Friends and colleagues were blowing me up this morning asking me if I had seen Erykah Badu’s Window Seat video shot in Dealey Plaza. I now see what all the fuss was about. You will to when you watch Ms. Badu giving us a different view of Downtown Dallas.
So far there have been no reports of damage related to this morning’s 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Haiti. This underscores why most Haitians are sleeping outside rather than take the chance of being caught in buildings that may be affected by aftershocks.
The Texas Social Innovation Initiative is a regional, state and national collaborative to stimulate social innovation throughout Texas. The initiative has kicked off with a pilot project in North Texas and a partnership between the One Star Foundation: Texas Center for Social Impact, Root Cause, a nonprofit consulting firm in Boston and Dallas Social Venture Partners, a venture philanthropy model of impact investors. Together, their efforts have leveraged more than $100,000 to the North Texas region to help identify, strengthen and amplify the efforts of social innovators throughout the region.
On Wednesday December 9 at 10:30 CST, during the Governor’s Nonprofit Leadership Conference, Business Boomer’s live webcast will feature a distinct panel of leaders to discuss collaborative efforts that stimulate socially innovative activities in order to help answer this question:
How will Sonal Shah, head of the White House Office of Social Innovation create a national agenda sparked by efforts on the ground that can spread across the country and line up with other successful global initiatives such as the United Kingdom’s Office of the Third Sector and Canada’s growing Centers for Social Innovation?
Anne DeHaro, Public Affairs Director and host of Clear Channel Radio, will be facilitate a discussion and field questions from an online audience as she interview panelists Andrew Wolk, CEO of Rootcause, Elizabeth Darling, CEO of One Star Foundation, & Stacy Caldwell, Executive Director of Dallas Social Venture Partners.
From the Office of the President
H1N1 Flu Guide Helping Community and Faith-based Organizations across the Country
To help keep communities healthy during the flu season, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (Partnerships Center) led by Alexia Kelley and with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released an H1N1 Flu guide specifically targeted to help community and faith-based organizations. Flu season is in full swing, and communities are finding innovative ways to spread awareness through community outreach programs. LINK
Initial Results Show Pregnant Women Mount Strong Immune Response to One Dose of 2009 H1N1 Flu Vaccine
Healthy pregnant women mount a robust immune response following just one dose of 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine, according to initial results from an ongoing clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health. LINK
H1N1 Flu Resources for Parents/Educators
ED has issued new guidance for school officials regarding the disclosure of personally identifiable information when addressing an H1N1 flu outbreak. See this and other guidance, videos, Q&As, and more. LINK
Green Jobs Grants, Seizing the Opportunity of a Clean Energy Economy
Today the Department of Labor announced nearly $55 million in grants to help workers, many in underserved communities, find jobs in expanding green industries. As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, these grants reflect the administration’s long-term commitment to fostering both immediate economic growth and a clean energy future. It’s an investment that will help American workers do well, while doing good. LINK
Obama Administration Releases New Date On Making Home Affordable Program, Includes State-Specific Modifications to Date
WASHINGTON – Recently, the Obama Administration released the next monthly report for the Making Home Affordable (MHA) loan modification program. As part of an ongoing commitment to transparency, the report includes for the first time state-specific trial modification numbers. With more than 650,000 modifications under way across the country, the program is on track to meet its goals over the next several years. LINK
From OVW Acting Director Catherine Pierce
As we commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, there is no better time to renew our commitment to ending gender-based violence right here in the United States and there is no better time to strengthen our partnerships. LINK
Fiscally Responsible Health Reform Redux
Every two weeks or so, there seems to be a story ringing the alarm bells over the fiscal dimension of health reform. As I’ve said time and again, the President is committed to signing a health reform bill that is deficit neutral in the first decade — and deficit reducing thereafter. The legislation under consideration in the Senate and the bill passed Saturday by the House both meet these tests. LINK
SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES ALMOST $35 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR DISTANCE LEARNING AND TELEMEDICINE PROJECTS
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that 111 projects in 35 states have been selected to receive more than $34.9 million in grants to increase educational opportunities and expand access to health care services in rural areas. The funding will be provided through USDA Rural Development’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program. LINK
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES FOOD PURCHASES FOR DOMESTIC NUTRITION PROGRAMS, ASSISTS PORK, CHERRY, PLUM AND APPLE FARMERS
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced USDA’s intention to purchase $82.6 million worth of pork, cherry, plum and apple products for federal food nutrition assistance programs. Vilsack made this announcement today at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual convention. LINK
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES THAT USDA AND DEFENSE DEPARTMENT WILL PARTNER TO SUPPORT MILITARY CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA will partner with the Department of Defense to form the Extension-Military Partnership, which will bring the extension expertise of land-grant universities to military family support programs. USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Rajiv Shah made the announcement today at the National Leadership Summit on Military Families. LINK
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES NEARLY $56.2 MILLION IN LOAN ASSISTANCE TO HELP RURAL BUSINESSES
Guaranteed Loans Provided Through Recovery Act Funds Will Help Strengthen Rural Businesses and Communities Throughout America
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $56.2 million in loan guarantees to assist 12 rural businesses though funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. LINK
US Department of Labor’s OSHA provides workplace H1N1 influenza precaution and protection information for workers and employers
New Web site offers fact sheets with practical information
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued commonsense fact sheets that employers and workers can use to promote safety during the current H1N1 influenza outbreak.
