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I.E. Million Father March Impacts Nationwide Effort and Draws Huge Crowd

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By Natasha Simone Ferguson

The Inland Empire Million Father March commenced this past Saturday September 8th at Cross Word Christian Church. The theme was, "I Am My Child's Superhero", and this national campaign’s goal is to encourage fathers to take their children back-to-school. Organizer and Street Positive C.E.O. Terry Boykins (www.streetpositive.com) welcomed everyone and Bishop Lacy Skyes opened with prayer. City of Riverside Mayor Ronald Loveridge and Moreno Valley Mayor Richard Stewart were among the many special guests present. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors provided a proclamation officially recognizing the event.

Participants were able to enjoy light refreshments prior to and after the walk. A variety of organizations were also on hand as exhibitors with various important materials available.

The Inland Empire Million Father March paid special tribute to active duty and veteran military fathers. The processional was led by these military fathers who were distributed American flags which they proudly waved as they marched. The route was approximately 2.8 miles and drew a huge line of enthusiastic walkers with Moreno Valley police escorting along the route. Immediately following the march, participants were ushered into the main sanctuary of the church for a panel discussion. Mayor Stewart greeted the audience and shared a witty personal story relating to fatherhood. The Masters of Ceremony and moderators were father and son team Dr. D.C. Nosakhere Thomas and Kamaal Thomas. Kamaal is a recent recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship and was also featured on ABC Channel 7’s ‘Cool Kids’. Before the introduction of the panelists, a powerful poem about fatherhood was shared by Richard O. Jones.

Keeping in line with the theme, “I Am My Child’s Superhero”, the keynote address was given by motivational speaker and military veteran Keith “Sarge” Gibbs (www.sargescommunitybase.org) who received a standing ovation for his powerfully motivating speech. Following Gibbs was RUSD student, Ashlee Lopez, who shared her heart-wrenching personal life story and weighed in on why daughters need their dads. The panelists consisted of dynamic men representing varied backgrounds and beliefs, who were each given topics to address: James Ochoa (discipline), Mars Serna (parent resources), Pastor James Baylark (the church’s role and the streets), Joe Montenegro (mental health/gang members), Cornell Ward (child abuse), Rudy Brown (reckless endangerment of incarceration), Terry Boykins (economic legacy), Imam Terry Major (my son’s not going back to school) and Jatori Harris (foster youth). Each panelist gave a brief introduction of their backgrounds and expounded on the importance of fathers taking part in their child’s life.

Panelist Brown, who spent 21 years in prison for a non-violent offense spoke about having to parent from prison and how he currently mentors on this important issue to men who fall into this unfortunate circumstance. Montenegro, who is an ex-gang member, emphasized the importance of time spent with your child. Boykins emphatically shared his views on the significance of a father leaving behind a legacy (both monetary and namesake). Panelist Ward said, “Mentoring is a lifestyle, I do it daily!” Panelist Serna said that we need to make the commitment to dedicate our time to mentorship. This hearty discussion touched on some very important points including the consequences of fatherlessness and statistics were also shared.

The Inland Empire Million Father March host Bishop Sykes said he was pleased to participate in this worthy cause. “Fathers are important especially considering the statistics that approximately 75 percent of men African American and Latino grow up in a home without a father. It is therefore important to engage in education and the general upbringing of a child’s life.”

Terry Boykins, the event organizer, stated "The collaboration of this effort by Inland Empire organizations and residents demonstrated the region's true capabilites to lead the nation in fatherhood engagement. No longer can the "IE" be looked upon as simply a place for affordable housing, but rather as a collective community that employers will look to that is capable of delivering total social impact." The Million Father March movement was launched in 2004 and founded by the Black Star Project. The Los Angeles Million Father March takes place on September 29th hosted by the Los Angeles Father Million March Organizing Committee (LAMFMOC) and held at Mona Park in Compton, Calif.

Calabash at CAAM

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By John Coleman

From the Inland Empire, it's an easy drive on Sundays to the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, and especially worthwhile for the free programs provided by the museum on the first Sunday of every month. The program this past weekend, Sept 2, 2012 entitled "Bash, Bash, Calabash," celebrated the African American connection with the Caribbean, Central and South American music, dance, and cultural expression. On stage and in the audience were people from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, and the US.

Dear Mr. James O'Keefe, "Town Spotlight"

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Why don't you people who would deny certain citizens the right to vote through devious means just take a hike?

I'm African American and I'm 78 years old. My generation was beaten with clubs, bitten by dogs, sprayed with high powered water hoses, friends and relatives killed and mocked by courts and juries not of their peers, in denying African Americans the right to vote. We endured those bitter oppositions and won our right to vote. We're not going to let you take that away from us in the name of ousting a non-traditional president. Non-traditional simply means he is not Euro-White. The Black press is educating its readership to counteract this tactic through voter education. Voter education means learning how to get around your devious practice and also to educate them as to who's trying to deny them the right to vote. As our awareness grows so will our voting power.

What I will do is ask Attorney General Eric Holder to require poll workers to wear identity badges so they can be sued immediately after denying a registered voter the right to vote.

As to the example cited, "30,000 dead people still registered to vote". If the 30,000 dead voters are still elgible to vote then it's the negligence of the Board of Elections, not the "would be" voter frauders. Death records are available to the board of elections and they can be reviewed and compared to the voter rolls at any time. They can purge the "dead" at will.

