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DC Offers $2K E-Bike Program for Needy Residents

DC’s Electric Bicycle Incentive Program

The District of Columbia’s Electric Bicycle Incentive Program (EBIP) will soon provide vouchers of up to $2,000 to some District residents who purchase an electric bicycle. The program is designed to encourage the use of electric bicycles as a clean and sustainable transportation option. Ward 6 council member Charles Allen introduced legislation creating D.C.’s E-Bike incentive program.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the EBIP, you must be a District resident and purchase an electric bicycle from a participating retailer. The bicycle must be new and have a motor that is no larger than 750 watts. “DDOT will open the first application window to Preferred Applicants only. A Preferred Applicant is a District resident enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, or the DC Healthcare Alliance. If funds are still available, a second application window will open to Standard Applicants. DDOT anticipates fulfilling approximately 250 vouchers with the FY24 funding.”

How to Apply

To apply for the EBIP, you must submit an application to the District Department of Transportation(DDOT). The application and additional information is available HERE

Benefits of Electric Bicycles

Electric bicycles offer a number of benefits over traditional bicycles, including:

  • Reduced emissions: Electric bicycles produce zero emissions, making them a more environmentally friendly transportation option.
  • Increased range: Electric bicycles can travel further than traditional bicycles, making them a good option for commuting or running errands.
  • Reduced strain: Electric bicycles provide a boost of power, making it easier to ride up hills or carry heavy loads.
  • Convenience: Electric bicycles are easy to ride and can be used by people of all ages and abilities.

The retailers listed below are Authorized Retailers and have an agreement with DDOT. They are the only shops where you can redeem a voucher.

Authorized Retailers

Bicycle Pro Shop 3403 M St NW
Bicycle SPACE 1512 Okie St NE
Conte’s Bike Shop – Cathedral Heights 3410 Wisconsin Ave NW
Conte’s Bike Shop – Logan Circle 1412 Q St NW
Conte’s Bike Shop – Navy Yard 1331 4th St, Suite 107, SE
REI Bike Shop 201 M St NE
The Daily Rider 600 H St, Suite D, NE
Trek – Georgetown 3411 M St NW
Trek – Skyland 2227 Town Ctr Dr. SE
King Micromobility 502 23rd St NW
Mittens Pop-Up Mobile
Upshift Workshop Mobile

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in America

St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in America since the 1730s, when Irish immigrants began arriving in large numbers. The holiday was initially a religious observance, but it gradually evolved into a more secular celebration of Irish culture and heritage.

In the early days, St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated mainly by Irish immigrants and their descendants. However, as the Irish population grew and assimilated into American society, the holiday became more widely celebrated. By the end of the 19th century, St. Patrick’s Day was being celebrated in cities and towns across the United States.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in America. It is a day for people of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate Irish culture and heritage. The holiday is typically celebrated with parades, parties, and other festivities.

Here are some of the highlights of St. Patrick’s Day in America:

  • The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world. It is held on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and attracts over 2 million people each year.
  • The Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade is also one of the largest in the world. It is held on South Boston and attracts over 1 million people each year.
  • The Chicago River Dyeing is a unique St. Patrick’s Day tradition in Chicago. On the morning of March 17, the Chicago River is dyed green to celebrate the holiday.
  • The White House St. Patrick’s Day Reception is an annual event hosted by the President of the United States. The reception is attended by Irish-American leaders and other guests.

Click HERE for St. Patrick’s Day events in Washington, DC. Also, HERE are 9 ways the Washingtonian offers as options to celebrate this year’s Irish heritage event.

Why is Pi Important?

Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi). It is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π.

History of Pi Day

Pi Day was first celebrated in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw at the San Francisco Exploratorium. The date was chosen because it is the birthday of Albert Einstein, who was born on 1879-03-14.

Pi Day Celebrations

Pi Day is celebrated in many ways around the world. Some common activities include:

  • Eating pie
  • Throwing pie-eating contests
  • Reciting pi to as many decimal places as possible
  • Learning about the history of pi
  • Visiting museums and science centers that have pi-related exhibits

Pi Day Facts

  • The value of π is approximately 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679.
  • Pi is an irrational number, meaning that it cannot be expressed as a fraction of two integers.
  • Pi is a transcendental number, meaning that it is not a solution to any polynomial equation with rational coefficients.
  • Pi has been calculated to over 100 trillion decimal places.
  • The digits of pi appear to be random, but no pattern has yet been found.

Why is Pi Important?

Pi is used in many different areas of mathematics, science, and engineering. For example, it is used to:

  • Calculate the circumference of a circle
  • Calculate the area of a circle
  • Calculate the volume of a sphere
  • Calculate the probability of an event
  • Model the behavior of waves

Pi is a fundamental constant of nature, and it is used to describe many different phenomena in the universe.

The Killing of a White Civil Rights Champion in America

In early March 1965, a peaceful crowd of 600 people began a protest march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to show their support for Black voting rights. Police armed with batons, pepper spray, and guns attacked the marchers on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in a violent assault that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

After the attack, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other organizers remained determined to complete the march. Dr. King urged clergy to come to Selma and join the march to Montgomery. Hundreds of clergy from across the country heeded the call and traveled to Selma; one of them was the Reverend James Reeb, a 38-year-old white Unitarian minister from Boston.

On March 9th, Dr. King led 2,500 marchers onto the Edmund Pettus Bridge for a short prayer session. That evening, three white ministers–Orloff Miller, Clark Olsen, and James Reeb–were attacked and beaten by a group of white men opposed to their civil rights work. The Rev. Reeb was struck in the head with a club and suffered a severe skull fracture and brain damage.

Fearing that he would not be treated at the “white only” Selma Hospital, doctors at Selma’s Black Burwell Infirmary ordered the Rev. Reeb rushed to the Birmingham hospital. After a series of unfortunate events, including car trouble and confrontations with local police, the Rev. Reeb reached the hospital in Birmingham in critical condition. He died on March 11, 1965, leaving behind his wife and four children. Three white men later indicted for the Rev. Reeb’s murder were ultimately acquitted by an all-white jury.

More widely reported than the death of local Black activist Jimmie Lee Jackson a few weeks earlier, the Rev. Reeb’s death brought national attention to the voting rights struggle. The death also moved President Lyndon B. Johnson to call a special session of Congress, where he urged legislators to pass the Voting Rights Act. Congress did so, and President Johnson signed the act into law in August 1965.

For more on the history of racial injustice in America, follow Equal Justice Initiative, (EJI).

Paying Tribute to Women on International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the achievements of women and to advocate for gender equality. It is a day to reflect on the progress that has been made towards gender equality and to call for further action.

History of International Women’s Day

The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, and it was organized by the Socialist Party of America. The day was chosen to commemorate the 1908 strike by female garment workers in New York City. The strike was successful in winning better working conditions for women, and it helped to raise awareness of the need for gender equality.

International Women’s Day became an official holiday in the Soviet Union in 1921, and it was later adopted by other countries around the world. In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating March 8 as International Women’s Day.

Themes of International Women’s Day

Each year, International Women’s Day has a different theme. The theme for 2024 is “Investing in women: Accelerate progress.” International Women’s Day (IWD) organizers said, “When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment. Collectively, let’s forge a more inclusive world for women.”

How to Celebrate International Women’s Day

There are many ways to celebrate International Women’s Day. Here are a few ideas:

  • Attend a local event or rally.
  • Learn about the history of International Women’s Day.
  • Read books or articles about women’s rights.
  • Watch movies or documentaries about women’s issues.
  • Donate to an organization that supports women’s rights.
  • Talk to your friends and family about inspiring inclusion.

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and to call for further action towards gender equality. It is a day to reflect on the progress that has been made and to renew our commitment to creating a better world for all women and girls.

 

Commemorating the Vital Roles of Women in American History

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month is an annual celebration of the contributions women have made to society throughout history. It is a time to reflect on the struggles and triumphs of women, and to celebrate their achievements. Women’s History Month began as a national celebration in the United States in 1987, and has since become a global event. It is typically celebrated in March, and is a time for schools, businesses, and organizations to host events and activities that highlight the role of women in history.

There are many ways to celebrate Women’s History Month. Some popular activities include:

  • Attending events and activities: Many schools, businesses, and organizations host events and activities during Women’s History Month. These events may include lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, and art exhibits.
  • Learning about women’s history: There are many resources available to learn about women’s history. Books, articles, and websites can provide information about the lives and achievements of women from all walks of life.
  • Supporting women-owned businesses: One way to celebrate Women’s History Month is to support women-owned businesses. This can be done by shopping at women-owned stores, eating at women-owned restaurants, and using the services of women-owned businesses.
  • Volunteering for organizations that support women: There are many organizations that work to support women and girls. Volunteering for one of these organizations is a great way to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of women.

Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the progress that has been made towards gender equality, and to recognize the work that still needs to be done. It is a time to inspire and empower women and girls everywhere.

Here are some additional stories and resources that highlight the contributions of women and significance of women’s history month:

Leap Years and Their Significance

A leap year is a year that has 366 days instead of the usual 365 days. This is done to keep our calendar in sync with the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

The Earth’s orbit around the sun takes approximately 365.242 days. This means that every four years, we “lose” about 0.242 days. Over time, this would cause our calendar to drift out of sync with the seasons.

To compensate for this, we add an extra day to the calendar every four years. This is called a leap year.

How to Determine a Leap Year

There are a few rules to determine whether a year is a leap year:

  • If the year is divisible by 400, it is a leap year.
  • If the year is divisible by 100 but not by 400, it is not a leap year.
  • If the year is divisible by 4 but not by 100, it is a leap year.

For example, 2000 was a leap year because it is divisible by 400. 1900 was not a leap year because it is divisible by 100 but not by 400. 2024 will be a leap year because it is divisible by 4.

Significance of Leap Year

Leap years have a few significant implications:

  • Calendar Accuracy: Leap years help keep our calendar in sync with the Earth’s orbit around the sun. This is important for many reasons, such as planning agricultural activities and religious holidays.
  • Timekeeping: Leap years ensure that our clocks and watches remain accurate. Without leap years, our timekeeping would gradually drift out of sync with the Earth’s rotation.
  • Cultural Traditions: Leap years are associated with various cultural traditions and superstitions. For example, in some cultures, it is considered good luck to get married in a leap year.

Overall, leap years are an essential part of our calendar system. They help ensure that our calendar remains accurate and in sync with the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

2024 Prince George’s County Spelling Bee

ABOUT THE EVENT

The 2024 Prince George’s County Spelling Bee is presented by The Washington Informer. Watch the top spellers in the county compete for a chance to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee!

National Spelling Bee

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is an annual spelling bee held in the United States. It is open to students in grades 1-8 who have won their local and regional spelling bees.

The bee is held in Washington, D.C., and the winner receives a trophy, a cash prize, and a trip to New York City.

History

The National Spelling Bee was first held in 1925. It was created by Frank Neuhauser, a journalist for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Neuhauser was inspired to create the bee after he saw a spelling bee at a local school.

The bee was originally called the National Spelling Contest. It was renamed the National Spelling Bee in 1941.

Format

The National Spelling Bee is a single-elimination tournament. The competition begins with a preliminary round, in which the spellers are given a list of words to spell. The spellers who spell all of the words correctly advance to the next round.

The final round of the bee is held on stage at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The spellers are given a list of words to spell, and they are eliminated one by one until only one speller remains.

Winners

The winner of the National Spelling Bee receives the Scripps Cup, a trophy that is named after the Scripps family, which has sponsored the bee since 1925. The winner also receives a cash prize of $50,000 and a trip to New York City.

