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Refusing to deal with discrimination and a hostile work environment hits differently when  you have to pay out $100K to a Black employee who claimed who work environment became racially insensitive. Her stance stemmed from a probation officer at her job hanging up a “Blue Lives Matter” flag; and management failing to do anything about it despite her reporting it was demeaning to the Black Lives Matter movement and promoted police brutality.

via NYDN

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Karimah Guion-Pledgure decided to sue Multnomah County after months of alleged harassment. The lawsuit claims that the Blue Lives Matter flag “demeans” the Black Lives Matter movement.

A probation officer at the woman’s office hung one above his desk in September 2017 and supervisors would not require the man to remove the flag. Co-workers disagreed with the woman that it was derogatory. She claimed she was harassed because of her stance and faced “discrimination and retaliation” during her time working as a corrections technician for the county.

Supporters of the Blue Lives Matter flag claim it is meant to honor the sacrifices law enforcement officers make and the work they do, but Guion-Pledgure believes otherwise.

A copy of the lawsuit obtained by the Daily News said the Blue Lives Matter movement “co-opts” the Black Lives Matter movement’s slogan and repurposes it to shift focus from black lives to law enforcement, which is “a chosen profession, not a racial identity.”

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved the settlement on Thursday, the Portland Mercury reported. As part of the settlement, Guion-Pledgure had to resign from her job with the county on Friday.

The lawsuit claimed that the poor workplace environment led the woman to suffer from stress and health problems.

Guion-Pledgure’s attorney Ashlee Albies told the Daily News her client didn’t want to file a lawsuit, but felt there was no other way to bring attention to the issue and stop the workplace harassment she was experiencing.

Albies said Guion-Pledgure is relieved her issue was resolved and hopes the county will be more welcoming to others in the future.

The lawsuit details examples of the discrimination and backlash the woman faced.In July 2018, Guion-Pledgure created her own “equity wall” in response to the Blue Lives Matter flag remaining on the wall. It was made up of visuals of people of color killed by police in the United States and visuals of immigrant children separated from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A co-worker complained about the wall the next day and she was told to remove it but refused since the Blue Lives Matter flag has been allowed to stay up for months even though there had been many complaints, the lawsuit said.

In response, the office instituted a policy limiting the size of pictures to smaller than 5-x-7 inches. Co-workers with Blue Lives Matter flags responded by bringing in smaller versions and the day the policy was enacted, two notes were left on Guion-Pledgure’s equity wall. One read “Thanks a lot,” and the other read, “Bitch.”

She reported the incident and went on leave for a few weeks. Even after her return, she said the complaints against her and anxiety stemming from the workplace continued for months and she eventually filed a lawsuit. She originally was seeking $420,000 in the lawsuit, but settled for $100,000.

Blue Lives Matter flags and photo displays like the collage Guion-Pledgure created are no longer allowed under a new policy at the woman’s former workplace, OregonLive reported on Friday.

This only reiterates the point that politics do not belong in the workplace! Shout out to Multnomah County for settling this before it cost them and the State of Oregon millions in the long run.

 

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#JusticeForSadie! African-American Museum Founder & Activist, Sadie Roberts-Joseph Found Dead in a Car Trunk

The evil and cruelty of this world seems to have no end, affecting even the best of people. Death has invaded the ranks yet again and unfortunately one of its latest victims is an African-American museum founder  in Baton Rouge, and activist, Sadie Roberts-Joseph. In what has been called a “heinous act,” her body was found in the trunk of a car on Friday. She was 75. 

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sadie roberts-joseph

The evil and cruelty of this world seems to have no end, affecting even the best of people. Death has invaded the ranks yet again and unfortunately one of its latest victims is an African-American museum founder  in Baton Rouge, and activist, Sadie Roberts-Joseph. In what has been called a “heinous act,” her body was found in the trunk of a car on Friday. She was 75.

via CNN

sadie roberts-joseph

The body of Sadie Roberts-Joseph, 75, was located Friday but it wasn’t immediately clear what led officers to the car. The cause of her death is still unknown, police told the station. The vehicle was about 3 miles from her home, CNN affiliate WAFB reported.
Roberts-Joseph was a renowned advocate in the Baton Rouge area. She founded the Odell S. Williams Now and Then African American Museum in 2001, where she had been hosting the city’s Juneteenth celebration for years. “Ms. Sadie was a tireless advocate of peace in the community,” the police department said in a statement. “Ms. Sadie is a treasure to our community, she will be missed by BRPD and her loss will be felt in the community she served.
She also founded Community Against Drugs and Violence, a non-profit organization focused in creating a safer environment for children in North Baton Rouge. Local politicians, advocates and community members on Saturday mourned Roberts-Joseph’s death.
State Representative C. Denise Marcelle said in a Facebook post that the activist “never bothered anyone” and was looking to expand her museum.
The NAACP Baton Rouge Branch remembered Roberts-Joseph in a Facebook post.
“We lost a Cultural Legend Yesterday! #RIP Sadie Roberts Joseph,” the group wrote. “From reviving Juneteenth, to the Culture preserved at Her Museum, she was a trendsetter and icon in this City.”
Police investigating the activist’s death urged anyone with information about the case to call police detectives at 225-389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867).
This is nothing short of a tragedy and injustice. We truly hope whoever is responsible for her death is found and sentenced appropriately. Let’s all keep her family, friends, and colleagues in our prayers. Rest In Power, Queen!

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Current Events

“He Was A Random Choice…” Young Father Fatally Shot After Visiting His Premature Twins in Hospital

Gone too soon. These are the words that should be used to describe Tyrese Garvin, a twenty year old father who was shot on his way home after visiting his premature twins at the hospital. Tyrese’s murder was a senseless and random one done by a group of teenagers. He was taken off life support Friday at the University of Louisville Hospital, where his children were also being cared for. 

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tyrese garvin

Gone too soon. These are the words that should be used to describe Tyrese Garvin, a twenty year old father who was shot on his way home after visiting his premature twins at the hospital. Tyrese’s murder was a senseless and random one done by a group of teenagers. He was taken off life support Friday at the University of Louisville Hospital, where his children were also being cared for.

via People

Tyrese Garvin's twins

Tyrese Garvin’s twins

The new father to premature twins — a boy and a girl — had just finished visiting his newborns, who were about a week old at the time, at the University of Louisville Hospital on June 23 when he was allegedly shot by three teenagers, community activist Christopher 2X told The Courier-Journal.

When family members decided to take Garvin off life support, 2X, who was speaking to the outlet on behalf of the family, explained that the mother decided to take the newborn twins from the maternity ward to Garvin’s bedside for his final breaths.

“He was just a random choice that these teenagers chose to shoot,” 2X said to The Courier-Journal. “This kid was loving life, and there’s no reason for him to be shot like that.”

The Louisville Metro Police have arrested three male teenagers, ages 14 to 17, who allegedly carried out the fatal shooting.

“Tyrese was taken from us way too soon, as he was a victim of the ongoing gun and gang violence surrounding the Louisville area,” Garvin’s family wrote on a GoFundMe page they started to raise money to help cover funeral costs and medical bills from when he was in the ICU.

This is nothing short of tragic as these children will never get to know their father and his family is not grieving a death instead of celebrating two amazing births. We will pray for Tyrese’s family and hope that justice is served when it comes to his even younger murderers.

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Current Events

Tragic! Two Brothers, Ages 5 & 6, Drown in Local Swimming Pool

Memorial Day weekend is the first summer holiday, and one rife with poolside fun. However, for one Florida family it will always be a day tempered with tragedy. Two children and brothers, 6-year-old Ja’Kye Joseph and 5-year-old Branario Minto, were found dead after drowning in their apartment complex’s swimming pool. The siblings were found floating face down last night around 9:30 PM, as neighbors tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate them.

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Ja’Kye Joseph and Branario Minto

Memorial Day weekend is the first summer holiday, and one rife with poolside fun. However, for one Florida family it will always be a day tempered with tragedy. Two children and brothers, 6-year-old Ja’Kye Joseph and 5-year-old Branario Minto, were found dead after drowning in their apartment complex’s swimming pool. The siblings were found floating face down last night around 9:30 PM, as neighbors tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate them.

via People

Ja’Kye Joseph and Branario Minto

Wildine Joseph, mother of Ja’Kye Joseph and Branario Minto

“I ran over there and saw two children laying on the side of the pool, the kids were on the floor and they were giving them CPR,” a neighbor told CBS4.

Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue paramedics attempted to revive the brothers, who were non-responsive. The boys were pronounced dead after being taken to Northwest Medical Center, according to police.

Their mother, Wildine Joseph, said she was asleep when the drowning occurred.

“I’m so sorry. If I was there I could have saved them on time,” she said, according to Local 10 News. Joseph added, “I will always miss my babies. I’m sorry, Ja’Kye. I’m sorry, Branario. They’re only 5, and they’re only 6.”

The boys reportedly were unable to swim, and their mother speculated that they snuck out and jumped a fence to get into the pool area.

A neighbor told Local 10 News that the apartment complex pool is a popular spot for children, and there are often “more kids than adults.”

Police are still investigating the incident, and are asking anyone that may have seen the boys near the pool to provide information.

Additionally, Child Protective Investigations Section removed a 4-month-old child and 1-year-old child from the home as part of their investigation, according to the sheriff’s release.

This is so tragic. There are few pains greater than the loss of a child; and to lose two of your children in one day is heartbreaking. We would like to offer the family and friends of these two young boys our sincerest condolences and prayers.

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