Source: By Hamil R. Harris Washington Post - The first time I met Dorothy Height, she seemed out of place. She was wearing an obviously expensive pantsuit, sporting a wide-brim church hat and zipping around the Mall on a golf cart.
It was 1986, the first year of the National Black Family Reunion that Height had boldly pushed for. Even though racial diversity was in full bloom, Height believed that African American families needed to celebrate themselves in a big way.
By then, Height was already a civil rights icon, revered as a national treasure. I was new to Washington. As a freelance broadcast journalist, I needed a sound bite to get paid. Height stood in front of my little microphone and gave much more.
Of course I knew her, had seen her on television, but as I listened to Height her passion for social justice was overwhelming. Since then, I have interviewed her dozens of times. She was always available and accessible to the ordinary, as well as the extraordinary. And she always seemed to say the right thing.
Height began her career with another civil rights leader, educator Mary McLeod Bethune, and worked with presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Barack Obama. She always mixed the social with the political, closing out the annual family reunion with a gospel concert and a traditional benediction.
More than a half-million people have attended the National Black Family Reunions since they began in 1986. Along the way, she reminded everyone that the event was not just about money. She forced vendors to keep the food prices low and kept the focus on health care and education.
In the summer of 1991, my wife and I attended the annual summer gathering with my mother-in-law and our new baby Aria. My wife, Taunya Harris, had never been to the reunion and wanted to see singer Jermaine Jackson. But it was Dorothy Height who stole the show. "I will never forget. Dr. Height came out on stage dressed in this blue outfit," she said.
Height knew how to bring people together. When comedian Bill Cosby offered a scorching critique of black America during the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education case, which declared separate schools for blacks and whites unconstitutional, many blacks were angry. But Height said that Cosby was right because "the promises of Brown have yet to be fulfilled. Continue reading at the Washington Post
Source: LA Times - Tibet's exiled leader is traveling and speaking in support of Whole Child International, including a public address scheduled for Sunday at Gibson Amphitheatre.
After pressing the case for Tibetan autonomy with President Obama in Washington, the Dalai Lama said Saturday that he is encouraged by what he sees as rising support for the Tibetan cause among Chinese intellectuals, although he said the Chinese government remains "hardened" against him.
The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism arrived in Los Angeles on Friday and planned to spend the weekend here in support of Whole Child International, a nonprofit organization that works on behalf of orphaned and abandoned children. In an interview with The Times, he acknowledged that there had been no progress in the latest round of talks with China over his call for greater autonomy in Tibet.
Still, he said he found some reasons to cling to hope that the standoff could ease. "The number of Chinese intellectuals and writers [coming] out, they openly support our middle way approach and [are] very critical of their own government policy," he said, speaking in English.
He said Chinese intellectuals had become more sympathetic to Tibet as a result of pro-autonomy demonstrations in 2008 that prompted a swift, violent response from Chinese authorities. Since then, he said, he has met many Chinese who say they were unaware of the Tibetan issue until the demonstrations. Now, he said, they find his call for a self-governing Tibet that remains a part of China to be "very sensible, very logical."
He said Chinese writers had published 800 articles in support of Tibetan autonomy, 300 of them published in China itself. Those figures could not be independently verified.
The 14th Dalai Lama was the administrative and spiritual leader of Tibet before going into exile in India in 1959 when China cemented control over the Himalayan region. China has claimed not only political authority in Tibet, which it considers to be an autonomous province, but also control over the leadership of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama presides over a government in exile in India.
Sitting cross-legged and barefoot in the presidential suite of a Beverly Hills hotel, the Dalai Lama briefly discussed his Thursday meeting with Obama. He downplayed his goals for the meeting and said he had met with the president because "it was my duty to inform or report what the situation was in the relationship with the Chinese government."
Asked if he saw any progress there, he said, "No progress. . . . Always the Chinese authorities [are] very hardened. Not only [against] Tibetans, but also . . . toward their own people."
His L.A. visit included a luncheon speech Saturday and a public address scheduled for Sunday at Gibson Amphitheatre, where he will be joined by musician Sheryl Crow.
The screening will take place at 11am at The Lobero, one of the biggest and most beautiful theaters with 600 seats in Santa Barbara tomorrow. We were notified that you WILL be able to buy your tickets at the door and be guarenteed a seat - We hope to see you there!
Source: WestBankStory.com - A musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of competing falafel stands in the West Bank... David, an Israeli soldier, falls in love with the beautiful Palestinian cashier, Fatima, despite the animosity between their families' dueling restaurants. Can the couple's love withstand a 2000 year old conflict and their families' desire to control the future of the chic pea in the Middle East?
Directed by Ari Sandel, written by Kim Ray & Ari Sandel and music by Yuval Ron; an official selection of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and 2006 Academy Award Winner for Best Live Action Short Film.