Civil Rights Schoolchild Ruby Bridges Visits with President Obama


Ruby Bridges visited the White House to see how a painting commemorating her personal and historic milestone looks hanging on the wall outside of the Oval Office. American Artist Norman Rockwell was criticized by some when this painting first appeared on the cover of Look magazine on January 14,1964; now the iconic portrait will be on display throughout the summer of 2011 in one of the most exalted locations in the country.

Groupon, Chicago Public Schools Partner To Give School Supplies To Low-Income Students

Huffington Post | July 25, 2011

One of Chicago’s most exciting new start-ups is partnering with its home town to help out low-income public school students.

The daily-deal site Groupon announced on Monday that it would be working with the Chicago Public Schools to provide school supplies to kids in neighborhoods with high truancy rates.

Kits for Kidz, an organization in Woodridge, has already prepared 6,000 kits of notebooks, pencils, rulers, erasers and other school supplies that it will be giving out, according to the Chicago Tribune. Groupon is hoping to add to that total through donations from its users. Starting Tuesday, visitors to Groupon’s Chicago page will be able to donate $12 to purchase an additional kit for donation.

NBC Chicago reports that the supply kits will be handed out at neighborhood festivals and back-to-school events in neighborhoods where high schoolers have high rates of truancy.  (Read more)


San Francisco Youth Respond to BayView Shooting

New America Media | July 20, 2011

Editor’s Note: On July 16, 2011 19-year-old Kenneth Harding was shot and killed after San Francisco police officers had stopped him on the T-Train for having no fare. Silicon Valley De-Bug interviewed Bayview youth/community and young people on their thoughts and feelings on the shooting.


Black Prodigy’s Admission to UConn Revoked Amid Claims of Radical Poetry

Jorge Rivas, Colorlines | July 18, 2011

Thirteen-year-old Autum Ashante is a child prodigy. She could read at age 2, and by 3 she was writing and performing poetry. Less than ten years later, at the age of 12, the Bronx native graduated high school and is now widely known as a poet, United Nations youth ambassador, speaker, and activist. But now it’s her poetry that conservatives have latched onto and made a fuss about. And in the hoopla, the teenager’s college dreams may be at stake.

Earlier this year Ashante was accepted at the University of Connecticut, where she planned to study medicine starting this August. Her single father, who home schooled her and recruited retired teachers to tutor Ashante, planned to move to Connecticut this summer before she started her college career.

“What she’s doing is groundbreaking but this is not about vanity,” Ashante’s father told NY Daily News. “It’s about setting the tone for other black and Latino children who will come behind her. They’re always being told they are underachievers. We want to show this can be done.”

But two weeks ago, the University of Connecticut rescinded her acceptance, declaring her not “academically ready”— although she has an IQ test score of 149. (The average college graduate has an IQ score of 115).

Ashante’s father, a 50-year-old retired corrections officer, told NewsOne that his daughter is “devastated.”  (Read more @Colorlines)


Close Ties: Tying On A New Tradition

A Documentary project in New Orleans, LA by Park Triangle Productions | Film website

About the film

Close Ties: Tying on a New Tradition provides an intimate look at a rites of passage ceremony that connects teenage boys with male role models. The “Tie Tying ceremony” held at New Orleans barbershop, “Mr. Chill’s First Class Cuts”, was created by Dr. Andre Perry and Wilbert “Chill” Wilson as a way to strengthen communities struggling with crime, poverty and alarming high school drop out rates. Cultural traditions have been the cornerstone of African American communities for centuries. Close Ties examines the impact of this new tradition and shows us how tying a necktie — an act associated with men who embody professionalism and prestige — can inspire high school boys to commit to a life of achievement and success.