March 27, 2013
Nancy C. Harvin
Janis D. Hazel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Historic Metropolitan AME Church Leads Local and National Effort to Stop “Death Nails” of Prison-Industrial Complex, Unemployment, and Indifference Killing Black Families
(WASHINGTON) “Stopping the Pipeline to Prison and Ending the Prison Industrial Complex
Through Education, Jobs and Justice,” is the aim of a Good Friday Silent March and Call to Action on Friday, March 29 at 1 p.m. Led by historic Metropolitan A.M.E. Church (MAMEC) in coalition with over 40 local and national partners, the marchers will gather at the church, 1518 M Sts. NW, and walk silently to Freedom Plaza, 14th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, the site for a rally. As a symbolic gesture of Good Friday, participants will carry crosses. More than 2,000 supporters are expected to participate in the event which is designed to increase national awareness and action around the disproportionate rates of arrests and incarceration of African Americans, and to stimulate urgency for ending increasing gun violence which daily claims the lives of Black men and women in the nation.
“African Americans are being imprisoned at four times the rate of other American citizens, largely because of a lucrative ‘pipeline to prison system’ fueled by a voracious multi-billion dollar ‘prison-industrial’ complex, and a biased criminal justice system that singles out African American people for prosecution,” says the Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, senior pastor of the l75-year-old church in Washington, DC. Braxton sees these ills as “death nails” in the nation’s black communities and a parallel to the crucifixion of Jesus.
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, keynote speaker at the Freedom Park rally, adds: “I’m here to show solidarity with all folk of color and others who have been ensnared in a prison system which is hungry for profits while eating poor people’s bodies’ whole. I am marching and speaking on behalf of the millions who are racially profiled, inappropriately stopped and frisked, unjustly detained, and disproportionately incarcerated. The pipeline must be clogged, disabled and destroyed.”
Led by the Mighty Men of Metropolitan, the Stop the Pipeline to Prison Partners include the NAACP-DC, Metropolitan Washington AFL-CIO, 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, DC, a number of local elected officials from the District, Maryland and Virginia; the Council of Churches, and many others. ”We must organize ourselves, step up to the plate and do our part to reclaim our young people, educate our children about the collateral consequences of arrest and prison records, restore our broken family structures and values, and put an end to this vicious cycle that is destroying our communities,” says Rev. Braxton. “We must also do all we can to support gun legislation which will help stem the tide of weapons that are taking precious lives away from us much too soon.”
“Stop the Pipeline to Prison and End Gun Violence” Partners to Date Include:
Rt. Rev. William Phillips DeVeaux, Sr., Presiding Bishop, 2nd A.M.E. District
The Honorable Rodney Slater, Former Secretary of Transportation (President William J. Clinton)
Ernest Green, Member, Little Rock Nine
Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Washington, D.C.
Councilmember Anita Bonds, Washington, D.C.
Councilmember Muriel Bowser, Washington, D. C.
Councilmember John Chapman, City of Alexandra, VA
Councilmember Henri Gardner, City of Bowie, MD
Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Washington, D.C.
Councilmember Vincent Orange, Washington, D.C.
Councilmember Obie Patterson, Prince George’s County, MD
Councilmember Ingrid Turner, Prince George’s County, MD
State Senator Douglas Peters, MD
100 Black Men of Greater Washington, D.C.
Lennox Abrigo, National Action Network-DC
Denise Rolark Barnes, TheWashington Informer
Roach Brown, Inner Voices/Host, “Crossroads,” WPFW
Ronald Daniels, Institute of the Black World 21st Century
King Downing, Esq., Human Rights/Racial Justice Center (NY)
Eddie Ferrer, D.C. Lawyers for Youth
Gary Flowers, Black Leadership Forum
Donald Freeman, Community Research, Inc.
