2014 living education emagazine special edition vol viii

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Living Education eMagazine Special Edition


A magazine that discusses education in our everyday lives.


The Art of Healthier Living

Racial Microaggressions as a Framework for Understanding African American Males’ Experiences with Subtle Racism

Time to Declare War on Man’s Deadliest Disease

African American Males Require Bold Initiatives to Change the Education Glass Ceiling

Whether you’re are studying or marking papers, Living Education eMagazine Internet Radio plays the very best artist in contemporary and classical urban music.

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Root Cause is driven by a passion for shaping the future of social problem solving. Our services and programs individually and collectively bring together nonprofit, philanthropy, government, and business to advance solutions to today’s toughest social issues by helping them understand and invest in what works. Our decade of work to accelerate performance shows that sustained change happens when resources flow to organizations committed to continuous improvement to ensure they are maximizing their impact. http://www.rootcause.org/

The mission of the Tomorrow’s Luminaries Foundation is to develop youth into flourishing and intelligent global leaders who possess the necessary tangible and intangible skills needed to positively impact their community and society. The vision of the Tomorrow’s Luminaries Foundation is to be a catalyst that promotes a socially conscious, robust agenda for under-represented luminaries. http://www.tomorrowsluminaries.org/

March for College, Inc. provides high school students and parents with direct access to various colleges to support and heighten college interest. Prospective college students can learn what steps to take to get into college, talk to admission officers and even apply to colleges on the spot at our annual March for College Recruitment Fair and Band Exhibition events! http://www.marchforcollege.com/

Organizations You Need To Know and Follow

Healthyblackmen.org is an online health and lifestyle resource for black men. We believe living your healthiest life is your best photo-1life.We are devoted to our diverse readers to produce accurate, relevant, interesting and timely content for black men across the diaspora to apply to their own lives.

Publisher’s Notes

Dr. Michael A. Robinson The Re-Defining Our Narrative Is No Longer A Silent Movement I want thank my wife, the publisher of Living Education eMagazine and the CEO of our parent company Forest Of The Rain Productions. She graciously offered me the opportunity to provide the Publisher Notes for this very special edition of Living Education eMagazine. It was her idea to develop an edition which exclusively featured the voices of African American men who in her words are “Making a difference that only their difference could make.” So with honor, I accepted the opportunity to express to our readers how the diversity in perspectives, opinions, professions, research, education and action of African American men re-defines the immense misrepresentation of African American men views on spirituality, family, community health and education. Throughout my life and the lives of countless men of color we have battled the low expectations of our success and the high beliefs in our failure. Conversely, the challenges confronting the African American man; are equally associated with the African American community. Overcoming expectations of failure as a community rest squarely at the feet of African American men. It is a well-known African proverb that states “it takes a village to raise a child.” However, before that village can begin to become a community it must be developed. It has to be built and that responsibility falls on the shoulders of African American men. The African American history is rich with men of all means standing up for self, for others and their communities. Their legacy of self-help, family, spirituality, community development, education and entrepreneurship remains prevalent in many aspects of our community. Contrary to what some would have the nation and yes the world believe, African American men who believe in hard work, valuing family and supporting one’s self has not been lost. Their assertions are veil efforts to demonize the African American man by insisting he is without a culture, history or direction. These fabricated narratives; which are grounded in baseless facts, misleading data and outright untruths are proven to be nothing more than fabrications and media distortions by African American men who work determinedly in their communities to make a difference. Their silence and unwavering work represents a bond between the struggles of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, Medgar Evers, Thurgood Marshall, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, John Lewis, Joseph Lowery, Ralph Abernathy, Stokely Carmichael, and so many more. The issues confronting the African American community are not lost on those who are by birth the protectors of its essences’. African American men from the halls of academia to the gritty streets of urban community based youth programs labor in love to impact the lives of a generation of future American leaders. These men stand in silence when compared to the insulting characterization of African American men often used to depict a group of Americans whose contributions have changed the course of America and saved lives throughout the world. As leaders in the fields of law, education, medicine, technology, arts and sports African American men have shown they are guided by purpose, determined to make a difference by being a difference. These men are Narrative Changers who are re-defining the narrative about African American men.

Living education everyday


Changers Jamaal Brown

Article: When

Educators Learn to Love Students, Students Will Learn to Love Learning (p.73)

Nigel Alton

Bio: (p.111)

Perspective: Life (p.55) Bio: (p.111)

Jeffery Carter

Dr. Wayne Beckles Perspective: Health (p.85) Bio: (p.111)

Article: Boys and Girls vs Boys and Girls (p.71) Bio: (p.111)


Changers Dr. Alex Dorsey

Article: 10 Mental

Health tips for Professional Men (p.66) Bio: (p.111)

Angel Cintron, Jr.

Article: Why do teachers avoid,

or leave high poverty urban public schools & what can be done to improve the situation? (p.53) Bio: (p.111)

Shawn Dove

Article: 3 questions

Dr. Marco Clark

About Young Men, Black male achievement and community partnership: A Conversation with Shawn Dove (p.93) Bio: (p.112)

Article: Taking Matters Into His

Own Hands: Q &A with Dr. Marco Clark (p.46) Bio: (p.112)


Changers Ramon Goings

Article: #Edulift: Supporting

Black Male Educational Excellence (p.17)

Anthony Chavon Hanes

Poem: The Battlefield (p.16) Bi0: (p.112)

Bio: (p.112)

Dr. Malik Henfield Dr. Donald Grant Article: Racial

Microaggressions as a Framework for Understanding African American Males’ Experiences with Subtle Racism (p.37) Bio: (p.112)

Article: Adult Academic

Attainment-One Critical Factor in Youth Academic Success (p.63) Bio: (p.112)


Changers Dr. Marcus Jackson

Victor A. Kwansa, Esq.

Article: The Shot: (p.30) and The

Article: Helping Black Boys

Principal as a Meterologist (p.82)

Make A Bigger Mark on the World (p.32)

Bio: (p.112)

Bio: (p.113)

Dr. Stephan Jones Dr. Matthew Lynch

Article: K-12 Technology: Benefits and Drawbacks (p.79) Bio: (p.113) Article: African American Males

Require Bold Initiatives to Change the Education Glass Ceiling Bio: (p.113)


Changers Reginald McDaniel

Elwood Robinson

Article: African American Perspective: Community (p.28) Bio: (p.113)

Males in Higher Education (p.48) Bio: (p.114)

Matt Prestbury Manny Rothmiller

Parent Tips: Tips for Fathers (p.72) Bio: (p.113)

Article: The Art of Healthier Living (p.90) Bio: (p.114)


Changers Rev. Dr. Robert Charles Scott

Dashawn Taylor

Article: Time To Declare War on Article: 3 Questions About

Man’s Deadliest Disease…Ignorance (p.26)

Education and the Church

Bio: (p.114)

(p.96) Bio: (p.114)

Charles Thomas, Jr.

George Stewart

Perspective: Education (p.95) Bio: (p.115) Perspective: Families (p.108) Bio: (p.114)


Changers Lamar Tyler

Article: 5 Tips to Maintaining a Healthy Marriage (p.65) Bio: (p.115)

Jaques Wigginton

Perspective: Spirituality (p. 86) Bio: (p.115)

Dr. Elwood Watson Eugene Williams< Jr

Article: The Ongoing Factor

of Racial Politics in Higher Education (p.56) Bio: (p.115)

Perspective: Manhood (p.62) Bio: (p.115)

Michael A. Robinson, Ed.D.

Executive Perspective

Changing the Narrative

In the African American community an incalculable number of fathers and significant male role models are dedicated to supporting the lives of children and building strong communities. They give freely of their time, money and love. Most are motivated by a desire to make a difference for young men and women. Their efforts garner little fanfare; but their work strengthens a community and drives a nation. Often these men are left out of the conversations concerning the African American community; primarily because they represent contradictions of the stereotypes depicting African American men as irresponsible, thugs and criminals. These men, we call Narrative Changers are re-defining for a nation what it means to be an African American man. The constant barrage of bias and racist narratives illustrating African American men as individuals to fear only serves to fortify their resolve to reclaim and restore the spirit and image of African America men as engaged fathers, dedicated husbands and involved members of their community. As Narrative Changers, these remarkable men are committed to making a difference. They lead by example and follow proven paths of success forged by previous generations. They understand the value of an education and how to use their life experiences and professional resources to create a positive impact on families and communities. This group of unique men will not run from the tremendous responsibility of guiding a community; they charge head on; defying the odds, contesting the negative expectations of their efforts with a determined mind set on changing the world. Narrative Changers are bold in their convictions. They seek out challenges that provide prospects to contribute to the lives of others. For example, in Baltimore, Maryland there are three such Narrative Changers. Each is re-defining the meaning of community involvement, education and family. The first Narrative Changer coordinates summer trips to Haiti and Puerto Rico for inner city youth. His goal is to plant a seed of endless possibility and adventure in the mind of young scholars. Another Narrative Changer promotes the importance of ending bullying and teasing. His bestselling book outlines how young men of color with the support of their families and communities can combat bullying. The third Narrative Changer is a staunch supporter of the importance of fathers taking an active role in lives of their children. He created a Facebook community for African American fathers that has now exceeded over 5,000 members. In the District of Columbia another Narrative Changer took matters into his own hands. He established a charter school with a mission to reduce the achievement gap experienced by inner city children. His vision now serves as the educational hub of its community. In Maryland, a Narrative Changer introduced the value of entrepreneurship by developing youth based entrepreneurial programs designed to encourage a sense business ownership. He has partnered with many of the city’s professional sports organizations to support over 50 aspiring entrepreneurs. The work of Narrative Changers is as varied as they are different. Narrative Changers express dedication to closing the opportunity gap. They are involved in every aspect of their community. They welcome the chance to serve as a conduit by which those who desire to transform their present into the future they aspire to have.

Michael A. Robinson, Ed.D.

By Tony Hanes @TonyHanesPoetry In the years to come, I hope for peace. To increase our existence on this earth, Consciousness must be achieved. Young “Brothers”, We are engaged in a “Civil War”. The hunger for more, Is a handshake away.

Now we approach a new day. I pray for understanding. Though we’ve come a long way, “The Battlefield”, is still filled with prey. We are fighting with the wrong guns. For fun, We use to teach each other, Now we “Run”.

To be a “Black Man”, is to be a soldier. With the lack of “Generals”, I ask for volunteers. Internally, I cheer for what dreams may come. A future evading selfcorruption, self-hate, And self-destruction.

As the “Bullets” let off from misled youth, There is only one truth. “Black Men” it’s time to put talk into action. We’ve lost a fraction of young lives, I’m tired of seeing them cry, I’m tired of seeing them die. There’s a “War” going on outside. From “Black Boys” to “Black Men”, We need our “Hugs” to collide.

We were once Kings of this earth. From birth, One must understand his self-worth. When “Black Men” are enlightened, They allow their spirits to heighten. On the other hand, The lack of “Fathers” and “Mentors”, Often keep “Black Boys” frightened.

From “Black Boys” to Black Men”, We need our “Hugs” to collide. I raise my flag of peace, Until we reach the other side.



#Eduplift: Supporting Black Male Educational Excellence By Ramon Goings (@ramongoings) The African American population is expected to reach 61.8 million by 2060, while African American males are projected to comprise 49 percent of the African American population (US Census Bureau, 2012). Ensuring AfricanAmerican males have access to a quality education will allow the United States to compete globally. As a result, African American males will develop skills in areas including science and technology and make contributions to the U.S. economy. Supporting education and employment programs will lower costs associated with the penal system and social service programs. Increasing educational outcomes for African American males has been a recent topic of discussion among educators, parents, and politicians. Unfortunately, the factors that contribute to higher poverty and incarceration rates within the African-American community are frequently ignored. Pundits depict African-American males as hyper-masculine, which reinforces stereotypes and misconceptions. Creating opportunities for African American males will require a paradigm shift. The focus should change from a deficit approach to creating opportunities, which improve the quality of education and social programs for African American males. Below, I will outline several ways in which stakeholders (e.g. parents, teachers, administrators,

community members, policy makers) can support educational excellence for African American males.

1.Sustain Programs that Foster Community and Support for African American Males Numerous studies support the notion that Black males benefit academically, socially and emotionally when they have established support systems such as caring teachers, mentors and positive peer groups (Brooks, 2012; Marsh, Chaney & Jones 2012; Berry, Thunder & McClain, 2011; Pollard, 1993). Black students need to have relationships with other Black students in schools and college campuses to combat various barriers such as a lack of access to faculty of color as well as hostility towards students of color on campus (Fries-Britt, 2000). Programs like Florida A&M University’s Black Male Explorer’s Program, which targets at-risk African-American males and provides intervention /mentoring services, is critical in championing the future academic success for AfricanAmerican males. Once African American males matriculate into post-secondary institutions, it is imperative that these institutions provide support services to ensure they graduate. The University System of Georgia (USG) African-American Male Initiative, serves as an excellent example of the intentionality needed to

matriculate and retain more African-American males on college campuses. USG’s initiative serves to recruit, retain and graduate African American males at the various public universities in the State of Georgia. Furthermore, since 2002, the USG initiative has increased its African-American male population by 67.78 percent (University System of Georgia, 2011). Additionally, USG has witnessed a 10 percent increase in the graduation rate for African American males since the program’s inception. An increase in recruitment initiatives along with providing support for African-American males in college will benefit not only their educational outcomes, but also their employment opportunities. 2. Use Social Media and Research to Showcase Stories of African-American Male Educational Success The media and education research has focused on the deficits of African-American males (e.g. the Black-White achievement gap) in education, however, there are African-American males who succeed academically in school and their story is often untold. Ladson-Billings (2006) contends only focusing on gaps “…moves us toward shortterm solutions that are unlikely to address the long-term underlying problem” (p. 4). Social media outlets (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) have created a space to highlight the achievements of African American males and to address the underlying issues that have created various barriers for African-American males. Social media has the power to connect individuals concerned with the upward mobility of AfricanAmerican males. As a result, we have the opportunity to create movements and promote positive images of African-American male excellence. For this reason, I created the #Eduplift

hashtag on twitter to serve as a space to share positive stories about African-American males in education. Research such as Challenging The Status Quo: Academic Success among School-age African American Males by Dr. Ivory Toldson and Dr. Chance Lewis provide a foundation for those concerned with reshaping the narrative from a deficit to dynamic thinking (Ford & Grantham, 2001) approach in regards to the immense abilities African-American males bring into the classroom each and every day. In order to shape societal views about African-American males, we must highlight their excellence in and out of the classroom/campus. 3. Recruitment and Retaining of Culturally Competent Teachers For Black male students in high school the opportunity to be taught by an African-American teacher is limited as Black teachers comprise only 6.9% of the teaching force while White teachers compromise 83% (NCES, 2012). Many researchers (Shockley, 2008; Kunjufu, 2005; Ladson-Billings, 1995) argue that the cultural misunderstandings between Black students and White teachers contribute to the disproportionate amount of African-American students being suspended and expelled in schools (Toldson & Lewis, 2012). For example, Toldson & Lewis (2012) describe how teachers and school administrators implement a one-size fits all approach to student discipline. However, because teachers view conduct infractions through their cultural lens, they may penalize Black students for offenses that are accepted cultural or social norms. A culturally competent teacher may engage the students in a conversation to discuss their actions and identify behaviors that are more appropriate for a school setting. Continue on page 39

Martin D. Jenkins Born in 1904, he was an African American educator and administrator, known for his pioneering work in the field of education. Dr. Martin D. Jenkins, Father of the Study of Black Giftedness.

Dr. James Comer Best known for the founding of the Comer School Development Program in 1968, which promotes the collaboration of parents, educators, and community to improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes for children that, in turn, helps them achieve greater school success.

Dr. Mark Dean He is in the National Hall of Inventors. He has more than 30 patents pending. He is a vice president with IBM. And he is also the architect of the modern-day personal computer. Dr. Dean holds three of the original nine patents on the computer that all PCs are based upon.

Pioneers in Education

Emerging Pioneers in Education Dr. Chance W. Lewis A Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Additionally, Dr. Lewis is the Executive Director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Urban Education Collaborative which is publishing a new generation of research on improving urban schools. Dr. Lewis has over 100 publications including 60+ refereed journal articles in some of the leading academic journals in the field of urban education. Additionally, he has received over $6 million in external research funds. To date, Dr. Lewis has authored/coauthored/co-edited 11 books.

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson An associate professor at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of "The Journal of Negro Education." Dr. Toldson has more than 60 publications and research presentations in 32 US states, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Scotland, South Africa, Paris, and Barcelona. He gave expert commentary in three documentaries on Black male achievement. Known as a "myth buster," Dr. Toldson has publish reports challenging the merits of popular research reports and news sources that present negative statistics about Black people, which have been widely discussed in academic and popular media. Continue on page 41

African American Males Require Bold Initiatives to Change the Education Glass Ceiling Dr. Stephen Jones (@DrStephenJones) Did you know that the participation of African American males in all phases of K12 schools and higher education can change the future of the United States? It is unfortunate that too often African American males are excluded from administrative and teaching roles where they can serve as role models. We need more African American males to break the glass ceiling in education. It’s important for undergraduate and graduate students to imagine themselves as the future teachers and administrative leaders. This is something that will only change when there is a concerted effort by K12 schools and higher education to increase African Americans male’s presence in education. We need to start by having a nationwide plan to change the face of education. It takes a lot of preparation to develop effective teachers and administrators. An additional degree is not enough to help students to prepare for leadership. There should be fellowships that give the young administrators an opportunity to shadow leaders and teachers who are all over the country. This is important because African American males can be easily isolated in their own colleges and K12 schools. One suggestion is that colleges could offer executive training sessions where more African Americans can get connected. These sessions could occur once or twice a year at various colleges around the country. An African American can bring a different perspective into any work environment. Most African American males need to teach at K12 schools and higher education institutions. It is great when students can see African Americans in front of the classroom or see them in an administrative office. It is so disappointing that many students can go through their K12 schools and never see African American males making important decisions. Also, it continues to occur because it is not noticed in many of the schools where there is an absence of diversity. Change must begin in places where administrators are not actively engaged in increasing the number of African American male employees. It is easy for K12 and college administrators to say that they cannot find qualified African American males. There is a lot that can be done to change

change their perspective. This can change when the administrators work with organizations like 100 Black Men, the NAACP, black fraternities /sororities and the Urban League. There are many great organizations that are willing to help with any initiative to create more African American male teachers. It is time for K12 schools and higher education administrators to have a yearly plan to work with these organizations. These organizations have access to parents and many students who are in the urban communities. Also there are many Historically Black Colleges and Universities that can contribute to any coordinated initiative to increase the number of qualified Black males who want to be educators. Higher education needs an African American male development strategy too. There are too many students who drop out of college even before they can consider working in higher education as a career option. College has become like revolving door where African American males start and seven out of every ten do not drop out. When African American males fail to complete their degree it further limits their potential. More college programs that serve African Americans students need to have opportunities for graduate students to play a role. More African American education staff must reach out to the community. Our present activities regarding the education of African American males are not sufficient to

make the difference that we are seeking. We need more African American males to be involved in all aspects of society. When African American males earn sufficient revenue they will raise families that will send more students to college. We need to get everyone involved in the effort to expose African American males to careers that they do not learn about. When African American males are in college they can take education courses just to motivate them to consider teaching careers. The higher education professors can make an impact by encouraging African American males who enroll in their classes. The future of African American males who work in K12 schools and higher education institutions can only improve when the need for their presence is valued. The administrators of schools must see the value of adding the kind of diversity that an African American male can contribute. The future is now and every conversation and action that we take can lead to the results that we desire. African American males must have internships with schools while they are in college. These internships will help them to prepare for the prospect of becoming a great teacher or administrator of the present and the future generations. Every day there are African American males who are ready to break the glass ceiling at K12 schools and higher education institutions. Administrators must pursue this African American male agenda with the passion to make systemic change possible.

