News Briefs 6-8

    LANSING, MI —     The Prayer Day will be on August 1, 2007.  This day will be set aside for interfaith community prayer for all.  There will be some places of worship that will be open from 7-7pm and others at varying times.  A list will be provided in an upcoming edition.  For those who cannot make it to a place of worship, please feel free to pray whereever you feel comfortable.
    Ernestine Mc Mullen, community activist, who supports the August 1, 2007 Prayer Day said, “Each family really has a prayer of their own.  That would be th prob that are touching their families.  We need to pray that the education system because our children are the future  On the 1st day of August get that on telephone  to God.”
     CCCAN is not having a Prayer Breakfast.
     Even though two of the  most prevalant issues asked about were having a Prayer Day and the absence of youth activities, there were other issues that were brought to the attention of the Capital City Community Action Network (CCCAN). 
     Another issue that was brought to the table was the issue of incarceration.  There were some individuals who felt that loved ones were unnecessarily being imprisoned and others who are having difficulty finding resources for those who are being released.
      According to a proposal by Jennifer Granholm, she would like to release thousands of prisoners into our communities.  We as a community need to be prepared and educated.  Regardless of what you may think about the issue, if it does happen there will be a ripple effect.  More people will be looking for jobs, more children will be adjusting to an absent parent, spouses and mates will be adjusting to having someone home who may or may not be prepared for what the world has to offer them.
     Are you prepared?
     There will be an increased need to medical and mental care.
      On another level of the issue, CCCAN and The New Citizens Press was approached by Len Hill of Mount Hope Prison Outreach Ministries.  He wanted them to assist him with collecting Christian books, video tapes and CD’s for inmates.  He was also requesting textbooks and children’s books.  The response has been overwhelming in two days 200 books were collected.  The goal was 500 by August 1, 2007.  Updates will be given in future editions.

May is National Foster Care Month

Michigan Children’s Case to Move Forward – Motion to Dismiss Denied Judge Rejects State’s Attempt to Dismiss Case to Reform State Foster Care System

NEW YORK, NY —    
On April 17, 2007, in Detroit, federal Judge Nancy G. Edmunds rejected Michigan’s attempt to dismiss a class action lawsuit on behalf of 19,000 children in state foster care.   The lawsuit, filed in August 2006 to reform the state’s foster care system, by national watchdog group Children’s Rights and Michigan-based law firm Dykema Gossett, asserts that the safety and wellbeing of children in state custody are being jeopardized by a lack of management and resources in the state’s child welfare system.  Settlement negotiations between Michigan and Children’s Rights have broken down.  Discovery in the lawsuit will proceed immediately.
"This ruling means that Michigan’s children will have their long-overdue day in court," said Susan Lambiase, associate director of Children’s Rights.
"It is unfortunate that Michigan tried to cast aside the lawsuit, rather than fix a system that everyone knows to be seriously broken," said Sara Bartosz, Children’s Rights staff attorney and lead attorney on the case.  "It is time for the state to live up to its legal obligations to foster children."
Michigan’s own DHS Director Marianne Udow was recently quoted as saying, "I truly believe we are putting children in jeopardy even with the current budget."
Among the systemic problems that the class action lawsuit, known as Dwayne B. v. Granholm, seeks to correct:
> Poor monitoring of child safety and denial of physical and mental health services for children.
> Failure to quickly move children into permanent homes; 6,300 children in Michigan are legally free for adoption, but are growing up as permanent state wards.
> A severe shortage of licensed foster homes; approximately 40% of Michigan children in state care live in unlicensed homes.
> Failure to utilize available federal funding; Michigan loses millions of federal foster care dollars each year due to mismanagement.
Children’s Rights is a national watchdog organization advocating on behalf of abused and neglected children in the U.S.  Since 1995, the organization has used legal action and policy initiatives to create lasting improvements in child protection, foster care and adoption.

Annual Oratorical Contest and Beauty & Talent Pageant

The Lansing Elks, Silver Leaf Lodge #534 / Capitol Temple #308, 5334 S. Martin L. King Blvd. held its’ Annual Oratorical contest and Beauty & Talent Pageant May 6, 2007 at the Black Child & Family Institute. The following students will now represent the Lansing Elks at the 81st Annual Michigan State Association Elks Convention June 12 – 17, 2007. The Convention is being held at the Metropolitan Hotel, 31500 Wick Rd. Romulus, Michigan.
Courtney M. Cole, 12th grade student attending Holt Senior High School received 1st place honors in the Lansing Elks Oratorical program and will now compete in the Michigan State Association Oratorical Contest Friday, June 15th at 7:00 p.m. Courtney gave a speech titled "Living For Those Who Lived For Us". She is the daughter of Michael Cole.
Taylor R. Singleton, 11th grade student attending J. W. Sexton High School received 1st place honors in the Lansing Elks Beauty & Talent Pageant and will now compete in the Michigan State Association Beauty & Talent Pageant Saturday, June 16th 6:00 p.m. She is the daughter of Rodney and Terri Singleton.