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Hurley agrees to pay $65,000 to settle second no-black-nurses lawsuit

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Original News Article from MLIVE:

Gary Ridley | gridley@mlive.comBy Gary Ridley | gridley@mlive.com  | Follow on Twitter 
on November 04, 2014 at 5:30 PM, updated November 04, 2014 at 5:41 PM

FLINT, MI — Hurley Medical Center has agreed to pay $65,000 to settle a lawsuit from a fourth black nurse who claims that she was discriminated against when the hospital allegedly refused to let her treat a white baby.

Attorney Tom Pabst confirmed Tuesday, Nov. 4, his client, Carlotta Armstrong, finalized the settlement with the hospital.

Pabst said the settlement points to an ongoing problem of racial discrimination at the hospital.

However, the hospital denies any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

“Hurley Medical Center denies any wrongdoing and was prepared to take this case to trial but was able to resolve this matter on terms acceptable to all parties,” said hospital spokeswoman Ilene Cantor. “As always, Hurley Medical Center is committed to taking care of all patients without regard to race and continues its commitment to non-discrimination.”

Pabst said Armstrong still works for the hospital.

Armstrong was the fourth black Hurley nurse to file a lawsuit after they claimed the hospital discriminated against them when it fulfilled a white father’s request not to let black nurses treat his child.

The three other nurses filed a lawsuit together, and they settled their complaint in February 2013 for nearly $200,000.

The father of a white baby allegedly told the supervisor of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit that he did not want a black nurse taking care of his baby, the suit claimed. The father allegedly rolled up his sleeve and showed a tattoo that was believed to be a swastika while talking with the supervisor, the initial suit says.

According to the initial lawsuit, the supervisor then reassigned the infant to a different nurse and posted a note stating, “No African American nurse to take care of baby,” on the assignment clipboard.

The story received national attention from news organizations such as The Huffington Post and USA Today. Nationally syndicated Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. also wrote about the suit.

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Flint community speaks out on lack of diversity during University of Michigan board of regents meeting

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Flint community speaks out on lack of diversity during University of Michigan board of regents meeting

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on October 16, 2014 at 8:41 PM, updated October 16, 2014 at 8:51 PM

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/10/flint_community_speaks_out_on.html#comments

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NAACP Flint President Frances Gilcreast addresses the University of Michigan board of regents Thursday, Oct. 16. Gilcreast is unhappy because she believes the UM-Flint campus has not done enough to reach out to the African American community in the city of Flint.

FLINT, MI – The University of Michigan Board of Regents held their monthly meeting Thursday, Oct. 16, in Flint and were met by some in the community who are unhappy with the university’s outreach to people of color.

The regular monthly meeting was held at the Riverfront Banquet Center in downtown Flint. During the public comment portion of the meeting several members of the Flint community, including NAACP President Frances Gilcreast, discussing the decline in enrollment of African American students at the University of Michigan-Flint and the university’s role in community outreach.

Gilcreast said the Flint chapter of the NAACP had done research that showed the number of African American students enrolled at the UM-Flint was far lower than she would have anticipated.

“Some disgraceful statistics have just emerged in a city that has an African American population of close to 60 percent.” Gilcreast said. “The major university in this area has an African American population of only 11.3 percent, and of that miniscule number African American students have only a 20.7 percent graduation rate.”

Gilcreast went on to say during the public comment portion of the meeting that only 9 percent pf the university’s faculty are African American and only 13 percent of the staff are people of color.

“As we continue to delve into this situation we found that the university’s treatment of our community, we discovered that many of the programs that were put in place to empower…were being marginalized, they were not funded properly – the marketing wasn’t there and the general university support was non-existent.” Gilcreast said. “I speak of the Africana studies program, the Office of Educational Opportunity Initiatives, and the Office of Diversity Education.”

UM-Flint alumnus Charles H. Winfrey addressed the board of regents and spoke of his time as a student in the 1970s. He said at that time the chancellor was William Moran, who made the African American student enrollment percentage of 16 percent in an archived report Winfrey had come across.

“The population of the city of Flint at that time stood only at 42 percent African American. Fast Forward to 1990, African American enrollment at the University of Michigan-Flint stood at a tawdry 6 percent with 386 African American students out of a total student population of approximately 7,000 students. The black population at that time was roughly 50 percent.” Winfrey said to the board of regents. “Here we are in 2014, 25 years later the city of Flint is close to 60 percent African American population but student enrollment is no better than it first was when I was a student in 1972 at only 16 percent.”

Winfrey said he represents a group of citizens who are concerned about this neglect and non-responsiveness and they implored the board of regents to take action. He said he believes the university has shown a lack of commitment to African American programs.

“The university has shown a lack of commitment to African American programs such as Africana studies it’s underfunded and under-marketed. It shows a lack of commitment to the recruitment of African American students which is also under staffed, underfunded and under-marketed.” Winfrey said.

Flint resident Paul Jordan addressed the residents about the recent departure of Tendaji Ganges, director of Educational Opportunity Initiatives, who was put on administrative leave shortly before his employment at the university ended on Oct. 1.

Jordan said the dismissal of Ganges was significant to the university because of the role his office played in community outreach.

“Mr. Ganges and his office were one of the most visible efforts of the university to extend itself beyond its campus and beyond engaging with the powers that be in Flint to engage with the people of Flint.” Jordan said. “His termination adds credibility to the image of the University of Michigan-Flint as an outpost, but not really part of Flint. Part of downtown, but not really engaged with the people who live in the areas that surround downtown. That’s a problem.”

As president of the NAACP Flint, Gilcreast offered to help the university moving forward with community outreach especially in keeping young people in the area and helping increase the graduation rate.

“We have so many economic challenges.” Gilcreast said. “We’re losing our young people from outside sources to other places. We need to keep our resources here. If we’re gonna have a great Flint, we need to make sure we maximize our resources and our resources are our people.”

UM-Flint Chancellor Susan Borrego listened to the community’s concerns and said since the eight weeks she has been on the job she has been meeting with groups to identify issues.

“Well, I’ve been here eight weeks now. I haven’t been able to really look at the extent of the data, but I will tell you between 2011 and 2012 for incoming first time freshmen we’ve gone from 9.2 percent African American in ’11 to 22.5 percent African American in 2014. Having said that, there is an absolute need for us to continue to work with Flint schools to both bring Flint students in and support them to graduation.” Borrego said. “It’s not a problem that started six weeks ago, so it’s going to take some time to address it.”

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Civil Rights Coalition Urges National Reforms and Recommendations to Address Police Abuse

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Civil Rights Coalition Urges National Reforms and Recommendations to Address Police Abuse

A coalition of national civil and human rights organizations and leaders concerned about police abuse commends last week’s announcement by Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. launching the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.  The initiative will enlist a team of criminal justice researchers to study racial bias in law enforcement in five U.S. cities and will focus on training to reduce bias and ensure fairness in law enforcement. The group also applauds the federal investigation by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division of the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department following the August 9, 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, by a Darren Wilson, a white police officer. The weeks following Mr. Brown’s death have seen protests, unrest and further police-related incidents in the area, underscoring a deep schism between the police and the communities they are supposed to protect and serve.

Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive Director Barbara Arnwine and Public Policy Director Tanya Clay House, originally convened 14 national civil and human rights organizations and leaders to issue a Unified Statement of Action to Promote Reform and Stop Police Abuse on August 18, 2014.  Two of the coalition’s recommendations have come to fruition:  an independent and comprehensive investigation by the DOJ of Michael Brown’s shooting death and the use of body-worn cameras by Ferguson police officers. The group continues to call for the use of police officer body-worn cameras nationally and commends the White House’s recent announcement of testing of body-worn cameras by the U.S. Border Patrol.  Notably, five additional groups, including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and more than 340 independent signatories, have joined the open letter which was sent to the White House and the DOJ.

The coalition is also encouraged by Attorney General Holder’s emphasis on the need for diversity across police departments and his description of the proactive steps that the DOJ has taken to engage the St. Louis County Police Department during his remarks regarding the civil rights investigation.  Yet while the investigation of Mr. Brown’s death, as well as the racial bias study and its associated results are significant steps forward, the groups continue to call upon the DOJ, FBI, and police departments across the country to comprehensively address the ongoing killing of unarmed African American and Latino youth and adults by police and civilians alike that may have been motivated by racial bias, and to effect universal and long-term systemic reform to end police killings and the use of excessive force.  In addition, the group continues to urge release of the federal racial profiling guidance, improved community policing, federal oversight of the distribution of federal weaponry and Congressional hearings on the use of excessive and deadly force by police.

The coalition, which remains in conversation with the White House, the DOJ, Ferguson and St. Louis County officials, and community groups and leaders, will continue to closely monitor related police-involved shootings and brutality nationwide.  Likewise, the group will remain a vital part of ongoing reforms, recommendations and actions.
Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP:

Attorney General Eric Holder’s plan to investigate racial bias among law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, is a bold first step towards justice for thousands of victims of racial profiling throughout the country.  The  NAACP Missouri State Conference has been a leader on this front, filing five complaints with the Department of Justice, with regards to cases in St. Louis County. We applaud Attorney General Holder for his leadership in investigating the police interactions that resulted in the death of Michael Brown and that of others across the country.

Barbara R. Arnwine, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

As the federal investigation of the Ferguson Police Department continues, revealing the actual practices by the police department, including patterns of racially disproportionate policing, and as the Department of Justice’s study of racial bias in law enforcement gets underway, the Lawyers’ Committee remains hopeful that the application of the rule of law will yield a just and fair result for Michael Brown and his family and former and pending police lawsuits and internal investigations nationwide.  Also, the Ferguson tragedy heightens national awareness of the criticality of voting.  It is your right and your duty to make your voice heard by exercising the fundamental right to vote to effect change in your community and in the nation.

Clayola Brown, President, A. Philip Randolph Institute:

The A. Philip Randolph Institute supports the recommended strategy of reform to ensure that the problem of police abuse is addressed at the highest level. We applaud the swift action of President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. and the Department of Justice for taking a strong stance against violence and for speaking in favor of restructuring the current landscape to encourage diversity within law enforcement so that the true healing of our communities can move forward.

Wade Henderson, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:

The Department of Justice should be commended for responding swiftly to the tragedy in Ferguson and for taking steps to address racial bias in policing, which undermines effective law enforcement and leads to the victimization of entire communities. The need for sensible reforms is urgent and we urge the administration and Congress to respond accordingly.

Pamela Meanes, President, The National Bar Association:

The National Bar Association applauds the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s civil pattern or practice investigation into allegations of unlawful policing by the City of Ferguson.  Such an investigation was needed and long overdue.  African American communities, such as Ferguson, have routinely been subjected to Investigatory Stops without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.  Stops resulting in unconstitutional detentions and searches. Accordingly, The National Bar Association encourages the DOJ to launch similar investigations in the 25 cities that it has sent Open Records Request. More important, the Association demands Congress to enactment of federal legislation: 1) making it mandatory for police officers to wear body monitors and any violation of this requirement would result in automatic suspension and/or termination; 2) developing and implementing an Early Warning System be to identify officers who are prone to emotional instability or behavior problems; 3) reviewing the use of Deadly Force policies; and 4) mandatory reporting of incidents by race.

Laura W. Murphy, Director, Washington Legislative Office, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):

We are encouraged by the Attorney General’s plan to investigate racial bias in law enforcement in select U.S. cities and hope to see such actions replicated nationally. The Department of Justice must use all of its power to implement systemic policing reforms so that the federal government is able to monitor discrimination and use of excessive and deadly force by local police agencies. These investigations are an important first step to help avoid the all too familiar deadly consequences of these unchecked systems.

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Justice for Michael Brown

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Justice for Michael Brown

The NAACP mourns the shocking loss of Michael Brown. Our hearts are with his family, and all who were touched by his death.

We need answers on his shooting – answers the Ferguson and St. Louis County Police Departments seem disinterested in providing. But our efforts will continue unabated. We will seek and ultimately find the truth about Michael Brown’s killing.

Visit this page frequently for updates from Ferguson, and to find out what you can do to demand justice for Michael.

 

What Happened

On Saturday, August 9th, Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. The eighteen year old was unarmed. The community immediately rallied to demand justice and an investigation into the killing.

The NAACP has been on the ground, working with the St. Louis County branch and the Missouri State Chapter, and doing everything in our power to ensure this shooting is not swept under the rug.

It became clear very early on that the St. Louis County Police Department was dragging their feet in the case. Instead of collecting information, they confiscated cell phones and starting acting as an invading military. Instead of talking to witnesses and members of the community, they fired tear gas and rubber bullets at those seeking answers.

The NAACP petitioned the FBI to take up the case in Ferguson to ensure a full, unencumbered investigation into Michael Brown’s death would take place. We have been working with them to collect information and to provide a safe place for members of the community to come forward and be heard.

On Tuesday night, President Cornell William Brooks led a town hall in Ferguson with hundreds of members of the community. Instead of participating in the community event, the police blocked off portions of the street, forcing community members to walk to the event. More than 300 people attended and voiced their concerns and outrage over the shooting.

We will not stop until justice for Michael Brown is achieved.

Join Us in the fight for Justice!  To get involved, contact our local office at (810) 742-8622.

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Public Should be Outraged!

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As a concerned citizen, and a lifelong resident of the city of Flint, I am saddened and disappointed about the situation we find ourselves in, in 2014. To listen to the rhetoric, the noise coming from the Emergency Financial Manager, Darnell Early, and the recommendation coming from the twenty two members comprising the Blue Ribbon Committee is outlandish. First and foremost, the legitimacy of the committee is in doubt. According to The Charter Revision Handbook, Michigan Municipal League, page 5, a change in form of government requires a charter revision. More specifically, “revision of city charters may be initiated by a resolution adopted by 3/5 of the legislative body or by petition signed by at least five percent of the registered voters, unless the present charter provides otherwise.” Whichever way this is achieved, the decision to revise the charter is one that is voted on by the people.  Additionally, a nine member commission committee must also be selected to do the revisions, and none of these committee members can be an elected or appointed official. The committee must also be voted on by the people. These are just a few, but very important violations committed by this Blue Ribbon Committee, which was put in place by the EFM.

 

Where is the outrage over such terrible violations of the city charter and the rights of the people of the city of Flint? Where is the open meeting discussion from the people? To take it a step further, city council asked for a special meeting to give the people and themselves adequate time to discuss the recommendations in a public setting, their request was denied as well. It’s beginning to be more shameful and ridiculous that this kind of behavior is being forced on the people.

 

We are being told that these are recommendations that we are going to vote on. The question in ones mind is: are these legitimate recommendations by an illegitimate group? This has the perceived spirit of a return to 50 years ago; to fall under this kind of dictatorship! In order to not go back 50 years, the public should be well versed, and it should be openly discussed among Flint voters, not just 22, but 80,000 plus registered voters. The entire voice of the Flint residents should be the Blue Ribbon Committee. Are some of the recommendations good? That has yet to be determined; the process certainly was not.

 

Dr. Karen Williams Weaver, PhD

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NAACP and WE tv present, ‘Concert for a Cause: A Night to Support Childhood Literacy’

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On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the NAACP in partnership with WE tv will host “Concert for a Cause: A Night to Support Childhood Literacy” in Cramton Auditorium at Howard University. The concert will amplify the urgent need to increase grade-level reading proficiency within communities of color. WE tv stars and musical artists “SWV – Sisters With Voices,” along with solo artists Erica Campbell of the gospel group “Mary Mary” and Traci Braxton, star of WE tv’s “Braxton Family Values” series, will perform. Special guests, including North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield and NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks, will be in attendance.

“The NAACP is excited to partner with WE tv to host such a creative and important event,” states Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO. “Our goal is to cultivate a generation of young people committed to reading as studies show that children who begin reading at an early age are more likely to excel in school and in life.”

“We are proud to support the NAACP’s childhood literacy initiative through this special one-night concert at such a historic University,” said Marc Juris, WE tv’s president.  “Through popular shows like SWV Reunited, Mary Mary and Braxton Family Values WE tv gives a voice to African American women who are leaders in their communities and role models for the next generation.”

This concert is part of “NAACP Reads,” an NAACP public awareness campaign with the support of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The campaign aims to reinforce the importance of early literacy development and increase third grade-level reading proficiency for African American and low-income students.

When:
Thursday, September 18

5:30 p.m. Red Carpet

7:00 p.m. Concert

Where:
Cramton Auditorium
Howard University
2455 6th Street NW
Washington, D.C.

The event is free to the public, but there are no more tickets available.

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The Flint Branch of the NAACP Steps Up Voting Efforts

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The Flint Branch NAACP members are out in big numbers to raise voter awareness in this mid-term election. While the NAACP, along with our co-sponsors gave a very successful forum last week on a very important election regarding the 34th District Michigan House of Representatives seat, we are still heavily concerned and advocating for heavy voter turn out in all of the races on August 5th!  Time is of the essence!

When we look at the last mid-term election, out of 335,069 registered voters in Genesee County only 135, 010 of the voters cast their vote! We allowed the people who were elected to further an agenda that negatively impacted the underserved. This mid-term on the ballot will be the Governor’s race, where Democratic challenger Mike Schauer is going up against Governor Rick Snyder; and the United States Senate race, where Democratic Congressman Gary Peters is taking on Republican Terry Lynn Land for the senate seat being vacated by Democratic Senator Carl Levin, who will be retiring. Who represents your interests? The power is in your hands to make that decision!

The NAACP will be teaming up with the Concerned Pastors for Social Action, and other non-partisan organizations to bring voter awareness to the electorate in Genesee County. This is an important mid-term election where we are facing high water bills, emergency manager take-overs in the State of Michigan, cutting of fire and police officers in our urban cities, threats of suing the President, possible Supreme Court Justice appointees, and immigration laws, just to name a few of the challenges. Now is the time to make your voices heard through the ballot box!

The NAACP is calling on all active bodies to take part in trying to help ensure a high voter turn out in all of these up-coming mid-term elections! Voting is a precious right that our forefathers and mothers sometimes had to die for. Don’t let their advocacy be in vain!

 

Please call the NAACP Office at (810) 742-8622 for voter empowerment information and volunteer services.

We are located at 3455 Lippincott Blvd. Flint, MI 48507

Frances L. Gilcreast, President

hurley-hospital

Hurley Medical Center Agrees to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Case

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Press Release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

 

PRESS RELEASE
9-26-13

Hurley Medical Center Agrees to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Case

Hospital Refused to Allow Black Nurse to Care for Baby, Employee Alleged

DETROIT – Hurley Medical Center in Genesee County, Mich., has agreed to settle a race discrimination charge filed against it with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The agreement follows conciliation between the EEOC and Hurley Medical Center over claims that an African-American nurse was not allowed to care for a white baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in November 2012 because of her race, supposedly due to customer preference.  The federal agency also reviewed the hospital’s broader policies with respect to assignments.  Assignment of employees based on customer racial preferences violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As part of a five-year collaborative agreement, Hurley Medical Center is partnering with EEOC on a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at educating and developing youth from Flint and the surrounding Genesee County community.  Hurley and the EEOC will team up on a variety of internal programs at the medical center that are focused on workforce development involving the youth in the community.  This will include increasing the number of high school career day sessions offered at Hurley, where EEOC staff  will participate as speakers for each session.

In addition, as part of ongoing leadership development and education of the workforce, the EEOC will conduct non-discrimination training for the management staff of the hospital annually.  As part of Hurley’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the EEOC will also meet with the Hurley Diversity and Inclusion Council annually to hear the council’s accomplishments and to offer advice that will assist in furthering the efforts of the council.

“I am pleased that we are able to engage in this partnership and receive the expert resources of the EEOC in a collaborative fashion,” said Melany Gavulic, president and CEO of Hurley Medical Center.  “All of these initiatives, in partnership with the EEOC, will continue to move us forward in our unending commitment to provide clinical excellence and service to people.”

Gail D. Cober, director of the EEOC’s Detroit Field Office, said, “This case exemplifies the EEOC’s commitment to stop and remedy employment discrimination.  It is important for the public to know that the EEOC is ever vigilant in our efforts to root out discrimination in the workplace.  Assignments of caregivers according to their race and based on customer preference is against the law period and will not be tolerated.  We commend Hurley Medical Center for their willingness to resolve this matter in a comprehensive way that will have a lasting positive effect in the Flint/Genessee community.”

According to company information, Hurley, a 443-bed premier public teaching hospital located in the heart of Genesee County, Mich., is the region’s only Level I Trauma Center, Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, Burn Center, and the highest-level Neonatal Intensive Care Unit available in Genesee County.

The EEOC has put an emphasis on educating young people about their rights to work free from discrimination, including developing curriculum guides for classrooms and having a special website where young people can find out more information at www.eeoc.gov/youth.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.