Ivy League candidate’s hopes are dashed by police in Dear Martin (book)

Dear Martin, a New York Times bestseller by Nic Stone: When a young black man is racially profiled by the police, his hopes for an Ivy League future disappear. Review: “Absolutely incredible, honest, gut-wrenching. A must read” (Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give).

Teen/Young Adult book featured for Nook Sept 29 2019 only for $1.99 (regular price $9.99).

Free summer meals for NJ youth through age 18 – find your location

Free summer meals are available to youth ages 18 and younger across New Jersey. Many meal sites also offer fun activities so kids and teens can enjoy healthy meals, be active and enjoy spending time with friends. No need to apply, show I.D. or proof of income.

To locate free meal sites:

For more information, visit njsummermeals.org. Please share this information with everyone who can help spread the news!

On May 28 students will rally for a millionaires tax to provide more school aid

This prom season, New Jersey high school students are demanding that our state no longer cater to millionaires at the expense of our schools and our futures. 

On Tuesday, May 28th, at 3:30 p.m. at 42 Broad Street in Elizabeth, students will be distributing handmade #schoolsnotmillionaires corsages and boutonnières to students to pose with at their respective proms to raise awareness for a New Jersey millionaire’s tax NOW.  All high school students and allies are welcome to attend!

RSVP to the event on Facebook.

If you know of any high school students attending prom this year who are interested in sporting a #schoolsnotmiionaires corsage or boutonnière, please contact Nedia at 908.967.3478 or nedia.morsy@maketheroadnj.org

AOC stars in a movie about her 2018 election win

Netflix releases Knock Down the House

Netflix announces: “529 women ran for congress in 2018 — meet four of them in @knockdownmovie.” And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shares on Twitter: “Before my primary, three women & I agreed to film our journey of trying to run for office without big money. Now, #KnockDownTheHouse hits Netflix & select theaters next week, May 1st.”

Visit knockdownthehouse.com to find a screening or learn how to host one. Discussion materials available.

Iddris Sandu – the 21 yo genius that left Big Tech & Uber to share knowledge with The People

Iddris Sandu
Iddris teaching design via Apple

21 year old Iddris Sandu was born to parents from Ghana. At age 10 he taught himself a bunch of programming languages and at age 18 was consulting for Snapchat. He’s sold algorithms to Instagram and Uber and Google was so impressed with Sandu, they created an internship position just for him was he was 13.

But Iddris found himself, “wanting to help impact kids that looked like me, and being able to provide information to the masses.” So, he said goodbye to Big Tech and now teaches tech and design, makes music and inspires us all.

Inspiring messages of strength and hope in music videos by First Nation youth

Many Paths
Source: Many Paths … “The place where I was born is perfect”

Worth music video group shot
Source: Worth music video
Adams Lake (all girl) Indian Band’s “Worthy” carries a message of hope for youth:

The light will glow and inspire your journey … when you get a little older everything will be all right… you are worthy, you are worthy

Many Paths music video
Source: Many Paths music video
“Many Paths” with Kawacatoose First Nation youth

I’m going to keep my head up and make better decisions. You have to walk in my shoes to understand my position … If there’s one thing that a native people lack, the love and care – so unfair as I’m looking back … We walk the land of many paths, a narrow road that will lead us back to a life that we had …

When the Dust Settles
Source: When the Dust Settles

“When the Dust Settles” by Oxford House, Manitoba

… so many can relate with these broken-down homes … with a little bit of pride and a little bit of hope … we have been blinded with all we have been through, we’re always reminded it’s time we live true. When the dust settled you can see clearly, there’s hope where our home is, hold your tears.

Join John Legend in the conversation to FreeAmerica

John Legend invites you to join Free America
John Legend invites you to join FreeAmerica
Join the conversation with John Legend on his listening tour of American prisons for the FreeAmerica project.

“FreeAmerica is a multi-year culture campaign initiated by John Legend to change the national conversation about our country’s misguided policies and transform America’s criminal justice system.”

Its ambitious goal is to end mass incarceration in the United States of America. Get involved.

Youth incarceration
Source: freeamerica.org

Foro educativo en español Oct 28 en Rutgers Newark: logrando el grado universitario

Rutgers college forum en español

En el 28 de octubre 2017 de 3:00-9:00pm, Rutgers y El Grupo Latinoamericano de Cónsules en New Jersey (GLACO) auspiciarán su tercer foro educativo en español para informar estudiantes y sus familias sobre las vías asequibles para obtener el grado universitario en New Jersey. Asistentes aprenderán de panelistas expertos y recibirán consultas legales confidenciales acerca del estado migratorio de individuales estudiantes y sobre las nuevas políticas DACA. Consejeros de admisión y de asistencia financiera de varias universidades estatales estarán disponibles para contestar preguntas y ayudar con navegar el proceso de admisión.

