Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
Detroit civil rights leader Dr. Claude Young, personal physician to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a cousin of the city’s first African American mayor, Coleman A. Young, died Tuesday at his home. Dr. Young, who had been battling cancer, was a former chairman of the board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the famed civil rights organization cofounded by Dr. King. Dr. Young, who was also a power broker in Michigan politics and in the national Democratic Party. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 December 2011 13:36
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
The Michigan Chronicle expresses its deepest sympathy to Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3) founders Paul Huxley and Cindy Pasky and the entire S3 family on the death of father and friend, Frank Huxley.
The 93 year-old trailblazer was a World War II pilot, who served as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s personal pilot following the war. The hard-working veteran later held jobs as a Detroit Public Schools science teacher and a nurse. He also served as a Scoutmaster, enriching the lives of the many young men he mentored.
Mr. Huxley is survived by his sons, Paul Huxley, former S3 CFO and current board chairman; Ken Huxley, a commissioned colonel in the Air Force who currently is a senior recruiter at S3; and Mike Huxley, vice president of Human Resources at S3; Dave Huxley and Tom Huxley.
Paul Huxley’s wife, Cindy Pasky, is president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2011 01:31
Category: News Briefs Written by Andrew Losen, Chronicle Web Editor
Detroit lost an irreplaceable advocate with the passing of James Garavaglia, senior vice president of corporate public affairs and community reinvestment at Comerica, Inc. last week.
Garavaglia, an ardent Detroit supporter, invested in many community-based initiatives aimed at improving Detroit’s neighborhoods, including the Michigan Chronicle’s award-winning Homefront section, nearing its 20th year of publication this year.
“I not only respected Jim as a business leader, but recognized him as a friend,” said Sam Logan, publisher of the Michigan Chronicle.
“Jim helped to ensure the financial viability of our organization by signing one of the largest advertising contracts in our newspaper’s history,” said Jackie Berg, originator of the Comerica-supported Homefront section and chief marketing officer (CMO) of the Michigan Chronicle.
“His decision to support the Chronicle garnered the attention of corporate leaders once unwilling to advertise in the Black press, and is largely responsible for our market strength today,” added Logan.
Garavaglia, who suffered from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, was the president of the Wayne State University Alumni Association and served on the boards of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Opera Theatre and Metropolitan Affairs Coalition.
He also was a member of the Executive Committee of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and a charter member of the University Musical Society Corporate Council.
In his role as senior vice president of Comerica Bank, he was responsible for corporate-wide government relations, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) compliance, and fair lending compliance.
“His integrity in performing those many roles set him apart from other leaders,” said Logan. “Jim had an uncanny ability to operate with an uncommon sense of honor, respect and dignity, even when he didn’t agree with you.”
The death of James Garavaglia will be felt throughout Detroit. We’ve lost a legend and a friend.
Sam Logan is publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. Jackie Berg is the chief marketing officer.
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 December 2011 15:39
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
IndyCar racing will once again rev up Detroit’s Belle Isle with the announcement that Chevrolet has inked a multi-year agreement with the Penske Corporation and INDYCAR to bring professional motorsports back to the Motor City.
For the first time in four years, the popular racing series will make its way back to the city under the title of the first Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix held June 1-3, 2012 at the picturesque 2.1-mile raceway at Belle Isle Park road course.
“Chevrolet has a long, storied history in IndyCar racing,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “This year we celebrated the shared centennial of Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500. We’re excited to see that history continue with the help of Penske Corporation and INDYCAR bringing back open-wheel racing to Detroit in 2012. This city is a natural for racing — it put the world on wheels — so the roar of engines is something that simply belongs here.”
Detroit’s Belle Isle Park will host four races during the three-day event, including:
• The Chevrolet Indy Grand Prix presented by shopautoweek.com, where Chevrolet’s new twin-turbo V-6 race engines will compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series
• The Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Challenge where Chevrolet Daytona Prototypes and Camaros will compete in the first GRAND-AM Rolex Series race held on Belle Isle
• The Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle, where Cadillac CTS-Vs will compete in the second Pirelli World Challenge series race held on Belle Isle
• The Firestone Indy Light Series race, featuring the rising stars of open-wheel racing
“Chevrolet has been instrumental in bringing motorsports back to Detroit,” said Penske Corp. Chairman Roger Penske. “The Grand Prix will draw international attention and visitors to Belle Isle, which is one of the most-scenic race venues in the United States. We believe the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be one of the most-popular races in the IZOD IndyCar Series and will play a major role in continuing the renaissance of Detroit.”
