Washington, D.C. — The Obama administration announced on Friday that the U.S. Department of Education will launch a pilot to test the effects of restoring access to Pell Grants for incarcerated students. This measure will give a limited number of individuals at selected correctional facilities a chance to obtain education and training to prepare for employment upon release.Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:
We applaud the Obama administration for taking this important step. Prison education and training is truly a win-win—boosting formerly incarcerated individuals’ employment rates upon release, substantially decreasing recidivism, and yielding tremendous cost savings in reduced incarceration. In fact, studies show that every dollar spent on prison education saves $4 to $5 in reduced incarceration costs during the next three years, when recidivism is most likely. Yet despite their cost effectiveness, prison education and training programs are far too scarce, in large part because Congress removed access to Pell Grants for inmates in 1994, putting prison education and training out of reach for inmates who want to increase their employability and chances of successful re-entry. The president’s action today will help ensure public safety and give a limited number of individuals in select correctional facilities the chance to obtain the education and training they need to forge a pathway to successful re-entry and to have a meaningful shot at a second chance.
In a recent report from the Center for American Progress, "One Strike and You’re Out,"Rebecca Vallas and Sharon Dietrich address how mass incarceration and criminal records serve as underappreciated drivers of poverty and inequality in America by presenting barriers to employment, housing, education and training, building good credit, and more. The report offers a roadmap of policy recommendations—including calling for testing the restoration of Pell Grants to incarcerated individuals—to ensure that Americans with criminal records have a fair shot at making a decent living, providing for their families, and joining the middle class.
Anthony Anaxagorou at the Young Writers’ Festival 2012 (UK)
I’d like to introduce to you a young man who is truly gifted in his ability to weave words in such a descriptive manner that the listener cannot ignore the profundity of his statements. Please Google Anthony Anaxagorou and listen and read his work. This young man is truly Superbad. Listen to the Truth. Share. Please.
This is Not a Poem and I Am Not a Poet. Wow. If this doesn’t move you or at least make you think then you have no heart.
In the wake of the Ferguson grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death Micheal Brown, there has been much discussion on race, racism and white privilege in the United States. Check out this cartoon by Neely Fuller Jr.
GREENSBORO, N.C., -- PRNewswire/ -- Prominent trial attorney Willie Gary along with his legal team James Leonard Brown of Los Angeles, California and Michael Jones of Durham, North Carolina announced the filing of a multi-million dollar discrimination and breach of contract lawsuit on behalf of Michael and Ramona Woods and Black Network Television against the City of Greensboro, North Carolina. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Guilford County (case #6767).
The lawsuit details the irreparable damage and harm that the City of Greensboro's bad business dealings caused Michael and Ramona Woods and Black Network Television. The Woods are suing the City of Greensboro for discrimination and losses related to an economic development loan from the City that was approved on June 18, 2013, and then reneged on one month later by a City Council vote of 6 to 3. The lawsuit outlines the claim for damages caused by the denial of the promised funds. The loan was slated for network operations, including production of a new national comedy series titled, "Whatcha Cookin'?"
"The City of Greensboro's discriminatory acts crushed our client's dream," said Gary. "Michael and Ramona Woods discussed with various city officials what a successful minority owned Greensboro-based television network would mean to the community in terms of job creation, skills and training and economic development. As a result, the Woods put full trust and confidence in the City's promise to grant the economic development loan, only to be misled, misguided, deceived and discriminated against," continued Gary. "It isn't right and we will not stand for it!"
Gary is no stranger to seeking justice. Gary and his legal team are known for taking on some of the nation's most powerful corporate giants, including the funeral industry. In 1995, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team a record-breaking, half-billion dollars against one of the world's largest funeral chains, The Loewen Group. In addition, Gary is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange County against the Walt Disney Corporation for his clients who alleged that Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park.
"The saddest fact I've learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody." - Jim DeRogatis
That quote, from a tweet posted by the Melissa Harris Perry Show, led me to a mind-blowing article, by Jessica Hopper, about journalist Jim DeRogatis and his extensive and indefatigable coverage of the numerous sexual assaults committed by singer R. Kelly on young black females.
Wow, just wow, is the first thought that comes to mind. I wish I'd read DeRogatis' work when Kelly's predatory exploits initially received mainstream media coverage. This is all so very sad.
To read about the mothers of victims crying —including Aaliyah's mother — victims attempting suicide by slitting their wrists, degrading sexual acts and silence of the accusers via a pair of sneakers or trips to France. Wow. Sad. Nauseating.
Where were journalistic ethics while Kelly was on trial? Why didn't more reporters care? Would the outcome have been different if any of the victims were white? Or do black female rape victims really not matter?
Actor Edward Norton was host on Saturday Night Live last night. One of the skits performed --- 12 Days Not A Slave --- was a parody of the critically-acclaimed movie on the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man kidnapped and enslaved for twelve years.
NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock announced that National Board Member Lorraine C. Miller was named the Interim President and CEO of the 104-year-old organization while the search to select a new President and CEO begins.
“This is a moment of great change and great opportunity for the NAACP,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “We are excited to work with Lorraine C. Miller during this time of transition. We are confident that Lorraine will serve the Association with a steady and experienced hand as we continue the search for the next President and CEO.”
“I am honored to have been selected for this venerable role,” stated Miller. “I look forward to continuing the path forged by Chairman Brock and President Jealous in the months ahead. These are important times, and the important work of the NAACP will go on.”
“Lorraine is a natural fit as interim president of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “She comes into this position with two decades of experience working for the U.S. House of Representatives and an even longer career in civil rights advocacy and policy. She will have the honor of leading the dynamic staff of this great organization.”
Miller is a commercial real estate broker with Keller Williams and sits on the Board of D.C. Vote. She served as the first African American clerk (and the first African American officer) of the U.S House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011, and previously worked for former House Speakers Nancy Pelosi, Tom Foley and Jim Wright, as well as U.S. Rep. John Lewis. She also worked in the Clinton White House, as Bureau Chief at the Federal Communications Commission and as Director of Congressional Relations for the Federal Trade Commission. Additionally, she worked at the American Federation of Teachers. She is a faithful member of the historic Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, DC.
Miller served as President of the Washington, DC NAACP Branch for six years, and as a member of the National NAACP Board of Directors since 2008. On the Board of Directors, she serves as a member of the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Advocacy and Policy Committee, and she played a significant role in the creation of the NAACP’s Game Changers.
Miller will begin her role as Interim President and CEO and assume day-to-day responsibility for the Association on November 1st, according to the transition plan approved by the National Board of Directors. Jealous’ tenure with the Association will end officially on December 31.
Since 2007-08, overall state funding for
Grambling has gone from $31.6 million to $13.8 million. The school has
attempted to bridge that gap by increasing tuition, but it has fallen short,
and cuts have been made across the board.
Grambling State University (GSU) is the latest HBCU to make national
mainstream news recently. Most notably there was Howard
University with its fiscal issues and forced resignation of President Ribeau
and my alma mater, Florida
A&M University and the aftermath of the hazing death of drum major
Robert Champion. It goes without saying that all of the institutions mentioned
are iconic in black society. Their rich
histories of accomplishments in spite of tremendous challenges and ability to
produce outstanding alumni are sources of pride for all HBCUs.
The revolt of the Grambling football team and student
protest should not be taken lightly. The
Grambling football team’s actions, though ill-timed, are laudable and just
might be the tipping point in motivating the activism needed in moving toward adequate
state funding that has seen the University cut from $31.6 million to $13.8
million in since 2007-08.
Changes in coaching staff (particularly the firing of Doug
Williams), poor training facilities, insufficient food and long arduous travel
by bus are some of the complaints by the football team. The sad reality is that
most HBCUs find themselves in a financially fragile state.
Dr. Pogue, GSU President, apologized to Jackson State University for the cancellation of the football game. It was JSU's Homecoming game. If you
attended an HBCU, you know how big of a deal Homecoming is. The pageantry of
the week of activities and reunion of friends is difficult to reduce to words.
If you didn’t attend an HBCU but you did see the movie Drumline, halftime
really is showtime and the bragging rights over which school has the best
marching band is more passionate than the results of the football game. So, to
ruin Jackson State’s homecoming game, was not the most effective action in
seeking support for the demands of the GSU football team. It should be noted
that 22 players did show up to board the buses for the JSU game and receiving a
letter from University officials basically threatening revocation of their
The GSU football team has successfully drawn attention to their plight. Prayerfully the school's administration will resolve this issue quickly. Anyone who knows the history of Grambling and college football can't help but think of Eddie Robinson, Grambling's legendary football coach, and how he would feel if he were alive today. Forfeiting a football game is one thing but saving one's history and legacy is another.
In the meantime, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has made no secret of his desire to merge HBCUs with larger PWIs in the University of Louisiana System. Dwindling state fiscal resources, budget cuts and diversity will be used to convince taxpayers that merger is the wise move to make. Grambling and other HBCUs have to be marketed and managed differently. Ethnic pride and a rich legacy will no longer
assure sufficient student enrollment numbers to support the existence of HBCUs.
A firestorm was unleashed when comedian Sheryl Underwood (top) made disparaging remarks about natural hair and a little girl in Tulsa, OK (bottom) changed schools because of her hair
I finally saw the clip of Sheryl Underwood’s comments about black folks' natural hair. I now understand why she was ragged on so much on Twitter and was nearly in tears in her apology on Steve Harvey's radio show. Underwood tried to chalk the situation up to a joke gone wrong but her statements were so incredibly hurtful and psychologically damaging it may take some time for her to get this behind her.
It doesn't help that Steve Harvey, in his attempt to support his friend Underwood, referred to the incident as "the little thing going on about the hair comment." Oh, no, the hair comments are not a little thing or Underwood wouldn't have realized such a backlash. Hair is a very sensitive issue for black people. Underwood could have let it go after after one remark, but no, she continued the black hair beatdown when other women on the panel were trying to move the conversation on.
Lest we forget, while black folk are busy being angry with Sheryl Underwood, be mindful that Aisha Tyler, another black woman on 'The Talk," sat at that same table and didn’t say a mumbling word. Tyler did look uncomfortable but she didn't do anything to ease the pain, so she doesn't get a pass.
What’s the message sent about kinky, curly or wavy hair? It’s ugly ---- straighten it! Even white people feel the same way so let's put this issue in perspective. At this juncture, the dots in this controversy could be connected by a discussion on white supremacy and idolization white European beauty but I won't go there. I do ask you to pay more attention to the images and words in the media and in our daily conversations and internet interactions.
Deborah Brown Community School, a charter school in Tulsa, OK bans ‘faddish’ hairstyles like dreadlocks, mohawks and afros. Consequently, Tiana Parker, a little 7 year-old black girl, was sent home because of her hair which she wore in locs.
It’s understandable that a school wants its students to look presentable but come on, there was nothing wrong with that child’s hair. Tiana, a straight-A student, according to her father, wore her hair in this manner last year and it wasn't a problem. The school decided to enforce their policy this school year.
Tiana Parker’s father has been lauded by many for removing her from the school rather than conforming to the school’s dress code policy. That’s all well and good but Deborah Brown Community School is a charter school, as such, can establish its own dress code policy --- even if it is ridiculous. Why would the parent of a black child subject him or her to a psychologically terroristic environment that blatantly demonstrates disdain for a child's natural beauty? Even with the school's good academic performance reputation, I don't think so.
The most flack I’ve gotten about my hair, in its natural state, has been from other black people. White people usually want to touch it, especially when my hair was in locs. It’s so sad and I wonder if it will ever change since images of black women in natural hairstyles are a rarity even in media by, for and about blacks. Check it out for yourself.
Sheryl Underwood and the governing board and administration of Deborah Brown Community School are all black which makes this black hair drama all the more pathetic. Perhaps one day, EVERYONE, will appreciate their God-given beauty. In the meantime, I strongly encourage Underwood and the folks at Deborah Brown Community School to watch Chris Rock's documentary, Good Hair.