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Ending Virtual-School Oppression: Black Students Disproportionately Punished for Harmless Behavior At Home During Zoom Classes


Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Southern Poverty Law Center

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Isaiah Elliott was suspended from seventh grade for holding a toy gun in an online art class. Ka’Mauri Harrison, 9, faced nearly two weeks of suspension for picking up a BB gun in his own bedroom – after his brother had tripped over it. A 15-year-old girl was incarcerated for not doing her homework, which violated her parole.

All three students have at least three things in common: They were punished for normal childhood behavior, they were in their own homes at the time of their petty offenses, and they are all Black.

As Black students shifted from the classroom to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, harsher disciplinary measures that had been carried out against them at school followed them home.

“Zoom suspensions followed similar patterns to in-person classroom management tactics that feed Black students into the school-to-prison pipeline,” Cory Collins, a senior writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning for Justice program, points out in his story “It Was Always About Control.” The story is featured in the latest edition of Teaching Tolerance magazine, a publication of Learning for Justice.

Prisons and schools have much in common, says Dr. David Stovall, a professor of Black studies, criminology, law and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Hallway protocols, restrictive bathroom policies, surveillance cameras and metal detectors can be found in both places.

“It’s something a little more insidious” than the school-to-prison pipeline, Stovall says, arguing that students “are reminded based on the discipline and curriculum policies that they’re in a de facto prison in those spaces.”

It’s a particularly acute problem for Black students.

Nationally, Black students are nearly four times as likely to face suspension as white students, according to an analysis of public data by ProPublica. In Wisconsin, they are 7.5 times as likely as white students to face suspension, and roughly six times as likely in Minnesota and Connecticut.

In fact, Black students were overrepresented in every punishment measure that was evaluated in a 2018 analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, regardless of poverty level or type of school.

Whether students are learning at a distance or in person, punitive policies are harming them, Collins writes, citing academic experts and civil rights advocates. Instead, schools across the country should take a systematic approach to undoing structures that rely on compliance and punitive discipline rather than students’ learning and overall well-being.

“It’s a pathway that is sadly well-worn and very visible,” says Miriam Rollin, the director of the Education Civil Rights Alliance, which was convened by the National Center for Youth Law. “Our system is failing kids, and we need to hold that system accountable.”

Dr. Nataki Gregory, CEO of CT3, an organization that provides training focused on relationship building and student engagement with a view to higher achievement, instructs school leaders to consider who benefits from a policy and who is harmed by it.

“Because the truth is there are some of these policies that just make zero sense and have nothing to do with learning,” she says. “It’s really just about compliance or oppression. And if that’s what you’re trying to bring into the school, then you have the wrong focus.”

Collins wrote: “Before a Colorado school suspended Isaiah Elliott for holding a toy gun, they sent a police officer to his home. ‘You put his life in jeopardy,’ his mother said to the school – a school that had followed its systems and policies exactly as designed.”

Intersport Launches ‘The John Shippen’ To Identify Historical Barriers And Expand Black Representation In Golf

John Shippen became the first African-American to play in a U.S. Open in 1896, and would compete in the championship six times. (USGA Archives)

NNPA Newswire Staff Report

Intersport, in collaboration with Rocket Mortgage, Trion Solutions, Dow, The Children’s Foundation and Sommer Woods (co-founder of Woods and Watts Effect), announced the launch of a new national golf event: ‘THE JOHN SHIPPEN’ to identify historical barriers and expand Black representation in the sport of golf.

The event will be held at Detroit Golf Club from June 27 to June 28, with a one-hour TV special about THE JOHN SHIPPEN airing on CBS leading into final-round coverage of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday, July 4.

The event, designed to showcase Black collegiate and professional golfers, is named after John Shippen, Jr., who was the first American-born golf professional and also the country’s first Black golf professional.

Shippen was bestowed PGA of America membership posthumously in 2009.
THE JOHN SHIPPEN will invite the nation’s top amateur and professional Black golfers to provide a platform for heightened opportunities and recognition within the sport.
The women’s division will compete in a two-player team format, with the winning duo earning an exemption into the LPGA’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (July 14–17), which is also played as a team event.

The men’s division will be individual stroke play, and the winner will receive an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic (July 1- 4).

