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Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus hosts Juneteenth program

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Bullock announces PLBC scholarship awardees

(Jun 21, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 21 – State Rep. and PLBC Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., this week announced the awardees of the James R. Roebuck Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Scholarship for 2022. A virtual award ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 23. It can be viewed here: https://www.pahouse.com/PLBC/2022Scholarships or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PALegislativeBlackCaucus . The scholarship recipients, their hometowns and the colleges or universities they are attending: Mikeiyah Bennett, Pittsburgh, Temple University Jasmine Easley, Upper Darby, St. John’s University Ryan Ellison, Wyncote, Duquesne University Mikel Hackel, Elkins Park, North Carolina A & T Brianna Mobley, Philadelphia, North Carolina A & T Joy Richardson, Philadelphia, no college listed Stephanie Toledo, Penbrook, Shippensburg University Grace Walker, McKeesport, North Carolina A & T Cameron West, Philadelphia, Hampton University Daianna Williams, Philadelphia, Louisiana State University Criteria for the $1,000 scholarships: A Pennsylvania resident. A person of color. A graduating high school senior or current undergrad at a college or university. Plan to enroll/return in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year. Students are also selected based on their academic success, leadership, extracurricular activities, community Read more

PLBC Commemorates Juneteenth

(Jun 14, 2022)

The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus celebrated the Juneteenth holiday with a commemoration of Black excellence, the promise of freedom and a call for a better, more equitable future. The event featured performances from Dwinnimen Dance Group of Harrisburg. Read more

Bullock: Investments to Reduce Gun Violence

(May 25, 2022)

Chair of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus state Rep. Donna Bullock rose to speak on behalf of Black Pennsylvanians. After another mass shooting, this time in Texas, she is asking everyone to recognize that her children and many in her community are dealing with shootings every single day. She is working to address the underfunding of schools, social services and more that has led to this gun violence. Bullock relates that we are all going through the same storm, but experiencing it very differently as we are not in the same boat. Read more

PLBC honors the late House Speaker Irvis with day of action

(May 23, 2022)

HARRISBURG, May 23 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and colleagues from the PLBC today commemorated the 45th anniversary of the inauguration of the late Speaker K. Leroy Irvis with a day of action. “This inaugural day of action not only commemorates the accomplishments of the first and only Black speaker in the Pennsylvania legislature to date,” Bullock said, “but it is also an opportunity to amplify the voices of Black Pennsylvanians and the issues that are important to our communities." Irvis was born in New York and graduated from the State University of New York at Albany. He moved to Baltimore and taught high school English and history until World War II. He was a civilian flying instructor for the War Department. After, he settled in Pittsburgh where he earned a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1958, he was elected to the state legislature, eventually being elected by his peers as speaker of the House. He served in the legislature for 15 consecutive terms. “Forty-five years after his historic election as House Speaker, K. Leroy Irvis’s leadership is still felt by countless Pennsylvanians. He was a man of great character who forged a path that many of us have worked to emulate,” said House Democratic Leader, Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware. “To fully recognize his contributions, we should view Speaker Irvis’s legacy Read more

Bullock Leads Inaugural K. Leroy Irvis Day of Action

(May 23, 2022)

State Rep. Donna Bullock, chairwoman of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus, leads the inaugural K. Leroy Irvis Day of Action to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the election of Irvis as the first Black speaker of any state legislature in the U.S. and make heard the voices of legislators and advocates working to address systemic inequities across Pennsylvania. Read more

Parker: Health Equity Funding is Long Overdue

(May 16, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Darisha Parker joined legislative leaders and healthcare officials to announce state funding to address health equity, including $1 Million for the Black Doctors Consortium Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity in North Philadelphia. The pandemic laid bare the vast inequities in healthcare for Black and brown communities, which the Black Doctors Consortium worked hard to alleviate. Read more

