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Who is Medgar Evers?

Civil rights activists Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the former spokesman for the Nation of Islam, Malcom X, are two of the most celebrated martyrs of the civil rights era. However, Medgar Evers who, on June 12th 1963, was killed by an assassin’s bullet outside of his home in Jackson Mississippi, was an extraordinarily courageous man, who also made very significant contributions to the Civil Rights movement.

Medgar Evers was born on July 2nd, 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi. During his teenage years, Medgar eventually dropped out of high school to join the United States Army. He fought with America and its allies to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II before returning to Mississippi in 1945. Three years later, in 1948, Evers enrolled at Alcorn College (now Alcorn State University) where he first earned his high school diploma, and later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration in 1952.

Shortly after college, Evers began his career as an activist with the civil rights organization known as the Regional Council for Negro Leadership (RCNL). The organization led a boycott of companies that refused to hire black workers. In 1954, after building a reputation for being a courageous, outspoken leader, Medgar Evers became Mississippi’s first field agent for the NAACP.  In the 1950’s, Mississippi had a reputation for being the most racially intolerant state in the country. Elected officials, deputy Sheriffs, police officers, and other organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and the Citizens Council, all conspired together to preserve segregation in the state, and throughout the south in general. Mississippi politics and its dealing with blacks was so brutal, that when speaking of America’s issues with racism, in a documentary called “Spies of Mississippi”, President Lyndon B. Johnson said “There’s America, there’s the South, and then there’s Mississippi”. But Medgar Evers refused to back down.

As an NAACP field agent, Medgar Evers organized boycotts of businesses where blacks were not welcomed, and facilitated voter registration posts for blacks whose vote in most cases, had been suppressed for years due to intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan and the implementation of literacy test. He also investigated claims of discrimination and incidents of crimes against blacks at the hands of whites when Mississippi’s legal system failed to deliver justice.  Two of Evers’s biggest cases included filing a law suit against The University of Mississippi after it denied admission to black applicants Clyde Kennard and James Meredith, and investigating the disappearance of 14-year-old Emmitt Till, an African-American boy from Chicago Illinois, who was murdered during a summer vacation to Mississippi for allegedly whistling to a white woman –a story we now know is false as the alleged victim, Carolyn Bryant,  recently admitted. Clyde Kennard eventually died in prison after being framed by the FBI in a deliberate move to keep him out of the University of Mississippi. James Meredith, on the other hand, in 1962 became the first African American student admitted to the University of Mississippi, after a federal Judge enforced the 1954 Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas’s prior ruling that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Just one year later, Medgar would be shot and killed as he exited his vehicle in the driveway of his home. He was 37 years old. Two weeks later, Byron De La Beckwith, a professed Klansmen and member of the White Citizens Council, was arrested as the alleged trigger man in Evers’ death.  The all-white juries, appointed by Mississippi’s then district attorney, failed to find De La Beckwith guilty of the murder, allowing him to walk out of the Hinds County court room a free man. In 1993, the Medgar Evers murder case was re-opened, and this time De la Beckwith was tried and found guilty of the assassination of Medgar Evers. Justice had finally been served. According to an article published by the L.A. Times, “Myrlie Evers, the widow of Medgar Evers, wept when the verdict was read and grasped the hand of her daughter, Reena Evers-Everett, while her eldest son, Darrell Kenyatta Evers, applauded”.

Medgar Evers’ contributions to the civil rights movement were tremendous. In 1992, a statue of Evers was built in his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi to honor his legacy. Additionally, Delta Drive, the street where Medgar Evers was assassinated, was renamed Medgar Evers Boulevard. Medgar Evers is survived by his wife Myrlie Evers, and children Darrell Kenyatta, Reena Denise, and James Van Dyke.

 

-Sokoni Hughes, OTR Admissions Counselor

The Harlem Rattlers—A Little Known Chapter from the World War I History

The Harlem Rattler’s Crest

When people tend to think about African-Americans and the military, they tend to think of the Tuskegee Airmen, who flew missions over Europe in World War II, or the Buffalo Soldiers, an all-African-American military unit who fought in the Indian Wars after the Civil War.  Added to their roles is that of The Harlem Rattlers, a group of all volunteer soldiers who fought in the trenches during World War I.

