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Zeta Phi “Skid” Rho: USC Fraternity Raises Awareness of Homelessnes

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LOS ANGELES – On April 2, 2015, USC students will make 5,000 sandwiches for the homeless and participate in activities to promote initiatives to combat chronic homelessness. The 13th Annual Zeta Phi “Skid” Rho, hosted by the multicultural fraternity, Zeta Phi Rho, partnering with food-tech startup SideChef.

This year, the purpose of the event is to mobilize the entire campus in the effort to raise awareness of homelessness on Skid Row. Since the inception of the event, much has changed but poverty, and homelessness remains an epidemic problem in Skid Row and the world at large.

Zeta Phi “Skid” Rho is the keystone philanthropy event for USC Zeta Phi Rho. The event has evolved from a few brothers of the fraternity making a handful of sandwiches to hundreds of students making thousands each year. Last year, the fraternity worked alongside the USC Special Events Committee to break the world record for “Most Sandwiches Made In One Hour” by making 17,341 sandwiches (which more than tripled the original record of 5,721).

The event will take place at Alumni Park on the USC University Park Campus from 12 to 3 p.m. Students and organizations all over campus are invited to participate. For more information on the event, visit www.sczetas.com/zeta-phi-skid-rho/.

-PRESS RELEASE-

Chuck Washington Becomes First African-American Riverside County Supervisor

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Washington, who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, makes history in the 125 years of Riverside County Board of Supervisors

By Corey Arvin
Staff Writer

Sitting across from Gov. Jerry Brown at the Mission Inn last month, Chuck Washington couldn’t glean where this meeting was headed. Driving home in his car, reflecting back, he “felt less optimistic.” It would be days after his discussion with Brown that the governor’s staff confirmed what Washington had hoped -- that he was Brown’s choice to fill the District 3 seat of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Brown’s appointment of Washington set a precedent for the region, as he is now Riverside County’s first African-American Supervisor in its 125 years of existence.

Since late last year, Washington had been in a free-for-all contest to fill the recently vacated District 3 seat for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, previously held by now-State Senator (R-CA) Jeff Stone.

“Once Jeff got elected, it was just ‘game on’ -- everyone was trying to get the governor's attention,” he said.

Washington had been mulling whether he would run for reelection on the Temecula City Council around the time the District 3 seat was open. Running for Supervisor seemed like a natural fit to Washington. He earned a wide net of supporters in the weeks ahead, backing him for the District 3 seat, including Pechanga, the NAACP Riverside Chapter, and local Service Employees International Union (SEIU), among other key supporters.

Becoming Riverside County Supervisor isn’t the first “first” for Washington. He was also the first African-American Mayor of Temecula, serving in 2007 and 2012. Prior to resigning, he served on the Temecula City Council since 2003. Washington was a pilot for Delta Air Lines from 1987 to 2005 and 2008 to 2014. Before Temecula, he was a member of the Murrieta City Council and served once as Mayor from 1995 to 1999. Washington also served in the U.S. Navy from 1981 to 1987. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from National University.

Washington is no stranger to regional issues, having served previously on the Western Riverside Council of Governments and the regional Economic Development Corporation.

Stone, who has known Washington for several years, was swift to support Washington on his appointment to fill his seat.

“I’m very proud of my former colleague, a well-respected elected official throughout Southwest Riverside County. I’m very proud of him being the first African-American to serve on the board of Supervisors in our 125 year history and I know that Chuck is going to do a fantastic job on behalf of the citizens of our county,” said Stone.

Washington’s previous involvement in regional issues that impact Temecula and adjacent cities attracted Washington to the District 3 seat. Washington says he discovered he genuinely enjoyed the work and viewed the Supervisor seat as an opportunity to partner with cities that need attention to important issues without disrupting their autonomy. One of his first priorities will be preserving and supporting public safety funding in his district, he said.

“A couple of cities in my district have had to cut back on staffing, had to cut back on police and fire... I need to be supportive of their communities and offer whatever assistance they need to keep crime stats down. And they are going to need some help to keep their economies growing,” said Washington.

