West Angeles CDC Announces its Honorees for the 23rd Annual Unity Awards

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BEVERLY WILSHIRE HOTEL
9500 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA  90212

FEBRUARY 2, 2017 | 6:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M.

TICKETS:  CLICK HERE

Each year, Bishop Charles E. Blake and the Board of Directors of West Angeles CDC honors distinguished individuals who exemplify the values of work, faith and family. An additional honor is bestowed upon a corporation that has demonstrated outstanding responsibility, diversity and philanthropy. The West Angeles Unity Awards Dinner Gala brings together a cross section of Los Angeles in celebration of African American History Month and in recognition of excellence in community service. The evening is an expression of the ideals of a mission-driven, faith-based organization predicated on community transformation and neighborhood revitalization.

 HONOREES

FAMILY OF THE YEAR:
DeVon Franklin & Meagan Good

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MAN OF THE YEAR:
Karim Webb

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CORPORATE CITIZEN OF THE YEAR:
City National Bank

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SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Download the Sponsorship Form here.
Select a sponsorship level, fill out the form, and email to Taylor Carson at unityawards@westangelescdc.org

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Former President Obama ‘heartened’ by engagement over Trump immigration ban

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Former President Barack Obama released a statement on Monday expressing solidarity with those protesting his successor’s ban on travelers and refugees entering the United States from certain Muslim-majority countries.

The statement, issued under the name of Obama’s spokesman Kevin Lewis, was the first time that Obama has weighed in on Donald Trump’s presidency. And though it did not mention Trump by name or directly criticize the executive order that he signed on Friday, the implication was one of disapproval.

President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizens and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy — not just during an election but every day.

Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.

With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith.

Obama studiously kept his criticism of Trump muted during the transition and pledged to give Trump space after he assumed office. But nine days into the presidency, a host of executive orders have brought protestors to the streets and the nation’s airports. And they’ve compelled Obama to speak out as well.

Part of what may have compelled the former president was Trump’s insistence that the executive order mirrored what the Obama administration did when it stopped refugees from coming into the U.S. from Iraq for six months.

The fact-checkers have sided with Obama on this dispute, noting that Obama was vocally critical of any ban on refugees that prioritized one religion over another, as Trump’s does.

After some Republicans called for only Syrian Christians to be allowed into the U.S. in the wake of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, Obama called such potential policies “shameful.” 

“That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” he said at the time.

Asked about Obama’s statement in support of protesters Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer again defended the executive order.

“It is a shame that people were inconvenienced obviously,” he said. “But at the end of the day we are talking about a couple of hours.”

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The Google doodle today celebrates the birthday of Fred Korematsu, the namesake of the 1944 SCOTUS case challenging Japanese internment

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Fred Korematsu: Why his story still matters today

The Japanese American was forced into an internment camp during WWII and subsequently spoke up for Muslim Americans.

US President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries is being compared to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Barely two months after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, nearly 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry residing on the country’s western coast were branded a military threat and put inside internment camps across the country.

But a 23-year-old Japanese-American, Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu, defied Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D Roosevelt and went into hiding instead of voluntarily relocating to an internment camp, where conditions were often harsh.

Korematsu was finally arrested in May 1942 and convicted of defying the government order. He fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court but the top court ruled against him.

He was released after the end of World War II but the conviction remained on his record until it was overturned in 1983, by a court that said the internment was racially motivated.

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[Photo courtesy of Karen Korematsu and the Korematsu Institute]

Who was Fred Korematsu?

Korematsu was born on January 30, 1917, in Oakland, California, to Japanese immigrant parents, who moved to the US in 1905.

Google Doodle is marking what would have been his 98th birthday.

Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US in 1998.

The then US president, Bill Clinton, said: “In the long history of our country’s constant search for justice, some names of ordinary citizens stand for millions of souls. Plessy, Brown, Parks … to that distinguished list, today we add the name of Fred Korematsu.”

Speaking out for Muslim Americans

In the wake of September 11, he spoke out against the dangers of racial profiling Arab Americans and urged US leaders not to repeat the wrongs inflicted upon Japanese Americans.

“… No one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist,” he said. “If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy.”

He filed two amicus curiae briefs with the Supreme Court on behalf of American Muslims being held at the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison.

“Certainly after 9/11, it was the Japanese American community and my father that spoke out first when the government talked about rounding up Arab and Muslim Americans and putting them in camps,” his daughter, Karen Korematsu, told Al Jazeera in 2014.

Becoming a civil liberties icon

About 70,000 of the Japanese Americans interned during the war were American citizens. Families lost their businesses and homes, and were branded as traitors.

“You had 48 hours to decide what you would take with you. You didn’t know where you were going,” Karen explained.

US President Gerald Ford formally ended Executive Order 9066 in 1976 and offered an apology. “We now know what we should have known then – not only was that evacuation wrong, but Japanese Americans were and are loyal Americans,” he said.

The US Congress apologised in 1988. Compensation of $20,000 was paid to each of the victims.

“Fred Korematsu turned his humility and humanity into powerful advocacy on behalf of all of us,” writer Barbara Field wrote in an earlier article for Al Jazeera.

By the time Korematsu died in 2005, he had become an icon of civil liberties.

An American story

Unlike the Japanese internment, which elicited barely any public reaction, thousands of Americans have rallied in support of those affected by Trump’s decision.

People have been camping out in front of airports across many cities, calling for the release of immigrants detained inside the airports.

“Fear is ignorance,” said Karen. “We continue to be a land of immigrants. That’s what America means to the world. If we don’t set the right example, we can’t expect the world to follow suit – especially when we are talking about civil and human rights. As my father said, and I say, this isn’t just a Japanese American story. This is an American story.”

US President Gerald Ford formally ended Executive Order 9066 in 1976 and offered an apology. “We now know what we should have known then – not only was that evacuation wrong, but Japanese Americans were and are loyal Americans,” he said.

The US Congress apologised in 1988. Compensation of $20,000 was paid to each of the victims.

“Fred Korematsu turned his humility and humanity into powerful advocacy on behalf of all of us,” writer Barbara Field wrote in an earlier article for Al Jazeera.

By the time Korematsu died in 2005, he had become an icon of civil liberties.

An American story

Unlike the Japanese internment, which elicited barely any public reaction, thousands of Americans have rallied in support of those affected by Trump’s decision.

People have been camping out in front of airports across many cities, calling for the release of immigrants detained inside the airports.

“Fear is ignorance,” said Karen. “We continue to be a land of immigrants. That’s what America means to the world. If we don’t set the right example, we can’t expect the world to follow suit – especially when we are talking about civil and human rights. As my father said, and I say, this isn’t just a Japanese American story. This is an American story.”

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Source: Al Jazeera News

Diana Ross Says Las Vegas Residency Is A ‘Special And Unique Gift’

Following two sold out nine show residencies in 2015 at The Venetian Las Vegas, Diana Ross will kick off a Vegas residency in February.

Billed as, “The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade,” the 90-minute show will feature a selection of hits from her Supremes years as well as solo hits including “Love Hangover,” “Upside Down,” “Stop! In The Name of Love,” and, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”

 

Returning to the luxury venue serves as a homecoming of sorts for the legendary singer as she considers performing in Vegas “a special and unique gift.”

“Each night, there are different audiences from all over the world,” Ross told HuffPost. “The Venetian hotel is very glamorous along with the beautiful theater. I really enjoy working in an atmosphere and environment that is of the highest quality.  It’s a ‘residency’ that feels like home. Very classy.”

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“I love singing and I love performing. It really doesn’t matter whether I am on tour or in Las Vegas the joy of performing for an audience is a gift and it’s one that I appreciate.  I cherish each and every moment,” she added.

A portion of the ticket sales from Ross’ limited Vegas engagement will benefit The Diana Ross Foundation, which raises money for various charities including the Covenant House (which benefits homeless teens) and the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund (which assists veteran musicians).

“I appreciate being able to give back as I have been given so very much,” she said.

Diana Ross’ “The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade” will take place at The Venetian Las Vegas on Feb. 8, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 22, 24 and 25. For more info click here.

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This video of Ronald Reagan shows how much the Republican Party has changed on immigration

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump denigrated Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers and vowed to ban Muslims from coming to the United States. In his first week in office, Trump made it clear he was deadly serious about putting anti-immigrant rhetoric into practice.

Trump has already ordered construction of a wall between the US and Mexico, cut the number of refugees the US will accept, banned immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, and ordered stricter enforcement of immigration laws against people suspected of being in the US illegally. These represent the harshest anti-immigrant measures the US has seen in decades

So I found it interesting to watch this 1980 Republican primary debate between George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. These two men, of course, became running mates and then our next two presidents. At the debate, an audience member asked them how they felt about illegal immigrants attending public high school in Texas.

“I’d like to see something done about the illegal alien problem that would be so sensitive and so understanding about labor needs and human needs that that problem wouldn’t come up,” Bush said. “But today if those people are here, I would reluctantly say they would get whatever it is that their society is giving to their neighbors.

“But the problem has to be solved. Because as we have made illegal some types of labor that I would like to see legal, we’re doing two things. We’re creating a whole society of really honorable, decent, family-loving people that are in violation of the law, and second we’re exacerbating relations with Mexico. These are good people, strong people — part of my family is Mexican.”

You might expect Ronald Reagan, the more conservative candidate in the race, to disagree. Instead, Reagan said that he’d like to “add to that.”

“I think the time has come that the United States and our neighbors, particularly our neighbor to the south, should have a better understanding and a better relationship than we’ve ever had,” Reagan said. “And I think we haven’t been sensitive to our size and our power.”

Reagan worried that if the US was too hostile toward Mexico, it could lead to a Cuban-style revolution there that would cause the US larger problems in the long run.

“Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit,” he said. “And then while they’re working and earning here they pay taxes here.”

So Trump’s harsh immigration rhetoric represents a dramatic break from other recent Republican presidents. Reagan and the elder President Bush stressed the importance of treating immigrants — even those here illegally — with compassion and respect (the younger President Bush did too). They all believed it was important to maintain a healthy relationship with Mexico. But during the Obama years, we saw a dramatic change in how Republican politicians talked about immigrants — a shift that culminated with Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination in 2016.

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SOURCE: VOX

Here’s your list of all the protests happening against the Muslim Ban

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On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order severely restricting migration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Under the “Protection Of The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are prohibited from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days. All refugee admission and resettlement is suspended for at least 120 days, and the admission of Syrian refugees is permanently suspended until further notice.

The section on refugees does not apply to religious minorities who face “religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” In other words, non-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries are exempt, making this a very clear Muslim ban. The text does not include references to green card holders or dual nationals of those countries, but the State Department and Homeland Security are currently including both of those groups as well in their interpretations.

In response to the Muslim ban, there are protests happening across the country. All the protests listed below are in local time.


The Most Intimate Spa Getaways in the World

Wine Baths. Private Massage Islands. Cave Spas. These Should Light Your Respective Fires.

Ah, Valentine’s Day.

For some, just another day of the year.

For others, an ordeal generally involving some flowers and steak.

For you, just a proper excuse for a wine facial, a rose quartz massage or just relaxing on your own private massage island with the companion of your choice.

Not that you need an excuse.

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Rose Quartz Treatment
The rose quartz crystals and rose-quartz-crystal-infused oils used in this couples massage are rumored to add “positive love energy” to relationships. And, well, having it in an Irish castle’s spa won’t hurt.
Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo, Ireland

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From the Vines
Wherein you are massaged with grapes and grape seeds. Sure.
Meadowood Napa Valley, St. Helena, CA

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Grand Millésime
This is where you’ll experience four hours of pinot noir/black currant facial treatments and cocooning body masks on floating beds. Other things, too. Those just feel like the most important.
Hôtel Le Cep, Beaune, France

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Couples Massage in a Cave
The two of you sprawled out in a Bermudan cave, being massaged in a softly lit cabana overlooking a crystal-clear lake surrounded by ancient stalactites and stalagmites… Yeah, the stalagmites always bring it home.
Grotto Bay, Hamilton Parish, Bermuda

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Aetos Ritual
Well, well, well. You and someone else just happen to find yourselves conveniently together in one of Italy’s premiere thermal baths. If that doesn’t call for being slathered in grape-seed oil, and a bath of Aetos wine, while you sip rosé, nothing does.
Adler Thermae, Siena, Italy

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Island of Reconnection
Imagine a movie where a couple gets deserted on their own personal island. It’s inhabited by capable masseurs who work their knots into oblivion and pour them champagne. Well, that would be the plot if this were a movie rather than a spa in Belize.
Naïa Resort and Spa, Placencia, Belize

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It’s the End of the Selfie Stick

Now You Can Mount Your Phone on Anything, Anytime, to Get That Photo

 

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Selfie Stick? We’ve found a better way.

It’s called the ShowOff Super Mount. And if the name hasn’t given it away already, it helps mount your smartphone camera to basically anything, anywhere, to help you take pictures of yourself and the people you choose to hang out with.

Right, anywhere. It kills your need for a tripod. Or that selfie stick you’ve absolutely refused to obtain even though you kind of see where it could be useful during those times your arms won’t extend to 15 feet long on the Great Wall of China.

Anyway, this thing uses magnets to affix your phone to pretty much any surface you might want to take a photo from. You can put it on your clothes, your dashboard or the nearest metallic surface you can find at the summit of a long hike. We see you placing it on the railing of some private yacht where you’re planning to hoist a flute of something bubbly with a date.

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And it comes with a tiny Bluetooth remote for taking said shot.

You see where this is all going. Basically, you have something that works better than a selfie stick for taking photos of yourself. That also looks measurably less like you’re holding a selfie stick.

The ShowOff Super Mount

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Marley Dias, Founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, to Give Free, Public Talk

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Rutgers University–Camden will host Marley Dias, the 11-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, for a free, public presentation from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The engaging talk will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room, located in the Campus Center at 326 Penn Street on the Rutgers–Camden campus. Following the presentation, Dias will answer questions from the audience. Guests of all ages are encouraged to attend.

Marley, a West Orange native who is also the creator of Marley Mag for Elle.com, started #1000BlackGirlBooks in order to draw attention to more children’s books featuring black main characters and make them readily available in classroom libraries. With an initial goal of collecting 1,000 books, Dias has gathered thousands more and is still counting.

The presentation is one of many African American Read-Ins hosted throughout the country in February as part of Black History Month. In addition, Rutgers–Camden faculty are infusing even more African American children’s literature into its innovative Ignite afterschool programs in North Camden schools.

To register, visit rcit.rutgers.edu/apps/payment/register.php?event_id=176. For more information, contact Nyeema Watson at 856-225-6738 or ncwatson@camden.rutgers.edu.

For directions to Rutgers–Camden, visit camden.rutgers.edu/visit.

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