Monday, March 14, 2016

"Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship" Application for the 2016-2017 Academic Year



The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. is pleased to announce the "Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship" for the 2016-2017 academic year.

       The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that promotes policies and laws that embrace the public health nature of drug abuse. Through our scholarship program, we provide community-based support to families within the county with a focus on students obtaining higher education and living a drug free life.



The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. is pleased to announce the "Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship" application for the 2016-2017 academic year. For more details, please go to the link below. If you know of any deserving students in Prince George's County District 8, please let them know. The application deadline is quickly approaching.

       The scholarship form can be downloaded by clicking on the link below at:


       The application forms are due Monday, May 2, 2016. All qualifying applicants will receive a notice of an award.



       The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. represents one of many local affiliates of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. Our national organization consists of a coalition of 25 preeminent organizations. Through the support of our national organization, interested organizational partners, and grassroots members like you, we hope to prevent and reduce illegal drug abuse and related crimes in Prince George's County.




Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Md. 4th District Hopefuls Get Territorial at Forum





Nine candidates seeking to represent Maryland’s 4th Congressional District talked Social Security, community policing and other topics at a forum Saturday in Fort Washington ahead of the April primary — but things got a bit testy near the end.


                                     


As the hopefuls gave their closing remarks, one Democratic candidate, military veteran Warren Christopher, pleaded with the audience at the Harmony Hall Regional Center to pick new leadership.




“There are many people who have had the opportunity to deliver for you," said Christopher, referring to former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and state Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk (District 21), two other Democratic candidates. “They have had 16 years. They have had eight or nine years. If you can’t deliver and bring home the money here to the state, how are you going to bring it home from Congress? How can we continue to move down this path of the same results from the same career politicians?”





Brown took the high road, countering that his plan will continue to focus on the accomplishments of President Obama regarding health care and education.




Peña-Melnyk, who represents both Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in the General Assembly, particularly took umbrage with Christopher's contention that all the candidates should live in the 4th District, which includes Bladensburg, Forest Heights, sections of Bowie and Laurel and other portions of the two counties.




“My neighbors are in the 4th [District]. The question should be the following: would I represent this district in the manner in which it deserves? Yes,” said Peña-Melnyk, who lived in the 4th District in Hyattsville until moving just outside the area in College Park in 2001. “I know the district. Would any of them get out of their bed at 10 o’clock at night if they get a call from a constituent? Hell no. Would I do it? Yes? Have I done it? Yes.”



Federal law allows candidates who live outside a district to seek election in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate as long they reside in the state.


The forum, hosted by the Southern Prince George’s Business and Professional Women, Tantallon Square Area Civic Association and Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition Inc., didn’t feature a debate-style format, but those in attendance received voting information and other materials for the April 26 primary, which begins with the early-voting period from April 14-21.


In a heavily Democratic region, the winner of the primary would likely replace Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Maryland), who’s seeking the seat of retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Voter Education and Issues Forum 12pm Noon, Saturday, February 27, 2016



The Prince George's County Drug Policy Coalition Inc., along with the Southern Prince George's Business and Professional Women's (SPG-BPW) organization, and the Tantallon Square Area Civic Association are collaborating to emphasize the importance of voting in the upcoming 2016 primary and general elections. On Saturday February 27, 2016 from 12oon to 2:00pm candidates seeking the 4th Congressional seat will be in attendance to share their views on important community issues. Additionally, information about voter registration and election materials will be available to residents. This event will take place at Harmony Hall Regional Center (Concert Hall) located at 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744 from 12noon until 2:00pm. 






Linda Fihelly, President of the SPG-BPW said, “Our members and supporters are especially interested in the election of candidates who demonstrate concern for more protections against domestic abuse and violence, equal pay for women, and paid leave for those who need it”. Dr. Valencia Campbell, President of the Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. pointed out that, “Members want to hear more about resident and candidate views on treatment options for those suffering from substance abuse”.



Candidates who have been confirmed to be in attendance include: The Honorable Delegate Joseline Pena Melnyk (democrat), The Honorable Glenn Ivey (democrat), Rob Buck (republican),  Warren Christopher (democrat), The Honorable Anthony Brown (democrat), Robert Broadus (republican), and Terence Strait (democrat), Matthew Fogg (democrat), and Kamesha Clark (green).

