Insight News

Feb 06th


A home is where wealth is

Despite expansive and deep-seated beliefs in the American Dream’s egalitarian concept America’s structure still perpetuates racial and class inequalities.  At the base of “the American Dream” is homeownership.  A home is equal parts family sanctuary and wealth asset.  A home is a status symbol of substance.  Homeownership provides: shelter and security and elevated community involvement and in democratic institutions.   So, in the worst real estate market since the 1940s on whom do we rely to eradicate racial and class inequalities in homeownership? During the nation’s economic downturn homeownership rates among minority communities declined significantly.

Go beyond high school

The percentage of high school students who went on to college or trade school within a year of finishing high school climbed from 47 percent in 1973 to 67 percent in 2007. That’s good news; our students are falling behind other industrialized nations in terms of graduation rates and we must play catch up. The bad news is that many young people, gifted in their own ways, don’t feel college is for them simply because they don’t thrive in the classroom.  Higher education, more often than not, promises economic stability and career growth for those who go after it, more so than a high school diploma. But, with our nation’s focus on colleges and universities, we may be losing some very talented young people and damaging our future workforce.

Tough on teachers

The recent firing of all the teachers at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island by the district superintendent was applauded by both President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Both thought this was the right thing for the students being failed by the teachers and the school. But is it all the teacher’s fault? Should the principals also be held responsible? What about the parents?  After all, it does take a village.

I am empowered - Are you?

(NNPA) - "I pledge to responsibly commit my time and talent to ensure that the nation is empowered to eliminate racial gaps and disparities in housing, education, employment and healthcare by 2025…"

Last week, the National Urban League officially kicked off its centennial celebration and takes its century-long fight for equal opportunity and empowerment to the next level.  The centerpiece of our celebration is a bold, new social mobilization campaign which we are calling I AM EMPOWERED.  We recently launched a new, interactive website:, which asks citizens across the country to join us in a pledge of time and talent to achieve four Empowerment Goals by 2025:

Consider what the Haitian people want

(NNPA) - In the midst of the rubble that still contains the bodies of loved ones, the real people of Haitian, civil society and NGO leaders, met last month to begin to think about how they would build a new Haiti.  I am on my way to Haiti now to consult with many of those leaders in order to ensure that I and TransAfrica Forum fully understand their reality, their needs and their vision for a new society.  Because I know that Haiti’s full recovery must be based upon their priorities and their needs.  But even while Haitians are beginning to imagine their future, I also know that the reality of day-to-day life in Haiti is overwhelming.

Mo'nique's Oscar - Victory and Setback

(NNPA) - The comedienne, talk show host and actress Mo’nique has become just the fifth African American woman to win an Oscar.  Her portrayal of Mary Jones, the revolting and depraved mother of Precious, was arguably masterful, and she now joins Hattie McDaniel (who played a maid), Halle Berry (who played a sex-starved fool), Whoppi Goldberg (who played a medium in Ghost), and Jennifer Hudson (who played a singer). 

Weighing the promise of healthcare and finding it wanting

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week”, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commented, “I think everybody wants affordable health care for all Americans. They know that this will take courage. It took courage to pass Social Security. It took courage to pass Medicare. And many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.” 
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