West Palm Beach, FL – Charter School for At-Risk Youth Facing Eviction

Charter School for At-Risk Youth Facing Eviction

West Palm Beach, FL — April, 2009 After a decade of service to Palm Beach County’s disaffected youth, the students and faculty of the only African-centered charter school in the State of Florida are hoping to weather a storm of financial uncertainty.
The national economic crisis is dire. Foreclosures, failing banks and unemployment are the fodder for incessant headlines and office water cooler conversations around the country.
Budget cuts and furloughs are affecting South Florida public schools, as well, including the Joseph Littles- Nguzo Saba Charter School in West Palm Beach, which is struggling to keep its doors open.
The school for at- risk youth has been unable to make its rent payments. School founder Amefika Geuka said he believes the school will continue to defy the odds, as it has in the past.
He said the school’s financial issues are a result of inadequate funding from the state, along with a number of severe budget cuts this year.
Geuka said, he, the faculty and staff are discussing several options in case the eviction becomes a reality. They are thinking about how to make a smooth transition for the sake of the students. Your support can help us reach our goal of raising $150,000 to keep the school open for these children.
Richard Keitel, landlord for the school’s facilities, said he agrees that the students should come first. He said he will try to hold off from the eviction for as long as he can, adding that he hopes to work something out with Geuka for the sake of the children.
"I have been carrying the school because I’m in a position to do so at the moment,” Keitel said. "I don’t want to take action that will harm the students."
We have made a modest beginning with just over $6,000.00 from small contributions all across the country. While billion dollar bailouts are being considered for Wall Street, your support is needed to keep the doors open for this school which is helping the least of us. CLICK HERE to make a secure online donation.
The Thompson Family

Paula Thompson, with children Curtis, Alexander, Corey and Yolanda
Photo by Elgin Jones, South Florida Times

Mrs. Paula Thompson is a working mother of three children who graduated from the school, and one who is currently enrolled there. She strongly believes that the teaching style and uniqueness of the charter school has brought her children much more educational success than regular public school. She is active in school life of children. She says, "Someone told me about the school, and when my children went there, I felt like I was a part of a family who were committed to taking care of my children. Alex started in 4th grade. His grades were great. He has always has been a good student. We moved from New York, and liked this school much better. He is in 11th grade, and he wants to go to college and study Marine Biology."
"Mr. Geuka is like a father to the children,” she said. "And the staff pays close attention to each child’s individual needs. They act as parent substitutes."
In spite of the struggle to keep his school alive, Geuka said he refuses to turn his back on his community and the foundation he started. Faculty members do not merely address formal and academic education, but also a social and self- disciplinary education. The school provides students with a sense of family and belonging that is best suited to meet their individual learning needs, Geuka said.
"Our school is special because the children are at the center of the universe," he said. "The whole world revolves around them."

Our only failure in response to this appeal would be to do nothing. Any contribution is acceptable. Be as generous as your means will allow.

If contributing by check, your tax deductible contribution should be mailed to:
Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba Charter School
5829 Corporate Way, West Palm Beach, Fl. 33407
ATTN: Amefika Geuka

CONTACT: Amefika Geuka
Email: jlnscs@yahoo.com

Telephone: (561) 689-1536

Baltimore MD – We can’t take our rights for granted

Dear Curmilus,

Eight years before I was born, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally enabled African Americans, especially in the South, to claim the right to vote that the14th Amendment was supposed to have guaranteed for all in 1868.

Now the Voting Rights Act is threatened by a case in the Supreme Court. At the same time, our lawmakers are discussing whether Washington, D.C. residents should have equal representation in Congress.

For 100 years, the NAACP has fought for the right to vote for African Americans. Many of your parents and grandparents may have even marched, written letters, or contributed money to the struggle for voting rights. Now I’m asking for your support.

In last year’s historic election, the NAACP registered an unprecedented number of voters and again established an Election Day Command Center to ensure that everyone who was eligible to cast a vote was able to do so.

