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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 85 | Number 50

OCTOBER 13, 2016 |FREE


OPINION DONALD TRUMP political agenda is insulting

P8 ENTERTAINMENT AVA DUVERNAY tackles mass incarceration

P9 SPORTS DAK PRESCOTT moves to Cowboys’ top spot?




Garnet Coleman

Kedrick Brown

State Rep. Garnet Coleman talks about the latest developments in the lawsuit against the Harris County jail system, which claims the jail unfairly incarcerates poor defendants.

Local actor Kedrick Brown is making national waves in the entertainment industry. Read about his latest film, “Surving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le” and find out how he hopes to help Hollywood come to Houston.

discusses bail lawsuit

shines bright

Rev. William Lawson & Cheryl Lawson at the Real Role Models gala.



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HPD welcomes diverse captain class Defender News Service

The Houston Police Department’s new captains are set to be the most diverse group ever. Four of the five top candidates to be promoted to captain are minority lieutenants, which is notable given HPD’s lack of diversity in the captain’s ranks. Kevin Deese, James Bryant, Patty Cantu, Sheryl Victorian, and William McPherson are expected to be promoted next month. At least two other positions are set to open in the coming

months when other senior captains retire. The five lieutenants in line for promotion scored highest on the rigorous promotion exam that includes written and oral assessments and does not assign points for race or gender. The promotions are notable because the captains’ positions have remained overwhelmingly white, even as the politically appointed command staff and other lower positions among the rank and file have grown increasingly diverse in recent years. Defenders of the department have long

argued that the captain’s ranks would diversify as minority officers were promoted through the ranks, but just three of the department’s 41 current captains are non-Anglo. Just six of the captains are women. Currently, 70 of the department’s 211 lieutenants are minorities, according to HPD data. Critics welcome the news, especially because the issue of diversity has been forefront with a growing number of lethal encounters between police and civilians that have sown distrust and anger between the two groups.

Harris County bail system under fire Defender News Service

For months, criminal justice reform advocates have argued that U.S. bail systems unfairly keep low-income defendants in jail for far too long. Despite assurances from Harris County officials that the bail system would be overhauled, critics say change is coming way too slow. “It’s commonly called a debtor’s prison because having no money and fines and bail costs are real and disproportionately affects minority communities,” said State Rep. Garnet Coleman, who is working on reform on the legislative level. More than 50 percent of misdemeanor defendants in Harris County are detained until the conclusion of their case, many of them due to their inability to post bail. Harris County authorities tout a recently implemented $5.3 million plan designed to jumpstart reforms, but advocates say previously discussed reforms have never come to fruition and they are now focusing on litigation as the best way to address the problem. “Until the numbers change, until the Harris County Jail is not overcrowded, until the criminal justice system is not disproportionately African-American and Hispanic, it’s words,” said

Rebecca Bernhardt, an attorney and executive director of the Texas Fair Defense Project. Earlier this year, her organization, along with the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Equal Justice Under Law filed a lawsuit in Houston federal court, accusing Harris County’s bail system of unfairly jailing poor defendants. Equal Justice has filed at least 10 similar lawsuits in eight states. To date, Harris County has spent more than almost $200,000 defending the lawsuits, a figure that is rising daily and is expected to grow tremendously if the 16 county judges, added as defendants for their role in creating the county’s bail policies, each retain their own private lawyers. Criminal justice advocates and some lawmakers say that money should instead go toward reforming the bail system and developing better diversion policies. “There has been no resolution, no settlement, and of course, we’d prefer that the county settle the lawsuit,” Coleman said. “But that doesn’t change the overall policy moving forward. It is within their power to do this. These are principles that should be put into law that nonviolent offenders be offered the opportunity to get out of jail, not based on amount of money they make.”

Garnet Coleman

localbriefs THE SUPREME COURT MAY SIDE WITH AN INMATE who was sentenced to death because he is Black. Duane Buck was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and another man in front of the woman’s own children. Buck filed an appeal saying his lawyer failed miserably at avoiding a death sentence. The justices, who agreed the case was “marred with racial undertones” had to decide whether to look at the technicalities surrounding the case or the deeper constitutional issue of ineffective assistance of counsel. Ultimately, they decided both were worth exploring.…

TEXAS UNIVERSITIES TEAM UP WITH COMMUNITY COLLEGES to make the transition from one school to the other seamless. The deals reflect a growing commitment in the state and nationwide to promote twoyear colleges as a cost-effective way to begin working toward a four-year degree. Community colleges often attract poor and minority students that major universities have a hard time recruiting. That’s in part because the price is so low and students can enroll while still living at home…. TEXAS HAS APPROVED UP TO $10 MILLION IN GRANTS TO

HELP VETERANS and their families manage mental health issues. Fourteen community groups across the state will receive the grants. The funds, awarded as part of HHSC’s Texas Veterans + Family Alliance grant program, help improve quality of life for Texas veterans and their families by increasing access to mental health treatment and services. This is the first of two anticipated rounds of up to $10 million in grants expected to be announced as part of the program. A $1 million state-funded pilot effort, with community match, began this summer in five locations in Texas.

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Moving forward to make things right. We are deeply committed to serving you and your financial needs. We know we did not live up to that commitment. We want you to know that we’re making things right and that we’re even more dedicated to serving you and making sure you know where you stand. There is nothing more important than for you to experience the very best from us. That’s why we’ve already taken action: Putting your interests first: We have eliminated product sales goals for our Retail Banking team members who serve customers in our bank branches and call centers. This means that their focus will be on meeting your financial needs, not meeting sales goals. Proactively communicating with you: We send a confirmation after you open a new consumer or small business checking, savings or credit card account so that you know what is happening and can tell us if anything we’ve confirmed is different than what you expected. Full transparency: You can always see your eligible accounts any time when enrolled in Wells Fargo Online.® Fixing what went wrong: We have provided full refunds to customers we have already identified and we’re broadening our scope of work to find customers we may have missed. If we have any doubt about whether one of your accounts was authorized, and any fees were incurred on that account, we will contact you and refund fees. If you have any concerns about your accounts or any aspect of your relationship with Wells Fargo, please come into a branch or call us on our dedicated hotline 24/7 at 1-877-924-8697. wellsfargo.com/commitment 1-877-924-8697

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Haiti struggles in the aftermath of Hurricane Defender News Service


urricane Matthew’s trail of destruction in Haiti stunned those emerging from the aftermath and brought a new set of devastating concerns. The number of dead continues to soar, tens of thousands have been left homeless and now, outbreaks of cholera is claiming more lives. Haiti’s leader says Hurricane Matthew’s assault has accelerated the already existing cholera epidemic and Haiti suffered massive damage after Hurricane Matthew ravaged the area. undermined the strides made in ing thousands of children. Clean water and medifighting the disease. cine delivered to the hardest hit areas in the next “A lot of effort has been made to avoid the 24 to 48 hours is a key priority,” he said. spread of this epidemic,” said Interim President The death toll continued to rise in southwest Jocelerme Privert, “but the hurricane has accelerHaiti. With fatalities mounting, various governated it.” Thirteen people have died from cholera since ment agencies and committees differed on total deaths. A Reuters count of deaths reported by Matthew hit Haiti, he said. This tragedy -- which civil protection and local officials put the toll at has killed more than 370 people -- comes after a devastating cholera outbreak in 2010. The United 877. Some 61,500 people remain in shelters, Nations says it has been involved in trying to dozens remain missing. With cellphone networks eradicate the disease in Haiti. down and roads flooded by sea and river water, Cholera, which is spread through water or aid has been slow to reach towns and villages. food contaminated with Vibrio cholerae bacteria, Instead, locals have been helping each other. can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting, which “My house wasn’t destroyed, so I am receivleads to extreme dehydration. It can swiftly result ing people, like it’s a temporary shelter,” said in outbreaks, and patients who are not treated Bellony Amazan in the town of Cavaillon, where quickly can die within hours. around a dozen people died. Amazan said she had “Flooding and contaminated water caused by no food to give people. the storm pose a huge threat to survivors includ-

President pardons more prisoners President Barack Obama has once-again wielded his clemency power, offering 102 federal inmates the chance to leave prison early and bringing his total number of pardons to more than the previous 11 presidents combined. The latest round of commutations brings to 774 the number of sentences Obama has shortened, including 590 this year. Thirty-four of the new recipients had been serving life sentences. Almost all the prisoners had been convicted of nonviolent crimes related to cocaine, methamphetamine or other drugs, although some were also serving time for firearms violations in connection to drug

trafficking, possession or sales. Almost all are men, though they represent a diverse cross-section of the country geographically. The commutations are part of the president’s end-of-term push to spur action on criminal justice reform. “The vast majority of today’s grants were for individuals serving unduly harsh sentences for drugrelated crimes under outdated sentencing laws,” said Neil Eggleston, Obama’s White House counsel. He said Obama would continue considering clemency applications throughout the remaining months of his presidency.

BLACK TWITTER erupted in disgust at Donald Trump after the second presidential debate. Trump said, “I’m going to help the African-Americans. I’m going to help the Latinos, Hispanics. I am going to help the inner cities.” He went on to say, once again, that Black people should vote for him because they have “nothing to lose” and threw around false statistics about Blacks living in poverty. He said an estimated 45 percent live in poverty, while the actual number is more like 24 percent. Twitter was infuriated about Trump’s racist generalizations and rhetoric and #TheAfricanAmericans was a top trending topic as posters blasted the GOP candidate........BEN & JERRY’S has taken a stand on its website, writing an entire piece explaining “Why Black Lives Matter” and addressing systemic racism. “We’ve come to understand that to be silent about the violence and threats to the lives and well-being of Black people is to be complicit in that violence and those threats.” The piece then explains that their declaration is not anti-police. Of course, they caught the wrath of customers upset about the stance and vowing never to support the popular ice cream company. Several Blacks responded by vowing to support the company and urge others to do the same……The DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE is working with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the nation’s largest trade association of African American-owned newspapers and media companies in a campaign to reach Black voters. Donna Brazile, the interim chairwoman of the DNC, said that minority voters will play a critical role in the success of Democrats in November. They are launching an ad campaign that will focus on “Protecting Our Legacy,” and is aimed at getting Black voters to understand we have two choices: either build on Barack Obama’s legacy or tear it apart.

VOLUME 85 • NUMBER 50 OCTOBER 13, 2016 Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Ad/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Digital Editor LaGloria Wheatfall Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila Proofer Maia Shelby

Editors ReShonda Billingsley Marilyn Marshall Contributing Writers Aswad Walker Jasemine Knowles Amber Vernon Sports Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison

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 2012 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher).

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Kedrick Brown

Local actor in Lifetime biopic By RESHONDA TATE BILLINGSLEY Defender


niversity of Houston graduate Kedrick Brown says the world may not yet know his name – but give him time. The native Houstonian is on a steady quest to make his mark in Hollywood, and a breakout performance in an upcoming new Lifetime biopic, “Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel-le” (premiering Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.) may be just the thing to do it. Brown will star as legendary rapper Alonzo Williams of the World Class Wrecking Cru in the original film. Brown, who graduated from UH’s MFA program, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and attended high school in Midland. He most recently appeared in the hit OWN TV series “Greenleaf.” He has also appeared in “Ameri- Native Houstonian Kedrick Brown can be seen in “Surviving Compton: can Crime” and “Survivor’s Remorse,” as well as Dre, Suge & Michel-le.” a host of national and international commercials. He can also be seen in the Ensemble Theatre’s 40th Defender: What has been your most memorable Anniversary production of “Sassy Mamas.” performance? The Defender caught up with the versatile actor and Brown: My most memorable will always be dancer to talk about the role he’d like to see Houston play in the my next one, and the next one after that and the entertainment industry. next one after that. I want to continue to Defender: How has living in Houston help shape your grow as an artist and always give my career? friends, family and “FANily” – Brown: While attending UH I was signed to my longtime my fans are extended family agents here in Houston, Pastorini Bosby Talent Agency. It was members – a new level of art with them that my professional career really began to take on with every role I play. But, new heights, starring in regional and national commercials, I will say the time I spent then making a strong push toward the film and television world. in Los Angeles on set with My continued relationship with the wonderful women at that Blair Underwood would agency really has helped me develop into the artist I am today. have to be a cornerstone

in my book of most memorable moments. I was brought in as the male face for [Underwood’s] BU Suit Collection commercial. Watching him direct and star in the commercial while also working on other projects was an eye opener for me and showed me that even while he was working, he was also working on keeping his brand moving. I implement some of those same business modules in my career today and continue to find new and innovative ways to keep the Kendrick Brown brand pushing. Defender: What role would you like to see Houston playing in the entertainment industry? Brown: I would love to see Houston place itself in the likes of NYC and L.A. Houston can definitely be the Hollywood of the South. The talent is here, the mixed culture is here, the creative energy is here. We have what it takes. It’s unfortunate that the city has not yet invested in making that happen. But, I have faith that with artists like myself, maybe just maybe we can wake up a sleeping industry monster here and get that ball rolling. Making people aware that Houston has the goods.

what’sup NATE PARKER’S Nat Turner biopic “The Birth of a Nation,” which moviegoers largely greeted with a shrug after a 17-year-old rape allegation resurfaced against its star and director, severely underperformed at the box office. Playing in 2,105 theaters, the film opened with a disappointing $7.1 million and took sixth place…….“Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le” will premiere Oct. 15 on Lifetime, but if super-producer DR. DRE has anything to do with it, the program will not air. The billionaire and founding member of N.W.A. has thrown down the gauntlet against Sony Pictures saying that if the biopic on singer

MICHEL’LE airs showing him abusing her, he will sue. Dre’s legal team fired off a cease and desist letter against the entertainment conglomerate in which he flatly denies ever abusing Michel’le, his former fiancée…….A recent article in Variety shows a large pay gap between Black and white actors as to how much they are paid per episode, with DWAYNE ‘THE ROCK’ JOHNSON being the exception at $400,000 per episode of “Ballers.” But even that pales in comparison to the $1 million per episode earned by the “Big Bang Theory” cast or the $750,000 per episode earned by the stars of the “Gilmore Girls.”

The “Game of Thrones” cast is also commanding at least $500,000 per episode. By comparison, ANTHONY ANDERSON and TRACEE ELLIS ROSS of “Black-ish” receive $100,000 per episode and $80,000 per episode, respectively……. SOLANGE KNOWLES has landed her first No. 1 album. The singer, who is the younger sister of pop superstar BEYONCE, is celebrating after her new record “A Seat at the Table” landed the top spot on the Billboard 200 Chart. The 30-year-old spent four years writing the album, which hit No. 1 after selling 72,000 million copies since being released on Sept. 30.

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Rapper’s confession prompts mental health talk Defender News Services Rapper Kid Cudi recently shared that he is treating his anxiety and depression, prompting Black men across the country to talk about mental health. The hashtag, #YouGoodMan was trending as Black men weighed in on their own struggles. “My anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember and I never leave the house because of it,” the rapper wrote on Facebook. “I can’t make new friends because of it. I [don’t] trust anyone because of it and [I’m] tired of being held back Rapper Kid Cudi checked himself into rehab for anxiety and depression. in my life. I deserve to have peace. I deserve to be happy and Human Services of Minority Health, Black and smiling.” people are 10 percent more likely to report havHe sparked a conversation among social ing serious psychological distress than white media users about the importance of mental people. There’s a stigma when it comes to Black health care and reiterated that even if depresmen talking about their mental health. sion feels like a lonely place, so many people In fact, Cudi’s revelation brought out some can relate. Cudi simultaneously reminded evugly truths about mental illness. Alongside an eryone that Black mental health matters. outpouring of love and support after Cudi’s According to the U.S. Department of Health Facebook post lay a thicket of old myths and

misinformation. “If you’re battling ‘depression’ while having 3 meals a day, a roof over your head, and a smartphone, just kill yourself,” one tweeter cruelly snapped. “You ain’t depressed, you just need $400 extra for ya rent, relax,” another remarked. But most of the response was encouraging. “Tell a Black man it’s okay to show emotion today,” one person tweeted. “Tell a Black man that ‘Strength’ isn’t only physical. Tell a Black man he can be depressed,” another said. Also on Twitter, users are sharing examples of rap songs “about Black men and mental health.” The list that has resulted is a reminder of the fact that there’s been a recent boom in public expressions of vulnerability from artists like Kendrick Lamar and Cudi himself. But also surfacing are tracks from Wu-Tang Clan and Notorious B.I.G., a reminder of the fact that the genre has from time to time engaged in the topic all along.





