Category Archives: Education

Mizzou Offers New Scholarships for Low Income Students

By Free Radical

Student protests resulted in a series of progressive reforms at Mizzou.

Student protests have resulted in a series of progressive reforms at Mizzou.

Last week, Mizzou chancellor Alexander Cartwright announced that the school would provide full tuition and fees for Missouri residents who are eligible for Pell grants starting in Fall 2018. Pell grants are generally offered to students who come from families that make less than $30,000 a year. But children whose parents make more can still be eligible depending on various factors such as additional dependents.

According to the Missouri Land Grant Compact, Mizzou will use a combination of federal, state, and university resources to cover the remaining funds owed on a student’s tuition and fee balance after a Pell grant is applied. Pell grants cover a little less than $6,000 while Mizzou’s in-state tuition is about $11,000. Students would still have to pay room and board. Those who qualify for the Mizzou Honors College however will have all fees including room and board paid for.

Mizzou has been rocked by controversy as a series of racist incidents in 2015 resulted in robust student demonstrations which caused the ouster of system president Tom Wolfe. This resulted in a precipitous 6.2% decline in student enrollment at the campus. The fallout and enrollment reductions from all university campuses is said to be about $60 million in revenue cuts and a loss in 474 jobs according to the kansascitystar.com.

The college however contends that this policy change is independent from any controversy it faced in the past. The university spokesperson Christian Basi expressed, “This is something that has been in the works for a significantly long time. It is not in response to any recent news. We are thrilled about this announcement.”

However, the university has been forced to respond to student protests particularly those of Concerned Students 1950 who issued a number of demands in 2015 calling for greater diversity on the campus. Their activism resulted in a $1 million faculty diversity initiative, the creation of the university’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with its head Kevin McDonald, and now this new tuition program which will grant access to scores of low income students.

Spelman Appoints Film Pioneer Julie Dash as Faculty

By Free Radical

Julie Dash

Film Pioneer, Julie Dash

According to hollywoodblackrenaissance.com, Spelman College recently appointed renowned movie director Julie Dash as a Distinguished Professor in the Arts starting this fall.

Dash is most well known for her groundbreaking film, Daughters of the Dust, which tells the story of a South Carolina Gullah community that has to navigate ways to hold on to their ancestral traditions while also preapring themselves for the rigors of a move to the industrial North.

The movie unabashedly uses Gullah dialect (which draws heavily from West African languages and culture) and was named one of the most important cinematic achievements in Black Cinema at the 25th Annual Newark Black Film Festival in 1999. More recently, in 2004, it was selected among 400 other films to be added to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry as a National Treasure.

Dash will make an appropriate fit for Spelman College as the Atlanta-based all-women’s college is one of the few HBCUs (or colleges of its size) that offers a degree in film. In 2004, award-winning filmmaker Ayoka Chenzira created the Digital Moving Image Salon (DMIS) to instruct students on how to create their own movies. Since their founding, they have created the Reel Women Film Showcase, which has featured prominent Black women in film for screenings and panel discussions open to the general public.

Spelman has also created a documentary filmmaking major, to, according to their website, cultivate a “generation of Black women documentary filmmakers who see the world through their histories and interests.”

The appointment of Dash and the development of Spelman’s film program is extremely timely as Atlanta has been dubbed the new “Black Hollywood” by some. According to FilmL.A., Georgia has become the number one filming location in the world, having produced the most films in 2016. The various film and television shows produced in Georgia is estimated to to generate $9.5 billion to the state in 2017.

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Trump’s DOJ Gears Up to Attack Affirmative Action

By Free Radical

Nancy Leong, Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law argues that Asians are being coopted by White conservatives to attack affirmative action.

Nancy Leong, Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law argues that Asians are being coopted by White conservatives to attack affirmative action.

Earlier this week the New York Times reported that the DOJ is looking to marshal its resources to attack affirmative action.

The newspaper’s report stems from a leaked document of the DOJ’s civil rights division seeking lawyers who are interested in working on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

The DOJ has attempted to downplay the issue, having its spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores on Wednesday call the Times story “inaccurate.” She stated that the Justice Department is currently only seeking to investigate one complaint by an Asian-American who alleges racial discrimination in one university’s admissions policies.

The Times has since responded saying that it seems difficult to believe that the DOJ would make such an aggressive request for attorneys for just one case. Moreover, the leaked memorandum mentioned “investigations” as plural rather than one investigation.

Observers, such as scholars Nancy Leong and Erwin Chemerinsky have noted that Asian-Americans have been targeted by White conservative activists

Study: Women’s Athletics Lack Diversity

By Free Radical

Dawn Staley coached the University of South Carolina Gamecocks to a national championship in 2017.

Dawn Staley coached the University of South Carolina Gamecocks to a national championship in 2017.

Though African-American athletes dominate several collegiate sports, their numbers among coaches is disproportionately small, according to a new report.

This is definitely the case in women’s sports. It was revealed that nearly 88% of coaches of women’s college teams are White and 57% of them are men. Only 7% of women’s college sports coaches are Black, 2.8% are Latino, 2.2% are Asian, and less than 1% are Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Conferences such as the Ivy League, Big Ten, Big East, and the SEC were given Fs for diversity. The SEC is home to the current women’s basketball champions, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, coached by Dawn Staley, a Black woman.

Clemson University, located in South Carolina, had the highest percentage of coaches of color for women’s