Weekly Reader January 3, 2020
By: Hannah Rabalais, Program Officer
1. Nestled in a poor Dallas neighborhood, Paul Quinn College aims to be a national model for overcoming poverty
By: The Texas Tribune, Carrington Tatum
"A belief that education can jumpstart the socio-economic mobility of people who grow up in long-neglected neighborhoods influences Sorrell’s teaching — and is what brought him to this historically black college in a poor southern Dallas community in the first place.
Before Sorrell’s arrival in 2007, Paul Quinn College was plagued by mismanaged finances, plummeting enrollment and a looming loss of accreditation — all of which portended the school’s potential closure.
Sorrell showed up as a seasoned attorney, education scholar and, as he described himself, “an activist” at his core. As Paul Quinn’s new president, his plans to turn the institution around were largely underpinned by the idea of making it a work college, a federally recognized school where students are required to hold down jobs and have their professional performance incorporated into their academic studies.
The work college model’s purpose is to be an affordable and flexible alternative to traditional universities. At the time, all work colleges but Paul Quinn were located in rural areas. The school’s location in America's ninth most populous city made it the nation’s first urban work college and, in many ways, Sorrell’s plan an untested one."
Read the full article here: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/12/19/how-dallas-paul-quinn-college-became-americas-first-urban-work-college/
2. Community Driven Growth: A Roadmap for Dallas’ Equitable Development Report
" Equitable development as both an idea and a practice is evolving.
Recentering development and investment so they bene t residents of disinvested communities is at the core of delivering equitable development. Our knowledge of tools, strategies, and tactics continues to grow as communities, stakeholders, practitioners, and community-based organizations across the country seek to undo decades of disinvestment and discriminatory policies and practices without causing widespread displacement.
Community Driven Growth: A Roadmap for Dallas’ Equitable Development represents a year-long e ort for three Dallas communities - The Bottom, Forest District, and West Dallas-Census Tract 205. It recognizes the distinct histories of each geography and turning points which contributed to the challenges they face today. Despite their differences, common challenges quickly emerged across the three geographies. This plan pulls from the current knowledge of equitable development tools and seeks to pair them with the challenges identified by residents and stakeholders in each community."
Read the full report here: https://recouncil.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/TREC-Community-Driven-Growth-Final-Report.pdf
3. Locking young people up won’t result in less crime
By: The Baltimore Sun, Emily Mooney and Ashley Devaughn
"Young people in Baltimore often face difficult circumstances. Baltimore is home to approximately 123,000 children, many of whom live in poverty and have experienced trauma. Making matters worse, there are few recreational and economic opportunities available to divert young people’s time and attention toward more productive activities.
However, efforts led this summer by the newly created Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success show that by coordinating with city and community partners, such as local non-profit organizations and businesses, Baltimore can successfully address these issues. Following widely reported youth crime around the Baltimore Inner Harbor during Memorial Day weekend, the office launched BmoreLive in partnership with the community. This initiative provided meaningful and entertaining programming over the summer for youth that promotes a strong sense of community and advances public safety. Due in part to these efforts, the Baltimore Police Department reported to staff at Advocates for Children and Youth only one youth encounter, no youth arrests and no police reports naming youth in the Inner Harbor over Fourth of July weekend.
By continuing to identify gaps in services, partnering with community actors and promoting youth development, Baltimore can reduce youth crime while helping young people acquire the skills and connections that equip them for future academic and economic success."
4. Three national hotel chains in Houston sued for promoting sex trafficking
By: Houston Chronicle, Gabrielle Banks
"Three sex trafficking victims this month sued three major hotel chains in parallel lawsuits by advocates who say the companies exercised gross negligence about on-site prostitution at Houston branches despite corporate policies that promote social responsibility.
The lawsuits contend that Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc., Choice Hotels International, Inc., and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc. have not done enough to prevent sex trafficking at their franchises. The three women were identified by police as trafficking victims at Houston hotels owned by these chains, lawyers said. Two were teenagers at the time; one was an adult.
“Traffickers have long capitalized on the hotel industry’s refusal to adopt company-wide anti-trafficking policies, refusal to train staff on what to look for and how to respond, and failure to establish a safe and secure reporting mechanism, and they have exploited the seclusion and privacy of hotel rooms,” the lawsuits said."
5. First a Job, Then a Home, Then a Cowboys Game
By: FWDDFW, Allison Hartfield
"Matthew Nard was living on the streets of South Dallas when he met the kind people at The Human Impact several years ago. They befriended the homeless man — as is their mission — and kept tabs on him.
In August, he wasn’t feeling well, and The Human Impact volunteers took him to a psychiatric hospital for a medical evaluation. He wasn’t sick enough to be admitted — but he wasn’t well enough to go back to the streets. That’s when Nard was offered a pallet home at Bonton Farms in South Dallas. He’d been working at the farm for a few weeks, and its team recognized that with a little bit of help, he could be more than a reliable employee. Safe shelter and a supportive community can go a long way in helping a man turn his life around.
Nard moved into his home and began to sleep well — and feel better.
In December, The Human Impact gave the Dallas Cowboys fan a birthday present: community advocate Stormy Pecchioni took Nard to a football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, where the Cowboys were playing the Los Angeles Rams.
Nard grew up hard, without birthday parties or presents. And despite the fact that his birthday falls on Christmas, it’s rarely been a time of joyful celebration for Nard. But he says that memories of watching Tony Dorsett as a kid and later “all of the games with Jimmy Johnson” are happy ones, and watching a team persevere through endless setbacks brings him hope. Even while living on the streets, he would find a way to watch his beloved Cowboys on Sundays."
Read the full article here: https://fwddfw.com/first-a-job-then-a-home-then-a-cowboys-game/