RespectAbility Creates Harriet Tubman Fellowships with Ford Foundation Grant to Train Future Disability Advocates

Printarticle by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Washington, D.C. – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, recently announced that the Ford Foundation awarded the charity a grant, which has enabled RespectAbility to create and offer Harriett Tubman Fellowships to select participants in the National Leadership Program.

Tubman acquired traumatic brain injury when a slave owner hit her with a heavy metal weight leading to epileptic seizures and hypersomnia. Her work, while living as an individual with a disability, to free enslaved people and then for women’s suffrage is one of the great stories of how people with disabilities can help make a nation stronger and better.

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, published a groundbreaking op-ed in The New York Times called “Internships are Not a Privilege,” which discussed how the practice of requiring people to do unpaid internships before they get good policy jobs harms diversity efforts and discriminates against people who cannot afford to do them.

“We are thrilled to have this new transformative support,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility. “Thanks to the Ford Foundation, we will be able to strengthen and diversify our National Leadership Program for young leaders with and without disabilities who are going into public policy, advocacy, journalism, public relations and other leadership roles. Previously, many people who wanted to participate in the program could not do so because while it offered free lunch and a transportation stipend, it was an unpaid program. Now we will be able to pay $15 an hour to many of the fellows who otherwise could not afford to do such a leadership program.”

RespectAbility’s first Harriet Tubman Fellows are:

headshot of Eddie Ellis, an African American manEddie B. Ellis Jr.
 is a reentry advocate/consultant, trainer, mentor and motivational speaker. As a returning citizen with multiple disabilities and a person of color, Ellis’ experience provides invaluable insight and depth into his work that allows him to connect with and engage the community in which he serves. He recently  published in The Washington Post: “I am one of the success stories from D.C.’s second-chance law for young offenders.”

Ellis is the founder and CEO of OneBy1, an organization that works with communities and partners to provide youth development workshops and mentoring services to keep youth out of the corrections system and help those exiting the system stay out. Ellis also has written and published several resource guides offering service referrals, practical tips and inspiration to former offenders and parolees returning to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He works hard to ensure that individuals reentering society are well informed and sufficiently equipped to make better choices for themselves and that they are truly given a second chance.

headshot of Ming Canaday, a Chinese womanMing Canaday recently completed coursework for a master’s degree in the History of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This week she published a first-person piece in Foreign Policy: “I Was Rescued from a Chinese Orphanage. My Friend Wasn’t.” During her time in Europe, Canaday traveled extensively on the continent and to the University of Cape Town in South Africa to complete her dissertation research on contemporary attitudes towards rising Chinese migration to that region.

From 2009 to 2013, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, where she triple-majored in International Studies, Chinese, and Asian Studies. During her undergraduate career, Canaday spent time in China interning at Justice for All, a disability advocacy organization that serves individuals with disabilities as well as individuals with HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis B. After graduation, Canaday, who is a wheelchair user, pursued a certificate at the City University of New York in Disability Studies to better advocate for individuals with disabilities. She also completed a summer internship at Human Rights Watch, assisting with research on issues related to China’s policies toward people with physical or mental impairments. Continue reading

New UNCF Grant Program Funded by Lilly Endowment Helps Black College Graduates Prepare for Careers

article via jbhe.com

The United Negro College Fund’s Career Pathways Initiative has announced that 24 historically Black or predominantly Black colleges and universities will receive five-year grants totaling $35.3 million to better prepare their students for careers after college. The grants are made possible through funds from the Lilly Endowment.

UNCF CEO Dr. Michael Lomax (photo via AABE)

UNCF CEO Michael L. Lomax (photo via AABE)

The 24 colleges and universities will receive funds for programs to strengthen career advising and mentoring, enhance curriculum focused on career readiness, and to support integrated co-curricular engagement activities. The HBCUs will used the funds to develop a range of academic programs, student internships, industry partnerships, specialty certification programs, and faculty development initiatives.

Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of the UNCF, said that “these colleges and universities show promise in significantly addressing the urgent challenges facing African American college students and graduates. The Career Pathways Initiative will help ensure our graduates are prepared for and are hired into high-paying 21st-century jobs.”

A list of the colleges and universities receiving grants is available here.

To read full article, go to: Major New Grant Program Will Help Prepare Black College Graduates for Careers : The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Civil Rights Pioneer and Activist Julian Bond Honored by University of Virginia With an Endowed Chair

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with former NAACP chairman Julian Bond (L) during the NAACP 100th Anniversary convention in New York, July 16, 2009. (Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with former NAACP chairman Julian Bond (L) during the NAACP 100th Anniversary convention in New York, July 16, 2009. (Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

article via jbhe.com

The University of Virginia has announced that it is creating an endowed professorship to honor the late Julian Bond. Professor Bond, who was a civil rights pioneer and led the NAACP for 12 years, taught at the University of Virginia for 20 years. As a student at Morehouse College, Bond was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He later served as the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center and was a member of the Georgia State legislature for 20 years.

The Julian Bond Professorship of Civil Rights and Social Justice has been endowed with more than $3 million by 350 alumni and supporters. Ian B. Baucom, the Dean of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia notes that ““Julian Bond worked tirelessly to ensure civil rights were extended to all Americans. The Bond Professorship will help us attract the faculty talent we need to continue the civil rights education work that Julian Bond championed throughout his life.”

Teresa A. Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, added that “Julian Bond made significant contributions to the University of Virginia, teaching thousands of our students while serving as a mentor and role model for all of us. As a driving force for social change for more than a half-century, he had an extraordinary impact on our University, our community and our nation.”

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey Receives 2016 Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement

Natasha (photo via blog.bestamericanpoetry.com)

Natasha Trethewey (photo via blog.bestamericanpoetry.com)

article by jbhe.com

Natasha Trethewey, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University and the former poet laureate of the United States, received the 2016 Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement from the Academy of American Poets. The award comes with a $25,000 prize.

In announcing the award, Marilyn Nelson, chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, stated that “Natasha Trethewey’s poems plumb personal and national history to meditate on the conundrum of American racial identities. Whether writing of her complex family torn by tragic loss, or in diverse imagined voices from the more distant past, Trethewey encourages us to reflect, learn and experience delight. The wide scope of her interests and her adept handling of form have created an opus of classics both elegant and necessary.”

Professor Trethewey is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) and three other poetry collections. She is also the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (University of Georgia Press, 2010).

To read more, go to: https://www.jbhe.com/2016/09/natasha-trethewey-awarded-the-2016-fellowship-for-distinguished-poetic-achievement/

Georgetown University to Offer Preferred Admissions Status to Descendants of Slaves Sold in 1838 to Save Institution

Georgetown University in Washington, seen from across the Potomac River. The institution came under fire last fall, with students demanding justice for the slaves in the 1838 sale. Credit (Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times)

article by Rachel L. Swarns via nytimes.com

Nearly two centuries after Georgetown University profited from the sale of 272 slaves, it will embark on a series of steps to atone for the past, including awarding preferential status in the admissions process to descendants of the enslaved, officials said on Wednesday.

Georgetown’s president, John J. DeGioia, who will discuss the measures in a speech on Thursday afternoon, also plans to offer a formal apology, create an institute for the study of slavery and erect a public memorial to the slaves whose labor benefited the institution, including those who were sold in 1838 to help keep the university afloat.  

In addition, two campus buildings will be renamed — one for an enslaved African-American man and the other for an African-American educator who belonged to a Catholic religious order.  So far, Mr. DeGioia’s plan does not include a provision for offering scholarships to descendants, a possibility that was raised by a university committee whose recommendations were released on Thursday morning. The committee, however, stopped short of calling on the university to provide such financial assistance, as well as admissions preference.

To read full article, go to: Georgetown University Plans Steps to Atone for Slave Past – The New York Times

Los Angeles Neurosurgeon Dr. Lindsey Ross Accepted into Prestigious White House Fellows Program

Lindsay Moss (photo courtesy Cedars-Sinai)

Dr. Lindsey Ross (photo courtesy Cedars-Sinai)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center resident neurosurgeon Lindsey Ross, MD, a member of Cedars’ Neurological Surgery Residency Program, has won a coveted position as a 2016-2017 White House Fellow.

Ross will spend the next year in Washington DC working in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and participating in roundtable discussions with top government leaders, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

“I feel so grateful for this opportunity. I know I will learn a great deal about healthcare, leadership and policymaking next year, which I hope to bring back to Cedars-Sinai and the greater Los Angeles community that we serve,” Ross said.

The White House Fellows Program was founded in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to offer extraordinary leaders firsthand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. Graduates include former Secretary of State Colin Powell, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and CNN medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta.

Continue reading

T.I. Donates $35,000 to Education & Entrepreneurship Programs Benefitting Minority Youth

T.I. (PHOTO CREDIT: NICHOLAS HUNT/GETTY IMAGES)

article by Rachaell Davis via essence.com

T.I.’s TIDAL x Money Talk & Education Challenge has paid off in a huge and inspiring way for youth across the globe.

The initiative, which was first announced in May, encouraged young people to submit proposals detailing their plans to promote educational awareness within their communities through on and offline education-based fundraising efforts. The contest ran from May 4 through June 15.

According to a press release from TIDAL, 86 participants got involved for their chance to win the challenge and T.I. will now keep his promise by matching the $35,000 in funds raised by the six finalists selected. T.I.’s $35K combined with the $46K+ that was raised by all 86 challenge participants brings the total amount donated through the TIDAL x Money Talk Education Challenge to more than $81,000.

Details on the six finalists’ organizations are as follows:

Fate Loves The Fearless – Education and mentorship program to help Detroit youth excel in school; funds raised will go towards the renovation of a new facility.

Shaw Inspires “Teen-Preneurs”– In-school, after school, weekend and summer mentoring and leadership program for youth ages 11-25; funds raised will help the program expand to Baltimore and Charleston.

The Musicianship’s 2016 Summer Camp – Summer camp that provides music lessons for young people; funds will be used to buy instruments, supplies, support music instructors, and provide a college scholarship.

Generation You Employed –  Program that helps the unemployed youth with skills and job readiness in five countries (Kenya, India, Spain, Mexico and the United States); they plan to train one million unemployed young people and place them in jobs by 2020; funds raised will go towards expanding into Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.

To read full article, go to: http://www.essence.com/2016/07/28/ti-donates-35k-to-education-entrepreneurship-programs