Colleges Are Failing to Prepare Students for Work; Here’s the Solution

Job prospects for today’s college seniors are looking up. The hiring of bachelors-degree holders is expected to jump by 19 percent this year.

But few are actually prepared for employment. Even though nine in 10 recent college grads believe they’re ready for the workforce, only half the nation’s employers agree.

Colleges and universities need to address this. Specifically, they should aggressively incorporate into their courses high-impact educational practices (HIP), which connect academic lessons to real-world problems and foster the creativity and critical thinking employers value. These practices can turn academically engaged students into profession-ready graduates.

Today, academic skills alone aren’t sufficient for career success. Employers also want workers who communicate effectively, know how to manage their time, and can get a task done with minimal supervision. Indeed, over 90 percent of businesses value such “soft” aptitudes more highly than any specific college major.

High-impact practices provide this pre-professional base, often through extended research, collaborative projects, or community-based service jobs. In every case, a central feature is frequent, rigorous feedback. Students improve through input from peers and professors. Instead of toiling away at solo homework assignments and term papers, students operate in an environment that approximates the working world.

It’s no surprise, then, that students feel more confident with their professional prospects after participating in HIP, with 75 percent reporting that this work prepared them for life after college.

Employers also highly value HIP experience. Ninety-four percent of employers are more likely to hire a recent college grad who has completed a long-term project that included intensive research and problem-solving skills.

And student participants don’t have to wait until they get to the workplace before reaping the benefits, since HIP programs immediately enhance their academic performance.

Consider a study of nearly 400 colleges and universities. Researchers tracked students in “learning communities” — where folks took classes together and lived in close proximity — and found that that these students put more effort into their school work, took harder courses, and developed closer relationships with faculty than those who did not.

Likewise, research from Kent State University shows that students with more HIP engagement have higher GPAs.

Some higher-education institutions have already recognized the power of HIP.

At the University of Iowa, for example, students interested in business live together in the “BizHawks” community. This program sponsors a contest in which student groups work collaboratively on a business pitch. “BizHawks” even practice business manners at meals with faculty and receive extensive feedback on their resumes.

And at my own university, New York Institute of Technology, faculty members provide students with real-world experiences, typically through team-based capstone projects or internships at companies and nonprofits. These internships are meaningful experiences and sanctioned by the school, as students sign an agreement with our office of career services detailing the skills they hope to develop.

In our school of architecture and design, one professor implements HIP in his course by having students transfer their designs into virtual reality apps so they can walk through their work and “see” ways to improve it. Industry leaders also inspect these virtual reality projects and provide honest feedback, giving our budding architects a taste of real-world project management.

Today’s college students will enter a promising job market. Universities must evolve to better empower students to succeed once they’re in the workforce. High-impact educational practices should be a central part of that equation.

Francine Glazer is associate provost for educational innovation and director of New York Institute of Technology’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

Ramblin Rose: Black History Month Begins

Hello everyone, I have some juicy stuff for you this week! Black History Month is approaching, bringing with it a host of exciting events for the community.

First, I want to congratulate Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore City Branch of the NAACP, and the civil rights organization’s officers and executive committee members who were sworn-in at a ceremony on New Year’s Day at the New Waverly United Methodist Church.

I also want to congratulate the historical Arch Social Club, which is now called the Arch Social Community Network and has just had their 501(c)3 application for non- profit organizational status approved.

In celebration of Black History Month, live entertainment will be presented at the Enoch Pratt Library’s Pennsylvania Avenue branch on Mon., Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. The Wayne Johnson Ensemble will perform jazz standards written by African American jazz masters and tunes sung by Billie Holiday. On Sat. Feb. 11, the Carl Grubbs Ensemble will perform the music of Eubie Blake and standards written by African American jazz masters at the Northwood Branch Library, 1 p.m.

Calling all authors, publishers, literary agents, publicists, editors, proofreaders! You’re invited to the Louis Fields 4th Annual Langston Hughes Book Fair hosted by Baltimore African American Tourism Council of Maryland on Sun., Feb. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held at the Empowerment Temple AME Church, 421 Primrose Avenue in Baltimore. Authors of Christian books, history, inspirational, educational, motivational, positive and uplifting books are encouraged to reserve your space at It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Lou Fields at 443-985-7974 and tell him Rosa Pryor told you.

Another event for Black History Month is Lindsey Johnson’s Baltimore Black Memorabilia & Collectible Show, which will be held on Sat., Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, 830 E. Pratt Street in Baltimore. The event will showcase vendors of black memorabilia; educational exhibits; verbal appraisal of black memorabilia and autograph sessions with Negro League Baseball Players. IIyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, and Rosa “Rambling Rose” Pryor, will also be there signing their books; Black memorabilia and collectibles for sale include slavery artifacts, books, autographs, stamps, paintings, prints, dolls, advertisements, kitchen collectibles, coins, magazines, toys, jewelry and civil rights, political, entertainment and sports memorabilia. Educational exhibits include Slavery Artifacts & Jim Crow memorabilia, Black Panther Party, Negro League Baseball, Marcus Garvey, and so much more. For more information, call 301-649-1915 or email

I will end by saying happy birthday to Carolyn Richardson who will be celebrating at Maceo’s Lounge, 1926 Walbrook Ave., (at Monroe St.) Sat., Feb. 4; 5 p.m. until.

Well my dear friends, this is it. I am out of space. I will see you on the flip side. Remember if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

“I Am Not Your Negro,”

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends— Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of the manuscript. Now, in an incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.

The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and a flood of rich archival material.

The film, “I Am Not Your Negro,” is a journey into Black history that connects the Civil Rights movement to the present Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

The film questions Black representation in Hollywood and beyond. Ultimately, it confronts the deeper connections between the lives and assassinations of the three African-American leaders in a work that challenges the definition of what America stands for.

“I started reading James Baldwin when I was a 15-year-old boy searching for rational explanations to the contradictions I was confronting in my already nomadic life, which took me from Haiti to Congo to France to Germany and to the United States,” Peck said.

The director noted that he grew up “in a myth in which I was both enforcer and actor— the myth of a single and unique America. The script was well-written, the soundtrack allowed no ambiguity, the actors of this utopia, Black or white, were convincing,” he said.

With rare episodic setbacks, the myth was strong, better; the myth was life, was reality, he said. “I remember the Kennedys, Bobby and John, Elvis, Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Dr. Richard Kimble, and Mary Tyler Moore very well,” Peck continued.

“On the other hand, Otis Redding, Paul Robeson and Willie Mays are only vague reminiscences. Faint stories tolerated in my memorial hard disk. Of course, there was “Soul Train” on television, but it was much later, and on Saturday morning where it wouldn’t offend any advertisers,” he said.

In the course of five years, Evers, Malcolm X and King were assassinated. Peck says each of them was connected and not just by the color of their skin.

“They fought on different battlefields,” Peck said. “And, quite differently. But in the end, all three were deemed dangerous. They were unveiling the haze of racial confusion. James Baldwin also saw through the system. And he loved these men. These assassinations broke him down.”

A Los Angeles Times review of the film notes that it’s Baldwin himself we see at the start of the film, a guest on a 1968 episode of the Dick Cavett Show being asked by the host “Why aren’t Negroes more optimistic – it’s getting so much better.”

“It’s not a question of what happens to the Negro,” Baldwin said with a look of inexpressible weariness crossing his face. “The real question is what is going to happen to this country.”

This is the theme— the idea that what’s really at stake in racial matters is America’s soul that Baldwin returns to again and again in the course of the film.

“The truth is this country does not know what to do with its black population,” he said at one point, adding later “Americans can’t face the fact that I am flesh of their flesh.”

Perhaps most movingly, in a televised interview with psychologist Dr. Kenneth Clark, Baldwin says he is “terrified at the moral apathy— the death of the heart which is happening in my country. These people have deluded themselves so long that they really don’t think I’m human. And this means that they have become, in themselves, moral monsters.”

But before it gets to any of that other material, “Negro” cuts immediately from that black-and-white Cavett footage to a sizzling montage of photos from Ferguson and other contemporary scenes of struggle, brilliantly edited to Buddy Guy’s high-octane “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues.”

The film is opens for a one-week Academy-qualifying run and returns on Feb. 3 to theaters around the country, including Baltimore.

Note: “I Am Not Your Negro” has been nominated for “Best Documentary Feature” by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars).

After Losing HUD funding, MCVET Sticking to values, pursues other revenue

An estimated 30,000 United States veterans are homeless.

Here in Baltimore, the Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training (MCVET) is one program that has worked tirelessly to provide those former service men and women a place to live, a system of support and job training.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has defunded more than $1.2 million in funding from MCVET, causing the organization to pursue other sources of revenue to maintain the integrity of the services.

Funding cuts have affected organization’s like MCVET across the country, reflecting a national shift away from allocating funds away from transitional housing services and toward permanent housing support.

“HUD came out with a mandate encouraging programs to be a housing first model. But, we are not,” said Jeffrey Kendrick, the executive director of MCVET. “There were low barriers for individuals who are residing in programs that are housing first to prevent them from being on the street.

“In order to cooperate with the HUD mandate, we would have to turn transitional housing into permanent housing and we have a zero-tolerance policy here which means we don’t allow alcohol or drugs although we do provide training programs and recovery,” Kendrick said.

HUD funding ended in November and MCVET officials say they couldn’t compromise their already successful program even though it meant losing the funding which they’ll now have to make up some other way, perhaps with individual or corporate donors.

“It’s very adverse for us because we may have to reduce the number of staff which is 47-employees right now and we’d also have to reduce our 249-bed facility,” he said.

Established more than 20 years ago, MCVET houses homeless veterans many of whom arrive with drug or alcohol problems.

New clients are required to attend 90 alcoholics or narcotics anonymous meetings for 90 days. After that, they must attend five meetings a week, which is similar to a traditional 12-step program as part of a long-range plan used to help residents stay drug free. These programs are also open to the public, according to Kendrick.

“This is not an easy program,” he said. “A veteran can come here and earn a degree or diploma, but if he or she doesn’t work the program, they may have a diploma or degree, but they’re still homeless.”

There are three levels of residency at the center— emergency housing, transitional housing and Single Room Occupancy. The veterans receive stipends and 20 percent of the stipend pays their rent. Residents are required to put 30 percent of their stipend into a savings account.

The Center has resources to help the veterans, from the Veterans Administration, and Healthcare for the Homeless. It also works with various schools through classes funded by the Department of Labor.

Average attendance is two years, although some leave earlier while others stay longer.

“With the cut in funding, it means that we may also have to reduce the amount of services for veterans in the program; we may have to let some of our case managers go; and we provide three meals a day and that must be cut as well,” Kendrick said.

Still, and despite a recent meeting with HUD officials, Kendrick said MCVET refuses to sacrifice its zero-tolerance policy because the best way to prepare veterans for permanent housing and fulltime employment is to address the problems they may be experiencing that initially led them to homelessness.

To try and make up for the funding, Kendrick said he’s hired a grant consultant and they’ve reached out for private funding.

“As of right now, we have strong support from the VFW, the American Legion, and others,” he said. “The real danger is that we are the only program in the entire nation to provide the type of services that we do. The bottom line is if this [lack of funding] continues, we could be in danger of closing.”

For information or to make a donation, visit:

Consumers Get Back Over $17 million, Thanks to CFPB

Millions of consumers who were duped into paying fees for their own credit scores will soon receive more than $17.6 million, thanks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Affected consumers can expect to receive notification letters in the mail.

TransUnion and Equifax— two of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies— sold credit scores, credit reports and credit-monitoring services to consumers even though the “credit scores” sold were not typically used by lenders to make credit decisions. As a result, what consumers paid to these two firms was of questionable value.

As credit scores are often cited as the basis for many consumers of color to either be denied access to credit or be charged higher than average interest rates, it is likely that many will also be eligible for restitution. TransUnion must now provide restitution of $13.9 million to affected consumers, while Equifax’s cost of restitution is $3.8 million. Assessed fines on the violations will add additional costs of $3 million to TransUnion and $2.5 million for Equifax.

“TransUnion and Equifax deceived consumers about the usefulness of the credit scores they marketed, and lured consumers into expensive recurring payments with false promises,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Credit scores are central to a consumer’s financial life and people deserve honest and accurate information about them.”

Both TransUnion and Equifax are charged with violations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act from 2011 to 2014 and included:

•Deceiving consumers about the value of the credit scores they sold; and

•Deceiving consumers into enrolling in subscription programs.

In its advertising, Equifax falsely claimed that credit scores and credit-related products were free. In the case of TransUnion, the cost was promised to be only $1. What neither made clear to consumers was that unless the ‘service’ was cancelled during its 30-day trial period, consumers would be charged a recurring fee— usually $16 or more per month.

Additionally, Equifax violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires a credit reporting agency to provide a free credit report once every 12 months and to operate a central source—— where consumers can get their report. Until January 2014, consumers getting their report through Equifax first had to view Equifax advertisements, another illegal act. By law, such advertising is allowed after consumers receive their report.

Beyond the costs of restitution and fines, CFPB will now hold Equifax and TransUnion accountable for changes in the way they operate. From clearly informing consumers about the nature of the scores they are selling to consumers; to providing simple, easy to understand information on how to cancel the purchase of any credit-related product, and ending billing and collection payments for any recurring charge once a consumer cancels the service.

The two final enforcement requirements are probably the most important of all:

  1. Before enrolling a consumer in any credit-related product with a negative option feature, TransUnion and Equifax must obtain the consumer’s consent; and
  2. Truthfully represent the value or usefulness of products sold.

“We applaud the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for taking strong and vigorous actions against TransUnion and Equifax to protect the interests of American consumers,” said National Consumer Law Center staff attorney Chi Wu. “In addition to obtaining tens of millions of dollars in relief for consumers, this consent order will protect consumers from being ripped off in the future over deceptive credit monitoring products and sales practices.”

For more information about credit scores, visit CFPB’s website at:

Charlene Crowell is the communications deputy director with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at

President Obama honors Anne Arundel Co. resident

January 18, 2017 was an extremely memorable day for an Anne Arundel County resident Kenneth L. Gray.

A few days before President Donald Trump took office, he received The President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with youth; This is the highest national honor to bestow upon a citizen.

Gray was among 44 other recipients from around the world honored by Sen. Donzella James (D-Ga.), Dr. Janice Barnett-Adams, and Pastor Lenora Wimberly-Peterson at former President Barack Obama’s Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony, held at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Ga. Along with a signed certificate of achievement from Obama, Gray received an official service award pin, and a congratulatory letter from the former president.

“Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise,” Obama wrote in Gray’s letter. “While government can open more opportunities for us to serve our communities, it is up to us to seize those opportunities. Thank you for your devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great Nation.”

Sherri Nelson, who was re-pinned as a 2017 recipient of President Obama’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award, said that she nominated Gray to receive formal recognition because of his volunteer work helping homeless children in school systems nationwide. Nelson further explained that she noticed different activities, training camps, and community events for children that Gray posted on social media, mentioning the role that Gray plays in getting youth active outdoors, helped her make the decision.

“I reached out to him (Gray), and just got to talking to him, and it just seems like he has dedicated his life to this cause,” Nelson said.

Gray is personal trainer who provides mentorship, coaching, community outreach, fundraising, and sports clinics and camps, through his youth athletic program, under his company, Dominant Force. He said that empowering others to better their lives is important. As the vice president of the Meade Senior High School Alumni Association, Gray has helped to raise money for homeless students to provide basic necessities, food, and clothing for Meade Senior High School on an ongoing basis. The self-proclaimed “world coach” said he wants to unify local government, schools, and individuals together to accomplish goals.

“I think if you take care of the kids, everything is going to follow,” Gray said. “I am just doing what I love, and it has probably been over 25 years.”

The presidential award provides recognition at gold, silver, and bronze levels of service achievement, in addition to lifetime achievement. One lifetime achievement award requirement is completing 4,000 hours or more of community service. According to, the President’s Volunteer Service Award is an initiative of the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) and is administered by Points of Light— the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service.

Awards are issued to individuals, families and groups who meet various eligibility requirements. Hours are measured over a 12-month period and awards are designated based on cumulative hours. Although volunteers may not seek recognition for their good deeds, their powerful messages may encourage others to take action. Nelson added that recognition can also be used to encourage youth to do more in the community.

“By this being the highest award that you can get from the president as a civilian, the prestige of this award alone opens doors within itself,” Nelson said. “And also by [Gray] receiving this award…he can then nominate some children who are doing excellent community work, because for some reason, we forget about the children that are actually taking their time, when they could be doing other things.”

Maryland agencies pursue program to reduce lead poisoning, asthma cases

Baltimore— The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has partnered with the Department of the Environment and the Department of Housing and Community Development to apply to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop an initiative to reduce lead poisoning and to improve asthma, two conditions related to environmental conditions in housing.

The program would leverage federal funds available through the Maryland Medicaid Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to eliminate sources of lead poisoning in housing, to build capacity in local health departments to reduce lead poisoning and asthma related to housing conditions, and to address lead and asthma health disparities.

“We know that housing conditions can severely affect a child’s health, and this program would enable us to get to the root of the problems for many children,” said Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “It would go beyond merely treating a child with asthma or lead poisoning— it would seek to prevent exposures to the triggers, causes and social determinants of these conditions, which is the best means of preventing the life-long impacts of these diseases.”

The new program would have two parts. The first component would involve a partnership between Health and Mental Hygiene and Housing and Community Development to expand lead identification and abatement programs delivered by the latter agency. The second would expand local health departments’ programs that help families and health care providers to identify and to eliminate sources of lead exposures and asthma triggers in homes. The programs would both be coordinated with the Department of the Environment’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, prioritizing people affected by lead.

“We look forward to working with the departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Environment to ensure healthy housing for Maryland’s families,” said Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.

If approved, up to $3.7 million dollars in CHIP federal matching funds could be available to the State, to supplement $500,000 that Governor Larry Hogan authorized Medicaid to use in fiscal year 2017 for lead abatement purposes. An additional $2.6 million could potentially be available to the State in fiscal year 2018 to fund the local health departments’ programs that serve families with children affected by lead or asthma.

“This continues Governor Hogan’s emphasis on eradicating the lingering problem of lead poisoning through comprehensive, coordinated, and creative actions,” said Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the state agency that protects Maryland’s public health and works together to promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement.

Baltimore Sailor deploys to Support Operation Deep Freeze

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (NNS) — Sailors assigned to Navy Cargo Handling Battalion (NCHB) 1 deployed to Antarctica in mid-January to support the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP), the nation’s research program on the southernmost continent, which is managed by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

NCHB 1 deployed to NSF’s McMurdo Station, where less than one percent of the world’s population has ever visited, as part of Operation Deep Freeze— the military’s logistical support component of the USAP.

McMurdo, the main U.S. station in Antarctica, is located at the southern tip of Ross Island, and is the primary logistics facility for supply for NSF’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, 800 air miles inland, as well as remote field camps and is also the waste management center for much of the USAP.

As the USAP manager, NSF has a presidential mandate to manage three year-round research stations in Antarctica. McMurdo is the largest of the three stations and the globe’s southernmost seaport.

More than 50 Sailors from NCHB 1 deployed to McMurdo Station during Antarctica’s summer to offload containers of supplies to be used by scientists and support personnel. Cargo handlers will be working around the clock for nearly a month in below-freezing temperatures to transport hundreds of containers on and off the transport ship.

Military Sealift Command (MSC) chartered container ship MV Ocean Giant provides ocean cargo transport in support of Operation Deep Freeze. An MSC-chartered cargo ship and tanker have made the challenging voyage to Antarctica, which includes passage through a 15-mile ice channel, in places more than 13 feet thick, every year since the station was established in 1955.

Petty Officer 1st Class Derek McCleary, a Seabee from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will be participating in Operation Deep Freeze for a second time and will bring with him his experience to ensure the mission is accomplished safely and efficiently.

“We’re the only command that supports McMurdo Station as far as getting cargo in and out of there,” said McCleary. “It can only be done during a certain time of the year, because our winter is their summer — so that’s why we go when we go.”

While McCleary has experience as a cargo handler, he looks forward to learning and new experiences so he can prepare the next group of Sailors for this annual mission to support the USAP.

“I think each time is a different experience; I’ll be in a new leadership position this time around so there will probably be some new things to learn, expect, and teach to the next group of Sailors,” he said.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michelle Panniell from Baltimore, also is excited to go on the ice and do her duty as part of the hatch team.

“The hatch teams are people who string up the containers and other equipment so they can be moved,” said Panniell. “We do things to balance the load and make sure no damage is done to that cargo.”

One thing Panniell plans to do during her down time is collect some of the ice in a bottle to take home.

“So many people are amazed that I get to have this experience; all of my friends and family want me to bring something back, but I feel extremely fortunate and honored for this opportunity,” she said.

While resupply and support the NSF is the main mission, Sailors must also keep their safety as a main priority. For all of the Sailors participating in Operation Deep Freeze, they can expect to operate in 20-degree weather and will be required to wear 3-4 layers of clothing to carry out their cargo-handling mission.

All sailors are issued special cold weather gear that adapts to the ice, including boots that have better grips and extra insulated jackets.

Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG), a component of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, is a Navy Reserve command organized and staffed to provide a wide range of supply and transportation support critical for peacetime support, crisis response, humanitarian, and combat service missions. NAVELSG consists of a full-time, Selective Reserve support staff and five Navy expeditionary logistics regiments and 11 cargo handling battalions.

For more news from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, visit

WomenHeart and Burlington Stores Host “Night Out to #KnockOutHeartDisease” Event in Baltimore


Did you know that one in three women die from heart disease and that it’s the leading cause of death in women? That’s why Burlington Stores, the national off-price retailer, has teamed up with WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease for the sixth consecutive year to educate women nationwide about the importance of their heart health.

On Friday, February 3rd, 2017 from 5pm-8pm, customers are invited to a “Night Out to #KnockOutHeartDisease,” at Burlington’s Baltimore location to receive a free heart health screening, inclusive of blood pressure, pulse, BMI and Cholesterol, by certified health professionals. Customers will also be able to receive bi-lingual (English/Spanish) women’s heart health information and tips for living heart healthy. Getting a screening is the first step in knowing the status of your heart health and knocking out heart disease. Those that get their heart health screened can tag at least two friends with #KnockOutHeartDisease to encourage those they love to do the same. For each use of the hashtag, Burlington will donate $5, up to $25,000, to WomenHeart.

From February 1st through March 31st all Burlington store locations are encouraging customers to donate $1 or more at check out to benefit WomenHeart’s mission to educate women about the importance of their heart health and to support those women living with heart disease. For more campaign information, visit


Friday, February 3, 2017

5:00pm – 8:00pm


Burlington Stores

6901 Security Blvd.

Baltimore, MD 21244

P: 410.265.1508


Lauren Flanagan

P: 212.539.3248 /


Burlington is a national off-price retailer offering style for less at up to 65 percent off other retailers’ prices every day. Departments include ladies’ dresses, suits, sportswear, juniors, accessories, menswear, family footwear and children’s clothing. It also includes an assortment of furniture and accessories for baby at Baby Depot, home décor and gifts, along with the largest selection of coats in the nation for the entire family. Burlington has 593 stores in 45 States and Puerto Rico. For more, visit

Obama legacy captured in docu-series ‘The Obama Years: The Power of Words’

New York— Over eight years, President Obama delivered more than 3,500 speeches and statements, officially ending his era with a farewell address in Chicago. His speeches ranged from redefining patriotism, candidly addressing race relations, inspiring hope and healing, and turning divisive moments into an opportunity for national unification.

But which are the moments that history will remember?

A new hour-long Smithsonian Channel special tells the story of Barack Obama, writer in chief, and takes viewers inside the defining moments of his political career through the prism of his most memorable speeches. “The Obama Years: The Power of Words” premieres on Mon. Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.

“Someday there will be the collected speeches of Barack Obama,” historian Douglas Brinkley said in the film. “I think they’ll tell us more about our hopes, dreams, aspirations and dark realities than any other document to represent that era.”

“The Obama Years: The Power of Words” examines how President Obama used the bully pulpit, by looking at six benchmark speeches, as a brash young state senator and as a president grappling with turbulent times in the face of chaotic events. Some were the result of careful planning and intensive writing; others were written under extraordinary pressure, often with Obama doing much of the writing, in the wake of unexpected events. When tragedy strikes, the President has a tremendous responsibility to comfort the nation.

“The Obama Years: The Power of Words” gives viewers behind-the-scenes stories of the president and his process, how he and his core group worked to develop the messages, expert commentary comparing the speeches to those of other presidents, and analysis of the power and limits of the bully pulpit to shape events.

The program features insights from eminent historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Douglas Brinkley and key members of Obama’s inner circle, including senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, Chief Strategist David Axelrod, and speechwriters Jon Favreau and Cody Keenan. Smithsonian curator Harry Rubenstein of the National Museum of American History, Rep. John Lewis, and Clark Judge, speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, are also among the featured interviews.

“The Obama Years: The Power of Words “focuses on six notable speeches:

  • The 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote;
  • “A More Perfect Union,” presidential candidate Obama’s seminal speech on race relations in Philadelphia;
  • The 2008 Democratic National Convention acceptance speech— delivered on the anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech,
  • The President’s eulogy for the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, CT.
  • The 50th Anniversary commemoration in 2015 of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches.
  • “Amazing Grace,” the eulogy for the victims of the 2015 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

“The Obama Years: The Power of Words” is an original Smithsonian Channel production, written and produced Jody Schiliro. Charles Poe and David Royle are [the] executive producers. The film is narrated by Jesse Williams, star of the long-running hit series “Grey’s Anatomy” and executive producer of “Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement.”

The film will also be screened in museums across America during Black History Month— starting at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.