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Why We Can’t Wait: Rep. Thierry Urges Governor To Call A Special Session Addressing  Mass School Shootings

Austin, Texas — On Monday, May 21, 2018,  Representative Shawn Thierry (D-Houston) submitted a written appeal to Governor Abbott deeming the issue of gun violence a crisis worthy of calling the Texas legislature back to special session.With 22 national school shootings in 2018 and the Santa Fe High School shooting being the deadliest in Texas since the 1966 UT Tower Shooting, Rep. Thierry stated, “We cannot successfully protect our children, teachers, and families if we continue to operate in a ‘business as usual’ or ‘thoughts and prayers’ mentality.  As a woman of faith, I fervently pray against evil, however, I am also reminded that scripture teaches ‘faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead’. (James 2:17).”

Gov. Abbott recently announced his decision to convene roundtable discussions with diverse stakeholders to discuss more effective ways to protect students from school shootings. Representative Thierry also requested the opportunity to have a seat at the Governor’s roundtable discussions and stated that the legislature must act swiftly, putting politics aside in order to save lives.

As a member of the Texas legislature and a mother of a rising first grader, Representative Thierry has a unique standing and passion to work on legislation to solve the issue of gun violence in our schools.  She shared, “My constituents are fearful about the safety of their children, and I must take action to address their concerns.  In my role as a mom, when taking my daughter to school, I too, now live under the fear of whether my child is going to make it back home to me alive. “

“This is a pivotal moment in time for the leadership in Texas to set an example for the nation.  We must demonstrate that our great state of Texas has the resolve and the will to provide the necessary resources to better ensure the safety of our children.  We also need action from our federal government, but in the meantime, we must show that Texas will lead the way,” remarked Rep. Thierry.

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TSU Maroon & Gray Affair raises over $1 million to bolster students

 

HOUSTON (April 30, 2018) – Texas Southern University (TSU) held its The Maroon and Gray Affair on Saturday, April 28 at the Marriott Marquis Houston and raised in $1 million in funding for deserving TSU students. More than 1,500 patrons were in attendance. Award-winning journalist Tamron Hall was the keynote speaker, entertainment was provided by R&B group En Vogue and comedian Billy Sorrells, a TSU alumnus, who served as the master of ceremonies along with KHOU-TV’s Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan.  The Maroon & Gray Affair, a black-tie event in its second year, recognized two top students and two outstanding alumni. The gala was created by TSU President Austin A. Lane and TSU First Lady Loren Lane.

“The Texas Southern family joined together to salute our fantastic students and accomplished alumni. Our stakeholders and friends have partnered with TSU to meet our mission of standing as a comprehensive academic institution to guide our students in obtaining their degree of choice,” said TSU President Dr. Austin A. Lane.

TSU students Aaron Dallas and Camille Mills were honored for their academic and leadership. The Honorable Senfronia Thompson, State Representative D-141, and the Honorable Rodney Ellis, Harris County Commissioner for Precinct One, were recognized as this year’s alumni honorees.

“What a lovely evening as we gathered to support higher education,” said Mrs. Lane. “We know that the generosity of our guests will help TSU support these deserving students on their path to a better life.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner welcomed gala guests at the top of the evening. Tamron Hall, an Emmy-nominated journalist, former national news anchor for NBC News and current host of Deadline: Crime on the Investigation Discovery channel delivered keynote remarks. En Vogue, featuring Houston native Terry Ellis, performed a set of their R&B hits, including “Hold On,” “Free Your Mind,” “My Lovin’,” “Give Him Something He Can Feel” and their new Top 10 hit, “Rocket.”

“Our alumni, donors and major stakeholders delivered excellent support to the mission of our gala. All showed their complete dedication to assisting Texas Southern in closing the financial gap for our students,” said Melinda Spaulding, vice president for University Advancement.

ABOUT TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

Texas Southern University (TSU) is a comprehensive, metropolitan institution providing academic and research programs that address critical urban issues, and prepares its increasingly diverse student population to become a force for positive change in a global society. TSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations – bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees – organized into 10 colleges and schools on a 150-acre campus nestled in the heart of Houston’s historic Third Ward. The University’s enrollment has a population of 8,000 undergraduate and graduate-school academic candidates. Texas Southern has been a distinguished educational pioneer since 1927, and the University has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas. TSU has positioned itself as a proactive leader in

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Breaking News: Demontrae Jefferson lights up NC Central in NCAA First Four, Makes Texas Southern University History

Texas Southern University takes the first game in 2018 NCAA Tournament, making history for the 90-year-old Historically Black University.

Texas Southern University beats NC Central, 64-46

Demontrae Jefferson from Milwaukee put on a show in Texas Southern’s First Four win over NC Central. The Sophomore and SWAC MVP recorded a game-high 25 points to go along with 8 rebounds. He has put up 1,000 points in his young career shooting 8-18 to lead TSU to history for the school first win in an NCAA Tournament after eight attempts.

