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  www.apffc.org  

Issue  11            May  1,  2013  

AN URBAN MARSHALL PLAN: A hand up, not a hand out
After the end of World War Two in 1945, the United States devised a a plan designed to help rebuild and reinvigorate the infrastructure and economies of the allied nations that had been devastated by the war. This plan, named after it's architect George Marshall, would come to be known of as the Marshall Plan. To accomplish the goals of this plan as outlined by Marshall, the Untied States would commit nearly five percent of its G.N.P. No one at that time thought this endeavor to be a national or international handout. Quite to the contrary, those men that worked to formulate and implement this plan would come to be known as visionaries and forward thinkers. The well-reasoned consensus was that an investment in these economies represented over time to an investment in America. The wisdom of that decision is self-evident. Sixty some odd years later, right in this country, indeed right outside most of our doors, there exist urban communities, that have been devastated by the financial crosswinds that have buffeted this country. Houses under water, victims of predatory loans often tainted by racist policies are rampant. Unemployment, frequently hovering near or above fifteen percent has become par for the course. Dilapidated infrastructure, crumbling inner cities schools occur far more frequently than should ever be acceptable. Stores from which to buy healthy fruits and vegetables are virtually non-existent.     The people that live in these communities’ voices are rarely if ever heard in the corridors of power. They control no "Super Pacs " or finance and high-powered lobbyist. The recession that was/is a cold of sorts for the rest of the country was a flu virus for them. In these communities manufacturing jobs have long since been shipped overseas and even customer service jobs have settled into the surrounding suburbs. Is there any wonder that an underground economy is pervasive in these communities? If there is, there should not be. The people that live in these communities are not lazy, laggard or simply desire to live of the dole. They are not asking for a hand out, they what it did for Europe in the past. Give them a hand up. In an era of " To big to fail " and massive financial bailouts for the well connected, these are those that are left wanting. None of this is to say that there have not been past attempts to address this concern (see Office of Urban Policy and Promise Neighborhoods). However, in each instance, be it as a result of political gridlock or a loss of traction, the end results have been the same. The problem here is not intractable. The history of this country is replete with examples of what can be done, when the will and the resolve is there. There are countless men, and woman in these communities that simply need a hand up, pointedly not a hand out, a Marshall Plan to aid in addressing the ills of the urban communities. Peace Akbar Pray Editor-in-Chief

                 

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By  Milagros  Milan  Harris  

purchase  the  book  

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The Bronx district attorney, Robert Johnson, and the prosecutors serving under him show little sense of urgency as cases age. In one ludicrous case, an assistant district attorney actually left on vacation in the middle of a trial she was working on. Defense lawyers have been allowed to exploit delays to help their clients, since witnesses can move away and evidence can become tainted; sometimes the defense lawyers simply delay cases to suit their own schedules. And there are the judges — many elected through a political machine-controlled process — who are unable or unwilling to exert strong control over their courtrooms to resolve cases in a reasonable time. product of the skepticism Bronx juries have of the police, it also raises questions about whether the breakdown in the borough’s court system is letting dangerous criminals go free. Like many other states, New York has slashed court budgets in the past few years in the face of a harsh recession. But the problem in the Bronx began festering long before that and goes beyond a shortage of resources. Because of budget problems, the court day has been shortened and now ends at 4:30. But a lot more could be accomplished if judges required all participants in proceedings to show up on time — something that rarely happens now — and stopped accepting prosecutors’ and defense lawyers’ weak excuses for delays. Part of the blame for the current mess belongs to state court administrators. They should have acted sooner to dismantle the well-meaning but unsuccessful reorganization plan put in place in 2004 by Judith Kaye, then the state’s chief judge, and take muscular action to address the Bronx backlog. In a positive step in January, the state’s current chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, dispatched a “SWAT team” of judges to deal with the delays. According to court officials, they have already cut the number of cases two years or older by 21 percent, mostly by arranging plea deals and dismissing cases. But the problem runs deep. Changing the culture will require a new commitment by Mr. Johnson, Bronx criminal court judges and court administrators to improve the management and work ethic in every part of the system. It will also require enlisting more seasoned defense lawyers to take cases in the Bronx. Some additional financing for court employees will be needed, too. But no management reform will be sufficient or lasting unless the city’s political and judicial leaders raise expectations about what a wellfunctioning criminal justice system requires.   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/opi nion/broken-justice-in-the-bronx.html

Broken Justice In the Bronx  

By THE NYT EDITORIAL BOARD Quietly over time, the gleaming glass building near Yankee Stadium that houses the Bronx criminal courts has become a place where delay and dysfunction are the norm and central ideals of the American justice system — especially the promise of a speedy trial — have been disgracefully subverted. The state court system has a guideline that requires most felony cases to go to trial or be resolved within 180 days of the suspect’s indictment. While criminal courts in every borough in New York City violate that guideline, in the Bronx, the city’s poorest borough, 73 percent of all felony cases exceeded the 180-day limit, as of January. In recent years, there were more defendants waiting years in jail for their trials in the Bronx than in the rest of the boroughs combined. The Bronx accounted for more than half of the cases in the city’s criminal courts that were more than two years old, and for twothirds of people held for more than five years awaiting trial. A powerful series by William Glaberson of The Times has painted a devastating portrait of a lackadaisical court culture in which the main actors in the Bronx seem utterly paralyzed or incompetent. None appear to have the necessary drive to ensure that justice is done for the defendants, the victims or the public.

“in the Bronx, the city’s poorest borough, 73 percent of all felony cases exceeded the 180-day limit”
The inordinate delays impose heavy tolls. Innocent people remain in jail for crimes they did not commit. Memories fade, evidence dries up, and witnesses disappear, making convicting the guilty harder. Victims and their families suffer, as does faith in the justice system’s ability to protect the public. In one case, as reported by Mr. Glaberson, Bronx prosecutors did not try a defendant accused of murder until five years after the crime. The defendant ended up going free after the first police officer to testify answered that he could not remember numerous details under questioning by the defense lawyer. In another murder case, which also resulted in a not-guilty verdict, the star witness at the trial four years after the crime testified that he could no longer be sure who pulled the trigger. As old cases have piled up in the Bronx, conviction rates have declined to less than half in jury trials, far lower than elsewhere in the city and well below the national rate. In 2011, Bronx prosecutors won guilty verdicts in 46 percent of their jury trials, court data shows, down from 67 percent in 1989, when Mr. Johnson took office. While that dismal record may be partly a

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Color Blindness
The Book and Its Author
FINALLY! Someone has written a definitive expose on America’s new racial caste system of mass incarceration, better known as “The War On Drugs.” Profound, brilliant, honest and courageous, that brave new author is Michelle Alexander and the title of her superb book is “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Color Blindness.” Everyone committed to social truth and justice should read this amazing book and its extraordinary revelations concerning why so many black men are in prison. This is a must read. You will be blown away by its depth and eloquence; its simple facts and startling statistics. A graduate of Stanford law School and Vanderbilt University and a former clerk of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, and for Chief Justice Abner Mikva of the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Michelle Alexander is eminently qualified to be the champion of the dispossessed and down-trodden victims of the war on drugs. The mother of three and the wife of a Federal Prosecutor, Alexander is an unlikely spokesperson for the anti-lock ’em up and throw away the key movement. She has passionately taken up the immense challenge of attempting to exterminate the evil of mass incarceration. She has become the catalyst, spearhead and the architect of a very necessary and rapidly growing national movement for social justice. I exhort everybody, especially prisoners to read her book. Thant’s the least you can do for someone who has elected to dedicate a tremendous amount of time and energy for us, unselfishly. Her outstanding efforts are even more impressive in view of the fact that most inmates will not bother to miss even one episode of Love and Hip Hop to even find out what’s going on. Yet there are those, like Ms. Alexander who continuously fight on our behalf, to get justice. Fortunately, we are not all reality show junkies. Some of us are working and fighting also, and appreciate the work Ms. Alexander and many others like her are doing. In this sad era of “colorblind” justice, where strong voices are few and

By Rudy Williams  

far between, and many have been effectively silenced by economic bribes and complicity with the new caste system, we need more warriors who are cut form the Harriet Tubman cloth and less gangsta rappers, gangbangers and punks. For those who have not readi the book, please go out and cop that: You will be doing humanity and yourself a great service. Thank God for Ms. Alexander and others like her.

Director  of         Operations   Milagros Harris

Director  of  Finance
Qasim S. Abdul Karim

Director  of   Human  Resources   Rahman Muhammad

Director  of     Public  Relations   Toni Johnson

APFFC  Board  of  Directors  
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To the Future Mother Of My Child and Wife:

Upon my descent, I searched for one I would cherish, The choices were vast, but I was in need for the fairest. She'd have to be God-fearing, yet possess an open mind, With an understanding, changes, comes along with time. Since I planned on being born with respiratory complications, She'd have to be a therapist embodying patience. It was a must she be a lady of high intelligence, One who's delicate, yet possess a well rounded strength. She'd have to love earth tones and be fascinated by science, Able to maneuver people, enabling an alliance. Yet quick to forgive despite another's deceitful grin, Her perspective: "All learned lessons are Life's blessings." If I were imprisoned, she'd travel thousands of miles To exchange hugs and I love you's with a tender smile. If I ever happen to stumble, lose balance and or fall, She'd speak fiery words to re-ignite my innate gall. One whose actions, are logically enforced by her heart, She'd be results oriented by way of calculative starts. Beautiful and cool; one, her man-child can talk to, A lifetime of an Oedipus complex would be a truth. Like our ancestress Sarah, she'd be true to her name, Her being a sound role model could easily be acclaimed. I would be her Jacob, and she'd be my Rebekah, A heap of dust full of wisdom, therefore I'd heed to lectures. She'd instill in me; "Son, be clean and learn to cook, Persuasive knowledge comes by way of reading and writing books. Express your emotions with the flair of regal air, And go at Life, my beloved, as if you've been dared." I'd be her very own lion crossbred with an owl, One in whom her heart and soul will be immensely proud. Thank you Dandy Mae for fulfilling this eclectic list, That's why this Mothers Day ode is being sent with a kiss...... written by: Semaj Thomas '13

Sometimes people enter each others lives at auspicious moments, Yet when Love and Fate are in the midst, their presence is golden. There's no need to fret nor question the Cosmo's choice, Just accept the blessing and give thanks via your voice. This has been an epiphany recently revealed to me, I vow to heed this wisdom and to treat this knowledge tenderly. I now know the meaning of, "A blessing in the sky," My heart has been overhauled and indeed revitalized. It took a Sun-kissed chocolate-dipped-in-honey skin tone, A truly blessed, eclectic structure in regards to facial bones. A smile, that pales the Sun by way of luminous teeth, Beauty descending from her head, down to those pretty feet. Intelligence of a scholar; the poise of a lioness, A femininity which makes me feel I got my dying wish. Dust angelically incarnate through Supreme sanctioning, It appears I've gained residuals from Faith In Prayer Banking. I hope when she looks in the mirror and sees her reflection, She will clearly see what I see: Pure perfection. I'm giddy as a schoolboy receiving his first kiss, Even my parents have been told about this lovely miss. Despite the visuals written, I've barely scratched the mountains peak, However, Earth doesn't possess the needed amount of trees. I am at the point of no return within my point of view, LaKeeta, now the entire world knows I love you......

written by: Semaj Thomas '13

 

“There is no such thing as a "broken family." Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you. ― C. JoyBell C. 5  

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Our  Person  of  Interest  
Ken Robinson: Author/educator
Why you should listen to him:

“Changing Conditions”
My mind at wits end I labor daily to change the conditions I find myself in. Constant confusion I know that somehow I played a role in the attempt to destroy my own life. And in doing so, I can only imagine my parents stress and strife. When I look back on the moments and events of my years, I just hang my head down in shame, Truly knowing there is no one else to blame. My forefathers and mothers, who paved in a struggling way yesterday, In order for me to live “Today” My eyes fill with its tears Because I failed to give thanks and honor to the likes of Harriet Tubman Nat Turner Sojourner Truth Dred Scott Noble Drew Ali Marcus Moziah Garvey And Charles Drew, just to name a few. But my heart goes out to all of you, Who labored daily to change the conditions of your day And have given your live to “be”… And now my mind’s at ease Just knowing the fight continues ‘Til I’m set FREE! Brother Darryl C. Plater-El USP Allenwood PO Box 3000 White Deer,PA 17887-3000

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html?qshb

   

 

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Part 2 Johnny "J", 2Pac, Jon B

In Life, all Women Are Mothers
A lette r from Dr. M utulu S hakur

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I'd like to take this time in my life to recognize all of the magnificent, intricate, inspiring women that have molded my existence. The courage from which I have gained, from their love for me, has taught me to believe, depend on, and trust that love. I truly could not have emerged into the person I am today without the special critiques, direction, ideas and love from you all, for which I am so thankful. As life's true importance settles my path for a better tomorrow, I keep in my heart that advise, I continue to speak the words of all of the uniqueness you all represent. Every infinite aspect means so much as I travel this path. We males, so many times have missed the happiness that comes from the source of listening to you. We are surely lost without you. For you shape, and form our spirit. Please do not give up on us, and I promise you, we will teach each other to try harder to earn your love and respect. For whatever I mean to you, I am thankful and I am proud, and I wear a confident smile. Stiff Resistance Mutulu Shakur

This is for all the homeboys who couldn't get their happy home As long as one of us got it some of us got it Stay down for me, hold on Verse 1: Sometimes you made me feel like I wasn't good enough for you So I punished us both and didn't stay true So much pain I know I've caused you Truly I'm sorry every day that I'm away girl Things went down that just don't make sense Time and place is all now irrevelant Cause I'm still thinking about the love that's gone Morning, cooking breakfast back at home Chorus: I never meant for this to end But we couldn't just let it go again We broke up, it's been years and we can't turn back But I still remember my happy home, home, home 2Pac: Goin' through hard times, ghetto child of mine I wonder if you have to suffer for your father's crimes To be honest, it's a hard role just to keep up your faith in God Knowing you'll get scared though Look at him walking and talking, a little child with my eyes and mouth Father watch over little seeds, help me guide them out Had to change my whole lifestyle Married my baby's momma, made her my wife now I'm tryin' hard y'all, maybe in time I'll be a better man Watching older couples, handle it like veterans Show me the meaning of forever and together we rise If it'll help our child grow then together we die Why question my love, it's so easy to see Without my family all I'm left with is a shadow of me After all the arguments and the nights alone Now it's time to live the good life [Chorus] Verse 2: I wonder what you must feel like now you know That I'm having a seed with someone else I didn't plan it to be this way But things happen with time And you know, time don't wait for nobody baby Oh, now I gotta handle my responsibility Even though you still mean so much to me Baby I can't say enough that I'm sorry Oh, I never meant    

   

Writer: SHAKUR, TUPAC AMARU / BUCK, JONATHAN DAVID / JACKSON, JOHNNY LEE Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Tired of waiting?

BY AKBAR PRAY
It’s almost here! Pre-order your copy now! Contact: apffc@aol.com

Akbar  Pray’s  Challenge  to  Young  Writers    
IF  YOU  ARE  PRESENTLY  ENROLLED  IN  SCHOOL  AND  ARE   UNDER  THE  AGE  OF  TWENTY-­‐ONE   THE  APFFC  IS  AWARDING  $100.00  AND  A  FREE  COPY  TO   AKBAR  PRAY’S  SOON  TO  BE  RELEASED  BOOK,  

  FOR  THE  BEST  TYPE  WRITTEN  SUMMARY  OF  WHY  THE  GAME  IS  DEAD.  THE   ESSAY  MUST  BE  AT  LESS  TWO  PAGES  IN  LENGTH,  TYPE  WRITTEN  AND  DOUBLE   SPACED.  NO  SUBMISSION  WILL  BE  ACCEPTED  AFTER  JUNE  30,  2013.  THE   WINNERS  NAME  WILL  BE  ANNOUNCED  IN  THE  FOUNDATION’S  1ST  ANIVERSARY   EDITION    OF  THE  URBAN  PERSPECTIVE,  JULY  2013.  SEND  YOUR  SUBMISSIONS  TO   APFFC@AOL.COM    
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"True political (power) organizations begin with the development of power relationships between family and kinship groups." - Power & Society-Brigid C. Harrison and Thomas R. Dye

What kind of culture must we construct in order to empower ourselves free from any domination actual or threatened? What kinds of social identities, relations, arrangements, alignments, institutions, values must we develop, which when actualized, will allow us to enhance the quality of our lives? What kinds of socialization practices must we institute in order to empower ourselves to become the kinds of people we must become if we are to secure our right to be free?