5 Women Who Are Great Sources of Information Mavis G. Sanders, Ph.D

Mavis G. Sanders, Ph.D. in education from Stanford University, is Professor of Education in the School of Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is the author of many publications on how schools and districts develop their partnership programs and effects of partnerships on AfricanAmerican adolescents’ school success. Her most recent book, Principals Matter: A Guide to School, Family, and Community Partnerships (with Steven Sheldon, Corwin Press, 2009) focuses on principals’ leadership for developing effective partnership programs. She is co-author of School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action, Third Edition (Epstein, et al., Corwin Press, 2009). Other books include Building School-Community Partnerships: Collaboration for Student Success, (Corwin Press, 2005), and Schooling Students Placed at Risk (LEA, 2000).

Phyllis Harrison-Ross, MD

Phyllis Harrison-Ross, MD, is the Founder and President Emeritus. She practices child and adult, administrative and forensic psychiatry, is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Sciences at New York Medical College, Emeritus Attending Psychiatrist/Chief of Psychiatry at Metropolitan Hospital Center and Founder and Managing Partner of Black Psychiatrists of Greater New York. Currently, she serves fulltime as COMMISSIONER, NYS COMMISSION OF CORRECTION AND CHAIR OF THE COMMISSION'S MEDICAL REVIEW BOARD, which oversees the operation and management of local and state correctional facilities and the secure residential juvenile treatment centers operated by the Office of Children and Family Services.

Daphne C. Watkins, Ph.D

Daphne C. Watkins, Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of the Watkins Research Lab. The specific aims of the Watkins Research Lab are to: (1) train the next generation of gender and health scholars on social work research methods, (2) enhance literacy on disparities issues for students and new social work professionals, (3) disseminate models for designing, implementing, and evaluating culturally-sensitive and genderspecific community-based programs, and (4) communicate best practices for incorporating social work research into social work practice.

Tanya Knight

Tanya Knight is the Founder of Education Excellence. She is the author of Who Says You Can't Go to College. Tanya is an Education Coach and Mentor to Moms, Dads and Students. Tanya Knight is a skilled advocate for the importance of higher education. She is also regarded as "America's Education Coach" and one of the country's leading experts on student retention, recruitment, college admissions and student motivational issues.

Karlene Sinclair-Robinson

Karlene Sinclair-Robinson is an entrepreneur. She has a background in business management, home healthcare and financing, Karlene spent several years working with small business owners and witnessed their inability to access capital through traditional banks. Nearly all of these struggling business owners were not aware of alternative financing solutions, nor did they understand them, even if they were. Karlene realized that there was a need for Non-Traditional Banking or Alternative Financing Solutions for businesses that could not qualify through institutional sources. Bestselling Author-Spank The Bank; Alternative Financing Expert and Small Biz Advocate

Living education everyday

By Dashawn Taylor (@DashawnTaylor)

Time to Declare War on Man’s Deadliest Disease….Ignorance A vicious outbreak erupted in Europe during the 1340’s and killed over 75 million people over the subsequent 400 years. The outbreak came to be known as The Black Death or Bubonic Plaque. In 1918, an influenza pandemic dubbed The Spanish Flu, spread across the world and was estimated to wipe out nearly 50 million people in less than 24 months. And since 1981, not to be outdone by its predecessors, another communal disease caused by HIV has been responsible for claiming nearly 30 million lives and is estimated to kill nearly 1.7 million people annually by the year 2030.

The statistics are staggering. The horrendous effects on countless lives are immeasurable. But there is another venomous illness that lies dormant in all of us. The disease of ignorance should be highlighted on every list released by the CDC. For centuries, this disease has been misdiagnosed, unidentified and frequently deemed unimportant. It has left billions in its lethal wake. This infectious and sometimes silent killer is responsible for scores of ills that have plagued our societies since the genesis of time. It has enslaved men for

centuries, kept impoverished nations reeling and continue to devastate the minds of billions who deny they suffer from its perilous effects. If knowledge is power, ignorance is frailty. The Oxford Dictionary defines a disease as “a disorder of structure or function in a human, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms.

Ignorance doesn’t grow on your skin like a lesion or cause pain like a severe infection. But the specific signs and symptoms of this illness become clear once you utilize a different lens for discovery. Imagine the planet as

a petri dish and analyze the disorder and dysfunction that ignorance is causing around the globe. According to UNICEF, nearly 1 billion peopled entered the 21st century unable to read a book or write their names.2 According to the same report, currently nearly 72 million children are not enrolled in any educational institution in the developing world.3 The numbers are more dreadful when you widen the scope to analyze the entire planet. In 2012, nearly 31 million students, worldwide, dropped out of school and another 32 million repeated a grade.4

The most egregious statistics comes from the Literacy Partners. According to a 2012 report, it is estimated that 775 million adults (or 12% of the world’s population), are considered functionally illiterate with only a basic level understanding of their native languages.5 Education and literacy play a crucial role in the sustainability and progression of any society. In contrast, ignorance and a lack of education contribute to its erosion and destruction. If the primary purpose of mankind is to preserve and prosper, it is safe to say that ignorance hinders our development and should be looked at as a sign of

attrition. An asymptomatic disease is one that lies dormant in its host and causes no discomfort or visual symptoms. If untreated, the disease begins to physically manifest itself and its destruction can become irreversible. By altering the way we look at ignorance, one could argue that its propensity to multiply and destroy does echo the behavior of a classic disease. The globalization of information (and misinformation) only adds fuel to the fire. All human minds suffer from some degree of ignorance and we are not immune to being infected by others. Have you ever wondered why knowledge is Continue on page 39

Community: Our community is the "Village" that the old African Proverb is referring to. Thus, we are all Village People charged with the awesome task of nurturing, educating, and preparing our children for the new millennium. Reginald McDaniel

Do something healthy for your child. Get to know his teacher today.

The Shot: A Principal Utilizes Basketball to Illustrate Differentiated Instructional Strategies By: Dr. Marcus Jackson (@TeachersInspire) Yesterday, I had the staff meeting in the gymnasium. The teachers were bewildered as they walked in the hot gym, wearing their business attire: dresses, high heels, suits, dress shoes, and all. The teachers were divided into four teams, and I told them each person had to attempt to make a free throw before they could leave the meeting. Many were startled because they had never even touched a basketball. Others were never taught how to make a free throw, and they did not know the proper mechanics to even begin the attempt. After a few minutes of frustration and embarrassment, and only 5 out of 80 successful attempts, I told the staff to assemble in the air conditioned auditorium for the conclusion of the meeting. The first question I asked the teachers was how did they feel when it was their turn to attempt the free throw? Many answered: afraid, mortified, unprepared, lost, and confused. Some stated they did not want to try, wanted to try again after several missed attempts, and felt overwhelmed

by the monumental task. At this time, I reminded the teachers that this is exactly how a child feels in their classroom when they are introduced to an unfamiliar standard, given a task they do not have the prerequisite skills to achieve, or asked to read aloud in class. At this point, you could hear a pin drop. I reminded teachers that their lessons should be designed to reach all level of learners. I asked them to remember the type of players they had on their teams as they plan their lessons. According to the teachers, there were three types of players on every team: 1) there were some teachers who didn’t know how to shoot at all. We have to provided more intense remediation for these players (show them the basics and progress with a great deal of patience and compassion); 2) there were teachers who knew how to shoot, but the distance was too far (we have to meet these players where they are and provide additional practice to move them to the next level); and 3) we had players who already knew how to shoot and were pretty efficient, but simply needed more shots to be successful (these are the players with the background knowledge, understanding of concepts, and skills to achieve the task). It is tempting to let the more efficient players stand by while we help the ones who need more help, but they too need to be pushed to reach the next level. I reminded the teachers to remember that all of our students are not born in that third tier. They will walk into their classrooms at different levels, and they must be ready to meet the needs of them all. Additionally, I reminded them to remember their experience when it was their time to take the shot. You see for our kids their education is their only SHOT, with it it’s still a long SHOT, but without it they have no SHOT at all. To all educators, please remember the SHOT!

Living education everyday

Helping Black Boys Make a Bigger Mark on the World By Victor A. Kwansa (@vakwansa)

I believe that young black men need educational programs that will enable them to tap into their various interests and set them up for success of their own choosing. They need inspirational and captivating programs that will make their eyes widen as they start to expand their visions for their own futures. They need programs that will help them see that a college degree is truly within their grasp even if they have to reach farther than most people. I thus believe that many young black men would

truly benefit from a weekly high school freshmen program focused on increasing their interest in and preparation for higher education. At the start of the year, a program instructor could meet with freshmen and give them general information about college. Toward the end of September, the high school could host a college fair for students and their families. At the start of the fair, each family could receive a college preparation handbook so that they could clearly see the steps that they should take over the next four years in order for their student to enroll in

SAT/GPA profiles, costs of attendance, scholarship programs, and course offerings. For each college that they research, the students could also write a 250-word essay about why they want to attend that particular college or what they find most interesting about that specific school. In January, each student could write three additional college application-style essays. The essays could (1) explain the student’s career goals; (2) describe a significant person or experience in the student’s life; and (3) address a topic of the student’s choosing. Each student would have to read one of his essays in front of the other program participants. These aforementioned projects could develop students’ technological, research, and writing skills in crucial ways. For example, the chart assignment could be especially appealing to freshmen who initially lack strong writing skills but may possess a special aptitude for technology and data analysis. The essays themselves could also enable all students to improve their writing abilities while engaging in critical analysis about their lives.

college. The college fair would be attended by admissions office staff members and/or student recruitment coordinators from various universities. The college representatives could discuss the basic components of a college application and also talk about the programs offered by their specific schools, especially financial aid opportunities. From October through December, the students could research at least 10 colleges and ultimately prepare charts that include information about the colleges’ application requirements,

In addition to increasing students’ collegereadiness skills, these projects could also make the college application process less daunting to students. Since the students would research college application requirements and write college applicationstyle essays as freshmen, they would have the benefit of going through a low-pressure simulation of the college application process three years before completing the actual process. Thus, instead of being intimidated by the college application process as seniors, these students would have the advantage of knowing that they have already walked through the steps of the road to college. In order to build upon the students’ college research, during the spring semester the high school freshmen could view weekly online presentations by college, graduate school, and professional school students that summarize the material that they have covered in their own courses. The high school freshmen could take notes on four “mock lectures” every week and then deliver brief oral presentations

on their “dream schedules” at the end of the semester. The website for the “mock lectures” would enable college, graduate school, and professional school students to set up “classes” on the website that they plan to update each week with 5-10 minute videos recapping the lessons from their actual classes. The college, graduate school, and professional school students could just talk during their presentations or incorporate graphics as well. The student contributors could cover a variety of fields, e.g., medicine, law, African-American history, mathematics, business, etc. Each student contributor could also create a brief personal profile which could include basic background information, e.g., the student’s hometown, university, and major/degree program, as well as more personal components like the student’s career goals and hobbies. In addition, although students from various backgrounds would be encouraged to contribute to the website, a special effort could be made to recruit black male college, graduate school, and professional school students. When high school students navigate the website, they would be able to click on a particular major or a specific type of graduate or professional school and then be directed to a page containing a list of relevant “classes.” The high school students would be able to browse various classes on the website, but they would eventually create a four-class “dream schedule” so that they could just log into their accounts every session in order to quickly access their lectures. Overall, the website could not only increase the students’ interest in college but also increase their confidence in their ability to succeed in college. That is, when the students see that they can understand college material, they may feel more optimistic that they can excel in college and their academic performance may reflect this new found self-assurance. The students may be especially more confident when they later see specific topics in high school and college that they have already been exposed to through the website. Additionally, the high school freshmen may feel that college abilities by virtue of their

consistent exposure to college students from similar backgrounds who have managed to master their coursework. Taken as a whole, the website could enable students to pursue material that intrigues them while also increasing their interest in and capacity for college success. In addition to experiencing college through the website, during the spring semester the high school freshmen could also take college visits during which time they could sit in on actual classes and talk with professors, current students, and admissions office staff members. The students could visit at least two colleges, including a historically black college or university (HBCU) and a local university. With respect to the HBCU visit, this trip could enable the freshmen to connect to their past, present, and future to a significant degree. For example, if the students visit Howard University, then they could learn more about the barrierbreaking work of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. If the students visit Morehouse College, then they could learn more about the background of the visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition to gaining more insight into past black leaders, the students would also be able to see masses of young black men who are focused on fulfilling their own dreams. With respect to the local university visit, this trip could give freshmen the opportunity to form mentoring relationships with nearby professors and college students. These visits could be especially useful if the students live close to an extremely selective institution that they assume is only for students who do not share the same skin color or household income as them. These visits could be transformational since many highachieving students unnecessarily limit their college applications because no one has ever encouraged them to apply to an extremely selective school. If such a student literally gets to follow in the same footsteps as presidents, then he may eventually start to believe that he can make a bigger mark on the world than he ever imagined before. Overall, the yearlong freshmen program could increase students’ interest in and readiness for college by exposing them to various facets of Continue on page 39

Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life (Random House, 2014) by Joe Brewster, M.D., and Michele Stephenson with Hilary Beard In this book we share what we learned along our journey that helped us to support our son in fulfilling his promise. We also reached out to more than 60 of the most accomplished researchers in the nation, experts who are performing cutting-edge studies on a wide variety of issues that impact the intellectual, social and emotional well-being of Black boys. Indeed a lot is known about how to create an environment in which a Black male will succeed. Promises Kept presents 10 parenting and educational strategies that researchers have discovered can assist parents, educators, and other members of their proverbial Village to help Black boys become the happy, healthy, well-educated, well-developed people they are capable of being. Available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, and iBookstore. On shelves January 14, 2014.

Living education everyday

Racial Microaggressions as a Framework for Understanding African American Males’ Experiences with Subtle Racism By Malik S. Henfield (@DrHenfield) There is no shortage of literature highlighting the dire statistics related to African American males’ difficulties in multiple contexts – P-12 school and college, health, employment (unemployment and under-employment), imprisonment, and so on. According to many indicators of academic achievement and general school success – grades, test scores, suspension, expulsion, graduation, and dropping out – African American males, in particular, are at or very near the bottom. These trends are nothing new, especially for those attending schools in urban areas. In response, some policymakers and philanthropists have recognized the need to direct more resources as a means to stem the negative educational tide. For instance, in New York City, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and billionaire philanthropist Michael Soros pledged hundreds of millions of public and private funds specifically aimed at combating Black male student issues. Given the austerity measures undertaken in secondary and postsecondary schools over the last few years, these types of investments in education are certainly warranted. Unfortunately, achievement gaps between Black males, Black females and students of other races/ethnicities have also been found in well-funded schools. As such, although it would be very easy to attribute Black males’ educational problems to funding shortages, to do so would be woefully inaccurate and minimize the complexity of their contextual circumstances and difficulties. Public and scholarly literature is replete with descriptions of many personal and social barriers Black males must overcome in attempts to find some semblance of academic, career, personal and social success. Sadly, racism is, without a doubt, one of the more common themes in educational literature describing these students’ experiences in- and out-of-

school. In the past, much of the discussion related to the topic centered on overtly and deliberate racist acts reminiscent of Plessy v. Ferguson’s “separate but equal” learning environments. Today, the subject has morphed into one centered on subtle forms of racism that are much more difficult to identify than overt racism, but no less institutionalized and damaging, as described by Dovidio and Gaertner (2004), as well as others (Dovidio, Glick, & Rudman (2005), whose work was heavily influenced by Allport’s (1954) and (1957) Merton’s earlier scholarship. Dovidio and Gaertner focused on conscious (explicit) and unconscious (implicit) influences on how people think, feel, and behave toward others based on group membership. Termed, ‘aversive racism’, it was defined as a contemporary subtle form of prejudice consistent of conscious and unconscious biases. Many current scholars’ research findings lend support for these earlier works. Taken as a whole, this body of research has found that racism is not only conscious and unconscious; it can be intentional and unintentional, as well, with varying degrees of impact directed towards those on the receiving end. With the counseling profession, specifically professional school counseling, and space limitations in mind, this paper focuses on one form of subtle

racism called microaggressions using the work of Sue and colleagues (2007) and school counselors. School counselors, often woefully underutilized in terms of addressing schoolwide student issues, are nonetheless in a great position to help Black male students make sense of their unique experiences with subtle racism. Due to the elusive, invisible nature of these types of racism, however, it may be difficult to help them articulate what they are going through, which may lead to even more angst and frustration. Given this reality, it makes sense for school counselors to use a common vocabulary as a means to broach the topic in ways that are more likely to result in less confusion, increased understanding, and hopefully, better experiences and outcomes for Black male students.

One of the more recent developments in race and racism analysis has been the growth in popularity of racial microaggressions as a framework to more easily conceptualize subtle forms of racism. As explained by Sue and colleagues (2007), microaggressions are “brief and commonplace daily, verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults to the target person or group� (p. 273). According to the scholars, there are three types of microaggressions: (a) microassaults; (b) microinsults, and; (c) microinvalidations. As figure #1 shows, each of the three micoaggressions are embedded within underlying verbal, nonverbal and environmental themes.

Figure 1

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Ignorance continued from page 27

something that needs to be sought while ignorance, on most occasions, goes viral? The Dalai Lama XIV was once quoted as saying he “believe(s) all suffering is caused by ignorance”. Mankind’s greatest perils have come as a result of wars, famine, sickness and poverty. We can point to nature to explain away a number of major disasters in human history. But it is our mental state that has caused far more destruction than any natural disaster in the modern world. The largest natural disaster ever recorded was in July of 1931 when it was estimated that 1 to 4 million people were killed in a massive flood that rocked central China. Now compare that to man’s largest campaign of human annihilation. From 1939-1945 during World War II, it was estimated that between 40 million to 72 million people were killed. Nearly 3% of the world’s population. The numbers show a disturbing trend of our mental state.

