The Milwaukee Public School system may not have the best reputation, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t producing quality students. Last week, MPS announced that 108 MPS schools were awarded platinum, gold, silver or bronze for academic excellence and positive behavior by Wisconsin Rtl Center.
A student at Academy of Accelerated Learning spending his classroom time reading.
Wisconsin Rtl Center is an organization that helps schools put in place a research-based multi-tiered system of support, according to a press release.
According to Wisconsin Rtl Center’s website, “a fully-implemented system is equitable, and provides increasing levels of student supports for all content areas.” There are three categories to place in: mathematics, reading and behavior.
To place bronze in one of the categories, the school has to fully-implement the Rtl system in that area at a universal level for at least one year, and at least two years for silver. To place gold, the school must meet the requirements for bronze for at least two years in two of the categories. And, to place platinum, the school must meet the requirements for gold in all three categories for at least three years.
Out of the 108 schools, only one placed platinum: Academy of Accelerated Learning.
“We’re very system driven,” said principal of Academy of Accelerated Learning, Eric Rian.
Rian said their success didn’t happen overnight. Their system of learning was implemented around seven years ago.
According to Rian, the school provides its teachers with professional teaching development training.
Plus, the staff understand their students in a way that helps the teachers teach better which in turn helps the students learn more.
Rian was the first one to learn about the great news, and before announcing it to the school, he met with his staff the night before to tell them to their face. The next day, during school he announced to the students that they won platinum.
“It’s work over time,” said K5 teacher April Gagliano. “Every year you have to add another levelto become successful.”
Third-grader Samiya and second-grader David were ecstatic about the news because of their love for the school, and their teachers.
Samiya, David and their classmates were given an assignment to learn more about themselves, which meant talking to their relatives. Through this experience, both Samiya and David found out interesting facts about their family, and themselves.
“My experience is really great here,” said Samiya. “It [the school] gives you a lot of opportunities [to learn].
“There’s so much [many] ways to learn,” said David.
Rian said he’s not big on celebrating but he did get a great feeling inside when he got the news.
“We know what we do, but it’s nice to know someone else knows,” said Rian.
MADISON — State Superintendent Tony Evers made the following statement after signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa covering current and future work to improve educational outcomes for students.
“This agreement demonstrates our shared commitment to the kids of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Our MOU is one of the first of its kind between a state education agency and one of our state’s federally recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities. Making sure we have the relationships and formal systems in place puts us in a better position to serve our students. I want to thank President Joseph Wildcat Sr. and the members of his tribal community for working with us.”
Tour the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., with the Friends. Free tours begin at 11 a.m. each Saturday afternoon in the rotunda. Tour goers receive a coupon for a free book at the end of the tour in the Bookseller Store and Café. To arrange for a special tour call (414) 286-TOUR.
Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine On display Monday, April 30 – Saturday, June 9 Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Many histories have been written about medical care during the American Civil War, but the participation and contributions of African Americans as nurses, surgeons and hospital workers have often been overlooked. Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine looks at the men and women who served as surgeons and nurses and how their work as medical providers challenged the prescribed notions of race and gender. This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine with research assistance from The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
Somos Latinas Book Launch
Twenty-five Latina agents of change share their inspirational stories in Somos Latinas: Voices of Wisconsin
Latina Artists, co-edited by Andrea-Teresa Arenas, PhD and Eloisa Gómez who will speak at the event at the Mitchell Street Branch, 906 W. Historic Mitchell St., Tuesday, June 5, 6-7:30 p.m. Co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and Boswell Books. Books will be available for purchase.
Resume 101: First Steps to Building Your Resume
A resume has become a necessary tool in the world of job search and employment applications. Make it work to your advantage by learning what employers look for in a resumeand what style best markets your strengths.
Create a “ready to be typed” personal resume outline at this resume workshop at the Zablocki Branch, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave., Monday, June 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
This one-hour program lets you explore and connect with fellow learners at the Capitol Branch, 3969 N. 74th St., Tuesday, June 5, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Please call 414.286.3011 to register; a light lunch is provided. Eliminate Stress From Your Life: Learn simple, yet powerful techniques to quickly ease your mental and emotional distress in no more than 30-60 seconds.
Crosswords, Coloring & Contemplation
Perk up your afternoon by working on a crossword puzzle, a coloring sheet, or your own creative, contemplative project at the East Branch, 2320 N. Cramer St., Wednesday, June 6, 12-1:30 p.m. Beverages, crosswords, and coloring supplies provided by the library while supplies last.
