Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Ariel Financial Literacy Event 031215

This is the type of elementary school that many of us today only wished we could have attended.  A Chicago grade school is making headlines because of their special curriculum.  Ariel Community Academy on the South Side of Chicago was founded more than 20 years ago by John Rogers, founder and CEO of Ariel Investments and Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education.  Doctors, Lawyers, Entrepreneurs, and Investment Brokers were all raised and graduated from this Chicago school.

This school teaches students about stocks, while they are in kindergarten, while also introducing them to financial literacy.  According to Rogers:

“I tell people all the time that the best way to learn about investing is the way my father taught me, he gave me real money to invest in real stocks. That’s the heart of what makes our program work. It’s not a game.”

Here’s how the program works:

Kindergarten through 2nd Grade

Children learn the basics of Financial Literacy, diving into economics and personal finance.  At this age, kids are taught about saving money and spending;  they are also taught about wants verses needs.  Principal Coleman goes on to explain how her kids begin to learn about the concept of finance, “They get an understanding that money comes from somewhere. You can earn it through talent or effort. Some people think and some people work with their hands.”

In kindergarten, students start with $20,000 contributed by Ariel ($10,000 per class for that grade level). During these early years, the portfolio is managed by Ariel &Nuveen Investments.

3rd Grade

At the 3rd grade level, kids will begin to learn about stocks, bonds and and their curriculum.

4th Grade

At the 4th grade level, students learn about portfolios, picking stocks and managing stocks, entrepreneurship and creating business plans.

5th Grade

During 5th grade, students continue to learn what they started in the 4th grade.

6th Grade

By 6th grade, the students are now involved in the decision-making process of what happens within their portfolios that are being managed by Ariel & Nuveen Investments.  By 6th grade, you are allowed to be on the Junior Board of Directors (comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders) who decide how to invest the money until graduation.

7th Grade

In 7th grade, students are still continuing to be hands on with their investments, picking up where they left off in 6th gade

8th Grade

By 8th grade, their portfolio should have grown; the $20,000 they started off with provided by Ariel, goes to the following year’s Kindergartners and the process begins all over again.  Any profit left over from the investment is divided; half goes back to the school and the other half goes to that year’s graduating class.

The average profit by a student’s 8th grade averages around $12,500.  They have seen profits as high as $32,000! This is all – if a student uses their profit to open a college saving account, Ariel will match it with $500 gift toward their savings.

One student named Victoria started Ariel in the 6th grade, by 8th grade she was the Head of the Investment Committee, she explained in an interview:

“The moment I set foot in Ariel and saw that I could be a portfolio manager, that’s immediately where I wanted to go in life, I wanted to be in money management.”

Victoria went on to attend High School on a full scholarship, went to Babson College in Boston, and today she works at Ariel in institutional sales.

Rogers’ dream he had 20 years ago has blossomed and he gives wise advise to those trying to teach their kids about financial literacy:

“Sometimes financial literacy is all about keeping credit card debt low and how to manage a mortgage. All that is important. But in this day and age, you have to be a financial expert to prepare yourself for retirement. Pensions plans have been replaced by defined contribution plans (401(k) or 403(b)). Stock market knowledge is more important in this country than ever before. We need to keep up.”


Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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Here’s what we know regarding the terror attack in Mogadishu.  As of this morning, 277 people have been killed, and the death toll continues to rise. 300 people have been injured and remain in hospitals and hundreds are still missing.  Two car bombs exploded on Saturday in the capital city of Somalia; this attack marks the the worst massacre in Somalia’s modern history.

2000 people took to the streets on yesterday protesting the government, demanding they do a better job of taking care and protecting citizens.  So far, no group has come forward to take responsibility for this massacre.  The office of the President has issued three days of mourning for those who have been killed.

The two car bombs damaged buildings, turning them into piles of rubble; the Embassy was also damaged.  Videos on social media showed huge clouds of smoke rising from the sites of the blasts. Michael Keating, a representative of the UN’s secretary-general for Somalia, condemned the perpetrators who caused this kind of death and destruction.

Somalia, a nation who has a history of issues and problems, not only has to deal with the current circumstances of safety and terror, but this nation has been dealing with decades of droughts and starvation.  They are still dealing with a severe drought and 3.1 million citizens are threatened with famine, violence, and a lack of food.

Meanwhile, people on social media are outraged at the lack of coverage on this terror attack. Many are wondering why more emphasis isn’t being spent on bringing attention to the plight in Somalia, similar to the coverage in Paris and the U.S.

We hope to have more details as to how you can help victims in Somalia.

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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On the brink of a successful showing of The Marshall Movie this past weekend, Chadwick Boseman, the star of The Marshall Movie took advantage of the buzz and posted the new trailer for the February 2018 release of one of the most anticipated movies of next year, Black Panther.

Black Panther takes place in a fairy tale nation of Wakanda, located on African continent.  T’Challa (played by Boseman), after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.  The star-studded, melanin filled cast includes Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan and a long list of other Hollywood talent.

Check out the trailer

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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The conversation about rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment turned topsy turvy after Mayim Bialik, the actress who’s best known as Blossom, wrote a piece for the NY Times titled, Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World. In Mayim’s op-ed she has some dangerous opinions, almost as if she is alluding to the fact that prettier girls need to take more responsibility about not getting harassed or assaulted. 

Bailik says things like:  “I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.” I-Dress-Modestly? I-Don’t-Flirt? Oh really Blossom?  The piece was uncomfortable to read at times, especially from a woman who has a doctorate in neuroscience and is still a successful actress in Hollywood.  One would believe that a person with this much experience in the entertainment industry and intelligence would never bring up a woman’s clothing in association with her being placed in a compromising, dangerous position.  Mayim went on with her awkward ramblings:

“In a perfect world, women should be free to act however they want. But our world isn’t perfect. Nothing — absolutely nothing — excuses men for assaulting or abusing women. But we can’t be naive about the culture we live in.”

In reading Mayim Bialik’s article, the actress seemed to be trying to cleverly talk around the issue of what she really wanted to say.  As an industry vet,  she along with many others knew that Weinstein was basically a creep; and instead of Mayim making any accusations toward the predator, she instead placed the responsibility on the prey – making it seem like these women should have known not to be in his company, not to go around him, and not to flirt with him.  Just check out this “love advice” video from Courtney Love in 2005:

Mayim, in her attempt not to mention Weinstein in her opinion piece, missed the mark in her feministic view of a woman’s right to do and be whatever she wants to be in Hollywood, without the threat of being assaulted.

In pure Twitter fashion, women were quick to let Mayim Bialik know what they thought about her journalistic contribution to the NY Times:


On Sunday, Twitter users continued the conversation with the use of the viral hashtag #MeToo.  Users decided to take action and share their tragic and brave stories of sexual assault, harassment, and attempted assaults in order to let other women and men know that they are not alone, its ok, and it is not your fault if you are a victim.  Even Gabrielle Union had to let Mayim Bialik know that her rape occurred as a young girl, and she was fully dressed at the time (so your outfits don’t matter when it comes to sexual assault):


Here are some interesting statistics about rape, sexual harassment, and sexual assault:

  • 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 33 men have been the victims of rape or attempted rape.
  • There are 293,000 victims of sexual violence every year in the United States.
  • Only 3% of rapist ever spend time in jail.
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.
  • Rape victims who go to the ER are forced to pay an average of $1000 in hospital bills.

On Saturday, Bialk responded to the blacklash she received after her op-ed piece went viral:

“I’m being told my N.Y. Times piece resonated with so many and I am grateful for all the feedback. I also see a bunch of people have taken my words out of context of the Hollywood machine and twisted them to imply that God forbid I would blame a woman for her assault based on clothing or behavior. Anyone who knows me and my feminism knows that’s absurd and not at all what this piece was about.”

Sorry Blossom, but until you can call out Harvey Weinstein in the same manner you called out those “young girls with doe eyes and pouty lips who spoke in a high register”, you know – the prettier girls in Hollywood; you will continue to miss the mark in your messages regarding rape culture, especially in the entertainment industry.

To the women and men brave enough to share their #MeToo stories on social mediai – we stand with you.  If you are a person who needs help, contact The National Sexual Assault Hotline number is 1-800-656-HOPE.




My Sister’s Place

NY Times

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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In the 1800s, the Canadian government and Canadian churches did what many Europeans have a long history of doing, they removed Native Indigenous Canadians from their perspective tribes because the government believed they needed to become “better assimilated”.

The country’s government decided to take these Native children away from their families and create schools where they were banned from speaking their native tongue. They were forced to dress like North Americans and  taught what kids in North American schools would learn.

Many years later, research found what we already knew was a hard and obvious truth, the Canadian government and churches had a goal to rid these young people of their Aboriginal culture.   On the site,, you can find the following from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who wrote an official apology in 2008:

Two primary objectives of the residential school system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture. These objectives were based on the assumption Aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, “to kill the Indian in the child.” Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country.

The schools were shut down in the 50s, however the government and churches still allowed Native children to be removed from their families, if they believed they could have “better” lives with other families.  This became known at the Sixties Scoop and many believe that at least 20,000 children were removed from their homes.  Over the years, many of those children were placed in loving homes, while others were placed in homes where they were treated as slaves, and experienced physical and sexual abuse.   A report published by The Aboriginal Committee of the Family and Children’s Services Legislation Review Panel reported:

“Even the best of these homes are not healthy places for our children. Anglo-Canadian foster parents are not culturally equipped to create an environment in which a positive Aboriginal self-image can develop. In many cases, our children are taught to demean those things about themselves that are Aboriginal.”

With all of these findings and after years of research and pressure, the Canadian government has decided to give the children who were kidnapped from their families reparations, totaling an amount of $800 million.  If fewer than 20,000 claim these funds, each person will receive $50,000; and if more than 20,000 make a claim, each individual will receive $25,000.

Of course no amount of money will ever make up for the atrocities these children faced, but at least the Canadian government is trying to make amends.  Hopefully more governments around the world will begin to understand the long-term affects that ethnic cleansing and removal has had on generations of people of color across the globe.  Though $25,000 or a $50,000 payout will not replace Native Aboriginal culture, the hope with that these children will be able to remedy some of the affects of being separated from their culture, and use this money to rebuild and bring attention to the importance of the original people who were here in North America.

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion



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This is the type of elementary school that many of us today only wished we could have attended.  A Chicago grade school is making...