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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 82 | Number 21

MARCH 21, 2013 |FREE


Educating Black students


MARC MORIAL supports voting rights

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P11 HS ZONE CAMERON BURRELL finds stardom in track


Toyelle Wilson coaches winners

Cheryl Pearson-McNeil

Prairie View A&M University coach Toyelle Wilson is proud of her Lady Panthers women’s basketball team. Hear what she has to say about their will to win during a recent competition. Meet the players who gave the coach a victory to remember. Learn what’s next for the championship team.

March is Women’s History Month, and columnist Cheryl PearsonMcNeil celebrates women and their contributions. Read about the power that female consumers possess. Discover facts about shopping, social media and single parents. Find out why men and women think differently.

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celebrates women • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

Teri Lynch, Dave Moss, Pamela Cashaw and Grace Macklin at Delta Foundation gala


f the Alzheimer’s Association, takes place on Tuesday, March 12, at the State Capitol in Austin. The event gives constituents an opportunity to meet with lawmakers to discuss the disease and how it affects individuals and families across Texas. Charter bus transportation will be available for Houston-area advocates who would like to attend. For information visit


DEFENDER | MARCH 21 | 2013


Turner applauds vote for mental health

Coalition wants independent oversight of Texas prisons By TIFFANY L. WILLIAMS Defender


embers of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition are advocating for independent oversight of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). A new report, “The Case for Independent Oversight of Texas’ Prison System: Pursuing Accountability, Efficiency, and Transparency,” released by the non-profit, research and advocacy group, outlines the needs and benefits of implementing programs of independent oversight. “It’s long overdue that someone outside of TDCJ keeps a routine, watchful eye over the way business is run,” said Dr. Ana Yáñez-Correa, executive director of the coalition. With independent, external oversight in place, the coalition feels TDCJ can more efficiently identify and address issues before they lead to expensive litigation, media scandals or other human and fiscal costs. According to the report, TDCJ maintains the largest prison system in the country, boosting an annual budget of $3 billion.

Defender News Services

“Given what taxpayers are spending on corrections, they deserve the accountability and transparency that come with real oversight,” Yáñez-Correa said. “If Texas’ county jails are subject to external supervision, why should the state get a free pass?” The report also seeks support for three House Bills. • H.B. 877, proposed by Houston State Rep. Alma Allen, calls for independent oversight, through regular facility inspections, comprehensive reports outlining the results of those inspections and recommendations concerning policy changes or other strategies that could improve the conditions or operations of Texas’ correctional facilities. • Allen also proposed H.B. 1543, which allows the current independent ombudsman for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to visit with youth who have been sent to adult facilities. • H.B. 968, proposed by Houston State Rep. Sylvester Turner, calls for TDCJ to report the number of grievances filed and appealed at each unit annually, the information about resolution of those grievances, and the needed resources that will enable facilities to effectively mitigate problems and any identified patterns of recurring problems.

Houston State Rep. Sylvester Turner praised the House Appropriations Committee for voting to increase funding for mental health programs. The committee added more than $250 million in new funding for projects ranging from housing programs to veterans’ assistance to substance abuse programs. Turner in January announced a bipartisan effort for an unprecedented level of funding for mental health over the next State Rep. Sylvester Turner biennium. “We looked at all the mental health strategies throughout the budget,” Turner said. “We have moved money to community programs, crisis services, substance abuse, places to live. We will help youth, adults, veterans, and homeless. There is no question that we have made mental health a major priority.” Among the additional dollars assigned are $54 million for the adult mental health waiting list and $3.1 million for the children’s waiting list. Also added were $20 million for housing assistance, $15 million for mental health programs in the juvenile justice system, $5 million for substance abuse, $4 million for veterans’ programs and $2.4 million for the Harris County Psychiatric Center.


localbriefs A NEW REPORT ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE reveals that one in three seniors dies with the disease or another form of dementia in the United States. The report shows that while deaths from other conditions, such as heart disease, HIV/AIDS and stroke, continue to experience significant declines, Alzheimer’s deaths continue to rise – increasing 68 percent from 2000-2010. “Texas is home to more than 340,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Richard Elbein, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter. “With deaths from this disease continuing to rise, it is clear that urgent, meaningful action is necessary,” he said……...

MORE THAN 200 HOMELESS HOUSING and service programs in Texas received renewed support through $65 million in funding from HUD. Provided through HUD’s Continuum of Care programs, the funding will ensure that homeless assistance programs remain operating in the coming year. “The evidence is clear that every dollar we spend on those programs that help find a stable home for our homeless neighbors not only saves money but quite literally saves lives,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Houston programs receiving funding include Knowles-Temenos Place Apartments, Star of Hope Mission-New Haven and Wheeler Avenue 5C’s

Madge Bush Transitional Housing Program. On any given night, there are nearly 9,000 homeless persons in the Houston area.……...CHAD HOLLEY, the Houston teen who gained national attention because of a 2010 police brutality case, was arrested in felony court recently for failure to pay a $187 trespassing fine. Holley, now 18, was in court to be sentenced for a separate burglary charge when he was led away in handcuffs. He was fined for trespassing on school property in 2012. Holley’s lawyer said he would be released from jail once the fine is paid. Holley was a 15-year-old burglary suspect when Houston police officers were videotaped beating him. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