IndyCar racing has developed a global audience. The 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, which concluded Oct. 16, included 17 events in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Japan, reaching an estimated television audience of 191 million people in 200 countries.
The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was last held in 2007 and 2008. According to estimates from the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, those two events combined attracted more than 200,000 visitors, and brought more than $100 million into the Detroit Metro economy.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring the Detroit Grand Prix back to Belle Isle,” said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. “Thanks to the support of INDYCAR, Penske Corporation and Chevrolet, we will once again host one of the world’s most prestigious motorsports events.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 17:29
Category: News Briefs Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Johnny L. DuPree, current mayor of Hattiesburg, Miss., and its first African American mayor, is on a historic journey and if the political tide is in his favor, DuPree will become the first African American governor of Mississippi.
Already DuPree, a Democrat, has made history by being the first African American nominated by either party for the governorship of a state that sits at the heart of the dark days of Jim Crow. He defeated Clarksdale attorney and developer Bill Luckett in a Democratic primary runoff to face current Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant in the Nov. 8 general election.
But the question remains whether Mississippi can redeem itself from its sordid past by electing DuPree to become the first Black to be named chief executive officer of the state. DuPree said it is more than a redemption question. It is about who can do the best job for the citizens of Mississippi.
“I think Mississippi is ready for change. I think Mississippi is ready for the person that can come in and help effect a change in the state,” DuPree said in an exclusive interview with the Michigan Chronicle during a recent stop in Detroit to galvanize support for his November battle. “I don’t think that people are sitting around saying ‘you know I think I want an African American governor. People are sitting around saying I want a job. I want a house. I want my children educated. If he happens to be Black, hallelujah.”
However, DuPree laughed when asked if his election to the top post in Mississippi will be a public relations coup for the state because of how it could change the perception of outsiders about the southern state’s long and troubling racial history.
He replied, “I would think so. The reality is reality. History is history. There hadn’t been an African American statewide elected office holder although we have more African American elected officials than any other state. There has been a barrier that has not allowed us to be a statewide elected office holder.”
With the sweltering economy and its devastating impact on the lives of ordinary people, DuPree said he wants to make an improvement to people’s lives, and that he is going to go to Jack son to do just that.
“Although I’m proud to be African American, I can tell you that. I’m proud that Mississippi residents chose me to be the Democratic nominee,” DuPree said. “I think Mississippi should be proud. I believe they saw through all of this, the sordid history.”
DuPree said the current state of affairs in Mississippi shows that the state has fallen short on his platform of jobs, education, health care and small business development.
“We are struggling to balance the budget. That is why over the last five years the state has cut education by over 300 million dollars. That should not be cut,” DuPree said. “We have to find ways to increase revenue in the state.”
He said as mayor of Hattiesburg he’s running on executive experience because “states are just a mirror of cities.”
He cited, for example, that his city has gone through devastating economic times including Hurricane Katrina but “we haven’t laid off anybody and we didn’t raise taxes either. That is because we went through every department and found creative ways to sustain and increase services.”
According to DuPree, his state is slipping on the economic index as a job creator and he wants to bring in more small businesses that will help create jobs.
“We have to make sure small businesses, which are the backbone of the economy, get our support,” DuPree said. “These are the businesses that pay the taxes. They stay in our state and they don’t take the jobs out of town.”
DuPree had a stint in corporate America working for Sears and he understands how and why corporations get all the incentives and tax breaks.
“We have to do a better job of giving incentives to our small businesses,” DuPree said adding that the Occupy Wall Street protests ongoing in New York signal a sense of urgency to tackle education, the economy and other hot button issues that are affecting people.
He said a key priority for him when elected will be to ensure that companies that come to his state hire Mississippi contractors and businesses. That, he said, is the way to get the economy of the state sustaining and keeping jobs in the state rather than the jobs being exported.
Given the uniqueness of the gubernatorial campaign, it’s unclear if Democrats in Washington are seizing on the opportunity of the governor’s campaign in a place like Mississippi.
“I’ve spoken with DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. We have a good relationship and she has pledged to do what she can,” DuPree said.
Even though his opponent has a bigger campaign war chest than he does, DuPree said that’s always been his advantage.
“During the primary my opponent spent well over a million dollars and we spent about 400,000 dollars,” he explained. “We received more votes. What we do have is people who believe in a message. We have people who believe that I can’t do worse.”