Kymone Freeman, WPWC, We Act Radio
Dr. Sylvia Hill, Urban Affairs, Social Science & Social Work, Criminal Justice Program, Director/Professor
Robyn Holden/Carol Tyson, host/producer, “Robyn’s Place”, WPFW
Shirley Jones, Esq., Blacks in Government Region XI
Tony Jones, National Bar Association
Tony Lewis , Community Activist
Tiffany Loftin, U.S. Students Association
Rev. Courtnay Miller, Pastor, Norbeck Community Church (MD)
Ron Moten, Former CEO, Peaceaholics
Rev. Anthony Motley, Council of Churches of Greater Washington
Tyrone Parker, Alliance of Concerned Men
Anthony Paulk, Youth Detention Center Office, Laurel, MD
Debra Rowe, Returning Citizens United
Courtney Stewart, The Reentry Network for Returning Citizens
Akosua Tyus/Douglas Sloan, NAACP-DC Chapter
National Bar Association
National Black Law Students Association
William Shelton, Second Chance to Vote
Nkechi Taifa, Esq., Legacy Empowerment
Charles Tate, Booker T. Washington Foundation
United Black Community
University Legal Services
Josh Williams, Metropolitan Washington AFL-CIO
April Johnson, Georgetown Black Law Students Association
Yango, Movement for Love and Unity
Tags: Call to Action
, Good Friday
, Pipeline to Prison
, Silent March
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2012
Contact: Anthony Hawkins
METROPOLITAN AME PRESENTS DEC. 31 DRAMATIZATION OF FIRST “FREEDOM’S EVE”
CELEBRATES 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF SIGNING OF EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
WASHINGTON– The date was Dec. 31, l862. The enslaved African Americans had been promised freedom after hundreds of years of painful bondage and a civil war. Enslaved and free persons alike gathered to await the news that the Emancipation Proclamation would become law at midnight and their long-awaited freedom would finally be realized. It was a night never to be forgotten.
On Monday, Dec. 31. the 150th anniversary of the celebration of “Freedom’s Eve” and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation the following day, Rufus Tiefing Stevenson, noted Africanist and griot, and other members of Metropolitan AME Church will dramatize that memorable occasion at a Watch Meeting Night Service. The Rev. Ronald E. Braxton will deliver the sermon that will accompany the dramatization. The program begins at 10:30 p.m. Metropolitan is located at 1518 M St. NW. and the community is invited.
Freedom’s Eve was inspired by the Watch Night Service tradition. Although Watch Night services can be traced back to 18th Century Europe and are now observed in churches of all denominations around the world, Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor II, editor of The Christian Recorder, stated, “in the black community, the Watch Meeting Night worship began with …the AME church and with the founder, Rt. Rev. Richard Allen.”
Pastor Braxtron added that, “Metropolitan had already been in existence for 25 years and the AME Denomination had been founded 47 years before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed,” pointing out that the historic Metropolitan would begin a year-long celebration of its 175th anniversary in 2013.
150th Anniversary of Freedom’s Eve
Watch Meeting Night Services in Black America
Tags: Watch Night Service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA
CONTACT: Dr. Lester Green
Nov. 20, 2012
JOURNALIST GWEN IFILL AND LEADING LOCAL SOLOISTS FEATURED AT HANDEL’S MESSIAH AT METROPOLITAN A.M.E ON DECEMBER 2
WASHINGTON—Journalist Gwen Ifill and leading local soloists will be featured when Handel’s Messiah is presented at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M Street N.W. on Sunday, December 2 at 5 p.m.
Sopranos Michele Gutrick and Alia Waheed-Ky; baritone Vashawn Savoy McIlwain, tenors Keith Craig, Rev. Anthony Brown, Wayne Jennings and countertenor Curtis Adamson, along with the Metropolitan AME Cathedral Choir, will perform the beloved oratorio by George Frideric Handel. Ms. Ifill, one of the nation’s leading journalists and host of Washington Week on PBS, will serve as host.
“Over the past decades, Metropolitan has helped to usher in this highlight of the Christmas season and we look forward to persons from across the Greater Washington area sharing this spectacular joy with us,” said Rev. Ronald E. Braxton, senior pastor of Metropolitan, known as the National Cathedral of African Methodism.
The production will also feature local high school and college talent from Metropolitan Art Partners Program singing this quintessential musical crown of the holiday season. Dr. Lester S. Green, Jr., who has performed with the Washington National Opera and is Minister of Music at Metropolitan A.M.E., will conduct the performance.
The performance is free and free parking is available.
, Gwen Ifill
, Handel's Messiah
REV. AL SHARPTON TO SPEAK AT METROPOLITAN A.M.E CHURCH SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 ON NEW CHALLENGES TO VOTER REGISTRATION
The Rev. Al Sharpton, host of “Politics Nation” on MSNBC and founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), is scheduled to speak at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church on Sunday, September 23, 2012. Senior Pastor Rev. Ronald Braxton has designated that Sunday a special Voter Education and Registration Day as part of Metropolitan’s annual Christian Education observance. The congregation and community will convene in a single service at a special l0 a.m. worship experience. The 2012 Christian Education theme is “Be A Disciple: Beyond Membership to Commission for Christ,” (Matthew 28:19-20).
