Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Univ. Study About Racism in Science

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A new study conducted by researchers at Old Dominion University has found that prospective teachers may not be well equipped to help students identify racism in science practice.

According to Jomo Mutegi, the study’s lead author, “These findings should be especially concerning for children of African descent whose communities suffer disproportionately from environmental toxins, food desserts, medical malpractice and other manifestations of racism in science practice.”

The study, which will soon be published by the Journal of Science Teacher Education, collected data from 64 preservice teachers surveyed over the course of 18 months. Among the findings, it showed that respondents viewed Western culture and science as being superior to non-Western culture and science and also viewed scientific advancement as one-sided, acknowledging its benefits but not recognizing actual or potential detriments. “If students go through life with na├»ve views of science, they are more likely to be harmed by the detriments that sometimes accompany scientific advancement,” said Demetrice Smith-Mutegi, the study’s second author.

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New Anjel App Turns Your Smart Phone Into A Bodycam When Confronted With Police 

James A. Samuel, Jr., is a Black veteran who has launched a new app called ANJEL Tech that turns any smartphone into the world’s most powerful bodycam during confrontations with the police. James said that he became tired of raising kids in a world that forces them to understand they’re unsafe in their skin before they even learn their ABCs.

In the past year, the world has been watching Derek Chauvin on trial for murder charges for the killing of George Floyd; seeing news about 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, getting pulled over by two police officers in Windsor, Virginia; and the killing of Daunte Wright at the hands of police. And these only are a few of too many stories of Black people being racially profiled and fearing for safety when being pulled over by police.

ANJEL Tech is an innovative solution to increase safety and peace of mind in the Black community. The app is secure, mobile, and cloud-based. James says that he created it because he’s passionate about preventing your loved ones from becoming another painful statistic. "Body cams can’t just be for police," he says. "So I created ANJEL Tech to enable a person’s phone to act as a body cam and a lifeline to loved ones to increase safety and accountability."

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While there is growing interest among many educators to provide more culturally responsive approaches across all subject areas, subjects like science and mathematics are especially challenging. However, racial disparity in people’s responses to the COVID pandemic and racial disparity in people affected by the Flint Water Crisis, are just two examples of the importance of drawing students’ attention to racial disparity as they learn science and mathematics.

Nicole Lewis, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of the Virgin Islands points out that, “Racism is a controversial topic that is easy to see in a subject like history. But we are not normally taught to think about controversy in science and mathematics.”

The authors hope that the study’s findings can be used by university professors to prepare prospective teachers to present science in a more balanced way to K-12 students. The original study was published online in February 2022.

Details About the Study:
Mutegi, J. W., Smith-Mutegi, D. & Lewis, N. (2022). Fostering critical perspectives of science among preservice elementary teachers: An empirical identification of affordances and hinderances. Journal of Science Teacher Education. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/1046560X.2021.2015531

About the Lead Author
Jomo W. Mutegi is an Associate Professor of Science Education at Old Dominion University and PI of Mutegi STEM Learning Lab. Dr. Mutegi’s research seeks to understand how STEM practice contributes to the current social condition of African people and how STEM learning can be used to improve that condition.

For press inquiries, contact Jomo W. Mutegi, Associate Professor at 757-683-3616 or jmutegi@odu.edu

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Help Save Black Men From Prostate Cancer

The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) is launching its "Prostate Cancer Disparity Rally" to address the growing prostate cancer crisis in Black America caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic increase in new prostate cancer cases.

Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths for Black men in the U.S. The disease also has the largest racial disparity for any type of cancer for men or women. The American Cancer Society recently released estimates that new cases of prostate cancer will increase by 30% in 2021.

This is more than ten times the increase for any other major cancer including lung, breast, and colorectal. "We are facing an unprecedented prostate cancer crisis in this country and Black men will be hit the hardest," says Thomas Farrington, PHEN Founder and President. “Our Disparity Rally will raise prostate cancer awareness throughout Black America, and provide educational resources and tools to help alleviate disparities in early detection, treatments, and clinical trials.”

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The Prostate Cancer Disparity Rally will kick-off in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia and expand nationwide throughout 2021. The Rally will include an awareness campaign with members of the U. S. Congressional Black Caucus, doctors, clergy, patients, and other leaders raising their voices through public service announcements that will be part of an integrated media outreach effort.

Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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