Sunday, April 22, 2018

James Shaw, the 29-year-old hero from Waffle House shooting

A 29-year-old man credited with saving numerous lives Sunday morning after he disarmed a man who opened fire on an Antioch Waffle House said he was just trying to stay alive.

James Shaw Jr., 29, said after feeling cornered he saw an opportunity to tackle the man shooting into an Antioch Waffle House. He said he doesn’t feel like a hero.

Police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters Sunday morning that the Waffle House hero rushed the suspected shooter, disarmed him and threw the assault rifle he was carrying over the counter.

“I don’t really know, when everyone said that (of being a hero), it feels selfish,” Shaw Jr. “I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.”

The "hero" suffered an injury to his elbow, along with some other abrasions, Aaron said. He was taken to TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center, was treated for minor injuries and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Shaw Jr. can’t recall how many shots there were, just that a man was on the floor. Shaw Jr. said he jumped toward the bathroom and the suspect shot in that direction. He said he was grazed by a bullet. "I remember I was like ‘Dang, I’m basically in a barrel,’ ” Shaw Jr. said. “There is no place for me to go.”

As the suspect came through the door, he needed to reload, Shaw Jr. said. That’s when he said he rushed him.

“When he came in, I distinctively remember thinking that he is going to have to work for this kill,” Shaw Jr. said. “I had a chance to stop him and thankfully I stopped him.”

He added: “I grabbed the gun and kept it down. He had one hand on it. I pulled it away and threw it over the bar.”

Shaw Jr. said the suspect took himself outside and walked quickly away. He didn’t follow him for fear that he had another gun. The man was clothed only in a green bomber jacket, Shaw Jr. said.

Shaw Jr. said not soon after he flagged down drivers to call 911.

He was taken to the hospital at about 4 a.m. and released at 7:30 a.m.

"While I was in hospital, a girl that was there said you saved my life," he said. "I didn’t do it to be hero."

[SOURCE: Tennessean]

Colin Kaepernick receives Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award

Athlete and inspiring activist Colin Kaepernick has been honoured with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018.
The award was officially presented at a ceremony in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 21 April 2018, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of Amnesty International’s national section in the country.
“The Ambassador of Conscience award celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick. He is an athlete who is now widely recognised for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“Just like the Ambassadors of Conscience before him, Colin Kaepernick chooses to speak out and inspire others despite the professional and personal risks. When high profile people choose to take a stand for human rights, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice. Colin Kaepernick’s commitment is all the more remarkable because of the alarming levels of vitriol it has attracted from those in power.”

Take a Knee

During the 2016 pre-season of the American National Football League, Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem, as a respectful way of calling for the country to protect and uphold the rights of all its people. The bold move was a response to the disproportionate numbers of black people being killed by police. It sparked a movement that follows a long tradition of non-violent protests that have made history.

While the polarised response to the “take-a-knee” protest has ignited a debate about the right to protest and free speech, Colin Kaepernick has remained focused on highlighting the injustices that moved him to act. His charity, the Colin Kaepernick Foundation, works to fight oppression around the world through education and social activism, including through free “Know Your Rights” camps which educate and empower young people.
“I would like to thank Amnesty International for the Ambassador of Conscience Award. But in truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force. To quote Malcolm X, when he said that he, ‘will join in with anyone — I don’t care what colour you are —as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth,’ I am here to join with you all in this battle against police violence,” said Colin Kaepernick.

“While taking a knee is a physical display that challenges the merits of who is excluded from the notion of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, the protest is also rooted in a convergence of my moralistic beliefs, and my love for the people."

Eric Reid, professional American football player and Colin Kaepernick’s former teammate, continued to show his support, as he presented Colin Kaepernick with the Ambassador of Conscience award.
The Ambassador of Conscience Award celebrates individuals and groups who have furthered the cause of human rights through acts of conscience, confronting injustice and using their talents to inspire others.

Through the award, Amnesty International aims to raise awareness of inspirational stories and human rights issues and encourage public action.
Past winners have confronted injustice through acts of conscience, used their talents to inspire others and furthered the cause of human rights
The Award was inspired by the poem From the Republic of Conscience, written for Amnesty International by the late Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Past winners include renowned musicians and artists like Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, Alicia Keys and Ai Weiwei, and inspirational figures including Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela.
[SOURCE: Amnesty International]

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The College of William & Mary apologizes for its role in slavery, segregation

The Board of Visitors for The College of William & Mary voted unanimously to approve a resolution apologizing for the university’s role in slavery and segregation at their full board meeting.

“The Board of Visitors acknowledges that William and Mary enslaved people, exploited them and their labor and perpetuated the legacies of racial discrimination,” College President Taylor Reveley said, reading from the resolution. “The Board profoundly regrets these activities, apologizes for them, expresses its deep appreciation for the contributions made by the African-American members of its community to the vitality of William and Mary then, now, and for all time coming, and commits to continue our efforts to remedy the lingering effects of past injustices.”

