Sunday, May 28, 2023

Watch Vice President Harris full West Point commencement speech

Vice President Harris delivered the keynote speech at West Point's graduation ceremony on Saturday, making her the first woman to give a commencement address in the military academy's 221-year history. Watch her entire speech below:

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Lack of Men of Color Graduating From the Health Professions Declared a Crisis by Association CEOs

The Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP) has declared the low number of historically underrepresented men of color (HUMOC) graduating and entering the health care professions a national crisis. Representing CEOs of national academic health professions associations, FASHP has released a consensus statement addressing this critical issue, and is calling on local and national educational, health care, governmental and community leaders to raise awareness regarding this critical issue and to identify barriers and provide resources to dramatically increase the number of men of color graduating from the health professions.

“Our patients deserve the best care we can provide, and that requires a concerted, broader effort to motivate attention and activate solutions.”

“We must urgently join forces with P-16 education, government, health care, corporations and other leaders to remove pathway barriers and adopt robust strategies that facilitate a significant increase in the number of historically underrepresented men of color entering and graduating from dental, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, social work and other health professions schools,” said Dr. Karen P. West, Secretary of FASHP and President and CEO of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).

Similar disparities exist across the academic health professions. For example:

Of 6,665 2021 U.S. dental school graduates, 3,223 (48.4%) were men (American Dental Association). Of those, 431 (6.46%) were HUMOC (263 Hispanic/Latino men, 147 Black/African American men, 18 American Indian/Alaska Native men and 3 Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander men).

Of 21,051 2021-2022 U.S. medical school graduates, 10,268 (48.8%) were men (Association of American Medical Colleges [AAMC]). Of those, 1,251 were HUMOC (664 Hispanic/Latino men, 565 Black/African American men, 13 American Indian/Alaska Native men, and 9 Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander men).

The 2021 graduating class of veterinary medical students included only 0.6% Black/African American men, 1.4% Hispanic/Latino men, and 0.2% American Indian/Alaska Native men.

Of the 824 2021-2022 U.S. public health doctoral graduates, 230 were men (Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health [ASPPH]). Of the total graduates, only 2.5% were Black/African American men, 2.1% Hispanic/Latino men, and 0.1% American Indian/Alaska Native men.

"The development of a diverse healthcare workforce is a critical goal for all FASHP member associations,” said FASHP President Dawn Mancuso, MAM, CAE, FASAE, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. “Our patients deserve the best care we can provide, and that requires a concerted, broader effort to motivate attention and activate solutions.”

The low numbers of HUMOC health care providers affect not only communities of color but the entire nation’s well-being. This lack of diversity has significant consequences for public health, education, economic stability and the availability and quality of health care treatment for all U.S. communities. There is also a need to significantly increase the number of HUMOC graduating with Ph.D.s and doctorate degrees in public health. “These statistics are unacceptable and solidify our resolve to implement impactful solutions around engaging our members toward a more inclusive and equitable public health workforce,” said Dr. Laura MagaƱa, ASPPH President and CEO.

Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe, CEO of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, noted that “a lack of awareness, marginalization, educational disparities, systemic racism and unconscious bias has led to these continuing inequalities and a lack of HUMOC matriculating and graduating in the academic health professions, which has now reached crisis proportions.”

FASHP members are addressing disparities through a variety of initiatives. For example:

The AAMC launched the Action Collaborative for Black Men in Medicine in 2020, which includes partnerships that focus on systemic solutions to increase the representation and success of Black men interested in and entering medicine.

With a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), ADEA hosted a two-day Summit with 83 representatives from across the health professions to develop solutions to the paucity of HUMOC in the health professions. Dr. David Satcher, 16th Surgeon General of the United States and former President of Morehouse College and Meharry Medical College, was a featured guest and galvanized the group to act.

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP), jointly administered by ADEA and AAMC and supported by the RWJF, is a six-week summer enrichment program for marginalized and socioeconomically and educationally disadvantaged college students interested in the health professions.

Dr. Dennis Mitchell, dentist and Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for University Life at Columbia University who serves on the National Association of Chief Diversity Officers in Higher Education Board of Directors, was instrumental in establishing SHPEP. “Pathway programs such as SHPEP make a difference, but we need more of these programs and more of these interventions throughout the P-16 student lifecycle for boys and men of color,” said Dr. Mitchell.

FASHP CEOs agree that more academic enrichment interventions are needed to increase the representation of all historically underrepresented and marginalized groups in the health professions. However, FASHP believes there is an urgent need to call attention to the significant deficiency of HUMOC entering and graduating from health professions schools in comparison to other marginalized student populations.

In pursuit of greater collective action, FASHP is establishing a coalition with associations across the academic health professions, health care institutions and health professional organizations to tackle the longstanding problem of the low numbers of HUMOC at health professions schools. FASHP plans to expand its work to galvanize P-16, governmental, health care, corporate, foundation, health care research, community and other leaders to develop short- and long-term strategies with focused action plans.

FASHP Member Organizations

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine

American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges

American Dental Education Association

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of Chiropractic Colleges

Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

Association of University Programs in Health Administration

Council on Social Work Education

PA Education Association

Liaison Members:

Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges

American Council of Academic Physical Therapy

American Occupational Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association

American Psychological Association

New Museum Will Further Tell the Powerful Stories of the Negro Leagues Baseball Players

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) announced it has been awarded a $1 million grant from Bank of America in support of the museum’s $25 million capital campaign to build a new 30,000 square-foot facility. This funding will enable the NLBM to provide the latest state of the art technology that will be used to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity through the lens of America’s unsung baseball heroes who overcame tremendous social adversity to play baseball.  The announcement was made at the NLBM with bank and museum officials alongside Congressman Emanuel Cleaver; Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas; Frank White, Jr., Jackson County Executive; Kathy Nelson, President & CEO, Kansas City Sports Commission and John Sherman, Chairman & CEO Kansas City Royals.

