It’s been a dark and emotionally draining week. It has been much longer than a week for people of color; a few centuries, perhaps.
It goes without saying that this is a brutal time for our nation. How often are we under two emergency orders simultaneously?
Last week’s death of George Floyd was horrifying. We’ve all seen the video multiple times: Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. As a TV reporter astutely pointed out, the video appears to show the officer shifting his weight after a few minutes to seemingly apply even more pressure while already in a dominating position. And as we saw, in the final three minutes the 46-year-old Floyd lay motionless.
Pastor Albert Tate from Fellowship Church used the terms “execution” and “evil” in describing the death during the streaming of his Sunday sermon. It was the first time that I’d heard those two words mentioned in this context.
And Tate is not alone in looking for words that fit the enormity and gravity of what we saw. People from all walks of life, regardless of their skin color, are outraged by the senseless death of George Floyd.
Many of the protests that I watched on television featured ethnic diversity. In fact, the news showed a protest march in Santa Ana on Sunday that seemed to be mostly Latino. This is obviously not simply a black issue; this is a human rights issue. Continue reading “‘Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere’”
The Pasadena Altadena Ivy Foundation (PAIF), in partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s Eta Lambda Omega Chapter (ELO), announced the awarding of $30,000 in college scholarships to 13 local high school seniors.
The scholarships were granted in the categories of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), social justice and the young African American male. They were awarded to students attending area high schools, including John Muir, Pasadena High and Marshall Fundamental.
“For more than 60 years, ELO has been committed to providing college-bound students in the local community with scholarships to assist them as they begin their studies in the important fields of STEAM and social justice,” said Ashley Vickers, president of ELO. “In the midst of the COVID-19 global health crisis, this type of financial support could not be more important. We send all of these students our best wishes and hope their future careers will one day serve the world.”
Over the last six decades, in partnership with PAIF, ELO has awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships to local students. In addition, the organizations together have:
• Conducted free annual community workshops on how to attain additional scholarships
• Delivered lunchtime workshops regarding the college entrance process for students at John Muir and Pasadena high schools.
The 2020 PAIF/ELO scholarship recipients are:
• Anjolie Charles from John Muir High School, who is headed to Pasadena City College to major in criminal justice
• Haley Cogshell, who John Muir High School’s valedictorian and will enter UCLA to major in human biology
• Imani Hayes of John Muir High School, who will attend San Jose State University and major in graphic design
• Hasan Spencer of John Muir High School, who is headed to Bucknell University to major in political science
• Jamila Cummings of Pasadena High School, who will enter UCLA to major in public affairs
• Jordan Patton of Marshall Fundamental High School, who will attend USC and major in African American studies
• Eryn Pollard of California School of the Arts, who will enter Spelman College and major in health sciences
• Allison Wright of Arcadia High School who will attend San Francisco State and major in psychology
• Sonia Andrews of Monrovia High School, who will attend San Jose State and major in business finance
• Faith Hussey of Monrovia High School, who will enter Pasadena City College to major in nursing
The organization’s Book Award Scholarship recipients are:
• Tanner Holmes of South Pasadena High School, who will enter Spelman College and major in sociology
• Calvin Malik Jeffers of Bishop Alemany High School, who will attend California State University, Northridge and major in business
• Jackson Quincy Jones of Aveson Global Academy, who will attend University of California, Santa Cruz and major in computer science
The Pasadena Altadena Ivy Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) dedicated to improving access, expanding opportunities and closing economic gaps for the local community through scholarships, mentorships and educational programs.
ELO has a mission comprised of five basic tenets: to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive interest in college life, and to be of service to all mankind.
Cathay Bank announced that its Smart Relief Loan Program is now available to small businesses located in California and eight other states it serves, and increased funding to the loan program to $3 million from the original $2 million. This program offers low interest rate short-term loans to small businesses ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
The Smart Relief Loan Program was first launched on April 1 to small businesses in Los Angeles County, and later expanded to cover all of California within the bank’s assessment areas. This program aims to help small businessowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many small businesses are being hit especially hard through the shutdown and stay-at-home order,” said Chang M. Liu, Cathay Bank president and chief operating officer. “Our program has been well received since its launch. Through expanding the program coverage, we will hope to aid more small business owners.