He said his campaign is a people’s campaign because on the campaign trail voters are looking for somebody trustworthy and with good judgment who will identify with the bread and butter issues they are dealing with.
“We have people who believe it’s time for a change so they voted for us. So I think they are going to vote again. Money is important and I don’t want to downplay that. That is why I’m in Detroit. If I tell people money is not important, they’ll take the check home.”
Yet DuPree’s campaign has been about volunteers and ordinary people who have trust that he will be a different kind of candidate.
Coming as the first Black to be nominated by a major party in Mississippi since Reconstruction, DuPree has a unique story that gets people’s attention and has endeared him to many voters.
“I’ll never forget my first job. I worked as a newspaper carrier for Ms. Lillie’s Newspaper Stand, who worked for the Hattiesburg American. Ms. Lillie claimed that I was one of the most dedicated paper carriers she had,” he recalled.
“I don’t know if I was the best carrier, but I do know that I tried. I left for work every day wanting to be the best paperboy that Ms. Lillie had, mainly because I was aware that I was representing her. It wasn’t just my reputation that was on the line. If I didn’t perform well, not only did it look bad on me, but it would also be a poor reflection of her and the company that she was trying to build.”
He continued, “Her slogan, ‘Rain, shine, sleet or snow, Lillie’s papers gotta go,’ became a powerful lesson for me, and this slogan has guided many of the decisions that I’ve made throughout my life. No matter the circumstances, I had to be determined to do my best, whether I was mowing yards, bagging groceries, washing cars or working at the slaughterhouse.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 16:52
Category: News Briefs Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
W.E.B. DuBois reminded us in his dictum that the “problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line,” something that is not lost on the memory of a lot of people, but not for those who are living in their own version of George Orwell’s “Sugarcandy Mountain,” depicted in “Animal Farm” as a place with no problems and an abundance of every necessity.
But the rest of us who are not in denial understand and know all too well that racism is the child of America’s birth defect — slavery — and continues to be a major issue in an ever-evolving union seeking to be viewed as colorblind in light of the election of the first African American president.
That is why news of Republican Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry owning an exclusive family ranch in Texas named “Niggerhead” deeply troubles many people. It is a slap in the face of the many honest and diligent people — White and Black alike — who have dedicated their lives to creating racial harmony and fighting to ensure social and economic parity.
After the Washington Post broke the story about how Perry in his early political days took lawmakers and other leaders to the ranch, the Republican candidate offered a very late apology for a word that is innately offensive to African Americans, and a throwback to the dark days. The right wing attack machine, in typical fashion, began attacking the Post reporter, claiming she has a history of writing racially charged stories.
But that’s beside the issue because the ranch exposed to the nation is now part of Perry evolving biography on the national stage and he can’t run away from that. Just as presidential candidate Mit Romney can’t run away from the health care law he created in Massachusetts — that in many ways resembles President Obama’s landmark health law — Perry cannot run away from the “Niggerhead” ranch he’s been enjoying all these years without the scrutiny of the public. It is important to know who else visited that ranch. Maybe as the story continues to unfold, some lawmakers and past guests to the ranch will come forward and confess and tell more about the exclusive hideout with a name that smells of the stench of racism.
While Perry quickly came out and condemned the past name of the ranch, stating that it’s been painted over, his problem is he never came forward to admit it previously, Maybe we may get a race speech from Perry just as candidate Obama was forced to do at the National Constitution Center during the 2008 campaign at the height of the Jeremiah Wright scandal.
Perry cannot deny his past. He has bragged about his upbringing in an exclusive White environment in the South and how that has influenced his strong conservative values.
But to be the president of the United States in 2012, one has to offer more than an exclusive White Southern upbringing. The Southern strategy worked before but America is increasingly becoming more diverse. This is an age where the Southern strategy cannot thrive the way it used to.
That explains why the Republican Party is fretting over the ranch scandal because it is a sordid reminder of conservative stalwarts who unashamedly in the past used racism and the Southern strategy as a trump card for national office.
Though I have no reason to believe that Perry is a racist, he must come clean and admit whatever is in his past and move on. Just as candidate Obama admitted in 2008 in his race speech that his White grandmother had fear of Black men, this is Perry’s moment of truth to not only explain the ranch, but also the latest story about his support of Confederate symbols in the past.
In fact, Texas right now under Perry is considering whether to allow speciality license plates featuring the Confederate flag. The Associated Press reported that the plates have been requested by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a nonprofit organization Perry has supported over the years.
The man seeking the highest office in the land must offer more to the nation than symbols of slavery like Confederate flag license plates. While the politics of the Confederate flag will help Perry get some votes in the deep South, it still makes him appear like a candidate who belongs to the Old South. In essence, the more silent he is on an issue that has been the defining point of America’s struggle for civil and human rights, the more he belongs to the past.
And how can a nation that prides itself as a paragon of the ideals of justice seek to elect a man president who’s allegedly shown tolerance for racially hurtful symbols?
The idea that America has come a long way is bastardized by Perry’s reluctance to tackle this issue head on. And doing so is not just issuing a one-line statement to the media about a ranch that he’s been visiting and hosting guests at.
The Perry campaign tried to diffuse the story by stating that Perry hired more African Americans in Texas government than any other governor. But what does that have to do with owning the “Niggerhead” ranch or getting ready to possibly create specially made license plates showing the Confederate flag?
The Christianity in Perry — he has branded himself the evangelical candidate in the race by organizing a 30,00 strong prayer rally before he announced his candidacy — biblically requires him to defend the poor, the weak and the oppressed.
And in doing so he must identify with the issues that affect the vulnerable and oppressed communities. Structural inequality is still an ever present problem that must not be swept under the rug. There comes a time when you have to stand face-to-face with the truth.
Herman Cain, the lone African American Republican presidential candidate in the race, condemned Perry, calling him “insensitive” when news of the ranch reached him. But Cain, after receiving a verbal whopping from conservative media leader Rush Limbaugh, quickly dismissed the issue, stating he was fine with Perry’s one-line apology statement.
That raises questions about the sincerity of Cain’s original statements and whether he was just politicking the issue, after a week of calling most African Americans “brainwashed” for being loyal to the Democratic Party. Rick Perry should do us all a favor by coming clean on the ranch and the Confederate flag license plate proposal issues. He should man up and step to the podium and give this issues the time and attention they deserve, as would be required of anyone who wants to be the next leader of the free world. It just makes sense.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2011 16:05
Category: News Briefs Written by Sam Logan, Chronicle Publisher
It’s not easy to start a business, let alone manage 15 years of successive organizational growth in today’s economic environment.
That’s why it’s important that we pause to honor ProCare Health Plan CEO Robin Cole and her staff on her company’s many remarkable achievements and the milestone of ProCare Health Plan’s 15th anniversary.
ProCare Health Plan, which provides critical healthcare services to the Medicaid population of Wayne County, has grown to earn the respect and recognition of many of Michigan’s top healthcare, business and political leaders, including the Michigan Chronicle.
As the state’s only female African American-owned HMO, Cole is in a unique position. ProCare Health Plan has proven ability to not only reach the neediest residents of Detroit and Wayne County, but to get them into the healthcare system earlier and keep them on critical healthcare regiments. Her efforts have helped to ramp down escalating healthcare costs and are now serving as an important healthcare model in Michigan. Proactive Leadership
In order to thrive in today’s hyper-sensitive economy, Michigan’s leaders must not only address the many pressing issues of today, but must also look forward and anticipate and take action to address tomorrow’s challenges.
Robin Cole, RN, MSN, MBA, is an outspoken healthcare advocate and has been on the leading edge of community-based initiatives to stem rising obesity rates and associated health conditions in Detroit. And we look to ProCare to continue to be a trailblazer on the many critical health conditions impacting our readers.
We need more leaders like Robin Cole and the opportunity to celebrate more important achievements like this in Detroit. We have become a healthier community due to ProCare’s many efforts. Bravo! Coming: Pictorial highlights from the 15th anniversary event.
Editor’s Note: Professional Medical Center (also owned by Robin Cole) served more than 30,000 residents last year alone through the five medical centers located throughout Detroit. ProCare Plus, the subsidiary of Pro Care HMO, has provided healthcare services to more than 10,000 underinsured, uninsured and indigent Wayne County residents since 2004.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2011 16:01
Category: News Briefs Written by ETECH
On Oct. 5-6, the MGM Grand Detroit Hotel, located at 1777 Third Street, will be the site for the 12th Annual Global Automotive and Energy Summit, hosted by Rainbow/PUSH and Citizenship Education Fund.
This year’s theme is “One Set of Rules: Leveling the Playing Field.” There will be expert speakers and panelists throughout the two-day event.
