PODCAST: LA Unified School District votes to make COVID-19 vaccine mandatory (BCNN1 09.10.21)

This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to ABC News, The Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education voted unanimously to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all eligible students. The vote is a landmark move for the nation’s second-largest district, which has over 600,000 students and operates 1,200 schools in the LA area. All students ages 12 and up will be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022, unless they have a “medical or other exemption,” the school district said. The resolution had initially called for all students ages 12 and up to be fully vaccinated no later than Dec. 19. “The science is clear — vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said in a statement following the vote. “The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and requiring eligible students to be vaccinated is the strongest way to protect our school community.”

According to Yen.com.gh, Prominent UK-based Ghanaian pastor, Reverend Charles Brobbey, reportedly died of Covid-19 weeks after joining some churches in Ghana for twenty-one days of fasting and prayers. Reverend Brobbey is a minister at the Braemar Avenue Baptist Church in London, UK, and a revered pastor of the Ghana Baptist Convention. The man of God arrived in Ghana in January to join some churches in the country for their annual twenty-one days of fasting and prayers to usher and empower believers for the New Year. Until his Covid-19-related death, he was spotted preaching in some churches in Accra. Reverend Brobbey reportedly died in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region on Thursday, February 18. His death has sent shock waves across social media as his photos emerge online alongside reports of his passing.

According to the New York Daily News, A Black city firefighter charges in a federal lawsuit that he was suspended for opposing his boss’ call to turn fire hoses on George Floyd protesters last year — a brutal tactic used on civil rights protesters in the deep South decades earlier. The 13-page Brooklyn Federal Court filing details the alleged retaliation against FDNY veteran Omar Wilks after the May 2020 confrontation with his boss and the firefighter’s continued outspokenness over racism in the department. “These defendants sought to muzzle plaintiff and inhibit his speech,” the court papers charged. “They also retaliated against him for his speech … (and) worked collectively to manufacture false claims against the plaintiff.” The lawsuit, filed against the city, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro and five other department officials, seeks damages for violations of Wilks’ right to free speech and retaliation for his comments. “Firefighter Wilks was unlawfully punished for seeking to change the culture of discrimination at the FDNY,” said his attorney, Aymen Aboushi. “We will continue to fight for equality and ensure that the FDNY no longer retaliates against its members who do the same.” The 41-year-old Wilks, an eight-year fire veteran who is also an ordained minister, claimed his FDNY supervisor instructed him and other firefighters to “assist in controlling protesters by using the fire truck’s water hoses. [Wilks] objected and insisted that such an order not be followed.” Protests around the city began in the days after Floyd’s May 25, 2020, death after a Minneapolis police officer kept a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The lawsuit said no fire hoses were used on protesters in the city, but noted no disciplinary action was taken against the official who allegedly called for their use.

According to Reuters, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday warned against travel to Sri Lanka, Jamaica and Brunei because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The CDC raised its travel advisory to “Level 4: Very High” for those countries, telling Americans they should avoid travel there. The CDC also eased its ratings for the Netherlands, Malta, Guinea-Bissau and United Arab Emirates from “Level 4: Very High” to “Level 3: High,” which urges unvaccinated Americans to avoid travel to those destinations. The CDC also raised Australia from “Leve1 1: Low” to “Level 2: Moderate.” In addition, the CDC raised its advisory level for Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Ghana, Grenada, Turks and Caicos Islands to “Level 3.” The CDC issues travel recommendations by countries and for U.S. territories but does not list recommendations for individual U.S. states. It currently lists about 80 destinations out of around 200 ranked as “Level 4,” including some U.S. territories.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, JauMarcus McFarland had a heart for football. With a towering stature — 6-foot-2, just shy of 300 pounds — he was “hungry” to improve himself in both the sport and in his mind, according to Michael Carson, his coach at Champion Prep Academy. McFarland had started attending the metro Atlanta school in early August, with the hopes of improving his ACT score and applying to a college program by December, Carson said. And, though just 19 years old, McFarland “really understood what his purpose in the program was.” “He was a man of conviction,” Carson said. “He was very respectful. Very humble.” It’s devastating, Carson said, that he won’t ever see McFarland fulfill that purpose. The teen was killed when an elevator collapsed on him Tuesday, pinning him between two floors of a northeast Atlanta apartment complex. “We are at a loss and his family in Missouri is utterly devastated,” family friends said in a GoFundMe account following the teenager’s death.

According to PEOPLE, Beyoncé and JAY-Z are giving back to artists and creatives of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Tiffany & Co. announced on Thursday that the 40-year-old singer’s foundation BeyGOOD and 51-year-old rapper’s charity the Shawn Carter Foundation collaborated with the luxury jewelry company and pledged $2 million to five small HBCUs. The initiation, as part of their “ABOUT LOVE” campaign, will award the funds to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania; Norfolk State University in Virginia; Bennett College in North Carolina; the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in Arkansas; and Central State University in Ohio. Incoming and active students must qualify for financial aid at their HBCU for eligibility — with priority to those most in need. They also must be pursuing degrees in creative fields such as visual arts, media, performance, and design or degrees in history and communications. The awards will vary per student based on the amount of financial assistance they require. Applications will be available on the websites for the five HBCUs beginning on Friday, Sept. 10 and will close on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 11:59 pm EST.

According to New York Daily News, The Emerald Isle has crowned its first Black Miss Ireland. Pamela Uba made history Sunday night by becoming the pageant’s first Black winner since the contest began in 1947. The 26-year-old former asylum seeker came to Ireland from South Africa when she was 7, according to the Irish Times. Uba, the eldest of six siblings, is a part-time model and a medical scientist who has served as a frontline worker during the pandemic. “I cried when I got my Irish passport,” she told the Times on Tuesday. It was Uba’s mother who got weepy Sunday, said the soccer fan and once “nerdy” student. “My mum, she was in absolute tears,” Uba said. More honors for the brainy beauty queen appear to be on the way. Having achieved a medical-science degree in Galway, she is reportedly completing a master’s degree in clinical chemistry from Trinity College Dublin. It is at Galway University Hospital where she has tended to COVID-19 patients. Uba is headed to Puerto Rico in December to represent Ireland at the 70th Miss World competition.

You can read these stories and more at BlackChristianNews.com .

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!

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