United Nations Day 2014

10/22/2014

In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly declared 24 October, the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, as which “shall be devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United nations and to gaining their support for” its work.

“UN Day is a day on which we resolve to do more.  More to protect those caught up in armed conflict, to fight climate change and avert nuclear catastrophe; more to expand opportunities for women and girls, and to combat injustice and impunity; more to meet the Millennium Development Goals.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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7/8/14 U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that The United Nations now recognizes the gay marriages of all its staffers


National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights – 35th Anniversary

10/13/2014
1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights

1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights

The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C. on October 14, 1979. The first such march on Washington, it drew between 75,000 and 125,000 gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people and straight allies to demand equal civil rights and urge the passage of protective civil rights legislation.

History and Planning

The first major attempt at organizing a national gay and lesbian march on Washington occurred Thanksgiving Weekend 1973 in Urbana-ChampaignIllinois. The National Gay Mobilizing Committee for a March on Washington (NGMC), organized by Jeff Graubart, attempted to coordinate a coalition of extant LGBT organizations to plan a March on Washington. Early efforts were met with resistance from local and national LGBT organizations, and plans for a march were ultimately postponed.

The next organization attempt was to occur in Minneapolis the weekend of November 17–19, 1978. A steering committee was created to prepare for the Minneapolis conference, and it identified a primary goal of the march as transforming the gay movement from local to national. However, the committee was dissolved in October 1978 due to internal dissent. Harvey Milk, who had been on the Minneapolis steering committee, took up the reins to continue march organization, and had secured support from local DC groups who had previously dissented before he was assassinated by Dan White. Milk’s assassination served as a catalyst and a touchstone for organizers, who next planned a conference in Philadelphia February 23–25, 1979. One male and one female delegate was invited from known lesbian and gay organizations, and the attendees set forth to address three primary questions. First, whether or not a march should take place. Second, what the organizational structure of the march should be. And third, the platform of the march. An initial debate between marching in 1979 and 1980 sprung up, but 1979 was settled upon as it fell on the ten-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Once these issues were settled and issues of female and minority representation were handled, the conference set forth five demands that would serve as the platform for the march. The participants chose to focus on single-issue politics so as not to dilute the message of a united lesbian and gay community. The final organizational push occurred at a conference at the University of Houston campus July 6–8, 1979.

The National Steering Committee, with mandated gender parity and 25% representation of People of Color, was selected by community meetings throughout the country. Policy/Overview and Administrative Committees were established to guide the work and decisions between Steering Committee meetings. The National Office was set up in New York City with Joyce Hunter and Steven Ault as National Coordinators.

Platform

The Five Demands, as drafted by Joe Smenyak and amended by the conference delegates were as follows:

  • Pass a comprehensive lesbian/gay rights bill in Congress
  • Issue a presidential executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal government, the military, and federally contracted private employment
  • Repeal all anti-lesbian/gay laws
  • End discrimination in lesbian-mother and gay-father custody cases
  • Protect lesbian and gay youth from any laws which are used to discriminate, oppress, and/or harass them in their homes, schools, jobs, and social environments

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_March_on_Washington_for_Lesbian_and_Gay_Rights

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US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2014

ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™

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 White House – LGBT

 LGBT Democrats Facebook

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Underground Railroad

10/08/2014
Huntoon-Van Rensalier Underground Railroad Project, Paterson, New Jersey

Huntoon-Van Rensalier Underground Railroad Project, Paterson, New Jersey

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century slaves of African descent in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. While an “Underground Railroad” running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until shortly after the American Revolution,  the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the “Railroad”.

British North America (present-day Canada), where slavery was prohibited, was a popular destination, as its long border gave many points of access. More than 30,000 people were said to have escaped there via the network during its 20-year peak period, although U.S. Census figures account for only 6,000.Some fugitives’ stories are documented in The Underground Railroad by William Still.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_railroad .

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Aboard the Underground Railroad A National Register Travel Itinerary – nps.gov

The Underground Railroad refers to the effort–sometimes spontaneous, sometimes highly organized–to assist persons held in bondage in North America to escape from slavery. Historic places along the Underground Railroad are testament of African American capabilities. The network provided an opportunity for sympathetic white Americans to play a role in resisting slavery, and brought together, however uneasily at times, men and women of both races to begin to set aside assumptions about the other race and to work together on issues of mutual concern. At the most dramatic level, the Underground Railroad provided stories of guided escapes from the South, rescues of arrested fugitives in the North, complex communication systems, and individual acts of bravery and suffering in the quest for freedom for all.

For more: http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/underground/ .

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US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM

10/05/2014
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr accepts the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr accepts the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize

On October 14, 1964, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his acceptance speech for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence where he mentioned the triple evils.

