Category Archives: Education

‘Zika': Need Another Virus to Worry About…Here ya go!

Zika Virus

*I swear, if it ain’t one thing its another. To be on the safe side, we might have to go ‘Chi-Raq’ and not have sex at all!

Not so much as a punishment, as the women in the Spike Lee flick by the same name did; but for our own protection as people, men and women alike.

Well, that might be a bit extreme. But it gives you damn good reason NOT to give in to the old “But I can’t feel anything” argument your partner may present about using protection. Because now, a recent virus called ‘Zika’ has been put in the mix. And the risk factor has just upgraded! Continue reading

Can We Help Marley Collect A Thousand ‘Black Girl Books’ By Feb 1?

Marley Dias

*Talk about a challenge. Here’s one for ya!

Eleven year old Marley Dias is my type of girl! If there is something she wants to change, she doesn’t sit back and ask WHO is going to do it. SHE does it!

Marley was sick and tired of reading books her school assigned. She simply had nothing in common with white boys and dogs. Period.

So she told her mother, Janice Dias, about her displeasure and mom asked, “So what are you going to do about it?”

Marley’s initial idea was to create a book guide that featured black characters, according to Huffington Post. But then she took the idea up a notch and came up with #1000BlackGirlBooks in November. It’s a book drive where she collected books that had black girls as the main characters instead of the sidekicks or background characters.

So with this, Marley, who works with her mom’s organization GrassROOTS Community Foundation, plans to collect 1000 books by Feb. 1, to donate to children. 

On Feb. 11, she’ll travel to  St. Mary, Jamaica, her mother’s hometown, to host a book festival and give the books to schools and libraries. Marley said she hopes this book drive helps more young black girls read about characters they can relate to. So far, she’s collected nearly 500 books.

“I know there’s a lot of black girl books out there, I just haven’t read them,” she said. “So if we started this I would find them and other people would be able to read them, as well,” Marley told HP.

Now in case you think this act of philanthropy just came out of nowhere. Think again.

This young lady has (as our elders used to say) “been here before.”

Marley won a “Disney Friends for Change” grant that allowed her to teach girls how to tap into their talents at a youth empowerment camp. She gave food to orphans in Ghana, works in a soup kitchen and even has a nonprofit called BAM, which stands for the first letter in the three girls’ names that works with her: Briana, Amina and Marley.

I couldn’t let this one pass, readers. It may be short notice, but if you can donate a book where the black girl is the star, please visit Marley’s website and let her know.

Send books by February 1st to:
GrassROOTS Community Foundation
59 Main Street, Suite 323, West Orange, NJ 07052

Books of any age are welcomed. You may also donate for the purchase of books.  Suggested donation: $10.

 

Indiana Principal Dies Saving Students From Charging School Bus

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*Everyone at Indianapolis’s Amy Beverland Elementary School –without exception–loved principal Susan Jordan. And they made this clear in a tribute video long before she died saving her students on Tuesday. She built her loving legacy as principal at the elementary school over a 22-year-period; with one teacher being quoted as saying, “I have never had such a supportive boss.”

These were flowers given to Jordan while she was still here.

But on Tuesday everything changed.

principal susan jordan

The principal who helped Amy Beverland Elementary School receive a Four Star, “A” rating from the Indiana Department of Education; the woman described by the entire faculty and student body as the “definition of wonderful” was killed in a freak school bus accident as she attempted (successfully) to save students in the path of the vehicle. Continue reading

Happy Kwanzaa. It’s the “Black Christmas.” Uh…no.

Kwanzaa.  It's the "Black Christmas".  Uh...no.
Kwanzaa. It’s the “Black Christmas”. Uh…no.

*Habari gani?

I said Habari gani?

What the hell am I talking about, you say?

Do you mean to tell me you don’t know what “Habari gani?” means, or that you’re supposed to reply with the Kwanzaa principle of the day?

Could it be that you don’t celebrate Kwanzaa?

Don’t sweat your weave out.  Me, either.

For the record, “Habari gani?” is the greeting of the day during Kwanzaa, which runs December 26 through January 1. It’s Swahili for “what’s the news?”, and is followed by someone else responding with the principal of the day.

Just so ya know, today’s principle is Ujima (oo-GEE-mah), which means collective work and responsibility.

Today, I’m taking it as my responsibility to do the work (as Iyanla Vanzant would say) and tell you that Kwanzaa just doesn’t work for me. Continue reading

‘On A Mission’ Wants to Take Your Child to See Some Important Sites in Washington (Time-Sensitive!)

White House Tour cropped

*Its good to know there are organizations out there ready and willing to introduce our children to the political landscape; to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to Dr. King’s Memorial, the Pentagon and more. These are things they should ideally learn about when they are young. They will have plenty of time to get all wrapped up in the complexities of politics and all that comes with it. But why not start them out early? Why not let them see where the President, First Lady and their beautiful daughters call home? Why not allow them to peek into the rooms where Bills are introduced and possibly signed into Law one day?

Parents may be in luck thanks to On A Mission, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles that doesn’t stop at teaching our African American children how to become successful in their respective fields; but takes it a step further and teaches them how to empower their communities and uplift those around them.

On A Mission wants to hear from parents who are interested in sending their kids on the field trip of a lifetime. The 5th Annual Washington D. C. White House and College Tour takes place April 27-30, 2016. And while mature kids ages 13-17 are welcomed, OAM will also consider your 11 & 12 year olds. Continue reading

Los Angeles Students Return to School After Terrorist Threat

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*With what I am sure is a heightened sense of caution, LAUSD administrators are welcoming students and educators back to school today following threats received via email on Tuesday that forced a shut-down of all L.A. County schools.

The second largest district in the nation, Los Angeles Unified School District, saw school buses and parents dropping off the 640,000 students who were taken out of classes yesterday; only to return one day later. Continue reading

Girls Want to Join the Boys Scouts of America

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*A group of girls in Santa Rosa, California have found the Girl Scouts of America to be lacking in providing the types of experiences they’d like to have. Instead of working to change the group’s curriculum, they’ve opted to petition the Boy Scouts to let them in.

“I want to be a Boy Scout,” said Allie Westover, 13. She made the statement to a panel of male representatives as she dropped off her scout application, as did her sister, Skyler, and three friends, Ella Jacobs, Daphne Mortenson and Taylor Alcozer.

They’ve named themselves the Unicorns and want to formally join the Boy Scouts of America, a organization that has positioned themselves as a male-only club since 1910.  None of the girls want to be boys — they just want to learn and play like them.

“Because we’re girls we can’t participate with boys?” said Ella, 10. “When we get into the real world, we’re going to have to work with other people who are, like, not just girls.”

Ella makes a compelling case. But she and her friends face an uphill battle. For one thing Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination by sex, exempts the Boy Scouts and allows them to exclude girl members.

Many have preceded the Unicorns in petitioning the Boy Scouts to admit girls, going back to the 1970s. All prior efforts have failed. “The conflict about admitting girls goes back even further than the conflict over admitting gays,” said Richard Ellis, a professor of politics at Willamette University and the author of the book “Judging the Boy Scouts of America.”

I’m on the fence on this one. Continue reading

Important Advice: What (And What Not) To Do If You Find Yourself in a Terrorist Attack Situation

terrorism-5v

**Good morning. I’m going start your day off with a ‘Sidebar.’ Generally, EURThisNthat will have some unbelievable, or heartbreaking news story up at the crack of dawn. Or something sensational. And there is plenty out there, believe me. But not today. You see that headline? Unfortunately, its not one of fiction. It’s very real. And if you are someone who still thinks it doesn’t apply to you, I have one question to ask you as my new BFF:

Our world has gotten a lot smaller over the past two weeks. Remember when people used to refer to six-degrees-of-separation? Well even that has changed.

Now its more like three.

Our world started getting smaller in 2001. Specifically on September 11. I recall it vividly because I had just returned from New York City the day before al-Qaeda terrorists carried out a series of four attacks that left thousands of people dead and changed the lives of families and friends forever.

Now, with the recent attacks on Paris, and other assaults, the UK National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (Nactso) has issued guidance on what we should and should not do if we find ourselves caught up in a terrorist attack. Continue reading