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    Civil Rights Coalition Delivers Demands for Concrete Reforms to Address Nationwide Policing Crisis

    ColorofChange.org and others to E- Deliver 120,000 signatures to White House, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security

    www.NationalPolicingReforms.org
    http://unitedforferguson.com


    Washington D.C. -- Today, a coalition of 11 progressive and civil rights organization including ColorofChange.org, Democracy for America, MomsRising, Daily Kos and many more are set to deliver 120,000 signatures to the White House, Department of Justice, Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security demanding concrete reforms to address the nationwide policing crisis in our country. These demands were developed in coordination with local organizations working to end discriminatory and abusive policing, academics, as well as policing and legal experts. The delivery also stands in solidarity with various actions happening across the country today on the National Day Against Police Brutality.

    Reforms include an executive order from President Obama with a strong and enforceable ban on police brutality and discrimination, DOJ investigations of biased and violent policing in every state of the country, a comprehensive database on police killings and use of force, with privacy protections and deportation immunity, and the defunding of federal programs that incentive militarized and abusive policing.

    “The coalition recognizes the important steps the Department of Justice and White house have taken since Mike Brown was killed, but now calling for bold vision and deliberate action to shift the policies, police culture, and lack of accountability and oversight that led to his death,” said ColorOfChange Executive Director, Rashad Robinson. “Discriminatory, violent, and militarized policing is a nationwide civil and human rights crisis. In the face of this crisis, we have called on our national leaders to do more and we now come with clear and tangible reforms to move forward.

    “Police brutality violates trust between law enforcement and the public, making it harder for police to do their jobs or create the kind of partnerships effective at keeping communities safe while respecting the safety and dignity of all people,” continued Robinson. “With increased focus on the very real violence and abusive policing targeting Black and brown youth every day, we demand more than conversation or commissions, but real leadership to enact structural change to our criminal justice system.”

    The coalition continues to demand full accountability and justice for the police killing of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, and so many others across the country. They are calling on President Obama and the federal agencies to take definite action to address the national epidemic of discriminatory and violent policing.

    Quotes from petition delivery partners:

    "These reforms will help address a long history of discriminatory policing in America -- and build better relationships between police and community members in neighborhoods across America. Those positive relationships are essential to protecting public safety and reducing crime. It’s time we delivered lasting justice for everyone in America.” - Robert Cruickshank, Senior Campaign Manager, Democracy for America.

    “The disturbing trend of excessive, and often fatal, policing around the country illustrates the system is broken,” said Rachel Colyer, Senior Campaign Director at Daily Kos. “The Executive branch can, and should, move quickly to reform the system before more lives are lost. The following proposed reforms would be much needed step on a long journey to address systemic discrimination, begin the demilitarization of police forces nationwide, and start rebuilding the trust that has been lost.”

    “Racial profiling and police brutality are epidemic in our country and it is long past time that we do something on the federal level to end this madness,” said MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “No mother should ever have to fear that her children could be harmed, much less killed, by the law enforcement officers who have sworn to protect them. But it happens every day. As an organization representing more than a million mothers, fathers, grandparents and others across the country, we’re proud to stand with Color of Change as we call on the federal government, including the Department of Justice and Congress to take comprehensive steps to protect the civil rights of all Americans.”

    “After the tragic killing of Mike Brown and due in no small part to the hard work of organizers across the country, we are seeing more attention paid to our country’s long and often deadly history of excessive policing targeting people of color. Change is long overdue. The executive branch of our federal government can begin by taking concrete steps to demilitarize our police forces and to end discriminatory and abusive policing,” says Sarah Arnold, Activism Campaign Manager at The Nation.

    "For someone like me -- a middle-aged white man who has never worried for a moment that my 23 year old son might get shot by a police officer -- the hard reality of racialized policing in America is abstract. For the parents of young black men, it is anything but. We need to take steps to reform the disparate police treatment of young black men. These steps are not mysterious. They do not require Congressional approval. They can and should be done now." Dan Cantor, National Director, Working Families.

    Additional coalition partners include the Advancement Project, Center for Popular Democracy, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, RH Reality Check, and RootsAction.

    With more than 900,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.


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    National Civil Rights Organization Condemns Shameful Private Prison Company's Attempt to Overturn Florida's Decision to Cancel its Contract Due to Widespread Abuse of Children

    ColorOfChange reiterates support for Florida Department of Juvenile Justic (DJJ) cancellation of the YSI Managed Santa Rosa Abuse Treatment Center, Calls for Wider Private Prison Cancellation


    New York, NY—Yesterday, the for-profit prison corporation Youth Services International (YSI) filed an official challenge with the Florida Division of Administration after the DJJ canceled a $3,527,552 contract for the Santa Rosa Abuse Treatment Center -- citing excessive force, abuse, and an institutionalized disregard for the well being of youth in its custody. YSI was also barred from applying for a contract with the state for 12 months.

    " The ColorOfChange community applauds Secretary Daly’s decision to cancel the Santa Rosa contract and protect Florida's youth from YSI’s devastating abuse. "
    ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson stated, “It is absolutely shameful that a company that profits from the daily abuse and torture of Florida’s youth would blame the State and those same youth for sanctions against its unethical business practices. This is a clear attempt to roll back Florida’s progress to hold the private prison industry accountable for its corruption and abuse and stop the State from moving toward more forward facing and effective reforms.“

    “The ColorOfChange community applauds Secretary Daly’s decision to cancel the Santa Rosa contract and protect Florida's youth from YSI’s devastating abuse. We urge Secretary Daly to fight YSI’s disgraceful influence-peddling and continue with further private prison contract cancellations of the facilities with known abuse of youth. The unethical private prison model, which prioritizes profit over rehabilitation, is unacceptable for Florida.”

    Robinson continued, “Extensive investigations have revealed some of the highest rates of sexual abuse in YSI facilities and widespread corruption. Private prison companies also unjustly charge youth to cover up abuse by guards and staff. In addition to immediate action to cancel YSI contracts, I urge Secretary Daly to investigate the arrest of the eight youth mentioned in YSI’s recent challenge.”

    Since June, 15,000 people have joined ColorOfChange’s campaign calling for an end to Florida’s for-profit youth system and a massive reinvestment in effective, community-based alternatives to imprisonment.

    With more than 900,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.


