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Noted Human Rights Attorney and Black Power Scholar Nkechi Taifa Releases Debut Book

For Immediate Release

Aug. 25, 2020

WASHINGTON – Human rights advocate Nkechi Taifa today announced the publication of her debut book, “Black Power, Black Lawyer: My Audacious Quest for Justice.” The work is a nod to the Black Power movement she grew up in, and chronicles how the leaders of that era influenced her thinking, advocacy and life’s work. The tome teaches, preaches, rhapsodizes and tantalizes. In documenting her story, Taifa pauses to highlight the figures that inspired her and that laid the groundwork for today’s Black Lives Matter movement.

“The period that influenced me most was the Black Power era,” said Nkechi Taifa, a human rights advocate, convener of the Justice Roundtable and reparations expert. “But this period of our history has been swept under the rug, and in most cases, outright erased. You do not hear about Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Chokwe Lumumba and others. You don’t hear about the Black Liberation Movement of yesterday or the COINTELPRO that led to a number of political prisoners, some of them are still incarcerated today. But the groundwork these freedom-seekers laid impacts us today. The progress we witness today had its roots in the Black Power movement. We would not be where we are today were it not for those early freedom fighters.”

Black Power, Black Lawyer threads critical periods, connecting the dots of the continuum for justice from yesteryear’s freedom fighters to today’s liberationists. The book is a watershed intellectual autobiography and should be required reading for students of history, African American history, law and feminism.

Of “Black Power, Black Lawyer,” noted historian Greg Carr, Phd, said: “One of the many gifts of Black Power/Black Lawyer is that Nkechi sets a roadmap for searching out the lives and memories of the ancestors who trained her. Queen Mother Audley Moore transitioned before she could leave a memoir. She is in these pages, as are Baba Imari Abubakari Obadele, Baba Chokwe Lumumba and Mama Frances Cress Welsing, among so many others. In gifting us with this text, Nkechi brings them and many others along with her, and sparks our memories of each person, demanding that we join her in an exercise of requiem, remembrance and recommitment to principled struggle.”

Taifa’s powerful, passionate and personal memoir adds to the repertoire of civil rights books, but focuses extensively on Black liberation, a critical theme for today’s challenging times. Kirkus Reviews had this to say about the book, “… this is … a powerful, important book.  An engaging memoir of not just a fascinating woman, but a history of a movement.”

 

 

 

Grassroots Law Project Joins Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in Urging Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to Ban Use of Ketamine in Colorado

For Immediate Release

Grassroots Law Project Joins Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in Urging Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to Ban Use of Ketamine in Colorado

SAN FRANCISCO – Following the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, the Grassroots Law Project (GLP) today joined Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in urging Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to bar law enforcement from using Ketamine to subdue and restrain citizens. This comes after Lakewood City Councilwoman Anita Springsteen sent a letter to Gov. Polis on July 29, urging him to block usage of the analgesic. Similarly, Black Lives Matter activists have also questioned use of the substance.

“Although I am a Councilwoman, I have been unsuccessful in garnering clear support of this issue from other city leadership,” said Lakewood City Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in her letter to the governor. “In fact, there are continuing efforts to silence and intimidate me, but I am committed to saving lives and doing my part to prevent the grief that Elijah McClain’s mother experiences each day.”

In 2.5 years, medics in Colorado administered ketamine to 902 people, according to KUNC. Relatedly, they found that 17% of Ketamine injections result in complication and that 1 in 5 victims must be intubated. The substance is so harmful that the American Society of Anesthesiologists and its vice president, Dr. Randall Clark, warned on July 15, 2020 that they “firmly opposes the use of ketamine or any other sedative/hypnotic agent to chemically incapacitate someone for a law enforcement purpose and not for a legitimate medical reason.” More than 2 million people signed a petition urging law enforcement to cease using the fatal substance.

On July 21, KUNC reported that “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued waivers allowing doctors to oversee 101 agencies that are approved to use ketamine for excited delirium.”

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

Councilwoman Springsteen Letter to Gov. Jared Polis re Use of Ketamine by Law Enforcement

Anita Springsteen, Esq.

