U.S. National Park Service – 100th Anniversary

Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, they are proud to safeguard these nearly 400 places and to share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. But their work doesn’t stop there.

They are proud that tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individual citizens ask for our help in revitalizing their communities, preserving local history, celebrating local heritage, and creating close to home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun.

Taking care of the national parks and helping Americans take care of their communities is a job they love, and they need – and welcome – they help and support.

On August 25, 1916 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation creating the National Park Service. That marks 100 years of preserving, restoring, and sharing some of America’s most special places — from gorgeous, iconic landscapes like Yellowstone and Yosemite to the sites across the country that tell the stories of people and events that have shaped our history. Our parks are an essential part of our heritage and a source of great pride. And, most importantly, our parks belong to all of us.

That’s a lot to celebrate, so we’re starting now. Last month, President Obama kicked things off when he launched Every Kid in a Park — an initiative that will give every fourth-grade student and their families a free pass to National Parks and all other federal lands and waters for a full year.

And today, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation are continuing the celebration with the launch of #FindYourPark, a new campaign to encourage Americans to connect to our astounding network of parks and public lands — whether it’s for the first time or the hundredth.

First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush are spearheading this effort. As honorary co-chairs of the Centennial celebration, they’re challenging every American to get out and #FindYourPark.

You can find out more about the campaign at FindYourPark.com – a new website that features ways to find your park, share your park experiences and memories, and check out the stories others have shared. Already, celebrities like Bill Nye, Bella Thorne, Roselyn Sánchez, Terrence J, and Mary Lambert have posted their stories. And there’s more to come.

PBO NPS quote


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Pres Obama to visit Baton Rouge, Louisiana

August 19, 2016

Statement from Press Secretary Josh Earnest on the President’s Call with Secretary Johnson and Plans to Visit Baton Rouge, Louisiana

This morning, President Obama received an update from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson on the ongoing response and recovery efforts to the severe flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following the Secretary’s trip to the region on Thursday. During his visit, Secretary Johnson met with state and local officials, viewed the ongoing response and recovery efforts, and visited local shelters where those impacted by the flooding are receiving food and disaster-caused needs.

While in Martha’s Vineyard, the President has received updates on the situation in Louisiana, including from the DHS Secretary and the FEMA Administrator, who took separate trips there. The President today directed his team to coordinate with Louisiana officials to determine an appropriate time for him to visit, and together they have determined that the President will visit Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday, August 23rd.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/08/19/statement-press-secretary-josh-earnest-presidents-call-secretary-johnson

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
President Obama meets with officials, first responders and residents affected by the floods
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


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World Humanitarian Day 2016

World Humanitarian Day 2015

World Humanitarian Day is a day dedicated to recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as part of a Swedish-sponsored GA Resolution A/63/L.49 on the Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the United Nations, and set as 19 August. It marks the day on which the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues were killed in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad.


The designation of 19 August as World Humanitarian Day is the outcome of the relentless efforts of the Sérgio Vieira de Mello Foundation and his family working closely with the Ambassadors of France, Switzerland, Japan and Brazil in both Geneva and New York to table and steer the draft Resolution through the General Assembly. The Foundation conveyed its deep gratitude to the United Nations General Assembly and all Member States for the worthy gesture of recognition that has ensured that the tragic loss of Vieira de Mello and his 21 colleagues and all humanitarian personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifices in relieving the suffering of victims of humanitarian crises have not been in vain.

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


World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is held every year on 19 August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to mobilize people to advocate for a more humane world.

This year, WHD follows on one of the most pivotal moments in the history of humanitarian action: the World Humanitarian Summit, held from 23 to 24 May in Istanbul. During the Summit, world leaders came together to declare their collective support for the new Agenda for Humanity and commit to bold action to reduce suffering and deliver better for the millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

For more: http://www.unocha.org/whd2016





19th Amendment – 96th Anniversary Women’s Right to Vote

The  Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits each state and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920.

The Constitution allows the states to determine the qualifications of voters, subject to limitations imposed by later amendments. Until the 1910s, most states disenfranchised women. The amendment was the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, which fought at both state and national levels to achieve the vote. It effectively overruled Minor v. Happersett, in which a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment did not give women the right to vote.

