Category Archives: News and Views

STEM-SC and Oratorial Competition Sponsored by Blacks in Government

The Blacks in Government, is sponsoring its annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-Student Competition (STEM-SC) and Oratorical Competition. BIG was established in 1975 and incorporated in 1976. As a Non-profit 501 © (3), we continue to be a national response to the needs of African Americans in public service to organize around issues of mutual concern and to use our collective strength to confront workplace and community issues.

This year’s STEM competition will focus on coding to create interactive animated projects that are narratives that tell a story or build an environment. The official theme is: “Exploring Coding/ Programming Opportunities” This experience will provide high school students in grades 9th – 12th an opportunity to develop STEM competencies. This competition will recognize and encourage African American youth participation and engagement in science, technology, engineer, mathematics and an opportunity to compete for scholarships and awards. Winners from this region will compete nationally in New Orleans, LA, August, 2018.

This year’s oratorical competition will provide young people training in communication and public speaking experience. The official theme is: “Making Ethical Decisions: What Challenges Impedes Today’s Youth’s Ability to Lead by Example Positively? This opportunity will provide high school students in grades 9th -12th with the chance to develop essential skills necessary in becoming leaders in their community. Winners from this regional competition will compete nationally in New Orleans, LA, August, 2018.

Below are the list of sites local competition sites. Interested students should complete the attached application ASAP. Please also contact me so that I can support the entry process.

  1. Carl T. Rowan – Oratorical – April 13
  2. FMS BIG – Oratorical – May 6
  3. Coast Guard – Oratorical and STEM – May 16
  4. Education – Oratorical and STEM – May 17
  5. NOAA – STEM – May 19
  6. Sankofa – STEM and Oratorical – May 19
  7. Washington Navy Yard – Oratorical – May 23
  8. BIG Pentagon – Oratorical and STEM – May 23 or May 30
Leroy Nesbitt Jr.
Executive Director
Black Student Fund
3636 16th St NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20010
(202)-387-1414

The following are PDF files with more details:

Margery E. Goldberg to be given an award on April 10

Margery E. Goldberg to be honored by the City Council and given an award for her service to the city on:

Tuesday April 10, 2018, between 11-1 at the Council Chambers in DC. People are welcome to come.

Our support of the “Selection from the Freedom Place Collection” exhibition at the Congressional Bank led us to be introduced to Margery E. Goldberg, who lives in Ward 4 and is also the founder and director of the Zenith Gallery and the Zenith Art Foundation. These work to train, support and promote local arts and artists. Since GABIDDC is primarily dedicated to present and future workforce training and education efforts, we welcome an association with her and congratulate her for her award.

Margery:

“opened Zenith Gallery on Rhode Island Avenue, NW in March 1978 when she was 27 years old; and developed it into a 50,000 square foot art center, called Zenith Square with 17 50 artists studio’s, the Dance Exchange and Studio Theater.”

The award will be given at the Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

For More on Margery:

www.zenithgallery.com
Zenith Gallery
202-783-2963-gallery
202-957-3869-cell
Zenith Foundation
Zenith Community Arts Foundation
1429 Iris St., NW
Washington, DC 20012-1409
www.ZCAF.org
zenithcommunityarts@zcaf.org
202-783-8005

Selections From the Freedom Place Collection

We attended a reception on March 22, 2018, to celebrate and highlight the artwork of 5 distinguished artists, one of whom is still alive.

The reception showcased these five distinguished African-American artists from the Freedom Place Collection of Stuart Marshall Bloch and Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch. Works by renowned artists, Romare Bearden, Alma Thomas, Benny Andrews, Robert Freeman, and Richard Yarde are still on display at the bank.

The Freedom Place Collection was assembled, and is owned, by Washington residents Stuart Marshall Bloch, Founding Chairman of Congressional Bank, and Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch, president of the US-China Education Trust and United States Ambassador to Nepal, 1989-1993. The name of the collection refers to the Freedom Place stop along the Underground Railroad, once located near the Bloch’s former home. Mr. Bloch was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Black Student Fund for many years.

Congressional Bank continues to be an integral member of the community for over decade and a partner with the Black Student Fund. GABIDDC was there supporting their efforts. The exhibit was presented by Zenith Gallery and will be there for a little longer.

