Musical to benefit the Salvation Army Emergency Lodge
Wauwatosa–Gervis Myles, Milwaukee Metropolitan Voices and Friends, will host a musical benefit Friday, November 9 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian & Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 3302 N. Sherman Blvd to benefit The Salvation Army Emergency Lodge.
Admission to the musical event is a donation of one of the following items: toiletries such as soap, deodorant, lotion, shampoo, toothpaste; hats, scarves, gloves, non-perishable food items or a small cash donation.
Since 1979, the 120 bed Emergency Lodge has provided emergency shelter to homeless individuals and families.
Services are offered in a 24 hour setting that requires residents to be drug & alcohol free.
Residents stay in semi-private rooms, receive three nutritious meals a day and have laundry facilities available. Forty-one percent homeless individuals in Milwaukee suffer from mental illness.
Our social work staff has mental health expertise, education and degrees.
Each resident is assigned a primary social worker to develop an individualize plan of self-sufficiency. Part of each plan requires residents to establish income, either through employment or benefits, and to save 80% of their income in preparation for their move to housing in the community.
More than 80% of residents successfully move from shelter to safe, affordable housing each year.
Archives for November 2012
Ms. Felisa Parris, academic advisor for graduate programs in Marquette University’s School of Professional Studies.
MCLD hosts third annual dinner to salute its volunteers and supporters
The Milwaukee Center for Leadership Development (MCLD) will host its 3rd Annual Awards Dinner to honor its supporters. The event will be held on November 10, 2012 at the Grace Center located at 250 East Juneau Avenue. Ms. Felisa Parris, an academic advisor of graduate for Marquette University’s School of Professional Studies will graciously serve as the keynote speaker.
“I have had the honor and great pleasure of getting to know Ms. Felisa Parris for the past few years and I am excited about her presentation at the MCLD’s 3rd Annual Awards Dinner,” says Tamiko Jordan-Obregon, MCLD’s Executive Director. “She is a phenomenal woman and educator and will issue a call to action to the city of Milwaukee.” Ms. Parris will speak about “The Demand for Excellence.”
The dinner is being sponsored by various colleges, universities, and Milwaukee area businesses which include Bryant & Stratton College, Herzing University, Hupy & Abraham, S.C., UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville, Cardinal Stritch University, the Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals, Associated Bank, and many others. “It is critical to recognize those who have played an integral role in helping to establish the MCLD,” says “We are in our third year of operations and it would not be possible without the efforts of so many throughout the community,” says State Representative Jason Fields, MCLD’s Board Chairman.
The Milwaukee Center for Leadership Development was established in April 2010. Though major funding has been difficult to secure for this organization due to its newness to the community, there are many who understand its youth development concept and support the mission. “I am encouraged by this organization,” says Stanthia Grier, the vice chair of the MCLD Board of Directors. “We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results. Many people are talking about change, but the MCLD is actually bringing about change through its youth classes.”
Some of the honorees include Reuben Harpole, several employees of Hupy & Abraham, S.C., Bryant & Stratton College, Angel Flemister, and many more. “Our supporters have truly gone above and beyond,” says Jason Fields. “Bryant & Stratton College has provided meeting space, classrooms for our leadership program, financial support, scholarships for our students, and the list goes on. They are making it happen and we appreciate them and all of our supporters.”
The MCLD invites you to join them at the dinner and to learn more about what they are doing in the community and how you can become a part of it. All proceeds of the dinner will go towards the operating and programming expenses of the Milwaukee Center for Leadership Development. Sponsorship opportunities can be found on the MCLD website at www.milwcld.org/events.php.
by Chris Witherspoon, theGrio
Mariah Carey is showing the world just how patriotic she can be. Yesterday the “One Sweet Day” singer posted photos of herself all dolled up at a polling station as she cast her vote for the next U.S. president. Today Mariah has released “Bring It On Home,” an inspirational song celebrating Obama’s reelection.
Mariah’s longtime producer, Jermaine Dupri, took to Twitter this morning to announce the release of the track. “NEW MARIAH CAREY SONG, SHE WROTE FOR OBAMA,BTW THIS IS THE REAL VERSION,” he wrote.
