June 03, 2013

The Black Star Project Supports Congressman Bobby Rush Against "A Sensational, Headline-grabbing, Empty, Simplistic, Unworkable Approach" to Stopping Violence; Attend Rites of Passage Conference in Baltimore; Youngest African-American Engineer; Black Star Members See The Chicago White Sox; Father Pfleger Occupies the Streets

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Making Progress; Moving Forward!
Congressman Rush Blasts Senator Kirk's Plan
Attend National Rites of Passage Conference
Youngest African American Engineer
See the White Sox
Attend Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conference
Mass Black Male Graduation
Mass Incarceration Causes Mass Unemployment in Wisconsin
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U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., blasts U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's, R-Ill., plan to lock-up 18,000 U.S. citizens without a trial (mostly young Black men) as "a sensational, headline-grabbing, empty, simplistic, unworkable approach" 

There's a core of substance in Kirk's `empty, simplistic' crime-fighting proposal

Eric Zorn
May 30, 2013

U.S. Senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin
It's an arresting idea, so to speak.  Round up 18,000 members of the Gangster Disciples street gang and put them behind bars awaiting trial.  On what charges?  
"Drug dealing," said U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., when he first publicly advanced the notion earlier this month in a TV interview on WFLD-Ch. 32. And "murdering people, which is what they do," he continued.
Specifically, Kirk said in an appearance on WTTW-Ch. 11 Wednesday that "about 40 percent of the homicides in the city are due to the Gangster Disciples (including) the murder of Hadiya Pendleton."
Hadiya, a 15-year-old honors student at King College Prep, was shot and killed in a South Side park in late January, allegedly by a man affiliated with the Gangster Disciples.  "And if they complain," about the mass arrests, Kirk said, "just say this is about the death of Hadiya Pendleton."
Well, there's a lot wrong with Kirk's plan, which U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., blasted as "a sensational, headline-grabbing, empty, simplistic, unworkable approach" in an interview with the Sun-Times Wednesday.
First, in America we don't just go around locking people up because of who they hang out with or what we think they might do (or at least we haven't since we interned Japanese-Americans during World War II).
Nevertheless, as raw, outlandish and half-baked as Kirk's proposal is, and as murky as his numbers are and as weak as his understanding of cause and effect may be, give him credit for advancing the idea that we need a new, stronger approach to combat gang violence, and for reminding us how huge the problem truly is. 
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The Black Star Project supports Congressmen Bobby Rush's strong position against this proposal by Senator Mark Kirk!

The National Rites of Passage Institute's 
2013 Youth and Community 
Building Conference 
Friday, July 19, 2013 through Sunday, July 21, 2013 
at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum 
Baltimore, Maryland
The gathering, which is themed "Exploring Our Passage to Purpose", will bring together 200-300 youth participants, adult youth advocates, and the foremost experts and scholars on rites of passage in North America. This gathering will showcase the learning of over 30 years of employing rites of passage in different settings, as well as, celebrate the accomplishments, benefits, and results of Rites of Passage (ROP) as a strategy for youth and community development in the United States and Canada. 
The unique weekend experience will allow the intergenerational participation of youth, practitioners, parents and scholars to engage with one another on a variety of issues facing youth and communities and how they have employed the strategy of rites of passage and culturally specific programming to make a difference. By sharing stories, experiences, and best-practices they will learn new ways to support youth and be inspired to return home with a new sense of purpose to implement the Rites of Passage process as they work to make their community and programs better.
Click Here to Learn More About Conference 
Click Here to Register for Conference

Britney Exline, Nation's Youngest African-American Engineer

To say Britney Exline (pictured) is smarter than average is like saying Barack Obama is just another president.
It simply isn't true and here's why: Exline recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2011 at the age of 19, making her the youngest engineer to graduate from the school and the youngest African-American engineer in the country.
At a time when young African Americans get too much publicity for violence or having children out of wedlock, Exline is proving to be an example of all the good that is possible.
In addition to her collegiate success, Exline is one well-rounded young lady: She speaks five languages and graduated with minors in psychology, math, and classical studies. She also has a passion for volunteering to help others, having traveled to Cameroon with the One Laptop program.
Exline owes part of her success to her parents, Chyrese and Christopher Exline.
In an interview with Ebony magazine, Chyrese said of her parenting,"I made sure they remained committed even when they wanted to quit. They learned you can't quit an activity just because it's hard. Sometimes you need to stick with something. That's the only way to learn how to persevere and overcome true obstacles. Eventually, it becomes a part of you. I believe this."
But the best part about Exline might be her humility.  "I don't think of myself as extraordinary," she said.
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Take Your Family to See 
A Chicago White Sox Game! 
A Members Only Event!!! 
 Become a Member of
The Black Star Project 
and see
The Chicago White Sox
 The Oakland Athletics 
Beautiful U.S. Cellular Field
333 West 35th Street
Chicago, Illinois
Wednesday, June 6, 2013
7:10 pm 
JOIN the Black Star Project Today!!!
Please call Ivory for more information at 773.285.9600.
You Would Be Surprised at Who Has Attended the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference

Join those who take tutoring and mentoring seriously at this one-day conference. Principals of schools, CEO's of agencies, executive directors of not-for-profits should send their staffs to received this expert training in mentoring and tutoring. Staff, mentors and tutors from The Black Star Project will be at this conference. Attending this conference is one of the best investments organizations can make to help young people and their communities thrive. Join us!

Friday, June 7, 2013
The Metcalfe Building
77 West Jackson
Chicago, Illinois 

Click Here to Learn More About this Conference 
Click Here to Register for the Conference 
Invite a Young Black Male 
2013 High School Graduate 
to See and Hear

Lupe Fiasco Deliver a 
Message of Hope, Excellence and Power 
to 500 Young Black Men
on Saturday, June 29, 2013

See The March of The Elders at 
Chicago State University as They Lead Young Black Males to Manhood on Saturday, June 29, 2013

Click Here to Print A Copy of This Flyer.  Every young Black man in America should be at this ceremony.  Young Black men must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, teacher, pastor or mentor. Every adult must bring a young Black man to gain admission to this event. Chicago State University is the place to be for young Black men on June 29, 2013.  All young Black men attending should wear a shirt and tie.  Dress to excel!!!  Admission by ticket only.  You must RSVP for tickets.  Please call 773.285.9600 to RSVP or for more information. 
The Black Star Project
Occupy The Streets of Chicago
Father Michael Pfleger 
and the 
Faith Community of Saint Sabina
Friday, June 21, 2013
7:00 pm - 500 free t-shirts at 6:00 pm
78th Place and Throop (1250 west)
Chicago, Illinois
We invite people throughout Chicago to stand up and declare their commitment to occupy our streets this summer to bring about Peace!
Call St. Sabina at 773.483.4300
Call The Black Star Project at 773.285.9600

In Wisconsin, mass incarceration of black males must stop
High Incarceration rates drive high unemployment rates and high unemployment rates drive high incarceration rates.

By John Pawasarat
May 11, 2013 

Prison time is the most serious barrier to employment for Wisconsin male workers, making ex-offender populations the most difficult to place and sustain in full-time employment. When driver's licensing history is also considered, transportation barriers make successful labor force attachment even less likely.
Yet, most of the recent state policy discussions about preparing the Wisconsin workforce and debates over redistribution of government job training dollars have largely ignored African-American men and relegated ex-offender populations to a minor (if not invisible) place in Wisconsin's labor force.
The results were alarming.
 * State DOC records show incarceration rates at epidemic levels for African-American males in Milwaukee County. More than half of African-American men in their 30s and half of black men in their early 40s have been incarcerated in state correctional facilities.
 * Wisconsin's prison population has more than tripled since 1990.
 * Notably, 26,222 African-American men from Milwaukee County have been or are currently incarcerated in state correctional facilities. A third of those incarcerated have only non-violent offenses.
 * From 1990 to 2012, the African-American men from Milwaukee County were imprisoned for over 42.6 million days (or almost 117,000 years) at a cost in 2012 prices of $91 a day, totaling $3.38 billion. In 2012, the state was spending over a half-million dollars a day to incarcerate African-American men from Milwaukee County.
Click Here to Read Full Article
Black Graduation Rates May Depend On 'Grit' As Much As Grades, Study
April 10, 2013 

The chips are stacked against black males trying to make it through school and experts have pointed to everything from the Great Recession to the 1980s crack epidemic as the reason why. But a recent study by Terrell Strayhorn, associate professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University, says there may be another factor at play.
"For many black men, talent and high school success are not the only things they need to succeed when they attend a predominantly white university," Strayhorn says, pointing to a third factor -- grit.
According to psychologists, "grit" is defined as a dedication to pursuing and achieving a goal, whatever the obstacles and failures along the way. In his study of 140 black male, first-generation college students who were enrolled full time at a large, predominantly white public university, Strayhorn found that grit affected college grades for almost as much as high school GPA and ACT scores.
"Despite where they begin in terms of college readiness, black males who show more grit than their peers earn better grades in college," he concluded in this study, which appears online in the Journal of African American Studies. Even after taking into account factors that may affect grades, such as prior achievement, age, year in school, transfer status, how engaged they are in university activities and their degree aspirations, the grit-to-success correlation remained true.
Click Here to Read Full Article

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