It affects the way we think. If affects the way we build our societies, develop our schools, design our political structures, engineer our judicial systems, distribute and redistribute our wealth along with billions of decisions that are made each day around the globe. What kind of world would exist if our nations tackled the problem of illiteracy? Would we be better off if we dedicated limitless resources to building more effective educational systems? Our primary goal should be to seek a higher understanding of our existence and the world around us. To allow ignorance to persist is to capitulate to the mistakes of the past. Education and knowledge is paramount and to make a commitment to eradicate ignorance and illiteracy can ensure a future with endless possibilities and progress. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com) http://www.unicef.org/education 3 The statistic was estimated Jan 1, 2013 4 http://www.dosomething.org 5 http://www.literacypartners.org/literacy-inamerica/literacy-facts

Helping Black Boys continued from page 34

higher education, developing their essay-writing skills, improving their note-taking abilities, and giving them valuable public speaking experience. In particular, the website could encourage the students to see enough of themselves in the student contributors that they are better able to picture themselves in college, graduate school, or professional school at some point. Thus, instead of viewing school as a source of boredom, students could view school as a source of personal empowerment. The entire freshmen program could hopefully help students develop an academic anchor that firmly roots them in a strong sense of self-worth and thereby makes it that much harder for other influences to push or pull them off their path. Supporting Black Male continued from page 18

For instance, Black male students partake in verbal battles with each other, which is sometimes referred to as the dozens, snappin’, jonin’ or packin’ (the term may vary by geographic location). In these battles, students make sarcastic and comical verbal remarks about a number of topics including appearance, residential location and family members. Teachers who are unaware that these verbal battles are a part of Black male identity development may quickly assume that the students engaging in the verbal battles should be disciplined. However, teachers that understand Black male development understand that this is a custom that Black males engage and in some instances helps “African-American males survive in their peer group because they are adept at using a variety of these characteristics, which represent their expressive culture” (Wright, 2009, p. 125). Engaging in discussions with Black males about their customs rather than disciplining them will result in more teachers understanding their culture rather than resorting to suspending Black males (Toldson & Lewis, 2012; Hale-Benson, 1986).


In conclusion, it is imperative that we support African-American male upward mobility as their success has implications for the society at large. Additionally, we must position African-American male success in education as the norm and not

high-achieving African-American males as an outlier. Furthermore, there must be an ideological shift to combat years of systemic racism, which prevent African-American males from succeeding. Although this fight presents a major challenge, we must look to the words of Martin Luther King Jr. who stated, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” References Berry, R.Q., Thunder, K., McClain, O.L. (2011). Counter narratives: examining the mathematics and racial identities of black boys who are successful with school mathematics. Journal of African American Males in Education, 2(1), p. 1023. Bridges, E.M. (2011). Racial identity development and psychological coping strategies of

undergraduate and graduate african american males. Journal of African American Males in Education, 2(2), p. 150-167. Brooks, C.E. (2012). Retrospective understandings: Individual-collective influences on high achieving black students at a predominantly white institution of higher education. Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, 6, p. 123-144. Ford, D.Y. & Grantham, T.C. (2001). Providing access for culturally diverse gifted students: From deficit to dynamic thinking. Theory Into Practice, 42(3), 217-225. Fries-Britt, S. (2000). Identity development of high ability black collegians. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 82, p. 55-65. Hale-Benson, J. (1986). Black children: Their roots, culture, and learning styles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. Kunjufu, J. (2005). Countering the conspiracy to destroy black boys. Chicago: African American Images. Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). But that’s just good teaching! The case for culturally relevant pedagogy. Theory into Practice, 34(3), p. 159165. Ladson-Billings, G. (2006). From the achievement gap to the education debt: Understanding achievement in U. S. schools. Educational Researcher, 35, 3-12. Marsh, K., Chaney, C., Jones, D. (2012). The strengths of high-achieving black high school students in a racially diverse setting. The Journal of Negro Education, 81(1), p. 39-51. National Center for Education Statistics (2012). Percentage of public school teachers of grades 9 through 12, by field of main teaching assignment and selected demographic and educational characteristics: 2007-08. Retrieved online from www.nces.ed.gov. Pollard, D.S. (1993). Gender, achievement, and african-american student perceptions of their Continue on page 76

Emerging Pioneers in Education Dr. Sean B. Yisrael He began his educational career in 1998 as a high school Social Studies teacher. In 2004 he moved into the ranks of school leadership, having been an administrator in school districts located in Dayton (Ohio), Cincinnati, and Washington, D.C. Dr. Yisrael also has experience working with students on the post-secondary level. He’s taught graduate school courses at Trinity University (Washington, D.C.) and National College (Ohio). In 2010, Dr. Yisrael formed a professional development company called Educational Practitioners for Better Schools. EPBS is designed to provide affordable professional development services to the staff of low performing urban/inner-city public and charter schools. The company specializes in providing services in the areas of teacher and administrative development, parental engagement, interdisciplinary teaming, and creative uses of technology. Dr Yisreal is also an author.

Baruti Kafele He was an urban public school educator in New Jersey for over twenty years. Principal Baruti Kafele distinguished himself as a classroom teacher and as a school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, he was selected as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. As a middle and high school principal, he led the transformation of four different schools, including “The Mighty” Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national acclaim, which included U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it as one of America’s best high schools.

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Racial Microaggressions continued from page 38

1. Microassaults are conscious and intentional verbal or nonverbal attacks, such as the use of racial epithets. Although these acts are deliberate, they are most often discreet in nature, often done when no one else is around, except when a perpetrator loses control. For example, if a teacher, in conversation with another teacher, stated, ‘My life would be so much easier if those Black, inner-city thugs weren’t in my class! Those kids just don’t want to learn!’ This would qualify as a microassault due to its intentional inflammatory tone. 2. Microinsults are insensitive verbal and nonverbal communications intended to demean one’s racial heritage or identity. The perpetrator of this form of microagression is typically unaware of the negative implications, but it is, nonetheless, perceived negatively by the recipient. A principal telling Black male student to change out of his hip hop cultural style of dress because the principal perceives it as ‘ghetto’ could be viewed as an insult, with the underlying assumption being that the student’s culture is not valued as much as the principal’s. In addition, a school counselor saying, ‘Are you sure you want to take an Advanced Placement course? They’re pretty challenging!’ to a Black male student could be perceived by the student as having his intelligence and work ethic questioned, which would be in line with age-old stereotypes depicting Black individuals as intellectually inferior to other races and lazy. 3. Microinvalidations are verbal and nonverbal communications that serve to make individuals on the receiving end feel excluded, ignored and devalued. For

instance, a school counselor telling Black male, ‘The only people who don’t succeed in life are those who don’t try. If you work hard, you will be fine,’ seems like a great message to impart regarding work ethic; however, saying this may have the opposite effect and cause a Black male student to feel ostracized. That is, Black males who are very conscious of how racism functions in society as a whole and at their particular school, specifically, may feel as though the school counselor does not understand him or, even worse, chooses to ignore the potential barriers to success he is presently encountering and/or will face in the future as a function of being Black and male. Conclusion Individuals graduating from Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Education Programs (CACREP) accredited masters-level school counseling programs have undergone a rigorous course of study that adequately trains them to establish effective programs aimed at meeting the needs of all students, including Black male students. It is essential, however, those professional school counselors and those in training understand indirect racism (compared to direct racism) is not necessarily less harmful, and the same holds for intentional compared to unintentional racism. Once this level of understanding has been established, school

To be clear, the first step towards discussing and acting is developing understanding, which is virtually impossible without a common language. Developing a better understanding of racial microaggressions and promoting its utility in terms of school counseling with Black males has the potential to deepen understanding of subtle racism and cannot be overlooked if supportive school atmospheres are to be established. References

counselors should then be empowered to increase others’ understanding of the different types of microaggressions and how they may manifest in present-day school contexts. The website, www.microaggressions.com is a good place to begin, as it is filled with real-world examples submitted by individuals from all over the country, if not the world. In addition to exploring this website, school counselors should also seek out professional development opportunities to learn more about Black male students’ unique experiences with racial microaggressions as it will have direct implication for them in their work with these students. In a qualitative research study exploring middle school African American males’ perceptions of their experiences with racial microaggressions (Henfield, 2011), participants discussed how difficult it was to learn in an environment in which they felt disrespected and ostracized. When asked how they coped with these incidents, ignoring the issue was cited most often. Obviously, the aforementioned finding should give school counselors cause for concern and reason to investigate their own school context as this type of environment is not in line with the social justice framework that is gaining traction among members of the school counseling profession (HolcombMcCoy, 2007). School counselors, as they are charged with supporting students’ social, emotional, mental health and well-being. To that end, they must create a school culture based on an atmosphere in which undetectable incidents of racism, such as the microaggression examples described in this article, are able to be discussed and acted upon in a way that is honest, respectful, and effective.

Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Cambridge, MA: AddisonWesley Publishing Company. Dovidio, J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (2004). Aversive racism. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 36, pp. 1-51). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Dovidio, J. F., Glick, P. G., & Rudman, L. (Eds.). (2005). On the nature of prejudice: Fifty years after Allport. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Henfield, M. S. (2011). Black male adolescents navigating microaggressions in a traditionally White middle school: A qualitative study. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 39, 141 – 155. Holcomb-McCoy, C. (2007). Transitioning to high school: Issues and challenges for African American students. Professional School Counseling, 10, 253–260. Merton, R. K. (1957). Priorities in scientific discovery: A chapter in the sociology of science. American Sociological Review, 22, 635 – 659. Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A. M. B., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 64, 271–286.

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Taking Matters Into His Own Hands: An Interview with Marco Clark Founder and Director of Richard Wright Public Charter School

LEeM: Tell us about your background? Dr. Clark: My background has been in public school education. I graduated from high school with a 1.6 GPA. I scored 480 on the SAT. It took me five years to graduate from high school. Needless to say, I experienced somewhat troubled youth moments in my life. However, I was able to overcome these obstacles by the time I enrolled in college. I entered the educational environment, because I wanted to change the experiences I had in public education. I wanted to help students close that achievement gap while also helping students to flourish as I did once I enrolled in college. I received my bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s in Special Education Administration Supervision. I earned my doctorate in higher education from Morgan State University. LEeM: Do think American students are being prepared to compete globally? Dr. Clark: They are not being prepared to compete globally. In America, we do not have the same mindset with regards to education as many other countries. We focus on student performing well on state assessments. That is the process by which the success and ability of a school system is measured. In other countries they aspire for their students to become educated not skillful test takers; so upon completion of their education, students return to their communities and to help make it stronger. LEeM: How do you see the American educational system?

Dr. Clark: In America, we do not talk about the purpose of education and what one should do with an education. Education should be a means in which a student can go back into the community with a goal to make the community flourish. America’s disadvantage is our students only see earning a diploma as the finality of everything. I often hear students say “I just need to pass. I want my diploma”. They never talk about what the diploma is going to do for them as a next step; were in contrast students in other countries are taught this is one step which leads to the next, which leads to a different step, that will ultimately come back and change the community. LEeM: Why did you open the Richard Wright Public Charter School? Dr. Clark: I opened Richard Wright Public Charter School in 2011. This is our third year of operation and we are already witnessing remarkable improvement among our students; many of whom came to us at the bottom rung of the academic spectrum. Their struggle which is similar to my story is why I opened the school. I created Richard Wright Public School out of my personal experiences as a learner. I recall being told I had a challenge with reading and that I was functionally illiterate. That is what I told when I entered the 6th grade; however, I was able to make it all the way through high school, despite poor experiences. It took me five years to earn my high school diploma. While college was a destination in my mind,

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Book List

Unlocking Potential: Organizing a School Inside a Prison draws on Hilderbrand Pelzer III’s professional experiences and his nationally acclaimed Work in public education within the Philadelphia Prison System the fifth--�largest urban county jail system in the nation. The book is highly recommended for school districts, juvenile detention facilities, adult county jails, and educational organizations responsible for educating incarcerated juveniles. Professionals working with incarcerated juveniles can use this book to review their educational practices; examine their assumptions about the capacities and capabilities of schools in correctional facilities; plan action to overcome legal, logistical, and educational dilemmas; design schools that align with deliberate correctional education and academic purposes; and raise correctional educational dialogue to the level that such work merits.

African American Males in Higher Education By Elwood L. Robinson, Ph.D. (@elwoodrobinson) African American male’s troubled status in higher education has garnered tremendous attention at national conferences, in the media, and in published scholarship over the past 20 years. As researchers make the complexities of the problem increasingly clear, educators, administrators, and policymakers alike have grappled with the question of what must be done to improve African American male student success. Most of us are familiar with the often quoted statement that “there are more black men in prison than in our colleges and universities.” For nearly a decade, this statement has been popular with those attempting to dramatize the plight of African American males. Although today it is factually inaccurate, there are far too many African American males in prison and not enough in college. Understanding the College experience that motivate students to achieve academic and personal goals is important, especially for African American males whose college retention and completion rates are lower than those of other ethnics groups, and also lower than those of their female counterparts (1). Recently, the issue of the dearth of African American males in colleges was resurrected when a group of students at UCLA produced a video that lambasted the University for its Minuscule African American Student Population. It was

entitled “UCLA has more championships than Black male freshman” and it sent everyone scurrying to their research offices to document their African American male enrollment. These students, who are African American, sent a strong message about the lack of diversity at their school. This is a problem not only for UCLA but for most of this nation’s elite institutions. According to the school’s enrollment statistics, African Americans make up 3.8 percent of the student population. In the video, it was pointed out that African American males make up 3.3 percent of the male student population, and that 65 percent of those African American males are undergraduate athletes. Of the incoming men in the freshmen class, only 1.9 percent of them were African American (2). A similar statistic can be found at many other colleges and universities in the United States. As the racial demography of the U.S. changes, researchers have been more intentional about exploring the experiences, challenges, and success factors for groups of color underrepresented in the educational pipeline. Indeed, while certain groups, such as African American women, have made significant strides in their pursuit of a postsecondary education, African American men have not been as fortunate. African American men account for 4.3% of the total enrollment at 4-year postsecondary

institutions in the United States, which is the same percentage enrolled in 1976. Given the stagnation of African American male enrollment in higher education, scholars have worked tirelessly to produce critical information to help educators, policymakers, and stakeholders increase the success of African American males in K-12 and higher education. Such is the aim of T. Elon Dancy and M. Christopher Brown’s edited volume, African American Males and Education: Researching the Convergence of Race and Identity (3). The enrollment crisis is just one of a seemingly litany of higher education issues for the African American male student. Retention and degree completion rates are dismal and contribute to the higher education crisis for African American males. I have been concerned about African American male college success since I was a student in the late 1970s. I spent almost 30 years at a HBCU, where I mentored African American males. There are those that would

decreased economic, political, social, and cultural capacity to improve the lives of all the world’s citizens. The Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania recently released its inaugural publication. Titled Black Male Student Success in Higher Education: Black Male Student Success in Higher Education: A Report from the National Black Male College Achievement Study,” researchers, led by the center’s

have you believe that these students enroll at a HBCU because it’s there last option. Many of these students attend HBCUs for the longstanding reputations of HBCU’s for providing supportive educational environments to black students. Knowledge of these institutions was passed on to them by parents and family members. There are lessons to be learned from the experience of attending an HBCU that can be applied to those universities, like UCLA, that are having difficulty recruiting and retaining African American students. It is time to change the narrative as it relates to African American males in higher education today. A sustained and collaborative effort aimed at empowering the African American male is needed. The African American community faces many problems, and with many African American men not enrolling in traditional colleges, this limits the potential of these men to transform life. The consequence of low African American enrollment in college is

director, Dr. Shaun R. Harper, have attempted to reframe the spirited dialogue concerning the achievement of African-American males (4) The statements uttered by the African American males in the UCLA video are consistent with the findings that Harper founded when he interviewed African American students who attended Historically White Colleges and Universities (HWCUs). The participants who attended HWCUs informed interviewers that they were regularly subjected to racism: White peers picked them last for group projects, professors showed surprise when they scored well, questions were regularly hurled about Continue on page 58

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10 A bio-alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you when you are in the lightest sleep phase.

Why do Teachers Avoid, or Leave, High Poverty Urban Public Schools & what can be done to improve the situation? By Angel Cintron Jr (@angelcintronjr) Student misbehavior, more specifically student disrespect towards fellow students and teachers, has to be, in my professional experience, one of the leading reasons why teachers avoid, or leave, high poverty urban public schools. Every teacher, albeit a novice or veteran, is taught to employ basic classroom management techniques, such as increasing positive interactions, utilizing student reflection forms, making positive or negative calls “home”, and conducting one-on-one, student-teacher conferences. Despite employing a variety of classroom management techniques, severe student misbehavior still plagues many high poverty urban public schools. If policy makers want to retain, or recruit, more highly qualified teachers for the most challenging public schools, then they must engage in an open, honest dialogue regarding the challenges, needs, opportunities, and possible solutions for improving the working conditions for teachers. The first step towards tackling the issue of severe student misbehavior is for the professional education community to agree upon a common understanding of the problem, itself. In other words, rather than ask “how” students act out, we must realize “why” they act out, in the first place. In my professional experience, severe student misbehavior, particularly within high poverty urban public schools, is often a result of academic struggles. In addition, students who aren’t proficient in coping with social trauma, or economic disadvantages, also have a tendency to “misbehave.” In other words, students misbehave, or “act out”, mainly out of frustration. They’re frustrated academically AND socially. Once we have a common understanding as to why students misbehave, then we can re-calibrate our efforts during the school day. Therefore, in addition to focusing on academics, we must teach and equip students with a proven social-emotional skills set. The responsibility of designing and implementing this dual, or

parallel, curriculum, i.e. academics and socialemotional skills, is a task for all stakeholders, i.e. the district central office, school administrators and classroom teachers. First, the school district must acknowledge the link between low performing, high poverty urban schools with severe student misbehavior. Once acknowledged, the district’s role should primarily focus on adequately staffing each school per specific needs, i.e. differentiated funding rather than employ one-size-fits-all funding formula. Second, the school administrators’ role must focus on designing, implementing and analyzing a school’s behavior intervention policies. One way to curtail severe student misconduct is to invest in, and train every teacher with, proven social emotional best practices. Such an ongoing training mustn’t be a one-time professional development session. Instead, it needs to be consistent, engaging, practical, and timely. For example, social-emotional training must be offered during pre-service week, weekly collaborative meetings, and district-level sponsored professional development days. Last, the classroom teachers’ role must focus on learning, incorporating, and employing a set of proven social-emotional strategies. For example, classroom rules based on social emotional development could foster positive, studentcentered behaviors, and help establish a safe, learning environment. Subsequently, classroom consequences based on social emotional development could provide students with adequate space to express their frustrations in healthier ways. Teachers need to use an array of tools to educate the whole child, and not just the math and reading parts of their brains. Ignoring this primary role, especially within the 21st century, is setting our students up, unnecessarily. We – the professional education community must differentiate amongst our students. We need to determine which students are prepared Continue on page 58

Life Read. Expose yourself to new people and experiences. Enjoy the journey. Look for the bright spots. And, never stop learning. Nigel Alston

The Ongoing Factor of Racial Politics in Higher Education By Dr. Elwood Watson From the moment that President Barack Obama was elected as the first American president of African heritage in November 2008, there were many people in our nation – pundits, politicians, academics, students, clergymen and ordinary citizens of all races (though mostly White) who declared that America had become a post –racial nation. More than a few people were in concurrence with such an assessment. My oh my! Talk about a misreading of the evidence! It seems that our nation has fallen considerably short of resembling anything close to a post-racial society. That being said, as a historian, I am well aware of the fact that in a nation that has had a tormented history in regards to race, that the racial climate in our nation is certainly better than it was in the 1960s. In fact, it is safe to say that race relations are better than they were in the 1980s. That being said, they are in a complex state at the current moment. This is particularly true in regards to higher education. From the days of segregated schools, to the confrontational and violent struggles that greeted school integration to the increasingly notable numbers of students of color that have been admitted to prestigious and ivy-league institutions, over the past several decades, the issue of race has always been a pivotal force. The issue has been more prevalent at certain times than others. The fact is that the past two years have seen an explosion of events where the issue of race has firmly etched itself in the fabric of our nation’s culture. Racial politics has been such a factor in higher education that anyone who follows and is astute to current events could not ignore the onslaught on events that have recently saturated the ivory tower. Election night 2012 witnessed the re-election of President Obama as well as racial incidents that took place at the University of Mississippi and Hampden Sydney College. The following evening several hundred other students held a candlelight vigil denouncing such behavior and declared themselves as “one miss” In the case of Hampden Sydney, the students were disciplined and once faced expulsion It is important to note that the president of Hamden Sydney is African American and that the student body at Ole Miss selected their first Black homecoming queen in 2012. Milestones aside, it seems that over the past two years that one could not even blink, pick up a newspaper or browse the internet without seeing some Black student Continue on page 61

Living education everyday

Teachers, Poverty Urban Public Schools continued from page 53

to handle a full day of instruction versus those who need to spend time, during the school day, learning academic and social-emotional skills. If we continue to ignoring the need to educate the whole child, i.e. how to manage stress and cope with social-emotional difficulties, then we are setting teachers, particularly within high poverty urban schools, up for failure, or worse, a shortened professional teaching career. I find many colleagues are full of passion, and genuinely seek to influence the lives of each, and every, student. With that said, teachers need the necessary tools to make the most impact, which doesn’t only include computation and reading comprehension skills. If you – education policy-makers - wish to retain, or recruit, more highly qualified teachers to work in high poverty urban schools, then you must allow teachers to teach the whole child, academically and social-emotionally. Then, and only then, will teachers cease to avoid, or leave, high poverty urban public schools. Males in Higher Education continued from page 49

what sports they played, assumptions circulated that they were underachieving affirmative action entries, they knew where to purchase marijuana, and they grew up in urban, fatherless homes. To defend and invigorate their being in the face of the debilitating racism, many became adept at “simultaneously embarrassing and educating their peers through…questioning their misconceptions,” and they found solace and strength in Black student organizations and spaces. (4,5,6) My experience in higher education has given me the opportunity to see the development of hundreds of African American male students. These students wrote the blueprint for success, and it is consistent with the findings of so much of the research today (4,6). The success of any student involves having parents and a supportive family system that has education as an essential component of life success. Place these students in an academic environment with dedicated teachers and counselors with high expectations for African American males and you are well on your way to creating a foundation for a successful outcome. Add in

Add in some pre-college and transitional programming, give them some financial assistance to unburden them financially, provide college mentoring and create a supportive oncampus environment that speaks to their cultural heritage and you have all the ingredients for the blueprint for success. But success in getting more of these men out of high school and into college could be pointless if we do not also ensure that they transition smoothly from high school and then, once in college, learn much, accrue important developmental gains, benefit from institutional resources, and ultimately persist through baccalaureate degree attainment. Unfortunately, though, many of the problems that plague these students in K–12 schools also follow them into higher education. In conclusion, I am encouraged by the work of those scholars who are addressing success and aspirations for African American male students. There is much work to be done but we can significantly impact their educational attainment by encouraging and helping teachers to believe in the intellectual potential of their students, especially African American males. The research identified in this report points to the fact that by identifying student strengths and providing enriching learning options, those strengths surface and are leading to higher levels of achievement. References 1. Cuyjet, M.J. (2009). Invisible men-almost: The proportional diminution of African American males in higher education. In H.T. Frierson, W. Person, Jr., & H. Wyche (Eds.). Diversity in higher education, Vol. 6. Black American males in higher education: Diminishing proportion (pp.1-11). Bingley, United Kingdom. Emerald. 2. UCLA Undergraduate Admissions: http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/campusprofile.h tm. 3. Dancy, T.E. & Brown, M.C. (2012). The African American male and education: Researching the convergence of race and identity. Information Age Continue on page 76

Re-Defining Challenges Facing African American Men According to the United State Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate for African American men is 65.6%. How can we Re-Define this Narrative? We should simply do for self! We should unite and pool our resources! The purchasing power of African Americans will exceed 1 trillion dollars ...this year. We are the best educated in the African diaspora. Devissi Muhammad, Ph.D. Professor of History at Cheyney University (PA) Recent research has suggested that African American men make up less than 5% of the STEM workforce. How can we Re-Define this Narrative? Redefining requires more exposure to STEM and STEAM opportunities in schools. Change curriculum to involve hands on learning and project based learning integrating technology that integrates seamless use of science, Math and even emphasizing the arts. An important component is training teachers to be STEM and STEAM teachers and provide more labs focusing on these areas William Jackson, Blogger, Writer, STEAM Educator, Bullying and Social Media Speaker and Presenter African American males make up less than 2% of the of United State teaching profession. How can we Re-Define this Narrative? We need to start promoting careers in education to our youth and do more recruiting at HBCU's. Dr. Sean Yisreal, Educator, Scholar, Author

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Factor of Racial Politics in continued from page 56

institution of higher learning or Higher Education some aspect of African American culture come under attack from either students, fellow academics, journalists, politicians, private citizens or someone, somewhere. 2013 has not been a vanguard year students or faculty of color who fight for tolerance, acceptance, diversity and inclusion. It has been a troubling year on several levels in regards to race relations: 

Black and other students of color were initially denied bids to University of Alabama Sororities due to pressure from alumni. 18 students of color were eventually offered bids to join sororities and a few accepted offers

Blackface and ghetto theme parties were commonplace at several prominent institutions including Dartmouth College and Northwestern University

At the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the Chancellor, Harvey Perlman, publicly denounces the use of a racial slurs in campus chalking’s and by a Student government member

 More than 150 Black University of Michigan Students take to twitter and other social media to discuss both the overt and subtle forms of mistreatment they encounter on campus

A 17 year old Black Student at San Jose State University was racially harassed and terrorized by his White roommates. His tormentors were eventually arrested and expelled

Oberlin College suspended classes for several days and sponsored programs on tolerance and diversity after racial incidents rocked the campus

The list goes on and on. It reminds me of that old saying that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Anyone keeping abreast of such incidents has to continually remind themselves that they are living indeed living in 2013 not 1963. It has been something to behold. A few incidents that transpired this year that should give any socially conscious academic committed to the cause of racial justice, pause. One issue was the rabid commentary of a conservative cultural critic. The other two were/are the unfathomable conditions that were/are inflicted upon African American faculty and Black male students at UCLA. Such experiences were/are harrowing to put it mildly. The cultural critic in question, Naomi Schaeffer Riley, caused a firestorm of controversy when in a chillingly arrogant and pitifully mis-informed blog published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, she decried, denounced and dismissed the entire field of African American Studies as being unworthy of study and called for the Continue on page 84


Manhood is having the strength needed to be secure enough in your masculinity to show your vulnerability and emotions to your loved ones. Eugene Williams

Adult Academic Attainment- One Critical Factor in Youth Academic Success By Dr. Donald E Grant Jr (@DrGrantjr) Each time a flight departs across the world, passengers hear the same speech. No matter the country or flight duration, the message remains the same. One of the most poignant components of this message instructs adults, in cases where cabin pressure fails, to secure their own oxygen mask before helping a child near them. This concept is applicable to many life scenarios but is often a challenging one to consistently employ. More often than not, when adults secure their own safety and security, it becomes easy for them to create sustained safety and security for the children who depend on them. When academic success among children is discussed, the foci typically surround class size, teacher credentialing and experience, curriculum design and school district budget. One major factor that appears often avoided is the impact of academic attainment for the adults who care for

the kids matriculating in America’s school systems. The academic attainment of adults has complex implications on the academic success of the children for whom they care. Factors like adult life expectancy, parental income and community modeling are only a few that have the capacity to undermine even the most robust youth academic programs. Well-educated people have a longer life expectancy. In 2005, “remaining life expectancy at age 25�, an important indicator of adult health, illustrated significant disparities between those who completed college and those who never earned a high school diploma. When compared, there was more than a ten-year difference in remaining years of life for both men and women. It seems pretty clear that educational attainment plays a critical role in longevity for several reasons. Continue on page 69

Tandy. The Fraternity initially served as a study and support group for minority students who faced racial prejudice, both educationally and socially, at Cornell. The Jewel founders and early leaders of the Fraternity succeeded in laying a firm foundation for Alpha Phi Alpha's principles of scholarship, fellowship, good character, and the uplifting of humanity.


Since its founding on December 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African-Americans and people of color around the world. Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of Brotherhood among African descendants in this country. The visionary founders, known as the “Jewels� of the Fraternity, are Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson

Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. a college Fraternity, now comprised of functioning Undergraduate and Alumni Chapters on major campuses and in cities throughout the country, is the crystallization of a dream. It is the beautiful realization of a vision shared commonly by the late Revered Founders Elder Watson Diggs; John Milton Lee; Byron Kenneth Armstrong; Guy Levis Grant; Ezra Dee Alexander; Henry Tourner Asher; Marcus Peter Blakemore; Paul Waymond Caine; Edward Giles Irvin and George Wesley Edmonds. It was the vision of these astute men that enabled them in the school year 1910 - 11, more specifically the night of January 5, 1911, on the campus of Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana, to sow the seed of a fraternal tree whose fruit is available to, and now enjoyed by, college men everywhere, regardless of their color, religion or national origin. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the first international fraternal organization to be founded on the campus of a historically black college. Omega Psi Phi was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The founders were three Howard University undergraduates, -- Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman. Joining them was their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. From the initials of the Greek phrase meaning, "friendship is e essential to the soul," the name Omega Psi Phi was derived. That phrase was selected as the motto. Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift were adopted as Cardinal Principles. In the summer of 1910, after a conversation with a recent Howard University graduate, A. Langston Taylor formed the idea to establish a fraternity and soon after, enrolled into Howard University in Washington, D.C. Once there, Taylor began to set his vision of a brotherhood into action. In October 1913, Taylor and Leonard F. Morse had their initial conversation about starting a fraternity. As a result, Charles I. Brown was named as the third member of the founding group. By November 1913, a committee was established to begin to lay the foundation of what was to become Phi Beta Sigma Continue on page 76

5 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Marriage By Lamar Tyler (@blackandmarried)

{2} Never Stop Dating:

{1} Be Intentional: One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Gary Chapman and he says that, "Marriages get better or worse. They never stand still." Be intentional about what direction you want your marriage to move in. Great marriages don't just happen; the couples who are in them make an effort to ensure they are that way.

You have to continue having those special moments together. Kids, jobs and responsibilities may make it harder than it was when you first met, but you can't let that deter you. Dating gives you the opportunity to maintain the closeness with your spouse that your marriage needs. Dating gives you an opportunity to focus solely on each other and opens the lines for one on one communication free of distraction.

{3} Learn to Communicate: You can talk but can you communicate? Communication is the cornerstone of having a happy and healthy marriage and depends not only on how you talk, but also how you listen. Disagreements will surely arise during your marriage but your ability to properly communicate your frustrations, challenges and circumstances will greatly enhance your ability to overcome these mole hills before they transform into mountains.

{5} Consistency is Key: Some of the items we've mentioned above won't change your relationship overnight but they can work if you actively implement them every day. If you're consistent with your love and with your actions you can overcome issues with finances, infidelity, trust or anything else. Your spouse not only wants but also needs to see your actions. These will end up speaking louder than your words. Together if you can consistently carry through on the topics we've mentioned above you'll be well on your way to developing a happy and healthy marriage!

{4} Keep Learning: In our marriage we've agreed to attend at least one marriage education/enrichment event each year. That could be a conference, a couple's weekend, a marriage education class, or anything else that will allow us to learn more about what it takes to make our marriage better. Even when everything seems to be going good we make an effort to actively make it better. By building up our knowledge about marriage we're equipping ourselves for any issues that may arise in the future.

10 Mental Health Tips for Professional Men By Alexander Dorsey, Ph.D. (@dorsey_alex) Men are often much better at looking after their physical health than their mental well-being. Staying mentally healthy is not as straight forward as maintaining good physical health since there aren't any mental fitness gyms to join. Just like your physical health, there are actions you can take to keep mentally fit. The following tips will help you stay mentally healthy. 1. Connect with others. Develop and maintain strong relationships with people around you who will support and enrich your life. Humans are social creatures with an emotional need for positive connections to others. Putting time and effort into building strong relationships can bring great rewards. 2. Get active. Being in good physical shape is an important component of preventing mental health conditions. Combine physical activity with a balanced diet to nourish your body and mind and keep you feeling good, inside and out. To get the most mental health benefits, aim for 30 minutes or more of exercise per day. 3. Manage stress. Stress takes a heavy toll on mental health, so it’s important to keep it under control. You may find that relaxation exercises, prayer, yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi, can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. 4. Get involved. Being involved in community gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction that paid work cannot. Volunteer your time for a cause or issue

that you care about. An effort to improve the lives of others is sure to improve your life too. 5. Practice mindfulness. It is easy to be caught up thinking about the past or planning for the future instead of experiencing the present. Practicing mindfulness, by focusing your attention on being in the moment, is a good way to do this. Making a conscious effort to be aware of your inner and outer world is important for your mental health. 6. Keep a close eye on your finances. Financial problems have been shown to be a major cause of stress. Overspending on our wants instead of our needs can compound money worries. Writing down where you money is going helps you keep a closer eye on your finances.

7. Rest and refresh. Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can make you feel tired and run down. Sleep restores both your mind and body. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to function optimally 8. Set realistic goals. Decide what you want to achieve professionally and personally. Write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic 9. Limit unhealthy mental habits. Try to avoid becoming absorbed by repetitive mental habits窶馬egative thoughts about yourself and the world that drain your energy and trigger feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression.

10. Consider getting help. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not a weakness. Don't ignore problems or be afraid to seek professional help.

Interview with Marco Clark Continued from page 46

my SAT scores of 480; which was at the time of graduation one of the worst scores in the class did not project me as college bound or a college graduate. I was not stopped by my scores and I enrolled in Clark Atlanta University. LEeM: Why the name Richard Wright? Dr. Clark: He is a great writer! He represents a community that most of our students can identify with in some form. Most of our children are residents of Wards 7 and 8 in Washington, DC. , which have some of the most challenging communities in the District of Columbia. What I love about Richard Wright was his consciousness about his community and how he wanted to change it. So by choosing Richard Wright, we wanted to provide our students with a model, a person, who displayed an ability to disseminate information in a professional manner; who later became known as one of America’s greatest writers. This is what we want for our students. We want them to have a conscious perspective about their communities that will manifest in a way that will drive them to contribute in an effective manner so that their efforts will change

social studies, English and all those other very important subjects. Thirdly, we believe in Media Arts because we want students to have an opportunity to have a voice and we want to be able to showcase their voice in a very professional manner. Finally, we are transforming students who have never had the media experience into well verse media contributors, as they gain awareness about all aspects of the media. They are exposed broadcast journalist, which provides them with an opportunity to learn the film aspect and editing process along with the still photography associated with many aspects of the media industry. LEeM: What is the admission process for RWPCS?

others who follow them. LEeM: What is the mission of the Richard Wright Charter School? Dr. Clark: The mission of Richard Wright Charter School is to transform students grades eight through twelve into well verse media contributors. We are teaching young people to articulate themselves in a way that ensures people will respect their opinion and respect the challenges they are facing in the community. Secondly, we ensure students become great readers. We understand that if you are a great reader, you will be able to accomplish math science,

Dr. Clark: Richard Wright is a public high school just like any other Washington DC public high school. We enroll ranges between 350-400 students. Our student population consist of 98% African American, 2% Latino/Hispanic. To be admitted, students have to agree this is the type of school they want to attend; they have chosen to come. Most students find out about Richard Wright from friends and family. They typically visit to find out more about the school and once they do, they are sold on our academic environment. LEeM: Academic success at RWPCS? Dr. Clark: When we began to pull data on our students as we opened RWPCS; we discovered that many of our potential students were 4 and Continue on page 104

Adult Academic Attainment continued from page 63

disenfranchis ement. There are identifiable benefits associated with communities that experience longevity. The influence of multiple generations on family systems has proven to create a diverse set of protective factors. Community elders have the capacity to continue oral tradition and instill ancestral value system assets often lost over time. Elders, grand parents specifically, have the capacity to maximize community protective factors by providing leadership, a sense of family continuity and history, child care support, exposure to hobbies and extra-curricular activities and opportunities for growth and development, all while having a vested interest in the well-being and healthy development of their grandchildren and other community youth.

When assessing longevity, it’s important to evaluate the etiologies of early deaths and simultaneously account for the losses a community suffers as a result. In 2005 men without high school diplomas had a life expectancy of 69 while those with graduate degrees lived on average until age 85. This sixteen-year disparity becomes even more frightening when the data is viewed through the lenses of ethnicity, culture and socio-economic status. There are many that contribute to early deaths in a community: substance abuse, homicide, gang involvement and community violence all hold responsibility in premature deaths. Although these factors appear mutually exclusive, they are all significantly and clearly linked to poor academic attainment. The prevalence of these factors magnify the impact of early mortality rates for families negatively impacted by under-education, particularly families that experience inter-generational experiences with educational

When families and communities consistently pay the ‘early death tax’, the losses are rarely quantifiable with any degree of accuracy. A look at our global community illustrates a multitude of examples that support the value of elders’ involvement in the lives of children and the enhancement of communities. Even if we only count the logistical benefits of community elders we see a significant benefit to youth academic engagement, this benefit grows exponentially when one adds the psycho-social benefits gained from these relationships. The stressors of poverty impair learning ability in children. A family’s income plays a significant role in both matriculation quality and rates of completion for students around the world. An unfortunate reality is that in any single family system, the ramifications of academic attainment can be heavily felt; often resulting in a synergistic outcome that promotes financial insecurity across several generations. The following chart, using data from the US Census, illustrates the

income disparities that result when average income is viewed through the lens of educational attainment. \ The stressors of poverty impair learning ability in children. A family’s income plays a significant role in both matriculation quality and rates of completion for students around the world. An unfortunate reality is that in any single family system, the ramifications of academic attainment can be heavily felt, often resulting in a synergistic outcome that promotes financial insecurity across several generations. The following chart, using data from the US Census, illustrates the income disparities that result when average income is viewed through the lens of educational attainment. Median Income based on Educational Attainment in 2012





High School

No High School






In 2012, a man without a high school diploma earned less than $20,000 per year. During that same year, a man with a Bachelors degree earned $37,000, those with Masters degrees earned $49,700, and men with Doctoral degrees earned more than $90,000 each year. These disparities have far reaching consequences as it relates to healthcare access, food insecurity, homelessness, exposure to trauma and community violence and adequate educational





$90 $100 Thousands

opportunities. Inter-generational poverty can be linked directly to inter-generational under education. Poverty has many etiologies but in families with less than robust academic opportunities across several generations we see the creation of a real under class; one systematically trapped in their situation for generations, much like a medieval caste system where the probability of upward Continue on page 75

Boys and Girls vs. Boys and Girls

Chapter 7 Exert from Smashing The Gap

a talk to some 10-12 year olds at a Boys and Girls Club in South Carolina. When asked about the first P, Passion, their responses

By carefully examining the themes which emerged from the responses given by the participants in my study, I discovered a series of patterns. I further synthesized these patterns as the five factors which are necessary for individuals to be successful in school and in life. At first I called these factors The FivePs of Prosperity. They include identifying your Passion; devising a Plan; being connected to People who will invest in your dream; taking the steps to Prepare; and then finally getting into Production mode and delivering on your commitment. I understood that my theory did not only apply to college students and decided to test it out when I was invited to give

were not unusual for their age. They identified career aspirations that included doctor, lawyer, professional athlete, and model, among other professions. However, something was wrong. Something was missing. When I asked about the other four P’s that were the necessary ingredients on their personal paths to power, they could not connect the dots. This may not sound so unusual; after all, they are ten and twelve year olds. However, there is another group of ten and twelve year olds who are able to connect the dots. This other cohort of youngsters attend the exclusive private schools, and, based both on what they learn in school and what they are provided by their parents at home, they have a clear idea of where they are going and how they will get there. This difference is vast and has a life altering impact. If the Boys and Girls Club youth were to attempt to compete head to head with the private school

By Wayne Beckles (@SmashingtheGap)

youth, I fear that they will be eaten alive. The children of families of means frequently have well developed pathways and a healthy dose of agency. In short, they have hope; there was little question in their minds about their ability to impact the world around them. Not only could they tell you which Ivy League University they had their sights set on, but because the Ivy League frequently sets aside a certain number of slots for students from these elite schools, the students had a much higher than average chance of getting into the university of their choice. Janice Hale put it this way: Parents who are connected to the ‘culture of power’ know the path because they have traveled the path of achievement themselves. They have the resources to purchase homes in affluent school districts; to pay for private education; to threaten to withdraw their children and educate them at home; and to devote time to volunteering in classrooms and on committees and school boards. By their efforts they can change, even transform, their schools Continue on page 101

Tips For Fathers

By Matt Prestbury (@mattprestbury)


[1] Understand that being a dedicated, involved and responsible father is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself. It is as beneficial to your life as it is to your children. Embrace it fully. Give it your all and you will be blessed for it.

[3] Be willing to be a student and a teacher in various aspects. Engage with other fathers who take an active role in their children's lives. Watch them and learn from them, and teach them as well. We all bring something different to the table. At the same time, always be willing to educate and encourage fathers who aren't involved. Don't shun them because they aren't where you are. Work to bring them into the fold. Also teach your children by your words and actions, while simultaneously learning from them. Listen to your children at least as much as you talk to them.

Show and tell your children you love them each and every single day no matter what it takes. If you live with your children you have absolutely no excuse not to tell them to their faces that you love them daily or to display it. Hug them. Kiss them. Talk and listen to them. Spend quality time with them. If you don't live with your children use whatever you can to tell them that you love them be it a phone or a computer. And also spend quality time if and when you can.

When Educators Learn to Love Students, Students Will Learn to Love Learning By Jamaal Brown (@Black365) A colonization of the imagination has taken place in the minds of countless students across America because of the constant glorification of European contributions to “everything”. As a result, oftentimes African American students become disinterested, tune out and ultimately shut down. One could point to the proliferation of guns, drugs, violence and the epidemic of single-parenting in the African American community. Or one could take note of the proliferation of emerging research that points to the fact that when a child sees him or herself reflected in their school curriculum they respond favorably. Today, there are tools available for school administrators, staff and teachers to introduce individuals, instances, and ideas into the curriculum that relate to African American students that would peak these student’s interest and lead them towards success. Are administrators, staff, and teachers willing to listen to the emerging research and do something different? Or will the status quo remain the status quo? Students learn about the Greek’s and Romans’ contribution to math, science, and “culture”. This is followed by Christopher Columbus’ exciting expeditions. They hear about the British military and monarchy. Without fail, students must recite facts about George Washington’s valor and America being the preeminent place on the planet.

What if students learned that Egypt was in Africa? What if students were taught that the ancient Egyptian pyramid builders had dark brown skin that resembles that of African Americans because both have their roots in Africa? What would happen if students learned that the Greeks and Romans learned math, science and “culture” from other cultures? What if students were taught that African’s circumnavigated the globe before Columbus? Or at least that the pilot of Columbus’ Niño was Alonso Pietro, an African. Imagine, for one moment, how Native American students feel when they are forced to learn about explorers who trekked across American and discovered lands Continue on page 94

Living education everyday

Adult Academic Attainment continued from page 70

mobility is almost non-existent. Children who grow up in poverty face risk factors often mediated by the financial resources associated with academic attainment. Children without adequate access to health care often face chronic medical conditions that preventative care could mitigate. As a result of chronic and other preventable conditions, these students miss more hours of instruction than other students and risk sufficient preparedness for future learning opportunities. Food and housing insecurity are huge risk factors to matriculation and academic success. The National School Lunch Program(NSLP) , created in 1946 responds to empirical evidence showing the critical influence food and nutrition play on academic achievement. NSLP provides free and reduced cost breakfast and lunch to poor students. Students without consistent housing often experience risks beyond hunger that decrease their chances for academic success and graduation. Research on homeless youth highlight risk factors that include but are not limited to school absences, multiple school transitions and mental health concerns that all negatively influence the students’ capacity for attaining classroom success. Finally, children experiencing poverty are also disproportionately more likely to be exposed to traumas in a variety of settings. Exposure to intimate partner violence, physical abuse, sexual abuse and community violence all have a strong relationship with poverty. A causal relationship is less clear but there are significant correlations that link these factors with poverty and its’ associates. Children who are exposed to trauma often exhibit mental health concerns and needs

that negatively impact their ability to learn. As a result of trauma exposure imposed onto poverty, we often see school aged children inappropriately disciplined, over medicated, adjudicated and/or lost in the special education abyss. Do what I say, not what I do‌ Modeling, also known as observational learning is considered by behaviorists as one of the most important ways in which people, particularly children learn things. Social learning theory purports that theories on extrinsic reward and punishment fail to adequately explain all learning. learning. People regularly gain new skills and value systems without the basic rewards offered by their environment or other people. When children live in a family and community where the value placed on academia is held high paradigms shift. When older cousins and siblings are seen matriculating and adults have their shingles on display, it provides a very visceral lesson for observers. When youth are exposed to appropriate models that are valued in their family or community they attend to those models. Attendance breeds retention of information and increases the capacity to reproduce the modeled behaviors when proper motivation is available. As a result of poor educational attainment in many communities, youth get a variety of models, but few are of academic excellence. As long as adults continue to fail in the academic arena children will have fewer and fewer models of academic achievers to emulate. To make maters worse, these same youth are subsequently bombarded by models that provide

motivation against academic achievement and success. Suddenly communities are stricken with examples where life’s successes are attributed to all but the rigors of academic attainment and successful matriculation. People begin to celebrate the anti-academic and the thug. The athlete, the hustler and the entertainer become the monolithic roles to model. When families and communities have more models for youth that embrace intellectual prowess and promote academic success and engagement, value systems shift with greater facility. In the many and varied spaces where adult academic attainment is low, children get the message of what their system values and it rarely includes academia. The result is very clear as we see children focused on the trappings of quick, non-sustainable financial rewards that rarely require focused training and almost never provide long term financial security. As we look to improve academic outcomes for future youth, we must be sure to focus on the less obvious factors that influence academic success. Factors like adult academic achievement may be equally or even more valuable than the most commonly studied ones. Fixing this problem however requires a multitiered approach employing systems that speak to one another using strength-based, culturally competent paradigms. Supporting Black Males continued from page 40

school experience. Educational Psychologist, 28(4), p. 341-356. Shockley, K.G. (2008). The miseducation of black children. Chicago, Illinois African American Images. Toldson, I.A., Lewis, C.W. (2012). Challenge the status quo: Academic success among school-age african-american males. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. University System of Georgia (2011). Recruiting, retaining and graduating black male students. Retrieved online from http://www.usg.edu/aami/ U.S. Census Bureau (2012). U.S. census bureau

projections show a slower growing, older, more diverse nation a half century from now. Retrieved online from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/arch ives/population/cb12-243.html. Wright, B.W. (2009). Racial-ethnic identity, academic achievement, and african american males: A review of the literature. The Journal of Negro Education, 78(2), 123-134. Males in Higher Education continued from page 58

Publishing. 3. Harper, S.R. (2012). Black male student success in higher education: A report from the National Black Male College Achievement Study. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education 3. Frazier, V. & Rhoden, E. (2011). Review: Black American males in higher education: Diminishing proportion. Journal of African American males in Education. Vol. 2, Issue 2. 4. Gasman, M. (2012). Black male student success in higher education: Implications for HBCUs. Innovations: Insights and commentary on higher education Fraternities continued from page 64

fraternity. Soon after the first committee meeting, Taylor, Morse, and Brown chose 9 associates to assist them with the creation of the fraternity. Those men were the first charter members of the organization. On January 9, 1914, the permanent organization of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was established in the Bowen Room of the12th Street Y.M.C.A Building in Washington, D.C. On April 15, 1914, the Board of Deans at Howard University officially recognized Phi Beta Sigma and the following week The University Reporter, Howard University's student publication, made known the news. On September 19, 1963, at Morgan State College (now Morgan State University), 12 students founded what is now the nation’s fifth largest, predominately African-American social service fraternity: The Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated ®. The Honorable founders Continue on page 101

Thurgood Marshall Academy Washington, D.C.

The late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once famously said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.� Though he was speaking about the road to true equality for all people, I have often attributed this quote to the role of education in America, particularly public education for K-12 students. Despite the quickness with which our society has become accustomed to having everything, all at once, educational reform and progression is still a slow-turning gear in the great machine of time. The truth is that the face of K-12 education is in a constant state of change. Educators that have been in the field for several decades may notice that the speed at which changes in methodology and student population are taking place is on a high-speed course compared to the past. Many factors play into this but none as strongly as technological advancements. The Internet, wireless devices and improvements in communication all heighten the immediacy of information both within and without the classroom. This is both a blessing and a curse, of course. It is really too soon to tell if the first Internet-raised generations will fare better or worse in life and succeed on a global scale. The assumption is that technology equals improvement and I would argue that overall, it is a true statement. More access to information and a shrinking world can only lead to beneficial results for K-12 students. The children graduating from high school in the next decade will have a broader view of the world than ever before and that is thanks to traditional geographic boundaries becoming non-issues in communication, workforce and learning. I take no issue with the actual technology. It is great. Where I see existing and potential problems is in the indirect effects of technology on

K-12 Technology: Benefits and Drawbacks By Dr. Matthew Lynch (@lynch39083) the comprehension habits of our youngest learners. You have to look at the overall influence of rapidly advancing technology to realize how it is also an obstacle to K-12 classrooms. In its broadest sense, technology has totally transformed the way that our children view life. A recent study by Common Sense Media for children age eight or younger found that 72 percent have computer access at home. Television use is almost universal, with 98 percent of children in this age group having at least one at home and 10 percent reporting that theirs is kept on all the time. While television consumption by children is nothing new, programs targeted toward toddlers and even infants are on the rise. Consider cable and satellite television staple Baby First TV. The channel plays continuous programming aimed at infants and toddlers that is commercial free. I bring this up not to spark a debate about whether this type of television viewing is helpful or hurtful to developing youngsters; I mention it as an example of just how ingrained screen culture has become in the lives of our kids. The journal Pediatrics found that between the ages of birth and six, kids watch an hour-and-a-half television per day. These measurements do not even address indirect exposure, which puts the amount of time a television plays in the background at four hours per day for kids under the age of two. Love it or hate it, screen culture is a foundational element of the contemporary American childhood. As a result, our kids arrive at Kindergarten with an advanced idea of instant gratification. They know that any

game, program or form of communication is available at the touch of a button. This easy access to everything translates to the way that these children are programmed for learning, especially when moments of frustration arise. There is not a “quick fix” solution for everything but most children have limited firsthand experience with waiting. It has always been very difficult to keep the attention of students, particularly in the elementary set, but advancements like smartphones, tablets and Web sites directed at young learners have complicated this truth even more. Teachers and administrators today must find ways to keep students interested but not completely abandon tried-and-true methodology. Thus the great problem with technology takes its toll on K-12 classrooms across the nation. Phrases like “hitting the books” may soon be nonexistent as budgets for e-readers slowly chip away at the book budgets for school libraries. An electronic book has a lot of appeal: it is cheaper to manufacture, lighter to carry and even manages to reduce the carbon footprint of the student. Since students are so comfortable with touchscreen methods, it stands to reason that reading may actually come more easily when learned through an electronic device. The problem again is not that the technology harms the actual learning mechanics, but it leads to another issue altogether.

When was the last time you bought or borrowed a book, electronic or hard copy, just to admire the rhetoric? Have you ever found yourself reading simply because you enjoy grammar? Most of us would have different responses to why we read for leisure. Special interest. Excitement. Chance to escape reality. People that love to read have an interactive relationship with the material. Cracking open a fresh book is an experience unlike any others and is a reserved, special moment. Kids that are introduced to literature in the same way that they learn math problems, or have video calls with grandparents, or play noneducational games do not have the same reverence for reading because it is nothing special. I’ve heard the argument that it is not the delivery method but the content that matters in getting kids excited about reading but I’m not sure I’m biting. Again, this is an issue that is still too young to have definitive answers. It is just one area of the indirect impact of rapidly advancing technology that keeps me up at night. So what then is the answer? If technology is embraced by some and rejected by others, how can K-12 students be expected to know the right way to learn? It seems that the answers are about as clear as mud. I believe that technology has provided the swift kick that K-12 education has Continue on page 84

Living education everyday

By: Dr. Marcus Jackson (@TeachersInspire)

The Principal as a Meteorologist: The Impact of Weather on School Climate

research also states that pleasant weather improves people’s moods and heightens their cognitive abilities in the spring. The belief is that people are deprived of feel good weather during the winter months (Grohol 2008). This insight is vital information for principals, because by understanding the impact of seasonal change on teachers, it is easier for us to recognize the changes that will inevitably occur in the classroom. A teacher’s mood—good or bad directly affects instruction. Lethargic Lessons

As the Seasons Change, Teachers Change The seasonal changes are well underway; the initial excitement and chaos at the beginning of the school year is fading. I noticed that as the season brings in its autumnal colors and cooler temperatures, there is a noticeable climate shift in my students, faculty, and staff. In a 2005 study, Matthew Keller and his colleagues conducted three, independent studies on 605 participants. In examining the participants’ responses, they found a connection between mood, cognition, and the weather (Grohol 2008). They

concluded that pleasant weather, represented by a higher temperature or barometric pressure, produced a higher mood, better memory, and broadened cognitive style. Thusly, people were happier and more alert during the spring, because the time spent outside increased. However, the studies showed the converse effect for the other seasons. Oddly enough, hotter weather was associated with a lower, less jovial mood in the summer (Keller, et al. 2005). Keller (2005) and his associates’ results were consistent with findings on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); the SAD

At the beginning of the school year, when students and teachers are full of energy and enthusiasm— both seem prepared to take on any challenge the day, the month, or semester may bring. Students are eager to master every standard; they are eager to pass every pop quiz and every unit test, while teachers are prepared to differentiate instruction and deliver meaningful bellto-bell, student-centered lessons. However, many do not realize that the sunny skies, combined with the comfortable temperatures facilitate the conditions for them to remain in a constant state of homeostasis. Continue on page 87

Book List

The Warrior Principal: New Leadership for Urban Schools is a very provocative and unconventional approach to school leadership reform. It is a no nonsense school leadership philosophy that is results driven and outcome oriented. This unconventional combination will give principals insight on how to become more strategic, analytical, political, and rational when confronted with difficult situations and people within an urban school model. It is a marriage between the principalship and a military generalship; it’s the art of war meets the art of school administration. This book will inform aspiring and novice principals about what leading the change process is really like in difficult urban-public school settings, and sheds light on the types of administrative skills needed to be successful while spearheading change initiatives. It also describes the mental toughness, cunning, and strategic planning principals need in order to withstand external and internal pressures, and the various obstacles that could hinder the reform process. The ideologies discussed in the following pages are truly aligned to the duties and responsibilities of principals in today’s educational climate.

