In the News

A case for interracial marriage

Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in News | 162 comments

By Joy Freeman-Coulbary

Mildred Loving and her husband, Richard, took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. (AP - ASSOCIATED PRESS) This past week, still pregnant with freshly minted 2012 resolutions, we commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s visionary spirit and legacy. In keeping “with that legacy, what better overture to Dr. King’s dreamof racial equality than to become a completely post-racial, racially ambiguous society.

Interracial couples and marriages are at an all-time high; however, they still represent a minority of newly married couples, according to the Pew Research Center. Their research shows that one in seven new marriages in the U.S. is either interracial or interethnic.

The multi-racial Occupy movements show that green, as in cold-hard cash, or the lack of it, is the color on the minds of young Americans protesting the ever-increasing class and economic divide.

Dr. King’s post racial society is not one of complete homogeneity but a celebration of its complete heterogeneity. Dr. King’s open and free society is a positive utopia in which diversity is embraced and people are not marginalized, ghettoized or isolated based upon racial and ethnic differences. Interracial love and unions are a metaphor for this progress as well as the convergence of “races” and cultures.

At the recent Remaking America from Poverty to Prosperity tour at The George Washington University with Tavis Smiley, Dr. Cornel West, Suze Orman, and Michael Moore, the lack of bias amongst younger Americans was recognized as a national strength in facing down economic and social challenges by the panelists. In the spirit of MLK and progress, we should celebrate our “mulatto” diversity as manifested through the increase of interracial and interethnic unions. (more…)

D.C. forum discusses rising poverty, unemployment

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in News | 31 comments

Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Census Bureau released last week a devastating statistic: nearly half of all Americans are living in poverty or near poverty.

While the finding barely made its way into the media, and has yet to be seriously discussed by any of the 2012 presidential candidates, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have made it their mission to bring poverty back onto the national agenda. (more…)

Poverty belongs in 2012 campaign

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in News | 3 comments

Contra Costa Times
Posted: 01/14/2012 04:00:00 PM PST
Updated: 01/14/2012 04:52:11 PM PST

Award-winning talk-show host Tavis Smiley and Princeton professor Cornel West remain committed to placing poverty at the forefront of the 2012 political discourse.

As a follow-up to their highly successful poverty tour this past summer, Smiley and West hosted a nationally televised conversation at George Washington University, “Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity.

For West, the significance of the conversation raises additional questions. “Which direction the country is to go, what type of nation do we choose to be and what kind of people do we choose to be?” he asked. (more…)

King’s final message: Poverty is a civil rights battle

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in News | 93 comments

Editor’s note: See CNN’s complete coverage of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) – On Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, some will volunteer, some will attend celebrations of his life and legacy, some will do nothing at all. “I have a dream,” the title of King’s best known speech, will be repeated countless times, along with well-known stories about his  commitment to nonviolence, his letters from a Birmingham jail, his marches against segregation and the bullet that ended his life on April 4, 1968.

But few will remember how King lived his last birthday, as he turned 39 on January 15, 1968. (more…)

Why We Need To Listen To Tavis, Cornel On Poverty

Posted by on Jan 17, 2012 in News | 22 comments

Last week, there were rumblings about Tavis Smiley’s PBS program, “Reawaking America.”  The program was designed to encourage politicians and citizens to deal with poverty in America, which continues to be ignored by the powers-that-be in Washington. In fact, in last year’s State of the Union Address, President Obama was the first Democratic president since Harry S. Truman not to mention poverty for the entire address.

SEE ALSO: Santorum Attacks Romney On Voting Rights

As expected, Cornel West joined Tavis as one of the panelists for the event.  West is a long-time political partner in crime with Smiley, and in spite of any criticism they might have received for their challenges to the Obama Administration, you must give them both credit for being lone voices in the woods on the important issue of poverty.  With 40 percent of Black children living below the poverty line, African Americans cannot allow the political elite of Washington to fool us into forgetting about those who are suffering the most. (more…)

Poverty to keep rising due to slow recovery: study

Posted by on Jan 17, 2012 in News | 11 comments

Two men talk while warming themselves by a fire in a homeless community near Lakewood, New Jersey January 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

By Mary Wisniewski

Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:17pm EST

(Reuters) – Nearly 10 million more Americans have been driven into poverty since the 2007-2009 recession began, and the number is expected to increase due to the slow pace of the recovery, according to a study released Wednesday by Indiana University.

The study found the number of Americans living in poverty grew to 46.2 million in 2010, up 27 percent from 36.5 million in 2006, the year before the start of the recession. During the same period, the U.S. population increased 3.3 percent. (more…)

Who Knew There Was So Much Poverty? The Poor, That’s Who

Posted by on Jan 15, 2012 in News | 58 comments

Last evening, Tavis Smiley hosted a program that was broadcast live on C-SPAN live and that focused for two-and-a-half hours on the issue of poverty in America .  It was terrific.  The energy and commitment of the experts assembled to investigate and help alleviate poverty made the conversation rich beyond anything I’ve seen in ages.  Each panelist came at the topic from a different perspective.  That added to the richness of the discussion about being poor in America. (more…)

Tavis Smiley convenes high-profile panel on poverty

Posted by on Jan 15, 2012 in News | 9 comments

By: Katy Adams and Nikki Schwab | 01/15/12 8:05 PM
Examiner Staff Writer Follow Her @KatyAdams
Princeton University Professor Cornel West, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore and personal finance guru Suze Orman joined talk show host Tavis Smiley at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium Thursday night for a rousing roundtable on poverty in America. “Tavis, you keep asking me when it’s going to happen,” Moore said, referring to an uprising of the poor. “Every time you see me, I’m wrapping crime scene tape around the stock exchange, I’m backing a truck up to Goldman Sach’s to get our money back, and I’m doing it all alone!” Frustration with capitalism, the two-party political system and Wall Street corruption dominated the discussion, titled “Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity,” as did disappointment in President Obama’s leadership, specifically in his choice of former Citigroup executive Jack Lew as his new chief of staff. (more…)

Takeaways From Tavis Smiley’s Poverty Panel

Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in News | 35 comments

When I chatted with Tavis Smiley and Cornel West earlier this week about their approaches to combating poverty, in advance of a panel that Smiley hosted on the subject, they kept their specific solutions close to the vest. The panelists on Thursday evening’s “Reawakening America: From Poverty to Prosperity” discussion were a bit more forthcoming.

Before a packed audience at George Washington University, the panelists — including Cornel West; personal-finance expert Suze Orman; filmmaker Michael Moore; author Barbara Ehrenreich; urban-revitalization strategist Majora Carter; Roger A. Clay, president of Insight Center for Community Economic Development; and Vicki B. Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America — offered up their remedies. (more…)

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