By TSD Newsroom
“Christian Women Walking by Faith” will be the theme in August as St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church celebrates Women For Christ Month.
The celebration at the church, located at 1410 Pillow St., will spread over three weeks and will feature these events:
• Aug. 3, 10 a.m. – A Prayer Brunch to “lift up prayers for the nation, community and family.”
• Aug. 18, 3 p.m. – Annual Musical presented by the St. Peter Women’s Chorus, with invited musical groups and soloists.
• Aug. 25, 3 p.m. – Gwen Jackson of River of Life Missionary Baptist Church will be the guest speaker on the Women For Christ Program.
Chairpersons for the month are Misty Flemings and Teresa Hardaway. The host pastor is the Rev. James Greene.
This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender
By Erica R. Williams
Mayoral contender Dr. Willie W. Herenton on Thursday picked up the endorsement of IBEW Local 1288, which also announced its support for a slate of other candidates running for city council, county clerk and municipal judge seats in the October 3 Municipal Elections.
IBEW Local 1288 is the union that represents Memphis, Light, Gas, & Water (MLGW) employees.
“I have always been an advocate for the working class because that’s what I came from,” Herenton told the crowd at the union’s hall on Lamar near Getwell.
City Council candidates endorsed were: Rhonda Logan (District 1), Britney Thornton (District 4), Davin Clemons (District 6), Jimmy Hassann (District 7), Craig Littles (Super District 8-2) and Erika Sugarmon (Super District 9-1)
Joe Brown gained the nod for City Court Clerk and Judge Jayne Chandler was endorsed for Municipal Judge, Division 3.
During the endorsement event Herenton was heralded a champion for the working class, as union members and city leaders praised him for “looking out” for public service workers during his tenure as Memphis’s longest serving mayor.
“He (Herenton) always took care of labor and made sure that when he left, that he left us a legacy,” Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams said. “He always made sure we had raises.”
MPA was one of the first groups to publicly endorse Herenton back in April.
Thursday, Herenton laid out his experiences and platform explaining why working-class citizens should vote for him over the other contenders. He specifically called out Mayor Jim Strickland, who is seeking re-election.
“You hear the incumbent talking about building up and not out. I will advocate and focus on building families, building children and building neighborhoods,” he said. “What we must have in Memphis is a paradigm shift from economic development for the wealthy developers to uplifting people — the human needs.”
Herenton criticized Strickland’s leadership, accusing him of favoring developers over working-class residents.
“What I’ve seen in the last decade or so is a movement from people to buildings and making the developers wealthy, while the working class suffers with meager wage increases and losses in benefits.”
Strickland has publicly denounced Herenton’s claims, saying the former mayor left the city in bad shape with “high crime, high poverty and low educational achievement.”
Last month, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported a decline in crime in Memphis for the first half of 2019. However, aggravated assaults were up by 8 percent and murders saw a 14.5 percent spike.
“Strickland ran on law and order and if you’ve noticed crime has been even worse in Memphis,” IBEW Business Manager Rick Thompson said. “If he’s supposed to be the law and order man, we all need to leave town.”
Despite Strickland’s claims, Herenton said, “I believe that the citizens of Memphis will look at my preparation and past proven leadership and will re-elect me as a mayor.”
He also referenced Strickland’s hefty financial war chest, about $1 million according to the second-quarter campaign finance report. Herenton brought in approximately $87,000.
“People power will prevail over money power,” Herenton reassured the crowd. “We only have a fraction of the money he brought in, but we will win because people power will prevail.”
Herenton also called out another mayoral contender, Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, though not calling her by name.
“There is a young lady in this race,” he said. “But this race will not see a division in the black political power. There will not be a divided community.”
Herenton, who in 1991 was the first African American elected mayor, said he’s expecting to see a surge of white supporters.
One of those is Henry Smith, a labor member and MLGW employee, who attended the endorsement announcement. The Memphis native acknowledged that he hadn’t always agreed with Herenton’s leadership; but that changed when he became a union member.
“I’ve been through two other mayors and as I’ve seen the others, I’ve wished that we could have Herenton back” he said. “He never took from us. He’s always respected the working man.”
Early voting begins Sept. 13.
This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender
CULVER CITY — A new youth diversion program will begin this summer in Culver City in collaboration with the Culver City Police Department, the county of Los Angeles, and the New Earth nonprofit organization.
Under the program, juveniles arrested within city limits will have the opportunity to complete a six-month program with New Earth, where they will learn leadership skills and divert them away from entering the justice system, said Tiffany Fordham of New Earth.
