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4/27/2005

 
Outspoken: An Open Mic Nite at Five Spot in Philly

PHILADELPHIA, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The hottest underground and up-and- coming artists in the Hip-Hop scene, security officers, and students from the campuses they guard will be part of Outspoken, an Open Mic Nite at the Five Spot in Philadelphia Sunday, May 1 from 9 p.m. to midnight. Lady Alma will host the event and special guests like Mums of HBO's Oz, Def Poetry Jam and Chappelle's Show are scheduled to perform as well.

Outspoken is a partnership with First Alert, a campaign by security officers in Philadelphia to use different art forms to bring attention to the lack of good jobs available to inner city residents and companies which exploit workers from poor neighborhoods.

Security, once considered a job for ex-police or ex-military, nowadays is a job many African Americans with high school diplomas are forced to take because of high unemployment in black neighborhoods. The jobs security companies provide don't give officers enough to live on, don't offer affordable health insurance, or a way for officers to get ahead. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for security officers is $18,600, which is below the federal poverty line.

Officers are saying enough is enough and coming together to fight for justice. Officers who guard Temple University, Community College of Philadelphia and the University Of Pennsylvania are uniting to fight for raises and affordable health benefits. If officers are successful in pushing security companies to do what's right for the community, millions of dollars could flow into poor neighborhoods. If officers were provided with salaries and benefits similar to what unionized janitors earn, $28.7 million could flow into North Philly neighborhoods.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is helping bring officers together in Philadelphia and five other cities -- Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Los Angeles. SEIU, the nation's largest union with a membership of 1.8 million, is a union of nurses aides, child care workers, janitors, and personal aides.

Outspoken is being produced by the Movement and Groove Gumbo, a creative arts organization based in Washington, D.C. OKAYPLAYA is a promotional partner.

WHAT: OPEN MIC NIGHT, MAY 1st 9 p.m. to 12 midnight

HOST: Lady Alma, "the heart and soul of Philadelphia's soul scene" Lady Alma's mother is a union member with SEIU. Her band will keep the energy high.

PEFORMERS: Mums of HBO's Oz, Def Poetry Jam and the Chappelle's Show, security officers, students from campuses that officers guard, community members

WHERE: Five Spot, 5 S. Bank Street (Second and Market)

For more information, contact: Cynthia Kain, +1-215-790-7278

Source: Service Employees International Union

CONTACT: Cynthia Kain, +1-215-790-7278, or Brent Joseph,
+1-202-415-1125, both of SEIU

Web site: http://www.seiu.org/




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