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Vol. 110 No. 39

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Published Weekly


Three men face charges in attack Criminal Justice on Black women at gas station Reform takes three big steps forward

Foundation funding to help address front-end inequities by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

A SCREEN SHOT of two men beating Jamila Regan outside the Exxon gas station on Brighton Road, Sept. 20.

But community leaders say the simple assault charges not strong enough by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

Good luck trying to get gas at the Exxon Gas Station on the corner of Brighton Road and Marshall Avenue on the North Side anytime soon. For that matter, good luck ever seeing that gas station open again as long as it’s owned by the men who were seen on video beating and assaulting two Black women inside and outside the store. A cellphone video from Sept. 20 that has been

viewed all over the country shows what Pittsburgh police called a “disturbing” situation—multiple male gas station owners and employees beating sisters Jamila and Aisha Regan, grabbing them by their hair and throwing them onto the ground, striking them while they were on the ground, and at one point, Jamila Regan being shoved into a gas pump stand. Punches were also thrown by the men, who outnumbered the Black women, 4 to 2. Once word got out about what transpired at 2501

GENAFIE JONES, right, speaks out against the attack on two Black women by four employees of the Exxon gas station on Brighton Road. (Photo by Rob Taylor Jr.) Brighton Rd. around 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 20, many members of Pittsburgh’s African American community raced to the gas station and promptly forced the gas station to shut its doors. There were and still continue to be protests. There were demands that the men involved should face, at the least, aggravated assault charges. But late Monday afternoon, Sept. 23, the Allegheny Coun-

ty District Attorney’s Office announced that three of the men involved in the attack won’t face aggravated assault charges— rather, the lesser charges of simple assault. The simple assault charges classify as a misdemeanor in the second degree. Scott Hill, 50, a White male from the North Side, and SukhSEE ATTACK A5

In 2016, when the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics’ Criminal Justice Reform task force issued its initial report on the state of the county system, it found that most of the inmates in the Allegheny County Jail hadn’t even been charged with a crime, let alone convicted. It also found that most of those inmates were poor and minority residents who were unable to meet cash bonds leveled by district magistrates at preliminary arraignments where those charged had no legal representation. Some of those so affected experienced either the loss of jobs, or housing, even custody of children. The report made several recommendations to address this and other front-end inequities and some have already been implemented. But now, in its Fall 2019 Progress Panel report, the institute has announced that three philanthropic foundations are providing funds to add additional legal and administrative support where it is needed—at the front end. A $2 million national grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will assist in the hiring of: Three new public defenders who will expand representation at preliminary arraignments, particularly on evenings and weekends when there had been no coverage; one pretrial supervision officer and one pretriSEE REFORM B5

Larry Davis gives his parting address

Pittsburgh native Billy Porter makes history

Outgoing Pitt Dean of Social Work will continue to work in race studies field

by Rob Taylor Jr.

by Christian Morrow

Courier Staff Writer

Courier Staff Writer

From Reizenstein Middle School, to Allderdice High School, to CAPA High School, to Carnegie Mellon University, to making history. Billy Porter, Pittsburgh born-and-bred, had the national stage all to himself on Sunday, Sept. 22, as he won the Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He became the first openly gay Black man to receive the honor, beating out actors like Sterling K. Brown (“This is us”), Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”). In all, Porter beat out five other nominees in the category. Porter won the Emmy for his role as Pray Tell in the FX show, “Pose.” “I was told that who I am is never going to work,” Porter said to the media after winning the Emmy. “I was

When outgoing University of Pittsburgh Dean of Social Work Emeritus Larry Davis told his wife he planned to give some parting remarks as he stepped away as the founding director of the school’s Center for Race and Social Problems, he told her no one would come. Well, the sandwiches and seats were all taken a half-hour before his scheduled remarks began. It was standing-room-only, with the overflow crowd watching from the foyer outside the center’s offices on the 20th floor of the Cathedral of Learning. As Davis would later admit during his remarks, it wasn’t the first time he was wrong. But before that received congratulations on his career and achievements from friends and colleagues past and present, among them Chancellor Emeritus Mark Nordenberg, attorney Glen Mahone, Allegheny County Director of Human Services Marc Cherna, and New Pittsburgh Courier Editor and Publisher Rod Doss. The center’s interim director, James Huguley, said it was an important day. “We are here to honor Dr. Davis. He wasn’t able to celebrate at the center because he was still actually directing the center, still working,” he said. “While it’s


Wins Emmy for Best Lead Actor in Drama Series

BILLY PORTER, a Pittsburgh native, won the Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Sept. 22.

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Louis ‘Hop’ Kendrick says


Blacks have faithfully served the party 83 years, but...! Forum B6 Forum B6




Affluent society blamed for speed up in removal of Kenyan forest (TriceEdneyWire.com/GIN)— Since independence, natural resources in Kenya have been on a fast track to extinction. Today, nearly half of all its forests are gone, resulting in more droughts, floods and other dire consequences for communities, ecosystems, food security and infrastructure. From 10 percent of the country covered in forest in 1963, noted Kaluki Paul Mutuku, Youth4Nature Regional Coordinator—Africa Group—only 6 percent was covered in 2009. The nation’s forests have been victims of agricultural expansion, unregulated logging and urbanization. In 1977, deforestation moved from the back page to the front page with the launch of the Green Belt Movement by Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai. Its mission was to plant trees across Kenya to fight erosion and to create firewood for fuel and jobs for women. Some 30 million trees were planted by some 900,000 Green Belt women who were paid a few shillings for their work. For her initiative, Ms. Maathai went on to become the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” Ms. Maathai passed away in 2011 but her campaign did not die with her. This year, urgent calls to save the forests were again in the news with a highly-critical open letter signed by U.N. staffer Gabriel Rugalema and economist Susan Mugwe. “Kenya must move fast to reverse deforestation,” was the heading of their piece published by Business Daily of Kenya. “Currently, we are losing 50,000 hectares of forest each year—primarily due to

KENYAN CHILDREN PLANTING TREES the emergence of an expanding affluent society that wants to dine on steak, drive cars, recline on comfortable seats, live in elegant houses and consume fresh fruits and vegetables. To meet this demand, commercial agriculture for products such as livestock, horticulture, timber and rubber are increasingly encroaching on forest lands,” they wrote. “If we do nothing to reverse it, Kenya shall be a complete desert in 113 years,” they warned. Meanwhile, an informal study by professor Julius Huho of Garissa University had dismaying news about the state of environmental studies in centers of academic learning. “Students didn’t seem interested in learning about climate change,” Huho recalled. “They attributed its relevance just to farming activities. Only 14.9 percent thought it should be included in all levels of education (primary to universities). In secondary schools, learners should have a deeper understanding of global warming and climate change and how it can be dealt with.”

From Libya to Rwanda, refugees shuttled

to new outpost in plan called ‘flawed’

(TriceEdneyWire.com/ GIN)—European nations are building a wall—a sea wall—to keep African migrants from reaching their shores. With funds paid by the European Union and cooperating African governments, refugees are being sent to distant centers where they are expected to make their asylum appeals. Rwanda has just signed on to hold some 500 migrants fleeing a deadly civil war in Libya. But Rwandan President Paul Kagame is not welcoming refugees simply out of generosity: he will likely ask for a diplomatic reward from Europe—one that boosts Rwanda’s international leadership on migration and refugee affairs, while remaining silent about recent human rights abuses. It may come with a price for the migrants and refugees, too. The small East African country already hosts more than 148,000 refugees. Though they have social and economic rights, including the right to work, rights on paper do not always equate to rights in practice. Refugees in Rwanda often struggle to access public services and employment opportunities. The government has also violently repressed refugee protests against discrim-


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ination and food shortages in camps. Rwanda also has some serious human rights baggage. Last year, police fired on refugees from the Democratic Republic AFRICAN MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES of Congo who were protesting outside the U.N. holds close to 3,000 migrants from Libya. Office on Refugees after Those evacuated to Niger their food allowance was were supposed to be makcut from $8.90 to $6.70 ing a temporary stop before per person, per month. returning home with the Nine died. A year after assistance of the UN’s mithe shootings, authorities have failed to release their gration agency, or being resettled in Europe. But the investigations of the fatal operation faced repeated shooting nor have they identified those responsible problems, largely because EU countries were too for using excessive force slow at actually resettling and held them to account. the evacuated refugees. “There can be no justiThis highlights the plans fication for shooting at fundamental flaws: The offunarmed protesters,” said shore centers are too small Lewis Mudge, Central and the pledges of refugee Africa director at Huresettlement too few. man Rights Watch. “The Meanwhile, tens of Rwandan government is thousands of migrants and trampling on the graves asylum seekers remain of the victims by refusing trapped in Libya, where to acknowledge how many people were actually killed a patchwork of militias control detention centers or holding those responsiand migrants are sold as ble to account.” slaves or into prostituRwanda’s new role, holdtion, and kept in places so ing desperate migrants, is packed that there is not expected to relieve preseven enough floor space to sure at a similar facility sleep on. in Niger which reportedly


This Week In Black History

Week of September 25-October 1 September 25 1861—The Secretary of the Navy authorizes the enlistment of free Blacks and slaves as Union sailors in a bid to help the North win the Civil War against pro-slavery Southern Whites who had proven more difficult in battle than the North had originally expected. 1962—In another one of those instances demonstrating the tenacity of racism among Southern Whites, Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett defies a federal court order and personally stands in the door to block the admittance of a Black student—James Meredith—to the University of Mississippi. Meredith would eventually be admitted and graduate. Historians now generally believe Ross’ JAMES MEREDITH “show” was primarily designed to curry favor among White voters not actually to stop desegregation of the then-all-White university. September 26 1867—Maggie L. Walker is born. She would become the most prominent Black businesswoman in the Richmond, Va., area and one of the wealthiest Black women in the nation. She also became the first Black woman to establish a bank in the nation. A social activist, she would help establish the Lilly Black political party in part as a slap at the “Lilly White” political parties of the day. 1907—The People’s SavMAGGIE LENA WALKER ings Bank is incorporated in Philadelphia by one of the nation’s early Black Congressman George H. White. White had been pretty much forced out of Congress as Jim Crow laws led to the increasing disenfranchisement of Black voters after Reconstruction. After leaving Congress, he turned his attention to Black economic advancement. His bank helped thousands of Blacks buy homes. 1929—Ida Stephens Owens is born. She would become the nation’s first Black female bio-chemist. 1937—Blues great Bessie Smith GEORGE H. WHITE dies of injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Clarksdale, Miss. Rumors spread that White medics refused to treat her. However, later information did cast doubt on the accuracy of those rumors. September 27 1817—Hiram R. Revels is born free in Fayetteville, N.C. Revels becomes the first Black to serve in the United States Senate shortly after the Civil War. 1876—Edward Mitchell Bannister upsets racist Whites who believe Blacks have no artistic skill BESSIE SMITH by winning a bronze medal for a painting he displayed at the American Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. 1950—Gwendolyn Brooks is awarded Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry—“Annie Allen.” She was the first Black so honored. Brooks published her first poem in a children’s magazine, “American Childhood,” when she was 13 years old. By the time she was 16, she had compiled a portfolio of around 75 published poems and had her work critiqued by poet and GWENDOLYN BROOKS novelist James Weldon Johnson. At 17, she started submitting her work to “Lights and Shadows,” the poetry column of the Chicago Defender, an African-American newspaper. Her poems, many published while she attended Wilson Junior College, ranged in style from traditional ballads and sonnets to poems using blues rhythms in free verse. 1950—Ralph J. Bunch is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in mediating a conflict between Palestinians and the newly established Jewish state of Israel. Arabs had gone to war arguing the Jewish state had been established on land which rightfully belonged to the Palestinians. September 28 1785—Abolitionist and writer David Walker is born. Walker is best known for his powerful RALPH J. BUNCH anti-slavery pamphlet “David Walker’s Appeal.” The “Appeal” was published on this same day in 1829. 1833—Reverend Lemuel Haynes dies at 88. He was one of the leading Black veterans of America’s war for independence from England. 1868—The Opelousas Massacre occurs. Racist Whites launch a terror campaign in St. Landry Parrish, La., resulting in the deaths LEMUEL HAYNES of at least 200 Blacks. 1895—The National Baptist Convention is founded. 1991—Jazz Trumpeter Miles Davis dies in Santa Monica, Calif., of a stroke. He was 65. September 29 MILES DAVIS 1784—First African American Masonic lodge is established by Prince Hall. Hall headed lodge number 459 and was referred to as the “Worshipful Master.” He would also become a leading figure in the struggle for African-Americans rights during this early period in U.S. history. 1940—The first U.S. merchant ship commanded by a Black captain—Hugh Mulzac—is launched in Wilmington, Del. The ship is named the “Booker T. Washington.” 1962—President John F. Kennedy finally sends federal troops to force the integration of the University of Mississippi. 1975—The nation’s first Black-owned television station— WGPR—begins broadcasting in Detroit. 1979—William Arthur Lewis, economics professor at Princeton University, becomes the first Black to receive a Nobel Prize in EcoWILLIAM ARTHUR LEWIS nomics. 2001—Mabel Fairbanks dies at 85. She was the first Black woman to be inducted into MABEL FAIRBANKS the Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She coached Olympic greats Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. October 1 1841—Fannie M. Richards is born. She becomes one of the nation’s early civil rights advocates as well as a prominent educator. 1868—John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) organizes the nation’s first Black law school at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Largely forgotten today, Langston was a major Black political figure during his day. He was one of the nation’s first African American lawyers, elected political officials and he influenced Black education throughout the country. The town of Langston, Okla., is named in his honor. 1872—Morgan State College is founded in Maryland. 1937—The NAACP awards the prestigious Spingarn Medal to Walter White for JOHN MERCER LANGSTON his work against lynching. The light complexioned White had “passed for White” to gather evidence against terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. 1960—Africa’s most populous nation-Nigeria-declares its independence from colonial rule. 1966—The militant Black Panther Party is founded in WALTER WHITE Oakland, Calif., by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.