Get a debt-free college education websites where you can submit applications to multiple entities without re-uploading the information. aying for college is one of the bigDefender: What is the number gest challenges facing many students one thing African-Americans should and their parents. Houston author know? Gwen Richardson has found one Richardson: Acquiring the funds to attend solution to the problem – relying on college debt-free requires hours of painstaking scholarships for free money. work. Parents need to be actively involved and She said there are thousands of scholarships not leave the process entirely in the student’s available, “but knowing the requirements helps hands. Parents should treat the scholarship the student to zero in on those for which they are search and application process like a qualified.” part-time job, get started during the Richardson shares her action plan in her book, student’s sophomore year in high “101 Scholarship Applications: What it Takes to school, and involve the student Obtain a Debt-free College Education.” She comprimarily in the essay-writing piles new scholarship opportunities throughout the tasks. Much of the application proyear and releases a new edition of the book each cess is repetitious and requires entry January. of data into online forms, or compleRichardson gives insight into a debt-free coltion of applications on paper (which is lege education in a Q&A with the Defender. becoming less and less common). Defender: Why did you decide to write “101 Defender: How can a student who Scholarship Applications...”? doesn’t make straight A’s obtain a debt-free Richardson: I had a strong desire for our education? daughter, Sylvia, to attend college debt-free beRichardson: Many scholarships do not have cause nearly every a GPA requirement. college-educated Those that do often adult I know over require a minimum 2.5 age 40 is still paying or 3.0 GPA. The stucollege loan paydent’s personal story ments. I did not want and achievements are her to be saddled as important or more with a huge amount important than the GPA. of debt when she was What about the stujust getting started dent’s personal history in life, so I started makes him or her stand researching scholarout among the pack? ships when she was a This is what parents and 10th grader. students should spend a I was not sure if lot of time determining. my strategy would Obtaining scholarships succeed but, once is almost like a P/R Sylvia entered her campaign, especially freshman year fully for some of the highpaid with no debt, dollar awards. I decided to put the Defender: What Gwen Richardson (right) and her daughter Sylvia work together to information in a ensure Sylvia’s debt-free college education. can students do while book to share with in high school? others. Of my seven published books, it is by far Richardson: High school students need to unthe bestseller. derstand that all four years are extremely imporUse of the “101” in the title is a play on words tant. Taking Advanced Placement and Dual Credit for two reasons: 1) It really does take about 100 courses will boost the student’s GPA (as long as a scholarship applications to achieve this goal, grade of C or above is achieved). Students should especially for freshman year; and 2) Beginner’s apply themselves academically during all four courses in college use 101 in course title. It’s not years, as well as participate in extracurricular quite as daunting as it may seem and a lot of the activities. But the extracurricular activities should information is repetitious, and there are some be balanced and not distract from accomplish-



ing at least a grade of A or B in every subject. Defender: Your daughter is a junior in college and has yet to take out a loan. How has that been accomplished? Richardson: My daughter and I started with a plan and the debt-free college quest is a team effort. She did everything mentioned above and more. She attends an HBCU, North Carolina Central University, and for her freshman year of college, we submitted 90 scholarship applications to different entities. For her sophomore year, we submitted even more – 104. Once she reached junior year, we did not submit quite as many because the larger scholarship awards within her major occur during junior year. Still, we’ve submitted 40 so far and her junior year is almost fully paid. We also periodically contact the university financial aid office regarding available funds. Students might be surprised that schools receive new funds on a regular basis and timing is important. Contacting them periodically about recent achievements could result in more money for the student. For example, in 2015 my daughter and I wrote a book for teen girls titled “You Are Wonderfully Made: 12 Life-Changing Principles for Teen Girls to Embrace.” It was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Teen category. We contacted the university to let them know about the nomination and Sylvia received a substantial scholarship from the school as a result.





Taking advantage of

career services critical to your success.” Roberson said students must also look the part. Through the ne of the most dress for success program, the important offices on office works with Dress for any college campus Success Houston and the Wesley is the office of career Foundation to supply students services, also called with free professional attire and placement offices. In fact, Texas accessories such as shoes and Southern University Director of purses. Career Services Dr. Antoinette “The dress for success Roberson said it should be one of program is designed to provide the places students go to on a regular students with resources to be basis. confident when you go into your “Students should most certainly interviews, or a networking visit their office of career services on event,” Roberson said. a continued and intentional basis,” “We want to be a full oneRoberson said. service, one-stop shop here for our “We are the office that has the students. Attire is about 90 percent up-to-date information because we of the impression that is made by work with employers every day. So recruiters. Make sure that when you Dr. Antoinette Roberson, director of TSU’s Career Services, welcomes student Yicheng Chen. we know what the expectations are. go in, you are conservative. When Then we bring those resources and we say conservative we mean nice likes and your abilities,” Roberson said. insight back to students to make them better.” dark suits like black, gray or navy blue. “That will help you streamline your approach to TSU’s career services office offers resume “Stay away from reds or any kind of fluorescent choosing a major in school and also your job search. revisions, career assessments, mock interviews, career colors. Those send off different types of signals to That way you understand what you want, why you want fairs, dress for success, employer seminars, networking recruiters. Red in some contexts may make a person it and how to get it.” events and job search strategies. The staff also works think you are arrogant.” She said the next part of the process is to create a with students on such skills such as team-building Robinson added that following such advice won’t plan and put it into action. and stress management. Services are extended to lead to success overnight. “I would encourage a student to sit down with a undergraduate, graduate and alumni students. “Don’t give up if the first company [you interview career counselor to etch out your career plan,” said Roberson said the process for student success is with] doesn’t hire you or the first internship doesn’t Roberson. “It can be a short-term or a long-term plan. divided into steps. work out,” she said. “You may have to send out Once you have your plan, you must put it into action. A “The first thing we always encourage is for students plan that is not realized is just idol conversation. Once several resumes and do hundreds of interviews before to come in and take some kind of career assessment you land that dream career. It will happen if you you have your plan and it is developed, then you must because we want you to be able to identify your skills, work through it and follow up. That action piece is so follow the process.” By AMBER VERNON Defender


Message from the Publisher

Sonceria Messiah-Jiles

We’ve been told time and time again that knowledge is power and education is the key to success, and those of us who have benefitted from a higher education should count our blessings. We should also encourage our young people to pursue their educational and career dreams. That’s why the Defender is once again honored to provide our readers with an annual higher ed special edition. Our goal is to give parents and students valuable tools to help them along the educational journey. Money is usually a major issue, and our article on obtaining a debt-free education provides solid and

proven advice on securing scholarships. Another article of interest to parents and students is developing a 12th grade action plan. Our profile of three outstanding college grads is designed to be inspirational and informative. Our article on taking advantage of career services should be required reading for students. In addition, we would like to thank our partners who help make this special edition possible – Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Austin and Wells Fargo. Pursuing a higher education is a life-changing decision, and one that can benefit our lives and communities.




12th grade

action plan for parents The senior year of high school includes a whirlwind of activities. It is a big year for your child as he or she balances schoolwork, extracurricular activities and the college application process. Here are tips from the College Board to help parents and their children successfully navigate this important time, beginning the summer before high school graduation.


• Visit colleges together. Make plans to check out the campuses of colleges in which your child is interested. • Help finalize a college list. Help your child choose which colleges to apply to by weighing how well each college meets his or her needs, for example. • Find out actual cost. Once your 12th grader has a list of a few colleges he or she is interested in, find out the potential for financial aid and the true out-of-pocket cost (net price). • Encourage your child to get started on applications. He or she can get the easy stuff out of the way now by filling in as much required information on college applications as possible. • Help your child decide about applying early. If your senior is set on going to a certain college, he or she should think about whether applying early is a good option. Now is the time to decide because early applications are usually due in November. • Gather financial documents: To apply for most financial aid, your child will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll need your most recent tax returns and an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA.


• Encourage your child to meet with the school counselor. This year, he or she will work with the counselor to complete and submit college applications. • Create a calendar with your child. This should include application deadlines and other important dates. • Help prepare for college admission tests. Many seniors retake college admission tests, such as the SAT, in the fall. • Help find and apply for scholarships. He or she can find out about scholarship opportunities from the school counselor. Your high school student will need to request and complete scholarship applications and submit them on time.

• Offer to look over college applications. But remember that this is your child’s work so remain in the role of adviser and proofreader and respect his or her voice. • Fill out the FAFSA to apply for aid beginning Oct. 1. The government and many colleges use FAFSA to award aid. Now it’s easier than ever to fill out this form because you can automatically transfer your tax information online from the IRS to the FAFSA. • Complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, if required. If your child needs to submit the PROFILE to a college or scholarship program, be sure to find out the priority deadline and submit it by that date. • Encourage your child to set up college interviews. An interview is a great way for your child to learn more about a college and for a college to learn more about your child.


• Work together to apply for financial aid. Have your child contact the financial aid offices at the colleges in which he or she is interested to find out what forms students must submit to apply for aid. Make sure he or she applies for aid by or before any stated deadlines. Funds are limited, so the earlier you apply, the better.

• Learn about college loan options. Borrowing money for college is one option, especially if your high school student gets a low-interest federal loan. • Encourage your senior to take SAT Subject Tests. These tests can showcase your child’s interests and achievements, and many colleges require or recommend that applicants take one or more subject tests. • Encourage your child to take AP Exams. If your 12th grader takes AP or other advanced classes, have him or her talk with teachers now about taking these tests in May.


• Help process college responses. Once your child starts hearing back from colleges about admission and financial aid, he or she will need your support to decide what to do. • Review financial aid offers together. Your 12th grader will need your help to read through financial aid award letters and figure out which package works best. Be sure your child pays attention to and meets any deadlines for acceptance. • Help complete paperwork to accept an offer of admittance. Once your child has decided which college to attend, he or she will need to review the offer, accept a college’s offer, mail a tuition deposit and submit other required paperwork.






Preparing students

Visit UH online

for success


Innovating the future

Founded in 1927, the University of Houston is rooted in ambition and determination. Driven and poised to succeed, students at the University of Houston continue to envision their future, emerge as leaders and launch careers that transform the world. We are committed to innovation, and our students and faculty push beyond known limits to find creative solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. Our progress is fueled by the determination to bring about positive changes in energy, health, the arts and athletics. Most importantly, our mission is to foster student success in every instance, so that we prepare savvy, energetic and career-ready graduates. UH’s Tier One resources have continued to keep students bold, globally competitive, and on the frontier of research and discovery. Our institution leads five nationallyfunded research centers that pioneer groundbreaking inquiry in areas such as energy, materials, psychology, laser mapping and homeland security. Additionally, the newest inclusion of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa chapter has confirmed our standards for academic excellence. Our award-winning faculty is committed to helping students realize their academic objectives. The University of Houston educates more than 43,000 students each semester and offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

UH has grown to service the City of Houston and beyond through extensive educational offerings, partnerships with local businesses and contributions to the community.

UH shows a commitment to student success through cultivation, an abundance of course offerings to achieve and reinvent the integrity of student success one scholar at a time.

Think globally, act locally

Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, is an international community. The Universities of Houston attracts students from across the globe, which is one of the reasons we are ranked as one of the most diverse universities in the nation. Our campus is the first institution to earn three Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) awards from the INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine. Houston is the energy capital of the world and home to the world’s largest medical center. More than 200,000 alumni choose to live and work in Houston after graduation. Even so, our alumni base is not limited to the Houston area. Our graduates are notable for their ingenuity as they range from actors to CEOs, astronauts to authors, politicians to professional athletes. UH’s influence truly extends throughout the world. Students stimulate the cultural development of the surrounding historic area by engaging in art collaborations and beautification projects. The University of Houston’s relationship with the city is symbiotic as students and faculty connect themselves as knowledgeable resources to the public while building partnerships with organizations, government agencies, and the private sector to serve and impact the diverse communities of Houston and throughout the globe.

Cougar life

The diversity of our students only adds to the energetic nature of our campus activities; in short, the opportunities to engage with Cougar culture at the University are endless.

The University of Houston has over 500 organizations, fraternities/ sororities, leadership programs and other student groups. These organizations encourage student success through leadership and volunteerism. Students will develop professional friendships as well as mentor relationships that will influence them for decades to come. Students can also cheer on their fellow Cougars As a Tier One research institution, the University of Houston prides itself as a powerhouse at athletic events, attend concerts and of modernism through research and innovation. plays, eat great food around campus and the keys to navigate the path to graduating in four years by work out at the state-of-the-art recreation offering academic maps, online tools and fixed tuition rates. center. On-campus events such as The Cat’s Back and Cub Faculty and students accomplish exchanges in cultural Camp create an inclusive campus environment, promote study and research within the community in order to respond to personal growth and academic success all while exploring the economic, social and cultural challenges affecting the quality the roots of UH tradition. of life in Houston. Our students define who we are as an institution, Committed to student success which is why student success is, and will always remain, our first The University of Houston is committed to offering priority. students a world-class education. Initiatives like UHin4 Visit www.uh.edu today to learn more about the University of Houston. are driving that commitment by giving incoming freshmen



WE ARE THE POWERHOUSE. The University of Houston has engineered groundbreaking teaching methods that spur development in Arts, Energy, Health and Athletics. Our students’ ability to fuel innovation demonstrates the aptitude of UH Cougars to shine. More than 5,000 of our graduates own or run a business. UH is powering the ingenuity to drive our community forward.





Black grads learn valuable lessons


avigating college life while fresh out of high school can be a challenge, especially at a large university. Students may even secondguess whether pursuing a degree in higher education is worth all the stress, sleepless nights and frightening student-loan debt. Sometimes, however the best advice and encouragement comes from how other students succeeded throughout their college career and after graduation. The Defender spoke with three African-American college graduates who not only set their sights on higher education, but also overcame the demands that came with being a student. Life threw all kinds of obstacles at them along the way: difficulties and opportunities, doubts and uncertainties, millstones and milestones. Despite it all, they made it through. Here are their stories.


Cedric Bandoh, Class of 2014 - University of Houston With the University of Houston ranking high in campus ethnic diversity, Cedric Bandoh credits his college experience with preparing him for success within his career endeavors. As a global product manager at HP Inc., Bandoh interacts with a diverse group of professionals from around the world on a daily basis. “Interacting with people from different walks of life widens your social circle by expanding the pool of people with whom you can associate and develop relationships, so just imagine how boring your conversations would be if you only had friends who had everything in common with you,” Bandoh said. “That’s why I am extremely grateful for the excellent foundation I received as a student that allows me to navigate the challenges and opportunities of my current role.” Though diversity was a huge plus for Bandoh, he

was still faced with challenges studying supply chain management. “My greatest challenge was balancing the demands of my academics, personal life, and role as a student leader on campus,” said Bandoh, who served two consecutive terms as UH’s youngest student body president. He said he overcame his struggles by finding balance and learning time management, while continuing to strive for excellence. “It is important to have a healthy balance in your life as you manage various priorities and you must love yourself first before you can serve others,” he said. “It’s also important to be proud of who you are, especially among others who are different from you. Always know that you bring value to every opportunity. Don’t just build a network, build meaningful relationships.”