In Florida they are purging criminals from the voter rolls. Name and zipcode play a major role in the decision to purge. Walter Smith lives in Liberty City but has no criminal record. Another Walter Smith comes up who does have a criminal record. All Walter Smiths in known African American neighborhoods could be purged from the voter rolls. No Walter Smith from Star Island would be purged without a through investigation.

Your objective is clear and no one needs to be a rocket scientist to understand the process.

This voter purge and ID process is designed to close the voter gap that separated Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008. 53% Democrat to 47% Republican. Take away the vote from the African American and the elderly and you close the gap.

Will this close the wide gap in the electoral vote?

Certainly, you're not suggesting that Obama's margin of victory in NC in 2008 came from the illegal 30,000 "dead" voters.

This country is no longer just black and white. Those labels are no longer relevant. We are all americans struggling to eleminate poverty, war, crime, unemployment, and especially racism.

Racism alone will not get Barack Obama out of office. Your objective is obvious by your lamenting the 14,000 vote plurality he won North Carolina by in 2008. Let me assure you, it wasn't "Dead men voting". In order to get Obama out of office you simply have to promote someone to replace him that can do a better job. Right now you do not have that and therefore you will have to look to 2016. By that time we will have raised up another non-traditional candidate who will capture the imagination of the voting public and your voter suppression laws and tactics will have long vanished or struck down by a non-traditional system of justice.

It simply wasn't meant for one ruling class to rule forever. Its time for a change and Barack Obama, president of these United States of America began that change in 2008, and it will continue well past our lifetimes. Get over it and get with it!

I'm forwarding this email to my fellow media partners around the world hoping to put a "Spotlight" on this racially motivated travesty.

Sincerely, Walter Smith

September 5, 2012

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Dear:

The Black Voice News would like to invite you to join us in our exclusive coverage of the 2012 General Election. In the spirit of the Black Press of America, our mission and value-driven philosophy strives to give a voice to the voiceless. We have been consistent in our fight for social justice and equality within the communities of the Inland Empire.

To this end, the Black Voice News will be publishing a special edition on October 4, 2012 covering the importance of voting and highlighting candidates running in the November 8, 2012 general election. Since our special coverage date is on the 4th in order to accommodate the mail-in ballot voters, we have discounted the rates to allow you to continue to advertise, keeping your name and your campaign goals in the minds of our readers that will be visiting the polls.

Co-publishers, Cheryl and Hardy Brown extend this opportunity for you to let their readers know why they should vote for you, as well as provide a platform to highlight your goals in furthering the advancement of their communities. Please join us by publishing your campaign ad in this special issue through our special political ad rates. As you know, one vote can make a difference.

We anticipate your continued support and look forward to your participation in this election special edition of the Black Voice News. Please see attached flyer for discounted rates and deadlines. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me a 951.515.2613.

Anna Wenger, M.P.A. Public Administrator & Community Outreach Consultant

Proposition 37: Do-Gooder Proposition or Job Killing Nightmare?

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By Cleo Jenkins, Guest Columnist

Surveying the state ballot measures up for consideration in November, one might be struck by Proposition 37. It is a measure that would eliminate or make prohibitively expensive foods like collard greens that have various cleaning processes between being planted in the ground and making it to the table.

Because collards, like all foods, have pesticides that prevent bugs from killing the crop and are often cleaned before going to market they are “genetically modified.” This is a broad term that means any food that is touched by any substance, chemical or refined by any manufacturing process is altered from its natural state. Preservatives also genetically modify foods. Proposition 37 would make it a crime to have such foods without a label indicating so.

So what’s in a label? A tiny sticker added to each food item that is cleaned, manufactured or preserved adds cost to every item of food that makes it to the farmer’s market and the grocery. Each added cost is passed on to the consumer. Each consumer has to make a decision if the group of groceries (produce, bread, beverages) is affordable enough to still be purchased. Working families and small grocers appear to be facing an overpriced future should Proposition 37 pass. The measure is drafted by a group of trial attorneys who have a reputation for using consumer protection rules to advance their own bottom line: large monetary judgments. The facts of this measure have led groups across the spectrum, including the State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Bay Area News Group, and the Oakland Tribune to announce opposition to the proposal.

Aubry Stone, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Black Chamber of Commerce is concerned that Proposition 37 is an attack on businesses in a fragile economy and will hurt consumers, particularly low income ones. Various stakeholders have asked “will this ban specially prepared ethnic foods?” Will Soul Food establishments that market “natural” and “organic” products be forced to label their items or otherwise face litigation?

NAACP President Alice Huffman openly questions the need for such law, motives behind the initiative, and whether ethnic businesses (particularly small grocers and independent restaurants) will be injured by such arbitrary and non-scientific regulations. Equally of concern to Ms. Huffman are the cost impacts on poor and working families as the cost of foods rise for this new set of laws. Environmental groups argue that the labeling of foods that have been modified genetically is essential. The standard for the definition of genetic modification includes any chemical process employed in any part of the food production process, including cleaning, coloring, and altering sizes of foods grown from the ground. Even more impacted will be grain and seed producers. The cost of planting a private garden or industrial crops would appear to rise because of the added cost of requiring labels with specific notifications that all people who buy produce every week know personally.

This proposition appears to be a cost busting measure that will hurt farmers, working families, businesses and thus jobs. Respected health organizations have often noted that labeling foods that have had genetic modification have no basis in science because the definition of genetically modified is vague at best. Ethnic communities are likely to begin paying greater attention to this measure and researching the positions of venerable organizations like the NAACP.

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