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    Civil Rights Organization Demands New York Times Correct Deeply Flawed Editing Process after Publishing Racist Oped by Alessandra Stanley

    Over 45,000 ColorOfChange.org Members Demand an Apology from Stanley

    **VIEW PETITION: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/shondarhimes/****


    New York, NY -- After widespread public outcry -- including a ColorOfChange.org campaign that garnered the signatures of over 45,000 of its members -- Alessandra Stanley and some editors at the New York Times have finally expressed remorse for the publication of an outrageous op-ed calling TV writer and producer, Shonda Rhimes, and her many complex Black women heroines “angry Black women” and judging their adherence to white standards of beauty.

    However, the New York Times must take substantive steps to correct the deeply flawed editing process that allowed this highly offensive piece to hit newsstands.

    Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org, said, “According to the New York Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, the Times has zero Black critics on staff. Perhaps that explains in part why Alessandra Stanley’s tone deaf op-ed was reviewed by multiple editors before somehow receiving approval. Did none of them find anything at all wrong with Stanley’s hurtful words.

    “Clearly the New York Times has a problem. Culture Editor Danielle Mattoon said it herself that the paper’s editors need to ‘remind ourselves as editors of our blind spots, what we don’t know, and of how readers may react.’ Those sentiments are a step in the right direction, but we need to see action. The Times needs to make clear the measures it will take to address their diversity problem, and ensure offensive rants like Stanley’s don’t slip through the cracks by way of the ‘blind spots’ of their editors.

    “Our members at ColorOfChange.org and the thousands of others deserve a plan for a path forward to prevent dehumanizing articles like this one from receiving the influential platform the New York Times provides. Printing Stanley's article was a mistake; a news outlet that bills itself as the ‘paper of record’ should be able to not only admit their mistakes, but also learn from them and take the necessary steps towards ensuring this never happens again.”

    With more than 900,000 members,ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.


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    (BPRW) PBS to Present AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON Friday, September 26, 2014, 8-9 p.m. ET

    Moderated by PBS NEWSHOUR’s Gwen Ifill, town hall meeting will explore the complex issues surrounding the events in Ferguson, Missouri


    (BLACK PR WIRE) -- ARLINGTON, Va. -- PBS today announced that Gwen Ifill, PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor, and moderator and managing editor of WASHINGTON WEEK, will moderate AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON, a town hall meeting that will explore the many issues that have been brought into public discourse in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri. The program, produced by WGBH Boston in partnership with the Nine Network/KETC in St. Louis and WETA in Washington DC, will air Friday, September 26, 2014, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).

    While the facts of the case are still in dispute, for many the story of Ferguson has become a symbol of the larger social divides in America, exposing a persistent disconnect along lines of race, class and identity. Through conversations and special reports, AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON will explore these complex questions raised by the events in Ferguson.

    AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON will be taped before an audience on Sunday, September 21, at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Intended for audiences in communities across the country, AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON will include national leaders in the areas of law enforcement, race and civil rights, as well as government officials, faith leaders and youth.

    “The upheaval in Ferguson stirred up an all too familiar stew of debate over race, justice and citizenship," Ifill said. "It’s a discussion fueled by community outrage and resentment on all sides, but it is one that shouldn’t end. Our town hall conversation will shed light rather than heat on the topic, as we seek out the voices interested in digging deeper.”

    “In light of the ongoing events in Ferguson, we wanted to help convene a conversation to delve deeper into these complex cultural questions,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “By bringing together PBS’ trusted brand of news and public affairs analysis with the local expertise of our St. Louis PBS member station KETC, we will deliver a compelling and informative program that helps move these important conversations forward.”

    “This can be a town hall where a civil dialogue happens not only in the auditorium and over the air, but also through social media,” said Marie Nelson, WGBH executive producer for the program. “It’s a chance for a wide range of voices and ideas to be heard in a truly national discourse.”

    As a multi-platform initiative, AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON will also deliver content and conversation through a robust digital presence and social media discussion. To continue the dialogue after the town hall, visit pbs.org/afterferguson and follow #AfterFerguson.

    About PBS
    PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

    About WGBH
    WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the web. Television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. Find more information at wgbh.org.

    – PBS–


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    On 49th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act Signing,
    Civil Rights Organization Demands Walmart Release Surveillance Tapes of Man Killed Inside Store

    More than 60,000 ColorOfChange.or Members Signed Petition

    **VIEW PETITION: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/ReleaseTheTapes/**


    Dayton, OH -- On August 5, 2014, 22-year-old John Crawford III was fatally shot by police in a Walmart in Beaver Creek, Ohio while leaning on a pellet gun from the store's shelves. Since his murder, Walmart has refused requests from family attorneys to publicly release security tape footage from the more than 200 cameras in the store. In response, ColorOfChange.org, the nation’s largest online civil rights organization, launched a petition demanding Walmart publicly release the surveillance videos to ensure justice for John Crawford, and help customers and workers feel safe in Walmart stores.

    Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org, said, “Walmart thinks by hiding these tapes they can avoid a conversation about their responsibility for the safety of customers and workers in their stores: they're wrong. Walmart owes John Crawford's family, Walmart workers and future shoppers answers for why police stormed one of their stores and murdered one of their customers.”

    Robinson continued, “The 911 caller is now changing his story, saying that Crawford never aimed the gun at anyone in the store. Releasing the tapes publicly will help John Crawford's family, the community, and Walmart workers restore their faith in a legal process that too often refuses to deliver justice when Black people are hurt or killed. Ironically and tragically, Ohio is an open carry state; even if the pellet gun John Crawford picked up was a real gun, he would have committed no crime. Crawford’s death exemplifies how open carry laws provide no protection for Black people in a culture that doesn’t value our dignity or humanity.”

    “ColorOfChange supports the determined work of advocates on the ground, like the Ohio Student Association, who continue to demand justice for John Crawford. We demand full accountability of the police officers responsible. “

    With more than 900,000 members,ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.


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    On 49th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act Signing,
    Bend the Arc Organizes Jewish Voters in Fight to Protect Voting Rights

    As Congress Leaves Town, Voters Sign Petition Urging Lawmakers to Advance Voting Rights Amendment Act


    Washington, DC—To honor the 49th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act, activists launched a nationwide petition on Wednesday calling on members of the record-breakingly unproductive 113th Congress to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) when they return to work in September. Drafted in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the VRAA will modernize and strengthen the landmark Civil-Rights era bill with common-sense fixes to protect voters nationwide against discrimination at the ballot box.

