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The City of Atlanta Says Goodbye

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By Friday, July 18, 2020 Blacks and the Nation had lost two civil rights icons. Representative John Lewis lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and died at age 80, and the day before Cordey Tindell Vivian (a.k.a. C. T. Vivian) minister, author, and close friend and lieutenant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement died of natural causes in his home at age 95. Vivian resided in Atlanta and founded the C.T. Vivian Leadership, Inc. He was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

Rep. Lewis represented the city of Atlanta for more than 30 years in Congress.  He had recently won the June primary for the 5th Congressional District seat in his bid for an 18th term. Under state law, the Georgia Democratic Party was required to choose a replacement nominee by the end of the day Monday, the first business day since Lewis’s death. Today, the Georgia Democrats chose Nikema Williams, a state senator and chairwoman of the state party, to replace the late congressman John Lewis (D) on the November ballot.

Rep. Lewis has been called many things to include “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced” and “the conscience of the U.S. Congress.”  Rep. Lewis’s biography speaks volumes about the life he lived and the work and advocacy he dedicated his life to.  For more information about Rep. Lewis visit https://johnlewis.house.gov/john-lewis/biography.

Flags were ordered to fly at half-staff at the White House and all federal public buildings and grounds, including embassies abroad and all military posts and naval stations, throughout the day Saturday.

Funeral arrangements for Rep. Lewis most likely will be held in Atlanta, but there weren’t any immediate announcement on plans, which could be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Funeral services for Vivian are currently scheduled to be livestreamed broadcast on Thursday.

(Video from CNN)

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Politics

MISSION COMPLETE! “Periodt!”

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If you thought the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, the country’s first-ever Black president was historic and unimaginable, many will vow that there’s no feeling to describe the magnitude of the recently announced presidential victory. After days of waiting for what felt like an eternity, the American people have spoken, and the long-awaited United States presidential election results are in; we have a new chief headed to the White House along with his history making vice-president. President-Elect Joe Biden WILL BE the 46th president of the United States and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, WILL BE the first woman ever, and first Black and Asian American to hold the second highest office in the land.

After these last four years of what many felt was suppression and division of a country under the presidency of #45, this election was historic on so many levels. This election sought the most votes ever cast in United States history; at 78, Joe Biden will be the oldest person to assume the presidency. In some states Biden surpassed the number of votes received by Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 when they ran; and Kamala Harris is the first woman ever to fill the office of vice-president.

Images of flooded streets with droves of people dancing and celebrating immediately after the Biden win was announced gives some citizens a feeling that hope has been renewed; however, we can’t be naïve to the reality that this country is still extremely divided and hate and racism are more evident now than in the past. We are also aware that the current president and an abundance of his supporters are unwilling to accept his loss and have plans to further push false narratives about this election being stolen.

A lot needs to happen in order to repair the state of this great country, and based on the promises of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris they are ready to get down to the business of restoring our faith in democracy, fighting the Coronavirus, and healing and uniting America. May God Bless America.

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Three Town Halls

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TV ONE’S VIRTUAL TOWN HALLS FOCUSED ON SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL ISSUES IMPACTING BLACK WOMEN VOTERS PREMIERES THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22 AT 12 P.M. ET/11C

(SILVER SPRING, MD) – OCTOBER 19, 2020 – TV ONE will present the first episode of REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE, a three-part series of virtual town halls designed to tackle various social, economic and political issues impacting black women voters across the U.S. CNN commentator and political analyst Karen Finney will moderate the series which will debut on TV One and CLEO TV’s Facebook and YouTube channels starting Thursday, October 22 at 12 P.M. ET/11C with an encore presentation on Saturday, October 24 at 12 P.M. ET/11C on TV One and CLEO TV. 

The first episode, “The Issues: What’s At Stake for Black Women and Our Families During This Election?” looks at the power of the Black vote, how Black women are maximizing their collective voices and what’s at stake in the 2020 election. Finney and guest panelists will break down the issues impacting Black America to help ensure voters make informed choices at the ballot box this November. Featured speakers include Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever, Diversity Consultant and Women’s Empowerment Expert; Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley, President & Founding Principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC; Lia Epperson, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law; and Shermichael Singleton, writer, commentator, political consultant, and host of Global Perspective on ABC/WJLA in DC.

“The current social and political climate demands we support efforts to mobilize the Black vote, especially the power of the black female electorate. It is vital that we utilize our television networks and digital platforms to inform our audience about key ballot issues impacting our community, the core positions and views held by our nation’s leaders and by those seeking to hold elected offices up and down the ballot, and the ability for voters to hold elected official accountable for promises made during this critical election,” noted Michelle Rice, General Manager of TV One and CLEO TV. “The accomplished leaders and social activists participating in the three town hall panels will undoubtedly help viewers be a part of the conversation, be more informed citizens on the key issues in this election cycle and most importantly, to inspire everyone to take the most important action – VOTE!”
An overview of future episodes of REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE are below:

Panelist Bios(Episode 1)
Esteemed panelists for the first episode include Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever, Diversity Consultant and Women’s Empowerment Expert. She is the Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women, a global personal and professional development firm that helps established and aspiring entrepreneurs and executives experience accelerated success while building a holistic life they love.  She’s also the President of Incite Unlimited, a Washington, DC-based boutique consulting firm specializing in diversity consulting, communications strategy and the development and implementation of impactful research.


Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley, President & Founding Principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC a faith, advocacy, executive leadership and public health firm. Shavon is also a Co-Founder of The Health Equity Cypher Group, a collaborative of nationally recognized health experts designed to promote health, equity and inclusion in all sectors.


Lia Epperson, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law. A nationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, and education policy, her scholarship centers on the constitutional dialogue between federal courts and the political branches, and its implications for educational equity. Shermichael Singleton, a writer, commentator, political consultant, former Contributing Host of Vox Media’s Consider It, a current affairs digital show that aired weekly on Facebook Watch and a former CNN Political Commentator.  He was also just named host of Global Perspective, his new show airing on ABC/WJLA in DC.  He is also a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree for Law and Policy for his contributions to politics and media.

The three-part series is hosted by Karen Finney, a leading democratic strategist and Political Commentator for CNN. She is an indenendent consultant working with political and corporate clients on crisis communications, branding, public affairs, polling and strategy. Karen was a Senior Advisor to Stacey Abrams’ Gubernatorial campaign, the Democratic National Committee and AL Media in the 2018 election cycle. Finney served as Senior Advisor and Senior Spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

Rev. Shavon Arline-Bradley, President & Founding Principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC a faith, advocacy, executive leadership and public health firm. Shavon is also a Co-Founder of The Health Equity Cypher Group, a collaborative of nationally recognized health experts designed to promote health, equity and inclusion in all sectors.

Lia Epperson, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law. A nationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, and education policy, her scholarship centers on the constitutional dialogue between federal courts and the political branches, and its implications for educational equity.

Shermichael Singleton, a writer, commentator, political consultant, former Contributing Host of Vox Media’s Consider It, a current affairs digital show that aired weekly on Facebook Watch and a former CNN Political Commentator.  He was also just named host of Global Perspective, his new show airing on ABC/WJLA in DC.  He is also a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree for Law and Policy for his contributions to politics and media.

The three-part series is hosted by Karen Finney, a leading democratic strategist and Political Commentator for CNN. She is an indenendent consultant working with political and corporate clients on crisis communications, branding, public affairs, polling and strategy. Karen was a Senior Advisor to Stacey Abrams’ Gubernatorial campaign, the Democratic National Committee and AL Media in the 2018 election cycle. Finney served as Senior Advisor and Senior Spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

Ep. 2 – The Intersection of Race and Gender in Politics and the Power of the Black Female Vote

Thursday, October 29 at 12 P.M./9C (Streaming on TV One and CLEO TV’s Facebook and YouTube channels)

Saturday, October 31 at 12 P.M./11C 
(Broadcast simulcast on TV One and CLEO TV)

Episode Description: TV One’s REPRESENT THE VOTE OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE stands at the intersection of Black women and politics. Host Karen Finney brings together some of the country’s top thought leaders as they look beyond the distractions to the real issues that impact Black women, the candidates and the voters.  

Featured panelists include Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Social Justice Activist, Educator and Writer; Arisa Hatch, Vice-President & Chief of Campaigns, Color of Change; LaTosha Brown, Activist and Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter; Tiffany Dena Loftin, NAACP National Director for the Youth & College Division; and Beverly E. Smith, National President & CEO of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

Ep. 3 – Post-Election: Where Do We Go From Here?

Friday, November 13 at 12 P.M./9C (Streaming on TV One and CLEO TV’s Facebook and YouTube channels)

Saturday, November 14 at 12 P.M./11C
(Broadcast simulcast on TV One and CLEO TV)

Episode Description: TV One’s REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE takes on the results of a monumental 2020 election and asks the question, “Where do we go from here?”Host Karen Finney and an esteemed panel of experts discuss the path forward for the next four years and beyond. 

REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE is produced for TV One by Black Robin Media with Lynne Robinson serving as Executive Producer and Jocelyn Sigue as Producer. For TV One, Susan Henry is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production.

For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hashtag #RepresentTheVote and catch clips and promos on TV One’s YouTube Channel.


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Politics

Denver, CO Governor Diversifies the Bench

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Five Black women are currently serving as judges in Colorado, which is a record-breaking number in the state. They were appointed by Gov. Jared Polis during a period of less than two years.

In October 2019, Frances Johnson was appointed for the 4th Judicial District Court in Colorado Springs, making her the first Black woman to hold the position in general jurisdiction.

A month after that, Nikea Bland became the first Black woman appointed to a Denver district court of general jurisdiction.

“It’s 2020, and there shouldn’t be any Black firsts left, but here we are,” Bland told Essence. “I’m just glad to see we are finally moving forward. It’s progress.”

This year, Pax Moultrie was selected to the Denver Juvenile Court in February, Samorreyan “Sam” Burney was assigned in the 4th Judicial District County Court in Colorado Springs in April, and Jill Dorancy was appointed a district court judge in July.

Polis, who took office in January 2019, appointed more Black women to the statewide bench than all the 42 previous governors combined. The efforts were done in accordance with his commitment to have representation for everyone.

“I am honored to appoint several highly qualified and dedicated Black women to serve in Colorado’s judicial branch — it’s about time! I am committed to building a Colorado for all, which is why we need more people of color in positions of leadership and represented in our government, in order to truly reflect our community,” Polis said.

Moreover, the appointments are somehow surprising to many, especially that the state consists of 84% white and 4% Black population.

“It’s not the first place that people from outside the state would think of as diverse,” Moultrie said. “This is an example of what happens when people in leadership positions embrace and value diverse talent. If it can happen here in Colorado, it can happen anywhere!”

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