Tuesday, January 27, 2015

FEB 1 Deadline for GREAT USDA Scholars Program - don't miss out!


     1. The Office of Advocacy &     Outreach (OAO) recently released 
its USDA 1890 National Scholars     Program. The National Scholars 
Program is a major effort of the USDA     and nineteen 1890 
Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions (HBCUs) to     award 
scholarships to students to attend one of the nineteen 1890     
Institutions in any field of study in agriculture, food, natural 
resource     sciences or other related disciplines.

The USDA/1890 National     Scholars Program will provide full tuition, 
employment, employment benefits,     fees, books, and room and board 
each year for up to 4 years to selected     students pursuing a 
bachelorĂ¢€™s degree at the following     universities:

·      Alabama A&M     University
· Alcorn State     University
· Central     State University , Ohio
·      Delaware State     University
· Florida     A&M University
· Fort     Valley State University ,     Georgia
· Kentucky State     University
· Langston     University , Oklahoma
·      Lincoln University ,     Missouri
· North Carolina     A&T State     University
· Prairie View     A&M University ,     Texas
· South Carolina     State University
·      Southern University,     Louisiana
· Tennessee     State University
·      Tuskegee University ,     Alabama
· University of     Arkansas Pine Bluff
·      University of Maryland Eastern     Shore
· Virginia State     University
· West     Virginia State University

Eligible students must be U.S.     citizens, have a cumulative GPA of 
3.0 or better, have been accepted at one     of the 1890 HBCUs, study 
agriculture, food, natural resource sciences or     other related 
academic disciplines, demonstrate leadership and community     service, 
and etc. Please visit the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program website 
for more     information.

Share this information with all high school     students, parents of 
students, school guidance counselors, principals,     teachers, and 
churches. The scholarship may be renewed each year     contingent upon 
satisfactory academic performance and normal progress toward     the 
bachelorĂ¢€™s degree. High school applications and college     
applications may be downloaded from the site below:

http://www.outreach.usda.gov/education/1890/

Application     and supporting documentation DEADLINE: February 1, 2015 
                

            

            Ali     Muhammad

            Diviersity and     Inclusion Specialist

            OHRM/DRW

            Whitten     Building-Room 17W

            202-720-1116

            Ali.muhammad@dm.usda.gov

            

            

                 Our     Nation derives strength from the diversity of 
its population and from its     commitment to equal opportunity for 
all. We are at our best when we     draw on the talents of all parts 
of our society, and our greatest     accomplishments are achieved when 
diverse perspectives are brought to bear     to overcome our greatest 
challenges.-President      Barack Obama Executive     Order 13583-

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Please stop killing us - please. Act now and save a life

In the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. …
Halt Jan. 28 Execution of Marcellus Williams—                A Strong Case of being Wrongly Convicted
Missouri officials plan to execute Marcellus Williams late Tuesday night, just after midnight on Jan. 28-- even as much doubt lingers of his guilt in the 1998 murder of Felicia Gayle, during a robbery of her University City home. This sad case provides a profound human profile why Missouri needs at least a Moratorium NOW, with legislative remedies to promote greater fairness and minimize the chances of wrongful convictions.
Much physical evidence exists but none of it points to Mr. Williams. Technology has vastly improved in the years since so the evidence should be re-tested to see if a match could be made through the national DNA database.  However, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCullough— who orchestrated the grand jury proceed-ing leading to the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson for Michael Brown’s fatal shooting and directs the state’s most prolific death-sentencing county —pursued the death penalty as well in this case and has refused to release evidence for further DNA testing. 
Investigators found head hairs on the victim’s shirt and rug where her body was found, pubic hairs on the rug, plus blood and skin scrapings underneath Gayle’s fingernails (quite likely left from defensive scratching of her assailant during the fatal stabbing). None of it matches the DNA of Williams, Mrs. Gayle or her husband.  Courts have nonetheless denied requests by his trial, appeal and current attorneys to have the evidence tested for DNA matches with people in the national database of those convicted of crimes around the country.  A federal judge just 10 days prior to his execution dismissed the request as “frivolous.”  Mr. Williams was convicted primarily on the testimony of a drug-addicted former girlfriend and a jailhouse snitch who came forward about a year after the murder and said he confessed to them.  Both had legal problems resolved in exchange for their cooperation.
Race matters: African-Americans were victims in 60-percent of murders in Missouri the past four decades yet 62 of the 80 people (nearly 78%) who were executed since 1989 were convicted of murdering White victims—as was the case in this conviction and 9 of the 10 executions last year. 
We mourn with the loved ones of Mrs. Gayle, and all those grieving the loss of relatives and friends who have been murdered. Healing is most certainly impeded, however, by the execution of anyone who may be wrongly convicted.  Those who actually committed those murders meanwhile remain free and may have victimized more people.
*Please Contact Gov. Jay Nixon: calling 573-751-3222; write/type a letter via e-mail at http://governor.mo.gov/get-involved/contact-the-governors-office, faxing 573-751-1495 or tweeting @GovJayNixon.  Urge him to stay the execution, at least until more DNA testing is conducted.

