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Entrepreneur | Business | Education and Career | Finance | Real Estate | Technology | Insurance

August 2017

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Inspire, Inform & Educate

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120th Edition

Power of Effective

Communication Medlock is a man of his word, GCG’s company culture credo is based on the following three principles: integrity, information, and innovation.

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INSIDE

04

“The Pygmalion Effect”

08

Healing The Family Takes More Than A Rib

21

Secrets Kill from the Inside Out


2  |  August 2017

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August 2017  |  3

Publisher’s Message

MR. D-MARS

d-mars.com is proud to share the success stories of African American businesses and civic and community leaders. We know that success does not always come easy and it is not always measured in money. How have you helped your fellow entrepreneur? Have you supported your locally-owned African American business? Have you donated to a nonprofit that is working in our underserved communities? Questions to think about and actions to take. This month’s cover story highlights Jason Medlock, founder of Glennlock

Behind the Journal

PHOTOGRAPHY L.C. Poullard Grady Carter MULTIMEDIA DIRECTOR Andrea Hennekes

08 Entrepeneur 08  Healing The Family Takes More Than A Rib 08  Universal Language of Love 10 Finance 10  Wells Fargo Commits to Increase African American Homeownership 12-13  Cover Story 12-13  Glennlock Construction Group, Inc. 14 Insurance 14  Life Insurance Is One of the Keys to Black Wealth 15  Jazz Fest 15  Jazz Fest

12-13 16  Power of Communication 16  Power of Communication

ADVERTISING | MARKETING MEDIA | COMMUNICATION • Business Journal • Health & Wellness Journal • Community Journal • Black Pages Online Business Directory • Top 50 Black Health, Medical & Wellness Professionals • Top 50 Black Professionals & Entrepreneurs • Top 30 Influential Women of Houston • Top 25 Prime & Subcontractors for Diversity • Business Connection • Business Development • Business Consulting • Graphic Design • Photography • Printing • Web Design • Online & Email Marketing • Public Relations • Social Media • Advertising • Writing • Promotional Marketing

17  In the Business Community… 17  Thurgood Marshall School of Law welcomed the Class of 2020

Project Coordinator Taelor Smith Antoniece Portis

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Noel Pinnock Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner Charlene Crowell, NNPA Taelor Smith Ash Davito Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Cynthia Strong Charlotte A. Jackson d-mars.com News Provider

our services

04

LAYOUT & GRAPHIC DESIGNER Angel Rosa

DISTRIBUTION Booker T. Davis, Jr. Rockie Hayden

Speaker

07 Education 07  White House Proposes $9.2 Billion Cut in Education Funding

EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Cynthia Nickerson

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES C.T. Foster Tiffany Black

Author and Motivational

04 Business 04  “The Pygmalion Effect” 06  Mayor’s monthly letter for August 2017

Chief Operating Officer Kimberly Floyd

Vice President, Marketing Anita Bates

— Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur,

contents

Publisher & CEO Keith J. Davis, Sr.

ACCOUNTING MANAGER Eugenie Doualla

"If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary."

Construction Group, Incorporated. As a seasoned businessman, Medlock is a firm believer in business based on integrity, information and innovation. He clearly understands that communication is key in business and to be successful you must be an effective communicator with your clients, as well as, your team. As always, thank you for your continued support of d-mars.com. When you support us, you are supporting more than just our company; you are supporting the communities in which we live and work. Working together, we can succeed in making positive things happen.

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20  Real Estate 20  Will Federal Lawmakers Turn Back the Clock on Fair Housing?

21 Community 21  Secrets Kill from the Inside Out

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4  |  August 2017 Business

“The Pygmalion Effect” “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.”

By Noel Pinnock Contributing Writer

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his is a profound statement, whose author is unknown; however, the resonating message is that someone else believes in you - your knowledge, skills, and abilities. This is a powerful notion because our existence is predicated by the way we believe other people perceive us. Even the most narcissistic person isn’t immune to the power, influence, and phenomenon of the “others factor.” Psychologists refer to this as the self-fulfilling prophecy; whereby, our behavior is influenced by the way we believe others perceive us; hence, the popularized Pygmalion Effect: - I am not what I think I am - I am not what you think I am - BUT I am what I think YOU think I am!

The Pygmalion effect or Rosenthal effect, is the phenomenon whereby higher expectations lead to an increase in performance. The effect is named after the Greek myth of Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he carved. Additionally, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson's study showed that, if teachers were led to expect enhanced performance from children, then the children's performance was enhanced. This study supported the hypothesis that reality can be positively or negatively influenced by the expectations of others, which is called the observer-expectancy effect. Rosenthal argued that biased expectancies could affect reality and create self-fulfilling prophecies. You can see this principle play out well in classrooms to offices across the globe in practically every industry imaginable. In a previous D-mars article, I wrote that Gerry Fusco, CEO of Gerry Fusco Consulting Group, once told me that his father would tell him that he is no better than anyone else and no one else is better than him. This gave him a neutral foundation with everyone he encountered. He was not intimidated by stature, titles, positions, education, etc. He had a general understanding that he could go anywhere and do practically anything that someone else did and possibly do it even better. He believed so because his father believed he could. However, it did not stop with his father’s belief, he had to believe it for himself. We can find ourselves on a brink of

a breakthrough and then doubt enters our psyche and our breakthrough looks more and more like a breakdown and we fizzle out like an extinguishing flame. So, how do you prevent the fizzle and ignite your sizzle. You must start with yourself by asking the poignant and burning question, why not me? “Why not me” is a self-awareness and inflection question that is aimed at digging deep into your internal belief systems. As you know our beliefs produce our thoughts, our thoughts produce our feelings, and our feelings produce our actions. If you are not taking the action you need to take your marriage, career, business, or parenting to the next level, then I would recommend that you: 1. Conduct a belief self-assessment to determine what’s at the core of “you.” Once you, decide to believe in your imminent success or accomplishment, then…

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2. Develop an action plan that will assist you along the life cycle of this venture, project, etc. Then, it is paramount that you… 3.  Surround yourself with others that believe in your vision and can see the end result with clarion lenses. No naysayers allowed.Remember, we innately do more when others believe we can. Let me say that again, we innately do more when we believe that others believe that we can. I can remember when I was a gymnast and was competing for the gold in a middle school gymnastic tournament at Welch Middle School back in the ‘80s. I was nervous and the competition was fierce but I can remember my Pershing Middle School coach, Nancy Shrull, who whispered the powerful words of encouragement, “I believe you can take it all.” These words ignited a flame in my heart that solidified my belief that instigated my thought, fueled my feelings that produced the gold medal winning actions. You see, it is a cycle and when you know the cycle then I recommend that you enjoy the ride. Be mindful… a lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could; therefore, I leave you with the resonating question, why not you? I believe you can…so should you! Author Noel Pinnock, B.S., M.P.A., C.A., CCC www.noelpinnock.com


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6  |  August 2017 Business

Mayor’s monthly letter for August 2017 By Mayor Sylvester Turner Mayor of Houston

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eport cards are rare in the summer, but I am glad to report on the progress we are making on several initiatives designed to enhance the quality of life in Houston neighborhoods. Every neighborhood deserves to have a thriving population of young people who find opportunity and meaningful activities. I am glad to report that 5,200 youth found work this year through the Mayor’s Hire Houston Summer Jobs program that connected them to private businesses and non-profit organizations. Meanwhile my Complete Communities program is moving forward in its initial stage. This program, which I announced in the spring, will bring together public resources, private businesses and philanthropic groups to improve overall conditions in five “pilot” neighborhoods: Third Ward, Second Ward, Near Northside, Acres Home and Gulfton. By “pilot,” I mean that these neighborhoods will serve as test cases for a program I want to implement citywide. Planners have already met with neighborhood leaders to set priorities for the improvements. Next, we will launch a

Mayor Sylvester Turner

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series of public meetings where my staff and I gather more feedback from residents in each neighborhood. We will not impose one-size-fits-all solutions in these neighborhoods. We will only move forward after listening closely to each area’s wants and needs. But we also plan to move quickly after we gather the wide-ranging feedback. First will come “quick delivery” items, such as enhanced street lighting and new playground equipment, even as we plan long-term housing and economic revitalization projects. Learn more online at http://www.houstontx.gov/completecommunities/ On another front, we are moving forward with hiring a company to provide new curbside recycling service, including the resumption of the recycling of glass. As the value and methods of recycling change, we will select a service that will keep up with technology and provide the best financial deal for the city. Also, the City Council just a few days ago approved my proposal to add $4 million to a program to repair roofs and make other structural repairs on homes that were covered by those blue tarps resulting from hurricane damage several years ago. As we look to improve every neighborhood in our great city, it’s time to make permanent fixes.


August 2017  |  7 Education

White House Proposes $9.2 Billion Cut in Education Funding By Charlene Crowell NNPA

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o one ever said that higher education wouldn't cost money. Across the country, tuition is steadily rising and students are taking longer to pay off their student loans. Today, 44 million consumers share $1.4 trillion in borrowed student debt – more than double what it was in 2008. On average, graduating seniors with a bachelor's degree begin their careers with about $30,000 in student loans, while graduate students are almost assured of incurring six-figure student debt. All of these financial burdens have been acquired against a backdrop of an increasingly competitive global economy. The 21st Century marketplace is also dependent upon a highly-skilled workforce. Gone are the days when manufacturing could provide a steady and comfortable living. From steel to textiles and more, global competition requires America to work smarter and harder. So why would the Trump Administration propose a $9.2 billion cut in education? Over the next decade, the White House wants to ‘save' $143 billion from college loan programs, including an end to $26.8 billion in subsidized loans. Currently, Pell Grants, designed to assist low-income students, are capped at less than $6,000 per scholastic year despite the average cost of tuition at a public college for its own state students approaching $10,000 per year. Here's one White House explanation on how less access to higher education going to help the nation's ability to remain economically competitive. “We're no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs, but by the number of people we help get off of those programs,” said White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney during a May 23 press briefing. It seems like the White House is really averse to more Americans receiving a higher education at a time when college costs and its resulting debt are on an upward trajectory. Certainly, education budget cuts will not ‘make America great again'. Two days later and on the floor of the U.S. Senate, a diverging view was spoken, “Let's give struggling students a fair chance,” said Illinois' Senator Richard Durbin. “We are seeing an increase in the wealth gap between college graduates with student debt and those without student debt”, Durbin continued. “The burdens of student debt are threatening the notion that being college-educated is enough to get ahead.”

Sen. Durbin went on to share the story of a Chicago constituent, the first in her family to attend college, who appealed to his office for help. The majority of the former student's debts totaling $120,000 were private loans with high interest rates and monthly payments that were just as costly. The student also felt she had no chance of financial improvement due to an ill-conceived enactment of a bill that prevented such debts being discharged in bankruptcy. Since 2005, student loan debt, unlike other types of unsecured debt cannot be a part of a bankruptcy filing. In other words, it's the kind of debt that could potentially follow borrowers to the grave. The Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2017 (S. 1262), introduced by Sen. Durbin and co-sponsored by 11 other Senators would allow financially struggling borrows to discharge private student loans in bankruptcy. The law is anticipated to relieve high-cost private loans that seldom come with many of the flexible repayment terms offered by federal ones. Some private student loans come with variable interest rates, high origination fees and scant – if any – repayment options. Already the bill has attracted the support of a large coalition of educational, student, civil rights and consumer or-

ganizations that include: the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), NAACP, the American Federation of Teachers, the Empire Justice Center, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in 2012, at least 850,000 private loan borrowers were in default in the amount of $8 billion. Two years later in 2014, CFPB analyzed more than 5,300 private student loan complaints filed between October 2013 and September 2014. That analysis found that the lack of affordable repayment plans, not a disregard for the debt, drove many borrowers to default. Defaulting on a private student loan has the potential to bring even more financial calamity to borrowers. In some cases, the entire loan balance may become due in full, immediately. Loan defaults can also lower consumers' credit profiles, preventing some borrowers from passing a background check for a job, obtaining housing, or accessing low interest forms of credit.

Additional AdditionalCRL CRLresearch research has found that: has found that: •  Four years after graduation, Black

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students with a bachelor's degree owe almost double the debt their white classmates owe; and •  While for-profit college enrollment represents 9.1 percent of all college students, these schools generate over 35 percent of all students who default on their loans; and

“Quality education is an investment – not a cost – to our nation's future, noted Whitney Barkley-Denney, a CRL policy counsel. “Its policies and practices must assure student success while minimizing costly debt errors that become unnecessary burdens,” “When students fall off a financial cliff, they should be able to discharge their private student loan debt in bankruptcy – just like people can with other kinds of debt,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “Banks fought hard more than a decade ago to exempt student loan debt from bankruptcy protections, and now we've seen the consequences: too many students are crushed by debt with no chance for a new start.” Source: by gVectors Team www.gVectors.com


8  |  August 2017 Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur

Universal Language of Love By Ash Davito Contributing Writer

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Healing The Family Takes More Than A Rib

ommunicating effectively is one of the most important attributes a person can have. A person can reach anyone's heart if communication includes love. Love is the universal language. Love is the most welcoming gift a person can give. It can be a simple greeting to a stranger or a smile. Love is rarely denied. Everyone did not grow up in a loving environment. Some of us do not even know how to love ourselves. You cannot give what you don’t have to give. Who wants to be hated? If so, why would you? It's not logical to want someone to hate you. There are other ways to keep your distance from people without hate. We may not be the same nationality, gender, or age, but love is the language we all have in common. We all love someone, or something, so much that we will protect it with all we have. It can be our country, family, children, or our jobs. That proves that we are capable of loving each other as God instructs us to do so in the Bible. God tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Love thy brother and sister. I've learned through experience that it was only "Love" that allowed people to be patient with me, forgive me, understand me, which are all things that I needed to become a better man. I've also learned how to apply those things when deal-

By Taelor Smith Staff Writer

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ickie Chaffold created More Than A Rib with hopes of changing the way many people view and interact in their family relationships. Targeted to bettering the family as a whole while changing the individuals making up the family, More Than A Rib is a source of healing that allows growth in these relationships. Chaffold says he focuses on addressing the root of the family issue as opposed to the symptom and looks to have participants admit, commit, and submit in their traditional and non-traditional family life. Chaffold believes More Than a Rib is the revelation that is found through the healing of hearts, souls and thought processes. As the family unit and each individual making up the unit evolves, having the tools that are taught and shared through More Than A Rib will only enhance the relationships and make transitions easier. Billed as a lifestyle movement, More Than A Rib is brought to participants as a series of books, forums, blogs, events, and social media. More Than A Rib topics will be covered in installments and will address most issues that families today face in day to day life. More Than A Rib is one part of a greater multifaceted non-profit organization called The ARN Group. Other brands under The ARN Group includes Surviving The Mirror, Dope Mentoring, and The Collective Urban Action Plan. Each brand serves a particular purpose to help change the ways in which communities interact, grow, and flourish. Chaffold says “If we can improve the individuals in the family, we can improve the collective family.

If we improve the individual family, we can improve the collective block. If we can improve the individual block, we can improve the collective community.” Rick Chaffold is an entrepreneur, change agent, mentor, and author. After serving in the Marine Corps, Chaffold worked to get his MBA with a concentration in Health Care Administration and became a Certified Life Strategist Coach. He has dedicated his life to service and helping others developing into someone greater. He is currently in pursuit of a doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Learn more about More Than A Rib and other ARN Group initiatives at morethanarib.com

ing with others because I understand the importance of "Love." I once lacked love and the understanding of how important it is to, first, love myself, therefore, I was incapable of loving others. It's something about love that pierces our heart so deeply that it's beyond our comprehension. I've learned over the years that it does pay to be respectful and to love others. I may not agree with you, but I will always respect your opinion. You never know what that person has gone through to make them feel a specific way about something or someone. You may be a "dog lover", yet another person may be terrified of dogs because they've had a horrible experience, such as, being mauled by a dog. We must learn how to love others, and in doing so, give others room to be themselves. No one wants to be forced to walk on eggshells because love is not communicated effectively. Communicating effectively, with love, allows us to completely accept others for who they are. Jealousy, vanity, and ego should never be part of our communication with others. Only dignity, respect, and humility will positively affect our personal growth. I've had the pleasure of meeting people from diverse backgrounds throughout my personal and business lives. I've learned valuable things from each of them. Communicating through love has made it possible for me to understand and respect their perspectives, whether we agree or not. Speaking with love as your foundation will allow you to communicate in ways that will expand your understanding of every person and situation you encounter. I encourage all of you reading this article to change someone's life today by speaking the universal language of love into their hearts! I love you, and may God continue to bless all you do out of love!

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August 2017  |  9

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10  |  August 2017

Finance

Wells Fargo Commits to Increase African American Homeownership W

ells Fargo & Company the leading U.S. home loan lender, today announced a $60 billion lending commitment to create at least 250,000 African American homeowners by 2027. The company's commitment is a direct action to help address the lower homeownership rates in the African American community and follows Wells Fargo's announcement to address Hispanic homeownership rates in 2015. Wells Fargo's commitment seeks to: •  Lend $60 billion to qualified African American consumers for home purchases by 2027, •  Increase the diversity of the Wells Fargo Home Lending sales team, and •  Support the effort with $15 million to support a variety of initiatives that promote financial education and counseling over the next ten years.

“Wells Fargo's $60 billion lending goal can contribute to economic growth by making responsible homeownership possible for more African Americans in communities across the country,” said Brad Blackwell, executive vice president and head of housing policy and homeownership growth strategies for Wells Fargo. “We are proud to be the first mortgage lender to make a public commitment to help increase African American homeownership. And, we are grateful for the support of key housing and civil rights organizations, who work alongside us to increase economic prosperity in our communities.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2024, 75 percent of the expected 14 million new households (renters and owners) in the U.S. will be diverse. African Americans are projected to represent 17 percent, or the third largest segment, of the new households. Joining Wells Fargo in the effort are the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (composed of African American real estate professionals), which has also set a homeownership goal, and two of the nation's most influential civil rights organizations, the NAACP and the National Urban League. The National Urban League provides homebuyer education and counseling through its network of affiliate offices across the country. “NAREB applauds Wells Fargo's $60 billion loan commitment. The bank is the first financial institution to acknowledge publicly Black Americans' wealth-building potential which could be greatly improved through homeownership,” said Ron Cooper, president, National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB). “NAREB welcomes their entry into the struggle to close the ever-widening wealth gap for Black Americans, and looks forward to having Wells Fargo as a partner in NAREB's ‘2 Million New Black Homeowners in 5 Years' program. Let us all work together and grow this initiative which represents a solid and meaningful start for more Black Americans to become homeowners and wealth-builders.” The African American lending commitment is the second initiative from the company's Housing Policy and Homeownership Growth Strategies group, a Wells Fargo Home Lending team advancing homeownership for minorities, first-time homebuyers and low to moderate-income customers. In 2015, the team announced an agreement with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals to support their Hispanic Wealth Project. "Homeownership has become an indispensable part of being a full participant in American society," National Urban League President and CEO Marc

H. Morial said. “An erosion of homeownership rates among African Americans represents not only a devastating financial loss but a barrier to full participation in the American dream.” In addition, according to NAREB's 2016 commissioned study, “The State of Housing in Black America,” housing finance industry barriers such as credit-scoring models, the lack of affordable housing inventory and economic constraints like unemployment and under-employment contribute to low homeownership among African Americans. In addition, barriers to homeownership in black communities include the costs associated with accessing mortgage credit, limited funds for down payment and lender averseness to extend credit to consumers with lower credit scores and smaller down payments. Additional research concludes that the lack of exposure to generations of long-term homeownership and the persistence of myths about homebuying may keep future homebuyers on the fence. Despite these factors, Wells Fargo has learned through a series of consumer surveys with Ipsos Public Affairs that African Americans view homeownership positively. According to the 2016 survey, 90 percent of African Americans say homeownership is a “dream come true,” 79 percent say it's essential for building families and 51 percent are considering buying a home in the next two years. Wells Fargo offers a number of home financing choices for a wide range of homebuying needs. For example, yourFirst MortgageSM has a homebuyer education incentive and offers a down payment as low as 3 percent for fixed-rate loans; for veterans, a VA loan requires no down payment; and Wells Fargo is the exclusive provider of the Union Plus mortgage program, which offers benefits for most union members and their families. There are also low down payment options for jumbo loan customers. The Neighborhood LIFT program, celebrating its 50th event on March 3, 2017, offers down payment assistance and homebuyer education to low and moderate-income homebuyers, and has created more than 13,000 homeowners since 2012. There are still LIFT dollars available in some markets. Learn more at www.NeighborhoodLIFT.com. For more information or to speak with a home mortgage consultant, consumers can call 1-877937-9357. Source: www.gVectors.com

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August 2017  |  11

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12  |  August 2017

Glennlock Construction Grou

Helping Houston

with Integrity, Information, a G

lennlock Construction Group, Inc. (GCG) excels as a full service general contractor in the metropolitan Houston area. They have a rich history of serving their clients in excellence, with over 20 years of quality service and experience in all facets of construction and renovation projects. They began servicing private projects for a Sugar Land based company, 3131 Properties, Ltd. in 2004. As the business evolved, there became an increased need to expand the organization into the public sector. The company has worked on small and medium scale commercial and residential construction projects in conjunction with providing services to local ISD’s, colleges and universities. Their clients have consistently been able to count on them to do a professional job within their designated budget.

GlennlockConstruction ConstructionGroup’s Group’s“Why” “Why” Glennlock Founder Jason Medlock, started the company because he felt African Americans were underrepresented in the industry and he wanted to be a role model for others who desired to be general contractors. He brings that compassion to the people of Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

“This storm affected all of Houston, and the construction industry. I can tell you this, as a contractor here in this state, the people who lost their homes need quality. They need someone who is going to make sure that the work is done on time and is done right.” —Jason Medlock

GCG’sVow Vowto toHurricane HurricaneHarvey HarveyVictims Victims GCG’s Hurricane Harvey left the City of Houston with an estimated $200 Billion in damages and countless lives literally in ruins. It is estimated that the hurricane displaced more than a million people from their homes. When asked about the effects of Hurricane Harvey on his business, Medlock expressed concern for the people who lost their homes due to flooding and wind damage. He passionately exclaimed, “This storm affected all of Houston, and the construction industry. I can tell you this, as a contractor here in this state, the people who lost their homes need quality. They need someone who is going to make sure that the work is done on time and is done right. And that’s my vow, to make sure that the clientele that are coming to me right now, and those who may come to me in the near future, understand that reputation means everything to GCG. I understand that the quality utilized in putting their homes back together, can really influence the rest of their lives. What you do as a contractor can contribute to their general well-being and them getting back to normal. They may not forget the experience, but they can heal once things return to normal. I vow to make sure that Glennlock does what it’s supposed to do for the people of Houston.”

GCG’sCompany CompanyCulture CultureCredo Credo GCG’s Medlock is a man of his word, GCG’s company culture credo is based on the following three principles: integrity, information, and innovation. They promise their customers the following: Integrity – GCG always maintains unquestionable honesty and integrity. Their management team was selected and built with

mutual trust, respect, and cooperation to provide the very highest quality construction services to their clients. Information – Communication is the key to construction project success. Their team understands this vital principle and is committed to having a two-way information flow between all the stakeholders with the ultimate goal of building a trusting relationship with the client. They ensure that you are part of team and that your experience will be client-focused. GCG’s effort to be collab-

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orative illustrates their dedication to achievin in construction quality. Innovation – GCG is constantly ahead o plore and integrate innovative technologies, techniques to allow the very best opportun and associates to better achieve excellence. Th improving the safety and efficiency of the continuous building and/or renovation on th


August 2017  |  13

up, Inc.

n Rebuild

and Innovation

ng the very best value

of the curve. They ex, methods, skills and nities for their clients They are dedicated to jobsite, ensuring that hat site remains para-

Federal Emergency Management Agency 1. Contact your insurance company. Do not do anything to your home until you have contacted your insurance company. If you need to remove anything right away, make sure you document it with pictures or video. The insurance company should send out a water remediation specialist immediately. 2. Call the right specialists. Get a water remediation specialist in your home as soon as possible. These specialists remove all the damaged contents and start the process of drying everything out. We recommend bringing in a mold remediation specialist as well once everything is dried out to make sure the remediation process was successful. You want to be sure everything is dry and all the mold has been removed before you start any remodeling. Of course you want to get back into your home as soon as possible, but rushing can lead to future mold problems. 3.  Avoid dealing with mold on your own. For natural disasters the magnitude of Harvey, remediation should be left to a professional. If you have to start the process by yourself, take extreme caution. The more you disturb the mold, the greater the chance it can spread throughout your house and become hazardous to your health. 4.  Turn off the power. Before you do any work, turn off the power to the areas you will be working on.

mount. Their goal is to bring innovative cost-saving techniques to the job that won’t compromise the integrity of the job but often results in their clients experiencing reduced costs. GCG specializes in building custom homes, home additions, renovations, roofs, kitchens, baths, windows, doors, hardwood and ceramic flooring, patios, pool houses, painting, and drywalling. They welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and your business. For more information, visit www.glennlockconstruction.com.

