Million Man March 2015 revisits unresolved issues critical to Blacks

Participants in the Million Man March on the Washington Mall on October 16, 1995.

Participants in the Million Man March on the Washington Mall on October 16, 1995.

By Carmen Glover

Twenty years ago on October 16, 1995, my brother Paul, was an engineering student at Howard University in Washington, DC. He heeded the call by the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrrakhan and Former NAACP leader Dr. Benjamin Chavis, the national director of the March, to show up at the Washington Mall in support of the Million Man March and the organizers’ goal of addressing the issues which caused Black men to be viewed as “an endangered species.”

A sea of Black men and boys gathered peacefully to address issues critical to the Black community.

A sea of Black men and boys gathered peacefully to address issues critical to the Black community.

Dubbed “The Million Man March: A Day of Atonement and Reconciliation,” the event was targeted to Black men, who were charged with cleaning up their lives and returning to home to offer hope, love, strength, healing and skills to improve and strengthen their families and communities.

“Standing on the mall, looking out, was a sea of Black men and boys. It was a powerful feeling to be a part of that,” said, Paul, now a successful entrepreneur and CEO of the engineering firm Complete Development Solutions (CDS). “I am glad that I went.”

The Million Man March drew a dedicated mass of Black men and boys.

The Million Man March drew a dedicated mass of Black men and boys.

As participants return to the mall this Saturday, October 10 for the “Justice or Else Rally” to re-assess the state of the Black male condition, the decline in Black communities, Black disenfranchisement, Black voter suppression, and a host of other issues relevant to the Black experience in the United States, one question will resonate: What has changed since the Million Man March was held 20 years ago?

Unarmed Black men are still being murdered or brutalized by renegade police officers, without provocation while Black women have now joined the ranks of those being preyed upon by law enforcement officials and regular citizens; Black children are losing their lives in greater numbers due to gun violence and Blacks, especially in the south, are being disenfranchised at the voting booths, with states such as Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina instituting repressive laws and initiatives designed to make it difficult or impossible for Blacks who are poor to vote, as is their right.

Million Man March.

Million Man March of 1995 is revisited on Saturday, October 10, 2015 to address unresolved issues and concerns in the Black community.

While the mood 20 years ago was described as one filled with hope and unity, this time around the mood is expected to be sprinkled with the anger and disappointment born of unfulfilled dreams and expectations. In 1995, Min. Farrakhan referenced Malcolm X and the struggles that the fiery civil rights leader experienced in resolving inequalities in the Black community. Today, police brutality, the Supreme Court’s destruction of key portions of the Voting Right Act and the plight of Black families will all be given attention at the “Justice or Else Rally,” which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March.

In 1995 and today, many unresolved issues plague the Black community. While the “Justice or Else Rally” will not answer all questions related to the Black condition, its impact is expected to be just as significant as that of the Million Man March 29 years ago. The “Justice or Else Rally,” is organized to be a solid reminder that consistent action is necessary to effect the positive change that is needed to improve opportunities and outcomes across the USA. If you can make it to Washington for this historic event, go and let your voice be heard.–OnPointPress.net-

 

Health insurance is highlighted during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Many people are unaware of the costs associated with fighting cancer. Take the time to learn how you can be prepared for the worst case scenario.

Many people are unaware of the costs associated with fighting cancer. Take the time to learn how you can be prepared for the worst case scenario.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The bombardment of neon pink on your television screens and in your neighborhoods is a reminder that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The goal is to encourage everyone to be proactive and visit their doctors to try and prevent cancer growth, in addition to helping fund research for cures for cancer.

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The desired goal is to prevent cancer from spreading by having it detected as soon as possible, but there are too many people who still have to cope with that dreadful diagnosis. While many have become aware of the physical toll a cancer diagnosis can have on a family, the financial toll should not be understated.

Let Breast Cancer Awareness Month be a reminder to be proactive with your health and plan for your family's future.

Let Breast Cancer Awareness Month be a reminder to be proactive with your health and plan for your family’s future.

This fall, when you speak to your health insurance agent, ask about ways you can be protected if you or a family member is diagnosed with cancer. Many people do not realize that most health insurance plans only offer limited assistance in case of diagnosis of cancer. For many people, the cost for a second opinion, experimental treatment, or treatment at the best facilities in this country becomes an out of pocket expense.

The unfortunate reality is that there are countless people who have had to use all of their savings, borrow money, sell their possessions or their homes, to fund their recovery efforts. However, there are very affordable plans available to assist individuals and families faced with fighting cancer. So while you’re wearing your pink in acknowledgement of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, remember to contact your insurance advisor and protect your finances and health at the same time.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets.  Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns

Hon. Ralph S. Thomas, newly appointed Jamaican ambassador to US

Hon Ralph Thomas, Jamaica's newly-appointed ambassador to the US, consults with Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.

Hon Ralph Thomas, Jamaica’s newly appointed ambassador to the US, consults with Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.

Washington DC, 10/8/15: The Hon. Ralph S. Thomas, newly appointed Jamaican ambassador to the United States, held his first meeting with US-based Jamaican leaders at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, DC on September 28, 2015.  Ambassador Thomas met with the leaders to listen to their concerns and discuss matters of importance relative to Jamaicans in the United States and the homeland.