Los consulados de Perú, Ecuador, Colombia, Salvador y México tendrán mesas de servicio en el evento.

El propósito de este foro es asistir a los estudiantes con matricularse en universidades como Rutgers y disfrutar experiencias universitarias exitosas.

28 octubre 2017 3-9pm | Oct 28 2017 3-9pm
Rutgers University Newark
15 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Cerca de la estación
de tren Lacahuana en Broad St. junto a la parada de autobuses

Luz Carreño de Colombia Nos Une
Ingrid Renderos de Rutgers University Newark

On October 28 2017, Rutgers and Grupo Latino Americano de Consules en New Jersey (GLACO) will hold their third Spanish-language forum aimed to provide information to parents and prospective students about the pathways toward higher education in New Jersey. Participants will have the chance to attend information panels, receive one-on-one education-related legal advice about a student’s immigration status and DACA policies; to speak directly with admissions counselors and learn about financial aid.

The consulates of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Salvador and Mexico will have service tables at the event.

This event is designed to help bridge the educational gap and help students navigate the admissions process to matriculate into universities like Rutgers and enjoy a successful college experience.

Free! Job Fair at William Paterson University 9-1 on Jan 12 2017

Job Fair
Looking for your next employer? Come to the Job Fair at William Paterson University where the following industries will be represented:
Healthcare, Security, Retail & Sales, Finance, Transportation, Material Management, Government, and Manufacturing.

Thursday 12 January 2017 (Snow Date: January 13th)
9am – 1pm
1600 Valley Road
Wayne, NJ 07470

Veteran’s Assistance will be available.

Click here to RSVP

Bring your best self, your resumé if you have one and partake of workshops like:

  • Using Social Media in Your Job Search
  • Nailing the Job: Resumes for the 21st Century
  • How to Apply for Government Jobs

An important essay by an honored student on the hypocrisies of inclusion in higher ed

Sung Yim with shaved head
Source: Sung Yim, courtesy of lutherxhughes.com

Sung Yim wrote an essay to Columbia University after essays the Korean poet was asked to submit as a student representative of Columbia College Chicago’s Nonfiction writing department were twice rejected and the last essay, cut down to almost nothing to eliminate any controversial bits. The author writes about the author’s own work:

It’s important to keep in mind that my work has always been scathingly political. That is, I would think, part of why the writing faculty nominated my work. It’s also important to keep in mind that they were soliciting short work of a long-form artist. I was clipping and revising each piece I was submitting to them, which took hours of free labor.

Why I am using difficult sentence structure to speak about Sung Yim’s work? It is to respect the author’s desire to meet the world as a, “bisexual genderqueer person,” a term which I don’t understand very well and don’t know which pronouns to apply to. I have asked for enlightenment on this issue, though. Here is a description of Sung Yim from the author’s own mouth:

I’m a South Korean immigrant and a bisexual genderqueer person. That means I’m gendered without consent day to day and experience misogyny because I’m read as a woman. A lot of people don’t even believe in nonbinary genders or know what they are, so my identity is often erased or invalidated in daily exchanges. I’ve also dealt with a lot of biphobia from both straight and gay people–I’ve been told that bisexuals are just confused, that we’re greedy, that we “might as well be straight.” And there are a lot of harmful stereotypes that are perpetuated within queer communities like “never trust a bi girl”or “bi girls are just straight girls trying to prove something.” All of those have simultaneously invalidated my gender identity–how can I be straight or gay if I’m nonbinary? There are a lot of questions I want to ask, and there’s a lot of unpacking I want to do of these harmful notions in the face of these interactions, but I seldom find the courage because it’s rare for me to find a space where I feel safe and comfortable as both a bisexual and nonbinary person.

But first and foremost, I’m a Korean immigrant. All of those intersections of my identity–my gender, my sexuality, and the expressions of them–are filtered through my navigation of a culture that fetishizes stereotypical notions of East Asian femininity. And as much as people love to ask why we need labels, I don’t see it that way. For me, differentiating aspects of myself this way by saying aloud, I am queer, I am yellow, helps me communicate to others that this is my daily experience and affirm to myself in a world that doesn’t seem to think I’m real that yes, this is true and yes, there’s more.

This year, Sung Yim was invited again to represent the student body as a writer and this is what the author read to the assembled, august audience:

Columbia, you don’t give a fuck what I have to say or why. No matter who does actually read it, is touched and comforted by it, and wants it to be heard.

Columbia, all you give a fuck about are funds. You care about ensuring your trustees comfort in their whiteness and wealth. You care about placating the artists you feel you own. You care about your retention rates and name.

You love what I’ve got to say so long as it has no material bearing.

