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‘MIKE & MOLLY’ co-star Nyambi Nyambi talks


CHILDREN NEED protection from abuse

P10 OPINION NAACP strays from its mission

P13 SPORTS CARLOS CORREA selected by Astros



Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 81 | Number 32 WEEK OF JUNE 7, 2012 | FREE

Covenant House helping homeless youth  PAGE 6

Trayvon’s parents interviewed

Tina Knowles judges competition

The mother and father of slain teen Trayvon Martin are concerned about a pressing issue in America. Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who are still grieving the death of their son, recently opened up about their concerns. They also sympathize with those who are experiencing what they are going through now.

Houston designer and fashion icon Tina Knowles – also known as Beyoncé’s mother – will rely on her expertise to judge a local competition, and will be joined by other industry experts. Find out exactly what it is she will be judging and who will attend. Learn what her connection is to Texas Southern University.


4 • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

 PAGE 5




Stay Connected! Experience the Defender on the world wide web.

Where are they now? Ten Black actresses that should have made it big. At

What to do this weekend Looking for something to do this weekend? The Defender has a list of things to do in the Houston area at Sharon Warren portrayed Ray Charles’ mother in “Ray.”

Romantic summer movies


Author Victoria Christopher Murray is back with Destiny’s Divas, the story of a fresh, new gospel group whose members tell the world about how good God has been to them, but offstage, each is living a life totally opposite to what she preaches – and each is harboring a secret that could ruin them all. At

Looking to cuddle up with your love this summer. Take a look at the perfect movies to watch with the one you love at

Chubby Checker performs at Miller Outdoor Theatre Saturday, June 9, at 8:30 p.m.

See more on: defendernetwork


Black legislators



meeting in Galveston



art celebration, part strategizing session, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus (TLBC) will conduct a retreat from June 10-12 in Galveston, marking this year’s Juneteenth Holiday while examining the state of the Black community regarding certain critical issues. Along with its 17 formal members, the TLBC also counts the two AfricanAmerican state senators as participants – Rodney Ellis of Houston and Royce West of Dallas – for a total of 19 functioning members. TLBC represent a portion or the entirety of 21 Texas cities including Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Garland, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange, Duncanville, DeSoto, Austin, Webberville, Lancaster, Cedar Hill, Mesquite, Seagoville, Richmond, Rosenberg, Fort Worth,

Forest Hill, Lufkin and Humble. With six months remaining before the next legislative session begins, TLBC chairman and Houston State Rep. Sylvester Turner says the caucus needs to regroup, address the next session’s pertinent issues and find common ground on those facing African-American communities across Texas. “At the retreat, the caucus members will meet with local officials and meet with the executive director of the newly formed Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, which will provide research on major issues affecting African Americans,” said Turner. “The TLBC will also meet to discuss the AfricanAmerican monument project to be placed on the Capitol grounds, tour the rebuilding of the University of Texas Medical Branch which was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike and hold a discussion on the importance of Juneteenth.” Turner said in addition, the caucus will meet with the director of TxDOT to discuss contracting opportunities for historically underutilized businesses, and meet with the presidents of Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M universities on their legislative priorities for 2013. “Thanks to the leadership of chairman Turner, this retreat is the perfect atmosphere and opportunity for better collaboration among members,” said Houston State Rep. Garnet Coleman. Coleman and Turner said issues the caucus will address include education at all levels, healthcare, economic opportunity (espe-

“If we are going to maximize our effectiveness, we must work together.”

State Rep. Garnet Coleman

cially for minority businesses), energy, criminal justice and the state budget. Turner added that holding the retreat in Galveston symbolically highlights what freedom and achievement mean for the African-American community as it prepares to celebrate Juneteenth. He expects some 15 caucus members to attend the retreat. Coleman said he hopes the retreat will help TLBC members “begin moving forward with a shared agenda and to come away with new knowledge, particularly by working with the UT Institute for Urban Policy and Research.” “I hope that the caucus will have an opportunity to coalesce around our top priorities, and get an early start on advocating for the changes we would like to see next session,” said Turner. “If we are going to maximize our effectiveness, we must work together,” said Turner. Immediately following the retreat, the TLBC is partnering with the Texas Black Expo to host several June 15th morning panel discussions as well as a breakfast and luncheon. For more information, visit

State Rep. Sylvester Turner

localbriefs TWO SISTERS FROM HOUSTON were among those who died in a plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria on June 3. All 153 people aboard the plan and an unknown number of people on the ground perished. Josephine and Jennifer Onita of Missouri City were returning from the wedding of a close friend. Josephine, a graduate of Hightower High School, studied accounting at the University of North Texas and managed five locations of a local financial planning and tax office. Jennifer graduated from the High School for the Engineering Professions in Houston and earned an electrical engineering degree from Texas Tech. She worked in aeronautics

engineering for a NASA contractor and was a graduate student at the University of Houston. The Dana Air plane they were on smashed into two apartment buildings and two businesses after the crew radioed the tower that they were having engine trouble ……...THE LATE DR. ZEB POINDEXTER JR. was honored with a dental operatory space by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry. The school is celebrating the opening of its new $155 million, six-story, 300,000-square-foot building at 7500 Cambridge. Poindexter, who died April 28 at the age of 83, was the first Black graduate of the dental school and its first

Black faculty member.………TEXAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL is ranked fourth among all pediatric hospitals nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s 2012-13 edition of Best Children’s Hospitals. It is the only hospital in Texas – and the entire Southern region of the U.S. – awarded the distinction. “We are proud to have earned this recognition by U.S. News, again being ranked as one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals,” said Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s. “It is an outstanding achievement and a tribute to our physicians and staff for their passion for our mission and ardent dedication to excellence in patient care.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years




Trayvon’s parents want

violence to end disappointed that unlike the situation with his son, most Black males being killed are the victims of other Black males. Trayvon, 17, was shot by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in February. Zimmerman is of mixed heritage. “While the race of the killer

the family has been in the public spotlight as a show of solidarity, in private they still are grieving s Chicago dealt Trayvon’s death like thousands of with yet another other families across the country deadly weekend of who have lost loved ones. violence where 10 Fulton said she and Martin people were killed feel it is their duty as parents to and nearly three dozen injured, keep Trayvon’s case in the pubthe parents of slain Florida teen lic’s conscious to see that Trayvon Martin justice is done. were in town to talk “We are the voice of about the impact Trayvon Martin…He’s of gun violence on not here to speak for himcommunities. self so we as his parents Speaking have decided instead of at the national sitting back and not doing headquarters of the anything, this is what we Rainbow/PUSH have decided to do, to Coalition, Tracy help our community and Martin and Sybrina to help other parents,” Fulton choked back Fulton said. tears as they told She added that all Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of Trayvon Martin, said their story of beof America can play a ing the parents of a America must reduce violence. role in reducing violence. murdered teen. Fulton said since her son’s “As any of you know as parreally does little to change anydeath, she has heard from people ents, or family members of slain thing when a person dies, because from all communities who are victims, to look at a crime scene death is death, we should still outraged, not just the Africanphoto, it’s very disturbing,” said be concerned when we look at American community. She said Martin. “It was certainly very the number of young Black men the outpouring of support has disturbing to see that picture of dying at the hands of their fellow helped the family and she is trymy son on the ground dead. That brothers,” Martin said. ing to use that positive energy will be ingrained in my memory Fulton said every day is a to make big changes in society’s for the rest of my life.” struggle for her and Trayvon’s behavior. Trayvon’s father said he is father and siblings. She said while “I think for too long some

By J. COYDEN PALMER Special to NNPA from the Chicago Crusader


Continued on Page 12

U.S.briefs THE COALITION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN PASTORS, an organization of church and civil rights activists, is asking Attorney General Eric Holder to grant them a meeting with President Barack Obama over his stance on same-sex marriage. The pastors made the request after Holder and other legal experts strategized with Black religious leaders on voting during a meeting of the Conference of National Black Churches and the Congressional Black Caucus. Rev. William Owens Sr., founder and president of CAAP, said members of his grassroots coalition oppose gay marriage, and deserve to voice their concerns. “President Obama…has broken our hearts by using his power and position to endorse as a civil right something that is simply wrong,” Owens said……..THE HAZING DEATH of Florida A&M University band member Robert Champion has prompted a coalition of Black fraternities and sororities to join Rev. Al Sharpton and others in pledging to work harder to end the practice. “We no longer can treat it as a series of isolated and unrelated sets of unfortunate incidences,” said Jimmy Hammock, president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. The coalition is launching a national campaign that will include broadcast and print ads, a town hall meeting on hazing and a National AntiHazing Day in September……...FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Herman Cain has a new gig. He will replace conservative talk radio host Neal Boortz, who is retiring. Boortz’s show is syndicated across the country through an Atlanta station, attracting about 6 million listeners. Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, dropped out of the GOP race after allegations of sexual misconduct. He has filled in as host of the show and provided daily commentary. “We tell people the cold, hard truth and the facts,” Cain said. “I want to continue to express my views and help educate people about what’s going on in this country.”

Zimmerman donations up after return to jail Defender News Services

Lawyers for George Zimmerman said there has been a surge in donations for his defense fund after his recent return to jail, and that contributions were totaling about $1,000 per day. Zimmerman, who is accused of killing Florida teen Trayvon Martin, was ordered to return to jail because his $150,000 bond was revoked by a Florida judge. Prosecutors claimed Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, lied to the the court during the bond hearing. Zimmerman’s lawyers said he was confused and fearful when he

George Zimmerman

and his wife misled court officials about their finances. “While Mr. Zimmerman acknowledges that he allowed his financial situation to be misstated

in court, the defense will emphasize that in all other regards, Mr. Zimmerman has been forthright and cooperative,” attorney Mark O’Mara said in an online statement. At the hearing, Zimmerman’s wife testified that they had limited funds for bail because she was a full-time student and her husband wasn’t working. Prosecutors say Zimmerman actually had raised $135,000 in donations from a website he established. O’Mara originally said he would ask for another bond hearing. He later put off filing for a new hearing and offered no explanation.

VOLUME 81 • NUMBER • 32 WEEK OF JUNE 7, 2012

Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Advertising/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Print Editor Marilyn Marshall Online Editor ReShonda Billingsley

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 2012 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher). • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

WEEK OF June 7 | 2012 | DEFENDER



Nyambi Nyambi

Actor appreciates ‘Mike & Molly’ role V By KAM WILLIAMS Special to the Defender

ersatile Shakespearean actor and television comedy sensation Nyambi Nyambi stars on the sitcom “Mike & Molly” airing Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS. The show’s title characters are played by Billy Gardell and Emmy Award-winner Melissa McCarthy as a couple from Chicago who met at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. Nyambi handles the hilarious breakout role of “Samuel,” a Senegalese waiter working in a diner to whom dieting is a foreign concept. Earlier in his career, he shared the stage with Hollywood legend Al Pacino in productions of “The Merchant of Venice” and “The Winter’s Tale” for the New York City Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. As a member of both the LAByrinth Theater Company and the Classical Theater of Harlem, Nyambi’s other theater credits include the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” “The Tempest” opposite Mandy Patinkin for the Classic Stage Company and “Coming Home.” The Oklahoma native was born in 1979 to Nigerian parents but

was reared in Houston, Dallas and Fairfax, Va. He attended Bucknell University on a basketball scholarship, and subsequently earned his MFA from the Graduate Acting Program at NYU. A self-proclaimed basketball junkie, Nyambi collects vintage jerseys and plays for charity alongside stars like Jamie Foxx, Dean Cain, Joel McHale, Adam Sandler and Zac Efron in Hollywood’s Entertainment League Productions. In addition, he enjoys donating his free time to coaching at teen camps. A true film buff, Nyambi watched 365 movies in 365 days last year. Here, he talks about life and about what it’s like to be on “Mike & Molly.” KW: What interested you in Mike & Molly? Nyambi: What

Nyambi Nyambi, who portrays Samuel on TV’s “Mike & Molly,” once lived in Houston as a youth.

interested me was the hilarious script and the idea of playing a West African character that was the smartest guy in the room. And I was broke. KW: What would you say is the show’s message? Nyambi: The message of the show is that love is out there and, if you want the baggage it comes with, it’s yours. KW: How would you describe your character, Samuel? Nyambi: Samuel is a dry-humored, highlyeducated immigrant from Senegal, who speaks five languages, studies English Literature at the University of Illinois and is a waiter at Abe’s Hot Beef. Nothing gets past him. He’s family. KW: How did you prepare to play a Senegalese waiter? Nyambi: I ate in a lot of diners and spent some time in Senegal. KW: “Mike & Molly” has one of the most racially-diverse casts on prime-time network TV. Continued on Page 16

Tina Knowles

TSU hosts wearable art fundraiser Defender News Services

Texas Southern University presents For the Sake of Art 2012: A Wearable Art Competition and Fundraiser, on Saturday, June 9, from 7-10 p.m. at the University Museum on campus. Houston designer and fashion icon Tina Knowles – also known as Beyoncé’s mother – is one of the judges. Other judges include curator Danielle Burns, designer Cesar Galindo and Bravo TV “Fashion Show” winner Jeffrey Williams. “Art patrons, artists and ‘fashionistas’ will get the wow treatment when the exciting world of wearable art steps out for the second annual event,” said Toni Whitaker and Shannon Emerick, competition coordinators. The evening will begin with an informal modeling showcase of the judges’ designs to the music of jazz saxophonist Horace Alexander Young. Four prize winners will be selected and announced during the cocktail reception. Tickets for the event are $100 and can be purchased online at www.forthesakeofart2012. For more information call 713-313-7120, 281-844-6625 or visit www.

What’sup THE JAY-Z and KANYE WEST single “N-----s in Paris” generated further controversy after white actress Gwyneth Paltrow – who is close friends with Beyonce and Jay-Z – mentioned the title in a Tweet. Paltrow was at the duo’s concert in France when she reportedly Tweeted, “N-----s in paris for real…” Paltrow defended herself by saying it was the title of the song. The incident once again prompted the question of whether the N-word is acceptable or unacceptable for non-Blacks to use when African Americans use it freely……..ICE-T is the force behind a new documentary “The Art of Rap,” which will be in theaters June 15. The rapper and actor makes

his directorial debut with the film, and the intent is to “take us on an intimate journey into the hearts and soul of hip-hop with the legends of rap music.” Included in the film are Big Daddy Kane, Dr. Dre, Grandmaster Caz and Eminem. Ice-T began his rap career in the 1980s. In 2000 he became a familiar face on television, portraying a detective on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on NBC……..TONI BRAXTON and family return to reality TV in August with a new season of their show, “Braxton Family Values.” The show offers an inside look at the lives of the five Braxton sisters and their mother. The daughters of a minister, the sisters were brought up

in a Christian household that for a long time prohibited listening to secular music.……..MORGAN FREEMAN, who turned 75 on June 1, is as busy as ever. This summer, the Oscar winner will be seen in the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” He is currently shooting another movie, the sci-fi epic “Oblivion” with Tom Cruise. He also finds the time for his pet project, a Science Channel TV show titled “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.” He is executive producer and host of the series, in which filmmakers interview physicists, biologists, astronomers and other academics who explore cutting edge theories on some of life’s big questions. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years


Longtime PV educator Dr. Marion Henry passes Defender News Services The Prairie View A&M University family is mourning the loss of Dr. Marion Henry, a legend at the university. Henry passed away June 3. He was director of teacher certification and professor of educational research in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling. A native of Dallas, Henry was an institution on the PVAMU campus, spending more than 55 years at the university. During his years with PVAMU, Henry was a beloved professor and mentor who challenged students to embody excellence in their educational pursuits and professional careers. Henry played an integral part in the education of thousands of students in the Whitlowe R. Green College of Education. He was director of the Learning Resource Center, head of the department of curriculum and foundation and head of the department of educational media and technology. In 2011, he was selected as a member

of the inaugural class of the Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Educators, a Texas A&M University System initiative acknowledging teaching excellence. Henry was the former director of athletics and was an active supporter of PVAMU sports. He was also public announcer for track Dr. Marion Henry and field events, chief clerk of the the post in fall 2011. In a magazine interview course, chief finish judge and a member of last year, Henry said one of his greatest the Prairie View Sports Official Association. honors was assisting with the development of In 1995, Henry was honored with a the University Mace, Medallion and Podium street bearing his name. Marion Henry in 1983. Drive runs alongside the famed William Henry earned his bachelor’s degree from “Billy” J. Nicks, Sr. Fieldhouse and leads to Southern University and A&M College. He the university’s stadium, Blackshear Field. completed his master’s at Bradley University While Henry’s influence in the College of and earned a Ph.D. from Syracuse University. Education is clear, his impact has been felt by Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 every student crossing the stage at graduation p.m. Friday, June 8, at the William “Billy” J. Nicks, as a major figure in the commencement Sr. Building at PVAMU. A rosary will be held at 6 exercises. p.m. followed by the Knight of Columbus at 6:30 He served as chairman of the p.m. An Omega Psi Phi memorial service will be held Commencement Committee for more than at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue at 10 a.m. Saturday 50 years, even serving as the commencement until the time of service at 11 a.m. in the Nicks marshal for nearly three decades, retiring from Building.



ARE CORE VALUES AT ANDREWS KURTH It takes a leader to know how to align business objectives and resources. Working together, we have created an inclusive culture that benefits our entire firm community. For straight talk about diversity and inclusion, visit Andrews Kurth is proud to support the Salute to Black Music, Dance and Art.


Copyright © 2012 by Andrews Kurth LLP. Andrews Kurth, the Andrews Kurth logo and Straight Talk Is Good Business are registered service marks of Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved. Attorney Advertising. 12051




autoreview 2012 Lexus


GS350 Sedan



t didn’t take long for me to come up with a theme for my latest delivery. When taking a long look at the front end of the 2012 Lexus GS 350 four-door sedan, I immediately was thrust back to the movies. The all-new GS 350 sedan reminds me of a vehicle in the “Transformers” series. “Transformers, more than meets the eye.” The senior students throughout the schoolyard kept asking me if this could be their prom vehicle. They were impressed with the total package. The sporty exterior combined with a low stance and futuristic styling made heads turn on a swivel wherever I went. I was asked if this car performed as well as it looked and if the vehicle could match what was on the speedometer. I said without question. The 2012 Lexus GS 350 sedan is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 direct injection and port fuel injection engine that produces 306 horsepower and 277 pounds-per-foot of torque. Matched with a six-speed sequential shift electronically-controlled automatic transmission with manual mode and paddle shifters, it can blend in with

the fastest of vehicles I loved the speedometer set on the road. in the front windshield, the blind A super smooth spot monitor system and naviride is enhanced by gation system with Bluetooth gas pressurized shock technology and SiriusXM absorbers and stabilizer bars. Further satellite radio. complementing this amazing This vehicle practically transport is a multi-link rear drives itself. suspension, vehicle-speed Safety features include dual front sensing power steering and air bags, front and rear side-mounted side MSRP base price – $46,900 (as tested – $62,789) electronic brakeforce distribuimpact air bags, front and rear side curtain Engine – 3.5-liter V6 air bags, driver and front passenger knee air tion and brake assist. Transmission – Six-speed automatic with manual mode bags and supplemental restraint system. A sort-tuned suspension Fuel economy – 19 miles per gallon Even with so much power, I never has several options that can (city), 28 mpg (highway) frequented a gas station during an entire make driving extra fun. The F Estimated annual fuel cost - $2,500 week of driving. When was the last time Sport-tuned suspension is like you heard that? driving a race car. Then you Optional equipment includes a lane keep assist with lanecan opt for a smoother ride that can make your grandmother feel departure warning, a pre-collision system and dynamic radar cruise at ease. control. The interior is exquisite with leather everywhere, power tilt/ slide moonroof, premium sound system and driver memory front I could go on and on. But I’ll leave some features for you to seat with 10-way adjustable options. discover during a test drive.



DON’T MISS OUT! We Invite You to Attend:

The Texas Lottery Commission’s Annual Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Forum

The forum will provide information about the TLC’s HUB program, procurement processes, and Mentor Protégé initiatives. It will also feature a roundtable networking session with key Lottery Commission staff and prime contractor representatives. Roundtable assignments will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day of the forum. The TLC HUB Forum is FREE of Charge! Register on-line on or before 6/25/12 at:

For more information contact: Joyce Bertolacini, HUB Coordinator (512) 344-5293 ©2012 Texas Lottery Commission. All rights reserved.


Thursday, June 28, 2012 ★ 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm 611 East 6th Street – Austin, Texas



Dealing with troubled youth By ASWAD WALKER Defender If a young person is exhibiting self-destructive behavior, parents can’t afford not to intervene. Geynille Agee, executive consultant with Community Mental Health Associates, says that a crucial part of effective parenting with troubled youth is focusing on their mental health and educational development. “We can’t settle for learning parenting skills; we need effective parenting taking place. The mental health of our children is a critical piece of this puzzle, as well is learning the proper ways to discipline children,” Agee said. Following is some advice for dealing with troubled youth.

Identify the cause

Teenagers are known to explore new things, but don’t make severe switches in personality out of the blue. If they’re making drastic behavioral changes, there’s a reason. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to identify what’s behind the change, whether a recent event or something deep-rooted.

Listen and talk

Teenagers today have more opportunities to make bad decisions than in years past—all the more reason you must be a positive, reliable person in your child’s life. Listen to him/her and resist the urge to judge or advise; sometimes just being heard helps. Even though they’re often reluctant to admit it, they seek the approval, love, and support of their parents. If they don’t feel valued, loved and understood at home, they’ll look elsewhere.

Act like a parent

Remember, you’re a parent, not a pal. Your responsibility is to ensure the well-being and safety of your child. Intervening in a dangerous situation (like ones involving drugs, abuse or truancy) might make your child dislike you, but it could save his/ her life.

Recognize when your teen is in trouble

Professionals who work with teens describe troubling behavior as acting out – an outward expression of underlying issues. Troubled behavior takes many forms, including depression, constantly challenging authority or turning to drugs or alcohol (troubles that exceed the growing pains of normal adolescent development). Accepting that your teen needs extra attention and care is an important step in getting the situation under control.

Know what action to take in a crisis

Crises are not uncommon in teens who are emotionally unstable or not able to cope well with stressful situations. Knowing in advance how to deal with these potentially dangerous situations makes it easier to respond effectively if the need arises.

Take good care of yourself

When dealing with a troubled teen the focus can’t be on them all the time. Keep in mind that you’re human with your own needs. Give yourself time to re-energize, regroup and take care of you. It’s also important to give yourself credit for all the hard work you’re doing to help your teen, whether or not it’s working.

Sources: “Advice for Parents of Troubled Teens” (www. and “6 Tips for Parenting Troubled Teens: Advice for Dealing with Defiant and Struggling Teens” by Kathryn Rudlin, licensed clinical social worker


Covenant House:

Helping homeless yo



hough the topic of homelessness has received extensive attention in recent years, there is a disturbing aspect of this issue that is often overlooked – homelessness among youth. On any given night in Houston, there are as many as 2,500 youth sleeping on the streets, in shelters or couch-surfing, which makes their numbers that much more difficult to accurately assess. What is not difficult to determine, however, are the challenges these teens face in finding some sense of normalcy in their lives. Enter Covenant House, an institution with a mission to meet the needs of homeless teens with the intention of eventually getting them off the streets for good. Covenant House Texas (CHT), one of 21 Covenant Houses in the U.S., Canada and Central America, has been providing shelter for homeless youth since 1983, serving an average of 60 residential clients between 18-21, including pregnant and parenting teens and their children. CHT also makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of homeless and at-risk youth through outreach and prevention efforts. CHT Executive Director and CEO Ronda G. Robinson, whose educational and professional background is in social services and social rehabilitation studies, came to Houston nearly three decades ago, saw an ad in the paper regarding a job working with runaway youth, and has been with the agency ever since. “We have a very comprehensive program, including a crisis shelter, rites of passage intermediate program, rites of passage apartment living program, medical care, substance abuse and mental health services, GED classes, and child care,” said Robinson. “We also have an outreach program on the streets five days a week – it’s our Covenant House on wheels.” Many CHT youth ran away or were forced out of their homes.

“Most of these young people have aged out of all the service agencies and foster care, and are at-risk of becoming homeless adults,” said CHT staffer Carolyn Garrard. “Even though 18, they are children. Most of them have not had the foundation of love and caring and stability they need to live independent lives and that’s what we’re trying to give them.” Robinson said many Nata Koerber runaway residents leave home because of “typical adolescent behavior issues” or because the youth or someone in their household has a substance abuse or mental health issue. But whatever the reason, Covenant House’s team of staff members and volunteers seeks to provide general services coupled with personal care and concern.

A way out

For volunteer Nata Koerber, a long-time mental health advocate, Covenant House has been a godsend, allowing her to help teens involved in a vicious cycle, but looking for a way out. “These teenagers are looking for hope, sometimes in the wrong places,” said Koerber, referring to issues of crime, gangs, drugs and teen pregnancy experienced by many of the young people she’s worked with over the years. “Kids are going to look for someone to protect them. If we don’t have institutions or entities to protect them, they will look to the streets,” said Koerber, adding that homeless youth need counseling, education and support as do all youth. Koerber said Covenant House’s Peer Education program is one aspect that is making a difference. “Kids are often more receptive to hearing things from others who have been through what they’ve been



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Covenant House Executive Director and CEO Ronda G. Robinson (center) is shown with young people helped by the agency.

through. It’s one of the most effective interventions that take place,” said Koerber, who believes youth homelessness is an issue all must address. “Without intervention many homeless youth will go to crime and impact your children and household. From a spiritual standpoint, God is going to ask us, ‘What did you do to help the least of these?’ ” Koerber believes a stronger relationship between social service agenAlan Rosen cies and law enforcement is tical to making a difference. One individual who has personally answered that l is Major Alan Rosen, a 21-year law enforcement eran whose mission has been protecting children. As commander of the Special Operations Bureau h the Harris County Sherriff’s Department, Rosen isted with establishing and managing the Child edator Apprehension Team, which targets criminals o commit crimes against children. “The kids who Covenant House serves are preely the kind of kids predators look for,” Rosen d. “They are homeless and have no skills or family pport. Without intervention, many fall victim to all es of street crime, including human trafficking.” The nature of Rosen’s profession brought the work Covenant House to his attention years ago. Yet, sen believes not enough people know of the institun, or the severity of the issue. “It’s something folk don’t like to talk about; its comfortable, like mental health issues –two issues y close and personal to me,” said Rosen. “I just n’t think our youth have enough people speaking on their behalf and protecting them.”

n a mission

Covenant House also relies on committed volun-

e Houston area for over 80 years

Volunteers Demetria Overstreet (left) and Judeene Edison (right) are joined by a Covenant House young mother and child.

teers such as Judeene Edison, who works with the organization’s teen mothers. “I have a daughter who finished school but was still a teenager when she got pregnant,” said Edison. “When I found out Covenant House needed someone to connect with the young ladies, I wanted them to see the other side of their decisions.” Edison’s commitment to Covenant House has been so great and so time-consuming most people mistake her for a staff member. “Everyone says they can see a difference in the young ladies I’ve worked with, even though it’s a revolving door. I’ve seen some girls transform, break down and Ms. Overstreet addresses a group of teen mothers. cry when their walls finally come other people fixing our issues,” said Edison. down. I’ve been able to establish a “I’m trying to figure out how to get more of us relationship of trust,” said Edison, who provides the to commit consistently, because that’s a generation young women with constant encouragement. of our children we’re losing.” “We discuss appearance, conflict resolution, CHT fights to save these youth by placing an being careful about who they have around their emphasis on education and job development, and children, and raising their expectations about life provides two full-time staff devoted to conducting in general,” said Edison, who regularly brings in job training classes, and helping youth find jobs that successful business professionals to speak with her will pay a livable wage. At present, 18 CHT youth group. attend college. Edison’s main message to the young ladies is Covenant House accepts donations of clothes, establishing self-love so they will no longer find it school supplies and monetary gifts. Koerber chalacceptable to curse their children or allow men to lenges Houstonians, especially church congregations, speak to them disrespectfully. “I’m constantly trying to also donate their time and resources to the agency. to remind them, ‘You’re a queen’ to get them to see “Financial support, volunteer efforts like menthat the bar must be raised.” toring in our outreach vans, tutoring, giving kids Along with her passion for helping teen moms, opportunities in which they can train so they too can Edison is on a mission to increase the number of become productive members of society – any skills Black volunteers at Covenant House. you may possess, we welcome,” said Robinson. “Most people that volunteer are not of color. “It takes a whole village to raise young people. And for the number of Blacks Covenant House It’s all of our duty to make sure we don’t lose any serves, the involvement of the Black community more generations.” does not coincide. We have to stop depending on




A Defender & Texas Children’s Hospital Alliance


Take action against

Be aware of asthma, breathing problems this summer

domestic violence


he responsibilities of the physicians and staff at Texas Children’s Hospital extend far beyond treating children for illnesses. Whether it’s reactive care or preventative measures, Texas Children’s experts continuously strive to provide patient families with the best possible care. Often this requires the experts to know how to detect when a child comes from a home where domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is present. John Bickel, the community outreach coordinator for Texas Children’s Child Abuse Pediatrics (CAP) team, sees children on a daily basis who are victims of abuse. “Intimate partner violence is an action by one partner to manipulate and control the other partner to his or her desire,” Bickel explains. “This is done physically, sexually, emotionally, financially and verbally. It can be subtle or not. It can be actions, lack of actions or the threat of action.” The most recent data available

is from 2010 and the Texas statistics are alarming: 146 women were killed by their current or former intimate partner; 53 mothers lost their lives; and 39 children witnessed their mother’s murder. Domestic violence isn’t just limited to women; it’s estimated that while 38 percent of women were in an abusive relationship, 27 percent of men were also estimated to be victims in domestic violence. Intimate partner violence isn’t limited to battering or threats of violence. It also includes denial of access to financial resources and controlling movement (not letting the victim leave the house). The perpetrator often times intimidates and belittles the victim by making threats involving themselves, the partner, family or friends. Cyber-bullying and tracking activities on the computer are also within the scope of domestic abuse. “The number of children who witness some type of abuse in their home is alarming,” Bickel says. “Witnessing such acts can be just as harmful as the abuse itself.”

If you suspect that you’re a victim or know someone who is, call 2-1-1 within Texas or call 1-800-799-SAFE nationwide. These numbers will help you reach a women’s center, which is a safe place to go when a victim is leaving a high-risk situation. If you suspect you’re a batterer or know someone who is, there are several places in and around Houston that can help you or someone you know receive counseling. A place to start is AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse) at

Summer is a time for outdoor activities, cooking on a grill and keeping your children healthy. While parents know that beating the heat is a must for a Houston summer, it’s also important to keep in mind the air quality. Dr. Harold Farber, pediatric pulmonologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, recommends keeping an eye on children with asthma or other breathing problems. “As always, pay attention to your child’s breathing,” Farber said. “If your child is having difficulty breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention.” Be cautious when outside grilling. Try to keep children with asthma away from the smoke as much as possible. “Even when there is not visible smoke, particulates in the air can make breathing difficult for kids with asthma and related conditions.” Stay tuned to air quality reports and make sure to be on alert for any unusual or problematic breathing. Allergies also can be a problem for children, such as pollen or animal fur. If your child is having problems breathing, limit activities to indoors only. Contact your doctor if you have concerns. For immediate concerns, the emergency room at Texas Children’s Hospital is available 24 hours a day for all types of emergencies.

Easy-to-grab summer safety It’s time for summer, which means beating the heat and staying safe while still having fun. Parents need to prepare whether summer vacation means going out of town or staying here in Houston. Dr. Danny Danziger of Texas Children’s Pediatric Associates – Piney Point, recommends that parents put together a summer safety kit. “Being prepared will help you and your family enjoy summer even more,” Danziger said. Included is a list of items Danziger recommends keeping in the kit: • Sunscreen: Aim for the highest level SPF. Apply 15 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours while swimming/sweating. • First aid essentials: Antibiotic ointment and adhesive bandages.

• Headache medicine: Children’s Tylenol or similar generic brand. • Repellant: Make sure DEET is the active ingredient. Get the lowest strength DEET possible. Avoid “deep woods.” • Anesthetic: Helps with itchy bug bites. • Water: Have cold water bottles for everyone. • Food: Fruits and snacks are good for summer outings. Trail mix is great for older kids. • Individual health needs: Inhalers, medication, testing equipment, etc. • Phone: Always carry a cell phone with you in case of emergencies. Don’t forget to keep this safety kit readily accessible to grab it when you’re on the go! • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years | WEEK OF JUNE 7 | 2012 | DEFENDER111

Texas Children’s Health Plan covers children from newborns to teenagers. We even cover adults and pregnant moms through STAR Medicaid. Families with children who qualify for CHIP pay $50 or less a year. Those who qualify for Medicaid pay nothing. CHIP and STAR Medicaid offer a wide range of benefits including checkups and shots, dental services, medications, and more. With Texas Children’s Health Plan you also get: ■

Over 2,100 doctors.

A 24-hour nurse hotline.

Free transportation to doctor visits.

Pregnancy support program and classes.

Help losing weight through the Keep Fit Program.

Learn how to play soccer from the Houston Dynamo coaches.

Fun, free member events!

For more information, to receive an application, or to


find an event in your area, visit us online or call today.



Trayvon’s parents... Continued from page 4 people have looked at the violence in America as mostly an AfricanAmerican and Latino issue,” Fulton said. “I believe more people are seeing that violence is everywhere and you have to care about violence in other communities not just what is happening in your own neighborhood.” Trayvon’s parents, along with their attorney Benjamin Crump, participated in a forum about violence in the Black community. Crump said the solution to the problems facing the Black community will come from within and outside it. Nearly 30,000 people a year die as a result of gun violence in the United States, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An additional 100,000 people a year are injured, requiring emergency medical treatment and hospitalization, which contributes to the strain being put on public health agencies around the country. “If it can happen to my son, it can happen to your son,” Crump said. “None of us are safe until all of us are safe.” Fulton said she believes part of the problem of violence is racial profiling that takes place by police and individuals like Zimmerman. She said she believes if her son was white, he would have never been followed by Zimmerman that night in Florida when Trayvon was killed. She said she believes Zimmerman followed Trayvon because of his race or what he was wearing, which led to the confrontation between the two that should have never ensued. Due to worldwide scrutiny of how the initial investigation was handled and a special prosecutor being brought in, Zimmerman has since been charged with second degree murder in Florida. Fulton said that

day in February was the worst day of her life. “I really didn’t believe it. That is the worst call a mother can get is to hear that your child is dead,” she said. Tracy Martin grew up in public housing complexes in downstate East St. Louis. Before speaking in Chicago he and Ms. Fulton appeared at an anti-violence rally there. Martin said the community has lost its spiritual compass and understanding of the value for education to getting a good job to raise a family on. “We have to take the guns away, but we have to replace them with something. It starts with God and love. We have to get back to family love, family values. Then we need jobs. And we have to give them a book, an education. Without education, it’s a lost cause.”

Metro hosts public meetings on rail Defender News Services

Metro is holding a second round of public meetings on the US90A/Southwest Rail Corridor Project. The project includes approximately nine miles of new construction starting at Missouri City to the Fannin South Rail Station, and merging with the existing rail Red Line up to Wheeler Station. The proposed line would directly serve Reliant Park, the Texas Medical Center, Rice University, the Houston Zoo, Hermann Park and the Museum District. Public meeting topics include an update on the analysis of alternatives, potential station locations along the rail line, and the environmental and economic impact of the rail line. The next meetings are Thursday, June 7, from 6-8 p.m. at Together We Stand Christian Church, 1432 Texas Parkway in Missouri City, and Tuesday, June 12, from 6-8 p.m. at the Power Center Southeast Ballroom,12401 S. Post Oak Road. For more information visit http://www.

Advertise with the Defender. Call Selma

@ 713-663-6996

classified Notice to Creditors On May 1, 2012, Letters Testamentary were issued to the representative of the Estate of Nathan Fairbanks Sherrill, Deceased, under Cause No 412,409 in Probate Court No. 1, Harris County, Texas. The address to which claims may be presented is Post Office Box 116, Bellaire, Texas, 77402. Claims should be addressed in care of the representative's attorney, Clifton Goodwin. All persons having claims against this estate being administered are required to present them within the time and in the manner prescribed by law.

NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS Sealed bids, in duplicate, addressed to Fourth Ward Redevelopment Authority will be received at 410 Pierce Street, Suite 355 Houston, TX 77002, until 2:00 pm, June 14, 2012. Bids will be publicly opened and read at 2:10 PM on Thursday, June 14 th 2012 for furnishing all labor, materials, equipment, and incidentals, as required, for the construction of a School Bus Drop-off Lane, Sidewalk, and Related Improvements on Genesee Street in Houston, Texas. CONTRACT DOCUMENTS may be examined at the following locations: (1) Amtek Plan Rm, 4001 Sherwood Ln, Houston, TX.; (2) ABC/Virtual Builders Exchange, 3910 Kirby, #131, Houston, TX; and (3) AGC, 3825 Dacoma, Houston, TX; The right is reserved, as the interest of the Owner may require, to reject any and all bids, and to waive any informality in bids received. Plans, specifications and bidding documents may be obtained at the offices of ESPA CORP, 7120 Grand Blvd, Suite #100, Houston, Texas 77054 (713-680 -0080) for a nonrefundable fee of $60.00 per set. Make checks payable to Fourth Ward Redevelopment Authority. A pre-bid conference will be held at Fourth Ward Redevelopment Authority offices, 410 Pierce Street, Suite 355, Houston, TX, on Tuesday, June 12 th, 2012 at 2:00 pm. It is requested, but not mandatory, that each bidder be represented at the pre-bid conference.



GOD Bless the Texas Black Caucus


exas is a “red state” or conservative in nature. The Republicans dominate throughout the state. They focus on less government and no taxes, which means cutting services at the expense of the needy to balance the budget, while the fat cats get fatter. With this backdrop, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, a group of mighty men and women, goes to battle every legislative session against the odds to address the needs of the people, especially the least of us. The issues are great and impact the very soul of our community, from healthcare to education to jobs, touching the lives of our children, our senior citizens, our families, our businesses and more. No one goes untouched. For roughly $20 a day, our African-American state representatives and senators band together though few in number – 19 out of a total of 181 legislators– to fight the good fight. Many of us don’t understand the hard work and sacrifice the job requires. Yet, we enjoy many of the benefits. As Juneteenth draws near, when we celebrate getting word of the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves in 1865, it seems only fitting that the caucus is conducting a planning meeting in Galveston in preparation for the upcoming legislative session. Under the great leadership of State Rep. Sylvester Turner, the caucus is taking a proactive approach with a plan focused on researching, finding common ground, developing a shared vision and creating strategies and tactics to accomplish the goals. Rep. Turner deserves our applause for his foresight in recognizing the need for this meeting. In addition, he should be commended for his efforts to secure the resources of the UT Institutefor Urban Policy Research&Analysis,which gives the caucus ammunition to build the case for the issues they will face in the January 2013 session. Black people live in districts across the state and city, and we need to vote for people that fight for the issues we believe in and not just sit on the sidelines and complain. The influence of the Tea Party is evident throughout our nation and Texas has more than its share of members. Voting is the one tool each of us possesses to combat these forces. Instead of placing so much emphasis on registering to vote, let’s double down on getting those who are registered, to vote at the polls. This way, we can influence who gets in office. Like the walls of Jericho, it will take some divine intervention for the Texas Black Caucus to be victorious in 2013. As a result, we ask God to bless this group of mighty men and women on their mission to represent our needs and invite you to send up some prayers also. They will need all the help they can get. God Bless the Texas Legislative Black Caucus.


NAACP strays

from its mission By RAYNARD JACKSON NNPA Columnist


statement about Trayvon Martin, or all the child killings in Chicago, or discrimination against Blacks? We all know the answer is an emphatic no! So, you have the NAACP fighting for entitlements that are outside the scope of their charter yet the groups they are fighting for give no reciprocity when it comes to issues of particular interest to the Black community. It should not surprise the public that the NAACP has publically declared their support for “gay marriage.” Notice that

hose who have followed my writings over the years know that I am not very fond of the modern-day NAACP. They have strayed very far from their original mission and have become a patsy for the Democratic Party. They are more concerned with having a photo taken at the White House than being the picture of equality and fairness for those with no voice. The group was founded in 1909 as a civil rights organization. Its charter stated their mission as: “To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored [Black] citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for the children, employment David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star according to their ability and complete equality before law.” I did not say “marriage equality.” When A charter or mission statement gays use the word marriage equality, they guides an organization to ensure that are saying that they want gay marriage to it stays true to its mission; it helps an be “equal” to heterosexual marriage. By organization to stay focused on its raison definition that cannot happen since mard’etre – its reason for being. So, I ask the riage is between a man and a woman. NAACP: What is the basis for its focus on Their goal is not equality, because gay entitlements or citizenship for those in that is an impossibility; they want accepthe country illegally? tance. They want to redefine marriage, Notice that I used the term “gay thereby forcing society to accept their entitlements,” not gay rights. A right has lifestyle choices. to be derived from some source document When the NAACP issued their – the U.S. Constitution, a law, the Bible, statement of support for gay entitlements etc. But, an entitlement is not derivative – they said: “The NAACP Constitution it’s based on a “belief” that one deserver a affirmatively states our objective to ensure benefit and that belief is totally subjective. the ‘political, educational, social and ecoBased on their charter, the NAACP nomic equality’ of all people. Therefore, has no business being involved in all the NAACP has opposed and will conthese issues that are outside of their tinue to oppose any national, state, local core mission of obtaining equality for policy or legislative initiative that seeks Black citizens. Has the Human Rights to codify discrimination or hatred into the Campaign (a gay entitlements group) or law or to remove the Constitutional rights the pro-amnesty forces come out with a of LGBT citizens. We support marriage

equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.” Using the 14th amendment as the basis for asserting the right for gays to marry is a bit of a stretch. In Hernandez v. Texas (1954) the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment protects those beyond the racial classes of white or “Negro” and extends to other racial, ethnic and other historically disadvantaged groups, i.e. women. So, please tell me which of the above groups would gay marriage come under? The 14th Amendment does not apply to them. They are asking the courts to create a special class of rights for them based on sexual preference, which is their ultimate goal. Gays do not deserve special protection based on their sexual preferences, but they do deserve equal protection based on their humanity. In a 2005 speech, former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said, “…Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born this way. I have no choice. I wouldn’t change it if I could. Sexuality is unchangeable.” I guess Bond never heard of anyone having their sex changed surgically? So, let me make sure I understand this. If I choose to exercise my right to oppose gay marriage, I am hateful and believe in discrimination? So, while the Black community is dysfunctional with Black-on-Black crime, runaway teenage pregnancy, high unemployment, the NAACP is taking up the cause that has absolutely no legal basis and is outside the mandate of their own charter. Are you kidding me? Weak people (and groups), take strong positions on weak issues. The modern day Civil Rights Movement has done more harm to Blacks than any man in a white hood. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years




Astros take

Carlos Correa was picked first by the Astros.

Carlos Correa in MLB draft By Max Edison Defender


ne of the benefits of having the worse team in Major League Baseball in 2011 is having the opportunity to select first in the First-Year Player draft in 2012. That dubious distinction belongs to our Houston Astros. With the team in a major rebuilding mode, first-year General Manager Jeff Luhnow and assistant GM/Director of Scouting Bobby Heck selected 17-year-old shortstop Carlos Correa from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. Correa, the youngest player in the draft, is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound prospect who bats and throws right. He was named a Rawlings First Team All-American this season, in his final year at the academy. “I feel so excited to be the number one pick,” Correa said. “I just worked hard to be here.” “Carlos is an outstanding talent,” Luhnow said. “He’s very young, he plays a premium position, has a lot of tools, a very exciting player. He’s got a chance to become an impact player for the Astros for many years to come. He looks like a man among boys right now. I can just imagine five years from now.” Bobby Heck expounded on the selection of Correa. “We’re very excited to add a player of Carlos’ caliber,” Heck said. “He profiles as a power-hitting, middle-of-the-field guy, and to get that type of power at shortstop – his work ethic, how he was brought up

and the family environment he comes from, the student he is – it’s a great pick for us, as well as a great long-term investment for the Astros.” Although only 17, Correa has been on the Astros scouting radar for several years. Luhnow and Beck observed him in a simulated game and workout recently and Correa, the only amateur in the group, stood out. “He was really three or four years younger than most of the players and he was the only amateur, and he stood out from the professionals that were down

there,” Luhnow said. “For me, that was good, because it gave confirmation. This was the type of player we’re looking for. This is an impact player we need for the future of this organization.” In addition to his ability on the diamond, Astros officials were impressed with the intangibles that Correa brings. He maintained a 4.0 GPA in school. Add outstanding work ethic to the Correa resume and you’ve got the profile of a number one selection. “On the field his talent speaks for itself, but when

you find out about the other things it makes it an easy selection.” Heck explained. “We talked to teachers and coaches at the academy. They talked about his work ethic in the classroom and on the field. They talked about his parental upbringing and his leadership skills. There were just so many positives that made it an easy selection.” With any luck Correa should be a major leaguer within the next three years and intangibles play a big part in the profile of a player who could be the face of the franchise for years to come. “That’s a big part of it – how they handle adversity, how they handle the media, being in front of the camera, being bi-lingual and of course he’s going to be a millionaire. That’s all a part of it,” Heck continued. “We feel very good about his makeup to handle that.” Correa is the highest-drafted player ever out of Puerto Rico, an island nation that has sent the majors such notable superstars as Roberto Clemente, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Belton, Carlos Delgado and Bernie Williams. While it’s a bit presumptuous to put Correa in that elite fraternity just yet, he is aware of his place in his country’s history. “It means a lot to me. It’s history, man,” Correa said. “I’m the first Puerto Rican to be selected with the first pick. I just feel happy. I’m only 17 years old, but I’ve just worked hard and my father was always there with me, helping me out and throwing with me every day… All the sacrifices pay off.” For those who are curious, here’s how recent Astro first-rounders are progressing: • 2011 first-round pick George Springer (OF) is currently hitting .291 at Class Lancaster with 10 home runs and 40 RBI, the latter of which ranks T-5th in the California League. • 2010 first-rounder Delino DeShields (IF) leads the South Atlantic League in stolen bases with 36 in 53 games at Class A Lexington. • 2009 first-rounder Jiovanni Mier (IF) was hitting .309 in 26 games at Lancaster before being sidelined with a hamstring injury. • 2008 first-rounder Jason Castro is the Astros starting catcher in the Major Leagues. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years GridIron event offers youths fitness, fun


