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Blame and the fear of our children

I received an email from one of my column’s readers, and felt strongly enough about his concerns to address them in this column. His thoughts follow: “In my hometown, senseless murders are being committed by youth, and these senseless murders are occurring all across the country. Where are our youth learning the behaviors to be violent, heartless, thoughtless, and murderous? That’s the question we must imme ...

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Zone 8 goes all out for Detroit students

On Aug. 2, back to school fever will sweep 500 Detroit children in the Zone 8 neighborhood on Detroit’s west side. Yusef Shakur, founder of Restoring the Neighbor to the Hood, has organized the neighborhood’s 10th backpack giveaway from 1-6 p.m. at 2243 Ferry Park. In addition to the giveaway, there will be live entertainment and free food for all. “Everyone talks about what’s wrong with Detroit,” Shakur sa ...

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Bipartisan jobs bill tackles urban and youth unemployment

Just when it seemed Congress was no longer capable of working together on any level to serve the best interests of the American people, on July 9 members of both parties in the House of Representatives joined forces to pass a new bipartisan jobs bill, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. With the passage of WIOA, millions of unemployed and under-employed workers and urban youth of color can now rec ...

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Charity: Christian value expressed by the Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution as a purpose of our government

So, once again, the Reaganites and the Tea Party Republicans, who have made cutting welfare to the poor one of their major aims, are not only anti-American, but un-Christian, denying the Christian value of charity is in the U.S. Constitution. They claim that the U.S. is a Christian nation, but the one Christian principle on which the Founding Fathers did found the nation, the Tea Party Republicans violate a ...

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In Brazil, soccer may star, but social issues set the stage

I have always been infatuated with Brazilian soccer, as well as Brazilian culture. As a die-hard soccer fan and a Greek American, when the opportunity came for me to see the United States and Greece play in the World Cup, I jumped at the opportunity. Planning my trip, I began to learn about the public unrest in Brazil surrounding the World Cup and upcoming Olympics. While as an activist in organized labor I ...

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‘Apartheid Avenue’ two blocks from the White House

Diplomats who abuse their immunity from prosecution to keep their “imported” domestic workers as virtual slaves are a repeated scandal. What has not gained as much media coverage and public exposure is the flagrant abuse of sovereign immunity by international organizations. For decades, the World Bank, the third-largest employer in our nation’s capital, has sustained racially discriminatory practices. And w ...

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Neighborhoods Day has something for everyone

For eight years now, Arise Detroit has transformed the fleeting glory of a summer day into an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the Motor City. Arise Detroit’s Neighborhood day corrals service efforts and family friendly activities in almost every single of Detroit’s zip codes to show the sum of neighborhood-driven, micro-local projects can be massive. Since its inception, Neighborhoods Day has suppor ...

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SIDEWALK FESTIVAL OF PERFORMING ARTS RETURNS TO BRIGHTMOOR WITH MUSIC, DANCE AND COLOR

The second annual Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts returns Aug. 2, bringing performance art, visual arts and music back to Detroit’s Old Redford/Brightmoor neighborhoods. From 3 p.m. until sundown at Lahser just north of Grand River, dancers, musicians, actors, painters, poets and more will come together in celebration of Detroit’s cutting edge creative community. ...

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BACKPACK MUSIC FEST TO COLLECT SCHOOL SUPPLIES

The 9th Annual Backpack Music Festival will be held at Belle Isle, Aug. 2, for a day of music, art, education and summertime family fun. The event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Serendipity, Collage and Potpourri (SCP), an organization that works with public and charter schools, churches and community organizations to help provide basic school supplies to children in need, and will feature a notable lin ...

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Building an institution out of an old house on Ferry Park

Passing cars on slow down to wave at Yusef Shakur who is sitting on the steps of 2431 Ferry Park eating his lunch. A young man passes. He, too, connects with Shakur. “I ain’t too good,” the young man says. “Come back and talk to me,” Shakur responds. The young man nods. The west side neighborhood where Shakur lives and grew up in is known to many as Zone 8. The area struggles with the structural poverty and ...

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