Kamau Marshall, Class of 2010 Texas Southern University

Kamau Marshall was recently appointed by the White House as a presidential political appointee after serving as a speechwriter and communications advisor for the U.S. Department for Agriculture (USDA) and a special assistant to Congressman Elijah E. Cummings. He said he hasn’t always been the polished public servant he is today. At the start of his undergraduate studies at Texas Southern University, where he focused on journalism and public affairs, Marshall said he was a little rough around the edges but gives thanks to one of his professors, who took the time to groom him. “My professor, Dawnica Jackson, coached me on my image, speaking voice, and writing and if it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t have understood how my appearance, behavior, and way of communicating could enhance my opportunities,” Marshall said. From that point on, Marshall began taking on leadership roles in multiple organizations across campus, including co-founding TSU Collegiate 100 Men, where he also served as vice-president. “From hosting on the radio, debating on the debate team, volunteering for Texas political campaigns, to using the information I’ve gained to teach other young Black men on how to succeed, I was a student leader,” he said. From the outside looking in, it may seem as if Marshall has “made it.” However, he added that he still has a long way to go and is taking his time and enjoying the journey. “People are always in a rush to get to the top, but fail to realize success isn’t a race,” he said. “Take your time. Quality results take time and focus. Being effective and efficient is important, so embrace the journey.”

Vanilla McIntosh, Class of 2015 - University of Texas at Austin After college, Vanilla McIntosh landed a job as development intelligence analyst for Burger King Corporation. She said her journey wasn’t easy at first. Five years ago, as a high-performing high school student, McIntosh was granted acceptance to the University of Texas through the top 10 percent policy. But after bombing her first economics exam her freshmen year, the bump in the road forced her to re-evaluate her aspirations and academic path. “I didn’t have to work very hard in high school; I was an A-student,” McIntosh said. Unfamiliar with the experience of failing and not liking the idea of not being good enough, the sting of receiving an extremely low grade on the exam motivated her to go harder or go home. “The professor told us no matter what you made on the first two exams, whoever got the highest grade in the class on the last exam of the semester, would automatically get an A,” she said, adding that she immediately found a tutor and ultimately earned an A at the end of the class. It was at that moment McIntosh reassessed her purpose and decided to focus on her goals with a clear mindset to tackle the challenges she knew she would continue to face as a student.

“I had to remind myself that while I did come to college to gain an education, my main goal was to leave college with opportunities that would not have been afforded to me if I hadn’t gone to college,” she said. “From that point on, not only did things get better in the classroom, but major shifts began to happen in the way I strategically planned for my future.” McIntosh began to apply for any and every opportunity that piqued her interest, including interning with GooglePlex in California, Management Leadership for Tomorrow program in New York, and attending Harvard Business School’s summer program where she studied social entrepreneurship in Beijing, China. With prestigious internships underneath her belt and a rewarding career, she encourages other students to reach for the stars no matter the circumstance. “Don’t psych yourself out and tell yourself you do not meet the criterion for whatever position you are going after,” she said. “More than half of the programs I was accepted into while in and out of college, I didn’t meet the requirements for. Just show a genuine interest. Don’t ever count yourself out and don’t let [an interviewer] count you out.”




EDU SPECIAL TSU has notable presence at new

Visit TSU online



exas Southern University has a strong representation in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. The museum celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 24. Museum displays include “Ghana Women Dancing,” a priceless painting by the late Dr. John Biggers, founder of TSU’s Art Department; “Tobias,” a painting by Kermit Oliver, TSU Art alumni and renowned Hermès designer; “Flipping Boy,” a 1986 photo by award-winning University Photographer Earlie Hudnall Jr.; and a space honoring TSU’s acclaimed debate team. TSU alumnae LaStarsha McGarrity, who interned with NMAAHC for eight months prior to its opening, restored material housed in several exhibits including abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s shawl, a Bible belonging to slavery rebel Nat Turner, and the silver dresses worn by R&B/ pop vocal group En Vogue in their 1991 video “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It).” She helped polish and prepare Chuck Berry’s 1973 cherry-red Cadillac Eldorado convertible, clean the keys on an organ that traveled with James Brown, and preserve shoes from entertainers and athletes, including pairs owned by rock ‘n’ roll pianist Fats Domino, jazz bandleader Cab Calloway and singer-dancer Sammy Davis Jr. “It was amazing to be able to handle these pieces of American history,” McGarrity said. “These were all authentic pieces.” Dr. Alvia Wardlaw, director of TSU’s University Museum, serves on NMAAHC’s Scholar Advisory Council. Wardlaw, along with Dr. Thomas F. Freeman, TSU’s renowned debate team coach emeritus, participated in the private opening ceremony on Sept. 17.

Museum displays include “Ghana Women Dancing,” a priceless painting by the late Dr. John Biggers; “Flipping Boy,” a 1986 photo by award-winning TSU photographer Earlie Hudnall Jr.; and a space honoring TSU’s acclaimed Debate Team led by Dr. Thomas F. Freeman which included the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

The display featuring TSU’s debate team and Dr. Freeman includes a picture taken in the 1950s, a description of the team’s activities, and a reference to the team’s role in training actors for “The Great Debaters,” a film produced by Oscarwinning actor Denzel Washington.

The museum also showcases TSU alumnae and U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan’s debate trophy and memorabilia from TSU alumnus and former TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law Professor Otis King when both integrated the tournament at Baylor University in 1957. Both Jordan and King are deceased. The late Congressman Mickey Leland, a TSU alumnus, was passionate about creating a national museum of African-American history and introduced a bill in 1986. The Museum was dedicated by President Barack Obama on Sept. 24 and TSU alumnae Yolanda Adams performed at a special musical prelude. A number of Texas Southern representatives were in attendance and participated in the weekend’s gala activities, including Dr. Freeman with his wife and daughter (Clarice and Dr. Carlotta Freeman), current TSU debate team coach Dr. Gloria BatisteRoberts, Dr. Wardlaw and a group of Texas Southern students. TSU Foundation Board member Gerald Smith and his wife Anita, both Houston philanthropists, are among the museum’s strongest supporters. The Smiths donated more than $1 million to the museum and two notable paintings by Biggers.





TSU Homecoming Headquarters www.tsu.edu

October 16-22, 2016

8:00 a.m. Shotgun Start

Tiger Paw Golf Classic October 20, 2016 Herman Park Golf Club


713-313-7606 or 713-313-1363 Online: https://tsu.thankyou4caring.org/ tigerpaw2016

Back HOME in Third Ward, Texas! Come out and show your TIGER PRIDE

TSU Homecoming Parade Line up is at 8:00 a.m. Parade starts at 10:00 a.m.

You can participate by entering your band, car, truck, float, walking unit, cheerleaders, praise dancers, drill teams, etc. Join the TSU Homecoming Parade by calling 713-313-7793 or online at http://www.txsohomecoming.com/applications.htm

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Discover your

Visit UT Austin online




it in and stand out. At The University of Texas at Austin, this isn’t a contradiction. Here you’ll find the community and resources that will support you, even as you discover and pursue individual excellence and success.

