Insight News

Jul 07th


Demand justice Trayvon: A movement

Demand justice Trayvon: A movement

All of last week, I was in Sanford, Florida, pursuing justice for Trayvon Martin. I listened to community concerns about the Sanford Police Department, and rallied with Trayvon's parents and 30,000 others in Sanford, a town with only 50,000 residents.

As a son, father, brother and uncle, the loss of another young Black man in an avoidable, violent confrontation hit close to home. I recalled my teen and early adult years, where making it to adulthood was considered an accomplishment among my peers. I understand the fear that lies in the hearts of millions of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles – the fear that this could happen to their loved one.

Despite the awful truth of February 26, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton have been pillars of courage. Like Mamie Till after the brutal murder of her son Emmett, Tracy and Sybrina have stood and shown the world what hate and violence have done to their child, and the nation and the world have responded. Their leadership has resulted in a global movement for justice for Trayvon and, most recently, in the appointment of a special prosecutor to review their son's case.


Unarmed teen Trayvon Martin one of more than 400 victims of “Concealed Carry Killers” since May 2007

Unarmed teen Trayvon Martin one of more than 400 victims of “Concealed Carry Killers” since May 2007

Photo courtesy of Martin Family

Washington, DC  - U.S. Senate May Soon Consider Legislation to Allow Trayvon Martin’s Killer and Other Concealed Carry Permit Holders to Carry Their Guns Nationwide 

Washington, DC--The deadly shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is unfortunately only one example of at least 402 victims killed in 32 states since May 2007 in incidents involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns according to the March update of the Violence Policy Center's (VPC) Concealed Carry Killers on-line resource (


NAACP cautiously pleased with Police Chief’s decision to step aside; reiterates call for arrest

NAACP cautiously pleased with Police Chief’s decision to step aside; reiterates call for arrest

Photo Credit:
(Sanford, FL) –

Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the National NAACP said, “The NAACP’s number one concern in this case remains securing the arrest, prosecution and conviction of George Zimmerman.  We are cautiously pleased that Chief Lee has stepped aside for his failure to assure Mr. Zimmerman was arrested.   Any chief who would so allow his officers to so mishandle a situation like this has no place in law enforcement.  At the end of this investigation it will be clear that his temporary removal should be made permanent.


Women and minorities disproportionately affected by lowered wages and job losses in so-called, “Right to Work” states

Equal rights and equal pay for women doesn’t exist in Right-to-Work Sates. Research by the Washington DC-based nonpartisan think tank, Economic Policy Institute shows a gender gap in which women’s wages are penalized further than the wage of an “average” worker. The same holds true for nonwhites.

“Basically, what it means is that money is taken from the pockets of women and people of color to an even greater extent,” says Javier Morillo-Alicea, president of SEIU Minnesota Local 26. “Additionally, the public sector is the single most important source of employment for African-Americans (21% employed in this sector according to 2010 statistics) than others,” he adds.


NAACP religious leaders & Rev. Franklin Graham discuss potential impact of joining forces to fight injustice

Last week, members of the NAACP Religious Leaders Roundtable, the Religious Affairs Committee of the NAACP Board of Directors and other evangelicals met with Rev. Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and President/CEO of Samaritan's Purse.  The group held the first meeting of its kind to discuss the use of faith as a political weapon and how to advance a new narrative about the meaning evangelicalism.

“This was a meaningful and productive meeting,” stated Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, Vice President for Stakeholders relations with the NAACP.  “All parties were in agreement that it is essential to our society and our faith that we refrain from demonizing Christians and people of other faiths when they do not agree with us.  We look forward to continued discussions with Rev. Graham”




The US Department of Justice and the FBI have opened an investigation into the "facts and circumstances" surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the Justice Department announced Monday.
“The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation,” Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in a statement. “The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident.”
The decision comes a week after the Florida NAACP State Conference issued a letter to the Department of Justice, requesting that it investigate the Trayvon Martin case at a federal level. A Seminole County grand jury will also investigate the Martin case.


