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Five ways White House Director David Johns wants to help black students succeed

Five ways White House Director David Johns wants to help black students succeed

White House Director David Johns admittedly gets a little emotional when he talks about improving educational opportunities for black students he affectionally calls “babies” – a nod to his Twitter hashtag #TeachTheBabies.

“Excellence is absent when talking about black kids in education,” said Johns who leads the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The two-year-old initiative seeks to spark a conversation between school districts across the country on ways to educate low-income black students. “We live in a society where we believe black students aren’t smart. We hear that more black men are in prison than in college and that’s not true. We need to do a better job of policing what’s said about our babies.”

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Governor gets report on Tenn. juvenile jails

Governor gets report on Tenn. juvenile jails
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A security audit will be performed on all three of the state's youth development centers after a recent breakout and violence at the facility in Middle Tennessee, according to a preliminary report sent to the governor.
 
The Department of Children's Services sent the report to Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday after 32 teens escaped from the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center in Nashville on the night of Sept 1. Just two nights later, two dozen detainees broke into the yard wielding sticks and spraying a fire extinguisher.

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Tennessee’s largest districts expand focus on pre-K despite Haslam’s hesitancy

Tennessee’s largest districts expand focus on pre-K despite Haslam’s hesitancy
About 40 four-year-olds bounded from a school bus into an East Nashville prekindergarten center on its opening day in August. Their parents, who had ridden with them, followed close behind, holding up iPhones and video recorders.
 
The parents were documenting not only first day of school for their children, but the beginning stages of an ambitious pre-kindergarten initiative that district leaders hope will serve as a model for early education in Nashville.

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Soulsville Foundation’s new CEO in key at ‘magical place’

Soulsville Foundation’s new CEO in key at ‘magical place’
Calvin Stovall – a Chicago native and longtime Memphian with “music in my soul” – has been hired as the Soulsville Foundation’s new chief executive officer.
 
“We’ve been on a fast track and cooperatively focused,” said Carolyn Hardy, Soulsville Foundation board chair.  “In record time, we interviewed exceptional candidates from all over the country that applied for the CEO’s position. …We fully expect this to be a seamless transition and appreciate the many accomplishments Mark Wender achieved during his tenure here.”

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The 2014 Middle Passage Commemoration to Focus on the West African Nation of Ghana

The 2014 Middle Passage Commemoration to Focus  on the West African Nation of Ghana
 
 
The 21st annual Middle Passage Commemoration is next Tuesday (Sept. 9)  
7 p.m. in the Little Theater in the Alma C. Hanson Student Center on the LeMoyne-Owen College campus, 807 Walker Ave.
 
The annual program honors those Africans that were victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade with a candle-lighting ceremony and by connecting their experiences to present times. 
 
This year the spotlight is on African Americans and the African Diaspora in the west-African country of Ghana. The featured speaker is Dr. Ernestine Jenkins, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Memphis where she also serves as the graduate coordinator of the concentration in Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora. 

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