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Author Archives: WSS News

Eta Nu Omega Kicks off a Summer of Giving

RIVERSIDE, CA- On Sunday, June 11, the Eta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. through its charitable arm, The Inland Ivy Foundation, presented scholarships to six young women from the Inland Empire who have demonstrated high scholastic achievements and outstanding character.  The recipients are Brooklynn Brumley of Rancho Verde High School, Celeste Gaynair of Sultana High School, Raylene Graham of Arroyo Valley High School, Kalaya Hill of Arroyo Valley High School, Wendy Osorio of Ramona High School, and Jenna Owens of Rancho Verde High School.  These High School Seniors are all college bound and were selected from a pool of candidates with stellar grades and strong records of community service.

2017 Paint for a purpose

On Wednesday, June 21, Eta Nu Omega continued its Summer of Giving by “Painting for a Purpose” at Phearless Art Studio in Moreno Valley raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Longest Day campaign.  Held annually on the summer solstice, this sunrise to sunset event recognizes the challenging journey faced by those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and their caregivers.  The women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. used this day to call attention to the 47 million people around the world that are impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease.  In addition to individual donations made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Phearless Art Studio donated a portion of the proceeds collected from Eta Nu Omega’s Paint Night to the Alzheimer’s Association.

On Saturday, July 22, Eta Nu Omega co-hosted a “Concert Under the Stars” at the beautiful Hafif Estate in La Verne, CA to raise additional money for special projects such as support to a local domestic violence shelter, academic enrichment and personal development programs for high school and middle school students in Grand Terrace (ASCEND) and Fontana (Emerging Young Leaders).

Eta Nu Omega raises funds throughout the year through its Inland Ivy Foundation for scholarships and other charitable activities geared towards enriching the lives of men, women and children in the Inland Empire. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is the oldest female Greek letter organization for college educated women founded in 1908.

Orange County, Palm Springs Organizations Donate Blankets, Craft Kits to Kids at LLUCH Clinic

LOMA LINDA, CA- Members from the Orange County Inland Empire Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Palm Springs Subaru dealership stopped by the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) Hematology/Oncology Clinic Friday, July 7 to brighten the kids’ day. They delivered blankets and craft kits to the clinic.

Although over 100 degrees outside, kids could find comfort in the blankets and use them while receiving treatment.

Gaven Hamrick, 9, of San Bernardino, was just one patient at the LLUCH clinic to receive a blanket and craft kit from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Subaru San Bernardino. 

“I can definitely use this stuff with my sister,” the fourth grader said of the crayons, markers and clay found in the craft kit. Hamrick was extremely appreciative of his new blanket saying he likes it cold in his room so he can get cozy under blankets.

The blanket donation is part of the LLS of Orange County Inland Empire Chapter and Palm Springs Subaru participation in the national Subaru Loves to Care Campaign. Through the campaign, LLS and Subaru intend to spread hope, love and warmth to cancer patients through small gestures by donating over 38,000 blankets across the country.

The LLUCH Hematology/Oncology clinic cares for patients with childhood cancers and blood disorders such as aplastic anemia.

African American Organizations and CLB Condemn ‘Racist’ Judicial Council Party Pics

By Manny Otiko, California Black Media

People getting busted for hosting parties based on racial stereotypes is nothing new. But it’s not something that you expect from a legal organization that’s supposed to stand for impartiality in the law. But that’s what happened when photos leaked of a Halloween party thrown by the Judicial Council of California. The Judicial Council is the policymaking arm of the California courts. Its goal is to be an independent and impartial administration of justice.

According to a report from the San Francisco ABC affiliate, the party featured stereotypical images of people of color depicted as prisoners. Some of the male staff members dressed as a transgender character from the TV show, “Orange is the New Black.”

News of the Judicial Council’s party has sparked a political uproar from Black organizations and legislators.

judicial council

“I am deeply disturbed by the reprehensible, racist and poor judgment the Judicial Council displayed at a Halloween party last year,” said Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D- Carson), a member of Legislative Black Caucus and Chair of Democratic Caucus.  “For a public policymaking body that is equipped with the responsibility of fair access to the courts, it is highly disappointing that a group of judicial staff members would put down a race simply to win a contest. It is never okay to engage in stereotypical behavior or homophobic mockery, all while distributing offensive photos over a public server for ridicule.”

“I stand with the NAACP and am calling on the Judicial Council for a sincere public apology and an immediate reprimand of these senseless actions.  This is demeaning, discriminatory, and sends the negative message that black people and members of the LGBTQ community are bad people.Although the damage is done and the seed is planted, and quite possibly for years to come, we will not tolerate bias from a department whose responsibility is that of justice for all. This action will not go unchallenged,” said Gipson.

The California Capitol Black Staff Association released a statement condemning the images.

“As public servants who work for a public body created to provide equitable access to California’s courts, it is shameful that these individuals chose to engage, on state time, in a type of hate speech that depicts dangerous stereotypes that have haunted the Black population in America since slavery,” said the California Capitol Black Staff Association.

According to the ABC report, Michael Roosevelt, an employee of the Judicial Council, said the images make a mockery of the organization’s goals.

“Here you’ve got the image of people who work for and support the courts who are dressed in prison garb, darkening their faces, depicting a prison setting where disproportionately those people who are incarcerated are people of color,” said Roosevelt.

The Alliance of California Judges said the incident proves the Judicial Council needs to be reformed.

“If the Chief Justice won’t restructure the Judicial Council, so its judicial members are elected by their peers, then it’s high time for the Legislature to take control of the judicial branch funds away from the Judicial Council and place those funds in the hands of a trial budget commission consisting of trial judges elected by their peers,” said the Alliance of California Judges in a press statement.

The pictures were also condemned by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena,) chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

“The racist actions of those associated with the Judicial Council are shameful!” said Holden.

Dr. Amos Brown, national board member and president of San Francisco NAACP, who first learned about the incident from a Bay Area reporter said, “This should be a wake-up call for Blacks in this state. Blacks make up 6 percent of the California’s population but 45 to 50 percent of the inmate population.”  Brown suggested an “ignorance of Black history” was the reason these employees could host a party in such poor taste.

Brown said he credited the executive director for the written apology discipline actions that have not been announced, but still feels like the damage has been done.

Third Baptist Church in San Francisco will be meeting with judges from the San Francisco Superior Court area on August 23 to discuss how to work together so the criminal justice systems can embody justice and restorative justice for the African American community and the greater community.