community Service means Business!

23 December 2007

Prathima Kathiresan: Struggling for Control -

Prathima Kathiresan: Struggling for Control -

In the room where young teachers often eat lunch, first-year science teacher Prathima Kathiresan is venting. "I spend half my day saying 'Be quiet! Be quiet!' "

20 August 2007

Get A Clue To You---- Self- Assessment

It's important to understand that no career test can pinpoint precisely what you should be. Rather, career test results merely give you some idea of careers you might want to explore, given your interests, your skills and abilities and your personality. That's all -- no more, no less.

Testing Options

But that alone is a pretty good benefit. So take a trip to your campus career center and see if the counselors there offer any of the following career tests:

* Strong Interest Inventory (SII): The SII is all about your interests, or what you like to do. You answer questions about various activities, and then the test results suggest some general-interest areas and specific occupations you may want to consider. You also wind up with a sense of where your interests lie in six broad areas: social (helping, instructing), investigative (researching, analyzing), conventional (accounting, processing data), artistic (creating or enjoying art), enterprising (selling, managing) and realistic (building, repairing).
* Self-Directed Search (SDS): Similar in scope to the SII but shorter and quicker, the SDS is another popular tool that measures your interests and points you toward -- or away from -- the six areas listed above.
* Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): The MBTI measures your personality -- in essence, what makes you tick. The first of its four scales tells you how you prefer to focus your attention -- whether you're extraverted or introverted. The other scales measure how you look at things (sensing vs. intuitive), how you generally make decisions (thinking vs. feeling) and how you deal with the world around you (judging vs. perceiving). Combined, this information can help you understand what type of work you'd like to do, with whom, how, why and even where.
* Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS): The CAPS is one of the few career tests that does have right and wrong answers, and it is also timed. Essentially, you attempt to answer questions in eight different areas -- ranging from mechanical reasoning and spatial relations to verbal reasoning and language usage -- all in a predetermined amount of time. When you're done, you have a wonderful idea of where your natural abilities lie. You haven't just guessed about them, you've actually demonstrated them, if only on a test.
* JASPER: Monster's Job Assets & Strengths Profiler: This tool, offered by Monster, allows you to evaluate your workplace personality and leadership styles to get an idea of how others see you. You can leverage this knowledge in your job search.

Remember: That old admonition you often hear on TV, "This is a test. This is only a test," applies here as well. Your career test results aren't going to tell you anything. But they will point you in some specific and potentially fruitful directions, one of which may well be the major or career you confidently decide to pursue.

This article originally appeared on

Fighting for Hearts & Minds for What?

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

'Human cockfighting'
After years of being tarred by politicians ("human cockfighting," Sen. John McCain once called it) and roundly ignored by the nation's sports pages, mixed martial arts is coming to a state near you -- if it hasn't already arrived. Thirty state athletic commissions sanction the sport. And in its push for 50, UFC has not only changed its own rules substantially, it's also changing the rules on your TV set, for rival sports and for the wider culture.

Mr. Ratner has steered a mixed-martial-arts bill through the Illinois legislature, and it awaits the governor's signature. In Michigan, he's gotten one through the House, and the Senate is likely to approve it shortly. Mr. Ratner will spend the coming weeks hopscotching through New York, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

"I may never have a fight in Iowa or Idaho," said UFC President Dana White, "but I want it legal there, too."

This isn't just about bringing UFC fights to Madison Square Garden -- though that's part of it. It's a strategic, rear-guard action to protect the sport from its barbaric past....MORE


15 August 2007

No Worker Left Hanging

American Society of Employers - Update Articles, August 2007
by: Pat Goggin

Governor Jennifer Granholm unveiled her long-awaited - No Worker Left Behind program on August 1st.

The program is designed to retrain upwards of 100,000 displaced Michigan workers to prepare them with what the Governor describes as, complex skills needed in cutting-edge industries that will fuel future economic growth.

The vision is that workers who take advantage of this opportunity will be at the front of the line and able to take advantage of high-demand jobs such as those found in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, biotechnology and renewable energy. The program also targets entrepreneurial endeavors.

The program is generous; an individual may qualify for up to $5,000 per year for two years at a state college or university, as well as at licensed proprietary schools such as ASE. The program even provides resources for childcare.

One does not need to be unemployed to take advantage of the program. Any person who has received a notice of termination or layoff from employment, or any employed person with a family income of $40,000 or less, may qualify, according to a fact sheet put out by the Governor's office.
Participants must, however, complete a skills assessment administered by Michigan Works!

The program takes into account the business climate in the different regions of the State. It will align training opportunities geographically with high-demand occupations available in that region.

Michigan Works! will assist these new workers in finding opportunities, as well as work with employers to identify qualified applicants. Participants must pursue either an associate's degree or occupational certificate in a high-demand occupation. Completion of a Bachelor�s degree or even a Master's degree may also qualify.

Those interested and qualified may begin the process immediately, but they need to be confident of their decision; this is a one-time offer and available on a first-come, first-served basis. An individual has three years in which to sign up and four years in which to complete the program

To fund the program, the Governor plans to use $37 million of federal money formerly earmarked for job training. Despite the current budget crunch in the state, the Governor hopes for an eventual $40 million of additional state funding. Ms. Granholm says that by redirecting federal funds currently used for job training, the program will make Michigan more attractive to job-creating businesses.

For additional information about No Worker Left Behind, call Michigan Works! at 1-800-285-WORKs, or e-mail them at, or visit their website at:">">


Working with CLAAY

Duquesne University’s Career Literacy for African American Youth (CLAAY) is a program that assist middle and high school students to define, pursue and achieve their career and academic goals through career mentoring, tutoring and related programs.

CLAAY is looking for career mentors to work with middle school and high school students during the 2007-2008 school year. This school-based career mentoring and academic tutoring program serves students in ten high schools in the City of Pittsburgh, at McKeesport Area Technology Center, and in five school districts in Beaver County (Aliquippa, Ambridge, Beaver Falls, Freedom and Rochester).

This fall CLAAY will begin working with students at Woodland Hills High School. The time commitment for CLAAY career mentoring is 16 hours during the school year (3 hour mentor training and 13 hour school-based career mentoring). CLAAY career mentors meet with their student at their school two hours per month between October 2007 and May 2008.

CLAAY is seeking enthusiastic, motivated, and committed volunteers who desire to make a positive impact on the future career direction of students in our region.

If you interested in becoming a CLAAY career mentor and/or need more information about the CLAAY program, please contact Damon Bethea at 412.325.1565 x31 or

Please feel free to also check out our Website at

13 August 2007

yesterday, tomorrow, today

Ghetto Life 101

The audio diaries of LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman, two young boys living in one of the most notorious public housing projects in America.

The candor in Jones and Newman's diaries brought listeners face to face with a portrait of poverty and danger and their effects on childhood in one of Chicago's worst housing projects.
Like Vietnam War veterans in the bodies of young boys, Jones and Newman described the bitter truth about the sounds of machine guns at night and the effects of a thriving drug world on a community...MORE

ONLY Six Ways?

From Kimeiko Hotta Dover,
Your Guide to Adult / Continuing Education.

Six Smart Ways to Improve Adult Education

In the study, New Skills for a New Economy:
Adult Education's Key Role in Sustaining Economic Growth and Expanding Opportunity, MassInc offers six suggestions for improving adult education to alleviate Massachusetts' basic work skills deficiency. Adult education programs everywhere can benefit from these suggestions:

1. Offer weekend classes- while a significant number of Adult Basic Education (ABE) class registrants indicate a preference for studying on Saturdays, less than two percent of ABE classes are currently offered on that day. There are no classes offered on Sundays, and registrants are not asked whether they would like to study on Sundays.

