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2012 February

15 Feb

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Author Derek Musgrove to Discuss, Sign New Book on Racial Politics

February 15, 2012 | By |

On February 21, Derek Musgrove will be discussing and signing copies of his book, Rumor, Repression, and Racial Politics: How the Harassment of Black Elected Officials Shaped Post-Civil Rights America.

 The event will take place at Busboys and Poets located at 2021 14th Street NW, Washington DC, 20001 and is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Musgrove’s book documents how African Americans gained access to electoral politics in the mid-1960s but continues the discussion into what happened next.  Musgrove examines the state and news media repression alleged by back elected officials to gain new insight into the role of race in U.S. polit ics from 1965 to 1995.

The book has already received critical acclaim, being heralded as “a real gem providing fresh insight into African American political thought and behavior, illuminating the role of rumor and conspiracy theory in post-1960s racial politics, and elucidating African Americans’ changing relationship with the state.”

To purchase your own copy of Rumor, Repression and Racial Politics, the book is available here.

11 Feb

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Congrats Stef!

February 11, 2012 | By |

Congratulations are in order!

IMPACT leader, Stefanie Brown, has joined the Barack Obama re-election campaign!  Stefanie was honored as an IMPACT leader in February of 2007.

The 31-year-old Ohio native and Howard University graduate was named the African-American Vote Director for the campaign’s “Operation Vote” outreach effort.

Brown leaves her position as the national field director at the NAACP to join Obama’s campaign team where her new role in Operation Vote encompasses encouraging black, female, Latino, LGBT, veteran and young voters across the nation to vote on Election Day.

2008 showed record turnout numbers for young voter and minority populations in an election year, which many claim was the driving force behind Obama’s win.  It comes as no surprise then that the campaign had their eyes on Brown for this position to secure a second win.

Jim Messina, Obama campaign manager spoke on why Brown was selected for the position. “She is a natural fit for a campaign who’s fueled by its grassroots strength.  Stefanie’s youth, commitment and proven ability to mobilize and energize voters will be an invaluable asset to the campaign,” he said.

Having served as both the national field director and the head of the NAACP’s Youth & College division, Brown brings a wealth of knowledge for targeting core minority groups and is credited as leading an NAACP initiative where more than 200,000 voters registered for the 2008 and 2010 elections.

Among Brown’s other successes are being named as one of Essence.com’s “Top 10 Emerging Political Leaders of 2010” and Ebony magazine’s “Top 30 Young Leaders under the Age of 30” in 2007.

IMPACT would like to congratulate one of our leaders on this amazing opportunity and send every encouragement for her continued success.

Are you or someone you know an IMPACT leader?

Each  month  IMPACT   highlights  a young  professional  of  color  who  is  achieving  great  success  professionally and  philanthropically.

IMPACT leaders of the month are then eligible to compete for the title of IMPACT Leader of the Year, an award, presented during Preview: A Red Carpet Affair, a premier networking reception held during the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. IMPACT leader of the Year Awardees include 2011 winner nationally known Financial planner Ryan Mack; 2010 Entrepreneur and consultant Natalie Cofield; 2009 Reverend Matthew Watley; 2008 Founder and President of The Wright Group and Presidential Appointee Amelia Cobb; and 2007 Florida City Commissioner Andrew Gillum.  

To  be  considered  please  send  us  a  recent  bio  and picture  (your  bio  should  highlight  both  your  professional  accomplishments as  well  as  your  community  engagement)  and  responses  to  the  following questions.  Should  you  have  any  questions  or  need  additional  information please don’t hesitate to contact me at david.johns@impact-dc.com.

07 Feb

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IMPACT Acknowledges National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7, 2012 | By |

Today men, women, and youth are reminded that we are each other’s keepers as February 7, 2012 marks the 12th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The theme this year is “I am My Brother’s/Sister’s keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS”.

In a community hit hard by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, the African American community is called upon on this day to get educated, tested, involved and treated. According to the most recent date from Center for Disease Control released in 2009, African Americans comprise just 14% of the US population yet this minority group accounted for 44% of all new infections in that year. At some point in our lifetimes, an estimated 1 in 16 Black men and 1 in 32 Black women will be diagnosed with HIV infection. It is without question that African Americans are most disproportionately infected, and affected by HIV/AIDS – particularly young Black gay and bisexual men.

An ongoing, all of the above strategy and community response to the epidemic that affects our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, lovers, friends and increasing number of elders must continue. We simply must be our brother’s and sister’s keepers. On this National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day commit to knowing the facts, know your status and encourage someone else you care about to do the same.

Learn more about how you can educate and empower yourself in the fight against HIV/AIDS at http://www.nationalblackaidsday.org/Home.html.

Join IMPACT as we work to ensure that young professionals are engaged throughout the year in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Check back periodically for additional information on this initiative. IMPACT Your World!

HIV/AIDS IMPACT Facts

Get Tested

  • Do you know your status?
  • Visit http://www.hivtest.org/ for National testing sites
  • Text KNOWIT to 566984 with your zip code for HIV testing sites near you

Get Educated

Practice Safe Sex and Encourage Others to do the Same

Fight Stigma

  • HIV/AIDS is not a “gay man’s disease” and it is impacting our communities in significant ways the more we are able to speak honestly and candidly with one another about the importance of safe sex and wellness more generally the healthier our community will become.

Make an IMPACT

  • Each of us is equipped with unique skills and abilities. Find some way to make an IMPACT by volunteering at a hospice or hospital, encouraging youth or high risk populations to get tested and practice safe sex, or host a conversation night where you invite friends and acquaintances to have candid conversations about safe sex, HIV/AIDS, and wellness.

 

HIV/AIDS IMPACT Fast Facts

  • 1 in 16 Black men and 1 in 32 Black women will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetimes.
  • Young adults and teens age 13-29 account for 34% of new HIV infections and the largest share of any age group.
  • The rate of new infections among young Black males age 13-29 is seven times higher than among any other race or ethnicity.
  • Young Black gay and bisexual men are especially hard-hit, comprising more than three-quarters of new infections among young Black men and accounting for more infections than any other racial or ethnic group of men who have sex with men.
  • Young Black women are far more affected by HIV than young women of other races.
  • The rate of new infections among young Black females age 13-29 is 11 times as high as that of young white females and four times that of young Hispanic females.
  • The vast majority of young Black women with HIV are infected through heterosexual contact.
  • There are 56,300 new infections each year.
  • More than one million Americans are living with HIV, but 1 in 5 is unaware of their infection

03 Feb

By

IL: Ify Ike

February 3, 2012 | By |

IM

Ifeomasinachi Ike (better known as “Ify” which means “Every good and perfect gift comes from above.” James 1:17) is an artist, athlete, advocate, and attorney. On a full academic scholarship, Ms. Ike left her hometown of Trenton, NJ to attend West Virginia University, obtaining her B.A. in Communication Studies, Minor in Art History, and her M.A. in Communication Theory & Research. After working at the State University of New York at Old Westbury for a year, Ms. Ike matriculated at The City University of New York School of Law. During her tenure at CUNY School of Law, Ms. Ike became the first African­American Student Government President, and CUNY BLSA’s first Fundraising Chair. During her third year in law school, Ms. Ike was appointed to the National Black Law Students Association board as the Corporate Relations Director. Her efforts resulted in new corporate sponsors, stronger mentor alliances, and over $500,000 towards NBLSA’s programmatic efforts. At NBLSA’s 40th Anniversary Gala, Ms. Ike was awarded the “Board Member of the Year” Award.

 

Ms. Ike received her LL.M. in Litigation and Dispute Resolution, with highest honors, from The George Washington University Law School. She was selected as a researcher for the American Bar Association’s “Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions,” where she also published an article on the state of Alabama’s juvenile adjudications. Ms. Ike currently is a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Fellow. She has served in the personal office of the late Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-NJ) and currently serves with the US House Committee on the Judiciary. While on the Hill, Ms. Ike has advocated on behalf of Haiti in the areas of clean water, cholera attention, election protection, and housing; protecting the rights of Afro­Latinos; and improving economic development plans within urban communities.

With a heart for urban communities, Ms. Ike has served as the Program Director for Project Hope—The Next Direction, where she created TND Academy, a Saturday academic enrichment supplement to middle and high school students. Ms. Ike is the founder of H.Y.P.E. (Helping You Professionally Excel); The Christian Minority Network, Inc.; Pink&Brown—an urban youth program; and Ike Professional, which assists professionals with various communication needs. She also is a weekly contributor of the spiritual blog “The Bold and Fab.” A licensed attorney, Ms. Ike was a real estate associate for Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP—a Wall Street firm, and Law Clerk for civil rights law firm, The Law Firm of Frederick K. Brewington.

You can follow Ify on Twitter at @DoubleEYEEsq.

 

IMPACT LEADER: A “Peek” Into Ifeomasinachi Ike

1. What inspired you to pursue your current career path?

James 1: 26-27: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Growing up, I was always a little sensitive. Even though most people assumed I was a “tough” chick (and maybe rightfully so), my heart would break down at the sight of a homeless person, or a lonely elderly person with tattered clothes, or a single mother with a child on each hip. I would imagine what I would do if I could help them—and make up little scenarios in my head. Then I would try to perfect those scenarios, while trying to understand the plight of those overlooked by society. For the most part, I learned not to judge too harshly how one chooses to survive because so much ‘life’ happens to people prior to us meeting them.

At the end of the day, I realized that humanity longs for three main types of people: people that love them; people that will listen to them; and people that will speak for them. The choices I make—as a researcher; a mediator; an advocate; an attorney; a (policy) wonk largely stem from those desires.

 

2. What compelled you to spearhead recent events in Washington, D.C. in honor of Trayvon Martin?

To be quite honest, I initially did not want to have anything to do with it; the news paralyzed me. I thought of my brothers: are they safe? I thought of the time my brother—with long locks, ebony skin, chiseled physique, and a heart of honey—was thrown in the back of a police car and handcuffed after the cops initially assumed he was the problem…even though he was actually the one who called the cops. Lucky for him, he has three siblings who are attorneys; when I got that call in the middle of the night from him—well let’s just say less than 30 minutes after I called the precinct he was released. But my heart still aches to know that my brothers, while raised in the same household, live a completely different life as black men in America.

A friend called me and he wanted to talk about Trayvon. He told me about his experience as a black man in America, the conversation he had with his father, and how all the education and connections in the world could not shield him from being profiled. Then he asked: “So what are we gonna do?” Probably out of self-pity and out of the “why me” syndrome, I whined “what can we do?” He reminded me that the one advantage we have is that we are in a city of influence and around people of influence. Our job is to make it important enough for them to act on their influence. After a day of reviewing the facts, I connected with friends, colleagues, PR experts, and mentors about the case and strategies. I drafted op-eds, letters, and other messaging tools that might be useful. I tweeted, facebooked, whatever! I did not want people to agree with me; I wanted people to engage in the discussion.

When I heard about the “Million Hoodies March” in New York, I debated on whether I was going to go. I stayed in DC, but had decided that the first day Congress went into recess—which happened to be the upcoming Friday—I would wear my hoodie on Capitol Hill. I put on my gchat status “Hoodies on the Hill.” Slowly, friends started changing their gchat status to say the same. I reached out to Waikinya Clanton, Chair of the Congressional Black Associates, and asked her if doing a “Hoodies on the Hill” event would be something she would be interested in helping coordinate. She, too, was trying to think of a way we could make a statement on the Hill. Collectively, staffers (and IMPACT) worked together in less than 24 hours to pay tribute to Trayvon Martin on the steps of the Capitol.

After that, I was part of a team that organized a forum focused on the federal government’s role in crimes that are racially motivated. It was an honor to have the parents of Trayvon Martin—Ms. Sybrina Fulton and Mr. Tracy Martin—in attendance. I thought I knew what tired was until I met them. Her face expressed what was on our minds and hearts—yet many are afraid to articulate: when will America cease classifying black men as ‘suspicious’ by default? I questioned it with my own brother. And I imagine it won’t be the last time we raise that question.

 

3. What is the key to balancing your professional and social commitments?

I don’t know. When you find that key, mail it. *Smile* I imagine that at the end of the day, it is to realize that both are essential to a well-rounded individual. I’m not quite round yet…maybe oval-ish. I pray I apply what I know very shortly.

 

4. What is the biggest mistake young professionals make?

Letting mistakes of the past define destiny.

 

5. What advice would you give other young professionals who desire to excel in the nation’s capital? Specifically, for other young women of color?

At the beginning and the end of the day, every advice stems from one’s connection to God. So pray—because if there is one thing DC does not lack, it is advice. But everyone is not sound counsel. So don’t do it alone, but also realize that moments of solitude are part of the process.

Aside from that, you can be influential regardless of the title you possess. So apply for every opportunity you see—just get in. Be a sponge. Then do what only you can do. Corrections will come along the way—but it will only sharpen you for the next step.

As for practical steps: update your resume frequently; meet as many people as you can; stay humble, yet assertive; and find ways to give back. Know that someone is always watching, even during recreation.

 

6. What’s been the best experience of your career thus far (or the most rewarding)?

After 12 days of building homes in South Africa with other fellows and volunteers for the Niall Mellon Trust (stationed in Ireland), handing over the keys to new homeowners was the most rewarding experience.

 

7. What’s next for you in your career? What should we look out for?

That’s a good question. I sense that I will continue to help people with messaging, strategy, and advocacy in various arenas. The less you see of me and the more you see of my products, the closer I am to perfecting my purpose.

 

8. Lastly, give me three words to sum up Ify?

How about four: “Without. Jesus. I. Suck.”