TRIPLE EVILS

The Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. To work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the “Six Principles of Nonviolence” and use the Kingian model for social action outlined in the “Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change.” Some contemporary examples of the Triple Evils are listed next to each item:

  • Poverty – unemployment, homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality, slums…
  • Racism – prejudice, apartheid, ethnic conflict, anti-Semitism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, ageism, discrimination against disabled groups, stereotypes…
  • Militarism – war, imperialism, domestic violence, rape, terrorism, human trafficking, media violence, drugs, child abuse, violent crime…

.For more: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy<

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Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s  acceptance speech for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize 

. US Honors Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 20, 2014 1:45 PM Meredith BuelChris Simkins – VOAnews
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The nation’s attention began to focus on the civil rights movement in the mid-1950s when a young black preacher, Martin Luther King, Jr., led the successful drive to desegregate public buses in Montgomery, Ala. King organized non-violent protests against southern segregation, the struggle for black equality and voting rights. On January 20, 2014, Americans pay tribute to King’s efforts.
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Televised footage of violence against civil rights demonstrators sparked a wave of sympathetic public opinion. “He taught us that our job was to redeem the soul of America from the triple evils of racism, war and poverty,” said Andrew Young, a civil rights activist who was a close friend of King. By August 1963 the push for equality had grown significantly and 250,000 participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
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Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner

09/25/2014

pbo cbc phoenix dinner 2014

Congressional Black Congress

Since its establishment in 1971, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have joined together to empower America’s neglected citizens and to address their legislative concerns.For more than 40 years, the CBC has consistently been the voice for people of color and vulnerable communities in Congress and has been committed to utilizing the full Constitutional power, statutory authority, and financial resources of the Government of the United States of America to ensure that everyone in the United States has an opportunity to achieve their version of the American Dream.

The legislative agenda of universal empowerment that Members of the Congressional Black Caucus collectively pursue include but are not limited to: the creation of universal access to a world-class education from birth through post secondary level; the creation of universal access to quality, affordable health care and the elimination of racially based health disparities; the creation of universal access to modern technology, capital and full, fairly-compensated employment; the creation and or expansion of U.S. foreign policy initiatives that will contribute to the survival, health, education and general welfare of all peoples of the world in a manner consistent with universal human dignity, tolerance and respect and such other legislative action as a majority of the entire CBC Membership may support.

For more: http://cbc.fudge.house.gov

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POTUS to Deliver Keynote at 2014 CBCF Phoenix Awards Dinner

September 19, 2014 cbcfinc.org

WASHINGTON—The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) today announced President Barack Obama as the keynote speaker for the 44th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Phoenix Awards Dinner, 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

“We are again honored to have former CBC member President Barack Obama address this year’s Phoenix Awards Dinner,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the CBCF. “Since the beginning of his first term, President Obama’s administration has been on the front lines in the ongoing fight for social justice, equal access to healthcare and economic empowerment for all Americans. We are proud to call him a partner in our mission to eliminate the civil and social disparities that many African Americans and black communities continue to face.”

CBCF also announced the full list of the 2014 Phoenix Award honorees: media mogul Cathy Hughes; legendary boxer and activist Muhammad Ali; editor, writer and producer Susan L. Taylor; civil rights leader Wade Henderson; and chairman of FE Holdings, Inc., Robert L. Wright, Jr.

For more: http://www.cbcfinc.org/2014-archive/778-potus-to-deliver-keynote-at-2014-cbcf-phoenix-awards-dinner.html

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Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference
Phoenix Awards Dinner
September 27, 2014
Keynote Speaker: President Barack H. Obama
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

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Executive Order 11246 – Affirmative Action, 49th Anniversary

09/23/2014
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr in a meeting at the White House

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr in a meeting at the White House

Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) on September 24, 1965, established requirements for non-discriminatory practices in hiring and employment on the part of U.S. government contractors. It “prohibits federal contractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” It also requires contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” The phrase affirmative action had appeared previously in Executive Order 10925 in 1961.

The order was a follow-up to Executive Order 10479 signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on August 13, 1953 establishing the anti-discrimination Committee on Government Contracts, which itself was based on a similar Executive Order 8802 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. Eisenhower’s Executive Order has been amended and updated by at least six subsequent Executive Orders. It differed significantly from the requirements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only required organizations to document their practices once there was a preliminary finding of wrongdoing. This Executive Order required the businesses it covered to maintain and furnish documentation of hiring and employment practices upon request.

The Executive Order also required contractors with 51 or more employees and contracts of $50,000 or more to implement affirmative action plans to increase the participation of minorities and women in the workplace if a workforce analysis demonstrates their under-representation, meaning that there are fewer minorities and women than would be expected given the numbers of minorities and women qualified to hold the positions available. Federal regulations require affirmative action plans to include an equal opportunity policy statement, an analysis of the current work force, identification of under-represented areas, the establishment of reasonable, flexible goals and timetables for increasing employment opportunities, specific action-oriented programs to address problem areas, support for community action programs, and the establishment of an internal audit and reporting system.

