Women to march in hundreds of U.S. cities for third straight year

Women will march in hundreds of U.S. cities and overseas on Saturday to mark the second anniversary of demonstrations that drew millions of protesters to the streets the day after Republican President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.

Women’s March, a national nonprofit organization that evolved from the initial Washington march, is again hosting its main event in Washington, with hundreds of “sister” marches in other cities.

March On, a separate grassroots coalition that also grew from the original march, has coordinated hundreds of marches in cities such as Boston, Houston, Baltimore and Denver.

Leaders of both groups say they will use this year’s marches to push policy related to raising the minimum wage, access to reproductive and healthcare and voting rights, among other issues. They are aiming to mobilize women to vote ahead of the 2020 elections, when Trump is expected to be the Republican nominee for president.

“There is definitely huge, huge focus on the 2020 elections,” said March On’s Natalie Sanchez, an organizer of the 2017 Boston Women’s March who is also with March Forward Massachusetts, which is leading Saturday’s march there.

Activists say the marches are a chance to celebrate the gains made in the 2018 elections, which saw more women elected to the U.S. Congress than ever before.

The newly elected women – nearly all Democrats – include the first Muslim women and first Native American women in Congress, as well as the first black women to represent their states in New England. Many cited Trump’s presidency among the reasons they decided to run for office.

As the political movement that grew out of hundreds of loosely affiliated marches in 2017 has grown, divisions have emerged.

In some cities, like New York and Washington, there will be more than one march or demonstration due to criticism that some Women’s March leaders are anti-Semitic – a charge those leaders have sought to dispel in recent interviews and statements.

The marches also have been criticized as being not welcoming to conservative women, who may support Trump’s presidency and oppose abortion rights. The “March for Life” by anti-abortion campaigners was in Washington on Friday, attended by Vice President Mike Pence.

Leaders of Women’s March and March On say there is a role for everyone.

“We are all part of the same movement, regardless of any divisiveness or any drama that goes on,” Sanchez said.

Source: Reuters

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27th ANNUAL PAN AFRICAN FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL TO SCREEN ARETHA FRANKLIN’S AMAZING GRACE CONCERT AT DIRECTORS GUILD OF AMERICA ON OPENING NIGHT FEBRUARY 7

America’s Largest Black Film Festival To Exhibit Over 170 Black Films and 100 Fine Artists From February 7 Through February 18 at the Cinemark Rave 15 Theatres and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival announced that it will celebrate its 27th Annual Opening Night with a screening of Aretha Franklin’s cherished Amazing Grace concert documentary at the Directors Guild of America. The festival, which presents an impressive slate of over 170 new Black films from the US and around the world and exhibits more than 100 fine artists and unique craftspeople, starts on Thursday, February 7 through Monday, February 18 at the Cinemark Rave 15 Theatres (3650 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd) and the adjacent Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles, California.

Aretha Franklin’s spine-tingling and uplifting Amazing Grace,produced by Alan Elliott, was originally directed by Sydney Pollack in 1972 at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California. The film, a rare gem in the crown of the late musical genius, has not been seen before now due to technical and rights issues.

