Posts tagged with "SCLC"

Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine, BLM, black lives matter, protests, marches, change

SCLC Leadership Summit

Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), announced today that the civil rights organization is organizing a major summit of leaders to help America find a cure for racism.

Dr. Steele, who heads the legendary civil rights organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said the SCLC will be calling on members of Congress, the leaders of major corporations, including those in health and science, as well as social justice leaders, religious leaders and people of wealth and influence, who have voiced support for reform in America’s law enforcement agencies and other major departments in Washington and around the nation that have been vestiges of racism.

The summit, he said, will follow the blueprint set by Dr. King, whose leadership was key to the successful civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. The date, for the summit, has not been determined, but Dr. Steele said it will take place this summer.

This call to action, Dr. Steele said, stems from the tragic and unjustified fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks Friday night in Atlanta by a policeman. Brooks, 27, was shot in the back as he walked away from officers who were called to the scene of a Wendy’s restaurant where he had fallen asleep in his car.  The arrest allegedly turned into a scuffle. Minutes later, Brooks was dead. The killing, Dr. Steele said, is another vivid example of the entrenched institutional racism within law enforcement and other systems in the United States that have oppressed blacks and other people of color for four centuries. The fact this senseless shooting occurred while the nation is still healing from social unrest from the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last month is mindboggling, he said, and American must address racism just like it is attacking the deadly coronavirus.

“Until we cure this disease of racism, there will be more Rayshard Brooks, George Floyds, Breanna Taylors, Laquan McDonalds, and Trayvon Martins,” Dr. Steele said.  “The killings will continue to occur, because people of color, particularly African Americans, are under siege due to racism. Just like we are searching for a vaccine for Covid-19, we must find a cure for racism. This is dangerous, not only to America, but the world is looking for the United States to lead the way for freedom. You look at the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, South America and Japan, and the people are marching for their societies to respect and protect black lives. We need to find the cure to eradicate racism in society. We must convene leaders to the table to address this disease now. We will do our part to start this conversation and present solutions.” 

He added, “If we don’t find a cure for racism, our world will be destroyed. Like the virus, it will spread and consume all of us, and we will experience our world coming to an end.”

America, Dr. Steele said, has failed to weed out racism, because the nation was built on racism. It started with Europeans taking over the American soil from the natives. With illegal slavery, he added, it became a part our institutions and every aspect of society.

“Individuals have this virus,” Dr. Steele said. “It has spread heavily within law enforcement. It is a part of our communities, and it comes in all forms of discrimination. The impact is not always physical like police brutality. The system is killing blacks and other people of color by denying them access to capital. If you do not have access to money, you will eventually do something wrong. You will either destroy yourself with violence by committing some criminal act, or you will starve to death. You will have a domestic violence case within your family. It comes down from the federal government and is now institutionalized within our society. It has been designed to keep people of African American descent and other ethnicities at the bottom of society.”

Dr. Steele said America should have solved this problem in the 1960s during the turbulent civil rights era led by Dr. King, who was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

“Wisdom comes from history,” Dr. Steele said. “Wisdom comes from learning from our mistakes.  We made a mistake in 1960s when we did not include measures outside of integration. We did not include access to capital. We did not include reparations. We must have reparations with the understanding that African Americans have always been behind the eight ball. We are playing on a football field, and we cannot get beyond the five-yard line when white society is scoring touchdowns from the advantages they received from starting with free labor for centuries. We are on the field, but we cannot advance and catch up with the current system in terms of economic empowerment and economic development.”

With leaders in business, politics, sports, and entertainment calling for reform at all phrases of society, Dr. Steele said maybe we have a chance to get it right this time.

