Virginia Alvino

Reporter & All Things Considered Host

Virginia joined WBOI in August of 2013. She works to report on often overlooked stories in the community, and uncover solutions as much as difficulties that we as a community face. Virginia began reporting out of the Statehouse in Salem, OR, and has reported for the Northwest News Network and Oregon Public Broadcasting. Virginia is now the local WBOI host of All Things Considered.

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The Difference
2:43 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

For Some Immigrants of Color, Becoming Black is a Process

Pastor Donovan Coley, CEO of the Rescue Mission in Fort Wayne.
Credit Rescue Mission

Fort Wayne Rescue Mission CEO Donovan Coley never thought of himself as black until he moved to the U.S. from Jamaica. 

According to Coley, being black in America isn’t just about skin tone. For many,  it’s a role to play in society – a role Coley says he was taught and expected to learn. 

For him, it’s a story of wrestling with a dual identity. It's a perspective he says allowed him to better understand how white and black people interact and the unwritten rules of those interactions. 

Here’s Coley on how he learned to be a black man in America.

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The Difference
12:43 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Black Barbershop Health Initiative Offers Free Screenings for Men of Color

42 year old Marcus Wilkes gets his blood sugar tested at Unity Barbershop in Fort Wayne.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Many black men throughout Indiana going to get a haircut this weekend were also able to receive a free health screening. The 4th annual Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative was held Saturday across the state.  

According to the Indiana Department of Health, black men have the highest mortality rate of any racial group.And many don't go to the doctor. 

That's according to Foundation One. 

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News
6:13 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

AWS Foundation Donates South Central Campus to Blue Jacket, Inc.

The Fort Wayne nonprofit Blue Jacket, Inc. no longer has to pay rent. The AWS Foundation donated a quarter acre campus to the workforce training organization last week.

Blue Jacket had been leasing their 19,000 square foot building for two years.

The building on South Calhoun Street near Downtown Fort Wayne has a history of serving underprivileged residents – from people with disabilities to refugees; it now houses Blue Jacket’s programs for disadvantaged job seekers, including ex-offenders.

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News
6:56 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Envision Fort Wayne Center Open For Citizen Input

Citizens can learn more about riverfront development at the Envision Fort Wayne Center downtown.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Fort Wayne’s future now has a storefront. City residents will be able to learn about and offer input on community projects in  person. Mayor Tom Henry officially opened  the Envision Fort Wayne Center on Monday. 

The center, located at 916 South Calhoun Street, currently features displays and  information about riverfront development and the Downtown Fort Wayne Plan. It’s designed to be an open house of sorts – a space open for the public to engage  with city government, planners, architects and artists.

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The Difference
8:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Interview: IU's Russell Skiba on Research Showing Black Students More Likely to be Suspended

Dr. Russell Skiba, professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology, and Director of the Equity Project at Indiana University.
Credit Russell Skiba

Researchers have known for years that black male students are disciplined in schools more frequently than their white peers.

New research from Indiana University confirms that gap exists nationwide, but it goes a step further – black girls, Latinos, and gay students are also at risk of being over-referred and suspended from school.

The new studies find suspensions are often given for relatively small offenses, things like loitering and dress code violations.

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The Difference
1:43 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

New IU Research Sharpens Focus on Discipline Disparity in Schools

A series of research papers examining the disparities in school disciplinary practices released earlier this month show students of color are suspended at much higher rates. The findings were released by the Equity Project at Indiana University.

The new series of briefing papers reinforces what has been acknowledged by researchers for years – that young men of color are being over-referred and receive higher rates of out of school suspension. In Indiana, black male students are two to three-and-a-half times more likely to be suspended.

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News
6:52 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Public Offers Input on Fort Wayne's Riverfront Development Study

The city is asking for your input on what you want to see on Fort Wayne's riverfront.

  The City of Fort Wayne is taking public input on its riverfront development study. The study is a comprehensive look at the City’s rivers and surrounding land, and intended to guide future investment and development for the downtown riverfront. The city’s first public input meeting was held Thursday.

It was standing room only at the meeting.  Many attendees wanted to know more about recreational and retail opportunities on the river.  

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News
4:28 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

F-16 Fighting Falcons Returning to Fort Wayne

F-16 Fighting Falcons are returning to the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne, a move officials say is good news for the future of the base. The announcement was made by Colonel David Augustine Tuesday.

The Pentagon’s proposed 2015 budget trades-in the Air National Guard base’s A-10 Thunderbolts for the more versatile F-16.

This is the first change in aircraft at the base since 2010.

Master Sergeant Darin Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing says the return to the F-16 ensures the viability of the base, and keeps jobs in the local economy.

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The Difference
6:00 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Obama Launches Initiative To Provide Opportunities For Young Men of Color

President Obama announcing "My Brother's Keeper" at the White House.

President Obama Thursday announced a new initiative to provide opportunities for young men of color who are underachieving compared to their peers.

Obama is calling for collaboration from foundations, corporations, and community leaders to address the nationwide gap.

The “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative is aimed at helping black and latino boys stay in school and out of the criminal justice system - and to improve their access to higher education.

In an announcement Thursday, President Obama said that the nation has gotten used to the shocking statistics.

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The Difference
1:47 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

The Difference: Growing Up Without a Role Model, Now Ready to Be One

James Trimble and Dionee White after Dionee's basketball game - he plays for Washington Elementary.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Throughout 2014 WBOI is digging deeper into the reasons behind the achievement gap between black males and their peers in Fort Wayne and meeting the people working to make a change. We’re calling our project “The Difference.” 

In Fort Wayne, the number of potential roadblocks to academic and social development for some African-American boys is vast. Poverty, stereotyping, recidivism, cultural differences: each can have an impact on how a child learns and grows.

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