Retain experienced full-time teachers - although full-time teachers are signficant determiners of program quality, just over one-third of Massachusetts' ABE teachers work full-time. Attrition in ABE is high - almost three-quarters of the ABE teachers have been with their programs for less than three years.

3. Technology and distance learning - increase the availability of these flexible learning options.

4. Funding - most ABE funds are presently granted to community-based private providers who arrange classrooms and hiring on a class-by-class basis. MassINC argues that this arrangement makes the system more fragile than if the funds were directed at institutions with permanent staff and infrastructures.

5. Intensity of instruction - short, intensive classes appear to yield better results than brief periods of instruction conducted over a long period of time.

6. Link ABE to the workplace - offer classes in workplaces, with employers paying employees to attend at least half of the class.

What do employers want?

What do employers want?

In 1995, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the results of an international adult literacy survey (IALS) in the report, "Literacy Skills for the Knowledge Society."

The study compared adult literacy skills in twelve countries, including the English-speaking nations of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
IALS examined three types of literacy:

Prose - the ability to understand and use information from texts such as editorials, news stories, poems and fiction.

Document - the ability to understand and use information in various formats, including job applications, payroll forms, transportation schedules, maps, tables and graphics.

Quantitative - the ability to apply arithmetic operations in activities such as balancing a chequebook, calculating a tip or determining interest on a loan.

Survey participants were graded on a five level scale:

Level 1 - very low level literacy - may not be able to determine an appropriate dose of medication from its label.

Level 2 - low level literacy - can perform simple tasks using material that is simple and clearly laid out.

Level 3 - basic literacy - the minimum desirable level by employers in most countries.

Levels 4 and 5 - high literacy - able to integrate several sources of information and solve complex problems.

Factors such as computerization, technological change and global competition have led to greater demands upon employees.
Employers increasingly demand minimum literacy levels of 3 or higher from their workers....MORE

from the desk of Natalie Green

CONTACT Pittsburgh Volunteers Needed!

CONTACT Pittsburgh, a crisis and suicide hotline, is looking for nonjudgmental listeners to provide immediate emotional support to adults and teens. Volunteer Crisis Line Specialists are needed to work at the center’s crisis hotline, which is staffed 365 days a year.

Last year, trained volunteers handled more than 20,000 calls from adults and teens with problems ranging from family conflict and physical abuse to addiction and suicide. If you’re looking for a place to serve, and if you’re willing to listen, CONTACT may be the opportunity to put your compassion to work.
Each and every one of our volunteers undergoes a rigorous, comprehensive training program, receiving education in topics as diverse as suicide, elderly and teen issues and the concerns of returning veterans.

With the speed of life increasing ever more rapidly in our world, the need for an understanding voice increases as well. Won’t you consider becoming a lifeline for someone in need?

Classes will be held on the following dates:

Thursday, September 20 from 6 to 9 PM

Tuesday, September 25 from 6 to 9 PM

Saturday, September 29 from 9 AM to 2 PM

Tuesday, October 2 from 6 to 9 PM

Saturday, October 6 from 9 AM to 2 PM

Tuesday, October 9 from 6 to 9 PM

Thursday, October 11 from 6 to 9 PM

Participation is mandatory at all training sessions. Applications are due September 7.

Upon completion of the training, volunteers are asked to work 8 to 12 service hours per month.
For additional information about becoming a volunteer, contact Christy Stuber of CONTACT Pittsburgh at
(412) 820-0100 or
For more information about CONTACT Pittsburgh, go to


* Prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading known cause of preventable mental retardation

* Estimates of the incidence in the U.S. is 1 in 100 live births have a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
At that rate, it is more common than Autism.

* A new study done in Italy, where it was thought there were almost no fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), they found an incidence in first graders of 1 in 25 to 1 in 50 children affected by an FASD.
As that was an active surveillance study, and in the U.S. we have only done passive surveillance,
that is thought to be a more accurate estimate of the incidence.
At that rate, it is more than 3 times as common as Autism.

* It is often unrecognized and/or misdiagnosed leading to inappropriate, unsuccessful treatment

* Many of the children and adolescents with an FASD reside in foster homes, adoptive homes, or residential settings and have frequently experienced multiple moves often because the FASD has not been recognized

* There remains a tremendous amount of stigma resulting in people not wanting to look at the possibility of an FASD. However, women do not use alcohol during their pregnancies because they want to give birth to a child with an FASD.
This is not a matter of shame, blame, guilt, or judgment. Rather, this is a matter of how to help
individuals and families be successful.

* This is a lifelong disorder

* The overall costs of raising one person with an FASD range from $860,000 to $4.2 million over a lifetime (presentation by Hendrick Harwood of the Lewin Group found in the “Grab and Go” section of the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence website:

* The effects of alcohol on a fetus begin before most women know they are pregnant.

* There is no proven safe amount of alcohol to use during pregnancy; the only proven
totally safe amount to use is none.

* Prenatal alcohol exposure can cause damage to the brain

* Intelligence may or may not be affected

* Children and adolescents with an unrecognized FASD often fail with typical education, parenting, and treatment approaches due to the way their brain functions

* People with an FASD can be very successful with the proper recognition and support.

* FASD is a human issue. We must never lose sight of that. It affects the lives of individuals, families, systems of care, and entire communities.

* This is one of the few birth defects that is 100% preventable

There are a number of fact sheets that can be downloaded from the Center’s website: that may be useful for further information.

eliminating racism
empowering women

Please Save the Date:
YWCA Racial Justice Awards Reception & Dinner
Friday, November 30, 2007
6:00 PM
Omni William Penn Hotel, 530 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

YWCA Racial Justice Awards

Award Purpose and Categories
Through the YWCA's Racial Justice Awards, the YWCA seeks to promote a
society in which all people receive equal treatment and have equal
access in the workplace, public services and spaces, through the justice
system, in the classroom, and throughout the greater Pittsburgh

For the past 16 years, the YWCA's Racial Justice Awards have recognized
people and organizations that have made a difference in promoting racial

To encourage broader implementation of positive actions and
groundbreaking changes that forever serve to enable racial equity and
bring about systemic change that creates a diverse community, in 2007
the YWCA is expanding its racial justice awards to include individuals
and/or organizations in the following categories:

* Community Engagement
* Community Service and Public Safety
* Company / Business
* Education
* Government
* Legal

The awards will be made to salute individuals, companies, and/or
organizations in each category that have implemented new laws, policies,
practices, procedures, programs, guidelines, and similar sustainable
actions that positively impact people of color in the broader society.

Nomination Process
An individual, organization, and/or company can nominate an individual,
company, and/or organization in any one of the categories.

Self-nominations are accepted as well.

The nominee's actions should significantly benefit Pittsburgh area residents.
The nominee should have undertaken a groundbreaking action within the past two years that should
have made an irrevocable, positive change in how people are treated in
the applicable category.