To ensure that any financial barriers are removed, THE JOHN SHIPPEN will cover all travel costs (airfare and hotel) for participating players.

“THE JOHN SHIPPEN aims to address barriers that have prevented talented Black golfers and aspiring business professionals from realizing their dreams of playing professional golf or working in the golf industry,” said Rocket Mortgage CEO Jay Farner.

“Rocket Mortgage is proud to support this event.”

Intersport, in conjunction with Woods, collaborated to design THE JOHN SHIPPEN as a vehicle to provide opportunities that can fundamentally increase diversity in golf on a national scale.

The sport of golf is an $84 billion industry with more than two million golf-related jobs. However, less than one percent of PGA of America club professionals are Black, and only four current PGA TOUR players are Black.

These statistics do not reflect a lack of talented Black golfers, but rather, they reflect limited access and resources.

Historical barriers for Black golfers include: affordable and consistent access to championship courses; quality golf equipment; top-rated swing coaches; sponsorship; and access to capital for housing and travel.

“We at Intersport believe THE JOHN SHIPPEN will serve as a springboard from which to bolster accessibility to the sport of golf for young Black players and sports professionals,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Vice President of Intersport and Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

“As a national sports marketing firm, we are fully committed to the creation and expansion of opportunities and growth for Black athletes and professionals, now and in the future. Through our THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit, we will offer scholarships and paid internships to several student participants and will encourage our corporate partners and sponsors to do the same.”

THE JOHN SHIPPEN was also created to address the lack of Black representation in business and leadership roles in golf and across professional sports.

To create an avenue for awareness and opportunities, THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit for high school and college students will be held virtually June 29-30, allowing athletes, influencers, and business professionals to share their experiences and advice about how to pursue and secure a career within the business of sports.

Summit attendees will be given the opportunity to apply for paid internships and scholarships from sponsors, organizations and foundations within and beyond the sports industry.

“Golf has been an important part of my life as a young golfer, as a collegiate athlete and as a professional working at the PGA TOUR,” said Sommer Woods, Co-Founder of Woods and Watts Effect, Tournament Lead for THE JOHN SHIPPEN and Volunteer Vice Chair of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

“Collaborating on THE JOHN SHIPPEN affords Woods & Watts Effect the opportunity to address an issue that we are passionate about, which is equity in sports. We are excited about our partnership with the Rocket Mortgage Classic and Intersport, and we look forward to this transformative event. This event can change the world, starting with the world of golf.”

Rocket Mortgage has signed on as presenting sponsor of THE JOHN SHIPPEN. Trion Solutions, the nation’s largest minority-owned Professional Employer Organization, has agreed to become the first of six national sponsors for the event.

THE JOHN SHIPPEN will be held during the week leading up to the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the first PGA TOUR event ever held within the city of Detroit.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic was the most awarded event during the 2018-19 PGA TOUR season, being recognized for three awards, including the first “Fair Way Award” for its diversity and inclusion initiatives.

John Shippen, Jr. first worked in golf as a caddie at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, and after playing in his first of six U.S. Opens in 1896, was hired as the golf professional at the Maidstone Club in East Hampton, New York later that year.

Shippen later worked as a golf professional at Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia and spent the majority of his working life at Shady Rest Golf Course in Scotch Plains, New Jersey – the first African American owned and operated golf club in the United States – where he served from 1924-1960.

The John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation was founded in 1995 by Thurman and Ruby Simmons in Scotch Plains.

They began studying his legacy in 1988 and have spent more than 30 years elevating Shippen’s name and recognizing his place in American history.

In addition to funding paid internship and scholarship opportunities, a portion of the proceeds from THE JOHN SHIPPEN will be donated to The John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation.

For updated information on THE JOHN SHIPPEN, please visit www.TheJohnShippen.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@TheJohnShippen) and on Twitter (@TheJShippen). For information about sponsorship opportunities or how to get involved, email us at thejohnshippen@intersport.net.

Seattle Fire Department To Host Pop-Up Vaccination Clinics At Pike Place Market, Juneteenth Celebrations, And With Community Partners On Beacon Hill

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that this week, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) will host three pop-up clinics in partnership with community-based and faith-based organizations across Seattle. These pop-ups are in addition to SFD’s clinics at all Mariners home games, and at Seattle Public Schools middle and high schools. SFD will finish second doses at its in-school clinics this week.

