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2015

What its like to be a minority in the workplace today?
December 18, 2015
America is more diverse than ever -- and only getting more so. According to the Census Bureau, more than half of children in the U.S. are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group by 2020. But even though we have more cultures in the mix, age-old racial stereotypes still hold some people back both personally and professionally.
Just How Few Professors of Color Are at America's Top Colleges? Check Out These Charts
November 23, 2015
Just how well do the professors at America's top colleges reflect the country's race and gender breakdowns? Each year, universities are required to report diversity data to the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the Department of Education. Unsurprisingly, the numbers show that the teaching staff at America's universities are much whiter and much more male than the general population, with Hispanics and African Americans especially underrepresented. At some schools, like Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and Princeton, there are more foreign teachers than Hispanic and black teachers combined. The Ivy League's gender stats are particularly damning; men make up 68 percent and 70 percent of the teaching staff at Harvard and Princeton, respectively.
Where Are All the Black College Faculty?
November 12, 2015
It’s an uncomfortable and unacceptable shame ― nearly two decades into a new millennium ― that the work to integrate college and university faculty and administration remains undone.
University of Missouri President Resigns Amid Protests
November 10, 2015
University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned Monday, amid protests and calls for his resignation from the student body, faculty, state legislators and even the football team. Similar situations at institutions such as Yale University and Ithaca College take place as students continue to protest administrative indifference to racial intolerance on campus. Now, eyes across the country are turning to Mizzou to watch as the story continues to unfold.
The Cost of Academic Freedom: How Ghosts of Racism’s Past Haunt College Campuses
October 30, 2015
Recently, Black students at UCLA have reignited the hashtag #BlackBruinsMatter after a predominantly White fraternity and predominantly White sorority threw a racially themed costume party. It seems yearly, particularly during Halloween and back-to-campus celebrations, White students on predominantly White campuses are in the news for overtly racist actions.
How Texas Teaches History
October 23, 2015
A TEXAS high school student and his mother recently called attention to a curious line in a geography textbook: a description of the Atlantic slave trade as bringing “millions of workers” to plantations in the American South. McGraw-Hill Education, the publisher of the textbook, has since acknowledged that the term “workers” was a misnomer.
'Ask Me': What LGBTQ Students Want Their Professors to Know
October 21, 2015
The federal law known as Title IX is meant to protect students from discrimination based on their gender identity. But many gay, lesbian, and transgender students say they face an array of challenges and safety issues on their campuses. The Chronicle interviewed more than a dozen of them to hear more about what keeps them from thriving in college. Here’s a glance at some of the many issues they talked about:
Study reveals gender disparity in pay despite similar levels of performance
October 15, 2015
Women received smaller raises than men even when evaluations show comparable levels of performance, according to a paper recently co-authored by Aparna Joshi of the Penn State Smeal College of Business. “It was not that women systematically under-performed relative to men. In fact, we found no significant difference in the performance of women and men holding similar jobs,” said Joshi, professor of management and organization at Smeal. “What happened instead was that employers systematically underrewarded women who performed relatively similarly to and sometimes even higher than men.”
Report: U.S. Math Performance Gap Starts with Unequal Access
October 15, 2015
When it comes to educating U.S. teens in math, schools play a significant factor in reinforcing, and even worsening, the inequalities between students from upper-income families and their low-income peers
Experts Cite Critical Need to Better Serve Hispanic Learners
October 14, 2015
In the last 10 years, Hispanic students have improved in terms of high school completion and college enrollment, but still struggle to earn a degree and fill higher-paying jobs. Malfaro, who spoke at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ 29th Annual Conference at the Fontainebleau Hotel, said the United States is in a “crucial period of public education reform” and struggles to address the needs Hispanic learners ― who are poorer than their White counterparts and often fall victim to a system based heavily on standardized testing.
Columbus’ journey key to understanding today’s America. That’s not good
October 12, 2015
For most Americans, Columbus Day is little more than a day off and a chance to get some final sunshine before winter. For the descendants of the indigenous populations of the Americas, it must feel rather different. Native Americans and other campaigners have been calling for a “reimagining” of Columbus Day. Rather than lionizing — or simply commemorating — the Italian-born explorer, they say, the day should focus on those who lived on this side of the Atlantic for thousands of years beforehand. What happened to them, they believe, has been sidelined, and almost wiped from the history books.
