After a valiant effort to halt his execution, on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 11:15PM, people from all around the world said goodbye to Troy Davis, a death row inmate, in the state of Georgia’s penal system. As was aptly stated by Edward Dubose, Georgia State Conference, President of the NAACP, “Troy’s execution, and the exceptional unfairness of it amidst so much doubt, has galvanized a global movement in his name. Troy’s is remembered not only because of the circumstances around his case, but because even in the face of death he understood that his story had the potential to change this country forever. There is much work ahead to ensure the end of the death penalty in the United States, but we will do it together, and we will do it in Troy’s name.”
On Saturday October 1, 2011, Troy Davis will be buried in Savannah, Georgia. People from all over: the state of Georgia, the United States, and the world will be in attendance. The Davis family remains in countless hearts and prayers during this incredibly heartbreaking and hard period in our nation’s history.
The services below are open to the public, but cameras and video recorders will not
Friday, September 30th, 2011
Wake and Memorial Service
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
New Life Apostolic Temple
2120 West Bay Street
Savannah, Georgia 31415
Saturday, October 1, 2011
“Celebration of Life Service” (Funeral)
Jonesville Baptist Church
5201 Montgomery St,
Savannah, Georgia 31415
If you will be unable to attend, you can send a letter of condolence to the Davis Family. The letters to the Davis should be sent to:
“I am Troy Davis”
In lieu of flowers, donations may be mailed to:
I AM TROY FUND
339 MLK, Jr., Blvd.
Troy’s story touched countless hearts and minds. When commenting on Troy Davis’ execution, Larry Cox, Amnesty International executive director, offered that, importantly, the massive movement that developed around this case offers an opportunity to question this country’s values. This tragedy offers a chance to engage more people who are repulsed that the state would murder in our names and yet remain silent about it. “We have to take people who were against the death penalty and never did anything about it,” Larry Cox told Amy Goodman of Democracy NOW, and mobilize them. “Now is the time.”
As Kai Wright and Jamilah King wrote in their provocative and thought-provoking article entitled “The Long, Murderous Arm of the Law Has Killed Troy Davis” in Colorlines, “Davis’ case offers a bracing and depressing illustration of capital punishment’s many problems.” In the State of Georgia’s “…eagerness to prosecute a black man, [Troy Davis], for murdering a white police officer, [Mark Allen MacPhail], local officials set in motion a
killing machine that, once turned on, is near impossible to halt without executive intervention. Much has already been written about the details of Davis’s case; no reasonable observer can deny there is significant doubt as to his guilt. But our criminal justice system is anything but reasonable. Those who don’t come into contact with it can sit in self-satisfied assurance that our cops and courts measure out blind justice that keeps society well ordered. The evidence simply does not support that fantasy, as Davis’s life and death so dreadfully illustrate. In fact, if we are to judge our criminal justice system by its outcomes, it is built to round up masses of black men, transfer public funds to private companies to warehouse them, and then kill them in cold blood.”
With that said, here are three (3) important things you can do RIGHT NOW to advance the fight to stop the death penalty:
1) Sign the pledge (NAACP and/or Amnesty International) and join the movement to eradicate death penalty.
2) Contact your local Amnesty International State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinators (pdf). Ask about the death penalty in your state and how you can get involved locally.
3) Reach out to other death penalty organizations operating in your state/country. Find out more information.
Amnesty International Pledge:
“Not in my name” <http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.7741827/k.62FF/Not_in_my_Name_Pledge/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=7741827&en=dmIPI6PPJcIYLgOSLbKULiM9LvL9KmN4LtI9LqNaIAK>
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
This spring, the U.S. House of Representatives proposed cuts to the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition and health program (WIC). WIC provides much-needed health care and nutrition support for some of our most vulnerable families, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, infants, and children under the age of five years old.
Hunger in America is prevalent. Hunger poses a clear and present danger to the health and well-being of an ever-increasing number of infants and children. According to the WIC website, “…[when] WIC was permanently authorized, 88,000 people participated. By 1980, participation was at 1.9 million; by 1985, 3.1 million; by 1990, 4.5 million; and by 2000, 7.2 million. Average monthly participation for FY 2008 was about 8.7 million. Children have always been the largest group of WIC participants. Of the 8.7 million people who received WIC benefits each month in FY 2008, about 4.33 million were children, 2.22 million were infants, and 2.15 million were women.”[i] Estimates from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities show that funding WIC at the US House proposed low-level would result in eliminating 200,000 to 350,000 eligible low-income women and young children from WIC next year.[ii] It is a well-known fact that proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of healthy children thus highlighting the need for continued funding for feeding programs such as WIC.
On May 31, 2011, in response to the devastating funding cuts proposed by House Republicans, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the Education and the Workforce Committee, issued the following statement about the proposed cuts to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).[iii] These cuts further the attack on poor and working class Americans outlined in the FY12 Republican budget which proposes to severely cut funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, by $127 billion over ten years. [iv]
“House Republicans are trying to deny low-income mothers access to healthy food options. Their priorities are sorely misplaced. They push for tax cuts for big oil companies and threaten families with the greatest needs in this economy. If children don’t develop healthy habits early, if they don’t have enough food, they can struggle in the classroom and in life.
“Just a short time ago, President Obama signed into law transformational legislation that will dramatically improve school meals and other child nutrition programs. We came together in a bipartisan way to pass this legislation, to cut hunger and improve the meals our children eat in and out of school. And now, the House Republicans would reverse the progress made and threaten the mothers, families and children who rely on WIC on a daily basis.
“It is absolutely necessary to take a long hard look at government spending to avoid wasting any taxpayers’ dollars, but time and time again, Republicans wrongfully make their cuts on the backs of poor and working class Americans.”[v] For more information on WIC, visit the WIC website at www.fns.usda.gov.”
Sources: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Voices for America’s Children’s Action Alert. WIC’s website. U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA)’s website where he released his statement on the proposed WIC Cuts in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is fast approaching. The month of October has been designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). It has been reported that the first NBCAM program took place in October 1985. It was a week-long event. The overarching objective of the event was to fill the information void in public communication about breast cancer.
Despite on-going cancer research, cancer still attacks 10,000,000 people per year worldwide. Annually, 1.3 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer and nearly 555,000 people will die in our nation this year alone. According to the CDC, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women.
In 2006 (the most recent year numbers are available)—
- 191,410 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.*†
- 40,820 women died from breast cancer.*†
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer.[i] Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer).[ii] Although African-American women have a slightly lower incidence of breast cancer after age 40 than Caucasian women, they have a slightly higher incidence rate of breast cancer before age 40.[iii] However, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age. Breast cancer is much less common in males; by comparison, the disease is about 100 times more common among women.[iv] According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 1,910 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among men in the United States in 2009.[v]
If you are concerned about developing breast cancer, or if you know someone who has been diagnosed with the disease, one way to deal with your concerns is to gather as much information as is available. For more information, you can visit the websites for: American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and the National Cancer Institute.
†Source(s): U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2006 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs. www.nbcam.org.
*Note: Incidence counts cover approximately 96% of the U.S. population and death counts cover 100% of the U.S. population. Use caution in comparing incidence and death counts.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Today, Laura Moye, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign Director at Amnesty International, wrote that “the state of Georgia shocked the world when it took Troy Davis’ life last Wednesday. But in the wake of that outrage, the movement to end the death penalty has only grown in numbers and energy.
We have heard innumerable stories of consciousness raising and transformation.
People did not go home from the various protests despondent. Like us, they have
committed to not forgetting what happened and are emboldened, redoubling
efforts to end the callous system that has demonstrated it has no business
taking human life.
On Saturday, October 1, join us for a Day of Remembrance. Join us in
Savannah for Troy Davis’ funeral. The service is open to the public, but media
cameras will not be permitted:
October 1, 11am at “Celebration of Life Service” at the Jonesville Baptist Church
located at 5201 Montgomery St., Savannah, Georgia.
For those of you who cannot make it to Savannah, please wear an “I am Troy Davis”
t-shirt or black armband with “Not in my name” written on it and change your
Facebook profile picture to this image posted on Amnesty’s website.
Those wishing to send cards or donations to the Davis family: “I am Troy Davis,” P.O. Box 2105, Savannah, GA 31407.
Contributions to the Davis children’s college savings accounts can be made payable to Martina Correia, put “college fund” in the memo.
