04-20-2018  11:11 am      •     
The Skanner Report
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Think & Drink with Rinku Sen and Mary Li

Event takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Alberta Rose Theater ...

Think & Drink with Rinku Sen and Mary Li

Event takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Alberta Rose Theater ...

April 24 is Voter Registration Deadline for May 15 Primary Election

Tuesday, April 24, is voter registration and party choice deadline for May 15 Primary Election ...

Portland Libraries Celebrate National Poetry Month

April poetry events and recommended reading from Multnomah County libraries ...

PCRI Launches the Pathway 1000 Implementation Plan

Pathway 1000 a bold and ambitious 10-year displacement mitigation initiative ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Will HUD Secretary Ben Carson Enforce the Fair Housing Act?

Julianne Malveaux questions HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ability to enforce the Fair Housing Act ...

Waiting While Black in Philadelphia Can Get You Arrested

Reggie Shuford on the daily indignities African-Americans face in Philadelphia and around the country ...

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

Civil Rights Community Doesn’t Need to Look Farr for Racism in Trump Court Nominees

Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, explains organization's opposition to Trump's nomination of Thomas Farr ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

By Christen McCurdy | The Skanner News

 More than 50 parents, educators, children and other community members crowded into the basement of a North Portland church Saturday, traveling in 100-degree heat to learn more about the School of African Roots -- which a coalition of community groups is organizing in order to help Black students succeed in school.

Organizers are concerned about low graduation rates among African American students in Portland Public Schools, and want to help improve the success of students within the system – as well as providing support for families who choose to home school.

A year from now, organizers hope to have a year-round school. But for now, SOAR will offer after-school and weekend programs offering cultural education, tutoring and support at the Abbey Art Center at 7600 N. Hereford in Portland.

Groups including the All African People’s Revolutionary Party, the Black History Legacy Project and the Black United Fund – as well as educational institutions like Portland Community College and Portland State University – are all listed as sponsors of SOAR.

Organizer Ahjamu Umi told the crowd SOAR builds on a centuries-old tradition of Black-focused educational projects – and cited schools created by Marcus Garvey and the Black Panthers as examples.

“We don’t believe education is about getting a degree and making more money. If you’re in school, it’s because people 50 years ago fought and bled for the right for you to be there. No matter how smart you are, you’re born in debt,” Umi said.

In addition to offering programs in Black history, SOAR programs will help students learn to become better students – how to organize their days and materials so they can succeed regardless of the setting.

Last year the Atlantic reported an increase in the number of Black families who choose to home school their children, with more than 220,000 Black children being home schooled. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, Black children make up about 10 percent of children being home schooled, versus 16 percent of children in public schools. Where White families tend to cite religious reasons for choosing to home school, Black families generally point to factors related to racism, including a culture of low expectations for African American students, especially boys, or disproportionate discipline – both of which ultimately contribute to high incarceration rates for African Americans.

While graduation rates for African American students in Oregon went up this past school year,  Oregon has the third lowest graduation rates for Black students in the country, and the state incarcerates African Americans at a rate that’s 46 percent higher than the national average.

SOAR classes start Sept. 11.  For more information, visit the School of African Roots Facebook page @Facebook.com/SOARPDX, call (707) 456-SOAR or email soar@beamvillage.org

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Report