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Working hurts finances of African Americans working way through college

howardbaby 600WASHINGTON (NNPA) – More than 60 percent of African-American students could receive greater financial aid for college through the Pell grant program, if they were enrolled full-time, according to a new report by the National Urban League.

The report, which focused on the profile of a typical African-American student and the uphill battle they fight to get to college and earn a degree, found that 62 percent of African-American students receive funding for college through the Pell grant program, but many more would qualify if they didn't have to work supporting themselves, their families or young children.

Sixty-five percent of African-American students are independent, compared to 49 percent of white students.

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Trayvon Martin’s friend Rachel Jeantel graduates from high school

trayvongirlfriend 600Rachel Jeantel was struggling. She was on the witness stand as an unsuspecting key figure thrust into a national case involving her friend's death, race, racism, "Stand your ground" laws and more. She was the last person to talk to Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, before his deadly encounter with George Zimmerman.

Her testimony was key to a case that she wasn't prepared for. Her demeanor and mix of English, slang and Haitian Creole dialect made her hard to decipher. Add to that mix the relentless grilling from a defense attorney who saw fresh meat on the stand and went in for the kill.

The Internet was even worse.

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Housing forums emerge from Wells Fargo, NAACP, National Urban League partnership

housing 600Wells Fargo, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League are partnering to host housing forums in nine select markets during National Homeownership Month in June.

The forums are designed to provide aspiring homeowners with information and resources to help navigate the path to homeownership successfully.

The NAACP and Wells Fargo will offer the forums in St. Paul, Minn.; Washington, D.C.; Ft. Lauderdale; and Las Vegas. The National Urban League and Wells Fargo will host forums in Phoenix, Chicago, Minneapolis and in the Hampton Roads, Va. area. Both organizations will join with Wells Fargo to offer a forum in Houston.

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Greetings from Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s new executive director

bradwatkins 600We at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center stand poised on the precipice of a great transition. I want to first and foremost thank Jacob (Flowers) for ten years of outstanding service and leadership to this organization and to our entire community here in Memphis.

Under Jacob's stewardship, the MSPJC has grown and evolved, producing an incredible body of work rooted in our most deeply-held principles. His work has connected global oppression to local injustice, asking us to focus not only on those that suffer overseas, but also those that suffer right next door. Beyond this, Jacob's leadership allowed us to build a "people's organization" with an amazing and diverse staff aided by one of the strongest board of directors this organization has ever had.

Over the past six years it has been my pleasure and honor to serve alongside Jacob as Organizing Director and with your help, we have made great strides towards a more equitable community. Local issues like environmental justice, homelessness, and public transit have become cornerstones of the MSPJC, as evidenced by grassroots movements like GrowMemphis, H.O.P.E., and the Memphis Bus Riders Union. The Gandhi-King conference has developed into a major event and our training department has provided resources and mentoring to foster leadership and build our base of local activists winning real victories for their communities.

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