AKAs raise $1 million for HBCUs in one day, announce collaboration with Black Press of America

by Stacy M. Brown

NNPA Newswire Correspondent

For the second year in a row, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-educated women, raised $1 million in just 24 hours during this month’s HBCU Impact Day. The AKA Sorority, Inc. also has agreed to collaborate in the planning for the upcoming 80th anniversary celebration of the NNPA in 2020. Dr. Glenda Glover, International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., said the sorority would work with NNPA Chair Karen Carter Richards and NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., during the NNPA’s annual convention June 23-25, 2020 in New Orleans. “When you need to know the positive stories—the real stories—about African Americans, then you understand our dependence on the Black Press for our news,” said Glover, the international president of AKA and president of the historically Black Tennessee State University. “It is my honor to be a part of this. Alpha Kappa Alpha has been a partner to the Black Press even right here in Nashville with the Tennessee Tribune,” she said. While the first African American-owned newspaper was founded 192 years ago, the establishment of the NNPA took place in 1940 during a meeting in Chicago. Since its founding, the NNPA has advo-

million in one day, but we knew HBCUs needed to have funding, sustainability, and we have to make sure to secure the endowments of each university,” she said. In February, AKA gifted $1.6 million from their AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund to 32 HBCUs. As an HBCU graduate, Glover said she has dedicated her life’s work to the HBCU community. “I understand the impact personally that establishing an endowment has on a student’s enrollment and graduation prospects,” Glover said. “The actions of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. will go a long way toward ensuring that HBCUs remain open and able to encourage the best Black students to choose them as a first option,” she said. AKA began on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1908. Today, nearly 300,000 members make up the sorority in approximately 1,018 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the U.S., the U.S. Virgin Islands, Liberia, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Japan, and South Korea. For her four-year tenure as president, Glover has implemented a five-point ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY, INC. raised $1 million for HBCUs in one day. plan for AKA which includes the HBCU initiative. 223 Black-owned cated for the Black Press of America and The other four plan delivering news to millions of people daily newspapers throughpoints include a womout the country that and weekly from the African American en’s healthcare and comprise the Black perspective. The NNPA is the national wellness plan; buildPress of America. trade association that currently reping your economic For her part, Glover resents a vast conglomerate of more than legacy; the Arts; and and the AKAs have global impact. steadfastly continued “We try to make to promote support sure that we handle of HBCUs across the certain national and nation. international issues,” Glover has led that Glover said. “We have challenge for contria program of wellness butions as part of a and health. We have four-year $10 million a breast cancer mofundraising goal to bile unit that travels benefit HBCUs. around the country “As a college giving free mampresident, I need to mograms to African recognize the need American women,” for HBCUs. I need she said. to recognize the “We know that operating needs, and breast cancer tends the financial needs not to be found in because we need Black women until DR. GLENDA GLOVER funds to survive,” it reaches stage 4,” Glover said. Glover said. “I asked my membership to support this “With all of our initiatives, we want to initiative. We galvanized members, indimake sure that African Americans don’t viduals, and corporate sponsors. We kept get lost in the shuffle. That is why we going back again, and again,” she said. have programs and services that benefit “It’s a tremendous feat to raise $1 the community,” Glover said.

The human and economic toll of gun violence is staggering by Stacy M. Brown For New Pittsburgh Courier

Approximately 7,500 African Americans are killed each year because of gun violence. Further, it’s 20 times more likely that a young Black male will die by a firearm homicide than a White peer, according to a new report. In a study commissioned by Democratic members of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, researchers found that gun violence in America has especially taken its toll on young people. The report found that ru- COST OF GUN VIOLENCE—Researchers said it’s difficult to mearal states, where gun vio- sure the economic costs of gun violence because in the past, Conlence has reached its high- gress has blocked federal funding for research at the Centers for est levels in decades are the Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo: iStockphoto/NNPA) hardest hit. Researchers said Americans between the to stop gun violence and the trauma assoage of 15 and 24 are 50 times more likely to ciated with it. According to Everytown, students of coldie because of gun violence than they are in other economically advanced countries. or in cities are exposed to higher rates of The Sept. 18 state-by-state examination violence. The report also states, “although Black of the economic costs of gun violence, reveals numbers that the committee called students represent approximately 15 percent of the total K-12 school population in “staggering.” For instance, in 2017, for the first time, America, they constitute 24 percent of the the rate of firearm deaths exceeded the K-12 student victims of gunfire who were killed or injured on school grounds.” death rate by motor vehicle accidents. Researchers for the Joint Economic ComNearly 40,000 people were killed in the United States by a gun in 2017, including mittee said gun violence has direct and approximately 2,500 school-age children— indirect costs, including the reduction of or more than 100 people per day and more quality of life due to pain and suffering. Gun homicides are also associated with than five children murdered each day. According to a 2019 Pew Research study, fewer jobs, lost businesses, and lower home “Though they tend to get less attention values in local economies and communities than gun-related murders, suicides have across the nation. The latest estimate is that gun violence long accounted for the majority of U.S. gun deaths. In 2017, six-in-ten gun-related imposes $229 billion in total annual costs deaths in the U.S. were suicides (23,854), on the United States—1.4 percent of GDP, while 37 percent were murders (14,542), the report noted. Researchers said it’s difficult to measure according to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC. The remainder the economic costs of gun violence because were unintentional (486), involved law en- in the past Congress has blocked federal forcement (553) or had undetermined cir- funding for research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. cumstances (338).” “The more than 20-year ban has had Directly measurable costs include lost income and spending, employer costs, police, a chilling effect on private and other reand criminal justice responses and health search,” researchers wrote in the report. “It is likely that the numbers underesticare treatment. “[More than] 200 days ago, the Demo- mate the total costs of gun violence,” they cratic House took decisive action to end said. The report breaks down the direct costs the gun violence epidemic in America by passing H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, bipartisan, in four categories—lost income, employer commonsense legislation to expand back- costs, health care, and police and criminal ground checks, which is supported by more justice. And it shines a spotlight on two of the than 90 percent of the American people,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schum- fastest-growing areas of gun violence—suicides and firearm deaths of young people er said in a statement. “With the backing of the American peo- (under the age of 25). Among the key findings: ple, we continue to call on Sen. McConnell Rural states (Mississippi, Alabama, Arto ‘Give Us A Vote.’” “For [more than] 200 days, Sen. McCo- kansas, Louisiana, and West Virginia) nnell has refused to give the bipartisan have the highest costs of gun violence meabills a vote on the Senate Floor, “again sured as a share of their economies. States with high rates of gun ownership and again putting his political survival before the survival of our children,” Schum- (Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, West er said.“Every day that Sen. McConnell Virginia, and Wyoming) have the highest blocks our House-passed, life-saving bills, rates of gun suicide. The three largest states (California, Texan average of 100 people—including 47 children and teenagers—die from sense- as, and Florida) suffer the highest absolute less gun violence. Some 20,000 have died costs. The five states with the highest rate of since the House took action on February gun death in descending order are Alaska, 27,” he said. Schumer’s office has repeatedly voiced Montana, Alabama, Louisiana, and Misconcern about gun violence in urban com- souri. High youth death rates extend across the munities. According to Everytown, an organization nation, with Alaska, Louisiana, Missouri, dedicated to addressing gun violence, “fire- Alabama, and Delaware showing the higharms are the leading cause of death for est rates. “The human cost is beyond our ability Black children and teens in America.” Black children are 10 times more likely to to comprehend, it is tragic, it is sickening, be hospitalized from gun/firearm violence and it is a crisis,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the vice-chair of the committee, and are 14 times more likely to die. Officials said this fact is hurting Black said in a news conference Wednesday. “The children and teens at home and schools, gun violence needs to stop, and we need to especially in cities that lack the resources make it happen,” Maloney said.





Jamesena Talbott continues her research on women at mid-life experiencing eating disorders Building on her research in cultivating care for older women living with eating disorders, the New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that Jamesena Talbott, PhD, DM, NCC, Penn Hills resident and Point Park University professor of leadership  and  community engagement, is serving as a research fellow for the  Institute for Social Innovation in Santa Barbara, Calif. According to a release by Point Park University, Talbott’s latest heuristic study, “Women at Mid-life Experiencing Eating Disorders: Discovery, Recovery and Beyond,” seeks to illuminate how women over 40 who have had eating disorders have managed their process of recovery and adoption of contemplative practices. “Women 40-plus experi-

ence unique challenges and life transitions. Within the mosaic of aging and the psycho-emotive and physical toll of stress, anxiety and concomitant behavioral dynamics, space must be created to cultivate insight, awareness, new and diverse socio-professional and healing connections encouraged and supported by a circle of care. This includes mental and behavioral health specialists, alongside allopathic, as well as complementary and alternative health care professionals,” Talbott explained. Talbott added: “Contemplative practices cultivate compassion, honest self-reflection, stress reduction, wisdom and resiliency. Women throughout their phases of life must realize that they are not alone as they age. As they grow, they can do so with grace, with

vibrancy and with gratitude.” In addition to earning a Ph.D. in human development and a doctor of management in organizational leadership, Talbott is a certified counselor recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors in the United States. She is also a member of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society under the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education and a professional member of The Center for Mindful Eating. Having lived most of her adult life within the spectrum of eating disorders, Talbott has undertaken this area of research and taken the pledge supporting Health at Every Size and the work of the Association for Size Diversity and Health. She earned certificates as

JAMESENA TALBOTT, PhD a Creating Health Educator and in the Fundamentals of NeuroLeadership. Talbott is an associate member of the CMM Institute for Personal and

Social Evolution and a member of the International Leadership Association, with focus areas including the Women’s Affinity Group, leadership

development, leadership scholarship and public administration. She is also a member of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation.

Larry Davis gives his parting address Outgoing Pitt Dean of Social Work will continue to work in race studies field DAVIS FROM A1

true he is departing as center director, I don’t want anyone to be fooled into thinking he is parting from this work, or his connection to us, or the school of social work or this university— You can see it in the look in his eyes.” John Wallace, the center’s senior fellow for research and community engagement, and also pastor at Bible Center Church, said despite his wealth of public speaking experience, he was nervous. “It’s an honor to be here LARRY DAVIS gives his parting address during a ceremony at the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of and to talk a little about Learning, Sept. 18. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello) my colleague, friend and former boss. I think I was the second hire he made here,” Wallace said. “It’s important for me personally to do this today.” Wallace said Davis has done something no one in Pittsburgh has been able to do—bring people from the grassroots of social justice together with civic leaders, politicians and academics. “I would be at his house and I’d see people I know were, like, straight-up criminals—that I knew personally. And then you have the county executive or mayor or chancellor—people they would never meet, all because of his ability to reach down and reach up…his ability to bring together people from so many different spaces and places, classes and races in a city that’s known for its racial division.” He also said Davis was willing to take risks—such as publishing a controversial book like “Black And Single.” “That was a risky book,

LARRY DAVIS, with wife, Kim.

particularly for an academic, but because he was committed to making a difference in the lives of African American people, he was willing to take the shots. That kind of ‘I’m willing to do what I need to do for my people,’ I appreciate that, personally and professionally…Larry Davis, your contributions to have left the world a better and fairer place.” After the applause died down, Davis thanked everyone for coming and for the admiration. He said rather than a lecture, he wanted to have a conversation—because “I don’t have the answers, you don’t have the answers, so let’s talk.” “My gut feeling is that, if I’ve done such a great job, why are things still in such a mess?” he asked. “I am now embarrassed at how grossly naïve I was when I began to study it in the 1960s. As a young social psychologist, I believed racism was largely an interpersonal problem.” Davis said he and others thought that it was something that could be remedied if only diverse people could be brought together and enhance their understanding of each other— then, the racial problems would work themselves out. “It took me decades to come to the unpleasant fact that it is difficult to get someone to change their mind if it is not in their social or economic interest,” he said. “Racism isn’t a function of negative attitudes or ignorance but rather driven by the desire for advantage.” Davis said the play, “A

Raisin In The Sun,” sums up his changed view. In the play, the mother is chastising the son for wanting to buy a liquor store with the money left by his late father. “She says, I’m paraphrasing now, ‘Oh, it’s all about money. In my day it was about equality and justice’ and he says, “It was always about money, mama. We just didn’t know it.’” He said slavery lasted for 246 years. “It wasn’t like the country had a bad day, or a bad administration,” he said. “The Nazis were only in power for 13 years. For two and a half centuries, everybody bought into this.” He said his initial premises were wrong, and it took half his career to figure it out. “It wasn’t a personal problem. It’s about money. ‘It was always about the money, mama.’ It doesn’t mean we can’t solve it, it just means we have to think about it differently,” he said. “We need to change the paradigm a little…This isn’t just an American phenomenon. People will use whatever they can to exploit their neighbors—size, height, marks on their face, tribal languages. It’s done all over the world. It’s disheartening…Whoever is in charge takes advantage of the next guy.” Davis confirmed Huguley’s assessment that even in retirement he would continue to write and work in the field of race studies. “I’m not going anywhere,” Davis proclaimed, “because the work still needs to be done.”




