Wednesday, February 5, 2014

State of the Union Address Fuels Black Male Achievement;

Star Logo
Making Progress; Moving Forward!
State of Union Address Fuels Black Male Achievement
Work and Family
Michael Holzman Calls for Direct Action
Howard University Falls 46 Spots in National Ranking
Summits for Educational Excellence for African Americans
Black Fathers More Involved With Children
Daddy Daughter Dance 2014
Links:The Black Star Project's website:
Black Star Journal:
Become a Member:
Click Here
Event Calendar:
Like us on Facebook:
Black Male Achievement Fueled by The State of the Union
By Shawn Dove
Shawn Dove
If you weren't listening intently to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, you might have easily missed when he declared, "I am reaching out to some of America's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing especially tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential."
This was a groundbreaking statement for the field of black male achievement. And, it was no accident that the nod to young men of color was nestled between two other seminal remarks: "I will work with Congress to see how we can help even more Americans who feel trapped by student loan debt," and "Michelle and I want every child to have the same chance this country gave us." While there were no recorded cheers or applause from the floor of the State of the Union, my twitter feed suddenly blew up with a standing ovation, cheers, and enthusiastic responses from so many people who care deeply about helping black boys grow up in a country where there is a level playing field for them to reach their full potential.
And, later I was heartened when Gwen Ifill, the broadcast reporter on PBS Newshour, asked Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink, to comment on the president's historic remark. Angela's words reinforced the president's message: "The focus on women, boys and men of color, and immigration suggested that when you invest on those that are left behind, you do well for America. Lifting up boys and men of color was in that vain. It is important to engage corporations, foundations, the federal government, and as many programs that touch boys and men of color."
The President has deemed 2014 a year of action. For Americans who care about this issue, his announcement that the government is committed to transforming the lives of young men of color is a huge inspiration. I am particularly encouraged from my platform as manager of the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement to witness the field of philanthropy moving to maximize this opportunity to improve the life outcomes of black males.
Click Here to Read Full Article
Shawn Dove is Campaign Manager for Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement, a philanthropic strategy to improve the life outcomes of black men and boys and a core funder of the Institute for Black Male Achievement.

Letter to Editor
Work and family
By Rhonda Present
Despite innumerable research studies to back it up, very little public attention has been devoted to addressing one of the greatest obstacles to parental involvement: the conflict between work and family.
For many the struggle begins the moment they bring a new child home because the U.S. continues to hold the less-than-honorable distinction of being one of only four countries that doesn't guarantee parental leave.
While the Family and Medical Leave Act has brought some relief, 40 percent of workers aren't covered because they haven't been on the job long enough, or work for a company with fewer than 50 employees.
And mothers aren't the only ones for whom this presents an enormous challenge. In fact, recent polls by the National Fatherhood Initiative rank work responsibilities as the No. 1 obstacle to good fathering.
This, I believe, is the missing piece in our violence prevention efforts and one that I hope will be embraced as a key strategy for strengthening families so we can truly be a foundation of prosperity.
Click Here to Read Full Article
(Rhonda Present, Evanston, founder and director, ParentsWork)
Michael Holzman Calls for
Direct Action to Fix Education

Lunch Counters, Buses and Schools (The Next Civil Rights Battleground)
The people of Montgomery sat down to talk
It was decided all God's children should walk
"Sister Rosa," The Neville Brothers
By Michael Holzman
Michael Holzman.
Education is the civil rights issue of our time. Everyone says so: the President, the Secretary of Education, even John McCain and George W. Bush.
Now that we are all agreed about that, we might remember the lesson of the civil rights movement of their time: Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King. The lesson is that civil rights cannot be won, wrested from the grasp of hatred, without organization, legal action and the mobilization of both those deprived of their civil rights and those others, in spite of their relative privilege, who believe in justice.
Education is the civil rights issue of our time because laws block access to good education for most Black children and many others-Latinos, Chinese, Filipino and Southeast Asian-Americans, American Indians as well as White children living in poverty. Just as the laws segregating buses in Montgomery and schools in Little Rock were changed by a combination of the legal actions of Thurgood Marshall and his associates and the marches and sit-ins of the Southern Christian Leadership Council and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, so the laws blocking access to good education must fall if dealt with by similar methods.
Most areas of concentrated educational poverty are surrounded by better-resourced school districts. This educational poverty in the midst of educational affluence is caused by laws that make the funding of schools dependent on family wealth. As America is increasingly segregated by income, the division of schools into hundreds of school districts in many states, about 14,000 in the country, and the financing of those districts by property tax, ensures that children living in areas of concentrated poverty will be forced to attend schools of equally concentrated poverty of educational opportunity.
Legal action is one path. Direct action is another. I suggest that the schools are the lunch counters and buses of our time. Is it not time to begin the kind of effort symbolized by Rosa Parks? What would happen if when school begins next August or September children condemned to attend failing schools, drop-out factories, refused to go to them, but went instead to the nearest successful school?
(Michael Holzman is the author of The Black Poverty Cycle and How to End It and Minority Students and Public Education)
Click Here to Read Full Article
Howard University Drops
46 Spots in U.S. News Ranking
By Savannah Harris
October 17, 2013
U.S News and World Report's National Universities Ranking dropped Howard from No. 96 in 2010, to No. 142 this year.
Earlier this month, Howard University Board of Trustees Chairman Addison Barry Rand said, "no matter what was said on the outside, we are strong here at Howard."
In his column, Robert Morse, U.S. News and World Report's director of data research, named some key reasons that Howard has fallen a total of 46 spots from its Top 100 ranking.
For one, Howard refused to submit the U.S News Statistical Survey for the last two years, resulting in a ranking that is estimated based on statistics from 2012. "Howard didn't report data used to compute the alumni giving rate and financial resources per student ranking variables to U.S. News for two consecutive years," Morse wrote.
Also, Howard experienced a decrease in almost all of the categories used by U.S. News to rank universities including: academic peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student selectivity, faculty resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance.
"I think a lot of Howard's problems are due to a lack of resources, and raising alumni contributions would really help us all," said Kenny Nunn, a sophomore music major. There's too much that Howard is, was and could be for us to let Howard disappear!"
With Howard's qualifications being brought into question, students are worried that the effort they pour into their education may be worth less in the long run.
Sophomore marketing major, Nick Hough, said "The longer Howard neglects it's obligations as an elite institution, the more the credibility of my degree decreases."

