05-20-2018  2:55 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Portland jury issues million verdict against landlord

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has ordered a rental-property company to pay more than million after a man fell through a rotting walkway at his Portland apartment complex.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Robert Trebelhorn argued that Los Angeles-based Prime Group, which owns the...

University of Oregon sorry for statement on student death

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon has apologized for a statement it put out after a student was found dead during a trip to Shasta Lake in Northern California.The 21-year-old student, identified as business administration major Dylan Pietrs, was found dead at a boat-in campground...

Responders searching for missing vessel find oil sheen

OCEAN PARK, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says crews searching for a missing vessel in Willapa Bay have found an oil sheen and debris where they believe the 43-foot boat went down.Authorities say the wife of a man who took the fishing boat Kelli J out reported him overdue on Saturday....

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Principal apologizes for 'insensitive' prom tickets language

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — The principal of a New Jersey high school has apologized for what he called "insensitive" language on tickets for the upcoming senior prom.The Courier Post reported the Cherry Hill High School East senior prom tickets urged students to "party like it's 1776" during...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...

ENTERTAINMENT

'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, grand prize to Spike Lee

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded Saturday with the Palme d'Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters," a tender portrait of a poor, impoverished family, while Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento vowed justice will come to all sexual predators.At the closing...

'Jurassic Park' dinosaur expert's next big thing: holograms

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster's comb.Horner,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion...

Iraq's al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric whose political coalition beat out Iran's...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering...

Iraq's al-Sadr says next government will be 'inclusive'

BAGHDAD (AP) — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq's...

Cubans mourn plane crash dead, officials ID 20 bodies

HAVANA (AP) — At morgues and in church services, tearful Cubans on Sunday mourned loved ones who died in...

Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday revealed his latest picks to be cardinals in the Catholic...

 Portland Community College Black Student Success Summit
By Lisa Loving | The Skanner News

Some 300 students attended the first-ever Portland Community College Black Student Success Summit on March 1 – a resounding victory for organizer Noni Causey, director of the Passage to Higher Education program.

Both the conference and the Passage program are Causey’s brainchildren, developed over the past four years to help students of color navigate the college system and stay in school.

Imagine Causey’s dismay, then, when she reported to work on Monday, March 3, to be told that all her funding was used up and that her services with the program are no longer required.

In fact, PCC officials say the program is not dead and that Causey has not been fired; they do however admit that there is no funding for its activities, and the rest of its current staff are on the verge of running through their funding as well.

The Passage program, as profiled in PCC’s community magazine, offers tutoring, mentoring and scholarship application help to students, free of charge, on the Cascade Campus.

Designed specifically as a culturally competent focus on African and African American college students, the program was named for the Middle Passage that kidnapped Africans endured during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

“The Passage grew out of a focus group of female students of color that Causey assembled in 2010,” according to PCC’s article.

“’It’s really about, ‘Can I please have a place where I can talk about my fears and insecurities? Can I have a safe place where I can say I’m scared without being judged?’” Causey says in the article.

The notice to Causey came about 72 hours after newly-hired PCC President Jeremy Brown assured The Skanner News of his commitment to students of color and diversity at the institution as he seeks to fill the shoes of former President Preston Pulliams.

“And of course, in terms of leadership transition, one of the smart things to do is obviously figure out what's working well and not change those things. One of the things that’s really been at the forefront of the mission of the college is our commitment to diversity,” Brown said on Feb. 28.

“That's clearly not going to change, and it's something that I feel very strongly about in terms of our mission with respect to meeting the needs of a very diverse community and of course looking for opportunities to grow on that.”

Meanwhile, Interim PCC Cascade President Craig Kolins – whose regular position is Dean of Instruction for the Southeast/Extended Learning Campus --  now says that Causey’s event simply burned through all her grant funding, but that she is free to come back as a volunteer.

“Noni is in a casual position and so, employees in casual positions can work 959 hours, and so she's exhausted those hours. That's the policy at the college,” Kolins said.

“We're in the process of continuing the program, and bringing some student leaders that are from Passage, and people in from the community, to really sort of look at the program, how we can strengthen it, come up with the ideas and what we need to do to continue to improve the program,” Kolins said.

“I just want to say that we've got a lot of work to do to try to get improved programs for Black students at the campus, and we are not where we need to be.”

Kolins told The Skanner News that he will personally take charge of the effort on behalf of Black students, and he downplayed Causey’s role in establishing the Passage program.

“Actually it was a bunch of faculty, staff and students got together, and Noni was one of those people, she wasn't the only person to really come up with the idea of how to provide specific mentoring and tutoring support of Black students at the campus,” Kolins said.

He admitted, however, that the Black Student Success Summit was Causey’s idea and that despite the fact that it was successful, the school is not looking to continue Causey’s role as the organizer.

Asked how that effort would be different than what the college has been doing for the past several years, Kolins repeated that the college will begin looking for permanent resources, and that a Cascade Campus Multicultural Center is being discussed that might open in 2015. The Passage program might be included in that.

Members of the Passage community, who spoke to The Skanner News under condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal at the college, said they fear that Causey has lost control of the two programs she herself developed and brought to PCC and that Black students will suffer as a result.

“My concern is that the whole project is going to die because the institution is not committed to it, nor are they committed to making sure that Black students succeed,” one said.

“The college has created the conditions where Noni can’t even take the programs somewhere else where they might get more support.”

Click here for more information on the Passage program

Click here to read The Skanner News’ interview with PCC President Jeremy Brown

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