Some of the most famous winners of the National Spelling Bee include:

  • Frank Neuhauser (1925)
  • Jacques Bailly (1980)
  • Rebecca Sealfon (1997)
  • Nupur Lala (2015)
  • Zaila Avant-garde (2021)

Impact

The National Spelling Bee has had a significant impact on American culture. The bee has helped to promote literacy and spelling in the United States. It has also helped to create a sense of community among spellers and their families.

Harvard’s Black Scholars on The State of Black America

Editor’s Note: article by Harvard Magazine.

Harvard African American scholars take stock of a difficult moment.

by Lydialyle Gibson

During  A searching discussion Thursday evening at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) on the “State of Black America,” historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad opened with a trenchant warning: “We are facing uncharted waters.”

Surveying the rise of Trumpism and the past several years of proliferating book bans, rollbacks of voting rights, attacks on diversity, and laws curtailing our prohibiting the teaching of black history, he added, “It looks like we have the underpinnings of textbook fascism—not make-believe, not excessive rhetoric. If these things were happening in other countries, particularly in liberal democracies, or let alone in the Global South, the U.S. State Department would be issuing warnings about the status of those societies.”

Muhammad, the Ford Foundation professor of history, race, and public policy, was joined on stage by three HKS colleagues, including co-panelists Cornell Brooks, the Hauser professor of the practice of nonprofit organizations and professor of the practice of public leadership and social justice; and Sandra Susan Smith, the Guggenheim professor of criminal justice. The evening was moderated by Setti Warren, director of the Institute of Politics and adjunct lecturer in public policy.

The event came a little more than two months after U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx (R, North Carolina) targeted Muhammad and one of his courses by name on the House floor. During the now-infamous Congressional hearing into campus antisemitism where lawmakers interrogated former President Claudine Gay and two other college presidents, Foxx decried Muhammad’s class, “Race and Racism in the Making of the United States as a Global Power,” as a “prime example” of the “race-based ideology” that made Harvard “ground zero for antisemitism.”

Muhammad’s course, required for first-year MPP students, explores how race and racism have influenced American public policy and contributed to the nation’s rise to global dominance. Last fall, 207 students were enrolled. On Thursday evening, Muhammad sought to put Foxx’s accusation in the broader context of recent and longstanding political attacks on education, and he argued that those attacks endanger American democracy. “These people have no idea what happens in [my] class,” he said. “Zero evidence. So, I find it incredibly important for you, the audience and the listeners, to take seriously what that means, to take seriously that we have political leaders in this country who can pick out of thin air classes being taught anywhere in this country and accuse the people who teach those classes of being responsible for antisemitism.” The goal, he added, is to silence voters, activists, and educators. “Self-censorship and fear are the oxygen that allow this illiberal movement to win,” he said.

Muhammad also had criticism for Harvard. In response to an audience question from a College student about feeling uneasy as a black person on campus in the current political climate, Muhammad said he felt uneasy too: “I’m still waiting on this University to say something about protecting its faculty against such attacks,” like the one he experienced, which he described as “unwarranted, unjustified, and a flat-out lie.” He also called on Harvard’s leadership to “dispel the myths” articulated by conservative activists and politicians who accuse the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion policies of generating antisemitism. “Faculty can’t be their full selves for students if they themselves feel unsupported or unprotected,” Muhammad said.

In a statement about Muhammad’s course, emailed to Harvard Magazine by the University’s Office of Public Affairs and Communications, HKS Dean Douglas Elmendorf said: “Requiring this course for Master in Public Policy students at the Kennedy School recognizes the important role that race has played in public policy over time. This course makes a vital contribution to the learning of our students who will become policymakers and public leaders.”

