Wednesday, April 23, 2014

White Supremacists Hide Easter Eggs With Racist Notes In VA Neighborhood

White Supremacists Hide Easter Eggs With Racist Notes In VA Neighborhood: An Easter egg hunt in Henrico County, Va. was interrupted on Sunday when the parents of a three-year-old son found an egg filled with racist notes.

"My husband noticed the last Easter egg and I knew it wasn't one that put out,” Jackie Smith told WRIC. "We opened it and it's got the white supremacist stuff in it."

The piece paper inside the egg contained language including "diversity = white genocide" and “mass immigration and forced assimilation of non-whites into our lands is genocide."

Smith and her husband, Brandon Smith, went around their neighborhood alerting other parents, and found several more eggs in other yards.

“We don't want other kids around here who can read being like, 'Hey mommy what's the million man white march or what's the genocide project?' Most of us don't want to explain genocide to our 6-year-olds,” Jackie Smith said.

Lower-income teens aren't getting enough sleep, researchers say - chicagotribune.com

Lower-income teens aren't getting enough sleep, researchers say - chicagotribune.com: African American high school students and boys in low- to middle-income families reported short, fragmented sleep, and that could play a role in their health risks, researchers reported Monday.

Anyone who’s ever lived with a teenager knows they often don’t get the eight to nine hours of sleep the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. Researchers writing in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics looked at one group of young people — those in a lower socioeconomic community.

A sample of 250 students from western Pennsylvania, ages 14 to 19, took part in the study over a week. Based on a diary and a monitor worn by the students, most of the students slept around six hours a night during the week. They reported more time, about 6.8 hours, in their diaries, but the researchers said that included time they tried to go to sleep.

Racial Equality Loses at the Court - NYTimes.com

Racial Equality Loses at the Court - NYTimes.com: A blinkered view of race in America won out in the Supreme Court on Tuesday when six justices agreed, for various reasons, to allow Michigan voters to ban race-conscious admissions policies in higher education.

In 2003, the court upheld such a policy at the University of Michigan Law School because it furthered a compelling governmental interest in educational diversity. Opponents of affirmative action moved to amend the State Constitution to ban any consideration of race or sex in public education and employment. In 2006, voters passed the amendment by a wide margin.

Affirmative action supporters sued to strike down the amendment, arguing that by changing the rules of the game in a way that uniquely burdened racial minorities, the amendment violated the equal protection clause. A closely divided federal appeals court agreed.

Baseball's Demographic Shifts Bring Cultural Complexities : Code Switch : NPR

Baseball's Demographic Shifts Bring Cultural Complexities : Code Switch : NPR: This week, baseball fans celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, 67 years after Robinson became the first black player to participate in a Major League Baseball game. Coincidentally (or not), the racial, ethnic and cultural dynamics of the sport today are the topics of much discussion in this week's news.

Decline In Percentage Of Black Players

According to an article published this week by the Pew Research Center, the proportion of black baseball players in the major leagues has steadily declined in recent years. Jean Manuel Krogstad writes:

"The share of black MLB players reached a high of 18.7 percent in 1981, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. In 2014,  8.3 percent of players on opening day rosters were black. Before the most recent decade's decline, the last time baseball had such a small share of black players was 1958."

In Silicon Valley, Immigrants Toast Their Way To The Top : Code Switch : NPR

In Silicon Valley, Immigrants Toast Their Way To The Top : Code Switch : NPR: Public speaking can be nerve-wracking whatever your native tongue. It can be especially difficult for immigrants who speak English as a second language.

In California's Silicon Valley, some immigrant tech workers strengthen their voices by joining public speaking support groups like Toastmasters clubs.

Members usually meet once a week to practice giving speeches, which are timed to the second and judged for grammar and presentation. There's even a designated counter of ums and ahs.

At a recent meeting of the "ArtICCulators" Toastmasters Club in Milpitas, Calif., engineer Nidhi Agarwal confronted her fear of public speaking with laughter.

The Golden Arch Of The Universe Is Long ... : Code Switch : NPR

The Golden Arch Of The Universe Is Long ... : Code Switch : NPR: A member of the Code Switch team — who shall remain nameless, but whose name rhymes with Tatt Mhompson — was recently winding his way through the recesses of Amazon when he stumbled across an ad for McDonald's that appeared in Ebony back in 1972. (Don't trouble yourself trying to figure out just what Ma ... er, Tatt was searching for to come to this result. Your head will hurt.)

Here's what that ad looked like.

'Boondocks' Returns After Four Years To An Altered Comedy Landscape : Code Switch : NPR

...'Boondocks' Returns After Four Years To An Altered Comedy Landscape : Code Switch : NPR: Black Comedy Shifts From Television To Twitter

Julian Chambliss is a professor at Rollins College. There, he studies and teaches comic culture and African American history. He says this season of The Boondocks re-enters a comedy world that is more crowded than it was in 2010, particularly by Black Twitter and Youtube.

"When you think about the digital landscape, now you have a lot more YouTube series created and produced and performed by African-Americans," Chambliss says. "We do have a social media universe that is fueled by black people." But he adds, "Despite the great sort of ... creative energy on a YouTube-produced series, how many of those are being translated into DVD? How many of those can you pick up at Wal-Mart? So, this program still does matter

Playwright Phillip Hayes Dean Dies At 83 : Code Switch : NPR

Playwright Phillip Hayes Dean Dies At 83 : Code Switch : NPR: Playwright Phillip Hayes Dean died earlier this week. His family says the 83 year-old died in Los Angeles of a heart condition. He was in the midst of overseeing a production of his most famous play, "Paul Robeson."

Dean wrote "Paul Robeson" to chronicle the life of the famed scholar, athlete, singer, actor and humanitarian activist. Robeson was best known for his thunderous basso profundo and his rendition of black spirituals and work songs. The play was controversial when it debuted on Broadway in 1978; James Earl Jones starred, and some of Robeson's relatives disagreed with his warts-and-all portrayal.

Book News: Gabriel García Márquez Left An Unpublished Manuscript : The Two-Way : NPR

Book News: Gabriel García Márquez Left An Unpublished Manuscript : The Two-Way : NPR: Gabriel García Márquez left behind an unpublished manuscript when he died last week at age 87, Cristobal Pera, editorial director of Penguin Random House Mexico, told The Associated Press. Pera added that Marquez's family has not yet decided whether to publish it. Meanwhile, the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia published an extract of the work, tentatively titled We'll See Each Other in August (En agosto nos vemos). In the excerpt, a middle-aged woman named Ana Magdalena Bach has a fling during her annual trip to a tropical island to put flowers on her mother's grave. She stays at a hotel overlooking a lagoon full of herons. Ana, though she's married, meets a man at the hotel and begins an affair with him. The excerpt has a strong sense of place — García Márquez's descriptions are lush with flowers and tropical life – and a ripple of eroticism travels through it, from the touch of perfume Ana puts behind her ear at the beginning of the chapter to the thunderstorm during her encounter with the man from the hotel.

Higher Ed Diversity Advocates Focus on Big Picture After Supreme Court Setback - Higher Education

Higher Ed Diversity Advocates Focus on Big Picture After Supreme Court Setback - Higher Education: A state’s rights decision Tuesday by the United States Supreme Court may further impede the ability of racial minorities to attend state-supported colleges and universities in Michigan and six other states, yet does not change the court’s overall position that the use of race is still a valid consideration in other states for devising admissions strategies.

The 6-2 decision by the nation’s highest court, upholding the legality of voter-approved state constitutional amendments, was the underlying issue in a case centered on Michigan voter approval in 2006 of a proposed constitutional amendment, known as Proposition 2.

The amendment, championed by Black California conservative activist Ward Connerley, was approved by 58 percent of citizens voting. It prohibits “affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on race, gender, color, ethnicity or nation origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes.”

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Evidence Of Racial, Gender Biases Found In Faculty Mentoring : NPR

Evidence Of Racial, Gender Biases Found In Faculty Mentoring : NPR: STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, when preschoolers get to college, some will have professors who take sustained interest in guiding them. This often happens because a student reaches out for a mentor. Now let's hear how that time-honored process suffers from bias.

Our colleague David Greene sat down with NPR's Shankar Vedantam.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We should be clear of what we're talking about here. This is not professors who sort of help students acclimate to a university, give them directions. We're talking about professors who really invest in a student.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: That's right, David. And perhaps the most important thing is this is intellectual guidance. This is guidance to say: Here's how you should best use your skills.

GREENE: And what's the bias you found?

VEDANTAM: The bias has to do with how faculty seem to respond to these requests, David. Group of researchers ran this interesting field experiment. They emailed more than 6,500 professors at the top 250 schools pretending to be the students. And they wrote letters saying, I really admire your work. Would you have some time to meet? The letters to the faculty were all identical, but the names of the students were all different.

Let me read you some of the names and you can tell if you can pick up a pattern.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law - The Washington Post

Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law - The Washington Post: on PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.

“We would literally drive them to the end of the reservation and tell them to beat it,” Valenzuela said. “And hope they didn’t come back that night. They almost always did.”

About three weeks ago, at 2:45 a.m., the tribal police were called to the reservation home of an Indian woman who was allegedly being assaulted in front of her two children. They said her 36-year-old non-
Indian husband, Eloy Figueroa Lopez, had pushed her down on the couch and was violently choking her with both hands.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fraternity closes chapter following vandalism of statue

Fraternity closes chapter following vandalism of statue: JACKSON, Miss. -- Citing an internal investigation following the desecration of a historic James Meredith statue in February, a national fraternity is closing its chapter at the University of Mississippi.

"Sigma Phi Epsilon is committed to being a different kind of fraternity – one that recognizes the importance of the out-of-classroom experience and is committed to making that experience the safest and most empowering part of a college male's life," the fraternity's CEO Brian Warren, told members in a video conference Friday afternoon.

"Though it's always painful to close a chapter, these students' actions clearly illustrate a determination to perpetuate an experience based on risky and unconstructive behavior. In these cases, we have no choice but to close the chapter and return to campus at a later date." In the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 16, vandals placed a noose around the neck
of the statue and draped over its face a pre-2003 Georgia state flag with a Confederate battle emblem.

Salsa Legend Cheo Feliciano Dies : Alt.Latino : NPR

Salsa Legend Cheo Feliciano Dies : Alt.Latino : NPR: Three days of mourning have been declared in Puerto Rico following the death of salsa great Cheo Feliciano in a car accident there early Thursday. The singer was 78. "His music embodied the rhythm of Puerto Ricans living in New York City," U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said in a statement, "and his lyrics helped tell our collective story."

José Luis Feliciano Vega was born in 1935 to a working class family in the southern Puerto Rican city of Ponce. At 17 the family joined the massive Puerto Rican diaspora of the 1950s, and moved to New York. That's where Cheo started to train with the big Latin dance orchestras and develop the sound that would make him an icon in both New York and Puerto Rico.

Black students at Washington and Lee urge administrators to confront school’s past - The Washington Post

Black students at Washington and Lee urge administrators to confront school’s past - The Washington Post: A group of black law students at Washington and Lee University is urging administrators to atone for its Confederate heritage and what they call the “dishonorable conduct” of namesake Robert E. Lee.

The movement has struck a racial divide on the bucolic campus in Lexington, Va., where black students make up about 3.5 percent of the total student population.

Third-year law student Dominik Taylor, a descendent of slaves on his father’s side, said he felt betrayed by admissions representatives who touted the school’s diversity.

“They assured me it was a welcoming environment where everyone sticks together as a community,” Taylor said. “Then I came here and felt ostracized and alienated.”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gabriel García Márquez Quotes: 20 Sayings From Late Nobel Laureate To Celebrate His Legacy

Gabriel García Márquez Quotes: 20 Sayings From Late Nobel Laureate To Celebrate His Legacy: Colombian author and Nobel laureate, Gabriel García Márquez, has reportedly died at 87 after battling cancer reports El Pais. The Latin American writer recently stayed in the hospital for dehydration and a respiratory- and urinary-tract infection, but was released while he was "very fragile."

In 2012, it was reported that García Márquez's health was on the decline. According to The Guardian, the author's brother, Jaime García Márquez, told students in Cartagena, Colombia that his brother is suffering from dementia and was treated for lymphatic cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 1999.

"Dementia runs in our family and he's now suffering the ravages prematurely due to the cancer that put him almost on the verge of death," said Jaime, reports The Guardian. "Chemotherapy saved his life, but it also destroyed many neurons, many defences and cells, and accelerated the process. But he still has the humour, joy and enthusiasm that he has always had."

Slave who helped build Capitol’s Statue of Freedom honored with historical marker - The Washington Post

Slave who helped build Capitol’s Statue of Freedom honored with historical marker - The Washington Post: Philip Reid, who suffered many indignities in death as well as in life, has finally gotten the recognition due him 134 years after he was first buried.

A former slave who played a pivotal role in casting the giant bronze Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol dome, Reid now has a historical marker at the National Harmony Memorial Park in Hyattsville noting his contribution and that he died a free man.

The marker was unveiled fittingly on Wednesday, Emancipation Day, which commemorates the day in 1862 President Abraham Lincoln abolished involuntary servitude in the District. That is how the slave who helped construct the symbol of freedom over the Capitol gained his own freedom.

The marker, arranged and paid for by a writer trying to shed light on significant but overlooked moments in American history, is in a section of the cemetery where a garden will be planted and named for Solomon Northup, who wrote “Twelve Years a Slave.”

Excelencia in Education Report Reveals Latino College Completion Strides and Struggles - Higher Education

Excelencia in Education Report Reveals Latino College Completion Strides and Struggles - Higher Education: WASHINGTON ― Despite California having the largest Latino population in the U.S., there are no California higher education institutions in the top five at the associate’s or bachelor’s level, according to a report delivered Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

Excelencia in Education, the data-driven organization that aims to advance the success of Latino students in higher education, also noted in its report “Latino College Completion: United States” that Latinos will need to earn 5.5 million more degrees above current levels by 2020 in order for the U.S. to regain the top ranking in the world for college degree attainment. By reaching this goal, the organization said the U.S. can close the equity gap in college completion, increase the number of degrees awarded and scale up programs and initiatives that work for Latinos and other students.

Latino College Completion: United States | Excelencia in Education

Latino College Completion: United States | Excelencia in Education: For the U.S. to regain the top ranking in the world for college degree attainment, Latinos will need to earn 5.5 million more degrees by 2020.

To reach the degree attainment goal by 2020, the U.S. can: 1) close the equity gap in college completion; 2) increase the number of degrees conferred; and, 3) scale up programs and initiatives that work for Latino and other students. The following is a framework for tracking Latino degree attainment in the U.S.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Light And Dark: The Racial Biases That Remain In Photography : Code Switch : NPR

Light And Dark: The Racial Biases That Remain In Photography : Code Switch : NPR: When Syreeta McFadden was a child, she dreaded taking pictures after a family photo made her skin appear dulled and darkened.

"In some pictures, I am a mud brown, in others I'm a blue black. Some of the pictures were taken within moments of one another," she wrote in a story for Buzzfeed , digging into an "inherited bias" in photography against dark skin.

She tells Tell Me More's Celeste Headlee that certain cameras and photographers who are unfamiliar with different shades of skin often distort the images and color of black and brown people.

McFadden is now a photographer herself. Though technology has improved and allowed her to capture the many hues of brown skin, she says photography still has a long way to go.

Interview: Ramachandra Guha, Author Of 'Gandhi Before India' : NPR

Interview: Ramachandra Guha, Author Of 'Gandhi Before India' : NPR: n 1893, in the bustling seaside city of Durban, South Africa — then under British colonial rule — a young lawyer stepped off a ship from India, eager to try his professional luck far away from home. His name was Mohandas Gandhi and he stayed in in that country for more than 20 years before returning home, where he'd make a name for himself as an anti-colonial agitator and social reformer.

In Gandhi Before India, historian and writer Ramachandra Guha chronicles Gandhi's years in South Africa. He tells NPR's Renee Montagne about how white South Africans treated Indians, Gandhi's entrance into politics and his lasting legacy of non-violent protest.

USC dedicates garden to honor first black students since Reconstruction

USC dedicates garden to honor first black students since Reconstruction: A garden adjacent the Osborne Administration Building on the University of South Carolina campus was dedicated Friday morning (April 11) in honor of the three students who integrated the university in 1963.

Situated along the university’s north wall, the Desegregation Commemorative Garden features a trinity of sculpted juniper topiaries, flowered beds, curving brick pathways and a granite monument etched with an original poem written by university poet Nikky Finney.

Surrounded by university officials, students, faculty, family and members of the community, Henrie Monteith (now Treadwell) and James L. Solomon reflected on their 50-year journey that began with Robert G. Anderson as they climbed the steps of Osborne to register for classes. The two (Anderson has since died) retraced those steps Sept. 11 to begin a yearlong commemoration culminating with the garden’s dedication and an evening of music and dance performance April 12.

UT’s first black students faced significant discrimination on the long road to integration | The Daily Texan

UT’s first black students faced significant discrimination on the long road to integration | The Daily Texan: Leon Holland could live in the dorms but was not allowed to eat in any cafeterias. Holland could attend classes but could not take part in nearly any student organizations. He could cheer for his school’s football team but could not expect to see any athletes who looked like him.