The Nineteenth Amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878 by Senator Aaron A. Sargent. Forty-one years later, in 1919, Congress approved the amendment and submitted it to the states for ratification. It was ratified by the requisite number of states a year later, with Tennessee‘s ratification being the final vote needed to add the amendment to the Constitution. In Leser v. Garnett(1922), the Supreme Court rejected claims that the amendment was unconstitutionally adopted.

” The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution



* Blog
White House Support
Data & Fact Sheets

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cwg .

US Women’s Rights Movement Timeline 1848 – 2016 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)


Forward For Equality_sml

Social Security Act of 1935 – 81st Anniversary


In the United States, Social Security is primarily the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) federal program. The original Social Security Act (1935) and the current version of the Act, as amended, encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs. Social Security is funded through payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) and/or Self Employed Contributions Act Tax (SECA). Tax deposits are collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are formally entrusted to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund which make up the Social Security Trust Funds. With a few exceptions, all salaried income, up to a specifically determined amount by law (see tax rate table below) has an FICA and/or SECA tax collected on it.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_(United_States)


The Obama Administration’s Agenda on Seniors & Social Security

“To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.”


Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

Learn more about Social Security: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/


Social Security Facebook
Social Security Twitter
Social Security Google+
Social Security YouTube

No cuts Soc Security Medicare Medicaid sign

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2016 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit

Bullying - Various Forms

2016 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit
Washington, DC

Friday, August 12, 2016

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Introductions and Greetings

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Plenary Session I: How Recent Research Barnard Auditorium Recommendations and School Surveillance
Impacts Your Bullying Prevention Efforts

1. Present the National Academies Report Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy and Practice.

a. Discuss how to use the recommendations from the report focusing on the recommendation to evaluate the role of stigma and bias in bullying behavior, and develop evidence-based programs to address stigma and bias-based bullying behavior.

  1. Present the latest National Center of Education Statistics bullying estimates.
    a. Discuss the findings and plans for the 2017 School Crime Supplement.
  2. Present the School-Associated Violent Death Surveillance System.

a. Discuss tracking bullying-related suicides using the School-associated Violent

Death Surveillance System and other surveillance methods to identify antecedents of suicidal behavior.



Catherine Bradshaw, Ph.D., M.Ed., Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Rachel Hansen, Ph.D.,* Educational Statistician, Cross-Sectional Surveys Branch, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Plenary Session II: Federal Legal Barnard Auditorium Responses to Harassment and Bullying

1. Explore the work of each office including guidance documents.
2. Provide an overview of each of the offices’ jurisdiction over harassment.
3. Examine the legal standards for enforcement.
4. Walk through the process for filing complaints, investigations, and resolution of cases. 5. Highlight case examples related to different types of harassment.


Torey Cummings, J.D., M.S.W., Senior Trial Attorney and USAO Coordinator, Educational Opportunities Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Alice Yao, J.D., Attorney, Program Legal Group, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education

Michelle Tucker, J.D., Attorney, Division of Educational Equity, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Education
Marlene Sallo, J.D., Chief of Staff & Senior Counsel, Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Plenary Session III: Expand Your Barnard Auditorium Bullying Prevention Efforts Through the Use of Emergency Operations Planning


  1. Gain an understanding of the connection between bullying prevention and emergency operations planning.
  2. Explore the six preparedness missions of emergency operations planning.
  3. Examine the resources available to measure school climate – a key component of both bullying prevention and emergency operations planning.
  4. Operationalize folding bullying prevention efforts into emergency operations planning. Discuss the challenges and best practices of this approach.

Moderator: Sarah Sisaye, M.P.H., CHES; Management and Program Analyst, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education


Madeline Sullivan, M.A., Education Program Analyst, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
Rita Foy Moss, M.Ed., Education Program Analyst, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Gina Kahn, Ed.D., CAGS, Safe and Healthy Students Programs Director for the Hampden- Wilbraham Regional School District

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch (On Your Own)

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Plenary Session IV: Strategies to Create Barnard Auditorium Safe, Understanding, and Inclusive Academic Environments

