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Refusing to deal with discrimination and a hostile work environment hits differently when  you have to pay out $100K to a Black employee who claimed who work environment became racially insensitive. Her stance stemmed from a probation officer at her job hanging up a “Blue Lives Matter” flag; and management failing to do anything about it despite her reporting it was demeaning to the Black Lives Matter movement and promoted police brutality.

via NYDN

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Karimah Guion-Pledgure decided to sue Multnomah County after months of alleged harassment. The lawsuit claims that the Blue Lives Matter flag “demeans” the Black Lives Matter movement.

A probation officer at the woman’s office hung one above his desk in September 2017 and supervisors would not require the man to remove the flag. Co-workers disagreed with the woman that it was derogatory. She claimed she was harassed because of her stance and faced “discrimination and retaliation” during her time working as a corrections technician for the county.

Supporters of the Blue Lives Matter flag claim it is meant to honor the sacrifices law enforcement officers make and the work they do, but Guion-Pledgure believes otherwise.

A copy of the lawsuit obtained by the Daily News said the Blue Lives Matter movement “co-opts” the Black Lives Matter movement’s slogan and repurposes it to shift focus from black lives to law enforcement, which is “a chosen profession, not a racial identity.”

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved the settlement on Thursday, the Portland Mercury reported. As part of the settlement, Guion-Pledgure had to resign from her job with the county on Friday.

The lawsuit claimed that the poor workplace environment led the woman to suffer from stress and health problems.

Guion-Pledgure’s attorney Ashlee Albies told the Daily News her client didn’t want to file a lawsuit, but felt there was no other way to bring attention to the issue and stop the workplace harassment she was experiencing.

Albies said Guion-Pledgure is relieved her issue was resolved and hopes the county will be more welcoming to others in the future.

The lawsuit details examples of the discrimination and backlash the woman faced.In July 2018, Guion-Pledgure created her own “equity wall” in response to the Blue Lives Matter flag remaining on the wall. It was made up of visuals of people of color killed by police in the United States and visuals of immigrant children separated from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A co-worker complained about the wall the next day and she was told to remove it but refused since the Blue Lives Matter flag has been allowed to stay up for months even though there had been many complaints, the lawsuit said.

In response, the office instituted a policy limiting the size of pictures to smaller than 5-x-7 inches. Co-workers with Blue Lives Matter flags responded by bringing in smaller versions and the day the policy was enacted, two notes were left on Guion-Pledgure’s equity wall. One read “Thanks a lot,” and the other read, “Bitch.”

She reported the incident and went on leave for a few weeks. Even after her return, she said the complaints against her and anxiety stemming from the workplace continued for months and she eventually filed a lawsuit. She originally was seeking $420,000 in the lawsuit, but settled for $100,000.

Blue Lives Matter flags and photo displays like the collage Guion-Pledgure created are no longer allowed under a new policy at the woman’s former workplace, OregonLive reported on Friday.

This only reiterates the point that politics do not belong in the workplace! Shout out to Multnomah County for settling this before it cost them and the State of Oregon millions in the long run.

 

Current Events

#History! First Trans Housing Complex, Purchased By Trans Community, Opens in Queens, NYC!

History has been made in the borough of Queens, New York; with the first ever housing complex for transgender people, purchased by the transgender community, is now open!

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trans housing complex queens new york city

History has been made in the borough of Queens, New York; with the first ever housing complex for transgender people, purchased by the transgender community, is now open!

via Pix11.com

trans housing complex queens new york city

A multi-unit housing complex in Woodhaven opened its doors Friday with historic relevance.

It’s the first residential building purchased by the trans community specifically for the trans community.

Ceyenne Doroshow, a community advocate and the founder of the non profit organization Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society (GLITS), purchased the property.

It’s all part of the organization’s mission to invest in real estate that provides sustainable housing to transgender individuals that have historically faced housing discrimination.

“When I am dead and gone, I want you to know that it was a Black trans woman that bought this building for you, for community,” she told a crowd of supporters who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. “This was created from love and out of love and it will continue to be that.”

Twelve units in the three story walk up are now designated a safe space for those in need. The units come fully furnished and will be occupied by tenants who complete a thorough application process. The housing complex in Woodhaven opens in a year that has become a tragic one for the community.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 34 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed in violent attacks nationwide in 2020.