Examples of fundamental changes that would have
qualified in their time include actions leading to:

he Civil Rights Act of 1964,
Americans with Disabilities Act,
Title 9 Legislation,
the Home Rule Charter of 1998,
the Saunders Taskforce,
Small Business Administration,
new workplace employment guidelines/policies,
changes to procedures for counsel or law enforcement,
legal or legislative actions,
community event or activity, or creation of a new office or community
program to enable fair treatment and inclusion for all, and similar

Nominations should be printed and submitted either electronically or via

Fax: 412-391-5109 (Attention: Racial Justice Awards)

Mail: YWCA Racial Justice Awards, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, 305 Wood
Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

Attachments should be limited to 5 pages.

YWCA BY 5:00PM EST AUGUST 24, 2007.

Award Selection

The YWCA's Racial Justice Award Committee, comprised of a broad cross
section of Pittsburgh's community leaders, determines the award
recipients. Each entry is judged on a sliding scale to identify:

* leadership taken to address racial inequity;
* quantifiable change that is now enabled;
* initiative taken to address the specific problem identified;
* timing, breadth of impact, and geographic scope of action.

9 August 2007

Poverty 2005 Highlights - Sent Using Google Toolbar

Poverty 2005 Highlights

Poverty: 2005 Highlights

The data presented here are from the Current Population Survey (CPS), 2006 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), the source of official poverty estimates. The CPS ASEC is a sample survey of approximately 100,000 household nationwide. These data reflect conditions in calendar year 2005.


  • The official poverty rate in 2005 was 12.6 percent, not statistically different from 2004.
  • In 2005, 37.0 million people were in poverty, not statistically different from 2004.
  • Poverty rates remained statistically unchanged for Blacks (24.9 percent) and Hispanics (21.8 percent) between 2004 and 2005. The poverty rate decreased for non-Hispanic Whites (8.3 percent in 2005, down from 8.7 percent in 2004).
  • After 4 years of consecutive increases, the poverty rate stabilized at 12.6 percent in 2005—higher than the most recent low of 11.3 percent in 2000 and lower than the rate in 1959 (22.4 percent), the first year for which poverty estimates are available.
  • The poverty rate in 2005 for children under 18 (17.6 percent) remained higher than that of 18-to-64-year-olds (11.1 percent) and that of people 65 and older (10.1 percent)—all were not statistically different from 2004.
  • In 2005, the number in poverty remained statistically unchanged from 2004 for people under 18 and people 18 to 64 years old (12.9 million and 20.5 million, respectively). The number in poverty increased for seniors 65 and older—3.6 million in 2005, up from 3.5 million in 2004.

Contact the Demographic Call Center Staff at 301-763-2422 or 1-866-758-1060 (toll free) or visit for further information on Poverty Statistics.

Diversity, Inclusiveness, and Empowerment: Three Critical Tools for Philanthropy

However, diversity alone is insufficient: To be highly effective, nonprofits must also link diversity to inclusiveness and empowerment.

Inclusiveness is a commitment to policies and procedures designed to change the dynamics of bias and ignorance that have often excluded individuals and groups from their rightful place in the community. An effective nonprofit should aspire to treat everyone equally, serve as a role model, and change others through its actions.

Empowerment represents the ability of individuals to be the best they can be and to participate fully — with the freedom to do so. Nonprofits should be taking the lead to ensure that barriers, where found, are broken down and that all of an organization's actions are aimed at empowering individuals to achieve their full potential and control their own destinies.

9 July 2007

from the Desk of Rebekah Jenkins

BGC Employment Program

If you have a GED or have graduated from high school, are under 22 and are looking for employment, the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation Employment Program offers:
A Job; Paid Job Readiness Training;
Paid Work Experience;
Transportation Help
and Help Overcoming Obstacles.

Call Today at 412-450-5194 (answers 24 hours a day) or 412-441-9833 (M-F, 9-5).


Job Opportunity-Strong Women, Strong Girls

Strong Women, Strong Girls, Inc. is recruiting a Program Manager to serve as a core staff member in opening the new Strong Women, Strong Girls Pittsburgh office.
This is an exceptional opportunity for a “rising star” leader with entrepreneurial qualities to support a multi-site initiative that brings together college age volunteers with elementary school girls in an out-of-school time setting.

For more information see the attachment or see the job description online at


Grant Awards

Several U.S. Department of Education grant competitions strategically invest in core academic subjects.
For example, on June 14, the agency announced 52 school districts in 20 states received $8.7 million in grants to increase the number of American students learning foreign languages essential to commerce and national security.
As part of President Bush's National Security Language Initiative (, the grants will encourage students to study such languages as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, and Russian in programs from kindergarten to college.
Currently, less than one percent of U.S. high school students study those languages, and only eight percent of U.S. undergraduates take any foreign language courses
Also, on June 21, the agency announced 122 districts in 40 states received $116 million to improve the quality of American history education.

The Teaching American History program supports three-year projects to improve teachers' knowledge and understanding of traditional U.S. history through on-going professional development.

All grantees must work in partnership with one or more organizations that have extensive background in American history, including libraries, museums, non-profit organizations, and institutions of higher education (


The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pirates’ corporate partners Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and The African American Chamber of Commerce are pleased to offer groups 25-50 complimentary tickets (or more if available), to tour the new permanent installation of Highmark Legacy Square at PNC Park. Additional tickets are available on a first-come basis.

Highmark Legacy Square will reveal the inspirational story of the remarkable athletes who helped to revolutionize sports and business in their own way in the Negro Leagues. It is the intent to create an educational and inspiring attraction at PNC Park that educates youth on the contributions and impact of the Negro Leagues.

Requests should be made in writing, on letterhead along with information about your group. Please include the name of your group’s contact person, number and mailing address in the body of the letter.

Mail requests to:
Pittsburgh Pirates

Highmark Legacy Square Tour

Community Development

PNC Park at North Shore

115 Federal Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

If you have any questions, call (412) 325-8019 or (412) 325-4731.

27 June 2007

from the Desk of LISA: New Slavery Study

New Slavery Study

To: TST Listserv
Subject: New Slavery Study

Pardon any cross-postings.

NIGER: New slavery study welcomed by human rights experts

DAKAR/NIAMEY, 31 May 2007 (IRIN) - People are still enslaved in Niger, but an announcement that the government has agreed to sponsor an independent investigation into the issue has raised hopes for change among some human rights experts.

Lompo Garba, president of the National Commission for Human Rights and Civil Liberties, the group conducting the new study, said: "Slavery as it was in the past in Niger, for example people owned by other people, no longer exists. Today we see other forms of practical slavery, including child and forced labour... It will take time to eradicate that mentality. That is the purpose of our study."

Slave markets in Niger were closed during French colonisation, but in 2003 when a study was conducted by the British NGO Anti Slavery International, at least 43,000 Nigeriens were still kept as unpaid workers to do domestic tasks [

], and in some cases perform as concubines [ ]. Most live with nomadic Touareg and Arab groups in the north and west of Niger, according to ASI.

"Slavery has been an established practice for centuries in Niger," said Romana Cachiolli, Africa programme officer at ASI. "It won't be eradicated immediately, but a study conducted with support from the government may push us further along, even if it simply brings them to the table."

Niger's government has previously been criticised for its quixotic attitude towards slavery.

In 2003, Nigerien lawmakers reformed Niger's penal code to allow punishments of up to 30 years in prison for keeping slaves. But two years later, a ceremony meant to free 7,000 slaves in Inates, northwest Niger, turned into a farce [ ] after government officials apparently warned slave owners at the ceremony that they would be subject to the 30-year term if they released their slaves. No slaves were released.

Later that year, the head of the Timidria NGO, Ilguilas Weila, was briefly arrested [ ] and accused of spreading false information about slavery. He was not charged.

