Mary Jackson

Mary is a book reviewer and reporter for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute and Geenville University graduate who previously worked for the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal. Mary resides with her family in the San Francisco Bay area. Follow her on Twitter @mbjackson77.

Facebook/Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle Eastern Studies

Off-balance instruction

Education | The federal government warns colleges about pro-Islam, anti-Semitic courses
by Mary Jackson
Posted 9/25/19, 03:28 pm

A Middle Eastern studies program may lose its federal funding for emphasizing cultural content and Islam over language instruction.

The federal government gives $235,000 a year to the joint Middle Eastern studies program at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The money, appropriated under Title VI of the Education Act of 1965, is supposed to help colleges teach foreign languages to students in furtherance of U.S. security and economic interests.

Read more


Wrestling with death

Media | Increasing interest in Día de Muertos reveals a cultural desire to reckon with mortality
by Mary Jackson
Posted 9/20/19, 12:35 pm

The sugar skull, an emblem of Mexican folk holiday Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is this year’s must-have Halloween decor, plastered on succulent vases, wreaths, mugs, and pillowcases. Mattel recently announced its new Day of the Dead Barbie, adorned with a floral dress and a skull-painted face, and Nike released a tennis shoe in honor of the holiday, with colorful piping and ever-so-faint sugar skulls.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

Leveling the playing field for faith-based HBCUs

Education | Trump opens funding to religious schools, citing recent Supreme Court decisions
by Mary Jackson
Posted 9/18/19, 03:05 pm

Despite comprising only 3 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have produced 80 percent of the country’s African American judges, 50 percent of its African American doctors, and 27 percent of African Americans with STEM degrees, according to the Department of Education. Until last week, the federal government excluded more than 40 HBCUs that are faith-based from a program that loans out money for campus improvements.

Read more