For more information about the sponsoring organizations visit their websites http://www.bpwmaryland.org/, or http://www.pgcdpc.com/, or call (240) 416-0435 regarding the upcoming forum.



Sunday, February 14, 2016

"Stop The Violence" March and Forum January 18, 2016



 Across the U.S.A. there are daily reports of escalating violent acts in our communities. In Prince George’s County, Maryland, the home of the most affluent (per capita) African-American population, overall crime has reduced by 17%, but violent crime has spiked. In fact year to date (2015) homicides have increased by more than 25% (from 54 homicides in 2014 to 76 ytd in 2015).









In an October 1, 2015, White House briefing after a gunman killed 9 people and injured 7 more in Umpqua Community in Roseburg, Oregon, President Barack H. Obama stated, "We have become numb to this." The Mayor of Seat Pleasant, MD in Prince George's County, Eugene W.Grant, and President of the 27 year old youth organization, Global Development for Youth, who called for the countywide March, responded, "Well, we have heard our President and our Stop The Violence March and Forum is intended to send a strong message that we want the violence to stop. We are pleased with the overwhelming support of our message and with those who have decided to join the march to help us take concrete actions to Stop The Violence."






The Stop The Violence March and Forum which was held on 
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Day-January 18, 2016 was the 
beginning of a yearlong campaign that seeks to raise 
awareness about escalating violence in our communities, 
promotes sustainable prevention programs, and shares 
information regarding successful intervention services 
available to Prince George's County residents.








The March has a three-pronged approach: to Enlighten, Educate, and Empower. The March is designed to enlighten residents about 
the issues and impacts of violence through the March. The Forum is to educate the public on ways to identify violent tendencies 
and resources that may help them. The yearlong campaign 
will empower the people through a series of 
workshops, seminars and classes.









The marchers met at FedEx Field (Redskins Stadium) on Garrett Morgan Blvd. at 7:30am. Afterwards there was a forum 
that began at 12:00pm Noon at Jericho City of Praise. 
Coalition member, Dean Jerome Schiele, Bowie 
State University College Of Professional Studies, 
served as the moderator at the forum.









The Coalition, which was well represented, was a 
co-sponsor along with a host of elected officials, clergy, 
community groups an activists for the event. Mayor Grant's 
Global Development for Youth nonprofit was the 
lead organization. The Prince George's Suite, as well as 
various radio and television stations covered the event 
which took place at the Jericho City of Praise church 
in Landover, MD. Please take a moment to enjoy 
viewing the photographs ( Photos 1 and 2 above, 
which were taken courtesy of Mr. Maurice Fitzgerald).










Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Congratulations Coalition Member Leticia Forrest, 2015 Southern Prince George's Business and Professional Woman of the Year (SPG-BPW) Woman of the Year



The Prince George’s County Drug Policy, Inc.  congratulates Coalition member Leticia Forrest on her selection as the recipient of the 2015 Southern Prince George's Business and Professional Woman of the Year Coalition (SPG-BPW). Coalition President, Valencia Campbell, nominated Leticia for the 2015 SPG-BPW award.  She was selected to receive the award based on her broad experiences mentoring young women, her commitment in supporting nonprofits in the community, her efforts to successfully operate a business for more than 15 years and her work managing the prestigious service academy nominations which allowed young women and men to gain access to these institutions. 
 
In addition to receiving awards from the local SPG-BPW chapter, Leticia also received a proclamation from the Prince George's  County Council, as well as citations from the Governor,  and U.S. Senator for Maryland Barbara Mikulski. Please join us in congratulating Leticia and saying thank you for her years of dedicated service to our communities. Also, please take a moment to view the pictures of the commemoration events below.



  Leticia Forrest speaking at  the County Council ceremony
in the hearing room in Upper Marlboro Maryland.

 

Award recipient Leticia Forrest poses for a photo with Prince George’s County Councilmembers,  Southern Prince George's Business and Professional Women and the SPG- BPW Employer of the Year Virginia Callas, who is the Executive Director of Unity Economic Development Corporation


  
Leticia Forrest, with Coalition President Valencia Campbell,
showing her citations and proclamations at the Maryland Business and  Professional  Woman of the Year (BPW/MD 2015) Fall Conference in Hagerstown, MD.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 







Saturday, December 5, 2015

Delegate Tony Knotts Hosts Annapolis Day for Students




 
 
On Saturday, November 7, 2015 Maryland District 26 Delegate Tony Knotts, former County Council Chairman and Council Member for District 8, hosted a 2015 Legislative Day for youth in in Annapolis, Maryland from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m . 
 

