URL Media Weekly
Friday, February 18, 2022
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 What We're Talking About

This week, Amir Locke, 22, was laid to rest in Minnesota, and the federal hate crimes trial over Ahmaud Arbery's death got underway in Georgia. Both cases are a searing reminder of what it means to be Black in America —in this moment. 

Yesterday, Reverend Al Sharpton addressed a crowd of thousands gathered at the funeral of Amir Locke, who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police during a no-knock warrant search, to remind America that “Amir was not guilty of anything but being young and Black..."  Sharpton also spoke out against the no-knock searches in Minneapolis, arguing that had they been banned “we wouldn’t be at a funeral..."  In his remarks, Sharpton also spoke on Black History Month connecting the history of enslaved africans being forced to take on names their enslavers gave them to Black people today being seen as “nameless suspects." “Enough is enough. We are no longer going to be your nameless suspects,”  he said emphatically.

And on Wednesday, federal prosecutors in Georgia opened their hate-crimes case against three white men, already convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, by saying they were motivated by racist views of Black people when they chased and threatened Arbery in a confrontation that led to his fatal shooting. Federal prosecutors are seeking to prove that the three men targeted and attacked Arbery because he was Black. Arbery’s death helped spark nationwide social justice protests, along with the police killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis. Of those three slayings, only Arbery’s has resulted in federal hate-crime charges, raising the stakes for federal prosecutors. The case, which is expected to last several weeks, is largely viewed as a bellwether signaling that the Justice Department will not tolerate racist hatred that results in violence. 

As we continue to watch the federal hate-crimes trial unfold in Georgia, we want to highlight this coverage from our partner Scalawag: 

In the case of Amir Locke, calls are growing louder each week for Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to resign and a ban on no-knock warrants. The mayor has placed a moratorium on nearly all no-knock warrants as the city reviews its policy. Sahan Journal interviewed Mayor Frey who discussed his police reform agenda, transparency, and public mistrust. Locke's killing has prompted a renewed push among the city's Black elected officials to enact public safety changes and accelerate police reform

Our partners continue to provide reporting and coverage that goes deeper than the headlines and gavel-to-gavel coverage of most national news outlets, and provide more depth, context and nuance to what we are seeing unfold on the national stage. 

Uplift. Respect. Love 

 Uplifting our Communities 

Sara Sanchez with her daughter Edith
Prioritizing Environmental Justice Legislation: Since 2002, Minnesota residents have endured 10 of the hottest years recorded in the state's history. The effects of climate change are not borne evenly. Sahan Journal highlights how communities of color are disproportionately impacted by accelerating climate change through the story of Sarah Sanchez, a resident of what the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency deems an "environmental justice community." Sanchez explains how an extreme heatwave that swept across the Twin Cities in 2020 led to premature labor as well as multiple other health complications.
Deadly Bronx Fire Leaves Survivors in Despair: A space heater malfunction led to the building fire that killed 17 people last month in the Bronx borough in New York City. Documented interviewed the survivors who contend that substandard living conditions led to the devastating blaze. Many tenants report that there was a long history of neglect including malfunctioning smoke alarms, broken windows, mold, heating issues, and doors that did not self-close — all of which violate city building code. Tenant advocates are demanding the housing authority create more accountability for the city's landlords, and more protections for tenants.
Redrawing the Congressional Map: The New York legislature recently approved new district maps that gave 22 out of 26 Congressional seats to state Democrats. Epicenter-NYC's Felipe De La Hoz offers this analysis explaining how the new maps will shape what federal and state representation will look like over the next decade. De La Hoz explains that many new liberal enclaves will form in former GOP districts throughout NYC. 
Little Haiti in Brooklyn: Four years ago, the neighborhood of Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York, became the defacto home of the city's burgeoning Haitian population. The Haitian Times reports on the local politicians who banded together to designate a swath of Flatbush — from Nostrand Avenue and Glenwood Road to the intersection of Flatbush and Foster Avenues —as the Little Haiti Cultural & Business District.

The Power of Holy Sex: Dr. Joyce Crider Anderson, author of "The Intentional Transformative Power of Holy Sex," spoke with Evening WURDs host Nick Taliaferro about her book and the connections that sex brings to the spirit.


