A steady chorus of drums and symbols filled Benjamin Banneker Park in Washington, D.C., as the sun peaked in the overcast sky above. A sea of protesters joined the beat and began chanting. “Congreso, escucha, estamos en la lucha,” the crowd roared in Spanish, each repetition growing louder. Their voices rose above the percussion and were greeted by an enthusiastic organizer speaking into a microphone. The “Welcome Back Congress” march had officially begun. Around a thousand activists and immigrants — including a humble contingent from the University of Maryland — converged in Washington, D.C., Tuesday as Congress returned from its August recess. The march, organized by CASA, a grassroots immigrant advocacy organization, demanded that a pathway to citizenship remain in the budget reconciliation package.
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Colleyville - Over 100 students walked out of their Friday morning classes at Colleyville Heritage High School to show their support of James Whitfield, the high school’s first Black principal who was placed on paid administrative leave last month. They want answers from school administrators as to why Whitfield is on leave. Students carried signs and wrote “We stand with Dr. Whitfield” in chalk on the sidewalks at the high school. They also marched around the school chanting, “Dr. Whitfield’s here to stay.” Sunehra Chowdhury, a senior at Colleyville Heritage who helped organize the walkout, said she and other students are not backing down or giving up on supporting Whitfield. She said the school board has contributed to the criticism and hostility toward Whitfield and his family.
Tonga, a devout Christian, said the campus pastor and athletic director called a meeting with him last week in which he was berated over his sexual orientation. Tonga said the school administrators called his gayness “a danger” to the school and children and commented that “parents pay too much” to attend the school for their children to be coached by a gay man.
The debt elimination effort was financed through the CARES Act. For scholars who attended the institution during 2020 and spring 2021, all debt owed to the school will be erased. Donald Palm, Ph.D., who serves as Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, says the effort will play a pivotal role in shaping their financial futures. He also mentioned students should be solely focused on learning without feeling the burden of unaffordability. “We care about our students and their academic success and want to provide them the privilege of moving forward with a zero balance,” he said in a statement. “We believe that relieving them from these balances will provide much-needed relief that will allow our scholars to focus more intently on their academics and degree completion.”
Gertrude “Trude” Lamb, 16, describes herself as a shy person. She never wanted to be the center of attention. But, in the summer of 2020, when Trude became the face of a movement to rename Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Texas, she was suddenly in a spotlight she’d never imagined. A friend nudged her to join a local campaign and send a letter to the school board, but she wasn’t sure why. Trude, who emigrated from Ghana in 2014, wasn’t familiar with Lee or anything related to the Confederacy. So, she began to research. “At school, they usually just teach the good part about somebody,” she says. “They don’t teach the bad part.” A star athlete on her school’s varsity cross-country team, she’d penned a letter to school board members stating she’d no longer wear a jersey that bore the name of an enslaver.