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.

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. 


Thursday, January 05, 2017

Vermont Governor Pardons 192 people convicted of minor drug offenses

virginia govenor peter shumlin on tuesday pardoned 192 people convicted of minor drug offenses on his final days in office. last month, shumlin invited people convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana (before the state decriminalized it in 2013) to apply for pardons.

"a minor marijuana possession charge should be not an anchor that holds back an individual from getting a good job or going about their life. while attitudes and laws about marijuana use are rapidly changing, there is still a harmful stigma associated with it," shumlin remarked.

shumlin added, "my hope was to help as many individuals as i could  overcome that stigma and the very real struggles that too often go along with it. vermont should follow the many states that are legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana and put to an end the incredible failure that is the war on drugs."    

additionally, shumlin issued 10 pardons om saturday for people convicted of various felonies and misdemeanors, including the son of former vice presidential nominee geraldine ferraro, and the son of former u.s. representative richard mallary.

since the christmas day deadline to apply for marijuana pardons, shumlin's staff has been doing background checks on those who applied. but anyone with a violent criminal history will not be eligible to receive a pardon. during his six years in office, shumlin issued 208 pardons - more than any other governor in vermont history.    

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2017 NFL Pro Bowl Roster

selections for the 2017 nfl pro bowl are listed below:

afc offense starters
quarterback                                 tom brady, new england patriots
running back                               leveon bell, pittsburgh steelers
fullback                                        kyle juszcyzyk, baltimore ravens
wide receiver                               antonio brown, pittsburgh steelers
                                                     amari cooper, oakland raiders
tight end                                       travis kelce, kansas city chiefs
center                                           rodney hudson, oakland raiders
guard                                           marshall yanda, baltimore ravens
                                                     kelechi osemele, oakland raiders                                               
tackle                                           joe thomas, cleveland browns
                                                    donald penn, oakland raiders

afc offense reserves
quarterback                                 derek carr, oakland raiders
                                                    ben roethlisberger, pittsburgh steelers
running back                               lesean mccoy, buffalo bills
                                                    demarco murray, tennessee titans
wide receiver                              a.j. green, cincinnati bengals
                                                    t.y. hilton, indianapolis colts
tight end                                      delanie walker, tennessee titans
center                                          maurice pouncey, pittsburgh steelers
guard                                           david decastro, pittsburgh steelers
tackle                                           taylor lewan, tennessee titans

afc defense reserves
defensive end                               khalil mack, oakland raiders
                                                     cameron wake, miami dolphins
interior lineman                           geno atkins, cincinnati bengals
                                                     ndamukong suh, miami dolphins
outside linebacker                       von miller, denver broncos
                                                     lorenzo alexander, buffalo bills
inside/middle linebacker             donta hightower, new england patriots
cornerback                                   marcus peters, kansas city chiefs
                                                     aqib talib, denver broncos
free safety                                    devin mccourty, new england patriots
strong safety                                eric berry, kansas city chiefs

afc special teams
punter                                          pat mcafee, indianapolis colts
kicker                                           justin tucker, baltimore ravens
return specialist                          tyreek hill, kansas city chiefs
special teamer                            matthew slater, new england patriots

nfc offense starters
quarterback                                matt ryan, atlanta falcons
running back                              ezekiel elliott, dallas cowboys
fullback                                      mike tolbert, carolina panthers
wide receiver                              odell beckham, jr., new york giants
                                                    julio jones, atlanta falcons
tight end                                     greg olsen, carolina panthers
center                                         travis frederick, dallas cowboys
guard                                          zack martin, dallas cowboys
                                                   brandon scherff, washington redskins
tackle                                          tyron smith, dallas cowboys
                                                    trent williams, washington redskins

nfc defense starters
defensive end                              cliff avril, seattle seahawks
                                                    everson griffen, minnesota vikings
interior lineman                          aaron donald, los angeles rams
                                                    gerald mccoy, tampa bay buccaneers
outside linebacker                       vic beasley, atlanta falcons
                                                    ryan kerrigan, washington redskins
inside/middle linebacker             bobby wagner, seattle seahawks
cornerback                                  janoris jenkins, new york giants
                                                    patrick petersen, arizona cardinals
free safety                                    harrison smith, minnesota vikings
strong safety                                landon collins, new york giants

nfc offense reserves
quarterback                                 dak prescott, dallas cowboys
                                                     aaron rogers, green bay packers
running back                                david johnson, arizona cardinals
                                                     devonta freeman, atlanta falcons
wide receiver                                mike evans, tampa bay buccaneers
                                                     larry fitzgerald, arizona cardinals
tight end                                       jordan reed, washington redskins
center                                           alex mack, atlanta falcons
guard                                            t.j. lang, green bay packers
tackle                                            jaosn peters, philadelphia eagles

nfc defense reserves
defensive end                               michael bennett, seattle seahawks
interior lineman                           fletcher cox, philadelphia eagles
outside linebacker                       thomas davis, carolina panthers
inside/middle linebacker             luke kuechly, carolina panthers
cornerback                                   xavier rhodes, minnesota vikings
                                                     richard sherman, seattle seahawks
free safety                                    ha ha clinton-dix, green bay packers

nfc special teams
punter                                          johnny hekker, los angeles rams
kicker                                           matt bryant, atlanta falcons
return specialist                           cordarrelle patterson, minnesota vikings
special teamer                             dwayne harris, new york giants                                                    

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2017

the rock & roll hall of fame announced six artists from the ballot are included in the performer category and one individual is recognized with an award for musical excellence.

performance category:
joan baez
electric light orchestra
pearl jam
tupac shakur

musical excellence:
nile rodgers

artists are eligible for inclusion in the rock & roll hall of fame 25 years after the release of their first recording. the 2017 rock & roll hall of fame performer inductees were chosen by more than 900 voters, as well as the aggregate results of the rock & roll hall of fame's online fan vote.

the top five artists from the fan vote comprised the fans' ballot that was tallied alongside the other ballots to determine the 2017 inductees. four of the winners of the fans' ballot (electric light orchestra, journey, pearl jam and yes) will be inducted as performers in 2017.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

94 State Prisons are projected to close

the sentencing project has released a new report, written by nicole d. porter, director of advocacy, entitled repurposing: new beginnings for closed prisons. porter found 22 states have eliminated or are on pace to eliminate about 48,000 prison beds in state prisons and juvenile facilities.

the opportunity to downsize prison bed space has been spurred by declines in state prison populations, as well as increasing challenges for managing older facilities. reduced capacity has created the opportunity to repurpose closed prisons for various reasons. 

the report has tracked announced closures of prisons since 2011. porter learned states have reduced their corrections costs by an estimated $333 million and have developed a wide range of ways - some profitable and others community-centered - to repurpose prison buildings and facilities.

other prison conversions taking place, include:

a medium-security state prison in new york's staten island was sold to a company investing $20 million into the creation of a movie studio. this investment is projected to create about 1,500 jobs over a five-year period.

brushy mountain state penitentiary in tennessee is becoming a distillery, restaurant and tourist facility which offers camp grounds and horse trails. the maximum security prison once held james earl ray, who assassinated rev. dr. martin luther king, jr in 1968.

city commissioners in gainesville, florida converted a close prison into a nonprofit one-stop homeless center which offers job training.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Marijuana Policy Reforms on Election Day

california, maine, massachusetts and nevada voted on election day to end marijuana prohibition. arkansas, florida and north dakota adopted medical marijuana laws. 

montana approved an initiative to re-establish patients' access to medical marijuana providers and improve its existing medical marijuana law.

the only dim spot is arizona, where the legalization initiative is currently losing 48% to 52%, albeit\ with tens of thousands of additional ballots to be counted. the measure is likely to lose when the counting ends in nine days.

the number of states where marijuana is legal for adults doubled - from four to eight - and the first two states in the south made marijuana legal.     

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Virginia registers 70,000 people with felony convictions to vote

about 70,000 people with prior felony convictions have been registered to vote in virginia. the state supreme court previously ruled governor terry mcauliffe could only restore voting rights on a case-by-case basis.

tammie hagen, a formerly incarcerated person working for the new virginia majority, was one of many advocates trying to help people with felony convictions get their rights restored through gubernatorial clemency. they sought to register people before the october 17 deadline.

hagen estimates she (alone) registered 600-800 people in virginia, and submitted "several hundred requests" for voting rights registration to the governor's office. hagen, 51, said, "nothing can stand in the way of this mission. this is about democracy." 

about 13,000 former offenders registered to vote when mcauliffe first attempted to automatically clear them. but the court disenfranchised them (again) when they ruled the governor's actions were unconstitutional. 

groups such as new virginia majority are scrambling to find suitable candidates for gubernatorial clemency. their effort is as much about overcoming weary cynicism as getting paperwork to the governor's office in a timely fashion.