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African-American unemployment best in 6 years

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WASHINGTON – The African-American unemployment rate hit a six-year low in June, dipping below 11 percent for the first time since August 2008.
 
Last week, the Labor Department reported that the African-American jobless rate was 10.7 percent in June, compared to the white unemployment rate, which was 5.3 percent. The unemployment rate for African-American men over 20 years old fell from 11.5 percent in May to 10.9 percent in June, compared to white men who saw their jobless rate decrease from 5 percent to 4.9 percent over the same period.
 
The jobless rate for African-American women over 20 years-old continued to improve, dropping one percentage point, from 10 percent in May to 9 percent in June. The unemployment rate for white women ticked down one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.9 percent in May to 4.8 percent in June.

All students benefit from minority teachers

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Despite the cry from people of color for more teachers who look like them, both whites and blacks benefit from a more diverse teaching force, according to a study by Center of American Progress.
 
“… A study of the relationship between the presence of African-American teachers in schools and African-American students’ access to equal education in schools found that fewer African Americans were placed in special-education classes, suspended, or expelled when they had more teachers of color, and that more African-American students were placed in gifted and talented programs and graduated from high school,” stated the report.

Locked up, left behind: Juvenile justice system failing Southern youth

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“The most disadvantaged, troubled students in the South and the nation attend schools in the juvenile justice systems,” the 2014 report from the Southern Education Foundation begins. 
 
The document, Just Learning: The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice Systems into Effective Educational Systems raises a number of questions: If so many children with educational needs are segregated or incarcerated, what will become of them and the society they will enter once they age out of the system? Are their needs being met? What can be improved?

20th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival largest ever with more than 550,000 attendees

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(PRNewswire) – The 20th annual ESSENCE Festival attracted a record-breaking 550,000 attendees from around the world to New Orleans this Fourth of July weekend, earning the distinction of being the largest gathering in the event’s history.
 
Touted as one of the country's biggest live events, the ESSENCE Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary July 3-6 with 20 stages of programming. The annual 4-day event features entertainment, empowerment, and cultural experiences during the day and the world's best performers each night.
 
More than 80 performing artists – including some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry such as Prince, Mary J. Blige, and Lionel Richie – performed at the event’s nighttime concerts and over 150 speakers – including Robin Roberts, Alicia Keys, Steve Harvey and the Rev. Al Sharpton – participated as part of the Festival’s daytime experience.

LEGACY: Glynn Johns Reed

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Glynn Johns Reed devoted much of her life to community service. She made pathways straight for some, motivated and empowered others, birthed a festival, and created a business magazine that entrepreneurs would use to promote their products and concepts. 
 
In the process of helping others to achieve their goals in business and recognizing the importance of celebrating African-American history, Reed shaped her own legacy as the founder of the Juneteenth Freedom & Heritage Festival in Memphis and the Black Pages Magazine in New Orleans.