WBEZ | African-Americans http://www.wbez.org/tags/african-americans-0 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Study finds high-achieving minorities shun teaching http://www.wbez.org/news/study-finds-high-achieving-minorities-shun-teaching-108963 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Teacher diversity_131018_oy.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A <a href="http://www.siue.edu/ierc/">decade-long study of more than 225,000 Illinois public high school graduates</a> finds many reasons that minorities are not becoming teachers. The Illinois Education Research Council at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville&nbsp;tracked the classes of 2002 and 2003 as they moved beyond high school and into their careers. The study sheds light on where students, including African-American and Latino graduates, drop out of that pipeline.</p><p>Illinois education officials have been wrestling with a significant mismatch between the number of minority teachers and the number of minority students in the state&rsquo;s public schools. While almost half of students are non-white, more than 80 percent of their teachers are Caucasian. A <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/push-teacher-quality-illinois-takes-toll-minority-candidates-108601">recent push to increase teacher quality standards </a>threatens to exacerbate the difference.</p><p>The Illinois Education Research Council study, meanwhile, finds that while roughly one-third of Illinois public high school graduates earned a Bachelor&rsquo;s degree, only 3 percent became teachers. Within the pool of 4-year college degree earners, minorities went on to become teachers in Illinois public schools at a noticeably lower rate than their white counterparts.</p><p>&ldquo;The minority numbers were actually surprising to me,&rdquo; said Brad White, lead researcher on the study. &ldquo;I sort of went into the study thinking that a lot of that story could be told simply by looking at different rates of enrollment and graduation from college. And that wasn&rsquo;t the case at all.&rdquo;</p><p>White said minority graduates with Bachelor&rsquo;s degrees, and particularly those who fell into the top third of ACT scores, opted to earn teaching certificates at lower rates than similarly qualified white students. And beyond that, African-Americans who did receive teaching certificates were less likely to get teaching positions in Illinois public schools.</p><p>White suggested that the state could increase its pool of minority teachers by recruiting promising students into the profession as early as high school. He said the state could also focus on improving educational opportunities for minority students before they get to college.</p><p>&ldquo;We might be able to see changes in the number of those students that are interested in pursuing teaching as a career if the career is perceived as more prestigious and more difficult to enter,&rdquo; White added. This is an approach state officials say they are trying to take, by increasing testing standards required to enter the profession.</p><p>A spokesperson for the Illinois State Board of Education noted that the state encourages colleges and universities to partner with local school districts to recruit diverse students into the teaching profession, and that the state has expanded funding for Teach for America recruitment. The study found that alternative certification programs such as TFA appear to be good pathways for academically gifted minorities into the teaching profession.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p><p>Note: This article incorrectly stated that the Illinois Education Research Council is at Southeastern Illinois University in Edwardsville. It is at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.</p></p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 10:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/study-finds-high-achieving-minorities-shun-teaching-108963 Alderman accuses bank of ‘redlining’ http://www.wbez.org/news/west-side-alderman-accuses-us-bank-owner-%E2%80%98redlining%E2%80%99-103151 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS5396_Mitts1-scr.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 279px; width: 250px; " title="Ald. Emma Mitts, 37th Ward, is angry about a plan by Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp to close a branch in her neighborhood. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />An alderman on Chicago&rsquo;s struggling West Side is steamed about a plan by Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp to close a full-service branch in her neighborhood.</p><p>Ald. Emma Mitts (37th Ward) said the company&rsquo;s decision to shut down its U.S. Bank outlet at 4909 W. Division St. blindsided her. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re leaving high-and-dry with no warning,&rdquo; she said, calling the process &ldquo;disrespectful.