To be eligible for the Smart Relief Loan Program, small businesses must be located within Cathay Bank’s assessment area in California, New York, Washington, Illinois, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada and New Jersey, must be in business for at least one year, and have an annual revenue not exceeding $1 million. Those that qualify will receive an 18-month term loan with a 0% interest rate for the first six-month period with no payment due, followed by a 2% interest rate with full amortization of the fixed principal and interest due monthly for the remainder of the term. Application fee for the Smart Relief Loan Program will be waived as well.
To apply for a Smart Relief Loan, businesses can submit an interest form at cathaybank.com, contact your nearest Cathay Bank branch, or call (800) 922-8429.
To learn more about other business resources available at the state and federal level, visit uschamber.com/co/small-business-coronavirus.
Cathay Bank, a subsidiary of Cathay General Bancorp, offers a wide range of financial services through nine states in the U.S. as well as a branch in Hong Kong and representative offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei. Founded in 1962 to support Los Angeles’ growing Chinese American community, in the past half century the bank has expanded and grown with its customers, providing them with the tools and services they need to achieve their goals. Learn more at cathaybank.com. FDIC insurance coverage is limited to deposit accounts at Cathay Bank’s U.S. domestic branch locations.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cancer Support Community Pasadena has successfully gone virtual with its programs — offering online support groups, virtual educational workshops and healthy lifestyle classes to reach more women and men in the community who are facing cancer.
Now CSCP is going virtual with its fundraising, launching its first virtual gala on Saturday, July 11.
“Everyone is invited,” says Kim Ferreira, CSCP’s events manager. “The community’s participation in our virtual Angel Gala will allow CSCP to continue to be a community of support for its members, so that no one faces cancer alone.”
Gala co-chairs Ellen Driscoll, Sandy Kobeissi and Bill Ukropina, along with their dedicated committee, have been working hard to ensure that passion, excitement and fun will shine through in this new format. And although guests won’t be gathering in person on July 11, the event will gather the community together in spirit, celebrating 30 years of CSCP providing free support, education and hope to families facing cancer.
“Our gala honorees are Rosemari Annear, Bistro 45, City of Hope, Sharp Seating, and Charlotte Streng and the late Joel Streng,” said CSCP Executive Director Patricia Ostiller. “Their steadfast support and enthusiasm for this virtual format have been incredible — just another reason why this group of amazing individuals, businesses and hospital are so deserving of recognition and celebration.”
Sponsors from across the region have committed their support to the format and to the mission of CSCP. Anyone wishing to join this list may visit cscpasadena.org/fundraisingevents, email Kim Ferreira at email@example.com or call (626) 796-1083.
CSCP invites the community to participate in its virtual gala by:
• Joining CSCP in thanking honorees, sponsors and donors who are supporting the event, and considering becoming a sponsor or donor as well.
• Checking cscpasadena.org/fundraisingevents for information on when and how to participate in the gala and the days leading up to it. Wonderful auction opportunities and other virtual programming and entertainment will be added to the website as they become available.
• Spreading the word about the event.
• Joining CSCP on July 11
“Families facing cancer rely on CSCP now more than ever. We can’t thank our honorees, sponsors and donors enough for their dedication to people in our community who are facing cancer in the midst of a pandemic,” Ostiller said.
Cancer Support Community Pasadena provides free support groups, educational workshops and healthy lifestyle classes to cancer patients and their families. For more information, visit cscpasadena.org.
Last week’s death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody shows us that the deep-seated biases that have existed in our country continue. To fix the persistent inequities that are so pervasive in our society, we must face them head-on. As an African American, a father and an educator, my heart hurts for our nation, for all of us who have faced bias, and for Floyd and his family.
The COVID-19 crisis has further exposed the deep divide in our country along racial and socioeconomic lines.
Enough is enough. It is time for us as a community and as a country to make meaningful and impactful change. The solutions rest with us individually and collectively.
