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Oprah Just Taught Everyone How To Respond To Trump’s Insults

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WHEN HE GOES LOW, SHE GOES HIGH

She also offered some solid advice for anyone running against him.

Oprah Winfrey isn’t playing President Donald Trump’s insult game. 

In recent weeks, Trump has repeatedly attacked the actress and talk show maven. He called Winfrey “very insecure” in a tweet last month and over the weekend he promised to make a possible presidential run “painful” for her. 

“I would love to beat Oprah,” Trump said during a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night. “I know her weakness.”

Not surprisingly, Winfrey took the high road on Sunday when CNN’s Van Jones asked what she would say in response to Trump’s comments.

“I wouldn’t,” Winfrey replied. “I would only speak if I felt that I could be heard.”

Winfrey’s powerful speech at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this year drew both acclaim and calls for her to run for president against Trump in 2020.  However, she has since said she hasn’t heard from God on the issue. 

“(I)f God actually wanted me to run, wouldn’t God kind of tell me?” Winfrey said on “60 Minutes Overtime.” “And I haven’t heard that.”

While not a candidate herself, Winfrey did offer some advice for whoever does run: 

“I will say to whoever is going to run for office, do not give your energy to the other side. Do not spend all your time talking about your opponents. Do not give your energy to that which you really don’t believe in. Do not spend an ounce of your time on that.”

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https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oprah-winfrey-responds-to-trump_us_5aa5e158e4b086698a9f1312

Trump Is Remaking The Courts In His Image: White, Male and Straight

Image result for donald trump + swearing in ceremony with supreme court gorsuch

He’s nominated 87 people to be lifetime federal judges. They’re about as diverse as a casting call for “Mad Men.”

More than a year into his presidency, Donald Trump is making the nation’s courts look a lot more like him: white, male and straight.

To date, Trump has nominated 87 people to be judges with lifetime tenure on U.S. district courts, circuit courts or Supreme Court. Eighty of them are white, or nearly 92 percent. One is black, one is Latino and five are Asian or Pacific American. He hasn’t nominated any Native American judges.

Put another way:

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The president also keeps nominating men. Sixty-seven of his court picks are male, compared to 20 who are female.

That translates to about 77 percent being men:

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Trump hasn’t nominated any openly LGBTQ people to the federal courts.

It’s even more apparent how homogenous Trump’s picks are when compared to his recent predecessors. A Congressional Research Service analysis looked at the first 26 district and circuit court nominees from the last four presidents: Bill Clinton’s were 73 percent white, George W. Bush’s were 81 percent white, Barack Obama’s were 46 percent white, and Trump’s were 96 percent white.

Advocates for a more diverse federal bench say it’s crucial that the nation’s courts reflect the demographics of the populations they serve.

“People of color, LGBT individuals and women can supply effective, nuanced ‘outsider’ perspectives and insights about critical questions regarding abortion, criminal law, employment discrimination and related complicated issues,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor and expert on the federal judicial nomination process.

Brad Berry, general counsel for the NAACP, called Trump’s court picks “troubling.”

“The varied life experiences that judges bring to the bench quite often inform their views on the questions presented to them for decision,” Berry said. “It is for that reason that diversity on the bench ― racial, ethnic and gender ― is so critically important to the fair operation of our judicial system and, equally important, to the perception of fairness in that system.”

In addition to being overwhelmingly white, male and straight, Trump’s court picks are very conservative. Some have records of being hostile to the voting rights of black people. Others have records of being incredibly anti-LGBTQ. A number of them have argued against women’s reproductive rights.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been criticizing the president for months over his judicial nominees. Not only has he selected just one black person to be a judge ― Terry Moorer, a nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama ― but he has infuriated civil rights leaders with another nominee, Thomas Farr, who defended North Carolina’s voter suppression law and racially discriminatory gerrymandering.