&rdquo;</p><p>The branch is an anchor of Austin, a mostly African-American neighborhood hit hard over the years by factory closings and, more recently, home foreclosures.</p><p>But Mitts said there is still plenty of banking business for company officials to keep the branch open. &ldquo;The money is good but they don&rsquo;t want to be in the neighborhood,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s redlining.&rdquo;</p><p>U.S. Bancorp spokesman Tom Joyce bristled at the alderman&rsquo;s accusation. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s off base and unfortunate,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&ldquo;In 2011, we put more than $152 million into affordable housing and economic development in metropolitan Chicago,&rdquo; Joyce said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re a proud citizen of the Chicago area and the Austin neighborhood and we&rsquo;ll continue to serve the neighborhood.&rdquo;</p><p>When the branch closes November 16, Joyce added, the company will leave an ATM and start shuttling seniors from that part of Austin to nearby U.S. Bank locations two or three times a month.</p><p>The branch on the chopping block was once part of Park National Bank, a&nbsp;commercial chain owned by Oak Park-based FBOP Corp. The chain was known for charity and investment in low-income areas. U.S. Bancorp acquired FBOP holdings as part of a 2009 federal rescue.</p><p>Austin community groups fought the U.S. Bancorp takeover. In 2011, bowing to pressure from the groups, the company agreed to put hundreds of thousands of dollars into affordable-housing efforts in Austin and Maywood, a nearby suburb.</p><p>U.S. Bancorp says it has 88 branches and 1,600 workers in the Chicago area.</p></p> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 05:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/west-side-alderman-accuses-us-bank-owner-%E2%80%98redlining%E2%80%99-103151 State Black Caucus makes push to increase African-American blood donations http://www.wbez.org/story/state-black-caucus-makes-push-increase-african-american-blood-donations-96834 <p><p>The Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers is working with the General Assembly's Black Caucus to increase blood donations in the African-American community. The campaign is called "Make Every Drop Count."</p><p>Rare blood traits and certain diseases like sickle cell anemia are more prevalent among African-Americans and require frequent blood transfusions.</p><p>Dr. Louis Katz is executive vice president of medical affairs at Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, and he says a well-matched blood transfusion is the difference between life, disability and death for some patients.</p><p>Katz says 30 percent of sickle-cell patients develop antibodies that destroy transfused blood cells. The antibodies make it almost impossible to find compatible blood outside African-American donations.</p><p>Coalition president Ann McKanna says nationally African-Americans donate less than 1 percent of the country's blood supply.</p></p> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 16:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/state-black-caucus-makes-push-increase-african-american-blood-donations-96834 Dr. King comes to Marquette Park http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-08-05/dr-king-comes-marquette-park-89583 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-05/Dr. King_Flickr_Zol87.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was bringing the civil rights movement to the cities of the North. In January 1966 he'd rented an apartment on the West Side of Chicago. On this date 45 years ago, he met a violent reaction in his adopted city.</p><p>King was leading a series of protest marches against housing segregation. Chicago's white realtors often refused to show homes in white neighborhoods to African-Americans. This was a particular problem in the Marquette Park neighborhood, scene of that day's march.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-25/King%20%28PD%29.jpg" title="" width="450" height="336"></p><p>The protesters planned to demonstrate at three realty offices along 63rd Street. Opponents of open housing were determined to demonstrate against the demonstrators. The police were deployed to keep the two groups separate and peaceful.</p><p>A few open housing advocates arrived on the scene early, and marched without serious incident. The thousand or so opponents stood on the sidewalk behind the police lines. They jeered and yelled insults, but did nothing more. Then the main body of 700 marchers drove up in a motorcade.</p><p>King's car pulled to the curb at 63rd and Sacramento. As he got out, a rock sailed through the air and hit him in the back of the neck. He fell to one knee. After a few seconds he got up, and prepared to lead his people.</p><p>"I have to do this--to expose myself--to bring this hate into the open," King told them. "I have seen many demonstrations in the South, but I have never seen anything so hostile and so hateful as I've seen here today."