The goal of the event was to encourage more students to learn how the legislative process works and become more aware and involved in the political process. Through a mock session in Annapolis, students had the opportunity to discuss selected bills, cast their votes, and understand the importance of having their voice heard on issues of critical concern to them and their community. Schools invited to participate included Crossland High School, Friendly High School, Oxon Hill High School, and Potomac High School. Delegate Knotts wanted the focus to be on high school students who may not normally be interested in government, “Our goal is to provide greater exposure for youth in the areas of policy and government.”              

The 2015 Legislative Day for youth in in Annapolis was held in conjunction with the National Harbor Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Henry’s Soul Café, and The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.

Please take a few moments look at the photographs taken of the event, courtesy of Mr. Maurice Fitzgerald.
    
 Students on Their Way to Vote on Their Bills


 
Coalition Members Valencia Campbell, Cheryle Mines,
Volunteer Jennifer Shanks, and National Harbor Chapter 
of Jack and Jill Leader Colette Gresham Listening  to  Mock Teen Leader

 


 
Teen Students Gather to Listen to Delegate Tony Knotts
 
 
 
 
 
National Harbor Chapter of Jack and Jill Cosponsors

 
 
 
MD State Delegate Michael Jackson Advising Teen Participants 
 
 
 
Coalition Members with Volunteer Helper Jennifer Shanks

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Teen Participants Voting on Their Leadership

 
 
Delegate Tony Knotts with wife, Mrs. Wanda Knotts
 
 
 
 
 
More 2015 Mock Teen Participants

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Forum on Police Accountability in Prince George’s and the State of Maryland: NEXT STEPS


October 1, 2015

LARGO, MD – On October 1, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, the Prince George’s County Branch of the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Prince George's County, and the Prince George’s County People’s Coalition will host a forum, “Maryland Police Accountability: NEXT STEPS.”

Members of the public are invited to join experts and community leaders to discuss the next steps to address police accountability in Maryland. How should we address police brutality cases? How should we educate the community? What legislation should we introduce and advocate for in the 2016 Maryland General Assembly session?


WHAT: Forum on police accountability in Prince George’s County and the state of Maryland.

WHO: Moderator: Wilmer Leon, Sirius XM Radio Host; 

            Speakers: Cary Hansel, Hansel Law, PC; 
                             Toni Holness, ACLU of Maryland; 
                             Dorothy Elliot, Victim Advocate; 
                             Christian Gant, Next Step Coalition; 
                             Matthew Fogg, Congress Against Racism and 
                                                                   Corruption in Law Enforcement;
                             Bob Ross, Prince George’s NAACP; 
                             Dr. Johnnie Jones, Professor

WHEN: Thursday, October 1, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Prince George’s Community College, Rennie Forum, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD.

Contacts: Walakewon Blegay, wblegay@gmail.com, 202-441-7650
                 Meredith Curtis, ACLU, media@aclu-md.org, 443-310-9946


###



Friday, September 11, 2015

"Crisis of confidence with justice system" examined by Michael Brown attorney, panelists


Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Sandra Bland. Samuel DuBose.
Those are a few of the most recent names of African-Americans seared into the collective memory of much of America over the last few years, following their untimely deaths either while in police custody or whose suspicious deaths were not perceived as being investigated or adjudicated fairly by the criminal justice system.
A panel of legal experts at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago claimed these most recent examples along with the school-to-prison pipeline phenomenon present a lurid new visibility to the ongoing challenges to the rule of law in much of the minority community.
 