    As part of the national coalition pushing for the VRAA, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice today will begin gathering signatures from Jewish voters on a petition calling on lawmakers to reestablish basic voting rights before the November elections by passing the VRAA. From the joint coalition petition:

    “States and localities around the country are making changes that will discriminate against voters based solely on the color of their skin or the language they speak. And voters will feel the impact of these changes this November. Congress must protect all voters.”

    Congress’ refusal to advance the VRAA marks a severe and unprecedented divergence from the past four decades, when voting rights enjoyed strong support across the political spectrum. Since its original passage in 1965, Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act with overwhelming bipartisan support four times, most recently in 2006. These reauthorization bills were signed into law by Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush—all Republicans.

    “I’m not sure whether to be astonished or appalled by the brazenness of lawmakers who are blocking the VRAA from moving forward, especially since so many of them voted to protect voting rights in 2006,” said Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc. “We have no illusions about this Congress, but we don’t think it’s too much to ask that our lawmakers take action to protect the very right that serves as the foundation for our system of government.”

    America’s Jewish community has deep roots in the Civil Rights Movement. Young Jew Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma and Rabbi Joachim Prinz had the honor of speaking before him to the crowd at the March on Washington. Building on this legacy, Bend the Arc held a National Day of Action in June, culminating in a candlelight vigil on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, to commemorate the deaths of Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney, three young activists who were murdered 50 years ago for working to register black voters in Mississippi. In partnership with the Andrew Goodman Foundation, Bend the Arc is galvanizing Jewish participation in the national, multi-racial, interfaith and intergenerational coalition to protect voting rights and promote civic engagement.

    Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice is a national organization inspired by Jewish values and the steadfast belief that Jewish Americans, regardless of religious or institutional affiliations, are compelled to create justice and opportunity for Americans.


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    Civil Rights Groups Demand Twitter Release Diversity Data

    ColorOfChange.org Joins with Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rainbow Push Coalition Calling on Twitter to Publicly Disclose Employee Demographic Data and Commit to Real Inclusion


    **VIEW PETITION HERE: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/twitter_diversity_data**

    New York, NY - Today, ColorOfChange.org, the nation’s largest online civil rights group, joined with Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Push Coalition, to demand that Twitter publicly disclose its demographic data and hold a forum to discuss Silicon Valley’s diversity problem.

    In response, Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.org said, "Although not on the payroll, Twitter has been built off the creativity of Black people and owes our community a transparent conversation about the state of diversity at the corporation. Disclosure of employee data is an important first step, but we hope -- given the growing power of Black Twitter -- that the company will take seriously the call to recruit and retain more Black employees at every level of the corporate structure.”

    In recent weeks as other Silicon Valley tech companies like Facebook, Yahoo, Google, and LinkedIn took the historic first step to release data about the racial and gender composition of their staffs, Twitter has remained silent -- refusing to jump on the data-release-bandwagon.

    To date, most of the data disclosures have confirmed that Silicon Valley prefers its workers to be male and either white or Asian. And although Twitter is unlikely to break any diversity trends that have emerged, transparency and a public commitment to improving the recruitment and retention of Black employees are critical first steps.

    With over 900,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.


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    Last 100 Executed & Ogletree Op Ed

    I write to draw your attention to a new study on 100 people executed during 2012 and 2013. The research shows that the death penalty system has failed to identify and execute “the worst of the worst.” In fact, the overwhelming majority of executed offenders (nearly nine out of ten) had deficits of at least one kind, such as intellectual disability, severe mental illness, being under 21 at the time of the offense, or chronic childhood trauma -- characteristics that made them the same as, or very similar to, offenders the U.S. Supreme Court has exempted from the death penalty.

    The data is summarized in today’s Washington Post opinion editorial by Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree at wapo.st/1nUPYNn

    The research was published in The Hastings Law Journal at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2446950

    In Atkins v. Virginia (2002), the U.S. Supreme Court exempted intellectually disabled offenders from the death penalty because of their diminished capacity. Yet, one-third of the last 100 executed offenders had intellectual disabilities, borderline intellectual function or traumatic brain injury, a similarly debilitating intellectual impairment.

    Similarly, in Roper v. Simmons (2005), the Court held the death penalty unconstitutional for offenders aged 17 and under based, in large part, on science showing that the brains of juveniles are still developing. Among the last 100 people executed, however, more than one-third committed a capital crime before turning 25 – the age at which the brain fully matures. Twenty offenders had not yet reached the age of 21.

    More than half (54 percent) of the last 100 people executed had severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or psychosis, but the courts did not find them incompetent for execution under Ford v. Wainwright (1986).

    The study of 100 people executed between 2012 and 2013 further shows that at least half of the offenders experienced severe childhood trauma including physical abuse, sexual molestations, domestic violence, and chronic poverty and homelessness. The 50 percent figure, like the other statistics in the study, is probably lower than the reality. The records in death penalty cases are usually scant and under-resourced capital litigators often do not have the opportunity to investigate and present all available mitigation evidence.

    Please let me know if you wish to speak with the researchers who analyzed the data, Robert Smith, Assistant Professor of Law at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law or Sophie Cull, Co-Director of the National Consensus Project.


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    TOP JEWISH EDUCATORS URGE GRADUATES TO STAND UP FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

    Bravery of Activist Rabbis of the ‘60s Cited on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement and Civil Rights Act


    NEW YORK, NY – As the nation memorializes the 50th anniversary of civil rights activism during “Freedom Summer” of 1964 and the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the deans of five rabbinical schools are urging the graduating class of newly ordained Jewish spiritual leaders to stand up for social justice around the world. Through an “open letter” with Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), leaders representing the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism called upon hundreds of students graduating from rabbinical, cantorial and other graduate schools this month to commit themselves to social justice and taking action to stop injustices that occur around the world.

    Rabba Sara Hurwitz of Yeshivat Maharat (Orthodox), Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (Orthodox), Rabbi Daniel Nevins of Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinical School (Conservative), Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D. of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Reform), and Rabbi Deborah Waxman of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (Reconstructionist) joined Messinger in the letter. They recalled an incident from 50 years ago when 17 rabbis were arrested and held in a jail cell in St. Augustine, Florida after engaging in a non-violent protest by swimming alongside African-American protestors in a segregated hotel swimming pool. In their letter, the leaders urged the 2014 graduates to act just as those rabbis did 50 years ago to stand up for the rights of all people around the world.

    “Our call to you today is to muster the time and courage—like your predecessors in the civil rights movement—to stand up for what you believe and take action to stop the injustices that plague our world. You have the potential to be powerful change makers and to inspire others to join you in building ever-greater momentum for social justice,” the leaders wrote.