Columbia, you are throwing us a big party and parading us around again and expecting us to be satisfied and even grateful to be given such a grand opportunity to be your shining merit badges.

I won’t sit here and act like it’s not a life-affirming gesture. I won’t act like it isn’t an honor to know that your faculty members—your teachers, nurturers, healers—believe my work deserves this platform.

But Columbia, you as an institution? How you’ve rendered my work politically inert again and again?

I will never be fucking satisfied and I will never be happy to be used as a mascot.

I don’t give a good goddamn about standing on your stage and being seen. I don’t give a good goddamn about celebrity, persona, recognition.

Whatever happened to helping people produce good work? Work that leaves somebody wonderstruck and aching. Work that leaves the artist feeling cleansed and whole? Work that gives somebody a reason to keep living for another day. Work that reminds someone of their importance, reminds someone that they’re not alone. Work that comforts and takes the breath away.

Instead of helping everyone and their mother sell themselves as a lucrative product.

Here’s a non-fiction essay by Sung Yim.

Hat tip to Okaikor Aryee-Price for the great find.

Principal Moody suspended for letting Paterson rapper Fetty Wap film music video at East Side High

Principal Zatiti Moody
Source: Urban Renaissance Media
A Paterson principal known for his educating excellence and strict discipline enforcement has been suspended from office by the New Jersey State appointed superintendent known for his attempts to keep Paterson students from experiencing quality education. The ostensible reason for the suspension: Principal Zatiti Moody allowed music phenomenon Fetty Wap to film a music video at East Side High School which contains twerking and portrays drug use. Behaviour that – like it or not – happens to be part of the school experience for many urban students.

Never mind that the video is a social statement, that Fetty Wap is an homegrown Patersonian who overcame a physical challenge to achieve national stardom or that school kids are pleased that a music icon like Fetty maintains ties with his roots and honors his hometown youth by bringing performances to their backyard – or in this case, school.

The community members who turned out at the June 15 Board of Ed meeting to show support for Principal Moody included Fetty himself, who put in a surprise appearance.

Fetty Wap — real name Willie Maxwell — showed up an hour after the meeting started and apologized for causing any controversy by filming the video at Eastside. He then departed the room, but stopped to patiently sign autographs in the school hallway.

When asked what prompted him to show up at the meeting, he said “I had to. For Paterson.”

Students, parents and community members wore T-shirts and buttons demanding that the district “Return Principal Moody back to Eastside High School.

If you have any thoughts about Moody’s suspension, I’d love to know them. Please share.

Fetty Wap - Wake Up
Source: Fetty Wap – Wake Up

Powerful video: Eric Garner’s daughter supports Bernie Sanders because he’s a protester, like she is now

 Erica Garner
Source: Erica Garner endorses Bernie Sanders for President video

Erica Garner is the daughter of Eric Garner. In this powerful video clip, Ms. Garner tells about the impact her dad’s murder has had on her family’s life and her own life. She has had to explain to her young daughter Elissa that the racism she’s learning about in school, which Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought against, is:

Eric Garner poster
Source: Erica Garner Bernie Sanders for President endorsement video
… not really over … I’m a activist … My Dad’s name was Eric Garner. No one gets to see their parent’s last moments and I was able to see my Dad die on national TV … They don’t know what they took from us … he was loved daily … Elissa misses my dad. She tells me, “Are you OK mom, do you Miss PopPop?” She wishes he was there so her mom wouldn’t be sad any more.

I’m just trying to get the truth out there to tell his side of the story … For a whole year, I’ve protested every Tuesday and Thursday … I’m speaking out, me being his daughter … I don’t want the world to forget what happened to my dad …

I’m behind anyone who’s going to listen and speak up for us and I think we need to believe in a leader like Bernie Sanders…

Good report on this video endorsement ad by US Uncut.

Hat tip to Kiburi Tucker for the nice find.

Many excellent reasons young people like Bernie much more than Hillary

The Youth Vote Matters
Grfx source: whatkidscando.org
My answer to friend Bryan Alexander‘s question to friends earned me the top spot in his Facebook post list for 2016. He asked: “Here’s a question for readers of any political stripe. Why is Bernie Sanders winning much more of the youth vote, as compared to Hillary Clinton?”

My response. I’ve got 2 millennials at home, both social/environmental justice champions. They love Bernie for a plethora of reasons:

He explains how political and financial systems work, and they want to know.

Bernie fights like a motherfucker for decency and the rights of the poor and middle class – in other words, human beings. And my sons think this is the best characteristic and passion any politician can possibly have.

Bernie is sensible, honest and loyal to his constituents, all qualities my children admire. Vermonters like guns, so he isn’t against them – but he’s against assault weapons sales and is for responsible gun ownership and background checks.

Bernie stands up to old money, big money and corporatized interests. It’s a dirty job, but somebody really needs to do it. My children stand with Bernie because those interests oppose their own interests.

