05-23-2018  5:32 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

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 ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and other companies have pledged a total of more than 0,000 toward an effort to repeal Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers intended to combat homelessness.Just days after the Seattle City Council approved the levy, the No Tax On Jobs...

14 vehicles destroyed in central Washington brush fire

SELAH, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say 14 vehicles were destroyed in a brush fire in central Washington.The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the fire scorched about a half square mile near Selah on Tuesday.Selah Deputy Fire Chief Jim Lange says the fire threatened multiple homes and burned up to...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Milwaukee NAACP head: No reason to use stun gun

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Latest on Milwaukee police releasing body-camera footage showing the arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown (all times local):7:05 p.m.The president of the NAACP in Milwaukee says he doesn't see anything in a newly released police body-camera video that would warrant...

Milwaukee chief apologizes for arrest of Bucks guard Brown

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized to Bucks guard Sterling Brown on Wednesday for a January arrest that started with a parking violation and escalated to include use of a stun gun, and said some officers had been disciplined.Brown responded with a statement...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...

ENTERTAINMENT

Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein targeted by federal prosecutors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's lawyer said in a court filing that federal prosecutors in New York have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Family rejoices at finding of soldier's World War II plane

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tom Kelly grew up on a Northern California farm and once thought of becoming a cowboy...

AP source: Jared Kushner granted security clearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been granted a security clearance...

US employee in China reported strange sounds, pressure

BEIJING (AP) — A U.S. government employee in southern China reported abnormal sensations of sound and...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

State Reps.Tommie Pierson, left, Karla May, center and Brandon Ellington, right, of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus talk to Associated Presss reporter Alan Zagier outside the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. They were there to talk to students and faculty about issues on campus. The meetings were closed to media. (Justin L. Stewart/Missourian via AP)
JIM SALTER, JIM SUHR, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The criticism was blunt: Blacks at the University of Missouri are harassed and threatened, the university has too few African-American faculty members, the administration doesn't seem to care, and all of that needs to change.

A list of grievances issued this month by a student group is strikingly similar to those from 1969. This time, though, it appears the university is listening.

Recent racist incidents, and the perceived lack of response by administrators, led to protests, a student hunger strike and a threatened boycott by the football team. It culminated Monday in the resignations of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and Columbia campus Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

The interim president appointed Thursday, Michael Middleton, made it clear that he hears the concerns. Unsurprising, since Middleton, 68, was a founder of Missouri's Legion of Black Collegians who issued that set of demands 46 years ago.

"It is clear to me the first step is to devote attention to addressing those demands," Middleton said at his introductory news conference. "It is imperative to hear from all students and do everything we can to make them comfortable and safe in our community."

In fact, the university has already addressed several of the eight points on the list. Chief among them was the removal of Wolfe, but other moves have followed.

One day after the resignations, a veteran associate law school dean, Chuck Henson, who is black, was named to the new position of interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity. The university's governing board also pledged more support for those who experience discrimination and said diversity and inclusion training will become mandatory for faculty, staff and students. On Friday, Gov. Jay Nixon named Yvonne Sparks to the Board of Curators, the second black member of the nine-person panel.

The university also hired the lobbying firm of Andy Blunt, who is Sen. Roy Blunt's son and campaign manager, to represent it in Jefferson City, agreeing to pay $10,000 per month in a contract signed Monday.

Many students are hopeful, but want to see more action.

"Really it just comes down to holding these people accountable," said Shelbey Parnell, an organizer of Concerned Student 1950, the group that issued the demands. "They're saying a lot of these things in the moment."

Many of the issues cited nearly five decades ago persist. The 1969 document cited physical threats by whites against blacks, with frequent threats made to what was then known as the Black Culture House. This week, the university's black culture center reported a threat, and its sign was spray-painted by vandals.

The 1969 list expressed concern about the "nonchalant attitude on the part of the university," saying it made it "a haven for comprehensive institutionalized racist and political repression." Those feelings were echoed by many protesters this week.

Meanwhile, the university's low percentage of black faculty and staff remains a point of contention.

The 1969 document noted that just 19 of Missouri's 1,600 faculty members (1.8 percent) were black. The percentage today is just 3.25 percent of full-time faculty. About 7 percent of staff members are black.

The 2015 demands call for increasing the percentage of black faculty and staff to 10 percent by the 2017-18 school year.

Getting there will be tough, but not impossible, said Leslie Fenwick, dean of the education school at historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C. — though she noted that few traditionally white colleges and universities have reached that level.

"I think it requires, more than anything, a will and a compulsion, an acknowledgement that something is deeply wrong in 2015," Fenwick said. "We're almost two decades into a new millennium, and the concerns these young people have harken all of us back 40 to 50 years."

The University of Missouri's student population is 7 percent black in a state that is about 12 percent African-American. Data provided by the Missouri Department of Higher Education shows that four public universities in the state have higher percentages of black students. Two of those are part of the four-campus University of Missouri System — Missouri-St. Louis (14 percent black) and Missouri-Kansas City (12 percent black). The other two are historically black universities — Harris Stowe State University in St. Louis (83 percent), and Lincoln University in Jefferson City (35 percent).

About 71 percent of white students at Missouri's Columbia campus graduate within six years, compared to about 55 percent of black students.
Fenwick said it is "very disturbing" that the Columbia campus is so lacking in diversity.

"Why do we have the circumstances where black people are paying tax dollars without sufficient access to state institutions?" she asked.
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Associated Press reporter Summer Ballentine in Columbia contributed to this report.

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