Apr 13, 2011

President Barack Obama signs an executive order for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the East Room of the White House.
After watching the entertaining debate on MSNBC featuring Al Sharpton and Cornel West, I felt compell to look up information that shows exactly how has the Obama administration benefitted the African American community.  What I came across was the White House's very own website that is targeted towards African Americans.  Some of things you can find on the website is how Obama's proposed Budget Plan will affect African American families.
Here is just a snippet of the things that I found:
  • Improve Access to Higher Education for Students from Minority Backgrounds. The Budget proposes to double loan amounts for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) above the 2010 enacted level and maintains funding for programs administered by the Department of Education, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation that fund HBCUs. The Budget also provides an additional $40 million for a new competitive grant program, the Hawkins Centers of Excellence, to improve and expand teacher education programs at minority-serving institutions, a significant pipeline for preparing a diverse teaching force.
  • Increase the Number of Math, Science, and Engineering Graduates. If the United States is going to create the industries of tomorrow and the jobs that come with it, we need to continue to invest in educating the scientists and engineers who will develop these breakthroughs. In cooperation with the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Teacher Learning for the Future program will fund innovative efforts that design, develop, implement, and test new teacher-training programs. To bring undergraduates from groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, the Budget includes $20 million for a new overarching, comprehensive science and technology workforce program. These programs will be developed in conjunction with a government-wide effort to improve the impact of Federal investments in math and science education by ensuring that all programs supporting K-12 and undergraduate education adhere to consistent standards of effectiveness.
  • Expand Prisoner Re-entry Programs. The Budget provides $803 million for Department Justice prisoner re-entry programs, including $100 million for grant assistance under the Second Chance Act and $30 million for residential substance abuse treatment programs in State and local prisons and jails. In addition, the Budget provides $98 million for Department of Labor programs that provide employment-centered services to adult and youth ex-offenders and at-risk youth. These programs reduce recidivism by providing counseling, job training, drug treatment, and other transitional assistance to former prisoners as they reintegrate into the job market and community life.
There is a lot of information sprinkled throughout the site that cites things the Administration has been able to accomplished and is trying to accomplish as far as African Americans are concerned.  It may not be all that we hope it to be, but I do think it's important that we research these things for ourselves instead of just listening to what talking heads such as Al and Cornel have to say about the situation.  I do , however, agree with Al Sharpton that we have to hold all of our elected officials accountable, but we too must be accountable because at the end of the day 'in a Democracy there is no office higher than that of citizen.'
If you have done some reasearch on your own please feel free to share it in the comment section.


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