“And voters of color were buoyed by both the Democratic National Committee and grassroots organizations that poured resources into turning out the party's all-important base.”

“DNC officials said the party invested $1.5 million in Virginia to help secure wins. They also courted African-American voters.

“For instance, Brown Lierman said that since last summer, the party has been committed to spending on a mail program that reaches out to black communities.

“In Virginia, where African-Americans make up about a fifth of the commonwealth’s electorate, the DNC said 100 percent of its investments ‘went into doubling the number of organizers and putting boots on the ground.’

“Officials said they also invested in a black women’s mobilization program, called InCharge. ‘Yesterday in Virginia, over 90 percent of black women cast ballots for Governor Ralph Northam,’ said Brown Lierman.”

Defying the Odds: African-Americans Make Historic Wins on Election Night

By Donna Owens

A large number of black candidates claimed victory in state and local races across the country Tuesday night — results widely hailed as a reaction to President Donald Trump and Republican policies in general.

A large number of black candidates claimed victory in state and local races across the country Tuesday night — results widely hailed as a reaction to President Donald Trump and Republican policies in general.

And voters of color were buoyed by both the Democratic National Committee and grassroots organizations that poured resources into turning out the party's all-important base.

“Undoubtedly a cornerstone of our party, black voters surged to the polls in a tremendous way, set the tone for future elections, and paved the way for government that truly represents them,” said Amanda Brown Lierman, political and organizing director for the DNC, in a statement. “That’s exactly why we will continue to engage black communities across the nation and fight to ensure every single eligible voter has the power to exercise their franchise.”

One of the most closely watched races in the country was the contentious gubernatorial battle in Virginia, which pitted Democrat Ralph Northam against Trump-endorsed Republican Ed Gillespie in a contest filled with allegations of race-baiting and attack ads. According to NBC News exit polls, 87 percent of African-Americans in Virginia voted for Northam, compared to 88 percent who voted for Hillary Clinton. Ninety-one percent of African-American women also voted for Northam.

Northam emerged the victor and the number two man on his ticket — Justin Fairfax, who is black — is the new lieutenant governor-elect. Fairfax now has the distinction of being just the second African-American elected to statewide office in Virginia, decades after Doug Wilder was elected governor in 1989.

DNC officials said the party invested $1.5 million in Virginia to help secure wins. They also courted African-American voters.

For instance, Brown Lierman said that since last summer, the party has been committed to spending on a mail program that reaches out to black communities.

In Virginia, where African-Americans make up about a fifth of the commonwealth’s electorate, the DNC said 100 percent of its investments “went into doubling the number of organizers and putting boots on the ground.”

Officials said they also invested in a black women’s mobilization program, called InCharge. “Yesterday in Virginia, over 90 percent of black women cast ballots for Governor Ralph Northam,” said Brown Lierman.

In another race watched nationally, veteran lawmaker Sheila Oliver, 65, was elected the first African-American lieutenant governor of New Jersey.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, Vi Lyles, 66, became the city’s first African-American female mayor. The former assistant city manager garnered some 58 percent of the vote.

Kimberly Peeler-Allen and Glynda Carr are co-founders of Higher Heights for America, an organization that works to elect black women to office. African-American women have historically voted in significant numbers, they noted, and in 2016, their influence helped increase the number of black women in Congress. The numbers rose by three to 21 — that includes Sen. Kamala Harris, only the second black woman elected to the Senate in U.S. history.

“Black women are running and winning. They seek to change the face of leadership in executive offices and to move this country forward in this political toxic environment,” said Peeler-Allen. “Last night, black women across this country continued to demonstrate that they continue to be a solid return on investment at the polls and at the ballot.”

Meanwhile, a host of other African-American candidates won local and statewide races in major cities and small towns across the country. Some races were historic.

Andrea Jenkins won a seat on Minneapolis City Council, becoming the first openly transgender African-American woman elected to public office in the U.S.

Another noteworthy win occurred in Montana, where Wilmot Collins, a Liberian-born immigrant, became the first African-American mayor in Helena in modern times; reportedly there was a black mayor in 1874,

At least seven cities elected African-Americans mayoral posts in Tuesday’s election: Yvonne Spicer, first mayor of the newly incorporated city of Framingham, Massachusetts, Melvin Carter, mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, Mary Parham Copelan, mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia (She beat the incumbent by just six votes), and Booker Gainor, millennial mayor of Cairo, Georgia.

In Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, an African-American Council member, will face off against Mary Norwood, a white colleague, on Dec. 5 to determine the city’s next mayor.

Political strategist Quentin James an NBCBLK28 2017 honoree, is co-founder of The Collective Pac, which funds campaigns of progressive black candidates across the country. The political action committee endorsed both Fairfax and Oliver, along with Marvin Pendarvis, Jennifer Carroll Foy, and other victorious black candidates.

“When we fully fund and support black candidates, we can win ... there is no lack of talent in our community and geography isn't an issue,” said James. “We have black candidates who are ready to lead this country.”

He also said voters of color should be thinking about midterm elections next year.

“When it comes to black voters, we need to recognize that they are angry and tired of the status quo,” he said. “We deserve leaders that are going to fight for our issues and last night, black voters supported candidates that they believe will best represent our communities and will stand up for our values.”

Brown Lierman of the DNC echoed a similar sentiment.

“With their ballots, the African-American communities across the nation sent a loud, resounding message to Republicans who hold water for Donald Trump and try to use his hateful rhetoric as a vehicle for political success — you do not represent us.”


Altemia™ Achieves Successful Clinical Results in Pediatric Patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

    Statistically significant results confirm the mechanism of action of AltemiaTM for the treatment of SCD

    Primary and secondary endpoints were met

    A clinically meaningful reduction of vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs) was observed in the top line results

    No treatment related serious adverse events (SAEs) were observed

    Majority of patients elected to continue treatment in the open label extension (OLE)

Black PR Wire

Sancilio Pharmaceuticals Company, Inc. (SPCI) today announced positive top line results from a clinical study evaluating the efficacy and safety of AltemiaTM, an oral soft gelatin dosage form, in pediatric sickle cell patients aged 5-17 years (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02973360).

Sickle cell disease is characterized by an imbalance of certain fatty acids in blood cell membranes resulting in an increase in blood cell adhesion, chronic inflammation, increased coagulation activity and red blood cell hemolysis, all factors that lead to pain episodes, VOCs, and organ damage. Based on research, SPCI developed Altemia™, a combination of specific lipids formulated with the Company’s proprietary Advanced Lipid Technologies®platform (ALT®), to restore the appropriate balance to blood cell membranes affected by the disease.

The primary endpoint was the measurement of the change from baseline compared to placebo in blood cell membranes’ fatty acids concentration. Statistical significance was achieved within 4 weeks in patients treated with AltemiaTM.

Statistically significant improvements in markers of coagulation (D-Dimer), inflammation (C-Reactive Protein) and adhesion (E-selectin), key elements associated with the clinical manifestations of SCD, were seen after 8 weeks of treatment. A clinically meaningful reduction of VOC was also observed. No treatment related SAEs were reported.

Ninety-four percent (94%) of subjects completed the study and the majority have chosen to participate in the open label extension phase that will continue monitoring the safety and effectiveness of the drug.

“An effective and safe treatment of Sickle Cell Disease has been elusive for decades. The findings from this successful double blinded randomized controlled multi-center clinical study may lead to a new treatment which is safe and effective for patients wordlwide with this devastating disease,” said Dr. Frederick D. Sancilio, President and Chief Executive Officer of SPCI.

“A safe and well tolerated treatment, presented as a small soft gelatin capsule, administered once a day, will be a major and novel breakthrough in the treatment of Sickle Cell Disease. The clinical efficacy and safety profile of AltemiaTM clearly warrants further advancement of the program,” said Adrian L. Rabinowicz, MD, Chief Medical Officer of SPCI.

Additional analysis of the data is ongoing, and SPCI plans to present detailed data from this study in peer reviewed journals and upcoming scientific conferences. The Company plans to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as European Medicines Agency (EMA) to address next steps for AltemiaTM.

About Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders that results in dysfunctional hemoglobin (HbS) and a depletion of certain lipids in the walls of blood cells. These abnormalities create an inflammatory state and an increase in the red and white blood cells’ tendency to adhere to each other, resulting in episodic occlusions of blood vessels, reperfusion damage and excruciating pain. Ultimately, many children develop organ damage and strokes. There are approximately 100,000 cases of SCD in the United States and treatment options are limited. The cost of care for this group may exceed $5 billion.

