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Category Archives: Intentional Communities

Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in research | @theU – @theU

Posted: November 23, 2021 at 3:59 pm

The University of Utah research community includes many researchers who apply an equity, diversity and inclusion lens to their work, often through action-oriented research designed to drive social change. Some of this research involves institutional self-study, meaning it is designed to examine our campus community and identify ways to create a more inclusive and equitable learning and working environment. In nurturing a research community in which everyone feels they belong, researchers enact the values of equity, diversity and inclusion while drawing on evidence-based insights for best practices for doing so.

Applying an equity, diversity and inclusion lens to research also means reflecting on equitable, diverse and inclusive considerations both inandthroughresearch.

Equity, diversity and inclusion through research includes efforts by scholars to understand the factors contributing to disparitiesin education, health, wealth, well as to identify effective interventions to overcome them or systemic changes to eliminate them.

This research may examine these issues in communities at local, state, national and global levels. Without an intentional consideration of how groups might be differentially impacted by policies and (in)actions, these inequities can too easily remain unchallenged and unaddressed.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion through research also includes using the analytical strengths of different disciplines in a collaborative way to engage in institutional self-study that informs changes in programs, policies, practices and cultures such that an inclusive and equitable campus climate flourishes. Indeed, turning a research lens onto the campus community itselfcan be a powerful way to understand and address the challenges being faced by different units and groups.

Equity, diversity and inclusion inresearch considershow to ensure an inclusive and equitable research climate at each unit level across an institution as well as within national and international research networks and disciplinary associations.

There are resources available on the University of Utah campus through both theOffice for Inclusive Excellence(OIE) andResearch Education(REd) that faculty can turn to for support on revising their teaching pedagogies and research mentoring approaches to be more inclusive of students from underrepresented and marginalized groups. The Office of the Vice President for Research has, in partnership with university leadership,launched several programsto enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion within the U research community.

By adopting these approaches, researchers can enhance their application of an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens. And for those who seek to be agents of change within the campus research community, there are opportunities to lead externally funded teams to create new initiatives on campus. These initiatives might seek to broaden participation in research and/or revise policies to support a more inclusive and equitable research culture. Moreover, each such initiative itself becomes an opportunity to test the underlying theories that shaped the programs design and predicted its outcomes. This presents an incredible opportunity to leverage the universitys diverse research strengths in new, collaborative, interdisciplinary ways.

To learn more about how to include equity, diversity and inclusion in your research, please visit

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Buttigieg: With infrastructure bill signed, ‘the real work begins’ on transportation needs – American City & County

Posted: at 3:59 pm

Traffic fatalities across the United States spiked last year, increasing by a little more than 7 percent over the 36,096 roadway deaths recorded in 2019, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This year, fatalities are rising at an even steeper rate.

A report released by the traffic safety administration at the end of October documents the largest six-month increase ever recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting Systems history. An estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021, up 18.4 percent over 2020. Thats the largest number of projected fatalities in that time period since 2006, reads a statement about the findings.

Included in the Biden Administrations $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is $100 billion set aside for transportation-related projects distributed through competitive grants via the U.S. Department of Transportationinvestments that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg hopes will curb the rising number of highway-related deaths. Notably, this funding includes $5 billion for the Safe Streets and Roads for All program, a new initiative thats set to provide highway safety grants to areas that need them most.

With the bill signed into law by Pres. Joe Biden last week, The real work begins. Were really going to be looking to you to deliver on the investment, said Buttigieg, while speaking at the National League of Citys annual City Summit last week, which was hosted in a virtual format this year.The priorities are many and they are urgentimproving and expanding access to transit for communities that need it most, spurring economic development, hardening infrastructure against climate change and repairing crumbling roads and bridges.

Make sure you have vision, and that vision needs to be informed by on-the-ground listening. Im not telling you anything you dont already know but cities and communities need to be very intentional about hearing from folks who might not consider themselves to be transportation wonks, who may not be accustomed to be inviting to the table but are those who are most likely to be disproportionately killed or injured on our roadways, Buttigieg said. Make sure there are mechanismsand they could be low tech mechanismsways to get those kinds of voices into the picture.

Addressing a question posed by Elaine Clegg, president of Boise, Idahos city council about whether or notfundinggrants will favorlarge metro areas over small communities, Buttigieg said theDepartment of Transportationwill be equally available to everyone and the process will be user friendly across the board. Smaller communities will not be priced out of competitive grants.

Theprimaryrole of his agencyin distributing the funds, according toButtigieg, will be to support local leaders meet their goals.

Let us know what works, he continued. While of course were going to bring considerable research to bear on these problems, we also know that answers come from the bottom up.