*If the execution is not stayed, Attend Tues., Jan. 27 “Vigils for Life”:                                                               --Jeff City 12:00-1:00 pm, outside the Governor’s Office, 2nd Floor State Capitol;                                                  --Columbia 5:00-6:00 pm, Boone County Courthouse, Walnut St.                                                            For Vigils elsewhere in MO log onto: www.madpmo.org                                                                                    
Attend Moratorium Now! Lobby Day                           10:15 am- 2:00 pm, Wed.  Jan. 21 Hearing Room 3, State Capitol Basement, Jeff City         The Moratorium Now! Campaign advocates for an execution moratorium while a task force recommends reforms promoting greater fairness and minimizing chances of wrongful convictions.  For more: call 573-449-4585 or jstack@formissouri.org.    Co-sponsored by Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (MADP).

Monday, January 19, 2015

NAACP MEETING AT THE NAACP OFFICE 111 High St tonight at 6PM

LU is closed for the King holiday, but the NAACP is taking a day on - please join us as we plan our calendar for the 2015 year.  Have a issue or a concern?  Bring it with you.


Faith Voices has a new meeting date - lets go see em!

Faith Voices Friends, 

This is just a reminder that our regular monthly assembly has been moved to the 4th Monday of each month beginning in January. We will meet one week from today, Monday, January 26 at 6:30pm at Quinn Chapel AME Church. Please plan to join us for the beginning of a very important conversation on race, justice, and equity. We need your voice in the conversation!

As for today, may we be inspired by this call to action from Coretta Scott King found here http://www.thekingcenter.org/meaning-king-holiday

"We call you to commemorate this Holiday by making your personal commitment to serve humanity with the vibrant spirit of unconditional love that was his greatest strength, and which empowered all of the great victories of his leadership. And with our hearts open to this spirit of unconditional love, we can indeed achieve the Beloved Community of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream."

Blessings,
Michelle Scott-Huffman
Organizer, Faith Voices for Jefferson City

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Job of a Lifetime!

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Missouri Foundation, Inc., seeks a sophisticated and dynamic policy and organizing consultant with experience in racial and criminal justice work, and knowledge of networks in the metro St. Louis area, to fulfill a one-year, part-time contract as a Racial and Criminal Justice Project Consultant.
Since the shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9th by a Ferguson police officer, the need for more modern, community-orientated policing methods has moved to the forefront. Working with other community based organizations, coalitions and law enforcement, the ACLU seeks to address this need by facilitating dialogue, drafting and implementing a Collaborative Community Policing Model, similar to Cincinnati, Ohio's, or other possible solutions that would effectively address the community's concerns. 

POSITION DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Director of Advocacy and Policy, the Racial and Criminal Justice Project Consultant will coordinate a one-year campaign to improve law enforcement/community relations in the greater St. Louis area. The Racial and Criminal Justice Project Consultant has the responsibility of implementing and overseeing a broad-based, collaborative policing project, to include relationship building, policy advocacy and a 2015 convening.
The ideal candidate will be an outstanding organizer and leader, with the necessary skills and relationships to facilitate collaborative change in the St. Louis area.

