Posts tagged with "justice"

Sara Sandman, 360 MAGAZINE, illustration, community service, philanthropy, humanitarian

COVID-19 TOWN HALL

Today, BET announced a partnership with civil rights organization and stewards of human rights, the NAACP, on a four-part tele-town hall series “Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET” focused on how the pandemic is affecting African Americans and what steps the community can take to build an action plan for positive change. The first town hall kicks-off on Wednesday, April 8, at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT, and will focus on the health, emotional, economic toll, congressional response and how activists can apply pressure to ensure legislation is equitable. Viewers can participate LIVE via an interactive toll-free conference call that will also be streamed at https://naacp.org/call-to-action-program/. To participate via phone dial 866-757-0756 and to join the conversation on social media follow @NAACP and @BET.
 
“As the world faces unprecedented times and new realities during this global pandemic, the health and safety of people around the planet, particularly African Americans, are at an unparalleled risk,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. “The occasion to uplift and educate our community during this pivotal moment charts a pathway forward through uncertain times. The NAACP, in partnership with BET, is committed to rising to meet this moment head-on through this informative four-part series focused on the health, economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African American Community.”
 
“As the devastation from the COVID-19 pandemic mounts, BET is developing partnerships and programs to support our community through this global health and financial crisis,” said Scott Mills, President of BET.  “We’re proud to work with our long-time partner the NAACP on this important town hall series that will provide comprehensive information for African Americans that will empower and help the community move forward during these difficult times.”
 
In the United States alone, close to 200,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed. Because of the racial and economic inequities embedded in our country’s infrastructure, the effects of the coronavirus could be compounded for Black and Brown communities. The town hall series will help separate facts from myths and directly address how to ensure that the policies and practices that are born out of this pandemic justly address the health, economic and social needs of all people. The weekly series will focus on issues such as the state impact, response, and what comes next to advocating for your local community to the impact to schools, school systems, colleges, and exposed divisions.

JOSEPH LOWERY, BARACK OBAMA, MEDAL OF FREEDOM, VAUGHN LOWERY, 360 MAGAZINE

REMEMBERING JOSEPH LOWERY

“When black will not be asked to get in back; when brown can stick around; when yellow will be mellow; when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.” – Joseph Lowery

Former Co-Founder/President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Rev. Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, transitioned on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 10pm at the age of 98. He was one of the last remaining leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. Lowery has assumed and executed a broad and diverse series of roles over the span of his eight decades: leader, pastor/preacher, servant, father, husband, freedom fighter and advocate. FOX 5 Atlanta pays tribute to Lowery HERE.

In 1997,he was dubbed the ‘Dean of the Civil Rights Movement’ upon receipt of the NAACP’s Lifetime Achievement Award. On January 20, 2009, in his inimitable style; Dr. Lowery delivered the Benediction on the occasion of President Obama’s inauguration as the 44th President of the United States. On August 12, 2009 when President Barack Obama awarded him the nation’s highest civilian honor: The Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the nonviolent struggle for the causes of justice, human rights, economic equality, voting rights, peace and human dignity.

Born in Huntsville, Alabama, on October 6th, 1921, Rev. Dr. Lowery’s legacy of service and struggle is long and rich. His genesis as a Civil Rights advocate dates to the early 1950s where, in Mobile, Alabama he headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association; the organization which led the movement to desegregate buses and public accommodations. In 1957, with friend and colleague, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. he was a Co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), where served in an array of leadership positions, including: Vice President (1957-67); Chairman of the Board (1967-77); and as President and Chief Executive Officer from (1977-1998).

In 1961, he was one of four Alabama pastors whose property was seized by the Alabama Courts in an historic, precedent setting libel suit, Sullivan v. NY Times, Abernathy, Lowery, Shuttlesworth, & Seay, because of their civil rights work.The United States Supreme Court vindicated the ministers in a landmark ruling which remains an important element in the protections afforded the free speech rights of the press, and of citizens advocating and protesting for justice and societal change.

