Welcome! This free speech community journal was created so the Maple Heights African American community could share videos, photos, events, articles, posts, ideas, thoughts, and information.  We're now exclusively on Facebook, so don't forget to also check out our Facebook page.  Have a fantastic day!

Saturday, March 29, 2014


2014 National Urban League Conference Early Bird Registration - now OPEN


Don’t delay! Register today for the hottest event of the summer – the 2014 National Urban League Conference. Registration is now OPEN! We recommend that you register today as hotel rooms are LIMITED and you must be registered and paid in full to gain access to the National Urban League room block!



This year’s conference, One Nation Underemployed: Bridges to Jobs and Justice in Cincinnati, OH offers unmatched opportunities for professional development, personal empowerment, networking, and access to dynamic speakers and leaders.

Also, not to be missed at Conference this year:


  • Urban League Live the Ultimate Interactive Music Experience on Friday July, 25th at the Macy's Music Festival featuring Chaka Khan, Robin Thicke and Charlie Wilson! You must purchase tickets to the Macy’s Music Festival to attend Urban League Live. Details on how to purchase your discounted tickets will be provided with your registration confirmation.

  • A star-studded red carpet advance movie screening on Thursday July 24th.
  • The Whitney M. Young Jr., Awards Gala closing out the Conference on July 26th honoring living legends, including Academy Award winning actor, Forest Whitaker.

  • A Career & Networking Fair, Small Business Matters Entrepreneurship Summit, inspiring plenary sessions, informative workshops and much more!

We look forward to seeing you in Cincinnati where you will discover the Queen City’s rich history, world-class museums and vibrant nightlife. Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, and Pittsburgh are just a short drive away!
Don't delay, register TODAY!
See you in Cincinnati!

Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League


Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a White mother’s son—we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.
--Ella Baker
During this last week of Women’s History Month I wanted you to learn about Ella Baker, a transforming but too little known woman and overpowering justice warrior for my generation of civil rights activists. The quote above is from Ella Baker 50 years ago, and like so much about this visionary civil rights leader it is still just as relevant today. She was talking about the murders of civil rights movement workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, who disappeared together in Mississippi in June 1964, and reacting to the fact that searchers sent to comb local rivers and swamps to find the bodies of Chaney, who was Black, and Goodman and Schwerner, who were White, also found the bodies of other missing Black men for whom authorities had not bothered to search. Ella Baker was an outspoken warrior against injustice and inequality her entire life, and always, always unwilling to rest. Her words continue to be a rallying cry for all of us who believe our nation still does not see and value Black and White children’s lives the same way.
Sweet Honey in the Rock’s Bernice Johnson Reagon featured these words in the stirring “Ella’s Song.” She was one of hundreds of young people Ella Baker mentored during the civil rights movement. I was one of them who first met Mrs. Baker during my senior year at Spelman College in Atlanta. She was a staff member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and was often a powerful behind-the-scenes advisor to close colleagues like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ella Baker believed in servant leadership and shared leadership rather than charismatic leadership and encouraged young people like me to find and lift our own voices and join them with others. She was instrumental in founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and fought to make sure we retained our own independent organization as students rather than simply becoming the youth arm of the Dr. King-led SCLC. Julian Bond, Diane Nash, Bob Moses, and many other fellow student activists and young activists were all influenced by her example, counsel and convening and share a special debt of reverence and gratitude. Ella Baker was tough and disciplined and demanded the best of the young and older adults around her. She understood that movement building was about more than protests and meetings and speeches—it was hard, daily, persistent, and sacrificial behind-the-scenes work. She was an institution builder and stressed the importance of strong institutions that could last over time rather than reliance on a single strong leader.
Ella Baker was born in 1903 in Norfolk, Virginia. She had a strict mother, a warm and caring father, and a large extended family of grandparents, uncles, and aunts who shared what they had with the poor. She was a fighter and as a child beat up White children who called her names. Since there was no schooling for Black children beyond elementary years in her area, she went off to boarding school at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was valedictorian of her high school and college graduating classes. She moved to Harlem, got caught up in its excitement, and went everywhere to hear lectures and speeches and read in libraries to learn everything she could. After working as a domestic and as a waitress, she got a job with the Negro National News published by George Schuyler who later recommended her for a job at the NAACP. She rapidly rose through NAACP ranks. “Wherever she went,” her biographer and friend Joanne Grant wrote in Ella Baker: Freedom Bound, “she created a whirlwind, leaving a scatter of papers, notes, leaflets, church programs, and phone numbers in her wake. . . She never let up her struggle to increase the role of the rank and file.”
Ella Baker pushed for organizational structure and rules in the NAACP just as she did later at SCLC and SNCC. Ella Baker was the one who sat down with Bayard Rustin and Stanley Levinson to discuss how to create a continuing movement out of the Montgomery bus boycott, which led to SCLC’s formation. As the first staff member hired for SCLC, it was Ella Baker who tried to put the new organization in operating order so that Dr. King was not just a leader who reacted to and jumped from one event to the next. She worked to give SCLC the capacity to plan and implement action. And Ella Baker convinced Dr. King to bring me and about 200 other Black college students who had been arrested for engaging in sit-in protests to open up lunch counters around the South to a meeting at her alma mater, Shaw University. My first plane ride ever was from Atlanta to Raleigh for that meeting. SNCC was the meeting’s result.
Ella Baker was fully aware of but unintimidated by the men she worked with who devalued the advice of women and sometimes resented her forcefulness, prodding, and “mothering.” She made no special effort to be ingratiating. She labored at SCLC as she had at the NAACP to raise money, conduct voter registration drives, speak to citizens groups (sometimes ten times a day), and travel to community after community to help people help themselves. She warned against SCLC becoming “a cult of personality” for Dr. King rather than a means of empowering others, and she eventually left SCLC after deciding that movement building was more important than the specific organization and personalities involved—another of her lessons that is so relevant today.
At a gathering celebrating Ella Baker’s seventy-fifth birthday, Bob Moses called her the “Fundi,” the person in the community who masters a craft with the help of the community and teaches it to other people. Fundi became the title of a film on her extraordinary life and work. Ella Baker died in 1986 on her 83rd birthday. I remember her counsel as I think about sustaining and strengthening the Children's Defense Fund’s mission today and future tomorrow for the long haul struggle to create and maintain a level playing field for every child. I learned from her the crucial importance of training a successor generation of young servant-leaders which has been a strong priority of CDF’s since its inception. Policies are no better than the people who are implementing them and their commitment to just treatment of children and the poor. I am so proud that over 13,000 college students have gone through training at CDF’s Ella Baker Child Policy Institute at the former Alex Haley Farm, that more than 113,000 children have gone through the CDF Freedom Schools® program with a sense of commitment to something beyond themselves, and that many CDF alumni are doing wonderful public service across the country. This is one way CDF honors her legacy along with other great unsung women justice warriors like Fannie Lou Hamer, Unita Blackwell, and Septima Clark who too few ever hear of but we all owe a great debt of gratitude.
We also all honor Ella Baker by keeping her belief in freedom and equality alive until it becomes reality for every mother’s child. In a nation where Black children are more than three times as likely to be poor as White children; where Black babies are more than twice as likely as White babies to die before their first birthdays and Black children are twice as likely to die before their 18th birthdays as White children; where more than 80 percent of fourth and eighth grade Black public school students cannot read or compute at grade level and Black children are more than twice as likely to drop out as White children; where gun violence is the leading cause of death among Black children ages 1-19 and Black children and teens are nearly five times more likely to die from gun violence than White children and teens; and where Black mothers’ sons can be seen and treated as lethal threats for wearing hoodies in the rain or refusing to turn their car radios down, we who believe in freedom still cannot rest.


Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.
Mrs. Edelman's Child Watch Column also appears each week on The Huffington Post.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Tomorrow's Leaders: 11 Faces to Watch


All under age 50, these young African American activists are carrying the torch for change





    Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
For the purpose of Section 242, acts under "color of law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official's lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.
    The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any."



"One in three Americans who lack health coverage plan to remain uninsured, citing cost as their chief obstacle, according to Bankrate's latest Health Insurance Pulse survey.


