Pharoah Doss B4



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FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021



A tailor-made grant helps continue a family legacy by Jessica Pacek For New Pittsburgh Courier

(BlackPressUSA)—JC Lofton Tailors is continuing a family legacy that has been around for almost a century, with the help of a $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo through Local Initiatives Support Corporation. You could say the tailoring business is in Julius “Eddie” Lofton’s blood. As the owner of JC Lofton Tailors in Washington, D.C., he’s continuing a family tradition that began in the late 1930s, when his late grandfather, Josephus C. Lofton, whom the shop is named for, opened Lofton Custom Tailoring and became the first African American to own a tailoring shop/tailoring school in the district. “Tailoring gives me gratification,” Lofton said. “Somebody comes in, and something is torn or burned, and we fix it, and the customer is like, ‘Wow. How’d you do that?’ I’m never going to be a millionaire, but I can tell you a million stories.” Like his grandfather, Lofton has served everyone from politicians to celebrities to nearby Howard University students, tailoring their professional attire and outfits for events such as weddings, New Year’s Eve parties, and presidential inaugurations. But when the COVID-19 pandemic began, resulting in many people working remotely and countless in-person events being canceled, there wasn’t much of a need for tailoring, Lofton said—and some people weren’t able to afford their tailored items. Yet Lofton still needed to pay his tailors and the rent and bills for his shop. Fortunately, he applied for and received a $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund through Local Initiatives Support Corporation, allowing him to catch up on some of his bills. “That $10,000 really helped me out,” Lofton said. “I’ll forever be grate-

ful.” Wells Fargo provided funding to LISC through the Open for Business Fund, which launched in July 2020, reinvesting $400 million in gross processing fees the bank would have received from the federal government for lending through the Paycheck Protection Program —a government stimulus program providing small businesses with shortterm cash flow assistance —to further help entrepreneurs recover. “This has been an opportunity for Wells  Fargo to lean in and be a difference maker to help small businesses, so we’re delighted to work with LISC,” said Mary Mack, CEO of Consumer and Small Business Banking for Wells  Fargo. “They’re doing fantastic work all over the country throughout the pandemic, helping small businesses survive and position themselves to thrive as we come out of this.” LISC has used the funding from the Open for Business Fund to distribute grants to small businesses like JC Lofton Tailors, as well as invest in organizations that can help small businesses with technical assistance, said Maurice Jones, CEO and president of LISC. “We particularly focused on small businesses led by people of color and women, as well as small businesses working in low-wealth and rural communities,” Jones said. “Those were the small businesses that, for us, were among the hardest hit and really needed the relief from groups like CDFIs. We have been using the Open for Business funds in a huge way to help small businesses.” The $10,000 grant has been a relief for Lofton and has allowed him to continue his grandfather’s legacy. For years, Lofton’s grandfather taught veterans and people with disabilities how to tailor, but he also taught his grandchildren, several of whom have their own tailoring businesses today. “My grandfather was a

JULIUS “EDDIE” LOFTON learned about the tailoring business from his late grandfather, Josephus C. Lofton, and named his shop JC Lofton Tailors in Washington, D.C., in honor of him. (Photo: Scott Suchman) pillar in the community,” Lofton said. “He always tried to help people and show people respect, and he taught me the same things.”

but always come back after they’ve graduated and are on their feet. He has continued that way of doing business today, as some customers have lost their

increased property values and taxes, and many businesses having to leave. With the challenges from the pandemic, it’s been even harder. Lofton had

EDDIE LOFTON is keeping his multigenerational family tailoring business afloat during COVID-19 with help from Wells Fargo. Lofton can still hear his grandfather saying, “Some money beats no money,” and he has embodied that while helping college students who may not be able to afford their alterations

income due to the pandemic and can’t completely pay for their items. But Lofton has also struggled lately. Years of gentrification in the neighborhood has resulted in

contracts with hotels and stores that are closed or not seeing as much business, and his shop lost more than $100,000 last year. He said he has had to lay off some of his tailors

and hasn’t been able to pay his rent and other bills. “It’s just an all-around struggle trying to stay afloat,” Lofton said. “I’m just trying to keep my head up and keep the business and the lights on.” When Lofton received the $10,000, he said he was grateful to catch up on some of his bills. “At the time, we were struggling so much, and it took a lot of the burden off of me,” Lofton said. “It helped me out tremendously.” Lofton has four grown children and six grandchildren, some of whom have already expressed interest in running the business one day. Receiving help to get through these hard times will ensure that his grandfather’s legacy continues to live on. “JC Lofton will be around for the next 100 years because we’re going to make sure we keep it going,” Lofton said. “We feel good about where we are right now, and we’re looking forward to bigger and better things.”

The cat doesn’t want to get SKINNED to the bone! There’s something exciting taking place right before our eyes. People are taking ownership of their income and their life. They’re creating businesses and looking for investment opportunities. Our millennial generation—those born between 1981 and 1996—are different. It seems as if many of them were born with an innate entrepreneurial spirit. It is millennials who are leading the charge in creating new businesses. It is millennials who are leading the charge in creating demand for Bitcoins. It is millennials who led the charge in running up the stock prices of GameStop, Blackberry, AMC Entertainment and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It is the millennials’ actions and movements that have attracted the attention of Wall Street, big corporate conglomerates, Congress, and the White House. It is us, the non-millennials—alongside the rest of the world, who are watching all of this play out. Not only were millennials born with an innate entrepreneurial spirit. They appear to have a higher tolerance for risk than generations before them. Generation Xers and Baby Boomers are watching. We see and hear all the fuss surrounding Bitcoins and GameStop. We want some of that action. What does any of this have to do with a cat being skinned? Risk! Your money can be cut to pieces if you don’t properly consider and adjust for risk. Let’s start with Bitcoin. I get more solicitation than I get questions about Bitcoins. A couple of friends of mine reached out to me touting big coins in Bitcoin. I gave my usual spiel about Bitcoin only being in existence since 2009. It’s extremely volatile or risky. It moves up or down 900 percent faster than you can blink your eye. There’s no government control. Should you be

