Saturday, August 04, 2012

Breaking the school-to-​prison pipeline

Dear Rob,

I am working with the organization Unite for Students on an upcoming event we’re holding with Sheryl Davis and Mo’ MAGIC on August 11. I think it will be something you and District 5 Diary would be interested in covering.

I’ve included the details below and want to give you a brief overview of who we are and what we’re doing.

Unite for Students was founded by graduate students at USF, with the aim of raising awareness about ways to combat the school-to-prison pipeline that is devastating communities of color. We are providing resources and tools for parents to this end, with our main areas of focus centered around college counseling and financial aid, mentoring to help students fulfill A-G requirements, restorative justice, literacy, and PTO/ parental volunteer involvement in schools.

As mentioned, our inaugural event is going to take place on August 11 at Ella Hill Hutch Community Center, and is being held in conjunction with the highly popular Backpack Give Away run by Mo’ MAGIC, which typically attracts over a thousand participants. This year we are running six workshops that will include experts and local community leaders speaking on topics regarding the school-to-prison pipeline in the Bay Area, and how to break it.

Nova Nevraumont

What: Workshops and Presentations on Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Where: Ella Hill Hutch Community Center, 1050 McAllister Street

When: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., August 11

47 million women and Obamacare

Thanks to Obamacare, 47 million women became eligible last Wednesday for additional preventive health care services. From the White House's blog:

Because of the Affordable Care Act, women in private plans and Medicare already have received potentially life-saving services, such as mammograms, cholesterol screenings, and flu shots at no extra cost. Today, the law builds on these benefits, requiring new, non-grandfathered private health plans to offer eight additional screenings and tests for adolescent and adult women at no extra charge:
  • Well-woman visits.
  • Gestational diabetes screenings that help protect the mother and her child from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling
  • FDA-approved contraceptive products, which have proven health benefits like a reduced risk of cancer and protecting against osteoporosis
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
  • HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older
  • Sexually transmitted infections counseling
  • HIV screening and counseling
A video from the Guttmacher Institute:

A Republican Congressman's goofy reaction:

Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly (R), an ardent opponent of abortion rights, said that today's date would live in infamy alongside those two other historic occasions. Wednesday marked the day on which a controversial new requirement by the Department of Health and Human Services, which requires health insurance companies to cover contraceptive services for women, goes into effect.
"I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that's Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack," Kelly said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates."

Daily Kos's amusing reaction to the above:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Freedom died on Aug. 1 because women with health insurance now get diabetes screening. Oh, the humanity! The status quo, the standard Republicans fought so hard to preserve, was the absurd notion that women don't need women's health care. During the fight over health care reform, for example, Sen. Jon Kyl famously said that since he didn't need maternity care, he saw no reason to require insurance companies to provide it for anyone. Sen. Debbie Stabenow brilliantly responded, "I think your mom probably did."

...It's been a long, hard fight for us, with Rush Limbaugh insisting that any woman who uses, or even cares about, contraception is a slut, and the ever-obeisant Republican Party nodding along. We know that breast cancer screening is also, apparently, a sluts-only thing, since forced-birthers have been running around screaming that abortion causes breast cancer (no, assholes, for the millionth time, it doesn't), ergo, we don't really need to provide or fund breast cancer screening, because if you get breast cancer, you're probably a baby-killing slut and you deserve it. Republicans have nodded along with that one too. Only sluts need health care; non-sluts maintain perfect health through the magical power of Bible study or something.

Will November bring an Obama landslide? We can hope! We need to bury the right-wing real deep in this election.