“Bring It On Home” is a throwback to Mariah’s sound from the 90’s, as she is backed up by a choir while she belts out the song’s lyrics:
“So bring it on home/You can bring it home/Bring it on home/I know we gon’ bring it home.”
Mariah first performed the song at a fundraiser for Obama during the summer.
Naomie Harris and Daniel Craig attend the Royal World Premiere of ‘Skyfall’ at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images)
by Chris Witherspoon, theGrio
Make way for the new Bond girl, Naomie Harris, because she has arrived. The U.K. native stars as M6 field agent, Eve, alongside Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in Skyfall which hits theaters nationwide today.
Skyfall is arguably Harris’ breakout role, and according to her fellow cast-members she delivers a stellar performance.
“I couldn’t have been happier that we cast her in the movie, because she brought something to it. She’s incredibly physical and she can do all the action stuff, but beyond that she’s a remarkable actress,” Craig, who plays James Bond, said during an interview with theGrio.
Bardem, who plays a deranged villain in the film, said that although he didn’t have any scenes with Harris, he applauds her performance on-screen. “She brings a great flexibility to her role,” Bardem said. “She is an open actress and everything that she does it open and a delight to watch.”
We caught up with the 36-year-old actress and talked about the character she plays in Skyfall as well as her role starring alongside Idris Elba as Winnie Mandela in upcoming feature film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
What attracted you to take on the role of Eve in this film?
Well, I didn’t actually know what role I was playing when I first of all auditioned. But I was asked to come in audition for a Bond film, and I’m a huge fan of Bond movies, I grew up watching them and I love them, so that was the main attraction. Then obviously, getting to work with Sam Mendes was another huge attraction to me because I think he’s a brilliant filmmaker. And then when I was finally told what role I was playing, I was told that they wanted a modern Bond woman, and they wanted me to make something original with her, then I was like, “all my wishes have kinda come true.”
Were you at all nervous to step into such a big and well-known film franchise?
Yeah I was definitely nervous. I was really really nervous. Having grown up with the movies I know there’s so much expectation around them, and people have very set ideas about how they think these characters should be played. I definitely was very nervous but Daniel was so kind to me on-set, he really took me under his wing, and held my hand through all of it and it really made a huge difference to me and made it fun.
Did you at all research or look at Halle Berry’s performance when she was in the James Bond film Die Another Day to maybe try to emulate some of her essence that she brought to the role?
No, not at all actually, because as I said, when I went to the audition and I was told I had the role, they said to me one of the main things they wanted was that I should make the role my own and make it as original as possible and make it modern as well. And so I made a conscious choice not to look back. Because I’ve grown up with Bond movies anyway, I’ve seen Halle Berry’s performance, I’ve seen Grace Jones, and so many Bond women over the years, so I didn’t want to be influenced by that. I wanted to really make her my own and be original.
After months of campaigning, countless political ads and three televised debates, it all came down to one day when Americans could let their voice be heard. And Americans chose to give President Barack Obama four more years in office. The president swept the swing states, garnering 303 electoral, needing only 270 to win the election.
In his victory speech at Chicago’s McCormick Place, President Obama thanked his family and supporters, while addressing a divided nation.
Said the president: “I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.”
Question of the week: “Now that President Obama has won the election, what is the first issue would you like him to address in his second term?”
Photos and question by Yvonne Kemp
Ladette Austin: Education. I believe that Wisconsin and most of the country as a whole is lacking the value of education. The president’s focus should be the quality of education that is received to compete in a global market.”
Charles L. Walton: “Making more funds available for employment and training for ex-offenders re-entering into society.”
Bria Grant: “Education reform is pivotal to ensuring that our country continues to lead the world in fundamentals. We need to reassign our values as it relates to educators and their role in providing the tools that will build this nation’s future.”
James Nelson, Sr.: “First of all, I voted for President Obama. I’m elated! For me economics is the key. Employment – jobs, jobs, jobs – is my major concern!”
Interview conducted by Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
On Monday, October 29, the MCJ interviewed Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn at the paper’s offices on King Drive. The chief contacted the Community Journal offering the newspaper and the community the chance to hear his perspective on the most tragic and controversial incident to occur involving the MPD and the African American community since the death of Ernest Lacy more than 30 years ago while in police custody.