“Because African-Americans have always been disproportionately affected by federal court decisions, the Congressional Black Caucus is virtually obligated to investigate the fairness of the federal judiciary, no matter who is president,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said during a caucus forum in January on judicial diversity.

“These lifetime appointments will have monumental impacts on the future of the nation and on all Americans, none more so than on African-Americans and others seeking an equal place in our country,” she said.

HuffPost reached out to the White House to ask why Trump keeps nominating white men to be judges, and if he plans to nominate more diverse people going forward.

Spokesman Hogan Gidley said their nominees have all been wonderful.

“The President has delivered on his promise to nominate excellent judges, beginning with Justice Gorsuch, and he will continue nominating outstanding candidates,” Gidley said. “We appreciate the hard work of [Senate Judiciary Committee] Chairman [Chuck] Grassley and [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell, and we urge the Senate to confirm all of the remaining nominees because it’s what the American people deserve.”

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How The Richest Black American And His Billionaire Partner Became Top Philanthropists

Every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, billionaire Robert Smith and his wife, Hope Dworaczyk, invite a group of 30 former foster children to their Colorado ranch to spend the holidays with their family. The gesture is rooted in Smith’s days at Cornell University, where he met a former foster kid who was looking for a place to stay on campus during winter break because she had aged out of the foster care system.

“The girl made it to Cornell, and yet here she was without anyone to look out for her and no place to go for the holidays,” Smith recalls. “That always stuck in my mind.”

Sensitive to the difficulties of those who can be marginalized, Smith, who is an engineer by training, has designed an ambitious philanthropic program that emphasizes diversity and equal opportunity. With a net worth of $4.4 billion, Smith, 55, is now the nation’s richest African American and he is focused on channeling his wealth to build onramps, particularly for African Americans and women.

“I will never forget that my path was paved by my parents, grandparents and generations of African-Americans whose names I will never know,” Smith wrote in an unpublished statement when he became the first black American to sign the Giving Pledge, committing to contribute half of his net worth to philanthropic causes during his lifetime. “We will only grasp the staggering potential of our time if we create onramps that empower ALL people to participate, regardless of background, country of origin, religious practice, gender, or color of skin.”

Smith’s day job as CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm with $31 billion under management that invests exclusively in software, keeps him busy. But he is devoting more time to his non-business works. He is chairman of Carnegie Hall and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, where he has gotten involved in specific projects like helping pretrial detainees who cannot afford to pay bail.

These public roles are not always easy. “Successful African Americans become targets of racism,” says Ibram Kendi, a leading scholar of racism in America who is close to Smith. “It takes courage for Robert, who is as successful a businessman as anyone in America, to stand in the public light.”

Smith’s philanthropic efforts have come in two forms. He has made direct personal contributions, like the $20 million he committed to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., supporting a digitization program to preserve the family histories of all black Americans as well as community outreach. He recently gave $2.5 million to the Prostate Cancer Foundation to focus research on African-American men and aid veterans who are battling prostate cancer.

Smith is also president of Fund II Foundation, which was established in 2014 to grant to public charities the assets of a reserve established when Vista’s first private equity fund was founded in 2000. The purpose of the reserve was to secure a contingent liability for Vista’s first investor, but once any liability was satisfied any remaining assets in the reserve was slated for charitable purposes. In the end, Vista’s first private equity fund was a home run. Fund II Foundation started out with $247 million in 2014 and received another $101 million in contributions and dividends in 2015, tax filing shows.

Fund II Foundation has made big gifts, like a $27 million donation to Susan G. Komen for breast cancer research and awareness and $50 million to UNCF, the minority education organization. Its most high-profile contribution was a $50 million commitment it made together with Smith personally to improve the representation of women and minorities in scientific research at Cornell University’s College of Engineering.

Fund II Foundation has also made a $9.3 million donation to Global Wildlife Conservation, set up a decade ago with the help of billionaire Brian Sheth, Smith’s close partner and president of Vista Equity Partners. Learning from Smith’s example, Sheth, 42, is trying to bring the same financial rigor he uses as a top tech dealmaker to the causes he cares about. Sheth is chairman of Global Wildlife and the chief financial backer of the nonprofit that is working in 45 countries to save species and habitats.