MARCH 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER


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DEFENDER | MARCH 21 | 2013

national Blacks in Congress offer budget plan


rebuilding our neighborhoods while eliminating corporate tax loopholes and ensuring the wealthiest pay their fair share is the balanced way to put America back on the road to prosperity,” Fudge said. The CBC budget noted that Congress and President Obama have already passed and signed into law $2.4 billion in deficit reduction for 2013-2022. It suggested that Congress only has to reduce the deficit by $1.6 billion to keep with Obama’s goal of reducing the deficit by $4 billion in 10 years. The Congressional Black Caucus’s budget tracks a Senate Democrats budget proposal since 2009 that proposes $1 trillion in tax revenue increases over the next 10 years through an “across the board limit on tax expenditures” claimed by the top 2 percent of earners. Under the budget outline by the CBC, $4.2 trillion in revenue would be raised as a result of closing tax loopholes, ending corporate subsidies, and gutting preferential tax rates for

NNPA News Service

he Congressional Black Caucus opposes a proposed House Republican budget for fiscal 2014 and instead offered an alternative budget that it said is fairer to the voters the CBC represents. Referring to the Republican plan, CBC Chair Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said, “It claims to put communities first. Instead it prioritizes tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy over funding for the programs that many Americans rely on, such as Medicare and Medicaid, Pell grants, job training initiatives and much needed investments in transportation and infrastructure.” Under the House budget plan, the deficit would be reduced by $4.6 trillion over 10 years, with $1.8 trillion of the reduction coming from the repeal of President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act. Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia Fudge said the CBC budget is fairer to constituents. The GOP budget also proInstead of increasing revenue through taxes, the wealthy. poses reforming Medicaid and food stamp prothe GOP budget proposal calls for a major The budget also calls for significant investgrams by shifting most of that care to the states. reduction in federal funding to departments and ments in education, job training, transportation, Even if it passes the Republican-dominated projects they deem wasteful. infrastructure and health care. House, it is expected to stall in the DemocraticTaking the opposite approach, the CBC “This budget does exactly what American controlled Senate. drafted a plan it says can reduce the deficit people want,” Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) The CBC’s alternative budget, subtitled without cutting funds to areas that will help said. “We’re not just closing tax loopholes, but “Pro Growth, Pro People, Pro America,” was reduce poverty and preserve jobs. eliminating the policy elements that benefit submitted just days after the Republican- con“We believe investing in education, saving certain groups.” trolled House Budget Committee released its the jobs of teachers and first responders, and budget.

VOLUME 82 • NUMBER 21 - MARCH 21, 2013 Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Advertising/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Strategic Alliance Manager Clyde Jiles Multimedia Manager Tiffany Williams Online Editor ReShonda Billingsley

Print Editor Marilyn Marshall Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila People Editor Yvette Chargois Sports Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison Contributing Writer Aswad Walker

The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender is audited by Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscription, send $60-1 year to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All material covered by 2013 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher).

GOP plans to reach out to minorities Defender News Services

The Republican National Committee said the party plans to change its ways. The RNC recently released a report detailing issues that have plagued the party in the last two presidential elections. The report calls for the hiring of new staffers to reach minority voters, recruitment of more minority and female candidates, fewer presidential primary debates and less talk about divisive issues such as gay marriage. The RNC also formally endorsed immigration reform. “We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink,” the report said.

The RNC noted that the party isn’t communicating its principles effectively enough, and is perceived by focus groups as “narrow minded.” “The perception that we’re the party of the rich unfortunately continues to grow,” said Reince Priebus, the RNC chair. The report avoided some hot topics. There was no mention of “voter ID” laws that have angered many African-Americans. The reported concluded by saying that the party seems out of touch. “Our party knows how to appeal to older voters, but we have lost our way with younger ones. We sound increasingly out of touch,” the report said. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

MARCH 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER



Gabby Douglas

talks about her latest book

G Cody Neal has been chose for the Disney Dreamers Academy.

By KAM WILLIAMS Special to the Defender

abrielle Christina Victoria Douglas was born in Virginia Beach in 1995. At the 2012 London Summer Olympics, she won gold medals in both the team and individual all-around

competitions. She was introduced to gymnastics as a toddler by her older sister, Arielle, a former gymnast and competitive cheerleader. Gabby vividly remembers flipping around the house and off the furniture from the age of four. Here, Gabby talks about her autobiography, “Grace, Gold & Glory,” and about “Raising the Bar,” her inspirational book about how to achieve your dreams. KW: What interested you in writing your autobiography at such a young age? Did you keep a diary? GD: I had kept many diaries, but I would start one and not finish it, and then start another one and not finish it. I wrote the book because I had to overcome many challenges and hardships. I wanted to share my story to let anyone facing hardships know that your dream is still possible. KW: If Hollywood decides to turn the book into a movie, who would you like to play you? GD: I’d like to play myself, to be sure to capture my personality and my style. KW: Tell me a little about the book, “Raising

the Bar.” GD: Raising the Bar is all about my life now, since the Olympics. It’s kind of a picture book for younger readers. KW: Do you plan to go to college? If so, where would you like to go, and what are you thinking about majoring in? GD: I would love to go to college, but right now my focus is on doing another Olympics. I can’t say where I’d like to attend yet. I’d have to visit some campuses to get a sense of the atmosphere, and what I like and don’t like. I still have a little bit of time. KW: What message do you have for young people who have big dreams but are not focused enough to put their plans into action? GD: That’s a hard question to answer, because even if you have the talent, you still have to push yourself. I don’t think dreams magically appear;

that’s why they’re called dreams. But if you do want to make that dream a reality, then you have to push yourself. It takes a lot of hard work, and if you don’t have the focus, then it’s going to be all the harder. If you have a big dream, it takes all of the above to achieve it: passion, the focus and the effort. KW: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose? GD: Invisibility. KW: Would you choose that because it’s hard to find privacy now that you’re such a big celebrity? GD: Yeah, kinda. KW: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be? GD: Martin Luther King. He’s pretty amazing. KW: How do you want to be remembered? GD: I would love to be remembered as someone who inspired young girls never to give up on their dreams. Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas

what’sup LIL WAYNE is out of the hospital, but questions about his health continue. The 30-year-old rapper was hospitalized for severe seizures, and rumor had it he was near death. A source told Us Weekly that a sizzurp overdose caused Lil Wayne’s hospitalization. The addictive concoction is a mixture of prescription-strength cough syrup, a sugary soft drink and hard candy. “He drank too much sizzurp to get a better high,” the source said. “He needs rehab but he’s not close to death or anything. He’s fine and just coming down off the high.” Rapper and record executive BIRDMAN, who has a father-son relationship with Lil Wayne, denied that a drug problem was to blame. “To me, honestly, it’s his work ethic. How hard he works. How much dedication he gives to his music and his fans,” he said. In addition to Birdman, NICKI MINAJ and

DRAKE visited Lil Wayne in the hospital…….. HALLE BERRY surprised Hollywood with the opening-weekend success of her new movie, “The Call.” Despite a low budget and mixed reviews, the thriller came in second behind “Oz the Great and Powerful,” and earned $17.1 million. The film’s audience was 61 percent female, and it also scored well with African-American moviegoers. In the film, Berry portrays a 911 operator trying to save the life of a teenage kidnapping victim…….. STEVE HARVEY’S daytime talk show is a hit with women. New Nielsen ratings reveal women ages 25 to 54 are tuning into Harvey for his common-sense advice on love and relationships, among other things. The show, which has been renewed for a second season, is taped before a live studio audience in Chicago. Harvey and RUSHION McDONALD are among

the show’s executive producers. McDonald is a Fifth Ward native and graduate of the University of Houston. He left his job with IBM to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian in Houston, and later opened his own club, the Hip-Hop Comedy Stop……..Reality show personality OMAROSA MANIGAULT is threatening to sue LA TOYA JACKSON for comments she made on “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.” The two contestants were feuding on the show, and after Jackson was fired by Donald Trump, she implied Manigault was responsible for the death of her fiancé, the late MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN. Manigault’s attorney called the accusation “false, vicious and defamatory.” Jackson later backed away from the comments. “I didn’t mean it that way at all, not at all,” she said. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


DEFENDER | MARCH 21 | 2013

More families close digital divide


Defender News Services

n increasing number of low-income families are helping close the digital divide by participating in Internet Essentials, Comcast’s broadband adoption program. Houston ranks among the five Metro areas in the country taking advantage of the service, with more than 7,600 families having enrolled in the program. Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen recently presented a progress report on the program, including key milestones and new enhancements. “In just 16 months, Internet Essentials has helped put a real dent in the digital divide and connected more than 150,000 low-income families, or 600,000 Americans, to the power of the Internet, most for the first time in their lives,” Cohen said. “To put that in perspective, that’s approximately the entire population of Washington, D.C. or Boston. Internet Essentials is not just about broadband adoption, however. It’s also about what the Internet can do for families, from finding a job to completing homework to accessing vital healthcare resources.”

The program provides broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax, the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer, and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person. Eligible families must have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program. A new feature of the program is the inclusion of public, parochial,T:9.75” private and homeschool

students. Other new enhancements include: • Creating a convenient online application request form available through to improve and accelerate the application process. • Introducing Opportunity Cards that enable non-profit organizations and others to pre-purchase Internet Essentials service in advance, for up to one year, for low-income families. • Expanding low-cost computer options by offering customers the ability to purchase an Internet-ready desktop or laptop for less than $150. A partnership with Arrow Electronics will be piloted in Philadelphia and Chicago.Since originally launching Internet Essentials, Comcast has experienced tremendous growth in the program,” said Doug Guthrie, senior vice president of Comcast Houston. “These enhancements will allow more households to participate in the program, making broadband adoption a reality for more Houston families.” For general information visit for English or www.internetbasico. com for Spanish. Educators or third parties can visit Parents can call 1-855-846-8376 or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

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PLAY RESPONSIBLY. For detailed game odds and information, visit or call 1-800-37LOTTO. Must be 18 or older to purchase a ticket. The Texas Lottery supports Texas education. © 2013 Texas Lottery Commission. All rights reserved.

MARCH 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER

Roland Martin saying goodbye to CNN Defender News Services CNN commentator Roland Martin said his last day with the network is April 6. Martin announced the news to his Twitter followers, ending speculation about his fate under new CNN president Jeff Zucker. When asked why he is leaving the network, Martin tweeted that the “new boss wants his own peeps.” Zucker, a former head of NBCUniversal, took over at CNN in January to help turn things around. The network saw its prime time ratings hit a 21year low last year. Martin’s agents notified him of his departure date. He said he enjoyed his time at CNN. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my little over six years there,” he said. “There are many folks I will miss dearly, especially wonderful colleagues like Josanne Lopez, Soledad O’Brien, Ali Velshi, and so many bookers and producers. “But I also miss the folks I tried to speak for and represent the most when I was on the air: the men and the women who worked on the crew; the security guards; and even the janitorial workers. Those were the people I most spoke for; those were the people who would cheer me on as I walked down the streets, in the grocery store; and at airports. “I have had the likes of Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Spike Lee, Halle Berry, and others in sports and entertainment thank me for being an unwavering and unapologetic voice of truth, and unwilling to back down when someone needed to stand up,” he said. Martin, a native Houstonian, added that he has worked hard to ensure that his voice is heard in more than one place. “I will continue with my show on TV One, a network I was with before CNN; will continue my daily segment on the Tom Joyner Morning Show; and will continue my nationally

syndicated column. “In my final days at CNN when I’m on the air, I will do as the Tuskegee Airmen did, fight to the last hour, last minute, last second, for what is right. And I will do that as long as there is breath in my body,” Martin said.

