It's understandable to be hesitant to declare a disability. . . .But if you are applying for positions with federal contractors or federal agencies, there are good arguments for self-identifying as disabled:
“Everyone else is making funds off Henrietta’s cells. I am sure my grandmother is up in heaven saying, ‘Well, what about my family?'" - Ron Lacks
A modern spin on the Hottentot Venus, the story of Henrietta Lacks gained widespread public attention with the publication of bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks which told the story of Ms. Lacks' biological cells. Taken from her when she died of cervical cancer in 1951, Ms. Lacks' cells were the first to live outside the body in a glass tube and quickly became the most widely used human cells in science. One problem: no one ever told the Lacks family that her cells were being used. Ms. Lacks' son will file legal action in the coming weeks.
This case isn't just about the overdue compensation, but is a strong reflection of the exposure, exploitation and commodification of the African American female and her body.
Is DC's strategy regarding homelessness effectively addressing the homelessness issue, or simply shuffling and displacing people in need? On Valentine's Day, 2017, homeless citizens were kicked out of an encampment with a bulldozer.
Kevin Harris, a spokesman for Mayor Bowser said, “The health and well-being of all District residents, including individuals experiencing homelessness as well as those who access the public space, is an important principle.”
While principles are no doubt important, this decision by the Bowser administration begs the question, where's the love?
“If ever there was a time to stand for something, to stand firmly and believe in it and fight for it and leave it all out there, this is the policy.” -Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (D-Prince George’s)
Maryland’s three minority-based legislative caucuses have joined forces to promote a new Maryland Sanctuary Bill, the purpose of which is to bar law enforcement from complying with federal requests to hold undocumented immigrants longer than required; prohibits local authorities from arresting individuals for immigration purposes; and restricts federal agencies from removing people from schools, hospitals or courthouses. While minorities are unifying behind this cause, polarized conservatives remain in extreme opposition, often citing decreases in property values and increases in violent crimes as potential reasons why the police should be proactively enforcing immigration laws and removing illegal immigrants from within the state. In fact, a Sanctuary Bill that recently passed in Howard County was just vetoed by the County Executive. In doing so, County Executive Kittleman (R) explained:
"If the sponsors had reached out to key stakeholders prior to filing the legislation, they would have learned that it was unnecessary. They would have heard from the Police Department, other government agencies and organizations supporting immigrants that, in Howard County, we do not have a problem with this issue."
In Howard County, the legal immigration population disagrees testifying to incidents where they were falsely targeted for deportation by fellow citizens and law enforcement based on their physical appearance alone.
Maryland does not permit no-fault divorce if a couple still resides together. Rather, the couple must live separately. However, recent changes in Maryland law allow couples to divorce without having a third party witness testify regarding when the last time the couple slept under the same roof. The initial law was intended to prevent the divorce of a couple that was continuing to engage in sexual relations. The new law makes the process less cumbersome, less intrusive, and less painful.
"Some divorcing spouses and divorce attorneys found that the witness requirement was not just inconvenient but also painful."
HOWARD COUNTY, Maryland (Jan. 17, 2017) – Had there been more a spirit of giving and love than of conflict and tension, you may have easily guessed it was Christmas. Bright red and green t-shirts, signs, banners, and other paraphernalia peppered the halls of a packed Howard County Courthouse: in green, supporters of a proposed bill to become a Sanctuary County for Immigrants; in red – the opposition.
In part, the Sanctuary Bill generally seeks to discourage hate speech and violence related to xenophobic, Islamophobic, and racist attitudes given the recent national and political climate which is represented within the county, causing concern to both legal and illegal immigrants. If passed, Council Bill 9, or the Sanctuary Bill, would prohibit officers from questioning the citizenship status of people it stopped or from getting involved in disputes between private citizens which called into question an individual’s immigration status. Strong support for and against the bill brought nearly 300 people out to voice their opinions at the public hearing.
Although it was made clear early in the evening that no applause, cheering, or verbal responses of any kind would be permissible, the rules were easily dismissed by the passionate audience. Tensions among citizens were higher than might be expected of a County that touts the hashtag #OneHoward. In one instance, a female supporter who had not stopped speaking when the bell rang on her three (3) minutes of time faced boos by the audience who heckled at her to stop speaking, shouting, “[y]our time is up; your time is up.” Councilman Gregory Fox (Dist. 5) also caused excitement at his early responses to testifying citizens. In response to a Jewish female who voiced her support for the Immigrant population by reflecting on the enslavement of the Hebrews in Egypt. Councilman Fox attempted to minimize her perspective by mentioning that he too was a Jew and that, as a Jew, he had issues with President Obama’s politics. His statements caused uproar – the red team raising cheers, and the green team raising concerns of lewdness.
On the hills of a scandal with the Howard County Police Department, where the County Sherriff resigned his position in light of allegations that he used racist and vulgar language by referring to former-County Executive Ken Ulman a "little Kenny Jew-boy," and making disparaging remarks about African-American deputies and citizens, among other issues, Howard County Police Chief Gary L. Gardner offered testimony in opposition of the Bill, explaining that it was the Department’s policy that all citizens be treated the same. Questions from Councilwoman Jen Terrassa (Dist. 3) revealed that the Police Department had no written or set policy as to how it treated citizens in relation to their immigration status and that the policy articulated by Chief Gardner was unreliable at best. Still, one citizen insisted that if the Police Chief was against the Bill, that was good enough for him and should be good enough for everyone else as well. Chief Gardner’s testimony also revealed that he was the first Police Chief in a Maryland Sanctuary County to provide testimony opposing a similar bill.
Supporters of the bill shared similar sentiments, expressing that both the legal and illegal immigrant populations were vital to #OneHoward. One woman testified that failing to support the Bill would prevent the Millennial generation from moving into Howard County, generating revenue and bolstering the County’s economy – an issue to be cautious of in light of the major downtown project being raised in Columbia. Testimony from River Hill resident and local attorney Christina J. Bostick testified regarding the effects of “otherness” in relation to her own experience as an African American who grew up in the County (Video Above). Testimony went on into the wee hours of the morning. A work session on the Sanctuary Bill is slated for Monday, January 23, 2017 at 4:30.
Clarksville, MD WW/Press/November 16, 2016 –Christina Bostick, Founder and Chief Litigator of Bostick Law Office, was selected for inclusion in the forthcoming Top Attorneys of North America 2017 edition of The Who’s Who Directories.
Still early in her career, Ms. Bostick is already an accomplished attorney, whose achievements warrant inclusion in the Top Attorneys of North America. While Ms. Bostick is a multi-talented attorney with a diverse skill set and strong advocacy skills, she is primarily a litigator/trial attorney whose practice is predominantly focused in labor and employment law, legal malpractice, family law and general civil litigation. Ms. Bostick also possesses significant experience in several other areas of practice, including criminal law, entertainment law, and medical malpractice. Ms. Bostick started Bostick Law Office in 2014. At that time, the business was primarily dedicated to business consulting with an emphasis on assisting young entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Through this endeavor, her clients were able to take on leadership roles in their communities and effect change in new and inspiring ways. Since then, the businesses and organizations she helped to launch have grown into successful enterprises and social movements. Her consulting business quickly transitioned into a law firm when she recognized grave injustices in lawsuits brought against undeserving citizens and the mistreatment and exploitation of working-class people by powerhouse law firms. Ms. Bostick’s clients describe her as compassionate, impassioned, and audacious. “The true value of a law office is the people it serves,” says Ms. Bostick. “With people, come relationships. New relationships breed blossoming opportunities. Opportunity creates new ideas from which justice can spring, businesses can be raised, and families can triumph, even in the face of adversity. In this way, we all build wealth together, support one another, and grow into a future the collective can be proud of. Christina received her B.A. from Spelman College and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
The Who’s Who Directories, a New York based biographical publication company, distinguishes and profiles leading professionals who demonstrate recognizable success and leadership in their field. The directory is valued for promoting awareness of individual accomplishments and achievement within the North American community.
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Bostick Law Office - Now Open for Business: Protecting Family, Pursuing Justice, Promotoing Philanthropy, Pioneering the Future
CLARKSVILLE, Maryland (Nov. 12, 2016) – There’s a new solo game in town, and its ready for a fight. Not the kind that involves red gloves, a referee, or a roped-in ring, but it could involve a sling shot? Earlier this year, local litigator, Christina J. Bostick, stepped out of large law firm culture to start a new venture where she could be a David of the people in a world where Goliath has grown unchecked for far too long.
Her tag line, protecting family, pursuing justice, promoting philanthropy, pioneering the future, is the first hint that Bostick Law Office isn’t your old-school law practice, often too focused on billing and the bottom line when your feelings, your safety, or your livelihood are at stake. Rather, Ms. Bostick brings a fresh perspective to an old business: “The true value of a Law Office is the people it serves,” says Ms. Bostick. “With people, come relationships. New relationships breed blossoming opportunities. Opportunity creates new ideas from which justice can spring, businesses can be raised, and families can triumph, even in the face of adversity. In this way, we all build wealth together, support one another, and grow into a future the collective can be proud of.” From her perspective, a lawyer’s job isn’t just to represent a client, but is also to facilitate connections, establish direction, stimulate new thinkers, and help transform prospective ideas into enterprise.
Bostick Law Office is currently taking new clients. Ms. Bostick has experience across a broad spectrum of practice areas, including Municipality, Employment, Family, Business, Criminal and Nonprofit Law, as well as Legal Malpractice, Estate Planning, EEOC claims, and Corporate EEOC Investigations. Formerly, Ms. Bostick worked in Baltimore City with Ober|Kaler's Employment Group in matters involving defense of municipalities, complex civil litigation, and labor and employment disputes. Ms. Bostick was also previously employed at Shulman Rogers, located in Potomac, Maryland, where she became a results-driven litigator with strong advocacy skills, and creative problem-solving technique.
For more information about how Bostick Law Office can help meet your legal needs, please visit www.BostickLawOffice.com, send an email to BostickLawOffice@gmail.com, or call (443) 832-3259.
On November 4, 2014, I went to a local university to speak to an organization my youngest brother was involved in. It was election night and while it was a mid-term election that not too many people were focused on, I found myself exhilarated by the opportunity to spend the evening talking to young people about the law and politics. No one showed for the event.
Not a problem. I took the opportunity to talk to some of the students walking around the student center, hoping to take a small sip from the fountain of youth and re-live my own college days for a moment. My go-to question: Did you vote? It wasn’t really a question, but more of a statement or a conversation starter. Obviously, they would have voted and more obvious than that, they’d have an opinion about the current political climate. I was wrong. The students hadn’t shown up to hear me speak, nor did they show up to vote at their on-campus polling place.
One-by-one, they informed me that, not only did they not vote, but they hadn’t cared to vote. What did it matter anyway? Their votes didn’t count for much and who cared what happened anyway. Classic cases of college apathy, still I was surprised by the casual dismissal in their voices and how quickly they became disinterested in me once I’d posed the question.
Their responses may have been surprising to hear in person, but were hardly unique. Today, articles, news stories, and political pundits often discuss poor turn out in marginalized communities. While Millennials aren’t traditionally thought of as being included within that population, the reality is that Millennials and young people are discriminated against every day– a topic I’ll dive into more deeply in a follow-up post. The long and short of it – Millennials don’tvote and they aren’t expected to vote.
In fact, it seems Millennials themselves are expecting poor voter turn out, generally, and within the generation for the 2016 Presidential Election. Why? Apparently because both candidates are bad options and, yet again, it doesn’t matter which one wins. While I wholeheartedly disagree, I don’t write this to suggest that one candidate is better than the other. I write it to encourage Millennials to reconsider the impact of their vote.
Voting isn’t just about one candidate winning or losing. Rather, this election provides an opportunity for the Millennials to stand out in a presidential election year and be largely responsible for determining the trajectory of America’s future in standing together behind one candidate, showing the world that young people have a voice, can operate as a collective to advance their common interests, and demand new policies that cater to their specific needs. Otherwise, we’re simply relying on our parents and our parents’ parents to choose for us. And haven’t we all grown a little tired of that dynamic by now.
This election, reconsider leaving the decision of who will be your next president to whomever cares enough to show up to the polls other than you. After-all, if its anyone’s time right now, its ours — more to the point — its yours! Own it.