Global Wildlife led an effort to purchase and protect 6,000 acres of Guatemalan rainforest from a group that sought to clear cut the land. Sheth is now backing a new aviary in New Zealand and other efforts to save the endangered black stilt kaki, the world’s rarest wading bird. In Indonesia, Global Wildlife is working to recover the critically endangered Sumatran rhino, the most threatened of the world’s five rhino species, with less than 100 individuals. In addition to conservation efforts, Sheth's Sangreal Foundation also supports educational initiatives, like a music academy in Anguilla. 

For Smith, it’s his Lincoln Hills Colorado ranch that seems to bring the most joy. When Smith was young, his family vacationed at Lincoln Hills, one of the first resorts where African Americans could rent cabins. Over the years its condition deteriorated. Smith bought the ranch and refurbished it. He developed a summer program there for some 5,000 inner city kids.

An avid fly fisherman who relishes hooking into trout on Colorado’s Fryingpan river and Boulder Creek, Smith enjoys sharing his favorite sport. There is a program for wounded veterans at the ranch, which includes ramps and tractors to help them into the water so they can fly fish. Smith also hosts quadriplegics who can fish at the ranch with blow tubes.

For Lonnie Bunch, the director of the National African American Museum of History and Culture, Smith represents a new generation of black corporate leadership, following the likes of Ken Chenault and Richard Parsons.

“It is a new generation that understands technology. They are not American Express or Time Warner and what I love is they have a freedom to be themselves,” says Bunch. “Robert is part of a generation that can be proud to be a successful businessperson.”

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanvardi/2018/03/06/how-the-richest-black-american-and-his-billionaire-partner-became-top-philanthropists/2/#594c5aec6f44

HUD Secretary Carson launches centers to drive households to self-efficiency

Says HUD needs to think differently

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced a new initiative to help HUD-assisted families achieve self-efficiency.

Carson announced HUD will launch its new EnVision Centers, which will be located on or near public housing developments. HUD explained these centers will be hubs for what it calls the four key pillars of self-sufficiency: character and leadership, educational advancement, economic empowerment and health and wellness.

The centers will form partnerships with federal agencies, state and local governments, non-profits, faith-based organizations, corporations, public housing authorities and housing finance agencies. EnVision Centers will utilize public-private resources to impact the community.

“While funding for HUD has increased over the last twenty years, the number of households served has remained the same,” Carson said. “We need to think differently about how we can empower Americans to climb the ladder of success.”

“EnVision Centers are designed to help people take the first few steps towards self-sufficiency,” he said. “Every household we are able to help graduate from HUD-assistance allows HUD to help one more family in need.”

Carson previously explained his vision to HousingWire in an exclusive interview with Editor-In-Chief Jacob Gaffney, who wrote:

One of Carson’s main initiatives is establishing “envision centers” of learning, especially for teenage mothers who, more often than not, end their educational trajectory once they give birth. New York City is seen as a potential spot for one of the first such centers where young, low-income parents can access day care while learning to code and “balance a checkbook or unclog a toilet,” the secretary told me. The project remains far from being piloted, especially considering recent cuts to HUD’s budget. 

To read more on Gaffney’s conversation with HUD’s secretary, check out this magazine feature story.

HUD will start by launching ten pilot EnVision Centers across the U.S. It will also launch its new mobile app to help HUD assisted households find local resources through the EnVision Center network. HUD is issuing a notice in the Federal Register to get input from the public.

“We have made connecting hard-working Michiganders with high-demand, high-wage careers in the professional trades a priority and I appreciate that my federal partners are doing the same with EnVision Centers,” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said. “By helping people get the training necessary to succeed in these fields, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping individuals earn a great future for themselves and their families while addressing a growing talent gap in the job market.”

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BlackAmericans.com: Moving On Up Series: Job Interview Basics

 In life, there are few things more important than landing that dream job.  Whether it is your first job as a teenager, your first professional opportunity after college or a   move up the corporate ladder, unfortunately there are few chances for interview  “do overs”.

 Our team at BlackAmericans.com has observed and heard many very qualified applicants who blew their one and only chance to get that highly sought after job.  After   many  discussions with them, we decided to compile a list of best practices hoping to improve candidate’s chances of having a successful interview.  While these   recommendations are not guaranteed to land you that special job, they will, if followed, improve your competitive position and could possibly create the edge needed for a   successful interview.

There is an old saying that  “Success is when preparation meets opportunity”.  Below is part of your preparation.

Now go get that job!

Interview Success

A successful interview begins during the preparation stage. It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that most interviews are won or lost before the actual interview takes place. Regardless of the school you attended, the GPA you earned, the amount of awards you received, or who you know, adequate preparation is the number one key to success. It is said that, “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity”. Your preparation is the only thing you control. Once you enter the interview, this is your opportunity to sell yourself and show how you can be a perfect fit for the company. Whether you are applying to be the Secretary of State or the team leader in a restaurant, these same rules apply. Every job is an opportunity and can lead to many more opportunities, but first you must successfully get through the interview stage.  The following steps are valuable for interview success!

Preparation for the Interview

Step 1: The “Fit Test”

            You should first determine the skill sets that are needed for the job in which you have applied. It is important to not only know what the company is looking for, but also know how your skills align with the needs of the company. Sometimes you may not have all of the skills that the company is looking for, but are you willing to acquire them? If so, then the willingness to acquire any necessary skills that you don’t currently possess is a skill within itself. Use your willingness to acquire and learn new skills as a way to sell yourself. During this initial preparation stage, write down all of the skills the company is looking for and all of the skills you currently possess. Have them listed and prepared in a way that ensures that you can share your inventory of requisite and acquirable skills with the interviewer during the interview. Brainstorm ways that you have utilized your skills in prior jobs, or leadership positions. Be able to show the interviewer that you are both capable and knowledgeable of the skills they need.

Step 2: Visualize: You are the Interviewer (Not the interviewee)

            Save time during the preparation stage to sit down and visualize yourself as the interviewer. What are some things that you would be looking for when trying to hire someone to represent your company? For the position in which you are hiring, are you looking for a team player or someone that works well independently? Are you looking for someone with experience or someone that can be trained to get the job done?

  All of the above  are sound questions to ponder.  Although you may not know exactly what the actual interviewer will be looking for, you can have an idea based off the job description, requirements, and the environment of the company. As an employer, you want people working for you that will successfully represent the company. With each new hire there is a chance for success or failure. Either the person will benefit or harm the company. If you owned a successful company, are you the kind of person that you would want working for you? It’s easy to say, “Of course”, but before moving on really think about this.

Possible Interview Questions

            While visualizing yourself as the interviewer, think about the kind of questions you would ask the interviewee. On your own, take time to brainstorm a list of questions that are typically asked during job interviews. This is also a great time to utilize the Internet to find job interview questions that are generally asked. Also, you can find job interview questions broken down by specific types of jobs. For instance, if you are applying to be an accountant, some of your interview questions would be different than if you were applying to be a manager of a retail store. Being prepared for both general and specific interview questions, can give you a better idea of what may be asked.

            There is an old saying that, “Practice makes perfect”! Use this preparation stage, to your advantage and practice answering interview questions. Now that you have a list of possible interview questions, play the role of the interviewee and practice with a friend or a relative. Practicing with other people will not only help you put yourself in a simulation interview, but it can also help calm your nerves if you’re anxious or nervous about interviews. If you don’t have another person to interview with you could use a video recorder. The video recorder will be a useful tool because you would be able to hone in on any nervous habits that you may have while answering questions. Many people don’t recognize the number of times that they use certain words or phrases while speaking, for instance, “like”,  “Umm”, or “let me see”. Other habits that a video recorder will highlight are if you can be heard clearly, if you are moving around too much, and if you are playing with your own hands or anything else. A video recorder can be great for practice both by you as well as working with another person.           