1. Gain an understanding of identity- based bullying and tools to prevent and mitigate it.
2. Learn strategies and approaches to create a culture of inclusion and understanding within schools and classrooms to prevent and reduce bullying.
3. Gain basic cultural competency of Islam and Sikhism.
4. Learn the mental health effects of bullying on Muslim youth and how to prevent and reduce bullying and discrimination.
5. Learn best practices and specific strategies on how to improve the school climate and reduce bullying of Sikh youths
Moderator: Steffie Rapp, M.S.W., Juvenile Justice Specialist, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Education

Jinnie Spiegler, M.Ed., Director of Curriculum in the National Education Division of the Anti- Defamation League
Farha Abbasi, M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Staff Psychiatrist, Olin Health Center; Faculty, Muslim Studies Program; Director, Muslim Mental Health Conference; Managing Editor, Journal of Muslim Mental Health, Michigan State University
Sapreet Kaur, M.B.A., Executive Director, Sikh Coalition

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions (Various Meeting Rooms) Breakout I: StopBullying.Gov Demonstration

Purpose: To provide an overview of the many features of the StopBullying.gov website, including prevention center training materials, the media guidelines, and our social media efforts to reach a variety of audiences from parents to teens.

Goal: To inform attendees about the data and resources available on StopBullying.gov for a variety of audiences and solicit feedback on the site through Q & A during the session.


Silje Lier, M.P.H., Digital Communications Specialist, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Siobhan Mueller, Partner, Widmeyer Communications

Breakout II: Physician’s Project

Moderator: TBD

Panelists: TBD

Breakout III: Discussion about Bullying Based on Gender, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation


  1. To help representatives from state education agencies and local education agencies gain an understanding about the experiences of bullying and the effects of it on LGBT students.
  2. To discuss both local and nationwide trends in the prevalence and characteristics of bullying of students who are LGBT based on research conducted by advocates.
  3. To share resources and learn best practices for addressing bullying of LGBT students among educators, mental health professionals, community and advocacy groups, and students and parents.

Moderator: Elliot Kennedy, Special Expert for LGBT Affairs, Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Harsh Voruganti, Principal and Founder, the Voruganti Law Firm; Hindu American Foundation
Nathan Smith, M.A., Director of Public Policy, GLSEN
Diana Bruce, Director of Health and Wellness for District of Columbia Public Schools James van Kuilenburg, Student

Breakout IV: Addressing Harassment and Bullying of Students Who Are Muslim or Are Perceived to be Muslim


  1. To help representatives from state education agencies and local education agencies gain an understanding about the experiences of bullying and the effects of it on students who are Muslim and perceived to be Muslim.
  2. To discuss both local and nationwide trends in the prevalence and characteristics of bullying of students who are Muslim or perceived to be Muslim based on surveys conducted by advocates.
  3. To share resources and learn best practices for addressing bullying of students who are Muslim and perceived to be Muslim among educators, mental health professionals, community and advocacy groups, and students and parents.

Moderator: Jasjit Singh, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Justice


Hana Mangat, Student Shaheer Mirza, Student

Breakout V: Supports, Interventions and Best Practices to Prevent Bullying of Students with Disabilities


  1. Discuss the characteristics and prevalence of bullying of students with disabilities, including how bullying affects student’s ability to access educational resources.
  2. Discuss how students with disabilities experience bullying.
  3. Sharing best practices and resources for addressing and preventing bullying of students with disabilities.

Moderator: Marlene Sallo, J.D., Chief of Staff & Senior Counsel, Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice

Curt Decker, Executive Director for the National Disability Rights Network
Julie Hertzog, Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, Director, PACER Center’s National Bullying Prevention Center

3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Break/Make Way to Auditorium for Closing
4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Closing Remarks Barnard Auditorium

StopBullying.Gov Facebook
StopBullying.Gov Tumblr
StopBullying.Gov Instagram
StopBullying.Gov Pinterest
StopBullying.Gov YouTube




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American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 – 38th Anniversary

American Indian Religious Freedom Act

The American Indian Religious Freedom Act, Public Law No. 95-341, 92 Stat. 469 (Aug. 11, 1978) (commonly abbreviated to AIRFA), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1996, is a United States federal law, enacted by joint resolution of the Congress in 1978. It was enacted to protect and preserve the traditional religious rights and cultural practices of American IndiansEskimosAleuts, and Native Hawaiians. These rights include, but are not limited to, access of sacred sites, freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rights and use and possession of objects considered sacred.

