Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Jerome E. Horton, chairman of the California State Board of Equalization, recently welcomed Cynthia Bridges as its executive director. Horton announced the appointment after the board met in closed session during its June 27 meeting in Sacramento. Bridges will assume her new role beginning Aug. 1, 2012. Prior to being selected as executive director, Bridges served as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue, a position to which she was appointed by three Louisiana governors. During her 12 years in that role, Bridges helped to transform the agency into a recognized leader in customer service.
KLCS, a public television station owned and operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District, received a pair of nominations for the 64th Los Angeles-area Emmy Awards, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recently announced. “News You Can Use” was nominated in the Informational/Public Affairs category. Another series, “Math Park,” was nominated for Instructional Programming. The Emmy selections from KLCS were part of the 123 nominations overall that its members made in 42 categories, according to the academy, which oversees the awards. Winners will be announced Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood.
The National Association of University Women Inc. has chosen Atlanta as the 68th national convention location. The organization will convene at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, from July 31-Aug. 5, 2012, when 400 women are expected to attend. According to National Publicity Chair, Evelyn Wright, “the convention will serve as a wonderful time to collaborate, network, meet new friends, tour the beautiful city of Atlanta and strategize about the vision, focus and growth of this illustrious organization.” The convention will be hosted by the NAUW-Atlanta branch, which serves the Atlanta metro community. For more information about the convention, email chairpersons Eurtistine Holt and Winifred Elam at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has announced that its President and CEO Elsie L. Scott, Ph.D., is the recipient of the Woman of Excellence in Business award by the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. Scott received the award in Chicago during the coalition’s 41st annual business luncheon in which the discussion centered around economic development and small businesses. The CBC Foundation’s board of directors named Scott to the position in February 2007. She had served as interim president and CEO since July 2006, and joined the Foundation in 2005 as vice president for research and programs. Scott is responsible for foundation’s public policy, research, educational and fundraising initiatives, most notably, the Annual Legislative Conference, a much-anticipated, four-day event held each September in Washington.
Bounce TV has announced that WXYZ-TV in Detroit will add the television network to its regular programming. The addition of WXYZ-TV drives Bounce TV past 75 percent penetration of African American television homes and to nearly 55 percent of the total U.S. “By creating room on their digital spectrum, WXYZ-TV clearly sees the enormous value of Bounce TV as a network that can make a difference locally. It is our privilege to be in business with E.W. Scripps and we welcome them to our growing family of Bounce TV affiliates,” commented Jeffrey Wolf, Bounce TV executive vice president of distribution. “We are thrilled that Bounce TV will be seen on such a strong station as WXYZ in such a critical market as Detroit.”
The National Bar Association, the largest group of African American lawyers and judges, recently held its 87th annual convention and at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The convention addressed various issues and legal matters, including voter empowerment, gaming and health laws, education and more. The bar association also recognized several leaders for their outstanding work in the legal field and within their communities. The event highlights included the Presidential Showcase Forum on voter empowerment and election protection. The panel included the Rev. Jesse Jackson (Rainbow /Push Coalition), Barbara Arnwine (Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law), Donna Brazile (Democratic National Committee) and Gary Flowers (Black Leadership Forum).
A national class-action lawsuit filed recently charges that top executives at Wet Seal directed senior managers to get rid of African American store management employees for the sake of its “brand image,” and to hire more White employees. In March 2009, for example, after visiting several stores the senior vice president reportedly emailed store visit notes to the vice president of store operations and a district manager. Under the heading, “Global Issues,” she wrote, “Store Teams need diversity–African Americans dominate–huge issue.” Another senior executive ordered a district manager to “clean the entire store out” after observing numerous African American employees working there. Over 20 charges of discrimination have been filed by current and former Wet Seal employees with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including a charge filed by a former regional director alleging she was fired for promoting an African American to manage a high-profile store.
The Children’s Defense Fund is issuing an urgent call to action as it convenes its first national conference in nine years. In Cincinnati, from July 22-25, more than 3,000 leading advocates, including 1,500 young adults, will gather to discuss best practices and actionable steps to renew and reinvigorate the pursuit of justice for the country’s most vulnerable–children. Together they will call on President Obama and Gov. Romney, as well as state and local candidates, to discuss what each would do to advance children’s rights in the next administration.
Governor of Nigeria’s Imo state, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha, announced millions of dollars of potential investment opportunities for Houston companies in Nigeria. These investments in healthcare, education, agriculture and the infrastructure sector will spur the creation of jobs in Texas and Imo. Houston Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Development along with Generation Rochas, an organization that promotes development opportunities in Africa, hosted the event.
Autism Live host Shannon Penrod announced that she would like rapper 50 Cent to put his money where his mouth is by giving 50 cents for each of his 8 million Facebook followers to an autism nonprofit organization. Penrod’s announcement is a response to a tweet 50 Cent sent to his Twitter followers last week, when he responded to one fan with, “yeah just saw your picture fool you look autistic.” 50 Cent has since apologized for the offensive remark, but Penrod said it’s not enough. “I would like to see 50 Cent give to an autism organization to help children in need,” said Penrod. “There are hundreds of charitable organizations that could really benefit from the money and support. But what do I know? I am just a mom of a child with autism. There are a lot of wonderful children on the autism spectrum who are counting on 50 Cent to do the right thing.”