CHARLOTTE CENTER HELPS INCARCERATED WOMEN TRANSITION BACK INTO SOCIETY: In their employment program, they prepare incarcerated people to return to the workforce and work with people whose past arrests are barriers to getting jobs. Another CCT program works with families and children of incarcerated people and focuses on their social and emotional wellness. About 80% of the women at the center are mothers, and most of their children are under the age of 18. Research shows that parental incarceration can have residual effects on children that show up as behavioral issues and other health issues. That’s why leaders of the CCT say that a holistic approach is so important. And their residential program takes women out of prison cells and into the Center for Women, where they live full-time without full freedom but with more rehabilitative support and resources than a traditional jail provides.
HANNAH-JONES JUST THE LATEST CHAPTER IN STRUGGLE TO PURGE UNC'S RACISM: The Silent Sam legacy continues to cast a shadow on the university, with a controversial $2.5 million deal, nullified last year, that sought to give the N.C. Sons of the Confederate Veterans the statue and the money to display it. Earlier this year, the UNC System also settled a lawsuit with DTH Media Corp., the parent company of UNC’s student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel, over alleged violations of the Open Meetings Law tied to the Silent Sam deal. In a similar vein, the Board of Trustees only lifted a 16-year ban on renaming buildings last summer, after significant demand from members of the campus community and alumni. In her statement Tuesday, Hannah-Jones said the work of driving change for racial justice often falls on marginalized people. “It is not my job to heal this university, to force the reforms necessary to ensure the Board of Trustees reflects the actual population of the school and the state, or to ensure that the university leadership lives up to the promises it made to reckon with its legacy of racism and injustice,” Hannah-Jones said.
FAYETTEVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY WIPES STUDENT DEBT FOR 1,500: Fayetteville State University has used pandemic relief funds to clear $1.6 million in tuition debt for nearly 1,500 students. The Fayetteville Observer reported Sunday that the historically Black school utilized money from the federal legislation that's known as the American Rescue Plan. Signed into law in March, it provided nearly $40 billion to higher education institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. FSU cleared tuition that was not covered by federal student grants or loans. The school also plans to use $4.7 million in federal funds to provide free summer classes to 1,400 undergraduates through the summer of 2023. “The university is focused on students’ success by clearing past due balances and erasing debt,” FSU spokeswoman Joy Cook said. “When the burden of financial stress is taken away, student success increases.” More of this, please.
BILLIONAIRE TRAVELS TO SPACE IN FANCY LITTLE ROCKETSHIP: Richard Branson completed a daring, barnstorming flight to the edge of space Sunday, rocketing through the atmosphere in the spaceplane he’d been yearning to ride for nearly 20 years. The suborbital trip gave the British billionaire, his three crewmates and two pilots a glimpse of the Earth from more than 50 miles up and a few minutes of weightlessness before the vehicle they were traveling in, SpaceShipTwo Unity, glided back to Earth and a landing on the runway at Virgin Galactic’s facility here in the New Mexico desert. It was SpaceShipTwo’s fourth trip to the edge of space since 2018, and Virgin Galactic, the company Branson founded in 2004, says it will soon start flying paying customers regularly on similar jaunts, opening a new era in human space exploration. Several companies in the growing commercial space industry, including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, have developed spacecraft designed to allow private citizens, and not just NASA trained military fighter pilots and scientists, to earn the title of “astronaut.” And just how much will it cost to do that? Virgin Galactic was selling individual tickets for $250,000, but that's a steal compared to the tens of millions a few people have already paid for their short trips. That would wipe the school loan debt of tens of thousands.
NORTHWEST HEAT WAVE IS KILLING SHALLOW WATER MARINE LIFE: The combination of extraordinary heat and drought that hit the Western United States and Canada over the past two weeks has killed hundreds of millions of marine animals and continues to threaten untold species in freshwater, according to a preliminary estimate and interviews with scientists. “It just feels like one of those postapocalyptic movies,” said Christopher Harley, a marine biologist at the University of British Columbia who studies the effects of climate change on coastal marine ecosystems. To calculate the death toll, Dr. Harley first looked at how many blue mussels live on a particular shoreline, how much of the area is good habitat for mussels and what fraction of the mussels he observed died. He estimated losses for the mussels alone in the hundreds of millions. Factoring in the other creatures that live in the mussel beds and on the shore — barnacles, hermit crabs and other crustaceans, various worms, tiny sea cucumbers — puts the deaths at easily over a billion, he said. Such extreme weather conditions will become more frequent and intense, scientists say, as climate change, driven by humans burning fossil fuels, wreaks havoc on animals and humans alike. Hundreds of people died last week when the heat wave parked over the Pacific Northwest. A study by an international team of climate researchers found it would have been virtually impossible for such extremes to occur without global warming.