The Order assigned the responsibility for enforcing parts of the non-discrimination in contracts with private industry to the Department of Labor. Detailed regulations for compliance with the Order were not issued until 1969, when the Nixon administration made affirmative action part of its civil rights strategy.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_11246

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History of Executive Order 11246 – U.S. Department of Labor

Executive Order 11246 – United States Department of Justice

 

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Campaign Against Campus Sex Assault – “It’s On Us” You Are Not Alone

09/18/2014

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Not Alone – Protecting Students from Sexual Assault
Fact Sheet

One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college.  Most often, it happens her freshman or sophomore year.  In the great majority of cases, it’s by someone she knows – and also most often, she does not report what happened.  And though fewer, men, too, are victimized.

The Administration is committed to putting an end to this violence. That’s why the President established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault on January 22, 2014, with a mandate to strengthen federal enforcement efforts and provide schools with additional tools to combat sexual assault on their campuses.

Today, the Task Force is announcing a series of actions to: (1)  identify the scope of the problem on college campuses, (2) help prevent campus sexual assault, (3) help schools respond effectively when a student is assaulted, and (4) improve, and make more transparent, the federal government’s enforcement efforts.  We will continue to pursue additional executive or legislative actions in the future.

These steps build on the Administration’s previous work to combat sexual assault.  The Task Force formulated its recommendations after a 90-day review period during which it heard from thousands of people from across the country — via 27 online and in-person listening sessions and written comments from a wide variety of stakeholders.

Helping Schools Identify the Problem: Climate Surveys

As we know, campus sexual assault is chronically underreported – so victim reports don’t provide a fair measure of the problem.  A campus climate survey, however, can.  So, today:

  • We are providing schools with a toolkit for developing and conducting a climate survey.
  • We will explore legislative or administrative options to require colleges and universities to conduct an evidence-based survey in 2016.

Preventing Sexual Assault – and Bringing in the Bystander

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a systematic review of primary prevention strategies for reducing sexual violence, and is releasing an advance summary of its findings.
  • The CDC and the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women will pilot and evaluate prevention strategies on college campuses.
  • Getting Bystanders to Step In and Help Is a Promising Practice

Helping Schools Respond Effectively When A Student is Sexually Assaulted: Confidentiality, Training, Better Investigations, and Community Partnerships

  • Many survivors need someone to talk to in confidence.
  • We are providing a sample confidentiality and reporting policy.
  • We are providing specialized training for school officials.
  • We will give schools guidance on how to improve their investigative and adjudicative protocols.
  • We are helping schools forge partnerships with community resources.

Improving and Making More Transparent Federal Enforcement Efforts

  • We are launching a dedicated website – www.NotAlone.gov – to make enforcement data public and to make other resources accessible to students and schools.
  • The Department of Education is providing more clarity on schools’ legal obligations.
  • The Departments of Justice and Education have entered into an agreement clarifying each agency’s role.

Next Steps
The action steps highlighted in this report are the initial phase of an ongoing plan and commitment to putting an end to this violence on campuses.  We will continue to work toward solutions, clarity, and better coordination. We will review the legal frameworks surrounding sexual assault for possible regulatory or statutory improvements, and seek new resources to enhance enforcement.  Campus law enforcement agencies have special expertise- and they, too, should be tapped to play a more central role.  And we will also consider how our recommendations apply to public elementary and secondary schools – and what more we can do to help there.

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/29/fact-sheet-not-alone-protecting-students-sexual-assault

Today, the President announced an initiative to help put an end to campus sexual assault. It’s called “It’s On Us.”

That’s not just a slogan or catchphrase. It’s the whole point. Because in a country where one in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted — only 12 percent of which are reported — this is a problem that should be important to every single one of us, and it’s on every single one of us to do something to end the problem.

As a husband, as a brother, and as a father of three boys and daughter who is a sophomore in college, it’s on me to help create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable, and where survivors are supported.

It’s on me to tell my kids to never blame the victim. To not be a bystander. It’s on me to make sure they know that if they see something that looks wrong, they need to get involved — to intervene any way they can, even if it means enlisting the help of a friend or resident advisor. It’s on me to teach them to be direct, and to trust their gut.

That’s why this is personal for me.

And it’s why I took a step this morning to show my commitment to doing my part.  And whether you’re a parent, a student, a survivor or a friend of one, there’s something you can do right now to do the same.

Go to It’sOnUs.org, and take the pledge — a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It’s a promise that you won’t be a bystander to the problem — that you’ll be a part of the solution. The President took the pledge this morning. I did, too — along with dozens of other White House staffers. Do it right now.

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The White House’s dedicated website – www.NotAlone.gov – to make enforcement data public and to make other resources accessible to students and schools.  

On the website, students can learn about their rights, search enforcement data, and read about how to file a complaint.  The website will also help schools and advocates:  it will make available federal guidance on legal obligations, best available evidence and research, and relevant legislation.  Finally, the website will have trustworthy resources from outside the federal government, such as hotline numbers and mental health services locatable by simply typing in a zip code.

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