Page 1

GOP CANCELS liz cheney PAGE 9

Younger Montagnards advocate for their elders PAGE 6

Bakari Sellers talks Andrew Brown Jr. ahead of gso bound PAGE 10

No. 2: Actor Sterling K. Brown delivered the commencement address at NC A&T University.

RANKED! The Triad’s 2021 college commencement speakers PAGE 11


MAY 13-20, 2021


My new business rules for the late-stage pandemic

If you read

then you know...

•Which local diner made a cameo in RiverRun this year •The rumored settlement amount for the Marcus Smith case •What kind of anti-trans bills have been introduced lately

Triad City Beat — If you know, you know

1. No more inperson meetings before 10 a.m. My entire morning routine used to take 25 minutes. But after by Brian Clarey a year of working at my kitchen table, it takes me twice as long, perhaps even thrice, to get cleaned up and out of the house. I can start online meetings as soon as 8:05, but please understand I have only been out of bed for five minutes. 2. The bar for “business casual” has been lowered. Business casual now includes sweatpants and hoodies, but not at the same time. Hard shoes are for weddings only now. And if I’m getting dressed up — which I haven’t in more than a year — it will be for a fancy event and not a sales meeting. I generally will not be shaving more than once a week. 3. Half-hour is the new hour Pre-pandemic, an hour was the default timeframe for a business meeting. Now it’s 30 minutes. I’m not saying we can’t go the full hour, I’m just asking if we really need to. 4. Be vaxxed. This should go without saying, but here we are. We’re on the back half of a deadly, global pandemic and we have three lifesaving vaccines readily available — for

free! — all over the Triad. You’re not ready to do business (not with me, at least) unless you’ve gotten the full treatment. 5. Don’t perpetuate the Big Lie I will not be doing business with anyone who thinks that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. If that’s your jam, you don’t deserve to be in front of our readers. 6. Make me an offer! Triad City Beat has a role to play in the gradual resurgence of our local economy, and also a responsibility. So I’m slashing rates for businesses most affected by the pandemic: bars and restaurants, music clubs, theaters, galleries, events and such. And I’m giving longtime clients a couple free ads upon their return to our pages. Shoot me an email and I’ll likely hook you up. 7. The power of digital The pandemic ushered in one of the biggest changes in our readership: We now have more online readers than in print. So if you want to talk business with me, be prepared to hear all about it. 8. As always… One thing hasn’t changed. At TCB, content drives advertising and never the other way around, so please don’t ask for a “little write-up” before you consider advertising with us. Don’t pitch me stories about your friends or come at me with problems regarding our editorial positions. Our readers are here for the content, not the ads.

1451 S. Elm-Eugene St. Box 24, Greensboro, NC 27406 Office: 336.256.9320 BUSINESS PUBLISHER/EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Brian Clarey brian@triad-city-beat.com

To get in front of the best readers in the Triad, contact Chris or Drew.

chris@triad-city-beat.com drew@triad-city-beat.com 2


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Jonathan Jones


Sayaka Matsuoka sayaka@triad-city-beat.com


Michaela Ratliff michaela@triad-city-beat.com


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TCB IN A FLASH @ triad-city-beat.com First copy is free, all additional copies are $1. ©2021 Beat Media Inc.


Carolyn de Berry, Jordan Howse, Clay Jones, Matt Jones, Jen Sorensen, Nicole Zelniker

COVER Sterling K. Brown, who spoke at this year’s NC A&T graduation, headshot by Mark Mann.

(As of Wednesday, May 13)

Documented COVID-19 diagnoses

MAY 13-20, 2021 | UP FRONT

Coronavirus in the Triad: NC 986,443 (+9,675) Forsyth 35,783 (+289) Guilford County


COVID-19 deaths


12,830 (+109)


375 (+1)


707* (+67)

Documented recoveries NC

950,929 (+12,189)


33,530 (as of 4/24)


44,187 (+805)

Current cases NC

22,684 (-2,623)


*no data*


1,052 (-273)

Hospitalizations (right now) NC

933 (-66)


*no data*


41 (-7)

Vaccinations NC First Dose

3,358,027 (+46,191)

Fully vaccinated

3,026,071 (28.9%*,+163,231)

Forsyth First Dose

129,082 (+1,490)

Fully vaccinated

116,610 (30.5%*,+4,447)

Guilford First dose

186,214 (+2,467)

Fully vaccinated

170,212 (31.7%*,+7,994) *adjustment


UP FRONT | MAY 13-20, 2021

CITY LIFE May 13-16 by Michaela Ratliff


Summer Camps Registration @ Little Theatre of Winston-Salem (W-S) 9:30 a.m.


Food Truck Friday Grooves @ Center City Park (GSO) 11 a.m.

Registration is open for Lights Up!, LTWS’s summer camps and classes for kids and adults on focused on character development, voice and diction, and more. Tuition varies by camp. For more information, visit LTofWS.org/ summer-camps or call 336.725.4001.