Step 3: Familiarize Yourself with the Website

            The more you know about the company, the more impressed interviewers will be. You should feel confident and knowledgeable about the company. This confidence is gained through company research. You should be familiar with the company’s mission, values, and culture.  You should also familiarize yourself with the history of the company, like when they started, who founded it, and how the company has grown to the company that they are today. If the company has an internet presence, you can find this information on the company website.

Many companies have a presence on the internet, and this could be used to your advantage. Look up pertinent information about the company that you can ask the interviewer to elaborate on. It’s important to understand that if done in a negative way, this can work against you. Try not to question why the company made the decisions that they made. Instead of questioning, show an interest in the information that you have found. Another situation that you may want to watch out for is telling the interviewer how you would have made a different decision than they made. Your research should be used in a way that will point out similarities of interest between you and the company. It is also a way to showcase your talents around the company, and explain how your level of expertise will be a benefit for the company.

Now that you have researched the company, it’s important to come up with a list of questions that you can ask the interviewer. It is always a bad idea to go into an interview without questions to ask the interviewer. This can come off as either you feel you know everything or that you don’t care to know more. The research that you have done on the company is a good place to start. What did you read that interest you? What impressed you on the company website? Come up with at least three good, solid, intelligent questions to ask the interviewer. The idea behind this is that once you get the interviewer talking, it shows that you are interested and agree with the interviewer. Also, ask questions that cannot be found on their company website. If you ask a question that was already answered on the website, it will show the interviewer that you didn’t do research of the company.

Step 4: Familiarize Yourself with the Company

While using the internet to research the company is a great start, there are other ways to research the company. Covert observational research, observing from a distance, is another way that will give you a view of the company culture.  Actually go sit outside of the company entrance, and observe the people entering and exiting the building. This will give you an idea about the attire and behavior of the people walking in and out of  the business.

Attire

When looking at the overall style of the people entering the building, pay attention to details. Below is a list of details that you may want to keep in mind, when observing:

  • Dress code. What does the dress code look like? Are the men dressed in a suit and tie? Is it business casual or business formal? All companies have a uniform “norm”, and it is a good idea to use this time to get a feel of the norm of the company.
  • Color scheme. What colors do you see the majority of the people wearing? Is there a trend?
  • Hair. Is there a standard for the men and women? The people that have longer hair, is it in a ponytail or some other style? What about the people with shorter hair? Do you see anyone with facial hair? If so, how much?

A few things that you will want to keep in mind that may not be easily seen through covert observation are: grooming habits. Nails should be kept neat and clean. For the ladies, if you are looking to paint your nails, be sure that it is a neutral color, and not too bold. Another thing to think about is cologne and perfume. With any company you should keep in mind that someone may be allergic to certain smells. Is your cologne or perfume overpowering?

Behavior

            While observing the attire, take note of the way everyone is behaving as well. On average, are the people entering and leaving serious or relaxed? Does it appear that everyone is in a rush? If you are able to, take note of any interactions between the people walking in.

Your observations should not only give you a better understanding of what is generally accepted by the company, it should also better ease any nerves that you may have. By familiarizing yourself with the environment, you know what to expect from the people that will be entering into the company that you will be for your interview. It is important to note two things:

1)    If you cannot physically observe the company, using the Internet is still a great way to get ahead. Focus on the images and pictures of the people that they have on their website. If the company has a magazine, you can use that. Utilize all resources that are available to find useful information.

2)     Although observing attire gives you a better idea of what employees typically wear, it’s important to understand that those employees have something that you don’t currently have…the job. Are you dressed like the person interviewing you or even the CEO of the company? Managers often wear ties; if you have on a tie even though the job does not require one, it will not hurt you, but if the job requires a more formal or professional attire, and you aren’t up to par, there’s a good chance that you just blew your chance. A good rule of thumb is: It’s better to be over dressed professionally than under dressed. So although you may find some people that are sporting bold styles and behaving differently than the norm, steer clear of this for the interview. Dress and behave like you are going to meet the CEO of the company! 

Before the Interview

            Your appearance is important today, so it is vital that you paid close attention to the “Attire” section of “Step 4: Familiarize Yourself with the Company.” First impressions are very important, so the first few seconds will set the stage for the rest of the interview.  After you have done your research and chosen the appropriate attire to wear, make sure you have extra copies of your cover letter, resume, and references, just in case the employer asks for another copy. Now that you are fully prepared, it is time for the interview!

Step 1: Arrive Early

            It is a good rule of thumb to arrive 15-30 minutes before your interview. This will not only give you a time cushion just in case there is traffic or other unexpected issues, but it will also give you time to relax prior to your interview.

Step 2: Greet Everyone You Interact With

            The minute you walk onto the company property , everyone you encounter can be considered a part of the interview! The employees walking around the company, the person sitting at the front desk, the person sitting in the waiting room with you, are all important people. Sometimes companies strategically place people in areas to see how you interact with others. If the interviewer hears that you were rude or disrespectful to the person at the front desk that can ruin your chance for the job! Greet everyone that you interact with warmly, but professionally and have good eye contact. When the interviewer comes out, greet him/her with a warm smile, a pleasant greeting, and a firm handshake. Be sure to listen attentively to get his/her name.

During the Interview

Step 1: Allow the Interviewer to control the Interview

            If the interviewer begins by asking you to tell a little about yourself, do so, but after answering let the interviewer take control. Answer the questions that are asked of you, remembering  the skill sets that you studied  during the preparation stage.

Step 2: Remember Your Body Language

            It is not always what you say, but how you say it that matters. Be mindful of the way your body language can affect what you are communicating. Don’t slouch in the chair with your arms folded, because it can come off as if you are uninterested in the interview. Try not to look off to the side or to the floor when you are asked a question. Keep eye contact, sit up straight, and keep your body language open and interested.

Step 3: Expect Unexpected Questions

            Although you have already prepared thoroughly, and utilized practice questions, you never know what will be asked. Sometimes you will be asked questions that you aren’t too sure how to answer them. You can ask the interviewer to repeat themselves, as well as to clarify the question. Don’t panic! Take a break, repeat the question, and answer with confidence!

Step 4: Ask Questions!

            As mentioned earlier, asking the interviewer questions is very important! This expresses interest in the company and a desire to know more. Never leave an interview without asking the interviewer intelligent questions about the company.  A great question can make a memorable interview!

Step 5: Thanking the Interviewer

            At the end of the interview, it is important to thank the interviewer for his/her time, and the opportunity that you had to apply for the job and receive an interview. Be sure to use this time to express your desire to work for the company, and your eagerness to get started. Employers will be able to see your enthusiasm, but don’t overdo it. You  can come off as desperate, forced or insincere.

After the Interview

Step 1: Send a Thank You Note

            Sending a “Thank You” note or email to the interviewer after an interview can add an extra positive impression to the interviewer about you. Although a thank you note typically will not make the difference in whether or not you are hired, it can help you be remembered for future reference. The following is a list of things to include inside of the thank you note:

  • The interviewers name
  • Title of the position you interviewed for
  • Specific/ Important things discussed during the interview
  • Express desire for the job
  • Show appreciation of their time
  • Your contact information

Step 2: Write Down Questions

            Write down questions that you had not thought of or had difficulty answering. Research and write answers to these question and  file them away for future interview preparation.

Always remember that it is a very competitive market place. Thinking, preparing, and delivering a positive and professional product (as the interviewee) is a must. Remember that, “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity”! You are in control! Go out and create your success !

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