Alabama

Birmingham has become one of 13 cities in the United States dedicated to committing local resources to achieve key Paris Declaration goals in the fight against AIDS by 2020 and ending the spread of AIDS by 2030, reports the University of Alabama. State agencies, local organizations and the U of A at Birmingham are partnering to achieve the following by 2020: 90 percent of people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90 percent of those who know their status will be engaged in care and on antiretroviral therapy (ART); and 90 percent of those on ART achieving full viral suppression. “If we can achieve the 90-90-90 plan by 2020, along with zero stigma and discrimination against those living with HIV/AIDS, we will be on our way to ending the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2030,” said Dr. Michael Mugavero an UAB professor. “The only way to effectively do this is by coming together as a community to commit all of our resources to achieve this goal.” Currently, almost 40 percent of all individuals infected with HIV in Alabama are still not suppressed, meaning their virus is not under complete control with medication. Partners in the Paris Declaration for Birmingham include the City of Birmingham, Alabama Department of Public Health, Jefferson County Department of Public Health, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, Altheia House and others.

California

California Community Colleges have kicked off a new campaign to inform underserved populations about the good-paying jobs available through career education, reports BlackVoiceNews.com. According to a press release, there is a skill and an information gap in California, since many high-paying jobs go unfilled because employers can’t find employees with the right training. This includes jobs in the information technology, healthcare, biotechnology and digital media fields. Many people are put off by the cost of college education, but advocates say community colleges offer a low-cost alternative to career education programs and are expanding efforts to ensure people are aware. “Both adults and high school students hesitate to pursue higher education to gain new skills and refresh existing ones because they worry about student debt,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. “Career education offers a great pathway to increase earnings and make a living wage without that type of debt burden.” She added that the legislature had allocated money specifically targeted for students interested in training for new careers. The campaign will target potential students through ads on traditional and digital media, a website and an app. The promotional campaign is part of a $200 million recurring investment made by Gov. Jerry Brown and the California legislature, according to a news release. Cassandra Jennings, president of the Greater Sacramento Urban League, said working alongside community organizations was an important part of spreading the word in the Black community. African-American students make up 6.5 percent of the students at community colleges. About 5 percent of the more than 6 million students in the K-12 system are Black and they make up 6 percent of students enrolled in four-year colleges.

Florida

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is finalizing an agreement to sell the team to a group that includes former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter for $1.2 billion, according to ESPN on Aug. 11. The deal is likely to be announced “in the coming days,” a source said. The Miami Herald was first to report the pending agreement between Loria and a group headed by Bruce Sherman, a New York venture capitalist whose contingent has about 16 investors. Sherman will be the control person for the Marlins’ new ownership group and will represent the organization at Major League Baseball meetings, while Jeter – who is reportedly investing about $25 million of his own money – will run the baseball side of the operation, the Herald reported. This is the second professional sports team to have a Black owner. Serena and Venus Williams are part owners of the Miami Dolphins. Jeter, 43, retired after 20 seasons as a Yankees’ shortstop. A 14-time All-Star, Jeter lives in Tampa and has long talked of his desire to own a franchise, however, he has no front-office experience. The Sherman-Jeter group, which also includes former NBA great Michael Jordan, beat out a contingent led by Miami businessman Jorge Mas. Quogue Capital founder Wayne Rothbaum, who led a third group that included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, dropped out of the bidding earlier this week. Jordan, who would be a minority owner of the team, joined Jeter’s original bid.

Illinois

Chance the Rapper announced a surprise free Chicago concert for Saturday (Aug. 12) night while serving as grand marshal of the Bud Billiken Bash, the city’s annual back-to-school parade, reported Rolling Stone. During the festivities—which saw Chance’s non-profit Social Works distributing 30,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to children—the rapper spoke to the local ABC affiliate about his surprise performance. “I wanted to make sure I can identify all those teachers that support our youth and build our children up, all those fathers that are out here with their families, the cornerstones of their houses, bringing their families out — I wanted to make sure I can identify y’all so my people can get you some free tickets.”

Louisiana

Omarosa Manigault, an assistant to President Donald Trump, caused a bit of an uproar at the National Association of Black Journalists’ convention on Aug.11 in New Orleans, reports NBC News. Although she criticized her boss for seeming to encourage police brutality, she defended the administration in a series of heated exchanges over its relationship with communities of color around the country. The standing-room-only event at one of the convention’s panel discussions turned contentious, after Manigault began by recounting how her father and brother were both lost to street violence in Youngstown, Ohio. The panel’s moderator, Ed Gordon, a host on the BET channel, asked Manigault about Trump’s position on policing, particularly his position that police officers not be so nice when arresting suspects, and the revived war on drugs that Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to wage. But Manigault didn’t want to talk about Trump. She first balked at “disclosing confidential conversations with the president,” then stood up, pacing the stage as she sparred with Gordon. She was angry that he didn’t solely want to focus on her family losses, and at one point told him, “shame on you.” He asked whether Trump’s remarks on arresting suspects were appropriate, and she brusquely said no, and tried to change the subject. When he continued to press her on the administration’s policies, she noted that she is often the only person of color in administration meetings. “I sit at a table where I am not only the only African-American woman, but the only African-American at all,” she said, pushing back at questions about how much she was doing for the community. “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

New York

Hedge fund manager Daniel S. Loeb, a prominent supporter of charter schools and a major financial backer of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and congressional Republicans, accused the African American woman who leads the Democrats in the New York State Senate of having done “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood,” reports the New York Times (NYT). Loeb made the reference, apparently to the Ku Klux Klan, in a posting on Facebook in response to a NYT article in which the Democratic leader, Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, confronted Cuomo about prejudging her based upon race and gender. In a private meeting last month, the Times reported that Stewart-Cousins said to Cuomo during a debate over who best understands suburban voters: “You look at me, Mr. Governor, but you don’t see me. You see my Black skin and a woman, but you don’t realize I am a suburban legislator.” Loeb weighed in on behalf of Sen. Jeffrey D. Klein of the Bronx, the leader of a group of Democrats that has split from Stewart-Cousins.


The future of DMX appears murky after a Manhattan judge said on Wednesday (Aug. 9) that the “Party Up” star may have violated conditions of his bail, reports Billboard. Manhattan judge Jed Rakoff received an order indicating that the embattled star “may have violated the terms of his pretrial release in numerous respects.” The rapper’s lawyer, defense attorney Murray Richman, revealed that the issue at hand stems from the rapper’s recent trip to St. Louis. According to Richman, DMX’s trip was for family reasons. “He went to St. Louis without getting permission from the pretrial services officer,” he said. “It was for a personal situation with regard to the lady he’s living with.” In regards to the other violated claims suggested in the order, Richman replied by saying: “There are other reasons. We don’t know what they are.” Last month, DMX pleaded guilty to evading $1.7 million in income taxes. He was released on a $500,000 bond.

Oregon

According to the Associated Press, a woman with 19 years of experience at the Oakland (California) police department was chosen last week to serve as Portland’s next police chief. Danielle Outlaw, who has served as deputy chief in Oakland since 2013, was appointed by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. Outlaw, 41, will take command of a force that has struggled with a staffing shortage; noncompliance with a federal settlement agreement that requires changes to bureau policies, training and community engagement; ongoing controversies about the police handling of large protests; and a breakdown in trust with community members. Wheeler said Outlaw shares his goals of improving relationships with Portland’s communities of color, increasing diversity on the 950-member force and embracing equity. “I have concrete goals for the Portland Police Bureau, all of them challenging to achieve,” Wheeler said in a statement. “I need a partner. I need a leader. More than that, I need someone with a passion for this work who will be in it for the long haul. Danielle Outlaw is that person.” The mayor selected Outlaw from 33 candidates after a national search that lasted less than three months and was conducted largely behind closed doors with input from a select group of community members. The pick ends current police Chief Mike Marshman’s year-long tenure at the helm. Former Mayor Charles Hales appointed Marshman as chief in June 2016, after former Chief Larry O’Dea retired amid a criminal investigation into his off-duty shooting of a friend during a camping trip in southeastern Oregon. Outlaw’s resume includes earning a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of San Francisco and a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University. She’s also a graduate of the Major Cities Chiefs’ Association Police Executive Leadership Institute, according to her resume.

Tennessee

Several present and past African-American politicians say they are concerned about which two top candidates will emerge in the 6th District City Council race in the Aug. 29 city primary, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel. Some say Jennifer Montgomery, a White realtor, is likely to be one of the two. “Jennifer is the most active one,” said former County Commissioner Diane Jordan of the 13 candidates. “She has signs in strategic places, two or three pieces of mail, and a letter. I got a letter about (the) bridge,” which is named after Jordan herself. In addition, Montgomery accepted an invitation extended by Jordan and her husband, the Rev. John Jordan, pastor of Peace and Goodwill Baptist Church, to attend a service, be recognized and stand with the Jordans afterward for people to meet her, the former public official said. “I want the candidates exposed. People say they don’t vote because they don’t know the candidates,” Diane Jordan said. Although she said she has made that offer to all candidates, she’s supporting Gwen McKenzie, wife of former County Commissioner Sam McKenzie. One reason, Jordan said, is that Gwen McKenzie is African American, and Jordan shares the view of former City Councilmen Bob Booker and Theotis Robinson, who have written or spoken about the changing demographics in City Council’s 6th District that could result in African Americans not being elected in the future, possibly beginning this year. Robinson was the first Black elected to council in modern times, when an all-district format was instituted in 1968 as a way to help African Americans be on council. The 6th District was drawn to take in East Knoxville and the Knoxville College area where a preponderance of African Americans lived. It also included the downtown area, which today is having a surge of new residents, mostly White. In the primary, voting is by district, and the top two candidates in each district will be nominated for the Nov. 7 general election. Voters citywide then vote on all of the candidates.

National

Spike Lee is gearing up to shop around a new TV series with rising tech entrepreneur Chad Sanders, Variety reported. The series, titled “Archer,” is a dark comedy and sociological thriller capturing the life of a 20-something African American coding genius and iconoclast living in Brooklyn who has developed a dating app. The central character is described as a “young, Black Mark Zuckerberg-like protagonist,” and the story will encompass New York, Silicon Valley and Berlin. The project is loosely based on the life of Sanders, a tech entrepreneur who formerly served as a partner and head of business development at Dev Bootcamp, an intensive coding school that was eventually sold to Kaplan for double-digit millions. Sanders spent the first four years of his career with Google. He recently founded the business development agency Archer Genius Management, which is the basis for the title of the series.