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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 82 | Number 29

MAY 16, 2013 |FREE

NEWSTALK Carlecia Wight

Beating illiteracy H Page 9

discusses MWBE program


GEORGE CURRY looks at Cleveland hero


HS ZONE ISHMAEL ZAMORA wins gold at state



Michael Strahan receives honor

Beyoncé cancelled a show in Europe because of dehydration and exhaustion. Some observers also think a recent photo of the superstar reveals a baby bump. Are she and Jay-Z expecting again? Hear what “insiders” have to say. Read about another big appearance coming up this summer.

Before Michael Strahan became a New York Giant or a TV personality, he was a defensive star with Texas Southern University. He returned to Houston recently to accept one of TSU’s highest honors. Learn what he has to say about working hard and taking advantage of opportunities.

prompts questions

H Page 4

H Page 20 • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


Deborah Clifton, Dr. Joanie Hare and Pastor Bridget Hilliard at Me & We brunch



DEFENDER | MAY 16 | 2013


Houston MWBE program changes By MARILYN MARSHALL Defender

The City Council’s recent approval of changes to Houston’s MWBE program will have a particular impact on women, disabled veterans and those in the construction industry. Women-owned businesses will be reinstated to the program, the citywide participation goal in construction will increase, and the Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprise program will expand to adopt the federal government’s definition of disability to be more inclusive of disabled veterans. The changes are the result of a disparity study comparing the number of MWBE firms used on city contracts to the number of such companies available in the greater Houston area. The reinstatement of women-owned businesses raises the question of whether opportunities will be taken away from Black or other minority women already certified with the city. “We do not believe so,” said Carlecia Wright, director of the Office of Business Opportunity. “The city has contract specific goals, meaning separate goals for minority subcontractors and women subcontractors.” The citywide participation goal in construction is increasing from 22 percent to 34 percent, which makes the industry even more lucrative. “More than half of the annual city’s procurement business is in construction,” Wright said. “Of the $706 million the city spent last year on construction contracts, $229 million was awarded to certified MWBEs.” The city implemented its MWBE program in 1984. It

remained largely unchanged until 2009 when a lawsuit required the removal and replacement of women-owned businesses with small business enterprises until a comprehensive construction industry disparity study could be performed. The results of the study indicated a need for a significant increase in citywide MWBE participation in the construction goal, which reflects the availability of those groups in the Houston marketplace. The city, although not required to have a race neutral component to the MWBE program, has elected to continue a small business enterprise program, resulting in an MWSBE program. Mayor Annise Parker said Houston’s business environment is as diverse as its population, and city contracting opportunities should reflect that diversity. “These changes, which have wide support in the contracting community, will help ensure that historically underutilized small, minority and women-owned companies will get a fair chance to compete for city construction work,” she said. How does a minority entrepreneur get his or her “foot in the door” once certification is acquired? “Once certified, they are listed in the online directory, which is utilized by prime

contractors and city personnel seeking to find MWBEs to help fill the city’s goals,” Wright said. “OBO also offers quarterly workshops for certified firms to help them learn how the process works and get their foot in the door. “The city provides bonding education programs that are taught by various prime contractors, providing an avenue for networking and information about obtaining bonding, cost estimates, invoicing, etc.” Wright said the 36 students who went through the last class have been able to receive bonding up to $15 million, thus helping them become more attractive to primes. “Finally, there is the inter-agency protégé program, which is a partnership between the city, METRO, HISD and Houston Port,” she said. “Prime contractors participating in this program offer to mentor several MWBE firms. This again provides opportunity for relationship-building.” In addition to the reinstatement of womenowned firms and the higher annual citywide participation goal in construction, OBO is implementing other procedures. They include: • Review the MWSBE program every five years. • Revise the good faith effort policy. • Require contractors to submit plans for meeting good faith efforts at the time of bid submission. Carlecia Wright

WALIPP Academy installs new board Defender News Services

The William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity (WALIPP) TSU Preparatory Academy recently installed seven leaders to serve at the helm of the academy, which targets middle school students in grades 6 through 8. WALIPP was founded by Rev. Lawson, pastor emeritus of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, and Audrey H. Lawson. The school was originally established as an all-male facility and located on the campus of Texas Southern University. It progressed gradually with the addition of the Girl’s Academy, located at St. James Episcopal Church. Both transitioned from an HISD charter to a TEA state charter public school.

WALIPP leadership includes (l. to r.) board chair Mary Ramos, M. Kaye DeWalt, Dr. Christine LeVeaux-Haley, Rev. William A. Lawson, Dr. Richard Griffin, Mallory Minceberg, Dr. Toya Roberts-Conston and Billie Jo Johnson. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

MAY 16 | 2013 | DEFENDER


U.S.briefs ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER is under attack again with several prominent Republicans calling for his resignation because. The Associated Press reported that the Department of Justice secretly obtained two months of telephone records from its reporters and editors in 2012 without the news organization’s knowledge. The subject of the probe is unknown, but AP suggests it might be related to a story about a foiled terror plot. Holder has removed himself from the matter because of congressional testimony he has given and his dealings with the news media. In other Justice Department news, Holder ordered an investigation into the IRS after officials contacted Tea Party and other conservative groups to demand more information before approving the groups’ requests for tax-exempt status…….. NEW ORLEANS POLICE began searching for 19-year-old Akein Scott, who is suspected of opening fire at a Mother’s Day parade. Nineteen people were injured in the shooting, including two children. Injuries ranged from minor to severe. Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas urged Scott to give himself up. Scott has previously been arrested for such offenses as illegal possession of a stolen firearm, resisting an officer and possession of heroin. Video released showed the crowd scattering in all directions when shots were fired, with some people falling to the ground……..O.J. SIMPSON returned to a Las Vegas courtroom in an attempt to win a new trial in his robbery case. Simpson, 65, is serving time in prison for leading five men in the armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in a Vegas hotel room in 2007. Simpson’s new lawyers are claiming that his trial lawyer, Yale Galanter, gave the Hall of Fame football player bad advice. Simpson is best remembered for his 1995 trial in which he was acquitted in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.


Health centers help uninsured gain access By MAYA RHODAN NNPA Washington Correspondent


athleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced plans to provide $150 million to community health centers to assist in getting uninsured Americans prepared for the Oct. 1 opening of the Health Care Marketplace. The 1,2000 Community Health Centers across rural and urban centers in America provide medical services to over 21 million patients a year. These centers serve in many

of the neighborhoods that are set to benefit the most from the coming availability of insurance options that will be provided in the new insurance marketplace. “We’re supporting community health centers as they reach out to those in need,” Sebelius said. “Many of the Americans we’re trying to reach have spent their whole lives outside of coverage. This will be a huge undertaking, but it’s an undertaking that’s important to the Continued on Page 7

Local implementation moves forward VOLUME 82 • NUMBER 29 - MAY 16, 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).

