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Cross-posted from ED’s My Brother’s Keeper website.
The White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and agencies across the U.S. government are leading an effort to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color, and to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential — the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK).
Georgetown University, in partnership with the Department of Education, is co-hosting a series of Data Jams to bring together developers, designers, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, researchers, statisticians, policy makers, educators, and students to create data visualizations of current challenges and build new tools in order to create ladders of opportunity for all youth, including boys and young men of color.
Come join us for the first My Brother’s Keeper Data Jam at Georgetown Downtown (640 Massachusetts Ave NW) on Saturday, August 2. We are bringing together a group of practitioners, experts, researchers, students, and educators to study the data and create inventive visualizations of the problems facing the young men and boys of color in our nation.
We hope to convene a diverse group of stakeholders to the MBK Data Jam and would greatly appreciate your sharing this event with anyone you think might be able to provide a unique perspective or add value (be it through expertise, past experiences, or a current skill set).
Resources & Get Involved
Nominate a Data Jammer: Form Here
Register for the Event: Event Registration Form
Join the MBK Data Jam Community: MBK Meetup Group
President Obama at My Brother’s Keeper Town Hall: “America Will Succeed If We Are Investing in Our Young People.”
Cross-posted from the White House Blog.
Yesterday afternoon, President Obama visited the Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C., to participate in a town hall with youth, and to announce new commitments in support of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.
As the President said, “We want fewer young men in jail; we want more of them in college. We want fewer young men on the streets; we want more in the boardrooms. We want everybody to have a chance to succeed in America. And it’s possible if we’ve got the kind of team that we set up today.”
Watch President Obama answer questions during the town hall:
In February, as part of his plan to make 2014 a year of action focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans, the President unveiled the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.
The Administration is doing its part by identifying programs and policies that work, and recommending action that will help all our young people succeed. Since the launch of My Brother’s Keeper, the President’s Task Force has met with and heard from thousands of Americans, through online and in-person listening sessions, who are already taking action.
Now, leading private sector organizations announced independent commitments that further the goals of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and directly address some of the key recommendations in the Task Force Report. These commitments include:
- The NBA, the National Basketball Players Association, and the National Basketball Retired Players Association announced a five-year commitment in partnership with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Team Turnaround, and the Council of Great City Schools. The partnership will focus on recruiting new mentors and work with educators in at-risk schools to provide incentive programs that increase attendance and improve overall school performance.
- AT&T announced an $18 million commitment to support mentoring and other education programs with a mentoring component.
- Becoming A Man (B.A.M.) and Match tutoring programs announced $10 million in new funding to expand to 3-5 new cities over the next three years and support a large-scale study on the programs’ long-term effects.
- Along with their partners from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, the Emerson Collective, founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, will collaborate with districts and educators to launch a competition to find and develop the best designs for next generation high schools. Together, they will contribute $50 million for this effort.
- Citi Foundation is making a three-year, $10 million commitment to create ServiceWorks, a national program to help 25,000 young people in ten cities across the U.S. develop skills they need to prepare for college and careers.
- Yesterday, the leaders of 60 of the largest school systems in the country, which collectively educate nearly three million of America’s male students of color, have joined in an unprecedented pledge to change life outcomes of boys and young men of color by better serving these students at every stage of their education.
- The College Board is investing more than $1.5 million for “All In,” a national College Board program to ensure that 100 percent of African American, Latino, and Native American students with strong AP potential enroll in at least one matched AP class before graduation.
- Discovery Communications will invest more than $1 million to create an original independent special programming event to educate the public about issues related to boys and men of color and address negative public perceptions of them.
This week, we celebrate the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law. This landmark legislation was the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities. It prohibited discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.
Earlier this year, during a speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, President Obama said, “For history travels not only forwards; history can travel backwards, history can travel sideways. And securing the gains this country has made requires the vigilance of its citizens. Our rights, our freedoms — they are not given. They must be won. They must be nurtured through struggle and discipline, and persistence and faith.”
The President’s words also ring true for the disability community and the ADA.
Over the next year, we will be posting monthly blogs featuring people who participated in and led the disability rights movement, as well as young adults and students working to make a difference in their communities. Together, we carry the torch forward. When we know our history, we can own our rights. As we often say, to know it is to own it.
During this time, we encourage you, your friends, and your family to learn about the disability rights movement. We want to hear from you. Please let us know how you are working to bring about positive change in your community by sharing your story on social media with the hashtag #know2own.
Check out our first video blog with Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon and Michael Yudin, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services:
Sue Swenson is Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 laid the groundwork for a much broader mission to fulfill the American promise of equal opportunity – and that is why it is not just part of our history but part of our future.
Students of color have made enormous gains since 1964. And yet the rising significance of education in the global economy has made America’s remaining achievement gaps so much more consequential.
In 1964, fewer than half of young black adults completed four years of high school; in 2012, about 70 percent of black students graduated from high school on time.
Yet despite that and other progress, it’s still not enough to fulfill the promise of the Civil Rights Act. America today still has serious achievement gaps and opportunity gaps.
Since 1991, all regions of the nation have experienced an increase in the percentage of black students who attend highly-segregated schools, where 90 percent of more of students are students of color. Millions of students today lack the opportunity to benefit from attending racially diverse schools. Disproportionate discipline extends to preschool.
America needs the abilities and talents of all its children to succeed and thrive. Our children, and our nation, deserve no less.
A year after the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, President Lyndon Johnson spoke at Howard University, saying that freedom alone is not enough to fulfill the rights set forward in the Act.
Johnson told the Howard audience that “you do not wipe away the scars of centuries” of discrimination and bring a person “up to the starting line of the race and then say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.” He continued, “The next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights” is not “just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.”
On Tuesday, July 15, at Howard, Secretary Arne Duncan reflected on why civil rights issues remain urgent today at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
Joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary Duncan talked about the progress America has made, and explained why education is the civil rights issue of our time. Watch the speech or read the transcript.
In a new plan, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid out a "job-driven checklist" for colleges and other applicants for $1.4-billion in grants.
Higher education cannot afford to sit on the sidelines as states and secondary schools agree on what it means to be ready for college or a job.
Gary Alan Fine, known for studying subcultures of work and play, turns his attention to the college art scene.
The second Let’s Read! Let’s Move! session of this summer took place at the U.S. Supreme Court on July 16. It was the first time the literacy and enrichment event was held at the historic location.
With the Capitol dome as the backdrop, students from Washington, D.C.-area schools exited their yellow school buses, squinting as they peered in awe at the massive columns of the Supreme Court. Students hailed from William Paca Elementary School, St. Philips Child Development Center, the Metropolitan Day School, the United Planning Organization, and Judith P. Hoyer Montessori School.
A young girl got into the Let’s Move! spirit, counting as she climbed the steps to the courtroom, “…35, 36, 37, 38—wow!” Extending their arms towards the ceiling to take in the size of the vast space in the Great Hall under the rotunda, children peeked into the courtroom on their way to the East conference room.
Secretary Arne Duncan, joined by Marshal of the U.S. Supreme Court Pamela Talkin, and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, read Marshall the Courthouse Mouse: A Tail of the Supreme Court. Phrases from the book, such as “voting unani-MOUSE-ly,” generated laughs from everyone in the room.
Secretary Burwell kneeled with the children to show the illustrations in the books and to point out that each page had hidden turtles—symbols of longevity, and the slow, yet deliberate pace of justice.
During the question-and-answer session, a child asked, “Why is the courthouse so pretty?” Talkin explained, “It is made to look special so every citizen understands how important the law is, as [the law] covers everyone from children to grown-ups, protecting our rights. It is a beautiful building because it does a beautiful thing, and we have a system that works.”
Energetic shrieks could be heard as the Let’s Move! activities commenced in the courtyard with joyful children participating in Supreme Court-themed activities emphasizing teamwork.
Children participated in the Scales of Justice Bean Bag Balance, the Majority Rules and Statute Stackers Relay Race, the Bill of Rights Frenzy, and they “exercised” their rights with the YMCA’s Physically Healthy and Driven program volunteers.
When I asked some students about their favorite part of the event, many responded, “Having the book read out loud.” In the courtyard, a student shrieked, “I found the turtles!” Sure enough, under the antique lamp posts were turtle sculptures.
The summer learning continued as interns, YMCA volunteers, and ED staff entered the courtroom for a lecture about the judicial functions of the Supreme Court and the building’s history.
The next two Let’s Read! Let’s Move! events will be held on July 23 and July 30.
Viviana Altamirano is a rising junior at Middlebury College. She is an intern in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education.
The Education Department is reprocessing the student-aid applications of 200,000 who inadvertently reported too much income. But it’s not working out in their favor.
Although it’s rarely discussed, a personal relationship is what makes mentoring meaningful for both parties.
More than 43,500 staff and faculty members weighed in for this year’s survey about what makes certain institutions great places to work.
Kathleen Conzen, a historian at the University of Chicago, inspired such devotion among her mentees that they held a symposium on her when she retired.
The Chronicle's seventh annual survey recognized 92 outstanding colleges nationwide. View the full list to find out which colleges made the cut.
More than 43,500 staff and faculty members weighed in for this year’s survey about what makes certain institutions great places to work.
Tenure-line faculty members don’t have bosses. Administrators really, really do.
The new era of mentoring is based increasingly on relationships created within virtual spaces, but they don’t just happen. Here’s how to develop them.