5.  Sort through the damage. •  Furniture. Any furniture that has been saturated should be thrown away. •  Carpet. If your carpet has been saturated, dispose of it. The best way to remove it is to cut it into manageable sections with a box cutter or knife. Roll up the sections, leaving the carpet pad, then cut the pad into strips and dispose of them too. Carpet is held down by wooden tack strips — thin strips of wood lined with hundreds of upside-down nails. These can be removed with a chisel and a hammer. •  Millwork and Sheetrock. Any millwork, such as baseboards, should be removed and discarded. Remove wet Sheetrock and any wet insulation behind it. •  Cabinetry. If water has gone underneath your cabinets, you may need to remove these as well. If only a small amount of water went beneath them, you may be able to save them. You can drill or cut holes in the toe kick — the bottom-most part of the cabinet that sits on the floor. The toe kick is slightly recessed from the rest of the cabinet, so drilling into it will allow air to flow under the cabinet and dry it out. These holes are fairly easy to patch when you begin the reconstruction. •  Flooring. Just because your tile or hardwoods look and feel dry on the surface does not mean they are completely dry. When hardwoods are installed, a layer of roofing felt is placed between the subfloor (plywood) and the hardwood flooring.

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This creates an excellent moisture barrier for the floor. Unfortunately, it also holds much of the water that falls on the floors. However, there are machines that can pull the water through the floors without removing them. Middling success is possible with this process. If water is still present after you try this, you will need to remove the hardwood flooring. Tile often has the same issue — water can become trapped between the tile and subfloor — so you may need to remove your tile floors as well.

6.  Order a dumpster. When ordering a dumpster or another garbage bin, get the largest one available. The price difference between the various sizes is usually minimal. Then have a plan in place before loading it up. You want to get the maximum amount of debris into the minimum amount of space. Generally, a competent contractor will have one on site for waste disposal. •  Break down items before you throw them away, and make sure that they lie flat on top of one another. •  Place the lighter items on the bottom. •  Make sure you can open the door to the bin, located on one end. If you throw items over the top, you will not be able to pack the bin efficiently. •  Use caution when loading items! 7.  Work closely with your adjustor. Make sure you are onsite when the adjustor visits your house. If you have a contractor that you’re working with make sure that person is onsite as well. They can both look at the damage and offer opinions about what it will take to rectify the situation. Together, they can also point out areas that may have damage that cannot be seen yet. 8.  Make certain it is safe to remain in the home. Every person my have “hypersensitivity” to different biological growths. Having an “IAQ” or “indoor air quality” check may be needed. This can assure that any allergen or growth from the water damage will not create short or long term health concerns. This should be done before, during and after repairs. 9.  Side to the err of caution. It’s always better to remain cautious than to go full steam ahead. Remember, this is your home. It’s were you live. So, in order to avoid potentially hazardous situations, consult with a professional before any work is done.


14  |  August 2017

Life Insurance Is One of the Keys to Black Wealth Insurance

By Stacy M. Brown NNPA

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f Black lives matter, then Black wealth should certainly matter, too. That's the motto that Eugene Mitchell, a corporate vice president and market manager in the African-American Market Unit for the New York Life Insurance Company, often shares. Since 2011, Mitchell has been on a mission to create wealth—$50 billion to be exact—in the Black community through an innovative and well-thought out insurance program backed by his employers and the 1,200 African-American insurance agents the company employs. “We are on mission to create $50 billion of tax-free future income in the Black community,” Mitchell said. “I believe the issues in the Black community are not crime [or] drugs; those are symptoms of a greater and deeper rooted issue, which is about economics. Mitchell continued: “Without economics, without college saving plans in place, without down payments for new homes, folks struggle to move to the next level. What we've put together is a community empowerment plan that's about financial literacy.” Mitchell said that leveraging financial tools to really make a difference is what's important. The equation is quite simple: multiply 200,000 families by $250,000 in life insurance and that creates $50 billion of tax-free income. Instead of thinking of life insurance as just a means to cover funeral expenses, Mitchell urges Black families to consider life insurance as protection and an investment for future generations. Mitchell based his plan on four principles: Protect what you own and those you love; prioritize financial goals; plan for major life events; and pass on assets to individuals and institutions you care about. “We're not only trying to create wealth, but to spend it in the right place; to build upon it and protect it and leverage it for the future and pass it on, so that money is never an issue,” said Mitchell. “Knowing collectively that we've created $50 billion and changed the financial future of our community shows that Black wealth matters.” Each generation of African-Americans stands proudly on the legacy of everyday heroes and civil rights leaders, just as Mitchell said he happily stands on the legacy of Cirilo A. McSween, an African-American trailblazer in the insurance business who

dedicated his life to strengthening the Black community. McSween, who served as the treasurer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was a close confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was adamant about helping his clients create estates and leave legacies to financially empower the next generation, using life insurance as the foundation, Mitchell said. “I tell my agents that we have the responsibility to live up to the legacy of those who came before us by doing all that we can to help those who will come after us,” said Mitchell, who holds a degree in finance from Florida International University and an MBA in finance from New York University. Helping to create economic opportunity and building multi-generational wealth can ensure the stability and the future of the Black community, he said. A revelation struck Mitchell when his employers explained that his value to the company was $2.5 million. Mitchell said that was the current value of his future earnings at the company, just his salary alone, without bonuses. “So, it made me think about valuing my life. If someone got on the bus and was acting up, it taught me to move to the other side, for example,” he said. “You tend to take better care of yourself, your children and your family and