Ascommunities across the nationprepare for the anticipated funding thats poised to flow down the federal pipeline, identifying roadways that should need to be made safer for constituents will be an important part of that processand one that mayors, council membersand administrators are the most prepared to tackle.

You know where the greatest needs are, said Buttigiegto those in attendance. You know where the bridges are, the roads are that need work. You know where the transit deserts are in urban and rural communities alike, you know here the threats to safety exist in our traffic systemsyou know we have something to do about that, like never before.

Next, itll be up to administrators to connect with constituents and prepare them for potentially long-term construction delays and ensuring equitable distribution.In his experience, Buttigieg,who served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana from 2012 to 2020, said transportation is an area where you see people shift in their perspectivesfrom sceptics to converts.

Once a plan has been developed for how to spend the money, Buttigieg encouraged local administrators to stick to your guns, hold on to the sides of the raft, because so often on the other side of it, people understand what you were trying to do and will support you. Then youll get a lot more running room to try something else ambitious based on that success.

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Why co-creation is key to SaaS success – CEOWORLD magazine

Posted: at 3:59 pm

When I first entered the product engineering world after college, it was very different than it is today. For one thing, what is now called software-as-a-service (SaaS) was known then as web-based software. More significantly, we used the waterfall model of software development. Our team had an idea of the kind of customers we thought we needed, then we built a program for them, and then we delivered it.

It was only when the new software was in customers hands that we realized where we went wrong. We werent intentional about what we were building and shipping. Thats very different from the approach that SaaS companies take today.

For the most successful SaaS providers, product development now means a partnership with customers. In effect, it is a process of co-creation, with a continual ongoing exchange of ideas powering new iterations and updates that generate a new round of feedback and learning assets.

Co-creation starts with relentlessly serving the customer, understand what they need and understanding how you create value for them. Companies that build products based on this cycle of rapid iteration and feedback will have their finger on the pulse of their customer community. At Nota, were very deliberate about this process. We deliver updates to early adopters and use their feedback to inform the next iteration.

A startup could spend its first several years on this phase alone. Achieving product/market fit which in the SaaS world is $1 million in annual recurring revenue before scaling the business is not only a key principle of lean startup philosophy. It is also a critical element of co-creation.

Even after product/market fit is reached, however, co-creation continues. It is a guiding philosophy, not a stage of a companys life cycle. If product development is finished, the business is probably finished, too. Remember that product/market fit is not static. You can achieve product/market fit and then lose it. Its based on value, but what that means to a customer changes over time.

When people ask me for advice about choosing technology vendors or partners, one of the first things I recommend is looking at a companys product engineering department. You dont want a long-term partner that isnt investing in R&D and the continuous co-creation of value.

Another fundamental aspect of co-creation is identifying the specific community you are serving. Few solutions work for all people in all situations. If everyone is your customer, then no one is your customer.

Hyperpersonalization is one of the most exciting developments in consumer fintech in recent years. Financial services in general have been commoditized and static in the last 10 years. Increasingly, however, providers are recognizing industries and sectors that have traditionally been underserved by SaaS. Attorneys and the legal community, for example, have been undervalued by our industry especially solo attorneys and small practices.

When I mention attorneys as an example, people are often surprised. Wait a minute, they say. Lawyers are part of an influential and highly sought after profession. How can they be underserved?

But small firms and solo lawyers have very specific financial needs, not to mention regulatory and oversight demands. The generic products of the financial industry may have met their needs 30 years ago, but they dont anymore. Large firms have had access to well-integrated enterprise solutions for years. Small and solo practices, on the other hand, have had to choose between technology thats not designed with their needs in mind, or sticking to outdated, error-prone manual tools that take time and effort.

The same principle of hyperpersonalization can be applied to an almost limitless number of categories and segments. The market can be segmented according to industry, behavior, user group, geography. It offers an extraordinarily rich set of untapped opportunities for value creation.

In order to truly meet the expectations of those various underserved industries and communities, software providers must establish connections with thought leaders and early adopters. Their input kick starts the co-creation cycle that is essential to SaaS success. Thats how you learn how to offer real value and create an authentic experience that delights users, serves them and converts them into loyal partners.

Written by Paul Garibian.

Track Latest News Live on CEOWORLD magazine and get news updates from the United States and around the world. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow CEOWORLD magazine on Twitter andFacebook. For media queries, please contact:

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Infographic: Conquering the Health Disparities of Structural Racism – JPHMP Direct

Posted: at 3:59 pm

My new commentary Conquering the Health Disparities of Structural Racism, published in a special supplement of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice,presents best practices for mitigating the effects of structural racism on the social determinants of health and thus, health disparities.

Policies, processes, and systems rooted in racist ideologies, like redlining, and school segregation directly impact the health and well-being of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. This creates what public health practitioners describe as the social determinants of health and presents itself clinically as chronic disease, poor maternal child health outcomes, and limited opportunities for equitable resources. The effects of structural racism have been well described in hypersegregated communities, or communities exhibiting lesser amounts of resources and racial diversity than their surroundings as a result of past discriminatory policies. Public health departments have an opportunity to target the health disparities caused by structural racism and improve the potential to achieve true health equity.

The following infographic summarizes best practices for public health practitioners in targeting structural racism when fighting health disparities. Strategies that center on utilizing culturally relevant and inclusive programmatic development, the creation and modification of intentional and equitable policies, and collaboration that incorporates all stakeholders can be a double-edge sword in conquering structural racism and health disparities.

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Fostering and Adopting Children as a Spiritual Value –

Posted: at 3:59 pm

Founded in 2017 by Rabbi Susan Silverman, Second Nurture has emerged as a loving, innovative model for fostering and adopting children. Leveraging the power of community is crucial to Silvermans vision of the adoption-fostering experience for families. Thats not surprising for a woman who hosts large weekly Shabbat lunches in the Jerusalem apartment she shares with her husband, solar power entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz, and their five adult children who frequently visit home.

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Silverman and Abramowitz were longtime residents of Newton before their aliyah (immigration) to Israel 15 years ago. During their years in Newton, they expanded their family of four by adopting two sons from Ethiopia. Adar came to the family in 1998 at the age of 9 months. Zamir joined them in 2006 at the age of 4. In between the adoptions, the couples third daughter was born. Silverman quips, We produce girls and adopt boys.

Second Nurture started to take shape five years ago as Silverman toured the United States and Canada promoting her book, Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World, a memoir about Adars adoption. As Silverman met hundreds of people, she realized more people would foster and adopt if they had a path laid out for them that included fellowship and support. With those caveats in mind, Silverman secured funding from sources that included the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Aviv Foundation. Thomas was the founder of Wendys fast-food restaurants and was himself adopted. From there, Second Nurture evolved into a unique three-part modelcohort, networks of support and community culturedistinct for its intentional and wholehearted embrace of community.

Silverman is convinced that pursuing foster care and adoption as a cohort that functions as a mutually supportive group is an important marker for success. The concept is the mainstay of Second Nurture. Networks of support include the wider membership of the communities where cohorts are based, and community culture is cultivated to introduce fostering and adoption as essential values within a community.

Currently, Silverman and her organization are working with three partner synagogues in Los Angeles County. Other synagogues are on deck, pending hiring additional staff. Silverman recently told JewishBoston: Theres way more interest than we have capacity for right now. I would love to open in Boston, but we need to fundraise more for that to happen. I hope in the next three years Second Nurture will land in Chicago and Boston.

Silverman recently appeared with her celebrity sibling, the comic Sarah Silverman, at a fundraiser for Second Nurture in Los Angeles. Introducing her big sister, the younger Silverman described her as kick-ass and awesome. She cited her sisters activism as a member of the board of Women of the Wall nd on behalf of African asylum seekers in Israel. The government motherf*****g backed off [from deporting the asylum seekers] and cited [Susies] movement as why, the younger Silverman said.

In a recent Zoom call, Silverman highlighted Second Nurtures history, plans for the organization and her experience as a foster sister.

On the personal history that was the catalyst for Silvermans work in fostering and adoption:

My parents were foster parents to two different girls at various times during my childhood. One girl was with us from the ages of 8 to 10, and the other girl lived with us when she was 16 and left when she was 18. I saw up close what it was like for kids who didnt have families of their own, and it always stuck with me that this was a terrible thing.

A memory that lives in me is the moment the 10-year-old left. I dont know where she was going to live next or why she left our house.She was sitting in the back seat of a car with a suitcase beside her, and bags of new clothes my parents got her on her lap. I stood by the car window, waving, but she was staring down, not meeting my eyes. She looked humiliated. Many years later, a friend said to me, You care passionately about kids getting families. Why dont you make that your focus? Do what you need to do to build that.

I knew when I built my family it would be partially through adoption. And then I realized the way I built my family and being a rabbi were deeply intertwined, which brought me to write Casting Lots, my theological and spiritual journey to adopting.

On the perils of aging out of the foster care:

Today, there are hundreds of thousands of kids outside of permanent, loving family care. Not only does that make for a shitty childhood, but aging out of foster care is the No. 1 feeder into human trafficking, homelessness, poverty and mass incarceration. My mission via Second Nurture is to go upstream and divert kids from that path by making sure they have what they need nowa family to hold them tightand a community to hold that family in raising a child or teen who has had a hard start in life.

On Second Nurtures successes:

We are currently working in Los Angeles County with three partner synagogues. We have recently launched in Columbus, Ohio, where the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is. We have other synagogues waiting to work with us. We just need more staff power to make that happen. Each one of the Los Angeles County cohorts has about 20 members. And we have, at any given time, between 40 and 50 kids who are either being fostered or newly adopted.

The stories that are so meaningful to me are about the people who had thought about fostering but never saw a way to do it. They then see a path to it and join our cohorts to learn how to move forward. The other thing I find very moving is meeting the single moms who have a kid they had adopted from foster care, and the bio-mom has another child. Immediately the adoptive moms are contacted to try to keep bio-siblings together. Many of those women have said to us, We want to do this, but we only feel like we can do it because we know youve got us. It makes me cry every time there is this group of people who support each other in a way that ripples out to siblings being able to be raised together.

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This Sandy Democrat came within 100 votes of beating a GOP rep last year. Here’s why that won’t happen again – Salt Lake Tribune

Posted: at 3:59 pm

Editors note This story is available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

When vote totals started to arrive last year, it quickly became obvious that the contest between Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Rep. Steve Eliason would be a nail-biter.

Election night results seemed to put Davis on course to victory. Then, in the days that followed, her lead slowly shrank as ballots continued to trickle in. Eliason eventually overtook her and reclaimed his seat by just 77 votes.

But as of last week, the possibility of a rematch between the two has pretty much evaporated, with voting boundary changes that booted Davis out of Eliasons district by a couple of blocks. If she were to run in her new Utah House district, shed have to face off against a fellow Democrat, Rep. Andrew Stoddard.

She doesnt think that redistricting move was an accident on the part of the Legislature.

I believe that it was a strategic move and that I was definitely cut out of that district because ... I almost took down a 10-year incumbent that is very well-liked, she said. I dont see any other way to interpret that.

Utah Rep. Paul Ray, who co-chaired the states legislative redistricting committee, said he has no clue where Davis lives.

I did not allow anyone to intentionally be drawn in, or out, of a district, the Clearfield Republican said.

Davis doesnt buy it, noting that she also now falls outside the district represented by Sen. Kirk Cullimore, a Republican people had urged her to go up against. With the updated lines, a Senate run would again pit her against another Democrat Sen. Kathleen Riebe.

So its extremely difficult to think that it wasnt intentional, right? the Sandy resident said. I really think its an attempt to neutralize a viable threat.

In response to questions about the new boundaries, Eliasons only remark was that he wasnt a member of the redistricting committee. He referred to the House spokeswoman for further comment.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Wendy Davis, a Democrat who narrowly lost a state House seat last year, at her home in Sandy on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021. Davis said she's been cut out of her former opponent's district, Republican Rep. Steve Eliason. She's holding a map that shows what she calls a nearly 50-50 split between Republican and Democrat voters in her district during the 2020 election.

State lawmakers did pay attention to incumbent addresses when designing the maps, acknowledged Sen. Scott Sandall, who served with Ray at the helm of the redistricting committee. But he added it wasnt because they intended to squelch competition.

The Tremonton Republican says his goal was, wherever possible, to keep voters in the districts of legislators theyd recently elected rather than changing their state-level representation in the middle of a term.

But they had to change the boundaries to some degree to reflect population changes, including the explosive growth in southwestern Salt Lake County that caused ripple effects to surrounding districts such as Eliasons.

Katie Matheson, deputy director at Alliance for a Better Utah, said she was disappointed by the legislative redistricting commissions focus on incumbent officials. In one public hearing, she notes, the panel even took a proposed school board map and overlaid it with incumbent addresses to make sure sitting officials would retain their districts.

The states mapping tool also included an overlay of incumbent addresses for legislators and congressional representatives.

But the point of redistricting should not be continuity, Matheson said, or about politicians at all. And its disappointing, she continued, that the final maps protect the seats of incumbents at the expense of people having robust representation.

The resulting districts are generally less competitive, she said, as red districts got redder and blue districts got bluer.

An analysis by the nonpartisan Princeton Gerrymandering Project determined that 61 of the 75 seats in the House clearly favor Republicans, while just nine favor Democrats. Only five can be considered competitive, and even if Democrats captured all of those seats, theyd have fewer representatives in the House than they currently do.

If you believe in a competition of ideas and the marketplace of ideas, theyre reducing that competition, she said. Theyre making it easier for themselves to push through the ideological agenda of the supermajority.

Davis said she and Democrats Lynette Wendel and Fatima Dirie each came close to taking down three white Republican males in last years state House races, but redistricting has created additional hurdles for all of them.

And competition is beneficial no matter the outcome, she argues. After Davis lost to Eliason last year, the two rivals sat down for a friendly conversation, where she emphasized how many of his district residents had voted for her and not him.

