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Alicia Keys

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There Are 1 Million Fathers In Prison
Grammy Award winning singer Alicia Keys has partnered with prison reform group #cut50 to establish the “We Are Here” social justice movement. “We as a country, we sell ourselves as the land of the free, except that we have more people in jail than the whole western world combined” said Keys in a new video. She shared a staggering statistic including the estimated $100,000 price tag, per inmate, per year. She also added that there are approximately 1.1 million fathers in jail. Keys is encouraging people to sign their petition calling on Congress and the White House to establish alternatives to incarceration for low level, non-violent offenses including drug treatment and rehabilitation programs, as well as programs to help prisoners upon release. [People Magazine]

Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Prison Guard For Raping An Inmate
A new lawsuit is seeking to expose a rape culture amongst inmates and prison officials. While an unidentified woman was being transported to Rikers Island, a prison guard was paid to leave a male and female inmate alone while they had consensual sex. The guard allegedly decided he also wanted the female inmate and he assaulted her in front of another guard. Women inmates have been very vocal about sexual abuse from prison security as well as doctors who have given medicine in exchange for sexual favors. The Department of Corrections has supposedly passed along the transportation rape case to law enforcement. A Law Department spokesman said, “We’ll review the specific claims when we receive the suit.” [Jezebel]

New University Hate Group Publicly Accepting New Members Via Facebook
Following the various collegiate demonstrations for racial equality at schools including Mizzou, Ithaca, Yale and more, a new Facebook group has been created for students at New York University. “NYU White Student Union” is calling for the unity of “students of European descent”. The page has been “liked” by nearly 300 people. The page clearly states it’s racially charged intent with the mission statement, “We condemn the cowardly campaigns of moral subjugation and propaganda that seek to instill self-hatred and surrender within European-American youth and justify the continued invasion and degradation of the lands, institutions, and cultural heritage that is rightly ours.” [NY Daily News]

#BringBackSlavery Used In YikYak Messages Following Another Collegiate Hate Crime
An unidentified black male student at Lewis & Clark College says he was the subject of a hate crime when he was beaten by several white students. The 26-year-old said racial slurs were used by the three males that attacked him near a campus pool over the weekend. While the assailants have yet to be apprehended, the incident took place three days after racists threats appeared on the messaging app, YikYak. “…Black people think just cause their ancestors were slaves they deserve more…well in that case let’s give them something to whine about #BringBackSlavery,” commented one user. In response nearly 200 students and staff staged a sit-in protest on campus. [NY Daily News]

Homeless Choir Will Sing For President Obama
Donal Noonan is the director of Atlanta’s Homeward Choir, a 26-member ensemble for the city’s homeless that allows them an opportunity to get out of the cold and fellowship within area churches. The choir has been acclaimed throughout the city and the director was looking to take the talents of his ensemble national. He made a call to a friend who works for the government and months after making the initial request, Noonan received a request for the chorus to perform for President Obama in December. Over $25,000 is needed to help make the trip possible which includes air fare, meals, clothing, ground transportation, hotels, etc. The group has already raised $5,000 towards their goals and Southwest airlines recently announced that they would sponsor the flights. [Huffington Post]

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