In this first installment of a two-part interview, the chief discussed the Derrick Williams death, the controversy over the videotape, his reaction to it and the firestorm the video caused in the Black community.
Flynn also talked about the charges levied against four of his officers for conducting illegal strip searches, changes in police protocols as a result of the Williams incident. Flynn’s answers are lengthy and are printed here verbatim, with little editing except for punctuation and grammar.
MCJ: Until recently you have declined numerous requests for interviews about the Derrick Williams case. But in the last two to three weeks, you have been on a “media blitz,” appearing on television and radio and doing print interviews about the Williams incident and charges of misconduct levied at several of your officers as it relates to illegal strip searches. Why the reversal in dealing with the media?
Chief Flynn: Well, I don’t think it’s primarily a reversal (as it relates to) dealing with the media. I think it’s fair to say that at least one component of the media has taken what can only be described as a partisan position regarding the police department. I have not ever stopped talking to the media as a total entity.
When it comes to the last few weeks, there has been–now that we have a better grasp of the facts–a conscious attempt on my part to clarify the record. Much of the delay, of course, was that we had a pending John Doe investigation about which no one could comment. Once that investigation was concluded, which had to do with unlawful strip searches, I was in a position where I could comment on how that story had played out.
At that time, I thought it was a good opportunity to talk about the other pending issues as well. So, I would say it’s not that we did not want to talk to the media in general. We have been in a less than positive relationship with one component of the media. But, I think I’ll just let other people judge that for themselves.
I’m here. I’ve been willing to talk to the television; I’ve been willing to talk to other media outlets. But, in all fairness, I’ve grown suspicious of their motives and it’s been difficult to have a candid conversation.
MCJ: In retrospect, would you have responded differently to community outrage once the videotape was released to the public? What would you have done or said differently? Would you have been as quick to defend your officers’ actions?
Chief Flynn: We had done an investigation a year earlier of a death that had been ruled “natural causes.” The Medical Examiner had just released a new report in which the report itself still said he died of natural causes, but said that the police pursuit and the brief struggle were the triggering events for his (Williams) medical crisis.
What you saw was some not well restrained frustration on my part that, without any new facts, a change in the ruling created a firestorm that didn’t change what the officers had done and not done at the scene. In retrospect, if I could have taken a mulligan I would have paused and said: “I understand why people are upset. This is a horrifying video when you know how it ends.
“When you know for a fact that the person is, in fact, in medical crisis and is accurately reporting his condition and you know that he dies, it’s a horrible thing and it has to be a terrible thing for the family.”
But the backdrop of me standing in front of the cameras was nothing had changed in the Medical Examiners’ report and I was still holding in my hand a report that said the man died of natural causes, and the police had not caused his death; but the mere fact of them pursuing him triggered it.
It may sound like a fine point, but it’s an important point because I think in the general publics’ mind, understandably, when they saw the cause of death “homicide,” to them that meant murder. It didn’t mean there was a human triggering event, i.e., a pursuit and a handcuffing incident.
So I was “in the moment” and I was responding to: “This is a frustrating report to have to deal with…the officers did not do anything to him (Williams) that caused his death…” I was too much there and not enough feeling the community’s emotion of: “We just saw a terrible thing and the cops didn’t do anything.” I just…I wish I had that one over again. Sure, I would have responded more to: “This is a terrible looking tape… we’ve been to the bottom of it once…we welcome external review…I’m confident an external review will show we did not cause this, but this is a terrible thing…” I didn’t get around to saying that for a couple of days because I was just too much in the moment of the controversy.
MCJ: If the family of Derrick Williams were sitting here with us right now, what would you say to them?
Chief Flynn: I would say: “I’m sorry that he died in our custody. I wish we would have done things differently.” I’m not going to sit there and say: “The cops did a bad or a wrong thing. I wish he hadn’t died in our custody.” I wish we had done things differently. That’s not the same as saying: “Those two individual officers-each of whom spent about three minutes in the car with him-did a bad thing.”