As we saw images of peaceful protests and violence over the weekend, my thoughts turned to our students and the questions they may have. It is important that we listen and respond with honesty, and recognize and address their feelings. As a community, we must help them learn, by our own example, to act peacefully against racism and bias by making sustaining changes. Although the school year officially ended for students last week, we have counseling staff available for our students to help them process what is taking place in many communities across the nation. To get help, please contact the Pasadena Unified School District’s Family Hotline at (626) 396-3680 or visit pusd.us/Page/8372 .
We as a community must see the humanity in each other and live out the ideals of our country’s Declaration of Independence that states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”
One of the central guiding principles of the PUSD is equity — and the events in the news show the depth of emotion in our communities around this issue. The issues surrounding these events are complex and have deep roots, and we must resolve them.
Our children’s future depends on the actions we take today. We as a school system must do more, through our methods and actions, to ensure that every child and every person, regardless of their race or circumstance, will be lifted up. Then and only then will our society become one that is truly “out of many, one people.”
As protests rocked the nation this week in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who perished after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, Pasadena clergy, civil rights and social justice groups joined peacefully to decry police brutality on people of color — nationally and locally — and demanded civilian oversight for the city’s police department. Continue reading “Clergy, Civic Leaders Unite Peaceful Protests for Justice”
We have been suffering as individuals and as a community.
Some of us have lost loved ones, many have suffered financial losses, and now all of us have witnessed a terrible killing that has torn at the fabric of our nation. Both the virus and racism take lives and damage us all.
Since mid-March, we have been asked to modify our behavior dramatically and to exercise a significant degree of self-control. The good news is that it is paying off.
By staying home, social distancing, wearing face coverings and not hugging people that we don’t live with, we have slowed the pandemic, prevented our health-care system from being overwhelmed and created the precursors for reopening businesses … carefully. Then, by obeying curfews, we allowed law enforcement to control a volatile situation created by the terrible death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the chaos that resulted nationwide.
In both cases, governmental action was imperfect, perhaps overbearing, but largely effective. In this country, we rely on private enterprise and clever individuals to break new ground and to do the creative thinking. But when we are confronted with serious emergencies — earthquakes, civil unrest, pandemics, wars — we must rely on a muscular governmental response to turn the tide. This reliance comes at a price that includes inefficiencies, missed opportunities, errors and more. Continue reading “City Shows It Can Take a Punch, Emerge Stronger”
As protests rocked the nation this week in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who perished after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, Pasadena clergy, civil rights and social justice groups joined peacefully to decry police brutality on people of color — nationally and locally — and demanded civilian oversight for the city’s police department.
Despite reports of protests turning violent across Los Angeles County over the weekend, with Gov. Gavin Newsom declaring a state of emergency and county officials issuing local curfews, an estimated 1,500 people convened on the steps of Pasadena’s City Hall on Sunday evening to express outrage and urge justice for Floyd. Continue reading “Clergy, Civic Leaders Unite Peaceful Protests for Justice”
I met Pasadena resident Fred Claire about this time last year on my first visit to City of Hope National Medical Center. Fred, his wife, Sheryl, and I talked for two hours that first day, sitting in the shade outside a research building on the sprawling campus. Fred never let on then that he was in terrible pain from an infection in his cancer-ravaged jaw. Instead, the former general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers kept turning our conversation back to the men and women of City of Hope who were fighting to save his life.
“I want the world to know how I feel about these people,” he told me that day. “I couldn’t invent this. Nothing is contrived. Everything is real. This is the greatest team I’ve ever been involved with. I’ve known great players and great teams. I’ve never had the opportunity to be involved in anything like this.” Continue reading “Former Dodger Executive’s Journey From Pasadena to City of Hope”
Gov. Newsom released the state’s revised May budget proposal for 2020-21 that seeks to avoid permanent cuts to public education while dealing with the impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on the state’s economy. For PUSD this means that instead of facing a projected $35 million in reduction in state funding, we now estimate a $15 million reduction in state funding. We are examining in detail the revised budget and will continue to advocate on behalf of our students and educators in the coming weeks. Budgets are a reflection of values, and we are asking the state and federal governments to show their commitment to students and the future of this country. Continue reading “Heading Down the Home Stretch of the School Year”