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Peyton Manning Sponsors 6 HBCU Scholarships

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Former NFL quarterback and Lousiana native, Peyton Manning, along with the help of his foundation, has sponsored six endowed scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities.

What We Know:

  • Manning’s Peyback Foundation, which was founded in 1999 by Peyton and his wife, Ashley, has endowed six scholarships at four HBCU schools in Manning’s home state of Louisiana and two in Tennessee, where he played college football for the University of Tennessee. The six HBCU’s receiving endowment scholarships are Grambling State University, Southern University, Tennessee State, Fisk University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Dillard University in New Orleans.
  • The award for Grambling State University will bear the name of alumnus Doug Williams, the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl in 1987. He was informed by the university that a certain foundation was endowing a scholarship in his name, but when he questioned it, his alma mater shared that the donor wished to remain anonymous. That didn’t stop Williams, a senior vice president for the Washington Football Team, who called around and found out it was Manning’s foundation.

“Ha, you know I have my connections at Grambling. I made a phone call and found out it was Peyton Manning’s foundation and it was endowing a half-dozen scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities [HBCUs]. Peyton is a Louisiana boy. I know he’s given to a lot of wonderful causes without publicity, but this was a most pleasant surprise for me.”

  • At Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Harold Carmichael, former Philadelphia Eagles receiver and 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, was named on an identical endowment. Carmicheal shared about his experience at his HBCU alma mater, saying that it was an honor to have his name attached to a scholarship. “An endowed scholarship with my name attached? I am really humbled and blessed,” he said.
  • Wilma Rudolph’s name was honored on the endowment scholarship at her alma mater, Tennessee State. Rudolph, who died from cancer in 1994, was a sprinter who became the first woman to ever win three gold medals in the Olympics in 1960.
  • The endowment namesakes at the other HBCU’s are not known for athletics, but rather as being pillars in the Black community, known for their historical contributions.
    • At Fisk University in Nashville, the scholarship honors the late Dr. Reavis L. Mitchell Jr., a 40-year history professor who was frequently consulted on African American heritage and often cited in publications and documentaries.
    • At the Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Dr. Norman Francis is honored by the scholarship. Francis, the school’s president since 1968, received a presidential medal of freedom in 2006 for his efforts planning the recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans and surrounding areas after Hurricane Katrina.
    • At the New Orleans HBCU Dillard University, Dr. Michael Lomax is the namesake. Lomax is a former university president and has been the president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund since 2004.
  • When contacted, Manning declined to comment on his personal involvement in the endowments, but he did provide a statement on his foundation. “The Peyback Foundation is honored to partner with these six colleges to honor distinguished Alumni and staff members, and to help college students at these schools now and many years to come. Really, for perpetuity.

Williams said he believes Manning’s cause deserves a spotlight, saying, “I think Peyton needs to be recognized so we can expand the circle of potential donors out there for a great cause.” You can learn more about Manning’s Peyback Foundation here.

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Education

Deion Sanders to be new Jackson State Head Football Coach

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NFL Hall of Fame defenseman Deion Sanders announced Monday that he will be the new head coach at Jackson State, ESPN reports.

What We Know:

  • The legendary defensive back is currently the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas, where he will finish the season before preparing for his new role at Jackson State, which has pushed its season to the spring. “God called me to Jackson State,” Sanders said on his podcast.

  • Jackson State athletic director Ashley Robinson expressed the university’s enthusiasm in a statement. “It’s very big for Jackson State University. Not only for Jackson State University, this is very big for the country right now. Very big for the state of Mississippi. To Coach Prime, Jackson State University — a blue blood program full of Hall of Famers — it’s just a great time.”
  • Deion “Prime Time” Sanders takes over a program that most recently went 6-9 overall and a 5-5 conference record. The team’s last winning season came in 2013. Sanders described his new opportunity as a “match made in heaven,” and a “God move.”

Sanders was a duel professional athlete, winning two Super Bowls and appearing in the Major League Baseball World Series. He is the only athlete to participate in both championship events.

 

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Barack Obama Memoir to be Released November 17

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The former president announced Thursday that he will be releasing the first volume of his long-awaited memoir two weeks after the election, the Chicago Tribune reported.

What We Know:

  • Obama’s book will be titled A Promised Land and will cover his rise to the White House as well as his first term. The 768-page book is the first of the president’s memoirs. Though the second book has not yet been announced, it is expected that more will follow.

  • “I’ve spent the last few years reflecting on my presidency, and in ‘A Promised Land’ I’ve tried to provide an honest accounting of my presidential campaign and my time in office: the key events and people who shaped it; my take on what I got right and the mistakes I made; and the political, economic, and cultural forces that my team and I had to confront then — and that as a nation we are grappling with still,” an Obama statement read.
  • He added that the book details some of his own feelings about the times we are living in today and how we can work to get back on the right track. The work is expected to do incredibly well with sales, already announcing its printing of 3 million copies. James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble, believes the book has the potential to compete with Harry Potter. “This will be a book of rare consequence. That it will sell as no other book has done since July 21, 2007 is immensely cheering to booksellers,” he stated.
  • A Promised Land is not the first book from President Obama, who has been referred to as the best literary president since Abraham Lincoln. He also authored Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope before his race for the White House in 2008.

The memoir’s release date was set for November 17th so as to not overshadow the importance of this year’s election.

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Survey Finds “Shocking” Lack of Holocaust Knowledge Among Millennials, Gen Z

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A nationwide survey released on Wednesday showed a “worrying lack of basic Holocaust knowledge” among adults under 40, including over 1 in 10 respondents who did not recall ever having heard the word “Holocaust” before.

What We Know:

  • The U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey, touted as the first-ever 50-state survey on Holocaust knowledge among Millennials and Generation Z, showed that many of the respondents were unclear about the basic facts of the genocide. 63% of respondents did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, with over half of those thinking the death toll was fewer than 2 million. During World War II, over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos were established but almost 50% of those surveyed could not name a single one.

“The most important lesson is that we can’t lose any more time,” said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which commissioned the study. “If we let these trends continue for another generation, the crucial lessons from this terrible part of history could be lost.”

  • The Holocaust was the state-sponsored mass persecution and murder of millions of people under the Nazi regime, led by Adolf Hitler. The genocide campaign targeted those who Hitler, and therefore the government, believed to be “biologically inferior”. These were rooted in ideas of homophobia and anti-Semitism as well as targeting those with disabilities. Through the use of concentration camps, gas chambers, firing squads, and other methods, the Nazi regime targeted the Jewish people in particular, killing nearly 2 of every 3 European Jews by 1945.
  • The survey’s data came from 11,000 interviews that were conducted across the country by either phone and online with a random, demographically representative sample of respondents ages 18 to 39. The data collection was led by a task force that included Holocaust survivors, museum historians and experts, nonprofits, and educational institutions. The Claims Conference, a nonprofit that works to secure material compensation for Holocaust survivors and commissioned the survey, said the lack of Holocaust knowledge demonstrated in the study is “shocking” and “saddening”.
  • Besides raising concerns about Holocaust ignorance, the study also raised concerns about Holocaust denial. Only 90% of those surveyed believed the Holocaust happened with 7% saying they were not sure and 3% denying that it happened. In one of the more shocking revelation from the survey, is 11% of respondents believe Jews caused the Holocaust. In New York, the state with the largest Jewish population, that number rises to 19%.
  • “There is no doubt that Holocaust denial is a form of anti-Semitism,” said Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University in Atlanta. “And when we fail to actively remember the facts of what happened, we risk a situation where prejudice and anti-Semitism will encroach on those facts.”
  • Experts believe some of the problems may be connected to social media. According to the survey, half of the respondents have come across Holocaust denial or distortion posts online. Additionally, 56% of those surveyed reported having seen Nazi symbols, like the swastika, on social media or in their communities within the past five years.
  • The majority of adults who took the survey said they believe something like the Holocaust could happen again, an alarming revelation as some worry the decades-old rallying cry to “never forget” is being forgotten with few Holocaust survivors still alive to share the lessons of the Holocaust. “When you learn the history of the Holocaust, you are not simply learning about the past,” Lipstadt said. “These lessons remain relevant today in order to understand not only anti-Semitism but also all the other ‘isms’ of society. There is real danger to letting them fade.”
  • Although many respondents shared that they first learned about the Holocaust in school, the survey suggests that education might be incomplete as not everyone could associate it with World War II. 22% associated it with World War I, 10% were not sure, 5% connected it with the Civil War, and still, 3% connected it with the Vietnam war.
  • The survey also split up the data by state, ranking states on their Holocaust knowledge based on average scores throughout the survey. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, states that do not require Holocaust education, ranked the highest in Holocaust knowledge. Contrastly, respondents in New York, Indiana, and California, where Holocaust education is required, were most likely to believe the Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated, with rates higher than 20 percent of the surveyed population.

80% of respondents agree that it is important to learn about the Holocaust partly so it never happens again and educators are working on ways to improve Holocaust education across the country. “We’ve seen it time and time again,” Schneider said. “Education is the best way to prevent ignorance and to prevent hate.

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