NAACP leaders call for justice during Monday's rally for Trayvon Martin in Sanford

(Sanford, FL) –   Monday night, representatives from the NAACP addressed gave impassioned pleas for justice as part of a town hall meeting and rally in honor of Trayvon Martin.   The town hall took place at the Sanford Civil Center as part of a special City Commission meeting to address Trayvon’s shooting last month.

“Trayvon’s family deserves answers, and his killer needs to be arrested,” stated Turner Clayton, President of the NAACP Seminole County Branch.

“Justice must prevail.”

“I am a 17-year-old Black male in high school and, in this climate, I could be the next Trayvon Martin,” stated Brendien Mitchell, President of the Florida NAACP Youth & College Division.  “We must bring an end to the attitudes and policies that allow an innocent Black teenage boy to be chased, shot and killed and his killer to remain free.”


Nonviolent Peaceforce featured at high level briefing at the UN

Over 130 representatives of UN member States, Observers, UN officials and civil society representatives met Friday at the UN, for a high level briefing organized by the Permanent Missions of Belgium, Benin, Costa Rica and Philippines, to discuss broadening the concept of peacekeeping to include the contribution of civil society to the unarmed protection of civilians in conflict situations.

His Excellency Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Philippines, delivered the welcoming remarks. H.E. Ambassador Eduardo Ulibarri, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica, acted as moderator. H.E. Jan Grauls, Permanent Representative of Belgium and H.E. Ambassador Jean-Francis Zinsou, Permanent Representative of Benin summarized the discussion and delivered the closing remarks.

Mr. Tariq Al-Ansari, Deputy Chief of Staff of the President of the General Assembly opened the event with remarks on behalf of the President, Mr. Nassir Abulaziz Al-Nasser: “We all understand that UN Peacekeeping mandates have become more complex. And the protection of civilians is becoming more and more crucial to the work of our Missions.” He also affirmed: “To protect them, we need to make sure that all available resources are engaged in a combined and well-coordinated effort.”


To Be Equal

“The single issue that arguably stands to have the greatest impact on the future of Black America in 2012 is the vote.” The State of Black America 2012

This week, the National Urban League takes its fight for jobs, education, voting rights and empowerment to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  In meetings with Obama Administration officials and leaders from both parties in Congress, we will demand immediate action on the persistent jobs crisis and we will offer our own 8-point plan to Educate, Employ and Empower the 13 million Americans who remain out of work.

The highlight of our three-day occupation of the nation’s capital is the March 7 release of our annual State of Black America report at a 7 pm town hall meeting on the campus of Howard University.  I will be joined by Howard University president, Dr. Sidney Ribeau and a host of civil rights, political, business, youth and religious leaders for an open-dialogue about some of the most pressing issues facing Black America.  In this election year, no issue is more important than galvanizing Black voter participation and turning back the current assault on voting rights that threatens to disenfranchise as many as 5 million Americans this year.


National Urban League: Occupy the Vote

The National Urban League’s annual “State of Black America” report took a sharp turn this year from what it normally considers the most pressing issues facing African-Americans.

“More than the economy, more than jobs, more than an excellent education, the single issue that arguably stands to have the greatest impact on the future of Black America in 2012 is the vote,” wrote Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.

 That’s quite a statement from the head of an organization famous for its successful job training programs and close working relationship with Fortune 500 companies.

Morial explained: “As Congress wrestles over measures to create jobs and grow the economy, a multi-state effort is underway to exclude those Americans most profoundly affected by the political process.”


Rep. Murphy and Sen. Hayden introduce the “Healthy Minnesota Exchange”

Lawmakers believe the bill will open discussion of a Minnesota health care exchange

Last Monday, State Representative Erin Murphy and State Senator Jeff Hayden unveiled the “Healthy Minnesota Exchange,” another framework for establishing a state health care exchange. Both Rep. Murphy and Sen. Hayden believe this will broaden the conversation on constructing an effective health care exchange.

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