THE REST OF the evening’s discussion was by turns sorrowful, frustrated, and defiant. Warren noted the long history of African American leadership in the pro-democracy movements to expand rights in the United States and wondered about its meaning in the context of the current moment. In response to a question comparing today’s political anger and polarization to the backlash against Reconstruction in the 1870s, Brooks offered the metaphor of the canary in the coal mine. “When we talk about the state of black America,” he said, “we’re really talking about the state of America, and the state of this democracy. Which is to say, when black people’s lives are in peril, when black people’s access to the ballot box is in peril, so is the country’s.” The same laws that make it harder for black people to vote also make it harder for other groups of citizens: young people, the disabled, the elderly. He continued, “And we see in our democracy all the time, over and over again, that the harms perpetuated against black people are not just illustrative—they are predictive.”

Smith spoke of the difficulty of achieving, and sustaining, concrete gains for racial equality amid the reflexive undertow of American culture. Too often, she said, activists try to effect change with ambitious policies, but “fail to grapple with the cultures that lie underneath.” Americans’ short-sightedness—and short memories when it comes to racism—also make it hard, she said, to give policy reforms the longevity they need to work. “When you’re trying to achieve racial equity, you have to take into consideration a history of race and racism. But we live in a culture of denial. How do you achieve equity, if you’re denying the fact of or erasing a history of poor treatment, and you’re not addressing it?”

At one point, Warren broached the idea that racial progress has been overstated, given the dramatic setbacks in recent years. Smith agreed, arguing that mass incarceration skewed people’s perceptions by removing a huge fraction of the African American population from view. Incarcerated people aren’t counted in statistics on employment, wages, graduation rates, and other categories of societal engagement. As a result, she said, “[W]e like to lift up how much progress we have made…but much of it has been a mirage, because we have essentially warehoused a significant percentage of people on the low end.” Smith and Muhammad both pointed to racial gaps that have persisted, and in some cases widened, during the decades since the civil rights movement: black women die in childbirth at higher rates than prevailed 20 years ago—and at more than double the rate for white women; black Americans’ homeownership rate is 30 percentage points lower than whites’—three percentage points worse than in 1960.

Asked about the “bright spots” they see, Smith pointed to examples of “communities of color taking control of their situation and creating solutions for themselves”: black women opening birthing centers to give each other better maternal care; community bail funds to get people out of jail; court watchers who monitor legal proceedings. Brooks pointed to a 60 percent drop in incarceration rates among juveniles (though racial disparities remain): “What we failed to do with respect to adults”—2 million of whom are behind bars—“we have managed to do in many places for young people.” He also noted the pushback among activists and grassroots organizers against voter suppression. “I think that speaks to our ability to be optimistic,” he said. “It’s not the inevitability of this democracy writ large. We’re confident in ourselves and our ability to affect change, which I think is absolutely necessary to a school that calls itself a school of public policy and leadership. We’ve got to be hopeful with respect to ourselves.”

From left: Setti Warren, Cornell Brooks, Sandra Susan Smith, Khalil Gibran Muhammad | SCREENSHOT BY HARVARD MAGAZINE

The Lynching of Frazier Baker

Frazier Baker, the first African American to be elected as U.S. postmaster for Lake City, South Carolina, was a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement. He was born in 1908 in Lake City and attended segregated schools. After graduating from high school, he worked as a farmer and a teacher.

In 1946, Baker was elected as the president of the Lake City branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He also served as the president of the South Carolina NAACP from 1951 to 1955.

During the Civil Rights Movement, Baker was a leading figure in the fight for voting rights for African Americans. He was arrested several times for his activism, but he never gave up.

In 1966, Baker was elected as the U.S. postmaster for Lake City. He was the first African American to hold this position. Baker served as postmaster until his retirement in 1972.

Baker was a dedicated civil rights activist and a respected community leader. And although he left a lasting legacy of fighting for justice and equality in America, he was dealt the cruelty of racism and hate by a white mob.

On February 22, 1898, a white mob lynched Dr. Frazier Baker along with his infant daughter, Julia. The mob also injured Baker’s wife, Lavinia, and two of their remaining children. Lavinia and the five surviving children managed to flee.

Read a detailed report on Frazier Baker by Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), HERE.