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October 7 – 13, 2010 | FREE

Volume 79 Number 50

Jarvis under fire – again

David Jefferson


Houston City Councilman Jarvis Johnson is finding himself in the midst of an investigation once again. This time, it’s regarding contracts with the City of Houston. During an investigation by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office on what it calls potenJarvis Johnson

Communicates success and jobs

★JOHNSON, Page 7


The U.S. Department of Education plans to enact new rules targeting the financial aid eligibility of programs at forprofit career institutions; regulations, which they said, are part of an “effort to protect students from aggressive or misleading recruiting practices.” However, some Black business and political leaders, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder of

the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, famed trial attorney Willie Gary, Randal Pinkett, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the regulations are unfair. Under the department’s planned “Gainful Employment” regulations, institutions of higher education and post-secondary vocational schools would have to

By Aswad Walker DEFENDER

JEFFERSON HIGHLIGHTS OCCUPATION ■ Chairman and CEO of JNET Communications ■ Senior Pastor at Metropolitan Baptist Church ■ Practicing Attorney and member of the American Bar Association in New Jersey EDUCATION ■ Bachelor’s in Accounting, Grambling ■ Two MBAs, in Finance and Marketing, MIT ■ Theological degree, Drew University ■ Doctorate of Juris Prudence, Capital University (Columbus) ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATIONS ■ NAACP ■ Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity ■ National Urban League

In his book, The Reckoning: What Blacks Owe to Each Other, Randall Robinson argues that a relatively unknown gentleman by the name of Robert Moses has made a greater contribution to African American life in our generation than any of our communities’ more known national leaders. Moses developed a method of teaching math to students in California deemed unteachable. His method was so successful it was incorporated by city and state school systems across the country, changing thousands of lives and opening even more minds to new possibilities. The same can be said of David Jefferson, a person who is not listed among the ranks of national leaders but one whose actions continue to open new doors of opportunity for individuals, families, and whole communities. Jefferson is the Chairman and CEO of JNET Communications, a telecommunications company that ★JEFFERSON, Page 8


Thousands gather for “One nation working together”

An estimated 175,000 people attended the One Nation Working Together rally in D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC – People from all 50 states recently traveled to the nation’s capital for the hugely successful One Nation Working Together rally. An estimated 175,000 citizens representing different races, faiths, ages and states gathered on Oct. 2 for speeches and performances by living legends and rising stars in the progressive movement, including NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, Reverend Al Sharpton, Harry Belafonte, Actor Wendell Pierce, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and many more. Legendary singer George Clinton closed out the march with a rousing performance of “One Nation Under A Groove.” The speakers shared stories of struggle and hope as well as ideas for the future, and called for high quality public education, justice, and an economy that produces jobs for all Americans. NAACP was a lead organizer for the rally. “I was amazed as I stood at the podium before

175,000 people. I was overwhelmed to see the incredible swell of support for education, for jobs, and for justice,” stated Jealous. “I was also sobered, however, by the reality – that we still have a lot of work to do to bring that momentum from Washington to every state and every corner of the country on Election Day – 11.2.10. Jobs, justice and education are the common threads that tie us together, and I have no doubt that they will persevere come Election Day.” Sharpton said that the midterm elections were like “midterms exams” for the nation, and encouraged the audience to earn a passing grade. Thousands also attended a One Nation rally the same day in Los Angeles. Actor Danny Glover told the diverse crowd that they represented a movement to “continue to fight for the change we voted for in 2008.” “We are here today to fight for good jobs for


Whitaker: “My Soul to Take” By Kam Williams CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Denzel Dominique Whitaker was born in Torrance, California on June 15, 1990 to Dale and Younalanda Whitaker. He made his acting debut at 11 in “Training Day,” opposite his namesake, Denzel Washington, and he was subsequently directed by and co-starred with Denzel in “The Great Debaters.” Whitaker has also been on the big screen in “The Bad Lieutenant” and as the voice of Albert in “The Ant Bully.” As for TV, Denzel has appeared on UPN’s “One on One,” and played recurring roles in Nickelodeon’s “All That” and FOX’s “The War At Home.” His other television credits include such hit shows as “ER,” “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” Furthermore, he was a series regular on the ABC pilot “House Rules.” Plus, this past year, he was cast in Gavin

O’Connor’s “Warrior,” which is set for release in 2011. And he currently appears as a recurring character on ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” and is developing several projects of his own. In his spare time, Denzel enjoys writing screenplays, playing basketball and golf, hip-hop, dancing, digital animation and independent filmmaking. Taking a page from his stage mentors, Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker, he aspires to be an accomplished actor/director. Here, the talented young thespian talks about his new movie, “My Soul to Take,” a 3-D horror flick directed by Wes Craven. Kam Williams: Hey Denzel, how’s it going? It’s been three years since we last spoke. That was for “The Great Debaters.” Denzel Whitaker: Oh, man, get outta here! KW: What have you been up to? DW: I have “My Soul to Take” coming out and a few ★WHITAKER Page 4

Click on Weekend



Harry C. Alford


Joseph Phillips

Beyond the Rhetoric

Perfect Tailgate Meal

Humorless Muslims & Annoying Christians



OCTOBER 7 – 13, 2010 | DEFENDER

OCTOBER 7 – 13, 2010 | DEFENDER



Texas Southern University is among several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) that will get its share of $850 million dollars as part of a White House Initative, money that TSU president, John Rudley says, is desperately needed. “Historically Black Universities are needed today perhaps even more than in the past,” Rudley said. “The number of at risk students of all backgrounds is only increasing. HBCUs were designed to support first generation college students who in many cases need more structure and guidance as they matriculate. It is our responsibility to strengthen our universities and work closely with high schools and community colleges to increase our students’ successful graduation. President Barack Obama signs an executive order for the White House Initiative on The additional aid that has been authorized Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the East Room of the White House by President Obama will help our research programs advance and will help us better prepare the next generation of leaders.” paring it to previous administrations since HBCU competition with community colleges But some, like Lincoln University President Jimmy Carter launched the pro- as an “issue.” President Ivory Nelson, say the windfall is gram by Executive Order in 1980. Wilson contends the money is there. not enough. “If you look at HBCUs as a Wilson sees a holistic approach taking “There’s too much money to say we’ve got whole, we receive three percent of the over- form. “Out of the $120 billion in higher edu- money flowing away from HBCUs,” Wilson all college population,” notes Nelson, a cation funding, four percent of that is going says. “We have a more informed and sensiGrambling University graduate in his 11th to HBCUs,” argues Wilson when asked what tive perspective when it comes to HBCUs year as Lincoln’s President. “But, we gradu- makes the current President’s initiative dif- and we are better resourced. Of the $40 bilate 25 percent of all African Americans ferent. lion in Pell Grants, a disproportionate share receiving a college degree. You don’t want to Yet, funding parity becomes a major issue goes to HBCU students.” lose that 25 percent — in fact, you want to when talking with HBCU supporters who Cheyney University President Michelle increase it.” describe a lack of federal funding to Black Howard-Vital also appears upbeat. “I think That’s exactly what the Obama administra- schools for research and development grants, we have a renewed opportunity with this tion hopes will happen. Officials recently a pot of gold for institutions seeking to president to state the case for HBCUs,” says rolled out its White House HBCU Initiative enhance prestige and attract additional fund- Howard-Vital. in a bit of fanfare during Congressional ing. Other HBCU presidents like Nelson are Black Caucus week, a follow-up to “There is a gap when the better funded also encouraged, but there is hesitation. Executive Order 13532 signed in February white institutions get the larger piece of the “$850 million is a good start, but it’s not that directs $850 million to HBCUs during pie for R&D,” observes one White House enough. It is over 10 years, spread out over the next 10 years. Initiative board member speaking anony- many different schools.” Overall, the spending has been viewed as a mously. And, it remains unclear how much boost, with the President committing $100 And critics express concern that communi- Members of Congress are helping to marshal million more than in previous years. White ty colleges, two-year institutions serving a resources for HBCUs in their states and disHouse HBCU Initiative Executive Director large share of minority students, are getting tricts. Democrats are generally supportive John S. Wilson Jr. is optimistic, describing federal dollars that could be shifted to full- of HBCU efforts, particularly when pushed the effort as “more empowered” when com- degree four-year HBCUs. Nelson cited by a unified effort from the Congressional

Black Caucus, which Wilson says works closely with his office. But, there is the usual pushback from Republicans who argue HBCU funding is “affirmative action” straining an already tight federal budget. Pennsylvania-delegation Members such as Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), whose 7th District houses Cheyney, were difficult to reach for comment. Yet, Howard-Vital heaps praise on Sestak for finding nearly $2 million in federal funding for science programs and scholarships. But, there is concern that Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.) has yet to visit Cheney or Lincoln’s campus. “Senator Specter has been here on several occasions,” says Howard-Vital of Cheyney. “Sen. Casey’s Chief of Staff has been here. But, I would like more interface with him.” Casey’s office claims the Senator has been instrumental in securing federal dollars for HBCUs, including $255 million annually supporting “minority-serving” institutions. “Senator Casey met with Dr. Howard-Vital when she was in DC this summer,” notes Casey press secretary Stephanie Zarecky. “Senator Casey’s office also worked closely with Cheyney [for] the hearing he chaired on college affordability at Temple University last year.” Marybeth Gasman, an Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania and a national expert on HBCUs, sees a much more “centralized” effort under the Obama administration. “The current HBCU Initiative is much better organized,” says Glasman. “Obama realized that the Initiative was not as centralized as it could be and so he asked the current director to pool the resources of all of the agencies — basically making them more accessible to HBCUs.” Still, the funding stream could be more robust argues Glasman. “It’s a start, but I think more could be done. HBCUs have long been underfunded at every level. Critics say that HBCUs are inferior, but they never discuss the unequal support at all levels that has existed from their inception through the current day.”


OCTOBER 7 – 13, 2010 | DEFENDER


continued from page 1 other projects in post-production. I did a little animation in between… shot a music video… and a lot of other stuff. KW: What interested you in making a horror film? DW: It’s funny you should ask that, because I didn’t really watch horror films prior to doing “My Soul to Take.” What interested me was Wes Craven’s coming back to the platform of writing and directing films, which he hadn’t done in awhile, and my being cast as a blind character. Both of those aspects sort of fascinated me as an actor. I ended up having a great time filming, and I saw the film the other day and I really enjoyed it. It was amazing! KW: What was the biggest challenge you faced in portraying this character. DW: Number one was removing all sight, and learning how to act without using one of the five senses. KW: How did you prepare for the role? DW: As a practice exercise, I’d usually just wear blindfolds around the house to allow my other senses to take me wherever I would like to go. KW: One of the shopworn conventions of the horror genre is that the Black guy always dies first? Don’t tell me that happens in “My Soul to Take.” DW: Wouldn’t that be giving away the film? KW: I suppose so. This is a 3-

One nation

continued from page 1 everyone, a secure home, justice for all people and quality education for our children,” said LaPhonza Butler in Los Angeles, the President of the SEIU LongTerm Care Workers. And after the event, participants did just that. They trained to canvass neighborhoods and then went out in the community to get out the vote. “What makes us most American is our commitment to persevere in the face of great odds – not just secure our family’s future but that of our neighbors too,” said Jealous. “Because we know our national destiny is to move ever forward, never backwards.”

VOLUME 79 • NUMBER 50 OCTOBER 7 – 13, 2010 Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Editor Von Jiles Associate Editor ReShonda Billingsley Art Director Cale Carter Columnist Yvette Chargois Sports Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison Contributing Writers Aswad Walker Webmaster Corneleon Block The Houston Defender Newspaper published by The Houston Defender Inc. Company (713) 663-6996. The Defender audited by Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscriptions, send $60.00 — 1 year, to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston, TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All materials covered by 2009 copyright... (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher).

D film. Is there any difference in your approach to acting when a film is being shot in 3D? DW: No, the film that we shot was post-converted to 3D. So, we didn’t actually shoot it in 3-D. KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film? DW: I guess the one message that you could take away from this film would be camaraderie, sticking together, whether in this life or in the afterlife. That’s one of the messages that hit home. But this movie is really just meant to be enjoyed for what it is by giving you the thrills that you’re looking for. KW: Were you ever scared on the set or have any nightmares while making this film? DW: No, the beauty of being an actor in a horror film is that you know what to expect and what’s coming. I get jumpier watching other horror films, because I don’t know what to expect. KW: The title of this film, “My Soul to Take,” comes from

the popular bedtime prayer, which begins, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” Did you recite it as a child? DW: Yes, my parents taught me the prayer. It makes sense that anybody with religious beliefs would pray that the Lord would watch over them and protect them as their sleeping. We just want to send that little message out to the Lord, “Take care of us.” KW: Are you ever afraid? DW: Yes I am. Life lends itself to fear. I’m going to go off on a little bit of a tangent here. That’s the beauty of life, the uncertainty that we experience, literally, as we go about our day-to-day activities. We’re not certain of anything, so fear comes up very often. Fear comes naturally. What’s important is how you deal with fear. I face it head-on, but I’m not too proud to admit that I do get afraid sometimes. KW: Are you happy? DW: I’m very happy and grateful to be in the position I’m in. KW: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

DW: Watching a Kenan Thompson sketch with Morgan Freeman on Saturday Night Live. It just had me rolling. I was dying. I love to laugh. I enjoy life. KW: What was the last book you read? DW: Gone Fishin’ by Walter Mosley. It was recommended to me by [director] John Singleton. KW: Maybe he wants to adapt it into a movie starring you. What are you listening to on your iPod? DW: I listen to a lot of different music. I love hip-hop. I’m a big underground rap fan. I listen to the likes of J. Cole. Lately, I’ve also been getting into techno house music. And I’ve been on an Eighties retro kick, and I’ve even been experimenting with some rock. KW: What is your favorite dish to cook? DW: I’m a big salmon guy. I even just cooked some salmon for breakfast today. KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

DW: To bring back free, expressive, creative thinking. KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? DW: I see me for who I am. KW: What is your earliest childhood memory? DW: Ooooh! Being scared out of my wits going to Chuck E. Cheese when I was three or four. I definitely did not like Chuck E. Cheese when I was younger. KW: Do you ever feel the pressure to not change creatively? DW: Yeah, I feel that sometimes. That’s why I avoid roles that might send me down a road where I might end up being typecast. You see what being typecast can do to a career. That’s the number one reason for the death of young actors’ careers, people get so used to seeing them playing that one character that they can’t accept them as anyone else. KW: Why do you love doing what you do? DW: Because I love expression and really connecting with people. As actors, we like

to tell stories because they can influence or even change people’s lives. It’s so cerebral, you never know who you can affect out there. KW: How do you get through the tough times? DW: Fortunately, both my parents, especially my mom, have guided me, and been amazing at handling my career and my finances. They taught me not to buy what I don’t need, when I’m not working that much. I’ve stuck to that regimen while persevering to land that next role and to stay alive in this industry. KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? DW: Create your own footsteps. KW: How do you want to be remembered? DW: I just want to be remembered as a great actor. KW: Well thanks again Denzel, and best of luck with the film. DW: Thank you, it was good to speak to you.


OCTOBER 7 – 13, 2010 | DEFENDER

Max Edison

on Sports

Unique Meeting This Sunday when the Giants visit Reliant Stadium, not only will there be a matchup between Matt Schaub and Eli Manning, Eric Winston and Justin Tuck, but a key match-up between a pair of friends that are two of the most respected young General Managers in the NFL. Rick Smith, Texan GM and Jerry Reese, Giants GM are part of the exclusive General Managers Fraternity, which numbers 32 members, with 5 being African-American. Both gentlemen have put together playoff caliber organizations. Jerry Reese is in his fourth season as the Giants GM. In Jerry’s first three seasons as the leader of the franchises football operations, the Giants have compiled a 30-18 record, won Super Bowl XLII, and the team has not had a sub.500 record. Rick Smith in his fifth year for the Texans, has taken an organization that was in shambles and has taken it to the brink of the playoffs. Under his guidance the Texans have amassed 31 wins since 2006, giving him the most wins for a general manager in franchise history. He was appointed to the NFL’s prestigious eightman Competition Committee by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Dec. 5, 2008. Smith was honored with the 2008 Tank Younger Award, presented annually by the Fritz Pollard Alliance for outstanding work in an NFL front office. John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance which works hand in hand with the NFL’s Rooney Committee for Diversity, ★EDISON, Page 6

Darrell Ardison

on H.S. Sports Sharpstown head football coach Devin Heasley worked his final game last Friday at Butler Stadium. The Yates Lions made it a less than memorable occasion by defeating the Apollos 34-0 to cap Heasley’s 25-year coaching career. But don’t feel sorry for the longtime Houston Independent School District (HISD) employee. Heasley is about to embark in a new career endeavor as an assistant athletic director in charge of football for HISD. The 49-year-old Heasley was selected by a school district committee from 68 applicants, 10 of whom were interviewed. New HISD athletic director Marmion Dambrino said Heasley has a great relationship with the coaches in HISD and is well-respected by the coaches. Heasley said he had bittersweet feelings about leaving the coaching fraternity but that he was excited about his new position. Starting in HISD as the head coach at Jackson Middle School, Heasley secured his first high school varsity head coaching job at Reagan High School. He guided the Bulldogs to their first victory in 40 games during his first season. After Reagan, Heasley spent 13 years at Scarborough High School ★ARDISON, Page 6


Texans Progress Report

Photo: Houston Texans

Texan QB Matt Schaub has relied more on his o-line and the running game to secure the 3-1 record. By Max Edison DEFENDER

Don’t look now, but with the first four games of the young NFL season concluded, the Texans are the team to beat in the AFC South. After hammering the Oakland Raiders last weekend (31-24), the Texans now sport a 3-1 record on the young season and find themselves in a unique position; sitting alone at the top of their division. The win gave Houston its best four-game start in franchise history at 3-1. We all know the lofty goals the team and their fans have set for the 2010 campaign. Nothing short of a playoff berth will be considered a success. With the first quarter of the season completed, the team has given every indication that they are up to the task. Most pundits break the NFL season into four sets of four games. Understand normal circumstances, if your favorite team wins at least three games in every four-game block; that equates to 12 wins and virtually assures a franchise of a playoff berth. Going into their ninth season, one thing we know about the Texans is that they have been notoriously slow starters in the past. This

year the team has emerged out the blocks with a dominating win over perennial division champion, the Indy Colts, thus showing the league they are a team not to be taken lightly. In his fifth year as the Texan GM, Rick Smith is pleased with the progress of his team. “I’m very happy with our progress after the first quarter of the season,” Smith explained. “It’s especially significant when you look at the rest of our division. We might be one of the few, if not the only division in football where we don’t have a team with a losing record.” Smith is also impressed with how his team has responded to the adversity of the season. Through injuries and key player suspensions, the team has maintained its focus. “I’ve been pleased with the way our football team has responded to some of the adversity we’ve faced in the first quarter of the season,” Smith opined. “We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m very pleased at where we are at this point.” Through the first quarter of the season, the biggest surprise by far has been the emer-

gence of second year, undrafted running back Arian Foster. Foster has shown that he is a bonafide NFL feature back. He currently leads the entire league in rushing with 537 yards through four games, with a phat average of 6.3 yards per carry. Against Oakland, Foster scored on a 74-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, which was the longest run in franchise history. Needless to say, Rick can’t say enough good things about Arian Foster performance. “He’s done an outstanding job,” Rick said. “We thought he could potentially be someone that was special, but I don’t know if anyone anticipated the meteoric rise that he’s had so far.” Credit the offense line as a unit for their stellar performance in creating running lanes for Foster and allowing Schaub the time he needs to be accurate downfield. As a result of Foster’s prowess, the Texans rank #2 in the NFL in total offense and #1 in rushing offense. Combining Foster’s rushing with the receiving of All-Pro receiver, Andre Johnson and the accuracy of Pro Bowl QB Matt ★TEXANS, Page 6

Madison Marlins settling in for the long haul By Darrell K. Ardison DEFENDER

Madison head football coach Ray Seals stopped short of calling it a “must win.” Yet with defending District 205A champion Westside on tap this week at Butler Stadium (Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.), Seals was looking for a sign that his team had turned the corner in search of another successful season and postseason bid. “This was a big game for both us and Chavez. We couldn’t afford to lose this game,” Seals said. “A loss would have put us in a position where we had to win the remaining district games to get in the playoffs. Although we want to win all the games we have left on the schedule, now we don’t have to win all of them. If we win two or three more, then we don’t have to depend on anyone helping us to get in. That’s the position we want to be in.” Senior running back Christopher Williams rushed for 262 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Marlins past Chavez 31-14 to improve to 2-0 in district play and 3-2 overall. Williams had scoring runs of 40, 55 and 25 yards, the last two coming in the fourth quarter after Chavez had rallied to within 17-14. “I have to credit my offensive line and the receivers for good blocking and opening up some lanes for me to run in,” Williams said. “My teammates and I have

Madison Marlins prepare to play Chavez at Barnett Stadium been working hard in practice and it’s beginning to pay off.” Madison opened the season with tough losses to Pearland and Fort Bend Bush before registering the first win of the season (17-7) against longtime rival Yates. The Marlins began their district ledger with a victory over Sam Houston. The loss to Bush was particularly galling to Seals because of the way the victory slipped away. “We tell the kids all the time that you can’t play Santa Claus in September,” Seals said. “Don’t get me wrong, Bush won the game. But we gave up some things that didn’t help our cause. Off-side penalties and fumbles

along with snapping the ball over the punter’s head are things we’ve worked on since then to alleviate. “Tonight everybody took a step in the right direction to raise our play to a higher level,” Seals said. “We’re not that much better than Chavez. But we played a complete game without mental lapses and physical miscues.” Through the first five games of the season, the Madison offensive line has remained a constant positive factor. “We’ve got a lot of potential, but we’re not where we want to be just yet,” Seals said. “Blocking is not our problem. Concentrating and mental lapses

are areas of concern. When we cut out the illegal procedure penalties and things of that nature, we’re a good football team. “We’re not a first-and-15 football team,” Seals said. “As long as we can keep the yardage we need to four, five or six yards and throw the ball when we need to, then we’re a good football team. If we can get our linemen to sit there, have patience and concentrate a lot more, we’re going to be all right.” Seals confided that with the addition of Westbury to District 20-5A due to the University ★MADISON, Page 6



OCTOBER 7 – 13, 2010 | DEFENDER



Schaub and you’ve got an offense that causes plenty of sleepless nights for opposing defensive coordinators. “We’ve wanted to run the ball and be balanced as long as we’ve been here. We’ve just not had the good fortune of being as successful as we have this year,” Smith continued. “Gary (Kubiak) talks a lot about the fact that if you can run the ball it translates to being a physical football team and that’s what we want to be. We want to be physical both offensively and defensively. I’m very impressed with the way the offensive line has come together.” Great thing the Texans are playing at a high level offensively because defensively they have been in a word, “horrible.” They rank last in the NFL in total defense. Opponents have taken advantage of their inexperienced corners, throwing for over 800 yards in the first two games alone. The defensive unit has been decent against the run. “We’ve got to continue to play better on defense, particularly as it relates to pass defense,” the GM proclaimed. “We’ve not performed well and our guys understand that and are paying a lot of attention to it. Of course it’s a lot easier to make those corrections and try to improve when you’re on the better side of the W column. You still can’t get too comfortable, especially when you know you’re not playing up to the ability you’re capable of.” Starting a pair of cornerbacks that total a year and four games of NFL experience does contribute to some of those woes, but Smith is confident in their ability to improve. “When you make the decision to go young, especially in the secondary, you make the decision with the understanding that you’re going to go through some growing pains and we certainly are experiencing that. If you can do that and continue to get better and the young guys gain experience and you’re winning, it’s the best of both worlds.” They will get a much-needed boost when linebacker Brian Cushing, arguably their best defensive player, returns after serving a four-game league-imposed suspension. Expect Cushing to immediately make his presence known when he returns this weekend against the New York Giants, the team he grew up rooting for. “He (Cushing) does bring that added intensity and physicality to our group,” Smith said. “Brian will help us from a pass defense stand point. He was one of the leaders in interceptions on our football team last year. As physical as he is against

beams like a proud poppa when speaking of Reese and Smith. “I couldn’t be happier when I reflect on the success both Jerry and Rick have enjoyed,” Wooten shared. “Those two gentlemen are just another example that if given a chance diversity works if given the opportunity. Not only are they extremely bright men that know how to run their organizations, but they’re also top quality people.” At some point in the future mentions like this won’t be necessary, but until we get to that point I’ll keep reminding you. Bowling for the Cure Pink Vision, a new cause-marketing company supporting breast cancer organizations, will host “The Official Pink Party to Strike Out Breast Cancer” at Lucky Strike Lanes on Friday, October 22, 2010. Supporters can party with a purpose from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the upscale bowling lounge. Event highlights include the “Strike Out Breast Cancer” bowling tournament, “Gambling for a Cure” on the black jack table, “Pose for the Pink Paparazzi ,” a silent auction and the Celebration of Life Session, where breast cancer survivors will share their stories through inspiring survivor boards and moving live testimonies. Pink Vision co-founder and breast cancer survivor Michelle Stephenson is very passionate about getting the word out about breast cancer education. She gives back by volunteering through various breast cancer support groups such as Reconstruction of a Survivor, where she serves on the advisory board, as well as participating in the Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure.” “As a five-year breast cancer survivor and losing my mother to the disease in 2008 at the age of 59, I decided that I wanted to use my public relations, marketing and event planning skills to help promote breast cancer nonprofit organizations to get the funding that they need,” said Stephenson. “I want to make sure funding for breast cancer research is spread out a little more, especially for women of color and men.” Proceeds from the event will go to Pink Vision’s nonprofit partners, which include The Rose, Houston’s leading nonprofit organization that specializes in breast health and early detection services, and Reconstruction of a Survivor, which connects patients and survivors with support groups. One out of eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. While there is no cure, Pink Vision is committed to fighting this disease with the best weapons we have: awareness about the disease and funding for educational programs. For more information, to purchase tickets or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the event, please visit or send an email to

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Photo: Houston Texans

The return of Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Cushing will improve the Texan defense. the run, he does bring an added dimension in pass defense as well. The bottom line though is everybody’s got to step up and we’ve got to play better defense as a whole.” The second quarter of the season will be a tough row to hoe. They host the Giants and Chiefs in successive weeks. They have a bye during week seven, then resume play

traveling to Indy for a rematch with the Colts and then return home to face the San Diego Chargers. Three of the next four games are in the friendly confines of Reliant Stadium, but the competition is top notch. Expect the Texans to continue their march toward the playoffs.



continued from page 5 before taking over at Sharpstown last season. The Apollos finished 6-5 overall and 5-1 in district play to advance to the playoffs before losing to Jones. Offensive coordinator Jeff Whitehall will take over as Sharpstown’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Austin Suffers First Loss When Pete Gareri arrived at Houston’s Stephen F. Austin High School in 2005, he had 22 players in his program. The numbers began to slowly increase after Gareri and his Pete Gareri staff took to the hallways in search of players. This season, the Mustangs are up to 115 players, with the varsity numbering between 35 and 45 players. Austin won its first four games of the season before falling to Sam Rayburn 37-30 in a nondistrict game last week. Austin looks to get back on the winning track this week against Jeff Davis and improve its district record to 2-0 in hopes of securing a playoff berth for the first time since 2002.

Madison running back Christopher Williams with head coach Ray Seals


continued from page 5 Interscholastic League (UIL) bi-annual re-alignment, the league has become a tougher one to navigate and secure a playoff berth. Westbury is 5-0 to begin a season for the first time in school history. “I watched Westbury play Milby and I didn’t like what I saw,” Seals said. “They’ve got a lot of team speed and they’re going to be tough to handle.” Meanwhile, Seals and his staff are concerning themselves with developing alternatives to Williams in the rushing game. While Williams touted the pigskin a game-high 29 times against Chavez, quarterback Demarcus Willis had eight carries for 38 yards and Reginald Smith added four carries for 21 yards.

“Chris is really not a 30 carries per game type player,” Seals said. “But we’re thin at the running back position and we’re having to tailor our offense to the personnel that we have. Chris does a good job for us, but he’s aware of areas that he needs to improve in like changing directions and blocking. “We’re not normally a one-back offense. We’d rather gear for a twoback set and not limit our options,” Seals said. Williams said he’s eager to do whatever it takes to win games for his team. In Madison’s opening drive against Chavez, Williams carried the ball three of the first five plays before going the distance from 40 yards out to give Madison an early 7-0 advantage. Senior place-kicker Raymundo Cordova booted a 20-yard field goal with seven minutes, 50 seconds left in

the second quarter to increase the lead to 10-0. Later in the stanza, wide receiver Terrance Lee hauled in a 61yard touchdown pass from Willis that enabled Madison to take a 17-0 edge into halftime. Chavez scored the first two touchdowns of the second half to climb with three points in the fourth quarter. That’s when Williams sealed the victory with his late heroics. “We knew that we had some other good teams to play on our schedule and we worked hard in practice so that we could come out and play good football when it was game time,” Williams said. “We’re excited about the way things are going right now. We want to get back at practice and continue getting better for the rest of the season.”


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OCTOBER 7 – 13, 2010 | DEFENDER

GM global designer leads the way

Ed Welburn demonstrates automotive genius By Catherine Kelly

ing its commitment to design. And Welburn is leading the effort. Welburn, one of the highestranking Black automobile executives in the world, says much of his Innovative design, understand- inspiration comes from his backing, and the importance of diversity ground. Welburn has loved automoare guiding philosophies for biles since he was a child when his General Motors Vice father, a car enthusiast President of Global himself, took him to an Design, Ed Welburn. auto show in “Exposure. Reading. Philadelphia. Travel, whenever posWelburn received his sible…and don’t be art training from Howard afraid to take risks,” University in says Welburn about Washington, D.C. He the preparation for livattended the historically ing and working in an Black college in the early increasingly global 1970s and said the “interworld. disciplinary” aspect of Since 2003, Ed Welburn the experience prepared Welburn, 59, is only him for his current role the sixth design leader that an art school could in General Motors’ history and not have. heads what may be the largest “Life began to open up quite a bit design organization in the world. for me when I went to Howard He leads 10 design centers in eight University. The School of Fine Arts countries and manages 1,500 cre- was a fascinating place [to be.] Art, ative personalities. It’s not uncom- music and drama…with students mon to find Welburn at a 6 a.m. like Debbie Allen, Roberta Flack, design review or on a late night Phylicia Rashad and Donny conference call — he is, after all, Hathaway,” said Welburn in an accommodating the world’s time interview with the Black Press. He zones. Design is around the clock recalls hearing Flack play the piano work at a global company. when he was on his way to class After the well-publicized news of and believes his time at Howard General Motors’ financial woes, contributed to his creative developsubsequent bailout and new stock ment. offering, the company is maintainWelburn said studying sculpture (PUBLISHER –THE MICHIGAN CITIZEN & SPECIAL CONTRIBUTING EDITOR TO THE NNPA)


continued from page 1 tial ethical misconduct and “inappropriate contact” between Houston City Council members and a security contractor, documents uncovered that Johnson may have influenced the contract selection. Reportedly, Councilman Jarvis Johnson’s office pressured city officials to certify a security firm as a minority-owned business to win a lucrative subcontract for the company, which later gave a 40 percent ownership stake to a close Johnson associate. The DA’s office is investigating whether Johnson’s associate, Michael R. Harris, helped arrange for the company, Elite Protective Services, to become a subcontractor for a firm that in 2009 won the city’s two main security jobs worth more than $66 million. Elite Protective Services’ interest in the two contracts is $8.9 million. Harris then bought a 40percent ownership in Elite

Protective Services the following month. And in June 2009, Elite got its biggest contract in its short twoyear history. The prime contractor is Wackenhut Security, who will receive more than $66 million over the next few years to guard city-owned buildings and parks. Harris and Elite’s current owners are locked in a bitter breach of contract lawsuit because Harris claims he’s owed money. Harris, who is suing the firm for $1 million, alleged in his lawsuit that the company’s principal owners have misappropriated funds and have declined to provide him with information about its financial condition even though he was “instrumental in obtaining contracts for Elite totaling more than $4 million.” Elite officials say they had no knowledge until recently that Johnson or his staff were advocating on their behalf and that they obtained work as subcontractors without the help of Harris, whom the city hired in 2009 as a lobbyist in Austin. They alleged in a


continued from page 1 disclose graduation and job placement rates, along with debt levels and incomes of their graduates to prospective students and the department. Additionally, institutions would also have to provide a five-year projection of enrollment, documentation from employers stating that the institution’s programs meet their business needs, projected job vacancies, and job requirements before the program can become eligible to participate in federal student aid. Milton Anderson, president of Virginia College’s branch in Jackson, Miss. and a spokesman for the Coalition for Education Success, which opposes the proposed regulations, said that 1.2 million students enrolled at career schools are minorities. “I am concerned that the proposed rule casts too broad and too general a brush on many institutions, some of whom are doing an excellent job at serving economically disadvantaged and minority students,” wrote Jackson, in a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Sept. 15.

The innovation of Welburn is evident in the new GM design. at Howard made his drawings much “looser” and him a better designer. “Some of my favorite courses were the life drawing classes. Some of my first drawings were stiff and mechanical but by the time I left, my work had more emotion, passion…good car design has passion.” Along with his everyday work, Welburn is still involved in the arts. General Motors hosts art shows at its design center and the auto executive has been known to paint in his private time. Welburn believes that creativity offers value and opportunity. While many parents may encourage their children to stay on more traditional career paths, he believes there is opportunity in creative fields such as design.

countersuit that Harris “continuously stated that a particular City Council member would push to get Elite the subcontract with the city of Houston.” In its countersuit, Elite alleges that Harris said he “wanted to offer interest in the company to political figures in return for favors.” Elite Protective Services further faults Harris, who Councilman Johnson calls his personal lawyer, for failing to work for the company as promised, did not specifically name any council members. Benjamin Hall, an attorney representing Harris, denied the allegations and said the lawsuit was simply an effort by Harris to find out the value of the company. While Hall acknowledged that there was a subpoena for information, he added that “whether or not there is any wrongdoing is a wholly separate inquiry.” There’s no word on how long the District Attorney’s investigation will take.

Gary voiced his concerns in a newspaper oped. “The proposed regulations are aimed at institutions whose graduates don’t often become CEOs, doctors and lawyers. Career schools produce nurses, auto mechanics, computer technicians and other skilled workers, whose services are often overlooked and devalued in our society.” In response to the objections and concerns raised, the department said in a statement that it would delay publication of the new rules to take “additional time to consider the comments we received and to host several meetings and public hearings in the coming weeks.” The new regulations were scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1. “Let me be clear: we’re moving forward on gainful employment regulations,” Duncan said in a statement. “While a majority of career colleges play a vital role in training our workforce to be globally competitive, some bad actors are saddling students with debt they cannot afford in exchange for degrees and certificates they cannot use.” The department expects the regulations to now take effect in the summer of 2012.

“Parents tend to direct [children] to fields they know they will be accepted in. … We have a building full of sculptors, artists who are working in the industry.” Welburn, who regularly travels to Brazil, Columbia, Argentina and China, also says cultural fluency and diversity are important. Although, it’s sometimes hard to try new things, adventure and being open-minded are important aspects of his work, and has helped him in his current position. “I took an assignment in Germany and I wondered if I would be accepted. I didn’t have a place to get my hair cut so that was something to deal with but I love the cultural diversity…the challenges.” Today, Welburn says he has

friends around the world. “And, I connect with them as strongly as I do with my old friends from Howard.” Welburn says the future of General Motors is in global collaboration. “It is the future,” says Welburn. “The development of the new Buick Lacrosse is a very good example of a collaboration of disciplines.” The car, sold in the United States and China is the result of German engineers, and U.S. and Chinese design teams. “It is far better than either team would have done separately…”



continued from page 1 provides connectivity services and solutions to Fortune 1000 companies. With over 30 years of experience in a wide range of operating and management roles at AT&T and Comcast, most recently serving as Executive Vice President of Business Services for AT&T Broadband, Jefferson is a lawyer who is also the Senior Pastor at Metropolitan Baptist Church (6,000 congregation), an active participant in numerous community-based organizations, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and the American Bar Association in New Jersey, and a person intent on bringing more high quality jobs to the Houston community. The Defender had an opportunity to sit down with this high-powered, low profile civic-minded entrepreneur to glean insights on his past, present and future. Defender: What led you to such a diverse array of careers: minister, lawyer & businessman? David Jefferson: I thought it was a natural evolution because my dad was a minister who worked at the Louisiana ammunitions plant & pastored several churches. This was a common thing if a congregation could not completely support its pastor, especially in the south. Bi-vocationalism was something I always saw as natural. Defender: What is required for you to be successful in multiple professions? Jefferson: To be bi-vocational you must have the appropriate people in your structure. I go after the best people I can find and then I place them in positions that align with their skill set. I believe in empowering people and allowing them to do what they do best. Defender: What motivated you to make the pursuit of law one of your goals? Jefferson: There were 15 children in my family—10 boys and five girls. My dad always wanted someone in the family to become a doctor and some-

OCTOBER 7 – 13, 2010 | DEFENDER

one to be a lawyer. One of my brothers was on his way to become a doctor until he got called to military. And I always remembered my dad’s wishes. That was a major motivator. Also, I earned an MBA from the University of Dayton around 1974-75, about the time the country went into a recession. I felt I needed a fallback in case I hit a snag in the corporate arena. Defender: Who or what inspired you to take such a demanding professional path? Jefferson: When I was coming along the visibility of Benjamin Hooks, a minister, lawyer, first Black on the FCC, and NAACP president; Dr. Martin Luther King, a pastor and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and Adam Clayton Powell, a minister and politician, all had an impact on me. I honestly thought it was normal. Defender: How do you bridge the gap between the church world and the business world? Jefferson: The more I have matured in life, the more I have understood all of this, whether running a church or running a business, is about serving and relating to people. On Sundays, it’s about inspiring people to live a better life. During the week, it’s about putting those principles into practice in your profession as an extension of your faith, because you can’t live without education. You can’t live without a job. We must work at making a connection between the importance of one’s professional life and one’s spirituality. To do this I seek to help people connect scriptures to whatever they do in life. Some individuals and companies, however, are so bottom line driven they aren’t making the connection. For example, I’m very concerned when banks don’t lend. Then, small businesses can’t be the engine for economic recovery. Small businesses hire more than the larger institutions. Defender: How did you get involved as a subcontractor with COMCAST? Jefferson: I spent 34 years in the telecom and cable space with AT&T. So I had an opportunity to work with

Jefferson receives one of his two MBAs from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which has contributed to his business savvy. the leadership of Comcast and others. During that time I had a vision for providing jobs in neighborhoods where Comcast operated; neighborhoods in need of development. I presented my vision to Comcast leadership and they were excited about it. And the sharing of that vision was the foundation of JNET Communications. We’ve been in business for seven-plus years now and my vision is that we will continue to grow. I intend to cultivate more relationships with other companies. Defender: What is your Houston connection and how are you generating jobs here? Jefferson: We have two main Houston connections: the financier connection and the jobs connection. Compass BBVA is our financial partner located right there in Houston. Without their support and the access to capital they provide, there are no jobs. Our relationship will Compass BBVA allows us to grow jobs in Houston. (In regard to jobs) Specifically we are creating more jobs for technicians. See, we are connected to Comcast in Houston because we are an authorized partner of Comcast. As such, we install high speed data, video, and voice over IP services for Comcast customers throughout the Houston area. We are growing jobs with an average salary of $25,000 and up. We provide health-

care, visual care and training. And jobs are open and available right now. Those interested can apply immediately by going to our website at Defender: What advice do you have for fellow ministers regarding having an impact that stretches beyond their church? Jefferson: First, ministers have to have some sense of the broader environment. Education helps. It’s the passport to success. Also, we must address outreach and evangelism by restoring spiritual values and morals into or community. Next, encourage churches to get involved in the schools that serve your community. We must also engage the community to lead in the formation of a broader vision of the transformation of our economic environments. We can’t wait for politicians to do it because at the end of the day the elected officials don’t own our children. They belong to us. We must drive the process. We must take responsibility. When we sit back and wait for others to do for us what we can do for ourselves we abdicate our power. I always deal with a message of victory and hope. We must change those things that are within our power to change. See, with faith there must be something that is made manifest. It is the height of hypocrisy when we

live in societies in disarray. We have to show our children that there are more ways to make a living than rapping and playing sports. We need to offer up a different path. At JNET we have 50 employees in Houston and we hope to be around 100 in the next five-to-six months. We have 1,500 employees around the country. That’s important. That’s a model for success. Defender: What advice do you have for lawyers and business professionals for conducting their affairs with an eye on their relationship with God? Jefferson: First, provide the best service we can. We owe it to our customers to do so. Next, give back to our community. Success flows back from that venue. A lot of the legal work I do is pro bono—helping kids who get in trouble. For, to whom much is given much is required. Also, we must become more of a community of faith by helping support each other. I just assisted my friend Al Sharpton by orchestrating 70 busses to go down to D.C. to the Reclaim the Dream March. Scores of young people in Philly wanted to go, so we worked it out. Young people want to be connected to something with a purpose. Everything can’t be for a buck. We need to do the right thing because it’s needed. Defender: Have you shunned the spotlight on purpose? Jefferson: Yes. I wanted to work out the bugs in my professional development, and now the cake is fully baked. So now, I deal with the Holy Grail of infrastructure: high speed data, video, and voice over IP. This is what I install. We give Blacks and Latinos three-to-four weeks of training so they can install these computers, modems, internet, flat screen TVs. So even if they don’t stay with us they have a technology career. We (JNET) are the only African American company with a national footprint in this area of installation and construction. That’s big. We also have a call center area where we’re hiring. To make it this far is a miracle and the grace of God. Many have worked with us. Now we are primed to launch even further.

Houston Defender: October 7, 2010  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source

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