“It’s such a blessing to open the festival this year with Amazing Grace,”expressed PAFF Co-Founder and Actor Danny Glover. “Aretha Franklin is a rare treasure. To be graced with this film is an honor and a testament to the perseverance and long-standing prominence of the festival’s impact.”
Over the past 26 years, The Pan African Film & Arts Festival has sought to increase cultural awareness and bridge diverse communities from the African diaspora by providing a creative safe space for the development and expression of the Black narrative through film, poetry, art and music.This year, PAFF will “amPAFFify” amplify and ignite the Pan-African experience through next generation storytelling.
“27 years ago, we made a political, cultural, social and intellectual decision to get involved in film festivals as it became clear that a platform to showcase Black films was needed,” shared Ayuko Babu, Executive Director and Co-Founder of PAFF. “It’s been a privilege to be a platform for many filmmakers and talent to share their unique stories through the lens of their own experiences, visions and creative artistry. The on-going challenge is… who’s story gets told on the small screen and big screen? The Pan African Film Festival is a way of showing distributors the stories that matter to people of color.”
PAFF’s legacy is evidenced by the success of storytellers and talent who’ve contributed works to the festival such as Will Packer, Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx, Ryan Coogler, Berry Jenkins, Taraji P. Henson, Ava Duvernay, and countless others. The program’s platform exists proudly as a conduit for the careers of thousands of talented actors, directors, producers and executives; many of which have gone on to win the industry’s top honors including the Golden Globes, Emmy’s and Oscars. As an official Oscar-qualifying festival, many of PAFF’s short and live-action films will be up for consideration for an Academy Award.
To further “amPAFFify” PAFF’s proud history, the organization recently launched an “#IAMPAFF Meme Generator, designed to allow festival supporters to share their own stories on social media. Festival supporters can join in the fun by creating a meme to tell their story at paff.org/iampaff.
This year’s program features a robust schedule including the Filmmakers Brunch, ARTFest, PAFF Institute Panels, StudentFest, LOL Comedy Series, Children’s Fest, SpokenWord Fest, Seniors’ Connection and much more. Individual screening tickets and all festival passes can be purchased at paff.org/tickets. Group sales discounts are also available. For more information, visit the PAFF website at paff.org or call 310-337-4737.

REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER RETURNS FOR ITS17TH SEASON JAN. 18, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO


JOHN KASICH IS THE TOP-OF-SHOW INTERVIEW GUEST;
MARSHAWN LYNCH IS THE MID-SHOW INTERVIEW GUEST; ERICK ERICKSON, BARNEY FRANK AND CATHERINE RAMPELL
ARE THE ROUNDTABLE GUESTS


REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER returns for its 17th season FRIDAY, JAN. 18 (10:00-11:00 p.m. live ET/tape-delayed PT), with a replay at midnight, exclusively on HBO. Allowing Maher to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues, the show includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists and interviews with guests. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich is the top-of-show interview guest. Athlete Marshawn Lynch is the mid-show interview guest. The roundtable guests are radio host Erick Erickson, former Mass. Rep. Barney Frank and columnist Catherine Rampell. #SPMGMedia


WATCH HERE – https://www.hbo.com/real-time-with-bill-maher

Meet the Couple Behind New York City’s Black-Owned Professional Sports Team

Corey and Tamara Galloway had always dreamed of having a professional sports team in New York City. Now, the power couple themselves have made history by giving NYC it’s first ever Black-owned sports team, and have became two of very few African Americans who outright own a professional sports franchise.

Corey, the founder of New York-based business development and direct investment company Legacy Growth Partners, together with his wife has finally brought an arena football league to the county’s most populated city. They had to go through a challenging process and buy-ins, but with the support of trustees colleagues, business partners, friends, such as football player Devale Ellis, they were able to make it.


As a football fan raised in Brooklyn, Galloway had to travel far just to see the New York Jets do their practice games at Hempstead, Long Island. He used it as an inspiration to bring the American sport closer to young people for their enjoyment.
“For me, as a football fan, as a football player, I acknowledge that there is a barrier of entry that’s created with ticket pricing. Not everyone is able to really enjoy the game and see the games live and upfront. So, creating that opportunity and being able to provide them with an option to see a game live — I’m just excited that those kids will be able to enthusiastically say ‘Oh, wow! I’m going to a game!’,” he said in an interview with Essence.
In April 2019, the New York Streets, the National Arena League’s newest franchise, will take the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York as they play their first game there. Aside from that, they will also play two of its regular-season games at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
His wife, Tamara, is very excited about the new venture and looks forward “to have an opportunity to help set up other modern-day leaders that can come see a couple that is doing something together — a Black owner who looks like them and that’s doing something to break the mold,” she said.

Being African American, the couple encountered numerous problems when they were working to bring New York Streets to reality. There was a lack of representation, people doubted them, and sometimes they were even asked where their money came from.

However, none of those discouraged him from making his visions come true. Galloway now belongs to a very small group of African Americans who own professional sports franchises. The NFL and the MLB still don’t have a franchise owned by African Americans, but Galloway and his wife hope their recent achievement could pave the way for others too.
For more information about New York Streets Football, visit www.nystreetsfootball.com

Source: Black Business

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Critics’ Choice Awards: ‘Roma’ Wins Best Picture To Lead Night; ‘The Americans’ & ‘Mrs. Maisel’ Top TV – The Complete Winners List

Alfonso Cuarón’s personal drama Roma from Netflix led all winners at the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday, taking four total wins including the marquee Best Picture honor at the televised ceremony at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica.

Cuarón was busy onstage during a show in which the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association mostly spread the love among its 42 total film and TV categories. The Mexican filmmaker also won Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Film trophies; the question is whether we are seeing a preview of the Oscars in a month and a half — last year, the Critics’ Choice show chose 17 of 19 eventual Oscar winners.

Here’s the full winners’ list, followed by how the night went down in our live blog:

FILM

BEST PICTURE

“Roma” (Netflix)

BEST ACTOR

Christian Bale – “Vice” (Annapurna)

BEST ACTRESS – TIE

Glenn Close – “The Wife” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Lady Gaga – “A Star Is Born” (Warner Bros.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali – “Green Book” (Universal)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Regina King – “If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna)

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Elsie Fisher – “Eighth Grade” (A24)

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

“The Favourite” (Fox Searchlight)

BEST DIRECTOR

Alfonso Cuarón – “Roma” (Netflix)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Paul Schrader – “First Reformed” (A24)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Barry Jenkins – “If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Alfonso Cuarón – “Roma” (Netflix)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Hannah Beachler, Jay Hart – “Black Panther” (Disney)

BEST EDITING

Tom Cross – “First Man” (Universal)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Ruth Carter – “Black Panther” (Disney)

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

“Vice” (Annapurna)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

“Black Panther” (Disney)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Sony)

BEST ACTION MOVIE

“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (Paramount)

BEST COMEDY

“Crazy Rich Asians” (Warner Bros.)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Christian Bale – “Vice” (Annapurna)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Olivia Colman – “The Favourite” (Fox Searchlight)

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE

“A Quiet Place” (Paramount)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“Roma” (Netflix)

BEST SONG

Shallow – “A Star Is Born” (Warner Bros.)

BEST SCORE

Justin Hurwitz – “First Man” (Universal)

TELEVISION

BEST DRAMA SERIES

“The Americans” (FX Networks)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Matthew Rhys – “The Americans” (FX Networks)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Sandra Oh – “Killing Eve” (BBC America)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Noah Emmerich – “The Americans” (FX Networks)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Thandie Newton – “Westworld” (HBO)

BEST COMEDY SERIES

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Bill Hader – “Barry” (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Rachel Brosnahan – “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Henry Winkler – “Barry” (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Alex Borstein – “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

BEST LIMITED SERIES

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX Networks)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” (NBC)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Darren Criss – “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX Networks)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION – TIE

Amy Adams – “Sharp Objects” (HBO)

Patricia Arquette – “Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Ben Whishaw – “A Very English Scandal” (Amazon)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Patricia Clarkson – “Sharp Objects” (HBO)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES

“BoJack Horseman” (Netflix)

30 Yr Old African American Female Spiritual Entrepreneur Is Starting The World’s First Nonprofit Social Network

Soul Tribe Network is a Groundbreaking Non-Profit Lightworker’s Healing Directory and Social Media Network, that Connects Lightworkers and Soul Tribe Community Globally

Soul Tribe NetworkATLANTA – Jan. 12, 2019 – PRLog — Spiritual Lightworker, Writer, and Entrepreneur, Fontaine Felisha Foxworth is launching the world’s very first nonprofit social media Network during the winter of 2019. A website launch is tentatively set for mid January or early February. Soul Tribe Network (STN) connects lightworkers and soul tribe globally. The network offers 100% free healing services, and connects STN members globally, in real time. The idea was synchronistically conceived by Ms. Foxworth in October, 2018, and with the grace and alignment of spirit, she quickly designed and developed the site with the help of master programmer, Tamer Eid. She will act as the chairwoman and CEO of the winter slated nonprofit organization launch. Conscious Evolution Guide, and global Director of SHIFT, Paul Lenda, has been appointed CFO.

