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John Conyers Dies at 90
11/2/2019 2:38:58 PM

By Stacy M.Brown   Former U.S. Congressman John Conyers, whose 15-year fight to pass legislation that would make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday, has died. He was 90. The longtime Michigan Democrat represented what is now the state’s 13th Congressional District (which includes parts of western Detroit) for more than 50 years. Conyers resigned in 2017. Conyers was born in Detroit in 1929. He was elected to Congress in 1965 and immediately became a forceful voice in the Civil Rights Movement, co-sponsoring the Voting Rights Act of that same...

Importance of Educators of Color for Black & Brown Students
11/2/2019 2:36:21 PM

By Ron Rice Senior Director, Government Relations at the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools   I have been a Black student, education policymaker, and now an advocate for providing the best educational opportunities for all our children. One reality that I’ve had to face and embrace through each of these stages in my life and career is that the prevalence of leaders of color like me is a major contributor to educational success and whose lack thereof stifles that potential. As a student of color, those examples helped me thrive; and today they inform my...

Congressman Elijah Cummings Dies at 68
10/23/2019 10:20:22 AM

By Stacy M. Brown   The Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and a titan of the U.S. Congress, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD-7), died early Thursday morning. He was 68. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the congressman's wife and chairman of the Maryland Democratic Committee, said Cummings died at 2:45 a.m. at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Mrs. Cummings said her husband's death resulted from complications concerning longstanding health challenges. In recent years, Cummings had been in and out of the hospital. "Dr. Elijah Saunders and I took care of...

Opinion Polls vs. Debates—Democrats in Battle Over Voter Influence
10/23/2019 10:14:20 AM

By Stacy M. Brown   The symbiotic nature of debates and public opinion polls was on full display this week in Ohio, stated Krista Jenkins, a political science professor at Farleigh Dickinson University and the school’s poll director. “[Former Vice President Joe] Biden stood for incrementalism, and those who flanked him – Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – pushed hard for a vision that’s anything but incremental,” Jenkins said in a recap of the debate for Advance Local Media in New Jersey. Nowhere was this more evident in the debate...

Compton College’s Campus Community Mirrors Population It Serves
10/17/2019 1:30:35 PM

By Dr. Keith Curry Compton College President/CEO   Compton College’s population of students, faculty and staff reflects the diversity of the residents that live within the Compton Community College District (CCCD) service area, which encompasses 12 cities including the communities of Compton, Lynwood, Paramount and Willowbrook, as well as portions of Athens, Bellflower, Carson, Downey, Dominguez, Lakewood, Long Beach, and South Gate. While the current employees of the Compton Community College District closely mirror the same population, Compton College has an Equal...

Poll of Likely Voters Shows Rising Student Debt Problems: Weakened Borrower Protections
10/17/2019 1:26:33 PM

By Charlene Crowell   When likely voters across the country were recently asked their opinions about student loan borrowing, 82% agreed that the still-growing $1.5 trillion debt is a national crisis. Even when partisan affiliations were included, the solid concern for this unsustainable financial burden held strong: 74% of Republicans, 80% of independents, and 90% of Democrats. When asked further about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s reduced efforts to protect students from abusive student loans and student loan services, those most concerned were Blacks,...

God Help Us to End Poverty in Our Time
10/17/2019 1:17:04 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman The poverty of having a child with too little to eat and no place to sleep, no air, sunlight and space to breathe, bask, and grow. The poverty of watching your child suffer and get sicker and sicker and not knowing what to do or how to get help because you don’t have a car or health insurance. The poverty of working your fingers to the bone every day taking care of somebody else’s children and neglecting your own and still being unable to pay your bills. The poverty of having a job which does not let you afford a stable place to live and being...

Legendary Olympic Athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos Earn Induction Into U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame
10/11/2019 10:02:39 AM

By Stacy M. Brown   Their raised fists were as legendary as they were controversial. Tommie Smith and John Carlos, known for their Black Power salute during the 1968 Olympics medal ceremonies, have earned induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. The induction is scheduled for Nov. 1. Smith’s and Carlos' gestures of declaration, performed at the height of the civil rights movement in the U.S., were among the most powerful statements made during that era in American history. The two athletes courageously used the world's biggest stage to take a stand...

Senate Education Chair Blocks Bipartisan Bill to Extend HBCU Funding
10/11/2019 10:01:22 AM

By Charlene Crowell   Each year as families beam with pride at seeing a son, daughter or another relative graduate from college, that achievement is nearly always the result of a family’s commitment to higher education. And when these institutions are among the more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), that pride is magnified by the history of how our forefathers overcame what once seemed to be insurmountable challenges. According to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, between 1861 and 1900 more than 90 HBCUs were founded....

Rev. C.T. Vivian's Wisdom
10/11/2019 10:00:21 AM

By Marian Wright Edelman   Legendary civil rights leader Rev. C.T. Vivian turned 95 this year, celebrating a lifetime of wisdom and service. Rev. Vivian, a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, was a leader in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a role model for so many of us in the 1960s era of civil rights activism. He remains an indispensable long haul moral, racial, and economic justice warrior. I am so grateful for his friendship and example. A few years ago Rev. Vivian inspired and challenged a receptive...