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Task Force pledges to prevent digital discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MNS)—Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has announced the formation of a cross-agency Task Force to Prevent Digital Discrimination that will focus on creating rules and policies to combat digital discrimination and to promote equal access to broadband throughout the US, regardless of zip code, income level, ethnicity, race, religion, or national origin.

The FCC deems that all Americans, regardless of where they live and who they are, need access to robust high speed broadband services for 21st century success, and that where broadband networks get built should not be determined by the income, race, ethnicity, or religion of the communities they will serve. To promote equal access, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires the FCC to create rules and policies to address digital discrimination and redlining.

"In the first sentence of the Communications Act, Congress directs the Federal Communications Commission to help make communications services available to 'all the people of the United States … without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.' This language is not new. But it is time to address it with new urgency." said Rosenworcel

Congress also directed the FCC to develop model policies and best practices state and local governments could adopt to help prevent digital discrimination in their communities. The Task Force will also oversee this important work. Additionally, Congress has asked the FCC to review its consumer complaint process.


The Task Force will also be working to improve the way the agency seeks feedback from consumers who may be facing digital discrimination in their communities.


On Oct. 24, 2023, the FCC announced that it will vote on rules to prevent and eliminate digital discrimination at the Commission's Open Meeting on Nov. 15, 2023.


At the FCC's March 16, 2022 Open Meetingthe Commission approved a Notice of Inquiry to start a proceed- ing (GN Docket No. 22-69) on these initiatives, which had to be completed by November 2023 as directed by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

At the FCC's Dec.  21, 2022 Open Meeting, the Commission Approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and announced the dates for the NPRM's comment cycle on Jan. 20, 2023 NPRM comments were due on or before Feb. 21, 2023. 

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"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," Sony's latest installment of the lucrative franchise scored the second-biggest opening this year, behind only ``The Super Mario Bros. Movie.''

'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' soars to $120.5m opening

LOS ANGELES (CNS)—"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" opened with $120.5 million this weekend to lead all films at the North American box office, according to the latest industry estimates.

Sony's latest installment of the lucrative franchise scored the second-biggest opening this year, behind only "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," which made $146 million in its first weekend. Second place went to "The Little Mermaid," which took in $40.6 million one week after opening in first place, Comscore reported. The horror film "The Boogeyman," based on a Stephen King story, opened in third place with $12.3 million Friday through Sunday.

"Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3" was fourth with $10.2 million in its fifth week, followed by "Fast X," which grossed $9.2 million in its third week in theaters in the United States and Canada. Rounding out the top 10 domestic releases, as estimated by Comscore, were "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" ($3.3 million), "About My Father" ($2.1 million), "The Machine" ($1.75 million), "SUGA - Agust D TOUR 'D-DAY' in JAPAN: Live VI" ($1.2 million) and "You Hurt My Feelings" ($769,814).


The Orishas played by Charyse Monet (Oshun), Ben Guillory (Shango), Ayonna Michelle (Oya), and Toni-Ann Hampton (Yemaya) convenes deceased legends to discuss, debate and find solutions to end the horrendous plight of Black people. A Heated Discussion is produced and directed by Ben Guillory and written by Levy Lee Simon. Photo by Jermaine Alexander

Robey Theatre Company re-opens with world premiere of  'A Heated Discussion'



LOS ANGELESOpening night of The Robey Theatre Company’s first live stage play in two years, “A Heated Discussion,” was sold out.  On Saturday, April 9, an ensemble of actors played to an astute audience of theatre goers at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Theatre 4, in downtown Los Angeles’ Art District.


From the audience’s consensus, especially the comment by Former U.S. Congresswoman and Ambassador to Micronesia Honorable Diane E. Watson, “The more than 2-hour eye-opening program was worth the wait"

People often wonder about the reaction or proactive measures that our civil rights leaders and activists would have done about the tragic cycle of racism, hate crimes, and murders by the hands of white authority. “A Heated Discussion” explores what may happen when Black icons meet in the afterlife, from centuries ago to present day, who have experienced much of the same horrific events that continues to be America’s ugly truth.

“What if the spirits of iconic black figures who have given their lives literally and figuratively to fight the good fight for freedom at every level in every way are summoned by the Orishas who are entities of the spiritual world because they have seen enough of the monstrosities afflicted on Black people?" said Award-winning Ben Guillory, CEO and producing artistic director. Guillory has led The Robey Theatre Company for more than 25 years. "What if the iconic figures were asked what they thought, how would they deal with what is going on the planet?"


