A Proclamation on Juneteenth Day of Observance, 2021

June 19, 1865

JUNE 18, 2021PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS

On June 19, 1865 — nearly nine decades after our Nation’s founding, and more than 2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation — enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received word that they were free from bondage.  As those who were formerly enslaved were recognized for the first time as citizens, Black Americans came to commemorate Juneteenth with celebrations across the country, building new lives and a new tradition that we honor today.  In its celebration of freedom, Juneteenth is a day that should be recognized by all Americans. And that is why I am proud to have consecrated Juneteenth as our newest national holiday.

Juneteenth is a day of profound weight and power.

A day in which we remember the moral stain and terrible toll of slavery on our country –- what I’ve long called America’s original sin.  A long legacy of systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity.

But it is a day that also reminds us of our incredible capacity to heal, hope, and emerge from our darkest moments with purpose and resolve.

As I said on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, great nations don’t ignore the most painful chapters of their past. Great nations confront them.  We come to terms with them.

On Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality, and justice.  And, we celebrate the centuries of struggle, courage, and hope that have brought us to this time of progress and possibility.  That work has been led throughout our history by abolitionists and educators, civil rights advocates and lawyers, courageous activists and trade unionists, public officials, and everyday Americans who have helped make real the ideals of our founding documents for all.

There is still more work to do.  As we emerge from the long, dark winter of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, racial equity remains at the heart of our efforts to vaccinate the Nation and beat the virus.  We must recognize that Black Americans, among other people of color, have shouldered a disproportionate burden of loss — while also carrying us through disproportionately as essential workers and health care providers on the front lines of the crisis.

Psalm 30 proclaims that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  Juneteenth marks both the long, hard night of slavery and discrimination, and the promise of a brighter morning to come.  My Administration is committed to building an economy — and a Nation — that brings everyone along, and finally delivers our Nation’s founding promise to Black Americans.  Together, we will lay the roots of real and lasting justice, so that we can become the extraordinary country that was promised to all Americans.

Juneteenth not only commemorates the past.  It calls us to action today.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2021, as Juneteenth Day of Observance.  I call upon the people of the United States to acknowledge and celebrate the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of Black Americans, and commit together to eradicate systemic racism that still undermines our founding ideals and collective prosperity.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

2020 Census Data is Out, Apportionment Results Delivered to the President

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the 2020 Census shows the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2020, was 331,449,281.

The U.S. resident population represents the total number of people living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The resident population increased by 22,703,743 or 7.4% from 308,745,538 in 2010.

“The American public deserves a big thank you for its overwhelming response to the 2020 Census,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said. “Despite many challenges, our nation completed a census for the 24th time. This act is fundamental to our democracy and a declaration of our growth and resilience. I also want to thank the team at the U.S. Census Bureau, who overcame unprecedented challenges to collect and produce high-quality data that will inform decision-making for years to come.”

“We are proud to release these first results from the 2020 Census today. These results reflect the tireless commitment from the entire Census Bureau team to produce the highest-quality statistics that will continue to shape the future of our country,” acting Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin said. “And in a first for the Census Bureau, we are releasing data quality metrics on the same day we’re making the resident population counts available to the public. We are confident that today’s 2020 Census results meet our high data quality standards.” 

The new resident population statistics for the United States, each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are available on census.gov

  • The most populous state was California (39,538,223); the least populous was Wyoming (576,851).
  • The state that gained the most numerically since the 2010 Census was Texas (up 3,999,944 to 29,145,505).
  • The fastest-growing state since the 2010 Census was Utah (up 18.4% to 3,271,616).
  • Puerto Rico’s resident population was 3,285,874, down 11.8% from 3,725,789 in the 2010 Census.

In addition to these newly released statistics, today Secretary Raimondo delivered to President Biden the population counts to be used for apportioning the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. In accordance with Title 2 of the U.S. Code, a congressionally defined formula is applied to the apportionment population to distribute the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the states.

The apportionment population consists of the resident population of the 50 states, plus the overseas military and federal civilian employees and their dependents living with them overseas who could be allocated to a home state. The populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are excluded from the apportionment population because they do not have voting seats in Congress. The counts of overseas federal employees (and their dependents) are used for apportionment purposes only.

  • After the 1790 Census, each member of the House represented about 34,000 residents. Since then, the House has more than quadrupled in size (from 105 to 435 seats), and each member will represent an average of 761,169 people based on the 2020 Census.
  • Texas will gain two seats in the House of Representatives, five states will gain one seat each (Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon), seven states will lose one seat each (California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia), and the remaining states’ number of seats will not change based on the 2020 Census. 

Upon receipt of the apportionment counts, the president will transmit them to the 117th Congress. The reapportioned Congress will be the 118th, which convenes in January 2023.

“Our work doesn’t stop here,” added acting Director Jarmin. “Now that the apportionment counts are delivered, we will begin the additional activities needed to create and deliver the redistricting data that were previously delayed due to COVID-19.”

Redistricting data include the local area counts states need to redraw or “redistrict” legislative boundaries. Due to modifications to processing activities, COVID-19 data collections delays, and the Census Bureau’s obligation to provide high-quality data, states are expected to receive redistricting data by August 16, and the full redistricting data with toolkits for ease of use will be delivered by September 30. The Census Bureau will notify the public prior to releasing the data.

Source: U.S. Census

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Vivian C. Wilson, National BDPA Matriarch and Past President, Passes Away at 77

From the Office of Earl A. Pace, Jr.National BDPA Co-Founder

It was with great sorrow that I received notice of the death of Vivian. Vivian was an incredibly special lady! I met Vivian through our membership in Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), an organization created, in 1975, to prepare African American and other minority youth for careers in Information Technology and to affect the upward mobility of African Americans and other minorities already in the IT industry.

Vivian C. Wilson, National BDPA
Vivian C. Wilson

Vivian made an impact almost immediately upon joining BDPA and rose quickly to delivering that impact to the national level of the organization. In 1986, she received the first “Board of Directors National Outstanding Member of the Year”. Vivian was elected National Vice-President in 1987 and elevated to National President, by election, in 1989.

There have been 18 National Presidents of BDPA, eight have been women of color. Vivian was the 4th BDPA National President and the first female National President. Of all the past Presidents, I believe Vivian had the greatest impact on the organization! She had a way of making every member she met, her friend and part of the BDPA family. She introduced the “BDPA hug” that continues to be demonstrated to this day by the membership! The greatest increase in admitted BDPA Chapters occurred under Vivian’s presidency! She was organized and a true professional. After her 2 terms as president, Vivian and her developed team continued to contribute to BDPA by successfully organizing and conducting the organization’s Annual National Conferences until 1996.

Although not active in BDPA the past several years, there is no doubt that Vivian loved the organization and its objectives. It is also true that BDPA loved Vivian. ― bt

Cover photo courtesy National BDPA (L-R):
Denise Holland, Gina Billings, Milt Haines, George Williams, Diane Davis, Vivian Wilson, Norman Mays, and Earl A. Pace, Jr.

Vivian C. Wilson in Memoriam

Charter to Expand Distribution of Black News Channel and Offer Network to Video Subscribers Across All Markets

Charter Will Make the Network Available by early September to Subscribers of Spectrum TV Silver and Higher Video Tiers

STAMFORD, Conn. – Charter Communications, Inc. today announced it plans to significantly expand distribution of Black News Channel (BNC), the nation’s only 24/7 African American-focused news network, by making the channel available to Spectrum TV subscribers throughout the company’s 41-state footprint by early September 2020.

Charter was one of the first pay TV providers to offer BNC in some of its biggest markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, upon the network’s launch in early 2020. Today’s announcement expands that access to Spectrum TV customers located in all Charter markets, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Columbia, providing Black News Channel even broader reach for its programming.

“Expanding distribution of Black News Channel will give even more Spectrum customers access to the network’s topical news,” said Tom Montemagno, Executive Vice President of Programming Acquisition for Charter. “It’s critical that we provide diverse perspectives on our lineups, and that we have programming that truly reflects the issues facing our customers and the communities we serve.”

BNC launched February 10 as the nation’s only provider of 24-hour cable news programming dedicated to covering the diverse perspective of African American communities. As an innovative and life-changing network, BNC’s mission is to provide intelligent programming that is informative, educational, inspiring and empowering to its African American audience.

“Charter Communications has been a great partner for our Network and has been committed to our success and the information needs of our audience from the start,” said BNC Chairman and co-founder J.C. Watts, Jr. “Expanding BNC‘s reach to subscribers throughout the Spectrum TV universe further demonstrates that commitment.”

The channel features coverage of national political, health, business and sports news; stories about Black history and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); and original programming, including the “Kelly Wright Show,” “Being a Woman” with hosts Lauren McCoy and Rarione Maniece, and “Doctor for the People” hosted by Dr. Corey Hebert. More information about Black News Channel and its programs is available at www.BlackNewsChannel.com.

BNC will be available upon launch at no additional charge to Spectrum TV customers who have Spectrum TV Silver, Digital Tier Package 1, or Spectrum Lifestyle TV. More information about how to subscribe and local channel locations is available at www.spectrum.com.

– Source and photo: Charter Communications and Devlin Design Group

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Obituary: Rod W. Flakes, BDPA Boston Metrowest

BOSTON, MA — Roderick “Rod” Wesley Flakes passed away on Friday, April 17th at the age of 74 from the COVID-19 virus. Rod was born on October 3, 1945, son of the late John and Lurlene Flakes of Birmingham, AL.

rod-flakes-obitRod grew up in Birmingham, graduated from Ulman High School in 1963, went on to earn a BS in Electrical Engineering from Howard University in 1968 and continued his studies to earn a MS in Engineering Management from Northeastern University in 1976.

Rod lived in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA before settling in Medway, MA to raise his family. Rod spent 20 years working for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) as a Sales Engineer, then retired from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2012 as an IT Administrator.

In retirement, he continued to serve as the President of the Boston Metrowest Chapter of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) – a networking organization for diverse working professionals in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Rod found fellowship at the Greater Framingham Community Church where he was a faithful member of the choir and worked on the church’s scholarship fund. When his kids were younger, he logged countless miles on the road and endless hours on the field watching his kids play soccer. He enjoyed listening to jazz music, reading, playing golf and finding ways to stay warm through the winters.

He was a proud grandpa to four grandkids – traveling from Coast to Coast to spend time with them. His kind demeanor, infectious smile and joyful commentary made him a pleasure to be around. He will be missed by many. Rod is survived by his partner Lynda Wik of Auburn, his children Erica J. Flakes, John R. Flakes and his wife Maribeth of Milton, Phillip R. Flakes and his wife Abigail of San Diego, CA. He is also survived by his grandchildren;  Grace and Olivia (MA) and Wesley and Parker (CA). In addition, Rod is survived by one sister, Janet E. Flakes of Birmingham, Alabama. His brother Larry Flakes and sister Auberrie Flakes preceded him in death.

A celebration of life service will be held at the Greater Framingham Community Church at a later date when we can all gather together again. In the meantime, the family invites you to share your memories of Rod virtually by visiting https://everloved.com/life-of/roderick-flakes/.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to Howard University – School of Engineering.  Kindly visit our link provide below.  https://giving.howard.edu/givenow. 

BDPA Birmingham | BDPA Boston | BDPA Philadelphia | BDPA Washington, D.C. 

Sources and photos: Flakes family, National BDPA, Digital Equipment Corporation [HP],  and legacy.com

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Norton’s New Bill Encourages U.S. Government to Increase Minority and Women-Owned Media participation in Advertising Contracts

WASHINGTON — On May 8, 2019, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) formally introduced a bill that she and others hope will help to stop federal agencies from overlooking Black-, other minority-, and women-owned businesses when establishing advertising contracts.

The “Federal Government Advertising Equity Accountability Act”, formerly H.R. 7215, was reintroduced in the 116th Congress as H.R. 2576. The new bill requests and requires all federal agencies to include in their annual budget justifications the amount spent on advertising contracts with Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs) and businesses owned by Blacks, women and other minorities in the previous fiscal year.

Bill Co-Sponsors
The legislation, which is co-sponsored by California Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Wisconsin Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore, also requires that each agency provide projections of their spending for the upcoming fiscal year.

“The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) applauds and salutes the outstanding leadership of Congresswoman Norton for introducing one of the most important Congressional bills to potentially benefit the Black Press of America,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

NNPA - Founded in 1940“For too long, millions of annual federal advertising dollars have not been spent with Black-, other minority- and women-owned newspapers and media businesses,” Chavis said.

Chavis also thanked Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Gwen Moore (D-WI) for co-sponsoring “this game-changing legislation.”

“We further thank Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), and all the members of the CBC for their resolute support of the Black Press of America,” he said.

Appropriations Bills
Norton and Lee also sent letters to all 12 House appropriations subcommittees requesting that they direct each agency under their jurisdiction to include the pertinent information in their fiscal year 2021 budget justifications.

An accompanying House fiscal year 2020 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill – the first fiscal year 2020 report released thus far and the second largest appropriations bill – further directs the agencies to include data in their fiscal year 2021 budget justifications.

“As the largest advertiser in the United States, the federal government has an obligation to ensure fair access for minority and women-owned media companies,” said Norton, who earlier this month was ranked as the most effective House Democrat by the Center for Effective Lawmaking.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Led by professors at the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, the Center for Effective Lawmaking defines legislative effectiveness as the “proven ability to advance a member’s agenda items through the legislative process and into law.”

It’s that reason that Norton and the nation’s Black-, other minority- and women-owned media companies are optimistic that her proposed legislation will aid their businesses, which have long played a vital role in local communities.

“My bill would ensure that federal agencies are striving to reach minorities and women, who often get their news from outlets that serve more specific communities,” Norton said.

Lee added that it’s important that federal agencies comply.

She said that African American-, women-, and other minority-owned businesses should always have a seat at the table when it comes to government advertising and contracts.

Government Accounting Office (GAO) Findings
In 2016, Norton led members of Congress in requesting a GAO report on their advertising contracts.

Released in July 2018, the GAO report showed that, in fiscal year 2017, only 16 percent of the federal government’s advertising contract obligations went to businesses owned by minorities and women.

“In 2017, the GAO examined spending on advertising contracts with minority-owned businesses by five agencies – the Department of Defense, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – and found that only five percent of the $4.3 billion available for advertising contracts went to minority businesses,” Norton said.

“In light of these concerning figures, we, and several Members, sent a letter to the GAO in April 2016 requesting updated information on the amount of federal advertising dollars spent with SDBs and businesses owned by minorities and women,” she said.

“The GAO’s findings make it clear that there is still much progress to be made,” Norton said.

“BigTech”, “FinTech”, Prime/Sub Contractor, and Advertising Agency trends
Further, she said the regular collection of information on federal advertising contracts with SDBs and businesses owned by women and minorities is essential to bridging the divide between current statistics and a more inclusive advertising landscape.

“Collection would also promote transparency and encourage federal agencies to strive to reach minorities, who often receive their daily news from smaller media outlets that serve communities of color,” Norton said.

“Collection of this information would also demonstrate that the promotion of equity in advertising, and in all areas of government, should be a continuous effort that is central to the mission of every agency,” she said.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
Photo credits NNPA and Black Press USA

bdpatoday | Paths Forward and Next Steps?

For Advertising and Public Relations Agencies

This bill primarily supports growth and sustainability for small community and county newspapers which include small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses in rural America and America’s largest urban metropolitan areas.  New federal advertising reporting requirements help federal prime contractors and their subcontractors meet and exceed public sector supplier diversity and small business goals for corporations who wish to continue to trade (win contracts) with the federal government.

  • Review and follow the new bill, H.R. 2576
  • Increase paid advertising with, small, minority, women, veteran-owned, and HBCU/MSI publications to meet or exceed diversity and inclusion goals
  • Include NNPA, NAHP, and HBCU/MSI publications in marketing and new advertising campaigns


For Publishers

This bill primarily supports growth and sustainability for small, minority, and women owned businesses, National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) newspapers, National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) newspapers, and HBCU/MSI publications:

  • Review and follow the new bill, H.R. 2576
  • Download Congresswoman Norton’s “Dear Colleague Letter” to voice additional support and share with peers to directly send to Senators and Congressional Representatives
  • Increase readership and advertising revenues — pivot to TECH
  • Hire STEM interns; train more tech journalists
  • Regularly publish digital transformational trends with related career and government contracting opportunities
  • Publish articles for new readers by covering all vertical industry segments (i.e. health, transportation, manufacturing, banking, defense, etc.)
  • Modeled after “PARADE Magazine” featured every Sunday, NNPA and NAHP newspapers may consider supplementing weekly or monthly newspaper editions with “STEM” tabloids. For example, NNPA/NAHP “STEM Value Packs” may include:
  • Capturing new or more federal contracts for printing, publishing, and advertising?
    • Complete or update corporate profiles on the federal government’s System for Award Management  (SAM.gov) portal. A DUNS number, a CAGE Code, and appropriate NAICS code(s) are required for federal prime and subcontracts— new publishers, businesses, and start-ups should visit SBA.gov first
    • Research the market to sell products or services to the federal government. The Government Services Agency’s (GSA) acquisition solutions for small businesses and publishers offer private sector professional services, equipment, supplies, and IT to government organizations and the military. GSA is Uncle Sam’s “Amazon.”  Start here. → https://www.gsa.gov/small-business/get-started
    • Continuity of Operations and Disaster Recovery (CoOP/DR) contracts or BCDR Preparedness grants.  Secure publishing/printing opportunities with federal/state/local agencies in advance of natural disasters to publish updated instructions, emergency planning, maps, and shelter locations. Power, Internet access, and WiFi services may not be available during or after major disruptive events → https://www.fema.gov/grants
    • Review special requirements and contracting opportunities for HUB Zones or Opportunity Zones.   Several Historically Black College or University/Minority Serving Institution (HBCU/MSI) campuses are in rural areas, HUB Zones, and in some cases may be the largest employer in town
    • HBCU/MSI, NNPA, and NAHP publications also may expand community outreach, training, and career development opportunities into regional “news deserts” or distressed communities
    • Digital transformation, preservation, and archiving contracts or STEM grants.  Publishers and printers may secure new opportunities to help agencies and organizations transition their  documents and legacy data onto new multimedia platforms.
— bdpatoday

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