Category Archives: News

Student debt: An unfortunate reality for many African American students

Jerard Paige, a junior economics major at Howard University, isn’t your typical college student. That’s because he not only is concerned about how much money he’ll owe when he graduates, he’s taking steps to eliminate his school debt and secure his financial future.

“I have been saving for the past six months, hoping to eliminate my student loan debt by graduation,” Paige said. “Once I pay off my debt I will look into investing in appreciating assets. But right now, my focus is on depleting my liabilities so I can spend money to make money.”

Many students, especially African Americans, aren’t in a position to pay off their school loans before they graduate. A new study by Prudential Financial, Inc. shows that college-educated African Americans are twice as likely to attain student loan debt compared to all college-educated Americans.

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Black Ink TV: Oct. 9 show


Black Ink TV is our new web series for aspiring broadcast journalists, on-air talent and producers. We post bi-weekly and members get to share their talent for the world to see. We’re working on making Black Ink TV better with every take.

This week features:

HUABJ’s trip to Washington D.C., Hofstra’s School of Communication name change, a story on college debt and an entertainment piece on Rihanna and more.

-Claudia Balthazar, President 

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Food Not Bombs Volunteers Face Arrest on Sunday

On Sunday October 6, 2013 Sacramento Food Not Bombs was kicked out of the Cesar Chavez Park by the Sacramento police. Volunteers were greeted by about 15 officers when they arrived at the park when they normally do in time to start sharing the meal they created by 1:30 p.m. They were told that our stuff would be confiscated and we would get a summons due to an ordinance–that has yet to even be passed–that would prevent any group from handing out free hot meals in the park.

Last week advocates for the poor were told to stop sharing meals with the hungry in Sacramento and Santa Monica, California, Taos, New Mexico, and Olympia, Washington. Groups were confronted and threatened with arrest in Boulder, Colorado; Raleigh, North Carolina, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and other cities across the United States this summer.

About 50 cities in the United States have passed laws banning or limiting the sharing of meals with the hungry in the past two years with enforcement on the increase this fall.

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A Moment of Silence for the Sandy Hook Victims and Hope for Gun Control

Photo taken by Elaine Rezende on Dec. 17, 2012.

Photo taken by Elaine Rezende on Dec. 17, 2012.

The nation is weeping over the Sandy Hook massacre that left 20 children dead in Newtown Connecticut on Friday; a cry for more gun control.

“It’s important that we have gun control because anyone can buy a gun right now,” said Mayor of the Village of Hempstead, Wayne Hall Senior and a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, at a candle light vigil held at Hofstra University on Dec. 17. 2012. “There’s only a certain amount of mayors and some of them don’t believe in gun control. We need the voters to stand up and say enough is enough.”

The Xi Psi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. along with Hofstra’s Black Student Union and the Nu Tau chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. brought the Hofstra community together for a moment of silence, a prayer and an exchange of thoughts for the people who lost their lives at Sandy Hook.

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Political Figures and Experts Discuss Poverty in America at Brookings

Two panelists at the Brookings Institution Discussion, A Poverty and Opportunity Agenda: What's in Store for the Next Four Years? Left to Right, JoAnne Barnhart and Mona Sutphen. Dec. 5 2012 in Washington D.C.

Two panelists at the Brookings Institution Discussion, A Poverty and Opportunity Agenda: What’s in Store for the Next Four Years? Left to Right, JoAnne Barnhart and Mona Sutphen. Dec. 5 2012 in Washington D.C.

The New Year is right around the corner, and while most people are probably worrying about their New Year’s Resolutions, there are still concerns about the fiscal cliff. Depending on the President’s and Congress’ decision, America’s economy may have to face reduced spending for safety net programs and tax increases on higher income families to address the nation’s deficit. On Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, the Center on Children and Families at Brookings and Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, held an event at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. to discuss what’s in store for the next four years.

Two major political figures and a panel of experts with extensive experience in previous administrations talked about the impact of the election on programs affecting the poor and the opportunities for economic advancement. In particular, panelists were vocal about proposals intended to help the economy by spending on safety nets for the poor.

“We need to preserve the safety net,” said Isabel Sawhil, senior fellow and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. The safety net includes programs that promote upward mobility like Social Security and the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as Food Stamps and Medicaid.

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Food not Bombs Volunteers Donate Every Sunday

The Hempstead chapter of Food not Bombs donates food and clothing every Sunday starting at 2pm in front of the Hempstead Railroad Station. Residents from Hempstead and the neighboring community line up each Sunday for supplies needed for their families. After Hurricane Sandy, different chapters from around Long Island, Staten Island and Rockaways have found that the need for resources have increased; there are a lot of resources to donate but a lot of it is used rather quickly.

Food not Bombs was founded in the 1980’s by eight Protestors who were protesting against nuclear power weapons. They advocate that in order to move forward, countries need to spend money on food, and not bombs. Since its founding, the organization has spread worldwide and has active groups in the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. FNB Co-Founder Keith McHenry, was present at the Food share last Sunday.

-Claudia Balthazar

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Presidential Debate 2012 at Hofstra University: An Inside Story.

Behind- the- Scenes work at the Debate Arena.
photo by: Jeanine Russaw

Hofstra University staff and students have settled down from the excitement of the debate that took place the evening of Tuesday, October 16. Organizations that have been working since last semester leading up to the debate can now settle down and go back to their ‘regular agendas’. Excited student volunteers can now post their photos of their credentials on social networking sites and tell all their friends what they were doing on the day of the debate. They were having a once in a life time experience and becoming a part of history.

Numerous Hofstra students volunteered for the 2012 Presidential Debate.  Among them were the Hofstra Association of Black Journalists’ President Claudia Balthazar, Vice President Tatiana Brown, Managing Editor Jeanine Russaw and Podcast Personnel Arielle Burton.

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Q and A with Dr. Cornel West

Cornel West with Jeanine Russaw. 10.3.12

Two weeks prior to hosting Presidential Debate 2012, Hofstra has had the honor of welcoming Dr. Cornel West to the campus. One of the more popular pre-debate keynote speaker events (along with Chris Matthews, Van Jones, and the Rove-Gibbs debate), West was gracious and forthcoming in his address to the public. Even more memorable was his snap decision to remain on campus for the Denver presidential debate and view it with Hofstra students.

To read the full story, click here: Cornel West Reaches out to Students on Denver Presidential Debate Night

A lot of powerful things were said that evening, and I had the humbling experience of speaking with him briefly. Here is what he had to say:

JMR: Hi Dr. West, first I would like to thank you for speaking at Hofstra and for your truly inspirational words. Earlier, you mentioned white supremacy, its existence in human beings and how it results in low self-esteem in blacks and other minorities. What advice do you have for those people and what do you think the steps are to realizing one’s self worth?

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Peaceful Protest Rally Aims to Motivate Citizens of Freeport

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 All photos by Jeanine Russaw unless otherwise stated.  

To listen to Claudia Balthazar’s coverage of the event, click  here.

In the name of peace, members of the Grass Roots Bikers’ Club rallied in the streets of Freeport on Saturday, Oct. 6 to discuss the need to end violence within the community. Co-organized by local organizations “Struggling to Reunite our New Generation” (S.T.R.O.N.G.)Youth Inc. and “There’s Only One Hempstead,” the protest’s participants initially stood together at the Perfecting Faith Church on Main Street.

As motorcyclists from surrounding neighborhoods (Hempstead, Freeport, Roosevelt and Garden City) drove past the parking lot, the back gates which were lined with poster boards covered with the names of young people from those communities that died because of violence. Names that were too many to count. Hung on a gate there was a jacket that read, “Violence is like a cancer. It is killing our young people. We are the cure.”

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Cornel West Reaches out to Students on Denver Presidential Debate Night

Cornel west delivers speech at Hofstra University two weeks before the Presidential Debate comes to the campus.

“If you don’t want to just be successful, but if you really want to be great: greatness has to do with your service for others and your love for the loveless,” These were the words spoken by Dr. Cornel West in his speech on Oct. 3. The speech was entitled “Making Abolishing Poverty a Priority in the Presidential Election,” but also dealt with other contemporary problems including racism and issues plaguing the mentality of American youth.

From start to finish, the lecture contained something intended to get the attention of all generations present. However, West paid particular attention to the students in the audience. Upon finishing, the floor was open to a series of questions and answers from the community, and the students were given top priority in terms of inquiry.

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