Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lorenzo Dow Turner: From Lincoln Park to Leading Scholar

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Host Lorenzo Dow Turner Exhibit at the Rockville Memorial Library in January and February 2012

Montgomery County Public Libraries and the Friends of the Library, Rockville Memorial Chapter, will host the “Lorenzo Dow Turner: From Lincoln Park to Leading Scholar” exhibit at the Rockville Memorial Library. The exhibit, presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, Anacostia Community Museum, takes place from January 5 through February 29, 2012.

Dr. Turner (1890-1972) was the first African American linguist, and a founder of the field of African American Studies. His research demonstrated how African Americans retained linguistic ties with their African past through centuries of slavery and segregation.

Lorenzo Dow Turner was educated in the Montgomery County segregated public schools where his father had a long career as a teacher and principal. The exhibit has a local community connection since the Turner family lived in the Lincoln Park community of Rockville, Maryland.

On Saturday, January 21, at 2:00 p.m. a special program about the exhibit will be held at the Rockville Memorial Library, located at 21 Maryland Avenue in Rockville.

The program features Alcione Amos, Museum Program Specialist at the Anacostia Community Museum. Ms. Amos will talk about the significance of Dr. Turner’s research. The program is free and requires no registration.

Lorenzo Dow TurnerFor complete information about library programs and events, visit the library website at

# # #

Release ID: 11-377 Media Contact: Michele Sellars 240-777-0196 or Dale Pastor 240-777-0170.

Lorenzo Dow Turner, 1917. Taken the year Turner graduated from Harvard University with a master's degree.

IMAGE CREDIT: Smithsonian Institution

Friday, December 30, 2011

Johnnetta Cole first African-American woman to head Atlanta's Spelman College featured speaker at UMass Dartmouth's 10th annual MLK breakfast

Renowned educator, anthropologist Johnnetta Cole to speak at UMass Dartmouth's 10th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast February 3

Johnnetta Cole, the first African-American woman to head the nation's foremost college for African-American women, will be the featured speaker at UMass Dartmouth's 10th annual MLK breakfast on February 3 at 8:30 a.m. at the University's Woodland Commons

Johnnetta Cole, PhD, the first African-American woman to head Atlanta's Spelman College, the nation's foremost college for African-American women, will be the featured speaker at UMass Dartmouth's 10th annual MLK breakfast on February 3 at 8:30 a.m. at the University's Woodland Commons.

Dr. Cole currently directs the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., capping a five-decade career as an educator, administrator and anthropolgist.

"We are honored to welcome such a renowned educator and trailblazer to our campus and community to celebrate Dr. King's legacy," UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. "Dr. Cole has been a true drum major justice throughout her career and will surely provide us a morning to remember."

Previous keynote speakers at past MLK breakfasts include former UN Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, and Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The breakfast will also feature the presentation of the University's Drum Major For Justice Awards to community leaders who will be announced at a later date.

Johnnetta ColeTickets for the event are $25 for the public, UMD Faculty & Staff; and $10 for students. Corporations and organizations may reserve a table of eight for $200.

About Dr. Cole

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Dr. Cole graduated high school at the age of 15 and went on to earn anthropology degrees from Oberlin College and Northwestern University.

She went on to produce multiple books and scores of articles in her field, traveling as far as Liberia and Cape Verde for research while teaching at institutions ranging from the University of California, Los Angeles and Emory University.

After serving as professor and Associate Provost at UMass Amherst and directing the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program at Hunter College, Dr. Cole led Spelman College to new heights of academic success as its first African-American female president.

A recipient of 55 honorary degrees and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Cole has also served on the boards of corporations such as Coca-Cola and Merck, and coordinated labor and arts policy for President Clinton's transition team in 1992.

Author: Rob Lamontagne, Date: December 28, 2011, Department: Equal Opportunity / Diversity & Outreach

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Judge Glenda Hatchett keynote speaker University of Southern Indiana’s annual MLK Memorial Luncheon

Judge Glenda Hatchett will be the keynote speaker for the University of Southern Indiana’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Luncheon at 11 a.m. Monday, January 16, in Carter Hall in the University Center.

Hatchett is known for her award-winning syndicated television show, “Judge Hatchett,” and is the author of the bestsellers Dare to Take Charge and Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say. She was named one of the “100 Best and Brightest Women in Corporate America” by Ebony magazine.

After graduating from Emory University School of Law, Hatchett accepted a position at Delta Air Lines, as the company’s highest-ranking African-American woman. She served in dual roles as a senior attorney and manager of public relations, supervising global crisis management and media relations for all of Europe, Asia and the United States.

She left Delta to accept an appointment as Chief Presiding Judge of the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court, where she became Georgia’s first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country.

A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Hatchett was recognized as a distinguished alumna and awarded an honorary degree by the college. She also received the Emory Medal, the highest award given to an alumna by Emory University because of her commitment to excellence and service within the community.

Judge Glenda Hatchett

Judge Glenda Hatchett. Photo Credit: Photo provided.
“Judge Hatchett” is currently in its tenth season. Hatchett also is the founder of Parent Power Now, the premiere online parenting network.

In addition to the keynote address, the luncheon includes entertainment by the Designed by Grace Praise Dancers, Designed by Grace Gospel Choir, Children’s Center for Dance Education, and Amadeus Percussions Drumline.

The sit-down meal will include a garden salad and choice of dressing, baked chicken with rotisserie seasoning, mashed potatoes and gravy, collard greens, a cornbread muffin, beverages and dessert.

Tickets may be purchased at the USI Multicultural Center (Room 1244, UC East) and are $5 for USI students, $10 for USI employees, and $15 for the general public.

Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to stay after the luncheon for a book signing and “Up Close and Personal” session with Hatchett in Forum 1 in the Wright Administration Building.

The MLK Memorial Luncheon is sponsored by the USI Foundation, Scripps Howard Center for Media Studies, Service Learning, Black Student Union (through a Student Government Association Programming Grant) and the Multicultural Center.

For more information, call the Multicultural Center at 812/465-7188.

Wendy Knipe Bredhold Asst. Director News and Information Services 812/464-3333 University of Southern Indiana 8600 University Blvd. Evansville, Indiana 47712 Phone 812/464-8600

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic Borrowers who Qualified for Loans were Charged Higher Fees or Placed into Subprime Loans

More than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic Borrowers who Qualified for Loans were Charged Higher Fees or Placed into Subprime Loans

The Department of Justice today filed its largest residential fair lending settlement in history to resolve allegations that Countrywide Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries engaged in a widespread pattern or practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in their mortgage lending from 2004 through 2008.

The settlement provides $335 million in compensation for victims of Countrywide’s discrimination during a period when Countrywide originated millions of residential mortgage loans as one of the nation’s largest single-family mortgage lenders.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in conjunction with the department’s complaint which alleges that Countrywide discriminated by charging more than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher fees and interest rates than non-Hispanic white borrowers in both its retail and wholesale lending. The complaint alleges that these borrowers were charged higher fees and interest rates because of their race or national origin, and not because of the borrowers’ creditworthiness or other objective criteria related to borrower risk.

The United States also alleges that Countrywide discriminated by steering thousands of African-American and Hispanic borrowers into subprime mortgages when non-Hispanic white borrowers with similar credit profiles received prime loans. All the borrowers who were discriminated against were qualified for Countrywide mortgage loans according to Countrywide’s own underwriting criteria.

United States Department of Justice Logo“The department’s action against Countrywide makes clear that we will not hesitate to hold financial institutions accountable, including one of the nation’s largest, for lending discrimination,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “These institutions should make judgments based on applicants’ creditworthiness, not on the color of their skin.

With today’s settlement, the federal government will ensure that the more than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers who were discriminated against by Countrywide will be entitled to compensation.”

The settlement resolves the United States’ pricing and steering claims against Countrywide for its discrimination against African Americans and Hispanics.

