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It is with great sadness that I write about the passing of one of San Francisco’s daughters. Milan Rose Ardoin, 28 – and her mother, Valinda Rose Scott, 55 – was fatally shot at her home in Antioch, Calif., at 4:20 a.m. on the morning of July 5, 2018. Milan leaves behind a 4-year-old son, Mason Rome, who she often referred to as “the love of my life,” her beloved grandmother, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, former students, mentees, friends and coworkers.
Mark your calendars! The first Black Family Day of 2017 takes places on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. This event will be at Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School, 2055 Silver Ave. in the Bayview district. The goal of Black Family Day is to connect Black families to much needed resources and to capitalize on the leadership skills already present by giving them the skills needed to navigate public and private systems on behalf of their families. The focus of this event is reducing summer learning loss.
I’m not shuckin’ and jivin’ for you! --- I’m not gonna be yo’ house nigger! --- NO. --- I will look you in your eye … --- then drink from that water fountain you’re standing by. --- YES! I will. --- I’m the modern day Nat Turner, Marcus Garvey, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Pauli Murray, Lumumba, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz – that’s Malcolm if you ain’t in the know. I’m Elaine Brown, Bobby Seale, Ericka Huggins, Serena and Venus Williams – with the backhand!
It’s that time of year again when families are preparing students for another school year and searching for resources to help their young people succeed. Friday, Sept. 17, 2016, the annual Black Family Day takes place at San Francisco’s Mission High School. The goal of Black Family Day is to connect Black families to much needed resources and to capitalize on the leadership skills already present by giving them the skills needed to navigate public and private systems on behalf of their families.
The San Francisco Alliance of Black School Educators (SFABSE) is sponsoring the Second Annual “Black Family Cradle to College and Career Resource Fair” Saturday, Sept. 19, at San Francisco Unified School District’s Mission High School. Attendees can look forward to workshops on Early Education, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics), Discipline and Criminal Justice, College and Career, and Parent-Guardian Involvement.
Today, like far too many days, another unarmed Black male was killed by a white police officer who felt threatened by and most likely didn’t see the value in a Black life. It makes no difference that this child or man may have broken the law because that hasn’t been proven. It does matter that this so-called “peace officer” decided that that Black male was guilty when he saw he was Black.
San Francisco Unified School District is hosting its Second Annual Family Empowerment Conference this Saturday, Sept. 27, at Denman Middle School in San Francisco. The focus of the conference is to empower families, parents and guardians, students and community members to get involved in their students’ education. James Denman Middle School, in partnership with the OMI Excelsior Community Beacon Center, is hosting the conference this year.
Parents and Children of African Descent (PCAD), which advocates for equity and results in education, and other organizations sponsored a march and rally on Malcolm X Day, which is a school holiday in Berkeley, in support of accountable results by BUSD to close the achievement gap between Black students and their peers. “I have had zero Black teachers,” says ninth grader Nya Sandeford. “If you definitely believe that something needs to be changed, then fight for it. Don’t just sit back and let things happen.”
For students in Bayview Hunters Point, life can be a challenge. There are territories to know not to wander into, there are people out there who don’t want youth to make it, there are temptations everywhere, but through all of this, community organizations by neighborhood residents still emerge. 100% College Prep’s 16th Annual Musical Showcase is next weekend, March 14-16, at Thurgood Marshall High School
Black Philanthropy Month 2013 is being celebrated nationwide this month and it is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. A highlight is the African Dream Summer Ball on Saturday, Aug. 17, hosted by the Bay Area organization Ebusua to benefit AWDF USA’s African Maternal Mortality Crisis campaign.
The trial of George Zimmerman begins today with jury selection. Zimmerman, former neighborhood watch captain, has been free on $1 million bail after being charged with the killing of Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012. During that time Zimmerman’s attorneys have launched an all-out war on Trayvon Martin’s credibility as if the deceased teenager were on trial.
Dr. Macheo Payne is making his mark in the field of education by focusing on new practices around keeping Black male youth in the classroom. His dissertation, “The Three Commitments: Critical Race Theory and Disproportionate Suspension of Black Males,” challenges classroom teachers and other school site staff to re-examine their approaches to student learning, particularly learning for young Black men.
The federal government is at it again! They have placed the legendary Black Panther leader, Assata Shakur, on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list. Yes, you read correctly: terrorist. Shakur has been living in political exile in Cuba since 1984 after her escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in 1979, where she served six years. All American citizens’ constitutional rights are in jeopardy if we believe and accept the FBI’s assertion that for speaking out about the U.S. government Assata Shakur is a terrorist.
African and African American women face an infant and maternal mortality crisis in America! Infants and maternal mortality rates in these communities are twice as high as the rates for white women in the U.S. The African Women’s Development Fund USA (AWDF USA) has launched an awareness campaign, Saving Our Future, to educate community members and organize the leadership in hopes of changing the pattern.
Perhaps you’ve heard or read the name Raheim Brown Jr. He’s the 20-year-old Black man who was beaten then shot and killed by Oakland School Police Department Sgt. Bhatt. What real justification can there be for officers – who were hired to secure a school dance on a school campus – to venture from their assigned duty posts and beat, shoot and kill innocent youth?
At the Bayview branch of the San Francisco Public Library a group of about 25 people, mostly African Americans, sat listening attentively to a San Francisco Unified School District human resources recruiter. The recruiter, Amy Chacon, was giving a presentation on what it’s like to work for SFUSD – and hoping to attract substitute teachers for SFUSD “hard to staff” school positions.
The parents of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, have reached a settlement with the homeowners association (HOA) in their wrongful death case against the Sanford subdivision, Retreat at Twin Lakes, where he died, for a sum assumed to be more than $1 million.
Just in time for Easter Sunday, television news stations are reporting that the “Gang of Eight” has reached a deal on immigration reform. This Gang of Eight, of course, is comprised of Republican and Democratic senators. The idea is to be a bipartisan committee that works together to solve America’s immigration issues.
The Bayview District Lowe’s is in the spotlight, but not for its stellar deals or quality customer service. Six plaintiffs have filed suit against the big-box hardware store, claiming racial and gender discrimination, prejudice, differential treatment and unlawful termination. Among the complaints, plaintiffs say that the Bayview Lowe’s store repeatedly under-trained, fired and under-paid workers of color.
Join East Palo Alto youth for the premiere of their three short documentaries: ‘Homegrown: Cultivating Dreams Through Action’ on Monday, March 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at East Palo Alto City Hall, 2415 University Ave. The films are about the history of urban farming in East Palo Alto, the Weeks Neighborhood vision and the activism that led to the closing of Romic, a hazardous waste facility formerly located in the city.
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