Racial Equality

If you would like to join the WISE Racial Equality Huddle, please email MarylandWISEWomen@gmail.com.
From the ACLUE



MLK Citizenship Lecture 10/29: “US Media: Truth in a Post-Truth Era”

Please invite your students, the AACC community, and the public to “US Media: Truth in a Post-Truth Era,” a timely issue of freedom of the press:

The public and Anne Arundel Community College faculty, staff, and students are invited to hear Erik Wemple, media critic for the Washington Post, lecture on issues surrounding freedom of the press, contemporary news-gathering, and issues of objectivity in his lecture “US Media: Truth in a Post-Truth Era.”  Mon., October 29, 6 – 7 pm. ,  AACC’s Arnold campus, Cade Room 219.  The lecture will be followed by a question and answer period with Mr. Wemple.  Bring your questions regarding “fake news,” news spin, truth in a post-truth world and more for this timely discussion about the role of media in America today.  Refreshments served before the lecture.

Mr. Wemple will be the second Martin Luther King Jr. Citizenship and Social Justice lecturer.  The lecture series seeks to bring thinkers from a spectrum of disciplines to our community to give insight and foster meaningful discussion into current social issues.

Erik Wemple has worked as the Washington Post’s media critic since 2011, a position in which he has written for both the newspaper’s print and web platforms on all things media: From Fox News to the New York Times to the Washington Post itself. The Erik Wemple Blog, his platform for daily commentary, alternates between straight-up commentary and highly reported, investigative stories about the media. Prior to arriving at the Washington Post, Wemple was the top editor at TBD.com, an online local news provider funded by the parent company of Politico. The project started fizzling just months after its launch – a strong signal of the hostile business environment for all local and regional news outlets. For eight years before that, Wemple was the editor of Washington City Paper, an alternative weekly that had been helmed by the likes of Jack Shafer – now of Politico – and the renowned late New York Times columnist David Carr. Before his stint as editor, Wemple worked in other roles at the Washington City Paper and freelanced for various outlets. He is a native of Schenectady, N.Y., and attended Hamilton College; he received a master’s of science in foreign service from Georgetown University.




First black woman to serve on county Circuit Court starts today
Elizabeth S. Morris has been appointed as a judge by Gov. Larry Hogan to the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. (Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette )
By Phil Davis pdavis@capgaznews.com
Elizabeth Sheree Morris is aware of her race and its importance in Anne Arundel’s judiciary.
For the first time in the county’s history, it will have a black woman as a Circuit Court judge. Gov. Larry Hogan appointed the former attorney for the National Security Agency to replace Judge Paul Goetzke, who retired in June for medical reasons.
She’s only the third black judge in the court’s history dating back to the 1970s — succeeding former judges Clayton Greene Jr. and Rodney Warren — and will be the only person of color out of 13 judges when she’s sworn in today. Robert Jeffrey Thompson and Pamela Knoop Alban will replace retired judges Michele Jaklitsch and Paul Harris Jr., respectively.
But unlike some of her contemporaries, she thinks race does matter when it comes to the county’s judiciary.
“I think that, wherever you’re at, the bench should be representative of the community,” she said. “Because the importance is that it instills public confidence in the judiciary that matters will be heard fairly and impartially.”
Claudia Barber, an administrative law judge in Washington, D.C., made history in 2016 when she became the first black woman to be included on a general election ballot in the county. She ultimately lost to a combined slate of registered Republican judges who were all white.
Her run touched off a political and racial firestorm regarding the county’s Circuit Court. When she lost and Hogan appointed another white male judge to fill a new vacancy post-election, it sparked protests and a call from the NAACP for Hogan to appoint a person of color to the bench.
But the former assistant attorney general doesn’t want her appointment to solely be about race.
“I know there’s a lot of controversy as far as the selection process,” she said. “But I fundamentally believe in the system and the process that’s in place.
“When you’re going through a process, it can’t be exclusively about race because no one wants to be hired because of their skin color. So, I think any conversation about diversity is incomplete without the word ‘inclusion.’”
For all of the intrigue surrounding her appointment to the bench, Morris said she’d never expected to be here so soon.
At 41, she’s had her fair share of legal experience. She served seven years in the Attorney General’s Office, splitting her time between the office’s contract litigation division and with the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for compensation and worker-related cases.
She most recently spent four years as legal counsel for the National Security Administration, something she would not comment on directly, citing the agency’s desires for privacy.
Morris initially applied thinking she wouldn’t be selected and was more of a way to introduce herself to the Anne Arundel legal community for consideration at a later date.
“It was a surreal moment,” she said of her selection. “I … considered myself a long shot because I worked at (NSA). I didn’t practice in the courthouse every day so I had an uphill climb to get people to know me.”
But she gained the recommendation of the Judicial Nominating Commission regardless, who referred her alongside nine others for Hogan from which to choose.
In a meeting with editors and reporters from Capital Gazzete Monday, Hogan praised Morris as someone who stood out when they met for her interview.
“She would have been a terrific pick regardless of race or ethnicity or anything else,” he said. “She’s just a terrifically talented woman that I was very impressed with in the interview.”
As for her personal experiences, she said she’ll bring a unique perspective to the bench.
She said she was raised in a single-parent household by her mother in a town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The value of hard work was instilled into her by her mother, who worked multiple jobs to put her in a private Catholic high school in the area.
Morris always wanted to be an attorney. She’d go on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.
She’s lived in Anne Arundel County since 2007, declining to say where specifically, but said she moved from Baltimore city after finding the people to be “very down to earth.” She added she valued schools and has two children, a son and a daughter.
As for her experience, she said she understands becoming a Circuit Court judge is a learning experience, but she believes her time at the NSA helped prepare her for it.
“The agency prepared me well because it was a very fast-paced environment where I dealt with a lot of different issues and … a diverse population because it’s a large agency,” she said. “At the Office of General Counsel, it prepared me because our responsibility is to give advice so the agency follows the law.”
And it’s that point, adhering to the law, she said will be her defining feature come Oct. 17.
“My plan is to treat everyone who comes before me with respect. To hear truly what the particular facts and circumstances are in a particular case,” she said. “And make a decision that’s rooted in the law based on all of the circumstances that are before me.”
I Was Reported to Police as an ‘Agitated Black Male’ — for Simply Walking to Work
OCTOBER 10, 2018 | 2:00 PM
Blueprints to end mass incarceration from the ACLU – an important read for everyone

  Posted on 

  LeaveThe United States incarcerates more people today – in both absolute numbers and per capita – than any other nation in the world. Our mass incarceration crisis continues to deepen racial injustice, upend millions of lives, tear families apart, and waste trillions of taxpayer dollars.

But while mass incarceration is a national problem, it must be dismantled at the state level. And we all have a role to play.
Today, we’re releasing the Smart Justice 50-State Blueprints – a state-by-state analysis that shows how all of us, from community members to policymakers, can transform the criminal justice system and cut incarceration in half. Check it out now to see what smart justice could look like in your community with the first release of state blueprints.
Out of the 2+ million people who are behind bars in this country, about 90% are held in local jails and state prisons. Mass incarceration takes different forms depending on where you are, so the solutions for Massachusetts or Ohio will look different than the ones for Arizona or Louisiana.
We also know that cutting the jail and prison population alone won’t fix the awful racial disparities in incarceration – and may in some cases worsen them. That’s why our analysis shares specific strategies for targeting racism in our criminal justice system.
We partnered with the Urban Institute, local ACLU affiliates, and partners to provide a unique snapshot of each state’s incarcerated population, including an analysis of the state’s drivers of mass incarceration, and why people there are imprisoned for so long. Most importantly, the blueprints offer solutions tailored for each state – solutions that will have a real, calculable impact on people’s lives.
In order to end mass incarceration, every state – and every one of us – must join the movement to cut the prison population. That starts with comprehensive, cutting-edge analysis. Find your state’s blueprint to see how we can end mass incarceration. (And if your state isn’t one of the 25 up yet, stay tuned for its release in the next few months.)
Thanks for your support,
Udi Ofer
Director of the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice
Here is blueprint for Maryland: https://50stateblueprint.aclu.org/states/maryland/
A very important read from the President of the NAACP: Frustration With Racism Is Coming to the Ballot Box

  Posted on 

Excerpts from the article:
…For anyone paying attention to our community, it was no surprise that black women, one of the nation’s strongest voting blocs, felt disrespected by Mr. Trump at a nearly 90 percent rate. This sense of disrespect was also seen among black men and other groups of color. We found that 70 percent of Latinos and 69 percent of Asians also felt disrespected….
….According to F.B.I. data, the day after Mr. Trump was elected, racial hate crimes increased. According to one recent study, “totals for the 10 largest cities rose for four straight years to the highest level in a decade.” The study also found that African-Americans were the most targeted group and that in 2017, anti-black, anti-Semitic, anti-gay and anti-Latino were the most common type of hate crimes in the nation’s ten largest cities.
Mr. Trump’s bias is not only expressed in his language and assaults on the intelligence of people like Congresswoman Maxine Waters or LeBron James, but also through policy….
Derrick Johnson, @DerrickNAACP, is the president and C.E.O. of the N.A.A.C.P.
Link to article:
Did you know that we are home 19 Hate Groups active in Maryland, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org?
In addition, the number of hate crimes committed doubled from 2016 to 2017 in Maryland according to the State Police.
What can you do to stop hate in our back yard?
Ten Steps:
Support the Southern Poverty Law Center and their mission to oppose hate groups in America. Down load their Stop the Hate pdf – https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide
• 1. Act 2. Join Forces 3. Support Victims 4. Speak Up 5. Educate Yourself 6. Create An Alternative 7. Pressure Leaders 8. Stay Engaged 9. Teach Acceptance 10. Dig Deeper
The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
Give generously to their efforts! Go to   https://www.splcenter.org/
Hate groups in Maryland: https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map/by-state