Open Mic Night @ Common Grounds (GSO) 7 p.m.

Each Friday this month, experience live music from different artists while enjoying a bite to eat from various food trucks. On this day, David Childers will play as you shop from R&J Food Truck, Nando’s Kitchen and Sunset Slush Italian Ice. The event is free, but registration on Eventbrite is recommended to allow organizers to follow attendance requirements.

John Michael Montgomery @ Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex Theatre (W-S) 7:30 p.m.

Musicians, poets, stand-up comedians and more are invited to perform at Common Grounds’ open mic night hosted by Jordan Gates. Sign up begins at 7 p.m. Visit the event page on Facebook for more info.

My Roots, My Dreams series @ Van Dyke Performance Space (GSO) 7 p.m.


Casa Azul of Greensboro, an organization dedication to the promotion of Latin American art and culture, is hosting a series of roundtable discussions with artists Rosalia Torres-Weiner and Cornelio Campos about how their Mexican heritage has shaped their art. Visit the event page on Facebook for free registration.

The Classic Country Concert Series hosted by 98.1 Classic Country begins this year with John Michael Montgomery at the WSF Annex Theatre. Joining Montgomery is local band Whiskey Foxtrot. Local For more information and to purchase tickets, visit WSFairgrounds.com.

Blood Drive @ Hanesbrands Theater (W-S) 10 a.m.

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem is hosting a blood drive to benefit the Blood Connection, a community blood center. Co-sponsors include the Little Theatre of Winston=Salem, Sawtooth School and Spring Theater. Donors are required to wear masks. Schedule your appointment by visiting Donate.TheBloodConnection.org and clicking ‘Donate Now.’

Carolina Blues Festival @ LeBauer Park (GSO) 4 p.m.


Triad Comic Con @ Greensboro-High Point Marriott Airport (GSO) 10 a.m.

MAY 13-20, 2021 | UP FRONT


Eastgate Comics is bringing Comic Con to the Triad with comic books, live wrestling matches, a cosplay contest and more. Find more information on Triad Comic Con’s Facebook page.

Triad Outsiders Tryouts @ Washington Terrace Park (HP) 2 p.m.

Hosted by the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society, this year’s Carolina Blues Festival exemplifies the theme of Carolina Soul. Enjoy the sounds of Johnny Rawls, Roy Roberts, the Phoebes Band and Darryl Johnson while shopping with local vendors and enjoying a full bar. A $5 drink voucher is available with the presentation of a COVID-19 vaccination card. The festival will also be livestreamed from PBPS social media. Learn more about the artists and purchase tickets at PiedmontBlues.org.

Open Casting Call for Princess & Character Performers @ Reserving Royalty Character Company & Children’s Venue (HP) 5:15 p.m.

Reserving Royalty is searching for its new cast of princesses, superheroes and party hosts. Think you have what it takes? Register and view casting requirements, job benefits and preferred qualifications at ReservingRoyalty.com/casting.

The Triad Outsiders, a local amateur football team, is hosting tryouts for its 2021 season. Pre-registration is required and can be done at https://forms.gle/A1JEprdWxr7pPRF66. Learn more about the team on their Facebook page.


NEWS | MAY 6-12, 2021


‘A voice for the unheard’: How the younger generation is raising awareness for the Montagnard community by Sayaka Matsuoka


hey’ve been living in Guilford County for 30 years, but many in Greensboro still don’t know who they are or why they’re here. The Montagnard consists of various group of indigenous peoples who hail from the Central Highlands of Vietnam. According to the Montagnard Dega Association of Greensboro, there are more than 12,000 Montagnard people living in the United States alone, with most of them living in North Carolina. Risuin Ksor and his father, Moeun Puih, live in Greensboro. “We’ve been living in Greensboro since 2002,” says Ksor, who translates for his soft-spoken father. As with many other Montagnard individuals who have made their way to the United States in the last three decades, Puih has a story rife with struggle brought upon by the Vietnam War.




he first wave of Montagnard immigrants who arrived in the United States in the 1980s came as refugees. During the war, hundreds of Montagnard men allied with American forces to fight, but after the US pulled out in the early ’70s, the Montagnard soldiers were left behind in a war-torn country with nowhere to live. In the years that followed, many who had helped the US Special Forces fled Vietnam for Cambodia and Thailand, oftentimes fighting for survival against the Communist forces. Puih was not a soldier, but he remembers the part he played in the war as an interpreter for the United Nations. During those years on the run, he says he helped close to 600 Montagnard people flee to Cambodia where he and his family also became refugees, spending three years in a camp. Now, according to several estimates, Greensboro serves as the largest Montagnard community in the world outside of Vietnam. But many Montagnards say they’re still struggling despite their numbers in the city. One of the biggest problems for the community is access to information, Ksor says. “There’s so much misinformation,” says Ksor, who was a Bonner Scholar at Guilford College and now works as