The Act required policies of all governmental agencies to eliminate interference with the free exercise of Native American religion, based on the First Amendment, and to accommodate access to and use of religious sites to the extent that the use is practicable and is not inconsistent with an agency’s essential functions. It also acknowledges the prior violation of that right.


Due to the complex nature of American Indian religious beliefs, American Indian religions have often been at odds with existing federal laws and government policies. There have been three general areas of conflict. Firstly, American Indians did not have access to a number of sacred places that were used in religious ceremonies. Native American religious practices often came into conflict with the idea that American public lands exist for the use and benefit of the American people. The results of the passage of the Indian Removal Act and the General Allotment Act were the displacement of hundreds of tribes, including the Five Civilized Tribes of the southeastern United States, and the forced assimilation of Native American families into agricultural settler societies.

The second conflict was the possession of ceremonial items that are restricted by United States Law, such as eagle feathers or bones (a protected species) or peyote. The conflict lies in the fact that items such as peyote are integral parts of ceremonies practiced by members of churches such as the Native American Church. The use of eagle bones in ceremony has been brought up in any case involving Indian claims on hunting and fishing rights allowed for tribal member to hunt for eagles.

The third general area of conflict was an issue of interference. Sacred ceremonies were sometimes subject to interference from overzealous officials or curious onlookers.

The act itself was more a policy statement, and it acknowledged prior infringement on the right of freedom of religion for American Indians by denying them their First Amendment right of “free exercise” of religion. President Jimmy Carter said, in a statement about the AIRFA, a very similar thing:

In the past, Government agencies and departments have on occasion denied Native Americans access to particular sites and interfered with religious practices and customs where such use conflicted with Federal regulations. In many instances, the Federal officials responsible for the enforcement of these regulations were unaware of the nature of traditional native religious practices and, consequently, of the degree to which their agencies interfered with such practices.

This legislation seeks to remedy this situation.

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


Obama Proclaims Río Grande del Norte a National Monument, Significant Site for Natives

3/26/13 indiancountrytodaymedianetwork

Yesterday, March 25, by proclamation, President Obama established Río Grande del Norte as a National Monument. The announcement of a national monument designation has come in response to considerable input from the community including local businesses, sportsmen, elected officials, Latino organizations, Native American tribes and nearly the entire New Mexico congressional delegation.

The Río Grande del Norte National Monument will boost economic growth in northern New Mexico while permanently protecting the heritage,  water and approximately 240,000 acres of natural areas and wildlife habitat in the region.

Hispano leaders and organizations, small business owners and the Taos and Mora Valley Chambers of Commerce, sportsmen and ranchers, Native American Pueblos and elected officials, and conservation organizations have come together to thank President Obama for protecting Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

“I applaud President Obama protecting Rio Grande del Norte National Monument because many of the wildlife species that live in that corridor come in and out of this area.  Left unprotected, there may be very few animals available that the Native American people of Taos Pueblo depend on for food, clothing and shelter,” says Benito Sandoval, Taos Pueblo War Chief.

For more: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/03/26/obama-proclaims-rio-grande-del-norte-national-monument-significant-site-natives-148361


Securing Indigenous Rights to Sacred Places With the UN Declaration

5/16/12 Karla E. General – indiancountrytodaymedianetwork

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples presents a new opportunity and a new kind of legal authority that could help Native peoples to secure rights to sacred places, and to preserve and protect cultural, religious, and spiritual practices.

The Declaration recognizes and affirms the rights of indigenous peoples to their cultural, religious, and spiritual practices, to have private access to sacred sites (Arts. 12(1), 11(1)), as well as to maintain and strengthen their spiritual relationship with their traditionally held lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources (Art. 25). With the Declaration, Native peoples have rights acknowledged by the international community of nations, including rights to sacred places both within existing reservation or territorial boundaries and beyond.

As rights-holders, Native nations and individuals have the right to cultural, religious, and spiritual practices. As duty-bearer, the U.S. has the responsibility to prevent infringement of these rights.

For more:  http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/05/16/securing-indigenous-rights-sacred-places-un-declaration


List of Native American Tribe Websites A-Z



US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-201(ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)