URL Media Weekly
Friday, January 13, 2023
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 What We're Talking About

A man stands before a crowd of people with the Washington Monument in the background.

On August 28, 1963, Baptist minister and iconic American civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

This year, let’s not water down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s revolutionary messaging

I grew up in Texas and am a product of its public schools, which is to say that I was taught a very specific, sanitized version of U.S. history — a fact I was unaware of until I moved 1,200 miles away to attend college in Chicago.

It was there, in an urban planning class, that I learned about Martin Luther King Jr.’s part in the Chicago Freedom Movement. It was there that I learned about his disdain for what he called the “white moderate.”

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a ‘more convenient season.’” — Letter from Birmingham City Jail, 1963

When I look back on key events that have taken place the last three years — the disproportionate impact of Covid on Black and Brown communities, the 2020 uprisings, ongoing threats to our democracy, the sharp rise in hate crimes — I’m reminded of a speech Dr. King gave at Grosse Pointe High School weeks before his assassination.

“Now I wanted to say something about the fact that we have lived over these last two or three summers with agony and we have seen our cities going up in flames. And I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non­-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. I'm absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results.

But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.” — The Other America, 1968

One more thing about King: Not only did he speak out against racism, but also American militarization and unfettered capitalism. Oh, and he was in favor of universal basic income. You can read more about that here.

I hope during this long weekend, you’re able to spend some time in community with others who are actively working to make King’s vision of a truly equitable America a reality. — Alicia Ramirez

Uplift. Respect. Love.

2022: The Year in Charts
Sponsored by McKinsey & Company

2022: The year in charts. The past year has been anything but ordinary. We’ve curated 22 of the year’s best data visualizations — illuminating some of the key themes and trends covered in McKinsey’s publishing, including inflation, geopolitical upheaval, evolving health priorities, inclusion, net zero, digital trust, and more here.

 Uplifting our Communities 

A group of people wearing suits and gowns stand in front of a patterned wall.

Buu Nygren, youngest Navajo Nation president, inaugurated: On Tuesday, an excited crowd filled the Bee Hółdzil Event Center at the Window Rock High School in Arizona to witness the swearing-in of Buu Nygren as president of the Navajo Nation. Nygren, who turned 36 on Christmas, is Navajo Nation's youngest president. Read more here from Native News Online

With no elected officials in place, Haiti’s fragile democracy nears ‘anarchy’: For the first time since Haiti embarked on its democratic experiment in 1987, the country finds itself without a single elected official as it veers into unknown constitutional territory. The Haitian Times has the full story here.

The unspoken toll migration has on mental health: In three months, two asylum seekers took their lives while living in New York City shelters. Leidy Villalobos, a mother of two, who was separated from her husband at the Arizona-Mexico border, and John Ortega, a 26-year-old man from Venezuela who left behind his wife and children. Their passing has brought attention to the impact migration has on the mental well being of migrants. Read more here from Documented.

Federal emergency declared in Calif. following severe storm: President Joe Biden declared a federal emergency in California on Monday. As a powerful storm continues to devastate California, thousands of Californians were asked to flee their homes. Nearly 90% of the state is on flood watch. Nearly 90% of the state is on flood watch. Black Voice News has the latest here.

+Latest COVID-19 variant XBB.1.5 spreading quickly, overcoming some components of immunity

How to spot – and stop – the makings of a civil war: Two years after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Our Body Politic host Farai Chideya interviews Dr. Barbara F. Walter, Rohr Professor of Pacific International Relations at UC San Diego, and author of "How Civil Wars Start," on factionalism's threat to American democracy. She is then joined by Dr. Erroll G. Southers, a former FBI agent and counterterrorism expert who discusses homegrown violent extremism. 🎧 Listen to the episode here.

Donald Trump's anti-Black comments may have serious implications for future decisions: Trump's announcement of his presidential campaign for 2024 is not one of the most attention-grabbing headlines he's been in the news for; he's also been in the news for hosting conspiracy theorists and Hitler apologists at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Read more from PushBlack here.

The lasting legacy of Boston’s busing crisis: Boston Public Schools remain highly segregated, even in the 50 years since it enforced a court-ordered busing plan. However, parents of color remain at the center of the push to equalize education. In February 2022, parents denounced the school system’s admissions process to the city’s elite schools that would have given a boost to applicants from high-poverty schools regardless of whether students came from middle- or upper-class families. Prism has the full story here.