    The full letter can be read here.


    Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World service (AJWS) works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world. www.ajws.org


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    Civil Rights Group Urges President Obama and Congress to Take a Stand Against Discriminatory Profiling

    ColorOfChange.org, Members of Congressional Black Caucus and other civil rights groups Ask President for Federal Law Enforcement Guidance to Curb Racial Profiling


    New York, NY - ColorOfChange.org, the nation's largest online civil rights organization, urges President Obama to take immediate action to close discriminatory profiling loopholes for Federal law enforcement, and urges Congress to pass the Eliminate Racial Profiling Act (ERPA).

    “While the President has the authority to reduce profiling abuses by Federal law enforcement, Congress can go many steps further by passing the The Eliminate Racial Profiling Act (S. 1038 / H.R. 2851), said Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org. “This legislation provides an opportunity to fix a major broken piece of our criminal justice system and address a law enforcement culture that has forced millions of Black folks to live in fear and cast entire communities as suspect.”

    Targeted profiling by law enforcement across the country, including by federal law enforcement is part of a deeply racist, brutal culture that is in desperate need of reform. These discriminatory practices cause tremendous harm to Black families and communities and can lead to unlawful arrests, deportations, incarceration and in some cases serious injury or death. Blacks folks are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with police.

    “By taking a stand against discriminatory profiling, President Obama and Congress can send a strong message that they intend to protect the civil rights and liberties of our nation’s increasingly diverse communities, help rebuild the trust in law enforcement and go a long way toward ensuring equal treatment under the law for all individuals regardless of race or ethnicity," said Robinson.

    Today leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus and Asian Pacific American Caucus joined other members of Congress and civil rights advocates to call on the Obama administration to issue improved profiling guidance for federal law enforcement that closes current loopholes.

    With over 900,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.


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    New Orleans Education Justice Organizations Call for State Superintendent of Education John White to Resign


    NEW ORLEANS – With the closure of the last traditional public school in New Orleans’ Recovery School District last week, local parents, educators and community advocates are stepping up pressure on State Superintendent of Education John White to resign. On Wednesday, two community-based organizations, which recently filed a federal civil rights complaint alleging racial discrimination in New Orleans school closures, delivered a letter to White demanding an immediate resignation in light of his dismissal of the complaint in news reports as “a joke.”

    According to Coalition for Community Schools (CCS) and Conscious Concerned Citizens Controlling Community Changes (C-6) – which filed the complaint in mid-May with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice – the superintendent’s dismissive comments are only the latest in a long pattern of turning a blind eye to discrimination in New Orleans’ school system and disregarding the experiences of Louisiana families. Instead of listening to the communities he is supposed to serve, their letter details, White has instead shown allegiance to the pro-charter, pro-privatization agenda.

    “The discriminatory effects of school closures that students of color and their families experience in New Orleans are no laughing matter,” says the letter, which was also sent to the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, as well as to Charles Roemer, president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. “We find no humor in our school communities being dissolved, no amusement in being forced to send our children to charter schools that are unaccountable to our families, and no comedy in schoolchildren waiting outside before sunrise for school buses to take them across the city because we have no neighborhood schools left. It is with utmost seriousness that we have called for a civil rights investigation of the harmful school closure policies that have shuffled countless black and brown children from failing schools to other failing or near-failing schools, year after year.”

    The letter cites several challenges that the Recovery School District has suffered under White’s department, including:

    More than 30 traditional public schools have closed in the last several years. Of the students impacted by last week’s round of school closures, approximately 1,000 are black. Only five are white. The majority of Recovery School District schools are ranked “C,” “D,” or “F.”

    Despite repeated opposition to mass school closures in New Orleans, including extensive advocacy, protests and a separate civil rights complaint filed last year by a local mother, White’s department has failed to investigate these concerns.

    “John White’s decision to call our civil rights complaint against his department ‘a joke’ is reprehensible and further proves his disregard for the lived experiences of Louisiana students and families,” said C-6 founder Frank J. Buckley. “As superintendent, he should take seriously any charge of discrimination.”

    “We have had enough of misguided policies that treat children of color as collateral damage,” said Karran Harper Royal of CCS. “We are tired of our complaints being disregarded and derided. This is why we are calling for John White’s immediate resignation and a moratorium on school closures.”

    See the open letter calling for Superintendent John White’s resignation here: http://bit.ly/1rMRGnF

    See the Title VI civil rights complaint here: http://b.3cdn.net/advancement/24a04d1624216c28b1_4pm6y9lvo.pdf


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    100K Call on Gov Rick Scott to Fire Prosecutor in Marissa Alexander Case


    - Women, Civil Rights Advocates Join Forces to Call For Firing of Prosecutor for Abuse of Power -

    TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA -- Dozens of people gathered outside of the Florida State Capitol today to deliver 100,000 signatures demanding that Gov. Scott remove Angela Corey, the prosecutor pursuing a 60 year sentence for Marissa Alexander. Alexander is a domestic violence survivor being prosecuted for firing a warning shot in the presence of her abuser. No one was hurt. The case has become a touchstone for women’s advocates and civil rights advocates as an example of the shear failure of the justice system in treating people of color and survivors of abuse fairly.

    See photos here: http://bit.ly/1itTuvm

    A giant flower arrangement spelling “60 Years?” was set up as a part of the protest, and the group carried boxes of petitions and signs reading “60 years for Marissa? That’s wrong.”

    See the petition from UltraViolet: http://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/marissa_alexander/
    See the petition from Color of Change: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/StopCorey/

    Marissa Alexander's case has struck a nerve because of the way it demonstrates the racial bias that exists in our justice system, resulting in disproportionate prosecution and harsher sentences handed to women of color. This case also demonstrates how the justice system has failed women-- 75% of female prisoners are domestic violence survivors and 82% are survivors of child abuse. Worse, 1 in 10 face further sexual abuse while in prison.

    Statement from Color of Change’s Executive Director Rashad Robinson:

    "Marissa Alexander has been targeted by Angela Corey — a harsh prosecutor who has a track record of unjustly charging and punishing Black defendants — and who intends to put Marissa, a Black domestic violence survivor and mother of three, in prison for the rest of her life. Florida's criminal justice system is continually failing Black folks, and Corey is central to the problems facing the state's criminal justice system."

    “Governor Scott has the power and responsibility to intervene and demand justice for Marissa and for Florida as a whole. By demanding that Gov. Scott hold Corey accountable for her actions, we have a real opportunity to move forward a national conversation on the ways in which Black people are mistreated in our criminal justice system — and take steps to secure systemic change.”

    "As long as Angela Corey remains at her post, Florida's criminal justice system will continue to fail Black folks. Black women face unique harm and discrimination in the criminal justice system, and are today's fastest growing population of people in prison. Black domestic violence survivors are disproportionately more likely to be punished for the abuse and violence they experience.”

    Statement from UltraViolet Co-founder, Nita Chaudhary:

    “Marissa Alexander’s case represents just how thoroughly our justice system fails survivors of domestic violence. Angela Corey has clearly abused her power in seeking an excessively long and inhumane sentence for Marissa, and we demand her cycle of abuse and intimidation end now. Gov. Scott: stand with survivors of domestic abuse and fire Angela Corey.”

    To contact Gov. Rick Scott’s office, please call: (850) 717-9282

    For more information, or for interviews with UltraViolet or Color of Change, please contact Molly Haigh at 907.750.1999 or molly@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

    # # #


    UltraViolet is an online community of over 550,000 women and men who want to take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media. Find out more at WeAreUltraViolet.org

    With more than 900,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.


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    Elected Officials, Civil Rights Groups Join Family of Ramarley Graham to Call on Justice Department to Act with Formal Investigation of Police Shooting


    - Black, Latino & Asian caucuses of NYS Legislature and NYC Council request DOJ consider convening grand jury, national civil rights group ColorofChange launches nationwide petition effort to members -

    ***View ColorOfChange Petition Here: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/ramarley_graham/***

    New York, NY – Just days after Ramarley Graham would have celebrated his 21st birthday, family members of Graham were joined by elected officials and civil rights groups to demand that the U.S. Department of Justice conduct a formal and thorough investigation into his shooting death by the NYPD. Graham, an 18-year-old Bronx resident, was shot and killed by NYPD Officer Richard Haste in the bathroom of his family’s home in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother after Haste unlawfully busted into the house in February 2012. After the Office of the Bronx District Attorney failed to indict, the U.S. Department of Justice indicated it was reviewing the case, but there have been no indications that it has opened a full investigation.

    “I was unable to celebrate Ramarley’s 21st birthday last Saturday or his last two birthdays, and instead have been forced to memorialize his life,” said Constance Malcolm, the mother of Ramarley Graham. “All I want is justice for the murder of my son and the Department of Justice is truly the only level of our justice system left that can provide accountability for the violation of Ramarley’s civil rights. They must act and provide a sense of basic equality that demonstrates our country equally respects the rights and lives of young men of color.”

    The chairs and members of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus and the New York City Council Black, Latino & Asian Caucus stood with the family to announce that they had sent letters to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting an official investigation by the Department of Justice into the death of Ramarley Graham.

    “The fact that there has not been a thorough and exhaustive investigation into the death of Ramarley Graham compounds the tragedy this family has faced,” said Assemblyman Karim Camara, chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus. “From an alleged gun that was never discovered to the callous manner in which this family alleges they were treated by NYPD--there are too many unanswered questions. Not only must we ensure the circumstances surrounding his tragic death are not forgotten, but we must also send a strong message to young men of color that we value their lives and we will fight to protect their civil rights. It is my hope that the Department of Justice acts promptly as it is abundantly clear that this case necessitates further investigation.”

    “As we reflect on the young life of Ramarley Graham, who would have celebrated his 21th birthday this past Saturday, we can only speculate what contributions he would have made to society. We can only reflect on a young life that will never know a full life. We ask the question: Will there be justice for the unarmed teenager shot by police? We're asking the Justice Department to evaluate the case of Officer Richard Haste vs. Ramarley Graham so that justice and fairness can be served,” said 12th District Council Member Andy King, co-chair of the City Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.

    National civil rights organization ColorofChange – the nation’s largest civil rights online advocacy organization that has mobilized Black Americans across the country on various racial and social justice issues – announced that it launched a nationwide petition demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice conduct a thorough investigation and bring charges against NYPD officer Richard Haste, who shot and killed Graham.

    “The petitions signed by ColorOfChange members represent the voices and stories of thousands of everyday people who want to trust our law enforcement officials, and who want to believe that justice will be served regardless of the color of one’s skin or the amount of money in one’s pocket,” said Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org. “Ramarley's family, Bronx community and supporters across the city have organized for more than two years to ensure that the local officials are fairly and thoroughly investigating the killing of an unarmed 18-year-old. The Department of Justice has a duty to protect our community against violent policing, racial profiling and to make sure that the justice system is working to equally protect Black youth, especially when local and state officials fail to do so.”

    Four months after the 2012 shooting, a Bronx grand jury indicted Haste on two counts of manslaughter; the first indictment of an NYPD officer for killing a civilian since 2007. But in May 2013, Judge Steven Barrett dismissed the indictment due to a technical error made by an assistant district attorney. A second grand jury decided not to re-indict Haste, but the U.S. Justice Department indicated it was reviewing the case.

    “The U.S. justice system must not continue to utterly fail the families of those who have unjustly lost their lives to the NYPD,” said Loyda Colon, Co-Director of Justice Committee. “Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell and Noel Polanco are just a few of those who have been killed by the NYPD without any justification and despite being unarmed. The U.S. Department of Justice has a choice to make: it can fail to provide equal justice or it can send a message to the nation that the justice system values the lives of young people of color by bringing federal civil rights charges against officers responsible for the killing of Ramarley Graham.”

    The family was also joined in support by State Senators Adriano Espaillat, Ruth Hassell-Thompson and Bill Perkins, Assembly Members Walter T. Mosley, Félix Ortiz, Keith L.T. Wright, and New York City Council Black, Latino & Asian Caucus co-chair Rosie Mendez, Council Member Jumaane Williams, and Pastor Que English.

    “We’re here today because, more than two years after Ramarley Graham was killed, New York has failed to provide any meaningful accountability,” said New York Civil Liberties Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “When a child gets killed by a police officer in the bathroom of his family’s house, something has gone terribly wrong. And yet no one has provided any answers to explain how this tragedy occurred, or to prescribe remedies to ensure that no family ever has to suffer again in the way that the Graham family has. If New York City and New York State refuse to investigate, then that means it’s time for the Department of Justice to do so. We’re here talking about a child’s life. The stakes are too high to allow this tragedy to go unanswered.”

