Changing Stereotypes in Wake of Tragedy

The Opportunity Agenda hosted the panel "Learning from Trayvon." Photo courtesy of Ivy Ashe/The Vineyard Gazette

By Katie Ruppel  

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Music videos, movies, the Internet and the news have embedded the stereotypes of African American men as dangerous and violent in society, said the chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Debra Lee, at a forum on Friday afternoon.

“If we look at media in general and live off of what the mass media serves up about black men, you might arrive on the Vineyard in particular and think you are on another planet,” Mrs. Lee said in her opening remarks. “What do I mean by that? On the Vineyard you see black fathers with their children and their wives. And wait for it... they have jobs. This is not the impression that you get from media day-to-day in America.”

Arizonans Widely Support the DREAM Act In Contrast to Governor Brewer's Stance

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Photo by Resolution Copper (Flickr, All Rights Reserved)

Andrew Johnson contributed to this post

On August 16, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order to block state benefits, including driver licenses for recipients of Deferred Action--a new federal government program that reflects the goals of the Dream Act to temporarily delay deportation for undocumented immigrants who moved to the U.S. before the age of 16 and are currently 30 years old or younger.

Despite the Governor’s claim that this is what the citizens of Arizona want, nearly three-quarters of Arizonans (73%), regardless of their race, ethnicity and party affiliation support the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants who graduate from college or serve in the military to become U.S. citizens (Marist Poll, April 2012).


Voices on the Issue: Gabby, Ryan, and Home Opportunity for All


Even Olympians are, alas, not immune from America’s homeownership crisis. The Associated Press reported this week that the parents of U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte are facing foreclosure in Florida, while the mother of gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas filed for bankruptcy in Virginia last year, she said, “to protect my home.”

Voices on the Issue: It’s Time for Home Opportunity


Dramatic developments this month have underscored our nation’s progress, as well as our continuing peril, when it comes to Home Opportunity—the deeply held idea that everyone should have access to an affordable home under fair conditions. These developments, both positive and negative, should inform the national choices ahead, including in the presidential race.

Don’t Quit the Dream: A Vision for Homeownership Beyond 2012


This article originally appeared on Home for Good 

In polls, voters often identify the troubled state of the economy as their top concern. Most economists agree that housing remains the biggest drag on our recovery. Eleven million homeowners owe more than their home is worth. That’s 11 million people who are keeping themselves out of the consumer economy. Some of this is a good thing; people are paying down their debt and padding their savings. But for most, that negative equity looms large over the family finances. Not only is household consumption down, but families are delaying purchases of major goods that drive our economy, such as cars and houses.

Americans Have Long Called for Legal Status for "Dreamers:" Public Opinion Round-Up

Photo courtesy of Antonio Villaraigosa

President Obama came a step closer to the wishes of the American people when he announced earlier today that his administration will stop deporting undocumented immigrants 30 years old or younger, who came to the U.S. as children. Those immigrants who qualify will also be allowed to apply for a work permit and thus, contribute to society more fully.

Millennials are more accepting of immigrants and less supportive of Arizona's profiling law: public opinion round-up

Judi Lerman contributed to the analysis of the research discussed in this piece.

Millennials, generally defined as those born after 1980, are the the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in our nation’s history. They are different than their elders in several ways, including that they interact more with people of differing races and ethnicities and are significantly more supportive and accepting of immigrants.

Raiding Opportunity



The ink’s barely dry on the historic settlement of “robo-signing” and other abusive foreclosure practices by five big banks. But, already, some states are raiding the settlement funds to finance activities having nothing to do with preventing foreclosures or preserving homeownership. Their actions are a second slap in the face to millions of Americans who were wronged by lender misconduct and inadequate consumer protections. They are unjust, shortsighted, and, quite possibly, illegal.

What You Just Said Hurts My Head


We’re all familiar with the feeling of cognitive dissonance, when suddenly we’re forced to hold two contradicting ideas in our heads. Maybe we’ve just heard unflattering news about someone we respected, or have been presented with facts that challenge a deeply held worldview. As any communications expert will tell you, we tend to deal with this kind of dissonance by simply rejecting the new information as incorrect, unreliable, or purposefully misleading.

No More Excuses on Relief to American Homeowners



Read also: Home Opportunity Initiative

One by one, the excuses have fallen. Yet Edward DeMarco, acting head of FHFA, the agency that runs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, still fails to offer the most effective relief available to American homeowners struggling with mortgages held by those entities. Economists, housing experts, and members of DeMarco’s own staff have concluded that reducing to affordable levels the principal owed on at-risk mortgages is effective in reducing foreclosures and their destructive fallout. But, inexplicably, he’s been unmoved by the mounting evidence.

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