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UPDATE 3/8/2014 1:00 PM: Stephen Kenneth Colbert Has Been Found Unharmed In Mooresville, Indiana.


By Jueseppi B.


UPDATE 3/8/2014 1:00 PM: Stephen Kenneth Colbert Has Been Found Unharmed In Mooresville, Indiana.


A 15-year-old Wylie student is reported missing in Indianapolis. Public information officer Christopher Bailey says, the student was visiting Indianapolis with the organization Music for All.

A 15-year-old Wylie student is reported missing in Indianapolis. Public information officer Christopher Bailey says, the student was visiting Indianapolis with the organization Music for All.


The IMPD is asking people to call their police non-emergency number at 317-327-3811 if they have seen Colbert. The freshman band student is described as a black male, 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. He was wearing a black jacket, orange shirt, and brown khaki pants.




From NBCDWF.com:


Missing 15-Year-Old Student From Wylie


By Dulce Hernandez


A 15-year-old Wylie student has been reported missing in Indianapolis. Stephen Kenneth Colbert was visiting the city with the organization Music for All, according to Indianapolis police.


Colbert was reported missing on Friday morning. He was last seen around 7 p.m. Thursday at Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University on Thursday.




The Wylie Independent School District said Colbert never checked after a band concert and a welcome event Thursday night. The students were in town for a band competition and were scheduled to come back to Wylie on Sunday, said the Wylie ISD.


Wylie ISD has notified Colbert’s parents who are asking the public to pray for their son’s safe return.


Friday night, Erick Colbert was told his son’s backpack, medication and wallet were found at his hotel.




“It’s hard, as more and more time goes by, to maintain, but, but I am … the kids we told them, ‘Hey we’re gonna’ find him,” said Colbert, father of three.


Stephen is the oldest, and has food allergies. That’s one concern the father is coping with, while wondering if that played a role in his disappearance.


“Was there some accidental ingestion of a food he can’t eat where he got nauseous and headed into a room so he could have some privacy and maybe he collapsed or something?” Colbert said.


Administrators and Colbert’s mother are in Indianapolis, Erick will join them on Saturday. On Friday night, his high school community had a prayer service behind the high school.


The event sponsor and the Butler University police along with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said they are working hard to make sure Colbert makes it home safe. The Wylie Police Department is also working with Indianapolis police who is handling the investigation.


The IMPD is asking people to call their police non-emergency number at 317-327-3811 if they have seen Colbert. The freshman band student is described as a black male, 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. He was wearing a black jacket, orange shirt, and brown khaki pants.




Further information about Colbert can be found on Wylie High School’s Facebook page.


NBC 5′s Ray Villeda contributed to this report.


The IMPD is asking people to call their police non-emergency number at 317-327-3811 if they have seen Colbert. The freshman band student is described as a black male, 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. He was wearing a black jacket, orange shirt, and brown khaki pants.





INDIANAPOLIS (CBSDFW.COM) –The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is asking for the public’s help finding 15-year-old Stephen Kenneth Colbert from Wylie.


He was last seen at Clowes Memorial Hall, on the campus of Butler University, at around 7 p.m., Thursday, according to police.


“I’m trying so hard to keep hope high but as more time goes by its tough,” said Stephen’s father Erick Colbert, who plans to join his wife in Indianapolis Saturday.


Stephen is described as a black male, 5-foot-8-inches tall and 120 pounds. He was wearing a black jacket, orange shirt, and brown khaki pants. He is visiting Indianapolis with the organization Music for All.


Stephen’s father said his son is severely allergic to peanuts.




Wylie sent their top administrators to join the search that they are optimistic will end well.


“We’re hoping he just got on the wrong bus maybe ended up at the wrong hotel and he’s scared to come back because he thinks he’ll be in trouble,” said Ian Halperin with Wylie ISD.


Wylie ISD realeased the following statement:

The Wylie ISD has been in contact with Stephen’s parents and at this time they have asked for prayers for his safe return. In addition, information about Stephen has been posted on Wylie High School’s Facebook page. The event sponsors, Butler University Police and the Indianapolis Metro Police Department have assured us that they are working hard to ensure Stephen’s safe return.


Our thoughts and prayers are for the safe return of Stephen.


Anyone  with any information about Stephen may call the police non-emergency number at 317.327.3811 or 911.




The IMPD is asking people to call their police non-emergency number at 317-327-3811 if they have seen Colbert. The freshman band student is described as a black male, 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. He was wearing a black jacket, orange shirt, and brown khaki pants.


If you see 15-year-old Stephen Kenneth Colbert of Wiley, Texas, please call IMPD at 317-327-3811 or dial 911.


If you see 15-year-old Stephen Kenneth Colbert of Wiley, Texas, please call IMPD at 317-327-3811 or dial 911.

If you see 15-year-old Stephen Kenneth Colbert of Wiley, Texas, please call IMPD at 317-327-3811 or dial 911.


UPDATE 3/8/2014 1:00 PM: Stephen Kenneth Colbert Has Been Found Unharmed In Mooresville, Indiana.

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Another Step Forward In The Fight Against Human Trafficking


By Jueseppi B.

images (1)



Cecilia Muñoz
Cecilia Muñoz

January 14, 2014
10:15 AM EST


In September 2012 at the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama made a commitment to step up our fight against the evils of human trafficking and pledged to “do even more to help victims recover and rebuild their lives.”


Today, as part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to carry out that pledge, and in recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the White House released the first-ever Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States.


The plan lays out a five-year path for increased coordination, collaboration, and capacity across the federal government and in partnership with other governmental and nongovernmental entities at all levels.  It describes the steps that federal agencies will take to ensure that all victims of human trafficking in the United States are identified and have access to the services they need to recover and to rebuild their lives.


This includes a victim services network that is comprehensive, trauma-informed, and responsive to the needs of all victims, regardless of the type of trafficking they endured, and regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status.


More than 15 federal agencies (led by the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security) worked with stakeholders and participated in listening sessions across the country to develop this plan, as well as solicited feedback through a 45-day public comment period. Our team also worked with survivors to ensure that their specialized knowledge of human trafficking was included in the implementation of this strategy.


I had the pleasure of announcing the plan’s release this morning at a meeting with an extraordinary group of individuals who reflect the diversity and depth of experiences and backgrounds of human trafficking survivors from across the United States, as well as more than 40 representatives from federal agencies engaged in the Administration’s anti-human trafficking efforts.


I thanked them for all their input and the work they had done putting together the plan, and emphasized that only by continuing to work together can we be truly successful in our ongoing efforts to do more to help the victims of human trafficking.


As President Obama concluded that day while speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative, directly addressing the victims of human trafficking:

…we see you.  We hear you. We insist on your dignity.  And we share your belief that if just given the chance, you will forge a life equal to your talents and worthy of your dreams.


Cecilia Muñoz is the Director of the Domestic Policy Council
Related Topics: Violence Prevention

Renewing The Call To Combat Human Trafficking


“Human trafficking is insanely profitable.


What drives slavery and human trafficking? PROFIT


TRAFFICKED Designs: Company Created to Employ Survivors of Human Trafficking


TRAFFICKED Designs Jewelry Workshop: Make one, Donate one for Victims of Human Trafficking







Black History Moment: Black Babies Used As Alligator Bait. Lest We Forget We Are Still Oppressed.


By Jueseppi B.




Hat Tip/Shout Out to Ms. Shelley Peterson


From Your Black World.net




This video is shocking and hurtful to watch, but an important part of black history.  We bring these things to you because there is a reason that they aren’t taught in the school system.  Over hundreds of years of slavery, there are countless untold stories about unbelievable amounts of suffering, and the pain is not diminished by silence.


Keep studying black history, you’re going to find a lot of things out that your teacher never taught you.  Also, please be sure to share this with your children and anyone else who wants to know.  The Internet era is an opportunity for black people to regain the history that has been stolen from us. Watch the video all the way through, no matter how painful it might be, and then take a second to wonder if you think that we deserve reparations.


As a Finance professor, I can tell you that, without question, African Americans deserve reparations more than any other group in the history of this country.  A plan is implementable if we choose to move forward….but we have to give our politicians a little “shove.”



Thank you  Your Black World.net.






“Alligator Bait” is the term drives from an activity conducted by white men,mostly in the swamps of Louisiana and Florida throughout the south. These white people were sick beyond belief. These alligator hunters needed to lure the larger bull alligators with human flesh and blood. During the slave era, our ancestors in America were only considered 3/5 of a human being. Which is why these sick hunters had no regard for human life. The alligator hunters kidnapped black infants,skinned them alive,and tied their neck to a string and dropped them into a swamp.


Dangling them near the mouths of hungry 700 pound alligators. These black babies were stolen, caged and fed to alligators whole. The activity is retold in various forms in researched documents, many found in the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia in Michigan. No doubt we have progressed in this country from overt racism and subtle forms of the same thing. But Not really. The Stand Your Ground Laws have replaced the rope with a gun for lynching.


The term”Gator Bait” is no less harmful than any other word used by men who killed families because they were African-American. Many caucasians today, balk at the discussion of slavery and racial slurs. Sometimes the acceptance of such language comes dangerously close to history repeating itself. When Barack Hussein Obama was first elected to the office of President Of The United States Of America, all I heard caucasians say was we now lived in a post racial America. Fuck that. Post Racial America My Black Ass.






The following comes from ……




Alligator Bait May 2013


Q:  I am currently involved in a campaign here against a fast food chain called Daisy’s who has an “Alligator Bait” picture on the wall of one of its franchises. I wrote to the vice president of the franchise and his response was that each restaurant may have what they want on the wall, it’s “American art”. The fast food chain has a 50′s USA theme to it. In the mail I explained the background of this image, that it is demeaning, horrible and also that it may have historic background too. This is why I write to you, you have a very serious site.

Were babies ever used as bait?

–Maria – Stockholm, Sweeden via Facebook


A:  It isn’t really a question of whether African American babies were used as alligator bait, but the question is how frequent was the practice?


During slavery and the Jim Crow era in the United States, African Americans were brutalized and mistreated in almost every way imaginable. If there was a way to kill, maim, oppress, or use an African American for any reason, it more than likely happened. If the skin from an African American might be used for leather shoes or handbags, (see Human Leather), then pretty much all atrocities were possible and probable.




African American babies being used as alligator bait really happened, and it happened to real people. It doesn’t seem to have been a widespread practice, but it did happen.


It is hard to process the thinking that could lead a person to actually use a live human baby as bait for an alligator. That is why the objects in the Jim Crow Museum are so important – they help tell the story of a society that defined African Americans as “sub-human” by portraying them as savage and worthless creatures (“Americans Forced”, 1944). If people are indoctrinated, over and over again, with items, images, objects, and practices that devalue the humanity of African Americans, then practices like “African Dodger”, “Human Zoos” and “Alligator bait” become possible.


gator bait8


In 1908 the Washington Times reported that a keeper at the New York Zoological Garden baited “Alligators With Pickaninnies” out of their winter quarters. In the article two “small colored children happened to drift through the reptile house among the throng of visitors” and they were “pressed into service.” The alligators “wobbled out as quick as they could after the ebony mites, who darted around the tank just as the pursuing monsters fell with grunts of chagrin into the water.” The alligators were “coaxed” into their summer quarters by “plump little Africans” (“Baits Alligators”).


The headline in the September 21, 1923 Oakland Tribune reads “PICKANINNY BAIT LURES VORACIOUS ‘GATOR TO DEATH. And Mother Gets Her Baby Back in Perfect Condition; Also $2″. In the article T.W. Villiers chronicles the entire process of using black babies as bait and how “these little black morsels are more than glad to be led to the ‘sacrifice’ and do their part in lurking the big Florida gators to their fate without suffering so much as a scratch.” Villiers is quick to point out that the babies are brought out of the “water alive and whole and come out wet and laughing” and that “there is nothing terrible about it, except that it is spelling death for the alligators.” In a strange twist, Villiers reports on the hunter’s attempts to rationalize the motivation of the alligators to


“jeopardize every hope of life for a live baby, and in the matter of color, the additional information is vouchsafed that black babies, in the estimation of the alligators, are far more refreshing, as it were, than white ones.”


The article describes the process of placing the babies near the alligator’s haunts, with the hunters hidden behind the brush with their rifles. When the baby “attracts” the gator and it exposes his “head and forequarters”, the hunters shoot the gator and claim their “prize.” And, just in case someone happens to care about the welfare of the baby, the reader is assured that “Florida alligator hunters do not ever miss their targets.” After the baby is returned to its mother, she is paid the set price of two dollars (Villiers, 1923).




This event was also reported by the Atlanta Independent, America’s Standard Negro Newspaper of Character, Circulation and Opinion, a few weeks later (“Babies Used”).


One of the most disturbing articles about using babies as alligator bait was reprinted in numerous United States papers from 1888 until 1911. This article refers to an advertisement in Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka) newspapers: “Babies Wanted for Crocodile Bait. Will be Returned Alive.” The whole process is described in detail and painted as a harmless way for Ceylonese mothers to earn a “small consideration” for the use of their “dark brown infants with curling toes” to attract crocodiles (“Babies for Crocodile”).


In July 1968, the Los Angeles Times ran an article about the great fireballer Bob Gibson. Gibson talked about the struggle to get respect as a baseball player and as a man. He recounted a story from his rookie year in Columbus, Georgia about a fan who called him “alligator bait”. Gibson laughed it off, but then he was told by some local folk that “Negro youngsters” were actually used in baiting alligators. “That’s where Negroes stood in Columbus” said Gibson, and went on to talk about the struggles he was currently enduring (Chapin). One interesting aspect of Bob Gibson’s story is the response from Cecil Darby, the sports editor of the Columbus, Ga. Ledger. Darby dismissed the story of African Americans as “alligator bait” as “tongue-in-cheek” and criticized Gibson for being “naive enough to fall for such a fantastic tale.” Darby dismissed the claim as a complete fabrication (“Golden Park”, 2007).




While actual incidents likely were rare, images and objects showing caricatured African American children as alligator bait were widespread. An article in the January 28, 1900 issue of the Washington Times reflected on the “Phenomenal success of a photograph styled ‘Alligator Bait’.” It told how the photograph got its name, its popularity from “coast to coast”, and reported that “sales from this one negative have reached nearly $5,000″ (“Branson, of Knoxville”).


The term “Alligator bait” was also used as a slur toward African Americans. Examples are found in a 1908 Los Angeles Herald boxing match recap (“Bell Shows Yellow”); in a 1905 issue of the Richmond, Virginia Times Dispatch where two African American males are referred to as “alligator bait” for stealing a chunk of lead (“News Gathered”); and in an article from the 1898 Richmond Dispatch where the term “alligator bait” is used to describe the size of a “dusky bootblack” (“Bootblack’s Little Deal”).


In a review of popular toys in 1917, the New York Times reported that “In View of the improved call for stuffed boy and girl negro dolls, the ‘alligator bait’ is expected to have a big run” (“Outlook for Toys”).


Franklin Hughes
Diversity & Inclusion / Jim Crow Museum



Americans forced to change their ideas on slavery (1944, July 6). St. Petersburg Times, p. 5.

Babies for crocodile bait (1890, June 20). Roanoke Times, Image 3.

Babies used as alligator bait in state of Florida (1923, October 11). Atlanta Independent, p. 1.

Baits alligators with picaninnies (1908, June 13). Washington Times, p. 2.

Bell shows yellow in go with Leonard Lauder (1908, April 24). Los Angeles Herald, p. 6.