    The renewed push comes just months after the two year anniversary of Ramarley’s death, when the family was joined by 1199SEIU President George Gresham, community supporters, and the family members of several New Yorkers killed by NYPD officers over the past 20 years at a memorial service. Graham’s mother, Constance, is a member of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, which has supported the family’s struggle for justice.

    “There is no way to ever fill the deep void left by the loss of a child. But it is our strong hope that the Department of Justice fully investigates the killing of Ramarley Graham so that justice can be served and we can prevent these types of deplorable shootings in the future,” said George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest union in New York and the largest healthcare union in the nation. “The number of young people of color killed with impunity in this country is an ongoing moral outrage. We will continue to organize with Ramarley’s family and our allies to put an end to these killings, advance policies that will safeguard the lives of our youth, and demand that justice be done.”

    Ramarley Graham would have turned 21 on April 12, 2014.


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    BANANAS, Major Civil Rights Organizations Join Child Care Advocates to Bridge the Achievement Gap in Communities of Color


    - As early childhood learning becomes a priority for dozens of states and President Obama, Raising California Together, a statewide coalition of parents, academics, educators, community leaders and child care providers, is expanding its organizational partners in order to involve all communities in the fight for early learning and child care for all California’s children. -

    The move comes as early learning programs are gaining in popularity nationally, the President renewing his call for universal pre-Kindergarten, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York proposing funding for a pre-K program for every New York child and various governors using State of the State addresses to prioritize early education and boosting K-12 outcomes.

    BANANAS Executive Director, Dr. Richard Winefield, expressed enthusiastic support in becoming the latest member of Raising California Together: "We're proud to stand with others who share our commitment to California's young children, and to the professionals who serve them."

    BANANAS serves as a critical source of early learning and care support to families and providers in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, Emeryville, and Piedmont. Their services include referrals to child care providers, workshops and support groups for parents, emergency child care support for families in crisis, professional development for child care providers, licensing and accreditation assistance, and health and safety information.

    “The achievement gap separates far too many of California’s children in low-income communities and communities of color, putting our kids behind just as they start out in life. Fortunately, we know that early learning and care for children ages 0 to 5 helps close the achievement gap, leading to higher-performing, better-prepared students in every community,” said Mark Friedman, co-chair of Raising California Together and Executive Director of First 5 Alameda. “Our coalition of over 50 organizations statewide is dedicated to making early education a priority in California and is excited to welcome into the coalition BANANAS, which has done critical work in Northern California to bridge the gap, as well as the NAACP of Los Angeles, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, the Martin Luther King Coalition and other proud organizations which represent and provide services to the African American community. On the eve of Black History Month, we are excited for this expansion that re-emphasizes the critical importance of early education to California’s African American community.”

    Other groups that have recently joined the Raising California Together coalition include: NAACP, Los Angeles; National Action Network, Los Angeles; the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles; Black Women for Wellness; Association for Black Social Workers, Los Angeles; and the Martin Luther King Coalition.

    Raising California Together (@RaisingCA) is a broad coalition of child care providers, agencies, parents, educators, clergy and interfaith networks, unions, small businesses, women’s and children’s advocates, community groups, and public health organizations united to press for local, state, and national policy solutions to increase access to quality child care and early learning choices.

    Raising California Together Statewide Steering Committee:
    Dion Aroner, former CA Assemblywoman & Founder, AJE Partners • Jessica Bartholow, Western Center on Law & Poverty • Patty Bellasalma, NOW-CA • Dr. Barbara Bowman, Oakland Pre K-6 Principal & School Administrator • Nancy Harvey, Child Care Providers United •Rev. Lewis Logan II, Ruach Christian Community Fellowship • Tonia McMillian, Child Care Providers United • Maria Elena Meraz, Parent Institute for Quality Education • TJ Michels, SEIU • Noushin Mofakham, South of Market Child Care, Inc. • Alicia E. Perez, Safe Passages • Courtni Pugh, SEIU Local 99 • Amy Reisch, First 5 Marin County • Kendra Rogers, First 5 Fresno County • Elmer Roldan, United Way of Greater LA • Lori Vandermeir, Orange County NOW

    Organizational Partners:
    AFSCME • Alliance for a Better Community • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) • Association of Black Social Workers, Los Angeles • BANANAS •Black Women for Wellness • Brotherhood Crusade • California College Democrats • California Fair Share • California Food Policy Advocates • California Immigrant Policy Center • California Labor Federation • California School Employees Association • Child Care Law Center • Child Care Providers United • Children's Advocate | Defensor de los Niños • Children’s Defense Fund, California • Community Coalition of South LA • C.S.U Graduate Assistants, UAW 4123 • Oscar Dela Torre, School Board Member Santa Monica/Malibu School District • DREAM Team Los Angeles • First 5 Alameda County • First 5 Fresno County • First 5 Marin County • Sandra Fluke, Attorney and Social Justice Advocate • Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (ICIR-CLUE-CA) • LAANE • Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland • Martin Luther King Coalition • Mi Familia Vota • Mujeres Unidas y Activas • National Action Network, Los Angeles • NAACP, Los Angeles • National Council of La Raza • National Organization for Women (CA-NOW) • Orange County NOW • Our Family Coalition • Our Walmart • Parent Institute for Quality Education • Pico Youth and Family Center • Planned Parenthood of California • Restaurant Opportunities Centers United – CA • Ruach Christian Community Fellowship • Safe Passages • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) • SEIU Locals 99 & 521 • Special Needs Network, Inc. • St. John’s Well Child & Family Center • South of Market Child Care, Inc. • U.C. Postdoctoral Scholars, UAW 5810 • United Way of Greater Los Angeles • Western Center on Law & Poverty


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    Principal Financial Group CEO to Meet with Obama, While Coming Under Fire by Civil Rights Group for Company’s Massive Investments in Private Prisons


    - Statement by Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange, the nation's largest online civil rights organization, on President Obama’s plans to meet with The Principal Financial Group's (The Principal) CEO Larry Zimpleman (the new chairman of the Financial Services Roundtable) and his company’s continued investment in the private, for-profit prison industry: -

    “As President Obama looks to some of our nation’s top CEOs for help dealing with the long-term unemployed, it is important the President keep in mind that while Mr. Zimpleman claims to be running an ethical company, his company’s massive investments in private prisons -- housing shares valued at more than $113 million -- show otherwise. And the failure of Zimpleman to implement safeguards to prevent these kinds of investments that condone and support an industry responsible for such egregious human rights abuses and deeply corrupt business practices, make Zimpleman a questionable government ally.

