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Happy Black History Month!
Inside is a brief news roundup & some local upcoming events.
First, let me say Happy Black History Month! February is one of my favorite months of the year. When I was younger, my Dad would bring home coloring books about Black figures or take my siblings and I to museums to learn more about our culture and history during Black History Month.
Last year, I made a digital calendar to commemorate Black History Month. Almost every day, I shared a site or figure related to Black culture and history in Tallahassee. I’m not sure what I’m doing for Black History Month this year yet, but I encourage you to check out the calendar if you haven’t!
One of my favorite pictures is Day 22. It’s a black and white photo of young adults roller skating at the Dade Recreation Center. It’s so interesting to see the difference in style compared to now, and it also reminds me of all the stories my Mom used to tell me about roller skating at her neighborhood rink.
Below is a brief roundup of news & events from the past couple of weeks.
Thanks for reading!
Cop City is still moving forward.
If you haven’t heard by now, a former Tallahassee resident, Manuel "Tortuguita" Páez Terán, was shot and killed by a police officer while protesting against the development of a national police officer training facility, also known as Cop City, in an undisturbed forest outside of Atlanta, GA.
While the true events of the shooting are unclear, it’s unfortunate that Manny’s life was lost while attempting to protect natural resources. The City of Atlanta has adjusted its plans since Manny’s death, but still intend on moving forward with the project.
Manny had a warm and caring spirit and shared it with the community by volunteering at the Indaba Garden and hosting cold weather shelters for the houseless. If you’d like to honor Manny’s life, you can donate to the family’s GoFundMe and sign a petition to Stop Cop City.
Unfortunately, there was another recent tragedy – the killing of Tyre Nichols, again by the hands of police officers.
My sister is a police officer. She and I spoke recently about these events, and even she agrees the relationship between the public and police officers is eroding.
It’s unacceptable that all five police officers engaged in harmful behavior when Tyre was no longer perceived as a threat. Why didn’t one of the police officers try to de-escalate the situation and suggest a better approach to ensure everyone got home safely to their family? We need our leaders to usher in a culture and mindset shift at Police Departments.
DeSantis is on a crusade to ban diversity in Florida.
The State rejected CollegeBoard’s initial request to offer a pilot AP Black Studies course in Florida schools. State officials denied the request because it is “woke indoctrination masquerading as education”. College Board announced a newer version of the education program yesterday. The new curriculum eliminates contributions from Black feminists like bell hooks and Audre Lorde.
Board trustee of New College wants to replace the President and fire all faculty and staff to eliminate ‘dogmatic wokeness’.
DeSantis proposes banning diversity and inclusion initiatives at Florida universities.
Utility bills are on the rise.
Top Florida utilities have filed requests to raise customers’ rates this April. Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric, and Florida Power & Light have all filed requests with the Florida Public Service Commission to raise rates to recover costs related to fuel and hurricane recovery from customers.
More than 1.5 million customers were disconnected from power in the first 10 months of 2022.
For the past few months, I’ve been working on a report that analyzes post-pandemic utility shutoffs & executive compensation. The report has been covered in the Guardian, Bloomberg, and some other outlets.
One of the main findings from the report was that 12 utilities could have prevented all documented shutoffs with just 1% of the dividends paid out to their shareholders.
Good News: Tallahassee Community College unveiled its 23rd annual Cherry Hall Alexander African-American History Calendar, highlighting local honorees for their recognizable work in the community.
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