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Tom Joyner Foundation and BetMGM Offer Executive Series to HBCU Students

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The Tom Joyner Foundation, a driving force behind scholarship distribution and fundraising for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming operator, are partnering to offer an Executive Series to HBCUs nationwide beginning this Fall. The partnership will offer HBCU students the opportunity to network with BetMGM executives and navigate the recruitment process in preparation for career opportunities at the company after graduation. 

“Our goal has been to keep students in school, and it is critical that we ensure their success after graduation through phenomenal partnerships with organizations such as BetMGM,” said Joyner, Founder of The Tom Joyner Foundation.

The Executive Series will consist of executive-student panels, professional resume critiques, and job interview preparation. The workshops will help graduating seniors pursue roles in HR, Finance, Legal, Marketing, Product Design and more.

Adam Greenblatt, Chief Executive Officer, BetMGM said, “We’re proud to partner with The Tom Joyner Foundation in working with HBCU students to help them identify pathways to successful careers. Our goal at BetMGM is to promote equitable candidate experiences and an inclusive working environment.”

HBCU students can find more information and RSVP for the Executive Series on The Tom Joyner Foundation website starting this Fall. Tom Joyner Foundation’s partnership with BetMGM is an extension of the Foundation’s mission to provide career opportunities for students.

About The Tom Joyner Foundation

The Tom Joyner Foundation was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of the former nationally syndicated radio personality, Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments, and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 20+ year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, over $69 million has been raised to support more than 32,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students.

About BetMGM

BetMGM is a market-leading sports betting and gaming entertainment company, pioneering the online gaming industry. Born out of a partnership between MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and Entain Plc (LSE: ENT), BetMGM has exclusive access to all of MGM’s U.S. land-based and online sports betting, major tournament poker, and online gambling businesses. Utilizing Entain’s U.S.-licensed, state of the art technology, BetMGM offers sports betting and online gaming via market-leading brands, including BetMGM, Borgata Casino, Party Casino, and Party Poker. Founded in 2018, BetMGM is headquartered in New Jersey. For more information, visit http://www.betmgminc.com/

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Education

Inaugural Convening of the Male Teachers of Color Collaborative Calls for Change

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City Education Partners’ Male Teacher of Color Collaborative held its inaugural convening, Bold Direction Towards Representation, on Saturday, July 29. Over 100 local educators of color and other education leaders gathered for the groundbreaking convening to shine a light on the underrepresentation and positive impact of male teachers of color in local classrooms. Through dynamic discussions and collaboration, attendees explored innovative strategies and best practices to increase male teachers of color representation and impact.

Over the last year, the City Education Partners has partnered with a group of dynamic male teachers of color to form the Male Teacher of Color Collaborative.

“It is vital that young boys of color in San Antonio schools are able to see themselves in their teachers,” said City Education Partners CEO Dalia Flores Contreras. “Research has shown that male students of color who have the opportunity to learn from someone who looks like them benefit socially and academically, but less than 20% of our teacher workforce are males of color. The 11 members of this collaborative are K-12 teachers from all types of schools who are uniting across the campuses to champion a positive change.”

City Education Partners (CEP) is committed to helping create a vibrant educational ecosystem in San Antonio, where public schools thrive and every child has an educational experience that prepares them to shape their own future.

One way the nonprofit aims to do this is through its teacher and leader talent pipeline strategy. They believe that every classroom needs an excellent teacher and every school needs a strong leader. CEP works in partnership with school operators and related organizations to fund programs that attract and retain teachers, as well as those who work to elevate teaching as a highly valued and desirable profession.

Keynote speakers at the convening included three-time GRAMMY-nominated musician SaulPaul, Founder of the Center for Black Educator Development Sharif El-Mekki, and the Board Chair of Essence Preparatory Public School Brian Dillard.

“I believe in revolutionizing education by dramatically increasing the number of Black educators so that low-income Black and other disenfranchised students can reap the full benefits of a quality public education,” said Keynote speaker Sharif El-Mekki, Founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development. “The Fellowship – Black Educators for Social Justice is dedicated to recruiting, retaining, and developing Black male teachers. We applaud what City Education Partners is doing to increase representation so students are better served.”

This Collaborative is designed to inform and advocate for a restored teacher pipeline with strong male teachers of color representation for our students. For more information about City Education Partners and its Male Teachers of Color Collaborative, visit cityeducationpartners.org.

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Black Life Texas

Education Bias Hurting Our Kids

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By Caleb Alexander

Merry Graduation! Happy Matriculation! I never know what to call it, but it is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love seeing all the graduation pictures, from high school to college, to grad school. I love seeing the college acceptance letters, the robes, the degrees, the ceremonies, I love all of it. To me, this is Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween rolled into one. To me, this is Black Excellence.

While I love this time of year, when my people get to shine and show off their years of hard work, dedication, and academic achievement, to others, this is a time of anger, weeping, frustration, and anger.  It is a time for pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth, they hate these displays of Black excellence as much as I love them. 

By now, I’m sure you’re familiar with Florida and Texas trying to outdo each other with the assault on all things Black. Don’t be surprised if either legislature puts through a bill banning nighttime; yes, they’ve become just that obsessively retarded. The Texas Senate has just introduced Senate Bill 518, which mandates that Texas universities consider standardized test scores such as the SAT and ACT for college admissions. This comes after the Texas House passed legislation to ban DEI initiatives on Texas university and college campuses.

The reason that this is important is because it is well documented that there is an inherent bias in standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, and that minority students underperform on these tests. According to a recent study by Fordham University, the average ACT composite score is 20. Asian students on average, scored 24.9, while Black students averaged 16.3.  In addition to the inherent racial bias in the test, there are other disparities that cause achievement gaps as well. Access to good health care, access to good schools, access to good teachers; all these things play a part in the divergence of test scores. We live in an age where Black children are three times more likely to grow up in low-income communities and in school systems where they have been the victim of interest convergence. Interest convergence is when the dominant party, who most likely controls the school boards and therefore controls the allocation of resources, steers the best equipment, best teachers, newest equipment, and most of the resources to kids of their community. 

Additionally, Texas has surpassed California as having the most R1 top-tier research universities in the country. In other words, Texas’ higher education is now the cream of the crop. As of 2022, The University of Texas had an endowment of over $43 billion, second only to Harvard. And if oil prices surge, that endowment could surpass Harvard’s, once again making the UT school system the wealthiest on the planet. The Texas A&M system had an endowment of over $18 billion. Texas is where you want to get your higher education, but those attacking DEI, and mandating that universities consider test scores from racially biased exams, are hell-bent on not letting our children get into these schools. 

So, as the season of Black excellence in education descends upon us, let’s celebrate our achievements while keeping a wary eye on the folks who are trying to deny our kids the opportunity to continue to get their shine on. Merry Matriculation! Feliz Graduation! I’ll figure it out one day…

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Black Life Texas

Judson ISD Names Former Student as Superintendent of Schools 

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On April 20, the Judson ISD Board of Trustees named Dr. Milton “Rob” Fields III as the lone finalist for the Judson ISD superintendent of schools.   

An alumnus of Judson High School, Dr. Fields has been in education for over 21 years, dedicating the last 16 years to the students and community of Judson ISD. Before being appointed as Interim Superintendent in November 2022, Fields held the position of Deputy Superintendent of Student Services and Administration. 

During his tenure with Judson ISD, he has also served as the Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Principal of Karen Wagner High School, where he was recognized as the Region 20 Principal of the Year in 2013. Fields is a veteran of the United States Air Force of over 20 years. He has a doctorate of educational leadership from Texas A&M University- Kingsville, a master’s in human resources and management from Webster University, and a bachelor’s in business administration from Wayland Baptist University.  

“It is an honor and a blessing to be given the opportunity to continue my educational journey working with the incredible students, staff and community of Judson ISD,” Fields said. “I first learned about the deep-rooted tradition of excellence in our district as a student here and I am so proud, as an educator, to have been a part of how it has evolved. I am so grateful and excited to continue giving back to the community that has helped shape me as a leader.”  

The superintendent search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates assisted the Board of Trustees with the superintendent search process. Because stakeholder feedback was a priority of the trustees, focus group meetings with staff, community, parents, and students were held to determine a leadership profile that was used as the north star while examining potential candidates. An extensive screening and interview process was crucial to narrow the field of more than 40 nationwide applicants down to the lone finalist.   

“The board interviewed very talented and exceptional public school leaders,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, JISD Board of Trustees President. “We were so pleased to see that Dr. Fields, both a product of the district and a current leader in the district, rose to the top. He possessed all the qualities identified on the leadership profile that was made by our community. He has consistently demonstrated tremendous dedication to our students and staff. We are confident in his ability to continue to lead with passion, integrity, and knowledge as he has shown during his time as the interim.”    

Judson independent school district  Following a state-mandated 21-day waiting period, the Board will vote on final approval of Field’s contract on May 11, 2023. 

Judson ISD Names Former Student as Superintendent of Schools 

On April 20, the Judson ISD Board of Trustees named Dr. Milton “Rob” Fields III as the lone finalist for the Judson ISD superintendent of schools.   

An alumnus of Judson High School, Dr. Fields has been in education for over 21 years, dedicating the last 16 years to the students and community of Judson ISD. Before being appointed as Interim Superintendent in November 2022, Fields held the position of Deputy Superintendent of Student Services and Administration. 

During his tenure with Judson ISD, he has also served as the Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Principal of Karen Wagner High School, where he was recognized as the Region 20 Principal of the Year in 2013. Fields is a veteran of the United States Air Force of over 20 years. He has a doctorate of educational leadership from Texas A&M University- Kingsville, a master’s in human resources and management from Webster University, and a bachelor’s in business administration from Wayland Baptist University.  

“It is an honor and a blessing to be given the opportunity to continue my educational journey working with the incredible students, staff and community of Judson ISD,” Fields said. “I first learned about the deep-rooted tradition of excellence in our district as a student here and I am so proud, as an educator, to have been a part of how it has evolved. I am so grateful and excited to continue giving back to the community that has helped shape me as a leader.”  

The superintendent search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates assisted the Board of Trustees with the superintendent search process. Because stakeholder feedback was a priority of the trustees, focus group meetings with staff, community, parents, and students were held to determine a leadership profile that was used as the north star while examining potential candidates. An extensive screening and interview process was crucial to narrow the field of more than 40 nationwide applicants down to the lone finalist.   

“The board interviewed very talented and exceptional public school leaders,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, JISD Board of Trustees President. “We were so pleased to see that Dr. Fields, both a product of the district and a current leader in the district, rose to the top. He possessed all the qualities identified on the leadership profile that was made by our community. He has consistently demonstrated tremendous dedication to our students and staff. We are confident in his ability to continue to lead with passion, integrity, and knowledge as he has shown during his time as the interim.”    

Judson independent school district  Following a state-mandated 21-day waiting period, the Board will vote on final approval of Field’s contract on May 11, 2023. 

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