Posts tagged with "racial justice"

Rita Azar Illustrates a Basketball Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Jaylen Brown x George Floyd Bill

by Justin Lyons

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics wing, in a press conference Sunday said he would like to see the city of Boston pass the George Floyd bill.

Brown, who has been one of the more active players in social justice conversations throughout the NBA, was asked about the Celtics’ commitment to spend $25 million over the next ten years to fight social injustice.

He said it was a great step, and that change happens over a period of time, but he thinks there are things that can be catalysts for change right now.

“One thing I would like to see in Boston is the George Floyd bill enacted,” Brown said, adding that conversations need to be had about police and qualified immunity. “Some things just need to be held accountable, and hopefully Boston can be a place where a tone is set that can be transpired in other cities.”

Brown went on to say that he thinks Boston is moving in the right direction, but he would still like to see more companies and organizations be diversified as well as more opportunities for people of color.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Celtics organization. I’m proud to have an ownership group, or a leadership group, that’s willing to take these steps because they recognize that we need to live in a better, more forward progressing world.”

The George Floyd bill, or H.R.7120, aims to achieve a few goals.

First, it would lower the criminal intent standard to convict an officer of law enforcement. The standard currently requires that officers act willfully, while H.R.7120 would only necessitate that officers act knowingly or recklessly.

Second, it would limit qualified immunity, which grants officers immunity in lawsuits regarding violations of constitutional rights of civilians.

Third, it would allow the Department of Justice to issue authorizations to investigate departments demonstrating patterns of discriminatory practices.

It would also create a national registry of police misconduct, lay the bricks for prohibition of racial profiling and implement new standards for training regarding racial profiling and use of body cameras.

It passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 236-181, and it will move to the Senate.

Brown’s comments come just weeks after NBA players boycotted games on behalf of Jacob Blake, whom was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and victims of police brutality everywhere.

A reporter asked Brown if he thought the boycott’s message was still effective even as players returned to the court.

“These issues have been here for a very, very long time, and they’re still going to be here regardless of if we protest or not or boycott or not. I think sports plays a huge role in society, and I’m very aware of that, so using our platform is something I’m always going to support,” Brown answered.

While he said the cure for racism might not come from the NBA, the players can always use their platform to let the world know that these issues are important.

Brown, who wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey, scored 21 points and picked up eight rebounds to help the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors Friday by a score of 92-87. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet up with the Miami Heat, who are playing on six days of rest after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games.

The first game of the series begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST with the Celtics favored by a point and a half.

Rita Azar illustrates article on white militia and violence for 360 MAGAZINE

ARMED WHITE MILITIA VIOLENCE

Leading national racial justice organizational leaders issued a joint statement on armed white militia violence and police camaraderie with militia members following the arrest of a militia member in connection with the killing of two police accountability protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“Tuesday night, two protesters who were advocating for accountability following the horrific police shooting of Jacob Blake were allegedly shot and killed by a 17-year-old associated with a white militia group. We are outraged by these killings. The ability of a minor to travel from another state at the urging of adult white supremacists organizing on Facebook highlights the corrosive and dangerous convergence of race, police violence, and the presence of these violent groups. That this volatile cocktail was allowed to develop led directly to one of the most violent nights in the city’s history. In light of the fact that the suspect apparently crossed state lines in order to commit this crime, the federal government should launch an investigation to determine whether he was involved in an interstate criminal conspiracy.
“We are equally outraged by videos showing Kenosha Police Department Officers exhibiting camaraderie toward militia members – who were out in violation of the curfew before the shootings — and also seemingly ignoring protesters who tried to identify the shooter in this incident. Police solidarity with white militia members is abhorrent and intolerable – and it represents a highly dangerous threat to the lives and rights of people of color. In addition, the fact that Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis blamed protestors for the killings is another example of the racially disparate treatment that Americans across the country have been protesting against since May and for decades before. We call on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, to immediately investigate and prosecute these killings, the shooting of Mr. Blake, and the increasingly pervasive issue of armed white militia members confronting and attacking protesters demanding police accountability. They must also demand the immediate removal of Chief Miskinis.

