Tag Archives: economy

The Faithful Rally

I spent my Sunday night in church — The Charles Street AME Church in Roxbury to be exact. The black clergy of Boston were holding an “emergency rally,” as they were calling it, to show their support for Charles Street, which is fighting foreclosure hearings from its lender, OneUnited Bank. My colleague Rich Weir reports in more detail for the Boston Herald.

With the passion and volume of a Southern Baptist service, the religious and civic leaders on the pulpit preached to the standing-room audience with songs and sermons. That kind of combination usually makes for some good moments for photos.

Boston, Mass. -- Rev. Gracie Redfearn of Charles Street AME Church speaks in tongues as she his supported by Brother Damien Howard, left, and Rev. Gene Rivers, after a rally to support her church on March 4, 2012. Charles Street is fighting a foreclosure by its lender, OneUnited Bank. Herald Photo by KELVIN MA. (Kelvin Ma)

3/4/2012 -- BOSTON -- Rev. Gracie Redfearn of Charles Street AME Church speaks in tongues as she his supported by Brother Damien Howard, left, and Rev. Eugene Rivers III, after a rally to support her church on March 4, 2012. Charles Street is fighting a foreclosure by its lender, OneUnited Bank.

Boston, Mass. -- Rev. Jeffrey Brown emcees the speaking program at a rally to support the Charles Street AME Church on March 4, 2012. The church is fighting a foreclosure by its lender, OneUnited Bank, and is calling for a national boycott. Herald Photo by KELVIN MA. (Kelvin Ma)

3/4/2012 -- BOSTON -- Rev. Jeffrey Brown emcees the speaking program at a rally to support the Charles Street AME Church on March 4, 2012.

Boston, Mass. -- Rev. Viola Morris-Buchanan of Bethel AME Church in Lynn, leads supporters in song at a rally to support the Charles Street AME Church on March 4, 2012. The Roxbury church is fighting a foreclosure by its lender, OneUnited Bank, and is calling for a national boycott. Herald Photo by KELVIN MA. (Kelvin Ma)

3/4/2012 -- BOSTON -- Rev. Viola Morris-Buchanan of Bethel AME Church in Lynn, leads supporters in song at a rally to support the Charles Street AME Church on March 4, 2012.

Boston, Mass. -- Rev. Gregory Groover, the pastor of Charles Street AME Church, kneels in prayer with members of his congregation as Rev. Gloria White-Hammond of Bethel AME Church delivers a sermon at a rally to show support for the church as it fights a foreclosure on March 4, 2012. The church is fighting a foreclosure by its lender, OneUnited Bank. Herald Photo by KELVIN MA. (Kelvin Ma)

3/4/2012 -- BOSTON -- Rev. Gregory Groover, the pastor of Charles Street AME Church, kneels in prayer with members of his congregation as Rev. Gloria White-Hammond of Bethel AME Church delivers a sermon at a rally to show support for the church as it fights a foreclosure on March 4, 2012.

Boston, Mass. -- Kara Wells, of Boston, yells out calls of approval during the speaking program at a rally to support the Charles Street AME Church on March 4, 2012. Wells grew up in the congregation and came to show her support as the church fights a foreclosure by its lender, OneUnited Bank. Herald Photo by KELVIN MA. (Kelvin Ma)

3/4/2012 -- BOSTON -- Kara Wells, of Boston, yells out calls of approval during the speaking program at a rally to support the Charles Street AME Church on March 4, 2012. Wells grew up in the congregation and came to show her support as the church fights foreclosure.

Boston, Mass. -- Rev. Gregory Groover, the pastor of Charles Street AME Church, kneels in prayer with members of his congregation at a rally to show support for the church as it fights a foreclosure on March 4, 2012. The church is fighting a foreclosure by its lender, OneUnited Bank. Herald Photo by KELVIN MA. (Kelvin Ma)

3/4/2012 -- BOSTON -- Rev. Gregory Groover, the pastor of Charles Street AME Church, kneels in prayer with members of his congregation at a rally to show support for the church as it fights a foreclosure on March 4, 2012.

Boston, Mass. -- Louise Beach, of Roxbury, raises her arms up in prayer at a rally to support her congregation, the Charles Street AME Church, on March 4, 2012. The church is fighting a foreclosure by its lender, OneUnited Bank, and is calling for a national boycott. Herald Photo by KELVIN MA. (Kelvin Ma)

3/4/2012 -- BOSTON -- Louise Beach, of Roxbury, raises her arms up in prayer at a rally to support her congregation, the Charles Street AME Church, on March 4, 2012.

Financial Times

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently hired me to work on a piece about a family struggling with the financial aid for their children’s college tuition. Given the situation with today’s economy, the piece was an attempt at capturing the circumstances of a family that was in good financial shape until two layoffs, illness and bad timing in general flipped their life upside down.

For anyone who might be a subscriber, here’s the link to the Chronicle’s story: http://chronicle.com/article/When-Life-Gets-in-the-Way-of/126082/

I spent a few days with the Schillinger family of Easton, Mass., focusing particularly on their youngest daughter, Diane. Diane, a freshman at UMass-Amherst, has the furthest to go, as she has just started at college and the financial aid system. My assignment was simply to capture her in her every day life, both back home in Easton during break, as well as on campus back at school.

Here’s an abbreviated take from the assignment.

20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, sorts through a variety of paperwork, including financial aid forms, in her dorm room on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma (Kelvin Ma)

20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, sorts through a variety of paperwork, including financial aid forms, in her dorm room on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma


20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, sorts through a variety of paperwork, including financial aid forms, in her dorm room on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma (Kelvin Ma)

20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, sorts through a variety of paperwork, including financial aid forms, in her dorm room on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma


1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Mark Schillinger sorts through piles of financial paperwork as he looks for his wife's disability forms at their Easton, Mass., home on Jan. 10, 2011. With two kids in college, Mark, who is currently unemployed from his work as a facilities and building manager, and his wife, Pat, are struggling with the complexities of student financial aid along with their own financial setbacks. (Kelvin Ma)

1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Mark Schillinger sorts through piles of financial paperwork as he looks for his wife's disability forms at their Easton, Mass., home on Jan. 10, 2011. With two kids in college, Mark, who is currently unemployed from his work as a facilities and building manager, and his wife, Pat, are struggling with the complexities of student financial aid along with their own financial setbacks.


1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Diane Schillinger spends some time with her show horse, Jake, at the Clover Valley Stables in Easton, Mass., on Jan. 10, 2011. Schillinger, who is a freshman biochemistry major at UMass-Amherst, hopes to attend veterinary school after graduating and competes and shows at the amateur level with Jake. (Kelvin Ma)

1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Diane Schillinger spends some time with her show horse, Jake, at the Clover Valley Stables in Easton, Mass., on Jan. 10, 2011. Schillinger, who is a freshman biochemistry major at UMass-Amherst, hopes to attend veterinary school after graduating and competes and shows at the amateur level with Jake.


1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Diane Schillinger goes over some financial aid information with her father, Mark, at their Easton, Mass., home on Jan. 10, 2011. Diane, a freshman at UMass-Amherst, and her family are dealing with the complexities of student financial aid as her parents workout their own financial hardships with Mark being unemployed and her mother, Pat, just now returning to work. (Kelvin Ma)

1/10/11 -- EASTON, Mass. -- Diane Schillinger goes over some financial aid information with her father, Mark, at their Easton, Mass., home on Jan. 10, 2011. Diane, a freshman at UMass-Amherst, and her family are dealing with the complexities of student financial aid as her parents workout their own financial hardships with Mark being unemployed and her mother, Pat, just now returning to work.


20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, stands outside the Financial Aid office on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma (Kelvin Ma)

20110124 -- AMHERST -- Diane Schillinger, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, stands outside the Financial Aid office on campus on Jan. 14, 2011. Schillinger has been struggling with the complexity of financial aid as her family also deals with financial troubles back home in Easton, Mass. Photo by Kelvin Ma

The story ended up being the cover story and center spread for last week’s Chronicle, as well.

Much thanks to Schillingers for being to generous with their time and for being so open with what is for many families, a very private matter.