Inaugural Jazz Brunch Honoring Champions of Change
||Sunday, January 20, 2013 :: 1:00pm – 3:00pm||
The Marcus Mitchell Project, an award winning jazz ensemble, will fill the air with music while guests network and enjoy catered cuisine at a notable restaurant in the heart of Washington, DC. During the brunch, IMPACT will honor our special invited Champions of Change – individuals selected through a competitive process for their service and dedication to positively impacting individuals and communities throughout the country. As we celebrate the President and the accomplishments of so many who assisted in his re-election, IMPACT believes it is important to recognize the unsung heroes who the work that often goes unnoticed.
With a special lounge for conversation, video capture of your thoughts of the last four years and a social media room, this event is sure to be spectacular. We have a very limited number of tickets available for this event so don’t delay, purchase your tickets today!
December 1st was HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and marks the beginning of HIV/AIDS awareness month. Many events will be going on around the country to raise awareness about this dreaded disease. I’ve read several articles this year that talked about the potential end to this epidemic. The 2012 International AIDS Conference held in Washington DC this year had a “positive” theme of an AIDS free generation and not without good reason. Treatment options for HIV/AIDS patients have improved significantly over the last 30 years, the possibility of a vaccine to prevent transmission of the virus looks better, and stem cell transplants may one day provide a cure for some. But is a true end for an epidemic that has killed so many really in sight?
HIV/AIDS remains one of the world’s most serious health challenges. An estimated 34.2 million people worldwide had HIV in 2011. This is up 18 percent compared to 2001 when 28.9 million were living with HIV. There were 2.5 million new infections in 2011 which included an estimated 330,000 children. Globally, more than 8 million people had access to antiretroviral therapy, an increase of 20 percent from 2010.
Notably a year’s supply of antiretroviral therapy cost less than $100 per person per year for the least expensive regimen recommended by the United Nations Progamme on AIDS (UNAIDS). In 2000, it cost more than $10,000.
There continues, however, to be a huge disparity among men who have sex with men (MSM). The disparity among young black MSM compared to other MSM cannot be explained by drastic differences in behavior. The CDC and other studies have dispelled the myths that black men have a greater number of sexual partners, engage in riskier sexual activity, and have higher rates of drug use than white MSM.
However, a young black MSM’s risk of contracting HIV in his lifetime is exponentially higher. The need and urgency to do research, educate, test, and treat, is heightened by these findings, but the resources, community, and public policy must be there to implement such an approach.
Despite medical advances, exclusively relying on drugs, vaccines, and stem cells will not rid the world of HIV/AIDS. HIV prevention to be effective must be inclusive of education, behavioral strategies, and access to quality affordable health care. The Ryan White CARE HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 along with the Affordable Care Act will be key sources of funding and support for health and social services for patients with HIV/AIDS.
Are we closer to the end? Yes closer than we have ever been before, but we have a long way to go as long as specific populations continue to suffer and die to this 100% preventable disease.
Dr. Rani Whitfield is a board certified family practice and sports medicine physician practicing in Baton Rouge, LA. He is a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association and medical director for the National Association of Free Clinics. He is affectionately known as Tha Hip Hop Doc. Visit his website at www.h2doc.com and/or follow him on twitter @ThaHipHopDoc.
Congratulations to our December 2012 IMPACT Leader of the Month, Mr. Steven Horsford. Steven is a Democratic member and Majority Leader of the Nevada Senate, representing Clark County’s 4th Senate District since 2005, as well as congressman-elect for Nevada’s 4th congressional district. He is Nevada’s first African-American state senate Majority Leader and will be the first person of color to represent Nevada in Congress.
A devoted family man, Steven has built a strong family with his wife, Dr. Sonya Horsford, and their three children, Benjamin, Bryson and Ella. But growing up in West Las Vegas, his family life was less secure. Steven became head of his household at just ten years old. Caring for his younger siblings. Working his way through high school at Pizza Hut and cleaning kennels. Leaving college at the University of Nevada-Reno when his brothers and sister needed him at home. And helping each of his siblings make it to college themselves.
It didn’t take long for Steven to learn the meaning of responsibility and hard work. Or to find out what really matters.
Steven was elected to the Nevada State Senate in 2004 and got right to work. He wrote and passed the “Clean Energy Jobs Initiative” and authored legislation providing tax incentives to businesses that create higher paying jobs in Nevada. He was also the chief sponsor of revolutionary K-12 school reform that passed in 2011 that brings greater accountability to classrooms—so Nevada’s children get the education they need to succeed in college or career.
He led the 2008 election fight that won two senate seats and put Democrats in the majority for the first time in 18 years. He was chosen to co-chair Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in the state.
Steven was quickly chosen by his peers as their leader – and now serves as the state’s youngest and Nevada’s first African American Majority Leader. His service has been characterized by a willingness to work across the aisle with anyone who has a good idea, and the resolve to fight for what he believes in when it matters most.
INTERVIEW | Getting to Know Steven Horsford
What inspired you to pursue a career in politics and policy making?
My whole life I have committed myself to helping other people. I do it every day at the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas training workers for employment in the hospitality industry. I did it as a young man taking care of my younger siblings and making sure they had the chance to go to college. And I did it in the State Legislature. It just made sense: I could make an impact by being a voice for middle class families in Carson City, and I will be a strong voice in Congress as well.
What is the key to balancing your professional, philanthropic and social commitments?
Perspective. It is important to keep in mind how blessed we are to have what we have, and remember the people who gave us a chance. We have to work hard to open up opportunities for others so they have a shot at future success just like we did.
What is the biggest mistake young professionals make, especially when pursuing elected office?
Many people assume they can get everything done at once. But if you have a steady hand, work with others, and come together on the things you can agree on, you can get a lot done. We should always stand up and fight for what we believe in, and we should never compromise our principles, but it is important to recognize that we can find common ground with others.
What advice would you give other young professionals who desire to excel in the politics, especially elected office?
Find internships, find a good mentor, and follow your passion. Find an issue that you care about, study it, and find out how you can make a difference. If you find that you can make a difference as an elected official, pursue office, but never forget why you got involved in the first place, and understand that there will be setbacks along the way. As long as you believe in what you’re doing you will be resilient.
What’s been the best experience of your career thus far (or the most rewarding)?
The best experience of my career is being able to help other people succeed and brighten their futures every day. Whether it is working at the Culinary Academy (where we help place thousands of students each year in the hospitality industry) or working in Carson City, I find the most rewarding aspect of my work the improvement of other people’s lives.
What’s next for you in your career? What should we look out for?
I am currently the Nevada State Senate Majority Leader, and I am now running for Congress in Nevada’s fourth congressional district. I will continue to go where I feel I can make a positive difference for Nevada families.
Lastly, give me threewords to sum up StevenHorsford?
Research Highlights Reduced Opportunity for Political Inclusion in 2012 and Beyond
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of Election Day tomorrow, IMPACT releases the report: #VoteReady: African American Voter Access and Reduced Opportunity for Political Involvement 2012(click here for report) as part of its #VoteReady movement. Specifically, the report analyzes findings from research on voter identification legislation, population growth, and the influence of geography on political participation, focusing on Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. The purpose of the report is to help political organizers and policy makers target politically vulnerable African Americans who face practical voting obstacles due to geography, i.e. reduced opportunity voters (ROVs), and the lack of photo identification (ID) in 2012 and beyond.
“Even in 2012, people of color are still faced with formidable hurdles when it comes to political participation,” said IMPACT Director Angela Rye. “It is our hope that this report highlights the deficiencies in voting access in order to spur the change we so desperately need for parity in the electoral process.”
Voter ID laws are a reality that will impact future elections in states in which they have been enacted. As such, not possessing a photo ID coupled with the lack of access to a DMV office demonstrates how overly cumbersome it is for citizens to be politically involved with voter ID requirements.
Major findings from this study include:
Approximately 367,000 African American voting age citizens will have their opportunity to vote reduced based on Florida’s requirement that voters show photo identification or some other form of ID that displays a signature.
If Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is enacted for future elections, 115,000 African American voting age citizens will have their opportunity to vote reduced based on the state’s voter ID law.
Overall, in Pennsylvania and Florida, there are 482,000 African American voting age citizens will have their opportunity to vote reduced.
In Florida, African American voter growth rates rose at almost twice the rate of their White counterparts between the 2000 and the 2004 Presidential election, i.e. 34% to 19%, compared to 2004 to 2008, which was twenty times that of their White counterparts, i.e. 21% to 1%, respectively.
Most importantly, there is no clear method to determine the large potential impact on states’ introduction and enactment of voter ID laws. Therefore, IMPACT recommends that states continue to make voting easy, fair, and accessible.
IMPACT launched the #VoteReady movement in August 2012 to help answer three questions:
Am I prepared to vote;
Am I registered to vote;
Where do I cast my vote?
IMPACT’s goal is to prepare, engage, and educate youth and young professionals to ensure American citizens are equipped and prepared to go to the polls tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6, 2012. As witnessed by this report, #VoteReady will also increase voter education and engagement among those who are disproportionately affected by recently enacted voter identification laws.
IMPACT is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage and build a network of young professionals of color to foster civic engagement, increase knowledge of the political and legislative processes, and enhance economic empowerment opportunities. For additional information about IMPACT, visit , www.IMPACT-dc.com or follow @teamIMPACT.
Hundreds of Howard University students and IMPACT supporters participated
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, October 16, 2012 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, IMPACT (@teamIMPACT), AARP (@AARPDC) and The Root (@TheRoot247) hosted their second 2012 presidential debate watch party at Howard University’s Digital Auditorium. In 2012, IMPACT has worked to ensure college students and young professionals are #VoteReady. Their non-partisan conversations during the presidential debates take the next step toward being vote ready and understanding the issues we are voting for. IMPACT, AARP, The Root, and Howard University Democrats and Republicans led a post-debate discussion.
IMPACT continued its ongoing Twitter Town Hall series from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. ET earlier that day. Participants used the hash tag #VoteReady and had an open discussion with (@teamIMPACT), (@AARPDC) and (@TheRoot247) with university and college students nationwide. Since its August inception, IMPACT’s Super Tuesday Twitter Town Hall Series has made more than 15 million impressions with retweets from celebrities, legislators, authors, journalists, bloggers, and a plethora of organizations.
On October 3, 2012, more than 200 George Washington University students gathered in the university’s Marvin Center Continental Ballroom for IMPACT, AARP and The Root’s first presidential debate watch party. GWU Democrats and Republicans, along with other supporters, cheered and moaned as they watched former Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama debate on the big screen.
IMPACT is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage and build a network of young professionals of color to foster civic engagement, increase knowledge of the political and legislative processes, and enhance economic empowerment opportunities. For additional information about IMPACT, visit www.IMPACT-dc.com.
AARP-DC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.
The Root is the leading online source of news and commentary from an African-American perspective. Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, The Root offers a unique take on breaking news, provides solid analysis and presents dynamic multimedia content. The Root is owned by the Washington Post Company.
More than 200 George Washington University College Democrats and Republicans joined to watch first presidential debate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, October 3 at 8 p.m. ET, IMPACT (@teamIMPACT), AARP (@AARPDC) and The Root (@TheRoot247) hosted its first 2012 Presidential Debate watch party. In 2012, IMPACT has worked to ensure college students and young professionals are #VoteReady. Our non-partisan conversations during the Presidential Debates take the next step toward being vote ready and understanding the issues we are voting for. The AARP, GWU NAACP, GWU College Democrats, GWU College Republicans led a post-debate discussion about domestic policy, specifically the effect of Social Security and Medicare on college students and young professionals.
More than 200 George Washington University students gathered in the university’s Marvin Center Continental Ballroom to watch the first presidential debate. GWU Democrats and Republicans, along with other supporters, cheered and moaned as they watched former Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama debate.
On Oct. 16, IMPACT will host another presidential debate watch party from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET at Howard University’s Digital Auditorium. IMPACT will continue its ongoing Twitter Town Hall series with a focus on Medicare at 1 p.m. Participants will use the hash tag #VoteReady and have an open discussion with IMPACT (@teamIMPACT) regarding Medicare.
To view a transcript of IMPACT’s live tweet during the debate watch party, please check our Twitter: @teamIMPACT.
IMPACT is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage and build a network of young professionals of color to foster civic engagement, increase knowledge of the political and legislative processes, and enhance economic empowerment opportunities. For additional information about IMPACT, visitwww.IMPACT-dc.com.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, our bilingual multimedia platform for Hispanic members; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Root is a daily online magazine that provides thought-provoking commentary on today’s news from a variety of black perspectives. For additional information about The Root, visitwww.theroot.com.
Emerging Leaders Town Hall w/ Roland Martin, ‘PREVIEW: A Red Carpet Affair 2012,’ &
the Young Elected Officials Roundtable
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22, 2012, IMPACT hosted three standing-room only events–a town hall, roundtable discussion, and an upscale red carpet event — during the 42nd Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). IMPACT featured more than 20 notable panelists during the Emerging Leaders Town Hall and the Young Elected Officials Roundtable, and with all three events combined more than 1,000 attendees participated.
African-American legislators, policy professionals, and community advocates led discussions at the Emerging Leaders Town Hall and the Young Elected Officials Roundtable. Both events equipped young professionals and budding politicos with the knowledge and tools needed to sustain a career in public policy, engage their local community, and network with their peers.
IMPACT’s CBCF ALC events featured appearances by Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Trayvon Martin family, Rep. Sheila Jackson- Lee (D-TX), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), NY Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, Political Analyst Jamal Simmons, Florida House Rep. Alan Williams, Florida Commissioner Andrew Gillum, several Capitol Hill Chief of Staff, Journalist Jeff Johnson, Actress Tatyana Ali, and more.
***On Friday, September 21, 2012 at 11 am ET, IMPACT hosted its annual Emerging Leaders Series Town Hall this year with Political Analyst and TV One’s “Washington Watch” host Roland Martin at the Washington Convention Center, Room 207, 801 Mt. Vernon NW, Washington, DC 20001. The event was on the official CBCF ALC schedule. Serving as the event’s moderator, Martin led the discussion with Civil Rights Leader Rev. Jesse Jackson and other notable panelists including Journalist Jeff Johnson, NY Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, Actress Tatyana Ali and others for four separate rounds of discussion. The Town Hall was recorded and aired on TV One this past Sunday, September 23, during regular programming. Panelists also engaged with audience members during a Q&A session. The official podcast from the event will be featured on the Roland Martin blog: http://rolandsmartin.com/podcast/. Video interviews of each panelist–conducted by an IMPACT member–are available upon request. Official pictures from the Town Hall are also available.
***Later that evening, from 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm ET, IMPACT hosted “PREVIEW: A Red Carpet Affair 2012” at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, DC, which honored our nation’s Emerging Leaders. Each month IMPACT features an young professional, dubbed IMPACT Leader of the Month, who makes significant positive contributions to their communities, both professionally and philanthropically. In the month leading up to PREVIEW, individuals were encouraged to vote for the person who embodies IMPACT’s three core principles (civic engagement, political involvement, and economic empowerment) through their professional accomplishments and work in the community.
IMPACT presented Founder/Editorial Director of Urban Cusp Rahiel Tesfamariam with the IMPACT Leader of the Year award. The event opened with Congressman Carson making remarks about IMPACT, then Sabrina Fulton, the mother of the slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, along with her Attorneys Daryl Parks & Benjamin Crump, gave remarks as well. IMPACT Leaders of the Months were then recognized and the IMPACT Leader of the Year was recognized and awarded with a trophy.
‘PREVIEW: A Red Carpet Affair 2012’ provided guests with an intimate and elegant venue to interact with members of Congress and other notable, national leaders. Since its inception in 2006, PREVIEW has been a tremendous success. This year, more than 600 people attended PREVIEW, including community leaders and young professionals from around the world. Official red carpet photos are attached.
***On Saturday, September 23, 2012 at 11 am ET , IMPACT hosted the Young Elected Officials Roundtable from 10:30 am- 12:00 pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 143C with young elected officials, policy professionals, and members of the Obama Administration.
The panelists included:
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)
Anton J. Gunn, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Heather Foster, White House Office of Public Engagement
Jamal Simmons, Political Analyst- CNN/MSNBC
Maisha Leek, Chief of Staff, Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
Mikael Moore, Chief of Staff, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Virgil Miller, Chief of Staff, Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA)
A.J. Brooks, Esq., Legislative Assistant, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
These panelists not only talked about their personal experiences working in the political field, but they also gave advice to a room filled with politicians, young professionals, and students. Video footage is available upon request. Official photos from the event are also available.
IMPACT (@teamIMPACT) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage and build a network of young professionals of color to foster civic engagement, increase knowledge of the political and legislative processes, and enhance economic empowerment opportunities. For additional information about IMPACT, visit www.IMPACT-dc.com.