Fewer than a third (30 percent) of the uninsured realize that federal tax credits available through the new Obamacare health exchanges can make health insurance affordable to lower-income individuals and families.
In a telephone survey of uninsured adults drawn from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 Americans, one-third (34 percent) said they intend to continue without health coverage. When asked why, 41 percent said health insurance is too expensive, 17 percent cited opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and 13 percent said they're healthy and don't need coverage.
Just over half (56 percent) of the uninsured said they plan to obtain health coverage.
'Not giving it a whole lot of attention'
If a late January Pulse survey demonstrated how familiar the overall population is with health reform penalties and deadlines that won't affect most Americans, this first Bankrate.com survey directed specifically at uninsured adults suggests that efforts to reach those most in need of affordable coverage may have fallen short.
"It's hard to generalize, but for some of these folks, it's a case of, 'I'm in pretty good health, I don't think about these things, I know I can't afford it now,'" says Michael Morrisey, professor of health economics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. "I think it's just rolling past them, and they're not giving it a whole lot of attention."
Deborah Chollet, a health insurance research leader at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C., agrees.
"They may or may not have looked for insurance, they may or may not have talked to somebody who has insurance, but I'm guessing the overriding reason is that it's just not a priority for them," she says.
The following question was posed to a national sample of uninsured Americans:

As far as you know, are there tax credits available through the Affordable Care Act to reduce the monthly price of health insurance?

Source: Bankrate.com Health Insurance Pulse survey, March 17, 2014.
  • 42 percent of people who identify themselves as Republicans say there are no tax credits, compared with 20 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of independents.
  • Only 5 percent of Americans earning $75,000 per year or more knew about the tax credits, versus 30 percent of those making less than $30,000.
  • 35 percent of people in both the West and South say the tax credits don't exist, compared with 25 percent in the Northeast and just 13 percent in the Midwest.
The following question was posed to uninsured Americans in the survey who indicated they planned to remain that way, despite potential penalties under the Affordable Care Act:

Which is the main reason you will not sign up for health insurance this year?

Source: Bankrate.com Health Insurance Pulse survey, March 17, 2014.
  • 22 percent of men who won't obtain health insurance cite opposition to the Affordable Care Act, compared with just 8 percent of women who plan to remain uninsured.
  • 31 percent of people ages 18 to 29 who won't obtain insurance say they're healthy and don't need it, versus just 6 percent of respondents in the 30-49 age group.
  • 50 percent of Republicans who plan to stay uninsured say the main reason is that they don't like Obamacare, but only 5 percent of Democrats in that group say the same thing.
Messages missing the poor
Chollet suspects that Obamacare multimedia advertising campaigns, which have largely targeted the key "young invincibles" between ages 18 and 30, may have missed another group in need.
"Low-income, young families may have been overlooked. They're probably not spending a lot of time watching television, they never read a newspaper, and if they listen to radio, it's probably music in the car," she says.
"In communities of color, people might hear about (Obamacare) in church, but for people who are not attached to a church, I don't know how they get the information."
Too much carrot, not enough stick
Outreach efforts that emphasize Obamacare's positive tax subsidies rather than the punitive tax penalty for not having insurance may have failed to prompt action, says Sabrina Corlette, research professor at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute.
"They found in Massachusetts, with "RomneyCare," that the individual mandate penalty absolutely motivated a lot of people to purchase insurance," she says. "The Obama administration understandably tried to emphasize the positive, but people need to understand that the mandate is not insignificant -- they could be hit with a big tax bill if they don't buy coverage."
But Morrisey says the more favorable message about the subsidies may have fallen flat with the uninsured as well.
"Someone who makes so little money that they haven't had to file taxes in the past might say, 'How is a tax credit going to help me? I don't even think about tax things because I don't have to file,'" he says.
Many are in the dark about the deadline
Also in the survey, fewer than half (48 percent) of the uninsured could correctly name March 31 as the deadline for obtaining health insurance to avoid the penalty.
"What people need to understand is that the door really closes on March 31," Corlette cautions. "It they don't sign up before then, they're out of luck until Nov. 15 unless they have one of the special enrollment situations, which happen if you lose your job or get a divorce."
Between now and March 31, "the administration needs to really amp up those marketing and outreach campaigns and meet people where they're at," she says. "It's got to be all about marketing and outreach now."
Role of states' Medicaid decisions?
One big unknown in the survey results is how many of the uninsured who plan to stay that way might qualify for Medicaid -- except that their state has chosen not to expand the program.
"If you're in one of the 24 states that did not expand their Medicaid program and you have income below 100 percent of the federal poverty line, you are not going to receive Medicaid and you're not eligible for the subsidies," says Morrisey.
"So it's not at all surprising that they're going to say it's too expensive and they're going to remain uninsured," he continues. "I'm guessing that a third of that 34 percent who will remain uninsured are in that group."
Bankrate's Health Insurance Pulse survey was conducted between Feb. 20 and March 9 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International with a nationally representative sample of 3,005 adults living in the continental United States. The questions were addressed specifically to the 299 respondents who identified themselves as uninsured. The margin of sampling error on their responses is plus or minus 6.1 percentage points."

