January Special!
Done to Us Not with Us: Calling for New Voices
10/24/2018 4:01:45 PM

By Khalilah Long, Communications Manager, UNCF   Parents play critical roles in their child’s achievement from kindergarten through high school graduation. Parent advocacy has proven to have positive implications on student educational success. But who advocates for and supports parents and caregivers? In African American households, oftentimes, clergy or other prominent community leaders are the galvanizing force behind motivating community involvement. In the ‘50s and ’60s, during the Civil Rights Movement, critical voices for change came through influential...

Academic Standards and the Every Student Succeeds Act
10/24/2018 4:00:09 PM

By: Dr. Elizabeth Primas   The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines standards as, “something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example. For example,” the Egyptians established the 365-day calendar, recording 4236 BC as the first year in recorded history. Around 1100 AD in England, it was determined that the length of King Henry Beauclerc’s foot would be used for the standard measurement of a linear foot. These standards of time and linear measurement are still widely used and accepted today. During the Civil War, America...

The Land of the Free
10/24/2018 3:58:35 PM

This week marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Black Power salute given by Olympic medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos as the American anthem played during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympic Games. Their quiet nonviolent protest earned them loud and widespread criticism, death threats and suspension from the U.S track team. Tommie Smith later said: “We were just human beings who saw a need to bring attention to the inequality in our country . . . I don’t like the idea of people looking at it as negative. There was nothing but a raised fist in the air and a bowed head,...

School Grading Practices Are Inaccurate and Inequitable to Impacted Children
10/24/2018 3:56:10 PM

By Joe Feldman   The battle for equity in our schools is not only a fight to guarantee access to great teaching and high-quality learning environments, programs, and materials. The battle for equity also includes the practices and policies that teachers use to describe students’ success or failure in school. An issue often overlooked, grading, is of critical importance. Grades determine so many decisions made about our children: whether they are promoted, qualify to play on the athletic field, graduate, receive scholarships, and get accepted to college. Unfortunately, in too...

Shedding Light on the ‘Invisible Symptoms’ of Sickle Cell Disease
10/24/2018 3:53:20 PM

What I’ve heard time and time again from people living with SCD is that they often feel isolated in their journey. Kyle, a patient living with SCD, recently summed it up nicely when he said, “Sometimes it is hard to just get out of bed. What it means to live in pain is not something that many can truly understand.” For Kyle and many others who struggle with the invisible symptoms of SCD, I want to focus this column on the mental health challenges of SCD. It’s an important aspect of the disease that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. Only by increasing...

“The Trial of the Century” from a Black Journalist’s View
10/17/2018 9:16:07 PM

By Erick Johnson   The “Trial of the Century” in Chicago is over. No more morning rush hour drives to the courthouse and going through metal detectors. No more early-morning reports on Chicago’s iconic WVON radio station, called in from a musty parking garage across from a building where so many Black males have gone through and which too few bad cops have stepped foot in.  But for all the sacrifices and headaches of covering the murder trial of Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke, it was worth it. Finally seeing a police officer led out of the courtroom left...

White Privilege and Sexism Merge at the U.S. Supreme Court
10/17/2018 9:14:47 PM

By Austin R. Cooper   As I sat in my hotel room in West Africa watching Justice Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, I was reminded of what several Africans have said to me since the election of President Donald Trump: “So my American friend, how does it feel to live under a dictator? Welcome to the African way.” On the afternoon of September 27th, I posted on Facebook: “Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is not only poised, but also credible. Without a doubt, she is being truthful. The Brett Kavanaugh nomination is dead.” Clearly, I was...

Who Will We Welcome? Will We Welcome the Children?
10/17/2018 9:12:58 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34) Every third weekend of October many thousands of people of faith come together all across America for the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® celebrations launched by the Children’s Defense Fund to unite congregations across religious traditions to respond to the divine mandate to nurture, protect,...

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Fails to Forgive
10/17/2018 9:04:01 PM

Across the nation and multiple generations, student loan debt now surpasses $1.5 trillion. The anxiety shared by borrowers from all walks of life seeking ways to lift this unsustainable consumer debt affects multiple life dimensions. In some cases, these burdensome debts threaten the future of America’s middle class. recent developments hold potential for struggling consumers. On September 28, the independent and nonpartisan General Accounting Office (GAO) released findings on the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Eligible student loan borrowers who have...

“Two Takes on Kavanaugh Elevation to Supreme Court”
10/10/2018 11:03:07 PM

Senator Kamala Harris WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on her vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: “When Judge Brett Kavanaugh was first nominated, I said that he represents a direct and fundamental threat to that promise inscribed above the Supreme Court, ‘Equal Justice Under Law.’ In the weeks since then, the basis for my concern has been confirmed. Senate Republicans used raw power to rush an unfit nominee...