Saturday, December 31, 2016

We can, have, and continue to oppress our own. Structural Racism and (YOUR COMMUNITY NAME) White Establishment (Part - II). Black Mental Health Alliance

Personalize your reading whenever a city or community of African America are mentioned.
Consider the possibility that this is your community.
Your community from Los Angeles, to Baltimore.
Your community within the Caribbean,
Your community even within the communities of the nations of Africa.
From the townships of South Africa that still exist, to the shanty towns built in urban areas of the major cities throughout the world.
Economic, financial, the gap between the rich and poor are always key factors mentioned.

CDS CEO BEMA International

Structural Racism and Baltimore's White Establishment 
(Part - II)
Richard A. Rowe

"If you do not understand white supremacy (structural racism), then everything will confuse you." 
Neely Fuller

 "The progressive approach to policy which directly addresses the effects of white supremacy is simple - talk about class and hope no one notices."
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Author of Between the World and Me

 "The essence of American structural racism is disrespect
Ta-Nehisi Coates

"Here are White men poised to run big Marijuana businesses selling weed, after 40 years of locking up impoverished young Black men for selling weed. Their families and futures have been destroyed. Now, White men are planning on getting rich doing precisely the same things." 
Michelle Alexander - Author of The New Jim Crow

"In the ghettos the white man has built for us, he has forced us not to aspire to greater things, but to view everyday living as survival." 
Malcolm X

"The key indicators of structural racism are inequalities in power, access, opportunities, treatment and policy impacts and outcomes, whether they are intentional or not. Structural racism is more difficult to locate in a particular institution because it involves the reinforcing effects of multiple institutions and cultural norms, past and present, continually producing new, and re-producing old forms of racism." 
The Aspen Institute on Community Change (2004)

In part I of this article (December, 2016), I tried to offer Baltimore City's "white establishment" a formal and experiential definition of structural racism and its devastating, pernicious and lingering socioeconomic and psycho-cultural effects on Black people and Black communities throughout Baltimore. In Part I, I admonished Baltimore's white establishment and recommended that they forego the sponsorship of anymore structural racism symposiums and advancing the same "trickle down" organizational and programmatic strategies disguised as a "community empowerment and engagement" in their efforts to set the City's underserved and neglected Black communities on a trajectory of true social and economic transformation.

Furthermore, I pleaded with members of the white establishment to drive/stroll through some of Baltimore's devastated Black communities and "take in" the optics. I concluded Part I of the article with the following statement: The cumulative effects of decades of structural racism must be addressed with a greater and total commitment from the white establishment to transform the paralyzing and predatory policies that continue to traumatize and plunder Black communities. 

Finally, in Part I, I was not suggesting that Blacks have no responsibility in this problem; however, I was suggesting that as a result of structural racism, Baltimore's white establishment sets the context and sustains it through its paralyzing and predatory racial policies. If this truism cannot be acknowledged and accepted, then it will never be possible to transform Baltimore City's poor, underserved and neglected Black communities.

Therefore, It is my hope in Part II of this article to speak directly to Baltimore City's "Black establishment"(i.e., politicians, corporate, CEOs, preachers, teachers, public and private bureaucrats, "grass tops community" leaders, et. al)  to inform and to shed much needed light on how Baltimore's white establishment's paternalistic "community transformation" approach has left the "black establishment" grossly dependent on "white help," obscenely passive when it comes to independent black agenda development, which has left Black communities trapped in a trance of unworthiness and "unprivileged-ness."   Moreover, in Part II, it is my desire to offer several recommendations that every member--regardless of their socioeconomic status--can embrace to enhance and restore their overall emotional, cultural, physical and socio-economic health.

At the outset and to be fair, over the years, there have been a lot of African Americans in metropolitan Baltimore, of all socio-economic backgrounds that are and have been doing a lot of good work and speaking out about the deleterious effects that decades of structural racism has had on the socio-economic and psycho-cultural underdevelopment of  Baltimore's Black community; however, it is very difficult to really know and assess the true effectiveness of their work and advocacy efforts, because there are so few serious and available impact statements to examine, and so very few process/outcome evaluations to assess levels of real progress, accountability and transparency.  This assessment is reflected in the following:
  • In spite of the myriad discussions about food deserts in poor and Black communities in Baltimore, the "Black community" did not do what was necessary to keep a Black-owned grocery store open (i.e., Apples & Oranges Fresh Market) beyond two years of operation. Again, this is in a city that is 63 percent Black.
  • The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, which opened in Baltimore with great fanfare in 2005, has fallen short of attendance and fundraising goals, forcing the state to shore up its finances.  Again, this is in a City that is sixty-three percent Black and a State that is almost 30 % Black.
  • The tragic death of Freddie Gray and many others, and a scathing Department of Justice report highlighting numerous civil rights violations perpetrated against Baltimore's Black residents occurred in a city where among the 46 Baltimore police officers who hold the rank of captain and above, 25 are from ethnic or racial minority groups; and, where more than half of the 2,745 active duty officers are African-American, Hispanic, Asian or Native American.
  • After a record-breaking year of violence in 2015, when there were 344 homicides, this year is tracking not far behind. Unfortunately, the city will surpass 300 homicides again this year, for only the second time since 1999.
  • For young black men between the ages of 20 and 24, the unemployment rate is an astounding 37%, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau. The unemployment rate has been two, three and even four times higher than it has been for white men of the same age for decades.
  • A recent report out of Harvard revealed that Baltimore is the worst big city for Black boys to escape poverty.(New Study: January 2016 - Differences in childhood environment affect gender gaps in adulthood) 
  • Given the critical need for African American male teachers and male mental health practitioners to fill the needs in Baltimore City Public Schools and the community-at-large, there has not been an intentional and sustained movement in the Black community to increase the number of these two critical professions by any significant percentages in the past 20 - 30 years.
  • Since last year's uprising in April of 2015, there appears to be more white people being hired to serve in executive leadership positions to lead, manage and oversee the "charge" in Baltimore's recovery efforts. Are the "optics" real or imagined, and are there any Black organizations or public officials tracking hiring practices in Baltimore? Again, this is happening in a City that is 63 % Black.
  • While Baltimore City African American-owned firms were numerous, there were fewer than 800 African American-owned firms with employees (out of over 9,700 firms), and their sales, receipts, employment, and annual payrolls made up a tiny proportion of the Baltimore City totals (Associated Black Charities, African American Business Report -2009).
  • School districts across the State of Maryland opened another year and one thing was very, very clear, no other school district sent a majority of its students back to dilapidated, rodent infested, air conditioned deprived, clean drinking water deprived, basic equipment/resource deficient and inadequate staffing challenges than the Baltimore City Public School System. To quote civil rights leader Julian Bond, "Violence is Black children going to school for twelve years and receiving six years worth of education." 
To quote the prolific, iconic and master jazz trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis, Baltimore's Black establishment, "where yall at?" And, I will add, "where yall been?" Given these trends, and there are many others, it is my contention that one of the most serious and pernicious byproducts of structural racism is its impact on the mental health of its victims (i.e., all members of the Black community), that contributes to a sense of perceived deficiency, and causes every member of the Black community to see itself as unworthy, thus never realizing how their judgments, aversions and delusions keep them from supporting a life-giving and life-saving Black agenda and finding genuine group unity. It should never be forgotten that structural racism promotes and supports a paradigm of Black group failure rather than a paradigm of Black group success.     

Several years ago, many members of the "Black establishment" watched the series of television dramas (The Corner, 2000), (The Wire - 2002-2008) and (12 O'clock Boys - 2013). All of them chronicled the lives of Black individuals/families living in concentrated poverty on Baltimore City's East and West sides, amid open-air drug markets, boarded-up houses, and that were victims of structural racism and white aggression. All three of the docu-dramas were so graphic, raw, gritty, uncompromising and realistic that it was easy to predict Baltimore City's inevitable uprising in April, 2015. What could have been more emotionally traumatizing than decimated communities, gross socio-economic disparities and pervasive neglect that were graphically depicted in every one of the docu-dramas?  To quote the brilliant writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me, "I think the sad fact is, there's a long history in this country at looking at African-American as subhuman. And I think that's reflected in the fact that, when we have problems that really are problems of employment, that are really problems of mental health, that are really problems of drugs, our answer is the police".  ...Segregation, by which I mean people living in a certain area, was a planned system. It was made that way. And what you have is a system in which people are there to be exploited. They're right there waiting for it. A community of people, who've been denied wealth, denied wealth-building opportunities, are right there."

I strongly believe that everything I have mentioned thus far from high unemployment, poor educational opportunity, lack of affordable, quality housing, and other problems all have important racial dimensions. Equally important, the psychological effects on members of the Black community and on the community as a whole have been hyper-destructive and emotionally traumatic.

