In 2013, a funeral director who had been known as Anthony Stephens wrote to colleagues at a Michigan funeral home, asking for patience and support.

“What I must tell you is very difficult for me and is taking all the courage I can muster,” the letter said. “I have felt imprisoned in a body that does not match my mind, and this has caused me great despair and loneliness.”

“I will return to work as my true self, Aimee Australia Stephens, in appropriate business attire,” she wrote. “I hope we can continue my work at R. G. and G. R. Harris Funeral Homes doing what I always have, which is my best!”

Ms. Stephens had worked there for six years. Her colleagues testified that she was able and compassionate.

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New research released Tuesday from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) found that “misguided admissions practices” and inequality in funding are splitting the public higher education system into two separate and unequal tracks.

The report, “Our Separate & Unequal Public Colleges: How Public Colleges Reinforce White Racial Privilege and Marginalize Black and Latino Students,” stated that the elite, public four-year colleges do not represent the populations they are supposed to serve, in part because of their reliance on standardized testing.

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The highest African American unemployment rate is in the District of Columbia at 12.4 percent, while the highest white unemployment rate is in West Virginia at 5.0 percent.

In the third quarter of 2018, African American workers had the highest unemployment rate nationally, at 6.3 percent, followed by Hispanic (4.5 percent), white (3.2 percent), and Asian workers (3.0 percent).

This report provides a state-by-state breakdown of unemployment rates by race and ethnicity, and racial/ethnic unemployment rate gaps for the third quarter of 2018. While there have been state-by-state improvements in prospects for black and Hispanic workers, their unemployment rates remain high relative to those of white workers.

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A growing number of public universities are becoming less affordable and accessible for low-income students and people of color, according to two new reports released today.

In its report, New America found that more than half of the 600 public universities it examined expect the neediest first-year students to pay more than $10,000 to attend, which equals more than a third of their families’ yearly earnings.

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University of Minnesota ends requirement that some scholarships go to women. Tulane evaluates its programs limited to women. Other institutions face new complaints.

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities changed eligibility requirements last week for two formerly women-only scholarships and will review an additional women-only faculty award after an alumnus complained that the scholarships discriminated against men.

The Carol E. Macpherson Memorial Scholarship was established to provide scholarship money to “women-identified” students who are over 28 years old and returning to school to complete their education. The Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló Scholarship also provided financial aid to “women-identified students” with a “special focus on women of color, new immigrants and first-generation college students,” according to the University of Minnesota website.

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One day in the 1930s, a very young Martin Luther King Jr. was sitting in the passenger seat of his father’s car when his dad accidentally ran a stop sign on a Georgia street.

“A policeman pulled up to the car and said: ‘All right, boy, pull over and let me see your license,’ ” King remembered in an essay years later. “My father replied indignantly, ‘I’m no boy.’ Then, pointing to me, ‘This is a boy. I am a man, and until you call me one, I will not listen to you.’ ”

The officer was so flummoxed that he quickly wrote out the traffic ticket and hurried away.

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Having a mentor can make a big difference in students’ academic success — particularly for underrepresented minorities who often seek guidance on how to battle feelings of isolation on campus. Yet a newly released report on college alumni shows that students have disparate access to sources of help navigating the ins and outs of college life, and beyond.

Of the more than 5,000 recent college graduates polled for the Strada-Gallup Alumni survey, more than half said they either hadn’t had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams, or didn’t agree or disagree with that statement.

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Colleges and universities should be much more aggressive in recruiting and preparing Black males to become school teachers.

That was one of the many sentiments expressed on Thursday among scholars and practitioners who gathered at the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education in Dublin.

The number of Black males in the U.S. teacher workforce continues to hover at about 2 percent – a dismal number — that former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan tried to tackle back in March 2012 when he launched a national initiative aimed at recruiting and training 80,000 new teachers.

In other countries across the globe, the numbers are equally troubling.

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 If you are a Verizon customer on the East Coast, odds are good that your cellphone or tablet arrived by way of a beige, windowless warehouse near Tennessee’s border with Mississippi.

Inside, hundreds of workers, many of them women, lift and drag boxes weighing up to 45 pounds, filled with iPhones and other gadgets. There is no air-conditioning on the floor of the warehouse, which is owned and operated by a contractor. Temperatures there can rise past 100 degrees. Workers often faint, according to interviews with 20 current and former employees.

One evening in January 2014, after eight hours of lifting, Erica Hayes ran to the bathroom. Blood drenched her jeans.

She was 23 and in the second trimester of her first pregnancy. She had spent much of the week hoisting the warehouse’s largest boxes from one conveyor belt to the next. Ever since she learned she was pregnant, she had been begging her supervisor to let her work with lighter boxes, she said in an interview. She said her boss repeatedly said no.

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