The occasion will serve to educate our congregation and the public about critical problems facing people of color, especially people of African descent. Further, the aim is to remind persons who live the Christian faith of our responsibility to address social injustice issues, especially through advocacy and direct action, including voting in national, state and local elections. Persons from DC, Maryland and Virginia will be able to register at the church on that day for the historic Nov. 6 election.
Rev. Al Sharpton is the founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), a not-for-profit civil rights organization headquartered in Harlem, New York, with approximately fifty Chapters nationwide. As one of the nation’s most-renowned civil rights leaders, Rev. Sharpton has been praised by President Barack Obama as “the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden.” and by former President George W. Bush who said that “Al cares just as much as I care about making sure every child learns to read, write, add and subtract.” NAN has recently opened a Washington, DC Bureau to monitor and work on social policy issues that involve Congress and the White House.
This special religious service, Sundays with the MET, is a collaborative effort of Metropolitan and its outreach arm, the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation.
The service will be led by the The Christian Education Commission, in partnership with the Circles of Twelve, under the umbrella of “Sundays with the MET.” The Circles is a unit of the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation, (CDC) Metropolitan’s outreach arm. For further information contact Anthony Hawkins, 202.331.1426.
Tags: Rev. Al Sharpton
, Voter Registration
TCR NEWS BREAK: AME CHURCH PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release – Approved by the 49th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference
The African Methodist Episcopal Church today seeks to set the record straight on a statement that is misinformation at best and a lie at worst. A July 1, 2012 story posted on the “Charisma News” website and Facebook page reported that the AME Church was threatening to withdraw support from President Barack Obama because of his stance on same sex marriage and that the AME Church was partnering with an organization called The Coalition of African American Pastors.
According to Bishop Samuel L. Green, Sr., President of the AME Church Council of Bishops, “As a denomination, we do not endorse candidates for any political office. As such, we cannot “withdraw” support from President Obama because we cannot endorse any candidate for political office and did not endorse the President. No organization has been authorized to speak for the AME Church.” Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry, Chairperson of the AME Church’s Commission on Social Action said, “Contrary to the report, neither the AME Church nor its leadership is involved with or partnering with the Coalition of African-American Pastors.”
We also condemn those who attached the good name of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to an effort to sow discord and misinformation. The story in Charisma News bore a sad and striking resemblance to other stories that either stretch or totally abandon the truth in an effort to divide and conquer the African-American community.
As a denomination born in the struggle for equality, we condemn any effort to discourage voters or to lead voters astray through misinformation. The AME Church Social Action Commission will instead continue to encourage all citizens, and especially those touched by our churches, to register and exercise their right to vote.
“We call upon Charisma News and those who furnished this erroneous story to their website to immediately rescind the story. Should that not be done, we will immediately seek possible remedies to correct the situation,” said Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr., President of the General Board of the AME Church.
In the Episcopal Address to the worldwide church, the Bishops of the Church said, “We call upon each of our congregants to become registered and vote on election day…and urge all of our churches to conduct voter registration drives”. Bishop John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop of the AME Church, said, “We shall continue to advocate for the well being of all humankind, so that they can freely hear the liberating Gospel of Jesus the Christ.
Tags: General Conference
, President Barack Obama
April 24, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Greg Johnson, 703-499-4198, email@example.com
Constance Todd, 301-578-8829, firstname.lastname@example.org
“DAISY BATES: FIRST LADY OF LITTLE ROCK” SCREENING AT METROPOLITAN AME CHURCH ON SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2012 AT 2:00 PM
April 24, 2012, Washington, DC – “Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock,” a widely-acclaimed documentary film will be shown on Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M Street, N.W. Following the screening, a panel featuring Ernest Green, a member of the Little Rock Nine, Ellen Fizer, whose father ministered to members of the Little Rock Nine, and filmmaker Sharon LaCruise, will offer firsthand accounts and respond to audience questions facilitated by award-winning journalist, Dorothy Gilliam. The film presentation is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the NEA garage across the street from the church.
The documentary, which premiered on PBS’ Independent Lens series earlier this year, tells the story of Daisy Bates, a fearless fighter for justice who earned her place in American history and became a household name during the height of the civil rights era. She is more commonly referred to as “Mrs. Daisy Bates and The Little Rock Nine” for courageously leading the integration of the all-white Central High School in Arkansas in 1957. Her public support culminated in a constitutional crisis — pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself. It took the presence of the National Guard, with protective assistance from President Eisenhower, to usher the nine black students into Central High School.