Defender News Services

Houston Congressman Gene Green said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made a big step toward implementing the Affordable Care Act by providing $9.8 million to federally qualified community health centers in Texas to help them offer in-person enrollment assistance to the uninsured. Green represents Texas’ 29th Congressional District, which has one of the highest uninsured populations in the nation. Helping the uninsured enroll in the health coverage for which they are eligible is a critical part of implementing the Affordable Care Act.

“Helping eligible Texans access health insurance coverage is critical, and federally qualified health centers play an essential role in our healthcare delivery system,” Green said. “Today’s decision by HHS is recognition of the importance of community health centers. By providing them the tools to help enroll their patients, it will ensure that the Affordable Care Act works as it is intended.” He added that, “As we move toward full implementation, I look forward to hearing more announcements from HHS on ways that they are making enrolling in private health insurance and Medicaid more efficient and as easy as possible.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


DEFENDER | MAY 16 | 2013


Essence Festival

takes place July 4-7 in New Orleans T he 19th annual Essence Festival will focus on music, culture, community, empowerment and inspiration. The star-studded event takes place Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Highlights include: Thursday, July 4: The festival introduces a free and open-to-the-public Family Reunion Day. It is hosted by Master P. and his children, Romeo and Beyoncé Cymphonique. Participants include Traci and Trina Braxton and Roland Martin. Friday, July 5: The morning starts with families competing on Steve Harvey’s “Family Feud.” In the afternoon, Kenya Moore, Shaunie O’ Neal, Chanté Moore and others discuss “The Real Truth Behind Reality TV.” Performers include Maxwell, Jill Scott, LL Cool J, Brandy, Blackstreet, Anthony David, Les Nubians, Emeli Sande, Maya Azucena, Simphiwe Dana and Mali Music. Saturday, July 6: Discussions will be held on civil rights, education, women’s rights and other critical issues. Speakers include Iyanla Vanzant,

Rev. Al Sharpton, Congressman John Lewis and Myrlie Evers-Williams. Performing are New Edition, Charlie Wilson, Trey Songz, Keyshia Cole, Solange, Faith Evans, Bridget Kelly, Big Daddy Kane, F.Stokes, PJ Morton, Jody Watley, Leela James and Avery*Sunshine. Sunday, July 7: A gospel tribute to Tramaine Hawkins and Donnie McClurkin

features such stars as Yolanda Adams, Michelle Williams, Amber Bullock, Kurt Carr and Kim Burrell. Beyoncé headlines the main stage, and other performers include Janelle Monáe, TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank), Rachelle Ferrell, Mint Condition and Luke James. Single day tickets start at $50 per person. For information visit

Is Beyoncé pregnant?

Yolanda Adams


The rumor mill has it that Beyoncé is pregnant with her second child after she cancelled a concert in Belgium due to exhaustion. A publicist said the singer has been advised by her doctors to rest. The speculation about the pregnancy began when photos of Beyoncé at the recent Met Gala supposedly showed her with a baby bump. One “insider” told Us Weekly that such reports are inaccurate. Another friend said, “I know another kid is in the future, but it wouldn’t make sense for her right now while on tour.” Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed their daughter Blue Ivy Carter in January, 2012.

what’sup The release date of “The Butler” has been moved up from Oct. 18 to Aug. 16 to increase its chances for Oscar contention. The film stars FOREST WHITAKER as White House head butler Cecil Gaines and OPRAH WINFREY as his wife. It is based on the true story of Eugene Allen, who served with eight presidents from 1952 to 1986. The film’s other stars include TERRENCE HOWARD, CUBA GOODING JR., LENNIE KRAVITZ and MARIAH CAREY…….. SAMUEL L. JACKSON will portray the president of the United States in the action-adventure film “Big Game.” It tells the story of a 13-year-old boy who takes a test of manhood by spending one day and night alone in a forest armed only with a bow and arrow. When Air Force One is shot down by terrorists, the young man discovers the

president in an escape pod, and the two team up as the terrorists close in……..The movie “Peeples,” coproduced by TYLER PERRY and starring CRAIG ROBINSON and KERRY WASHINGTON, took in $4.8 million its first weekend, and is considered a box office disappointment. Though the movie debuted in fourth place, any film with Perry’s name on it opens with an average of $20 million the first weekend…….. CEELO GREEN will star in a reality show on TBS next year. The working title is “The CeeLo Life,” and TBS has ordered six episodes of the unscripted series. It will follow Green as he tackles a packed schedule of producing, recording and performing, and a creative partnership with his longtime best friends, BIG GIPP, KHUJO and T-MO. The four men are bringing their hip-hop group Goodie Mob back into

the spotlight with a new album, a Las Vegas headlining gig and an international tour ……..”American Idol” will have at least one vacancy next year. Original judge RANDY JACKSON announced he is leaving the show. “Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on ‘American Idol,’ I have decided to leave after this season,” Jackson said in a statement. Jackson will focus on other business ventures.…….. “Guys with Kids,” the NBC sitcom starring ANTHONY ANDERSON and TEMPESTT BLEDSOE, has been cancelled. Other stars in shows recently cancelled include MAYA RUDOLPH in “Up All Night,” HILL HARPER in “CSI:NY, MEAGAN GOOD in “Deception,” CHI McBRIDE in “Golden Boy,” TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS in “Go On” and NENE LEAKES in “The New Normal.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

MAY 16 | 2013 | DEFENDER


Real Husbands of Hollywood available on BET.

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DEFENDER | MAY 16 | 2013

BET Awards nominees announced


Defender News Services

ome of the biggest stars in entertainment and sports are nominated for this year’s BET Awards. The event expands to three days, and will include concerts, seminars, film screenings and “106 & PARK” tapings. Drake received the most nominations – 12 – including Best Male Hip Hop Artist and Video of the Year. Hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar and rapper 2 Chainz tied with Chris Tucker eight nominations. A$AP Rocky received five nominations, while Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake and Miguel each received four. Best Female R&B/Pop Artist nominations went to Beyoncé, Tamar Braxton, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Elle Varner. Best Male R&B/Pop Artist nominations went to Chris Brown, Bruno Mars, Miguel, Timberlake and Usher. Best Group nominations went to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Mary, Mindless Behavior,


Slaughterhouse and The Throne (Kanye West & Jay-Z). Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington received Best Actress nominations. Don Cheadle, Common, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington received Best Actor nominations. Sportswoman of the Year nominations went to Gabrielle Douglas, Brittney Griner, Candace Parker, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Sportsman of the Year nominations went to Victor Cruz, Kevin

Kendrick Lamar

Durant, Robert Griffin III, LeBron James and Ray Lewis. Actor and comedian Chris Tucker will host the awards show on June 30 in Los Angeles. “We cannot wait for Chris to set fire to the BET Awards stage with his unique brand of mayhem,” said Stephen Hill, president of music programming and specials. “We’ve been chasing him for years and we couldn’t be happier that he is hosting the show in this special year: the year we embark on the three-day long BET Experience.”

Health...Continued from page 3 American people.” The money, which comes from Affordable Care Act funds set aside specifically for community health centers in the 2013 budget, is set to help the centers hire new staff and train staff to properly educate patients about their insurance options. Sebelius hopes the funds will also help the community health centers reach uninsured people within communities who otherwise would not have known about the insurance marketplace, their new options in terms of coverage. About 60 percent of the existing community health centers are in communities where racial and ethnic minorities are the majority. Currently, about 21 percent of African-Americans are uninsured, along with about 30 percent of Hispanics. Mary Wakefield, an administrator at the Health Resources and Services Administration, said community health centers are “really perfect partners in outreach and enrollment efforts.” “Those of us who are in Obama administration have been working hard to make sure that Americans that aren’t in the health system can get in, Wakefield said. “ We can now double the outreach and education capacity of health centers nationwide.” Each community health center is eligible to receive about $50,000 in funds, with an extra $5,000 available for additional resources like computers. The funds provided to community health centers are a mere portion of the efforts by the Obama administration, mostly being rolled out this summer, to get information out about the Insurance Marketplace. The goal is to reach as many uninsured people as possible to ensure the success of Obama’s huge, and often begrudged, overhaul of the health care system. Community health centers are positioned to reach a number of the uninsured, given their reputation as “trusted community partners” for people on the fringes of the health care system. According to the health care officials about one seventh of the uninsured population gets treatment from community health centers.

MAY 16 | 2013 | DEFENDER


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DEFENDER | MAY 16 | 2013

Trouble followed Malcolm X’s grandson


NNPA News Service

or Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, trouble seemed to come easy. His troubles began in 1997, when at age 12 he plead guilty to setting fire to the apartment of his grandmother Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X. The fire resulted in her death and young Malcolm spent four years in juvenile detention centers. In 2003, he was back behind bars, this time as a result of an attempted robbery. And in 2006, he was arrested for punching a hole in a donut shop wall in Yonkers, N.Y. His troubles ended for good in Mexico City on May 9, when the 29-year-old died after being beaten outside of a bar. Authorities arrested two men on suspicion of the fatal beating and are looking for at least two more people. Shabazz was reportedly traveling to Mexico City with RUMEC, a Mexican labor organization based in California. RUMEC leader Miguel Suarez was with Shabazz at the time of his death.

Suarez had been deported to Mexico from the U.S. last month and Shabazz reportedly traveled to Mexico to support the labor rights activist. Suarez said Shabazz was beaten after the bar owner asked to two to pay a $1,200 tab for drinks, music and dances with women. In a statement, the family of Shabazz ex-

Malcolm Shabazz died May 9 after being beaten to death in Mexico City.

pressed grief, but added that the slain 28-year-old can now rest “in peace in the arms of his grandparents and the safety of God.” Like his grandfather Malcolm X, whose own young life was littered with troubles, Malcolm Shabazz was no stranger to the legal system. When Malcolm was young his mother Qubilah was charged with planning to murder Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan with her boyfriend. She believed Farrakhan played a role in the assassination of her father, a charge Farrakhan has consistently denied. Though her charges were dropped and she was sent to a rehabilitation center in Texas instead of prison, Malcolm was sent to live with his grandmother in Yonkers, at age 10. Two years later, after an attempt at living with his mother in San Antonio failed, young Malcolm set fire to the apartment he and his grandmother shared. According to the New York Amsterdam News, prior to his death, Shabazz was writing two books and attending Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

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MAY 16 | 2013 | DEFENDER


Beating illiteracy

Houstonians of all ages attend the launch of a Walking Toward Literacy event sponsored by the Houston Center for Literacy and Councilmember Jerry Davis.

Agencies address the problem



eaders might not think twice about opening a book or browsing the Internet. But for those battling illiteracy, understanding words on a page or computer screen is a challenge. Houston’s adult illiteracy problem is a troubling reality that can have substantial implications on the city’s workforce, crime rate and poverty levels, as well as on the lives of families. “When people think about literacy in Houston, they think about kids,” said Sheri Suarez Foreman, president and CEO of Houston Center for Literacy (HCL). “Yes, they are the future of this city, but we forget about the

parents. They’re the No. 1 teachers in a student’s life.” Currently, one in five Harris County residents is fundamentally illiterate, and out of the nation’s 75 least literate cities, Houston ranked 60th, Suarez Foreman said. According to Liza McFadden, president of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, there is a long waiting list for adults trying to return to school. “When people drop out of high school, it is very challenging to get back into the education system,” she said. “Then you create a cycle – you have a child who is likely to be illiterate.” McFadden said a mother’s education level is the No.

1 way to determine if a child is going to graduate from high school. Jacque Daughtry, COO of Making It Better (MIB), an organization founded by Councilman Jerry Davis that helps HISD students struggling with literacy, said nearly half of the students they serve are African-American or Hispanic. And of those students, 59 percent are from female-headed households.

Where it starts

“Statistics will tell you that [illiteracy] has to do with the economic state of the family,” Daughtry said. “Children are not getting the language development Continued on Page 10 • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



DEFENDER | MAY 16 | 2013

illiteracy...Continued from page 9 skills when they are really young because they’re not being read to on a regular basis, they’re not having conversations, people are not engaging with them and their experience is limited. “Our goal is to fill in the missing pieces, that the children do not have, that are causing them to struggle.” According to McFadden, if you’re a parent and you have less than a high school diploma, there is an 85 percent chance your child will live in poverty. Illiteracy rates are also linked to high school dropout rates, teen pregnancy, unemployment and even incarceration rates. In Texas, the average age of a It is important to erase the stigma of illiteracy. youth offender is 16, and the averLos Angeles, Houston has the least amount of funding,” she age reading level for youth offenders is 4th grade. That means a large number of the teenagers com- said. “That’s a problem.” In addition to obtaining more funding, McFadden said it mitting crimes are struggling with literacy. is also important to erase the stigma associated with illiteracy, When looking at unemployment, the numbers are just as an area in which her organization focuses its efforts. staggering. “We have to get past the idea that this is embarrassing,” In Houston, the unemployment rate is 14.1 percent for she said. “Literacy is a basic right no matter your age. those without a high school diploma. However, that numbers “We need to show people that this is so cool,” she said. drops significantly to 9.4 percent for individuals with a high “It’s okay at 24 years old to go back and get your high school school diploma. diploma and you should feel great about it.” “Houston is so spread out, and we’re economically segAt HCL, Suarez Foreman said they often partner with regated,” Suarez Foreman said. “There are pockets of poverty and pockets of wealth. People who can make a difference don’t other organizations to combat the city’s literacy problem. She said they are currently working on a literacy camsee the effects of illiteracy. Decision-makers and policy makers can go all day and never see this issue. They don’t feel, see and paign with Neil Bush, co-chair of The Barbara Bush Texas Fund for Family Literacy, to increase awareness, affect policy hear it.” and increase capacity. Suarez-Foreman said the HCL focuses primarily on “We are developing a blueprint that shows how we are education policy. “We could work all day long at the grass roots level or the going to create a more literate city,” she said. “Policy makers, families, everyone will have a place in this blueprint.” organization level, but unless we get to the policy-makers to The city’s economic prosperity depends on more educated effect change – we can never dig ourselves out of this hole,” families, Suarez Forman said. she said. “Houston doesn’t look like it did 25 years ago,” she said. Addressing the problem “Houston has grown. These problems can’t be addressed the A lack of funding is another big issue, Suarez Foreman way they were 25 years ago. We have to have some innovative, said. forward-thinking solutions. “When compared to other cities with similar demograph“And families and parents are a huge piece of the pie.” ics, diversity and workforce, such as Chicago, New York and

Literacy resources There are 33 million adults in the U.S. who are fundamentally illiterate. This population is often underserved due to a number of reasons, including a lack of funding for literacy programs, a stigma attached to receiving adult literacy help and a lack of knowledge about the available resources for help with literacy. In Texas, 19 percent of adults, aged 18 years and older, have less than a high school diploma, and only 3 percent of that population is enrolled in adult literacy programs. According to the Houston Center for Literacy’s website, there are more than 175 literacy centers in Houston. For the full list of local centers, visit Other local, state and national resources available to individuals struggling with literacy include:

Facts & figures • Locally, 1 in 5 Harris county residents lacks basic literacy skills, up from 1 in 7 in 1992. • Of the 75 most populous cities in the United States, Houston was recently ranked No. 60, with No. 75 being the least literate. In 2005, Houston ranked No. 53. • The unemployment rate for Houstonians without a high school diploma is 14. 1 percent. For those with a high school diploma, that number drops to 9.4 percent. • Statewide, there are more than 18,000,000 adults in Texas. Of that 18 and up population, 19 percent have less than a high school diploma. • 3.8 million people in Texas need the services of an adult education program, but only 100,000 are being served. • Nationally, 33 million adults in the U.S. are illiterate. • One in seven adults cannot read a job application. • In 2009, 14.6 percent of those without a high school diploma were unemployed compared to 9.7 percent of high school graduates. Sources include U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Texas Workforce Investment Council, Barbara Bush Foundation, National Assessment of Adult Literacy, Houston Center for Literacy.

Literacy Advance of Houston (713) 266-8777

Literacy Texas 888-577-9347

United Way Helpline 2-1-1

Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy 850-562-5300

Texas Education Agency (512) 463-9734

National Coalition For Literacy (865) 680-7668 • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

MAY 16 | 2013 | DEFENDER

City health dept. combats HIV/AIDS



diagnosed or those diagnosed and out of care for more than six months. Our service links part of its misage team receives referrals from sion to promote hospitals and clinics, as well as, and protect self-referrals. They are able to the health and help clients establish a medical well-being of home. all Houstonians, the Houston Defender: What is the “good Department of Health and news” about the fight against Human Services (HDHHS) is HIV/AIDS in the Houston area? at the forefront of HIV/AIDS HDHHS: Overall, the good testing, prevention and linkage news is that we are finding indito care viduals that are at-risk for HIV, Its efforts include reachand providing them with educaing out the African-American tion and testing opportunities to community, which is espeknow their status. HDHHS is cially hard hit by the disease. locating new positive individuals There are more than 27,650 and linking them to primary care individuals known to be living services. with HIV/AIDS in Houston/ Additionally, HDHHS has Harris County, and Africanthe ability to determine acute Americans account for 54 Participants receive an overview of the annual Hip Hop for HIV Awareness event geared toward the Black community. It HIV infection in persons at highis held each June, and details of this year’s event are to be announced. percent of HIV cases. est risk (young men who have sex The health department shed with men of color) for acquiring b.) Access HIV testing on the mobile clinic. light on its efforts in a Q&A. HIV within two to three weeks of infection. c.) Receive a test from one of our contracted Defender: What programs or initiatives does Defender: What does Hip-Hop for HIV Awarecommunity-based organizations. All testing is HDHHS have in place for HIV/AIDS prevention in ness involve? provided at no charge. The challenges are that most the African-American community? HDHHS: Hip Hop for HIV Awareness is a comorganizations operate during daytime hours and are HDHHS: [The department] contracts eight munity testing and educational initiative that provides not always accessible for clients that require services. community-based organizations within Houston/ the participants with a concert ticket. It is geared HDHHS clinics and some organizations have Harris County to provide counseling, testing/referral toward African-Americans (ages 13-40), although no altered working hours to include some evening schedservices and/or education to residents (including the one is turned away. ule. The HDHHS mobile clinic has evening and night African-American community). Four of the organiza- schedules throughout the city that is posted on the HDHHS provides the public health component tions specifically target African-Americans at high(everything that involves counseling, testing and eduHDHHS website. risk, the others all races and ethnicities. cational awareness). Additionally, HDHHS provides Defender: If an African-American has been Defender: If an African-American needs to be the majority of the staffing along with communitydiagnosed with HIV/AIDS, how can the department tested for HIV/AIDS, how can the department help? based organizations and community volunteers. help? HDHHS: A person can... For more information visit HDHHS: HDHHS can provide linkage to primary a.) Go to one of three HDHHS STD clinics loHIV-STD/hivaidspage.html. care and other needed social services for those newly cated North, Southeast and Southwest. By MARILYN MARSHALL Defender


Panel calls for HIV testing of all adults Defender News Services

A government-backed panel of doctors and scientists is calling for HIV screening for all Americans aged 15 to 65, regardless of whether they are considered to be at high risk. It also recommends that all pregnant women, including those in labor whose HIV status is unknown, be screened for HIV. The new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force align with longstanding recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing of all adults regardless of their risk.

Experts said the change, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, might help lift some of the stigma associated with HIV testing. It could also trigger coverage for the tests as a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act. African-Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV. The CDC estimates that they accounted for nearly half – 44 percent – of all new infections in 2010, despite comprising 14 percent of the U.S. population. This represents a rate that is eight times as high as that of whites. Most of these infections are in African-American men who have sex with other men. African-American women continue to be far more

affected by HIV than women of other races/ethnicities. Recent data, however, show early signs of a decrease in new HIV infections. “While the best way to reduce HIV-related disease and death is to avoid getting infected, screening is also extremely important,” said task force member Douglas K. Owens, M.D., M.S. “Nearly a quarter of people with HIV don’t know that they have it, and they’re missing out on a chance to take control of their disease. Universal screening will help identify more people with HIV, allowing them to start combined antiretroviral therapy earlier and live healthier and longer lives.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

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Things to know about HIV & women • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of the end of 2010, one in four people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection in the U.S. were women. • In 2010, women accounted for an estimated 9,500, or 20 percent, of the estimated 47,500 new HIV infections in the U.S. Most (84 percent) were from heterosexual contact with a person known to have, or to be a high risk for, HIV infection. • Young women aged 25 to 44 accounted for the majority of new HIV infections among women in 2010. • Black and Hispanic women are disproportionately affected by HIV infection compared with women of other races/ ethnicities. • At some point in their lifetimes, an estimated 1 in 32 Black women will be diagnosed with HIV infection, compared with 1 in 106 Hispanic women and 1 in 526 white women. • New HIV infections among Black women decreased in 2010. The CDC is cautiously optimistic that this is the beginning of a longer-term trend. • Several risk factors contribute to prevention challenges for women. For example, women may be unaware of their partner’s risk factors for HIV (such as injection drug use or unprotected sex with men, with multiple partners, or with anyone at high risk for HIV). • Some women may not insist on condom use because they fear that their partner will leave them or even physically abuse them. • Unprotected vaginal sex is a much higher risk for HIV for women than for men, and unprotected anal sex is riskier for women than unprotected vaginal sex. • Women who have experienced sexual abuse may be more likely than women with no abuse history to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors like exchanging sex for drugs, having multiple partners, or having sex with a partner who is physically abusive when asked to use a condom. • Some sexually transmitted

diseases greatly increase the likelihood of acquiring or transmitting HIV. Rates of gonorrhea and syphilis are higher among women of color than among white women.

Young women aged 25 to 44 accounted for the majority of new HIV infections among women in 2010.

MAY 16 | 2013 | DEFENDER



Cleveland’s Charles Ramsey

Hood or hero?



hen some of us saw the first video of Charles Ramsey, the colorful Black dishwasher in Cleveland who is being celebrated as a hero for rescuing three white women captives from horrid conditions in a Cleveland house, we had a flashback to Antoine Dodson, who became a flamboyant Internet sensation after saving his sister from a would-be rapist in their Huntsville, Ala. housing apartment, and Sweet Brown, who barely escaped a fire in her Oklahoma City complex. But more than any other famous “hilarious Black neighbor” Internet sensation, the coverage of Ramsey – and his criminal past – raises serious questions about how we treat a hero with a troubled past and, yes, how Blacks and whites look at the same event through different prisms of race. First, as they say in TV news, let’s go to the videotape. “I’ve been here a year,” Ramsey said in an interview with WEWS, a local television station. Referring to Ariel Castro, the suspect arrested for holding the women against their will, Ramsey said, “You see where I’m coming from? I barbeque with this dude. We eat ribs and what not and listen to salsa music… “He just comes out in his backyard, plays with the dogs, tinkers with his cars and motorcycles, goes back in the house…He’s not doing anything but the average stuff. You see what I’m saying? There’s nothing exciting about him. Well, until today.” Ramsey explained that Castro “got some big testicles to pull this off, bro.” He added, “I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a Black man’s arms. Something wrong here. Dead giveaway.” There was plenty wrong, as Ramsey learned

when he put down his McDonald’s Big Mac and answered a call for help from Amanda Berry, who had been last seen in 2002 on the eve of her 17th birthday. The two other women were Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, who had been missing since 2004 at the age of 14, and Michelle Knight, who disappeared in 2002 at the age of 21. While being hailed as a hero, Ramsey was the object of both racism and ridicule. Though we’re reluctant to publicly admit it, some African-Americans cringed at the sight of Ramsey. His hair, curled in the back like Al Sharpton’s do and

as slick as Chuck Berry’s, is interspersed with what we once called post office hair – each nap has its own route. This is one of the few cases where a person’s mug shot looks better than his real life photo. To put this in context, think back to when Black civil rights protesters dressed up in their Sunday’s best, knowing they were going to get physically assaulted by police and white supremacists. Then, as now, image matters. Especially when one of us appears on TV. Still, there are plenty of people in our community who look like Ramsey and their speech and appearance make them no less valuable than the best dressed and most articulate among us.

Some have suggested than many whites take delight in seeing Blacks caricatured in the image of Charles Ramsey and Antoine Dodson. “Perhaps it’s time for the world’s meme artists to stop assuming that any Black dude getting interviewed on local news about a crime he helped to foil can be reduced to some catch-phrase or in-joke,” Miles Klee wrote on Most of us knew, or at least suspected deep down, that something about Ramsey’s past would surface, causing further embarrassment. The Smoking Gun website disclosed on May 8 that Ramsey “is a convicted felon whose rap sheet includes three separate domestic violence convictions that resulted in prison terms.” Blacks instantly asked: Why is something that happened a decade ago – and had nothing to do with Ramsey’s heroism – relevant today? Cleveland’s WEWSTV, facing a backlash from viewers, apologized for reporting on Ramsey’s criminal past. “While the story was factually sound, the timing of it and publication of such information was not in good taste, and we regret it,” the station said on its Facebook page. Normally, I would agree that Ramsey’s criminal past, certainly in this situation, should be irrelevant. But there’s nothing normal about this case. Unfortunately, Ramsey invited the scrutiny when he said he suspected domestic violence because he “was raised to help women in distress.” In view of that assertion, Ramsey’s domestic violence convictions – hardly a record of helping women in distress – became fair game and should have been reported by the news media. But the reporting should not end there. Ramsey’s ex-wife, since remarried, said Ramsey eventually apologized for battering her and they now interact on “an okay basis.” In addition, she posted two earlier photos of Ramsey on her Facebook page. She told the Smoking Gun, “For my daughter’s sake I show he didn’t always look hood.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


DEFENDER | MAY 16 | 2013


How to take charge of your career


Family Features

hether you want to advance your career or make the change to a new career, it’s up to you to make it happen. “Sometimes hundreds of professionals are sending resumes for one open position, so you cannot leave things up to chance,” said University of Phoenix School of Business Dean Dr. Bill Berry. “You need to put a solid plan in place that will help you set the right career goals and obtain the skills you need to give you a competitive advantage.” Here are steps you can take:

Top 10 skills you need According to research by Apollo Group, parent company of University of Phoenix, successful workers in the 21st century need certain skills. Here’s what employers are looking for: 1. Leadership

2. Critical thinking 3. Communication 4. Collaboration 5. Productivity & accountability 6. Adaptability 7. Innovation 8. Accessing, analyzing & synthesizing 9. Entrepreneurialism 10. Global citizenship

Determine your goals

Think about what you really want to do with your career, and be specific. Ask yourself some questions: • What are the things that interest you most? • What motivates you? • In what kind of work environment do you thrive? • What kinds of jobs fit these criteria? If you’re not sure, it can be helpful to take a personal assessment. “Doing so can help you uncover your passions and preferences,” said Dean Berry. “It can help you identify strengths and can help you make an informed decision about your career.”

Identify skills gaps

There are more than three million job openings in this country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet many companies are finding it difficult to fill those positions. A common reason given for this is that employers can’t find qualified people with the appropriate skills. A survey by University of Phoenix found that many people are recognizing the need to add skills in order to improve their careers: • 89 percent of working Americans believe there is still room for them to grow in their careers, and can point to at least one skill they will need to learn. • 58 percent who are not currently enrolled in school full-time believe that going back to school would be crucial if they were considering a new career path. • 36 percent say they need additional education in order to get to the next level of their careers. “Taking an objective look at the skills you currently have and comparing them to the skills required for the type of job you desire, gives you a clear picture

of what it will take to make the job changes you want,” Berry said. Start by writing down the skills, knowledge and qualifications you currently have. Next, research the types of jobs you want, and write down the qualifications needed. Compare the two lists, and take notes on the skills you’re currently missing. “Once you do that, you can make decisions on how you’re going to bridge that skills gap,” Berry said. “At the university, we are seeing working adults pursuing education in order to address their own skills gaps, and it’s helping position them for career growth.”

Bridge the gaps

If you have a skills gap in one area, such as knowledge of current computer software, you can take a single course or seminar to catch up. But for many, getting or finishing a college degree is the key to making a positive career change.

University of Phoenix’s survey found that having a degree has given those surveyed tangible benefits: 63 percent of those with bachelor’s degrees or higher believe that their education led to more responsibility, and 60 percent of those with bachelor’s degrees or higher believe that their education positively affected their ability to get promoted. Those with bachelor’s degrees also say they perceive that their education led to other benefits including receiving raises (58 percent), keeping a job (58 percent) and being given more management opportunities (57 percent). “For those returning to the classroom after many years, they’ll find that learning tools and platforms have changed significantly,” Berry said. “With online learning and other innovations, the classroom is evolving to mirror the workplace and the skills that employers want.” Online coursework is one way that many adults are achieving their goals while holding down a job and/or raising a family. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed say they are currently taking such a course, or plan to in the near future. “The bottom line is that you have to take charge of your career,” Berry said. “With a good plan and clear goals in place, you can make yourself more marketable and put yourself on the path to a more fulfilling and rewarding career.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

MAY 16 | 2013 | DEFENDER


3 steps to controlling your investments


Family Features

nvestor optimism has steadily climbed in recent years, and more investors are managing their own investment portfolios, according to a recent study from investing firm Scottrade, Inc. “Investors and traders are seeing the opportunities in the market, and they are able to take action,” said Kim Wells, Scottrade’s chief marketing officer. “More resources and online trading tools are available to help them find openings to build their portfolios and reach financial success.” For the growing number of self-directed investors entering the market, here are three steps to take to manage a portfolio. 1. Gauge accessibility needs Those who selfdirect their investments tend to check their portfolio and log into their accounts more frequently. Every investor and trader has different needs, and it’s important to identify how to interact with the investment company. • Want to be able to walk into a branch? Not all investment firms operate a branch network while others have local offices across the country. • Need to call someone after market hours? Many investment firms operate call centers to handle customer questions.

• Want to interact with the firm on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube? Find a firm that provides the opportunities to connect via social media platforms. 2.Research your resources Explore an investment firm’s online resources. More than one-third of investors say they taught themselves how to invest by using online investment education tools. • Learn what research tools each

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investment firm offers. • Check for on-demand webcasts and live webinars to educate investors and traders. • Engage in an online trading community. 3.Set expectations Many find investing fun with general optimism among investors. Selfdirected investors’ confidence has strengthened as the Internet has made information about the markets, rules and guidelines more accessible. Yet while online

trading saves investors and traders time and money, it does not take the homework out of making investment decisions. Before making a trade, investors need to understand the risks of each investment and the goals of their portfolios.

classified DENTURES $0 CO-PAY! $200 EYEWEAR ALLOWANCE! Must Have Medicare and Medicaid to Qualify. For Details Call 1-800-704-3307 24 hrs, for Free Report.

MENTAL HEALTH MENTAL RETARDATION AUTHORITY OF HARRIS COUNTY will be accepting Request for Proposal for the following:

MHMRA’S MICROSOFT EXCHANGE 2010 UPGRADE Specifications may be secured from MHMRA, Harris County, Purchasing Department located at 7011 Southwest Freeway, Suite 100 in Houston, Texas 77074, Telephone number, 713-970-7300, and/or via MHMRA website beginning Monday, May 20, 2013. The Request for Proposal (RFP) must be submitted to Purchasing Department, Suite 100, 7011 Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas 77074 by, Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 10:00 am. All responses, and any questions pertaining to this RFP should be addressed in writing to Joycie Sheba, Buyer II / Sharon Brauner, Senior Purchasing Coordinator via fax (713) 970-7682or email questions to, cc: MHMRA reserves the rights to reject any and/or all offers it deems to be in its best interests, to waive formalities and reasonable irregularities in submitted documents and is not obligated to accept the lowest proposal.

NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL SOW_HousotnDefender2013paths.indd 1

FOR 3/7/13 4:13 PM

The Ryan White Planning Council Invites You to Meet   Houston Public Leaders and Give Public Comment on…  

Ryan White Part A, Part B & State Services Service Definitions for 2014 Also learn about the  

HIV/AIDS Trends and Highlights for Houston and the Surrounding Areas

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 7:00pm This televised Public Hearing will be held at the Houston City Hall Annex - City Council Chambers 900 Bagby Street, Public Level - Free Parking in Back To register for free Childcare or Transportation, you must call by 5pm on Friday, May 24th: 713 572-3724 (TTY: 713-572-2813) Ryan White Planning Council Office of Support 2223 West Loop South, Suite 240; Houston, TX 77027

INTEGRATED CARE FOR THE CHRONICALLY HOMELESS INITIATIVE The City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services is requesting proposals that may lead to contract award for Integrated Care for the Chronically Homeless Initiative. The proposals are solicited for this project in accordance with the terms, conditions and instructions as set forth in this Request for Proposal (hereinafter “RFP”). This RFP is available on the Internet at the following site: It is also available at the Department of Health and Human Services, 8000 N. Stadium Drive, 8th Floor, Houston, TX 77054 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The City of Houston, Texas will receive submissions at the City’s Secretary’s Office, City Hall Annex, Public Level, 900 Bagby, Houston, Texas 77002 until Friday, June 7, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. Questions concerning the RFP will be responded to during the PreProposal Conference on Thursday, May 22, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at 8000 North Stadium Dr., First Floor Conference Room, Houston, Texas 77054. All submissions will be required to comply with City Council Ordinance No. 78-1538, passed August 9, 1978, relating to Equal Employment Opportunity Contract Compliance. The City reserves the right to reject and/or accept all or any portion of a submission deemed to be in the City’s best interest.


DEFENDER | MAY 16 | 2013


Michael Strahan

receives TSU honorary degree the pros, which definitely worked out.” Strahan has sucexas cessfully made the Southern difficult transition Unifrom football fame versity to an equal amount recently of acclaim in the held its spring comTV industry. He is a mencement, and one member of the Fox of the highlights NFL Sunday studio was the presentation team. In 2012 he of one its highest was named to suchonors, the Honorary ceed Regis Philbin as Doctorate of Humane cohost of the popular Letters, to alum daytime talk show, Michael Strahan. now appropriately Strahan was a renamed, “Live! with star football performKelly and Michael.” er at TSU from 1989Again Strahan 1992, a two-time credits a strong work SWAC Defensive ethic as a key to his Player of the Year success. and an All-American “I carried that Former Texas Southern University and New York Giants defensive star Michael Strahan is awarded an honorary doctorate by TSU President Dr. John Rudley his senior year. same work ethic over Drafted by the New York Giants in the secto TV,” he said. “I’m always willing to learn, alond round (40th pick overall, 1993), Strahan’s ways curious about how to get better about things star-studded 15-year career culminated with a and that’s what I was taught here; don’t just settle Super Bowl victory in 2007 (XLII). for being mediocre.” Among his impressive gridiron accomplishPerfect timing also helped him land the ments: seven-time Pro-bowler, five-time first team “Live” role. All-Pro, two-time NFC Defensive Player of the “I took advantage of the opportunity. I Year and NFL Defensive Player of the Year. enjoyed myself, I had fun. I showed that it was For all of the honors bestowed on Strahan something I could do. For me it was about not during what is certain to be a Hall of Fame career, limiting myself. Get out of your comfort zone and the honor from his alma mater has special signifiit worked out.” cance. Always proud to acknowledge his TSU Tiger “When I first went out there and sat on the ancestry, Strahan views his success as a guide stage and looked up the scoreboard and saw Texas post for other TSU alums, especially the newest Southern it was almost surreal, Strahan said. “You graduating class. realize you’re sitting there getting this honorary “A lot of students have no idea who went to degree, it’s pretty amazing. It definitely ranks up their school,” Strahan said. “They see someone there with one of the biggest things to ever happen who they deem is successful and that may be their to me.” aspiration to get into that field. It gives them a Strahan credits his success both on and off little bit more belief in themselves to see that hey, the field to a strong work ethic. The foundation of this person or this alum came from Texas Souththat work ethic was honed at TSU. ern University. “You have goals and you have what you want “Whether it’s Kermit Crawford, who’s runto do, what you expect to do and sometimes they ning Walgreens, or myself, if we can come back Strahan, now a TV personality, jokes around with former don’t always go your way, but for me things have and have them believe that they got a great heavyweight champ George Foreman prior to the commencement, during which more than 1,000 students always worked out. quality education, at a great quality school that graduated. “As far as the sports side of it I just believed puts out successful people and that helps them be TSU head coach] running you like he was trying in working hard, which is what I learned out here the next batch of successful people, then it’s all to test who you are. I simply carried that over to in this Texas heat with Walter Highsmith [former worth it.” By MAX EDISON Defender

T •• Serving Serving the the Houston Houston area area for for over over 80 80 years years

MAY 16 | 2013 | DEFENDER


Area athletes win gold at state meet By DARRELL K. ARDISON Defender

AUSTIN – The 2013 Texas state high school track and field meet turned into a “gold rush” for Houston area student-athletes before more than 17,000 fans at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Alaysh’A Johnson Eli Hall-Thompson After winning a silver medal in the girls’ Class 5A 100-meter hurdles last year, Spring’s Alaysh’A Johnson took home the top prize in a winning time of 13.52 seconds this time around, as Houston athletes swept all three medals. Ariel Jones of Ishmael Zamora Rushell Harvey Humble Atascocita Jones of Atascocita (41.56) taking (13.56) placed second and dethe silver medal and Raygen Smith fending state champion Skylar of Clear Brook (42,92) settling for Ross Ransom of Langham Creek the bronze medal. (13.90) came in third. “I wanted to sweep both “It was an extremely fast events and I’m just so happy that surface but I wasn’t nervous out I did what I set out to do,” Johnthere, I was more excited than son said. “Off the second to the anything,” Johnson said. “So I last hurdle, my hamstrings started was kinda amped up and ready to tightening up and that had never go. Honestly, it was just amazing. happened to me before. “Skylar and I have been “I had in my mind that if I fell running together since we were 7 before the finish line, I’d crawl to years old,” Johnson said. “I know cross it. I wasn’t going to be one she’s a great competitor and she of those people who came up just was going to bring her ‘A’ game short. Fortunately, I fell after I like she did last year at state. I just crossed the line.” wanted to make sure that I brought Two Houston-area senior mine.” sprinters also won Class 5A For good measure, Johnson, a double gold medals. junior, came back later in the meet Eli Hall-Thompson of Morton to defend her 300-meter hurdles Ranch and Fort Bend Bush standtitle and won (41.24) despite fallout Rushell Harvey swept both the ing at the finish line. 100- and 200-meter dash titles. Once again, Houston athletes “That has been the plan all swept all three medals with Ariel season long,” Hall-Thompson


said. “Go win state. We put too much work in not to win the state.” Hall-Thompson (10.26) held off Katy’s Kyle Fulks (10.29) to win the 100-meter race and easily captured the 200-meter crown in a time of 20.60 seconds. Harvey won the 200-meter dash in a time of 23.58 seconds and crossed the finish line in the 100-meter race in 11.57 seconds. Clear Springs’ Tiffany Terry was just as impressive with a gold medal in the 400-meter dash, a bronze medal in the 80-meter run and running the anchor leg on the Lady Chargers’ gold-medal winning mile relay squad. “I knew that I had this kind of performance in my tank,” Terry said. “I just had to block out everything else. “I loved looking up and seeing all those people in the stands,” she said. “I could hear people cheering and it really motivated me.” Ishmael Zamora of Alief Elsik claimed gold in the boys’ 5A 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.70 seconds. Zamora won the silver medal in the 300-meter hurdles (37.08). “A lot of things go into running a good hurdles race,” Zamora said. “I’d been working on several things and felt like I ran a good race today.”

Raines sets state record Sandie Raines of Kingwood did not want to be a one-hit wonder. The defending state champion made sure that didn’t happen as she established a new state and Class 5A record (10:13.81) in the girls’ 3,200-meter run. The old mark was 10:24.80 by Katie Jensen of College Park in 2012. “I made it my goal not only to be the best that I can be, but come back to state and prove to myself that I’m not a one-hit wonder,” she said. Katie Willard of The Woodlands also defended her crown in the 800-meter run.

Gold rush for athletes Houston area student-athletes fared well at the 2013 University Interscholastic League (UIL) high school track and field meet. The Klein Oak boys won the 4X100 meter relay and the East Bernard boys won the mile relay to claim the Class 2A team championship. Other Houston area gold medalists included Kingwood’s Myles Marshall (800), DreVian Young of Aldine Nimitz (400), Port Arthur Memorial’s Jammil Peeples (long jump), Bealoved Brown of Beaumont Ozen (200), Manvel’s Makenzie Smajstrla (high jump), Splendora’s Jay Bradford (long jump) and Bria Druilhet of Fort Bend Austin (triple jump). The Clear Springs foursome of Jenna Sampson, Ericka Rodriguez, Aria Kelly and Tiffany Terry combined to win the Class 5A girls’ 4X400 meter relay in a time of three minutes, 44.83 seconds. Wheatley’s contingent of Ashely Howard, Daye Shon Roberson, Alia Duncan and Takyera Roberson won the Class 4A girls’ 4X100 meter relay. Kingwood Park’s Michael Lindberg held off rival Ryan Teel of Friendswood to win gold in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.

Sports theme at commencement There was a definite sports theme working at TSU’s spring graduation. In addition to former Tiger gridiron great Michael Strahan receiving an honorary doctorate, former Tiger roundballer Kermit Crawford was the commencement keynote speaker. Crawford is president of Pharmacy, Health and Wellness at Walgreen Co., a position he has held since 2010. Basketball coaching legend Robert Moreland gave Crawford a scholarship to attend TSU and was elated to see his former student- athlete address the multitude. “It’s hard to convey just how happy I am to see Kermit appear as the commencement speaker,” Moreland said. “His professional accomplishments are simply outstanding. His achievements should make every TSU student and alum beam with pride.” Crawford earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from TSU in 1983.

Sweeney hits a triple University of Houston Cougar Isaiah Sweeney claimed two individual event titles and a third one as a member of the men’s 4x100-meter relay team at the recent Conference USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Sweeney ran personal bests winning both the men’s 100- and 200-meter dash. He ran 10.38 in the 100m and 21.11 in the 200m. The senior from Ft. Bend Hightower anchored the 4x100-meter relay team (with Leshon Collins, Issac Williams and James Arnett) to victory with a season’s best time of 39.86. Sweeney accumulated 32.5 points for a Houston team that finished second overall in the meet to UTEP. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

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MAY 16 | 2013 | DEFENDER

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Honorees Deborah Clifton, Dr. Joanie Hare and Pastor Bridget Hilliard

Mae R. Charles and artist Paul Charles

Sharon Murphy and Josie Daniels


Founder Dr. Sonya Sloan and author Sophia A. Nelson

The Reed family Parker, Vanessa, Jordan and Kevin


Jodie Jiles, Clydette Messiah and Jodie Brandon Jiles

Val Coleman and Sherri Juniel

Roxann Chargois, Lorna Hankins and Sharon Owens

of the Ready.Set.Redefine. 2013 Tour. Great event!..... MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH…..Me & We Inc., a SOLO EXHIBIT…..The Black Heritage Gallery non-profit organization that motivates and empowers recently hosted a solo exhibit of photographs by Paul women to excel, hosted a Mother’s Day brunch that D. Charles titled “Road Trip: Scenes through the was attended by several hundred women. Founder Window,” a collection of photographs Dr. Sonya Sloan teamed up with representative of many trips spanning award-winning author and Essence Join Yvette Chargois the globe. Paul has traveled to all Magazine columnist Sophia seven continents and captured some Nelson to teach women of color Events of the Week More photos on amazing images. The nearly 60 how to live the life that they want photos chronicle many experiences pertaining to their relationships, See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. and interactions with people in their careers and emotional setbacks. Me & We Inc. believes that every everyday settings, recognizable places, objects, nature and plants woman deserves to be motivated and animals from places like Houston, South Africa, and empowered, which in turn will benefit families, Cuba, Italy, Greece, Antarctica, Australia, London, communities and society as a whole. During the Paris, Jordan (Petra), Cairo, Jerusalem and more. brunch four distinguished women were honored, About 300 friends, family, artists and art patrons including Deborah Clifton, Dr. Joanie Hare, flowed through the gallery including Mae and Rufus Sonceria “Sonny” Messiah-Jiles and pastor Bridget Charles and daughters Pamela, Karia and Carmen, Hilliard. Additionally, several dynamic mothers Ted Ellis, Lloyd Gite, Carroll Parrot Blue, Drs. and daughters were honored along with discussions Garland and Kim Henderson, and Drs. Karen Hill regarding health, beauty and much more. It was part

Tracie Payne, Angela Joubert and Irene Johnson

and Chester Brown, to name a few. The exhibit runs through May 31. Fabulous!.....FUN NIGHT AT THE ENSEMBLE…….. The seven Houston Cluster chapters of The Links, Inc. kicked off the 41st Western Area Conference to be held in Houston from June 19-22 with a fun night at The Ensemble Theatre by transforming the theatre into venues familiar to Houstonians, such as the Wunderbar, Rockefellers and Faces clubs. To add to the fun there was a night at The Apollo featuring Nyanza Moore as Kiki, Anna James/Pattie LaBelle, Winston Epperson/Sam Cooke, Michael Green/Stevie Wonder, Councilwoman Wanda Adams/Aretha Franklin, Janice Hall/Tina Turner, Rep. Sylvester Turner/Al Green and Argentina James/ Jennifer Hudson accompanied by Rep. Boris Miles. Sharon Murphy was Gladys Knight and the Pips were Wayne McConnell, O. D. Lanier and Robert Hudson. Jazz singer Julie Johnson also performed. Kudos to all seven chapter presidents. A fun evening!.....From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week! • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

24 DEFENDER | MAY 16 | 2013

Houston Defender: May 16, 2013  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source

Houston Defender: May 16, 2013  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source