And now the question remains, will Baltimore's "Black establishment" be able to disenthrall itself from the spate of individuals programs that have received funding, or the sophomoric obsession with the latest triviality that dominates the local or national television/social media news programs that divert attention from the critical challenges resulting from decades of structural racism and "benign neglect?" 

To profoundly alter any and all present/future discussions related to structural racism to bring about real, lasting and structural change, Baltimore's Black "establishment," with significant input from the community - must create and place on the "table" a bold, socioeconomic progressive, psychologically and physically transformative shared "Black Agenda," or plan-of-action that creates a series of metrics to measure, not individual, but genuine "group progress" - both quantitatively and qualitatively; that holds "Black leaders" and Black organizations/businesses accountable; that prescribes the pre-requisite motivations and underlying emotional, psychological and coping mindsets needed to cause a greater number of Black people -young and old- in metropolitan Baltimore to succeed in all life-giving and life-saving areas of human development. This essentially demands the implementation of a psychology and methodology directed toward "the reconstruction of the personality and the orientation of Black children and Black families". Such a thrust would be directed towards educational and cultural change which teaches Black children- in particular- how to think, not simply prepares them for jobs but also facilitates and encourages high levels of self-development and service to their people. To quote the brilliant Black psychologist, Dr. Amos Wilson, "Blacks who are not conscious of their Blackness, who have no sense of destiny, and then go though (white systems of education) ultimately end up their own oppressors and a means of oppressing their own people."

Finally, the Black agenda must detail what "community" infrastructure is needed to organize its own economic, political and cultural assets and potential to obtain an equal share of the resources that are available in metropolitan Baltimore; and, that finally declares to the "White establishment "what it wants on all levels of socio-economic and psycho- cultural/political levels; and, what is no longer negotiable and acceptable. Only then will the Black community be taken seriously and not, metaphorically speaking, viewed as forever rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. 

Richard A. Rowe's email address is

Mr. Richard A. Rowe, M.P.A. - Over the past 25 years, Mr. Rowe has operated and managed direct services programs for African American men, parents and male youth, and has provided training to hundreds of volunteers, parents, educators, community leaders and organizations - both locally and nationally on topics such as male leadership and responsibility, enhancing single mother-son relationships, fatherhood, rites-of-passage programs, college retention initiatives, special education, Black male - female relationships, developing school/faith-based mentoring programs and parental involvement. As a past recipient of an Open Society Institute Fellowship, Mr. Rowe was involved in the design of a unique psycho-cultural "success identity" paradigm for African American male students. He is currently a trainer and consultant for several national and local organizations. Mr. Rowe graduated from both the University of Baltimore and Morgan State University and he has completed several executive leadership programs. He serves on a number of community boards, and is a contributing writer to several local and national publications and websites, including Black Parenting Magazine, The Journal of Black Manhood, and Black Fatherhood. Mr. Rowe has served in a number of roles as a long standing volunteer of the Black Mental Health Alliance including two terms as Board President.

The primary mission of the BMHA is to provide a trusted forum to lead and promote a holistic, culturally relevant approach to the development and maintenance of whole health, mental health programs and services for African Americans and vulnerable communities. BMHA actively engages healthcare professional members through an expansive database of culturally competent and patient centered licensed mental health clinicians.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Slave Trade in the 21st Century. A new name to an ancient industry

Let’s get back to basics, motor oil is motor oil just different grades. 

Slave trading is slave trading hidden under the vail of human trafficking and sex slavery to minimize and condone the practice by those that promote the act, perform the act, and benefit from the act by men and women.

How intertwined culture, homelessness, being poor, uneducated, hungry, and wanting to sustain basic needs of shelter, water & food, financial stability, and human affection are factors in the slave trade industry worldwide.

Charles D. Sharp.  CEO  Black Emergency Managers Association International

Black Emergency Managers Association
1231  Good Hope Road  S.E.
Washington, D.C.  20020
Office:   202-618-9097 

Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication, Coordination, Community engagement, and  Partnering (C5&P)             A 501 (c) 3 organization.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

NIST Publishes Cyber Attack Recovery Guidebook

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the Guide for Cybersecurity Event Recovery. The document describes the two phases of recovery: tactical and strategic. Tactical recovery is based on procedures established prior to a cyber attack; strategic recovery involves identifying lessons learned from the event and using those lessons to plan for recovery from future events. Recovery is one of five aspects of NIST's Cybersecurity Framework. The others are identification, protection, detection, and response. 

