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Rights Groups Call for Congress to Act on the Voting

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By Freddie Allen
NNPA Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – One year after the United States Supreme Court gutted a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, “the right to vote for all is under grave threat,” says Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of nearly 200 civil and human rights organizations.

Last summer, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down section 4 of the VRA, a key provision of the law that defined which states and jurisdictions with histories of voter discrimination had to pre-clear any changes to voting rules with the Department of Justice or a federal court.

After the ruling, Republican lawmakers in Texas, North Carolina and other states rushed to pass restrictive voter ID laws that often block poor and Black voters from the ballot box. Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Justice, and civil rights groups countered by filing lawsuits in a number of states across the country.

During a press conference highlighting the one-year anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder case, Henderson  said, “Voting is the language of American democracy: if you don’t vote, you don’t count.”

Henderson added: “Discrimination at the ballot box is unfortunately still alive and well across America.”

A study by the Leadership Conference on recent voting rights violations said, “Between 2000 and June 2013, there were 148 Section 5 objections or other Voting Rights Act violations recorded across 29 states. Texas had the most with 30.”

The report also said that the abuses ranged “from an instance in Kilmi­chael, Mississippi, when the town cancelled a general election for the office of mayor and board of alderman after Blacks had come a majority of the registered voters, to the closure of polling places in heavily minority areas.”

Because local elections operate outside of the national media spotlight, voting rights transgressions often receive little attention, until it’s too late. Then voters and non-profit advocacy groups with limited resources are forced to file costly lawsuits and wait. Last summer’s Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the preclearance coverage formula of the VRA made it more difficult for those groups to seek redress.

Testifying before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the one-year anniversary of the Shelby County v. Holder decision, Sherrilyn Ifill,  president and director-counsel NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. said that many discriminatory changes have been enacted, but have gone undetected or unchallenged.

“Some have said that other provisions of the Voting Rights Act are sufficient to deal with discrimination in voting. This is also not true. Litigation is costly, time-consuming, and can only address voting discrimination after it has gone into effect and after the democratic process has been besmirched with the taint of discrimination,” said Ifill. “Moreover, even the assortment of civil rights law organizations that, like my own, are committed to representing voters in such cases, could not keep up with litigating the litany of changes that have been unleashed in just the first year after the Shelby County decision.”

In January, a bipartisan group of Washington lawmakers accepted the Supreme Court’s challenge to update the VRA, by introducing the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014.

While the proposed VRAA covers states with five  violations in 15 years and jurisdictions that show continuous low minority turnout and enhances Department of Justice’s power to monitor elections, it only requires Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi to “pre-clear” changes to voting laws. Voters’ rights advocates have said that North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Florida should also be covered. The bill also goes soft on restrictive voter ID laws, installing a special rule that separates voter ID laws from other discriminatory practices.

Henderson said that it’s time for Congress to pass modern, 21st century protections found in the VRAA to combat documented discrimination and protect the fundamental right to vote for all.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, called on Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to “do the right thing” and call for a vote on the Voting Rights Amendment Act.

Although the bill isn’t perfect, most voters’ rights advocates and civil rights groups agree that headed into the 2014 midterm elections, the VRAA is better than nothing.

According to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice, “In 2013 and 2014, at least 10 of the 15 states that had been covered in whole or in part by Section 5 introduced new restrictive legislation that would make it harder for minority voters to cast a ballot. These have passed in two states: Virginia (stricter photo ID requirement and increased restrictions on third-party voter registration) and North Carolina,” stated the report. “ Further, seven other formerly covered states also passed restrictive legislation in 2011 and 2012, prior to the Shelby County decision.”

Lorraine Miller, the interim president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said that her group plans to engage members of Congress and call for House hearings on the VRAA, enlist registered voters to help first-time and elderly voters securing all required documents and identification necessary to vote, work with faith leaders to educate their congregations about voting, and deploy 2.5 million digital activists to support unfettered access to the polls.

“We must act with renewed urgency in advancing the VRAA through the congressional process,” said Lorraine Miller, the interim president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “The looming risk of voter disenfranchisement threatens our democracy.”

Miller added: “Failure to advance this legislation gives a free pass to voter discrimination.”

Martin and Coretta King Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

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By Freddie Allen
NNPA Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – During a recent ceremony on Capitol Hill, lawmakers from the United States Senate and House of Representatives celebrated the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King with the Congressional Gold Medal.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 did more than help end discrimination in America,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio). “The Civil Rights Act established that legal discrimination would no longer be a barrier to what one could achieve; but that achievement should be solely determined by one’s ability and ambition.”

Fudge added that Dr. King and President Lyndon B. Johnson exemplify the principles on which our nation was founded.

Rep. John Lewis, former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC),  called Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, his brother and sister and said that they taught civil rights activists of the day the way of peace, the way of love, and the way of nonviolence.

“Through their actions, their speeches, and their writings they helped create the climate for the passage of the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” said Lewis, the last living speaker from the historic 1963 March on Washington.

Lewis also said that without the leadership of President Lyndon Johnson, there would be no Barack Obama as president of the United States.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) sponsored the legislation that honored the Kings with the Congressional Gold Medal and called on lawmakers to work together to ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans.

“If the Reverend and Mrs. King could speak to us now, if our predecessors who passed the Civil Rights Act could speak to us now, would they not challenge us to come together across lines of party and geography in a great cause?” asked Levin. “Would they not encourage us, for example, to pass legislation restoring the protections of the Voting Rights Act?”

Fudge agreed.

“The Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 established equal opportunity and equal protection under the law for every American. Together we must protect it,” said Fudge. “We must fulfill the promise of the Civil Rights Act by ensuring every American’s right to vote is protected. Let’s pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014.”

Lonnie Bunch III, the director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, where the medal will be housed, said that he was humbled and honored to help preserve the legacy of the Kings.

“As a result of their sacrifices and their commitment to a fairer America, many of us have experienced possibilities once unimaginable, said Bunch.

Bunch continued: “There is nothing more powerful than a people, than a nation, that is steeped in its history and there are few things as noble as honoring all of our ancestors by remembering [them]. With the acquisition of this medal, the Smithsonian will ensure that as long as there is an America the courage the impact and the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King will be honored, preserved and remembered.”

Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King, and Bernice A. King accepted the award on behalf of their deceased parents.

The King siblings have sparred publicly in recent years over their father’s documents, including his Bible and his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal.  Martin III and Dexter sued Bernice to force her to relinquish the Bible and peace prize medal. The King children have also drawn criticism for reaping millions by licensing their father’s seminal “I have a Dream” speech.

None of the King siblings spoke during the ceremony.

In an opinion piece for “The Hill,” a newspaper focused on Congress, Martin Luther King III said that Americans should be doing more than simply memorializing his parents and their work.

“Instead of recalling the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts that gave this nation its long-promised ‘new birth of freedom,’ why are we not further expanding civil rights and voter participation in this country?” wrote Martin III. “There is no denying that we have made great strides in the 50 years since the Civil Rights Act. This ought to give pause to those who assert that no federal law ever did any good. That is why I hope that by next summer, when we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Congress will have worked with me in seeking federal legislation to make it easier for every citizen to vote.”

Climate Change Can Change One's Well-Being

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By Jazelle Hunt
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – For most of the nearly 30 years since  Dr. Nicole Brodie’s asthma diagnosis, the athlete and Army veteran has been able to maintain an uninterrupted life, continuing to teach elementary school, coach a children’s team, and remain active. She was partly able to do this by moving her family from New York State to Atlanta for the warmer climate.

“When I arrived in Atlanta, my asthma was controlled with just [an] albuterol [inhaler] as needed,” she said at a panel event last week. “But in the last 10 to 15 years, I have had to be on oral steroids…I’ve increased to daily Allegra [allergy pill] and nasal sprays. And I keep a Benadryl on me at all times. I have to take four-to-five pills a day to manage my symptoms.”

And three weeks ago, she found herself in the hospital for an emergency intervention. The heat index had risen too quickly, causing her lungs to fall to 75 percent capacity.

The issue of climate change is often discussed in terms of failing infrastructure, energy squabbles, weather disasters, and ecological concerns. But a mounting body of research is showing that individual and communal wellness is also at stake; and communities of color tend to be some of the hardest hit.

“The theories are over. We needed an insurance policy, and now it’s time to cash in,” Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association said at a press conference to release the report. “For years we’ve debated if [climate change] is happening, but we are now seeing it in patients.”

Two reports released last week examined how the effects of climate change can deeply affect physical and psychological health, on both individual and communal levels. (The studies’ “effects of climate change” referred to trends in extreme weather events, food and water shortages, poor air quality, etc.).

The first report is a survey of 284 physicians of color across 33 states on their experience treating people suffering as a direct or indirect result of climate change. The survey was sponsored by the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communications (4C Program), and the National Medical Association (the largest and oldest professional organization of African American physicians).

In the survey, 61 percent of physicians reported that climate change is affecting the health of their patients a great deal or a moderate amount, and 88 percent have experienced climate change effects outside of their role as physicians.

The most common climate-change related illnesses doctors were seeing in their patients, with 88 respondents seeing each of these trends, were injuries because of severe weather (such as back damage from shoveling after major snowfall), and illness aggravated by air pollution (such as COPD, asthma, and pneumonia). More than half the doctors also reported increases in treating waterborne and vector-borne illnesses (transmitted by insects or microorganisms, often stirred up by heavy rains and flooding).

In the case of asthma, African Americans already disproportionately suffer from this condition. According to the Office of Minority Health, In 2011 African Americans were 20 percent more likely than Whites to have asthma and three times as likely to die from it. Add the fact that communities of color and low-income communities tend to be situated in polluted areas, and the stage is set for disaster.

“When I was working in emergency medicine, I saw lots of uninsured people, and many had done every home trick they could to stave off [an asthma] attack,” said Dr. Benjamin. “And then they still had to wait because they had no insurance.”

These physical stressors are also taking a psychological toll, according to another report. “Beyond Storms & Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change” explores the mental, physical, and community health impacts of the effects of climate change. This compilation of existing research and expert analysis from climate change solutions nonprofit, ecoAmerica, and the American Psychological Association, finds that Americans will increasingly suffer mental health impacts at the hands of climate change.

“The impacts of climate change on human psychology and well-being arise through two main pathways,” the report reads. “Some impacts will arise from the direct physical impacts of climate change, while others will arise as a result of climate change’s more indirect impacts on human systems and infrastructure.”

The report offers several studies involving Hurricane Katrina victims as an example of a direct and severe hit to mental wellness resulting from climate change. For years after the storm, many survivors experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, “complicated grief,” and increased domestic abuse.

Indirect, or gradual impacts are more difficult to quantify due to a dearth of research. In one example, the study details a loss of personal or occupational identity after losing possessions in weather events, wildfires, and floods, or being unable to continue lifelong, sometimes generational occupations due to environmental changes (such as oceanic changes that destroy shrimping families’ livelihoods). In another example, the study discusses the relationship between rising temperatures and community aggression that has been well documented, particularly in Black communities.

Both reports find that women (particularly mothers), children, the elderly, and low-income families are the most vulnerable to climate change effects. They also both outline suggestions for people and communities to guard themselves against the adverse effects.

Dr. Christie Manning, co-author of the second report and visiting assistant professor of Environmental Studies at Macalester College, asserts that strong neighborhood networks and an emergency plan set in advance are the greatest defenses, for example.

“At the national level we see a lot of stalling and stalemate, but at the local and city level they realize this is something people need to be prepared for,” she explains. “Cities are seeing the infrastructure costs. Municipalities are really engaged in this idea of being prepared, and resilient.”

