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Louisiana Secretary of State Candidate Could Make History for Black Women

Collins-Greenup would be the first Black woman elected to statewide office in Louisiana.

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Running a grassroots campaign with little help from the Democratic Party, Gwen Collins-Greenup could make history as the first Black woman to be elected to statewide office in Louisiana. She would become Louisiana's first female Secretary of State since 1932, and the second ever in the state's history.


A runoff for Secretary of State is set for Saturday. Collins-Greenup's opponent, Republican candidate Kyle Ardoin, currently serves as the interim Secretary of State. The special election is to fill out the remaining year of Tom Schedler's term. He resigned in May over sexual harassment allegations.

Collins-Greenup is a 39-year-old minister, small business owner, wife, mother and lifelong resident of Louisiana, currently residing in Clinton. She earned a master of divinity degree as well as a law degree.

In November, Collins-Greenup beat out seven other candidates with a campaign budget of less than $3,000 ahead of the primary election.

"Spending roughly a half-cent for each vote received, the Democrat got 289,097 votes to Ardoin's 298,657 votes. He spent about 83 cents per vote received," according to The Advocate.

Collins-Greenup, with small-dollar contributions, ran her campaign without TV ads, forum invites or appearances, rather, she went on church visits. She didn't have campaign support from the Louisiana Democratic party until after the November primary. Her party originally endorsed Renee Fontenot Free in the race.

But Collins-Greenup welcomed the party's support.

"It's such a privilege to receive an endorsement from the Louisiana Democratic Party executive committee," she said in a statement in mid-November. "We have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, but I'm confident that the tireless work we've done in the primary will carry over into the runoff."

If elected, Collins-Greenup would serve as the chief election officer.

"As important as the Secretary of State position is, the races often fly under the radar – until now," according to the NAACP.

This sole distinction as the main overseer of elections caused the NAACP to call out Brian Kemp's run for Governor of Georgia, while still maintaining his role as Secretary of State, as a conflict of interest. There were multiple accounts of voter suppression coming out of the state up until Election Day.

Collins-Greenup said her number one priority would be to increase voter participation.

"By engaging schools and communities organizations and having that voter education and outreach," she told KLFY.

"My second priority will be the implementation of Act 636, which allows people who are formally incarcerated, and on probation and parole to vote."

She also said she'd get new voting machines across the state.

"That will have a voter verified paper trail, that prints out and gives people peace of mind, that the vote they casted is the one that is counted," Collins-Greenup said.

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.

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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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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the only Black Republican in the Senate, opposed President Trump's nomination of Thomas Farr to become a federal judge, on Thursday, ending his chances of confirmation. Trump's choice — an attorney who has supported voter suppression targeting Blacks — caused Scott to defy the leader of his party's wishes.

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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.

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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?

Stacey Abrams Tells Entertainment Industry Not to Boycott Georgia

Abrams tells those discouraged by Brian Kemp's win amid voter suppression speculation to turn their attention to fighting for fair elections.

Stacey Abrams ended her gubernatorial campaign in Georgia on Friday, and is planning to file a federal lawsuit against the state. Some entertainment industry executives discouraged by Republican Brian Kemp's win of the governorship, amid accusations of voter suppression, are contemplating boycotting Georgia. But Abrams is encouraging them not to.

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