The Black Star Project: improving the quality of life in Black and Latino communities
Founded in 1996 by Phillip Jackson, The Black Star Project is committed to improving the quality of life in Black and Latino communities of Chicago and nationwide by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap. Our mission is to provide educational services that help pre-school through college students succeed academically and become knowledgeable and productive citizens with the support of their parents, families, schools and communities.
Additionally, we help students aspire to post-secondary educational opportunities and training while exploring careers that will be emotionally, intellectually and financially rewarding. Our services are available to all students, particularly low-income Black and Latino students who attend low-achieving schools in disadvantaged communities. In order to achieve our goal of eliminating the racial academic achievement gap, we concentrate on three main areas of initiative: student engagement, parental development and advocacy. The Black Star Project conducts its programming and varied approaches to closing the racial academic achievement gap primarily through parent and student leadership development and advocacy.
Schools cannot educate children without the support of parents, families and communities. Good teachers and administrators are invaluable to the educational process, but they are not miracle workers. Schools, by themselves, do not educate children; they simply reinforce and expand what children already know when they come to school. What happens in a school is important; but just as important is what happens in the home and the community where the child lives. Societal structures, value systems, cultures, institutions, and positive environments are powerful influencers of education in children. Good schools seldom (if ever) create good communities; but good communities usually create good schools! Active and involved parents, families, communities are necessary to educate children.
The Black Star Project operates with a belief in the strength of parental and community involvement in education to eliminate the racial academic achievement gap. Better parents produce better communities, better schools and better students! The most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school is not income, race, language barriers, cultural background, education level of parents or social status, but the extent to which a student’s family is able to create a home environment that encourages learning; express high and realistic academic achievement expectations for their children; and become involved in productive ways in their child’s education at school, at home and in the community.
The Black Star Project is committed to improving the quality of life in Black and Latino communities in Chicago and nationwide by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap. This gap is evidenced by discrepancies in statistics such standardized test scores, high school graduation rates, college success rates between Black and Latino students and their White peers. Although the racial academic achievement gap refers to a crucial issue in today’s education sector, the gap is by no means a concern exclusive to education. Receiving a quality education greatly increases one’s ability to get a job, insure their financial future and plan for the success of future generations. In many ways, education is the key to improving the quality of life in low-income Black and Latino communities. As a form of capital, education passes from parent to child; if it not saved, nurtured and grown, it will die. Therefore, by giving communities the skills, information and resources to receive a quality education and help others to see the value in doing so, we can ensure the quality of life for future generations. Additionally, in a more globalized economy, measuring success through a comparison with other American students is no longer sufficient. We have begun tracking academic gaps between American students and others from around the world. We will not stop until all American students, be they Black, Asian, White, Latino, or Native American, are competing on par with their peers in Hong Kong, Finland, India, China, or Germany.
The Black Star Project works to promote awareness and understanding of the racial academic achievement gap by synthesizing and disseminating information about the gap. The following are key documents that we have compiled to do just this:
Finally, we would like to acknowledge that statistics, especially from Standardized Tests, can be misleading. We therefore encourage you to find out for yourself. Visit schools, talk to parents, teachers, administrators and, most importantly, talk to students about their experiences at school, what they’ve learned recently, and what they aspire to be when they grown up. Only then will you fully understand the problem, and only then will you be part of the solution!
Become a Member
We need your support! The Black Star Project is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and your donation is tax deductible to the full extent of the law. You can donate online with a credit card through this secure site.
Levels of Membership:
Friends of Progress
Guardians of Progress
Supporters of Progress
Champions of Progress
Sponsors of Progress
You can select the “recurring donation” check box to become a $10 per month member and spread your payment throughout the year.
Benefits of Membership:
We keep our members updated with event invitations and the latest information on eliminating the racial academic achievement gap
With a donation of at least $50 we will send you a free copy of our comic book – “Educate or Die”
With a donation of at least $100 we will send you a free “Educate or Die” T-Shirt!
or you can mail a check to us at:
The Black Star Project 3509 South King Drive, Suite 2B Chicago, IL 60653
If you want more information about The Black Star Project or have any questions about membership, you can call Michael Crenshaw at 773.285.9600
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