Now we are making sure the Supreme Court hears loud and clear that we need to protect our votes in places where our basic rights have been challenged before. We are also talking to lawmakers to ensure that the citizens of D.C., the seat of our country’s democracy, get an equal voice in Congress. Your gift today of $15, $50, or even $150 will help make sure we push ahead on these critical voting rights initiatives.

From time to time, I will let you know how you can help fight to ensure that every American’s vote counts. Make a difference today by donating to the NAACP.
Thank you.

Ben Jealous
Benjamin Todd Jealous
President and CEO


Washington DC – Breaking: NBC: Souter to retire from Supreme Court

30 Apr 2009 Supreme Court Justice David Souter plans to retire, sources told NBC News Thursday night. Speculation about Souter’s plans began to swirl as the eight other justices were known to have hired the four law clerks who will work with them in the Supreme Court term that begins in October. Souter has been the lone holdout, hiring no one. A retirement by Souter, 69, would give President Barack Obama his first chance to nominate a justice and the next few months would bring Senate confirmation hearings. (Citizens For Legitimate Government)

Raleigh NC – Perdue Appoints Evans to Fill Out Term As Top Prosecutor for Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson Counties

Press Release

Chrissy Pearson

(919) 733-0767

Perdue Appoints Evans to Fill Out Term As Top Prosecutor for Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson Counties

Gov. Bev Perdue today appointed District Court Judge Robert A. Evans of Rocky Mount to serve as district attorney in the Seventh Prosecutorial District.  The Seventh District encompasses Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson counties. Evans will complete the current term of Howard S. Boney Jr., who is retiring after more than 30 years of public service as district attorney.

"Judge Evans has the respect and confidence of the public, law enforcement and attorneys in the Seventh District. The citizens of Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson counties will be well-served and should have every confidence that justice will be administered fairly by District Attorney Evans," said Gov. Perdue.

Judge Evans has served as a District Court Judge for the Seventh Judicial District since being appointed by Governor Jim Hunt in 1999.  Evans grew up in Rocky Mount and graduated from the Rocky Mount public schools.  He received his bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. From 1977 to 1999, he practiced law in Rocky Mount.

He is the former president of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce, which named him Citizen of the Year in 2007. He is active in his community and served on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees at North Carolina Wesleyan College.

Judge Evans’ first official day as District Attorney will be May 1, 2009.

See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance

Durham NC – 7th Judicial District Appointment of a New District Attorney Statement from Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II NC NAACP State Conference of Branches



114 W. Parrish Street, Second Floor Ÿ Durham, North Carolina 27701

866-626-2227   Ÿ    919-682-4700   Ÿ   FAX  919-682-4711

www.naacpnc.org www.ncprosecutorialmisconduct.com www.hkonj.com

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II President

Amina J. Turner Executive Director 

Immediate Release

April 29, 2009

7th Judicial District Appointment of a New District Attorney

Press Statement by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

President, NC State Conference of the NAACP

In 1909, when the NAACP was first founded, one of the demands by both white and black members who made up the founding body was that in order for there to be equal justice, there had to be diversity within the judicial system.  The issue of qualification was never the question.  African-Americans, minorities, and even women were denied the opportunity to serve, not based on qualifications, but based on race and gender.  The appointment by Gov. Perdue today pushes us towards closing the chapter of this legacy in the ranks of the District Attorney’s Office in one portion of eastern North Carolina.  This is a positive step and beginning and not an end for North Carolina.

Moving forward, we must make sure that Judge Robert Evans’ decision to accept the appointment to the office of the DA does not nullify the need for continuing diversity that he represented as a District Court Judge.  He was the only African-American District Court Judge in the District.  As we applaud the Governor in this appointment, we also appeal to the Governor to re-appoint an African-American in this vacated position.  Then this moves us closer to becoming One North Carolina.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.  For more information, call the State Office at 866-NC-NAACP or e-mail us at execdirnaacpnc@gmail.com.