Known by names such as The Harlem Hellraiser and Men of Bronze, the Harlem Rattlers were the 369th New York Infantry that formed after the United States entered World War I (1917).  They faced discrimination at the hands of the military.  For instance, they were not issued rifles to practice drill; the military feared that the soldiers would get into altercations with the local townsfolk.  However, the resourceful Rattlers figured out a way to get the rifles they needed for drill.  The U.S. government was giving away rifles for free to any rifle club that asked for them.  Members of the Rattlers wrote to the government posing as the head of various rifle clubs to get the guns that they needed.

Receiving only one month’s training instead of the standard three to four months’ training, the 369th Regiment was shipped overseas where they were used for manual labor, digging tunnels and trenches, as well as acting as stevedores (men who load or unload cargo from ships).  They finally got the chance to go into combat when their regiment was assigned to fight alongside the French.  It was there that the Harlem Rattlers made history. They fought against the Germans for an astonishing 191 straight days, longer than any other American regiment during World War I.

Two members of the Rattlers distinguished themselves during battle.  On May 14, 1918, Privates

369th Regiment, 93rd Infantry Division in trenches near Maffrecourt in the Argonne Region, France, May 04, 1918.

Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts were on guard duty in the Argonne Forest in France when German troops came upon them.  In the ensuing battle, Johnson and Roberts defended themselves from as many as 24 German troops, who initially captured Roberts and were going to take him as a prisoner. Pvt. Johnson used his bolo knife and his bare hands to rescue Roberts, while also killing as many of the Germans as he could.  After the skirmish, both men were awarded the Croix de Guerre, France’s highest award for bravery.

Artist Horace Pippin also served with the Harlem Rattlers.  Colonel Horace Pippin was shot during battle and lost the use of his right arm, temporarily sidelining his artistic aspirations.  After the war, Pippin learned how to draw and paint without the use of his right arm.  Pippin became one of the greatest self-taught painters of the early 20th century.  His painting “Christmas Morning Breakfast” currently hangs in the Cincinnati Art Museum.

When the Harlem Rattlers returned from France, they were denied participation in the Rainbow Coalition parade—a parade designed to honor all the different sorts of troops who fought during the war.  The Regiment continued to exist until the start of World War II, when the troops were divided up into different parts of the military.  Soon, their stories were forgotten, until scholars and researchers in recent years began to resurrect their story.

For more information on the Harlem Rattlers, the definitive guide to the Rattlers is Jeffrey T. Sammons and John H. Morrow, Jr.’s book Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality.

-Alan Jozwiak, Chatfield Instructor

A Tidbit on Dorothy Vaughan

Dorothy Vaughan in her twenties.

Some of you may be aware that there is a movie out right now about three black women who had the mathematical minds and the mathematical skills to help put astronauts into space for the United States. That movie is entitled Hidden Figures. Hopefully all of you know that the US, especially the state of Ohio, lost a true hero in late 2016, with the passing of war hero, astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn. One of those three women, Dorothy Vaughan, had Ohio connections as well. Vaughan, a 1929 graduate of Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, outside of Dayton in Greene County, is a historically black college founded in 1856), helped put John Glenn into space and ultimately worked as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) manager—one of only a few African-American women to do so.

It may be hard to relate to the lack of computers in the 1960’s, but people were the ones who performed mathematical computations [a.k.a. computers] of that era, and Vaughan became a well respected NASA mathematician, one of America’s human computers. For you Chatfield math students (no matter which math class you may be taking), getting John Glenn into space and back again safely involved the calculation of proper mathematical trajectories. Vaughan served as head of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ segregated West Area Computing Unit from 1949-1958 (this organization eventually grew into NASA).  Chatfield Algebra students, you should take note of the following: Vaughan was instrumental on projects, such as compiling a handbook for algebraic methods for calculating machines. According to her NASA biography (where you can learn more about her), the predominantly male engineers often requested her for particularly challenging projects, and also requested that she personally handle the work. For you Chatfield students, here is a trivia question. Which Chatfield admissions counselor actually was a math major and has a math degree? And who says you can’t use algebra when you get out of Chatfield!?

