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Vol. 1 / Iss. 1 4.13.2011





young prophet

Austin-Area Urban League

Young Professionals O f f i c i a l Ne w s l e t t e r Y




t is




d ki



young p r o p h e t



let t e r f r o m t h e p r es.

I wa s e x t r e m e ly p r ovo k e d


by the media banter that was spawned by the airing of the ESPN documentary “Fab Five”. In several media sources people harped on a comment made by Jalen Rose who revealed resentment he once harbored for black players who attended Duke. His comments out of context seem like spouts of internal racism, but when you get to the core of his comment and examine the basis for his resentment, it is an evaluation of social hierarchy that is often manifested within race. It’s the battle of the “haves” and “havenots”. Too often I think our genera-




tion struggles with identifying the sources of such a dichotomy and so I challenge us as passionate, well-equipped and knowledgeable young professionals to identify the sources and combat them with vengeance. It is both critical and significant to exam the ways in which space, culture and social politics dictate the context of our everyday interactions and create social inequality. Within our community a symbiotic relationship has been created, interlocking race and community to resources and access and we are charged with the task of making sure we cultivate an environment in Austin where we become agents for observation, participation, documentation and most importantly action. As Young Professionals and as passionate members of our community, we should strive to be both provoking and reactionary agents, serving as cultural narrators and ambassadors. Perhaps this is why I admire the words and work of Jalen Rose and the “Fab Five”, because they superseded the expectations and role of college basketball players. Through their unprecedented performance as basketball players and as cultural icons they sought to both reclaim and recreate images of African Americans and urban culture. More significantly than their attempts to capture and translate urban culture and social hues is there effort to become historians and documenters of a marginalized culture and community later in life. Just as the “Fab Five” and other cultural endorsers I hope us Young Professionals will work together to invoke community engagement, while simultaneously creating a forum for economic equality, educational opportunity, new forms of social expressions, and cultural documentation. I challenge us to be as boisterous, as courageous and as fabulous as the aforementioned five men from Michigan. —Virginia Cumberbatch aaulyp president


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What’s Happening /Political Alerts measure expires. Downtown the Texas House started the week off rather tamely after two late-night weekend floor debates over the past weekend.

It appears the Federal

government won’t be shutting down, at least for now. Democrats and Republicans narrowly averted a partial shutdown last night, agreeing on a budget deal and a short-term funding extension little more than an hour before the midnight deadline. The new

House Public Education Chair Rep. Rob Eissler (RThe Woodlands) introduced HB 500 on the floor Wednesday. The bill, which passed, attracted a lot of attention from the education community because it rolls back some of the requirements anticipated under the new end of course exam accountability system.

funding extension, which cuts spending by $2 billion, will last through next Friday, April 15. The budget deal still needs to pass in both chambers, with the expectation that lawmakers will approve it and the president will sign it before the short-term funding

Stay in the know YPs! —A.J. Bingham Local lobbyist, trivia expert


A. J. Bingham

S t o r i e s t o C h e c k Ou t President Obama to visit Austin May 10 Thousands protest deep spending cuts in education, human services Hispanic Lawmakers want Opportunity Districts From City Hall, More Name Calling Emails No Open Meetings Violations ACC Plans Purchase of Highland Mall Anchors Texting-Lite Bans Passes Texas House Campus Concealed Gun Bill Stuck in Senate

For more political alerts check out

young money


/ “Save, Save, and Save Again” G r ow i ng u p, I wa s no t

the richest kid on the block. My family scraped and saved for EVERYTHING! Needless to say, I was product of the “saver- breed”. My mom was pragmatic, yet unrelenting in her endeavor for us to save. Funny thing, we did not have allowances. We worked for every dime we earned.

Nikki Green

ier to save money then than now? It got me to thinking about saving and what it all really means. Some people save just to save. They say, “I’m saving for a home”. Well, that great… but what kind of home? Where, how soon and how much? This, my mom and many financial experts would agree, is the

By the time I was in middle school, much to my peers’ surprise, I managed to put away enough money to buy my own school clothes, supplies, and bunch of other stuff. That all changed when I got to college. It was like no matter how much I tried to save, it all went somewhere. Was it easY



worse way to save. Yes, it is important to save money for your future. But what is your future? What do you want and how soon do you want it? Smart savers are strategic! They do not just throw 10% of their check in some average interest yield account. Smart savers know it is not just about reaching a financial goal. Smart savers know that saving means planning for short term and long term — Continued on

p. 3 —


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— Continued from p. 2 — “Young Money”

requires a monk like discipline. Here are just 2 tips for smart saving: One, have a goal; not just any goal, but a goal that is hard to reach but reachable, identifiable, and valuable.

For more rants on personal finance, holler at Nikki at

Two, get out pen and paper, computer or iPad and get to jotting down how your saving will get you there.

For more tips from Nikki listen to KAZI “Young Money Today” / Mondays at 5:30 p.m.

—Nikki Green PR guru, radio host, P90X enthusiast



Brandy Joy Smith

/ Spring Stylin’

Wi t h t e m p e r a t u r e s r e a c h i n g t h e m i d 9 0 ’ s t h i s w e e k e n d , o n e m ig h t

as well forget about what to wear for Spring and jump right into Summer. But don’t fret, there are plenty of options for keeping cool while staying stylish. Here are the Top 5 Trends for the spring/summer season:

Head-to-toe white


The best way to fight the sun is to reflect it. Make sure you take this trend all the way by adding white accessories and shoes to complete your look.

(the color of the season). What’s wonderful about this color is it works well on almost any skin tone, and can bring a playful touch to an otherwise stuffy look. Lipsticks in Tangerine will bring a fresh feel to your summer

Maxi dresses This season is heavily influenced by the 70’s, which is why the maxi dress is the must have dress of the season. It’s casual enough for a day at the lake house, but dressy enough to don at a garden party.

High-waisted shorts. High-waisted shorts add an element of style and refinement to a normally casual piece. Tuck in one of your favorite blouses and you have chic look for Dressed-Down Fridays at the office.


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what about the dudes?

Our male counterparts may be feeling a little left out, so it’s important to touch on one of the big tends for men this summer.

summer survival

P r e ppy r e f i n ement

And finally, one trend that never goes out of style in the Texas heat: less is more.

This look emphasizes clean, simple fashions. Signature preppy pieces like blazers; bow ties, boat shoes and classic colors including navy, red and tan are essential to putting this look together.

Brandy Joy Smith is a local stylist and entrepreneur. To learn more about Brandy and to get more fresh ideas, visit

r ol l ca l l shout outs

L a s t S at u r d ay w e

lost a talismanic voice in film. The prolific, gifted, and still somehow underrated Sidney Lumet passed away at age 86 on April 9. Lumet was easily



one of the most important American directors of the last century, yet never quite seemed to get his full props. (He never won a directing Oscar.) For that, many critics would point to a quiet style that seemed to shift from film to film and fit the material so seamlessy that his brush strokes almost disappeared--a skill criminally under-praised by Hollywood. But, most importantly, as a filmmaker, Lumet should be remembered as one of the last great socially conscious

directors of the last golden age of American film. Not a brash pundit like Michael Moore or a bold style-tician like Spike, Lumet was a passionate man who took great pains to take himself out of the equation and let his characters explain their plight all on their own. What we get with films like 12 Angry Men and Q & A are a snapshots of a country crippled by racism, unaddressed poverty, and a broken justice system, yet emboldened with just enough idealism, na-




The Legacy of Sidney Lumet ive denail, and hope to keep moving forward. Bred in the 1940s Jewish theatre community in New York, Lumet no doubt learned from an early age the intricacies of wedding art and ideals. He was a sensitive observer of race relations in particular, something that he managed, in films like The Pawnbroker, to address with grace, power, and nuance rivaled by few. The father of two biracial daughter from a marriage to — Continued on

p. 6 —


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am e n c o r n e r

Words to Read, Advice to Heed

Don’t Gild the Lily — by pastor jennifer cumberbatch —

I Intimate


interaction yields great insight for those willing to glean, thereof. My interaction with family and friends has been a winsome teacher. My children in particular have been a rich resource in this vein. I have always marveled at my eldest son’s inherent use and uncanny recall of vocabulary. His extraordinary facility with words has been evident since, he was very young. I remember on numerous occasions being in awe of his appropriate use of what I considered a rather difficult word. I would ask in consternation, “How do you know that word.” And he would reply, “Mommy you taught me.” It was a curious phenomenon. As, I had no recollection of ever using said word in his presence and certainly no recollection of formally teaching him the word’s meaning or us-

age. One of his high school English teachers criticized his penchant for agonizing over the precise word to use in his essays, admonishing him that his time would be better spent in conveying ideas more pedantically, rather than racking his brain for the perfect word choice to convey his thoughts. This instruction was to no avail, as my dear son still practices the painstaking process of agonizing over the precise word to convey his ideas. I have, critically observed my son’s writing process on more than one occasions with a “just finish it already,” attitude, mistaking his press for excellence as procrastination or worst for perfectionism. When he was about ten or twelve years old, my son discovered in his reading the phrase, “don’t gild the lily.” I had never heard this phrase before my son introduced it to me. Since his introduction, the phrase remains one of my favorite idioms. I love the ring of the words and their import. I pondered my son’s phrase and my son’s writing style. In the past I have been paralyzed by the fear of imperfection, for this is a season for me to execute plans. I enter a season wherein I move from merely

dreaming about using my gifts to the execution thereof. I am the eldest daughter of an English teacher and phenomenal writer and communicator. My father was an oratory genius, a prolific thinker and scholar, teaching spiritual and biblical truths brilliantly. My grandmother edited newspaper articles and corrected my mother’s college letters to her for grammar and spelling. I am 53 years old and my mother, reflexively (with no malice) corrects my conversational grammar. So, I have been programmed to be precise and grammatically adroit in my communication. My children make fun of my emails and especially my text, as I have difficulty employing text abbreviations and trivializing the expression of my thought for brevity sake. I have dreamed for years of being a prolific writer and playwright, communicating my thoughts, ideas and opinion, impacting my generation. I mourn the passing of Molly Ivins, Susan McBee, Michael Crighton and other brilliant purveyors of ideas, culture and passionate opinion. But, I am terrified of not being perfect. I am scared into inaction never beginning for fear of failure. My eldest daughter has inspired me. She fearless-

ly became the founding editor-in-chief of Telos a highly commended, award winning, Christian magazine for her alma mater, Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She is fearless! My son has written GQ and Austin Monthly and designed for Cooking Light and the Texas Bar Journal. For the last 20 years, I have relegated myself to sharing my thoughts verbally, undisciplined enough and too fearful to ferret out the difference between excellence and perfectionism. There is a difference between these two concepts. My husband of 31 years (from whom I have learned much) is often perturbed by the American quest for being “the best.” During contributions to American public education, my husband often tires of the rhetoric elevating one school as the best over another, based on narrow-scoped definitions of “best” amid an ethos that promotes competition and winning over the pursuit of excellence. My husband often argues that the pursuit of excellence has far more positive impact than a quest to be the best or a merciless perfectionist mentality. To arise, cause to ascend to dawn, bring up, to shew,


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— Continued from p. 5— “Amen Corner”

grow, increase, leap, perfect, rise up shoot forth, spring up, stir up, work. Excell: is the Greek word, huperbolo a compound of the preposition huper above, beyond, chiefest, exceeding highly more of over on the part of for sake of and the primary verb: bolllo to throw violently or intensely arise, cast, pour, put (up) thrust, strike throw. So, to excel means to throw beyond the usual mark, to surpass, exceeding. This is my goal to increase in wisdom, favor and stature, to rise up and shoot forth in the plan of God for my life. I plan to throw, thrust, strike violently

passionately into my destiny and purpose, into the desire of my heart, pursuing exceedingly the passion of my heart, placed there by God. The stride for excellence, in this light, becomes the press to exceed what we could do in our own strength and ability. This type of striving is not in accordance with some arbitrary standard for the best, for perfection. I have no need to strive to be the best. There is no such prize. No longer is it necessary to be terrorized by the fear of being less than perfect. God sets the standard. God is perfection and God perfects.

In God, I move, write and have my being. And, if I hurl myself, throw myself into the good work God has ordained for me to be and do, God will perfect all that concerns me. My job is to do and God’s job is to perfect. My job is to strive toward the high mark of God in Christ Jesus----God’s workmanship in me. Competition between the billions of inhabitants on the earth is futile, because there is plenty. Each person is called to subdue their own assigned portion of terra firm, their assigned purview and ordained ministry and purpose unto God’s enabling standard of perfec-

pa rti n g s h ots

tion. God has created me and perfects me and I excel in my surrender to God’s working in me. I hear, now my son, at age 12, saying to me, “Mom, don’t gild the lily!” —Jennifer Cumberbatch Local auther, pastor, speaker, performer, mother For more tidbits from Jennifer, you can find her on Facebook.

Stay tuned for more advice from guest columnists…

MLK March January 17, 2011

— Continued from p. 4 — “Sidney Lumet”

Gail Jones (daughter of singer Lena Horne), he once said his filmic ruminations on prejudice: “[it] was largely the observations of racism that my children brought home that made it all the more urgent to me…Their awareness became my awareness.” Lumet was able to play the neat trick of evoking emo-

tion surrounding large social issues without being overly didactic or simplistic. It’s hard to explain really, but watch 12 Angry Men. Then, watch 2004’s Crash. You’ll feel the difference. I’m a latecomer to Lumet’s work. His films were more definitive of my parents era than my own. I discover him

because he directed one of the most strangely vivid films of my childhood memory, The Wiz. The movie was panned, the second half is only vaguely watchable. But, it had moments of inspired brilliance, and when it came out, it really meant a lot to black Americans to see a musical with all their favorite

stars on the big screen—and set in Harlem, no less. I think Lumet knew that. I wish we had more Sidney Lumets. —Graham Cumberbatch Graphic designer/writer just tryin’ to move on down the road


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bulletin events Austin / Ap r i l 1 5 t h /

/ M ay 1 st /

/ May 16th /

/ May 29th /

RunWay Underground’s Pop-up Boutique x Studio x Marketplace

Lauryn Hill, Live at Stubb’s

American Heart Association Lobby Day

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life

Join the AAULYP Education and Political Committee as we take part in one of the American Heart Association 82 Legislative Lobby Days. Join the campaign “Power to End Heart Disease and Stroke” as we petition for better health care education and help promote stroke prevention and health equity. For more info contact Ricardo at:

Cancer affects us all in immense ways; let’s support our peers, loved ones and community by participating in this year’s East Austin Relay for Life. If you’re interested in participating and joining a team contact Sabrina at:

Austin’s new fashion industry kids on the block RunWay Underground [the Evolution] Fashion Production Group kick off their premiere season with a series of interactive “pop-up” fashion events that feature some of Austin’s brightest African/Black designers, photographers, models, and stylists. For more information visit:

Let’s pack Stubbs together and welcome the legendary Ms. Hill. The ex-Fugee and Grammy winner might have earned some mixed reviews in recent years because of spotty live performances, but that doesn’t quell our interest in what she might bring to Austin in May. Looking at bits of her performance in NYC back in February, we have high hopes. For tickets visit:

YP Events / Ap r i l 1 7 t h /

/ M ay 1 4 t h /

/ May /

YP Video Promo Video Shoot

YP Kickoff !!!!

( A l l m o n t h lo n g )

The AAULYPs are having a video shoot on Sunday, April 17th to serve as the YP introduction to Austin. Come join us for an afternoon of fellowship, fun, and fab fashions as we help to promote our presence and mission. The video shoot will be available online and will serve as our Launch Party invitation. Come dressed fly and prepared to answer the question: Why are you a YP? For more information contact Tamra at:

The YPs are back in Austin and we want to celebrate our re-launch with an evening of fun! Join us on May 14th to learn more about the AAULYP mission, purpose and what makes a YP. The night will include door prizes, a performance, information, and the unveiling of our new logo! Look out for our video invitation coming your way with all the details. In the meantime for more information or to get involved contact Virginia at:

Monthly YP Church tour and exchange Looking for a church? Or just want to experience other Austin churches? Sign up for the YP Church exchange. Once a month we will venture out together to different local churches with different traditions and vibes. If you’re interested in hosting the YPs at your home church, or just want to explore send us your information! Contact Tamra at:

Have an event to promote? Want the YPs to get involved? To make a post in the next Young Prophet (May) submit your request(s) to: vacumberbatch@

The Young Prophet - April 2011  

The official newsletter of the Austin-Area Urban League Young Professionals