In the fall of 1956, Holland was a member of the first black undergraduate class allowed into the University.

Today, Holland is a proud member of the Precursors, a group of some of the first black students to attend and integrate the University. Lonnie Fogle, the current president of the Precursors, said the organization was originally an old group of alumni friends who used to gather for the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, informally calling themselves The Dudes. They changed the name to be more inclusive to women and organized themselves more formally in 2005.

Is the Paris, Texas, School District Discriminatory Against Black Students? | News | BET

Is the Paris, Texas, School District Discriminatory Against Black Students? | News | BET: More than 90,000 people have rallied behind one African-American teenager in a recent Change.org petition, accusing an entire Texas school district of discriminatory disciplinary action.

“Drop the felony charges against Joquan Wallace,” reads the petition, organized by Paris, Texas-based civil rights activist Brenda Cherry. “Stop the School to Prison Pipeline at Paris Independent School District.”

“It’s all for nothing,” Cherry told BET.com. “He wasn’t doing anything but going to the bathroom.”

The protest comes close behind a recent report by the U.S. Department of Education confirming that Black students face disproportionately harsher discipline than other students, even as preschoolers.

Experts to discuss how to disrupt 'school-to-prison pipeline' for students of color : Newscenter : IUPUI

Experts to discuss how to disrupt 'school-to-prison pipeline' for students of color : Newscenter : IUPUI: INDIANAPOLIS -- A panel of experts on race and education will discuss the problem of the "school-to-prison pipeline" during a public event Thursday, April 17.

"The School-to-Prison Pipeline: What It Is and What We Can Do to Disrupt It" starts at 6:30 p.m. at the IUPUI Campus Center, Room 450B. The event is co-sponsored by the Indiana University School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the IUPUI Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The event is free.

Five panelists from Indiana and Illinois will bring their perspectives to finding a solution. The school-to-prison pipeline refers to alarming statistics that show students of color facing disciplinary actions in school at much higher rates, which in turn tends to steer the students toward more serious problems outside school.

Detroit student protests U-M admission denial, argues school needs more diversity | The Detroit News

Detroit student protests U-M admission denial, argues school needs more diversity | The Detroit News: Brooke Kimbrough’s friends were beginning to hear they had been accepted into the freshman class this fall at the University of Michigan.

Finally, she got word about her own application, but the news was not good: She hadn’t been accepted at the university she had dreamed all her life of attending.

Now Kimbrough, a Detroit resident, is protesting the decision not only for herself but for other prospective African-American and Latino students. Her fight is a familiar story of a student applying to U-M, and calling for public attention to her rejection.

But this time, the student is black, not white.

Gorgas Scholarship goes to black high school student for first time in contest's 67-year history | AL.com

Gorgas Scholarship goes to black high school student for first time in contest's 67-year history | AL.com: BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- For the first time in its 67-year history, a black high school student has won top honors in the Gorgas Scholarship Competition.

The Gorgas Scholarship Committee announced this week that the winner of the first-pace tuition grant of $4,000 was Arrix Ryce, a senior at Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School.

"After being named the winner, I realized that this win wasn't just a win for me; winning the Gorgas Competition was a win for the black community," Ryce said in an email to AL.com.
"Nothing comes easy, and neither did this win. But hard work pays off. And hard work, when coupled with persistence, is the only thing that will enable us as a society to solve global issues and sustain tomorrow's world."

Why are black students being paddled more in the public schools? | Hechinger Report

Why are black students being paddled more in the public schools? | Hechinger Report: LEXINGTON, MISS. — Students in this central Mississippi town quickly learn that even minor transgressions can bring down the weight of the paddle. Seventh grader Steven Burns recounts getting smacked with it for wearing the wrong color shirt; Jacoby Blue, 12, for failing to finish her homework on time; and Curtis Hill, 16, for defiantly throwing a crumpled piece of paper in the trash can.

In Holmes County, where 99 percent of the public school children are black, students say corporal punishment traditionally starts at daycare and Head Start centers, where teachers rap preschool-age students lightly with rulers and pencils, cautioning: “Just wait until you get to big school.”

At “big school,” the wooden paddle is larger — the employee handbook calls for it to be up to thirty inches long, half an inch thick, and from two to three inches wide — and the teachers sometimes admonish errant students to “talk to the wood or go to the ‘hood” (slang for choosing between the paddle and an out-of-school suspension).

Virginia Honors 2 Schools for Black Students

Virginia Honors 2 Schools for Black Students: RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Two former Rosenwald schools in Virginia are being recognized for their education of young black students.

Two historic highway markers have been approved for the schools, one in Southside Virginia, the other in Orange County.

St. Paul' s Chapel School in Brunswick County was among the earliest of more than a dozen Rosenwald schools in that county. The school is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Orange Graded School was built in 1925 to replace the African-American schoolhouse on West Main Street. Orange Graded was built using the Julius Rosenwald Fund.

Between 1917 and 1932, the Rosenwald Fund helped build more than 5,000 schools around the rural South for the education of black children.

Study Shows Minority Students Less Likely to Have Effective Teachers | Clutch Magazine

Study Shows Minority Students Less Likely to Have Effective Teachers | Clutch Magazine: The Center for American Progress issued a report on Friday that confirms that low-income students of color not only have less experienced teachers, but also less effective teachers.

The study analyzes teacher evaluation scores in low-income and affluent districts in both Massachusetts and Louisiana.

In Louisiana, a student within a school at the highest-poverty quartile is almost three times as likely to be taught by a teacher rated “ineffective” as a student in a school in the lowest-poverty quartile. And in Massachusetts, students in high-poverty schools are three times as likely to be taught by a teacher rated “unsatisfactory” than students in low-poverty schools.

A second report indicates the root cause is an unequal distribution of teachers. While No Child Left Behind previously asked states to devise plans to ensure equitable distribution, subsequent waivers gave states the flexibility to deviate from those requirements.

REPORT: Black Students More Likely To Get Inexperienced Teachers | News One

REPORT: Black Students More Likely To Get Inexperienced Teachers | News One: According to a new report, data shows that students of color are more likely to have less experienced and less effective teachers. Colorlines reports:

The Center for American Progress issued a report on Friday that confirms that low-income students of color not only have less experienced teachers, but also less effective teachers.

The study analyzes teacher evaluation scores in low-income and affluent districts in both Massachusetts and Louisiana.

In Louisiana, a student within a school at the highest-poverty quartile is almost three times as likely to be taught by a teacher rated “ineffective” as a student in a school in the lowest-poverty quartile. And in Massachusetts, students in high-poverty schools are three times as likely to be taught by a teacher rated “unsatisfactory” than students in low-poverty schools.

A second report indicates the root cause is an unequal distribution of teachers. While No Child Left Behind previously asked states to devise plans to ensure equitable distribution, subsequent waivers gave states the flexibility to deviate from those requirements.

“Poor students and students of color are less likely to get well-qualified or high-achieving teachers than students from higher-income families or students who are white,” says the report.

Harvard University Admits Highest Number Of Black Students In School's History

Harvard University Admits Highest Number Of Black Students In School's History: There was a time when black students were not allowed to attend Ivy Leagues universities. This year, Harvard University proved just how far they’ve come from that part of their history.

According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, this year marks Harvard’s highest percentage of accepted black students to date. The journal predicts that the class of 2018 will have approximately 170 black students out of a total of 2,023 -- almost 12 percent of the class population. It goes on to stress the fact that American colleges most known for their selectiveness tend to average only 5 to 10 percent black students.

Two high schoolers made headlines for not only receiving acceptance letters from Harvard, but from several Ivy League schools: Kwasi Enin -- who was accepted to all eight Ivy Leagues -- and Avery Coffey, who was accepted to five.

Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Edition - Higher Education

Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Edition - Higher Education: In this special issue, Diverse names four outstanding scholar-athletes of color, this year’s Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award winners. Diverse also profiles past honorees who have gone on to success in the military, the field of nuclear energy and business and entertainment.

Also in this issue, we take a closer look at a new generation of diverse students who are becoming the face of intercollegiate tennis. A special Convergence feature looks at disabled athletes’ options to compete on the collegiate level.

Hmong Americans Struggling to Grasp Higher Ed Success - Higher Education

Hmong Americans Struggling to Grasp Higher Ed Success - Higher Education: SAN FRANCISCO — Several years ago, California State University, Chico financial aid advisor MaiHoua Lo spent countless hours preparing a bilingual presentation for the families of Hmong American high school seniors who had received letters of admission.

Lo’s presentation would coincide with the university’s spring preview, in which academic deans and student services officials welcome onto campus all high school seniors who have been admitted, along with their families, in efforts to coax them into enrolling in the fall. Many parents of Hmong students lack college degrees, so Lo felt that extra outreach was essential. She even called the families to explain the importance of the university’s open house.

But, none of them turned out for the event — an outcome that frustrated Lo.

Blacks, International Students Gaining Greater Foothold in Collegiate Tennis - Higher Education

Blacks, International Students Gaining Greater Foothold in Collegiate Tennis - Higher Education: When Salif Kante graduated from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 2013, he was at the top of his game as a tennis athlete. He came to FAMU from Georgia Perimeter College ranked as the No. 1 junior college tennis player in the nation, and only added to his awards and honors over the two years he played for the institution, including being named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

“He was a gentle giant,” recalls Carl B. Goodman, FAMU’s head coach of men’s tennis, referring to Kante, a 6-foot-5 public relations major who excelled on the courts and in the classroom. “He was one of the most talented players and nicest people ever.”

Today, Kante, a native of Senegal, is embarking on a career as a professional tennis player, hoping his performance will incite as much excitement as the late Arthur Ashe did in his professional career following his intercollegiate tennis career at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf extols Jackie Robinson's influence in game | MLB.com: News

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf extols Jackie Robinson's influence in game | MLB.com: News: CHICAGO -- On the 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color barrier in Major League Baseball, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf recalled that the biggest question on April 15, 1947, was not the color of Robinson's skin, but rather: Could he play?

"It was all about what kind of a ballplayer he was," said Reinsdorf, who grew up in Brooklyn as a diehard fan of Robinson's Dodgers.

"I watched this interview with Ralph Branca, and what Ralph said [jogged] my memory -- it wasn't that big a deal," Reinsdorf recalled while speaking to the media following Tuesday's panel discussion on Robinson and his impact on sports and society at the U.S. Cellular Field Conference and Learning Center. "It was a question of if he could play. And when he came up -- and he was only hitting about .240-something into May -- and so there were some questions about whether he was going to be a good enough player. Spider Jorgensen [another rookie] looked like he might be a better player, then Jackie took off and became very popular. But it was all based upon [whether] could he play."

Monday, April 14, 2014

Morgan State Seeks to Make History in National HBCU Quiz Bowl Competition - Higher Education

Morgan State Seeks to Make History in National HBCU Quiz Bowl Competition - Higher Education: Morgan State University alumnus Mark Branch recalls that participating on his school’s team in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge produced an experience that’s stayed with him since graduating from the Baltimore-based historically Black university with an engineering degree and working at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as an aerospace engineer.

Competing on his high school quiz bowl team and for Morgan State in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge “made [him] want to get better in life,” he said, noting that he joined the team as a college senior during the 1990-91 academic year.

“[Those experiences] instilled in me the drive to get better … competition brings out the best in me,” Branch explained. “Even though our team didn’t reach the highest of heights, [the experiences] prepared me as an individual for the highest of heights and that’s why I work for the world’s premier space agency.”

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Poetic Take On Black Boxer Lands Punches With Broad Appeal : Code Switch : NPR

Poetic Take On Black Boxer Lands Punches With Broad Appeal : Code Switch : NPR: Americans don't love boxing like they used to. For decades, fans have bemoaned that audiences are down and networks aren't interested; now, MMA competes for eyeballs on pay-per-view.

But writers and artists adore the sport. Consider some of the premieres from the past year alone. A dance homage to Muhammad Ali . Not one, but two boxing operas: Approaching Ali and Champion, based on the life of Emile Griffith. Two plays putting Muhammad Ali on the stage. Mike Tyson's memoir, which was — of course —  reviewed by Joyce Carol Oates, and his one-man show, directed by Spike Lee, which traveled across the country and spent some time on Broadway.

You don't need to know a hook from a cross to appreciate this bounty. The stories behind boxing have universal appeal — there's a reason poets have been inspired by pugilists for all of recorded history. And boxing is a revealing microcosm of American anxieties. Come for the violent, beautiful stories; stay for the commentary on culture and race.

Autism, Like Race, Complicates Almost Everything : Code Switch : NPR

Autism, Like Race, Complicates Almost Everything : Code Switch : NPR: Children have tantrums. They yell and grab at things that they should ask for nicely. And when a child has autism, like my son, these episodes can be epic: toys hurled across a room, screaming fits that last hours, and flurries of hitting that get triggered by even a minor change in a routine.

But when my son screams at his therapist and tries to snatch Magic Markers from his hands, I gasp. I think of Trayvon Martin.

I'm black, and so is my son. And even though at that moment he's just 5 years old, I know that an angry swipe at a white man's hands could get him killed one day.

At some of the toughest moments with my son, this therapist has been a sanity saver ... for me. A middle-aged white man, he has the warm, easy manner of everyone's favorite uncle. For my son, he has compassion and endless patience. But at times he's told my son NOT to do something, and my son has not only done it; he's also gotten physical.

Congressional Black Caucus Urges Rethink Of Army Hair Rules : Code Switch : NPR

Congressional Black Caucus Urges Rethink Of Army Hair Rules : Code Switch : NPR: The women of the Congressional Black Caucus have sent a letter asking Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to reconsider new Army regulations that made headlines earlier this month. AR-670-1 the revised regulations for grooming and appearance, has some black female enlistees in an uproar: it dictates that black women may wear their hair au naturelle in twists or braids if they choose, but they must be narrow twists or braids — no more than a quarter-inch in diameter. (The Army has forbidden twists and dreadlocks since 2005, but wasn't specific about size. And while thin twists are still allowed, dreadlocks remain prohibited.)

In the April 10 letter, Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, head of the Congressional Black Caucus, joined with more than a dozen other women Caucus members to tell Hagel, "African American women have often been required to meet unreasonable norms as it relates to acceptable standards of grooming in the workplace."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Al Sharpton’s NAN Tackles Education, the ‘Civil Rights Issue of Our Day’ - Higher Education

Al Sharpton’s NAN Tackles Education, the ‘Civil Rights Issue of Our Day’ - Higher Education: NEW YORK— Helping students of color acquire the necessary skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) was a focal point of the education panel at the National Action Network’s annual convention in New York City.

Dr. Marcus Bright, executive director of Education for a Better America (EBA), moderated the panel that included educators from across the country, including television personality Dr. Steve Perry and Dr. Lisa Staino-Coico, president of The City College of New York.

Staino-Coico said that more work has to be done to get minority students interested in STEM fields at an early age so that they can major in the disciplines in college and go on to the competitive job market.

Access to Higher Ed for Diverse Populations a Global Challenge - Higher Education

Access to Higher Ed for Diverse Populations a Global Challenge - Higher Education: Paris — Diversity in higher education should be viewed by the long-term benefits it affords individuals, society and academe and not just by the short-term issues that arise from efforts to bring more members of historically disenfranchised groups to campus.

That was one of the key takeaways from a panel discussion held at the historic Hotel de Ville Thursday at the second annual Princeton-Fung Global Forum.

The panel — formally titled “How to Expand Access for a Diverse Population” — featured scholars from three nations, including the United States, that are wrestling with how to use policy to encourage greater social parity in postsecondary education.

Student Athletes Receive Life Lessons at Arthur Ashe Celebration - Higher Education

Student Athletes Receive Life Lessons at Arthur Ashe Celebration - Higher Education: FAIRFAX, Va. ― For high school student athletes concerned about making the grade in college and beyond, experts say the formula for success is fairly simple: have a plan, execute and take responsibility.

On Thursday, the young adults at the 2014 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Symposium and Awards Luncheon were provided with the opportunity to learn from panelists who ranged from former star athletes to educators to entrepreneurs.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pioneering Black Newsman In The White House Belatedly Gets His Due : Code Switch : NPR

Pioneering Black Newsman In The White House Belatedly Gets His Due : Code Switch : NPR: The White House Correspondents' Association will name a college scholarship this year in honor of the first black journalist to cover a presidential news conference.

For Harry McAlpin, the recognition is 70 years overdue.

McAlpin, a correspondent for the Atlanta Daily World, covered his first Oval Office press conference in 1944 over the objection of the Correspondents' Association. At the time, the association was an all-white club and for years it blocked black journalists from attending.

Franklin Roosevelt agreed to admit McAlpin to a news conference after meeting with frustrated leaders of the Negro Newspaper Publishers Association. But there were limits to the doors even Roosevelt could open.

New state higher education plan addresses changing demographics of students - baltimoresun.com

New state higher education plan addresses changing demographics of students - baltimoresun.com: The body overseeing higher education in Maryland unveiled a new four-year plan Wednesday intended to help serve the low-income, first-generation and nontraditional students that make up a growing segment of the academic population.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission's plan is also meant to push the state toward Gov. Martin O'Malley's goal of increasing the proportion of college-educated Marylanders to 55 percent by 2025.

"We realize that in order to have the workforce that we need to meet the demands of our economy … we have to look beyond those students who have traditionally comprised our graduation cohorts," said Maryland Higher Education Secretary Danette G. Howard.

40 years later, Hank Aaron's grace a beauty to behold

Hank Aaron has the letters tucked away in his attic, preserved these last 40 years. He's not ready to let them go.

He almost has them memorized by now, but still he carefully opens them up and reads every word, as if he wants to feel the pain.

"You are (not) going to break this record established by the great Babe Ruth if I can help it," one of them reads. "Whites are far more superior than jungle bunnies. My gun is watching your every black move." Yes, Aaron even saved the death threats, the ones that vowed to end his life if he dared break Ruth's cherished all-time home run record.

"I wouldn't have saved those damn things," says Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who grew up in Aaron's hometown of Mobile, Ala. "I would have burned them. I had a few of them myself over the years. I don't save stuff like that.

Beyond Black and White: How the Debate Over Affirmative Action Has Evolved - Higher Education

Beyond Black and White: How the Debate Over Affirmative Action Has Evolved - Higher Education: Harvard University hit a milestone in 1969, enrolling its first class containing more than 100 African-Americans, according to a 1975 report by The Harvard Crimson. Such a milestone was not celebrated by all, however, as a number of media outlets published pieces attacking the students and Harvard’s affirmative action policies. One such article appeared in a September 1973 issue of the New York Times Magazine and was written by Dr. Martin Kilson, Harvard’s first fully-tenured Black professor. In the article, titled “The Black Experience at Harvard,” Kilson observed how many Black undergraduates regularly sat together at the same tables during meals, and accused the students of self-segregation and intellectual withdrawal.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Florida A&M Fears Lawmaker Trying to Turn Back Clock - Higher Education

Florida A&M Fears Lawmaker Trying to Turn Back Clock - Higher Education: A Florida lawmaker’s proposal to designate $13 million in state funds to launch a new school of engineering at Florida State University (FSU) and end its partnership with neighboring Florida A&M University (FAMU) has stirred a whirlwind of debate over the motives and possible implications of the proposal.

The two state-controlled institutions, both based in Tallahassee, established the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in 1982 as part of the state’s effort to eliminate duplicate education programs rooted in the days of racial segregation. FSU is historically White. FAMU is historically Black.

The touted joint engineering program boasts some 2,500 students, although it is as much a separate business operation today in many respects as before the two were consolidated. Many operations remain separate when it comes to behind-the-scenes functions such as payroll and credit hour revenue sharing. The two institutions even report enrollment separately. At the same time, they have developed collaborative efforts that benefit both institutions when it comes to student access to teachers, joint research projects and similar ventures.

Diversity Abroad Seeks to Boost Minority Participation in International Study - Higher Education

Diversity Abroad Seeks to Boost Minority Participation in International Study - Higher Education: While it has not been a primary topic of conversation in higher education circles in recent years, the dearth of minorities included in programs to study abroad has not gone undocumented. Now, experts are trying to figure out how to improve the situation.

According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), of all U.S. students that participate in study abroad programs, 76.4% are White as of 2012, compared to Asian American/Native American and Pacific Islander at 7.7%, Hispanic/Latino at 7.6% and African-American participants at 5.3%. IIE Director of Public Affairs Sharon Witherell stated that “the study abroad population is still 76% White students, slightly better over the years, but just not enough diversity.”

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Chuck Stone, Pioneering Black Journalist And Professor, Dies At 89 : Code Switch : NPR

Chuck Stone, Pioneering Black Journalist And Professor, Dies At 89 : Code Switch : NPR: When Chuck Stone worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, staffers for the newspaper got used to calls from reception telling them a person the police were pursuing as violent and criminal was waiting to talk to Stone. The suspects trusted Stone but feared police brutality. The veteran newsman would talk to the accused, take the accused's photo to show he was intact and then call the police.

Elmer Smith, who inherited Stone's column after he retired, wrote that this was a prudent, even lifesaving measure: "If their features somehow got rearranged on the way to prison," Smith wrote in his appreciation on Monday, "a Daily News photo would be evidence of what had happened to them."

A total of 75 people would turn themselves over to Stone in the 19 years that he wrote one of Philadelphia's most closely read columns. All were black, and all feared being battered or even killed by Philadelphia's finest, which had a reputation for institutional brutality in the city's communities of color. Especially its black ones.

How Stereotypes Explain Everything And Nothing At All : Code Switch : NPR

How Stereotypes Explain Everything And Nothing At All : Code Switch : NPR: A few days ago, I wrote a post in which I was mulling just why so few Asian Americans played Division I basketball in the 2012-2013 season. The numbers were striking. Of the 5,380 men's players in the top tier of college basketball, only 15 were Asian-American. Asian-American ballers weren't just underrepresented — they were practically invisible.

While asking that question, I posited a number of easy explanations for why this might be so, and explained why none of them was sufficient to explain why this might be.

But a few people defaulted back to them, anyway. Asian-Americans are too short. They're just too busy studying and excelling at school to be concerned with basketball.

"How many sons of Jewish immigrants are playing basketball?" one commenter asked, presumably because Jews are also commonly held up as overachieving models of assimilation.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Arts Education Lacking in Low-Income Areas of New York City, Report Says - NYTimes.com

Arts Education Lacking in Low-Income Areas of New York City, Report Says - NYTimes.com: New York City’s comptroller plans to release a report on Monday quantifying what student advocates have long suspected: that many public schools in the city do not offer any kind of arts education, and that the lack of arts instruction disproportionately affects low-income neighborhoods.

With a mayor and a schools chancellor at the beginning of their terms, the comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, said he hoped the report would push the city to dedicate more money to art teachers and classrooms and become more transparent about how arts education resources are distributed across the schools. The report, using Education Department data, shows that 20 percent of public schools lack any arts teachers, including roughly one out of seven middle and high schools, even though state law requires arts instruction for middle and high school students.

Honored by National Portrait Gallery, Maya Angelou faces mortality and immortality - The Washington Post

Honored by National Portrait Gallery, Maya Angelou faces mortality and immortality - The Washington Post: Maya Angelou has been slowed by age. Tinted shades cover her cataract-laden eyes. She is rolled about in a wheelchair by an assistant. She wears thick socks and no shoes. In a green room, before taking the stage for a weekend appearance in Washington, she takes oxygen to rest and energize her lungs.

“Oh my goodness, do it if you can,” she has said of growing older. “I mean it.”

The woman who became a literary star with the 1969 publication of “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” turned 86 on Friday and celebrated in the District at her favoriterestaurant, the Bombay Club, for a dinner hosted by a grandson. The following day, Angelou pondered aging once more as the National Portrait Gallery unveiled a large photo-realistic painting of her that will be included in its collection, an that honor brings her further along the road of artistic immortality.

Jerry Sue Thornton Honored with Diverse Champions Award - Higher Education

Jerry Sue Thornton Honored with Diverse Champions Award - Higher Education: Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, the president emeritus of Cuyahoga Community College, was the third recipient of the Diverse Champions award presented at the American Association of Community Colleges conference taking place this week in Washington, D.C.

A veteran educator, Thornton retired last June after 21 years on the job. At a reception held Sunday evening, Thornton said the award was “validation of the work I’ve done over the years in promoting diversity.”

A daughter of a coal miner and farmer, Thornton is still involved with Cuyahoga, working as a consultant with the school’s foundation and helping to raise scholarships for deserving students, said Dr. Alex Johnson, the current president of Cuyahoga.

Researchers Discuss Role of HBCUs in Supporting School-age Black Males - Higher Education

Researchers Discuss Role of HBCUs in Supporting School-age Black Males - Higher Education: PHILADELPHIA – During a panel session at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), several prominent researchers on African-American males highlighted strategies and policies to improve the Black male experience in preK-12 schools and in postsecondary contexts, including at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The session, titled “Plotting the Path to Historically Black Colleges and Universities for School-Age Black Males,” was sponsored by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and included Drs. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, James L. Moore III, Chance W. Lewis, Lamont A. Flowers and Ivory A. Toldson, deputy director of the initiative.

“In addressing many of these issues, it is important to conduct research and implement best practices designed to help school-age Black males develop confidence in their academic abilities,” said Flowers, the Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and the Executive Director of the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education at Clemson University.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Cesar Chavez Film Faces Criticism For Not Being Chicano Enough : Code Switch : NPR

Cesar Chavez Film Faces Criticism For Not Being Chicano Enough : Code Switch : NPR: In the little more than a week since the Cesar Chavez movie came out, there have been as many complaints as kudos for the handling of the complex story about the Mexican-American union organizer and civil rights leader. Some pointed out that Filipinos were left out of the story, others mentioned Chavez's views about undocumented immigrants went unsaid and still others noted the role of women in the movement was downplayed.

Another concern that was aired had to do with the background of the film's director, Diego Luna. He is of Mexican, not Mexican-American, origin. Chavez's youngest son, Paul Chavez, told NPR that the family was initially concerned about "a Mexicano telling a story that is really about a Mexican-American Chicano in the United States," but that they were eventually won over by Luna's passionate commitment to the story and willingness to learn.

Changing The Face Of Astronomy Research : NPR

Changing The Face Of Astronomy Research : NPR: Shooting for the stars is expensive.

Advanced sciences like astronomy require years of study and graduate degrees. And the soaring cost of college can be a heavy obstacle for low-income and minority students hoping to break into those fields.

A program at the City University of New York hopes to lift that burden by providing scholarships and one-on-one mentoring to underrepresented students.AstroCom NYC

is designed for CUNY scholars like Ariel Diaz, who first felt the pull of astronomy when he was a Marine stationed in North Carolina. Diaz was miserable at the time; he missed his friends and family back in New York City.

Student Debt Weighs Down Women More. Blame The Wage Gap : NPR

Student Debt Weighs Down Women More. Blame The Wage Gap : NPR: Women have made gains in the workplace but there's still a wage gap. Although attending college costs the same for both genders, women are more burdened by student loan debt after graduating. They spend a higher proportion of their salaries on paying off debt because, well, they have lower salaries to work with than men — from the very start.

A study by the American Association of University Women found that one year after college, nearly half of women working full time, and 39 percent of men, were devoting more than 8 percent of their income toward their debt. That may seem small, but when you are fresh out of college, the combination of living expenses, credit card bills or debt, a 401(k) and a little left over for savings — if you can hack it — adds up.

It does so more quickly for women. College-educated women made 82 percent of men's salaries one year after graduating in 2009, according to the AAUW study.

"For many young women, the challenge of paying back student loans is their first encounter with the pay gap," the study says.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Sit Next To Rosa Parks At The National Civil Rights Museum : Code Switch : NPR

Sit Next To Rosa Parks At The National Civil Rights Museum : Code Switch : NPR: In 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis became America's first major museum to paint a broad picture of the civil rights movement. Its content hasn't changed much since then. But this Saturday after a nearly $28 million renovation that took 18 months, the museum will re-open with a new design that aims to appeal to an older generation as well as a post-civil-rights-era audience.

About 200,000 people each year file into the courtyard of what was once the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. They gaze at the second floor balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before he was assassinated.

That site marks the epicenter of a cultural earthquake. Executive director Beverly Robertson said it was time to take a fresh look at the civil rights movement through the eyes of the people who gave it life.