Charleston, SC — The Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Medicine (COM) has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as having the fifth largest number of African-American medical students in the U.S., outside of historically black colleges and universities. In addition, the American Association of Medical Colleges ranks MUSC COM in the 96th percentile for medical schools with the most African-American students.
In the 2015-2016 academic year, COM enrolled 129 underrepresented minority (URM) medical students, or 18 percent of the medical student body. Of those students, 95 (13 percent of the student body) identified as African-American. The class of 2020 has 19 percent URM students, continuing the upward trend.
MUSC recognizes that the solution to increased diversity in the physician workforce starts with bringing minorities into medical education, and is focused on recruiting, supporting and graduating diverse medical students through a number of initiatives. For example, the cost of a medical education is a hindrance to many students, and particularly URM students.
Since 2012, MUSC’s “Opening Doors” medical scholarship program has funded 27 scholarships to URM students to ease their financial burden as they pursue medical careers. For a deeper look at recruitment and retention efforts for COM URM students, see the links below:
MUSC College of Medicine Diversity Initiatives:
URM Student Pipeline Programs for development and recruitment
URM Student Mentorship for development and retention
URM Resident recruitment, development and retention
URM Faculty recruitment, development, and retention
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.2 billion. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children’s Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I Trauma Center, and Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit www.muschealth.org.
Claressa Shields made history on Sunday as the first American boxer, male or female, to take home two gold medals. The 21-year-old’s accomplishment is one for the books and she’s not shy about embracing her moment.
“People will never forget that I am the first American boxer to win two Olympic [gold] medals,” Shields said.
When Shields took the podium to receive her gold medal in Rio, she unzipped her jacket pocket and pulled out her previous medal.
For full article click here.
By Hazel Trice Edney
(TriceEdneyWire) – Pioneering Civil rights and Black political journalist George E. Curry, the reputed dean of Black press columnists because of his riveting weekly commentary in Black newspapers across the country, died suddenly of heart failure on Saturday, August 20. He was 69.
Rumors of his death circulated heavily in journalistic circles on Saturday night until it was confirmed by Dr. Bernard Lafayette, MLK confidant and chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference shortly before midnight.
“This is a tragic loss to the movement because George Curry was a journalist who paid special attention to civil rights because he lived it and loved it,” Lafayette said through his spokesman Maynard Eaton, SCLC national communications director.
Curry’s connection to the SCLC was through his longtime childhood friend, confidant and ally in civil rights, Dr. Charles Steele, SCLC president. Lafayette said Dr. Steele was initially too distraught to make the announcement himself and was also awaiting notification of Curry’s immediate family.
Steele and Curry grew up together in Tuscaloosa, Ala. where Curry bloomed as a civil rights and sports writer as Steele grew into a politician and civil rights leader.
Curry began his journalism career at Sport Illustrated, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and then the Chicago Tribune. But he is perhaps best known for his editorship of the former Emerge Magazine and more recently for his work as editor-in-chief for the National Newspaper Publishers Association from 2000-2007 and again from 2012 until last year.
His name is as prominent among civil rights circles as among journalists. He traveled with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and appeared weekly to do commentary on the radio show of the Rev. Al Sharpton, “Keepin’ It Real.”
When he died he was raising money to fully fund Emerge News Online, a digital version of the former paper magazine. He had also continued to distribute his weekly column to Black newspapers.
Few details of his death were readily available Sunday morning. Reactions and memorial information will be forthcoming. The following is his edited speaker’s biography as posted on the website of America’s Program Bureau:
George E. Curry is former editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service. The former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, Curry also writes a weekly syndicated column for NNPA, a federation of more than 200 African American newspapers.
Curry, who served as editor-in-chief of the NNPA News Service from 2001 until 2007, returned to lead the news service for a second time on April 2, 2012.
His work at the NNPA has ranged from being inside the Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in the University of Michigan affirmative action cases to traveling to Doha, Qatar, to report on America’s war with Iraq.