make better decisions, when you know you're worth a million dollars or more.” Other races, particularly Whites, inherit their wealth, most through life insurance payouts, he said. “You really can't work your way to wealth, you have to invest your earnings somewhere,” said Mitchell. “It's time to consider tools like life insurance, as well as, looking at places where we can find money to invest.” Mitchell continued: “We could empower ourselves, and send more kids to school, create endowments, lessen crime and create more home ownership, collectively.” Buying life insurance isn't a government handout, or someone else doing for the community, Mitchell said. “It's us, getting ourselves together with what we have,” explained Mitchell. “To teach our children better, to act better ourselves, and to use these tools that are readily available that have been underleveraged in our community, so that we can raise expectations and create a new legacy for generations to come.” Quite simply, life insurance isn't a lottery ticket, Mitchell stressed. “We can insure our parents, ourselves and our children to build this within our own families. By getting our mindset and spending habits right, we can start setting up college savings

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plans and down payments for homes like others,” he said. Mitchell explained: “If you had inherited $250,000 from big momma, would it have helped you put aside your nest egg, put a down payment on a home or have startup capital for a business?” Already, after just six years, the plan is nearing its goal. In 2016 alone, New York Life paid out $5 billion in death claims, Mitchell said. African-American agents at the company handled more than $100 million in claims from Black Americans. “The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) forthrightly salutes New York Life and Eugene Mitchell for this transformative initiative to undergird the building of wealth for Black families and communities,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA. Mitchell and others, including New York Life agents, plan to celebrate reaching the $50 billion milestone by taking a portrait on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in August. “The $50 billion is just a starting point,” said Mitchell. “It could be used on top of the trillion dollars of earned income that Black people already have.” Source: www.gVectors.com


August 2017  |  15

Jazz Fest

What a wonderful night it was to enjoy the Showdown Throwdown, a Texas vs. Louisiana Brass Band competition. The Showdown Throwdown was one of three events put on during the 27th Annual Houston International Jazz Fest Hosted by Jazz Education Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization started in 1970 with the purpose of changing lives through music.

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16  |  August 2017

Power of Communication By Cynthia Strong Contributing Writer

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erbal speaking ignites the power of communication. Once the vocal cords releases the sound of your words power takes place. The power can carry negative or harmful impartations or the power of your spoken words can carry positive or healing impartations. Knowing this, what should our individual decision be before verbally transferring information to another individual? THINK before you SPEAK. When you do this you will get an inner feeling about the timing of communicating with that individual.You will get a chance to evaluate the reasons for wanting to share with an individual and you will get a chance to see what your motives are for wanting to communicate with this individual. Remember life or death is in the power of the tongue so take a few precious moments to THINK before you SPEAK. Your character is defined by your spoken words and your thinking. When you allow yourself to think negative thoughts without asking for forgiveness of those thoughts,your character will demonstrate sour behavior physically and verbally. This life style will cause you to age

quicker and shorten your life span. Decide to be honest and be quick to throw out thoughts of judgement about others because you now will center on doing to others as you would have others do unto YOU. You are valuable so show value to others.

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In the Business Community…

August 2017  |  17

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Thurgood Marshall School of Law welcomed the Class of 2020

Today Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law welcomed the Class of 2020 at the 2017 Fall semester orientation! Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was on hand to offer words of encouragement and gratitude to the new students and the entire law school constituency for pursuing a career in law. Mayor Turner asked the new students to aspire for success while transcending the Thurgood Marshall School of Law and the City of Houston to a better tomorrow. Good luck to the Class of 2020!

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18  |  August 2017

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August 2017  |  19

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20  |  August 2017 Real Estate

Will Federal Lawmakers Turn Back the Clock on Fair Housing? By Charlene Crowell NNPA

w

hen future generations read the history of the nation's first Black President, I believe there will be greater acknowledgement of his administration's significant accomplishments. For now, however, an undeniable strategic war is underway to dismantle the very progress President Obama achieved. General market media outlets have extensively reported on reforms or repeals of the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street reform and the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is equally important to share that a key Obama regulation that spoke to the future of fair housing is again under assault on Capitol Hill. A 2015 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule finally delivered on the promises first made with the 1968 enactment of the Fair Housing Act. While the Act outlawed housing discrimination, it also included another important legal requirement. To advance the purposes of the Act, federal agencies and federal grantees were also to forge inclusive and diverse communities as a means to reverse America's housing history of segregation and Jim Crow. Known as “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH), the HUD rule requires that cities, counties and states receiving funds for housing and community development engage in a planning process to help them take meaningful and deliberate actions to overcome historic

