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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

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Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

WHEN THE HUMOR IS GONE

James Bean has shown insight and understanding of the darkest moments of many people’s lives as well as ideas on how one could begin to create a life worth living even out of the depths of despair.” -– Rhonda Duncombe, LMFT, LADC

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Written by State Point

Stress is not only unpleasant; it can be overwhelming, ultimately preventing you from solving the problems that caused the stress in the first place. But getting focused can help you feel happier and be more successful professionally, financially and in your relationships, say experts.

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Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Written by Peter Grear

For black voters, Benjamin Jealous expressed what I believe to be the critical message for black voters when he said that the best way to overcome massive voter suppression is through a massive wave of voter registration.  Thankfully, the NAACP is putting this theory into action through the Youth Organizing…

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Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Written by Freddie Allen

Instead of breaking the glass ceiling, Black women have increasingly started making their own. According to the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan progressive institute, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.

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Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I’ve been doing commentaries on our Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression since November, 2013.  Because the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, I’ve tried to promote a non-partisan theory of voter enfranchisement. 

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Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

By Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Frequently, in going forward it is imperative to examine your history.  In 1638 the Maryland Colony issued a public edict encouraging the separation of the races that became the public policy of America. 

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Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website

The FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website. No paper, no hasel, read on your laptop or mobile devices. 

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Building Schools Designed to Succeed

Written by Featured Organization on 23 September 2013.

By Dick Resch - Kids have just headed back to school. Unfortunately, many of them may be greeted by worn-out desks and broken chairs. More than three-quarters of U.S. schools are in need of repairs.

 

The federal government wants to respond by investing millions of dollars in school construction and modernization. Those dollars must be spent wisely. The schools of yesteryear, with their rows of desks and stair-stepped lecture halls, don't work for the students of today. Their stagnating academic performance proves it.

Educational leaders must embrace the technologically driven way that students learn today -- and design and build schools that support that shift.

The design of school facilities has an enormous impact on student performance. 

Researchers at the United Kingdom's University of Salford recently determined that a school building's design can affect student performance, for better or worse, by up to 25 percent. Seventy-three percent of students' change in performance was attributable to classroom design elements.

The study looked at several factors. Classrooms that received greater amounts of natural light, featured ergonomically advanced desks, and permitted teachers to easily change the classroom layout all correlated strongly with improved academic performance.

The difference in learning rates between students in the "better" classrooms and those in the "worse" classrooms was equivalent to a full year of educational progress.

These findings confirm what designers and educators have known for years.

Consider the Fuji Kindergarten, a Montessori school in Tokyo, Japan. It was designed to support the school's pedagogical approach by creating large, open areas where students can move around freely, despite the city's tight space restrictions. The oval-shaped building has no fixed walls, and furniture can be easily rearranged.

In its 2009 expansion, Virginia's Manassas Park Elementary School made ample use of glass -- to allow natural light to flood in -- and to create spaces outside the classroom where students could interact while still being supervised.

Architect Sean O'Donnell, whose firm EE&K recently completed a modernization project for Stoddert Elementary School in Washington, D.C., stresses the importance of size when designing school facilities. Properly child-sized environments that scale upwards as students get older can combat the perception of schools as large, uninviting structures.

The next generation of schools must also more adeptly incorporate technology. Today's students are more deeply steeped in technology than any previous group. Forty-three percent of teens find it easiest to learn from the Internet.

Teachers have noted as much. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 77 percent of teachers say that digital search tools have had a positive impact on student research habits.

Yet even as the impact of school design and new technology on student performance is becoming apparent, policymakers are investing less in educational facilities. Annual spending on school construction has declined by nearly half -- from an average of $20 billion a year between 2000 and 2008 to $11.7 billion this year.

Student learning styles have evolved dramatically, but young people are being educated in environments that haven't been rethought in decades.

The solution is to treat education infrastructure as a crucial component of education policy. Each school's design should complement the needs of its students as well as its teaching philosophy. Facilities should also be created with flexibility in mind, so that, as teaching methods, curricula, and students change, so too can learning environments.

Updating America's education system will involve more than changing what goes on in schools; it will require us to rethink school buildings themselves. As the new school year gets underway, educational leaders should respond accordingly.

Dick Resch is CEO of KI Furniture.

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