Flowers and plants can be sent to: Sidney A. Jones and Campbell Funeral Services
124 West Park Avenue, Savannah, GA 31401-6439. (912) 234-7226”
In her post, Laura reminds us about the importance of signing the “Not in my name” pledge.<http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.7741827/k.62FF/Not_in_my_Name_Pledge/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=7741827&en=dmIPI6PPJcIYLgOSLbKULiM9LvL9KmN4LtI9LqNaIAK>
“Troy Davis did not die in vain. We will make certain of that.”—Laura Moye
Sources: Amnesty International.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Date: November 10-13, 2011
Venue: Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 483-NMAC (6622)
“The United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), set for November 10-13, 2011, at Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, in Chicago, IL, is an event you cannot afford to miss. For nearly two decades, USCA has sought ‘to increase the strength and diversity of the community-based response to the AIDS epidemic through education, training, new partnerships, collaboration and networking.’
It is the largest AIDS-related gathering in the U.S., bringing together over 3,000 workers from all fronts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic—from case managers and physicians, to public health workers and advocates, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/As) to policymakers—to build national support networks, exchange the latest information and learn cutting-edge tools to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS. We hope you will be one of them.” –Paul A. Kawata, The Executive Director of the National Minority AIDS Council
Sources:National Minority AIDS Council. Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Event Dates: October 19-22, 2011
The 37th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes will be a three (3) day event held from October 19-22, 2011 in Miami Beach, Florida. The meeting announcement indicates that there will be plenary sessions, symposia, paper and poster sessions, and workshops addressing the cutting edge science of pediatric diabetes care.
The theme of the 2011 meeting will be “Possibilities for Prevention of Diabetes and its Complications.” Alan Delamater, Conference President, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, states that, “We all work to prevent complications in our patients with diabetes. The best chances for accomplishing this is through integrated comprehensive care addressing medical, behavioral, and psychosocial needs and this issue will be highlighted in the meeting. We will also focus on primary prevention of diabetes. My colleague and co-chair of the organizing committee, Jay Skyler, MD, will lead a special session on the latest efforts to prevent type 1 diabetes in children, and we will also have sessions focusing on obesity and type 2 diabetes.”
Venue: Miami Beach, Florida.
Organized by: K.I.T. Group GmbH.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
After valiant efforts to stop the execution of Troy Davis for more than two decades, late last night, more than one million people from all around the globe bid him “goodbye”.
After the execution of Troy Davis, Laura Moye at Amnesty International wrote in her action alert sent to members, “…My heart is heavy. I am sad and angry. The state of Georgia has proven what we already know. Governments cannot be trusted with the awful power over life and death… Georgia didn’t just kill Troy Davis; they killed the faith and confidence that many Georgians, Americans, and Troy Davis supporters worldwide used to have in our criminal justice system.”
It has been reported that, Troy Davis stated repeatedly that his case was about so much more than him. As a result, Troy’s words give those involved in seeking justice in the Davis case fodder to carry on and stay committed to this fight and the larger fight to make sure there will be no more Troy Davis’ in this nation.
Because of this case, many people from both ends of the political spectrum have been made aware of the countless flaws in the criminal justice system. As was stated in the action alert by Georgians For An Alternative to the Death Penalty, “…we need you to stay awake.” As people are in the early stages of mourning the execution of Troy Davis, it has been reported that the State of Georgia has issued a warrant for another death row inmate with an execution date between October 5-October 12, 2011. Opponents of the death penalty have recommitted themselves to fight against the relentless killing machine also known as the death penalty.
“As Troy Davis wrote in a letter when he was facing execution in 2008:
… no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the
death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.”
Toward that goal, I am signing Amnesty International’s pledge to fight the death
penalty and donating to the Innocence Project. If you are seeking a way to turn your disappointment over the outcome in the Troy Davis case into action, I hope that you will join me and countless others in signing the pledge and supporting the to free the staggering number of innocent people who are currently incarcerated. With that said, you can sign Amnesty International USA’s pledge here: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=264324&id=31297-18765278-GwkN2Yx&t=1. Further, you can donate to the Innocence Project, a nonprofit committed to fight to “free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated,” below: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=264322&id=31297-18765278-GwkN2Yx&t=2
Sources: Amnesty International. Georgians For An Alternative to the Death Penalty. Moveon.org.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Conservatives, liberals, as well as opponents and proponents of the death penalty have asked the Georgia Parole Board to grant Troy Davis clemency. According to Georgian’s for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, over hundred thousand (800,000) people signed a petition requesting that the Georgia Parole Board grant clemency to Troy Case. The list of persons requesting clemency for Troy Davis includes but is not limited to: Former President Jimmy Carter, The Pope, Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Desmund Tutu as well as a host of conservatives and death row proponents such as former Congressman Bob Barr. The Former FBI Director also has called for clemency for Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis.
Most recently, six wardens asked the State of Georgia NOT to kill Troy Davis. The six retired corrections officials include Dr. Allen Ault, retired Director of the Georgia Department of Corrections and former Warden of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison where he oversaw executions for the state. According to the Law Office of the Southern Center for Human Rights, Dr. Allen Ault sent a letter to Georgia Corrections Officials and Governor Nathan Deal asking them to urge the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider the decision they made on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 to deny Troy Davis Clemency despite concerns about his guilt. The six wardens’ statement: “We write to you as former wardens and corrections officials who have had direct involvement in executions. Like few others in this country, we understand that you have a job to do in carrying out the lawful orders of the judiciary. We also understand, from our own personal experiences, the awful lifelong repercussions that come from participating in the execution of prisoners. While most of the prisoners whose executions we participated in accepted responsibility for the crimes for which they were punished, some of us have also executed prisoners who maintained their innocence until the end. It is those cases that are most haunting to an executioner.
We write to you today with the overwhelming concern that an innocent person could be executed in Georgia tonight. We know the legal process has exhausted itself in the case of Troy Anthony Davis, and yet, doubt about his guilt remains. This very fact will have an irreversible and damaging impact on your staff. Many people of significant standing share these concerns, including, notably, William Sessions, Director of the FBI under President Ronald Reagan.
Living with the nightmares is something that we know from experience. No one has the right to ask a public servant to take on a lifelong sentence of nagging doubt, and for some of us, shame and guilt. Should our justice system be causing so much harm to so many people when there is an alternative?
We urge you to ask the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider their decision. Should that fail, we urge you to unburden yourselves and your staff from the pain of participating in such a questionable execution to the extent possible by allowing any personnel so inclined to opt-out of activities related to the execution of Troy Anthony Davis. Further, we urge you to provide appropriate counseling to personnel who do choose to perform their job functions related to the execution. If we may be of assistance to you moving forward, please do not hesitate to call upon any of us.”
For the past two (2) weeks, I have posted about the Troy Davis case as his execution date (September 21, 2011 at 7:00PM) was fast approaching to encourage continued collective action to halt this travesty of justice. With that said, I ask that you please join me and the other now over one million (1,000,000) people from around the world that have asked for clemency for Troy Davis. Below is the most recent email alert related to the Troy Davis case from Georgians For Alternatives to the Death Penalty. The email implores us to continue to take action today to ensure that Georgia does not execute an innocent man.
We have only hours left to stop the execution of Troy Davis. We ask allof you to stay engaged, to stay active. Keep calling on the Parole Board to reconsider its decision, and on the Chatham County(Savannah) District Attorney Larry Chisolm to do the right thing by contactingthe Chatham County’s District Attorney’s office by phone/fax: Telephone: 912-652-7308. Fax: 912-652-7328.
Continue to send a send a letter to Dr. Carlo Musso at Rainbow Medical Associates and urge him torefuse to participate in the execution of Troy Davis. Rainbow Medical Associates is the medical team that assists with Georgia’s executions.
Dr. Carlo Musso, President, and Employees
9020 Peridot Parkway
Stockbridge, GA 30281
Here is a statement issued from corrections officials cautioning against the execution of Troy Davis because “living with the nightmares is something that we know from experience.” This statement is very moving and should give the officials in the Georgia criminal justice system pause when considering death row inmates particularly Troy Anthony Davis given the facts of his case. Please forward this statement far and wide. If you are use Twitter, please post one or all of these sample messages to help get the word out on the letter from the corrections officials: Corrections officials urge #TroyDavis #executioners against proceeding, warn of”nightmares” http://bit.ly/r0VFQ5#TooMuchDoubt; 6 Prison Wardens say to Georgia”Do not kill #TroyDavis” http://bit.ly/r0VFQ5#TooMuchDoubt; Prison wardens tell GA:”Living with the nightmares is something that we know from experience” – don’t #execute #TroyDavisbit.ly/r0VFQ5
We really appreciate the interest in coming out to support tonight. We strongly encourage you to stay in Atlanta and attend the vigil at the Capitol that the Open Door Community is leading. It is always moving and steeped in tenets of our social justice movement. The prison is going to be packed. Please stay in Atlanta (or attend a site near you) to show your support. Here is more information about vigils being held around Georgia: http://www.gfadp.org/vigils. Thank you for taking action!”