 

The perception of a dual justice system gets reinforced with every perceived miscarriage of justice, said Daryl D. Parks, whose law firm represents the family of teenager Michael Brown, who was shot multiple times and killed by former Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson last August. The 18-year-old unarmed youth became engaged in a confrontation with the officer over his walking in the middle of the street with a friend, which turned in to a violent altercation.
“Black Americans are in a crisis of confidence with the Justice Department,” said Parks, a managing partner with the Tallahassee law firm of the Parks and Crump LLC. He said many feel that the “politics of color, class and race” are all leveled against them.
Parks was joined on the panel titled, “It’s Not Just Ferguson: Promoting the Rule of Law and Other Solutions at Home,” by Arthur L. Burnett, Sr., a retired Washington, D.C. Superior Court judge who is now the executive director of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.; Melanca Clark, chief of staff at the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at the U.S. Department of Justice; and Bernice B. Donald, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati.
The most recent cases have been an impetus for extra scrutiny of policing policies and widespread sentiment among people of color that there is a double standard of justice in America, especially with its youth, panelists said.
Donald noted that in far too many instances police are now the disciplinary figure in inner city public schools. “Schoolyard infractions are now being catapulted in to the criminal justice system,” she said.
Donald said given the proliferation of security guards, metal detectors and zero tolerance policies in the often highly segregated and poor inner city schools that many have taken on the characteristics of prisons rather than educational institutions.
 

“It wasn’t all that long ago when punishment meant coming to school early and attending mandatory study hall,” she said.
But now with children as young as five and six years old being introduced to the criminal justice system, Donald and others on the panel feared that a negative relationship with the law sets in for the remainder of their lives. Such dynamics, they agreed, hardens the perception in minority communities that the rule of law does not apply to them when it comes to finding justice for their communities.
Burnett said he certainly understood and sympathized with the concerns about the over-policing of the African-American community and the feelings of being disrespected by police by so many young people. However, he said the smartest thing young people could do was to be compliant when encountering the police.
“Don’t be defiant and belligerent,” the retired judge said. “Go to lawyers to deal with the problems of abuse and to hold police accountable.”
Burnett said as hard as it may be to hear, nothing constructive can come out of an individual challenging the authority of a police officer. However, he added that it is also imperative for white police officers to “treat black people with the same respect they show white people.”
Parks’ firm previously represented the family of 17-year-old teenager Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in 2012 by security guard George Zimmerman while walking to his father’s home from a store in Sanford, Fla.  Zimmerman, who confronted Martin and shot him during an altercation, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in 2013 by a predominantly white jury.
 

Parks said the issue is not black youth’s attitudes, but the failure of police departments to adequately train its officers to respect the public. Also problematic, he said, is the knee-jerk reactions from so many departments, unions and prosecutors to automatically back bad officers when their behavior has been challenged by a civilian.
He said for every death following an encounter with the police, there are hundreds of people who have been beat up, unlawfully detained and hurt by officers, but aren’t hurt enough to make for a successful case in court.
“One of the worst parts of fighting a law enforcement agency is that they pretty much have unlimited budgets and clients don’t have much money,” Parks said. “I feel read bad about people who don’t die, but have been humiliated, hurt and have to dismiss their case because they don’t meet the threshold.” 
It’s Not Just Ferguson: Promoting the Rule of Law and Other Solutions at Home” was sponsored by the Judicial Division.
 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Real Talk With Dr. Valencia Campbell: Becoming Equipped To Take Action Now chats with Dr. Alvin





              Dr. Valencia Campbell, author of “Advice From the Top: What Minority Women Say about Their Career Success,” speaks with Dr. Alvin concerning the climate of activism and protest surrounding the police brutality that led to the deaths young people like Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD and others around the country like Eric Garner in New York. The discussion can be heard at:  Dr. Valencia Campbell chat with Dr. Alvin on Real Talk

 

One of the important conferences coming up this September include National African American Drug Policy Coalition (NAADPC) Fall Conference on September 14-15 at Howard University School of Law. The theme will be: ACHIEVING SOLUTIONS TO RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTHCARE, JUSTICE AND EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES. The Conference Registration can be found at NAADPC 2015 Conference Registration Form.  Some issues discussed will including, achieving solutions to problems of police contact, as well as problems of police contact. These dynamic discussions will include Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition members Duke Haggins and Chayla Jackson, J.D.

 
 


Dr. Campbell also mentioned the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference which will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC from September 15, 2015 to September 18, 2015. There will be a number of sessions addressing pertinent issues of the day, including the Black Lives Matter Movement, the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, and police reform legislation.
 

 
 

September should be a month of action and there are many opportunities and forums for concerned and engaged folk to get involved. Once again, the discussion can be heard on Dr. Valencia Campbell chats with Dr. Alvin on Real Talk.  For more information, Dr. Campbell can be reached at campbell@advicefromthetop.com or pgcdpc@hotmail.com  as well as 240-416-0435.