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17 July, 2018

USA INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY TEAM ISSUES STATEMENT ON GLOBAL OBSERVANCE OF NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE AND SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT THE HONORABLE NELSON ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA'S 100TH BIRTHDAY ON 18 JULY 2018



         The United States International Men's Day team joins individuals, organizations, and institutions throughout our global village in celebrating the life of The Honorable Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on his 100th birthday on 18 July 2018.  We work and will continue to work to perpetuate his legacy through our advocacy, creation, and support of initiatives that help to eradicate  injustice; recidivism; poverty; hunger; ethnic and religious intolerance; xenophobia;  and lack of access to real-life options, adequate physical and mental health resources and support services,  and education.   

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE AND FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT THE HONORABLE BARACK H. OBAMA DELIVERS 2018 NELSON MANDELA LECTURE


08 July, 2018

PARDONING, POLITICS, AND PAROLE: JEROME TEELUCKSINGH, Ph.D.


          George Stinney Jr was tried in a court of law and electrocuted in 1944 in the United States. Within 83 days, he was accused, tried for murder, convicted and executed. His name and crime remains ‘lost’ in the law books and old newspapers. Stinney was accused of murdering two white girls in South Carolina. He was innocent but forced to confess. How old was this man? He was not yet a man—he was only fourteen years old when he was wrongfully put to death. One newspaper reported on the moments before the electrocution:



“When the switch was flipped and the first 2,400 volts surged through his body, the too-large death mask slipped from his face revealing the tears falling from his scared, open eyes” (https:// www.theguardian.com/theobserver/ 2014/mar/22/ george-stinney-execution-verdict-innocent).


New evidence in the 21st century has proven that Stinney was innocent.


 
        One of the positive achievements of 2018 occurred when United States President The Honorable Donald Trump granted a full posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, a boxing legend. Who was this person who remains unknown to many of us? Johnson, born in Texas in 1878, became the first Black heavyweight boxing champion in 1908. All Americans should have been elated to know that a son of the soil had created history and made their country proud. Instead, Johnson would be convicted of transporting his white girlfriend across state lines in 1913. Who comprised the jury? Not surprisingly, it was an all-white jury. Johnson’s career and reputation was abruptly curtailed. Remember -- Johnson was neither an immigrant nor an illegal alien. He was born and bred in the United States. That was a century of tense Black-White relations, lynching, race riots, and segregation. What was Johnson’s crime? Simply being Black was an aberration in the eyes of some Americans.



         In 1996, Alice Marie Johnson, (no relations to the boxing  legend) was sentenced to life without parole in a federal prison.  She was convicted as a result of money laundering and nonviolent drug charges. However, in 2018 as a result of the intervention of Kim Kardashian, President Trump commuted Johnson’s sentence and the 63 year old grandmother once again became a free woman. Johnson’s case is not unique. The Washington Post published an article with the headline: “It’s Not Just Alice Marie Johnson: Over 2,000 Federal Prisoners Are Serving Life Sentences For Nonviolent Drug Crimes”. (https:/ /www.washingtonpost.com/news/ wonk/wp/2018/06/06/its-not-just-alice-marie-johnson-over-2000-federal-prisoners-are-serving-life-sentences-for-nonviolent-drug-crimes/?utmterm=301fd19edc 57). There are a lot more horror stories. For instance, The Guardian reported on cases at the Angola Prison in Louisiana, which included the following: “Ronald Washington, 48, is also serving life without parole in Angola, in his case for shoplifting two Michael Jordan jerseys from a Foot Action sportswear store in Shreveport, Louisiana, in  2004” (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/13/us-prisoners-sentences-life-non-violent-crimes).  The combined cost of both jerseys was approximately US$100.00.


          These incidents are not confined to the United States. Throughout the world there are innocent persons who are jailed or given lengthy sentences for petty crimes. Additionally, there is a long list of political prisoners whose only crime was speaking or writing against corrupt and undemocratic governments. Who will offer them a pardon? Who will give them a second chance? Who will give them a new lease of life? We need to ensure that innocent persons are freed. More importantly, for those who are guilty, we need a legal system that provides sentencing or jail term to fit the crime.


           Somebody or some organizations needs to go into the law books and archives to re-examine certain cases because there is a very long line of dead innocent persons who are patiently waiting for their posthumous pardons!
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Jerome Teelucksingh, Ph.D. is a Gender Issues Thought Leader; faculty member in the History Department of the University of West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago; founder of International Men's Day (http://www.usainternationalmensday.blogspot.com); Trinidad and Tobago's Coordinator for the inaugural observance of the "Impartial And Fair Treatment In Parole" Initiative; and prolific author.

30 June, 2018

IMPARTIAL AND FAIR TREATMENT IN PAROLE . . . 29 AUGUST 2018: JEROME TEELUCKSINGH, Ph.D.

