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stem education

Increasing Educational Opportunities in STEM: 6 Years After the STEM Education Act

September 27, 2021 marks the sixth anniversary of the passage of the STEM Education Act, legislation meant to strengthen federal efforts around science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs as well as broaden the definition of STEM to help fund computer sciences.  A Brief Background on the Act and its Importance  The bill was derived …

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books

Robert F. Smith’s Top Back-to-School Book Recommendations

Students are heading back to school, and even though they may have plenty of new binders, pencils and backpacks, there’s more to add to their educational tools. When it comes to learning about African American history, culture and the arts, here are some of Robert F. Smith’s favorite recommendations. They’re perfect for giving to young …

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New Organization Aims To Support Black-Owned Small Businesses

The road to success for small businesses is tough. For minority-owned small businesses, the struggle can be made even harder through systemic challenges inherent in Black communities. To help remedy these challenges, Pennsylvanians Marcia Perry Dix and David Dix recently founded the PA Chamber for Black Owned Business, a group to provide organizational support to …

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new anti riot laws

New Anti-riot Laws May Disproportionately Impact Black Communities and Other Marginalized Groups

To date, 45 state legislatures and governors have passed, attempted to pass or are currently in the process of passing so-called “anti-riot” bills, according to the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (INCL). These are laws that would place limits on how citizens are allowed to gather to voice opinions and/or oppose the status quo. And, …

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New Research Will Significantly Improve Prostate Cancer Treatment for Black Men

A study of an experimental treatment for prostate cancer, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows promising results in prolonging life for men with aggressive prostate cancer. The new treatment targets proteins on the prostate cancer cells and attacks them, causing less damage to the surrounding cells. Patients who received this treatment …

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Colorado’s Outdoor Equity Grant Program Is a Big Step to Help Expand Outdoor Access

Over the last year, more families have been venturing outside to explore what nature has to offer through hiking, biking and other recreational activities. While these entertaining and educational opportunities seem limitless, there are still significant disparities when it comes to who can easily access these resources.  The Creation of Colorado’s Outdoor Equity Grant Program …

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Student Freedom Initiative Will Provide Millions for HBCUs and Black Students in STEM This Fall

This fall will mark not only the beginning of a new school year for millions of students, but the launch of Student Freedom Initiative, a nonprofit organization which was the brainchild of Robert F. Smith. Student Freedom Initiative will offer flexible, lower-risk alternatives to high-interest private student loans to college seniors and juniors studying Science, …

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Robert F. Smith and John Rogers Jr. Talk Black Banks and the Digital Divide

Robert F. Smith, the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, recently joined John Rogers Jr., the co-CEO of Ariel Investments, the oldest Black-owned asset management firm, on Roll Call’s Fintech Beat podcast. Together, the two financial sector leaders discussed everything from the rise of digitalization to the importance of supporting Black-owned banks with …

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The Financial Struggles Facing HBCUs and Students

According to a 2021 report from the U.S. Department of Education, 42.9 million Americans have federal student loans. That’s 1 in 8 Americans. Furthermore, the current total outstanding student loan debt is $1.59 trillion, with most students leaving college saddled with nearly $30,000 in personal debt. However, there is one group of students that is, …

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Kristen Clarke, First Black Woman to Become U.S. Civil Rights Attorney

Sworn into office by Vice President Kamala Harris on May 25, 2021, Kristen M. Clarke is Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). And as Harris holds firsts for her office, Clarke is also the first woman and first Black woman to hold her position.  Symone Sanders, spokesperson for …

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