NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins celebrates
‘milestone” for diversity in space industry

By Char Adams and Donna M. Owens, NBCNews


NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins made history Wednesday when she and a crew launched into space aboard the SpaceX Dragon, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Watkins will be the first Black woman to serve a long-duration mission on the International Space Station. 
Watkins is working alongside NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines, and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
The crew will embark on a six-month stint in the ISS laboratory conducting research and doing maintenance on the station, the space agency said. 
She gushed about the coming trip in a previous interview, agreeing that her mission is both a barrier-breaking moment and the natural progression of the field. 
“We have reached this milestone, this point in time, and the reason we’re able to arrive at this time is because of the legacy of those who have come before to allow for this moment,” Watkins said. “Also, recognizing this is a step in the direction of a very exciting future. So to be a part of that is certainly an honor.” 

Watkins’ mission has drawn praise from diversity and inclusion experts, but it shows just how far Black women still have to go in the white, male-dominated profession. 
“You know there’s not enough of us. Women are underrepresented in science, although it’s getting better in some ways,” said Mae Jemison, who made her own headlines in 1992 when she became the first Black woman to go to space.
“There is a lot of gatekeeping, both conscious and unconscious, that keeps people out. But once you are there, it’s ‘where do you fit?’ People hold you to a stereotype of what they consider a scientist. There’s this unrelenting requirement that you prove you have the right to be there. Many times I think that we achieve in these fields in spite of, not because of. ”Watkins will be the fifth Black woman to have gone to space. The others are Jemison; Stephanie Wilson, who, at more than 42 days, has spent more time in space than any Black other woman; Joan Higginbotham; and Sian Proctor, the first Black woman to pilot a spacecraft. 
Watkins joined NASA as an intern and held several positions as a researcher and geologist before she was selected as an astronaut candidate in 2017. Watkins earned her bachelor’s degree in geological and environmental sciences at Stanford University and her doctorate in geology at UCLA. Her career with NASA has been long and full of accomplishments: She has held roles at the agency’s Ames Research Center and studied near-Earth asteroids at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and she was was part of the science team for the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity.
While Watkins’ accomplishment is a great step forward for the space industry and evidence of its strides in diversity, there is still work to be done.
A report this year from the Space Frontier Foundation, a space advocacy organization, found that nearly 90 percent of people who have been to space are white men. And the space industry as a whole — from researchers and managers to writers and photographers —  is “only marginally better,” the researchers said. The report also found that white people in the space industry are more likely to make six-figure salaries than Black employees. 
“The fact that it’s taken this long to get African American folks on the ISS is disappointing. But it’s nice to see this focus is finally happening,” said Kim Macharia, a Black woman who is the chair of the foundation’s board. She highlighted that even though crews began living on the ISS in 2000, it took more than a decade for a Black astronaut, Victor Glover Jr., to serve a long-term mission on the station. Bernard Harris Jr. in 1995 became the first Black person to walk in space. Just nine years earlier, Ronald McNair became the second Black astronaut to go to space; he died in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. 
“Less than 12 percent of all astronauts have ever been women, specifically. And then when you look at the number of people of color, the number is even lower there,” Macharia said. “But in the actual workforce at large, about 20 percent of the industry’s workforce is women. So, there’s a lot of work to be done when it comes to addressing these demographics.”
Most recently, Jemison was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her widely recognized accomplishments in the field. Since leaving NASA, she has prioritized diversity in her own endeavors. She leads 100 Year Starship, a global initiative to support human travel to another star within the next 100 years. “I actively bring in people who embody that word ‘inclusion’ — across ethnicity, gender and geography — as well as across disciplines,” she said. 
Jemison isn’t the only former NASA employee to have taken on such a task. John Hines, a former NASA researcher, founded the Hines Family Foundation to provide resources and opportunities for children from disadvantaged communities interested in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math. 
Now, as Watkins continues her career with a growing NASA, Jemison is using her recognition to push the industry forward. 
“Very frequently we have a tendency to forget that we have to continue to grow. And we don’t hold ourselves to that. I do,” she said. “I always hold myself to continuing to grow, learning new things and contributing in a different way.

