Saturday, February 13, 2010

FBI Newark: Honoring Black History Month

On Friday, February 12, 2010—Abraham Lincoln's birthday—the New Jersey Field Office of the FBI hosted a Black History Month event titled The History of Black Economic Empowerment. It was held in the Barry Lee Bush Building, FBI headquarters in Newark.

As an invited guest of the FBI, I was impressed by the program which celebrated diversity, history and patriotism through music, presentations and community.

The keynote for the event was delivered by Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., the Chair of the Center for African American Studies and the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. Dr. Glaude gave a motivational and insightful keynote which included the following:

  • There are too many communities of concentrated poverty with sobering statistics of unemployment in America
  • Michigan, Illinois, Alabama and Ohio have unemployment rates of grave concern
  • Dilapidated schools in poor communities across the nation are failing our children and failing the nation
  • Prison has become an industrialized complex that trades in bodies for profit
  • 35% of black children are growing up in poverty
  • There is tragic abject misery in many communities in the most powerful nation that the world has ever seen
  • America is at a crossroads and we must respond with courage and creativity
  • The nation must be honest about its past to inform the future and this includes an honest understanding of the epidemic of lynching as documented in the website Without Sanctuary
  • Those who risked their lives to give us and preserve our liberties must be remembered
  • Our country currently has a budget deficit but it must not have a visionary deficit…the principles of our democracy must give us hope and be upheld…we must avoid conspicuous consumption and treat financial resources more respectfully…we must rise to the challenge and be renewed as a people
  • America must not have its precious ideals undermined by the lack of virtue in society…we must learn the lessons of the past and restore virtue back into society

The Newark office of the FBI is to be commended for their dedication to diversity and the unity of effort essential to transforming our communities. Particular recognition for the leadership of Assistant Special Agent (ASAC) in Charge Rhonda M. Glover, ASAC Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent (SA) Vernon I. Addison, SA George E. Graves Jr., SA James Webster, Administrative Officer Dorisse Shakir-Ullah as well as the entire Black Affairs Committee for the success of the event is worthy of appreciation.


FBI Newark Click here to visit site
Without Sanctuary Click here to visit site
Appreciating Diversity: Reawakening the Heart of America Click here to visit site
FBI Blogs Click here to visit site

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