For registration information, call (313) 842- 3883. Rev. Jesse Jackson is founder and president of Rainbow/PUSH.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 October 2011 16:10
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
Reading Works is an organization dedicated to raising the level of adult literacy in metropolitan Detroit and promoting the idea that reading does indeed work, in the family and in the workplace. The Depth of the Problem Metro Detroit has suffered exceptional job loss as manufacturing decreased in the last decade and the number of jobs available to unskilled and uneducated labor has declined dramatically. The emerging economy is technology-driven, with demand for employees who read and write well and have computer skills, English fluency and a positive work ethic.
Yet according to the National Institute for Literacy, “Forty-seven percent of adults in the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate, with staggering rates recorded in some of the suburbs as well: Southfield at 24 percent and both Inkster and Pontiac at 34 percent.” These adults are not acceptable employees in the new economic arena and not able to nurture a family learning environment for the region’s children, many of whom show severe deficiencies in reading and math.
A study by the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce clearly shows a dearth in adult literacy services overall, especially for learners at the lowest levels.
Public and private funding for adult literacy and job training agencies is inadequate, inconsistent and unpredictable. Further reductions in public funding for adult literacy programs are anticipated, adding to the burden of service providers who are constantly scrounging for funding, have long waiting lists and are unable to meet the needs of adult learners.
And while increasingly robust efforts are being made on behalf of early childhood preparedness, more rigorous school curriculum, high school graduation rates and remedial help as needed in higher education, there is no cohesive, consistent effort on behalf of illiterate adults.
Reading Works will supply that missing piece.
Reading Works’ Collaborative Model Reading Works has set this goal: 80 by ’20.
By the year 2020, at least 80 per cent of adults in metro Detroit – Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties – will read at a ninth-grade level or above.
The Reading Works Alliance(RWA) — the growing number of community partners who support Reading Works — has created a comprehensive model to distribute consistent funding and services to selected, qualified adult literacy providers.
Reading Works goes beyond a supply-drive program that simply distributes funding. The model is demand-driven by motivated learners who see the benefits of significantly improving their literacy skills. And Reading Works’ media partners will campaign to support adult literacy with the public – and public policy-makers.
Reading Works will: • Fund literacy providers that can increase their capacities and show outcomes. Agencies funded by Reading Works will increase the number of adult learners they serve, improve retention rates and provide personal guidance to learners as they advance to higher levels. Measured outcomes will include the number of adult learners who enter programs, how many remain engaged to reach higher reading levels, and how many progress to job-readiness training, vocational training, GED-prep level and secondary education.
• Link literacy providers and other social services. This will remove barriers that prevent many learners from staying engaged and moving forward to employment that can sustain a family. Many learners need help with transportation, child care, health care, vision screening and eyeglasses. These services are currently provided inconsistently and in isolation. In the Reading Works model, funding will be allocated and partnerships formed to make these services available. • Establish a network among literacy providers to share best practices. This will be done with newsletters, conferences, Web site updates and inter-agency communication facilitated by Reading Works.
• Help providers strengthen the connection between learners and skilled work. Reading Works will work with businesses and civic organizations to offer mentoring, job shadowing and apprenticeships as appropriate to the level of skill of the adult learner.
• Provide a mass media campaign to raise public awareness. The RWA will use its high-profile media members to great effect and will encourage community leaders in business, sports, entertainment, media, and the non-profit sector to participate in the social marketing of Reading Works. The public campaign will begin with a splash – and will be ongoing.
The Reading Works Alliance was created by community leaders and organizations who agreed to work together. Those involved come from major media (including the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Media Partnership, WXYZ Channel 7 and the Michigan Chronicle), non-profits, private businesses and educational institutions. And more leaders are coming aboard.
The RWA created its board of directors to steer strategic plans, raise funds, engage technical advisors and award and monitor grants to agencies that meet criteria including skill, record of success and ability to find partnerships and provide incentives for learners to remain engaged in literacy training. The RWA and its advisors conducted rigorous site evaluations of grantees’ capacity, facilities, curriculum, instructional materials and financial documentation.
The demand-driven strategy is a product of more than a year of research, planning and assessment of community assets by the RWA. It has benefited from the counsel and expertise of major community support organizations, such as United Way for Southeast Michigan, Michigan Works, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund. The RWA researched the work of the Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy in New York, consulted with Pro Literacy America and engaged Detroit native James Wile, Ph.D., an international literacy consultant based in Washington, D.C. Funding Goals: Short-Term Urgency, Plus Sustainability Reading Works will ensure that motivated adults in metro Detroit have access to high-quality service providers, conveniently situated, at minimal or no personal expense. To accomplish that, significant new and consistent funding is urgently required. Reading Works will begin funding selected agencies by January 2012 and expand the program in future years.
The RWA recognizes two major challenges to sustainability: long-term funding and management of the program. Funds, volunteers and other resources will be provided via partnerships with philanthropists, foundations, civic organizations and the business community. The RWA will raise $10 million by 2016 to provide stable funding to literacy providers, scale up the program and build an endowment so Reading Works can be a lasting community resource.
The RWA board will act as fiduciary to disburse financial resources and monitor service providers through an executive director position, plus advisors, consultants and volunteer help. The RWA will publish reports and audits on the Reading Works Web site as well as through other media. Accountability and transparency will be priorities. Establishing Detroit as the National Leader In its extensive research, the RWA did not find another initiative with a similar approach anywhere in the country — or anything on the scale of Reading Works. Detroit is well-positioned to be the national leader in addressing the challenges of adult literacy.
Any materials, best practices, case studies and action research, plus qualitative and quantitative empirical research generated through Reading Works will be accessible to the public as shared intellectual property. The RWA has established ties to institutions of higher education, notably including Wayne State University in Detroit and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
WSU will establish an Office of Adult Literacy, which will be housed on the Wayne State campus. The Office of Adult Literacy will be the hub of a partnership between Reading Works and the university. It will be managed by a WSU adult literacy specialist. The office will develop research opportunities that address adult literacy and related issues, organize local and regional conferences and forums, offer service and service-learning opportunities for students, create a data repository for the academic study of literacy best practices, and build a library of materials and resources for use by service providers and community partners. From this office, the university will take the lead in organizing a national symposium on adult literacy to be held in September 2013. This event will attract interested parties, educators and literacy professionals from the nation and the world, coming together in common cause to identify issues, solutions and best practices.
The Reading Works executive director will partner with the Wayne State Office of Adult Literacy and manage the Reading Works initiative. The director will assist and assess local literacy providers, help agencies link to social services, coordinate fundraising and publish regular data-driven reports.
Measuring Success: It’s Not Just About Numbers
Reading Works’ most important outcomes will be evident in compelling personal success stories as adults learn, gain confidence and contribute to the community. Detroit Free Press Columnist Rochelle Riley has been writing about adult literacy for a decade. She once shared the story of a woman who dropped out after being called “lazy and stupid” by a high-school teacher. “The class laughed,” the woman said. “I cried.” At age 33, after her daughter was born, she entered the Mercy Education Project, one of the literacy providers affiliated with Reading Works. She wanted her daughter to see her as “a positive woman in her life … and a woman of education.”
After her learning disabilities were diagnosed, she made progress, earned her GED, and then enrolled in higher education.
Reading Works will generate many more inspirational stories. It will reflect the great spirit of metro Detroit, its commitment to urban renaissance, and the grit and determination of its people.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 October 2011 15:52
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
On Sept. 22, officials at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) broke ground for a new 40,000 square-foot Student Fitness Center on the McNichols Campus. It marks the first new, freestanding building on the campus in more than 40 years, according to UDM president Antoine M. Garibaldi. “It is most appropriate that the new facility’s primary focus will be on the health and well-being of our students,” Garibaldi said. “UDM emphasizes the importance of developing a well-rounded individual, with a focus not just on the intellectual, but also the spiritual, social and physical well-being of our students.”
The fitness center, located on the east side of the Engineering Building, will feature a two-court gymnasium for recreation and intramural sports such as basketball, volleyball, badminton and floor hockey; an elevated three-lane track; a group exercise room; men’s and women’s locker rooms and restrooms; a lobby and student lounge and a “smoothie bar.”
“The new Student Fitness Center will provide more opportunities for our students to enrich their college experience, providing both health and social benefits,” said William C. Young, member of the UDM Board of Trustees, and president and CEO of Plastipak Packaging, Inc. and Absopure Water.
The new fitness center will echo the collegiate Spanish architectural themes found on the university’s other buildings.
The center will face the Kassab Mall, in close proximity to the university’s new tennis complex and pavilion, practice fields, residence halls and historic Calihan Hall. The center is expected to open next fall.
This latest development is coming on the heels of the appointment of Garibaldi as UDM president. A national scholar in higher education, Garibaldi’s career spans more than 35 years as a tenured professor, accomplished researcher and educational administrator. He served as president of Gannon University and was the first provost and chief academic officer at Howard University in Washington, DC.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 October 2011 15:38
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