As editor-in-chief of Emerge, Curry led the magazine to win more than 40 national journalism awards. He is most proud of his four-year campaign to win the release of Kemba Smith, a 22-year-old woman who was given a mandatory sentence of 24 1/2 years in prison for her minor role in a drug ring. In May 1996, Emerge published a cover story titled “Kemba’s Nightmare.” President Clinton pardoned Smith in December 2000, marking the end of her nightmare.
Curry is the author of Jake Gaither: America’s Most Famous Black Coach and editor of The Affirmative Action Debate and The Best of Emerge Magazine. He was editor of the National Urban League’s 2006 State of Black America report. His work in journalism has taken him to Egypt, England, France, Italy, China, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, Cuba, Brazil, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Mexico, Canada, and Austria. In August 2012, he was part of the official US delegation and a presenter at the USBrazil seminar on educational equity in Brasilia, Brazil. George Curry is a member of the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers.
His speeches have been televised on C-SPAN and reprinted in Vital Speeches of the Day magazine. In his presentations, he addresses such topics as diversity, current events, education, and the media. Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Curry graduated from Druid High School before enrolling at Knoxville College in Tennessee. At Knoxville, he was editor of the school paper, quarterback and co-captain of the football team, a student member of the school’s board of trustees, and attended Harvard and Yale on summer history scholarships.
While working as a Washington correspondent for The Chicago Tribune, he wrote and served as chief correspondent for the widely praised television documentary Assault on Affirmative Action, which was aired as part of PBS’ Frontline series. He was featured in a segment of One Plus One, a national PBS documentary on mentoring. Curry was part of the weeklong Nightline special, America in Black and White. He has also appeared on CBS Evening News, ABC’s World News Tonight, The Today Show, 20/20, Good Morning America, CNN, C-SPAN, BET, Fox Network News, MSNBC, and ESPN. After delivering the 1999 commencement address at Kentucky State University, he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters.
In May 2000, Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, also presented Curry with an honorary doctorate after his commencement speech. Later that year, the University of Missouri presented Curry with its Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, the same honor it had earlier bestowed on such luminaries as Joseph Pulitzer, Walter Cronkite, John H. Johnson, and Winston Churchill. In 2003, the National Association of Black Journalists named Curry Journalist of the Year.
Curry became the founding director of the St. Louis Minority Journalism Workshop in 1977. Seven years later, he became founding director of the Washington Association of Black Journalists’ annual high school journalism workshop. In February 1990, Curry organized a similar workshop in New York City. While serving as editor of Emerge, Curry was elected president of the American Society of Magazine Editors, the first African American to hold the association’s top office.
Before taking over as editor of Emerge, Curry served as New York bureau chief and as Washington correspondent for The Chicago Tribune. Prior to joining The Tribune, he worked for 11 years as a reporter for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and for two years as a reporter for Sports Illustrated.
Curry is chairman of the board of directors of Young DC, a regional teen-produced newspaper; immediate past chairman of the Knoxville College board of trustees; and serves on the board of directors of the Kemba N. Smith Foundation and St. Paul Saturdays, a leadership training program for young African American males in St. Louis. Curry was also a trustee of the National Press Foundation, chairing a committee that funded more than 15 workshops modeled after the one he directed in St. Louis.
Allyson Felix has made history at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. The 30-year-old won the silver medal in the 400-meter sprint and is now the most decorated woman in U.S. track and field history with a total of seven medals.
But it was a disappointing day Monday when she finished in a stunning battle on the track. The image of the photo finish showed Miller edging Felix, the most decorated woman in American track history, by half a body length — or a mere seven-hundredths of a second on the clock — with a winning time of 49.44 seconds to Felix’s 49.51. Shericka Jackson of Jamaica was third in 49.85.
After the race, you could visibly see Felix get choked up about the loss. She said she was “deeply disapointed” because she is “a competitor” in every since of the word.
But the loss is something she can’t focus on. Instead, she goes back to the reason why she’s running in the first place. The reason why she trained, sacrificed, made it to the olympics and made history: her faith.
