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Nothing without a woman or a girl

In February, President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative aimed at helping young men and boys of color. The initiative brings together foundations, businesses, governors, mayors, faith leaders and nonprofit organizations. At Mayor Mike Duggan’s State of the City address, he indicated he would support the Obama administration effort in Detroit. President Obama pledged $200 million to My Brothe ...

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On the water front: The struggle for water in Michigan’s Black cities

A city caught in the throes of a financial crisis and under the control of a state-appointed manager seeks to privatize its water department in a desperate attempt to balance its budget and remain solvent. Residents — many of whom are African American living in poverty — face mounting hardships as their water is being shut off when payments are delinquent. “Yeah, I know all about what’s happening in Detroit ...

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Snyder names Orlene Christie Hawks director of the Office of Children’s Ombudsman

Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed Orlene Christie Hawks of Okemos, who has worked for years with healthcare, child and family issues, to be the new director of the Office of Children’s Ombudsman. The Office of the Children’s Ombudsman was created in 1994 to bring greater accountability to Michigan’s child welfare system. The office is an independent state agency formed to receive and investigate complaints con ...

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In national movement: New Orleans, Chicago, Newark fight ‘discriminatory’ school closings

After Louisiana State Superintendent John White dismissed a federal complaint alleging abuses of the civil rights of children and families in New Orleans schools as a “joke” and a “political farce,” the groups who filed the complaint issued a letter demanding White’s immediate resignation. The letter, sent to White on June 4, reads: “The discriminatory effects of school closures that students of color and t ...

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Trayvon Martin’s friend Rachel Jeantel: ‘I’m Still Standing’

As Rachel Jeantel inched toward a high school diploma, she tried to keep in mind she had a promise to keep. Her slain friend, Trayvon Martin, would have wanted her to finish school, and she had promised his parents and other supporters she would. Now, she has kept that promise. The world met Jeantel last year, when it was disclosed she was the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin before he was killed by G ...

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Women of color urge Obama to ‘re-align’ My Brother’s Keeper

WASHINGTON— More than 1,000 women of color — including Mary Frances Berry, former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker; actress Rosie Perez; political activist Angela Davis; Anita Hill, a law professor best known for testifying that she had been sexually harassed by future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; and economist Julianne Malveaux — released ...

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Rule change on generic drug labeling could cost billions

A proposed rule change for generic drug labels, crafted by the Food and Drug Administration, could cost patients, health care providers and drug manufacturers billions of dollars and limit access to affordable, prescription drugs for minorities and the poor, according to more than a dozen organizations that serve people of color. Black groups and those representing other people of color expressed their conc ...

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New documents shed light on U.S. spying on Nelson Mandela

American intelligence agencies spied on the late South African leader Nelson Mandela during his 1990 visit to the United States shortly after his release from a 27-year sentence for anti-apartheid activism. That revelation is but one of the findings from a batch of documents released by the FBI in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral candid ...

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Only one of Obama’s Promise Zones is majority-Black

Despite the disproportionate impact of poverty found in African American communities, only one of President Barack Obama’s “Promise Zones,” is majority-Black, according to a new report. The Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan research and educational institute, offered recommendations on the role the federal government should play in breaking barriers to social and economic mobility. Earlier this ye ...

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EM’s failure shuts down DPS Head Start

Because Detroit Public SchoolsEmergency Manager Jack Martin and his staff couldn’t get its application for Head Start funding to the federal government on time, there will be no Head Start in Detroit schools next year, according to elected board President Lamar Lemmons “It is malice of intent or gross incompetence,” Lemmons said in a phone interview. It is part of the “constant school closings and the progr ...

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