As both protector of the nine students who were on the front lines of the school desegregation battle and president of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Daisy Bates achieved instant but fleeting fame. The documentary candidly explores and resolves questions concerning her place in history: What motivated Daisy Bates? What does her story tell us about the place of feminism in the civil rights movement? After all she did, why was Daisy Bates never fully embraced, even within the Little Rock community?
La Cruise’s film connects Bates to many of the well-known female civil rights activists who followed in her footsteps: Gloria Richardson Dandridge, Diane Nash, and Angela Davis. In telling the story of a woman who paved the way for others to take a stand, the film fills in a gap in the story of hundreds of women in the Civil Rights Movement, both past and present, whose contributions continue to be overlooked. The film illustrates how Daisy Bates’ long and lonely journey, full of triumphs and defeats, parallels the ongoing struggle of generations of African Americans who challenged America to live up to what it has claimed to be for more than 200 years.
This public service program is presented by Metropolitan’s Women’s Season 2012 Committee, Public Relations Commission, and Church School in partnership with the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation. Reverend Ronald E. Braxton, D.Min. is Senior Pastor of Metropolitan A.M.E Church.
For more information, visit the church website at metropolitanamec.org or call 202.331.1426.
Tags: Daisy Bates
, Taste and Talk
STEM Coalition Fights “STEM Phobia in Local Youth
METROPOLITAN AME CHURCH
1518 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
March 20, 2012
For Immediate Release
For further information Contact: Sheila Garnett
“Morning of Discovery” Set for May 5 at Metropolitan AME Church
Are minority youth “STEM-phobic” – fearful of studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics?
Determined to demystify these subjects and encourage local middle school students to study and prepare to enter these vital and lucrative careers, an unusual coalition of religious, educational, governmental, private and non-profit organizations have joined forces to host the “Dr. Charles Drew Morning of Discovery” on Saturday, May 5 at Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M St. NW. Sign-up and continental breakfast at 8 A.M. precede the event that begins at 9 a.m.
Metropolitan’s community outreach arm, called the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation (CDC), is collaborating with the American Chemical Society, the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, Howard University, Howard University Hospital and Metropolitan, to host the second STEM event of the Percy L. Julian Institute. Dr. Drew (l904-l950), native of Washington, DC, was the first of his race to be selected for membership on the American Board of Surgery.
“Minorities have historically been significantly underrepresented in the STEM fields,” said Rev. Ronald E. Braxton, senior pastor of Metropolitan. “They deserve to be able to pursue opportunities and be supported and encouraged to follow their dreams.”
Targeting minority middle school students from D.C., MD and VA public and charter schools, the “Dr. Charles Drew Morning of Discovery” will provide parents with resources to nurture their children’s interest in medical subjects and counseling to students on classes they must take to credibly apply for college to major in medical fields.
“Morning of Discovery” offerings include talks on the opportunities for women and minorities and active medical and health professionals leading hands-on discovery sessions. Registration and photo release forms should be completed and returned to
Tags: Morning of Discovery
, Percy Julian
A record of the faith, hopes and dreams of thousands of members of Metropolitan AME Church over the past 173 years was entombed for posterity when the church buried its historic time capsule on Sunday, November 20. The event was covered by Hamil Harris of the Washington Post:
The Metropolitan AME Church’s spirited “homecoming” service Sunday concluded with the D.C. congregation’s children placing items important to the church’s 173-year history into a time capsule that will be opened in more than 100 years.
Church members put hymn books and church records into a silver vault, along with photographs from President Bill Clinton’s inaugural prayer service, Rosa Parks’s funeral and the day President Obama and his family came to worship.
“It is so important in the history of African America that we not only preserve our history, but we lift up our future,” said the Rev. Ronald E. Braxton, the church’s pastor. “This time capsule talks about the 173 years that we have been in this city, and we have made a tremendous contribution.” Read more . . .
Tags: Historic Preservation
, Time Capsule
For Immediate Release
Contacts: Maurita Coley, for CAAB, email@example.com 202-419-1440 ext. 103 or 202-422-4411
Cell; or Adrian Harpool, firstname.lastname@example.org for Moneywise; or Anthony Hawkins for Metropolitan AME, email@example.com or 202-331-1426.
