In a stunning turn in criminal justice policy, Attorney General Eric Holder announced steps the Justice Department will take to address overpopulation in federal prisons by changing mandatory minimum-sentencing guidelines and pushing non-violent drug offenders into rehab programs instead of prison cells.
Is it headed in the right direction?
Civil rights leaders will march on Washington, D.C., on Aug. 24 to observe the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech. Now economists, labor groups and community stakeholders want to make sure that the Black jobs crisis gets top billing on the agenda.
Civil rights leaders meet with President Obama on Voting Rights
The Voting Rights Act is down, but not out, and civil rights leaders joined President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. at the White House July 29 to discuss renewed efforts in the fight against voter discrimination.
Just as they did during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, last Saturday’s demonstrations in more than 100 cities around the nation to protest the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman on charges that he murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, many ministers were in the forefront of protests at federal buildings in their communities.
Black activists marked the 42nd anniversary of the War on Drugs with a protest in front of the White House aimed at ending a targeted action that has led to the disproportionate arresting, conviction and incarceration of Blacks for decades.
The hoopla surrounding the observance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom often ignores the lack of progress made since 1963 on tough issues such as persistent unemployment and wage disparities, according to a newly issued report.
Civil rights leaders greeted the Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin with lukewarm optimism.
The Dallas City Council authorized a grant agreement for $1.5 million with Central Dallas Community Development Corporation during its weekly meeting on June 12. The CDC plans to construct 50 permanent housing units to support individuals suffering from mental illness, addiction or homelessness.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency that enforces federal employment discrimination laws, filed lawsuits against BMW and the discount retailer Dollar General alleging that the companies’ broad use of criminal background checks discriminate against Black applicants and employees.
Areva Martin watched her youngest child play with growing concern. Marty was almost 18 months old and he didn’t play like other kids his age. Instead of racing toy cars on a track or across the floor, Marty would organize them in lines. He did the same thing with crayons. Instead of scribbling on paper or trying to color, he would just line them up. Marty played obsessively with random objects that he would find around the house: a house shoe, a cup or a spoon would consume hours of playtime. But Martin, a lawyer living in Los Angeles, was most concerned about his speech.
Both the House and Senate have passed bills that would reduce funding of the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps, but the extent of the cuts will not become known until negotiators from both chambers agree to a compromise measure.
In nearly 4,500 minutes of arguments heard by the justices of the United States Supreme Court since October, one Black lawyer stood before them for less than 12 minutes. As the nation’s highest court becomes more diverse – with one Black attorney and three women, one being Latina – the small pool of lawyers that they see tend to lack diversity.
The unemployment rate for Black men and women dipped slightly in April, with females showing greater progress, according to last month’s Labor Department report.
As President Obama continues to underscore the need to increase the college-educated workforce significantly by 2020, all except two states have slashed their funding for higher education.
Blacks have fallen behind in their efforts to reach parity with Whites in several key areas since 2010, according to the National Urban League’s new State of Black America report.
WASHINGTON (NNPA) - Like thousands of Black college students, Bethanie Fisher, a psychology major at Howard University, depended heavily on the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students program that allows parents to borrow the full amount of college tuition and fees. During the 2007/2008 school year, an estimated 33 percent of undergraduate students that earned degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities received Parent PLUS Loans, double the rate of all undergraduate students nationwide.