Saturday, January 20, 2007

Arts Education

In response to Tony Bennett's question on Yahoo, regarding the importance of arts education, he chose my personal statement as the "best answer" among 520:

Why is it so important for young people to receive a good arts education?

Online research revealed that Bennett, as an established painter and musician, founded a nonprofit organization "Exploring the Arts" to bring the arts to communities otherwise denied educational resources:

Letter from Tony Bennett

I was glad to know that although we may seem worlds apart, Bennett and I share a common dream of providing arts education to students most in need. I hope to contact Tony Bennett and to work with ETA to make sure the HSPVA program in Fourth Ward includes the local students and families in Freedmen's Town, whose history has been neglected and destroyed in building the new school for arts on historic land.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Girls in Government

You're invited to join in a creative media campaign to promote equal rights and responsibilities for Constitutional Ethics.

* Girls in Government: Church and State Fractured

* Feminist in Hollywood

* Rock the Earth: Music Campaign for the Environment

For list of songs recorded or pending production, visit the Houston Progressive Music Library, including demo vocals of songs not recorded yet.

War at Home

While there is much talk of war and oppression of democratic rights in Middle East, here in the U.S., in the national historic of "Freedmen's Town" district in Houston, Texas, low-income and elderly residents are equally under siege by corporate and city developers. Similar to how Palestinians have been resigned to live in a restricted area, later seized or occupied by opposing forces, Freed Slaves built this 80-block downtown settlement on the site of a swamp in 1865, as the only place they were allowed to live after emancipation, only to have the government take back the land by eminent domain and other abuses of public funds and authority.

Today I am among the residents of Freedmen's Town who continue to fight for equal protection of our right peaceably to assemble as a community, and to exercise our right to petition, to due process and to representation in policies and plans that otherwise deny our right to security in our homes and persons. In order to promote public education and enforcement of Constitutional rights, blatantly violated by city, state and federal authorities, volunteers are pooling resources to set up an official Civil Rights Center in Freedmen's Town, for Constitutional Compliance and Complaints.

In honor of the anniversary of the Bill of Rights, adopted on December 15, 1871, I am starting this blogsite campaign to promote an upcoming letter-writing contest on "Constitutional Ethics."

* Grand Prize will include a cash award, plus a new computer laptop and printer/scanner which I am personally donating.

* Winner will be chosen by public official or national leader as the student who writes the best letter, speech or essay convincing that leader to take on one or more of the following proposed initiatives:

(a) Launch and head a national program, modeled after the Federal Reserve, for microcredit financing to restore local ownership of African American historic neighborhood churches, homes, and businesses under a charitable community land trust, for the purpose of neighborhood preservation and as reparations for past
civil rights violations

(b) Endorse and successfully pass legislation holding corporations and their agents to the same Constitutional standards of civil rights and due process as required of government entities or agents (specifically Amendments 1 - 10 and 14 of the U.S. Constitution and the Code of Ethics for Government Service, Public Law 96-303, 1980); and if necessary, amending the Constitution to protect the "consent of the governed" from abuse of collective authority, either public or private, by requiring mediation and resolution of conflicts of interest by consensus of the parties affected, instead of oppressing the minority by majority-rule or unequal defense.

(c) Endorse and obtain, and/or issue an executive order, from either the Governor of Texas and/or the U.S. President, to issue a moratorium on any further seizure, demolition or destruction of historic property in Freedmen's Town, eviction of resident or tenants, or desecration of gravesites, landmarks or churches.

Details will be announced formally in mid-January, in recognition of Martin Luther King Day and the anniversary of Sherman's Order on Reparations. Stay tuned!