Daily Archive: April 29, 2011


Graduate Pittsburgh fights for diplomas

The teachers, school administrators and non-profit organizations working with Graduate Pittsburgh don’t just meet to talk about the dropout rate on a broad scale. They actually work every day to ensure Pittsburgh’s 12th graders will graduate in June. The Graduate Pittsburgh Committee is a group headed by Communities in Schools, the nation’s largest stay-in-school network working in dropout prevention. The committee’s Immediate Intervention Action Group works directly with seniors at Westinghouse High School and Peabody High School, where more than half of the students still haven’t met their graduation requirements. The graduation rate for Westinghouse is 83 percent, and Peabody is 72 percent compared to Pittsburgh Public Schools’ 85 percent. COMMUNITY PARTNERS—Front from left: Florence Rouzier, executive director of the Crossroads Foundation and District 2 School Board Representative Dara Ware Allen, executive director, YouthWorks. (Photo by J.L. Martello)


Fox: Diversity initiatives miss the point

In recent years, the campaign for equality in employment has fallen under the label of diversity and inclusion. However at the Diversecity 365 Living Legend Honors Luncheon and Inclusion Series on April 25, speakers called for a return to the days of affirmative action. “What I am most concerned about is this term diversity because with this new terminology it has taken the emphasis off of affirmative action and equal opportunity employment,” said Alma Speed Fox. “We have to make sure these people who are in power remember affirmative action and equal opportunity employment.” ALMA SPEED FOX (Photo by J.L. Martello)


SW Pa. conference strives to empower girls

Negotiation, Advocacy, Mentoring and Entrepreneurship were the goals of the Girls Coalition of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s third annual conference. The Girls Coalition of Southwestern Pennsylvania is a network of providers, parents, funders and community stakeholders who are dedicated to improving the lives of the girls in our region. The coalition brings together people and resources to educate, advocate and network on behalf of girls. LAVERN BAKER HOTEP SPEAKS TO THE AUDIENCE


Tyler Perry: ‘Spike Lee can go straight to hell’ Movie makers’ in war of words over artistic vision of Blacks

by Erica ButlerFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)—Ahead of the national premiere of his latest project, writer and director Tyler Perry said recently he is weary of deflecting criticism that his work lacks substance and is not an authentic and constructive portrayal of Black Americans. Perry’s latest film, “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” opened across the country April 22. He said during a Beverly Hills news conference April 19 that he is particularly irritated by criticism from Black filmmaker Spike Lee. MADEA—In this publicity image released by Lionsgate, Tyler Perry portrays Madea in a scene from “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family.” (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Quantrell D. Colbert)


Refighting America’s Civil War

(NNPA)—A recent cover of Time magazine featured an illustration of a crying Abraham Lincoln with the inscription, “Why We’re Still Fighting the Civil War: The endless battle over the war’s true cause would make Lincoln weep.” While I question whether today’s effort to recast the Civil War would make avowed White supremacist Abraham Lincoln cry, there is no denial that much of America continues to shy away from acknowledging that slavery was the primary cause of what revisionists prefer to call the War Between the States or the War of Northern Aggression.


Smarter on crime

The nation’s decades long war on drugs and ‘tough on crime’ posture has failed to reduce crime rates and control the rising prison population. Additionally, our current crime fighting strategy puts us at a disadvantage in other critical sectors, namely education. Knowing what we now know, it is clear that it’s beyond time to take a different approach on crime…a smarter one. According to a recently released NAACP report entitled “Misplaced Priorities: Over Incarcerate and Under Educate,” state spending on prisons in the last 20 years grew six times faster than education spending. In fact, 33 states increased prison spending in 2009 while simultaneously reducing education funding.



Gallup Poll: Obama hits all-time low amongst minorities

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—It would seem that Barack Obama just can’t get himself a break. Just when it looks like there have been four straight months of unemployment going down, and he managed to put together a deal on the budget that wouldn’t lead to a government shutdown Gallup releases a poll that shows he has a great deal of work still to do in order to get his job back in 2012. This time President Obama has a problem with black and brown folk, and this is a problem that in many respects if he doesn’t solve will be more crucial to his campaign success than even unemployment.


Blacks and economics of voting

How long will the Black community continue to allow the Obama administration and the Democratic Party to insult them and then blame it on Obama not wanting to be perceived as a “Black” president? Let me give an example. You have invested in a business project, Obama Inc. There were four classes of investors: class W, which comprised 74 percent of the total stock; class B, which comprised 13 percent of the total stock, class H, which comprised 9 percent of the total stock; and class G, which comprised 4 percent of the total stock. How would you respond to the CEO of Obama Inc. if he says the rate of return (ROI) payout would be as follows: those who invested in class W stocks would be paid first, followed by, class G, then class L and the last to be paid back would be class B.


Jazz legend Tate returns to Pittsburgh roots

A pair of jazz legends are returning to their Pittsburgh roots. Drummer and vocalist Grady Tate and internationally acclaimed jazz and blues vocalist Tim Strong will perform Windmills: The Grady Tate Concert on Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. at the August Wilson Center, along with New York pianist Sumi Tonooka, saxophonist Kenny Blake, drummer Roger Humph­ries and other distinguished local and national artists Tate and Strong will also return to Pittsburgh Hill District for” Live at the Hurricane,” a private event at the Hill House’s newly renovated Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium on Thursday, April 28. Tate began his career at the legendary Hurricane Club as a drummer. GRADY TATE