Bernie’s democratic socialist values resonate with my boys. Of course we should have government funded universal healthcare – every major country does. Ditto for higher education.

My sons have a vague idea that what the poor and lower middle class are living today is some kind of pimped up slavery, and it seems massively wrong to them. They get the sense that Sanders will fight to bring more fairness into society.

Banks are completely f-ed up. They need to be much, much, much better controlled and Bernie seems to understand what strategies can be brought into play to make this happen. My guys like this.

Bernie won big points with my sons for walking off the stage in response to the overwhelming, nasty viciousness of white liberals who lost every iota of their veneer of pretend sympathy or empathy with minority communities at that Seattle event when the crowd went nuts because #BlackLivesMatter activists wouldn’t get off Bernie’s stage. My boys totally appreciated Bernie’s gesture – which by the way they perceived as being also a kind of punishment to the white audience for being so extremely freaking selfish and nasty.

Sanders is practical. He obviously loved his seedy, wild-haired look but appreciated the need to spiffy up his image if he wanted to be a presidential contender, and he did.

Sanders is brave. It’s not easy to run for president and if he wins, he will never have a personal life again. Like Obama, Sanders is running for the people, and my sons appreciate this greatly. They know the world is running to hell in a hand basket and that if courageous souls like Obama, Sanders and Elizabeth Warren don’t step up to the plate to lead The People in attaining protection from political conservatives – including HRC – that their world is going to be sooooo messed up.

Bernie represents Vermont – small farmers, raw milk, cheddar cheese, maple syrup. That’s cool.

His campaign is well managed.

His appeal grows and grows despite everything Hillary throws at Sanders.

He does what he says. Promised autobiographies for any sized donations and actually sent their mom a book for her $1 donation.

Sanders represent my sons’ political and social interests and opinions.

Sanders seems to be the single politician in the field of presidential candidates who understands how crucial it is to take care of our world and environment right now.

There are probably more pro points, but this is a good list.

On the other hand, Hillary is manipulative. She gets support from prison privatizers. Doesn’t want America’s minimum wage to be at living wage level. Her husband and Joe Biden – and herself – are the people who set in motion everything that ended up with about 1% of America being in jail today. Her dang hair looks like a helmet. She wears a condescending grin in every darn debate and speaks in a superior tone of voice to Sanders and O’Malley. She has unfairly used her klout to make sure debates are held at times that are disadvantageous to Sanders – and to make sure Sanders didn’t get any media coverage. Ignored women until it became politically smart to be known as a woman’s champion. Is in bed with all the bankers. Is completely out of touch with average American’s needs and appears not to give a s•••. Seems to think that she should be elected on the strength of representing the old guard and isn’t aware enough of reality and The People’s needs to realize that young people have grown to understand what the old guard represents – and they know they don’t want to live under its thumb anymore.

PS, my sons couldn’t give 2 figs about HRC’s email “scandal” and think its just a GOP ruse to discredit the Democratic candidates.

PPS my sons think that Hillary’s constant fearmongering is disgusting and shows how aligned she is with Republican values and tactics.

PPPS My sons recognize that Hillary’s a foreign country specialist – after all, she takes advantage of every little opportunity to rub that in everyone’s face. But they think it’s high time to take care of things on the home front – and this is more important than focusing on all the other countries’ domestic issues while our society falls apart.

Enchanting: deaf youth and a singing club sign and sing John Lennon’s Imagine

Imagine by Glee
Source: Facebook via Raquel Heredia Vincente and Madres Latinos de Vigo
All we who are truly blessed – with good hearing, sight and use of our limbs – can surely be inspired by this Glee video. Deaf youth and a singing club which includes a young man in a wheelchair, sign and sing John Lennon’s Imagine. Heartwarming and completely enchanting.

The best rendition I found of this awesome music video is on Facebook but the official trailer is worth seeing too:

And here are Spanish subtitles – traducción al español:

Gracias a mi bella amiga Luisi Motta de Madres Latinos de Vigo por haber compartido este tesoro. Como regalo Navideño era perfecto.

AMC: when you come to see Star Wars, please leave your Darth Vader mask at home

Star Wars fans in costume
Source: Wikimedia
Ari Wei is amused by AMC’s dress policy for Star Wars fans coming to see the new movie.

Lmao, the costume policy of AMC when you go on their website and click on showtimes for Star Wars:

“AMC does not permit weapons or items that would make other guests feel uncomfortable or detract from the movie-going experience. Guests are welcome to come dressed in costume, but we do not permit masks or face paint. In short, bring your lightsaber, turn it off during the movie, and leave the blaster and Darth Vader mask at home.”

Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Star_Wars_Celebration_IV_-_Imperial_fan_costumes_(4878278137).jpg