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This reporter went off-script on live TV and claimed she was being “muzzled” by the station

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Ivory Hecker, a reporter for Houston’s Fox 26, surprised the viewers and her bosses during Monday’s 5 p.m. newscast.  On-scene for a live shot about the current heat wave, Hecker  went off-script;

“I want to let you the viewers know, that Fox Corp. has been muzzling me to keep certain information from you, the viewers,” Hecker said on live TV. “And from what I am gathering I am not the only reporter being subjected to this. I am going to be releasing some recordings about what goes on behind the scenes at Fox because it applies to you, the viewers. I found a nonprofit journalism group called Project Veritas that’s going to help put that out tomorrow so tune into them.”

Project Veritas, has already posted the clip to its YouTube channel on Monday. Project Veritas, is a far-right group that targets mainstream news media and left-leaning groups. Hecker now fired by FOX after her drams, was a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor who joined the station in October 2017. Prior to moving to Houston, Hecker had the same job at KARE, the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis. She also worked as a reporter in Lexington, Kentucky and Columbia, South Carolina after graduating from Syracuse University. Hecker also is a songwriter with a separate Instagram account dedicated to that endeavor.

More stories are developing and Guardian shall keep you posted.

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Houston

Council Member Abbie Kamin Honored by National Council of Jewish Women

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Today the National Council of Jewish Women Greater Houston Section (NCJW) is honoring Council Member Abbie Kamin, Houston City Council District C, at their annual Women of Influence Luncheon. The Council Member has been named for this recognition alongside the Houston Women’s Commission Chair, Beth Matusoff Merfish.

Together, Kamin and Matusoff Merfish spearheaded the effort in partnership with Mayor Turner for the historic passage of a paid parental leave and pre-natal and child wellness policy for city employees in 2022. Both women continue to combat disparities that women face and advocate on critical matters of gender equity.

Founded in 1893, NCJW is a grassroots organization improving the quality of life for women, children, and families through hands on community service programs and advocacy. One of their core advocacy branches, and an issue CM Kamin remains steadfast in addressing on Council, is tackling domestic violence. Thanks to the direct efforts of the Houston Section’s leadership, in 1980 Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) was founded. Today that work helps thousands of families in need. The Greater Houston Section continues to focus efforts on domestic violence, reproductive justice and access for women, early childhood education, and period poverty, among other worthy causes.

The luncheon will raise funds for core projects NCJW Houston Section works towards, including programs like their “Back 2 School Store, AVDA Emergency Client Assistance Fund, HIPPY graduation celebration, community service partner scholarships, and homeless and foster youth educational programs and services. NCJW GHS social justice programs provide education and legislative advocacy on issues that affect and impact women, children, and families in the areas of children’s rights, economic justice, healthcare, human trafficking, reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, and gender related violence.”

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Education

Houston mourns the loss of academic and community leader, Dr. David Egbo Ugwu

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Greater Houston and Houston African community suffered an unexpected end-of-year loss when the death of Dr. David Ugwu (Ochi na wata) was recently announced. Academic and community leader Dr. Ugwu died on December 23, 2022, in Houston, leaving behind, his lovely wife, Dr. Patricia Ugwu, and four Children; Chiugo, Adaeze, Oguejiofor (Reggie), Brady Ugwu, (daughter in-law) and Chidiebere (of the blessed memory).

Until his stroke in 2010, he was the Coordinator, Systems Workforce Research Projects, at the Houston Community College (HCC) District – a position he held since 2004. At the HCC, Dr. Ugwu also served as the Assistant to the Chancellor for Institutional Effectiveness and Special Projects, Director of the Office of Institutional Research, and Assistant to the President for Institutional Research, Planning, Institutional Effectiveness, and Grant, Galveston College.

He holds a Ph.D in Higher Education, from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, majoring in Higher Educational Administration; an M.B.A from the Governors State University, University Park, Illinois; an M.S.: Mechanical Engineering, from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; and a B.S.: in Chemical Engineering, from the Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan.

A Seasoned administrator with over 17 years of effective leadership in four community college districts in three states including Texas, Dr. Ugwu paraded a strong engineering background, a record of accomplishment in resource development, and an extensive background in economic workforce intelligence.

For instance, he was the Plant and Project Engineer, at Union Carbide Corporation, Linde Division, at East Chicago Indiana; Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes, Coal Research Center, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; Director of Institutional Research and Grants at the Arizona Western College; and the Director, Institutional Planning and Research, at the Lorain County Community College, Elyria, Ohio.