“I see hope with the marches, but we must move beyond marches and promises from corporate America and others,” Dr. Steele said. “Now, we have to get to the table and make concrete changes. But no changes will happen without a concrete understanding the history of how we received the freedoms we have today, which are constantly under attack with the current Supreme Court and other institutions, which have gutted civil rights laws and progress made over the past 50 years.  As a society, we are better off than we were 400 years ago when blacks were shackled down in slavery, but we have a very long way to go, and we will never eradicate this disease I call racism until we rebuild the structures that continue to oppress us and keep blacks and people of color at the bottom. We must reform agencies like the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S Business Administration, and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and all the policies that allow racism to spread and take the life out of our society. If we do not address this now, we will not have a strong American society.”

About the SCLC

Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries. For additional information about the SCLC, visit HERE.

SCLC Calls for Additional Stimulus Money

On the 52nd Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. Assassination, His Call for Economic Equality for All is Being Revived

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference Calls for Permanent Monthly Financial Subsidy for The Poor, Billions for Black-Owned Businesses and Reparations for Descendants of Slaves.

In Commemorating the 52nd Anniversary of the Assassination of its co-founder and first leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), has called on the U.S. Government to set aside $250 billion for black-owned businesses.

The civil rights organization also called on Congress, which recently approved a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package to provide emergency aid to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, to permanently extend monthly payments to the poor and to pay reparations for descendants of slaves. The coronavirus crisis, SCLC officials say, has highlighted the need for America to right its wrongs when it comes to income inequality, which is linked to disparities in education, health care, housing and access to capital. These life essentials are key components of wealth creation.

“We will circulate a petition that will be delivered to Congress asking for $250 billion for black-owned businesses,” said Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., president, and CEO of the SCLC. “The administration is turning the stimulus money over to banks, but banks are the main reason black Americans can’t get access to wealth and why most black Americans have lost their savings. Black America lost its wealth when the housing market collapsed, and banks played a major role in that collapse.”

Dr. Steele said, “it’s time for restoration.” “The Covid-19 stimulus package can assist black-owned businesses, especially black-owned banks, and our historically black colleges and universities,” he added. “If we get our banks, businesses, and institutions healthy, our communities will recover, and we will achieve Dr. King’s dream for racial and economic equality.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968 while in the city advocating for fair wages for striking sanitation workers. Before Dr. King was killed at the age of 39, he had called for the U.S. government to address the injustices in the American economic system which provided government funding to the rich and the poor, but referred to the aid by different names. For the poor, it is called welfare. For the
rich, it is called subsidies. To end economic exploitation, Dr. King called for America to redistribute its wealth. He pushed for a guaranteed subsidy for the poor, saying a rich nation like the U.S. should not have citizens living in poverty.

“The U.S. Government response to the Coronavirus is a start, but the virus has made it clear that we are all tied to our nation’s survival and revival,” Dr. Steele said. “The only way for America to move forward as a stronger nation is for Congress to act on additional financial measures to ensure that poor and working-class families have the financial means to prosper. We need a permanent stimulus package, not a temporary one that is a band-aid approach to our financial problems. The $1200 check won’t cut it for poor folks. You can’t pay your bills and get out of this slump with that check.”

Dr. King believed in self-help, but he also believed in the government partnering with citizens to help them get on track economically, Dr. Steele said.

“The $1200 that the current administration is talking about giving to citizens is a slap in the face,” Dr. Steele said. “That is not a salary for folks who have lost their jobs. The money the government is giving is just pocket change. Poor folks need checks until they reach the next rung of the economic ladder.”

And descendants of slaves, Dr. Steele added, need reparations, because the remnants of that era still exist today where blacks face racism in every arena in society. Reparations can address some of the past injustices, persistent disparities and redistribute some of the wealth.

“Dr. King was a visionary and global leader,” Dr. Steele said. “He called for the government to take care of the people 52 years ago. It is taking the Coronavirus for us to see how we are all connected and linked to each other’s survival. And we see this not only in America but around the world. Dr. King’s vision was not destroyed. It was delayed, but the moment to fulfill that vision is in our hands. The SCLC is going to keep the issues and his dream front and center.”

