06-18-2018  12:36 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Black Pioneers Host ‘Celebrate History and Make a Difference Now!’ Event June 9

Representatives from local organizations will talk about how individuals can get involved in promoting social change ...

Grants Pass man, 39, drowns in Rogue River

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The Josephine County sheriff says a Grants Pass man drowned in the Rogue River.Sheriff Dave Daniel says it happened Saturday afternoon when 39-year-old James Dawson tried to swim to shore after his watercraft quit working. He was not wearing a life jacket.Crews...

Some forest trails remain closed long after 2017 wildfire

IDAHHA, Ore. (AP) — Some trails in Oregon's Willamette National Forest remain closed due to damage from a wildfire that ripped through the area last year.The Register-Guard reports the Whitewater Trail into the Jefferson Park area remains closed. Other trails, including some in the Fall...

UW to pay 7K to settle Republicans' free-speech lawsuit

SEATTLE (AP) — The University of Washington will pay 7,000 to settle a lawsuit filed after the college billed a Republican club security fees for a rally.The UW College Republicans sued, saying the bill for ,000 to cover security costs for the campus event violated free-speech and...

Old farm warehouse may be saved as part of Hanford history

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — One of Washington state's most endangered historic places is located on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland. That's according to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.The long warehouse along the Columbia River was once owned by farmers Paul and Mary...

OPINION

What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Greece: 2 face racism charges over beatings of immigrants

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek police say they have arrested one suspected extreme nationalist and are seeking a second as suspects in a pair of attacks on immigrants in Athens.A police statement issued Monday said the suspects allegedly attacked two Pakistanis on Friday, stole a mobile phone...

Redistricting changes headed to the ballot in several states

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday on redistricting lawsuits in Wisconsin and Maryland comes as several states already are considering changes to the criteria and processes that will be used to draw legislative districts after the 2020 Census.In most places, the state legislature and governor are...

States' redistricting plans facing challenges in court

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to block the use of legislative districts in Wisconsin and Maryland in separate cases that had alleged unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. Instead, the high court allowed lower courts to continue considering the claims.The cases are among several that...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: 'Jurassic World 2' leans on nostalgia, contrivances

Here's the good news: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom " is more fun than "Jurassic World." It's not exactly a high bar, but still a welcome surprise. In the hands of a new director, J.A. Bayona, with Chris Pratt's high-wattage charisma on full blast and a fair amount of self-aware humor intact,...

'Incredibles 2' crushes animation record with 0 million

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The combined powers of superheroes, the Pixar brand and a drought of family-friendly films helped "Incredibles 2" become the best animated opening of all time, the biggest PG-rated launch ever and the 8th highest film launch overall.Disney estimated Sunday that the film...

AFI highlights Clooney's life of acting, activism and pranks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Clooney's Hollywood career spans more than three decades, with memorable roles including fighting vampires, playing Batman and drifting through space in "Gravity." But Clooney's other accomplishments, including directing, screenwriting and activism, led to him...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Puerto Rico struggles with jump in asthma cases post-Maria

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Shortly after he turned 2, Yadriel Hernandez started struggling to breathe....

Apple sets up iPhones to relay location for 911 calls

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is trying to drag the U.S.'s antiquated system for handling 911 calls into the...

Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

GENEVA (AP) — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health...

Israel PM, Jordan king meet after months of strained ties

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Jordan's King Abdullah II that he is...

Geraldine McCaughrean wins Carnegie children's book prize

LONDON (AP) — British writer Geraldine McCaughrean has won the prestigious Carnegie Medal for children's...

Greek far-right lawmaker arrested on treason-linked charges

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek anti-terrorism police arrested an extreme far-right lawmaker on treason-linked...

High School Graduation Ceremony
Arashi Young of The Skanner News

Stories of success among Black youth too often go untold.

A large collaboration of Black student success and leadership organizations have come together to bring back the Black Baccalaureate program to honor African-American high school graduates from schools around the Portland area.

The event was organized by members from the Portland African American Leadership Forum, Self Enhancement, Inc., Black Male Achievement, Black Education Achievement Movement and other community-based organizations.

A graduate reception will be held on June 14 at 3 p.m. at Portland Bible College in Northeast Portland and the Baccalaureate ceremony begins at 4 p.m. Interested graduates should contact BlackBaccOregon@gmail.com.

Antoinette Edwards, director of the Office of Youth Violence Prevention and event organizer, said honoring youth is an important way to strengthen the community.

“It is that reclaiming the village and bringing us all back together in a very exciting way and saying we're here for you, we support you, we believe in you,” Edwards said.

The Black Baccalaureate welcomes graduating Black students from all schools in the area, high schools and alternative schools -- including students who are getting their GED.

C.J. Robbins of the Black Male Achievement program said an important part of the ceremony is the recognition of youth in the Oregon Youth Authority who will be receiving a GED or diploma while incarcerated.

 There is no limited seating for attendees either, the event is free of charge and open to the public.

“As long as you are there to celebrate the shared value, the young people, you are more than welcome,” Robbins said.

“That’s your ticket in, there’s no reserved seats,” Edwards said, laughing.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia, director of Avel Gordly Center for Healing at Oregon Health & Sciences University. The ceremony will also honor an elder of the community, Dr. Harriet Adair, assistant superintendent at the Office of School Operations & Support with Portland Public Schools, and advocate for school diversity.

The baccalaureate will celebrate people of African ancestry through traditional Ghanaian drumming from the Okropong ensemble as well as graduation sashes made from Ghanaian kente cloth.

Black Education Achievement Movement Director Noni Causey said the celebration of ancestry is important because it helps students take pride in their history.

“If you don't see yourself in the big picture of things, then you don't believe that you belong there,” Causey said.

Edwards and Robbins said the event was important, because the achievements of the Black community are often overshadowed by the challenges. The celebration is an opportunity to rewrite the story of Black youth.

“When you talk about rebuilding a village, I think that celebrating is often lost. We tend to focus on the negatives,” Robbins said. “Celebration of the positive is what provides that hope that we need.”

According to Causey, the Black Baccalaureate had thrived in Portland because of the work of Kevin Fuller, who founded the Bridge Builders Black male achievement non-profit. His work with Bridge Builders and Prospective Gents kept the event going for a number of years. Causey said when Fuller moved on to other work, the event was lost.

Edwards said that PAALF, SEI, Portland Public Schools and BMA were all looking for a way to honor graduating students.  When the organizers spoke with each other, it became evident that there needed to be a larger all-inclusive ceremony.

“Collaboration is the only way we get any progress. When we are siloed off and doing our own thing, we're often trying to do the same thing,” Robbins said. “We often have way more common ground that we think.”

Organizers hope that the Black Baccalaureate will grow in future years and become a local institution. There are plans to reach out to students farther away from Portland who may feel disconnected from the Black community.

There are also plans to hold the ceremony in May so that graduates could take their kente cloth graduation sashes back to their own high school graduations to represent their community.

Edwards said the day is ultimately about honoring the youth and instilling a sense of pride to those embarking on their journey.

“I think it’s important for our young people to have that sense of history, greatness and that you are special to us. You are special to us and we speak your names,” she said.

 

For more information, contact BlackBaccOregon@gmail.com or visit the Black Baccalaureate Facebook page.

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