“We can’t keep supporting these people. They don’t care about us. They just care about the money we’re giving them.” - Jamila Regan, one of the two Black women assaulted at a North Side gas station

SISTERS JAMILA REGAN, right, and Aisha Regan, left with hat, were consoled by many family, friends and supporters, a day after the sisters were beaten by Exxon gas station owners and employees on the North Side, Sept. 20. (Photo courtesy KDKA-TV)

But community leaders say the simple assault charges not strong enough ATTACK FROM A1

jinder Sadhra, 35, an Asian from the North Hills, both face two counts of simple assault; Balkar Singh, 40, race unknown, from Harmar, faces one count of simple assault. The two Black women were not charged. Penalties for a conviction of simple assault (second degree misdemeanor) in Pennsylvania include up to 2 years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. Penalties for a conviction of aggravated assault, also known as felony assault, include up to 10 years in jail and up to a $25,000 fine if the victim did not suffer serious bodily injury. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, Tim Stevens, Chairman and CEO of The Black Political Empowerment Project, wrote in a letter to Mayor Bill Peduto, Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich and Police Chief Scott Schubert that the decision to charge the men with simple assault “has enraged many citizens of Pittsburgh. The Black Political Empowerment Project and the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence join with others in viewing the decision of District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. as a slap in the face to Black women and can only wonder what he

would have charged if the women assaulted had been members of his family.” Stevens continued: “One of these women was thrown against a gas pump. If that act was not a form of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault, what would be?” Stevens has urged the city leaders to “immediately intervene to have the charges elevated to aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. The community is depending on you to do what is right.” As of New Pittsburgh Courier press time, Sept. 24, there has been no response from Hissrich or Chief Schubert. But Mayor Peduto did tweet that the video “made me sick.” Prior to Stevens’ comments, Mike Manko, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, said in a statement that “under no circumstances is it acceptable for anyone, regardless of gender or race, to be assaulted in the way that is depicted in the video and such behavior will not be tolerated in Allegheny County.” Jamila Regan, 25, addressed supporters outside the Exxon station on Saturday, Sept. 21, a day after the attack. “We came here yesterday to get gas, and ended up getting beat,” she said.

“I’m tired of feeling like, I’m alone, we’re alone out here. We support these people every day. I live up the street, I got to come to this gas station, and this is how we’re treated. I’m tired of it.” Jamila Regan continued: “I’m not a victim. I survived this. I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me; this is what happened. This is what it is. This is the life I live every day. This is how they feel. And when they can get away with it, they will…. “We can’t keep supporting these people. They don’t care about us,” Jamila Regan said, “they just care about the money we’re giving them.” Jamila Regan ended with: “I want this gas station shut down!” to an enormous, affirmative reaction from the crowd. The sisters contend that the gas for which they had prepaid began spilling out the gas pump and onto the ground because the pump was broken. When the sisters went back into the store to address the situation and try to get a $17 refund, the employees refused to give back the money. The argument turned into a physical altercation that’s made national headlines and reignited the negative feelings that other ethnicities have about African Americans.

A SUPPORTER PLACES A SIGN on the Exxon gas station at Brighton Road and Marshall Avenue on the North Side. To the left, the store remains closed.

“We’re not going to tolerate this anymore,” Pittsburgh NAACP President Richard A. Stewart Jr. said during a news conference at the gas station, Monday, Sept. 23. “These are our women. We were born from a woman. I don’t know who those gentlemen were, I don’t know if you treat your lady folks that way, but you’re not going to keep treating ours like that.” Also at the Sept. 23 news conference, Annette Regan, a cousin of the two sisters, told the Courier that she thinks the men are “punks.” Annette Regan said her cousins are “hurt, mentally hurt. My one cousin, this was her first fight. She has never fought in her life, so you could imagine you’re this old, never get in a fight, and then you’re fighting men. So it’s pretty dev-

astating to the family.” Annette Regan told the crowd that “if it had been a boyfriend, he would have been arrested.” “Men, you don’t hit on women,” Annette Regan said. “Do you hit your women? No. Do you hit your mother? No. Then don’t hit mine.” Genafie Jones, who was raised and still lives on the North Side, was one of the many supporters decrying the attack. She was a regular customer at the Exxon station, spending hundreds of dollars per month on gas to fill up her Chevrolet Tahoe. And, “my kids love their donuts,” she told the Courier. But she said there’s been numerous times she had to alert the gas station owners about the problems with the gas pumps not working, so she

understands the Regan sisters’ contention of a faulty gas pump. The gas station owners’ actions against the Regan sisters was “totally unacceptable,” Jones said. “Some words got you that upset for you to come out here and beat them down?” Jones, who has an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, said when she first saw the video, she was “furious.” Jones added: “I’m a changed citizen and have a degree, I have a good job, but I’m going to be real honest with you. I wanted to revert back to the old me. I got in my truck and I came down to this gas station, but it was closed through the grace of God. It’s sad that it’s 2019 and we’re still going through this.”

LIFESTYLES New Pittsburgh Courier




Debbie Norrell

Lifestyles Report

White Party prep We are going to go over this one more time. When the invitation says it’s going to be a white party, what does that mean? If it is summer and normally it is, it means that you wear white. There are many shades of white. To see just how many shades of white there are, go to the paint department of any hardware store and look at the chart of “white paint” and just see how many shades of white there are. You will be amzazed. In this case we are talking about the granddaddy of white parties. Diner en Blanc-Pittsburgh. For this party you should wear Styrofoam white—in other words, as white as a styrofoam plate or cup. This year’s party is in the books and the party was great. As you may know the location of the party is not announced until shortly before the party begins. Can you believe this year I tried to guess where it was going to be? I actually went to the location and sat in my car and waited for people to show up. Let’s say that I was in the right church but the wrong pew. I then got my notification that the party was on the front lawn of the Rivers Casino. I was shocked. I was happy because the parking was free at the casino and there are nice, clean bathrooms there. I got there in time to see the crowd walk to the venue and set up. It is always fun to see the looks on people’s faces when they see over 1,000 people all dressed in white walking in unison. Several people asked me if it was a wedding. I explained the history of the party and that is originated in Paris. This year it looked like the men tried to step up their game. I think some men rented white tuxedos for the event and that is perfectly fine. I’m sure a lot of ladies would like to rent their dresses that they may never wear again. But for ladies it is always easy to find a white outfit. I have already started to look for my outfit for next year. This is the time of year when those white dresses are on sale. So if you are planning to attend next year, look now for your outfit. Check out the consignment stores and thrift stores also. If you are going to attend next year please read the instructions closely. There are regulations to follow as far as table size. Do not bring a large buffet table; your table should be approximately the same size as everyone else. If you don’t want to bring your meal, you can pre-order a meal, this must be done in advance. However I did notice the line to pick up pre-ordered meals is getting longer each year. In short the event is a lot of fun. I love it. Go to the website and see what is required. See you next year...who knows where. (Email Debbie at debbienorrell@aol.com.)

BEST OVERALL—Jennifer Hudson and Brian McFarland

BEST CENTERPIECE—Monita and Jackie

Diner en Blanc-Pittsburgh turns five that remains a secret until just before the event starts. This year the elegant evening under the stars was held on the front lawn of the Rivers Casino. Local hosts Krystal Vangura, Trisha Daniel and Lorraine Mollura said this spot was special because next year it won’t exist due to additions to the Rivers Casino. Diner en Blanc is a rainor-shine event, but on Sept. 13, the weather was perfect for all of the “white dinner” traditions: waving of the white cloth napkins to signal the beginning of dinner, lighting the sparkler to signal the end of dinner and the official opening of the dance floor and the sound of the trumpet that signals the end of the evening. During the evening a best-dressed male and fe-

male are selected, best centerpiece and best couple overall. Lana Neumeyer was selected for the second year in a row. Best-dressed male Bob Capanna was dapper in a white suit and hat. The best centerpiece was created by Montia Robinson Dinkins and Jackie Wright. This very orderly crowd enjoyed wine tasting by Vinoski Winery, performers from Ignite Entertainment Variety Show and a great cookie table. Pittsburgh’s own DJ Steve Spin brought the crowd to their feet. As always, guests pack up their belongings BEST-DRESSED MALE & FEMALE— and leave the space Bob Capanna and Lana just as they found it.

FIRST-TIMERS—Joy Starzl and Brenda Tate

by Debbie Norrell Lifestyles Editor

Friday the 13th is supposed to be an unlucky day, but not for the 1,200-plus guests that attended year five of Diner en Blanc-Pitts-

burgh. Each year the attendance increases for the chic pop-up style community picnic phenomenon where guests are clad in all-white elegance, toting their own folding tables, chairs and gourmet picnics to a venue



PITTSBURGH HOSTS—Krystal Vangura, Trisha Daniel and Lorraine Mollura (Photos by Debbie Norrell)







152nd Session of the Pittsburgh-West Virginia Annual Conference

Praise & Worship ST. BENEDICT THE MOOR CATHOLIC CHURCH Crawford & Centre Ave. Pgh., PA 15219 412-281-3141 Sunday Mass 10:30 A.M. www.stbtmchurch.org

East Liberty Presbyterian Church Rev. Dr. Randy Bush, Senior Pastor 412-441-3800 116 S. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206


Worship on Sunday: Journey Worship...........8:45 a.m. Sanctuary Worship...........11 a.m. Taize -Wednesdays.........7 p.m.

Curious about Quakerism?

St. James AME Church, Pittsburgh Sept. 17-21, 2019

You Are Welcome at our Meetings for Worship Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Pittsburgh Friends Meeting 4836 Ellsworth Avenue

Recap and photos by Jacquelyn McDonald

THE CONGREGATION HOLDS HANDS IN WORSHIP, during Day Three of the Third Episcopal District’s 152nd Session of the Pittsburgh-West Virginia Annual Conference, at St. James AME Church, Sept. 19.

‘Are you a dream builder, or a dream killer? Don’t count God out!’ St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, 444 Lincoln Ave., was the site of the Third Episcopal District’s 152nd Session of the Pittsburgh-West Virginia Annual Conference conducted by the esteemed Right Reverend Frank Madison Reid III, Presiding Prelate. The five-

day event, held from Sept. 17-21, was well attended by the Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania pastors and members that encompass the Third Episcopal District. “Are you a dream builder or a dream killer? Don’t count God out!” was the conference theme.


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

BISHOP FRANK MADISON REID III, PRESIDING PRELATE, with St. James AME Church Pastor Rev. Dr. James H. Harris Sr.

We want to place your event in our Church Circuit weekly calendar! Send info to:


BISHOP FRANK MADISON REID III preached the message entitled, “Detoxing the Church.”


OCTOBER 13—The senior and junior usher boards at Second Baptist Church, 108 West 12th Ave., Homestead, invite all to come and fellowship with them at 4 p.m. at the church. The theme is: “Make a Joyful Noise Unto The Lord With Song and Dance,” featuring the Second Baptist Church Male Chorus in concert. For more information, call 412-461-8235.


OCTOBER 13—All are Invited to come and celebrate Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Coraopolis’ 120th Church Anniversary. Mt. Olive is located at 1201 Hiland Ave. The theme is: “Celebrating Our Legacy—Embracing Our Destiny” (Luke 6:48). Guest preachers will be Rev. Dr. Winston C. Ridley Jr., Greater First Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. (11 a.m.) and Rev. Derrick Knox, Covenant Heritage Bible Church, Wilmington, Del. (4 p.m.) There will also be a Pre-Anniversary Old-Time Religion Concert on Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. For more information, call 412-264-3125.


OCTOBER 19-20—The Jerusalem Baptist Church, 123 Steuben St., invites all to their Women’s Day weekend. Rev. Marie Kelly, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Hill District, will be the guest preacher for the women’s day luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m. The guest preacher for the Women’s Day Worship service at 11 am on Sunday, Oct. 20, is Rev. Avis Williams of First Baptist Church, West Mifflin. The luncheon Donation is $15 on Oct. 19. For more information, call 412-921-0822.



To place your event in our Church Circuit weekly calendar, Send info to: New Pittsburgh Courier, 315 E. Carson St., Pittsburgh PA 15219 or Email us! religion@newpittsburghcourier.com

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

The Courier is THE VOICE of Black Pittsburgh.






Steelers Ladies Night Out 2019 VALERIE BROWN from Point Breeze, and Karen Gist from Penn Hills, with the Steelers’ six Super Bowl trophies, during the team’s annual Ladies Night Out celebration at Heinz Field, Sept. 16. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)

BENITTA SMITH from East St. Louis, Ill., with Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds.

FREDA PERLMAN from Florida and Barbara Ellis from Rhode Island, with former Steelers QB Charlie Batch.

KAREN GIST, VALERIE BROWN, LISA HARRIS, CHERYL LARRY, MICHELE SUBER-SCOTT, AND AUDREY BROWN, with former Steelers BARBARA TURNER from New Jersey, with former Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats. tight end Matt Spaeth.

MICHELE SUBER-SCOTT from Brighton Heights, and Lisa Harris from Stanton Heights, in front of the locker of Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster.





City League being dominated by the USO Panthers



University Prep now 5-0 after important, 40-6 win over Allderdice

Brashear Bulls progressing

UNIVERSITY PREP’S MICHAEL SNOWDEN, left, an Akron recruit, shoves away Allderdice’s Latrell Childs en route to USO’s 40-6 win over Allderdice, Sept. 20. (Photos by Courier photographer Andre Swinton Jr.)

THE BRASHEAR BULLS picked up their first win of the season (1-4), defeating Wellsburg, W.Va., 25-6, Sept. 20. They’ll next play Thursday, Sept. 26, against Westinghouse, followed by matchups at University Prep (Oct. 3) and at Allderdice (Oct. 10). All games will be played at Cupples Stadium on the South Side. (Photos by Courier photographer Streets)


WHILE BOTH ALLDERDICE AND UNIVERSITY PREP fought valiantly, it was U-Prep, also known as USO, with the big, 40-6 victory, Sept. 20, on the South Side.

SPORTS New Pittsburgh Courier




University Prep’s plan: ‘Bring home trophies’ USO Panthers are 5-0 after crushing Allderdice, 40-6 by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

Even though Allderdice had yet to win a game this season, the Dragons were still, in many local sportswriters’ eyes, the favorite to three-peat as City League champions. But last Friday, Sept. 20, they met up against the University Prep (USO) Panthers, who were undefeated at 4-0. “For some odd reason (before the game), I put up on our board in our football room our USO history against Allderdice, and the first five matchups against Allderdice, we won all five and brought home two championships against that top-notch program,” USO coach Lou Berry told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “We hadn’t beaten them since 2013—so there was a lot of incentive tonight to really play hard and go after it. Make a statement.” After USO’s 40-6 domination of Allderdice on Sept. 20, it’s safe to say, statement made. Senior Michael Snowden, who’s committed to the University of Akron, scored three rushing touchdowns for USO (5-0, 3-0 in City League), and Rashad Murray scored two defensive touchdowns. “If you look at the history of this program, it’s always been built on defense, and if we can get our offensive side of the ball to catch up with our defense, we bring home trophies, and that’s the plan,” Berry told the Courier after the game. USO comprises the schools University Prep, Sci-Tech, and Obama—you must have chemistry to mix the players from all three schools into a winning combination. Berry sees great results coming from the lab. “The chemistry piece is pretty much the reason why this is happening,” he said. “It’s a senior group that doesn’t possess a whole lot of on-field experience, but they’ve been in the program three, four years—now it’s their turn. And a lot of those seniors have stepped up and really taken us to another level.” Seniors like Malachi Quarles, who had a major impact in the win against Allderdice. “Malachi was a role player for us in this program the past three years…found it difficult to find a starting role defensively for us,” Berry said. “Now this year he comes on as one of our four captains, one of our defensive leaders, and he just plays like a man with his hair on fire.” The only score of the game for Allderdice (0-5, 0-2 in City League) was an 82-yard touchdown run by Dajaun Williams. USO’s remaining three regular season games are at Steubenville (Sept. 27), home vs. Brashear (Oct. 3) and at Sharon (Oct. 11). Whether they win out or not, their current commanding lead in the City League standings should secure USO a spot in the City League semi-finals, to be played a week after the regular season ends. A win in the semis, and they’ll have a chance to win their first City League football championship since 2016.


BRENDAN WALLS goes airborne to catch a pass for University Prep, also known as USO, in a huge win over Allderdice, Sept. 20. (Photos by Courier photographer Andre Swinton Jr.)

THE UNIVERSITY PREP PANTHERS ARE 5-0 to start the 2019 season...

THE UNIVERSITY PREP PANTHERS, also known as USO, after their convincing 40-6 win over Allderdice, Sept. 20.

NO OTHER MEDIA OUTLET IN PITTSBURGH Covers the City League like the New Pittsburgh Courier.


BUSINESS New Pittsburgh Courier

J. Pharoah Doss on the disparities Biden tried to put on the record Forum B6




Find what you need from jobs to cars to housing B4-B5


McKeesport Rising

SHARING A MOMENT—Representatives from Penn State Greater Allegheny and McKeesport cut the ribbon at the Mon Valley Launchbox. State Representative Austin Davis, center, is surrounded by Penn State Greater Allegheny and McKeesport officials. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

Introducing The Mon Valley Launchbox Partnership between Penn State Greater Allegheny and city of McKeesport by Diane I. Daniels For New Pittsburgh Courier

More than 130 people were on hand on Sept. 4 to witness the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Mon Valley Launchbox at the Common Ground Building in McKeesport. “The Mon Valley LaunchBox is about vision, commitment, and resilience,” said Penn State Greater Allegheny Chancellor and LEADING THE PROGRAM—McKeesport resident and area state Chief Academic Officer JacRepresentative Austin Davis serves as moderator for The Mon Val- queline Edmondson. “It is ley Launchbox ribbon-cutting ceremony. about making a difference

in the lives of people who have been left behind by a post-industrial economy that ravaged this region over three decades ago. This space is about realizing social and economic change, and most importantly, it is about hope.” The Mon Valley Launchbox is a part of the university’s statewide Invent Penn State program and signifies a focused partnership between the Greater Allegheny campus and the city of McKeesport to bring innovation and economic

development to the Mon Valley. Other participants in the ceremony included Penn State President Eric J. Barron, state legislator Austin Davis (who served as event moderator), McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, Manager of Strategic Initiatives Aaron Whigham, and Director of Continuing Education Eric Ewell. Ewell and Whigham are co-facilitators of The Mon Valley Launchbox. Invent Penn State is designed to blend entrepre-

neurship, focused academic programs, business startup training and incubation, funding for commercialization, and university-community collaborations to facilitate the challenging process of turning research discoveries into valuable products and services that can benefit Pennsylvanians and humankind. The Mon Valley Launchbox is a component of Invent Penn State. Barron indicated that SEE LAUNCHBOX B2

THE GROWTH OF A FASHION ICON: DAYMOND JOHN From growing a six-million-dollar corporation to investing in start-up companies on Shark Tank, Daymond John has made a career out of helping underdogs find success. Known for his determination and work ethic, he uses his time to inspire others to build their own businesses and create their own versions of success. Learn more about his personal success story in this profile on Daymond John.

Early Life Raised in Queens during the 1970s, John was an only child in a single-parent household. Since his mother was often working several jobs to make ends meet, John used his time to pursue his interest in fashion. When he was in high school, John participated in a program that allowed him to work while also attending school full time. This program helped him develop the work ethic we know him for today. FUBU In 1992, John took his aspirations one step further by designing hats to sell at near-

by events. Seeing that there was potential for his idea, John created his logo and began designing his own lines of jerseys, sweatshirts, and t-shirts. Naming his business FUBU, or “For Us, By Us,” his goal was to create a clothing line that marketed exclusively to young African Americans. Over the years, FUBU’s product lines have become more diverse, including lines of sportswear and jeans. This consistent growth since the company’s founding has solidified John’s status as one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation. The Shark In 2009, John starred as a co-host on the television DAYMOND JOHN show Shark Tank. This

sparked the beginning of his work as an angel investor for a variety of start-ups over the years. Nicknamed “The Shark” for his activism, he took the additional step to establish The Shark Group as a way to put other entrepreneurs in contact with additional resources. Additionally, John is a motivational speaker, best-selling author, and even a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.

Cal U President Geraldine Jones talks school’s impact at Chamber PowerBreakfast by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

Just as students returned to classes this month after a summer break, so did the African American Chamber of Commerce’s Powerbreakfast meetings and fittingly, its first guest speaker of the new season was a university president: Geraldine Jones, president of California University of Pennsylvania. She prefaced her Sept. 20 remarks about the university, its history and its beneficial impact on the region by noting that in addition to being president since 2016, she is an alumna, having received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees there. “I am Cal U’s biggest fan,” she said. “People often underestimate the impact it has on student lives and the regional economy. People think we’re just a teacher’s university, but as the region’s economy has changed so has Cal U to meet those changes. We now offer three doctoral

programs; in Criminal Justice, Health Science and Exercise Leadership, and Education and Administration Leadership. We have MBA programs in business alone—and all of them are offered 100 percent online.” She said the ability to offer graduate-level courses online reduces costs for the students, but it also offers scholarships for those who want to attend the Washington County campus. Last year the university gave out $6.3 million in scholarships. “We also have a special tuition reduction for those in the military, which matches their education reimbursement, and we are reaching out to those who have some college but were unable to finish,” she said. “With our robust series of online classes, we are adapting to the needs of our customer base.” Jones said another misconception people often have is that—because it is a state university—the PARTNERS—Chamber President and CEO Doris Carson Williams, board Chair Samuel Stephenson and California University of Pennsylvania President—and Chamber member—Geraldine Jones pose after her presentation at the Sept. 20 Powerbreakfast meeting. (Photo SEE JONES B2 by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)



BUSINESS CALENDAR Ready for web training?

SEPT. 26—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will host Building a Small Business Website: From A to Z, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., 108 Rockwell Hall, 600 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh 15282. Building a website has now become an essential step for businesses to increase their sales. Chris Vendilli from ProFromGo will cover: Cost-effective tools to make a website stand out; Major factors in estimating costs and the timeline to building a website; Differences between agency, freelancer and online website builders; Factors that can improve the process while keeping costs down, and Recommended tools and resources. Cost $35. Call 412-396-5884 for more information.

Alternate Business Funding Workshop

OCT. 2—The Chatham University Women’s Business Center, The Diversity Business Resource Center and the Women’s Business Enterprise Council PA-DE-sNJ will host Think Beyond The Bank—Alternative Funding For Your Small Business, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at CoLab18, 100 South Commons, Pittsburgh, 15212. Hear presentations from and network with representatives of funders including Kiva Pittsburgh, Urban Redevelopment Authority, The Progress Fund, Bridgeway Capital, Honeycomb Credit, Idea Foundry, and the Hebrew Free Loan Association Pittsburgh. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free, but registration—which does not open until mid-September—is required. Call Kate Booker at 412-365-1448 for more information.

Business Growth Seminar

OCT. 10—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will host Proven Strategies for Business Growth, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., 108 Rockwell Hall, 600 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh 15282. Local businesses that have grown using these marketing and finance tools to enter new markets and expand in current ones. Learn how to finance your growth and increase sales through exporting, government procurement, and digital marketing including social media. Speakers include: Andreas Beck, Beyond Spots & Dots; Jim Boltz, North Allegheny Chamber of Commerce; Ryan Lockhart, The 504 Company; Rich Longo, Duquesne University SBDC; Ed Nemeth, Southwestern PA Commission; David Pinkosky, Pittsburgh District Office, US SBA; Johnna Pro, Department of Community & Economic Development; Brent Rondon, Duquesne University SBDC; Heather Thomas, Huntington Bank, and Art Tintori, Catalyst Connection. The workshop is free. Call 412-396-5884 for more information.

E-commerce Workshop

OCT. 15—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will present E-commerce: Ramping up in a competitive landscape, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., 108 Rockwell Hall, 600 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh 15282. The seminar will present the fundamentals on how to save time and money while establishing and growing sales via e-commerce. Among the topics: Ecommerce Platforms of Choice: Shopify and WooCommerce; Shipping & Drop Shipping; Taxes; Search Engine Optimization; Pay Per Click Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. Cost $35. Call 412-396-1633 for more information.

Global Growth Seminar

OCT 21—The Chatham University Women’s Business Center will present Thinking Bigger: How to take a business global in five years— The success Story of Snapology, a Pittsburgh S.T.E.A.M. Education Franchise Company, 5:30 to 8 p.m., Chatham Eastside, 6585 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15206. Hear about the growth process, the decision to license and then the pivot to a franchise model, international expansion and the valuable lessons learned along the way. Cost $10. Registration opens soon. Call Mitra Saeidi at 412-365-2779 for more information.

Start-up Training Event

OCT. 22—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will present First Step: Business Essentials, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., 108 Rockwell Hall, 600 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh 15282. The workshop will cover the basic needs for starting entrepreneurs, including: business structure and formation; insurance; environmental concerns; taxation requirements and more. Cost $25. Call412-396-1633 for more information.

Cal U’s impact JONES FROM B1

bulk of Cal U’s funding comes from the state. Not true. “Now 70 percent of our budget comes from student tuition and fees,” she said. “So we are always looking for individual and corporate sponsors for our endowments.” The return on such investments, she said, is substantial. “There are 68,000 graduates working in Washington, Fayette and Westmoreland counties alone. Spending by the university, staff and students totals $234 million and yields $340 million in tax receipts. So for every dollar in state spending, we return $11.” Jones also suggested Chamber members should visit the campus, which boast a new state-of-theart convocation center that hosts sports, entertainment


and convention and business events. After thanking Jones for her presentation, Chamber President and CEO Doris Carson Williams thanked everyone who attended the Chamber’s “Meet the Primes” event with the contractors on the Pittsburgh International Airport expansion, and also those who attended the first in the Chamber’s educational series on Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. She introduced new members, and noted that Cain Hays, president of Gateway Health, will be the next Powerbreakfast speaker ion Oct. 18. There will also be a special breakfast meeting Nov. 5 with U.S. Steel President David Burritt. The Chamber’s annual business luncheon will be Dec. 5 and the speaker will be Covestro CEO and Chairman Jerry MacCleary.