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, go see Hidden Figures in theaters and learn more about this amazing woman, along with two other extraordinary stories.

To read more on Dorothy Vaughan, click here.

-Jim Woodford, Chatfield Instructor

Reference source: “Wilberforce grad a ‘Hidden Figure’ who helped launch Glenn by Amelia Robinson for the Dayton Daily News.

To Post, Or Not To Post?

Let me first start off with a belated “Happy New Year”!  This being my first blog and all for 2017, I had to get that out of the way.  I sincerely wish everyone a year of health, healing, happiness, and continued self-growth.

My 2017 has started off with what seems to be a perpetual cold and or sinus infection.  Funny thing about being a parent who is ill; I am more worried about getting my two daughters sick than healing myself.  I suppose that shows my devotion and love for them and their well-being.  There are worse traits to have in life… right?

With some unwanted extra time to lay around pondering how life’s priorities migrate with age, along with an avalanche of news articles, tweets, and blogs to read; I’ve come to wonder why can’t people have this approach to humanity in general?  I don’t mean in regard to keeping germs to themselves (though I sure wish they would), but rather consider keeping your negativity and anger restrained in a respectable manner when venting to the world.

At the micro level, I witness people on Facebook lashing out with knee jerk reactions to something they saw on the news.  When someone starts with an angry and hateful approach, guess what? Yep, you will get angry, hateful responses.  In a flash, this can end friendships, create bitterness among workmates, family, and you could become labeled as someone who is irrational and appears angry to the world.  There is very little desirable about this characteristic, and could potentially harm your career and future relationships.

Let us go one step further to the macro level of angry postings, lashing outs, and articles.  We are in a tumultuous time in politics, not only in the U.S., but across the globe.  Nations are ramping up their military, and both the U.S. and Russia are planning to ramp up their nuclear arsenals.  Keep in mind, those two nations already make up 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal.

Unlike the Cold War era, we have leaders who must cope with online rhetoric, often which is heated, and at times, is not exactly factual.  The U.S. is not the only nation with the tendency to use or misuse news outlets and social media.  Leaders of nations don’t get there because they are timid. Often, they get there because they are determined, driven, and not afraid to be the loudest voice in the room.  Unfortunately, voices carry much further these days.

I’m not pushing one political agenda whatsoever, because all parties are guilty of this new found way to trump the media outlets. (Pun was seriously not intended there).  I am saying all we can do is start at home with your own smartphone, tablet, or computer.  Going viral for a vulgar and hateful message does not only negate a positive outcome, but it takes away one thing we all yearn for, and that is respect.  I encourage you to debate and let your voice be heard in a respectful manner, because healthy debate brings about healthy results.  One less angry post makes room for more positive one.  Make 2017 productive and positive!

-Mr. Gossett, Chatfield Instructor

Reflections on a Visit to the Birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In August of 2016, my wife and I took a trip down to the beautiful city of Atlanta, Georgia. This was our first time visiting Atlanta, and the furthest south I had ever traveled. The drive from Cincinnati to Atlanta led us through the entire states of Kentucky and Tennessee, and took us about eight hours to reach our final destination. For a moment during the ride, I thought about how my paternal great grandmother, whom I had learned about through my grandfather, had likely traveled this same exact route many years ago as she fled the Jim Crow south in search of better opportunities for African Americans in the north. It was a chilling thought, but I was comforted knowing that the south my great grandmother had escaped all those years ago was long gone due, in large part, to the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther king Jr., and many others.

Though a bit exhausted, we were so excited to finally reach our hotel room in downtown Atlanta, on the campus of Georgia State University. There were so many things we wanted to do and so many places we wanted to visit. While there, we had the pleasure of touring the world of Coca-Cola museum, which featured an all-you-can drink beverage exhibit, with various Coca-Cola brand selections from all around the world. My favorite drink was the kiwi apple flavored Fanta, which is only sold in Thailand- it was really good! Then, we took a ride on the famous Atlanta Skyview Ferris Wheel, which towers some 200 ft. above Centennial Olympic park in downtown Atlanta. Swinging back and forth in a small air-born gondola is a bit nerve-wrecking at first, but the view from the top of the Ferris Wheel is absolutely amazing.

We also had the great pleasure of visiting the site of the 1996 Olympic Games. That year, Atlanta became only the 5th US city to host the worldwide Olympic Games. Salt Lake City would become the 6th when it hosted the Olympic Games in 2002. We visited the Cable News Network (CNN) headquarters, which before visiting, I had not known was in Atlanta. We drove past the Georgia Dome, and made a brief stop inside of the centuries old Oakland cemetery, which houses a section known as the “Slave Quarters”, the final resting place for more than 12,000 slaves. Even in death, blacks and whites were not permitted to dwell side-by- side, in what is now the former confederate states of America. I had never seen anything like it in my entire life. It was quite an experience!

But, perhaps, the most intriguing stop of them all was when we visited the former neighborhood and birthplace of the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King’s childhood home is located at 501 Auburn Avenue, just two blocks up from the Ebenezer Baptist Church. The feeling of standing in front of Dr. King’s childhood home was surreal. In my view, Atlanta is synonymous with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, I first heard about the city when reading a children’s book about him in grade school, so you can imagine how significant this experience was for me. Unfortunately, however, on the day we visited, the home was under construction and no one was allowed to go inside. This being the case, we would have to be satisfied with taking a picture in front of the beautiful yellow and brown Victorian style home. There were people from all over the world waiting for a chance to take a selfie or group photo in front of the house.

Directly across the street from Dr. King’s childhood home stood an entire unit of homes called “shotgun” houses. Shotgun houses were one of the most popular styles of homes in the early 1900’s, particularly in urban areas. as they were small and relatively inexpensive to build. We, then, made the two blocks walk over to the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where both Dr. King and his father, Martin Luther King Sr., were pastors. As I sat on one of the original pews inside of the sanctuary, I was overcome by an immense feeling of gratitude for all that Dr. King had contributed to this nation and to the world at large.

Contributions that consisted of things such as the signing of the 1964 civil rights act by then president Lyndon B. Johnson which, among other things, euthanized the legitimacy of Jim Crow laws. There are so many reasons why we can all be grateful for the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The fact that he is the only non president with a holiday in honor of his name is a testament to the indelible foot print he left on this nation. As I close this reflection, I would like to encourage everyone that reads this post to honor the spirit of Dr. King by choosing love over hate. For as Dr. King himself once said, “I have decided to stick to love because hate is too great a burden to bear.”

-Sokoni Hughes, Admissions Counselor

 

More pictures from Sokoni’s trip:

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Chatfield Renovates Welcome Center

This summer, Chatfield College began work on the expansion and renovation of the Welcome Center on the St. Martin campus, a capital investment project made possible by Chatfield’s Building Community Capital Campaign.  Originally built in 1960 for the Ursuline Teaching Institute, the Welcome Center is a multi-purpose facility currently housing the financial aid department, admissions suite, site director’s office, and the student & staff lounge and kitchenette.

“We are excited to be able to provide what will become an essentially new, state-of-the-art facility that our students will really enjoy”, explained Bob Elmore, Chatfield’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer who is overseeing the project. “The building will be light and bright and our students, faculty, staff and guests will be able to collaborate and gather together on a daily basis and for special events.”

In addition to expanding the footprint of the building by 1,190 square feet, an increase of 39%, the renovation of the Welcome Center will address several important needs:  environmental abatement, replacement of an aging roof, bringing the building up to ADA compliance, enlarging and renovating the restrooms, adding a two-sided porch, and installing energy efficient windows and doors.

To date, the foundation, framing and roof trusses have been constructed for the new addition, and much of the interior framing and rough in of mechanicals, electrical and plumbing are complete.

The renovated Welcome Center will be fitting and respectful of existing campus architecture.  It will provide a welcoming, student-oriented area for socializing and study, while also providing private office space for staff.   “BHDP is proud to be working with Chatfield College”, explained architect Kevin Denman. “This project was a real challenge, but the end result will be spectacular and a great addition to an already warm, welcoming and bucolic campus, providing a student environment second to none.”

Planned Giving: A Personal View

My wife and I are in our mid-forties and we just celebrated birthdays in July.  We also just revised our estate plan.  You may ask why would we do that when we are only in our 40’s?  Several years ago, I had to face some very difficult decisions concerning my parents.  Fortunately for me, my parents had the foresight to have everything planned and provided me with a road map.  They had wills and kept them updated, listing me as Power of Attorney on all medical and financial matters.

The will was a living will and very detailed.  When the time came to make difficult decisions concerning my father in his final days, I knew exactly what he wanted.  This included medical as well as financial decisions.

I have seen families splinter when faced with end of life decisions.  Thanks to my father’s foresight, there was no conflict for my family – only support for honoring his wishes, especially in the last days of his declining health.

This experience convinced my wife and me to make a will and other estate planning documents. My wife and I do not have children we need to spare from end of life decisions (unless you count pets in which case we have six: three dogs and three cats!).  However, we do have organizations and causes we care about.  We are of modest income, but we know that even small donations can make a big impact in people’s lives.

We identified five organizations that we want to support when we are both in God’s hands.  My wife chose a deaf education school and a pet rescue while I chose Chatfield College, and a local soccer club in Virginia that helped get me started as a child.  Together, my wife and I agreed to support our Alma matter, Flagler College, a small liberal arts college in St Augustine, Florida.  We both benefited greatly from our time there and have a huge passion for its mission.

I encourage everyone to think about the possibilities of planned giving no matter what your income may be.  You have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the organizations that you hold dear to your heart.

There are many ways to support an organization in an estate plan.  You may remember the organization in your will.   Or, before death, you might elect to allocate the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from an IRA or qualified retirement plan to a nonprofit – a great way to direct dollars that would go to taxes to a worthy cause.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss planned giving options with you.  Remember, it is never too early to start thinking about how you can make a difference, forever, to a worthy organization.

James Ludwig, Director of Development

 

Coming Home Does Not Mean Giving Up

This is the time of year where college students cram for those final exams, hurry to pack their bags, and head home for a long Christmas vacation with friends and families.

The research, however, shows us that after all the celebrations are done and the Christmas decorations put away for another year, many college students choose not to return to that same college in January.

Some are overwhelmed with academic challenges.  Others simply can’t justify, or even afford, the high cost of tuition, room and board.  Many just need a break.  In today’s world, this is not unusual, as available data confirms that only 19% of college students complete their bachelor’s degrees in the “traditional” four years (www.completecollege.org).

And that’s okay!  Today’s “traditional” student is now in the minority, while what we used to call “non-traditional students” make up the majority of college attendees.

What is important is that you continue your education in some way while you take a break from the school where you started.  That’s where Chatfield College comes in to play.   As a regionally accredited college, Chatfield’s credits will likely transfer to any other college or university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC.)  We have articulation agreements with 24 other colleges representing many different academic programs.  This means that our classes are reviewed and pre-approved for transfer by one of these partner colleges and universities.

Chatfield is affordable, too, and has generous privately endowed financial aid available to those who qualify.  In fact, many students transfer here, and enjoy our small classes and individual attention so much, they choose to stay and earn their associate degree.  At that point, the credits they have earned for the associate degree will almost always transfer to any four-year institution.

Now we don’t have basketball or football teams, cheerleaders or food courts.  Chatfield is about teaching and learning and you!  Our students are the reason we are here and all our efforts are directed towards making you successful.

We are a liberal arts school for men and women of any age or experience.  Proud of our Catholic and Ursuline tradition, we are open to people of any and all faiths and religions.  All are welcome at Chatfield.

So if you want to take a single class to keep your head in the game, we can handle that.  If you want to pursue your associate degree with us, even better.  Or if you thought you never had the chance to go to college, it’s not too late. Give us a call.  (513-921-9856 ext.215 in Cincinnati, or 513-875-3344 ext.115 in Brown County.)  Or check us out on the web at www.chatfield.edu.  You’ll be glad you did!

See you at Chatfield!

John P. Tafaro, President

Chatfield Grad Finds Success After Dual Enrollment

Graduating from high school and college at the same time is a big advantage in more ways than one.

The College Credit Plus (CCP) program is expanding the opportunities for many Ohio students in grades 7-12.  The program allows qualified students the option to earn college credit while still attending high school at the same time. Students can get a head start on their college education, some even earning enough credits for an associate degree, which saves thousands in college tuition as well as enabling them to get out into the work force sooner.

Chatfield College has numerous examples of students who have successfully earned a high school diploma and a college degree at the same time.  Alex Julian is one of those students.

Alex enrolled at Chatfield College as a CCP student from Fayetteville High School.  After graduating from Chatfield in 2015, Alex moved seamlessly into the Graphic Communication Design program (also known as the D.A.P.) at the University of Cincinnati.  Now in his second year, he has only one year left to complete the five-year program.

“The general education requirements were pretty much already complete with my associate degree,” said Alex, “so I was able to start taking my program requirements right away.”

In January, he will begin a semester-long co-op as part of his program, working for Allbirds in San Francisco, where he will be a graphic design intern for the newly founded shoe company.

Allbirds is a start up company that sells direct-to-consumer and online-only that put out its first shoe in March: the “Wool Runner,” a simple sneaker made out of a superfine merino wool upper and a sole of rubber and foam polymer.

“I am really excited about the Allbirds internship,” said Alex.  “I will be getting real world experience with things like packaging design, websites, bill boards, and branding.  Hopefully, this experience will help me get a job when I graduate.”

Alex says that the CCP program and Chatfield College had significant impacts on his education and helped prepare him not only for the path he chose at UC, but his career path as well.

“Chatfield prepared me for the next step in my education,” he said.  “Academically, it put me ahead in the program, but it also taught me what to expect of life outside of high school.  I attended classes with people of all different ages and backgrounds, so I learned how to interact with people outside of my own experience.  I learned that with college, you get out of it what you put into it, and that is how the real world is.”

Alex has some advice to students thinking about the College Credit Plus program.

“You should do it,” he said, “especially if you plan to go to a four-year college.  It’s a great stepping stone for the next level.”

Any high school students in grades 7-12 who are interested in the College Credit Plus program should contact their guidance counselors to learn more about the program, deadlines, and how to proceed.

To learn more about the College Credit Plus program at Chatfield College, contact the admissions department at admissions@chatfield.edu or  visit http://www.chatfield.edu/admissions/future-students/college-credit-plus/.

Use Your Christmas Break For A Campus Visit

Christmas break is a time for students to take a much needed vacation from the stresses of school, sleep a little later, maybe work an extra shift, and spend time with friends and family. The students and staff here at Chatfield are looking forward to the Christmas break, too. Campus will be closed from December 23 to December 26, and from December 30 to January 3. That leaves the days of December 27, 28 & 29 open for business as usual.

Why are we open? So you, the prospective student and family, can come out to visit Chatfield!

We want to provide an opportunity for high school students and families to take advantage of the gap between semesters. We know it is hard to schedule around school and work hours, so we have decided to make ourselves available for campus visits over the break. During your visit we will provide a tour, talk about financial aid, and schedule a placement test. We must have an RSVP to set these appointments, so please let us know as soon as possible so we can get you on the calendar!

Also, if you signed an Intent to Participate form for CCP back before April 1, 2016, you can still enroll for Spring 2017! This is the last semester of the 2016-17 school year. The 2017-18 academic year starts Summer 2017, and will require a new intent form and placement test.

Call the Admissions department at the Fayetteville location at 513-875-3344 x 115 or 129 or our location in Over-the Rhine at 513-921-9856 x 209 today to schedule your campus visit.

The Spring semester starts January 17, so don’t wait!

-Lee Rose, Admissions Counselor