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        Issue # 51                                                                                      June 17, 2022

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

                                                                                                    — Albert Einstein

The MB United Newsletter will be on break next week.  Enjoy the beginning of summer.  Our next newsletter arrives in your inbox on July 1.   Thank you for your continued support.

This Week's Highlights

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Congratulations Class of 2022!

June 16 was the last day of classes for our eight MBUSD schools.  Congratulations to all graduating students as they move on to their next great adventure, be it middle school, high school, college, or their first introduction to "the real world."  Wherever the students are headed, we celebrate their accomplishments and wish them well.  

The next MBUSD Board meeting (budget public hearing) will be held on Wednesday, June 22 at 5:00 pm.  Check the MBUSD Board Agenda page for detail, which should be available on Friday, June 17.  Join the meeting.

City Council

The next City Council meeting will be held on June 21.  Key agenda topics are: 

  • Local Regulation and Taxation of Commercial Cannabis Activity
  • Memorandum Of Understanding with Clean Power Alliance for the Power Ready Program to Install Solar and Energy Storage at the Joslyn Community Center Parking Lot
See full agenda.

MB United Social Justice Scholarship

Dr. Anthony Lee and MCHS Teacher Andy Caine (left) award scholarship to Armaan Shivpuri (right).
Armaan Shivpuri, graduating Costa senior, was awarded the first ever MB United Social Justice Scholarship in the amount of $1500.  In May 2021, Armaan organized a discussion on identity in the City of Manhattan Beach, and 12 students, teachers and community members spoke about their individual experiences, both good and bad, related to race. The event was widely attended via zoom.

We asked Armaan a few questions about his life and the scholarship.

Were you surprised?   "I was very surprised.  I was shocked [to receive the scholarship], but in a good way.  I really appreciate the scholarship.  It means a lot knowing that what I am doing is making a difference."  He added that the scholarship would help with the high cost of textbooks.

How did you get involved with ethnic studies and social justice issues?  "It all started in 8th grade when I spoke at my local church about an incident that happened to me in the 7th grade, when kids in the lunch line asked me if I was a terrorist.  Back then, there were a lot of mean jokes [like that] in general.  Hearing the response I got from that talk made me feel like I had a voice and I wanted to continue to be that voice for other people.  That’s what got me into the fight for equality and for equity and social justice." 

What are your plans now that you are graduating, and do you plan to continue your ethnic studies?  "I will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, about an hour from Albany.  I plan on continuing ethnic studies, to continue to grow in that aspect.  There are a few courses at RPI."  

MB United will be presenting the second of two scholarships at the Environmental Charter School in Lawndale next week.  

MB Celebrates Pride Month

Manhattan Beach Cultural Arts Commissioner Joe Marcy and Mayor Steve Napolitano at the rainbow crosswalk ribbon cutting, June 14, 2022
On Tuesday, Mayor Steve Napolitano officially unveiled Manhattan Beach's first rainbow crosswalk, located at the intersection of the Strand and the Pier (a second rainbow crosswalk will be installed in Polliwog Park).   Surrounded by a crowd of at least 75 people, Mayor Napolitano reminded us that this crosswalk has many meanings: "For those who think this rainbow crosswalk is a symbol of pride for the LGBTQ community, you're right.  For those who think this rainbow crosswalk is a symbol of inclusivity that says Manhattan Beach is a welcoming and loving community no matter what your gender or color or creed, you're right.  For those who think rainbows are a promise from God, you're right.  For those who think rainbows are neat and it's pretty cool to see a crosswalk in pretty colors, you're right, too."

He continued, saying, Manhattan Beach is a "welcoming, loving community" where "everybody is going to be respected and recognized and acknowledged for who they are...That's what Manhattan Beach is about."

Earlier in the celebration, Sally Peel, MBUSD Board President, took the podium and stated that "Ignorance is darkness," and that the crosswalk serves as a reminder that it is our " responsibility to learn more about LGBTQ issues," and to "be the change makers" for our greater community.  She reflected on her childhood when she "didn't have any gay friends," then added "but of course I did," referencing the fact that, in those times, kids were unable to safely express their gender identity or sexual preference.  Peel also shared that LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide, stressing the importance of remaining a welcoming and inclusive community.

Attended by members of the Cultural Arts Commission, city staff, current and former City Councilmembers, MBUSD board members, members of our MB local chapter of PFLAG, Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, and residents and visitors of all ages, the celebration inspired a sense of belonging and connection. 

Joe Marcy, Manhattan Beach Cultural Arts Commissioner summed it up with, "This is more than a crosswalk.  It's a path of hope and inspiration.  It's a reminder that anything is possible.  Maybe someone walking across this path will feel a little less alone...No matter who you are, whether you're gay or straight, walk this path feeling welcomed and empowered."

Our local chapter of PFLAG provides support and a sense of community to LGBTQ individuals and their families and friends.  To learn more about LGBTQ issues, see The Trevor Project, which provides round-the-clock information & support to LGBTQ individuals. 
{pages} a bookstore hosted an LGBTQ-inspired book presentation with guest author Lee Wind.  Mr. Wind and {pages} employees reviewed a variety of book genres with LGBTQ characters, themes, and/or authors.  The titles presented included board books, picture books, young adult books, graphic novels and novels. See the list here.   {pages} a bookstore donated a portion of yesterday's sales to the local chapter of PFLAG.  

For more info on Pride Month activities and events, please see LAPride.org and the local chapter of PFLAG.  

Juneteenth

Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer, The Daily Breeze

Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19th, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans.  Juneteenth marks the date when Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army arrived in 1865 in Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved persons the Civil War had ended and they were free.  This was two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  June 19th became acknowledged as the African American Emancipation Day.  In June 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday.  More info here

There are no organized events at Bruce's Beach Park this year, because City Council voted against allowing any permitted events to take place there.  Many had hoped that the new plaque, approved by City Council in April 2022, would be unveiled in time for Juneteenth, but it is not yet completed.  Community members are encouraged to place flowers at the Bruce's Beach Plaque on Highland Avenue to remember the events that occurred on that land 100 years ago.

Sunday, June 19, 5 PM - 8 PM
Barsha, Hermosa Beach


On Sunday, June 19, Black in Mayberry celebrates Juneteenth with a night of live entertainment by Black artists and soul food prepared by BARSHA restaurant.  Performances include live music, stand-up comedy and spoken word/poetry.  Everyone is invited to join as a community for a positive and upbeat celebration of freedom.  Purchase tickets ($20 Adults/$10 Children + $2.85 processing fee).

Local Events

International Surf Day: Saturday, June 18

Culture Club South Bay and Surfrider Foundation South Bay are hosting a beach cleanup and paddle out to celebrate International Surf Day on Saturday, June 18 at Tower 26 in Manhattan Beach from 10 am to 12 pm

Materials will be provided for the cleanup; bring your surfboard and/or wetsuit for the paddle out. Register here.
Visit the MB News Calendar for detail on other local events in the coming weeks.

World Refugee Day / Support Ukraine

What is World Refugee Day?

World Refugee Day, which is celebrated annually on June 20, is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees worldwide. It honors the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home countries, either to escape persecution or conflict.  This is especially meaningful in 2022, as millions of Ukrainians have fled their homeland due to the Russian invasion.  Please continue to donate; the need remains high.  Below are some 4 Star/Excellent and 3 Star/Good charities ranked by Charity Navigator.* 

4 Star/Excellent

3 Star/Good
*  Charity Navigator is an organization that evaluates the financial health, stability, efficiency and sustainability of nonprofit organizations, and tracks accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.

Send Ukrainian Children to Summer Camp

Help send refugee children from Ukraine, Odessa, Berlin, Israel, Chernivtsi, and Kharkiv to Jewish summer camp!  For the past 30 years, this camp has been held in Ukraine, but, because of the war, will take place in Romania.  Costs are expected to be 20% higher than in previous years due to the new location, increased transportation needs, and general loss of livelihood suffered by refugee families.  Most camper's parents are unemployed and unable to pay tuition.   Your donations will make a difference.  Please consider supporting Camp Ramah Ukraine this summer.  

MB United General Info

  • If you would like us to consider showcasing your event, send us an email at mbunited90266@gmail.com.
  • Interested in getting more involved with MB United?  Send us an email at mbunited90266@gmail.com and let us know what interests you.
  • If you like this newsletter, subscribe here
  • For previous issues and resources, click here

City Hall and Council General Info

  • Regular City Council meetings are routinely held at 6:00 pm on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month 
  • The public has two chances to speak at a City Council meeting: one during "public comments" at the beginning of the meeting, the other in public comments during the specific item
  • You can email all five Council Members at citycouncil@manhattanbeach.gov and cc the city clerk at cityclerk@manhattanbeach.gov
  • The agendas are posted on the Wednesday prior to each meeting here
  • Visit the city's website manhattanbeach.gov for lots of information
  • Sign up for the Manhattan Beach Monthly Newsletter for monthly updates. 
  • Get the app, "Go Reach Manhattan Beach" available in the Apple and Android stores
  • MBUSD meetings are routinely held the at 5:00 pm on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of the month
  • The address for the District office is 325 S. Peck Avenue
  • To watch livestreamed board meetings, click here
  • To watch previous board meeting videos, click here (search for your meeting and click 'watch video')
  • For more information, go to the District website, and click on the Board drop down

MB United is Denise Berger, Julie Birkel, Kim Brant-Lucich, Andy Caine, Jen Dohner, Isla Garraway, Amy Howorth, Mike Jenkins, Laura Kainsinger, Anthony A. Lee, Amanda Park, Lana Rizika, Diana Skaar, and April Wayland.
 
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