Friday, August 28, 2015

New Law Addresses Racial Disparities in Discipline; SeeAward-Winning Film College Week; Five Bleak Facts on Black Opportunity inAmerica; Anointed to Sing the Gospel

Anointed to Sing the Gospel
Sunday University
Math Boot Camp
Southern California Joins Million father March
Illinois Senators Protect Seniors from Scam Artists
Illinois Legislative Black Caucus
New law addresses racial disparities in school discipline
Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford,
Illinois State Senate
SPRINGFIELD - A 2012 study found that Illinois suspends more African-American students than any other state in the U.S., including a Black-White suspension disparity that is the highest in the country. To address this all-too-apparent problem and the overall frequency of out-of-school discipline, a new law will help to ensure that all students are in school and off the streets as much as possible.
"Constantly suspending and expelling the very kids that need to be in school is one of the most counter-productive practices of our education system," said Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, sponsor of the successful legislation. "We need to keep young people in school learning how to succeed and off of the street corner learning how best to end up in prison."
The new law will address the frequency and racial disparity of suspensions and expulsions in several ways, including the following:
  • Disciplinary removals of longer than three days must be limited to instances where the student's presence is an on-going threat to the school, and all other options have been exhausted.
  • A school board must state how a suspension and expulsion is in the best interest of a school before disciplinary action.
  • School districts must establish re-engagement policies for disciplined students.
  • Suspended students must be given the opportunity to make up their work.
  • School officials must limit suspensions and expulsions to the greatest extent practicable.
Original research into state records has shown that in the 2010-2011 school year, Illinois students lost 1,117,453 instructional days due to disciplinary actions, 95 percent of which were for minor offenses.
"Illinois' highest-need students are dropping out of school or ending up in the criminal justice system - at an enormous cost to Illinois taxpayers - for incidents that could have and should have been addressed within the school environment," said Sen. Lightford. "Expulsions and suspensions will now only be a last resort. This is a great victory for everyone in Illinois and all those children who hold out hope for their future in what has seemed, at times, like an elusive dream of a great education."
The law goes into effect September 15, 2016.
Attend The Black Harvest Film Festival and See the Inspiring, Award-Winning Film
College Week

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
6:15 pm
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North States Street
Chicago, Illinois
Click Here to See Film Trailer
Five Bleak Facts on Black Opportunity in America
Half of Black Americans Born Poor Stay Poor
2. Most Black Middle Class Kids Are Downwardly Mobile
3. Black Wealth Barely Exists
4. Most Black Families Headed by Single Parent
5. Black Students Attend Worse Schools
By Richard V. Reeves and Edward Rodrigue
January 15, 2015
What would Martin Luther King Jr. think of America in 2015 if he'd lived to see his eighty-sixth birthday? No doubt, he'd be pleased by the legal and political advances of black Americans, crowned by the election and re-election of President Obama.

