Saturday, February 4, 2023

Grads and Alumi of The Legendary St. Pascal Baylon School Are Ready To Rock A Reunion

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St. Pascal Baylon Grads Are Celebrating With  A Highly Anticipated Reunion 

Are You A Graduate Of The Legendary St. Pascal Baylon School?
Attend The Upcoming Reunion Events And Celebrate Good Memories At...


NYC Looks To Help Small Business With The NYC Opportunity Fund

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The NYC Opportunity Fund Offers $75 Million Dollars For Qualifying Businesses

Did you hear the news about our Small Business Opportunity Fund?

Together with @nycsmallbiz, @goldmansachs, @mastercard and @crfusa, we have created the largest public-private loan fund in our city's history that will be directed at small businesses in #newyorkcity.

It will offer $75 million to businesses with no application fees or credit checks. This is just our latest effort to ensure our small businesses thrive.


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Do You Know Why You Should Celebrate February 1st As National Freedom Day?

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Passionate Advocate From Diverse American Family Helps Revive National Freedom Day Within Divisive US Political Climate
The Beautiful Garner/Chappelear/Lawson/Deane/Benitez Family Has A Rich Freedom Legacy

By Kamau Austin

A national advocate for equality and inclusion Venita Benitez, an Afro-Latino woman, is working passionately to help revive a day of liberation, healing, and American harmony: National Freedom Day.  National Freedom Day, was proclaimed to be celebrated annually February, 1, eventually jumpstarting Black History Month.

Moreover, National Freedom Day, also commemorates President Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, and subsequent passing in Congress of the 13th Amendment.  The National Freedom Day proclamation by Harry S. Truman states the following "National Freedom Day is a United States observance on February 1 honoring the signing by President Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later was ratified as the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

President Lincoln signed the Amendment abolishing slavery on February 1, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later."  February 1st, was later to become Black History Day, then eventually, driven by historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson - Black History Month.

Venita Benitez, an equality advocate and diversity professional with Afro-Latino roots, that also ironically derives from the British Monarchy, is looking to continue to help bring awareness to National Freedom Day.  Benitez is looking to bring the little known, but official national holiday proclamation of National Freedom Day, by President Harry S. Truman, into the mainstream.

This will be a challenging goal given the divisive present political climate in the US, and actually the world.  Our country beyond just the present ongoing culture wars confrontations, we also have movements that are threatening democracy itself in our country.

But Venita is passionately up for the challenge following the movement in the footsteps of the founder of National Freedom Day, former slave, educator, college President, entrepreneur, banker, and army veteran Major Richard R. Wright Sr. (no known relation to author/writer Richard Wright).   Major Wright was extremely accomplished.

According to the Pennsylvania: Life and Times of Major Richard Robert Wright Sr. and the National Freedom Day Association, "Richard Robert Wright Sr. (May 16, 1855 – July 2, 1947) was an American military officer, educator and college president, politician, civil rights advocate and banking entrepreneur. Among his many accomplishments, he founded a high school, a college, and a bank. He also founded the National Freedom Day Association in 1941.

Ms. Benitez shared "One year after Wright's death in 1947, U.S. Congress passed by a joint resolution approved on June 30, 1948 a bill to recognize National Freedom Day. The proclamation was signed into law on January 25, 1949, by President Harry Truman." 

The Original Founder Of National Freedom Day Movement, Major Richard Robert Wright Sr. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

Discover How Dr. Adrienne Whaley Is Planning To Showcase This Year's Outstanding Independent Black Films In Southeast Queens

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Black History Month Continues Into Spring
With Queens Underground International Film Festival Dates

Queens, NY – January, 30, 2023 -- In honor of Black History, Queens Underground International Film Festival announces Season 5 of its Red Carpet Film Festival which features Independent Filmmakers from all over the world.  The Festival will span two days at a Venue in Queens, NY and includes the following Categories: Movie Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Poetry, Dance and Music Videos and Series Episodes from all genres. 

Held annually in the Springtime, Filmmakers fly in from across the country to view their works on the big screen along with excited audience members.  As a nonprofit organization, Queens Underground, is a Disrupter by offering a unique platform and Festival which also boasts live performances, awards presentations and festive Red Carpet Interviews.

This Season, the organization plans to hold opening night Red Carpet interviews Live on its Instagram and Facebook pages. More information and details about the Selected projects may be found on the website at: https://www.QueensUndergroundFilmFestival.com.



Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Statement from Speaker Adams on DOE's Withdrawal of Proposed School Co-Locations in Southeast Queens

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Statement from Speaker Adams on Department of Education’s Withdrawal of Proposed School Co-Locations in Southeast Queens

Adrienne Adams Speaker of The NYC Council Photo Credit
“The Department of Education has made the right decision to withdraw its proposal to co-locate new Success Academy charter elementary schools within school buildings in Southeast Queens, including Building Q072 in School District 28. The Southeast Queens community united in opposition to the co-location plans, which would have impeded the academic progress of our students. 

“Placing an additional charter school in Q072 would have undermined access to the shared facilities, including the gymnasium, cafeteria, bathrooms, and outdoor recreational space, for the existing schools. Two of those schools received federal magnet grants that facilitate their increased enrollment over the next five years, and this co-location would have hindered the schools’ growth and abilities to provide vital programs and resources to students.

Students at Catherine & Count Basie Middle School 72, Redwood Middle School, and Public School 993 deserve more access to facilities and support, not less.

“Since serving as Education Chair for Queens Community Board 12 more than a decade ago, I have prioritized the needs of students and families in Southeast Queens, who have faced decades of under-investment. I have historically opposed school co-locations that set school communities back and negatively impact the education of our students, and I emphatically reject this proposal as well. I stand with the MS 72 School Leadership Team, Queens Community Board 12, Community Education Council (CEC) District 28, and the students, parents, and educators in Southeast Queens who all opposed this co-location plan. I am heartened that their voices were heard by the Department of Education, and I urge the City to search for other locations that would not result in negative impacts for our existing schools and their students.”

New York Council Speaker Adrienne Adams
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Adrienne Adams is the first Black woman to be selected as New York City Council Speaker.  Adrienne Adams, will be the Speaker of what is referred to as the most diverse New York City Council in history, with more women elected than ever before in the governing body.

According to her 
NYC Council Biography Adams was "Elected to the City Council in November 2017, she is also the first woman to represent District 28, which encompasses the Queens neighborhoods of Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, and South Ozone Park."

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

NYS Senator James Sanders Reflects On Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



Today we honor the life and accomplishments of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an important figure in the civil rights movement, who advocated for nonviolent means of protest in an effort to end racial segregation and discrimination in the United States. From leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott to his "I Have a Dream," speech at the March on Washington, Dr. King taught us many lessons about courage, strength and determination.

Although civil rights issues continue to plague oppressed people around the world, there is no denying that Dr. King laid a foundation for progress for his generation and generations to come. His message embodies a true humanitarian spirit, one of peace and sacrifice.

It is fitting then that Martin Luther King Day is also a national day of service, an opportunity to give back to the community in which we live and beyond. It should not be regarded as just a day off from school or work. As Dr. King famously said: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"


Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Learn The Demands Of NYC Nurses Protesting Large Area Hospitals.

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NYC Nurses Protest Area Hospitals Beyond Compensation And Benefits

By Kamau Austin

January 10th, 2023, nurses in New York City, continue their boycott of working conditions in 2 large New York City hospitals.  According to Channel 4 New York News, "About 3,500 Montefiore nurses and 3,625 Mount Sinai nurses went on strike at 6 a.m. Monday, potentially disrupting healthcare for thousands of New Yorkers as contract talks stall."

Nurses on the picket line told me that the major media was giving the inaccurate impressions that they were protesting for higher salaries and benefits.  
However, nurses we spoke to complained more importantly about working conditions in hospitals.

The rueful working conditions they pointed out were related to area hospitals "not hiring enough nurses" causing
 overworked nursing staff, and ultimately concerns about safety issues for patients confided some protestors.  Nurses marching outside Mount Sinai Hospital, lamented that there was unsafe conditions for both patients and nurses working within the hospitals.

This lack of staffing was causing exhausting working conditions and unsafe patient care environments.  The nurses we spoke to complained that "it wasn't about the money," they are making but - more so about unsafe and unfair working environments in the hospitals.

Nurses And Medical Staff Protesting In Front Of Mount Sinai Hospital