“My aim is to provide spirit beings along the journey of spiritual awakening, with free healing, and an enlightened community at the click of a button…there will be no followers, no reshares, no popularity contests – the world has enough of that already! We aim to shift the paradigm by opening future healing hostels in major gentrified US cities, which will provide free to low-cost short-term spiritual rejuvenating housing for people experiencing severe external effects of Ascension, including homelessness, depression, and social isolation. STN will also operate free and low cost spiritual, and recreational events globally, starting as early as 2019 in the US. These events will range from free yoga classes, meditation meetups, spiritual entrepreneurship incubator programs, retreats, festivals, parties, and music concerts. The ultimate mission of Soul Tribe Network, is to connect the lightgrid of awakening beings, and help raise the frequency and vibration of humanity and Mother Earth. STN aims to incorporate as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, and solely relies on gracious light working and monetary donations from healers, soul tribe members, and gracious individual or corporate donors. We are dedicated to this groundbreaking platform, and to helping build a new global paradigm!

“It’s my grandest purpose.” – Fontaine F. Foxworth

SOUL TRIBE NETWORK is a Non Profit Organization that connects Lightworkers and Soul Tribe Globally.

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UCLA Gymnast’s Flawless Michael Jackson-Inspired Routine Is A Thriller

UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi delivered a heart-stopping floor routine Saturday at the Collegiate Challenge in Anaheim, California ― and we can’t stop watching it.

The 20-year-old athlete flipped, sashayed and tumbled across the floor to a mashup of R&B and soul music, largely featuring some of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits.

The audience erupted in cheers at the end of Ohashi’s minute-and-a-half routine, which earned her a perfect 10 from the judges. Her flawless performance helped UCLA’s women’s gymnastics team sail to victory at the competition.

Ohashi previously competed on the U.S. national team but left after fracturing her back and tearing both of her shoulders. She joined UCLA’s team in 2015.

After the team won an NCAA title in April, Ohashi revealed she had been in a serious car accident the night before the team traveled to St. Louis for the national championship.

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Gavin Newsom proposes free community college in California

As part of his broad education blueprint for California, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will propose a full two years of free community college in his first budget next week, according to a source close to Newsom with knowledge of the plan.

Newsom will include an additional $40 million in his budget to fund a second year of tuition-free community college, according to a gubernatorial transition document. Full-time students already have the first year waived under a law that took effect this school year at participating campuses.

Free tuition would be available for first-time students enrolled in classes full-time at any of California’s 115 community colleges that choose to waive fees, according to the document. Under the plan, each college district could use their state funding to waive fees or expand student programs while continuing to charge students.

Newsom will also propose an additional $5 million for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to boost outreach encouraging students to complete a two-year program or transfer to a four-year college.

If community college districts waive fees, the plan would largely benefit middle- and upper-income families, based on past legislative analyses, since the system has long eliminated fees for low-income students.

It builds on the “California College Promise” spearheaded by the state Legislature, which in 2017 passed CA AB19 (17R) that provided state funding to community colleges to cover the first year of tuition for first-time, full-time students. To qualify for the second-year program, colleges are required to meet requirements of the first-year program, which also give districts the flexibility to waive fees or use the money to expand programs.

“The governor-elect is using his first budget to send a powerful message that education is a priority for the state, from early education to adulthood,” said Debbie Cochrane, executive vice president of The Institute for College Access and Success, which advocates for greater resources for community colleges and students. “Students will be better off … California needs to make education a priority to retain its economic strength.”

Several Assembly Democrats have already introduced legislation, CA AB2 (19R), to do just what Newsom is proposing. At $46 a unit, the plan would save at least $552 a semester for those who qualify.

