|Posted by projectreachinc on February 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM||comments (0)|
Deaths of unarmed Blacks are historical and epidemic. As many focus on high profile cases in Florida over the last several years, such as George Zimmerman that shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin - in Sanford, Florida; Michael Dunn, who shot and killed teenager Jordan Davis - in Jacksonville, Florida for playing his music to loud and Benjamin Mayolas Dykeman who was shot and killed by Brevard County, Florida Sheriff's Deputy James Harrison, for driving while black!
Lets take a trip back in Black History and understand why some do not want Black History told!
Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 - June 12, 1963) was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning from overseas military service in World War II and completing his secondary education, he became active in the civil rights movement. He became a field secretary for the NAACP.
Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens' Council. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music, and film.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968), was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader of the African-American civil rights movement and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who became known for his advancement of civil rights by using civil disobedience. He was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. James Earl Ray, a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary, was arrested on June 8, 1968 in London at Heathrow Airport, extradited to the United States, and charged with the crime. On March 10, 1969, Ray entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary.
Harry Tyson Moore (November 18, 1905 - December 25, 1951) was an African-American teacher, founder of the first branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Brevard County, Florida, and a pioneer leader of the civil rights movement in Florida and the southern United States.
Harry T. Moore and his wife, Harriette Vyda Simms Moore, were killed by Ku Klux Klan sneak-attack bombers who blew up the Moores' home on Christmas night 1951 The Moores were the first NAACP members to be murdered for their civil rights activism; Moore has been called the first martyr of the 1950s-era civil rights movement.
Amadou Bailo Diallo (September 2, 1975 February 4, 1999) was a 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea who was shot and killed in New York City on February 4, 1999 by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers: Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss, who fired a combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which struck Diallo, outside his apartment at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of The Bronx. The four were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were acquitted at trial in Albany, New York........... AS we Ponder!
|Posted by projectreachinc on January 30, 2014 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
The Chamber fell quiet last night during President Obama's speech when he highlighted the great disparities in American as it relates to men of color. Many seemed suprised and started a dialogue on FB!
Not only did the Chamber get quiet last night, but many of our political and community leaders have done likewise since 1969 when President Nixon enacted the war on drugs. This war became and is a war on African Americans, the poor and other minorities.
With this said, the main reasons for the silence in the chamber is because, Democrats as well as Republicans are responsible. Nixon started the war, Clinton and others, with Three Strike, Mandatory Minimum and Zero Tolerance Laws that continues the war. African American men and men of color have faced the "Tight Lip Syndrome" - This has caused millions of men of color, to either end up in jails, prisons or face early death.
We now have an 80% unemployment rate for ex-felons and 30% for men of color without a record. Remember this! the government can not and will not fix this social atrocity, it will take Godly men and Servant Leaders all.....
"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"
|Posted by projectreachinc on January 21, 2014 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
Your help is needed! Please consider signing and mailing the letter as found below to President Barack Obama.
Also, to your United States Senators by downloading the website for you state at: http://www.senate.gov/
Also, to you Representatives by downloading the website for your district at: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
The Hon Barack Obama, President
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
I am writing to you as our Commander and Chief about an atrocity that continues to plague the United States of America. I am a Grassroots and Community leader, who bore witness to the Vietnam era and the turbulent sixties and has been generally disturbed by the growth of the prison industrial complex and the number of non violent Veterans of all ages and gender. Those who are serving long or life sentences without parole because of drugs, addictions, violations or drug related offenses. Specifically, I am writing about the 'Veterans who served our nation with distinguish service. Most of the men I speak of, served in Vietnam and had little or no government support upon their honorable discharge. They placed their country's ethical standards and values before life itself.
These men showed the American people and the rest of the world what is was like to serve and protect, in light of many racial and social disparities that they encountered during the fifties, sixties and seventies. The United States is know as a country that once held the respect of much of the world as a land where anyone could make a fresh start and make for themselves and their families a decent life.
President Eisenhower warned America of the extreme dangers of a Military/Industrial Complex growing unchecked and its side effects and his prediction of such a cancer has come true. Thousands of non violent veterans serving either long prison terms or life without parole. Our treatment of Veterans is a clear indication of the poverty of soul now prevalent in a certain strata of our nation. However, you have the power to redress many wrongs by commuting the sentences of non violent Veterans.
