Michel du Cille wins NABJ 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award

Late photojournalist Michael du Cille is the recipient of the NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Late Jamaica-born photojournalist Michel du Cille is the recipient of the NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award.

WASHINGTON (May 11, 2015) − The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ),has selected the late Michel du Cille as the recipient of the association’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. A respected photojournalist, who over the course of a lengthy career earned some of the industry’s highest honors, he was a longtime member of NABJ. Mr. du Cille, who had been a journalist at The Washington Post since 1988, died in December 2014 while on assignment in Liberia. du Cille was born in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon a journalist with at least 15 years of experience in the journalism industry and who is regarded for making an extraordinary contribution to the enrichment, understanding or advancement of black life and culture.

“Michel du Cille was a talented photojournalist whose images were compelling, thought-provoking and immensely powerful,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “While some see the visual image as enhancements to a story, he composed images which were limitless in their ability to themselves tell honest stories.”

Mr. du Cille was a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. The most recent award was given in 2008 to du Cille and two of his colleagues at The Post for their work, which revealed the shocking mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. Two earlier Pulitzers came for his work at The Miami Herald.

“Michel du Cille is one of the greatest photojournalists of his generation, and how fortunate for the National Association of Black Journalists that he is one of ours,” said Vanessa Williams, a former president of NABJ and a reporter and editor at The Washington Post. “du Cille used his talent to explore the human condition – both its beauty and its awfulness – with compassion and intelligence. And we are grateful that he was especially interested in telling the stories of the people of the African diaspora, insisting that the world see people who are often marginalized or ignored.”

At The Post he was the director of photography and an assistant managing editor before returning full-time to work in the field. An industry leader, his contributions to the profession are noteworthy as he was a founding member of NABJ’s Visual Task Force, created as a venue for visual journalists in all mediums, which also raised thousands of dollars for scholarships, and steered the mentoring of aspiring and rising photojournalists. He had served on the board of the National Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Foundation.

Prior to The Washington Post, du Cille worked at The Miami Herald and The Louisville Courier-Journal. He earned an undergraduate degree from the Indiana University School of Journalism and a graduate degree from Ohio University. Mr. du Cille’s honor will be presented to his family at the association’s Salute to Excellence Gala on August 8th during NABJ’s Annual Convention and Career Fair in Minneapolis.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information visit www.nabj.org.–OnPointPress.net.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers

Happy-Mothers-Day-21

The OnPointPress.net team extends heartfelt Mother’s Day greetings to our readers and supporters across the globe.

Mothers give us life, love, hope, confidence and support. In the midst of storms and tribulations, a mother’s love is like a beacon of light, guiding us forth, believing in us when we lack the faith in ourselves, cheering us on enthusiastically and urging others to give us chances that we sometimes don’t deserve. Most importantly, mothers pray for us when we struggle, fuss over us when we are sick and boast about our achievements with the ever constant refrain: “I knew you could do it!”

mothers day card quote copy

Motherhood takes different forms-birth, adoption, foster care, kinship guardianship or simply church or community mother but one thing that is certain: We need great mothers to nurture the next generation of achievers. If your mother is alive, take the time to celebrate her life, love and guidance today and every day.

For mothers who were forced to grieve in public when their children’s lives were snuffed out unfairly: We grieve with you. If your mother has experienced struggles of any kind-emotional, mental, addiction, lifestyle, financial, cognitive or judgment, know this: She did the best she could with the knowledge and skill that she had at the time.

Love your mother, honor her and hold her close. We might think that we owe achievements to our own efforts but for those of us who were blessed to be raised by a strong, independent and fearless mother, we know that her example was the foundation to cementing our character and drive. Show your mother that you value, love, respect and honor her. Give her the gift of your presence today.  We love you mom. Enjoy your special day! Happy Mother’s Day!–OnPointPress.net.

Accomplished educator Ja’Nice Wisdom pushes for access to books in beautiful Jamaica

Educator Ja'Nice Wisdom

Educator Ja’Nice Wisdom is the founder and executive director of  the Read Across Jamaica Foundation that was created to expand reading resources for children.

By Carmen Glover

Twelve years ago, accomplished educator Ja’Nice Wisdom, decided to make a change in Jamaica, West Indies by ensuring that story books were more readily available to children who lacked the resources to purchase a variety of reading material. She created and launched Read Across Jamaica (RAJ), an initiative designed to expand reading opportunities on the island, through a non-profit foundation with the same name.

RAJ, currently underway in Jamaica since May 4, wraps up with activities over the weekend. The theme for this year’s event is “Consolidating the Gains: Collaborating for Growth and Sustainability.”

A reading volunteer participates in Read Across Jamaica event.

A reading volunteer participates in Read Across Jamaica event.

This year, Read Across Jamaica Foundation collaborated with The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) and the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) to celebrate Education Week 2015. Activities have included a bus tour across the island where reading volunteers stop at schools in St James, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Elizabeth and engage eager students in reading activities with the expectation that the buzz built during the week will permeate the students’ daily lives.

For children whose parents and guardians have challenges with reading, Wisdom is pleased that they “come to the schools to observe and show interest,” which goes a long way in strengthening a reading environment in the home. “We pass on books to the parents and we encourage the children to share the books with their parents,” she said.

Reading volunteer engages children in reading activity.

Reading volunteer engages children in reading activity.

RAJ, Wisdom said  “was launched to reach out and give back to the children. It was part of a research project I was doing at the University of Maryland to see why children were passing through the system” without acquiring the skills needed to succeed. She decided to model a similar system that was used in the USA and tailor it to meet the Jamaican community.

Twelve years later, RAJ is more robust than ever. After the weeklong reading events are completed, Wisdom and her delegation relies on “the schools to provide follow-up,” to ensure that the excitement generated for reading is nurtured throughout the year. “We do not have the capacity to collect the data,” during the weeklong activities to determine the children’s progress, she said. However, “We talk to the students, see their attitudes about reading,” and use that as a gauge to plan for the following year’s events.

Reading volunteer reads to children who interact with excitement.

Reading volunteer reads to children who interact with excitement.

One of the features of the 2015 RAJ is the inclusion of musical ambassadors Tasha T, and Asante Amen who juxtapose reading with the elements of music and poetry. Tasha T, who hails from Toronto, Canada, has been involved in RAJ since 2011 and sees her role as vital to the RAJ initiative and she explained that she utilizes various measures to win the children’s interest and attention.

Read Across Jamaica's Music Ambassador Tasha T.

Read Across Jamaica’s Music Ambassador Tasha T.

“I introduce myself to them as a recording artist and I get them to sing along,’ she explained of her style. “I encourage them to continue reading because everyone has to work together for the children to succeed.”  Tasha T said that she also plays games with the children because her aim is to show the children “what they are capable of and that education is a way of survival.” Tasha T’s signature song for the RAJ initiative is “Educate Yourself,” on the RasVibe label.

Read Across Jamaica Music Ambassador Asante Amen.

Read Across Jamaica Music Ambassador Asante Amen.

As the RAJ initiative has grown over the years, so has the need for books to meet the demand for eager readers. “We need funds. We have a book clinic online and we ship the books to Jamaica,” said Wisdom of the project. “There’s no favoritism with the schools that we visit. We follow each school that we visit for five years.” Citing the scope of RAJ and the goal of expansion, Wisdom invites supporters across the globe to get involved. “We encourage people to visit online and donate funds and books,’ she said.

To contact Read Across Jamaica and Ms. Wisdom, call (301)-672-4133, (876)-852-3418, or email: jwisdom2u@gmail.com.–OnPointPress.net.

 

 

NFL Commissioner Goodell must punish the cheating Patriots harshly for #Deflategate

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will have their fate determined by commissioner Goodell after the findings of the Wells report.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will have their fate determined by commissioner Goodell after the findings of the Wells report.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Since the NFL’s AFC title game that occurred at the end of January, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao agreed on terms and fought their match, five different people have announced they are running for president, and Tiger Woods got injured then returned to action on the PGA Tour.

These major sporting events things occurred before the conclusion of the Deflategate investigation that began well before Super Bowl 48. Attorney Ted Wells announced his findings of the NFL investigation into whether the New England Patriots cheated during the season by using improperly deflated footballs to give them an edge over the opponents during games. In the report, Wells said:

On Wednesday, May 6, NFL investigator Ted Wells released his report on the Patriots' cheating that was labeled #Deflategate.

On Wednesday, May 6, NFL investigator Ted Wells released his report on the Patriots’ cheating that was labeled #Deflategate.

“For the reasons described in this Report, and after a comprehensive investigation, we have concluded that, in connection with the AFC Championship Game, it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules.

“In particular, we have concluded that it is more probable than not that Jim McNally [the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots] and John Jastremski [an equipment assistant for the Patriots] participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee. Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady [the quarterback for the Patriots] was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should come down with a multiple game suspension for Tom Brady.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should come down with a multiple game suspension for Tom Brady.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has gone on the record in recent months about his determination to ensure the integrity of the NFL.

“Whether a competitive advantage is gained or not is secondary in my mind to whether a rule is violated,” he said about the #Deflategate controversy.

With that in mind, Goodell should suspend Brady multiple games and take away multiple draft picks from the Patriots. As Goodell said, it doesn’t matter if the Patriots felt it was necessary to cheat to win. The NFL’s investigation clearly shows that the Patriots cheated so Goodell needs to make an example out of the New England team and punish them harshly.–OnPointPress.net

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com.

President Obama launches My Brother’s Keeper Alliance at Lehman College

 

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) participates in a roundtable discussion with young people including Malachi Hernandez (L) and Scott Davis (C), at Lehman College in New York May 4, 2015. While in New York, Obama will also announce the creation of the new nonprofit organization My Brother's Keeper Alliance to help minority youth. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) participates in a roundtable discussion with young people including Malachi Hernandez (L) and Scott Davis (C), at Lehman College in New York May 4, 2015. While in New York, Obama will also announce the creation of the new nonprofit organization My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to help minority youth. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Carmen Glover

President Barack Obama took his signature quest of creating opportunities for minority males to Lehman College in the Bronx, on Monday, May 4 where he launched the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA) at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) most beautiful campus

The President hosted a roundtable with young minority males to explore the path to success and to extol the over-arching agenda of the MBKA, which is focused on closing achievement gaps that restrict educational and career opportunities for African-American and Latino males.

Students listen to remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama at Lehman College in New York May 4, 2015. During his remarks Monday Obama announced the creation of the new nonprofit organization My Brother's Keeper Alliance to help minority youth. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Students listen to remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama at Lehman College in New York May 4, 2015. During his remarks Monday Obama announced the creation of the new nonprofit organization My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to help minority youth. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is a non-profit that is geared towards providing African-American and Latino males with greater options designed to pull them out of poverty while steering them towards practical career and educational alternatives.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t matter because you all matter,” President Obama said as he addressed the excited crowd. “You matter to use, to each other and there’s nothing more important to the future of America than whether you, and young people across America, achieve their dreams.”

African-American and Latino males pose for pictures with President Obama at the conclusion of the event at Lehman College.

African-American and Latino males pose for pictures with President Obama at the conclusion of the event at Lehman College.

Among the sponsors and board members for My Brother’s Keeper Alliance are American Express, Pepsi and various professional athletes, active and retired, including former NBA star O’Neal, former NFL star Jerome Bettis and entertainer John Legend, who has been vocal about ending excessive incarceration of African-American males.–OnPointPress.net.

OnPointPress.net’s Editorial Director Carmen Glover earned an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master’s degree in counselor education from Lehman College of the City University of New York.

 

Why Marilyn Mosby’s decision to charge Baltimore police officers resonates

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore State's Attorney.

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore State’s Attorney reiterated her vow to “uphold justice and treat every individual equally and fairly under the law.”

Police brutality against the Black and Latino community has been a scourge across this great nation for decades. In every major city there is the perception that Black and Latino males, especially, are under siege as unlawful police officers unleash their weapons, fists, feet and other objects on the bodies of defenseless citizens.

Pleas for justice have fallen on deaf ears as state prosecutors appear to collude with their local police departments to avoid bringing charges directly but instead present slanted evidence at grand juries who fail to indict. In the rare instances where charges are brought against the criminal officers, judges and juries have refused to find them guilty and when they do, the sentence is tantamount to a slap on the wrist.

six Baltimore officers charged

The six Baltimore officers charged (clockwise from left) William G. Porter, Garrett E. Miller, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Edward M. Nero, Alicia D. White and Brian W. Rice-Courtesy of the Baltimore Police Department.

By conducting a thorough, timely and parallel investigation alongside the police department, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, 35, the youngest prosecutor of a major city in the United States, shows that she is a tough, strong, courageous woman on a mission to seek justice for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African -American Baltimore resident who suffered spinal injuries and later died after being improperly arrested and transported by Baltimore police officers.

On Friday, May 1, International Workers’ Day, Mosby stepped confidently to the podium and delivered a riveting 21-minute press conference where she methodically laid out the case against the six officers who caused Gray’s death. She revealed that they would be charged with homicide, manslaughter, false imprisonment, among other offences. Mosby took the unprecedented step of bypassing the grand jury, which unwilling prosecutors typically use for cover, and instead is charging the officers based on the strength of the available evidence. The officers were subsequently arrested and posted bond. Overwhelmingly, in minority communities across the nation, there were jubilant celebrations  about the latest development. And Mosby’s tough- as- nails demeanor pushed her to the forefront of the public consciousness.

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 02:  Protesters march from the Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was arrested, to City Hall on May 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to Gray's attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody.  State attorney Marilyn Mosby of Maryland announced that charges would be brought against the six police officers who arrested Gray.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, MD – MAY 02: Protesters march from the Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was arrested, to City Hall on May 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore’s west side. According to Gray’s attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. State attorney Marilyn Mosby of Maryland announced that charges would be brought against the six police officers who arrested Gray. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

“No one is above the law,” Mosby said, reiterating her “vow to uphold justice and to treat every individual equally and fairly under the law.” Addressing the protestors she said: “To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf. This is your moment. Let’s ensure we have peaceful protests and rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come.’ Far from being anti-police, Mosby proudly disclosed that her father, mother, grandfather and aunts were police officers and that she suffered loss when a cousin was gunned down by police in front of her when she was a teenager so she is intimately aware of law-enforcement and policy brutality from both sides of the isle.

When members of the African-American and Latino communities tally the long list of men and women who were brutalized and murdered at the hands of the very police who are paid to protect and serve them, Mosby’s bold actions give pause and inspire hope for full justice for Gray.

Baltimore's Freddie Gray

Baltimore police brutality victim  Freddie Gray, who died one week after he was improperly arrested and transported by police officers. Gray suffered spinal injuries and never recovered.

When members of those communities think of Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Anthony Baez in New York; Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Oscar Grant in Oakland, California, John Crawford in Ohio and the many others who were murdered by police officers but escaped punishment, the strong, unequivocal actions taken by Mosby supports the idea that justice just might happen for Freddie Gray.

And if that happens, then it might be the start of a new era of accountability in Baltimore which could spark a wildfire of accountability across the nation, which will be long overdue but welcomed by the very segment of the populace that feels like hunted prey.–OnPointPress.net.