Monthly Archives: August 2014

Prince George’s County sees homicide spike in August.

…Residents hold families, communities accountable.

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Mr. Rushern Baker –The all powerful current County Executive for Prince George’s County is known not to be a man of his word according to Prince George’s County NAACP Chapter. He makes promises he cannot keep and is deeply involved in the scandal comprising Dr. kevin Maxwell. (Read more Major scandal Developing in Upper Marlboro). On this note, Mr. Baker needs to take responsibility and resign! It’s time for a change.

During the first two weeks of August, Prince George’s County’s homicide rate matched that of June and July combined, which has some residents calling for more investment in families and neighborhoods.

Five incidents — including a double homicide — took place primarily in the southern portion of the county this month, including attacks in the cities of Oxon Hill, Suitland and Landover.

Ron Balfour, 63, of Suitland said he is a former neighborhood watch member and was concerned to hear of the Aug. 10 shooting of a Suitland woman.

“Any incident that happens like that in your community, you always have concerns. [Crime] will go down, then all of a sudden you have a spike,” he said. “They always recommend more policing, more security, but all that costs money.”

Balfour said there is only so much law enforcement officers can do to promote safety if family members and neighbors are not taking responsibility for each other.

“Everything has to start from home. Parents have to pay more attention to their children,” he said. “The police are there to serve and protect, but if it’s not monitored from home, if you don’t have any place for these young men and women to go, that’s another thing that’s not helping.” >>>>Read more the Gazette.

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Prince George’s County parents concerned about lack of transparency…

… with Dr. Maxwell finally showing his true cards at Goddard Montessori fiasco in PGCPS.

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A decision by Prince George’s County School Chief Kevin Maxwell to move Glenarden Woods Elementary School into part of the building where Robert Goddard Montessori students attend classes has drawn criticism from parents of the popular magnet program.

Anita Studgeon, the PTA president at the school, said the school district had not been forthcoming about its plans at the Seabrook school building.

Lynn McCawley, a spokesman for the school system, said a community meeting and follow-up conversations have already been held on the plan, and the district will send letters to parents before the start of school.

For several years, Robert Goddard Montessori, where 502 students were enrolled last year, has shared its building with the Robert Goddard French Immersion School.

The French immersion school, which 545 students attended last year, is scheduled to move into the old Greenbelt Middle School this year. >>> Read more Washington Post

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Segun Eubanks  - Laughing all the way to the Bank.

Segun Eubanks – Laughing all the way to the Bank at the expense of the community.

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Dr. Kevin Maxwell got a hefty $90,000 hand shake on the way out from Anne Arundel County Public Schools and $1 million sign up with guess whose pot cash bonuses?  – PGCPS. What does he promise to do for us? Is this performance based appointment? Even wall street sets performance goals. The last time we checked with our school performances, we cannot surely in this economy blow cash on these willy nilly appointments for sure.  Dr. Maxwell was indirectly a subject of the Maryland legislature in the last session for the $90,000 he took with him. (Read more)

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Former D.C. charter board CFO promoted corruption

… by having private companies that allegedly paid him

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Donna Montgomery, chief executive officer at Options Public Charter School, arrives at the school

As the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s chief financial officer, Jeremy L. Williams was responsible for monitoring charter schools’ business practices and ensuring their compliance with rules meant to prevent financial mismanagement.

Instead, he allegedly received $150,000 to help three former managers of Options Public Charter School evade those rules and take millions of taxpayer dollars for themselves, according to a pending civil lawsuit.

Williams and the other defendants in that lawsuit have denied doing anything illegal.

But e-mail messages The Washington Post obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request show that Williams used his official capacity with the charter board to help the former Options leaders promote two for-profit businesses that allegedly served as vehicles for diverting millions of dollars in taxpayer funds meant for students.

“Thanks for assisting with the presentation yesterday,” David Cranford, one of the Options officials, wrote in March 2013, referring to a meeting Williams hosted for business managers from the city’s charter schools. On the agenda was a chance for the Options managers to pitch their company’s Medicaid-billing services, which they argued could help schools recoup some of their special-education costs.

 “Your involvement definitely opened up a lot of opportunities to work with other charters,” Cranford wrote.

