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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.