Susan Taylor Says, “Enough!�

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“We boast of our lavish homes and cars and businesses while the reality is, we have failed�, referring to the onslaught of murders by gun violence on our children and youth. “Our children are dying�, Ms. Taylor shared with Black Star News. “We must square our shoulders – and say, ‘Enough!’ “

There’s a new movement sweeping the nation and it’s called Future PAC (Women Building for the Future).  Future PAC calls for women across the United States to host fundraising tea gatherings every first Sunday in May of each year, to provide a forum for women to discuss Future PAC’s mission, which is to increase Black women’s political leadership and to increase the number of progressive Black women elected into office so the critical needs of our families can be met. 

This year, May 7th 2006, Susan Taylor, Editorial Director of Essence Magazine, hosted an exquisite Future PAC tea gathering at her elegant Manhattan penthouse together with Tracey Brown, Esq., a Partner at The Cochran Firm in New York City, Alma Arrington Brown, Senior Vice President, Chevy Chase Bank and Terrie Williams, public relations celebrity and best-selling author.

Susan Taylor, esteemed author and world renowned icon of fashion, beauty and charity, has brought her warrior mode up to the forefront, assuming her firm stance for a vigorous fight to save our children and youth.  “We boast of our lavish homes and cars and businesses while the reality is, we have failedâ€?, referring to the onslaught of murders by gun violence on our children and youth.  “Our children are dyingâ€?, Ms. Taylor shared with Black Star News.  “We must square our shoulders – and say, ‘Enough!’  That’s what I’m saying to you.  I was only in Cincinnati 24 hours before they told me a grandmother was just blown away at the bus stop four days before I got there; caught in the crossfire. I just found out that a young man -- the mentee of the young scholar who picked me up at the airport -- was blown away at 16 years old!  Apparently, he was trafficking drugs – trafficking drugs from Cincinnati to Memphis!  He was handling a national business at the age of 16.  Genius misdirected.  Then, the driver picked me up the next morning and told me about another shooting saying, ‘Oh, did you hear?  Somebody got shot last night – it was on the news, he’s probably not going to make it.â€?   Ms. Taylor continued with deep conviction, “Cincinnati has the highest rate of Black male dropouts in this nation.  18% of Black males are graduating from high school in Cincinnati.  Our tax dollars are being used for prisons for our children rather than to fix schools.   My grandmother would not allow that.  That Trinidadian woman picked up a cop who hit my uncle when he was a little boy playing stickball in Harlem. 

She picked him up and held him to the wall – they arrested her.  There is NO WAY – that my grandmother or your grandmother or great grandmother would allow drugs to control our communities.  Our tax dollars are being used to kill people in Iraq.  Our government continues to build prisons for our kids while we have conferences about it, write reports about it, study it and talk about it. We are a nation – the wealthiest in the world who hasn’t raised the minimum wage enough to feed our children and keep a roof over our families’ heads.â€?  Susan Taylor has the gloves off and she’s not playing.

Tracey Brown, Esq., a Partner at the Cochran Firm in New York City, who co-hosted the event with Susan Taylor and Alma Arrington Brown, Tracey’s mom, elaborated on Future PAC’s mission, sharing with her esteemed guests, which included The Black Star News, “Future PAC is really something special.  The name, Future PAC, actually stands for Women Building for the Future Political Action Committee.  What we’re trying to do is harness our political and economic energy to better our community and improve our lives. 

Many of you are already very successful.  And many of you, I’m sure, feel like, ‘Hey – I made it, I’m good.  I pulled myself up.’  But we all must remember that when a lot is given, a lot is expected in return.  So today, we’re talking about what Future PAC is doing and how we can make a difference.  And the main way to make a difference is to pay close attention to how our political leaders affect our lives everyday.   We should be asking questions like, ‘What kind of legislation is it that affects the lives of African American women?’  Issues that affect small business owners, for instance.  What happens if your business goes under and you have to declare bankruptcy?  What happens with your debt and your credit card debt? 

Child care issues – concerns about how we are going to educate our children.  Health care issues.  These matters are all very important.  Who do we want representing us at the state level, the local level and the federal level?  People who really understand our issues.  I’m sure a lot of us have concerns about the direction of the country right now.  A lot of people focus on the Presidential elections every four years.  But 2006 -- this year -- is a critical, critical year.  Every single one of the 435 House of Representatives seats are up.  That means there is a chance for progressive candidates --  particularly women who are running, to be elected to those seats.  And in order for these candidates to have a chance, they need money.  And the reason they need money is, they must to have exposure.  They have to get their name and their ideas out there.  They have to be able to develop a platform and hire people who can help them get their message out there to get elected.   These are some of the reasons for the Future PAC Teas.  That is why we invited you here today.â€?

Ms. Brown continued, “Currently there are only 14 African American women (out of 435 people) in the United States Congress, and only two African American women statewide elected officials.  These women, as well as the African American women Mayors and local leaders across this country and countless first-time candidates, must struggle to sustain their campaigns because of better financed opponents.  These women need the continued support of Future PAC to help them level the playing field.â€?  Since its inception, Future PAC has contributed to 20 or more African American women candidates.

The event was a fundraiser, but the gracious hosts would not take without giving.  Always the epitome of elegance and graciousness, Ms. Taylor together with her warm and welcoming co-hosts, entertained their distinguished guests with a celebration of life through royal delicacies which were offered throughout the morning by her attentive waiters.  Beyond the bridge of hospitality, Ms. Taylor converted each of her sunny, elegant guestrooms into salons for the ladies to enjoy pampering and to engage in discussions on wellness, business and finance, and enlightenment of mind, body and spirit.

Among the facilitators were public relations celebrity and author, Terrie Williams, who discussed mental and emotional wellness, Dr. Shirley Madhere, cosmetic surgeon who discussed beauty enhancements such as Botox, Mamie McDonald of Mamie’s Day Spa www. Mamiesskincare.com , Dr. Cordia Beverly, an internist who discussed physical wellness, and Saundra Parks of the Daily Blossom Flower Boutique in Chelsea, who gave an inspiring presentation on entrepreneurship. 

Attendees also included Timberly Whitfield, Host of New Morning on The Hallmark Channel and Naija Green, Producer of New Morning on The Hallmark Channel, former Manhattan Borough President, C. Virginia Fields, Marilyn McRae, Sheila Evans Traynam, Adelaide H. Sanford, Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents, gave a compelling presentation about the state of our youth and education as she offered solutions, and the lovely and talented photographer, Regina Fleming
www.reginaflemingphotography.com , who Susan Taylor praised as a “phenomenal photographerâ€? attended, and many more distinguished guests who contributed generously and enthusiastically to the Future PAC initiative enjoyed the event.  Two brave young gentlemen, former members of a notorious youth gang, attended the Tea as they mourned the loss of lives of many of their peers, and to plea for our help in putting an end to the violence and killing.

Future PAC teas took place all over the nation by women who are ready to stand up and make a change to improve our lives.  Susan Taylor’s Future PAC Tea Gathering, together with the hard work of Alma Arrington Brown, Tracey Brown, Esq., Terrie Williams and all of the fine women who made the Tea Gathering a success, raised $71,000.000 that day.  Additional funds were raised at Future PAC Tea Gatherings held the same day throughout the nation.  The Teas are always held the first Sunday in May every year all over the United States.

Thank you, Susan, for your majestic hospitality and for being a driving force in this crucial initiative, The Future PAC.

For more information on how you can become involved in the Future PAC initiative or to learn more about the presenters, logon to www.thefuturepac.com .

Brenda Wyche is Special Correspondent for The Black Star News and CEO of Winning Strategies & Associates, a public relations company in New York City.  Contact brenda@blackstarnews.com

To subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com

 

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