i am

My photo
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.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Seattle Storm sweep the Washington Mystics to win the 2018 WNBA Title

the seattle storm defeated the washington mystics 98-82 on wednesday to win the 2018 wnba championship in a three-game sweep. seattle all-star forward breanna stewart was named finals most valuable player. their dominant victory was the third career title in franchise history.

stewart averaged over 25 points and six rebounds in the series, and scored 30 points in game three. forward natasha howard, playing in her fourth consecutive wnba finals, provided a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds in game three. guard sue bird finished with 10 points and 10 assists 

the mystics cut an 18-point lead to five in the fourth quarter, but seattle quickly pulled away. "we were up at halftime, but we knew d.c. was going to come back. it was how we countered that when things got close. that's what really separated us again," said stewart. 

stewart, 24, is a dynamic player with an immaculate resume. in high school, she was the national gatorade player of the year, the gatorade female athlete of the year and a mcdonald's all-american. she won four ncaa titles - and four finals mop's - with connecticut. in 2016, she was the # 1 draft pick, rookie of the year and played on the olympic team. in 2018, stewart was named most valuable player and first-team all wnba. 

seattle won 26 games during the regular season, and entered the playoffs as the #1 seed. last year their record was 15-19. but coach dan hughes, in his first year with the storm, was optimistic despite losing their season opener to phoenix, because they won five in a row afterwards. "i think this was our year. all year you could just see the escalation," hughes said.   

bird, an 11-time all-star point guard, anchored seattle to titles in 2004 and 2010. bird, 37, said, "each championship is special in its own way, but this one is probably going to have a different meaning for me. there is probably no comparison to be honest. i didn't know if i'd be playing at this point. our team went through a rebuild and yes, i decided to stay. once we got stewie and jewell, we knew we'd get to the other side, but how do you know you're going to get to the other side this fast?"  

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic Win 2018 US Open Singles Championships

naomi osaka of japan defeated serena williams of the u.s. 6-2, 6-4 on saturday to win the us open women's singles championship at the billie jean national tennis center in new york city. osaka claimed her first career major singles title, and is now ranked #7 in the world.

osaka, 20, is a charming, humble and shy young woman. she was in tears after defeating her childhood idol. "when i was growing up, i did a whole report on her in the third grade. i colored it and everything. i said, i want to be like her," osaka remarked afterwards.

osaka holds dual citizenship. her father is haitian and her mother is japanese. her father introduced her to tennis as a child. he also modeled her athletic journey, ironically, after richard williams - the eccentric, yet visionary father of serena. 

osaka was dominant at the us open. she dropped one set, and lost 34 games. in the final, osaka had six aces, saved five of six break points, broke serena four times and made just 14 unforced errors. in the second set, williams endured a warning, point penalty and game penalty - resulting in major controversy - but osaka thoroughly outplayed serena and earned the biggest win of her life.

novak djokovic of serbia defeated juan martin del potro of argentina 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 on sunday at the billie jean king national tennis center in new york city to win the us open men's singles championship. djokovic ties pete sampras with 14 career major singles titles, which is third most in men's history. 

"i was hoping he was going to be here, but he's not...he's my idol. pete, i love you" djokovic said about sampras. djokovic was also gracious in honoring del potro, a longtime friend and 2009 us open champion whom, like djokovic, suffered major injuries on the comeback trail. "i believe he'll be here again with the championship trophy, i really do," said djokovic. 

djokovic, a former #1 player, sat out the second half of 2017 due to elbow pain which plagued him for more than a year. "when i had the surgery in my elbow earlier this year, i could truly understand what juan martin was going through. difficult times, but you learn through adversity. i try to take the best out of myself in those moments," remarked djokovic.

djokovic, 31, won his second consecutive major title. he defeated kevin anderson of south africa to win his fourth career wimbledon title in july. djokovic also has six australian open titles, three us open titles and one french open title. additionally, he became the only male to win nine atp titles, after his straight-set win over roger federer at the western and southern open in cincinnati.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Five U.S. states reduced their prison population by 14-25% over the last decade

a new report by the sentencing project describes the changes in policy and practice which enabled five states to reduce their prison population between 14-25%. the book, decarceration strategies: how 5 states achieved substantial prison population reductions, shows how these states' prison population reductions outweighs the national average over the last decade.

the five states profiled in the report (connecticut, michigan, mississippi, rhode island and south carolina) were selected for their geographic and political diversity, and can serve as a model for decarceration throughout america. each state has implemented a range of policy reforms, as well as decision-making by stakeholders.

connecticut: prison population declined 25% from 2007-2016. the state focused on reducing young people's contact with the justice system through changing criteria for detention, raising the age of adult jurisdiction from 16 to 18, and reducing school suspensions.

michigan: prison population declined 20% from 2006-2016. the state increased parole grants by expanding capacity of the parole board, and reduced prison recidivism by establishing technical rule violator centers for enhanced programming and services.

mississippi: prison population declined 17.5% from 2008-2016. the state reduced time served in prison by scaling back the "truth in sentencing" policy from 85% time served to 25%, applied changes retroactively, and adopted a risk assessment instrument which contributes to the doubling of the parole approval rate.

rhode island: prison population declined 23% from 2008-2016. the state reduced time served in prison by eliminating mandatory sentenced for drug crimes, and establishing earned time-credits of 10 days per month.

south carolina: prison population declined 14% from 2008-2016. the state reduced parole violator revocations to prison through diversion to alternative sanctions, and reduced prison recidivism for 17 to 25 year-old people through enhanced job-related prison programming and intensive aftercare reentry services.        

Sunday, August 26, 2018

2018 WNBA Year End Awards

listed below are the recipients of the 2018 wnba season awards:

most valuable player - breanna stewart, seattle storm
defensive player of the year - sylvia fowles, minnesota lynx
rookie of the year - a'ja wilson, las vegas aces
sixth woman of the year - jonquel jones, connecticut sun
most improved player - natasha howard, seattle storm
coach of the year - nicki collen, atlanta dream
kim perrot sportswoman of the year - sue bird, seattle storm

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Gentrification increases Quality of Life complaints in NYC

gentrification has increased the quality of life complaints made in two predominantly latino new york city areas, west 136th street in harlem and the bushwick neighborhood of brooklyn. 

buzzfeed news analyzed over 17 million calls made to 311 - a hotline for city residents to report non-emergency matters - and compared this with historical demographic and economic data from the census. 

research shows black and brown people are less likely to use 311 to file complaints. as the white population grew on west 136th street and housing values increased, 311 complaints increased from 130 between 2012 and 2014 to nearly 3,000 between 2015 and 2017: mostly about noise.

newcomers explained they relied on 311 to avoid conflicts with neighbors. reporter lam thuy vo said, "while not every 311 call results in a visit from the cops, officers from the local precinct do respond when they're not handling emergencies."

anthony posada of the legal aid society's community justice unit said these 311 complaints eventually led to an increase in policing within black and brown communities.   

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

International Overdose Awareness Day is August 31

international overdose awareness day takes place august 31. this global event is dedicated to raising awareness of the overdose crisis and the solutions we need to save lives.

drug overdose remains the leading cause of preventable death in the u.s. international overdose awareness day provides an opportunity to affirm the lives of those we have lost while remembering we all have a role to play in helping people live healthier lives.

for almost two decades, the drug policy alliance has been one of the leading advocates for harm reduction policies to significantly decrease preventable overdose deaths caused by drugs in the u.s. 

as a result, the vast majority of states now have "911 good samaritan" laws and some form of access to naloxone - which includes effective policies and meaningful solutions to save countless lives of diverse people across the country.     

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Expanding Voter Registration in California and Illinois Jails

in california, a bill - assembly bill 3115 - to increase voter education in jails recently cleared the senate public safety committee. 

the bill requires jails to partner with at least one organization to provide "both written and verbal information about voting rights upon release from jail, providing affidavits of registration to eligible voters with the completion of the affidavits of registration, and assisting eligible voters in returning the completed voter registration cards to the county election official."

illinois governor bruce rauner is expected to sign a bill requiring every jail in the state to provide voter education and make in-person or absentee voting available to all eligible incarcerated voters.

only eight counties in the state have any voting process for people in pretrial detention. "there is confusion around how election code actually applies to the jail," says jen dean, who runs cook county jail votes, the group who helps facilitate registration and voting in the largest jail in the country. den says, "this bill creates a system of uniformity across the state to make sure there are systems in place so that everybody has access to the ballot."