$380,000 Grant Will Transform One-Time Home of Malcolm X Into Museum

A Wayne State University anthropologist has received a $380,850 grant to restore and transform the one-time home of social revolutionary and civil rights leader Malcolm X into a museum that will showcase and highlight the activist's life and contributions.

Malcolm X In DiscussionMalcolm X lived in the home, located in Inkster, Michigan, that was owned by his brother, Wilfred, in the early 1950s. It was during this time he adopted the name Malcolm 'X', "marking the beginning of his life in the public spotlight," according to a university announcement, which noted that archaeological excavations will also be conducted at the site.

Dr. Tareq Ramadan, a part-time faculty member in Wayne State's Department of Anthropology and Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, acquired the money through the Historic Preservation Fund's African American Civil Rights grant, which is administered through the National Park Service, Department of Interior. Ramadan is the research manager and grant writer for the nonprofit Project We, Hope, Dream & Believe.

Read more: https://www.diverseeducation.com/news-roundup/article/15114594/380000-grant-will-transform-onetime-home-of-malcolm-x-into-museum

Northhampton Community College Wins U.S. Dept of Education Grand Prize

Dr. Mark Erickson, president of NCCDr. Mark Erickson, president of NCCNorthhampton Community College (NCC) in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has been awarded $250,000 as the grand-prize winner in the U.S. Department of Education’s Rethink Adult Ed Challenge.

NCC competed with 85 submissions from across the states, Guam, and the District of Columbia. The challenge focused on increasing equity and access while increasing participation in both apprenticeships and the workforce at large.

Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona said that the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge "proved the demand for training opportunities that are responsive to the evolving needs of American businesses - and our adult learners,"

NCC’s manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program was acknowledged for its ability to help students build their academic, digital and workplace skills. The program aims to connect participants with the working world by offering a well-rounded, multi-disciplinary education, and was integrated with the Title II Adult Education program that specifically targets English language learners.

“We are honored to be recognized,” said NCC President Dr. Mark Erickson. “We appreciate the importance of apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships to address the workforce needs of manufacturers in our region and work in close partnership with area employers as part of our efforts.”

Read more: https://www.diverseeducation.com/news-roundup/article/15114597/northhampton-community-college-wins-us-dept-of-education-grand-prize

Harvard Signals End to Investments in Fossil Fuels

After years of public criticism and protest from climate activists, Harvard will at last divest from fossil fuels, announced the university's president, Dr. Lawrence S. Bacow.

Currently, less than 2% of the university's $42 billion endowment — or roughly $800 million — is "indirectly 

Harvard Fossil Fuel Divestment PetitionPhoto by Victor Grigasinvested" in private equity funds that have holdings in the fossil fuel industry, according to Harvard Management Company, which oversees the endowment. However, once Harvard's partnerships with these equity funds expire, Bacow says the university has no intentions of renewing them, calling the indirect investments "imprudent" amid "the need to decarbonize the economy and our responsibility as fiduciaries to make long-term investment decisions that support our teaching and research mission."

“So long as Harvard follows through, this is divestment,” Connor Chung, an organizer for Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, told The Harvard Crimson. “This is what they told us for a decade they couldn’t do, and today, the students, faculty, and alumni have been vindicated.”

Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard has been around since 2012. Within that time, notes The Crimson, supporters of the movement have filed legal complaints against the university, staged protests across campus, gained seats on school governance boards and stormed the field at a 2019 Harvard-Yale football game.

“Honestly, I thought Harvard would never divest,”  wrote William E. “Bill” McKibben, founder of climate campaign group 350.org and a former Crimson president, to the student newspaper. “That it finally did is an enormous tribute to generations of Harvard students who have never let up, and to faculty and alumni who backed them up.”

Read more: https://www.diverseeducation.com/news-roundup/article/15114592/harvard-will-end-investments-in-fossil-fuels

HBCU Week Shares Best Practices on Graduating STEM Majors, Applying to Grants

Lenora Hammonds, associate professor of jazz studies at North Carolina Central University, received support recently from the National Endowment for the Arts. Hammonds shared advice on her application process at the national HBCU conference this week.Lenora Hammonds, associate professor of jazz studies at North Carolina Central University, received support recently from the National Endowment for the Arts. Hammonds shared advice on her application process at the national HBCU conference this week.Last week's National Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) conference started its last day with sessions such as research findings on HBCUs graduating STEM students as well as tips for humanities faculty to apply for federal grants.

To help address funding needs, a session with panelists who recently received National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) or National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grants offered advice to prospective applicants.

