A reflection on Ferguson, one year after the August 9, 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown

ColinWellenkamp

 

By Washington Adventist University Adjunct Professor Colin Wellenkamp and U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)

Ferguson One Year Later – What Do You Want to See Change?

 

Let us ask you: “What exactly was supposed to change since August 9, 2014?” Was crime supposed to drop, jobs increase, upward mobility become easier, education for all? Would these even scratch the surface of the real change people are looking for – a change in ourselves? Race relations in the United States have been comprised of difficult and full-contact struggles for more than two and a half centuries, and race is now giving way to other more prevalent divisions in our society – the divisions of wealth, opportunity, and relevance.

Almost from all angles, race is becoming an ever decreasing determinant of destiny in the United States. The U.S. population is projected to reach 400 to 450 million people by the year 2050, with nearly 80 percent of that growth coming from immigrants and their descendants.

The real question is not who the next generation of Americans will be, but what will they do and how will they live. We all want a society with fair and effective social justice, education, infrastructure, healthcare, jobs, and a quality of life that comes with clean water, clean air, and a healthy ecology. The problem is that what we want comes with a price.

Change 1: We’ve learned (again) that there’s a price for the community life we seek
If we want healthy communities, we need to support police training and hiring practices that will result in less siege work and more social work.

Since its inception, the Community Oriented Policing Services Program provided $10 billion across 12,000 police agencies. The point of the program is to hire police officers for deeper engagement with the community. During the recession, unemployment rose and program spending dropped.

Adding to the economic stress is decreased federal support. Since FY2012, the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program has been cut 34 percent, the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring grants by 44 percent, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System by 75 percent, the juvenile delinquency prevention initiatives by more than 50 percent.

Change 2: Ferguson is simply a symptom of larger problems we can’t ignore or defund
We applaud the work of the Ferguson Commission in moving beyond the issues of law enforcement relations and embracing the larger factors of economic inequality, education, and childhood development. We are excited about the pending release of the Commission’s report as it will identify 200 calls to action.

Change 3: we’re more uncomfortable with each other
Ferguson has aggravated very difficult and uncomfortable realities many don’t want to face or talk about. Ferguson has brought-up awkward conversations around just about every American dinner table since August 9, 2014. People want it to go away and it won’t. The ten million working poor in this country are tired of working hard to stay poor and they seek not a hand-out, but a fair shot. Middle class whites feel demonized and they’re tired of being blamed for oppression they feel they’ve had nothing to do with; they would like to see less blame and more progress.

Solutions
There are three parts to addressing what we face: 1) support justice assistance programs at all levels of government - this means embedding community policing into all facets of police work; 2) fund oversight training and technology so both the public and police are better protected; and 3) give majority attention and funding to education, job training, youth mentoring, and at-risk youth.

There has been positive movement: 1) minimum wages in the nation are rising; 2) local governments are working to control predatory revenue generation practices; 3) states are turning to more intervention and prevention in treating crime over suppression to fight it.

Other good news one year after Ferguson is that we’re still having these conversations. We are witnessing the next evolution of American society as equality marches on and franchises more of us into equal protection under the law.

We crossed a bridge in Selma, we’re crossing more in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other places. Crossing bridges is scary – we don’t know if we’ll make it to the other side, the fall could be fatal, the bridge may not hold. But, hand-in-hand we can do this. It will be a struggle and it will take true courage which is accepting the things we can’t change and changing the things we can, such as ourselves.

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Washington Adventist University is Montgomery County's only four-year private college. Part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, Washington Adventist University has been educating college students since 1904 on a 19-acre campus in suburban Takoma Park, close to the nation’s capital. Approximately 1,100 students of all faiths participate in the university’s eight graduate and 32 undergraduate programs. The 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington Adventist University among the best regional colleges in the north.

 

Media Contacts:
Angie Crews, 301-351-3197, acrews@wau.edu
Donna Bigler, 240-286-1169, dbigler@wau.edu

Washington Adventist University Ranks in the Top 50 “Best Value Small Colleges for a Biology Degree”

Best-Value-Schools-Biology-Degrees-300x242

 

Takoma Park, MD (August 4, 2015) Washington Adventist University is ranked among the top 50 “Best Value Small Colleges for a Biology Degree” by the Best Value Schools website. The ranking was developed from data on College Navigator, a website run by the National Center for Education Statistics.

“A biology degree is one of the more versatile degrees you can get in undergrad,” said writer and researcher Iris Stone, who authored a recent article on the rankings. “Biology students have the flexibility to become teachers, researchers, or conservationists, to go to graduate school, or to enter into a number of pre-professional programs, from medicine to pharmacy.”

The schools that made the top 50 list all have student bodies of 3,000 or fewer; offer a degree in biology or the biological sciences; admit 50 percent or fewer of their applicants; and have a low net price – which takes into consideration in-state and out-of-state tuition, average financial aid packages that students at the school receive, and other potential expenses.

“Each of the 50 schools have something unique to offer, but they all unite in the desire to provide a high caliber curriculum for a lower than average cost,” said Stone.

Washington Adventist University (WAU), which ranks 42 on the list of 50, offers an array of pre-professional programs within it B.S. and B.A. biology degree tracks, as well as degree programs in biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics and computer science. The university’s “STEM U” program -- for students majoring in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science and mathematics -- provides student mentors, workshops, residential and non-residential learning communities and a survival guide to ensure that students graduate on time.

The university’s 8th Semester Free program offers all incoming, full-time freshmen free tuition for their 8th semester if they remain on track to graduate within four years. That reduces the cost of their degree program and ensures that students remain focused on graduating on time.
 
For more information about Washington Adventist University’s biology programs, contact Melinda Villanueva, Ph.D. at mvillanu@wau.edu or 301-891-4462, or go to the Department of Biology website.

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Washington Adventist University is Montgomery County, Maryland's only four-year private college. Part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, Washington Adventist University has been educating college students since 1904 on a 19-acre campus in suburban Takoma Park, close to the nation’s capital. A total of 1,100 students of all faiths participate in the university’s eight graduate and 32 undergraduate programs. The 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington Adventist University among the best regional colleges in the north.

Media Contacts:
Angie Crews, 301-891-4134, acrews@wau.edu
Donna Bigler, 240-286-1169, dbigler@wau.edu

Washington Adventist University Business Students to be Recognized for Helping Local Small Businesses Find Success

*** Media Advisory *** 
   
Step Up for Small Business Award Ceremony

Washington Adventist University Business Students to be Recognized for
Helping
Local Small Businesses Find Success

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
3 p.m.

Rainbow Coin Laundry
8735 Flower Avenue, Takoma Park, Maryland

Enactus415

Washington Adventist University (WAU) business students will be recognized for their creative solutions to helping local small businesses thrive. The students recently earned third place in the national Enactus Competition, which awards teams with the most creative solutions to resolving community issues.

Comptroller of Maryland Peter Franchot and other elected officials will be on hand to recognize and celebrate the WAU students’ efforts, along with Washington Adventist University President Weymouth Spence, Ed.D.; Provost Cheryl Harris Kisunzu, Ph.D.; and Executive Vice President of Finance Patrick Farley.

The 38 students volunteered more than 3,700 hours during the year, serving the Takoma Park community. Their projects ranged from offering a local small business symposium on branding, strategic marketing and social media to helping the struggling Rainbow Coin Laundry become profitable by rebranding the business, painting and cleaning the store, and developing an after-school tutoring program for the children of customers, which further boosted business success. A $1,500 grant from the Sam’s Club “Step Up for Small Business” program helped fund the student-initiated small business improvements at the laundry and throughout the Long Branch area of Takoma Park.

Nok Kim, owner of Rainbow Coin Laundry, will receive a ceremonial check and a plaque from Sam’s Club, along with a Proclamation from Comptroller Franchot, recognizing Kim for his efforts in helping the community. Kim has owned the business for 10 years, and has worked to overcome a series of challenges that occurred when he dropped the laundry from its parent franchise.

The Washington Adventist University Enactus team is part of an international non-profit organization that brings student, academic and business leaders together to develop projects that improve the quality of life for people in need through the application of business strategies. Nationwide there are 518 Enactus teams with more than 17,000 students, working on more than 2,000 community team projects.

For more information about the Washington Adventist University Enactus team and its projects, contact Professor Kimberly S. Pichot, Chair of the Department of Business and Communication, at kspichot@wau.edu or 301-891-4034.

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Washington Adventist University is Montgomery County's only four-year private college. Part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, Washington Adventist University has been educating college students since 1904 on a 19-acre campus in suburban Takoma Park, close to the nation’s capital. Approximately 1,100 students of all faiths participate in the university’s eight graduate and 32 undergraduate programs. The 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington Adventist University among the best regional colleges in the north.

 

Media Contacts:
Angie Crews, 301-351-3197, acrews@wau.edu
Donna Bigler, 240-286-1169, dbigler@wau.edu

Washington Adventist University Offers Free LinkedIn Workshop August 6, 4-6 p.m.

Sharon Grey-Coker

Takoma Park, MD (July 22, 2015) A free LinkedIn workshop will be hosted by Washington Adventist University’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies and the Betty Howard Center for Student Success on August  6, 4-6 p.m. on campus in Takoma Park. The workshop is open to students, alumni and members of the community who are interested in learning how to use the LinkedIn network to expand their professional connections and skills, and to explore new job opportunities.

The course will be taught by Sharon Grey-Coker, a career recruitment and staffing consultant who has experience helping both students entering the workforce and professionals in transition. She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management, a master’s in education, and is certified in career development by the National Career Development Association.

Register now to learn how to create a basic LinkedIn account, establish professional connections, and market your skills and talents both locally and globally. The course will be taught in Room S205B of the Science Complex, located across Flower Avenue from Wilkinson Hall, 7600 Flower Avenue, Takoma Park, Maryland.

The campus is located near the intersection of Flower and Carroll avenues. There is plenty of free parking off Greenwood Avenue (behind Wilkinson Hall) and off Flower Avenue (across the street from the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church). A bus stop and BikeShare station are conveniently located in front of Wilkinson Hall, and the Takoma Metro station is 1.5 miles away.

Those interested in attending should RSVP by calling Viola Poey at (301) 891-4090. Registration is limited to 20 individuals.

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Washington Adventist University is Montgomery County, Maryland's only four-year private college. Part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, Washington Adventist University has been educating college students since 1904 on a 19-acre campus in suburban Takoma Park, close to the nation’s capital. A total of 1,100 students of all faiths participate in the university’s eight graduate and 32 undergraduate programs. The 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington Adventist University among the best regional colleges in the north.

Media Contacts:
Angie Crews, 301-891-4134, acrews@wau.edu
Donna Bigler, 240-286-1169, dbigler@wau.edu

Washington Adventist University Offers Graduate Nursing and Health Care Programs

Bonnie Franckowiak

New classes start the week of August 30 – September 3

Takoma Park, MD (July 16, 2015) Nursing and health care professionals are invited to register for one of Washington Adventist University’s graduate nursing programs, which are offered in the evenings. A master’s degree in nursing education or nursing and business leadership can be earned in as little as 18 months by attending classes just one night a week. New classes start the week of August 30 – September 3.

“A graduate degree expands the career opportunities available to nursing professionals, and I encourage anyone who can spare one evening a week to consider registering,” said Bonnie Franckowiak, DNP, FNP, CARN-AP, who teaches graduate nursing courses offered by the School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS).  “We are mindful of our students’ needs, goals and budgets, and we understand the challenges and provide support to those who are juggling full-time work and family responsibilities with their education.”

Washington Adventist University (WAU) is a private college that has been in existence since 1904. It was recently named in the top 100 “Most Affordable Small Colleges East of the Mississippi” by the online Great Value Colleges website. In addition to the graduate nursing programs, the Washington Adventist University SGPS offers six other master’s degree programs, including a Master of Arts degree in health care administration. The University’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies also offers 11 accelerated undergraduate programs that include a Bachelor of Science degree in health care administration.

WAU’s graduate nursing programs are approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), which is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.  Washington Adventist University is also accredited by The Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges and Universities.

The WAU campus is located in Takoma Park, Maryland and is Metro-accessible. The University offers plenty of free parking with a bus stop and BikeShare station on the campus, located at 7600 Flower Avenue, Takoma Park, Maryland – near the intersection of Flower and Carroll avenues.

Anyone interested in pursuing a graduate degree in nursing or another field is encouraged to go to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies website  or call 301-891-4092 for more information. Registration for fall classes has already started.

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Washington Adventist University is Montgomery County, Maryland's only four-year private college. Part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, Washington Adventist University has been educating college students since 1904 on a 19-acre campus in suburban Takoma Park, close to the nation’s capital. A total of 1,100 students of all faiths participate in the university’s eight graduate and 32 undergraduate programs. The 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington Adventist University among the best regional colleges in the north.

Media Contacts:
Angie Crews, 301-891-4134, acrews@wau.edu

Donna Bigler, 240-286-1169, dbigler@wau.edu