April 08, 2013

Math A Problem for Job Seekers; Violence Causes Learning Gap in Education; Jordan Davis Killed for Loud Music; See Annie in Bronzeville; One Church, One Job, One Young Black Man Working

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Making Progress; Moving Forward!
Math A Problem for Job Seekers
Violence Causes Gap in Learning
Jordan Davis Killed for Loud Music
Black Star Supports Black Theatre
Susan Taylor Wants You to Mentor
Make A Joyful Noise!
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Math a problem for job-seekers

BY RENEE SCHOOF, McClatchy Newspapers
April 3, 2013
WASHINGTON - Before job-seekers fill out an application for work making foam products for the aerospace industry at General Plastics Manufacturing Co. in Tacoma, Wash., they have to take a math test.
Eighteen questions, 30 minutes, and using a calculator is OK.
They are asked how to convert inches to feet, read a tape measure and find the density of a block of foam (mass divided by volume).
Basic middle school math, right?
But what troubles General Plastics executive Eric Hahn is that although the company considers only prospective workers who have a high school education, only one in 10 who take the test pass. And that's not just bad luck at a single factory or in a single industry.
Educators are aware of what manufacturers like General Plastics face. They're looking for ways to make math relate to the real world so students will grasp why it's necessary and stick with it. Some want to change the way it's taught.
Math learning also will change with the Common Core standards, a state-led effort to set educational standards in math and English for kindergarten through high school. Forty-five states have adopted them.
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Violence in Black Communities Increases
Racial Academic Achievement Gap
After murders in Black communites, reading
and math scores for Black students go down
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August 27, 2010
A few months ago, Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at New York University, published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that when there is a murder in a black child's neighborhood, his or her math and verbal standardized test scores go down. This is true even if the child doesn't witness the violence directly and isn't personally impacted by it.1 Just being in close proximity to a homicide is enough to hinder academic performance.
To measure how local homicides impact students' test scores, Sharkey compared the test scores of black children directly after a homicide in their neighborhood with other children in the same neighborhood who took the test at a different time. Black students tested directly after a local homicide scored substantially lower than their peers who live in the same neighborhood, but were tested at different times.
Of note, Sharkey was unable to find enough murders in predominately white neighborhoods to see if white children were affected, suggesting that this homicide effect is really most damaging for black kids. Indeed, the drop in black children's scores after a homicide account for about half the difference in the typical racial achievement gap.

Jordan Davis killed for loud music:
mirror image of the Trayvon Martin case?
Details differ between the shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis and unarmed teen Trayvon Martin earlier this year. But in both cases, older armed men initiated arguments with black teenagers and fired deadly bullets when the situation became threatening
(L. to r.) A Wolfson High School classmate of Jordan Davis breaks down outside the funeral home where the visitation with Jordan's family was taking place at the Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville, Fla., on Nov. 28. Friends of Jordan comfort one another outside the funeral home. Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union/AP
November 30, 2012
ATLANTA - Florida's landmark "stand your ground" self-defense law is again in the spotlight after the Nov. 23 shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Jordan Davis, by 40-something software developer and gun collector Michael Dunn after an argument about loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store.
Jordan's death is drawing comparisons to the shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin in February by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, chiefly because both shooters are expected to claim immunity from prosecution under the state's 2005 stand your ground law that ended any legal requirement for lawful citizens to back away from danger, even in public places.
In the shooting of Jordan Davis, Mr. Dunn, after stopping at a convenience store, asked a group of black youths to turn down loud music pouring out of their SUV. According to Dunn, he felt threatened when Jordan began trash-talking him. He fired eight shots into the SUV after he says one of the people brandished a shotgun. Police did not find any weapons, but Dunn's lawyer says the group could have ditched it.
Jacksonville police have already said that Dunn, not the boys, was at fault. "It was loud, they admitted that, but that's not a reason for someone to open fire on them and take action," said Lt. Rob Schoonover of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
While the Davis case is getting national attention, largely because of the racial narrative of another older white man killing a black teenager in a public place, the debate hasn't risen to the fever pitch of the Martin shooting aftermath. The main reason is that police have already charged Dunn with murder and attempted murder for his actions. And unlike the Martin case, there are several strong eyewitnesses to the shooting.
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The Black Star Project 
Supports Black Theatre in Chicago
Please call 773.373.1900 for more information.
Susan Taylor, the Mother of Mentoring in America, 
Is Asking You To Be "In" for Our Children. 
Become a mentor!  
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Why Mentor?
Because this is our state of emergency today:
  • Of all Black fourth-graders, 58% are functionally illiterate.
  • In some cities, 80% of our boys drop out before finishing high school.
  • Every day 1,000 Black children are arrested.
  • 1 in every 8 African American males ages 25-29 is incarcerated.
  • The number one cause of death for our boys is homicide.
If you wish to become a mentor in cities with National Cares Mentoring Movement Circles, Click Here or if you do not have a National Cares Mentoring Movement Circle in your city, Click Here to learn how to start one.
I'm in!!!  And you should be too!
Make a Joyful Noise 
By Dr. Kathryn B. Kemp 
Only $16.95 plus postage
Make a Joyful Noise!: A Brief History of Gospel Music Ministry in America is the story of the resiliency of an African American people who found their God-even in the midst of brutal oppression-and made music in praise and thanksgiving. This book shows how music-gospel music in particular-has been a vehicle utilized over the years by people of African ancestry as a means of escape, an expression of joy, and source of peace. This music has helped us to hold onto our hopes and dreams despite slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and racism and to instill in our children hope for a better world both here on and the world to come.
Make a Joyful Noise!: A Brief History of Gospel Music Ministry in America was also written to show how the gifts of the Spirit operate in people for the benefit and uplift of all. The "Father of Gospel Music" Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey, and the "King of Gospel Music," Rev. James Cleveland, were the conduits through which this music was conveyed to the American public and the world. The Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc., the brainchild of Rev. James Cleveland, has played a key role in this mission for more than 40 years, and the author, who has attended the annual Workshops since 2002, focuses on the organization in Part 2 of this book.
In Part 1, Make a Joyful Noise!: A Brief History of Gospel Music Ministry in America begins with the biblical history of music in worship to God. Shifting to Africa, it shows how the African people preserved their music, their dignity and their heritage in the face of overwhelming odds while transported as human cargo to the new land of America. It travels through the history of America and its people of color, tracing the power and heritage of music to preserve and uplift the psyche of an oppressed people who fought for equality and freedom, with a song on their lips to praise God each step of the way  
Dr. Kathryn B. Kemp is a long-time member of The Black Star Project.
 Please Click Here to purchase this book!
With Summer Coming, 
Support 1 Church, 1 Job,
1 Young Black Man Working
In Your Community 
Churches Across America Should 
Provide Jobs for Young Black Men. 
You cannot fix the problems of young Black men if they don't have constructive employment.  
Churches can change this...
In times of economic strain, our whole community suffers from the complications of unemployment. In an effort to develop a new model of community outreach and economic sustainability, The Black Star Project is launching the 1 Church, 1 Job, 1 Young Black Man Working program.  
These are the employment facts for young Black men in America:
  • Young Black men have the highest unemployment rate of any group in the country.
  • Unofficially, some academics believe that only 14 out of 100 young Black men have jobs.
  • White adult felons are more likely to have jobs than young Black men without criminal records.
  • Upper-middle class Black youth are less likely to have jobs than low-income White youth.
The Black Star Project is offering the opportunity for these faith organizations and faith organizations across America to participate in this program.
During this summer, for five or six weeks, each faith organzation will:
  1. Take up a special collection of $200.00 per week
  2. Hired a young, African American male to work in the church, temple synagogue or mosque for 20 hours per week, or
  3. Refer the young man to a local not-for-profit or business to work 
  4. Pay the young man minimum wage to $10.00 per hour for 20 hours per week 
  5. Ensure that each young man gains valuable work experience
  6. Ensure that each young man has valuable mentoring experience
To get your church involved in 1 Church, 1 Job, 1 Young Black Man Working or for more information about this program, please call 773.285.9600.
Please Click Here for more information.
Saturday University is one of the newest and most effective educational concepts in America for educating students of color.  It is family- and community-driven education at its best.  As many/most Black children in American schools are failing academically, the only way to successfully educate them is with the support and actions of their parents, families and communities. Register now for one of our 20 free Chicago-area Saturday Universities beginning now.
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We have 20 free Saturday Universities operating in Chicago and in the west and south suburbs. Please call 773.285.9600 to register your child for free academic enhancement or for more information about bringing the Saturday University to your community. We need teachers and tutors for our sites. Please call 773.285.9600 to volunteer.
The Black Star Project | 3473 South King Drive, Box 464 | Chicago | IL | 60616