I think that challenges him to be an even better lawmaker, quite frankly, she said. When you have that knowledge that half of your voter chose a different candidate.

Utah Republicans have asserted they want all four congressional districts to have a healthy mix of rural and urban communities, saying the representatives must have a deep understanding of the land and water resources that nourish the rest of the state.

Theyve cited that goal in explaining why they divided up Salt Lake County and split its left-leaning voters between all of the districts. Creating a district dominated by urban voters, they say, would upset this balance between the interests of the Wasatch Front and the vast communities outside it.

But to Tyrell Aagard, president of the Young Democrats of Utah, these arguments ring hollow when you plot out the addresses of the sitting congressional representatives.

All four of them are clustered together, living within roughly an hour of each other along Interstate 15, Aagard pointed out in a recent tweet.

Im so glad we care so deeply about rural representation that we create a map to elect four members of Congress from the Wasatch Front! he wrote. Im sure the rural areas of the state feel loved.

Aagard said he grew up in Levan, in sparsely populated Juab County, and that communities in these parts of the state are well aware that power is concentrated in Utahs population centers.

Utahs Republican leaders, he contends, use rural GOP voters to muffle the voices of Salt Lake County Democrats and in doing so, dilute the power of these communities.

You end up with districts where no one person can do a good job at representing both sides because they are different, he said. And so in their actual goal of making sure that their party is the only one who can control our seats in congress, they under-serve both urban and rural Utahns.

Sandall, who helped lead the lawmakers redistricting effort, says the location of a representatives home isnt necessarily related to the election lines, since members of Congress arent required to live inside their district. In fact, sitting Rep. Blake Moore resides outside the district he represents.

Still, Sandall said, these representatives have to pay attention to rural Utah. They have to make campaign stops and hold town halls in these rural communities and build relationships with local leaders in these areas.

The goal is to make sure the entire congressional delegation understands water, land and mineral issues that are integral to the entire state, he said.

I maintain and believe that we are better served as one Utah, he said.

Ray noted that federally managed public lands account for nearly two-thirds of Utahs acreage and said the congressional delegation needs to work as a team when it comes to these spaces.

Thats a major fight back in D.C., he said. You want to make sure that all four of your congressional leaders have a stake in that fight.

However, to Matheson of Alliance for a Better Utah, redistricting is supposed to be about community representation, not about building a congressional delegation united around a particular policy goal.

Thats manipulating the process to get what you want out of it instead of reflecting the people accurately, Matheson said.

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This Sandy Democrat came within 100 votes of beating a GOP rep last year. Here's why that won't happen again - Salt Lake Tribune

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Voices ring loud as Crossing Bridges Summit hears from citizens and victims – Penn State News

Posted: at 3:59 pm

MCKEESPORT, Pa. On Nov. 16, Penn State Greater Allegheny welcomed three "overcomers, individuals who experienced loss and trauma because of policing actions. Each shared their stories and insights as part of the 2021-22 Crossing Bridges Summit, Examining Police Reform: Conversations about the Pittsburgh Community Task Force for Police Reform and its Implications for the Mon Valley. The event was the second of a three-part series produced and broadcast on WPSU. The series is available at

Eric Ewell, director of community engagement at Penn State Greater Allegheny, moderated the event. Joining him were panelists Leon Ford, chief executive officer, Leon Ford Speaks; Michelle Kenney, director and founder, Antwon Rose II Foundation; and Samaria Rice, founder and chief executive officer, Tamir Rice Foundation. Ford, Kenney and Rice intentionally work as advocates to support their communities and speak for those who cannot.

The panelists' conversations, tinged with sadness, frustration, disbelief and hope, gave rise to the role community, mentorship, passion, reflection and legacy play in their lives. "It was an honor for our panelists to trust me with their experiences and hearts," said Ewell.

Ford was shot in the back five times by a Pittsburgh police officer during a traffic stop when he was 19 years of age. The incident left him paralyzed from the waist down.

"I was shot by a police officer; it's not my story, it's just part of my story," said Ford. "I was raised to be the man I was raised to be. I didn't give up. I think that is what a lot of you all see in the work that I do, someone who was able to adapt, despite my circumstances, to adversity that I was faced with. Someone who is creative in finding solutions and bringing people together."

Bringing people together is one way Ford is a resource for others. "I really have a heart for healing," said Ford. "I have a heart for working with people who may think differently than me."