Read the full resolution below:

Whereas, in April 2009, the Board of Visitors adopted Resolution 21, acknowledging William & Mary’s role in slavery and Jim Crow and establishing “The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation”; and
Whereas, over the past nine years, William & Mary’s Lemon Project has greatly deepened our understanding of William & Mary’s history during the eras of slavery and segregation through research, courses and symposia; and
Whereas, The Lemon Project has expanded our engagement and reconciliation with the Williamsburg community through porch talks, public talks, articles and social media; and
Whereas, The Lemon Project has established itself as a leader among universities examining their past treatment of African Americans; and
Whereas, through the Lemon Project we will launch a process to design, fund and construct a memorial on campus to those enslaved by William & Mary; and
Whereas, over the past academic year, William & Mary has commemorated and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first three African American students in residence on campus with performances, lectures, symposia, panels and other commemorative events; and
Whereas, the Race and Race Relations Task Force, established by President Reveley in 2015 and chaired by Dr. W Fanchon Glover, identified ways to improve the campus racial climate; and
Whereas, President Reveley created an Implementation Team to comprehensively review the steps urged by the Race and Race Relations Task Force, and the Implementation Team presented its final report in April 2018, describing progress made to date; and
Whereas, the Board of Visitors applauds the progress and thanks both the Race and Race Relations Task Force and the Implementation Team; and
Whereas, the Board of Visitors recognizes a continuing need to examine and learn from William & Mary’s role in slavery, secession and segregation, both through the ongoing work of The Lemon Project and other research, dialogue and reflection;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Board of Visitors salutes the foundational scholarship of the late Robert F. Engs and the work of The Lemon Project and its director, Jody Lynn Allen;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Visitors acknowledges that William & Mary enslaved people, exploited them and their labor, and perpetuated the legacies of racial discrimination. The Board profoundly regrets these activities, apologizes for them, expresses its deep appreciation for the contributions made by the African American members of its community to the vitality of William & Mary then, now, and for all time coming, and commits to continue our efforts to remedy the lingering effects of past injustices; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That this resolution be spread upon the minutes of the Board and a copy of the same be delivered to Professor Jody Allen with gratitude and best wishes for her continued leadership of The Lemon Project.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Elijah Cummings Issues Statement on Production of Comey Memos to Congress

Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released the following statement on the release of former FBI Director James Comey's Russia memos to Congress. Cummings believes that the memos corroborate Comey's testimony before Congress.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Howard University President, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, announced today that actor and alumnus Chadwick Boseman will deliver the keynote address during Howard University’s 150th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  Mr. Boseman will address members of the Class of 2018 and their families, University trustees, officers, faculty, staff, and alumni.  Howard University will confer upon Mr. Boseman the University's highest honor, an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.    
“It is an incredible honor and privilege for the Howard University community to welcome back home one of its native sons, Chadwick Boseman, to deliver the 2018 commencement address,” said Howard University President, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. “He has played some of the most iconic African Americans that have transformed history, including Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Howard’s own Thurgood Marshall. His recent role in the blockbuster film “Black Panther” reminds us of the excellence found in the African diaspora and how Howard continues to be a gem that produces the next generation of artist-scholars, humanitarians, scientists, engineers and doctors. Mr. Boseman exemplifies the monumental heights and levels Howard graduates can achieve by using the skills and knowledge they acquired at the university.” 
“I’m excited to return to the Mecca in celebration of the achievements of our illustrious students,” said Boseman. “Let’s listen, learn and build with one another.”
A native of South Carolina, Chadwick Boseman graduated from Howard University and attended the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford, after which he began his career as an actor, director and writer. Boseman can currently be seen starring as T'Challa/Black Panther in the worldwide phenomenon Marvel Studios' "Black Panther." He made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the African superhero in Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Civil War,” in May 2016. He will reprise the role again for Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” later this month. Boseman's breakout performance came in 2013 when he received rave reviews for his portrayal of the legendary Jackie Robinson in Warner Bros’ “42” opposite Harrison Ford.  Boseman received the 2014 CinemaCon Male Star of Tomorrow Award, was named one of the Top 10 Best Movie Performances of 2014 by Time Magazine and was awarded a Virtuous Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for his portrayal of James Brown in Universal Pictures’ “Get on Up.” 
He previously starred in the title role of Open Road Films’ “Marshall” alongside Josh Gad. The film tells the story of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases as the Chief Counsel to the NAACP. His other feature film credits include: the revenge thriller “Message from the King,” Summit Entertainment's “Draft Day” opposite Kevin Costner, independent psychological post-war drama “The Kill Hole” and Gary Fleders’ drama “The Express.” 
Boseman and his writing partner, Logan Coles, a fellow Howard alum, have written the script for Universal Pictures’ “Expatriate,” an international thriller set around a 1970s plane hijacking. Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)has recently signed on to direct the project, in which Boseman will star.
“We are extremely pleased that Chadwick Boseman has accepted our invitation to address the class of 2018,” said Howard University Board of Trustees Chair Stacey J. Mobley, Esq. “His words as one who has walked the same halls as our graduates will truly resonate and inspire them to reach for the stars.”
Howard University’s graduate programs in business, education, engineering and social work increased in the annual national rankings by U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” listing. The College of Engineering and Architecture increased the to the top 12 percent of engineering colleges in the nation with a No. 132 ranking, a 66-point increase over the past three years. The Howard University School of Social Work ranked No. 30, up eight spots from last year, moving the program within the top 15 percent of programs in the nation. Howard’s School of Business ranked No. 78, following a rank of No. 92 in 2017. The School of Education moved up to number 105, up 15 places from last year’s ranking.