Across Black America for April 25, 2013

4/24/2013, 5 p.m.

Here's a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.

The Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals (LAULYP) has selected actor Larenz Tate ("House of Lies") as one of the Divine 9 to be honored at its third annual To The Nines Affair on Friday, April 26, 2013, at The Beverly Hilton. To the Nines is hosted by the LAULYP, an auxiliary of the L.A. Urban League comprised of young African American professionals committed to economic empowerment and social change. The swanky Beverly Hills bash will be the official after-party for the prestigious 40th annual Whitney M. Young Awards Dinner, officiated by the Los Angeles Urban League.
Hundreds of digitally preserved speeches, sermons and correspondence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be on view at the California African American Museum (CAAM) May 5 -11, 2013, as part of an unprecedented effort to showcase the work of the civil rights leader. A team of more than 300, including U.S. veterans and students, have digitized more than 200,000 pieces of paper, including Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech, the Letter from Birmingham Jail, and his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Those documents are now traveling around the country in an interactive display called The King Center Imaging Project. JPMorgan Chase organized the project as part of its Technology for Social Good initiative, which provides technological solutions to social organizations across the globe.

The Delaware Senate passed House Bill 10, the Hazel D. Plant Voter Restoration Act by a vote of 15-6, to automatically restore the voting privileges of nonviolent offenders who have completed their sentences. "As Americans we believe in second chances and the right to vote," said Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP. "Delaware did the right thing. The vote in the Delaware Senate ensures that a fellow citizen who has made a mistake, done their time, and paid their debt to society will be able to join the rest of their fellow Americans in performing our civic duty of voting." Last year, leaders from the NAACP and partner organizations met with state legislatures to talk about the impact of felony disenfranchisement laws on Delaware voters and appeal for restoration of rights.

District of Columbia
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and ExxonMobil recently honored three universities with the 2013 Impact Award for their efforts in retaining underrepresented minority students in engineering programs. Northwestern University, The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan were each awarded $10,000 during an event held at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. Calvin A. Young, NSBE's national chair, and Kenny Warren, vice president of engineering, ExxonMobil, presented the awards. "NSBE salutes these outstanding academic institutions for their success in keeping Black, Latino and other underrepresented minority students in engineering," Dr. Carl Mack, executive director of NSBE, said. "These universities are among the few that not only understand the urgency of solving the retention problem in engineering, but are also creative and determined in coming up with solutions."
Capitol Hill Supportive Services (CHSS) will present a special showing of "Love in a Day" as a part of the organization's grand opening and ribbon-cutting gala. CHSS, along with Tenacious Productions and award-winning author Darryl James, will present an evening of art, music and theater featuring the hit stage play on May 17-18. CHSS provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Their programs and residential home are located in the historic Capitol Hill area. The event will introduce the program to the Greater Washington, D.C., area, while also delivering an evening of high quality entertainment to board members, supporters and the general public.