Alabama Civil Rights Freedom Museum celebrates Black History and Political Rallies around the county

Alabama Civil Rights Freedom Movement Museum in Eutaw, Alabama has been sponsoring a series of Black History and Political rallies since February leading up to the May 24th primary elections in Alabama.

Pictured above, Spiver W. Gordon, President of the Museum, presents award to Attorney Ida Tyree-Hyche Hill at Sunday’s meeting at the Knoxville Fire Department. Tyree-Hyche Hill is an attorney in Birmingham, who is a native of the north Greene County area and serves as Legal Counsel for the Town of Union.

In her talk Attorney Tyree-Hyche Hill discussed some of the voter suppression legislation enacted in Alabama and other states since the Shelby vs Holder decision in 2014, which gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Museum has been holding these programs weekly to present information on Black History and allow candidates who are running in the upcoming May primary to speak with voters. Meetings have been held in Eutaw, Union, Mantua, Springfield, Forkland, Knoxville and others are planned for other communities.

At the meeting, Spiver reminded people that Monday May 9, is the last day to register before the May 24th primary; Tuesday May 17 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot; all absentee ballots must be returned by May 23, properly signed and witnessed to be counted in the election on May24, 2022.

Long awaited verdict handed down for murder of Thomas Sankara, leader of Burkina Faso, who was known as ‘Africa’s Che Guevara’

Miriam Sankara, widow of Thomas Sanka

 

 
Apr. 11, 2022 (GIN) – In what appeared to be a “cold case” after a standstill of over 30 years, a military tribunal has finally ruled in the case of Thomas Sankara, one of the youngest presidents in modern African history, whose life was brutally ended in 1987 by a one-time close friend and ally.
 
Blaise Compaore, who grabbed power upon Sankara’s death, was sentenced for the killing in absentia. Toppled by public protests in 2014, he fled to the Ivory Coast where it is believed he continues to hide out. The tribunal found him guilty of an attack on state security, complicity in murder and concealment of a corpse after his body was found buried in an unmarked grave.
 
As the verdict was read, the heavily protected courtroom in the capital, Ouagadougou, erupted in applause, bringing an end to the six-month trial that came after years of campaigning for justice by his family and supporters, BBC West Africa correspondent Lalla Sy reported.
 
Sankara’s widow, Mariam Sankara, who attended the trial throughout, said the verdict represented “justice and truth” after a 35-year wait.
 
A firebrand Marxist revolutionary in a military red beret, Sankara was known to many as the African “Che Guevara”. He led the nation for four years from 1983, campaigning against corruption while authorizing huge increases in education and health spending.
 
He cut his own salary and that of top civil servants and sold off a range of luxury cars.
 
He promoted pan-Africanism, self-sufficiency, real independence from former colonial power France and gender equality by banning female circumcision, forced marriage and polygamy. He rolled out mass vaccination campaigns against polio and was one of the first African leaders to publicly recognize the growing AIDS epidemic as a threat for the continent.
 
Saying “he who feeds you, controls you”, he opposed foreign aid, denounced  “the neocolonialist penetration of Africa through Western trade and finance,” and called for a united front of African nations to repudiate their foreign debt. He argued that the poor and exploited did not have an obligation to repay money to the rich and exploiting.
 
He changed the name of his country from its colonial one, Upper Volta, to Burkina Faso, meaning the Land of Honest People.
 
In their closing statement on April 2, the prosecution recounted in grim detail how Sankara and his closest followers were ambushed at a meeting of the ruling National Revolutionary Council.  His body was riddled with bullets, according to ballistics experts who testified during the trial.
 
Compaoré’s security chief Hyacinthe Kafando and Gilbert Diendere, were also sentenced to life in prison.
 
Sankara’s spirit was also behind a protest movement known as “the citizens’ broom” or Le Balai Citoyen, which opposed efforts by Campaore to extend unlawfully extend his time in power. Of the 14 men prosecuted, three were acquitted while the others received sentences ranging from three years to life in prison.

