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Paula Dance is North Carolina's First Black Female Sheriff

Even with this win, North Carolina's law enforcement agencies are still predominantly white and male.

Paula Dance has become the first Black female sheriff in North Carolina's history.


She was sworn in this past Monday surrounded by colleagues, family and friends. Her 28-year tenure is impressive, considering the state's notoriously racist history. Dance was appointed the position after she won an election for the coveted position. There are only five Black female sheriffs in the entire nation, including Dance.

Attorney Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, weighed in on the lack of diversity within this nation's sheriffs department. Specifically, she focused on racial and gender diversity.

Clarke even expressed her concern at what appears to be a case of voter suppression of Black and Native American votes distinctively in North Carolina. Her concerns are valid, given that in every aspect of the state's government agencies, there is an incredibly higher percentage of white representation among people in these positions even in predominantly Black cities like Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Charlotte.

Dance's election is an important win though. She covets the first Black female sheriff to be elected in the state. The true irony is that Dance is the first Black sheriff EVER to be elected in Pitt County.

The county's Black population is roughly 34 percent of the people who live there. Her campaign for the position was comprised of obtaining body cameras for the sheriff's office, tackling the opioid epidemic with rehab programs and school safety. Hopefully, her strategy is to bring equality and justice in a fair and unbiased way so that all members of the community can have access to being treated equally by law enforcement in the county.

Pitt County has had its fair share of complaints regarding racial profiling and brutality in the department.

Hopefully, this will make the dawn of a new era in the county's law enforcement practices.

NYPD Discovery Hearing Set for Cop Who Killed Eric Garner

Thursday's hearing could result in Daniel Pantaleo being terminated from the force.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold which killed him, is scheduled for a disciplinary conference on Thursday that could result in the termination of his job.

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Statue of Shirley Chisholm is 'Long Overdue,' Says NYC's First Lady

The first Black Congresswoman in the U.S. to be honored in her hometown of Brooklyn. And Viola Davis is set to play Chisholm in an upcoming biopic.

Late politician Shirley Chisholm, a trailblazer who worked to improve the lives of others, became the first Black woman elected to Congress in 1968. Fifty years after she made history, New York City announced it would honor Chisholm with a statue in her hometown.

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Michelle Obama Won't Be 'Leaning In' Anytime Soon

The former first lady keeps it real on her book tour.

TWITTER

Former First Lady Michelle Obama kept it all the way real on the latest stop of her successful "Becoming" book tour at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Saturday. In a moment of full disclosure, Obama expressed the difficulties of "having it all."

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One of the Last Survivors of Infamous Oklahoma Riots, Dr. Olivia Hooker, Dies at Age 103

She was one of the last survivors and few first-hand witnesses of the Tulsa Race Massacre that led to the destruction of Black Wall Street.

Screenshot from Twitter

Dr. Olivia Hooker, one of the last survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots, passed away on Nov. 21 at age 103.

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Viral Video of 'Grey's Anatomy' Star Shows How White Women Can Be Allies for Women of Color​

Shonda Rhimes shared a video where Ellen Pompeo demands diversity during an interview.

TWITTER

Shonda Rhimes, creator, head writer and executive producer of "Grey's Anatomy," shared a video of the star of her show, Ellen Pompeo, talking about how white people need to be advocates for diversity. It's gone viral with more than 2 million views.

"As Caucasian people, it's our job, it's our task, it's our responsibility to make sure we speak up in every single room we walk into. It's our job because we created the problem," Pompeo says in the video, during a photo shoot for Porter magazine.

Pompeo called out the lack of diversity in the magazine crew, and in Hollywood, without mincing words.

"This day has been incredible, and there's a ton of women in the room," she said. "But, I don't see enough color. And I didn't see enough color when I walked in the room today."

Actress Gabrielle Union is seen in the video giving a look of approval.

DiversityInc COO Carolynn Johnson said that both white women and women of color have a responsibility to each other to say there needs to be equality across the board.

"We need diversity of all walks represented," said Johnson, who in October launched DiversityInc's annual Women of Color and Their Allies event.

She said that people of color have a responsibility to talk about what's wrong and how it can be improved.

"We need to communicate," she said.

And for allies, "their responsibility is to recognize where there is no diversity and be bold enough to say something about it."

Johnson offered the example of Christopher J. Nassetta, CEO of Hilton (No. 10 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list). She said he was in one of his executive board meetings and looked around and said there wasn't enough women in this room.

So he did something about it.

"He was present enough in the moment to look around and see what was missing … not what he was comfortable with," Johnson said.

For white women who choose to be allies, "It's also your responsibility to know these stories and share them," she said.

Allies should also ask questions like: Why aren't there people of color on the set, as interviewers and production staff, scholarship recipients or in executive boardrooms?

Allies should hold decision makers accountable for age, class, ethnicity, ability, and gender diversity. And Johnson said, allies need to be helpful in the solution piece.

"We have countless examples of people who are doing this work … who are present in their everyday interactions," Johnson said.

She called attention to the fact that sometimes leaders don't hear what they need to from the vantage point of the people who need support, but from the vantage point of others in similar positions.

Reader Question: Do you think those who don't have Ellen Pompeo's position in Hollywood would speak up the way she did?

Non-Whites Make Up Half of Post-Millennial Generation: Study

Latinx post-Millennials represent the future of American voters. Democrats need to pay attention for 2020 and beyond.

REUTERS

A new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data finds that the "post-Millennial" generation, which are those born after 1996, "is already the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, as a bare majority of 6-to 21-year-olds (52%) are non-Hispanic whites."

The only population of youth that has grown substantially since the age of the Baby Boomers in 1968 is Latinx. They were born in the U.S. and go to college before entering the workforce.

In the 2018 midterm elections, millions more Latinx voted than in 2014.

According to Pew, "Latinos made up an estimated 11 percent of all voters nationwide on Election Day, nearly matching their share of the U.S. eligible voter population."

Exit polls for the midterms this year said 67% of youth overall voted for a House Democratic candidate and just 32% for a House Republican candidate, according to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

Thirty-eight women of color — Black, Latinx, Native American — won seats of real power—including the youngest Congresswoman, Alexandria Oscario-Cortez, 29, a Latina.

However, Democrats lost Texas and Florida because they didn't pay attention to voter decline among Latinx (36.5 percent) across the country.

Pews' analysis on changing demographics correlates with author Steve Phillips' discussion in "Brown Is the New White," which explains that people of color and white progressive voters are America's new majority.

Democratic candidates of color and women (Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama) have outperformed previous candidates in statewide elections in Florida and Georgia over the last 20 years, Phillips wrote in a recent New York Times column. Abrams garnered more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia's history.

Phillips says Obama's playbook is what wins: mobilization over persuasion, along with inspiring people of all races to vote, and being strong in their positions on racism, Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform and gun control.

"Yes, the strategy of mobilizing voters of color and progressive whites is limited by the demographic composition of particular states. But what Mr. Obama showed twice is that it works in enough places to win the White House. And that is exactly the next electoral challenge."

Phillips said, "These campaigns laid the groundwork for future Democratic success, because the thousands of volunteers, operatives and new voters will pay dividends for the 2020 Democratic nominee."

Reader Question: Do you think the 2020 candidates will tailor their approach to meet the demands of a diverse generation?

Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole Selected as Board Chair and Seventh President of National Council of Negro Women

"My heart is overflowing with gratitude for this honor to serve as the seventh president of this organization that has been a voice of and for Black women," said Dr. Cole.

The National Council of Negro Women (NCMW) selected Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole as its chair and seventh president during the closing session of their 58th Biennial National Convention in Washington, D.C. Ms. Ingrid Saunders Jones, who served as NCNW's chair for more than six years, will continue to serve the organization as the immediate past chair.

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Michelle Obama Talks 2020 Presidential Election

"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," Obama said, in jest. "I might even tap Sasha!"

We've never had a POTUS and FLOTUS like the Obama's before, and we've never had a Trump before. Two very different presidencies, one wrought with bigotry, racism and rampant white supremacy, and scandal, the other full of hope, unity and service. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama says we need to pay attention to who is qualified in the next presidential election.

"I implored people to focus and think about what it takes to be commander-in-chief," Obama told Robin Roberts in a "20/20" interview, in reference to women electing a misogynist in 2016 instead of a qualified female candidate.

She expressed the importance of voting, but went beyond that to describe the kind of person qualified to run this country.

"The commander in chief needs to have discipline, and read, and be knowledgeable. You need to know history, you need to be careful with your words," she said.

"I'm going to be looking to see who handles themselves and each other with dignity and respect so that by the time people get to the general (election), people aren't beat up and battered," the former first lady, who said she will not run for president, stressed.

"I think this (Democratic nomination) is open to any and everybody who has the courage to step up and serve."

She even joked that at this point, anyone is qualified to run for president —even her daughter.

"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," she said on Good Morning America "I might even tap (her younger daughter) Sasha!"

Obama and her husband were about service before, during and after the presidency.

Candidates like Trump, drunk with power, have a past, present, and future that mirror that intoxication.

Coming off midterms there are questions about what to do next — investigations of Trump, what lessons did we learn articles, predictions of the 2020 election, but getting back to what a leader, a public servant of this country is supposed to do — lead by serving its people — is a message that voters can review candidate criteria with.

"It's amazing to me that we still have to tell people about the importance of voting," she said. "People have to be educated, they have to be focused on the issues and they have to go to the polls if they want their politics to reflect their values."

Obama explained, "Where I'm at right now is that we should see anybody who feels the passion to get in this race, we need them in there. Let's see who wants to roll up their sleeves and get in the race. That's what the primary process is for."

In looking at Trump's record, most of his decisions have been made to serve himself. His record of cheating employees out of money, not paying taxes, discriminating against Blacks in terms of who could claim residency in his buildings, misogynistic comments, scandals around payoffs for affairs — none of it shows signs of service.

Obama writes in her new memoir "Becoming" how Trump's division and bigoted messaging tactics to garner a movement to propel his campaign impacted her own family's safety:

"The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."

In current times, his decisions in the White House usually involve a lot of divisive words to spark attention from white supremacists, "look what I did" moments on twitter for validation, and little about what the country needs, but instead what the country should be afraid of.

And that is not why you get the job in the first place.