The good news is that most communities are bracing for impact by beefing up support services. In the beginning of May, The White House released the Third Annual Climate Assessment, and extensively reviewed report, created by a team of more than 300 experts, and guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee. Almost all science professionals have come to the same conclusion as the report: that climate change is affecting this generation now, and that most Americans are feeling the changes.

“Not a lot of people know a climate scientist, so when you say 98 percent of climate scientists say this is happening…it might not mean much to you,” said Dr. Mona Sarfaty, director of the 4C Program at George Mason. “But everybody knows a doctor.”

NNPA Presents Willie Brown with Legacy Award

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PORTLAND, Oregon (NNPA) – Former San Francisco mayor and Democratic powerbroker  Willie Brown received the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) prestigious  Legacy Award last week for his distinguished public service.

The award was presented to Brown at the NNPA’s annual convention here.

After recounting his days as a paperboy for the Bay area’ s Sun-Reporter,  Brown said, “Your role in the African American community is unparalleled.”

He said today, as in the past, Black readers rely on the Black Press more than White-owned publications. He said discussions in local barber and beauty shops center on what was published in that week’s Black newspapers.

“They don’t read the other papers first – they don’t believe them,” said Brown, who served 15 years as speaker of the California Assembly before serving as mayor. “You represent the source of inspiration, the sense of accuracy.”

Even though he is out of office, Brown is helping avert a transit strike in San Francisco and returned there shortly after accepting the award.

“Mayor Willie Brown’s name is synonymous with excellence,” NNPA Chairman Cloves Campbell, publisher of the Arizona Informant, said prior to the ceremony. “He spent three decades in the California State Assembly – half of that time as speaker – forging coalitions and working tirelessly on behalf of Blacks and other disadvantaged groups.”

Born in the small East Texas town of Mineola in 1934 during the Jim Crow era, Brown moved to California at the age of 17 to live with an uncle. He worked his way through San Francisco State University, graduating with a degree in liberal studies and earned a law degree from the University of California. Along the way, he held a variety of jobs, including working as a janitor and as a doorman to pay for his education.

He was elected to the California Assembly in 1964 and rose to speaker in 1980, a position he maintained until 1995. No speaker served as long before Brown and thanks to a 1990 term limitations law, none are likely to serve as long in the future. In 1996, Brown won the first of two terms as mayor of San Francisco.

Brown was one of the most powerful speakers in the history of California, nicknaming himself the “Ayatollah of the Assembly.” But even the “Ayatolla” was not invincible. While a state lawmaker, he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a heredity disease characterized by a gradual loss of peripheral vision, sometimes resulting in blindness.

He has not let the disease limit his activities, working as a radio host and making several cameo movie appearances. His reputation extended far beyond California. He was as well-known for his flamboyant style of dress as his political clout. Some days he would change clothes three or four times. Many of his tailored suits were made in Europe and he capped off his fastidious dress with hats. He was a target of several FBI stings, none of them successful.

From Victim to Advocate: Lessons from a Sex Trafficking Survivor

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By Charlene Muhammad
Special to the NNPA from The Final Call

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a three-part series on sex trafficking of young Black women and girls in America. In this installment, a survivor talks about how she got into the life, how she now works to help others escape, and some of the factors that contribute to this crisis.

LOS ANGELES—Asia Graves was once trapped in a life of sex trafficking, but today she works one girl at a time to help others escape and rebuild their precious, fragile lives.

Her first sexual experience was at age six at the hands of her mother’s then-drug-dealing boyfriend. The abuse continued until she was 10-years-old, Ms. Graves said.

Her father, an alcoholic with 19 boys and two girls, didn’t have time to focus on what was going on with her, according to Ms. Graves, who is based in Compton, Calif.

Her mom would get clean, relapse and during those times, the abuse would resume, she said. “That same drug dealer kept coming back and my mom knew that this man was touching me. She allowed him to touch me so that she could get her drugs, and that made me feel as if I was only worth sex,” Ms. Graves said.