See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance



For Immediate Release: April 29, 2009

More Information: Call Andre’ Knight, Pres. Rocky Mount NAACP at (252) 544-2949

Presidents of the Edgecombe, Rocky Mount and Wilson NAACP Branches support Gov. Bev Perdue’s appointment today of Robert Evans, District Court Judge as the next 7th Judicial District’s District Attorney. Evans will be the first black District Attorney in the history of eastern North Carolina. “This is history unfolding before our eyes,” said Ms. Yolanda Thigpen, Edgecombe County NAACP President. “We are pleased with the selection of Judge Evans. He has a reputation of fairness, strength and conscience. This bodes well for the course of justice in the district.”

“Governor Perdue has heard our appeal. We applaud her courage and objectivity,” said Andre’ Knight, Rocky Mount NAACP President. “However, we are sober in our expectations that this will not be a ‘one for one’ exchange. Judge Evans’ current position will be left vacant. Gov. Perdue still has the expectation of this district to keep diversity at the forefront of her considerations in filling the unexpired term of the District Court judgeship.”

“This is just the beginning of change in our justice system,” said Alonzo Braggs, Wilson NAACP President. “Now, instead of having one district attorney out of 44 in North Carolina, we have two. As we said before, diversity brings strength, not weakness. Gov. Perdue has brought encouragement and hope to all of North Carolina. But we need to demand more of our citizens and our elected officials. Our state is populated with more than one race. Every public office needs to have representative leadership that reflects its entire community.”

“Beverly Perdue promised us change if we gave her a chance to serve the state as Governor,” Andre Knight added. “This is a good first step towards addressing historical inequities and making the best of every opportunity to move North Carolina towards a progressive future.”


See related:

Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance

Nash County – Breaking News: Perdue names new district attorney

Sources have confirmed that Governor Bev Perdue has named District Court Judge Robert A. Evans as the 7th Judicial District’s new district attorney.
Evans will be replacing Howard Boney who is retiring Thursday. Boney has served as the district attorney for the district for the last 31 years.
For more on this story read Thursday’s edition of The Wilson Daily Times. (Wilson Times)

See related:

Evans named next D.A. – Rocky Mount Telegram

Perdue names Judge DA for Rocky Mount, Wilson – WRAL TV 5


Edgecombe County – District Attorney Appointment At A Glance

Princeville NC – Princeville residents angry about water bills

Residents upset over their water and sewer bills packed the meeting room Monday night at Princeville Town Hall.
Former Mayor Priscilla Everett-Oates incited the crowd, saying, “We have a red flag committee and we’re going to Washington, D.C. and the governor’s office! We’re not gonna tolerate a water bill that averages $100 (per month).”
The crowd clapped, hooted and hollered its approval. (Daily Southerner)

Speaking Truth to Power – TIME TO BURN YOUR CREDIT CARDS? by William Reed Columnist

The credit card industry is one of the nation’s most powerful and lucrative businesses and President Barack Obama says his administration will push for more protections for credit card consumers.  After summoning senior credit card industry execs to the White House, the nation’s consumer-in-chief said, "The days of any-time, any-reason rate hikes and late-fee traps have to end".

The stakes couldn’t be higher and the purveyors of plastic don’t intend to be forced into financial submission. The industry annually collects an estimated $3 trillion in annual credit and debit card transactions, plus billions more in late fees and other charges.

America is a nation propped up on credit card debt.  The average U.S. household carries more than $10,000 in credit card debt.  Many consumers have complained about the high-fees of credit card companies and the U.S. House has approved a bill that would stop credit card issuers from imposing arbitrary interest rate increases and penalties, while halting certain billing practices.

A credit card is a pre approved loan with flexible repayment options.  It’s distinguished from other financial instruments by the freedom it gives borrowers to determine the size of the loan and the pace at which it is repaid.  Data collected by the Federal Reserve shows minorities most at risk of damaging their financial futures due to poor credit card management. African American households, in particular spend larger percentages of their incomes paying credit card and other high interest rate debt, heading closer to foreclosure bankruptcy while enriching lenders.

