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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is January 16

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is a federal holiday in the United States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year. Born in 1929, King’s actual birthday is January 15 (which in 1929 fell on a Tuesday). The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21.

King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. (wikipedia)

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Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.

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Kent Chamber of Commerce’s Trailblazing CEO Zenovia Harris Receives The Larry Gossett 2023 Service Award

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KENT, Wash. /PRNewswire/ — The excitement continues for Zenovia Harris, who took home the Larry Gossett 2023 Service Award. As a recipient of the award, Zenovia was recognized as an individual who has made a significant contribution in the area of racial equity, social justice, and human rights. The award was given by King County in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, whose theme this year was “Truth, Light, and Hope.”

Kent Chamber of Commerce’s Trailblazing CEO Zenovia Harris Receives The Larry Gossett 2023 Service Award

The award was well-deserved for Seattle-area leader Zenovia Harris. As the only black CEO in the state of Washington, Zenovia strives to ensure economic equality remains a crucial factor for healthy communities. In 2019, Zenovia became the CEO of the Kent Chamber of Commerce, playing an instrumental role in leading the Kent Chamber in its equity work. This comes naturally for Zenovia, who also leads other Chambers throughout King County, including the Renton Chamber, Kirkland Chamber, and Seattle Southside Chamber.

Video of acceptance speech
Zenovia Harris | 2023 Larry Gossett Service Award (vimeo.com) 

Through Zenovia’s leadership, she has diversified Board Member participation and introduced a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. To support both her own and other local chambers, Zenovia instituted equity talks, which are open to both chamber members and larger communities. By performing internal evaluations to understand where the challenges and needs are in order to meet equity goals, Zenovia’s presence as an innovative and caring leader remains steadfast.

Zenovia appeared nothing but honored and grateful upon receiving the Larry Gossett 2023 Service Award, stating “I am grateful for my tenacity to fight for others and my opportunity to sit at tables that were not designed for me but being savvy enough to extract pertinent and critical information to delineate what options are available for CBO’s, micro-businesses, home-based, and small businesses.”

About The Kent Chamber of Commerce:

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The Kent Chamber of Commerce actively works to support businesses in the area by being the voice and ears of the community, bringing the business community together in a dynamic and profitable way. As the premier organization in South King County, The Kent Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to ensure a healthy, vibrant business community for all.

Support The Kent Chamber of Commerce’s work by becoming a member today: https://info.kentchamber.com/member/newmemberapp/

SOURCE The Kent Chamber of Commerce

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Political Hate Targeting Vulnerable Communities and Healthcare Workers, and Bomb Threats Against Boston Children’s Hospital Prompt Condemnation from MNA Board of Directors

The Massachusetts Nurses Association Board of Directors – nurses and healthcare professionals elected by their MNA colleagues – have released the following statement in response to the violence and hatred being perpetrated against healthcare workers in Massachusetts and nationwide amid a dangerous political environment, and specifically the repeated bomb threats made against Boston Children’s Hospital for providing transgender healthcare.

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CANTON, Mass. /PRNewswire/ — The Massachusetts Nurses Association Board of Directors – nurses and healthcare professionals elected by their MNA colleagues – have released the following statement in response to the violence and hatred being perpetrated against healthcare workers in Massachusetts and nationwide amid a dangerous political environment, and specifically the repeated bomb threats made against Boston Children’s Hospital for providing transgender healthcare.

“Above all else, our duty as nurses and healthcare professionals is to protect the health and safety of our patients. We fulfill this obligation through direct care and patient support, and by remaining vigilant about threats to our own health and safety. The highly charged political environment – whether bomb threats at Boston Children’s Hospital, white supremacists outside Brigham and Women’s Hospital, or attacks on reproductive rights – is obstructing healthcare access, endangering lives, and further harming caregivers already exploited by a broken healthcare system.

“We forcefully condemn any violence or hate perpetrated against patients, their families, or caregivers. The bomb threats and hate messages sent to Boston Children’s Hospital are despicable for their intent and their impact. No person should be attacked for who they are. No child should be made to feel like they do not belong. No family should have to consider the threat of violence when seeking healthcare. The gender-affirming care provided by our colleagues at Boston Children’s Hospital and other facilities nationwide is essential, holistic healthcare that treats patients as individuals whose identities matter. We feel intensely for those patients and families affected by the repeated threats at Children’s Hospital, and for the nurses, researchers, and other healthcare professionals who have been impacted by this hate. Political violence has no place in our society, especially in hospitals and other settings where our most vulnerable seek care. We denounce and will fight back against the anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ+ political agenda.

