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Debunking Three Myths About Black Students

“No BS (Bad Stats): Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear About Black People”, is a new book from Howard University professor, Ivory A. Toldson. Leaving out the bad (“incomplete, poorly contextualized, usually negative and sometimes wrong”) stats, the book highlights and debunks myths regarding black students and is driven by data, research and anecdotes.

To learn more about Toldson’s book, read this article in the Washington Post that highlights three myths that are debunked.

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Traveling While Black

Roger Ross Williams, the first African American director to win an Oscar, premiered his first virtual reality (VR) documentary, Traveling While Black, at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019, in which the viewer starts their travel in the 1950s and moves through time up until present-day police violence.

“The VR documentary was based on a 2010 play called The Green Book which put a spotlight on America during the time of the Jim Crow laws. The play was based on a real-life road trip survival handbook published in 1936 by the same name that gave travel tips to help African-Americans avoid racist and potentially life-threatening establishments along their journey. The VR documentary is set in one of those ‘safe establishments’ listed in the Green Book, Ben’s Chili Bowl, in Washington D.C.”

To learn more about the film, check out the full story in Forbes.

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Leaders of Color Speak Out

“The Chronicle spoke with more than 25 leaders of color at nonprofits and foundations, people at different points in their careers, devoted to different causes across the country. The picture they paint isn’t pretty.

Leaders described feeling isolated, navigating difficult, racially fraught power dynamics with grant makers, and enduring affronts to their dignity — even having people touch their hair. In interview after interview, they talked about the need to prove themselves repeatedly.

‘It’s always about going above and beyond,’ says Angela Williams, CEO of Easterseals. ‘You can’t really afford mistakes because they’re not necessarily forgiven. It’s about dotting i’s, crossing t’s, and spending the extra time to prove that you deserve the position that you hold.'”

Read the full story here.

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A group of young trauma survivors, heal themselves to help others

“I attended the graduation of the previous class last year, who gave themselves a name: the Healers. They went on to work as peer specialists and community health-care workers. Sometimes, they are sent to a gunshot victim’s bedside to help them through their trauma. Others help navigate the maze of the behavioral health and health-care systems.

Too often, said Casey Chanton, a project manager at Drexel, those positions aren’t filled by young men of color, much less young men who have been through the kind of trauma their clients see. The peer project hopes to change that.

Meeting the Healers was such a powerful experience that I wanted to follow the next class — the third in as many years — who have decided to be called the Game Changers. (‘The game is designed for us to lose,’ said Michael Luna, 30, one of the class members. ‘We chose the Game Changers because we’re going to change that narrative.’) And that’s where I met Nasir, back in May, who was only just allowing himself to open up to his classmates.”

This opinion piece in The Philadelphia inquirer highlights the stories of members of the Game Changers, a class facilitated through Drexel University’s Community Health Worker Peer Project, that aims to train young men of color to identify and treat trauma.

Read the the full story here.

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The Black Census Project

The Black Census Project, a project from Black Futures Labs, aims to set the record straight.

“The Black Census is the largest survey of Black people conducted in the United States since Reconstruction. Launched in early 2018, the Black Census Project asked over 30,000 Black people about their experiences, views and opinions about politics, society and the opportunities and challenges facing Black communities and the nation.

The findings of the Black Census clarify the diversity of issues that Black people across this country care about and reveal tangible solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our communities.”

Read the full report.

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Morehouse College Graduates’ Student Loans to Be Paid Off

“This is my class, 2019 and my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”

Billionaire and founder Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith, pledged to pay off student loans for the entire graduating class of 2019 at Morehouse College. The announcement was made during Smith’s Morehouse College commencement speech, Sunday May 19, 2019, and it took the entire crowd, to include the college’s administration, by surprise.

Read the full story here in this article from the New York Times.

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Racial discrimination varies by education level, gender

“A majority of black adults say they have been discriminated against because of their race, but this varies by education.”

A Fact Tank article by Monica Anderson highlights discrimination patterns found in a new Pew Research Center survey as it relates to race, gender, and education level.

“Roughly eight-in-ten blacks with at least some college experience (81%) say they’ve experienced racial discrimination, at least from time to time, including 17% who say this happens regularly. Among blacks with a high school education or less, these shares are lower – 69% and 9%, respectively.”

Wanted: A Cure for Color-Blindness

“Policy makers and philanthropists often take a color-blind approach to education, calling for policies they believe will support “all” children. But suggesting all children have the same shot at opportunity is not borne out by the facts. Black students are 13 percent less likely to graduate high school than their white peers, and black youth represent nearly one-third of all homeless youth — more than double the proportion of black youth in the overall population. This isn’t a coincidence.”

Read the full Philanthropy News Digest blog post from the co-founder of the Raikes Foundation and the former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Jeff Raikes.

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Black and Hispanic Male Educational Attainment

“Black and Hispanic males who earn a bachelor’s degree or higher hold an employment-population ratio of 77.3 percent and 83.7 percent, respectively. Of those who only have a high school diploma and no college, Black males had an employment-population ratio of 59.7 percent, while Hispanic males had a ratio of 78.2 percent.”

An article by Tiffany Pennamon in Diverse Issues in Higher Education highlights research on Black and Hispanic male educational attainment. New data from the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education at Clemson University indicates African-American and Hispanic males’ employment attainment can be improved if educators and policymakers implement “practices and policies that drive the underrepresented group’s educational persistence and completion”. The center released an infographic revealing some key research findings.

BMOC Executive Directors

Foundation Center South, a Service of Candid, in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site, is pleased to officially launch the application process for the 2019 Boys and Men of Color (BMOC) Executive Director Collaboration Circle (EDCC).

Applicants should have a deep commitment to the complex needs of boys and men of color, a desire to implement effective programming, and an understanding of the crucial need for creative collaboration. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate a proven history of success serving boys and men of color in the six county region of the Metro Atlanta area, which includes Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Rockdale counties.

The eight-month program will start on Friday, May 31. Applications must be received by Friday, May 3 at 12:00 pm. Finalists will be announced on Friday, May 10 via email. Mandatory program orientation is on Friday, May 17 from 10:00 am-1:00 pm. Apply online at