Debt collectors target people of color by Charlene Crowell

collectors to phone people as often as seven times a week for each debt in For New Pittsburgh Courier collection.   “It should not surprise any of us A new survey asked likely voters across the country what they thought that Americans don’t support govof a proposed debt collection rule. ernment-sanctioned harassment by The response was strong and broad debt collectors via phone, email, or text,” said AFR Senior Policy Counopposition.  Proposed earlier this year by Con- sel Linda Jun. “And yet that’s exactly sumer Financial Protection Bureau what the Kraninger CFPB is propos(CFPB) Director Kathleen Kraninger, ing. The agency needs to withdraw the rule would authorize debt collec- this plan and come up with one that tors to expand how often consumers actually protects consumers.”  The real irony with CFPB is that for could be contacted as well as the ways such contacts could be made: six years, consumers benefitted from a series of actions that helped 29 milemail, text messages, and more.     Conducted by Lake Research Part- lion consumers to receive nearly $12 ners and Chesapeake Beach Consult- billion in restitution and/or forgiveing, the poll was jointly commissioned ness.  Additionally, multiple public by the Americans for Financial Re- forums held across the country on a form (AFR) and the Center for Re- variety of issues gave consumers and sponsible Lending (CRL). The results, all stakeholder interests meaningful released on September 11, found stark opportunities to help shape public opposition by consumers to regulato- policy developments. Research rery reforms announced by the CFPB. leased by the CFPB have documentConsumers are strongly united in ed the harm of abusive debt collecwanting more and better protection tion practices and shown the rippling consequences of financial services in this area of financial regulation.   One in five poll participants were practices as large as mortgages and contacted by a debt collector in the as small as payday loans.   Under the Trump Administration, past 12 months for different types of debt—including medical. Consum- a consistent and focused dereguers of color, lower-income consumers lation effort has been underway to and military families were contact- turn CFPB into a toothless tiger. ed at higher rates. More than one in It’s almost as if CFPB now stands three Black consumers (34 percent) for Corporate Financial Protection or consumers with incomes less than Bureau. Rather than living up to its $50,000 (33 percent), were contact- name, CFPB eschews consumers and ed. Among Latinx consumers, nearly defers to companies and their preferences as to what financial regulation half or 48 percent were contacted.   Likely voters were most concerned should look like.   The Administration has also reabout three specific changes included emphasized consumer in the CFPB debt collection proposal:    peatedly •76 percent opposed allowing debt information and education while collectors to leave messages for peo- predatory lenders pick the pockets of unsuspecting consumers. The erple in places that are not private;   •74 percent opposed allowing debt ror in this approach is that being collectors to contact consumers by aware of what should occur will not private direct messaging on social and cannot change punitive practicmedia platforms like Facebook or es that earn billions of dollars for the corporations abusing consumers.    Twitter; and   These actions are particularly sus•73 percent opposed allowing debt

pect when one considers that debt collection complaints have been among the chief consumer complaints filed at both the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission. Under CFPB’s first director, the agency filed more than 25 federal enforcement actions against debt collectors and creditors that deliver $300 million in restitution and another $100 million in civil penalties due to deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. From weakening the Bureau’s Office of Fair Lending, to rewriting the long-awaited payday lending rule that required lenders to ensure that borrowers can afford to repay these small-dollar loans that come with big costs, businesses and corporations are being coddled while consumers remain caught in harassing debt collection practices and debt trap loans. “Bad policies from Washington are often the brainchild of people who aren’t personally impacted by them,” said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Allied Progress, a consumer advocacy organization. “Maybe spanning the spammer-in-chief at the CFPB will help them realize the massive invasion of privacy that are inviting with this plan…Congress should get prepared to hold them accountable.”    Speaking for the Center for Responsible Lending, Melissa Stegman, a Senior Policy Counsel said:   “The poll is clear—Americans don’t want CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger to give debt collectors a license to harass and intimidate consumers,” said Stegman. “A consumer-first debt collection rule should protect people— and particularly people of color and active duty military members, veterans and their families—from timebarred ‘zombie debt’.” Government is supposed to be ‘for the people’—not for corporations.

(Charlene Crowell is the Communications Deputy Director with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.) 

Modernize the FAA and keep business moving by Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow For New Pittsburgh Courier

Safe and reliable transportation is an essential lifeline of any modern economy. From the trains that whisk business travelers throughout the Northeast corridor and move freight throughout our country to our network of highways that allow people and goods to move freely from coast to coast, America would not be what it is today without these important arteries of commerce. Equally important is the role that airlines and air cargo plays in fueling the American economy. A recent study found the airline industry helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S economic activity and more than 10 million American jobs. When one considers its impact on the broader economy through increased connectivity, trade and enhanced mobility of people, cultures, goods and ideas, commercial air travel has an outsized impact on American industry. Shipping goods by air has transformed business by effectively shortening the distances between goods and consumers. Airlines now carry on average 58,000 tons of cargo per day and have helped facilitate the rise same-day and next-day delivery services. These services, such a big part of e-commerce today, have in turn fueled the rise of a new generation of small business entrepreneurs who rely on the internet and the ability to quickly get goods to their customers to make their living. As the only rapid worldwide transportation network, reliable air transportation is also essential for con-

ducting global commerce. As a leader in the Black business community, we work to empower and sustain African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity both within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora. Connecting with our affiliates in places as far flung as Botswana and Ghana or even closer to home in the Bahamas and Brazil simply would not be possible without a reliable airline industry. But all these benefits may be at risk if we do not soon modernize our antiquated air traffic control systems. Air traffic controllers currently rely on outdated and inefficient control and monitoring systems to keep America flying and the effects are starting to show. Increasingly crowded skies are putting additional strain on a system that already lacks resiliency and redundancy. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now responsible for over 44,000 flights every day and for the first time ever in 2018 domestic airlines flew over one trillion revenue passenger miles. Given the tight operational environment, even minor problems can cause cascading, system-wide issues. This is causing unnecessary delays and costing billions of dollars annually. In 2018 alone travel delays cost an estimated $28 billion in direct costs to passengers, airlines, and airports. This figure, while quite large, fails to consider the billions more in indirect and opportunity costs to businesses for everything from lost productivity to missed meetings. The good news is that there is a solution, and it comes at a fraction of the cost of these delays. The Next Generation Air Transportation System or NextGen is the

Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) plan for modernizing our aging air traffic control systems. NextGen is not one fix but a series of system wide upgrades that would implement cutting edge technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence and apply it to current flight and weather data to eliminate delays, runway circling and delays on the tarmac. This would save time and create a much more energy-efficient system less susceptible to political influence. Unfortunately progress on these upgrades is woefully behind. While Congress has been focusing on crafting a $2 trillion infrastructure bill— that would focus primarily on roads and bridges, water projects and the power grid_they have allowed FAA funding to languish. Despite the urgency of these upgrades, Congress cut the FAA’s budget by $549 million in the most recent funding bill. What little money the FAA can count on has been put into grants to improve safety and capability at key airports across the country, but the fact of the matter is with steady funding, the FAA would be able to do much more. There is an intrinsic value that the speed and connectivity of air travel provides and that no other existing transportation mode can match. America’s airspace is vital to its economic success and investments to modernize the FAA need to be made now to keep America’s businesses moving. Keeping our business moving will ensure the preservation of our greatness. (Harry Alford is the co-founder, president/ CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce ®. Kay DeBow is the co-founder, executive vice president of the Chamber.)

Introducing The Mon Valley Launchbox LAUNCHBOX FROM B1

there are 21 Launchboxes, or innovation hubs across Pennsylvania. “Each is unique, shaped by the distinctive needs of the campus and surrounding community. Some are on or adjacent to the Penn State campus; others are centrally located in the town. All reflect a strong relationship and are sharing a common mission: to inspire and advance innovation and entrepreneurship, and to help transform great ideas into viable products and business opportunities.” Barron said during the first two reporting years, 2016 through 2018, more than 5,000 faculty, staff and students engaged in entrepreneurial activity. Two thousand community entrepreneurs were supported, and 325 new products and startups were developed. “Notably our innova-

tion hubs have led to the creation of 45 companies, nearly 500 new internships and jobs,” he said. Local entrepreneurs include Vicky’s Soul Food Grill, Granny’s Kitchen, the Unique Boutique, Simplicity Event Planning, KL Experience, Cobbler World and Diversity Movers. “While building momentum through partnerships and matching gifts through our campaign, A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, since 2015 we have raised nearly $6 million in external matched and leveraged funds,” Barron said. He noted that Penn State Greater Allegheny was selected to receive a $50,000 Seed Grant based on a commitment to developing entrepreneurship and potential for future success. “This space represents the vision of a mayor who

he advances his vision will effect real change. Mayor Cherepko and his city manager, Tom Magglico, have been incredible partners as we work through challenges for which there is no script and sometimes no clear path forward. I want to thank them for providing this space to us and for their support, collaboration, and belief that Penn State is a partner who can make a difference.” “ Wo r k i n g Together For A Better EXCITED LEADERSHIP—Penn State Greater Allegheny Chancellor and Chief Aca- McKeesport” demic Officer Jacqueline Edmondson, left, with Penn State President Eric J. Barron. is the slo(Photo by Diane I. Daniels) gan of the

works tirelessly to advance his city,” said Dr. Edmondson, who said that Mayor Cherepko is a Penn State alum. “Mayor Cherepko’s vision of McKeesport Rising is inspirational, and some may say against the odds,

but I know he will never give up on his city, its great people, and the potential that is here—and neither will we. Mayor Cherepko knows the power of Penn State and how linking arms with our great university as

city. But Mayor Cherepko said it’s more than just a slogan—“it’s an invitation to be a part of McKeesport Rising.” Edmondson also acknowledged that co-facilitators Whigham and Ewell, along with the street team consisting of various Penn State faculty and staff, played a significant role in the development of the Launchbox. “This space represents their vision and hard work.” The Mon Valley LaunchBox aims to be a catalyst for entrepreneurs and community members to transform the Mon Valley through economic development, social change and innovation. Its aim is to uplift and serve the Mon Valley through change; connecting communities, harnessing ingenuity, accessing resources, networking, generating opportunity and engineering success.





Can America break its gun addiction?

Guest Editorial

Probe Democratic donor drug deaths Prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck has been charged with running a drug house after a man overdosed last week at his home in West Hollywood, California. The charges appear to be long overdue considering that this is the third overdose at Buck’s home since 2017. The man was not identified and survived, while the other two men died. Buck, 65, is charged with maintaining a drug house, battery causing serious injury, and administering methamphetamine, all felonies. He is described in court documents as a “violent, dangerous sexual predator” who targeted men “made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness” by administering them large doses of narcotics as part of his “sexual fetishes.” Prosecutors say Buck continued to inject men with drugs after the two deaths at his home, which occurred in July 2017 and January 2019. The two deaths remain under investigation. The incidents raise questions about whether Buck was protected from earlier prosecution because of his race and class. Buck is White, wealthy and politically connected. He has donated thousands to prominent Democrats including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In addition to being a major Democratic Party donor, Buck is a past candidate for the West Hollywood City Council and is well known in LGBTQ political circles. The two men who died at his home were African Americans lacking wealth and influence. There are questions as to how thoroughly their deaths were investigated by authorities and whether a third overdose at Buck’s home could have been prevented if officials had acted sooner. In July 2017, there was an investigation into the death of Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old gay Black man who was determined to have overdosed at Buck’s residence. He was found naked on a mattress in the living room with drug paraphernalia littered about. An autopsy report said Moore died of a methamphetamine overdose. The coroner’s report also noted that a journal was found in Moore’s possession. “I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” the journal said, according to the newspaper. “Ed Buck is the one to thank, he gave me my first injection.” In another section, the journal said, “If it didn’t hurt so bad I’d kill myself but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.” The county district attorney’s office declined to file charges against Buck. After the second death at Buck’s home, Jasmyne Cannick, a political activist in Southern California, protested outside Buck’s apartment. She accused Buck of picking up Black men outside bars, contacting them on dating apps and paying for those outside the state to fly to Los Angeles to see him. “He never stops,” Cannick said at the rally, pointing to Buck’s apartment. It appears that there will now be a thorough investigation into the deaths of the two men and the overdose of the third who survived. Authorities are finally taking steps to hold Buck accountable. (Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune)

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Rod Doss Editor & Publisher Stephan A. Broadus Assistant to the Publisher Rob Taylor Jr.

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Commentary tailers to act, as Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery chain, CVS, Walgreens and Wegmans also announced bans on open carry. (Other chains like Target, Starbucks and Chipotle have had policies against open carry for years). The laws on open carry and concealed carry of handguns vary from state to state, but open carry is legal in most states, often without any requirement for a permit. Walmart’s example should now lead to a broader nonviolent movement to limit the carrying of guns, even as citizens push for legislative reforms at the state and national level. In many states, like Texas, open carry is legal in churches. Churches across the country should follow Walmart’s lead and post signs banning the carrying of guns—open or concealed—on church property. On university campuses, states’ laws vary dramatically, but most allow institutions to limit open or concealed carry. Students across the country should ensure that their university

has acted to limit guns to the extent the laws allow. At athletic events, again laws vary. Generally, it is illegal to carry guns into professional athletic events from the NFL to the MLB. Most states also ban guns from high school or interscholastic sporting events. But as a college level, laws vary. In many states, concealed carry is legal unless the university posts signs banning guns. Surely every campus should act to keep guns out of the stands at athletic events. If more retailers follow Walmart, and if churches and universities and concert halls and movie theaters act to ban weapons from their premises, a movement for common sense gun regulation can continue to build. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called America the “most violent nation on earth,” he was widely condemned, but he was right. No other nation suffers the level of gun violence that we endure. No other nation fights in as many wars on as many continents as we do. Other nations savaged by civil war or outside invasion may suffer greater casualties in a conflict, but we have made violence—and victims of violence—routine. King argued that we have a choice in the end between nonviolence and nonexistence. The only hope for sensible gun regulation is to challenge the corruption represented by the NRA by nonviolent demonstrations and action, enlisting the overwhelming majority of Americans in a movement for change.

