"No one ever discussed Trayvon Martin with us in class," said Sydney, an introspective 9th grader, wistfully. Sydney is a participant in my Young Male Scholars pilot at Gardena High School in South Los Angeles. He and a dozen other 9th and 10th graders are having a spirited discussion about the impact of Martin’s murder on the criminal justice system in Gardena’s college center. According to the school’s college counselor black boys are a “rarity” in the center and our small meeting is the largest number that he has ever seen here. On a campus where black students are the second largest ethnic group next to Latinos, black males are either pounced on by military recruiters or left to fend for themselves, implicitly branded as troublemakers and potential dropouts.
Changing Education Paradigms
Hot on the heels of the second year of Black Friday protests last week, fast-food restaurant workers in 100 cities around the U.S. plan to strike on Thursday, organizers have announced.
Their call is for a $15 an hour minimum wage, a major but necessary, hike from the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. While one-day strikes have been happening for the last year in major cities like Seattle, New York City, and Los Angeles, they’ll be happening for the first time this week in Providence, Rhode Island; Charleston, South Carolina; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the New York Times reported.
It has been a big year for both retail and fast-food industry worker public actions. This spring and summer were dotted with one-day fast-food strikes of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s restaurants around the country. In August, retail and fast-food workers in 50 cities staged a one-day walkout for their cause. The calls come as cities are grappling with growing class inequality and poverty. One solution is to raise the minimum wage. Last week, Seattle area voters approved a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage in SeaTac to $15 an hour, a harbinger of changes to come, advocates hope.
President Barack Obama put a spotlight on rising income inequality in a major economic speech on Wednesday, arguing that the disparity is poses a “fundamental threat” to the American dream.
Marshaling both the recent papal exhortation by Pope Francis and a flurry of statistics reflecting a growing income gap between the wealthiest Americans and most others, Obama urged Washington to adopt policies to address the economic divide.
"The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe," Obama said at a speech in Washington, D.C. hosted by the progressive think tank Center for American Progress.
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Did y’all see this earlier?
PUB: Anthology of work inspired by Octavia Butler -
Sybaritic Press is looking for your best fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork, inspired by the work of Octavia Estelle Butler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octavia_E._Butler), one of the 20th century’s greatest writers of science/speculative fiction, and social commentary.
Deadline: Dec. 31, 2013
This Time for Africa by Charis Tsevis
10 Racial Justice Victories for 2013