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Opinion

‘Educating Black Girls’ and questions galore

‘Educating Black Girls’ and questions galore
We hear so much about the 47 percent dropout rate among black males, but I believe a 40 percent dropout rate among black females is outrageous and unacceptable. Black males may be on life support, but black females are in critical condition.
 
What are the factors causing so many black girls to leave school? Could one factor be that only18 percent of black girls by eighth grade are proficient in reading? Could another factor be that only 13 percent are proficient in math by eighth grade? What about the fact that 21 percent of black girls are retained at least once? How does retention affect the psyche of black girls? What effect does black girls’ suspension rate of 12 percent have on their dropout rate? Black girls’ pregnancy rate had been considered a factor in their dropout rate. But then in-school and alternative school programs emerged.

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Ikea and the Gap fill the wage gap

Ikea and the Gap fill the wage gap
 
President Obama would like the national minimum wage to rise to $10.10 an hour. By executive order, he has already raised the minimum wage for federal contractors.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has threatened to sue President Obama for his use of executive order, which he says circumvents Congressional authority.
 
Ikea said it will raise the average minimum wage to $10.76 an hour, which is an increase of 17 percent.  Ikea says its goal is to offer their workers a living wage, regardless of whether their competitors offer it.  Half of Ikea employees will get a raise, while those who already earn a living wage will not. The chain now provides other benefits, such as a 401-k match. Ikea has just 38 stores in the United States, which may minimize the impact their wage increase has on its competitors.  Still, Ikea has done the right thing and earned a competitive advantage in the areas where they have stores.

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Right-wing gets it wrong on Mississippi

Right-wing gets it wrong on Mississippi
If you ever doubted that conservatives were sore losers, the recent Senate election in Mississippi should remove all doubt.
 
After complaining for a half century about African Americans not voting for Republicans, African Americans did just that in the GOP runoff between incumbent Senator Thad Cochran and State Senator Chris McDaniel, a staunch Tea Party supporter.  And because blacks did not vote for McDaniel against their best interest, rightbwingers are livid.

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Student is the first African-American valedictorian in her school’s history

Student is the first African-American valedictorian in her school’s history
A high school student in Queens, N.Y. now has the distinction of being her school’s first African-American valedictorian. The story is making national news, even though there are many trailblazers of a similar sort around the nation. But without regard to the context within which the story is being released, her achievement is nothing short of remarkable.
 
According to reporter Mona Rivera, Shanelle Davis is a senior at Benjamin Cardozo High School in the Bayside area.
 
“It’s an incredible honor. It’s still surreal to me,” she said.

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Yes, mentoring works: It’s why I graduated from college

Yes, mentoring works: It’s why I graduated from college
 
My name is Sakinah Muhammad. I graduated from Temple University in May, as a criminal justice major with a minor in psychology. My next step is working for Houston Teach for America Corps while I attend graduate school at St. Thomas University. So much of where I am now is because of what I learned, and the support I received, from the mentor I was assigned through a nonprofit that is dedicated to preparing kids like me to succeed in college.
 
We hear a lot about mentoring from the adults who use it to give back, but I want to talk about it from the perspective of a younger person—someone whose education and life were changed over the past eight years by a great organization and a committed adult.

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HIV testing and the role of the Black Church

HIV testing and the role of the Black Church
With the backdrop of National HIV Testing Day (June 27th) – the Black Church must step up and remind our congregations of what’s at stake.
The numbers don’t lie: African Americans experience the most severe burden of this terrible disease, making up 12 percent of the U.S. population yet account for 44 percent of new HIV infections.
 
Our young people are tragically often the most affected: according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 25 percent of new HIV infections are among adolescents and young adults ages 13-24. Many are these youth are unaware of their status and are not being treated, which places themselves and others at risk. The CDC estimates that overall as many as one in six Americans infected with HIV do not even know it.

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Mississippi? ‘I’ll go as far as Memphis’

Mississippi? ‘I’ll go as far as Memphis’
The 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer is being commemorated this week in Mississippi and it provides the perfect backdrop to reflect on the transformation of not only Mississippi, then the deadliest state in the nation, but the entire region.
 
As I have written in the space before, there was a popular joke about Mississippi making the rounds during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.  Supposedly, a Chicago seminary student was awakened at 3 a.m. by a voice imploring him: “Go to Mississippi! Go to Mississippi!! Go to Mississippi!!!” The seminary student said, “Lord, you said that you will be with me always, even until the end of the earth. If I go to Mississippi, will you go with me?” The heavenly voice replied, “I’ll go as far as Memphis.”

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