swindled out of money, there’s zero protection for you. I go on to say, it’s legitimate. I currently don’t own any bitcoin. If you decide to go that route, limit your exposure to no more than 10 percent of your investment dollars. My response was both diplomatic and professional. I kept it moving and continued to focus on what I do. One of my friends tagged me in his post, stating, “I told you Damon Carr. I tripled my money.” I responded, “good job!” I went on to say, the casino has an excellent wordof-mouth advertising model. Everybody brags and boasts about their wins. They say nothing about their losses. The same thing is true about Bitcoin. Another friend of mine was overly persistent trying to get me into Bitcoin. I told him, I’m not your target market. Save your breath and go talk to someone else. He responded, “I know what you know. This is the new way.” I said, “Bro, I’ve known you for about six years. Each year you peddle something new. You starting to look like ‘Hustle Man.’ What’s the next thing you’re selling?” We eventually smoothed things out and agreed to talk about things we agree on. I recently saw him posting about how his $500 investment in Bitcoin increased in value. I thought to myself, he’s exerting a lot of energy touting Bitcoin to be out here nickeling and diming on his investment. If he really believed in Bitcoin, put some real money on the line. Recently, my inbox has been flooded with people asking me what do you know about

stocks? I went back and forth with a few of them to get an understanding of what they wanted to know. In each case, they knew nothing about stocks. They were seeking to make a fast buck in the stock market similar to what happened with GameStop. I explained what happened with GameStop is an anomaly. I told them that getting rich quick in the stock market is a task that very few succeed at. But if you’re OK with getting wealthy slowly in the market, it’s extremely realistic. You can certainly make money in the market. The key is not to do anything stupid like having your investments highly concentrated in a few stocks or a few industries. This back and forth with Bitcoin and stock investments prompted me to create a meme. It read, “Looking for a GUARANTEED 100% return with Absolutely ZERO Risk? Company Matching Retirement Plan!! They match you dollar for dollar up to 6%. That’s FREE Money! If you’re skipping this free money and opting to try your hand at other investments, shame on you!” An avid follower of my page responded. I always thought this. Over the years, I’ve watched people stop participating and save money themselves and invest in real estate. It looks like it paid off for them. So now, I wonder. I responded there’s more than one way to skin a cat. The sound money advice that I share assures that the cat doesn’t get nicked, cut, or worse—slaughtered. I think the cat would prefer to take this route first. Then the cat can claw his way

to amassing other assets. The cat being skinned is a matter of risk. When seeking to compare investments, you have to make it an apples-to-apples comparison by factoring in both upside potential and downside risk. Company match on a retirement plan is the first investment route to take. It’s zero risk and 100 percent return. No one has ever filed bankruptcy from participating in their retirement plan and benefiting from the company’s matching contribution. Those who seek to be real estate investors, you have to consider leveraged risk, vacancy risk, default risk, repair risk. In its best days real estate appreciates at an average rate of 4 percent per year. 100 percent return beats 4 percent return. There’s a time and a place for real estate, individual stock, and Bitcoin investing. It’s important that you build your financial house in order starting with the foundation. For if you build your financial house out of order and take on investments without properly considering both, the upside potential and the downside risk, the walls of your financial house will eventually cave in. Building your financial house in order is getting your spending under control, your debt levels low, having a fully funded emergency fund, actively saving for retirement and your children’s college. That’s getting the core of your financial house together. Once you establish your core, you can explore with more aggressive tactics like individual stocks, Bitcoins, real estate, etc. By the way, 79 percent of everyday hard-working millionaires said they amassed their fortune investing in company-sponsored retirement plans.

(Damon Carr, Money Coach can be reached @ 412-216-1013 or visit his website @ www.damonmoneycoach.com)


B2 FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021


The Millennials’ guide to renting a home by Jordan Woods For New Pittsburgh Courier

Your credit report will be one of the first things that a landlord will evaluate. Once per year, you can access your credit report from each of the three major bureaus (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian) for free at annualcreditreport.com. Get yours and bring it with you when you meet with landlords. Your Options and Future Plans Renting a home gives you the flexibility to downsize or upsize more easily, offers the security of a fixed monthly rent, eliminates maintenance or repair bills, and gets rid of the burden of having to pay real estate taxes. For many of these reasons, renting a home is often the first step on the journey to owning one. When you own a home, you have a viable asset in your financial portfolio that increases in value by 3-4 percent per year, on average. To this end, there are things you can do while renting to prepare to buy. First, it’s important to know how much money you’ll need for a down payment on a new home. You can open a savings account to save towards the down payment you’ve calculated. For those who aren’t ready to own a home, pursuing a rent-to-own-home is an alternative. In rentto own-homes, the renter typically pays a one-time fee upfront, called option, that gives them the opportunity of buying by some agreed upon date before the rental lease runs out. In some cases, your monthly rent is applied towards your future purchase price. If you decide to purchase the home, you will still

RENTING A HOME is often the first step on the journey to owning one. need to secure a mortgage or other financing. Be wary of the type of rent-to-own agreement enter into, as some contracts, such as lease-purchase contracts, might require that you buy the home once the lease is up. Lease-option agreements do not require this. Because rent-to-own agreements are a little more complicated, it’s important to find a real estate attorney who can help you sort through your rights and obligations in a given contract. The Tenant-Landlord Relationship Your Lease Ensure you clearly understand every provision in your lease, as it will become legally binding once you sign it. On the same token, it’s okay to negotiate! Negotiating the monthly rent, the policy on pets, and anything else in the

lease is perfectly acceptable, be sure to do so fairly and respectfully. Your Rights You have the right to live in a viable, livable house. Running water, proper electrical wiring, a sound structural foundation, these are all things that you have the right to as a tenant. If these conditions are not maintained, talk with your landlord before considering further actions, such as withholding rent or deducting the cost of repairs from your next rent payment. On top of maintenance concerns, local laws might require your landlord to provide things like deadbolt locks or other measures to ensure safety, so be sure to look into this as well. Maintaining Proper Communication

Whatever terms you do agree on, even after the lease has been signed, make sure you document and keep everything in writing. This is the best way to avoid future arguments or misunderstandings with your landlord. For example, if your landlord sent you an email agreeing to fix a leaky faucet, be sure to save and bookmark that email. Additional questions you should ask and have documented include: • How much notice the landlord must give you before entering the home • How quickly you will get your security deposit back after the lease ends • Under what grounds is eviction legal • What you’re allowed to change in or on the house Resources for Renters Many federal and local programs aim to assist

people with finding affordable housing to keeping up with their utility bills. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a great place to start when looking into these programs. Financial Counseling Setting up a monthly budget to balance rent against other expenses can be helpful. The key is to team with a trusted resource who has your best interest at heart. A national nonprofit such as GreenPath Financial Wellness provides direct access to certified housing counselors. Learn more here: https://www.greenpath.com/renters/ Challenges Keeping Up with Rent? Resources to Help Manage Through Hardships GreenPath has a handy guide that offers six steps to take for those experiencing financial hardships

related to rental payments. Check it out here: https:// w w w. g r e e n p a t h . c o m / 6 steps-renters-guide/ Last But Not Least… Get Renter’s Insurance Your landlord’s insurance does not cover any loss or theft that you might experience, if anyone sues you for injuries suffered in the house rent. For less than $30 per month (typically), you can give yourself further protection from unforeseen circumstances. Renting a house is a great way to prepare for homeownership or to keep your options open when it comes to future living arrangements. By preparing to be approved for a home rental and having a well-informed plan to deal with all that comes with it, you are set up to enjoy all of the freedoms that come with renting a home.



FEBRUARY 17-21, 2021



Guest Editorial

Upholding Affirmative Action The Biden administration was right to drop the Trump administration’s discrimination lawsuit against Yale University, which alleged the Ivy League school was illegally discriminating against Asian American and White applicants. Under the Trump administration, the government accused Yale in October of violating civil rights laws because it “discriminates based on race and national origin in its undergraduate admissions process, and that race is the determinative factor in hundreds of admissions decisions each year.” The investigation stemmed from a 2016 complaint by the New Jersey-based Asian American Coalition for Education against Yale, Brown and Dartmouth. Yale said its practices comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent and that it looks at “the whole person” when deciding which applicants to admit. A Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement that it was dropping the suit “in light of all available facts, circumstances and legal developments” but didn’t specify further. The government also notified Yale that it had withdrawn its determination letter that the university discriminated based on race and national origin. The change in administrations brought an end to the suit, but the challenge to college admissions policies that take race into account is alive in a case against Harvard’s practices. The challengers have lost at each round in the lower courts, but their appeal is expected in the coming weeks at the Supreme Court, where a conservative majority may be more receptive. “The challenge to race-based affirmative action in higher education will continue regardless of any change in the Department of Justice,” said Edward Blum, the president of Students for Fair Admissions, which filed the lawsuit against Harvard. The department, under President Donald Trump, had backed the challenge in the lower courts. Yale used race as one of many factors in the admissions process, a practice that has been previously upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has ruled colleges and universities may consider race in admissions decisions, but has said that must be done in a narrowly tailored way to promote diversity and should be limited in time. Schools also bear the burden of showing why their consideration of race is appropriate. The Justice Department under the Biden administration made the right decision for civil rights. “It has been proven in the courts that race-conscious admissions programs are lawful, and Black students and other students of color who come from all walks of life can rest a little easier knowing our government is looking to lift them up, not divide and suppress,” said David Hinojosa, director of the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The group’s president, Kristen Clarke, is Biden’s nominee to run the Justice Department’s civil rights division. Hinojosa is right. The Justice Department rightly recognizes that race-conscious admissions are both lawful and necessary to ensure institutions are open and available to all students. Affirmative Action is a tool to address decades of systemic and pervasive racist policies and practices against Black Americans in colleges and in the workplace. Affirmative action was later expanded to include other groups that have faced historic and persistent discrimination. To remedy past discrimination, race must be considered in the present and future policies and practices. Affirmative action has helped to diversify the nation’s elite colleges and the work force. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmum wrote in 1978, “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.” (Reprinted from The Philadelphia Tribune)

Founded 1910

Rod Doss Editor & Publisher Stephan A. Broadus Assistant to the Publisher Allison Palm

Rob Taylor Jr.

Jeff Marion

Office Manager

Managing Editor

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John. H. Sengstacke

Editor & Publisher Emeritus (1912-1997)

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—As one would imagine, recent social and political events have created a considerable increase in the volume of broadcast and print media. As with my friend, Dick Gregory, I try to keep up with as much as possible. My understanding must exceed the boundaries of the District. My recent readings include reviews of the impeachment, a forwarded email sent by Marjorie Taylor-Greene, and an article by Arizona journalist, Brahm Resnik. Most of us have a desired outcome for the impeachment and most have formed an opinion regarding the propriety of Marjorie Taylor Greene. I won’t engage in those debates, but the Resnik article opens a discussion I am willing to engage. The by-line that captured my interest was: ‘Punch in the face to voters’: Arizona bill would let lawmakers throw out presidential election results. Several sentences condense its theme: I. We are seeing a slew of Republican bills at the Arizona Capitol in the name of “election integrity.” But many of the bills would make it harder to vote in an election. I. A new piece of election legislation—the most extreme bill in recent memory—would give lawmakers the power to reject Arizonans’ votes for president. I. “The Legislature...by majority vote at any time before the presidential inauguration may revoke the secretary of state’s issuance or certification of a presidential elector’s certificate of election.”

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.

Commentary This would be easy to isolate to Arizona, but we’re presented daily with similar proposals throughout the country. Apparently, the thrust of this legislation is the ability to isolate and eliminate votes from communities of color. The bill proposed by State Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R), gives the legislature the power to eliminate Arizona electors who pick the next president. Passage of this bill would legalize and codify the infractions which are the basis of the current impeachment. Recently, I wrote that voter suppression is the tool of a party with policies unacceptable to a majority of voters. Suppression is the only way that type of party can maintain power. This is an accurate description of the Republican Party. Why, then, would a party be unwilling to present palatable policies? For the wealthy, Republican policies provide unchallenged and uninterrupted financial security. For the remaining 90 percent of Republicans, fear is THE most common motivator. Anti-Racist, Jane Elliot suggests that Whites believe that a symbiotic relationship exists between political/ social power and numerical superiority. By extension, I believe they

consider the loss of either as tragic, but recognize that political power will allow them to maintain/sustain historic social controls necessary to appease their sense of entitlement. I cannot provide a reference, but, long ago, I remember reading an article in which a White high school drop-out expressed belief that he was more entitled to a job opportunity than a Black person with a related college degree. Merit-based competition is slowly changing socio-economic constructs, and increased voting participation is supplying legislators who are willing and ready to reduce social and employment barriers. This process is incomplete, but currently poses the greatest threat to resident racists —overt and covert, alike—who fear their loss of control. This is evidenced by the public display of confederate, Nazi and supremist flags and symbols of those most committed to the continuance of racial/social injustice. Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, we have reached the nexus between enduring systemic injustice and the enduring demand for social equity and justice. The aforementioned Marjorie Taylor Greene has said, “President Trump never backed down, and neither will I…Not when I have patriots like you standing beside me.” To her, I say, “Stop PRETENDING your RACISM is PATRIOTISM.” To the Beloved Community, I say, “Our struggle continues, and our WILL must be ENDURING!” (Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of the National Congress of Black Women.)

