The I PROMISE Village: How Lebron James is Helping His Hometown

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Despite the current circumstances of the world and the approaching NBA season, professional basketball star Lebron James has found another way to give back to his hometown of Akron.

Citing his hometown as an essential part of his success, James founded “The Lebron James Family Foundation” to give back some of his success to his Ohio hometown. For years, the organization has utilized tools in education to help the citizens of Akron, but as of late, has taken on one of its most ambitious projects yet: to help the disadvantaged families of the city.

On July 22, The Lebron James Foundation opened up the I PROMISE village, a transitional building set to provide families of an immediate home in the case of abuse, homelessness or other emergencies. The building will finally be opening after six months of refurbishing in partnership with 23 other companies.

Besides providing a space where families can feel safety of having a roof over their heads, the village will also be providing meals, community engagement, and life skill classes to help their tenants get back on their feet.

“This is about more than just getting kids to school,” the foundation executive director, Michele Campbell announced. “This is about keeping them alive. We’re seeing families struggling every day with very real and oftentimes unexpected issues that turn their worlds upside down. This will allow the family time and opportunities to grow while not worrying if they’ll have a roof over their heads.”

As High School Seniors Face an Uncertain Pandemic Year, ‘HBCU Week’ Brings Black Students On-the-Spot College Acceptances

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Portrait of african teenage boy at college campus with students walking by in motion blur. Happy young guy standing with his backpack looking at camera and smiling.

Many high school seniors, particularly students of color, have several reasons to feel uncertain about the future: a raging pandemic, a sputtering economy, and cries for racial equity and social justice this past summer.

But this week thousands of seniors will likely see a clear path to college as HBCU Week goes virtual for the first time, bringing the Historically Black College and University experience and instant college acceptance to laptops everywhere.

HBCU Week will present high schoolers with a one-stop chance to get accepted at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and secure a scholarship before completing the first month of high school. Many will then be able to finish high school worry-free without the struggle of navigating a complex admissions process.

“This year’s virtual HBCU Week will be a template for change for Black and Brown students,” said Ashley Christopher, founder and CEO of the HBCU Week Foundation. “Our week of virtual events will expose students to an authentic HBCU experience. Students will attend panels on topics such as financial health, female empowerment and becoming changemakers.  We round it off with our virtual college fair, where they can meet one-on-one with admissions officers and corporate partners, apply for internships, and potentially get on-the-spot acceptance and scholarships, all without leaving home.”

HBCU Week’s virtual events include a game night, a number of panels, and a live broadcast of ESPN “First Take.”  The HBCU College Fair takes place Sept. 25-26.

A graduate of two HBCUs—Howard University and the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law—Ashley Christopher started HBCU Week with the simple idea of connecting 200 Wilmington-area high school students with five HBCU admissions officers. In just three years, HBCU Week grew 3,000%, reaching 6,000 students with over 2,000 on-the-spot acceptances and $5 million in scholarships while collaborating with HBCUs and corporate partners.

“HBCUs not only open minds, they open opportunities,” Christopher said. “With HBCU Week, we’re exposing students to a proud history and legacy, and we want every student that comes through our virtual doors to walk away understanding that they can do and be anything coming from an HBCU.”

This year’s HBCU Week comes on the heels of an extraordinary summer of activism, when millions took to the streets in protest, and demands for racial equity and social justice grew insistent, and not just in America.

Many Black students, mindful of societal inequities, realize they live in a world that was not built for them. What they may not know, however, is that some of the best and the brightest in the Black community launched their careers after attending HBCUs, including Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Oprah Winfrey, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Marian Wright Edelman, Kamala Harris, and Chadwick Boseman.

“HBCUs offer Black and Brown students the chance to thrive and appreciate their value all while gaining an excellent education as we can see from the people that have graduated from these institutions,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said. National ambassador for HBCU Week 2020, he is an alumnus of Winston-Salem State University. “When you go to an HBCU and you see people who have similar cultural backgrounds, you no longer feel alone,” he added. “And when you see your peers excel, you become convinced that you can too. The HBCU experience offers students real advantages both during college and into their careers.”

There are 104 HBCUs nationwide. They represent 3% of U.S. colleges and universities but are responsible for 25% of all African American science, technology, engineering, and mathematics degrees, and 14% of African American engineering degrees. Most HBCU students are Black or Brown, but students of all races are admitted. White, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and Native American students make up 22% of total enrollments.

HBCU Week’s corporate partners include JP Morgan Chase & Co., Chemours, the National Football League, Capital One, DuPont, Gucci Changemakers and many more. There are a variety of scholarships and internships available.  Attendance at the 2020 HBCU Week Virtual College Fair is required for eligibility.

To learn more about HBCU Week and to register for the events, visit hbcuweek.org.

About the HBCU Week Foundation
The mission of the HBCU Week Foundation is to encourage high-school aged youth to enroll into HBCU’s, provide scholarship dollars for matriculation and sustain a pipeline for employment from undergraduate school to corporate America. The most impactful event during HBCU Week is the HBCU College Fair. HBCU Week Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

SOURCE HBCU Week Foundation

Why an MBA?

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With a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree, you get more than an opportunity to change or advance your career.

You get the leadership skills to last a lifetime. By getting an MBA, you can:

  • Increase your earning potential
  • Advance within your current industry
  • Change your career
  • Increase your marketability
  • Gain a network of peers, faculty and alumni
  • Make an impact in your community

Types of MBA Programs

Today’s business schools offer more opportunities than ever to help you find a program that meets your specific needs. Programs generally fall into the following categories:

Full-time MBA programs are primarily for students who are able to take time off from working full time to concentrate on their studies. These programs are ideal for both “career switchers” and “career enhancers.” Global companies sometimes send employees for a total immersion experience in countries that represent an important business market.

  • Programs typically last from 12 to 21 months
  • Longer programs often include a three- to four-month internship option
  • Core course requirements are completed in the early stage of the program
  • Specific concentrations and elective courses finish the latter stage of the program
  • The mix of electives and requirements varies among programs
  • Students often relocate to attend full-time programs

Part-time MBA programs are designed for working professionals and allow students to work full time during the day and attend classes in the evening or on weekends. Part-time programs are popular among career enhancers—those who have experience and want to further their career in a chosen field. They are also a smart choice if you already have a network in your field to help you find a new position post-graduation.

  • Courses are scheduled year-round
  • Programs typically lasts 2 to 5 years
  • Commuting is more common than relocation

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs enhance the careers of professionals who are already specialists in a field or industry. EMBA programs focus on honing general management skills in core classes, with little or no opportunity for specialization. Many students are company sponsored.

  • Students work full time and attend classes on Fridays and Saturdays, usually on alternate weekends, over two academic years
  • Offers a full immersion experience, with learning outside the classroom and extensive faculty and student/team interaction
  • The shared professional experience and expertise of students becomes part of the curriculum
  • EMBAs typically have at least 8–10 years professional experience and hold a leadership role in their organization

Online MBA programs are a good option for those who need or want to work full time and who cannot or do not want to attend classes in person. Most online programs allow students to complete assignments and review lessons when and where it works best for them.

Which Type of Program Is Best for You?

Before you make your decision, you’ll want to consider a variety of factors to determine which type of program will best overall experience to meet your professional and personal goals:

  • How do you learn best?
  • How much flexibility are you looking for in a program?
  • What is your industry or job function goal and how that could affect your choice in program type?
  • Do you already have a functional or industry specialty, or do you need an MBA to develop one?
  • Will an internship help you make a career transition?

Lifestyle

  • Can you handle going to school full-time and working part-time, or vice versa?
  • Do you want classmates who share your interests and experience level?
  • Are you ready for the responsibilities of an MBA-level position upon graduation?

Family Considerations

  • Will your partner need to relocate and/or enter a new job market?
  • Does the school offer support for partners and families?

Location/Other

Do you want to study locally, in your home country, or abroad?

Do you prefer to be in a college town or a city?

How will the school’s connections with the local business community help?

Will your current employer support you in a full or part-time program?

Carefully consider your answers to these questions and you’ll have a much better idea of which type of program will be your perfect fit.

Source: fortefoundation.org

Entrepreneur Makes History as Founder of One of the First Black Woman-Owned Online K-12 Virtual Schools

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Meet Dana Delane-Williams, the owner and founder of American High School, an online virtual school for grades K-12 that has been leading the way in online education in the U.S. for over 18 years.

She has made history as one of the only African American women in the country to accomplish this and has committed herself to revolutionizing education to ensure that she gives kids the minimum credentials they need to succeed in life – their high school diploma.

As the effects of the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to rage on, almost all areas of everyday life have been changed. This truth has led to a paradigm shift in the way we work, interact, and educate students in the U.S. and worldwide. The traditional is now untraditional, with the old path, replaced by a new direction, our new norm.

How it all began

Dana began her foray into teaching classes online while she was an instructor at the University of Kentucky in 1996. It was in 2002 that she created her very first online high school for grades 9-12 with the 24 credits required to graduate, and catering to the homeschool market.

Dana has continued her efforts in creating new and innovative educational pathways since 2002. She has since expanded the school offerings to over 350 online courses to include an accredited online middle school for grades 6-8 and an online elementary school for grades K-5. She went on to create an online adult high school diploma program for those adults who needed to earn their high school diploma for work or college.

She even received NCAA approval, which allows student-athletes who plan to play sports in college on scholarship to attend her NCAA approved school. She continued to innovate and created a Dual Diploma program, in 2016, for her international partner schools/organization’s that allows students to earn a U.S. High School Diploma along with their home country diploma.

A great option for students and other institutions

American High School (AHS) is a comprehensive online/virtual learning school that delivers accredited, affordable, college preparatory, Honors/AP, Gifted, virtual reality, adult education, and career-based online education for Grades K-12 to students throughout the U.S. and Internationally.

Additionally, the school’s online/virtual platform allows public or private schools or organizations, the ability to create their own virtual schools or programs without a significant initial investment. It’s literally a virtual school in a box that can be deployed within 7-14 days.

AHS’s proprietary curriculum, learning management systems, and educational services are designed to facilitate individualized and personalized learning for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. AHS works with over 150 plus public or private schools throughout the United States and in over twenty-seven countries worldwide.

American High School offers the following in online education:

* Provides an excellent, well-rounded, proven online/virtual curriculum for Grades K-12.

* Fully accredited by leading agencies such as Cognia (formerly AdvancED and SACS). AdvancED is the unified organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). As well as accredited by AI (Accreditation International).

* Students earn a high school diploma online from an accredited school. The diploma is fully-recognized upon graduation.

* Individual Course Program allows students to make up credits within 6 – 8 weeks and graduate on time. Includes online credit recovery and online summer school for grades 6-8.

* A diverse student population participates in the AHS programs including athletes, gifted, homeschoolers, actors/actresses, Olympians, traditional, at-risk, remedial, and/or those experiencing problems in the traditional classroom.

Students can enroll online at AmericanHighSchool.org or by contacting an Enrollment Specialist at 866-936-9654.

About Dana Delane-Williams: Dana is a military brat who has traveled all throughout the United States until graduation from high school in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Georgia State University with her Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems, and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, with her Masters in Aviation Administration.

Dana serves as the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) at American High School. She is responsible for curriculum development, organizational growth strategy, maintaining organizational culture, managing operations, R&D, sales, product development and launch, marketing, and overseas expansion.

Continue on to PR.com to read the complete article.

Washington hires Jason Wright as NFL’s first Black team president

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Washington has hired Jason Wright as team president, making him the first Black team president in NFL history and only the fourth former player to ascend to that role.

More than any historic aspect, Wright said that what excites him is the convergence of his two worlds: football and business.

“It’s a huge moment to bring those two worlds together,” he told ESPN. “What other job would they come together at such a unique time for an organization at the point our team is? I’m just happy I landed in this role at that time. There are other reasons it’s historic, but that’s a byproduct of me being the right and qualified candidate at this time. All of that is just icing on the cake.”

But Wright said he understands the significance of his hiring.

“What it tries to signal is that, at least in this organization, the hindrances that tend to be in place around Black talent in other places are breaking down,” he said, “and that should send a signal more broadly to the shift in culture that Dan and Tanya Snyder, Coach Rivera and myself are now trying to make.”

Washington had been without a president since Bruce Allen was fired after the 2019 season. The team hired coach Ron Rivera and gave him full power, as owner Dan Snyder said he wanted a coach-centric approach.

Wright’s hiring won’t change that, as he won’t be involved in the football side like Allen was during his 10-year reign. Wright, 38, will focus only on the business side, including operations, finance, sales and marketing. Like Rivera, he will report directly to Snyder.

“[Rivera] is the chief executive of everything that happens on the football side, and I run the business side,” Wright said. “It’s super clear.”

Wright said he began talking with Snyder fairly recently about the job and called it a whirlwind.

“You could say there’s a lot going on, you sure you want to take this on? Yeah, absolutely,” Wright said. “Their actions] made me really confident I could come in here and effect change, that I’d have the ability and autonomy to make real change.”

He also embraces the challenge of coming to the NFL while facing the obstacles of a pandemic and at a time when “the Washington Football Team is at a unique moment, and the NFL, for better or worse, is at the center of so much important dialogue around the role of sport, the players finding their voice about the things they care about.”

Wright will be tasked with helping to change the culture in Washington. Another challenge will be to help locate an area to build a new stadium. Washington has been trying to find a spot in Virginia, Maryland or the District of Columbia for several years. The lease on the land at FedEx Field expires after the 2027 season.

Continue on to ESPN to read the complete article.

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes now part owner of Royals

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Patrick Mahomes on football wearing the red #15 jersey smiling

Patrick Mahomes, the star quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs and reigning Super Bowl MVP, has become a member of the new ownership group of the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals announced Mahomes’ partial ownership Tuesday, noting that he “spent a lot of time in clubhouses as a kid.”

“He loves football, but he also grew up loving the game of baseball,” said John Sherman, principal owner of the Royals. “We look forward to many years of a winning partnership.”

Mahomes is the son of former major league pitcher Pat Mahomes, who pitched in more than 300 big league games, mostly as a reliever.

“I’m honored to become a part-owner of the Kansas City Royals,” Mahomes said in a statement released by the team.

“I love this city and the people of this great town. This opportunity allows me to deepen my roots in this community, which is something I’m excited to do.”

Earlier this month, Mahomes signed a 10-year extension with the Chiefs that ties him to Kansas City through the 2031 season. League sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the deal is worth $450 million over the 10-year period and could be worth up to $503 million.

The extension includes a $140 million injury guarantee, as well as a no-trade clause.

Continue on to ESPN to read the complete article.

Why Diversity Matters: The Benefits of Recognizing Overlooked and Untapped Talent

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By Santura Pegram

Growing up, most of us were taught that brilliant innovators of everything from electricity to the lightbulb, automobiles, pharmaceuticals-medical devices, materials, alloys like steel-iron-aluminum-copper, and everything else under the sun were created by European (white) inventors.

However, while such figures certainly deserve recognition for their creations, and ongoing generations should be grateful to those individuals for their contributions, what was omitted from such history lessons was the fact that equally skillful black people and incredible thinkers of other diverse backgrounds also played equally pivotal roles. These latter groups of people helped to create some of the greatest inventions, took others to the next level or devised a new product or service altogether that are still relied upon today.

Disappointingly, most schools and institutions of higher learning have failed to teach material that revealed such hidden truths – both then and now. Thankfully, recent developments in several industries are enlightening increasing numbers of people about the historic and almost unknown contributions of black and brown people throughout the world.

Most affluent Americans and countless others have little clue that it was black people alone who kept the automobile brand, Cadillac, afloat in the U.S. In the 1930’s, as America was struggling to recover from The Great Depression and as racism continued to ruin opportunities for everyone who held onto to such nonproductive beliefs, a low-ranking German immigrant – Nicholas Dreystadt – who worked for General Motors at the time boldly entered a boardroom after overhearing perplexed white executives discuss consideration of abandoning the brand due to increasingly poor sales. The problem: GM was relying solely upon white Americans to buy the cars. Yet, from his menial position as a service division employee, Dreystadt quickly recognized that it was large numbers of black customers who owned Cadillacs who often were found waiting for their vehicles to be serviced at GM dealerships.

At the time, Cadillac had a strict practice against selling any of their luxury cars to black customers. Interestingly, through his own experiences of interacting with many such black customers, Dreystadt learned that black people routinely paid a white person (i.e., a front man) a fee to go into a dealership and purchase the Cadillac of choice for them. Thus, determined to make his point and show what could happen if GM abandoned their discriminatory policy, Dreystadt was successful at implementing a new diversity marketing approach, which increased sales of Cadillacs by 68%, and helped to make the brand profitable within 18 months. His same strategy was later adopted by Mercedes Benz to include black people and increased sales of their once-struggling brand too.

Still not convinced that diversity makes a huge difference in the world? Then consider the story of Nathan “Uncle Nearest” Green and how he revolutionized whiskey. Green, a former slave in Lynchburg, Tennessee was the first black master distiller in America who taught Jack Daniel how to make the liquid gold. For more than a century, Nathan “Nearest” Green’s name was purposely left out of history books and absent from most conversations which tied him to the Jack Daniel’s brand. It would have likely remained that way had it not been for the relentless curiosity of Fawn Weaver, a California businesswoman, who in 2017 spearheaded the launching of what is now known as the Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey brand in an industry that generates $3 billion dollars annually.

If those two examples are not enough proof that the creative (yet often unwisely ignored) potential of black and brown people continue to be a legitimate factor to consider throughout every sector of business, then consider other little-known facts that prove minorities are capable of being far more than the brawn behind an endeavor, they can also be the brains too.

Did any of the schools you ever attended teach you that Dr. Domingo Liotta – a South American native – was the person responsible for creating the first artificial heart that was successfully transplanted into a human being? Did they teach you that Dr. Alejandro Zaffaroni – who was born in Uruguay – not only invented a bandage that administers medicinal drugs through a patient’s skin, but he was also responsible for helping to develop several other widely used products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, including the nicotine patch used to aid smokers in breaking their nasty habit? Were you ever informed that it was an enormously intelligent medical doctor – Julio Palmaz, who was born in Argentina – that invented the balloon-expandable stent frequently used to treat one of the most common health conditions (cardiovascular disease)?

Do your research on Dr. Thomas O. Mensah, the engineer and genius inventor who played a critical role in the development of fiber optics and nanotechnology. While you’re at it, take a few moments to delve into the impressive educational program known as ‘Make Music Count,’ created by Marcus Blackwell which aims to eliminate the fear of math and simultaneously teach children between the 3rd grade and 12th grade how to perform better mathematically while enjoying culturally relevant lessons through music.

Explore the insightful exploration of incredible thinkers like Elijah McCoy, Granville T. Woods, Patricia E. Bath, Frederick McKinley Jones, Jessica O. Matthews, Jasmine Crowe, Diishan Imira and countless others.

Then, imagine what could be accomplished if people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds throughout America and around the world were to put our heads together and entertain the thought of what has yet to be discovered? Quite possibly, that could include creating a cure for most (if not all) chronic diseases and health ailments. Maybe finding the answer to eradicate poverty, homelessness, and world hunger. Perhaps devise better public policy solutions focused on bringing people together instead of fanning insignificant flames which have only kept us apart.

Whatever the case and despite our achievements as segmented human beings, it’s not difficult to debate that we have only scratched the surface of everything that can be accomplished – if we will commit our hearts and minds to doing it together.

Santura Pegram is a freelance writer and socially conscious business professional. A former protégé-aide to the “Political Matriarch of the State of Florida” – the Honorable M. Athalie Range – Santura often writes on topics ranging from socially relevant issues to international business to politics. He can be reached at: santura.pegram@yahoo.com

From Homeless Shelters to College Bound: Meet the Valedictorian who Defied all the Odds

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Martin Folsom wearing his graduation cap and gown

Martin Folsom, a former high school senior at Philip Randolph Career Academy, has just graduated as his class’ valedictorian. Folsom and his mother, Melva, have been in and out of homeless shelters since he was a child in an effort to escape from Melva’s ex-husband, a convicted murderer.

Though having lived in a few different states throughout his life, Martin and Melva somewhat settled in Jacksonville, where Martin went to high school.  

During Folsom’s high school career, the family struggled with finding a place to live twice, once during his freshman year and again in his junior year.

But despite his living situation, Folsom continued to work hard, having his mother’s support the entire time.

“I never thought to myself, ‘I can’t do this anymore’…it’s always been, ‘Well, it happened again and I’ve gotta keep myself up and keep moving forward.’” Folsom told WJXT News, “At my school, there are a lot of other smart people there too,” he added. “And if I let myself slip, they would take it from me in a second.”

Folsom plans to attend Valdosta State University in Georgia this upcoming fall with plans to join the FBI upon receiving his degree.

Target Announces Juneteenth As An Official Paid Company Holiday

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After the tragic death of George Floyd and the protests and riots that followed, corporations are making changes one move at a time. Target is the latest company to announce that it will honor Juneteenth as an official paid holiday.

In a statement released Brian Cornell, CEO and chairman stated, “We recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new, but throughout recent weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different,” says Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO, Target. “Juneteenth takes on additional significance in this moment. Moving now to recognize it on an annual basis—as a day to celebrate, further educate ourselves or connect with our communities—is one more important action Target can take as a company to help the country live up to the ideal of moving forward in a new way.”

Distribution centers and stores will remain open, but hourly team members who work on June 19 will receive time and a half. Eligible team members will have the option to take the day off with full pay. Corporate offices will be closed.

Target has also donated $10 million dollars to advance social justice and support rebuilding efforts in local communities.

Other companies that have announced Juneteenth observance are Nike, Twitter, and Square to name a few.

In a statement, CEO John Donahoe sent a message to his staff and stated, “As many of you may know, next Friday, June 19, is Juneteenth, a day commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. Starting this year and going forward, Nike will recognize Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday in the U.S,” he wrote.

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey stated, “Both Twitter and Square are making #Juneteenth (June 19th) a company holiday in the US, forevermore. A day for celebration, education, and connection. Countries and regions around the world have their own days to celebrate emancipation, and we will do the work to make those dates company holidays everywhere we are present.”

Continue on to the original post on The Shade Room here.

Ava DuVernay Launches ‘When They See Us’ Online Education Initiative

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Ana Duvernay at a press event for her new initiative

Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us educated many people on the story of the Exonerated Five, the young men wrongly convicted in the attack on a Central Park jogger in 1989.

Now, the award-winning director and writer is using the groundbreaking miniseries for a new online education initiative.

Via ARRAY, her multi platform media company and arts collective, DuVernay is launching ARRAY 101.

On May 28, the Oscar nominee revealed on Instagram, “Today, I’m so, so proud to launch a project that my comrades at @ARRAYNow and I have been working on for over a year. Today, we launch #ARRAY101: dynamic learning companions for all our film/TV projects.

Continue on to BET to read the complete article…

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Meet UCLA’s First African American Athletic Director

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Martin Jarmond in a suit speaking at a conference

Martin Jarmond, the first and most recent athletic director at Boston College and the youngest director to ever be in the Power Five Conferences, will be breaking another record with his newest position.

On May 17, it was announced that Martin Jarmond will become the new athletic director of UCLA. This will make Jarmond the first African American man to hold the position in the school’s 101-year history.

Having an extensive background in sports both on the court and in his studies, Jarmond has quickly been able to move up the ladder of sports administration and is speculated to be the perfect fit to help UCLA fix the financial debt of the previous year’s $18.9 million deficit.

Continue on to the L.A. Times’ Website to read the complete article.

Photo Credit: Stephen Senne/Associated Press

These Five Tips will Make Teachers Better LGBTQ+ Allies

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Teachers work every day to support their students, no matter their students’ walk of life. The impact that teachers make can be everlasting, but this can be especially true for LGBTQ+ students. LGBTQ+ youth have shown to be more likely to experience bullying, depression, and have a higher chance of attempting or committing suicide, especially if they come from families who do not support them.

Especially now, as students are ordered to stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers have the power to bring the safeness that can be found in school into their students’ homes. Here are five ways that teachers can support their LGBTQ+ students who may not be receiving the support they need at home.

Make Yourself a Known Ally

Specifically telling your students, LGBTQ+ or not, that you are a safe place for them to come to is major. This allows you to be a trusted source if they ever feel unsafe or need help. Making yourself known as a LGBTQ+ ally can also be done by teaming up with the school’s GSA, should your school have one.

Use Your Students’ Preferred Pronouns

This simple act does more than just show respect for your students who have pronouns that may differ than their “assumed” pronouns—it lets your class know you accept the LGBTQ+ community. Using the improper name or pronouns for students who wish to be called something else can be a hurtful reminder. Students who identify under a different name and pronouns than their assumed ones experience 71% fewer depression symptoms and are 59% less likely to attempt suicide.

Utilize Online Resource

Many online resources can help increase LGBTQ+ students’ needs for support. The Family Acceptance Project, for example, has been providing families of all different backgrounds and religions with the educational tools they need to learn to accept their LGBTQ+ children. The program’s resources have proven to shown results in all kinds of families

A variety of support groups also are available virtually to LGBTQ+ youth. The Gender Spectrum and Gender Diversity groups are just two examples of this, but more can be found on The GSA’s Official Instagram page

Make Your Curriculum LGBTQ+ Inclusive

Guides, such as Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Classroom Resources, are great for seeing how to properly implement this. Affirming the identity of LGBTQ+ students can not only decrease risks of harm and increase self-acceptance but also help to normalize the LGBTQ+ community to students who are not a part of that community

Become Familiar with Crisis Prevention Resource

Many LGBTQ+ students, as discussed before, are more likely to face a more severe level of bullying and mental health issues. One of the greatest sources that can help LGBTQ+ students during the most crucial times is The Trevor Project, which can be reached at this number: (1-866-488-7386) at any time and day. The Trevor Project also has a virtual chat that can be accessed if students cannot call the hotline. They also have an abundance of resources for LGBTQ+ youths that are definitely worth looking into.

Princeton names its first black valedictorian in the university’s history

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Princeton University has named its first black valedictorian in the school’s 274-year history. Nicholas Johnson, a Canadian student majoring in operations research and financial engineering, has been named valedictorian of Princeton’s Class of 2020, the university announced in a news release.

“It feels empowering. Being Princeton’s first Black Valedictorian holds special significance to me particularly given Princeton’s historical ties to the institution of slavery,” Johnson told CNN. “I hope that this achievement motivates and inspires younger black students, particularly those interested in STEM fields.”

The graduating senior’s favorite memories at school were those spent with “close friends and classmates engaging in stimulating discussions — often late at night — about our beliefs, the cultures and environments in which we were raised, the state of the world, and how we plan on contributing positively to it in our own unique way,” Johnson said in the school’s news release release.

He also said he appreciated the university for encouraging him to explore his interests by supporting him with international internships and cultural immersion trips to Peru, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

Johnson’s senior thesis focused on developing algorithms to design a community-based preventative health intervention to decrease obesity in Canada. A member of the Princeton chapter of Engineers Without Borders, Johnson also worked as a software engineer in machine learning at Google’s California headquarters during his time at Princeton.

Johnson also has a lot to look forward to. This summer, he will intern as a hybrid quantitative researcher and software developer at the D.E. Shaw Group, a global investment and technology development firm.

In the fall, Johnson will begin his PhD. studies in operations research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Although the coronavirus pandemic canceled Princeton’s in-person graduation ceremony, the school is still holding a virtual one on May 31.

Johnson told CNN it’s “disappointing” to not be able to celebrate as a class together in person this year. However, he said he is thankful to the administration for its commitment “to hosting an in person commencement for my class in Spring 2021 to celebrate our achievements.”

Continue on to CNN to read the complete article.

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  1. NFBPA: A Construct for Change Forum 2020
    October 8, 2020 - October 13, 2020
  2. HBCU Career Development Marketplace
    November 10, 2020 - November 12, 2020