A bootblack’s little deal (1898, October 11). Richmond Dispatch, p. 7.

Branson, of Knoxville: An American artist who really enjoys obscurity (1900, January 28). The Times (Washington), second part, p. 1.

Chapin, D. (1968, July 5). Bob Gibson: Black man nobody wanted “Until he was a hero.Los Angeles Times, p. D1.

Hyatt, R. (2007, April 30). Golden Park not friendly to Gibson. Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, p. A6.

News gathered from Southside: Eloquence Fails (1905, July 7). Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA), p. 12.

Outlook for toys is fine (1917, January 25). New York Times, p. 16.

Villiers, T. W. (1923, September 21). Pickaninny bait lures voracious ‘Gator to death.Oakland Tribune, p. 32.


Thank you……











enoughisenough2 (1)

We Are Seeking Justice For Travion Blount. 15 Years Old Serving 118 Years & 6 Life Sentences FOR A ROBBERY!


By Jueseppi B.



15 years old, sentenced to 118 years and 6 life sentences FOR A ROBBERY! We are seeking justice for Travion Blount.




Where in the hell is Al Sharpton now? 15 year old black kid in Virginia got 6 life sentences


Published on Nov 9, 2013

Travion Blount’s punishment may be the harshest in America for a teen who didn’t commit murder. The 15-year-old robbed a Norfolk party with two older gang members. He hurt no one. His friends got 10 and 13 years. But as it stands, Blount will die in prison.



At the opening of the trial, a Norfolk circuit judge glanced down at Travion Blount.


“He looks young,” the judge said.


“He’s 17,” his defense attorney answered.


A clerk stood and read 51 felony charges against Blount: among them, illegal use of a firearm, robbery, abduction.


Blount said two words to each: “Not guilty.” He said little more during his three-day trial.


A dozen victims, a detective and two teens he once called friends testified against him. Witnesses described an armed robbery committed by two older teenagers and Blount, then 15, at a house party near Norfolk Naval Station in September 2006. The three collected cash and marijuana. No shots were fired, but one person was struck by a co-defendant.


After a few hours of deliberation, a jury foreman submitted a stack of forms to the judge. Blount was guilty on 49 counts.


In Virginia, juries play no role in juvenile punishment. Blount was ordered to return to Courtroom 7 for sentencing in four months.


Defense attorneys tried to avoid the law-and-order judges assigned to courtrooms 3, 5 and 7. They joked about “357 justice” — like a .357 Magnum pointed at their clients.


On March 12, 2008, at Blount’s sentencing, the judge told everyone that gun convictions came with set punishments under Virginia law.


He stepped through the weapons charges, one by one. The count added up to 118 years.


Next, the judge addressed the remaining 25 felony convictions. He suspended several sentences. But for the crimes against three victims — all juveniles, robbed at gunpoint of purses, cellphones and wallets — he did not. The rulings: life, life, life, life, life and life.


Blount knew he would spend years in prison. He didn’t expect to die there.


Angela Blount watched her son turn and ask, “What happened, Mom?”


Travion Blount might be serving the harshest punishment delivered to any American teenager for a crime not involving murder, experts say. His case, and others like it, are forcing judges and lawmakers to ask: Can a young criminal life be redeemed?


Blount’s advocates argue his six life sentences for an armed robbery violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment.


“Nobody’s asking to let him out tomorrow,” said his attorney, John Coggeshall. He wants a new sentence for his client, comparable to the codefendants’. The older defendants — who, according to testimony, led the robbery — pleaded guilty and received just 13 and 10 years in prison.


The Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based appeals firm, represented Blount in Virginia last year. Lawyers for the nonprofit have successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of juvenile offenders.


But the Virginia Supreme Court last year turned down Blount’s appeal. The court ruled in an earlier case that teen offenders with life terms have a meaningful option to leave prison: geriatric release. Long-term inmates are eligible to appeal after they turn 60 in Virginia. But less than 1 percent of eligible prisoners, or five of about 800, were granted geriatric release last year, according to the state.


Blount and at least one other Hampton Roads inmate, a Virginia Beach teen convicted of rape, have appealed for new sentences in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. The state Attorney General’s Office is opposing the requests.


Blount’s crime was not particularly noteworthy. No shots were fired, and he didn’t hit any victims. It did not merit a mention in the morning newspaper.


By comparison, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad killed three people in Virginia and terrified millions in October 2002.


Malvo, a juvenile at the time of the sniper slayings, was convicted in a Chesapeake courtroom of capital murder and acts of terrorism in Virginia. He received two life terms for those crimes.


Travion Blount got a longer sentence. As it stands, both will die in prison.


Thank you  Louis Hansen The Virginian-Pilot.





Petition by monique santiago


The importance of this petition is obvious and clear. A CHILD sentenced to 118 years and 6 life sentences for a robbery is very harsh. Murderers have been sentenced to a less sentence. Travion Blount should be receiving a  new sentence or a conditional pardon.


Please sign and send this petition:


Virginia State Supreme Court, Common Wealth State of Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell


“Travion Blount’s punishment may be the harshest in America for a teen who didn’t commit murder. The 15-year-old robbed a Norfolk party with two other males. He hurt no one. His friends got 10 and 13 years. But as it stands, Travion will die in prison if justice is not prevailed on his behalf”.


“A clerk stood and read 51 felony charges against Blount: among them, illegal use of a firearm, robbery, abduction. Travion said two words to each: “Not guilty.” After a few hours of deliberation, a jury foreman submitted a stack of forms to the judge. Blount was guilty on 49 counts.”


In the Common Wealth state of Virginia juries play no role in the juvenile punishment and Travion was ordered to return back to the courtroom for sentencing four months later. On March 12, 2008 Travion was sentenced under Judge Charles D. Griffith and told everyone that gun convictions came with set punishments under Virginia law.


Judge Griffith clearly took this law to the extreme.


Erin Kelly reports on Travion Blount sentence



“As he went through the breakdown of weapons charges at his sentencing it totaled to a shocking 118 years. After stating this shocking and cruel calculation of time he then addressed the remaining 25 felony convictions that ruled in six life sentences”.

~Louis Hansen~ The Virginian-Pilot


Does Travion deserve to spend 118 years and serve 6 life sentences and DIE in prison for a case where no one was murdered? Travion should pay his debt to society for this robbery there is no denying that however should he perish in prison due to a immature decision he made at a very young age?


Travion is serving the harshest punishment delivered to any American teenager for a crime not involving murder.


How does a 15 year old child get convicted of six life sentences for a robbery and yet murderers, child molesters, career criminals, and those who do not value life get a slap on the wrist or lighter sentences that will eventually set them free back into society? It is several cases all over the world where great crimes were committed or crimes such as this and yet Travion is smacked with a life sentence. Is this justice? Should a 15 year old have been sentenced to a slow death due to an immature decision?


Travion who is now 23 years of age and has been incarcerated going on 8 years is currently at Wallens Ridge State Prison for this crime and is still fighting for his freedom and to get his life back. Please join in for the “FIGHT FOR TRAVION BLOUNT”.


If you could take the time and sign this petition it would help our fight for Travion in such a big way. Team work makes the dream work and together we can get Travion home. The importance of this petition is very clear please help us help Travion.


Thank you,
Legal Advocate
Monique Santiago









cropped-b4peace-header enoughisenough2 (1)

Barack After Dark™: The White House Blog Updates On New Years Eve….Happy New 2014


By Jueseppi B.




Kori Schulman
Kori Schulman

December 31, 2013
09:00 AM EST


At the White House, we’re always looking for new ways to engage with citizens online – and 2013 was no exception. As 2013 comes to an end, it’s time to look back at some of ourfavorite online moments of the past year.


This year, President Obama answered your questions about housing on Zillow.com, and connected directly with Americans from around the country during a Fireside Hangout on Google+after his State of the Union Address. In her first ever Twitter Q&A, the First Lady answered questions about Let’s Move! and healthy living in 140 characters.


In 2013, the White House joined TumblrInstagram and started sharing six-second videos on Vine. It’s also been a big year on Twitter – with new official accounts for the First LadyDr. Bidenand many more White House officials to engage on issues including the economy, foreign policy and immigration reform. We continued to open the doors of the White House by inviting folks from all over to join our first-ever White House hackathon and Instagram meet up.


Take a look at some of our favorite online moments below or over on Storify. And stay tuned for opportunities to engage with President Obama and the White House in the New Year by following us on TwitterFacebookGoogle+Instagram and Tumblr.


See All The 13 Favorite Online Moments of 2013.






Lights. Camera. Education!


Are you a student filmmaker? Know someone who is?


We want your help.


If you’re a student, we want you to make a short film — and have the chance to show it right here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the first-ever White House Student Film Festival. If you’re a parent or a friend, pass this on to a student you know.


The topic? Technology in classrooms. There’s huge power in what technology can do for education — from taking a course online, to collaborating with students from across the country (or the world!).


We’re looking for awesome student filmmakers to show the power of technology in classrooms in a short film.


If that sounds like you — or someone you know — go to WhiteHouse.gov/Film-Festival and find out how you can participate.





Our schools are more high-tech than ever. There are laptops in nearly every classroom. You can take an online course on Japanese — and then video chat with a kid from Japan. You can learn about geometry through an app on your iPad. So, what does it all mean?


We’re looking for videos that highlight the power of technology in schools.








The White House Blog


The Year in Review: Our 17 Favorite FLOTUS Moments in 2013

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at some of our favorite digital moments with First Lady Michelle Obama in 2013. Check them out and be sure to follow the First Lady on Twitter (@FLOTUS) and Instagram (@MichelleObama).




The Year in Review: The White House’s 13 Favorite GIFs of 2013

The White House joined Tumblr in 2013 and we’re pleased to share 13 of our favorite GIFs from the past year with you. They’re pretty amazing, so don’t forget to follow the White House on Tumblr.




The Year in Review: Top @WhiteHouse Tweets of 2013


Over the past twelve months, @WhiteHouse added almost a million new followers and continued to be an important tool for the White House to engage with the American people and give updates from President Obama and his Administration. Check out the top tweets of 2013 and be sure to follow @WhiteHouse on Twitter.







Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

December 31, 2013
12:40 PM EST


Ed. note: This is cross-posted from hhs.gov/healthcare. See the original post here.


January 1 marks not only the beginning of a New Year, but an exciting new day in health care as millions of Americans will now be able to access care, thanks to the coverage they found at the Health Insurance Marketplace. For many of the newly insured – people like Molly from Charlottesville, VA or Mark from Austin, TX – it will be the first time that they can enjoy the security that comes with health coverage.


For consumers whose Marketplace coverage begins on January 1, we’re doing everything we can to help ensure a smooth transition period.  If consumers have questions about their new private insurance coverage, they can contact their insurance company directly. Consumers can log into their account on HealthCare.gov to find their insurer’s customer service line or browse through a directory on HealthCare.gov.


Before you go to the doctor or pharmacy using your new insurance for the first time, check out this tip sheet, and make sure to:


  • Get your insurance card or a temporary card with your new plan’s information. If you don’t have your card yet, ask your insurance company to give you another way to confirm your coverage.
  • Make sure you know when your first premium payment is due and pay it by the due date;
  • Check to see which doctors and pharmacies are in your network.


And at your first visit:

  • Bring your insurance card with you to the doctor or pharmacy. If you don’t have a card, ask your doctor or pharmacy what other proof of insurance they may accept.
  • If you thought you enrolled in health coverage but aren’t showing up in the system, call your insurance company directly. If you don’t have your insurer’s contact information call the Marketplace Call Center (1-800-318-2596) and a trained representative can provide it to you.


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