Where do we go from here? (BlackPressUSA)—A month into a tumultuous start of a new year, a new year following the most chaotic year in America that any living person can remember, I am seeing signs that the work in the streets and in our hospitals and at our voting booths far and wide, are saying even in states no one thought we would have captured after 2016, that even though we have been hit hard on so many fronts, it’s our front line that is now advancing for the greater good. It is divisiveness and hate that must retreat; it is science that will now confront COVID-19. And it is Americans of color who overcame at the polls to deliver the House, the Senate and the Presidency. Contentious as it was, more Americans voted in the 2020 election than in any other election in 120 years. And look at what we did together. A historic start We elected the first Black, female, Asian Vice President in Kamala Harris. We elected in a historic runoff election, the first Black Senator from Georgia in more than a decade in Reverend Raphael Warnock. Rev. Warnock, the pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church—where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once was pastor—has dedicated his life to service and ministry.  And we tipped the U.S. senate for hard working men and women by also delivering his fellow Georgian Jon Ossoff. Out west, Wyoming elected their first female senator; Missouri sent its first Black Congressperson to DC; Delaware elected its first transgender Senator. The voters of New Mexico became the first state to send a delegation to the House of Representatives made up entirely of women of color. And this 117th Congress is the most diverse in our country’s history just as President

Ray Curry

Commentary Joe Biden’s cabinet promises to be. So, for me, 2021 is about hope and about working for a better life for all and a better nation together as we rise from the terrible test that 2020 has been. It is about recommitting to one another and to good works to help our brothers and sisters in need. And even before we voted for inclusion, we were already making good trouble. White, Black and Brown nationwide took to the streets this past spring and summer to ask our nation—to demand of our nation—that we address the systematic racism that has plagued this country since its founding. That has torn the very fabric of our country and created so much pain and loss. With one voice, all were saying: “Please, at long last, fix this.” Our path is clear It is time to think not of ourselves, not of what divides us, not of our differences, but of our common good. It is time once again to remember that there is much, much more that unites us than divides us. Those that would seek to divide us, do not want us to see this truth. But it is here and it is powerful. And we must embrace it. We must together reform policies and institutions and thinking where injustice resides and restore people to the status of neighbors, not opponents. The great UAW president Walter Reuther, who was a close friend and

supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King summed it up like this: “There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow man. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak.  There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.” President John F. Kennedy famously put it just a bit differently. “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your county.” With those words, he inspired a generation of Americans. So, this is our time. It is time for our generation. Our historic moment. There are Americans who need our help. COVID has ravished us as nothing we have ever experienced. But here too I see hope ahead. I see President Biden moving quickly to put battling COVID front and center and to put good practices and science and the federal government back in the driver’s seat. I see us recommitting to our better angels, to help fellow Americans who are suffering and struggling. In this vein we must also support our veterans. Those brave men and women who make the greatest sacrifice to protect all of us and our great nation.  And we must participate in this democracy of ours, just like we saw in this past election. We must stand strong and united against bigotry and hatred and heed the call we saw this past year as hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets to demand a fundamental change. So, there is real work ahead, but I believe we are up to the task. Let us meet 2021 head on and with Solidarity. We are more than ready to bring our A game. Are you all in?

Attack on the Capitol not surprising or shocking by A. Peter Bailey (TriceEdneyWire.com)—As a person who had the knowledge-expanding, conscious-raising experiences of meeting, listening to and learning from great warriors in the war against White supremacy including Lerone Bennett Jr., Harold Cruse, John Henrik Clarke, Wyatt Tee Walker, Ron Walters, Hoyt Fuller, Fannie Lou Hamer, C. DeLores Tucker, Francis Cress Welsing, Charles Sanders, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and especially Bro. Malcolm X, I was not surprised or shocked after watching the first four hours of the Senate campaign to convict Donald Trump of causing the insurrection attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. In books, articles and speeches, they had taught those of us willing to listen about the true history of the United States.  Anyone who paid attention to what they were saying and writing would be well aware of what many, if not most, White people in this country will do to maintain their dominant position.  Their use of terrorism is well documented by Black warriors listed above and others.  What was also not surprising or

shocking was the way the American press covered the people responsible for the insurrectionist attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. Day after day, on television and radio and in newspapers and magazines, they and their guests from the political and academic arenas describe Trump and his Trumpettes as being “crazy,” insane or kooks. By doing so they provided an excuse for what the insurrectionists were doing because a crazy or insane person, by law, is not responsible for his or her actions.  In fact, I have heard that some of the insurrectionists are claiming “temporary insanity” around their actions on the Capitol.  In reality, the attackers knew exactly what they were doing. Another contribution to them made by the press and their guests is to describe the attackers as “White nationalists” when in fact, most all of them are first-class White supremacists. A nationalist strives for his or her race, or ethnic group to be treated equally by the society in which they live; a White supremacist believes that his or her race or ethnic group is inherently superior to everyone else and has some kind of divine right to be the dominant force in national and

international affairs. That’s why they are White supremacists, not White nationalists.  Finally, much, if not most, of the press and their guests too often described the insurrectionists as though they were uneducated, low-income rednecks or hillbillies.  All one had to do was watch those first four hours and listen to and read the insurrectionists’ statements to know there was a whole lot of college-educated, professionals included among the attackers.  Trumpettes such as Senators Josh Haley, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Scott have degrees from some of the most heralded universities in this country.  Those journalists on Fox News who equated the looting and arson of stores by rioters in Portland, Oregon with those who were shouting “Hang Mike Pence” in the Capitol, are not rednecks or hillbillies.  They are the direct descendants of those who had the delusionary belief that people such as themselves are divinely superior to everyone else, especially people of African descent.  The real deal is that Trump and his Trumpettes, more than anyone else, lack a basic humanity.


B4 FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021

When will workers get a break? (TriceEdneyWire.com)—Now that the impeachment trial of the 45th President is over, perhaps our legislators can turn their attention to working people, or more accurately, those who used to work and are not now working. There were 18 million unemployment insurance claims now than a year ago, and nearly 10 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic. The first Friday report that the unemployment rate has dropped is misleading when the number of people fleeing the labor market is alarming. Most disturbing, of course, is the departure of women from the labor force. Last month alone, more than 250,000 women left the labor market, compared to 71,000 men. Further, many of those working, especially in meat-packing, manufacturing, and most service occupations, don’t have the luxury to physically distance at work. Some of these folk earn appallingly low wages, in some cases hovering near the $7.25 minimum, the same rate it has been for more than a decade. To be sure, minimum wages are higher in some cities and states, with the District of Columbia, San Francisco, and Seattle establishing a $15 minimum. Other

