1. BLACK WOMEN LEAD
The University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School has named a new dean. On July 1, longtime academic Erika H. James assumes the reins, marking the first time an African-American or a woman has been at the helm in Wharton’s 139-year history.
2. A CANNABIS CREATION
Louisiana’s Southern University and A&M College has become the first HBCU to launch a CBD product line. Alafia products are sold in locations around the state and will be available throughout the U.S. soon.
3. THE PRICE OF HIGHER ED
A report published in Sociology of Education determined that African-Americans take on debt when acquiring advanced degrees but sustain a bigger payoff compared with their White counterparts. In 2016, attaining such degrees resulted in a 30 percent pay bump for Blacks and an 18 percent pay bump for Whites, though Blacks’ base pay was not necessarily higher.
4. GOING ON THE RECORD
Businesswoman Ursula Burns donated $1 million to The HistoryMakers, an oral archive, to help launch The WomanMakers initiative. The noteworthy gift will allow for the addition of 180 interviews of leading Black women.
5. SERVING BLACK WOMEN
The Family Health Center of Waco, Texas, is pledging to improve the health outcomes for pregnant Black women with a $52,230 grant made possible by the Episcopal Health Foundation.
6. MOVING INTO THE CRYPTOSPHERE
The Senegalese-American musician known as Akon (above) wants to take Africa into the future. This year he finalized an agreement to build a Crypto City in Senegal. Residents of the locale, called Akon City, will use cryptocurrency known as AKoins to conduct business. The ecotourism destination is expected to take ten years to complete.
7. MAN OF HONOR
Pearl Harbor hero Doris “Dorie” Miller is receiving much-deserved recognition from the U.S. Navy. The military branch will be naming one of its newest and costliest supercarriers after the World War II icon, who bravely manned a machine gun during a Japanese attack and helped save countless lives.
8. A BLACK BOURBON BOOM
Kentucky has long been known for some of the best bourbons on the market, and this year two Black-owned companies are cashing in on the business. Brothers Victor, Chris and Bryson Yarbrough launched Louisville’s Brough Brothers Bourbon in February. The same month, Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co., led by Sean Edwards, announced plans to open a distillery in Lexington later this year.
9. PROMISING A FUTURE
NBA superstar LeBron James has done it again. Through his eponymous foundation, the Akron native is sending 193 students from his I Promise School to Kent State University and picking up the tab for four years of their tuition and one year of room and board.
10. UNDER NEW LEADERSHIP
On July 1, Jonathan Holloway, provost of Northwestern University, will become Rutgers University’s first Black president.