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  1. A VISIT TO DC CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

    On Wednesday, April 14, 2015, I sat in the DC City Council chambers during a vote concerning Corizon Health Care and Unity Health Care. Six years ago Unity was awarded a sole source, no bid, non-competitive contract for $66m to provide medical care to inmates at DC Jail.  DC Mandate states that 35% should be set aside for Certified Business Enterprise (CBE), which most often are African American and disadvantaged. Unity never honored this DC mandate which Mayor Marion Barry, Calvin Rolark and John Wilson, among others, fought so hard to ensure minority participation.


     Corizon has been awarded this $66m contract six times and six times it has been blocked by DC Council members. DC Procurement officials and staff recommended that Corizon be awarded this contract, as well as support from former Mayor Gray and Mayor Bowser. So why is DC City Council disregarding their recommendations and the law?

    Corizon selected MBI, a Certified Business Enterprise, to be the recipient of the 35% set aside award. MBI currently work with returning citizens through support services, training and jobs. 35% set aside award would definitely allow MBI to increase its services to returning citizens, a community in dire need of immediate support.

    Unity is currently providing services on a month-to-month basis. Unity would like to retain this $66m contract and has not honored nor have stated that they will in the future follow DC Mandate to award 35% to a CBE.

    Strong opposition states the number of lawsuits that Corizon has received nationwide. Since Corizon has hundreds of thousands more clients in prisons than Unity, it stands to reason they would have more lawsuits. It is unfortunate that lives have been lost. Oh, and did I mention, Unity also has been granted immunity from being sued.

    All contracts over $1m must be approved by the DC Council. How was this contract approved without the competitive bidding process? 

    Saying NO to this contract is disregarding the 35% DC Mandate. This sends a chilling effect not only to CBEs but to the minority community. Certified Business Enterprises and returning citizens know all too well this type of treatment. Squeezed out and left out. Business as usual. Is this good government?

    The four (4) African American DC Council members and Jack Evans voted YES to Corizon. Six votes were needed.

    It reminds me when we, as African Americans won the right to vote. We'd arrive at the polling booths and be drilled on impossible questions to answer to justify not obeying the law.


     America, America, God shed His Grace on Thee. 

    Mertine Moore Brown
    MELM People Relations
    202.460.4653
    Mertine@MELMPR.com

  2. The topic of the show was President Obama.  What are your thoughts on the job that the President has done thhus far?  He has done some things, but he has dropped the ball on other things.  What do you think that he could do or could have done to help our people?  
  3. Police Brutality has gone entirely too far.  What does it say to the general public when the Justice Department allows SEVERAL back men to be killed in their own neighborhood and nothing is done.  
  4. The show for today was in honor of Marion Barry, DC Mayor for Life.  The guests for this show were Tyrone Parker of the Alliance of Concerned Men and Sidney Davis, former Metro Driver and Returning Citizens Activist. They spoke about the many things that Marion Barry had done for the City and what he had planned to do for the holidays for the families East of the River.  Mayor Barry had planned to give out turkeys today at Union Temple Baptists Church. This gesture of love will still be done despite his death.  

    Also on December 1, 2014 there will be a march honoring Marion Barry, walking from 900 Pennsylvania Avenue (The Justice Department) to 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue (The Old District Building, now Wilson Building) carrying a casket in honor of Marion Barry.  A Rolls Royce will lead the procession and everyone is asked to wear green, as green was the color that Marion wore during all of his campaigns. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser also used green and white as her campaign colors.

    It was stated that Marion Barry was the very first ELECTED Mayor of DC.

    If you'd like to honor this great man, please do so and post your comment.
  5. Today's radio show was about Kodie Brown, the youngest survivor of domestic violence in the District of Columbia.  We also had Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds on the show with Mr. Torray and his wife, Nancy.  It was a very interesting show and can be heard on the WPFW 89.3 FM Pacifica Radio.  To listen to past shows, go to www.wpfwfm.org, then go to archives and find Crossroads.  On August 23, 2014, there will be a Domestic Violence Community Fun Day hosted by the Selina and Kodie Brown Foundation.  What are your thoughts?  Do you think that educating the public is a way to reduce the rate of domestic violence?
  6. The show was about DC in the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's. The guests were Kenny Brown and Steve "Foots" Bolten.  These gentlemen talked about the impact of gentrification on sports in DC.  There used to be basketball legends in DC, on the playgrounds, the basketball courts and the streets. The guys talked about how the coaches and teachers were almost like family and made sure that the children of the neighborhood got the education they deserved before they started talking about playing sports.  What is your take on this issue and how do you think we can resolve this old problem?