“The leaders bear witness to the wanton murders of people of color, mostly Black people often weekly, some- times daily, by the authorities on the planet shown to them by the Orishas to jumpstart the dialogue which naturally becomes heated on a profound level.”


A Heated Discussion cast includes Julio Hanson as James Baldwin who became a known spokesperson for civil rights and championing the cause of Black Americans., Tiffany Coty as Lorraine Hansberry who worked at the Pan-Africanist newspaper Freedom, where she worked with other intellectuals such as Paul Robeson and W. E. B. Du Bois, and Rosilee Hooks as Dr. Frances Cress Welsing who believed that homosexuality among African-Americans was a ploy by white males to decrease the black population. Photo: Jermaine Alexander


"When Ben Guillory conceived the idea to me several years ago, we started with a list of 89 Black legends and then we drilled it down to 12," said Levy Lee Simon, the playwright. "A Heated Discussion illustrates what we believe could be the opposing in the viewpoints of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, Dr. Frances Cress-Welsing, Richard Pryor, Lorraine Hansberry, Bob Marley, Tupac Shakur, James Baldwin and more.


"We thought that those controversial legends would create the heat that was needed for a heated discussion," said Guillory. 


The ensemble brought the legends to life with powerful performances under the guidance of Guillory. Audience members remarked about how the actors brought you in like being a fly on the wall or a spy bug planted by the FBI.

Shango played by Ben Guillory is an African Deity of a natural and powerful force. He lived through centuries of disasters and wars, and several that he may have caused to happen. The Orishas pray to a higher spirit; however, there is no one over Shango. He abruptly appears during the height of the discussion to stir the emotions among the icons and pushes the icons to form a militia to cause wrath on Earth.



Cast members Garret Davis as Martin Luther King, Jr. and David Bollar as Malcolm X operated from opposite viewpoints. Both were advocates of racial justice and the civil rights movement but very different schools of thought. King was known for his nonviolence approach to civil rights movement and X argued that Black people should defend and advance themselves "by any means necessary."

Photo: Jermaine Alexander


The cast includes Kimberly Bailey, Quonta Beasley, PhiLip Bell, David Bollar, Alex W.S.T Chumley, Tiffany Coty, Garret Davis, Ben Guillory, Tori -Ann Hampton, Julio Hanson, Rosie Lee Hooks, LaShada Jackson, Ayonna Michele, Charyse Monet, Vanja Renee, and Kyle Sparks.

In attendance on opening night was Award-winning Actor, Humanitarian and Robey Theatre co-founder, Danny Glover who received the Academy Award's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for humanitarian efforts that have brought credit to the industry. “The opening date coincided with the birthday of actor, singer, activist Paul Robe- son on April 9, 1898 for whom The Robey Theatre Company is named,” said Glover at the opening night reception.

Amid the global pandemic, unapologetic civil unrest, and national senseless murders, the Robey Theatre Com- pany still rises. The Robey Theatre Company, a non-profit founded by Guillory and Glover, is known to foster a community of artists whose purpose is to develop and produce plays written about the global Black experience.


A Heated Discussion gives you a glimpse of the conversations that could happen among great minds or just within your circle of family and friends. For many people, it further sparks the curiously to learn more about these activists in this remarkably well written piece of storytelling by Simon. The play closes on May 15.


For more about the Robey Theatre Company or for membership:


Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA, owner of Platinum Star Media Group, writes about health, entertainment, and the arts.

Investigation continues into Inglewood murder of rapper Slim 400

INGLEWOOD (CNS)The investigation was continuing today into the killing of Compton rapper Slim 400, who was gunned down in Inglewood.

The shooting was reported about 8 p.m. Wednesday at Manchester Boulevard and Seventh Avenue. The Los Angeles County coroner's office on Friday identified the slain man as 34-year-old Vincent Cochran Jr.

Paramedics sent to the location at the request of Inglewood police took the mortally wounded man to a hospital, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Police have not released details of their investigation into the killing.


Slim 400

According to CBS2, officers on patrol heard the gunshots and responded to find a man on the ground with gunshot wounds. reported that the rapper apparently was shot as he sat in a vehicle in a driveway.

According to TMZ, Slim was born to military parents in Germany, moved to Los Angeles as a young child and was raised in Compton. The rapper was later discovered and signed by the now-nonexistent Pu$haz Ink music label
the same one made popular by YG and DJ Mustard.

"Slim narrowly escaped death back in the summer of 2019 when he was shot nine times in L.A.," TMZ reported. "Slim claimed he was ambushed in the attack while visiting family in Compton." 

City News Service

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