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‘Anti-Bully Campaign Rally’ to seek solutions

bullies 600When it comes to bullying, there are numbers that could easily move some to declare that it's worse than we thought.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education's Bullying and Harassment Compliance Report issued under a law passed in 2012, there were 7,555 cases of bullying reported statewide. Of that number, 5,478 were confirmed.

"This is a serious problem," said Debbie McClennon, organizer of the "Anti-Bully Campaign Rally" slated for Saturday (Feb. 15th). "Our kids are frustrated, and they always say the same thing – that parents can't help, teachers can't help, and principals can't help. Victims of bullying feel they have no help, no safe haven. This problem is getting worse. It's not just going to go away."

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National Marriage Week designed to strengthen bonds

Pamela-King 600National Marriage Week (Feb 7-14) is a collaborative campaign to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate and build a stronger marriage culture. Over the last decade, 41 percent of births occurred out of wedlock, more are opting to cohabitate and the number of divorces is steadily increasing. National Marriage Week is a great time for couples to reassess, refresh and renew their commitment to their marriages.

Marriages need consistency, commitment and connection to grow and flourish. Marriage is an interactive institution that unites two to become one. To achieve a successful marriage, the husband and wife must be 100 percent engaged in the marriage daily.

You made the commitment to pour into your marriage the tenacity and energy needed to make your marriage and spouse top priority in your life. It's imperative that you learn how to keep your spouse happy, healthy, and satisfied. This is an ongoing process that must be nourished regularly.

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Report: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to step down this year

holder 600U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to step down some time this year, according to the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin, whose feature story is slated to run in the magazine's Feb. 17 issue, the Washington Times reports.

The first African-American attorney general told the writer that he planned to remain "well into" 2014, but he also told CBS News last year, on Nov. 19, that he didn't have "any plans" to step down, the Washington Times reports.

Holder, a graduate of Columbia Law School, first joined the U.S. Justice Department in 1976 and was appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1988 by President Ronald Regan. He would later join the Clinton administration as a Deputy Attorney General in 1997, the first African-American to hold that position. After the Clinton years, Holder practiced at a private firm before joining the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

 

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Will the next black senator be a familiar face from Oklahoma?

oklahoma 600Oklahoma. With its wide ranges, tornado alleys and young, upstart NBA franchise, it's the last place you'd think of when considering black political hotbeds. But as Sen. Tom Coburn prepares to retire after a yearslong battle with cancer, black Republicans in the Sooner State are seeking to flip that script on its head.

A crowded Senate-primary field is emerging, with conservative Republican powerhouses eyeing the reliably red seat as a career step to the next level. That landscape, set against the larger battle of wills between establishment Republicans, evangelical conservatives and mosquito-buzzing Tea Party irritants, is actually being shaped and shifted by a fairly influential tag team of black Republicans with national clout.

Young Oklahoma state House Speaker T.W. Shannon just announced his bid last week. And another name floating around is that of Shannon's former boss: J.C. Watts. The former congressman, once a rising star in the Republican Party who rode in on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America" wave, abruptly cut short his visible political career in pursuit of evangelical ministries and consulting contracts.

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Ford teams with Dr. Henry Louis Gates for Black History Month

gategala 600DEARBORN, Mich. (PRNewswire) – Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. will join Ford Motor Company's African American employee resource group, Ford-employees African-Ancestry Network (FAAN), in celebrating Black History Month on Feb. 21.

The theme, "Finding Your Roots," is inspired by Gates, the keynote speaker, who is host of the PBS series "Finding Your Roots." He is also the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University.

Established in 1983, FAAN is Ford's first employee resource group. Its motto, Networking Today for a Successful Tomorrow, encompasses the organization's goal to help people of African descent and other diversity constituents to maximize their contribution to Ford Motor Company.

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Fearing gentrification, Black Portland neighborhood tells Trader Joe’s ‘no’ to new store

traderjoe 600The Trader Joe's grocery store chain recently announced that it no longer plans to open a store in a predominately African-American neighborhood in Portland after activists claimed the store's prices weren't affordable for black families.

Local community leaders and activists said opening a Trader Joe's in the historically black neighborhood would "increase the desirability of the neighborhood for non-oppressed populations" and risk gentrifying the neighborhood.

In a statement to EurWeb, the Portland African American Leadership Forum said having a somewhat pricey food store in their Portland neighborhood would displace residents and perpetuate income inequality in the area.

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‘Humble servant’ at ‘home’ on Africa mission

africa 600My missionary journey to Africa was my third journey as a missionary on foreign soil.

My first two journeys were to the continent of Asia to the "Underground Church," where our main objective was to go and train pastors and other leaders on the fulfillment of "The Great Commission," the command that Jesus has given to all believers – to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Our secondary objective was to smuggle in bibles that were already translated into their native language to give to the people in the provinces while trying to remain undetected because Christianity is still under serious persecution in most parts of Asia.

I thank God for blessing both of those missions and returning us back to the USA and to our families safely.

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Haslam’s tuition-free ‘Promise’ is a no-go for Rep. Cohen

tuition 600During his fourth annual State of the State address Monday before the General Assembly, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam introduced the "Tennessee Promise."

The proposal commits to providing on a continuing basis two years of community college or a college of applied technology (TCAT) absolutely free of tuition and fees to graduating high school seniors.

"Through the Tennessee Promise, we are fighting the rising cost of higher education, and we are raising our expectations as a state," Haslam said. "We are committed to making a clear statement to families that education beyond high school is a priority in the state of Tennessee."

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Microsoft turns to Thompson after Gates

microsoft 600John W. Thompson, one of the few African-American chief executive officers in technology, has been tapped to succeed Bill Gates as chairman of Microsoft.

The former CEO of Symantec, Thompson is the CEO of Virtual Instruments, a San Jose-based software company. He will be the second chairman of Microsoft.

Thompson will be chair of the board that oversees Microsoft's top executives, including the new CEO, Satya Nadella, a longtime company insider. Thompson headed the search for Microsoft's new CEO.

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Reducing the risk of HIV by 90 percent

hiv90 600This Friday, February 7th, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). It's an opportunity for the nation to take a look at the AIDS epidemic in Black America from a uniquely and unapologetically black point of view. Given the demographics of the AIDS epidemic in this country, this is a very important day.

The Black AIDS Institute's Black treatment advocate networks (BTANS) are hosting Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) forums around the country (Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Ft. Lauderdale, Jackson, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Oakland) to raise awareness and educate our communities about PrEP.

Here's why Pre-exposure Prophylaxis of HIV is important to black people: 35 years into this epidemic and with all we know about HIV, we still have alarming rates of new HIV infections in this country. Roughly 50,000 Americans are infected with HIV every year and 44 percent are black. In many parts of the country, 1 in 2 black gay men are already HIV infected – and many of them don't know it.

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I’m young, African American, female and ... Republican!

youngrepub 600I'm often asked, "When did you become a Republican?" And my answer is the same every time: "I've always been one!"

My mother gave birth to me when she was 16 years old, and we received government assistance during the first few years of my life. When I was growing up, she taught me the importance of making a budget and living by it. In our home I learned the importance of having a plan and delaying gratification for the things I wanted or thought I deserved. It meant generic brands instead of name brands and buying what I needed, rather than what I may have wanted. It meant living more conservatively.

Although she had me at a young age and knew there would be struggles ahead, my mother chose life. For that I am forever grateful to her.

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Obama blames Fox News for stirring up political trouble

oreiley 600(The Root Staff) – Each year the news division of the network hosting the Super Bowl is granted a pregame interview with President Obama. This year was Fox's turn, and Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly used the occasion to grill the president on a few of the conservative's favorite topics, including Benghazi and the IRS' targeting of conservative groups.

O'Reilly interrupted the president frequently during the interview to press his contention that the Obama administration withheld information about the attack on the US embassy in Libya for political reasons and a corrupt culture at the IRS.

After quite a bit of sparring, the president finally turned the tables and said Fox was actually to blame for keeping both controversies alive:

 

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What’s the state of America’s Children?

stateofchildren 60The Children Defense Funds's new report – State of America's Children 2014 – is designed to make clear the state of black children in America.

According to the CDF's report, for the first time the majority of children in America under 2 are now children of color. One in three is poor. Black children were the poorest group.

In six states – Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon and Wisconsin – half or more black children were poor and nearly half of all states had black child poverty rates of 40 percent or more.

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