Roland Martin

Free prevention and early detection health services Now through December, the Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour with AARP will travel the country providing free health tests, assessments, education and consulting services to communities with the highest prevalence for leading diseases and uninsured or unemployed community members. These free health tests include: total cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, body composition, skeletal muscle, resting metabolism, visceral fat, real body age and body weight. The Way to Well Health Tour is a charitable component of Walgreens Way to Well Commitment®, a four-year, $100 million initiative improving the everyday health of Americans nationwide. The initiative also provides accessible, affordable resources for prevention and early detection of major chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. For tour details and schedule, visit



DEFENDER | MARCH 21 | 2013

PHILO shares plans for North Forest By VON JILES Defender


he 501(c)(3) organization PHILO – which stands for Public, High Impact, Lowincome Community Focused, Open-enrollment schools – rolled out its plans for the North Forest Independent School District. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has recommended that NFISD merge with the Houston Independent School District. The PHILO proposal creates a partnership between North Forest and three charter schools KIPP, YES and Harmony. Dr. Rod Paige, a former U.S. education secretary and HISD superintendent, speaks Recently, the North Forest in support of the PHILO proposal. district appealed the TEA deciphilanthropic, corporate and general communision and recommended the alternative of partnering with the charter schools. In an ties because it is “all about the investment in the effort to outline how the partnership would work, kids.” Former Secretary of Education Rod Paige, KIPP founder Michael Feinberg hosted a press another PHILO board member, said he was “exconference at the YES school in Fifth Ward. cited” about the partnership. However, reporters Joined by several PHILO board members, questioned whether he was aligning himself with Feinberg stated, “While on one hand there is a problem of poor performance that we need to ad- those fighting to avoid the merger with HISD. “I’m aligning myself with innovation which I dress, we need to make sure that as we try to get believe is going to provide educational opporturid of the problem, we don’t overlook a solution nity for children,” Paige said. for the children.” “I have a special interest in KIPP. KIPP grew Feinberg laid out a five-year plan. out the Houston Independent School District “What we propose and what we worked out while I was superintendent there and I have had with the North Forest school board is that next an opportunity to see them grow and I’m proud year, if the commissioner allows this to happen, of their work. PHILO would partner with the school board to “So it is not an opposition, it is simply a way basically manage the school system,” Feinberg of saying we are seeking new answers to the said. problems of underperforming education. Clearly “The North Forest school board would not change is something that has to come about go away. It would do its government functions because doing the same thing is not going to help and duties. PHILO would be responsible for the us.” education, the operations, the financing and the Paige added, “I’m not making any judgment staffing of the school system.” about HISD. I love HISD. I feel a strong kinship Former Greater Houston Partnership chair to HISD. This has nothing to do with objecting to Jodie Jiles, who is a PHILO board member, apHISD.” plauded the proposal. Describing the alternative offered by PHILO “From a business community perspective it has always been about accountability and results. as part of a “competition of ideas to best serve We took a hard look at Harmony, KIPP and YES. the kids which only leads to better outcomes for children,” Feinberg emphasized that “instead of Those schools have a successful track record getting the top-down approach trying to come up of getting good results for the kids. We want to with one answer for all the children…we will do bring that track record to North Forest in a partbottom-up solutions.” nership…” When asked what impact the new PHILO Jiles stressed that the partnership would be a “model for the nation” and attract funds from the plans would have on the parents, teachers and




kids, Feinberg said, “There are hardworking gre people in the district right now and they need to supported. Where there are challenges and peop are not doing a great job, that’s where changes n to occur. “It would be irresponsible to make those de sions before spending time in the school system Ivory Mayhorn, a representative from the No • Serving th



Arne Duncan, current U.S. education secretary, said every student should have access to a worldclass education.



eat o be ple need

ecim,” orth

Texas gets funding for low-performing schools Texas is one of 10 states that will receive funding to turn around persistently lowest-achieving schools through the Department of Education’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. Texas will receive $49.7 million. “When schools fail, our children and our neighborhoods suffer,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Turning around our lowest-performing schools is hard work but it’s our responsibility. We owe it to our children, their families and the broader community.” Under the Obama administration, the SIG program has invested up to $6 million per school over three years at more than 1,300 of the country’s lowest-performing schools. Early findings show positive momentum and progress in many SIG schools, and some of the greatest gains have been in small towns and rural communities.

Forest Super Neighborhood Alliance, endorsed the partnership. “We have been hungry for a 21st century education system for the kid and it looks like we are on the brink of it,” he said. Mayhorn added that, “For the best interest of our children [TEA] should work with this partnership.”

he Houston area for over 80 years

Schools failing students of color


By George E. Curry NNPA Editor-in-Chief

nstead of being the traditional ticket to success, many of our nation’s troubled schools hinder opportunity for upward mobility, especially for students of color, said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The hard truth, the brutal truth, is that in too many places, our education system is falling short of being the engine of mobility, the prized pathway to the middle class,” Duncan recently told members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). “Instead, tragically, these schools often perpetuate inequality and restrict opportunity.” Duncan said while there is much public debate about the achievement gap between people of color and whites, he is worried about another gap. “In 2013, children of color in America not only confront an achievement gap, they confront what I call an opportunity gap that, too often, is unacceptably wide,” he said. “…The scope of the gap today – and the reasons it persists – is spelled out in the recent report of the Equity and Excellence Commission and in the data we gathered as part of our Civil Rights Data Collection Project. “This opportunity gap is deeply troubling. It is painfully at odds with the American creed – that if you study hard and play by the rules, you get a fair shot at the future, regardless of your zip code, skin color, or the size of your bank account.” According to Duncan, nearly 40 percent of Black and Hispanic students attend schools that are more than 90 percent white. Consequently, at a time when the U.S. is growing more diverse, its classrooms are becoming less diverse. “Think about that for a moment,” Duncan said. “The data are clear: A decrease in diversity and an upswing in racial isolation are one reason that the opportunity gap is not ending.” To tackle the problem, Duncan said he and President Obama believe: 1. Every student should have access to a world-class education that includes access to rigorous, college- and career-ready coursework. 2. Every student should have an effective teacher.

