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Community (174)

PAL Center Hosts First Annual Community Cookout

The PAL Center hosted its first annual Community Cookout on Saturday, March 18th. It was a beautiful day of fellowship among good people, good music, and some great down home cooking. The invitation was extended to community members, students, and staff who assist weekly in the Food Distribution Program. There were 70 to 80 people who brought family and friends, in addition to students who participated earning community service hours and work experience. The event is our effort to say "Thank You" to the great people who contribute to building a better community. We believe in working collaboratively with organizations such as the Community Action Partnership, San Bernardino Valley College, and Westside Kinship Support Services who help make our work a success. To date the PAL Center has assisted 40 to 60 families on average, with boxes of food, and 15 to 20 students, parents, and citizen volunteers with community service opportunities every week. The PAL Center represents the family atmosphere of a village investing in the best interest of the people it serves through education, employment training, and outreach. This is a great way we can make a positive impact on everyone involved. "It's a win-win" says CEO Dwaine Radden, Sr. We recognize there is a large homeless population in this area, and poverty and hunger are two issues we can actually do something about. The PAL Center is proud to address these issues especially when it involves our youth and breaking down those obstacles that would hinder them from getting their education. If you would like more information about what we do, visit: www.palcharteracademy.com.

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The next Einstein?

Did you know that one of America's top physicists is a young woman by the name of Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski? She's a 22-year-old phenomenon who graduated from MIT with a 5.0 Grade Point Average and is now a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard where they call her "the next Einstein," reports the Association of Mature American Citizens.

In fact, Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the most celebrated minds in science, has Ms. Pasterski on his radar. Hawking has even cited papers she wrote on the topic of quantum gravity.

But Ms. Pasterski is known to be a down-to-earth individual who is embarrassed when people compare her to Einstein. As she puts it, "Sorry for the title; my mentors appear to have astronomically high hopes for me."

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New Report Calls for the Elevation of Black Women’s Leadership in Progressive Organizing and Social Justice Movements

Advocates to Release Curriculum at Black Worker Centers Nationwide

Community/Education News

Los Angeles—To close Women’s History Month, the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, and affiliate of the National Black Worker Center Project (NBWCP), released a pilot project report, “Black Space for Women: From LA Practice to National Model for Sister Empowerment,” that reveals what Black women experience as barriers to leadership in progressive organizing. The report also offers a set of seven curriculum-based activities, including Letters to My Sister, Focus Groups and a Wellness Wheel, to address the health and wellness of Black Women in the labor and social justice movements.

Findings show that inequities in areas including education, housing, healthcare access and wages, challenge the capacity of Black women to fully exert leadership. In LA County, for example, Black women struggle through a widening gender gap, as well as a racial wage gap. There, Black women represent 14% of low wage workers, which is higher than all white male and female low-wage workers combined. There is also a $5,000 race wage gap between Black women who hold managerial positions and work professional roles compared to their white counterparts. These are oppressive economic obstacles that limit professional and social mobility.

“Historically, Black women have been hardest hit by economic and social crisis,” said Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, UCLA Labor Center Project Director and LABWC co-founder. “Our legacy of leadership has inspired generations to fight, but most of the Black women leaders who participated in the Black Space for Women workshops had stories of backlash to their leadership ambitions.”

The report, an assessment of the Black Space for Women project, is a compilation of more than two dozen interviews, focus groups, workshops and research by the UCLA Labor Center. It is also part of a local and nationwide effort to transform current norms and practices into supportive pathways to Black women’s leadership.

The national goal is to develop a collective plan with the National Black Worker Center Project (NBWCP), a national network of nine Black Worker Centers in Baltimore, the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, LA, Mississippi, New Orleans, North Carolina, and Washington, DC, dedicated to addressing the multi-dimensional Black work experience.

“Enhancing Black women’s leadership incorporates the crucial mission of NBWCP’s recently launched #WorkingWhileBlack program,” said Tanya Wallace-Gobern, executive director for the NBWCP. “We have every intention of exposing the impacts of racial and economic injustice in the workplace, across the economic strata, regardless of geography, profession, skills sets, or income level.”

The report also cites unquantifiable barriers. During interviews and focus groups, participants answered a series of questions for discussions around personal experiences, involvement in social justice work, historical influences, role of Black women in the movement, life balancing, mentorship, and advice for sustainability in the work. They also described recent events that required healing. Several themes recurred including the LA jobs crisis, poverty, public perception, defying stereotypes, access to wealth and lack of trust among black women.

“I would like to see people go out there and regain what was took from us,” said Terri Green, LABWC leader activist and merchandiser. "There are so many things that we have done and accomplished that we do not get credit for. It is just time for us to get our rightful dues.” Green participated in the assessments for the report.

While the project initially centered at the LABWC, which is at the forefront of advocating for Black women in Los Angeles, the goal of Black Spaces for Women is to develop partnerships with women leaders at allied organizations to further understand these unique obstacles, advance strategies to overcome barriers, and grow Black women's leadership. Current partners of the LABWC effort include: SEIU Women and African American Caucuses and Summer Institute on Union Women.

“What we learned speaks directly to the challenges Black women face and why creating spaces for them to heal and gain support for their leadership ambition is imperative to elevating existing Black women leaders and developing new Black women leaders,” said Smallwood-Cuevas.

The next steps for the Black Spaces for Women includes fundraising to help refine the SPACEs model and sharing the curriculum with allies through the NBWCP affiliates across the country.

“Black Worker Centers play a critical role in grassroots progressive community organizing. Because Black women continue to be at the center of so many social justice movements, there should be dedicated spaces for them to heal, for fellowship with other Black women activists, and to help fulfill their ambitions to lead,” said Smallwood-Cuevas.

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Green Ribbon Award Goes to Kimbark Elementary

Students at Kimbark Elementary School see their environmentally conscious efforts as a way of life.

They recycle as much as possible, are vigilant about conserving water, and love spreading their concern for Mother Earth with other students from across the San Bernardino City Unified School District.

And, state officials are taking notice.

The California Department of Education recently recognized Kimbark Elementary as a Green Ribbon School, an honor that went to fewer than 30 public schools across the state. The award acknowledges schools that demonstrate exemplary achievement in three key areas: environmental impact, student and staff health and wellness, and environmental education. Kimbark was honored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson at a ceremony held at Redondo Union High School on March 3.

“These schools and districts serve as role models for their students in two important ways,” said Torlakson, who started his public service career as a high school science teacher and coach. “First, they manage their own facilities wisely by saving energy, conserving water, and reducing their impact on the environment. Next, they provide innovative education programs that teach students about nature, the importance of clean air and water, and how to make good choices to preserve the environment for future generations.”

As a magnet school with an environmental emphasis, Kimbark Elementary students have always focused on conservation as a way to reduce their impact on the planet, said Principal Mario Jaquez.

That focus became even more evident in the last year, when the state’s drought dried up one of two wells in the unincorporated, semirural community of Devore, where Kimbark is located. Students turned that near crisis into an opportunity to conserve water.

“Our students and parents understand why our grass isn’t green,” Jacquez said. “They know that we’re being water wise.”

Aside from significantly reducing its water use by 92 percent from 2013 to 2016, Kimbark Elementary also cut its greenhouse emissions by 40 percent as part of the District’s energy conservation program. And, plans are underway to decrease student’s reliance on plastic water bottles by turning to stainless steel, canteen-type bottles, Jacquez said.

Kimbark students are spreading their concern for the environment across the District by teaching other students to recycle. Recently, fifth- and sixth-grade students in the Kimbark Environmental Leadership Program, also known as KELP, visited Belvedere Elementary School in Highland to help children learn how to be better stewards of the environment.

This spring, Kimbark students will put on “Recycle,” an original musical funded by a $12,000 grant from the San Bernardino Fine Arts Commission.

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Grocery Outlet Celebrates Its First Anniversary in Southern California by Fighting Hunger

Emeryville, CA (March 1, 2017) – About 5.4 million people in California are affected by food insecurity1, which equals to 1 out of 8 Californians not having access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. As part of Grocery Outlet’s first anniversary in the Southern California market, the local independent operators from all 20 stores located in Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire launched a One-Year Anniversary Food Drive. Customers and employees will help address the issue of hunger by donating to those in need during the month of March. As part of Grocery Outlet’s commitment to making a positive impact in the community, the company will match up to $15,000 of the donations made by customers to contribute to the food banks.

“This initiative is a continuation of our commitment to being true partners of the communities we serve – from offering extreme savings up to 70% off on brand name products to raising awareness about food insecurity and the need to help address the issue,” said Brian Tademy, Senior Director of Field Marketing of Grocery Outlet. “This first year in Southern California has been marked by success and there is no better way to commemorate it than by helping families who struggle to access food on a daily basis.”

Throughout the entire month of March, Grocery Outlet will be collecting donations that will go directly to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino Food Bank (FARSB), three nonprofit organizations that distribute more than 101 million meals annually, assisting over 925,000 families and children each month.

Customers can make a difference by visiting their local Grocery Outlet store and participating in the One-Year Anniversary Food Drive by picking up a pre-made bag that is filled with an assortment of the groceries identified as part of the initiative. Customers can also ask their cashier to make a cash donation for $1or $5, which will go directly to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino Food Bank.

The initiative led by Grocery Outlet has been welcomed by those relentlessly fighting food insecurity. As stated by Michael Flood, CEO and President of Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, “the support from Grocery Outlet will provide hope for children, adults and seniors throughout our community who struggle with hunger, and will mobilize valuable resources around this serious issue.” In addition, speaking on behalf of the Riverside and San Bernardino communities, Stuart Haniff, MHA-Chief Philanthropy Officer for FARSB, said “hungry men, women, and children throughout will benefit from the food and funds collected.” Lastly, and to reinforce the messages from her counterparts, Nicole Suydam, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, expressed words of appreciation for the help provided by Grocery Outlet to help end hunger in Orange County and beyond.

This program will build on Grocery Outlet’s past efforts, including the ‘Independence from Hunger’ campaign, a national food drive that collected more than 2.2 million dollars for local food assistance agencies across the country, helping advance the company’s greater goal of touching lives for the better.

For more information, please visit www.GroceryOutlet.com.

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PAL Scholars Honor Black History

In a pair of unlikely events, PAL Scholars made history while honoring Black History.

On Saturday, February 25, 2017, two teams comprised of eight students in total represented not only PAL Charter Academy High School but the entire city of San Bernardino as they competed in the African American History and Knowledge Bowl hosted by the Phi Rho chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated at the University of California Riverside. Embarking on uncharted territory, Coach Christopher Love was able to prepare PAL Students: Lizbeth Aleman, Danielle Colley, Kenyatta Deshozier, Michelle Estrada, Jesse Hamilton, Edward Orrego, Angelina Robles, and Shamiya Tucker for competition in the weeks leading up to this event.

“This was fun, we definitely will be ready next year” reported student participants Jesse Hamilton and Shamiya Tucker. “These students have made us proud today as they competed with high school students from all over southern California. We banded together and made it happen. They have made me proud!” Coach Love added as he recapped the event. Unfortunately, neither of the PAL teams were crowned History experts on this day, but they have certainly laid the foundation to be a force to be reckoned with in next year’s competition of this annual event.

Equally as impressive was PAL Arts & Athletics uniting to support Cajon High School’s BSU Inaugural Black History Celebration on Monday, February 27, 2017. The collaborative effort allowed PAL scholars to showcase their artistic ability amidst the crowd of over 100 spectators. PAL performed their hit skit, “Have Faith” which was written and directed by Mr. Alex Avila of Avila Production (AP). This powerful piece was back by popular demand and Lizbeth Aleman, Devyn Graves, Jesse Hamilton, Brent Matthews, and Edward Orrego offered yet another stellar performance.

Coach Domonique White, PAL’s Athletic Director offered the following statement, “Faith was the culmination of the celebration of Black History. Our students were asked to do that which would stretch them from their comfort zone. They not only accepted the challenge but excelled in the opportunity and are eager to be challenged again. This has been a great way to conclude black history month at PAL.”

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Inland Empire Economy Under The New Trump Administration To Be Discussed At 2017 State Of The Region

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA – What does a Donald Trump presidency likely mean for the Inland Empire economy? The Inland Empire Economic Partnership’s (IEEP) Chief Economist Dr. John Husing and some of the region’s leading experts will reveal what challenges the region could expect under the Trump administration at the 2017 State of the Region Conference presented by Gerdau.

The gathering, considered the largest forum for economic issues in the Inland Empire, will be held Thursday, March 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels Ontario Airport, 222 North Vineyard Avenue.

“We in the Inland Empire could well be severely affected by the new Trump administration,” said President and CEO of the IEEP Paul Granillo. “It is incredibly helpful to have John Husing’s analysis and insight every year to assist us through the new challenges.”

Husing’s address, “The Inland Empire Economy in the Trump Era,” will cover the future economic impacts of the Trump administration for the region. A detailed analysis that will assist Inland business and government leaders for the upcoming administration will also be discussed at the event.

Featured speakers include San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford, AQMD Board Member; Mike Christensen, Senior Executive Lead for Supply Chain Optimization at the Port of Long Beach; and Dr. Harris Koenig, President of San Antonio Regional Hospital.

Husing says Trump's promises to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure projects could be very good for the Inland Empire's construction sector if the funding actually pans out, and if California can get its share.

“His ideas on manufacturing could help the region though for firms importing goods used in the production processes, challenges will steepen,” Husing said. “Meanwhile, key sectors including logistics, health care and residential construction could face considerable difficulties if tariff policies, changes in the Affordable Care Act or higher interest rates are implemented.”

The event starts at 11:30 a.m. with a networking session. Lunch will be served at 12 p.m. The program commences at 12:30 and runs until 2 p.m. Reservations can be made by going to http://2017sotr.eventbrite.com. Registration is $150 per person, and $600 for a table of eight.

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Aguilar Condemns Trump’s Latest Attack on Immigrant Community

Washington, D.C.— Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-San Bernardino) condemned President Trump’s anti-immigrant executive order to ban all refugees and ban travelers from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, which is only the president’s latest attack on the immigrant community.

“This new Muslim ban still would not have prevented the deadly terror attack in San Bernardino, nor would it have prevented any other domestic act of terror. Rather than focus on issues of national security that would make our country safer – like tracking and interrupting lone wolves who self-radicalize or dismantling how terrorists communicate on social media platforms – President Trump prefers demonizing refugees who have fled unspeakable violence,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “We cannot ignore that Donald Trump campaigned on and is now governing on an anti-immigrant platform. This new ban comes on the heels of numerous stories of Dreamers being arrested and detained unlawfully. This is the wrong approach to strengthening our national security, and will make our defense weaker, not stronger.”

Rep. Aguilar has been a vocal critic of President Trump’s anti-immigrant priorities. The president’s first executive order targeting refugees was ruled unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Rep. Aguilar remains committed to fighting to protect the immigrant community and working toward a bipartisan solution to solve the United States’ broader immigration crisis.

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A modern centenarian

"The first hundred years are the hardest. After that you just roll along," according to 103-year-old Edward Palkot, the father of TV newsman Greg Palkot.

Palkot, the younger, says his Dad is the very model of a modern centenarian, "living on his own, staying active with his own family and his girlfriend, Alice. He's also stayed very much 'plugged-in' to the 21st century via email, Facebook and even Twitter."

Palkot, the elder, is also quite busy on a book tour, promoting the new book, Aging Gracefully, in which he's featured along with 51 other not-so-grumpy old men of the 100-plus generation. In fact, he believes that if you want to grow old gracefully, "you have to think about positive things. If people are 'crabby' that's going to wear on you. So you should look for people who are pleasant."

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More Families Claiming California’s Cash-Back Tax Credit

Sacramento — The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced a significant jump in the amount of California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) dollars issued to low-income families compared to the same time last year.

As of February 25, the state has issued $132.9 million worth of CalEITC, a 50 percent increase over this time last year. About $88.9 million was issued at this point in last year’s tax season.

“This uptick is encouraging. These cash-back refunds boost the income of working Californians on the lowest rungs of the pay ladder,” said State Controller Betty T. Yee, chair of FTB. “With Tax Day approaching, we are working to ensure eligible families file taxes and claim the refunds they have earned. Thanks to all our partners working to spread the word.”

The number of CalEITC claims has also jumped, with about 212,000 credits issued so far, a 42 percent increase. Approximately 149,000 credits were issued by the end of February 2016.

Los Angeles County saw the largest uptick, with 13,782 more claims than the same time last year. San Bernardino County returns jumped by 5,631, and San Diego County returns rose by 5,488. A county-by-county comparison is available here.

CalEITC, a supplement to the federal EITC, is in its second year. Last year, a total of $200 million worth of CalEITC was shared among 385,000 families in the Golden State.

To claim the CalEITC and the federal EITC, eligible families need to file their taxes, which are due on April 18. Those earning less than $14,000 may qualify for CalEITC, while those with income less than $53,500 may qualify for the federal EITC.

To determine eligibility and find a free tax preparation site, visit CalEITC4Me.org.

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