Weekly Reader February 14, 2020
By: Hannah Rabalais, Program Officer
1. With violent crime on the rise, these former gang members hope to save Dallas
By: Dallas Morning News
"Jahwar is CEO and founder of Urban Specialists, and has spent 23 years striving to end gang violence in this city. Lucky, who dealt drugs and once commanded a small army that included children, joined Jahwar as soon as he could — in 2000, after four years in prison being admired by other gangsters.
While in lockup, Lucky said, he met a prison lifer who told him, “If you could lead these dudes to do wrong, you have the same ability to do right.”
Lucky said “that sparked something in me.”
They have dozens of newspaper and magazine stories documenting their work framed and nailed to the office walls. There is also a photo of Jahwar and Lucky with former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who brought them as guests to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union in 2016 — these “front-line poverty fighters,” Ryan called them.
We met Monday morning because later that day they had been asked to speak to the Dallas City Council’s Public Safety Committee, the first time they had ever been invited to City Hall. Adam McGough, the deputy mayor pro tem who chairs the committee, asked them to talk about their newly launched program called OGU."
2. 'A time for hope:' Delta employees advocate against human trafficking at annual #GetOnBoard rally
By: Delta, Mika Billins
"More than 1,000 employees filled the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta to unite in the fight against modern slavery in honor of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Over 1,500 employees also tuned into Delta’s livestream on SkyHub.
“Delta is always a smile. It’s always warm, and it’s home. I feel like it’s family,” said Jessica, when talking about her professional experience at Delta. Jessica is a graduate of Delta’s apprenticeship program the airline offers in partnership with Atlanta-based Wellspring Living. The apprenticeships provide human trafficking survivors with career skills, mentorship, and critical work experience to help them chart a course. “They matter. They have faces and families. It’s not about numbers. It’s about people,” said Orlando-based flight attendant Tammy S., mentor to Jessica, in reference to the real stories of human trafficking victims and survivors."
Read the full article here: https://news.delta.com/time-hope-delta-employees-advocate-against-human-trafficking-annual-getonboard-rally
3. Median rent and minimum wage don't add up for Dallasites
By: WFAA, Dallas Business Journal Staff
"According to a report from MagnifyMoney, the median rent in Dallas requires renters making minimum wage to spend 125 percent of their wages on housing.
With more than 100 percent of minimum wage pay required, Dallas ranks the fourth worst city for the rent-to-minimum-wage metric.
Coming in first among the cities was Austin, where minimum-wage workers made $7.25 an hour per MagnifyMoney, 143 percent of earnings were taken up by the median rent. Austin workers earning minimum wage would need to work roughly 200 hours a month just to afford the median rent.
In 16 of the 34 largest U.S. cities, the median rent costs more than 100 percent of the monthly take-home pay for employees earning minimum wage.
To see how the cities stack up across the country, click here.
Of the 16 cities where median rent requires more than 100 percent, the minimum wage ranges from $7.25 to $15.59. At the lower end with a $7.25 wage is Indianapolis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and four major Texas cities – Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
With four of Texas' major cities landing among the top 10, Texas was the most represented state in the top 16."
4. How should Texans of faith help refugees? Fourth graders respond
By: Dallas Morning News,
"Each year, Wesley Prep fourth grade teacher Lori Cousino guides her students to partner with a nonprofit to create a community project. This year, the students are working with refugee support organization Heart House. The experience inspired them to respond to our Living Our Faith question: How should Texans of faith help refugees? Several of their responses are below.
Wesley Prep and Heart House students together will illustrate an alphabet book that will be published in the spring. Book sales will support the nonprofit. Find information about the project at commongroundexperiment.org."