If you listen to the tape as well as look at it, you never hear him treated disrespectfully. I know that sounds like: “What! The man just passed away!” But it’s just clear they (the officers) don’t believe him. I wish I could say no one ever hyperventilates in the backseat of a police car after a foot pursuit after a robbery, but that wouldn’t be true.
Too many of our officers have seen similar conduct and sooner or later the person relaxes and it’s all over with. They cranked his window down, they told him to relax, and they told him to take a deep breath. Nobody treats him (Williams) with contempt, nobody talks nasty to him. They have no reason to believe he’s having a medical crisis. They (the officers at the scene) were wrong! They got the judgment wrong! And I draw a distinction between getting the judgment wrong and doing a wrong thing.
But as I said, we don’t want anybody to die in our custody. That was on us. He died in our custody. There’s no getting around it. And I wish that hadn’t happened. He died of a medical crisis we couldn’t anticipate or prevent. Moving forward, we’re going to do things differently, but at that point in time those young men (the officers) did not recognize a medical crisis. They got it wrong. I wish they got it right. But they got it wrong.
Part two of our interview with Chief Flynn will appear in the November 14 edition of the Community Journal.
It was one of the most contentious Senate races. Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Republican Tommy Thompson fought a long-hard battle, full of bitter attack ads and millions in outside spending, making Tuesday’s election one for the record-books.
In the end, Baldwin emerged the victor, winning 51 percent of the votes over Thompson’s 46 percent.
Exit polls showed that Baldwin earned strong support from women and was backed solidly by voters under 30 and families with incomes under $50,000. Thompson, on the other hand, took his support from whites, families with incomes over $100,000, and Christian evangelicals.
“We fought hard for this victory. And it showed — we won all across Wisconsin: from Chippewa Falls to Oshkosh, from Superior to Kenosha, and yes in Madison and Milwaukee,” Baldwin said. “We won because we stood up to the special interests and stood up for working Wisconsinites.”
“This was a great accomplishment for all of us — and a big victory for middle class families.”
Baldwin is both the first woman from Wisconsin elected to the U.S. Senate, and she becomes the first openly gay person to serve in the Senate. She takes over the seat of Democrat Herb Kohl, who is retiring after serving 24 years.
In the State Senate race, incumbent Lena Taylor easily defeated challenger David King. While in the U.S. House of Representatives race, Rep. Gwen Moore retained her seat, edging out challengers Dan Sebring and Robert Raymond.
Former Republican Party Chair Michael Steele, the first African American to hold that post within the “Grand Old Party,” dared to say what many Republicans, who saw their presidential nominee Mitt Romney lose to incumbent President Barack Obama, won’t bring themselves to admit: They’re out of step with the times and the changing demographics of the nation.
Seeing his party unable to unseat the president or gain a numerical advantage in the U.S. Senate, Steele noted his party’s “spanking,” as he put it, was well deserved and emblematic of the rejection of extreme right-wing conservative ideas by the nation’s voters.
Steele blasted his party and its leadership for pushing an agenda and ideology that alienated minority voters–especially Black and Latino voters–the middle class, college aged voters and women, all of whom voted in overwhelming numbers for the president–with its push for voter ID laws across the country, rejection of tax increases for the wealthy, attacks on women’s health care, and rejection of immigration reform.
He added the Republican Party is not empathetic to those issues that are relevant to the aforementioned groups and that it “squandered” a perfect opportunity during the course of the elections to show it was an inclusive or “big tent” party.
“The president was elected by a ‘minority of Americans,’” Steele said Tuesday night in a nationally televised interview, adding that history was unveiling itself through the election outcomes. The new movement of non-white groups is passing the Republicans by.
We’ll give Mr. Steele the benefit of the doubt that he’s had a “Chitterlin’ Moment” since being ousted, ironically, two years ago from his party’s chairmanship after shepherding in a Republican tsunami in the 2010 National Midterm Elections that gave his party the majority in the House and handed the Democrats the slimmest of majorities in the Senate.
The Republicans would be wise to listen to their former chairman.
Steele saw the writing on the wall as the election returns came in and the numbers were broken down as to who voted for whom.