    What happened to this type of comraderie?  Where are the neighborhood mentors now?  Why aren't the church members, the teachers and the neighborhood folk taking time out for the youth?  Is there something that we, as a community can do?  If you have answers, let us know.
  7. Crossroads 89.3 FM Pacifica Radio was a great show on August 5, 2014.  The guest for the radio show was Barry Lenoir, President of the United Black Fund.  Roach Brown, host and moderator of Crossroads asked Mr. Lenoir about the history and purpose of the United Black Fund.  This exchange led to the history of The United Black Fund, The United Way and The Combined Federal Campaign.  Mr. Brown and Mr. Lenoir both talked about how each federation works and what they do.  It was a very informative show and spoke to the non-profit organizations that need assistance and can't get it because of the requirements of the programs that a non profit organization must have $50,000 in annual revenue in order to obtain any monies from The United Giver's Way or United Way. Mr. Lenoir talked about the purpose of the United Black Fund and their mission.  He also talked about going to the neighborhoods and helping those small non-profit organizations right where they are.  
  8. Crossroads Radio Show on WPFW 89.3 FM Pacifica Network was a very special show on Tuesday, July 29, 2014.  The topic for the show was Dr. Eddie Ellis.  Dr. Ellis transitioned and this phenomenal brother was honored by Roach Brown, host; Tyrone Parker of the Alliance of Concerned Men; Dr. Divine Pryor, Director of the NuLeadership on Urban Solutions and Nkechi Taifa of the Open Society.  Each one of these distinguished people spoke on the spirit of Dr. Ellis and what he meant to them.  It was touching to hear such high esteem about one of our very own; a returning citizen who actually coined that phrase and one who taught people of color how to think.  It was indeed a blessing to hear all of the magnificent things that this brother accomplished, but even more, his work continues on through his organization, the Eddie Ellis Academy for Human Justice.
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Washington Post Article:  Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

Washington Post Article: Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

The Washington Post

March 18, 2016

Memorial service to be held for celebrated, controversial Frances Cress Welsing.
Psychiatrist and author Frances Cress Welsing was known for her controversial views on race. (Elvert Barnes/elvertbarnes.com)
By Hamil R. Harris March 17 at 10:32 PM  
When family members, friends, and colleagues of Frances Cress Welsing began planning a memorial service for the psychiatrist and author who devoted her life to studying racism and its root causes, they knew they would have a tall order trying to capture her impact.

She was both celebrated and controversial, but never wavering in her belief that the persistent struggles of people of color were the results of the racism they had endured. Welsing died Jan. 2, a few hours after suffering a stroke. She was 80.
Welsing provided psychiatric services to D.C. government agencies and institutions for 27 years. She also maintained a private practice in the District beginning in 1967, counseling patients until days before her death.
Several of those she helped, such as motivational speaker and radio host Roach Brown, say they owe her their lives.
In 1965, Brown was a 21-year-old inmate at the D.C. Department of Correction’s prison in Lorton, Va. A year earlier, he and two other men had been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a “local fence in a dispute over the price of hot jewelry,” Brown said.

[The price of redemption]

No weapon was ever recovered, and Brown, now 72, has always maintained that he was not the triggerman.
Welsing testified during his trial that his actions were consistent with someone whose environment had led to mental-health problems.
“They ended up giving me life in prison because Dr. Welsing spoke up on my behalf,” said Brown, who went on to start the prison theatrical group Inner Voices. “She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”
Brown, who had his sentenced commuted in 1975, will be among those in attendance at the memorial service for Welsing on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Metropolitan AME Church in the District. “Dr. Welsing turned me and other guys around,” Brown said. “She was our Harriet Tubman to get out of mental slavery.”

Welsing first gained notoriety in 1969 after she wrote an essay, “The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation and Racism (White Supremacy).” In it she theorized that racism was rooted in the varying degrees of melanin and the “color inferiority” of white people. She argued that the lack of melanin led white people to develop “hostility and aggression” toward people darker than themselves.
 “She had a theory about race and why white people do what they do and I dealt with the what,” said Neely Fuller, author of “The United Independent Compensatory Code System Concept: a textbook/workbook for thought speech and/or action for victims of racism (white supremacy).”

In her 1991 book, “The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors,” Welsing again looked at the origins of white supremacy and its impact. She wrote that “black males must help one another to understand that they are being led by the dynamic of white supremacy to inflict extreme damage upon themselves and each other.”

[Welsing’s work provokes different reactions]

“Dr. Welsing’s major contribution as it relates to black mental health was that she had the capacity to challenge the dominant prevailing thought of our society and she gave it the name global white supremacy,” said Kevin Washington, president of the Association of Black Psychologists.

Ray Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University and former director of the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University, said Welsing drew heavy criticism for her views, which she expected. She frequently engaged her detractors.

In 1974, she and Stanford University physicist William Shockley, who had argued that blacks were genetically inferior to whites, engaged in debate on the syndicated television show “Tony Brown’s Journal.”
Welsing was born in Chicago in 1935.Her father, Henry N. Cress was a physician, and her mother, Ida Mae Griffen, was a school teacher, and there were high expectations.
“We were taught that we were special,” said Welsing’s older sister, Lorne Cress-Love. “We were encouraged to read and discuss all types of issues.”

Cress-Love said their father and their grandfather, who also was a physician, were passionate about fighting for equality. “My father told us that our grandfather spent more time fighting for the race than practicing medicine.”
In 1957, Welsing earned a bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and in 1962 she earned a medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine. After graduation, Welsing completed a residency at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington. From 1968 to 1975, she taught in the pediatric department of Howard University’s Medical School.
 







Roach Brown
Motivational Speaker/Criminal Justice Consultant
© The Inner Voices
240.988.3548
Roach@ The Inner Voices.com