Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:52
Mel Duncan Founding Director Nonviolent Peaceforce
During my visit to Syria and Lebanon last May, I met with representatives of the Syrian government, religious leaders, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Hezzbolah, the nonviolent opposition, the Free Syrian Army and the UN. Most importantly I talked with refugees in Lebanon and internally displaced people in rebel held territories in Syria.
Nobody asked me, but since young folk everywhere are heading back to school, my thoughts turn to that pesky "achievement gap."
I had the opportunity, earlier this year, to do some work for the Center for School Change and, indirectly, the Minnesota State Department of Education. In so doing, I learned a lot about Dual Credit Programs that are available to high school students beginning as early as 9th grade.
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:30
Marian Wright Edelman
These are the words of an 18-year-old who recently graduated from high school in a high-poverty neighborhood in the nation's capital: "Where I live, which is Ward 7, everyone is the same . . . If you follow the crowd, you're going to end up dead or in jail because that's where most of them are. But if you're a leader and you make your own decisions, then you can set your path for life."
Two years ago when the war started in Syria, I saw my husband, my friend at the time, losing his hair by the handfuls because of the stress of watching the war in his country from overseas.
A year and a half ago he couldn't take not knowing the real situation in Syria. Despite my worry, he went to Syria; he and told me on our broken phone conversations that all was "OK" but it wasn't good in remote areas. This is my story. This is one story out of millions.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:46
Marian Wright Edelman NNPA Columnist
"You see a lot of teachers judge and stigmatize their students based on where they come from. A lot of my teachers thought that since I was from the South End of Louisville and I grew up in Section 8 housing that I wasn't capable of doing all the things that I did, and the first time that I really felt like I was someone, it was the first time my fifth grade teacher actually pulled me to the side and said, 'What can I do for you to help you as a student?' And I ask my students that now. I pull them to the side and I say, 'What can I do as an adult to help you?'. . . I feel like every time I talk to someone, I should instill something in them, and I want that in return. And that happens just through treating people with love."
Gloucester's rebellion: Another lesson about our character
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:38
Benjamin Todd Jealous
Three hundred years before a multiracial coalition stormed Washington's National Mall to demand equal rights and economic justice, the working men of Gloucester County, Va., made a stand of their own based on class, not race. We often ask whether Martin Luther King Jr. would recognize the world in 2013, but it is equally valid to ask whether he would have recognized the world of 1663, when Black and White children of slaves and servants did play together in the tobacco fields.