Fruit of Labor April 2016 Newsletter

Fruit of Labor April 2016 Newsletter

World Cultural Center Newsletter

produced by: Black Workers For Justice's Hip Hop 4 Justice edited by: Mari Caldwell-Robinson Contact Information: Address: 4200 Lake Ridge Rd, Raleigh NC 27604 (919) 231-2660 – Anytime (919) 876-7187 – Day email: website:

Damages to Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center (FOLWCC) due to Windstorm/Rain and Tree Down on it ! Tree Down... But damaged Community Cultural Center is being rebuilt by June!

Rising from the Dust

On February 24th,2016, a 75 feet tall by 20 feet wide 10 ton 65 year old oak tree crashed down on the FOLWCC main assembly hall at 4200 Lake Ridge Drive destroying the roof , ceiling and infra-structure. Thanks to FOLWCC staff volunteers, friends,neighborhood supporters and community allies, we were able to salvage a few items and set up an alternative meeting space in the Fruit of Labor World Cultural Café in the next door room unit 4202! So, we still are up and operating in the smaller space. We have recently hired a structural engineer and construction contractor who will be working to restore the center in an improved and more beautiful space. We look forward to the FOL World Cultural Center re-opening by the end of June 2016 !

Look for our future FOLWCC events in Late June 2016 !

No joke: 500k workers/ food stamp recipients to lose benefits on April 1| 31 March 2016 | More than 500,000 Americans receiving food stamp benefits will no longer qualify for them beginning on April 1. This is a result of government requirements linking the assistance to an individual's ability to find a job and work. In order to keep their access to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) for more than three months, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 who don't have children or other dependents must work, volunteer, or enroll in a job-training program for 20 hours a week or more...By the end of 2016, up to a million people around the nation could lose their benefits.

$15 minimum wage for workers passes in California; Gov. Brown plans to sign | 31 March 2016 | In votes that drew cheers from low-wage workers inside and outside the state Capitol on Thursday, Democrats swiftly pushed a bill through the Legislature to raise the state minimum wage to 15 an hour by 2022. Almost immediately, Gov. Jerry Brown announced he would sign it at a ceremony Monday in Los Angeles. The bill, SB3 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, drew opposition from Republicans - not one of whom voted for it in the Senate or Assembly - and business-group leaders who said it will force job cuts and higher prices for consumers.

Conn. governor signs executive order banning state-funded travel to North Carolina | 01 April 2016 | Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has joined a growing chorus of political and business leaders who are effectively calling for a boycott of North Carolina over a law they believe is discriminatory toward transgender people. Malloy, a Democrat, signed an executive order Thursday banning state-funded travel to the state. The move comes a week after Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation that stole " local power from local cities, towns and governments". Specifically, the Governor and his conservative legislative officials excluded anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as an amendment to the State's Civil Right's laws. The radical right legislative conservatives and proponents of the law focused on striking down a Charlotte City ordinance that allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. This law also denies all NC citizens the right to sue for discrimination based on race, national origin, sex, religion, veteran status in NC State Courts. Furthermore , it takes away the local citizens power to get their local City, Town and government to pass local laws increasing the minimum wage above the State's minimum wage $ 7.25 an hour. As such, NC has one of the U.S.'s most repressive and expansive laws undermining "Peoples Power" to address workers and human rights ! NC's Attorney General states this law is unconstitutional and should be repealed.

Tell the General Assembly to stop taking away our self-determination.....PEOPLES POWER !

...Workers and our communities must have the international recognized human rights and freedom to

"Peoples Power" to address our human rights.....against unequal treatment/discrimination, living wages, terms and conditions of employment / labor standards for city and county contractors, cultural/social/economic standards....and human right to speak in our own voice! WE must exercise our Human Rights to organize our own unions and organizations to win and uphold these rights.

Recently, the NC General Assembly has quickly called a special session this week (without any legislative or public hearings) to take away the power of working people....these right wing conservatives have stolen our workers rights and our local cities/communities rights to end all discrimination....end our rights to self-determination.

Under the North Carolina Constitution, the legislature has the authority to determine what local governments can and cannot do. For decades, however, the General Assembly has provided our municipal and county governments freedom to regulate our local public institutions and private businesses in a limited way. This includes local governments addressing discrimination and boosting the wages of their own city/county employees as well as public contractors. The City of Charlotte recently used this authority to pass a dangerous yet important ordinance preventing public and private discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The extremist right conservative NC State Legislators is trying to take these rights away from our communities.

Their draft legislation unveiled this morning without any public input takes away Peoples Power and these freedoms away from our local communities. If it becomes law, the bill would:

Ban "local governments" from prohibiting businesses from engaging in any type of discrimination. The law will effectively overturn Charlotte’s new ordinance, permit private businesses to discriminate against gays, lesbians, and transgendered residents, and prevent local communities from regulating other types of discrimination regarding race, nationality, religion, age, sex, veteran status, etc. by private businesses. Enact sweeping new restrictions on the ability of governments to protect workers rights and raise wages. Public contracts with private businesses have been an important tool used by local governments to "raise wages and ensure basic fair job and labor standards" in their community. In an unprecedented overreach, their new bill prohibits local governments from considering wages, benefits, and basic job standards when awarding public contracts to private businesses—in effect taking away local "Peoples Power".... telling local governments and their citizens what they can and can’t do with their own local money. Eliminates state law remedies for employees who are fired based on their race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap.If it becomes law, North Carolina will join Mississippi as the only state without any state law protecting private sector businesses' employees from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc. disability. The bill eliminates an employee’s private right of action to sue an employer in N.C. State Courts who fires him or her for a discriminatory reason. This legislation is bad news for North Carolina’s workers and the economy. It gives even greater power to businesses to discriminate against workers and weakens the ability of local governments to raise wages and secure fair labor standards!—Your voice and all workers in our community must be heard now.

Take Action! Raise your voice! Tell the General Assembly to stop taking away our workers' and local communities' POWER!

Our "Right to Self Determination" in our local communities represents our own voice being heard!

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Dear newsletter readers,

Please take time to reflect on our beloved legendary socially conscious writer/singer/artist Curtis Mayfield ! He knew the best role artists had to play during critical times like these!

The Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble