Operation Charm City Leading The ‘Charge’

Veterans with the national nonprofit, The Mission Continues; active-duty personnel; and community volunteers came together the third week of June this year for one week to participate in Operation Charm City Charge, a project to beautify parks and transform vacant lots on Baltimore’s Westside into places of peace and pleasure where residents are able to enjoy the outdoors and their surrounding safely.

The Mission Continues has been active in Baltimore for the last four years. Operation Charm City Charge is their team-based program in collaboration with local organizations, including: Highland Park West Community Association; I Step Forward Recovery Program; Baltimore City Police Department Western District; and Operation Safe and Clean.

For more information about The Mission Continues or how to become a community partner, visit: info@missioncontinues.org.

Running for Exposure

Twenty-four people are running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. From where I sit, at least half of them are only running for exposure, for the Vice-Presidential nod, for Cabinet secretary, to push a platform, or to simply be seen. Their ambitions have made the process turgid and impractical, often amusing and only sometimes illuminating.

The candidates do best when they have time to expound on their ideas, as they did at Rev. William Barber’s Poor People’s Congress on June 17, or at Rev. Jesse Jackson’s National Rainbow Coalition International Convention June 28-July 2. Barber’s meeting drew nine candidates, each who had the opportunity to give a four-minute speech and 26 minutes of questioning from Rev. Barber.

The Rainbow PUSH gathering drew seven candidates who had about 15 minutes to address those assembled. Vice-President Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Mayors Bill Di Blasio and Pete Buttigieg had press conferences with Rev. Jackson. Senators Harris and Booker did not attend Rev. Jackson’s meeting, although Harris did get to Rev. Barber’s and pledged to support a debate dedicated to poverty issues.

With a crowded field and calendar, it is clear that everybody can’t be everywhere, but I’d like the two African American Senators to explain why they snubbed Rev. Jackson, a leader who provided the very foundation for them to run for office.

Memo to Andrew Yang; Marianne Williamson; Montana Governor Steve Bullock; Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam; and a few others, what are you running for, really? You’ve got ideas— doesn’t everybody? But you have about as good a chance of being President as the proverbial snowball has a chance of surviving Hades. You’ve raised a little money, and you’ve got a skeleton staff. Why not sit home and write op-eds about your good ideas? Somebody will publish them.

Memo to California Congressman Eric Swalwell— age baiting is neither thoughtful nor cute. It’s fine to tell Vice-President Joe Biden to “pass the torch” once, but to say it more than once seems like badgering and makes you look like a junior high school heckler. Biden should have come back at you for hedging your bets. You told the San Francisco Chronicle that, while you are running for President, you haven’t closed the door on keeping your congressional seat. You have until December to decide, you say. Do us all a favor. Decide now!

Memo to Beto O’Rourke. Just like the South lost the Civil War, you lost the Senate race in 2018. Losing a statewide competition is hardly the foundation for a successful Presidential run. You were a nondescript Congressman who sponsored little legislation, a Democratic sensation mainly because you came close to toppling the odious Senator Cruz. But what do you stand for other than white male exuberance, jumping up on tables with the wild hand gestures? Run for Senate in Texas again. Maybe you’d win and really make a difference!

Memo to Julian Castro. Don’t patronize your own community by speaking Spanish poorly. I think Latino people care more about your policy positions than your Spanish language ability. Good move in going after Beto O’Rourke in the debates on immigration issues. Wrong move in missing the Poor People’s Congress after confirming that you’d be there.

Memo to Vice-President Biden. You’re better than your act, better than your debate performance, better than your wandering, long-winded speeches. I know you’ve been doing you for a long time, and the wordy gaffes seem to work for you. Actually, they don’t. There’s nothing wrong with saying you made a mistake, nothing wrong with apologizing to Anita Hill, which you haven’t done yet, nothing wrong with talking about busing unapologetically. If you don’t get your act together, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are going to make mincemeat out of you.

It’s only July, seven long months before the February 3, 2020, Iowa caucuses. Only eight months before the delegate-rich Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020, when at least 15 states, including Texas and California, will hold primaries, and 1321 Democratic delegates will be up for grabs. It’s the beginning of July, and by month’s end, there will be yet another debate with 20 people on the stage in two clumps. We won’t learn much at these debates, because they are less debate than guided conversation with interruptions and outbursts.

What we must know, even at this point in July, is that all twenty-four candidates aren’t running for President. At least half of them are simply running for exposure, and most of the nation is not paying attention. Can you name all 24 candidates without the use of Google? Probably not. I got to 21 before I had to check. I left out Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, and Montana Governor Steve Bullock. They’ve made quite an impression! Running for exposure is a costly venture and a Constitutionally guaranteed right. I’m not so sure it’s a good idea, at least where some of these candidates are concerned.

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest project MALVEAUX! On UDCTV is available on youtube.com. For booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info, visit www.juliannemalveaux.com

It’s Like Father Like Son For Ravens Wide Receiver Joe Horn Jr.

Anyone who has been an earnest fan of the NFL will see a blast from the past when the Baltimore Ravens rookies report for training camp next week.

Undrafted free agent Joe Horn Jr. will be one of the wide receivers to take to the field. Like his son, Joe Horn Sr. was a long shot to make it in the NFL.

Horn got his start in professional football when he landed on the practice squad for the then Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He then spent 1995 with the Shreveport Pirates and Memphis Mad Dogs before being selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of 1996 NFL Draft. Horn caught on with the New Orleans Saints and made it to four Pro Bowls.

Almost 25 years later, the younger Horn is looking to take a more direct path to the NFL in the same city that introduced his father to professional football. Horn Jr. has a striking resemblance to his father. The rookie out of Missouri Western State only posted 15 receptions for 246 yards in 11 games against Division II opponents but he did enough to earn himself an invitation to camp. The coaching staff were impressed with him.

“Joe Horn Jr. looked really good. I guess the thing that struck me about him was he looked like Joe Horn. His son looks like him: quick, fast, really good hands, in and out of his breaks,” Head Coach John Harbaugh told ESPN during rookie minicamp.

The elder Horn was a stickler for proper technique. Before he tried out for the CFL, Horn obtained, a Jerry Rice workout tape, so he could study the drills and learn the technique that Rice used in the video. Playing with proper technique helped him play well enough to earn a spot in the Saints Hall of Fame.

The technique that he played with was passed down to his son. It showed during rookie minicamp when Horn excelled on the football field with the same #87 that his father wore.

“You can tell he worked with his dad a lot on technique. I thought he looked excellent,” Harbaugh said.

The Ravens have a young group of receivers, so landing on the final 53-man roster is going to be tough. Horn will give it his best shot and see how things workout. Who knows, perhaps his first experience, as a pro will be on a practice squad for a Baltimore professional team just like his father.

More Than Wedding Bells And Babies, Baltimoreans See Homeownership As Sign Of Success

Americans as a whole and Baltimoreans in particular equate homeownership with being a “successful adult,” above getting married or having children, and are willing to do what it takes to make their homeownership goals a reality, according to a new Wells Fargo survey.

The Wells Fargo “How America Views Homeownership” survey was conducted by The Harris Poll from April 17 to April 29, 2019.

Key findings of the poll, conducted among 1,004 U.S. adults 21 and older and an additional 251 adults in the Baltimore metropolitan area, included:

•Seventy-five percent say they equate homeownership with being a “successful adult,” more so than having children (35 percent) or getting married (30 percent), and that homeownership provides a sense of responsibility (79 percent) and security (74 percent).

•More than four in five adults (83 percent) say they believe the benefits of homeownership outweigh any drawbacks.

•While most current homeowners (73 percent) had to make hard sacrifices in order to afford their home, nearly all say buying their home was worth all the sacrifice to save for it (93 percent).

•Nearly all homeowners (96 percent) agree owning a house provides more “bang for your buck” than renting in the long run.

•In addition, seven in 10 Baltimoreans (71 percent) say they would give up something to save for a down payment, including dining out (44 percent), going to events (44 percent) and vacations (36 percent), and 37 percent of Baltimore adults who are saving to buy or renovate a home say they have done work outside their primary job to help pay for it.

“Homeownership is part of the fabric of American life, defining communities and providing a base for families to live out their dreams,” Michael DeVito, head of Wells Fargo Home Lending, said in a news release. “As today’s consumers set out to achieve their homeownership goals, they are making smart financial decisions that position them— and the communities they call home— for long-term financial success.”

Baltimoreans cite financial concerns as the top barriers to buying, with nearly one in three (30 percent) identifying paying down consumer debt as the top barrier to buying, along with saving for a down payment (26 percent).

Baltimoreans also seem to have misperceptions about what it takes to increase their opportunity of getting a home loan, citing “perfect” credit (71 percent), being debt-free (74 percent), “having a lot of money in the bank” (62 percent) and having no student debt (45 percent). In fact, more than one in three homeowners (34 percent) say they never thought they would be able to purchase their own home, the survey revealed.

“Financial education represents a tremendous opportunity when it comes to helping more Americans achieve homeownership, and there are a lot of resources available to address the misperceptions that persist about homebuying,” said DeVito. “It is important to save and tend to your credit score, but you don’t need perfect credit, and there are low down payment loan programs designed to give first-time buyers a clearer path to owning a home.”

Baltimoreans also say they would be willing to make trade-offs in order to afford a home.

More than half of adults (52 percent) say they would be willing to buy a smaller house with fewer updates and amenities in order to afford a home.

Most say they would be willing to make logistical trade-offs for the chance to purchase a home, such as moving to a smaller city nearby (70 percent), accepting their second choice of a city or town (61 percent), or moving to a rural area (63 percent).

“The majority of Americans, including Baltimoreans, see homeownership as an investment in their future and as a key piece in achieving goals like financial health and security,” said DeVito. “It is a meaningful step that brings benefits not just to individual families, but also to the neighborhoods and communities they call home.”

P-TECH Carver, IBM Internship Help Students Toward Technology Careers

This fall, an estimate of more than 55,000 high school graduates in Maryland face the prospect of entering college or finding career-level work for the first time.

That daunting prospect has often left many wondering just how a student – or parent – is supposed to know where to find jobs or even internships that will help set them up for success in fast-growing fields like technology.

In Baltimore, De’Rell Bonner, an IBM on-site liaison for the P-TECH program at Carver Vocational-Technical High School, is working to help answer that question for interns this summer.

Bonner is responsible for matching local teens with the high-tech summer internships, apprenticeships and jobs of the future.

His job, reportedly one of just a dozen that exists nationwide, is to bridge the gap between classroom and career, providing students with mentors, arranging paid internships, scheduling workplace visits, facilitating practical training on topics like personal finance and counseling students on career goals.

De'Rell with Summer 2019 Interns Maniyah McBride (standing), (Seated): Kamal Adams (left)  and Gabriel Day.

De’Rell with Summer 2019 Interns Maniyah McBride (standing), (Seated): Kamal Adams (left) and Gabriel Day.

“This summer we have 11 students who are interning at IBM in a wide range of roles across several business units and learning everything from artificial intelligence to our global business sales,” Bonner said.

“There are options available to these students, but for all of the students, this is their first professional internship in the tech industry,” he said.

The six-week summer program which ends on Aug. 13 is an example of what IBM and P-TECH schools like Carver are all about.

Short for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, the P-TECH program offers a free associate degree in cybersecurity and assurance or computer information systems along with a high school diploma. through a partnership with Baltimore City Community College, Ultimately, the skills taught are designed to be aligned with the jobs offered to students who complete the program which are also key to the model.

Students work with leading professionals, are paired with an industry mentor, participate in paid summer internships, acquire industry certifications, and earn tuition-free associate degrees in STEM fields.

“There are really five key skills that we’re working with the students on over the course of the summer to really build and cultivate their competencies,” Bonner said.

P-Tech students and community members gather for a photo following a male empowerment event with non-profit Hello, My Name is King on the 23rd anniversary of the Million Man March.

P-Tech students and community members gather for a photo following a male empowerment event with non-profit Hello, My Name is King on the 23rd anniversary of the Million Man March.

“We recognize that for many of our students, this is their first professional experience and through partnering with the school, through being able to play a significant role at the school level, then thinking of their workplace learning opportunities, we are able to really ensure that these young people are developing technical competencies,” he said.

“Technology is changing every day. So what’s important is that we allow the students to really see – based on what they know, or the descriptions that they read – where their interests are,” Bonner said.

“Obviously we anticipate that technology changes and that their interests will also change,” he said.

With technology-related employment in the state growing – by more than 3,700 new jobs last year alone – the IBM internships at P-TECH Carver counts as crucial to the future of many.

“These young people have to seize the moment – and they are doing exactly that through these internships,” Bonner said.

“I start off by teaching them about what’s at stake and encouraging them to leverage this opportunity to change the scope of their life,” he said.

“Opportunities like these internships don’t come often … these young people could conceivably graduate with not only their high school diploma, but a free associate degree, and they will have the decision to go to a four-year university or they can apply for career opportunities,” Bonner said.

With hard work, he said it all pays off.

“I think it’s really important to help these students make their own future. IBM is committed to ensuring them that we will provide them with the opportunity,” Bonner said.

Free Speech Just Isn’t That Complicated

It’s hard to believe we need to have this conversation in this day and age. But if we don’t keep having it, at some point we might not be allowed to have it.

Question: What is free speech? Or, rather what is NOT free speech?

In 2017, former Vermont governor, presidential candidate and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean informed the American public that “[h]ate speech is not protected by the first amendment.” That’s one variation of the “hate speech is not free speech” claim.

Yes, “hate speech” is free speech— and yes, it is protected by the First Amendment.

On July 12, 2019, speaking at a White House “social media summit,” President Donald Trump opined that “free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad. To me, that’s a very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech.”

Yes, calling something “bad” that Donald Trump calls “good” is free speech too, and yes, it is also protected by the First Amendment.

This shouldn’t even be an “issue.” It’s just not that complicated, folks. But for some reason we’re still MAKING it complicated.

Ever since the framers enshrined freedom of speech in the Constitution, Americans have struggled with what, if any, limits can be legitimately placed on that freedom.

The law and the courts have carved out limited exceptions for things like speech “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action,” “true threats of violence,” and knowingly false speech aimed at defaming a person’s character or defrauding others in a commercial sense (e.g. “I’m selling you one ounce of gold” when it’s actually one ounce of lead with gold paint on it).

There are plenty of reasonable arguments to be had about what, if any, exceptions to unfettered freedom of speech might make sense.

But when it comes to matters of opinion, the only reasonable position is that you’re entitled to have opinions, and to express them, period.

Even if Howard Dean thinks they’re “hateful.”

Even if Donald Trump thinks that he is “good” and that you’re making him look “bad.”

Even if they make someone feel angry or to use the latest non-specific catch-all complaint, “unsafe.”

We don’t have to agree with others’ opinions. We don’t have to like the manner in which others express their opinions. We don’t even have to listen to other people when they express their opinions. But we don’t get to stop them from expressing their opinions. Not even if we’re Howard Dean or Donald Trump.

In anything resembling a free society, that’s just not negotiable. And no politician who argues otherwise should ever win an election to the position of dogcatcher, let alone governor or president.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in North Central Florida.

Transformative 5G Technology Arrives

The next wave of technological evolution has arrived in the form of 5G, a new generation of mobile networks where at least four major telephone carriers in America – AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint – have put forth plans to introduce this year.

Reportedly, AT&T has even started trials with 5G mobile hotspots in 12 cities.

“The first generation was all about being able to just talk on the phone where ever you were,” said Candice Brackeen, the co-founder and executive director of Hillman Accelerator, which supports women and minority led tech companies in Cincinnati to provide them with access to education, seed funding, mentorship, and networks.

“And then we had 2G that allowed us to use a little bit of text messaging. Then, 3G was faster, we had the smartphone and suddenly everybody had it in their hand,” Brackeen said.

“Then, we had 4G and now, the fifth generation is super-fast and responding in real time and we now have the ability to have devices speaking to each other,” she said.

The technological advances are transformative and can significantly change what it means to be connected, Brackeen said.

She noted that it can transform communities and also reshape the digital economy.

Experts said when compared to 4G, 5G means far faster downloads, significantly reduced response times, and a massive impact on how everyone lives, works, and plays.

“So, the internet is now going to work the way we all want it to work in a mobile version,” Brackeen said.

“That’s kind of where we’re going. The ability for your car to really understand what’s happening as we all aspire to have self-driving cars … those cars now will be able to interact with those around them and make real decisions,” she said.

The importance of providing African Americans and others with information on 5G was underscored in June when Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes hosted a news forum without any grant or funding.

Rolark Barnes said the said she held the forum because “this issue is important” and residents across the city, especially in the predominately African American communities that lie east of the Anacostia River, needed the information.

The early reviews for 5G include CNET’s description:

“On its surface, 5G is about astounding speeds and almost zero latency – the lag time between when your phone pings the network and when it responds. But on a global scale, it represents political dominance and economic might.”

Earlier this year, Samsung’s first 5G smartphone in the U.S. became available exclusively on Verizon for a limited time.

According to a news release, Verizon revealed the names of 20 cities that join Chicago and Minneapolis where customers will get access to its 5G Ultra-Wideband network this year, with more to come throughout 2019.

Those cities, which include Washington, D.C.; Charlotte; Boston; Atlanta; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis; Phoenix; Providence, Rhode Island; San Diego; and Salt Lake City; are the world’s first to get Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband mobility service.

The bottom line is that everyone should be excited about 5G, Brackeen said.

“I’ve got children. And for me, when the internet is slow, sometimes I don’t have happy children in the house when the internet is slow – we’re not learning, homework doesn’t get done,” Brackeen said.

“So we can all be excited about reliability. And I know that I just upgraded my house within the last 60 days to 5G. And, you know, the video games work faster. My streaming services work faster. And I’m not having any downtime,” Brackeen said.

“I can work from home versus working from my office where there is fiber. And so the reliability is what I think is what we should all be excited about. I think that’s what we should be most excited about is the reliability,” she said.

To celebrate the transformative new technology, officials have launched “Faces of 5G” with the hopes of educating the public on the innovations already taken place today and the possibilities of tomorrow.

Click here to meet the Faces of 5G and to learn more.

Ravens Defensive Back Cyrus Jones Hosts Free Camp In Baltimore

Baltimore Ravens defensive back and return specialist Cyrus Jones is holding his first youth football camp on July 13, 2019, hosted by his newly formed organization, The Cy. Jones Foundation. Having a camp at his former high school in Baltimore is a homecoming for the Gilman School graduate.

“It’s something I always wanted to do. I felt like this was the perfect time for it. Being back home, going into my fourth year has given me an opportunity to be in the community a lot more,” Jones said about the camp.

The camp will have a few special speakers to offer positive words in addition to the football drills the kids will take part in. It’s important to make sure the kids receive a message while they’re dialed in at camp.

Jones said he saw a lot of people doing camps and charging kids. He wanted to make sure his camp was free so anyone could attend. Even though the camp is free, the kids attending will receive lunch and a t-shirt.

Dick’s Sporting Goods and Whole Foods as sponsors of the camp, according to Jones.

Jones, a Baltimore resident remembered when he was a youngster and went to former Ravens linebacker Ed Hartwell’s football camp at a field where his Pop Warner team played. He was excited to meet one of the Ravens. He is looking forward to providing that same sense of excitement at his camp.

“It’s very genuine being out there in an organic setting and being able to see young kids in the same position I was in not too long ago trying to achieve something,” Jones said. “Giving them a chance to have fun and be around NFL guys, I know how much that meant to me when I was younger.”

The Cy. Jones Foundation aims to serve as a beacon of light for younger people of Baltimore, who are otherwise exposed to difficult circumstances.

“My foundation is going to be an organization to help shape the minds and provide hope for the younger generation,” Jones explained. “Growing up in Baltimore, I tell people I wasn’t the only one with gifts. A lot of my homeboys had opportunities but for whatever reasons, they didn’t take advantage of it. They didn’t have people behind them to lead them in the right direction and keep them in the right direction. I want to provide an impact where I grew up.”

Jones enlisted the help of Amani Scott ESQ to get the foundation up and running. Scott is proud of Jones’ vision, especially the things it will open up to Baltimore youth.

“Using his platform and name as an athlete as a doorway to opportunities for these young people to get involved in workshops and programs with STEM education is something that I’m really proud of with him. It’s not just about football camps. He has been exposed to a lot, now he’s turning around and offering the same opportunities of exposure to these young people,” Scott said.

Jones’ foundation will hold a back to school drive in addition to community outreach projects during the holidays. He is looking to partner with other groups to offer new programming that will open up educational opportunities to young people in Baltimore. The organization’s goal is to unlock and expose youth to dreams that go beyond just athletics.

“We want to introduce the young people of Baltimore to the world and what it has to offer!,” Scott added.

Reimagining City Dock Speaker Series Continues

Autonomous vehicles (driverless cars) are coming! What does that mean for Annapolis? Join Dr. Tim Chapin, Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University, for a thought-provoking conversation on how historic communities can integrate autonomous vehicles and shared mobility into their transportation systems and the built environment.

Dr. Chapin’s lecture will be held on July 16, 2019 at 7 p.m. at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts located at 801 Chase Street in Annapolis.

Sponsored by Historic Annapolis, the City of Annapolis, Maryland Hall, the Downtown Annapolis Partnership and Severn Bank, the lecture is free and open to public.

Reservations are required and can be made at: www.marylandhall.org.

Women’s Suffrage Forged By Founding Sisters: Happy Birthday To Ida B.

“The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.”

So proclaimed Ida B. Wells-Barnett, who fearlessly shined a light with words on the abominable dark days after slavery and into the 20th century.

Journalist, publisher, author, activist, and suffragist leader, Ida B.’s spirit soars. July 16 marks the 157th anniversary of her birth. Blood, sweat, and ink sealed her legacy and the future of a nation still struggling to be whole.

Ida B. revered the Black Press as an organizing tool. Though her newspaper The Memphis Free Speech was destroyed by racist mobs, she was never silenced. During her life, she would publish three newspapers and authored “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases” and “The Red Record,” investigative reports that remain definitive sources on racist violence more than 100 years later.

Small in stature but huge in courage, Wells, an emancipated slave, joined a cadre of Black contemporaries— scholars, activists, and thought leaders— who pledged to change the trajectory of bondage and demand that Black women have a voice.

They defy the cliché’s and caricatures planted in popular culture with their searing voices. Their cadence would not be paraphrased or translated into the often quoted “Ain’t I A Woman” reprise. But forever burdened by their womanhood and Blackness, their path – then and now – is littered with obstacles.

Educator and writer Mary Church Terrell observed, “Nobody wants to know a colored woman’s opinion about her own status [or] that of her group. When she dares express it, no matter how mild or tactful…, it is called ‘propaganda,’ or is labeled ‘controversial.’”

Poet, teacher and Baltimore abolitionist Frances Ellen Harper was among the suffragists who pleaded the case for linked fate unity.

“We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity,” she said. “Society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members without receiving the curse in its own soul.”

These Founding Sisters forged civil rights organizations with Black men, sororities, and service clubs with their women peers, and joined “woke” white women against lynching and disenfranchisement and for education and economic development.

It was Ida B. and a coterie of black women publishers, writers, and teachers of the era who led the movement for universal suffrage even when black women were shunned and excluded.

Nonetheless, women’s suffrage, deeply rooted in abolitionism, is depicted in a single dimension as the jumpstart for the white feminist/voting rights movement.

Regarded as social reformers, white suffragist— many of them supporters of abolition— confronted a fork in the road, conflicted between the “Negro question” and universal suffrage.

With passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870 granting black men voting rights, universal suffrage would be sacrificed on the altar of patriarchy and white supremacy. Defended or oversimplified, the words of Susan B. Anthony, crowned the mother of women’s suffrage, illustrate the entrenched stranglehold of whiteness.

Though she counted abolitionist Frederick Douglas as an admired cohort, Anthony’s contradictions can only be measured today in the context of racism and exclusion.

“I would sooner cut off this right arm of mine before I would ever work for or demand the ballot for the black man and not the woman,” she said. One might conclude that she was seduced by the divide-and-conquer tactics of the male proponents of the 15th Amendment. But Anthony’s view was widely embraced by the White women’s suffrage movement.

Her friend and suffrage leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton, arguing against the 15th Amendment, protested: “It’s better to be the slave of an educated white man than of a degraded black one.”

One year away from the centennial of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, how much ground have we gained as women and a nation? How much of the conversation about gender equality denies the overlapping impact of white nationalism, patriarchy, and privilege? Where and when do the voices of black and brown women enter?

But first and foremost, when do black women get the recognition that they have earned in their unbroken march to freedom?

Our compass should be guided by that path forged by Ida B. Wells and other courageous black women whose intersectional quest to make America stand upright changed the world.

This opening salvo embraces Suffrage. Race. Power. Spurred by my collaboration with a small collective of women that is black-led, cross-generational, and supported by “woke” white women, we’ve named ourselves “Founding Sisters.” This space will offer regular

installments that honor our Founding Sisters of the last centuries and spotlight the unfinished business of Suffrage. Race. Power.

To kick it off: Happy birthday Ida B.!

Gwen McKinney is President and Founder of McKinney & Associates Public Relations, for which she is responsible for translating the vision of “public relations with a conscience” into a sustained, bold and tested suite of communications services and activities. She is also the founder and lead collaborator for Suffrage.Race.Power.