01-17-2022  9:21 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Skanner Foundation Drum Major for Justice 2022 is Teressa Raiford

Through political campaigns, legal actions, founding the grassroots organizing group Don't Shoot Portland and through her fearless determination to speak up against racial injustice, Portland-born Teressa Raiford has made a lasting impression on our city and our state

Paid Workplace Training Internships Program Receives Support From City

Black, Latinx students receive skilled on-the-job training, career coaching, through POIC-RAHS program

Oregon Supreme Court OKs Dropping Bar Exam for Alternatives

The state’s highest court in a unanimous vote “expressed approval in concept” to a pair of alternative pathways designed for law students and postgraduates seeking admittance to the state bar

Washington Lawmakers Kick off Mostly Remote Session

Lawmakers in Washington state have started a new legislative session amid the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and much of their work will be done remotely 

NEWS BRIEFS

Culture + Trauma: An Artist Comes Home

An installation at the Alberta Arts Salon curated by Bobby Fouther is a visioning of the uncensored Black life. ...

MLK Day March Starts at Peninsula Park

Humboldt Neighborhood Association invites the public to participate in the March for Human Rights and Dignity in commemoration of the...

Shabbat Service Honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Congregation Beth Israel's Shabbat Service will be online Friday, Jan.14, at 6 p.m. to honor Dr. King’s work and legacy. ...

MLK Virtual Youth Summit Offers Resources for Portland’s Young African Americans 

With the ongoing rise in youth violence in our community, Highland Christian Center aims to take practical steps to reach our youth...

Underground Railroad Topic of Genealogy ZOOM Presentation

The public is invited to join the Genealogical Forum of Oregon’s African American Special Interest group Saturday, Jan, 15, from...

Portland nurses 'urgently concerned' about health in schools

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As COVID-19 cases surge in Oregon — forcing some of the state’s largest school districts to close last week due to staffing shortages — a letter from three dozen nurses at the Portland Public School District circulated over the weekend, in which they question the...

Police rescue 2 after home slides off foundation

Police in Bellevue, Washington, rescued two people from a home that slid off its foundation early Monday morning. The Seattle Times reports police received a call of flooding around 4 a.m. and officers, along with fire crews, arrived to find a partially-collapsed two-story home...

UNLV promotes interim AD Harper to full-time job

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV has promoted interim athletic director Erick Harper to serve in the job full time. Harper's hiring, announced on Monday, was effective Jan. 1. He had served as interim athletic director since Desiree Reed-Francois left UNLV for Missouri in August. ...

Army stuns Missouri in Armed Forces Bowl on last-second FG

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Cole Talley kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and Army rallied to beat Missouri 24-22 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday night. After the Tigers took a 22-21 lead on a touchdown with 1:11 to play, third-string quarterback Jabari Laws led Army...

OPINION

OP-ED: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

January 6th, Voting Rights and the Tyranny Threatening America ...

Support Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project

This important and ambitious project pulled back the curtain of euphemistic rhetoric composing American historiography that points only to the good in our history and sweeps under the rug the evil deeds perpetrated against people of color ...

In 2021, Organized Labor is Again Flexing its Muscles

We have seen dramatic change in the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under President Biden. ...

Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap for Social Media Influencers

The racial pay gap has long presented issues for African Americans in Corporate America and other industries. It’s now filtered to social media. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NHL pioneer O'Ree says having Bruins retire jersey an honor

BOSTON (AP) — Willie O’Ree has experienced many honors during his lifetime, from becoming the NHL's first Black player in 1958 with the Boston Bruins to being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018. But the 86-year-old says having his No. 22 jersey retired in Boston on...

Virginia's 1st female lt. gov. takes her seat in the Senate

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — History-making Republican Winsome Earle-Sears began her tenure presiding over the Virginia Senate on Monday as the state's first woman to serve as lieutenant governor and the first Black woman to hold statewide office. “This indeed is an historic moment,”...

Far-right presidential contender convicted of hate speech

PARIS (AP) — French far-right presidential candidate Éric Zemmour was convicted Monday of inciting racial hatred over 2020 comments he made about unaccompanied migrant children. A Paris court ordered Zemmour to pay a fine of 10,000 euros (more than ,000) and several thousand...

ENTERTAINMENT

Los Angeles police investigate Ye after battery complaint

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police are investigating after a battery report was filed Thursday against Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. The incident that spurred the complaint took place in downtown Los Angeles at about 3 a.m. Thursday, LAPD spokeswoman Redina Puentes said. No...

Elvis Costello rocks out from the back porch

NEW YORK (AP) — Elvis Costello's 32nd album rings with the sound of a tight rock ‘n’ roll combo sweating together on a tiny stage, feeding off each other to produce a joyful noise. Yet that's all a mirage. Costello and his three-piece band, the Imposters, were...

Review: Jamestown Revival, more than just a roadhouse band

Jamestown Revival, “Young Man" (Thirty Tigers) The list of really good Americana roadhouse bands that have emerged from the Texas music scene over the years is a long one. The list of those that distinguished themselves by doing something fresh and original, not so much. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

UK's Johnson, and his foes, await key 'partygate' report

LONDON (AP) — As he fights for his career, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has one constant refrain: Wait...

Stafford propels Rams past Cardinals 34-11 in playoff rout

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Matthew Stafford passed for 202 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score in...

How's he doing? Americans weigh in on Biden's performance

President Joe Biden took office at a particularly polarized time in American history, so it's not surprising that...

Djokovic's deportation exposes Australian border debate

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Weary after two years of some of the harshest COVID-19 border restrictions in the...

Polish senators question cyber experts in hacking inquiry

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish Senate commission opened an investigation into the use of powerful spyware...

Cold case team shines new light on betrayal of Anne Frank

AMSTERDAM (AP) — A cold case team that combed through evidence for five years in a bid to unravel one of World...

Allie Torgan CNN

(CNN) -- Haiti's terror didn't end when the ground stopped shaking.

Reports of rape and sexual violence have been all too common after the January 2010 earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people and displaced almost 25 percent of the entire population.

"On the evening of January 20, several young men were firing gunshots in the air. They came into our shelter and grabbed my 19-year-old niece," one woman, Dina, told Amnesty International. "They just came in, grabbed her and dragged her away. ... She was raped by several men. They took her at around 9 p.m. and let her go at around 2 a.m."

Another woman, Guerline, told the rights group that she and her 13-year-old daughter were attacked on the same night in March 2010. The men wore hoods and told Guerline that if she went to the police, she would be shot dead.

"There is nowhere safe where I can live, so I had to keep quiet," she said. "I didn't take my daughter to the hospital. She was too scared. I sent her to another town where some relatives live."

In the days following the disaster, camps were set up to provide shelter for more than a million displaced Haitians. But these "tent cities" have been far from ideal, according to Malya Villard-Appolon, one of this year's top 10 CNN Heroes.

"After the earthquake, the situation was inhumane and degrading. There was no security. There was no food; there was no work," said Villard-Appolon, a rape survivor who co-founded an organization, KOFAVIV, that helps other victims find safety, medical aid and legal support.

"Two years after the earthquake, it is still the same," she said. "The people are still under the tent, they don't have electricity, they are getting raped."

Nearly 370,000 people remain in displacement camps, according to the U.N. And gruesome reports of violence, inadequate health care and substandard living conditions have painted a picture of horror and hopelessness.

In one study, published in January by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (PDF), 14 percent of households reported that at least one member of the household had been a victim of sexual violence since the earthquake. And 70 percent of households surveyed said they were now more worried about sexual violence.

Residents have cited lack of lighting, long walks to the bathroom, and flimsy tents as some of the issues putting females at risk of attack. Many females also are on their own for the first time.

"Women and girls were left to fend for themselves in camps," said Anne-christine d'Adesky, project coordinator for PotoFanm+Fi, a nonprofit that has been working with more than 70 Haitian support groups to track post-earthquake violence. "Because of the great displacement, people lost that sense of community protection."

Accurate numbers of gender-based violence are difficult to find in the aftermath of such devastation, especially when many victims fear retaliation. But d'Adesky said her group has seen a steady rise in reports, which she attributes to increased outreach.

One young woman, Marie, was raped in the Champ de Mars camp and had her jaw broken. She said she was also forced into prostitution so she could eat and survive.

High numbers of adolescent girls are engaging in what they call "transactional sex" for shelter and food, d'Adesky said. Many of those interviewed claimed they had never sold sex before, but the earthquake had left them no option.

"I call this gender aftershocks," said d'Adesky, whose group is publishing their report on Haiti next month. "These women and girls have no means of survival and are engaging in transactional sex work -- or survival sex -- sometimes just for shelter."

And many of those women -- as well as those who have been raped -- are becoming pregnant, raising fears about rising maternal health issues.

Even before the quake, Haiti was the most dangerous place to be pregnant in the Western Hemisphere: the lifetime risk of dying during childbirth there is 1 in 47.

"We followed up with a number of pregnant girls who were no longer pregnant," d'Adesky said. According to her sources, there has been a high rate of illegal street abortions and child abandonment.

But amid the depressing and dire reports comes a glimmer of hope.

KOFAVIV and other groups are working to help young girls and women, giving them safety, support and training so they can make money and not have to sell themselves.

Better lighting has been installed in some displacement camps. More than 10,000 military and police personnel are now helping to provide security throughout the country, and hundreds of U.N. peacekeepers have been assigned to specifically work with the Haitian National Police.

And in the last two years, there has been a big change in the way rape is prosecuted, according to legal experts. More women are reporting the crimes, and more rapists are being prosecuted.

"There has been a higher percentage of complaints that are turning into pre-trial investigations and are leading to formal charges," said Brian Concannon Jr., director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti.

In the first two years after the quake, sources in Haiti had estimated there were few, if any, rape convictions. But this year there have already been more than 60 convictions for sex crimes in Haiti, according to the National Human Rights Defense Network.

This summer, 22 rape cases were prosecuted and there were 13 convictions, lawyers in Haiti said. There was one acquittal, and eight of the trials were "left blank" for a number of reasons, including lack of representation for the victim who may not have even known she was to appear in court.

"It sounds like it's a small number, it sounds like more should have been filed since 2010," said Meena Jagannath, a lawyer who has worked with Haitian rape victims. "But we should take into consideration the biases of the system and level of disorganization and corruption. It really is an accomplishment. I've heard those numbers are much higher now than even before the earthquake."

Concannon said Haiti's justice system has a history "of not taking rape that seriously." It wasn't until 2005 that rape was classified as a crime on par with an assault. Before that, rape was a "crime against public morals," which Concannon says is something like a misdemeanor compared with a felony.

Now the challenge is changing attitudes and empowering women to speak up. While it still can be difficult for many victims to file a police report and obtain the necessary medical documents needed to pursue justice, there are more resources for women who want to speak out.

"All this progress is the result of advocacy by KOFAVIV and other grassroots women's groups and their allies," Concannon said. "I believe that the progress has the potential to play a key role in transforming attitudes about violence against women -- not just in the justice system, but in Haitian society as a whole."

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The Skanner Foundation's Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

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