December 1st, 2011
05:45 PM ET

At Georgia's Freedom University, undocumented students study in secret

By Thelma Gutierrez and Traci Tamura, CNN

Every Sunday, in an unmarked building, in an undisclosed location in the college town of Athens, Georgia, a group of students quietly gather in secret. They are aspiring professors, diplomats and engineers who have been banned from Georgia's top five public universities.

But here, in this donated space, it is safe to study.

This place is called Freedom University. It has one classroom and four professors, scholars who've taught at the likes of Amherst, Harvard, Emory and Yale, who are teaching here, on their days off, without pay.

Their students are undocumented. They have nowhere else to go and no one else to teach them.

Read the full story on CNN's Schools of Thought blog

December 1st, 2011
01:00 PM ET

Opinion: Attention black churches: Ignorance on HIV/AIDS can kill

Editor’s Note: Rev. Stacey Latimer is the founder and CEO of Love Alive International, a faith-based non-profit committed to empowering African-Americans with HIV/AIDS.  He is senior pastor of the group’s non-denominational ministry and was named to POZ Magazine’s list of 100 effective fighters against HIV/AIDS. 

Marcus, Kevin and Trevor are pseudonyms being used to protect the identities of those individuals.

By Stacey Latimer, Special to CNN

Marcus was pastor of a Sunday school at a Baptist church in the South. He was born as a same-gender-loving man. As most same-gender-loving people in fundamentalist houses of worship, Marcus lived a double life, or on the “down low,” for he felt it was the only way to continue in ministry and stay connected to the community he loved.

The congregation absolutely loved Marcus’ vocal gift. He could sing them into the presence of the Lord.

When Marcus found out that he was HIV positive, he informed his beloved pastor, who directed him to allow the elders of the church to anoint him with oil and pray for him each Sunday until God healed and delivered him. Following the advice of his spiritual leader, Marcus did this for eight years without any medical care from a health professional. FULL POST

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Filed under: Black in America • Community • Health • Religion • Sexual orientation • What we think
December 1st, 2011
10:50 AM ET

Engage: Alabama House Speaker on immigration law repeal: 'Absolutely not'

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Alabama House Speaker on controversial immigration law: 'Are we open to pulling the bill back and repealing it? Absolutely not.' - Al.com

Study: States' sex trafficking laws fall short  - National Public Ratio

To improve the economy, improve the conditions for women - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes economic argument to build better conditions for women - Fortune

Profile: AJ Russell, NASCAR driver:  First racing team with Native American driver and owner - National Public Radio

Profile: Minneapolis philosophy major takes on hip-hop - Public Radio International

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Filed under: Engage
December 1st, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Rareview: Growing old openly gay

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

Early on, they didn't know they were gay. Sometimes, they didn't even know what the word meant.

But eventually, they learned. They fell in love. They paired up. Sometimes, they got married. And now, they're the first generation to grow old openly gay.

Opinion: Herman Cain undone by sex, not race
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said he would "re-assess" his campaign after charges of an extramarital affair.
December 1st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Opinion: Herman Cain undone by sex, not race

Editor’s note: Carolyn Edgar is a lawyer and writer in New York City. She writes about social issues, parenting and relationships on her blog, Carolyn Edgar.

By Carolyn Edgar, Special to CNN

In a more logical political climate, Herman Cain’s buffoonery and complete ignorance of foreign policy would have been enough to end his presidential campaign. But as is often the case in American politics, a never-ending sex scandal did what no amount of foreign policy missteps could – it caused Cain to “re-assess” his campaign.

In the midst of the wall-to-wall coverage, I am reminded of a free-wheeling discussion of race and politics that took place at a 2008 meeting of my Harlem book club. The author and social commentator Toure came to talk about his book, “Never Drank the Kool-Aid.” He said the Democratic primary race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would determine whether America was more racist or more sexist. In other words, who would be more palatable to the American people: a black man or a woman?

If Obama’s clinching of the nomination - and eventually the presidency - indicated America may be more sexist than racist, Cain’s presidential campaign all but proves it.