“It’s important to not be quiet about something you’re doing on campus that you’re excited about,” said Lenora Helm Hammonds, an associate professor of jazz studies at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Hammonds recently received NEA support for a teaching artist certification program at NCCU. “I just started reaching out to people, saying this is what I have, who do you know that can help me figure out what I don’t know.”

Tina Rollins, director of Hampton University’s William R. and Norma B. Harvey library, agreed and suggested building relationships with the institution’s grant coordination office as well as with NEA or NEH staff.

“Know your connections on campus that will help walk you through what you need for your application,” said Rollins, who received NEH support to develop a national forum on the recruitment and retention of minority library professionals. “It’s always great to have a cheerleader in the office of sponsored programs or grants who will take your calls.”

Rollins and Hammonds both shared the impact of their grants on garnering more respect for their work in the humanities.

“It created a way for activists who were artists in my community to be able to say, ‘Oh, NEA thinks that this is viable and important and interesting to support. Therefore, my work is viable and important and interesting to support,’” said Hammonds.

In the session on STEM students at HBCUs, researchers shared their findings from analyzing student data across higher education institutions. The scholars found that HBCUs have a unique track record of educating Black students in STEM.

“In general, we see that Black students would have been more likely to graduate from college if they attended an HBCU,” said Dr. Omari Swinton, professor of economics and chair of the department of economics at Howard University. “And if they graduated from an HBCU, they would have been more likely to have graduated into the STEM field.”

Dr. James Koch, Board of Visitors professor of economics and president emeritus at Old Dominion University, stressed another finding when looking at the parental income of students at HBCUs compared to those at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI).

“HBCUs are providing their students with much more upward economic mobility than PWIs,” said Koch.

His team compared the earnings of graduates to those of their parents to understand the long-term impact of higher education institutions on low-income students especially.

“You are well likely to be ahead of your parents’ earnings and have a greater chance that you're going to move up to the top 20% of income if you came from the bottom 20% of income when you graduate from an HBCU,” said Dr. William Spriggs, professor of economics at Howard University and chief economist to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

These kinds of metrics are often missing when colleges are ranked nationally, Spriggs added.

“Not having on that scorecard this context of student mobility and what the college is actually achieving can be misleading,” he said. “We’re looking at the long-term horizon of the student, not the short-term horizon of the scorecard.”

Yet states use similar scorecards for funding decisions to higher education institutions, which Spriggs argues puts HBCUs at a disadvantage, obscuring their importance in particular as a STEM graduate pipeline.

Spriggs added that the racial wealth gap exists among institutions in higher education, not only for individuals. PWIs generally have more resources than HBCUs, and yet HBCUs by-and-large graduate greater numbers of low-income students and students of color.

“We’re talking about HBCUs with different histories, different resources, different locations,” said Spriggs. “The one thing in common is a commitment to access, as evidenced by a very large share of low-income students at HBCUs. The common denominator is an intention to graduate our students.” 

On why HBCUs graduate so many underrepresented students, Spriggs said that intangible quality is behind the numbers.

“I can give you the ingredients of the best chefs in America. That doesn’t mean you can cook like they do. You have to have the intention,” said Spriggs. “Are you driven by purpose? Are you really trying to achieve something? And the data points to how that in and of itself is vitally important.”

Rebecca Kelliher can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: https://www.diverseeducation.com/institutions/hbcus/article/15114614/hbcu-week-shares-best-practices-on-graduating-stem-majors-applying-to-grants

Taking Action on Campus Sexual Assaults by Engaging Men

Young women are rightfully fed up with how college and university administrators handle sexual assault, and there is no better example than the protests currently happening at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Last week, a 17-year-old freshman girl was raped, beaten, and left on the front lawn of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house by a 19-year-old male student. The fraternity, also known as Fiji, has a history of sexual assault on the campus well known to both the students and administrators. In 2017, Fiji was given a multi-year suspension following an investigation that concluded the fraternity had engaged in misconduct that “included reckless alcohol use, hazing and inappropriate sexually based behavior, including a pattern of sexually harassing conduct.”

This incident comes at a time of year on college campuses known as the “Red Zone,” the first weeks of the fall semester when campus sexual assaults are most likely to occur. More than 50% of all of the sexual assaults that will occur during the school year happen between when students arrive on campus and Thanksgiving break. Freshman and transfer students are most likely to be victimized during this time because of their inexperience with college life and campus party culture and an absence of a tight-knit social circle who will watch out for them.Tracey VitchersTracey Vitchers

This year was already predicted by experts to be a “Double Red Zone” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Institutions of higher education reopening after a year of remote learning will be welcoming a new class of freshmen to campus. These freshmen are also joined by students who are academically sophomores, but are socially freshmen because they “zoomed” their first year of study remotely. Combine two classes of students who are new to campus with returning juniors and seniors anxious to make up for lost time partying with friends, and colleges have a crisis of sexual assault on their hands.