The time has come for Black people in America to get S.M.A.R.T. We must set Specific-Measurable-AttainableRealistic-Time-specific goals. Then we must be about the business of attaining them. The reconstitution of our Afrikan centered consciousness supported by commensurate cultural, social, political and economic values; institutions and relations should be first and foremost in this undertaking. M.M. Ankh "HERU" Ma'at

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Things I Think About

By Omifalade

Tien by Tony is a personal line of body
care products that combines the elements of the universe in specially created baths gels, oils, body butters and colognes made from the best quality herbal essential oils. Try the products! Because They Work! Water: Helps purify the mind from emotions that cause confusion and to enrich life through love and light. Air: Helps bring God’s knowledge and understanding of who you are and where you’re going. Fire: Helps remove negative vibrations and spells cast unto you through jealousy, envy, or hypocrisy. Earth: Helps enrich your life with financial successes, financial balance, luck and prosperity. For  more  information  visit  

Being a medium has its benefits, but at times I find myself questioning God’s plan. Although my faith is strong, walking by faith has its challenges. I am not one of those people who spend their time watching the news or reading the paper. Mostly I get news when I turn on my computer. Believe me, what I see just ties in with what I feel on a daily basis and with the visions that I am given. As I continue on with these words I would like you all to understand, although what is in my head is my truth, I am coming from a place of light and love. I am writing what I hope is wake up to whom it may apply. One of my favorite subjects is religion. I am not a fanatic. I merely am connected with God, nature, the universe as well as humanity. My belief system stems from the Bhagavad Gita.  Theories on the date of composition of the Gita vary considerably. Scholars accept dates from fifth century to second century BCE as the probable range. I am often taken aback by the religious jargon, and made up ceremonies and fables used to push fear and discipline on behalf and in the name of God. For example, do people know the difference between religious doctrine and culture exemplified in Sharia law? God made woman to walk by your side not in back, yet some religious practices do not feel a woman should have a voice except in the home. It seems that since the beginning of time, men have ruled not just politics, but also religion. Why do the Jehovah witnesses want you to go to their temple, but yet will not visit yours? Why do the Pentecostals walk around carrying bible, trying to save someone by reading scriptures, while being judgmental? How are the Jews the chosen ones, who get one day a year to atone for all the wrong done all year long? The Mormons believed in a prophet who talked to God and Jesus at the same time. Really? There are medications for that these days. And what of the Catholic Church, whose riches have yet the to end the chaos in the world? I have been fortunate to read the Koran, Bible, Torah, Book of Mormons and the book of Jehovah with guidance from people who know scriptures. The more I have become aquatinted with the word, the more I realize that God is in us, not in a temple or in a pile of rocks. Whatever one may call him, know that his plan for us is bigger than our own. Have we yet evolved? I put my thoughts on paper and evaluate them, and while I may not know when to stop, I know that what I write is truth…my truth. God is the only one who has the power to show you he is God, not a book, not a prayer not a sermon. God and his words are about love and respect. Everything else is optional. Just love him, thyself, thy family and everyone else, without judging. It is about intention nothing more. Again this is my opinion…no… it is my truth. Peace and blessings. Omifalade

Tien  by  Tony  

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/education/restor ative-justice-programs-take-root-inschools.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&ref=patricialeigh brown

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Opinion: Schools have become triage
centers for civilized conduct, which should have been taught at home.

 

“In the past, one could assume that the children who entered the school had been properly raised, but, alas, this is no longer the case.”  

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Felonies:    A  Man’s  Worst  Nightmare        

by Jiwi  
     
Jiwe: Author of War of the Bloods in My Veins

January 18, 2013 Ms. Lenore Ostrowsky Acting Chief, Public Affairs Unit U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 1150 Washington, DC 20425 RE: Dear Ms. Ostrowsky: Many of those who have been arrested -- and thus have a “criminal record” that could appear on a criminal background check -- have never been convicted of a crime.

individuals

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predictor of future criminal activity. Sincerely, Marc Mauer Executive Director  

http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/cc_TS P%20Letter%20to%20USCCR%20re%20EEOC%2 0Guidance%201.18.13.pdf

Pretty Girl
by MISTE ROULE' RYALS Auntie says, “You need brillo on those elbows and knees.” Scrub that black off. You are too dark. Daddy’s side full of light skin. Why don’t I look like them even when the resemblance is uncanny? I wash and wear my skin proudly , f*ck that! Right? Still, I scrub my brown skin in white suds; “you ain’t clean until you’re covered in white…” Mommy says. That’s not what she means though. She’s dark too so, she knows this ain’t coming off. My black is a permanent marker. You are too dark. He says, “I usually don’t date darkskin chicks.“ Then don’t start now. “But you are beautiful.” How stupid of him. Don’t he know I’ve heard these lines before? Been shown these signs before? Run quick girl or you will spend your time being reminded of how lucky you are. Self hatin’ high yellow boy picked you! Tuh. While my mouth holds a sarcastic tongue all I can do is smile and say, Thank you. No way could he have meant any offense to me by saying… “But you are beautiful.” She says, “You are pretty to be dark skinned.” Like I’ve overcome some handicap. Pretty in spite of. Made to feel less than even in compliment. Almond eyes squint, pearly whites suck out ‘what you mean by that?’ She doesn’t understand the sting – the brief fling that self hatred had with me. Always being slapped by the hand under the comment. Feeling sorry for those ‘unpretty’ dark skinned girls. Exactly how is this standard of beauty defined? Who are you to say they are or aren’t…pretty in spite of? Teacher says, “She’s unattractive. Really dark, big lips…” She sounds alright to me. An ugly being. She means well but is still part of the problem. Girl running wild; must be cuz she’s a dark and ugly child. Self esteem issues don’t play complected favoritism. When will we ever get past these assumptions? These pieces of thought that are not complete? May not matter to her what she looks like or what they say about her. Though I’ve been told, all my life: You are beautiful, in spite of being too dark.

 

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The announcement of a $100M donation by Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, brought worldwide attention to the Newark, NJ public school district (NPS). However, a state mandated takeover of NPS in the 1990s prevented the district from controlling the allocation of funds. As a result, the funds never reached those who could have benefited the most from the additional resources: Newark’s Special Needs Population, a group dominated by non-white males, the city’s most “at risk” population. After the formation of the “Partnership for Education in Newark,” city residents were surveyed to elicit their thoughts and input on what is most needed in the NPS. After approximately 90 days, the organization was dissolved. A second phase of surveys targeting an unspecified respondent pool elicited harsh criticism from the social research community of local academia. The end result witnessed by NPS parents and students has been a continuum of school closings, no announced expansion and an ongoing challenge between the district and the teacher’s union to avoid layoffs and staff reduction. The state of education is the result of poor management and faulty administration combined with a lack of accountability on the part of those empowered to assure and insure a quality educational experience for Newark’s children. The result of this failure in the NPS is a generation of students who are unprepared to compete for college admissions on a broad scale. Literacy, reading comprehension, math and other skilled required for successful college and life experience are absent, thus putting Newark students in the precarious position of requiring remedial education right out of high school. What’s more, researchers have

deduced that stimulus aid, which nearly doubled the funding for Title I and special education, not only failed to advance the cause of disadvantaged students, but also perpetuated existing inequities. In the years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created, the definition of disability has branched out to include not only physical disabilities, but also psychological impairments as well. Inconsistencies between institutions, in terms of the type and delivery of services, could impact the disabled student’s ability to succeed within a higher educational setting. While the benefits of a college education in terms of earning potential and social position are well documented, the United States is among the nations who are increasingly challenged by their failure to provide adequate learning opportunities to all children. Tough solutions are not uncommon for these countries: tightening control over schools, stronger accountability for student performance, firing bad teachers and school closings have become the worldwide recipe for fixing public education systems in crisis. A triangulated study using both quantitative and qualitative research methods was conducted among a sample population of Newark’s special needs population to determine whether or not the students were receiving the services required to help them transition from high school into college, and into the work environment. What emerged from the study was that while the target population (special needs high school students) had dreams and ambitions, and the resources were available, there was an inability to relay those resources to the students. The ultimate challenge for

American society and its systematic institutions is to facilitate and impact the youth in such a way that it avoids the stereotypical assumptions and mental models that permeate society. There is a need to invest in the development of a non-white SNHSS that addresses the demand for cultural sensitivity, in addition to the creation of greater opportunities for SNHSS in the broader society. Access to resources should provide an avenue to connect an instill the motivation and skills required to navigate through the complexities of life, ready to compete at the highest levels both socially and academically. Finally, there is a need for a thorough examination of vocational counseling and guidance, job seeking skills training and job placement and follow up support services to aide and support this vulnerable population. Most Americans are concerned with the dysfunctional nature of the current economic depression. As we suffer though wage stagnation, lack of job creation and globalization, there is continued conversation about the need to attain more education to compete in the workplace, something that is becoming increasing unattainable for the economically disadvantaged. As tuitions increase, student debt has overtaken consumer debt in America. In regard to the examination of SNHSS failure to access resources in the city of Newark; assessing the problem with a biased opinion may prove to be time consuming and a waste if valuable resources.
“chuck DA middleman” is currently a Doctoral candidate at Fielding University, in Santa Barbara, California

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Interview With Bonnie Kerness Part 3
In the April Issue, Ms. Kerness discusses the long-term physical and psychological effects of solitary confinement in America’s prisons. In this final installment, we look at transition, re-entry and the movement to end this cruel punishment.

Ms. Kerness is Prison Watch Coordinator of The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice as they nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems.

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[ENOUGH] The Cost of Education vs. Incarceration
CHRIS  WILLIAMS  TAKES  A  LOOK  AT  THE  COST  OF  EDUCATION  AND  INCARCERATION  IN  

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/newsviews/enough-what-is-a-black-life-worth456#ixzz2SwW8Wfdf Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on

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Drug War Statistics Did you know....
• • • • • Amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: More than $51,000,000,000 Number of people arrested in 2011 in the U.S. on nonviolent drug charges: 1.53 million Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2011: 757,969 Number of those charged with marijuana law violations who were arrested for possession only: 663,032 (87 percent) Number of Americans incarcerated in 2011 in federal, state and local prisons and jails: 2,266,800 or 1 in every 99.1 adults, the highest incarceration rate in the world Fraction of people incarcerated for a drug offense in state prison that are black or Hispanic, although these groups use and sell drugs at similar rates as whites: 2/3 Number of states that allow the medical use of marijuana: 18 + District of Columbia Estimated annual revenue that California would raise if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana: $1,400,000,000 Number of people killed in Mexico's drug war since 2006: 70,000+ Number of students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility because of a drug conviction: 200,000+ Number of people in the U.S. that died from an accidental drug overdose in 2009: 31,758 Tax revenue that drug legalization would yield annually, if currently-illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco: $46.7 billion The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that syringe access programs lower HIV incidence among people who inject drugs by: 80 percent One-third of all AIDS cases in the U.S. have been caused by syringe sharing: 354,000 people U.S. federal government support for syringe access programs: $0.00, thanks to a federal ban reinstated by Congress in 2011 that prohibits any federal assistance for them.

By Joseph Jazz Hayden
At a recent event against drug prohibition I was asked to speak, as I was asked to speak the year before. Well, my views on drug prohibition have been consistently consistent----prohibition is sheer bull---t! It is my opinion that the entire narrative around drugs in this country (and the world) has to be changed. For far too long we have framed the discussion in terms of law and public policy. It is time for a change because that conversation is not going anywhere. The conversation has to be reframed in terms of “human rights” and an individuals inalienable right to choose what he/she can put in their bodies. No one should have the power to tell another human being what they can and cannot put in their bodies. Each one of us is trapped in the “castle of our skins” for the duration of our short stay on this planet. We feed, exercise, clothe, house, and take care of our bodies 24/7. I watch the pharmaceutical commercials on television and I am amazed at the glaring contradictions in the way that pharmaceutical drugs are treated and the way that so-called “illicit” drugs are treated. A pharmaceutical drug that has one possible beneficial effect, and fifteen side effects that can maim or kill you is presented to potential customers who are given this information so that they can make a choice. The provision of all research information to the potential consumer and the leaving of the decision up to them is the way that all drugs should be treated. Why isn’t this universally applied? Why do we have so many human beings in cages for simply “selfmedicating”, making choices about what to put in their bodies? How do we rationalize designating them as “criminals” and branding them as second class citizens for the rest of their lives? This is madness! The human cost of this failed policy is horrendous! The economic cost is off of the charts…

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More Resources Get additional facts at the Drug War Facts website. http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/#sthash.7p0LNzHk.dpbs

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MISSION STATEMENT
The Akbar Pray Foundation For Change (APFC) is a not for profit grassroots organization, dedicated to redirecting the lives of our urban at risk youth. It has been and remains our organization’s mantra that " we are the solution to our own problems." It is our core belief that there are those within our communities, if so engaged, who can help turn the tide of crime, delinquency and recidivism which grips the lives of so many our inner city youth. Operating from the premise that to effectively attack or address any problem you must start at its root, we have begun a program in some of our city’s schools and group homes, where we supply speakers, mentors, CDs and written material from the organization’s founder, which cuts to the heart of the problem experienced by many of these youths. Some times working with former gang members, inner city icons and others that have what is referred to as ‘street cred’, we have been able to achieve remarkable results. Expanding on our mission, we continuously recruit individuals from various work disciplines to aid in educating young men and woman with marketable skills. To those ends we have engaged people both inside and outside our community to come to our classes and or workshops to share and discuss the ups and downs, ins and outs of a wide range of work disciplines and careers. Never favoring one career path over any other, we have invited professors, urban fiction writers, successful members of the hip hop industry, general construction contractors and a Superior Court Judge to these open discussions and Socratic Circle seminars. Again, it is our core belief that "we are the solution, to our own problems." In closing. We invite your participation in this noble undertaking.

IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?

A Petition for a Presidential Commutation on behalf of Wayne Akbar Pray has been submitted to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. It is a request that his non-parolable life-sentence be commuted, making him eligible for parole in the near future. His success depends on the efforts and the voice of his community. Below you can find the numbers and addresses of those who are in possession of the Commutation Package. A call to any or all of them on behalf of Wayne Pray could make the difference whether he is returned to his family and community or spends the rest of his years in prison. Please make the call!
Correspondence to the Department of Justice, Office of the Pardon Attorney, may be sent to: Ronald L. Rogers Office of the Pardon Attorney 1425 New York Avenue, N.W. Suite 11000 Washington, D.C. 20530 By Email USPardon.Attorney@usdoj.gov (no attachments) By Phone (202) 616-6070 • Congressman John Conyers • Washington Office: 202-225-5126 • Detroit Office: 313-961-5670 • Trenton / Downriver Office: 734-675-4084 You can also visit me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CongressmanConyers. Attorney General Eric Holder Correspondence to the Department, including the Attorney General, may be sent to: U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001 By Phone Department of Justice Main Switchboard 202-514-2000 Office of the Attorney General Public Comment Line - 202-353-1555 By E-Mail E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov. E-mails will be forwarded to the responsible Department of Justice component for appropriate handling. Fax: (202) 225-7854 Congresswoman Maxine Waters 2344 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2201 Congressman Donald Payne Jr.  103 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-343 Newark Office 60 Nelson Place 14th Floor (LeRoy F. Smith, Jr. Public Safety Building) Newark, NJ 07102 Phone: (973)-645-32136

Why? Because it is your right!

Let us know what you’re thinking on our Facebook page! Akbar Pray Foundation For Change  
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