March 06, 2014

LAWT News Service

Officials from the California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) said they are pleased to announce the appointment of their first African American Woman President & CEO Judy Belk.

“Belk is a seasoned leader with more than 25 years of senior management experience in the philanthropic, government, nonprofit and corporate sectors,” they said.

“She currently serves as the vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) and has played a pivotal role in building it into one of the nation’s largest independent nonprofit advisory firms.”

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February 27, 2014

From left to right Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, dean, Keck Medical School; Elizabeth Garrett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at USC; Scott Evans, CEO of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital; Dr. Gregory L. Taylor, II, medical director of Keck Medicine of USC – Downtown Los Angeles; Laurie Johnson, executive administrator ambulatory services, Keck Medicine of USC; and Jan Perry, general manager, City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department cut the ribbon on the new Keck Medicine of USC Downtown Los Angeles clinic location at a recent open house. The clinic is part of Keck Medicine of USC’s commitment to bring world-class care and physician specialists into the communities where people live, work and visit.  The clinic offers a range of medical services, including internal medicine, gynecology, dermatology, orthopaedics, urology, an executive health program, and imaging and mammography services.  With the availability of same-day appointments and expanded hours, Keck Medicine of USC is working to ensure that quality medical care is accessible for downtowners.

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February 27, 2014

By Freddie Allen

NNPA Washington Correspondent


WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 would lift nearly 1 million low-wage workers out of poverty, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Although a majority of low-wage workers are White, people of color would be disproportionately affected by an increase in the minimum wage. Blacks work in low-wage jobs at higher rates than Whites, according to federal statistics. Blacks account for 11 percent of the workforce, but 16 percent of workers that would see their wages increase.

“When you look at the CBO report, part of what stands out is that the CBO confirms that many millions of workers with low or modest incomes would get significant income gains,” said Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “Even after factoring in the CBO’s estimates on the employment effects, there are still very substantial income gains for the bottom and the middle of the population and these income gains are achieved for virtually no budgetary cost.”

Even though the CBO predicted that 500,000 low-wage workers might lose their jobs, 16.5 million workers would directly benefit from seeing an increase in the minimum wage. Economists estimate that another 8 to 10 million workers would see their wages increase as a result of a “spillover effect.”

Families living below the poverty line will get a $5 billion bump in their income, about 20 percent of the estimated $31 billion. Roughly a third would go to families making three times above the poverty line.

According to the Census Bureau, more than 27 percent of Blacks live in poverty compared to less than 10 percent of Whites. Nearly 40 percent of Black children live in poverty.

According to the CBO report, raising the minimum wage would affect low-wage workers in two ways.

“Most of them would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and

some of those families would see their income rise above the federal poverty threshold,” stated the report.

The CBO report continued: “But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workers who became jobless would fall substantially, and the share of low-wage workers who were employed would probably fall slightly.”

Although the CBO report suggested that up to a million jobs could be lost, if the minimum wage were raised to $10.10 per hour, many economists agree that the effect of wage increase would be minimal.

“In a review of over 60 studies that look for statistical linkages between minimum-wage increases and job losses, economist John Schmitt reports that the most accurately measured results cluster around zero: some studies find that raising the minimum wage has a small negative effect on employment, a smaller number find that it has a small positive effect, and most find no significant effect,” stated a report by the Center for Budget and Public Priorities.

In January, the Economic Policy Institute advocated for increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 in a letter to President Obama and Congress. More than 600 economists, including seven Nobel Prize winners signed the letter, according to EPI.

Keeping his promise to use his pen or phone in a year of action to help American families, last week President Obama signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage of federal contract workers.

In a policy brief detailing President Obama’s executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers, White House officials cited a study that showed when Maryland passed a similar law for state contract employees, competition between companies increased, driving a higher quality of service.

Contrary to common stereotypes most low-income workers are not teenagers working for extra pocket change for clothes and fast food on the weekends.