Good news, bad news Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said there is a “paradox of progress” in the nation’s educational system. • The good news is that many more Black students today are graduating from high school and enrolling in college than ever before. • The bad news is that Black students are still less likely to receive equal access to topnotch teachers and the college-prep classes they need to succeed. • The good news is that there are now many more Black men in college than in prison. • The bad news is that not enough of those young men are staying in college to get their degrees. • The good news is that by 2010, the on-time graduation rate for Black students had risen to 66.1 percent. • The bad news is that one-third of Black students are still not graduating on-time.

3. Schools must be accountable for the needs and performance of all students. 4. Schools must work in partnership with families and communities. 5. College must be accessible and affordable for all students who are qualified to attend. “For too long, educators and members of the public often shrugged their shoulders in the face of persistently poor performance in our lowest-achieving schools. Too many school leaders wrote off poor children and children of color,” Duncan said. “President Obama and I refuse to accept that fatalism. Both our life experiences working in the community tell us that with supports, opportunities, and guidance, our children can and do achieve at high levels. We just have to meet them half way.”


DEFENDER | MARCH 21 | 2013


A Defender and Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Alliance

Uterine fibroids may increase pregnancy risks


By Earl Lombard, II, M.D.

If you’re an African-American woman and you don’t know whether

n the United States, African-American you have fibroids, consider getting checked by your OB/GYN. women have the highest rates of fibroids. at a younger age and grow more quickly. These weight, and the membranes may rupture prematurely. In some African-American women are two to benign tumors are often found during routine cases, fibroids can also obstruct the birth canal, complicating three times more likely to have uterine pelvic exam or ultrasound. They’re a problem labor and delivery. fibroids than Caucasian women. Fibroids also only if they become large (causing pressure Fibroids do not prevent you from delivering vaginally. Howoccur more often, develop sooner, grow larger, on the bladder and rectum, and/or protruding ever, your risk of having a cesarean delivery may also increase and are more likely to cause severe pain in abdominally) or cause excessive bleeding or depending on the number and location of fibroids. African-American women than in women of pelvic pain. No one knows for certain what causes fibroids. For some other racial groups. Because fibroids are comIf you’re an African-American woman women, fibroids stop growing or shrink after menopause. Common among women of childbearing age, they and you don’t know whether you have fibroids, mon risk factors associated with fibroids include family history, may be especially troubling because of their Dr. Earl Lombard, II consider getting checked by your OB/GYN. If age, race, hormone levels, body weight and lifestyle. link to infertility. Some studies have found it turns out you do have them, you and your doctor can watch for Many treatment options exist to help women who are bothfibroids were associated with an increase in miscarriage rates signs of potential complications. If you already know you have ered by fibroid symptoms, ranging from medication to surgical compared to women without fibroids. fibroids and plan to conceive, you should schedule a preconcepremoval. Consult with your OB/GYN for a treatment plan that’s A uterine fibroid is a non-cancerous tumor that grows in the right for you. wall of the uterus. It can be as small as the tip of a pen or as big as tion appointment with your OB/GYN. Depending on their locations, fibroids can sometimes Dr. Earl Lombard, II, is a board-certified Obstetrics and Gya grapefruit. In unusual cases, fibroids can become ever larger. necology specialist at Kelsey-Seybold’s Woman’s Center and new Women with fibroids may or may not experience symptoms. increase the risk of miscarriage during the first and second trimesters or increase the chance of preterm labor. The most serious Meyerland Plaza Clinic, opening April 8, 2013. He’s also chief of For those who do, symptoms can include heavy bleeding to complications occur when the placenta grows near or over the staff at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. To schedule an appointthe point of anemia, a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen, surface of a fibroid inside the uterus. In these cases, the growing ment with Dr. Lombard, call the 24-hour Kelsey-Seybold Contact frequent urination and lower back pain. baby can be deprived of sufficient nutrients and have a low birth Center, 713-442-0000. View his bio at In African-American women, uterine fibroids tend to occur

The Nation’s FIRST Accredited Accountable Care Organization Is Right Here in Houston. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic® has been recognized as the nation’s first accredited Accountable Care Organization (ACO) by the prestigious National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Our recognition as the nation’s

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MARCH 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER

Keep Section 5 of Voting Rights Act By MARC MORIAL NNPA Columnist

n commemoration of the 48th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” Congressman John Lewis, Vice President Joe Biden and a coalition of citizens and civil rights advocates, including representatives of the National Urban League, re-enacted the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march that was halted on the Edmund Pettus bridge by Alabama state troopers wielding billy clubs and tear gas. Bloody Sunday led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, outlawing discriminatory voting tactics that had routinely denied the right to vote to millions of African Americans, especially in the South. Although an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority of Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006 for 25 more years, Shelby County v. Holder, recently argued before the Supreme Court, threatens the very heart of the law and challenges the constitutionality of the critical pre-clearance provision, known as Section 5. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination to receive preapproval from the Justice Department or a federal district court in D.C. for any change to their voting rules to ensure such changes do not discriminate against voters who are racial, ethnic or language minorities. The flagrant and aggressive voter suppression efforts that occurred in many of the very states subject to Section 5 preclearance during the past election underscores that this critical measure is still necessary to protect the fundamental right to vote. The Urban League has joined other civil rights organizations in signing on to an amicus brief in support of Section 5, and is speaking out in favor of keeping it alive. In fact, the day the law was debated in the Supreme Court, we rallied with thousands of other supporters outside the court in a mass show of support. Section five detractors argue that so much progress has

Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons




been made since 1965 that its protections are no longer necessary. Justice Antonin Scalia even went so far as to call it “the perpetuation of racial entitlement.” Nothing could be further from the truth. John Lewis, who was one of hundreds beaten during Bloody Sunday, gave several examples in a recent op-ed that demonstrate how much Section 5 is still needed. He reminds us that in 2008, the city legislature in Calera, a city in Shelby County, Ala., in disregard of Section 5, redrew the boundaries to dilute the voting power of Black citizens, resulting in the defeat of Ernest Montgomery, the city’s only Black councilman.

