Vice President Mike Pence visits Hampton University’s Proton Therapy Institute

By Ayanna Maxwell | Hampton Script Editor-In-Chief

Photo Credit: Glenn Knight

Vice President Mike Pence visited Hampton University's Proton Therapy Institute on Feb. 19 to engage with students, faculty and HUPTI treatment survivors.

According to a news release from HU's Office of University Relations, the visit was arranged with the intentions of "supporting the University's efforts in providing state-of-the-art cancer research and delivering cancer treatment to military veterans and their families."

With it being Black History Month, Pence's visit to such a prestigious historically black university was extremely timely. Vice President Pence has established a fervent relationship with Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and even noted that President Harvey played a major role in the recently signed policy making federal funding for HBCUs permanent.

Photo Credit: Glenn Knight

"President Harvey has been a real champion of this administration, particularly for HBCUs," Pence said.

Vice President Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos participated in a roundtable discussion with various campus leaders: SGA President Jonathan Mack, SGA Vice President Bruce Wilson, Junior Class President Oshae Moore, Student Representative to the Board of Trustees Kenneth Rioland III, Hampton Script Editor-in-Chief Ayanna Maxwell and Miss Student Nursing Association Ebony Johnson. Among students and faculty, Vice President of Administrative Services Dr. Barbara Inman, Senior Vice President Attorney Paul Harris, and Chancellor and Provost Dr. JoAnn Haybsert were present.

"We think Hampton represents the best of HBCUs."

––Vice President Mike Pence

The vice president engaged in a meaningful discussion about the current administration's plans for supporting HBCUs and increasing White House internship and study abroad opportunities for HBCU students.

"[The current administration has] increased HBCU funding by 17% in real dollars...and restored Pell Grants to being year-round," Pence said. "The Department of Education also provided more than $500 million in loans for capital financing."

DeVos also mentioned a new addition to the recent budget proposal, in which there is "a STEM initiative for HBCUs located in opportunity zones."

In regards to expanding White House internship opportunities, Pence plans to continue connecting with HBCUs in order to increase participation in White House internship programs. The current administration also plans to ensure that all students have access to the resources necessary to pursue an education abroad. "We are working to make college more affordable for all students, no matter where they come from," Sec. DeVos said.

For more on this story, go to Hampton Script.

Hampton commit receives McDonald’s All-American nomination

By Amber Anderson | Hampton Script Staff Writer

The vision is clear and bright for Hampton University commit Victoria Davis, as she is one step closer to becoming a McDonald's All-American athlete. Davis is living out a dream of many high school athletes. Along with more than 900 other high school basketball players across the country, she has been nominated for the McDonald's All-American Game.

Photo Credit: @chapternextphotography via Instagram

The McDonald's All-American Game has maintained a reputation for a difficult selective process. The names of the athletes have to be submitted and approved by a wide variety of judges. They include high school coaches, high school athletic directors, high school principals and McDonald's All-American Games Selection Committee Members. What surprises people the most is there isn't a set number on the amount of the nominees throughout the country.

Once the voting committees cast their vote, 24 young women will have the opportunity to become a McDonald's All-American. If selected, she will be playing with some of the best of the best on April 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

For more on this story, visit Hampton Script.

Same script, different cast: How mainstream award shows continuously snub Black artists

By Jordan Sheppard | Hampton Script Staff Writer

"For years we've allowed institutions that have never had our best interests to judge us, and that stops right now. I am officially starting a clock. Y'all got 365 days to get this together," said Diddy as he accepted the Clive Davis Icon Award, at Clive Davis' annual Pre-Grammy Gala.

Outraged by the treatment of black artists by the award show, the three-time Grammy winner threatened to boycott if the Recording Academy doesn't seek to make change within the next year.

Coming just days after the Recording Academy's former CEO and President, Deborah Dugan, had alleged that the Grammys' nomination system is rigged, the award show has begun to take a lot of heat.

