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2009 Stimulus: Changing the landscape of the Inland Empire

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Half or more of Native Americans, Latinos and whites surveyed think the U.S. economy is on the “wrong track,” while African Americans and Asian Americans were more confident in the government’s handling of the economy.

Despite the gloomy perspectives, the poll found a sunnier outlook for the near future, with 66 percent of all those surveyed rating themselves as “optimistic” about their own finances in 2010.

The poll tried to gauge Americans’ first-hand experience with stimulus-funded programs at the state and local level. Little more than a third of Latino, Asian-American and white respondents were aware stimulus funds helped save the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters in their communities. Fifty-two percent of black and 41 percent of Native American respondents were aware as well.

More than half of Blacks and Native Americans were also aware of stimulus-funded projects in their communities, such as construction of roads, ports, bridges and tunnels. More than 40 percent of Asian Americans and whites surveyed and just 30 percent of Latinos knew of such improvements.

On the other hand, just a quarter of all those polled knew about “green jobs” having been created in their communities even though the stimulus includes a large investment in creation of such environmentally related jobs.

Perhaps the biggest problem revealed by the survey was in what it showed about the stimulus’s impact on small businesses, which are a traditional source of employment and neighborhood stability. Although the Small Business Administration has stimulus funding to bolster debt-ridden enterprises, roughly three-quarters or more of those surveyed from all ethnic and racial groups said they were unaware of any small business in their communities benefiting from a SBA loan.

“Our poll shows the Obama administration has not done a good job of informing Americans about the economic opportunities that currently exist because of the stimulus package,” said NAM Executive Director Sandy Close. “The Recovery Act has made billions of dollars available for extended unemployment benefits and health insurance for laid off workers. It has appropriated money for small businesses and arts organizations. It has prevented thousands of teachers from being laid off and kept firehouses from closing. Our poll shows that across the racial and ethnic spectrum most Americans remain unaware of the actual impact on their communities.”

The survey was conducted by Bendixen & Associates and was based on telephone interviews with 1,000 individuals comprising a representative sample of U.S. residents.

Over the next few months follow Linnie Frank Bailey’s stimulus news stories in The Black Voice News.

Volunteers Sought for La Sierra Senior Program

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Your skills, knowledge and life experience are a valuable resource. The City of Riverside Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department is seeking volunteers interested in becoming part of a community service project designed to improve the quality of life for senior residents. The new La Sierra Senior Center is seeking individuals to lead a variety of recreational activities, teach life long learning classes assist with resource referral programs and assist with special events.

Activities and classes at the new La Sierra Senior Center are in the planning phase and there are many diverse opportunities for individuals to become involved. If you have the passion, energy and enthusiasm, you can make things happen in your community.

The only limit is your imagination!

Volunteers and operating hours of the facility will be Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Individuals who wish to volunteer or seek additional information are encouraged to contact Mike Mitchell as (951) 826- 2031 or email mpmitchell@riversideca.gov.

Inland Empire'€™s Needy Families Come Together To Give Thanks

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This holiday season the San Bernardino and Riverside Salvation Army Corps both plan Thanksgiving dinners to help the needy families of the Inland Empire.

The San Bernardino Corps will serve dinner from 11 am to 2 pm on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, at its Corps headquarters building, 746 W. Fifth St.

“We’re serving a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, vegetables and pie,” said Capt. Nancy Ball, co-director of the San Bernardino Corps.

San Bernardino County Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales has donated 10 of the turkeys, although it could use more, as the crowd can typically go through 20 turkeys and 20 sliced hams. The Inland Empire Job Corps is donating 300 pies created by its culinary students – 100 pumpkin, 100 apple and 100 cherry.

The Riverside Thanksgiving dinner takes place Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Most of the food for this event will come through donations the Riverside Corps acquires via KOLA radio station’s “Fill the Van” event, which took place Friday, Nov. 20.

The annual Thanksgiving meals bring in hundreds of families and individuals who do not have the means to provide themselves a Thanksgiving dinner.

People come from all parts of the Inland Empire for the celebrations.

The San Bernardino event alone has served close to 900 people in one year.

At both Corps, the hungry families are joined by hundreds of volunteers for the day who help prepare the food and serve meals to the families. An estimated 125 volunteers helped the San Bernardino Corps in 2008.

“Thanksgiving should be a special day for everyone not just for those who can afford it,” says Capt. Ball.

To receive information about the dates and times for the dinners at other corps besides San Bernardino and Riverside, or to volunteer, give them a call at 1800-SAL-ARMY or 1-800-725-2769.

Sacred Sistahs To Hold Annual Walk-A-Thon Nov. 21

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Sacred Sistahs, Inc. will hold its 2nd Annual Walk-A-Thon on Saturday, November 21, 2009 at Redhill Community Park in Rancho Cucamonga, CA located at 7484 Vineyard Avenue.

Participants will meet at the picnic area beginning at 8:00 a.m. and begin the 5-Kilometer walk at 8:30 a.m. The theme for this year’s walk is “Getting Fit for Fall”. This year’s walk precedes Thanksgiving in an effort to get a head start on walking off some calories. All proceeds from this event will benefit designated schools in Ghana, West Africa.

The $25 donation fee will include a t-shirt. For more information about the walk, please call us at (909) 910-7564, or go to the following website to register http://www.sacredsistahsinc.org/newsevents.html. Sacred Sistahs also held another cycle of its rites of passage program this summer at the Claremont College’s Office of Black Student Affairs. Each participant received certificates of participation for attending the weekend retreat sessions held on Saturday, August 8, 2009 to Sunday, August 9, 2009. Lessons and activities focused on the contributions of African American and African women to the world, history, spiritual and moral development, self concept and relationships with others, leadership development, academic excellence, college preparation, career planning, financial literacy, and fitness, health and nutrition.

This year the girls received a special treat by having received a dance lesson from Kim Gadlin, Office of Black Student Affairs Coordinator of Student Leadership Programs, as well as lessons conducted by members Tonia Causey-Bush, Jenise Earl-Bush and Akua Maat, and volunteers from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Eta Nu Omega Chapter.

Sacred Sistahs, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to empower, serve, and improve the overall health, well-being, spirit, and vitality of African and African American women and children. Our motto is sisters in solidarity teaching and healing our spirit through prayer, empowerment, affirmation, and knowledge.

Sacred Sistahs seeks to improve the overall self concept of women and children so that they will become productive and fully functioning members of world living their best lives and prepared to give the world, and us, their best. For more information on how you can support Sacred Sistahs, Inc. and our programs, please visit our website at www. sacredsistahsinc.org, or contact Dr. Tonia Causey-Bush at (909) 910-7564.

Young Men & Women Enter their Rites of Passage

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Immanuel Praise Fellowship, in partnership with the Tehuti Educational Consortium and JAB Life Skills Foundation, held its first boys Rites-of-Passage and Selfhood Mastery Program that began August 3, 2009 culminating in a closing ceremony and ritual, examination of candidates, and reception on Sunday, November 8, 2009. Four young men received custom-size framed awards, $400 stipends, and an invaluable amount of practical, academic, and spiritual skills and knowledge necessary for selfhood mastery.


Pictured from the left in front are Kilan Alexander Pace, Ulysses Idarp Johnson, Jared Kosey Jones, and Jaren Paul Cyrus,Back row from left Elder A. Majadi, Dr. Joseph Bailey, Rev. Dr. Edward Bush, Nana Dr. Lawson Bush, V, and Rev. Kelvin Simmons.

The program included weekly lessons on African history, critical thinking and problem solving, spirituality, dating, love, and sexuality, and financial literacy. The aforementioned lessons were buttressed on and infused with the larger aim of teaching African American boys about dedication, discipline and work, sacrifice, achievement, and excellence by expanding their knowledge and understanding of self, society, and the Divine. The program was formed and operated on the African concept of Maat which is defined as “love in action.”


Immanuel Praise Fellowship was incorporated in October, 2007 and is committed to empowering God’s people to walk in their Spiritual birthright by teaching and preaching the Word in a thorough and simple manner therefore un-complicating Christ so everyone can experience equal and unlimited access to God. The Tehuti Educational Consortium was created to restore and reaffirm the authority of our students, parents, and educators as full and sovereign participants in the human experience. The JAB Life Skills Foundation was formed to replace self-defeating enslaved mind habits in struggling Black youth with fundamental lifeskills principles in order for them to live honorably and to thrive in American society.

For more information regarding the boys Rites-of-Passage and Selfhood Mastery Program, please contact Pastor LaQuetta Bush-Simmons of Immanuel Praise Fellowship at (909) 428-1558, Nana Dr. Lawson Bush, V of the Tehuti Educational Consortium at (909) 899-4906 or see Dr. Joseph Bailey of JAB Life Skills Foundation at www.jablifeskills.com.

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BVN National News Wire