In March of 1965, he was chosen by Dr. King to chair the Delegation delivering the demands of the Selma-to-Montgomery March George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama.  As the world witnessed, Wallace ordered the marchers beaten in the incident that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday”, which ultimately led to enactment of the Voting Rights Act.

Throughout his career, Rev. Dr. Lowery’s commitment to human rights and social justice exists on a global scale. His work resulted in the desegregation of Nashville, Tennessee schools, presenting Nelson Mandela with the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award following his release from prison in 1990, leading a peace delegation to Lebanon and nations in Central America to seek justice by nonviolent means, and securing millions of dollars in contracts for minority businesses in the Southern region of the United States.

His efforts also emphasize the need to uplift and empower historically disenfranchised communities. Ranging from supporting the families affected by the Atlanta “Missing and Murdered Children Crisis” through setting up funds with Citizen Trust Bank, demanding election reform and economic justice as Convener of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda (GCPA), to advocating for the rights of Black farmers discriminated against by the Department of Agriculture – Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery remains committed to cultivating the Beloved Community and reminds us to “turn TO each other not ON each other!” Ebony Magazine, in recognizing Rev. Dr. Lowery as one of the nation’s “15 Greatest Black Preachers,” described him as the “consummate voice of biblical social relevancy, a focused prophetic voice, speaking truth to power,” and his strong dedication to faith and inclusion is evident in all of his work.

Joseph Lowery had 5 children from 2 separate marriages.

•Most notable speech can be watched HERE.

Remarks at Coretta Scott King’s funeral.

•His legacy continues with the Lowery Institute.

•According to CNN Lowery was a founder of the SCLC.

BBC remembers Lowery.

Mentioned in The Guardian.

Civil Rights Icon Dies at 98 – NBC News.

•As seen on NPR.

Essence Magazine Instagram Post.

The Shade Room Instagram Post.

Tyler Perry Remembers.

Jamie Foxx Commemorates.

Barack Obama Pays Respect.

OWN Network Tribute

Lowery was laid to rest on Saturday, April 4th which is the same day MLK was assassinated.

Joe Biden Acknowledges.

Official Statement from The Family of Reverend Doctor Joseph E. Lowery

Our entire family is humbled and blessed by the overwhelming outpouring of love and support that has come from around the globe. We thank you for loving our father, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, and for your continuous prayers during this time.

In lieu of flowers, cards or food, donations may be made to The Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights. Dr. Lowery’s life was driven by a sense of obligation to our global community and desire to champion love over hate; inclusion over exclusion. The Lowery Institute was founded in 2002 to further Dr. Lowery’s legacy of promoting non-violent advocacy among future generations.

Donations can be sent to The Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute, P.O. Box 92801, Atlanta, GA 30314, or made on-line by clicking here.

Aligning with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines on COVID-19 prevention and social distancing, plans are underway for a private family service. A public memorial will be held in late summer or early fall.

Thank you,

The Lowery Family

illustration, 360 MAGAZINE, Alejandra Villagra

Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project

Oxygen, the home for quality true-crime programming, debuts a compelling two-hour documentary, “Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project,” on Sunday, April 5, at 7pm ET/PT.

With 2.2 million men and women behind bars in the United States, more than any other country, Kim Kardashian West is making it her personal mission to address the criminal reform crisis and make an impactful change. This documentary is an inside look at Kim’s efforts to secure freedom for Americans who she believes have been wronged by the justice system. 

In Oxygen’s two-hour documentary “Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project,” after hearing the story of Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother serving a life-plus-25-year sentence as a first-time nonviolent offender, Kim Kardashian West embarked on a road to advocacy as she campaigned for criminal justice reform and helped convince the White House to grant Alice clemency in June 2018. 

The show captures Kim as she lends a hand to right injustices and advocate for change by exploring the cases of Dawn Jackson, Alexis Martin, Momolu Stewart and David Sheppard, all of whom she and the legal experts she is working alongside believe have been unfairly sentenced. The documentary follows the origins of their individual stories, revealing the devastating circumstances that led them to take the actions that changed their lives forever.

In her crusade to shed light on the criminal justice system and help people who are impacted by incarceration, Kim travels to the prisons, speaks to the families and friends, lobbies public officials, and consults with lawyers as well as her own legal team from #cut50 to develop strategies to facilitate their release. Along the way, the film documents the progress that led to Momolu Stewart’s and David Sheppard’s releases. It also highlights Kim’s growing understanding of mandatory sentencing, the damaging problems of mass incarceration, and the importance of educational programs and rehabilitation efforts for a successful reentry into society.

Riverside County Jury Awards $2.5 Million for Wrongful Death

A Riverside County jury awarded a $2.5 million wrongful death verdict on Wednesday to the family of a mentally-ill African-American man fatally shot nine times by Riverside Sheriffs on July 16, 2015. Sybil Davis, the mother of now deceased, Anthonie Smith, has further expressed her hope that law enforcement will be required to obtain adequate training on the appropriate handling of citizens with mental illness.

In a statement following the verdict, Ms. Davis expressed,”I’m very relieved that my son got justice today. It’s been three years and Iߣm happy that the jury found the officer’s excessive force unnecessary. I hope that this will serve as an example for families who struggle with mental illness. My son didn’t deserve to lose his life. I trusted the police, and I’m really glad the verdict ruled in our favor.”

The case centered around the use of excessive force and wrongful death in the detention of Anthonie Smith, who was having a schizophrenic episode. Deputies were notified of his mental illness, and upon locating Anthonie near the corner of Perris and Sunnymead boulevard, shot him eight times causing him to fall to the ground. A severely wounded Anthonie managed to stumble back to his feet, and after several seconds elapsed, Deputies shot him a ninth and final time.

The deceased’s mother, Sybil Davis won justice for her son against Deputy Deylan Kennedy, Sergeant Sheree Anthony, and the County of Riverside. Plaintiff attorney John Harris of Harris & Associates commented on the victory saying, “We are pleased with the jury’s verdict today of 2.5 million dollars. Justice was served on behalf of the decedent, Anthonie Smith, and his mom, Sybil Davis. We’re pleased that this three-year journey has now come to a close.”

A Message from Rose McGowan on Asia Argento

I would first of all like to start off this statement saying thank you for your patience. A lot of people have been demanding answers and a response to the recent events surrounding Asia Argento’s sexual assault case. Many people believe that because we have been close in each other’s lives over the past year that perhaps I am affiliated with this incident or being complicit. I am not.

I first met Asia on a red carpet, but it’s only been the past year through our shared experience of the HW case that we have bonded. Asia was a person who understood my trauma in a way that many others didn’t. We were able to talk through them together and champion each other’s voices. We even got matching dot tattoos! Something I had posted on my IG just about a month ago. It’s no secret to anyone that Im a blunt, candid, brazen individual vocally- and I think that’s what I really related to Asia the most with. They were edgy, confrontational, and strong willed with very little care about how much other’s liked or disliked them. Rare things to find in women in this industry or the world.

But then everything changed. In an instant. I received a phone call and series of messages from the being I’ve been dating- Rain Dove. They said that they had been texting with Asia and that Asia had revealed that she had indeed slept with Jimmy Bennet. Rain also shared that Asia had stated that she’d been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12. Asia mentioned in these texts that she didn’t take any action on those images. No reporting to authorities, to the parents, or blocking of Jimmy’s social media. Not even a simple message “Don’t send me these images. They are inappropriate.” There were a few other details revealed as well that I am not at liberty to mention in this statement as investigators do their job.

Rain Dove said that they were going to go to the police with these texts once we were done speaking no matter what. But that they wanted me to be aware of them so that I may be able to take further actions. I responded with “You have to. You must.” I wasted no time. It wasn’t hard to say or support. What was hard was the shell shock of the realisation that everything the MeToo movement stood for was about to be in jeopardy. An hour after our conversation was finished Rain Dove confirmed that they had turned over the texts and were in conversation with officers. Almost 48 hours later the texts were in the press.

I had introduced Rain Dove to Asia Argento last month, three days after the passing of Anthony Bourdain. I was with Asia to comfort and support her. Rain Dove came to support us both. It was an emotionally chaotic time and Rain Dove suggested we go to Berlin for a couple days to take the mourning out of Asia’s home and into a neutral space. So we did. While in Berlin Asia had mentioned that she was being extorted for a large sum of money every month by someone who was blackmailing them with a provocative image. No one in the room knew who the extortionist was. Now we know it to be a reference to this case.

Rain Dove continued on communicating with Asia occasionally after meeting her- and their conversations have been their own. I know Rain is a person to whom many high profile entities consult when they are experiencing social pressures because Rain is good at guiding them through the research confrontation, rehabilitation, and solution process. While they are a person who is good at keeping a secret for those dedicated to making things right- they are also justice driven. So it was not a surprise to me that I received that call and the messages from them. I’ve referred to Asia in the past as “My Ride or Die” and said very clearly that their friendship comes first. I know that coming to me with those messages must have been hard for Rain because of that so I commend them for their bravery.

To the people who have checked in with me to see if I’m alright- the answer is thank you and Yes. I’ll be fine. Its sad to lose a friend connection, but whats even more sad is what happened to Jimmy Bennet. Whether or not the extortion case is true- it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right. It is the type of thing I fight against alongside so many. The reason I haven’t released a statement is because I’ve frankly been extremely humbled by this event. I had to take a step back and realise that in my own activism while I fight hard with passion- I need to evolve. In the past I have been occasionally angry. As a victim I was justified in fiery feelings. But I know that those accused are the friends, parents, and family members of other people. There absolutely should be no leeway or tolerance for sexual assault. Hard stop. NONE. Victims also shouldn’t be told how they should react or what they should say about their abusers. However as allies to the victim and voyeurs of an event we should find a better way to balance support of the victim with due process for the accused. I’ve never claimed to be perfect. This week especially has made me come to terms with the fact that we all have a lot of growing to do, including myself.

At this current moment it may be easy to focus on the drama of the situation. The conspiracy. But the real focus should be on supporting justice. Supporting honesty. And supporting each other. We can not let this moment break the momentum of a movement that has freed so many people. We must use it to allow us to become stronger. More compassionate. More aware. And More organised.

Asia you were my friend. I loved you. You’ve spent and risked a lot to stand with the MeToo movement. I really hope you find your way through this process to rehabilitation and betterment. Anyone can be be better- I hope you can be, too. Do the right thing. Be honest. Be fair. Let justice stay its course. Be the person you wish Harvey could have been.

Bobby Sessions’ New Release

The Dallas-born rapper Bobby Sessions releases his “Black Neighborhood” music video. Watch it here to check it out.

Sessions has a lot to say in his music and it’s often about the condition of Black America. In our modern day, we have faced countless issues where racial discrimination still exists, and Sessions uses his music to express just that.

With an elastic flow and impassioned lyrics, he acts as a self-contained Black Lives Matter rally. Sessions channels the anger, the despair, the injustice, and the heartbreak that accompany the cycle of systematic racism.

The American rapper is not afraid of the reactions that may occur in response to his music. It’s a bold attempt but in a genre that glorifies the money and clout, the main message that Sessions spread is something that America should listen to.

If you wish to check out his music click here.

Oxygen Media “Cold Justice”

Oxygen Media, the network for high-quality crime programming, kicks off a brand new season of true crime investigative series “Cold Justiceon Saturday, August 4 at 6 pm ET/PT.  From executive producer Dick Wolf and award-winning producers Magical Elves, the series follows veteran prosecutor Kelly Siegler and her rotating team of seasoned detectives – Johnny Bonds, Steve Spingola, Aaron Sam, Tonya Rider and Abbey Abbondandolo, as they dig into small town murder cases that have lingered for years without answers or justice for the victims. The “Cold Justice” team has worked with local law enforcement from across the country on over 65 cases, and has successfully helped bring about 37 arrests and 18 convictions.  For a sneak peek at the new season:  https://www.oxygen.com/cold-justice/season/videos/a-new-season-of-cold-justice-premieres-august-4th.

“We have been on the road for the past few months and have been hard at work delving into unsolved homicides that have broken our hearts,” said Siegler. “Since our first case this season in Wisconsin, we have continued to make progress and we can’t wait to share this season with all of you.”

In the season premiere, “Small Town Secrets,” Kelly and Steve head to Oneida County, Wisconsin to investigate an unsolved homicide of a wife and mother, Barbara Mendez. The case becomes personal after they receive a letter from the victim’s daughters. Their search uncovers a town’s dark side, crimes against children and lies within a church.

“Cold Justice” launched on Oxygen in July 2017 and was the network’s most watched (P2+) true crime series during the month, improving Oxygen’s Saturday 6pm hour by triple digits (+181% in total viewers).

The series is produced by Wolf Reality & Magical Elves with Dick Wolf and Tom Thayer serving as Executive Producers for Wolf Reality and Jane Lipsitz, Dan Cutforth, Kelly Siegler, Liz Cook, Kathryn Vaughan and Scott Patch serving as Executive Producers for Magical Elves.

The “Cold Justice” team is invited by the local law enforcement agencies for all cases. To submit a case for consideration for “Cold Justice,” please click here.

About Oxygen Media:

Oxygen Media is a multiplatform crime destination brand for women. Having announced the full-time shift to true crime programming in 2017, Oxygen remains one of the fastest growing cable entertainment networks with popular unscripted original programming that includes the flagship “Snapped” franchise, “Cold Justice,” “Killer Couples,” “Criminal Confessions,” and breakout hit event series such as “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway,” “Dahmer on Dahmer: A Killer Speaks” and “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered.”  Available in more than 77 million homes, Oxygen is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Watch Oxygen anywhere: On Demand, online or across mobile and connected TVs.

OXYGEN’S SNAPPED x AILEEN WUORNOS

America’s first female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, captivated the nation’s attention when she was found guilty for brutally murdering six men, and confessing to a seventh between November 1989 to November 1990. In the two-hour “Snapped: Notorious – Aileen Wuornos,” premiering Sunday, March 25th at 6pm ET/PT, Oxygen Media takes a closer look at the turbulent trial that was the first of its kind. Was Aileen Wournos afforded a just trial, or did the media frenzy cause unfair bias among the jury? For a sneak peek, please visit here.

Aileen Wuornos was a self-professed “highway prostitute” who rose to infamy when she was arrested for the deaths of several men in central Florida. Aileen ultimately confessed to the killings as self-defense, but the jury unanimously convicted her on six counts of first degree murder and sentenced her to death. The special will uncover everything from the complexities of the case to the biased media reports. Through new interviews with those closest to Aileen and her trial, the special will delve deeper into two vastly different perspectives – was she the cold-blooded killer the country made her out to be? Or was she an abuse victim that was forced to protect herself?

NO GAY? NO WAY!

LGBT advocates launched the “No GayNo Way!” campaign, spotlighting the eleven anti-LGBT locations in nine different states on Amazon’s recent list of finalists for its new headquarters. The campaign asks Amazon to select a market where all employees and customers will be protected from discrimination, and is planning a series of online and local activities to raise awareness.  The campaign launched with a Plane flying over Seattle (Amazon current HQ) with banner reading “”No GayNo Way!” and a mobile billboard circulating throughout Amazon’s campus.You can view the billboard and other graphics at www.nogaynoway.com.

 

AFJ Applauds Sens. Booker

Following the announcement that Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) will join the Senate Judiciary Committee, Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement: 

“We are delighted that Sens. Booker and Harris will be joining the Senate Judiciary Committee as it takes up its critical work in the new year. These two Senators are champions for fair courts and access to justice for all, and will bring experience, intellect and discernment, as well as diversity, to the committee.  We look forward to their valuable input as the committee makes decisions about the men and women who will be given lifetime appointments to the federal bench and performs its critical oversight role with regard to the justice system that meant to protect all our rights.”