Why are we excluded? (TriceEdneyWire)—Many years ago I moved to the District of Columbia and became aware that people in DC were not accorded voting representation in the House or Senate. I wondered how this could be when we’re American citizens. The right to representation is sacred. I asked a lot of question about our being denied to have representation. The most popular response was simply that we wouldn’t get statehood until a Black person (meaning Marion Barry) was no longer at the head of our city and we were no longer a predominantly Black city. Well, those two requirements have been fulfilled and we’re still not recognized as a state. I wonder what the holdup is! There seems to be a problem about being a majority Democratic city. Republicans didn’t want to allow the Democrats to get two more Democratic Senators who would most likely vote in favor of statehood for Washington, DC! I am mindful that we couldn’t get the bill passed under either Republican or Democratic leaders! What’s next? Since we never give up what we believe we deserve. On 9/19,19, the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform held a historic hearing on D.C. Statehood, H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. This is the first vote taken on Statehood in over 25 years! H.R. 51 has Democratic leadership support with 220 co-sponsors. That’s

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.


hearing: Eleanor Holmes Norton said, “There’s no doubt that the Washington, D.C. Admission Act is constitutional and the state would meet all of its financial, economic and other obligations. The 700,000 Americans living in the District of Columbia would be made whole. The next step is also – H.R. 51 will be marked up to move to the House floor.” “D.C. residents are American citizens.  They fight honorably to protect our nation…. They pay taxes. Not many people know this, but D.C. pays more in total federal taxes than 22 states.  It pays more per capita than any state in the nation.  D.C. residents have all the responsibilities of citizenship, but they have no congressional voting rights and only limited self-government,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. “Finally, there’s but one conclusion —that D.C. military veterans have a fundamental right and earned benefit to have a voice in the election of those representatives who make our laws.  Congress must now do the only right thing and stand up for our D.C. military veterans who have stood up for you,” said Kerwin E. Miller a DC retired Naval Reserve Commander. There are plans to markup the bill in the coming months.  You can help by ensuring that your Member of Congress is voting “Yes” on HR. 51.

still not a majority of the House, not even a majority of the Democrats! From the beginning, many Members of Congress opposed D.C. having Statehood. Some both directly; others indirectly said that D.C. was incapable of governing itself! Congress decided to treat us like slaves. In the 1870’s a Senator from Alabama said that it had been done (stripping DC of our local governance rights) “to burn down the barn to get rid of the rats—(the rats being us and the barn being the government of the District of Columbia.” About 100 years later, D.C. was more than 70 percent Black. A Rep. from Louisiana said that D.C. was a “sinkhole, rat infested, the laughing stock of the free and Communist world.” This was said by Rep. John Rarick. He wasn’t finished. He said that allowing the District to govern itself could result in a Black Muslim “takeover” of the capital… It seems that we have much of the (Dr. E. Faye Williams is national president same rhetoric today, but here’s what witnesses had to say at the recent of the National Congress of Black Women.)

Biden’s words on racial equality ring hollow “I think the Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace— someone who’s not afraid to stand up and offend people, someone who wouldn’t pander, but would say what the American people know in their gut is right.” Former Vice President Joe Biden uttered these words in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1975. But before we proceed, I have to ask: Are you surprised? Perhaps Biden’s humor is lost on me, but I have a hard time understanding how any American leader could make a statement like that and truly believe in racial equality. At first glance, I thought to myself: If Biden wants the support of African American voters, he is going to have to recant this opinion, and apologize for the anger and distrust his words have unjustly ignited. On second thought, I am not sure if it would be a good idea for Biden to address this horrendous comment because I fear that if he tried, he might only succeed in making some aggravated potential threat to our public safety somewhere think that statements like this are in the ballpark of being “OK.” Instead of discussing the reasonable expectation that Biden fumble around and flub a partial apology, here I want to make the case briefly as to why I believe Joe Biden does not deserve the support of the African American community. My thesis: Biden’s 36year Senate history scarcely reflects

Zachary R. Wood

Commentary a strong, honest commitment to fighting for racial justice. To start, as many journalists, and even two presidential candidates have contended, Biden fiercely and persistently opposed busing as a mechanism for desegregation. In his own words, “no issue has consumed more of my time and energy.” This battle in which Biden was an outspoken crusader put him in cahoots with unapologetic white segregationists such as Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond. Making matters worse, his commentary on the issue was flagrantly foul. In one interview, Biden called busing efforts to integrate schools “asinine” because it would “stunt the intellectual growth” of the “children of good citizens who are not racist” and “fill them with hatred” for being sent to “inferior schools.” I prefer not to unpack this one. On top of that, Biden advocated ruthlessly for mass incarceration. He even attacked George H.W. Bush, a Republican president, for not being aggressive enough on crime. His language again was on many occa-

sions shocking and recklessly offensive. What is more, Biden willfully authored several of the most harmful policies undergirding the war on drugs. He wrote legislation increasing policing and the number of prisons, maximizing prison sentences for drug offenses, devising racially disparate punishment for crack cocaine. Less often discussed are some of the detrimental neoliberal economic policies Biden has fought hard for that have particularly disadvantaged African Americans. In 2005, Biden championed a bankruptcy bill that made it harder for individuals facing overwhelming financial challenges to file for bankruptcy and get out of debt. This bill also made it much more difficult for low-income and first-generation college graduates to discharge their student debt. Similarly, Biden has pushed for welfare cuts that constrained the life chances of many families struggling to make ends meet. While I certainly appreciate Biden’s loyal service as Barack Obama’s vice president, I have a hard time reconciling some of his more recent positions on racial equality with his long history of fueling rhetoric and spearheading legislation that have severely hurt African American communities. (Zachary R. Wood is an assistant curator at TED and the author of “Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America.”) (This post originally appeared in The Washington Informer.)

Letters to the editor for publication

Allison Palm

Editor & Publisher Emeritus (1912-1997)

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—After mass shootings in Southaven, Mississippi; Dayton, Ohio; and Midland, El Paso and Odessa, Texas, public demand for sensible gun reform once more soared. And once more, Republican politicians, led by President Donald Trump, were intimidated into inaction by the gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association. Remarkably, it was America’s largest retailer—Walmart—that exhibited the courage politicians lacked. It was in a Walmart store in El Paso where a gunman armed with an assault-style rifle, roused by the hate-filled rhetoric about a Latino “invasion” of our country, shot 48 people, killing 22. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, a lifelong hunter, realized that they had to take action to protect workers and customers in their stores. Walmart announced that it would ban open carry of guns in its stores. In addition, it would discontinue selling handgun ammunition and ammunition that can be used in large-capacity clips on assault-style weapons. This was no small step. The NRA and other gun lobbies immediately called on members to boycott Walmart. Walmart itself projected that it would lose about half of its ammunition sales with this decision and also called on the federal government to act to “strengthen background checks” and to consider “reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban.” Walmart’s action moved other re-

The New Pittsburgh Courier welcomes all responsible viewpoints for publication. All letters should be typewritten and contain writer’s address and phone number for verification. All letters will be edited for clarity and length. Address all letters to: Letters to the Editor New Pittsburgh Courier 315 East Carson Street Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219 You may fax your letter to 412-481-1360, or via e-mail to letters@newpittsburghcourier.com

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Help Wanted

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Experienced carpenter wanted to build/repair an outside deck and stairs at a Hill District property. 302331-5833 Jarus Technologies has Software Engineer – .NET position in Pittsburgh, PA and unanticipated locations throughout the U.S. position using .NET platform, design and develop software applications. Send resumes to S. Vallinayagam at Foster Plaza 6, 681 Andersen Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. Jarus Technologies has a Software Engineer – Java in Pittsburgh, PA and unanticipated locations throughout the U.S. position to design and develop insurance policy administration software system. Collect requirements and implement software modules. Send resumes to S. Vallinayagam at Foster Plaza 6, 681 Andersen Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15220.


Wilkinsburg Borough (EOE) is accepting applications for the position of Finance Director. Requirements and applications for the position can be found at the Borough web site, www.wilkinsburgpa.gov or by stopping in the Borough Offices at 605 Ross Ave. Wilkinsburg, PA 15221 during business hours. Deadline for applications is 10/18/19. Donn Henderson, Manager


The Office of Allegheny County Council is accepting applications for the position of Community Relations & Special Projects Coordinator until Friday, October 4, 2019 at 4:30 PM. Starting Salary is $3,125 per month per month and preferred qualifications include: Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Public Administration, Political Science, Business or a related field; strong communication and writing skills; and proficiency in Microsoft Office. For additional application requirements and job description check our website at https://alleghenycounty.us/ careers/index.aspx


APPLICATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR THE POSITION OF FIREFIGHTER FOR THE ALTOONA FIRE DEPARTMENT Applications for Firefighter for the City of Altoona can be obtained from the Human Resources Office in City Hall between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday, or by visiting www.altoonapa.gov, beginning Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Completed applications must be received in the Human Resources Department no later than NOON ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2019: Human Resources Department – Altoona City Hall 1301 12th Street, Suite 301 Altoona, PA 16601-3491 Individuals on the previous eligibility list must reapply to be considered for employment; as previous applications and eligibility lists are void. REQUIREMENTS: •Must pass a Physical Agility Test to be held in Altoona on Saturday, October 26, 2019 and Sunday, October 27, 2019. •Must pass a Written Civil Service Test to be held in Altoona on Saturday, November 2, 2019, with a score of 70% or better. •Must be a United States citizen. •Must be at least 18 years of age at time of application. •Must have a valid Pennsylvania Driver’s License. • Must be a high school graduate or possess a GED equivalent. •Must be physically and mentally fit to perform the essential duties of a firefighter as determined by successfully completing the physical agility test and physical examination. •Must become a resident of the City of Altoona within six (6) months of date of employment and must remain a resident of the City during the tenure of employment. Applications must be complete, written legibly, signed and notarized. Completed applications must include: •Copy of valid Driver’s License •Copy of Birth Certificate or appropriate proof of age •Copy of Social Security Card or proof of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization •Copy of High School Diploma or GED •Copy of DD214 (if applicable). Veteran’s Preference will be applied to the final score of eligible candidates •Notarized Verification Form •Signed General Consent Form •Check or Money Order in the amount of $25.00 made payable to the “City of Altoona” The City of Altoona is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Complete job description is available at: www.southfayette.org South Fayette Twp. School District 3680 Old Oakdale Road McDonald, PA 15057 Deadline: 4:00 P.M., September 27, 2019, or until position is filled EOE

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WPXI IS HIRING Investigative Producer (Job No. 1910217)

WPXI is seeking a full-time Newscast Producer  with great writing, news judgment and creativity to help drive the best local newscasts in Pittsburgh. Requirements Include: Bachelor’s degree in broadcasting journalism or related field preferred and 2 -3 years of newscast producing experience. Qualified candidates should apply online: jobs.coxmediagroup.com (Job No. 1910217). No phone calls please. WPXI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


Borough of Braddock Hills is looking for part-time Patrol Officers. Applicants can pick-up applications at Borough Building or download from website at braddockhill spa.com. Current starting salary is $20 per hour. Qualified candidates must meet the following criteria. •Be 21 years of age and be a US Citizen •High school graduate •Successfully completed Act 120 training •Successfully pass a physical and psychological evaluation •Possess a valid PA Driver’s License •Have 2,000 hours of Police Officer experience •Able to work 16-32 hours weekdays and holidays (no weekends) •Able to work 2nd and 3rd shifts and overtime if needed Hiring process will include interview, passing background checks and drug testing. We are an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status or disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act) with respect to employment opportunities. ANNOUNCEMENTS Meetings


The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s Board of Commissioners will hold its monthly meeting for September on Thursday, September 26, 2019. The board meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. @ 200 Ross Street, 13th Floor Wherrett Room, Pittsburgh, PA 15219


A regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the College will be held on: October 3, 2019 4:00 PM CCAC Allegheny Campus- Byers Hall 808 Ridge Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 LEGAL ADVERTISING Legal Notices

Estate of MARY LOIS GALLAGHER, Deceased, of Pittsburgh, NO. 021904715 OF 2019. Mary Eileen Gallagher Adm. Or to c/o Jacqueline H. Brangard, Esquire, Scolieri Law Group, P.C., 1207 Fifth Avenue, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Estate of NORMAN E. SMILNYAK, Deceased of Oakdale, Alllegheny County, Pennsylvania, No. 02-19-05551. Laurie Lee Corrigan, Executrix, 2303 Elm Drive, Oakdale, PA 15071 or to ROBIN L. RARIE, Atty., BRENLOVE & FULLER, LLC, 401 Washington Avenue, Bridgeville, PA 15017. Estate of MR. RAMON MUNDY, Deceased, of 1401 Sherman Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Estate No. 02-19-05762 Ms. Jeanine Bacon, 1414 Hamlin Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233, Administrator, c/o Max C. Feldman, Esquire and the Law Office of Max C. Feldman, Esquire and the Law Office of Max C. Feldman, 1322 Fifth Avenue, Coraopolis, PA 15108 Estate of MS. HELEN D. ROSE, Deceased of 45 Eichelberger Drive, Coraopolis, PA 15108. Estate No. 02-19-05843 Ms. Linda D’Amico, 2016 Cutter Drive, McKees Rocks, PA 15136, Executrix, c/o Max C. Feldman, Esquire and the Law Office of Max C. Feldman, 1322 Fifth Avenue, Coraopolis, PA 15108. Estate of GLENICE D. PRICE, Deceased of Pittsburgh, PA No. 05862 of 2019. Jannie Dean, Administratrix, 2015 Calistoga Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15221 or to Thelma C. Spells, Esquire, Atty., 1533 Bidwell Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233.