The fact sheets inform employers and workers about ways to reduce the risk of exposure to the 2009 H1N1 virus at work. Separate fact sheets for health care workers, who carry out tasks and activities that require close contact with 2009 H1N1 patients, contain additional precautions. LINK
Secretary Sebelius Releases New Report on Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America
As the nation marks American Diabetes Month, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a new report today, Preventing and Treating Diabetes: Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America. The report comes one day after Sebelius toured the East Manatee Family Healthcare Center in Bradenton, Fla. At the center, Secretary Sebelius held a roundtable discussion with Floridians with diabetes. LINK
HHS Secretary Calls on States and Communities to Get Health Coverage to Uninsured Children
Conference Kicks Off National Outreach Campaign
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today called on states and communities to join with HHS to redouble efforts to find and enroll the 5 million children who are currently eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but are not yet covered. The Secretary issued this call to action as she opened the National Children’s Health Insurance Summit in Chicago, kicking off the nation’s largest campaign to find and enroll uninsured children in over a decade. LINK
Arkansas Man Sentenced on Civil Rights Charges in Cross Burning Conspiracy
Dustin Nix of Donaldson, Ark, was sentenced today in federal court in Fort Smith, Ark, on federal civil rights charges related to a conspiracy to drive a woman and her children from their home because they associated with African-Americans. Nix was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, three years of post-incarceration supervision, a fine of $5,000, and a $200 special assessment. LINK
ADMINISTRATION CALLS ON CONGRESS TO APPROVE KEY HOUSING MEASURES
WASHINGTON, DC – Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan called on Congress to approve three important measures to improve housing and the housing market for Americans: extension of the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit for a limited period, extension of higher loan limits for home mortgages, and secure funding for the Housing Trust Fund. LINK
Highway Investment Hits $20 Billion
Recovery Putting People to Work on Investments with Long-Term Benefit
WASHINGTON – The Federal Highway Administration crossed the $20 billion mark in approved obligations for highway, road and bridge projects this week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today. Of the $26.6 billion available for federal highway and bridge projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more than 75 percent has now been obligated. LINK
Deputy Secretary Poneman: Recovery Act Putting Americans to Work and Accelerating Important Work at Savannah River Site
Launches video highlighting the jobs created at SRS through Recovery
Aiken, South Carolina – At a community breakfast in Aiken, South Carolina today, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman discussed how funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is accelerating environmental cleanup work at the Savannah River Site and creating or saving thousands of jobs in the area. Additionally, he discussed how the Recovery Act is putting Americans to work helping weatherize homes and improve energy efficiency in communities throughout Georgia and South Carolina. LINK
DOE and USDA Select Projects for more than $24 Million in Biomass Research and Development Grants
Washington, DC – The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy announced projects selected for more than $24 million in grants to research and develop technologies to produce biofuels, bioenergy and high-value biobased products. LINK
U.S. Department of Education Opens Race to the Top Competition
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today released the final application for more than $4 billion from the Race to the Top Fund, which will reward states that have raised student performance in the past and have the capacity to accelerate achievement gains with innovative reforms. LINK
Economic Security and a 21st Century Education: Secretary Arne Duncan’s Remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Education and Workforce Summit
Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to discuss the state of American education—which in some ways is one and the same with the American economy. I believe that the quality of our education system says as much about the long-term health of our economy as the stock market, the unemployment rate and the size of the gross domestic product. LINK
Principals and teachers from 321 schools came to Washington, D.C., this week to celebrate being named 2009 Blue Ribbon Schools. LINK
$1.4 Billion in Recovery Funds Now Available for Pennsylvania to Save Jobs and Drive Education Reform
Application for Part 1 of Pennsylvania’s State Stabilization Funds Approved Today
U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that $1.4 billion is now available for Pennsylvania under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This funding will lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs at risk of state and local budget cuts. Pennsylvania will be eligible to apply for another $514,403,320 later this fall. Today’s funding is being made available per Pennsylvania’s successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available on April 1. LINK
