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John A. Powell

Entries by John A. Powell

If We're Having a Real Conversation About Race, Let's Make Sure It's the Right One

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 2:54 PM

Just over a week after thousands took to the streets in protest and outrage following a Ferguson grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager, we are faced with the reality that a New York grand jury -- tasked with determining...

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Response to Ferguson: Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions

(40) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 11:51 AM

Last night, like many across the world who were watching, I experienced deep disappointment in the decision by the St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenage boy, on August 9. My thoughts are first...

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Fed Up With Inequality? Six Policies for a Fair and Inclusive Society

(1) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 7:43 PM

Almost three years to the date since Occupy Wall Street first raised the consciousness of Americans about the wide economic disparities between the richest one percent versus the 99 percent of U.S. earners, new Federal Reserve data confirms that wealth and income inequality in the U.S. is accelerating....

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Civil Rights Today: The Landmark Case of Adkins v. Morgan Stanley

(6) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 4:40 PM

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Morgan Stanley in what may become the most important civil rights case in a generation. If successful, the implications of this suit are profound and the impact could be staggering, both in addressing the damages suffered by...

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The Many Faces of Affirmative Action

(22) Comments | Posted October 17, 2012 | 11:35 AM

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in the case of Fisher v. Texas, which deals with the University of Texas' undergraduate admissions policy. The policy, which some call "the Texas affirmative action plan," is designed to promote diversity in the student body. However, it is not the only...

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Homeownership Should Not Become Impossible Dream

(53) Comments | Posted May 4, 2011 | 12:24 PM

The American Dream of homeownership will be under siege if we take seriously recent government proposals to reform the housing finance market. Government regulators have already taken steps to increase down payments for loans made through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Authority, and are also considering mandatory...

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Post Racial What? Codes, Language & a New Paradigm

(56) Comments | Posted August 6, 2010 | 11:19 AM

Why is it so hard to talk about race and why are these conversations so politically charged?

Historical roots notwithstanding, the Shirley Sherrod affair yet again points out that we're addressing the wrong problem. President Obama offered that rationale in his now famous Philadelphia speech when he suggested that some...

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Racial Aspects of Economy Are Significant for White House to Address

(1) Comments | Posted July 28, 2010 | 11:37 AM

After an intense and shameful week of poorly dealing with ex-USDA worker Shirley Sherrod and issues of race, the country is left trying to make sense of where we are and why issues of race seem so hard and intractable. There have been many editorials and stories -- many of...

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SEC Probes Goldman Sachs for Investor Fraud but Ignores Widespread Racially Discriminatory Practices

(1) Comments | Posted April 21, 2010 | 3:01 PM

Article also written by Christy Rogers

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) securities fraud case against Goldman Sachs seems to indicate that Wall Streeters care more about their own paychecks than that of their investors -- a practice that Michael Lewis brought home not only recently with...

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Administration Must Acknowledge and Address the Growing Crisis in the Black Community

(12) Comments | Posted April 16, 2010 | 8:49 AM

Heaster Wheeler, Executive Director of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP, also contributed to this article.

The recent employment figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that Black unemployment is on the rise again (returning to 16.5%). These figures remind us that the persistent economic crisis facing...

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Obama's Universal Approach Leaves Many Excluded

(23) Comments | Posted December 11, 2009 | 3:32 PM


Amidst escalating double-digit unemployment among blacks (almost twice that of whites), and a perception that too many of the Obama administration's economic policies have benefited Wall Street rather than Main Street, reports suggest that the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is becoming increasingly...

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Understanding the Unconscious Side of Racism

(14) Comments | Posted December 2, 2009 | 1:49 PM


The New York Times reported on December 1 that even educated blacks may suffer racial discrimination in the job market. Although the article focuses on the job market, it just as easily could have been about the credit market, the...

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