Ford is driven to be resilient and take care of his mental health. He minimizes the negative things he sees on his social media timeline and focuses on his routine."I'm very intentional about how I live my life," said Ford. "One, I go to therapy. I love therapy. Going to therapy has changed my life in an immense way. I have a loving family, a very supportive family. The other thing is I have a life outside of the movement."As Ford reflected on the movement, he noted, "unfortunately a lot of activists, a lot of these attorneys and civil rights leaders, this is like a profession for them, it's a movement for them. It's not a movement for us. It's our lives."

As a mentor to others, Ford encourages young people, "whenever adversity finds you, or you find adversity, there is impermanence, it is not going to last long. As long as they are focused on a bigger picture, they can overcome, and they will overcome and succeed."

Kenney is the mother of Antwon Rose II, a 17-year-old young man who was shot and killed by an East Pittsburgh police officer in 2018. Kenney worked in a local law enforcement department, beginning in 1999. Soon after she started, she watched 23 men and women come together to stop a mass shooting, noting, "I became engrossed in the good and bad of policing."

Since losing her son, Kenney shared how challenging it is to keep fighting some days.

"There are days that I want to give up and walk away," said Kenney. "There are days I question why other people, whether they are pastors, law enforcement people, politicians. I wonder why they are not in this fight a little heavier."

Kenney continued, "My daughter doesn't have her brother. I am constantly, and I mean constantly, having very difficult conversations with my 7-year-old granddaughter, explaining to her why her uncle is no longer here. She has very vivid memories of him teaching her how to ride a bike, them playing basketball. Thank God for technology because we still have videos, photos and memories."

Kenney relies heavily on her support network, the community, and her faith to help guide her through her darkest hours.

Community for me exists far beyond just activists and people marking in the street, Kenney said. It is the people that protect my space, protect my peace, protect my home, my sanity.

Kenney concluded her comments acknowledging the approaching holidays and the difficulties they bring to families, especially to moms. Im grateful with the understanding that Im only standing by the grace of God, but there are a lot of moms and a lot of family members that dont make it over the years. I want people to remember that and be mindful in their actions.

Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was shot by Cleveland police, reflected on her tragedy and how her work in communities comes with much more than people think.

"We talk about the tragedy and the pain and everything else that comes with this," said Rice. "People in the community need to understand that is very delicate and while some respect the legacy, others don't."

Community is something that Rice is thankful for. According to her, the international community that has formed around her has stood up in times where she could not and has supported not just her but other activists in the community.

However, while people stand up for Rice, Rice refers to her tragedy as something that changed her normal lifestyle.

I'm not able to be normal anymore, said Rice. I would like to be normal, but the normal for me went out the window.

My DNA has changed because of what happened to me and my family, said Rice. My family is broken. My children are not doing well. My brother and my sister and my father are not doing well. It's going on seven years.

In his position at Penn State Greater Allegheny, Ewell oversees Project G.A.M.E (Giving Adolescents Meaningful Experiences). The program works with youth in Community Intensive Supervision Programs and local high schools to create a student-centered experience allowing participants to become vested in their personal growth. Ewell asked the panelists to share a message with the youth and how they can be safe.

I dont think its the childs place to figure out how the world should be a safer place for them, but the generations before them, said Kenney.

Ford agreed. Its up to us to make them safe. When the flower doesnt bloom, we fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.

Ford further encouraged youth to decide their fate and be wise in the choices they make. You can choose, I want this person to be my mentor, or I dont want to be around these friends. Five years ago, if I would have chosen to be around certain friends over others, I wouldnt be in the position I am today.

When he thanked the panelists for joining the conversation, Ewell remarked, what I'm understanding with all three of you is that having been thrust into this whole process is that you all now have gained the knowledge that you need to become the advocate. I'm grateful that you have taken that extra step.

"I think that we are creating a world that we want to live in," said Ford. "There is a lot changing every day. I encourage people listening (to the panel) to get involved wherever your passion lies."

Penn State Greater Allegheny will continue it work with community partners to increase awareness of and address police reform on Thursday, Feb. 3, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., with "Voices from the Judicial System and Police. The event will be broadcast live at

Immediately following the event, people are invited to attend the Summit Talks on Zoom. To receive the link to the Summit Talk, visit

The Crossing Bridges Summit began in 2017. It is comprised of five pillars: the Speakers Series, Summit Talks, student-led Unity Talks, a Visiting Scholar program, and a Task Force on Racial Equity and Justice. For more information, visit

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Voices ring loud as Crossing Bridges Summit hears from citizens and victims - Penn State News

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LeBron James Insistence on Apologizing to Isaiah Stewart Proves Hes Still Desperate to Uphold His Reputation – Sportscasting

Posted: at 3:59 pm

LeBron James is well known for his off-court philanthropy. Hes given back quite a bit to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, including funding the I Promise School for at-risk kids. The Los Angeles Lakers star seems to be a legitimately good guy who does a lot for his communities. But theres plenty of solid PR strategy surrounding LBJ as well, which helps protect his image when he does make mistakes.