Earlier this week, Newsom unveiled a $1.7 billion early childhood education and development plan that outlines a path to universal preschool and full-day kindergarten, and seeks to fund maternity and prenatal wellness programs for expecting mothers and newborns.

“At the other end of the cradle-to-career spectrum is higher education,” the Newsom budget document reads. It provides yet another glimpse at Newsom’s “California for All” agenda he has outlined in early budget documents.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said the plan would “give more Californians the opportunity to gain the skills and credentials needed to succeed in today’s economy.”

“This sends a strong message that California is putting students first,” Oakley said.

Beyond his education plan, Newsom’s other major campaign promises include creating a universal health care system and addressing the state’s severe housing affordability crisis. He has vowed to put the state on a path to build 3.5 million homes by 2025 and to expand tenant protections for those facing displacement due to high housing costs.

A Senate analysis in 2017 suggested that the biggest beneficiaries of a fee-waiver program would be middle- and upper-class students who previously paid full freight because low-income students have long had their fees waived. The implication was that lawmakers may want to spend money elsewhere if they want to focus on the most disadvantaged students.

Already, roughly half of the 2.1 million community college students attend tuition-free under a program for low-income students.

But Cochrane noted that districts have the ability to spend their state money on other programs if they find fee waivers a lower priority in their community.

“One of the biggest benefits of the free college program that California passed in 2017, and the governor-elect would build upon, is it allows schools the flexibility to use some of those resources to support students in other ways,” Cochrane said. “The typical California college student still needs to pay thousands — even over $10,000 — for textbooks, transportation and living expenses like food and housing.”

report by the institute, published Thursday, found low-income community college students receive less financial assistance, and pay more in overall education costs than those who attend the California State University or University of California system, when factoring in the cost of housing, transportation and food.

In November, the California Student Aid Commission voted to ask the Legislature for a massive overhaul of the state’s Cal Grant program for low-income students. They wanted to direct additional aid to living expenses for community college students and broaden eligibility to help non-traditional enrollees who might pursue higher education years after attending high school.

That plan, however, would cost beyond $2 billion. It was a big enough request that it concerned the heads of the University of California and California State University systems, who are seeking their own funding boosts in the upcoming budget.

SOURCE: POLITICO

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R. Kelly’s Daughter Breaks Silence on Sex Abuse Scandal, Calls Her Dad a “Monster”

R. Kelly‘s estranged daughter is finally speaking out against her dad.

One week after Surviving R. Kelly premiered, Joann Lee Kelly—aka Buku Abi—shared a lengthy message on social media explaining why she hasn’t publicly addressed her father’s sexual abuse allegations. Joann said she’s had difficulty processing the disturbing claims against her father and has struggled to “gather all the right words to express everything I feel.” Though she remained silent on the matter up until Thursday, Joann insists she has been deeply affected by the reports. 

“I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently,” she wrote. “I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention. I pray for all the families & women who have been affected by my father’s action. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of this. It has been very difficult to process it all. Let alone gather all the right words to express everything I feel.”

Joann, who is one of three children born of Kelly and Andrea Lee Kelly, claims she nor her siblings or mother have communicated with the disgraced singer in years. Though she didn’t get specific, Joann said she and her family do not “condone, support […] ANYTHING negative [Kelly] has done and or continues to do in his life.” Joann also suggested that she endured painful experiences while living with her dad, whom she referred to as a “monster.”

“The same monster you all confronting me about is my father,” she continued. “I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house. My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind. My emotional state. And for my healing. I have to do and move in a manner that is best for me. I pray anyone who reads this understands I put nothing but good intent behind each word.”

You can read Joann’s full statement below.

Days after the explosive docuseries Surviving R. Kelly debuted, Georgia authorities launched an investigation into the sexual abuse allegations against the 52-year-old artist. Chicago prosecutors have also urged alleged victims to come forward with their claims so they can build a case against Kelly.

“In order to have an investigation we have to have victims and witnesses who are willing to come forward with information,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said during a press conference this week. “Allegations of domestic violence or sexual assault require someone to say what they’ve seen, heard or experienced.”

SOURCE: YAHOO

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