    The Principal’s executives can’t have it both ways. They have an important choice to make: Either demonstrate leadership in the industry and join the growing number of companies that are disassociating from private prisons or continue profiting off of torture and immense human suffering. In his meetings with Principal Financial CEO Larry Zimpleman, we hope the President will remind the company of the important choices that lay in front of them.”

    FOR MORE INFORMATION:
    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20140129/BUSINESS/301290055/?odyssey=nav|head

    More than 45,000 ColorOfChange members have signed onto the campaign urging investors to withdraw their investment in an inhumane industry.

    VIEW THE PETITION HERE: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/privateprison_divestment/

    With more than 900,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.


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    Civil Rights Group Rejects The Principal Financial Group's Defense of Massive Private Prison Investment

    - “‘Ethical’ Company Has An Ethical Dilemma” -


    NEW YORK, NEW YORK — For weeks, ColorOfChange has corresponded with The Principal Financial Group (The Principal) demanding divestment of the company's private prison shares, valued at more than $113 million. Now, the company has publicly responded for the first time claiming a lack of control over their investment decisions as their defense. ColorOfChange members understand The Principal’s role in financing the private prison industry and they remain committed to holding them accountable and urging them to divest immediately.

    View original correspondence here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.colorofchange.org/images/
    The_Principal_ColorOfChange_correspondence_.pdf


    Principal Financial’s public response may be seen here: http://www.principal.com/banners/landing/colorofchange.htm

    In reaction, Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange, issued the following statement:

    “We reject The Principal’s cowardly response to hundreds of calls from ColorOfChange members demanding divestment from private prisons. Their statement ignores the company’s control over the investment options offered to their clients, as well as their explicit duty to ensure that these options are ethical. The Principal’s denial of discretion in choosing investments is particularly ridiculous. ”

    “An ethical company would implement safeguards to prevent the investment of their client's and company’s money in an industry responsible for egregious human rights abuses and deeply corrupt business practices. The Principal’s refusal to implement such safeguards and divest speaks volumes about their priorities and is a direct contradiction to their public brand. The Principal’s executives have a important choice to make: Either demonstrate leadership in the industry and join the growing number of company's that are disassociating from private prisons or continue profiting off torture and immense human suffering.”

    More than 45,000 ColorOfChange members have signed onto the campaign urging investors to withdraw their investment in an inhumane industry.

    VIEW THE PETITION HERE: http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/privateprison_divestment/

    For more information, or for interviews with ColorOfChange.org, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email atbrett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

    With more than 900,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.


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    UPMC’S CLAIM THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE AND ENFORCE DISCRIMINATION LAWS IS CHALLENGED BY LEADING WOMEN’S, CIVIL RIGHTS AND WORKERS’ GROUPS

    - Groups’ Amicus Briefs Defend Forty Years of Established Rules Assuring Opportunity for Everyone -


    (Washington, D.C.) Two amicus briefs were filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court challenging the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) claim that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFFCP) does not have authority to conduct audits to ensure compliance with non-discrimination laws that provide equal employment opportunities for women and people of color. The briefs—one filed by the National Women’s Law Center, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the National Partnership for Women & Families and the other by SEIU—underscore the critical role OFFCP plays in protecting the rights of workers. Although UPMC—Pennsylvania’s largest health system and non-governmental employer with over 55,000 employees—provides services to federal employees in the western part of the state, it initially claimed that it was not a federal subcontractor. When UPMC lost its bid to evade equal opportunity regulations, it appealed and argued that the government has no authority to require fairness in contracting.

    UPMC offers medical services to federal employees under contracts with the UPMC Health Plan, which has a contract with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to provide health insurance to federal employees working in southwestern Pennsylvania. As a government subcontractor, UPMC must legally comply with non-discrimination and affirmative action provisions.

    The two amicus briefs cite UPMC’s legal challenge as an unprecedented and radical move that, should it prevail, would undo decades of established federal protections created to eradicate discrimination and ensure equal employment opportunities for all American workers. Rather than adhere to basic compliance measures like countless other federal contractors and subcontractors, UPMC has chosen a litigious route to avoid disclosing its employee hiring practices. Specifically, UPMC is urging a federal appeals court to invalidate the U.S. Department of Labor’s equal opportunity regulations that require federal contractors and subcontractors to provide information about their hiring practices of women and people of color.

    “UPMC’s efforts to dismantle these regulations should concern the workers at these hospitals and really workers across the country,” said Fatima Goss Graves, NWLC Vice-President of Education and Employment. “What may appear to be a small legal appeal has the potential to unravel decades of anti-discrimination measures that protect workers and are widely supported.”

    “Americans fought long and hard for these crucial protections that make sure women and people of color have equal opportunity in the workplace,” said Veronica Joice of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. “We trust that the court will not set us back decades to a time when millions of Americans were treated as second class citizens.”

    "Equal opportunity laws and regulations have been essential in advancing fairness in the workplace for women and people in communities of color for decades,” added National Partnership for Women & Families Senior Advisor Judith L. Lichtman. “Particularly at this time when there is a national mandate to reduce health disparities and improve outcomes, the public and governmental interest in promoting a diverse health care workforce and fighting discrimination could not be more clear."

    “UPMC is not above the law. It aggressively attacks workers who speak up for their rights, and the federal government has already issued historic complaints against UPMC because of its treatment of workers,” said Neal Bisno, president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “Now, in addition to these attacks, this massive employer is actually seeking to change the rules and evade its role in uplifting all workers, including women and people of color.”

    BACKGROUND
    Three UPMC facilities—UPMC Braddock, UPMC McKeesport, and UPMC Southside—are contracted to provide medical services and supplies to federal employees enrolled in UPMC Health Plan.

    Like all federal contractors and subcontractors, UPMC is required to report on its compliance with affirmative action provisions. In January 2004, the OFCCP sent letters to UPMC stating that it had been selected for a compliance review. UPMC refused to submit information demonstrating compliance and refused to allow OFCCP representatives to conduct routine inspections. Instead of complying, UPMC sent a joint response denying that it held government subcontracts, and therefore that it was not required to submit to inspection.

    In 2006, the OFCCP submitted a complaint against the hospitals, and a government review board concluded that the hospitals were government subcontractors. UPMC’s hospitals then appealed that decision to the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, arguing again that they were not government subcontractors and therefore were not subject to the affirmative action and equal opportunity requirements imposed on government subcontractors. The District Court concluded that the hospitals were government subcontractors and ordered them to comply.

