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When the past is present…

 

Dr. James Cameron Featured in New Book about Supersurvivors!

 

SUPERSURVIVORS: The Surprising Link Between Suffering & Success

By David B. Feldman, PhD and Lee Daniel Kravetz

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 12.44.42 AM(To order this book so that part of the proceeds supports this museum, click here.)

A New York businesswoman struck by cancer changes her life and becomes an international rock star. A man loses his eyesight and attempts to become the first blind person to row a boat across the Atlantic Ocean….and succeeds. A young basketball player, mangled in a horrible car wreck, rebuilds his body becomes one of Hollywood’s most successful stuntmen.

Five billion people worldwide will survive a trauma in their lives. Most experience inner growth even as their outer lives return to normal. But sometimes, survivors do more than bounce back.

Dr. James Cameron, lynching survivor, addresses US Senators and descendants of lynching victims, Washington DC, 2005.

Dr. James Cameron, lynching survivor, addresses US Senators and descendants of lynching victims, Washington DC, 2005.

Sometimes they bounce forward.

​Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering & Success explores extraordinary accomplishments in the wake of catastrophic trauma to help us understand how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things.

Supersurvivors offers a bold new vision for understanding and harnessing resilience through the lens of positive psychology. Beginning where resilience ends, Supersurvivors examines the stories and science behind the surprising number of cases in which survivors don’t just grow; they revolutionize their lives. Having survived, these extraordinary individuals radically deviate from their previous life paths.

Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu talks during a press conference in Cape Town, South Africa

Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu talks during a press conference in Cape Town, South Africa

 

In so doing, they transform the meaning of their personal tragedies by making them the basis for dramatic and long-term life change, often discovering hidden parts of themselves and contributing to the world in ways they never thought possible.

‘SUPERSURVIVORS: The Surprising Link Between Suffering & Success’ by David B. Feldman, PhD, and Lee Daniel Kravetz, will be published by HarperCollins/Harper Wave in June, 2014. It will be available in hardcover and ebook wherever books are sold.

Order here.

Read more at http://www.supersurvivors.com

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Transgendered Student Denied Equal Treatment

By Emily Thomas, HuffingtonPost.com

A transgender college sophomore who identifies as male has been barred from living in all-male dorms, and now his lawyer has lodged a federal complaint against the university.Jayce_transgender_George-Fox

George Fox University, a Christian school in Newberg, Ore., says officials denied the student’s December request to live with his male friends because of the school’s “theological commitments.” The university says it’s in the process of implementing a policy that only permits housing arrangements based on birth sex, according to a letter obtained by PQ Monthly, a Portland-based LGBT magazine.

At the time, the university gave the student, who is identified as Jayce, two alternative living options for the 2014-2015 school year, according to the outlet. The first option was to live off campus with his male roommates, as long as he notified their parents about the arrangement and changed his name and sex on his driver’s license and social security card. The other option was to live alone.IMG_0750-500x333

“While I appreciate university administrators meeting with me regarding my housing requests, their ultimate decision makes me feel rejected, misunderstood, and punished for something I cannot change,” Jayce told PQ Monthly. ( . . .)

“[T]hey were unwilling to listen to him,” Southwick told the outlet. “And so he had to take the next step to protect himself.”

In a Change.org petition letter that asks the university to reverse its decision. (. . .)

The letter has since garnered nearly 4,000 signatures. ( . . .)

Read the full article.

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Press promotes ‘no snitching’ to slam Sharpton

by David A. Wilson, theGrio.com

This morning I woke up to headlines from New York Post and the New York Daily News that could very well have been written by Tony Soprano himself. The local NYC tabloids derided Rev. Al Sharpton as both a “rat” and a “snitch” for his alleged cooperation with the FBI-NYPD in the 1980s.

Reverend Al Sharpton

Reverend Al Sharpton

According to a report from TheSmokingGun.com, the civil rights leader and MSNBC host was informant “CI-7” who wore a wire during his interactions with leaders of the infamous Genovese crime family. The report claims the FBI gathered information through Sharpton which ultimately led to law enforcement bringing down America’s largest and most feared mob organization.

In a press conference at his National Action Network office in Harlem Tuesday afternoon, an indignant Sharpton confronted what he called “old news” and a misrepresentation of something that he wrote about in his 1996 book, Go and Tell Pharaoh.

Watch Reverend Sharpton’s rebuttal in full here.

Read the full article here.

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Health Care Enrollment

By Jeffrey Young, HuffingtonPost.com

On the last day to sign up for Obamacare, evidence appears to be mounting that what started as a disaster may turn out a success. Monday is the deadline to enroll in health insurance for 2014 via the health insurance exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and it’s clear that many waited until the last minute. The looming deadline and fear of the penalty for not getting covered has driven millions of people to the exchange websites, enrollment events and health insurance companies over the past few days.obama-health-care

HealthCare.gov and some state-run health insurance exchanges suffered software glitches and buckled under heavy demand Monday.

The final rush could push the total number of private insurance enrollments well past the 6 million figure touted by the Obama administration last week. Obamacare sign-ups may wind up closer to the 7 million originally predicted for the first year. (. . .)

Signing up the healthy and the young is critical to the health of the healthcare law. And based on anecdotal accounts from health insurance companies, the surge is also bringing along young adults in greater numbers.

“We’re definitely seeing some younger consumers, as our average age of an applicant is going down,” said Kurt Kossen, the vice president for retail marketing at Chicago-based Health Care Service Corp., which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Online insurance broker eHealth reported a similar trend last week. healthcare

In order to make premiums affordable in future years, insurers need healthier people to offset the high medical costs of older, sicker people who now have guaranteed access to coverage. Adults 18 to 34 years old made up one-quarter of nationwide enrollments through March 1, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, a proportion lower than the roughly 40 percent the White House is seeking.

Not everyone is so pleased with their new health plans. Households with incomes above four times the poverty limit, or about $95,400 for a family of four, don’t qualify for financial assistance and can face hundreds of dollars in premiums every month for even basic coverage. And many people who previously purchased their own coverage directly from insurance companies saw their policies canceled last year because they didn’t meet ACA standards, and had to replace them with plans that are often costlier because the mandated benefits are more generous. (. . .)

Friendly Medical professionalsHealthCare.gov also drew record demand Monday when 1.2 million users visited the website by noon Eastern Time. First-time users of the website weren’t able to create accounts for about an hour Monday afternoon and administrators twice activated the site’s “virtual waiting room” when the number of people trying to log in surpassed its capacity, which is estimated at 100,000 users at once. State-run exchange websites in places like California and Maryland also experienced some difficulties. Telephone call centers for the exchanges were swamped by consumers seeking help, as well.

Although Monday is the nominal deadline for anyone who doesn’t have health coverage to get insured this year, enrollments will continue through the coming weeks, since the Obama administration and most state-run health insurance exchanges are leaving the systems open for those who already started their applications but have not completed them by the end of the day. (. . .)

Read the full article.

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The Nation’s Most Segregated Schools Aren’t Where You’d Think They’d Be

A recent study has found that a complex racial history and a lack of programs encouraging diversity have helped New York schools claim the title as the most segregated in the nation.

By Stephen A. Crockett Jr. , theRoot.com

Elizabeth Eckford  is one of the Little Rock Nine,  who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Elizabeth Eckford was one of the Little Rock Nine, who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

New York state’s public school system is the most segregated in the country because most of the state’s schools have virtually no white students. The majority of the state’s school population is African American and Latino, adding to the growing concern that connects educational problems with lack of diversity. The schools are often poverty-concentrated and include a less-experienced and less-qualified teacher workforce, according to a report released from UCLA’s Civil Rights Project.

The report from UCLA’s Civil Rights Project studied enrollment trends from 1989 to 2010 and found that almost 30 percent of the state’s schools had fewer than 10 percent white students. And in 11 percent of the schools, fewer than 1 in 100 students are white.

According to the study, these numbers are driven by several factors, including New York City’s complex racial history of segregation and the influx of charter schools, which some call “apartheid schools.” According to the study, more than half of the city’s 32 community school districts are “intensely segregated,” and a majority of charter schools boost shockingly low numbers, as fewer than 1 percent of the student’s population is white.

Read more about this study’s methods and conclusions here.

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Video: Black Youth, Black Police & Transformative Justice

Members of BYP100, a black youth activist organization, have a dialogue with a black police officer after being profiled on Princeton University’s campus, where they had convened for a conference.

Watch the dialogue here:

To learn more about the Black Youth Project100, click here.

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Google Celebrates Black History Today

By Breanna Edwards, TheRoot.com

Something is different about today’s Google landing page. In the middle of the search engine’s logo, there’s the soft image of a smiling woman wearing a signature hat atop her curls.0321-doodle_full_600

It is Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, dubbed the “godmother of the civil rights movement,” as President Barack Obama aptly put it when mourning her passing four years ago.

Although a major contributor in the movement, the iconic Height is often left out when Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and other greats are mentioned. So it was pleasant, and only fitting, that Google presented the world with a beautiful doodle on what would’ve been her 102nd birthday, March 24.

Height is credited with convincing President Dwight Eisenhower to desegregate schools. She was one of the driving forces behind President Lyndon Johnson’s appointments of black women to government, and she walked in lockstep with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt to spotlight women’s rights. She even shared the platform with Dr. King when he delivered his unforgettable “I Have a Dream” speech.imgres

For her work she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994, followed by the Congressional Gold Medal ten years later.

In 2010, the nation lost Height at the age of 98. She was one of the greatest black women leaders ever to have graced us with her presence. Her memory and all she fought for should be far from forgotten, as Google reminds us today.

Read the article here.

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Racial Repair and Reconciliation: A Homecoming

By Dr. Fran Kaplan, Guest Blogger, wisconsinhumanities.org

Note: Staff of the Wisconsin Humanities Council (WHC) asked ABHM’s Virtual Museum Director to blog about her personal reactions to the Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation that honored the museum’s founder, Dr. James Cameron, in February 2014. WHC funded the Gathering.

Dr. Kaplan and her grandchildren

Dr. Kaplan and her grandchildren

(…) As I looked around the room at the discussions taking place, my heart soared. I experienced a sense of hope for our hyper-segregated city such as I have seldom felt. I was not alone in that feeling.  In their evaluations of the event, participants expressed their fervent desire to continue and deepen this dialogue. ABHM is now conducting monthly conversations around the city.This is work that brings me special satisfaction and joy.

In 1971-72 I was a graduate social work student, specializing in community organizing, at the University of Michigan. My field work placement (internship) was with New Detroit, a large, black-led organization that arose to revive the city following the uprisings there. I was assigned to the Speakers Bureau, which conducted anti-racism training and organizing for whites and other non-blacks. As a Jew and a fluent Spanish-speaker, I was asked to reach out to the Jewish and Latino communities.

Jan Buchler, who recently retired as the director of a community-based organization, served as a facilitator of one of the diverse dialog groups at the 100th Birthday Celebration for Dr. James Cameron: A Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation. (James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Attendees listen to each other intently at the Gathering. (Photo courtesy of James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

It was a challenging, uphill struggle, but I loved the work. I had experienced the ways that racism distorts the psyches and lives of both victim and victimizer while growing up Jewish in a small Indiana town, and while living and working in the South with migrant farmworkers. At an early age I had already come to believe that racial/ethnic hatred and power struggles are a principal cause of suffering in the US and around the world – and I determined to do something to change that.(…)

Read the full blog here.

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Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?

By Walter Dean Myers, The New York Times

Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people, according to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin.

Illustration by Christopher Myers

Illustration by Christopher Myers

(…) As I discovered who I was, a black teenager in a white-dominated world, I saw that these characters, these lives, were not mine. I didn’t want to become the “black” representative, or some shining example of diversity. What I wanted, needed really, was to become an integral and valued part of the mosaic that I saw around me.

Books did not become my enemies. They were more like friends with whom I no longer felt comfortable. I stopped reading. I stopped going to school. On my 17th birthday, I joined the Army. In retrospect I see that I had lost the potential person I would become — an odd idea that I could not have articulated at the time, but that seems so clear today. (…)

Then I read a story by James Baldwin: “Sonny’s Blues.” I didn’t love the story, but I was lifted by it, for it took place in Harlem, and it was a story concerned with black people like those I knew. By humanizing the people who were like me, Baldwin’s story also humanized me. The story gave me a permission that I didn’t know I needed, the permission to write about my own landscape, my own map.(…)

TODAY I am a writer, but I also see myself as something of a landscape artist. I paint pictures of scenes for inner-city youth that are familiar, and I people the scenes with brothers and aunts and friends they all have met.

Illustration by Christopher Myers

Illustration by Christopher Myers

Thousands of young people have come to me saying that they love my books for some reason or the other, but I strongly suspect that what they have found in my pages is the same thing I found in “Sonny’s Blues.” They have been struck by the recognition of themselves in the story, a validation of their existence as human beings, an acknowledgment of their value by someone who understands who they are. It is the shock of recognition at its highest level.

Read the full article here.

Read the companion article, The Apartheid of Children’s Literature, by Christopher Myers.

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Why Black Women Die of Cancer

By Harold P. Freeman, New York Times

blk women die of breast caSINCE the early 1970s, studies have shown that black Americans have a higher death rate from cancer than any other racial or ethnic group. This is especially true when it comes to breast cancer. A study published last week in the journal Cancer Epidemiology found that, in a survey of 41 of America’s largest cities, black women with breast cancer are on average 40 percent more likely to die than their white counterparts.

The principal reason for this disparity is the disconnect between the nation’s discovery and delivery enterprises — between what we know and what we do about sick Americans.(…)

The reasons for black and white differences in breast cancer outcomes are complex. Although the incidence of the disease is higher among white women, black women are more likely to die from it. Young black women tend to develop a particularly aggressive form, which no doubt contributes to the disparity. But for many years, the dominant cause of higher mortality has been late-stage disease at the time of initial treatment, in part as a result of black women being less likely to undergo mammography.

Having a mammogram

Having a mammogram

However, this gap has been closed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the rate of mammography is now the same in black and white women. What remains different is what happens after the mammogram: Black women experience significant delays in diagnosis and treatment. According to the C.D.C., even when they have similar insurance coverage, 20 percent of black women with an abnormal mammogram wait more than 60 days for a diagnosis, compared with 12 percent of white women. And 31 percent of black women wait 30 days to begin treatment, compared with 18 percent of white women.

blk woman has chemo

Having chemotherapy.

The Institute of Medicine reported in 2003 that black Americans with health insurance similar to that of white Americans are, at times, less likely to be recommended by physicians to receive curative cancer care. I don’t think this is because doctors are racist, but rather that they make assumptions about race that can be harmful. For example, a specialist treating a poor black woman may doubt that she will comply with a complex treatment and recommend a simpler, but noncurative, therapy instead.

The good news is that studies show that black and white women who receive the same breast cancer treatment at the same stage of the disease are equally likely to survive. If we can eliminate barriers to early diagnosis and quality treatment in black women, we can close the racial mortality gap.

Read the full article here.

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