P.O. Box 19700

Denver, CO 80219

 

Governor Jared Polis

Office of the Governor

State of Colorado

136 State Capitol Building

Denver, CO 80203

 

July 29, 2020

RE: REQUEST FOR BAN ON THE USE OF KETAMINE/CHEMICAL RESTRAINT ON CIVILIANS

Dear Governor Polis:

I am writing to ask you stop another death like Elijah McClain’s by issuing an executive order to stop the use of Ketamine/chemical restraint, which is improperly being used for law enforcement purposes.  Not another day can go by with a state policy that allows this abuse of power and denial of civil liberties.  Protestors will boil over if Colorado leaders turn a blind eye after being put on notice if this tragedy happens again.

It is clear Ketamine injection caused the death of Elijah McClain, and also caused the need for Advanced Life Support for Elijah McKnight and Jeremiah Axtell.  KUNC reported that Ketamine has been used in Colorado at least 902 times in the past two years.  They found that 17% of Ketamine injections result in complication and that 1 in 5 victims must be intubated.  Fox 31 has reported on the serious consequences of this policy for nearly a year, which prompted a national petition signed by millions.  How many deaths or serious injuries have there been?  How many must there be to investigate?

West Metro Fire District records show that since 2016, its first responders have used Ketamine on average every 4 days.  Alarmingly, the use is rapidly increasing in frequency.  West Metro has used Ketamine every 1.4 days since the George Floyd protests began.  This begs the question, is Ketamine the new “knee in the neck”?  And what is the relationship with law enforcement?

The American Society of Anesthesiologists and its vice president, Dr. Randall Clark, issued a statement on July 15, 2020 warning: “The American Society of Anesthesiologists firmly opposes the use of ketamine or any other sedative/hypnotic agent to chemically incapacitate someone for a law enforcement purpose and not for a legitimate medical reason.”  The ASA does not endorse the use of Ketamine outside of a hospital setting and careful monitoring, as it is a potent analgesic.

Potential Vice-Presidential candidate, Congresswoman Karen Bass, questioned U.S. Attorney General Barr about the McClain case and the use of Ketamine to subdue civilians, and especially people of color, during Barr’s testimony before the House Judicial Committee yesterday.  The Attorney General was unaware of this practice.  But the nation is finally waking up to this dirty little secret and shocking civil rights abuse.

Dr. Kimberly Portzline, PharmD, MBA, (who endorses this letter) has done extensive research on Ketamine policy and medicine.  She discovered that the originating 2009 study that is used as justification has been disavowed by its original publishers, the American College of Emergency Physicians.  “Excited delirium”, used to justify sedation, is not a medically accepted term and not part of the DSM V.  Please find attached the 2009 White Paper and the 2016 ACEP disavowal.

Even so, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, who issues the waivers, is not acting to stop this.  This power to suspend a citizen’s right to informed medical consent should not rest with the CDPHE.

I video recorded and witnessed the use of Ketamine on a civilian who was compliant, calm, and cooperative in January 2020 – so I have first-hand experience with the problem.  Most people who are victims of this policy are not fortunate enough to have video proof of misuse, so this must serve as a wake-up call.  We have a duty to protect those people who have no way to protect themselves.

Although I am a City Councilwoman in Lakewood, I have been unsuccessful in garnering clear support of this issue from other city leadership.  In fact, there are continuing efforts to silence and intimidate me.  However, I will not remain silent with this knowledge that can save lives and prevent the grief that Elijah McClain’s mother experiences each day.

Please help me to prevent the next Elijah and issue an executive order stopping this alarming policy.  Please also launch an investigation into the cases in which civilians have been injected with Ketamine thus far.  We must get to the bottom of this.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best Regards,

 

 

Anita Springsteen, Esq.

 

Endorsement: Dr. Kimberly Portzline, PharmD, MBA

 

Cc: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

       American Civil Liberties Union

       Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser

 

 

Racial Justice Activist and Social Media Influencer Shaun King to Kickoff Multi-City Virtual Book Tour For ‘Make Change’

For Immediate Release

Aug. 3, 2020

Racial Justice Activist and Social Media Influencer Shaun King to Kickoff Multi-City Virtual Book Tour For ‘Make Change’

WASHINGTON – Noted racial justice activist and social media influencer Shaun King today announced a book tour for his sophomore project “Make Change.” A former pastor, unrelenting fighter for police accountability, and advocate for families whose loved ones have been killed by police, King brings his decades’ long experience working for change onto the pages of this book. He details how the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police, and subsequent police killings of John Crawford, Ezell Ford and others, ignited in him an unquenchable drive to hold police accountable and to challenge injustice. The book is a clarion call inviting others to continue fighting for justice and to believe in the possibility of change.

Beginning August 4, the multi-city virtual tour will make stops in Atlanta, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Tampa, Washington, D.C. and more than 50 other cities. The first event is on Tuesday, August 4 at 2:00 p.m. ET and is a live online book signing. For a complete list of tour events, see: https://www.makechangebook.com/.

“From Emmett Till to Amadou Diallo to Sandra Bland to Trayvon Martin, there is a history in this country of unarmed, nonviolent Black men and women meeting brazen killers who refuse to value Black lives,” said Shaun King, activist, podcaster, social media influencer and an co-founder of the social justice enterprises, Grassroots Law Project and Real Justice PAC. “I will spend the rest of my life fighting to end this cycle of violence and to bring purveyors of race-based harm to justice.”

The widely anticipated publication enjoys the support of progressive leaders, celebrities and national and local change agents. The book’s foreword was written by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and was endorsed by professor and National Book Award Winner Ibram X. Kendi, rapper Cardi B, music mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, professional soccer player and activist Megan Rapinoe, San Francisco reform District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and progressive champion Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The audiobook’s chapters have introductory remarks by famed leaders including Ilyasah Shabazz, S. Lee Merritt, Ady Barkan, Tamika Mallory, Busta Rhymes, Tan France, the family of Breonna Taylor, Carmen Perez, Cedric the Entertainer, Charlamagne tha God, Lecrae, and Rev. Polk. The 272-page non-fiction work is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Publishers Weekly said King’s “…fervent exhortation succeeds in making the case that the time for progressives to act is now.” Book critic Grace Jackson-Brown characterized King as a magnet for many seeking a way forward to a more equitable America,” in a review she wrote for Booklist.

In promoting the book, King made an intentional decision to engage Black-owned bookstores by hosting his talks collaboratively with these staples of the community.

To schedule an interview with King, or learn more about the book and tour, contact Jennifer Farmer at jenniferr@spotlightpr.org.

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EBONY Media Holdings Categorically Denies Allegations Concerning Board Members John Robinson and Jacob Walthour

For Immediate Release

July 31, 2020

EBONY Media Holdings Categorically Denies Allegations Concerning Board Members John Robinson and Jacob Walthour

HOUSTON, TX – Over the past two weeks, persons claiming to act on behalf of Ebony Media Holdings and Ebony Media Operations have made a series of false and baseless allegations in press releases against stakeholders in Ebony and their representatives. Yet, despite their alleged affiliation with Ebony, those persons have done nothing to benefit Ebony’s iconic assets or to preserve its business.

“As a result, Parkview Credit Capital, Ebony’s largest creditor, participated in the filing of involuntary bankruptcy cases against Ebony so that a court-appointed trustee could maximize the value of Ebony’s assets. Parkview understand that as a result of the actions of these persons, the Board of Directors of EBONY Magazine has had to make a series of painful but necessary decisions. While made in the company’s long-term interest, such change is a prerequisite for preserving a legacy media institution with as storied a history as EBONY Magazine.

“These persons have sought to create confusion and deflect attention from their own irresponsible and inappropriate actions that have damaged Ebony. In fact, these releases quote Mr. Willard Jackson who has denied the statements published on PR Newswire, asserting that the message was published without his input, knowledge, or consent.

“Ebony Media Holdings is a private company and has no publicly traded securities. Therefore, there is no factual, legal or regulatory basis for claims of inappropriate trading.  In addition, no lawsuits have been filed against the Company or any of its directors in relation to the spurious claims.

“Parkview hopes that EBONY’s Board of Directors will continue to make decisions in the company’s long-term best interest.”

