More Black families are homeschooling their children, citing the pandemic and racism

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Yalonda Chandler homeschools her children, Madison and Matthew. She co-founded Black Homeschoolers of Birmingham, in Alabama, and has seen the organization grow since the pandemic began.

By Kyra Miles, NPR

It’s a common perception that white, evangelical families are the most likely to homeschool their children. But a growing number of Black families have started teaching their kids at home — especially during the pandemic. The Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey found that in April 2020, 3% of Black households homeschooled their children, and by October 2020 it was up to 16%.

Those numbers may not be completely accurate, the Bureau noted, because a lot of children were learning at home in 2020. So part way through the survey period, the homeschooling question was expdanded to clarify that homeschoolers did not include children enrolled in public or private school. Even so, the numbers signal a significant increase.

Joyce Burges, founder of National Black Home Educators, said that since 2020, thousands of families have joined her organization.

“I think you’re going to see more and more parents, Black parents, homeschooling their children like never before,” Burges said.

“COVID was the catalyst”
Didakeje Griffin in Birmingham, Ala., is one of them. When she and her husband realized their kids wouldn’t be going back to public school in March 2020, they knew they had to make a change.

“It was like a light bulb moment,” Griffin said. “Ultimately, what I realized is that the pandemic just gave us an opportunity to do what we needed to do anyway, which is homeschooling.”

The mother of two said she’d always coached her kids at home to keep them on track. But three things made her decide to officially start homeschooling. First, she wanted her children to be safe from bullies. She also wanted them to understand their cultural history. The third factor was freedom.

“I want to have time to cultivate my children’s African-American, their Nigerian history and culture in them first, before anybody tries to tell them who they are,” Griffin said. COVID was the catalyst, “but it has not been the reason that we kept going.”

The Griffins celebrate Juneteenth more than July Fourth. They have discussions about the Black Lives Matter movement and talk about critical race theory with their children, ages 11 and 8. Griffin sees homeschooling as a way to protect her children.

“I don’t want my kids to be subjected to racism in certain ways so early,” she said.

Homeschooling as activism
In Black households, homeschooling can be its own unique form of activism and resistance.

“The history that’s taught is that we’ve tried through Brown v. Board of Ed to get access to schools, and schools are integrated,” said Cheryl Fields-Smith, a professor at the University of Georgia who studies Black homeschooling and its cultural significance.

“And that’s true,” she added. “But we’ve also always been self-taught.”

Fields-Smith said homeschooling is a way to combat educational racism, which comes in many forms.

“We all know that there are structures and policies and practices within our traditional schools that can be damaging to students of color, Black students in particular,” she said.

School discipline is one of them. Data from a 2014 study by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights showed that Black students were suspended at three times the rate of white students, and were more likely to be reprimanded. A 2015 study from the Association for Psychological Science found that Black students are more likely to be labeled “troublemakers” by teachers.

These statistics can make parents and caretakers of Black children distrust the education system. In the last couple years a number of states have moved to add more Black history into their lesson plans. Still, earlier this year, Alabama and a handful of other states banned critical race theory in K-12 classrooms, even though it’s an academic theory of structural racism that is largely taught at the university level.

“This idea of white supremacy and the inferiority of Black people lingers today,” Fields-Smith said. “We are overcoming racism through homeschooling. I don’t think white people can say that.”

A growing community
Some families are also creating community through homeschooling.

In Alabama, Alfrea Moore said homeschooling her children for the last three years has given them the freedom to ask questions and learn without a strict curriculum. It’s also allowed them to connect with their culture.

“The thing about homeschooling in the South as a Black family that I’m finding is that there are a lot more of us than we actually know of,” Moore said.

“When we moved to get my kids to interact with other kids, there are networks of homeschoolers and Black homeschoolers in not just this part of Alabama where we live, but all over.”

Click here to read the full article on NPR.

The youngest Black female professor ever to be tenured at Oxford was born in Kenya

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The University of Oxford has made history by appointing Patricia Kingori to a full professorship, making the sociologist the youngest Black woman ever to receive tenure at Oxford or Cambridge.

By Ananya Bhattacharya

The University of Oxford has made history by appointing Patricia Kingori to a full professorship, making the sociologist the youngest Black woman ever to receive tenure at Oxford or Cambridge. Kingori, born in Kenya to a Kenyan father and Caribbean mother, spent her childhood in St Kitts, before the family moved to the UK during her early teens. Her sister, Vanessa Kingori, is the first female publisher in British Vogue’s 102-year history.

She studies the everyday ethical experiences of frontline workers in global health, and “was awarded this historic distinction in recognition of the quality and global impact of her research on academia and beyond,” the university said on Dec. 13. Kingori is in her early 40s.

From Kenya to Oxford, via St Kitts
During her eight years at Oxford, Kingori has consistently obtained large and competitive funding grants, written frequently cited and impactful publications, supervised numerous DPhil candidates, and taught hundreds of students, the university said.

However, Kingori’s road to professorship wasn’t without roadblocks. For instance, she was awarded a Wellcome Doctoral Studentship to fund her PhD with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine just a month after she gave birth to her first child. After a year’s maternity leave, she relocated to Kenya with family to do fieldwork. But her career nearly stalled when civil unrest forced her to leave in 2007. Pregnant with her second child at the time, she thought people would write her off at work.

But 10 months after she left Kenya, she was able to go back, armed with two new supervisors, to bring her data collection back on track.

After completing the PhD, she bagged the Wellcome Research Fellowship to do postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford’s Ethox Centre. Since then, her career at the British institution has taken off. Within a span of five years, she went from being a research lecturer to an associate professor.

Kingori beyond academia
In addition to garnering accolades in academia, Kingori has also served as an adviser to multiple organizations including the World Health Organization, Save the Children, Medecins San Frontières, the Nuffield Council of Bioethics, and the Obama administration’s White House Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa Initiative.

Currently, Kingori is the recipient of a Wellcome Senior Investigator award, leading an interdisciplinary team of researchers exploring global concerns around fakes, fabrications, and falsehoods in health. Outside of her research, Kingori also helms several diversity initiatives, including a visiting scholarship for Black academics to the University of Oxford, and an internships program for students of color.

Click here to read the full article on BBC News.

Achieving Diversity and Inclusion in College STEM

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young girl students building robotics on desk

In the early 2000s, U.S. colleges and universities began opening offices of diversity through which they frequently appointed a single officer to field student, faculty, and staff complaints and to expand culturally narrow curricula. But with new pressure on schools to support underrepresented students, the single-desk model of administering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts is on its way out.

Colleges leading the DEI charge, including the University of Michigan, place a DEI officer inside every academic program. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs — growing each year in prestige, popularity, and potential income for graduates — are forerunners in this effort, but continue to face some of the toughest DEI challenges.

While colleges have diversified rapidly in terms of race and gender, STEM programs continue to graduate more white students than Black and brown students. Asian students, meanwhile, are overrepresented in STEM: One-third of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Asian students in 2015-16 were in STEM fields — that’s almost double the total percentage of bachelor’s degrees awarded in STEM that year.

Studies show slow or stagnant growth in the number of STEM degrees awarded to both students of color and female students. Between race and gender in STEM diversity, it’s gender that lags more: The difference between the number of STEM degrees awarded to male students (64%) and female students (36%) eclipses any difference among racial groups.

“Cultural change often does not happen quickly, and is not the kind of thing that we in science, in engineering, are used to measuring.”. Source: — Dr. Joyce Yen, Director of the University of Washington ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change

Female minority students are even more drastically underrepresented in STEM. White men earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering at six times the rate of white and nonwhite Hispanic women and over 11 times the rate of Black women. (Effectively all STEM education data is gender binary — another DEI shortcoming.)

Last year brought new urgency to colleges’ DEI efforts. Dr. Joyce Yen, director of the University of Washington’s ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change, says that intensity is productive and that a problem-solving mindset is particularly endemic to STEM; however, urgency is somewhat at odds with the slow-going nature of cultural change.

“This is not work that is going to change overnight,” said Yen in an interview with BestColleges. “Cultural change often does not happen quickly, and is not the kind of thing that we in science, in engineering, are used to measuring.”

Without cultural change, underrepresented students and their faculty mentors could continue to exit STEM fields. Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, earth sciences professor at the University of California, Merced, told BestColleges that higher education must “ensure that the folks from minoritized communities who are recruited to colleges are going to be part of supportive work environments.”

Lack of Diversity in STEM at Root of Pay Gap

Over 20% of U.S. adults aged 25 or older hold a bachelor’s degree, and nearly 10% hold a master’s degree. The American Council on Education found that among Black, Hispanic or Latino/a, and American Indian or Alaska Native students, the share of adults with either degree drops by 5 or more percentage points.

Educators first began paying attention to unequal education opportunities in the late 1990s. Since that time, Black students have closed the high school graduation gap, and both Black and brown students are attending college in greater numbers than ever before. Just two decades ago, students of color comprised less than 30% of the total undergraduate population; now, they make up more than 45%.

Getting to college is one challenge — getting through it is another. Black and brown students are more likely to be first-generation college students, facing the hard work and red tape of higher education on their own. They’re also more likely to take out big loans and be defrauded by for-profit universities, which charge more for degrees that hold less value on the job market.

Underrepresented students face steep costs and steep challenges to higher education. Colleges work to enroll students of diverse identities and experiences, but many of these recruits struggle without family, financial, and academic support. They also lack representation among faculty, with few or no professors from similar backgrounds whom they can look to as mentors.

Colleges work to enroll students of diverse identities and experiences, but many of these recruits struggle without family, financial, and academic support.

Though similar percentages of white, nonwhite Latino/a, and Black students declare STEM majors at the start of their studies, nearly 4 in 10 nonwhite Latino/a and Black students end up switching their majors, compared to 29% of white students.

Furthermore, just half of Black and nonwhite Latino/a college students graduate within six years. Attrition is high among Black and nonwhite Latino/a STEM majors, with 26% of Black students and 20% of nonwhite Latino/a students dropping out. The time and money suck of an unfinished college degree can set students back for life.

STEM fields are notoriously nondiverse. For every year these lucrative fields fail to graduate more students of color, the racial pay gap splits open even wider. The same goes for the gender pay gap: The highest-earning STEM jobs employ the lowest percentage of women workers. This division in earning potential starts in college.

While retaining female students and students of color in STEM would be a major step toward achieving pay equity, successful graduates still face an uphill battle when it comes to monetizing their degrees. Women of color in STEM — doubly prejudiced against, first in education and then on the job market — earn about 60% of white men’s salary.
College STEM Programs Work Toward DEI Goals

By supporting underrepresented students in STEM, colleges can better follow through on their economic promises to enrollees. Closing racial and gender education pay gaps depend on closing STEM education gaps. But according to DEI experts, the ultimate payoff of centering DEI in STEM education includes more scientists of diverse backgrounds, more conscientious scientists, and the innovations borne of inclusivity.

“The questions that we ask now are actually weaker questions,” explained Yen, who noted that questions scientific during research and development often fail to look at the world through a DEI lens. Without that lens, key pieces of information are left out. The result? Problems like voice recognition software that can’t pick up higher-pitched female voices, and facial recognition software that fails to see darker-skinned faces.

“There was a time [when] voice recognition systems literally could not hear female voices. … You are both metaphorically and literally silenced.”. Source: — Dr. Joyce Yen, Director of the University of Washington ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change

Scientists and engineers occupy pivotal roles in either perpetuating or interrupting the inequalities embedded in the world around us. When STEM students are taught to see through a DEI lens, it changes which problems are addressed and how solutions are optimized to be truly inclusive.

A pioneering institution in DEI, the University of Michigan charged all 51 of its academic and administrative units to develop DEI plans. Each unit was then made to appoint its own diversity officer to serve as a “culture catalyst” and to “lead, coordinate, support, execute, and create structures of accountability.”

While U.S. institutions of higher education continue to struggle to create diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments, intentional efforts — such as those made by U-M — show promise.

Where Colleges’ DEI Intentions Fall Short

Thanks in part to colleges’ recruiting efforts, enrollment numbers indicate improvements in diversity. But the graduation gap, particularly among Black students who declared STEM majors, persists.

Diversity is only partially addressed when colleges focus on recruitment, rather than climate and retention. Berhe says DEI priorities must include “a reimagined mentoring structure” that allows multiple faculty members to support Black and brown students as they learn and face different challenges.

Read the complete article posted on Best Colleges.com

Black Woman Wins $1M Global Teacher Prize

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Keisha Thorpe, a black woman who won a $1M global teacher prize

By BET Staff

A teacher from Maryland has won the prestigious Global Teacher Prize.

According to NBC News, on Nov. 10, it was announced that Keshia Thorpe, 42, who teaches at International High School at Langley Park in Bladensburg, Maryland, would be awarded the $1 million Global Teacher Prize, which is presented every year to a teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

“Education is a human right, and all children should be entitled to have access to it,” Thorpe said in a pre-recorded video message during an online broadcast from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris.

She continued, “Every child needs a champion, an adult who will never ever give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the very best they can be. This is exactly why teachers will always matter.”

Thorpe, who is originally from Jamaica, was selected from more than 8,000 applicants and her advocacy for students is impressive. NBC News reports she restructured her 12th grade English curriculum to make it culturally relevant to her students. Thorpe helps students with college applications and financial aid. Along with her twin sister, Dr. Treisha Thorpe, she co-founded the nonprofit U.S. Elite International Track, which assists student-athletes around the world to pursue scholarships to colleges and universities. Thorpe and her sister have helped over 500 students receive full track and field scholarships.

Thorpe told NBC News, “When I think about the students and how much their parents are sacrificing for them just to have an equitable education, it reminds me so much of my own journey. And so that’s why I go so hard for my students — because my story is their story.”

Click here to read the full article on BET.

HBCUs To Receive Major Boost In Tech Funding Due To President Biden’s Spending Bill

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HBCUs To Receive Major Boost In Tech Funding Due To President Biden’s Spending Bill

B, Talk of News

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) leaders are waiting with bated breath on the passage of President Joe Biden‘s Build Back Better agenda as it includes record funding for the Black colleges.

Biden’s bill would provide $6 billion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs at HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). Civil Rights and education advocates say the funding is paramount in order for HBCU to compete with top-tier research universities specializing in science and technology, such as M.I.T.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund president Harry Williams told NBC News that not one HBCU school has reached the level of a first-tier institution, schools that excel in research activities through doctoral programs. Tier 1 programs include Stanford, Harvard, Duke, and the University of Pennsylvania.

However, a dozen HBCUs are considered second-tier institutions and Williams said the funding could be a game-changer for HBCUs and MSIs looking to improve their STEM programs.

“The significance here is that there’s an opportunity for an HBCU to move into” the top echelon, and it requires this type of federal investment for that to happen,” he said. “We want to build on this to continue to demonstrate clearly this type of investment is only going to yield a positive outcome for the African American community.”

North Carolina A&T (N.C. A&T), the largest HBCU in America, has significant STEM and research projects, but faces a $100 million maintenance backlog. Passing the package would provide the funds needed to put N.C. A&T on a stronger financial foundation.

There has been a new focus on STEM and technology at HBCUs in recent years. Google, Microsoft and Apple have all announced HBCU technology programs.

HBCUs represent 3% of colleges and universities in the U.S., however, they enroll 10% of all Black students in the country. Additionally, 24% of Black graduates with a bachelor’s degree from an HBCU, majored in a STEM field.

Click here to read the full article on Talk of News.

Lafayette Black woman’s journey to medical school is inspired by women and funded by Tampax

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Lafayette Black woman's journey to medical school is inspired by women and funded by Tampax

By , The Advocate

Sydney Ambrose has long found inspiration through the women in her life and hopes to one day inspire the next generation of girls.

Ambrose, a Lafayette native and pre-med student at Xavier University, credits her grandmother and her dermatologist for her success thus far. She was recently named a winner of the Tampax Flow It Forward Scholarship, which aims to close the representation gap of Black women in health care.

“Tampax is funding me to be able to pursue resources that will help me become a doctor and serve the minority community because there’s a lot of mistrust within that community,” Ambrose said. “So I think it’s important to have physicians of color and women physicians of color who can build that trust and communication that is very much needed.”

Ambrose, 20, is one of 12 scholarship recipients who will receive up to $10,000 in annual tuition assistance. The scholarship program aims to support the next generation of Black women who are pursuing degrees in health care. Black women account for less than 3% of doctors in the United States, even though Black women account for about 13% of the country’s population.

“I definitely want to help provide more access, which is a big part of this scholarship in that it’ll help me get there,” Ambrose said. “But a lot of those populations, they don’t have a Black dermatologist within reach.”

Ambrose said she was inspired to become a doctor after a visit with Dr. Jennifer Myers, a Lafayette dermatologist, when she was a teen.

“Of course she’s a female physician, so that’s obviously really inspiring for me,” Ambrose said. “But also, she didn’t just try and rush me out the door. She really took time and conversed with me and made me feel really comfortable.”

Click here to read the full article on The Advocate.

Netflix Establishes $5.4 Million Chadwick A. Boseman Scholarship at Howard University

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Netflix Establishes $5.4 Million Chadwick A. Boseman Scholarship at Howard University

By Globe News Wire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Howard University and Netflix today have announced a $5.4 million endowed scholarship to honor alumnus Chadwick A. Boseman, the esteemed actor, director, writer and producer. The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide incoming students in the College of Fine Arts with a four-year scholarship to cover the full cost of University tuition.

“It is with immense pleasure and deep gratitude that we announce the creation of an endowed scholarship in honor of alumnus Chadwick Boseman, whose life and contributions to the arts continue to inspire,” said Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University. “This scholarship embodies Chadwick’s love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students. I am thankful for the continuous support and partnership of Chadwick’s wife, Mrs. Simone Ledward-Boseman, and to Netflix for this important gift.”

The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship was established with the support of Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, and sponsorship from Netflix, the inaugural donor. The first four scholarships will be awarded to one recipient in each class, beginning this Fall 2021, and will continue to be distributed to an incoming freshman each year on an annual basis. The scholarship will focus on students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts, reminiscent of Boseman, and who demonstrate financial need.

“Many exemplary artists are not afforded the opportunity to pursue higher learning. We hope to support as many students as possible by removing the financial barrier to education. This endowment represents Chad’s devotion to the craft, his compassion for others and his desire to support future storytellers,” said Ledward-Boseman. “My deepest thanks to Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber and our family at Netflix for their generous investment into the education of all present and future Boseman Scholars, and to President Wayne Frederick, Dean Phylicia Rashad and Mr. David Bennett for their partnership and continued commitment to Chad’s legacy at Howard. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and amazed at the love and dedication shown by so many continuing to honor my husband’s work. I know he’d be proud.”

“It is with enormous pride that we announce our endowment of the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship. While he was taken from us too soon, his spirit is with us always in his work and the good that he has inspired. He always spoke of his time at Howard and the positive way it shaped his life and career. Now, we will have the opportunity to give many future superheroes a chance to experience the same” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer. “We are grateful to Simone and Chadwick’s whole family and our partners at Howard University for making this possible.”

In continuing the actor’s legacy, preference for the scholarship will be given to students in the dramatic arts who exemplify Boseman’s values. Students who receive the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will have demonstrated:

  • A drive for excellence. Students who are continuously working toward improvement and putting in time above and beyond the basic requirements. This includes engagement in academic departments, campus, or community organizations.
  • Leadership. Students who have the personal fortitude to do what is right, even when this means they are in the minority. They exhibit honesty and are trustworthy, caring, and ethical. They keep their word and honor their commitments while accepting consequences and admitting their mistakes.
  • Respect. Students who treat others fairly. They listen to and accept input from others. They maintain self-control and exhibit consideration for the things and people that they encounter.
  • Empathy. Students who show kindness and understanding toward all those they encounter and actively listen in an effort to understand the unique experiences of others. They advocate for their community by identifying needs and working to meet them.
  • Passion. Students who show an ardent desire to absorb all aspects of the art of storytelling. They understand the deeply rooted, critical importance of storytellers as cultural historians and aspire to inform, uplift, and strengthen their community through their work.

Click here to read the full article on Globe News Wire.

Michael B. Jordan and Serena Williams Partner to Help HBCU Students and Alums Launch Businesses

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Michael B. Jordan and Serena Williams want to give HBCU students or alums some coins for their businesses.

By Jasmine Alyce, Atlanta Black Star

Michael B. Jordan and Serena Williams are combining their star power to help elevate the businesses of HBCU students and alumni.

The “Creed” actor partnered with Invesco QQQ and Turner Sports to bring the inaugural HBCU basketball showcase to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on Dec. 18. In addition to spotlighting the universities and the talented athletes that attend them, the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic is sponsoring a startup pitch competition that will give current students and alumni the opportunity to win up to $1 million toward growing their businesses.

“Invesco QQQ and Turner Sports have been amazing partners in helping bring this experience to life,” Jordan previously said in a statement announcing the showcase. “I grew up watching basketball games on TNT, so I am confident they will deliver this set of games to a true audience of basketball fans and their families in an exciting way.”

The pitch competition was created in partnership with Serena Williams‘ SerenaVentures and MaC Venture Capital. Participants who want their piece of the pie will be required to submit business proposals and investor decks online now through Nov. 18 to qualify.

“HBCUs are an integral part of our educational ecosystem and have long been centers of entrepreneurial excellence. We are thrilled to be partnering with Michael B. Jordan and MaC Ventures on highlighting the brilliant student and alumni founders,” Serena Ventures General Partner Alison Stillman said in a press release.

Click here to read the full article on Atlanta Black Star

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson talks possibility of political future: ‘I care deeply about our country’

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson talks possibility of political future: 'I care deeply about our country'

By Jessica Napoli, Fox News

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the biggest stars in the world and even though he’s only teased running for president in the past, in a new interview he admitted he’s taken plans one step beyond that.

While speaking to Vanity Fair, the 49-year-old actor/producer/businessman said he’s spoken to people in the political arena and done “a small amount of research and analysis to see where this [support] comes from and to see what it could look like in the future.”

Johnson revealed, “Indicators are all very positive — in, for example, 2024, and in, for example, 2028.”

The former pro wrestling star confirmed he hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of having a political future but “at the end of the day, I don’t know the first thing about politics. I don’t know the first thing about policy.”

“I care deeply about our country. I care about every f–king American who bleeds red, and that’s all of them. And — there’s no delusion here — I may have some decent leadership qualities, but that doesn’t necessarily make me a great presidential candidate. That’s where I am today,” Johnson confirmed.

The “Jungle Cruise” actor last spoke about his political aspirations back in April on the “TODAY” show. “I do have that goal to unite our country,” he told host Willie Geist. “I also feel that, if this is what the people want, then I will do that.”

Johnson went on to note that the ability to unify Americans is a necessity for the longevity of the nation.

“I am passionate about making sure that our country is united because a united country, as we know, is the strongest, and I want to see that for our country,” he concluded.

Johnson also responded on social media to a poll that claimed he would have massive support from Americans if he actually established and ran a presidential campaign.

“I don’t think our Founding Fathers EVER envisioned a six-four, bald, tattooed, half-Black, half-Samoan, tequila drinking, pick up truck driving, fanny pack wearing guy joining their club – but if it ever happens it’d be my honor to serve you, the people,” Johnson tweeted at the time.

The actor isn’t known for speaking about politics often but broke his own protocol last year to endorse Joe Biden for president in his first public backing of a candidate.

After Biden’s win, he shared another video to Instagram congratulating the president on his victory, admitting that he felt “emotional” when the news broke.

Click here to read the full article on Fox News.

HBCU Week Foundation Hosts 5th Annual Event Giving High School Students Opportunities for On-the-Spot College Acceptance and Scholarships

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HBCU WEEK logo in bright colors

HBCU Week to take place in person and virtually Sept. 26 to Oct. 3; Students have opportunity to experience life at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) through week of homecoming-style events, including a Wanda Sykes comedy show and Battle of the Bands

This back-to-school season, the HBCU Week Foundation is giving high school students from across the country the chance to experience life at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) during a week-long series of events, mirroring the legendary HBCU Homecoming experience. HBCU Week will take place in Wilmington, Del., and virtually, Sept. 26 to Oct. 3, giving students of color and their families the opportunity to participate in events such as Battle of the Bands, an R&B concert featuring Wale and Queen Naija, and a comedy show hosted by celebrated comedian and HBCU alumna Wanda Sykes.

The highlight of HBCU Week is its signature College Fair, at which students have the chance to meet with HBCU recruiters from across the country and earn on-the-spot acceptances and scholarships. This provides students an amazing opportunity to secure an early connection to college, community and culture at an HBCU. Registration for all events, including the Virtual College Fair (taking place Friday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET) is available at HBCUWeek.org.

Since its inception in 2017, the College Fair has resulted in more than 3,000 on-the-spot college acceptances and more than $18.5 million in scholarships awarded by HBCUs and corporate partners. This year’s College Fair includes a variety of corporate partners, including Barclays and The City of Wilmington, some of which will be offering scholarships and internship opportunities, totaling over $6.7 million.

“Our goal with HBCU Week is to provide Black and Brown students the chance to experience what life is like at an HBCU, a clear path to enrollment, scholarships and the connections to confidently own their power throughout their careers,” said Ashley Christopher, founder and CEO of HBCU Week Foundation. “As a double HBCU alumna, I know firsthand that culture and community played an integral part in growing my confidence and helped me find and amplify my voice as a Black woman.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s HBCU Week was entirely virtual and saw record attendance and participation. In 2020, HBCU Week’s College Fair delivered 803 on-the-spot acceptances and $7.3 million in scholarships, including 226 partial and 44 full-ride offers.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for an HBCU. What I received from attending Winston-Salem State — a Brotherhood and Sisterhood best described as a Family Affair — exceeded my wildest dreams,” said ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, HBCU Week National Ambassador and alumnus of Winston-Salem State University. “I was surrounded by folks who looked like me, shared my cultural background and cared enough about me to take a personal interest in my ascension. From professors to administrators to classmates themselves, failure was not an option.”

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 (STEM) degrees, and 14% of African American engineering degrees. Most HBCU students are Black or Brown, but students of all races are admitted. White, Hispanic, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander students make up 22% of total enrollments.

“All my late-coach Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines ever asked of me was to do what I could to uplift HBCUs across the nation. It is the easiest request I’ve ever received,” Smith added. “I’m honored to be the Brand Ambassador for HBCU Week, and I look forward to remaining so for a very long time.”

To view the full schedule of events and to register visit https://www.hbcuweek.org/events/.

HBCU Week’s major corporate partners include Barclays and The City of Wilmington. Other partners of the event include: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, AstraZeneca, American Chemistry Council, Bank of America, Capital One, Chemours, Delaware State University, Donate Delaware, DuPont, JP Morgan Chase & Co., LexisNexis, MLB, New Castle County Delaware, NFL and Salesforce.