Risuin Ksor and his father Moeun Puih have lived in Greensboro since 2002 when they immigrated from Cambodia as refugees. Puih worked for the United Nations during the Vietnam War and helped hundreds of Montagnards seek refuge in Cambodia.

a contractor for the United Nations. “Sometimes people are getting information from their kids, and the kids are getting it from social media…. To get accurate information, you have to know the right networks.” Ha Tong, the community liaison for the Montagnard Dega Association in Greensboro, says that getting accurate information can be difficult for many in the community, particularly those who are older. “There are plenty of resources if you speak English; it’s easier for you,” she says. “But for these folks, it’s not possible for them; that is a problem.” Because of the lack of consistent information, Tong says that many in the community have been hesitant to get the vaccine. When the vaccines first started

rolling out, she says that they were faced with a shortage which gave time for rumors to spread amongst the members. “They were getting wrong information about the vaccine and then a lot of people called to say they didn’t want to get it,” she says. To combat that, the association has put on several virtual community meetings where they invited experts and doctors to speak on the vaccine. But that only works for people who have access to the internet. For many elders in the community, just being able to do basic things like shopping or figuring out their healthcare can be difficult. “One of the needs we see in the community are with the elders, especially the ones who don’t have family,” says Liana

According to several estimates, Greensboro has the largest Montagnard population in the world outside of Vietnam.

Adrong, administrative coordinator for the association. “Many came in 1998 or 1996 and they didn’t marry or bring families,” she says. “They need help reading the paper or making doctor’s appointments or help with transportation.” The pandemic has made things more difficult. Before, volunteers could visit individuals in person to help with daily tasks but much of that help had to be moved to online video calls or to phone check-ins, says Tong. Plus, the association is shortstaffed. “We are pretty small,” says Adrong. “We don’t have a lot of funding, therefore, sometimes we are just overworked.” To help with that, the association recently won a $100,000 grant which will help the community rebound from the pandemic. This will hopefully aid in hiring more staff like H’thu Nie, who starts her new job at the association this week.

cont. on pg. 9


ast week, Colonial Pipeline, one of the nation’s largest pipelines, was forced to shut down after being hit by a ransomware attack. The 5,500 mile-long pipeline runs refined gasoline and jet fuel from Texas up the East Coast to New York according to the NY Times. One of Colonial Pipeline’s largest facilities is located in Greensboro off of Fordham Blvd. According to the company, the pipeline carries 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supplies. On Monday, President Joe Biden said

MAY 6-12, 2021 | NEWS

Gov. Cooper urges calm in aftermath of pipeline ransomware attack


that the attack was perpetrated by DarkSide, a criminal gang of hackers believed to have roots in Eastern Europe. In response, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 213 on Monday declaring a state of emergency in North Carolina and temporarily suspending motor vehicle fuel regulations to ensure adequate fuel supply throughout the state. He also urged drivers to not hoard gas. “We have a full court press to get the Colonial Pipeline back up and fully operating quickly,” Cooper tweeted on

Tuesday afternoon. “Report price gouging and please don’t rush to top off your tanks.” On Tuesday, Patrick DeHaan, an analyst with Gasbuddy tweeted that the East Coast reported a 32.5 percent increase in demand for gas on Monday while the Midwest bumped up by 16.2 percent. GasBuddy also reported that almost 6.5 percent of gas stations in Virginia were out of fuel by late Monday while more than 1 percent of stations in North Carolina and Florida had no gas. On Tuesday evening, Colonial

released a statement in which they said that they have increased security checks on their systems. “Consistent with our safety policies and regulatory requirements, Colonial has increased aerial patrols of our pipeline right of way and deployed more than 50 personnel to walk and drive approximately 5,000 miles of pipeline each day,” the statement read. According to multiple news outlets, the breach was the largest, most significant, successful attack on an American energy infrastructure to date.


OPINION | MAY 13-20, 2021

‘Montagnard’ cont. from pg. 6 THE NEXT GENERATION


be used for all refugee communities in Greensboro, not just the Montagnards. Really, the future of the Montagnard community, rests in the hands of the younger generations, says Adrong. “We want to train young Montagnard people to have leadership skills,” she says. “And I think doing this kind of work will give them that.” Tong, who immigrated to the US in 2009, says that there can be a divide amongst the younger and older generations but that through conversations and activism, the community be more unified. “There can be a sense of connecting back between the two generations and it can motivate us to speak up for our people and speak for the people who cannot speak for themselves,” she says. “We are being the voice of the unheard.” Nie says that since coming to the US 12 years ago, her family hasn’t been back to Vietnam. Neither have Ksor or Puih. Some families, like Puih’s, still face threats of persecution while others simply haven’t had the time or funding. But one thing remains clear: For most of the Montagnard people here, Greensboro has become home. And to really thrive, community members say they need recognition as well as more resources. Nie says having more interpreters could help elders in the community while Tong notes that more funding would help the association organize events and programs. And after 30 years, many feel it’s more than past time to be seen and heard. “We don’t want much,” says Puih, who keeps his faded United Nations worker card in his wallet still. “We want to be honored for the things we’ve done for the American community. We want resources so we can be one with the community. We don’t want to be separate; we want to be one with the Greensboro community.”