Hon. Ralph Thomas, Jamaica's newly-appointed ambassador to the US.

Hon. Ralph Thomas, Jamaica’s newly appointed ambassador to the US.

The meeting was arranged by the deputy chief of Missions at the Jamaican Embassy, Mrs. Marsha Coore-Lobban. National and DC area leaders in attendance were Mr. Ricardo Nugent, president of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations, (NAJASO), Dr. Jacqueline Payne-Borden, president of Jamaican Nationals Association, and Mr. Noel Godfrey,president of the Jamaican Association of Maryland.

Mrs. Coore-Lobban was commended by the leaders for her work in sustaining and facilitating Embassy services since the departure of former Ambassador Stephen Vasciannie in September, who returned to academia at the University of West Indies, Mona campus.

Photo L-R; Ricardo Nugent, President, National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations, (NAJASO), Mr. Noel Godfrey, President, Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM), H.E. the Hon. Ambassador Ralph Thomas, Dr. Jacqueline Payne-Borden, President, Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA).

Photo L-R; Ricardo Nugent, president, National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations, (NAJASO), Mr. Noel Godfrey, president, Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM), H.E. the Hon. Ambassador Ralph Thomas, Dr. Jacqueline Payne-Borden, president, Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA).

Ambassador Thomas personally took notes and heard from the leaders on a variety of topics that are foremost in the minds of Jamaicans throughout the Diaspora not only those in the United States, but the UK and Canada as well. In leading the discussion the Ambassador afforded each leader the opportunity to introduce themselves and provide a summary of the most compelling issues that Jamaicans in the US were confronting.

The discussion covered immigration, citizenship, opportunities for Jamaican youth, cultural awareness, carnival activity, health, mental health, HIV/AIDS, education, business and investment opportunities for the Diaspora, Obama’s Young Leaders of the America’s program, deportation issues and the incarceration of our youth were among the topics discussed.  Mr. Nugent, who nominated current Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board member NE, Joan Pinnock to her current position, spoke on NAJASO’s support at the recent Jamaica Diaspora 6th Biennial Conference 2015 and NAJASO’s presence at the conference which included participation on panel discussions.

Deputy Chief of Missions, Mrs. Marsha Coore-Lobban (far right) confers with Ambassador Thomas and Jamaican leaders at Jamaican Embassy meeting.

Deputy Chief of Missions, Mrs. Marsha Coore-Lobban (far right) confers with Ambassador Thomas and Jamaican leaders at Jamaican Embassy meeting.

Ambassador Thomas who was keenly aware of Jamaica’s number one investment project for creating national wealth, the Jamaica Logistics Hub initiative, was provided with a copy of NAJASO’s presentation on the topic delivered at the conference. In addition, Mr. Nugent provided the Ambassador with information regarding NAJASO’s current engagement of medical missions and educational support activities in Jamaica.
Dr. Payne-Borden recommended initiatives aimed at increasing the cultural awareness and educational opportunities for our youth and highlighted the current predicament of convicted DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo.

Ambassador Thomas pointed out the need to reach out to all Jamaicans in the Diaspora who are doing well in addition to those who are facing challenges in various areas including business and cited opportunities for expanding these efforts.
The meeting was also a reunion for Mr. Godfrey and Ambassador Thomas. Both gentlemen previously worked together as young men at Victoria Mutual Building Society in Kingston, Jamaica in the early seventies–OnPointPress.net–

NABJ mourns the loss of former president Sidmel Estes

Former NABJ President

Former NABJ President Sidmel Estes has died.

WASHINGTON (October 6, 2015) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the passing of former NABJ President Sidmel Estes (1991-93). Estes was the first woman to be elected president of the association. She also served as an NABJ regional director and president of the Atlanta chapter. Estes, 60, died October 6.

Estes began her career at WAGA-TV/Fox 5 in Atlanta, where she served as the executive producer of numerous programs. She was the co-creator and executive producer of “Good Day Atlanta,” which became the number one show in its market and won seven Emmy Awards under her direction. In 2006, Estes left WAGA-TV to start BreakThrough Inc., a media consulting firm with clients including the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, the McCormick Tribune Fellows Foundation, the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and the Atlanta Center for Creative Inquiry. She also taught as an adjunct professor at Emory University and Clark Atlanta University.

A pioneer and journalism industry veteran, Estes’ contributions will never be forgotten.

“NABJ grieves for Miss Sidmel. Our hearts are so heavy. Sidmel’s in-your-face leadership style was my introduction to the best of NABJ as a new student member in 1993,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said. “‘Holy smokes! This lady is for real,’ I thought. She took news organizations to task and members, too. If you were not doing right, she would not hesitate to let you know. Sidmel was an admired journalist and loving mother. She was the working woman who media moms could model and aspire to be. She handled all her roles gracefully. I’m so sad she is gone, but her passion and love for NABJ lives on in all of us.”