I am prayerful of the reception this letter will receive and it would be to your great credit if you will deal with the Veterans that either became drug addicts during or after serving our country and without having the necessary rehabilitations procedures in place for them at the time. Rather than make them whipping men and women now, for a domestic war that cannot be won" The War on Drugs" need to be reformed.
We applaud -The Administration's inaugural National Drug Control Strategy, published in May 2010, represented a new direction in an efforts to reduce illicit drug use and its consequences in the United States, with the goal to achieve a 15 percent reduction in the rate of drug use and similar reductions in drug use consequences over the course of 5 years. Also, this effort, which was continued in the 2011 Strategy, includes:
preventing illicit drug use and addiction before their onset;
bringing more Americans in need of treatment into contact with the appropriate level of care;
protecting public safety while also ensuring that drug-involved offenders have the opportunity to end their drug use and rebuild their lives;
countering drug production and trafficking within the United States;
implementing new strategies to secure our borders against illicit drug flows;
working with our international partners to reduce drug production and trafficking and strengthen rule of law, democratic institutions, transparency in government, alternative livelihoods, and respect for human rights around the world. However, this mandate does not address Veterans already incarcerated and serving life without parole
|Posted by projectreachinc on January 18, 2014 at 7:35 PM||comments (0)|
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't exactly a tourist when he was invited to St. Augustine, Florida in 1964. Dr. King was there to take a stand against racism and disparities and to sound the freedom bell towards freedom for all Americans. While the nation enjoys his legacy of Civil Rights, St. Augustine has the local landmarks-where he slept and where he walked; many thing remain the same for many African Americans and poor in our nations oldest city.
As part of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration, an OPEN House will be held on January 20, 2014 from 2-5 PM, at The Rudcarlie Building, 79 Bridge Street, to preview the upcoming ACCORD Commemorative 60s Civil Rights Museum. The Rudcarlie Building was built in the 1950s by Dr. Rudolph N. Gordon (1901-1959) and named for the members of his family - Rudolph, Carlotta and Rosalie. It was the first medical/dental office constructed in St. Augustine without racially segregated waiting rooms.
After Dr. Gordon's death, the office was rented to Dr. Robert B. Hayling, a dentist who became a prominent leader of the civil rights movement in St. Augustine. Many of the planning sessions for the movement were held there, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. Lawyers who came to support the civil rights efforts made this building their headquarters as well. Dr. Gordon's widow, Mrs. Rosalie Gordon-Mills (1907-2004) made history in 1965 when she became the first Black woman in 400 years to seek public office in St. Augustine, as a candidate for the City Commission.
Also, in 1964 First Lady Michelle Obama was born and is the first African American First Lady in the white house. As American celebrate the 50th birthday of First Lady Michelle Obama, the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., visit to St. Augustine and 50 years after the signing of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act; is 50 today a whole lot different than what St. Augustine experienced 50 years ago? As we think about the change in Washington at the White House, what about St. Augustine, with no African American elected officials and none on the county level. Unemployment within the African American and poor communities are staggering.
As we prepare to pre open the ACCORD Commemorative Civil Rights Museum on January 20, 2014 and to celebrate the 1964 Civil Rights Act in July 2014, your continued help and support toward completing the museum is needed; as well as your support and leadership to help change the landscape as it relates to racial and social disparities on all levels.
All Donations can be sent to:
P.O. Box 697
St Augustine, FL 32085-0697
Minister Richard P. Burton, Sr., Director
|Posted by projectreachinc on January 9, 2014 at 10:30 AM||comments (0)|
Poverty - Desperation, Gang, Violence, War and Death: This was an article published by PROJECT R.E.A.C.H in 2005 and 2012. As political leaders are now speaking on poverty, they must include the war on drugs and race in order to bring positive resolve to the conversation of poverty.
In early 1970, Edwin Starr used these profound lyrics as it relates to War. "War, huh, yeah - What is it good for - Absolutely nothing" War means tears - To thousands of mothers and fathers eyes - When their sons and daughters go to fight - And lose their lives.
Please download and listen to the lyrics! Edwin Starr - WAR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d8C4AIFgUg
Political and community leaders need to signal a "Code Blue" as we continue to face an alarming amount of poverty in America. The side effects to poverty translates into desperation, gangs, war, drugs, early deaths and other social ills. If America improves the economy and opportunities for the at risk communities also; crime will become more manageable for law enforcement and young lives will be saved and gangs, drugs and the prison industrial complex will decrease.
By leaving the economy as is, it does not matter how many drug dealers you take out or lock up, more will take their places. Poverty is the boogieman that politicians and other mainstream leaders avoid addressing, further concealing the social ills that lends itself to racial disparities, higher taxes and community blight.
Poverty continue to grow across the United States at an alarming rate, with many communities being affected. Over the last four decades, a number of studies on poverty, suggest that African Americans and Hispanics continue to be hit harder than most Americans and with continued racial disparities and high rates of poverty, theses communities will continue to fail and with a rising crime rate.
In visiting communities of run-down homes, apartment buildings and blighted neighborhoods, sometime located less than a square mile from downtown, I see exclusive government buildings and mega churches with beautiful landscapes. However, within the impoverished communities I find ex-offenders, school dropouts, unemployed, homeless veterans and individuals with drug addictions.
Within some of these at-risk communities, some of the locals will take the time to discuss social and economic concerns or woes as it relates to their neighborhoods and communities. Some of the stories are horrific, including stories about their conditions and their long struggles to shake their daily atrocities. Older individuals, suggest that their local leaders have forgotten about them, or care more about money, perceived power and politics than the poor and disenfranchised. On the other hand, younger people suggest their major concerns are; violence, gangs, drugs and unemployment, and further indicated that drugs and poverty is the root causes of many of their problems.
As we end most of our meetings, they often ask for prayer and indicate that they also have fears within their communities with law-enforcement and political leaders that only come around their neighborhoods during election time, looking for their vote.
Also, Trevon Martin and Marissa Alexander and Florida's Stand Your Ground Laws enters into the larger discussions, not just in Florida, but across other communities. "I find myself sharing on the sadness of these two atrocities, and how high profiles cases get a lot of media and public attention, however, similar cases go un-noticed far to often across the state of Florida and other communities across the country. Case in point; a 31 year old army veteran by the name Benjamin Dykeman, who was killed by a Brevard County, Florida deputy in Melbourne, Florida, with little or no community hype or media hype.
Benjamin Mayoles Dykeman Sr., died on June 16, 2012 in Brevard County, Florida. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia on Oct 25, 1980. He graduated from Salem High School in 1998. He received an associate degree in Information Technology from Keiser University in Melbourne, Florida, 2012. He was employed at the Wounded Warriors Org and GSI Commerce located in Melbourne, Florida.
Benjamin joined the US Army in 2001 and served his country honorably. His battalion was one of first groups of young enlisted personnel sent to the Iraq war from basic training. While serving he received several metals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons. Such acknowledgements were; the Army Good Conduct Metal/The National Defense Service Metal/ Global War on Terrorism, Expeditionary Metal/Global War on Terrorism Service Metal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.
Friends and relatives said; he was a shy and caring person by nature but also made his presence known. He loved cooking, technology, science fiction, and reading and held a passion for movies, music and was also an artist. His parents are, Rose and Peter Dykeman Sr., his son Benjamin Jr., a brother Peter Mayoles and his maternal grandmother Monica Dykeman. He also leaves a special friend, Mary Wynn, and a host of extended family members and friends. This was one of a number of atrocities across Florida and the nation that did not receive the high profile status!
"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"
|Posted by projectreachinc on December 19, 2013 at 9:40 PM||comments (0)|
God is Good.......
The Clarence Aaron Story, has been shared with audiences over the years by many of us and today President Obama commuted the sentence. In 1995 it was brought to our attention as civil rights and community leaders and we never gave up on Clarence and many others facing the same fate. The journey was long and sometime costly. Clarence Aaron, a one-time college student whose involvement in a 1993 cocaine deal got him three life sentences in federal prison.
President Obama has commuted the sentence of Clarence Aaron, a first-time nonviolent drug offender sentenced to life without parole. In total, the president commuted the sentences of eight crack offenders, including Stephanie George, Ezell Gilbert, and Reynolds Wintersmith.
Three life sentences, without parole, is also how long Clarence Aaron was sentenced - because he introduced two drug dealers, so that one could buy cocaine from the others.
It happened in 1993, when Aaron was 23 and a junior at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. Aaron grew up in Mobile, Ala., where several of his high school acquaintances ran a drug ring. His grandfather, who had been paying to support him in school, had recently passed away when his high school football teammate, a drug dealer named Robert Hines, approached Aaron and asked if he knew where his boss, Marion Teano Watts, could score cocaine.
Aaron introduced them to a dealer in Louisiana, Gary Chisholm, who sold them 9 kilos of cocaine. A later attempt to buy 15 kilos was thwarted when the money was stolen. Aaron got $1,500 for introducing the dealers. In January 1993, after discovering that his apartment in Baton Rouge had been searched by the FBI, Aaron turned himself in and was charged with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, and attempt to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
He was released on bond and passed random drug tests for almost eight months. He went on trial in August and was convicted on the three charges - possession, conspiracy and attempted possession - with the intent to distribute 24 kilos of crack cocaine.
We still have a lot of work to be done in the area of Criminal Juvenile Justice and the Prison Industrial Complex!!
"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"
|Posted by projectreachinc on December 1, 2013 at 7:55 PM||comments (0)|
Marissa Alexander a Jacksonville, Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a "warning shot" during an argument with her abusive husband has been released on bond, while she awaits retrial under a controversial part of the state's self defense law is free on bond, however, this case if far from being over and as we move forward as advocates and supporters, we must remain focused and vigil!
We can agree that the issues of justice & discrimination in the criminal justice system are important and real. However, we must focus on the key issues surrounding this particular case and to continue to lend support to her attorneys/experts, as it relates to Marissa the person and her freedom. Marissa's prosecution team continues to send a clear message that abused women cannot defend themselves during attacks, and imprisonment is the answer for her - - the victims.
Below, you will find some thoughts or red flags about abuse and domestic violence and perhaps phase II of this urgent movement is; to continue to raised the needs for corrective legislation. There is a need to address and identify legislators who will author and introduce legislations surrounding domestic violence. The freeing of Marissa Alexander is important to the overall objective for her, her children, mother, family, domestic violence and lobbying efforts towards "Change".
A lesser-known red flag in the black community: the fastest growing prison population in the United states is African American young women and girls. Even though fewer women are actually committing crimes. This condition is not only baffling, it's a hard-hitting problem, as efforts to stop the mass incarceration of African American women are practically nonexistent. Far to often, many African American women face brutality, emotional and sexual abuse on the outside and once they are in the prison system.
In the case of Marissa Alexander; advocates from across the nation started a movement to address the issue of domestic violence, by hosting rallies and vigils to bring attention to this atrocity. Advocacy and legislation must be part of a social, economic and political agenda to address racist and dis-paried laws. There is a A Call To Action as it relates to Marissa and this can be furthered by keeping domestic violence in the forefront of the public, as well as elected officials. Also, academics and activist from across all ages, race and class groups must stay involved with the Marissa case and lack situations as to help eradicate and education on abuse and domestic violence.
Some experts have studied the statistics of imprisoned black women, other minorities and the poor and explained, "we have never seen these kind of numbers before,". So far, the cause for this epidemic has been attributed to national zero tolerance policies and a justice system that treats women of color differently than white women.
Minister Richard P. Burton, Sr.
|Posted by [email protected] on November 16, 2013 at 10:55 PM||comments (0)|
Education - Incarceration and Black History
There are communities across America where young men from low-income and impoverished communities are ending up in prison compared to college. During the nation's protracted economic slump and high rate of unemployment, especially among African Americans and Latino Americans, we can expect that ratio to grow.
In the 1960s, the civil rights movement was the largest full-scale response to decades of Jim Crow laws that limited African American participation as citizens. Today's policies have resulted in a new system of mass incarceration that is replicating the second-class citizenry of the Jim Crow era. Just as Jim Crow once directly targeted African Americans, mass incarceration continues to fall disproportionately on communities of color. Those arrested and incarcerated due to drug offenses are overwhelming African Americans. As a result, Africans Americans and other minorities are sentenced to incarceration at disproportionately higher rates than whites. However, this system doesn't just focus on ethnic background - it also affects low-income communities across the nation at a similar rate.
PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. Inc., continues to recommend and suggest that every child deserves a chance to maximize their potential through higher learning. We realize what many government officials pretend not to understand: the number one Public Safety Issue, as a crime-fighting tool, is a quality education and as a method to break the chain of poverty and social injustice.
Zero-tolerance policies have been incarcerating children for minor offenses since the 1980's. This policy was intended to reduce crime, instead it undermines the effectiveness of our schools, while costing taxpayers dearly. Denying a child the full opportunity of a quality education only further endangers Public Safety and ensures a child's swift path to incarceration. Eight out of ten prisoners entering the Department of Corrections does not have a high school diploma or G.E.D. Most high school dropout are more likely to end up in prison than high school and college graduates.
The expansion of the prison industrial complex is one of the greatest atrocities in America since slavery and it's only getting worse. It doesn't strike Americans equally - it's a problem that mostly affects young blacks, and people without high school diplomas. It's worse in the US than anywhere else in the world - and five times as bad in most southern states, and more so in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida, than in Iran.
The problem of mass incarceration is a problem some don't want to address, because of the profits and the controlling forces that dates back to the American Revolution in the United States. However, since the early 1970s, the United States has engaged in a historically unprecedented expansion of its imprisonment systems at both the federal and state level. Since 1973, the number of incarcerated persons in the United States has increased five-fold, and in a given year 7 million persons are under the supervision or control of correctional services in the United States.
Every year in February, during Black History Month many celebrate the historical African American struggle to gain access to full rights as American citizens. Many have a distorted image of the progression of African Americans, assuming that civil rights struggles are a thing of the past. Today, a new generation of second-class citizenship has developed into a classification associated with those who hold criminal records. And the biggest barrier they face is the ability to vote, get a job and find housing after being released from prison.
Instead of celebrating Black History Month 2014, black Americans across the nation need to promote education over incarceration and revisit the progress or the lack of as it relates to African Americans. We can't neglect the caste system that continues to disproportionately affect the African American and poor communities. Mass incarceration has diminished the gains accomplished during the civil rights movement and expanded second-class citizenship to 2.3 million people confined in prisons and millions labeled as criminals, ex-offenders, and convicts.
At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"
|Posted by projectreachinc on September 30, 2013 at 6:15 PM||comments (0)|
Community Empowerment Action Plan Part 1 of 10:
Organize community meeting to discuss, issues surrounding African American Educators, Historical Black Colleges and Universities - (HBCU's), Black Policemen, Firemen, Postal Workers, Bus Drivers and Other Black Government Workers.
African American teachers are being systematically eliminated from the public schools of America and they are being wiped out of the American middle class! This also holds true to African American Policemen, Firemen, Bus Drivers, Postal Workers, and other Government Workers!
Over the next few weeks, we at PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC. will be posting on our website and Facebook, some of the tips used by many of us during my generation of the fifties and sixties to change the social and economic landscape in African American, poor and at-risk communities.
This movement will not be easy, as you can see by the ongoing negative actions of some in congress and by other elected officials. Also, the lack of leadership and action by some business and community leaders, is causing hardships for African American and other at-risk communities.
A well organize and concerted effort by our church and community leaders alike, is the key for positive changes and their actions must include all and not just members of their inner circle!
"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
|Posted by projectreachinc on September 27, 2013 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
In a mailing this week - We posted a Community Action Alert:
Over the next few days, we at PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC. will be posting on our website and Facebook, some of the tips used by many of us during my generation of the fifties and sixties to change the social and economic landscape in African American, poor and at-risk communities.
During the African American Baby Boomer generation, the power, clout and influence that the "baby boomer" generation has had on the culture and direction of American lifestyle and media is needed today. Looking back I can see that this was not necessarily the case for all baby boomers, however it chartered a course for many who stand on the shoulders of grassroots boomers. This includes President Barrack Obama and others that sit in high places.
This movement will not be easy, as you can see by the ongoing actions of some members of congress and other elected and business leaders. However, a concerted effort by our church and community leaders alike, is the key for positive change!
As we start this process together on next week, you must answer the series of questions as found below and ask yourselves are you committed?
1. Does your leaders find their way to your community, other than when their is a photo opt?
2. Has the social and economic climate changed for the better in your community over the last decade?
3. Are you of voting age and do you vote?
4. Does your state invest more in prisons than schools?
5. Does your pastor or faith leader visit the sick, the prison, help feed the poor and homeless?
6. Are your church, business, community, political and business leaders accessible?
7. Do you know someone who is on durgs, in prison because of drugs, injured or killed because of drugs or addicted?
8. Is your school district, police department, fire department and business community reflective of your community?
Keep Hope Alive!
Minister Richard P. Burton, Sr. Director
PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC.