RSS

Tag Archives: poverty

Black Financial Literacy

This Rev is right in terms of teaching FInancial Literacy and responsibility. What he misses is that The New Jim Crow is designed specifically to prevent the ability of Minorities to gain, and/or hang on to wealth.

So, in order for greater financial accumulation to work, it has to be a two part struggle, One to teach and educate folks about handling personal finances, and educating them on the ways to save, budget, and two a sustained effort to destruct individual pieces of th The New Jim Crow – using that financial wealth.

Why are you still banking at that Wells Fargo/Giant Bank which is redlining you, consigning you to high priced loans, and has outrageous fees? It is a lot more than just “budgeting”.

The Rev’s numbers are low on the Financial contribution of African Americans to the US economy…It is actually closer to $2 trillion.

WATCH: African-American pastor preaches financial literacy as gospel: “What are we doing with the money that we have?”

Rev. DeForest B. Soaries promotes financial planning as a way out of poverty

The Rev. DeForest B. Soaries is more than the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. He shares a personal financial curriculumwith black churches nationwide, believing that a way to solve poverty in black communities involves taking into account personal values.

“The culture really has induced this idea that you can spend more,” Soaries said during a recent episode of “Salon Talks. “I lived that way for years; for 13 years I was paying last month’s bills with next week’s check. For 13 years I was getting calls from bill collectors.”

Added Soaries: “Then I realized that I had to start tracking my spending; I had to live within means. I had to have a budget. I couldn’t live as if I made $30,000 just because I had a $25,000 job and a $5,000 credit limit on my credit card.”

Soaries shared his “catalytic moment,” a realization he had after his grandmother, a sixth-grade graduate who had raised six children and served as a caregiver to her invalid husband, passed away:

“The first house I owned, I inherited from my grandmother, and at her grave I said . . .  if she could accrue enough wealth to leave three houses debt free and leave one to me, shame on me with all of my civil rights and my college degrees and my big church if all I have to leave when I die is credit card bills,” Soaries said.

Black Enterprise contributor John Burnett added, “We have to change the mindset of the people now and also create a sort of like a ecosystem for our youth so that way we can really shape future outcomes.”

Encouraging people to make wise financial choices, Soaries asked: “What are we doing with the money that we have?” He said, “The check-cashing joints are there but they don’t force us to use them,” adding that many “black people either have no bank account  . . . which means we still use payday loans.”

Declared Soaries: “African Americans who will spend $1.2 trillion this year — we have within our hands the means to do better.”

Catch more of our conversation about how to raise financial outcomes in the black community on Salon.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 4, 2017 in American Genocide, The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Uncle Ben’s Poor State of Mind

Uncle Ben Carson is as loony tunes as the Chumph and much of his cabinet. How anyone could believe this clown belongs in charge of a Federal agency defies belief.

Yeah, I was listening to one of my old favorites, “New York State of Mind” by Johnny Maths…Gus I’ll be moving into that $30m penthouse on the Park in a day or two!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Black Conservatives

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Dead End in the Red Zone – Why Red States Have Endless Poverty

Welcome to the South, boy!

Problems of the white wing Republican dominated.

Image result for Charlotte, NC

Charlotte’s Gleaming Downtown Hides a Secret

Why It’s So Hard to Get Ahead in the South

In Charlotte and other Southern cities, poor children have the lowest odds of making it to the top income bracket of kids anywhere in the country. Why?

Shamelle Jackson moved here from Philadelphia, hoping to find work opportunities and better schools for her four children, who range in age from two to 14. Instead, she found a city with expensive housing, few good jobs, and schools that can vary dramatically in quality. “I’ve never struggled as hard as I do here in Charlotte,” Jackson, 34, told me.

Jackson isn’t alone. Data suggests that Charlotte is a dead-end for people trying to escape poverty. That’s especially startling because the city is a leader in economic development in the South. Bank of America is headquartered here, and over the last two decades the city has become a hub for the financial services industry. In recent years, Charlotte and the surrounding area, Mecklenburg County, have ranked among the fastest-growing regions of the country. “Charlotte is a place of economic wonder in some ways, but it’s also a city that faces very stark disparities, and that increasingly includes worrisome pockets of real deprivation,” said Gene Nichol, a professor at the UNC School of Law who has completed an extensive report on local poverty. Some of these disparities bubbled to the surface in September, when protests erupted after a black man, Keith Lamont Scott, was shot and killed by police.

Charlotte ranked dead last in an analysis of economic mobility in America’s 50 largest cities by the Equality of Opportunity Project, a team of researchers out of Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley led by Stanford’s Raj Chetty. Children born into the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution in Charlotte had just a 4.4 percent chance of making it to the top 20 percent of the income distribution. That’s compared to a 12.9 percent chance for children in San Jose, California, and 10.8 percent change for children in Salt Lake City. These statistics are troubling because mobility is essentially just a formal term for the American Dream—the ability to find a good job, provide for children, and do better than one’s parents did. Rather than making it into the middle class in Charlotte, poor children, who are majority black and Latino, are very likely to stay poor.

In some ways, Charlotte is indicative of a more widespread problem in the region. Map out the data from the Equality of Opportunity Project and you’ll find that much of the South has low mobility rates. The chance of a child moving from the bottom to top quartile in Atlanta is 4.5 percent, the chance of moving up in Raleigh is 5 percent, and the chance of moving up in New Orleans is 5.1 percent.

These are among the lowest odds of advancement in the country. “The South really does struggle,” said Erin Currier, who directed the financial security and mobility project at the Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew found that mobility lags in states including Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, and North Carolina.

There’s no obvious reason why cities in the South would perform so poorly across the board. After all, economies like those in Charlotte are booming. In other places with significant economic growth, such as San Jose, this prosperity seems to be widely shared (or at least it was between 1980 and 2012, the time period over which children were tracked in Chetty’s data). In cities across the South though, economic success seems not to have trickled down to lower-income populations.

Chetty and colleagues say that there are a few key factors that play into where people struggle with economic mobility. These areas tend to be more racially segregated, have a higher share of poverty than the national average, more income inequality, a higher share of single mothers, and lower degrees of social capital, which means people interacting with others who can help them succeed, according to Nick Flamang, a predoctoral fellow with the Equality of Opportunity Project.

All of these indicators are present in Charlotte, and throughout much of the South. Segregation took root in the early 1900s, and was reinforced by Jim Crow laws and redlining in the later part of the century. It remains a problem today. The white, affluent population lives in a wedge south of the city. The census tracts north and west of the city are where the low-income people live, and those people are predominantly black and Latino.

The South also has among the highest poverty rates in the country. Mississippi ranks last, Louisiana is 49th, and North Carolina is 39th in the country when it comes to the percentage of people living below the poverty line. While Southern poverty has traditionally manifested itself in rural areas, cities are now home to some of the worst poverty in the region, according to Nichol. “If you look at census tracts, the deepest poverty in North Carolina is right in the middle of Charlotte, the middle of Greensboro, middle of Winston-Salem, the middle of Raleigh,” he said.

Indeed, concentrated poverty is becoming a pressing problem in Charlotte. The Brookings Institution data shows that in 2000, just 2 percent of poor families lived in a census tract with poverty rates of 40 percent or higher in Charlotte. That percentage had climbed to 10 percent by 2012. According to Nichol’s work, 17 census tracts in Mecklenburg County had poverty rates higher than 40 percent, a dramatic increase from 2000, when just four did. I visited neighborhoods like Lockwood, just north of downtown, where homeless people hung out at the gas stations and the small box homes had bars on their windows.

Concentrated poverty is related to another factor Chetty and his colleagues mention: social capital, which is essentially the mechanism that allows people to interact with others and become a part of broad networks that can lead to opportunity. It can help people get hooked up to first jobs, internships, and scholarships. Without these types of connections, children are more likely to take a similar path to their parents. For those who live in areas of concentrated poverty, this means they don’t learn about opportunities that might get them out of poverty, or about people in different income brackets.

Latasha Hunt, 36, is an example of what it means to lack social capital. She grew up in northern Charlotte, far from the wealth of the city’s south side. Her parents did ok, she told me—her mother worked in manufacturing and her father worked for the school system. But growing up, she didn’t know people who went to college or who worked in finance. Almost no one at her high school went to college—they all ended up getting a job right out of high school, or going to jail, she told me. Neither Hunt nor her two brothers went to college. Her brothers are both barbers, she now works in customer service at a local nonprofit. She doesn’t think she’s better off than her parents were.“My generation is struggling,” she told me. “We work every day, but it’s like we’re working just to pay for daycare.”

Hunt is a single mother, which creates its own unique challenges. She juggles taking care of her two children and working a full-time job. Many other women in Charlotte experience similar issues; in North Carolina, 65 percent of African-American children live in single parent families, according to the Kids Count Data Center from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Jackson, who moved from Philadelphia, told me she lost her job in Charlotte because of “single mom stuff.” She was frequently tardy to work because she had to drop kids off at school or pick them up when they were sick, attend parent-teacher conferences, and otherwise take care of her family….Read the Rest Here

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Dartanyon Crockett …Really, Really Bad! Paralympic Judo Champ

Really inspiring story here of a guy with what would seem to be a skyscraper size deck of cards stacked against him… Reaching his goal. This article by Lisa Fenn is an Edward R. Murrow- and six-time Emmy Award-winning feature producer.Image result

From Blind and Homeless to Judo Champ: How Dartanyon Crockett Fought His Way to Rio

Legally blind and born into poverty, Paralympic athlete Dartanyon Crockett overcame many obstacles to compete this week in Rio, but his is no simple feel-good story.

The Olympics sow a common dream, that children can one day become champions. The triumphant music, the billowing flags, and the rags-to-riches vignettes lure us into believing that gold medals and Wheaties boxes are available to any child who dreams big enough. One athlete whose backstory will be front and center this week in Rio is Paralympian Dartanyon Crockett. Dartanyon won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Games in the sport of blind judo, and he arrives in Brazil ranked second in the world in his weight class. When I met him in 2009, he was transient, hungry, and had never heard of judo. At first glance, Dartanyon fits the underdog narrative that we crave in our sports stories. But when you scratch beneath the glossy surface, you’ll find it takes more than a dream to make it out of where he came from.

Dartanyon is legally blind. Born with optic neuropathy, a condition that causes vision loss, he can barely make out the facial features of a person sitting a few feet away. His mother died when he was 8 years old; he then went to live with his father, in a crack house. Dartanyon attended a high school in Cleveland, Ohio, with a graduation rate of less than 40 percent. I met him there when I was a feature producer at ESPN, and he was a senior on the wrestling team. My story was focused in part on his accomplishments as a visually impaired wrestler, where at 5-foot-7 with muscles bunched like walnuts, he was a winner in multiple weight classes. He achieved this success despite subsisting on the soggy mozzarella sticks and bruised apples served in cafeteria lunches.

Dartanyon told me that he wanted to wrestle in college the following year and one day attend law school. In the next breath, he admitted that he had never been on a college visit and hadn’t taken his SATs because he didn’t have the $26. As I filmed in his classes, I noticed something curious. He would doodle the phrase “Destined For Greatness” on the tops of his papers.

He knew how to hope for his dreams. He didn’t know how to hope towardthem. He had the will, but he didn’t know the way. Worse, he didn’t know he lacked a way. He seemed oblivious to the damning limitations on his life. And as I would soon discover, Dartanyon’s poverty was even more disabling than his visual impairment.

I was raised with Olympic-sized ideals and the belief that with determination and perseverance, one could overcome any circumstance. And yet as I met Dartanyon’s extended family, I was struck by how hardship engulfed multiple generations of families. Nearly everyone I met struggled with unemployment, poverty, or addiction. Why wasn’t the “determination + perseverance = success” formula working?

Image result for Dartanyon Crockett

As I sat and listened and pieced together the personal stories, one fact grew clear: My blueprint for betterment was critically flawed. Families like the Crocketts had inherited their history. They were born into a set of disadvantaged conditions that cascaded into subsequent negative outcomes. As children, they attended underfunded schools and returned home to overstressed, oftentimes single parents who were not equipped to nurture their emotional development. As teens, while their parents worked, many turned to the streets looking for a sense of belonging and a cure to boredom. They moved frequently and experienced more episodes of hunger, homelessness, and unemployment than children living above the poverty line.

Your money, your family, your security, your will, your future. Poverty takes a percentage of everything, indefinitely, until the cycle is broken.

Yet Dartanyon wasn’t told this as a child. He was only told to dream. And so he believed he was destined for greatness instead of a statistical sentence. After sitting beside him in abject poverty for several months, I agreed. And then I decided to do something about it.

After harnessing donations from ESPN viewers who were inspired by his story, I helped Dartanyon apply for college and lined up the resources he’d need to succeed. The publicity drew the attention of the U.S. Paralympic Committee, which offered him residency at the Olympic Training Center to study and train in the sport of blind judo. Housing, a competitive outlet, and three meals a day—we had found his winning lottery ticket, I thought.  My work was finished.

I was wrong. Dartanyon began failing at every turn. He failed his classes, failed to get up for morning weight lifting, failed to adjust socially to his now stable environment. What might seem like minor setbacks feel like major threats to an individual who has lived in the toxic stress of poverty, and Dartanyon often shut down in the face of daily challenges. His childhood taught him to endure his circumstances, but nothing and no one in his life showed him that he could overcome them.

Dartanyon’s pathway out required more than handing him opportunities. The journey required constant support over many years. It required a love free of strings and full of patience. Dartanyon and I worked tirelessly to reprogram the debilitating mindsets he carried out of poverty and take strides toward self-sufficiency: He learned how to pay a bill, plan ahead, have conversations with those in authority, utilize community resources, and develop healthy interpersonal relationships. Of equal importance, he learned to verbalize his traumas, to talk about them rather than shroud them in shame. Talking became like oxygen. It gave him life. And as he came to understand the history he had inherited, he grew less likely to repeat it.

And this is where it can get uncomfortable for those preferring to punt to a government program, because poverty has less to do with running out of money and everything to do with running out of useful personal relationships. The effective choice is to share in another’s vulnerability, to enter into their weaknesses and uncertainty. The courageous act is to speak healing truths that make souls stronger. The necessary investment from those of us in positions of strength is to put the needs of another before our own, even when inconvenient.

Our country is crying out for people who will cross the divide—who will venture into poverty, take a seat, learn the stories, and respond with love. People who make a difference in the world don’t wait to see if someone else will do something. They are willing to feed one family, educate one child, and mend one broken heart.

Today, Dartanyon is thriving. He is the 2014 blind judo world champion, a UNICEF ambassador, and a motivational speaker. He is pursuing a degree in social work so that he can one day help kids who grew up as he did. He said he’s learned that the difference between success and failure is having just one person who believes in you. He now wants to be that person for others.

If you see Dartanyon on the medal stand in Rio, resist getting too swept up in the music and fanfare. Remember the scores of children like him who believe they too are destined for greatness, yet are unknowingly thwarted by socioeconomic barriers. Politicians talk about reviving the American Dream, but it’s up to us as individuals to strengthen this ideal by developing relationships with those in need. And when we do, we will find that connection breeds compassion, and out of compassion, the will to act. Ultimately we will find that we can only change this world when we enter into another’s world.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Poverty Porn

I have been a volunteer to assist after several natural disasters, as well as traveled to 3rd world countries in my life and career. Went to help after the earthquake in Haiti. Left my big cameras home. There really is no need to document disaster, and unless you are a seriously twisted individual – you really don’t want to relive, or even remember the really bad shit you see.