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

Arsonist Sets Fire to Church of Prominent Bay Area Pastor 

For Immediate Release

Arsonist Sets Fire to Church of Prominent Bay Area Pastor 

Pastor to Hold Press Conference on July 30 at 10:30 a.m. local time

BERKELEY, CA — More than a year after a string of arsons obliterated Black churches in Louisiana, the congregation of a prominent Bay area pastor and racial justice advocate has been targeted by an arsonist. Pastor Michael McBride, who leads the LIVE FREE gun violence prevention campaign and who co-founded the Black Church PAC, received a call from one of his ministers the morning of July 29. The minister found burned trash bins and property damage to the church building. McBride, who has traveled the country challenging white supremacy, had just hung a Black Lives Matter banner from his church, The Way Church. Hours later the church was set afire. Photos show the aftermath of the blaze; trash cans set afire, the side of the church and the concrete in the surrounding area charred by fire. Pastor McBride will host a press conference outside the church on Thursday, July 30 at 10:30 a.m. PST. Persons outside of Berkeley, can join the press conference via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IiDgQZnCQB2L0eXr9NSWnw.

A neighbor reported seeing a suspicious person setting fire in the rear of the building. He and his roommate called the local fire department. Firefighters and police officers arrived and extinguished the blaze, yet failed to notify the pastor or other church officials.

McBride is now considering whether his decades long work challenging police brutality, registering people of faith to vote, or speaking out against white supremacy irritated the suspected arsonist, or whether they were angered by the Black Lives Matter sign hanging from the church. He is also questioning why the police department did not contact anyone regarding the fire at his church, opting instead to slide a card under the front door.

“For decades church fires were used as a means of terrorizing Black clergy and the Black community. I guess in Berkeley, it’s not something worthy of special attention by law enforcement officials” said Pastor Michael McBride, campaign director of the LIVE FREE gun violence prevention campaign and co-founder of the Black Church PAC. “Regardless of the intentions of the suspect, we will not be silenced or intimidated. Were it not for an alert and courageous neighbor, my entire church could have been burned to the ground.”

WHO:            Pastor Michael McBride, The Way Christian Church

WHAT:          Press Conference re Attempted Church Burning

WHEN:          Thursday, July 30 at 10:30 a.m. PT

WHERE:       1305 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA (Zoom for persons outside of Berkeley)

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IiDgQZnCQB2L0eXr9NSWnw

 

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

Justice Roundtable Letter to Congressional Leaders

May 5, 2020

The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader

United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Schumer,  Minority Leader

United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker  

United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader                                                   United States House of Representatives,  Washington, DC 20515

(Transmitted by Email) 

RE: Adopt provisions to protect, release, and support reentry of incarcerated people in the COVID-19 response package.

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McCarthy:

 

The undersigned organizations urge you to include in the COVID-19 response package under development now provisions to protect, release, and support reentry of incarcerated people.  In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals incarcerated in and working at U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers face a public health crisis due to existing unsanitary and overcrowded conditions of confinement. For the past two months, medical and public health experts have called for reductions in incarceration levels to limit overcrowding and protect those individuals in custody who are at high risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19.

While selected releases have occurred at the federal, state and local level, the actions have been insufficient.  Attached, please find for your review a short summary of specific recommendations for Congress to undertake to accomplish these imperatives.

 

Incarcerated people and correctional staff remain uniquely vulnerable to infection and failure to reduce incarceration rates overall have resulted in COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths in correctional facilities nationwide. To fully respond to COVID-19, Congress must take immediate action to protect individuals who are incarcerated and working at correctional facilities; incentivize states and localities to reduce the number of incarcerated people and ensure that federal and tribal facilities do the same; and support safe reentry upon release.

 

If Congress does not respond to the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks at incarceration and detention facilities, it will increase the damage that COVID-19 will wreak on countless lives, impacting families and communities nationwide.  It also will prevent the U.S. from fully overcoming the domestic COVID-19 epidemic as individuals both working at and incarcerated in correctional facilities continue to travel between these facilities and the community without support.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration of this important issue.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Justice Roundtable Reentry Working Group Co-Chair Jenny Collier at jcollier@colliercollective.org, Justice Roundtable Sentencing Reform Working Group Co-Chair Kara Gotsch at kgotsch@sentencingproject.org, or Justice Roundtable Convener Nkechi Taifa at nkechi@thetaifagroup.com.

 

Sincerely,

 

ACLU

African American Juvenile Justice Project

Akron Votes

Aleph Institute

Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare

Black Family Summit

Braxton Institute

Bread for the World

Campaign for Youth Justice

CAN-DO Foundation

Center for American Progress

Center for Disability Rights

Center for Law and Social Policy

Church of Scientology National Affairs Office

Coalition for Juvenile Justice

Community Catalyst

Community Healing Network, Inc.

Criminalization of Poverty Project at IPS

CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants)

CURE-DC

Demand Justice

Drug Policy Alliance

Equal Justice USA

Greater Akron Canton Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers

Health in Justice Action Lab, Northeastern University

Heartland Alliance

HIRE Network

Human Rights for Kids

Innocence Project

Just Futures Law

Justice For Families

Justice Policy Institute

Justice Strategies

Juvenile Justice Coalition

Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Legal Action Center

Little Piece of Light

Mental Health America

NAACP

National Action Network

National Association for Rural Mental Health

National Association of Black Social Workers

National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

National Association of Social Workers

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Council of Churches

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-Maryland Chapter

National Crittenton

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

National Equality Action Team

National Juvenile Defender Center

National Low Income Housing Coalition

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

Operation Restoration

Parent Watch

Pathways to Reentry Committee of the ReThink Justice Coalition

ReThink Justice Coalition

Richmond Association of Black Social Workers

Safer Foundation

StoptheDrugWar.org

Strategies for Youth

Students for Sensible Drug Policy

The Association of Black Psychologists, Inc.

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

The Daniel Initiative

The Justice Roundtable

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Sentencing Project

The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society

Treatment Communities of America

Tzedek Association

Union for Reform Judaism

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

 

 

 

 

 

Until Freedom to Host Direct Action Urging Louisville Police to Arrest the Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor

For Immediate Release

Until Freedom Will Host Direct Action Urging Louisville Police to Arrest the Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor

The Grassroots Law Project to Provide Legal Observers and Bail for Demonstrators

LOUISVILLE, KY – The Grassroots Law Project and Until Freedom today announced a direct action in Louisville, KY designed to spur criminal charges of the six officers responsible for the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, an essential worker killed on March 13 as she slept in her home. The action is sponsored by Until Freedom, an intersectional social justice organization rooted in the leadership of diverse people of color to address systemic and racial injustice.

“The Grassroots Law Project is here to provide legal observers who will record the demonstration, monitor for civil rights violations and help protect protesters from the deadliest police culture in the world,” said Attorney Lee Merritt, legal director of the Grassroots Law Project.

WHO:             Until Freedom, Grassroots Law Project

WHAT:          Direct Action Urging Criminal Charges for the Officers Who Killed Breonna Taylor

WHEN:          Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

WHY:             The purpose of the action is to urge Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the Louisville Police Department to arrest and charge the six officers responsible for Breonna Taylor’s killing.

Background:

In the middle of the night on March 13, Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police during the execution of a drug raid. An aspiring nurse, she had dedicated her whole life to serving others. She had worked as an EMT in Louisville when the coronavirus pandemic hit, and reportedly worked at two hospitals to save lives in her community. She survived repeated exposure to COVID-19 only to have her life cut short by police violence. None of the police involved in the killing have been arrested or charged.

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Contact: Jennifer Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

 

New Jersey Division of Investment Official Accused of Contacting Blueprint Business Relationships After Racial Discrimination, Retaliation and Fraud Lawsuit Filed

For Immediate Release

NEWARK, NJ – Less than three weeks after the State of New Jersey was named in a federal racial discrimination, retaliation and fraud lawsuit, information has once again been received regarding retaliation by the State of New Jersey against Blueprint Capital Advisors. On June 23, Blueprint Capital Advisors, a Black-owned asset management firm, sued the state of New Jersey, BlackRock Alternative Advisors and Cliffwater LLC alleging racial discrimination, retaliation and fraud. Now, Blueprint received information from a credible source regarding what appears to be attempts to tortiously interfere with Blueprint’s business dealings, allegedly calling the firm’s clients with the intent of getting them to terminate or reduce their relationship with Blueprint. The firm’s legal counsel, Wigdor LLP, sent a cease and desist letter on Friday, July 3 to New Jersey’s counsel.

Attorney Lawrence M. Pearson of Wigdor LLP, wrote in the Cease and Desist letter: “It has come to our attention that senior officials with New Jersey’s Division of Investment (the “DOI”), including DOI Director Corey Amon, have been contacting Blueprint’s other investors for the purpose of tortiously interfering with the Company’s business relationships. From conversations with relevant parties, we are aware that DOI employees have contacted several clients in a transparent and retaliatory attempt to have Chicago Police pull out of its investment with Blueprint. The conduct of the DOI and its representatives is unlawful and inexcusable, and they must cease and desist from these and similar actions immediately. If DOI and its officials (including, but not limited to, Mr. Amon) are somehow still ignorant (which is no excuse or defense) of the fact that Blueprint’s assertion of legal claims and the filing of its lawsuit are legally protected against retaliation by the Defendants, then this letter is their written notice that they must stop such conduct right now. 

To read the full letter, click here.

At its founding, Blueprint developed an innovative investment tool to save public pension funds millions on fees paid to money managers. Blueprint brought FAIR, its highly researched investment tool, to the State of New Jersey. According to the legal complaint filed on June 23, New Jersey initially promised to invest $500 million with Blueprint for its FAIR program. After months of due diligence, Blueprint learned that BlackRock had received Blueprint’s materials and would co-opt its FAIR program. When Blueprint protested, New Jersey officials allegedly told the company that the State wasn’t a fan of doing business with Black-owned or women-owned companies. Blueprint was then met with extreme retaliation by New Jersey state officials who allegedly threatened to redeem their other business with Blueprint, if Blueprint continued to question the decision to co-opt Blueprint’s FAIR program. A link to the full lawsuit is here, and media coverage on the case can be found here.

Contact: Jennifer Farmer, jennifer@spotlightpr.org

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EBONY Magazine Announces Leadership Transition; Willard Jackson to Step Down as CEO

For Immediate Release

NEWARK, NJ – On July 2, 2020, the board of directors of EBONY Magazine agreed to a leadership change and the removal of CEO Willard Jackson Jr. Several weeks ago, the board commissioned an independent inquiry into a number of transactions that Jackson led, and the investigation is ongoing.

“The board of directors individually and collectively understands the legacy and value of EBONY to Black communities globally,” said Jacob Walthour Jr., newly elected chairman of EBONY’s board of directors and co-founder of Blueprint Capital Advisors, a black-owned asset manager. “Founder John H. Johnson conducted himself and EBONY business with a level of class, integrity and honor that has come to define Black professionalism in America. While the board expects that EBONY will always need to adapt its business model to stay relevant, it must never compromise the core values of Mr. Johnson.”

“As we approach EBONY’s 75th anniversary, now more than any other time since the Civil Rights movement, Black people need a medium to express ‘their’ voice and record this historical moment,” said John C. Robinson, an EBONY director. “We are committed to the preservation of this valuable asset to the Black community and being a part of the next 75 years.”

The board of directors will appoint an interim CEO and operating committee. It will continue to assess all structural, managerial and financial facets of the organization with an eye toward amplifying the current calls for economic and racial justice and equality. As part of the board’s engagement, it is prioritizing the payment of delinquent compensation to EBONY employees and expect to make the announcement soon.

Jackson is a partner in CVG Group, which purchased EBONY in 2016. The acquisition was financed by Parkview Capital Credit Inc. (PCC) through a series of loans. In April 2020, Blueprint Capital Advisor took over management from PCC.

Since 1945, EBONY Magazine has chronicled the remarkable achievements of Black people while providing a narrative of the historical greatness of Black culture. EBONY will be 75 years old on Nov. 22, 2020.

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

Rachel Noerdlinger rnoerdlinger@mercuryllc.com