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Freddie Allen

Stories by Freddie

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Record-level of criminal exonerations

Black criminal defendants accounted for roughly 46 percent of the 125 known exonerations in 2014, the highest annual number of exonerations recorded since 1989, according to a national registry that tracks wrongful convictions.

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Income inequality rises in all 50 states

Income inequality is rising and it affects workers in every state, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute. Researchers from EPI, a nonpartisan think tank focused on low- and middle-income workers, analyzed Internal Revenue Service data for all 50 states and found that not only was the income gap between the top 1 percent of earners and everyone else getting wider, but that the disparities were not just confined to financial centers in the east or technology centers on the west coast.

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Predatory lenders target the poor: Communities lose billions

Predatory lenders continue to target poor, Black and Latino communities, siphoning off $103 billion in fees and interest every year, and the rest of us are paying for it, according to a recent report by United for a Fair Economy.

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New education official wants to reform NCLB

John King Jr., a highly respected educator from New York City, says that teachers saved his life and in his new post as the deputy secretary at the Department of Education, he wants all children to have the support in school that he had growing up.

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HBCUs divided over free two-year college plan

Black college educators and supporters are sharply split over whether President Barack Obama’s proposal to offer a free two-year community college education to students making progress toward earning an associate or bachelor’s degree would hurt or harm Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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Affirmative action: Is a race-neutral approach needed?

In the wake of unrelenting lawsuits seeking to abolish affirmative action coupled with nearly half of all universities dropping consideration of race as a factor in college admissions, it is time to shift gears and devise a less objectionable race-neutral approach that will diversify higher education, said a noted Black law professor.

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China-HBCU exchange program launched

In an effort to develop the next generation of global leaders, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund joined Perfect World, the China Education Association for International Exchange and domestic groups focused on building ties between the United States and China to embark on a new student exchange program.

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Black Republicans Making History

Black Republicans not expected to be a plus for community

Black Republicans made history during the midterm elections in November by winning in Texas, South Carolina and Utah, but political analysts wonder if the victories will have any long-term impact on the future of the GOP in the Black community. Traditionally, Black candidates running for elected offices not only need a large Black turnout, but also a majority of the Black vote to win statewide and national races.

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Blacks gain most from health care act when Medicaid is expanded

As families prepare to choose health insurance coverage during the open enrollment period, a recent report by the Urban Institute shows that Blacks have the most to gain from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if the states they live in expand Medicaid under the law.

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HIV/AIDS activists push for funding to address stigma

In an ongoing effort to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, physicians, health care workers and human rights activists want the government and the public to place more emphasis on the stigma associated with the deadly disease that continues to plague the Black community.

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DOJ urged to stay focused on police killings

Officials from the National Action Network, the National Urban League, the National Bar Association, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups have urged the Department of Justice to remain focused on the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases and to make sure that the police officers involved are held responsible for their deaths.

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CBC joins Black churches for ‘Freedom Sunday’

If the Democrats lose the United States Senate and more seats in the House of Representatives in the upcoming midterm elections, Marcia Fudge, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that the Republicans would impeach President Barack Obama.

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National campaign to fight police brutality

In an effort to combat police brutality in the Black community, the National Bar Association recently announced plans to file open records requests in 25 cities to study allegations of police misconduct.

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Falling further behind on race relations

Twenty years after signing the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the United States continues to struggle with racial disparities in every major sector of American society.

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Upcoming changes to PLUS loans may help Blacks

This fall, the Department of Education plans to announce changes to PLUS loans that officials say will make it easier for parents to qualify for the financial aid program that thousands of Black college students rely on every semester.

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Black men show little signs of progress in 40 years

Black men are no better off than they were more than 40 years ago, due to mass incarceration and job losses suffered during the Great Recession, according to a new report by researchers at the University of Chicago.

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Marches, protests predate 1964 March on Washington

Although many are nostalgically reflecting on 50 years ago when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, there was no universal agreement on what tactics to deploy in the fight for equality, according to a report on the movement by the Economic Policy Institute.

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All students benefit from minority teachers

Despite the cry from people of color for more teachers who look like them, both Whites and Blacks benefit from a more diverse teaching force, according to a study by Center of American Progress.

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Obama acts to ease student loan debt

From 2003 to 2014, student debt in America skyrocketed from $250 million to $1.2 trillion, surpassing credit card debt. As more students, especially Black students, rely on grants and loans to get through college, President Barack Obama has stepped up with a series of executive orders to ease the pain of borrowers in college and after they graduate.

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Mobilizing key groups can change politics of the Deep South

As voters’ rights advocates and civil rights leaders commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 “Freedom Summer” in Mississippi, a new study by the Center for American Progress finds that shifting demographics in the South can help to accelerate meaningful social and political change.

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New report: Blacks are ‘beyond broke’

The growing racial wealth gap – $200 in median wealth for Blacks in 2011 and $23,000 for Whites – threatens national economic security in the United States, according to a recent report by the Center for Global Policy Solutions.

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Obama’s Promise Zones: Only one is majority-Black

Despite the disproportionate impact of poverty found in African American communities, only one of President Barack Obama’s “Promise Zones,” is majority-Black, according to a new report.

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Generic drug labeling changes cause concern

A proposed rule change for generic drug labels, crafted by the Food and Drug Administration, could cost patients, health care providers and drug manufacturers billions of dollars and limit access to affordable prescription drugs for minorities and the poor, according to more than a dozen organizations that serve people of color.

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Full-time employment hurts Black students’ full-time enrollment

More than 60 percent of Black students could receive greater financial aid for college through the Pell Grant program, if they were enrolled full-time, according to a new report by the National Urban League.

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Controversy surrounds ‘My Brother’s Keeper’

A controversy last week over potential funding linked to President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative underscored concerns that groups led by people of color have expressed over access to public and private sector resources.

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Sentenced to die: Too many innocent Blacks executed

Since 1973, more than 300 innocent defendants have been sentenced to death, largely because Blacks are overrepresented among murder convictions and among those who are wrongfully condemned to die, according to a recent report.

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Megacommunities bridge STEM gap

In an effort to address persistent racial disparities in science and engineering careers, educators and community stakeholders have embraced the “megacommunity” model of cooperation.

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Race for Results shows Black children rank last on milestone index

Despite great progress that grew out of the Civil Rights Movement, “a web of stubborn obstacles remains” that prevents children of color, especially Black children, from reaching their full potential, according to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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Suspended from Preschool?

Black student discipline triple that of Whites

Even before they typically learn to read, African American children – some as young as 4 years old – are taught a disgusting lesson: discrimination.

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Task force to revitalize the Black community

Rev. R.B. Holmes, a civil rights leader and pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., is heading up a task force of 40 ministers to undertake a 12-point action plan to revitalize the Black community, taking on issues ranging from the repeal of controversial “stand your ground” laws to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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Final push to get Blacks signed up for ACA

With less than two weeks left to sign up for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, grassroots supporters of the mandatory law and federal health officials are rushing to enroll Blacks, other people of color and young people in order to meet the Obama administration’s goal of reaching 7 million people by the end of this month.

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Are Black Students Worse?

Bias a factor in suspending Black students

A new collection of research shows that despite the myths surrounding Black student behavior, poverty and severity of the offense have very little to do with the rate Black students are suspended from school.

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Obama signs ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative

No one had seen President Barack Obama more emotional than last week when he announced “My Brother’s Keeper,” a new initiative aimed at helping young Black men.

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Obama receives new agenda for jobs, freedom

A group of civil rights leaders met with President Obama and several members of his cabinet last week to discuss the 1963-2013: 21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom, a formal document with more than 90 legislative policy and priority recommendations.

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Blacks still victimized by ‘stand your ground’

Two years ago, 14-year-old Trayvon Martin was returning from a trip from a nearby 7-Eleven store in Sanford, Fla., to purchase a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona tea when he was confronted by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman.

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Not enough Blacks receiving HIV treatment

Even though Blacks get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, more than other groups, health care providers continue to struggle to get Blacks into treatment and keep them there, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Unemployment rate falls to 11.9 percent for Blacks

The unemployment rate for Blacks dipped to 11.9 percent in December, according to the Labor Department, largely because likely workers, discouraged after months of searching for jobs with little prospects, have simply stopped looking.

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Millions of Blacks still not covered

As the Obama administration makes strides to improve the functionality of HealthCare.gov, the flagship website for the Affordable Care Act, Republican lawmakers continue to block federal funds that would help millions of poor Blacks get health insurance coverage.

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Many in-home workers live in poverty

In-home workers, 90 percent of them women, often live in poverty, earn low wages and work grueling hours without many of the protections enjoyed by most workers, according to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit think tank focused on public policy that affects low- and middle-income families.

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New report calls for full employment

Fifty years ago, civil rights leaders dove headfirst into the on-going debate over American economic policy by placing the fight for equal employment opportunities at the forefront of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

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Having access to excellent teachers is civil right

A new study suggests that access to “excellent teachers” should be a civil right and that students should be able to “take legal action” to get better results.

Young Black voters pay higher ‘time tax’ at the polls

As the American electorate becomes more diverse, new voting laws threaten to disenfranchise young Black and Latino voters in what a new report called “the largest wave of voter suppression since the enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.”

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Blacks continue fight to secure voting rights

When lawmakers ratified the 15th Amendment in 1870, protecting voting rights for Blacks, opponents of the law lashed out, violently at times,

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Racism costs U.S. billions annually

Closing the income gap between Whites and minorities would boost earnings by 12 percent, an economic windfall of $1 trillion, for a nation burdened by debt and an anemic job market, according to a recent study by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Altarum Institute.

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Unemployment for Black women at 4-year low

As job prospects for Whites and Black men have slowed or stalled completely, Black women continue to gain ground in a weak labor market, according to the latest jobs report.

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Many poor Blacks in the South will remain uninsured

Even if healthcare.gov, the web portal for the federal health insurance exchange, worked perfectly, more than 5 million poor, uninsured adults, many of them Black, will continue to go without coverage, because they live in states that didn’t expand Medicaid, according to a recent brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Website stumbles on launch

Last week, President Barack Obama said what many people who visited healthcare.gov to browse and buy affordable health insurance already knew: The website, tied so heavily to the success of the Affordable Care Act, wasn’t working properly.

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Black farmers collect $1.2 billion

For decades, Black farmers fought the United States Department of Agriculture over racial discrimination. The farmers, mostly in the South, lost crops, their farms and their homes. Some farmers grew old and died waiting for the slow hand of justice to turn in their favor, but those that still toil in the fields can proclaim victory, the government has finally started cutting checks in the $1.2 billion settlement case known as “Pigford II.”

Bank to pay minority borrowers $2.85 million

Chevy Chase Bank agreed to pay $2.85 million to Black and Latino borrowers, following allegations of discriminatory home lending practices. The Maryland-based bank joins Wells Fargo and Bank of America as banking institutions that paid out million dollar settlements in class action lawsuits following the housing crisis.

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HBCUs must adapt to teach 21st century students

As Historically Black Colleges and Universities adapt to the rapidly changing educational landscape, advocates say that collaborative partnerships in business, in the community, and on campus will be needed to ensure that HBCUs survive and thrive in the 21st century.

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