Rihanna Brings Awareness To Sudan Crisis

(Photo Credit: PR Photos)

Rihanna is using her platform to bring awareness to the “barbaric” crisis happening in Sudan, where children are being raped and murdered in a violent crackdown on civilian protesters in the capital, the U.N. said.

The chaos erupted after the former president of Sudan was removed from his position. Since then, demonstrators have called for a democratic government. The Sudanese military has responded by killing and raping peaceful protesters.

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RiRi took to social media on Tuesday to address the issue and encourage her millions of followers to help spread the word, as there is an Internet blackout in the country.

“They’re shooting people’s houses, raping women, burning bodies, throwing them in the Nile like vermin, tormenting people, urinating on them, making them drink sewage water, terrorizing the streets, and stopping Muslims from going to eid prayer. There is an Internet blackout! Please share. Raise awareness,” the singer posted.

Unicef’s executive director Henrietta Fore said in a statement she was “gravely concerned” at the impact of the ongoing violence on the Sudanese children, the UK Independent reports.

“We have received information that children are being detained, recruited to join the fighting and sexually abused,” Fore said.

RELATED: Shaun King: Why You Should Care About What’s Happening In Sudan

“Schools, hospitals and health centres have been targeted, looted and destroyed. Health workers have been attacked simply for doing their job.”

Opposition activists have also told The Independent that government paramilitaries, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), are hiding bodies of protesters dumped in the Nile and raping “dozens” of female doctors.

“Children throughout Sudan are already bearing the brunt of decades of conflict, chronic underdevelopment and poor governance. The current violence is making a critical situation even worse.”

At least 188 have been killed since June 3, many of whom were shot or fatally beaten by members of the RSF militia.

Amnesty International secretary general Kumi Naidoo has described the violence as “horrific and barbaric.”

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“The senseless killing of protesters must be stopped immediately, and those responsible for the bloodbath, including at command level, must be held fully accountable for their dreadful actions.”

In a statement on Twitter, British ambassador in Sudan, Irfan Siddiq, said a political agreement was needed to put an end to the violence.

“If there weren’t strong enough arguments for ending the violence in Sudan, the killing of 19 children in the last nine days should make all those responsible for the ongoing violence think long and hard about their actions.”

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Expert witness: Johnson & Johnson’s role in opioid crisis may be ‘worse’ than Purdue’s

One of the nation’s top experts on opioid addiction said Tuesday that Johnson & Johnson’s role in the current epidemic may be even “worse” than that of Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin.


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Abortion Bans Are a Health Crisis. For Black Women, They Mean Devastation

As President Trump promised during the 2016 campaign, he would make overturning Roe v. Wade—the landmark court case giving women the constitutional right to have an abortion—part of his mission. Six states thus far, have passed or are trying to pass draconian laws banning abortions. Abortion ban is bad for all women and a crisis for black women.

It’s well-established that there is inequity in healthcare. “The sexual and reproductive health of African American women has been compromised due to multiple experiences of racism, including discriminatory healthcare practices from slavery through the post-Civil Rights era,” writes researchers in the report Racism, African American Women, and Their Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Review of Historical and Contemporary Evidence and Implications for Health Equity.

Those discriminatory practices exist today. Black women, many with limited resources, often have unequal access to quality healthcare. For example, the above study found that black women often are subjected to unnecessary hysterectomies. Infant mortality, pregnancy complications, and access to vital prenatal care are all issues affecting black women’s reproductive health.

And it doesn’t matter if you are a rich and famous black woman as we discovered when Serena Williams opened up about her life-threatening pregnancy complications. In fact, black woman’s reproductive health status is at such a red alert that Sen. Kamala Harris introduced legislation to address the black maternal mortality crisis.

What the anti-choice advocates conveniently leave out of their hateful, misogynistic narrative is that the same facilities that provide abortions are also safe havens for women to receive prenatal care, sexual education, and pregnancy care. These facilities are particularly crucial to low-income black women and those in rural areas.

Yet, the states with high populations of black women—and some with the worst records on black women’s healthcare—are the ones pushing hardest for abortion bans: Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Georgia. As a result, many of these states are closing facilities that not only provide abortions but other critical women’s health services. Currently, only one abortion clinic remains in Missouri; three in Alabama; and one in Mississippi.

Missouri, Alabama, Ohio are ranked among the worst states for black infant mortality rates in the aforementioned study. From that report, “Mississippi has the largest proportion of babies born with low birth weight among Black women as well as all women (16.1% and 11.5%,  respectively). The states with the next largest proportions of babies born with low birth weight to Black women are Louisiana, West Virginia, Colorado, and Alabama.”

What is the impetus to place women’s reproductive freedom back 50 years? Anti-choicers cite their religious beliefs as justification—bestowing personhood onto fetuses.

But perhaps the underlying reasons are even more sinister. America is becoming browner. With the influx of immigrants from Latin America, and more people open to the idea of interracial relationships, millennials and Gen Z are the most diverse generations ever.

It stands to reason that the powers that be, the network of old white boys, are panicking over the darkened hue of the American populace; and over the demands for economic and political diversity and equity. And there is power in numbers. Force more white women to have white babies and make America white again…perhaps?

Of course, that is speculation. What isn’t: Abortion bans do not stop women from having abortions. These bans only make it more dangerous and expensive for women to terminate pregnancies. These bans shut down healthcare facilities that provide reproductive services and support that extends far beyond abortions. These bans, while detrimental to all women, will be devastating to the well-being of black women, as we still struggle to gain equal footing in a world that is so quick to hate us.


The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.

The post Abortion Bans Are a Health Crisis. For Black Women, They Mean Devastation appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Joining a national effort to fight addiction crisis

OAKLAND, Calif — Kaiser Permanente has joined the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. This public-private partnership includes more than 100 health care, government, community, academic and other network organizations committed to working together to uncover and advance solutions to the opioid crisis.

Kaiser Permanente has been actively addressing the opioid crisis using a comprehensive approach that encompasses clinician education and support, community protection, patient education and safety, and innovative tools. From 2011 to 2017, Kaiser Permanente has seen a 40% reduction in overall morphine milligram equivalents prescribed across its eight regions nationwide.

“Kaiser Permanente’s integrated model enables us to implement a broad range of best practices to address the opioid crisis,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Quality at Kaiser Permanente. “Physicians, pharmacists, nurses, mental health and addiction medicine specialists all work together to deliver a coordinated and comprehensive approach to pain management, addiction and recovery.” 

“It is incumbent on physicians to address the opioid crisis both in the rescue phase and in the prevention phase,” said Imelda Dacones, MD, president and CEO of Northwest Permanente. The Permanente Medical Groups provide care for Kaiser Permanente members exclusively. “Permanente physicians and clinicians are committed to safe opioid prescribing and using non-opioid therapies, when appropriate, to serve and protect our patients and communities.”

Connected teams, supported by technology, coordinate across specialties and care sites to deliver on Kaiser Permanente’s four-pronged approach to opioid safety. That approach includes physician education, community protection, patient safety and patient education. As part of its person-centered approach to care, Kaiser Permanente leverages telehealth, pain communication, physician leadership and innovation to support patients holistically. In its commitment statement, Kaiser Permanente has put forward several recommendations to help solve the opioid epidemic responsibly. Kaiser Permanente suggests clinicians:

  • Avoid new patient dependence on opioids through safe and appropriate prescribing.
  • Discuss risk versus benefits of opioids and the expectation of opioid therapy.
  • Avoid polypharmacy with opioids.
  • Help people on high doses of opioids to taper safely while offering support and a personalized care plan.
  • Screen for the presence of risk factors, such as alcohol dependence or presence of children.

“We are acutely aware of problematic prescribing patterns, such as dangerous drug combinations and escalating opioid doses,” said Stephen Tarnoff, MD, president and executive medical director, Washington Permanente Medical Group.

Kaiser Permanente looks forward to participating in this Collaborative and joining its partners in developing, sharing and spreading best practices to help solve the national opioid crisis.

 

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.

Contact
Marc Brown
marc.t.brown@kp.org,
510-271-6328

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Britney Spears’ BF Says She’s ‘Doing Amazing’ Through Mental Health Crisis

Britney Spears’ boyfriend has an update on her condition, and strongly insinuates … it’s time for her loyal fans to stand down on claims she’s being held against her will or exploited. We got Britney’s bae, Sam Asghari, out in Los Angeles…

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Boeing crisis prompts questions for Washington lawmakers, regulators

The crisis at Boeing is now so profound that the buck is ultimately going to stop in Washington, DC, rather than at the firm’s manufacturing base in the West Coast state.


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Trump cuts aid to Central American countries as migrant crisis deepens

The U.S. government cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras on Saturday after President Donald Trump blasted the Central American countries for sending migrants to the United States and threatened to shutter the U.S.-Mexico border.


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US expected to sign regional accord with Central American officials to address ‘migration crisis’

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is scheduled to be in Honduras on Wednesday to sign an agreement with Central American leaders.
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Researchers investigate the impact of the statewide opioid crisis on teachers

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Boeing Crisis Escalates as 737 MAX is Barred from Australia and Singapore

Boeing Co. is facing a growing crisis of confidence over its 737 Max jet, as regulators and airlines from Singapore to Australia move to ground or block the plane following two deadly crashes in five months.

A day after U.S. regulators stood by the jet’s airworthiness, airlines and aviation authorities from South America to Asia instead opted for a zero-risk approach. Australia followed Singapore in temporarily blocking the 737 Max from its airspace, meaning the newest version of Boeing’s best-selling model is now barred from Asia’s second-busiest international airport and a key long-distance travel destination.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore barred any Boeing 737 Max flight in and out of the city-state. The decision dragged airlines including Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s SilkAir, China Southern Airlines Co., PT Garuda Indonesia and Shandong Airlines Co. into a standoff with the Chicago-based plane maker and the U.S. regulator.

The similarities between Sunday’s disaster in Ethiopia and an October crash in Indonesia, both involving the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, have spooked travelers and sparked worries that the jet is fatally flawed. Despite the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s verdict that the plane remains safe to fly, the model was struck by the fresh wave of groundings that could potentially snowball into lost aircraft sales.

“During the temporary suspension, CAAS will gather more information and review the safety risk associated with the continued operation of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft into and out of Singapore,” the authority said.

The announcement follows Max jet groundings by low-cost Brazilian carrier Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA and Grupo Aeromexico SAB. Hours earlier, the Mexican carrier had said its Max aircraft were in perfect condition.

The spreading cautionary moves are a reaction to the two deadly catastrophes that have eroded faith in the world’s most widely flown jetliner, even after the FAA said there isn’t conclusive evidence so far to link the crashes.

Dual Crashes

The Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed minutes after takeoff on March 10, killing all 157 people on board. That accident was preceded by a crash of the same model operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air on Oct. 29, in which pilots struggled to maintain control following an equipment malfunction. Chicago-based Boeing is racing to roll out software improvements for the aircraft to help prevent a repeat of the Lion Air crash.

Singapore’s ban on 737 Max aircraft, no matter which carrier is operating the planes, is wider than the freeze put in place Monday by China and Indonesia, which both grounded their airlines’ 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Singapore’s suspension includes both the Max 8 and 9 variants and affects foreign carriers that deploy the aircraft for flights into the island-city, the CAAS said. Singapore is monitoring the situation and is in close contact with Boeing as well as the FAA and other aviation regulators, it said.

The 737 Max is the newest version of Boeing’s most important aircraft type, a plane family that generates almost one-third of the company’s operating profit. The narrow-body jet forms the backbone of many global airline fleets that use the model and Airbus SE’s competing A320 line on shorter routes.

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Will an Uncommon James Shipping Crisis Further Fuel Kristin Cavallari’s “Firing Spree”?