“Last night didn’t end the way I had dreamed. I’m disappointed. I was quickly reminded of countless reasons to be proud, thankful and grateful. [Coach] Bobby [Kersee] told me this is the most proud he has ever been of me. That resonated with me. Everything went wrong this year, but some way I made it here and won a silver medal. I fought as hard as I could and gave my all. I’m most proud of never giving up on my dreams in the face of adversity. I’m extremely humbled to now be the most decorated female Olympian in USATF history. All glory to God!”
“Faith leads my life. That’s definitely the reason that I run. I definitely feel like I’ve been blessed with this gift, and so that’s something that helps me to see the bigger picture. It’s so easy to get caught up in winning everything and just the kind of the grind of what professional sports is, but it definitely helps me to kind of pull back and see that there’s a greater purpose. [Career down moments] are still difficult. I think a lot of times you want faith to kind of be the answer to everything, and it’s still a struggle to get there, you know? There are very real moments that are hard, but I think that it helps me to be able to learn the lesson that there is a purpose, a reason why maybe that happened, and it can create something in you and it might be preparing you for something better in the future.”
And preparation is something that Felix knows all about. Here, she describes how she prepares her body inside and out for the grueling it will take on the field.
“A few years ago, I got much more serious about my diet, and it’s made a big difference in the way I perform and the way I feel. I decided to get tested and see what my body was deficient in and what I could make up with nutrition. So now I have a kind of very planned-out system: I wake up. I usually start my day with Chobani yogurt (she is also sponsored by them).”
“For lunch I’ll have a salad with some type of protein in it. … And then my dinner is a bit bigger. I eat a lot of fish, some red meat, a lot of vegetables, brown rice. I try to keep everything pretty balanced. It’s important to make sure I have enough nutritious food to fuel me through the intense days.”
But, just like many of us, she keeps it real when it comes her cravings.
“Ice cream is my guilty pleasure. You can get so just tied up with trying to do everything right that you need to be able to reward yourself from time to time.”
When she thinks of combining diet and exercise to reach your goals, the olympian stresses that if you think of exercise as something that is fun, it’ll be easier to stick to than if you think of it as something you have to do. “Enjoy the process,” she says. “Keep your priorities straight and then go after them with a plan.” Felix suggests socializing your workouts by enlisting the help of a friend or two, and turning lunch dates or happy hours into workout sessions.
Allyson Felix, you’ll always be a true champion and number one to us, no matter what.
For more on your favorite olympian, click here.
This year’s theme, “Defining the Moment – Building the Movement,” will highlight a culmination of social and political moments in American History that define the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the CBCF. It will also explore the critical policy issues of voter suppression, police brutality and economic opportunity-and identify forward-looking solutions that empower people to change their lives, communities and futures.
“The ALC is one of the nation’s most influential conferences of African-American entrepreneurs, business leaders, legislators and community activists. This year more than ever, it is imperative that beyond measuring the status of racial democracy and economics we take actionable steps towards equalizing those disparities,” said R. Donahue Peebles, chairman of the CBCF board of directors. “We intend for this conference to accelerate solutions to the most threatening problems facing African Americans.”
“ALC offers an interactive and engaging learning environment using a flexible platform of constructive exchanges about social justice and economic empowerment. Creating change that tackles social injustice, strengthens leadership effectiveness and uplifts populations is of monumental importance to the CBCF,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the CBCF. “As we celebrate CBCF’s 40th anniversary and reflect on our journey thus far, we realize now is the time to reassert the changes needed to contribute to a sustainable future.”
“The CBCF’s civic engagement movement is about creating a global community of active citizens,” said Rep. William Lacy Clay. “During ALC, we will learn from our history and leverage those lessons towards a movement that builds mutual understanding and can help us safeguard our contributions to the social and economic development of our communities.”
“The ALC is an opportunity to gain valuable new insights and network with professionals from across the country,” said Rep. Karen Bass. “Our goal is to move beyond the conversation and toward a foundational shift.”