With his recent appointment, Washington isn’t looking back. In fact, he expressed elation he would be able to continue to serve Temecula and the Southwest Region in his new role -- and he won’t be far from home.

“I have been involved in other agencies, in regional issues and found that I really enjoyed to be more involved in district. I’m going from helping a city of 106,000 people, to a district with 450,000 in a county of about 2.5 million people.”

Washington will remain appointed to the District 3 seat until 2016.

Condoleezza Rice to Keynote Royce's 7th Annual Women's Conference

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On Jan. 28, U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) announced that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver the keynote address at his 7th Annual Women's Conference. The event, held in conjunction with the California State University, Fullerton's (CSUF) Philanthropic Foundation, will take place at CSUF's Titan Student Union Center (800 North State College Boulevard, Fullerton, CA 92831) on Saturday, March 28, 2015.

"Secretary Rice is an accomplished diplomat, scholar, and business leader who is often cited as a role model for women around the world. She has lived a life dedicated to public service, and I'm honored that she will keynote the Women's Conference this year," said Rep. Royce. "I look forward to joining many members of our community as we gather to learn from Secretary Rice's unique insights and life experiences."

Rice is currently a professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

From January 2005-2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001-2005, the first woman to hold the position.

Rice served as Stanford University’s Provost from 1993-1999, during which she was the institution's chief budget and academic officer. As Provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender -- Integrated Training in the Military.

From 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She served as Director; Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs; and, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Women’s Conference, which Rep. Royce has hosted every year since 2009, is a half-day seminar dedicated to giving women the tools and resources necessary to enrich their lives. Past speakers include actress Kristen Bell and former eBay Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman. In addition to the keynote speech, the conference will include breakout sessions on topics suggested by past conference attendees, such as personal finance, healthy living and career advice. Specific breakout session details will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information about Rep. Royce’s annual Women’s Conference, please visit http://royce.house.gov/womensconference/ .

-PRESS RELEASE-

275,000 Students Receive Free Tickets to Academy Award®-Nominated "Selma"

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Los Angeles is one of 12 new cities to join the movement

HOLLYWOOD – Los Angeles has joined the growing movement led by African-American business leaders to raise funds for students across the country to see the Academy Award®-nominated film “SELMA,” expanding the first-of-its-kind campaign to 25 locations nationwide.

Due to the generous contributions by so many of the country’s most prominent African-American business leaders, more than 275,000 middle and high school students across the U.S. will experience the critically acclaimed film for free at participating theaters while supplies last.

The African-American business leaders contributing to the Los Angeles effort are:

Anonymous
Debra Martin Chase, CEO, Martin Chase Productions
Baron Davis, 2-Time NBA All-Star, Emmy nominated producer
John Green, VP and Associate General Counsel, DIRECTV
Robert Jon Hendricks, Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
T. Warren Jackson, Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer, DIRECTV, and Jacqueline Phillips-Jackson, DGA Member
Debra Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, Metropolis IX
Charles King, CEO/Founder, MACRO
Mattie Lawson, President, The MML Group
Norman & Lyn Lear, The Lear Family Foundation
Duane Lyons, Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Dale Mason Cochran, President, Concourse Ventures, Inc.
Dr. Accie Mitchell and Gloria Mitchell
Tendo Nagenda, Senior Vice President, Production, The Walt Disney Studios
Dr. Bob Ross, California Endowment
Nina Shaw, Partner, Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano
Janine Sherman Barrois, Executive Producer, “Criminal Minds”

“We are proud to be a part of this extraordinary effort to bring this poignant and timeless American story to the diverse students of Los Angeles,” said Debra Martin Chase, CEO, Martin Chase Productions and T. Warren Jackson, Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer, DIRECTV, who organized the efforts in Los Angeles.

“It’s important that the civil rights struggle depicted in ‘SELMA’ reach as many young people as possible so that the enduring lessons of the civil rights movement can be harnessed to inspire them to transform their lives and communities. We appreciate the support of the California Endowment, and have enlisted the Constitutional Rights Foundation to work with the schools in creating a broader educational program to insure just that,” said Jackson.

