Churches To Offer Safe Spaces After Ferguson Grand Jury Announcement

ST. LOUIS (RNS) After a prayer service outside her church turned violent last month, the Rev. Teresa Danieley, pastor of St. John’s Tower Grove, allowed those trying to escape the demonstrations to enter her church. Now, Danieley and dozens of other clergy members are preparing to once again offer their churches as safe spaces, or sanctuaries. The grand jury decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who fatally shot African-American teenager Michael Brown, is expected by the end of the month, potentially triggering further civil unrest. Clergy anticipate some might seek refuge in churches, whether to escape violence or find fellowship. Organizations such as the Don’t Shoot Coalition, which was formed after the death of Brown, and Metropolitan Congregations...

Obama Urges Peaceful Protests In Ferguson After Grand Jury Decision

WASHINGTON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday President Barack Obama urged any protests in Ferguson, Missouri, to be peaceful after a grand jury's decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager. The grand jury in the St. Louis suburb has made its decision, according to media reports, but it has not yet been announced. (Reporting by Will Dunham)

Mia Love’s Victory Met With Little Enthusiasm In Her Own Haitian Community

WASHINGTON -- Mia Love was not what America's Haitian community expected for its first member of Congress. Love, a Mormon Republican from Utah, will be the GOP's first black female member in Congress when she comes to Washington in the new year. Despite the historic moment, many Haitian-Americans find themselves wrestling with whether to support Love because of their unease with her political views and her religion. Love was born in Brooklyn to parents who came from Haiti in the mid-1970s. She and her siblings were raised Catholic, but her older sister Cyndi decided to convert to the Mormon faith soon after college. The conversion was tough for their ...

Dear White People: Diversity at the University

Dear Justin Simien, Just wanted to write back to thank you for your film Dear White People. Oh sure, Dear White People was a bit critical of race relations. But it was smart, funny and energetic. The movie could have been even more trenchant. But it didn't exactly tiptoe through the minefield either. You were also kind enough to give us a bit of hope at the end. Speaking on behalf of all white people, I'd like to accept your lean toward mercy and charity. To begin with, it is an honor to get any invitation to a place like Winthrop University -- even just to drop in for two...

Cash Money Records Founders Return To Harlem For Annual Turkey Giveaway

For over 15 years, the New Orleans-based Cash Money Records have been a dominant force in hip hop with acts including Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj and Juvenile. Since Superstorm Sandy, the label's co-founders wanted to help families in the New York City area with their annual Turkey Giveaway. Entertainment journalist Karu F. Daniels caught up to the record label's honcho Ronald "Slim" Williams about the heartfelt philanthropic efforts.

JFK: In the Summer of His Years

51 years ago, on November 22, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. When people think of that sad event this week, the music isn't the first thing they think of. In truth, the entire day of his burial was filled with extraordinary music by some of the nation's finest artists, classical artists and military bands, choirs and soloists, hymns and patriotic numbers. Even now, some people vividly remember the music of the nine pipers of the Black Watch from the Royal Highlanders, who played from the White House to the National Cathedral. Like many, I remember the playing of "Taps" at Arlington National Cemetery. I also remember that the Navy hymn, "Eternal Father, Strong to ...

Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson Married 2 Months After He Shot Michael Brown

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, setting off weeks of ongoing protests, has gotten married. Records at the St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds office show that 28-year-old Darren Wilson married Barbara Spradling on Oct. 24. A municipal judge performed the ceremony in Overland, Missouri. A grand jury is deciding whether to indict Wilson for killing Michael Brown. Wilson, who is white, fatally shot Brown, who was black, on Aug. 9 following a scuffle inside Wilson's police SUV that spilled onto the street. Several media organizations, citing sources they didn't identify, have reported Wilson told grand jurors Brown was coming at him aggressively. Witnesses have said Brown had his hands raised and was trying to...

These 2 Men Ran From Atlanta To Ferguson In Memory Of Michael Brown

The expected travel time from Atlanta, Georgia, to Ferguson, Missouri, is about eight hours by car or 90 minutes by plane -- but for Atlanta residents Londrelle Hall and Ray Mills, the journey took 20 days. While harsh weather conditions can be credited for part of the delay, their extended travel time is mainly because the young men embarked on the journey by foot, running 540 miles to the memorial site of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old killed by a Ferguson police officer. Hall is the creator of Run For Justice, an organization with a mission of raising awareness about racial injustice and police brutality...

School District Near Ferguson Cancels Classes

JENNINGS, Mo. (AP) -- A school district that includes some students from Ferguson, Missouri, is calling off classes Monday and Tuesday, citing potential unrest if a much-anticipated grand jury announcement occurs soon. The Jennings School District had already planned to shut down Wednesday through the end of the week for Thanksgiving. A letter sent home to parents on Friday said that with the uncertainty regarding the grand jury announcement, closing schools for the entire week seemed like the most logical thing to do. An announcement is expected soon about whether the grand jury will indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb on Aug. 9. The St.

Protesters In St. Louis Neighborhood Shut Down Major Roads, Call For Justice

ST. LOUIS -- A couple hundred protesters marched in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis on Sunday night to remember two black men who were shot to death by white police officers in the past few months. "Black lives matter!" the crowd chanted, as they held hands and blocked traffic at the intersection of Kingshighway Boulevard and Manchester Avenue. Protesters recalled the deaths of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was shot by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, and Vonderrit Myers, a teenager who was shot eight times by an off-duty St. Louis police officer in the Shaw...

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