Julianne Malveaux

Commentary jurisdictions have passed legislation gradually moving the wage to $15. President Biden promised to support new minimum wage legislation, and Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing hard. The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 was introduced on January 26, and House Speaker Pelosi has said a version of the bill will be sent to the Senate for approval. There is likely to be pushback, especially from states that have not raised their wage above the federal level. It is useful to note that in Florida, where the former President enjoys popularity, a ballot measure supporting a $15 minimum wage passed. Even conservatives have to eat! Senate Bill 53, the Raise the Wage Act, would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 level to $15 by June of 2025. The first increase would happen this year, raising the wage to $9.25 this year. In subsequent years the wage would rise to $11.00 in 2022, $12.50 in 2023, $14.00 in 2024, and $15 by June of 2025. The most significant bump is 31 percent, from the current $290 per week (for a full-time week) to $380 per week. Even with that increase, though, a family of four is living below the poverty line of $26,500.   The minimum wage for a family with one worker won’t exceed the poverty line until 2024 when the wage is $14 an hour. Some households with minimum wage workers have more than one person contributing to household expenses. But many minimum wage workers work part-time, not full time, and don’t work part-time by choice. Many employers offer less than a 40-hour workweek to avoid paying benefits. Raising the minimum wage gives at least 27 million workers a raise. Most of them are women. A third are Latino, and 40 percent are African American. Raising the wage would reduce inequality and poverty. Senator Sanders is prepared to push this legislation through by reconciliation if he can’t get Republican support. If Republican Senators value their constituents’ voices, they will support legislation that brings relief to some of them. There may also be some assistance coming to working people via the Protecting the Right to Organize, or PRO Act. This legislation protects workers’ rights to form unions, limits employers’ right to interfere with union activities, and strengthens other workers’ rights. With several dozen new provisions, the PRO Act represents the first attempt to overhaul the National Labor Relations Act in more than seventy years. The legislation passed the House in 2020, passing mostly along party lines, but the Republican-controlled Senate declined to deliberate.   This time, Democrats control the schedule, and the legislation will receive some review and deliberation. But Chambers of Commerce and other business groups are likely to oppose it. Research shows that the presence of unions in the workplace increases wages. Equally importantly, it protects workers from unsafe working conditions. Perhaps legislation will provide workers with some relief this year. It is also possible, though, that working people, especially those near the bottom, will get caught up in partisan squabbling. Workers need a break, need a raise, need safe working conditions. Can Washington deliver? (Julianne Malveaux is an economist and author. She can be reached at juliannemalveaux. com)

More Republican anti-1619 Project bills Last week I Republican state J. Pharoah Doss wrote about a legislators to Mississippi state introduce simisenator that introlar bills in their duced a bill called respective states — “Saving Amerisoon, because, can History in Misas Hanna-Jones sissippi Schools stated, the fight is Act.” The bill was over who controls introduced in order the narrative. to withhold state The 1619 Project funds from any school that teaches wasn’t written simply to commemothe Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Projrate the 400th anniversary of Afriect. I pointed out, in 2019, Mississipcans arriving at Jamestown; it was pi’s public school system was ranked written to denounce the concept of fourth-worst in the nation by Insider American exceptionalism. Therefore, magazine. I concluded, under those proponents of American exceptionalcircumstances, defunding schools over ism are retaliating under the guise of the 1619 Project was irresponsible. “patriotic education.” Former PresRecently, USA Today reported ident Trump put together the 1776 Republican lawmakers in Arkansas, Commission to establish “patriotic Iowa and South Dakota introduced education” but President Joe Biden similar bills that would cut funding to dissolved the 1776 Commission on K-12 and colleges that provide lessons his first day in office, and Republican from the 1619 Project. state officials have taken matters into The 1619 Project was a collection their own hands. of essays published by the New York Even before these anti-1619 Project Times Magazine in 2019 to commemo- bills were introduced, Mississiprate the 400th anniversary of Africans pi Governor Tate Reeves proposed arriving in Jamestown, Va., in 1619. spending $3 million on a Patriotic EdThe Pulitzer Prize Center, in partnerucation Fund that would allow schools ship with the 1619 Project, created to apply for money to provide teaching lesson plans and over 4,000 schools that “educates the next generation in across the country are using the the incredible accomplishments of the lessons. However, the 1619 Project American way.” Reeves also stated, promoted two controversial ideas that “Across the country, young children critics believe do not belong in schools. have suffered from indoctrination in 1). The arrival of enslaved Africans far-left socialist teaching that emphain 1619 marked the founding date of size America’s shortcomings over the America and not 1776. exceptional achievements of this coun2). The colonist declared indepentry.” South Dakota’s Governor, Kristi dence from Britain in order to protect Noem, proposed spending $900,000 the institution of slavery. for a curriculum that teaches students The editor of the 1619 Project, “why the U.S. is the most special naNikole Hanna-Jones, defended these tion in the history of the world.” claims by stating, “The fight here is If this model is duplicated, red states about who gets to control the national might be in the business of giving narrative, and therefore, the nation’s money to schools that adopt “patriotic shared memory of itself, one group education” while seeking to defund has monopolized this for too long in schools that teach the 1619 Project. order to create this myth of exceptionI doubt any of this would come to alism.” fruition. But if it does, it would be a Now, the South Dakota bill was victory for a cause unworthy of celewithdrawn and the Arkansas bill bration. was rejected. But I anticipate more

Check It Out

The warning bells in Trump’s impeachment trial (TriceEdneyWire. Ben Jealous com)—Donald Trump’s defenders are shameless. And that makes them dangerous. It has only been a month since a mob enraged by Trump’s lies about the election being stolen attacked the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from confirming Joe Biden’s victory. The terrorists killed one police officer and injured more than 100, leaving some with head injuries and one with three fingers missing; two have since died by suicide. The mob wasn’t able to stop the transfer of power and keep Trump in office. And, thank God, they didn’t get their hands on members of Congress or on former Vice President Mike Pence, who in their minds betrayed Trump by following the Constitution. The terrorists had a noose waiting outside. Inside, members of Congress were calling loved ones to say goodbye, fearing that they were about to be killed. If you have any doubt that’s what would have happened if the mob had broken into the House or Senate chamber before members of Congress were evacuated, watch the opening arguments from Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. Rep. Jamie Raskin, one of the impeachment managers presenting the case against Trump’s incitement of insurrection, showed a video with clips from the attack. It is hard to watch. But it is necessary. It is important not to turn away from the violence provoked by Trump’s lies, as his defenders want us to do in the name of false unity. Trump’s lawyers had no case. Trump spent weeks generating rage and resentment with his lies about the election. He urged people to come to Washington to fight for him. And on Jan. 6, he rehashed his lies about the election and Pence’s ability to overturn it, and then sent his angry supporters to storm the Capitol. The claim that it would be unconstitutional to hold Trump accountable now that he is out of office was completely demolished by Raskin— and by legal scholars, conservative as well as liberal. From the very start of the trial, Trump’s desperate defenders in

Congress, rightwing media, and the Make America Great Again movement turned to more shameful arguments. They continued to repeat the lie at the heart of the violence: Black voters and corrupt Democrats stole the election from Trump and his supporters. They tried to distract from Trump’s weeks of incitement by showing irrelevant and deceptively out-of-context video clips of Vice President Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker, and Rep. Maxine Waters. And maybe most shamefully, they tried to equate the attack on voting and democracy with last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. Trump’s attempt to overturn the election was grounded in disrespect for Black voters and contempt for the Constitution. Protests against police killings of Black people were grounded in a demand that the Constitution’s promise of equal protection of the law be respected and made real for everyone—something this country has yet to do. There is no equivalence between the two. Let’s be clear about what has really been going on. Trump’s defenders wanted to prevent an impeachment trial because they know that the facts do not only convict Trump. The facts convict everyone who joined Trump in spreading lies about the election. The facts convict every one of the gutless, unprincipled politicians—all but six of the 50 Republican senators—who voted not to even hold the trial. The history of this country is clear. As long as lynchings and other violence meant to keep Black people from building political power went unpunished, the violence continued. The right-wing resistance to holding Trump accountable signaled that he and other unprincipled politicians who will try to follow his path to power will continue to tell lies, inflame divisions, and provoke more violence. The cowardly Republican officials who fear Trump’s supporters too much to face the truth put all of us—and our democracy—in danger.


(Ben Jealous serves as president of People For the American Way and People For the American Way Foundation.)


Dr. Ron Daniels

Commentary Black voters expect Biden to be bold (TriceEdneyWire.com)—During a campaign that was repeatedly rescued by Black Voters, President Biden pledged to “Build Back Better.” To address the myriad crises affecting Black families and communities across this nation as a consequence of the Pandemics of COVID19, police misconduct, violence and murders and systemic racism, I believe to “Build Back Better,” Biden must be BOLD; he should audaciously reimagine the Build Back Better Plan, including the “Lift Every Voice” Black Agenda (which he seldom publicly touted), by embracing Dr. Martin Luther King’s call for a “Revolution of Values” and demand for an “Economic Bill of Rights.” The rejection of the Orange man and MAGAISM was imperative but will not be sufficient to meet the aspirations of the millions who marched on ballot boxes seeking transformational change. At this defining moment in history, Biden would be wise to marshal his supporters to BOLDLY work towards creating a New America consistent with Dr. King’s vision of the beloved community! In his iconic speech at the Riverside Church in 1967, Dr. King issued the following challenge: “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” In this Vignette, I would like to offer suggestions/steps for Biden to be BOLD in advancing a transformational agenda: 1. Be BOLD—Commit to feeding/empowering the Black-led (with Black women in the forefront), multiracial Rainbow Coalition that propelled you to the White House by BOLDLY enacting policies that affect Native Americans, African Americans and people of African descent, Latinx, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, women, young people, the LGBTQ community, workers, immigrants, climate change and environmental justice advocates … through BOLD legislation or by Executive Orders if required. 2. Be BOLD—Do not bow down to or buckle in the face of the hypocritical machinations of the Obstructionists in the name of unity and bipartisanship. Remember the lessons of the Obama administration when appeals for bipartisanship fell on the deaf ears of the Mitch McConnell-led obstructionists who vowed to make Obama a “one term President.” The filibuster was his ultimate weapon. Once Agent Orange was elected, the ultra-conservative, rightwing Republicans made no pretense of being bipartisan. They unapologetically exercised raw naked power (via budget reconciliation) to jam through a multi-trillion-dollar tax-cut for the wealthy and packed the federal judiciary with ultra-conservative, Federalist Society vetted Judges! Remember Merrick Garland! 3. Be BOLD — Abolish the filibuster and enact a BOLD “people oriented” agenda to meet the needs of people who could care less about legislative process, procedures or parliamentary maneuvers. People want to see the government deliver policies that will improve the quality of life for their families and communities. The Party that delivers and educates the people on the value of the public space, of government, will win. 4. Be BOLD — Campaign for a Build Back Better “people-oriented” agenda in red states, blue states, rural areas, Black and Brown communities; educate at the grassroots level about the benefits and value of the public space, government delivering policies that meet the needs of the people; take the message directly into the districts of the obstructionists and wake-up as many of their constituents as possible to the reality that they are being bamboozled by fake “leaders.” Ignite support for a BOLD Agenda from the bottom up! Build to consolidate gains in 2022 and 2024! 5. Be BOLD—Expose, confront and defeat the “enemy from within:” white supremacy, white nationalism, domestic terrorism, xenophobia, all of the malignant manifestations of structural, institutional racism. Be aware that mandating “equity” is a necessary and welcome prescription for the present, but it does not address the incalculable harms endured by African Americans from the holocaust of enslavement, chattel slavery and all of the derivative racially-exclusionary policies and practices after Emancipation to the present. 6. Be BOLD—Be the President who delivers on the promise of “40 acres and a mule,” reparations for African Americans. Reparations is the only racial remedy that will eradicate systemic racism in this society. As such reparations constitute the foundation for the new America which must be born. 7. Be BOLD—Utilize the Democratic control of Congress to declare Statehood for D.C. so that the residents of the “District,” where the great monuments to “freedom” were built by enslaved Black labor, will finally achieve full freedom! We are in the throes of a national reckoning on the fundamental character, the soul of this nation. There is a life and death struggle underway over whether America will become an expansive, inclusive, multi-racial society, free of all forms of racism and discrimination with genuine political and economic democracy or revert back to the restrictive “good old days” of White male patriarchal dominance. In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s revolution of values, Black Voters and the emerging Rainbow Coalition should fully expect and demand that Biden BOLDLY advance an agenda for transformational change. A new American must be born. #BEBOLDBIDEN (Dr. Ron Daniels is President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus, York College City University of New York.)

New Pittsburgh Courier



FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021




Help Wanted

Help Wanted

OPENINGS AT LITERACY PITTSBURGH Literacy Pittsburgh has three fulltime openings: Operations Assistant, Program Coordinator and Adult Basic Education/High School Equivalency Instructor. Deadline to apply is March 3. For details and how to apply, visit http://www.literacypittsburgh.org/join-our-team. We invite candidates to include in their cover letter a statement about how their unique background and experiences can contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff, students, volunteers, and supporters.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCT MANAGER sought by Astrata, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA and unanticipated locations; telecommuting permissible. Master’s or equiv., plus 3 years exp. Send resume to: Rebecca Jacobson, Astrata, Inc., 5822 US Steel Tower, 600 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 or email: jacobsonr@astrata.co

PITTSBURGH ACTION AGAINST RAPE THERAPIST JOB POSTING This is a full-time position designed to provide assessment, short- term or group counseling services and/or referrals to adult and/or child victims of sexual assault sex trafficking and their family or caregivers, as well as maintaining required agency/client documentation and reports. This position is re uired to fulfill all of the above-mentioned responsibilities at PAAR or at PAAR designated locations. This position may be required to maintain a professional working relationship with the staff of all satellite facilities. Required education: Master’s degree in social work, counseling, psychology or related field from an accredited university Required experience: Minimum four years’ experience providing assessment, individual and group counseling. Experience working with victims of trauma and sexual assault preferred Required license or certification: Professional license or license obtained within 12 months of employment ASSISTANT MANAGER, LRT SYSTEMS AND POWER Port Authority is seeking an experienced Assistant Manager, LRT Systems and Power to manage the planning and scheduling of all LRT Systems and Power Department work and provide technical assistance that supports the repair and maintenance of its sub-systems (substations, overhead catenary system, Signals and Communications) Also responsible to oversee personnel supporting other internal departments, contractors and capital projects. Oversees the Power and LRT Systems Department in the absence of the Manager of LRT Systems and Power. Essential Functions: •Oversees activities of supervisory and maintenance personnel associated with maintaining the Port Authority’s substations, overhead, signals and communications-electronic systems. Provides technical assistance/ instructions as required, maintains employee records for supervisors, provides constructive feedback on performance to supervisors and initiates or assists in enforcing the Port Authority’s policies and procedures including the performance code. Oversees the Power and LRT Systems Department in the absence of the Manager of LRT Systems and Power. •Through others, maintains all operational structures at a high status of readiness and supplies immediate repair support under any emergency conditions. Job requirements include: •High School Diploma or GED. •Associates Degree or Technical Degree in Electrical or Electronics, ngineering or directly related field from an accredited school. Directly related experience may be substituted for the education on a yearfor-year basis. •Three (3) years’ work experience in any one or more of the following disciplines: electronics, electronic engineering technology, electrical or electrical engineering or communications systems. •Minimum of two (2) years supervisory experience. •Demonstrated ability in the use of Windows and Microsoft Word. Preferred attributes: A egree in related fields from an accredited school. •Work experience in any of the following: railroad signaling, substations, overhead line work or high voltage. •Supervisory experience in two or more LRT System disciplines (traction power, overhead, signals or communications). •Project Management Experience.

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package. nterested candidates should forward a cover letter (with salary requirements) and resume to: Robyn Taylor Employment Department 345 Sixth Avenue, 3rd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527 RTaylor@portauthority.org EOE

SOUTH FAYETTE TWP. SCHOOL DISTRICT is seeking a HIGH SCHOOL SPANISH SUBSTITUTE TEACHER: Complete job description and directions on how to apply are available at: www.southfayette.org Deadline 4:00 PM February 24, 2021 EOE POLICE OFFICERS & HOUSEKEEPING POSITIONS OPEN Pittsburgh Technical College is seeking ualified applicants for the following positions: •Police Officers, Must have Act 120 & 235 (available for all shifts) •Housekeeping (available for all shifts) Must pass criminal background check. Immediate opening at our North Fayette campus near Robinson Towne Center. Apply to www.ptcollege.edu (Employment with PTC) or www.workforptcollege.com . EOE M/F ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY SONOGRAPHER UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside seeks an Echocardiography Sono grapher in Pittsburgh, PA to perform cardiac ultrasound procedures in accordance with established protocols including Echocardiography, Transesophageal Echocardiography, Stress Echocardiography, and Echo with contrast. Identify patients, obtain vital signs, and review/document patient history; Assist physicians with invasive procedures as necessary. Reqs: Assoc. Deg. in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, chocardiography or a related field. The degree must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Apply at www.upmc.com by following these steps; click Careers at UPMC, Start My Job Search, and follow the link to continue to search and apply for openings. Select Advanced Search and enter 21000062 in the job opening ID field. EOE.

RENTAL SERVICE Furnished Apartments

FURNISHED ROOM with all amenities conveniently located in the Hill District James (412) 924-8678. LEGAL ADVERTISING Legal Notices


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Articles of ncorporation were filed with the epartment of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with respect to a corporation which has been incorporated under the provisions of the Pennsylvania onprofit ooperation aw 15 Pa. Cons. Stat. 5301 et seq. THE NAME OF THE CORPORATION IS BLACK WOMEN’S POLICY CENTER, INC.


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to the provisions of the Fictitious Names Act of Pennsylvania that an application for Registration of a FICTITIOUS NAME was will be filed with the Department of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for the conduct of a business under the fictitious name of TRU 2 HEART GIFTING WITH GRACE with its principal office or place of business at 225 CAMPBELL STREET CARNEGIE PA, 15106. The names and addresses, including street and number, if any, of all persons who are parties to the registration are: Gerondilyn B. Oakley 225 Campbell Street Carnegie PA, 15106


MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY The Community College of Allegheny County Board of Trustees will hold a meeting on March 4, 2021. The meeting will be held virtually beginning at 4:00p.m. and streamed on CCAC’s YouTube page. A copy of the Board meeting agenda will be made available for review on the College’s website (www.ccac.edu) Comments regarding items scheduled for action by the Board may be submitted via email to brichardson@ccac.edu by no later than 3:00 p.m. on the date of the meeting. Comments will be read into the record, up to a maximum of three minutes each.


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OFFICIAL ADVERTISEMENT THE BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION of the SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PITTSBURGH ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, ellefield ntrance obby outh ellefield Avenue ittsburgh Pa., 15213, on February 23, 2021, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for: Service & Maintenance Contracts at Various Schools, Facilities, Facilities & Properties: -Gas and Oil Burners, Boilers and Furnaces Inspection, Service, and Repairs (REBID) Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on Monday, February 8, 2021 at Modern Reproductions (412-488-7700), 127 McKean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable. Project details and dates are described in each project manual.

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) FOR CONSTABLE SERVICES RFP #250-09-21 The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby re uest proposals from ualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): Constable Services The documents will be available no later than February 16, 2021 and signed, sealed proposals will be accepted until 10:00 A.M. on March 9, 2021. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh will only be accepting physical proposals dropped off in person from 8:00 AM until the closing time of 10:00 AM on March 9, 2021 in the lobby of 100 Ross St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Proposals may be uploaded to the Authority’s online submission site, the link is accessible via the HACP website and within the RFP. Sealed proposals may still be mailed via USPS at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Parties or individuals interested in responding may download a copy of the Solicitation from the Business Opportunities page of www.HACP.org. Questions or inquires should be directed to: Mr. Kim Detrick Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-643-2832 A pre-submission meeting will be held via Zoom meeting; on February 26, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. Please see meeting information below: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 964 0769 8121 Passcode: 823315 +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C) The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. HACP’s has revised their website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and log-in, in order to view and download IFB/RFPs documentation.