           Paul Tillich, in The Courage To Be, described “courage” as “the power of the mind to overcome fear.” I can add that courage is the power to overcome apathy that is prevalent in our society. Courage is also the power to overcome ignorance that is also common among us. Many of us lack courage and often ignore injustices. I often tell myself: “Jerome, you must stop being vocal and speaking on controversial issues. Jerome, you should remain quiet and let others fight these battles.” Despite these concerns, I always continue to be involved in campaigns and movements that highlight grievances, injustices, and exploitation. It seemed like fate and my destiny to be involved in the urgent demands for justice and equality.

          The global calendar of activism has another addition. Yes, 29 August 2018 is a major milestone. It will be the first observance of the “Impartial And Fair Treatment In Parole” Day. The “Impartial And Fair Treatment In Parole” Day was conceptualized soon after learning that an incarcerated friend (who I never met) in the United States, was unfairly denied parole. Despite undergoing major positive changes in his thinking and behavior, the Parole Board rejected his request for freedom.

          I challenge everyone to prove that equality and fairness will never be achieved. I remember two sentences that we need to consider: “Men don’t want new groups. Men just want things to be fair.” This was stated by Martin G. Ramey, a columnist and ordained minister, in Diane A. Sears’ book, In Search of Fatherhood: Transcending Boundaries (2003, p.135). This is a basic human right -- to be treated fairly. It is the major building block in creating a just society. A country is not democratic if its citizens are treated unfairly. Fair treatment is essential in any progressive society. Ms. Diane A. Sears, a Social Justice Contributing Author for the Good Men Project and a member of the OPERATION FRESH START™ Working Group which raises awareness for OPERATION FRESH START™ -- a multi-tiered initiative which helps to eradicate recidivism and creates pathways to reintegration for formerly incarcerated individuals and is crafted by The Honorable James M. DeLeon, a veteran jurist in the Criminal Court Division of Philadelphia’s Municipal Court in the United States --, is assisting in spearheading the “Impartial and Fair Treatment in Parole” Initiative. In September 2017, Ms. Sears via social media, noted that this Initiative

“advocates for and supports individuals, organizations, and institutions working to ensure that model prisoners who have (A) accepted responsibility for the actions which brought them to prison; (B) demonstrated a positive adjustment to institutionalization; (C) achieve academically; (D) obtained employment skills and/or a written offer of employment and community ties; (E) received/accepted invitations to assume leadership roles in academic, mentoring, public policy or social entrepreneurial activities that enhance the institutional environment and positively impact communities outside of the institutional environment; (E) a track record of designing and/or co-implementing and/or participating in solutions-based initiatives (e.g., atonement programs, domestic violence workshops, mentoring programs, and programs/forums which specifically help to minimize/eradicate violence, Fatherlessness, poverty, emotional/spiritual/psychological trauma and toxicity, recidivism, and crime); and (F) low risk assessment scores (COMPAS); are not repeatedly denied parole and that Parole Boards are not acting as an appellate sentencing court in denying parole to model prisoners who meet all or many of the aforementioned criteria.”

I am sure that there will be increasing support for this initiative and observances of “Impartial And Fair Treatment In Parole” Day on 29 August 2018.


          Paul Tillich described “fear” as “being afraid of something, a pain, the rejection by a person or a group, the loss of something or somebody, the moment of dying.” Some of us do not have the courage to speak for the alienated and marginalized in our society. Some of us do not possess the virtue of courage to identify with stereotyped and stigmatized persons who are incarcerated or have been imprisoned. Many of us do not care to identify with the imprisoned. Let us never forget the words of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and American Civil Rights Movement Leader Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

          Let us join together to promote fairness and equal treatment among the free and incarcerated.

IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R) FATHERHOOD AND MEN'S ISSUES JOUIRNAL - JUNE 2018 ISSUE









Complimentary online copy available.  Just send an e-mail to: insearchoffatherhood@gmail.com!



14 June, 2018

BLUEPRINT FOR REINVENTING YOURSELF AND LIVING A BETTER AND SUCCESSFUL LIFE: "ANAM CARA: YOUR SOUL FRIEND AND BRIDGE TO ENLIGHTENMENT AND CREATIVITY"


In many ways and for many reasons we live in a world that is enveloped in a cloud of uncertainty. How do you navigate a world that is in constant flux and is uncertain? You reinvent yourself! “Anam Cara: Your Soul Friend And Bridge To Enlightenment And Creativity” is a blueprint for reinventing yourself and living a better and successful life penned by GLENVILLE ASHBY, Ph.D., a Spiritual Teacher, award-winning author, and Emotional Intelligence Thought Leader. “Anam Cara: Your Soul Friend And Bridge To Enlightenment And Creativity,” which is the recipient of five-star reviews (https:// literarytitan.com/2017/11/24/anam-cara-your-soul-friend-and-bridge-to-enlightenment-and-creativity/), is an audio book available at:
https://mobile.audible.com/pd/Self-Development/ Anam-Cara-Audiobook/B01DCL18DQ.


To learn more about “Anan Cara: Your Soul Friend And Bridge To Enlightenment And Creativity”, you can view its video book trailer at

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dIAfCCfxmg.


And to learn more about DR. ASHBY’s work, visit: www.glenvillewellness.com.

INSPIRATION . . .