About Altemia™

Altemia™ is our proprietary product candidate that is being developed for the treatment of SCD. Altemia™ consists of a complex mixture of lipids formulated using Advanced Lipid Technologies® (ALT®) specifically to address the treatment of the disease. The drug is encapsulated in a small soft gelatin capsule and intended to be taken once daily to reduce VOC episodes, anemia, organ damage and other disease complications in sickle cell patients.

HbS destroys specific lipids, creating a cascade that culminates in VOC episodes. Altemia™ is designed to replenish those lipids in order to prevent the cascade effect from initiating.

Based on research performed by Sancilio Pharmaceuticals Company, Inc. (SPCI) and others, the specific lipids contained in Altemia™, may restore balance and fluidity to red blood cells and other cells impacted by the disease. We believe that Altemia™ will treat sickle cell disease by decreasing blood cell adhesion, chronic inflammation and red blood cell hemolysis, the factors that lead to reduction in pain episodes, VOCs and organ damage. Based on its formulation and mechanism of action, we believe that Altemia™ is well-positioned to deliver a narrow, therapeutic dose of certain lipids directly to the membrane of red blood cells of sickle cell patients. The combination of ALT® drug delivery technology and highly purified lipids may reduce VOCs significantly. We also believe that Altemia™ has the potential to address the inflammatory symptoms of SCD and to assist in reducing sickle cell events in general. By minimizing damage, Altemia™ may be able to reduce sickle cell crisis events and related mortality.

About Sancilio Pharmaceuticals Company, Inc.

Sancilio Pharmaceuticals Company, Inc. (SPCI) is a fully integrated, specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing pharmaceutical products, including those based on our proprietary Advanced Lipid Technologies®(ALT®) platform. SPCI is pursuing treatments for sickle cell disease, short bowel syndrome and severe hypertriglyceridemia. We utilize our cGMP compliant facility to develop and manufacture our products. Our ALT® platform is designed to enhance the bioavailability, reduce the food effect and improve the efficacy of lipids and lipophilic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Lipids are hydrophobic or amphipathic molecules, including fatty acids, steroids (including hormones) and fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E and K). Our business model is to apply our ALT® platform to lipids or lipophilic APIs to create unique product candidates that address the disorders and diseases resulting from imbalances of lipids in the body. In addition to our primary focus of developing our proprietary products using the ALT® platform, we make use of, and license rights to, our proprietary ALT® platform and other technologies to third parties, providing both development and subsequent soft gelatin encapsulation services. More information is available at: www.sancilio.com.


IN LANDMARK REPORT, PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERS OUTLINE STEPS FOR URGENT ACTION ON OPIOIDS

Report, co-released today by the Clinton Foundation and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, details actionable, evidence-based recommendations as epidemic deepens

A group of experts, led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation, today issued a new report with comprehensive recommendations aimed at stemming the opioid epidemic, a spiraling crisis that kills on average 90 people a day in the U.S., and shows few signs of reversing. This report, “The Opioid Epidemic: From Evidence to Impact,” maps out a blueprint for national action on the epidemic and details dozens of concrete, evidence-based steps for everyone working to fight the opioid crisis in America – from the health care, advocacy, nonprofit, government, academic, and business sectors.

The recommendations were developed by the Bloomberg School and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative with input from a diverse group of stakeholders, including leaders in clinical care and pain treatment, pharmacy benefit managers, health policy and insurance, injury prevention and law enforcement, among others. The report and its recommendations are among topics that will be discussed at an opioid summit taking place this morning at the Bloomberg School and co-hosted by the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative. Additional event details can be found here.

The report was prepared by researchers at the Bloomberg School’s Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness and Center for Injury Research and Policy in collaboration with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative of the Clinton Foundation. The report includes an introduction by President Bill Clinton, founder and board chair of the Clinton Foundation.

“Unlike with many diseases, we have the science and the experience to end the opioid epidemic,” President Clinton writes in his introduction. “This report contains specific recommendations for how to most effectively combat the epidemic – from allowing physicians to more effectively treat those suffering from addiction; to expanding coverage and accessibility of opioid overdose reversal drugs like Naloxone; to changing the way that health care professionals, employers, and advocates talk about addiction to reduce stigma.”

In 2016, more than 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S., the most of any year on record and a 19% increase from 2015, according to initial estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than half of these were opioid-related, with especially large increases in deaths from heroin and illicit fentanyl.

“The nature of the epidemic has changed enormously during the past few years, and our report provides a timely synthesis of the current state of the field,” says G. Caleb Alexander, MD, co-director of the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at the Bloomberg School and one of the report’s editors. “The opioid epidemic is a highly complex issue with an enormous human toll. But ultimately, the crisis can be stemmed with approaches that have been shown to be effective.”

The report includes 10 priority recommendations upon which to build a comprehensive solution.

    Optimize Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs): PDMP utilization is associated with decreased opioid prescribing and adverse events yet many states do not mandate PDMP registration and use.

    Work with Medical Boards to Enact Policies Reflecting the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline: The Guideline, issued in 2016, remains the gold-standard for a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to prescribing opioids for chronic non-cancer pain in primary care, yet many organizations have not yet incorporated the Guideline into practice.

    Support Evaluation Research of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and Pharmacy Interventions: PBMs and pharmacies are engaged in many interventions to reduce opioid overuse and improve pain care, yet all too often these are not rigorously evaluated, leading to important knowledge gaps regarding what works.

    Secure Funding to Assess Effectiveness of Innovative Packaging and Designs: Data on the effectiveness of packaging interventions is limited. Evaluations of the available engineering innovations and those under development are needed to inform practice.

    Provide Clear and Consistent Guidance on Opioid Disposal and Expand “Take Back” Programs: There are enormous volumes of unused opioids in homes throughout the U.S. that are too often diverted for nonmedical use. Safe disposal options for prescription opioids are needed.

    Invest in Surveillance of Misuse and Use Disorders Including Information about Supply Sources: Surveillance of opioid use, misuse, and opioid-use disorders is critical for the improvement of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention efforts.

    Allocate Federal Funding to Build Treatment Capacity in Communities of Greatest Need: Some communities are harder hit than others and cannot begin to meet the demand for treatment. They need urgent funding.

    Partner with Product Developers to Design Easier to Use and Less Costly Naloxone Formulations: Having multiple products that are easy for non-medical personnel to use would increase uptake and reduce costs. Price is consistently raised as a concern, and recent reports indicate that the cost of the drug is increasing dramatically.

    Establish and Evaluate Supervised Consumption Spaces: Medically-supervised consumption of heroin in supervised consumption spaces may help prevent overdoses and can encourage users to get treatment

    Avoid Stigmatizing Language and Include Messages Communicating Effectiveness of Treatment and Acknowledgement of Structural Barriers to Care: Promoting language that does not stigmatize those with opioid use disorders can increase support for effective treatment of this condition

Prescription opioids serve a vital role in the treatment of cancer pain and pain at the end of life. A major challenge is to balance benefits with the potential harms of opioid medications, given the high potential for addiction, diversion, and overdose. Another challenge is that those already addicted need access to effective treatment without fear of stigmatization.

“The opioid situation is certainly dire, but we are seeing progress in some areas,” says Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, associate director for outreach at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Bloomberg School and one of the report’s editors. “Communities across the U.S. are organizing prevention efforts such as increased naloxone distribution that reverse an overdose, and drug ‘take back’ programs that reduce the supply of unused medications that are being unsafely stored in patients’ homes. Taken together, these and other efforts suggest we can intervene in both the supply and demand of these drugs in communities and turn the crisis around.”

At the same time, downstream effects of the epidemic are becoming more visible and include strains to the foster care system, HIV and hepatitis outbreaks related to intravenous drug use, and most starkly, a declining life expectancy in the U.S.

“Our hope is to get this report into as many hands as possible - lawmakers, health care providers, first responders, employers, policymakers, journalists, faith-based leaders, community organizers and activists - so they can see what works and what still needs to be done,” says Andrea Gielen, ScD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy and one of the report’s editors. “We want people to consider what we’ve identified in the report: Policies, programs, products, and approaches that work, and advance the recommendations that fit their communities’ needs.”