DUTIES

  • Together with community leaders and ACLU staff, develop and implement ACLU of Missouri’s collaborative, community policing campaign;
  • Attend on-the-ground community and protest events in St. Louis area;
  • Along with ACLU Program Associate, represent ACLU at select, related coalition meetings;
  • Identify and build relationships with community leaders and other stakeholders, including current and former local, county and state law enforcement officials;
  • Organize coalition of stakeholders;
  • Compile stories and evidence from community members to support the need for community-based policing;
  • Identify emerging leaders and explore possible solutions, including Cincinnati's collaborative policing model; once solutions are identified, develop and implement a plan of action;
  • Facilitate and coordinate community listening sessions, ACLU presentations, and other events.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • B.A. and/or 5 or more years of related experience in advocacy/community organizing; experience in criminal justice and/or racial justice advocacy strongly preferred;
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing reform in policing practices in St. Louis area;
  • Familiarity and comfort with a broad range of community organizing tools and techniques; experience engaging activists through online channels a plus.
  • Experience working in coalition, including developing shared plans, coordinating external and internal communications, and understanding how to navigate dynamics among partner groups and bridge apparent or subtle divides. 
  • Comfort working with different types of people and coalition partners from established community leaders and "grasstops" community members to emerging leaders and grassroots activists, and ideally law enforcement.
  • Demonstrated connections to the St. Louis community;
  • Maturity, professionalism, exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, and knack for relationship building and diplomacy;
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative, envision a strategic plan and implement the plan to completion;
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with a diverse staff, including remote supervisor;
  • Value and respect diversity;
  • Willingness to work evening and weekend hours;
  • Travel throughout the St. Louis area required. 
  • Bilingual skills are a plus.

COMPENSATION & TERMS

The ACLU of Missouri offers this one-year contract agreement for up to 20 hours per week with compensation, dependent on experience.

TO APPLY

Email a proposal including letter of interest, resume, writing sample and three professional references to srossi@aclu-mo.org. Please indicate “Racial and Criminal Justice Project Consultant” in the subject line of your email.
Alternatively, application materials may be mailed to 3601 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111. No phone calls, please.
Deadline: January 31, 2015

ABOUT THE ACLU OF MISSOURI

The ACLU-MO is an IRS 501(c)(3) organization. We defend and expand the constitutional rights and civil liberties guaranteed to all Missourians under the US and Missouri Constitutions through strategic litigation, legislative advocacy and public education programs on a broad range of issues. We have a diverse staff of ten full-time individuals, with offices in Kansas City and St. Louis. To learn more about our work, please visit www.aclu-mo.org.
The ACLU-MO is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including women, people of color, Native American/Alaskan Natives, persons who experience a disability and the LGBTQI community.

MCHR Diversity Spotlight

MCHR Diversity Spotlight - Martin Luther King Day

MCHR Diversity Spotlight - Martin Luther King Day
In January, our nation recognizes the birthday of one of the most visible advocates of nonviolent direct action for social change, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929, and we mark his birthday with a host of celebrations each year throughout the United States. Dr. King’s birthday became a federal holiday on November 2, 1983, when President Ronald Reagan signed a bill passed by Congress.
In 1994, in keeping with Dr. King’s legacy of advocacy and assistance for others, Congress designated the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service, making it the only federal holiday so observed. The MLK Day of Service is a featured part of United We Serve, the President's national call-to-service initiative, asking Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to the nation's most pressing problems. The national holiday celebration occurs on the third Monday in January. On October 16, 2011, a monument to Dr. King was dedicated in Washington, D.C., the first on the prestigious National Mall honoring a civilian.
In the spirit of Dr. King’s commitment to equality, state human rights agencies, such as the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR), were created. Established in 1958, the MCHR’s goal is to foster mutual understanding and eliminate discrimination through education and outreach and the enforcement of the Missouri Human Rights Act. The MCHR investigates complaints of discrimination in housing, employment, and places of public accommodations because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age (in employment only), and familial status (in housing only). If you believe you have been discriminated against due one of these protected categories, contact the MCHR at (877) 781-4236 or take this assessment to determine if the MHRA applies to your situation.
The MLK Day of Service is “A Day On, Not a Day Off” and is the perfect time for Americans to actively work toward solutions to social problems and move our nation closer to achieving the ideals of Dr. King. MLK Day is a national celebration, but its emphasis is on local action, working close to home to create a better, more equitable, and just society. You can celebrate MLK Day by participating in any of these or many other inspiring events around our state:
Western Missouri
  • The University of Central Missouri's Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will have several related events. Programs include the MLK Community Service Awards presented at the monthly business luncheon of the Greater Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce on January 14. This event will begin at 11:45 a.m. and will be held Luigi’s Italian Restaurant, 121 Pine Street, Warrensburg. The MLK Freedom Scholarship Dinner on January 20 will feature keynote speaker Lucas Boyce, Director of Business Development and Legislative Affairs for the Orlando Magic, author of Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and the NBA, and UCM Alumni. This program begins at 6:30 p.m. and will also be located in the Elliot Student Union Ballroom. Tickets for the dinner must be purchased in advance at the UCM Mentoring, Advocacy, and Peer Support Office, Dockery 212 or by calling (660) 543-4156. On January 15, there will be an Issues Forum on “The Dream Still Matters” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UCM’s Elliott Student Union Atrium.  Register for the Forum by contacting Brianna Nesbitt at (660) 543-4007.
  • “Unity in the Community” is the theme of this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, beginning at 5 p.m. on January 19 in the Pavilion at John Knox Village, 520 Northwest Murray Road, Lee’s Summit. For more information, call (816) 969-1000.
  • The City of Independence is celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at 7 p.m. on January 19 at the Truman Memorial Building, 416 East Maple. The event theme is "Act Like You Care" and features a scholarship essay contest. The keynote speaker will be Reverend Sam Mann. For more event information, call (816) 325-7000.  
  • Join Metropolitan Community College (MCC) for the annual MLK Day of Service. Each MCC campus will host a number of community service projects as a special way to celebrate the day with friends and fun. Arrive prior to 8 a.m. at the MCC-Pen Valley Education Center to turn in your paperwork and receive a complimentary morning snack.  For further details, contact the Campus Life & Leadership Office at 816-604-4255.
  • A breakfast honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. will kick off the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service at Missouri Southern State University. The festivities will include featured guest speakers and volunteer opportunities. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the MSSU Ticket Office or online
Central Missouri
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at Missouri University of Science and Technology is a time for students, faculty, staff, and community members to participate in the celebration on January 19. The day opens with registration and a hot breakfast buffet, followed by service projects later in the morning and early afternoon with a sack lunch provided to all registered participants. For more information, contact S&T Student Life at stulife@mst.edu.
  • The University of Missouri celebrates MLK Day with featured speaker, Myrlie Evers-Williams, civil rights advocate and former NAACP chairperson, on January 28, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Missouri Theatre, 203 South Ninth Street. Free tickets are available at the Missouri Theatre and MSA/GPC Box Offices. For more information, call 573-882-5838 or e-mail diversity@missouri.edu.
  • The Columbia Values Diversity Celebration on January 15 brings people together throughout the community to share in a special breakfast program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The annual Columbia Values Diversity Awards also will be presented at the celebration. Pre-registration is required, and the deadline to register is 5 p.m. on January 9. For additional information, contact OCA@GoColumbiaMo.com or call (573) 874-6386.
Eastern Missouri
  •  Join the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the St. Louis community on January 19 at 10 a.m. for their Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, One University Boulevard, St. Louis.
  • Don’t miss the American Stroke/Heart Association and Express Scripts Foundation’s Dr. Martin Luther King Health Fair and Luncheon at the St. Louis Union Station, 1820 Market Street. Receive free health screenings from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and stay for lunch at 11:30 a.m. Register online or call 314-692-5642 to reserve a table for your group.
  • On January 19, the Multicultural Affairs Center at Truman State University will host the Martin Luther King Collegiate Challenge. This year, students, faculty, and staff volunteers will go out into the local community and make their day off from school “A Day On” by helping community partners with projects that they may not have the time or resources to complete. The event begins with registration at 8:30 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies, team building activities, and the completion of projects. 
National Resources
  • For more information on Dr. King’s life and legacy of social justice, plan a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. The center was opened in 1968 thanks to the dedication of Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. King, to the ideals of the American Civil Rights movement. The repository there consists of the papers of Dr. King and those of the organization he co-founded, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, as well as the records of eight major civil rights organizations and of several individuals active in the movement. The archives also include more than 200 oral history interviews with Dr. King’s teachers, friends, family, and civil rights associates. The King Center is at the hub of a 23-acre National Historic Site, which brings one million visitors each year. Free attractions include the birth home, the crypt of Dr. and Mrs. King, exhibits at Freedom Hall, gift shop/information facility, and reflecting pool. For more information, call 404-526-8900.
  • Visit the website of the Corporation for National and Community Service to find out more about the MLK Day of Service. The site includes MLK Day Legacy of videos featuring civil rights luminaries Congressman John Lewis, Ruby Bridges, Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, and former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford, reminding us of the importance of keeping Dr. King's legacy of service alive and challenging us to make service a part of our everyday lives. Find a MLK Day of Service project in your community or list your project so others can participate. For more information, e-mail MLKDay@cns.gov.
  • Visit All For Good to find service opportunities in your specific area.
If you choose to celebrate, we encourage you to seek ways you can work in your community to help make America a place of freedom, opportunity, fairness, and justice, which are hallmarks of the American dream. Enjoy the holiday, and do something positive in your community – remembering to support the MLK Day of Service as “A Day On, Not a Day Off.”