Unfortunately (or fortunately for us non-teapartiers) from the rhetoric of Uber-Conservative Talkshow host Rush Limbaugh and a Romney supporter interviewed by BBC America Radio Wednesday that the country “doesn’t get it,” believing it made a mistake retaining the current administration and Democratic control of the Senate.
But we believe the aforementioned conservative hold out is the one who doesn’t get it. The times are changing in America and if the “Grand Old Party wants to remain relevant, it better get in step or be left behind in the political dust.
by Mikel Kwaku Osei Holt
(Editor’s note: This column was written prior to Tuesday’s presidential elections, and thus the out come was unknown.)
So, here we are. It’s 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 6. As best I can figure, I have watched, listened to or read at least 1,113 political advertisements, commercials and billboards in the last year alone.
According to my calculations, 24% of the political ads I saw, listened to, or read, were out and out lies; another 29% fudged the truth, or were intentionally misleading, or assumed consumers are naïve, out of touch or just plain stupid.
Eighteen percent didn’t offer a reality most Black, color or Negro people can relate too. And half of those were intended to frighten us into anarchy or apathy. They were specifically created to justify the importance of other people’s issues over ours.
Most of the advertisements either assumed we were atheists, Scientologists, or in most cases, were what I call “neo-Christians,” those barely religious folks who follow a few scriptures and commandments and disregard the rest because it “inconveniences” them. Don’t let me get started on Political Christianity, which allows you to ignore sin, browbeat or look down on the poor, and justify slavery in whatever form it takes these days. All I need note is a whole lot of folks are going to be in for a rude surprise when they die and discover Heaven is not a crowded place and Jesus the Christ is not Santa Claus with stock in Wal-Mart.
If there was one thing missing from all the ads I saw—Democrat and Republican—which is a telling indicator of the future under whomever occupies the White House, Congress, and closer to home the Madison Capitol, was a plan to address poverty. Or for that matter to close the achievement gap, provide affordable housing options and reduce the cancer of drugs, which has all but taken over the Black community.
In case you mentioned it, the poor (and that’s nearly half of all Black people, were not part of the national or local political debate. All the talk was about the middle class, and in a few cases, how much of the safety net to cut.)
Neither Tommy Thompson nor Tammy Baldwin mentioned the nearly 50% national Black male unemployment rate, but neither did President Obama or Mitt Romney. For that matter, if you go back over the last couple of years, none of the candidates for local offices offered plans to address the specific and myriad conditions impacting the Black community. Apparently, it’s not on anybody’s agenda, from the White House down.
And what does that tell you about the next four years?
That’s why it’s easy for me to pen this column a couple of days before the election, to make what some out-of-touch folk consider “bold predictions.” In truth, they are not remotely bold, but instead are based on the best predictor known to man—history.
And for point of reference and clarification, I’m not saying none of the current crop of politicians cares, or is unaware of our plight. But the reality is the system isn’t set up to address the concerns of the pawns and other invisible people, and those who control policy and politics from their ivory towers or suburban condos, are guided by the philosophy that poverty, despair and unemployment are collectively the one commodity, the one national resource, that isn’t running dry and would always be profitable. It creates jobs, spawns prison industrial complexes, and fuels a culture that sustains its viability and the middle class income of millions of Americans.
Obama’s victory (which I assume will happen) won’t change that reality. And they (which includes other politicians from alderman to senator) won’t either.
There’s another phenomenon to come out of this last round of elections that I can predict will change the status quo, and that is the ‘rechaining’ of Black folks by what I refer to as the ‘Invisible Hand.’ After the fall elections, I referred to a coalition of folks who have successfully manipulated Black politics. One item on their agenda was the weakening of our political base, redirect our political energies so they become the conductors of the Freedom Train (which has been stuck at the station for a decade or two anyway). Well, they succeeded.
I voted “Absentee Ballot” at a new location last week and the only Black person on the ballot was Barack Obama. It immediately dawned on me that half the Black state officials have been replaced in the last three month as a result of a successful campaign to convince us they were no longer needed.
That affront to Black empowerment was callous in its intent. But what was also disturbing was the fact the absence of Black state officials on the ballot was supported by a who’s who of Black leadership who convinced a majority of Black voters that we live in a post-racial society where Black people loving Black people is blasphemous. (I’m assuming these are the same folks who convinced us that integration and desegregation was the same thing. Remember that cost us 121,341 Black lives. Figure that out).