To coincide with the bank’s commitment of the new museum, Major League Baseball alumni players David DeJesus, Rajai Davis, and Dexter Fowler will take part in a Bank of America “Play It Forward” baseball clinic on Saturday, May 6 for 50 area youth from the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. The Clinic coincides with the celebration of the winning spirit of the Kansas City Monarchs and is held on the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game with the team.

The new state of the art facility will be built adjacent to the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center (BOERC) which will now be housed in the former Paseo YMCA. That historic building is where Andrew “Rube” Foster established the Negro Leagues in 1920. With help from the anchor grant, the new NLBM, in combination with the BOERC, will create a “Negro Leagues Campus” that will become the gateway into Kansas City’s famed Historic 18th & Vine District. This will be a catalyst for economic growth in a vastly underserved, predominantly African American community.

The bank’s support will allow the NLBM to expand programming, create dynamic interactive displays, house a gallery to showcase new exhibitions, feature a larger gift shop, and include a more expansive archival and storage space.

“Thanks to the generosity and continued support of Bank of America, the future of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum begins today,” said Bob Kendrick, museum president. “Our growth from a one-room office to becoming America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has been an amazing journey. Now, we’re building an organization that will continue to preserve and celebrate the triumphant story of the Negro Leagues but also fortify our position as one of the nation’s most important civil rights and social justice institutions,” Kendrick said.

The grant is part of Bank of America’s overall commitment to strengthening the Kansas City community by addressing key issues fundamental to economic opportunity and social progress. It also builds on Bank of America’s efforts to advance racial equality and opportunity for communities of color. The new facility will integrate a blend of technology and nostalgia to create an immersive culturally enriched experience that enlightens students and adults about a precious piece of baseball and Americana that has been excluded from the pages of American history books.

“We share NLBM’s mission to preserve and celebrate the rich history of African American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America,” said Matt Linski, president, Bank of America Kansas City. “Our commitment recognizes the importance – culturally and economically – of the 18th & Vine District to Kansas City today and we hope it will be an example for other funders to follow. Additionally, this grant is paramount to ensuring greater understanding and better appreciation of the many contributions African Americans have made and continue to make, including Jackie Robinson breaking the Major League color barrier.”

This announcement is the latest in a series of investments that Bank of America has made in the Kansas City community. Bank of America has invested more than $13 million in grants and sponsorships since 2020 as well as capital investments to help small businesses, affordable housing, and other economic revitalization projects benefiting communities throughout Kansas City.

Bank of America’s relationship with the NLBM dates back to the 1980s with bank leaders having served on the original 18th & Vine Authority Board that established the district. Bank of America funded the exhibition Discovering Greatness that traveled to all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) campuses to reach young African Americans who might otherwise have been unaware of their Negro Leagues heritage. In 2008, the museum presented Bank of America the prestigious Buck O’Neil Legacy Award. In 2019, the museum was selected for Neighborhood Builders®, Bank of America’s signature philanthropic program and received $2000,000 grant for operational funding and leadership training.   President Bob Kendrick has provided thought leadership at numerous Bank of America events including Courageous Conversations over the past three years and at the recent opening of the Barrier Breakers exhibition at Dodger Stadium. The NLBM has been part of the bank’s Museums on Us® program for many years.

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Thursday, May 25, 2023

NEW BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Queen Charlotte: Before the Bridgertons came the love story that changed the ton... By Julia Quinn & Shonda Rhimes

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn and television pioneer Shonda Rhimes comes a powerful and romantic novel of Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte and King George III's great love story and how it sparked a societal shift, inspired by the original series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, created by Shondaland for Netflix.

“We are one crown. His weight is mine, and mine is his…”

In 1761, on a sunny day in September, a King and Queen met for the very first time. They were married within hours.

Born a German Princess, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was beautiful, headstrong, and fiercely intelligent… not precisely the attributes the British Court had been seeking in a spouse for the young King George III. But her fire and independence were exactly what she needed, because George had secrets… secrets with the potential to shake the very foundations of the monarchy.

Thrust into her new role as a royal, Charlotte must learn to navigate the intricate politics of the court… all the while guarding her heart, because she is falling in love with the King, even as he pushes her away. Above all she must learn to rule, and to understand that she has been given the power to remake society. She must fight—for herself, for her husband, and for all her new subjects who look to her for guidance and grace. For she will never be just Charlotte again. She must instead fulfill her destiny… as Queen.


NEW BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi

From Ibi Zoboi, bestselling, award-winning author of American Street and co-author of Punching the Air, comes a bold new YA coming-of-age story, which explores race, feminism, and complicated family dynamics. The ideal next read for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jacqueline Woodson, and Roxane Gay.

Warrior Princess. That’s what Nigeria Jones’s father calls her. He has raised her as part of the Movement, a Black separatist group based in Philadelphia. Nigeria is homeschooled and vegan and participates in traditional rituals to connect her and other kids from the group to their ancestors. But when her mother—the perfect matriarch of their Movement—disappears, Nigeria’s world is upended. She finds herself taking care of her baby brother and stepping into a role she doesn’t want.

Nigeria’s mother had secrets. She wished for a different life for her children, which includes sending her daughter to a private Quaker school outside of their strict group. Despite her father’s disapproval, Nigeria attends the school with her cousin, Kamau, and Sage, who used to be a friend. ­There, she begins to flourish and expand her universe.

As Nigeria searches for her mother, she starts to uncover a shocking truth. One that will lead her to question everything she thought she knew about her life and her family.

From award-winning author Ibi Zoboi comes a powerful story about discovering who you are in the world—and fighting for that person—by having the courage to be your own revolution.