Sunday, January 25, 2015

I abhor the word black as applies to human beings. Why not be man, teacher,...?

Otherwise: Ruminations of an otherwise.

I abhor the word black as applies to human beings. Why not be man, teacher, business, athlete, politician...? #SOPHIC   ~Kwas Akyeampong

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Friday, January 23, 2015

University of the People, UNHCR & HIAS launch collaborative project to offer tuition-free degrees to refugees worldwide.

American University Opens Gates to Refugees Worldwide, Tuition-Free 

University of the People ( President Shai Reshef in partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced the launch of a collaborative project opening the gates to tuition-free, accredited higher education for refugees and asylum seekers all over the world.

UoPeople together with UNHCR have established a special policy to admit refugees and asylum seekers, in cases where official transcripts and documents could not be obtained. The unique policy was approved by DETC, the US national educational accreditation agency of UoPeople, thereby enabling refugees to pursue higher education and earn a university degree.
UoPeople is granting scholarships to African refugees and asylum seekers as part of a special pilot made available with the collaboration of Amnesty International, HIAS and ARDC (African Refugee Development Center). The first group of students has now formally begun their first term at the Californian virtual university.
“UoPeople is reaching out to the least upwardly mobile population – refugees and asylum seekers – the ones most in line with our mission, to open the gates to higher education to all qualified students and those most in need of education in order to overcome other barriers,” said Reshef. “This model of collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency and HIAS can be replicated wherever there are refugees and can be scaled to serve millions of refugees around the world, providing them with access to higher education.”
According to Reshef the academic activity of the African asylum seekers who have either been accepted to the University, or who are currently in the process of enrollment, has been built upon UoPeople’s successful experience working with over 250 earthquake survivors and Internally Displaced Persons in Haiti, and will be a model for refugees world-wide who meet the University’s academic criteria and are eager to access higher education.
“The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide, has, for the first time since post World War II, exceeded 50 million people,” said Walpurga Englbrecht, UNHCR Representative. “In order to improve the welfare of these people we commit ourselves to stepping up the efforts to collaborate with forward-thinking organizations like UoPeople. Accessing education is the key to human dignity, to advancement, and to a better future.”
UoPeople has established a special scholarship fund for refugees who can’t afford even the University’s minimal examination fees; the first donation has already been received. A total of 300 African refugees and asylum seekers began the process of applying for the special scholarship.
About University of the People:
University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university dedicated to opening access to higher education globally. Using open-source technology, Open Educational Resources, peer-to-peer learning, and the assistance of academic volunteers, UoPeople is designed to provide access to university studies for qualified high school graduates, despite financial, geographic, societal or personal constraints.
UoPeople offers Associate and Bachelor degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science and is currently in the process of developing a new program in Health Sciences.
Founded in 2009, UoPeople has partnered with Yale ISP law School for research; New York University (NYU) to accept students; Microsoft for scholarships, access to its certificate programs, mentoring, internships and employment opportunities; and Hewlett-Packard, for general support, scholarships for women and internships. The University has enrolled students from 150 different countries and is supported by a network of over 3,000 dedicated volunteers.
The institution has gained the widespread support of leading academics from leading universities around the world. Its Council of Presidents, chaired by New York University President John Sexton, includes Oxford Vice-Chancellor Sir Colin Lucas, U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter and UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, among others. UoPeople is supported by The Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Hewlett Foundation, Fondation Hoffmann, and companies such as HP, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Western Union, Estee Lauder and many more.
About UoPeople President Shai Reshef:
Founder and President of University of the People, Shai Reshef is an educational entrepreneur, with over 25 years of experience in the international education market. President Reshef has been widely recognized for his work with UoPeople. In 2010, the Huffington Post named him the 'Ultimate Game Changer in Education,' and WIRED included him in its list of the 50 people who will change the world. He was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business as well as a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine. Before founding University of the People, Reshef directed KIT e-learning, the first online university in Europe. His TED Talk ( has reached over 1 million viewers since August 2014. More at
Pasadena, CA (PRWEB) December 04, 2014 

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum Sets RFP For Major Concert Venue Mgnt Firms for Its Restaurant, Concert Lounge, Events, Food & Beverage Services

Hip Hop Global Media & Entertainment to Assist Midtown Museum in Selecting RFP Firm in Management of $500M in Revenues Over 10 yrs. and Co-Producing 200+ Annual Concerts & Live Events

The Hip Hop Hall of Fame is seeking RFP's from local and national Venue Management and Live Event Operators & Production firms for its Restaurant & Sports Bar Food & Beverage Management, and for its Concert Venue Live Events, Shows, Booking, Production, and Tours. The long term venue management firm deal can also include the Box Office operations and Ticketing Services at the Midtown Manhattan Museum & Entertainment Complex in development set to open in 2017. Museum Chairman JT Thompson, and its project manager Zubatkin Owner Representation's, Andy Bast, have been meeting with major live event producers and venue owner/operators in the industry over the past year and are now ready to finalize a long term partner for the HHHOF project by April 2015.
The team anticipates completing the building site acquisition process over the next few months and is making preparations to move right into the redesigning and construction of the building's exterior and interior infrastructure over the next 18-24 months. The selected firm will be on the ground floor to consult on the actual design and flow of the showcase Restaurant & Concert Lounge, and assist in staffing and operating the facilities.
The Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum and Entertainment Complex includes the Hall of Fame, Museum, Retail Gift Shop, Arcade, TV Studios, Sports Bar, Restaurant & Concert Lounge and is estimated to serve over 1,000,000 local, national, and international visitors annually including tourists, fans, students, educational and entertainment excursion tours. The facility will produce up to 200 jobs, provide valuable internships and community volunteer opportunities, and host 200+ live events, shows, concerts, and educational programs annually for people of all ages. The socio-economic impact in NYC and the Tri-State area is estimated over $350M annually. "We are a fully Chartered Culture Museum and Educational Institution, and the facility seeks to also inspire over 20,000 NYC public school kids per year with its field trips, museum tours, and live event assembly programs that feature the Official Mascot DJ 'B-Boy Scratch' doing PSA's, passing out academic awards, and gift bags for kids k-12," stated Chairman JT Thompson, Creator of the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Awards Television show on BET Network in the 1990's.
The HHHOF serves a very unique and loyal targeted global audience that consist of youth demographics ages 12-34, and their families 25-55 who spend and influence over $500 Billion per year on products, services, and technology. Visitors will have the ability to tour the Hall of Fame & Museum, shop at Gift Shop, and purchase official Merchandise, enjoy family meals and sports at the Restaurant & Sports Bar, take in some fun with the kids at the Arcade, and enjoy an evening out with a live performance in the Concert Lounge that's filmed in our TV Broadcast Studio. It is located in the heart of Midtown adjacent to Times Square and other attractions where an estimated 19 million tourists go annually, and in an area expected to see a continual rise in tourism over the next 7-10 years.
The HHHOF seeks an experienced and professional firm as a strategic partner, promoter, and producer. The firm will work with our development team, and seamlessly with New York City and State building & development agencies and our Cultural Institutional partners. All interested and established firms can request a RFP synopsis in writing, and must submit their proposals by April 15th. The HHHOF will complete its review by May 15th, and announce two finalists, who will then have 30 days to complete 8-10 year agreement. For more information contact JT Thompson, . Follow us at Http://HipHopHallofFame.Org and Http://
SOURCE Hip Hop Global Media & Entertainment

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Panel Discussion Analyzing Media Coverage of Race, from Ferguson to Staten Island @ The National Press Club, Jan, 26

Analyzing Media Coverage of Race in America

A panel of journalists from different sections of the media will discuss coverage of race in America at the National Press Club from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26.
The panel discussion, co-sponsored by the National Press Club and the Capital Press Club, is titled:
Coverage of Race in America: How are we doing?  How can we do better? A cutting edge forum to analyze media coverage from Ferguson to Staten Island
The Capital Press Club, the oldest African-American communications association in the country, was founded in 1944 at a time when African-Americans were not admitted to the National Press Club. They have been members of the NPC since 1955.
The CPC celebrated its 70th anniversary at the NPC last month, when NPC president Myron Belkind and CPC president Hazel Trice Edney announced they would jointly plan a forum to discuss coverage of race issues in America.
The panelists will include April Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks; Jeff Johnson of Black Entertainment Television (BET), who interviewed President Barack Obama last month; Roland Martin, author, columnist and host of  TV One's NewsOne Now program; Athena Jones of CNN, who has covered race in America, particularly related to political discussions post-midterm Congressional elections and Ferguson, Paul Farhi, who reports on media coverage for The Washington Post, and Gilbert Bailon, an editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Ms. Ryan is author of a newly published book, "The Presidency in Black and White: My Up Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America." Autographed copies will be available for sale after the discussion.
Contact information for this event is:
For the NPC: Myron
For the CPC: Hazel Trice
SOURCE National Press Club
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Explore The African Heritage Of Ancient Mexico with Dr. Runoko Rashidi.



JULY 8-17, 2015






Visits to fifteen of the known colossal Africoid Olmec heads, including the one with the African braids.Visits to four of Mexico's greatest and most spectacular archaeological and temple sites.A visit to the town of Yanga and a libation ceremony beneath a statue of Yanga--African liberator in Mexico.A visit to the statue of Vincente Guererro in Villahermosa--Mighty man of African heritage in Mexico.Visits to the four greatest museums in Mexico, each with distinct contributions to Mexico's African heritage.A visit to the Miraculous Black Christ.An optional stay over in Cancun, Mexico.Lectures by Dr. Rashidi.Time for shopping and leisure.

Day 1, Wednesday July 8: MEXICO CITY

Arrival Airport Benito Juarez México City, 1:30 pm, Meet and greet. Proceed for city tour.
First stop is the National Museum Anthropology. Get your first look at the
Olmec heads! Afterwards drive to the Metropolitan Cathedral to view the miraculous Black Christ, and all the historic buildings that surrounded the center of the city. Continue through the elegant Reforma Avenue appreciating the most important buildings, monuments, statues in the area like the Independence Monument, the main buildings and residences in Chapultepec area. Return to the hotel for a well-deserved rest and dinner

Day 2, Thursday July 09: MEXICO CITY


After breakfast depart hotel 8:30 stopover at the ruins on the city limits of Azteca´s
capital Empire Tenochtitlan. Next stop, The Museo Nacional de Arte, located in the historical center of Mexico City. The museum is housed in a neoclassical building. It includes a large collection representing the history of Mexican art from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid 20th century. Continue to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan. 14: 00 Lunch at “El Jaguar” Restaurant in the Teotihuacán Area entertained by Mariachi
musicians and Native American gymnasts. Rest of afternoon free to shop or relax. You can get more Mariachi @ Garibaldi Plaza (optional) in the evening

Day 3, Friday July 10: MEXICO CITY-XALAPA

6:00 Breakfast at Hotel. After an early breakfast depart for Xalapa City around 4.45
hours road trip.

12:00 Arrive Xalapa City visit the Museum of Anthropology—one of the world’s great
museums where Dr. Rashidi will guide you to the most important monuments. 3:00 pm
Luncheon at “Casa de Mama” Restaurant or similar restaurant in the center of
Xalapa. Afterwards enjoy a short panoramic tour of the main places of interest such as the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Bishop Guizar Valencia, University area, Diamond Alley and Paseo de los Lagos. Transfer to City Express hotel and overnight

Day 4, Saturday July 11: YANGA/VERACRUZ

After Breakfast we will drive to Yanga (ca 1.5 hours) which is considered the first
community of enslaved Africans in Mexico.
Here we will have a libation ceremony beneath the statue of the African
freedom fighter Gaspar Yanga. Other African communities are just nearby. We will
then drive to Santiago Tuxtla to visit the Cobata Olmec head in the city square
and the Tuxteco Regional Museum to see the Olmec head with the African braids
and the statue called El Negro. After a late lunch return to Veracruz (ca. 3 hrs.) Check-in Emporio free evening.

Day 5, Sunday July 12: VERACRUZ-EL TAJIN

After breakfast, drive to El Tajin Ruins; enroute visit historic Fort San Juan. Lecture presented by Dr. Runoko Rashidi en route.
In the evening stroll the Malacon and socialize at the Plaza de Armas


After an early breakfast depart to Villahermosa (4 hrs drive) visit La Venta Park to
see three more of the Olmec heads. That afternoon visit the statue of Vincente Guerrero enjoy an informal chat with Runoko Rashidi joined by member of the
Afro-Mexican community. Overnight in a downtown hotel.

Day 7, Tuesday, July 14: YUCATAN, CAMPECHE
(4 hrs drive) Head north this morning into the Yucatán Peninsula. Enjoy lunch
overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Next to the fortified Spanish colonial city of
Campeche. Free time to explore the historic center. Your hotel is conveniently
located near the main plaza. Enjoy dinner.

Day 8, Wednesday, July 15: UXMAL, MERIDA

Morning drive through the Puuc Hills to visit ancient Uxmal, dating back to 600 A.D. At
Uxmal, see the Pyramid of the Magicians, the Nunnery Quadrangle, the Governor’s
Palace with its 20,000 intricately carved lace-like stones and the Turtle House. Enjoy lunch. Next, drive to Mérida, Yucatán’s capital and cultural center, for a one night stay. Your hotel is ideally located near the Plaza Principal, lined with shops, cafes, strolling mariachis, and serenading guitarists. Drive by Mérida’s colonial mansions. Mérida offers great shopping for paintings, handicrafts, hammocks and huipiles.. enjoy dinner.

Day 9, Thursday, July 16 – MERIDA, CHICHEN ITZA

Morning drive to visit the Mayan-Toltec ruins of Chichén Itzá. See the Castle Pyramid.
Visit the Ballcourt, the Sacred Cenote and the Group of a Thousand Columns.
Learn about achievements made by the Maya more than 1500 years ago, including
the 365 day, 19 month Mayan Haab calendar. Enjoy lunch and return to Merida.

DAY 10, Friday, July 17: CANCUN-NEW YORK

After breakfast drive to Cancun, city tour, 3p departure for New York or LAX.

You are free to extend your visit in Cancun enjoy the sandy beaches, beautiful
hotels, great food and nightlife. Request this option on booking the trip.

The program Includes:

Welcome at International Airport Benito Juárez Mexico City

• 9 Luncheons in local restaurants, mostly buffet luncheon , NO drinks included, NO tips inc

• All Transfers from Mexico City and Cancun Airports

• All tours mentioned on the program with Specialized and Certified Tour Guide -City
Tour of Mexico, Pyramids of Teotihuacán, Tour of Xalapa , Tour of Yanga, City
Tour of Veracruz, La Vente Villahermosa tours in Yucatan Peninsula.

• Entrances to Anthropology Museum of Mexico, The Museo Nacional de Arte, Entrance to Teotihuacan Pyramids, the Tuxteco Regional Museum, etc.

• English speaking Tour Guide to accompany the group from Mexico City to Cancun

• Modern Bus A/C 44 seats, with reclining Seats, Microphone, Music, Movies, bathroom,
Professional Driver. All expenses of the Driver are included except Tips.

*PAYMENT: All major credit cards accepted 3% surcharge
will be added to credit card payments.
Check made payable to Vacation Klub LLC, 244 5th Avenue, Suite 2968 New
York, NY 10001.Tel: (646) 308-1232, (800) 972-5212, Fax: (212) 368-3150 email: 

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