Archives for September 2014

Black women’s groups to meet with NFL on lack of diversity in domestic violence panel

A meeting has been scheduled Wednesday between the National Football League and representatives of the Black Women’s Roundtable, which had questioned the lack of diversity on a domestic violence advisory panel.  Members of the group are scheduled to meet with NFL executives Anna Isaacson and Troy Vincent at the league’s headquarters in New York City, according to Edrea Davis, communications director for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the Black Women’s Roundtable. However, the group still wants a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“The women will urge the NFL to add black women experts in domestic violence and sexual assault to the NFL’s recently established domestic violence advisory board,” Davis told She the People. “They will also discuss other issues related to diversity and cultural sensitivity, eradicating the culture of violence within the league, and the date of the meeting they requested with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.”

3 Charlotteans made history

Three prominent Charlotteans visited First Ward Elementary on Friday as part of a national day of service in the African-American community.

Former ballerina Ayisha McMillan Cravotta, bank executive and Obama administration education adviser Lenny Springs and journalist Mary C. Curtis shared their life stories and encouraged students to value education. Their visit was coordinated by The HistoryMakers, a nonprofit oral history project. Across the country, 400 leaders in the black community visited 200 schools.

Minority Voters Sought In North Carolina Senate Race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis has been monitoring the NC senate race and says candidates Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan are looking to attract minority voters. She looks at one of the largest minority voting blocks in the state.


Fans and domestic violence survivors find common ground on an NFL weekend

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Though Carolina Panthers fans can’t be happy with the Sunday night thrashing their team took in a nationally televised game against Pittsburgh, they didn’t mind thinking about football – just football. But even as Steelers and Panthers fans exchanged some pre-game trash talk while enjoying a meal in the Carolina sunshine, they had some things to say about the issue of domestic violence, one that has enmeshed NFL leadership and the team that plays in Charlotte.

In some ways, their sentiments were not that different from members of a panel of survivors of domestic violence the day before – both groups were critical of the NFL’s reaction to the Ray Rice episode but grateful that the issue is in the open. On Saturday, at a meeting of the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists, three women added dimension to the image of victim. And fans and survivors found common ground.

African American History Makers Continue to Inspire our Youth

The history of African Americans is replete with people that exude the kind of dignity, respect and integrity exemplified by the participants in the ‘Fifth Annual Back to School with the History Makers’ program. Featured prominent in this year’s program and representing North Carolina are Mr. Lenny Springs and Mary C. Curtis. Both Springs and Curtis are having a huge impact in the African American Community. Mr. Springs is a Bank Executive, Founder of North Carolina’s 100 Black Men of America and served as Chairman of the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission. Ms. Curtis is a Newspaper Editor, News Correspondent and worked for worked for both the New York Times and Baltimore Sun. She’s currently a Contributor to the Washington Post. ‘COMMUNITY VOICES’ host, Ron Holland, talked with both Lenny Springs and Mary C. Curtis about their involvement with the History Markers and efforts to inspire young people to achieve.

Polls and the N.C. Senate Seat Battle

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Recent polls show incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan taking a lead in the US senate race. The next debate between Hagan and Thom Tillis is just weeks away. WCCB’s Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis has been watching the polls and fills us in on what’s next.

Message in letter to Roger Goodell: NFL women’s advisory panel needs diversity

Amid the controversy and charges of too little, too late hurled toward the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell after publicity involving charges of domestic violence against players, one move has been praised – the announcement this week that the league has named four women to shape new policies on domestic violence and sexual assault.

But while the Black Women’s Roundtable views the step as positive and “appreciates the fact that the NFL has established an advisory group of women,” it also points out what it views as an omission. In a Sept. 16 open letter to Goodell, the roundtable offers words of praise, then states: “However, your lack of inclusion of women of color, especially Black women who are disproportionately impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault; and the fact that over 66% of the NFL players are made up of African Americans is unacceptable.”

The message to the NFL is “you are headed in the right direction, but you have missed the mark,” Melanie L. Campbell told She the People on Wednesday. Campbell heads the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and is convener of Black Women’s Roundtable, an inter-generational network of women leaders representing black women and girls from across the country. “We want to be supportive and helpful.” Goodell needs to know, she said, that “you have to do it right, and make sure you have a diverse group of women working with you and your team.”

Patricia McBride, Kennedy Center honoree, is no tragic ballerina

CHARLOTTE — “Ballerina” is hardly the profession that comes to mind when one thinks of work-life balance or “having it all.” The women in the spotlight conjure images of beauty, but also sacrifice, single-minded devotion and lofty standards, impossible to reach. It’s a story line abetted and reinforced by films from “The Red Shoes” – with its angst-ridden conflicts between love and art – to the dark mother-daughter histrionics of “Black Swan.”

But then there’s Patricia McBride, the New York City Ballet icon who has been awarded a Kennedy Center Honor. (The 2014 honorees also include Al Green, Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin and Sting.) In a three-decade long dancing career, McBride brought to life the works of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (both already honored by the Kennedy Center) with a list of partners that included Edward Villella, Arthur Mitchell, Jacques d’Amboise and Mikhail Baryshnikov (all with Kennedy Center awards, as well).

Political Implications of President Obama’s Plan to Defeat ISIS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Obama is coming to prime time with plans to defeat the threat of ISIS and discuss what the US intends to do about it, with or without congressional approval. WCCB’s Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis talks about the domestic political implications of the the president’s move.

When white friends don’t believe what blacks go through, they’re not friends

I still remember it perfectly, more than 10 years later. It’s terrifying to be stopped in your car and approached by first one and then two more white police officers with their hands resting on their holstered guns. I kept my hands in plain sight on the wheel while they inspected my license and registration. On second thought, I recall thinking during the 15-minute stop, perhaps the scruffy sweats and baseball cap that were perfect for my spin class weren’t the best choices when you’re African American and you’ve just bought a red car. (Why didn’t I pick the gray Camry?) I was given a written warning about running a stop sign that I’d actually stopped at, but I knew better than to argue.

“Forty-five percent of blacks say they have experienced racial discrimination by the police at some point in their lives; virtually no whites say they have,” according to a recent New York Times/CBS News nationwide poll. (I’m shocked the 45 percent figure isn’t higher, considering the stories African Americans tell each other all the time.) So when I share the trauma of that particular incident and so many like it – fraught interactions that may have involved a son (stopped driving a nice car in our nice neighborhood), nephew or friend – I expect, first of all, that I will be believed.