Sunday, June 25, 2017

Gay Pride Parades Sound a Note of Resistance - and Face Some

Gay pride parades Sunday in New York, San Francisco and other cities are spotlighting resistance to what participants see as new pressure on gay rights, while contending with the prospect of protests over the events' own diversity and direction.

In a year when leaders are anxious about new President Donald Trump's agenda, both the New York and San Francisco parades will be headed by groups more focused on protest than celebration. In New York, grand marshals — including the American Civil Liberties Union — were chosen to represent facets of a "resistance movement." 

Click here for the full article. 

Chelsea Manning Takes Part in NYC Pride March

Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army Intelligence analyst who was sentenced to prison for sharing classified documents, on Sunday took part in her first Pride March since her early release last month.

The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted a picture of a smiling Manning on Sunday afternoon in New York City with the words: Happy first Pride March, Chelsea Manning! #NYCPride2017” 

Click here for the full article. 

Meet the NBC Out #Pride30 Change Makers & Rising Stars

Meet the 2017 NBC Out #Pride30 innovators, change makers and rising stars. In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, our inaugural list recognizes and celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people who are making the community proud. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

New York to Host Stonewall 50 / WorldPride in 2019

Illustration by Tom Mann

The Event Will Be the Largest International LGBT Pride Celebration Ever

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced efforts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in 2019. In June 1969, LGBT community members held spontaneous demonstrations at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, considered by many as the catalyst for the modern LGBT rights movement. As part of the state’s commemorative efforts, cultural events will be promoted statewide and New York will host the largest international LGBT pride celebration in 2019 – Stonewall 50 / WorldPride. 

"The Stonewall Rebellion was a decisive moment in both LGBT and New York history, and by remembering these events and the movement's continued efforts today, this state and nation will be stronger than ever before,” Governor Cuomo said. "The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, coinciding with WorldPride, helps us recognize the efforts of the early LGBT rights advocates as we welcome visitors from across the United States and around the world to visit New York and embrace the rich heritage found at every corner of the state."

Governor Cuomo will convene a Stonewall 50 Commemoration Committee to encourage and promote cultural events to be held throughout New York State in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. The committee will include representatives from state agencies, LGBT community groups, museums and cultural institutions, and tourism professionals.

In conjunction with Stonewall 50, New York City will host WorldPride, the largest international LGBT Pride celebration, in 2019. The event, held in various locations worldwide, features parades, performances and festivals that promote LGBT pride.

Governor Cuomo announced that New York State and I LOVE NY LGBT will activate at key international and domestic Prides, and other LGBT events, throughout 2017 and 2018 to encourage everyone to visit New York State for Stonewall 50 and WorldPride New York. This will be a joint effort between the organizers of Stonewall 50 / NYC Pride (Heritage of Pride) to promote travel to the event and the state.

The Governor also announced plans for an I LOVE NY LGBT Welcome Center in New York City for the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 Commemoration and WorldPride. The welcome center will provide visitors with information on New York State’s LGBT destinations and the Stonewall 50 activities happening statewide.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Governor Cuomo has made equal rights a priority for his administration since day one, and these initiatives will be a tremendous way to celebrate New York State’s role in the LGBT movement. I applaud the Governor for his continued commitment to the state’s tourism industry – particularly the efforts to welcome LGBT visitors – and look forward to the commemorations planned for 2019."

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The Gay Pride 2017 Dance Mix

A "From The G-Man" Special 

"Scorpio", aka From The G-Man managing editor Gary Glennell Toms, rocks the decks in support of the LGBTQ+ community, domestically and internationally, and the right for gay people to be treated with dignity and respect. Enjoy!

1. Born This Way (Secret Squirrels Remix) - A Scorpio Edit

2. The Player - First Choice (Mousse T & Boris Dlugosch Remix)

3. The Player - First Choice (The Moody Dub)

4. At The Club - Timmy Regisford feat. Lynn Lockamy (Morality Rates Extended Rework Mix)

5. Body - Timmy Regisford Mix (A Scorpio Edit)

6. Turn Me On - Nina Simone (Tony Humphries Vocal Remix)

This mix is protected under the "Fair Use Act" as a not-for-profit. All content and/or licenses owned by creators of the original work.

