Commentary: African American Scientists and Inventors
by Black Kos Editor, Sephius1
In January 2006, Janet Emerson Bashen became the first African American female to hold a patent for a software invention. The patented software, LinkLine, is a web-based application for EEO claims intake and tracking, claims management, document management and numerous reports. Bashen will soon release the federal sector counterpart, EEOFedSoft, MD715Link and the web-based AAPSoft for building Affirmative Action Plans.
Janet Emerson Bashen, formerly Janet Emerson, attended Alabama A&M until she married and relocated to Houston, Texas, where she now resides.
Bashen’s educational background includes a degree in legal studies and government from The University of Houston, and postgraduate studies at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Administration. Bashen is also a graduate of Harvard University’s “Women and Power: Leadership in a New World.” Bashen will soon be pursuing her LLM from Northwestern California University School of Law.
Bashen maintains a very strong community commitment and is on the Board of Directors for the North Harris Montgomery County Community College District Foundation, and chairs the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., and is a Board member of the PrepProgram, a non-profit organization dedicated to preparing at-risk student athletes for college.
Janet Emerson Bashen is the founder, President and CEO of Bashen Corporation, a leading human resources consulting firm that pioneered end-to-end EEO compliance administration services. Established in September 1994, Bashen built the business from her home office/kitchen table with no money, one client and a fervent commitment to succeed.....Read More
News by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor
Preying on Black Ambition? Salon: For-Profit Colleges.
But this headlong rush of black Americans to get schooled has also led too many down a depressingly familiar path. As with the mortgage market of the pre-crash era, those who are just entering in the higher ed game have found themselves ripe for the con man’s picking. They’ve landed, disproportionately, at for-profit schools, rather than at far less expensive public community colleges, or at public universities. And that means they’ve found themselves loaded with unimaginable debt, with little to show for it, while a small group of financial players have made a great deal of easy money. Sound familiar? Two points if you hear troublesome echoes of the subprime mortgage crisis ...
These numbers mirror a simultaneous trend in eroding security among ambitious black Americans with shrinking access to middle-class jobs. It’s true that the country’s middle class is collapsing for everyone, but that trend is most profound among African-Americans. In 2008, as black folks flocked into higher ed, the Economic Policy Institute found that 45 percent of African-Americans born into the middle class were living at or near poverty as adults.
For too many, school has greased the downward slide. Nearly every single graduate of a for-profit school -- 96 percent, according to a 2008 Department of Education survey -- leaves with debt. The industry ate 25 percent of federal student aid in the 2009–2010 school year. That’s debt its students can’t pay. The loan default rate among for-profit college students is more than double that of their peers in both public and nonprofit private schools, because the degrees and certificates the students are earning are trap doors to more poverty, not springboards to prosperity.
What happens when there is evidence of wrong doing, but nothing is done about it? ColorLines: Feds Reveal Widespread Housing Bias But Refuse to Stop It.
A new report commissioned by the Department of Housing and Urban Developmentrevealed yesterday that prospective renters or home buyers of color are significantly less likely to be shown units compared to white home seekers. The results of the study, conducted by the Urban Institute with a $9 million grant from HUD, are fairly unsurprising—discrimination is present everywhere and housing is no exception.
But as ProPublica’s Nikole Hannah-Jones reports, HUD has no plans to do anything to stop the practices revealed in the new study. Hannah-Jones writes:
[T]he more startling thing may be what HUD intends to do with its findings. …[T]he federal agency has no plans to use these tests to actually enforce the law and punish the offenders.
Once a decade for the last 40 years, HUD has produced a massive survey to reveal the pervasive discrimination that, year after year, exists in America’s housing marketplace. But as ProPublica reported late last year, HUD as a policy refuses to invest the same kinds of time, resources and techniques in prosecuting those guilty of the very discrimination its expensive studies uncover. Instead, HUD outsources testing used to find and punish discriminatory landlords to dozens of small, poorly funded fair housing groups scattered across the country.
And Congress has shown little appetite for forcing HUD to do more meaningful enforcement. A bill that would create a national testing enforcement program at HUD is expected to soon die in committee for the third time.
Conservatives prove once again that they willing to use every trick in the book to win. ColorLines: Are States Delaying Voter ID Enactment to Duck Federal Racial Review?
In March, Virginia passed a strict photo voter ID law that won’t go into effect until 2014. It’s the second voter ID law they’ve passed in as many years — the first one enacted last year only after a review by the federal government made sure that it would not disenfranchise voters of color, even by mistake. The U.S. Department of Justice reviewed and cleared it just in time for the November elections last year. The much stricter version of Virginia’s voter ID law passed this year may not enjoy the same federal scrutiny given its 2014 start date. Reason being, if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Section 5 is invalid — and a ruling is expected within weeks — then the voter ID law would go into effect regardless of its impact on people. Over 870,000 Virginians, mostly people of color, may lack the appropriate ID to vote, according to a letter sent from the ACLU to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell asking him to veto the new voter ID law.
So, it has to be asked: Is Virginia holding the new law to escape racial discrimination review? It’s tough to think of Virginia in that context given its governor just went through the trouble of lifting voting bans on citizens formerly incarcerated for nonviolent felon charges. But if those who’ve left prison are unable to get government ID or a driver’s license — not uncommon for many formerly incarcerated, as pointed out by the Legal Action Center, due to missing vital documents like birth certificates — then they may suffer disenfranchisement under the new law next year anyway.
Virginia isn’t the only state holding back on passed election legislation. A report from the Brennan Center for Justice, “If Section 5 Falls: New Voting Implications,” shows that many states have voter ID and other election laws on ice, and could quickly thaw them out for implementation immediately upon a SCOTUS ruling killing Section 5. It is not a foregone conclusion that SCOTUS will do this, but Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have all indicated that they want to strike it.
What does it mean to be a contemporary artist and an African-American today? Milwaukee Journal: The art of being African-American.
What does it mean to be a contemporary artist and an African-American today? What does it mean to ask such questions in Milwaukee in 2013?
These are the issues raised by "30 Americans," an exhibit that goes on view Friday at the Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive. It features painting, sculpture, installation, photographs and video by 30 African-American artists active since the 1970s.
Many of the works explore issues of race, gender, sexuality, politics and history and represent a cross-generational dialogue among artists with different styles and approaches. The art is drawn from the Rubell Family Foundation, with works collected by New Yorkers Don and Mera Rubell.
"Provocative, beautiful, humorous, at times painful, and always deeply compelling, '30 Americans' is a dazzling presentation of some of the best art made in the last forty years — and a captivating guide to some of the most exciting talent working today," the museum web site boasts.
The work of 30 African-American artists, active since the 1970s, will be featured at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
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