But King would be disturbed by the stubborn race gaps that remain, especially in opportunity, tarnishing the idea of the American Dream. In terms of opportunity, there are still two Americas, divided by race. Five facts show how far we still have to go.
1. Half of Black Americans Born Poor Stay Poor
Upward mobility from the bottom of the income distribution is much less likely for black than white Americans: 51% of the black Americans born into the lowest fifth of the earnings distribution remain there at age 40:
2. Most Black Middle Class Kids Are Downwardly Mobile
Downward intergenerational social mobility from the middle to the bottom is much more common among Black Americans. Seven out of ten black Americans born into the middle quintile fall into one of the two quintiles below as adults. In some ways, this is an even more depressing fact than the poor rates of upward mobility. Even black Americans who make it to the middle class are likely to see their kids fall down the ladder:
3. Black Wealth Barely Exists
Race gaps in wealth - already wide - widened further during the Great Recession. The median wealth of white households is now 13 times greater than for black households --the largest gap in a quarter century, according to analysis by the Pew Research Center. Black median wealth almost halved during the recession, falling from $19,200 in 2007 to $11,000 in 2013:
4. Most Black Families Headed by Single Parent
Black children are much more likely to be raised in a single-parent household, and as our own research suggests, family structure can play a large role in a child's chance of success in all stages of life:
5. Black Students Attend Worse Schools
The school system remains highly segregated by race and economic status: black students make up 16 percent of the public school population, but the average black student attends a school that's 50 percent black. Our colleague Jonathan Rothwell shows that the average black student also attends a school at the 37th percentile for test score results whereas the average white student attends a school in the 60th percentile:
There are race gaps in almost every conceivable social and economic dimension, many of which we have discussed on these pages before: incarceration, early learning, parenting, schooling, attitudinal racism, employment - the list goes on. There has been progress, too, of course. But one thing is clear. An inescapable requirement for building an opportunity society is improving the life chances of black Americans.
Click Here to see comparison charts, graphs and sources or to leave a comment!
New Release by Dr. Kathryn B. Kemp, a member and strong supporter of The Black Star Project
Anointed to Sing the Gospel is the biography of the "Father of Gospel Music", Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey from Villa Rica, GA to Chicago, IL. It encompasses the spiritual dilemma that caused him to cross-over completely to the gospel song from blues and jazz. The impact of Thomas A. Dorsey as a modern-day Levite and his impact on music of the 20th and 21st century Levites is examined. Interviews with contemporaries and devotees of Thomas A. Dorsey are included.
Click Here to Purchase Anointed to Sing the Gospel from Joyful Noise Press
Click Here to Purchase Anointed to Sing the Gospel from Amazon
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Money and Not-For Profit Organizations
Marvinetta Woodley-Penn
Executive Artistic Director
Global Girls
Learn to successfully fundraise, work with board members, connect programs to funding, keep financial books in order, tie results to funding and other useful money management tips for current non-profit managers or for those interested in starting a Not-For-Profit organization.
Sunday, September 27, 2016
Technology and Food Entrepreneurship
with Riana Lynn
Google - Code 2040 Entrepreneur in Residence
Riana Lynn is emerging as a young leader in food+health entrepreneurship with a passion for technology, access, and bringing people together. From her grandmother's garden to the White House South Lawn and through the local and international agricultural pipelines she was inspired to develop innovative supply chain management tools and create FoodTrace. A next level sourcing platform, FoodTrace is paving the way with software solutions to solve our biggest food industry problems. Her story and accomplishments have been featured in, Wired Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, TheGrio 100, and other local and national publications. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology and African American Studies, along with a minor in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she taught herself how to code and was a top-ranked performer in Discus and Javelin before pursuing a Masters at Northwestern University. While getting her hands dirty in the White House Kitchen Garden, her work included major policy initiatives such as Small Business and Jobs, STEM, and Public Health. Riana currently serves as the Google - Code 2040 Entrepreneur in Residence. A native of the Chicago area, Riana is a young politico, a restaurant enthusiast, a world traveler, and an innovative fruit connoisseur!

2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
after church, mosque or temple
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Please call 773.285.9600 to RSVP, for more information or to create a Sunday University in your city.
Register for the Free
Black Star Project's
Fall Math Boot Camp for
5th- through 8th-grade students

What is Math Boot Camp?
Math Boot Camp is a tutoring program for 5th- through 8th-grade students with a strong focus on reviewing and reinforcing math fundamentals while building problem solving skills. This weekly program features small group tutoring. Often times, the reason students struggle in math is because they do not have a strong grasp of the basics. We work with these students to ensure that they are reviewing critical basic concepts and learning problem solving strategies. We identify areas of weakness and target those skills, filling in the gaps one concept at a time.

Why is this program important?
In Chicago, only 9% of Black males in the 8th grade are proficient in math, according to the 2013 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). More alarmingly, the majority of 8th grade Black males (56%) are performing below a basic level in mathematics! Students need more than just homework help. They need a comprehensive problem solving education that gives them the tools to tackle any problem they encounter.

How do I register my student?
If you are interested in registering for this program, please call 773.285.9600 for more information.
Southern California Joins
The Million Father March
476 Cities Are Participating in The
2015 Million Father March. If Your City Is Not Participating, Why Not? Ask Your Schools, Your Faith Institutions, Your Governments to Join the 2015 Million Father March or participate on our special National Million Father March Day on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.
Fathers and men from Fontana, California welcome students back to school.
On your first day of school, or on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, or on any day you choose: 1) Invites fathers and men to bring children to school; 2) Serve fathers and men breakfast and introduce them to your school; 3) Invite fathers and men to volunteer 10 hours a year at your school; 4) Invite fathers and men to "Real Men Read" at your school; 5) Invite fathers and men to "Real Men Mentor" at your school; 6) Invite fathers and relatives to have lunch with their children at your school; 7) Invite fathers, men and faith institutions to pray around your school (outside); 8) Invite fathers and men to attend a performance of students at your school; and 9) Invite fathers and men to organize a march through the community near your school.
Fathers and men from Fontana, California welcome students back to school.
Click Here to Register for the 2015 Million Father March
Click Here to see if your city has signed up for the 2015 Million Father March
Click Here to Learn More about the Million Father March or call 773.285.9600.
Illinois State Senators Jacqueline Collins and Mattie Hunter protect seniors from scam artists
mis-using reverse mortgages!
In the wake of revelations that con artists have used risky financial products called "reverse mortgages" to scam seniors, please encourage your senior networks to attend this reverse mortgage event and learn more. Senator Collins and Senator Hunter will be joined by experts in the field. Please call 773.224.2830 or 312.949.1908 for more information.
Justice Or Else!

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