The United States’ complaint alleges that African-American and Hispanic borrowers paid more than non-Hispanic white borrowers, not based on borrower risk, but because of their race or national origin. Countrywide’s business practice allowed its loan officers and mortgage brokers to vary a loan’s interest rate and other fees from the price it set based on the borrower’s objective credit-related factors . This subjective and unguided pricing discretion resulted in African American and Hispanic borrowers paying more. The complaint further alleges that Countrywide was aware the fees and interest rates it was charging discriminated against African-American and Hispanic borrowers, but failed to impose meaningful limits or guidelines to stop it.

“Countrywide’s actions contributed to the housing crisis, hurt entire communities, and denied families access to the American dream,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “We are using every tool in our law enforcement arsenal, including some that were dormant for years, to go after institutions of all sizes that discriminated against families solely because of their race or national origin.”

The United States’ complaint also alleges that, as a result of Countrywide’s policies and practices, qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers were placed in subprime loans rather than prime loans even when similarly-qualified non-Hispanic white borrowers were placed in prime loans. The discriminatory placement of borrowers in subprime loans, also known as “steering,” occurred because it was Countrywide’s business practice to allow mortgage brokers and employees to place a loan applicant in a subprime loan even when the applicant qualified for a prime loan . In addition, Countrywide gave mortgage brokers discretion to request exceptions to the underwriting guidelines, and Countrywide’s employees had discretion to grant these exceptions.

This is the first time that the Justice Department has alleged and obtained relief for borrowers who were steered into loans based on race or national origin, a practice that systematically placed borrowers of color into subprime mortgage loan products while placing non-Hispanic white borrowers with similar creditworthiness in prime loans. By steering borrowers into subprime loans from 2004 to 2007, the complaint alleges, Countrywide harmed those qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers. Subprime loans generally carried higher-cost terms, such as prepayment penalties and exploding adjustable interest rates that increased suddenly after two or three years, making the payments unaffordable and leaving the borrowers at a much higher risk of foreclosure.

The settlement also resolves the department’s claim that Countrywide violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by discriminating on the basis of marital status against non-applicant spouses of borrowers by encouraging them to sign away their home ownership rights . The law allows married individuals to apply for credit either in their own name or jointly with their spouse, even when the property is owned by both spouses. For applications made by married individuals applying solely in their own name between 2004 and 2008, Countrywide encouraged non-applicant spouses to sign quitclaim deeds or other documents transferring their legal rights and interests in jointly-held property to the borrowing spouse. Non-applicant spouses who execute a quitclaim deed risk substantial uncertainty and financial loss by losing all their rights and interests in the property securing the loan.

In addition, the settlement requires Countrywide to implement policies and practices to prevent discrimination if it returns to the lending business during the next four years. Countrywide currently operates as a subsidiary of Bank of America but does not originate new loans.

The department’s investigation into Countrywide’s lending practices began after referrals by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and the Office of Thrift Supervision to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in 2007 and 2008 for potential patterns or practices of discrimination by Countrywide.

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF). President Obama established the interagency FFETF to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information on the task force, visit

A copy of the complaint and proposed settlement order, as well as additional information about fair lending enforcement by the Justice Department, can be obtained from the Justice Department website at

The proposed settlement provides for an independent administrator to contact and distribute payments of compensation at no cost to borrowers whom the Justice Department identifies as victims of Countrywide’s discrimination. The department will make a public announcement and post contact information on its website once an administrator is chosen. Borrowers who are eligible for compensation from the settlement will then be contacted by the administrator. Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of lending discrimination by Countrywide and have questions about the settlement may email the department at

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gamma Kappa chapter of Omega Psi Phi, the first African-American fraternity on Salisbury University campus in 1976

SALISBURY, MD---In 1976, Salisbury University President Norman Crawford welcomed the Gamma Kappa chapter of Omega Psi Phi, the first African-American fraternity on campus.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the fraternity recently honored Crawford for this support, and Salisbury mayor and SU alumnus James Ireton proclaimed Norman Crawford Day in the city. Crawford also received state and county citations, as well as a commemorative gift from the Black Alumni Association, in addition to the Appreciation Award.

“He was instrumental in allowing us to have a charter at [what was then] Salisbury State College,” said Charles Elliott, the chapter’s inaugural president. “He was always there for us. He put the students first and always made himself available to us.”

Crawford said he recognized the need for the Gamma Kappa chapter as he attempted to make African-American students feel more welcomed on campus. Prior to his arrival in 1970, only three of the college’s 965 students were African-American.

That number grew exponentially as he began hiring the institution’s first African-American faculty and administrators, and initiated programs such as weekly meetings with African-American students to discuss problems they might be encountering on campus.

“My goal was to make sure African-American students who came to Salisbury had a positive social and academic experience,” he said, adding that he knew the college’s positive reputation would spread throughout the community. “My proudest accomplishment was the harmonious desegregation of the state college.”

Jerry West congratulates Dr. Norman Crawford

Omega Psi Phi member Jerry West congratulates Dr. Norman Crawford.
“Dr. Crawford was a visionary, a man ahead of his time and a man of purpose and conviction,” said Dr. Clara Small, who was among Crawford’s first faculty hires. “He did not emphasize affirmative action, but looked for talented individuals who knew their craft when he hired faculty and staff to serve a diverse student population. He recognized the worth of all people and the value of a diverse work place, and what could be achieved if there was a concerted effort to reach that goal.”

To know that the students he first supported in Omega Psi Phi some 35 years ago remembered his efforts so fondly was especially poignant.

“It was probably the most meaningful recognition I’ve received,” Crawford said.

A native of Newark, NJ, Crawford served as president of SU until1980. Under his leadership, enrollment more than tripled; new academic, cultural and athletic programs were added; and Greek life was introduced on campus. He returned to the area following his retirement in 1992. He and his wife, Garnette, reside in Ocean Pines and remain involved with the SU community.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

Sunday, December 25, 2011

John W. Franklin keynote speaker for the 43rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Convocation at JSU

Jackson, MS—The Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University is pleased to announce that John W. Franklin, the Director of Partnerships and International Programs for the National Museum of African American History and Culture being built on the Mall in Washington, D.C., will be the keynote speaker for the 43rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Convocation at JSU.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the Smithsonian’s 19th museum, and John W. Franklin has worked on African American, African and African Diaspora programs for the past 24 years at the Smithsonian. Initially, he served as researcher and French language interpreter for the Smithsonian’s African Diaspora program of the 1976 Bicentennial Folklife Festival while living and teaching English in Dakar, Senegal.

Franklin developed symposia and seminars for the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies from 1987-1992, and at the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, he curated Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs on the Bahamas (1994), Cape Verdean Culture (1995), Washington, D.C. (2000) and Mali (2003). Franklin served on the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture from 1998 to 2008 and the board of the Reginald Lewis Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture from 2000 to 2009. He served on the Board of Governors of the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies from 2003-2011, and he edited, My Life and an Era: the Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin with his father, John Hope Franklin.

Margaret Walker Center Logo

MLK Convocation will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, January 13, 2012, in the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium on the campus of Jackson State and will be immediately followed by the 17th Annual Isaac K. Byrd For My People Awards luncheon at 11:45 a.m. in the JSU Student Center Ballroom.

Along with Mr. Franklin, the Margaret Walker Center will honor Mrs. Dorothy Stewart, founder of Women for Progress, and the Honorable Mary Toles, founder of the Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro-American Culture, for their contributions to the public preservation of African-American history and culture with this annual award named Margaret Walker’s classic poem, For My People. Past recipients include James Meredith, Unita Blackwell, Robert Clark, Lerone Bennett, Andrew Young, Jesse Mosley, and others.

Tickets for this year’s For My People Awards luncheon can be purchased through the Margaret Walker Center for $10 starting on January 3, 2012. For more information, visit the Center’s
website at or contact the Center’s staff at 601-979-2055 or

John W. Franklin keynote speaker for the 43rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Convocation at JSU FULL RELEASE in PDF FORMAT

Contact: Dr. Robert Luckett, Margaret Walker Center Jackson State University 601-979-2055

For Immediate Release Director John W. Franklin to be keynote speaker for the 2012 MLK Convocation at JSU and a recipient of the annual For My People Award.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

African-American men don't receive the same benefits from mentoring that Caucasians do

Athens, Ga. - Networking within an organization and having a mentor are widely thought to promote career success, but a new University of Georgia study finds that African-American men don't receive the same measurable benefits from these professional connections that Caucasians do.

Study co-author Lillian Eby, a professor in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, said the finding shouldn't discourage African Americans from seeking mentoring and networking opportunities. Rather, it emphasizes the need for women and minorities to think broadly about the mentors they choose and with whom they network. People tend to have professional and social networks that are composed of people who are similar to them, she explained, and African Americans remain underrepresented in high-level positions.

"If African-American men are picking mentors who are like them, then they're more likely to be networking with people who have less power and influence within an organization," Eby said, "which may be why mentoring is not predicting career success for them."

The study, published in the December issue of the Journal of Vocational Behavior, examined data from nearly 250 college-educated, African-American men to determine which factors were most closely related to their career success. Co-author C. Douglas Johnson, an associate professor of management at Georgia Gwinnett College, said the intent was to see if conclusions from previous studies with Caucasians held true for African Americans.

Lillian Eby

Lillian Eby
Unlike mentoring and networking, universal predictors of success were level of education, training and willingness to move for new opportunities. "The study shows that if you are willing to put forth the necessary effort and obtain the education and appropriate training, then you can achieve career success," said Johnson, who conducted the study while a doctoral student at UGA.

For purposes of the study, career success was defined with measures such as annual compensation, number of promotions in one's career and managerial level. Yet Johnson emphasized that career success also involves less objective components, such as personal satisfaction and work-life balance.

Mentoring was associated with greater career satisfaction in this population, and the researchers said that choosing multiple mentors might be a way for people to gain both objective and subjective career gains.

Eby discourages organizations from implementing formal mentoring programs created for specific racial, ethnic or gender groups, since they can be viewed as favoritism and perpetuate stereotypes that those individuals need extra help to succeed. Creating opportunities for all employees to expand their skills and knowledge, however, can benefit both the individual and the organization.

"Especially in a bad economy, having a climate that encourages learning and development is probably a better strategy than programs that are targeted toward a particular group," she said.

## Filed under: Culture / Living, Behavioral Health, University News

CONTACT: Sam Fahmy News Director Recent and archived articles by Sam Fahmy Office of External Affairs Old College 215 Herty Drive Athens, GA,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Depression Care in Community-Dwelling Elderly in the United States

Diagnosis, Treatment of Depression Among Elderly Depend on Racial, Cultural Factors. Community-dwelling African Americans less likely to be diagnosed and treated.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Despite improvements to diagnostic tools and therapies in the two last decades, significant disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of depression remain, according to Rutgers research published online by the American Journal of Public Health (print, February 2012).

In the study “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Depression Care in Community-Dwelling Elderly in the United States,” lead author Ayse Akincigil, an assistant professor in Rutgers’ School of Social Work, and colleagues found that African Americans were significantly less likely to receive a depression diagnosis from a health care provider than were non-Hispanic whites. In addition, those diagnosed were less likely to be treated for depression.

“Vigorous clinical and public health initiatives are needed to address this persisting disparity in care,” she said.

Depression is a significant public health problem for older Americans – about 6.6 percent of elderly Americans experience an episode of major depression each year. “If untreated or undertreated, depression can significantly diminish quality of life,” Akincigil said. In addition, depression can complicate such medical conditions commonly found in older populations as congestive heart failure, diabetes and arthritis.

Treatment of Depression Among Elderly Depend on Racial, Cultural FactorsFor their study, Rutgers researchers culled data from the U.S. Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, 2001-2005 obtaining information on health care use and costs, health status, medical and prescription drug insurance coverage, access to care and use of services. Based on a national survey of 33,708 Medicare beneficiaries, depression diagnosis rates were 6.4 percent for non-Hispanic whites, 4.2 percent for African Americans, 7.2 percent for Hispanics and 3.8 percent for others. The heterogeneity of Hispanics makes it difficult to determine why they are undertreated and their treatment preferences, Akincigil said.

“Are there cultural differences or systemic differences regarding health care quality and access for treatment of depression?” Akincigil asked. “If African Americans prefer psychotherapy over drugs, then accessing therapists for treatment in poorer neighborhoods is a lot more difficult than it is for whites, who generally have higher incomes and live in neighborhoods more likely for therapists and doctors to be located.

“Whites use more antidepressants than African Americans. We presume they have better access to doctors and pharmacies, and more money to spend on drugs.”

The investigation focused on whether there are racial/ethnic differences in the rate of diagnosis of depression among the elderly, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and depression symptoms (depressed mood, anhedonia) reported on a two-item screener, and also in treatment provided to those diagnosed with depression by a health care provider. Akincigil said there is evidence that help-seeking patterns differ by race/ethnicity, contributing to the gap in depression diagnosis rates. Stigma, patient attitudes and knowledge also may vary by race and ethnicity.

“African Americans might turn to their pastors or lay counselors in the absence of psychotherapists,” she said. “Low-income African Americans who were engaged in psychotherapy reported that stigma, dysfunctional coping behavior, shame and denial could be reasons some African Americans do not seek professional help.”

The nature of the patient-physician relationship also might contribute to disparities in depression diagnosis rates. “African Americans reported greater distrust of physicians and poorer patient-physician communication than do white patients,” Akincigil explained. “Communication difficulties may contribute to lower rates of clinical detection of depression because the diagnosis of depression depends to a considerable degree on communication of subjective distress.”

The researchers also noted that racial and ethnic differences in the clinical presentation of depression may further explain the lower rates of depression detection among African-American patients.

Financial factors may also play a role in the detection rates, according to Akincigil. Among Medicare beneficiaries, African Americans are substantially less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have private supplemental insurance that covers charges larger than standard Medicare-approved amounts. “Differences in provider reimbursement may favor increased clinical detection of depression in white patient groups if higher payment rates result in longer visits,” she said.

Akincigil and co-authors Karen A. Zurlo and Stephen Crystal, both from Rutgers’ School of Social Work; Mark Olfson, Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University; and Michele Siegel and James T. Walkup from Rutgers’ Center for Health Services Research on Pharmacotherapy, Chronic Disease Management and Outcomes, conclude that “efforts are needed to reduce the burden of undetected and untreated depression and to identify the barriers that generate disparities in detection and treatment.”

“Promising approaches include providing universal depression screening and ensuring access to care in low-income and minority neighborhoods,” they write. “An increase in the reimbursement of case management services for the treatment of depression also may be effective.”

The study was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health and by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality through a cooperative agreement for the Center for Research and Education on Mental Health Therapeutics at Rutgers.

Media Contact: Steve Manas 732-932-7084, ext. 612 E-mail:

EDITOR'S NOTE: ATTENTION HEALTH, ASSIGNMENT EDITORS, to interview Professor Ayse Akincigil, contact her at 609-731-1183 or

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rapidly Increasing Numbers of Latino and Black Males are jobless or working only part time

By focusing on underemployment rates in addition to the numbers of unemployed, this report provides a more accurate measure of the health of the labor market in Southern California and finds a marked increase in the concentration of people clinging to the bottom of the state’s social and economic ladder, with Latino and Black males comprising the economy's hardest hit sectors.

--Los Angeles--It comes as no surprise that Southern California workers have been devastated by the Great Recession and its massive loss of jobs. But the hit has come particularly hard for those without good educational backgrounds, and most dramatically for Latino and black males. There have been serious warnings about the economic cost of dropouts and the failure to deliver higher education to the rapidly expanding population of nonwhite youth in California. Now we see the impacts spelled out in statistics of exclusion or marginalization in the job market.

“Now,” says Civil Rights Project Co-Director Gary Orfield, “the collapse of the construction and related job markets, particularly in the once booming Inland Empire, shows us very clearly how high the cost has been for young men and their families and how the toxic combination of the recession and high dropout rates are for the future of our region’s majority. The small recent uptick in California jobs would have to become much larger and last for years to substantially change the crisis we are reporting.”

A new report shows a much bleaker picture of joblessness and opportunity in Southern California than commonly reported. By focusing on underemployment rates in addition to the numbers of unemployed, the report provides a more accurate measure of the health of the labor market and finds a marked increase in the concentration of people clinging to the bottom of the state’s social and economic ladder. Southern California, one of the world’s largest and diverse urban complexes, is rapidly becoming a region of profound economic and geographic polarization, according to the study.

The Civil Rights Project Logo

Fragmented Economy, Stratified Society, and the Shattered Dream, by Kfir Mordechay, explores the divergent economic fortunes of skilled and unskilled workers in six counties of Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura. The report offers a unique analysis of the dynamics of job opportunity and inequality in California and focuses on the Southern California region, appropriately named “LASANTI,” which describes the region encompassing Los Angeles County down through San Diego and including the northern frontier with Mexico, including Tijuana.

The report clarifies that the changes to the Southern California economy over the last four years--easily drawn into focus during this time of extreme economic slowdown--are symptoms of an already existing structural problem exacerbated by the recession, not created by it. The report explains that during the past thirty years both technological advancement and global trade have structurally transformed employment status and income. Furthermore, the report stresses that the differences in economic opportunity in the region tell a story of the challenges we face throughout the nation, not just in California.

The study also makes clear that while the official unemployment rate has been a frequent topic in the mainstream press throughout the economic downturn, the underemployment rate has rarely been discussed at length, even though the number of underemployed workers has increased dramatically.

According to the study, underemployment is a more comprehensive indicator of the health of the job market and overall economy as it counts three groups of workers: the total number of unemployed people, involuntary part-time workers who want full-time work but have had to settle for part-time hours, and “marginally attached” workers who are available and want to work but have given up actively looking.

By combining data and analyses from a number of expert sources, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Brookings Institution, the research examines wages and work across racial, ethnic, gender, age, education, and geographic boundaries and includes the unique regional impact of Southern California's explosive real estate boom that began in 2000 and culminated in the housing market bust of 2007, along with the subsequent onset of the Great Recession.

The globalization of economic activity has essentially created new domestic jobs for specially trained college graduates while wiping out many opportunities for workers lacking higher education. Individuals from the lowest social rungs, particularly Latinos, African Americans, and those in the lowest educational ranks, not only begin with different opportunities and resources, but often do not have the paths to mobility in the quest for social and economic well-being. This trend of racial and class stratification in terms of employment prospects, earnings, and educational opportunity has been increasing for the last 30 years.


• From 2007-2009, while the unemployment for Latinos increased from 5.7% to 14.3%, the underemployment rates for Latinos in L.A. County have skyrocketed from 11% to 29.2%, by far the most dramatic increase of all races.

• For African Americans without a high-school diploma, the unemployment rate in California is above 31.6%, far higher than any other race or ethnicity African American high school dropouts suffer much more severe unemployment than dropouts of other races.

• Between 2008 and 2009, all job growth from the previous 9 years was lost in Los Angeles County, with manufacturing showing the greatest decline (36.1%) from 1999-2009.

• Over 59% of construction workers live in Los Angeles neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. The ethnic make-up of the construction workers in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty throughout Los Angeles is: 88% Latino, 4% Black, 4% Asian, and 3% white.

• The official unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma increased 5.7% since 2007, compared to 8.8 percent for high school graduates, and 3.6 % for those with a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, underemployment rates for California workers without a high school diploma have jumped 18.6% since 2007, compared to 14% for high school graduates, and 6.3% for individuals with a bachelor’s degree.

“Today we are in the midst of intense economic forces that are redefining not only the California Dream, but also the American experience,” states Mordechay, a researcher with the Civil Rights Project. “One of the biggest imperatives the state faces in the years ahead is making sure that its schools don’t fail to prepare their students for the challenges of the 21st century.”

By examining the state of the labor force through calculating underemployment rates, the report provides policymakers and the broader public with a more accurate portrait of the regional economy.

The report concludes with recommendations for building a stronger, more equitable, and resilient economy through customized job training, government investment in infrastructure, targeted tax credits, and addressing educational inequality.

About The Civil Rights Project at UCLA

Founded in 1996 by former Harvard professors Gary Orfield and Christopher Edley, Jr., the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles is now co-directed by Orfield and Patricia Gándara, professors at UCLA. Its mission is to create a new generation of research in social science and law, on the critical issues of civil rights and equal opportunity for racial and ethnic groups in the United States. It has commissioned more than 400 studies, published 14 books and issued numerous reports from authors at universities and research centers across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court, in its 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision upholding affirmative action, and in Justice Breyer’s dissent (joined by three other Justices) to its 2007 Parents Involved in Community Schools decision, cited the Civil Rights Project’s research.

# # #

The Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles 8370 Math Sciences, Box 951521 Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521 (310) 267-5562For Immediate Release: December 20, 2011. CONTACT: Gary Orfield: (310) 474-0647 or Kfir Mordechay (310- 420-5422

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Luther E. Smith Jr., Honored by Black Religious Scholars Group

Luther E. Smith Jr., professor of church and community at Candler School of Theology, was honored at the 14th annual Black Religious Scholars Group (BRSG) Consultation in November. Smith was named the 2011 BRSG Distinguished Religious Scholar at the event, held in San Francisco at the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, which theologian Howard Thurman co-founded. Smith has spent his entire career studying Thurman, whose legacy was also honored at the consultation.

“Each year, the BRSG recognizes a preeminent African American religious scholar who exemplifies faithfulness to our shared vocational call as scholars, theologians, preachers and community leaders,” said Dr. Juan M. Floyd-Thomas, co-founder and executive board member of BRSG. “In this spirit, our organization was especially eager to celebrate the far-reaching influence of Luther Smith. His pioneering scholarship and teaching on the life and legacy of Howard Thurman has inspired greater understanding of black religious thought and praxis on local, national and global levels.”

Smith undertook the first major critical study of Thurman’s thought with his first book, “Howard Thurman: The Mystic as Prophet,” which was based on his doctoral dissertation. He is the editor of “Howard Thurman: Essential Writings” and co-editor of “The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman: A Visionary of Our Time,” six compact disc recordings of Howard Thurman’s sermons, lectures and meditations. He also serves as senior consulting editor to the Howard Thurman Papers Project. Smith has been a member of Candler’s faculty since 1979.

“I was very moved by this honor,” says Smith. “My appreciation runs two ways. First, I’m grateful for the personal and professional affirmation of my work. But, second, I’m also grateful for the recognition of Howard Thurman, who has been the subject of my research for more than forty years. These scholars are affirming Thurman’s significance to the future of the black church.”

Luther E. Smith Jr

Luther E. Smith Jr
The BRSG Consultation’s theme was “Making It Plain: Reclaiming the Legacy of Jesus and the Disinherited,” a nod to Thurman’s 1949 definitive work, “Jesus and the Disinherited.” As the 2011 Distinguished Religious Scholar, Smith had an opportunity to reflect on this theme and Thurman’s legacy in remarks to the group.

“My first relationship with Thurman was one of friendship. But I found a way to give of myself by writing about him and placing him in the context of our American history and religious thought,” says Smith. “He was the first African American to meet with Gandhi, and he came back with the idea of using non-violence in social justice. It’s important to remember his role in the modern civil rights movement.”

Smith claims that Thurman is much more than a research interest; the author, educator and minister has provided inspiration for Smith’s work with social agencies and religious organizations, particularly those with an emphasis on interfaith cooperation.

Smith helped found Atlanta’s International Community School, which has a mission of educational excellence for children who have experienced the traumas of war and violence. He is also a founder of Georgia’s Interfaith Children’s Movement, which educates, mobilizes and networks faith communities in being advocates for all children.

“Thurman taught us that we have the capacity to nurture community across the boundaries of faith and ethnicity, which has affected how I’ve been called to work in the world,” says Smith. “Thurman employed the idea that we can maintain our grounding in our own religious tradition while being instructed in other religious traditions. He calls us to listen with a different kind of attentiveness, so that we move beyond just tolerance of others to appreciation and respect for others.”

Emory University - 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, Georgia, 30322 USA 404.727.6326. News Release: Dec. 21, 2011 By: Molly Edmonds. Media Contact: Laurel Hanna: 404.727.4481

Monday, December 19, 2011

PITT ARTS creating opportunities with African American arts forges bonds between the arts and African at University of Pittsburgh

It has been three years since PITT ARTS released the African American Arts Project monograph, Our Stories, Our Selves, co-authored by PITT ARTS Director, Annabelle Clippinger and Sarah E.J. Williams. In that study, PITT ARTS learned that creating many opportunities with African American arts forges bonds between the arts and African American students at the University of Pittsburgh, while also building a positive impact on retention.

“When students were asked if participating in PITT ARTS programs encouraged them to remain at Pitt, 72% of African American students who attended A3P programs responded either “yes” or “maybe."

This figure is impressive considering that universities nationally are examining issues of campus cultural vitality and retention. Considering that the Black graduation rate is over 10% lower than the 70.5% median graduation rate for similar institutions determined by The Education Trust, presenting arts that honor and educate students about their own cultures, in a positive manner and on a regular basis may be a strong factor in encouraging the retention of African American students at their universities all the way to graduation day.” (Excerpted from 2006, Our Stories, Ourselves, A3P: The African American Arts Project, Williams and Clippinger, page 26). The entire report can be viewed at

In the spirit of that endeavor, PITT ARTS has a significant number of African and African American Cheap Seats (discounted ticket) offerings from December and into the spring term presented by the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Manchester Craftsman’s Guild (MCG) Jazz, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.


Cheap Seats tickets can be purchased through PITT ARTS located at 929 William Pitt Union. Call 412-624-4498 or visit for more information. Deadlines vary, so don’t wait!

at the August Wilson Center Theater
Daniel Bernard Roumain: Etudes4violin&electronix

Saturday, February 6 at 8:00 PM
$25.75 Orchestra, $24 Balcony

Think Bartok seasoned with hip-hop and it don’t stop for innovative composer, violinist and bandleader Daniel Bernard Roumain who also stirs in funk, rock, jazz and the flavors of his ancestral Haiti for a most intoxicating musical stew. His works range from chamber music and orchestral pieces to electronica; each of which is stamped with Roumain’s passion, imagination and flair. Explore seductive rhythms and pensive melodies as he performs selections from his solo album, “Etudes4violin&electronix”.
Tribute to Phyllis Hyman

Friday, February 19 at 8:00 PM
$28.25 Orchestra, $24 Balcony

Rediscover the regal beauty and vocal sophistication of the late Phyllis Hyman. Whether in a recording studio, on the Broadway stage or under the soft glow of an intimate jazz club, the Philadelphia-born, Pittsburgh-bred chanteuse sang with the kind of power and vulnerability rarely seen in today’s music industry. Local and national artists pay tribute to the singer by performing many of her greatest hits, including “No One Can Love You More” and “You Know How to Love Me”.

PITT NIGHT: Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Sunday, February 28, 2010
Byham Theater
$36 Orchestra/Mezzanine, $18 Gallery

Ladysmith Black Mambazo threads the intricate rhythms and harmonies of its native South African musical traditions with the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music. The resulting musical and spiritual alchemy has touched millions worldwide. During the past four decades, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has garnered praise and accolades within the recording industry and solidified its identity as a prolific, cultural powerhouse.

PITT NIGHT with the Trust includes tickets, optional free transportation from the WPU and a pre-show dessert reception at the Byham Theater. Purchase at 929 WPU ONLY before it's sold out!

University of Pittsburgh PITT ARTS 907 William Pitt Union Pittsburgh, PA 15260 412-624-4498

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gary Sailes received the 2011 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Distinguished Service Award

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Gary Sailes, sport sociologist in the Department of Kinesiology in Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, has received the 2011 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Distinguished Service Award. Sailes received the award, which recognizes his scholarship, teaching and service to the discipline of sport sociology, during the society's annual conference in Minneapolis.

Sailes, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and adjunct professor in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, focuses his research on the socio-cultural experiences of African-Americans in American sport.

His books include "Modern Sport and the African American Experience," "African Americans in Sport: Contemporary Themes," "Mental Training for Tennis" and "Championship Tennis Drills for Advanced Players and Coaches." He has written numerous book chapters and journal publications, along with "Facts and Figures on the Black Athlete," an investigative report for the Black Congressional Caucus in Washington, D.C., where he led two congressional hearings on college sports abuses. Sailes has presented more than 200 scholarly papers and is currently editing a major textbook titled "Sports in Higher Education: Issues and Controversies" with Cognella Academic Publishing.

Sailes' numerous awards include Who's Who Among American Professionals, Eli Lilly Community Service Award, IU Sport Management Majors Club Appreciation Award and the Teaching Excellence Recognition Award from IU's Department of Kinesiology.

Gary Sailes

Gary Sailes Courtesy of Indiana University.
He has served leadership positions within professional associations, was a journal editor and has worked as a consultant to high school, college and professional athletes, coaches, teams and sports organizations in the areas of career development, life skills development and performance enhancement.

Media Contacts: Tracy James IU Communications 812-855-0084.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Charles Eugene Beatty, Sr. inducted into the Eastern Michigan University College of Education Hall of Fame

YPSILANTI - The late Charles Eugene Beatty, Sr., an alumnus of Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University), was recently inducted into the Eastern Michigan University College of Education Hall of Fame Dec. 7.

Beatty graduated from Michigan State Normal College in 1933 where he was a track and field athlete, setting the world records for the 440-low yard hurdles and the world record for the NCAA 400-meter low hurdles. In 1940, Beatty became the first African-American school principle in Michigan at Lawrence C. Perry Elementary School in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Beatty was the primary pioneer for the development and success for Head Start programs in the United States and was instrumental in the Ypsilanti Perry Preschool Project, a project that addressed the issues of academic failure and took preventative measures by involving the community and parents in preparing young students for the future.

"He emphasized health, nutrition, family and community as being factors in school success," said Jann Joseph, dean of the College of Education at Eastern. "His ambition was to create a school where each student mattered and where school was the core of the community."

Beatty retired in 1974 after working his entire career in the Ypsilanti School District. He was inducted into the Eastern Michigan University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976, the Michigan Education Hall of Fame in 1985 and was awarded the Washtenaw County Bar Association's Liberty Bell and Patriot Award in 1991.

Eastern Michigan University Logo"The Education Hall of Fame is the most celebrated alumni activity that the College of Education undertakes each year," said Joseph. "We honor alumni that have made a positive impact in the field of education and the world around us."

Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197 University Information: 734.487.1849.

Contact: Emily Vontom 734.487.6895

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Social stratifications along color lines are taking place within the nation’s multiracial groups

The American social hierarchy places people of mixed-race ancestry below whites but above blacks, while additional social stratifications along color lines are simultaneously taking place within the nation’s multiracial groups, according to a Johns Hopkins University sociologist’s study of U.S. Census data.

Pamela R. Bennett, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Johns Hopkins, studied the residential location of people who identified themselves with more than one racial group when filling out their 2000 and 2010 census forms.

Where people live has long been associated with their social status and the connection between neighborhoods and racial segregation is well-covered territory for demographers. What Bennett did was to take this area of study a step further to see how the connection between race, residence and socioeconomic status applies to people of multiple racial identities – such as black-white, Asian-white or American Indian-white – rather than racial minorities like African American, Asian or American Indian.

In her research, Bennett used residential segregation as an indicator of a group’s social position and attempted to determine what the segregation of multiracial groups from both whites and racial minorities says about the social position of multiracial groups. She also wanted to find out what those patterns say about possible shifts in the nation’s racial hierarchy. First she looked at data from the 2000 census, and her work was published in the April 2011 edition of the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies. Bennett then applied her methodology to the recently released 2010 census figures.

Pamela R. Bennett

Pamela R. Bennett. Photo by Will Kirk,
In both cases, she found that multiracial groups occupy a social position between blacks and whites, and that the multiracial groups themselves have their own racial stratifications. Bennett found a lesser degree of segregation among people who are of both black and white heritage when compared to those whose identities are fully black. Yet the black-white multiracials appear to be more segregated than Asian-white or American Indian-white multiracials across several segregation measures.

“For patterns of segregation in 2000, taking socioeconomic status into account does not change that picture,” Bennett said. “So while some scholars and activists view official recognition of multiracial identities as a movement toward the deconstruction of race, I caution against such an optimistic narrative for now.”

Conclusions about the role of socioeconomic status in the 2010 patterns of segregation for multiracial groups await the release of additional census data.


December 14, 2011 Tags: multiracial groups, Pamela R. Bennett, segreation, social position, U.S. Census Posted in Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences.

Office of News and Information. Johns Hopkins University. 901 South Bond Street, Suite 540. Baltimore, Maryland 21231 Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

December 14, 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Lunday 443-287-9960

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

African Americans have a significantly higher overall post scene of injury mortality rate than whites

AMHERST, Mass. - New research based on post-hospital arrival data from U.S. trauma centers finds that even after adjusting for differences in injury severity, gun use, and other likely causes of race difference in death from assault, African-Americans have a significantly higher overall post-scene of injury mortality rate than whites. The study was conducted by Anthony R. Harris, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and colleagues and published in August by the Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical Care.

The study, from a nationally representative sample of trauma centers, covered the period from 2005-08 and adjusted for types of weapons used, severity of injury, age, physiological condition, year, and trauma center differences. It concluded that, in addition to insurance status, among patients brought to the Level I and II trauma centers, race is a substantial independent predictor of who dies from assault. Blacks, especially the uninsured, have significantly worse outcomes overall, though there is some evidence that this pattern is minimized at higher levels of injury severity.

Black patients showed higher overall raw mortality rates from assault than whites (8.9 percent vs. 5.1 percent), but after statistical adjustment, the researchers found the black to white adjusted risk ratio for death from assault (homicide) dropped significantly. After adjustment, estimated black deaths were 29 percent in excess of white deaths for firearm injuries, 36 percent in excess for cutting/piercing injuries, and 61 percent in excess for blunt injuries. Uninsured blacks comprised 76 percent of all excess trauma center deaths from assault.

Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical CareHarris says that the findings are consistent with the bulk of the medical research findings on race and insurance disparities in hospital outcomes from causes other than intentional assault. But he also notes that, as is the case with almost all of these studies, the causes of the disparities are not easily identified. He adds:

"The observed disparities raise questions about the social causes of the very large black/white difference in overall U.S. homicide victimization rates (about 7 to 1) and have important implications for individual lives, including whether or not a victim remains a victim in an assault case or becomes a victim in a homicide case. The victim’s outcome is, in turn, likely to impact the chances the offender will be apprehended and, if so, faced with a charge of aggravated assault or of homicide.

Unlike other medical outcomes, in the case of intentional assault, insurance and racial disparities in hospital mortality are thus likely to affect no less than two separate parties, and, often, two or more unrelated families."

The study, by Harris and Gene A. Fisher, both of UMass Amherst, and Dr. Stephen H. Thomas, of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, is based on data from the National Sample Program, the National Trauma Data Bank’s representative sample of 100 Level I and Level II U.S. trauma centers.

The analysis represents an estimated 137,618 black and white assault cases aged 15 years and older. The sample includes 35 percent white, and 65 percent black patients, with 46 percent of the whites and 60 percent of the blacks identified as uninsured.

In 2009, Harris, received a two-year grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation to research race differences in homicidal outcomes from criminal injury. The study was conducted in part by Harris as visiting scientist with the department of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Harris received national and international media attention in 2002 with a study, also co-authored with Fisher and Thomas, that found improvements in emergency medical services dramatically suppressed murder rates in the U.S. from 1960-99. The study noted that this 40-year trend held even though weapons became more lethal and available during the period, and overall criminal assault rates rose steeply.

Contact: Patrick J. Callahan 413/545-0444 WEB: University of Massachusetts Amherst

Monday, December 12, 2011

Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr

MSU historian provides a fresh look at state civil rights martyr. STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State faculty member Michael V. Williams is the author of a new book profiling civil rights icon Medgar Wiley Evers.

Published by the University of Arkansas Press, "Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr" chronicles the life and work of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's first fulltime Mississippi field secretary, who was murdered in the summer of 1963.

In his 453-page book, the assistant professor of history and African-American studies provides critical analyses of the intense social and political struggles that African Americans waged in the Deep South during the turbulent 1950s and 1960s. Within the larger story, he details the key role played by the Newton County native and (now) Alcorn State University alumnus in helping bring about social change in the Magnolia State.

"Medgar Evers stands as the epitome of America's commitment to freedom, equality, citizenship and the responsibility of the individual to ensure that successive generations, no matter their color, gender or ideology, experience the freedom, equality and benefits of American citizenship," Williams said.

Evers, a Word War II combat veteran and former insurance salesman, was shot outside his Jackson home by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith of Greenwood. (Beckwith eventually was convicted of the crime in 1994 and died a life-serving prisoner in 2001.)

Michael V. Williams

Michael V. Williams
Williams is scheduled to discuss the book during the 2012 Arkansas Literary Festival, to be held April 12-15 in Little Rock.

Williams received bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Mississippi. In addition to civil rights, his primary teaching and research areas include black intellectual radicalism, social conflict, the African-American experience, and U.S. history since 1877.

"I have always been interested in social and political movements," he explained. "America's civil rights periods symbolized calls for America to stand fully upon the principles for which it was founded."

Williams said his next book projects will examine the impact the modern civil rights movement had on specific Mississippi counties, as well as the ways in which grassroots organizations and leadership developed in response.

(For additional biographical information, visit

University Relations News Bureau (662) 325-3442 Contact: Margaret Kovar December 09, 2011.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a historic African-American community working to restore its vibrancy

One Year Later, Hill District Residents Living Healthier by Working with DU Center for Pharmacy Services.

This December will mark the first year anniversary of Duquesne University’s Center for Pharmacy Services in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a historic African-American community working to restore its vibrancy. In its first 10 months of operation, the pharmacy has served more than 1,280 patients.

“The day they opened up, I was there,” says Barbara Strothers, superintendent of Hope Square, a retail and commercial building across Centre Avenue from the pharmacy. “This truly was the best thing that happened in the Hill in a long time, and I tell everybody.”

Strothers, as many of the pharmacy’s patients, has the chronic conditions of diabetes and high blood pressure.

But their health outcomes are improving as they take their medications regularly and follow drug guidelines, thanks to the influence of the pharmacy, say representatives of the Hill House Health Care Center across the street. It’s easier for patients to use their medications properly because accessibility and services of the pharmacy center.

The pharmacy is conveniently located in the neighborhood, said Dara Moore, Hill House Health Center nurse manager. It’s within walking distance of nearly 850 senior citizens and across the street from the medical practice—and offers free delivery. That eliminates the need for patients to get rides or take buses to pharmacies farther away.

Duquesne University Logo

The pharmacy also helps patients to find the most affordable options, said Kim Spruce, Hill House Health Center outreach worker. In a neighborhood with a poverty rate three times the county average, that’s a critical piece to having patients take their medications as scheduled.

About 20 percent cannot afford to pay for their medications, but the pharmacy provides services regardless of ability to pay, said Terri Kroh, director of Duquesne’s Center for Pharmacy Services. Then expense is no longer a reason to stop a medication.

“They try to find a way to lower your costs so your bills won’t be too high,” said Strothers, whose payment for diabetes medication dropped from $25 to $5 with the help of the pharmacy.

Through private, cutting-edge medication therapy management, patients discuss the drugs they are taking, possible side effects and interactions; this counseling is routinely offered before the medications are in the patients’ hands and is provided for every new prescription—and the knowledge is one more plus in helping patients to comply with the medication schedules.

The pharmacy, which is more like a doctor’s office than a typical retail operation selling greeting cards and bags of snacks, also offers a battery of free health screenings, including blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and body mass index, and pharmacy expertise is available through on-call services 24/7. Over-the-counter medications are available for purchase after discussion with a pharmacist, but browsing is not an option.

“The mission of Duquesne University is to serve God by serving students, who then go out and serve. The mission of the pharmacy school is to improve health outcomes for patients and communities,” said Dean J. Douglas Bricker of Duquesne’s Mylan School of Pharmacy. “There are a lot of medically underserved communities in Pittsburgh; this one is our neighbor.”

The Hill District, once one of the most prosperous and influential across the country, declined to the point of losing both its grocery store and its pharmacy by 2000. The Hill has become home to a higher percentage of medically vulnerable populations—children and residents 65 and over—than the rest of the city.

But the community is persisting. The Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone, co-founded by Duquesne in 2007, is funneling more than $1 million into local fledgling firms. Two years later, Duquesne announced that its pharmacy school will open and operate a pharmacy in the Hill.

Now, a new grocery store is under construction next door and the brick and steel skeleton of the new YMCA rises along Centre Avenue.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better—to be alive to see it,” says Strothers, smiling. “We got it all going on, right here.”

Duquesne University, Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in 10 schools of study for 10,000-plus graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students’ social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne’s commitment to sustainability.

Contact Public Affairs: Duquesne University: Office of Public Affairs, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. 412.396.6050. 412.396.5779 fax Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Bridget Fare, Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs, 412.396.6052, 412.370.9692 (cell)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Salk Institute for Biological Studies uses patients' own cells to cure sickle cell

{EAV:4a1c49de6a02e08e} LA JOLLA, CA—Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have developed a way to use patients' own cells to potentially cure sickle cell disease and many other disorders caused by mutations in a gene that helps produce blood hemoglobin.

The technique uses cells from a patient's skin to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are capable of developing into various types of mature tissues—including blood. The scientists say their method, which repairs the beta-globin gene (HBB), avoids gene therapy techniques that can introduce potentially harmful genes into cells.

The new technique, which will soon be tested as a therapy in animals, also appears to be much more efficient than other methods tested to date, the researchers say.

"Our findings set the stage for the development of iPSC-based therapies for devastating genetic disorders such as sickle cell disease," says the study's principle investigator, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a Salk professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory.

Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited blood disorders caused by genetic mutations in the HBB gene, resulting in abnormal hemoglobin, the iron-containing protein that normally allows blood cells to carry oxygen. This causes red blood cells to become hard and sticky and resemble a curved farm tool called a "sickle." In the two leading disorders caused by HBB mutations, sickle cell anemia and beta thalassemia, red blood cells can't effectively carry oxygen.

The cell nuclei—the central compartments that contain the DNA

Salk researchers reprogrammed skins cells taken from a sickle cell disease patient into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), immature cells capable of developing into any type of bodily tissue.

To assure that the skin cells were in fact reprogrammed into stem cells, the researchers coaxed them into becoming muscle cells, indicated by the presence of muscle-specific protiens (red) in this image. The cell nuclei—the central compartments that contain the DNA—are seen in blue.

Image: Courtesy of Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Symptoms of sickle cell disease include swelling of the hands and feet, pain due to clogging of blood vessels, anemia and stroke.

The disorders are most common among people of African, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern decent. One in every 500 African Americans and one in every 30,000 Hispanic Americans are born with sickle cell disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The disease can be cured with stem cell or bone marrow transplants, but there is a high risk that recipients of transplants will reject the donated marrow or cells, which can result in serious side effects and even death.

The Salk researchers, which include co-first authors Mo Li and Keiichiro Suzuki, both research associates in Belmonte's laboratory, set out to devise a safe method to use iPSCs to correct the HBB gene in patients who have defective copies of the gene.

Because the iPSCs come from a patient's own body, they should carry less risk for transplant rejection. Also, about 500 other disease-causing mutations have been identified in the HBB gene, so correcting the gene could potentially cure a multitude of HBB-related diseases worldwide.

However, traditional iPSC generation and gene therapy techniques have proven to be potentially unsafe, according to the researchers.

Many have used viruses to convert adult cells to stem cells and to carry a normal HBB gene to infect and repair hematopoietic stem cells—stem cells that give rise to all blood cells.

But when these repaired stem cells are given back to patients, they can include transgenes—unwanted genes that have become inserted into the host genome and disrupt the normal function of DNA. The technique is also inefficient, correcting only a small percentage of gene mutations, and transplantation success has proven rare in clinical trials testing gene therapy to treat beta thalassemia.

"We wanted to fix the mutation in such a way that it does not leave any unwanted traces in a patient's genome," Suzuki says.

To do that, the researchers used a two-step approach. First, they took adult skin cells from a patient with an HBB mutation that causes sickle cell disease. They used six genes to coax these cells to revert to iPSCs, which could then be developed into blood cells. The genes were introduced into the cells using a technique that avoids the use of viruses and insertion of transgenes into the cells' genome.

Their next step was to repair the HBB gene mutation in the stem cells. To swap the defective gene with a normal copy in the iPSCs, the investigators used a modified adenovirus (common cold virus) that, unlike viruses used in other methods, does not replicate itself in the body and does not alter the host cells' DNA. The viral genes were deleted and replaced with a DNA sequence that contained a normal HBB gene.

The modified virus then delivered the new genetic material inside the iPSCs, where the DNA region containing the broken gene was replaced with the sequence containing the normal gene. "It happens naturally, working like a zipper," Li says. "The good gene just zips in perfectly, pushing the bad one out."

By replacing a relatively large region of DNA, the technique allows the scientists to fix many gene mutations at once, which suggests the method might provide a way to treat hundreds of types of HBB-related diseases. The correction of the mutant HBB gene was also highly efficient and the research team conducted multiple tests to ensure no errant genes were integrated into the genome.

The Salk scientists now plan to make blood cells from the repaired stem cells and test their effectiveness in animals. If successful, this may lead to therapies for humans in which a patient's stem cells will be reverted into iPSCs, then genetically repaired and transplanted back into the bone marrow of the same patient. If successful, the bone marrow will then produce all new blood cells, including normal hemoglobin.

If the technique proves effective, the researchers say, it might be used for treating other types of diseases caused by single gene mutations.

The study was funded by grants from the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundations, Sanofi-Aventis, Ellison Medical Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, MICINN and Fundacion Cellex (JCIB). The study appears in the December 2011 issue of Cell Research.

About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world's preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

For more information: Cell Research, Authors: Mo Li, Keiichiro Suzuki, Jing Qu, Preeti Saini, Ilir Dubova, Fei Yi, Jungmin Lee, Ignacio Sancho-Martinez, Guang-Hui Liu and Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte

TEXT CREDIT: Salk Institute for Biological Studies. 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037 | 858.453.4100

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NYU’s Women of Color Finds Black and Latino Voters Intend to Turn Out for Obama in Large Numbers

Poll by NYU’s Women of Color Policy Network Finds Black and Latino Voters in 11 Battleground States Intend to Turn Out for President Obama in Large Numbers in 2012 Election

A new poll from the Women of Color Policy Network (WOCPN) at New York University finds that Latinos and African-American voters in 11 battleground states key to the outcome of the 2012 presidential election support President Barack Obama’s re-election overwhelmingly, and are motivated strongly to go to the polls.

The WOCPN telephone survey of 800 registered minority voters in Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and Missouri shows that getting the economy back on track and education are the top issues of the campaign for these voters, putting them on a course to vote in large numbers in the presidential race. Those surveyed (the poll was conducted during the first two weeks of November) expressed some disillusionment with progress on a number of major public issues, but principally blame Republicans in Congress.

The Women of Color Policy Network is a nationally known research center at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate Center of Public Service. To obtain a copy of the poll, contact public affairs officer Robert Polner at 212.998.2337, or via email at robert.polner(at)

The poll will be part of discussions about minority voting and the 2012 race at a WOCPN-convened conference of national civil rights leaders on Thursday, Dec. 8. The conference, “Engage 2012,” will take place from 6 p.m.-to-8 p.m., at The Kimmel Center for University Life, 60 Washington Square South (at the corner of LaGuardia Place), New York, N.Y. To RSVP, go to Media coverage is invited.

About the Women of Color Policy Network, NYU Wagner:

NYU LogoFounded in 2000 by the late Walter Stafford as part of the Roundtable of Institutions of Color, the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service is the nation's only research and policy institute focused on women of color,

their families, and communities at a top ranked school of public affairs. The Network conducts original research and policy analysis at the intersections of race, class and gender that is used to inform public policy outcomes at the local, state and federal levels. The Network also serves as a hub for women of color scholars, thought leaders, and practitioners.

Press Contact: Robert Polner || (212) 998-2337

Monday, December 5, 2011

Indiana University's African American Dance Company will present its annual studio concert

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's African American Dance Company will present its annual studio concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Willkie Auditorium, 150 N. Rose St., in Bloomington. General admission is $5.

The African American Dance Company will be presenting new choreographic projects with the theme "Collaborations 2012: Finding Freedom." The students design, develop and construct choreography that illustrates various concepts of the theme, such as "individuality," "the warrior within" and "silent complacency," inspired by "P.O.W. (Prisoner of Words)," a poem by Alicia Keys.

The company will also perform selected pieces from "The Circle Will Not Be Broken," highlighting circular configurations and movements, African dance characteristics that have been carried over to the New World.

Dancers from the course "Dance in the African Diaspora" will perform pieces that represent the cultural, social and political expression and aesthetics of selected black diasporic dances. In the first excerpt, "Lamba," dancers illustrate the journey of Mansa Musa across the desert on a pilgrimage to Mecca by using arm movements that represent aspects of the journey such as welcoming gestures and carrying heavy loads.

Students of Bernard Woma's Ghanaian music, dance and drum course will perform specific Ghanaian dance and music such as Kpanlogo, referred to as "the dance to the youth," as it was born in the wake of Ghana's independence.

African American Dance Company Courtesy of Indiana University

African American Dance Company Courtesy of Indiana University
Guest artists will include Evelyn Yaa Bekyore, a professional dancer with the Saakumu Dance Company from Ghana, West Africa, and Woma, a master of Ghanaian xylophone who has shared the stage with Yo Yo Ma and Maya Angelou, who were performing for international dignitaries such as President Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela.

The concert is the end-of-the-semester performance for A221, F301/F609 and A100, courses offered in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. The performance is constructed to give the audience insight into what students learn in these courses by explaining the process of the dance discipline.

The African American Arts Institute is committed to promoting and preserving African American culture through performance, education, creative activity research and outreach. For more information and a calendar of AAAI events, visit the African American Arts Institute website at or call 812-855-5427. The institute's executive director is Charles E. Sykes. The African American Arts Institute is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. The ensembles are credit-bearing courses offered through the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dec. 5, 2011 Media Contacts: Krista Wilhelmsen, African American Arts Institute 812-855-5427

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Perceived racism may cause mental health symptoms similar to trauma

Perceived Racism May Impact Black Americans' Mental Health. Psychological responses to racism similar to trauma symptoms, study finds

WASHINGTON—For black American adults, perceived racism may cause mental health symptoms similar to trauma and could lead to some physical health disparities between blacks and other populations in the United States, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

While previous studies have found links between racism and mental health, this is the first meta-analysis on the subject focusing exclusively on black American adults, according to the study published online in APA’s Journal of Counseling Psychology®.

“We focused on black American adults because this is a population that has reported, on average, more incidents of racism than other racial minority groups and because of the potential links between racism and not only mental health, but physical health as well,” said lead author Alex Pieterse, PhD, of the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Researchers examined 66 studies comprising 18,140 black adults in the United States. To be included in the analysis, a study must have been published in a peer-reviewed journal or dissertation between 1996 and 2011; include a specific analysis of mental health indicators associated with racism; and focus specifically on black American adults in the United States.

Alex Pieterse

Alex Pieterse
Black Americans’ psychological responses to racism are very similar to common responses to trauma, such as somatization, which is psychological distress expressed as physical pain; interpersonal sensitivity; and anxiety, according to the study. Individuals who said they experienced more and very stressful racism were more likely to report mental distress, the authors said.

While the researchers did not collect data on the impacts on physical health, they cite other studies to point out that perceived racism may also affect black Americans’ physical health.

“The relationship between perceived racism and self-reported depression and anxiety is quite robust, providing a reminder that experiences of racism may play an important role in the health disparities phenomenon,” Pieterse said.

“For example, African-Americans have higher rates of hypertension, a serious condition that has been associated with stress and depression.”

The authors recommended that therapists assess racism experiences as part of standard procedure when treating black Americans, and that future studies focus on how discrimination is perceived in specific settings, such as work, online or in school.

Article: “Perceived Racism and Mental Health Among Black American Adults: A Meta-Analytic Review,” Alex L. Pieterse, PhD, University at Albany, State University of New York; Nathan R. Todd, PhD, DePaul University; Helen A. Neville, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Robert T. Carter, PhD, Teachers College, Columbia University; Journal of Counseling Psychology, online.

Alex L. Pieterse can be contacted by email or at (518) 437-4423.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 154,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

Contact: Lisa Bowen (202) 336-5707

American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Telephone: 800-374-2721; 202-336-5500. TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cleveland State University will honor the African American experience in the U.S. Military with a Kuumba Arts Festival

Cleveland State University will honor the African American experience in the U.S. Military with a Kuumba Arts Festival -- a creative celebration with singing, acting, dancing, film and recitations. Free and open to the public.

Featured artists invited to perform include vocalists The Hue People, SweetEven, Rob and Andrea Coleman, and Bertha Lee Pickett; poets Frederick Smith and Jacqueline Smith; and actors including CSU students and community members with choreography by Olivia Knox.
Hosted by Harry Boomer of 19 Action News

Saturday, December 10 at 7 pm
Main Classroom Auditorium, 1899 East 22nd Street

Each branch of the U.S. Military will be honored through film scenes -- the legacy of the Coast Guard through the work of Alex Haley, the U.S. Air Force through The Tuskegee Airmen, the U.S. Navy through the Antwone Fisher Story, the U.S. Army through A Soldier’s Story and Glory, and the U.S. Marines through This Christmas.

Community leaders honored include Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilman Terrell Pruitt, former Congressman Louis Stokes, former Judge George Trumbo and the late Mayor Carl Stokes.

The Women’s Army Corps will be saluted with expressed appreciation to former Judge Sara Harper and Irene Oliver. A special salute will be given to historical African American regiments such as the Massachusetts 54th U.S. C.T., The Tuskegee Airmen, Triple Nickel Paratroopers, and the Buffalo Soldier Regiments from World War II.

Cleveland State University Logo

Sponsored by CSU’s Black Studies Program and the Survivors Justification Partners, Incorporated, CSU Veterans Student Success Program and Department of Student Life.

Cleveland State University | 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-2214 | 216.687.2000 November 30, 2011 | News Release #14957 | Contact: Joe Mosbrook, 216.523.7279,