Black Lives Matter protesters have regularly taken to the streets to call for justice and change since Brandon Tate-Brown was fatally shot by a police officer during a controversial struggle in Mayfair last December, but its leaders are now wondering: What else can they do the effect change? "We have to be prepared, so when it's time to sit at the table, we can make real changes and lobby for causes that affect us," said Asa Khalif, leader of the Pennsylvania chapter of Black Lives Matter and Tate-Brown's cousin. "I think everyone realizes that you can't just scream, and then when you get attention, not know what the next step is." Several members debated the movement's future during a late-November panel discussion at the Kimmel Center on modern civil-rights issues. "There was a lot of participation, and people defining what civil rights means to them," said Christopher Norris, a local journalist and activist who moderated the panel. "No one was talking over each other. There were a lot of calls to continue the dialogue." Read more
Cheyney University has been placed on probation by the body that accredits colleges and universities. The historically black university, which has been running a deficit and saw a 30-percent drop in enrollment this year, has two years to correct the financial concerns raised by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education or risk losing accreditation. "The action taken by Middle States confirms the serious issues facing Cheyney University, of which we are well aware," Frank Brogan, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, said in a statement. "We have been working with the leadership of the institution to begin to address these issues, and to develop and implement a long-range sustainability plan. Those efforts must and will continue." Read more
More than 300 people gathered at Central High School on Monday to meet Mayor-elect Jim Kenney, the first of five town-hall meetings Kenney is planning to hold this week to learn about residents' needs and wants. Some offered ideas for the incoming mayor, while others voiced concerns about their community, largely focusing on schools and safety. Kenney acknowledged that some are skeptical about city government: "All we have to do is get started," he said. "I think you'll be surprised." Read more
In an audacious move a year ago, Philadelphia's Morgan Lewis L.L.P. acquired 500 lawyers and 250 staffers from Bingham McCutchen in Boston, making it the largest law firm in the United States. One year later, the integration of the two legal giants has been running smoothly. The firm -- which now has more than 1,900 lawyers and annual revenue of $2 billion -- has faced only a few partner defections from the merger, and is seeing increased workflow. "As a marquee labor and employment firm, we are a destination firm for people who need help on matters that are critical to their business," chair Jami Wintz McKeon said. Read more
Patrick E. Hobbs has long been a go-to guy in a crisis, and Rutgers University has now named him to run its embattled athletics department. The department has been marred by a string of recent scandals, including the firing of the basketball coach in 2013 and the arrests of seven football players this year. The university announced Sunday that football coach Kyle Flood and athletic director Julie Hermann had been fired. Hobbs, who has spent 25 years at Seton Hall University, incluidng 16 as its law school dean, will earn a base salary of $560,000. From 2009 to 2011, he was tapped to clean house at Seton Hall's troubled Division I athletics department. He was also named ombudsman for the office of the governor in the aftermath of the Bridgegate scandal. Hobbs said "it's a new day" at Rutgers. "I don't have to come in and fire anybody," he said. "This is one very, very big difference, right? I'm coming into a situation where there's already an opening - it's a very big opening - in the football program." Read more