the county news
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 through Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 through Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Habari Gani:
A Focus on Recent Events
Attorney Darlene Harris and Jasmine Horne
Attorney Darlene Harris and Jasmine Horne
Photo via WFAE
By Makheru Bradley
Makheru Bradley
In a rare decision, Jasmine Horne wins one round against CMPD
The score was police 97—citizens 2. In rulings by Charlotte's Citizens Review Board (CCRB), between its founding in 1997 and 2019, the last year for which data is available, the CCRB ruled in favor of CMPD in 97 out of 99 hearings on complaints of police misconduct against citizens. (For data see: CRB)

Jasmine Horne, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools elementary school teacher, and her attorney Darlene Harris were well aware of the odds when they presented their case against CMPD on April 6. WFAE reported that before the hearing, attorney Harris was bracing her client for defeat. Harris said, “I feel confident in my client’s case, I feel confident in what we have to present, I just don’t necessarily feel confident in the system.”

Harris and Horne presented their case to the board, followed by CMPD’s presentation. The CCRB then voted 9-0 in favor of Horne, who CMPD officers handcuffed at gunpoint after she was misidentified as the suspect in another crime. An evidentiary hearing will be held on May 12 to determine if CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings clearly erred in his decision to not punish the officers. CMPD “maintains that officers acted in good faith with the information they had as they searched for a very dangerous individual wanted for attempted More ↠
Actor Malik Yoba to address Livingstone College graduating Class of 2022
By Kimberly Harrington
Kimberly Harrington

SALISBURY – The Livingstone College graduating class of 2022 will have a New York detective, astronaut and Jamaican sprinter – all in one speaker.

These are among the roles played by actor, writer, director, activist and serial entrepreneur Malik Yoba, who will deliver the commencement address at Livingstone College at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Malik Yoba
Malik Yoba
The ceremonies will be held for the first time on the college’s historic front lawn.

Malik is a Hollywood veteran with more than three decades of commitment to the arts. He has amassed over 50 film credits and more than a dozen lead roles in network/cable TV series.

His debut in the Disney classic “Cool Runnings” and his performances as New York police detective J.C. Williams in the groundbreaking police drama, “New York Undercover,” catapulted Malik into the fabric of More ↠

Rep. Adams Co-Sponsors Bill addressing Black maternal health crisis
By Stacy M. Brown
Stacy M. Brown
This was just one of the many sad facts discussed during last week’s Fifth Annual Black Maternal Health Week activities - “regardless of educational levels or socioeconomic status, women of color in North Carolina are three to four times more likely to face complications during pregnancy than non-Hispanic white women.”

Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12), co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, is among those in Congress who want something done about this.

"Maternal health in America is in crisis," said Adams last week during Black Maternal Health week. “Like so many crises, the maternal mortality crisis hits Black America hardest."

Adams is one of the co-sponsors of House Resolution 959, a bill that directs the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to address the social determinants of maternal health, “…which include childcare, housing, food security, transportation, and environmental conditions.”

“The bill also extends to 24 months postpartum eligibility for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children,” it says.
Alma Adams and Kamala Harris
Rep. Alma Adams & VP Kamala Harris

"The Black maternal health crisis is preventable," Adams continued. "This momnibus (legislation) will save the lives of Black women and children and improve outcomes for all mothers."

Rep. Adams was not alone in her sentiments last week to improve the state of Black maternal health. Vice Pres. Kamala Harris, an early proponent of the cause, joined the Charlotte - Mecklenburg House member in leading over 110 co-sponsors, including Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) in a resolution to raise national awareness of the state of Black maternal health.

As a U.S. senator, Harris introduced the first congressional resolution recognizing Black Maternal Health Week along with Adams and Underwood in 2018. That led to the founding of the Black Maternal More ↠
Fight to stop teaching U.S. Race History is not over

By Cash Michaels
Roy Cooper
Gov. Roy Cooper
Last year, when Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed the passage of House Bill 324 - what some called the anti-critical race theory bill - many thought, Republican attempts to stop teachers from teaching the truth about systemic racism in American history were defeated.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Black Guilford County Republican, opined then that the bill “…was the first step in combating Critical Race Theory [CRT] being forced upon our children in NC public schools.” And Republican legislative leaders blasted Cooper for stopping a law they say would have prohibited teachers from “…promoting the belief that the United States was founded by members of a particular race or sex to oppress people of another race or sex.”

If Gov. Cooper remains in office, there’s little chance that any similar bill will be made law here in North Carolina. But Cooper leaves office in 2024 after two terms, and anyone who has been paying attention knows that Lt. Gov. Robinson is eager to take his place.
In fact, Robinson has said that he is “95 percent” sure that he will be running to succeed Cooper. And if that happens, and Republicans continue their streak of remaining in power in the state legislature through 2024, which they have done since 2011, then what is to stop so-called anti-Critical Race Theory legislation or worse, from becoming law in North Carolina?

For that answer, look no further than 600 miles to the south, and the state of Florida.

Just within the past week, jaw-dropping stories of legislative and administrative restrictions on the teaching of anything that even remotely smacks of CRT have been coming out of the “Sunshine” state.

Last Friday, CNN reported that the Florida Department of Education banned more than 50 of 132 mathematics textbook submissions - 41% - for addition to the state’s approved textbook list for use in Florida public schools because, among other things, the books referred to CRT.

Critical Race Theory has been officially banned in Florida public schools since June 2021.

But Florida didn’t stop there.

Last week, the Florida Senate Education Committee approved Senate Bill 148 that would make it illegal for any discussions in schools or private businesses that could cause “discomfort” to white people. More ↠
Foothills Kids Elects Sarah Greer Koenig as President of Foothills Kids Board of Directors
By Sarah Greer Koenig
HICKORY, NC — Foothills Kids Magazine, a not-for-profit publication that provides free educational content for local students, held its regular quarterly board of directors meeting last week, where they unanimously elected Sarah Greer Koenig as President of Foothills Kids Board of Directors, following the departure of Board President Emeritus Cliff Moone.

Greer Koenig is a national-level, state, and local legislative child and education advocate for children and schools nationwide, including Caldwell County and North Carolina.
She serves on the National Parent Teacher Association Legislation Affairs Division. She is also the Federal Legislative Liaison for Europe PTA, (US)Virgin Islands, Florida, Maryland, New Mexico, and Vermont, among other local to federal education legislative workgroups, as well as on the NCDPI - Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) –Teacher Licensure Subcommittee.

Foothills Kids was founded in 2020 with a mission to expand the brainchild of local Foothills Digest publisher Carmen Eckard’s magazine supplement for kids. The organization became a 501(c)3 to expand its reach to educate and inspire more students in grades 3-5 More ↠