“Finally, turning to Facebook, the prevalence of armed white militia groups organizing on the platform is not new. Facebook must also be held accountable for its inaction while these violent groups have been allowed to grow and organize. Facebook must take immediate steps to ensure that its platform is not used to foment violence and hatred — and to take immediate and comprehensive action to put an end to groups using its services to organize activities that perpetuate racism and cause harm.”
 
The following leaders signed the statement:
 
·       Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
·       Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president, National Action Network
·       Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable
·       Kristen Clarke, president and executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
·       Vanita Gupta, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
·       Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP
·       Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League
 
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute (TMI) is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF and TMI on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.
 
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender. For more information go to www.nationalactionnetwork.net.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), founded in 1976, is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls empowerment arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education, and global empowerment as key elements for success. Visit www.ncbcp.org and follow us on Twitter @ncbcp and Instagram @thenationalcoalition.
 
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
 
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
 
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s largest and foremost grassroots civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. Members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights and social justice in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work by visiting naacp.org
 
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

Miss America Diverstiy, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force Selected

Miss America DEI

During this time of national protest and unrest, many participants and volunteers within our organization have reached out to MAO to express their thoughts and feelings regarding the ongoing conversation around racial justice and MAO’s role in it. We have heard you and we are committed to further action.

As many of you know, a few years ago MAO formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) task force led by Miss America 1990 Debbye Turner Bell. A few weeks ago, the Miss America Organization put out the ask to Current Titleholders, Forever Miss Americas, Miss America State Titleholder Association, Executive Directors, and Volunteers to gauge their willingness to form a new committee with renewed focus. We are grateful that 68 women and men from across the country expressed interest in being a part of the forward movement of Miss America.

Given the current makeup of the Miss America Board of Directors and staff, we felt that it was appropriate to have an outside Selection Committee take on this important task. Below are the professionals who volunteered their time and energy to MAO:

Samantha M. Fennell

Samantha is the founder of HONE, a New York-based business development consultancy that helps purpose-driven organizations in three key areas: revenue growth, strategy, D&I sales talent, and strategic partnerships. Her clients include media enterprises, advertising agencies, B Corps, and e-commerce platforms who share her passion for driving societal transformation through corporate action and social change.

Samantha has held senior-level and management positions at both major media companies and start-up ventures. From a nearly decade-long stint at Condé Nast where she rose to become the first African American Advertising Director of Vogue, to growing an international advertising agency and building a digital division from the ground up, Samantha has achieved many “firsts” in her 20+ year career and continues to push boundaries.

Samantha launched an online publication this year- A Blessing of Unicorns- a repository of inclusive insights that seeks to dispel the myth of scarcity of outstanding BIPOC and change the world for the next generation.

Brian Vaught

Brian has over 14 years of experience in the advertising, marketing, and media industries. In his current role, Brian leads Publicis Media’s US Talent Inclusion practice across its six brands – Starcom, Zenith, Spark Foundry, Blue449, Digitas, and Performics. Brian leads internal inclusion programs including the Publicis Media Multicultural Talent Pipeline and the agency’s Inclusion Council. He also serves as a mentor and coach to the company’s business resource groups (BRGs) and drives awareness of professional development experiences.

He is a member of Publicis Groupe’s Talent Engagement & Inclusion Council, a board member for the American Association of Advertising Agencies Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee, Do The WeRQ, and the T Howard Foundation. He is a recipient of the 2018 Leadership Excellence Award by the Tri-State National Diversity Council

Jason Bryant

Jason Bryan is an Associate Clinical Professor in Educational Leadership at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama for the past 4 years, and is now serving as the director of the Truman Peirce Institute with the College of Education at Auburn. Jason spent 17 years in public K-12 schools serving as a science teacher, high school assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal.

Linda Karbo

Linda Karbo serves as Marketing Brand Manager for Residence Education and Housing Services (REHS) at Michigan State University where she is responsible for strategic marketing initiatives & brand oversight of both REHS and the MSU Union. She is proud to be part of the task force that has advanced the “Hate Has No Home Here” and “You Have a Home Here” initiatives at MSU, which pledge and promise to foster a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and safe environment for all within the Spartan community.

Prior to joining the REHS team, Linda served as Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events for the MSU College of Arts and Letters for six years and the Assistant Director of Development for the MSU College of Music for three years.