During last year’s presidential campaign, the Justice Department blocked discriminatory voting changes in South Carolina and Texas that would have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of minority voters. In ruling against South Carolina’s onerous new voter ID law, U.S. District Judge, John D. Bates wrote, “One cannot doubt the vital function that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has played here.” A decision by the Justices is expected in June. Too many Americans have fought and died for the precious right to vote. The Supreme Court must not turn back the clock. Keep Section 5 alive!

Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


DEFENDER | MARCH 21 | 2013


PV Lady Panthers continue dominance


By MAX EDISON Defender

rairie View A&M coach Toyelle Wilson’s Lady Panthers once again defied the odds and won their third consecutive SWAC basketball tournament and an automatic bid to the NCAA dance by defeating Mississippi Valley in a marathon four overtime thriller 100-87. The Lady Panthers entered the tourney as the fourth seeded team, then proceeded to knock off No. 5 seeded Jackson State (66-60), No. 1 seeded Texas Southern (62-58) and finally No. 3 seeded Mississippi Valley. After playing four overtimes, Wilson had nothing but praise for the tenacity of her team. “The passion, the fight, the relentless never-give-up attitude, that’s been our story all year,” Wilson said. “Our girls were tired and at one point I didn’t even know how many overtimes it was. It goes to show you how bad they wanted it. They willed their way to the win.” Four overtimes is the equivalent of a third half of basketball and to survive a marathon it took a total team effort. The Lady Panthers were paced by tournament MVP Kiara Etienne, who scored 31 points to lead all scorers, hitting 8 of 14 from three-point range. Teammate Larissa Scott shot 10-of-17 overall to finish with 24 points. Latia Williams finished with her third double-double of the tournament and 22nd of her career posting 17 points and 13 rebounds. Williams also received all tournament honors. Jeannette Jackson followed with 13 points and JaQuandria Williams hauled in 12 boards. “It was a total Jeanette Jackson scores team effort. Everyin double digits. body contributed at just the right time throughout the tournament,” Wilson said. The Lady Panthers finished the SWAC’s

Coach Toyelle Wilson

regular season in fourth place (11-7, 17-14 overall), a major disappointment since they returned their entire starting five from last year’s team and were picked by everyone as the pre-season conference favorite. Boasting the conference’s Player of the Year in Latia Williams, it would have been disappointing if the Lady Panthers had not played well in the tournament, and Wilson’s troops were not in a mood to disappoint the PV faithful. “We began to jell at the end of the season,” Wilson said. “I’d rather us be playing our best ball at the end of the season, heading into the tournament, than peaking too soon and having nothing left at the end when it matters most. The girls understood the sense of urgency. They put themselves in another gear when faced with a win or go-home scenario.” In three years as the head coach of the Lady Panthers, Toyelle is a perfect 9-0 in tournament action. She is the most successful

Latia Williams is conference Player of the Year.

coach in the history of PV women’s basketball. Now that the three-year contract to hold the conference tournament in North Texas has expired, Wilson, for one, will hate to move on to another venue. “We will hate to see the tournament move from Garland [suburban Dallas],” she said. “The girls understand this is home court advantage for us. We were the last team to win on this court last year and we take pride in the fact that in the three years the tournament has been played in this arena, we’ve never lost a game. That knowledge motivated our team throughout the tournament.”

Kiara Etienne is named SWAC tournament MVP. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

MARCH 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER


Cameron Burrell on path to stardom



ameron Burrell had come to a crossroad. His junior year in high school track and field at Ridge Point had been a disappointment. After medaling in the 100-meter dash at the University Interscholastic League (UIL) state meet as a sophomore, Burrell failed to qualify for the state meet a year later. He was searching for answers. “The turnaround began last summer during summer track,” Burrell said. “I ran 10.42 seconds in the 100 meters, which was close to my personal best [10.41], and made the U.S. Junior Team. That enabled me to try out for the World Junior Championships and represent the U.S.” Things have been going smoothly for Burrell ever since. Burrell is the son of University of Houston men’s track coach Leroy Burrell and Michelle Finn. Leroy Burrell was the “World’s Fastest Man” on two separate occasions during his illustrious career and his mother was also an Olympic sprinter. “It’s really good motivation to know that someone so close to you has made it to the top of the mountain,” Cameron Burrell said. “I just think the sky is the limit for me.” Competing in last weekend’s prestigious 62nd edition of the Texas Southern Relays, Burrell posted a time of 10.45 seconds in the prelims of the 100-meter dash. That marked the best prep time in the nation. The best was yet to come. With a near-capacity crowd in attendance at the Alexander Durley Complex, Burrell put on the performance of the meet in the high school 100-meter boys’ finals. Prior to the race, Burrell’s personal best time in the 100 meters was 10.41 seconds. His best wind-aided time was 10.34. Running against a field that included last year’s state silver medalist Kyle Fulks of Katy and Tony Brown of Beaumont Ozen, Burrell blistered the track in a wind-aided time of 10.25 seconds. The crowd was abuzz with excitement. “Just the whole Fort Bend Travis boys win the 2013 Region III-5A basketball title.


