Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kwame Nkrumah Academy Honors African Heritage;

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Making Progress; Moving Forward!
Kwame Nkrumah Academy
Committee Explores Education for Black Male Athletes
PNC Bank Helps with Taxes
I Am Asking For Your Help to Educate Black Boys
Study/Teach/Learn in Africa
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Kwame Nkrumah Academy
314 W. 108th Street
Chicago, IL 60628
773.568.8000 phone
Racial climate for athletes considered
by Faculty Athletics Committee

March 4, 2014
The stories range from books like "The New Plantation" to articles such as "How Colleges Fail Black Football Players."
College athletics programs have been credited with everything from giving low-income students the opportunity to get a college education to accusations of exploiting those same players, barring them from pay for their work.
The Faculty Athletics Committee took on this conundrum Tuesday in a discussion led by exercise and sports science professor Deborah Stroman, the sole black member of the group.
Only 50 percent of black male athletes graduate within six years from colleges in the seven majorNCAA Division I sports conferences, compared to 67 percent of student-athletes overall, according to a report the University of Pennsylvania's Ceorynter for the Study of Race and Equity in Education.
And at UNC, an academic scandal put what was formerly the Department of African and Afro-American Studies in the national spotlight for no-show classes. Since then, many professors and students have worried about the racial implications of how the scandal is portrayed.
Sociology professor Andrew Perrin, a member of the committee, said he believed the argument that black athletes were sometimes exploited.
"When we're not offering an adequate education to young black males who come here. We're exploiting them," he said.
Click Here to Read Full Story
PNC Bank Supplies Tax Preparation
to Those Who Need Help
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Only 10% of 8th-grade Black boys in the United States read at a proficient level according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This predicts an absolute catastrophe for Black communities across America in the next 5- to 10-years!!! There is no plan, that I know of to teach more than 10% of Black boys to read proficiently in America.
I have spent much of my life asking elected officials for help, asking faith leaders for help, asking business leaders for help, asking parents for help. For the most part, I received very little help to teach Black boys to read.

Now I am asking you for help.
Shavelle Bell, sitting left and Tiffany Hope, right, representing the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc - Theta Omega Chapter, make a generous donation to the Young Black Men of Honor Mentor Program at The Black Star Project. Phillip Jackson is sitting between them with mentees behind them.
If only 10% of Black boys read proficiently:
  • How will they qualify for the few, precious job opportunities in America?
  • How will they support families?
  • How will they help build and stabilize our communities economically and socially?
  • How will they be able to serve as role models and mentors for coming generations of young Black Boys?
  • Who will our daughters marry???!
  • Can the Black community survive if our male children cannot read?
I have asked the White House, the State House and City Hall for help to teach Black children to read, but apparently at this time, this is not a priority for them. Is it a priority for you?
I am asking you to help us financially so that we can teach Black boys to read at a proficient level.
If you know of another organization doing as much or more than The Black Star Project to educate Black students and develop Black families, you should support that organization financially now! If you do not know of another organization doing this work, please support The Black Star Project.
I thank Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford, Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Collins, and Chicago Alderman Will Burns for their ongoing support for The Black Star Project. I also thank Illinois State Representative Esther Golar for her personal support for The Black Star Project.
Now, I need your support to teach Black boys to read proficiently.
With your support we can accomplish much more. Please become a member of The Black Star Project today and help us continue our nation-leading work in the area of creating better students, better parents, better families and better communities!
Phillip Jackson
Executive Director
Click Here to become a member of The Black Star Project
or you may send checks or money orders to:
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive, Suite 2B
Chicago, Illinois 60653
2011 Reading Levels of 8th-Grade
Black Males from the Lowest-Performing
Large American School Districts*
City\Percentage of 8th-Grade Black Males Proficient in Reading*
Milwaukee - 3%
Cleveland - 3%
Detroit - 5%
Washington (D.C.) - 6%
San Diego - 7%
Dallas - 7%
Baltimore City - 7%
Chicago - 9%
Jefferson County, (KY) - 9%
Atlanta - 9%
Los Angeles - 9%
Philadelphia - 9%
Austin - 9%
Houston - 9%
Hillsborough County (FL) - 9%
Boston - 10%
Miami-Dade - 11%
Charlotte - 12%
New York City - 13%
* Source: Minority Students and Public Education by Dr. Michael Holzman. This information was extracted from the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 2011.
What NAEP Tells Us About How Much America Cares About Black Children

By Michael Holzman, Guest blogger of Dr. Eric Cooper
February 7, 2014

Michael Holzman
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is considered the best barometer of how well schools are educating our nation's children. The latest results are no cause for celebration. They show a widening racial gap in one key measure of reading success, and remind us of the troubling differences in academic achievement for children of color from state to state.

In education, the Grade 8 reading assessment is a watershed. By that time, students have attended school for at least nine years -- ample opportunity for individual challenges to be identified and overcome. If students cannot read as well as they should by eighth grade, the conventional wisdom is that it is unlikely they will be able to learn anything else easily or well.

That makes the latest NAEP results especially distressing. In 2002, 13 percent of black eighth-graders read at grade level, compared with 39 percent of whites -- a gap of 26 percentage points. Last year, 16 percent of black students were at or above grade level, compared with 44 percent of whites -- a difference of 28 percentage points. The gap is widening.

Worse, nearly 90 percent of black males in the eighth grade did not read at grade level last year. Will they catch up? Will they drop out? Or will they be "graduated," still unable to read well enough for a career or college?

Adult statistics aren't any better. Nineteen percent of adult black Americans have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with 30 percent of whites; and only 16 percent of black males have a college degree. More than 80 percent of young black men, then, have little chance of obtaining middle-class jobs or raising a family much above the poverty level.

How to solve the problem? Change these harmful policies and practices...

Click Here to Read Full Blog
Michael Holzman is a researcher and author. He has served as consultant to numerous foundations and is the author of the Schott Foundation's series "Public Education and Black Male Students: A State Report Card."
How Anti-Poverty Programs Marginalize Fathers
Based on decades-old stereotypes that unmarried dads are "deadbeats," the majority of welfare programs almost exclusively serve women and children.
Matt Rourke/AP Photo
February 25, 2014

The 10-month-old twins call Frandy "Da Da." He changes their diapers, mixes up their formula, and helps shoulder the burden of providing food, clothing, and medical care.

But the girls aren't his children; Frandy's girlfriend Cassie was pregnant when they started dating. When, a few months later, the two decided to move in together, "I knew raising the kids was part of the package," said Frandy, a 23-year-old from inner-city Boston.

His own 6-year-old daughter lives across town with her mother and her mother's boyfriend. Frandy sends a check every month.

Such complex family arrangements are becoming increasingly common, particularly among the poor, like Frandy and Cassie. Nearly 40 percent of unwed parents with low education levels share childrearing responsibilities with a co-residential boyfriend or girlfriend, according to a 2013 report from the United States Census Bureau. Oftentimes these couples share at least one biological child, but in 27 percent of relationships, either mom or dad is stepping in to raise children they didn't conceive.

U.S. government programs designed to help such families, however, haven't evolved with the population. Based on decades-old stereotypes that single mothers are raising children alone and single dads are "deadbeats," the majority of United States anti-poverty programs almost exclusively serve women and children, said Jacquelyn Boggess, co-director of the Center for Family Policy and Practice, a Wisconsin-based think tank that focuses on supporting low-income parents.

The welfare system, as a result, can become a muddled mess of rearranging rather than relieving poverty. Single, non-custodial fathers bear the brunt. But dads don't suffer alone. Because the poor pull together to support one another, everyone absorbs the pinch.
Click Here to Read Full Story

Call for Applicants to Study/Teach/Learn In Africa: Fellowship Opportunities for African Diaspora Scholars Interested in Academic Projects on the Continent
NEW YORK, February 26, 2014 - With the goal of turning the continent's "brain drain" into "brain circulation," the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program will bring 100 African-born scholars currently based in the United States and Canada together with host universities in Africa to collaborate on teaching, curriculum, research, and graduate training and mentoring over the next two years.
The fellowship program, managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with Quinnipiac University and supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is now accepting applications from African Diaspora academics to join a roster of available candidates for fellowships at African universities. The Fellows will engage in capacity building educational projects proposed and hosted by faculty at higher education institutions in six Carnegie partner countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Public and private higher education institutions in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda, accredited by the national agency in their respective countries, are now invited to submit an online project request to host a scholar. For the first round of fellowships, interested scholars and potential host universities should apply online by March 17, 2014. The first round of scholars will be selected in May 2014, for project visits of 14 to 90 days to begin as early as June 2014.
The new program will help meet the needs identified by host universities by bringing short-term faculty exchange fellows to Africa to co-develop curriculum, collaborate on research, and train, teach and mentor graduate students.
"The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellows Program exemplifies Carnegie Corporation's enduring commitment to higher education in Africa. It brings together Dr. Zeleza's expertise and vision with IIE's long history of managing global scholarships and our ongoing work to develop talent and help build capacity to address the challenges and harness the opportunities emerging on the African continent," said IIE's President and CEO, Allan E. Goodman.
Projects can be conducted in the African host country for periods of time ranging from two weeks to one semester. The African Diaspora Fellow will receive a daily stipend plus health insurance coverage and money for transportation and visa expenses. Host institutions are encouraged to contribute to the Fellow's meals, lodging and in-country transportation during the project.

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