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Possible Immigration Reform in the Near Future?

July 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: Uri-Biia Si-Asar

About a year ago on June 27th, 2013, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act was voted upon by the Senate. The Senate voted 68-32 and the immigration reform bill was passed. Some of the key components of the Act included a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country and tougher security measures put in place before immigrants gained legal status. This includes a maximum of 200,000 guest visas annually and $40 billion put towards border enforcement measures for the next decade. Unfortunately, however, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act did not pass in the House of Representatives and since then no more bills have been pushed through legislation.

Well at this point you may be wondering why that matters now almost a year later…

Recently there have been whisperings of another attempt at immigration reform in Congress. This is happening at a very interesting time as well because it may be one of the last windows of opportunity for any immigration reform to take place. Since the deadline to file for primary candidacy has passed Democrats are now hoping that some Republicans will now feel comfortable enough to vote for immigration reform.

Previously, some Republicans who were on the fence about their support of immigration reform may not have felt comfortable supporting the reform out of fear of losing their party’s support for elections. Now that the deadline has passed they have had time to gauge if their support on immigration reform will be reacted to negatively within their party.
We, as young people, are the generation of doers. We not only ask for change, we affect change. So, if you would like to voice your opinion or you would like to encourage Congress on making progress with immigration reform you should contact your representative in the Senate and House and let them know what you think should happen with immigration reform. We can make a difference.

 

#IMPACTYourState: Know Your Candidates

July 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

By: Brianna Owens

It’s that time again — it’s primary election season, and midterm election time (November 4, 2014) is fast approaching. Do you see the signs in the front yards, the supporters at the street lights? Now is the time for you to think about the prevalent issues in your community and support the candidate(s) you think will work to provide solutions to those issues.

According to FairVote.org, only about 40 percent of registered voters in the United States participate in midterm elections; many believe that it doesn’t have the “hype” factor or the competitiveness that presidential elections have. If this is your opinion, I still want to encourage you to educate yourself and your community on the candidates that want to represent you in elected office. Just as your voice matters, your vote matters.

With that in mind, IMPACT launched the #VoteReady campaign on August 15, 2012, in an effort to not only highlight the importance of voting, but also inform minority and youth populations about the current Voter ID laws and how they can register to vote.

Over the last two years, IMPACT’s goal has been to register eligible voters 40 and under; re-register members of the 40 and under community to vote; encourage those who are able to vote early (where applicable); encourage those who are unable to physically go to the polls to submit an absentee ballot; inform voters about Voter ID laws (where applicable); and utilize social media and other avenues to build awareness and educate voters.

During this pivotal time, it is important to note that whichever political party controls the Senate or House will support policies that will affect their constituents; as my former government teacher told me, “If ever in doubt about which candidate to support, GO WITH YOUR POLITICAL PARTY.” If you really can’t choose a candidate after having done your research on where they stand on certain issues, I suggest going with this advice; in all cases, JUST VOTE.

Are you keeping up with national election news? If not, here are some of the relevant issues:

● Democrats are fighting to maintain control of the Senate while the GOP is fighting to take it.
● Majority leader of the House, Eric Cantor, loses to challenger, Dave Brat. According to the Washington Examiner, “many Republicans believe it was because he played both sides of the street on the issue of immigration.”
● Now, the new Majority Leader is Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
● Charles and David Koch spearheaded a “super” PAC called Freedom Partners Action Fund, which is meant to “support candidates who share our vision of free markets and a free society and oppose candidates who support intrusive government policies that push the American Dream out of reach for the American people”, says Marc Short.
● Mayoral candidates David Catania and Muriel Bowser are battling it out when it comes to D.C.’s public schools.
● Currently, Maryland is experiencing a major shift in their status quo; one of their candidates, Heather Mizeur is running and, if elected would be the “first female governor and the first openly gay person elected governor of any state.”
● “Black voters in the South could be key to victories for incumbent senators trying to hold on to their seats in Mississippi and Louisiana, political experts say.”

What is your stance on these issues? Is education a major problem in your state? How do you feel about immigration? These are all things you need to think about when voting for candidates to represent you; see how closely their opinions on certain issues align with yours.

For more information about the #Voteready campaign, please take a look at our voter toolkit at GetVoteReady.org.