CYBERCamp 2017

CYBERCamp 2017 - can we count on your sponsorship?
We have GREAT news! Our first ever CYBERCamp in July 2016 was such a HUGE success we're already planning for summer 2017- AND we're going to do TWO one-week camps! We need your help to sponsor a variety of items for our students. We are offering five sponsorship packages and encourage you and your company to consider making this investment in the NCR's future cyber warriors. Since we are running two one-week camps, there are two of each of the sponsorship packages available (one for each week).  You can view (and purchase!) the sponsorship packages here. CYBERCamp 2017 will be held in July 2017 at Mantech University in Herndon, VA.  If you have sponsorship questions, please contact Sponsorship Lead Christian Galvan at  Registration and additional information will be available in spring 2017.  Interested in volunteering to help with the camp?  Sign up here.

2017 Summer Internship Programs

Internships / Mentoring
  • Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital: 2017 Four Directions Summer Research Program. This program is a summer research opportunity for undergraduate students with a commitment to the health of American Indian/Alaska Native communities. Deadline is February 6, 2017. Learn more

  • Georgia Tech/Urban Honey Bee Project: Bee-INSPIRED 2017 Summer Program. This is a paid summer STEM research program for undergraduates, and includes housing and travel allowance. Deadline is February 15, 2017. Learn more.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016. Ebola Vaccine.

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Offers Full Protection
An Ebola vaccine trial tested in Guinea (NYT) last year saw no one develop the virus ten days or more after receiving the vaccine, according to newly published results. Some eleven thousand people died in the West Africa Ebola outbreak (Guardian) that began in December 2013. 

Haiti. 2016. UN OCHA Situation Report. Hurricane Matthew

OCHA Haïti | Préparation & réponse aux urgences
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26 December 2016
OCHA Haiti
Hurricane Matthew - Situation Report No. 30

Dear partners,

Kindly click here to view OCHA: Hurricane Matthew Situation Report No. 30 as of 26 December 2016.

Situation Report Main Points
  • The CERF approved two project proposals worth just over US$ 3.5 million for rapid restoration of safe education services, protection assistance to most vulnerable evicted from temporary shelters and support to an estimated 30,000 people in areas of return.
  • The three-month USD 139 million Flash Appeal to respond to the most urgent post Hurricane Matthew humanitarian needs remains underfunded by USD 52.5 million (or 37.8% of the funding requirements).
  • As of 22 December, WFP’s general food distributions reached 886,000 and 218,500 people in two phases. The collection of data for the new Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) has been finalized and preliminary findings will be released next week.
  • According to IOM registration data, some 3 per cent of families living in temporary shelters have received offers from strangers to take care of their children, raising concerns of trafficking risks.
Best regards,

2017 Summer Program. The Yale Young Global Scholars Program (YYGS)

The Yale Young Global Scholars Program (YYGS) is offering six full-tuition plus travel scholarships for high school students from the African continent to attend 2017 YYGS at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. YYGS is committed to increasing education access for high achieving students of all backgrounds so these scholarships are entirely need-based. These need-based scholarships will cover tuition, airfare and travel expenses to the program. 
To be eligible for these full-tuition plus travel scholarships, applicants must:

·        Meet general eligibility requirements to apply to YYGS;
·        Be a citizen of an African country and currently reside on the continent;
·        Have attended school in an African country for most of the applicant’s education;
·        Complete the Yale Young Global Scholars online application, including the need-based scholarships portion

In order to be eligible for these scholarships,
applicants must meet ALL of the requirements listed above. The online application, including the need-based scholarships portion and all supplemental materials, must be submitted by January 31, 2017. No additional steps are required to be considered for this scholarship.
The Yale Young Global Scholars Program is a summer academic enrichment and leadership program that brings together outstanding high school students from around the world for intensive two-week sessions on the Yale campus. Applications are available online at http://globalscholars.yale.eduThe application deadline is January 31, 2017. Please share this opportunity with anyone who may be interested!


The YYGS Team

P.S. Please note that six students from the African continent will receive these full tuition plus travel scholarships, however every admitted student that completes the need-based scholarship portion of the application will be considered for a tuition discount. Last year, approximately one third of program participants received full or partial scholarships based on financial need. Unfortunately, YYGS cannot guarantee tuition discounts to all those who apply for it.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays! Give the Gift of Preparedness

Have a safe and happy holiday season from all the members of BEMA.  