“No problem chief!” Williams replied, according to e-mail records. “More opportunities looming. For certain.” >>> Read more Washington post  >>> Read more ~~> the connection to PGCPS MESS!

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Politicians, Plutocrats and Trust Magnates.

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file photo shows Honorable Governor Rick Perry before indictment for abuse of office.

In light of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s indictment, We must remember that, Politicians, Plutocrats and Trust Magnates are not demigods. They are servants obliged to serve and create an enabling environment for the masses to pursue their God given purposes, talents peacefully, secure and harmoniously. There should never be anarchy at any given time. There should be no discrimination and racism whatsoever! BUT once anyone of us or people start worshiping some of these politicians like what has been happening here in Prince George’s County, we turn them into demigods competing for space in your heart with the Living God and then you or any else will stand accused of IDOLATRY.  Let us stop looking up to men and women as the source of our livelihood or source of supplies! They are NOT!

No one else has better power than God himself to ensure that goodness prevails. Who has the power to ensure that justice is done and that God’s will is done on Planet Earth?

WE HAVE THE POWER AS PEOPLE! Yes we have that power, undiluted.

Institutions or corporations or even local Governments like Prince George’s County,  State of Texas, State of Maryland and others around the world have no life of their own, despite what we typically think about bureaucracies. They are only a group of people. People like you and anyone of us. Making choices, wrong or right choices to enable or disable God’s will being carried out on planet earth. However,  each choice made individually or collectively has moral consequences!

Leadership is consistently identified as a critical factor in effective economic development. Although leadership can come from many places within the community, local elected officials are particularly well-positioned to take on this role in many aspects if it is done the right way.

One way in which we can address these issues is through protections of individual rights whether immigrants, resident, citizen etc.

Human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent covenants, have provided an internationally agreed set of principles and standards by which to assess and redress inequality. Conversely, a just society is one that understands and values human rights and the dignity of all human beings.

The international human rights system is an important way of advocating for or enforcing fairer distribution of resources in the world. However as Baldry and McCausland note, obtaining “… remedies under the human rights system requires a significant degree of understanding of that system, and the resources and skills to advocate for the rights that are breached. Ironically, it is those most in need of assistance when their human rights are breached that are often least able to access such a system”.

There is, therefore, a need for social justice to facilitate such access. For example, while indigenous people are entitled to the full protection of the individual human rights system that has existed for the past sixty years, their rights have continued to be violated and they often experience poverty and disadvantage to a greater extent than the rest of the population. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes the difficulty in realizing human rights for Indigenous people who have been disadvantaged on a systemic level by historical discrimination and dispossession over past centuries.

Some view the human rights approach as being inadequate in ensuring that all members of the community meet mutual responsibilities and obligations, especially obligations to protect disadvantaged members of society, as rights are often stressed in preference to obligations. Others argue that a human rights vision is concerned with delivering the best society possible, as it is not concerned solely with negative rights to do as one pleases. Rather, it is concerned with positive entitlements such as rights to work, leisure, education and cultural participation, which involves a more positive outline of what a good and just society, will look like.

  • Fairness and mutual obligation in society
  •  Responsibility for each other,
  • Equal chances to succeed in life
  • Redistribution of opportunities,
  • Balance between social equality and
    individual freedom.
  • Based on principles of equality and solidarity

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A just society both understands and values human rights, as well as recognizing the dignity of every human being.

Joint responsibility to address systemic/structural poverty, inequality and unfairness (emphasizes responsibility of system or government to provide)

  • Fair redistribution of resources
  • Equal access to opportunities and rights
  • Fair system of law and due process
  • Ability to take up opportunities and exercise rights
  • Protection of vulnerable and disadvantaged people

Individual responsibility

  • Moral responsibility ‐ behavior of those who are poor, excluded or disadvantaged)
  • Workforce participation ‐workforce participation as the only legitimate way for an individual to contribute to society and be socially included)
  • Individual capability ‐ the personal characteristics that enable people to take advantage of opportunities)
  • Recognition of human value and well being emphasizes human value beyond status and economic productivity

Social Justice – Economic Justice

  • Social justice encompasses economic justice. ‐the virtue which guides to create organized human interactions called institutions
  • social institutions, when justly organized, provide access to economic resources.
  • Social justice also imposes on each of us a personal responsibility to work with others to design and continually perfect institutions as tools for personal and social development.

Addressing Democratic Deficit

  • Strengthening/empowering communities
  • Decentralized services
  • Decentralization to local government and town councils
  • Politically neutral local government system
  • Minimizing inefficiencies with overlap of jurisdictions, services, accountability
  • An education system more integrated with community – build interact and incorporate community into schooling;
  • Service/community hours, care for elderly – mentorship and care.
  • Identifying localised resources; promoting entrepreneursip and building self‐sufficiency within communities.
  • Minimizing wastage/streamlining private sector‐community initiatives
  • Self sustainable development
  • Every child has a talent: setting talent at the heart of preparing for life of work – from preschool
  • For example areas  considered underdeveloped in the world should allow children at least one third of their day to attend to a trade/skills or talent ‐ such vocation developed the agri sector, agro tourism sector, cultural industries – art, craft, dance, music, etc – had something to fal back on own initiative if couldn’t find public job placement.
  • Reversing view of culture and arts as hobby/secondary to education and placng it at centre of educational development.

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Map of the State of Texas

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Map of Prince George’s County.

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County Executive Mr. Rushern Baker III for Prince George’s County.

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Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes). Part II.

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Red foxes live around the world in many diverse habitats including forests, grasslands, mountains, and deserts. They also adapt well to human environments such as farms, suburban areas, and even large communities. The red fox’s resourcefulness has earned it a legendary reputation for intelligence and cunning.

The small, slender bodies of red foxes are designed for speed and agility. In proportion to other canid species, red foxes have longer legs and smaller stomachs — adaptations that allow the animal to run nearly 30 miles per hour. A smaller stomach means they need to eat more often, and red foxes opportunistically eat a wide variety of foods as they traverses their home range at night, such as insects, fruits, earthworms, and scraps left by humans. Although they also hunt during the day, red foxes have very acute senses to help them succeed as nocturnal predators. Their eyes are designed to work well in low light conditions, and they maneuver their erect triangular ears to locate the faint rustling noises of rodents. When a mouse is detected, red foxes stand alert and motionless, using their ears and eyes to pinpoint the location of the rodent. Then they launch themselves into the air at a 45-degree angle, and land on the mouse, pinning it to the ground.

Although Red foxes are solitary hunters who feed on rodents, they also feed on rabbits, birds, and other small game—but their diet can be as flexible as their home habitat. Foxes will eat fruit and vegetables, fish, frogs, and even worms. If living among humans, foxes will opportunistically dine on garbage and pet food. >>> Read more from our earlier blog  The red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

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Like a cat’s, the fox’s thick tail aids its balance, but it has other uses as well. A fox uses its tail (or “brush”) as a warm cover in cold weather and as a signal flag to communicate with other foxes.

Foxes also signal each other by making scent posts—urinating on trees or rocks to announce their presence.

In winter, foxes meet to mate. The vixen (female) typically gives birth to a litter of 2 to 12 pups. At birth, red foxes are actually brown or gray. A new red coat usually grows in by the end of the first month, but some red foxes are golden, reddish-brown, silver, or even black. Both parents care for their young through the summer before they are able to strike out on their own in the fall.

Red foxes are hunted for sport, though not extensively, and are sometimes killed as destructive pests or frequent carriers of rabies

  • Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

    • Type: Mammal
    • Family: Canidae
    • Habitat: Highly variable. Edge forests, deserts, tundra, cities, and suburban areas
    • Location: Most of the Northern Hemisphere and Australia
    • Diet: Rodents, birds, insects, carrion and fruit
    • Average lifespan in the wild: 3 years in the wild; 10-12 years in captivity
    • Size: Head and body 18-35.4 in (45.5-90 cm); tail 11.8-21.8 in (30-55.5 cm)
    • Weight: 6.6-30.8 lbs (3-14 kg)
    Red foxes have excellent hearing. They can hear low-frequency sounds and rodents digging underground.
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    World wide Distribution map of Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes).

    As you can see from the above map, Red foxes have the largest distribution of any canid species. They can be found in almost the entire northern hemisphere, in part because they have such a diverse diet. As a species, red foxes have adapted well to human expansion. They thrive in urban areas, and have benefited from the human conversion of forest into agricultural lands. Red foxes are often seen as a threat to poultry and young livestock, even though they usually prey only on weak and sick animals. Though many farmers consider them pests, red foxes play a major role in controlling populations of crop-threatening animals like rabbits and rodents.

    Did you know: Red fox predators are eagles, coyotes, gray wolves, bears, mountain lions, and humans, who have been hunting red foxes since the 4th century BC.

    Subspecies

    As Red Foxes have such a wide range, they have many subspecies. Below are a list of subspecies and their locations:

    Vulpes vulpes abietorum – Western Canada
    Vulpes vulpes aeygptica – Egypt
    Vulpes vulpes alascensis – Alaska
    Vulpes vulpes alpherakyi – Turkestan
    Vulpes vulpes alticola
    Vulpes vulpes anatolica – Asia
    Vulpes vulpes arabica – Muscat
    Vulpes vulpes atlantica
    Vulpes vulpes barbara – North West Africa
    Vulpes vulpes beringiana – North East Siberia
    Vulpes vulpes cascadensis – NW coast of USA
    Vulpes vulpes caucasica – Caucasian Mount. area
    Vulpes vulpes crucigera – Germany
    Vulpes vulpes daurica
    Vulpes vulpes diluta
    Vulpes vulpes dolichocrania – Russia
    Vulpes vulpes dorsalis
    Vulpes vulpes flavescens – North Iran
    Vulpes vulpes fulva – Eastern USA
    Vulpes vulpes fulvus
    Vulpes vulpes griffithi – Afghanistan
    Vulpes vulpes harrimani – Alaska
    Vulpes vulpes hoole – South China
    Vulpes vulpes ichnusae – Sardinia
    Vulpes vulpes induta – Cyprus
    Vulpes vulpes jakutensis – Yakutsk
    Vulpes vulpes japonica – Japan
    Vulpes vulpes karagan – Khirgizia
    Vulpes vulpes kenaiensis – Alaska
    Vulpes vulpes krimeamontana – Crimea
    Vulpes vulpes kurdistanica
    Vulpes vulpes macroura – Rocky Mts, USA
    Vulpes vulpes montana – Himalayas
    Vulpes vulpes necator – Western USA
    Vulpes vulpes ochroxanta
    Vulpes vulpes palaestina – Palestine
    Vulpes vulpes peculiosa – Korea
    Vulpes vulpes pusilla – India
    Vulpes vulpes regalis
    Vulpes vulpes rubricosa – Canada
    Vulpes vulpes schrencki – Sakhalin
    Vulpes vulpes septentrionalis
    Vulpes vulpes silacea – Spain
    Vulpes vulpes splendidissima – Kurile Is.
    Vulpes vulpes stepensis
    Vulpes vulpes topolica
    Vulpes vulpes tschiliensis – North East China
    Vulpes vulpes vulpecula
    Vulpes vulpes vulpes
    Vulpes vulpes waddelli – Tibet

    Prized Pelts

    Before the collapse of the fur trade, the red fox’s fur was highly valued, and the red fox was heavily hunted. The fall of the fur trade and innovative fencing techniques used by farmers to protect their poultry have excluded the need to hunt and kill the red fox. Though the canine’s population is improving throughout the United States, it still faces a struggle as it competes with coyotes for habitat.

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New Student Board Member Jeffery Taylor II.

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Jeffery Taylor II (being sworn in picture courtesy PGCPS)

Jeffery Taylor II was sworn in as the 2014-2015 Student Board Member for the Prince George’s County Board of Education on Wednesday. Mr. Taylor is a rising senior at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School, and is President of the Senior Class. Mr. Taylor also serves as Vice-President of the National Honor Society, Parliamentarian of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Club, captain of his high school swim team, and plays first chair trombone in Wise High School’s marching and concert band. – See more at: http://www1.pgcps.org/communications/press.aspx?id=197617#sthash.5uxvfQhD.dpuf
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Judge continues investigation…

…into Laurel hiring practices.

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(From left) Laurel Mayor Craig Moe explains the importance of automated external defibrillators on Feb. 19 at the Laurel Municipal Center alongside Rescue One CEO Jeremy Gruber, Laurel Police Chief Rich McLaughlin, Deputy Chief James Brooks, Laurel Councilman Edward Ricks and Laurel Emergency Services Director Martin Flemion. (Picture courtesy  Emilie Eastman/The Gazette)

LAUREL – While a retired circuit court judge hired by the city continues to investigate a former city employee’s accusations of unscrupulous hiring practices, the city staff are holding off on recommending changes to the Mayor and City Council until the investigation is complete.

Mayor Craig Moe said he solicited former Prince George’s Circuit Court Judge Steven Platt of The Platt Group, Inc., to investigate the hiring practices within the city after a concerned citizen, former city police officer Carl Dewalt, came forward in February accusing senior city staff of practicing nepotism, the pracitice of favoring friends and relatives for jobs.
According to Audrey Barnes, director of communications for Laurel, the city is paying the Platt Group $5,000 for the completion of the first part of the report and an additional $2,500 when it completes part two. >>> Read more Prince George’s County Sentinel

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Laurel distribution Map in Prince George’s County.

Bowie residents protest proposed Walmart.

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BOWIE – “We don’t want a Walmart!” Todd Sharpe yelled into a megaphone while standing in the middle of Glenn Dale Road. “We don’t need a Walmart!”

Sharpe, a Bowie resident, joined more than 50 other residents gathered along Glenn Dale Road and Annapolis Road to protest approval of plans for a Walmart store in the Duvall Village Shopping Center.
The Prince George’s County Planning Board approved Wal-Mart’s plan earlier this year, which includes 77,916 square feet of space and 513 parking spaces. The District Council elected to review the Planning Board’s decision, but decided to wait until the fall before making a decision while appeals from Wal-Mart and the community play out in court.

>>>Read more Prince George’s County Sentinel ; Read more Gazzette. 

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Zebra frees itself from a Lion’s Attack.

A word of advice for wild zebras: When embarking on a cross-river swim, it’s probably a good idea to look up first to make sure that a pride of lions isn’t waiting slack-jawed on the other side.

Posted to YouTube recently, this thrilling video shot by tourists on safari captures a zebra and another below crossing a river in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, oblivious to the big cats waiting behind the grass. (In the zebra’s defense, those were some tall blades of grass. )

The pride watches bewildered as the zebra unwittingly delivers itself for lunch. But the would-be prey’s survival instincts kicked in just in time and it turns on a dime and hoofs it to the other side.

No matter what, if you are determined, you can save yourself, you need no demigods nor your tribesmen to save you. If a Zebra can save itself from the grip of the lion, surely human beings can save themselves from the grip of ignorance, political subjugation, social injustices, lies and poverty. Does anyone of you want to tell us that this Zebra is braver than us?… courageous than us?

“Our critics make us strong!
Our fears make us bold!
Our haters make us wise!
Our foes make us active!
Our obstacles make us passionate!
Our losses make us wealthy!
Our disappointments make us appointed!
Our unseen treasures give us a
known peace!

Whatever is designed against us will work for us!”
Israelmore Ayivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes

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Board of Education loses.

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A former Prince George’s County teacher won a $350,000 jury award after accusing the school system of discriminating against him because he is white.

Jon Everhart alleged in his lawsuit against the Prince George’s County school board that a black principal forced him out of his job because of his race.

“Justice was served,” Everhart said. “I do feel as though I have been vindicated.”

Everhart, 65, speaking by phone from Ohio after the verdict in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, said he faced years of racial harassment from the Largo High School principal, who he said repeatedly told staffers and students that she planned to fire him.

“She called me ‘poor white trash’ and ‘white b—-,’ ” Everhart said of the principal, Angelique Simpson-Marcus, who leads the 1,100-student school in Upper Marlboro. “Her behavior was so outlandish.”  >>> Read more >>> Prince George’s County sentinel  ;  >>> Read more Washington Post

OPINION

Discrimination still exists in the workplace today despite laws put into place to protect employee rights. Even though Title VII and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that an employer cannot discriminate against an employee for race, age, gender, disabilities and wages, there were still more than 99,412 discrimination claims filed in 2012, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The reasons discrimination is still alive in the workplace has much to do with the economy, financial pressure and lack of diversity training etc.

In Prince George’s County Public schools for Example, Dr. Kevin Maxwell who was hired more than a year ago supposedly to help fix these issues has turned around to promote, rehire and protect the very same personnel responsible for retaliatory and discriminatory conduct. A very good example is the promotion of Ms. Roslyn Hawkins from Human Resources Labor Relations specialist  to school improvements specialist. Ms. Hawkins has engaged in a pattern of presenting false affidavits to the courts,  colluding with the unions to discriminate employees and expunging records. This conduct is further facilitated by the Thatcher Law Firm which is engaged in breach of contracts, presenting false reports to the courts and the hiring of Mr. James Fisher who uses his previous position in Federal government to defeat justice.    It’s obvious, these are not individuals keen on moving Prince George’s County Public Schools forward. Attached herein is the entire list of the recent appointments. ~~>Appointments-Exec Appointments – Transfers 070114

Harassment Is Not Stopped

If a woman or man who is continuously subjected to offensive pictures and sexually charged comments refuses to file a formal complaint with human resources or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there is no paper trail to follow and never any consequences for the perpetrator. According to Donna Ballman, an employment discrimination lawyer and author of “The Writer’s Guide to the Courtroom: Let’s Quill All the Lawyers,” sexual harassers enjoy exploiting a man’s or woman’s fear of getting fired from a job in desperate economic times. Ball also adds that if the behavior is not stopped, it will accelerate. Others may join in or begin to discriminate against the employee thinking he or she provoked the boss, for example, to secure a promotion.

Generational Differences

Traditional or Baby Boomer interviewers have been known to discriminate against the younger-generation workers, according to Karsh. “Feelings of this generation acting entitled, being unprepared for the workforce or seeming immature are all things someone of an older generation might unfairly assume,” says Karsh. When this happens, a workplace misses out on the benefits of having a diverse age group that can pull from different experiences to create dynamic, creative business ideas. In addition, traditional labeling enters the equation. Older generations may still hold on to prejudices from growing up, such as certain races are lazy or that women are not as capable as men. The same goes for women who discriminate against men. In some areas, we are seeing and receiving reports of reverse discrimination by women like in the case of Jon Everhart above.

Lack of Diversity Training

An important aspect to eliminating racial, ethnic, religious, sexual and age-related discrimination is by educating employees on the benefits of a diverse workplace. Sensitivity training seminars and courses explain how discrimination lessens when employees feel included and valued. In addition, productivity rises and stress-related leaves of absence are no longer a concern. Because of this, employees will go the extra mile, such as working longer hours to complete deadlines, to produce stellar results. Also, employees with different cultural backgrounds are able to attract like-minded clients, which boosts company or organizational revenue, and find quicker solutions to sourcing, servicing and allocation of resources.

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Read more >>>We should do away with secrecy of deals that hide corruption.

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Dr. Segun Eubanks (Courtesy of the National Education Association)…is brother – in -Law to Mr. Rushern Baker. Talent usually runs in families but this one takes the cake. If this is a sample of Top Executive team that Mr. Baker has assembled for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), then GOD HELP US. Only a miracle can rescue us from this mess. Dr. Segun is identified with weak financial controls within Prince George’s county school District and has been smiling all the way to the Bank for the last several months. (Read more)

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Dr. Kevin Maxwell got a hefty $90,000 hand shake on the way out from Anne Arundel County Public Schools and $1 million sign up with guess whose pot cash bonuses?  – PGCPS. What does he promise to do for us? Is this performance based appointment? Even wall street sets performance goals. The last time we checked with our school performances, we cannot surely in this economy blow cash on these willy nilly appointments for sure.  Dr. Maxwell was indirectly a subject of the Maryland legislature in the last session for the $90,000 he took with him. He is now very busy covering up discrimination and corruption in Prince George’s County (Read more)

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