Met a few photographers taking pics for the world media, mostly concentrated around the worst of the worst, some for the NGO’s pleas for money.

My second or third trip did involve bringing cameras to document the “why” of the damage done by the earthquake. So I have hundreds of  pics of structural failures in destroyed buildings and geographical features… And a few dozen of the de rigor pics with politicians and other players. Somewhere there are pics of me with a group of Mayors from a local newspaper. I’m not even sure I still have it. Two or three of the type of portraits I prefer taking of people, providing a still view of character, and perhaps their lives. I have none of post-Katrina.

Then there are the folks who come loaded with cameras to ghoulishly document the carnage… The following author defines that as “Poverty Porn”. I think that is an apt description.

The dangers of poverty porn

It’s the time of year when social media is inundated with posts about the importance of being thankful for family, friends and well-being because there are starving children in Africa who wish they had a quarter of your good fortune.

Cue the images of an emaciated child with flies buzzing around his face, protruding rib cage, runny nose, and extended hands toward the camera — also known as poverty porn.

Poverty porn is a tactic used by nonprofits and charity organizations to gain empathy and contributions from donors by showing exploitative imagery of people living in destitute conditions.

It leaves many of us feeling uncomfortable, disconnected and guilty — conflicted between turning a blind eye and reposting these pictures in hopes that sharing images of human suffering will enlighten others about poverty.

“There is a human tendency, by some more than others, to want to be helpful,” retired photographerChester Higgins Jr. said. “The ads make it easier. You call a phone number, donate and you’ve done a thing.”

How many of us have considered the possibility that rather than help others, poverty porn does considerable damage?

Higgins, a former New York Times photographer, said it’s time to change the visual conversation. He has been traveling to Africa since 1971. For the last 20 years, he’s taken trips along the Blue Nile, through Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to “make photos,” live and create relationships.

Oftentimes when he see pictures of African people, they are “theft pictures,” which means the pictures were made without the consent of the subjects.

“A photograph never lies about the photographer,” Higgins said.

A distinct mark of poverty porn advertisements and photographs made by non-African photographers is the lack of decency, dignity, virtuous character, or that it shows the subjects’ most vulnerable moment, he said.

He refers to photographers, charities and nongovernmental organizations that exploit the situations of people in dire need as “poverty pimps.”

Save the Children, one of the most-well known aid organizations, operating in more than 120 countries, has come under scrutiny for controversial advertisements some have deemed poverty porn.

A 2014 Save the Children commercial features a woman giving birth at a clinic in Liberia to an unresponsive baby. As the mother moans and shakes, a midwife cleans and rubs the blue newborn, Melvin, to kick-start his lungs. The graphic and distressing scene are followed by text: “For a million newborns every year, their first day is also their last.”

Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children UK, said in a statement that the organization has robust guidelines for the images and stories used, and their priority is safeguarding the children.

“Our image guidelines ensure all our communications reflect the truth, balancing the huge child suffering we witness with stories of hope and progress,” Forsyth said.

The idea that only impoverished Africans, South Americans, Asians and Middle Easterners need Western aid detracts from the impact poverty has in our own backyard, say some experts.

Mark Rank, professor of social welfare at Washington University in St. Louis, said poverty is an issue that touches the majority of Americans.

Compared to other Western industrialized countries, the United States has by far the highest rates of poverty, as well as the highest rates of income and wealth inequality, he said.

Approximately 60% of Americans will experience at least one year in poverty between the ages of 20 and 75, said Rank, who included this statistic in his book “One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All.”

Rank said poverty porn is a graphic way of portraying extreme economic distress, and we mimic this practice in the United States to some extent.

“We focus a lot of time on … inner-city, minority groups living in dilapidated housing as an image of poverty in this country,” he said. “But the majority of folks who experience poverty do not fit that image. In fact, they’re more likely to be the person down the block going through a spell of unemployment.”

In 2014, 17.4 million U.S. households didn’t have reliable access to food, according to the USDA Household Food Security in the United States report.

According to 2013 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 40.2% of SNAP food aid recipients are white, 25.7% are African-American, 10.3% are Hispanic, 2.1% are Asian and 1.2% are Native American.

Rates of infant and maternal mortality/morbidity in the United States, some of the highest among industrialized nations, are also concerning, said Dr. Wanda Barfield, director of the Division of Reproductive Health within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The successes of modern technology can only go so far. There is still high burden of premature birth,” Barfield said. “They’re not just small babies; their entire organ systems are immature (and) until they are full-term they run risks of complication.”

The risk factors for premature birth include being African-American, stress, multiple births, obesity and diabetes, Barfield said.

It’s not only mothers in Africa, like the one in the Save the Children ad, who are at risk of infant mortality, but that’s the prevailing narrative, that all Africans are in need of saving.

Twitter user Diana Salah helped jump-start the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShows to showcase the continent’s diversity on social media. Users post images of grand architecture, fashion, cuisine, culture, engineering, universities, diamond mines and female heads of state.

So, now that we’ve heard a few of the problems associated with poverty and poverty porn, what are some solutions?

Barfield said people can help support the health of infants and pregnant women in their communities by joining organizations like the March of Dimes, which has state chapters to help educate the public and community about risks of preterm births.

Communities can help support families and children by educating them about opportunities to get good nutrition, and making sure young girls grow up into healthy women.

Demanding transparency from NGOs and charities is crucial to differentiate legitimate causes from “poverty pimps,” Higgins said.

To avoid being duped, Higgins said potential donors should ask questions like:

  • How much of the money is transferred to local causes?
  • Can the charity/NGO provide an audit?
  • Are the locals given agency to handle their problems with the money raised?
  • Is the charity or NGO building local infrastructure?
  • Are skills being transferred to locals so they have the ability to use your money to do good?
  • Is the programming respectful of the cultural norms and local perspectives in the country it serves?

Don’t donate money to a charity or NGO based on emotions; instead ask for a measurement of what good they’re doing, because “good” is a variable word, he added.

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 27, 2015 in American Greed

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A System That Cares…

As a kid growing up in segregated Virginia…

My Mother was a primary School Teacher. Besides learning to write in perfect letters in both cursive and block letter, she insisted that every piece of paper I handed in look perfect.

She would often correct papers at home, after dinner, One day, when I was in about 3rd grade,  noticing that some of the papers had grease stains on them, I asked why. That question led to a sit down, which opened my eyes to realities beyond our black middle class home. She told me that some of the kids I went to school with lived in homes where the only place to do homework was at the kitchen table. They had no other place to go, and sometimes he food stains got on the papers as their mother was preparing dinner. I had honestly never considered that some of my friends lived in small, very old homes, where 5 or 6 kids tried to live in in 2-3 bedrooms. Scotty was my friend who played baseball after class….It never occurred to me that anything wasn’t as it should be, or that his home life would be any different than my own.

She organized a food and supplies drives through her Sorority and Church, and very quietly made sure these kids had enough food, clothing, and supplies – often delivering them herself, after sending a note home with the kids – who often didn’t have telephones in their homes. I went with her to deliver some of the supplies, and what I saw truly changed my worldview…I got strict orders never to discuss any of it, ever with my friends or school mates. It was our secret for many years.

The black community looked after the black community in those days…Because nobody else would. And did so in a way to try and preserve the dignity of those receiving aid. My Ebony and Jet reading dumb behind, never thought about it until then.

Now I grew up in what has consistently been ranked by those who keep track of such things as one of the 5 or 6 wealthiest counties in America. After desegregation, many of the white teachers were shocked to learn that abject poverty (both black and white) existed in the cracks and crevices of our otherwise wealthy and highly educated area.

It has taken damn near 50 years…But somebody else caught on to the things my parent’s generation knew.

School’s Private Pop-up Shop Lets Underserved Students Buy Basics With Dignity

Students require more than just books to succeed in school, and this innovative resource is helping teens in need build confidence both in and out of the classroom.

Administrators and the student government at Washington High School, in Washington, North Carolina, have created an anonymous, in-house shopping experience that provides underprivileged students with basic resources like food, hygienic products, school supplies and clothing. To eliminate stigma or judgment, students are able to discreetly approach a school administrator to privately take what they need from the shelves, where all items are targeted specifically to teenagers.

“If we want academics to improve, we have to make certain we’re meeting our students’ basic needs,” Misty Walker, the school principal, told The Huffington Post. “We want to strengthen our community, and schooling is just one aspect of that.”

The idea for the pantry came about when Walker realized her students’ needs were constantly growing. Though Washington High offers free and reduced meals, some students would not eat their next meal until they were back at school the next day, Walker explained. Students even began coming up to her personally, asking for items like toothpaste and toothbrushes.

As more of these needs began to surface, Walker consulted with Washington High School partner Bright Futures — an organization focused on school and community development. With the group, school administrators and the student leaders first developed a hygiene closet, and when that was successful, local donors helped expand the service into a school supply closet, food pantry and clothing shop.

“It’s a slightly different concept because we focused really on trying to help our high schoolers, versus the experience of preparing a whole box of food for a family,” Walker said.

To gain access to these resources, students simply speak in confidence with a teacher, counselor or administrator about their needs. A member of the school staff will then take them to shop in the pantries, all of which are located inside the school. This system both provides teens in need with basic resources, and strengthens the school community…Read the rest here

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 18, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Long Hard Fall of Olympic Figure Skater and Physician Debi Thomas

How does a World Champion skater, and Olympic Silver Medalist who is a Physician fail?

Debbi Thomas as we remember her –

Here a discussion of her appearing in Iyanla “Fix My Life” on Oprah’s Network…

How An Olympic Icon Ended Up Living In A Bug-Infested Trailer

Debi Thomas used to be a renowned figure skater and a surgeon. Now, she’s broke and unemployed.

From the time Debi Thomas was a young girl, she wanted to grow up to become two things: a renowned figure skater and a practicing physician. She did both.

In the 1980s, Thomas captured the world’s attention from the moment she got onto the ice. While studying for her engineering degree at Stanford University, Thomas won both the U.S. and World Championships. She soon set her sights on Olympic gold. Though her stumbles at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary cost her first place, Thomas took home the bronze and became the first African-American athlete to medal at any Winter Olympics. Then, after a successful figure skating career, Thomas went on to fulfill her second dream. She became a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, eventually opening up her own private practice in Richlands, Virginia.

Today, however, Thomas’ successes seem worlds away.

In between the Olympics and the World Championships, Thomas got married, but says the relationship crumbled after just three years because her husband felt lost in the midst of her popularity. As with her professional stumbles at the Winter Games, Thomas considered this personal stumble to be a failure. Then, more failures: As a physician, Thomas says her high expectations led her to go head-to-head with colleagues, and she was let go from two jobs. Though she had never really wanted to open up her own practice, she did. That’s when another divorce led Thomas to lose her nest egg, she says, and she soon had to close her private practice after two years.

Thomas is currently broke, jobless, twice-divorced and living in a bug-infested mobile home in a trailer park with her fiancé and his two sons. She even lost custody of her own 13-year-old boy, and her fiancé struggles to control both his alcohol use and his anger. Thomas knows it’s time to turn her life around, so she asks life coach Iyanla Vanzant to help her face some harsh truths on a path toward healing….Read the rest Here

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: