Post-Racial? Not So Fast!
A Manhattan Institute study titled “The End of the Segregated Century: Racial Separation in America’s Neighbor-hoods, 1890-2010” exposed sharp division among social justice advocates, scholars and researchers over whether the country has reached a major racial milestone or whether the study merely uses its data to mask disparities still plaguing people of color, especially African-Americans. The report contends that American cities are now more integrated than they’ve been since 1910, that all-white neighborhoods have mostly vanished and that so-called “ghettos” populated by Blacks are in fast decline. The Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, a consortium of fair housing and advocacy organizations, government agencies and municipalities, said the report “overstates and oversimplifies the gains made in integration over the last century” and “does not reflect the complexities of racial segregation, particularly in housing, that arise out of multifaceted forces including public policies, private sector investment and public perceptions about race.”
Civil and Human Rights Center
Civil rights leaders in Atlanta unveiled an architectural rendering of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, set to open in mid-2014. Created by the award-winning team of architects at Freelon/HOK, the 35,000-square-foot, Green-certified building will display The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection (King Papers) and the award-winning “Without Sanctuary” lynching exhibit, and will serve as a hub for ongoing dialogue, attracting world-renowned speakers and artists who work on a variety of human rights topics. Located in downtown Atlanta at Pemberton Place and equipped with broadcast and event space, the center will host civil and human rights conversations among scholars, organizations and the public.
The Coalition for Public Education launched the Paul Robeson Freedom School in Brooklyn, N.Y., an eight-week program for youth most affected by policies in the public school system. Freedom schools originated in 1960s Mississippi, when racial segregation of schools and significant under-resourcing of colored schools led community leaders to launch a Freedom Summer of youth education. Slated to begin on July 9 this summer, the Paul Robeson School is open to students aged 10 to 14
residing in Brooklyn, with first preference for students from low-income communities. Students will work with educators to design their own interdisciplinary curriculum, with a focus
on hands-on experiences in urban
gardening and culinary arts, research into the rich legacy of community self-empowerment in Brooklyn and more. An accompanying G.E.D. program is available for students wishing to further their formal academic studies.
A report, “Diversity Counts: Racial and Ethnic Diversity among Public Service Leadership,” published by National Urban Fellows’ Public Service Leadership Diversity Initiative shows only about 16 percent of the combined 535 House and Senate members, 13 percent of chiefs of staff, about 13 percent of House legislative directors, and about 22 percent of senior legislative aides and legislative aides are people of color. Among the 50 governors of the United States, 92 percent are of white, non-Hispanic heritage. Only 13 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia have a chief diversity officer on record. Among nonprofit boards and nonprofit executives, only 12 percent are people of color. In 2010, 86 percent of the members of nonprofit boards of directors were white, non-Hispanic, and only 14 percent were people of color.
Voter Restriction Blocked
A federal judge blocked enforcement of key provisions of the state’s restrictive election law (HB 1355) that was forcing community organizations, including the League of Women Voters, to terminate their voter registration drives. A League of Women Voters’ lawsuit led to the injunction by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle’s injunction. Black and Latino Floridians are said to be more than twice as likely to register to vote through community-based voter registration drives than white voters. Salandra Benton, director of The Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation, hailed the injunction as “a victory for every eligible voter, especially our young first-time voters and the elderly who are disproportionately impacted by these restrictive laws.”
The U.S. Census Bureau released a new version of TIGERweb at http://tigerweb.geo.census.gov. TIGERweb is a Web-based map viewer from the agency’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System (TIGER) database that allows users to view and query census geographic areas and features such as roads, railroads, rivers, lakes and other larger bodies of water. It currently displays boundaries, names and codes for 2010 Census legal and statistical geographic areas, such as counties, cities, towns and townships, census tracts and urban areas. TIGERweb also contains population and housing unit counts from the 2010 Census for each of the geographic areas. The TIGER data also is available as a Web service via the Open Geospatial Consortium Web Map Service standard. Users who have a client that supports the Web Map Service standard may access the TIGERweb service.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology received a three-year award of $1,871,373 from the National Science Foundation for a project titled TCS Academic Leadership Graduate Certificate Program. The grant will support the development and delivery of a new Academic Leadership Graduate Certificate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. TCSPP will build on its groundbreaking program in organizational development, which helps students assume leadership roles. The two programs will merge to ensure that more women of color realize their potential as leaders in the STEM fields, specifically at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Orlando L. Taylor, Ph.D., president of The Chicago School’s Washington, D.C., campus, is principal investigator, and will oversee the project. African-American women represent 70 percent of the HBCU population.