President Obama Launches Major Veterans Employment Initiative
On Monday, the White House announced the launch of an initiative designed to transform the federal government into the model employer of America’s veterans. LINK
EPA’s Energy Star Program Hits Major Milestone: 1 Million Energy Star Homes Built in the United States / Houston, Dallas and Las Vegas top the list for most Energy Star homes
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today reaches a milestone for the Energy Star program by passing the 1 millionth Energy Star qualified home mark. With more than 15,000 partners in sectors all across the economy, Energy Star has been enormously successful at saving consumers money by reducing the energy usage of products used in the home and office everyday. Since the program began labeling new homes in 1995, Americans have saved $1.2 billion on their energy bills, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 22 billion pounds. This year alone, families living in Energy Star qualified homes will save more than $270 million on their utility bills, while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from about 370,000 vehicles. LINK
EPA Soliciting Applications for Environmental Justice Grant Funding
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting grant applications for a total of $1 million in funding for projects aimed at addressing environmental and public health issues in communities. EPA expects to award approximately 40 grants of up to $25,000 each and will accept applications until January 8, 2010. Local governments and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.
Statement from Administrator Mills on Continuing Support for Small Businesses through SBA Recovery Programs
WASHINGTON – SBA issued the following statement today from Administrator Karen Mills regarding efforts to ensure continued funding for two key provisions in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009:
“Over the course of the last few months, the Obama Administration has announced several steps to ensure the continued recovery of small businesses, including our commitment to working with Congress to increase maximum loan sizes for the 7(a), 504 and microloan programs and plans to make access to capital from government lending programs easier for small banks in communities across the country. LINK
In Case You Missed It…
Web Chat on H1N1 and Diabetes
Experts from HHS and the CDC held a web chat this week about perils of H1N1 and diabetes. If you missed the live broadcast, visit the video archive “Know What To Do About The Flu” at www.flu.gov to catch it as well as other recent programs examining common concerns about the H1N1 flu virus and vaccine.
SBA Administrator Mills Takes Your Questions on Small Business and the Economy
SBA Administrator Karen Mills discusses lending and other issues affecting small business in the economic recovery during a special online discussion. LINK
Stories of Interest
Black Enterprise.com – Obama Planning Jobs Summit
As unemployment figures continue to rise, the American public is losing hope about job prospects. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that their optimism has reached a new low, and only 8% of Americans believe that now is a good time to find a job. For months, Republicans have criticized their Democratic colleagues for not placing enough emphasis on job creation and voters in New Jersey and Virginia recently seconded the emotion by choosing the Republican candidate in their gubernatorial races earlier this month. LINK
EURWeb.com – Senate healthcare bill hits Obama cost target
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate healthcare reform plan to be unveiled on Wednesday meets President Barack Obama’s goals on costs and deficit reduction, budget analysts said, a finding that could boost its chances in a sharply divided Senate. LINK
BlackAmericaWeb.com – Urban Affairs Chief: Cities Getting the Focus
The head of the White House Office of Urban Affairs said the Obama administration is moving forward with its ambitious plan to revitalize metropolitan centers across the country, with a special focus on transportation and education. LINK
Esssence.com – A Spot of Tea with the Military
With the President in Asia for a series of diplomatic trips (meeting today with the President of South Korea), First Lady Michelle Obama’s been keeping busy. This morning she visited a Virginia middle school to highlight a USDA initiative on nutrition and physical education, and later hosted a tea in honor of women in the military. LINK
You don’t have to be a fan of classical music to enjoy this great clip from the White House Evening of Classical Music as Cellists Alisa Weilerstein and 8 year-old Sujari Britt perform Luigi Boccherini’s Sonata for Two Cellos in C Major, 1st movement: Allegro moderato. Ms. Britt is once again proof that we can do anything we put our minds to, and she will make you smile from ear to ear. Enjoy. LINK
The Marvalus One has thrown out a doozie this week. The only direction: I had a crush on. There are a lot of candidates: Tracy Spenser, Shanice, Salt & Pepa, Dawn from EnVogue. But I had to go with the following:
Vanessa Williams – Just For Tonight
Who didn’t love Vanessa Williams? She was probably my second celebrity crush after Vanity.