In 2001, 59 percent of African American families had credit cards, compared to 82 percent of white families. Although African American households have lower rates of credit card ownership, African American cardholders are more likely than whites to have credit card debt.  Credit card debt has caused African American families to use critical financial resources to pay mounting monthly interest payments instead of saving or acquiring assets.  Unfortunately, most of the debt African Americans have accumulated is used for items that depreciate in value, such as cars, furniture, electronics, and appliances. This is an indication that blacks use credit inappropriately – to stretch their incomes. Historic redlining by traditional banks has left high-interest credit cards as one of the few easily accessible sources of loans for minorities.

Close to two million African American households have annual incomes of at least $75,000, but there are comparatively few affinity, co-branded and reward cards targeted specifically to blacks.  However, the high levels of unbanked and underbanked blacks have spawn affinity and co-branded prepaid cards marketed primarily to them.  One example is record industry mogul Russell Simmons’ Visa RushCard.  Though Simmons wasn’t in the White House meeting on credit cards his company is a symptom of the problem.  He claims to be solving problems for underbanked communities, which often lack access top a bank account, but complaints are mounting about the fee structure of his prepaid Visa RushCard.  To utilize Simmons’ RushCard and “live the American Dream” requires an activation fee of $19.95, a daily convenience fee of $1 (capped at $10 a month) and a $1.95 ATM cash withdrawal fee.

It’s going to take more than Obama taking credit card executives to the White House woodshed.  Americans are used to credit cards and most have at least one credit card.  When they go shopping, they just use their credit cards, since they don’t have to pay cash many feel as if they’re not spending their own money.  Good financial management for African Americans requires actively tracking credit card usage and considering it a portion of overall net worth.  When the economy is good, people do not worry because they know they can pay in one month when the credit card company sends them a bill.  But now the economy is so bad, many people can not pay for the total amount and pay just the minimum which puts them in a 19 percent to 24 percent high interest rate category.

A rule of thumb for credit card use in today’s economic times – if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.

(William Reed – http://www.BlackPressInternational.com)

Philadelphia Pa. – Breaking News: Arlen Specter switches parties


Dear Curmilus,
The Democrats welcomed Sen. Arlen Specter into our party today.  He gave one simple reason for switching parties:

    "Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."

The extreme right wing lost the American people in 2006 and 2008.  Now, they’ve lost their hold on another moderate voice in the United States Senate.
This one’s a game-changer.  Specter’s move immediately improves the prospects of President Obama’s bold change agenda.  
But make no mistake – Republicans still have the votes they need to mount a filibuster.  Sen. Specter’s decision will make our opponents even more desperate.  
Norm Coleman will dig in his heels and fight even harder to deny us that filibuster-proof 60th seat.
Even when Coleman finally, finally has no more appeals and is forced to concede defeat, the Republicans will be plotting day and night to defeat our candidates in 2010.  They know that beating just one Democratic incumbent would let them filibuster, delay, and deny the President’s agenda.
Today is a great day for all of us who want to help bring real, lasting change to this country. 
But the work of the DSCC is now more important than ever.  We cannot let up, for even one minute, if we want to achieve everything we believe in.

Robert Menendez
P.S.  The Republicans will come after Sen. Specter and every other Democratic incumbent hard in 2010.  The DSCC depends on your contributions to fight back.
Click here to make an immediate contribution to the DSCC.

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Rocky Mount NC – Forum tackles racial divide through opening dialogue



Rev. Barry Drum a Professor at NC Wesleyan College Moderator

I attended and videoed the forum. It was good.

Rev. Barry Drum a Professor at NC Wesleyan College was the moderator and did a wonderful job just like he did last month with the youth forum.

Julianna Richardson a student at NC Wesleyan gave a report on Race Relations in Rocky Mount.

The panel were: Rev. Jody Wright, Minister Yolanda Evans, Jeff Herrin, Rev. Reuben Blackwell, Rev. Andre Knight and Carole Reda. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

A panel of community leaders said Tuesday that Rocky Mount has taken steps beyond old racial divisions that defined the city through much of the 20th century, but ultimately agreed there is much room for improvement.

The forum hosted by the Rocky Mount Human Relations Commission, the second in a series, was an attempt to draw candid racial dialogue from various community leaders and to address lingering tensions. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Raleigh NC – Perdue names 3 to serve on NC Utilities Commission

I wonder what is the salary of these folks? I heard it is good. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

A former lawyer for the North Carolina Utilities Commission has been chosen by Gov. Beverly Perdue to become a member of the panel. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Speaking Truth to Power – Lateral Entry Teachers

North Carolina has a shortage of teachers in the classroom across the state, particularly in the rural northeastern part of the state. Often times teachers are accepted into the profession based on a test score. The test score represents the ability/mastery level of the test taker in the content area in the given subject area (i.e. math, science, language arts, etc.).

Is one really capable or qualified to teach based on a test score in the content area? We are staffing our classrooms with teachers that have not been exposed to classes or experiences in pedagogy. What exactly is pedagogy? Do the teachers really understand or even know what best teaching strategies are? If one can recite what best teaching strategies are, can they implement them in a classroom setting?

I am of the opinion that any test administered to lateral entry teachers should measure application of best teaching practices, formative assessment, classroom management skills, and knowledge of the multiple intelligences and the implementation thereof. Lateral entry teachers as well as fully licensed teachers should have the aforementioned skills in their bag of tricks. Additionally teachers must know their students and recognize and understand the student of the 21st century. Is the student a product of poverty, homelessness or any other barriers that impact education? Is this measured on the PRAXIS – content area? An emphatic NO would be the answer.

One can readily assess from the above that the PRAXIS is not a panacea nor is it the answer to accepting lateral entry teachers to the profession. Much more could be said about this approach, but the aforementioned items are most significant.


Rocky Mount NC – Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield Speak at Edgecombe County Convention

Rep. Joe Pat Tolson introduced Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield who addressed Edgecombe County Democrats during the County Convention at West Edgecombe Middle School Rocky Mount NC. Farmer-Butterfield gave an overview of what is going on in the NC State Legislature.

County Chairwoman Genoetre Penny-Boone thanked Farmer-Butterfield before beginning the election of county officers.

Nominations were accepted from the floor and as usual (Rev.) Roosevelt Higgs nominated himself to replace Penny-Boone. County Commissioner Viola Harris nominated Allen Mitchell, the GOTV chair for the county Democrats. Higgs addressed the Democrats saying he nominated himself because he didn’t know if someone was really seeking the seat and he wanted to make sure we had someone. Higgs said that he was going to yield to Mitchell so that he could become chair by acclamation. He did the same mess 2 years ago when Penny-Boone was re-elected to a 2nd term.

Well obviously Higgs had not taken his medication today because as I drove up on the school campus Mitchell had real campaign signs at the entrance of the building. Mitchell had a nice table set up with campaign literature and he also had a campaign sign on both sides of the auditorium stage as we faced the podium.

All of the other offices were unopposed. Dr. Florence A. Armstrong moved up from Secretary to 1 Vice Chair. Robert Bryd stayed on as 2nd Vice Chair and Janice Tolson stayed on as 3rd Vice Chair. Clara Knight was elected as Secretary. Stephanie Hunter stayed on as the Treasurer.

There were 6 Democrats elected to the State Executive Committee 3 females  and 3 males.

But guess what is sooo funny? Do you know Higgs had the audacity to ask Rocky Mount City Councilman Andre Knight to support him today after all that Higgs took him through?

Overall the convention went well.

Watch Video

See related:

Roosevelt Higgs Democratic Party District Chair?

Roosevelt Higgs addresses the Edgecombe County Board of Elections during monthly meeting

Note: Originally posted April 18, 2009

Rocky Mount NC – City forum on energy to tap state, federal sources

Public officials will give the utility rates paid by Rocky Mount residents a lot of attention next month.

The Rocky Mount City Council on Monday approved a resolution establishing May as “Utilities Awareness Month” as an avenue to “educate and heighten efforts to conserve, weatherize and lower the overall cost of electricity.” (Rocky Mount Telegram)