Congratulations Council Member Rodney Streeter—2020 Recipient Phyllis Campbell Newsome Award
District 7 Council Member Rodney C. Streeter is the honored recipient of the 2020 Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award, which highlights the work of elected and non-elected officials who have gone above and beyond in partnership with the nonprofit sector to ensure more vibrant communities. Upon accepting the award, presented virtually on Thursday, November 19, by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement during its 41st Annual Celebration honoring nonprofits, Council Member Streeter noted, “The work of your organization and the nonprofit community is paramount to the viability of all communities. Let us continue to progress and thank you for your firm partnership and able advocacy.” Each year, the Center honors four public officials with this award. One official is recognized from each of the jurisdictions the Center supports including, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia.
—Council Connections, November 20, 2020
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FSC First Selected by Citi Foundation to Receive a $500,000 Grant
By PRESS OFFICER
Largo, Md. (November 20, 2020)—County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and the Board of Directors of FSC First are pleased to announce that FSC First has been selected by Citi Foundation as one of 30 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) nationwide to collectively receive $15 Million in grants.
Citi Foundation announced the grants are funded to support CDFIs efforts to provide small businesses with the vital resources needed to sustain their operations and support economically vulnerable households impacted by COVID-19. The CDFIs, which will each receive $500,000 in unrestricted funding, were selected through an open Request for Proposals application process based on their strong track record of serving small businesses owned by people of color and underserved individuals and communities.
Kenneth L. White, Chairman of the Board, said, “the FSC First Board of Directors thanks Citi Foundation for this new partnership to further our mission to increase our funding capacity and provide creative and innovative business financing solutions to small businesses in the State of Maryland.”
“We are so pleased to be selected for this generous award”, stated Shelly M. Gross-Wade, President & CEO of FSC First. “This endorsement of the great work we do at FSC First encourages us to continue pivoting to provide increased access to capital for our local businesses greatest impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The grant proceeds will be used to fund Loan Loss Reserves and support FSC First efforts to deliver enhanced technical assistance and increased awareness of its direct loans and grant opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses, while also supporting the automation and integration of its loan processing systems.
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ChildWatch: Words to Live By
I recently received a note from my dear and evergreen friend Maria Nhambu with wise counsel that has circulated for many years under titles like “The Balance Sheet of Life” and “Things We Should All Know.” In a world where so much is uncertain and confusing this message is timeless and includes tenets of all the great faiths that help bind us together as human beings:
The most destructive habit: Worry.
The greatest joy: Giving.
The greatest loss: Loss of self-respect.
The most satisfying work: Helping others.
The ugliest personality trait: Selfishness.
The greatest “shot in the arm”: Encouragement.
The greatest problem to overcome: Fear.
The most effective sleeping pill: Peace of mind.
The most crippling disease: Excuses.
The most powerful force in life: Love.
The most dangerous act: Gossip.
The world’s most incredible computer: The brain.
The worst thing to be without: Hope.
The deadliest weapon: The tongue.
The two most power-filled words: I can.
The greatest asset: Faith.
The most worthless emotion: Self-pity.
The most beautiful attire: A smile.
The most prized possession: Integrity.
The most powerful channel of communication: Prayer.
The most contagious spirit: Enthusiasm.
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To Be Equal: National Urban League Is Working with a Landmark Coalition of Black Medical Professionals to Ensure a COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe and Equitably Distributed
“Because of the racial inequities we have built into our essential systems, they have become combustion engines of misery. The virus flows freely in high-risk areas like holding cells, police encounters, low-wage workplaces, and public transit. The pistons of residential segregation, generational poverty, and targeted disinvestment along racial lines apply pressure … We can only defeat this pandemic by accepting those essential truths, and making the choices to shut down the engines of misery for good.”
—Phillip Atiba Goff, Amelia M. Haviland, Tracey Lloyd, Mikaela Meyer, and Rachel
Warren; authors of the Center for Policing Equity’s COVID-19 Modeling Project
This week, just as the nation reached the tragic milestone of more than a quarter-million deaths from COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control revealed that Black, Latino, and Native American people are being hospitalized at nearly four times the rate of whites.
Just a day after the CDC’s findings were reported, Stanford University researchers published a study that found more than half of hospital deaths from COVID-19 were Black or Hispanic patients.
Bringing the pandemic under control in the United States starts with controlling it in the worst-hit communities. And that starts with the guidance and expertise of Black health professionals.
For the last several months, a task force formed by the nation’s oldest Black physicians group has been monitoring the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The National Medical Association’s task force of infectious disease and immunization experts has been reviewing data to confirm the strength of scientific evidence and that diversity is represented in clinical trials.
“We’re really doing this to be a source of trusted information for our physicians and our community … in order for us to speak to the safety and allocation within the African American community,” NMA President Dr. Leon McDougle told CBS News.
This week, the National Urban League joined forces in that effort, initiating a first-of-its-kind conversation between Black journalists and a coalition of Black health professionals including NMA, the Black Coalition Against COVID-19 have partnered with Meharry Medical College, Howard University College of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, the National Black Nurses Association and BlackDoctor.org.
On December 10, we will present a town hall on the development and potential distribution of a vaccine.
The National Urban League has repeatedly demanded that any vaccine distribution plan avoid the mistakes that were made with test distribution in the spring. Rather than rely largely on private physicians and chain pharmacies—largely absent from poor Black neighborhoods—distribution must incorporate community-based providers like churches and other faith-based organizations, community centers, and Urban League affiliates.
The equitable framework for vaccine allocation developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that “special efforts are made to deliver vaccine to residents of high-vulnerability areas.”
The first of the framework’s four phases include people with underlying conditions such as cancer, serious heart conditions, or sickle cell disease, that put them at significantly higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease or death. African Americans are disproportionately represented among this group. As the National Academies noted:
Black, Hispanic or Latinx, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with higher rates of transmission, morbidity, and mortality. This reflects the impact of systemic racism leading to higher rates of comorbidities that increase the severity of COVID-19 infection and the socio-economic factors that increase likelihood of acquiring the infection, such as having front-line jobs, crowded living conditions, lack of access to personal protective equipment, and inability to work from home.
While we are making every effort to plan for an equitable vaccine distribution plan, it’s important to remember that there is no vaccine right now. FDA approval may be imminent, but it hasn’t happened yet. Until a vaccine is available our best chance of survival is to mask up, and avoid large gatherings.
Avoiding large gatherings is a bitter pill to swallow during this holiday time, when we’re missing our friends and family, especially after more than eight weeks of social restrictions. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel, and we’re working to make sure it shines equally on Black America.
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