Rice hosts Lopez Classic The 31st annual Victor Lopez Classic/Rice Invitational track and field meet will be held this weekend on the Rice campus at the Holloway Field/Ley Track facility. The meet features competition in high school and college divisions. College division action starts Friday. Saturday’s running finals begin at 6 p.m. The meet is named after former Rice women’s track and field coach Victor Lopez, who started the Rice women’s cross country program. He led the Rice Owls to top-10 NCAA finishes five times as head coach. While under Lopez’ guidance, Rice athletes garnered more than 150 All-American honors and collected 17 individual national championship titles. Lopez retired from Rice at the conclusion of the 2005 season. He presently serves as president of the Pan American Games.

Clear Springs pair selected

Leroy Burrell, Cameron’s father, is the UH track coach.

idea of how fast, how far, how high, just pushing the human limits,” said Burrell. “I think it’s awesome.” Burrell has at times competed in the 200-meter dash, the long jump and two relays (4x400 and 4x100). He says a team goal for the Ridge Point High School track team this year is to make a run for a state championship and make a name for themselves by putting the school on the map. “We have a really good middle school [Billy Baines] that feeds into Ridge Point and I think our future is really bright,” Burrell said. Burrell will compete in the Rice Invitational Meet this weekend and then make the journey to Austin for the annual Texas Relays on the campus of the University of Texas. Cameron Burrell has already committed to the University of Houston in the fall where he will be coached by his father.

Cameron Burrell is a track stand-out at Ridge Point High School in Fort Bend ISD.

The Clear Springs High School tandem of Courtnie Latham and Brooke McCarty headline eight Houston-area players named to either the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches or Texas Girls Coaches Association all-state basketball teams. Latham and McCarty led the Chargers to the school’s first-ever appearance in the state tournament. Joining the Clear Springs pair were A.J. Alix of Bellaire, Christen Inman of Seven Lakes and Manvel standout junior Briana Turner. Others named to both teams include Dominique Dillingham of Klein Collins, Kelsey Lang of The Woodlands, Makenzi May of Barbers Hill and Brianna Brandyburg of Brookshire Royal. In addition, Dawson’s Cortnei Purnell, Foster’s Alexis Fatheree and Carol Willie of Cypress Falls will participate in the TGCA All-Star Game held July 9-12 in Austin.

TSU relays…outstanding Major props go out to the athletic department at Texas Southern for a fantastic job with the recent TSU Relays. Historically billed as one of the premier track and field events in the nation throughout the years, the meet had lost some of its luster in recent years. If 2013 is any indication, the meet is back and as hot as ever. A crowd of approximately 10,000 was on hand for the finals and were not disappointed. They witnessed some of the fastest young men and women in the nation compete in the university and high school divisions. The weather was perfect and the track was smoking. Legends from the past such as Charles Frazier, Fred Newhouse and Gerald Pratt thoroughly enjoyed the meet.

Is Cooper-Dyke leaving? After leading the Texas Southern Lady Tigers to their most successful season in the school’s history in her first season, basketball coach Cynthia CooperDyke could be one and done. The Lady Tigers (16-2 SWAC, 20-11 overall) captured the SWAC regular season crown, winning a school record 14 consecutive conference games. Unfortunately for TSU, Cooper-Dykes’ alma mater, USC, has a head coaching vacancy. Their head coach, former Laker great Michael Cooper, recently resigned. The Women of Troy went 11-20 this season and finished seventh in the Pac-12 in 2013 with a 7-11 mark. According to USC AD Pat Hayden, a national search will be conducted. Sources say Cooper-Dyke should be their No. 1 candidate. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


DEFENDER | MARCH 21 | 2013


Women are wired differently By Cheryl Pearson-McNeil NNPA Columnist


s I write, Chaka Khan’s empowering “I’m Every Woman” loops in my head – like a soundtrack. It’s Women’s History Month and the lyrics to that iconic anthem should be resonating with all women, and those who love us, as we celebrate ourselves and the countless contributions we make every day – both large and small – that keep the world turning. No matter how small or far-reaching the radius of your world is every choice you make is important. Nielsen shines the light on women’s choices and our dynamic impact as consumers with two new global reports: Does Gender Matter and 10 Things to Know About Today’s Female Consumer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – “Vive la difference.” Yes, we know that girls are just as smart as boys and women can do pretty much everything a man can – but, like it or not – our brains are wired differently. And, that’s ok. Women are master multi-taskers and there’s a scientific reason for that. Nielsen’s NeuroFocus research shows that “ability” is driven by what happens to developing brains in the womb. Traits such as big-picture thinking and multitasking are hard-wired in women’s brains, along with “gut” reasoning, social and verbal skills and the worry/empathy tendency. We balance work (either outside or in the home), take care of our families – nurture, budget, shop, schedule, run hither and yon – and keep it tight with ourselves as best we can. Men’s brains, on the other hand, are pre-conditioned for concrete thinking, goal-oriented tasks, logical solutions and competition/defense. (Cheryl’s translation: give them one thing to do at a time if you really want something to get done). How we think and respond influences the way companies and advertisers design their messages to us to achieve their economic bottom line. See how much power we have? These types of insights tell them that women respond to concepts that are authentic. Touch our hearts and you might earn our dollars. Even those of us who may be tomboys at heart, messages that focus on conflict simply aren’t going to resonate. And, you know how we love a bargain and will hunt high and low to find the best price? That’s something American women have in common with our sisters around the world. A Nielsen survey of more than 29,000 people with Internet access in 58 countries shows that we women are browsers, no matter where we live – going for the best deal (in the store or online) while men are more likely to pay a higher price. That’s because men are typically on a mission to just win (get the item no matter what).

