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Across Black America

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 12/22/2016, midnight

California

Susan Burton, founder of Los Angeles-based A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project (ANWOL), cycled in and out of prison six times before finally receiving rehabilitation treatment for substance misuse. Over the past 18 years, ANWOL has provided reentry support uniquely supplemented with leadership development and civic engagement that also speaks to the special challenges of gender and justice. The next phase of the work is to build a bridge between the women and the larger society through the power of storytelling. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and the Weingart Foundation have awarded grants totaling $850,000 to support ANWOL’s launch of a storytelling initiative that transforms formerly incarcerated women from victims into public citizens. “JustUS Voices | Storytelling for Change” intends to give voice and agency to women whose experiences paint the human face of mass incarceration. The program will launch in spring 2017.

District of Columbia

The NAACP Youth and College Division will host two events the day before Donald Trump’s first day in office to fight against civil rights threats, reports news sources. In partnership with Justice League New York and the Empowerment Movement, the NAACP will hold a “People’s Inauguration” rally at Howard University in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 9 a.m., and Chance the Rapper is scheduled to appear as a guest speaker. “We are faced with a moral and ethical crisis during this critical time in our nation’s history, after the election of Donald J. Trump,” said Stephen Green, director of the NAACP Youth and College Division. “This moment calls for young leaders to gather together and develop a strategy to protect the human and civil rights of all Americans through nonviolent resistance.” The organization’s #StayWokeAndFight initiative is a direct response to Trump taking office and will involve protests and other forms of activism. Organizers also plan to host a “People’s Inaugural Ball” on Friday, Jan. 20. Registration is currently open online for individuals and groups to join and attend. For more info, go to https://www.staywokeandfight.com.

Georgia

According to Georgia police, former NFL star Jamal Anderson walked into a gas station and then exposed his penis in front of a clerk, reports The Grio. The Suwanee Police Department responded to a 911 call from the clerk, who said that Anderson walked into the store in the early morning and appeared intoxicated before pulling out his penis and masturbating, which prompted the clerk to call police. When police arrived, they said that Anderson did appear to be intoxicated, but the clerk declined to press charges. So, Anderson was given a ticket for criminal trespassing, and then police arranged an Uber ride home for him. Anderson is now banned from that QuikTrip location and will be arrested, if he returns there.

Illinois

Chicago will pay about $5.4 million in settlements for two men killed by police officers after the city council voted to approve the payments on Wednesday. The estate of Cedrick Chatman, 17, who was shot and killed by police officers in January 2013, was awarded $3 million, while the estate of Darius Pinex, 27, who was killed during a 2011 traffic stop, was awarded $2.36 million. Both men were Black. Both killings brought increased scrutiny of the Chicago Police Department for its use of deadly force as well as criticism of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handling of shootings involving the police. The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a civil rights investigation into the department.