The ALC will feature a variety of events including an on-site employment fair and authors’ pavilion, the National Town Hall, Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts awards ceremony, Gospel Extravaganza, Black Party, the annual Prayer Breakfast, a jazz concert, exhibit showcase, and the culminating event, the Phoenix Awards Dinner, which supports the Foundation’s mission critical programs including education, economic development, health and research.
General registration for the ALC is now open. For regular updates about the ALC, visit www.cbcfinc.org/ALC16, sign up to receive the e-newsletter and follow the CBCF on social media.
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS & OUTREACH, PRESS OFFICE
400 MARYLAND AVE., S.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20202
FOR RELEASE: Aug. 19, 2016
CONTACT: Press Office (202) 401-1576 or [email protected]
The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and
Universities announced today that 73 students from across 63 HBCUs
have been named as the 2016 HBCU All-Stars. The All-Stars, comprised of
undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, are being recognized
for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, and civic
“During the course of one academic school year, the 73 All-Stars will
distinguish themselves as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate
and as noble ambassadors of their respective institutions,” said U.S.
Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “The Initiative is looking
forward to working with this third class of All-Stars and is confident
this opportunity will allow the Initiative to meaningfully connect with
HBCU students and advance academic excellence at their schools.”
Over the next year, the students will serve as ambassadors by providing
outreach opportunities and communicating with other students about the
value of both education and the Initiative as a networking source. Using
social media, relationships with community-based organizations, and
sessions with industry professionals, the students will share proven
practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve
their educational and career potential. They will also participate in
the White House HBCU Week Conference, national and regional events, and
webinars with Initiative staff and other professionals on a range of
disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and
“We’re looking forward to working with this new class of HBCU All
Stars,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Education and Acting Executive
Director White House Initiative on HBCUs Kim Hunter Reed. “Our goal is
to provide a unique opportunity for these talented students that exposes
them to critical national conversations and thought leaders. No doubt
they will make their mark and represent their campuses well.”
The All-Stars were selected from over 300 students from 24 states, the
District of Columbia, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Virgin Islands. They will
work together and as a group and network with one another to achieve
NOTE TO EDITORS: Below is a list of the 2016 HBCU All-Stars, in
alphabetical order by hometown state, the school they attend and the
Birmingham – JerAnthony Colvin, Talladega College, Talladega, Ala.
Catherine – Shannon Baldwin, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical
College, Huntsville, Ala.
Tuscaloosa – Jasmine Lavendar, Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Opelousas – Russell Williams, Philander Smith College, Little Rock,
Los Angeles – Paris Adkins-Jackson, Morgan State University, Baltimore,
Riverside – Breanna Lumpkin, Lane College, Jackson, Tenn.
Norwalk – Andre Earls, Wiley College, Marshall, Texas
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Brittney Young – Howard University, District of Columbia
Fort Lauderdale – Kennedy James, Virginia State University, Petersburg,
Miami Gardens – Dominique Nicholson , Florida Memorial University,
Miami Gardens, Fla.
Miami – Kiara Johnson, Houston-Tillotson University, Austin, Texas
Tampa – Victoria Harrison, Bethune Cookman University, Daytona Beach,
Albany – Angelica Howard, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga.
Albany – Chelsea Basley, Albany State University, Albany, Ga.
Atlanta – Jarell Jordan, Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga.
Atlanta – Gabriel Carter, Oakwood University, Huntsville, Ala.
Atlanta – Alicia Montgomery, Savannah State University, Savannah, Ga.
Dehli – Vishal Singh, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Ga.
Abednego Commey, Tougaloo College, Tougalo, Miss.
Chicago – Ashley Reid, Spelman College, Atlanta, Ga.
Chicago – Christopher Simpson, Edward Waters College, Jacksonville,
Baton Rouge – Kalaia Tripeaux, Southern University Agricultural and
Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, La.
Mount Hernon – Karla Martin, Xavier University, New Orleans, La.
Rustonm – Endiah Green, Grambling State University, Grambling, La.
Baltimore – Wanda Parks, Coppin State University, Baltimore, Md.
Beltsville – Benjamin Webster, University of Maryland Eastern Shore,
Princess Anne, Md.
