Black Technology Week Set For February 15-20 In Miami, Florida (@BlackTechWeek)

00-BlackTechWeek

A pic from last year Black Tech Week

The 2nd annual Black Tech Week connects entrepreneurs with the people and tools they need to increase the number of startups that are founded by people of color and connect them with the resources to scale, deliver solutions for stronger partnerships, training and expand the technology blueprint and access to VC funding in the black community.

The weeklong series of events will be held during Black History Month, February 15-20, 2016 on the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University providing impactful programming centered on innovation, technology and creativity. Black Tech Week includes interactive workshops for idea exchange, the Power Moves Early Stage and Series A Startup Bootcamps, a 3 Day Technology and Startup Conference, Women’s Innovation Brunch, Walker Legacy’s Women in Tech events, Pitch Competitions and VC Mentor Sessions. Attendees can register at http://blacktechweek.com/.

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A Workshop To Foster Positive Interactions Between The Police And Inner-City Youths In NYC – Jan.13 (@AllStarsProject)

00-cops&kidsOperation Conversation: Cops & Kids, A Demonstration Workshop is an original production produced by the All Stars Project’s Castillo Theatre. The demonstration features All Stars Project co-founder, Lenora Fulani, Ph.D.; police officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD); and youth from New York’s inner city communities and will be performed to an audience of 1000, made up of NYPD probationary police officers and hundreds of members of the community.

Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids is a program of the All Stars Project, Inc., designed to foster positive interactions between the police and inner-city youth. It consists of a series of workshops that use performance, improvisation and conversation to help teenagers and police officers to develop and improve their relationship.

Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids is the recipient of a Special Achievement Award of the 2013 AUDELCO for excellence in Black theatre, as well as a 2015 CICSO Community Policing Award.

For more info on Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids click here: http://allstars.org/content/cops-and-kids-2

Konshens Sends Powerful Message To Fans, Celebrities & Members Of The Media (@KonshensSojah)

00-KONSHENS_MAIN“I hope all my followers and fans especially celebrities read this. Its going to be a little long but not aimless”- Konshens

Now just as Im looking at this Lamar Odom situation and watching the media parade him around while he is going through his struggle and noticing that most of them instead of highlighting his many great achievements in the midst they bring up all his past demons to add to the “appeal” of their story… I wake up to a message from a friend of mine with the story in the pic above. This is in Jamaica and they are reporting on what happened in Zimbabwe Africa… Now i don’t need to try to edit this reporters story and point out the many errors and wrong information because the persons that were there and YouTube and my social media know how it really went. But the more important issue is to highlight something to you Ive always known it but its always being reintroduced to me.

As an artiste i have a huge fan base in dancehall worldwide, I’ve been touring,selling out shows big and small songs on charts worldwide etc. Ive been doing countless charity ventures most recently back to school treats and paying tuition fees for students as well as taking part in several other charity ventures of my peers/co workers.

One could say that as artistes we don’t do enough to get out our own positive moves and then we expect the media to come and jump and put it on blast for us, that could be the case and we could be at fault… But I think its kinda funny that I can be on the other side of the world and representing Jamaica and our music in a stand up positive way leaving patrons and the promoters pleased regardless of technical difficulties that were no fault of mine. See their press report countless positive accounts of the night YET… The story that happened to find its way on the slave ship and venture across land and sea all the way to JAMAICA is one that is trying to paint a negative picture or highlight a misfortune. Not funny?

00-Konshens_0375We didn’t send home the positive but neither did we the negative. But it was searched for and put on blast though. Its obvious that putting down our own is much more interesting and appealing than building up our own. Im not attacking this reporter, maybe he/she hates Konshens or artistes or celebs or maybe he/she is just a hard nosed straight business person that is doing their job and reporting what sells. Who knows. This particular story is not that big a deal. The point is that the issue…

We are slaves to this mentality as fans and as the celebrities being paraded. We are so fascinated with negativity that we are beginning to lose interest in positivity!! You don’t think so?… Check it for yourself. Check the front page of the papers for the past months in JA count the headlines that weren’t about somebody’s misfortune or blunder. Last positive I remember was the athletes showing up at the last games and OMI Sterling contract, all things that make us all look good as a people but how quickly did we forget about all that??

Im here in Europe and somebody rescued a dog on a train line and I’ve been seeing it over and over and over… Might I add that the latest unrest on earth is happening in Europe right now too. Do the maths. I once requested some media coverage from a popular media house/program, when they showed up the host said.. “So who u having an issue with now” I said no one… He said your publicist said you have an issue thats why we are here!! Ok what else can we report about lol. He knows that some nice information wont be hot news but if Im upset with somebody and have some negative energy to start something its gonna be hot news!! We need to empower ourselves as fans if we are really fans… Demand,respect and support positivity!!

And as artistes and celebs we need to understand what we are getting into, most people don’t see us as regular human beings with regular human issues and emotions….Im sure if the average person could see the REAL LIFE (not the reality TV version) of some of the biggest stars they would NEVER trade their regular life. As artistes we need to look at the times we are in carefully… Amy Winehouse,Whitney,and now God forbid maybe Lamar Odom… Maybe they were just crackheads to some, but maybe it was really the great pressure that we will never know about unless we live it 1st hand. …

Its sad, there is a great talent somewhere in Jamaica right now desperate to be heard and contemplating drastic and dangerous measures to be seen so he can be heard. Or a struggling artiste watching the way the media parades the negative side of Vybz Kartel or Movado or Bounty Killa and think that its the main ingredient in their success and not talent and hard work nonstop…Contemplating to create his own negativity to step up. Sounds like fiction?? Imagine what the story would be like if I had the guy that hit me with the bottle killed instead of going in a different direction to set an example…Would be a much easier move and I actually lost respect for such an action.

We are so enslaved mentally that we not only expect negativity but we crave and respect it. As FANS and CELEBRITIES and as a PEOPLE we need to empower our MINDS and come out of slave mode. The early slave masters could not have achieved slavery if he did not gain control of the minds of influential individuals. Think about it.
-Konshens

Marlene Palmer’s Accurate Assessment Of Sandra Bland’s Murder & Cover Up

00-sandrabland001So what do you do after falsely arresting and imprisoning someone who vows to get justice, and they end up dead? As this sickening tragedy continues to unfold its becomes more and more apparent, that the powers that be will do whatever it takes, to ensure that those responsible for Sandra Bland’s murder are protected.

Those of us who really understands how this so called justice system works in regards to black people, knew and expected that those claiming to be investigating her death, would do whatever it takes to deflect and change the narrative, from the fact that she was unlawfully arrested, detained and subsequently found dead. To the fact that she was not only depressed she was suicidal. Ultimately taking her own life. This despite the fact that she has NEVER been clinically diagnosed.

Now we’re hearing from the investigation, allegations that go from her having previously attempted to commit suicide, to her self harming, to her having marijuana in her system. This is the investigation that their supposedly doing to see how Sandra Bland died. But even if that’s true what does that have to do with what happened to her? Why because this builds a bases for everything they will do going forward.

00-sandrabland002However for some strange reason the ONLY one that seem to be under investigation is Sandra Bland. We’ve heard nothing in regards to the investigation involving the bully boy thug with a badge Brian Encinia, who falsely accused and arrested Sandra Bland on trumped up charges, who both verbally and physically assaulted her both in and outside of the vehicle.

Who escalated a minor routine traffic stop from simply issuing her either a citation, warning, ticket and LET HER GO. Once it was deemed that there was no clear or present danger. To threatening to light her up with his taser, terrorizing this woman in the most despicable, cowardly and demeaning way.

Despite the fact that a preliminary investigation found that Encinia violated traffic stop & courtesy protocols. We seem to be unable to find out from DPS what exactly does ” violating traffic stop & courtesy protocols” really mean? Could they possibly be referring to his despicable, disgusting, aggressive, arrogant, egotistical, combative, abrasive, bullying behaviour? You think (sarcasm). What is the status with his investigation I wonder, if any?

00-sandra-bland003Hell even “DPS Director Steve McCraw stated that regardless of the situation, the DPS state trooper has an obligation to exhibit professionalism and be courteous,” “That did not happen in this situation.” When Texas State Senator Royce West was asked by reporters if Sandra Bland caused her own death, West said “no.” He also added that she didn’t deserve to be arrested in the first place.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it over, and over, and over again, were it NOT for the actions of bully boy thug with a badge Brian Encinia, Sandra Bland would still be alive today. SANDRA BLAND’S BLOOD IS ON BRIAN ENCINIA HANDS! So it begs the question who is actually being investigated? The woman that was profiled, targeted and subsequently FOUND DEAD or the individuals both directly and indirectly who came into contact with Sandra Bland?

Let us be very clear every effort and attempt WILL be made to smear, tarnish, impeach, discredit and destroy Sandra Bland’s character and credibility. They will dig up whatever dirt they can to sully her reputation. That strategy has proved effective in the past, so I see no reason for them to deviate from it now. This is something they MUST DO, in order to deflect from this disgusting tragedy, that should have never, ever happened in the first place, to it being about Sandra Bland herself.

00-sandrabland004This witch-hunt has absolutely nothing to do with getting justice for Sandra Bland, this is about protecting, concealing and covering-up, for all parties involved. After all if they really wanted justice for her she would have NEVER BEEN ARRESTED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

So whatever they do at this point will be a whitewash both figuratively and literally. The system will do whatever it takes to protect a corrupt dirty cop! Just ask Serpico. Because keeping the status quo and keeping law and order, is the most important thing they can and must do at this point. What Sandra Bland’s case shows is how as a black person in America you have NO RIGHTS.

And just in case you forget your place, you’ve not only got bully boy thugs with badges to contend with, but the entire legal system at their disposal to do their bidding for them. I continue to be astounded by the sheer level of ignorance, bigotry, hate and downright stupidity that many whites and even some blacks have as it relates to what is really happening in this country.

Again there are those that get it and those that don’t, Sandra Bland got it, and did her best to articulate it by using ‪#‎SandySpeaks‬ as a platform to share her views about the things that mattered to her. A beautiful and articulate woman, she was full of life outgoing, and mindful, who spoke truth to power based on what she saw, both as a passionate black woman as well as an activist.

00-sandrabland005A 28-year-old woman who made a decision to relocate to another state after having had being offered not one but two jobs, a woman who was looking forward to starting a new chapter in her life. Who loved her family and was in turn loved by them. Who now are having to deal with the horror of what happened to their loved one, their sister, daughter and aunt.

Trying to make sense of and understand how their sister who on the day she was arrested was on her way to a job interview with her former university, Prairie View A & M University. Ends up dead days later. How tragic and ironic that someone who felt compelled to speak out against racism and injustice, becomes a victim of it herself. Sandra Bland’s family has every reason to be sceptical in regards to anything authorities tell them whether it be the events before and after, the autopsy and everything in-between.

We will NOT allow this corrupt system that is rigged at every single solitary point, to put Sandra Bland on trial. The only ones that should be on trial is the bully boy thug with a badge Brian Encinia, and the other responding officers, individuals at the Waller County Jail as well as the entire judicial and criminal system itself.

The sad reality is that with a grand jury deciding whether Sandra Bland was murdered, or she died of a suicide. And with the long racist history of Waller County itself. The odds of anyone being criminally held accountable for her arrest, jail time, and death are slim to none. This is the reality of living in an institutionally racist white supremacist society where black lives don’t matter.

‪#‎SandraBland‬

‪#‎IfIDieInPoliceCustody‬

‪#‎BlackLivesMatters‬

‪#‎NowLegalizeBeingBlackInAmerica

Misty Copeland Becomes First Black Principal Dancer At American Ballet Theater

00-misty copelandMisty Copeland, a 32-year-old ballerina who starred in an Under Armour ad and appeared in a Prince video, was named the principle dancer at the American Ballet Theater, becoming the first African-American woman to hold the highest ranking in the company’s 75-year history.

“I had moments of doubting myself, and wanting to quit, because I didn’t know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level,” she said at a news conference after the annoncement. “At the same time, it made me so hungry to push through, to carry the next generation. So it’s not me up here—and I’m constantly saying that—it’s everyone that came before me that got me to this position.”

Copeland has appeared on the cover of Time magaazine and garnered a larger profile, in parts to her extraordinary talent and her outspoken desire to hold the top spot at the American Ballet Theater.

What Are They Saying About Britain And Racism? (@BBMBMC)

00-british1So how is Britain dealing with racism, apart from its periodic use as a political football, or the broader issue of diversity? Last year, there was a loud and determined effort with government ministers roped in to address diversity within the broadcast and film industries.

The year before, in comparison, there was a more muted and internally-focused effort to do the same within music – all the major music industry bodies signed up to the Equality & Diversity For Music. RE:IMI (Race Equality: In Music Industry) would like to see this effort succeed, and during this year’s British Black Music Month, aims to galvanise stakeholders in redoubling their efforts in addressing equality issues.

An election year, is a particularly good time to be dealing with these issues. The major political parties have all issued their manifestos, some like Labour and Lib-Dem, have actually also issued mini-manifestos addressing the inequalities faced by Britain’s African, Asian and ethnic minority (AAEM) communities. Community organisations such as OBV (Operation Black Vote), BTEG (Black Training & Enterprise Group), and for the first time the ‘black’ church under the auspices of NCLF (National Church Leaders Forum), have also issued manifestos.

This election, like any since the notorious 1964 elections from which the victorious Labour government introduced the RRA, has had its fair share of ‘race’, racism, immigration and xenophobia stories.

All this is happening at a time when we should be marking the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the 1965 Race Relations Act (RRA), the bedrock of Britain’s equality laws. You would be forgiven if what should be a landmark legislation, which came about as a consequence of African-led activism with the support of progressive Europeans, has passed you by.

There’s been no fanfare, not even the merest mention anywhere. This is interesting, particularly at a time when some feel there’s been a roll-back of progress made in tackling racism in the intervening decades be it through entrenched institutional, the usual insidious or covert, or the occasional overt manifestations of racism 50 years on.

00-british2It’s against this backdrop that London community groups BTWSC and African Histories Revisited mark British History 50:70, on May 14, one week after the general election, with the launch of a documentary in Westminster in which over 50 people, drawn from diverse backgrounds opine on the state of racism in Britain.

Contributors to the ‘Look How Far We’ve Come: Commentaries On British Society And Racism?’ DVD, which will be launched at the Abbey Centre in Westminster, include the late politician Tony Benn, who was instrumental in the passage of the 1965 RRA. There are other politicians such as David Lammy, Keith Vaz, Diane Abbott, Ken Livingstone; ‘race’ activists Lord Herman Ouseley, Lord Anthony Lester, Linda Bellos, Dr Richard Stone; community and political activists Darcus & Leila Howe,Eric & Jessica Huntley, Lee Jasper, Marc Wadsworth, Toyin Agbetu; academics Prof Gus John, Prof Harry Goulbourne, Prof Paul Gilroy; trade unionists Lord Bill Morris, Zita Holbourne, Wilf Sullivan;and Bristol Bus Boycott leader Paul Stephenson. Contributors are also drawn from the Church, law, police, nursing, and broadcasting.

The guest of honour is educationalist Dame Jocelyn Barrow, a founding member of CARD (Campaign Against Racial Discrimination), one of the organisations whose work led to the 1968 amendment, which brought employment and housing under the purview of the RRA. The launch is preceded by a post-Easter presentation entitled ‘Is Jesus White?’.

A competition based on a teaser video consisting of snippets without sound posted on Youtube (http://bit.ly/1MyamSp) will run from May 1-9. Winners who decipher what’s being said by a particular contributor will receive a copy of the DVD, the ‘Look How Far We’ve Come: The Race/Racism Primer’, and two complimentary tickets to the launch. For more details or to book for launch: http://bit.ly/1xWMG1d.

Canadian Poet Dwayne Morgan to release children’s book (@dwayne_morgan)

332158_304613556216017_1718980657_oPopular Canadian Poet Dwayne Morgan will be releasing his first children’s book this Sunday. The book is entitled “Before I Was Born” and it is about a fathers love for his daughter.  The official launch of the book will take place between 4 and 6:30pm on Sunday, February 15th inside Harlem Lounge, which is located at 67 Richmond Street East in Toronto, Ontario.

To hear the story, pre-order, and/or make a donation towards the project, please visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-before-i-was-born-children-s-book