And the Award Goes to …
September 24, 2015
My self-esteem demons of elementary school, middle school, high school, and even college were dealt a serious blow as Viola Davis made her acceptance speech at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Excelencia Lauds Successful Latino Academic Achievement Programs
September 24, 2015
The 2015 Celebración de Excelencia kicked off Tuesday night with recognition of the 2015 Examples of Excelencia, or programs that are advancing Latino academic success.
UC Berkeley Launches African American Initiative
September 11, 2015
In a move largely aimed at stepping up the recruitment and support of Black students, the University of California-Berkeley has announced that it is seeking to launch a privately-run African-American student scholarship fund and is taking steps toward making the flagship campus a more welcoming environment for African-American students, faculty, and staff.
Study Tracks Vast Racial Gap In School Discipline In 13 Southern States
August 27, 2015
For years there has been mounting evidence that U.S. schools suspend and expel African-American students at higher rates than white students. A new study by the University of Pennsylvania singles out 13 Southern states where the problem is most dire. Schools in these states were responsible for more than half of all suspensions and exclusions of black students nationwide.
Experts Say Revisionist History Detrimental to America Students
August 27, 2015
It is a common adage: those who do not know their history are destined to repeat it. But what happens when people are taught the incorrect accounts of their history? For students of color across the country, the account of history they learn in school doesn’t easily reconcile with what they’re taught at home.
Diverse Conversations: 5 Ways to Maintain College Diversity Without Affirmative Action
August 11, 2015
Over the past 50 years, affirmative action has helped transform college student populations from monotone to vibrant and diverse. The positive impact of affirmative action on the diversity of college campuses is hard to deny. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that affirmative action programs have doubled, and in some cases tripled, the number of minority applicants to colleges and universities. When California banned affirmative action in 1998, minority admittance at UC Berkeley dropped 61 percent, and, at UCLA, it fell 36 percent. Recently, Michigan banned affirmative action for admittance to public universities, and the U.S. Supreme Court may rule on it on a federal level soon. The process that was created during the height of the Civil Rights movement in America may soon be officially considered outdated, and even unfair, by the higher judicial powers.
Clinton Unveils Plan to Solve Student Debt and High Tuition Costs
August 11, 2015
Former U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton unveiled her higher education plan at a campaign stop on Monday. Clinton’s New College Compact is a far-ranging proposal that extends beyond solving the problem of excessive student debt and rising college tuition costs.
The classic image of a farmer is a man. These stunning pics prove that wrong.
July 16, 2015
After all, 30% of farmers in the U.S. are women. In 2012, there were nearly 970,000 female farm operators in the U.S. — 30% of the total number. And anyone who's ever worked in agriculture could tell you that's nothing new. Women have played a huge role in farm life since ... well, forever. And yet, the primary image we see of farmers remains rather, well, dudely.
I, Racist
July 13, 2015
What follows is the text of a "sermon" that I gave as a "congregational reflection" to an all White audience at the Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ on Sunday, June 28th. The sermon was begun with a reading of The Good Samaritan story, and this wonderful quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. A couple weeks ago, I was debating what I was going to talk about in this sermon. I told Pastor Kelly Ryan I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day. Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. At that point, I knew that despite any misgivings, I needed to talk about race.
Study: Limited Support for Transgender Census Category
July 3, 2015
Researchers find that among transgender individuals there may be limited support for the inclusion of a transgender category in the U.S. Census.
How U.S. Schools Are Failing Immigrant Children
July 2, 2015
A 40-year-old Supreme Court decision obligates schools to assist English-language learners. San Francisco has just been ordered to figure out how.
What to Expect as the Supreme Court Revisits Race in Admissions
July 1, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday again agreed to hear a legal challenge to the race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, setting the stage for new arguments in a closely watched case that the justices decided once before, in 2013.
Gay rights supporters push beyond marriage to broader legal protections
June 30, 2015
Fresh off their biggest legal victory, gay rights supporters began to expand their efforts beyond same-sex marriage to a broad push to rewrite civil rights law and extend protections to other personal and financial actions. A liberal coalition spanning gay rights groups and traditional African American leaders turned its attention to a new legislative bid to outlaw discrimination against homosexuals in employment, housing, financial dealings and other regular actions not protected under the Supreme Court’s ruling declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right.
Brenda Williams Recognized By CCAP 21st Century Best Practices Award
June 16, 2015
Making Diversity Not the Work of One Office, but a Campuswide Priority
June 8, 2015
At the annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, it’s not hard to get people thinking about diversity and inclusion: They already are. The challenge for the chief diversity officers, other administrators, professors, and students who met here last week lies back home — keeping those ideals on colleagues’ and classmates’ minds every day, not just when prompted by a complaint or a scandal.
Report: Student Loan Debt Stratified by Race, Class
June 5, 2015
New Demos report documents the patterns of student loan debt along racial and class lines with Black, Latino, and low-income students taking out higher loans than Whites and more likely to drop out with debt.
How Our Government Created 'Ghettos'
June 3, 2015
How Our Government Created 'Ghettos'. Historian Richard Rothstein studies residential segregation in America. His conclusion: "federal, state and local governments purposely created racial boundaries in these cities." This is a podcast that can be accessed at the link below. Select the May 14, 2015 podcast.
Ongoing Debate over Offensive Words Hits NCORE
May 30, 2015
There is an ongoing debate around words used pejoratively to refer to different groups of people. Who gets to use words like “nigga” (or “nigger”) or “Redskin”? Moreover, who gets to serve as the arbiter in deciding who gets to use them? Are the words okay if used by members of the communities they were created to define? Is it ever okay for those outside of the community to use them? Is there some level of “downness” one can exhibit to get a pass?
Asian-Americans Packing On Political Muscle
May 22, 2015
The Asian-American population will grow 74 percent by 2040, but the number of this racial group’s registered voters will more than double, according to a new report. “This could be a game changer,” the report states. “Not only will Asian-Americans be a politically influential voting bloc in select areas, they have the potential to be the margin of victory in critical swing vote states during the next six presidential elections.”
Asian American Groups File Complaint Against Harvard
May 18, 2015
A coalition of more than 60 Asian American organizations filed an official federal complaint against Harvard University on Friday. The coalition requested that Harvard be the subject of a civil rights violation investigation on the basis of what the coalition is calling discriminatory admissions practices. At a press conference held Friday afternoon, coalition leaders said that holistic, race-based admissions policies hold Asian American students to higher standards than all other racial or ethnic groups. They called on Ivy League schools to eliminate the consideration of race in admissions decisions. In addition, the coalition said that Harvard University has an unlawful quota for the number of Asian American students it will admit.
A Wave of Hispanic Students Reshapes a Historically Black College
May 18, 2015
Cinco de Mayo is a low-key celebration at Huston-Tillotson University, a historically black institution that began in the late 1800s to educate freed slaves and their children. But it has taken on a more personal significance for a growing number of students at this small, private institution where one in five students today is Hispanic
Teachers more likely to label black students as troublemakers, Stanford research shows
April 22, 2015
Stanford psychologists Jennifer Eberhardt and Jason Okonofua experimentally examined the psychological processes involved when teachers discipline black students more harshly than white students.
Bowdoin College President Opened Doors for Minorities
April 16, 2015
Dr. Barry Mills worked to increase access and affordability to Bowdoin for low-income families and to students of color who otherwise might not have bothered to apply to the liberal arts institution in Maine, where 95 percent of the state’s population is White.
Experts: Campuses Need to be All In on Diversity
April 14, 2015
When a noose turned up on the campus of Duke University recently, some were shocked. Many, however — particularly those who had had the experiences of students or faculty of color on a predominantly White campus (PWI) — were not.
U.C.L.A. Faculty Approves Diversity Requirement
April 13, 2015
Proposals to require students to take a course related to diversity have been controversial on many campuses. But the University of California at Los Angeles has had one of the longest debates on the topic, with multiple votes (going in different directions), dating to 2004.
Not American Enough
April 9, 2015
I should have been prepared for profiling at American University. But I wasn’t. The first time I was profiled by the campus police, I was a grad student and adjunct writing teacher. I was passing through a building when an officer stopped me and asked for my identification. The second time it happened, I was on campus to check my box and this time had a faculty ID to show the officer.
Lines Drawn in Texas’ Undocumented Tuition Battle
April 9, 2015
Undocumented students in Texas are eligible for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, but some Texas state lawmakers are attempting to change that.
Philadelphia Latest City to Offer Free Community College Tuition
April 8, 2015
The city of Philadelphia just joined the vanguard of states and cities implementing free tuition at local community colleges. Starting next fall, some recent high schools graduates entering the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) will be eligible for scholarship funding that will make up the difference between CCP’s tuition and state and federal aid.
Asian American Students Help Right Historical Wrong
April 1, 2015
While studying Asian-American legal history about 20 years ago, Gabriel “Jack” Chin dug into the previous century’s race-based exclusion laws and how they oppressed people of that era. Chin was especially offended by the treatment of Hong Yen Chang, who was reportedly the nation’s first lawyer of Chinese ancestry in 1888 but was banned from practicing in California based on his national origin. When Chin became a University of California, Davis law professor, he enlisted Asian-American students in an effort to right the historical wrong.
California Community Colleges Team Up With HBCUs
April 1, 2015
The California Community College system and nine historically Black institutions have devised a transfer program linking the state’s 112 two-year colleges with the nation’s Black college community.
Decision delayed on federal recognition for Virginia Indian tribe
April 1, 2015
The Pamunkey Indians — best known as the tribe of Pocahontas — will have to wait four more months to find out if its 35-year quest to become the first tribe in Virginia to be recognized by the federal government will be successful. Kevin Brown, the chief of the 208-member Pamunkeys, was notified of the delay in a letter sent to him on Friday by the Interior Department. The letter said only that the office of the assistant secretary for Indian affairs needs additional time to issue a final determination. Federal approval would make the tribe, located east of Richmond, eligible for federal money for housing, education and health care. But it would also allow the tribe to pursue gambling ventures in a state strongly opposed to casinos.
United States, Mexico Sign Intern Agreement
March 25, 2015
The U.S. State Department and the Mexican national government have agreed to expand academic exchange and internship opportunities for American and Mexican undergraduate and graduate students.
Penn State to Offer Course About Shooting in Ferguson
March 24, 2015
Penn State University is the latest institution to offer a course about the tragic events that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer when an unarmed 18-year-old named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a White police officer. The interdisciplinary African American Studies course titled “The Fire This Time: Understanding Ferguson” started last week and will explore the historical dimensions of Ferguson, the interaction between the police and locals, and the legal proceedings, which ultimately led to a grand jury refusing to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Brown. Days of protests and civil unrest followed and propelled a new wave of activism, the likes of which the nation had not seen since the 1960s.
Food Science Grad Shares his Career Journey
March 18, 2015
David Bolden (Food Science, '87) reminisces about his time at Penn State and how it prepared him to manage food quality and safety programs at three family-run flour mills throughout Pennsylvania.
Diverse Conversations: True Diversity on Campus
March 16, 2015
We talk a lot about inclusion and diversity on our college campuses, both in public materials and in closed-door meetings. Both words have become so ingrained in college culture that sometimes it seems that as a collective group of educators, we are becoming desensitized to their true potential. In order for college and university campuses to truly be places of diversity in our contemporary culture, there are some major area that need focus and active attention.
Video Surfaces of Oklahoma Frat House Mom Chanting N-Word
March 11, 2015
The University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity made news once again this week when a video surfaced of the fraternity house mom, Beauton Gilbow, chanting the N-word several times. According to the Huffington Post, the video comes on the heels of a tear-filled interview Gilbow did with CBS in which she called the fraternity members’ singing of a racist song “unbelievable.” In the video posted by the Daily Oklahoman, Gilbow chants the N-word several times, while Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” plays in the background. On Tuesday, University of Oklahoma President David Boren expelled two students involved in the fraternity’s racist bus chant. The 10-second video shows members of the fraternity chanting racist slurs and saying they would never let Blacks into the fraternity.
High School Graduation Rates Between Black and White Males Widen
February 11, 2015
Invoking the “Black Lives Matter” mantra borne through last year’s protests over police killings of Black men, the Schott Foundation for Public Education is releasing a report today that decries a “widened” gap between the high school graduation rates for Black males and White males. The report, which provides a state-by-state breakdown of Black male graduation rates, should serve as a “barometer for where the country is at the moment,” said Pedro A. Noguera, an education professor and executive director of the Metropolitan Center at NYU. And while high school graduation rates have increased overall, disparities have intensified, said Noguera, who suggested a need to look “beyond the data” and search for other factors that might be contributing to educational disparities along lines of race and ethnicity.
Racial Disparities Have Varying Effects on Women in STEM
February 9, 2015
A comprehensive new study from the Center for WorkLife Law quantifies the double bind of gender and racial bias in the STEM fields. The report shows that the experience of gender bias differs by race, so while all women of color may experience gender bias, they do not experience it in the same way.
Report: Graduation Gap Grows Between Rich, Poor
February 6, 2015
by Jamaal Abdul-Alim A report, co-authored by Margaret Cahalan, also found a drastic decline in the purchasing power of the Pell Grant for low-income students. A report, co-authored by Margaret Cahalan, also found a drastic decline in the purchasing power of the Pell Grant for low-income students. The percentage of students from low-income families who go on to earn a bachelor’s degrees is almost the same today as it was in 1965 — 6 percent then versus 9 percent now — while the percentage of students from high-income families who go on to earn a bachelor’s degree has skyrocketed between then and now — 40 percent then versus 77 percent now.
The unsung heroes of black history
February 6, 2015
By Colbert I. King January 30 “Bondmen, according to the slave code, were not allowed to meet or hold any kind of meeting unless a white man was present. Nor were they allowed to be out after ten o’clock at night without a pass, or to have two or more congregate on the street at one time. If they did any of these things, they thereby violated the sacred laws of bondage and suffered imprisonment and persecution. Thus handicapped in their worship, they . . . prayed for a deliverer, and he came in the person of a young lawyer from Philadelphia. By his earnest endeavors in their behalf, they were released without being sentenced to jail or whipped. But, nevertheless, they were driven out of Georgetown, across Rock Creek, and into Washington, where they worshipped for a while in the house of William Beckett on the corner of 23d and L Streets.”
Heard on Campus: Sarah Collins Rudolph, 16th Street Church bombing survivor
January 26, 2015
Sarah Collins Rudolph, a survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963, spoke Jan. 23 at the Penn State Forum in the Nittany Lion Inn.
PA’s First African-American State Forester: Ralph Elwood Brock
January 23, 2015
Ralph Elwood Brock was born on February 15, 1881 and raised in Pottsville, Schuylkill County. He became the first African-American to become a Graduate Forester of the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy's first class of 1906.He may well have been the first African-American to be educated in forestry in the United States.Prior to going to the Academy, Brock was employed at the former Mont Alto Reserve, now Michaux State Forest, so he had an early connection to forestry work.Immediately after graduation, Brock was named superintendent of the newly established Mont Alto State Forest Tree Nursery, a position he held from 1906 to 1911.
Golden Globe Comedy: It’s Funny Until it Happens to You
January 14, 2015
Unfortunately, Fey and Poehler led and participated in an offensive attack on Asians during their routine that left me embarrassed and ashamed. Over the years, I have noticed that these two White women are very outspoken when issues pertain to women but that they are often quiet when the subject is race. In this case, they didn’t remain quiet. They—along with comedian Margaret Cho—mocked North Korea, and then Koreans in general, and then participated in perpetuating quite a few Asian stereotypes. Oh, and by the way, just because someone Asian participates doesn’t make it okay; context matters. Every so often, I have watched Fey and Poehler wander into race-based comedy and it’s always awkward. Very awkward.
Aziz Advocates for Arab American Issues
January 13, 2015
Sahar F. Aziz has the distinction of having at least two racial identities. “In the U.S, I am a racial, ethnic minority,” says Aziz, the daughter of Egyptian immigrants who was also born in Cairo herself. “In Egypt, I am not completely a member of the majority because I was not raised there. I have outsider status and so I straddle both worlds.” ­That dual identity has piqued her interest in writing about legal and social justice in both the United States and the Middle East.
The Decline in U.S. Fertility
January 6, 2015
(December 2014) Next year will mark the 50-year anniversary of an important event that put the United States on a new demographic path: The end of the postwar baby boom. The U.S. baby boom was a period of remarkably high fertility rates that lasted nearly two decades, from 1946 through 1964. During this period, there were 76 million births—mostly to non-Hispanic white parents—and fertility increased to a lifetime average of more than 3 children per woman. At its peak during the late 1950s, the fertility rate reached nearly 3.7 births per woman.
America's Changing Demographic Landscape: New Census Projections
January 6, 2015
Video featuring a presentation by the Bookings Institute on the changing demographic picture of the United States. This site also contains a number of video clips including "World Population by the Billion."
Just Like Magic, Kyla McMullen Makes Obstacles Disappear
January 5, 2015
Dr. Kyla McMullen became the first African-American woman with a Ph.D. in engineering and computer science from the University of Michigan en route to being named a Diverse 2015 Emerging Scholar. Dr. Kyla McMullen became the first African-American woman with a Ph.D. in engineering and computer science from the University of Michigan en route to being named a Diverse 2015 Emerging Scholar.