School system and Children’s Policy Council hold Tie Tying Ceremony for 9th Grade Academy

The Greene County School System held its second annual Tie Tying Ceremony for the students entering the 9th Grade Academy. This event commenced last year with the formation of the Academy to high light the students’ Rites of Passage from Middle School to High School. The Academy is designed to give special attention to students as they transition and prepare for college and career. The designated attire of navy blue jackets, white shirts and ties identifies the 9th grade students as they pursue their academic mission. The ceremony was co-sponsored by the Greene County Children’s Policy Council, where District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne is President. The CPC also donated the ties for the students. School officials and community leaders volunteered to teach and assist the students in the tie tying process.

“#DayWithoutAWoman”: for domestic and low-wage workers, the stakes are higher than ever

By: Ai-Jen Poo, Glamour Magazine


On March 8 women from every part of the country and the economy will rise together to participate in #DayWithoutAWoman, also known as the Women’s Strike. A follow-up to the historic Women’s March on January 21, #DayWithoutAWoman will fall on International Women’s Day, which honors the social, political, and economic contributions of women globally.

I sometimes ask domestic workers to imagine what would happen if every nanny, house cleaner, and home care worker in the country decided to go on strike for one day. I ask them to reflect on all the children, seniors, and families who would be touched, and then to think about how those families’ workplaces would be affected—the business people, lawyers, and doctors, all the people who couldn’t work because no one was there to support their needs. The response to this question is often quiet concern for the people they work for, followed by animated banter as they imagine chaos in all the households trying to manage without them. Though society doesn’t value care and cleaning in the home as “real” work, the workers themselves know that their daily work is important, even fundamental.
Until now, I haven’t posed the question of “a day without domestic workers” in preparation for an actual strike. I’ve asked because it’s rare that we as women, particularly women whose wages are never quite enough to pay the bills, ever think about our collective power in the economy, much less what we could achieve if we directed that power collectively. But in this new political era, it’s time that women do more than simply recognize our power—we must organize it.
On March 8 women from every part of the country and the economy will rise together to participate in #DayWithoutAWoman, also known as the Women’s Strike. A follow-up to the historic Women’s March on January 21, #DayWithoutAWoman will fall on International Women’s Day, which honors the social, political, and economic contributions of women globally. Originally named International Working Women’s Day back in 1909, March 8 highlights how women’s work—paid and unpaid—drives the economy worldwide. There is a long, yet little-known, history of global women’s activism on this day. For example, on March 8, 1975, the Icelandic women’s strike set the stage for the election of the first woman president in the world, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir.
At its heart, a strike is an action that workers take to disrupt “business as usual.” Strikes both shine a light on injustice and demonstrate—to the strikers and to everyone else—the collective power to change the status quo. If ever there were a time for women to throw a wrench in things, it’s now. We are nearly half of the entire workforce. And we still provide more than 70 percent of the unpaid family care in the United States. We are also a majority of the consumer base (over 70 percent) in this country. It’s our work and our dollars that create wealth for the winners in this economy—from Uber to Walmart.
As much as some of us may like our jobs, we still face pay inequity, lack of respect, discrimination, and harassment, and lack of access to opportunity for advancement and security. At a time when we should be making progress at light speed on all of these issues, we face powerful opposition, from the government to society at large.
For women in low-wage jobs like domestic work, the stakes are higher than ever. Women make up two-thirds of the nearly 20 million workers in low-wage jobs—defined as jobs that typically pay $10.10 per hour or less, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center. Women of color are disproportionately concentrated in low-wage jobs; nearly half of all women in the low-wage workforce are women of color. Home care jobs, for example, are the fastest growing occupation in the economy today, and are overwhelmingly dominated by women, disproportionately women of color and immigrants. Their median annual income? $13,000 per year.
It’s time for #DayWithoutAWoman. Women from all walks of life will be participating—and there are many ways to participate. Organizers are calling on us to choose among three options: Don’t work, don’t buy things, and wear red. Domestic workers will be participating by wearing red to work. As is the case with many low-wage workers who lack job security, most domestic workers cannot afford to take a day off, or they could risk losing their jobs if they do.
Those who can take the day off will join restaurant workers, retail workers, and others for the Women Workers Rising solidarity rally at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. They will call for fairness in our economy, beginning with the most vulnerable (and increasingly targeted) among us, including poor women, transgender women, women with disabilities, and Black, Muslim and immigrant women. They will be joined by women in more than 40 countries worldwide.
Each one of these actions helps tell the story of the unrealized power we as women hold to shape our our society. When we don’t work, our absence has a ripple effect, because our work is critical to every sector of the economy and should never be taken for granted. When we don’t shop, businesses suffer. Let Wednesday be the day that we find each other (look for the red!) and commit to acting in solidarity. We can leverage our untapped power to take back our democracy and make our economy work for women—and our loved ones—once and for all.
Ai-jen Poo is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and codirector of the Caring Across Generations campaign.

Immigrant rights advocates hold rally against Jeff Sessions in front of his Birmingham office

On Saturday, January 14, 2016, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) supported by other organizations held a rally on the steps of the Vance Federal Building in Birmingham, Alabama to protest Trump’s nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to become the U. S. Attorney General.

200 protestors gathered on the street in front of the building, which houses Jeff Sessions district office. The protestors held signs with quotes from Jeff Sessions showing his bias against immigrants, children were dressed with butterfly wings and a giant puppet of Trump with a red hat with the words “Make America Alabama Again!” on it.

Several speakers, who were hard working immigrants, who had been in Alabama for many years spoke out about Jeff Sessions support for Alabama’s draconian HB56 anti-immigration law. Parts of the law have been challenged and beaten in the courts but the law was the strictest in the nation and forced many undocumented immigrants to flee the state. Speakers addressed their fears that if Sessions is confirmed as U. S. Attorney General that he will support policies that will lead to the deportation of many more immigrants and break up families who have been in this country for many years.

Several of the speakers were young people who were brought to this country as children by their parents and who participated in President Obama’s DACA program which allowed them to go to college and to work without fear of deportation. These young people are often referred to as “dreamers” because they fought so hard for this program to grow up and become educated and productive U. S. citizens.

One young lady on the DACA program said, “ I came to this country at three years old. I have lived in Alabama as long as I can remember. I am a participant in the DACA program. I am going to college here in Birmingham and I am fearful of the future if Jeff Sessions becomes Attorney General. I am an Alabamian and I want to live here and contribute to society and my community here. I am undocumented and fear what President Trump assisted by Attorney General Sessions will do to me to end my dreams.”

Other speakers spoke to Senator Sessions voting record in the U. S. Senate in opposition to voting rights, civil rights, womens rights, labor rights and many basic rights enjoyed by people in this country.

New Phone Listing for the Greene County School System

New Phone Listing for the Greene County School System

The contact numbers for the Greene County Board of Education are:

Greene County High School – 205-372-2052
Robert Brown Middle School 

( Grade 4-6)   Fredrick Square – 205-372-3269
(Grade 7-8)    Barbara Martin – 205-372-9021

Eutaw Primary School – 205-372-1051

Dr. Carter and board promote positive learning environment for students

The Greene County Board of Education, at its regular meeting held Monday, December, 19, 2016, approved a declaration that the entire school system must work to create and promote a positive learning environment for all students. The statement asserts that this is the responsibility and duty of every principal, teacher and all other personnel of the system.
The board established that “…every principal, teacher and other personnel must establish a positive learning environment for all students. An assessment of the positive learning environment will be conducted at the end of each academic year. If sufficient progress has not been made in establishing a positive learning environment, then the principal, teacher and or other personnel may be reassigned or terminated pursuant to the laws of Alabama.”
In his report to the board, Superintendent James H. Carter, Sr. brought further emphasis to the board’s position. “It is imperative that students have challenging standards and curriculum if they are going to be College and Career Ready. If students are going to achieve at their maximum level there should be a genuine partnership between school, family, and the entire school community,” Carter stated.
In his remarks, Dr. Carter said that in order to raise our students’ aspirations, there are two major components necessary. “The first is caring. There must be heartfelt care for students exhibited in all aspects of the education community. Secondly, students must feel like they belong. Every teacher and administrator will be encouraged to speak to each student as they enter the school building and the classroom. Teachers and principals will continue encouraging students to graduate from Greene County High School and take the next step.”Other aspects of Superintendent’s Carter’s remarks were as follows:
* Teachers and students must be sufficient in the use of technology. Technology must be integrated into all subject areas.
* Students will be encouraged to become actively involved in community services.
* Each school will be asked to schedule a school pride day and a school clean-up day.
* Teachers and Principals will set aside 10 minutes per day to have Get to Know My Students Time
* Students should be allowed to have a garden on their campus. This will educate students about the importance of growing your own food. It will also teach students not to be wasteful of food that is prepared for them.
* Professional Learning Community can change the way of educating our children. We know that educators meet regularly, share expertise and work collaboratively to improve teaching skills and improve the academic performance of students.
* Students will have an Early Dismissal at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20th
* Board Appreciation Month – January 2017.
The board approved the following personnel items:
* Termination of Sondra Terry, Part-time Health Science teacher.
* Resignation of Ivory Robinson, Elementary Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School.
* Payment for additional services contract for 2016 – 2017: (Separate Contract): Codarrin Wilson – Asst. Football Coach; Angel Cardona – Dance Line Sponsor.
* Resignation of Mr. Leon Dowe, Jr., CSFO Greene County Board, effective January 18, 2017.
* Search for a new CSFO.
* Appointment of Mrs. Cillia Morrow, Long-term Substitute Math Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School effective December 19, 2016.
* Authorized signatures of superintendent, board president and board vice-president at Bank of Tuscaloosa.
The board approved the recommended administrative services:
* Authorized the Superintendent to develop procedures for sale of properties at Paramount Jr. High School and Carver Middle School.
* Authorized Superintendent to advertise the sale of surplus equipment and supplies owned by the Greene County School Board.
* Authorized the Superintendent to have drinking water tested for lead.
* Authorized Superintendent to complete refurbishing the restrooms at Robert Brown Middle School.
* Create a career tech public database of real world improving projects that student of all ages can do.
* Field Trip Request for Robert Brown Middle School’s 7 – 8 grade to participate in the Disney YES (Youth Educational Series) Program in Orlando, FL on May 7, 2017.
* Renaming bank account at Citizen’s Trust Bank to Robert Brown Middle School.
* Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
* Bank reconciliations as submitted by Mr. Leon Dowe, CSFO.
The board approved the following instructional services:
* Develop a RFP format regarding Public Charter School Authorizer. The Public Charter School RFP will focus on At-Risk Students Program.
* Integrate attendance as part of a teacher performance evaluation.
* A positive learning environment must exist for all students. Therefore, every principal, teacher and other personnel must establish a positive learning environment for all students. An assessment of the positive learning environment will be conducted at the end of each academic year. If sufficient progress has not been made in establishing a positive learning environment, then the principal, teacher and or other personnel may be reassigned or terminated pursuant to the laws of Alabama.


Jim Brown and Ray Lewis, former NFL players meet with President-elect Trump


By Des Bieler , Washington Post

Jim Brown and Ray Lewis.jpgJim Brown and Ray Lewis speak with reporters at Trump Tower. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Trump Tower was the scene of NFL royalty Tuesday, as Ray Lewis and Jim Brown met with the president-elect at his New York transition offices. After the meeting, Lewis spoke of addressing urgent economic conditions, saying, “Black or white is irrelevant.”
Trump, who has been criticized for racially insensitive comments and policy positions, also met Tuesday with pop star Kanye West and former “Apprentice” contestant Omarosa Manigault. “I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future president if we truly want change,” West subsequently tweeted.
“Urban development and job creation are everything,” Lewis, a former star linebacker for the Ravens, told reporters after his meeting. “What we believe with the Trump administration is if we can combine these two powers of coming together — forget black or white. Black or white is irrelevant. The bottom line is job creation and economic development in these urban areas to change the whole scheme of what our kids see.”
“I fell in love with him because he really talks about helping African American, black people and that’s why I’m here,” Brown said on CNN after his meeting. At Trump Tower, he told reporters that he hadn’t voted for Trump, but that “we couldn’t have had a better meeting.”
“The graciousness, the intelligence, the reception we got was fantastic,” Brown said. Brown, a Hall of Famer widely regarded as the greatest running back in NFL history, said he talked to Trump about, among other things, his Amer-I-Can Program, which helps teach life skills to people struggling with poverty.
Lewis said that, because of the program, “we have 30,000 to 40,000 former gang members who’ve changed their lives.” He also said (via the Baltimore Sun) that he thought Ben Carson was a good pick to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

How Did African Americans Fare In The Obama Era?

Many say the first Black president didn’t do enough to improve the lives of African Americans.

Written By Nigel Roberts


 President Barack Obama
Many African-Americans have expressed disappointment in President Barack Obama, even those who voted whole-heartedly for him twice.
In an October interview, Sean “Diddy” Combs, in an interview on Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, said the Black community “got a little bit shortchanged.”
He explained it this way: “I feel like we put President Obama in the White House, and when I look back I just wanted more done for my people. Because, that’s the name of the game, this is politics.”
Here are a few gauges in evaluating how African-Americans fared under the Obama presidency.
Sense of well-being
First, are African-Americans really disappointed in the performance of the first Black president? Gallup and Healthways asked Americans to rate their current and future lives throughout his presidency. Researchers found that Americans of all races who say they are thriving have increased. African-Americans’ life evaluations improved nearly 13 points from 2008 to 2010. However, it declined during Obama’s second term, now registering below other races.
“These results dovetail with Blacks’ collective sentiment that Obama has not done enough to improve Black Americans’ standard of living,” the researchers concluded.

Wages remained stagnant for nearly all Americans during the economic recovery. CNN Money reported that income dropped to $33,926 in the period of 2009 to 2011, but then rebounded to $35,398 by 2014. African-Americans were hit particularly hard during the Great Recession, with many falling into poverty. By 2011, the poverty rate within the Black community reached 27.6 percent, which was almost 2 percent higher than when Obama took office. In recent years, it has fallen to 26.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the wealth gap grew between Black and White Americans during the Obama presidency. The Pew Research Center, based on an analysis of Federal Reserve data, found that family wealth was eight times higher for Whites than Blacks in 2010 and ballooned to 13 times greater in 2013.

The academic achievement gap between Black and White students remains stubbornly high. In fact, for many decades Black students have lagged significantly behind their White counterparts on just about all academic measures. However, in October the White House announced that the high school graduation rate reached a record level for all students in the 2014-2015 school year. African-American students made strides toward on-time graduation, increasing by 8 percent since the 2010-2011 school year.

The high unemployment rate among Black youths was shuffled around like a political tennis ball, some would say exploited, during the 2016 campaign season. However, CNN Money reported that the unemployment rate in two categories—teens and those 16 to 24—declined more than half during the Obama administration.
For Black teens, the unemployment rate reached a high of 48.9 percent in Sept. 2010. For job seekers 16 to 24, the unemployment rate spiked to 32.5 percent in Jan. 2010. While still high, the jobless rates dropped this year to 23.3 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively.

Access to health care improved significantly for African-Americans, thanks of course to President Obama’s signature policy, the Affordable Care Act. According to White, since open enrollment in 2013, more than 3 million uninsured African-Americans obtained coverage, reducing the percentage of Blacks who lack health care by more than half during the Obama presidency.