Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I met Wilbur at True Light Family Resource Center.  He was in need of social services such as a bus pass, clothing, counseling, and food.  I continued to follow him over nearly two years.  This is his story...

Imprisoned on the Inside and Out; The Story of Wilbur Williams by Rachael Jane

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Exhibition at Fotoweek DC

Hope Reimagined: Photography Driven by Social Change

I am participating in a group exhibition in Washington DC with Photophilanthropy

Today is the last day to see it if you are in the area

Fotoweek DC

Friday, July 6, 2012

Exhibition at the United Nations

If you happen to be in NYC in August or September, please check out this group exhibition from Photophilanthropy. PhotoPhilanthropy addresses critical social and environmental issues around the world by providing nonprofits and photographers with the resources to work together to create images that drive social change. I'm happy that they have selected one of my photos to be part of the exhibition.

Right Before Your Eyes: Photography Driven By Social Change
An Exhibition Presented by PhotoPhilanthropy at the United Nations

What? An exhibition including thirty stunning photographs by photographers from around the world.
When? Aug. 16 – Sept. 10, 2012
Where? Visitor’s Lobby, United Nations, New York City
Description: A single photograph can change the world. One moment, captured by a photographer’s lens, has the power to shift public policy, spark human rights campaigns, and alter the course of wars. “Right Before Your Eyes” showcases images that capture a range of social issues including global health, youth education, poverty and displaced people. With this exhibition, PhotoPhilanthropy pays tribute to the commitment of photographers to raising awareness for the most pressing social issues around the world today. On any given day, across the globe photojournalists are serving as witnesses, observers, and agents of change.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why Didn't Money Save Kansas City Missouri Schools?

Money And School Performance: Lessons from the Kansas City Desegregation Experiment by Paul Ciotti

This article provides a lot of research and makes some interesting conclusions that are worth thinking about regarding the Kansas City Missouri School District.  In addition to what is concluded, I believe a look at what's going on outside the school in these kids lives is also an important component to understanding the failure.  Lack of decent paying jobs and opportunities for the parents of the children, drug abuse, crime, etc;  it's a more global problem and the education is simply one symptom of it.   

 " "It's not unconstitutional to give the students a lousy education; it's only unconstitutional to give them a segregated one."(100)

All the money spent in Kansas City brought about neither integration nor higher levels of achievement. The lessons of the Kansas City experiment should stand as a warning to those who would use massive funding and gold-plated buildings to encourage integration and improve education:
    • The political realities of inner-city Kansas City made it impossible to fire incompetent teachers and principals and hire good ones.
    • Because the community regarded the school system as much as an employment opportunity as an educational institution, less than half the education budget ever made it to the classroom.
    • School superintendents found it hard to function because every decision was second-guessed by the court-appointed monitoring committee; the attorney for the plaintiffs; and the state of Missouri, which was paying most of the bills.
    • Because the designers of the Kansas City plan assumed that inner-city blacks couldn't learn unless they sat in classrooms with middle-class whites, the district wasted exorbitant amounts of time and money on expensive facilities and elaborate programs intended to attract suburban whites instead of focusing its attention on the needs of inner-city blacks.
    • By turning virtually every school in the district into a magnet school, the Kansas City plan destroyed schools as essential parts of neighborhoods, fractured neighborhoods' sense of community, and alienated parents.
    • The mechanism used to fund improvements to the school system (a federal desegregation lawsuit) deflected attention from the real problem--the need to raise black achievement.
    • The ideological biases of local educators and politicians, and the federal court, made them reject solutions that might have worked, such as merit pay, charter schools, or offers by private schools to educate students in return for vouchers.
    • Because the district had no way to evaluate the performance of teachers and administrators, promotions couldn't be based on merit.
    • The desegregation plan created inverse achievement incentives--the district got hundreds of millions of extra dollars in court-ordered funding each year but only if student test scores failed to meet national norms. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Chance for All

Puma FC, Announces Launch of “Chance For All” Program, Partnership with Afrikan Centered Education Collegium Campus (ACE) to Bring Soccer to Urban Core of Kansas City.


More photos

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Missouri is Still the Highest in African American Homicides

According to the Violence Policy Center, "Washington, DC--Missouri leads the nation in the rate of black homicide victimization for the second year in a row according to a new analysis of unpublished Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC)."


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Her Will

Yesterday I went to visit Linda.  She has been through a lot since I last posted about her.  She had left the shelters and moved into her own home in a government subsidized project.  In her new place, she had seemed happy, talkative and open.  

After about four months had past, her health deteriorated.  Linda’s neighbor had found her on the floor unresponsive.  She had been there for two days.  She is now living in a nursing home for the time being.  When I went to find her, a nurse had to point me to her as I did not recognize her.  She lost so much weight, her frame is skeletal and she is now in a wheelchair.  The nurses say she is not eating much.
She and I found a place in the dining hall that was quiet to talk.  We sat there in silence for a long time.  If I asked her a question, her response was yes or no without elaboration.  When I asked her how is her will to live, she put her head down, chipped at her worn nail polish, and slowly replied “it’s good.” I gave her some updates about my own life and she listened intently.

We continued to sit in silence. Linda seemed so tired....

I mentioned that Etta James had died.  She asked who was she.  I explained that James sang a famous song called  “At Last."  Linda looked at me blankly.  Then I played it on my phone.  She closed her eyes, she smiled knowingly and began to hum along....

follow more of Linda's story by clicking here: Linda

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I just added my photo essay to PhotoPhilanthropy's website click here. I'm honored to have my work and the work of True Light Family Resource Center be shown there. Please take time to browse and view also their impressive collection of works by photographers working with all types of non-profits.