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Lady Mem’fis, also known as Jacqueline Ruth Johnson, passed away Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at 6:12 a.m. at Home Sweet Home in Daly City, California, age 73. Memorial service is Friday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m., at San Francisco Christian Center. The repast will be 1 to 3:15 p.m. at the African American Art and Culture Complex.
This is part of an ongoing series, “Learning while Black: The fight for equity in San Francisco schools,” being broadcast on KALW’s Crosscurrents. African American students across the country are much more likely than any other student group to be placed in special education, and that’s true at San Francisco Unified too. The district’s troubled history has plenty to teach us about what is and isn’t working for Black students with special needs today.
More than 500 high school juniors and seniors from around the Bay Area convened at San Francisco’s Mission High School for the Seventh Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Recruitment Fair. Dozens of students were admitted to schools on the spot while many walked away with merit-based scholarships. The annual fair provides students with an opportunity to get a head start in the college admissions process while learning about historically Black colleges and universities and seeing them as viable options.
Board of Supervisors president and candidate for mayor London Breed is urging first-time voters to register for the upcoming June 5th election. Sunday, she hosted a rally for her #500forLondon voter registration drive, which coincided with the grand opening of her Bayview campaign office. “We need to make sure that every eligible San Francisco voter has a voice in this election,” said President Breed to a throng of supporters.
In today’s climate, “No Child Left Behind” has greater implications than just test scores and poor individual outcomes. Dennis Lockett and Lillian Somarriba allege that San Francisco school teachers abused, bullied and neglected their special needs children and the San Francisco Unified School District, Child Protective Services and the SFPD made no significant efforts to safeguard their children from future harm or to protect the public by holding the perpetrators accountable.
On Oct. 26, the nonprofit Innovate Public Schools released a new report that reveals a deep conflict between San Francisco’s image as a bastion of progressivism and the reality playing out in its public schools. Concerned parents and community leaders gathered on the steps of City Hall for a press conference on the findings of “A Dream Deferred: How San Francisco schools leave behind the most vulnerable students.”
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered locally by the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families (DCYF), 60 sites in every San Francisco neighborhood will offer free lunches and afternoon snacks to children and youth age 18 and under every Monday through Friday from May 30 to Aug. 18. No proof of need, registration or identification is required in order to receive a lunch or snack. Arrive at a designated site during the site’s serving time.
My name is Felita Sample. My mysterious illnesses and my daughter LaKrista’s strange afflictions developed after we moved from San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood to Treasure Island. Imagine never-ending nausea and daily dizziness. You can’t tolerate the thought of food. You override this loathing and force yourself to eat. You soon find that anything edible, including water, triggers dry heaves that wrack your chest and abdomen.
Mark your calendars! The first Black Family Day of 2017 takes places on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. This event will be at Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School, 2055 Silver Ave. in the Bayview district. The goal of Black Family Day is to connect Black families to much needed resources and to capitalize on the leadership skills already present by giving them the skills needed to navigate public and private systems on behalf of their families. The focus of this event is reducing summer learning loss.
This holiday season, many are wondering what we can possibly do to get involved and create real change in our communities. One way to make a difference at the local level is to become a volunteer in public schools, especially schools that are under-resourced and can really use the support. Anyone who has stepped inside a school knows teachers and principals simply cannot do it alone. It takes a whole team of caring adults to educate a child.
It’s that time of year again when families are preparing students for another school year and searching for resources to help their young people succeed. Friday, Sept. 17, 2016, the annual Black Family Day takes place at San Francisco’s Mission High School. The goal of Black Family Day is to connect Black families to much needed resources and to capitalize on the leadership skills already present by giving them the skills needed to navigate public and private systems on behalf of their families.
You are invited to the opening reception on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2-4 p.m., in the African American Center of the San Francisco Main Library of “I Am San Francisco,” a major exhibit that tells the personal stories of Black San Franciscans at a time when the Black population has been almost entirely forced out and includes a display of historic copies of the San Francisco Bay View, back to 1994, with the headline “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
The current campaign to elect a sheriff for the City and County of San Francisco can and must become San Francisco’s “eyes wide open” opportunity to review what it can do to identify and promulgate a new path for the City on how it will create quantifiable change in the San Francisco County Jail and Youth Detention Center’s disproportionate incarceration of African American and Hispanic men, women and youth. Vote for John Robinson for Sheriff on Nov. 3, 2015!
The San Francisco Alliance of Black School Educators (SFABSE) is sponsoring the Second Annual “Black Family Cradle to College and Career Resource Fair” Saturday, Sept. 19, at San Francisco Unified School District’s Mission High School. Attendees can look forward to workshops on Early Education, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics), Discipline and Criminal Justice, College and Career, and Parent-Guardian Involvement.
As I go about my travels up and down Third Street, especially frustrated over the Black corridor scene – lack of thriving Black businesses, people hanging on the streets, while other areas of the strip of avenues – Dogpatch, etc., are thriving! WHEN will change happen??? Where are Black investors? So much building going on in Bayview Hunters Point – the NEW FRONTIER AND LAST BASTION FOR BLACK FOLKS!
Frisco filmmaker Kevin Epps is at it again with his weapon of choice, his camera. This time, the “Straight Outta Hunters Point” filmmaker just released his new film, “Solutions Not Suspensions,” which takes a look at who is being suspended from the San Francisco Unified School District and under what circumstance. He is taking a stand on an issue that does not get a lot of attention in our community.
San Francisco Unified School District is hosting its Second Annual Family Empowerment Conference this Saturday, Sept. 27, at Denman Middle School in San Francisco. The focus of the conference is to empower families, parents and guardians, students and community members to get involved in their students’ education. James Denman Middle School, in partnership with the OMI Excelsior Community Beacon Center, is hosting the conference this year.
Having a child with autism who receives special education in public school is a challenge. It can be more difficult for parents of low income, as is my circumstance. I’ve tried different routes to navigate a very difficult and, at times, confusing system. The myriad of acronyms and policy to be familiar with are overwhelming and it can feel as if you are alone in the process – your family against your school district.
For true self-determination, we must each play our part. If you are not a member of the NAACP, consider becoming one. If you are already a member, resolve to serve as a volunteer, if not an officer or committee member. Attend a meeting and bring a friend or family member. Not a joiner? Donate to fund initiatives. Do your part to support an organization that has sustained us and defended us for so long.
As many of you know from experience, or have read before in these pages, the last decade has cut a deadly swath through Black prosperity and the viability of Black businesses in San Francisco. This is coupled with the flight of many of our neighbors, family members and friends out of the City. Yet we hang on, still determined to “make a way out of no way.” We remain, our children remain, and if we work hard enough, diligently enough, we can turn things around so that the next generation has a fighting chance.
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