“As we have witnessed a resurgent campaign against bodily autonomy and reproductive rights, there has also been a dangerous rise in hate speech against members of the LGBTQ+ community. We have seen in Colorado Springs and elsewhere how toxic rhetoric and misinformation spread online can fuel deadly violence. In this political environment, we see legislative proposals that would criminalize trans health care and LGBTQ+ life, and influential public figures who feel increasingly comfortable demonizing people for their religion, gender, race, or beliefs. Elected officials are working across the country to erode or eliminate access to abortion. Fueled by a radical U.S. Supreme Court decision, state legislatures are weaponizing local zoning laws and seeking to pass extremely dangerous restrictions on what should be a fundamental human right to healthcare.

“We stand united in opposition to inequality and the vicious wielding of hatred and bigotry against any individual or group. As nurses and healthcare professionals we do our best every shift, every day to safeguard and heal our patients no matter their background or belief. As union members we will use our collective strength to defeat political hate and eliminate violence in healthcare.”

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MassNurses.org │ Facebook.com/MassNurses │ Twitter.com/MassNurses │ Instagram.com/MassNurses 

Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 25,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.

SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association

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T.D. Jakes’ Offender Reentry Initiative Equipped for National Expansion After Helping Close Eight Prisons

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Award-winning artist Fantasia Barrino Taylor and Kendall Taylor Join Jakes Onstage at Annual Celebration

DALLAS /PRNewswire/ — Nationally revered, trusted and successful prisoner reentry program—Texas Offender Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.)—celebrated the graduation of 98 program participants on Friday, Dec. 16. The luncheon, hosted by T.D. Jakes, featured Grammy ® award-winning artist Fantasia Barrino Taylor and Kendall Taylor onstage for an in-depth conversation. Kendall Taylor, who was once a returning citizen and now a notable CEO, shared the stage with his wife to encourage and help inform graduates of their road ahead. T.O.R.I. is prepared to become a knowledge partner and help other national organizations replicate the Texas-based organization’s success.

The in-depth conversation between Fantasia, Taylor and Jakes touched on criminal justice reform, returning citizens and how programs like T.O.R.I. are helping them across Texas and soon across the United States. Over the last eight years T.O.R.I has helped the state of Texas, which incarcerates the most people in the U.S., close eight prisons.

Taylor spoke about how he still grapples with his traumatic past“There are still moments—living the red-carpet life, sitting on the house on the hill, only black people in the community—where I could still be going to the mailbox feeling anxiety. But I had to let some things go. I finally just realized I’m not at war anymore.” 

“We are not just defined by our successes, but also our struggles and our failures,” noted Jakes when speaking to Taylor. 

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T.O.R.I., which is celebrating its 18th anniversary this year, has become a nationally revered and trusted knowledge partner with a proven successful model of rehabilitative and recuperative justice that has directly impacted the lives of some 300,000 men, women and their families. The White House, the Department of Justice, Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safe and National Security, AT&T and Wal-Mart are some of the government and corporate entities that have either consulted or collaborated with T.O.R.I. to glean major learnings from the Dallas-based initiative. T.O.R.I. is uniquely poised to align with key partners looking for programming and curriculum that distinctively speaks to the ever-growing needs and inequality realities facing many families across the U.S. T.O.R.I has a 16% recidivism rate, much lower than the national average of over 65%.

T.O.R.I. provides returning citizens stability through assistance in employment, education, housing, healthcare, spiritual guidance and family unification. The mission of T.O.R.I. is to guide and empower ex-offenders to maximize their potential, increasing their opportunities for successful reintegration into society and to become productive citizens of their communities.

The U.S. has approximately two million people incarcerated. With only five percent of the world’s population, 16% of all incarcerated people in the world are in the U.S. The need is critical for T.O.R.I. to share its knowledge and expertise with similar organizations to successfully help acclimate returning citizens and reduce the national recidivism rate.

About Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative

Launched in January 2005 to provide hope in the form of tangible solutions, the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative’s (T.O.R.I.) goal is to provide stability and security for returning citizens. Through assistance in employment, education, housing, healthcare, spiritual guidance and family unification, T.O.R.I. addresses the individual needs and helps former inmates acclimate back into society. To date, T.O.R.I. has served over 35,000 formerly incarcerated adults across the state of Texas. T.D. Jakes is the visionary and chief architect behind T.O.R.I.

About The Potter’s House

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Located in Dallas, The Potter’s House is a 30,000-member nondenominational, multicultural church and humanitarian organization led by Bishop T. D. Jakes, who was twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as “America’s Best Preacher” and as one of the nation’s “25 most influential evangelicals.” The Potter’s House has four locations, The Potter’s House of Dallas, The Potter’s House of Fort Worth, The Potter’s House of North Dallas, and The Potter’s House OneLA, and a Spanish language church, Casa de Fe. More information can be found at ThePottersHouse.org.

SOURCE The Potter’s House, Inc.

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