Their next stop comes against an East Region top seed Xavier in Nashville on Friday night.

The Tigers got off to a slow start in the First Four bracket against the North Carolina Central Eagles making only two of their first nine shots. There star Jefferson hit a jumper and the Tigers seems to have gotten their footing and hit 8-13 baskets. Jefferson had 17 points at halftime and TSU was ahead 36-26.

The Eagles made a push early in the second half to no avail. The Tigers thwarted all attempts after an 11-2 run, NC Eagle, Pablo Rivas’ ended the drought but Tiger Donte Clark quickly answered.

Clark ended the night with 18 points for the Tigers on seven free throws and just 4-14 from the field. Trayvon Reed helped the Tigers to victory by blocking six shots and scoring 10 points off the bench.

Coach Mike Davis coached the Tigers to historic victory after an early season of playing top national teams throughout the country. The Tigers are now 16-19 as they head to Nashville for Friday’s game against Xavier.

 

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Commissioner Ellis, Mayor Turner Announce $30 Million Project to Repair Streets in TSU-UH Corridor

                                    

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on March 13announced a joint agreement in which Precinct One will pay $30 million to improve seven streets in the University of Houston-Texas Southern University corridor.

“This is a great example of how Harris County can innovatively and strategically partner with the City of Houston, our universities and other entities to improve mobility, safety and quality of life for all residents,” Precinct One Commissioner Ellis said. “Precinct One is looking forward to supporting TSU and UH, and the entire Third Ward community through this project.”

Earlier on March 13, Commissioners Court voted to negotiate with two engineering firms that will develop the scope of the work.

Dubbed “Complete Streets” project, the improvements dovetail with Mayor Turner’s Complete Communities program, which involves improving Third Ward and four other neighborhoods that have been under-resourced for many years.

“Now I’m excited to see that the Commissioner is bringing safer, more attractive streets to this community of twin universities,” Mayor Turner said. “… If the improvements in these areas were just relying on the city, they would be highly incomplete. I want to thank him for this spirit of collaboration and cooperation with the city utilizing resources at his disposal in order to address many of the needs within the city and within Harris County.”

Precinct One is committing $15 million to improve infrastructure near TSU and another $15 million to projects around UH.

The goal is to create streets that are attractive and a source of neighborhood pride, while improving safety and accessibility to all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders.

In addition to roadway work, the project also includes drainage improvements, which will help reduce street flooding during heavy rain.

“This is a win-win opportunity for everyone,” Commissioner Ellis said. “Pedestrian and bike-friendly streets bring neighbors together and encourage healthy activity. I also hope that these improvements will help attract new businesses and jobs for communities in Third Ward.”

Councilman Dwight Boykins, whose District D includes Third Ward, also praised the city-county partnership.

“Given Houston’s revenue cap, it’s crucial that we lean on different partners to find innovative ways to access desperately needed dollars to support our infrastructure,” Boykins said. “As history has shown us, a collaboration between the county and the city in these matters often falls short of what we need to get this job done. That’s why I’m appreciative of the efforts of Commissioner Rodney Ellis and my friend, Mayor Sylvester Turner, who have brought $30 million into my district.”

The streets in the TSU area are Cleburne (Emancipation to Scott); Blodgett (Scott to Ennis); and Attucks (Cleburne to Wheeler).

The streets near UH are Cullen (Interstate 45 to North MacGregor); Wheeler (Cullen to Scott); Elgin (Scott to I-45); and Holman (Scott to Cullen).

“This project will significantly enhance the gateways into these great institutions by creating a beautiful streetscape for students and residents,” Commissioner Ellis said. “The improvements also will help hundreds of Houston residents who attend classes and work at the universities.”

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TSU recognizes Black History Month with celebration

Texas Southern is kicking off Black History Month with the Black History is Our History campaign. This initiative will recognize those who have contributed to the University’s rich 90-year history and the local, national and global community. Historical images and anecdotes will be highlighted around campus and the University’s publications, website, and social media platforms throughout February.

This campaign will continue TSU’s 90-year anniversary celebratBlack History is Our Historyion. TSU students, alumni, faculty, staff, and stakeholders are encouraged to submit any story ideas, photos, or memorabilia to support this effort. A calendar of events will be posted to keep the TSU community informed about all Black History Month events that will be held on campus.

Follow TSU on Facebook at @texassouthernuniversity, Twitter at @texassouthern, and Instagram at @texassouthern. For story ideas and calendar submissions, e-mail the TSU Office of Communications at media@tsu.edu.

 

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Koch Foundation funds new TSU Center for Justice Research

TSU Provost Kendall Harris, Ph.D.; Oliver Bell, TSU Board of Regents; Dr. Howard Henderson, TSU President Austin A. Lane, Gerard Robinson, Dr. Harry Williams, Houston District Attorney Kim Ogg, Dr. John Hardin, Charles Koch Foundation.

(l-r) TSU Provost Kendall Harris, Ph.D.; Oliver Bell, TSU Board of Regents; Dr. Howard Henderson, TSU President Austin A. Lane, Gerard Robinson, Center for Advancing Opportunity; Dr. Harry Williams,Thurgood Marshall College Fund; Houston District Attorney Kim Ogg, Dr. John Hardin, Charles Koch Foundation.

 

HOUSTON (January 22, 2018) – Texas Southern University (TSU) announced the establishment of the Center for Justice Research (CJR), a new initiative designed to produce innovative solutions to criminal justice reform and address challenges in America’s criminal justice system. TSU was awarded $2.7 million by the Center for Advancing Opportunity, an initiative supported by funding from the Charles Koch Foundation and Koch Industries to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

The primary focus for the Texas Southern University Center for Justice Research (CJR) will be to produce innovative solutions to reform efforts by utilizing an experienced group of researchers working to understand and address the current challenges of the U.S. criminal justice system.

“The Center for Justice Research represents a new direction for Texas Southern and will strengthen our commitment to equal justice for all citizens,” said TSU President Austin A. Lane. “TSU is elated to receive strong support for the Center from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Charles Koch Foundation, forming a critical partnership to advance knowledge through our faculty and evidence-based research, and in turn, care for our fragile communities.”

CJR’s mission is to change the paradigm of how historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) address criminal justice reform by developing objective, evidence-based research. The goal is to develop and disseminate interdisciplinary criminal justice research to dismantle barriers faced by American citizens in fragile communities. The Center will be an incubator for policy-driven criminal justice research support, increase the research capacity of HBCU faculty in the field, and train and mentor graduate students interested in addressing issues surrounding mass incarceration.

Howard Henderson, Ph.D., professor of Administration of Justice in TSU’s Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, will serve as the Center’s director.

John Hardin, Ph.D., director of university relations at the Charles Koch Foundation, said that more Americans are incarcerated than have a college degree. Hardin said that the Foundation is concerned that the criminal justice system has more impact on the community than the educational system and also has a greater ability to destroy lives.

“Research is required to ensure that the criminal justice system in this country is one that treats all people equally and with dignity so that citizens can live a fulfilling life,” Dr. Hardin said. “We are proud to be a part of a partnership supporting such critical, academic pursuits.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-18th District) said, “Our criminal justice system is deeply flawed and perversely inhumane support for reform spans the ideological spectrum, and this grant to TSU’s Center for Justice Research will help to enhance efforts to ensure that all of us receive equal treatment under the law.”

Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committee on Judiciary and Homeland Security and a strong advocate for justice reform, spoke via speakerphone in support of the initiative. She said that African Americans and other people of color are heavily incarcerated due to a disparate system, but that research and science are the tools to resolve criminal justice problems.

“TSU is an appropriate place for this commitment because it is the people’s university. It costs more than $32,000 to incarcerate people and more women are being incarcerated, so there is a crucial need for this grant,” Jackson-Lee said.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, “Incarceration is the end of opportunity for many people, but this grant is setting the stage for a new era in criminal justice. We need a common-sense approach to avoid recidivism and address problems with mental illness and addiction in the community.”

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Dr. Bullard ranked among top urban planning professors

Dr. Robert Bullard Dr. Robert D. Bullard, distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy at TSU, was ranked 11th in the top 25 rankings of urban planning faculty in the United States and Canada. Professor Bullard’s book, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality” was ranked 8th on the top 25 rankings of cited publications by urban planning faculty. The rankings were compiled by Tom Sanchez of Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs using Google Scholar Citations. Click here for the complete rankings.

About Dr. Bullard:

Robert D. Bullard is the former Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University 2011-2016, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy. Prior to coming to TSU he was founding Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. He has been described as the father of environmental justice. He received his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University. He is the author of seventeen books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity.

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GRANTS NOW AVAILABLE FOR INSTITUTIONS RECOVERING FROM HURRICANE HARVEY

 
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced that it will award up to $1 million in emergency grants to preserve humanities collections and help restore operations at libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and other cultural and historical institutions affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
 
Cultural institutions in FEMA-designated disaster areas can apply directly to NEH for streamlined emergency grants of up to $30,000 through the agency’s website. This special Chairman’s Emergency Grant opportunity will be open until December 31, 2017.
 
With significant support from NEH, Humanities Texas will also award fast-trackHurricane Recovery Grants to cultural and historical institutions in Texas that suffered damage and losses as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Requests of up to $3,000 will be reviewed within ten business days and awarded quickly. Larger grants are also possible. Eligible costs include cleanup, conservation, rental of temporary meeting space, and basic institutional and operational costs, such as purchasing equipment and replacing inventory, shelving, and roofing. Please see the Humanities Texas website for information on eligibility and instructions on how to apply:http://www.humanitiestexas.org/grants/hurricane-recovery-grants
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TSU tops 10,500 students after focused recruitment campaign