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Nearly 300 in Attendance to Educate and Prevent Human Trafficking at Ensure Justice Conference

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Costa Mesa – The past weekend's annual Ensure Justice conference was host to nearly 300 attendees, representing law enforcement, political officials, policymakers, faith-based groups, businesses, Orange County community members and students from universities across Southern California. Each year the conference is geared to facilitate emerging networks in human trafficking prevention and create connections across disciplines and regions.

The conference theme, “Why is SHE a slave? went beyond theory and anecdotes. The conference was dedicated to Aubreyanna, 17-year-old Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) victim killed here in Orange County on February 4th. Being face to face with this reality compelled students and attendees to take advantage of every moment of access to our guest experts,” says Sandie Morgan, director for the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University.

During the conference, Stephan Bauman, president and CEO of World Relief, challenged attendees with the possibility of ending slavery with the integration of faith and practice, while survivor advocate, Shyima Hall, stepped up to the microphone with her own powerful survivor’s story. “I got to see them go to justice,” said Hall, after witnessing criminal court charges against the family who held her as a slave in their upscale suburban home. Rev. David Myers, senior advisor to the administer/director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, spoke on “Faith in Action” which focused on building strategic partnerships in educating the community as well as law enforcement on human trafficking in your own neighborhood.

Workshop speakers for the weekend included Amy Hewat, U.S. anti-trafficking specialist for World Relief, Sherri Harris, NETS-OC program director from The Salvation Army, and Nicole Wood, also from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and other top experts in preventing and educating on the subject of human trafficking.

The Global Center for Women and Justice called attendees to study the issues, be a voice and make a difference. “While our conference ended with a call to action to ‘do something’, it was based on carefully researched best practice strategies,” explains Morgan.

The Ensure Justice conference was made possible by the Global Center for Women and Justice board members, the More Priceless Than Diamonds committee, Kéan Coffee, Shine, and Vanguard University.

Save the date for next year’s Ensure Justice conference, being held March 6-7, 2014. The Global Center for Women and Justice will also hold a More Priceless Than Diamonds luncheon at the Balboa Bay Club on September 13, 2014.

To view highlights from the Ensure Justice conference, CLICK HERE, and to learn more about upcoming events, visit gcwj.vanguard.edu

-PRESS RELEASE-

Harlem Globetrotters Bring Summer Clinics To Los Angeles Area July 5 through July 29

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Summer Clinics coached by Globetrotters stars expanding across the country

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their widely popular Summer Clinics – in partnership with fitness club industry leader, 24 Hour Fitness®– to the Los Angeles area for more fun on the court with the only clinics coached by Globetrotters stars.

Each day consists of three separate, two-hour sessions – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“It doesn’t matter what skill level you are, every kid will have a blast at our Summer Clinics,” said Globetrotters star Dizzy Grant. “What could be more fun than to be coached by the Harlem Globetrotters? We bring joy to the game unlike anyone else.”

At the Harlem Globetrotters Summer Clinics, kids will:

  • Spend two fun-filled hours with their friends being coached by Globetrotters stars.
  • Learn more than just the fundamentals, as the Globetrotters emphasize how to be a good teammate on and off the court.
  • Find out just how much fun basketball can be for kids of all skill levels.
  • Leave with an official clinic certificate, personalized nickname and ticket voucher to the Globetrotters’ 2015 North American Tour (valued up to $40).
  • Have a photograph and autograph session at the end of the clinic.

Clinics are open to boys and girls of all skill levels, ages 6-12. The registration price is $69 per two-hour session, but those who register by March 17, 2014, will save $15 per registration. For more information, and to find the nearest clinic, visit www.harlemglobetrotters.com/clinics.

-PRESS RELEASE-

New Study: California Banks Buy Little from Minority-Owned Businesses

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SAN FRANCISCO – California’s largest banks buy few goods and services from minority-owned businesses, reports a new study from The Greenlining Institute, released this morning in San Francisco. In a state where people of color make up 60 percent of the population, banks obtained less than eight percent of the goods and services they procured in 2012 from businesses owned by African Americans, Latinos, Asians or Native Americans.

