Blog Posts Related to the African American Community
- Posted byon February 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM EST
Ed note: This is cross-posted from the Department of Education
President Obama began the 2014 State of the Union address emphasizing his commitment that all American children have access to a world class education, stating in his first comments, “today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades.”
On Thursday, February 6, 2014, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans will be hosting a special #AfAmEdChat on Twitter to discuss what the President’s address means for African-American communities. The chat will explore the importance of the President’s emphasis on education including high-quality early childhood education, rigorous preparation for college and careers, supporting parents and communities, and recruiting the next generation of great teachers.
- What: #AfAmEdChat on what the State of the Union Address means for African-American Communities
- When: 12-1 pm EST Thursday, February 6, 2014
- Where: Follow the Twitter conversation with #AfAmEdChat hashtag and follow@AfAmEducation
On the first and third Thursday of each month, the Initiative hosts a one-hour #AfAmEdChat to increase awareness of the educational challenges faced by African American students, whether they are in urban, suburban, or rural learning environments. The chats are facilitated by Executive Director, David J. Johns with guest panelists offering expertise on a range of issues and strategies supporting the President’s commitment to Opportunity for All.
Learn more about the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans by signing up for email updates.
Khalilah Harris is a fellow with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans. She is an education program and policy advisor, attorney and a doctoral student at University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
- Posted byon February 3, 2014 at 12:35 PM EST
Progress in America has never come easy. Through centuries of struggle and hard-won victories, our country has been shaped by generations of Americans who believed this could be the Nation envisioned in our founding principles —a nation where all are treated equal, and all are free to pursue their dreams. With the leadership and resilience of African Americans, who have tirelessly championed these principles throughout our history, our Union continues to move forward toward a stronger, more just future for all.
This National African American History Month, as we reflect on “Civil Rights in America,” we celebrate historic achievements and foot soldiers, well-known and unknown, who fought to secure rights long denied. But as we hail our successes as a nation, we also acknowledge that there is more work to be done. We still have more to do to ensure every American has access to the health care they need at a price they can afford. We must keep fighting until every worker knows the stability of a fair wage, every family has access to ladders of opportunity into the middle class, and every young person gets a world-class education to prepare them for tomorrow’s jobs.
The Obama Administration has made strides in restoring opportunity for all Americans, and throughout the month of February we will highlight healthcare, economic mobility, young men of color and the impact of STEM as creating pathways of success and security for African Americans.
This week our focus is on the Affordable Care Act. While statistics show that 1 in 5 African Americans are uninsured, the Affordable Care Act provides an opportunity for every American to access affordable healthcare. Organizations like the NAACP and National Urban League along with African American churches have been hosting enrollment sessions from Richmond to Dallas to Los Angeles. Secretary Sebelius will meet with African American leaders on benefits of the Affordable Care Act this week, and to discuss efforts to enroll Americans in coverage before the March 31 enrollment deadline. The week concludes with Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, where we will work to raise awareness about survival stories and highlight the work being done in government, academia, public health medicine, and community outreach to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Heather Foster is an Advisor in the White House Office of Public Engagement.
- Posted byon January 22, 2014 at 7:55 PM EST
As part of an unprecedented national effort to address alarming rates of sexual assault on college campuses, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum today to establish the “White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault." The taskforce will be charged with sharing best practices, and increasing transparency, enforcement, public awareness, and interagency coordination to prevent violence and support survivors. The creation of this Task Force builds upon the President’s 2010 call to action, which urged the federal government to support survivors and aggressively take action against sexual assault.
The statistics around sexual assault in this country are nothing short of jarring. A report just released by the White House Council on Women and Girls entitled, “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” reveals that nearly 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 71 men have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetimes. These statistics are stunning, but still can’t begin to capture the emotional and psychological scars that survivors often carry for life, or the courage needed to recover.
Today’s report states that students experience some of the highest rates of sexual assault. This violence, and the stress, fear, and mental health challenges that often follow, combine to increase dropout rates and limit opportunities for success in college for women and girls. The Administration is committed to investing in women’s education, training, and full inclusion in the workforce, and the President strongly believes that combatting sexual assault is vital to that effort.
- Posted byon December 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM EST
Today in Johannesburg, President Obama joined leaders from the United States and around the world at a national memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela.
In President Obama’s remarks, he reflected on what Mandela meant to him personally, as well as to the people of South Africa, and urged all of us to remember Madiba’s legacy and contributions to humanity.
For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe, Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate a heroic life. But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask: How well have I applied his lessons in my own life? It’s a question I ask myself, as a man and as a President.
- Posted byon December 5, 2013 at 6:10 PM EST
This afternoon, from the White House Briefing Room, President Obama delivered a statement on the passing of former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, calling him "a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice."
"We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," the President said. "So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice."
- Posted byon November 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM EST
To highlight his High School Redesign initiative, President Obama recently visited and spoke at Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn, New York. P-TECH is one of several new transformative high school designs that incorporate innovative approaches to curriculum that help lead to higher academic outcomes, greater student engagement, and future student success. The proposed $300 million High School Redesign program would integrate challenging and relevant academic and career-related learning experiences that prepare students for post-secondary education and careers.
P-TECH, a middle and high school, was established in 2011 as a partnership between IBM, the New York City Department of Education, and the City University of New York's College of Technology. In 2017, the school will graduate its first class of students who, over six years of STEM study and training, earn a joint high school diploma and associate's degree in computer information systems and electromechanical engineering technology. P-TECH's rigorous course of academic study was co-designed with IBM. The company has also invested $500,000 to provide software support, mentors, and internship opportunities for every P-TECH student.