Today, her mother is sober and the most supportive person in her life.  “She encourages me to be a woman of dignity and of the lord. I call her my best friend,” she said. The 26-year-old recently recounted her journey during a forum on human trafficking and intervention hosted by Nu-Alpha Delta Multicultural Sorority at Good Shepherd Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles. Ms. Graves tries to impart what she’s learned to young girls she encounters on streets and in safe havens.

Tragic stories of sexually exploited girls

Ms. Graves shared the story of a madam, a female pimp, sentenced to eight years in federal prison for trafficking her 13- and 15-year-old sisters. The madam was just 18-years-old, said Ms. Graves.

“For people who think it doesn’t happen in their community, trust me, it does,” she told The Final Call.

Ms. Graves and other advocates say it’s not as easy to stop sex trafficking as people think. Pimps are tech savvy, they said. Pimps are moving girls online and advocates don’t have the resources to match what pimps are doing. “We can’t tell by looking at a picture. I’m sure you see these girls walking down the street. You can’t tell how old they are. The girl may look about 21, 22 but only be about 16-years-old,” she said.

Ms. Graves, who is usually good at spotting minors, once found a girl online she thought was about 19, though the girl looked younger. It turned out the girl was only 12-years-old, she said.

“My youngest client was only eight-years-old. She was still playing with Barbie dolls and wearing Hello Kitty! I got her a Hello Kitty book bag.  Her mom basically let her boyfriend sell her so she could have money,” Ms. Graves told The Final Call.

According to Ms. Graves, most people think the major link to sex trafficking is poverty, but it’s sexual abuse.

“I don’t know any other job industry other than the sex trade where 80-90 percent of the people who worked in that field have been sexually abused. If you think about the average age of a girl entering prostitution is 12-14 years old, then you’ve got to think that they’ve been abused before that,” she said.

As for the eight-year-old Hello Kitty fan, she’s 11 now, back in school, doing well, Ms. Graves said. The girl’s mother moved the child to another city and she’s in therapy, which advocates said is crucial to recovery.

Sharee Sanders Gordon, deputy city attorney and Neighborhood School safety attorney, argued sex trafficking is becoming a big issue and gaining publicity because it’s spreading into other communities. But young, Black girls have been sold in the midst of silence for decades, she said.

The biggest victims of prostitution are teen runaways and young ladies and young men in the foster care system, said the prosecutor.  Thirteen is the average age of a newly recruited girl who is sex trafficked, she said, citing a University of Pennsylvania study.

In the U.S., 300,000 children are at risk of becoming forced sex workers, added Ms. Sanders Gordon.

Although the majority of teens forced into prostitution are runaways from poor and inner city neighborhoods, the percentage of girls from upper and middle class homes is going up, she continued.  “And that’s why this has become such a big topic now, because it’s not just in the poor communities.”

What’s even more alarming is pimps are recruiting children with learning disabilities, according to Lt. Andre Dawson, officer-in-charge of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Human Trafficking Division, which works to get pimps off the streets.

Sex trafficking: Black females main targets

“Race and Prostitution in the United States,” a 2005 study conducted by Dr. Donna Hughes, professor and Carlson Endowed Chair of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Rhode Island,  underscores Ms. Graves’ and service providers’ reports that women and girls from racial minorities in the U.S. are disproportionately targeted and used by domestic sex traffickers.

Some service providers have reported that the percentage of Black girls they help is higher than the percentage of racial minorities in their city populations, according to Dr. Hughes’ study.  In addition, while pimps are less than one percent of all prostitution-related arrests, women and girls who should be seen as victims make up 70 percent to 90 percent of arrests for sex sales.

According to the FBI, Dr. Hughes’ study continued, Black children were 55 percent of all under-18 prostitution-related arrests in the U.S., more than any other racial group, and most of those arrested were Black girls.