Kristin Cavallari, Very Cavallari 202Is Kristin Cavallari on a firing spree?
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US households see biggest decline in net worth since the financial crisis

Net worth dropped to $ 104.3 trillion as the year came to an end, a slide of $ 3.73 trillion, according to figures released Thursday by the Fed.
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The India-Pakistan crisis deserves our ‘urgent attention’

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The Crisis That Created MS-13

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Only on AP: Sick kids left in limbo by Venezuela-US crisis

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Exclusive: Mobile network operator’s body GSMA considers crisis meeting over Huawei

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Trump addresses nation on “humanitarian crisis”

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Trump makes humanitarian case for wall, calling border situation ‘a crisis of the soul’

In an Oval Office address, the president said the federal government “remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.” Democrats accused him of governing by “temper tantrum” in their televised rebuttal.
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The cascade of false claims as Trump makes his case for a crisis on the US-Mexico border

President Donald Trump and his allies have launched a full-court press to convince Americans, and skeptical lawmakers, that there is a crisis on the Southern border, and the only way to fix it is to approve billions of dollars for Trump’s signature border wall.


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Cornered: Trump escalates shutdown crisis

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Manhattan real estate closes 2018 as worst year since the financial crisis

The number of home sales in Manhattan fell 14 percent in 2018, the steepest drop since 2009, according to new data. The median price for an apartment in New York City fell below $ 1 million for the first time in three years in the fourth quarter.
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US stocks suffer worst year since 2008 financial crisis

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Arrowverse: ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ Will Be a Game Changer

Elseworlds may have come and gone — much to our dismay — but the last few seconds of the crossover teased next year’s big event: Crisis on Infinite Earths. This event has been staring us in the face ever since the newspaper from the future showed up in The Flash‘s first episode. Now that the crossover has finally been confirmed, you might be wondering what Crisis on Infinite Earths is and what it means for the Arrowverse. Well, let us break it down for you.

What Is Crisis on Infinite Earths?


crisis_comic
‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ was a game changer for DC Comics.

Crisis on Infinite Earths is a twelve-issue limited series that ran from April 1985 to March 1986. It brings together both the heroes and villains of the DC Multiverse and pits them against the Anti-Monitor, a cosmic entity that was born in a universe of antimatter. The Anti-Monitor destroys countless positive matter universes to increase his power; he wants his antimatter universe to be the only one left standing. After a fierce battle with many casualties, only five Earths in the Multiverse remain. These Earths then merge to form one single Earth.


supergirl_death_crisis
‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ was not afraid to kill its characters.

Crisis on Infinite Earths is popular for many reasons. It streamlined the convoluted history of the DC Multiverse to make it easier for readers to follow by transforming the Multiverse into a single universe. Some consider it to be one of the most ambitious crossovers in comic history. It’s also infamous for its high death count, which impacted icons like Kara Zor-El and Barry Allen. Many DC fans have this series ingrained in their memories.


barry_allen_death
They even killed off Barry Allen. No hero was safe in this crisis.

The series brought many lasting changes to the comics. It’s safe to say that the Arrowverse adaptation will do the same. But what will these changes be?

How the Arrowverse Could Change


arrowverse_crisis
What can we expect from next year’s crossover?

The Arrowverse could take a page (or issue) from the comic book series and use Crisis on Infinite Earths to make the continuity of its shows easier for audiences to understand. Perhaps the event will have Supergirl‘s Earth Thirty-Eight merge with Earth One, the Earth where The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow take place. Fans of Black Lightning have also wondered if the show takes place on Earth One, though it’s not officially part of the Arrowverse. This event would be an excellent opportunity to unite all the shows on a single Earth and make the Arrowverse more attractive to new fans.

But that’s not the only effect the crossover will have. Whenever DC Comics does a Crisis story, heroes are guaranteed to die. So we can expect the same thing to happen next year when the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths comes around. But we wouldn’t bet on Barry and Kara biting the dust just yet, despite the crossover drawing inspiration from the comic event. We believe the Arrowverse will go a different route.

So Long, Oliver!


oliver_queen
It’s highly likely Oliver’s time will be up in ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths.’