Newswire: Elon Musk buying Twitter: 5 reasons why Black people should be wary

By Bruce C.T. Wright, NewsOne

The sale of Twitter to Elon Musk has prompted a number of questions about what will become of the popular social media platform once the ultra-billionaire gains complete control of the micro-blogging app. Both sides closed the deal on Monday afternoon to allow the world’s wealthiest man agreed to buy Twitter for a whopping $43 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Black Twitter, a group of influential users whose tweets spotlight issues affecting Black people, is among those who have reason to be concerned about the direction in which Musk could take the app now that the sale is official.
Musk’s intentions for Twitter remained unclear. But if his past commentary and the way he’s run his other businesses are any indications, Black people who use Twitter — and there are millions of them — have reasons to be wary.
Twitter moderation
There are fears Musk could change the way Twitter moderates content from its users, whose words have been policed more aggressively in recent months and resulted in permanent suspensions, like former President Donald Trump. (More on that later.)
The Washington Post described Musk’s social media ambitions in part as wanting “a free speech utopia,” but that could mean allowing misinformation, lies, racism and threats of violence with impunity.
“What Musk seemingly fails to recognize is that to truly have free speech today, you need moderation,” said Katie Harbath, a former Facebook public policy director and CEO of consultancy Anchor Change, recently told the Post. “Otherwise, just those who bully and harass will be left as they will drive others away.”
Racial discrimination
Musk’s main company, automaker Tesla, has been accused and sued by its workforce of and for racial discrimination for years now in a situation that has not been corrected. The implication for Twitter is that same administrative approach that prompted accusations of racism against Tesla will come to Twitter, which already has a disproportionately white workforce. At worst, that suspicion could become true as Musk —  allows racists like Marjorie Taylor Greene to not only regain access to their banned accounts but also resume spewing their white supremacy drivel.
Social media accountability
The free press and other groups have been pushing for accountability on social media platforms for a while now to no avail. But making any inroads in that area with Twitter is not likely to happen if Musk takes over, a prospect that is especially concerning since we are just months away from the pivotal midterm elections.
Political implications
Building off the above sentiment, without any accountability in place, the potential for the aforementioned misinformation could run rampant. Twitter is a major part of the political infrastructure now, but without any accountability for misinformation that has been proven effective, it could revert back to its former Wild Wild West-like environment that fostered the type of propaganda that helped hand Trump his presidency. Conversely, Black Twitter and its attempts to highlight political issues affecting people of color could be censored.
Donald Trump
And speaking of Trump, it’s no secret that his own social media endeavor has been a spectacular flop. If Musk buys Twitter, chances are likely that the racist narcissist and accused traitor will be handed the keys back to his shuttered account that was banned two days after the deadly Capitol Riots for what Twitter called “the risk of further incitement of violence.”This is America.

Newswire: Study: Race Is central to identity for Black Americans and affects how they connect

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


No matter where they are from, who they are, their economic circumstances or educational backgrounds, significant majorities of Black Americans say being Black is extremely or very important to how they think about themselves.
A new Pew Research poll revealed that a significant share of Black Americans also says that when something happens to Black people in their local communities, across the nation or around the globe, it affects what happens in their own lives, highlighting a sense of connectedness.