Tulsa Public Schools board member resigns: Judith Barba Perez, a board member of Tulsa Public Schools, will be leaving Tulsa and resigning from her board seat effective Jan. 23. The two-year board member said she’s proud of the work she’s done to make meetings more accessible to Spanish-speaking families, immigrant and refugee communities. Read more here from The Oklahoma Eagle.

‘Bargain Block’ home flippers bet on Detroit's Fitzgerald despite the neighborhood’s history of failed development projects: The HGTV show “Bargain Block” is coming back to Detroit for its third season this fall. The show stars a couple who renovate and sell run-down homes across Detroit, and this season, they're heading to the city’s northwest side in Fitzgerald — a neighborhood where residents have previously been let down by outside developers looking to reimagine their neighborhood. Read more here from Outlier Media.


 Respecting & Honoring Arts & Culture

Two children wearing winter coats are holding their holiday presents.
In the Bronx, asylum seekers celebrate Three Kings Day: Last weekend thousands of asylum seekers who had recently arrived in New York City came together for a Three Kings Day celebration. During the holiday, celebrated throughout parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, children receive their Christmas presents. The celebration was organized by South Bronx Mutual Aid and La Morada, a restaurant run by Mexican immigrants. Read more here from Epicenter-NYC.
Inclusive lunches: In 2014, a Pew religious landscape study found that 2% of adults in the Chicago metro area practice Islam. But despite the growing Muslim population, halal options at public schools are still uncommon in the Chicago region. palabra., in partnership with Borderless Magazine, has the story here.
The Connect wants Philadelphia to become a ‘mecca’ for Black and Brown talent: The Connect was developed in 2018 as a meetup for Black and Brown entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. In 2021, Philly native Senzwa Ntshepe took over leadership and rebranded The Connect to what it is today — an initiative to retain Black and Brown millennial talent in the city. The platform is now a network of 7,000 professionals. Read more here from The Plug.

+: In December, The Plug joined URL Media as its 16th media partner 🎉

 Centering Love 

A woman and young man at a community event.

In bittersweet documentary screening, Lucy Laney community pays tribute to Deshaun Hill Jr.: The new Showtime docuseries “Boys in Blue” presents itself as a study of a north Minneapolis football team coached by police officers in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. But for the 50 people who gathered recently in the music room of a Minneapolis elementary school, the documentary represented something else: A chance to see their son, friend, and star quarterback, Deshaun Hill Jr., one more time. Sahan Journal has the story here.

Grief, a (grand)mother tongue: Relationships are a shared language developed between two people over time, but how do you communicate love — much less grief — when you don't speak the same language? First-generation writer Mele Girma offers a makeshift grammar in this moving essay for Scalawag. Read more here.

 What We're Loving This Week From Our Partners 

A man uses a stethoscope to listen to the heart beat and health of doctor Martin Luther king junior.

WURD Radio celebrates 20 years of service to the community: As the only Black-owned talk radio station in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, WURD has carved out a powerful niche in the media ecosystem: Empowering, educating and inspiring Philadelphia’s diverse Black communities. The theme for the station’s 20th anniversary is “Bringing Joy – and Power – to the People.” Read more here.

More: Did you know that WURD Radio was founded by Dr. Walter P. Lomax who treated Martin Luther King Jr. for an upper respiratory infection just two months before his assassination? Learn about the legacy of WURD founder, Dr. Walter P. Lomax.

The URLs on URL 

🎉 We'd like to congratulate URL Media Editorial Director, Andaiye Taylor, for being named a fellow of The 2023 Media Transformation Challenge Program at Poynter. Read this Q+A to learn more about Andaiye's background.

URL Media Events

Let's Talk Careers: The What's Next Workshop

Recently laid off or at a career crossroads? Join URL Media experts on Friday, Jan. 20 at 1 pm ET for a free workshop on topics including building a wealth cushion and portfolio career, how to ace your resume and what employers are looking for. Attendees at our December session loved our breakout rooms, so this is one you’ll want to attend live. Register here for the webinar, and don’t forget to subscribe to our career newsletter!

 Our Founders 

Sara Lomax-Reese, CEO of WURD Radio, media entrepreneur for almost 30 years, served as Program Lead for the inaugural Facebook BIPOC Sustainability Accelerator and is currently a 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 The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and has launched brands like Mint and Quartz.

 Our Partners 

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