Joe Biden

President Biden nominates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor For the first time in American history, a Black woman has been nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. By selecting Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Feb. 25, President Joe Biden completed his pledge to select a Black woman for the court for the first time in history. A Black woman has never served on the U.S. Supreme Court since it was created in 1789 — over 232 years ago. Since then, only two other Black persons have served on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, who was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967, and Clarence Thomas, who was appointed by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 amid significant controversy. In over two centuries, 114 justices have served on the Supreme Court and 108 of them have been white men. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That federal court is seen as a feeder for nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Miami, Florida.  She attended Harvard University for college and law school and was the editor of the Harvard Law Review. She began her legal career as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. In what may have been a clue that Judge Jackson would be nominated, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia broke with tradition on Feb. 24 and issued an opinion on a Thursday.  That scheduling change was noted by the media since the court typically only issues opinions on Tuesdays and Fridays. Only one other woman of color has served on the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of New York, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009. Three other women have served on the Supreme Court: Sandra Day O’Connor, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981; Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993; Associate Justice Elena Kagan, who was appointed by President Obama in 2010; and Associate Justice Amy Barrett who was appointed by President Donald Trump in […]

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More than 800 faith leaders demand Biden, Senate pass Voting Rights Bill

Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, and more than 800 faith leaders from various religions are demanding that President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats immediately push through voting rights legislation. “We cannot be clearer: you must act now to protect every American’s freedom to vote without interference and with confidence that their ballot will be counted and honored,” the faith leaders wrote in the letter released on Thursday, December 23, 2021. “Passing comprehensive voting rights legislation must be the number-one priority of the administration and Congress,” they wrote. In addition to Sharpton and King, those signing the letter included a mix of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faith leaders. Rev. Aaron Frank of Horseheads, New York, Rabbi Abby Cohen of Portland, Oregon, Rabbi Abby Michaleski of the Beth Israel Congregation, Rev. Abhi Janamanchi of Bethesda, Maryland, Rabbi Abram Goodstein of the Congregation Beth Sholom, and Rev. Adam Russell Taylor. King and his wife, Arndrea Waters King, organized the leaders and wrote the letter. The African American Christian Clergy Coalition joined them, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action and Faith in Public Life, and others joined. The Congressional Black Caucus has pushed legislation, including two voting rights bills blocked by the GOP. “This year, American democracy faced extraordinary challenges, from the violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol to over 30 anti-voting bills pushed through state legislatures, intentionally designed to silence Black, Brown, Indigenous, immigrant, low-income, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, and elderly and young voters,” the faith leaders wrote. “During this season of giving and community, we are painfully aware that the promise of American democracy is thwarted by systemic racism and a system that works for the few at the expense of the public good.” The letter continued: “It will continue on this path without prompt, substantive federal action. During the Civil Rights era, prominent leaders were driven by their faith to fight for equality. This is why we continue the push for voting rights today – our faith teaches us that each one of us deserves dignity and freedom. “We cannot be clearer: you must act now to protect every American’s freedom

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 Build ‘BLACK’ Better Agenda

By: Roy Douglas Malonson Almost a year ago with the country plagued by an unprecedented deadly pandemic, economic downturn, significant climate crises, and persistent racial injustices, President Joe Biden revealed his Build Back Better Agenda. The ambitious attempt to prepare America for a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future leaves us wondering, “What does ‘building back better’ look like for the Black community?” And are these promises that will be kept? Lower Costs: Americans pay a significant 2-3 times more money on prescription drugs than people in other wealthy countries. This contributes to the fact that Black people use 10-40 percent fewer medications than their white counterparts due to the high cost. President Biden’s agenda will lower costs by allowing Medicaid to negotiate medicine prices rather than large pharmaceutical companies. In the Black community, only 62.6 percent of three- and four-year-old Black children are enrolled in preschool or kindergarten due to high childcare costs. Biden’s plan is to reduce childcare costs making high-quality educational programs accessible to all three- and four-year-old children. The agenda also includes 12 weeks of paid maternal and medical leave, which will help improve Black women’s maternal health and reduce the wage inequality continuously affecting Black women. Before President Biden took office, almost 3.9 million Black people were uninsured in 2019. The Affordable Care Act, even with premium subsidies, was still too expensive for most families. The Build Back Better Agenda aims to lower health care costs for those buying insurance through the ACA by extending the American Rescue Plan’s cost savings, helping 360,000 Black people save $50 per person per month. It also adds dental, vision, and hearing coverage for more than 5.8 million Black people on Medicare. Though higher education has become more of a necessity to succeed in the 21st century, it has become unaffordable for the average family. Under Biden’s agenda, there will be two years of free community college, boosting the wages of high school graduates by nearly $6,000 yearly. The plan also increases the maximum federal Pell Grant to $1,500 and invests billions into subsidized tuition for low- and middle-income

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Reparations vs. Separations

By: Roy Douglas Malonson Some people are true fans of the changes, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion, that President Joe Biden has brought to the White House, but some criticize that his campaign promises, specifically ones made to the Black and Brown communities, were nothing more than gimmicks to ensure he won the presidency. Recently, many feel a reported proposal from President Biden to pay $450,000 per family to migrants separated at the border under former President Donald Trump’s rule a slap in the face to Black Americans. Under Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” policy in 2018, more than 5,600 children were separated from their families as the parents were federally prosecuted for illegally crossing the southern border. Because the Trump administration did not have a system in place to reunite the children with their parents, more than 1,000 families remain separated. But Biden has come out disputing that  claim, saying those reports were “garbage.” The American Civil Liberties Union, however, said his administration did make commitments. The ACLU in a statement argued Biden would be turning his back on a core campaign promise to provide a measure of justice for those separated under the Trump policy. “President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department as it carefully deliberated and considered the crimes committed against thousands of families separated from their children as an intentional governmental policy,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement, urging Biden to “right the wrongs of this national tragedy.” The ACLU, as well as other organizations, have filed lawsuits against the government claiming that the prolonged trauma caused by the separation has had negative mental health effects on the families. “Prolonged trauma.” That’s only one of the phrases that can be used to describe Black Americans’ experiences in this country. From the atrocities committed during chattel slavery, to the brutal Jim Crow laws, to the systemic racism and anti-blackness embedded into the structures that hold this country together, Black people have endured generational trauma, and any requests for compensation are immediately shut down. While

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House passes bipartisan infrastructure deal; president moves to sign legislation

By: Stacy M. Brown Congress has finally passed the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and President Joe Biden said he would sign the bill with lawmakers present at a date he’ll determine soon. Known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the White House called the measure a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. “For far too long, Washington policymakers have celebrated ‘infrastructure week’ without ever agreeing to build infrastructure,” The White House said in a statement. “The President promised to work across the aisle to deliver results and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. After the President put forward his plan to do exactly that and then negotiated a deal with Members of Congress from both parties, this historic legislation is moving to his desk for signature.” After Congress repeatedly failed to reach a consensus on the president’s domestic agenda and following the catastrophic losses in the November election, Democrats were desperate for a win. The White House said the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal would rebuild America’s roads, bridges, and rails, expand access to clean drinking water, ensure every American has access to high-speed internet, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind. “The legislation will help ease inflationary pressures and strengthen supply chains by making long overdue improvements for our nation’s ports, airports, rail, and roads,” President Biden declared. “It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come. Combined with the President’s Build Back Framework, it will add on average 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years.” The President proclaimed that the bill would make historic investments in environmental clean-up and remediation, “and build up our resilience for the next superstorms, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes that cost us billions of dollars in damage each year.” “I’m also proud that a rule was voted on that will allow for passage of my Build Back Better Act in the House of Representatives the week of November 15,” President Biden continued. The Build Back

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President Biden releases framework of Build Back Better Plan

By Stacy M. Brown/ NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent After hearing input from all sides and negotiating in good faith with Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, Congressional Leadership, and a broad swath of Members of Congress, President Joe Biden on Thursday, October 28, announced a framework for his Build Back Better Act. The President said he’s confident this is a framework that can pass both houses of Congress, and he looks forward to signing it into law. He has called on Congress to take up this historic bill – in addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – as quickly as possible. “When enacted, this framework will set the United States on course to meet its climate goals, create millions of good-paying jobs, enable more Americans to join and remain in the labor force, and grow our economy from the bottom up and the middle out,” The President asserted. Specifically, the Build Back Better Act will count as the most transformative investment in children and caregiving in generations, the White House said. Administration officials insist that the framework would save most American families more than half of their spending on childcare, deliver two years of free preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old in America, give more than 35 million families a major tax cut by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit, and expand access to high-quality home care for older Americans and people with disabilities. The plan would also count as the largest effort to combat climate change in American history. The framework will cut greenhouse gas pollution by well over one gigaton in 2030, reduce consumer energy costs, give our kids cleaner air and water, create hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs, and advance environmental justice by investing in a 21st century clean energy economy – from buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, and agriculture to climate smart practices across our lands and waters. Build Back Better also would spur the biggest expansion of affordable health care coverage in a decade. The framework reduces premiums for more than 9 million Americans by extending the expanded Premium Tax Credit,

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Dr. Tony Allen Appointed as Chair of President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs

President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint Dr. Tony Allen as the Chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Board will advance the goal of the HBCU Initiative, established by the Carter Administration, to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to its students and continue serving as engines of opportunity. The Biden-Harris Administration said it remains committed to supporting the vital mission of HBCUs. Through the American Rescue Plan and by forgiving capital improvement debt of many these institutions, the Biden-Harris Administration has already committed more than $4 billion in support. Reestablishing the White House HBCU Initiative – and placing strong leadership at the head of the Board – will allow the administration to build on that financial commitment with continued institutional support, administration officials said. Dr. Allen became President of Delaware State University in January 2020, after serving as Provost and Executive Vice President since July 2017. Prior to joining the university, he brought a diverse background in the private and nonprofit sectors. He served as Managing Director of Corporate Reputation at Bank of America; co-founded the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and Public Allies Delaware; and led Delaware’s K12 public education reform effort from 2014 – 2019. Dr. Allen’s tenure has largely been through the pandemic, but he and his team have built a strong portfolio of accomplishments focused on student success. The university has seen its elevation to the No. 3 public HBCU in America (US News), an R2 “high research activity” designation, and the historic acquisition of nearby Wesley College. The university’s “Together” COVID-19 plan has been touted as a national example of campus safety strategy, and a year into the pandemic enrollment has shattered all previous records. Dr. Allen has drawn national attention to Delaware State University through successful fundraising ($40 million in 2020) and national appearances on major media platforms including ABC World News Tonight, CNN, the Black News Channel, and many others. He also served as the chief executive officer of the 59th Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies. Dr. Allen is Chairman Emeritus

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“The Hill We Climb”

By: Amanda Gorman When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry. A sea we must wade. We braved the belly of the beast. We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one. And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man. And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all. Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true. That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped. That even as we tired, we tried. That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious. Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division. Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid. If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made. That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare. It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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