I’m not suggesting there are no excellent white politicians. But to suggest someone who lives next to you, who has also walked around that 600 foot high wall of apartheid, who attends your church and sends their child to the same school you send yours does not have more in common with you than a white suburbanite whose knowledge of Black people are contained in the lyrics of a gangsta rap song is…. is…stupid and self destructive.
I guess I was raised at the wrong time and with the wrong mindset. Or maybe I misunderstood the goals of Black empowerment and Black Nationalism. I voted for Barack Obama the first time not only because he was smarter, more creative and cooler than John McCain, but also because he was Black. I felt he could relate, and that he understood.
But its obvious today someone else has taken over the Freedom Train and, as we’ll soon learn, their agenda will benefit them more than it will us.
Two other predictions:
If, through some fluke of nature (or mass conspiracy), Mitt Romney wins the election, Black folks aren’t going back to Africa, and the world is not coming to an end. If you seriously look at the statistics (you know the ones we were told not to talk about so as not to jeopardize Barack’s reelection), our situation can’t get any worst.
Hell, we made it through Ronald Reagan, and two Bushes. We made it through the lies of Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the 40-year sojourn after leaving Egypt (also known as Birmingham, Alabama). Oh, by the way, our sojourn in the desert because we disobeyed God should be coming to an end any year now.
Romney has as much chance of winning this election as I have of being drafted by the NBA. But that doesn’t mean the Promised Land is around the corner. If anything, Black folks should be getting together to push Obama, which we didn’t do in his first term, for various reasons. Obama’s victory should generate applause. But, more importantly, it should also generate urgency, motivation, and a collective will to push the envelope.
I can’t predict if the president will respond to our liking. But I can guarantee what the future holds if he isn’t motivated to follow the biblical tenets about the poor, teaching a person to fish, fighting injustice and God’s idea of the perfect family and how that brings national stability and security. Maybe if someone up high, who we love, idolize and has rhythm tells us the truth, Black folks won’t cast stones at him.
I a nutshell, let’s hit the president up to shift his agenda from appeasing Hispanics, women and unions to ‘givin’ a brotha a lil’ sumtin’–sumtin’.
Besides, he’d no longer have the pressure of winning a second term or appeasing a party who’s number one priority is cutting his throat.
He would be able to issue executive orders that specifically benefit us: Give us the next Supreme Court Justice, appoint a former welfare recipient Secretary of Commerce, and a poor cancer survivor of color the head of a new commission to oversee the Affordable Care Act. While he’s at it, he can name a high school drop-out “moved on up!” (no shortage of them in the Black community) to head the Department of Education.
And if he plans on handing down more stimulus money, let it be coordinated by this brother I know who lost his full-time job three years ago, but breaks his butt to maintain his position as the head of his household. He puts food on his table from the three part time jobs he maintains, makes sure his children do their home work (which he checks), still helps his neighbors and drives his entire family to church each week.
Obviously, I don’t predict any of that will happen, but I can guarantee the status quo and our love with symbolism over substance will not be altered if we don’t pressure the president to put the people—or to be more exact, his people–before the politics and partisanship.
I know Obama has saved the Pell Grants, settled the Black farmers lawsuit, given teeth to the justice department to fight discrimination, appointed more Black judges than all the past presidents combined, and opened up the lending process for small businesses. But the reality is when President L.B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act 50 years ago; the Black poverty rate was 40%. Today, it’s 42%. The Black high school drop rate was almost as high as it is today back then, but we could get family sustaining jobs, and two parents headed 80% of the Black families.
Something bold, innovative and maybe even painful has to lead us out of this abyss, and it may as well be a cool walking, articulate and visionary brother who I also predict will make his acceptance speech to the backdrop of soul music.
P.S. I’m not saying Obama is a savior, or we shouldn’t be doing this ourselves. Truth is, we have the power and the visionaries. But the sad reality is we are so brainwashed, numb and brow beaten I don’t predict we will wake up until we’ve dug the hole so deep we start hearing people speak Chinese.