Black Women Leading The Fight Against Voter ID Laws

In the face of voter ID laws that could potentially disenfranchise thousands of minority voters this November, black women in particular are at the forefront of voting rights advocacy across the country.

And the energy and enthusiasm was palpable at a political strategy session in Washington DC this week.

Black women have historically been a significant demographic for the Democratic Party.

STUDY: American Schools Still Segregated Along Racial and Economic Lines

60 years after Brown v. Board desegregated public schools, a new report reveals the obvious:

American schools are still largely segregated along racial and economic lines.

African American and Latino students are likely to attend schools with very few white students, and are more likely to attend schools where a majority of students come from low-income families.

Did Mitt Romney Darken His Complexion for Appearance on Univision?

After appearing on Univision this past week, Mitt Romney’s slightly bizarre appearance immediately got the internet talking.

His seemingly darker complexion got many wondering; did Romney purposefully darken his complexion in order to appeal to a Latino audience?

From the Huffington Post:

“While his orangey-brown appearance on Univision could have been the result of bad lighting or a makeup mishap, left-wing blog the Democratic Underground concluded that Romney “dyed his face brown for his Univision interview.”

E.E. Likhaya Lam: What Happens When You Build a Home and Safe Space for Black Youth

E.E. Likhaya Lam means equal education is our home in Xhosa. This is now the title of a the CD I was able to record with 15 high school youth about how they came to join a movement, and sing to tell about it. Every time I hear the voices of these 15 young people I am inspired and encouraged for what it symbolically means for them to use to sing about their struggle for equality in the education system. But more important than the movement itself, is the process of bringing youth together for a common good. If equal education never actually achieves the title of its own name, what they have built would have been worth the time, money, sweat and effort. E.E. Likhaya Lam is more than a titled of a CD, it is testament to what it means to build of safe space for youth to learn, grow, and act collectively for a universal purpose.

Chicago’s Teacher Strike was Lukewarm at Best

About a week ago, I had initially been excited when Chicago’s downtown was aglow with a flush of red T-shirts as the district’s teachers went on strike again for the first time in 25 years. Finally, it had seemed that public education’s core issues had been launched onto the national stage. Questions pertaining to teacher evaluations and compensation, the importance of standardized tests, and the privatization of schools were now at stake as the media centered on the showdown between union president Karen Lewis and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Yet, unsurprisingly, now that tensions have abated and Chicago’s 350,000 students are back in the classrooms, I can’t help but be frustrated at the fact that this strike seemed to have amounted to nothing more than political cabaret. In the end, what has resulted are nothing more than tepid concessions that might appease teachers and the mayor, but still do very little for Chicago’s students, and most certainly do not adequately address the key issues facing education today.

This is not Washington!: An Open Letter to Rahm Emanuel

With the CTU Strike finally at an end after a nearly two week standoff, we’re left to wonder what its lasting legacy will be.

Many proponents of the strike hope that, as Union leader Karen Lewis now-famously asserted, “this Union has proven the Chicago labor movement is neither dormant nor dead.” Of course, it’s impact on a larger labor movement remains to be seen.

But as one Chicago educator’s open letter explains, the strike will at least stand as a lesson to Rahm Emanuel and anyone else that tries to use and abuse workers:

You can try; but be prepared for a fight.