Where: 2101 “K “St. N.W., Washington DC
https://www.congressionalbank.com/cb-news/congressional-bank-presents selections- freedom-place-collection-artistic-collaboration-illustrious-artists/
Collection Information: Margery Goldberg, Tel: 202-783-2963, margery@zenithgallery.com
Leroy Nesbitt Jr.
Executive Director
Black Student Fund
3636 16th St NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20010
(202)-387-1414

Why DC Bill 22-663 is Bad legislation

The problem with DC Bill 22-663 is that the changes seem to reflect the agenda of major landowners and developers, and not necessarily the wishes of the people. This is not only our own opinions. The blogger “Eye On 501SW” writes:

“This is not the only issue where Office of Planning and the ANC are at odds. Certain elements within the city are currently proposing to strip the ANCs (and by default the communities they represent) of their say in community issues. This gutting would happen by a wholesale rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan that would essentially hand developers the keys to the city and remove many protections from communities.” [EyeOn501SW]

Not Good Changes

The strike-overs and edits on it show that this is core law being changed. Andrea Pawley in her blog, notes:

  1. Any plot in the city not built to the maximum allowable height in its area would be defined under the new bill as “underutilized” (213.4).
  2. The Future Land Use Map would no longer “express public policy” but instead only “generally depict public policy” (225.1).
  3. The current land use definitions would be eliminated and replaced by general descriptions open to subjective interpretation (223, 224, 225, 226).
  4. Neighborhood Conservation Areas would apply only to low density residential areas (223.4) – generally only the city’s richest neighborhoods – and would no longer be intended to conserve other, less affluent, established neighborhoods (223.5).
  5. Historic districts would be seen to have “unique opportunities for growth” (205.3).

These changes are not good changes. They are arbitrary and they seem aimed at shifting power to developers and big money and away from the residents of DC.

Need for Consent of Governed

Shouldn’t such things as this be reviewed by the people of the whole of the District constituency? Such radical changes in zoning law and permissive relaxations in regulation may reflect a power grab by developers unless the people of the district are onboard. The essential principle of law here that should operate is “consent of the Governed.” That consent is not effectively gained unless the people it is sought from are substantially informed and thus able to make an informed decision. Having relatively obscure public hearings is not a means to substantial information but to minimal informing of the public.

The Need for it to be a Public Referendum/Initiative

Something as radical as this should be publicly debated and maybe passed on by the voters. Passing dubious and possibly corrupting changes to the law like this without the “consent of the governed” would be an abuse of power on the part of the legislature and executive without such informed consent. Maybe the people of DC might be fine with anything goes rules for developers. But if it is passed without informed consent I doubt it. To quote Edward W. Young:

“The rule of law requires that people should be governed by accepted rules, rather than by the arbitrary decisions of rulers.” [Quote] One of those rules is consent of Governed.”

https://eyeon501sw.com/2018/03/16/zoning-commission-approves-set-down-hearing/
https://eyeon501sw.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/bill-22-663-comprehensive-plan-amendment-act-of-2018.pdf
Quote: http://www.quebecoislibre.org/000902-11.htm

Letter to the DC City Council on 22-663


Chairman Mendelson
DC City Council
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

 

Honorable Chairman Mendelson

 
The rule of law requires that people should be governed by accepted rules, rather than by the arbitrary decisions of rulers. These rules should be general known and certain, and apply equally to all individuals
by the government. The DC City Council, the legislative that has oversight over passing laws, should consider the value of a referendum vote by the constituency of the residents of the District of Columbia rather than the approach of changing the Comprehensive Law of the District of Columbia without input from the people.
Constitutional governments are based on a previous commitment to freedom under the rule of law. The essential attribute of these laws is based on the premise of implementation of a long term plan of action for the Development of Real Estate, coupled with consistency in the zoning set by time honored standard.

Sustainable Development requires reasonable Limits

The purpose of the Comprehensive plan is to allow a time line for residents to grow into the plan of action. To undermine those sustainable rights of citizens is a game changer that does not take into account the outcomes expected by the citizens prescribed within the current comprehensive law. The current legal binding law provides the stability of limitation and time set by the governments current law.

To undo the law based upon unreasonable timelines set by the government in midstream of the process undermine’s the constitutionalism rules.