Movies at Mitchell Street
Watch free movies twice monthly throughout the year at the Mitchell Street Branch, 9096 W. Historic Mitchell St., Wednesday, June 6, 5 p.m. Wednesday’s feature: Ferdinand (PG).
Prevent Stress From Affecting Your Health, Life and Productivity
Learn how stress affects you physiologically, physically, emotionally, and behaviorally at the East Branch, 2320 N. Cramer St., Wednesday, June 6, 6-7:30 p.m. Receive simple, yet powerful techniques to quickly ease your mental and emotional distress in no more than 30-60 seconds. Dr. Tony Piparo is an internationally bestselling author, speaker, coach and award-winning researcher.
Color Your Way to Calm
Color your way to calm at a drop-in coloring club for adults at the Zablocki Branch, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave., Thursday, June 7, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Coloring sheets, art supplies and hot tea will be provided.
Free citizenship classes presented by Voces de la Frontera at the Mitchell Street Branch, 906 W. Historic Mitchell St., Saturday, June 9, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Registration required. To be added to the wait list call Voces de la Frontera: 414-643-1620. Also June 16, 23, 30.
Active Adult: The Art of Poi Dancing
Poi is an art form that uses a set of two handheld tethered balls that you twirl around your body in beautiful patterns. Simple poi movements will improve your coordination, balance your bilateral motor skills, sharpen analytical skills, boost endurance, and enhance self-awareness. Learn Poi skills with Marilyn Besasie, Milwaukee’s most experienced instructor at the Tippecanoe Branch, 3912 S. Howell Ave., Saturday, June 9, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Please arrive early; class space is limited. Also June 16, 23.
Bring Your Own Device
Get help downloading FREE e-books, magazines, music and more! Bring your library card and device and a librarian will get you started.
Washington Park Branch, 2121 N. Sherman Blvd., Tuesday, June 5, 6-7 p.m. Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Saturday, June 9, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Vegetarian Cookbook Book Club
Plant-based diets are good for you! Try recipes at home, then discuss each cookbook with fellow food enthusiasts at the Tippecanoe Branch, 3912 S. Howell Ave., Wednesday, June 6, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Featuring reader’s choice of: The Inspired Vegan, Afro-Vegan, or Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry. Cookbooks are available to check out one month prior to discussion. No food will be prepared at meetings.
Beats & Rhymes Workshop
Interested but not sure where to begin? Experts from True Skool will be at the library to help you every step of the way. Plus, all the recording equipment, mixing technology, and software you’ll need to create your entry will be available for use. You can complete a small project within a two-hour workshop session or continue attending as many workshops as you’d like to further advance your skills and final project.
Atkinson Branch, 1960 W. Atkinson Ave., Thursday, June 7, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Capitol Branch, 3969 N. 74th St., Monday, June 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Tippecanoe Branch, 3912 S. Howell Ave., Friday, June 8, 2-4 p.m.
Washington Park Branch, 2121 N. Sherman Blvd., Thursday, June 7, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Zablocki Branch, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave., Thursday, June 9, 2-4 p.m.
Superheroes and Villians: Sketch and Discuss
Summer sizzles with superheroes including Black Panther, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and the Incredibles. Who is your favorite superhero? What makes a great superhero? Sketch and discuss your favorite character at the Center Street Branch, 2727 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Monday, June 4, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Scratch Sessions with DJ Bizzon
No matter your experience level, learn the fundamentals of DJing all the way to advanced techniques. Sessions include lessons on music selection, scratching and beat-matching, as well as event planning, promotion, and tips for becoming a professional DJ. Turntables and controllers and digital software such as Serato DJ and Traktor, will be available at the Mitchell Street Branch, Thursday, June 7, 3:30-5:30 p.m. If you have your own equipment, bring it along and continue your projects at home. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Sing-a-long Story Time
Hear stories and sing songs at this Saturday morning story time at the Bay View Branch, 2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Saturday, June 9, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Pajama Story Time
Families with young children are invited to have fun sharing stories, songs and rhymes designed to develop early literacy skills and encourage a love of reading. Come dressed in your coziest PJs and bring a stuffed animal friend to the East Branch, 2320 N. Cramer St., Monday, June 4, 6:30-7 p.m. Also June 11, 18, 25.
Playgroup With Stories
A 20-minute story time for children and their parents or guardian is followed by open play time with a variety of age-appropriate, educational toys.
Capitol Branch, 3969 N. 74th St., Thursday, June 7, 10:30-11:30 a.m. For children ages 2 and under with a parent or guardian. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Wednesday, June 6, 9:30-10:30 a.m. For children ages 2 and under with a parent or guardian. Session repeated at 10:45 a.m. Also June 13, 20, 27.
Playgroup With Stories (CONTINUED)
East Branch, 2320 N. Cramer St. Thursday, June 7, 10-11:30 a.m. For children ages 2 and under with a parent or guardian. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Mitchell Street Branch, 906 W. Historic Mitchell St., Thursday, June 7, 10:30-11:15 a.m. For children ages 1-4 with a parent or guardian. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Tippecanoe Branch, 3912 S. Howell Ave., Thursday, June 7, 10:30-11:30 a.m. For children ages 1 to 4 with a parent or guardian. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Villard Square Branch, 5190 N. 35th St., Thursday, June 7, 10:30-11:30 a.m. For children ages 1 to 4 with a parent or guardian. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Zablocki Branch, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave., Thursday, June 7, 10:30-11:30 a.m. For children ages 1 to 4 with a parent or guardian. Also June 14, 21, 28.
What’s the Scoop?
Celebrate the start of summer and enjoy an ice cream treat! Make a sundae or create your own unique flavor at the Villard Square Branch, 5190 N. 35th St., Tuesday, June 5, 4-5 p.m. Kids and teens welcome.
Saturdays at Central
Milwaukee Public Museum’s Digging Up Discoveries at the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Saturday, June 9, 10:30-11:15 a.m. Enter the mind of an archeologist! Participants will examine real artifacts from MPM’s education collection.
Saturday Afternoons at Central for ‘Tweens
All Things Space at the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Saturday, June 9, 2-3 p.m. Join the Milwaukee Public Museum as we investigate our corner of space and beyond! Learn how our understanding of the universe has changed over the years. Presented by MPM’s Educators.
Preschool Story Time
Preschoolers are invited for fun stories, songs, and finger plays designed to help them develop important literacy skills needed prior to learning how to read. Child care centers are welcome.
Atkinson Branch, 1960 W. Atkinson Ave., Thursday, June 7, 10:30-11:15 a.m. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Bay View Branch, 2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Thursday, June 7, 10:30-11:15 a.m. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Capitol Branch, 3969 N. 74th St., Thursday, June 7, 10-10:30 a.m. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Center Street Branch, 2727 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Monday, June 4, 4-4:30 p.m. Also June 11, 18, 25.
Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Tuesday, June 5, 10:30-11 a.m. Also June 12, 19, 26.
Martin Luther King Branch, 310 W. Locust St., Friday, June 8, 10-10:30 a.m. Also June 15, 22, 29.
Washington Park Branch, 2121 N. Sherman Blvd., Thursday, June 7, 10:30-11 a.m. Also June 14, 21, 28.
Upon reasonable notice, efforts will be made to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. For additional information or to request services contact the Library Director’s Office at (414) 286-3021, 286-2794 (FAX), or mail to Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233 Attn: Accommodation Request.
BOOKSELLER and COFFEE SHOP
Visit the Bookseller, the library’s used book store, located at Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., and R Café, the library’s coffee shop. Call 286.2142 for hours of service. ###
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, our community was under a full-fledged attack. Crack was in our streets, it was in our schools, it was in our parks, it was in our playgrounds, and for some, it was in our homes. The epidemic wasn’t just affecting one part of the community; this impacted the entire community, leaving sons without fathers, daughters without mothers, and parents, ultimately, alone.
But the carnage didn’t stop there. Policies enacted during the crack epidemic exacerbated the destruction. Children in South Los Angeles were ripped away from their parents and shipped off into the child welfare system, some to never see their parents, or their families, again. It was at the height of the crack epidemic when the number of kids in foster care exploded and the percentage of Black youth in the system skyrocketed.
Now, the country, not just our community, faces a new epidemic. Our child welfare system is already becoming increasingly populated due to the consequences of the opioid epidemic. The current crisis is starting to devastate families and our already over-worked and under-resourced child welfare system. This time, we must apply the lessons learned from the crack epidemic: if you want successful policy, you must include the affected communities in the formulation of new policy. We cannot afford to turn our backs on those impacted again.
At the end of this month, the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth will host its 7th annual Foster Youth Shadow Day, a program that brings foster youth from all over the country to meet and shadow the very Members of Congress who represent them in Washington, D.C.
No one knows more about the pitfalls of our nation’s child welfare system than those who grew up in it. These young people are travelling thousands of miles to come to D.C. to share their stories—both their challenges with abuse, trafficking, overmedication, or homelessness—as well as their successes with mentorship, adoption, family reunification, community activism and independent living.
The result of these visits is a better understanding of how to improve the child welfare system and fight against this epidemic. The FY 2018 omnibus bill that was passed earlier this year had the single biggest increase in investment in child welfare funding history along with a large investment in funds to combat the opioid crisis. Despite this progress, there will always be more work to be done and this month, I look forward to continuing this fight. National Foster Care Month is a month to honor the successes and challenges of the more than 400,000 foster youth across the country and to acknowledge the tireless efforts of those who work to improve outcomes for children in the child welfare system.
Making sure that all children have a permanent and loving home is not a Democrat or Republican issue – it should be an American priority. Our society is judged on how we treat the most vulnerable amongst us. We must invest in life improving foster care services, praise foster families, caregivers, and relatives for their selflessness to others, and continue to provide a hand up so that foster youth can realize their full potential.
Congresswoman Karen Bass represents California’s 37th Congressional District. She is the 2nd Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth. Follow her on Twitter at @RepKarenBass.
A while ago, I joined my Democratic colleagues on the state and federal level in expressing concerns about last year’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to repeal Net Neutrality rules. However, aside from the obvious reasons for alarm, I am also anxious about how this issue impacts social justice movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter.
The concept of net neutrality is that all searches on the internet should be treated the same and bars internet service providers from blocking, slowing, or giving preferential treatment to certain online sites, services or content. With the internet becoming such a household staple and commonly used public resource, the Obama administration believed we needed to treat it like other forms of telecommunications that have safeguards to protect free and open access to the public.
This week, a majority of the United States Senate agreed. In taking up a vote to repeal the FCC’s net neutrality rule changes, a bi-partisan group of federal legislators are trying to stop new rules put in place by the Trump administration from taking effect on June 12th. However, the Senate vote may be largely symbolic, as few expect Republicans in the U.S House of Representatives to even take up the measure. But make no mistake, this is a hugely important issue.
Net Neutrality ensures that the internet remains free and accessible in this country, with increased transparency that treats all content equally on the internet. However, Trump’s rules changes could result in groups that want to suppress sites dedicated to women’s rights, like #MeToo, censor or suppress these views on the internet. Women have been able to bypass male dominated industry “gatekeepers” and get their message out with a simple Facebookpost. Whether making a public statement or organizing a rally, we have clearly seen the impact of unfettered access to the internet. It is not impossible to imagine broadband providers favoring some content and slowing or blocking others that they find controversial.
Without doubt, social justice movements like #BlackLivesMatter found their voice, amplified their message and elevated their cause in great part through the use of social media. It took traditional media a long time to catch up to their calls for equity in treatment, while they were reaching millions around the world via the internet.
Additionally, Net Neutrality was meant to prevent large corporations from blocking access to certain websites and charging users higher rates to use what are called internet “fast lanes”. It was understood that we needed to create a level playing field for local businesses and small start-ups to allow them to compete in the global economy. Trump’s actions will likely hurt everyday Wisconsin entrepreneurs.
Given these concerns, there are states that are now drafting bills to create their own Net Neutrality protection legislation. Like the state of New York, I am exploring a bill to require state contracts only be awarded to internet service providers that are compliant with net neutrality guidelines. We have an obligation to protect our residents when the federal government won’t.
On Thursday, May 17th, marked an historic milestone in American history. Regrettably, most Americans were totally unaware of the 64th anniversary of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, in which the justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional.
Leon D. Young
Brown v. Board of Education was one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement and helped establish the precedent that “separate but-equal” education and other services were not, in fact, equal at all.
In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that racially segregated public facilities were legal, so long as the facilities for blacks and whites were equal. The ruling constitutionally sanctioned laws barring African Americans from sharing the same buses, schools and other public facilities as whites — known as “Jim Crow” laws — and established the “separate but equal” doctrine that would stand for the next six decades.
But by the early 1950s, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was working hard to challenge segregation laws in public schools and had filed lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs in states such as South Carolina, Virginia and Delaware. In the case that would become most famous, a plaintiff named Oliver Brown filed a class action suit against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, in 1951, after his daughter, Linda Brown, was denied entrance to Topeka’s all-white elementary schools.
In his lawsuit, Brown claimed that schools for black children were not equal to the white schools, and that segregation violated the so-called “equal protection clause” of the 14th Amendment, which holds that no state can “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The case went before the U.S. District Court in Kansas, which agreed that public school segregation had a “detrimental effect upon the colored children” and contributed to “a sense of inferiority,” but still upheld the “separate but equal” doctrine.
When Brown’s case and four other cases related to school segregation first came before the Supreme Court in 1952, the Court combined them into a single case under the name Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Thurgood Marshall, the head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, served as chief attorney for the plaintiffs. (Thirteen years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson would appoint Marshall as the first Black Supreme Court justice.)
At first, the justices were divided on how to rule on school segregation, with Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson holding the opinion that the Plessy verdict should stand. But in September 1953, before Brown v. Board of Education was to be heard, Vinson died, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower replaced him with Earl Warren, then governor of California.
Displaying considerable political skill and determination, the new chief justice succeeded in engineering a unanimous verdict against school segregation the following year.
In the decision, issued on May 17, 1954, Warren wrote that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place,” as segregated schools are “inherently unequal.” As a result, the Court ruled that the plaintiffs were being “deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.”
Although racial minorities have made several educational advancements since Brown v. Board of Education, the decision failed in a wholesale dismantling of school segregation. In New York City, for instance, more than half of public schools are reportedly at least 90 percent Black and Hispanic, and in Alabama nearly a quarter of black students attend a school with white enrollment of one percent or less.
Many civil rights advocates even point to what they believe is a “resegregation” trend. According to a report issued by the Economic Policy Institute, low-income black children are currently more racially and socioeconomically isolated than at any time since the 1980s.
By Dr. Harry L. Williams, (President and CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund)
Dr. Harry L. Williams, the president and CEO of TMCF, says that engagement with Republicans and the Trump Administration is working for the HBCU community.
A few months ago, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) was proud to welcome the presidents and chancellors from 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) to Washington, D.C. for the second annual HBCU Fly-In held in conjunction with the leadership of Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.), who are both members of the very important, bipartisan HBCU Caucus.
My experience as a former HBCU president and now leader of TMCF, working on behalf of our 47 publicly-supported HBCUs, gives me a broad perspective on the federal government’s partnership with HBCUs, as delivered through this event’s multiple listening sessions and direct engagement opportunities with members of Congress and senior leadership within the Trump Administration.
Thanks to the commitment of dozens of our HBCU presidents and chancellors who attended our inaugural convening and this year’s fly-in, we’re beginning to see major developments from several federal agencies looking to increase support for HBCUs and to create more opportunities for our scholars.
Thanks to our collective advocacy, several HBCUs that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 received total forgiveness of outstanding loans awarded for the restoration of their campuses in the hurricane’s aftermath. Southern University at New Orleans, Dillard University, Xavier University, and Tougaloo College are free of their repayment obligations on more than $300 million in federal loans, because of direct engagement with and action from this administration and congressional leadership on issues of critical importance to our HBCU’s, like this one.
Perhaps the most significant indicator of our growing partnership has been the achievement of level funding in the President’s FY’ 2019 budget proposal and within the recent Omnibus Appropriations Bills. For example, the FY’ 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill had major wins for HBCUs:
Pell Grant Maximum Award
FY’17 Funding Level: $5,920 (per student)
FY’18 Funding Level: $6,095 (+$175/increase of 2.96 percent)
Title III, Part B and F, Strengthening HBCUs Undergraduate Programs
FY’17 Funding Level: $244.6 million
FY’18 Funding Level: $279.6 million (+$34 million/increase of 14.3 percent)
Title III, Part B, Strengthening HBCUs Graduate Programs
FY’17 Funding Level: $63.2 million
FY’18 Funding Level: $72.3 million (+$9 million/increase of 14.3 percent)
Title III, Part A, Strengthening PBI Program
FY’17 Funding Level: $9.9 million
FY’18 Funding Level: $11.3 million (+$1.4 million/increase of 14.3 percent)
Title VII, Master’s Degree Program at HBCUs and PBIs
FY’17 Funding Level: $7.5 million
FY’18 Funding Level: $8.5million (+$1 million/increase of 14.3 percent)
We are cognizant that many lawmakers in the majority in Congress favor fiscal austerity to address budgetary issues, but in a legislative environment dominated by talks of budget cuts, critical HBCU funding lines were increased, which is a demonstrable return on our collective investment in bipartisan engagement.
Indeed, TMCF’s decision not to resist, but instead engage in a strategic way and bipartisan fashion on behalf of our nearly 300,000 HBCU students who need a voice in Congress and with the Trump Administration has borne fruit at many levels. I am optimistic that many of our presidents and chancellors departed the nation’s capital with a clearer sense of the propriety of this strategy given our mutual goals, and now having the benefit to witness the rewards of this advocacy effort. TMCF will not stop engaging with all of our federal partners, because bipartisan advocacy with the Congress and engagement with the Trump Administration is paying dividends for our nation’s HBCUs.
Dr. Harry L. Williams is the president & CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. Prior to joining TMCF, he spent eight years as president of Delaware State University. Follow him on Twitter at @DrHLWilliams.
It’s 2018 and America’s youth is showing the world how to use their voices in an impactful way. After the Parkland, FL shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, that killed 17 students and staff, students said enough is enough and decided to fight back.
March for Our Lives is a nationwide movement that was created by students that survived the shooting under the hashtag and name #neveragain. Students across the nation held their own versions of the march on March 24, to fight for stronger gun regulations to put an end to mass school shootings.
The largest march was in Washington D.C. with nearly 800,000 people in attendance, according to NBC news. Like the rest of the nation, Milwaukee had its own version with 12,000 people, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
There wasn’t an age limit or race issue when it came to this march. Everyone came together for one reason: to keep the youth safe.
March participant and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) student Alyssa Krieg said she just wants to feel safe.
“I don’t want to feel scared [and] I won’t be silenced,” said Krieg. “You can speak out and your thoughts will be valued.”
[/media-credit] Around the country, people are fighting for stronger gun regulations.
This was Krieg’s first march and she plans to continue participating in important matters because she understands the power of coming together, even if you’re considered a child.
The march started at the County Courthouse and ended at City Hall. There was music playing throughout the march unless a speaker was at the podium. Seventeen white bags with the names of the Parkland victims sat on the stairs of the county jail as the crowd chanted for change.
Speaker and Rufus King junior Tatiana Washington encouraged her peers to speak louder and for the adults to listen.
“What adults fail to realize, we are just getting started. Our age does not limit our power,” said Washington. “I am urging you to vote responsibly because we are scared for our lives.”
The entire march lasted around four hours with thousands of signs being lifted high in the air.
Matt Flynn, who is running for the office of Governor, said things won’t improve until legislature changes.
“As long as the Republicans are in power nothing’s going to change,” said Flynn.
There are three things that he says needs to happen before things get better: ban assault weapons, eliminate gun shows and better background checks.
Flynn isn’t the only person with power that agrees that change needs to happen when it comes to gun regulations.
Senior Vice President of the Milwaukee Bucks Alex Lasry says it’s time to stop listening to the adults and follow the youth.
“Look at what happens when we get all of the adults out the way and let the kids lead,” said Lasry. “What will the rest of us do now that we’ve been woken up?”
Some of the same students that participated in the march also attended another march four days later. Forty Wisconsin students marched 50 miles from Madison to Janesville, which is House Speak Paul Ryan’s hometown. The students called their movement 50 Miles More. It’s clear the youth are going straight to the people with power because that’s where change happens.
This isn’t the first-time youth have stood up for themselves, but this time, they won’t stop until change happens.
April 4 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, shot down on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
At the time, we had come to Memphis to support striking sanitation workers seeking a living wage and a union. Dr. King was focused on organizing a Poor People’s Campaign, an effort to bring people together across lines of race, religion and region to call on the country to address the grinding poverty of the day.
Fifty years later, poverty remains unfinished business. In Memphis, according to the authoritative 2017 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet compiled by Dr. Elena Delavega of the University of Memphis, nearly 27 percent of the population – more than one in four – is in poverty. A horrifying 45 percent of children live in poverty. They suffer from inadequate food, health care, insecure housing and impoverished schools.
Poverty has been going up among all races, except for people over 65, protected a bit by the earned benefits of Social Security and Medicare. Memphis is the poorest metropolitan area with a population over 1 million in the United States.
In the last years of his life, Dr. King turned his attention to the plague of war, poverty and continued racial injustice. He understood that the war on poverty had been lost in the jungles of Vietnam. The Civil Rights Movement had successfully eliminated legal segregation and won blacks the right to vote. Now it was time to turn to this unfinished business.
We should not let the trauma of his death divorce us from the drama of his life, nor the riots that came in reaction to erase the agenda that he put forth for action.
At the center of that agenda was a call grounded in the economic bill of rights that President Franklin D. Roosevelt put forth coming out of the Great Depression and World War II. Americans, he argued, had come to understand the need for a guarantee of basic opportunity: the right to a job at a living wage, the right to health care, to quality public education, to affordable housing, to a secure retirement.
Now, 50 years later, we should revive Dr. King’s mission, not simply honor his memory. During those years, African-Americans have experienced much progress and many reversals.
Over the last decades, blacks have suffered the ravages of mass incarceration and a racially biased criminal justice system. In 2008, African-Americans suffered the largest loss of personal wealth in the mortgage crisis and financial collapse.
Schools have been re-segregated as neighborhoods have grown more separated by race and class. New voter repression schemes have spread across the country. Gun violence wreaks the biggest toll among our poorest neighborhoods.
Through his life, Dr. King remained committed to non-violence. He sought to build an inter-racial coalition, openly disagreeing with those who championed black separatism or flirted with violence.
He would have been overjoyed at the young men and women organizing the massive protests against gun violence, building a diverse movement, making the connection between the horror of school shootings in the suburbs and street shootings in our cities. And he would have been thrilled to see his nine-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, rouse the crowd with her presence and her words: “My grandfather had a dream that his four little children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. I have a dream that enough is enough, and this should be a gun-free world, period.”
Now as we mark the 50th anniversary of his death, let us resurrect the mission of his life. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland set the tone, when he announced that the city would offer grants to the 14 living strikers from that time and establish a matching grant program to subsidize the retirement savings of active sanitation workers. He hopes to expand this to all city workers not covered by the public pension plan.
At the national level, we should act boldly. Social Security and Medicare have dramatically reduced poverty among the elderly. With a jobs-guarantee policy, a Medicare for All program, a $15 minimum wage, debt-free college and affordable child care, we could slash poverty, open up opportunity and lift hope across the country.
We have the resources; the only question is whether we have the will. That will take organizing, non-violent protests, voter registration and mobilization — a modern-day poor people’s campaign.
“We will not be silenced,” said the young leaders at the March for Our Lives. That surely is a necessary first step.
April 4 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, shot down on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. At the time, we had come to Memphis to support striking sanitation workers seeking a living wage and a union. Dr. King was focused on organizing a […]
Hundreds of teens flocked to the Washington Park Library Wednesday afternoon to participate in the Milwaukee Public Library’s Northside teen job fair. Over 15 employers and organizations such as Summerfest, City Year Milwaukee and the Milwaukee County Zoo had booths at the fair, many companies hiring summer interns or employees.
The Milwaukee Public Library regularly holds two job fairs for teens every spring, one on the Northside and one on the Southside. The library also held resume writing workshops and mock interview sessions leading up to the fair.
Elizabeth Lowrey of the Milwaukee Public Library helped organize the job fair. She said the library reaches out to many of the employers and organizations who were present at the event.
“We try to listen to the community, and what we heard is that teens need jobs and good experiences,” said Lowrey. “We are trying to make sure that teens have opportunities for them to learn and to grow.”
The teen job fair was held during spring break for the Milwaukee Public School System.
Tatiana Diaz, the Youth Arts Specialist for Artists Working in Education, came to the fair looking for summer interns. Artists Working in Education is a non-profit working to sponsor professional artists to help teach the youth in Milwaukee.
“The inner city is underserved when it comes to careers and education,” said Diaz. “So, us coming to them makes it easier.”
Another organization that was present at the event was the Milwaukee Social Development Commission, a Community Action Agency that serves low-income families in Milwaukee County. The SDC came to the fair to provide information about their programs, such as youth recreation opportunities and job preparation services.
The Goodwill Workforce Connection Center was also present. They attend multiple job fairs in the area every week, and often hire individuals in the community as young as age 16.
“I came here to stay active for the summer and to find a job that will keep me off the streets,” said Marcus, a high schooler from Milwaukee. “No one else will make me money, so I might as well get out there and work on my own.”