Inaugural PA Tourism Office grants awarded to seven for Juneteenth celebrations

(Apr 25, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today joined the Wolf administration and the nonprofit Voices Underground in celebrating the inaugural awarding of Journeying Toward Freedom grants through the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, according to PLBC Chair and state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. The inaugural awards will support Juneteenth celebrations across the commonwealth in 2022 for seven organizations. "The importance of the awarding of these grants cannot be understated,” Bullock said. “The history of Juneteenth has been only recently officially recognized, but its historic cultural significance had been long celebrated by Black communities in Pennsylvania. "In order to highlight – even amplify – the importance of this day and Black culture in Pennsylvania, it is critical that we support Juneteenth events statewide, invest in Black businesses and institutions, and target Black travelers in our ongoing tourism initiatives." Juneteenth celebrates the anniversary of the day in 1865 that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas, and enslaved African Americans became aware that they had been freed. In 2019, Gov. Tom Wolf declared June 19 of each year as Juneteenth National Freedom Day. Last year, President Joe Biden signed legislation recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. The Journeying Toward Freedom grant program was established by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office in Read more

Cephas announces Medicaid extension for postpartum care, highlights new money for maternal health initiatives

(Apr 18, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, April 18 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas joined state Sen. Tim Kearney and Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead today at the Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia to highlight the implementation of Opt In PA, an initiative extending Medicaid support for postpartum individuals from 60 days to one year across the state. President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan Act included a provision that gives states an option to extend Medicaid coverage up to one year postpartum; the Pa. Department of Human Services made the decision to opt into this provision, extending that coverage from 60 days to one year. Implementation was effective April 1. “Constituents who use Medicaid should contact their providers to see how this impacts them and their care,” said Cephas, who co-chairs the General Assembly’s Women’s Health Caucus and serves on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. Cephas also discussed a recently committed $25.6 million in American Rescue Plan funding for a new maternal and child health initiative in Pennsylvania called the COVID-19 Nurturing Maternal and Child Health Initiative. The initiative recognizes the impact the pandemic had on Pennsylvania communities and makes strategic investments to implement innovative and informed improvements into the public health continuum. NMCH will reach millions of more birthing parents and children through doula services, targeted services, healthy eating Read more

Cephas, Tartaglione announce $25.6M in funding for maternal, child health

(Apr 14, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, April 14 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas and state Sen. Christine Tartaglione, along with fellow lawmakers and the Wolf administration, today announced $25.6 million in American Rescue Plan funding to be allocated for a new maternal and child health initiative in Pennsylvania. The funding announcement also coincides with Black Maternal Health Week, April 11-17 . “With the promise in this funding, we are putting money into solving maternal mortality and working to address the social determinants of health that contribute to the crisis we are experiencing across Pennsylvania," Cephas said. “The administration’s opting Pennsylvania into extended Medicaid was a major move to start solving part of the crisis now, as well. That program began April 1, and the initiatives we’re announcing today are going to reach millions of more birthing parents and children through doula services, targeted services, healthy eating pilot programs and lead remediation.” “Our democratic counterparts in the US House and Senate sent Pennsylvania billions of dollars in the American Rescue Plan to reinvest to strengthen our commonwealth,” Tartaglione said. “We cannot let the historic opportunity afforded to us pass without making life-changing and crucially needed investments in historically disinvested communities. The allocation of this grant money will help Temple Woman’s and Infant’s Hospital finally open Read more

PLBC introduces resolution for National Minority Health Month in PA

(Apr 13, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with PLBC members Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Patty Kim and Manuel Guzman, introduced a resolution that would recognize April 2022 as National Minority Health Month in Pennsylvania. The resolution was spurred by National Minority Health Week, which was inspired by the creation of National Negro Health Week in 1915 by Booker T. Washington and the U.S. Public Health Service. The focus was to improve the overall health status of Black Americans and to encourage Black professionals to join the medical field. National Negro Health Week then grew into the National Negro Health Movement to educate the public about continuing health disparities year-round. The U.S. Public Health Service then published National Negro Health News to update on activities of the movement and publish reports on Black health in America. The theme for 2022 is Give Your Community a Boost, which supports the CDC’s recommendation of the Covid-19 vaccine and booster shot as a means to combat the global pandemic. “Minorities are significantly more at risk for both terminal and treatable illnesses,” Bullock said. “But because many do not have access to affordable health care or insurance, the life-saving power of early detection by a primary care physician is hardly ever obtainable. These health disparities were exposed during and because of the recent pandemic.” The Read more