Famous Friday!


Dean Cain

Dean Cain

(Japanese, French Canadian, Irish, Welsh)

Dean Cain is an actor best known for his role as Superman/Clark Kent in “Lois & Clark: The New adventures of Superman.

His mother, actress Sharon Thomas Cain, married his adoptive father, director Christopher Cain; when Dean was three. Though he grew up in Malibu and attended Santa Monica High School, his career plans favored professional football over acting. While at Princeton, he completed a history major, dated Brooke Shields for two years, and set an NCAA record for interceptions in a season. After signing with the Buffalo Bills, a knee injury ended his pro career before it began. Though he had already played a part in his father’s The Stone Boy (1984), he went through the usual route of commercials and tv-parts (notably, Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990) in 1990) before landing his break-through role as Superman/Clark Kent in the series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman(1993).


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Be in a MOVIE!

Be in a new movie and save a life! Please help support My Last Christmas.
Click here to see the trailer! Be in a movie!


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The Multiracial Movie!

We are part of an exciting new project–a movie about a multiracial teen who needs a bone marrow donor match! Please go to this link and read all about it!

Christmas Poster Final

Medical Monday



All his life, Neil Schwartzman searched for his biological family. He was adopted in 1960 at 10 days old, and he never knew where he came from. At first, he looked for answers by going to social services in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec, and trying to access adoption records. “There was nothing in the file,” he said. ”Everything I did ended up being a dead end.” As he approached middle age, in 2008, he had just about given up. That’s when he heard about the direct-to-consumer genetic testing service 23andMe.

Unlike previous inquiries about his origins, this one occurred at the molecular level. He spit in a tube and sent it off to 23andMe’s California headquarters for analysis. For about $100, they sent back information about his genealogy (biological relatives), ancestry (lineage and geographic origins), and — this was before a 2013 Food and Drug Administration crackdown — his health, including genetic predispositions for various diseases and behavioral traits. Schwartzman said he didn’t expect much from his foray into personal DNA testing. He just signed up “as a last-ditch effort to try to get some medical information for myself.”

In early May 2011, several years after enrolling, he was pleasantly surprised: an email arrived from another anonymous 23andMe user saying she thought Schwartzman might be a half-brother.

The 23andMe website prompted him with a question about whether he wanted to find out more about the nature of their DNA relationship. He consented. Soon, he said, “We began to realize that my mother had a baby that she never disclosed to anyone.” That baby was Schwartzman. “The whole thing was swept under the rug until — fast forward 50, 51 years ahead — and there I am.”

Because of this “technological magic,” as Schwartzman put it, he was reunited with his family with more ease than any other search he had undertaken. He was able to fulfill that deep, universal longing we all have to understand our origins.

“It was nice to finally share this commonality with the rest of the world. It was very emotionally satisfying.”

Within a few weeks, he flew to California to meet his older sister, Jolie Pearl. They had their first meeting in a crowded restaurant in San Francisco’s theater district. They were the first ones at the restaurant, and they talked until the place closed. During that same visit, on an emotional day he will never forget, he was reunited with his biological mother in Oakland, California. On the way there, he asked his sister what kind of flower his mom would like. They decided on a potted orchid.

His mother, who was already confused with dementia, gave Schwartzman a book, “a random gift she pulled up at last minute,” he said. “It certainly wasn’t a typical reunion you see on TV, where the music swells up and everyone is carried away on gossamer wings.” Still, he said, “It was the welcome completion of a quest I had had for 50 years. It confirmed that I wasn’t placed on the earth by aliens, that I had a mother.”  

The reunion went well enough that the family met again, once in California and once in Montreal. “It was nice to finally share this commonality with the rest of the world,” Schwartzman said. “It was very emotionally satisfying.”

At the time, Schwartzman and Pearl were the poster children for 23andMe’s “DNA relatives” program. Their story — and a picture of them staring at each other at a fork in a railway track — is still featured on the company web page about adoptees. They were, it seemed, among the many now finding family and having joyful reunions as a result of personal genetic testing. “It was the start of a relationship,” 23andMe writes of Schwartzman’s discovery. Then, Schwartzman hailed 23andMe as “an example of the miracle of modern science.” Pearl called the reunion “the best thing.”

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Project RACE Teens

Project RACE Teen volunteers in 9/11 National Day of Service.

Project RACE strides everyday to make a difference in the world, and what better way to 
honor that belief than to participate in our nation's Day of Service. This year
PR Teen members, including Joey and myself, volunteered for Hope Worldwide, 
which is an organization that has been helping rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. 
On the two year anniversary of the storm they will present the homeowners with artwork to 
hang on their walls. This would likely be the last thing to replaced.

I feel 9/11 is a perfect day to bring out Project RACE Teen volunteers. 
It is a day to celebrate heroes, people who chose to make a difference, any way they can. 
I am proud to be a part of Project  RACE  which has been making a difference for 23 years.

Tommy McManus, Project RACE Teen President

Get Ready!


Exciting things are happening at Project RACE! Watch for BeMe by Bree beginning on Workout Wednesday, November 17th.


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Photoshopped Biracial Woman

    • A Biracial Woman Asked Designers Around The World To Make Her ‘Beautiful’ Using Photoshop

  • original before and after part 2 photoshop

    Back in June, freelance journalist Esther Honig had her face Photoshopped by artists in 19 countries, and the results went viral.

    Honig had used an online freelancing platform called Fiverr to send her photo to graphic designers all over the world with the simple request to make her look more “beautiful.”

    Her close college friend, Priscilla Yuki Wilson, an actor and radio journalist, just released her own set of manipulated images, and they are just as fascinating.

    Wilson, who is biracial with a Japanese mother and black father, asked the designers from countries around the world to use Photoshop to make her “beautiful.” The portraits were drastically different from Honig’s.

    “In contrast to Honig’s results, where her face became a canvas to express more than a dozen contrasting beauty standards, I found that my face actually challenged the application of Photoshop in this instance,” Wilson explained on her personal website. “As a biracial women there is no standard of beauty or mold that can easily fit my face.”

    Even so, the 22 portraits she received from countries around the world showcase the differing perspectives of what “beautiful” really means. In some countries, more than one artist submitted a portrait.Here is Wilson’s original image, shot by photographer Che Landon.





    European Union


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Teachers of Color

We Need Teachers of Color


School demographics in the United States are changing rapidly as students become more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and spoken language. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education predicted a historic first: This fall, a majority of public school students will be children of color. At the same time, our country’s teacher workforce remains remarkably stagnant, with little change in teacher diversity rates over the past decade. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES, show that between 2003 to 2011, the percentage of public school teachers of color inched up from just under 17 percent to 18 percent.

Nationally, organizations such as the Center for American Progress, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute have made teacher diversity an essential priority. In our home city, the Boston public school system recently renewed its efforts to raise the number of teachers of color by at least 35 percent—a goal it has pursued since the city’s busing crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. Boston, which has long been a minority-majority school district, now has 87 percent students of color; and 75 percent of all students receive free or reduced-price lunch.

Like Boston, almost all urban districts across the country strive to meet workforce-diversity goals. Many have launched regional and national recruitment campaigns, while fewer have collaborated with alternative teacher-education programs to expand the teacher-of-color pipeline. It’s true that recruiting, preparing, and hiring more teachers of color is essential for improving educational experiences for children. But districts must also find ways to keep these teachers. Sadly, retention has proven to be an even greater challenge than recruitment and preparation.

“Teachers and police officers need to reflect the communities they serve.”

Moreover, in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown, an African-American teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson Mo., and the multiple protests, workplace diversity and retention has taken on a heightened significance. Families and students from minority-majority communities and school districts have intensified calls for greater representation of minorities in civic, law-enforcement, and education professions. In other words, teachers and police officers need to reflect the communities they serve and maintain a deep affinity for and with their children and citizens. Diversity-employment policies, diversity training, and even the election of an African-American president are not enough. Until there is a shift in the workforce to match the overall shift in population demographics, racism and racial tension will remain a strong current in this country.

NCES data show that in 2011, 48 percent of the nation’s K-12 public school students were of color, while only 18 percent of their teachers were, resulting in a 30-percentage-point gap in national teacher-student diversity. In urban school districts, this gap is typically wider. In Boston, for example, it is closer to 50 percentage points.

More research is needed on the correlation between teachers of color and the academic performance of their students. But studies by Betty Achinstein and Rodney Ogawa from the University of California, Santa Cruz, suggest that reducing this gap by increasing the presence of minority teachers in K-12 schools can have a positive impact on the achievement and retention of minority students. Having teachers who more accurately reflect the population of their classrooms results in a number of benefits to students and the school community, including culturally based instruction and higher student expectations. These teachers can also serve in the role of cultural mediators and advocates, helping to counter negative stereotypes and strengthening a district’s human capital.

Several notable efforts are underway to recruit and prepare teachers of color for urban schools. Since 2004, the Urban Teacher Enhancement Program, a partnership between the University of Alabama at Birmingham and three urban districts in the metropolitan area, has recruited 20 to 30 candidates a year for area schools. Approximately 70 percent of the program’s participants are African-American.

Since 2009, Teach Tomorrow in Oakland, a partnership program in California, has recruited local residents—83 percent of whom are candidates of color—to complete alternative teacher-certification programs and commit to at least five years of teaching in that city’s public schools. And over the past five years, Wheelock College (with which we are both affiliated), the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the Boston Teacher Residency have partnered with the Boston district on a federal Teacher Quality Partnership grant to expand the teachers-of-color pipeline. To date, this partnership has recruited and trained 184 teachers of color for Boston classrooms.

As a result of these and many similar alternative teacher-education efforts, including those of Teach For America and the teacher group known as TNTP, the number of teachers of color is growing at a faster rate than that of white teachers. In fact, between 1988 and 2008, the number of teachers of color increased by 96 percent, compared with a 41 percent increase in white teachers, according to researchers Richard M. Ingersoll and Henry May.

But how do we retain our teachers of color? According to the NCES, the turnover rate among all teachers in their first through third years is approximately 23 percent. For teachers of color, attrition rates are equally concerning. So much so that Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. May refer to this retention problem as “the revolving door.”

The reasons for attrition among teachers of color vary. Many dislike the idea of top-down management and minimal faculty input, which they encounter particularly in urban, low-income schools. Some face isolation. Others are cast in stereotyped roles. For example, school administrators and teacher colleagues often ask male teachers of color to serve as school disciplinarians, with the assumption that they are better suited to “handle” students of color.

Boston is committed to addressing the attrition problem head-on. With a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Wheelock College Aspire Institute, a national center whose mission is to improve education and social policy and practice, is collaborating with the Boston schools to launch a fellowship program for teachers of color in the next three years. The initiative will enhance the professional experience of 20 new teachers—in their second to fifth years—by fostering supportive, culturally responsive work environments in collaboration with school principals; connecting them with retired educators of color who will serve as mentors; developing cross-school support networks to decrease isolation; and offering professional, leadership, and self-advocacy skills training.

Source: Education Week

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It’s Bree!

Click on the link to see Bree’s introduction!

Movie on 9-8-14 at 11.41 AM #2





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Oldest Interracial Newlyweds

Edith Hill, Eddie Harrison marriage questioned; elderly newlyweds could face legal problems

September 9, 2014 by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

This photo taken Aug. 5, 2014 shows 96-year-old

(AP) — In some ways, Rebecca Wright doesn’t understand all the fuss over her 96-year-old mother’s recent marriage. After all, she says, “Anybody who wants to get married must have a little dementia.”

The courts, though, and some of Wright’s other relatives aren’t amused. And the future for newlyweds Edith Hill, 96, and Eddie Harrison, 95, is very much uncertain.

The two have been companions for more than a decade after a Hollywood-style meet-cute — they struck up a conversation while standing in line for lottery tickets, with one of the tickets turning into a $2,500 winner. They married earlier this year, with a 95-year-old church elder presiding over the ceremony, no less.

“I guess I wanted company,” Hill said in an interview, explaining why she married. “I wanted somebody I could help, and they could help me. … We were both single. My husband was gone. His wife was gone. We became the best of friends.”

Robin Wright, Hill’s granddaughter, said the relationship is more romantic than Hill’s explanation allows.

“You catch them kissing all the time,” she said. “They’re actually in love. Really in love. … I know he’s part of the reason she gets up every morning.”

Legally, though, the wedding has been problematic. Hill has been declared legally incapacitated for several years. A judge said at a hearing earlier this month that he believes Wright — co-guardian over her mother along with a sister who opposed the marriage — acted improperly by taking her mother to get married without the court’s permission.

Cary Cuccinelli, representing the sister who opposed the marriage, Patricia Barber, said at a hearing earlier this month that the wedding occurred without other family members’ knowledge, and that it complicated the matter of how to eventually distribute Hill’s estate, which includes property on the edge of Old Town Alexandria, worth about $475,000, according to real estate assessments.

“Legally, Mr. Harrison now has a right to a portion of Ms. Hill’s estate,” she told the judge, saying it also complicates decisions over who will care for Hill, and where she will live.

While the judge, James Clark, found the marriage to have been improper, he also worried that breaking up the couple could “create a circumstance in Ms. Hill’s life that she doesn’t deserve.”

Clark ended up removing Wright and Barber as Hill’s guardians, and appointing a lawyer, Jessica Niesen, instead. The judge instructed Niesen “to investigate the marriage and take all actions appropriate and reasonable to protect the best interests of Edith Hill.”

Niesen, in a phone interview, said she is still gathering facts and has an upcoming appointment to meet Hill and Harrison. While there are numerous issues to be sorted out, including questions about inheritance and where the couple will live, she would just as soon let the marriage continue.

“I see no reason to break this couple up, if there is no harm,” she said. One solution might be a postnuptial agreement preventing Harrison from inheriting Hill’s estate.

Niesen said that if she finds that the marriage is not in Hill’s best interest, she has the authority to pursue a divorce or possibly an annulment on Hill’s behalf.

Wright said she remained concerned authorities would try to break up the marriage. She also opposes a postnuptial agreement, saying the marriage should be respected just as any other.

The interracial aspect of their marriage is unique as well. She is black and he is white. In fact, the longtime Virginians would not have been allowed to marry if they had met in their 20s or 30s or 40s, given Virginia’s law banning interracial marriages at the time.

Wright says she has concluded after doing some research through Guinness Book of World Records that the two are likely the nation’s oldest interracial newlyweds.

Edith Hill, for her part, doesn’t give the interracial aspect of her marriage too much thought, despite the fact that for half of her life it would have been illegal.

Asked about the old laws barring interracial marriage, she said, “That’s done away with, isn’t it?”

For now, the two live together in Annandale, with Rebecca and Robin Wright helping care for them. Rebecca Wright said the two do a good job taking care of each other — his hearing is not great, and her vision is not great. They dance, listen to music and take walks, which has improved their health.

And Rebecca Wright said the companionship two people of the same age provide each other can’t be underestimated.

“They can talk about things that nobody else knows about,” she said.

Eddie Harrison said he and Hill never fight, and they both understood what getting married would mean.

“The first time I married I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said. “I was 18. She was 26. Two weeks later I wanted a divorce.”