Anything is possible

We’re here to help

Connect with our staff at one of the university’s admissions centers around the state. Our counselors work with students, families and schools to provide more information about UT Austin and our admissions and financial aid processes. admissions.utexas.edu/contact

Four years ago, Micah Peoples was a high school senior at Alief Early College High School and had never written a line of computer code. This spring, Peoples, 21, will graduate from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in computer science. Excellence and inclusion Through his coursework and Student organizations are just one kind of resources offered by the university, resource available to students at The University Peoples has developed his curiosof Texas at Austin. ity about computing into much As an investment in their success, freshmore than a major or skill. It’s bemen at UT Austin participate in learning comcome a way to explore his interests munities that help them adjust to college-level in fields like music and design, academic expectations, connect with profesbuild community with other Black sors and meet other students. students at UT, and gain real Beyond the freshman year, students professional experience in the tech benefit from ongoing support, no matter their and business worlds. needs. Each of the 13 undergraduate colleges On campus, Peoples works as and schools staffs its own career center to an undergraduate research assisprovide students with major- and field-specific tant in the Texas Advanced Comadvice, while the university’s Sanger Learnputing Center, where he’s assisted ing Center offers one-on-one support to help with the development of research students reach their academic potential. software and an augmented reality That potential flourishes in The Universiapp. ty of Texas at Austin’s environment of academOn his own, he’s created anic excellence. Competitively ranked programs, other app called Spitfire and is cura world-class faculty and outstanding facilities rently developing it for the iPhone. offer students the opportunity to participate in a The app, which placed first at the rich history of world-changing scholarship at a 2016 HackTX hackathon event, university named one of the top 30 in the world listens to a user rap a line, then by U.S. News & World Report. suggests rhymes based on the last UT Austin is also known for value, At UT Austin, Micah Peoples discovered an interest in computer science and helped found the Association word in real time. named one of the: of Black Computer Scientists. “I like to rap and I’m also a • “Best Value Colleges” (Forbes, Money computer science major,” he exand Kiplinger, 2016) plains. “When I’m able to have some second major in African and African diaspora studies: “I • “Colleges That Pay You Back” (The of my passions converge, it’s fantastic.” learned that I could become a better writer, but also learn Princeton Review, 2016) Last summer, Peoples gained valuable industry experimore about my culture and become a more effective agent • Top 15 affordable colleges with highest return on investence through an internship with Pinterest’s product engineer- for positive change.” ment (Affordable Colleges, 2016) ing team in San Francisco – an opportunity he found at one And he has, by serving as a leader of UT’s Association Factors like these contribute to an overwhelmingly positive of UT’s career fairs. of Black Computer Scientists, where he works to create a response from first-year students, more than nine out of 10 of Peoples continues to discover new opportunities. After space and offer resources for students who may not feel like whom return to UT Austin for their sophomore year – a strong taking a course to strengthen his writing skills, he added a they belong in computing. “They do,” he says. indication of student satisfaction.




ADMISSIONS.UTEXAS.EDU 2016__09__21__HoustonDefender_Ad.indd 1

9/14/16 10:17 AM






steps to securing financial aid



any parents of high school students know that the future will very likely hold a college education for their child. But what is often uncertain is how they will pay for that education. Last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 69.2 percent of high school graduates enroll in a college or university for advanced studies. In its most recent survey of college pricing, the College Board reports that a “moderate” college budget for an in-state public college for the 2016–2016 academic year averaged $24,061. Financial aid comes in many different forms. When first reviewing the options for financial aid, it can be overwhelming for students and their parents to comprehend all the options and steps they might need to take to financially plan for college.

Here are some steps to help families navigate the steps to obtaining the needed funds to cover educational expenses beyond high school:


Fill out the FAFSA – This is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and is recommended for all students planning on pursing college, no matter their family income. It is used to determine a student’s eligibility not only for federal student loans, but for work-study aid and some grants. Estimate total cost – Colleges can provide students and their parents with an estimated cost for tuition, as well as room and board each year at the school.



Determine additional expenses – Other expenses like car insurance, gas money, memberships to campus organizations and even paying for a spring break vacation might not be covered by scholarships, grants and fellowships.


Learn about financing options – Create a list of private loans available through your bank, as well as federal loan options. Compare available loan amounts, interest rates, if payments can be deferred until after the schooling is complete

and loan term lengths.


Know deadlines – There are deadlines for submitting the FASFA and for most scholarships. Keep these deadlines on a calendar so nothing gets missed. Additional information about banking, credit, money management, financial assistance connected with post-secondary education can be found at www.wellsfargo.com/collegesteps Darryl Montgomery is the regional president for Wells Fargo in Greater Houston.

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You have dreams. We have the tools and resources to help you reach them. Let’s talk. We know going to college is a big step. That’s why we provide tools, resources, and special limited-time promotions to help both students and parents prepare to make the most of this opportunity. Learn about different ways to pay for school, tools for managing money, and how to build credit for the future. Visit Get College Ready SM at wellsfargo.com/getcollegeready. Make an appointment online to speak with a banker. Visit wellsfargo.com/appointments today.

© 2016 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. (3173102_19043)



A Defender and Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Alliance



Vaccination still best shot at preventing disease By DONYALE HARRIS, M.D. Kelsey-Seybold

“Could have, should have and did” – if each one of us could say that about getting immunizations, numerous lives and hospital visits could be saved. Every year, vaccine-preventable diseases like pneumonia affect millions of people worldwide. Pneumonia alone puts about 1 million Americans in the hospital each year and 50,000 die from the disease. Pneumonia is a lung infection that often begins with the flu, the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults. Dr. Donyale Harris According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu and pneumonia together rank as the fifth leading cause of death for American adults ages 65 or older. Both diseases can be spread by coughing, sneezing or simply breathing. Both can be prevented by getting vaccinated.

Staying on guard

Many adults, vaccinated when they were younger, mistakenly assume they are shielded from disease for life. In reality, immunity can weaken with age. In fact, individuals who are in their 50s and 60s and those who

have weakened immune systems are more at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. Some adults are missing certain newer vaccines that weren’t available when they were growing up. Shots aren’t just for children – they’re for families. It’s important to stay current on immunizations to keep everyone healthy.

Finding your target

To combat the risk of contracting diseases, aim for prevention before treatment. Generally, I recommend adults get the following immunizations: • Influenza shot every year – ideally, before the start of the flu season. Each year, five to 20 percent of Americans suffer from the flu. • One initial dose of the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) vaccine followed by a tetanus (Td) booster shot every 10 years from then on. The Tdap should be prioritized for adults who have never received it and those in contact with infants under the age of 1. • Pneumonia vaccine for those most at risk (anyone age 65 or older, individuals with chronic illnesses and smokers). • Two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella

(MMR) vaccine for individuals born after 1957 – severe mumps complications are more common in adults than children. • Varicella vaccine for adults who have never had chickenpox, as they are more likely than children to develop serious complications when infected with the virus. • Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine for women and men under age 26 to help reduce the risk of contracting several cancers, not just tumors of their reproductive systems. • Travel immunizations as needed. Review your immunization record with your physician to determine which vaccine-preventable diseases you are at risk of and should be immunized against.

Taking the shot

Immunizations help keep you healthy by preventing diseases before they happen – when you take care of yourself, you are taking care of others, too. Dr. Harris is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who cares for adults and children as a primary care physician. She is currently accepting new patients at Kelsey-Seybold’s Fort Bend Medical and Diagnostic Center. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Harris, call 713-442-0000.

Get KelseyConnected


Healthcare that Revolves Around You. KelseyConnected is a smarter approach to your healthcare – because it revolves around you. As a Kelsey-Seybold patient, your entire healthcare team can share your medical history through one Electronic Medical Record and collaborate on medical care that’s right for you. Being KelseyConnected makes your experience with us easy and cost-effective with: n


20 Locations close to home and work. Choose the location most convenient for you at kelsey-seybold.com/Locations. 24-Hour Nurse Hotline. Speak with a Kelsey-Seybold nurse, anytime day or night, seven days a week.


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We the people must set political agenda


exual boasting, emails, tax returns, deplorables — the second presidential debate featured insults wrapped up in put-downs. This debate was held within miles of Ferguson, Mo., but it was never mentioned. The citizens who offered questions asked about issues — health care, the Supreme Court, energy. The moderators peddled scandals — and elicited insults. Some things are clear. Donald Trump has no clue how insulting he is when he makes his brazen appeal to Black and Latino voters, promising to “do things that haven’t been done, including fixing and making our inner cities better for the African-American citizens that are so great, and for the Latinos, Hispanics, and I look forward to doing it.” That’s great, but Trump has offered no plan to accomplish this. He asks us only to trust him. But someone who has fanned the flames of racial resentment in his campaign, trashed Mexicans and Muslims and insulted women is not exactly a person to gain a lot of trust. Clinton promises to be the president of all of America. And she offers real plans. She would raise the minimum wage and make college tuition free for all but the rich. She calls for a major plan to rebuild America, investing in infrastructure and schools Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung, Austria and water systems. That will put people to work in good jobs and rios. Clinton isn’t just saying trust me; she’s make our cities better. And she’s embraced laying out plans that could make a difference. Rep. James Clyburn’s 10-20-30 pledge to inBut what the debate made clear is how vest 10 percent of federal contracting in comimportant it is for the people to set the agenda munities comprising 20 percent of the nation’s after the election. Voting is vital but not sufpopulation that have been below the poverty ficient. What we do can change the national line for 30 years. That would help both white, agenda and force action. rural communities and urban ghettos and barWhen Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected

president, he did not have any thought about using federal troops to desegregate schools in Little Rock. The movement forced that on his agenda. John F. Kennedy had no commitment to ending segregation of public accommodations; the civil rights movement forced that onto his agenda. Lyndon Johnson thought continuing the war in Vietnam would protect him politically. The antiwar movement changed that calculation. Today, Black Lives Matter has forced criminal justice reform onto the agenda of both parties. The Fight for $15 has pushed that minimum wage hikes in cities across the country. Immigration reform is part of Clinton’s first 100-day plan because citizen movements have forced it there. The next president will make fateful decisions about war in the Middle East, about how to get the economy moving, about Supreme Court nominees, about getting health care costs under control, about climate change, about growing, unsustainable and extreme inequality, about reviving the Voting Rights Act. We can’t afford to leave these choices to the next president, no matter who is elected. We can’t let a Congress corrupted by big money and entrenched lobbies set the agenda. Citizens in motion must force the vital and the just onto the next president’s and the next Congress’ agenda. We will decide by what we do, or by what we decide not to do. One thing is clear from the second debate: It is time to organize. Jesse Jackson is the founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. He was a leader in the civil rights movement alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was twice a candidate for President of the United States.

defendernetwork.com • Serving the Houston area for over 85 years




Ava DuVernay’s ‘13th’ tackles racial divide Defender News Services

Ava DuVernay tackles racial division in America and the disproportionate incarceration of African-American men in her new Netflix documentary, “13th.” “It’s deeply embedded in the fabric of America. The first step to combat it is to know that it exists,” DuVernay told CNN. “That’s my hope with the ‘13th.’ Not that it produces some legislation or instigates some kind of protest, but that it allows people to have a revolution within about what we think about this issue and be forward thinking about how we approach it from now on.” DuVernay’s documentary traces incarceration in America from the abolition of slavery and the ratification of the 13th Ava DuVernay is generating a lot of buzz with her latest project, ‘13th’ about mass incarceration. Amendment in 1865, to today’s mass prison populations. the cycle and make a change. Problems, like the ones depicted in Film critic Dwight Brown said the film is a revelation on so this very observant film, only get solved when someone takes a many levels. first step.” “When it ends, the feeling of anger and sorrow is almost “I’ve always had the story in my heart, in my mind,” DuVeroverwhelming,” Brown said. “There’s also a nagging feeling that nay said. “I grew up in Compton, an environment in which I was you wish you had step-by-step instructions on how to help break constantly surrounded by very robust police presence. The crimi-

nal justice system was not a term, it was something I lived every day.” Through archival footage and interviews, the film explores connections between some political rhetoric and incarceration rates. One scene features Richard Nixon campaigning for president in 1968 repeating the phrase “law and order” – a phrase also invoked by Donald Trump throughout his current campaign. (Hillary Clinton’s advocacy of the 1994 crime bill, which her husband signed into law as president and has since disavowed, is also shown in the film.) “It’s not new. Scare tactics, violent rhetoric has been constantly used. The Black body has been constantly used for political gain to make people afraid, so that someone else can gain and profit,” DuVernay said. “[‘13th’ is] coming out at a time where it might provide some foundational knowledge for folks as we really make demands of our candidates to go beyond Twitter beefs and get into the real issues that affect our everyday lives,” she said. DuVernay was the first Black female director to be nomi-

nated for an Academy Award for the film “Selma.”

You Are Invited to the

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The conference is open to all women, with classes for teenagers and up


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Low Interest Rate Loans with Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Grants · DPA is a gift and never needs to be repaid · Several rate, loan and DPA options available

Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCC)

· Get up to $2,000 every year as a special tax credit · Save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan · Can be used with TSAHC’s DPA


Final approval subject to lender requirements and TSAHC Credit and Qualifying Guidelines.

Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 8:30 am - 1:00 pm


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Will Cowboys quarterback Prescott replace Romo?


By MAX EDISON Defender

hen training camp began in early August, former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott was just trying to win a spot on the Cowboy roster. Prescott, a fourth-round pick (135th pick overall) was expected to compete with a group of also-rans and career back-ups as the top understudy for oft-injured starter Tony Romo. Instead, a series of preseason injuries, including a compression fracture to a bone in Romo’s back, have moved Prescott to the head of the quarterback class. The Cowboys were 4-12 in 2015, with all of the losses occurring in games that Romo missed because of injury. Fans feared déjà vu with Romo missing the first eight weeks of this season. Fortunately, the difference in 2016 is the emergence of rookie QB Prescott. This season the Cowboys are 4-1 and currently sit at the top of the NFC East division and they can attribute so much of that to the play of Prescott. Prescott has run the offense flawlessly, impressing the Cowboy staff with a level of poise and maturity rarely seen in a rookie. Just as important, he has minimized turnovers that often plague inexperienced quarterbacks. He recently set a rookie record for 135 passes thrown without an interception, a record that the very reserved rookie quarterback dismisses. “Some good fortune goes into that,” Prescott said. “There have been some passes that have been tipped or been in the defender’s hand with a shot to intercept it. It’s a record. They’re meant to be broken.” Regardless of what Prescott thinks, head coach Jason Garrett is appreciative of what the back-up quar- With Prescott as quarterback the Dallas Cowboys are 4-1 and at the top of the NFC East. terback has accomplished. For Prescott, his success has not been a result of luck, “He’s just continuing to execute week in, week out, but is a manifestation of the preparation he puts in, on and and he’s growing with the experience he gets,” Garrett off the field. said. “He goes about it the right way. We’re lucky to have “It comes from the preparation I put in throughout the him.” week at practice,” Prescott said. “Studying the team and

Dak Prescott

studying the game plan allow it all to come together. Our offensive coordinator coach [Scott] Linehan does a hell of a job calling plays and allowing us to feel comfortable and allowing us to do what we are good at.” The success the team is enjoying with Prescott under center has caused many NFL experts to ponder if Romo automatically steps back in as the starter. Romo is scheduled to return from injury around week eight (Oct. 6). How can Dallas think of moving Prescott to the bench if the ‘Pokes are still leading their division? CBS NFL analyst Tony Gonzalez wondered out loud what everyone has been thinking. “When Tony Romo does come back that is going to be a tough decision for Garrett to make on whether or not he starts,” Gonzalez said. “That’s going to be a tough decision.” Former New England Patriot safety turned NBC NFL analyst Rodney Harrison discussed the problems that might arise should Prescott be replaced despite the team’s success. “If Dak is continuing to have success there’s a chance that Jason Garrett could lose his locker room if he makes a change,” Harrison said. “It’s not about one individual player; you have accountability to the entire locker room. “You lose respect for your coach if…you’re winning and things are going well and you want this guy [Prescott] to stay and all of a sudden they make a change,” Harrison said. Like a seasoned veteran, Prescott refuses to let the hype engulf him. How much longer will he be starting? Only time will tell. His focus is on his next opportunity to play the game. “We have to take it one game at a time, one week at a time and one day at a time,” Prescott said. “We’ve done a great job of putting the past behind us, if it’s a win or a loss, and just focusing on what is in front of us.”

