Newswire: DNC launches diverse media advertising campaign ahead of the tenth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Ads will highlight Trump’s broken health care promises to African American and Latino voters in key battleground

From The Democratic National Committee

Today, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) launched a diverse media advertising campaign in 6 key battlegrounds (AZ, MI, NC, PA, FL, WI), beginning with ads highlighting Republicans’ broken promises on the issue of health care to voters of color ahead of the tenth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The DNC is beginning this campaign with a significant initial buy and will make an overall six-figure investment in minority-focused media outlets.
“Victory in 2020 will be won in Black and Brown communities throughout the country, and we cannot afford to take a single vote for granted,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Democrats in Congress made access to health care a reality for millions of people, especially in communities of color, and Trump’s agenda has trampled on that progress. In a time where America is facing a pandemic, it is important for voters to remember who has their back when it comes to protecting and expanding access to health care. These investments in diverse media outlets are happening much earlier in the cycle than ever before and we will continue to engage voters where they are on this critical issue, as often as possible.”
The print ads, which will be published in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were placed through the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and will commemorate the passage of the ACA and the benefits it provides, including protections for preexisting conditions.:
The radio ads will be produced by a Hispanic-owned creative agency. The ads will air on Spanish-language stations throughout Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida and will also focus on the ACA’s passage and Democrats’ commitment to providing access to quality, affordable health care to the Latino community.

Newswire : Congressional Black Caucus members talk impeachment, HBCU funding

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia


Shortly after the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump on Friday, December 13, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) held a conference call with publishers of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association of Black Press publications from around the country.
While CBC members addressed the impeachment proceedings, the call was a reminder that Congress continues to work on other pressing issues.
The call included CBC Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.), and Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Val Demings (D-Fla.), Alma Adams (D-North Carolina), and Bobby Scott (D-Virginia).
The members discussed the passage of the FUTURE Act, legislation that provides needed funding to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other educational institutions.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges or Universities, and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) play a significant role in expanding access to higher education for low-income students and students of color,” said Scott, the Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor.
“Unfortunately, despite their outsized role in serving our nation’s most underserved students, these schools have historically been under-resourced compared to other institutions of higher education,” Scott stated.
“The FUTURE Act won’t only guarantee at least $250 million per year for HBCUs and MSIs; it will simplify the Free Application for Student Aid (FASFA) and makes it easier for students to access student aid and repay their loans,” Scott co.ntinued.
The FUTURE Act, which stands for Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education, unanimously passed the Senate. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama was a major sponsor of this legislation
The bill has been sent to the president for his signature.
Through the FUTURE Act, HBCUs will receive $85 million per year – about $1 million per school. American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities will receive $30 million annually, while Hispanic-serving institutions will get $100 million per year.
Also, predominately Black institutions will continue to reap an annual payment of $15 million, and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions will receive $15 million each year. Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions and Native American-serving nontribal institutions each will continue to receive $5 million annually.
“HBCUs and MSIs provide pathways of opportunities for millions of Americans who come from low-income families. As a two-time graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, and a retired professor of 40 years at Bennett College for Women, I as well as all the pupils that I had the pleasure of teaching, are a testament to the power of these schools which mold their students into the leaders of tomorrow,” said Adams, the Chair of the House Higher Education and Labor subcommittee on Workforce Protections
“This agreement will secure $255 million a year for these institutions to serve over eight million students of color, preparing them for careers in our STEM professions,” Adams stated.
The legislation also reduces FAFSA by 22 questions and allows the Internal Revenue Service to directly share applicants’ tax information with the U.S. Department of Education.
“The simplification in the provision was to get information from the IRS to make the applications more accurate,” Scott stated. “If you can get the necessary information from the IRS, there would be more accuracy.”
Meanwhile, Jackson-Lee addressed the impeachment vote against Trump.
“Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,” she said of the two articles of impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of on Friday, December 13.
“What the president was essentially caught doing was attempting to interfere in the 2020 election. So, in terms of the significance of this for our community, the idea that the president would cheat on the election and attempt to get himself re-elected, I think, would change our lives for generations,” Jackson-Lee stated.
She continued: “If you think about the fact that [re-election] would mean there will be one if not more appointments to the Supreme Court. He has already appointed over 100 judges, and I am sure 99 percent of them would be horrible when it comes to our issues.
“When you think of the dismantling of so much as what we have fought for over these years, the idea that our people would have to endure another term of this President is almost beyond our comprehension.”
Jackson-Lee conceded that the Senate in all probability would not remove Trump, but impeachment in the House was still necessary.
Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton are the only presidents in American history to have faced impeachment. Nixon resigned before the House could vote. Johnson and Clinton were impeached in the House, but both were acquitted in the Senate.
“We felt that it was so important that we had to put the brakes on him interfering in the election, that even if impeachment was not going to remove him successfully, it was still critical that we did this,” Jackson-Lee stated

Newswire : Black publishers push for report on Federal ad spending

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

NNPA Ben Chavis speaks at publishers mtg.
 NNPA President Benjamin Chavis speaks outside of the U.S. Capitol during a joint press conference between NNPA and NAHP.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is set to begin work on a report detailing advertising spending by federal agencies—particularly as it pertains to Black and Latino media companies.
“After several senators joined our request, including Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Shumer, GAO sent us an update in February saying that the request would take about six months of work,” said Benjamin Fritsch, a spokesman for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who first called for the report during a press conference with National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) members and representatives of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP).
The GAO is a government agency that provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for Congress.
Charles Young, the managing director of public affairs for the GAO acknowledged that the request for a new report was formally received in February. “Staffing was not expected to be freed up from existing work for several months and we now expect to begin the work in August or September,” Young said.
In March 2016, Norton called on the office to issue a report on federal advertising contracts and subcontracts with minority-owned newspapers and media companies.
Norton said that the federal government serves as the largest advertiser in the country, and it’s important that news outlets and media companies owned or published by individuals of color with a primary mission to serve communities of color have the same opportunities as other media outlets, especially as African-Americans and Hispanic Americans continue to grow in number in the United States.
“We believe that this request is particularly timely, because GAO will be conducting an audit of spending by federal agencies on public relations and advertising,” Norton said. One month after publicly making the request, Norton circulated a letter to members of Congress to support her call to GAO to issue a new report.
In 2007, the GAO, which acts as the authoritative audit unit for the federal government, probed the spending on advertising contracts with minority-owned businesses by five agencies—the Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The agency found that just five percent of the $4.3 billion available for advertising campaigns went to minority-owned businesses. Thirty-one of Norton’s colleagues in Congress signed the letter, including CBC Chair Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and legendary congressmen John Lewis (D-Ga.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), and former CBC Chair G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).
Seven months later in November, a group of Senators, including Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) also signed a letter and joined the call for accountability in the federal government’s advertising practices – or lack thereof when it comes to minority-owned news outlets.
Several aides to the lawmakers did note that journalists, who work for Black- and Hispanic-owned media outlets must do a better job of keeping the issue on the pages of their newspapers.
Dorothy Leavell, the new chairwoman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) has vowed to do just that and she said she’s grateful to Norton. “We are extremely appreciative of Congresswoman Norton for taking the initiative on this,” said Leavell, who is also the publisher of the Crusader Newspaper Group. Leavell added that the wait for the GAO report has been long enough. “Anymore delay will not be tolerated.”
Leavell also said that it was unacceptable that federal agencies have largely excluded Black-owned media companies from delivering messages from the U.S. government to the Black community. “I urge the officials at GAO to start today in their investigation and conclude it immediately,” said Leavell. However, Young said it typically takes months before a request to the GAO is acted upon.
Also, the change in administration had nothing to do with the length of time this process has taken since Norton’s call about 15 months ago, he said. “The change in administration does not have an impact, just the various other GAO reviews already underway,” Young said, noting that the GAO did not receive a formal request until February.
Headquartered in D.C. and with offices in several cities including Atlanta and Los Angeles, the GAO was founded in 1921. In a Fiscal Year 2016 report, the agency noted that it had provided nearly 2,100 recommendations to improve government operations.
Approximately 73 percent of the recommendations GAO made four years earlier in Fiscal Year 2012, have already been implemented, thus making any suggestion on advertising with minority-owned media an important step in the quest for Black and Hispanic-owned papers to receive advertising dollars.
“The NNPA anticipates that the new GAO report will once again substantiate what we already know and that is Black American-owned newspapers and media companies are not afforded equality and equity for annual federal advertising spending,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. “This is a serious problem that urgently needs to be rectified by the government of the United States.”
Karen Carter Richards, the publisher of the Houston Forward Times and NNPA First Vice Chair said that the federal government is the largest advertiser in the country. “The lack of advertising by federal agencies as it relates to African-American and other minority media companies must be addressed,” said Carter Richards. “We remain optimistic that the findings in this GAO report will lead to the necessary changes we need to ensure communities of color have the same opportunities as other media outlets.”
Bernal Smith, the publisher of the New Tri-State Defender in Memphis and second vice chair of the NNPA, said the U.S. government stands as one of the biggest marketing and advertising entities in the world in terms of dollars spent. He cited a 2012 report that revealed government ad spending had reached $16 billion.
“That was five years ago and that number is not likely to have gone down,” said Smith. “Being a publisher, and knowing what others are getting, clearly the Black Press has not been a part of those ad buys and, by and large, we’ve been on the outside looking in.”

Newswire : NNPA honors Martin Luther King III with lifetime legacy award

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

legacyawards_7247_fallen_web120.jpg(From left-right) Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., president and CEO of the NNPA, Denise Rolark Barnes, outgoing chairman of the NNPA and Dorothy Leavell (far right) honor Martin Luther King III with the NNPA’s Lifetime Legacy Award at the Legacy Awards Gala at the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Md., on June 23, 2017. (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) honored Martin Luther King III with the 2017 Lifetime Legacy Award, as the group wrapped up its annual summer conference, at the Gaylord Convention Center at the National Harbor in Maryland.
King, the oldest son of the iconic civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., said that the tribute tops all others he’s received, because the Black Press has meant a lot to his family, especially his father, as he fought for freedom, justice and equality.
“The NNPA is one of the most impactful institutions our community has and every week the newspapers of the Black Press reach at least 22 million people in our communities,” said King. “And every week the Black Press tackles issues that we deal with, that we cannot find in the mainstream newspapers.”
King continued: “The Black Press provides the information that’s needed for African-Americans and if not for the Black Press, I would say that, during the Civil Rights era, my father would not have been successful. The African-American [journalists] had their ears to the ground to what was important in our community.”
King, who attended the awards ceremony with family members, graduated from his father’s alma mater, Morehouse College, with a degree in political science. While at Morehouse, King was selected by former President Jimmy Carter to serve in the United States delegation to the Republic of Congo for participation in their centennial celebration ceremonies.
Like his father, King participated in many protests for civil rights and one of the more notable acts of civil disobedience came in 1985 when he was arrested at the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. protesting against Apartheid and for the release of freedom fighter Nelson Mandela.
“This is a special time,” King said, as he spoke to NNPA members, friends and industry leaders in attendance at the award ceremony.
Showing a lighter side, King quipped, “I like the word ‘legacy,’ but it means you’re getting older.”
King also talked about the impact of social media and how it can be difficult to understand the shorthand that some young people use to communicate via text and social platforms like Twitter.
“I have to ask the kids to tell me what these things mean, because I don’t do Twitter or Facebook,” he said.
Striking a more serious tone, King, the former president of the legendary Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said that the Black community “must do better.”
King continued: “We have to educate our community. We, as a community, have the ability to do much more.”
In an effort to help African-Americans realize and capitalize on the vast spending power in the community, King founded Realizing the Dream, a foundation that is focused on helping community-based organizers to ignite investment in local neighborhoods and to foster peaceful coexistence within America and abroad.
“If we decide to divest, or even talk about [boycotting] some of the companies where we are spending billions of our dollars…we won’t see insensitivity,” King said.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA, said that the organization was especially proud and delighted to present the prestigious award to King.
“For decades, more than anyone else, Martin Luther King III has continued to personify and represent the living legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for freedom, justice and equality,” Chavis said. “He has carried on his father’s legacy quite honorably, quite admirable, and quite successfully.”
In 2008, as former president and CEO of the King Center, King spoke on behalf of then-Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, where he highlighted the need for improved health care, quality education, housing, technology and equal justice.
King also served on the Board of Directors for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and co-founded Bounce TV, the first independently-owned, digital multicast network featuring around-the-clock programming geared towards African-Americans.
“I remember going to my mother’s alma matter in Ohio and seeing the statue of Horace Mann which was inscribed with the words ‘be ashamed to die until you have won some kind of victory for humanity,’” King said.
“As a child, those are words that are very powerful. As an adult, I say we can win victory at schools, we can win victory in our places of worship, we can win victory in our cities, our counties, our states, our country and some may win in our world.”
King continued: “I say, be ashamed to die until you have done something to make your community better.”

Thurgood Marshall’s widow keeps his legacy alive; On Brown v. Board of Education, 63rd anniversary “Cissy” Marshall laments lack of progress

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

Cissy Marshall
CISSYMARSHALL1 Cecilia Marshall, Justice Thurgood Marshall’s widow, keeps his legacy alive. (Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage)

Thurgood Marshall with family.jpgTHURGOODMARSHALL1 Cecilia Marshall (2nd from left) and Justice Thurgood Marshall (right) and their two sons. (Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage)

Cecilia Marshall never imagined that the battle for equal rights in schools and elsewhere would still be as vital today as it was six decades ago when her husband, United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, fought to end legal segregation as a civil rights lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

“We haven’t made too much progress,” said Cecilia Marshall, 88. “Sixty-three years later, we’re still fighting in the courts for equal treatment and that’s not what my husband, nor I would have imagined would be going on today.”

There’s little argument that one of the greatest achievements in the long and illustrious career of the late-Justice Thurgood Marshall, who died in 1993 at the age of 84, was the landmark decision in the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education.

According to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, in 1940, “Marshall became the key strategist in the effort to end racial segregation, in particular, meticulously challenging Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court-sanctioned legal doctrine that called for ‘separate but equal’ structures for Whites and Blacks.”

The Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit began as five separate cases filed in South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Kansas. The plaintiffs in all of the cases alleged that the civil rights of their children under the 14th Amendment had been violated.

A biography about Justice Marshall that appears on The Legal Defense Fund’s website said that, “Marshall won a series of court decisions that gradually struck down [‘separate, but equal’], ultimately leading to Brown v. Board of Education, which he argued before the Supreme Court in 1952 and 1953,” finally overturning the doctrine and acknowledging that segregation greatly diminished students’ self-esteem.”

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that separate educational facilities were “inherently unequal” and that racial segregation of public schools violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Brown v. Board of Education decision came more than a decade before Marshall’s appointment to the Supreme Court. The decision has been credited with inspiring the Civil Rights Movement that unfolded over the next decade and it also led to Marshall being recognized as one of the most successful lawyers in America.

“He accomplished so much and worked so hard, but I thought by now we would have come so much further. He would have thought that, too,” said Marshall, whom loved ones and others affectionately call “Cissy.”

Her work continues in her husband’s memory. On the 63rd anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Marshall and the Thurgood Marshall Center Trust plan to host a fundraising gala to observe the historic decision and to announce a call to action, which she’s titled, “Equal Education for All Based on the Brown Decision.”

The event will be held at the Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage in Northwest, Washington, D.C. “The problems remain and this event, this anniversary, comes against the backdrop of a significantly troubling retrenchment of access to education for African-Americans, Latinos and other children,” Marshall said.

She cited a Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights report that said there are numerous factors that appear to have combined to cause the rapid re-segregation of schools since 1991, the year her husband retired from the bench.

The courts began turning against desegregation plans in the 1980s—denying new petitions to desegregate schools, ending previous court imposed plans and even striking down voluntary plans created by local school districts, according to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a diverse collective of more than 200 national civil and human rights groups.

Further, executive branch agencies topped the aggressive campaign to enforce the Brown decision and the Civil Rights Act that proved successful in the 1960s and 1970s, the Leadership Conference reported.

In a statement about the report, the Leadership Conference said that the rapid growth of the Hispanic and African-American populations and growing income disparities have increased the concentration of minorities living in high poverty districts.

Leaders from the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and others plan to join Marshall at the historic event to celebrate the life and legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall. “The NNPA reaffirms the living legacy of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA. “We note this month the 63rd anniversary of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision. Marshall utilized his legal genius and courage to win that case.”

Chavis continued: “Today, it’s important to reassert the critical importance of continuing to demand equal, high-quality education for Black American students and all students across the nation.”

Marshall, she said that, she still gathers with the wives of former and current Supreme Court Justices. “We’re a big family, we call ourselves ‘sisters,’” she said.

Those get-togethers, as well as the success of her two sons—Thurgood, Jr., and John W. —serve to further validate her husband’s legacy. “Seeing his sons grow up to become adults—Thurgood, Jr. a lawyer; and John serving in civil service—has been a great joy,” said Marshall. “My husband gave me and all of us a great life and his favorite slogan was something we’ve always lived by and I still live by today, especially when I think of the state of things in this country.” She said that slogan is, “Never give up.”