First VA Ready Scholars Achieve Rapid Reskilling, Credentials and Jobs

First VA Ready Scholars Achieve Rapid Reskilling, Credentials and Jobs

PR Newswire

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 23, 2020

More than 260 Scholars enrolled in two months, with 20 already earning a $1,000 Credential Achievement Award

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Virginia Ready Initiative (VA Ready), a public-private partnership dedicated to rapidly retraining unemployed Virginians and helping them secure in-demand positions, today celebrates the credential completion of its first-ever cohort of 20 VA Ready Scholars, 17 of whom already have jobs.

“We are proud of the first group to earn their credentials,” said Caren Merrick, CEO of VA Ready. “They now have the sought-after skills needed to fill positions in our local workforce that sat vacant for far too long, and we look forward to the many more who will follow in their footsteps.”

Among the inaugural group of credential recipients is Tracey Delagarza, who accepted

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Ruha Benjamin and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor named Freedom Scholars

Ruha Benjamin, associate professor of African American studies at Princeton University, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, assistant professor of African American studies, have been named among the first cohort of Freedom Scholars, an initiative supporting progressive academics who are at the forefront of movements for economic and social justice.

The Marguerite Casey Foundation and Group Health Foundation, which partnered to create the award, announced the $3-million initiative that will support 12 academics, each with a $250,000 award over two years.

The awards were established due to the limited financial resources and constraints that scholars, especially progressive scholars, frequently face. Freedom Scholars lead ​abolitionist, Black, feminist, queer, radical and anti-colonialist studies — critical fields of research that are often underfunded.​

Benjamin, who joined the faculty in 2014, studies the social dimensions of science, technology and medicine with a focus on the relationship between innovation and inequity, health and justice, and knowledge and power. 

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