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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

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Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

WHEN THE HUMOR IS GONE

James Bean has shown insight and understanding of the darkest moments of many people’s lives as well as ideas on how one could begin to create a life worth living even out of the depths of despair.” -– Rhonda Duncombe, LMFT, LADC

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Written by State Point

Stress is not only unpleasant; it can be overwhelming, ultimately preventing you from solving the problems that caused the stress in the first place. But getting focused can help you feel happier and be more successful professionally, financially and in your relationships, say experts.

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Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Written by Peter Grear

For black voters, Benjamin Jealous expressed what I believe to be the critical message for black voters when he said that the best way to overcome massive voter suppression is through a massive wave of voter registration.  Thankfully, the NAACP is putting this theory into action through the Youth Organizing…

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Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Written by Freddie Allen

Instead of breaking the glass ceiling, Black women have increasingly started making their own. According to the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan progressive institute, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.

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Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I’ve been doing commentaries on our Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression since November, 2013.  Because the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, I’ve tried to promote a non-partisan theory of voter enfranchisement. 

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Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

By Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Frequently, in going forward it is imperative to examine your history.  In 1638 the Maryland Colony issued a public edict encouraging the separation of the races that became the public policy of America. 

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Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website

The FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website. No paper, no hasel, read on your laptop or mobile devices. 

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City to Hold Banks Responsible for Foreclosed Property

Written by J. Coyden Palmer from The Chicago Crusader on 15 July 2011.

In an effort to combat the problem of abandoned properties in Chicago neighborhoods, the City Council approved an ordinance that will hold lending institutions responsible for the upkeep of properties foreclosed upon.  The move comes as community groups have become increasingly vocal over the last few weeks because of an upsurge in crime during the summer months.

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Residents say the abandoned buildings create a crime haven for drug dealers, gang members and squatters.  The buildings also cost taxpayers.  As of last year the, city spent $15 million for general upkeep, demolition and board-ups of abandoned properties.  “All too often, communities are devastated by foreclosures as vacant properties fall into disrepair and the City takes on an unnecessary financial burden,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.  “This ordinance will help protect neighborhoods hit hard by these difficult economic times.  This issue affects every part of the city… but is concentrated in communities that need all the help they can get to stay afloat.”

Council members say they too have grown tired of fielding complaints from constituents about bank properties not being taken care of.  Several aldermen said the problem has gotten so out of control, due to the bad economy, they have had to assign a staff member full-time for just this one issue.  “I’ve had to call my ward superintendent several times to have him clean out yards and talk with my police commanders when we have squatters going in buildings.  This ordinance will work to ensure that entire communities are not left behind when individual properties are foreclosed upon,” said the alderman who introduced the ordinance, Pat Dowell.  “Banks will be responsible for keeping vacant properties from deteriorating while the foreclosure is in process, keeping them secure and keeping our neighborhoods intact.”

The issue of vacant buildings and squatters is a serious one. This past winter, two firefighters were killed and a dozen more injured as they battled a blaze on the South Side.  Investigators believe the fire was started by homeless people who were using the heat to keep warm on a cold winter night.  Vacant buildings also create other problems, according to Action Now, a community-based group that focuses on social issues in Chicago neighborhoods.  Marsha Godard, a representative for the group, worked with Dowell to address the foreclosure issue. A resident of North Lawndale, Godard said vacant buildings pull down the morale of the neighborhood, in addition to creating health problems.

“It’s an eyesore to the community to have grass as tall as me,” said Godard, who added there are four abandoned buildings on her block alone.  “It’s not a good feeling when I go home and I feel bad because in this neighborhood you can’t even let your kids go outside to play because you are fearful they can be pulled into one of the vacant properties and beaten, raped or killed.  And because of the economy, you can’t move anywhere, so you are stuck in this environment.”  

Godard said abandon buildings also become nests for rats, roaches, possums and she has even had a raccoon as a neighbor.  She said the wildlife creates health concerns for not just humans, but for pets as well.  On her block, neighbors have taken it upon themselves as a community to try to keep the abandoned properties clean.  But even that is difficult.  “The gang members come and just take over.  They drink and just throw their beer and wine bottles all over other people’s property so we are constantly cleaning.”

Currently, lenders and lien holders of vacant properties are responsible for maintenance only after they own a foreclosed property.  The ordinance amends the current municipal code. Owners will be required to implement routine maintenance on properties such as boarding entrances to a building; responding to complaints relating to the building; cutting grass and shoveling snow or face fines from the city.

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