Added Martin Chase, “As a filmmaker, I recognize the transformative power of film; that’s why the overwhelming response to the ‘SELMA’ initiative here in Los Angeles and across the nation is so heartening. It’s a reminder of the importance of voting and civics engagement and demonstrates how anything can be accomplished through creativity and collective effort.”

The participating Los Angeles theaters are:

  • AMC Burbank 16 Burbank
  • AMC Del Amo 18 Torrance
  • Cinemark 18 & XD Westchester
  • Cinemark Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15 & Xtreme Los Angeles
  • Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26 & IMAX Long Beach
  • Pacific Lakewood 16 Lakewood
  • Pacific Winnetka 21 Chatsworth
  • Regal LA Live Stadium 14 Los Angeles

The 12 new locations joining the movement are Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Central Florida/Orlando, Connecticut, Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Montgomery, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, and St. Louis. They follow the lead of those in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sarasota, FL, Washington D.C. and Westchester.

“This was an important opportunity to educate our children about the heroes of the civil rights movement and keep an important legacy intact. I am proud that our community seized the moment,” said Fletcher “Flash” Wiley, Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, who organized the efforts in Boston.

The nationwide efforts are inspired by the success of the program in New York City, in which 27 African-American business leaders created a fund for 27,000 of the city’s 7th, 8th and 9th grade students to see the film for free. Due to the overwhelming demand, the New York City effort sold out in the very first weekend and was expanded to 75,000 tickets.

Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which is distributing “SELMA,” is coordinating the programs with participating theaters in the U.S.  For a list of participating theaters in select cities offering free admission to students during this program and for information on group sales, visit www.SelmaMovie.com/studenttickets

The students who present a current student ID or report card at the box office of any participating theater will receive free admission while tickets last.

To help get the word out about the program, tweet using the hashtag #SelmaForStudents.

Directed by DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., “SELMA” is nominated for Academy Awards® for Best Picture and Best Original Song for “Glory” by Common & John Legend. The film earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Song for “Glory” and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.

Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films present “SELMA.” Produced by Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey, the film is executive produced by Brad Pitt, Cameron McCracken, Diarmuid McKeown, Nik Bower, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes and Nan Morales. The film is written by Paul Webb. “SELMA” is directed by Ava DuVernay.

“SELMA” is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay’s “SELMA” tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as “Annie Lee Cooper.”

“SELMA” is playing in theaters nationwide. To learn more about the film, go to http://www.selmamovie.com

-PRESS RELEASE-

New Report: Former Prisoners Often Don’t Know They Can Vote

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BERKELEY – California permits former state prisoners to vote once they have completed their sentence or parole, but many formerly incarcerated Californians don’t know their rights, a new report from The Greenlining Institute has found. This is particularly important for African American and Latino communities, who make up about 70 percent of the state’s adult male prison population.

The report is based input from formerly incarcerated individuals gathered at small-group community input sessions conducted last year in Los Angeles and San Bernardino.

Nearly two thirds of participants reported having been confused at some point about their ability to vote after a criminal conviction. In particular, many believed they needed to go through some special process to restore their right to vote, which is not the case.

Greenlining also looked at implementation of AB 149, a state law intended to help inform the formerly incarcerated of their voting rights. One way that county probation departments can comply is by posting a link to the California Secretary of State’s Voting Rights Guide for Formerly Incarcerated Californians on their websites. Out of 58 California counties, 35 (60 percent) had such a link on their probation websites, while 23 counties (40 percent) did not. Greenlining’s analysis of web statistics provided by the Secretary of State’s office indicated that these links had resulted in few actual visits to the voting rights guide, suggesting that this method of informing former prisoners is insufficient.

“Formerly incarcerated Californians care about voting and have a lot at stake in our elections,” said report co-author Zainab Badi, Greenlining Institute Claiming Our Democracy fellow. “We should be encouraging them to participate in our democracy as they reintegrate into society, and we need a much more comprehensive system for getting them the information they need to exercise their rights.”

-PRESS RELEASE-

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