01-17-2022  8:01 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

Drone attack in Abu Dhabi claimed by Yemen's rebels kills 3

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A drone attack claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels targeting a key oil facility...

China's Xi rejects 'Cold War mentality,' pushes cooperation

GENEVA (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that his country will send an additional 1 billion doses...

Israel study: 4th vaccine shows limited results with omicron

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli hospital on Monday said preliminary research indicates a fourth dose of the...

N. Korea fires short-range missiles in 4th launch this month

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea Monday in its fourth...

In Greece, unvaccinated people 60 and up face monthly fines

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece imposed a vaccination mandate Monday for people 60 and older as a spike in...

Trailblazing Arab lawmaker shakes up Israeli politics

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Mansour Abbas broke a longstanding taboo when he led his Arab party into Israel's...

By Charlene Muhammad Special to the NNPA from the Final Call

Robin Levi has a simple point of view when it comes to violence against women in the United States and what the government should be doing to stop abuses. "What's really important is reminding ourselves the United States is not immune from human rights law," said the human rights director of San Francisco Bay area-based Justice Now.

"Human rights law applies to everybody from the virtue of being human beings and that includes people in the United States and people in prison," she said.

Though America regularly lectures other nations about women's rights and gender equality, activists and advocates say the U.S. has its own problems when it comes to women who are incarcerated and who find themselves in other vulnerable situations.

When UN expert Raashida Manjoo visited America recently to examine the status of women and violence, Levi, who works to end violence against women and stop their imprisonment, helped to coordinate her visit to California.

Manjoo is examining the causes and consequences of violence against women for the United Nations. She went on a two week tour in California as part of a six-state tour designed to gather facts and testimony about the problem. Manjoo began her tour of detention centers and battered women's shelters in late January and will report her findings and recommendations to a special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council this week.

The tour is a reminder that America is part of the international community and that it has to live up to its human rights obligations for everybody within its borders, Levi told The Final Call.

According to Levi, the current U.N. mission stems in part from a 1999 visit by then U.N. Special Rapporteur on violence against women by Radhika Coomaraswam.

Coomaraswam specifically looked at violence against women in prison, and Manjoo is here to see if changes and recommendations made a decade ago have occurred or not, Levi said.

The rapporteur found in 1999 that California (which had at the time the largest number of women incarcerated within the U.S.) had inadequate administrative or penal protections against sexual misconduct in custody. There was no comprehensive method for reporting or investigating allegations of sexual abuse in the state's facilities, and sexual misconduct became criminalized only in 1994.

Part of Coomaraswam's recommendation was that federal funding for state and correctional facilities should require that states criminalize all forms of sexual violence and misconduct between staff and inmates—whether consent was given by the inmate or not.

Levi said that what Manjoo could expect to find, certainly in California, is that sexual abuse has decreased somewhat, but racial disparities within prisons remain and have perhaps worsened.

In fact, she said, although the rapporteur in 1999 expected to find racial disparities in the make-up of women in prison, she was shocked at the overwhelming levels of racial disparity.

According to Human Rights Watch, 2.3 million people were incarcerated in the United States as of June 2009, with racial and ethnic minorities disproportionately represented.

A prison research and advocacy reform organization, The Sentencing Project, says Black women represent 30 percent of all women jailed in federal or state institutions and Hispanic women represent 16 percent.

"I think that she's going to find that the health problems are still there and perhaps worse. I'm hoping she'll look into some of the reproductive abuses that we've seen inside the California prison system in which primarily women of color have experienced increased levels of sterilization through hysterectomies, vasectomies and other methods," Levi said.

Manjoo, a professor at the Department of Public Law at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is particularly probing violence against women in prison and the military, sexual violence, gun violence, and the relationship between poverty and violence against women.

Visit coincides with federal legislation

"What we know is that domestic violence is the primary cause of homelessness for women and their children in the U.S. ... In some cases women who are in abusive relationships need to be able to flee their home, but if they don't have the option to go to a shelter or if they don't have another housing option, they may be forced to stay in abusive relationships," said Attorney Sandra Park, of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project.

"Unless we look at how violence affects poor women, we are not addressing the issue at all," Park told The Final Call.

Manjoo's visit is also critical because this year Congress will consider reauthorization of the Federal Violence Against Women Act, Ms. Park said.

The act was proposed in 2005 to help provide funding for domestic violence programs across the U.S., and provide protection against evictions of women after they were victimized.

The ACLU was instrumental in linking Manjoo to groups and individuals to make sure she received firsthand information about issues of violence plaguing American women.

Some landlords use "no criminal activity" provisions in their leases to evict women who have had to call police for domestic violence incidents.

Some workplaces penalize women who need time off for court appearances, or are being stalked by their abusers at work, Park continued.

Some companies have tried to improve on the issues and have adopted good policies such as informing security of an abuser's characteristics, changing employee phone numbers, or providing victims with escorts to their cars, she said.

Park hoped Manjoo's visit to New York to meet with the Service Women's Action Network about sexual assault in the military would raise awareness about how the U.S. military and Veterans Affairs Department largely ignore complaints.

According to Park, sexual assault and rapes in the military are extremely high and there are very few options for service members to pursue, except to report to their chain of command superiors.

There is no incentive for commanders to address complaints in serious ways because complaints reflect negatively on performance evaluations if commanders have reports of sexual assault within their units, she said.

"It's actually set up in a way that creates an incentive to try to squash those complaints or make them go away ... generally the military is treated differently from all other workplaces in the U.S. So the kinds of rights that a woman might have if she was sexually assaulted at work are totally inapplicable if you're a member of the military," Park said.



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

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