i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Trump's deportation plans will likely benefit private prison companies

president donald trump promised to deport upwards of two million immigrants upon taking office. last week, a series of high-profile crackdowns put the country on alert. but when trump issued two major executive orders regarding immigration, the pending arrests and deportations struck fear into brown families.

in the same executive order calling for construction of a southern border wall, trump instructed immigration and custom enforcement (ice) to build out its sprawling network of immigration detention centers.

trump's executive order said starting "immediately," ice should construct new facilities, lease space for immigrants alongside inmates in existing local jails, and sign new contracts. these contacts are most likely to go to private prison companies.

in late january, a memo to top homeland security officials called for raising the number of immigrants ice incarcerates daily to 80,000 people. the number of detainees held daily - between 31,000 and 34,000 - reached a historic high of 41,000 last fall. ice detained over 352,000 people last year.

carl takei, staff attorney for the aclu's national prison project, said doubling the daily capacity to 80,000 "would require ice to sprint to add more capacity than the agency has ever added in its entire history."  and, takei warned, "we don't know if 80,00 if where he'll stop." detention experts have estimated it would take an extra $2 billion in government funding annually.

the private prison giant corecivic (formerly known as the corrections corporation of america) sees the expansion as a business opportunity. corcecivic president and ceo damon hininger said, "when coupled with the above average rate of crossings along the southwest border, these executive orders appear likely to significantly increase the need for safe, humane and appropriate detention bed capacity that we have available."   

another private prison company, management & training corporation, reportedly wants a contract with ice to reopen the willacy county correctional institution. this facility, known as a 'troubled detention camp,' held up to 2,000 ice detainees in kevlar tents between 2006 and 2011.

margo schlanger, a former obama administration official who served as homeland security's top authority on civil rights, opposes trump's bigoted initiatives. schlanger is deeply concerned about the improper oversight and potential overuse of inadequate safety measures, insufficient medical care, poor nutrition and solitary confinement.

schlanger said, "there are a lot of bad things that happen if the number of beds is ramped up fast, without appropriate controls, monitoring, supervision and care...that means detainees could die... you're vulnerable to the government saying to you, look, we'll let you out from detention, but you have to give up your immigration case."




Sunday, February 05, 2017

Serena Williams and Roger Federer win 2017 Australian Open Singles Titles

serena williams defeated her older sister and fellow american venus 6-4, 6-4 to win the 2017 australian open singles championship in melbourne park. williams now has 23 major singles titles, one more than steffi graf of germany. the all-time leader is margaret court of australia with 24.

during the awards ceremony, williams said, "i really would like to take this moment to congratulate venus. there's no way i'd be at 23 titles, or i'd be at one. she's my inspiration. she's my world. thank you venus for inspiring me to be the best player i could be." 

williams, 35, regained her number one ranking from angelique kerber of germany. kerber beat williams in the 2016 australian open, and became number one after winning the u.s. open last year. serena improved her career record against venus to 17-11, including 7-2 in major finals.

roger federer of switzerland defeated rafael nadal of spain 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to win the 2017 australian open singles championship in melbourne park. federer now has 18 major singles titles, which is the most all-time among men. federer improved his world ranking to #10 with his victory.

federer, 35, said afterwards, "against rafa it's always epic. this one means a lot to me because he's caused me problems over the years. federer beat four top 10 players - tomas berdych, kei nishikori, stan wawrinka and nadal - which is extraordinary; he missed six months last year due to injuries.

federer had not won a major since 2012 at wimbledon. his career record against nadal is now 23-12. federer said, "i'd like to congratulate rafa on an amazing comeback, too. i don't think either one of us thought we would be in the final at the australian open this year. i am happy for you. i would've been happy to lose to you tonight, too, really." 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Life Parolees are serving substantially longer prison terms

the sentencing project on tuesday released its latest report entitled, delaying a second chance: the declining prospects for parole on life sentences by nazgol ghandnoosh, phd. the report found tens of thousands of people serving life sentences eligible for release are now serving longer prison terms than their counterparts.

over the past three decades many governors, legislatures and parole boards have toughened lifer parole policies and practices - effectively increasing prison terms for over 110,000 individuals serving parole-eligible life sentences.

in eight jurisdictions for which data is available since the 1980s, average time served by paroled lifers with murder convictions doubled from 11.6 years for those paroled in the 1980s to 23.2 years for those paroled between 2000 and 2013. the report studied data in arkansas, california, florida, montana, nebraska, south carolina, washington and wisconsin.

the growth in time served among people with parole-eligible life sentences is prevalent at a time of increasing bipartisan support for criminal justice reform. furthermore, given the criminological evidence which shows as people in prison age, their risk of recidivism greatly diminishes.

the report's findings draw on a national survey in which 31 states and the federal government provided data for available years since 1980. a supplement document provides overviews of lifer parole policies and outcomes in each of these jurisdictions.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

NBA All-Star Team 2017

listed below are the starters and reserves in each conference for the 2017 nba all-star game.

Eastern Conference Starters
Gianis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

Eastern Conference Reserves
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks
Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets
John Wall, Washington Wizards

Western Conference Starters
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

Western Conference Reserves
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thuinder

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Criminal Justice Policy Contributes to the Educational Racial Achievement Gap

leila morsay and richard rothstein of the economic policy institute recently published some provocative findings in their report, mass incarceration and children's outcomes: criminal justice policy is education policy.

the authors write, "the discriminatory incarceration of black parents is an important cause of their children's lowered performance." they conclude parental incarceration has cognitive and non-cognitive impacts known to affect children's school performance.

the report asserts children of incarceration parents are more likely to disengage from, and drop out of school, develop learning disabilities, and have physical and mental health problems. additionally, such children are more likely to experience poverty, which adds more stress in their lives.

consequently, morsay and rothstein both state in their progressive report, "criminal justice reform should be a policy priority for educators who are committed to improving the achievement of african-american children."

Friday, January 20, 2017

U.S. Funding for the Green Climate Fund

the u.s. state department on thursday announced it made an additional $500 million grant to support the green climate fund (gcf). consistent with last year's grant, this funding is provided from the fiscal year 2016 economic support fund (esf) appropriation.

u.s. funding for the gcf continues u.s. government support by the obama administration, and prior administrations for climate change programs through multilateral funds. the gcf is the world's largest multilateral finance institution dedicated to advancing climate-resilient, low-emission development. 

the gcf was created to help protect vulnerable populations and drive clean energy deployment, all with a special focus on engaging the private sector and mobilizing private capital. over 180 countries have set forth their plans to cut emissions; many of them are making important policy and regulatory reforms to promote private sector investment in energy efficient and low-emission technologies.

the gcf supports developing nations in their efforts to achieve those objectives and become more resilient to climate change. the gcf seeks to reduce the global and national security risks associated with inadequate adaptation to and preparedness for extreme weather events and other climate related impacts.

even with limited resources, the gcf also directly engages the private sector in new and innovative ways to mobilize greater private investment, sending an unmistakable signal to global markets the low-emission transition is moving forward. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez Elected into 2017 MLB Hall of Fame

jeff bagwell, tim raines and ivan rodriguez were elected to major league baseball's 2017 hall of fame on wednesday. both vladimir guerrero and trevor hoffman fell just short of the necessary 75% votes for induction.

bagwell played 2,150 games in 15 years for the houston astros. bagwell was a four-time all-star with a career .297 batting average, .408 on-base percentage, 401 homers and 1,401 runs batted in. among 220 hall of famers, he becomes the 50th player to finish his career with one club.

raines, the 1986 national league batting champion, compiled a .294 career average, .385 on-base percentage, was fifth in career stolen bases and a seven-time all-star. raines played 13 of his 23 seasons with the montreal expos, who left canada to become the washington nationals in 2005.

rodriguez, affectionally known as pudge, was a 14-time all-star in 21 seasons with six different teams. rodriguez hit .296 with a .334 on-base percentage, 311 home runs, 1,332 runs batted in and 2,844 hits. he was universally regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in history.   

bagwell said about his induction, "anxiety was very, very high. it's a weird thing to be a hall of famer. i wrote it on a ball tonight. it was kind of crazy, so it was cool." 

raines said, "i think social media played a big role. there are some things that i did that a lot of the guys that's already in the hall of famer didn't actually do. so i think it kind of made them look at me a lot closer and they looked a lot deeper, and i think the more they looked, i think the better it turned out for me."

rodriguez stated, "i've been having trouble sleeping for three days. johnny bench was my favorite player growing up. rodriguez, at age 45, is the youngest current hall member. he displaced pedro martinez as the youngest of the record 74 living hall of fame members. 

President Obama pardons MLB Hall of Famer Willie McCovey for tax evasion

president obama issued a pardon to san francisco giants legend willie mccovey. mccovey was among the 273 commutations and pardons given by the outgoing commander-in-chief on tuesday. obama forgave the hall of famer's 1995 conviction on tax evasion charges.

mccovey, along with los angeles dodgers slugger duke snider, admitted to knowingly failing to report $70,000. the money was earned by signing autographs and participating in memorabilia shows between 1988 and 1990. he was sentenced in 1996 to two years of probation, and fined $5,000.

the personable left-hander's illustrious career began in 1959 - the second year the giants played in san francisco. he spent 18 years with the giants, and hit 521 home runs over a 22-year period. mccovey was selected into the hall of fame in 1986.

mccovey celebrated his 79th birthday on january 10. mccovey has endured a serious of health issues in recent years related to orthopedic procedures. in 2014, he was hospitalized in order to treat a serious infection.