Linda is passionate about relationship building, empathetic listening, mentoring, bridging connections, and the art of the written word. She always has her eye out for a quality life hack or budding trend, and sincerely appreciates good manners and a can-do attitude. Linda describes herself as a realist with a very real layer of imagination mixed in and believes that integrity with a side of empathy is key.

Jennifer Munger

Jennifer Munger is a former elementary school principal and special education teacher. Jennifer’s experiences showed her the importance of every child having an effective teacher, especially students struggling academically and/or engaging in challenging behavior impacting their learning.  She is currently an instructor in the area of special education at Dakota State University.  Jennifer helps preservice teachers and strives to teach effectiveness by developing awareness and understanding of the students that will be entering their classrooms, leading them to better research-based instructional and behavioral tools and strategies.

Abby Charles

Abby Charles is a Program Director at the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), The public health institute for Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. At IPHI she provides leadership and coordination for the Community Health Worker Initiatives and provides oversight to a network of Community Health Workers and a portfolio of programs in which the Institute for Public Health Innovation addresses cross-jurisdictional policymaking and information sharing, program refinement, policy, research, training, implementation, evaluation, and technical assistance.

Abby is one of IPHI’s lead trainers and provides technical assistance to organizations regionally and nationally on health and racial equity, collaboration & partnership development, community health workers, health in all policies, women’s health, gender-based violence, and HIV.

Abby is an Adjunct Instructor of Clinical Research and Leadership at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She is also a graduate of the George Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Master of Public Health in Global Health Promotion. She presently serves on the board of The Well Project, the Bishop Anstey High School Alumnae Association of Washington, DC and serves as a Commissioner on the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Caribbean Community Affairs for Washington, DC.

Madam Walker House illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

The call to action by American citizens during this year has made us all rethink how we view American history. Protestors have demanded the nation target injustice and fix the systems that promote the unequal treatment of African Americans. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund was founded at a similar time of crisis, after the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the creation of a national preservation campaign meant to uplift and honor the Black American experience.

 “The AACHAF was created out of the recognition that we in the field of preservation needed to do more,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. “We realized that the American story we often tell repeatedly negates the transformative contributions of African Americans, whose capability, intellect, and creativity were and still are invaluable to the building of this nation. The Trust decided then and there to create the Action Fund as a way to help fill in those gaps. We realized that preservation of historic sites, where African Americans changed the American landscape, could be one way our nation comes to understand the need to create a more fair and just society. We saw a more inclusive approach to historic preservation as one step on the long road to heal the divisions between us.”

Through its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the Trust is investing more than $1.6 million in grants to 27 sites and organizations across 22 states and the District of Columbia. Thanks to our partnership and a generous grant provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we are funding communities to protect, restore, and interpret African American historic sites and uncover hidden narratives of the African American contribution to the American story. 

“The Action Fund plays a crucial role in elevating Black voices and stories in our national dialogue about arts and culture, and in expanding our collective knowledge and understanding of African-American history,” remarked Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander. “We are thrilled that the 2020 Action Fund grants will continue to provide transformative support to Black cultural organizations and heritage sites throughout the country.

Leggs underscored the importance of this work, noting, “The recipients of this funding exemplify centuries of African American resilience, activism, and achievement, some known and some yet untold, which tell the complex story of American history in the United States.  Over the past two years, the Action Fund has funded 65 historic African American places and invested more than $4.3 million to help preserve landscapes and buildings imbued with Black cultural heritage. With urgency and intention, the nation must value the link between architecture and racial justice and should fund these and other cultural assets to ensure their protection and preservation.”  

Grants are given across four categories: capacity building, project planning, capital, and programming and interpretation. The list of all 27 grantees and a short blurb about each is attached.  A link to a fuller web version of the list can be accessed HERE.

The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American resilience, activism, and achievement. 

For 70 years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has led the movement to save America’s historic places. A privately funded nonprofit organization, we work to save America’s historic sites, tell the full American story, build stronger communities, and invest in preserving the future.

Follow The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Racial justice illustration by Mina Tocalini

Racial Justice

The Magnanimity of The Moment

Learning from Our Past in Today’s Fight for Racial Justice

By Jason Green

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far too many other black bodies have answered Langston Hughes’ prophetic question: “What happens to a dream deferred?” As justified anger and frustration have exploded across communities large and small, I have quietly questioned whether there is room for community building. I thought for a moment that our collective hurt and fatigue might be so great that there simply might not be space for hope and reconciliation. The idea of searching for fellowship felt naïve and insignificant.

Seven years ago, as I sat at the bedside of my then 95-year-old grandmother, she told me how, in 1968, her all-black church merged with two all-white congregations (themselves split generations earlier over the issue of slavery) in the wake of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Given the tumultuous backdrop, I was surprised by their decision to join, but I will be forever moved by the intentional community building that has kept their congregation together for more than 50 years. The hardest decision wasn’t the one to come together, it was the decision to stay together.

Last week, on our weekly call, my Grandmother Green reawakened my spirit. “We have to keep working and praying and not give up,” she extolled. “Even if things are not going our way we have to have that faith, and do the work. It was important that they see my face in the choir in 1968. Well, it’s just as important today.” She helped me realize in times like these, we need to be reminded of what is possible and to be vigilant about the hard work required to achieve it.

I’ve spent years chronicling how those three congregations came together in 1968 and how they have persisted, purposefully integrated, for more than 50 years. Below are three lessons I’ve learned from that experience that can inform how we collectively move forward today:

•Establish A Clear Goal

As they stumbled through the early days of the church merger, leadership of each congregation gathered to agree to the goal of coming together. A specific shared outcome gave them something to hold tight to when the path got difficult. As individual groups began working toward their own agenda, it armed the broader coalition with a mission to pull them back to. In this moment, people have begun working in different directions to speak out against and organize in support of racial justice. There is not one way to do the work — in fact, there must be a multitude of strategies, activities, and actors. To be successful, we must define the objective to hold others accountable to if their efforts achieve progress toward that shared goal, not question if their strategies happen to be similar or different to our own.

•Trust Must Be Built

When the churches merged, each harbored fear, skepticism, and animosity. There wasn’t the hugging and hand-holding you’d expect in church. To overcome, they had to be intentional; this started with acknowledging the pain of their history and being deliberate about difficult conversations. No meeting would end if someone still had something to say. Leadership demanded people share their concerns and complaints, though sometimes harsh, and those concerns were addressed. The work that faces us now is deep and structural and must push beyond performance. It will require addressing a history of hurt and creating alliances, with both traditional and non-traditional allies, to meet the magnanimity of the moment. At times, it will require taking the first step, even when you took the first step last time, and recognizing that sometimes, alliances will fray. Work to build trust anyway.

•Be Prepared To Go Alone

For those in the movement, this moment feels like a turning point, and there’s a desire to draw a line in the sand: “If you aren’t with us now, then you are against us.” But the reality is there will be folks who, even in this moment, will not be prepared to take action. Because we know that for something to be truly gained, something must be given up, there will be those who aren’t prepared for what change will mean for them. In 1968, my grandfather disagreed with the proposed church merger. My grandmother, my father, and his brother, decided to merge, despite Grandpa’s objection. We must be prepared to do the work, knowing that it is rooted in righteousness, and that there will be some who are not ready for change, even amongst those whom we love and respect. Move forward anyway, but resist the temptation to draw those terminal lines in the sand. Continue to build bridges for others to come on the journey. My grandfather joined the merged congregation years later. Before he died, he was one of its trustees.

Like the church merger, our democracy is one big social experiment that requires engagement and vigilance if it will ever reach its promise. Elections have consequences, and policy has impact. To see change, we must be active at the federal, state, and local levels to enable leadership that aligns with our values and implements policies that reflect the communities we represent.

But elections cannot eradicate racism, and policy cannot force neighbors to see each other with dignity, value and respect. This moment does not call for an “either or” approach; this must be a “yes and” strategy. And, if we want to eradicate the poison that killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, and every other individual lost due to racist acts, then in addition to external activation, we must look inward to understand what each of us is prepared to do, give, and change in this moment.

Last week, my grandmother turned 102, and as we discussed plans for her socially distanced drive-by birthday parade, we also talked about the current state of the world. As I expressed frustration regarding the lack of national leadership and exhaustion that this is where we find ourselves, in true Grandma Green fashion, she said, “I hear all that, but what are you gonna do? What are you prepared to do for those who look like you and those who don’t? For those who don’t pray like you? For those who don’t love like you? What are you gonna do to inspire fellowship and build the community that we all want to see?”

I guess I know what to give for her birthday this year. Join me in making change. Across the country. Within our communities. And in ourselves.

Jason Green is a Maryland-based attorney, entrepreneur and filmmaker. Green recently directed Finding Fellowship, a documentary inspired by conversations with his grandmother which focuses on the unlikely merger of three racially segregated churches in 1968. Green is the co-founder of SkillSmart, Inc., a workforce development company that creates transparent paths to economic prosperity. A current Commissioner for the Montgomery County Commission on Remembrance and Reconciliation, Green also previously served as Associate White House Counsel to President Barack Obama.

Beyoncé, Juneteenth, Black Parade, 360 MAGAZINE, BLM, rita azar, illustration

JUNETEENTH

Today marks the 155th Juneteenth since June 19, 1865, a historic date the United States on which the news of the Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was delivered to slaves in Texas, declaring them free.

Even though the news got to the slaves in Texas more than two years after the Proclamation was passed, they still rejoiced and celebrated. The date became an annual celebration, as African Americans engaged in popular food like strawberry soda, events like rodeos, and prayer, along with guest speaks to educate the masses.

With the beginning of the 1900s, the tradition of Juneteenth faded, largely being suppressed by the white education system – the lives of slaves were not taught in the white washed curriculums of schools. Sometimes celebrations were even directly stopped with restrictions on public spaces. However, the celebration was revived in the 1950s and 60s as the Civil Rights Movement took hold in America. Student demonstrators and the Poor Peoples March to Washington brought the date back to significance. It later became a state holiday in Texas.

In modern times, Juneteenth makes yet another resurgence during the current revolution for black rights under the movement Black Lives Matter as the world fights for police reform and racial justice. The date is being selected as a powerful time to release songs like Beyoncé’s Black Parade. There are calls to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

Riza Azar, 360 magazine, Juneteenth
Instrument illustration by Ivory Rowen for 360 Magazine

WQXR Music For Juneteenth

In honor of Juneteenth, WQXR is devoting the entire day to spotlighting the work of Black composers and performers from around the globe with an all-day tribute “Music for Juneteenth: A Celebration of Black Classical Artistry.

Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19 and commemorates the date in 1865 when the Emancipation Proclamation was finally enforced by Union officials in the state of Texas, over two years after the Proclamation was issued. Also known as Freedom Day, it is now widely celebrated as the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Over the course of 24 hours — from midnight to midnight — WQXR will showcase the talent, work, and voices of Black musicians. The day’s playlist includes over 150 pieces of music, featuring more than 40 Black composers and over 60 Black soloists and conductors.

Highlights include powerful symphonies by Florence Price, William Grant Still, and William Dawson; the Violin Concerto in F-Sharp Minor by Jose White, a virtuoso who performed with the New York Philharmonic in the 1870s; uplifting choral music by Margaret Bonds and Robert Nathaniel Dett; ragtime favorites by Scott Joplin; living composers like Adolphus Hailstork, Jessie Montgomery, Valerie Coleman, Daniel Kidane, and Nkeiru Okoye; performances by legendary singers such as Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, Jessye Norman, and Leontyne Price; as well as great artists on the concert scene today including Wynton Marsalis, Lara Downes, Anthony McGill, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, plus emerging stars.

At 7pm, WQXR will break its music-only format to present a special conversation about race and diversity in classical music. WQXR’s Terrance McKnight will host “The Black Experience in the Concert Hall,” a live two-hour program and discussion with listener call-ins and guests including:

  • Martina Arroyo, legendary soprano and founder of the Martina Arroyo Foundation
  • Wynton Marsalis, virtuoso trumpeter and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center
  • Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and author of The Condemnation of Blackness
  • Jesse Rosen, President and CEO of the League of American Orchestras
  • Alvin Singleton, composer
  • Chelsea Daniel, pianist
  • Greg Sandow, music critic and composer

“Classical musicians of African descent have existed on the margins of obscurity for centuries — in the classroom, the concert hall, the record industry, and on the radio,” said Terrance McKnight, WQXR’s Evening Host. “This underrepresentation is what brought me to work in public radio, and this 24-hour Juneteenth marathon is something I’ve looked forward to my entire radio career. I’m excited to share the work of these artists in a concentrated way, on Juneteenth and beyond.”

“We are honored to mark Juneteenth with a showcase of the work of Black performers and composers, many of whom have long been excluded from the canon,” said Matt Abramovitz, Vice President, WQXR. “And while a call-in show is an unprecedented break with our usual all-music format, a discussion of race and classical music is the conversation we need to have right now, and WQXR has the platform and mandate to host it. We hope listeners will join us for this day of celebration and reflection.”

“Music for Juneteenth: A Celebration of Black Classical Artistry” airs all day beginning at 12:01am June 19 on WQXR 105.9 FM and will stream online at WQXR.org.

ABOUT WQXR

WQXR is New York City’s only all-classical music station, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life on-air at 105.9FM, online at WQXR.org and in the real world via live events and broadcasts. WQXR presents new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic, and broadcasts essential destination programs including New York Philharmonic This Week and Young Artists Showcase. WQXR is also the co-producer—along with the Metropolitan Opera—of the critically-acclaimed podcast Aria Code, hailed by The New Yorker as “illuminating …accessible…immediately pleasurable.” As a public radio station, WQXR is supported through the generosity of its members, donors and sponsors, making classical music relevant, accessible and inspiring for all.

music, note, orange, black

H.E.R New Single + Black Music Month

Ten-time nominated/two-time Grammy Award winner H.E.R. returns tonight at 8pm ET with a special Black Music Month edition of her popular “Girls With Guitars

Sponsored by RCA Records in conjunction with their “Black Sounds Beautiful“campaign, tonight’s guests will include label artists Miguel, Koffee, A$AP Ferg and more. H.E.R. has chosen the Rock The Vote organization as the donation recipient to increase awareness and stress the importance of voter education and registration for young people.

RCA Records will also be launching their own “KNOW YOUR WORTH” voter education initiative in the coming weeks.

Since the April launch of “Girls With Guitars,” H.E.R.’s guests have included Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Willow Smith, Chloe x Halle, Tori Kelly, Alessia Cara, Lianna La Havas, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote) and more. Companies such as Amazon Music, which donated $30K to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, Fender, Lyft, Beats By Dre, Glossier and Revolve joined as sponsors. Past episodes can be viewed on H.E.R.’s YouTube channel.

Tomorrow, Juneteeth, H.E.R. will release her riveting new song “I Can’t Breathe,” written in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black lives lost to police brutality. Debuted last week during her iHeartRadio Living Room concert, the song has been lauded by the media including NPR’s All Songs Considered, Access Hollywood, Variety, Pitchfork, TMZ, Billboard and more.

CNB Donates to NAACP

City National Bank, America’s Premier Private and Business Bank®, today announced that it will donate up to $400,000, including colleague donations and company matching funds, to support the fight for social and racial justice in America.

“As the nation collectively mourns the senseless murder of George Floyd, we are reminded of racism’s deep wound on our country and the harm it continues to inflict,” said City National Bank Chief Executive Officer Kelly Coffey and Chairman Russell Goldsmith in a joint statement. “We must do much more to end the longstanding pain and systemic and economic injustice that communities of color have endured at the hands of oppression and pervasive racism in our society. At City National, we have a long history of supporting our colleagues, clients, and communities, and we recognize that our commitment is more important than ever in this critical moment in our nation’s history.”

Following the acts of racism and violence that recently took the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others before them, City National will donate to:

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, to help its mission to fight for racial justice and secure a society where all individuals have equal rights without race-based discrimination; and

The Equal Justice Initiative, to support its objectives of ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

A portion of the funds will go toward the creation of a matching gifts program for City National colleagues who choose to donate to these organizations.

In addition to City National’s commitment today, the bank’s parent company, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), previously announced a CAD $1.5 million donation to provide direct support to Black youth, the economic development of Black communities, and social and racial justice reform in North America through organizations including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative. In Minneapolis, RBC Wealth Management – U.S. donated $250,000 to support rebuilding efforts through a contribution to We Love Lake Street, a fund set up by the Lake Street Council to provide direct support to small businesses and nonprofits.

About City National Bank

With $69.1 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment, and trust services through locations in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. and Miami*. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $76.9 billion in client investment assets.

City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 17 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States, and 34 other countries.