Blog Posts Related to the African American Community
- Posted byon January 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM EDT
On Monday, January 16, we commemorated the day in honor of one of our Nation’s most prolific historical leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we reflect upon the life and brilliance of Dr. King and his legacy, we must continue to uphold the principles and values he courageously fought for. In the Martin Luther King Jr. Day proclamation, President Obama said, “At a time when our Nation was sharply divided, Dr. King called on a generation of Americans to be ‘voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion.’" The embodiment of Dr. King’s mission has encouraged generations of men and women to prevail over decades of injustice. His vision has stirred civil rights advancements and inspired millions.
With so many Americans still experiencing extraordinarily difficult circumstances, we are reminded that during times of hardship, we must pull together, lend a hand and help lift up those in our community that need help the most. Dr. King’s long-lasting impact taught each of us that we can overcome our toughest adversities when we stand together.
His words and actions exemplify an unselfish mission to fight for progress and fairness for all races. This progress is movingly illustrated through Dr. King’s monument that stands today on the National Mall, close to the place where the historic March on Washington challenged our nation to become a more perfect union – the memorial is a symbol of the progress of our nation. The unveiling of this historic memorial, since Dr. King’s last birthday celebration, reminds us that his, “remarkable dream is unending, with persistence, progress is within our reach…a dream of justice and equality in our society...a dream of service,…that you could lead by giving back to our communities.”
Dr. Kings’ legacy of progress unified many Americans to engage in acts of service by using the day to participate in community service events across the country. His dream and legacy of service is an integral part of the road to securing our future. That is why President Obama called on the Nation to participate in service events. Through the efforts of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), we also created the MLK Drum Majors for Service Program to recognize outstanding volunteers nationwide who perform everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment, but who seldom receive recognition.
- Posted byon January 16, 2012 at 4:40 PM EDT
Monuments are built to those who change the course of history. It is right and fitting that a memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. now stands in the heart of our nation’s Capital. Even as we renew our understanding of Dr. King’s legacy by visiting this beautiful monument; we can honor the legacy of Dr. King by following his example, by serving and volunteering in our communities.
Dr. King called service the “new definition of greatness.” He believed that the work we undertake on behalf of others is the most important work of all. He devoted his life to this notion – advancing equality, social justice and economic opportunity for all Americans. Dr. King challenged all of us to do our part to build a more perfect union.
That is why, for nearly two decades, the nation has marked the life of Dr. King with a national Day of Service. Today, Americans from every state will deliver meals, refurbish schools and community centers, collect food and clothing, sign up mentors, support veterans and military families, and more. Thousands of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members will lend a hand to community-based projects. Individuals and groups, of all ages and backgrounds, will come together – as Dr. King would have wanted – in service.
- Posted byon January 11, 2012 at 6:02 PM EDT
At today's "Insourcing American Jobs" forum, President Obama talked about his hope for the future:
I don’t want America to be a nation that’s primarily known for financial speculation and racking up debt buying stuff from other nations. I want us to be known for making and selling products all over the world stamped with three proud words: “Made in America.” And we can make that happen.
I don’t want the next generation of manufacturing jobs taking root in countries like China or Germany. I want them taking root in places like Michigan and Ohio and Virginia and North Carolina. And that’s a race that America can win.
"[My] message to business leaders today is simple: ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to the country that made our success possible," the President said. "And I'm going to do everything in my power to help you do it. We're going to have to seize this moment."
- Posted byon January 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM EDT
Your first job brings you more than just a steady paycheck – the experience teaches young people life and work skills that serve them long after the job is done. But as our nation continues to recover the deepest recession since the Great Depression, American youth are struggling to get the work experience they need for jobs of the future.
Today President Obama announced a new initiative, Summer Jobs+, that will make a difference.
“America’s young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’ve got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. It’s important for their future, and for America’s. That’s why I proposed a summer jobs program for youth in the American Jobs Act – a plan that Congress failed to pass. America’s youth can’t wait for Congress to act. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. That’s why today, we’re launching Summer Jobs+, a joint initiative that challenges business leaders and communities to join my Administration in providing hundreds of thousands of summer jobs for America’s youth,” said President Obama.
Summer Jobs+ is a call to action for businesses, non-profits, and government to work together to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012. The President proposed $1.5 billion for high-impact summer jobs and year-round employment for low-income youth ages 16-24 in the American Jobs Act as part of the Pathways Back to Work fund. When Congress failed to act, the Federal government and private sector came together to commit to creating nearly 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth in the summer of 2012, with a goal of reaching 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of summer, at least 100,000 of which will be placements in paid jobs and internships.
A centerpiece of the program will be the Summer Jobs+ Bank , a one-stop search tool for youth to access postings from participating employers that is targeted to launch in 60 days, which will use the same technology that powers the Veterans Jobs Bank that was launched late last year. Employers who want to offer opportunities to America’s young people can find out more here.
- Posted byon December 27, 2011 at 12:15 PM EDT
Yesterday, the President and First Lady sent their warmest wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season:
Today marks the beginning of the week-long celebration honoring African American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa -- unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
We celebrate Kwanzaa at a time when many African Americans and all Americans reflect on our many blessings and memories over the past year and our aspirations for the year to come. And even as there is much to be thankful for, we know that there are still too many Americans going through enormous challenges and trying to make ends meet. But we also know that in the spirit of unity, or Umoja, we can overcome those challenges together.
As families across America and around the world light the red, black, and green candles of the Kinara this week, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.
- Posted byon December 19, 2011 at 6:55 PM EDT
If Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut, the typical family making $50,000 a year will have about $40 less to spend or save with each paycheck. Over the year, that adds up to about $1,000.
Opponents of the payroll tax cut dismiss its impact by insisting $40 isn’t a lot of money, but that’s not the case for many families who are already working hard to make ends meet. Forty dollars buys a tank of gas or a fridge and pantry full of groceries. It covers a water bill or the cost of a prescription.
The payroll tax cut doesn’t just benefit the 160 million American workers who receive it, however. It also helps the economy as a whole. People spending money on goods and services generate business for stores and companies, who can then hire more workers, creating more jobs across the country.
President Obama says that this is a make or break moment for the middle class, and those trying to reach it. The defining issue of our time is whether we can build an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded. And the President will continue to fight to make sure that working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, and secure their retirement.
To make sure people here in Washington know that losing the payroll tax cut would affect people everywhere, tell us what making $40 less each paycheck would mean for you and your family. What would you have to give up or go without? Share your story here and add your voice to the debate.