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Legal Notices





Notice is given that the Articles of Incorporation of Jordan Investment Properties Inc. have been filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State, and the corporation has been incorporated under the provisions of the Business Corporation Law of 1988.



Sealed bid proposals are hereby solicited for the Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15233 (412.237.3020) on the following items: Bid Proposal No. 1055 – Printing Community Education Schedules Proposals will be received at the Purchasing Department until 2:00 P.M. Prevailing Time on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. The CCAC Purchasing Department is now publishing all bids via the CCAC website at https://www. ccac.edu/Bid-RFP_Opportunities.aspx. It will be each vendor’s responsibility to monitor the bid activity within the given website (“Bid and RFP Opportunities”) and ensure compliance with all applicable bid documents inclusive of any issued addenda. Failure to incorporate any applicable addenda in the final submittal may result in the rejection of your bid. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to reject any and all bids. The Community College of Allegheny County is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and encourages bids from Minority/Disadvantaged owned businesses.


The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby request proposals from qualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): Elevator Repair and Maintenance Authority Wide The documents will be available no later than September 16, 2019 and signed, sealed bids will be accepted until 2:00 P.M. on October 4, 2019 at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, at which time they will be opened and read aloud. 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 412-456-5116 Opt 1 A pre bid meeting will be held: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Dept. 100 Ross Street 2nd. Fl. Ste. 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 September 26, 2019 2:00 P.M. 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.

SEPARATE and SEALED BIDS for the following solicitation, will be received by the Office of Procurement, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, 1200 Penn Ave., Second Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, until 2:00 PM Prevailing Time October 23, 2019. INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) BULK DIESEL FUEL PWSA PROJECT NO. PWSA128 Work under this contract includes the provisions of diesel fuel. All bids must be submitted in accordance with the solicitation that can be obtained by sending an e-mail to procurement@pgh2o.com. There will be no charge for the solicitation, as it will be sent via e-mail. All questions relating to the solicitation itself shall be to Susan Kemery, via e-mail: skemery@pgh2o.com, no later than October 16, 2019. The Contractor must assure that employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, sexual preference, sex, or national origin. The bidders will be required to submit the package of certifications included with the contract documents relating to Equal Employment Opportunity. The Authority reserves the right to withhold the award of the Contract for a period of 60 days after the opening of the bids. The Authority reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, and to waive any informality or minor irregularity in any bid or bids. The Authority also retains the right to investigate the qualifications of bidders prior to any award and to award contracts only to contractors who, in the sole judgment of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, are qualified and equipped to properly execute the specified work. ROBERT A. WEIMAR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THE PITTSBURGH WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY


SEPARATE and SEALED BIDS for the following solicitation, will be received by the Office of Procurement, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, 1200 Penn Ave., Second Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, until 2:00 PM Prevailing Time October 23, 2019. Bids must be received in the hands of and stamped in by a PWSA Procurement Officer in sufficient time prior to the opening in order for a bid to be considered. INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB)FOR TEMPORARY TRAFFIC CONTROL SITES PROJECT NO. PWSA127 It is the intent of the Authority to establish a contract to provide temporary traffic control sites as needed. All bids must be submitted in accordance with the solicitation that can be obtained by sending an e-mail to procurement@pgh2o.com. There will be no charge for the solicitation, as it will be sent via e-mail. All questions relating to the solicitation itself shall be directed to Susan Kemery, Sr. Contract Specialist, via e-mail to: skemery@pgh2o.com, no later than October 16, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. A 10% Bid bond is required with bid submissions. Upon award, the vendor will need to submit 100% Performance bond and Labor/Material bond. The Contractor must assure that employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, sexual preference, sex, or national origin. The Authority reserves the right to withhold the award of the Contract for a period of 90 days after the opening of the bids. The Authority reserves the right to reject any or all bids, and to waive any informality or minor irregularity in any bid or bids. The Authority also retains the right to investigate the qualifications of bidders prior to any award and to award contracts only to contractors who, in the sole judgment of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, are qualified and equipped to properly execute the specified work.


The Sports & Exhibition Authority will receive sealed bids for Chilled Water Pumps Variable Frequency Controller Motor Replacement as identified below for the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC). The contract for this work will be with the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Inquiries regarding the bidding should be made to the Sports & Exhibition Authority (DLCC) 1000 Ft Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Attention: Ryan Buries-E-mail: rburies@ pittsburghcc.com, Telephone: 412325-6179. Bid Packages may be obtained after the date identified below through Accu-Copy at (724) 935-7055. Additional information on the project can also be found of Accu-Copy’s website at http:// www.accu-copy.com/plan-room This Advertisement applies to the following Bid Package: Project: DLCC Bid Package Name: Chilled Water Pumps Variable Frequency Controller Motor Replacement (Drives) Bid Package Available: Sept. 25, 2019 Approximate Value: $65,000 Time/Date/Location for Pre-Bid Meeting: 10:00am, Thurs., Oct. 3, 2019 Time/Date/Location for Bid: 1:30 pm, Fri., Oct. 25, 2019, DLCC, 1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15222


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 AM on October 24, 2019 and will be read at 11:15 AM, the same day, at Port Authority’s Heinz location (345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-2527), for the following: Electronic Proposal Ebusiness website (http://ebusiness.portauthority.org) B190427AR Reman/Exchange/ New Cummins Turbocharges B190859AR Bicycle Racks - Coach B190964A Snow removal Services - P&R Lots B190965A EGR Coolers - Cummins Engines B190974A Landscaping & Trash Removal Services for P&R Lots 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 on each of the above items at 10:00am October 9, 2019 at Port Authority’s Heinz location (345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, PA). 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 within five (5) business days of the scheduled bid opening. These contracts may be subject 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 otherwise specified. Costs for delivery, bond, and insurance shall be included in bidder’s proposal pricing. Port Authority of Allegheny County 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.










The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby request proposals from qualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): Project Based Voucher Program 2019 RFP #125-26-19 The documents will be available no later than September 23, 2019 and signed, sealed proposals will be accepted until 10:00 A.M., October 11, 2019 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 may obtain information from: Mr. Kim Detrick – Procurement Director/Chief Contracting Officer Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 2nd Floor, Suite 200 100 Ross Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-456-5116, Option 1 or by visiting the Business Opportunities section of www.hacp.org A pre bid meeting will be held: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street, 2nd Floor Conference Room Pittsburgh, PA 15219 October 3, 2019 10:00 A.M. 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.


Sealed bids will be received in the Bellefield Avenue Lobby, Administration Building, 341 South Bellefield Avenue until 11:00 A.M. prevailing time October 1, 2019 and will be opened at the same hour for the purchase of the following equipment and supplies: CALCULATORS General Information regarding bids may be obtained at the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Service Center, 1305 Muriel Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. The bid documents are available on the School District’s Purchasing web site at: www.pgh schools.org Click on Our Community; Bid Opportunities; Purchasing - under Quick Links. The Board of Public Education reserves the right to reject any and all bids, or select a single item from any bid. We are an equal rights and opportunity school district


IPRNE, LLC – ITB Minority Sub Quotes (MBE/WBE/VBE/SDVBE) Project: Pittsburgh Water & sewer Authority – 2019 Small Diameter Sewer Rehabilitation (IDIQ) Bids – September 25, 2019 Quotes Returned – 9/24/2019 COB Scopes Needed: Clean/CCTV Bypass Traffic Control Lateral Lining Lateral CCTV inspection Erosion Control Contact Sherrie Sommerville Specs/Plans - 832-948-4541 IPRNE  EOE


The following surplus equipment will be offered for sale to the highest bidder(s): REQUEST FOR QUOTATION 191007 - SALE OF SURPLUS Computers, Monitors, Misc. IT Equipment, Microscopes, Snow Plows, Generators, Dolly, Salt Spreader, Gravely Tractor, Washer/Dryer, Etc. Bids are due in to the CCAC Purchasing Department no later than 2:00 PM on Monday, October7, 2019. For more information, contact Mike Cvetic at mcvetic@ccac.edu. Community College of Allegheny County Purchasing Department 800 Allegheny Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15233

The Courier is THE VOICE of Black Pittsburgh.



Pittsburgh native Billy Porter makes history Wins Emmy for Best Lead Actor in Drama Series PORTER FROM A1

told that who and what I am is never going to be successful. Period. That’s what I was told. I did not believe them.” Porter, who, one could say, got the best 50th birthday present one could receive (his birthdate is Sept. 21, 1969), had found success on Broadway and as a vocalist. But he told the Los Angeles Times that when it came to Hollywood, the TV side, he almost gave up on those dreams. “I wasn’t having a whole lot of luck crossing over from theater into film and TV,” Porter told the Los Angeles Times in early 2019. “(There was) lots of dismissal, dismissive energy surrounding what I do, what I bring, whatever. But a few years prior, I started looking at the landscape and going, ‘Well, who would get me? Who’s in the showrunning position that could get me?’ And Ryan Murphy came up and I just went—Ryan Murphy, and started typing him in my journal, started saying him in my prayers—so when the phone rang, and they said, ‘Ryan Murphy, “Pose,” and it’s set in the LGBTQ ballroom

culture,’ I just started laughing.” The character of Pray Tell is a gay man who is living with HIV. Pray Tell deals with losing his partner, and finds new hope through activism. “Pose,” created by Murphy, had six Emmy nominations total, and just finished its second season on FX. “We as artists are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet,” an overjoyed Porter said onstage, Emmy award in hand. “Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth. I love you all.” Porter has Tony and Grammy awards to his credit. He won the 2013 Tony and Drama Desk awards and a 2014 Grammy for his performance as Lola in the musical, “Kinky Boots.” Being a Tony and Grammy award winner is already a huge deal. Of course, it came after years of professional work for Porter, which included solo albums “Untitled,” “At the Corner of Broadway + Soul—LIVE” and “Billy’s Back on Broadway.” On the acting side, his Broad-

way credits include “Miss Saigon,” “Five Guys Named Moe,” “Grease,” “Dreamgirls” and “Shuffle Along.” Kerry Washington, a four-time Emmy nominee and winner of multiple awards for her acting prowess, proclaimed that “once again we watch history unfold” as she announced Porter’s name as the winner of the Emmy Award, Sept. 22. The audience collectively cheered and seemed ecstatic that they were in the building the moment one of Porter’s biggest professional dreams became reality. “I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day,” Porter said onstage, his sister, Mary Martha Ford, in attendance. Quoting African American novelist James Baldwin, Porter said: “It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth like I had a right to be here.” “I have the right,” Porter said. “You have the right. We all have the right.”

Criminal Justice Reform takes three big steps forward Foundation funding to help address front-end inequities REFORM FROM A1

al supervision officer and one pretrial investigator to increase the number of people assessed for pretrial risk; two senior screener assistant district attorneys for the pretrial screening unit to improve the rate at which cases are ready to proceed at formal arraignment; one probation manager to coordinate early probation terminations and detainer resolutions and to serve as a liaison to 14 Court of Common Pleas judges; and one project director. During a “pilot period,” involving public defenders appearing at roughly 250 preliminary arraignments, the report said there was a 17 percent decrease in the use of money bail, a 19 percent increase in the frequency of agreement between magisterial district judges’ decisions and pretrial recommendations, an 8 percent decrease in jail bookings at the time of the preliminary arraignment, and a narrowing of racial gaps in jail bookings. Part of reducing incarceration involves diversion for non-violent defendants with mental health and addiction needs, but there is a shortage of diversion options, especially for indigent

defendants. But reducing incarceration will free up space in the county jail. A $10 million grant over three years from the Pittsburgh Foundation will help the institute team explore the best options for repurposing jail space. A separate $350,000 grant will fund work to identify and address the causes of the racial disparity found in the jail population—as of Sept. 24, it is 60 percent Black, despite the Black population of Allegheny County being just over 12 percent. While the county’s MacArthur Foundation grant application found racial disparities at “every stage of the system,” the bulk, again, appears at the front end: “White defendants are 33 percent less likely to have an on-view arrest on their charges than Black defendants; White defendants are 41 percent less likely to be sentenced to a jail sentence (on the same charges) than Black defendants; Judges are 22 percent less likely to concur with pretrial’s ROR (release on recognizance) recommendation and 10 percent less likely to concur with pretrial’s non-monetary (bail) recommendation for

Black defendants than for White defendants, and overall, Black defendants spend an average 21 more days in the jail than White defendants.” The Buhl Foundation has been working with police to address the arrest and charging disparities through its One Northside Initiative since 2014. It involves specialized training for officers and residents, diversion for young adults involved in non-violent crimes, and replacing traditional police stations with safety centers such as the one opened in Northview Heights in 2018. With these additional resources going to implement recommendations made by the institute and its task force, Institute Chair Mark Nordenberg is hopeful about the future. “We were very careful about structuring this process, and it appears to be working just as we hoped it would,” he said in a Sept. 18 press announcement. “Almost all of the goals currently being pursued can be linked to recommendations that we made in the original Task Force Report.” The full Progress Panel update can be found at www.iop.pitt.edu/ progresspanel.