Monday, March 17, 2014


Provided by "The Brown Report" on facebook
The Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF) is currently seeking applicants for our 2014/2015 BPACF Scholars Program. Program applicants need to meet the following criteri...a:

 · Resident of Cuyahoga County
· African American
· Minimum GPA of a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
· Be a graduating high school senior or current undergraduate at a 2 or 4 year institution
· Priority is given (but not required) to “first-generation” college students

 The deadline to apply is Tuesday, April 15th. If you have any questions, please contact the BPACF office at 216.229.7110.

 Marcella J. Brown, Executive Director
Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation
2930 Prospect Avenue East Suite 126 Cleveland, OH 44115
216.229.7110 (p)
216.229.7120 (f)

 Help a student apply for scholarship funding at

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Calling All College Students

The 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo takes place Monday, April 7, at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The annual gathering, which is open to the public and usually attracts 1000+ people, celebrates entrepreneurship in the region and gives select companies the opportunity to share their ideas and businesses with investors, entrepreneurs, community members, media, civic and foundation leaders and educators attending the event.

New this year is a fast-paced, afternoon-long "Speed Advising Session" where entrepreneurs have the chance to pitch their companies to investors, resource organizations, media and other service providers. In addition, we'll be featuring a moderated investor panel discussion and hosting a large-scale networking reception highlighting SunDown RunDown, TechPint, Burning River Coffee Club, Startup Weekend and other peer networking opportunities in the region.
Interested in being a part of this energetic event? Apply now for the Charter One Foundation Student Business Idea Competition! Student teams (or individual students) are eligible to compete for an award package to get their idea going, as well as meet other entrepreneurs, have the chance to participate in the Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo, and learn from some of the region's top mentors, advisors and Subject Matter Experts.
Click the link below for more information

Monday, March 10, 2014




The hashtag gave it away.

When a Florida jury convicted Michael Dunn of attempted murder, but not actual murder, in the shooting death of black teenager Jordan Davis, the hashtag #dangerousblackkids popped up on Twitter. Users posted photos of black babies and toddlers, spoofing the fear that Dunn testified he felt before opening fire on a car full of teens at a convenience store.
That hashtag was the calling card of Black Twitter, a small corner of the social media giant where an unabashedly black spin on life gets served up in 140-character installments.
Black Twitter holds court on pretty much everything from President Barack Obama to the latest TV reality show antics. But Black Twitter can also turn activist quickly. When it does, things happen — like the cancellation of a book deal for a juror in the George Zimmerman trial, or the demise of Zimmerman's subsequent attempt to star at celebrity boxing.
Catchy hashtags are a hallmark and give clues that the tweeting in question is a Black Twitter thing."


Saturday, March 8, 2014


Minority Professional Development Business Conference kicks off on Saturday March 15, 2014

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM and you're invited to take part in professional development seminars.

Kent State University
College of Business Room 100
800 E Summit St
Kent, OH 44240

 Come in your business attire
This will be a historic conference which will leave you empowered!

Tickets are $5, nonrefundable

Purchase Tickets at:  


Established in 1970, the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) is
a nonprofit professional membership organization of minority graduates with MBAs, advance degrees, business professionals, entrepreneurs and graduate students. The NBMBAA is headquartered in Chicago, IL and encompasses 43 Chapters and 25 Collegiate Chapters. The organization focuses on five channels: education, career, leadership, entrepreneurship and lifestyle.

Membership Benefits

NBMBAA® offers exclusive access to special savings on computer equipment, air travel, car rentals, moving, credit cards and more.


Opening ReMARCs
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees criminal defendants the right to legal counsel.

At no point does it state that representing counsel shall be penalized for upholding this basic principle. This certainly was not the case for John Roberts when he defended serial killer John Ferguson, convicted of killing eight people. In fact, Roberts earned Senate confirmation and became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

However, punitive voting is precisely what occurred this week when the Senate rejected, 52-47, the nomination of Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice – a decision based largely on his work as legal counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal when he worked as a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). While Adegbile never represented Abu-Jamal in any of his trials, he worked on legal briefs once the LDF took Abu-Jamal’s appeal based on blatant racial bias in the jury selection and instruction in the trial. In fact, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with LDF’s arguments and overturned Abu-Jamal’s death sentence, giving him life imprisonment without parole.

Adegbile is highly-regarded across the legal and civil rights communities. Earlier this year, the National Urban League joined 75 other organizations in a letter of support for his nomination. At that time, we called him “one of the preeminent civil rights litigators of his generation…a consensus builder…[who] has earned respect and admiration from a bipartisan set of colleagues, lawyers, and leaders…because of his principled and measured approach to issues.” We wholly stand by that today.

Regardless of how anyone feels about Abu-Jamal, Adegbile upheld the principles and expectations of our justice system and did not deny a defendant the right to competent counsel.

The Senate’s actions, on the other hand, are disappointing and disgraceful, and perhaps worst of all, puncture a precedent-setting hole in the very principles of our nation’s Bill of Rights.

To Be Equal
“There are some Americans who, in the aggregate, are consistently doing worse in our society -- groups that have had the odds stacked against them in unique ways that require unique solutions…And by almost every measure, the group that is facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century in this country are boys and young men of color.” President Barack Obama
President Obama Rallies Help for Young Males of Color with “My Brother’s Keeper” Initiative 

Last Thursday at the White House, I was on hand for one of the most inspiring and important Presidential announcements in recent history. In the aftermath of the killings of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, and in response to data showing how badly the odds are stacked against millions of boys and young men of color in the United States, President Obama kicked-off “My Brother’s Keeper,” an unprecedented public-private initiative aimed at improving life outcomes and addressing opportunity gaps for the nation’s most vulnerable population.

The President made the announcement before an audience of young males of color and a coalition of government, business, civic and philanthropic leaders. I was proud to be there to represent the National Urban League. In unusually personal terms, President Obama spoke about his own struggles with drugs and alienation as a young boy growing up without a father. He called on all Americans to do more to improve the prospects for young males of color who are less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to be unemployed or end up in jail than any other group in America.

Partner Spotlight
AT&TTIME Magazine Highlights National Urban League Entrepreneurship and Job Training Programs

Read the special feature on the un-and-underemployment crisis in America that ran in the February 24th issue of TIME Magazine highlighting National Urban League entrepreneurship and job training programs.

Urban League Jobs Network
JOBSEEKERS: How to Get Your Resume to the Top and Avoid the Digital Black Hole

Career Success Webinar
Wednesday, March 12
12:30pm EST

Applying to jobs but can’t quite catch the recruiters attention? Join the Urban League JobsNetwork and Aisha Taylor of TAYLORmade Consulting for tips on how to get your resume to the top of the pile.

CLICK HERE to register today!
Washington Bureau
National Urban League Applauds Extension of Internet Essentials

National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial today issued the following statement in response to the announcement by Comcast NBCUniversal that it will indefinitely extend its Internet Essentials program:

“The National Urban League applauds Comcast NBCUniversal’s announcement that it will indefinitely extend its Internet Essentials program in an effort to improve the socio-economic outlook of communities of color. As a long-time proponent of universal broadband adoption, we recognize the nexus between technology-enabled opportunity and our mission to enable economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.

“As we contemplate broadband-enabled solutions that can prove useful in jumpstarting our economy and creating more opportunities for our communities, we look forward to working with Comcast NBCUniversal to help leverage the Internet Essentials program to drive job growth, create more opportunities for minority-owned businesses and improve education outcomes in underserved areas.”
Her Path to Success Begins Today
Your gift provides the tools for her to overcome economic challenges and realize her dreams.
Affiliate Newswire
Knoxville Area Urban League Gets Boost with CDFI Certification

The Knoxville Area Urban League (Knoxville, TN), with the City of Knoxville, announced its new community development financial institution (CDFI) certification at its annual membership meeting at the Holiday Inn at World’s Fair Park.

“The Urban League has been quite tenacious as we worked with the U.S. Treasury to gain this certification,” said Phyllis Nichols, Knoxville Area Urban League President and CEO. “We’re working to achieve sustainable efforts for economic development. One tenet of our mission is community development and becoming a certified CDFI will allow the Urban League to provide capital to a target market not served by traditional institutions.

“We will be able to strengthen our entrepreneurship training through partnerships and provide technical support to startups and expanding small and minority businesses.”