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h.s.zone Multi-talented Evans shoulders load for Sterling the same knee during his junior campaign. Nevertheless, the running back/linebacker is producing at a high level as Sterling improves to 2-2 in lifton Evans does more than his league play with remaining games against Furr, share of heavy lifting for the SterAustin, Davis and Lee. ling Raiders football team. “We came into the season with our sights set A recent 44-13 homecoming on making the playoffs,” Evans said. “We’ve got victory over District 24-5A rival some good players on our team. We just have to Milby provided a classic example of what Evans do what the coaches are telling us to do.” can do for Sterling head coach Kanavis McGhee. Sterling’s 31-point victory over Milby was The senior two-way standout opened the definitely a team effort. scoring on the Raiders’ fourth play of quarterback Darius Sterling’s first ofWeathers completfensive possession ed 14-of-26 passes of the game by for 305 yards and bursting through touchdowns to the right side of the Derek McCoy (56), line and galloping Christian Jenkins 55 yards untouched (70) and Jacory for a touchdown. Hall (26). Weathers “I just want to added a one-yard be on the field and TD run and a twohelp my brothers point conversion [teammates] in any run. way that I can,” Jenkins had Evans said. “We five catches for need to win out to 144 yards. Mcmake the playoffs Coy finished with and I’ll do whatfive receptions for ever the coaches 112 yards. Frank ask me to do.” Brown contributed Evans would an eight-yard TD finish the game run. with 121 rushing In addition yards on 12 carries to Evans’ gamealong with a pair of changing plays two-point converon both sides of sion runs. the ball, Sterling’s That’s just defense was aided Clifton Evans half of the Evans by interceptions story. From his from Alex Joseph, middle linebacker Roland Posey and HISD football coach notched position on defense Terrance Brown. 350th career win Evans recorded “We ask a lot three quarterback from our players, sacks that generated more than minus 20 yards but none more than Clifton Evans,” McGhee in losses. For the game Sterling’s defense limited said. “This is my second season here and he’s Milby to negative five yards on 38 carries. been a team leader from day one. He’s a guy that “We put a lot on Clifton’s plate,” McGhee we lean on.” said. “I worry about the workload we give him It’s no coincidence that Evans has been at times. But he’s always able to answer the bell. a workhorse for the Raiders. Off the field he He’s a warrior.” spends his spare time with horses and other liveEvans is no stranger to adversity. His sophostock. In college he plans to major in veterinary more season ended with a knee injury. He hurt science so that he can become a veterinarian.






sportsbriefs Tiger withdraws Citing something other than physical ailments, Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Safeway Open, where he had originally scheduled to play this weekend. The Safeway was scheduled to be Woods first tournament in over a year. He has been slowly recuperating from back surgery in 2015. “After a lot of soul-searching and honest reflection I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA Tour or compete in Turkey,”’ Woods said on his website. “My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be.” Woods hopes to compete later in the year possibly in December.

Aggies up, Coogs down The college football polls are out and Texas A&M has ascended to the #6 position in the AP poll, while Houston has dropped to #13. Coach Kevin Sumlin’s Aggies are a perfect 6-0 after defeating previously unbeaten Tennessee in a thrilling contest that was settled in double overtime. The Aggies are 6-0 for the first time since 1994. The have a bye week this week and travel to Alabama in two weeks. Meanwhile, the Cougars fell on the road to Navy 4640. The loss virtually eliminates any chance the Cougars may have had to compete for a national championship. “We didn’t play very well in any phase of the game, and we still had a chance to win it there in the fourth quarter,” Houston coach Tom Herman said. “You’re not going to win very many games against really good teams on the road turning the ball over three times.”

Yates celebrates homecoming It was a triple sweet victory for the Yates Lions. The come-from-behind 8-7 win against longtime rival Worthing dealt the Colts their first loss in District 11-4A and netted Yates a share of first place with North Forest. In what was thought to be a rebuilding year under firstyear head coach Michael Watkins, Yates has won four consecutive games after opening the season with two losses in the first three games. The Lions celebrated homecoming 2016 before a large crowd. Reginald Bryant rushed for 118 yards on 21 carries and his three-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter got the Lions on the scoreboard (trailing 7-6). Yates quarterback Taj Gregory completed a two-point conversion pass to wide receiver Benard Brown to provide the gamewinning points and the Lions’ defense did the rest. Worthing was held to 12 yards rushing on 20 attempts. Yates (5-2, 3-0) will face North Forest on Oct. 14 at Jones-Cowart Stadium (7 p.m.) for sole possession of first place.

Marquee matchups on tap With district races heating up in high school football across the greater Houston area, there’s no shortage of key games on the schedule this week. In addition to the aforementioned Yates-North Forest game, other big games include Elsik-Hastings, The Woodlands-Oak Ridge, Stratford-Memorial, KleinKlein Forest, Fort Bend Austin-Fort Bend Travis, Cypress Ranch-Langham Creek and Atascocita-Summer Creek. Yet none looms any larger than Dawson-Pearland Oct. 14. Dawson seeks its first win in the two-game series.

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Happening in Houston For event coverage email: events@defendermediagroup.com


REAL ROLE MODELS GALA……..The William A. Lawson Institute for and sisterhood. In the cast were Jessica Johnson, Catherine McGrue, Oshyn Peace and Prosperity (WALIPP) held its 2nd Annual Real Role Models Gala at Ashford, Taylor Kelly, Daisha Nash, Nayajah Davis, and Brandy Casey. TSU the University of Houston Hilton Hotel. The event celebrated WALIPP’s 20 year theatre will also be performing the piece at The DeLuxe Theater October 14 and 15. anniversary. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Lawson Academy. Guests were In attendance were Dr. Dianne Jemison Pollard, Darleen Hosea-King, Miguelina treated to a performance by Ken Gayle and dinner. The honorees were Dr. Renu Castillo, Lewis E. Roberts, Jr. , Jermiah Crawford, Hannah Brown and a host Khator, Rev. Dr. Marcus D. Cosby, and Algenita Scott Davis. In attendance were of TSU students and theatre enthusiasts……..DRESS LIKE YOU FASHION Howard Jefferson, Jodie B. Jiles, Cheryl Lawson, Rev. William A. Lawson, SHOW……..Broken Walls Ministries held its first Dress Like You Fashion show Judge Kenneth Hoyt, Vee Hoyt, Tarla Crumb, Gerald at First Presbyterian Church. The event was organized by founder Womack, Dr. Vernus Swisher, Paula Sutton, Dr. Kathy Defender TOP EVENTS Alfred Green. The fashion show featured Houston’s homeless who Flanagan……..TSU THEATRE FOR COLORED More photos on defendernetwork.com were in transition. The models were Michael Franklin, Jackie GIRLS………The Texas Southern University Theatre Chan, George Mitoko, Melody Jackson, Robert Shoemaker, Department recently debuted their performance of Ntozake Josianne Tshumi Mpwo with sons Hero and Albert Jr, Mr. Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf in Walter, Raven James, Theresa Mpwo, Anna Walker, Darryl Robbinson and Jahsolyn. Guests were treated to live performances by Charlotte Garner, Jackie house at the Ollington Smith Playhouse. TSU alumnae Erika Walton directed the choreopoem. The famous choreopoem is a series of 20 separate poems that weaves Chan, Melody Jackson, Michael Franklin and Darryl Robinson. In attendance interconnected stories of a group of African-American women through dance, were Sonia Byrd, Danielle Irvine, Charise Walker, Bridgette Hadnott, Michelle Howard, Kim Williams, Daniel Stidham and many more. poetry, and music. The poems contain themes of love, empowerment, loss, struggle

William A. Lawson, Cheryl Lawson

Miguelina Castillo, Lews E. Roberts, Jr

Sonia Byrd, Dannielle Irvine

Howard Jefferson, Jodie B. Jiles

Dianne Jemison Pollard, Darlene Hosea-King

Charolette Garner, Alfred Green

Paula Sutton, Lloyd Gite, Kathy Flanagan

Hannah Brown, Jermiah Crawford

Darryl Robinson, Kim Williams

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Houston Defender: October 13, 2016  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source.

Houston Defender: October 13, 2016  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source.