Click Here to Read Full Story
2014 Summits for Educational Excellence for African Americans
Dear Friend and Colleague,
The White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for African Americans (the Initiative) and Ebony Magazine invite you to participate in the 2014 Summits for Educational Excellence for African Americans.
We sincerely hope you'll join us for these summits, which promise to be opportunities for engagement, empowerment, and action. Together, we will identify ways to improve learning and development for African American children and youth using the combined resources of the federal government and local entities to raise awareness, highlight individuals and organizations doing the work, and support the engagement of the full community. The Initiative and Ebony Magazine will host four convening's in 2014:
February 13-14 at Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
Topic: Setting the Stage: Socio-Cultural Factors Impacting African American Boys and Men
April 25-26 at Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
(In collaboration with the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color)
Topic: Mental and Physical Health and Well Being
June 13-14 at Laney College, Oakland, CA
(In collaboration with Frontline Solutions 3rd Annual Gathering of Leaders)
Topic: Education and Employment
October 24-25 at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
(In collaboration with the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education)
Topic: Justice and Safety
If you have any questions about the summits, please contact with "Summits" in the subject line.
Many thanks,
David J. Johns
Executive Director
Click Here to Register or For More Information
Survey Finds Black Fathers are as Involved with Their Kids (or More So) as Men of Other Races

Defying enduring stereotypes about black fatherhood, a federal survey of American parents shows that by most measures, black fathers who live with their children are just as involved as other dads who live with their kids - or more so.
For instance, among fathers who lived with young children, 70% of black dads said they bathed, diapered or dressed those kids every day, compared with 60% of white fathers and 45% of Latino fathers, according to a report released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Nearly 35% of black fathers who lived with their young children said they read to them daily, compared with 30% of white dads and 22% of Latino dads. The report was based on a federal survey that included more than 3,900 fathers between 2006 and 2010 - a trove of data seen as the gold standard for studying fatherhood in the United States. In many cases, the differences between black fathers and those of other races were not statistically significant, researchers said.
The findings echo earlier studies that counter simple stereotypes characterizing black fathers as missing in action. When it comes to fathers who live with their kids, "blacks look a lot like everyone else," said Gretchen Livingston, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center who has previously studied the topic. And in light of the negative stereotypes about black fathers, "that is a story in itself."
However, Laura Tach and fellow researchers also found that black fathers were more likely than white or Latino dads to stay close to their children after having more kids with a new partner. Because it isn't as rare for black fathers to live away from the home, their communities might have stronger expectations that fathers will stay involved outside the "package deal" of a wife and kids, explained Tach, a professor of policy analysis at Cornell University.
Click Here to Read Full Story
Daughters Grab Your Fathers for
The 5th Annual Valentines Day
2014 Daddy Daughter Dance
Saturday, February 8, 2014
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
The Black Star Ballroom
3509 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois
Young women 4- to 14-years old are invited to dress up and show their fathers a good time at The Black Star Project's 5th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance. Cost $30.00 per couple and $5.00 per extra young lady. Please call 773.285.9600 to register your couple or to get a free organizing kit to bring the Daddy Daughter Dance to your city. This event is sponsored by The Black Star Project's Million Fathers Club. Attire: Dress To Impress
Music - Dancing - Food - Fun - Crafts - Pictures!!!

No comments: