2023 Civics Edition
January 31-February 1, 2023
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A View From the Ground

We provide you with news and information about politics, government, civic participation and engagement from URL Media's network of Black and Brown publishers.
Protesters hold up signs in memory of Tyre Nichols.

Community members gathered Sunday afternoon outside the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul to express solidarity with the family of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who died three days after being beaten during a January 7 traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee. Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle for Sahan Journal

Minnesotans march to protest Tyre Nichols's death: "We have nothing to lose but our chains." This is how many chose to end a rally over the weekend in St. Paul, Minn. as community members mourn the loss of slain 29-year-old Tyre Nichols who died three days after a traffic stop on Jan. 7, reports Sahan Journal. The high-profile fatal shooting of yet another young Black man in America has sparked marches and peaceful protests around the nation, including those in Minn. who spent the weekend remembering others killed by police in recent years, including Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Tekle Sundberg and Amir Locke. An ongoing analysis by The Washington Post shows that on average, U.S. police shoot and kill more than 1,000 people every year, with Black Americans being disproportionately affected.

The racist criminal legal system won't save Asian Americans from gun violence: Between 2020 and 2021, violent crimes committed against Asian Americans rose by 339%. Michi Trota, however, believes the percentage is much higher given the sheer number of attacks that remain unreported. Trota, features editor at Prism, writes that the latest incidents of targeted attacks against Asian American people, so far in 2023 — namely during Lunar New Year — have felt "particularly cruel." The solution is not to have more police on the streets or stricter gun laws, she writes. It’s to re-envision new forms of safety and accountability that will benefit everyone and work in solidarity with others who have been deprived of justice.

ICYMI: Last Friday, Alicia Ramirez, publisher of The Riverside Record and newsletter writer for URL Media's flagship newsletter, penned a beautiful and timely essay about the recent tragedies out of California. Through writing, Ramirez shared her hopes to continue exploring the complex national conversations that arise beyond the one-week news cycle that mass shootings in this country typically get.

A new class will focus on Oklahoma's Black history: Beginning Feb. 4, Tulsa public school students will have access to free weekend classes on Oklahoma's Black history every first Saturday of the month. The course runs for nine months until Nov. 4, and each session lasts five hours. Krista Williams, creator of the curriculum and chair of the Greater Tulsa Area African American Affairs Commission, shared her inspiration for the classes. 

“For years I have had a dream of opening a school that focused on educating students in Black history,” she told The Oklahoma Eagle. “This is a somewhat scaled-down version of that dream. It’s a way to ground students in the absorbing stories that Blacks have forged in Oklahoma over decades." Preference will be given to families of survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023
Sponsored by McKinsey & Company

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023: In order to do better, we need to know what works and what doesn't. McKinsey's 2023 report shows success factors that contributed to significant, quantifiable, scalable, and sustainable DEI impact. Read here.
San Bernardino amazon worker Sara Fee fights retaliation: Black Voice News profiles Sara Fee, a vocal advocate for fair wages and safe working conditions at KSBD, a facility operated by Amazon. Fee, who was among the workers who participated in an employee walkout last fall, shouted this into a loudspeaker while picketing: “Amazon has the resources and the power to improve the quality of jobs of the people who make them profitable, but they choose to spend millions on consultants instead of warehouse workers."

Her participation and ongoing activism at work has led to a recent suspension, an open investigation by her employer and continued surveillance from Amazon union busters.
What Mayor Adams said about asylum seekers in his State of the City Address: Mayor Eric Adams addressed fellow New Yorkers about the city's moral imperative to continue assisting asylum seekers in his State of the City Address last Thursday. Over 40,000 asylum seekers arrived in New York City last spring, and he noted that the City has assisted many with shelter, food, education, healthcare and legal support. "We cannot do this alone," said Adams. “The asylum seeker crisis is a national crisis, and it should not be just for New York City residents. That’s just unfair.” Documented also reported that the day before the address, Adams said the City’s "right-to-shelter" law doesn’t apply to asylum seekers.

+: How to apply for child care subsidies if you are a low-income undocumented family

🎧 Donna Coopper, executive director of Children First, joined WURD's Reality Check to discuss the launch of The Kids’ Campaign. This effort prioritizes youth involvement and their concerns leading up to Philadelphia's 2023 mayoral race. It's the first of its kind in the city — a nonpartisan effort that focuses solely on preserving the dreams and the safety of children and youth.

"How do we give our kids the sense that there is a future that they have a stake in supporting and protecting?" says Cooper. Through candidate questionnaires and forums, The Kids’ Campaign will share with voting parents and young adults the information they need to determine which candidate will keep Philadelphia's children safe.

ICYMILast week, Sara M. Lomax, our co-founder and WURD's President, spoke with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole-Hannah Jones about navigating a "dynamic" and evolving career. Jones' 1619 Project is being portrayed in a six-part documentary series coming that aired on Hulu this past weekend.

Many Haitians, especially those who have recently immigrated, work in fields such as home health care, food preparation and school buses reports Larisa Karr for The Haitian Times. These fields on average offer median salaries ranging from $29,000 to $37,000. But for people like Adolphe looking to earn more, pursuing a degree in career and technical education (CTE) programs is becoming more appealing. CTE certificates like construction would increase one family member’s income to a median salary of $98,890, while air traffic controllers can take home a median salary of $129,750. 

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