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, March 15, 2014

Wisconsin's Racial Impact Statement Bill

wisconsin has the highest rate of black male incarceration in the u.s. state lawmakers are proposing legislation to address this. senator nikiya harris and representative sandy pasch have co-sponsored the minority impact statement bill, which requires a legislative committee to prepare a racial impact statement before codifying a new crime, or modifying the criminal penalty for an existing crime.

under the legislation, if the committee concludes a bill has a disparate impact on racial minorities, the bill's author would be required to make amendments or provide a written explanation for advancing the unchanged bill. if successful, wisconsin would join three other states - connecticut, iowa and oregon - to require minority impact statements on criminal laws.

minnesota's sentencing commission electively conducts this analysis. florida and mississippi lawmakers are considering similar bills. recent reports have shown one in eight working age black men in wisconsin were in state prisons or local jails: almost double the national average. although black men constituted less than five percent of dade county's adult male population, they accounted for over 40% of its prison admissions in 2012.

wisconsin also leads the nation in their incarceration of native american men. 7.6% of working age men (or 1 in 13) were in state prisons and local jails in 2010, compared to 3.1% (or 1 in 32) nationally. by contrast, the state's rate of incarceration of white men is similar to the national average, which is 6.7% (or 1 in 15).

in 2010 the u.s. census bureau conducted its decennial count of wisconsin residents. the ten worst states for incarceration of black men showed wisconsin had the highest rate. the other nine states, in respective order, were oklahoma, iowa, pennsylvania, california, indiana, louisiana, texas, colorado and kansas.      

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