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Ralph Kennedy Frasier, who helped integrate the University of North Carolina, has died

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Ralph Kennedy Frasier, the last living member of the trio of young African-Americans who first desegregated undergraduate students at North Carolina’s flagship public university in the Fifties, has died.

According to son Ralph Frasier Jr. Frasier, who had been in failing health for several months, died on May 8 at the age of 85 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. A memorial service was held Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, where Frasier spent most of his skilled profession.

Frasier, his older brother LeRoy, and John Lewis Brandon – all classmates at Durham High School – successfully fought against Jim Crow laws after they were capable of attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall of 1955. LeRoy Frasier died in late 2017, and Brandon joined him a couple of weeks later.

Initially, Hillside High School students’ applications for school were denied, though the UNC law school had been integrated several years earlier. The landmark Brown vs. decision The Board of Education, which banned segregation, took place in 1954.

The board of trustees of UNC – the nation’s oldest public university – then passed a resolution banning the admission of blacks to undergraduate programs. The students filed a lawsuit, and a federal court ordered their admission. The verdict was ultimately confirmed by the United States Supreme Court.

In this Friday, September 17, 2010 photo, Ralph Frasier talks about being one of the first black undergraduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Fifties in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds, File )

The three became plaintiffs partially because their families were insulated from financial retribution — the brothers’ parents, for instance, worked for the black-owned North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Durham. The brothers’ age difference was 14 months, but Ralph began school early.

After the legal victory, it was still hard to be on campus. In an interview at the time of his brother’s death, Frasier recalled that the school’s golf course and the university-owned Carolina Inn were unavailable. At football games, they sat in a bit with chaperones who were black. And all three of them lived on a separate floor of the dormitory part.

“Those days were probably the most stressful of my life” – Frasier he told the Associated Press in 2010, when the three visited Chapel Hill to be honored. “I can’t say I have many happy memories.”

The brothers studied for 3 years in Chapel Hill before Ralph left for the army and LeRoy for the Peace Corps. Attending UNC “was extremely difficult for them. They were tired,” Ralph Frasier Jr. said in an interview this week.

Three African-American undergraduate students, from left: John Lewis Brandon and brothers Leroy and Ralph Frasier, who have been accepted to the University of North Carolina, check their grades between semesters at their home in Durham, North Carolina on February 8, 1956. (AP Photo/Rudolph Faircloth, File)

The brothers later graduated from North Carolina Central University in Durham, a historically black college. LeRoy Frasier worked as an English teacher in New York for a few years. Brandon earned degrees elsewhere and worked in the chemical industry.

Frasier also earned a law degree from N.C. Central before embarking on a protracted profession in legal services and banking, first at Wachovia and later at Huntington Bancshares in Columbus.

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Ralph Frasier was proud of promoting racial change in the Columbus business community and serving on a committee that helped place two black lawyers on the federal bench, his son said.

Relations with UNC-Chapel Hill improved, resulting in a campus celebration in 2010 commemorating their pioneering efforts, and scholarships were named of their honor.

Still, Ralph Frasier Jr. said it was disappointing that the current UNC-Chapel Hill board of trustees voted this week to recommend redirecting money from diversity programs to next yr.

“It’s almost a slap in the face and a step back in time,” Ralph Frasier Jr. said. The motion comes as the UNC System Board of Governors will soon determine whether to alter its diversity policy for 17 campuses across the state.

Frasier’s survivors include his wife of 42 years, Jeannine Marie Quick-Frasier; six children, 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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National No Child Care Day: DC should not balance its budget at the expense of our children

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As a mother and community organizer, I look to my children and others to see the hopes and guarantees for his or her future. I’m also keenly aware of the importance of systems that promote the health and well-being of our children, which makes DC Budget cuts proposed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to the child welfare system, which is the cornerstone of every child’s well-being at an early stage of development, which is deeply disturbing to me and other parents and social activists.

The work of child care providers has been economically devalued since: the days when enslaved African women forcibly raised white children. Bowser’s budget cuts reinforce the slavery-era belief that black and brown child care employees do not deserve fair wages. These women are the invisible backbone of American communities and economies. They deserve a salary that can provide them with an honest standard of living. The DC Mayor and Council should put money into our children the same way they put money into millionaires. That’s why we’re working tirelessly to stop this from happening again.

May 13 is National Day Without Child Care (DWOCC), a day for child care providers to advocate for our government systems to create cheaper and accessible child care. As proud members of the Raising Child Care Fund, we are going to focus our efforts today on urging Mayor Bowser to say no to harmful cuts to the child care budget.

On April 3, Mayor Bowser proposed a budget for fiscal 12 months 2025 that eliminates it entirely Early Childhood Education Equalization Fund. The Pay Equality Fund (PEF) was established in 2021 under birth law for 3 years for all DC residents enacted in 2018. This program proposed everlasting funding to assist offer direct payments to child care professionals and employers to bring child care employees’ wages and advantages in step with their colleagues in the DC public school system.

In 2019, before the National Federation of Feedbackers DC Average Income was $15.36 for a babysitter in comparison with $33.10 for a preschool teacher and $44.16 per hour for an elementary school teacher. The implementation of the Pay Equity Fund in 2022 and 2023 has helped fill this gap paying $80 million to over 4,000 preschool teachers and their facilities to extend wages and salaries. DC relatively expensive standard of living implies that any potential fall in childcare wages to the minimum wage will force many employees to search out alternative employment.

Another PEF program, Health4CareChild care, provided teachers caring for young children with free or low-cost medical insurance. It is estimated that 16% of child care employees under the age of 65 are uninsured in comparison with 4.23% of teachers. The loss of this program will leave many employees uninsured or underinsured, which could also be the case further and disproportionately widen health disparities impact on Black communities in DC

DC has moreover proposed cutting $10 million from the child care subsidy program, which has helped lower child care costs for low-income families. Only current DC child care offers serve 71% of demand. Lower wages combined with subsidy cuts will result in an excellent greater lack of child care available to DC families.

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These cuts to the child care budget are a profound betrayal of the guarantees made by the DC mayor and council members to early childhood educators, especially provided that DC has increased education requirements and regulations for child care employees.

In December 2023, DC it required all its manpower in little children have child development credentials or an educational degree. Relatively, only five other states require similar minimum credentials. Increasing educational requirements while abandoning guarantees of increased pay for this predominantly black workforce is deeply damaging to the economic and mental well-being of our child care employees.

The DC government justified these budget cuts by stating that DC needed to search out funds to replenish its reserve funds. Bowser’s budget though attached $3.1 million for juvenile justice centers, $32 million for tourism and marketing subsidies and $551 million for downtown Chinatown revitalization.

Additionally, Tazra Mitchell, director of policy and strategy at the DC Fiscal Policy Institutehe wrote on Twitter “In 2021, the CFO’s office told me that DC had only spent about 75% of its cash flow reserve at any given time.”

The DC government decides to chop child care teaching programs that positively impact Black communities in favor of programs that impact corporate profits to be able to solve the money flow problem. This is an unjust act of democracy that we cannot allow to prevail.

As community members who consider in moving DC toward a caring economy, we’re dedicating our time, attention and resources to urging the DC Mayor and Council not to show their backs on child care employees.

On May 13, we plan to host caregivers and fogeys in the Wilson Building, which houses the mayor’s and council members’ offices. We will probably be hosting office hours and meetings with council members Phil Mendelson, Jeneese Lewis George, Kenyan McDuffee, Christina Henderson and others supporting the restoration of the pay equity fund. SPACE in Action may also host automotive brigades and display banners calling on the DC Council to maintain its promise to child care providers.

Proposed budget cuts to the child care system will threaten the physical and economic health of greater than 4,000 child care employees, mostly Black and Brown. This will worsen an already deepening child care crisis that has left so many families unable to search out inexpensive and accessible take care of their children. The tangible consequences of cutting child care will outweigh the imagined advantages gained from increasing DC’s rainy day fund.

At DWOCC, join us in urging the DC mayor and council members to guard our children’s future by protecting our early childhood educators in the present. No child’s educational development or caregivers’ livelihood should be limited to be able to balance the budget.


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This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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The mother-daughter duo graduated from Rutgers School of Social Work together

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Is Rutgers a good school for social work?

Congratulations are to ensure that one mother-daughter duo.

Latonya Johnson, 43, and Laila Birchett, 21, graduated together from the School of Social Work at Rutgers University on Sunday. the institution made available.

“I took my first college course in 1999.” said Johnson, a divorced mother of six whose children range in age from 4 to 26. “From 1999 to the present, I have tried to go back in time six times, but to no avail. I couldn’t manage my time properly because I was a wife, mother and worked full-time.”

In addition to being a full-time mother before enrolling at Rutgers, Johnson worked full-time and took classes part-time. Birchett suggested that they attend school together, prompting her mother to cut back her working hours and enroll at university in September 2022.

“Her journey has been truly inspiring,” Birchett said of her mother. “It encouraged me to work harder in college.”

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The former Montclair State student knew she desired to pursue a field that may allow her to assist others, especially the homeless and the elderly. Johnson previously worked as an authorized alcohol and drug counselor.

At Rutgers, the mother-daughter duo attended different classes but had the identical teacher. They relied on one another for support, from computer technology to real-life experiences.

“There were times when I struggled to cope in school,” Birchett said. People Magazine reported. “But I always thought if my mom could do it, I could do it.”

Johnson and Birchett will enroll within the Rutgers Master of Social Work program this fall.

“My family — my kids, my mom and dad — they’re all proud because it’s two generations going to college together,” Johnson said, in keeping with Rutgers. “I never thought that in one million years I’d go to high school with my daughter and graduate from the identical university and the identical field. It’s a bit of surreal, but it surely has brought us closer together because we’ve got connected on a level I never thought I’d have the option to attach with my children.


This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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A Virginia school board voted to restore Confederate names at two schools. I bet even Robert E. Lee is confused.

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Panama Jackson theGrio.com

Many years ago, I took my wife on her first trip to the Deep South, during which we made an 11-hour trip from Washington, D.C. to Huntsville, Alabama, to visit my parents. My wife, who is from Ghana and moved to New Jersey at age 11 before attending Howard University, had never been to the South before. Sure, she was in Miami, but I think we will all agree that Miami and anywhere in Alabama should not the identical.

Like many individuals from, well, anywhere else, she was very anxious in regards to the trip. Between all of the documentaries in regards to the Civil Rights Movement, history, racist white people, and the final notion that “the South is a place where racism thrives,” she was quite concerned about being kicked with the n-word, potentially kidnapped, and was an ancestor just crossing the imaginary border to the “South”. I assured her that wasn’t the case, but we soon had our first (humorous) encounter with racism.

No greater than two hours outside of DC, we stopped for a rest stop so my kids could use the restroom. We were just outside the border of Northern Virginia, which is not an independent state, but anyone who lives within the DC area knows the difference between “Virginia” and “Northern Virginia,” which is just like the difference between Atlanta and Georgia. A whole group of motorcyclists with Confederate flags on their shirts were parked at the facilities. I talked to one in all the bikers in regards to the weather and we each went our separate ways, but she felt justified. Racism was waiting for us as soon as we hit Virginia. I laughed it off, but I couldn’t disagree with it either.

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This memory is the very first thing I considered when I read the recent news in regards to the all-white school board in Shenandoah County, Virginia, voting againwrite down the names of the two schools originally named after racists and losers – Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Turner Ashby. The two schools in query, now Mountain View High School and Honey Run Elementary School, were renamed within the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, when people made the historically correct decision to remove Confederate symbols and rename schools named after LOSERS CIVIL WAR.

I cannot emphasize enough how idiotic I think it is to honor the losers of the war that tore the country apart, but white people will likely be white people, you recognize? I bet even Stonewall Jackson and Nem will likely be like, “Really??? Wow… what a bunch of idiots. We lost. If we had won, we certainly wouldn’t have had any schools named after Union generals!” Robert E. Lee even against monuments after every little thing was said and done. Why? Because putting up monuments and stuff like that it could be too divisive. What are we even doing here?

Despite what number of community members didn’t want to change the names back to Stonewall Jackson High School and Ashby Lee Elementary, the conservative school board stated, “Yes, we definitely need to put these racists back on the field! LEGACY, NOT HATE!” Forget what message this sends to students of color in these schools; it is more vital to honor the LOSERS of the Civil War because clearly the defenders of slavery and racism were people of high moral standing and character, more so than the school board that modified names after the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

My God.

It’s bad enough that racists have gained momentum through the years with “critical race theory” bans and reversing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, but now districts are actively bringing racists into schools? Deliberately? White people never stop to amaze me with their boldness and audacity. Especially since everyone knows what happens from here; the proven fact that something like this happened on this case signifies that other school districts may follow suit, not for a very good reason, but to make some extent. The proven fact that I hate it here really doesn’t describe how I feel.

The aliens (and Robert E. Lee) have to be very confused.


Panama Jackson theGrio.com

This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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