In his years of service, Dr. Ugwu won several academic awards, facilitated several professional organizations, published several outstanding research papers, and championed selected publications and presentations.

Dr. Ugwu was born in Akegbe Ugwu to the family of Enyidiuru Ugwunwamba in Umuatugbuoma, Akegbe Ugwu, Enugu, Nigeria. He was strongly involved in his community organizations and devoted much time to community empowerment and humanitarian causes. Some of the groups are:

  • Founding President, Nkanu Association, Houston Texas
  • Past President, Houston Enugu State Association (HESO),
  • Board Chairman Emeritus, Igbo People’s Congress (IPC)
  • Member, Uzoakoli Methodist College Old Boys Association, USA
  • Member, Black Affairs Council, Southern Illinois Association
  • President, Umunna Association, Chicago, Illinois

Furthermore, he was a member of Nigerian Student Association, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Illinois, and the Otu Umunna Association, Gary Indiana where he received a Distinguished Service Award in recognition of Exceptional Leadership and Devoted Service to the organization and its community.

According to a release made available by the Ugwu Family, a funeral arrangement is as follows. A church service will be held in his honor on January 7, 2023, at the Hope Church 770 Pineloch Drive Houston, TX 77062 at noon prompt. Viewing starts at 10:00 am -12:00 pm. Burial service will be held at Forest Park East: 21620 Gulf Freeway, Webster, TX 77598 at 1:30 pm. Reception and Tribute to follow at Hope Church.

For condolence messages or information regarding the funeral, please contact: patricia.ugwu@gmail.com

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Community

Texas Southern University receives grant to become HBCU hub for criminal justice research

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The hub will conduct a crime needs assessment of the City of Houston, create an action plan based on the assessment to provide solutions for the hub’s focus – mass incarceration and violent crime – and then share the results with other HBCUs across the country.

Texas Southern University will use a new $350,000 grant to develop the first-ever HBCU Criminal Justice Research Hub. The hub will study how to reduce incarceration and violent crime in hopes to be a resource for city leaders.

“As an academic institution, our job is to make sure that we provide them with more solutions, because that’s what we’re supposed to do,” said Dr. Howard Henderson, Professor of Justice Administration and Founding Director of the Criminal Justice Research Center at TSU. “We’re supposed to share our knowledge and share our understanding of the problem but also bring together this national collection of thought leaders – who have a career and a background of knowledge and information experience to further solve these problems because crime be solved and we refuse to accept otherwise.”

The Center for Justice Research will be the hub for all HBCUs after receiving a grant.

The hub will conduct a crime needs assessment of the City of Houston, create an action plan based on the assessment to provide solutions for the hub’s focus – mass incarceration and violent crime – and then share the results with other HBCUs across the country.

Howard said the idea of creating the hub stemmed from having years of conversations about community engagement and incorporating community experiences into solutions. He said in order to find solutions to problems you have to include those who are most affected.

“You can’t have a conversation about how to improve policing, without having a conversation with people who are arrested, you can’t have a conversation with solutions to community problems without talking to the community,” he said.

The Criminal Justice Research Center at TSU has been active for five years. According to Henderson, the center’s research has been used at the federal, state, and local level to have conversations around criminal justice issues.

Howard said since being active, the center has always involved the community in their research.

“We’ve been able to incorporate, not only Third Ward, but Fifth Ward and other wards in the city, into our projects,” he said. We don’t do anything relative to research in our center that does not involve some aspect of community engagement.”

Howard said the hub will not only benefit criminal justice majors at the university, but all students – especially students from communities that are affected.

“I think that when you look at the news every night, and you see issues of crime and justice, when many of us come from these communities and these neighborhoods – we’re being directly impacted by these issues of mass incarceration and violent crime – I think that there’s a natural desire to solve the problem,” he said. “I think this provides an opportunity for our students to be engaged in a national conversation that’s focused on solving problems.”

The research hub is a two-year collaboration between HBCU researchers, community activists and partners, individuals who have lived experiences through the criminal justice system and those who work in the criminal justice system. Funded through the Walmart Foundation through Walmart.org’s Center for Racial Equity, the grant will be used to develop the hub within TSU’s existing Center for Justice Research.

The hub is currently in its planning window and is expected to open next year.

♦ Culled from the Houston Public Media

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