It is my hope that you will join me and countless others around the world seeking to make sure that justice is served in the Davis Case. It is important to act now to let the state of Georgia – and the world – know that you stand by Troy Davis in his fight for justice by joining the efforts undertaken by Amnesty, NAACP, and countless other organizations to halt this injustice. This is a matter of life and death, and time is running out.
Source: Georgians For Alternatives to the Death Penalty. The Law Office of the Southern Center for Human Rights.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Research indicates that thousands of people every year are victims of hate crime. For every reported case of hate violence, there are countless unreported incidents of hate based violence. The hate crime phenomenon presents complex and agonizing problems to countless communities nationwide. The problem has become more visible as federal and state officials increasingly track hate violence.
Some assert that, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual hate crime report offers the most comprehensive national picture currently available on the magnitude of this pressing problem. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SCLC) also monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and expose their activities. Research indicates that “…there are 932 known hate groups operating across the country, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, and others.” (Southern Poverty Law Center) The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that there are 28 known hate groups in the state of Pennsylvania alone. According to the research done on this phenomenon by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups is growing. American communities have learned that failure to address hate-based crimes can cause an isolated incident to result in widespread tension.
Hate crimes are unique because they have a special emotional and physical impact that extends beyond the original victim. Bias crimes intimidate others in the victim’s community, causing them to feel isolated, vulnerable, and unprotected by the legal system. By making members of a specific group fearful, angry and suspicious, these crimes polarize cities and damage the very fabric of our society.
While hate violence makes headlines, the positive actions of people across our nation are creating a different story. These people include but are not limited to a movement called Not In Our Town. Like other groups battling hate based violence, Not In Our Town highlights communities working together to stop hate. Not In Our Town videos and broadcasts highlight and celebrate people who have developed creative anti-bias programs and responses. The stories chronicled by Not In Our Town have served to motivate many others to develop their own innovative initiatives which overpower the hateful actions and voices in their communities. Hate violence can be eradicated with an equal amount of conscience, mind, heart, and collective action.
The non-profit sector offers information, education, and activism against hate violence. The list below contains a few of the organizations that offer resources or help communities respond to hate activities. Many of the national organizations listed below have local chapters. A brief list of national organizations battling hate based violence include but is not limited to:
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Combats media stereotyping, defamation, and discrimination against Americans of Arab descent through legal action and education.
American Jewish Committee
Published, What to Do When the Militia Comes to Town
Combats anti-semitism and racial supremacist ideology, published Hate Crimes Laws: A Comprehensive Guide.
Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund
Community education, legal counseling and advocacy on behalf of victims of anti-Asian violence.
Center For Democratic Renewal
Published When Hate Groups Come to Town: A Handbook of Effective Community Responses.
Center for New Community
Publishes special reports on anti-immigrant groups.
Choosing to Participate
Traveling exhibition featuring events in time when individuals and communities made decisions affecting the course of history.
Points of Light Foundation
Sponsors national “Join Hands Day”
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Published, Law Enforcement Official’s Guide to the Muslim Community.
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
Fights hate crime; monitors attacks on civil liberties.
The National Urban League
Increasing civil rights, educational and financial opportunities for African Americans through programs and research.
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Support for families of Gays and Lesbians with hundreds of local chapters.
Political Research Associates
Think-tank monitoring the full spectrum of hate organizations.
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Legal assistance and educational outreach for Sikh Americans. Civil rights advocacy.
Southern Poverty Law Center
Reports on hate crime and advances the legal rights of victims of injustice. Home of Klanwatch.)
Study Circles Resource Center
Helps communities and organizations begin small democratic, discussion groups that can make significant progress on difficult issues including race.)
100 Black Men of America
Helps young African Americans to overcome financial and cultural obstacles through mentoring, anti-violence, education and economic development programs.
Source(s): Southern Poverty Law Center, FBI Hate Crimes Annual Report, 100 Black Men of America, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Study Circles Resource Center, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Center For Democratic Renewal, Choosing to Participate, NAACP, National Urban League, Connect America, PFLAG, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Photo credit Microsoft Clip Art