“Black trans lives matter and it just cannot be a slogan, we have to be there and support,” Donovan Richards, Queens Borough President-elect said at the event.

The opening of this trans housing complex is amazing a sign of our times. 2020 is the deadliest year on record for the murder of trans people, most being Black transgender women. This complex will serve as safe space and gathering spot for the trans community. Honestly, more housing complexes like this are needed globally.

Remember guys, #TransLivesMatter too, and always!

 

 

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Current Events

“They Give Me Purpose…” 29 Yr Old Foster, Adopts 5 Siblings!

The antics of 2020 and the still pending Presidential Election may be the top headlines, but one young man has changed the lives of five siblings.

Robert Carter, 29, wanted to ensure five siblings in foster care stayed together so he adopted them!

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29 year old adopts five siblings

The antics of 2020 and the still pending Presidential Election may be the top headlines, but one young man has changed the lives of five siblings.

Robert Carter, 29, wanted to ensure five siblings in foster care stayed together so he adopted them!

via People

29 year old adopts five siblings

An Ohio man, who was separated from his siblings in foster care years ago, didn’t want a group of brothers and sisters to experience the same thing — so he reunited the five children and then adopted all of them.

Robert Carter tells PEOPLE he was just 12 years old when he was placed in a foster home and separated from his eight siblings.

Realizing the emotional trauma that it caused him, Carter, now 29, refused to let that happen again and insisted on reuniting the three boys he became a foster parent to in Dec. 2018 with their two sisters.

After successfully bringing the quintette together, Carter recently took things a step further by adopting all five children as his own, ensuring that the siblings will have a chance to grow old together and forever be by each other’s sides.

“I can’t even begin to try to put it into words what it means,” Carter tells PEOPLE. “Just the fact that they’re together, the fact that they have something that will help them remember their past… it’s beautiful to watch them grow up together and make memories together.”

29 year old adopts five siblings

We have to say we are really proud of Robert and what he is doing by adopting these children and becoming their father. He really stepped up and we wholeheartedly believe their lives will be better because they are together and someone who truly cares for them will be raising them.

Seeing how Robert grew up in foster care and wanted to prevent these children similar trauma and pain only shows how impeccable he is. We will keep him and his children in our prayers. Also, thank goodness for those adoption assistance funds because he is going to need it! Congrats Robert!

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Current Events

Two Ugandan Officials Face Arrest for Charges on Torturing Homeless LGBT Youth

Hate and homophobia have no borders, especially in the African country of Uganda, in constant violation of the human rights of LGBT people. Now, two Ugandan officials face arrest and charges for torturing homeless LGBT youth.

The two officials, who have repeatedly ignored court summons, have now been issued arrest warrants for over 76 acts of torture.

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ugandan officials charged with torturing lgbt youth

Hate and homophobia have no borders, especially in the African country of Uganda, in constant violation of the human rights of LGBT people. Now, two Ugandan officials face arrest and charges for torturing homeless LGBT youth.

The two officials, who have repeatedly ignored court summons, have now been issued arrest warrants for over 76 acts of torture.

via The G-Listed

ugandan officials charged with torturing lgbt youth

The arrest warrants came in the case of 20 LGBT Ugandans who spent 50 days on remand in a Ugandan prison on charges of violating Covid-19 orders by living in a homeless shelter run by the Children of the Sun Foundation (COSF). After their release, they accused Ugandan officials of mistreating them during the March 29 raid on the COSF shelter and during their incarceration.

The warrants were issued against Haji Abdul Kiyimba, the LCIII chairperson of Kyengera Town Council,  and Philemon Woniala, the deputy officer in charge of Kitalya Mini-Maxi Prison, for repeatedly failing to appear in court to answer charges of torturing LGBT youths.

The warrants were approved 14th October during a court session presided over by the Chief Magistrate of the central District of Wakiso, which is just outside the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

Kiyimba and Woniala had been summoned to attend court on 26th August and again on 14th October, according to a statement issued by Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF). They face charges of violating Sections 2 and 4 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act.

“The two accused persons, however, chose to ignore the Court Summons and never appeared personally in Court to answer to the charges, which conduct amounts to contempt of Court,” stated Patricia Kimera, HRAPF’s Programmes Director for Access to Justice.

We are praying that justice is served for these heinous acts and are asking the global community to do their parts to ensure their conviction. #AllBlackLivesMatter EVERYWHERE!

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