The Difference

The Difference
5:41 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Interview: Ron Lewis on Race and Higher Education

Ron Lewis is an instructor at several Fort Wayne institutions.
Credit Ron Lewis

As we heard in Wednesday's interview with Ron Lewis, significant challenges exist for young black men in the classroom, and many are hard to quantify. 

But those challenges don't end when those men get to college. 

Only about 15 percent of college students are black – and African-American students are less than half as likely as their white counterparts to complete their degree on time.

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The Difference
7:00 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Interview: Ron Lewis on Racial Bias in Education

Ron Lewis speaking at USF's Stand Against Racism.
Credit Ron Lewis

By now, it should be no surprise to listeners of The Difference that young African-American men are falling behind their peers in the classroom.

In everything from graduation rates to reading proficiency to disciplinary action, the achievement gap between black boys and their classmates is wide.

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The Difference
6:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Interview: Fort Wayne City Councilman Geoff Paddock on Black Male Achievement

Fort Wayne City Councilman Geoff Paddock
Credit Geoff Paddock

From education to income, there’s a significant gap between black men and their peers in Fort Wayne- last year, the City was awarded a technical grant from the National League of Cities to address the disparity.

As a part of the initiative, the NLC held a conference in Oakland last month for the participating cities to learn about strategies for improving black male achievement.

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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
4:22 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

In "Race for Results," African-Americans are Falling Behind

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its "Race for Results" report on Tuesday.
Credit Courtesy / Annie E. Casey Foundation

As we reported earlier this week, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its latest study examining how kids of different races fare when it comes to meeting developmental milestones on time.

The findings are striking, though not necessarily surprising.

Black, Latino, and Native American children are lagging behind – in some cases, far behind their white and Asian-American peers.

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The Difference
5:43 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Report Finds Indiana Among Worst States for Black Youth

The "Race for Results" report released Tuesday assigned scores from 0-1000 measuring child progression and opportunity in the U.S. Indiana ranked among the worst states for black youth.
Credit "Race for Results" / Annie E. Casey Foundation

A new study released Tuesday finds Indiana among the ten worst states for black children, highlighting the disparity in opportunity between African-American youth and their peers.

The policy report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, titled "Race for Results," measures 12 factors in an effort to chart child progression nationwide. Those include everything from reading proficiency to graduation rates to the number of children living near or below the federal poverty level.

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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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The Difference
2:05 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

The Difference: How Mentors Can Help Close the Achievement Gap

Diontre Collins-Jones, high school freshman and member of My Brother's Keeper
Credit Virginia Alvino

All this week—and 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 the project "The Difference."

In Indiana, just 49 percent of black males graduate high school compared to 80 percent of their white peers. That number is improving, but it's still the seventh widest graduation gap in the country.

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The Difference
9:42 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Difference: For Recidivist Offenders, Jobs Can Break the Cycle

Johnny Braster of Fort Wayne says finding a good job is key in breaking the cycle of recidivism. Nearly half of African-American ex-offenders in Allen County will go back to prison within three years.
Credit Sean Bueter / WBOI News

All this week—and throughout 2014—WBOI is digging deeper into the reasons behind the achievement gap between black males and their peers in Fort Wayne, and along the way, meeting the people working to make a change. We’re calling the project “The Difference.”

According to the Indiana Department of Corrections, nearly half of African-American ex-offenders in Allen County will make it back into the prison system within just a few years. And for some, breaking that cycle can be nearly impossible without help.

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