Stimulus funds to promote job creation – Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram

Federal stimulus dollars will circulate Edgecombe County in the upcoming months, creating job opportunities to a region recently battered by high unemployment.

Department of Social Services officials say that more than $1.15 million in federal aid is ready for use and will be spent during this year to place avaliable residents in potential employment. (Read more @ The Rocky Mount Telegram)

Pitt County Coalition For Educating Black Children Meeting

PRESS RELEASE

Immediate Release*****************Immediate Release

Contact: Rev. Ozie Lee Hall, President
             Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children
             P.O. Box 1699
             Winterville, NC   28590
             (252) 520-3397

A Complaint has been filed with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (see Attached) alleging that Pitt County Board of Education’s Dress Code Policy targets Black students and effectively denies them their rights to a free public education.  The policy has resulted in Black students that have been successful in school now developing discipline records because of this Dress Code.  Possibly hundreds of Black students across the district lose valuable instructional time because they are being punished for minor Dress Code violations.  The Complaints from parents are mounting and something has to be done.  School Officials have been conducting roundups and going classroom to classroom to find Dress Code violators.  The schools now seem to be more interested in finding dress code violators than in providing classroom instruction.

Notice and Invitation to Meeting The Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children will hold a meeting on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the C.M. Epps Recreation Center(Multipurpose Room), 400 Nash Street, Greenville.  The agenda will include the following:

1.  Up date on federal court litigation.

2.  Meeting with U.S. Attorney General, Civil Rights Division follow up.

3.  New OCR Complaint (See attachments).

4.  Sadie Saulter issue.

5. Organizational issues.

6. Up dates by our legal team.

Sincerely,
Rev. Ozie Lee Hall, Jr., President
Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children

OCR Complaint:

If you would like to see the original OCR Complaint please email me.

Faith-Based Education Forum

For Faith-Based Community Leaders

February 22, 2010

Dear Faith-Based Community Leader,

I trust that you are experiencing an abundance of blessings. I am sending this letter to invite you to attend the Follow-up Faith-Based Educational Forum which will be held on Friday, February 26, 2010 from 9:00-12:00 p.m. at the Pinetops Town Hall located at 101 E. Hamlet St. Pinetops, NC.

Where there is unity there is strength! Please join us in this effort and plan to attend this forum. If you are unable to attend, we welcome any representative from your faith-based institution. WE NEED YOUR VOICE!

The focus of this educational forum will be:

1. Building strong collaborative efforts around early care and education

2. Share an update on Faith-Based/School Partnership

3. Building a Faith-Based Educational Network

4. Discuss how the Faith-Based community can partner with DEPC to create a better future for

children.

In order to adequately provide refreshments, please pre-register by calling 252-985-4300 prior to February 26. If you need additional information or have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me via phone at (252) 985-4300 ext. 235 or via email at Jbellamy@depc.org. I look forward to our working together. Thank you for your partnership, commitment, and our continued collaboration in moving forward in this Faith-Based Initiative.

Make it a Great Day,

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James Bellamy

Community Fellows Specialist, Down East Partnership for Children

2010-02-25_00-59-10-390

Speaking Truth to Power – THE CENSUS FORM: SEND IT BACK! by William Reed Columnist

It’s time to be counted.  Every day, the average American gets 1.7 pieces of direct mail, in March they will get another in the form of the 2010 Census.  The 2010 Census is being mailed to more than 130 million households, including America’s 8.5 Black family households.  Fully a third of these households aren’t expected to send their forms back.

Rating just below “a come to Jesus meeting", filling out the 2010 Census should be a high priority item for African Americans.  The head of National Urban League, Marc H. Morial, is a leading voice urging Black Americans “to fill them out and mail them back.”  Morial says the 2010 Census is important “because the stakes for our communities are so high”. 

Critical as it is, in past censuses, African Americans have been undercounted at worse rates than any other racial or ethnic group.  Eliminating the gap between Black Americans and other Americans in the census count is essential to ensure that our communities receive their fair share of federal funds, ensure full political representation, and provide for effective enforcement of civil rights laws.  During the 2000 Census millions of people were not counted – including disproportionate numbers of African Americans and other minorities.  As a result of this undercount these communities lost political representation and needed funding for services.  Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP, says the 2000 Census undercounted African-Americans by nearly 3 percent.

In contrast to the times of the 1940s and 50s when African Americans were “invisible”; during the last two Census counts, African American males have diluted Black power by being exactly that.   According to the Census, as of July 1, 2007, the estimated population of African-American residents in the US (including those of more than one race) was 40.7 million and 13.5 percent of the total population.  The Census Bureau expects the African-American population to grow by more than 70 percent between now and 2050, so an accurate count in 2010 will influence the education of our children, the health of families, and the economic and political power of African-American communities for the next 10 years and beyond.

The census is used to distribute government money to communities for job training, schools, and hospitals. It’s also used by businesses to decide where to open new shops, grocery stores, restaurants and fund infrastructures. And it is used to determine representation in Congress, state legislatures, and local governments. Communities that are undercounted lose out in all those areas.  The fact is, every person who is not counted cost their communities more than $14,000 in funds for schools, health care, and jobs – and diminish African-American influence at all levels of government. Getting counted will bring Black communities more respect, resources, and political representation.

“We Can’t Move Forward until You Mail it Back” says the U.S. Census Bureau.  The Census Bureau wants African American men especially, to understand how important it is to fill out and return their 2010 forms.  Traditionally, African American males have not participated, but this may be the route to put a good number of them back to work.  Once you get your form in the mail, fill it in and mail it back in the postage-paid envelope provided.  The 2010 Census form is just 10 questions, such as: Name; Sex; Age, Date of birth; Race; Household relationship; If you own or rent.  "Some people are skeptical of answering questions from the government and have growing concerns about privacy, but the 2010 Census is important, easy and safe,” says Morial.

The 2010 Census advertising campaign is calibrated to reach the average American 42 times with messages about the importance of participating in the census.  Much of the advertising is targeted toward media primarily for minority and ethnic audiences.  The estimated cost for the 2010 Census is $13.7 to $14.5 billion.  Mailing it back is a cost savings for the 2010 Census.  For each percentage point the mail-back rate increases, the Census Bureau saves taxpayers $80 to $90 million in costs associated with having to send census takers to non-responding households.

(William Reed – www.BlackPressInternational.com)