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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


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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.



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The Small Biz 7 Survey

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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.


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Few states require high-school grads take finance classes

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


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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.


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