The Double Red Zone prediction is terrifyingly becoming a reality on college campuses, as exemplified by what’s going on at the University of Nebraska Lincoln campus. It’s also sparking a resurgence of on-campus anti-sexual assault activism in a post-pandemic world. Thousands of students have shown up at the #ShutDownFiji protests at University of Nebraska Lincoln. What feels different this time is that not only are the young women on campus organizing in support of the survivor, they are also demanding accountability from both the institution and men on campus for the prevention of sexual assault. A post on the @ShutDownFiji Instagram page reads, “We want to emphasize that the #shutdownfiji movement is an attempt to hold UNL accountable for their culpability in the sexual assaults that have happened at Fiji over the last four years.”

Their demands speak to the failure of most colleges and universities to hold themselves and their campus community accountable for facing tough truths about what it will take to end campus sexual assault. If University of Nebraska Lincoln and other institutions truly want to prevent campus sexual violence, they can begin by engaging young men in preventing sexual violence and to holding those who perpetrate violence accountable for their actions.

As a society we’ve accepted the awful reality that 1 in 4 young women will be sexually assaulted during their time on campus. The truth colleges and universities need to confront in their prevention efforts is that the vast majority of these sexual assaults are committed by young men who are also a part of the campus community.

Most colleges avoid acknowledging this fact in their prevention education programs in a misguided effort to not make men feel bad, or that they may be a part of the problem of campus rape culture. This approach prioritizes the psychological comfort of young men over the physical safety of young women, which ultimately undermines any effort to create a violence-free community. Institutions need to be honest about the fact that a potential perpetrator of campus sexual assault could look and act like the clean-cut, overly friendly guy from a student’s Econ 101 class, rather than a nameless shadow figure who follows a girl home from the bar at night.

This is not to say that schools should be labeling all college men as potential rapists. Research shows that most young men will never commit an act of sexual assault during their time on campus. But if schools are going to truly work to prevent sexual assault, they cannot continue to ignore the data that indicate 85% of survivors know their perpetrator. And, guess what? Young men on campus know the perpetrators too. They just don’t know how to intervene when they see the signs of sexual harassment or potential assault because they haven’t received a proper education in prevention. Requiring students to hurriedly click through an online sexual assault awareness and bystander intervention training before they can register for classes isn’t prevention - it’s institutional risk management.

Additionally, the rape-avoidance “talk” for young women focused on self-policing their clothes and behavior has become a normal part of their college experience. But similar talks with young men about steps they must take to prevent assault, such as lessons on consent and bystander intervention, are not happening frequently enough. When colleges and universities emphasize rape avoidance over prevention in their messaging, they simultaneously uphold structural sexism and ignore the role young men can play in combatting sexual violence.

College men are often in the best position to be a part of the solution if they are educated on sexual assault and the role they can play in preventing it. They know which teammate brags about his questionable sexual encounters in the locker room. They can easily tell you which fraternity brother drinks too much at rush parties and makes aggressive, uninvited passes at freshman girls. But most young men do not feel empowered to intervene because of a combination of peer pressure, lack of education and skill building, and lack of institutional accountability for those who commit sexual violence.

It’s also not sufficient for colleges to solely invest their efforts in support services for survivors. Supporting survivors is critical. However, institutions will not solve campus sexual assault if they are focused only on mitigating the consequences, and not addressing the causes. A comprehensive approach includes both support and prevention on campuses. And, prevention includes removing, either temporarily or permanently, students and student groups who perpetrate sexual assault. Being a part of a campus community is a privilege, not a right, and colleges do a disservice to the safety of all of their students if they allow those who have been found to have committed sexual assault through a Title IX process to continue live and learn among their peers. In not removing a perpetrator from campus they risk the student perpetrating again and they send the harmful message to other students that sexual assault isn’t a serious enough infraction to warrant suspension or expulsion.

With the Double Red Zone this fall, it’s time for colleges and universities to start having tough conversations about the roles men can play in both enforcing and combatting campus rape culture. It’s time for schools to start acknowledging the ways they uphold institutional sexism in how they approach sexual violence prevention. It’s time for the higher education community to commit to creating a culture of prevention and accountability. 

Tracey Vitchers is  executive director of It's On Us, a campus sexual assault prevention organization launched by then Vice President Biden during the Obama Administration.        

Read more: https://www.diverseeducation.com/opinion/article/15114612/taking-action-on-campus-sexual-assaults-by-engaging-men



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