The Jets – I’ve Got A Crush on You
12/13 year old Shawn had a crush on both of the fronts to this cheezy crew. Not a bad little jam though, I’ve played it a couple of times this morning.
My mom forwarded some healthcare commercials that she received in her inbox and I thought a few of them were pretty good. Wanted to share 3 of them with the fam.
How to Tell You need Healthcare Reform
Choose the Public Option
Texas A&M University-Commerce athletic director Carlton Cooper has named Darren Schneider as the head men’s track and field coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Schneider comes to A&M-Commerce after spending the last 10 years at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. At UW-Whitewater, Schneider built the men’s program into perennial national title contenders. He guided the Warhawks to 17 top 20 national meet finishes in indoor and outdoor competition. In 2004, UW-Whitewater accomplished its highest-ever indoor national finish with a second place performance at the NCAA Championships. In addition, the men’s program has placed third in the nation at the outdoor NCAA Championships in both 2004 and 2006.
Also at UW-Whitewater, Schneider’s athletes have earned All-American honors 93 times including nine athletes have been crowned as individual NCAA Division III national champions. In 2002 and 2007, Coach Schneider was named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
In addition to his success on the track and field, he was instrumental in the development of the $15 million Kachel Fieldhouse that served as the 2004 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. He was also involved in the $7 million outdoor athletic facility transformation. Upgrades included a new track and field facility, which included a 1,700-seat stadium structure with a press box, a nine-lane Olympic caliber competition track with lighting, and a scoreboard that was completed in the fall of 2008.
Prior to taking over the UW-Whitewater program, Schneider was the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for three years (1996-99). He also worked with the Truman State University men’s cross country and track and field as well as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University. Prior to entering the collegiate coaching ranks, he coached at Knox County High School in Edina, Missouri and Lafayette High School in St. Louis, Missouri.
He has bachelor’s degree from Truman State University, master’s degree from the United States Sports Academy. ??Schneider and his wife, Shella have two children, Reed and Granton.
FORT WORTH, Texas – American Airlines announced today it is launching a first-of-its-kind social networking site, BlackAtlas.comSM, which combines the best features of a travel site with the power of social networking to create a dynamic online community for travelers to share experiences unique to the black community.
User content will be anchored by travel video blogs and commentaries from author, filmmaker, television producer and world traveler, Nelson George, who will serve as the BlackAtlas.com travel expert at large. Unique travel content for the site is currently being collected at BlackAtlas.com. The site is scheduled to fully launch later this month.
“I love to experience new cities, new food and meet new people. I love the thrill of discovering black culture everywhere, and so many African Americans feel the same way I do,” said Nelson George. “I want to entice more people to hit the road by giving them a different, and hopefully fresh, angle on travel through BlackAtlas.com.”
Through blogs and discussion boards, users will be able to share travel stories, videos and photos and provide travel tips. They will also be able to rate or make recommendations of popular destinations and businesses, connect with other travelers with similar interests, answer questions based on their personal travel experiences and build travel itineraries based on user recommendations.
“We at American Airlines see BlackAtlas.com as an important connector, enabling an online community of travelers to share information about their favorite places for experiencing African-American and Black culture, food, music, literature, history and events across the globe,” said Roger Frizzell, American’s Vice President – Corporate Communications and Advertising.
“As we created the site, we also found a wealth of little-known facts about African-American and Black cultural and historical contributions in every corner of the world”, said McGhee Williams Ossee, Burrell Communications’ Co-CEO. “From a Jamaican restaurant in Milan to Santa Monica’s Ink Well Beach, there are uniquely African-American experiences enjoyed by travelers around the world. BlackAtlas.com is a forum that encourages travelers to share these stories and gives them the opportunity to better plan their next trip with a few key activities or places in mind.”
Site users will be able to share content across social networks, create profiles, rate content, save content to Favorites, create downloadable travel guides, contribute unique text, video or photos, and link to promotional fares on AA.com. Initial site content will be divided into destination/city-specific and category-specific information, such as travel tips, restaurants, nightlife, culture, arts and museums, historic sites, beauty and barber shops, and places of worship.
American Airlines developed BlackAtlas.com in partnership with Burrell Communications and Juxt Interactive.
For more information, please visit our electronic press kit at http://media.blackatlas.com.