Precinct Reporter 04 11 2019 E Edition Page A-1

Stop Invisible Lynchings Your Resource for Over 50 Years The Community's Newspaper - Serving Riverside County, Eastern Los Angeles County & San Bernardino County I wholly disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it - Voltaire Thursday, April 11, 2019 Vol. 54 - No 36 S.B. Council Meetings Growing Pains Face of the #MeToo Movement: Tarana Burke (See Page A-6) By Dianne Anderson StaffWriter The last San Bernardino City Council meeting drew a packed room of riled up community members to the podium, with many wondering how recent administrative moves fit into the overall goals and strategy for the city. A slew of complaints ranged from the acquisition of commercial cannabis licenses, to what to do about the streets and potholes, whats the plan for stopping the violence, to the emotionally charged outsourcing of animal control. Sixth Ward Council- member Bessine Richard said that the goal under the new Mayor is to take a new approach, bring revenue back to the city. The city has made a choice, they chose a new Mayor, with his vision, which he mentioned in the state of the city, is that we want to bring new revenue into the city, we want a safe city. We want to think outside of the box, she said. But, she added that its obvious some decisions are impeding progress, and not everyone on the city council is on the same page. We dont have to like each other, but we definitely have to respect one another, she said. Regarding the recent vote on City Manager Andrea Miller, Richard said that the closed session is a personnel issue, and is not up for discussion until the matter is reviewed. Then the decision will be made whether she is going to remain an employee or whether she is going to be dismissed, but right now shes only been on administrative leave since Wednesday of last week, Richard said. By definition, paid administrative leave means that all pay and benefits will be kept intact until a decision to terminate her five-year contract is finalized. Fourth Ward Council- member Fred Shorett, who voted against letting City Manager Andrea Miller off on paid administrative said the high price tag leave may trigger bigger worries down By Harlan McCarthy Special from the New Tri- State Defender The face of the #MeToo movement and one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People graced the University of Memphis Ballroom stage last Friday to share her why and her vision for the future of the movement. Tarana Burke, introduced by mayoral candidate and Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, was in Memphis to close out the universitys Womens History Month programming. Burke started the #MeToo movement in 2006 with the mission to help survivors of sexual violence find pathways to healing. Within a few years, the hashtag turned into a worldwide viral community, offering vital conversations bothonlineandline. When asked by lecture host Hai Phuong Nguyen, an institutional equity specialist at the University of Memphis, what compels her to do this line of work, Burke said her focus on helping black survivors stemmed from her grandfathers practice of Garveyism. With a strong black feminist mother and Pan- African roots, it is no coincidence she read books from Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison and even Alex Haleys Roots alongside her required Catholic school readings. It was fine for me to do that (enrollment in Catholic school) as long as I read a history book alongside the bible. In the seventh grade - after I finished Roots - he gave me a book called Before the Mayflower and another one called They Came Before Columbus, so I was into a lot of heavy stuff at an early age. Reading books by Ivan Van Sertima, who was a professor of African studies at Rutgers University and author of They Came Before Columbus, and Lerone Bennett Jr., a former executive editor of Ebony magazine and author of Before the Mayflower, as a child created a foundation that Burke called different from other childrens upbringing. I didnt have the typical childhood where you go get ice cream with your granddaddy on Sunday. He would drive me down to Harlem to a record store where you used to be able to buy cassette tapes of scholars, so John Henrik Clarke and Dr. Ben-Jochannan would be on cassette. He would buy them and then we would drive around listening to them. Burke also credited her family for giving her a strong foundation which she used to identify injustices at an early age, whether it was questioning her childhood teachers on religion and history subjects or organizing in her community as part of the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement. The 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement was created around the 20th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and the Selma to Montgomery commemorative march, with a mission to inspire and develop young people with mentoring training from a long list of veteran civil rights leaders. I grew up very active in social justice 21C molded me, said Burke. That activism led Burke to co-found Just Be Inc., a program that promoted the wellness of teen girls, and was the catalyst for the #MeToo movement. I had an experience a few years before with a young girl who had disclosed to me and I didnt know what to do with it. Thats actually where I got the words me too from because I couldnt say it to her. I was 22 and this baby was 13 and had the courage to tell me what happened to her, she said. I was like I dont know what to do with that, but I also decided at that moment I didnt want to be in that position again. Distressed with similar incidents, Burke started doing the legwork for the movement to go forward. In the past few years, her work has been connected to the incidents surrounding Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly but (Cont. on Page A-2) Groups Address Forced Sex By Dianne Anderson StaffWriter What part of sexual assault is hard to understand? At least at the teenage level, probably most of it. Debbie Sacks, a longtime educator, past teacher, and principal, said students and parents usually go through the motions of signing off on an agreement at school stating they know the rules, that any harassment or sexual assault must be reported to administration. But do we do anything thats preventative? Not that I know of, said Dr. Sacks, who sits on the board of Women Wonder Writers, a Riverside-based nonprofit. Some of the lack of awareness around sexual assault may stem from confusion on the actual definition. Having worked over three decades in public education, Sacks recognizes the root of the problem from her days as a health teacher. Words like rape are seldom, if ever, discussed in traditional class settings, as educators must stick to tight statewide curriculum guidelines in bringing up tough subjects. It also prevents teens from having a real discussion that could save a life. When she was teaching health, certain topics could be presented in a clinical way, such as the variety of birth control, but never a conversation like rape. In the early 1990s, she wasnt allowed to say anything about AIDS other than what was stated in the book chapter, about one and a half pages of little substance. Topics like AIDS would be discussed. Even there, its really minimal, especially when it comes to controversial topics like sexual abuse, she said. Today, she believes that schools rely on outside organizations to get the word out, which gives kids a chance to be more open about the issues they face daily, but not everyone attends informative after- school programs. Her organization is trying to open up the social-emotional learning component within their curriculum because students are not learning about these topics at home, or at school. Date rape happens on a college campus, but apparently, it is also happening for younger teens. Even (Cont. on Page A-6) (Cont. on Page A-2) Tarana Burke's commitment to helping survivors of sexual abuse resonated with those who heard her speak at the UofM. Photo: Harlan McCarthy

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