USA: SPRING 2021
Attorney Kristen Clarke, 46, was confirmed last week to head the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice. The Senate vote was 51-48. She is the first Black woman to head the Division. Her nomination was delayed by Senate Republicans who have maligned her character since the January nomination. The Civil Rights Division, which President Biden wants overhauled, will have jurisdiction over the problematic proliferation of racist hate crimes and restrictive voting laws. The daughter of Jamaican immigrants, Clarke is a Harvard and Columbia Law School graduate, widely known as a leading advocate of voting rights protection. Vice President Kamala Harris administered the oath of office to Ms. Clarke.
The Virginia Theological Seminary, located in Alexandria, is giving cash to descendants of Black Americans who were forced to work there during slavery and Jim Crow. Yes, cash: $2,100 annually. While it is not much, it is a beginning. This type of initiative is described as an atonement program, which normally takes the form of scholarships or housing vouchers as was recently announced in Evanston, Illinois. The Episcopalian Seminary has an $191 million endowment. No one can confirm if this cash reparation is a first in the United States. Many donors have threatened to withhold funds upon learning of the reparation. Let’s see what feedback Corporate America has determined following President Biden’s June 1 talks in Tulsa, Oklahoma about American history and all of its ramifications.
THE CLASS OF 2021
Congrats to Christopher Butcher, HS senior at Dwight Morrow HS in Engelwood, New Jersey, who was accepted by 20 universities, including 6 Ivy League schools. He will attend Princeton University next fall where he plans to major in molecular biology and African American Studies before attending medical school.
Congrats to Trelas Dyson IV of Shaw Ridge HS in Nevada. The HS graduate with a 5.037 GPA was accepted at 59 colleges with scholarship offers total $2.5 million. He will attend the University of Southern California USC where he will study film.
Graduate student Tianna Shaw-Wakeman is the University of Southern California’s first Black valedictorian in its 140-year history. She earned a Master’s in social entrepreneurship from the USC Marshall School of Business.
Congrats to the Success Academy Charter School of NYC H.S seniors, 16 of whom are Rales Scholars and will be recipients of $40,000 over four years. The following lists the Success graduates and their college and/or university destination next fall. They are Lanae Brown, Brandeis; Autumn Clark, Howard; Linton Davis, Tufts; Miya Linuna, Yale; Jada Jogie, University of Pennsylvania; Channel Mateo, Boston; Kayla Montgomery, Columbia; Eve Ndoye, Oberlin; Sean Pena, Binghamton, Gabriala Reyes, Dickinson; Amanda Sanchez, Bowdoin; Stephanie Sarpong, Barnard; Prestina St. Louis, Rochester Institute of Technology; Habiba Tawfiq, Northeastern; Zachary Woodley, Rice; and Jason Zabre, University of Pennsylvania. These seniors are African American and Latino.
FINE ART: The June Kelly Gallery’s new exhibit, John L. Moore Obsessive Memory Paintings and Drawings, runs through June 29 at 166 Mercer Street, Manhattan. Call 212.226.1660 and visit Junekellygallery.com……The Skoto Gallery’s new exhibit, SELECTIONS 2021, showcases works by 15 artists, including Olu Amoda, Diako, Mor Faye, Wosene Worke Kosrof, David Rich and Glen Turner with paintings, etchings, installations, and mixed media. Gallery is located at 529 West 20 Street, Manhattan. Visit skotogallery.com to view the works or call 212.352.8058.
MEDIA: Two African American journalists exited the conservative MAGA oriented FOX TV Newsroom. Donna Brazile, journalist and former Democratic National Committee Chair, quietly departed from Fox two weeks ago, where she worked as a political analyst, critical of conservative politics and POTUS 45. She is back at an ABC-TV berth. Juan Williams, Fox News outlier, a regular on THE FIVE show announced his departure from Fox last week. Like Brazile he regularly criticized the station’s conservative news messages and the former White House occupant.
MUSIC: The Harlem Chamber Players in partnership with the Greene Space at WQXR/WNYC, Harlem Stage, and the Harlem School of the Arts, present a free online program. This concert, in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre will feature the world premiere by Dr. Adolphus Hailstork of TULSA 1921 (Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust), featuring Met Opera mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges with a chamber orchestra. Concert airs on Juneteenth, June 19, and will include works by other Black composers- Jessie Montgomery, Alice Coltrane, and Trevor Weston – and Harlem School of the Arts dancers. Visit HarlemChamberPlayers.org to RSVP.
June is Caribbean American Heritage Month. The following are some WGO Hall of Fame people in the world of politics. NYC/NYS who are Caribbean American electeds include NYS SENATE: Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Democratic Majority Leader; Brian Benjamin, NYC Comptroller hopeful; Jabari Brisport; Attorney Zellnor Myrie and Leroy Comrie. NYS ASSEMBLY: Speaker Carl Heastie; NYC Council hopefuls: Manhattan District leader Cordell Cleare; Dr. Keith Taylor for District; and CB 10 members Joshua Clennon and Ruth McDaniels. BORO PREXIES: City Councilmember Dr. Mathieu Eugene is a candidate for Brooklyn Boro Prexy. Incumbent Queens Boro Prexy Donovan Richards is up for re-election. PUBLIC ADVOCATE: Jumaane Williams. CONGRESS: Yvette Clarke, Ritchie Torres, Alexandra Ocasio- Cortez, and Adriano Espaillat. NYC DEMOCRATIC LEADERS: Manhattan Democratic leader Keith Wright and Brooklyn Democratic leader and NYS Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn.
THE JUNE CALENDAR
The Brooklyn-based Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic, NTAC, hosts its 14th Annual Gala, “A Salute to NYC’s Non-Profits and the Neighborhoods They Serve, ” a virtual experience on June 8 at 7 pm. Gala honorees are among Brooklyn’s most distinguished A-Listers, including Judge Betty Staton; Dr. Mildred Clarke, MD; the Honorable Annette Robinson; Deborah Young, Medgar Evers; and Pastor Susie Elliott. The NTAC Caribbean American Heritage Month honorees include Maria Roz Olatunji of Antigua and Thomas Alva Pemberton of St. Kitts. Brooklyn Boro President and NYC 2021 Mayoral hopeful Eric Adams takes top honorees as Man of the Year. NTAC Corporate partners who will be honored are MetroPlus Health, Northfield Bank. Founded in 1998 by visionary Rev. Dr. Valerie Oliver Durrah, the NTAC is one of the major benefactors of the city’s vast nonprofit ecosystem. For Gala reservations, visit neighborhoodclinic.org.
A Harlem based branding and media consultant, Victoria is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.