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Leadership for a new era of public education Part II

Leadership for a new era of public education Part II
(With his first year as superintendent now a matter of record, Shelby County Schools Supt. Dorsey Hopson reflected on the historic first year of the merged district with TSD President and Publisher, Bernal E. Smith II. Here is Part II of that wide-ranging conversation.) 
 
Bernal E. Smith II: You have spoken publicly about the need to be sure that all of the students and schools in the bottom five percent of state achievement have some intentional treatment designed to raise student achievement. Would you update us on the effort to meet this need?
Supt. Dorsey Hopson: I think the focus really has to be on chronically underperforming as opposed to just the bottom five percent. At the end of the day, I’m not comfortable and you wouldn’t be comfortable either, with sending your child to a school in the bottom 10 percent much less five percent. We are considering a number of strategies. But the most important is trying to make sure that every classroom, no matter what school, has an effective teacher in it. 

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  • Written by Bernal E. Smith II-besmith@tri-statedefender.com
  • Category: Original

Healthy Shelby launches hypertension campaign with coach Lionel Hollins

Healthy Shelby launches hypertension campaign with coach Lionel Hollins
The kick off of “140/90: Living Life Under Pressure,” a new hypertension awareness campaign encouraging African-American men to maintain a healthy blood pressure, will be June 21st.
 
During the event hosted by Healthy Shelby, attendees will have the opportunity to meet the campaign spokesperson, Lionel Hollins, former head coach for the Memphis Grizzlies and founder of Lionel Hollins Charities. They can also participate in blood pressure screenings, exercise demonstrations, cooking classes, and receive information on how to better manage hypertension. 
 
Heart healthy food will be provided as part of the free educational event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Kroc Center, located at 800 E. Pkwy S., Memphis. The campaign is geared toward African American men but everyone is welcome to attend. 

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Art mixed with the KKK leaves a bad aftertaste

Art mixed with the KKK leaves a bad aftertaste
 
I’d gone to Montreal for a conference and, because I fell in love with the city, decided to stay a few more days to explore it. I was with my travel companion, a woman who’s working on a start-up site about art, and she asked me to tag along with her to check out Montreal’s contemporary art scene.
 
At our second stop, a very nice attendant made small talk and asked about our art-hopping plans. Maybe I looked as bored as I was because the attendant asked if I was enjoying the trek. “I like the pretty colors, but ... ,” I said. I’m not that shallow, I swear. I just have a preference for art that is bold and in my face.
 
“What’s next?” the attendant asked. My companion told her we were headed to “Come and See” by British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman at DHC/ART.  

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Colon cancer education – a grassroots appeal

Colon cancer education – a grassroots appeal
“It’s gross.”
 
“It’s embarrassing.”
 
“ It’s not exactly dinner table conversation, if you know what I mean…”
 
Those are just a few of the statements I hear when I ask Memphians why our community doesn’t talk about getting a colonoscopy. The truth is this: a colonoscopy isn’t gross. It isn’t embarrassing. It’s discreet, simple, and life-saving. 
 
For twenty years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work at the grassroots level to educate our city about the importance of a colorectal screening. I’ve personally given over 200 speeches. My small practice has provided colon cancer education at over 1,000 events. I’ve partnered with the Memphis Grizzlies’ Community Health team, local political leaders, dozens of churches and businesses, and countless community leaders. I’ve even released an Emmy-nominated commercial to spread our message. 
 

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Reparations for North Carolina sterilization victims

 Reparations for North Carolina sterilization victims
Victims who were sterilized in North Carolina between 1929 and 1974 – approximately 7,600 people – have until the end of June to file a claim with the state, according to government officials.
 
This month marks the final push to identify victims and their families, who will receive reparations in June 2015 from a $10 million fund. North Carolina is not the first state to publicly acknowledge this practice, but it will be the first state to offer compensation for it.
 
Currently, the state estimates that close to 3,000 victims, born in or before 1961, may still be alive. 
 

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Black church group urges African Americans to withhold contributions to NPR

Black church group urges African Americans to withhold contributions to NPR

The National Black Church Initiative, a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches, called on all African Americans May 27 to withhold donations to National Public Radio after it cancelled “Tell Me More,” its only program featuring an African-American host, and regularly addressing issues and concerns of the black community.

 NPR announced a week ago that it was canceling “Tell Me More” as part of a series of cuts to address the network’s long-standing budget deficit. The announcement included the elimination of 28 positions throughout NPR.

 NBCI president, Rev. Anthony Evans, conveyed the group’s position in a letter to NPR CEO, Jarl Mohn.

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Unusual poll: Black support for Tea Party

Unusual poll: Black support for Tea Party
When you normally think of Tea Party supporters, the first image that comes to mind is an anti-Obama mob mixing Confederate flags and old school yellow Gadsden flags, flapping coiled rattlesnakes in the wind. Step outside the Beltway, head mostly south, and you could find a rally or two with a rifle-toting Duck Dynasty lookalike.
 
Yet, a recent YouGov poll – while showing a general decline in Tea Party backing – altered that perception when it showed a combined 18 percent African-American support for the tea party. Not black Republican support – overall black support. While only three percent of African Americans indicated “strong support” for the Tea Party, a surprisingly high 15 percent of African Americans said they “somewhat support” the Tea Party, as well as 15 percent who “neither support, nor oppose” the Tea Party.
 
Added up, that’s 33 percent of black voters who don’t oppose the tea party.
Granted, none of these numbers correlate to any remarkable shift of black voters to the Republican Party. Keeping with tradition, that same YouGov poll shows only five percent of African Americans identify as Republican.

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