Please understand the consequences,…

The question is what has happened to make you consider these change? You and most of the council members are respected community advocates. Please do not allow a process that facilitates the demise of the residual value of the human capital of the District of Columbia, that build this city Changing the comprehensive law affects everything from affordable housing, environmental & infrastructure issues to living wages, adversely effects, the residents ability to live within this city. It would be truly disingenuous of the council Council chair, an esteemed advocate of the people, bring this change order before the council without even considering a referendum vote by the people.
Please consideration a referendum vote by the citizens of the District of Columbia.

Michael A. Jackson
(202) 604-3097


School Heads Speak Out Against Gun Violence


More than 133 independent school heads in the D.C. area and Maryland, including many BSF member school heads, signed a letter about gun violence in schools. The ad was sponsored by AISGW in the A Section of the Sunday Washington Post and this past Wednesday in the Baltimore Sun.

The ad presents the perspective of these educators who live with children and young people. They hear the questions, provide information and feel the concerns of thousands of students in unique educational environments. The ‘adults’ ought to read this to amplify the voices of america’s schools.

Here is a link to the article:
https://www.aisgw.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AISGW-Ad_3-18-18.pdf

AISGW-Ad_3-18-18


Protesting Insane Firearms regulations

Yesterday many DC students walked out of class, in solidarity with the students at Stoneman Douglas. Many students around the country have made genuine gun safety and firearms reforms their priorities. And yesterday’s demonstration was a first step in what will probably a long fight. They reacted in the true spirit of Minutemen and voluntarism.

We at GABIDDC support efforts to make our communities safer. Our communities are a social contract between those who live within them, and safety is only guaranteed for some when it is protected for all. Mike Jackson’s efforts are aimed at ensuring that young people have access to training, skills, apprenticeships and what is necessary to get ahead.

National Green Infrastructure Certification Program

UDC announces informationation meetings on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 and the following Wednesday March 28, 2018. Both from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the College Bertie Backus Campus at 5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE.

The following is their announcement of these sessions.

Announcement

“DC Water, in partnership with the Water Environment Federation, launched the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program to train, qualify and certify eligible participants for the green infrastructure construction, inspection and maintenance workforce. The University of the District of Columbia provides the training at no cost to District residents who qualify (a high school diploma or equivalent and no college education). A maximum of 30 participants are allowed.”

“DC Water and UDC will conduct mandatory information meetings about the program on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 and Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Please register at the links below to participate in either information session. Only one session is required to participate in the green infrastructure training program. The next two program training sessions begin the weeks of April 9th and April 23rd. The full training program is 106 hours.”

INFORMATION SESSIONS

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
 
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

LOCATION

UDC Community College Bertie Backus Campus
5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE
Room 106
Washington, D.C. 20017
(within walking distance of Fort Totten metro stop)

CONTACT

Ashley Grant
ashley.grant1@udc.edu
(202) 274-7128

Selections from the Freedom Place Collection March 22, 2018

L-R: Green Times Remembered, by Romare Bearden, Twilight by Benny Andrews, Garden Encounters II by Robert Freeman

The reception will showcase the inspirational works of five distinguished African-American artists from the Freedom Place Collection of Stuart Marshall Bloch and Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch.

Works by renowned artists, Romare Bearden, Alma Thomas, Benny Andrews, Robert Freeman, and Richard Yarde will be on display. Signed posters by Robert Freeman will be available.

The Freedom Place Collection was assembled, and is owned, by Washington residents Stuart Marshall Bloch, Founding Chairman of Congressional Bank, and Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch, president of the US-China Education Trust and United States Ambassador to Nepal, 1989-1993. The name of the collection refers to the Freedom Place stop along the Underground Railroad, once located near the Bloch’s former home. Mr. Bloch was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Black Student Fund for many years.

Congressional Bank continues to be an integral member of the community for over decade and a partner with the Black Student Fund. The exhibit is presented by Zenith Gallery.

Reception: March 22, 2018
Where: 2101 “K “St. N.W., Washington DC
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
RSVP: 202 387 1414/
https://www.congressionalbank.com/cb-news/congressional-bank-presents selections- freedom-place-collection-artistic-collaboration-illustrious-artists/
Collection Information: Margery Goldberg, Tel: 202-783-2963, margery@zenithgallery.com
Leroy Nesbitt Jr.
Executive Director
Black Student Fund
3636 16th St NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20010
(202)-387-1414