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January 22, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

$20 million to support male black and Latino students in the District announced

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor, Kaya Henderson, has announced plans to invest $20 million into support programs for black and Latino male students under the “Empowering Males of Color” initiative. Plans also include opening a new college prep school for boys east of the Anacostia by 2017. (WaPo, 1/21)

Henderson said her decision to invest heavily in the specific needs of boys of color has everything to do with “mathematics.” Black and Latino boys make up 43 percent of the students enrolled in D.C. public schools. By almost any measure – reading and math scores, attendance and graduation rates – their performance is lagging.

“Far too many students are not benefiting from the progress we are making,” Henderson said at a news conference at the remodeled Ballou High School in Ward 8. “It’s a very real, very urgent problem.”


In the District, 48 percent of black male students and 57 percent of Hispanic male students graduate in four years, compared with 66 percent of their classmates. Only about a third of black male students are proficient in reading and math, according to the DC CAS scores, compared with almost 60 percent of students who are not black or Latino males.

– Another integral part of the new “Empowering Males of Color” initiative is the recruitment of 500 mentors for 500 male students. Those interested in becoming mentors can complete this form.

Essay Instead of a Test? Va. Lawmakers Reconsider Graduation Requirements (WAMU, 1/22)

– George Jones, chief executive officer of Bread for the Cityan advocate for the fight against poverty in D.C., was honored as Georgetown’s 2015 John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award recipient at the Kennedy Center on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! You can watch the video here. Thanks to the Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation for sharing.

PHILANTHROPYOpen Society Foundation‘s Campaign for Black Male Achievement has spun off into its own organization after being based at the foundation since 2008. The change signals the continued interest in greater investment in toward young men of color. (Chronicle, 1/21)

Open Society Foundations provided the spinoff with an initial five-year grant of $10-million. Mr. Dove says five other organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson, John S. and James L. Knight, and Skillman foundations, the California Endowment, and Casey Family Programs have also provided support.

– How will the region (and the rest of the United States) change over the next 15 years? The Urban Institute has released an interactive map of the future based on current trends. (Urban Institute, 1/22)

– According to a new report by a marketing firm, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are all among the top 10 places in the country with the highest percentage of households worth more than $1 million. Maryland leads the pack for the second year in a row with 7.67 percent. (Washingtonian, 1/21)

VETERANS | A new bakery in Georgetown offers more than just coffee and croissants. The business recruits veterans who are re-entering the workforce into a six month work-study program in which they learn all about running a business and take classes at Georgetown University. (DCist, 21)

DISTRICT | A former Google executive and his team have been releasing a series of maps for a number of cities, including the District, that highlight data on a number of interesting topics. The maps include data for D.C.’s food deserts and environmental information. (WaPo, 1/21)

TRANSIT | Awaiting a decision, activists rally for the Purple Line (GGW, 1/21)

One way to predict a person’s risk for heart disease? Their tweets!

– Ciara

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