In addition, the artist, their estate, or owners of the original work will be duly compensated for the use of their work through YouTube advertising and/or monetization.

Cuomo Marches in 2017 New York City LGBT Pride Parade

  Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo marched in the 2017 New York City LGBT Pride Parade. The Governor also unveiled the design for New York's official monument honoring the LGBT community, those lost in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016, and all victims of hate, intolerance and violence. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Design for Monument Honoring the LGBT Community Unveiled

Click on image to increase its size.

Governor Andrew Cuomo today unveiled the design for New York's official monument honoring the LGBT community, those lost in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016, and all victims of hate, intolerance and violence. Anthony Goicolea was named as the artist for the monument, which will be located at the western edge of Greenwich Village, in Hudson River Park. 

"This stunning design complements the landscape and communicates a timeless message of inclusion, and this monument will serve as an enduring symbol of the role New Yorkers play in building a fairer, more just world," Governor Cuomo said. "From Stonewall to marriage equality, New York has always been a beacon for justice and we will never waiver in our commitment to the LGBT community and to creating a more just and inclusive society. This new monument will stand up for those values for generations to come."

Following the tragic shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 158, establishing the LGBT Memorial Commission, with the mission to design and build a new memorial in honor of the LGBT community and the victims of the Orlando shooting.  The Commission issued a request for proposals in October 2016, and all submissions were judged on their interpretation and clarity of the theme, creativity and originality of depicted theme, quality of artistic composition, site compatibility, and constructability, among other factors.

The site specific design works in harmony with the existing attributes of Hudson River Park and promotes thought and reflection while encouraging people to unite in a communal environment.  It will feature nine modified boulders, some of which are bisected with a clear, laminated, borosilicate-glass with refractory components that act as a prism to create subtle rainbow patterns on the surrounding lawn and nearby objects.

Anthony Goicolea said, "I am honored to join Governor Cuomo and the LGBT Memorial Commission on this important project to remember those who have been victims of hate, violence, and intolerance, while celebrating the beauty of the LGBT community. This monument will serve as a communal space filled with light, color, and hope where the visitors can sit, mourn, love, and remember for years to come.  I am grateful to the Governor and his administration for the opportunity to be a part of this historic moment."

Terry DeCarlo, Executive Director of the LGBT Community Center Orlando, said, "I was very proud to stand beside Governor Cuomo when he announced this memorial last June directly after the Pulse tragedy. It warms my heart to see it taking the next step today as the governor announces the designer of the memorial, Anthony Goicolea. Thank you for honoring and including us here in Orlando and I look forward to joining you, and all New Yorkers, in celebrating the memorial's completion."

The commission is comprised of ten members appointed by the Governor, and is overseen and coordinated by Counsel to the Governor Alphonso David. LGBT Memorial Commission members include:

Scott P. Campbell, Executive Director Elton John Aids Foundation;
Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation;
Cristina Herrera, Founder and CEO of Translatina Network;
Thomas Krever, Chief Executive Officer of the Hetrick-Martin Institute;
Kelsey Louie, Executive Director of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis;
Eunic Ortiz, President of the Stonewall Democrats;
Christine Quinn, CEO of Women and Need and marriage equality advocate;
Melissa Sklarz, Director, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund;
Beverly Tillery, Executive Director of the NYC Anti-Violence Project; and
Glennda Testone, Executive Director of the New York LGBT Community Center.

The Commission will work with the community and other stakeholders through the installation process.
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor Cuomo Delivers Remarks at New York City Pride Breakfast