Metropolitan AME Teams Up With National and Local Financial Education Leaders for One-Stop Financial Empowerment on November 5, 2011
Washington, DC – The historic Metropolitan AME Church, a landmark in downtown Washington DC since 1838 whose pulpit has hosted presidents and global heads of state, has emereged after a two-year renovation to address issues such as poverty, joblessness, and other pressing local community needs.
Metropolitan has teamed up with national author and host of the long-running PBS personal finance TV series Moneywise with Kelvin Boston, and local nonprofit financial education leader, Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) to provide a free, all day “financial empowerment” event on November 5. Key speakers include Kelvin Boston, host of Moneywise with Kelvin Boston, national motivational speaker Willie Jolley, author of Turning Setbacks into Greenbacks, Rev. Deforest Soaries, Jr., author of Breaking Free from Financial Slavery, and Obama-appointee Marie P. Johns, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. This event features other high level speakers from the public, corporate, and faith-based communities, dynamic music performances, panel discussions on a broad range of cutting-edge financial topics, plus one-on-one mini credit coaching (with a free credit report) and financial planning sessions, exhibits and prizes.
“We here at Metropolitan are reaching out to everyone in the community and encouraging ANYONE who needs help to come to this event. So many people are hurting from this financial tsunami, but they can come here on Saturday to get the tools they need to restore hope,” says Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, Senior Pastor of the predominantly African American congregation.
The partnership with CAAB and Metropolitan AME for the DC tour is one of 26 stops on Moneywise’s national financial empowerment tour. Boston, who MC’s the event and facilitates an opening panel entitled: “Why We Are Here: Finding Success In An Economic Mess,” tapped E*Trade and other sponsors to bring national speakers and regional resources together to help to solve local problems all across the country.
Maurita Coley, Executive Director of CAAB says, “This is a community event that is for everyone – not just the members of the church. Whether you need to access services about how to get a job, how to start a business, how to modify your mortgage, how to prevent foreclosure, how to pay down your debt – the CAAB-Moneywise Financial Empowerment Tour has something for you.”
“It is the church’s responsibility to help people who are in need,” says Braxton. By partnering with Moneywise and CAAB to bring this information to the community, we are just doing what we are supposed to do. We are just blocks from the White House and the “Occupy DC” movement and we have our finger on the pulse of our people’s needs. This week we have middle school children coming to the church to learn about majoring in STEM programs. Next Saturday, we have CAAB and Kelvin Boston of Moneywise and the financial empowerment tour. This is just the beginning of what you will see coming from Metropolitan AME to aid our community.”
The event is at Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 (www.metropolitanamec.org), 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and provides free parking and free lunch. Seating is limited so participants may register at www.caab.org or www.moneywise.tv/empowerment-tour or call 202-419-1440 (CAAB) or 202-3331-1426 (church). Metro accessible from McPherson Square (blue) or Farragut North (Red).
Tags: Financial Planning and Empowerment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Anthony Hawkins
KENT AMOS TO SPEAK AT METROPOLITAN AME WORSHIP SERVICE COMMEMORATING OMEGA PSI PHI ‘S CENTENNIAL CONVENTION
History meets history on Sunday, July 31 when Omega Psi Phi Fraternity concludes its Centennial Conclave in Washington, D.C. with a worship service at 9 a.m. at historic Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M St. NW.
Kent Amos, founder of the Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School, will be the featured speaker at the service that also is part of Metropolitan’s 173rd anniversary celebration. “…Our sanctuary and church have been restored and modernized, and all the while we have honored the labor of those (enslaved African Americans) whose original handiwork and devotion made our church the great edifice that it is,” said the Rev. Ronald E. Braxton, senior minister.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, founded almost l00 years ago at Howard University, is the only fraternal organization that originated on the campus of a historically black institution. The service concludes the organization’s 5-day convention in the Nation’s Capitol.
A graduate of Delaware State University, honored by his fraternity (Omega Psi Phi) as a “National Citizen of the Year”, Amos is a former executive for Xerox Corporation. Drawing on his corporate experiences, his work in urban neighborhoods, and his personal mentoring of dozens of children in his own home, he started the charter school in l998. Viewing education as a critical element in helping children realize their potential, but convinced that a new educational paradigm was needed, he opened the charter school to support his convictions. The school now has 1,800 students in grades pre-school through 8th on five campuses.
The community is invited to the service. Free parking is available.
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