The report and its recommendations are among topics that will be discussed at an opioid summit taking place Monday, Oct. 30 at the Bloomberg School and co-hosted by the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. Panelists include: President Bill Clinton, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-MD, and Michael Botticelli, MEd, former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and a Distinguished Policy Scholar at the Bloomberg School.

For additional details, please see the event page www.jhsph.edu/OpioidSummit.

This is the third event on the opioid epidemic hosted by the Bloomberg School and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. Since the first event in May 2014, Bloomberg School faculty have published more than three dozen research papers on various aspects of the opioid crisis. A selection of these is available on the event website here.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #OpioidSummit.

Watch the event on Facebook at Facebook.com/JohnsHopkinsSPH.


Congresswoman Wilson is a long time African affairs expert - read story on Profile Page in N.E.I.

GoFundMe and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Partner To Help HBCU Students Pay For College

GoFundMe announced a partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the nation's largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. GoFundMe and TMCF are teaming up to raise money in support of students at the nation's 47 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

"No American should be prevented from enrolling in and graduating from college because of money. Sadly, that is a reality for many HBCU students," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF President & CEO.  "This innovative partnership with GoFundMe makes ordinary people extraordinary philanthropists, through their online giving platform now used to support deserving HBCU students pay for their college education."

"We are proud to partner with Thurgood Marshall College Fund and help HBCU students pay for college. Thousands of students have turned to GoFundMe to help pay for college, and with college tuition on the rise, it's more important than ever to help support students pursuing their higher education," said Rob Solomon, GoFundMe CEO. "This new partnership will make it simpler and easier for HBCU students to get the financial support they need to thrive at college."

Today, GoFundMe released a new TMCF fundraising hub, which will serve as a resource for students and their communities. We want to make it as easy as possible for GoFundMe donors to find students attending HBCUs, as well as giving students and their families the tips and tools they need for a successful campaign. GoFundMe and Thurgood Marshall College Fund launched six GoFundMe campaigns for students attending college at Howard University, Fayetteville State, Norfolk State, and South Carolina State. To make a contribution or to start a GoFundMe, please visit the TMCF fundraising hub here: www.gofundme.com/tmcf.

Charitable giving isn't a new phenomenon. For 30 years, TMCF has been raising money to support HBCUs and students across the country. What's different today is the ability to help just about anyone in the world in just a few clicks—and GoFundMe's social fundraising platform does just that. For the first time, TMCF is making it possible for anyone to quickly raise funds to pay for college online. In minutes, you can donate to or create a GoFundMe campaign, share it on social media, and encourage your online networks to do the same.

Over the past several years, students, teachers, and parents are increasingly turning to GoFundMe to raise money for education expenses, including college tuition. In fact, in the last two years, over $100 million has been raised on GoFundMe for education-related campaigns, making it the fastest-growing category on the platform.

About GoFundMe

Launched in 2010, GoFundMe is the world's largest social fundraising platform, with over $4 billion raised so far. With a community of more than 40 million donors, GoFundMe is changing the way the world gives. Find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.




NAACP Board Elects Derrick Johnson President & CEO

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), America's largest and original legacy civil rights organization, has unanimously elected Derrick Johnson president & CEO, it was announced today. Johnson, 49, has served as interim president and CEO since July of this year.

A Detroit native now residing in Jackson, Mississippi, Mr. Johnson, who was also elected vice-chairman of the Board of Directors in February of this year, is a longtime member, leader and a respected veteran activist who will be tasked with guiding the NAACP through a period of tremendous challenge and opportunity at a key point in its 108-year history. The NAACP has undergone transitions in leadership this year as it re-envisions itself to take on a tumultuous and contentious social and political climate. He will have a three-year term.

"In his time serving as our interim president and CEO, Derrick has proven himself as the strong, decisive leader we need to guide us through both our internal transition, as well as a crucial moment in our nation's history. With new threats to communities of color emerging daily and attacks on our democracy, the NAACP must be more steadfast than ever before, and Derrick has the vision, mobility and courage to help us meet that demand," said Leon Russell, Board Chairman of the NAACP. "As both a longtime member of the NAACP, and a veteran activist in his own right – having worked on the ground to advocate for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, along with championing countless other issues – Derrick also intimately understands the strengths of the Association, our challenges and the many obstacles facing black Americans of all generations today. I look forward to continuing to work with him in this new role," he added.

Mr. Johnson has an extensive history and career legacy of dedicated civil rights activism. He formerly served as state president of the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP, where he successfully spearheaded campaigns for voting rights, worker's rights and equitable education, and he additionally is the founder and executive director of One Voice, Inc., a Jackson-based non-profit organization conceived in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to enhance the quality of life for African Americans through civic engagement training and initiatives.

Additionally, as a past regional organizer with Southern Echo, Inc., another local non-profit organization, Mr. Johnson provided legal, technical and training support to communities spanning the south. He was appointed to the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission by the chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, owing to his years of committed service to the people of the state.

Having earned a solid educational foundation, Mr. Johnson attended historically black Tougaloo College of Mississippi, before going on to earn his Juris Doctorate degree from the South Texas College of Law in Houston. He was later awarded fellowships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the George Washington University School of Political Management and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He proudly serves on the board of directors of both the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

ABOUT THE NAACP:

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP's work and our six "Game Changer" issue areas by visiting NAACP.org.


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New Underground Railroad Trolley Tour is now part of National Park Service's 'Network to Freedom'

 This new tour was created by Cape May's Center for Community Arts is and co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities

The Center for Community Arts (CCA) is proud and excited to announce that its trolley tour, "The Underground Railroad in Cape May" (UGRR), has been accepted as part of the National Park Service's Network to Freedom. The Network is a national program that documents, preserves, commemorates and educates the public about the people, places and sites throughout the country connected with the Underground Railroad.

      The Park Service extensively vetted the materials used by CCA to support the stories and information about people and places in Cape May connected with the UGRR.

       As part of the Network to Freedom the trolley tour will appear on the National Park Service website, and the Network to Freedom logo will appear in tour announcements.  CCA will also collaborate with other members of the Network.

       "We are thrilled to be a part of the Park Service's effort to educate Americans about the great civil rights movement of the 19th century, and to show Cape May's role in that," said CCA's Barbara Dreyfuss, who led the research and wrote the tour. "And we applaud the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC), which co-sponsors the tour, for using the script for a PowerPoint presentation, to bring this same information to schools, community centers and other venues.

       "We are proud to have our work substantiated by the Park Service," said CCA Director David Mackenzie. "The tour builds on 20 years of looking into the history of the African-American community in Cape May by members of CCA's community history group. It rounds out its work, building an archive of African-American history in Cape May that includes photos, oral histories and documents, which are used for exhibits."

       "We at MAC were very impressed by the fascinating Underground Railroad material unearthed by CCA researchers," said MAC Director Michael Zuckerman. "We are delighted to integrate it into our trolley tour line-up. Our decision has now been validated twice over -- by the public, which has flocked to it beyond all expectations, and by the critical reviewers at the National Park Service."

       On the tour visitors learn little known facts about Cape May's role in the Underground Railroad. Cape May was the place where many freedom seekers from slave states across the Delaware Bay first touched free soil.

       Wealthy businessman and UGRR leader Stephen Smith summered for decades in Cape May. Once enslaved himself, he risked all he had to ferry people to freedom in his railroad cars. In Cape May, Harriet Tubman earned money for her freedom runs to the Eastern Shore. And the citywas home to a community of free blacks who helped freedom seekers on their way further north.

       Regular tours are conducted from June through September, periodically during the spring and fall, and by appointment. Call (609) 884-7525 for more information about CCA. For tour reservations call 609-884-5404.

       CCA is a multicultural educational non-profit organization whose arts and humanities programs foster creativity, community building, and appreciation for the rich diversity of our world. The Center's Community History Program is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and celebrating Cape May's African-American heritage through exhibits, tours, and its John and Janet Nash African-American History Archive. The Center is currently rehabilitating the Franklin Street School, a Cape May African-American Historic Site, to house a community cultural center, runs youth arts programs and operates WCFA-LP 101.5 FM, a community radio station. For further information, call 609-884-7525 or access CCA's web site at www.CenterforCommunityArts.org.

      MAC is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC's year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC's Web site at www.capemaymac.org.