During Estes’ tenure as president of the association, NABJ increased its membership to more than 2,000 journalists and was included in Ebony magazine’s list of Top 100 Black Organizations. In 1994, she was a leader and co-creator of the first UNITY: Journalists of Color conference, and was instrumental in the release of its report, “Kerner Plus 25: A Call For Action,” which outlined steps the media industry should take to improve racial diversity.

Estes was born on November 27, 1954 in Marysville, California, to Emellen Estes and Sidney Estes. She attended elementary and high school at public schools in Atlanta. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism in 1976, and her Master of Science in Journalism in 1977, both from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Chicago, where she was later inducted as a charter member of the school’s Hall of Achievement.

NABJ Vice President of Broadcast Dorothy Tucker recounts the advice and mentorship that Estes offered to many.

“At Northwestern, Sid was the big sister who would give you about five seconds to cry on her broad shoulders before delivering the message that defines of our world: ‘Now wipe your eyes and get  your A– back out there.'” Tucker said.

As a result of her commitment to the community, Estes has received numerous awards from civic, community and church organizations. During her career in television and journalism, she has been recognized numerous times. Atlanta’s Mayor Andrew Young proclaimed “Sidmel Estes-Sumpter Day” on November 18, 1988, after she was named Media Woman of the Year by the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Media Women. She was featured in Ebony’s 100 Most Influential Black Americans in 1993, and in More Magazine’s book “50 Over 50.”

Estes was honored with the Silver Circle Award from the Television Academy and has won several Emmy Awards. She received Northwestern University’s Alumni Service Award after being elected as president of the Northwestern Black Alumni Association in 2004.

“She was a giant in our industry who helped countless young people achieve their dreams of becoming journalists through her presidency of the National Association of Black Journalists and, recently, as an adjunct professor at Clark Atlanta University,” AABJ President Eric Stirgus said in a statement from the chapter.

Estes is survived by two sons, Joshua and Sidney.

NABJ extends its sincerest condolences to Estes’ family and the countless friends within the journalism community who she leaves behind. The association will provide information on her funeral and where condolences can be sent as soon as those details are provided.

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 more information, please visit www.nabj.org.–OnPointPress.net–

Gun control debates take the place of concrete action

gun-violence-in-america

As yet another mass shooting took place on American soil, the debate continues to rage about the merits and limitations of gun control measures.

On one side of the debate are members and supporters of the National Rife Association (NRA), who are vociferous and dogmatic in their advocacy for freely available guns of all kinds, in celebration of the right to bear arms, regardless of the escalating devastation caused by improper gun use.

Homicides in G8 Countries.

Homicides in G8 Countries.

On the other side of the argument are President Obama, legislators, survivors and family members of gun violence as well as concerned citizens who wait with dread for the next instance of atrocity committed with a gun, fearful in the knowledge that the attack can occur anywhere, at anytime.Brady-anti-gun-campaign-poster

As the debate swirls around us, however, one thing is clear: supporters of a gun utopia where every one is armed and ready to fire, are only inclined to see the other side of the situation if their loved ones lose their lives in a hail of bullets. Only then, when the tragedy becomes personal, will the message hit home that nonexistent gun control laws compromises the safety of every individual, not just the poor, but every one who calls the USA home–OnPointPress.net

3 Health Insurance tips to prepare for open enrollment after job loss

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

Adults confront many challenging options in trying to maximize income and secure adequate health insurance coverage to protect their families. Yet the issue of healthcare extends beyond receiving the best care, it includes paying for those services. After a life-altering event, such as a job loss, preparation and proactive measures are essential to proper healthcare planning, especially as the November 1 start of the open enrollment period looms.

In the state of Georgia there are hundreds of people dealing with job losses each week. This has a serious impact on each individual in the household and raises many concerns because unresolved healthcare needs can be stressful, and many people find themselves scrambling for solutions. If you or someone you know has recently lost their job and need health insurance coverage, follow these steps:

Losing your job is beyond stressful as it can make it difficult to deal with basic needs. Talking to a healthcare professional can help ease those medical concerns.

Losing your job is stressful and makes it difficult to provide for your family’s basic needs. Talking to a healthcare professional can help ease medical concerns.

1. Assess the immediate health needs of the family.
Some medical issues are more pressing than others so it important to know what medical concerns need to addressed first. This knowledge will help narrow your search for the proper care and coverage.


2. Speak with a licensed insurance professional.
Many people have familiarity with health insurance, but there are plenty of nuances that exist within the complexity that is the healthcare system. Speaking with a professional is akin to meeting with an accountant during tax season. It much more likely that all of the concerns of the family, including the need for supplemental and life insurance, are addressed.

3. Have a budget set aside to address medical needs.
Employment status aside, healthcare needs can be stressful, especially if there are concerns related to paying for medical services. Unfortunately, many people will not receive the proper medical attention they need because they think they cannot afford it. A meeting with an insurance professional can help ease the expected financial burden by exploring the most affordable coverage for the family.

ad smallHealthcare concerns are heightened when someone loses a job but it is important to remember that without your health nothing else is possible. In addition to these tips, learn about supplemental and life insurance when you speak with a licensed professional. Affordable healthcare can be just a phone call away. Part two of this series continues next week.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets.

Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns.