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America On Fire - Where Do We Go From Here?

Updated: Jun 10



As the country continues to navigate its way through an unprecedented global pandemic and the widespread civil unrest following the May 25 death of George Floyd, the unarmed Minneapolis man who lost his life while in police custody, Dr. Phil leads a discussion with prominent members of the Black community analyzing the recent events and what may have sparked them.

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ARRAY 101 is a new online education initiative created by Ava DuVernay’s company that shares dynamic social impact learning guides for the company’s films and television series with students all over the world free of charge. Described as supplemental learning materials for teaching students grade nine and above, including adults, the learning companions will be a resource to anyone looking to expand their knowledge of social justice and advocacy.


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched Talking About Race, a new online portal designed to help individuals, families and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader American culture.


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How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change This article by former President Barack Obama shows how we can further drive the momentum around this call for change...and build positive strategies to support this heightened wave of activism that’s taking hold. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo For white and non-Black people who feel they don’t know how to start having these conversations, Oluo has generously provided a resource about how to be honest and thoughtful in examining not just racism in the world, but also white people’s own role in it.


How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi The title says it all: historian Ibram Kendi reorients the discussion of racism to focus on the act of fighting against it; it's not enough to be a passive opponent. Weaving in accounts from his own life, Kendi expounds on the consequences of racism and white supremacy in our public and private spheres, exploring the ways racism manifests within and across demographics, and shows the reader what antiracism looks like and can achieve. In praise for the book, author Ijeoma Oluo describes Kendi's work as “vital,” adding, “As a society, we need to start treating antiracism as action, not emotion — and Kendi is helping us do that.”


Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt Stanford psychology professor Jennifer Eberhardt exposes the hidden racial biases that directly affect our lives — biases built into, among others, political, educational, medical, justice and financial systems in the US. It’s a scientific, analytical and personal examination of these widespread prejudices, as well as an empowering and even hopeful guide for ways to help dismantle them. In praise for the book, Bryan Stevenson said Biased “presents the science of bias with rare insight and accessibility, but it is also a work with the power and craft to make us see why overcoming racial bias is so critical.”


White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo Antiracist educator DiAngelo explores the defensive and aggressive reactions white people have when they’re confronted with the reality of racial inequality and the ways they enable it. DiAngelo breaks down the idea of white fragility, identifying its related emotions (anger, fear, guilt) and its counterproductive behaviors (argumentation, silence), explaining how these behaviors allow for white supremacy, and outlining ways to more earnestly and constructively engage in antiracist work. Poet and playwright Claudia Rankine describes it as “a necessary book for all people invested in societal change through productive social and intimate relationships.”


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Written as a letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ son, this nonfiction book details the realities of, and author’s personal experiences with, being Black in the United States, and how it infiltrates everything from school to the streets. It posits that white supremacy is something that will never be eradicated, but instead a force Black people will always have to navigate.


The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives by Shankar Vedantam In a series of compulsively readable narratives, Vedantam journeys through the latest discoveries in neuroscience, psychology and behavioral science to uncover the darkest corner of our minds and its decisive impact on the choices we make as individuals and as a society. Filled with fascinating characters, dramatic storytelling and cutting-edge science, this is an engrossing exploration of the secrets our brains keep from us — and how they are revealed.




Congressmember Karen Bass was re-elected to her fifth term representing the 37th Congressional District in November 2018.

Congressmember Bass serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where she is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressmember Bass is also working to craft sound criminal justice reforms as well as protect intellectual property right infringements that threaten the economic health of the 37th District. Congressmember Bass also serves as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.


During her fourth term, Congressmember Bass solidified leadership positions on two issues very close to her heart: reforming America’s foster care system and strengthening the United States’ relationship with Africa. In her first term, Congressmember Bass created the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth along with co-chair U.S. Representative Tom Marino (R-Pa.), and intends to examine national standards of care in the child welfare system.


In January 2013, President Obama signed into law the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA) which was the first major piece of legislation shepherded through the House under the Caucus’ leadership. USA makes it easier for caregivers to access educational records so they can assist foster youth with school enrollment and provide additional academic support in an effort to reduce school dropout rates. Since 2012, she has joined Members of the Caucus for a Nationwide Foster Youth Listening Tour traveling the nation to examine best practices and the challenging conditions that foster youth face in our country. She is also a co-chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Coalition on Adoption.


On Africa, Congressmember Bass acted swiftly during her first term to bring legislators, advocacy groups and international leaders together to extend the third country fabric provision of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The provision supports stability, development, and economic growth of sub-Saharan African countries by protecting jobs in the apparel sector and providing some of the best markets for American businesses to sell their goods and services.


In an effort to be responsive to the people in her district, Congressmember Bass created the Congressional Council, which provides an opportunity for constituents to learn firsthand about the issues in Congress and how to become involved in the legislative process. The Council, composed of all volunteers, seeks to engage other District residents in public policy, both domestic and internationally.


Prior to serving in Congress, Congressmember Bass made history when the California Assembly elected her to be its 67th Speaker, catapulting her to become the first African American woman in U.S. history to serve in this powerful state legislative role. Congressmember Bass served as speaker during California’s greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. In addition to helping to navigate the state through a very difficult time, she also championed efforts to improve foster care and quality healthcare for Californians. Also, under her leadership the Assembly fast-tracked federal economic stimulus legislation that aided Californians who have been affected by the national economic crisis as well as jumpstarted billions of dollars of infrastructure projects.


Before serving as an elected official, Congressmember Bass became interested in community activism as a child watching the Civil Rights Movement with her father. It was at that time that she made a lifetime commitment to effecting social change in her community and abroad. She worked for nearly a decade as a Physician Assistant and served as a clinical instructor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.


In 1990, in response to the crisis that was gripping inner-city America, which in Los Angeles was crack-cocaine and gang violence, Congressmember Bass started and ran the Community Coalition, a community-based social justice organization in South Los Angeles that empowers residents to become involved in making a difference. Through her leadership at the Community Coalition, Congressmember Bass worked to address the drug and violence epidemic and to engage community residents in addressing the root causes of injustice.


Congressmember Bass had one daughter, Emilia Bass-Lechuga and son-in-law Michael Wright. She continues to be inspired by Emilia and Michael’s passion for life. Emilia planned to follow in her mother’s footsteps working for social change. Congressmember Bass also has four step children.


She grew up with three brothers in the Venice/Fairfax area of Los Angeles and is the only daughter of DeWitt and Wilhelmina Bass. She graduated from Hamilton High School, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and the University of Southern California’s School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.

https://bass.house.gov/

https://www.facebook.com/RepKarenBass/

https://twitter.com/RepKarenBass




Sheriff Chris Swanson is a career police officer with experiences spanning more than two decades. He has served in a variety of positions,

including corrections, patrol, narcotics, criminal investigation, death investigation, and command operations. Some of his most notable assignments have been part of the executive protection for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and Vice Presidents Gore, Chaney and Biden.

Christopher commands the police honor guard, which has performed over 100 ceremonies across the state. He augments his police experience as a licensed paramedic and certified Medical Examiner Investigator. This training has led him to witness to some of the most heinous crimes and acts of violence one can imagine, including homicides, suicides, felonies, fatalities and drug overdoses. He shares these experiences to audiences across the country to make a positive impact their lives using lessons from the living and the dead.


Christopher Swanson holds both a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan, along with numerous national and state certifications.

https://www.gcsomichigan.com/undersheriffswanson

https://www.facebook.com/geneseecountysheriffsoffice/

https://twitter.com/CountyGenesee

https://www.instagram.com/gcsomichigan/?hl=en


S. Lee Merritt, Esq. commonly known as “the people’s lawyer”, is emerging as an influential new voice in the fight for Social Justice. A Civil Right’s activist and attorney,

Merritt runs a high profile practice focusing on victims of police brutality, hate crimes and corporate discrimination. As an activist, he has championed police reform and community empowerment. His office has led the way in reform in Texas, a state notorious for its failure to prosecute police officer, advocating for the first murder indictments of officers in the state in over 40 years. Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in the Summer of 2017, Merritt helped to launch the American Black Cross, a disaster relief organization geared to serve the most vulnerable sectors of society.


In 2017 Merritt was recognized as one of the top 10 most influential African Americans in the country ages 18 to 45 by The Root. The National Black Caucasus of State Legislators awarded Merritt the prestigious “Nation Builder” award, adding him to an elite list of recipients including President Barrack Obama, Shirley Chisholm and Vernon Jordan. Merritt Law Firm is a federally based practice that represents victims all over the country. Merritt holds licenses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of New Jersey, federally in Eastern District of Pennsylvania and US District Court of the Northern District of Texas. Merritt is a Cum Laude graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended law school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Temple University’s James Beasley School of Law. He began his legal career with the Cochran Firm Philadelphia before going into private practice. https://leemerrittesq.com/

https://twitter.com/meritlaw

https://www.facebook.com/Lee-Merritt-Esq-229680694170570/

https://www.instagram.com/leemerrittesq




Tamika D. Mallory is an activist, the founder of Mallory Consulting, and the national co-chair for the Women’s March. She is an advocate for stronger gun restrictions, equal rights for women, health care, and ethical police conduct.

Tamika has been applauded as “a leader of tomorrow” by Senior Advisor to former President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett and was selected to serve on the transition committee of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Her astounding, integrity driven leadership and campaign for equality and judicial reform has deemed Tamika a significant force amongst government officers, policy makers and other community advocates.


From her position as the former Executive Director of the National Action Network to her instrumental role in creating New York City’s Crisis Management System, an official gun violence prevention program that awards nearly $27 million to violence prevention organizations annually; Tamika is stitched into the fabric of the new revolution for civil rights. But, it was when Ms. Mallory stepped onto the public stage as one of four co-chairs for the Women’s March on Washington that she became internationally recognized as an integral voice for civil rights, social justice and the new wave of feminism. The Women’s March was recorded as having participation from 5 million people worldwide, thus landing Tamika on the 2017 Time 100 Pioneers list as well as Fortune’s 2017 list of the World’s Greatest Leaders.


As the president of Mallory Consulting, a strategic planning and event management firm, Tamika has worked with Fortune 500 corporations and organizations, on flagship projects related to mass incarceration, gun violence and police brutality. Tamika has made the fight for equity her life’s work and she continues this work as board member of The Gathering for Justice organization and an active constituent of the Justice League NYC. Tamika is a highly sought after speaker, who travels worldwide to speak on the issues plaguing our society and the actions needed to bring forth change. Tamika can be found on many multimedia platforms talking about her work, challenging policies and exposing social constructs that perpetuate injustice.

https://twitter.com/TamikaDMallory

https://www.instagram.com/tamikadmallory/


Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country.


He is currently the host of BET News and a political contributor for CNN. An award-winning journalist, Dr. Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.


Dr. Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University. Prior to that, he held positions at Columbia University and Morehouse College.



Since his days as a youth in Philadelphia, Dr. Hill has been a social justice activist and organizer. He is a founding board member of My5th, a non-profit organization devoted to educating youth about their legal rights and responsibilities. He is also a board member and organizer of the Philadelphia Student Union. Dr. Hill also works closely with the ACLU Drug Reform Project, focusing on drug informant policy. Over the past few years, he has actively worked on campaigns to end the death penalty and to release numerous political prisoners.


Ebony Magazine has named him one of America’s 100 most influential Black leaders.

Dr. Hill is the author or co-author of four books: the award-winning Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity; The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black life in America; the New York Times bestseller Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on The Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond; and Gentrifier. He has also published two edited books: Media, Learning, and Sites of Possibility; and Schooling Hip-Hop: New Directions in Hip-Hop Based Education.


Trained as an anthropologist of education, Dr. Hill holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) from the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the intersections between culture, politics, and education in the United States and the Middle East.


http://twitter.com/marclamonthill

https://www.facebook.com/marclamont

http://instagram.com/marclamonthill


(Photo ID l-r:) Dr. Phil, Genesis, Haskell and Cynthia Jackson, Akeem and Malachi; Erica Chandler.



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