According to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, titled “Low-wage Workers Are Older and Better Educated than Ever,” the average age of low-workers is about 35 and only about 12 percent were teenagers in 2011. A majority (60 percent) of low-wage workers are 25-64 years old. More than 30 percent of low-wage workers have some college education and roughly 10 percent have a four-year college degree.

The CBO also found that employment prospects for high school dropouts and Blacks in their 20s would be largely unaffected by changes in the minimum wage.

Lawrence Katz, an economist at Harvard University, said that raising the minimum wage would have significant benefits for low-skill workers, especially Africa Americans.

“Our best estimates suggest essentially no impact on employment and a large improvement in wages for disadvantaged workers,” said Katz.

Katz added: “Overall, it’s a substantial win for minority workers.”

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February 20, 2014

Rev. Jesse Jackson & RainbowPUSH Close The Wall Street Project Economic Summit with an Even Stronger Commitment & Fight for Equality and Financial Parity Despite the Nor’easter & Storm Pax Hit on NYC: The Struggle Continues

LAWT News Service


The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund saw a tremendous turnout of speakers, attendees, political leaders, policy makers and entertainers despite the nor’easter at the 17th Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit. The three-day summit focused on the lock out of minorities on corporate boards, financial transactions, investment opportunities in Africa, the business of hip hop and minority ownership. This year’s summit, “50 Years After the Civil Rights Act: The Unfinished Agenda for Economic Justice...” puts equality at the forefront said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

“We are fighting the right fight. We are closing the gap between the top and bottom. When justice prevails, everyone wins.”

The Labor, Ministers and Community Leaders Breakfast moderated by Dr. Kris F. Erskine, pastor, Bethany Baptist Church, New York, launched the summit into high gear by setting the framework for the day. Attendees sat on the edge of their seats as Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman promised to the attendees and NY that his commitment was that no person in NY would lose their home because they didn’t have representation. It wasn’t just about home foreclosures for the attorney general but he added,

“I want kids to live with equal justice under the law … to have due justice and equal justice under the law.” Although it was early and many trudged through snow, all attendees said their commitment to fighting for financial equality was a must. Featured speaker Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church of New York delivered a passion felt message on the importance of the continued connection and support between the labor, ministry and community leader’s network. “Economic justice for God sales,” Rev. Dr. Forbes quoted Mathew 6:25 “do not worry about your life” as there will be economic justice for all. Rev. Dr. Forbes added that economic justice is the key to retaining the integral relationships between corporations, labor, the church and community action groups. The Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem Alumni Ensemble lent their voices as the session closed.

Included in the summit was an African delegation attending and convening at the day’s third session “Focus on Africa: Investment Opportunities in Africa, and Agriculture” which added additional insight into investment opportunities globally. Senator Rodney Ellis, (Texas) led a conversation with the panelists including, Amy Bell, executive director and head of Principal Investment at J.P. Morgan Social Finance, who stated, “Bringing together people who represent the public and private sector is really important.” Elaborating on gender equality, Bell added, “Good governance is important; we need to think about both men and woman.”

Rev. Jackson echoed the Africa sentiments by continuing the conversation inviting Hon. Michael Mabuyakhulu, minister of Economic Development, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa on stage for welcoming remarks at The Civil Right Act: 50th Anniversary Luncheon.”

Mabuyakhulu assured luncheon attendees Africa is open for business and is ready to invest; saying, “If you want to get the best investment there is no better place than Africa. Africa is ready to do business with you [USA]. The African of today is different than the Africa of yesterday.”  Switching gears at the luncheon, famed tap dancer Jared Grimes performed a small set for the crowd, Rev. Jackson enthusiastically joined in for a few seconds of the routine. As the entertainment concluded, the luncheon continued as Rev. Jackson introduced Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She took to the stage ensuring the audience her company is on top of its goal which is enforcing equal opportunity employment. “We are working to ensure that the federal government is a model employer for the nation,” stated Berrien. 

Rev. Jackson and the RainbowPUSH organization recently launched an initiative urging black America to “Become One in A Million,” by joining the RPC Million Member Campaign, visit

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