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Author Archives: WSS News

Fontana Black Awareness Parade a Success

FONTANA, CA- On Saturday, February 22, the North Fontana Black Awareness Parade Committee held its 45th Annual Black History Parade. The parade started at Summit and Citrus Avenue, and ended with an expo. Various vendors, elected officials, Chamber of commerce’s, and other community members and residents came out in support of the event. To view more photos of the event, please visit www.wssnews.com.

Career Information Day For Workability Students Set For March 1

REDLANDS – The 15th annual Career Information Day, hosted by the Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program (CRY-ROP), will be held on March 7.

The event will feature exhibits and presentations for workability students. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the CRY-ROP office at 1214 Indiana Court in Redlands.

The event is co-sponsored by the East Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Transition Partnership Project, the California Department of Rehabilitation and Workability and the following educational agencies: Colton Joint Unified School District, Redlands Unified, Rialto Unified, Rim of the World Unified, Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools.

The event is not open to the public; only to students in the participating programs.

About 30 local participating employers have committed to attend the event. They represent occupations from childcare services to youth recreation, as well as clerical, medical, restaurant, retail and warehouse occupations.

There will be drawings for prizes donated by employers, as well as a student/employer lunch.

For more information on the event, contact Helen Junker at the East Valley SELPA Transition Partnership Project at (909) 252-4514.

Black History: State of Affairs and Mind

Hakim Hazim

Hakim Hazim

“An institution is not a place; it’s a state of mind.”- Tom Pomeranz

It’s impossible to listen to commentary about the state of affairs concerning Black America and not form an opinion. This will not be your typical article on Black History. I’m going to take a different approach, one that attempts to point out an empirical thing that we can remedy as a people still striving to fulfill the promise of the God we serve in Christ and the dreams our ancestors had for us. By using Pomeranz’s definition above, I’ll attempt to provide some clarity by defining institution as a state of mind, and I’ll call for an exodus away from the mindset. In this day and age of increasing government deficits and ineptness we cannot continue to look to institutions, no matter how evolved, for answers.

The primary function of any type of institution is to govern in some form.  People conditioned by institutions of any type look to the authorities and seek guidance, counsel, permission and ultimately favor from the leaders. We were brought here as powerless people, and we were liberated by the bold actions of abolitionists, a president of conviction and the blood of countless soldiers. During the Civil Rights Movement, we compelled the government to give us equal treatment. In short we were reformers of the status quo, not dependent on it. In our battle to secure rights and privileges from the institution of government, we, especially as Christians, must ask ourselves if we have become dependent on it.  The institution has helped us, but it is not our liberator.

I was once privileged enough to sit in on a training by national disabilities clinician, Tom Pomeranz. He spoke of institutions in a profound way—as a way of thinking and acting by the people who depend on it and those who provide services and instruction to those they are entrusted with. These three characteristics were evident:

  • Belief in segregation (Certain people should be kept away from others)
  • Belief in limiting choice (Certain people can’t handle decision making)
  • Belief in limiting privacy (A mindset that encourages and tolerates intrusion)

I cringed when I heard these words. I knew it to be true. In some ways we were all institutionalized in regards to our thinking regardless of race. But slavery had a profound impact on Blacks traumatizing generations to come. It scarred the soul of the oppressor and oppressed. Martin Luther King, Jr., attacked the institutions of the day that promoted the belief in segregation, limiting our choices and violating the most basic private rights of our people. Law enforcement routinely violated Black families, homes and even taped confidential conversations. The government upheld and codified these approaches into law and enforced them with vicious brutality.

I am thankful this is no longer the status quo approach of the government, but I lament the current state of affairs so many Black folks are disproportionately ensnared in poverty, fatherlessness, addiction and skyrocketing incarceration rates.

The pain caused by these things prompt us to look for a source of relief. In the past, government came to our aid; currently, many of our leaders teach us that it’s impossible for minorities to have success without its intervention. I beg to differ. I changed my mind a long time ago.  We need to raise a generation of ministers, entrepreneurs, educators, politicians, and people who excel in the natural social sciences. We have to raise expectations. If we expect the exceptional from the marginalized, they will give it to us.

ABOUT HAKIM HAZIM:

Hakim Hazim is the founder of Relevant Now and co-founder of Freedom Squared. He is a nationally recognized expert in decision analysis, criminality and security.