SUNY SA Leaders March in New York City's Annual Pride Parade

 Student Assembly President Marc Cohen takes a selfie with student
leaders from across the system at the 2017 NYC Pride Parade. 
(Click on photo to increase its size.)
New York City - Student leaders from the SUNY Student Assembly marched in the 48th annual New York City Pride Parade. The parade, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, kicked off at noon in Midtown.
"Showing the world that SUNY is an open and accepting system is critical, especially in today's polarized political climate," said Student Assembly President and SUNY Trustee, Marc Cohen. "It's exciting to once again march in the parade with more than 300 of my colleagues from SUNY in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community!"
The NYC Pride Parade is the largest in the world, with tens of thousands of people expected to march. Led by four grand marshals, the theme of this years parade, “We are proud,” will aim to unite those marching, watching, and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
Carlos Cobo, the Student Assembly's Director of Diversity and Inclusion, was also encouraged by the message and turnout. "It's incredible to see so many members of the SUNY family in New York City for this amazing event, specifically the huge number of student leaders," he said. "I'm proud to be part of a system like SUNY."
The members of the SUNY Student Assembly marched in support of the “We are proud” movement. As the biggest Pride celebration in the world, the annual civil rights demonstration brings together a variety of activists, politicians, and communities to march for a common cause.
Tanja Aho is President of the Graduate Student Association at the University at Buffalo. She and her wife traveled across the state for the event. "Joining SUNY at the NYC Pride parade as a representative of UB means a lot to me, because we want everybody to know that we love every single member of our community, and cherish the diversity of it," she said. "We are proud to call New York our home, where people of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, and queer folks find more respect and acceptance than in other states."
Source: SUNY SA

Friday, June 23, 2017

In Memoriam: Gabe Pressman

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

"Gabe Pressman always gave you the story straight, and always asked the tough questions that New Yorkers wanted answered.

"As people increasingly turned to TV for news, it was Gabe who became the most important and trusted face on New York City airwaves. He was a true pioneer in the industry. Gabe was the first TV reporter to bring a film crew into the street to cover news where it was happening.

"Over the course of his long and distinguished career, Gabe was the North Star for several generations of New York reporters, fighting doggedly to hold public officials accountable and to protect the rights of the press.

"I am deeply saddened by Gabe's passing, but know all New Yorkers will continue to benefit from the contributions he made over a lifetime that spoke truth to power." 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

From The G-Man and The G-Man Interviews send condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Pressman. May they all find some measure of comfort in the days ahead, and may Mr. Pressman's legacy live on for generations. Thank you, Mr. Pressman. Rest in peace


Gabe Pressman's Interview with Martin Luther King Jr.

Source: NBC News

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Obama Rips The Senate GOP Health Care Bill


In terms sharper than anything else he’s offered in his post-presidency, Barack Obama lashed into Senate Republicans on Thursday for pushing a health care bill that he framed as fundamentally inhumane. 

“The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill,” the former president wrote in a Facebook post. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.” 

“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family ― this bill will do you harm,” he added. “And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.”

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post 

The GOP Colluded With Racism to Hack North Carolina Election

An NBC News OpEd

While public testimonies of former intelligence agency directors and an Attorney General have provided made-for-TV drama in recent weeks, they have not yet furnished clarity as to whether a sitting President’s campaign helped Russia hack our 2016 electoral process.

Despite deep partisan divides, a consensus remains that hard evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s clear skullduggery would be unacceptable to Republicans as well as Democrats. With all eyes glued on Team Trump’s unfolding game of Russian roulette, however, many Americans appear to accept our homegrown hacking. 

Over the past month, while we watched “As the Trump World Turns,” four separate U.S. Supreme Court decisions made clear that Republicans in North Carolina intentionally subverted democracy through what the Court affirmed as a “racial gerrymander” and a voter suppression law that it said “almost surgically targets African Americans.”

Anyone outraged by the potential collusion of Team Trump should examine these final decisions from our highest court. Without the race-based election hacking that the Court now definitely outlaws, a Trump campaign would have never been possible. What’s more, our seven-year struggle to win this fight offers a deeply divided nation a clear way forward. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

President Accuses Democrats of Obstruction on Health Care

Speaking at a White House event on U.S. leadership in emerging technology, President Trump says it would be nice to have Democratic support for the newly released Republican health care bill, but says they will not support the effort , and he accuses them of being obstructionists on the issue. 

Source: C-SPAN

The Case for Obstruction of Justice Against Trump

This video was published on YouTube on June 20, 2017. 

Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense. It was at the heart of Richard Nixon’s impeachment. The parallel between Nixon and Trump is almost exact. Robert Reich explains that there's already more than enough evidence of probable cause to begin an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.

Trump Tweets About Possible James Comey Tapes

President Trump has posted new tweets about the possibility that conversations between him and James Comey were taped. CBS News political director Steve Chaggaris joins CBSN with more details.

Source: CBS News

Protesters Dragged Away from Sen. McConnell's Office

Protesters were dragged away from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office while chanting "no cuts to Medicaid" after the Senate GOP revealed the health care bill draft.