“Black Americans say this even as they have diverse experiences and come from an array of backgrounds,” the authors of the poll noted.
“Even so, Black adults who say being Black is important to their sense of self are more likely than other Black adults to feel connected to other groups of Black people,” the authors discovered. “They are also more likely to feel that what happens to Black people inside and outside the United States affects what happens in their own lives.”
The Pew Research Center conducted an analysis online between Oct. 4, 2021, and Oct. 17, 2021. The organization surveyed 3,912 Black U.S. adults and explored differences among Black Americans in views of identity such as between U.S.-born Black people and Black immigrants; Black people living in different regions of the country; and between Black people of different ethnicities, political party affiliations, ages, and income levels.
Most non-Hispanic Black Americans (78 percent) reported that being Black is very or extremely important to how they think about themselves. This racial group counted as the largest among Black adults, accounting for 87 percent of the adult population, according to 2019 Census Bureau estimates. But among other Black Americans, roughly six-in-ten multiracial (57 percent) and Hispanic (58 percent) Black adults reported the same.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the nation’s Black population stands at 47 million, or 14 percent of the country’s population. The survey authors reported that while the vast majority of Black Americans said their racial background is Black alone (88 percent in 2020), growing numbers are also multiracial or Hispanic.
Most were born in the U.S. and trace their roots back several generations in the country, but a growing share are immigrants (12 percent) or the U.S.-born children of immigrant parents (9 percent).
Geographically, while 56 percent of Black Americans live in the nation’s South, the national Black population has also dispersed widely across the country, researchers reported.
The report noted that Black Americans also differ in significant ways in their views about the importance of being Black to personal identity. While majorities of all age groups of Black people say being Black shapes how they think about themselves, younger Black Americans are less likely to respond the same.
Black adults ages 50 and older are more likely than Black adults ages 18 to 29 to say that being Black is very or extremely important to how they think of themselves. Specifically, 76 percent of Black adults ages 30 to 49, 80 percent of those 50 to 64 and 83 percent of those 65 and older hold this view, while only 63 percent of those under 30 reported that belief.
Black adults who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party are more likely than those who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party to say being Black is important to how they see themselves – 86 percent vs. 58 percent.
And Black women (80 percent) are more likely than Black men (72 percent) to say being Black is important to how they see themselves.
However, not all Black Americans feel the same about the importance of being Black to their identity – 14 percent say it is only somewhat important to how they see themselves while 9 percent say it has little or no impact on their personal identity, reflecting the diversity of views about identity among Black Americans.
Among the main highlights from the report include:
About half of Black adults say their fates are strongly linked with other Black people in the U.S.
Most Black adults say being Black is very important to how they see themselves
Black Americans who say being Black is important to them are more likely to feel connected to other Black people.
Black adults who say being Black is important to them are more likely to learn about their ancestors from relatives.
Black adults under 30 years old differ significantly from older Black adults in their views on the importance of Blackness to their personal identity.
However, Black adults also differ by age in how they pursue knowledge of family history, how informed they feel about U.S. Black history, and their sense of connectedness to other Black people.
Black Democrats more likely than Republicans to say what happens to other Black people in the U.S. will affect their own lives.
Half of Black adults say where they currently live is an important part of their identity.
Majorities of Black adults say their gender and sexuality are very important to them.
Black women are more likely than Black men to say their gender is very important to them.

Newswire: Vice President Harris and husband test positive for Covid

 Vice-President Kamala Harris

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for Covid.
Harris and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff returned this week from traveling across the country. They attended a fundraiser hosted by Walt Disney Television’s Dana Walden and producer Matt Walden. Held at the Walden’s home, officials said about 30 people attended.
“Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on rapid and PCR tests,” said Harris’ press secretary Kirsten Allen.
“She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the Vice President’s residence. She has not been in close contact with the President or First Lady due to their respective recent travel schedules.”
Allen said Harris and her husband would follow guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The couple also plan to follow the advice of their doctors, Allen stated.
The Vice President is fully vaccinated and boosted. Harris completed her two dose regiment of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in January of last year and has received two boosters. The first in late October and a second just a few weeks ago on April 1.
“The Vice President will return to the White House when she tests negative,” she said.

Advocates call for Student Debt Forgiveness despite new pause on loan repayments

By Charlene Crowell


(TriceEdneyWire.com) – In recent days, student loans and other higher education programs have been the focus of multiple initiatives. On April 6, President Biden extended the current pause on federal loan repayment through August 31. That announcement brought obvious appeal to the 44 million consumers who together owe an estimated $1.7 trillion.

“I’m asking all student loan borrowers to work with the Department of Education to prepare for a return to repayment, look into Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and explore other options to lower their payments,” said President Biden.

Days earlier on March 28, the Biden Administration submitted to Congress its FY2023 budget proposal with a promise to “grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out”, including more funding for the Education Department’s higher education appropriations.

For example, an estimated 6.7 million students from low- and middle-income backgrounds eligible for Pell Grants would benefit from increasing maximum awards by $2,175 in the 2021-2022 academic year. Similarly, an increase of $752 million over the 2021 enacted level would enhance institutional capacity at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs). Another $161 million for the Department’s Office for Civil Rights – a 23 percent increase compared to the 2021 enacted level – would strengthen the agency’s capacity to protect equal access to education through the enforcement of civil rights laws, such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Increased higher education funding was predictably welcomed by HBCU stakeholders.

“[T]he request for the Pell Grant to be increased by $2,000 in the upcoming year is nothing short of landmark,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, United Negro College Fund (UNCF) senior vice president for public policy and government affairs. “If Congress follows through on President Biden’s UNCF supported request, it would be the largest single year increase to the Pell Grant, putting us on course to double the Pell Grant this decade, and be one of the biggest game-changers for low-to-moderate income students in our country in modern times.”

Also noting the importance of Pell Grants as the “primary vehicle to make college affordable” for 75 percent of HBCU students, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) that includes both publicly supported HBCUs – over 80 percent of all students attending HBCUs – and Predominantly-Black Institutions (PBIs) — also called upon Congress to support the request to double the maximum Pell Grant award.

“TMCF looks forward to working with Congressional leadership, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus to adopt these historic proposals for the betterment of our institutions and their students,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, the organization’s President and CEO.

Yet other advocates raised other issues beyond annual budget appropriations.

“While we applaud the Administration for allowing borrowers who were in delinquency or default to receive a ‘fresh start’ on their repayment plans and reenter repayment in good standing, their debts remain the same,” noted Jaylon Herbin, Outreach and Policy Manager with the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). “Extending the payment pause once more is not enough to ensure financial fairness for the millions of Americans who were disproportionately affected by the burdens of the pandemic.”

Herbin’s reaction repeated CRL’s earlier calls for debt forgiveness as well as reforms to income-driven repayment (IDR). This same goal is also shared by other consumer advocates.

Months earlier CRL along with the Student Borrower Protection Center, and the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Division jointly issued a policy brief entitled, Restoring the Promise of Income-Driven Repayment: An IDR Waiver Program Proposal, that calls attention to the unmet need to correct key players and programs that also share responsibilities for the nation’s student debt dilemma.

“The historical failure of student loan servicers to keep low-income borrowers in over the long term presents an immediate policy problem,” states the brief. “Because of these failures, millions of borrowers remain trapped in the student loan system for decades on end. For many, their only prospect for relief is to begin again and spend additional decades awaiting debt cancellation as if they had just entered repayment.”

“[O]ut of a total of 4.4 million borrowers in repayment for more than two decades, fewer than 200 student loan borrowers will benefit from debt cancellation under IDR between 2020 and 2025—or a 1-in-23,000 chance,” the paper continues. “Borrowers also report that they have encountered an array of problems arising from servicer incompetence, including processing delays and extensive periods in administrative forbearance, inaccurate denials, lost payment histories, lost paperwork, and insufficient information or guidance. These barriers have profound and long-lasting implications for millions of families.”

In other words, to resolve unsustainable student debt, increased higher education funding must be matched by corrective efforts that hold loan servicers accountable, and finally makes true the promise to manage IDR as originally intended. Actions such as these would make real the dreams of a college education as the bridge to a middle-class life and financial independence. Without these reforms, higher education will continue to bring deepening debts and loan defaults.

“The Administration should provide student debt relief in the form of $50,000 in student loan cancellation per borrower, an amount that would eliminate or significantly reduce the debt burden for lower income, Black and Latino borrowers, provide a critical boost to the national economy and help bridge the racial wealth gap,” concluded Herbin.


Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.

Newswire: Florida bans 41% of math books because of CRT

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


The Florida Department of Education said the state has rejected more than 50 math textbooks ahead of the 2022-2023 school year. The department cited references to critical race theory among reasons for the rejections.
Officials said they would not accept about 41 percent of the books – 54 out of 132 – to Florida’s adopted list because the works didn’t adhere to the state’s standards.

“Today, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran approved Florida’s initial adoption list for mathematics instructional materials properly aligned to Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards,” the department wrote in a news release.
“The approved list followed a thorough review of submissions at the Department, which found 41 percent of the submitted textbooks were impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics – the most in Florida’s history.
Despite rejecting such large percentage of the materials submitted, the department claimed that every core mathematics course and grade is covered with at least one textbook.
The names of the rejected books were not included in the release. Florida’s new law states that instruction in schools must be factual and objective.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mandate specifically prohibits “theories that distort historical events” – which includes the teaching of Critical Race Theory.
Florida has banned such works as the Pulitzer Prize winning 1619 Project, which tackled the transatlantic slave trade.
“They won’t tell us what [the banned books] are or what they say because it’s a lie,” Florida Democratic Rep. Carlos Smith wrote on Twitter.
“DeSantis has turned our classrooms into political battlefields, and this is just the beginning.”
Added State House Member Anna Eskamani, “I get it. The goal of math is to solve problems which the Republican Party of Florida doesn’t like to do.”

Newswire: White House unveils steps to advance equity in America

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The Department of Health and Human Services said its increasing outreach to communities of color to encourage enrollment in free and low-cost health care, and the agency will address the maternal mortality crisis that disproportionately impacts Black and Native families, including by working with states to extend postpartum coverage in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security said its working to ensure that underserved communities are treated fairly in airport screenings by improving systems and enhancing training for officers.
DHS officials said they’re also engaging with and improving underserved communities’ access to grant programs that help counter domestic violent extremism to better address the terrorism-related threat to the country posed by white supremacists and other domestic terrorists.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture says in its statement, “All too often in the past, USDA programs and services were designed to benefit those with land, experience, money, and education while leaving behind those without means, resources or privilege of one kind or another. Over the course of decades, congressional reports, internal data, civil rights investigations, court actions, and stakeholder testimony have documented this long history of inequity and discrimination.”

The USDA Equity Action Plan highlights a set of actions USDA will take to advance equity; these particular actions are highlighted in the plan because of their potential high impact for underserved farmers and ranchers, families and children, and rural communities. Below is a summary:

Partner with trusted technical assistance providers
Reduce barriers to USDA programs and improve support to underserved farmers, ranchers, landowners, and farmworkers
Expand equitable access to USDA nutrition assistance programs
Increase USDA infrastructure investments that benefit underserved communities
Advance equity in federal procurement
Uphold Federal trust and treaty Responsibilities to Indian Tribes
Institutionalize an unwavering commitment to and actions towards ensuring civil rights

On Thursday, April 14, each government agency also released plans that mesh with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ strategies and commitments in an overall Equity Action Plan.
The plan results from an executive order that Biden almost immediately after taking office. The president said he’d set his sight on advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities throughout the federal government.
The White House said the order marked a first for a U.S. president.
“We set the mission and the mandate for every agency, the entire federal government, to center equity in all that we do,” stated Chiraag Bains, deputy assistant to the president for racial justice and equity.
Following an extensive review, each federal agency released separate – but similar – action plans.
Biden outlined the plan in January 2021 when he revealed over 300 strategies and commitments aimed at making federal policy fair for everyone, particularly poorer communities and neighborhoods of color.
The president also detailed his desire to provide equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities and women and girls. “Advancing equity is not a one-year project – it is a generational commitment,” the White House said in a fact sheet.
“These plans are an important step forward, reflecting the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to make the promise of America real for every American, including by implementing the first-ever national strategy on gender equity and equality; working to ensure the federal government is a model for diversity equity, inclusion, and accessibility; working to deliver environmental justice through the Justice40 Initiative; and working to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
To ensure the broadest cross-section informs the government policies of Americans, the White House said agencies are engaging trusted intermediaries and tailoring outreach to make meaningful and authentic participation possible for a broader range of Americans.
Also, as the largest buyer globally, the federal government will address racial and gender wealth gaps by leveraging the power of federal procurement to drive more significant investment in minority-owned and women-owned small businesses, officials stated.
The White House has also pledged to deliver equity through grantmaking opportunities. The administration noted that persistent barriers make it difficult for under-resourced and underserved communities to be aware of, compete for, and effectively deploy federal grants for everything from infrastructure to medical research.
“Agencies are addressing these barriers by helping underserved communities learn about and navigate federal funding opportunities, expanding capacity-building federal grants,” administration officials said.

The implementation of the president’s American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also will help advance equity, the White House said.
“The President has made equity a priority in the implementation of two of the most ambitious legislative packages in generations, with the goal of ensuring an inclusive response and recovery from the pandemic and in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure,” the officials concluded.

Covid-19

As of April 19, 2022, at 10:00 AM
(According to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 1,298,473 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(1,422) more than last week with 19,513 deaths (134) more
than last week)

Greene County had 1,871 confirmed cases, (2) more cases than last week), with 48 deaths

Sumter Co. had 2,578 cases with 51 deaths

Hale Co. had 4,722 cases with 106 deaths

Note: Greene County Physicians Clinic has testing and vaccination for COVID-19; Call for appointments at 205/372-3388, Ext. 142; ages 5 and up.