    Rather than allow a routine OFCCP inspection, UPMC decided to take further legal action, appealing the District Court’s decision to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals. In this current appeal, UPMC makes the unprecedented and extremely dangerous argument that the OFCCP and the Department of Labor have no authority to impose affirmative action and equal opportunity on any government contractors or subcontractors.

    ###


    About The National Women's Law Center
    The National Women's Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women's legal rights. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. For more information on the Center, visit: www.nwlc.org.

    About The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost law firm fighting for racial justice in America. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who became the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF’s mission is to achieve racial equality and an inclusive society. LDF has been a separate entity from the NAACP since 1957. Therefore, if you need to shorten our name please refer to us as “Legal Defense Fund” or “NAACP Legal Defense Fund.” More information about LDF is available at www.naacpldf.org.

    About The National Partnership for Women & Families
    The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

    About SEIU and SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
    With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy. www.seiu.org. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania unites 25,000 health care workers from all areas of the health care industry. Members are the nurses, caregivers, dietary workers, lab technicians and housekeepers who work in Pennsylvania’s nursing homes, hospitals, home health care agencies, state health facilities and auxiliary health care services. www.seiuhcpa.org.


    ooOoo


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BLACK - AFRICAN AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS
   

  1. A. Philip Randolph...
    Celebrate the legacy of A. Philip Randolph and contributions made by African-Americans to America's labor history.

  2. African American History: Welcome...
    This project documents a selection of important events in African American history.

  3. Black History in America ...
    Complete African American history including black artists, athletes, war heroes, civil rights leaders, politicians, and scientists. Personal biographies and photos of African American leaders.

  4. Civil Rights Documentation Project...
    Intended to serve the needs of teachers and students, The Civil Rights Documentation Project demonstrates that Congress is capable of converting big ideas into powerful law, that citizen engagement is essential to that process, and that the public policies produced 40 years ago continue to influence our lives.

  5. Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive...
    The Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive is an Internet-accessible, fully searchable database of digitized versions of rare and unique library and archival resources on race relations in Mississippi.

  6. Civil Rights Museum...
    The Museum exists to assist the public in understanding the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and its impact and influence on the human rights movement worldwide.

  7. CivilRightsLawFirms.com...
    Find local civil rights lawyer specializing in civil rights like police brutality, affirmative action, civil rights enforcement, disability, education, indigenous peoples, and religious freedom.

  8. Civil Rights Movement: March on Washington 1963...
    A short history leading to and folling the March 18, 1963 March on Washington D.C. for Jobs and Freedom.

  9. Documenting the Civil Rights Struggle in Arkansas ...
    This collection of images, broadsides, pamphlets, and publications documents the changing nature of civil rights in Arkansas from the territorial period through today.

  10. Duluth Lynchings Online Resource...
    An online resource guide to the tragic events surrounding the Duluth Lynchings of June 15, 1920.

  11. Electronic Archives: Sovereignty Commission Online...
    Electronic Archives of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

  12. Facing History and Ourselves...
    Educational organization. Site includes videoclips of individuals who involved the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 60s.

  13. Freedom Now!...
    Freedom Now! An archival project of Tougaloo College and Brown University.

  14. Freetown Villiage - A Living History Museum...
    Freetown Village is a living history museum which depicts the lives and lifestyles of free African Americans in the year 1870.

  15. Greensboro, North Carolina Sit-Ins...
    The Greensboro News & Record and Public Library chronicle the 1960 sit-in movement with a timeline, photos, and voices of the participants.

  16. Harry T. Moore Homesite - Mims, Florida...
    Harry T. Moore Homesite site commemorates lives of two pioneering American Black civil rights workers, murdered in 1951.

  17. Historical Publications of the US Commission on Civil Rights...
    Thurgood Marshall Law Library, University of Maryland School of Law.

  18. Historic Places in the Civil Rights Movements...
    The National Parks Services' story of the Civil Rights Movement centered around places listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

  19. Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University...
    Racism and racial stereotypes in the Jim Crow Era. Racial discrimination against minorities, blacks and African Americans. Minstrel shows, Al Jolson and Amos and Andy.

  20. Jim Crow Online...
    The official home of the PBS documentary, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.

  21. Juneteenth Worldwide Celebration ...
    Website brings together the spirit of Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery.

  22. KODAK: Powerful Days in Black and White...
    KODAK: Powerful Days in Black and White, photographs.

  23. Little Rock Central High 40th Anniversary...
    Background and history of events during the integration of Central High in 1957. Photos, articles, and news releases are published. Museum and visitor's center information is provided.

  24. Mississippi Civil Rights Documentation Project...
    Funded by the Mississippi state legislature, presentation includes oral history bibliography, oral history transcripts, and civil rights timeline.

  25. Modern History of Blacks in Mathematics...
    A contemporary history of Blacks in Mathematics,featuring the first African Americans in the Mathematical Sciences and related events in the past 300 years.

  26. National Center for Public Policy Research: Brown v. Board of Education...
    Brown v. Board of Education I (1954), made available by The National Center for Public Policy Research's Constitution and the Courts Archive.

  27. Oral Histories of the American South...
    Documenting the American South: Oral Histories of the American South.

  28. Photographic History of The Civil Rights Movement...
    Photos and text from The Civil Rights Movement.

  29. Race & Place...
    Race & Place: An African American Community.

  30. Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project...
    The Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project is based at the University of Washington. It represents a unique collaboration involving community groups, UW faculty, and both undergraduate and graduate students.

  31. Sojourn to the Past...
    Offers students, educators and parents the chance to travel for ten days through the South visiting the most dramatic sites and hearing the speakers that first witnessed and created the civil rights movement.

  32. Television News of the Civil Rights Era...
    T 1950-1970, aims to collect, digitize, and present in streaming video format over the World Wide Web television news footage from the period and to make these valuable materials available to scholars, teachers, and students.

  33. The Pilgrimage of Jesse Jackson...
    Interviews with biographer Marshall Frady and with Jackson's friends and advisors, including audio clips from PBS Frontline.

  34. The 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing...
    Information and history of the Birmingham Church bombing of 1963.

  35. The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark...
    Tarlton Law Library - The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark.

  36. The Trials of The Scottsboro Boys...
    Trial transcript excerpts, original essays, images, maps, diagrams, court decisions, and other materials relating to the Scottboro Boys trials.

  37. Without Sanctuary...
    Website featuring photographs and descriptions from the book Without Sanctuary by Hilton Als and James Allen, with postcards of lynchings in America.













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