Celebrities Rally for Educational Equity at WISE Summit

DOHA, Qatar —

Two well-known celebrities outlined new efforts underway through their individual foundations to improve the economic and educational outcomes for youngsters throughout the world.

Grammy award-winning sensation Shakira Mebarak, whose known simply by her first name, told the more than 3,000 delegates at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) that her charity—The Barefoot Foundation—  has built schools in rural areas of her native Colombia, to provide learning opportunities for poor children.

“Most of you may know me as an artist, as an entertainer, and that’s indeed my calling and what I have been doing since I was 13-years-old,” said Mebarak who addressed the opening plenary on Thursday morning. “But I never would have imagined when I started out that my work as an artist would end up being the vehicle for me to serve my greater purpose in life of working toward eradicating poverty through the power of education.”

Too many children in Colombia, Mebarak said, are born into a society where “a few have a lot, a lot have almost nothing, and if you’re born poor, you will almost certainly die poor.”

Shakira Mebarak

Too many individuals, she charged, do not have access to equal opportunities, “and because of that, generation after generation, after generation live trapped in the same vicious cycle fed by prejudice, and inaction,” she added.

As a youngster, Mebarak recounted watching many of her peers turn away from school because they lacked needed resources. She pledged that once she acquired wealth “the first thing I wanted to do was to invest as many resources as I could into what would later become the most meaningful project of my life, working for children,” she said, “to help right the wrongs that I had witnessed my entire childhood. ”

The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer said that “facts don’t lie and numbers show what an incredible return on investment a quality education provides,” she said. 

Her appearance at the WISE Summit, now in its 10th year, was yet another indication of the organization’s global reach. In 2015, Mic

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/160645/

Booker Proposes Bill to Support Student Parents at Community Colleges and Minority Serving Institutions

Dr. Daria J. Willis, president of Everett Community College, was an undergraduate at Florida A&M University when her daughter was born. During nights and weekends, when Willis took classes, childcare facilities in the area weren’t open so she had to send her daughter to live in Georgia with her mother for a semester. At one point, Willis was working three jobs to pay for tuition, food and the needs of her toddler. Her Pell grant only helped so much.

“I just remember the experience being difficult, expensive,” she said.

New legislation – introduced by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday – could improve student life for struggling parents. The Preparing and Resourcing Our Student Parents and Early Childhood Teachers Act, or the PROSPECT Act, would offer competitive grants to community colleges and minority serving institutions to create free childcare options for student parents. Institutions could apply for up to $20 million in funding.

Dr. Daria Willis

The presidential candidate’s bill would also make more students eligible for the Child Care Development Block Grant subsidy – a federal and state program that helps low-income families pay for childcare. It require colleges to inform students about the Dependent Care Allowance, as well, which enables financial aid offices to increase the education budget available to students by including childcare costs.

“Today’s college students are faced with realities that are very different than the idyllic assumptions we have of them,” Booker said in a statement. “Millions are raising kids and have enrolled in college to improve their life circumstances for their children, but too many are forced to drop out because quality childcare is unavailable or unaffordable, leaving them without a degree and saddled with student debt.”

Willis described the legislation as “all positives” and the “best thing one could ask for at this point.”

“Just the thought of being able to expand those opportunities for students would be awesome, she said. “Because I remember what it was like myself, and it was a very difficult journey.”

Parents make up a significant portion of today&r

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/160667/

Dr. Michael V. Drake Announces Retirement from OSU Presidency

Dr. Michael V. Drake, who made history in 2014 when he was named the first African-American president of The Ohio State University, announced on Thursday that he will retire from the post at the end of the 2019-2020 academic school year.

He and his wife Brenda will stay in the Columbus area and Drake will remain on the OSU faculty.

“Ohio State is a very special place. Brenda and I are blessed to be part of the incredible Buckeye community,” said Drake, 69, a board-certified ophthalmologist who previously served as chancellor of the University of California, Irvine and prior to that served as vice chancellor for health affairs for the University of California system. “The work being done at this university through teaching, learning, research, creative expression, community engagement and leading-edge partnerships is unprecedented in our 150-year history.”

Dr. Michael V. Drake

Though a five-year stint as president of a university—particularly one as large as OSU— isn’t unusual these days, Drake’s tenure was marked by some noticeable challenges. He had to grapple with a number of public scandals, including a report that outlined disturbing allegations of a disturbing culture in the university’s marching band, where charges of sexual harassment, hazing, alcohol abuse and even rape was rampant for years. While the report led to the firing of band director Jonathan Waters, there were other issues as well, including a prominent football coach and a former team doctor accused of sexual abuse.

In his letter to the OSU community, Drake focused didn’t swell on those setbacks but focused instead on the future and lauded the many accomplishments, including record graduation rates, that took place on his watch.

“There is no better time to position a new leader for success as the state of our university has never been stronger,” he wrote. “Through your contributions and the contributions of all our students, fac

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/160654/

Howard University to Pay Tribute to the Late Congressman Elijah E. Cummings

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings

Howard University will pay tribute to the life of the late Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, who died last month.

Political analyst and Cummings’ longtime friend Donna Brazile will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies. The tribute will take place on Nov.25 at 6 p.m. in the School of Business Auditorium with seating first come, first served, according to the university.

Cummings, an alumnus of Howard, served Maryland’s 7th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 20 years. During his time at Howard, Cummings held various leadership positions including serving on the George W. Carver and Meridian Hill Hall Judiciary Board and as president and treasurer of the Howard University Student Association (HUSA).

“As we reflect on the many successes Congressman Cummings achieved during his lifetime, of greatest significance, he was present and there for his family, the less fortunate, the persecuted, the victimized, the city of Baltimore, America and Howard University,” said Howard University’s president Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. “We, here at Howard, will strive to perpetuate his legacy by taking up his clarion call and fighting for equality and justice. While devastated at the news of his passing, we are truly honored to celebrate the life of a true son of Howard.”

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/160642/

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