Weila remains critical of the government's commitment to ending slavery.

"Timidria will not participate in the study," he said. "These actions are simply an empty gesture to satisfy the international community and the money could be better used to help efforts already underway like bringing cases to court and freeing and reintegrating slaves."

However Cachiolli said Anti-Slavery International would "certainly" participate, if asked. "A new comprehensive survey would help us better understand what exactly we're dealing with," she said. "The wider public should be informed that the fight against slavery is still on."

"It is through asking questions that truth is discovered."
~ Mende Proverb ~

From the Desk of Shirley Muhammad


Please share this with your email network

Please see the attached flyer regarding how to write your own federal grant applications. Become your own Department of Human Services ! Did you know that Allegheny County Department of Human Services receive over 85% of their total budget by applying for federal government grant funding? You can do the same !!!!!

As a bonus, Your Sister's Project, Inc will GUARANTEE IRS APPROVAL of the creation of your 501(c) 3 organization for a special price of $550.00 most lawyers will charge you $3,000 - $5,000.

Let's talk at the sessions. If you need additional information, please call me or email.

Shirley Muhammad, Executive Director
Your Sister's Project, Inc.
2101 Centre Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA. 15219
412 377-3358 Phone
412 227-0922 Fax

Federal FAITH-BASED and Community Initiative
Grant Proposal Writing

Friday June 29 and Saturday June 30, 2007
Presenter: Dr. Khalifah Ramadan

Areas of Expertise
Community Diagnosis and Assessment, Multi-Agency Partnership, Project Evaluation, Case Management, Grant Proposal Writing and Strategic Planning

FRI., JUNE 29, 2007 -6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Grant Writing Overview
Learn about writing federal grants
Session Fee: Free

SAT., JUNE 30, 2007 – 8:30: AM – 2:00 PM
Hands-On Grant Writing Session
Learn how to develop strategies, goals and outcomes
Resource Information including sample grants
Bring your proposal idea/work

Session Fee: $50.00 Donation

RSVP: 412-377-3358


• Department of Commerce
• Department of Education
• Department of Health and Human Services
• Department of Housing &Urban Development
• Department of Justice
• Department of Labor
• Department of Veterans Affairs – US AID

16 June 2007

Africans in U.S. caught between worlds -

Africans in U.S. caught between worlds -

"Comments: (24)

Khalilah wrote: 7m ago

To Afriameican...
Thank you for saying so eloquently what I was thinking. I have for many years told others in the black (american ) community that the propaganda machine of this country is always aimed at showing our people in a negative way. Even when it is camouflaged by some current event or 'social concern'...we know that the whole reason to write anything about black americans is to show them as less than anyone else or as niggardly in some aspect of their association with other peoples. Never are we given the true and often covert message which is that 'blacks who are descendents of slaves and born in america are and will always be assaulted by some group of people no matter who they are' Further, it pains me when native Africans come to america and do not search out their long lost family members who have been displaced by the slave trade of the 17th and 18th centuries. Why do black americans always want to find their 'roots' in Africa and yet the African comes here but don't try to find his lost brother or sister? I love the Afican people and the African culture because somehow it connects me to my history just as my native American culture connects me to my Cherokee history . I pray that we as blacks, Africans and Afriamericans come to under"

Africans in U.S. caught between worlds -

Africans in U.S. caught between worlds - "By David Crary, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — They range from surgeons and scholars to illiterate refugees from some of the world's worst hellholes — a dizzyingly varied stream of African immigrants to the United States. More than 1 million strong and growing, they are enlivening America's cities and altering how the nation confronts its racial identity.

Some nurture dreams of returning to Africa for good one day. But many are casting their lot permanently in America, trying to assimilate even as they and their children struggle to learn where they fit in a country where black-white relations are a perpetual work-in-progress.

'To white people, we are all black,' said Wanjiru Kamau, a Kenyan-born community activist in Washington, D.C. 'But as soon as you open your mouth to some African-Americans, they look at you and wonder why you are even here.

'Except for the skin, which is just a facade, there is very little in common between Africans and African-Americans. We need to sit down and listen to each other's story.'

The 2000 Census recorded 881,300 U.S. residents who were born in Africa. By 2005, the number had reached 1.25 million, according Brookings Institution researcher Jill Wilson."

Lack of knowledge can cut both ways. Tigist is gradually learning details of America's racial history, even watching the TV mini-series "Roots."

"I feel bad about that racism — but when I come here now, I didn't feel it at all. I would never think someone would discriminate against me," she said. "I don't have any bad feelings for black Americans, but I am not one of them. ... I'm not a black American, I'm not a white American. I'm an Ethiopian."

Democratic president candidate Barak Obama, son of a black Kenyan father and white American mother, has wrestled with similar issues. Some skeptics have doubted whether his background will appeal to black voters, and he recalled in his memoirs that he was rebuffed by national civil rights groups when he was younger.

Jacqueline Copeland-Carson, an African-American scholar with Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, is optimistic that African immigrants and African-Americans will outgrow any strains, which she blames partly on stereotypes.

"Some Africans view African-Americans as violent, lazy, intellectually inferior — U.S. blacks are taught that the Africans are less civilized, not as capable," she said.

"As people get to know each other in churches and mosques and community associations, they're beginning to realize they've been taught lies about each other. They're starting to understand they share many things in common."

In the District of Columbia, as in some other cities, there has been occasional friction between recently arrived Africans and the entrenched, politically powerful black American community.

AlterNet: Twenty Things You Should Know About Corporate Crime

AlterNet: Twenty Things You Should Know About Corporate Crime
"The following is text from a speech delivered by Russell Mokhiber, editor of Corporate Crime Reporter to the Taming the Giant Corporation conference in Washington, D.C., June 9, 2007.

20. Corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined.

Whether in bodies or injuries or dollars lost, corporate crime and violence wins by a landslide.

The FBI estimates, for example, that burglary and robbery -- street crimes -- costs the nation $3.8 billion a year.

The losses from a handful of major corporate frauds -- Tyco, Adelphia, Worldcom, Enron -- swamp the losses from all street robberies and burglaries combined.

Health care fraud alone costs Americans $100 billion to $400 billion a year.

The savings and loan fraud -- which former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh called 'the biggest white collar swindle in history' -- cost us anywhere from $300 billion to $500 billion.

And then you have your lesser frauds: auto repair fraud, $40 billion a year, securities fraud, $15 billion a year -- and on down the list.


15 June 2007

PPS Partnership with Community Education Partners

PPS Partnership with Community Education Partners

The Pittsburgh Public Schools will hold five regional community meetings this June to inform parents about its new education partnership with Community Education Partners (CEP).
In January, the Pittsburgh Board of Education voted to enter into a five year agreement with CEP to meet the needs of students in grades 6-12 with chronic behavioral challenges.

The dates for the CEP meetings are as follows:

Thursday, June 14: Perry Traditional Academy, 3875 Perrysville Avenue

Tuesday, June 19: Langley High School, 2940 Sheraden Boulevard

Thursday, June 21: Westinghouse High School, 1101 Murtland Avenue

Tuesday, June 26: South Hills Middle School, 595 Crane Avenue

Wednesday, June 27: Schenley High School, 4101 Bigelow Boulevard

Each meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. in the school's library.

Feel free to select a site most convenient to you. Information shared will be the same at all sessions and sites. District staff will be on hand to share information about the CEP agreement, the former Clayton Elementary facility where the program will be housed and more.
Parents and community members are encouraged to attend.

13 June 2007

Predicting Success and Failure - The Stories We Tell Ourselves

..everybody get random!
Lady Sovereign - 2006


Sent to you by jim via Google Reader:


Predicting Success and Failure - The Stories We Tell Ourselves

via Businesspundit on Jun 13, 2007

Dave Munger writes about the futility of predicting unlikely events. Runaway successes are rare, and difficult to predict in advance. Luckily for us, catastrophic failures are rare as well. I laugh when people tell me they have "the next Google" - as if anyone could have predicted the dramatic success of the first Google. If your goal is to have that level of success, all you can do is build something that has the potential, and hope a little randomness fall your way. VC's don't predict winners, they just screen out the most likely losers and hope with enough investments, the black swan is friendly to them.

Munger's post references this interview with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan which I highly recommend. (Be forewarned though. If you struggle with counterintuitive ideas, you may not enjoy this book.)

In the interview, Taleb makes the following statement.

Taleb argues that history books make up reasons for events that are by their very nature improbable. If someone had sat in a coffee house in Vienna in 1913 and related the history-book explanation of the situation in at that time, explaining that Europe was on the brink of an unprecedented continent-wide war, Taleb claims, he would have been carted off as a lunatic.
I think we do the same thing in business. Why do some businesses go from good to great? We make up stories and see patterns where they don't exist, because we are looking for that magic bullet that will make our company do the same. Why did the latest project fail? When we piece it together after the fact, we often get it wrong. That's why I like to use the decision tickler.

So if randomness matters so much, why try? Because you can still take advantage of it. Experiment. Expose yourself to random ideas, random people, random chance, and sooner or later, you might catch a ride on a black swan.



Things you can do from here:


The Small Biz 7 Survey

also visit:


Sent to you by jim via Google Reader:


The Small Biz 7 Survey

via Small Business Trends by Anita Campbell on Jun 13, 2007

Constant Contact has created the Small Biz 7 customer satisfaction survey Many business owners and managers know Constant Contact for its easy-to-use email marketing software and service. A lot of the newsletters and updates that I receive from other small businesses go out through Constant Contact. (We use Constant Contact for our weekly radio show newsletter, too.)

Just this week Constant Contact introduced a new service, an online survey tool. You can use it for conducting online surveys, including composing survey questions, gathering responses, and preparing reports of the survey responses.

One of the things that caught my attention is that Constant Contact has created 40 survey templates. A big barrier to conducting surveys is that unless you are a market researcher by trade, you probably don't know where to start. I know that every time I'm creating a survey, I start out trying to compose 8 or 10 simple questions and two hours later I'm still at it. (What do you ask? How do you phrase the questions? Multiple choice or write-in answers? How many multiple choices? And so on.)

Having ready-made survey templates can cut down your time considerably. Even if you adjust the templates and change some of the questions, you'll still be much further ahead.

Here is one such survey created by Constant Contact, called the Small Biz 7 survey. These are seven questions they suggest every small business should use to evaluate how well they know their customers:

1. How would you rate your overall satisfaction with us?

* Very satisfied
* Satisfied
* Neutral
* Dissatisfied
* Very dissatisfied

2. How likely are you to recommend our products/service to others?

* Very likely
* Likely
* Neutral
* Unlikely
* Very unlikely

3. When was the last time you purchased a product or service from us?

* Within the last month
* Between one month and 3 months
* Between 3 and 6 months
* Between 6 months and one year
* More than one year
* Never

4. Please rate us on the following:
(Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor)

* Customer service/support
* Quality of products/service
* Sales staff
* Price/value

5. How likely are you to continue doing business with us?

* Very likely
* Likely
* Neutral
* Unlikely
* Very unlikely

6. How long have you used our products/service?

* Fewer than 6 months
* Between 6 months and 1 year
* Between one year and 3 years
* Between 3 and 5 years
* More than 5 years
* Have not used

7. Please suggest how we can improve our products/services to better serve you.

Go here for more about the Constant Contact Survey tool.


Things you can do from here:


Few states require high-school grads take finance classes

perhaps informed consumers are detrimental to the status quo....j


Sent to you by jim via Google Reader:


Few states require high-school grads take finance classes

via - Top Stories on Jun 13, 2007

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The bad news is that only 17 states require students take an economics class to graduate from high school and only seven states require a personal-finance course, according to a survey released Wednesday by the National Council on Economic Education.


Things you can do from here:


27 April 2007

The Soul Pitt is the Heart&SOUL of Pittsburgh, PA!

The Soul Pitt is the Heart&SOUL of Pittsburgh, PA!

April 27, 2007 at the Allegheny HYP Club, Downtown Pittsburgh PA

Donation $40.00 or table of (10 ) $350.00 (tax deductible)
Time: 5:30 PM Meet & Greet.
6 PM Dinner Served (3 selections available - RSVP Required)

Your Sister's Project, Inc. a non-profit, 501(c) 3, tax exempt social service program that ensures that young females develop into productive women and mothers will present its first ever, A Nation Can Rise No Higher Than Its Woman Community Celebration Banquet on Friday, April 27, 2007.

The meet and greet will begin at 5:30 PM. Dinner will be served at 6 PM. The fundraiser will be held at The Allegheny HYP Club located at 619 William Penn Place (Downtown) Pittsburgh) PA 15219. We will have the opportunity of honoring distinguished women leaders in the Pittsburgh area.

It promises to be a significant occasion in the year s activities of all Pittsburgh, Special guest appearances, live entertainment and door prizes. All proceeds will go towards the existing programs of Your Sister s Project, Inc.

For donation information, sponsorship, and to RSVP (required), please contact 377-3358 or (...spelling is correct!)


*Special Guests
*Community Awards Presentation
*Live Entertainment
*Door Prizes

The Allegheny HYP Club
619 William Penn Place (Downtown, Pittsburgh)
Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Grace Kizzie
Rev. Thomas E. Smith
The MGT & GCC of Muhammad Mosque #22
Donna M. Baxter,
Nusrath Ainapore
Rev. Luaran Webb
Inshirah Jihada
Debra Todd
Rashida Haqq-Brookins
Lillie Leonardi
Debra Tucker

Master of Ceremony Louis "Hop" Kendrick
Keynote Address by Attorney and Psychologist Joseph Williams

Contact person: Shirley Muhammad
412 377-3358

23 April 2007

AlterNet: WorkPlace: Spirit-Crushing 'McJobs' Are Putting an End to Upward Mobility

The media and the pundits spend a lot of time focusing on the massive increase in compensation for top jobs.

But if we really care about strengthening the national economy, it's time to focus on the other side of the story -- what's happening in the low-wage labor market. In a report we've written (with Heather Boushey and Rachel Gragg), "Understanding the Low-Wage Labor Market in the United States," we find that more than 40 million jobs -- about 1 in 3 -- pay low wages.

What is low-wage work? Surprisingly, there's no official definition. One commonly used formula defines a low-wage job using the federal poverty threshold: $20,444, or $9.83 an hour, in 2006. But plenty of people agree the federal poverty line is outdated and has limited appeal for describing low-wage work in today's economy.

To avoid these problems, we've adopted a new definition of low-wage work that uses what we call a social-inclusion approach and, importantly, takes inequality into account. Under this definition, a low-wage job is one that pays substantially less than the job held by a typical male worker -- that's any job paying less than $11.11. How many are like that? Forty-four million.


3 April 2007

A Slashed Safety Net Turns Libraries into Homeless Shelters

America Gone Wrong: A Slashed Safety Net Turns Libraries into Homeless Shelters

ByChip Ward, Posted April 2, 2007.

A dirty little secret about America is that public libraries have become de facto daytime shelters for the nation's street people while librarians are increasingly our unofficial social workers for the homeless and mentally disturbed.

Ophelia sits by the fireplace and mumbles softly, smiling and gesturing at no one in particular. She gazes out the large window through the two pairs of glasses she wears, one windshield-sized pair over a smaller set perched precariously on her small nose. Perhaps four lenses help her see the invisible other she is addressing. When her "nobody there" conversation disturbs the reader seated beside her, Ophelia turns, chuckles at the woman's discomfort, and explains, "Don't mind me, I'm dead. It's okay. I've been dead for some time now." She pauses, then adds reassuringly, "It's not so bad. You get used to it." Not at all reassured, the woman gathers her belongings and moves quickly away.
Ophelia shrugs. Verbal communication is tricky. She prefers telepathy, but that's hard to do since the rest of us, she informs me, "don't know the rules." MORE


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Can Wal-Mart Ever Be 'Green'?

Can Wal-Mart Ever Be 'Green'?

Acting with unusual transparency, Wal-Mart has even published a benchmark calculation of its carbon footprint. The company estimates that its U.S. operations were responsible for 15.3 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2005. About three-quarters of this pollution came from the electricity generated to power its stores.

This cannot be dismissed as greenwashing. It's actually far more dangerous than that.
Wal-Mart's initiatives have just enough meat to have distracted much of the environmental movement, along with most journalists and many ordinary people, from the fundamental fact that, as a system of distributing goods to people, big-box retailing is as intrinsically unsustainable as clear-cut logging is as a method of harvesting trees.

Here's the key issue.
Wal-Mart's carbon estimate omits a massive source of CO2 that is inherent to its operations and amounts to more than all of its other greenhouse-gas emissions combined: the CO2 produced by customers driving to its stores.

The dramatic growth of big-box retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot, over the last 15 years has been mirrored by an equally dramatic rise in how many miles we travel running errands. Between 1990 and 2001 (the most recent year for which the U.S. Department of Transportation has data), the number of miles that the average American household drove each year for shopping grew by more than 40 percent.

New Wal-Mart documentary may be a sign of upheavals to come It's not that we are going to the store more often, but rather that each trip is an average of about two miles longer. The general trend toward suburbanization is only partly to blame: shopping-related driving grew three times as fast as driving for all other purposes. The culprit is big-box retail. These companies have displaced tens of thousands of neighborhood and downtown businesses and consolidated the necessities of life into massive stores that aggregate car-borne shoppers from large areas.



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24 March 2007

Many Americans see little point to Web: survey | Technology | Internet | Reuters

Many Americans see little point to Web: survey | Technology | Internet | Reuters: "MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) - A little under one-third of U.S. households have no Internet access and do not plan to get it, with most of the holdouts seeing little use for it in their lives, according to a survey released on Friday.

Park Associates, a Dallas-based technology market research firm, said 29 percent of U.S. households, or 31 million homes, do not have Internet access and do not intend to subscribe to an Internet service over the next 12 months.

The second annual National Technology Scan conducted by Park found the main reason potential customers say they do not subscribe to the Internet is because of the low value to their daily lives they perceive rather than concerns over cost.

Forty-four percent of these households say they are not interested in anything on the Internet, versus just 22 percent who say they cannot afford a computer or the cost of Internet service, the survey showed." MORE

Give Me Liberty: The New Americanism by Nat Hentoff

Give Me Liberty: The New Americanism by Nat Hentoff: "For the past six years, more Americans have become aware of this fragility—as some of our basic liberties continue to recede, now reaching a new, especially dangerous development in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, spawned by the Bush-Cheney administration.

Among its 'chilling' provisions, Leahy says, 'inserted [by the White House] in the dark of night in the final days before the bill's passage,' is a greatly expanded definition of 'enemy combatants.' This expansion includes 'people that any group of decision-makers selected by the President decides to call 'enemy combatants' '—and put into cells.

If these prisoners are legal noncitizen immigrants in this country, they will have no habeas corpus rights to go into court to challenge why they are being held—and they can be 'detained' indefinitely. If American citizens are declared 'enemy combatants,' they can have lawyers in our courts, but the MCA severely diminishes their rights to due process." MORE

The Shape of Things too....

ID Refusniks To Be Prisoners In Their Own Country: "People who attempt to resist the forthcoming Big Brother ID card and database system in the UK will never be able to leave the country according to the Government official in charge of the scheme.

As the UK Daily Mail reported last weekend:

James Hall, the official in charge of the supposedly-voluntary scheme, said the Government would allow people to opt out - but in return they must 'forgo the ability' to have a travel document.

As of 2009 anyone who applies for a passport in Britain will also be issued with an ID card, for which they must also provide fingerprints, biometric details such as a facial scan and a wealth of personal details - including second homes, driving licence and insurance numbers.

When asked what would happen to ID card refusniks, Mr Hall stated: 'There is no need to register and have fingerprints taken - but you will forgo the ability to have a passport'."

The Truth: Top 10 Reasons for Attending a College

Want to know what your peers are saying are the most important factors when choosing a college? The answers are very interesting!

1. Your boyfriend/girlfriend goes to the school or wants to
2. It's a party school
3. Your best friend is going there
4. The student body(ies) look great!
5. The beach near campus or skiing/snowboarding is awesome
6. The tuition is cheap (relatively)
7. The campus looks beautiful online
8. Your parents went there
9. The school has a prestigious reputation
10. You want/don't want to be far from home

College should be a mix of social and educational stimulation. Make sure you get the best of both worlds -- don't be too much of a partier, or too much of a bookworm either. Do what makes you happy and live a well-rounded life.

What do you think? Why are you considering the schools you're looking at?

22 March 2007

Why Aren't We Shocked? - Volume 21 No. 2 - Winter 2006 - Rethinking Schools Online

Rethinking Schools Online: "'Who needs a brain when you have these?'
— message on an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt for young women

By Bob Herbert

In the shootings at an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania and a large public high school in Colorado, the killers went out of their way to separate the girls from the boys, and then deliberately attacked only the girls.

Ten girls were shot and five killed at the Amish school in October. One girl was killed and a number of others were molested in the Colorado attack.

In the widespread coverage that followed these crimes, very little was made of the fact that only girls were targeted. Imagine if a gunman had gone into a school, separated the kids on the basis of race or religion, and then shot only the black kids. Or only the white kids. Or only the Jews.


19 March 2007

Financial Literacy Workshop

Free Lunch and $10 or $10 gas card at the YSP Financial Literacy Workshop

Your Money Counts

Adult Financial Literacy Workshop

Saturday, March 24, 2007 /10 am to 3 pm

Monumental Mission Ministries (Auditorium)

2228 Wylie Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA. 15219

3 ways to Pre-register

By faxing this form to Your Sister's Project, Inc. (412) 227-0922

By Calling Your Sister's Project, Inc. at (412) 377-3358

By e-mailing:

Pre-Registration ends March 17, 2007

There is no registration fee for the workshop and lunch will be provided for free

Regrets for Slavery by Walter Williams -- Capitalism Magazine

"Regrets for Slavery by Walter Williams (March 6, 2007)

Both chambers of the Commonwealth of Virginia's General Assembly passed a resolution saying government-sanctioned slavery 'ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation's history; and . . . the abolition of slavery was followed by . . . systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other insidious institutions and practices toward Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding.' The General Assembly also expressed regret for the 'exploitation of Native Americans.' " MORE

18 March 2007

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: From Sex Workers to Restaurant Workers, the Global Slave Trade Is Growing


"Ten Million Children Exploited for Domestic Labor" -- this title for a 2004 U.N. study hardly needs explaining. The U.N.'s surveys found 700,000 children forced into domestic labor in Indonesia alone, with staggering numbers as well in Brazil (559,000), Pakistan (264,000), Haiti (250,000), and Kenya (200,000). The U.N. report indicates that children remain in servitude for long stretches of time because no one identifies their enslavement: "These youngsters are usually 'invisible' to their communities, toiling for long hours with little or no pay and regularly deprived of the chance to play or go to school." UNICEF estimates that 1 million children are forced today to sell their bodies to sexual exploiters. In a single country, Uganda, nearly 40,000 children have been kidnapped and violently turned into child soldiers or sex slaves.

16 March 2007

NPR : Subprime Loans: One Woman's Story

NPR : Subprime Loans: One Woman's Story

Subprime Loans: One Woman's Story

Listen to this story... by Renee Montagne

Morning Edition, March 16, 2007 · Jennie Halliburton, a 77-year-old widow from Philadelphia, answered an ad offering to "consolidate her debt." She soon found herself with a "subprime loan" that she can't afford and may cost her the home she refinanced. Her lawyer, Allan White, says Halliburton should never have been granted the loan.

NPR : Urban Poor Cope with Help from Informal Economy

NPR : Urban Poor Cope with Help from Informal Economy

Sharelle, 43, lives in subsidized housing in Harlem. She hasn't had a job in years – but she works all the time. She runs an after-school day care in her apartment, where children are laughing and playing cards. She also looks after an elderly woman in her Harlem neighborhood twice a week.

"I do the housekeeping, clean her bedroom, do the kitchen," said Sharelle, who didn't want her last name aired.

Sometimes she gets a few extra dollars helping her neighbors fill out state tax forms or babysitting. If Sharelle reported this income to the government her rent would go up, so almost all the work she does is under the table.

"Miss Hinxson is off the books, their mother is off the books, the little girl Courtney that I went to pick up is off the books," she said. MORE

Transcending the Organization

Transcending the Organization - Schambra Trust Authenticity and Community

The nonprofit sector is identified with small, immediate community and compassion; government is viewed as distant, alienating and unresponsive. It’s been that way for decades, incidentally, through administrations from both parties. Skepticism about big government is often thought to be the hideous spawn of the Reagan Revolution. But in fact, the first shift toward skepticism came from the New Left back in the ’60s, when it attacked Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society as a manipulative, inhumane monstrosity, and opted instead for local, participatory democracy. And participatory democracy is exactly what the nonprofit sector provides, when it’s at its best—it provides immediate, face-to-face civic engagement. You shouldn’t compromise that by attaching your reputation for local democracy and community—your credibility—to a hulking derelict of an institution that Americans have long since decided doesn’t care about them and can’t do anything to address their anxiety and unsettledness. MORE

15 March 2007

Getting Teens to Pay Attention

Advertising Age - MediaWorks - Getting Teens to Pay Attention

The aim of the Teen Road Safety campaign was to get teenagers to pay more attention when they were on or near the road. The problem was telling them in a way that didn't come across as simply more adult grief.

The insight that drove the campaign was the issue of friends. If death was too heavy a concept to consider, how about the impact on your circle of friends?

A 30-second ad was created by real teenagers and shot on their medium of choice, the mobile phone. It showed a group of friends larking around by the road before one of them walks into the road without looking and pays a terrible price.

The ad was then distributed via an unbranded website -- -- as well as via mobiles to seed the message prior to its official launch. A week later it was unveiled as a government message in a cinema ad in key movies.

13 March 2007

The Electronic Product Environmental Asssessment Tool

Welcome to EPEAT©
The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool

What is it?
EPEAT is an environmental procurement tool designed to help institutional purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebook computers and monitors based on their environmental attributes. At the same time it helps manufacturers promote environmentally preferable products. EPEAT is the implementation of the IEEE 1680 Standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer products (including laptop and desktop computers, and monitors).

Why is it important?
Electronic products are a part of everyday life, and continued and expanded use of electronic information and communications technologies is likely a key to achieving global sustainability. However, with our current industrial technology and infrastructure electronic products also have unacceptably high social and environmental impacts. Electronic products often:

a. Are very resource intensive to manufacture;
b. Contain significant amounts of toxic and environmentally sensitive materials;
c. Use electricity inefficiently;
d. Have a relatively short useable lifespan;
e. Are inefficiently and/or ineffectively recovered and recycled.

To help alleviate these problems, many organizations are striving to purchase environmentally preferable products and they are using their purchasing power to make products greener. However, until recently it has been very difficult for most purchasers to determine what products are environmentally better than others. EPEAT is an easy-to-use system to help purchasers deal with the technical complexities of determining which products are actually preferable.

How Can I find an EPEAT product?
A searchable listing of EPEAT registered products is maintained on a Product Registry. See

More information?
EPEAT is a project of the Green Electronics Council. For more information, just contact us.

8 March 2007

What else to do with our prison communities

SVTC: pubs with descriptions

Toxic Sweatshops:
How UNICOR Prison Recycling Harms Workers, Communities, the Environment, and the Recycling Industry
A 2006 SVTC exposé report on abuse of prison labor in the e-waste recycling industry.
For the first time, prison inmates and staff blow the whistle on deplorable health and safety conditions within UNICOR, a controversial government corporation operated under the Dept. of Justice that uses captive prison labor in a range of industries, including the dismantling of toxic e-waste. Read more

Inmates Will Replace Migrants in Colorado Fields - New York Times

Inmates Will Replace Migrants in Colorado Fields - New York Times
Under the program, which has drawn criticism from groups concerned about immigrants’ rights and from others seeking changes in the criminal justice system, farmers will pay a fee to the state, and the inmates, who volunteer for the work, will be paid about 60 cents a day, corrections officials said.

Concerned about the possible shortage of field labor, Dorothy B. Butcher, a state representative from Pueblo and a supporter of the program, said, “The workers on these farms do the weeding, the harvesting, the storing, everything that comes with growing crops for the market.”

....Although chain gangs and prison farms have long been staples of American correctional culture, the concept of inmates working on private farms is unusual. But there are signs that other states are following suit. The Iowa Department of Corrections is considering a similar program because of a migrant labor shortage in that state.

Several Iowa farmers called recently to request inmates in lieu of migrant workers, said Roger Baysden, the director of the state’s prison industries program. One farmer asked for as many as 200 inmates, Mr. Baysden said.

“This feels like the re-invention of the plantation,” said Christie Donner, the group’s executive director. “You have a captive labor force essentially working for their room and board in order to benefit the employer. This isn’t a job training program. It’s an exploitative program.”

But Ari Zavaras, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, said the merit of a hard day’s work outdoors was invaluable to an inmate.

“They won’t be paid big bucks, but we’re hoping this will help our inmates pick up significant and valuable job skills,” Mr. Zavaras said. “We’re also assisting farmers who, if they don’t get help, are facing an inability to harvest their crops.”

With the start of the farming season looming, Colorado’s farmers are scrambling to figure out which crops to sow and in what quantity. Some are considering turning to field corn, which is mechanically harvested. And they are considering whether they want to pay for an urban inmate who could not single out a ripe watermelon or discern between a weed and an onion plant.

“This is not a cure-all,” Mr. Pisciotta said. “What our farm laborers do is a skill. They’re born with it, and they’re good at it. It’s not an easy job.”

3 March 2007

WP: Cherokee Nation may expel blacks - Highlights -

WP: Cherokee Nation may expel blacks - Highlights -

Cherokees, along with Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks and Seminoles, were long known as the "Five Civilized Tribes" because they adopted many of the ways of their white neighbors in the South, including the holding of black slaves.

1 March 2007

in Pgh- Youth Workforce Development Conference

Youth Workforce Development Conference
The 2nd annual Youth Workforce Development Conference, presented jointly by YouthWorks and Urban Youth Action, will be held on Friday, April 27, 2007. The conference theme is: Connecting the Dots: Converging Resource for Tomorrow’s Workforce. A new addition is the Youth Career Fair on Saturday, April 28th, co-sponsored by YouthLINK. Both events will be held at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Youth workforce development professionals, educators and community leaders are invited to submit proposals for workshop presentations. Contact: Karen Bryant, 412.281.6629 x213 or

12 February 2007

The Implications of Service Offshoring for Metropolitan Economies

An examination of service offshoring—the movement of service jobs overseas—forecasts higher than average job losses in twenty-eight U.S. metropolitan areas between 2004 and 2015. Information technology jobs, and the metropolitan areas where they are concentrated, will be hardest hit. To cushion the service offshoring blow, the paper urges federal, state, and local leaders to together pursue policies that boost productivity and innovation, assist workers who are harmed by offshoring, and modernize approaches to economic and workforce development.


Service "offshoring"—the movement of service jobs from the United States to other countries, especially low-wage countries—has emerged as a concern of both political and business leaders in recent years. Using occupational data, this study projects the likely job losses from service offshoring between 2004 and 2015 in 246 U.S. metropolitan areas. It finds that:

# Twenty-eight metropolitan areas, with 13.5 percent of the nation's population, are likely to lose between 2.6 and 4.3 percent of their jobs to service offshoring, higher than the average loss among the metropolitan areas studied. Five metropolitan areas—Boulder, CO; Lowell, MA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; and Stamford, CT—are likely to lose between 3.1 and 4.3 percent of their jobs to service offshoring between 2004 and 2015, while 23 others are likely to lose between 2.6 and 3 percent of their jobs. However, 158 metropolitan areas are likely to lose no more than 2 percent of their jobs as a result of service offshoring.

# Large metropolitan areas and metropolitan areas in the Northeast and West are generally more vulnerable to service offshoring than small metropolitan areas or metropolitan areas in the Midwest or South. Job losses from service offshoring between 2004 and 2015 are projected at 2.4 percent for metropolitan areas with populations of one million or more but only 1.7 percent for metropolitan areas with populations below 250,000. About 2.3 percent of jobs in Northeastern and Western metropolitan areas are likely to be offshored, compared to 2.2 percent in Midwestern metropolitan areas and 2.1 percent in Southern ones.

# Metropolitan areas with large concentrations of information technology service jobs or backoffice jobs are generally more vulnerable to service offshoring than other metropolitan areas. Between 2004 and 2015, service offshoring is likely to cause the loss of 2.6 percent of jobs in metropolitan areas that specialize in information technology services and 2.4 percent of jobs in metropolitan areas that specialize in back-office services but only 1.9 percent of jobs in other metropolitan areas.

# At least 17 percent of computer programming, software engineering, and data entry jobs are likely to be offshored in particular metropolitan areas. Employment of computer programmers, data entry keyers, and software engineers (applications) is projected to fall by at least 17 percent between 2004 and 2015 in Bergen-Passaic, NJ; Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; Danbury, CT; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT; Minneapolis, MN; Nashua, NH; Newark, NJ; Orange County, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Stamford, CT; and Wilmington, DE because of service offshoring. In Bergen-Passaic, 14 to 17 percent of customer service representatives' and insurance underwriters' jobs are projected to move abroad.

Overall, the loss of service jobs to offshoring in the near future will be modest. However, offshoring's impact will be greater in metropolitan areas with high shares of information technology or back-office service jobs and in particular occupations within metropolitan areas. To reduce vulnerability to service offshoring, federal, state, and local leaders should work in concert to pursue policies that boost productivity and innovation, assist workers who are harmed by offshoring, and modernize approaches to economic and workforce development.

1 February 2007


February is both Black History Month and American History Month.
The fact is, Black history is inextricably interwoven with American history.
Explore the Black aspects of American history with Annenberg Media resources.

> Our brand new series "America's History in the Making"
<> provides information about African enslavement, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.
In the coming weeks, look for links to Video on Demand and the series Web site.

> "Primary Sources: Workshops in American History" asks the question, "Who freed the slaves?" and uncovers the complex answer through primary source documents.
Go to the series Web site
<> for Video on Demand, lecture transcripts, relevant documents, and classroom applications.

> Programs 9 through 12 of "A Biography of America"
<> cover the era of American slavery and its aftermath, and Program 24 covers the Civil Rights era.

Find coordinated resources on the series Web site, such as this interactive activity
<> counterposing the very different programs of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois for improving the situation of African Americans.

> "Social Studies in Action: A Teaching Practices Library, K-12" Program 18, "The Amistad Case," shows an effective 8th-grade history lesson employing a mock trial.
Find a summary of events, Video on Demand, and more on the series Web site

> "The Africans" <>
reveals the African side of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in Program 4, "Tools of Exploitation."
Other programs in the series discuss various aspects of African history and culture. Click on "Buy Videos and Materials" for purchasing options.

For Literature and Art:

> Read about many authors of different eras, such as Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Harriet Jacobs, and Frederick Douglass
<> on the Web site for "American Passages: A Literary Survey."
The site also offers links to Video on Demand, lesson activities, and more.

> The searchable American Passages artifact archive contains thousands of historical images, such as this one of a 1943 Harlem street scene alongside verses of a
poem from Countee Cullen's "From the Dark Tower."
The archive contains photos of Malcolm X <>
and other figures, fugitive slaves
<>, and much more.

And don't leave the site without creating your own slideshow!

> For ideas on presenting African American literature, watch "The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School"
<>. On the series Web site, discover the historical significance of the works of Keith Gilyard
<> and other authors.

> Middle school teachers will benefit from "Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades"

On the series Web site, find the poem "Africa Rising"
, a 6th-grade literature lesson using the documentary "Eyes on the Prize" <>, and other material exploring African American historical themes.

> For elementary grades, see "Engaging with Literature: A Video
Library, Grades 3-5" <>,
particularly Program 6, "Building Community."
The program shows lessons built around historical fiction, including "I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr." and "Walking the Road to Freedom: A Story About Sojourner Truth."

> A companion of "American Passages," our series "Artifacts & Fiction: Workshop in American Literature"
<> delves deep into hands-on teaching.

Watch Workshop 3, "Social History"
, which considers the rhetorical dimensions of actual slavery documents as context for understanding literature of the era.

> Learn about the life, works, and historical significance of poet Langston Hughes with our hour-long documentary in "Voices & Visions"
<>. The program features discussion of Hughes by author James Baldwin.

> The series "A World of Art: Works in Progress"
<> includes a documentary on artist Beverly Buchanan, whose innovative art focuses on the shack as an important symbol of the rural South.


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