To ensure your loved ones are prepared give the gift of preparedness that can be used throughout the year for those emergencies when the arise.

Peace be unto you and your loved ones.

Charles D. Sharp
Black Emergency Managers Association International  

Give the gift of preparedness this holiday season

With the holidays fast approaching, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages everyone to consider giving gifts that will help protect their family members and friends during a future emergency.

Supplies for an emergency preparedness kit can make unique-and potentially life-saving-holiday gifts, such as:
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
  • A flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Solar-powered cell phone charger.
  • Smoke detector and/or carbon monoxide detectors.
  • First aid kit.
  • Fire extinguisher and fire escape ladder.
  • Enrollment in a CPR or first aid class.
  • Books, coloring books, crayons and board games for the kids, in case the power goes out.
  • Personal hygiene comfort kit, including shampoo, body wash, wash cloth, hairbrush, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.
  • A waterproof pouch or backpack containing any of the above items, or with such things as a rain poncho, moist towelettes, work gloves, batteries, duct tape, whistle, food bars, etc.

Consider giving a winter car kit, equipped with a shovel, ice scraper, emergency flares, fluorescent distress flags and jumper cables.

For animal lovers, a pet disaster kit with emergency food, bottled water, toys and a leash is also a good gift.

The gift of preparedness might just save the life of a friend or family member. 

For more information, preparedness tips or other gift ideas, visit

Water Security. 21st Century Solutions to 21st Century Problems

Veola, thank you for the reminder.

We are coming together, and BEMA still needs all members input.

This photo could be anywhere in the world, but is more prevalent in our communities within the diaspora.  From the U.S., to the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the nations of Africa.  We all need to imagine walking in someone else’s shoes.

You, and I as members of BEMA will continue to stress the systems approach, innovative, effective, and efficient method to address our basic needs of shelter, water, and food security for normal uses and specifically to address those needs during times of disaster.  Not a piecemeal approach of just digging a well, but an approach of how well water distribution and uses for not only basic needs but needs to address public health security and sustainability for the future of the individual, the family, and community.

As an veteran of the U.S. military in emergency management we can bring 21st Century solutions to resolve 21st Century problems, and no more standard or ‘business as usual’ methodology of 20th Century solutions to solve 21st Century problems.

Assisting communities in free training & education to take charge of their communities.

No one knows the needs of a community more than the community itself.  Assisting communities to utilize its’ most vital resource the ‘whole community’ every member of the community.  From the homeless, gang members (with their extended family), ex-offenders to our next generation leaders to be at the table.

Thanks again.


Charles D. Sharp
Chief Executive Officer
Black Emergency Managers Association 
1231  Good Hope Road  S.E.
Washington, D.C.  20020
Office:   202-618-9097 

Heights by great men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upward in the night.                                            Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication, Coordination, Community engagement, and  Partnering (C5&P)    A 501 (c) 3 organization.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 to 2017 Homelessness. A national and international emergency event.

Homeless Migration

This holiday season focus on family, and friends.  We have to support each other. 

Homelessness is still an emergency event in many jurisdictions throughout the U.S., and internationally. 

Anything that occurs in Maryland, and Northern Virginia inadvertently affects Washington, D.C.  Homelessness in these jurisdictions are practically a revolving door with movement from one jurisdiction to the other.  From Maryland-to-DC, from DC-to-Maryland or even Virginia.

The nursing-home operation discharged patients without their consent once their Medicare coverage ran out, the lawsuit says. In many cases, residents were dropped off at homeless shelters or inadequate living facilities, according to the lawsuit.

Of the 35 who died this year, 17 had coveted housing vouchers but had not been able to find homes, underscoring the obstacles the homeless face even when bureaucracy is on their side.

Black Emergency Managers Association
1231  Good Hope Road  S.E.
Washington, D.C.  20020
Office:   202-618-9097 

Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication, Coordination, Community engagement, and  Partnering (C5&P)             A 501 (c) 3 organization.

Managing and Reducing Risk. September 2019

Managing Risks Safety and Security ...

..Haiti. We will not forget.

Drink Life Beverages ....A Woman Owned Enterprise

Drink Life Beverages ....A Woman Owned Enterprise
Drink for Life. Communities drinking and eating well.


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