segregation patterns, promote fair housing choice and create inclusive communities free from discrimination. Two HUD tools were shared to assist communities in the planning process, Data and Mapping and an Assessment of Fair Housing. AFFH affects all public housing authorities and three other popular HUD programs: Community Development Block Grants CDBG), Emergency Solution Grants (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). From its beginning, HUD's AFFH rule was met with attack and multiple legislative attempts to repeal it. The latest attempt is The Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2017. If enacted, it would nullify the HUD rule. The bill would also ban federal funds from being used for any federal database that contains geospatial information on community racial disparities and disparities in access to affordable housing. In the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill has already attracted 24 co-sponsors from 14 states. Half of the lawmakers' support for the repeal comes from only four states: California, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. A companion bill was also introduced in the Senate with one co-sponsor. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, the bill lead sponsor in the lower chamber, shared in a prepared statement why he feels so strongly about appealing the rule: “The AFFH rule marks President Obama's most aggressive attempt yet to force his utopian ideology on American communities disguised under the

banner of 'fairness'. This overreaching mandate is an attempt to extort communities into giving up local zoning decisions and reengineer the makeup of our neighborhoods.” For civil rights, housing and consumer advocates, the unique Black American experience was deliberately engineered— but from a different perspective: to deny housing opportunity, voting rights, economic mobility and even quality employment or education. “AFFH is central to fulfilling the purposes of the Fair Housing Act,” said Wade Henderson, President and CEO on the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “It's based on a simple and perfectly fair premise: if a city or locality seeks taxpayer funding for HUD projects, they should actively work to ensure that all taxpayers can enjoy the benefits without the prospect of unlawful discrimination. Indeed, the rule provides local jurisdictions with broad discretion to decide which issues to prioritize and address.” “By attacking the AFFH rule, Rep. Gosar and other bill sponsors are seeking to re-codify housing discrimination into U.S. law,” noted Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO of Global Policy Solutions, a social change strategy firm. “By disallowing the collection of federal data by place, race and other key demographics, the bill's sponsors seek to prevent local governments from making their communities the best places to live by limiting their ability to use critical data and information to inform their community planning decisions.”

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Until the 1968 Fair Housing Act, local zoning laws across the country supported segregation along with redlining Black communities to exclude borrowers from mortgage and home improvement loans along with a litany of bad real estate practices that denied opportunities to build family wealth. Omitting Black neighborhoods from multiple listing services, door-to-door block-busting that attempted to create a sense of fear from lost property values due to integration, and restricted covenants that explicitly excluded many minorities from ever buying property in designated areas -- were all the kinds of tactics used to preserve segregated housing before the Fair Housing Act. Fortunately, a growing coalition of progressive interests is conveying to Congress their firm intent to preserve HUD's rule. Led by the National Fair Housing Alliance, to date more than 950 academicians, individuals and advocacy organizations spanning national, state, and local levels in civil rights, fair housing, affordable housing have joined the battle to preserve an essential component of the Fair Housing Act. Speaking for the coalition working to preserve the AFFH rule Shanna L. Smith, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance said, “It reflects the strongly held American value that everyone deserves access to the opportunities they need to flourish, regardless of the color of their skin or the zip code in which they grow up.” Source: Team www.gVectors.com


August 2017  |  21

Secrets Kill from the Inside Out By Charlotte A. Jackson Contributing Writer

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ef lecting back on so many relationships in my life, one thing I am realizing more each day, is that we cannot keep secrets. We must keep it real and tell people how we feel as well as what we have experienced. When I was a young teenager, I had an experience that changed the entire course of my life. At the time, I was told by one of the two people who should have loved me unconditionally, “Never say a word about this. Pretend it never happened.” Here I am 40 years later and standing firm when I say, I refuse to keep quiet. Had I disobeyed this person, I wonder how very different my life would have been? After the incident happened in 1976, I made choices that led to so much pain. The pain of finding out the night before my 18th birthday

that the man who I thought loved me, was going to propose to someone else on my birthday. The pain of spending four years in a relationship that basically robbed me of my high school years. And how do many girls who are rape victims react? They either shut down, become promiscuous

or develop a hate for the men in their lives. I had not been raised in a home where God was discussed, nor did I understand about salvation. For the next 14 years, I continued to seek something to numb the pain of that forced silence. There were years of alcohol, as well as, abusive

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relationships and broken dreams. As painful as these events were, the perpetrator continued to seek me out. As he moved on from abusing one teenage girl to another, he would occasionally pop back into my life. Just as I was told to never talk about it, he was always given my address, phone number and often too much information about me. He never had to search for me, as the information was freely given to him. Years of therapy and painful experiences started to come to an end in 2012 when I received a call that the perpetrator was on life-support. The person who contacted me had no idea about the earlier events in my life. This person had always been told we were really close friends, much like a brother and sister. It was not until I showed up at the hospital and saw my abuser in critical condition, that God pushed me to speak up. As his wife left the room, I began to listen to God. I reached out, took his swollen hand and spoke the words, “I forgive you.” The doctor in the room looked up and suddenly the monitor went flat. He may not have reacted vocally but he obviously heard my words. When the doctor asked me a few questions, I had tears in my eyes when I explained that secrets kill from the inside out. For 36 years, I carried that secret and in order for me to live, I had to forgive so that Christ could forgive me.


22  |  August 2017

T H E

E X P E R T

N E TW O R K

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August 2017  |  23

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