ie, 22-years-old, immigrated to the United States from Vietnam with her family a little over a decade ago. Unlike some of the other families who came to North Carolina seeking refuge, she says her family immigrated here because of the increased opportunities she and her siblings would have. Nie became the first in her family to get a college degree when she graduated from UNCG this past week with a bachelors in human development and family studies. She says she’ll be working as a civic engagement specialist for the association to help community members get more involved in politics. She also signed up for an interpretation course through the association to hone her skills in Rhade, one of the many languag- – Moeun Puih es spoken by Montagnard people. Because even though she is Montagnard, she says she realized there were gaps in her fluency. “I want to learn more medical terminology and be able to interact in a professional way,” says Nie, who often translates for her mother. Once she hones her skills a bit more, Nie hopes to help work the phone lines to communicate with elders in the community who don’t speak English. She says that younger Montagnard individuals like her can have a harder time maintaining the language because they were either born in the United States or moved here at such a young age. But, she says, staying immersed in the language helps her feel more connected to her culture. “It makes me feel like I’m connected to my homeland,” she says. “That’s where my roots are. Even though I’ve lived here for a decent amount of time, I haven’t forgotten my own culture and my language and where I came from.” One of the things that the new grant funding may help with is creating a To learn more about Greensboro’s buddy system for younger Montagnard Montagnard community, visit montagnardda. people to help the elders in the comorg. munity. “They would do home visits once a week or read their mail or meet them at their doctors’ appointments,” Adrong says. “It’s kind of a buddy system that we are talking about.” And the system, if successful, could

“We want to be honored for the things we’ve done for the American community.”



Liz Cheney and the fatal miscalculation


hey’ve got the long knives out for Rep. Liz Cheney (RWyoming), who on Wednesday morning was ousted as chair of the House Republican Conference. She was the third-most powerful member of the entire GOP; now she’s a pariah. Cheney, who is the daughter of the only US vice president to shoot a man in the face while in office, committed an unpardonable sin amongst the current crop of Republicans: She told the truth, out loud. Everybody knows that Trump lost the 2020 election. Everybody knows that there was no massive election fraud — even the people who are claiming to be looking for it. The only ones left buying this crap are the professionally ignorant, the information-averse, the ones for whom cognitive dissonance has finally bloomed into mental illness. Everyone else is just pretending. Cheney also had the audacity to point out that Trump was the driving force behind the Jan. 6 insurrection, which is why it’s called Trump’s Insurrection. And when it came time to choose between party and country, Cheney voted to impeach Trump. She never believed the Big Lie. The GOP’s charge was led by our very own Rep. Virginia Foxx, whose subservience to the former president

is well documented, as is her frequent rejection of truth. And it happens just a month after she announced her reelection bid. And that is the thing: Every single Republican in the House wants to be re-elected, and they all seem to believe that the Big Lie is the best tack to take. That’s business as usual. What’s alarming is the extent to which they will go to perpetuate this lie: excommunicating Republican royalty. Cheney won her 2020 re-election bid with 185,732 votes; that’s 2/3 of all votes cast. Wyoming is a pretty small state, but she remains enormously popular there. Still. Look what they did to Mitt Romney, who was booed off the stage at a GOP convention in his home state of Utah. But the Big Lie is losing steam. Trump, its main perpetrator has largely been silenced — after his social media ban, he’s seen by most Americans only in short clips where he looks like he’s just trying not to crap himself. The audience has contracted to the lowest practitioners of the Republican pedagogy, many of whom will eventually get coronavirus. Meanwhile, out here in the real world, vaccinations are flowing, the stock market is going up and houses are fetching top dollar. Why would any of us want to go back?

Bakari Sellers talks Andrew Brown, self-care prior to Greensboro Bound by Sayaka Matsuoka


n Saturday, Greensboro Bound will stream a free virtual conversation between author Isaac Bailey and CNN commentator and attorney Bakari Sellers as part of the 2021 book festival. In anticipation of the event, Triad City Beat got to talk to Sellers about his current role as an attorney for the family of Andrew Brown Jr. as well as his life after serving as a state representative in South Carolina. Learn more about the Greensboro Bound Festival, which starts Thursday, at greensborobound.com.

You’re currently representing the family of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man who was shot and killed by law enforcement in Elizabeth City on April 21. How did you get that job and what has it been like?

I’m a lawyer by trade. A lot of people forget that, because of my work on CNN and in politics. But doing civil rights work around the country is something I’ve always enjoyed doing. So I got a call from Elizabeth City, and the family reached out. Part of the family was already working with Harry Daniels and Ben Crump and it’s just a remarkable group of lawyers that are coming together. We’re trying to do the best we can. Right now, we’re trying to seek transparency in the investigation and find out what happened which is proving to be way more difficult than I’ve been a part of in any other case. And then we’re trying to get justice both civilly and criminally for Andrew Brown and his family.

What do you want local activists, particularly white people, to know about being engaged in the movement right now?

I think we find ourselves cutting through all the noise and chatter, Republicans and Democrats, white and Black, because many people find it patently absurd that we don’t have any transparency…. [T]he law in North Carolina is so poorly written that we don’t even have access to the video. And I think we’ve been able to shine a light on a lot of the systematic injustices that we see and how difficult it is for lawyers even with some national recognition to navigate

these systems. Imagine how difficult it is be Joe Blow to navigate these systems. I think that the example that you’re seeing is people saying, This just isn’t right. And that’s regardless of who Andrew Brown was…. We’re talking about the system that killed him and the system that’s not allowing us to find out what happened to him.

MAY 13-20, 2021 | CULTURE


What sort of changes do you think need to happen locally and nationally to change this?

Locally, I think you see the distrust that is readily apparent between local individuals and county officials…. We are diametrically opposed at this point with the sheriff’s office on what happened in the leadup to Andrew Brown and ultimately his life being taken. However, we don’t have any PHOTO BY JOHN R. WALDER, issue and we’re appreciative of him on CARBON THREAD AGENCY the backend for example, even asking for Bakari Sellers will be speaking with author Isaac Bailey as part of Greensboro Bound the video to be released and releasing all this Saturday. of the names of the individuals and his policies. So there are efforts being made Why do you do the work you do? on certain levels. But you have many entities like the district I just find things that I love to do from my work in politics, to attorney who wants this to be his show. being a vessel and utilizing my platform on TV, to my work On the state level, these laws are terrible. I think the bodyin the courtroom, to now venturing off into venture-capital camera law is a perfect example of people living in a glass work. It’s all things I have a passion about, a love for. I always house in Raleigh without any real-life or practical experience, want to do good and do well, and I was always taught to fight and putting the onus on families. For example: You lose a for something larger than myself. loved one and your family has to appeal to court to see the video? That’s just absurd. What sort of conversations are you having with Federally, there is nowhere written in any law in the country your kids? that you go from having a warrant to a death penalty and I I have a 15-year-old daughter, and two twins. For my twins, think it shows that the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act is it’s about the work I’m putting in to make this a more perfect needed now more than ever. union. For my 15-year-old, she’s brilliant, but she sees and understands everything that’s going Can you tell me a little on around her, so it’s listening to about the kind of person her and helping her dissect everyAndrew Brown Jr. was? thing that we see. We’re always One of the things as a lawyer in this being honest and truthful. Kids are case is you try to make sure that brilliant. We just have conversahis life matters in death, that in tions, and we don’t shy away from the final moments in his life where them. I think last summer, the sumit did not to law enforcement. A mer of Breonna, Ahmaud, George, lot of times they kill you and try to was a range of emotions for her, kill your reputation as well. So as but even more so I think it was lawyers, you try to preserve that…. enlightening. It’s reminding his family and giving them comfort that he lived. Remembering him for the love, What do you do to take care of yourself? the affection, the father, the brother, the nephew that he was, I firmly believe in self-care. I do my best to go to therapy once is so important. And we will try to make sure that his life was every other week and spend time with my family. My wife is not in vain by changing some of these laws which are making my best friend. For me it’s about it’s about living in 24-hour the truth of his life and death more difficult to obtain. periods, you have to eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Learn more about the Greensboro Bound Festival which starts Thursday at greensborobound.com.


CULTURE | MAY 13-20, 2021

RANKED: The Triad 2021 commencement speakers


e do this every year — or, at least we try to. Last year’s Commencement Speaker Face-Off was another casualty of the pandemic year. Even now, we are still living it as schools scrambled for speakers and live ceremonies with mixed success rates after the governor allowed for in-person events. In the end, though, the results were pretty good, with important and impressive people, some of whom come from our very own communities. – BC

1. Wake Forest University:

Condoleezza Rice/Pete Buttigieg/Kendall Hinton


· Date: May 17 (live/virtual) · Shorthand: Wealthy university stacks the deck with a trifecta of big-name commencement speakers. · Bio: Rice was the secretary of state under President Bush. Buttigieg was a 2016 presidential candidate and is the current secretary of transportation. Hinton was pulled off the Denver Broncos practice squad in 2020 and tapped to start a regular-season NFL game against the Saints (he got clobbered, but still). · Ever heard of them: Yes, with the possible exception of Hinton. · Appropriateness: Hinton, at least, went to Wake. The other two are sending pre-recorded remarks. · What they’ll speak about: Does it even matter? · Past speakers: Frederick J. Ryan Jr. (publisher and CEO of the Washington Post), Stephen Colbert (TV host, 2015), Jill Abramson (former executive editor of the New York Times, 2014), Insar K. Nooye (PepsiCo CEO, 2011), Kenneth Chenault (American Express CEO, 2010), President Joe Biden (2009), Arnold Palmer (professional golfer, 2005), Colin Powell (US secretary of state, 2004), Michael Bloomberg (former businessman and mayor of New York City, 2003), Sen. John McCain (2002), Barbara Bush (former first lady, 2001), Tom Clancy (author, 1992), Garry Trudeau (creator of Doonesbury, 1996), Maya Angelou (1985), Bill Moyers (journalist, 1984, 1970), Rep. Gerald Ford (1972), Walter Lippman (newspaper columnist, 1926) · Watch it: WFU YouTube

2. NC A&T University: Sterling K Brown (actor)

· Date: May 9 (live) · Shorthand: That guy’s been in everything. · Bio: Brown has dozens of TV credits (a lot of cop roles) and lots of voice-over work, but you most likely recognize him from Black Panther or “This is Us.” · Ever heard of them: Almost definitely, if you’re Black. · Appropriateness: Unlike T’challa, there are no HBCUs in Brown’s past — he went to Stanford and NYU. But he has been to Wakanda…. · What he spoke about: “Do not let the world convince you that you are any less than you can be. Do not let this nation convince you that there is no seat for you at the table.” · Past speakers: Laila Ali (Muhammad Ali’s daughter, 2017), First Lady Michelle Obama (2012), US Rep. John Lewis (2015), Donna Brazile (author and political analyst, 2014) · Watch it: It’s on the Aggie YouTube channel.

5. Guilford College: Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell · Date: May 7-8 (live), May 15 (virtual) · Shorthand: Female biophysicist whose work got whitewashed. · Bio: While still a student in 1967, Bell Burnell discovered the first radio pulsars — stars that emit radio waves from their poles. This discovery was awarded the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics, but her name was not on the award — it went to her theses supervisor instead. · Ever heard of them: No, but that was by design. · Appropriateness: Guilford College loves

· · Date: May 7-8 (live/virtual) · Shorthand: The First Black, female CEO in the NBA. · Bio: She was the first Black cheerleader at UC Berkeley, then spent 40 years in the corporate works before becoming CEO of the Dallas Mavericks in 2018. · Ever heard of them: Unless you’re an NBA fan, possible but not likely. · Appropriateness: Seems on mission for HPU, which likes big-name speakers and must also demonstrate some woke-ness. · What she spoke about: She challenged HPU grads to always live life “like the ball is in your court…. Handle the ball with character. Don’t cheat. Always tell the truth. Your integrity is not for sale. Do the right thing. There is a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing. You have been taught how to do both.” · Past speakers: Michio Kaku (theoretical physicist, 2019), Josh Groban (singer/actor, 2018), Wolf Blitzer (broadcast journalist, 2017 winner), Condoleezza Rice (former secretary of state, 2016), Tom Brokaw (broadcast journalist, 2015), Colin Powell (retired diplomat and general, 2014), Steve Wozniak (tech entrepreneur, 2013), Laura Bush (former first lady, 2012), Lance Armstrong (world-class cyclist, 2011) · Watch it: highpoint.edu/

4. UNCSA: Stephen McKinley Henderson (actor), alum · Date: May 22 (live/virtual) · Shorthand: One of UNCSA’s most successful grads (Class of ’72). · Bio: A character actor with serious theater chops and scores of film and television roles, with star turns in August Wilson’s Century Cycle and every iteration of “Law & Order.” His biggest role yet maybe in the upcoming screen adaptaion of Dune. · Ever heard of them: No, but you would know his face. · Appropriateness: Spot-on. · What he’ll speak about: Hopefully his time in Winston-Salem at UNCSA. · Past speakers: Paul Tazewell (Hamilton costume designer, 2018), David LaChappelle (photographer/director, 2015), Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences President Cheryl Isaac Boone (2015), Angus MacLachlan/Peter Bogdanovich (directors, 2010), Kristin Chenowith (actor, 2009), Danny Elfman (composer, 2007), Forrest Whitaker (actor, 2004), Mandy Patinkin (actor, 2001), Debbie Allen (actor and choreographer, 1992) · Watch it: UNCSA YouTube channel

· ·

MAY 13-20, 2021 | CULTURE

3. High Point University: Cynt Marshall

shit like this. What they’ll speak about: How she got screwed by the patriarchy, probably. No footage on the GC YouTube page. Past speakers: Patricia Timmons-Goodson (first African-American female justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, 2017), Rev. William J. Barber II (activist, 2016), Jeff Thigpen (Guilford County Register of Deeds, 2013) Watch it: Guilford YouTube May 15.

6. Salem College: Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones (doctor, activist)

· Date: May 8 (live/ virtual) · Shorthand: The doctor who calls racism a public health crisis. · Bio: A Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard, Dr. Jones’ CV also includes Morehouse School of Medicine, Stanford University, Emory University, the American Journal of Public Health and TEDx. She’s the one who pointed out that it may be racism, and not race, that is a health risk factor. · Ever heard of them: She’s not a household name outside of racialjustice circles, where she’s sort of a rock star. · Appropriateness: A brilliant woman at Salem College is spot on. · What she spoke about: While the wind blew her notes about, Dr. Jones used the COVID-19 pandemic to fortify her thesis. “Racism structures, if you will, a dual reality.” · Past speakers: Susan Goldberg (first female editor in chief of National Geographic, 2017), Erika James (dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, 2016), Freda Lewis-Hall (Pfizer CEO, 2015) · Watch it: Salem College YouTube.

7. Elon Law School: Valarie Kaur (activist)


CULTURE | MAY 13-20, 2021

· Date: May 19 (live)

· Shorthand: A Christian activist for social justice · Bio: Valarie Kauer is a lawyer who came into the public eye in 2016 at the National Moral Revival Watch Night services, where she spoke along with North Carolina pastor Rev. William Barber. Footage of her 6-minute address has since garnered 40 million views. · Ever heard of them: Maybe? · Appropriateness: She’s a big name, with a strong moral compass. A lawyer herself, perhaps she can imbue some of these qualities in her audience. · What they’ll speak about: Revolutionary Love, no doubt. From her website: “My vision is to seed ‘pockets’ of revolutionary love across the country and around the world. A critical mass of people building beloved community – anti-racist, equitable and sustainable. I believe this is how we birth the world to come.” · Past speakers: David Gergen (political analyst, 2009), Sen. Kay Hagan (2010), Sen. Richard Burr (2011), Attorney General and future Gov. Roy Cooper (2015) ·· Watch it: Live at elon.edu/u/live/

8. Bennett College: The 2021 Bennett Belles

· Date: May 15 (virtual) · Shorthand: They are their own graduation speaker. · Bio: This year’s group of Bennett Belles has decided to share their own personal journeys rather than get someone else to speak. “It’s been a challenging and unusual year for them, and so they were reluctant to invite a speaker who would deliver ‘you are the future’ platitudes,” Suzanne E. Walsh, president of Bennett College, told Yes Weekly. · Ever heard of them: Not yet, but someday soon: Bennett Belles do big things. · Appropriateness: Considering the pandemic, the difficulty and cost of booking a speaker and the wishes of the graduates themselves, rather solid. In judging connectedness between school and speaker, nothing else comes close. · What they’ll speak about: Their own lived experience. · Past speakers: US Rep. Alma Adams (2017) (For many years, the tradition at Bennett was for the president to speak) · Watch it: Live on the Bennett College YouTube channel.

12 9. UNCG: Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam Jr.

· Date: May 7-8 (live/virtual) · Shorthand: He’s the chancellor, so he can do what he wants. · Bio: Even if he wasn’t chancellor of UNCG, Gilliam would make a great speaker. He spent much of his 30-year career in education at UCLA, most recently as dean of the School of Public Affairs, and he’s been showered with awards since the early 2000s. He’s been a game-changer at UNCG, advancing virtually every aspect of the university’s presence in Greensboro. Plus, he’s a former college football player. · Ever heard of them: Yes, if you live in Greensboro. The guy is everywhere. · Appropriateness: It checks out. · What he spoke about: A pep talk worthy of Nido Qubein. · Past speakers: Ken Jeong (2019 winner), Joey Cheek (Olympic Gold Medalist from Greensboro, 2018 winner), Margot Lee Shetterly (author of Hidden Figures, 2017), Gov. Beverly Perdue (2009), Jim Hunt (former NC governor, 2004), Nido Qubein (motivational speaker and future president of High Point University, 2003), Erskine Bowles (political figure, 2000), Fred Chappell (former NC poet laureate, 1999), Art Buchwald (newspaper columnist, 1967, 1997), Maya Angelou (poet and author, 1986), Lesley Stahl (broadcast journalist, 1986), Charles Kuralt (journalist, 1973), Sen. George McGovern (1969) · Watch it: Lots of video at commencement.uncg.edu.

10. Greensboro College: Rev. Jill Alventosa-Brown · Date: May 8 (virtual/live) · Shorthand: She’s currently the associate pastor of the West Market Street United Methodist Church. · Bio: An anti-racist pastor with 20 years in Triad churches; she’s also part of the Greensboro Faith Leaders Council. · Ever heard of them: Maybe, if you’re an activist or a Methodist or some combination thereof. · Appropriateness: Sure. Why not? · What they’ll speak about: She gave a Biblical argument for inclusivity, and discussed “encounters of holy and sacred consequence” as the graduates move on. · Past speakers: Joey Cheek (Olympic speed-skater, 2012), Navy Cmdr. Porter Halyburton (former POW, 2011), Elizabeth Dole (former US senator, 2007) · Watch it: GC’s Religious Life YouTube.

11. Winston-Salem State University:

CASBE Interim Dean Dr. Jacqueline Madry-Taylor and SOHS Interim Dean Dr. Leslee Battle (Class of ’93).

· Date: May 20-21 · Shorthand: Rams on parade. · Bio: A couple of career academics take the podium as WSSU restaffs. · Ever heard of them: If you are a Ram, yes. · Appropriateness: Pretty appropriate, all things considered — there is a pandemic going on, after all. And they both work there, for now. · What they’ll speak about: N/A · Past speakers: Byron Pitts (journalist, 2018), Melissa Harris-Perry (journalist, 2016), Common (rapper, 2015), Michael Eric Dyson (author and educator, 2012), Stephen A. Smith (sports journalist, 2011) · Watch it: Catch it live on WSSU YouTube page.

MAY 13-20, 2021 | SHOT IN THE TRIAD


Boulder Road, Greensboro

Storm clouds gather over Colonial Pipeline storage tanks in Greensboro. Last week the company reported a ransomware cyber-attack which resulted in a temporary shutdown of all pipeline operations. The pipeline delivers roughly 45 percent of fuel consumed on the East Coast.



PUZZLES | MAY 13-20, 2021


CROSSWORD ‘Free Game!’—it’s themeless time again. by Matt Jones


Across 1 Garden fixture 8 It’s not the R in “MMR”, but another name for measles 15 Before 16 Maroons 17 Misheard phrase such as “nerve-wrecking” 18 Thought that one could 19 Complete beginner? 20 Martial arts-based Lego set that launched a cartoon and subsequent movie 22 Req. for a restaurant to serve alcohol 23 Eric who said “I believe in the separation of church and planet” 25 Spread for some bougie brewpubs 26 Dal ___ (Rajasthani dish with wheat bread and ghee) © 2021 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@jonesincrosswords.com) 27 “Barbarella” actress 29 Heart diagnostic, for short 30 Lammermoor bride of opera 31 Virtuoso guitarist Malmsteen 33 Use your break time, in a way 35 In the meantime, in Latin 37 How “Waiting for Godot” was originally presented 40 Jays’ and Yanks’ div. 44 Gotta-haves 45 ‘50s Dem. presidential candidate 47 Chilean pianist Claudio 48 E. ___ (rod-shaped bacteria) Answers from last issue 49 Award given to “Nomadland” for Best Film in 12 Arsenic partner, in film April 2021 13 Wright who played Shuri in “Black Panther” 51 Line parts (abbr.) 14 Withdrawn, perhaps 52 Dijon’s here 21 Big no-no for stand-up comedians 53 Santa Monica area in early skateboard 24 King nicknamed “Longshanks” documentaries 26 Sucky situations 55 Biden, to GIs 28 Professional staff 56 Beauty chain since 1970 30 Ali who had a perfect record in the ring 58 Model who’s the daughter of Wayne Gretzky 32 One, in Bonn 60 About .035 ounces 34 La la leader? 61 Connecticut-born cartoonist known for big 36 March Madness event stripey cats 37 Canine neighbor 62 Say again 38 Division of the Tertiary period 63 Like old parchment 39 Former Mexican president CalderÛn and Down baseball manager Alou, for two 41 Puerto Rico observatory site where a notable 1 Spell out telescope collapsed in 2020 2 Rooted for 42 City north of Flint 3 Malaysian-born comedian who gained fame 43 Chianti’s region in 2020 for his online cooking reviewer 46 Visit persona Uncle Roger 49 He was in a “Subsequent Moviefilm” 4 Happy coworker? 50 Caffeinated 5 About 90% of all refined metal 53 “___ and the Lost City of Gold” (2019 film) 6 Places in the heart 54 Lacking value 7 Johnson who invented the Super Soaker 57 Companion of wt. 8 Harmful bloom makeup 59 Rapper ___ Dicky 9 Long sushi order? 10 Ballpoint pen, in the U.K. 11 “Taiwan” suffix

©2021 Jonesin’ Crosswords


Answers from previous publication.

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Ranked! The 2021 Triad commencement speaker face-off  

Ranking the speakers at 11 colleges in Guilford and Forsyth. Plus the Montagnards, Bakari Sellers, the pipeline hack and more.

Ranked! The 2021 Triad commencement speaker face-off  

Ranking the speakers at 11 colleges in Guilford and Forsyth. Plus the Montagnards, Bakari Sellers, the pipeline hack and more.


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