The Deebo of Variants
The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 36M total cases & 616K deaths (+760K & +3K from last week)
All 50 states report increases in their vaccination rates amid reports of the Delta variant surging. Even the states that appeared to be staunchly in defiance are getting in formation.
Rep. Cori Bush’s activism pushed the CDC to extend the eviction moratorium to October 3, 2021. If you need help accessing emergency rental assistance, find help in your area.
Sadly, we might have unlocked the next level of this horrible pandemic. It’s called the Lambda variant and it’s sounding like the Deebo of variants.
While the US & other powerful nations consider distributing booster shots to their citizens, vaccine equity is still a really big problem in other parts of the world. Some countries have just 1% of their population vaccinated.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
Shots were fired between President Biden and Governor DeSantis of Florida after the POTUS criticized Florida & Texas’ governors for outlawing mask mandates. It’s getting kinda ugly.
Biden is outpacing 45 in confirming judges to the federal bench.
Are we the only ones who’re legit fearful every time nuclear tensions flare up? The US and Iran are beefing again and reports say the Iran Nuclear Deal may just be a thing of the past. For real, for real this time.
Kamala Harris and a team of confidants recently sat down to discuss how to combat the recent barrage of negative press that she’s received. It’s not lost on them and us that Kamala’s experiencing what we discussed just last week: misogynoir. Because we all know that men & white women are given the grace to fail upwards before Black women every single time.
In other VP-related news, Boosie asked for Kamala Harris’ help in freeing Corey Miller (aka C-Murder). If you’re judging us for putting this tidbit in this week’s email, don’t.
Congress, What’s Good?
Well, would you look at that? The Senate does know how to cooperate with one another on multiple things. The infrastructure bill will seemingly move forward as Democrats hoped for. They bypassed the filibuster to end debate on the bill with a 68-29 victory. The package is on its way to final passage, unless there are more amendments to be made & voted on. If it actually passes (we’re still side-eyeing the GOP over here), the bill will then be taken up by the House.
Additionally, Senators unanimously gave us something that very few (if any) of us asked for: a Hip Hop Celebration Day (August 11) and a Hip Hop History Month (November). Ummm thanks??? We guess. We promise to be more enthused when you deliver police reform, voting rights, the minimum wage increase, & all the other stuff we been asked for.
Talk about understanding the assignment. Georgia Senators Raphael Warnock & Jon Ossoff snagged $175M in funding for Georgia HBCUs last week. This is in addition to them securing $85M in May. These funds come as direct grants from the March ‘21 COVID relief plan.
August is a month of recess for Congress. The House has already been dismissed, and the Senate is wrapping up a few things before they too head home. Here are the committee hearings on their agenda this week:
Nominations for more Biden administration officials
Providing security assistance in the Middle East
Allowing nonviolent, first-time low-level possession offenders to expunge their record after completing probation
Social Justice Round Up
Who appears to be leading the race in crafting anti-Critical Race Theory policies? This writer says it’s Arizona & Tennessee.
The family of Korryn Gaines, a Black woman killed by Baltimore police in 2016, will receive a settlement for her death. Because money won’t ever be enough (nothing will tbh), a rally calling for police reform and criminal justice measures was also held in her honor.
Residents of this small Virginia town that was founded by emancipated Black people 150 years ago are protesting the opening of a grocery store distribution center, citing institutional and environmental racism.
Amber, you tried it. The officer who killed Botham Jean after she broke into his apartment recently tried to appeal her 10-year prison sentence. Her request was DENIED.
Around the Diaspora
As the Motherland recently saw a record week in COVID deaths, the African Union announced that 400M vaccine doses will be distributed to their member states.
One of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014 is now back with her family. Of the 300 that were kidnapped at that time, more than 100 remain missing.
Ultimately leaving with 9 medals, Jamaica came, saw, and conquered the Tokyo Olympics. History was also made for the Bahamas and Grenada as the nations respectively claimed the gold and bronze in the men’s 400m.
Getting to the Money
A Black Director of Talent Engagement & Inclusion at Digitas wants to see Black folks filling some of these open roles at her agency. Positions for project management, finance, content strategy, & SEO are available in cities like NYC, ATL, Boston, SF, and Chicago.
Also, don’t forget that we told you about The Black Marketers Association of America’s “Ask an HR Leader” event happening tomorrow, August 10. If you still haven’t signed up, you can register here.
Yacht Week, but make it Black?? Yes please! Yacht Week East Africa is all about showing the Diaspora the beauty of the eastern side of the continent. Currently, they’re offering tours to Kenya, Tanzania, and the Seychelles. As Auntie Tabitha Brown would say, “Get into it,” but only when you feel it’s safe to do so (see above notes about COVID variants & vaccine equity).
Culture that Pops
Allyson Felix is now the most decorated track & field athlete from the US. She now has a total of 11 Olympic medals after her participation in Tokyo. Allyson is now just 1 medal shy of the most decorated track athlete ever.
Simone Biles also returned to the Olympic stage and went home with a bronze medal.
Shout out to HBCUs for leading the way. FAMU cancels $16M in student debt.
The first Black woman to win a gold medal in wrestling at the Olympics will use her earnings to buy her momma a food truck.