A record-high 356 temperatures were tied or broken across the contiguous United States in 2012, marking the warmest year ever in American history. Over that same period, widespread droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, snowstorms, and superstorms put a nearly $110 billion dent in the economy.
And according to environmental activists, that's something African Americans should be concerned about.
"If natural disasters happen, or heat waves, or prices go up for food and gas, then African Americans get the short end of the stick in those situations," explained Bruce Strouele, director of operations for Citizens for a Sustainable Future, a think-tank dedicated to improving quality of life for African Americans through sustainable development and environmental justice.
If the Shelby County Commission chamber had been a classroom and Commissioner Henri Brooks had been Pablo Pereyra's teacher, the admonishment that she directed at the real estate agent during a May 12th Commission meeting likely would not have caused such a firestorm.
But that was not the scenario that played out. Brooks' upbraiding of Pereyra was a key element in a scene that set off a chain reaction, including calls for Brooks' resignation, an apology from her, or a resolution of censure from the Commission.
During a meeting Tuesday afternoon with the editorial staff of The New Tri-State Defender, Brooks moved to put the swirling controversy in what she considers the correct context.
City Councilman Edmund Ford Jr. and Memphis Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb are convening a Whitehaven-area town hall meeting next Thursday (May 29th) that Ford said is designed to get residents engaged in creating improvements or expansions for their community.
The session will be held at Whitehaven Community Center at 4318 Graceland Dr. on the same block as Hillcrest High School. It is set for 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
"We always hear criticism when the city invests in public-private improvements. So what we want to do first is find out what Whitehaven residents feel the area needs, and then show them how to make it happen," Ford said.
Katherine Williams drew in a deep breath and exhaled following a morning salute to graduating seniors at Craigmont High School. One of the graduates – her son, Christen Walker Dukes – weighed only two pounds at birth, was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, and wasn't expected to live.
The grim report that Williams had received from the doctors at Methodist University Hospital 18 years ago was superseded by her son's dogged determination to survive and overcome the malady that threatened his life.
"He was a preemie at birth and underdeveloped," said Williams, who birthed her son after a 24-week gestation period. "He was born on a Thursday, around 3 p.m., and the doctors said he wouldn't live throughout the night."
"When my name was called, it seemed so surreal," the Rev. Eric Ovid Donaldson, senior minister at Unity Christian Church in Whitehaven, recalled after winning Toastmasters International's District 43 International Speech Contest held recently in Tupelo, Miss.
"At one moment, I was supporting our Unity Toastmasters Club, and in the next moment, I'm being invited halfway around the world to compete in the semi-finals at the World Championship of Public Speaking."
Thousands of Toastmasters from around the world will be traveling to this year's International Convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to watch The World Championship of Public Speaking.
The City of Memphis will pull out the stops for fathers during the 4th Annual Memphis Training Camp for Dads on Saturday, June 14 at the University of Memphis Fogelman Executive Center. The sports-themed camp will include workshops to provide men with the information and tools needed to be an effective and successful father.
Every year, fathers, biological and non-biological, are honored for their impact on their families and the community and placed in the Hall of Fame. The New Tri-State Defender will highlight past award recipients in the series, "Where Are They Now?"
Martin Hurley had already been a foster parent for several years when he adopted his first son in 2006. He has fostered over 35 African-American boys, and believes that every child deserves a family.
African Americans with college degrees continue to fare worse than college-educated whites in the labor market, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
The report titled, "The Class of 2014: The Weak Economy Is Idling Too Many Young Graduates," looked at the job prospects for high school graduates and college graduates during the Great Recession and the current economic recovery.
"Unemployment of young graduates is extremely high today, not because of something unique about the Great Recession and its aftermath that has affected young people in particular," stated the report written by Heidi Shierholz, Alyssa Davis and Will Kimball of EPI. "Rather, it is high because young workers always experience disproportionate increases in unemployment during periods of labor market weakness."