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) FOR BATHTUB REFINISHING AT VARIOUS HACP LOCATIONS IFB#300-08-21 The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby re uests bids from ualified irms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): Bathtub Refinishing at Various HACP Locations IFB#300-08-21 The documents will be available no later than February 16, 2021 and signed, sealed bids will be accepted until 9:00 A.M. on March 9, 2021 The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh will only be accepting physical bids dropped off in person from 8:00 AM until the closing time of 9:00 AM on March 9, 2021 in the lobby of 100 Ross St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Bids may be uploaded to the Authority’s online submission site, the link is accessible via the HACP website and within the IFB. Sealed bids may still be mailed via USPS at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Parties or individuals interested in responding may download a copy of the Solicitation from the Business Opportunities page of www.HACP.org. Questions or inquires should be directed to: Mr. Kim Detrick Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-643-2832 A pre-submission meeting will be held via Zoom meeting; on February 26, 2021 9:00 A.M. Please see meeting information below: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 947 5694 5463 Passcode: 987582 +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C) The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. HACP’s has revised their website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and log-in, in order to view and download IFB/RFPs documentation.

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) FOR AUDIO-VISUAL TRAINING AND PRODUCTION PROGRAM RFP#800-07-21 The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby re uest proposals from ualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): Audio-Visual Training and Production Program The documents will be available no later than February 8, 2021 and signed, sealed proposals will be accepted until 9:00 AM on March 2, 2021. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh will only be accepting physical proposals dropped off in person from 8:00 AM until the closing time of 9:00 AM on March 2, 2021 in the lobby of 100 Ross St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Proposals may be uploaded to the Authority’s online submission site; the link is accessible via the HACP website and within the RFP. Sealed proposals may still be mailed via USPS at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Parties or individuals interested in responding may download a copy of the Solicitation from the Business Opportunities page of www.HACP.org. Questions or inquires should be directed to: Mr. Kim Detrick Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-643-2832 A pre-submission meeting will be held via Zoom meeting; on February 18, 2021 at 9:00 AM. Please see meeting information below: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 955 3653 9668 Passcode: 697323 +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C) The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. HACP’s has revised their website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and log-in, in order to view and download IFB/RFPs documentation. Caster D. Binion, Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh

HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.


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Caster D. Binion, Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh

HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.

Caster D. Binion, Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh

HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.

NOTICE TO BIDDERS The Sports & Exhibition Authority will receive sealed bids for the project identified below. The contract for this work will be with the SEA. Inquiries regarding the bidding should be made to the SEA, 171 10th Street, 2nd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Attention: Ryan Buries- E-mail: rburies@pittsburghcc.com, Telephone: 412-325-6167. Bid Packages may be obtained after the date identified below through Accu- opy at . Additional information on the project can also be found of Accu-Copy’s website at https://accu-copy.com/plan-room Project: Bid Package Name: Bid Package Available: Approximate Value:

David L Lawrence Convention Center Exhibit Hall Alcove Composite Slab Repair February 11, 2021 $250,000

Time/Date/Location for Pre-Bid Meeting: 10:00am, Monday, February 15, 2021 Time/Date/Location for Bid: 2:00 PM, Friday, February 26, 2021 DLCC 1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Bid Opening via ZOOM Link info will be provided via Addendum

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FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021





PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY Electronic Proposals will be received online at the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Ebusiness website (http://ebusiness.portauthority.org). Proposals/bid submittals will be due 11:00 a.m. on March 16, 2021 and will be read at 11:15 a.m., the same day, at Port Authority’s Heinz location (Please contact the respective Contract Specialist for Tele-Conference dial-in information for the Bid Opening), for the following:



Electronic Proposal - Ebusiness website (http://ebusiness.portauthority.org)

Bib Number B210205A B210206A B210207 B210208A B210209A

Bid Name Wheel Flange Lubricator Sticks Bus Batteries - Wet Type Wayside Profiling & Measurement Stsyem Herbicide Spraying for Vegetation Control Air Oil Coolant Transmission & Fuel Filters

Paper Proposal - Documents are available for the following item at Port Authorit s Main Offices 345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15222-2527

Bid Number B2009754AR

Bid Name Off-Site Record Storage & Service

No bidder may withdraw a submitted Proposal for a period of 75 days after the scheduled time for opening of the sealed bids. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held via tele-conference on each of the above items at 10:00 a.m. on March 2, 2021. Please contact the respective Contract Specialist for Tele-Conference dial-in information. Attendance at this meeting is not mandatory, but is strongly encouraged. Questions regarding any of the above bids will not be entertained by the Port Authority ithin five business da s of the scheduled bid o ening These contracts may be sub ect to a financial assistance contract between Port Authority of Allegheny County and the United States Department of Transportation. The Contractor will be required to comply with all applicable Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations. Contractor is responsible for expenses related to acquiring a performance bond and insurance where applicable. All items are to be FOB delivered unless other ise s ecified osts for deliver , bond, and insurance shall be included in bidder’s proposal pricing. ort Authority of Allegheny ounty hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively insure that in regard to any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, disadvantaged business enterprise will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, or national origin in consideration for an award. The Board of Port Authority reserves the right to reject any or all bids. HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) FOR PROJECT BASED VOUCHERS 2021 PHASE 1 RFP #125-10-21 The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby re uest proposals from ualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): Project Based Vouchers 2021 Phase 1 The documents will be available no later than February 16, 2021 and signed, sealed proposals for Phase 1 will be accepted until 9:00 A.M. on March 30, 2021. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh will only be accepting physical proposals dropped off in person from 8:00 AM until the closing time of 9:00 AM on March 31, 2021 in the lobby of 100 Ross St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Proposals may be uploaded to the Authority’s online submission site, the link is accessible via the HACP website and within the RFP. Sealed proposals may still be mailed via USPS at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Parties or individuals interested in responding may download a copy of the Solicitation from the Business Opportunities page of www.HACP.org. Questions or inquires should be directed to: Mr. Kim Detrick Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-643-2832 A pre-submission meeting will be held via Zoom meeting; on March 11, 2021 at 09:00 A.M. Please see meeting information below: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 939 9398 4507 Passcode: 630169 +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C) The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. HACP’s has revised their website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and log-in, in order to view and download IFB/RFPs documentation. Caster D. Binion, Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh

HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.

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