K-12 Technology continued from page 80

needed for decades to make the sweeping adjustments required to reach contemporary students and inspire education. I am just not sure yet which traditional teaching elements deserve to be clung to and which ones are meant to for the curb. The debate of how to best prepare our children for a lifetime of achievement is one that I believe deserves constant fueling in order to give K-12 students the best shot at academic, and life, success. Factor of Racial Politics in continued from page 61

elimination of the discipline. Schaefer Riley’s Higher Education reason for taking the position that she did? She was bothered by the titles of some of the graduate student dissertations she had read! The operative word here is “read.” Rather than actually taking the time to read or at the very least, familiarize herself with the work of these supposedly “unworthy” dissertations, (her defense was that she simply did not have the time to do so and as a blogger it was not her responsibility) she went on an unfounded, irresponsible personal attack, targeting Northwestern University graduate students, the department of African American Studies and those who scholarship is immersed in the field. After almost two weeks of intense commentary from both supporters and detractors (there was spirited debate on both sides) of her piece, the Chronicle of Higher Education decided to dismiss Riley for her ill-advised commentary. Not surprisingly, many conservatives (and some faux liberals) denounced her termination as a form of political correctness gone amuck. In another matter, the recent (arguably ongoing) racial crisis at UCLA that has long been simmering under the radar has finally engulfed the campus. Both faculty and students have vocally expressed experiences, feelings and incidents of isolation, marginalization and blatant disrespect from their peers. Within the past several weeks, a report was released making the case that administration officials did not adequately address complaints of faculty of color who claimed acts of discrimination. One particularly troubling incident was the situation of a well-respected physician at the University Medical School; Dr. Christian Head had his head superimposed onto a picture of a gorilla that was

depicted being sodomized by the department chairman. When he responded to such treatment, he was targeted and retaliated against. The distinguished doctor was eventually awarded 4.5 million dollars by a jury which found valid evidence of discrimination. The study found numerous other acts of racial intolerance and discrimination. Moreover, many civil rights groups and other parties are demanding that either California Attorney General Kamala Harris or the U.S. Justice department launch an investigation into these allegations. The fact is that racial harassment and hostility on college campuses is hardly new. There has always been fear and resistance to change from those who are comfortable with the status quo. Although it is somewhat ironic that this ever growing ethnically diverse nation seems to have certain members of its group who are highly dismissive, socially regressive and in some cases, violently resistant when it comes to racial inclusion and acceptance. Post-racialism, if there is such a thing, has not arrived. Such a hostile climate is unacceptable and has no place in our 21st century society. It is a situation that must be combated and defeated. My optimistic spirit demands it! Jenna Johnson, “Obama’s reelection sparks racially charged protest at Ole Miss,” Washington Post, November 7 2012 2

Nick De Santis “Hampden Sydney Student is Expelled over Racial Protest of Obama’s Win.” Chronicle of Higher Education. December 13, 2012 3

Yesha Callahan, “Ole Miss Crown Its First African American Homecoming Queen.” Clutch Magazine. October 15, 2012. 4

Naomi Schaefer Riley, “The Most Persuasive Case For Eliminating Black Studies,” The Chronicle Of Higher Education, April 30, 2012. 5

James Joyce, “Naomi Schaefer Riley and Mob Rule,” Outside the Beltway. May 10, 2012. 6

Hamilton Nolan, “When The Mob Has a Point, The Firing of Naomi Schaefer –Riley.” Gawker, May 9, 2012. Continue on page 87

We must look at our "HEALTH" as the gold mine from within. Taking care of ourselves is the rich contribution we pass along to a life where we can have an abundance of giving. That allows us to be with our family members and friends in their "Time" of need and "Times of joy. Jeffery Carter


Spirituality A man is no more a body than a driver is his car. While the bond is great the distinction remains. Thus my ethnicity can never out rank my spirituality. For I am man and God made me a spiritual being. Jacques Wigginton


Scott Jaschick, “To Be a Black Man at UCLA,” Inside Higher Education. November 11, 2013. 8

Anthony Bond, “Black Doctor Wins 4.5 Million Racial discrimination Lawsuit from UCLA Medical School.” Mail Online, July 19, 2013. 9

Stephen Ceaser, “Study Faults UCLA’s Handling of faculty Racial Bias Complaints,” Los Angels Times. October 18, 2013. The Principal as a Meteorologist continued from page 82

rainfall. As the season saps away a little more sunshine each day, and the climate continues to shift, teachers are often driving to and from school in the dark. Therefore, the amount of daylight a teacher sees during the autumn and winter months is greatly reduced. When the sun is out, most educators find themselves confined to their classrooms, with their students—who do not get the benefits of sunlight either. Teachers and students meander listlessly through the halls and through their lessons, unaware of how their lethargic moods are negatively impacting student achievement and personal efficacy. The change to the amount of sunlight one receives has a powerful impact one’s mood as well. A lack of direct light can cause depression; even if a teacher or student does not slip into depression, they often become more subdued. Possible Depression

The cooler winds blow the creativity and verve out of spunky students and talented teachers. As the fall settles in, so does a lethargic mood. The classroom is less energized, and educators and students show signs of lethargy. One can see the sadness in their countenance and demeanor. Students become restless during this time of year, and their good behavior wanes. They are less focused, and they are prone to make poor decisions. After analyzing three years of behavioral data at my school, I inferred that discipline referrals were highest beginning in November; they did not taper until March—when spring begins.

Teachers and students alike may exhibit symptoms of Sadness and Depression (SAD). SAD is characterized by feelings of sadness and depression that occur in the winter months when the temperatures drop and the days grow short. This specific form of depression is often associated with excessive eating or sleeping and weight gain. Women are twice to three times more likely to suffer from the winter blues than men.

Although autumn still offers sunshine on many days, the lower temperatures and the increased rainfall during the season has a negative impact on one’s mood. It causes teachers and students to be

Therefore, when teachers or students show signs of depression during the autumnal months, these symptoms could be weather-related. A depressed teacher may not have the ability to manage the classroom, so the stability that was present at the beginning of the year will disappear, and the positive mood of the classroom will dangerously shift during the winter months

melancholy. The entire school has a subdued feeling during the long, dreary seasons.

Self-help for Winter Depression

Light and Listlessness The days gradually shorten as seasonal changes continue to lower temperatures and increase

There are many effective treatments for winter depression, some of which can be selfadministered. Increasing one’s daily exposure to as much natural light as possible can be beneficial

to many. Whenever one has the opportunity to receive more sunlight during the winter months, one should do so. Simple things that are normally taken for granted such as taking a walk through the school during lunch, or while on planning; sitting next a window in a classroom; exercising near a window or even outdoors when possible, can help boost one’s energy

the alarm clock sounds. This will help to wake at the same time every morning; waking in light rather than darkness will lighten the mood, and set a positive tone for the day. According to Professor BaHammam (2013), the impact of cold weather on sleep is directly proportional to the time spent in the cold. Although the human body has

the day. Additional reasons for disturbed sleep are an increase in the need to urinate, and the secretion of stress hormones such as adrenaline. Due to the rise in the secretion of these hormones, there is a rise in the tension and stress, and even the blood pressure, which is otherwise at its lowest level during sleep. Therefore, one can conclude that cold weather changes the physiology of sleep. This further explains the rise in infections during winters (BaHammam 2013). Adjustments in the Learning Environment Though seasonal changes have an impact on schools, the impact is not always a problem. If teachers resist the urge to slip into a lethargic state, they can energize their learners by using the seemingly calm months to

during the autumnal equinox. Although it may be difficult to implement, maintaining a schedule that fosters a balance between work and one’s social life, as well as developing and sustaining a healthy lifestyle will keep the depression at bay until the vernal seasons. A regular pattern of sleep is paramount. Additionally, if possible set the bedroom lights on a timer; have them to come on a half-hour before

a mechanism for adapting to the weather, in general, we often experience unstable sleep during colder weather. It has been recorded that although the cold weather does not affect the deep sleep stages—two and four, it reduces the rapid eye movement (REM) stage. This REM stage is vital for the brain to relax, and this helps clear the mind as well as increase concentration during

intensify their focus on the curriculum. They are the meteorologist for their classrooms, as the principals are meteorologists for the entire school.

Approximately twelve weeks into the semester, I require my faculty to adjust their instruction. My teachers implement various differentiated instructional strategies such as curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, and tiered activities. These strategies help to break the monotony of teaching and Continue on page 97

Vanessa Bell Armstrong William Mcdowell William Becton and Friends Shirely Caesar Richard Smallwood Rev> Maceo Woods Patti Labelle Marvin Sapp Pastor Charles Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago Need Worship and Inspiration to start you Mary Mary week, listen no further. Mahalia Jackson Living Education eMagazine Internet Leontyne Price Radio Every Sunday for the best in LaShell Griffin gospel and inspirational music Joshua Rogers from yesterday and today’s artist. James Fortune and Frya Jason Nelson Isreal Houghton Issac Carree Hezakiah Walker Fred Hammond Kirk Franklin Earnest Pugh Donnie McCluKin Ashmont Hill ‌and so many more.

The Art of Healthier Living By Manny Rothmiller

section of the heart begins to die! The underlying cause of most heart attacks is a condition known as coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is characterized by atherosclerosis or narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Atherosclerosis is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries which, over time narrows and hardens the arteries. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fats, calcium and other substance found in the blood. If blockage occurs due to clots from the plaque inside of the arteries and isn’t treated quickly, then the area of the heart muscle that is affected by the blockage of the artery will eventually die. The death of this area of muscle can cause severe problems and in many cases result in death.

Number 2: Cancer

According to the latest statistics published by the Center of Disease Control (2011) the top four leading causes of death of males in the United States are: (1) Heart disease; (2) Cancer; (3) Chronic lower respiratory disease; and (4) Stroke.

Number 1: Heart Attack A heart attack occurs when oxygen-rich blood is blocked to a section of the heart and that

The National Cancer Institute defines cancer as: “Diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues” ₂ Cancer is not just 1 but a group of many diseases in which most cancers are named for the organ or cell type in which they originate. There are many known causes of cancer, including: genetics, tobacco use, sun and UV exposure, radiation exposure, exposure to environmental toxin, home and workplace carcinogens, diet and physical activity to name a few. Just as there are many known cases of cancer, there are many known steps that individuals can take to aid the prevention of cancer.

Number 3: Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease

Chronic lower respiratory disease consists of 3 major diseases: asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema. The major risk factors for these diseases are smoking (both direct and second hand), environmental exposures and genetic factors. Smoking cessation is the most effective way to reduce risks of chronic lower respiratory disease and it progression.

Number 4: Stroke The mechanism of a stroke is very similar to that of a heart except the blockage, or lack of blood flow, is to the brain instead of the heart. There are 2 major types of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes take place when a clot blocks blood flow to an area of the brain just as when a clot blocks blood flow to the heartthis area of the brain will die. Hemorrhagic clots happen when blood vessels in part of the brain burst which cause blood to leak into the brain. Many of the risk factors for strokes are the same as those for heart attacks which include, but are not limited to: age, gender, family history (those that we cannot change) and smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, physical inactivity, obesity, alcohol and drug use (those that can be controlled through life style). Health Narrative for Men While these aforementioned diseases and conditions claim far too many lives, I believe that awareness, preventive screenings, regular check-ups by doctors and lifestyle modifications can greatly reduce the amount of disease and

death experienced by men each year. My years of experience in personal fitness have led me to believe that most men have a sincere desire to live healthier lives. What prevents them from achieving their goals of an improved life of health falls into three categories; a lack of knowledge; self-discipline and the support to establish and maintain the level of self-discipline needed to be healthy. These three factors result in men engaging in behaviors that place them at risk for lifelong complications or worst death. Some men engage in unhealthy lifestyles due to depression, lack of knowledge, limited or no access to quality health care and for some it is simply by choice.

and conditions represents a cure. A majority of the diseases and conditions killing so many men each year can be avoided through education and some very simple and basic lifestyle modifications. Here are few of my suggestions for changing your health narrative and getting you back in the game and on the road to better and healthier you: 

Changing the Health Narrative for Men It is alarming that despite the wealth of statistics and information available regarding men’s health, men continue to have a life expectancy which is six year less than women in the United States. So how can men change their health care narrative? The best way is to develop a health care team and plan. This approach should include creating a relationship with a primary care physician and dentist as a means to monitor your well-being regularly. Secondly, develop your fitness plan; where possible incorporate a personal trainer. It is my professional belief that personal trainers, fitness instructors, nutritionists and other lifestyles coaches are as instrumental as many doctors, and pharmacists when it comes to improving men’s health. Professional trainers and fitness instructors are great sources for prevention when it comes to men health. The prevention of life changing or life ending diseases

Clean/ responsible eating: This simply means balanced sensible diets with limits on processed, sugary, high sodium, high fat, fried, and high calorie foods. Diets which are high in fiber, green leafy vegetables and some fruit. Limiting soda and even fruit juices while increasing water consumption. No fads or gimmicks, just to eat in a way to support a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained for a lifetime. Be active: Engage in exercise or activities with the purpose of improving your health. To increase your heart and breathing rate for at least a half hour most days of the week. Be sure to include both exercises to challenge your lungs and cardiovascular system as well as resistance training to improve muscle strength and endurance. Adjust the frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise as your body adjusts to the work load.

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight/ Body fat composition: Weight, which can fluctuate throughout the course of a day based on food consumption, hydration and many other factors are not as important as body fat composition. Body fat composition, on the other hand, is a ratio of fat to lean mass vs just an absolute number on the scale. Without getting too involved in numbers, it is generally accepted that a range of 10-22 percent for men and 20-32 percent for women is considered satisfactory for good health. Taking protective actions/ Managing Stress/ getting sleep: This includes hand washing, avoiding second hand smoke, wearing seat belts and helmets, having emergency supplies on hand. Balancing home, work and recreation Getting the proper amount of sleep for your body and lifestyle (6-8 hours). Getting support from friends and family or even professional counseling if needed. 

Scheduling regular check-ups: Being sure to get physicals on a regular basis, getting eye exams, dental exams and cleanings, suggested test at certain ages (prostate) and paying attention to changes in your body.

There are additional ways to prevent and lower the risk ofContinue these diseases and on page 94 condition, however

Re-Defining The Narrative By Telling The Truth Excerpts from


Days of BLACK Truth

Janks Morton “We need to take a moment and celebrate this historic achievement. If we begin to share our own stories, uplift and elevate our own accomplishments, then we are destined to continually see reruns of “Good Times”, ignorant and vile rappers, denigrating reality shows and numerous other skewed portrayals of modern ear Black Identity, further narrowing the perceptions of African Americans as the disproportionate exhibitors of least desirable behaviors in this society” Janks Morton Here are 4 of the many truths that Re-Define the Narrative about Black Men. (1) There are more BLACK MEN in college than in jail! In 2011, there were

1,456,762 BLACK MEN in COLLEGE compared to

793,653 black men in jail.

(2) There are more BLACK

MEN of COLLEGE age (18-24) in COLLEGE than in jail. The 2011 U.S Census Bureau Population Survey reported in 2011 there were

(3) According to the 2012 US Census Bureau, CPS, Annual Social and Economic Supplement 82.9 % of BLACK

MEN 18 years and older had earned a High School Diploma or GED

717,000 BLACK (4) MEN ages 18-24 The 2012 US Census Bureau, CPS, Annual Social enrolled in and Economic Supplement reported a total of COLLEGE 2, 181,000 BLACK MEN between the ages compared to 18-24 of that population 39.84% or 864,000 163,491 were enrolled in COLLEGE or had earned a incarcerated. post-secondary degree.

3 Questions about Young Men, Black Male Achievement and


Partnership: a Conversation with Mr. Shawn Dove Q1. Why are you so passionate about the work you are doing with organizations supporting young men of color?

I guess for starters, I am just a passionate person. Growing up I was passionate about comic books, basketball and Muhammad Ali and some other things and people that were not so passionate or good for me! I believe that everything that I’ve done in my life has been about God preparing me for this moment where I am leading the

Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement. It is more than work or career – it is ministry and calling. That is one source of my passion. Another source of my passion is that I’ve been blessed to be the beneficiary of a succession of some of the most amazing mentors a man could have hoped for in his life. They all seemed to have similar qualities of being passionate social entrepreneurship, risktaking, disruptive leaders who challenged the status quo. As mentors they all deposited passionate pieces of themselves in me and I live to reciprocate in others what they’ve done (and continue to do) in me. And not only did they help transform me through their individual leadership, but the organizations they led also served to make a profound difference in my life. Finally, though I could on and on answering this question, being a black boy born in the early 1960s I came of age to reap a bunch of benefits and opportunities that my ancestors fought and died for in their quest racial justice in America. This truth forces me to be passionate about my community and doing what I can to make transformative

contributions, particularly when it comes to black male achievement.

Q2. What are some of the factors impacting black male achievement and what are possible remedies? There are factors that both impede and advance black male achievement and while there is always the temptation to provide a litany or reasons (i.e. structural racism, fear, economic injustice, failing schools, misperceptions of others and of ourselves, etc.) why black males are not succeeding, the other side of the coin presents another litany why black males are achieving, so that’s the side of the coin I like to focus on here. Firstly, I am hopeful because there are a bunch of talented people, like yourself (Dr. Mike Robinson), who have devoted their lives and careers to making a difference. They are more connected and networked now than at any time in history to make a difference. For example, the Institute for Black Male Achievement – www.blackmaleachievement.org – has over 2,000 members across the country leading on this issue. I am also encouraged because leaders and organizations in the field of black male achievement are embracing the “power of positive deviance” – www.positivedeviance.org – which tells us that the solutions to the barriers to black male achievement resides right in the hands, heads and hearts of the young men whom we often paratroop down into their communities to save the day. My generation is not going to push us to the tipping point of black male achievement it is the generation of leaders who are 35 and under! I am also encouraged because there is a wave of

private and public interest and investments on this issue that could catalyze lasting change on this issue. The question is whether we will maximize this moment of momentum for the field of black


achievement. Our ability to hold ourselves, government, philanthropy and the private sector accountable will be the determining factor on whether we move forward or stand still. Q3. What is the charge or expectation for community, business and political leaders in addressing the plight of black males? I would begin with getting clear that black male

achievement is not a challenge that rests only on the backs of the black community. This is an American challenge – our country’s unfinished business that impacts all citizens in one way or another. This starts with determining in our collective hearts that black men and boys are valuable assets to our nation, their

communities and families, then doing all we can to get and keep this issue at the center of the public/private radar when it comes to addressing the America’s most intractable problems.

Collaboration is essential to this equation. Further, we much make a sustained investment in the leaders and organizations who have committed to address this issue. The infrastructure of the field needs support. We then need to step up our game with measuring and evaluating what truly works in the field of black male achievement, while stop doing the things that don’t work. How do we get a collective picture of what success looks like and what it will take to get there? That’s the

question we must answer. Lastly, we can’t give up. We have to keep pressing, producing, partnering and praying! The Art of Healthier Living Continued from page 91

direction! I suggest that you consult with professionals for more in-depth and personal plans. It is always recommended to consult with your doctor or physician before beginning or making drastic changes in your diet and exercise regimen.

When Educators Learn to Love Students continued from page 73

where no human had ever been before. Incidentally, that land being discussed had been home to Native Americans for quite some time. Individuals of African descent have made significant impacts in virtually every area of people activity imaginable. A simple internet search performed by an educator could open a whole new reality to them. More importantly, opening this realm would also open the door to imagination and exploration by the students they teach. Tools have been developed, such as the 365 Days of Black Facts Calendar found at www.Black365.US, which highlights an empowering fact in African American history every day. Imagine school’s across America reading the “Fact of the Day” every morning during morning announcements. Better yet, how about the English and History teachers opening class discussions or assigning daily journals based on the “Fact of the Day”. These are simple acts, which take no more than five minutes, and do not take away from core curriculum, which would have a huge impact. Continue on page 98

Education: Education is alchemic. Education can enhance an individual's creativity, competence, confidence, and self-image. Ultimately, education is a prescription for liberation. Charles Thomas, Jr.

3 Questions on Education and the Church From Reverend Dr. Robert Charles Scott of Central Baptist Church of St. Louis, Missouri Q1. How important is education in the community you serve? Education, as it relates to the African American community, is the door to opportunities that persons who are uneducated or under educated may not have the privilege of being able to knock on. African Americans have earned the opportunity to get a viable education because of our ancestors’ battles for equality prior to, during and since the civil rights struggle. I serve in St. Louis, Missouri and like many American urban centers; public education here is inadequately funded. In order to provide quality education that will result in more productive citizens, we must make education a higher priority and demonstrate the value of learning by aligning our ideals about education with our actions. For a start, we must: 1. Continue providing a historical context for our young people, emphasizing the great pains our fore parents endured to secure educational opportunity for later generations; and 2. Respect teaching as a profession and be intentional about standardizing educational requirements for teachers. The best way to demonstrate this is by paying public school teachers, staff and support personnel wages commensurate with other professions that require the same level of education and certification. We could learn a great deal from other countries. For example, Finland has one of the top educational systems in the world and they do not “teach to the test” as we do. In addition, in that country educators’ salaries are on par with

physicians’ and attorneys’ pay. These are just two easy things our country should do to help our student become better prepared to compete globally. Q2. To what extent do you believe the church has a role promoting (or not promoting) education in its community and how are you promoting educational excellence in St. Louis, Missouri? Education is personally important to me and taking advantage of educational opportunities is critical in the AfricanAmerican community. The Church must play an essential role in promoting education at all levels as well as assisting the institutions and supporting the educators. When one thinks about what God wants us to have – an abundant life – it is one that is holistic. The Church not only deals with the spiritual aspects of an individual, but also the physical, financial, social, emotional and the relational qualities, too. Education is the tool that shapes and engages persons in transforming their minds in order to transform their lives. That transformation is the result of being exposed to different thoughts, precepts and concepts, which allows for a person to grow mentally, emotionally, financially and socially. So, the Church Continue on page 98

The Principal as a Meteorologist continued from page 88

learning. Though the teachers implement these strategies throughout the year, we monitor them administratively during the colder months to ensure that the teachers are meeting the needs of all learners. We provide in-house professional development to ensure the fidelity of the implementation process. In doing so, we have seen great success, because we inspect what we expect and we get results. Teachers are students do not become complacent, but rather they remain energized throughout the year. The teachers capitalize on the moodaltering weather, because though the students are calmer, they are still sponges—they absorb this quality, core instruction, and they digest it, because it is delivered in manageable bits. This slight change has greatly impacted are summative

assessment scores, because students are teachers form great habits during the long, cold months, and by January—it feels like spring. They returned renewed, as they were at the beginning of the year, and they are ready to take on the new semester, and all its challenges. Furthermore, my administrative team is more nurturing during the winter months. We offer more incentives, such as free blue passes for teachers; we only

require that they wear a school shirt or sweatshirt. Not only do they feel more relaxed, but insidiously, we bolster morale and school spirit! Our stakeholders see this, and they realize that we work as a cohesive unit. Some other incentives are our winter potlucks; teachers are naturally competitive, so they get in their kitchens and bake, steam, broil, and we break bread—together, as a family. For the students, we host an annual fall festival, complete

with cotton candy and pony rides. What a joy to see the students enjoying themselves; they do not even realize the added health benefit of the sun’s vitamin D! We also have Homecoming Week to foster their school spirit. These high-energy days keep us on our toes, but more importantly, they allow the students an opportunity to be expressive. The Chief Meteorologist The perceptive principal will be a consummate meteorologist—one who will recognize that the changes in the educational climate are the result of the shifts in weather. By understanding the changes that will inevitably take place in students and teachers, the principal can implement incentive programs, offer more recognition, and be more supportive during the dreary seasons. This will help to allay autumnal anxiety and winter woes; the insightful principal will boost morale and foster intrinsic motivation in teachers and students that will produce positive, extrinsic results. References BaHammam, A. (nd). The effects of cold weather on sleep. Retrieved on November 18, 2013, from http://www.alnoum.com/index.php/en /encrecord/getEncRecord/513/492 Grohol, J. (2008). Weather can change your mood. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives /2008/11/09/weather-can-change-yourmood.

Keller, M.C., et al. (2005). A warm heart and a clear head: The Contingent Effects of Weather on Mood and Cognition. Psychological Science,

16(9),724-731. 3 Questions on Education continued from page 96

has a very important role in helping people in our congregations and in the community to realize the potential God has placed in them and encouraging and supporting their educational pursuits in one way of doing that. At Central Baptist Church in St. Louis we promote educational excellence in a variety of ways. For many years our church has awarded scholarships to regular age and non-traditional students to pursue post-secondary education. In addition, Central sponsors an after school tutorial program for middle school children, which we provide in partnership with the St. Louis Public School system. Students are assisted with reading and other core requirements, as well as social readiness and study skills. Through the program, students improve their reading levels and test scores as well as enhance their self-worth. Traditionally, our church has been a supporter of the local UNCF annual fundraising campaign. More recently our youth ministry has added a seminar held on a series of Saturdays to help high school students improve their performance on standardized tests. Beyond these efforts, I have joined a coalition of local clergy to help facilitate dialog between parents and school administrators. These conversations address issues surrounding the recent inter-district transfers of students to accredited districts from unaccredited ones. Parents must be vigilant advocates, particularly in the black community, to ensure our children receive the best education available. When Educators Learn to Love Students continued from page 94

If a teacher has a “problem student” whose only “problem” is that he or she talks too much, that child’s objective is to be heard - not to be a nuisance. The teacher could declare that student is the class orator. As class orator, his or her job

is to read the assignment’s instructions aloud and make other important announcements to the class. Another educational tool that can have a huge impact in classrooms is the Conscious Quotations Audio Experience found at www.ConsciousQuotations.com. This CD contains 52 quotations from some of the leading minds in African American history set to some mellow jazz music. Imagine classrooms listening to, discussing, memorizing and reciting one of these quotations every week. Better yet, imagine the class orator putting one of these powerful quotations into a rap and teaching it to the class! Movement, music, and more motivation must be entered into the classroom. Say there is another “problem student” whose only “problem” is that he or she does not like to sit still - let him or her move. The teacher should declare that student the class runner. Whenever papers need to be distributed in class, or documents need to be sent to the office, these are tasks for the class runner. When one changes how they look at a thing, then and only then, the thing changes. Essentially, there are three steps that any educator who is serious about developing their knowledge base of other cultures will take. 1) Ascertain knowledge of the characteristics and contributions of the culture one is attempting to connect with. 2) Take a moment and learn from the community, families and students. 3) Affirm perspectives and contributions students from diverse backgrounds make. While these steps may sound complex, with a little effort, they are attainable by anyone. Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps and see their practical application. 1) Ascertain knowledge of the characteristics and contributions of the culture one is attempting to connect with. This involves learning how a group communicates. Finding out if an elevated volume while speaking is a sign of hostility or merely excitement is important. Do the people of that community oftentimes look someone in authority in the eyes while speaking? If not, there may be no reason for the educator to feel frightened Continue on page 101

Do something healthy for your child. Get to know her teacher today.

Book List

Black Male(d): Peril and Promise in the Education of African American Males (Multicultural Education) (Multicultural Education Series) by Dr. Tyrone C. Howard Black Male(d): Peril and Promise in the Education of African American Males focuses on the historical, structural, educational, psychological, emotional, and cultural factors that influence the teaching and learning process for this student population. Howard discusses the potential and promise of Black males by highlighting their voices to generate new insights, create new knowledge, and identify useful practices that can significantly improve the schooling experiences and life chances of Black males. Howard calls for a paradigm shift in how we think about, teach, and study Black males. The book: examines current structures, ideologies, and practices that both help and hinder the educational and social prospects of Black males; translates frequently cited theoretical principles into research-based classroom practice; documents teacher-student interactions, student viewpoints, and discusses the troubling role that sports plays in the lives of many Black males; highlights voices and perspectives from Black male students about ways to improve their schooling experiences and outcomes; and identifies community-based programs that are helping Black males succeed.

When Educators Learn to Love Students continued on page 98

colonization of the imagination of youth, frustration, isolation and extermination. Too many of those responsible for protecting, serving, nurturing and educating students have failed them. Nevertheless, there is hope. Educators who are truly committed to doling out more passing grades than referrals, and building student’s spirits, as opposed to tearing them down, can. They will have to alter their way of thinking, become more familiar with the background and culture of the students they are supposed to teach, utilize tools like the 365 Days of Black Facts Calendar found at www.Black365.US and learn to love them. Fraternities continued from page 76

nor disrespected when a student is simply acting out cultural norms. 2) Take a moment and learn from the community, families and students. Quarterly, teachers could send out a syllabus featuring the upcoming curriculum and areas of focus. Along with this syllabus, teachers can send out a questionnaire requesting feedback from parents and students i.e.: Are you familiar with this subject? Are these topics important to you - why or why not? Do you have any information related to this topic that you would like to share? This opens the door to allowing the standard to be reinforced from a variety of angles. Additionally, it makes the learning environment more inclusive. Lastly, it shows an attempt to understand those whom the educators are tasked with educating. 3) Affirm perspectives and contributions students from diverse backgrounds make. This is done by demonstrating respect for practices of other cultures. Additionally, this can be done by acquiring knowledge about the ways of thinking and learning that other cultures have. Allowing students to apply their cultural practices, language and ways of communicating inside the classroom will certainly prove affective as well. A cycle has been set in motion: the

of Iota Phi Theta® were: Albert Hicks, Lonnie Spruill, Jr., Charles Briscoe, Frank Coakley, John Slade, Barron Willis, Webster Lewis, Charles Brown, Louis Hudnell, Charles Gregory, Elias Dorsey, Jr., and Michael Williams. Based upon their ages, heightened responsibilities, and increased level of maturity, this group had a slightly different perspective than the norm for college students. It was this perspective from which they established the Fraternity’s purpose, “The development and perpetuation of Scholarship, Leadership, Citizenship, Fidelity, and Brotherhood among Men.” Additionally, they conceived the Fraternity’s motto, “Building a Tradition, Not Resting Upon One!” Smashing the Gap continued from page 71

(2001, 25). What’s worse is that the Boys and Girls Club youth had no idea of how ill-equipped they were for what they were to face in the future. Part of what this group of ten and twelve year olds did not yet know was that what the prevailing notion of a solution to the problems which faced them, the boutique academies and charter schools that are popping up all around our nation’s urban centers that offer, and sometimes

go as far as to guarantee college access, for the most part, operate with a critical flaw. A philosophical tenet of these programs is that they operate from a deficit perspective and set out to fill in the cracks left by an antiquated and dysfunctional public school system.

necessarily the one who knows how to do high school or college work (the smartest students or the hardest working students) who get into college; it is the one who knows (or whose parents know) how to get into college who gets into college, and all that goes with it.

By attempting to make up for the deficits created by a traditional public school education, the boutique academies may perhaps bring the students up from a minus five to a break-even point of being on grade level. The students are prepared to pass the state administered high


school standard tests and leave high school having obtained the high school level content. Unfortunately, while the boutique academies are busy trying to play catch up, everyone else is busy getting ahead. In the words of a Baltimore City high school teacher, “so much emphasis is placed on the HSAs (prepping to show that students have mastered the high school level content) that we let students leave school illprepared for the SATs (the college entry gateway test).” That was when I really got it. Families with means purchase SAT and ACT test prep tutoring for amounts approaching $7,000 and beyond. Their children are not necessarily smarter; they just have more access to resources. They can and do also purchase consulting services to get a competitive advantage for getting into college. For example, Elizabeth Wissner-Gross works as an educational consultant, to families that can afford her services, putting together plans to get their children into the top colleges. These plans ideally begin during the summer after seventh grade. As the adage goes: it is not the one who knows how to do the job who necessarily gets the job; it is the one who knows how to get the job who gets the job. Well, in the case of college access, part of the answer is that it is not

On the other hand, as much as there is a process that prepares children from certain socio-economic groups to be successful, there is a process that prepares children from other socio-economic groups for something else. That second process I refer to as institutionalization. Several years ago a bright and inquisitive student engaged me in a conversation. He wondered aloud about his group of four friends growing up together, why three went on to college and one was locked up. He excitedly concluded that the one that had been locked up must have been “institutionalized” the first time he was locked up and that that initial period of incarceration set the stage for his friend’s future periods of incarceration. Although I could not put my finger on it right away, I felt that there was something wrong with the conclusion he drew. After spending some time in reflection, I recalled Brown’s words from Manchild in Harlem, and the answer came to me. Perhaps being institutionalized was not necessarily what happened after someone was locked up. I wondered if it was wrong to think that being locked up was where the process of institutionalization begins. For some, the process began when they internalized the totality of negative expectations held by society. Institutionalization is a long, slow process full of many micro-insults and assaults on the psyche, which do not necessarily come as a result of being locked up. To the contrary, the first period of

incarceration is often the logical result of hopes being dashed, dreams being tarnished, and the spirit being broken. The institution is not the prison, but, in far too many instances, it is the society. Similarly, when it comes to education, the process that leads to academic failure begins long before the student drops out of school. The children at the Boys and Girls Club did not know what they were missing. They blithely set goals, without a real understanding of what it would take for them to reach those goals and not only what obstacles they would face in the future, but what experiences they have already had in their short lives that have already put them on a track that led them away from the goals they espoused. For the vast majority of urban and underprivileged and under resourced children, when we fail to show them the blueprint, we set them up for failure. But for them the notion of putting together five-year plans during the summer after seventh grade would be futile. For many of them, if they have not already dropped out of school, the damage may be too severe to correct in such a short time. Or, almost as bad, were they able to gain admission to a college of some sort, then the years of remedial coursework necessary often doubles the time it takes to complete a degree and proves to discourage many from persisting. Building the Ladder My conclusion then is that for this segment of the population, instead of a five-year plan, what they and their parents need is more akin to a fifteen-year plan, beginning before they even enter kindergarten. This fifteen-year plan would start out as college bound, and all academic activity would be college prep instead allowing them to drift onto the “Peddler Prep” track and then attempting to clean up a mess after it has been made. It prevents the mess from being made in the first place. Realization There was something disturbingly similar in the responses from the 10 and 12 year olds and

those of the sub-set who gave Post Race Consciousness responses. As I struggled to make sense of the student’s responses and of my reaction to them, I was reminded of how Ivey, et.al. (2007) presented their adaptation of Paulo Freire’s concept “conscientizacao” (critical consciousness) in a model suited for therapy and counseling. In his seminal work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire (1970) identified the stages that individuals must pass through as they move from operating solely in the service of, and interests of others, to having a healthy full developed self-interest. Ivey, et al. catalogued five levels of consciousness ranging from naïve to realization, which I have summarized below: 1. Naïve Consciousness (dispossessed) persons blame themselves for their condition and do not see themselves in a broader social/historical context. They exist in a culture of silence. 2. Identify with the Oppressor - people find in “other” (the oppressor) their model of personhood. 3. Anger - as people become more aware of how their current situations are affected by racism and sexism from both the present and the past, they tend to become angry. 4. Reflection - reflect on oneself as a cultural being. 5. Self-in-Relation - Realization of more complex and healthier forms of personal identity According to Freire’s continuum, individuals move from naïve consciousness on one end to realization, or self-in-relation, on the other. The participants in my study who gave the responses that were categorized as “post race consciousness” seemed to have been stuck somewhere between stage one and stage two on the continuum. The solution is to develop the capacity for students to operate at the highest level of existence; for students, parents, teachers, and for society-at-large to transcend the pitfalls of race (or class, or gender) based thinking. Smashing the Gap is a roadmap to that future.

It is a handbook for parents and educators who are tired of “waiting for superman,” and for those who understand that if there are going to be any superheroes that come their rescue it will be regular everyday folks who are involved in the day-to-day lives of those children who are most impacted by schools that are not responsive to their needs. Those children need advocates to help them navigate what is arguably the most important factor determining the quality of their lives long term—the quality of their education. Those advocates need success strategies, and Smashing the Gap not only provides them with those strategies it also provides a blueprint of what the finished product could look like. This book is for those individuals who are ready to reclaim power over their schools and communities. Smashing the Gap is a call to action for those who realize what is at stake when the quality of a child’s education is at risk. Interview with Marco Clark continued from page 68

5 grade levels behind in reading. I am proud to say that when we received our DC assessment scores this year and this was the first year that the assessment scores counted for our school. We were able to take our students reading on grade level from 22% to 52%. The teachers and staff along with the students were dedicated to improving academically. LEeM: What teaching methods did you use to increase student performance? Dr. Clark: Our most effective method was the implementation of Saturday School. We also used supplemental programs such as Test Our Kids.com (http://www.testourkids.com/). This is an online reading program; it is similar to Rosetta Stone. The program does not allow students to move on to the next area until they mastered their current level. This process has allowed us to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges and more importantly develop the solutions that will have a positive impact on our students. We are confident with the knowledge we have gained about our students we will see another increase in reading scores and we expect to get our percentages into the

majority range. LEeM: What do you say to those who do not support the charter school concept? Dr. Clark: They have a right to their opinion. My question is why not support something that is working in a lot of areas? I also ask; why not support something that you do not have to experience yourself? Individuals who are making these decisions have already graduated from high school and have experienced their once in a lifetime K12 education. How are they able to speak for what a child has experienced and what they have to endure? It should be all about students? It is my contention, if you are so against choice in public school education and you are so confident in the traditional public school setting; then why are you so angry at the challenge that you are faced with because of the charter and other transformative school structures? Why do you need to monopolize the landscape if you are not afraid of something? If I am not afraid of anything; then I do not have a concern if they exist or not. LEeM: How did you get buy-in for your school from parents, community, public officials and other stakeholders in the community when you brought the idea of opening a charter school? Dr. Clark: I was able to garner buy-in because I went into the community and asked what they wanted in a school. I wanted to know their expectations. I spent time with the students of the community and I asked what they wanted in a school. My engagement also allowed me to discuss my vision for Richard Wright Public Charter School with local political figures. It was important to hear what they wanted. I wanted to capture their views and opinions; if we were going to secure their support. My primary question to all the community constituents was what did they want in a school? Several of the political leaders in the community were aware of my work as an administrator at another charter school; their understanding of my work provided a level of comfort which resulted in support for my vision of the Richard Wright Public Charter School. LEeM: How difficult was it to open a school? Continue on page 107

For the Lover in You We asked women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s what were their favorite romance ballads and artist. Brothers, here is a lover’s music playlist that will stand the test of time.

