Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Trump's pick for head of HBCU initiative lacks experience in academia or government

President Trump's pick to lead the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities fits the mold of many of the administration's key appointments.

Like many administration officials, Johnathan Holifield, a speaker and consultant named executive director of the HBCU Initiative Monday, has a track record in the private sector but practically no experience in government or with the institutions he'd be working to advance. Organizations representing historically black colleges offered tentative praise of the pick. But commentators on issues affecting minority institutions were quick to note Holifield's lack of experience working with HBCUs.

Reactions among some observers of HBCU institutions verged on befuddlement.

Marybeth Gasman, director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, said entrepreneurship and innovation are important objectives for institutions to pursue. But she also said it was important for anyone in the office to have a deep familiarity with historically black colleges and their needs.

Gasman said she was skeptical, however, that any executive director would accomplish much in this administration.

"I don’t see Trump caring about HBCUs, as he has demonstrated this lack of care," she said. "I hope that Holifield does well, but I don’t see anyone working with the Trump administration having autonomy or being able to make substantial important changes."

Julianne Malveaux, an author and former president of Bennett College in North Carolina, said Holifield has tremendous business acumen. But she noted that many other individuals with entrepreneurial experience have also been more engaged with historically black colleges.

"The 45th president has done little to earn the trust of the HBCU community; this appointment does not engender trust, but instead suggests a 'wait, see and hope for the best' attitude," Malveaux said.

[Inside Higher Ed

Monday, September 18, 2017

City to deposit $20 million in Chicago's last black-owned bank

The last black-owned bank in Chicago is set to receive a $20 million deposit of city funds.

City Treasurer Kurt Summers on Monday announced the deposit into Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association.

Founded in Chicago in 1934 to help give the black community better access to credit, ISF Bank is one of just more than 20 black-owned banks in the country, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The deposit is meant to help drive economic development in the city's neighborhoods, Summers said.

"It's about being a community bank," said Summers, noting that his office works to invest in the city's neighborhoods and institutions. "Community banks are a great opportunity for that because they are designed for the sole purpose of reinvesting in their local area."

On average, the city keeps between $300 million and $700 million on deposit in banks. In order to receive deposits of city funds, financial institutions must go through a special certification process.

The deposit at ISF Bank, which went through the certification process, is the first the city has made with the intent to bolster a community bank, Summers said.

Read more: City to deposit $20 million in Chicago's last black-owned bank

Donald Glover takes home two Emmy Awards for Atlanta

By George L. Cook III African American Reports

Actor, director, writer, producer, (and singer) Donald Glover had a very good night at the 69th Annual Emmy Awards.

The multi-talented creator of the TV show "Atlanta", which airs on the FX Network took home two Emmy Awards.

Glover won the category Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series making him the first African American to do so for directing a comedy.

But making Emmy Award history was not enough for Glover,he also won the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Congratulations to Donald Glover and what seems to be a bright future.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Phil Heath wins his 7th consecutive Mr Olympia!

Love him or hate him, the king stays on top. Phil Heath has won the 2017 Mr. Olympia making this his 7th consecutive Mr. Olympia contest. Heath is now tied with bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger for second most Mr O victories. While many question Heath's gut and feel he was not in his best shape the judges felt that he did just enough to edge out Big Ramy. The question now becomes can he catch Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney who both won eight consecutive Mr. O victories and maybe eventually pass them or will Big Ramy finally live up to the hype and beat him next year.

But that's a story for next year.

Congrats to Phil Heath the 2017 Mr. Olympia winner!

Olympia 2017 Men’s Bodybuilding Results

1. Phil Heath

2. Big Ramy

3. William Bonac

4. Dexter Jackson

5. Shawn Rhoden

6. Roelly Winklaar

7. Nathan De Asha

8. Brandon Curry

9. Josh Lenartowicz

10. Cedric McMillan

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Congressional Black Caucus rips DOJ decision on police program

Cedric Richmond, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) ripped the Trump administration's move on Friday to roll back an Obama-era program that oversees and rates how police officers work with members of the communities they serve. The move was made just hours after a St. Louis cop was found not guilty in the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith

“This is yet another example of what the black community has to lose under this administration," Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said in a statement.

“This decision is wrong, reckless, insensitive, and immature. It also further divides police departments and communities – rich and poor, black and white," Richmond said.

“In the midst of protests in St. Louis, Mo., in response to the acquittal of a cop who killed a 24-year-old African-American man, the Trump Justice Department is gutting an important federal program that is focused on restoring trust between communities and police departments and monitoring progress in this area," Richmond added.

The Department of Justice announced changes Friday targeting the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance.

The initiative was created under former President Barack Obama and allowed police departments and cities to seek federal help on various issues, including police shootings and alleged brutality.