In solemn remembrance and observance of the centennial year of the Armenian Genocide, Sen. Reed invited His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, to offer the morning prayer and meet with members of the Senate community on May 7.
His Holiness Aram I is the head of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, and was elected Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church in 1995. The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.
Reed is a longtime advocate for economic aid and military assistance to Armenia, and an outspoken advocate for full and formal U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Watch the prayer and Sen. Reed's remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeZfHktyZqU
Senator Reed & Director Bunch Preview New National Museum Celebrating the History & Achievements of African Americans
On May 4, Rhode Islanders gathered in Providence for a behind-the-scenes look at the newest Smithsonian museum being built on the National Mall in Washington, DC and an up-close look at a new travelling exhibition, “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963.”
The “Changing America” exhibition, presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), uses photographs, historical quotes, and writings to examine the events leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the March on Washington in 1963, and describes the struggle for equal rights for African Americans from 1860 to the present day. The exhibition will have its official opening on May 7 and will be hosted at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ) at Brown University through June 10, 2015.
To help kick things off, NMAAHC’s founding Director, Lonnie G. Bunch III, joined Senator Reed; Brown President Christina Paxson; and over 100 members of the Providence community for a symposium at CSSJ. During the presentation, Mr. Bunch shared his experience in working to help conceive, build, and launch the NMAAHC and enlisted Rhode Islanders’ input in developing the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history, and culture.
Congress must do more to help end youth homelessness and protect vulnerable kids from human traffickers.
In 2014, nearly one thousand young people utilized Rhode Island’s homeless shelter system.
On April 29, Senator Reed held a bipartisan hearing with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) aimed at helping these kids and addressing the root causes of homelessness.
The Committee heard from a diverse panel of experts and youth homelessness advocates, including Grammy award-winning recording artist and founder of the True Colors Fund, Cyndi Lauper, as well as HUD officials, service providers on the frontlines of assisting homeless youth, and young people who have experienced homelessness themselves.
By strengthening protections for homeless youth and better connecting them to coordinated housing, education, health, and job-training programs and services, Reed believes these young people can build a better future for themselves, and our communities.
Watch a clip from the hearing to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbaMr9fJzYY
Senator Reed hosted a special medal ceremony to honor World War II Army Veteran, Sgt. Eugene F. Luciano, 91, of Warwick with the military honors he earned in combat but never received during his courageous Army service.
Born in Cranston in 1923, Sgt. Luciano was just 19 years old when he joined the Army in 1943.
During World War II, Sgt. Luciano fought in Normandy and the Battle of the Rhineland as a member of Battery B with the 407 Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion and had eight men in his charge. He served until January 1946.
Reed presented Sgt. Luciano with the military honors he earned including the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, and the World War II Victory Medal, among others.
In an effort to support senior volunteer activities in Cranston, Senator Reed and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung visited members of the Cranston Senior Services’ Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to thank them for their volunteerism and announce over $150,000 in federal funding to boost their efforts.
During a visit to the Cranston Senior Center, Reed and Fung said federal Serve America Act grant funds are being awarded through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, one of three Senior Corps programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Over a three year cycle, Cranston RSVP is scheduled to receive a total of $150,000 ($50,000 annually) in federal funds to support the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center’s volunteer programs for local seniors.
The competitive federal grant funds are made available through the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Cranston RSVP plans to use the funding for additional volunteer opportunities focused on healthy aging, environment stewardship, and veterans and military families.
Reed, Schumer, & Budget Director Shaun Donovan Demand Sequestration Relief for Middle Class, National Defense
Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was joined by Senator Chuck Schumer, the Ranking Member on the Senate Budget Committee, and Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan in urging Congressional Republicans to support sequestration relief in the upcoming budget.
With Senate Republicans scheduled to unveil their budget in the coming days, the Democrats formally called for a long-desired roll back of automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, that threaten our economy, and defense and national security capabilities.
The Senators explained that eliminating harmful automatic cuts, both on programs that benefit the middle class and the defense budget, is the top priority for Senate Democrats in the upcoming negotiations.
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