 Respecting & Honoring Arts & Culture 

Recovering a Lost Narrative: In 1830 the Indian Removal Act forced Native American tribes to give up their homelands and relocate west of the Mississippi. Native News Online explains how the forced relocation led to the genocide of 4,000 Cherokee Indians, who faced starvation, disease, and exposure to the elements, on their journey Westward along the Trail of Tears. Levi Rickert, publisher and editor of Native News Online, argues that this is a narrative that needs to be added to school history books across the country. 

Honoring Muslim Traditions: For the first time ever, some Minnesota school districts will observe the Muslim holiday of Eid. Sahan Journal reports that Muslim students in school districts in Minneapolis, Hopkins, Moorhead, and Mankato, Minnesota, will no longer have to miss school to observe the holiday.

 Centering Love 

As we continue to celebrate and honor Black achievement and history, Scalawag has curated a series of articles titled Essential Reading: Black History and Black Futures:

 What We're Loving This Week From Our Partners 

Maurice Hines is Still Shining. In honor of Black History Month the Starz network premiered Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back starring 'triple threat: actor, singer, dancer' Maurice Hines. From directing an all-Latino production of 'The Red Shoes' and choreographing music videos for the singer Quincy Jones, Hines' career has spanned seven decades. Our partner Epicenter-NYC recently interviewed the film's director, John Carluccio, about Hines's career longevity and new film.

Fashion Forward: As New York Fashion Week comes to a close our partner palabra. sheds light on the adverse effect the fashion industry is having on the environment. Mariela Murdocco reports that the mass production and consumption of clothing currently accounts for up to 10% of global greenhouse emissions. Frances Colón, Ph.D., an advisor to President Biden on Science and Technology, told palabra. that the industry's emissions are projected to increase up to 25% by 2050.

 The URLs on URL 

Celebrating 11 Years: A special congratulations to Native News Online on their 11 year anniversary! Read this story by publisher and editor, Levi Rickert, on how a walk aimed to spread awareness about diabetes presented Rickert with the opportunity to see Indian Country in a different light and provide a forum for Native voices ever since.
Shout out to our partner Scalawag for being one of thirteen applicants selected out of more than 50 to participate in  The Investigative Reporters & Editors Total Newsroom Training Program. The program aims to provide custom training on watchdog journalism for small to medium-sized newsrooms.
Introducing Altavoz Lab: A collaborative project founded by palabra.'s Managing Editor Valeria Fernández, with support from the Emerson Collective to strengthen reporters at community outlets that serve Black, Indigenous, immigrant and other communities of color in the U.S. with the goal of publishing stories that will enable local audiences to participate more fully in democracy.

URL Media Events 

Black History Month: If you are in the Philadelphia area, join WURD Radio on Thursday, Feb. 24, for a special Black History Month Live Broadcast at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The evening will kick off at 4 p.m. with a conversation featuring Nick Taliaferro and Eric Pryor, PAFA’s first African American president in its 217-year history. At 5:30 p.m., join WURD president and CEO Sara Lomax-Reese and Wake Up With WURD host Solomon Jones for a conversation exploring Solomon’s new book, "Ten Lives, Ten Demands." If you’re not a forWURD member, you can join or renew your membership on site at the sustaining membership level and receive an autographed copy of Solomon’s book. And, throughout the evening, you can experience PAFA by browsing the museum exhibits featuring several African American artists and printmakers. You will need to show your vaccination card and ID for admission, and masks are required. Space is limited - click here to RSVP.

Join Native News Online on Monday, February 28, at 3 p.m. ET for a free live stream event: Indian Boarding School Discussions Part II, Why Repatriation is Important? Indian boarding schools existed in the U.S. up until the early 20th century with the intention to assimilate Native American children. The livestream will shed light on the intergenerational trauma associated with the multiple deaths at Indian Boarding schools. Click here to watch part I of this series

The Laura Flanders Show: Once a month, you can catch URL Media on The Laura Flanders Show on select PBS stations for a conversation that centers the stories, issues and concerns that our BIPOC media partners are following. Click here to check your local TV listing.  Here’s how you can watch our latest.

 Our Founders 

Sara Lomax-Reese, CEO of WURD Radio, Media entrepreneur of almost 30 years, served as Program Lead for the inaugural Facebook BIPOC Sustainability Accelerator and currently JSK Fellow.
S. Mitra Kalita, former SVP at CNN Digital, current CEO & Publisher at Kalita Mukul Creative Inc., which publishes Epicenter NYC, The Unmuted and The Escape Home, has worked at Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, and has launched brands like Mint and Quartz.

 Our Partners 

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