 Don't Change: MusiqSoulChild:  Nothing in the World Could Make Me Love You More Than I Do: Nat “King” Cole  All of Me: John Legend...  Hello: Lionel Richie  The Night I Fell in Love: Luther Vandross  A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening: Johnny Mathis  Adore: Prince  End of the Road: Boyz to Men  Make It Last Forever: Keith Sweet  Can You Feel Me: Anthony Hamilton  Missing You: Case  Anniversary: Toni, Tony, Tone`  I'd Give Anything: Gerald Levert  Back Tight: Jahiem  Anything by Maxwell  Mona Lisa: Nat “King” Cole

African American Women Impacting Lives of African American Men

Dr. Jacquetta M. Chatman Dr. Jacquetta M. Chatman, is the founder and CEO Mothers of Black Boys, Inc. (MOBB, Inc.) is taking a strong stance to resolving the issues of black males and the achievement gap. This innovative organization was conceived in 2010 while writing her dissertation, which focused on black male achievement. Through extensive research she has found the results of her investigation depressing and overwhelming. There are many contributing factors that impede the growth and development of black males. Many of them begin in their homes. She believes that a change can come, if parents stand up and be accountable.

Ouida Washington Ouida Washington, Founder, Co-Executive Director, The Beyond the Bricks Project (BTBP). BTBP is a media and international community engagement initiative to encourage and promote community based solutions to increase educational and social outcomes for school age Black males. The BTBP takes a grassroots approach to improving those outcomes by engaging community members including the young men themselves, educators, civic leaders, and other stakeholders to craft solutions to the challenges the young men face in their schools, neighborhoods, and cities. Importantly, we encourage the young men to examine their roles as leaders and community citizens.

Interview with Marco Clark Continued from page 104

Dr. Clark: It is a very challenging process and it is not for the faint of heart. The reality is there is a lot of work to get a school going. There is a lot of work to conceptualize building a school on paper and to really image what it is going to look like; without it being a dream. There was a lot of ground work that happened. I performed a great amount of community outreach, which encompassed conducting surveys. I spent an enormous amount of time talking with parents, community leaders, children and others before submitting an application. I needed to know the demands in certain areas of the communities and how to address their expectations. LEeM: What support systems did you have for such a big in challenge? Dr. Clark: I also traveled around the country to examine best practices for charter schools. My goal was to determine what programs and services would offer the best chance for the academic success of our students. The support system came via of several mentors. You cannot be a leader without people that you can lean on and talk to as a mentor. The greatest factor is that I have been in public school education and I am a trained certified teacher and administrator. I held those roles prior to opening the Richard

Wright Public Charter School. These experiences allowed me to become well vested in the work I was doing. Finally, I had a team of people who were seasoned, who assisted me throughout the entire process. LEeM: What advice would you give to aspiring educators who are considering starting a charter school? Dr. Clark: Ultimately the mission of your school has to be bigger than all those things I just mentioned. Your mission is that end result that you are working so hard to accomplish. You have to know that you are going to have to be steadfast and grounded in your goal. It is not going to be an easy road. If you are opening a charter school for the money, forget about it, because it has to be about the mission of educating children. If you are thinking you are going to open a charter school like some believe that they are going to open a charter school and they are going to have this astronomical salary; that is not going to happen. If that is all you are opening a charter school for then you should not do it. The focus has to be “I believe I can change a population or I can work to help move a population of students in the right direction�. If this is not your focus, do not open a school!

Living education everyday


A man who aligns himself under God's rule, not only makes a major impact in his household, but he makes a major impact on the world. Let us all strive to be men of God and watch what happens to this country. George Stewart

Let’s Talk About It.

Educational Views Educational Views are a compilation of perspectives, opinions and thoughts from parents, educators, researchers and community leaders. These brief commentaries are intended to drive larger discussions on issues and challenges facing education. We welcome your view. If you have an interest in sharing your opinions, please contact Forest Of The Rain Productions at editor.forestoftherain@gmail.com

Nigel Alston, is the Founder and CEO of Nigel D. Alston & Associates, Inc. is a personal and professional network helping people perform better, communicate effectively and live intentionally. We guide individuals and groups toward their vision of success through information, inspiration and motivation. Nigel is also a popular motivational speaker, Dale Carnegie trainer, meeting facilitator, and columnist. He is known to encourage people to succeed and inspire them to act! In 2002 he received the Emory O. Jackson Best Column writing award from the National Newspaper Publishers Association for his column written on September 11, 2001: Today, I Cried. He is a local columnist for the Winston Salem Journal and appears on the Op Ed page every other Saturday. Nigel believes the future is waiting for you to tell it what you want. Make it a great day. Look for the bright spots. Enjoy the journey.

Wayne Beckles, Ed.D.,. is a Catalyst and his mission is to transform the lives of one million people. He has served as the Principal and Senior Associate with Culture of Success, Inc. and Qwaku and Associates, respectively. These firms specialized in mentoring and parent training and Dr. Beckles designed, developed and delivered their protocols for mentoring for youth, training for parents and professional development for

educators. Dr. Beckles holds a Doctorate in Education and a Master of Arts in Social Service Administration. He has received certifications in the provision of technical assistance and training from the Community Policing Consortium, HUD’s Division of Public and Indian Housing, and the University of Maryland’s Graduate School of Social Work. He has provided services to numerous organizations including schools, community agencies, prisons, and religious institutions.

Jamaal Brown, is a father, educator, speaker, philanthropist and creator of the 365 Days of Black Facts calendar.

Jeffery Carter Angel Cintron, Jr., is a 7th grade social studies teacher at Charles Hart Middle School. He currently serves as the chair of the social studies department, GeoPlunge Coach, DC SCORES assistant coach, and a 2014 CityBridge Foundation Education Innovation Fellow. Prior to teaching at Charles Hart Middle School, Angel taught introductory undergraduate courses in international relations in Leiden, The Netherlands, and worked as a teaching assistant to the Department Head of International Relations in Webster University, The Netherlands. He received a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University, and a

Master’s degree in International Relations from Webster University, The Netherlands. Outside of work, Angel writes about education reform policies and teaching on his blog, title “Ward8DCTeacher.”

Marco Clark, Ed.D., is a well-respected author, public speaker, and veteran in the world of urban education is Founder and CEO of the Richard Wright Public Charter School in Washington, DC. He is a partner with Broken Promise Schools, an organization that seeks to restore trust in public school education. Dr. Clark is also co-Founder of the Chicago based student-leadership program, Peace through Urban Exchange, an organization dedicated to building tomorrow's leaders, through education. Dr. Clark strongly believes that illiteracy is the civil rights issue of today and the catastrophe of tomorrow, if it's left uncorrected. Dr. Clark was featured in JET magazine discussing his battles with reading as a youth and how he overcame it. He has also been featured in the Huffington Post as an educational reformer who continues to fight illiteracy.

Alex Dorsey, Ph.D., has more than 20 years of experience in education and mental health. He holds a Ph.D. in Human Services, with a specialization in Counseling, from Walden University. He is currently a Pupil Personnel Worker with Prince George's County

Public Schools.

Shawn Dove, is the Campaign Manager, Campaign for Black Male Achievement with the Open Society Institute. Shawn Dove joined the Open Society Institute in May 2008 as manager of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. He has more than two decades of leadership experience in youth development, education, and community building. Dove served as one of the founding directors of New York City’s Beacon School movement in the early 1990s while working with the Harlem Children’s Zone. As creative communities director for the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts he led a national initiative that partnered community schools of the arts and public housing communities in 20 U.S. cities.

Ramon Goings, is currently the Program Coordinator for the Sherman STEM Scholars Program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). As the program coordinator, he provides support for STEM major pre-service teachers, student teachers, and Sherman Alumni teachers who teach throughout the State of Maryland. Prior to working with UMBC, Ramon served as a Special Education teacher in various Maryland and Connecticut public school systems. While serving as an intern with The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Ramon did a

significant amount of work around African American Male initiatives including: father and mentor engagement and African American teacher recruitment. Ramon is completing his doctoral degree at Morgan State University majoring in Urban Educational Leadership. visit www.ramongoings.com.

Donald Grant, Ph.D., is a socio cultural analyst with a long history in academia, child welfare administration, social service advocacy, cultural competence, workshop development and curriculum design. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Hampton University and a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. Dr Grant is currently Executive Director and CEO of Mindful Training Solutions LLC, providing nationwide strength based training and consultation services for universities,

Tony Hanes, Anthony Chavon Hanes' is an American writer/poet from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Tony 'Anthony' was first published in a 1998 Anthology titled Guided Voices and has since released several books of his own throughout the 2000’s, most noticeably An Abstract World Vol.2 Emotions which consist of short stories, poetry, and haiku. Tony has been noted as being a very diverse writer who touches a variety of topics such as Politics, Religion, Love,

Social Issues, Erotica, and History.

Malik S. Henfield, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator in both the School Counseling and Counselor Education & Supervision programs in the College of Education at The University of Iowa. Professor Henfield's scholarship situates Black students' lived experiences in a broader ecological milieu to critically explore how their personal, social, academic and career success is impeded and enhanced by school, family and community contexts. His work has focused on the experiences of Black students formally identified as gifted and his latest projects focus more exclusively on cultural (e.g., race, gender, and social class, etc.) factors associated with developing talent maximization mindsets among Black males--in urban contexts, particularly.

Marcus Jackson, Ed.D., is an elementary school principal in Atlanta who has received widespread acclaim for being the author of a children’s book that emphasizes the power of positive reinforcement in promoting student performance. His book, “Because My Teacher Said I Can,” has received high praise in reviews. He received a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southwestern State University, where he was initiated into the fraternity at the Lambda Psi Chapter in

1992. He earned an Ed.D in educational administration and supervision from Nova Southeastern University. Currently, he serves as the principal at Pointe South Elementary School in Riverdale, Ga.

Stephen Jones, Ph.D., is an outstanding educator who has spent his career helping students to succeed in K-12 schools and college. He has been instrumental in helping thousands of students realize their dream to earn a degree. He has authored the Seven Secrets of How to Study series, including "Mapping Your Strategy for Better Grades", the "Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide" and the "Ultimate Scholarship Guide." The books provide an understanding of the seven pillars that are essential to learning effective study techniques. Dr. Jones is a Philadelphia public school graduate. He holds Ph.D. and B.S. degrees from Widener University, a Master of Education from Howard University, and a Master of Business Administration from Philadelphia University.

Victor A. Kwansa, Esq., received a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University in 2008, and he graduated from Harvard Law School in 2011. As a Yale undergraduate, Victor worked for the afterschool program, Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP). He also participated in a Yale-student group

which provided afterschool programming for 8th grade students at a local charter school. While at Yale, Victor also co-founded a poetry group which performed on campus and at local public schools. As a Harvard Law student, he participated in Street Law workshops for juvenile offenders. During his law school summers, Victor interned for the Afterschool Alliance and the “I Have A Dream” Foundation, a nonprofit organization that prepares low-income children for college. His poetry has been published in Essence magazine, and in 2010 he was featured in The Root’s online gallery of up-andcoming artists and entrepreneurs. Victor’s website features his original, youth-oriented poetry regarding social justice issues and historical figures

Matthew Lynch, Ph.D., is a professor of education. He is committed to developing outstanding K-12 teachers. He believes that highly qualified and passionate educators are the best instruments to improve education in K-12 settings. His articles and op eds appear regularly in the Huffington Post, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Education Week, Education World and Living Education eMagazine. Dr. Lynch has written numerous peer-reviewed articles, which have appeared in academic journals such as AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice, International Journal, and others. In addition, he has authored and

edited a number of books on school reform and school leadership. Visit his website at www.drmattlynch.com for more information.

Reginald McDaniel, is a 24 year veteran mathematics teacher of the Jefferson County Public School System in Louisville, KY of which he is a product. Reginald’s professional career has included working as a Senior Lecture of Mathematics for the Transitional Studies Program for 12 years at the University of Louisville, Program Coordinator for seven of the 17 summers he worked for the Lincoln Foundation Math and Science Program, and has taught math for the Upward Bound Program Reginald holds a B.A. in Mathematics Education (1987) from Kentucky State University and a Masters’ Degree in Education with a concentration in Mathematics (1995) from the University of Louisville. Reginald is the owner of SKOOL DAZE, a screen printing business which he started in 2002. Reginald is the father of three children, Janee’, Reginald Jr., and JaMahl, and is married to his college sweetheart, Tammie Hamilton-McDaniel

Matt Prestbury, is a native of Baltimore, MD. He attended Baltimore County and City Public schools and graduated from the fine Baltimore City College High School in 1994. Mr. Prestbury is a husband and the father of four children; one girl and three young men. He works in

the Baltimore City Public School system, where he has worked as a para-educator for the past seven and one-half years, six in Kindergarten and one in the 5th grade. Mr. Prestbury has also worked in the field of fatherhood in various capacities over the past 12 years. He has organized Meetups for fathers which have included informational conferences for fathers, as well as social gatherings with fathers and their children. He has also organized and hosted Black Fathers Rock, a concert series featuring artists who are fathers, which he has dubbed “a celebration of fatherhood through hip-hop and spoken word.” Mr. Prestbury created the group Black Fathers on Facebook, which serves as a resource to fathers, father-figures, and even to mothers across the world. Along with his former Black Fathers Radio talk show co-host Kevin James, Mr. Prestbury created Black Father’s Day of Engagement and Advocacy, which is celebrated annually on the third Saturday of March.

academic units (regional centers in Massachusetts, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, California and Puerto); schools of education, management, psychology and counseling, undergraduate studies); library services; academic technology; and licensure and state authorizations. He is also responsible for fostering faculty and student scholarship; oversee program budgets for operational excellence; assure compliance with the academic requirements of accrediting and state agencies, and other support services.

Elwood Robinson, Ph.D., is the Provost and

Reverend Dr. Robert Charles Scott, is a

Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Cambridge College. As the chief academic officer, provides strategic and operational leadership to the College as it rises to new levels of academic achievement. Dr. Robinson is responsible for managing academic planning, academic program review, and overseeing the College’s academic administrators;

Manny Rothmiller, is an accredited professional and personal trainer. He is committed to providing purpose, motivation and direction to every client by assisting with their health and fitness goals. Manny combines his education, sports and fitness combines his education, sports and fitness background, along with his personal philosophies to provide clients with a wide variety of health options.

native of Monticello, MS and a resident of St. Louis, MO. He is married to Pier Charisse Scott and they are the parents of Charis Jordyn Scott. He serves as the senior pastor of Central Baptist Church, one of the fastest growing churches and the second oldest African American Baptist church in St. Louis, MO with nearly 2000

disciples. Dr. Scott is a 1986 honor graduate of Monticello High School. He attended Jackson State University in Jackson, MS where he served his peers as president of the Student Government Association. In May 1991, he graduated with honors from JSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Pre-law. He pursued his seminary education at Duke University Divinity School, Durham, NC and graduated in 1994 with a Master of Divinity. He earned his doctoral degree (at the age of 29) from United Theological Seminary (Dayton, OH) in December 1997 under the mentorship of the Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker.

George Stewart, is a husband, father, writer, and an educator in a Title I school district. His experiences and insights have allowed him the opportunity to author his first book. George, contributes to national magazines/blogs, and speaks at major events. In the plans now is starting an afterschool program for at risk young men, writing his second book, and continuing to educate young men and those who work with young men all across the country. George believes that true success comes when we first realize that God created us all for a specific purpose and then do what we were created to do.

Dashawn Taylor, is an innovative and contemporary novelist. A New Jersey native and graduate of Rutgers

University. Dashawn’s art of storylines has been compared to today’s top sellers with an urban edgy style. His writing captivates both young and mature audiences. Dashawn’s work has been featured on BET, NBC, FOX, Essence Magazine, Don Diva Magazine, Real-Hiphop.com along with a number of online magazines and blogs. In 2009, Dashawn was nominated Best Male Author of the Year. Dashawn Taylor was a Finalist on BETs Ultimate Hustler - Reality TV Show hosted by Hip Hop CEO - Damon Dash. Dashawn is currently touring the nation with the 100k P.O.W.E.R Movement presented by Next Level Publishing.

Charles Thomas, Jr., is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, was a member of the Men’s basketball tea, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. Upon graduation, Charles was awarded the NAACP Senior of the Year, Knute-Rockne Scholar Athlete of the Year, and Arthur-Ashe Scholar Athlete of the Year awards. Charles continued his educational pursuits and earned his MBA from the University of Texas-San Antonio, and Master of Science in Organizational Negotiations and Alternative Dispute Resolution from Creighton University. He graduated with highest honors from both universities (Summa Cum Laude) and is a member of two separate scholastic national honor societies. Charles has a host

of advanced executive level certificates and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Organizational Behavior and Leadership Studies from Creighton University.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.co m, the largest African American marriage and parenting site on the web. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

Elwood Watson, Ph.D. is a Full Professor of History and African American Studies at East Tennessee State University. Dr. Watson has been at the institution since 1997. He is a native of Delaware. Dr. Watson enjoys reading, cooking, exercising and listening to music. His areas of specialty are in 20th Century Post World War II U.S. History, African American History, African American Studies, Gender Studies, Popular Culture and ethnographic studies.

Jacques Wigginton Eugene Williams, Jr. is an author, educator, speaker, and former child actor. His books and opinions have been featured in publications such as The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Detroit Free Press, Jet Magazine, and Sister 2 Sister Magazine. He

has been a guest panelist on CNN, BET Tonight w/Tavis Smiley, News Talk TV, In Person w/Maureen O'Boyle(NBC), and Rolonda. He has also been a featured guest on radio shows hosted by Joe Madison, Armstrong Williams, and Cathy Hughes. He received a B.A. in English from Emory University in 1991, and a M.Ed. in Education Leadership from The University of Mary Washington in 2007. He currently serves as a public school administrator in central Virginia. www.eugenewilliamsjr.com.

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