</p><p>The march began. Now the crowd behind the police lines hurled rocks, bottles, firecrackers, chunks of concrete, and anything else within reach. Someone threw a knife. From time to time, the people on the sidewak tried to push through to get at the marchers. The cops held firm.</p><p>The day ended with 30 people injured, including King and four policemen. Forty-one persons had been arrested, mostly whites who'd tried to block off Kedzie Avenue.</p><p>Later in the year an agreement was reached between the open housing advocates and the Chicago Real Estate Board. The first, faltering steps had been taken toward ending segregated housing in the city.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Aug 2011 12:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-08-05/dr-king-comes-marquette-park-89583 Venture: No jobs, no job skills for lots of black teens http://www.wbez.org/content/venture-no-jobs-no-job-skills-lots-black-teens <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-17/photoedit.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="Young men participate in a Chicago Urban League mentoring program. " class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-17/photoedit.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 270px; margin: 5px;" title="(WBEZ/Natalie Moore)"></p><p>Updated numbers on jobless claims come out this week, and they'll shed more light on the outlook for employment. It's clear one group continues to struggle in that area.<br> <br> Nearly half of black teenagers in Illinois are unemployed. In Chicago the number is even worse: 89 percent don't have work.&nbsp; A stagnant economy, under-resourced communities and lack of opportunities are all factors. Not getting work skills at an early age can be an economic disadvantage for a lifetime.<br> <br> Kenyatta Lockett is 19 and works in the stockroom at a small grocery store on East 79th Street.<br> <br> LOCKETT: I'm looking for a summer job. I'm trying to look for a summer job because this is only temporary.<br> <br> Lockett says it's hard to find a BETTER job because she dropped out of high school.<br> <br> But now she's enrolled in a GED and transitional job program to get back on track.<br> <br> The high unemployment numbers for her demographic disappoint Lockett.<br> <br> LOCKETT: I think it makes us look bad because we're supposed to set examples for other people. For people that are a younger generation than us.<br> <br> Lockett says she regrets dropping out of high school. She has friends in similar predicaments, products of Chicago's high dropout rate and vainly looking for work.<br> <br> Experts say that lack of education figures mightily. So do segregated communities with few job opportunities.<br> <br> Andrea Zopp is head of the Chicago Urban League.<br> <br> She contrasts her own stable, retail-thriving neighborhood of Beverly with other parts of the city.<br> <br> ZOPP: My kids when they went to look for jobs, could find a part-time job within a couple of miles of the house. You take a kid living in Englewood or kid living in Roseland, there's not that economic engine there.<br> <br> Zopp says part-time jobs allow young people to be involved in their communities- in a positive way. That's top of mind for those looking to help head off an uptick in youth crime when the weather is warm.<br> <br> Zopp's pushing local businesses to do summer hiring. A company may need a storeroom cleaned out or a landscaping company may need extra seasonal help. The message Zopp gives business owners is that it's relatively cheap to bring in some summer employees.<br> <br> And it's critical. Contrast 89 percent unemployment for black Chicago teens with 72 percent for white teens.<br> <br> ZOPP: The issue is our young people are sort of at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to getting jobs.<br> <br> William Rodgers agrees.<br> <br> He's a professor and economist at Rutgers University. He's looked at ways in which early work helps a teenager later on.<br> <br> RODGERS: In this day and age with our service economy, it's teaching you what we call the soft skills. It's teaching you about punctuality, it's teaching you about when you're interacting with someone, you're looking at them with a straight eye, it's teaching you about wearing those pants up around your waist with a belt.<br> <br> Research shows a&nbsp; lack of those soft skills…and other job experience…sets a young person up for a harder time getting into the job market after high school, as well as high teen pregnancy and a greater chance of involvement with the criminal justice system.<br> <br> And it appears that the disadvantages linger. &nbsp;<br> <br> A 1994&nbsp; labor journal study showed that high school seniors who worked 20 hours a week were earning 22 percent more than their peers six to nine years later.<br> <br> ambi: Those are olives<br> <br> It's a Friday afternoon and about 20 black male teens file into a room, stacking their plates with pizza. They are part of a mentoring program sponsored by the Chicago Urban League. They're also taught job readiness skills.<br> <br> JONES: My name is Romaro Jones. I attend Paul Robeson High School. I play sports: football, baseball, track.<br> <br> He's 18,&nbsp; and has yet to find a summer job.<br> <br> JONES: It seems like every time I go out for a job, it seems like I don't meet the criteria that they want That's what it seems like to me - I don't know why.<br> <br> He predicts what happens if his peers don't work.<br> <br> JONES:&nbsp; Everybody gonna be outside on the block doing illegal stuff cause they ain't got nothing else to do.<br> <br> Some of the guys are applying for a job through the City of Chicago, which expects to hire about 14,000 youth this summer. That's down from 18,000 jobs last year. &nbsp;<br> <br> Mike Moss sees the benefits to individuals and neighborhoods when kids work.<br> <br> He owns property in Englewood. When he started rehabbing, he began to worry about the all the young people around.<br> <br> MOSS: It was late in the evening and then I started hearing gunshots and I was like, 'Are you serious?' And so I told my wife, once we get through with the building and get the apartments ready, we're going to carve out these basements.<br> <br> In that basement, he's planning to start a job training program for about 50 youth.<br> <br> MOSS: I've been doing a survey with the parents, a lot of the parents don't have plans for their children this summer.<br> <br> The teens will punch in for six hours a day and learn some skills, like how to manage money and how to go out on painting jobs.<br> <br> He says he'll pay them out of his own pocket. Moss knows it's small, but he hopes it's an effective bridge in a larger economic divide.<br> <br> I'm Natalie Moore.<br> <br> And I'm Cate Cahan.</p><p><br> <br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 10:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/venture-no-jobs-no-job-skills-lots-black-teens Practically Speaking http://www.wbez.org/story/african-americans/practically-speaking <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Haiti_1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><em>Practically Speaking </em>is an hour-long program that explores the views and experiences of Chicagoans whose stories may be familiar, but whose perspectives are rarely heard.</p><p>In this episode, hosts Audra Wilson and Ayana Contreras take us on a journey through education, language, culture, and identity.</p><p>It's a journey that spans from Englewood to Haiti - with stories about the intersection of language and culture, the history and meaning of African-American baby names, the dreams of the Haitian diaspora, and the special principles of a Chicago Public School principal.&nbsp; Click on the audio link at the top of the page to listen.</p><p><em>Practically Speaking </em>is produced by Ayana Contreras and presented by WBEZ Chicago.</p></p> Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/african-americans/practically-speaking Moseley Braun, Davis to Bill Clinton: Stay out of town http://www.wbez.org/story/african-americans/moseley-braun-danny-davis-agree-bill-clinton-should-stay-out-mayors-race <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/IMG_6666.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Another candidate for Chicago mayor is telling a former president to stay out of the campaign.</p><p>Former Illinois U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun is the latest candidate with harsh words for former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Clinton is expected to campaign for Rahm Emanuel, much to the chagrin of Moseley Braun.</p><p>&quot;I think that what we have is an outsider running for mayor and bringing outsiders in to help him,&quot;&nbsp;she said.</p><p>In the 1990s, Emanuel worked in the administration of then-President Bill Clinton. A spokesman for the Emanuel campaign said Mr. Clinton is expected to stump for his former advisor's mayoral campaign.</p><p>Moseley Braun said Emanuel is not a real Chicagoan since he lived in Washington, D.C. while working as White House chief of staff. She stopped short of bringing race into the issue.</p><p>Recently Congressman Danny Davis, an African-American candidate, like Moseley Braun, said Mr. Clinton should not get involved in the mayor's race. If he does, Davis said Mr. Clinton risks damaging the former president's relationship with the African-American community.</p><p>State Sen. James Meeks, an African-American, dropped out of the race last week. That leaves Congressman Davis and former Illinois U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun as the two major African-American candidates who are campaigning.</p></p> Wed, 29 Dec 2010 19:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/african-americans/moseley-braun-danny-davis-agree-bill-clinton-should-stay-out-mayors-race