Foster care: A gateway into sex trafficking?

Ryan Thompson of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science said understanding the link between sex trafficking and foster care is crucial for seeking solutions, though he doubts the problem will ever be eradicated.

He understands the need and urgency to focus on gang member involved in sex trafficking, pimps and getting girls off the streets across the country, but crisis must be viewed from a larger lens, said Mr. Thompson, who holds a masters degree in public health.

“A lot of times we talk about the trafficking of our young sisters into prostitution, but a lot of times, well all of the time in the meetings I’ve been a part of, we don’t look at gateways into prostitution,” he said.

Mr. Thompson has been looking into the problem through his work with the California Partners for Permanency, a federally funded project to reduce the number of children in long-term foster care.  It’s one of six across the country funded through a $100 million presidential initiative.

“What we found out when we were talking to these sisters who were participating in prostitution is that they were former foster care kids,” Mr. Thompson said. When he’d further question young women on the link between prostitution and foster care, he was saddened but not surprised by the answers that came back.

“The sisters would say, ‘Listen.  I’m a former foster care kid, but I prefer to be out here on the streets with this person (pimps or managers), then to be inside the foster care system where a lot of trauma would occur, from sexual assaults to physical, mental assaults.’  So they were literally forced out into the streets and obviously prostitution or pimping is one of those vulnerabilities that presents itself,” Mr. Thompson told The Final Call.

The girls are looking for someone to confide in and the pimps appear with food, clothing and shelter, and at once, there’s a gateway into prostitution, where the girls have chosen the lesser of two evils, he said.

“What we like to focus on is, okay, we understand pimping is bad, and we understand there’s an immediate need, kind of like healthcare. You deal with the acute symptoms, but you also want to find the etiology of it, the beginning of it and make sure that this doesn’t continue and this is not a chronic disease,” he said.

“California has some of the best children’s laws on the books in this nation, but they don’t follow them because obviously this is a multi-billion dollar system. There’s a lot of money being made off the backs of our children … and making money off the backs of descendants of enslaved Africans continues to this day.”

Good legislation just a start

California voters adopted Proposition 35 in 2012, which imposed stiffer criminal penalties on sex traffickers. The law requires convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders, and it imposes fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims. The legislation also mandates law enforcement training on human trafficking and requires sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts.

In Georgia, the Human Trafficking Notice Law, which passed in 2013, requires certain businesses and establishments to post notices to enable victims of human trafficking to obtain help and services. Failure to post a notice could mean a fine up to $5,000.

In New York, the Safe Harbor Law was created to protect sexually exploited children from being charged with juvenile delinquent offenses, in appropriate cases.  The law defines children who are involved in these crimes as victims, not perpetrators.

There must also be places to seek refuge for girls and women trapped in the sex industry. Resources across the country must include overnight shelters or drop in centers, according to Ms. Graves. Many girls try to exit the life but only find protection in centers that remain open during traditional business hours, she said. When day breaks, they have to leave, and the pimping starts all over again.

“They have to get out and the pimps know that, so when they have to leave the shelter, the pimps are waiting outside in all their fancy cars,” said Ms. Graves.  “These drop-in centers play a crucial role in making sure the girls have a safe environment to hang out in during the daytime, get job training programs, work with survivors like myself, and have strong, African American women role models, which they need because a lot of our girls are girls of color,” she continued.

During her efforts to help girls as a consultant for the Department of Justice and in cities including Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York, only about 10 percent of girls she encountered were not Black, Ms. Graves said.

“A lot of girls, they get into this because their families aren’t there for them, so we need to make sure that in our communities, the fathers are actually around their kids and if that father’s lacking, the mother needs to step up to the plate, because she’s the one who did the deed with that man, and take responsibility for the fact that she’s made a child,” Ms. Graves asserted.

“It’s our own trafficking our own children. Pimps don’t care who they traffic. They’d traffic their mama if they were going to make a profit on it,” said Ms. Graves.

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