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 http://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

sara sandman, 360 MAGAZINE, business, tech, illustration

SCLC FIGHTS FOR POOR

With all Americans bearing the brunt of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), today called on President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress to make sure all Americans benefit from the nearly $1 trillion that will be spent to restore the health of citizens and the economy.
 
“I want to weigh in on behalf of regular people,” said Dr. Steele, who currently heads the civil rights organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “We have seen this socialist bailout of corporate America before. As the Trump Administration and Congress prepare to help some corporations, hand out new contracts and create new jobs to address this pandemic, we must ensure that billions ends up in the hands of the people who have been historically left behind. Poor people, black and brown people, must be recipients of these gifts of generosity that normally go to corporations.”
 
President Trump has said efforts are underway to financially assist corporations that have been hit hard by Convid-19, including the travel and cargo industries. He has announced plans to assist small businesses, but there are no specifics how those disbursements will be handled, and he has announced plans to give all families at least $2,400 to help them through the crisis.
 
“When it comes to bearing the weight, it is not fair that the corporations get the support when the rest of us starve,” Dr. Steele said.  “We saw our government bail out the banks during the housing collapse. We also bailed out the auto industry and Wall Street. Those industries recovered, but we didn’t. Most black and brown people lost their homes. We lost our wealth. Nearly 75 percent of poor people are living from check to check. Many of us have no health insurance. We can’t afford to take a day off work.”
 
Dr. Steele said the SCLC, which has focused on the plight of the poor and the voiceless since the days of Dr. King, has received calls for individuals and groups who are concerned about how individuals with no jobs and insurance will fair during this pandemic and recover after the crisis is over. 
 
“They are asking, ‘Where are our leaders,’” Dr. Steele said. “They are not seeing them standing up to make sure the real money will flow down to the people most impacted. That is why the SCLC is taking a stand. We must fight to make sure our government does not repeat what has happened in the past. We need more than $1,200 to catch up in America. We will not be left behind this time.”

ABOUT THE SCLC:

Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a now an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries. For additional information about the SCLC, visit www.nationalsclc.org.

Donald Trump × a “March on Washington”

Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), is calling on “all people of good will”, who are outraged by President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policies, to join the SCLC at its 60th Annual Convention July 12 -15, 2018 in Washington, which will focus on the current conditions of global racism and poverty. Dr. Steele, who heads the organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., believes the people’s desire to send a strong message about immigration, poverty and other critical matters in the U.S. could lead to another massive March on Washington like the historic rally inspired by Dr. King nearly 55 years ago on August 28, 1963.

“We’re witnessing partisan political gamesmanship when we should be talking about protecting children,” said Dr. Steele regarding President Trump’s most recent “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has spark hundreds of demonstrations across the nation. “Separating children from their parents at the border is an abomination! This is a humanitarian disgrace.”

Dr. Steele, who has been actively involved with The Civil Rights Movement for more than 40 years, says he is hopeful that President Trump can find empathy for the thousands of immigrants affected by his policy.

“I recommend that the President considers the human aspect of this tragic situation and not merely the politics,” said Dr. Steele. “Immigrants are trying to get to America because they’re being terrorized in their own homes. They’re faced with daily violence, poor living conditions, and their human rights are being threatened every day.”

Dr. Steele, who is in Brazil examining the international concerns of poor people, added, “I will get a global perspective on the problems afflicting the poor and really highlight their concerns at this year’s conference.”

The 60th Annual Convention will also have a heavy focus on mobilizing large groups of people of color to “get out and vote”. There will be various workshops and panels on the power of voting.

“People are mad, people are moved, and people are fed up. It’s time to use this energy in a constructive manner,” said Dr. Steele, who believes if the people unify around another SCLC- inspired massive rally it can surpass the 250,000 who gathered in Washington in 1963.

The SCLC Convention will run from July 12 to 15 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C, 999 9th Street NW. For more information about the 60th Annual SCLC National Convention, please visit their website at nationalsclc.org.

ABOUT THE SCLC: Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a now an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries.