Education

Saving Student Aid

Your DGB for today is to help save student aid.

Have you ever wondered why countries like Singapore have such good economies despite having virtually no natural resources at their disposal? Well the answer is simple: they consider the human brain a resource and invest in it accordingly. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Trump administration and Congress treated the brains of their constituents with as much respect and importance as they do a gallon of oil or a pound of coal?

We are sure that this is hardly the first time you’ve heard this, but college is really, really expensive. So expensive, in fact, that the poor and middle class are increasingly priced out and/or burdened with outrageous debt loads. If you have wondered about this phenomenon but need more information please take the time to view this short video that gives a quick and easy breakdown of the situation.

One of the vitally important ways that we can provide assistance to those that want to get higher education (keep in mind that these funds cover all kinds of secondary education, including trade school) is through Federal financial aid programs. According to the Student Aid Alliance these programs will suffer a heavy hit under Trump’s proposed budget. There is still time to make our voice heard and help stop this direct assault on the future. The Student Aid Alliance has set up a page where you can message your senator or representative (please do both if you can) and tell them why it is so important to preserve these programs. It can be found at this link: https://studentaidalliance.org/write-your-legislator/?vvsrc=%2fcampaigns%2f51900%2frespond

They are also leading a Twitter campaign and we suggest you check it out and join in.

 

Trump’s Education Budget

Your DGB for today is to call your Member of Congress and encourage him or her to say “NO” to Trump’s budget, for the reason that it is screamingly bad for education in the United States.

Trump’s budget recommends cutting $9B from the Dept. of Education, and those cuts would hurt the working class, the very people he claimed he’d “never ever forget.” Trump’s budget also slashes medicaid, which will impact students with special needs, as well as economically disadvantaged students, who rely on certain health care screenings through school programs. Other initiatives that are at risk under this budget are after-school care, teacher training, and public service loan forgiveness. This budget must be approved by Congress, which is why we’re asking you to call your rep about this mess.

Don’t know who your member of Congress is? Text your zip code to (520) 200-2223 to get the names and phone numbers for your senators, MoC, and even state legislators; or check out DGB’s handy-dandy government resources page (see “Find Your House Representative”). Now contact your MoC and let him or her know that you do NOT support Trump’s budget because it will hurt vulnerable Americans.

Maybe Trump would value education more if he had paid attention in school when his teachers were covering things like the US Constitution, what NATO stands for, and spelling.

 

News Literacy

Your DGB for today is to promote programs like The News Literacy Project and to brush up on your own fake news spotting skills.

Fake news has been a hot topic lately. Trump and his supporters tend to shout “FAKE NEWS” about any news story that doesn’t fit with their warped ideas of how the world works. Check any comments section on a story about Trump’s presidency and possible downfall and you’ll see numerous dismissals of the “fake news”. Here are some actual comments from Facebook on a CNN article about Trump attempting to compromise Comey:

 

This obsession about the alledged (sic) Trump's ties with Russia can only be explained as a paranoia.USA is obviously in a state of internal conflict and this will not be solved easy.The Russian card is a pure propaganda.”

 

“CNN and MSNBC have declared war on our duly elected President. Who else's thinks it's time to start using social and mainstream media to identify seditious activity and start filling up the FEMA camps?“

 

“Says who? Another fake unnamed source! CNN and their destroy America, destroy the first and second amendment, destroy our constitution, destroy the electoral college via their brainwashed cult followers!!”

 

These comments are why we HATE reading comments sections. There were hundreds more like this and that’s a huge problem. Many people just don’t know how to spot fake news anymore and when actual news breaks, they claim it’s fake because it doesn’t fit the narrative that has been fed to them by websites like Breitbart.

This is where The News Literacy Project comes in. NLP aims to teach middle and high school students how to spot fake news, be informed and engaged citizens, and encourages them to share and produce their own fair, accurate, and responsible news content. We encourage you to reach out to local schools and ask that they work NLP into their curriculum, either by offering an after school program or a classroom or virtual classroom program. You can also donate and support them on their website linked above. Fake news is an issue for both parties, and now more than ever it is important to learn how to spot it. We want you to check out FactCheck.org’s article on how to spot fake news. It gives important tips like checking the source, reading beyond the headline, and checking the date.

We don’t want you to be embarrassed by accidentally sharing an Onion piece thinking it’s real news and we definitely don’t want you sharing a fake news story that is not only false, but can put people’s lives at risk like Pizzagate. Combat the assault on accurate journalism and learn how to spot fake news.

 

Let Them Eat Cake

Your DGB for today is to learn a little something about wealth inequality.

How bad is the income divide in the United States? If you answered:

Bad, but not terrible? You are wrong.

Really bad? Eeeeehh, wrong.

There is a guillotine coming soon to a neighborhood near you? BINGO.

Ok maybe we're exaggerating a tiny bit. I mean, it’s not like our politicians are suggesting hungry Americans eat cake or anything. This presentation by Working America gives a terrifying, yet simple to understand, breakdown of the way wealth is distributed in our country. Please watch and learn, and suppress the desire to storm Wall Street.

If you’d like to do your part to redistribute the wealth, short of recreating the French Revolution, you can go back to our old grab of Backing Black Businesses, as well as avoiding big box stores, and making sure you shop local. If you must shop Amazon, check out their handmade section and help put money back into the pockets of those who really need it, instead of the 1%.

 

Eat Pie While Honoring Women in STEM!

Your DGB for today is to cultivate women in STEM. What can be better than honoring both Pi Day and Women’s History Month by combining them and supporting women in science, tech, engineering and math?

Check out this statistic from a study conducted across 14 countries:

 

“The probability for female students of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctor’s degree in science-related field are 18%, 8% and 2% respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37%, 18% and 6%.”

 

At DGB, we like to start our little girls early. We love Rosie Revere Engineer and Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty, whose stories are inspired by historical accounts of the contributions of women in science and tech. When looking for books to buy for your girls be sure to be mindful to the way in which female characters are portrayed. This recent video is a startling reminder of the traditional lack of female voices in stories (and also a great promotion for Rebel Girls, another book on our reading list.)

For inspiration in current events check out these “rebel girls” who smashed glass ceilings (along with the patriarchy) when they landed a plane in Saudi Arabia, a country where women are prohibited from driving:

 

 

So, be mindful of how we can contribute to future generations of women in STEM. Begin early with the girls in your life through stories, ongoing conversation, and education. Foster and encourage interest by signing them up for lego robotics, woodworking, and science fair.

And, because we at DGB love a good pun, be sure to eat actual pie while celebrating Pi day: crumble crust and crumble patriarchy.

 

ICE Raids

Your DBG for today is to help spread the word about undocumented residents’ legal rights, so we may protect our communities in this new and horrifying era of Trump.

Since February 9th, there has been a wave of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in sanctuary cities, as a direct result of President Trump’s anti-immigration policies. These raids are tearing families apart, and creating fear and uncertainty for immigrant communities. As is customary with this administration, there is a disturbing lack of transparency on the part of the White House and ICE as to who is being arrested or detained and why.

One piece of hopeful news is that, partially in thanks to people like you who have donated in record numbers and record amounts since the election, the ACLU is establishing a rapid-response team to fight deportations. Read more about it here, and about immigrants’ rights here, and here:

 

 

Get this information to as many people as you can. Undocumented Americans touch all of our lives and it’s crucial we protect ourselves and our fellow humans.

 

Taking Back the House in 2018, Part One

Your DGB for today is to educate yourself on how to register people to vote. We are going to do three Grabs on making yourself and your friends into registrars in your state to increase our chances of taking back some of the power in the Senate and Congress.

The first baby step that needs to be done is checking your own voter registration status and registering to vote, if necessary. You can check your status here and even register online in some states. The next step is to research what you have to do in order to register people to vote yourself. Each state has different rules and requirements to register people to vote. You can find your local election office here and call or email them and ask them what the rules are for your state and county. You can also join the League of Women Voters and check out their website for additional tips on how to get ready to register people to vote.

Before taking on any big project, it’s always important to educate yourself on what needs to be done, so this is our very first step in getting more people registered to vote.Today we are just asking you to spend five minutes making sure you are registered to vote, and looking into what you need to do to start registering people to vote. Our next voter registration Grab will be in two weeks, and we expect you all to have done your homework and be prepared to work.

The 2018 elections seem so far away, but people around the country are already gearing up for it, whether it be throwing their hat into the ring or getting as many people registered to vote as possible. Help us take back some power so that 45 has the checks and balances he so desperately needs.

 

Tackle Human Trafficking this Super Bowl Weekend

Your DGB for today is educate yourself on human trafficking and learn how to recognize the signs of human trafficking so you can report it.

Every year the Super Bowl brings about an increased awareness for sex trafficking in the cities hosting the Super Bowl, but the tragic reality is that human trafficking happens year round. Last year alone there were over 26,000 calls to the Human Trafficking Hotline and 7,500 human trafficking cases reported. While law enforcement agencies may see an uptick in sex trafficking during large events, the victims have typically been facing exploitation for a long time before the event occurs.

One way to help curb sex trafficking is to arrest the sex buyer, as opposed to the victim of sex trafficking. Statistics show that a staggering 15% of men have bought sex, but those men have a 1 in 100,000 chance of getting arrested for it. Increasing the punishment for purchasing sex should decrease the the amount of sex trafficking victims, because men will not want to suffer the legal and financial consequences. You can also contact your representatives and make sure they strengthen anti-human trafficking programs. Click here to contact your local representative and urge them to support the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

This Super Bowl weekend, spend some time educating yourself on sex trafficking and doing everything you can to help its victims, including contacting your representatives and educating yourself on the signs of human trafficking. If you see it, report it. 1-888-373-7888