HBCU Week Foundation, Inc. partnerships have had a lasting impact on students. Notably, the Foundation has partnered with the American Chemical Council (ACC), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and The Chemours Company to offer the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI). FOSSI is a national chemical industry-wide program which provides scholarships to students pursuing degrees in STEM fields at HBCUs, helping to eliminate financial barriers for historically under-represented groups. Sponsored by chemical manufacturers and related industry stakeholders, FOSSI provides scholarship recipients $10,000 per year for four years and connects these students to leadership development, mentoring and internship opportunities at participating companies. To date, FOSSI has raised nearly $12 million in funding in support of 245 scholars. Learn more at futureofstemscholars.org.

Applications for all HBCU Week Foundation, Inc. scholarships open Oct. 1, 2021. Visit HBCUWeek.org for more details.

About the HBCU Week Foundation
The mission of the HBCU Week Foundation (www.hbcuweek.org) is to encourage high-school aged youth to enroll into HBCUs, 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.

Maia Chaka Is The 1st Black Woman To Officiate An NFL Game

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Line judge Maia Chaka signals during the game between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 12 in Charlotte, N.C. Chaka made history as the first Black woman to officiate an NFL game.

By Dana Farrington NPR

Maia Chaka has made history as the first Black woman to officiate an NFL game.

She said ahead of Sunday’s game between the New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers that it would be a proud moment.

“This historic moment to me is an honor and it’s a privilege that I’ve been chosen to represent women and women of color in the most popular sport in America, proving that I can defy the odds and overcome,” Chaka said in a video released by the NFL.

She said she hopes she can inspire and empower others “to step outside the box and to do something different.” Chaka is the second woman hired as a full-time NFL official. The first was Sarah Thomas, who refereed the Super Bowl this year.

The NFL hired its first Black official, Burl Toler, in 1965.

When the announcement came in March that she would be added to the NFL officiating roster, Chaka said she was personally honored.

“But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment,” she said. “It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”

Chaka has made a career officiating college football and is a health and physical education teacher in Virginia Beach public schools. She joined the NFL’s Officiating Development Program in 2014.

The Undefeated reports that Chaka has the words “hustle, grind, conquer, dominate” on a wall in her office, and that her first dream as a kid was actually to be the first woman in the NBA.

Click here to read the full article on NPR.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Two Latinas are working together to create a pipeline of diversity in STEM

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Young black male college student with black female teacher looking over computer graphic

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, collectively known as STEM make up the fastest-growing and highest paid fields in the U.S. with diverse job opportunities in careers ranging from aerospace engineers, programmer to operations director, yet Latinas only account for 3% of the industry.

Unfortunately, many Latinas are discouraged from pursuing STEM careers and loose interest in these disciplines as early as middle school. This is why early intervention curriculums like the ones provided by XYLO Academy are key to increasing the representation of Latinas in the STEM workforce.

Getting to college is another challenge as underrepresented students face steep costs and challenges to higher education. According to a recent study published in the journal Education Researcher Latino college students drop out of STEM programs at higher rates (37%) that their white peers (27%).

Continual increases in tuition and fees have pushed the cost of college education beyond the means of most minority and underrepresented students. This is why IO Scholarships offers free access to scholarships and financial education so high school, undergraduate and graduate students can find life-changing scholarships where their diverse background is valued.

Despite all the challenges, these two Latinas are working together to fix the leaking pipeline, providing scholarships, and creating STEM curriculums for women of color.

Gabriela Forter
Co-founder XYLO Academy

Gabriela Forter headshot

Born and raised in the California San Joaquin Valley, Gabriela’s first introduction to entrepreneurship was during a course with Professor Rostamian at UCLA in 2015. This class significantly shaped not only her academic interests but also her career path. Gabriela and Professor Rostamian have now launched XYLO Academy to scale this same impact. After spending two and a half years at Deloitte Consulting, Gabriela joined Facebook, focusing on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. She is confident that the most meaningful changes in society will come from advancements in disruptive innovations and seeks to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. She is committed to increasing diversity in STEM and believes that change starts with education.

“Our goal at XYLO Academy is to educate students on disruptive innovation and inspire them to pursue degrees and careers in STEM and with our partnership with IO Scholarships we are creating a pipeline for these students to have access to the best scholarships in STEM and realize their dreams.”

María Trochimezuk
Founder IO Scholarships

María Trochimezuk headshot

Her determination and hard work paid off as she won grants and scholarships to pay for her entire education. In realizing how time consuming and complicated the process of finding scholarships for STEM diverse students was, María Fernanda created IO Scholarships to make things much easier. She learned first-hand to find, apply for and win scholarships and became an advocate promoting scholarships nationwide.

“IOScholarships was inspired by my own experience as I was very fortunate to access scholarships to attend prestigious universities and realized that more could be done to support minority students especially now as STEM education becomes more important to workforce opportunities,” said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IO Scholarships. “IO Scholarships will not only help underrepresented students find scholarships, but level the playing field so all students have the opportunity to achieve their education goals.”

ABOUT XYLO ACADEMY

We are a group of passionate and skilled storytellers. We believe that students everywhere should have the power and ability to access a world-class education. We believe that technology and innovation, especially disruptive innovation, provides unlimited potential for the future. XYLO Academy introduces this space to students in a bold, story-telling format breaking down any barriers that impede equal opportunity to explore, learn and thrive in the 5 disruptive innovation platforms: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, Robotics, Energy Storage and Bio Tech. We have diverse experiences and backgrounds across technology, product innovations and education. We are united in our passion to provide equal access to the study of technology and innovation. Our diversity is our strength, and our mission is our singular focus. XYLO – Unlimited space for learning and opportunity.

ABOUT IO SCHOLARSHIPS

Most of the scholarships featured on the IOScholarships website come directly from corporations and organizations, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education. Each month IO Scholarships adds hundreds of new curated scholarships to its database and posts “The Scholarship of the Week” on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts (@IOScholarships), making it easy to find new scholarship opportunities.

In addition to providing scholarships, IO Scholarships website offers a free scholarship organizer, news articles designed to provide guidance on how to apply for scholarships, and money saving tips. The platform also offers a Career Aptitude Quiz designed to help students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.

For more information about IO Scholarships visit www.ioscholarships.com or for weekly STEM scholarships email maria.fernanda@ioscholarships.com.

STEM Internship Opportunities for Diverse Students

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diverse male student with mentor looking at computer screen together

IOScholarships (IOS), the first of its kind scholarship and financial education platform for minority STEM students has been designed with a streamlined user-friendly interface that offers great functionality to help high school, undergraduate and graduate students find STEM scholarships and internship opportunities. IOScholarships proprietary matching algorithm can match students with life-changing scholarships where their diverse background is valued.

Statistically speaking, minorities tend to be underrepresented in STEM fields. That’s why corporations often create internship opportunities for minorities entering the industry.

“As the job market is becoming more competitive in addition to GPA and personal achievements, employers want to see applicants who have completed one or more internships,” said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IOScholarships.

Below we’ve highlighted some of the many internships for minorities in STEM fields

Facebook Software Engineer Internship

The Software Engineer Internship is available to undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing a degree in computer science or a related field. Interns will help build the next generation of systems behind Facebook’s products, create web applications that reach millions of people, build high volume servers, and be a part of a team that’s working to help people connect with each other around the globe.

Microsoft Internship Program

For Women and Minorities this program is specifically designed for undergraduate minority college freshmen and sophomores interested in a paid summer internship in software engineering. Students must major in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or related disciplines.

Minority Access Internship

The Minority Access Internship Program has internships on offered in the spring, summer and fall to college sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduates, and professionals. Interns receive pre-employment training and counseling on career choices as well as professional development, with the possibility of full-time employment after graduation.

Google Internships

Google offers rich learning experiences for college students that include pay. As a technical intern, you are excited about tackling the hard problems in technology. With internships across the globe, ranging from Software Engineering to User Experience, Google offers many opportunities to grow with them.

The majority of the scholarships and internships featured on the IOScholarships website come directly from corporations and organizations, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education.

The platform also offers a Career Aptitude Quiz designed to help students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.

For more information about IOScholarships visit www.ioscholarships.com.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. From Day One
    February 9, 2022
  3. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  4. From Day One
    February 22, 2022
  5. From Day One
    February 22, 2022
  6. CSUN Center on Disabilities 2022 Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022
  7. NOBLE 2022 William R. Bracey Winter CEO Symposium
    March 17, 2022 - March 19, 2022
  8. From Day One
    March 29, 2022
  9. From Day One
    April 12, 2022

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. From Day One
    February 9, 2022
  3. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  4. From Day One
    February 22, 2022
  5. From Day One
    February 22, 2022
  6. CSUN Center on Disabilities 2022 Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022
  7. NOBLE 2022 William R. Bracey Winter CEO Symposium
    March 17, 2022 - March 19, 2022
  8. From Day One
    March 29, 2022
  9. From Day One
    April 12, 2022
  10. From Day One
    May 10, 2022