Interview with Marc Morial, Civic Leader and President of the National Urban League

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During the 2019 National Urban League Annual Conference held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana on Wednesday, July 24, 2019

What were your thoughts when you first heard what happened to George Floyd?

Emotion overwhelmed me. Anger, sadness, and a sense of disbelief.  Even though we know Black men are disproportionally brutalized by police, it still was a shock to see these officers, fully aware that they were being recorded, to treat a human life with such casual disregard.

Do you feel the protests that followed are different than those in the past? How so?

The protests themselves are very similar to the ones that followed other police shootings and fatal assaults of unarmed Black men such as Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, with one notable exception – the involvement of white protesters. What’s really different about these protests are the way that they have been received by the broader public. Corporations are paying attention. Congress is paying attention. The message finally is breaking though.

What are your thoughts on the policy changes happening. Do you feel they are effecting genuine and lasting change?

I’m very optimistic about the possibility of reform. The National Urban League has been working very closely with Congress on the Justice in Policing Act, which has bipartisan support and has a very realistic chance of becoming the law of the land. Meanwhile, mayors and governors around the country are taking a firm stand on police misconduct in a way we haven’t seen before.

In your opinion, what is the most important contribution of the Black Lives Matter movement?

The movement has mobilized young people, and united people of all races, creeds and background around a common cause in a way we haven’t seen in a generation.

Where do you see us going from here?

As Martin Luther King Jr. was fond of saying, the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice.  Sometimes we take one step back, as we have seen with the spike in hate crimes and racially-inspired violence over the last several years. But for every step back, we take two steps forward.

(Photo by {credit} | Video/Photogrphy by J.R. | www.vpjr.com )

14 ways to support Black Lives Matter protests if you can’t be there in person

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Black lives matter, fight against racism, protest concept

Black Lives Matter protests are being held in cities and suburbs across the country and world in response to the death of George Floyd. At the same time, thousands of new cases of COVID-19 are reported daily in the US, showing the battle against the virus is far from over.

While plenty of protesters are taking to the street, if you are unable to attend in person, there are still ways to support the cause from home.

You can donate supplies, sign petitions, and email local government officials, while also educating yourself and supporting Black-owned businesses.

Protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have now made their way into every corner of the United States, and they’ve even erupted across the world. The consecutive deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have sparked protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

While the protests continue, the US is still battling COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that while people have a right to demonstrate, close-proximity gatherings, shouting, and crowd-controlling irritants that lead to coughing and rubbing of the eyes may increase the spread of the virus.

Some Black Lives Matter advocates do not feel comfortable protesting. Ines Aguerre, a New York resident who works at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, told Insider, “I’m making the conscious decision not to [protest] because I work with patients with autoimmune diseases who are at a higher risk for coronavirus, and I don’t want to risk infecting them.” Instead, Aguerre said she is using her time after work to educate herself and her family, while also donating to organizations that support Black Lives Matter.

Here are 14 impactful ways to support the movement from home.

Providing essential supplies for protesters can go a long way. Amnesty International has a list of recommended essentials for protesters, including masks, shatter-resistant eye protection, other personal protective equipment, water, energy snacks, and first aid kits.

From home, you can sew masks, make posters, gather first aid kits, and purchase snacks and water. Some protests have supply drop-off stations, and if not clearly stated, you can contact the protest organizer or an attendee to collect the supplies.

If you know members of your community are heading out to a protest, offer to be their emergency contact. As support, you carry the responsibility of ensuring your team gets home safely, and should check in every couple of hours.

Using apps like 5-0 Radio, Broadcastify Pro, and Police Scanner Radio & Fire 4+ you can also monitor police presence to update protesters. According to Vice, “The number of users of an app which lets people listen in to police radio broadcasts across the country is nearly doubling every day during the protests.”

In response to arrests at protests, people are donating to bail funds, which “help protesters stay out of police custody while they await trial.

When someone is held in jail for being unable to pay, the impact can be detrimental. As Business Insider previously reported, “people detained pretrial can lose their jobs, fall behind in school, be unable to take care of family, and are more likely to be convicted.” Plus, black and Latino individuals typically face fines that are “35% and 19% higher, respectively, than whites who have been accused of similar crimes, while simply being black increases someone’s odds of being held in jail pretrial by 25%, according to the Pretrial Justice Institute.”

The National Bail Fund Network has compiled over 60 community bail and bond funds across the country and regularly updates the list. Other lists of bail funds and related resources include Resistance Map, Bail Out NetworkNational Bail Fund Network, and The Bail Project.

Continue on to Yahoo News to read the complete article

These Companies are Stepping Up in the Fight for Racial Equality

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a person writing word Inequality on glass board

When it comes to encouraging diversity, especially during the Black Lives Matter movement, here are some of the companies that are supporting racial equality.

Bank of America

On June 2, Bank of America announced they will be pledging one billion dollars toward community programs and minority-owned businesses over the course of four years. The money was pledged in response to both the death of George Floyd and the impacts of COVID-19. Bank of America hopes this money will further help minority-owned businesses thrive, improve health services in Black communities, and open up positions for more bank employees.

Uber

To encourage its users to support black-owned businesses in response to George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter Movement, Uber has announced that it will be waiving all delivery fees coming from black-owned restaurants in the United States and Canada. This process will begin on June 5 and continue throughout the rest of the year. Uber has also stated they are planning to create an initiative specifically designed to aid black-owned restaurants, as well as other businesses.

Additionally, Uber has pledged to create more diversity within their employees.

UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group is donating a pledged ten million dollars to help the neighborhoods of Minneapolis rebuild any damage taken in response to the protests. This will include five million of those dollars being donated to the YMCA Equity Innovation Center of Excellence.

UnitedHealth Group has also pledged to pay for all of George Floyd’s children to go to college when the time comes.

Disney

Disney will be donating five million dollars to companies that stand for social justice, including the NAACP, which Disney has pledged two million dollars to. Disney employees are also encouraged to donate to social justice causes, as Disney has promised to match any donation made by a Disney employee.

P & G

The umbrella company for brands, such as Tide and Olay, P & G has created the “Take on Race” fund that will be distributing five million dollars to organizations that will advance education on race, better communities, and improve all healthcare systems. The fund will be working directly with large and small organizations, such as the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the United Negro College Fund, and Courageous Conversation.

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Upcoming Events

  1. NOBLE’s 44th Annual Training Conference & Exhibit
    July 24, 2020 - July 29, 2020
  2. Women in Federal Law Enforcement Leadership Training
    August 3, 2020 - August 6, 2020
  3. National Society of Black Engineers 46th Annual Convention
    August 19, 2020 - August 23, 2020
  4. 2020 American Society for Health Care Human Resources Association Event
    August 22, 2020 - August 25, 2020
  5. Blacks in Government (BIG) 42nd Annual National Training Institute
    August 24, 2020 - August 27, 2020
  6. NFBPA: A Construct for Change Forum 2020
    October 8, 2020 - October 13, 2020
  7. HBCU Career Development Marketplace
    November 10, 2020 - November 12, 2020