ESCAPING THE OLD BOY NETWORK: The Banking Industry and Supplier Diversity is the first study to ever examine in detail the degree to which banks with the largest California market share contract with diverse-owned businesses.

”Banks are a key engine of our economy, purchasing over $51 billion in goods and services in 2012,” said Greenlining Institute Economic Equity Director Sasha Werblin. “It should not be considered acceptable that their supplier networks so completely fail to reflect the diversity of California.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • Entrepreneurship is essential to the health of communities of color. Minority business enterprises (MBEs) outpaced the growth of their counterparts between 2002 and 2007. When MBEs do business with major institutions like banks, they generate wealth and create jobs in their communities, but these firms still face challenges breaking through “old boy networks” and obtaining contracts.
  • Banks are major purchasers of goods and services, and thus a huge potential engine of economic activity. In 2012, the participating banks in this report spent over $51.05 billion on goods and services.
  • Nationwide, contracting with minority business enterprises was nominal, with median spending at just 5.96 percent of total contract dollars and ranging from 3.46 percent to 8.37 percent. Bank of America was responsible for nearly half of all total dollars spent with MBEs.
  • California MBE contracting was only slightly better, and pales in comparison to the state’s diverse population. The banks’ 7.72 percent median spending with diverse businesses fails to represent a state that is 60 percent people of color. Only five banks currently track state-specific spending in substantial detail, and many with substantial California market share do not.
  • Currently, no uniform standard exists for how to measure banks' investment in supplier diversity, making "apples to apples" comparisons impossible. The federal Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion should create standard reporting regulations to create transparency and assist the financial sector, advocates and small businesses as they work together to improve opportunities for minority business enterprises.

SEIU to Hold Black History Events in San Francisco

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The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1021 will have 2 Black History Month events in February. The first event will be held on Feb. 27 at the SEIU 1021 office. The event will include food, music and a presentation on the challenges facing San Francisco residents and members.

The organization will also hold an event on March 29, "Wealth and disparities in the Black Community What's Next?".

The event will: Raise awareness of wealth gaps in the Black community, discuss problem solving ideas concerning violence, mass incarceration, workers rights in the workplace, Out-migration report, living wages, create a dialogue and partnership with SEIU 1021 leaders and much more. Board of Supervisors Malia Cohen and David Campos will also be on panels.

This event is open to everyone. RSVP at 1-877-687-1021 or by email brendabarros@rocketmail.com or hopereservation@yahoo.com.

More than 440 Events Planned Throughout California in Honor of "School Choice Week"

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This week is School Choice Week in California and across the country. More than 440 events are planned across the Golden State, in addition to 5,500 events nationwide.

The Week, which is the nation’s largest-ever celebration of educational opportunity, gives students, parents, and teachers in California a chance to raise awareness of the different types of educational options available to families in advance of the 2014-2015 school year. Events across the state will include rallies, school fairs, roundtable discussions, open houses, and parent information sessions.

National School Choice Week spotlights all types of education options for families, including traditional public schools, public magnet schools, charter schools, private schools, online learning and homeschooling.

In addition to raising awareness of school choice options in California, the Week also provides students, parents and teachers with an opportunity to call on leaders in Sacramento to expand access to high-quality education environments for children.

“California families know that when parents have the freedom to choose the best schools for their children, great things happen,” said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week. “Student achievement increases, graduation rates rise, and children are better prepared for real life.”

Said Campanella: “We hope families across the state will use National School Choice Week as an opportunity to learn more about the educational options available to their children, and to begin researching schools for the 2014-2015 school year. If families want to switch schools, January is the time to start the search process.”

The Week officially kicked off at a major rally Saturday night in Houston, Texas. Today, students wearing National School Choice Week’s signature yellow scarves will ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.

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