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Big changes needed at the CIA to advance Trump’s smart strategy After decades of American predictability, President Trump’s unexpected decision to cancel a secret Camp David meeting with the Taliban is the latest example of the effectiveness and strength of the strategy of the Trump negotiation team. The White House is no longer predictable. Instead, the president has time and again displayed willingness to make unanticipated maneuvers in order to achieve U.S. national security objectives. The sound decision to walk away from negotiations at this time not only advanced the U.S. negotiation position and strengthened the hand of lead negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, but it also sent shock waves through Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. The Afghanis, Pakistanis, and Iranians who were accustomed to working off the predictable playbooks of America’s last three presidents are now silent, struggling to determine their next move. President Trump’s decision to walk away from negotiations compounded by the leak of the planned Camp David meeting has left the Taliban delegation utterly humiliated. The president outmaneuvered the Taliban delegation, weakening them in-

Armstrong Williams

Commentary side Afghanistan. These high-stake moves have now signaled a dramatic change in tactics to the region’s players: Pakistan and Iran. Back on the American front, our strategic weakness lies within the CIA and the Pentagon. These institutions’ continued unwillingness to put their full commitment behind the president’s clearly stated objective to withdraw U.S. military conventional forces, reduce the 17-year presence of overt, uniformed services personnel and transition to a Title 50, covert action program, led by the CIA—is detrimental. President Trump’s new strategy dramatically reduces the overt footprint of the U.S. military, bending the cost curve in a direction that is sustainable and ending the senseless casualties we continue to sustain. The fiscal burn rate right for continuing “business as usual” is approximately $54 billion annually for us to keep “overseas contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.” The president has stated clearly to the intelligence community and the Pentagon that this is not sustainable, but unacceptable. America spends over $1 billion every week from the Pentagon budget in these two countries. More troops and more money without a new strategy is a formula for failure. Retired General Stanley McCrystal suggested that we just “muddle through like this, for another few years, and see what shakes out.” Does that sound like a wise strategy? The Pentagon command has actually told the president it will take another 18 to 20 years to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan on pace with current operations and expenditures. This shift from overt boots on the ground to a more effective and streamlined force of special operators will achieve several key objectives. First, it will deplete far less of our nation’s valuable fiscal reserves. Second, but by far the most important to American parents, is that it will reduce needless deaths of young men and women bravely serving but in a losing battle with no end in sight. As General Scott Miller follows the president’s directive and transitions our troops to a more covert footprint, the missing piece at the moment is the CIA, which is dragging its feet and failing to do its share of planning, funding and implementing a smart strategy. Sadly, the CIA has lost its institutional memory on how to properly design and implement a multiyear covert action program, and how to creatively fund such a program. Our government, with proper planning, could set up a program to stabilize the Afghan armed forces, build capacity through training and equipment, assist the Afghans with intelligence and air cover for the next five years all while shouldering just half of the cost. President Trump is on the right track in terms of both policy and tactics. But the intelligence apparatus is either incapable or unwilling to do what is being asked of them. A similar problem faced President Reagan when he took over a CIA that was seriously depleted under President Carter. The Reagan administration fixed the CIA in short order through dynamic leadership, a handful of strategic sackings of bureaucrats in Washington and in the field stations, and by bringing in a cadre of senior, experienced contract case officers and leaders to mentor the incoming officer corps and move the CIA forward. Within nine years, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the Cold War was over. The bottom line is that optimal results can occur in a shortened timeframe, but not with the current leadership team at the CIA-holding America back. (Armstrong Williams is manager/sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the year.) (Reprinted from the Amsterdam News)

Blacks have faithfully served the party 83 years, but...! My first time I It took from 1932 went to the election Louis ‘Hop’ Kendrick until the death of polls was 1949. Too Dr. Martin Luther young to vote, but King Jr. in the late it provided me with 1960s that persons the opportunity to now owned by the observe and learn. Democratic bosses At that period of stepped up and positime we were netive changes started groes and colored to occur. We began to and were a bloc of march, picket, boyvoters the Democratic Party could count cott, and file lawsuits. Across America on. At every poll there was a picture of we began to fill the courts with legal acPresident Franklin Roosevelt, and the tions headed up by the GREAT ONE, Atcolored voters referred to him as the torney Thurgood Marshall, who became Messiah. the first Black to be appointed to the U.S. Prior to 1932, colored voters were cap- Supreme Court. It is regretful that nothtivated by the Republican Party because ing lasts forever. Do you recall the period President Abe Lincoln had signed the of time that there were two stadiums beEmancipation Proclamation, but the ing built in Pittsburgh at the same time? country was in the throes of a depres- William “Bill” Robinson (then Pa. Rep. sion. The owner of the Pittsburgh Cou- Bill Robinson) put together a report card rier coined the phrase, “The time had that would grade the Democratic Party arrived that colored persons should turn on the percentages of contracts awarded Abe Lincoln’s picture to the wall and to Black contractors. The lack of Blacks vote Democratic.” who were awarded contracts was so disThis was the beginning of a marriage mal that Rep. Robinson awarded the between colored voters and the Demo- Democratic Party a red “E.” The Democratic Party in Allegheny County, partic- cratic Party was livid and summoned the ularly in Pittsburgh. A minister always colored spokespersons with one order: uses the phrase during marriage, “until “Bill Robinson must go,” and the unanideath do us part,” and the colored voters mous response was, “Yes, Boss Man.” have remained married to the party for Developers and contractors across this the last 85 years on a local level. Political city are flourishing and you can count death is knocking at our doors and the the Blacks on one hand and the colored colored spokesperson keeps telling us to spokespersons are silent. The City of ignore it. It took the colored voters from Pittsburgh just recently hired 78 police 1934 to 1996 (62 years) to ignore these officers and only three were Black and colored spokespersons and install a Re- the colored spokespersons once again publican majority in Allegheny County. were absolutely silent. White Democrats I could list a number of cities across this are turning their backs on the party, country that suffer from this same prob- they are now Independents or Progreslem across this country, but my main sives, but many of them are different concern is PITTSBURGH. A glaring ex- than the colored spokesperson. They, ample of ineffective colored leadership is more and more, have begun to reject the city of Philadelphia where the pop- that saying...”The party comes before ulation is 46 percent Black and only 2 the people.” (Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a contributor to the percent of the businesses are owned by New Pittsburgh Courier.) Blacks.

To Tell The Truth

Disparities Biden tried to put on the record Last month, Demof comments he ocratic presidential J. Pharoah Doss made 40 years ago front-runner, Joe against reparations Biden, was accused for slavery, then of racism after a asked what respontown hall meeting sibility Americans hosted by the Asian had to repair the & Latino Coalilegacy of slavery? tion in Des Moines, Biden stumbled Iowa. (The host through his angroup was made up swer, and after of Asians and Latinos, but the audience the debate, Biden was attacked for inBiden addressed was mostly White.) sulting Black parents. Biden began Newspapers across the country quoted by admitting there was institutional Biden saying, “We should challenge stu- segregation, but it was addressed by dents in these schools…We have this the federal government. He listed his notion that somehow if you’re poor, you education proposals such as tripling cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright the amount of money spent on poor and just as talented as White kids.” schools and increasing teachers’ pay. Here, Biden’s tongue slipped. He said Then Biden mentioned support systems “White kids” when he meant “wealthy and bringing in the help students need. kids,” but Biden caught the error, cor- Biden stated, “the teachers deal with rected himself, and the audience ap- the problems that come from home. We plauded. But a New York Times head- have one school psychologist for every line said: Biden says “poor kids” are just 1,500 kids in America today. We have to as bright as “White kids,” and Biden was make sure that every child (three, four, accused of assuming “Whites” had supe- and five years old) goes to school not rior intelligence. daycare. We need to bring social workThen I watched the video footage of ers into the homes to help [parents] Biden in Iowa and discovered there was deal with and raise their children. It’s a sentence missing from the quote in not that they don’t want to help. They print. Right after Biden said “we should don’t know quite what to do. Play the challenge students in these schools,” he radio…Make sure the record player is mentioned that “these schools should on at night, make sure they hear words. have advanced placement programs.” A child coming from a poor background That sentence makes a big difference. will hear 4 million fewer words by the According to a University of New time they get to school.” Hampshire study, the availability of But Biden was off the mark here. advanced placement courses decreases A study at Stanford University testas schools get smaller and farther from ed the language processing of 18- and major cities. The study found rural stu- 24-month-old toddlers. By 18 months, dents have considerably less access to children in different socioeconomic AP courses than their peers in more ur- groups display dramatic differences in ban areas: 47.2 percent of rural school their vocabularies. By age 2, the disparidistricts have no students enrolled in AP ty in vocabulary development has grown courses, compared with only 20.1 from significantly, and by 3 years of age, there town districts, 5.4 from suburban dis- is a 30-million-word gap between chiltricts, and 2.6 from urban districts. dren of the wealthiest and poorest famMaybe, in Iowa, Biden tried to address ilies. something the Democratic Party’s 2016 Biden tried to put this word gap in the nominee ignored. public record, but the public laughed at At the recent Democratic presiden- him for mentioning a record player in tial debate, an ABC News moderator the 21st century, and completely ignored informed Biden that she wanted to dis- the problem Biden was trying to resolve cuss inequality in schools and race. She with the outdated device. set up her question by reminding Biden

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Angela Sailor


America is my home (TriceEdney)—Do you consider America to be your home or just the place you happen to live? September 22 has long been a meaningful date for me and my family. That’s the day, in 1862, when Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.   This year, as that date approached, I was listening to one of my all-time favorites, Luther Vandross’s “A House Is Not A Home,” when the question popped into my head: Do I consider America to be my home, or just my house?  I know many in our community feel marginalized-as though America is not the loving, accepting, nurturing place that we often dream of. But, in real life, no homes are idyllic all the time. There are tensions, stresses, arguments and divisions, even in loving families.  So, looking at America with realistic eyes, is it truly my home?   If I posed that the question to billionaire entrepreneur David Steward, entertainment giant Tyler Perry, or my bossKay Coles James, the president of The Heritage Foundation—I’d wager they’d all have the same answer.  Each of these leaders has demonstrated that they view America as not just a house but a home. Each has lived a real-life success story.   Rooted in humble beginnings, with the odds at their faces, each stepped beyond the walls of their community and the limits of their circumstances to explore, trail-blaze and ultimately conquer the unknown.   Empowered by emancipation, they have undertaken the all-American pursuit of happiness and left a lasting mark-a legacy, if you will-on the American identity and our nation’s culture. Today, they stand as beacons of light, shining example to the next generation of what we can accomplish with our God-given talents, the freedoms we enjoy, the opportunities available in our nation and, yes, a whole lot of determination.   As a community, we must be courageous enough to deal with the tragedies we have suffered as a people as well as our past failures-and to learn from them. But let us learn to forgive, and to encourage each other to move on boldly to pursue happiness and make the most of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.  As for how I answer the house/home question...  When I reflect on America’s history, I also think about my family and the legacy of my forefathers and foremothers. Grandma Irene, fully decorated with a third-grade formal education and a Ph.D. in homemaking and rainmaking from the school of wisdom, intentionally pounded history into our household discussions. We often spoke about Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Booker T. Washington and their different roles and approaches to liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness. As we slowly rocked on her front porch during the summer nights, she would proudly whisper about  Crispus Attucks the first American to die in the Revolutionary War,  Benjamin Banneker, the architectural genesis who designed our nation’s capital, and  Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, the first person to successfully perform open-heart surgery.  Grandma’s history lessons about great Americans who looked like us convinced me that inalienable rights are the pathway to being better than just good, but good for something.  My grandmother believed God anointed us with the power to overcome trials, tribulations, obstacles, disparities, and hopelessness by emancipating ourselves in the walk toward freedom and opportunity.   George Washington viewed freedom much like Grandma did-as a fundamentally internal or spiritual power rather than as a physical or political state. He noted that:  All through human experience, we find that the highest and most complete freedom comes slowly, and is purchased only at a tremendous cost. Freedom comes through seeming restriction…Those persons in the U.S. who are most truly free in body, mind, morals, are those who have passed through the most severe training-are those who have exercised the most patience, and at the same time, the most dogged persistence and determination.”  Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation loosed the chains that had too long bound our people. It opened the door to us enjoying the freedoms that, under the Constitution, belong to all citizens. With that act, America became a home for my family-one that gives us freedom: the freedom to use our God-given abilities for our own benefit and the freedom to pursue happiness according to our own lights.   The next generation has those freedoms, so let’s invest our time teaching them how make America their home. (Angela Sailor is a vice president of The Heritage Foundation, a leading national think tank based in Washington, D.C.) 

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New Pittsburgh Courier 9-25-19 edition  

New Pittsburgh Courier 9-25-19 edition