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‘Debt Relief & Reparations for HBCUs’

‘Debt Relief & Reparations for HBCUs’

The enslavement of African Americans in the United States is an atrocity that Orlando Matthews abhors and doesn't mind talking about. He spoke about that desolate period in human history during a recent two-day conference and community town hall meeting in Nashville on "Debt Relief & Reparations for HBCUs."

The conference was held on the campus of Tennessee State University and organized to save Historically Black Colleges and Universities from budget shortfalls, to restore Africana Studies on HBCU campuses, and to keep the focus solely on educating African-American students.

Though Matthews was one of several conference facilitators, there were others of note, including U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who conducted workshops during the community town hall meeting at Ray of Hope Community Church and emphasized the urgency for reparations to keep HBCUs solvent to avoid going defunct.

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Building muscle to fight ‘the disease of aging’

Building muscle to fight ‘the disease of aging’

If you want good health, a long life and to feel your best well into old age, the No. 1 most important thing you can do is strength-training, says Dr. Brett Osborn, author of "Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon's Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness."

"Our ability to fight off disease resides in our muscles," Osborn says. "The greatest thing you can do for your body is to build muscle."

He cites a large, long-term study of nearly 9,000 men ages 20 to 80. After nearly 19 years, the men still living were those with the most muscular strength. (BMJ, formerly British Medical Journal, 2008).

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Insufficient Vitamin D linked to prostate cancer in African Americans

Insufficient Vitamin D linked to prostate cancer in African Americans

The relationship between melanin and vitamin D – the nutrient that sunlight provides – may explain why African American, Caribbean, and men of African ancestry have the highest rates of prostate cancer than anyone in the world, according to a new study.

The study by a team of researchers at Northwestern University, which appears in this month's issue of Clinical Cancer Research, finds that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of diagnosis among black men – but not among white men.

"Our report is the first to describe the association of vitamin D deficiency and outcomes of prostate biopsies in high-risk men with an abnormal (blood test or clinical exam)," the study states. "If vitamin D is involved in prostate cancer initiation or progression, it would provide a modifiable risk factor for primary prevention and secondary prevention to limit progression, especially in the highest risk group of African-American men."

 

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Toyota’s James Colon nets top honor from Grambling State University

Toyota’s James Colon nets top honor from Grambling State University

Grambling State University has awarded James Colon, vice president of African American Business Strategy at Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., an honorary doctorate degree – the most prestigious degree the historically black university offers.

Colon netted the honor at the 2014 Spring Commencement ceremony (May 9th). Grambling recognized Colon for his commitment to diversity in the automobile industry and long-term support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and the academic achievement of young African Americans.

At Toyota, Colon is responsible for engaging Hispanic and African-American businesses and media, and optimizing relationships with important external Hispanic and African American groups. Under his leadership, the automaker implemented the Toyota Green Initiative designed to educate and encourage students on HBCUs to live environmentally conscious lifestyles. Nearly 5,000 people have made the Promise Pledge to live green, and 28 HBCUs have participated in the Green Campus Contest.

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Billion dollar debt buying and collection abuses

Billion dollar debt buying and collection abuses

Are you or someone you know being pursued or harassed late into the evenings and on weekends by debt collectors? If so, research shows that you are among one in seven Americans being pursued by debt collection agencies.

In a newly-released chapter in its State of Lending series, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) found that debt buying and debt collection is big, big business. Among publicly-traded debt buyers' income grew from $582 million in 2009 to more than $1 billion in 2012.

And amid these billion dollar deals, scant regulation allows profiteers to take advantage of financially-distressed consumers, often securing court judgments for debts that may not even be owed. A 2009 Federal Trade Commission analysis of 3.9 million consumer accounts, found only 6 percent of the accounts came with any documentation.

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‘Thugs in the desert’ at the Bundy Ranch

‘Thugs in the desert’ at the Bundy Ranch

One can be forgiven for thinking the contest for the most outrageous, publicly-exposed racist behavior of recent weeks was between Cliven Bundy, the chiseling Nevada rancher, and Donald Sterling, the despicable billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

As New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote recently of Sterling's now-famous taped rant, both men's words offer "a rare and vivid exposition of the historical themes and loopy logic of the racist mind: possessed of derangement, detached from reason, bereft of morality." Further, Blow's column is a must-read for its sharp-eyed analysis that the race-driven pathology of both Sterling and his mistress, V. Stiviano, provides "a disturbing peek at the intersection of racism, misogyny and privilege."

In one sense, that tips the scale between the two toward Sterling. He's so deeply mired in the psychosexual muck of the slave-master mentality – of being attracted to a woman of African-American and Mexican-American parentage while deluding himself that he's dominating Black men because he's so personally powerful and attractive.

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Brown v Board of Education’s uncertain legacy on teacher diversity

Brown v Board of Education’s uncertain legacy on teacher diversity

There's a growing racial gap between students and their teachers. On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision on May 18, the Center for American Progress and the National Education Association released data from the National Center of Education Statistics, which found that 82 percent of the teachers are white, while 48 percent of the students are non-white.

The racial gap among teachers will grow according to experts. Woodrow Wilson reports that if current trends hold, the percentage of teachers of color will fall to an all-time low of 5 percent of the total teacher workforce by 2020. At the same time the percentage of students of color will likely exceed 50 percent in the fall of 2014.

Most people look at these numbers and singularly point to a teacher pipeline issue. We assume that people of color need to be recruited into the profession. But, let's not fall in the trap of blaming people of color for these numbers. Ask, "Why aren't people of color being hired as teachers?"

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