It's a Brand New Day
The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 25M total cases & 419K deaths
New cases are declining across the nation, but it’s still too soon to celebrate.
Dr. Fauci got that new relationship glow now that he’s moved on to President Biden.
Biden may have gotten rid of one travel ban (more on that below), but he’s upholding the restrictions against Brazil, the UK & 20+ other countries in Europe. He’s also set to add South Africa to that list soon. Many of these countries are having an uptick in new strains of the virus that the US aims to keep contained.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
It’s official! We can all take a collective sigh of relief now that you-know-who has left office. Now moving on (hopefully for forever)...
President Biden signed 30 executive orders during his first 3 days in office. Some of those orders include scrapping the Muslim travel ban that went into place in 2017 and laying the groundwork for $15 minimum wage for federal workers. Here’s a look at what he’s got his eye on this week.
Lloyd Austin was confirmed as the first Black Defense Secretary last week. Rooting out racism in the armed forces for him will be especially personal.
As you know, Vice President Harris also made history with last week’s inauguration and now that she’s settling into her new position, she’s expected to play a bigger role than many of her predecessors.
Criminal Justice Round Up
We saw a wave of progressive victories in the 2020 elections and we need to keep the same momentum in 2021. Here’s a list of the elections we need to put effort behind this year in order to get closer to achieving criminal justice across the country.
Grand jurors in Breonna Taylor’s case have been calling AG Daniel Cameron out on his shit. Now they want him impeached.
Congress, What’s Good?
The Senate is officially split at 50-50, but Majority Leader Schumer & Minority Leader McConnell are struggling to finalize a power-sharing agreement. Aligning on what to do with the filibuster is the hold up. Republicans want to protect it, while liberals want to do away with the practice that has historically been used to prevent civil rights legislation from passing.
One thing the two sides could agree on, however, was the start of 45’s impeachment trial: February 8. The delay will allow them to fill critical positions in Biden’s administration without the added distraction.
Here’s Congress’ meeting & hearing schedule for the week. As mentioned, it’s heavy on the Biden nominations.
Around the Diaspora
Brazilians are protesting and calling for their president’s removal due to his mishandling of the country’s COVID-19 response.
Jamaica and Mexico formed a partnership that will allow Jamaican students to learn Spanish from Mexican teachers online.
Kenya owes billions of dollars in debt to China and is hoping to work out a payment plan. This scenario points to a larger trend as more countries across the continent have found themselves dependent on Chinese funding to modernize their infrastructure.
Getting to the Money
The 15% Pledge, an organization dedicated to pushing large retailers to reserve at least 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned brands, is looking for new talent. Check out their careers page.
Is the tech world more your speed? Check out these job listings from People of Color in Tech.
Rebundle is a Black-owned brand that produces non-toxic, eco-friendly braiding hair. Grab a few packs for the gal in your life who can’t help but try the latest hair styles seen on IG / TikTok / Pinterest.
Culture that Pops
Young queen Amanda Gorman is everywhere after performing her inaugural poem in front of the world last week. Lil sis’ books (only available for pre-order) are already #1 & #2 on Amazon’s bestseller list and she’s even received a job offer from Morgan State.
Jay-Z is launching a new investment fund that will put $10M behind Black-owned cannabis companies.
Last week’s Verzuz between Ashanti & Keyshia Cole was interesting between the late start, the shade, and the occasional shout out to Doritos. Amidst all of the randomness, what was your favorite part?