Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

12Jun/140

Higher Education and America’s Out-of-Control Student Loan Industry

Higher education is becoming more and more out of reach for everyday high school graduates, and even more so for students in families that are not wealthy.  New federal actions by the Obama administration begins to chip away at the levels of problems associated with this nation's student loan system, but there's far more work to be done to transform the way students access institutions of higher learning.  This dynamic was explored in greater detail on Tuesday's Democracy Now show, also featuring a brief reference to a new documentary film, Ivory Tower, that also explores this dynamic.

Part 1  (approx. 7 mins.)  -  As Obama Moves to Cap Student Debt Payments, Activists Push For Broader Write-Off of Crushing Loans

President Obama has unveiled new executive actions to address what some have called the nation’s next financial crisis: the over $1.2 trillion in student loans. Obama’s order will expand the "Pay as Your Earn" program capping loan payments at ten percent of monthly income. The program also forgives any outstanding debt after twenty years of payments. The massive cost of U.S. college tuition has saddled millions with crushing debt and priced many others out of the classroom. Student loans now exceed all other forms of consumer debt except for home mortgages. This year’s graduate class is the most indebted in U.S. history, with borrowers owing an average $33,000. More than 70% of this year’s class has taken on a student loan, up from less than half of graduates twenty years ago. We are joined by two guests: Pamela Brown, a Ph.D. student in sociology at the New School and leading activist on the issue of student debt; and Andrew Rossi, director and producer of a new documentary on U.S. higher education, "Ivory Tower."

Part 2  (approx. 8 mins.)  -  Is College Worth It? New Doc "Ivory Tower" Tackles Higher Ed’s Unsustainable Spending, Student Debt

The cost of a college degree has grown by over 1,120 percent in the past three decades, far surpassing price hikes for food, medical care, housing, gasoline, and other basics. Coupled with $1.2 trillion in student debt, the U.S. is facing a crisis that threatens not just the economy but the nation’s education system itself. The issue is explored in the riveting new documentary "Ivory Tower," which argues the model for higher education in the U.S. has become unsustainable. The film contrasts the struggle for quality, affordable education with a growing corporate atmosphere on college campuses, where hundreds of millions of dollars go to football stadiums, lavish salaries, and high-end perks. We are joined by "Ivory Tower," director and producer Andrew Rossi. The film opens this Friday in New York City and Los Angeles.

6Mar/140

I, Too, Am Harvard: The Black Student Experience

I, Too, Am Harvard…

A campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College.

Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard.

The #itooamharvard video campaign is inspired by I, Too, Am Harvard, a play based on interviews with members of the black community exploring and affirming our diverse experiences as black students at Harvard College.

The original play premieres on (tonight) Friday March 7th, 2014 at 7 PM in Lowell Lecture Hall on the campus of Harvard College. facebook.com/itooamharvard @iTooAmHarvard #itooamharvard

Watch the companion video below, and learn more about the campaign online...

12Feb/140

33 – Racial Isolation for Black Students on White University Campuses

On February 10, 2014 a group of students from the UCLA School of Law gathered together to raise awareness of the disturbing emotional toll placed upon students of color due to their alarmingly low representation within the student body.

11Dec/130

Remembering Mandela: Howard University Television (WHUT)

A very nicely done video honoring the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.  Many thanks to the team at Howard University Television (WHUT), and Dr. Greg Carr (Chair of the African American / Africana Studies Department at Howard University) for putting this piece together.

If you have a moment, also read the really nice piece contextualizing aspects of Nelson Mandela's relationship to the Howard University community over the years.