Source: ABC News

Four Republican Senators Say They Oppose the Senate GOP Health-Care Plan

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he and three other Republican Senators oppose the health-care bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on June 22. 

Pelosi Criticizes Draft of Senate GOP Health-Care Bill

Source: Washington Post

Nancy Pelosi "Very Confident" of Support in Her Caucus

Source: C-SPAN

Senate GOP Unveils Health Care Bill

Senate Republicans rolled out a new health care bill today while trying to attract the 50 votes needed to pass this bill. Also, President Trump tweeted he didn't tape conversations between himself and former FBI Director James Comey. Quartz White House correspondent Heather Timmons and Washington Post political reporter Aaron Blake join CBSN to discuss.

Source: CBS News

Congressional Black Caucus Declines Second Meeting With Trump

Source: Roland Martin

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Former NYC Correction Dept. Officials Say Racism, Mismanagement Is Rampant at Agency

By Sarah Wallace

Three former high-ranking officials with New York City’s Department of Correction filed federal employment complaints on Wednesday, alleging racial discrimination.

The three officials — Charles Daniels, Senior Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Errol Toulon, Jr., Deputy Commissioner of Operations, and Dr. Keith Taylor, Asst. Commissioner of Correction Intelligence — said in their complaints that racism is widespread and rampant in the DOC and that a glass ceiling exists for minorities in upper management.

A spokesman for the DOC said it does not comment on specific employment complaints.

Click here for the full article/video. 

Source: NBC News 4 New York

Sandra Bland Act Signed Into Law By Texas Governor

This article was originally published on June 19, 2017. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a measure that seeks to prevent the circumstances that led to the death of Sandra Bland, KGBT reports.

Bland, 28, died in a Waller County jail after being detained during a traffic stop in July 2015. Her death sparked protests throughout the country, as it presented yet another example of African-Americans dying while in police custody.

Her death was ruled a suicide, but family members say she would not have taken her own life.

The law mandates county jail officials divert people with substance abuse and mental health issues toward treatment and makes it easier for those in custody to receive personal bond if they have a mental illness or disability. It also requires independent law enforcement agencies to investigate jail deaths.

Click here for the full article.  


Trump Meets with Cybersecurity and Energy Sector Representatives

President Trump met with Mayor Rudy Giuliani, General Keith Alexander, Thomas P. Bossert, and energy sector leaders today to address energy sector resilience and cybersecurity.  President Trump thanked the participants in the meeting for their efforts and underscored the importance of a continuing public and private partnership to effectively combat threats against the energy sector, particularly the power grid.

In the meeting, the leaders discussed unique challenges the sector faces and strategic initiatives, both underway and proposed, to address the evolution of malicious cyber activity.
The President stated his continued commitment to enhancing electric grid security and resilience, noting that his Executive Order “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure” is an important step towards that goal. 
The President made clear that his Administration is committed to working closely with infrastructure providers, improving the existing public and private partnership framework, and fostering collaborative relationships for effective risk management. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary  

What is the Cybersecurity Disclosure Act of 2017?


This video was published on YouTube on June 15, 2017.

In March 2017, the Cybersecurity Disclosure Act of 2017 was introduced to the U.S. Senate. The bill mandates that in all annual reports to the SEC, companies must disclose the level of cyber security expertise of the board; or, if none exists, what "other cybersecurity steps taken by the reporting company were taken into account."
To learn more about the bill itself and the specific impact it could have on cyber risk management, watch this interview featuring Steven Grossman, VP of Strategy at Bay Dynamics, and Bob Zukis, Senior Fellow with The Conference Board Governance Center.

Clemency Granted to Ground Zero Worker from Queens

Pardon Grant Removes Grounds for Deportation 

Governor Andrew Cuomo today issued a pardon to Carlos Cardona of Queens who was convicted of a non-violent crime in 1990.
As a result of changes to federal immigration enforcement policy, Mr. Cardona has been detained since February, after appearing for a routine U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement appointment. He has been held in Hudson Correctional Facility in Kearny, NJ and recently applied for clemency in New York. With this pardon, Mr. Cardona and his attorney would be able to reopen the Final Order of Removal showing that the grounds for deportation are no longer valid.
"In the more than 30-years since Carlos Cardona has lived in this country, he has built a family and given back to his community, including in the aftermath of 9/11 when he assisted with Ground Zero recovery efforts at the expense of his own health," Governor Cuomo said. "It is my hope this action will not only reunite Mr. Cardona with his wife and daughter, but also send a message about the values of fairness and equality that New York was founded upon."
In 1986, Cardona immigrated to the U.S., fleeing local violence in Santiago de Cali, Colombia, where his brother served as a police officer and his family faced threats from local gangs for their involvement in law enforcement and local business. At 21-years-old, Carlos Cardona was convicted of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in Queens County on August 30, 1990. Cardona, now 48, has lived crime-free for the past 27 years.
A civic-minded New Yorker, Cardona worked as a cleanup and hazmat recovery worker rehabilitating Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.  He spent four months removing hazardous material from the wreckage, in order to make a safer space for other recovery workers and neighbors of the disaster site.  He went on to marry an American citizen who is also a former Ground Zero recovery worker. Cardona’s 19-year old daughter is currently in college working toward earning a degree to teach elementary students.
As a result of Cardona’s work on Ground Zero, he suffers from acute respiratory issues, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Without receiving this clemency, Cardona’s health issues would not be adequately addressed in his home country of Colombia.
Jose Calderon, President of the Hispanic Federation, said,  "I commend Governor Cuomo for this act of compassion for a New Yorker who sacrificed his health, in service to others at Ground Zero after the 9/11. Mr. Cardona has given back so much and conclusively turned his life around. With this pardon, Mr. Cardona will be able to make his case to stay in this country with his family, and continue to receive care for his serious medical conditions."
JoAnne Page, President and CEO of the Fortune Society, said, "I want to applaud Governor Cuomo for pardoning Mr. Cardona. I am a child of immigrants, born in a country built by immigrants who have made America great over and over again. In my 28 years as CEO of the Fortune Society, I have seen thousands of people with criminal justice become pillars of strength in their communities and families. Mr. Cardona has lived a law-abiding life for almost 30 years. He was a recovery worker after 9/11 and risked his own life to save those of New Yorkers whom he did not even know. His deportation would be a tragic loss to his family and to New York State. In issuing a pardon to Mr. Cardona, Governor Cuomo demonstrates both compassion and courageous leadership."
Joanne Macri, Chair of the Immigration Committee of the New York State Bar Association, said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for choosing to grant a pardon in this case. His act supports Mr. Cardona’s efforts to remain in New York, alongside his wife and children, in the community which has served as his home for more than 30 years, and with access to life-saving healthcare not available in Colombia. This pardon grants mercy to a deserving New Yorker with no other means of relief from the life-altering consequences of a criminal conviction that has followed him for 27 years."
Under the New York Constitution and State law, the Governor has the authority to grant commutations and pardons. The Governor has pardoned 115 individuals since taking office in 2011. The Governor's Executive Clemency Review Team continues to actively review pending applications for clemency.
These actions continue the Governor’s efforts to break down barriers for people with criminal convictions, which includes his creation of a Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration to alleviate barriers for those who have criminal convictions. In 2016, the Governor accepted recommendations from the Council for executive actions, which include requiring the Board of Parole to account for an inmate’s current risk to public safety when making a release decision, and prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to businesses seeking to hire formerly incarcerated New Yorkers.
Individuals interested in applying for clemency should visit Governor Cuomo’s clemency website at The website is a central resource for those seeking to learn more about clemency, eligibility requirements, and the application process, including submitting application materials electronically. Family members and friends of individuals serving prison sentences are encouraged to visit the website and apply for clemency on behalf of their family member or friend.
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez Named 20th President of the University at Albany

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the appointment of Dr. Havidán Rodríguez as the first Hispanic president of any SUNY four-year college in New York State history. Dr. Rodríguez’s appointment as the 20th president of the University at Albany follows the launch of the Governor’s SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute, charged with developing and supporting the next generation of executive-level Latino leaders across the SUNY system. Dr. Rodríguez joins UAlbany following 25 years of experience as a leader in higher education, previously serving as the founding provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
"Dr. Rodríguez is a proven leader with over 25 years in higher education and will bring the experience, talent and expertise we need to keep the University at Albany moving forward," Governor Cuomo said. "The SUNY system is one of the crown jewels of New York, and by working with Dr. Rodríguez we will continue to bring it to new heights and ensure the best education possible for our students. I congratulate him on this history-making appointment, and look forward to working together in the future."
"I am honored and privileged to have been chosen to serve as the University at Albany’s next president," Dr. Rodríguez said. "UAlbany has an outstanding reputation among the nation’s research universities. I thank Governor Cuomo, Chairman McCall, Chancellor Zimpher, and the Board of Trustees for their confidence in me. I am also very grateful to Michael Castellana and the search committee, and I am looking forward to working with our new Chancellor, Dr. Kristina Johnson."
The National Diversity Council today released their list of 2017 Top Latino Leaders composed of a cross section of industry experts, including business, education, policy and community leaders. Only two of the 15 recipients selected nationwide were in the field of higher education, and Dr. Havidán Rodríguez was the only academic administrator to make the list.
Dr. Rodríguez comes to the University at Albany with over 25 years of experience in higher education, most recently serving as the founding provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Havidán Rodríguez is the Founding Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and a tenured professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Prior to that, Dr. Rodríguez served as President, Ad Interim, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas - Pan American. Before arriving at UTPA, Dr. Rodríguez served as the Deputy Provost, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs, and Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware, where he also directed the Disaster Research Center, the oldest and one of the leading social science disaster research centers in the world. Rodríguez held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez for over a decade, and served as Director of the Minority Affairs Program for the American Sociological Association. He also has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan’s Population Fellow’s Program.
Rodríguez received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, his M.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall said, "With experience and expertise in areas that directly parallel the University at Albany’s own strengths and focus, it seems as though Dr. Rodríguez’s esteemed career has been pointing him in SUNY’s direction all along. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire SUNY family, I am honored to welcome him to the Capital District, and I look forward to our work together."
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “Dr. Rodríguez comes to SUNY and to UAlbany with outstanding credentials, a proven record of academic as well as research excellence, and a portfolio that suits him to the job ideally. I have every confidence that Dr. Rodríguez will foster an inclusive campus environment where students, faculty and staff are inspired to the highest levels of success."
Assemblyman N. Nick Perry, chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus and member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, said, "Dr. Rodríguez is one of the most respected and highly-regarded leaders in higher education, and I know he will continue to build on the University of Albany’s legacy of excellence during his tenure. I congratulate Dr. Rodríguez on this well-deserved appointment, and I am proud to see more prominent Hispanic leaders take on leadership roles in SUNY and across state government. I look forward to working together with him to strengthen the SUNY system and ensure we equip generations of New York’s students with the skills they need to succeed."
Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo, chair of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force and member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, said, "It is said good things come to those who wait. For 70 years New York's Latino community has waited for executive level leadership in SUNY to mirror its growing strength.  Today with the selection of an accomplished educator and administrator such as Dr. Havidán Rodríguez to head one of our flagship research colleges, history is made."
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Attorney General Takes Action to End Abortion Clinic Harassment

AG Schneiderman announces he's filing suit to protect
women from abuse and intimidation outside of Choices.
The following was submitted by the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The year after I graduated high school, I went to work in an abortion clinic. It was the year before Roe v. Wade, and abortion was still outlawed in states throughout the country. Many women still had to travel far from home for safe, legal reproductive health care.
I used to drive our patients from the airport to the clinic and back again. I still remember the fear in the eyes of many women as they tried to leave the recovery room too early because they wanted to get home as quickly as possible. Their parents or husbands or bosses had no idea they were there. Abortion was still something that was whispered about -- and draconian laws made it far more dangerous than it should have been.
After Roe, I remember thinking that the obstacles to a woman's right to control her own body would be gone for good. But even with the law on their side, women visiting clinics across the country have endured aggressive harassment, intimidation, and threats.
Yesterday, I filed suit to protect women from abuse and intimidation outside of a reproductive health clinic in Queens.
My lawsuit would establish a "buffer zone" of 16 feet from the door of the clinic to ensure that women visiting the facility can exercise their constitutional right without fear of harassment or threats.
Every Saturday morning for at least five years, an aggressive group of anti-choice protesters have gathered at the Choices Women's Medical Center in Jamaica, Queens, determined to stop women from exercising their constitutional right to control over their own bodies. These protesters intentionally collided with patients approaching the clinic -- pushing them, shoving them, and sometimes even pinning them against a wall. They've leveled death threats, telling volunteers, "You can die at any moment," and referenced mass shootings and terrorist attacks. And they've yelled threats not only at women, but at children who accompanied their mothers as they sought reproductive health care.
These tactics are not only horrifying. They're illegal.
The decision to terminate a pregnancy is deeply personal. It is often painful. Sometimes a mother learns that her own life is at risk if she carries a pregnancy to term. But it doesn't matter what the reason is. The law guarantees that women are the ones who have the right to make that choice, not a group of protesters and not some men sitting in Albany or Washington.
The law trusts women, and in New York, the law will be enforced.

Remy Ma To Start Fund For Women Who Want Kids But Can’t Afford Health Care


Remy Ma is advocating for women whose financial situations prevent them from conceiving children naturally. 

In January, the “All The Way Up” rapper opened up about her ectopic pregnancy, which resulted in a miscarriage. After having an emergency surgery, her doctor told her that her fallopian tubes were damaged and she wouldn’t be able to have any more children naturally.

“First I was distraught, I was embarrassed, I was ashamed, I felt less than a woman and [the doctor] assured me that was no way to feel and that for a certain amount of thousands of dollars, it can be fixed. And because I have the finances, I never even thought twice about it,” she told Essence.

Motivated by her own experience, the Bronx native thought of the many women who face a similar issue but don’t have the same wealth as she did. She told the publication that she intends on starting a fund for women who don’t have the financial means to get pregnant but long to have children.

Click here for the full article/video. 

Source: The Huffington Post 

Trailblazers in Black History: Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander

A native Philadelphian and life-long champion of civil rights and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race or gender, Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander was a leader in the legal, political and civic arenas of her day. Among her many "firsts" was her place as the first African-American woman to enroll in the School of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and earn the juris doctor degree.She was also a wife and mother and an unlikely comic book hero. 

Additional information is available here.

Police Brutality, Prejudice and Abuse with Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey

This video was published on YouTube on May 7, 2015. 

Police brutality from Baltimore to Ferguson and Oakland is discussed with retired LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey, who sheds light on why abuse and entitlement have prevented cops from protecting and serving the public. The death of Freddie Gray, reason why Darren Wilson went too far in Ferguson, and underlying trend of ‘shoot first’ has taken hold in modern police departments in America is all discussed. We also learn about her own experience joining the LAPD and her rising through the ranks in a climate that frequently treated her with suspicion, and the complex issues that continue to surround black police officers in this Media Mayhem, hosted by Allison Hope Weiner.

Source: TheLipTV

Outrage Over The Seattle Police Shooting Of A Pregnant Woman Who Called For Help

This video was published on YouTube on June 20, 2017.

Two Seattle cops shot and killed a pregnant African-American woman who called the police to report an attempted burglary at her apartment.

Source: Roland Martin

Michael Brown’s Parents, City of Ferguson Reach Settlement Deal in Lawsuit

The parents of Michael Brown, the black teenager who was shot and killed in 2014 by a white police officer, have reached an undisclosed settlement with the city of Ferguson, Missouri, in a wrongful death civil suit, according to court documents.

The amount of the settlement agreement was sealed. U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber said in an order that, "Disclosure of the terms of the settlement agreement could jeopardize the safety of individuals involved in this matter, whether as witnesses, parties, or investigators."

Brown's parents, Michael Brown, Sr., and Lesley McSpadden, filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Ferguson, Wilson, and the town's former police chief in 2015.

Michael Brown, 18, was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. A grand jury later declined to indict Wilson. Wilson in November of 2014 resigned from the Ferguson Police Department. 

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Mobb Deep’s Prodigy Left Us a Lesson in Mortality

"There’s a war going on outside no man is safe from.”

The year was 1995, but Mobb Deep front man Prodigy’s words still ring true for young black men across the country living in the inner city. The fear of intra-community violence, harassment by the boys in blue and self-medicating to escape it all — these were some of the themes in Mobb Deep’s music that dominated the airwaves throughout much of the 90’s.

Born Albert Johnson, Prodigy, one-half of the Queensbridge hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, passed away Tuesday. His family released the following statement: “Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth.” 

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