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    We are the Watusi PDF Print E-mail
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    Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 11.25.33 AMRecently there has been considerable buzz about the White House Summit with college and university leaders. This group met to discuss ways to increase the entrance and success of low income students in college. The event was dominated by schools deemed the best in the nation, those with the strongest students, lots of money and influence, and great rankings. In many ways that makes perfect sense. The actions of higher education’s elite institutions command media attention that ensures this important topic becomes part of the nation’s agenda.

    The frank discussions about college access and success of low-income students also allow the nation to confront reality. A 2011 study by the Pell Institute suggested the threat of income-based inequality in education is a key obstacle in reaching President Obama’s 2020 education goal. The facts are shocking. Bachelor’s degree attainment by age 24 for dependent students from the bottom half of the income distribution was only 12%. The same group from the top half had a rate of 58.8%.

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    Inspiring 2010 DU Graduate Touches the Lives of Others PDF Print E-mail
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    Meet Chief Judge Carl Stewart '71 PDF Print E-mail
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    Chief Judge Carl Stewart


    Growing up, he was forced to attend segregated schools, required to use “colored only” restrooms and water fountains, and made to sit at the back of the bus. At age 3, Stewart watched as white church leaders blocked his parents’ efforts to buy their first home because they didn’t want black people as neighbors. Retail stores refused to let him try on clothes. Customers at his first job in college routinely used the N-word in front of him.

    He quietly admits that he continues to experience racial profiling, even today.

    But in the eyes of many, those experiences make Stewart the perfect person to preside over the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals—one of the most controversial, rancorous, dysfunctional, staunchly conservative and important appellate courts in the country.

    It is also a court with three current vacancies—President Barack Obama has announced one nomination to fill one of those slots—and there’s a strong possibility the president will have three more openings before he leaves office, leading many to predict a radical ideological change is in store.

    Stewart, 64, is the first African-American chief judge of the 5th Circuit. He serves on the powerful federal Judicial Conference, is vice president of the prestigious American Inns of Court and, until recently, chaired the Federal Rules Committee. There is scant dispute that this quiet, amiable lawyer from northern Louisiana is one of the most influential federal judges in the nation.

    As for the bitterness and racism that has surrounded him over the decades?

    “Sticks and stones,” he quickly interjects, even before the question is fully asked.

    “I don’t see why so many people even today are so bitter or always picking fights over politics or race or whatever and I refuse to play their game,” says Stewart. “People who constantly cause conflict and stress, those are unhappy people.”

    The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit, which fields its appellate cases from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, tests Stewart’s dislike for conflict as a matter of routine. The court has before it now, or in the pipeline in the district courts below it, cases challenging gun laws, restrictions on abortions, organized prayer in public schools, affirmative action efforts by local governments, challenges under the Voting Rights Act, opposition to federal environmental regulations and enforcement efforts, disputes about the implementation of the death penalty and renewed challenges to Obamacare, not to mention review of the varied and massive BP oil spill litigations.

    Click here to read more at the ABA Journal website.

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    Kiki Baker Barnes makes Black History PDF Print E-mail
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    kbb-ad-headshot-2013Congratulations on being named President of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). You’re the first African-American “Female” to be given the title. How does it feel to be a history maker? Thank you. I didn’t set out to make history. My goal has always been to work really hard and be excellent in the process; as a result, I have received accolades such as this one. I am very competitive and I desire to be the best at what I do. I have learned over the years that success comes through sacrifice, hard work and faith.

    Click here to read more at brassybrown.com








     
    Dillard University Professor John Barnes at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor PDF Print E-mail
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    "Eschatology", the artwork of John Barnes, Jr., Assistant Professor of Art, Dillard University - opening reception and interview at the Baugh Center for Visual Arts, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas.


     
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