Fort Washington – Ashleigh Williams, Hampton University, Hampton, Va.
Lanham – Donovan Blake, Bowie State University, Bowie, Md.
Silver Spring – Rachel Kenlaw, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Detroit – Michael McGee, Hampton University, Hampton, Va.
Detroit – Tiffany Brockington, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Detroit – Vester Waters, Mississippi Valley State University, Itta
Oakland Charter Township – JaMon Patterson, Clark Atlanta University,
Madison – James Griffin, Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss.
Lamar – Savahn Jordan, Rust College, Holly Springs, Miss.
Raymond – Sabrevian Davis, Hinds Community College, Raymond, Miss.
Blue Springs – Alexis Pulliam, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.
Kansas City – Jeanna Johnson, Dillard University, New Orleans, La.
St. Louis – Jabreia Taylor, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Ky.
Las Vegas – Joselyn Miller, Alabama State University, Montgomery, Ala.
Freehold – Edgar Ortiz, Delaware State University, Dover, Del.
Turnersville – Pearis Bellamy, Hampton University, Hampton, Va.
Brooklyn – Destiny Modeste, Paul Quinn College, Dallas, Texas
Staten Island – Brianna Fugate, Spelman College, Atlanta, Ga.
Temilade Aladeniyi – North Carolina Central University, Durham, N.C.
Concord – Paul McGee, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State
University, Greensboro, N.C.
Durham – Tremell Parker, Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, N.C.
Durham – Asheley Taylor, Bennett College, Greensboro, N.C.
Fayetteville – Kenya Glover, Livingstone College, Salisbury, N.C.
Fayetteville – Terrance McNeil, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical
University, Tallahassee, Fla.
Henderson – Niya Brooks, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical
State University, Greensboro, N.C.
Lexington – Deja Young, North Carolina Central University, Durham, N.C.
Akron – Britney Gibbs, Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio
Muskogee – Nicholas Simon, Langston University, Langston, Okla.
Boothwyn – Anitra Jackson, Cheney University of Pennsylvania, Cheney,
Aynor – Malcom Shealer, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn.
Orangeburg – Kingsley Uche, Claffin University, Orangeburg, S.C.
Orangeburg – Quinn Smith, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg,
Memphis – Janeisha Harris, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn.
Memphis – Jasmine Dean, Rust College, Holly Springs, Miss.
Memphis – Kimble James, LeMoyne Owen College, Memphis, Tenn.
DeSoto – Wendon Blair, Jarvis Christian College, Hawkins, Texas
Houston – Kaleb Taylor, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas
Houston – Sekia Wyatt, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas
Manville – Elijah Sharpe, Lincoln University of Missouri, Jefferson
San Antonio – Damon Lake, St. Phillips College, San Antonio, Texas
Texarkana – Stacy Roberson, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga.
Bristow – Chayse Lavallais, Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical
University, Prairie View, Texas
Newport News – Ravin Vick, Norfolk State College, Norfolk, Va.
Norfolk – Na’eem Wilkins, Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C.
Richmond – Danielle Ebelle, Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va.
Bluefield – Michael Bennett, Bluefield State University, Bluefield,
St. Kitts – Joash Liburd, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Kitts,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS & OUTREACH, PRESS OFFICE
400 MARYLAND AVE., S.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20202
EVENT DATE: Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016
Contact: Press Office
(202) 401-1576 or [email protected]
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African
Americans (Initiative), will continue their African American
Education Summit (Summit) series at Harris-Stowe University in St.
Louis, Missouri, at 2 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Aug. 17.
The Summit is a solutions-based forum designed to improve learning and
development opportunities for African-American students. It brings
together students, educators, administrators, and community organizers
from across the city of St. Louis to discuss the needs of
“Harris-Stowe embraces its role as the region’s think tank for issues
of equality and social justice,” said Dr. Dwaun Warmack , president,
Harris-Stowe State University. “We hope that the ideas discussed and
presented at this summit will be used to create more inclusive spaces
locally and nationwide.”
The three-part summit includes two panels, “Campus Climate: Feeling
Safe, Engaged, and Supported” moderated by the Initiative’s Executive
Director, David Johns , and “Cultivating Leaders, Supporting the
Development of African-American Students in St. Louis Post ‘Ferguson,'”
moderated by the Director of Teach For America St. Louis  (TFA-St.
Louis), Brittany Packnett .
Packnett added, “TFA-St. Louis recognizes that student voice is
essential in providing the best possible education for our students. We
appreciate that this summit provides students a platform to articulate
their needs, so that we as leaders can work toward providing them with
enriching, culturally responsive, and rigorous educational experiences.”
The day will conclude with an action-based session, “Call to Action:
Community Conversations, Reactions and Recommendations” designed to
identify specific ways that schools and the St. Louis community could
ensure that African-American students feel safe, engaged, and supported.
You can follow updates on Twitter @AfAmeducation 
White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans
Hosting African American Education Summit
2 p.m. CT, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016
3026 Laclede Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri
BY JESSE JACKSON
August 16, 2016
Now it is Milwaukee. On Saturday, a car with two African-American men
was stopped for “suspicion.” The men fled, the policeman pursued, and
the driver, reportedly armed, was shot and killed.
And Milwaukee exploded. Angry crowds confronted police, set fires,
threw rocks. At least half-dozen businesses — including a grocery
store, a gas station and an auto parts shop — were robbed or destroyed.
The Saturday shooting was part of a weekend filled with violence in
Milwaukee. Five people were shot and killed overnight Friday.
Milwaukee law mandates an investigation of any police shooting.
Immediately, focus goes to the harsh relations between police and the
community. But to understand the reaction to the shooting, it is
necessary to go much deeper.
This city is “a powder keg,” Ald. Khalif Rainey told The Washington
Post. “This entire community has sat back and witnessed how Milwaukee,
Wis., has become the worst place to live for African-Americans in the
entire country. Now this is a warning cry. … Do we continue — continue
with the inequities, the injustice, the unemployment, the
undereducation…? The black people of Milwaukee are tired. They’re tired
of living under this oppression. This is their existence. This is their
life. This is the life of their children.”
An exaggeration? An excuse for rioters? Inflated rhetoric? Consider
Milwaukee’s stark realities.
Milwaukee is the most segregated city in the United States. Black
household income is the third lowest in the U.S. Its black poverty rate
is the highest in the U.S.
These are figures presented in a haunting and damning 2015 report,
“The Shame of Milwaukee: Race, Segregation and Inequality,” by Marc V.
Levine of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The data show a black population segregated into neighborhoods of
concentrated poverty with declining prospects. Real black household
income in 1979 was $39,105; in 2013 it was $27,438, a foul decline of
nearly 30 percent. Household income for all races in Milwaukee has
declined over the course of this century, but far worse for blacks and
Hispanics than whites.
Nearly 40 percent of African-Americans are in poverty, up from 27
percent in 1969. Nearly 40 percent of African-Americans in the core
working age (25-54) are unemployed. This is in stunning contrast to the
15.2 percent black unemployment rate in 1970. For males aged 20-24, the
beginning of a work life, over two-thirds of blacks are unemployed —
68.4 percent — a staggering increase from 25.3 percent in 1970.
Schools are doubly segregated by race and by poverty. Seventy-one
percent of black students attend “hyper-segregated schools” — those in
which at least 9 of 10 students are minority. Nearly half of all black
students go to schools with 90 percent poverty rates.
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King launched the modern civil rights
movement in Birmingham, Ala., saying, “Birmingham is probably the most
thoroughly segregated city in the United States. I am in Birmingham
because injustice is here.”
Well, the injustice is worse in modern Milwaukee than it was in
segregated Birmingham. Black poverty, unemployment and impoverished
neighborhoods are all worse. The percentage of blacks attending
hyper-segregated schools in today’s Milwaukee is far worse than the Jim
Crow schools of Birmingham (71 percent to 56 percent).
This is, as Ald. Rainey stated, a powder keg. Police are tasked with
“keeping order.” That is like trying to stop a seething volcano from
exploding by suppressing the gases coming out the top. Even doing that
skillfully won’t work.
Milwaukee is not the worst. Black income has plummeted more in
Cleveland and Detroit. School segregation is worse in New York and
Chicago. Violence stalks the mean streets of impoverished urban
neighborhoods across the country.
And this obscene injustice gets worse with no action and little
notice. The poor, the New York Times reports, are barely mentioned by
either presidential candidate. And they are largely ignored by the
media. On Saturday and Sunday, riots occurred in Milwaukee, a major
American city. That didn’t make front page of the Monday New York Times,
which led with stories above the fold about a Trump adviser, liberal
worries about Hillary Clinton and malaria in Venezuela.
In Birmingham, Dr. King’s cry against the injustice of segregation
touched the conscience of concerned citizens across the country. Will
anyone hear the cry of the north side of Milwaukee, or the south side of
Chicago? Or will our cities have to explode before action replaces
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Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at www.rainbowpush.org.
One thing that can be said about a gentrifying neighborhood is that the market trend is crystal clear. This should encourage entrepreneurs to jump to meet emerging needs. However, all too often, we neglect to provide services for less affluent residents.
With respect to rental housing, there is always a need to provide services to help people squeezed by increasing rents. They are ready-to-go clients, if your solution is viable. Serving this group is an important mission. Artists and civic leaders, especially those who worked to revitalize the neighborhood, are key components to sustaining the upward trend; they are passionate about making a good neighborhood great.
An Entrepreneur’s Place in a Gentrifying Neighborhood
Is it possible to build wealth by helping less affluent renters live in a trendy community? Absolutely! I personally believe that entrepreneurs are the solution to all social problems, so it is no surprise that I think we can alleviate the affordable housing issue.
Let me share one of my favorite ways to increase a rental property’s cash flow. It’s based on the premise that you can increase cash flow by helping tenants reduce their expenses, and then keep a portion of the savings for yourself. This is the landlord’s version of Tim O’Reilly’s motto, “Create more value than you capture.”
Create More Value Than You Capture
You can create affordability by using technology to help your tenants share a dwelling, while preserving their privacy at the same time. Yes, I’m talking about a high-tech rooming house; one where tenants can access luxuries and live in a neighborhood that they otherwise couldn’t afford.
Thanks to online rent collection practices, keyless door locks, microwaves, and mini-refrigerators, it’s easier than ever to rent out individual rooms. Also, space-efficient ideas courtesy of the Tiny House and RV industries allows tenants to pack an apartment’s worth of functionality into their bedroom.
Creating Affordability With All Inclusive Housing
One way to push back against gentrification is to create all-inclusive housing, which gives tenants everything they need for a price that’s 50% or even 60% of their take-home pay.
For example, let’s assume a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house rents for $1,000 per month, and three adults could comfortably live there. Assuming each has a monthly income of $1,100, you could reasonably charge each person $550 per month. You would gross $1,650 per month, and might pay only $350 for electricity, natural gas, Internet, and cable TV service. After paying for amenities, you would have created $300 more than market rent allowed ($3,600 annually), affordable housing for your tenants, and a way for tenants to share transportation and other expenses. Plus, you would also have a robust income stream to pay down your mortgage and build your wealth, along with a tax shelter to offset your W-2 income. Thus, you would end up creating a housing system that allows for tenants to have much more than they could otherwise afford living in their silos.
A Word of Caution
The credit-worthiness of your tenants is possibly more important than a typical landlord-tenant situation. It is especially important for you if your tenants rely solely on social security for their income. Social security cannot be garnished, so there’s no legal recourse for recovering back rent. You can always evict, but you can’t always collect.
Entrepreneurs can create affordability, which is a valuable commodity in an upwardly trending neighborhood. Helping residents live in areas they can no longer afford is a hard, but worthy problem to solve.
Consider creating a for-profit business that serves the less affluent. In doing so, you may end up creating the next big thing.