Tag: Wayne State University

Study by Professor Sheretta Butler-Barnes Shows Positive Racial Identity Improves Academic Performance of Young Black Women

Sheretta Butler-Barnes works with Girls Inc. Eureka! Program, which exposes high school girls of color to an intensive STEM-based curriculum. Her research addresses structural racism and inequalities in education and youth development.(photo via brownschool.wustl.edu)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to jbhe.com, a study led by Sheretta Butler-Barnes, an assistant professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis, finds that young African American women with strong racial identity are more likely to be academically curious and persistent in school.

Researchers surveyed 733 adolescent Black girls from middle and high schools across three socio-economically diverse school districts in the Midwest. The study found that positive perceptions of school climate and racial identity were associated with greater academic motivation. The researchers also learned that racial identity acted as a protective factor in hostile or negative school climates.

“Persons of color who have unhealthy racial identity beliefs tend to perform lower in school and have more symptoms of depression,” Dr. Butler-Barnes said. “In our study, we found that feeling positive about being Black, and feeling support and belonging at school may be especially important for African-American girls’ classroom engagement and curiosity. Feeling connected to the school may also work together with racial identity attitudes to improve academic outcomes.”

Dr. Butler-Barnes joined the Brown School in July 2012 as an assistant professor. Previously, Butler-Barnes was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan’s School of Education affiliated with the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context.

The study, “Promoting Resilience Among African American Girls: Racial Identity as a Protective Factor.” was published on the website of the journal Child Development. It may be accessed here.

To see Butler-Barnes speak about Equity in Education, click below:

R.I.P. Della Reese, 86, Singer and ‘Touched by an Angel’ Star

Ms. Reese performed in concert in 2001 as part of Detroit 300, a festival celebrating the city’s 300th anniversary. As a singer, she had her first big hit record in 1957, with the romantic ballad “And That Reminds Me.” (Credit: Paul Warner/Associated Press)

by Anita Gates via nytimes.com

Della Reese, the husky-voiced singer and actress who spent almost a decade playing a down-to-earth heavenly messenger on the CBS series “Touched by an Angel” and became an ordained minister in real life, died on Sunday night at her home in Encino, Calif. She was 86.

Her death was confirmed by her manager, Lynda Bensky. She did not specify the cause but said that Ms. Reese had diabetes.

Ms. Reese had been under contract to Jubilee Records for three years when, in 1957, she had her first big hit record, the romantic ballad “And That Reminds Me.”

Named the year’s most promising “girl singer” by Billboard, Variety and Cash Box, she was soon making regular appearances on the leading television variety shows of the day. Her biggest hit was “Don’t You Know” — adapted from “Musetta’s Waltz,” an aria from “La Bohème” — which reached No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart in 1959.

But she became best known as an actress, particularly in the sentimental drama series “Touched by an Angel,” which had its premiere in 1994 and evolved into one of prime time’s top-rated shows. It placed in the Nielsen Top 10 from 1996 to 2000, with an average of more than 20 million weekly viewers at one point.

In the show, Ms. Reese, by then in her 60s, was cast as Tess, a stern but loving supervisor of angels who guided a softhearted and less experienced angel, Monica (Roma Downey), in helping humans at crossroads in their lives. The series told reassuring stories of forgiveness and second chances with mild irreverence. (“You get your little angel butt back to the city,” Tess told Monica in one episode.)

Ms. Reese contended that no career switch was involved. “Every time I sang the blues, I wasn’t blue,” she said in a 2008 interview for the Archive of American Television, alluding to her emotional connections and delivery as a vocalist. “I was already acting.”

Ms. Reese’s religious faith was a major influence in her career. In 1996 she told The Chicago Tribune that she had consulted with God about whether to sign on for “Angel.” “As clearly as I hear you,” she said, “I heard him say: ‘You can do this. I want you to do this, and you can retire in 10 years.’ ”

The series lasted nine years, and she continued to act for another decade after that.

Continue reading “R.I.P. Della Reese, 86, Singer and ‘Touched by an Angel’ Star”

Big Sean Donates $25K to Help Alleviate Student Homelessness at Wayne State University

Big Sean (EMMA MCINTYRE VIA GETTY IMAGES)

article by Brennan Williams via huffingtonpost.com

Hip-hop artist Big Sean wants to “Change the World” by helping to alleviate student homelessness.

On behalf of his Sean Anderson Foundation, the Detroit-native has committed $25,000 to Wayne State University’s HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher) program to provide “short-term support” to students who struggle to meet the needs of foods, shelter and childcare, according to the school’s website.

“We see the HIGH Program as an important component of ensuring success at Wayne State, and we are proud to help strengthen its mission,” Myra Anderson, president of the Sean Anderson Foundation and Sean’s mother, said in a press release. “We aim to boost graduation rates at the university by providing support to students facing hardship.”

Founded in 2013 by Wayne State’s first lady, Jacqueline Wilson, the program aims to provide students with financial and education assistance and return participants to long-term stability. Wilson stated in the release that the foundation’s investment in the program shows “their commitment to assisting those in need.”

“With this gift, we will be able to help Wayne State students who are experiencing homelessness work toward a brighter future,” she added.

Sean’s latest benevolent act to his home state comes on the heels of his recent #HealFlintKids campaign to aid victims of Flint’s water crisis, and the foundation’s first annual “Uplifting Our Youth“ scholarship fundraiser in 2015.

For more info on Wayne State University’s HIGH program click here.

More Than $300,000 Raised In Five Days For James Robertson, Man Who Walks 21 Miles To And From Work

James-Robertson

The story of James Robertson, the 56-year-old man who walks 21 miles, five days a week, to and from Schain Mold & Engineering In Rochester Hills, Michigan, continues to inspire. His Honda broke down a decade ago and Detroit’s public transportation system doesn’t extend to that area. So every day, for the last 10 years, Robertson would walk to and from work–no matter the weather, and has yet to miss a day of work.

Bill Laitner of the Detroit Free Press shared Robertson’s story on Sunday, and a GoFundMe page was immediately put together by Wayne State University student, Evan Leedy. The title? Help James Robertson Get a Car. The goal on the page says $25,000, but as of the time of this report, the account has far exceeded that goal, bringing in $307,497 thanks to 11,781 people donating in only five days.

And now, Robertson, according to the Detroit Free Press, is preparing to get a shiny red, 2015 Ford Taurus. And the good news is, he won’t even have to use that $307,497 towards the purchase of it. A Suburban Ford dealership in Sterling Heights is giving Robertson the Taurus, because as manager Jim Elder put it, “There’s nobody who deserves it more than him.”

And Robertson’s story has even opened the eyes of CEO of Regional Transit Authority, Michael Ford, who said that residents of metro Detroit need a better way to get around:

“That story is heartbreaking and it’s not necessary. There’s more that we can do.”

Robertson is grateful for all the love and support, both financial and emotional, telling all those who have donated, “you guys are the heroes.”

article by Victoria Uwumarogie via madamenoire.com 

Story of James Robertson, Who Walks 42 Miles to Factory Job Every Day, Inspires Crowdfunding for New Car

ROBERTSON

When James Robertson’s (pictured) story appeared in the Detroit Free Press about how he walks 42 miles a day roundtrip to get to his $10.55 per hour factory job in Rochester Mills, Mich., because he can’t afford to buy a car, hordes of readers sprung in to action by contributing to a GoFundMe account so that he can buy a car, according to the New York Daily News.

The 56-year-old injection molder, who does not appear to be physically fit, has somehow managed to trek to his job every day since his car broke down back in 2005 to faithfully complete his 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. shift.

Since none of Robertson’s co-workers live near him, he is unable to hitch a ride to or from work. Robertson — who is yet to miss one day of work — begins his day at 8:00 am, even walking along some treacherous areas along the famed 8 Mile and through all kinds of bad weather with rain, sleet, hail or snow.

The Motor City received more than 16 inches of snow on Monday and not even this fact kept Robertson from walking his daily trek in order to maintain his perfect work attendance.  “I’ve had worse. This is reminiscent of those snowstorms last year, and I made it then,” he told The Detroit Free Press.

Since Robertson’s story broke, he has reportedly had hundreds of offers to donate free vehicles, bus tickets, bicycles, and even a daily chauffeur service.

Robertson’s GoFundMe account, which is now at nearly $50,000 in donations, was started by Evan Leedy, 19, a Wayne State University student, who was moved by the conscientious employee’s plight.  After Robertson’s article was published and Leedy read through various online comments from folks who wanted to reach out and help the man, Leedy decided that a fund would be just the right move, saying, “I just used my phone. I created the go-funding site and within an hour we had $2,000.  I set the goal at the beginning of $5,000.”

Leedy wants to make sure that Robertson receives all of the money so that he won’t be forced to share with others and that the money will also cover insurance and maintenance of the vehicle.

article by Ruth Manuel-Logan via newsone.com