Tyler, the Creator, who took home the trophy for Best Rap Album for his LP Igor, also had a few words on the treatment of black artists.

In a backstage interview, Tyler stated that while he was grateful for the award, he does not appreciate how the Grammys always place black artists in "rap or urban categories" no matter how "genre-bending" their records are.

For more on this story, visit Hampton Script.

Hampton University SGA hosts second annual student-led town hall

By Allyson Edge | Hampton Script Staff Writer

The Hampton University Student Government Association on Feb. 29 hosted its second annual student-led town hall in the Student Center Ballroom.

Specifically, the event was led by the student body president, vice president, student representative to the Board of Trustees and each class president. The idea of the student-led town hall serves as an open dialogue between SGA and the students whom they represent.

Throughout the event, students had the opportunity to come up to the microphone and pose inquiries or make suggestions. Members of the student government requested that students in the audience be transparent and utilize this platform to communicate in a respectful manner. Some of the concerns raised by students included: fire safety within certain buildings; student parking, specifically in the lots in between White and Holmes Hall; 24-hour co-ed study areas; adequate resident assistant compensation; gourmet bucks increase; and modernization of the business professional dress code, especially for women. Students also proposed making a printer available in each resident hall and having dorm fees applied to printer supplies.

For more on this story, visit Hampton Script.

HU’s Young emerges as one of the Big South’s best freshmen

By Harrington Gardiner | Hampton Script Staff Writer

Despite accomplishing so many achievements and receiving so many awards this season, Nylah Young has one goal in mind: a championship for the Lady Pirates.

The freshman's season so far has included winning the Big South conference freshman player of the week. Young has been averaging 15.3 PPG, 11 Reb and 2.3 steals this season.

Nylah is from Suffolk, Virginia with an undecided major. She's been playing basketball since she was six years old. Young played AAU basketball and she also played all four years of high school basketball at Kings Fork High School.

Photo Credit: Jim Heath / Director of Sports Information

Since a young age, Young has been inspired by three basketball players: Candice Parker, LeBron James and most importantly her father. Nylah's dad played overseas after playing at the University of Maryland and East Carolina.

"He's been my inspiration because he's been playing all his life too, so I wanted to play since I was young, and it just stuck with me," Young said.

The decision to attend Hampton University came from her desire to be closer to home. Hampton also had a family atmosphere that was unlike any other school.

"When you go other places they pretend, but I felt like when I came here, I was treated like real family," she said. "[Hampton's] basketball program is great and I decided to go someplace where I'd fit in and become a threat as soon as I get there."

For more on this story, visit Hampton Script here.

Hampton University Concert Choir Presents MLK Jr. Freedom Choral Concert Series

By Allyson Edge | Hampton Script Staff Writer

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Hampton University Concert Choir in conjunction with the Elizabeth City State University Concert Choir hosted a MLK Jr. Freedom Choral Concert Series Jan. 19 in Ogden Hall.

The angelic voices of each choir filled the room with sounds of hope, faith and freedom. A few of the songs on the set list were, "Hear My Prayer" by Moses Hogan, "All My Trials" by Norman Luboff, "I Want to Die Easy" arranged by Roland M. Carter and "Let All the World in Every Corner Sing" by Ryan Murphy. Given the titles of these pieces, the message of the concert is appropriately executed.

According to first-year Hampton student and biology pre-med major, Brevyn Belfield, the African American hymns and "negro spirituals denote a story about black culture, black history and what African Americans dealt with."

For more on this story, visit Hampton Script here.

Bahamian student settles in at HU

By Sydney N. Shuler

Krishona Minis glided into the Hampton University cafeteria for Saturday brunch as if she'd been doing it for weeks. She had dressed in a mid-morning brunch outfit that is quite familiar on HU's campus: a sweater over a tank top, casual cotton shorts and hot pink Crocs on her feet.

She started to make her way to the dining room but stopped abruptly to look down at her iPhone. Five seconds later, I received a text:

Can you send me a picture? I forgot how you look.

I responded, Short. Bald. Blonde.

She looked up from the glowing screen and smiled while walking toward me.

"Good morning," she said in a soft, but distinguishable Bahamian accent.

She arrived from the University of the Bahamas-North on September 24 following the destruction of Hurricane Dorian. Eighteen-year-old Minnis is a sophomore business management major from Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas, and a new student at Hampton University. Over a breakfast burrito and a plate of bacon, eggs and potatoes, we discussed her life's most recent drastic changes.

"I'm not nervous about anything, actually," she said. "I'm really excited about this opportunity. I feel like I belong here because everybody treats me like I'm from here."

It helps that Minnis arrived at Hampton with 46 Bahamian peers. She admits that she did not know all of them.

"I'm meeting new people, too," she said. "I'm getting to know them, which is pretty easy because we went to the same school together; I've probably seen them before and just didn't know their name."

As we talked, Minnis showed me photos of her home country before and after the storm.

"From the plane you could see tha the trees were dry because of the salt water. Usually from high up you can just see green [trees], but when I was on the plane it was brown and I could see the houses that were destroyed."

The Bahamas before and after Hurricane Dorian. Photos by Krishona Minnis.

"I never imagined that I'd be in a situation like this because we normally have hurricanes, but we never flood," she said. "Because of the surges, most of the island got flooded. My area didn't get flooded, but poles and trees still got knocked down, and a few houses had some damage, like broken windows."

She said that, as the hurricane started to pick up speed and force, her mother sent her to stay with a family member farther inland, where she lost contact with family and friends for days.

"It got crowded because my other family's house got flooded, so they had to come there, too," she said. "I didn't see my daddy until four days after... I couldn't check on him at all because the signal was down."

Krishona Minnis hopes that coming to HU will help her return to life before Dorian, where she played high school sports, cooked Caribbean food, traveled with family and friends and worked toward her goal of being an entrepreneur.

I'm hopeful for her, too.

Opinion: There should be no deadline for women’s rights

By Sydney N. Shuler

Type "Women's Right's 2019" in Google, and the first three results consist of new forms of internet violence against women, a victory over child marriage in Tanzania and the fact that women's rights are still not explicitly recognized in the United States.

The last search result summarizes a more than 200-year-long battle of American women fighting for equal rights by trying to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution. Abortion laws, the #MeToo Movement and the first female presidential candidates have brought the amendment back into coffee houses and dinner conversations. The state of Virginia may hold the key to a society where men and women are finally equal under the law.

Virginia's transfer of power from Republicans to Democrats on Nov. 5 changed history forever. When federal judges drew a new House of Delegates district map that revised the boundaries of more than 26 districts, many House races in the state were more equally paired than ever before, which gave Virginia citizens the opportunity to vote for representatives likely to pass the ERA.

Virginia lawmakers did just that Jan. 15 by voting 59-40 in the house and 28-12 in the Senate to pass the ERA. Women wearing sashes saying "Equal Rights for Women," some with their daughters, looked down from the gallery, anxiously anticipating their equality. The measure was ratified Jan. 27.

When American women's rights activist Alice Paul introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, she said, "If we keep on this way, they will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1848 [Seneca Falls] Convention without being much further advanced in equal rights than we are...," according to EqualRightsAmendment.org.

Almost 50 years after Paul spoke those words, Congress passed the ERA in 1972, which declared that the rights affirmed by the U.S. Constitution are held equally by all citizens without regard to their sex. When the amendment fell eight votes short of the 38 votes necessary to ratify the amendment, Congress extended the deadline to 1979, and again to 1982. Once the second deadline rolled around, the ERA was only three votes away from ratification. From that day, conservatives who fought against equal rights declared the ERA dead.

After 15 years of sitting in the same place with the same number of votes, two more states voted to ratify the constitution via the ERA. Now, Virginia's vote may unite 168.3 million women in the U.S. with their equal rights to men. The next step is an extended legal fight to enforce the amendment in light of questions about the legitimacy of five states rescinding their ratification and the expiration of the deadline.

How is it that women have been fighting the same civil war for 200 years and there has not been more urgency to be equal? When Alice Paul first proposed the ERA, conservative female groups like the Concerned Women for America and the Eagle Forum feared that the ERA would threaten traditional gender roles, family and child-rearing and feared that women would lose their exemption from the draft and combat duty.

During World War II, women had no choice but to become equal to the men who left to fight in the war. America welcomed women with open arms in to the workforce in all aspects: politics, juries, math, technology, manual labor, and other male-dominated areas. Inequality returned when the troops returned home in 1945 after the war's end, and women reassumed their prior roles as "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen." When Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election, outlets such as CNN Politics and The Atlantic published opinion pieces stating that America was afraid of female leadership. Peter Beinart, a writer for The Atlantic, wrote, "Given the anxieties that powerful women provoke, it's not surprising that both men and women judge them more harshly than they judge powerful men."

After Clinton's unpredictable loss, the general public was convinced that the United States was not socially ready to trust a woman in the White House. Female members of Congress such as The Squad – consisting of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – make it clear that the issue with women who lead is not necessarily in the way that they lead, but solely in the fact that they are women. If you were silenced for 200 years, wouldn't you come out swinging, too?

Once again, the question occurs – this time more bluntly: how is it reasonable to wait 200 years for a group of people to be ready to properly acknowledge another group of people?

The women's rush to the work place during World War II should have been enough indication that women are ready and willing to step up and be equal. With little preparation and training time, women managed to take the places of their fathers, brothers, uncles and husbands to keep the economy afloat, all the while caring for their families.

The idea of women has expanded far beyond a pretty face and a pay gap. Women are an active and necessary demographic in America's economy. According to Catalyst.org, women make up 46.9 percent of the U.S. workforce and still only receive a pay of 68 cents to a white man's dollar.

Each state asked to ratify the ERA is home to a percentage of the 168 million women in America. Each of these states maintains a responsibility its people, thus women who are fighting for their rights. The stagnation of the ERA is the result of a society tightly gripping its control. American women are not having it.

Photo courtesy of www.EqualRightsAmendment.org

Hampton University's Efforts to Change the Stigmas Around Mental Health

By Alazja Kirk

At a time when people are becoming more aware of the importance of mental health, the fields of psychology and counseling are not meeting the mental health needs of African Americans in the United States. Hampton University's faculty and students are analyzing the problem and preparing to make a difference.

The inner-cultural stigmas that keep people from seeking help include racial stereotypes and a history of abuse by medical providers that breeds mistrust in patients. In some cases, generations of poverty have left a legacy of mental health issues and a lack of ability to determine when to seek help.

Also, only 6.2 percent of psychologists and 12.6 percent of social workers are people of color, according to the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI). Hampton wants to increase the number of African Americans working in the field.

"If we aren't able to address those pressing problems as mental health care providers, how can we expect minority groups to ask for our help?" said Dr. Kevin Tarlow, a Hampton University professor.

For the past seven years, 10 percent of Hampton University's student population has been psychology students. At least 60 to 70 percent of the students attend graduate school. There are nine faculty members in the Department of Psychology, who partner with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which allows students to experience hands-on patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and other conditions.

African American patients tend to feel more comfortable about therapy when seeing African American psychologists. While improved results are challenging to quantify, African Americans report being more comfortable seeing a professional who comes from the same cultural background as they do and say they are more likely to seek help from a black doctor, according to Harvard Business Review.

Theoretically, the color of someone's skin should not determine a psychologist's effectiveness or empathy. However, many students in Tarlow's fall class think there is an implicit feeling of having a connection if they walk into a therapist's office and see that they are also African American. Students agreed that they feel that way themselves.

"When you have someone that looks like you, you can relate to them better," one student said. "You can build a relationship with your therapist and, in turn, that will help you out more."

But that requires getting patients in the door. And, experts say that's where the problem starts. Forty percent of African-Americans are more likely to experience more mental health issues than the general population and are less likely to seek help, according to The Office of Minority Health.

"It's almost as if we're in denial, as if we can't have something wrong with us," said Brianna Robinson, a senior psychology major. Problems that emerge as children, if not dealt with, can get worse and be more detrimental, she said.

African American children and youth in impoverished environments are often exposed to violence, and they are more likely to suffer the loss of a loved one, to be victimized, to attend substandard schools, and suffer from abuse and neglect. In turn, they usually encounter too few opportunities for safe, organized recreation and other constructive outlets, according to The National Research Council.

Mental health issues aren't considered to be medical issues within the African American Community, but are interpreted as character flaws, signs of weakness, or personal problems that can be overcome.

"It can be very much like pray about your problems or pretend they don't exist. Meanwhile, we're just continuing to suffer," said Dr. Kristie Norwood, director of the Counseling Center.

Social stigmas against mental health play a significant role in discouraging African Americans from seeking help. Norwood is working to normalize the idea of seeking mental health treatment. She believes that it isn't something a person should be ashamed or afraid of doing. Norwood's passion for psychology came from wanting to help people who look like her, something the program emphasizes.

"We have to change the stigma to be open to talking about it and get the necessary help," said Autumn Griffin, a senior psychology major. "A lot of people feel that if they have a mental illness, they are crazy. That's not what mental health is."

Dr. Kermit Crawford, psychologist and chair of Hampton University's psychology department, thinks some African Americans are less likely to seek help because they aren't educated about mental health.

"When I was growing up, I didn't think about seeing anyone as a therapist. There weren't any therapists in my community," Crawford said. "I didn't know anyone who would say they are seeing a therapist because they didn't want to be looked on as weak or not fit for what they are doing."

To change the stigma, psychologists have to look at why the stigma exists in the first place.

"Sometimes the outcomes are different, not because the illness is different, but because the health care system can't provide care in a non-discriminatory way," Tarlow said.

In many cases, minority groups aren't able to afford health care options that aren't going to discriminate against them.

"Even when different groups have the same amount of stress or illness, we have to look at what the access to care is like for those groups," Tarlow said. "Can they access affordable, quality mental health care that works for them?"

The cost of mental health resources is not only less accessible in some communities, but it can also be a financial burden. In 2005, Crawford worked with victims and evacuees of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Later, he worked in Massachusetts, where two planeloads of Hurricane Katrina evacuees came.

He remembers speaking to one patient who said: "I first have to get my life together. I have to get my family together. I have to get my housing together. I have to get my employment together. I'll have my mental break down later."

Hampton University's psychology department faculty have science-oriented and diverse backgrounds, Norwood said. As a new member of the faculty, she was thrilled to see how invested the staff is in their students during their undergraduate career and preparing them for graduate school.

As part of that initiative, the faculty is working on project grants that could help students spend time in real-world psychological patient environments.

Hampton University has continuously made strides to help people in the Hampton Roads area who need to talk about their mental health. The first chair of the department was Kenneth Clark, who conducted the Doll Study, which looked at the psychological effects of segregation on African American children. Clark and his wife, Mamie Clark, used four dolls, identical except for color, to test children's racial perceptions.

Some years later, the "father of black psychology," Reginald Jones, became chair of the department.

"We've educated a lot of students over time. We try to encourage students to continue their education in psychology and go to therapy," Crawford said.

Hampton University's psychology students are trained to be graduate students during their time in the program. Students have the option to take a few different avenues; some students go on to become licensed clinical psychologists or enter into a master's degree program. Some students focus more on social work, which allows them to become a licensed clinical social worker.

Psychologists pride themselves on the ability to pay it forward and help those who seek help. For instance, Crawford believes he is doing God's work.

"The gift that I was given, I feel like I'm giving back," he said.

PSYCHOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS

Hampton University is home to many organizations that welcome students who have a passion for psychology in the African American community. The Psychology Club provides many opportunities for its members through social interaction, community service, and panel discussions.

The organization also sponsors a variety of activities throughout the school year, including volunteering at local shelters and nursing homes, fundraising for charities, campus speakers, and interactive movie nights.

Psi Chi is the International Honor Society at Hampton University. The mission of this prestigious organization is to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship in efforts to advance the science of psychology. Members Psi Chi work together to initiate community service projects, host seminars and continuously aim to improve the organization's mission.

Leila Steinberg Highlights 4th Annual Hampton University Film Festival

By By Malcolm Carter

Inspired by managing Tupac, 20 years after his violent death, Leila Steinberg (pictured below with Tupac) is finally trying to make their dreams come true by diverting young black men from the prison pipeline.

Steinberg was part of the Hampton University Film Festival (HUFF), appearing Nov. 12 and 13 on panels about emotional literacy and prison reform.

Using panel discussions, master classes and film screenings, the film festival delved deeply into black identity in America today. Themes included race, social justice, prison reform and the need for more black leadership.

Steinberg, a filmmaker and former manager of Tupac Shakur, highlighted a long list of some of Hollywood's best.

Steinberg is also an educator and founder of AIM4TheHeART, a nonprofit that is committed to aiding at-risk youth in finding their voices by teaching the importance of emotional literacy and proper writing techniques.

Steinberg held a master class Nov. 13, telling the story of how she started in the music industry and eventually become Tupac's manager.

"I met him at one of my poetry classes, and I was immediately struck at how talented and professional he was to only be 17 years old," Steinberg said. "He was able to put his feelings and thoughts on paper in a way that everyone could understand. Black, white, young or old, it didn't matter."

Tupac lived with Steinberg and her family for a short time, and she credits this relationship with becoming a better mother to her own children, who identified more with their's father's African-American heritage than with her Jewish one.

"He taught me about the important job I had in raising black children even though I wasn't black myself," Steinberg said. "He wanted them to embrace their heritage in a world that will judge them solely based on the color of their skin."

Steinberg and Shakur would seem to have nothing in common, but according to Steinberg, they shared the same passion for music, education and racial equality.

With her connections in the film industry coupled with Tupac's unique music style, the two would begin to gain traction across the West Coast.

She managed and mentored Shakur until he outgrew her, she said.

He went on to become one of the most influential rap artists in history and has held onto this title even after his death in 1996. Shakur was gunned down at a red light in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 13. His death was a shock to the music industry because he was only 25 years old and on his way to becoming one of the greatest artists of his time.

In addition to the great music they created, Steinberg and Shakur started The Microphone Sessions, a writing workshop that focuses on creating a free space for spoken word, poetry, singing and drama.

"The best way to positively impact the minds of youth is to first touch the heart," Steinberg said.

As the program facilitator, Steinberg sees confronting pain as the best way to move past it. She believes self-awareness is key to making better choices.

Weekly gatherings are held worldwide, led by educators trained by Steinberg. Aside from the microphone sessions, arguably some of Steinberg's most important work over the past 25 years has been her teaching inmates at San Quentin prison, through the No More Tears program.

The program was founded by inmates at San Quentin in 2002 to combat the rise of violent crime in Oakland and to reduce the recidivism rates of black men.

Like the AIM program, No More Tears provides a safe space for inmates to talk about their feelings.

The prison system nationwide has failed to provide avenues for inmates to express themselves and to work on becoming better citizens once they return to society, Steinberg said.

Steinberg is also working on a short documentary on the program.

"The goal of this documentary is to promote what people of color in America are going through," Steinberg said. "It's about reaching those people who don't go through these struggles to help bridge the gap."

Since 2004, more than 1,000 men have completed the program.

Steinberg would like to see the entire prison industrial complex abolished, she said.

"Prison is supposed to be a place where you learn from your mistakes and get help to become a functioning citizen in society, but instead, prisoners are left in cages for years to rot," Steinberg said. "This cycle needs to be broken."

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