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National Black Church Initiative

National Black Church Initiative Blames NGOs, WHO, and the Obama Administration for Poor Respons to Haitian Cholera Epidemic

 

We Can No Longer Stand By While Thousands Are Dying 

 

Rev._Anthony_EvansWashington DC – The National Black Church Initiative, a coalition of 34,000 churches spanning 50 denominations and representing 15.7 million African Americans, is morally outraged at the cholera epidemic killing thousands of Haitians so recently devastated by one of the most destructive earthquakes in history.  This horrible tragedy is wreaking havoc in Haiti and should have been prevented by the one, if not all, of the many organizations and nations who have pledged to protect this fragile nation.

While natural disasters are an unpreventable aspect of life, our response to them is not.  As America has painfully learned through our mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath - decisive, immediate and fully funded support is necessary to minimize casualties, misery and disease.  The governing bodies overseeing Haiti’s rebirth have been careless by allowing such a deadly outbreak to not only infect, but kill, an already overburdened and impoverished people.  Haitians deserve better.

Oxfam, The Red Cross, UNICEF, and Doctors Without Borders are just a few of the 3,000 NGOs reportedly working to address the cholera epidemic in Haiti  and some of them are doing effective, necessary work to combat this highly contagious disease.  However, with the ten billion in relief funds that has been given to these organizations insufficient progress has been made.  Data collected since Haiti’s devastating earthquake three weeks ago show the crisis has inspired Americans to donate more than $600 million to relief efforts, the largest outpouring of American support to any foreign natural disaster in history.  As the United States has been hit with its own economic crises we deserve for our donations to be used as intended – to enact change in the lives of Haitians who so desperately require attention.  These organizations must be held accountable and improve the chaotic care that Haitians are receiving – this epidemic must be curbed before more innocent lives are lost.

The Obama Administration, in addition to the World Health Organization (WHO), have said they will pledge the money necessary to both combat the cholera epidemic and to begin the arduous task of rebuilding homes and reviving a nation ravaged by devastation and destitution.  Sadly, reality is a far grimmer picture than the one talked about in press conferences. The United Nations announced it had received less than 10% of the $164 million in emergency funds it requested to battle the epidemic.  "That's clearly insufficient for an adequate response to the epidemic," U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters Monday in New York.

Rev. Anthony Evans, President of NBCI says, “I am morally outraged that this has happened and that tragedies continue to befall the Haitian people.  These experts that we count on to protect the vulnerable citizens of Haiti have failed us and we must take immediate action.  Millions of dollars have been donated and little progress has been made.  The living conditions for Haitians are deplorable and the state of their government is abysmal.  We want to see progress immediately from the Obama Administration, WHO, and the NGOs.”

The United States pledged $1.15 billion and six months after the earthquake left over 200,000 dead, we had paid nothing, with the money tied up in the congressional appropriations process.  While, logically, the funds could not be freed overnight, NBCI feels that had the Obama Administration expedited our aid response lives could have been saved.  Now, in addition to the incalculable amount of lives lost in the initial tragedy - 1,817 Haitians have died of cholera as of December 12, 2010 according to the Center for Disease Control.  Casualties will undeniably continue to rise, compounding the catastrophe that has befallen this truly pitiable nation. How can such a curable disease kill so many people in this modern age?


About NBCI

The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 African American and Latino churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public. The National Black Church Initiative’s methodology is utilizing faith and sound health science. The National Black Church Initiative's purpose is to partner with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work. Visit our website at www.naltblackchurch.com.  

 
Southern Poverty Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit
Southern Poverty Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit Targeting Use of Mace on Birmingham Schoolchildren
 
Congressional Civil Rights Scorecard Released

Congressional Civil Rights Scorecard Released: How Did Your Member of Congress Measure Up?

For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Westbrook Simpson, 202.466.2061, simpson@civilrights.org
October 28, 2010

civil rigthts report cardWASHINGTON  – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights today released vote ratings for every member of the 111th Congress. The Voting Record, which has been published for every Congress since 1969, reflects positions taken by every senator and representative on the legislative priorities of The Leadership Conference and its 200 coalition members.

Members of Congress were graded on forty House and Senate votes addressing hate crimes, economic recovery, fair pay for women, the repeal of "don't ask ,don't tell", health care, fair sentencing, DC voting rights, key judicial confirmations, and other coalition priorities.

Overall, the ratings show that 217 House members and 50 senators – or 48 percent of Congress – supported The Leadership Conference's priorities on 90 percent or more of the votes. The ratings also show that 136 House members and 32 senators – or 35 percent of Congress – supported The Leadership Conference's position on only 10 percent or fewer of the votes. The Leadership Conference's Voting Record is neither an endorsement nor condemnation of any member of Congress.

