Empowering the Community
With so much happening in West Fresno (District 3), from violence and social injustices, self proclaimed community leaders Lennice and Julia Najeib of ONME News, seek to sabotage the black community and its leaders. In a recent article published by ONME news statements were made defaming, bashing and criticizing black leaders. (Specifically Adrian Harris) Creating division and adding fuel to the fire, when they’re suppose to be leaders in our community. We can no longer afford to feed the snakes in the grass as they have avidly sold out our community multiple times.
Allegedly, city council candidate, Miguel Arias, whom is currently a member of the State Center Community College District Board of Trustees, paid ONME news with the goal of assassinating the character of his opposing candidate, Tate Hill Jr. This was done in hopes that the black community would lose confidence in Hill’s leadership. Who is Miguel Arias? A city council candidate for Fresno’s District 3, representing West Fresno, whom is making a poor effort to support Black leaders and groups that seek his participation.
Youth Ambassador and leader on the rise, Kayla Foster was shot and killed during a drive by shooting in West Fresno in the spring of 2017. Arias, was approached to support the “Kayla Foster Foundation” for a special fundraiser. He failed to respond, showing no interest or sympathy. However, he wants to represent us, but isn’t intentional with building “real” relationships with community leaders. He only wishes to deal with sellouts and “little fish”, when there’s a bigger pond at stake.
This serves as a reminder and a call to action to GET OUT & VOTE on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018. Without your vote, there is a chance that this man that has shown no support or interest in the Black Community, will be our District 3 - West Fresno Council member. This would be an injustice to us all. |VIBE THE VOTE|
Furthermore, according to key witnesses Julia Najieb, our African-American museum President/Chairperson has embezzled funds from the museum, using the funds to support her own lifestyle. Her time as President has come to an end, we must stand against her at once. It has been reported that she intimidates her board members and they’re afraid to vote her out of her position. She has neglected the museum and its needs for the past 10 years, due to her personal businesses. Using her media business as an outlet to exploit & spread fake news isn’t “Presidential behavior”.
The livelihood of Mr. and Mrs. Najieb isn’t the communities concern, however we hold our leaders to a standard, and transparency is the only option. Following a public background search, we discovered bankruptcy, evictions, gambling debt, and rumors of insurance fraud. Their approach to destruct current and upcoming leaders isn’t appropriate and quite frankly is disrespectful. Community leaders are experiencing a challenging time working with these individuals on every level. This has been reported from not only local nonprofits organizations and groups but also statewide organizations and small business owners.
The Najieb’s have been unprofessional, rude and non-complying, showing us that representing the community and our local African American museum is not a priority. Mrs. Najieb does not deserve to oversee such a monumental & historical site that is of immense pride to our people. In addition, under Mrs. Najieb’s leadership beautification of the sight has been bare minimum. Instead, maintenance is poor & outdoor appearance is unkept and of poor representation. Mrs. Najieb is reported to be a self-centered President, her motives are unclear but her actions say she isn’t for the community.
The controversy over Juneteenth Celebration this year had Mr. and Mrs. Najieb names written all over it. These two sought out to put on a 2nd Juneteenth Celebration the same day as the already annually planned Juneteenth Festival led by the Fresno Juneteenth Committee & the Sumler Sisters for the past 8 years. “Juneteenth” is a very important holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 abolishment of slavery - as known as the African American independence in the United States of America.
Sponsors and corporate businesses are always willing to donate money for this cause. This year Mr. and Mrs. Najieb were willing to do anything for a quick buck even if it meant stepping on the backs of others. Unaware of the division going on in the Black Community, major sponsors that have worked with the official Juneteenth committee for years, were persuaded to work with the Najieb’s Juneteeth committee. Community leaders like Oliver Baines, Daren Miller & Craig Scharton played their part in trying to make sure a collaboration took place between these two parties. Per usual, Mrs. Najieb was unwilling to work with others and decided to put on a conflicting two-day Juneteenth the same-day as the one already planned.
Mourning the murder of their granddaughter, Kayla Foster, the Sumler sisters was forced to put Juneteenth committee work in overdrive and work twice as hard to host a competing event. Many people feel that the Najieb’s used their lost as an opportunity to step on them while they were down and vulnerable to try and take over the annual Juneteenth festivities. This separation left residents confused and forced to choose which event to attend. Even with the controversy and attempted sabotage, the Fresno Juneteenth Committee held a successful event and was an inspiration to the thousands of community members that attended.
You would think with so much happening in their personal lives, they’d be focused on rebuilding their empire. Instead, they chose to add to the division in the Black community. Like our former First Lady, Michelle Obama said “When they go LOW, we go HIGH.” We won’t allow the Najieb’s to have the last say in what leadership looks like in our community. “We rise by lifting each other” not by putting each other down. Their opinions don't help or shape our community views or visions in any way or form.
People like Julia and Lennice Najieb are the problem and the community must hold them accountable. Even in times of disagreement we must aim to never fold, but rather be honest to one another about what’s happening behind closed doors. We are in pursuit to positively enhance Fresno’s communities of color. In the near future, we hope that the Najieb’s can refocus, reconnect & re-establish healthy community relationships.
All views expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated.
Your Community servant, Adrian Vibe Harris