Kristi Love | April & May News
If you have missed the news in April and in these first 5 days of May, we’re here to help. We are only touching the surface of “Current Events” however these stories of overcoming and excellence should continue to be told.
*Always know what’s happening in your local community, city, and state. You can be a game changer by starting in your backyard.
Being Black and in STEM
Mikayla Sharrieff, India Skinner, and Bria Snell came up with an invention to purify lead-tainted water in school drinking fountains. This idea came from their personal experience at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, DC. Their innovative idea lead them to be entered into NASA’s high school competition, They are finalist in the competition which includes seven other teams. These three DC teens were the only all Black all-female team in the contest. Online voting was encouraged (for one portion of the contest) and toward the end, the DC crew was ahead and winning. Until a well-known hacking group apparently became upset that the all Black female team was in the lead. On April 29th, NASA closed the online voting due to the negative online push to discredit the DC ladies.
It’s not social media that has spread the word, but individuals using social media to point out discrimination and requests for explanations. Theses 3 young ladies have responded with humility, courage, and they stay encouraged. DC’s Mayor, Muriel Bowser has committed to providing $4,000 to the ladies so they can continue to build on their idea. The final decision will still be in the hands of NASA and will be announced later this month.
Seats Taken- We don’t like you, please leave
A couple in Plano, TX decided to dine at a well-known spot to them and may Texans, Sambuca 360 on Saturday even. They were seated, handed menu’s and completed their order. Out of nowhere, they were asked to move from their seats when another patron wanted to sit where they were sitting. Johnny Wimbrey (author and motivational speaker) and his wife were asked to move to another seat. They refused, stating they liked the view and respectful declined to move. *Something told them to start recording.
Moments later, the manager said they were trespassing, that he didn’t like them, and he was going to call the police. They left and watched from across the street when police arrived. Sambuca 360 apologized and blamed the hostess table for the mix-up. You decide. We are sure Mr. Wimbrey will no longer hold work luncheon of 200+ at this restaurant.
Can’t Sit Here
Rashon Nelson & Donte Robinson have accepted and settled with the city of Philadelphia for only $1 each. Instead of pocketing the larger amount for themselves, they asked for a commitment from the city to invest $200,000 in a pilot program for young high school entrepreneurs. They will continue to be involved in conversations about race relations throughout the city and the country. If you did not hear, last month, the two arrived early for a business meeting at a Starbucks in Philly.
While waiting they did not purchase any items and declined when the manager asked if they wanted to buy anything from the store. Within two minutes of arriving and declining the manager’s suggestion to purchase any items, the police were called on them. They remained calm and were arrested for trespassing. It was captured on video (that went viral) thanks to Melissa DePino. She knew that white people wait for friends all the time in Starbucks and are never asked to leave. Because of this incident, 8,000 Starbucks locations will close on May 29th for a diversity and inclusion one-day professional development.
Not On My Watch
James Shaw, Jr. has remained humble although the country has declared him a “Hero” because of his actions on April 23rd. James made a split second decision to fight instead of fleeing. James Shaw, Jr. stopped a mass shooter in Nashville (Antioch), TN at a Waffle House. The deranged white male shooter had already killed four people of color when he started to reload his gun to finish the massacre. Before the shooter could kill again, Mr. Shaw jumped in, wrestled with the shooter, grabbed the gun, and throw it behind the counter. James does not want to be labeled a hero- he wants us to know he went into self-preservation mode. His heroism has received national recognition (except from Trump) and James Shaw, Jr. is just happy to be alive and care for his 4-year old daughter. He started a $15, 000 GoFundMe account for the four victims because he wanted to help pay for their funerals. That fund raised over $200, 000. Then, journalist Yashar Ali started a GoFundMe account for Mr. Shaw and alone raised $205, 000.
Of course, Ellen caught wind of the story and brought him and his friend (who was with him April 23rd) to the show. She thanked him for his bravery and presented him with a check for $225, 000 where she and Shutterfly donated $20,000. The recognition didn’t end there. Ellen surprises James by having his all-time favorite NBA, Dwyane Wade come out to meet him. Wade also donated $20, 000 to James Shaw and thanked him because not only did his save lives, Wade can now tell his children about a hero in the community. James is passionate about mental health awareness and wants more advocacy and attention towards breaking the stigma and bringing awareness to mental health.
Stand Up For Right
In 2006, Nelson Mandela received the Ambassador of Conscience Award that is awarded by the Amnesty International. Amnesty is a Human Rights Advocacy Movement that exposes the truth and recognizes those that speak up against injustices. In April 2018, Colin Kaepernick was recognized for his work off the field.
Colin took a stand by taking a knee during the start of his last football season in 2016. He kneeled to draw attention to the injustice that happens to people of color, especially African Americans. Since late 2016, Colin has raised over 1 million dollars which he donated to organizations that address racial issues and provide advocacy and services to underserved individuals, families, and communities. He continues to speak for those who don’t have the appropriate resources to speak up and speak out about inequality, injustice, and more.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month
Last month, a mother deliberately drove her SUV off a cliff in California, killing herself, her Black adoptive children, and her partner. Child protective services had recently been contacted by neighbors and school officials because of reports of alleged child abuse and neglect. Instead of reaching out for help and/or fear of exposing their family feuds, she murdered the family. A person who is healthy mentally will not harm themselves and the people they claim to love, on purpose. We have to break the stigma and pay attention to the signs. Too many lives are being abused, mistreated, and murdered because of lack of mental health treatment and awareness.
Black Panther’s T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman will bring Wakanda to “The Mecca” on May 12th as the commencement speaker at his Alma mater, thee Howard University. #WakandaForever
Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize award for music, becoming the first rapper to receive the award and the first to not be a classical or jazz musician.
Recognizing Those Who Have Made an Impact on The World
Barbara Bush (b. June 8th, 1925 d. April 17th, 2018) – Former first lady of the United States as the wife of George H. W. Bush who was President from 1989-1993
This picture was taken on the day of Barbara Bush’s funeral. Pictured- George H.W. Bush, Mr. & Mrs. George W. Bush, Bill & Hillary Clinton, The Obama’a (Barack & Michelle), and First Lady, Melania Trump.
James Cone (b. August 5th, 1938 d. April 28th, 2018, 79 years old), Known as the first Black Liberation Theologian.
Verne Troyer (b.; January 1, 1969 d. April 21st, 2018), Known famously for his role in the Austin Powers movies.
*Do you have any news worth sharing? Please comment below. Thanks in advance!