The publication of the Voting Record is accompanied by the Fall 2010 edition of the Civil Rights Monitor, a narrative and journalistic review of the year's civil and human rights developments. This edition reviews the state of play on immigration reform, crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparities, LGBT civil rights, the jobs crisis, and other significant issues.

"This is a Congress that will be remembered for making tremendous progress on a number of issues important to the civil and human rights community, but also one that could have accomplished so much more, were it not for an unprecedented increase in the use of filibusters and other tactics to stop important legislation and highly qualified executive and judicial nominees," said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

"When Congress returns to work in November, we are hopeful that senators and representatives will seize the opportunity to build a positive legacy by filling dozens of critical federal judgeships, passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and the DREAM Act, and strengthening our military by repealing the discriminatory and counterproductive 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," Henderson said.

To find out how your Representative and Senator voted, view the Voting Record on The Leadership Conference's website at http://www.civilrights.org/advocacy/voting/2010/leadership-conference-2010-voting-record.pdf.

The Civil Rights Monitor can be downloaded from The Leadership Conference's website at http://www.civilrights.org/monitor/fall-2010/civil-rights-monitor-2010.pdf.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

 
Time Magazine Names NAACP President to “40 Under 40” List
Time Magazine Names NAACP President to “40 Under 40” List

Ben_Jealous(NAACP.org) - NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous has been selected as one of TIME’s “40 Under 40 - Rising Stars of U.S. Politics.” Here’s what they had to say:

The youngest-ever leader of the civil rights organization, Jealous, 37, is steering the NAACP through an era marked by both the election of the first African-American President and rising racial tension, including a spat between the Tea Party movement and Jealous himself. He helped organize a Washington rally this month for a coalition of progressive groups he calls "the antidote" to the Tea Party.

To read Time's interview with President Jealous, please visit this link.

View the full list here: www.time.com/40under40


 



 

 
Tobacco Giants in Push to Increase Cigarette Sales to Africans
Special to the Trice Edney Wire from GIN

Smoking_Child(GIN) -  As anti-smoking campaigns backed by higher taxes take hold in U.S. cities and around the world, “big tobacco” has turned its eye toward Africa.
Tobacco consumption will double in the next 12 to 13 years in sub-Saharan Africa, predicts Evan Blecher, a South African economist with the American Cancer Society, without major policy interventions.
“As income rises, so does tobacco consumption (nearly on a one-to-one basis) and developing countries are growing rapidly, China and India are growing at more than 8 percent a year and the average economic growth in Africa is 5 percent a year.”
Still, an anti-smoking movement is pushing back. Kenya and Niger have enforced national smoke-free policies, and South Africa, which has had smoke-free laws on the books since March 2007, “continues to play an important role in the region, demonstrating that smoke-free laws can work in Africa”, notes the  report:  Global Voices: Rebutting the Tobacco Industry, Winning Smokefree Air.
This week, activists with the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria plan to release a report from the tobacco industry watchdog-Corporate Accountability International - presenting new evidence of persistent efforts by the tobacco industry to obstruct the FCTC on the African continent.
‘Protecting Against Tobacco Industry Interference’ will be released at this week’s World Health Organization's Convention on Tobacco Control in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit is set to go to trial in a Boston court, accusing Lorillard Tobacco Co. of enticing black children to become smokers by handing out free samples in urban neighborhoods.
The plaintiff, Willie Evans, alleges that the firm used an illegal marketing strategy to get his mother to begin smoking Newport cigarettes at age 9, which led to a lifelong addiction and her death to cancer.
The giveaways in urban neighborhoods were "designed to attract African-American children and teenagers and to place cigarettes in their hands," the lawsuit states. The company admits to the free handouts but denies it ever offered them to children in a playground.
 
Alabama Case Threatens ‘Heart’ of Voting Rights Act
NAACP LDF Prepares to Fight Constitutional Challenge
Special to Trice Edney Wire from the Defenders Online

Voting_Rights_Sign(New York) – Yesterday the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF filed a brief in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, a case challenging the constitutionality of two core provisions of the Voting Rights Act. The law requires jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to have voting changes reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice or D.C. District Court to ensure they are free from discrimination.
LDF’s brief asks the District Court for the District of Columbia to deny Alabama’s motion for summary judgment –which seeks to have the Section 5 preclearance provision declared unconstitutional based on recycled arguments that have been rejected previously. Instead, LDF asks the court to grant its motion for summary judgment on the grounds that a detailed Congressional record demonstrates that ongoing discrimination remains pervasive in those states and jurisdictions around the country where Section 5 applies.
Read more...
 
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