Donate to a Student Today

College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

SPECIAL EDITION

Pandemic politics and science denial: how to measure a year

by Greg Cunningham

Pandemic politics and science denial: how to measure a year

When the number came on the screen the song popped into my head:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure? Measure a year?*

Except it wasn’t a Broadway revival. It was the latest death toll in the United States from the Coronavirus, and the number had just ticked past half a million people. We were only days away from the grimmest milestone imaginable: one person dead from Covid-19 every minute of every day. One death per minute for an entire year. How do you measure such a year?

William Monroe Trotter, The Boston Guardian

by Paula Paris

William Monroe Trotter 1872 – 1934

“For every right, with all the might”

(Motto of the Boston Guardian)

On Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in the heart of what was once a thriving middle-class African-American residential and business neighborhood, sits the William Monroe Trotter K-8 School, one of two local tributes to its namesake. The other is the home Trotter once owned on Sawyer Avenue in Jones Hill, Dorchester, where he and his wife lived from 1899 to 1909 and which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Boston-bred Trotter was a major civil rights activist and journalist in the early twentieth century, whose legacy has largely faded away. There are no monuments preserving his likeness.

The Healing Fountain, What poetry does

by Gary Kaplan

What poetry does

“Poetry is typically the touchstone that we go back to when we have to remind ourselves of the
history that we stand on, and the future that we stand for.”  –Amanda Gorman

“Poetry makes nothing happen,” wrote W.H. Auden in his tribute to W.B. Yeats. The line was a typically irreverent Auden quip. He loved to shock and subvert, but under his surface flippancy ran a deep current of humanistic faith. Yeats died on January 28, 1939. Germany invaded Poland on September 1, igniting the Second World War. Auden’s In Memory of W.B. Yeats was written in 1940, as was his September 1, 1939. Both poems attempted to find a way out of the “negation and despair” of a world collapsing.

Cracks in the Bedrock, The destabilizing effects of inequality

by Gary Kaplan

History doesn’t repeat itself, Mark Twain observed, but it often rhymes.

Because of our peculiar history, the current calls for redirection of police funding to social programs fall with a familiar cadence at JFYNetWorks.

We are often asked what JFY stands for. It stands for Jobs For Youth, the original name of the nonprofit organization. Jobs For Youth was founded in 1976 with a Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention grant from the US Department of Justice. Our original mission was to help high school dropouts find jobs. Low-income youth were dropping out of high school at rates rising toward 20% nationally and 40% in the cities. In the early 1970s the Nixon Administration, predating Reagan, thought the best social program was a job. And so, our history began as a juvenile justice delinquency prevention program.

Origins of JFYNetWorks (Podcast)

With Gary Kaplan, Executive Director
Narrated by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

JANUARY 2020 PODCAST – For nearly 40 years, JFYNetWorks, a Boston-based nonprofit organization, has served high-need populations in Massachusetts by developing and delivering education and job training programs that equip young people with the skills needed to succeed in our changing economy. Gary Kaplan, Executive Director of JFYNet, describes the origins of the non-profit, and how it has adapted to best serve a changing student population over the years.

The World After 9/11. What have we learned?

Strength and faith and the hope they will find a way to navigate safely home

by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

Every year as September 11 approaches I am drawn back to that cloudless day and the eerie quiet that settled over Boston as the flickering, droning television screen became our collective stream of consciousness. There was no escaping the stark reality of that moment: America had been attacked, we had been attacked, and we were no longer safe behind our oceans as we had felt we were on September 10.

Frederick Wiseman, When gods walk the earth

Frederick Wiseman, Chronicler of the Western World

by Gary Kaplan, Unbounded Fan of ‘Fred’

I was at a conference this morning and felt the need for another cup of coffee. The conference was in a lecture room at the front of the building and the food in another room at the back. I sat for a few minutes debating whether to make a spectacle of myself by exiting the room. Caffeine withdrawal finally settled the issue and I slid as silently as possible out of the lecture room and into the corridor. I tiptoed to the rear of the building, decanted my cup of brew, and headed back toward the front. All this, from the first caffeine craving to the return, took perhaps four minutes. Just as I approached the doorway back into the lecture room, a diminutive figure emerged from another doorway and came toward me down the carpeted corridor. It was a small old man with cameras strapped all over his slight frame. Recognition was instantaneous. “Fred!” I blurted. “What are you doing here?” As if it was any business of mine, and as if he knew me from a hole in the wall.