During the final episode of Elseworlds, we learned that the Monitor gave John Deegan the Book of Destiny to prepare our heroes for a crisis that is yet to come, aka Crisis on Infinite Earths. When Superman gets his hands on the book, he learns that it’s Barry and Kara’s destiny to die saving the world from Deegan, alluding to their comic deaths. Not willing to let his friends die, Oliver confronts the Monitor and tells him to change reality so that Barry and Kara survive. However, to keep the balance of reality, one change requires another. Oliver’s proposition to the Monitor happens off-screen, but we’re pretty sure Oliver offered his life in exchange for Barry and Kara’s.

Oliver dying in Crisis on Infinite Earths isn’t outside the realm of possibility. The current season of Arrow revealed that the person parading around as the “New Green Arrow” is none other than Oliver’s unknown half-sister. By next year, Stephen Amell will have portrayed Oliver for eight years. He may want to pursue other career opportunities, and it seems like the writers are grooming Oliver’s half-sister to become the Green Arrow permanently. If this is the case, then having Oliver meet his end in Crisis on Infinite Earths makes sense. A heroic death would be the perfect send-off for the man who started it all.

An Event None Will Forget


arrowverse
‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ will be the Arrowverse crossover that tops all others.

When Crisis on Infinite Earths airs next year, it’ll be firing on all cylinders. Everything that’s happened in the Arrowverse has led up to this point. With the fate of the Multiverse at stake, our heroes must do everything in their power to ensure its survival. What will they do when they finally confront the Anti-Monitor? We know one thing’s for sure: “Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same.”

The post Arrowverse: ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ Will Be a Game Changer appeared first on FANDOM.

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Inside J.Crew’s Identity Crisis, Except When It Comes to Christmas Socks

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When I woke up this morning, I did not expect to spend part of my day waiting in a line for socks.

And yet, there I was, staring at J.Crew’s five color-coordinated shelves of socks, straining my neck to see whether the print on one pair was of the fire emoji or Rudolph the Reindeer. (Closer inspection revealed the pattern was actually a repeated gingerbread house.)

If you walked into New York City’s Rockefeller Center J.Crew and took one look at the sock-fawning crowd, you might forget for one second just how much internal instability the brand has seen in the past few weeks.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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’90 Day Fiance’ Cast Salaries Revealed Amid Cash Crisis For Danielle And Paul

Both Danielle Jbali and Paul Staehle have starred on 90 Day Fiancé for multiple seasons – and they are both fan favorites – but that isn’t keeping the reality stars from having money troubles. In the past week, both Jbali and Staehle revealed that they were in desperate need of some cash.

According to In Touch Weekly, Staehle is having trouble paying for plane tickets and baggage fees for a trip to Brazil, and Jbali says she is facing eviction from her mobile home park.

Staehle is expecting his first child with wife Karine, and he was hoping to return to Brazil to be with her for the holidays before returning to the United States. He has started to offer autographed photos in exchange for donations to make some cash for the trip. However, there has been some backlash from fans because they thought he was asking for handouts.

But that hasn’t stopped him from trying to raise the money he needs. And, recently on his Instagram stories, he thanked fans for their gifts and donations.

“I want to thank everyone who mailed the gifts and donations for Christmas 4 Karine,” wrote Staehle. “Unfortunately, @AmericanAirlines has dramatically increased the baggage rate. Anyone willing to contribute towards shipping cost, we will mail a thank you family autographed photo when we return.”

As for Jbali, she started sharing her money troubles on Facebook before switching to Instagram to tell her story. The reality star says that she works two jobs while going to school full-time and she is struggling to make ends meet. Now, she is behind on her lot rent, and she is doing everything she can to get caught up.

Jbali says that she is doing “cameos, promoting products, and selling products” to earn cash so she can pay the past due amount.

“The mobile home park took me to court, and I came up with the money, but it is the matter of them accepting it or not. If they don’t accept it, I will have to leave the home I own and find a way to move my trailer out of the park,” she explained.

An insider says that people who appear on Before the 90 Days earn between $ 500 and $ 1,000 per episode, while stars of 90 Day Fiancé make between $ 1,000 and $ 1,500 per episode. The rate does increase for those who appear on 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?, but the insider insists that the increase isn’t much.

For those who are on a K-1 visa, they don’t get paid at all when filming in the United States because they have to wait for a work permit. However, that changes when they film in their home country.

Last season’s Happily Ever After? stars Nicole Nafziger and David Toborowsky are also having money troubles. And, they have tried to earn cash by charging fans for personalized video messages on Cameo.

Nafziger charges $ 50 per message, while Toborowsky and his wife Annie charge $ 40.

New episodes of 90 Day Fiancé air Sunday nights on TLC.

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Gentrification, ‘Negro Removal,’ and a Housing Crisis

Gentrification involves the transformation of under-invested, predominately poor communities from low value to high value. During this transformation, long-time residents and businesses are displaced; unable to afford higher rents, mortgages, and property taxes.

For some, gentrification is a process of renovating deteriorated urban neighborhoods through the influx of more affluent residents. To others, gentrification magnifies the racial divide as it shifts a neighborhood’s racial composition as white residents move in and minorities are moved out.

According to a 2015 Governing survey, gentrification accelerated in several cities with nearly 20% of neighborhoods with lower incomes and home values experiencing gentrification since 2000. That’s compared to only 9% during the 1990s.

Gentrification is a hot topic. The Neighborhood, a recent comedic sitcom on CBS starring Cedric the Entertainer and Tichina Arnold, attempts to make light of white neighbors, moving into predominantly black neighborhoods. Although the sitcom creates opportunities for robust discussion, the results of gentrification are rarely viewed as a laughing matter.

The causes of gentrification are debatable. Some suggest it is caused by social and cultural factors, including family structure, rapid job growth, lack of housing, traffic congestion, and public-sector policies.

According to the CDC, there are definite health impacts. Studies indicate that vulnerable populations typically have shorter life expectancy; higher cancer rates; more congenital disabilities; greater infant mortality; and a higher incidence of asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Gentrification As Public Policy

Coined “Negro Removal” in the 1960’s by James Baldwin, the process of gentrification can happen so gradually it appears to be a subtle phenomenon. To address gentrification, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Los Angeles city council member (8th District), and congresswoman Karen Bass gathered local government officials and community and faith-based leaders for a discussion on the causes and responses to gentrification at the Congressional Black Caucus’ 48th Annual Legislative Conference. The conversation included Nefertiti Jackmon, Executive Director, Six Square Austin’s Black Cultural District; Tracey Ross, Associate Director, Policy Link; Mindy Fullilove, Clinical Psychiatrist and Author of Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurt America and What We Can Do About It; and Ras Baraka, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

“It is inspiring to see the leadership on the panel committed to finding solutions,” said Bass. “We need to build more coalitions of government, community, and academics to address this critical community issue.”

“We studied the issue [and] we realized rapid displacement was happening in every big city across the country. I wanted to convene this discussion because this is a national crisis and we need a national discussion to identify concrete solutions,” stated Harris-Dawson.

Solutions like Destination Crenshaw, the first outdoor project of its kind in Los Angeles, using an iconic city street name to provide the context for public artwork and design, will formally establish and memorialize an African American neighborhood and set the tone for community revitalization.

Destination Crenshaw will also create and install a 1.1-mile long open-air street museum along Crenshaw Boulevard that will flank the new Crenshaw/Los Angeles Airport (LAX) Rail Line, serving as the gateway to the City of Los Angeles for riders from across the globe.

Other solutions steered by Harris-Dawson’s office include collaborating with academia to initiate case studies and needs assessments on how to preserve areas at risk; establishing partnerships to create social and economic programs to protect communities and prevent displacement; and introducing policy.

Pending solutions include a $ 700 million renovation plan to renovate the historic Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Plaza in South Los Angeles. It is estimated that the redevelopment project will generate thousands of new jobs in a community facing a 12% unemployment rate, while also helping to sustain several Black and minority-owned businesses in the plaza.

Additional examples of the commitment to build strong communities are seen in Newark, New Jersey, and the Hire, Buy, Live, Newark initiative led by Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka. Hire, Buy, Live, Newark is an unprecedented partnership between the city’s business community and various agencies and organizations.

The partnership relies on three integrated, interrelated strategies: Hire Newark, which will connect the unemployed to full-time living wage jobs; Buy Newark, which will support the growth of local businesses and match them to the purchasing needs of other Newark businesses and; Live Newark, which will attract more employees, faculty and students to live in the city and provide existing residents with additional rental and home ownership choices.

Gentrification and Businesses

Since gentrification is exacerbated by the lack of jobs, education, and opportunities within the community; local business leaders play an integral part in how the state of the local economy affects gentrification. Here is how:

-Section 125 Plans – When asked ‘What can people of color do to avoid displacement?’ Ras Baraka quickly answered, “You have to own.” Section 125 plans like 401K plans and other retirement and savings vehicles can provide employees with a road map to financial freedom. Section 125 savings plans and other financial tools that companies offer for their employees can often be the only solution for those seeking to save money, save their property, or purchase. The majority of companies offer some matching contribution for an average of 2.7% of a person’s pay. The most common match is 50 cents on the dollar. For every $ 1 you contribute to the company’s 401(k), the company will contribute 50 cents. These type of plans provide the ability to receive a match and can be one method for a home buyer to secure a down payment or collateral they need to purchase a property.

-Credit Unions – According to Professor Fullilove, “Black professionals really want to help people build wealth. The problem is in many of these situations (for example with the foreclosure crisis), people went into buying houses to build wealth, but the wealth was stripped. A huge amount of wealth was lost in Black and Latino communities. So many big employers have credit unions that [can be a] tool.” Using credit unions to provide financial backing can benefit.

-Employee Assistance Programs – An employer-sponsored employee assistance plan (EAP) is a work-based intervention program designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting their performance at work, which include emotional issues and financial problems. EAPs may also offer a wide array of services covering basic legal assistance and referrals, help to find elder care services, wellness programs, and more. Employers usually pay for EAPs, and their services are often available not only to employees but to employees’ immediate family members or anyone living in employees’ homes. According to the 2016 SHRM Employee Benefits research report, 77% of surveyed employers offered an employer-paid EAP. EAPs may provide credit-counseling options, referrals to legal aid, and other advice for first-time homebuyers or those in need of retaining, securing, or transferring property.

-Recruitment and Hiring Practices – In Los Angeles, Newark, and other cities, local officials are putting pressure on companies through subsidies and penalties, ensuring residents are hired so they can work in the city where they live.

In Los Angeles, Harris-Dawson and other elected officials are guaranteeing that projects, including the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall, have a “very aggressive commitment to hire local and to help make sure African American workers are a part of that process. Many companies working on big public projects like LAX and (our transportation system/Metro) have done the same thing,” explains Harris-Dawson. In Newark, companies such as Prudential, St. Barnabas Hospital, and Rutgers-Newark are being held accountable to hire from the community.

-Tuition Reimbursement Programs– Since displacement and the lack of opportunity are interrelated, the ability to receive tuition reimbursement to pursue a degree can narrow the gap. In a 2016 study, Cigna found that participants in a company offering tuition reimbursement program was 10% more likely to be promoted and made an average of 43% more, over three years, than colleagues who did not take advantage of the program. Increases in salary and position can mean the difference between losing or saving your home — especially in communities where residents are struggling financially. Employees can also benefit from employers that offer student loan repayment assistance.

Gentrification is a complex issue.  Most would agree we need a diverse community and people should not be driven out. At the same time, cities need development, legislation implemented, institutions built, and families strengthened.

Businesses that benefit from the community are being held accountable to be benefactors to the community. As we prepare for upcoming elections, it is essential to pay close attention to those ballot measures that may affect gentrification. Measures such as Proposition 10 in Los Angeles, deal with issues that can hurt or help struggling renters are now on the ballot.

Each city has its challenges, and there is not a one-size-fit-all solution. Businesses are now on the front lines and have the opportunity to collaborate with policymakers to find remedies.

 

 

The post Gentrification, ‘Negro Removal,’ and a Housing Crisis appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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