“New Earth is happy to welcome and mentor young people through the Culver City Youth Diversion Program,” said New Earth Clinical Program Director Marni Baim.
“Utilizing trauma-informed and arts-based diversion courses to empower youth by exploring identity and purpose, we look forward to shaping new leaders,” Baim said. “Once youth enter the juvenile justice system, they often find it difficult to get out of a pipeline that can last a lifetime, which is why we’re committed to getting them on the path of success.”
The program will include a focus on the arts, leadership, identity, and introspection courses and sessions.
Culver City police detectives will evaluate juveniles detained by Culver City police to assess the option for enrollment in the Youth Diversion Program at New Earth in lieu of arrest, officials said. Once the youth complete the diversion program successfully, their name remains out of the juvenile justice system entirely.
“To lay the foundation for successful adulthood, it is important for youth to be mentored and guided into safe and healthy lifestyles early,” said Culver City Police Capt. Sam Agaiby said. “Through participating in the Youth Diversion Program, we are hopeful that we can divert youth from going down the wrong path while keeping our community safe.”
New Earth provides youth with mentor-based creative arts and educational programs including poetry, music production, gardening, and fitness.
“The city is excited to have this program guiding our youth toward brighter futures,” Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells said. “The partnership between New Earth and the Culver City Police Department will help foster a pathway to success for our kids, and lead to a safer community for all.
“We’re thankful to New Earth and L.A. County for this opportunity to divert youth away from incarceration and into an environment where they can truly heal, thrive and succeed.”
New Earth currently serves 500 young people per week who are incarcerated in Los Angeles County detention facilities and placement homes and in the Orange County Juvenile Hall.
Upon release from incarceration, young people join the New Earth Arts & Leadership center in Culver City, where they receive career training, jobs, a fully accredited high school education program, mentorship, case management, nature expeditions, arts programming and wrap-around services that help them re-enter their communities with all the support and nurturing they need to make a successful transition.
For more information, please go to https://newearthlife.org.
This article originally appeared in the Wave Newspapers.
By The Oakland Post
Final Point-in-Time Count report marks progress made since 2017
Final statistics from the Point-in-Time Homelessness Count that took place in January confirm that the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its partners have reduced chronic homelessness by 28 percent since 2017.
On January 28, teams of volunteers canvassed the county to gather data about people experiencing homelessness on a single day.
Marin HHS and partners discussed the preliminary numbers, strategies, and initiatives that have made this significant progress possible, most notably Housing First, at a press conference on May 8. The Marin County Homeless Count and Survey Comprehensive Report, released July 31, captures more detailed geographic and demographic data about people experiencing homelessness in Marin.
Housing First is a nationally and globally recognized best practice for addressing homelessness. The approach recognizes a person’s housing need first, then surrounds them with the support necessary to achieve stability and independence. Since October 2017, Marin HHS and its partners have permanently housed 162 chronically homeless residents.
“A key component to our success has been our ability to create new housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness by pairing Marin Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Vouchers with Ritter Center’s Whole Person Care case management team, who work closely with clients and landlords to resolve problems to keep clients successfully housed,” said Kimberly Carroll, Deputy Director of the Marin Housing Authority.
The report also indicates that Marin’s emergency shelter system is reaching more vulnerable people. Thanks to a joint effort of Homeward Bound, Marin HHS, and the Marin Community Foundation, Marin’s emergency shelter for single adults is also implementing Housing First practices. So far in 2019, more people who are chronically homeless are accessing shelter than ever before. That reduces the number of highly vulnerable people sleeping outdoors and increases the number with access to services connecting them with steady housing.
“Housing First is a practice with 30 years of evidence behind it, but implementing it here at home took a big leap of faith,” said Ashley Hart McIntyre, Marin HHS Homelessness Policy Analyst. “The numbers are in, and it’s working.”
Other successes highlighted by the report:
Family homelessness is down 28 percent;
Youth homelessness is down 11 percent;
The total count of people experiencing homelessness in Marin is 1,034 individuals, a 7 percent reduction. This is especially notable given significant increases in homelessness across other Bay Area counties.
The report also highlighted areas in which more work is necessary. Though San Rafael and Novato both saw significant reductions in unsheltered homelessness (30% and 13%, respectively), other areas, like Richardson Bay and West Marin, saw increases. Marin HHS is working closely with partners in those regions to expand work begun in 2016 to identify each person experiencing chronic homelessness and connect them with housing.
The report also shows a continued need to advance racial equity, a leading priority for both Marin HHS and the Marin County Board of Supervisors. As in most American communities, residents who identified as Black or African American were overrepresented in the homeless population; they make up 2.8 percent of Marin’s population but 17 percent of the homeless population.
“This overrepresentation is due to a long and complex local and nationwide history of racism and housing discrimination,” said Ken Shapiro, Director of Marin HHS’s Whole Person Care program.
Some equity strategies already employed include a focus on ensuring people of color are not inadvertently screened out when prioritizing vulnerable people for housing, expanding successful initiatives in targeted areas of the county, and building relationships with partners who have long histories of working with these Marin populations.
Finally, the report confirmed that nearly three-quarters of people experiencing homelessness in Marin are locals. “Those statistics are consistent with similar reports nationwide,” said Carrie Ellen Sager, HHS’ Homelessness Program Coordinator. “By and large, people who become homeless stay where they have connections. This is a local problem, and these are our neighbors.”
Carroll said partnering agencies are encouraged by the new evidence of the program success. “We’re very proud,” she said. “It’s all about a great team working together with a shared vision to end chronic homelessness.”
Marin HHS would particularly like to thank its partners the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin, Homeward Bound of Marin, Ritter Center, Buckelew Programs, the City of San Rafael, the Downtown Streets Team, HHS Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, and the Marin Housing Authority, whose representatives meet each week to break down the barriers to ending homelessness in Marin.
By Lauren Poteat, NNPA Newswire Washington Correspondent
It’s been more than 100 years since sickle cell disease was first discovered in America.
Today, the rare hereditary blood disorder continues to affect millions of people throughout the world.
Sickle cell disease – or SCD – affects approximately 100,000 Americans and occurs among about 1 out of every 365 African-American births, according to medical experts.
Nearly 1 in 13 African American babies are born with the sickle cell trait, which medical experts said means that an individual has inherited the sickle cell gene from one of his or her parents.
During its annual convention, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a trade organization that represents African American-owned newspapers and media companies throughout the U.S., partnered with Pfizer Rare Disease (Pfizer) to host a forum on this rare disease.
“I was diagnosed with sickle cell disease at the age of 1,” said Marie Ojiambo, a consultant for Pfizer, during the forum moderated by NNPA President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
“And always wanted to be a support system and advocate for research, for other young women, going through the same thing,” Ojiambo said.
“Because of this, I always felt like it was important for me to not only introduce myself by my profession, but also as a sickle cell warrior,” said the Kenyan native.
“When I competed in the Miss Africa USA pageant back in 2014, I made sure that my pageant platform, represented the same personal goals I had for myself and advocated for, sickle cell disease awareness,” she said.
Dr. Chavis emphasized, “The NNPA is grateful to Pfizer for introducing Marie Ojiambo to the Black Press of America. Ms. Ojiambo is an excellent role model for millennials, and in particular for young African and African American women, who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields of study. Marie Ojiambo’s outstanding success as a research scientist is truly inspiring as she did not allow the challenges of Sickle Cell Disease to prevent her from achieving her professional career goals.”
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the sickle cell disease trait is most commonly found in places like Africa, India and Southeast Asia.
However, it is not exclusive to one race.
Also, as the Hemoglobin disorders follow the malaria belt around the globe, those who have the trait are relatively protected from malaria.
Although most who carry the sickle cell trait remain healthy, medical statistics show that if two healthy people who carry the trait join to conceive a child, there’s still a one in four chance with every pregnancy that they would have child with active SCD.
Ojiambo, who graduated from St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in New York and who specializes in pre-clinical Pharmaceutical Research, is also the founder of the Sickle Strong Initiative—a Kenyan-based NGO whose mandate is to raise awareness around sickle cell disease and advocate for better health care opportunities for patients suffering from the disease in Kenya.
While she champions research and viable medications and solutions, Ojiambo also emphasized the importance of being regularly tested.
“Both of my parents were carriers of the sickle cell trait and so when they came together, I received the disorder,” Ojiambo said.
“It is so important to know your status and to get tested regularly,” Ojiambo continued.
“Take part in clinical trials and work to make sure you have access to primary care physicians and a good hematologist.”
By Andreas Butler
Normally when people attend high school reunions, it’s to reconnect with classmates from a specific class year or school.
On July 27, a different type of reunion took place at Cypress Park.
“A Celebration: A Remembrance’’ was a reunion for all local high schools and all classes to honor classmates who are deceased. About 300 people attended the reunion, which included a candlelight vigil for those who have passed on.
“We just call it a celebration for all schools and all classes for our classmates who have passed and gone before us,” said Rosetta Bailey, a graduate of Spruce Creek High’s Class of 1984 and a member of the event’s committee.
Along with Spruce Creek, the event featured graduates from Mainland, Seabreeze, and Father Lopez.
Sparked after death
The reunion came about in a unique way.
Classmates Lester Jones William Kelly, Dexter Gordon, Clarence Lassiter, Richard White and Allen Davis of the Spruce Creek Class of 1985 had planned to get together pretty soon. However, when Davis died in June, plans changed.
After attending Davis’ wake, Jones connected with other classmates and the event was created. There’s no special name for the committee – just some classmates who want to connect and honor their deceased classmates.
“It’s been in the making for a while. Those guys had planned something but once Allen Davis died, Lester Jones went ahead and reached out to everyone and got this started,” commented Del- la Nelson, who attended Mainland. She actually received her diploma at then-Daytona Beach Community College.
Many attended the reunion wearing school attire and school colors, showing off their blue, red, orange and green. Many who didn’t wear school attire wore their school colors.
The event was dominated by graduates of the 1980s, but did have people attend who graduated in the 1960s, 1970s, 1990s, 2000s and other decades.
As classmates have passed away over the year, it was a way to reconnect.
“It was an opportunity for us all to get together and enjoy each other’s company rather than next only seeing each other at a funeral,” said Bailey.
Nelson, who also served on the reunion committee injected, “We all came together as one people. This is something that is needed. People are dying every day. It’s a great event and everyone is happy.”
The reunion also brought in people from around the country.
Aletha Baxter, a Spruce Creek 1984 alum and reunion committee member, noted that people heard about the event on social media, specifically Facebook, and decided to attend from states like the Carolinas, Georgia and Texas.
“Everyone here are not locals. We have people here from all over the country. Many classmates, who now live in different cities, came home for this. Many friends on social media in other places came along too.”
Other committee members were Donna Gordon (Spruce Creek ’85), Ophelia Fields (Mainland ’84) and Anthony White (Mainland ’85).
“We basically had mostly two or three people including two women and one man from each school on the committee. We split up tasks too,” added Nelson.
July 2020 plans
The reunion was a time to enjoy music and food.
Attendees dined on barbecued chicken and ribs, potato salad, baked beans, rice, macaroni and cheese and other cuisine. Some danced and others just listened to music provided by a deejay.
There are plans to continue the event.
“We plan to do more and try to make it an annual event. We have a date set for next year in July. We just have to make sure that the park is available for our date,” Nelson added.
This article originally appeared in the Daytona Times.
For years, I’ve watched as many NBA teams rolled out cool throwback jerseys . . . while the Memphis Grizzlies got them (mostly) wrong. I only thought I hated those “Memphis Pros” throwbacks . . . until they rolled out those horrendous yellow and green “Memphis Tams” throwbacks.
And the whole time, I’m thinking: “Dang. Those black and teal jerseys from the early 2000s . . . what’s wrong with those?” And at long last, the answer is: NOTHING.
On Thursday, the Grizzlies announced two sets of throwback jerseys, to commemorate two eras of the franchise. This season, Ja, Jaren and all other “J” players will rock the teal “Vancouver Grizzlies” jerseys, to celebrate the founding of the franchise 25 years ago. Then in the 2020-21 season, the team will don those classic black and teal jerseys to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s move to Memphis in 2001.
“The opportunity to connect the history of our franchise over two consecutive seasons deserved a special approach,” said team president Jason Wexler in a statement. “It was an easy decision to bring back the iconic teal uniforms for the upcoming 25th Season of the franchise and give our fans the classic look from the Vancouver era that they love.
“Looking ahead to next season, we get to celebrate the 20th Season of the Grizzlies in Memphis with the Memphis Classic uniform, worn when the team first moved to Grind City,” Wexler added.
Finally, (and just when I was getting used to that horizontal hardwood thing) there will be a new court design.
“We wanted to go even further to enhance the in-game experience for our fans with an alternate court that celebrates and connects the best of both eras,” Wexler said. “From the black base and two-toned hardwood to the asymmetry that gives nods to our current design, this floor includes elements from every Grizzlies floor featured in both the Vancouver and early Memphis eras while bridging the past with the present.”
This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender