November 30, 2011

Hey Black Child; New, National Black Male Leadership and Sustainability Institute; Apply for Paid Emma L. Bowen Internship; Baltimore Schools Start Saturday Schools, Black Parents Fight to Home School their Children;

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Hey Black Child!!!
 Hey Black Child
By Eugene Useni Perkins
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Hey Black Child,
Do you know who you are?
Who you really are?
Do you know you can be
what you want to be?
If you try to be
what you can be.
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Hey Black Child,
Do you know where you're going?
Where you're really going?
Do you know you can learn
what you want to learn?
If you try to learn
what you can learn?
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Hey Black Child,
Do you know you are strong?
I mean really strong?
Do you know you can do
what you want to do?
If you try to do
what you can do?
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Hey Black Child,
Be what you can be.
Learn what you must learn.
Do what you can do
and tomorrow your nation
will be what you want it to be.
Please call 773.285.9600 to contact Baba Eugene Useni Perkins
New, National Black Male Leadership and Sustainability Institute to Power Black Male Achievement in U.S.
Press Release
November 30, 2011 
Root Cause and Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement to Launch a Leadership and Sustainability Institute
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Photo provided by The Black Star Project
     BOSTON (November 29, 2011) -To bolster the efforts of advocates and organizations working to improve the life outcomes of black males in the U.S., Root Cause and the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement are launching a Leadership and Sustainability Institute. The project is meant to strengthen the capacity of the campaign's grantees and other nonprofit organizations working within the field of black male achievement.
     "It's going to take decades of effort to make real headway on the many difficult issues that black men and boys in this country face so we are acting with the fierce urgency of now," said Shawn Dove, the Campaign Director of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. "We're excited to partner with Root Cause on this important legacy: an institute that provides individuals and organizations working on black males achievement with the tools and support they need to ensure success." 
     Black men and boys face major racial disparities, unequal opportunities, and achievement gaps at nearly every stage in life including early childhood, primary and secondary school, college, and employment. For example, by 2004, 50 percent of black men in their 20s who lacked a college education were jobless, as were 72 percent of high school dropouts; 42 percent of all black boys have failed an entire grade at least once and only 18 percent of black men ages 20-21 are enrolled in college; the Bureau of Justice Statistics projected that 28 percent of black males in America will serve some time in state or federal prison.
     While over the years numerous leaders, advocates and organizations have made major strides in improving the life outcomes and achievements of black men and boys, sustaining a strong and consistent multi-decade focus on the issue has been a great struggle. An 1995 Urban Institute study found that of the 51 programs focused on black men and boys surveyed, after 10 years a quarter no longer existed and less than a quarter still maintained programming focusing on black males.
     Organizations working in the black male achievement field have faced, and continue to face, more obstacles compared to the overall nonprofit sector including:
  • The black male achievement field has been plagued by inconsistent philanthropic support.
  • Organizations often work in isolation from one another, may be working in segregated neighborhoods, and have lower access to networks and resources to help grow their impact. Efforts to coordinate the field are often short term, inconsistent, and unstructured.
  • Available growth and sustainability resources often lack sufficient cultural context or focus on organizations working in this field, and those few service providers that are dedicated to the field are often small, geographically scattered, have in consistent cash flow, slow growth of impact, and challenges to sustainability.
About the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement
The Campaign for Black Male Achievement is a multi-issue, cross-fund strategy to address black men and boys' exclusion from economic, social, educational, and political life in the United States. The campaign responds to a growing body of research that reveals the intensification of black males' negative life outcomes. It builds on U.S. Programs' mission to support individuals and organizations that nurture the development of a more democratic, just society, as well as the Open Society Foundations' expertise and past work to reduce incarceration, promote racial justice, and support youth engagement and leadership development.

About Root Cause
Founded in 2004, Root Cause began as a small nonprofit consulting practice for innovative nonprofits. Since then, Root Cause has grown to become a nationally recognized organization with 30 team members, an annual budget of $3 million. Root Cause has developed growth and sustainability plans for more than 130 nonprofit organizations that have subsequently raised more than $50 million.

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Media Contact
Tania Green
Apply for National Paid Internships from
The Emma L. Bowen Foundation
for Minority Youth Interested in Media
Great opportunity for high school seniors or college freshmen
The Emma L. Bowen Foundation
Celebrates 23 Years of Making a Difference!
Black Star Logo  The Emma L. Bowen Foundation was created in 1989 to prepare minority youth for careers in the media industry. The Foundation's program is unlike traditional intern programs in that students work for partner companies during summers and school breaks from the summer following their junior year in high school until they graduate from college. During the five-year program, students have an opportunity to learn many aspects of corporate operations and develop company-specific skills. Corporations have an opportunity to train and mentor students with the option of fulltime employment upon completion of their college degrees.
     Students earn an hourly salary and matching funds for college expenses. Academic excellence is also a key component of the program-students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average to remain in good standing. The Foundation staff works closely with corporate partners to monitor each student's academic and work progress. An annual student conference, a community service program and a mentoring program are also provided to further enhance the student's knowledge and experience. Resource guides for both students and corporate supervisors are provided to maximize the student's experience while in the program.
     This unique, multi-year program prepares a diverse group of talented young professionals to enter the workforce with specific job-related skills, knowledge of the corporate environment and a strong foundation for future advancement. Students work in a variety of functional areas (e.g., marketing, sales, finance, public relations, human resources, technology, news, web design, promotion, etc.) and rotate each summer. Currently, we have 260 active students nationwide and more than 450 graduates. Approximately 70-80 new students join the program each year; in 2011, 108 students were added.
Click here to learn more about the Emma L. Bowen Foundation.
Click Here to begin the application process for an internship.
"Those who control the education of the children, control the future of that race."
Phillip Jackson, The Black Star Project
And these Black parents take the education
of their children into their own hands!
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Join Rev. Catherine Jackson for the "Something Inside So Strong"
Leadership Conference
Join her
Saturday, December 3, 2011
2907 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, Illinois
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
This conference will honor Queen Mother Helen Sinclair, Mrs. June Porter, Sister's Camiella Williams, Dawn Valenti and Pamela Hester as women who truly are "Walking in My Season".
The Speakers for the Workshop are the following:

Session One
What Happens When Women Pray? - Sherrie Phillips
Am I My Sister's Keeper? - Gae-Lauren Schell
Session Two
How Do I Manage My Financial Success? - Cathy Clark
Taking Charge Of My Health -- "It's All About Me" - Donna Werner
Session Three
How Do I Move From the Valley To The Mountain? - Lynn Richardson
Just A Little Pot Of Oil -- "Starting My Business" - Small Women's Business Center
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 The Baltimore Public Schools Follows
the Lead of The Black Star Project
with System-wide Saturday School
More School Districts to Soon Follow with The Black Star Model
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City schools launching  
Saturday School initiative

Program was promised by Alonso after declining test scores

By Erica L. Green
November 22, 2011

The Baltimore school system will launch its first districtwide Saturday School initiative in December, a program promised by city schools CEO Andrés Alonso to help remedy declining scores on state tests.

The $3 million Saturday School program will run for 10 weeks, primarily targeting students who scored basic in math on the 2011 Maryland School Assessments. Students in grades four through eight are eligible for the program, which will offer between 20 and 30 hours of additional math instruction for up to 7,000 students before the 2012 assessments in March.

A principal whose school will host one of the programs said she is convinced that the additional instructional time will benefit her students.

"There's just not enough time in the regular instructional day," said Yorkwood Elementary Principal Deborah Sharpe. "I've always been a supporter of extended learning time because it adds more support, more time to build skills. And we're excited for Saturday because it will be a different approach, more inviting and fun."

Alonso had said that he would explore the concept of extending the school week after noting the first academic slide of his tenure this year.

The city had the largest drop in math in 2011, with 61 percent of city students in grades three through eight scoring proficient or advanced, a decrease of about 5 percentage points from 2010. The system also noted a 3 percentage point decline in reading.

While the concept of Saturday School was spurred by the test score decline, city school officials said that it's just one tool to help the system bounce back.

The program, during which students will spend two hours honing one math concept each session, is designed to supplement other efforts, such as strengthening the city's curriculum, and builds on what students are learning the rest of the school week.

School officials said they hadn't set any major goals for the program, besides providing the additional instruction and support to students who need it most.

"One Saturday learning program is not going to turn the whole system," said Sonja Santelises, chief academic officer for the school system. "So we don't want to make [the stakes] too high because if we're only dependent on Saturday school to reach the level we have to reach, we're going to be in trouble. This is important because we believe we have to partner with family and community in our students' achievement."

Michael Thomas, executive director of the George B. Thomas Sr. Learning Academy Inc., a nonprofit tutoring and mentoring program that has been operating Saturday school sites for Montgomery County students for 25 years, said that Baltimore's combination of certified teachers and efforts to build upon students' current lessons will give the system a good start.
Sixty-six elementary and middle schools have opted to host their own programs, and 600 teachers will receive professional development training to staff them. The district will work with community organizations to host four other central sites, which will offer students in grades six through eight instruction and enrichment programs.
The four central sites will begin on Dec. 3 with registration due Monday. Individual schools will set up their own schedules.

In addition to test scores, officials said, the initiative will help tackle the problem of elementary students not being adequately prepared for middle-school math.

About 1,100 fewer elementary school students - with fifth-graders experiencing the sharpest decline - passed the math assessment in 2011 compared with 2010, according to a presentation from the city's teaching and learning office, and about 60 more middle school students passed than the previous year.

The Saturday School model will mirror the city's summer school program, which focused on math and science skills and included instructional and hands-on or project-based learning. The summer school program has been lauded across the country and was recently awarded a highly competitive $3 million innovation grant from the federal government to continue.

"They're going to have to provide the support to make it work," Thomas said. "But, in terms of effectiveness, I think it's one additional tool that research says works. You have to start somewhere."

The Learning Academy serves about 3,000 students, half of whom are minority and poor, for 20 to 22 weeks at a time. Thomas said, the academy has posted test gains, though not consistently in the middle grades. He added that almost as important are the testimonials from students who had a boost of self-esteem as a result of the extra time.

"The academic piece is important, but we also have to build self-confidence," he said. "Getting kids to believe in themselves, and believe that if they work hard, they can do it: That may be most important."


Schools Districts, Boards of Education, State Boards of Education, Mayor's Offices and Community Organizations may call Jami at 773.285.9600 to bring the Black Star Saturday University to your city or state.
Pray the Devil Back To Hell!!!
Help end the war of youth violence that is killing our children in the streets of America.  If the women of Liberia can end violence by praying and acting, so can we.
 Join the women of Chicago as they pray the
devil of violence in Chicago back to hell.
Pray The Devil Back to Hell!
Monday, December 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2011
Film: 6:30 pm 
Discussion and Prayer: 7:30 pm
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive, Suite 2B
Chicago, Illinois
$5.00 for members - $10:00 for non-members.  Space is limited. You must RSVP and arrive at least 10 minutes before film time to be guaranteed your seat. All seats will be sold starting 10 minutes before film time. Please call 773.285.9600 to RSVP your seat.
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Being sick and tire of being sick and tired is not enough!  You must pray and you must act. On Monday, December 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2011, the women of Chicago will gather to see the powerful movement and documentary of women that brought peace to war torn Liberia, Pray the Devil Back to Hell.  And the women of Chicago will work to pray the devil of violence and despair that is in Chicago back to Hell! Join them.
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The Black Star Project needs your support to continue our work.
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Our fundraising goal for this membership drive is $50,000 by January 31, 2012.

All of the funds raised will go toward supporting the Saturday University and our programs to support Black men and boys. These initiatives need your support as a community of concerned citizens to continue this important work.

If you value our efforts to reduce violence, rebuild families, and improve academic achievement, will you become a member today?
Or you may send contributions/investments to:
The Black Star Project, Suite 2B
3509 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois
  • For each $100 contribution/investment, we will send you an Educate or Die T-Shirt
  • For each $200 contribution/investment, we will send you 1) a copy of The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, 2) a copy of a DVD of Professor Alexander speaking in Chicago and 3) an Educate or Die T-Shirt.   
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Please call 773.285.9600 for more information.