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Witness For Justice #845 - 21st Century Race Matters

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Black AIDS Institute Announces "30 Days Of HIV" campaign leading up to National HIV Testing Day

LOS ANGELES, May 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Black AIDS Institute (BAI), the U.S.'s only national think tank focused on HIV impact in Black communities, has announced "30 Days Of HIV" a national, digital, community campaign to raise awareness, educate and mobilize Black communities around the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis in Black communities across America. Launching on May 27 through National HIV Testing Day (June 27), this campaign has three core elements: An Online Community Calendar to promote HIV and health related events serving Black communities, an Instagram storytelling series titled In The Life, featuring community-sourced life experiences of Black, gay/bi/trans men, and lastly, Daily Actions - once a day call to action to mobilize Black communities and those who serve them.

Phill Wilson, President and CEO, Black AIDS Institute and a Black, gay, HIV-positive man, who conceptualized this initiative says: "Even though it is not in the news as much as it was a few years ago, HIV/AIDS is an ongoing, and in among some sectors of the Black community, a tragically growing crisis. Black gay and bisexual men in the United States have a 50% lifetime HIV infection rate. Black women still represent 61% of the new HIV infections among women. Our house is still on fire and we don't seem to notice. 30 Days Of HIV is designed to spotlight the problem, but more importantly, what we are and what we can do, if we focus on this problem.

The Online Community Calendar will feature HIV and health-related activities for Black communities during the May 27-June 27 time period. Organizations planning health fairs, HIV-testing or other outreach activities during this timeframe are invited to submit the events for inclusion on the calendar to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Instagram campaign, In The Life, invites Black GBTQ/SGL men to submit their photo stories about a select life experience, by May 23, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Finally, the Institute will be publishing Daily Actions to mobilize Black communities to take care of their health and fight HIV/AIDS.

All aspects of the campaign will be housed on www.blackaids.org and will be promoted daily via multiple social media platforms -Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

For questions and more information please contact: Pavni Guharoy, Black AIDS Institute, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Advancing Justice-LA Expands Naturalization Services, Urges Eligible Immigrnts To Naturalize

LOS ANGELES, CA - After the election, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) witnessed a surge of clients interested in becoming U.S. citizens. Last month, temporary staff were hired to meet the demand and support expanding naturalization assistance to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) immigrants living in Los Angeles County. Further, with anti-immigrant sentiment growing across the country, Advancing Justice-LA urges eligible individuals to not delay in applying for citizenship.

Southern California is home to an estimated 300,000 Asian immigrants eligible for U.S. citizenship. Of this, more than half live in Los Angeles County alone. In 2012, the number of legal permanent residents (LPRs) from Asia and the Pacific settling in Los Angeles was more than double that from Mexico.

Last year, Advancing Justice-LA launched Endless Possibilities, Citizenship Now! to encourage the AAPI community to naturalize.

“When we launched the Endless Possibilities, Citizenship Now! campaign last year, we knew that our communities were motivated to naturalize for increased job opportunities, family reunification, and access to benefits,” said Christine Chen, citizenship project staff attorney at Advancing Justice-LA who managed the campaign. “But in our current political climate, Protect Yourself. Citizenship Now! is the more relevant and urgent message we want our clients to hear.”

In the year prior to the 2016 presidential election, Advancing Justice-LA received nearly 2,700 calls for citizenship assistance. The calls have nearly doubled over the past year with close to 5,000 calls since April 2016.

“It’s clear there is strong motivation to naturalize among immigrants in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” said Nasim Khansari, director of Advancing Justice-LA’s citizenship project. “We want to seize this unique opportunity to encourage anyone eligible to naturalize to contact us or a reputable service provider who can assist you with becoming a U.S. citizen. Now is the time to not only protect yourself but to make your voices heard.”

“Naturalization is the ultimate and strongest protection against aggressive tactics from the federal government that undermine the value and importance of immigrants and their contributions to society,” said City of Los Angeles Councilmember David Ryu.

Advancing Justice-LA’s citizenship team is available Tuesday through Friday to help provide application assistance. All staff are supervised by an immigration attorney or accredited representative. Individuals are encouraged to call Advancing Justice-LA’s toll-free in-language helpline to schedule an appointment:

Chinese 800-520-2356

Tagalog 855-300-2552

Korean 800-867-3640

Vietnamese 800-267-7395

Thai 800-914-9583

Khmer 800-867-3126

English/Other 888-349-9695

*Live hotlines hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Callers can leave a voicemail message all other times. Messages are typically returned within one to two business days.

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The Diamond Monologues Tour Sparks Discussions on Women Empowerment, Community Building

LOS ANGELES, CA---(March 31, 2017)--- As a creative, our passion is to create. But as a creative who is meant to inspire, the work that is put out will take time to perfect. This is how the process went for San Bernardino native author and playwright T’ana Phelice when she had the idea to bring her books to the stage two years ago. She would audition girl after girl only to find out that they weren’t as serious and that they just didn’t have that “it” factor.

It’s been a long process, but Phelice has finally found her DREAM TEAM of six amazing women who are not just passionate about their craft, but believe in Phelice’s production, The Diamond Monologues. Each dynamic, millennial woman that is in the play has been touched and inspired by the character that they play which makes it easier for them to bring her to life.

"There’s so many women including myself, that go through similar things that are acted out within the play and it’s not talked about or it’s ignored unless of course we’re talking amongst each other,” Asia Smith, who plays Tia, explains.

To give those a brief of what to except from the play without giving too much away, the audience will definitely walk away feeling changed! You will cry, laugh, and nod your head in agreement as you listen to the story of each girl. The stories are our real life testimonies that we go through as women. From relationships, careers, family life, and friendships—I can guarantee you that you will hear your story in The Diamond Monologues.

The Diamond Monologues finished two successful and sold out shows in Ontario, California and now they are headed to Los Angeles, California on Saturday, April 22 where they will debut their play and change lives at the Little Casa Theater located at 2101 E. 1st Street in Los Angeles at 6 p.m. Beverages will be served and Lady Adrienne Braxton from "Braxtons Back" on StudioW Buzz will be opening up the stage play with some words of encouragement and her personally testimony how she overcame great barriers that made her the strong woman that she is today.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.tanaphelice.com. Space is limited.

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