Facts and figures about women • Worldwide, 70 percent of women surveyed have cut household spending over the past year in clothes, gas, electricity and entertainment outside the home. • Women in the U.S. spend significantly more time on social media sites than men. • African-American women between 18 and 35 are 72 percent more likely to publish a blog or express our preferences online via links or “likes” than the average adult. • African-American households are 127 percent more likely to include a single parent – usually a woman. • Women in the U.S. talk 28 percent more and text 14 percent more than men every month. • Globally, women are 25 percent more likely than men to rely on friends or family for personal finance advice.

Here and across the globe, women are responsible for $12 trillion of the $18 trillion of global buying power. So, if marketers want our business, they need to offer products and services that reflect our needs. There’s more information on that affirms women’s power and influence as consumers.

classified LEGAL NOTICE Neighborhood Centers Inc. (AGENCY), a non-profit human services organization, announces a Request for Proposal (RFP) # 1303 for Plumbing Services. Interested Vendors can submit a proposal for Plumbing Services. The deadline for submitting a proposal is April 30, 2013 by 12:00 PM (CST)*. To receive RFP #1303, e-mail Ashia Brown, Supply Management Coordinator, at NEIGHBORHOOD CENTERS INC. ENCOURAGES SMALL AND HISTORICALLY UNDERUTILIZED BUSINESSES TO APPLY.

Non-Profit EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. is seeking an Executive Director for the National Office in Tuskegee, Alabama. The individual will have extensive experience at the Executive Director’s level with non-profit 501 C (3) responsibilities; will be responsible for implementing strategic goals and objectives of the organization within established guidelines. See job description at WWW.Tuskegeeairmen, org.

Invitation for Bids Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. is soliciting bids for subcontractors and vendors for construction of the following project no. CM 2013 (740) on US 290 from East of Telge Rd to West of Eldridge Parkway, bid date is April 4, 2013. Quotations may be mailed to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc., 1701 Directors Blvd, Suite 1010, Austin, Texas 78744 or faxed to (512) 707-0798 or emailed to DBE/HUB contractors are encouraged to submit bids. Plans and specifications are available to be reviewed at TxDOT Plans On-line: E.O.E. For information contact Brian Ficzeri at (512) 707-0797.

MARCH 21 | 2013 | DEFENDER

For Event Coverage...visit

Teri Lynch, Dave Moss, Pamela Cashaw and Grace Macklin

Ijeoma Anugweje and Chineze Onwuta


Daphne Moss, Barbara Branch, Fraulyn Baisey and Shirley Johnson

Linda Shankle, Victoria Lackey, Dr. Doris Price and ReShane Fowler


Lillian Gartho, Sandra Alridge, Charles Nash and Ryan Bennett

Birthday boy Keith Roque and Karen and Trey Terry

CARNIVALE MYSTIQUE…..The Delta Education Maureen Gordon, Linda Shankle, Victoria Lackey, Dr. Doris Price and ReShane Fowler, and Charitable Foundation of Houston Metropolitan to name a few. Entertainment was provided by Alumnae Chapter recently hosted their “Carnivale Drumgoole and Company and Bynam Productions. Mystique Scholarship Gala.” This festive occasion We salute chapter president Pamela had all of the glitz and glamour Cashaw, foundation president Dave of Mardi Gras in New Orleans Join Yvette Chargois Moss and the entire membership for including a stroll down all Events of the Week a fabulous evening. Congrats!..... the popular streets in a city More photos on NAACP JOB FAIR…..If you known for throwing a grand See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads were looking for a job or seeking party. As an organization, the with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. career advancement, then the place Deltas have made a strong to be was the George R. Brown commitment to help improve and Convention Center. Hundreds of interested people assist in all facets of our metropolitan community. attended the NAACP Diversity Career Fair recently The foundation was organized exclusively for and met with employers from across the Houston charitable and educational purposes, but not limited area and beyond who participated in the job fair. to endeavors in areas of economic and cultural Additionally, the NAACP economic department development. Nearly 400 folks attended the gala hosted the Financial Advocacy and Community including Teri Lynch, Grace Macklin, Daphne Tour (F.A.C.T.) and provided assistance with Moss, Barbara Branch, Fraulyn Baisey, Shirley personal financial issues including credit repair, Johnson, Courtney Smith, Shaundra Simmons,

Courtney Smith, Shaundra Simmons and Maureen Jordon

Valarie Madison, Amanda Castillo, Chasitiy Hyder, Autumn Gray and Devoure Jackson

Carlos, Gail, birthday boy Tony and Caitlin Bell

home ownership and building wealth. Participants had access to hands-on expertise through financial planners, HUD certified counselors, representatives from financial institutions and non-profit economic advocacy organizations. Spotted among the employers and job seekers were Kidron Harris, Jamie Rice, Lillian Gartho, Sandra Alridge, Charles Nash, Ryan Bennett, Harvon Jordan, Mjiba Frehiwot, Brian Rowland, Ijeoma Anugweje, Chineze Onwuta, Valarie Madison, Amanda Castillo, Chasitiy Hyder, Autumn Gray, Devoure Jackson, Ebonee Hayward and Jordan Etters. Good luck!.....BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS…..Light another candle for Tony Bell, Keith Roque and Janetta Gilliam. All recently celebrated their special day with parties that included their family and friends. Tony celebrated his 45th, Keith his 40th and Janetta her 70th. Happy birthday to all of you!.....From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week! • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

16 DEFENDER | MARCH 21 | 2013

Houston Defender: March 21, 2013  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source

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