Defender News Services

he GridIron Classic presented by Reliant Energy is returning to Houston, and promises a fun-filled weekend of events. The classic allows local youths ages eight to 17 interact with NFL players, while learning the importance of healthy living through fitness, nutrition and life skills education. Young ages are encouraged to register for the event now. The GridIron Classic (GIC) was developed by Local youth can hone their football skills at the GridIron Classic camp and health fair. former Miami Dolphin player Alphonso Roundtree, who lives in the Houston area. “With 58 percent of adults and 39 percent of children being classified as overweight or obese in the Greater Houston community, we have a huge problem,” said Roundtree. “It’s so important that we educate our youth at an early age on how to adhere to a healthy lifestyle so that they become accustomed when they grow older.” The GIC kicks off Friday, June 29 at 10 p.m. with a Celebrity Meet & Greet for those ages 21 or older. It takes place at the Lucky Strike and Luxe Lounge, 1201 San Jacinto Street. Former Miami Dolphin Alphonso Roundtree developed the GridIron. The GridIron Classic Camp & Health Fair begins Saturday, June 30, at 8 a.m. at the Houston Texans YMCA, 5202 Griggs Rd. The Saturday event features a football camp and cheer camp. A health and education fair is sponsored by Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. Young people will participate in activities to enhance their skills in teamwork, communication and sportsmanship. Camp participants will be instructed by current and former NFL players who will be sharing their life lessons. Confirmed participants include Kevin Williams of the Houston Texans and Dan Pastorini of the old Houston Oilers. Other participants include Marcus Spears (Kansas At last year’s camp, youth of all ages participated. City Chiefs), Robert Wilson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Admission to the football and cheerleading camp is Cornelius Anthony (San Francisco 49ers), Tyree Dafree and a complimentary lunch will be provided. The only vis (Seattle Seahawks), Ben Cavil (Baltimore Ravens), Sammy Davis (San Diego Chargers), Sammy Knight (New cost is a $5 entry fee for the celebrity flag football game. To register for the classic visit http://www.thegridironOrleans Saints), Jerry Ball (Detroit Lions) and Chuck ments (New York Jets).



sportsbriefs NCAA punishes TSU football Texas Southern football recently received a punch to the gut from the NCAA when the annual Academic Progress Report was released. The report indicated TSU football failed to meet the required average score over the most recent four-year evaluation period for graduation rates. Penalties for the university include the elimination of spring football practice and the spring game, loss of four hours of countable athletically related activities per week during the football team’s playing and practice season, and the loss of four hours of countable athletically related activities per week outside of the team’s playing and practice season. All lost hours must be replaced by hours of academic related activities. “Texas Southern University athletics is a much improved program today and despite this setback we are proud of the improvements that we have made to date in all 16 programs. I am confident that we are heading in the right direction,” AD Charles McClelland said.

Is Tiger Woods finally back? After recently winning the Memorial Tournament in spectacular fashion, Tiger Woods appears to have his swagger back and that means trouble for other PGA players. The win was Woods 73rd PGA victory, tying him for second with Jack Nicklaus on the all-time win list, behind Sam Snead (82 wins). Nicklaus leads with 18 major titles and Woods has 14. The Memorial is a tune up for the next major, the U.S. Open, which begins in two weeks. The major question we all are contemplating – is the old Tiger back? You do remember the old Tiger, don’t you? That was the dominant Tiger who used to intimidate the competition. The old Tiger was literally unbeatable when he was within eye shot of first place on Sunday. The old Tiger once actually won a major tournament on one leg. Will we see that guy return in two weeks?

‘Sugar’ Shane retires from ring After 19 years in the ring and a month after his last fight, “Sugar” Shane Mosley has announced his retirement. A former world lightweight and welterweight champion, Mosley finishes with a record of 46-8-1 with 39 KOs. “I’m going to leave it alone,” he said. “I’m good. I’m going into the promotional world; I’m training my son (21-year-old amateur Shane Mosley Jr.). It was a helluva career. I’m happy for all the great memories and all the great fighters that I fought. Now it’s time give back. I’m ready to train my son full-time now.” Mosley, who at one time was known as the “pound for pound” best fighter, was always a classy fighter who never ducked a tough opponent. He had signature fights against Oscar de la Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Winky Wright, Vernon Forrest and Antonio Margarito. In recent fights he had become a shell of his former self, losing to Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and most recently to up and coming Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. It’s great to see Mosley get out with his faculties still intact. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



Nyambi... Continued from page 5 Who is responsible for that diversity? Nyambi: Mark Roberts, the creator of our show, and the writers have done an incredible job of creating and writing for these amazing actors. KW: How has a series about two overweight people managed to become a hit in our weight-conscious society where most TV and movie stars are thin? Nyambi:The truth reigns supreme and the love that all of these characters share is what people ultimately connect to. They see themselves in these characters or in their dilemmas. Plus, the hearts of Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy are deeply genuine and infectious. It begins with their genius together. KW: What are the similarities and differences between you and your character, Samuel? Nyambi: We both have a dry sense of humor and an appreciation for classic literature. Samuel is Senegalese and my family is Nigerian. I hope to one day speak five languages like Samuel. Right now, I know English, a lot of French, a little bit of Efik and a few words in Wolof. KW: How did you develop an interest in acting while playing Division I basketball in college? Nyambi: I have always had an interest in acting for as long as I can remember. I just never called it acting. It was celebrating the nuance of the people I met. So I constantly was entertaining my family and friends with some character they knew – an uncle, an aunt, a cousin, a family friend or a character from a television show or film… KW: I see that you’re a junior. Is Nyambi Nyambi both you and your dad’s real name? Did you ever wish you had two names? Nyambi: Yes, my father and I share the same name. Our names mean a lot in my family. I love my name because of the level of confusion it brings to people’s faces. I wonder sometimes what life would be like if my name were Clint or Wally. KW: Who is the person who led you to become the person you are today? Nyambi: My parents and sisters as a unit led me to become the person I am today. All love. KW: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? Nyambi: The audacity to fail gloriously again and again. KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? Nyambi: Joy. Find it, seek it and hold on to it. It will get you through the pain.

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Nyambi waits on characters portrayed by Reno Wilson (left) and Billy Gardell.

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Houston Defender: June 07, 2012  

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