Getting Past the Gibberish – ObamaCare Updates Translated

July 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

By India Graden

In the context of healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as “ObamaCare”), there are certain terms that make the average person’s eyes glaze over and focus immediately wane. Words like “risk corridor” and “reinsurance.” What do they actually mean? With the constant bickering between Democrats and Republicans over the overall efficacy of the program and how to best implement the scheduled changes, it’s hard to read through the language and understand what the government actually wants our citizens to do.
Risk corridors, risk adjustment, and reinsurance are all just words used to describe the government’s plan of lowering the economic impact of insuring the nation. Reinsurance offers funding to insurance companies that deal with high costs for certain enrollees (those who may be considered “higher risk), while risk corridors limit the amount of losses and gains that insurance providers can experience and transfers funds from low risk plans to high risk plans (to even the playing field).
The latest news in the ObamaCare arguments is that House Republicans are saying the often debated risk corridor system is not a big deal – but only because of the overall risk of ObamaCare as a whole. The risk corridor system is set to expire in 2016, however the conversation brings up a much more troubling conversation of what is significant to the national healthcare budget. Why is such a large amount (literally billions of dollars) being spent on a temporary system not deemed as significant?
The answer is because the overall program is so large. The mindset of many House majority members is that the risk corridor payout budget (2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years) is not a problem because the overall ObamaCare strain on tax dollars is already so huge. This mentality is a problem because anything that puts a larger strain on the taxpayer places even more animosity amongst those citizens opposed to ObamaCare in the first place. This loops into a larger discussion on lack of understanding and opposition to public insurance amongst the nation. The first step toward fixing the clear problems with the Affordable Care Act is to make sure the risk corridors and reinsurance programs are actually budget neutral.

June 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Experience at 2014 IMPACT Summer Intern Networking Reception 

By: Wesley Dixon, Institute for Responsible Citizenship

The prevailing cultural narrative posits that young black persons are ambivalent about their futures and approach their professional lives with apathy and an air of nonchalantness — the IMPACT Annual Interns of Color Networking event turned this notion upside down. I walked into Jin Lounge last Wednesday, June 4, 2014 to see a room full of beautiful young people of color who were excited to fellowship with one another and share stories of their passions, successes, and aspirations.

Not only did I meet a slew of new young professionals at the networking event, but I also was able to reconnect with people who I have met in other spaces but have not seen or spoken to in a considerable amount of time. Specifically, one of the first people I ran into after walking through the threshold at Jin was my friend Rose who I met last summer and bonded with over our shared interest in HIV/AIDS advocacy. This is where I find the real power of IMPACT’s Annual Interns of Color Networking event: as opposed to simply viewing the room as one full of robotic business card dispensers, I saw the room as a space where I could form both professional coalitions organized around a ubiquitous desire to affect positive change, and uplifting friendship networks that extend beyond the walls of Jin and beyond the purview of our professional pursuits.

The notion of “networking” is one that is part and parcel of living and working in Washington, D.C., and while some may view networking events in general as just opportunities for attendees to bathe in their narcissism, I found IMPACT’s Annual Interns of Color Networking event to be one full of genuine relationship building, and one that served as a reminder that we must continue to work together to uphold IMPACT’s mission of political involvement, civic engagement, and economic empowerment.

07 Aug

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August 7, 2013 | By |

03 Jun

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ORGANIZATION SPOTLIGHT | Other Side of the Stethoscope

June 3, 2013 | By |

Q&A with Korin Bhyat, Founder, Other Side of the Stethoscope

1. Tell us about your organization and the inspiration for it?

Other Side of the Stethoscope (OSTETH) was founded in honor of Korin Bhyat’s husband, Dr. Dan Bhyat, a Cleveland Clinic Resident and Howard Medical School Alum who was diagnosed with a rare form of Osteosarcoma in 2009. He braved numerous treatments, surgeries and medications, but unfortunately passed away after a hard-fought, three-year battle. Throughout it all, Dan remained optimistic and stayed committed to his work. As both a patient and a doctor, his work served as a daily distraction from his own prognosis and motivation to better serve his patients. No matter their condition, Dan supported his patients by prescribing a dose of humor and hope.

Through various initiatives and scholarships, OSTETH’s goal is to promote awareness about emotional support in the medical community. Physicians are on the front lines when it comes to keeping patients encouraged when dealing with health challenges. This organization seeks to reintroduce the human side of medicine. We aim to work with physicians early in their medical careers to develop a sense of empathy when dealing with patients. This will allow that compassion to translate into an exceptional bedside manner that positively impacts a patient’s state of mind and duration of life.

My inspiration to establish this nonprofit was not only to honor Dan, but as a wife and a care-taker along side his parents and siblings, who watched first-hand the physical, emotional, and mental challenges Dan faced in the hospital. When someone you love is facing a medical challenge, your only desire is to lessen their pain and suffering in any way that you can.

Throughout Dan’s battle with cancer, his family and I often felt helpless. The only thing we could do is be his advocate and keep him encouraged. We were exposed to physicians who continuously made Dan more scared than he already was and others that made him laugh and smile every time they walked in the room. This nonprofit aims to inspire more doctors who make the one’s we love laugh, smile, and hope.

2. What are the lessons you hope Dan’s life and legacy provides to young professionals of color?

I hope this nonprofit inspires future physicians of the world to follow their dreams and never lose sight of the fact that tomorrow is never promised. Dan was unique in so many instances being a biracial Canadian with a mother who was Catholic and a father was Muslim. I believe his diverse background, and open-minded upbringing from amazing parents, who were educators, gave him a truly revolutionary outlook on life. He never cast judgement on anyone and no matter how bad things got, he kept a smile on his face. I remember one time when Dan was on a clinical trial he said to me, “Maybe I have to go through all of this so that I can help find a cure for someone else down the line.” His selflessness and strength as he lived the last few years as both a physician and a patient encouraged those around him or who even knew his story to put things into perspective.

It’s amazing to see the number of people he inspired in and outside of medical field before he passed away at the young age of 30. I personally, believe it just goes to show that age, race, religion aren’t really a factor when you’re destined to change the world.

3. What has been the most difficult challenge and the greatest reward associated with establishing OSTETH?

The biggest challenge in establishing this non-profit was that it forced me to re-live a lot of the bad memories that made Dan so inspiring. I made the conscious decision to start his organization only a month after he passed without really factoring in all of the delays the mental grief process would cause for me. I just felt compelled to honor his legacy as soon as possible before I loss the strength to do it. Everything that this non profit stands for is built on on things we spoke about, he experienced and he believed in. Also, as someone with absolutely no experience starting a non profit, there was a steep learning curve for me along the way. Luckily my experiences with Dan and amazing support network allowed me to a lot of things along the way into perspective: most importantly …if it’s not life or death then it really isn’t that serious.

The greatest reward from establishing this organization is that it has the potential to impact a lot of lives in an amazing way while also upholding his legacy. I have no doubt he is proud of everything this organization aims to do.

Donations are more than welcomed via OSTETH’s website at: www.osteth.org

11 Apr

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Summer Internship 2013

April 11, 2013 | By |

IMPACT-Logo

Founded by a group of emerging leaders in 2006, IMPACT is an organization whose purpose is to: (1) enhance knowledge of the political and legislative processes; (2) foster civic engagement, and; (3) enhance economic empowerment opportunities for other emerging leaders, ages 21 to 40. Whether these leaders have joined corporate America, became CEOs of their own companies, worked on Capitol Hill, lead non-profits, or are officials elected to lead their cities, states, or our Nation to greatness – the mission of IMPACT is to strategically link these leaders with one another to help in accomplishing their goals.  To that end, our primary means of accomplishing this mission is to host a range of events catering to young professionals including forums,workshops, receptions and galas.

IMPACT partners with businesses, organizations, and high-powered leaders to host candidates’ forums, roundtable discussions, lecture series, workshops, and strategic networking events. Some of the events we have hosted in the past include forums at the Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, panel discussions at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions of 2012 and work with various organizations to help people become and stay #VoteReady.


IMPACT is currently in the process of interviewing for Summer Interns.

Interns are expected to blog for our website, assist with Expansion and Development ideas, research various topics, like community service ideas and civic engagement organizations, and ensure that IMPACT has proper support for our events.  Because IMPACT does not have an office, we communicate via email on the daily bases.  With that, the time commitment is usually between 10-15 hours a week.

Necessary skills include, but are not limited to:

  • Completing assigned tasks within time allotted.
  • Completing tasks with minimum supervision.
  • Ability to be responsive and engaged with the Staff.
  • Interest in personal growth and willingness to step outside of one’s comfort zone.
  • Clerical skills.
  • Interest in and experience with social media campaigns.

 To Apply: Email Krystal.Leaphart@impact-dc.com an updated resume, cover letter and two 500 word writing samples.  The deadline for these applications is close of business April 30, 2013.  Interviews will be scheduled with qualified applicants.

11 Apr

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Summer Interns 2013

April 11, 2013 | By |

Inline image 1

Founded by a group of emerging leaders in 2006, IMPACT is an organization whose purpose is to: (1) enhance knowledge of the political and legislative processes; (2) foster civic engagement, and; (3) enhance economic empowerment opportunities for other emerging leaders, ages 21 to 40. Whether these leaders have joined corporate America, became CEOs of their own companies, worked on Capitol Hill, lead non-profits, or are officials elected to lead their cities, states, or our Nation to greatness – the mission of IMPACT is to strategically link these leaders with one another to help in accomplishing their goals.  To that end, our primary means of accomplishing this mission is to host a range of events catering to young professionals including forums,workshops, receptions and galas.

IMPACT partners with businesses, organizations, and high-powered leaders to host candidates’ forums, roundtable discussions, lecture series, workshops, and strategic networking events. Some of the events we have hosted in the past include forums at the Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, panel discussions at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions of 2012 and work with various organizations to help people become and stay #VoteReady.


IMPACT is currently in the process of interviewing for Summer Interns.

Interns are expected to blog for our website, assist with Expansion and Development ideas, research various topics, like community service ideas and civic engagement organizations, and ensure that IMPACT has proper support for our events.  Because IMPACT does not have an office, we communicate via email on the daily bases.  With that, the time commitment is usually between 10-15 hours a week.

Necessary skills include, but are not limited to:

  • Completing assigned tasks within time allotted.
  • Completing tasks with minimum supervision.
  • Ability to be responsive and engaged with the Staff.
  • Interest in personal growth and willingness to step outside of one’s comfort zone.
  • Clerical skills.
  • Interest in and experience with social media campaigns.

 To Apply: Email Krystal.Leaphart@impact-dc.com an updated resume, cover letter and two 500 word writing samples.  The deadline for these applications is close of business April 30, 2013.  Interviews will be scheduled with qualified applicants.

28 Jan

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IMPACT NYC

January 28, 2013 | By |

IMP-071-Community-Champions-of-Change-Host-Committee