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Most parents and families believe that education is their top priority and the best way that they can improve their quality of life and achieve prosperity for themselves and their families. Many immigrants and Americans believe in the basic premise of quality education for all Americans and citizens. They braved hardships and difficulties to immigrate to the United States for quality education and freedom.

Yet, our country now faces the results of The "No Child Left Behind" governmental policy that was presented as a way to improve our public education system. It was touted to make our children more competitive globally yet it has not delivered those results. There are reports of teachers complaining that they are forcing children to learn how to take the tests to get good results versus teaching the educational principles and lessons children need. Some of the results and outcome of this program is that young students nationwide are dropping out of high school at alarming rates. For many communities, record numbers of high school students are failing to complete high school. Even worse, in some communities with high minority populations, the drop out rate can be as high as 42-50%.

The question is how will our families and children be able to achieve prosperity and a better life if they do not complete their basic education? How are these children going to find good jobs, buy their homes and raise their families in safe secure neighborhoods?

Our underperforming educational system must be analyzed and new recommendations must be made to improve our system. Fundamental changes to our educational policies must be proposed and implemented if we are to reverse this downward disastrous trend to make our families and nation more competitive in the increasingly global economy.

We will be bringing you articles, inviting guest authors and experts to discuss different aspects of education and how it affects our everyday lives and families. Actions, issues and ways that you can get engaged in your own community or on the national level will be brought to you so you can make a difference.
Women, minorities and communities are united in our concerns. Issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease are decimating our families and communities. Cancer, HIV/Aids, Alzheimer, are creating extreme challenges and difficulties for women. In most communities and families, women are the primary caretakers for their households. When disease and illness strikes, women take the brunt of the support and stress of juggling schedules, arranging for support and taking time from work to care for their families.

Let's look at one issue that is creating major problems in our families and communities. It's called obesity. As more reports confirm that there is an "Obesity Crisis" in our nation, we also find out that there are many disastrous health problems associated with obesity. Diseases including diabetes, cardio pulmonary problems, vision loss, kidney and liver loss in advanced diabetic situations are creating economic, emotional and social stress on our families. While there are many studies to determine the causes of this obesity crisis, we know that it is directly related to several key issues such as genetics, diet and lack of exercise.

We need to educate ourselves to determine how we can avoid diseases and illnesses that are oftentimes preventable. We need to understand in advance how to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. If we link diseases with discussions about food selection, exercise, and avoidance of behaviors that cause these diseases, we stand a better chance of changing our behaviors.

There are many health challenges that we all face as our generation of Baby Boomers now move into the later years of their lives. A new challenge has appeared. It's called "The Sandwich Generation". Women are now faced with the dual responsibilities of caring for their children and husbands and dealing with the increased illness and diseases of their aging parents. We are increasingly stressed out having to take our children to school, tend to their health issues and then also having to deal with the doctor's appointments, medical treatments and ongoing care of our aging parents.

There's a lot of attention paid to the lack of sufficient health care coverage for all families. However, there is a lack of attention paid to issues that don't make the news headlines. Increasingly we are hearing about minorities and women who don't take the time to have doctor appointments or physical examinations because they are fearful of finding out they have serious illnesses or diseases like diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. Their fear of discovering life threatening diseases, the financial fear of costly medical coverage and bills, and the lack of access to adequate and preventive health programs encourages women to avoid seeking care and help for their own health issues.

Imagine the consequences to a family where the mother is taking care of the children and the elderly grandparents, being the "glue of the family" when she discovers she has serious or life threatening illnesses. What happens when the mother now needs critical care or passes away? What is the emotional, psychological and financial impact of that one event on her family and community?

This is why women and families must take notice now and do everything possible to educate themselves about the health issues that affect our families, our communities and ourselves. We intend to bring people, women and experts to share and provide us with advice on how to manage this system. Issues we need to be educated on and take action upon to bring about changes to improve our families' health, lives and futures.

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On a daily basis we hear of more negative news about our economy and the pervasive effects of a downturn in the economy. While government officials proclaim that we are "technically not in a recession", the everyday American knows that they're feeling the hardships caused by this downturn. People are losing their jobs, which in turn affects every part of their daily lives. Without a job, people can't make payments on their homes, cars and maintain a good quality of life for their children and their families. With the cost of oil, food and basic staples increasing dramatically in the past 12 months, Americans are feeling the crunch in their wallets and it's causing a longer-term negative effect.

With the subprime mortgage problems, many minority communities and households are hit harder hit by this economic calamity than other non-minority communities. Families are facing the loss of their homes, their life savings and are left in dire straits. As gas prices increase astronomically, people are cutting back on their gas consumption and looking for ways to reduce their energy bills that are cutting into their available funds.

It becomes a vicious cycle. If you get laid off from your job, then your ability to pay your bills is impacted dramatically. When you no longer can pay your bills, then your home becomes subject to foreclosure. If you lose your home, then you have an immediate problem of where to house and take care of your family. At what point do we break this cycle and begin to offer and provide new jobs that will allow people to be employed and work back into a situation where they can take care of their families?

We need solutions, not excuses or denials about the stark reality that millions of Americans face in today's economic cycle. We require new policies and programs to stimulate our economy to provide jobs and opportunities that will benefit all Americans. We should develop programs that will contribute to the bottom-line profits and allow all Americans to participate. We need to look at the effects of "out-sourcing" which has effectively eliminated huge numbers of jobs domestically that have gone overseas. While there are reasons and benefits for the push for globalization, the results have dramatically reduced the number of available jobs for Americans. With the closure of many manufacturing and service industries that cater to these facilities many people have been laid off and unable to find replacement job opportunities. In turn, their communities become severely impacted. When people lose jobs and can't find jobs, they spend less money and oftentimes will move out of their communities to areas where they can be gainfully employed. We have seen this create a "vacuum" in their communities where the loss of trade, revenues and people create communities that are less economically thriving and prosperous.

We need to analyze the effects of out-sourcing and determine new economic policies that will encourage "In-sourcing" or creation of new jobs and opportunities for our citizens. As skyrocketing fuel increases results in dramatic cost increases for transportation of goods from outsourced locations for import to their final consumer destination, companies will have to look at ways to reduce those costs. Our government should be looking at ways to provide incentives and programs to bring outsourced jobs back to the U.S. so that companies can be more competitive as well as increase employment for all Americans. With the plummeting drop in the value of the U.S. currency, we become more attractive for investors and companies to look internally within the U.S. to produce and manufacture more goods for both domestic and export uses.

It is imperative that as these economic policies are created, job creation is made available to all socio economic classes in our communities. As we embrace the exciting new "Green technology" developments and the demand for deployment of renewable sustainable "clean" technologies increases, new jobs and opportunities will emerge. We need to ensure that all our citizens including women and minorities equally participate in these new industries. That means that we will need to provide new education and training to prepare people for jobs in these industries. We must ensure that all the economic stimulus and incentive packages provided to corporations also require accountability from their part that they will provide new jobs and opportunities for all our citizens.

We plan to bring you information about these ongoing issues and discuss ways that we can influence change and support ways to make job creation a priority for our communities and government. We also plan to bring information to you about other economic related problems and issues that impact us all. We hope you will offer your ideas and suggestions on how to address these issues that we can provide to the appropriate audiences.

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As more attention is being paid to the threats of global warming and the climate crisis, we need to understand what the issues are relative to our immediate families and communities. We have all heard of the need to understand that the climate changes are forcing major changes in the way we live on this planet. However, the problem with many minorities and communities is that the way the discussion is presented or framed, doesn't relate directly to them. Policy people and organizations often appeal to consumers by talking about reducing our carbon footprint, or discussing ways to make sustainable energy sources a priority. They don't realize that in our communities, people are more concerned with making ends meet, getting their children the best education possible and getting employed than making conscientious choices that will preserve our planet's safety.

To many people who have to deal with their daily struggles to meet their basic needs of food, shelter, education and jobs, saving the planet is not their top priority. Instead, we have to learn to relate the importance and benefits of individuals getting involved with behaviors like turning the lights off when you leave a room, using minimal water while washing up or turning off the faucet is something that is simple and easy for everyone to do. They have to understand that modifying basic behavior is the first step to creating environmental consciousness. Everyone who lives in a house has to turn lights on and off. They use the water faucets several times during the day. They consume foods and materials that require packing materials that can be recycled for use that would save our planet's natural resources. We have to reinforce what our teachers are telling our children in school. Without reinforcement from the parents when the children come home, there is neither consistency nor attention paid to the issues.

In many minority communities, the issue of toxic dumps located close to their communities is of paramount importance and affects their daily health. In addition, educating minorities and women that toxic chemicals can be contained in products will help them to avoid using products that can endanger their children and families' long-term health. We need to tell them the problems caused when they are not paying attention to these issues.

If we do not care about the air we breathe, the water we drink, the chemicals in our food chain, then our children will suffer. They will be show us the effects of poor eating choices, lack of exercise, toxins in our food chain and toxins in materials in our homes that cause long-term health problems. Our children could be the first generation to suffer from debilitating diseases and pass away before their parents. Having children who are diabetic when they are 6 or 8 years old creates a serious health problem to our families, communities and nation. The economic and social effects of caring for children who are sick and chronically ill at such a young age will have lasting and profound effects on many levels.

As parents, caretakers and families, we have to pay attention and take care of these issues because they affect all aspects of our lives. We cannot choose to ignore our responsibilities. If we don't pay attention now, we will leave a planet that will offer far less opportunities for our children than what we experienced when we were growing up.

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