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Overweight professors

Overweight professors

In the United States, fat-shaming and fat-phobia are as American as apple pie. While the African-American community is more likely to embrace obesity as curvy, that embrace often acts as a defense mechanism against mainstream and European standards of beauty – a standard which excludes anyone who isn't white, thin and blonde, or some acceptable variation.

Yet even as we position full-figured as a body-type to be proud of, the weight loss market continues to be a multi-billion dollar industry.

Why?

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African Americans say ‘parent involvement’ key to school success

African Americans say ‘parent involvement’ key to school success

The "lack of parental involvement" is the biggest issue affecting African-American students' quality of education.

That is one of major findings in a new national survey of African Americans on factors in their quality of life. The survey, sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and Ebony magazine, polled 1,005 African Americans on their mood and on issues related to income, housing, health care, relationships, race and education.

Responses to education-related questions made up a large part of the summary of survey findings. When asked to identify the biggest issues in education, about a fifth of respondents said lack of parental involvement, making it the most frequently cited concern. Other concerns included "overcrowded classrooms" (17 percent), "funding differences among school districts" (17 percent), "quality of teachers" (16 percent), and "students with behavioral issues or special needs" (10 percent).

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New Pew poll confirms Americans ready to end war on drugs

New Pew poll confirms Americans ready to end war on drugs

A new national survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center reveals that a broad majority of Americans are ready to significantly reduce the role of the criminal justice system in dealing with people who use drugs.

Among the key findings of the report:

More than six in ten Americans (63 percent) say that state governments moving away from mandatory prison terms for drug law violations is a good thing, while just 32 percent say these policy changes are a bad thing. This is a substantial shift from 2001 when the public was evenly divided (47 percent good thing vs. 45 percent bad thing). The majority of all demographic groups, including Republicans and Americans over 65 years old, support this shift.

 

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New law would let residents vote on annexation

New law would let residents vote on annexation

If you've ever had to buy clothes for your kids, you know how fast they can grow.
You've probably had to buy shoes or pants that were just a little too big. "You'll grow into it," you told them.

Cities are kind of like that. They can grow outside their city limits, and it's become a hot topic in the General Assembly in Nashville. It affects everything from how much you pay in taxes and what kind of services you get from the city.

As our Shelby County cities grow, their mayors and councils have a pretty good idea about where they'll grow within Shelby County. They write up growth plans and maps that spell that out which "reserve" areas they plan to bring into the city limits.

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Mixed record on progress of black women

Mixed record on progress of black women


Despite the stubborn persistence of racial disparities in health, there is cause for black women to celebrate.

"Overall, our life expectancy continues to rise, while teenaged pregnancy rates have dropped dramatically. And most recently, the rate of HIV infection among black women has fallen tremendously, down over 20 percent in just two years' time," says a new report, "Black Women in the United States, 2014: Progress and Challenges," presented by the Black Women's Roundtable, a division of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

But not all of the news about black women is good.

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Judge upholds election of Kevin Johnson in Black Mayors’ rift

Judge upholds election of Kevin Johnson in Black Mayors’ rift

WASHINGTON – After intense internal fighting, court battles and competing board of directors that have characterized Sacramento, Calif. Kevin Johnson's term as president of the National Conference of Black Mayors since last May, his first month in office, a judge has ruled decidedly in Johnson's favor, effectively firing Executive Director Vanessa R. Williams and nullifying all actions of the rump board challenging Johnson's right to remain in office.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher S. Brasher issued his ruling in Atlanta last week.

"We're gratified that the court has validated the election of our leadership and vindicated our efforts to take the necessary steps to restore accountability and fiscal integrity to this venerable and critical organization," Johnson said in a statement. "Now we can move forward by taking the actions that will address any outstanding problems we have in order to ensure that the NCBM will benefit current and future mayors and their constituents."

In some ways, it may be a Pyrrhic victory for Johnson. He is limited to one term, which expires in May. Johnson is also vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is a leading candidate to become president of the group in June.

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AAA’s April Warning: Avoid distractions while behind the wheel

AAA’s April Warning: Avoid distractions while behind the wheel

In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, AAA is warning drivers to avoid any activities that divert attention from the primary driving task.

"While we've made substantial progress in the past few years by raising awareness about risky driving behaviors, the simple fact is that distraction continues to be a significant contributing factor to deaths and injuries on our roadways," said AAA Traffic Safety manager, John Pecchio. "We all should take personal responsibility for focusing on driving rather than on dangerous distractions."

Distractions are responsible for vehicle crashes leading to more than 3,000 deaths and 387,000 injuries in 2011, according to the most recent data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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