National News - Page 3

Philadelphia picks winning design for Harriet Tubman statue after controversy over original choice

The city of Philadelphia has picked the winning design for a Harriet Tubman statue outside City Hall after facing criticism over its original choice of a white artist who’d been selected without competition. Alvin Pettit beat out four other semifinalists with a design called “A Higher Power: The Call of a Freedom Fighter.” His nearly 14-foot bronze statue — the first of a Black woman who is a historical figure in the city’s public art collection — will portray Tubman as a military leader and freedom fighter. The famed abolitionist — who escaped slavery and led other enslaved Black women and men

Few transplant surgeons are Black. Giving medical students a rare peek at organ donation may help

By Lauren Neergaard It’s long after midnight when the bustling operating room suddenly falls quiet — a moment of silence to honor the man lying on the table. This is no ordinary surgery. Detrick Witherspoon died before ever being wheeled in, and now two wide-eyed medical students are about to get a hands-on introduction to organ donation. They’re part of a novel program to encourage more Black and other minority doctors-to-be to get involved in the transplant field, increasing the trust of patients of color. “There are very few transplant surgeons who look like me,” said Dr. James Hildreth, president

Latino, Black enrollment in advanced math shot up after states made this change. Should it be a model?

By Suzanne Gamboa  In a state that has passed anti-diversity laws and tried to squelch instruction on systemic racism, a new law could open doors for Latino and Black children long shut out of advanced math courses. Just a handful of states have taken the step Texas did this year. Under a law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in May, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools must automatically enroll in an advanced math course sixth graders who score in the top 40% of the math portion of the state standardized test known as STAAR. Texas school districts can also consider class

A new cure for sickle cell disease may be coming. FDA advisers will review it next week.

The only cure for painful sickle cell disease today is a bone marrow transplant. But soon there may be a new cure that attacks the disorder at its genetic source. On Tuesday, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will review a gene therapy for the inherited blood disorder, which in the U.S. mostly affects Black people. Issues they will consider include whether more research is needed into possible unintended consequences of the treatment. If approved by the FDA, it would be the first gene therapy on the U.S. market based on CRISPR, the gene editing tool that won its inventors the Nobel Prize in 2020. The

Longest-serving Black congressional staffer, Bertie Bowman, dies at 92

By Emi Tuyetnhi Tran Congress’ longest-serving Black staffer, Herbert “Bertie” Bowman, who worked his way up  from sweeping the steps of the Capitol as a teenager to coordinating one of the Senate’s most important committees, died this week. He was 92. Bowman died on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at a rehabilitation facility in North Bethesda, Maryland, of  complications related to recent heart surgeries, Bowman’s stepdaughter LaUanah King-Cassell told The Washington Post. Born the fifth of 14 children to sharecroppers in South Carolina, Bowman wrote in his 2008 autobiography “Step by Step” that his life changed in 1944 when, during a visit to his 

Rash of violence has not deterred Black parents from keeping their kids at HBCUs

By Curtis Bunn Kim and Tommy Sturdivant said they didn’t consider pulling their two children — son Seth at Morgan State University and daughter Mia at Howard University — out of school after the rash of gun violence that struck historically Black colleges and universities across the country earlier this month. The Sturdivants were troubled, for sure, but they were mostly concerned about the overall security level at HBCUs and wanted to know what could be done to prevent or minimize gun violence in the future. “That’s the primary thing moving forward,” Kim Sturdivant said. “Do I feel the schools could

Do ‘Women in STEM’ Programs Violate Title IX?

By Liam Knox The Rochester Institute of Technology has a persistent and yawning gender gap—what some have called its “infamous gender ratio.” It is nearly two-thirds male, a number that has remained relatively stable for years, sometimes raising eyebrows among prospective female applicants. RIT is not an anomaly. While the gender gap in higher education has narrowed to the point of reversal, with more women than men enrolling in college, STEM fields have remained stubbornly male-dominated: only 21 percent of engineering majors and 19 percent of computing majors are women, according to data from the National Science Foundation. Institutions that focus on STEM education often have similarly low numbers

Scholastic Book Fairs face criticism for isolating titles on race and gender

By Laura Strickler The battle over books has taken a new front. The season for Scholastic Book Fairs has kicked off, a time when students shop for books at annual pop-up fairs in their own hallways. But this year, the massive publisher of children’s books, which manages sales at 120,000 book fairs nationwide, announced it has made a new collection titled “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” that schools can opt in or out of, including at fairs. The decision has triggered criticism for giving schools the choice to remove books about civil rights icons like Ruby Bridges and public figures

Court Ruling Shows Need For Atlantans To Support Area’s HBCUs

Written By President David A. Thomas, Ph.D. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting race-conscious affirmative action in college admissions is a moment for Atlanta to continue to lead our nation by investing in its historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) — the very institutions that overwhelmingly launch Black students into graduate schools, professional careers of influence, and leadership roles. The impact of the court’s landmark decision will be felt deeply by the most selective colleges and universities, in both graduate and undergraduate schools. Several studies suggest that selective, predominantly white higher education institutions such as Harvard and Emory are likely to

Biden Administration Prepares for Student Debt Relief Negotiations

By Katherine Knott The U.S. Education Department is gearing up to hold meetings in two weeks on how to provide debt relief to federal student loan borrowers, especially now that a potential government shutdown has been at least temporarily averted. The Biden administration announced Friday who will serve on the advisory negotiated rule-making committee that will discuss how to change federal regulations to offer debt relief and offered a glimpse at what those discussions might look like. The announcement came a day before the potential shutdown, which Congress averted with a last-minute measure to keep the government open for 45 days. Student loan payments