After James and Detroit Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart got into a scuffle (to put it mildly), LeBron tried to apologize on the court. But he also reportedly reached out and tried to get Stewarts phone number to apologize again.

The fact that this second attempt to make amends became public comes across as another PR move to keep the four-time MVPs reputation squeaky clean.

During the third quarter of LAs game in Detroit on Nov. 21, James and Stewart were boxing each other out on a free-throw attempt. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, LeBrons closed fist caught the 20-year-old squarely in the face.

Stewart bleeding profusely went right back at The King. He had to be held back by teammates and coaches. Then he ran back at James and needed to be restrained again. And again.

Both players were ejected and subsequently suspended by the league the four-time NBA champion for one game and the second-year Washington product for two.

The fact that this happened in Detroit made the situation even tenser. The Malice at the Palace in 2004 will always be in the back of NBA fans minds whenever a serious fight breaks out. That was definitely the case when Stewart was repeatedly going after LeBron in a full rage.

The next day it was made public that James attempted to get Beef Stews phone number to issue another apology.

Another request for forgiveness is admirable. But it doesnt have to be leaked publicly.

Trying to contact Stewart again appears to be another one of LeBrons PR acts as he tries to keep his image as the face of the league spotless.

During an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Shams Charania of The Athletic said, Im told LeBron James did try to track down Isaiah Stewarts number postgame to apologize to Stewart again and let him know that it was an inadvertent hit to his face.

Is it a bad thing that James wanted to apologize to Stewart again? Of course not. But why do we need to hear about it publicly? (And if the punch was intentional, which it certainly could be, this entire thing looks even more fake).

And this wouldnt be the first time James and his team have tried to make Bron-Bron look good.

The Decision was a poor call by LeBron. His national TV special announcing his move from Cleveland to Miami wasnt the best look. So that was followed up with a What Should I Do? commercial, according to, where James asked if his decisions should be made based on what the public wants him to do.

Of course they shouldnt. But the commercial made him appear apologetic and humble.

The 36-year-old is a constant media presence. But behind some of those appearances are attempts to make sure LeBron is painted in a positive light.

Thats nothing new for celebrities. But there are few people in the world as famous as LeBron James. His image needs to stay clean. If hes suspended for punching another player in the face, damage control needs to kick in ASAP, and it did.

The scoreboard taunt has always been unrivaled. The Lakers, though, havent been able to drop that one very often this season.

The 2020 NBA champs are 9-9 and sit ninth in the Western Conference. Plenty has been made of Anthony Davis inconsistencies and Russell Westbrooks clunky fit. But LeBron has also missed 10 games due to injury.

Add another one to that list via suspension.

But if the 36-year-old returns to the court after his punishment and leads LA on a winning streak, most of the discussion surrounding this incident will fade.

LeBron and his crew have done what they can to make this situation look as good as possible. But winning clears almost all ills if James wants to put this controversy in the past, producing on the court and helping the Lakers win games is the best way to do it.

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RELATED: LeBron James Was Wrong, so Why Is Isaiah Stewart the Bad Guy in Lakers-Pistons Clash?

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LeBron James Insistence on Apologizing to Isaiah Stewart Proves Hes Still Desperate to Uphold His Reputation - Sportscasting

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DOJ, CFPB and HUD officials outline priorities at industry fair lending conference – JD Supra

Posted: at 3:59 pm

At an industry fair lending conference last week, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the CFPB, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) outlined fair lending priorities for their agencies. These represent the first remarks by these regulators following the DOJs announcement of its major new Combatting Redlining Initiative on October 22, 2021, and it was the topic of each of their presentations. Although the DOJ officials remarks largely reflected the press release concerning the new anti-redlining initiative, a few new revelations came to light related to both DOJs initiative and the CFPBs general and fair lending priorities under its new Director Rohit Chopra.

DOJ.Keynote speaker Kristen Clarke, the new Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for the DOJs Civil Rights Division, explained the agencys Combatting Redlining Initiative and partnership with other federal and state agencies. She stated that fair lending is one of most significant issues of our time, and that the Civil Rights Division is compelled to tackle this issue [of redlining] head-on because of the widespread practice in the lending industry and the fact that large homeownership disparities still exist in the U.S. along racial, ethnic and national origin lines.

AAG Clarke explained that the DOJs new initiative is the most aggressive and coordinated effort to address redlining to date. She noted that the agency will work with the CFPB, HUD, prudential regulators, and U.S. Attorneys Offices and state attorneys general to carry out its initiative using a whole of government approach to root out redlining practices on a broad geographic scale.

AAG Clarke further explained that DOJ plans to investigate lenders of all types and sizes for redlining practices, including non-depository institutions that now originate the majority of residential mortgages in the U.S, and noted that several investigations are already underway. She also discussed the list of factors used by the DOJ to determine whether a lender is engaged in redlining activities.

Furthermore, AAG Clarke dwelt on the recent Cadence Bank and Trustmark National Bank redlining settlements, stating that the significance of those settlements is not just about the dollar amount, but DOJs goal to repair decades of discrimination. She also noted that redlining settlements can ultimately benefit the health of institutions and their surrounding communities.

AAG Clarke further noted that DOJ seeks to work cooperatively and collaboratively with institutions to address the deep-seated redlining problem and wants to make a positive and lasting impacton the state of fair lending in the U.S. She also noted that the DOJ will continue to pursue investigations and enforcement actions when discrimination is detected in underwriting and pricing in other types of lending beyond mortgage lending, broadly including all types of discrimination acs the lending process and credit markets.

In a separate panel, Jon Sewa rd, who is Principal Deputy Chief of the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, Civil Rights Division at DOJ, indicated that in the not too distant future, DOJ plans to announce an enforcement action against a non-depository institution. Although the CFPB filed suit against Townstone Financial, Inc., a nonbank mortgage lender, in 2020, the DOJ has not previously pursued nonbanks, so this will break new ground for that agency.

CFPB. Patrice Ficklin, Fair Lending Director of the CFPB, was also a keynote speaker. She began her remarks by noting the profound impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on low- and moderate-income communities and people of color, and the CFPBs goal to promote equitable and inclusive economic recovery for all consumers.

Director Ficklin proceeded to outline the Bureaus three key priorities under new Director Chopras leadership:

Director Ficklin then outlined the Bureaus fair lending priorities:

HUD. David Enzel, who is the General Deputy Asst. Secretary for Fair Housing, at HUD, also expressed his concerns about redlining practices. He noted that HUD maintains a dedicated team in Washington focused on that topic and that several significant issues are currently underway at the agency. Mr. Enzel encouraged proactive use of second look review programs for both credit applications and low appraisals and close review of advertising practices for intentional and unintentional bias, especially those that are digital and custom-tailored to individuals, which can sometimes be based on race and ethnicity factors.

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DOJ, CFPB and HUD officials outline priorities at industry fair lending conference - JD Supra

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WestBridge, Inc. Celebrates New Era in Mental Illness and Addiction Recovery –

Posted: at 3:59 pm

Manchester, NH, November 22, 2021 --( event will feature multiple speakers including former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick, who is now the Senior Director of Public Affairs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and a mental health advocate, and Ken Norton, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, New Hampshire.

Twenty plus years ago, the son of WestBridges founding family, who has a serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorder, was not sustaining recovery despite multiple treatment episodes. After networking with doctors and researchers, the founders established WestBridge on behalf of their son and others impacted by serious mental illness and substance use. Since then, WestBridge has helped hundreds of men and families to sustain long term recovery via a community integration model. For example, a family member of one of the WestBridge alumni expressed a sentiment shared by many: WestBridge restored our hope for our son, and gave us hope for the improvement of the mental health care system. WestBridges independently verified treatment outcomes are also published in an international journal.

Norton notes... Using evidence based practices and looking holistically at individuals social, educational, vocational as well as treatment goals, WestBridge has created successful residential and outpatient programming where men find intentional communities focused on recovery and wellness. When speaking with WestBridge, Broderick said, What you do at WestBridge is so fundamentally important, and you are changing lives... When you help one personyou help all the people that love them. It multiplies rapidly and it makes them feel whole and accepted.

Event proceeds will support the WestBridge Recovery Opportunity Fund, which helps men with demonstrated financial need continue their treatment at WestBridge. Find out more about this event and the WestBridge Recovery Opportunity Fund at:

WestBridge is a CARF accredited non-profit organization, founded in 2001, dedicated to supporting the long-term recovery of adult men and their families that experience co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. WestBridge provides both residential treatment and community-based outpatient treatment using evidence-based practices that have been proven to work. The integrated treatment model addresses both disorders concurrently, in the same setting, by the same team. WestBridge also embraces families throughout the process, helping them to learn, communicate and become trusting partners in recovery. WestBridge has supported hundreds of men and their families across two decades.

WestBridge invites you to learn more about their unique program and the importance of providing evidence-based treatment to those who struggle with co-occurring mental illness and substance use. For more information, please contact: Jennifer Villandry, LICSW Director of Business Development.

Tel: 800-889-7871e-mail: jvillandry@westbridge.orgwebsite:

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WestBridge, Inc. Celebrates New Era in Mental Illness and Addiction Recovery -

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