The City of Seattle recently became the first major American city to vaccinate 70 percent of its residents and workers. To-date, the City has administered over 253,000 vaccinations, which amounts to more than 132,000 individuals. These vaccinations have occurred at 88 Adult Family Homes, 110 affordable housing buildings, 24 community partner pop-ups, two vulnerable youth-serving organizations, 17 city sporting events with MLS and MLB partners, local breweries, business districts, and the five City-affiliated fixed vaccination sites. Approximately 46 percent of those vaccinated by the City identify as BIPOC communities.

“Last week, Seattle achieved the incredible milestone of being the first major American city to vaccinate 70 percent of our residents 12 and older. But there is still more work to do to reach even more of our communities, particularly Black and Latinx community members who have been some of the hardest hit by this pandemic,” said Durkan. “Please, if you know someone who has not yet been vaccinated, do everything you can to help them get their shot.”

On Friday, June 18, SFD is partnering with the Seattle King County NAACP to host a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Christ Spirit Church on Beacon Hill. Appointments are not required, but residents who would like to make an appointment can call the NAACP at 206-306-6878. The first 30 patients vaccinated at the pop-up will receive a $5 gift card to The Station.

NAACP Beacon Hill

  • Date and Time: Friday, June 18, 4 – 7 p.m.
  • Location: The Christ Spirit Church, 6115 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108
  • Vaccines: All three vaccines offered, second doses provided with proof of first vaccination
  • Incentive: 30 $5 gift cards to The Station, and free barbeque during clinic hours

SFD is also partnering with the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) to host a pop-up vaccination clinic at their Juneteenth celebration. NAAM has also partnered with One Medical to provide on-site, culturally responsive public health education.

NAAM Juneteenth

  • Date and Time: Saturday, June 19, 12 – 6 p.m.
  • Location: Judkins Park
  • Vaccines: All three vaccines offered, second doses provided with proof of first vaccination
  • Programming: One Medical on-site to answer any questions families may have – vaccine or otherwise

“The Northwest African American Museum is pleased to partner with the Seattle Fire Department to offer vaccinations to our community on Juneteenth to advance Black wellness,” said LaNesha DeBardelaben, President & CEO of the Northwest African American Museum.

SFD is partnering with Pike Place Market to host a pop-up vaccination clinic this Saturday, June 19. The pop-up will serve Market vendors and visitors, and no appointments are required. The first 30 patients vaccinated at the pop-up will receive a free bouquet of flowers from the Market.

Pike Place Market

  • Date and Time: Saturday, June 19, 1:15 – 4 p.m.
  • Location: Pike Place Market, 85 Pike St., 4th Fl (down the stairs under the Market’s Clock & Sign), Seattle, WA 98101
  • Vaccines: All three vaccines offered, second doses provided with proof of first vaccination
  • Incentive: Bouquet of flowers to the first 30 people vaccinated

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the safety of the downtown Seattle community and our hundreds of small businesses has been our number one priority. We are pleased to be working with Seattle Fire to host a clinic for downtown workers and residents. At the Market, we are feeling the return of our vibrant community, and we are hopeful that events like this help stimulate that energy around downtown Seattle. The support of our local community has been tremendous over the past year, and we thank them,” said Mary Bacarella, Executive Director of Pike Place Market.

For more information, including how to get vaccinated today, visit the City’s vaccination website at www.seattle.gov/vaccine.

Labor Leaders To Host Juneteenth Motorcade And Rally Against Racism And Police Brutality


This Saturday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth, community and labor organizations are coming together for a Motorcade and Rally to Stop Police Brutality and end Systematic Racism. 

The morning event will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the ILWU Local 19 Union Hall – 3440 E Marginal Way S (corner of Spokane and East Marginal). Participants will gather and then car caravan to Port of Seattle Terminal 46 for a rally and show of solidarity from 10 AM to Noon. 

The program at Terminal 46 will include speakers such as:  James Bible, attorney and former President of King County NAACP; Nikkita Oliver, Executive Director of Creative Justice; Pastor Steve Baber of Washington Christian Leaders Coalition and ILWU Local 19 President Rich Austin. Still Water band will also be performing.

At 2 PM the program will proceed to 1419 24th Ave in the Central Area to the former home of ILWU labor leader and civil rights activist Frank Jenkins Jr. 

This program will be focused on the life and contributions of Frank Jenkins Jr to labor and Black history. There will be guest speakers from the UW Labor Studies Department; Cindy Domingo, APALA; LeTania Severe of Labor for Black Lives and Herald Ugles, Committee Member of the Frank Jenkins Jr Fellowship in Labor Studies at UW.

Parking is available until 6pm at Mt Calvary Christian Center located at 1412 23rd Ave.

All participants are asked to wear masks and use hand sanitizer that will be provided.

Navy Denies Football Team Captain’s Request To Delay Service To Play In NFL

Cameron Kinley was captain of the US Naval Academy’s football team this past year. The US Navy has denied a request by Kinley to delay his military service and try to play in the National Football League. (Navy Football)

By Eric Levenson, CNN

(CNN) — The U.S. Navy has denied a request by football team captain Cameron Kinley to delay his military service and try to play in the National Football League.

Kinley, Navy’s 2021 class president who graduated last month, had signed with the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted rookie cornerback and attended the team’s rookie minicamp two weeks ago. But in a statement on his Twitter on Monday, he said the Secretary of the Navy had denied his request to delay his military service and said that he is being required to commission in the U.S. Navy as an Ensign.

“I have spent the past week processing my emotions, as it is very difficult to have been this close to achieving a childhood dream and having it taken away from me,” he said.

In a statement to CNN, a spokesman for the Secretary of the Navy said acting Secretary Thomas W. Harker declined to forward delay requests from recent Navy graduates to the Secretary of Defense.

“When students accept admission and continue their education in this program, there is an understanding and acknowledgement that they will upon graduation be commissioned,” Capt. Jereal Dorsey wrote in the statement. “Every Midshipman attends on the same terms and each has the same responsibility to serve. Exceptions to that commitment to serve have been rightfully rare.”

The co-founder of Divine Sports and Entertainment, which represents Kinley, said the Navy also denied him the opportunity to appeal the decision.

“He wants to fulfill both of his childhood dreams, playing in the NFL and honorably serving his country,” co-founder Ryan Williams-Jenkins said.

The Navy’s denial is part of a policy that has changed repeatedly in recent years. Graduates of the service academies are typically required to serve in active duty for five years after graduation.

During the Obama Administration, though, then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter issued a policy that allowed some service academy athletes to be placed on reserve status in order to play for pro sports teams. The Trump Administration rescinded that policy in 2017 under Defense Secretary James Mattis but then reversed positions in 2019 after Trump mentioned the issue during a White House ceremony with Army’s football team.

In contrast to the Navy’s denial, four graduates from other service academies have been allowed to forego their service commitment this year. The four are Jon Rhattigan, a West Point grad who signed with the Seattle Seahawks; Nolan Laufenberg, an Air Force grad who signed with the Denver Broncos; George Silvanic, an Air Force grad who signed with the Los Angeles Rams; and Parker Ferguson, an Air Force grad who signed with the New York Jets.

“While I acknowledge that these men are from different branches of the armed services, it puzzles me as to why I am the only person to be denied this opportunity,” Kinley wrote in his statement.

“I am very aware of the commitment that I made to service when I first arrived at the United States Naval Academy. I look forward to my career as a naval officer in the information warfare community. However, I am deserving of the opportunity to live out another one of my life-long dreams before fulfilling my service requirement,” he added.

Kinley played in 27 games over his four-year college career, totaling 88 total tackles, one interception and 12 passes defended.

A number of Navy graduates have gone on to play in the NFL, most notably Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, who won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s. Three Navy graduates have been drafted by NFL teams in recent years, including long snapper Joe Cardona in 2015, receiver/running back Keenan Reynolds in 2016 and running back Malcolm Perry last year.

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American Medical Association Adopts New Policy to Increase Diversity in Physician Workforce

CHICAGO – Furthering the American Medical Association’s (AMA) commitment to racial justice and equity within the medical profession and society as a whole, and building on the recent release of its strategic plan to embed racial justice and advance health equity, the AMA adopted policy during the Special Meeting of its House of Delegates this week aimed at improving the diversity of the physician workforce. The report outlines practices and interventions that can increase racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic diversity among the physician workforce, including targeted recruitment and revised medical school admissions policies, curriculum changes, summer enrichment programs, and comprehensive programs that integrate multiple interventions, such as financial, academic, and social support. The report also identifies institutional and structural factors that interfere with or create attrition on the path to becoming a physician and discusses recommendations to minimize these interferences. Additionally, the report examines the harmful past actions that the medical profession as a whole and organized medicine have perpetrated on communities of color, particularly the role that the Flexner Report of 1910 played in the closure of the majority of Black medical schools at the time and in severely limiting the number of Black physicians.

“Studies show that racial, ethnic and gender diversity among health professionals promotes better access to health care, improves health care quality for underserved populations, and better meets the health care needs of our increasingly diverse population. Yet, our physician workforce does not adequately reflect the actual racial, ethnic or gender makeup of the patients in the communities we serve,” said AMA Board of Trustee Member Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H. “A critical step in moving forward, we must call out the lasting negative impact that the Flexner Report, and other harmful past actions by the medical profession, has had on today’s physician workforce. We must address and reconcile these lasting harms to ensure that future physicians are aware of structural factors that are impeding their patient’s health outcomes, and continue efforts to ensure a diverse physician workforce that meets the needs of our patients.” 

The new policy calls on the AMA to:  

• Recognize some people have been historically underrepresented, excluded from, and marginalized in medical education and medicine because of their race, ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic origin, and rurality, due to racism and other systems of exclusion and discrimination;  

• Commit to promoting truth and reconciliation in medical education as it relates to improving equity;  

• Recognize the harm caused by the Flexner Report to historically Black medical schools, the diversity of the physician workforce, and the outcomes of minoritized and marginalized patient populations;

• Work with appropriate stakeholders to commission and enact the recommendations of a forward-looking, cross-continuum, external study of 21st century medical education focused on reimagining the future of health equity and racial justice in medical education, improving the diversity of the health workforce, and ameliorating inequitable outcomes among minoritized and marginalized patient populations; 

• Encourage the development of evidence-informed programs to build role models among academic leadership and faculty for the mentorship of students, residents, and fellows underrepresented in medicine and in specific specialties;  

• Encourage physicians to engage in their communities to guide, support, and mentor high school and undergraduate students with a calling to medicine;  

• Encourage medical schools, health care institutions, managed care and other appropriate groups to adopt and utilize activities that bolster efforts to include and support individuals who are underrepresented in medicine by developing policies that articulate the value and importance of diversity as a goal that benefits all participants, cultivating and funding programs that nurture a culture of diversity on campus, and recruiting faculty and staff who share this that goal;  

• Continue to study and provide recommendations to improve the future of health equity and racial justice in medical education, the diversity of the health workforce, and the outcomes of marginalized patient populations;  

• Encourage the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Labor to develop policies and initiatives in support of students from marginalized backgrounds that 1) decrease the educational opportunity gap; 2) increase participation in high school Advanced Placement courses; and 3) increase the high school graduation rate;  

• Advocate for funding to support the creation and sustainability of Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), and Tribal College and University (TCU) affiliated medical schools and residency programs, with the goal of achieving a physician workforce that is proportional to the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of the United States population;  

• Work with appropriate stakeholders to study reforms to mitigate demographic and socioeconomic inequities in the residency and fellowship selection process, including but not limited to the selection and reporting of honor society membership and the use of standardized tools to rank applicants, with report back to the House of Delegates;  

• Establish a task force to guide organizational transformation within and beyond the AMA toward restorative justice to promote truth, reconciliation, and healing in medicine and medical education. 

The new policy builds on AMA’s efforts to increase diversity among the physician workforce, including the AMA’s Doctors Back to School program. Launched in 2002, the program encourages Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic/Latinx students to enter health care career pathways. The AMA developed a Doctors Back to School™ Kit to support physicians and medical students who act as role models by visiting elementary and high schools to talk with students about careers in medicine.

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