Page 1

Volume 1

Number 2

Sept/Oct 2017

Light of truth Center:

A safe place for Recovery and Rediscovery....4


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MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR Volume 1 Number 2

September/ October 2017

Listen to Your Heart

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James MANAGING EDITOR Tiffany C. Ginyard CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Laurence C. Washington FILM CRITIC BlackFlix.Com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS James Michael Brodie Tiffany Christy Kim Farmer Angela Gustus Charles Emmons ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jody Gilbert Kolor Graphix PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Melovy Melvin CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Tiffany Christy

The Baltimore Urban Spectrum is a monthly online publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color in and around the city of Baltimore. Contents of the Baltimore Urban Spectrum are copyright 2017 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Baltimore Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Baltimore Urban Spectrum c/o Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at www.denverurbanspectrum.com.

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met some of Baltimore’s beautiful people. i met a bi-racial couple who identified themselves as homeless and travel through the Penn north area to access housing resources and other social services. i learned from their story that the female in the partnership, who is white, said she is profiled by the police, who assume she’s in the neighborhood to buy drugs, and her Black boyfriend is her pusher. i met a community leader in the most unlikely place: the stoops of an abandoned row-home at the corner on Pennsylvania Ave. to passersby, he looks like a loiterer, dressed in a trap star’s uniform— white tee and baggy jeans. i’m glad i kept an open mind because the truth is we caught him taking a rest between visits to elderly neighbors who call on him for odd jobs or to run errands. he’s known in the neighborhood, but not for trouble, and he carries with him a presence that lets people know he’s not going to entertain it either. What started as an interview turned into a rich conversation between homies just kickin’ it. his answers to my questions revealed that he wanted to see more jobs and places for youth to spend their time constructively. When i asked him if he faced barriers accessing healthcare, he said yes, noting that he’s walking with a bullet lodged in his body from an incident when he tried to keep the peace between two hustlers fighting over territory over two years go. even though we sat steps away from the Penn-north branch of Baltimore’s Department of Social Services, where he could apply for Medicaid, the 24-year-old admits not having the computer skills to complete the application, and the stories he’s heard about how people are treated as consumers keeps him from trying. But he’s hopeful that he’ll land a job that offers benefits.

his fall, Baltimore is getting back to basics. And, i’m loving it. Since the Spectrum’s one on one with Mayor Catherine Pugh and the Baltimore Ceasefire in August, i’ve been feeling a connection to my beloved city that i haven’t felt in a long time. i’ve been feeling super connected, a sense of belonging. it’s taking me back to the days when white people still lived in my neighborhood, and neighbors weren’t friends or foes, but family. Back when it was safe to be outside in broad daylight, and back to those summer nights my mother would let me stay out extra late with my friends on the front porch, even after the streetlights came on. When i turn on the news in this moment, the media would remind me that those days are no longer among us, but this deep sense of nostalgia i’ve been experiencing lately is telling me those days aren’t as distant as i chose to think. here lately, i have been hitting the bricks – getting in where i fit in. So, i signed up for the Penn-north Listening tour Project, sponsored by the Baltimore Community Mediation Center. the listening tour is a model used throughout the united States, and countries throughout the world, to assess the needs of a community. the project organizes volunteers, leaders, and citizens in a community, equips them with communication skills specific to active listening, and dispatches them to canvass neighborhoods offering an opportunity for people to have their voices heard. With a three-page questionnaire in hand, i went out with a team of Baltimoreans: a Muslim brother, myself, and a 21-year-old young lady from the area, who was also my team leader—so inspiring. together, we

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for more information of what the people who participated in the Pennnorth Listening tour, visit www.communitymediation.org. in this issue is Vaile Leonard’s story of how her journey to recovery led to founding the Light of truth Center, a home for women searching for a safe place to recover from addition and rediscover themselves. the story of a prominent Black business continues in Angela gustus’ “rise, fall & resurrection of g & M oil.” Columnist Michael Brodie addresses political pundits who draw comparisons between the 45th PotuS and Adolf hitler in “Comparing trump to the nazis misses the mark, and the point.” And if you’re still thinking about how you can tune up your mindset, check out my article “Mental fitness.” Before i sat down to pen this letter i came across this quote in the october issue of Science of Mind magazine that revealed for me a profound truth that has been challenging the way i see my city and my role as a citizen in it: “Everything that is understood will be forgiven. There is no question about that….I do not know when such an understanding will come to the world so that nations will be able to lay down their arms. It will come, not today or tomorrow perhaps, but nothing can finally combat it. That process is infinite, painstakingly slow, but certain. Everything that is in line with unity is in the process of winning.” After sitting with this message in my consciousness, i realized that i truly believe that for myself, my family, my community, my country, and my world. Do you? truth is, circumstances change when we do; and it is our responsibility to ourselves – and our community – to examine the thoughts we keep about them. Are we holding thoughts filled with hope or pessimism? Are we setting intentions that serve ourselves and the greater good at the same time, or are we setting goals to meet quotas to expand our agendas alone? Are we living in fear as victims, or are will living mindfully as change agents? have we settled for being victims of victimization or are we setting intentions to live in a spirit of resilience and nonjudgment? What thoughts are you challenging yourself to change today? until next time, Live. Love. Be more.

Tiffany C. Ginyard

BUS editor


Allowing Darkness to Shed Light The Spiritual Journey of Vaile Leonard By Claire Dorsey

When rev. Vaile Leonard found-

ed Baltimore’s Light of truth Center 17 years ago, she knew nothing about how to open a house for women in recovery. “it was the response to a spiritual experience,” said Leonard, who in recovery herself, went to a center to pick up a sponsor from a recovery house. What she found changed her life. “When i walked in, i was overwhelmed,” she recalled. “it was filthy. it looked like a place where people went to use drugs instead of a place to get clean from drugs. Something ignited in me in that instant. i wept for an hour. What came up in me was we could do better than this.” Leonard took her time, developing her vision of creating a safe, supported place for women to recover. With members of her spiritual community at one god one thought Center for Better Living, she conceptualized the creation of Light of truth. “We spoke the word of what we wanted it to feel like when (women) came in,” she said. “We wanted it to feel like home, to feel safe. We wanted them to feel loved.” Leonard cultivated her vision for almost a year before she opened the first house, incorporating resources that were successful in her own recovery. today, Light of truth includes a housing, training and restoration center in east Baltimore; housing on the city’s West side; and two additional housing facilities scheduled to open in

Sandtown in 2018. Leonard calls the properties “inheritances” she donated to the Light of truth, that are divinely and strategically placed. Leonard said that the majority of the women the center serves are middle to lower income. they face with drugs and alcohol at every turn, and need to learn to manage recovery. “i don’t care where you are or where you go, there are drugs and alcohol,” she said, adding that the houses “immaculate,” like “five-star hotel!” “We want to teach that you don’t have to live poor just because you are in a poor neighborhood,” she said. “in order to raise someone’s consciousness from where they are, how they’ve been living, you’ve got to put them in an environment conducive to that change. We create an environment conducive to recovery.” Light of truth uses a distinctive model that views addiction a threefold challenge of mind, body and spirit. “We address those issues for the whole person to recover,” she said. “We give a solid foothold in recovery for transition into mainstream life, preparing women to be fully restored to themselves, their families and the community. Light of truth also offers genderresponsive programs where wholeness is at the forefront: hair care, skin care, how to dress, social skills, how to handle finances.

“When you’ve been on the street, your world is reduced to getting drugs, using drugs,” Leonard explained. “You are thinking about survival. You are not thinking about making good decisions.” Light of truth’s Shift program (Sharing hope, inspiration, forgiveness and trust) has been instrumental in supporting the residents by inviting women from the community to come in and share their gifts, talents and perspectives. Many residents are also in 12-step programs and the center’s Spirituality Program enhances those teachings by exposing residents to spiritual principles. the center’s newest program, family recovery, offers residents’ family members an opportunity once a month to expand their understanding about addiction and share their pains. “Sometimes we need to see something to aspire to something that can heal from the inside out, not the outside in,” she said. Light of truth is 95 percent managed by volunteers, from the house manager, to the bookkeeper, to the Ceo. Most have been involved more than a decade. the centers have not been consistently funded, with support for the five buildings coming from the community. that support allows us to do things “without fear,” with volunteers

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who embrace the mission of creating fertile ground for women to spiritually unfold. “We are in service at the Light of truth,’’ she said. “helping people, there is an expectation of an outcome. Serving people, you give unconditionally. We don’t work here. We serve here.” Leonard’s passion is about building an organization that is self-sustainable safe housing for women when everyone else has turned them away. She describes the Light of truth as a nonprofit with a semi-corporate structure based on spirituality. her faith is the anchor. “instead of grants, we look at what we need to accomplish and how we would create it with the absence of funds,” she said. “i live in full faith, trusting in god for the next thing and all things. i am the addict they said would never make it. But my addiction was my spiritual unfolding, the journey to my purpose.” the Light of truth program has earned the Maryland Seal of excellence for non-profits, as well as a citation from the Mayor of Baltimore for providing consistent service to the community. the center raises revenue through clothing sales in the spring that cover insurance costs, and an annual gala in September, which Leonard describes as “recovery Month.” . Editor’s note: Claire Dorsey has worked as an actress for almost 20 years. She is a performing poet, and writer. She collaborated with photographer Kwasi Noire on a volume of poetry titled Rhythms of a Life.


Mental Fitness By Tiffany Ginyard

I

t’s easy to neglect our mental health when there seem to be more pressing health disparities vying for our immediate attention these days. As heart disease, diabetes and cancer are on a rise in the African-American community, we are challenged to adopt better eating habits and make room in our daily lives for physical fitness. But what about our minds? Daily stressors and anxiety, if gone unchecked, can not only lead to fatigue and depression, but can also begin to affect your physical wellbeing. “So many of the illnesses we hear about (in the Black community) have a connection to the stress that people have in their daily lives, and they’re not dealing with it,” says terrie Williams, motivational speaker and author of Black Pain: it Just Looks Like We’re not hurting. “When we’re not paying attention to the stress that’s eating us up, it does increase our chances for developing heart disease, cancer and hypertension.” Williams, a formal publicist and clinical social worker, suffered from chronic depression most of her adult life, and like most African-Americans, opted to suffer in silence until, out of nowhere, she experienced an emotional breakdown – a three-day episode of insomnia, waking up in the mornings with crippling fear, binge eating and staying in bed for days on end. But she says we can stop the breakdowns before they occur, and in fact, minimize the toll daily stress takes on our minds and bodies if we take our mental health just as serious as our physical health. here, Williams suggests some ways to keep your mind just as fit as your body. Feed Your Mind – fresh foods provide us with lots of energy. And since the brain is a metabolically charged organ, eating well-balanced meals containing fresh green vegetables and other energy producing nutrients is essential. Also high levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to modulate mood, emotion, sleep and appetite, will keep you on the up and up. Consuming turkey, black-eyed

peas, whole grains, rice and other dairy products will help. Retreat to Nature – try taking a two-mile walk in the park at least once or twice a week. take in the scenery and enjoy what nature has to offer. fresh air gives so much positive energy, says Williams. Soft winds, rustling leaves, trickling water and singing birds have a calming effect. if you

can’t get away for a long walk, go outside for lunch or sit out on the front porch after a day’s work just to calm your nerves before resuming your afternoon activities. Get in a Good Laugh – Laughter is a good stress fighter because it reduces the levels of stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine and increases health-enhancing hormones

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like endorphins and neurotransmitters. So curl up in front of the tV and tune in to your favorite movie or sitcom and laugh the night away. Williams says watching “Martin” reruns always helps her shake off the blues of a stressful day. Write It Out – Start a journal to record your feelings, thoughts and motivations, and write as often as possible. freeing your mind of crowded thoughts leaves room to make clear decisions. Putting a pen to paper has proven to be therapeutic, because it provides a vehicle for self-discovery and clarity as it allows you to witness your thoughts and feelings from an external perspective. Focus Your Posture – it may sound strange, but being in a slumped position sends the message to your body that you are down and blue, not to mention oxygen is being improperly transported to the brain, says Williams. Better posture translates to better breathing, as well as being able to digest food more efficiently. Bad posture leads to poor respiration, poor digestion, which leads to poor chemical, mental, and physical functions. this triad of dysfunction creates a worsened mood. .


Comparing Trump to the Nazis Misses the Mark, and the Point

By James Michael Brodie

I no

longer compare Donald trump and his movement to Adolf hitler and the nazi Party. it is not appropriate. it is also not accurate. in the united States, the enemy has always been the Confederacy and its supporters. And judging by recent events in Charlottesville, Charleston and other places, nothing has changed. the Confederates were not always called that. they started out as the founding fathers, freedom fighters who only deemed the Africans they owned as “human” enough to allow the enslavers to use them to garner more votes. this proportional voting was the genesis of the electoral College. the Confederates evolved and took seats on the united States Supreme Court, where they ruled in the 1857 Dred Scott Case, where Chief Justice roger B. taney wrote that Blacks had “…no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” Several Southern newspapers, declaring victory, said, “the Southern opinion upon the subject of Southern slavery is now the supreme law of the land.” it was not uncommon for the scientific community in those days to use enslaved Africans, regarded as animals who felt no pain, as live guinea pigs for medical experimentation. James Marion Sims, referred to known as the “father of modern gynecology,” developed a surgical technique to address the issue of complications of obstructed childbirths. he used enslaved women as subjects because, in his view, unlike blacks, White women were unable to stand the pain involved. this disregard for Black life extended well into the last century. the tuskegee Syphilis experiment, con-

ducted between 1932 and 1972 by the u.S. Public health Service, monitored the progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men in Alabama under the guise of offering free health care. When the nation decided to move away from the practice of slavery, those who were encouraged by the Scott Decision sought to break away from the u.S., form their own nation, and base it on the bedrock belief in genetic superiority. in their articles of secession, georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, texas and Virginia stated their defense of slavery, and their belief in their own genetic superiority, as justification for creating a new country. texas summed up the Southern sentiment: “We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.” During the Civil War, Confederate supporters murdered Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the united States. After the end of the

Civil War, though defeated, the Confederates pressed on, dismantling gains made by Blacks during reconstruction and establishing White Supremacist groups, most notably the Ku Klux Klan. the freedmen’s Bureau was created with a mandate to protect Blacks from a hostile Southern environment. it also sought to keep Blacks in their place as laborers in order to allow production on the plantations to resume so that the South could revive its economy. Constitutional conventions held in 1865 in Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, florida, Maryland, north Carolina, texas, tennessee, Kentucky and georgia all included language to “guard them and the State against any evils that may arise from (Blacks’) sudden emancipation.” Southern Whites perceived Black vagrancy as a sudden and dangerous social problem. Black Codes restricted the rights of newly liberated African Americans to own property, conduct business, buy and lease land, and move freely through public spaces. in response, Confederate sympathizers began erecting monuments glorifying Confederate icons as heroes as they continued unapologetically to promote White racist ideology. President Woodrow Wilson, who screened the D.W. griffith film Birth

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of a nation in the White house, completed the unravelling of reconstruction by purging every Black employee on the rolls of the federal government in Washington. in 1934, less than two years after Adolf hitler became germany’s chancellor, nazi lawyers met to create the nuremberg Laws, the basis for antiJewish legislation. Central to their discussion were u.S. race laws and customs. the third reich debated using a form of Jim Crow segregation against Jews and other non-Aryans. they noticed that 30 u.S. states had outlawed interracial marriages, and how states determined who counted as “negro” or some other “subhuman” category based on the “one Drop” rule. Donald trump is not in the tradition of hitler, rather he is just the latest in a long line of White Supremacists. Just another Confederate. nazi policymakers drew inspiration from the united States. in his 1925 manifesto, Mein Kampf, hitler applauded the u.S. as “the one state” making progress in creating a healthy racist society. the united States isn’t learning from Adolph hitler. Adolph hitler learned from the united States. .


Rise, Fall and Resurrection of G&M Oil Not everyone wants to see a suc-

Op-ed by Angela I Gustus

cessful Black business man taking

over the oil business in Baltimore.

Many have different opinions of what it takes to make it. All i know is that my daddy, rudolph gustus, was a

rock star. i saw him at the height of his career, reaching the pinnacle of success by being listed in Black enterprise as one of the highest grossing businesses in the country. i also saw him and at his lowest point when he lost everything. he never told me how he rose so high nor fell so low before he passed in 2001, so i set out to find out. Mommy said you have to live right. Competition said you have to stay in your lane “boy.” others said it is all politics. Which was true in the case of g&M oil inc., we may never know. Maybe it was all correct. g&M oil, the dream of the fatherand-son team of James and rudolph gustus, took the city by storm. it started with one truck and a slogan: “We will never keep you waiting!” During the 1960s and 1970s, g&M met three needs in West Baltimore— provided oil to houses where other companies would only deliver in the morning; offered a line of credit for oil to Black families when nobody else would; and made sure that no church would ever hold Sunday morning service without heat. After a little over a decade, g&M expanded beyond West Baltimore and took on federal contracts. Life was good in the era of President Jimmy Carter, who pushed the federal Small Business Administration to ensure that government contracts went to small and minority-owned businesses. My father partnered a group of minority-business owners and launched the President’s roundtable. the group came together monthly to support each other rather than compete against one another. he was a founding board member of the harbor Bank of Maryland, a Black-owned and operated bank in Baltimore that still operates today. he put up some of his own cash to help the bank establish its charter. in 1985, at the height of its reign, g&M lost one of its founders, James gustus. rudolph lost his dad, and was

left to make decisions on his own. he purchased an oil terminal near the Canton Waterfront. he wanted oil barges to come to him. And they did, and other oil companies were soon buying wholesale oil from g&M. rudolph’s wife, harvadene, had a dream one night. She woke in a panic to tell him about it. She said rudolph was at a major crossroads in his life, and that he needed to start living right or he was going to lose everything. rudolph had a few choice words to say about harvadene’s warning and went on living his life, doing any and everything that “Big rudy” wanted. he declared that now that both of his parents were deceased, he did not feel he had to listen to anyone. he thought he was untouchable. one of my father’s colleagues told me that some of the board members of the bank financing the oil terminal deal did not want to see the deal go through and threatened to pull business from the bank if it did. it was so late in the process that rudolph had to go on, even without the bank’s financing. he used everything he had, literally, to save the deal. he put up his house, cars, boat, and family home in Virginia. he went against “the man” and was determined to make it work. it was an uphill climb that quickly became impossible. When Carter left office, the economy came to a screeching halt for businesses like g&M oil. federal contract opportunities for minority-owned businesses dried up. Big contracts came to an abrupt end and everything tanked. g&M fuel oil went out of business. rudolph took his local customer base, his home, one car, and one oil truck, and started all over from scratch. g&M fuel, inc. was born. At 60, “Big rudy” was back where he started, driving his one truck, delivering oil. he hired a helper to pull the heavy hose and do the things that his aging body was no longer able to do. returning to his original mission, “We won’t keep you waiting,” he re-established his business and made enough to live on. rudolph’s last day at work was nov. 10, 2011, a Saturday. he suffered a heart attack, and died two days later. Some say he should have lived right. Some say he should have stayed in his lane. Some say it was all politics. All i know is that i got see my daddy rise. i saw him fall. And now i have an angel tattoo with “Big rudy” scribed on its wings.. Editor’s note: Angela Gustus is the executive director of Human Services Programs of Carroll County, Inc. and author of “Chip,” a memoir available at amazon.com.

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The Soulful Sound Of Grammy Nominated, Miki Howard, Coming to Baltimore, MD in a Special Two-Day Benefit Event Celebrating Domestic Violence Survivors

Mildred Muhammad, Ex-Wife of “DC Sniper,” Joins the Cause of L.M. Foundation in a Panel Discussion with Miki Howard on Domestic Violence

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – grammy nominated Miki howard is teaming up with L.M. foundation to headline the “Aspiring 2B A Better Me(tM) Benefit event Series.” the two day event starts friday, oct. 20 in Baltimore, MD at Morgan State university’s Murphy’s fine Arts theater. All are invited to pick up where the unsung television movie left off and have an intimate conversation with Miki howard. the panel discussion will also feature Mildred Muhammad, widely recognized as the ex-wife of the “DC Sniper,” and domestic violence survivor-advocate, as its keynote speaker. She is celebrated as an author and award-winning global speaker. Muhammad proudly serves as a Certified Consultant to the office on Victims of Crime and the u.S.

Department of State. She is, as well, a Cnn contributor. on Saturday, oct. 21 at Morgan State university’s Murphy’s fine Arts theater in Baltimore, MD, spend the evening listening to the Soulful Sound of Miki howard in concert. Proceeds from the Aspiring 2B A Better Me Concert Series will be used to open L.M. foundation’s Aspiration house which will serve as a transitional home and safe-haven for women and children in Prince george’s County. it will have the capacity to house up to 25 female survivors of domestic violence and their families. founder Pamela Price says, “We aim to help them rebuild their lives in a safe environment; becoming their foundation as they become A Better Me.” in 2016, L.M. foundation provided clothing and toiletries to local women shelters and helped low income families pay for utilities. in collaboration with a faith-based organization, it’s “Back to School Drive” was a success thanks to its sponsor, a local target, and donors. Price is now targeting families in crisis and building county relationships, within Prince george’s County, in preparation for the opening of Aspiration house in 2017. throughout the year, additional concerts will feature acclaimed national and international entertainers in r&B, jazz, gospel, instrumental, come-

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dy and many more genres. Past performances have included actress and comedian Kim Coles, emmy Award winning violinist Damien escobar, Stellar Award winning gospel artist Jessica greene and grammy Award winning songstress Yolanda Adams.

Editor’s note: For a listing of upcoming concerts and to learn more, visit www.thelmfoundation.org and www.youtu.be/BZOOjSJPIpM. General admission and student tickets are available on the website and Eventbrite. For panel tickets: www.murphyfineartscenter.org/pages/eve nts/eventDetail.asp?eventID=280. For Concert Tickets: www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-withgrammy-nominated-miki-howard-tickets37295966239?aff=es2

ABOUT L.M. FOUNDATION: Life Ministry (L.M.) foundation, a 501(c)(3), believes it can help build a new foundation in a person’s life while it ministers to the needs of underserved communities in the Washington DC Metro Area. the need is met by focusing on community-based efforts including education, awareness, and food aid. transition for survivors of domestic violence will include emergency housing, support that aids in healing, services, food, and clothing. its mission is simple, but robust: to help people in need; to make a difference.


HATS OFF TO...

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Announce the Election of a New National President

Chapter Presidents of the NCBW elect Virginia W. Harris to lead the National Organization’s 2,500 memberships.

the national Coalition of 100 Black Women, incorporated (nCBW), whose mission is to advocate on behalf of Black women and girls to promote leadership development and gender equity in the areas of health, education, and economic empowerment, announced the election of Virginia W. harris as its 9th national president at the 18th Biennial Conference on Sept. 23 in Baltimore, MD. A 26 year member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter, President harris has consistently demonstrated her leadership abilities through successfully serving at both the national and local chapter levels. for the past 13 years she has served as first Vice President of Programs, Vice President of finance and fund Development, national treasurer and chaired several national committees. President harris brings more than 41 years of successful leadership and organizational experience with professional and civic organizations. educationally, she holds a Masters of Public Administration degree, Bachelor of Business Administration degree, is a Certified internal Auditor and Certified government financial Manager. She is also a graduate of georgia’s regional Leadership

Bunting Neighborhood Leadership Program

COMMUNITY BRIEFS

Johns Hopkins University Urban Health Institute Applications due by Oct. 11

training and mentorship, which includes seminars, meetings, discussions, on-line learning, readings, and homework on a curriculum developed and taught by university and community experts. fellows should have three years’ work experience in one of the target communities in east or West Baltimore.

institute, Leadership Atlanta, Leadership gwinnett and graduate of harvard non-Profit Leadership Program. her memberships include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, incorporated, Continental Societies incorporated, immediate Past President, Albany State university foundation Board of trustees, the Links incorporated, the historical ebenezer Baptist Church Women Ministry Council and Southern education foundation member. Professional and civically, she has consistently demonstrated an interest and commitment to eliminating disparities and improving the quality of life for the underserved, with a primary focus on African-American children, women and communities. With extensive fund-raising experience and accomplishments, President harris has developed and successfully executed major fund-raising initiatives for many non-profit organizations, to include: over $550,000 for the national Coalition of 100 Black Women, inc., over $900,000 for the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of 100 Black Women and a combined total of over $1.7 million for other non-profit organizations. “i look forward to the opportunity to serve the coalition by building upon their current successes and propelling the nCBW to its next era of greatness,” said President Virginia harris. “i am “ready to lead nCBW to role model performance!”.

For details: http://urbanhealth.jhu.edu/ BNLP.

Building a Restorative School System

•oct. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the impact hub, 10 east north Avenue A brief introduction to restorative practices with a video and presentation of school district case studies from across the country – a discussion of moving forward. free dinner provided.

For details: http://bit.ly/2fLE5uO

Family League of Baltimore Annual Meeting & Celebration

•nov.1 at 6 p.m. at American Visionary Art Museum, Jim rouse Visionary Center, 840 Key hwy. the “Putting Children & families first” event celebrates accomplishments over the last year and recognizes partners for their work toward collective vision of a Baltimore. registration is free.

For details: http://familyleague.org/ events/

Mental Health First Aid Classes •nov. 2 and 3 (adult) Lutherville, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day eight hour courses are being offered. To register: https://mhfamaryland.org/ register/

First Friday Forum

•nov. 3 from 6 to 8:30 p.m., university of Maryland (BioPark), uMB Community engagement Center, 870 Baltimore St. Screening of documentary “the Biology of Stress & the Science of hope” will be presented. this movie explores Adverse Childhood experiences (ACe’s) as a public health matter, central to the issues that impact our environment and the social welfare of every aspect of community life is presented by the gathering of the Commons network.

To RSVP: http://bit.ly/2hNeEgJ

Ceasefire 365

•nov. 3 to 5 there will be another opportunity to create unitY events throughout Baltimore and to connect with others. Check out the “outreach” page on Ceasefire365’s facebook site for details. to get involved, email bmoreceasefire@gmail.com with the description, date, and time of an event you would like to plan. Don’t want to create your own event? Support one of the already established organizations by volunteering your time, money, and other resources to help further their causes.

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About the National Coalition of 100 Black Women

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the national Coalition of 100 Black Women (nCBW) was launched on october 24, 1981, with representatives from 14 states and the District of Columbia, and selected Jewell Jackson McCabe as its first national President. its mission is to advocate on behalf of women of color through national and local actions and strategic alliances that promote the nCBW agenda on leadership development and gender equity in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment. the rapidity by which the organization has grown is attested to by its membership of over 2,500 members and 61 chapters in 25 states.

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The Great Debate: Did Bernie Cause Hillary to Lose?

The Brutal Truth Is That Sanders Did Damage Clinton By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

ping with the political Devil, in this case trump. So, how much should Sanders, even though he firmly backed Clinton, be blamed for his most rabid backers breaking ranks and crossing the political rubicon to vote for trump? Clinton says he poisoned the political well with his drumbeat attacks on her as a war mongering, handmaiden for corporate interests, hard line beltway Democrat. this did give trump some

as Bill’s shove through of the draconian crime bill, this packed the jails and prisons with Black men, the gut of welfare, and the scrap of financial industry checks. But the trump Black voters were in the heavily minority cities and counties that went for Clinton overwhelmingly anyway so their vote was no factor in trump’s win. the same could be said for the Black vote drop-off in 2016. the numbers were still high enough, though, not to be the causative factor in Clinton’s loss.

Editor’s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is an associate editor of New America Media. His forthcoming book, The Trump Challenge to Black America (Middle Passage Press) will be released in August. He is a weekly cohost of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.

Blame Hillary Not Bernie for Her Failure By Kirk Tanter

H

illary Clinton has finally taken the gloves off and spoke her mind about her Democratic presidential rival, Bernie Sanders. She flatly charged that Sanders hurt her White house bid. She got very specific and claimed that the “lasting damage” he did to her campaign did much to put trump in the oval office. She took the big broad side at Sanders in her new book, What Went Wrong. now that she has made that charge against Sanders, the question is, “is she right? the brutal truth is there is more truth than vindictive hyperbole in her blame game assault on Sanders. it’s true that Sanders personally voted for Clinton, campaigned for Clinton, and urged his supporters to back Clinton. But, three recent surveys showed that in the three states that put trump in the oval office, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, a number of voters who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary in those states crossed over and voted for trump in the general election. they were registered Democrats. they did not simply stay home, cast a vote for a third-party candidate, Jill Stein, or write Sanders name in. they actually voted for trump, the candidate who seemingly represented almost everything that Sanders’ abhorred. to take that step, a lot of these voters had to really, really, loathe Clinton to the point where they would do anything to keep her out of the White house. this included sup-

ammunition to con voters into thinking that he’d somehow be different from her and any other establishment politician, and really do something for the beleaguered, forgotten, hard pressed workers who watched as their jobs and livelihood and future fled to distant shores. no matter how much Sanders talked about the threat of trump, and urged Democratic Party unity, thousands of Bernie backers didn’t hear any of that. the loud echo in their ears was that Clinton was just no good, and putting her in the White house would just be trump by another name. this slammed the door hard on the lock down, requisite party unity needed to beat back the trump onslaught. there’s the counter intuitive argument that says why pick on Sanders’ backers for the Clinton defeat, didn’t a lot of African-American voters stay home on election Day? And more disgracefully, almost 10 percent of Blacks voted for trump. isn’t this the voter demographic that Democrats absolutely must have come out in huge numbers to offset the goP’s bread and butter conservative, blue collar, rural, white male voters? A big Black vote turnout certainly made the difference for obama in 2008 and 2012. Yes, many Blacks did stay home, and many made their dissatisfaction, even bitterness, with and toward both hillary and Bill plain on such things

the finger still points back to the legion of Sanders’ backers in the swing states whose bellyache over Clinton was severe enough to cause them to punch the fateful vote card for trump. Clinton says she wanted to say that at the time and warn of this danger, but she was told by obama and others in the party to keep her mouth shut about that. And instead of hitting back harder against Sanders in their debates and on the campaign trail as she wanted, she had to stay mute. obama and other key Democrats said that this would further piss off Sanders supporters against her. As it turned out, she could have raged at Sanders during the campaign for sowing enough division to insure her defeat but it wouldn’t have likely changed anything. Many of those that turn-coated from Sanders to trump would still have cast their vote for him. is that Bernie’s fault as Clinton complains? no, if one believes that Sanders had no sway over his backers. Yes, if one accepts the reality that his attacks on Clinton were so fervent that they hit home hard with his most diehard supporters. the problem for Clinton was that there were just enough of them to tip the presidential scales to trump, and that’s the brutal truth about Sanders. .

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I cannot disagree with hillary

Clinton more about Bernie Sanders nor anyone else - damaging hillary’s candidacy for President. it was the Clintons that adopted the defunct Lee Atwater strategy of bashing the opponent to win an election. hillary did not have a strong clearly stated platform on what she would do for the American people. Many Black folks voted for trump this 2016 Presidential race, or did not vote at all. the deciding blue and swing states that trump won had low Black voter turnout. Blaming opponents and obstacles in her new book is irrelevant and has nothing to do with her defeat to Donald J. trump. it is as if opponents should have fallen in line with her Presidential aspirations. the Clintons are self-proclaimed ‘half-republicans’ aka ‘Blue Dogs’ or the 90’s term of ‘tri-Angulaters.’ repealing the crime bill – important to Black folks - was not of staunch interest to hillary. hillary never said that she would fight to repeal the bill, and further, if repealed, remove all of the people from prison receiving minimum maximum lengthy prison terms. And despite Black Lives Matter protesting at her speeches on the Crime Bill issue, all she could aggravatingly say to them is that they should have ‘set up a meeting with


her’. neither Colin Kaepernick nor the Black Lives Matter protestors are seemingly ill-allowed to peacefully protest in America, like other Americans have the right to do. the historic “tough on Black folksâ€? bills from Bill Clinton you mentioned in the article were all harmful to African-Americans. Why didn’t hillary campaign in a tough manner to reverse these bills you referenced? other bills and inactions were not forgotten. Bill Clinton did nothing to prevent, nor stop, the rwandan ethnic-cleansing where an average of 10thousand people a day for three consecutive months were slaughtered in rwanda, Africa. hillary Clinton was there as first lady - it was on the national news - and she could have cleared the air by verbally disagreeing publically with the former president. She could have denounced Bill’s lack of a response during her 2016 Presidential campaign. the Minority tax-Certificate in broadcasting was repealed by Congress in our radio broadcast field during the Clinton Presidency, coupled with Bill’s signing of the telecommunication Bill of 1996 forcing Black broadcast owners to sell or else be ostracized advertisement-wise by new owners of multiple stations. there were 146 Black-owned broadcast companies in 1995 compared to just 68 Black station owners in 2013. hillary could have campaigned demanding a resurgence of more minority voices on the airwaves, fighting to level the playing field. i guess it was Bernie’s fault that nearly 10 percent of Black folk supported Donald J. trump for President, while the Clinton campaign advertising dollars were low to nil with the aforementioned 68 or so, to date, Black owned broadcast companies, taking our vote for granted again. Combining the near 10 percent Blacks that voted for trump with the surprising high non-voting African-Americans, reader polls can state that this “Disinterested in hillaryâ€? voting block is the reason for hillary’s Presidential demise. is this because of Bernie Sanders, russia, Comey, WikiLeaks, etc‌? Conscience African-American voters from the Bill Clinton era and today’s next generation of even bolder conscience Blacks are having none of this Clinton-like ‘blue dog’ ‘take our vote for granted’ game playing anymore. the ‘60s conscious Black folks are revoltingly proud of this new serious conscience generation. the demand was for hillary to reverse those dangerous ‘Bill bills.’ the demand was also for new legislation that would benefit us directly, in exchange for vote of confidence. We did not hear this clearly stated enough

with conviction by hillary r. Clinton. not even a ‘hillary would fight’ this republican Congress to make and attempt to get things done. Bernie Sanders’ seemingly impossible platform tasks were at least planned out meticulously, and you got the sense that ‘with our help’ he would fight for us ferociously. We are tired of choosing the lesser of two evils. hillary wanted to run unopposed as obama did in 2012, but Bernie ran and had a greater-thanexpected successful campaign. the DnC brass devised strategies to attack Bernie, his religion etc‌ via emails, while promoting positively for their chosen one hillary Clinton. We thought the DnC represented Democrats. Secondly, like obama, Donald trump drew more people at his campaign appearances. trump drew hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) more people in total. it was a simple S.t.P. (see the people) sales success. trump campaigned personally those last few weeks of the presidential campaign to the swing and closely contested mid-western blue states barely tilting voters his way to win the election. in a nutshell, hillary Clinton promised absolutely nothing concrete, but did very well bash-campaigning against both Bernie and the Donald, receiving some bashing back, which is par for the course. Sanders and trump though laid “their plansâ€? out with strong base-platforms. Bernie consistently campaigned on making college more affordable (even free), free health care for all, and fighting the corporate/wealthy powersthat-be. trump campaigned on his economic and anti-immigration platform, establishing himself as being a non-beltway ‘drain-the-swamp’ candidate, and yes, his popular “Crooked hillaryâ€? bashing. hillary lost to trump because trump out campaigned her. And Mrs. Bill Clinton would have also lost to Bernie Sanders if he got into the race a year earlier. Bernie’s message and gritty fight was much more appealing to the Democratic and independent voter. hillary did win against Bernie Sanders, however later than expected in the Democratic Primary. hillary Clinton failed at communicating a convincing platform appealing to the Democratic and independent voters. More than 50 percent of women voted for Donald trump for President. And, we hope that the Democratic Party does not ever again take voting blocks for granted, nor crown a Democratic nominee for president just for showing up. . Editor’s note: Kirk Tanter is a broadcast veteran, currently Director of Operations for the Reach Media News-Talk Network, a Member of the National Action Network, and blogs at kirktanter.blogspot.com.

8th Annual African American Authors & Empowerment Expo to Be Held On Saturday, October 7th

One of the largest expos for African American authors is coming to Morgan State University

Attendees networking at last year’s event

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — the African American Authors & empowerment expo (AAAee) is holding its 8th annual event on Sat., oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Baltimore, MD on the campus of Morgan State university in the university Student Center’s Calvin and tina tyler Ballroom. the event will feature 60 vendors, as well as hundreds of local & national authors. this massive event is free to the public and includes workshops, speaking panels, author presentations and live entertainment. 2017 marks eight years of event excellence in Maryland for the expo. AAAee has a reputable reputation for showcasing hundreds of independent authors/artists from across the nation at its annual literary events. AAAee’s mission is to create a platform that exposes independent authors to the general public while helping authors make connections with national book clubs, provide entrepreneurial workshops, panels and author seminars. Last year was a historic moment in AAAee’s further expansion when it officially announced its partnership with Morgan State university to host this year’s expo as a pre-launch for the colleges annual homecoming. this     

  

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new partnership creates a remarkable opportunity for AAAee to help Morgan State university prepare college students for careers in the literary arts, communication and business. in honor of this amazing partnership, AAAeee is launching the Positioning Yourself to Live Without Limits panel and the reality of reality tV, hip-hop and Social Media panel. this panel will be an open forum for the students and attendees to discuss the negative and positive effects of today’s reality shows: “Are they setting good examples for your teens?� today’s hip-hop music: “Are the lyrics promoting positive acts or are they promoting violence and sex?� Social media: “has the cases in suicides and bullying gone up because of social media?� All of these topics will be addressed. featured panelists include Dr. Jacquie hood Martin, Dr. Karen Bethea, music producer herb Middleton, Stevie D of the r&B group force MD’s and rob Schwartz, Ceo/founder/Chief editor /executive Producer of Who?Mag tV to name a few. . Editor’s note: For more information, visit www.aaaexpo.net


Ground Rules

REEL ACTION - WWW.BLACKFLIX.COM

Must See............llll It’s Worth A Look.....lll See At Your Own Risk.ll Don’t Bother.....................l

The Hitman’s Body Guard

Editor’s note: Samantha Ofole-Prince is an award-winning writer and contributor to many national publications and is Blackflix.com’s Senior Critic-at-Large. Khaleel Herbert is a journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Laurence Washington is the creator of BlackFlix.com. Like Blackflix.com on Facebook, follow Blackflix.com on Twitter

Crown Heights

llll By Samantha Ofole-Prince

Miscarried justice often provides

the perfect vehicle for emotionally wrenching dramas, and such is the case with Matt ruskin’s Crown Heights. Powerful and unsettling, this Sundance film festival award winner, is based on the true story of a Caribbean immigrant who spent decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. the film starts off in the spring of 1980 when a teenager is gunned down in flatbush, Brooklyn. A child witness is pressured by the nYPD to identify a suspect resulting in Colin Warner’s (Lakeith Stanfield) arrest. eighteenyear-old Warner, who is from nearby Crown Heights, is picked up while running errands for his mother and ends up being wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. What follows is a battle by Warner’s childhood friend Carl ‘KC’ King (nnamdi Asomugha), who devotes his life to fighting for Colin’s freedom, eventually becoming a legal courier to lead the fight for his exoneration after tireless appeals.

throughout the film, Stanfield as Warner, emerges as a likable man with an astonishing ability to reject anger and bitterness. At every point, he is at the center of the story, and he carries the film with an impassioned performance. Stellar in the role, playing the character at several ages between 18 and 48, he does a solid job of bringing dignity and realism to the role. nnamdi Asomugha, (who produces the drama under his company iAm21 entertainment) as Carl King, Colin’s crusader, also doesn’t disappoint. it’s a film, which explores the power of friendship, for as the movie chugs inescapably forward, King’s unwavering devotion to his friend is remarkable. he dedicates his life to overturning the murder conviction, even risking his own marriage in a quest for justice that toils through 20 plus years of self-sacrifice and heartache. ruskin deserves praise for capturing the atmosphere and realism of underdogs fighting against the odds, and its message is noble and notable. Crown Heights

With moving performances and a solid storytelling Crown Heights is a visual trip worth taking and it’s impossible to avoid being tugged into its human drama, which has been prompted by an endless stream of high profile exonerations. “You never know how sacred your freedom is until it is jeopardized,” a dejected Warner shares in one mournful scene after yet another legal setback. if you aren’t compelled to re-examine your conclusions on crime and punishment, then you need to see Crown Heights again until you are. 

The Hitman’s Body Guard

S

llll By Khaleel Herbert

amuel L. Jackson and ryan reynolds bring the pain and the laughs in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. in a matter of seconds, Michael Bryce (ryan reynolds) loses his tripleA status as a bodyguard after his client, Kurosawa (tsuwayuki Saotome), is suddenly assassinated before his eyes. two years later, notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is supposed to be delivered safely by interpol to Amsterdam as a key witness for a trial against russian President Vladislav Dukhovich (gary oldman), who is secretly a tyrant that kills innocent people. Kincaid and interpol are ambushed by russian assassins hired by Dukhovich. With her comrades wiped out, Amelia roussel (elodie Yung) has no one else to turn to for help except Michael. She shudders at the idea since her and Michael were an item two years ago and he hates her guts because he thinks she was the one who killed Kurosawa. But she knows he’s good at his job.  Michael visits the apartment after getting a call from Amelia and finds

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Darius. they duke it out for a good few minutes. Darius is Michael’s worst enemy, who attempted to kill him exactly 28 times. But Amelia says if Michael can deliver Darius to the trial unharmed, she can help him earn his triple-A status again. Michael and Darius reluctantly flee together and travel miles abroad fighting goons and forming a bromance. The Hitman’s Bodyguard pairs reynolds and Jackson like rush hour paired Chris tucker and Jackie Chan. they didn’t see eye to eye at first, but they always busted each other out of a jam. the bloody violence (hallelujah!) is similar to Deadpool, reynolds’ 2016 trademark performance. Like Deadpool,the action follows funny one-liners and attitude from reynolds and a cocky Jackson with his one-liners, trademark yelling and swearing.  Like the classic good-cop/bad-cop routine, Michael follows the rules and develops plans to a tee. Darius wings it and follows his own rules to get the best results. it’s funny to see Darius question everything Michael does and Michael annoys the hell out of Darius by following the rules.  gary oldman gives a strong performance and convincing russian accent as Dukhovich. his underhandedness in this film is similar to his role in the 1994 film, Léon: The Professional. oldman played a crooked cop and Léon (Jean reno), a professional hitman, and Mathilda (natalie Portman), a girl he took under his wing after her family was killed, fought against him.  he’s a worthy foe for Michael and Darius.  The Hitman’s Bodyguard is the best action-comedy you’ll ever see. Period. Jackson and reynolds are a great pair that keeps you laughing until the credits roll. You will not be disappointed..


Breast Cancer Prevention Through Lifestyle Changes

By Kim Farmer

Worldwide,

breast cancer remains one of the most common causes of death in women, and men are affected as well. While this cancer has no cure, there is growing awareness that one of the best ways to combat it is by making positive changes in lifestyle. Being ‘breast healthy’ is vital not only for cancer prevention but overall health. Women and men who are breast healthy should be aware of risk factors for breast cancer, know about their family history of cancer and undertake proactive measures to lower the risk of this cancer. for many of us, our lifestyle choices are determined by where we live and work, income, the standard of housing, quality of air we breathe, food that we eat and access to public places and healthcare centers. the good news is that in most cases these lifestyle factors are modifiable and can have a major impact on future health. Some of the lifestyle measures that can be undertaken to lower the risk of breast cancer include the following: Healthy Weight: there is ample evidence available today which indicates that obesity by itself is a risk factor for many types of cancer. in addition, obesity is unhealthy and leads to many complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression and a negative body image. So start by lowering your body weight.

Eat Healthy: today we have come to realize that eating fast and processed foods is not good for health. Plus, many of the foods available are unregulated and contain an unknown number of chemicals and hormones. So start eating more fruits, veggies, low fat dairy, nuts, whole wheat and fish; at the same time, work to reduce your intake of meat. Animal meat has been linked to high cholesterol and heart disease. Exercise: the importance of exercise cannot be overstated. it is the lack of exercise which is partially responsible for the obesity epidemic and the rising incidence of several cancers. When it comes to exercise, any type of physical activity is better than no activity. one does not have to join a gym or run a marathon every weekend. Simply walking is one of the best exercises one can do. Walking is free, it allows you to lose weight, you can enjoy nature and it is complication free – unless you get hit by a car or bus while texting on your smartphone – so pay attention! Discontinue Smoking: Smoking has been linked to many cancers for both men and women and it leaves a bad odor. Despite the availability of many types of aids to help people stop smoking, it is known to be one of the hardest habits to break. if you have stopped smoking, congratulations! if you are still working on it, keep trying and don’t give up! not only will this save you a lot of money, but your overall health will improve.

Cut Down On Alcohol: over the years, the benefits of alcohol have been overhyped. Many people cannot control their intake of alcohol and this often leads to liver problems, addiction, dysfunctional behavior, breast cancer and an increase in body weight. the minor benefits of alcohol on blood, cholesterol and the heart can easily be overcome by walking instead. Breastfeed: in general, women who breastfeed their babies have a much lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who have not breastfed. So continue breastfeeding for at least 9 to 12 months if you can. it is hard in the beginning but if you keep trying, your baby will love you for it and the hard work will pay off for both of you. Avoid HRT: While many women are prescribed hormonal replacement therapy to treat symptoms of menopause, this treatment, if prolonged, is associated with an increase in breast cancer risk. even bioidentical hormones may not be safe so be sure to check with your doctor. Know Your Family History: if you have a family history of breast cancer tell your doctor. You may benefit from earlier screening with early detection and easier treatment.

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Mammograms If You Are 40: one of the best ways to beat breast cancer is by detecting it early. Most experts agree that an annual mammogram can help detect breast cancer early and result in longer survival. Do not put off a mammogram because of fear of what may be discovered or discomfort. today, the procedure can be done in a few minutes and the discomfort is well worth it. Self-Exams. finally examine your breasts and if you feel anything abnormal, go and see your healthcare provider. get familiar with any lumps that native so you will be able to quickly detect any changes. Breast cancer in women and men affects all of us in one way or another. if you don’t have it, you likely know someone who does (or did). Prevention is one way to avoid the diagnosis and lifestyle changes are a great way to start. tell your friends and family to pay attention to their food and alcohol intake and to be consistent with regular physical activity to decrease the prevalence of this disease. thanks for reading! Editor’s note: Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers in-home personal training and corporate wellness solutions. For more information, visit www.milehighfitness.com or email inquiries@milehighfitness.com


Yoga…It’s Not Just for White Girls

S

ummer is over. halloween is around the corner as well as the holidays and the end of the year, when we might sit down, take stock and evaluate if the year really went the way we wanted. there is never a right time for self-evaluation. it’s a constant process, and the result might lead us to step out of our comfort zone in melding our mental, physical, and spiritual aspirations. have you tried practicing yoga?

When yoga entrepreneur Shelby Holly-Page started posting images of practicing yoga on her instagram page, friends from her hometown of Ann Arbor, Mi responded ‘Black people don’t do that. that’s a white girl thing.’ “it was just a cultural norm that it is a white girl thing,” recalls holly-Page. “So i saw that and thought this doesn’t make any sense.” the ambitious 25-year old has been practicing yoga for just less than five years. Yet what she had seen and researched on google indicated that Black women reviewing yoga classes, the prevalent opinion was ‘that’s for white girls and some went even further in delineating why Black women don’t practice yoga. this topic has even been addressed in national publications like the Atlantic and forbes. But holly-Page is resolute in bringing yoga practice to the Black community. there are studios run by African Americans on the west and east coasts, but none are known in Colorado. But holly-Page believes that there has been a bit of a paradigm shift. She left Ann Arbor to join her older sister and attend the Maharishi School in fairfield, iA. there she took instruction in transcendental meditation and was introduced

to yoga. As she continued studying she found yoga on Youtube and her practice developed from there. As a young woman now living in Boulder, she has found the positive impacts in her life as a result of practicing yoga. “A lot of the time if i have a lot going on, the greatest benefit to me personally is i just like to get on my mat. it helps me release a lot of stress, a lot of tension,” said hollyPage. “And i think as far as the African American community, we just have so much built up frustration. there are so many complications and health issues. i think the health aspect is going to be a huge factor in a community for people of color, even if they aren’t just African American.” holly-Page believes that there a numerous issues that practicing yoga could change for African Americans. there are perceived barriers to practicing-cost being one. resources are often scarce. Yoga mats alone are $20, and drop-in classes are $20 as well. Most, when faced with a choice between groceries and a yoga class we choose to eat. We may be willing to change what we do or what we eat, but the shift is challenging. “i think that just as a whole if they are interested in healthy eating, you know being healthy is a mental thing as well as a physical thing. it’s not just if you exercise, then you are healthy,” said hollyPage. “i think if we can get everyone on that ball or partially interested, you

have to start somewhere, you have to start with baby steps, it will be a huge factor. Who knows…there are a lot of things, high blood pressure, diabetes, that would benefit from the yoga practice – communication skills, the list is kind of endless.” holly-Page’s consis-

tent, disciplined practice of yoga has brought great opportunities as she forges a career as a yogi and model. She wants to focus on teaching athletes, who surprisingly are strong but often inflexible, and she believes, despite some doubters that the path she is on and the flow she has established is due to her practice. “You know once i got in tune with my yoga and my meditation, i realized it was really easy to manifest a lot of things into my life. During my practice, i would focus on my meditation, i would meditate on them and things just started to flow super easy,” said holly-Page. “one prime example was ‘i am really going to focus on getting scouted for a modeling contract’. i really want to do that. So during my meditations, i would zone in on that when i was getting into my yoga practice. i felt centered and one with my body, and i would focus on that and within two months of being in Boulder, i was at the farmers market and a girl came up to me and slipped a modeling agency card into my basket. And, i signed for almost a year with an agency, and that was after maybe a month of harping and focusing on that for my life.” our being is an integration of mentality, physicality and spirituality. in making efforts to improve our lives, we often concentrate on a singular aspect, rather than a holistic approach. it’s important that we be open, and not get in our own way, by focusing on inhibitions that sidetrack our pur-

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By Charles emmons pose. Yoga came to the united States in the late 19th century, and grew out of communities of color in Asia. it seems in the late 20th century it became primarily equated with exercise. often we take the easier

aspects of something and ignore the deep dive that takes more effort. “if you aren’t practicing everything, you are just bending and twisting and doing some things that look cool, is what i have said to people. they say ‘You are the best yogi’, and i am good, but i still have my mental practice and everything that i am doing. So it’s a package,” said holly-Page Physical exercise and postures or asnas, is just one of the eight different “limbs” in yoga practice. others focus on our actions, behaviors, breathing, and mental states. Yoga is all about getting in touch with ourselves, and using our renewed self-knowledge to constantly and consistently better ourselves. it is a long path of improvement. And it is up to each individual to make the effort and take the steps to develop the practice. today, it could not be easier with the rich content found on the internet. if you are really interested, do the research, read books, google yoga topics, view Youtube videos for asnas and direction. Change requires baby steps, but you get nowhere if you don’t take the first steps. Do it, and don’t be concerned how you look or what other people think of you. holly-Page says hatha yoga is an easy starting point. “Just like anything, you don’t want to try this because it makes you look different or standout or be noticeable. Just do your own thing. i think we are so worried about other people and other people’s opin-


ion of what we are doing and how we look,” said holly-Page. “Let go of all those expectations of what you are supposed to look like and how you should look like to other people. Just do whatever feels right for you, and you will find that over time you are going to get better and better and get over this idea of how am i looking in class. Are people looking at me and laughing? this blocks that flow and easiness when practicing.” Practicing yoga is not going to the gym. each asna has a specific purpose. Some poses help with lower back pain, some with digestion, some detox the organs and some will help you sleep. “every posture and every pose has significance and meaning,” said holly-Page. “there are yoga restorative poses. You just lay there and you do nothing and you restore the body. every single one has a benefit to it.” When holly-Page moved to Boulder she was ready for a life change. on a visit she was taken with the mountains and the scenery, and within a month had moved to Colorado. She says the question she is asked most often by both women and men is “how do i get started?” the first thing to do is get a mat, and then do the research. “A lot of people don’t know what to do once they get started, and you

wonder when you are alone by yourself, ‘What in the world do i do?’ that’s how i was. And then i got on Youtube. granted i didn’t have a teacher to actually make physical corrections to my body in certain poses. But when you get a good enough

Youtube Channel, which i hope to start soon, the teacher should be able to give you verbal corrections, cues and adjustments, which should help you get yourself into proper positioning. You don’t particularly need anyone. After a while it’s good to go to a class, so that is when you can get a private lesson. Just start somewhere. in order to start anything you have to start somewhere, and most people don’t want to start at the bottom of anything. But that is what it takes sometimes.” the information and the technology is out there, it just needs to be leveraged. Colorado is known for having one of the most highly educated populations, but African Americans aren’t necessarily experiencing the implied benefits. We are also known for having a healthy population. We don’t create another ‘Colorado paradox’. As you look forward to making life changes, keep your mind open to maximizing your whole being. “i don’t think that there is really anything stopping us (African Americans), except taking the initiative to get up and try it and go do it. So the biggest setback would probably be our mindset and not being open to the possibilities of practicing,” said holly-Page..

Editor’s note: Start a conversation and learn more about Shelby Holly-Page and her yoga practice on Instagram, @chocolate_yoga. clude ahimsa (non-violence or non-harming), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), bramacharya (sexual restraint), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness).

The 8 Limbs of Yoga Practice

1.The Yamas are rules of moral code and include ahimsa (non-violence or non-harming), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), bramacharya (sexual restraint), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness). 2. The Niyamas are rules of personal behavior including saucha (purity), santosha (contentment), tapas (discipline or austerity), svadhyaya (spiritual studies), and Ishvara Pranidhana (constant d evotion to God). 3. Asana refers to yoga postures but in Patanjali’s initial practice, it referred to mastering the body to sit still for meditation. The practice of yoga asanas came about eight centuries later, which helped disciples ready their bodies for meditation. 4. Pranayama are yoga breathing techniques designed to control prana or vital life force. 5. Pratyahara means withdrawal of the senses. 6. Dhar ana refers to concentration. 7. Dhyana is the practice of meditation. 8. Samadhi is merging with the divine. (From the Chopra Center, www.chopra.com)

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Speaking Your Mind, When Free Speech Has Consequences By Gene Policinski

Some people like Donald trump, and say nice things about him. Some people don’t like Donald trump, and some say things about Donald trump that are unkind, hurtful and downright insulting. Some people say those things on social media. And sometimes people who like Donald trump respond to those comments. All of that is fine, in free speech terms. And all of that, pretty well sums up the tempest in a tV teapot over eSPn host Jemele hill tweeting a few days ago that the president was a “bigot” and a “white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists.” in one sense, hill’s tweeted sentiments were hardly unique in the weeks since trump spawned controversy with remarks after a deadly incident in Charlottesville, Va., involving alt-right and anti-racist protestors.

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trump drew widespread criticism at the time for condemning violence “on both sides” and for saying that some “very fine people” marched with the white nationalists in Charlottesville. But hill’s tweet seemed to cross the boundaries of acceptable speech for some people. At a press conference Wednesday, White house Press Secretary Sarah huckabee Sanders said that she was not sure if trump had seen the remarks, “but i think that’s one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make, and certainly something that i think is a fireable offense by eSPn.” for their part, hill and eSPn took a proper stand during the kerfuffle, asserting the first Amendment right to speak one’s mind, with awareness that the amendment is designed to restrain the government, not private companies. “My comments on twitter expressed my personal beliefs,” hill said Wednesday night. “My regret is that my comments and the public way i made them painted eSPn in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remains unconditional.” eSPn then issued this statement: “Jemele has a right to her personal opinions, but not to publicly share them on a platform that implies that she was in any way speaking on behalf of eSPn. She has acknowledged that her tweets crossed that line and has apologized for doing so. We accept her apology.” Calls from the White house for anyone to be fired for their speech certainly carry more than a little weight. Sander’s comments raised the twin specters of government censorship and the kind of language reminiscent of the mass firings of the McCarthy era. But so far, the specters have remained such. hill remains employed, eSPn seems to consider the matter closed and Sanders and trump seem to have moved on to other issues. But let’s parse the issue a bit more, beginning with the question of whether eSPn has been consistent in its reaction to on-air personalities who take a controversial public stance. former major league pitcher Curt Schilling was fired in 2016 from eSPn for comments he made on social media that were critical of transgender public bathroom policies. on thursday Schilling – while calling hill a racist – said the sports network has a double-standard favoring liberals. others noted Schilling had been warned at least twice previously about using his eSPn platform to advance his personal views on social issues. Still others said if hill didn’t heed this

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first warning, the same punishment should apply. As ugly or argumentative as such discussions may be, they make up the vaunted but messy “marketplace of ideas” – the robust place where ideas, views and philosophies are exchanged, at times with all the emotion that true advocates can bring to such discussion and debate. on the government’s role in the marketplace, the u.S. Supreme Court has set an unwavering standard. in 2011, in a decision upholding the Westboro Baptist Church group’s right to protest, Chief Justice John roberts acknowledged the pain that the group’s vile chants might bring to individuals, but wrote, “We cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker...As a nation we have chosen a different course – to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.” We have a chance to view, and accept or reject, the personal opinions that hill and others have on trump’s motivations and racial views. eSPn has a right to say that hill is speaking for herself, but not for the network, when she airs such views. the most discordant moment – from the first Amendment point of view – in the whole affair was when trump’s spokesman went beyond mere criticism and suggested that the sports commentator be fired – putting a government chill on hill’s speech, and in no small way the right to free speech all of us have as private citizens. We all should keep close watch to be sure the “bully” doesn’t become the predominant part of the White house’s legendary and powerful “bully pulpit.”. Editor’s note: Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and senior vice president of the Institute’s First Amendment Center. He can be reached at gpolicinski@newseum.org. Follow him on Twitter: @genefac

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Black-to–School Scholarship Programs for African American Students in Fall/ Winter 2017

every year, billions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships are given away to students to help them pay for college tuition, books, and other college-related expenses. As the year winds down, here are the top national scholarship programs for African American students and others that are still accepting applications: #1 - NBNA Scholarship Program For Black Nurses: the nBnA Scholarship Program offers 14 scholarships each year to students pursuing a career in nursing who are members of the national Black nurses Association, inc. the scholarships are based on merit and financial need. eligible students must be enrolled full-time at a two-year or four-year college or university pursuing a Bachelors, Associate, or L.P.n. degree with at least one year of school remaining. the deadline to apply is in April 2018. Apply online at www.scholarshipsonline.org/2013/02/nbna-scholarship-program-for-black-nurses.html

#2 - Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Scholarships: Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Scholarships are offered to outstanding black high-school seniors who are interested in pursuing careers in technology. high-school seniors of African descent may apply (for example, African American, Caribbean, African, etc). Applicants must plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, computer information systems, or a business program such as finance, business administration, or marketing. the deadline to apply is in April 2018. Apply online at www.scholarshipsonline.org/2015/04/blacks-at-microsoft-bamscholarships.html

#3 - Coca-Cola Scholars Program: the Coca-Cola Scholars Program is a very competitive program for high school seniors throughout the united States. Sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company, the largest soft drink company in the world, the program awards millions every year in college funding. the deadline to apply is in october 2017. Apply online at www.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/04/coca-cola-scholars-program.html

#4 - Apple HBCU Scholarship Program: the Apple hBCu Scholarship Program is offered to eligible college students who are in their final year of college at a hBCu institution. eligible students include those who are majoring in Computer Science, information

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Super producer/rapper Will.i.am and Oprah giving away scholarships to African American students

Science/technology, Mathematics, and/or engineering. the deadline to apply is in october 2017. Apply online at www.scholarshipsonline.org/2015/08/apple-hbcu-scholarshipprogram.html

#5 - Will.i.am Scholarship Foundation (The I.Am.Angel Foundation): established in 2009 by grammy-winning Black eyed Peas star Will.i.am (William J. Adams), this program is open to high school seniors who plan to attend a four-year college and pursue degrees in the SteM and arts fields. the scholarship covers all college expenses, including tuition, books, fees, and room and board for four years. the deadline to apply is in December 2017. Apply online at www.scholarshipsonline.org/2016/01/will-i-am-foundation-scholarship-i-am-angel-foundation.html #6 - Burger King Scholars Program: the Burger King Scholars program is designed to help high-school seniors who are looking to start college next year. Annually, the program awards more than $1.4 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students. Applicants must be residents of the united States or Canada, and must be graduating high school seniors. the deadline to apply is in December 2017. Apply online at www.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/03/burger-king-scholars-program.html

#7 - Microsoft Diversity Conference and Minority STEM Scholarships: helps Black, hispanic and female students who are pursuing degrees in computer science, engineering, and other technical areas of study. there are two scholarship programs one for tuition and for paid registration to a diversity tech conference. To apply, visit www.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/09/microsoftscholarships.html.

8.The Malcolm X Scholarship for “Exceptional Courage:” is directed towards undergraduate students, who are enrolled at one of the united negro College fund (unCf) institutions. the scholarship was developed by award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee to increase the awareness about the life and contributions of Malcolm X within society. the program will provide $4,000 in scholarship support for students, who have overcome difficult circumstances or challenges in pursuit of their college education. Students can be enrolled in any accredited field of study at their chosen unCf institution. Spike Lee was also able to garner support for this scholarship program from Allen Killil, Abkeo Music and records and other major contributors. For more details and/or to apply, visit: www.scholarshipsonline.org/2017/09/malcolm-x-scholarship-for-exceptionaluncf.html 9. Michael Jackson/United Negro College Fund Scholarship Now Open For African American Students

the deadline is october 21, 2017 and the award amount is up to $5,000 per student. the Michael Jackson scholarship provides financial assistance to communication arts and social science students attending a united negro College fund (unCf) college/university during the current academic year. Candidates must have a minimum gPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. the scholarship will provide an award up to

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$5,000 depending on the financial need of the student as verified by the attending university or College. All application materials must be submitted by the deadline for full consideration. All previous recipients of this award must apply for reconsideration. For more details and/or to apply, visit: www.scholarshipsonline.org/2015/05/mich ael-jackson-uncf-scholarship.html. To see hundreds of other scholarships, visit: www.ScholarshipsOnline.org

Minorities to Majorities: The Scholarship App For UnderRepresented Students

new app redefines the way minority students find scholarships Minorities to Majorities(tM) is a free mobile app-based platform launched in December 2016 by founder Jasmine n. Chigbu, in an effort to re-define the way under-represented students pursue academic and professional opportunities. the mobile app was designed to provide under-represented ethnic minority, female, LgBtQ+ and international students with information about various scholarship, internship and fellowship opportunities across the country and the globe. Minorities to Majorities(tM) also offers consulting services to students and parents who seek individualized professional assistance identifying various educational and professional opportunities. this inclusive platform also aims to inspire students by profiling various minority professionals who have been trailblazers in their careers through the app’s MtM trailblazers section. Additionally, the mobile application provides students with information about numerous business and leadership conferences across the country so they can begin to build their professional network. Minorities to Majorities(tM) is eager to share this mobile app with the community because each year about $46 billion in grants and scholarship money are awarded by the uS Department of education and the nation’s colleges and universities. furthermore, scholarships are the best way for students to fund their education without acquiring excessive amounts of loan debt. Minorities to Majorities hopes providing minority students with the necessary information will aid them in their pursuit of higher education and career advancement. For more details and/or to download the app, visit www.MinoritiesToMajorities.com


My Charter School Saved My Life M

By Briana Gilchrist

y college education isn’t something i take for granted. too many people – family, teachers, and mentors – jumped through too many hoops so that i can be where i am today. the old saying is true: “it takes a village...” And my village made it possible for me to intern with the eastern region Community Banking president at Wells fargo, study abroad in South Africa, gain experience in organizational leadership, and ultimately graduate from rutgers university with a double degree in Planning & Public Policy and Africana Studies. Coming from my village has also made me all too aware that not everybody has these same opportunities. i can’t recall my K-12 years in newark, n.J., without including memories of a friend whose path often ran parallel to mine, and whose ultimate divergence weighs heavy on the hearts of everyone in our community. in the fourth grade, we transferred together from a local district elementary school to Marion P. thomas

Charter School. i still remember how upset we were to leave our friends and transfer to this new charter school where we had to come to school earlier, stay later, and wear uniforms. We begged our parents to transfer us back so we could be with our friends. After months of trying to convince my mother, she was still completely against it. But my friend taylor, whose name has been changed to respect the family’s privacy, had that wish granted and returned to our old school. in the seventh grade i began seeing how our paths began to deviate. After

eighth grade graduation i went on to the top magnet school in the city, while taylor matriculated in a local high school. After high school i went off to college and taylor went off to work. fast-forward, six years later, and i am beginning my career in Washington, D.C. My childhood friend did not even make it to age 24 and from my understanding, taylor passed away from a drug-related overdose. As i write this story i am not attributing my friend’s life-and-death circumstances to the fact that we made different educational choices. rather, i hope i am illustrating how a school that is intentional in its approach to investing in its students can make all the difference. i cannot imagine where i would have been had i not had the support of MPtCS while i was in middle school. the people in my school became an integral part of my village: they did not let me fall through the cracks, they challenged me, they exposed me to new things, and they did not allow me to give up – no matter how difficult the road got. they valued me, saw the potential in me, and worked to invest in that potential. My school community supported me from the time i entered their doors, and the community stayed with me even after i left those doors. When i wanted to go to a boarding high school, the founding Ceo and superintendent of MPtCS took her personal vehicle to drive me and my mother to Connecticut for the interview. When i was ready to apply for college, the staff at MPtCS was more instrumental in my success than my high school guidance counselors. When i expressed that i wanted to be a doctor, the Ceo flew me out to new orleans to visit Xavier university, because she knew this school helped get the highest number of students of color into medical school. i stayed there for the weekend, and

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she showed me what life would be like if i went to school there. not only did my MPtCS Ceo – whom i now consider my mentor – show me what college was going to be like, she showed me what life would be like outside of newark. it was because of my school and my village that i could have these experiences, and these new expectations for myself. When i ultimately enrolled at rutgers university for college, MPtCS still supported me: i was a recipient of the Marion P. thomas Charter School foundation Scholarship for every year of my undergraduate experience. this was a part of their Crayons to College initiative to help their scholars to and through college. the scholarship came with more than just monetary support: My alma mater held me accountable, monitored my grades and extracurricular activities, and helped me maximize my college experience. they coached me through picking my major and understanding the real-world implications of choosing a major. they showed me different ways to buy or rent books, or how to exchange books with upperclassmen who had already taken the course. they helped me complete my financial aid documents, a process that was really confusing to me as a firstgeneration college student. they showed me how to network and dress for interviews. they showed me that college was much more than just going to class. they helped me secure my very first internship under the eastern region Community Banking president at Wells fargo & Co. And in 2016 when i graduated from rutgers, they helped me find a job. it is because of my charter school that college became an expectation and a reality for me. Motivation is what helped me complete school, and motivation is what i hope to impart to the next generation. So after i earned my bachelor’s degree, i returned to MPtCS to give back to the village that gave so much to me, just like many of the other alumni. We volunteer at the school annually to keep encouraging the students to apply to college. We help prepare them for the MPtCS foundation Scholarship interview process. And we work with them along the way to make sure they have support as they continue through college. it’s my small way of paying it forward in the village that has done so much to help me succeed. . Editor’s note: Briana Gilchrist is a graduate of Marion P. Thomas Charter School and Rutgers University. She is the press assistant at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.


Black Entrepreneur Teaching a Fun and Easy Way to Learn How to Buy and Sell Stocks

every day people hear about the stock market, however, few people really understand how it works and how to actively buy and sell stocks and make money, thus choosing not to participant in the stock market. fLip that Stock (www.fLipthatStock.com) and hold that Stock (www.holdthatStock.com) are changing that. these two educational and technology companies specialize in teaching beginners a fun and easy way to learn how to buy and sell stocks. fLip that Stock focuses on trading stocks and generating income over a very short period of time, while hold that Stocks focuses on buying and holding stocks to build a stock portfolio that increases in value of time. “Millions of people want to know how the stock market works and how they can begin to make money and we are teaching them,” says J.r. fenwick, founder and Ceo of fLip that Stock and hold that Stock. “our unique, fun and easy teaching approach is spreading across the country like crazy, fenwick continues.” fenwick has been buying and selling stocks for over 15 years, and started the company when friends and even strangers began repeatedly asking him to teach them how the stock market works and how to make money buying and selling stocks. our mission is simple: teach everyone how the stock market works and how to actively buy and sell stocks

using our fun and easy system and the latest technology to make money and build wealth. the first part of teaching people is debunking the myths and misconceptions that many people have about the stock market, such as, you have to have millions of dollars, or an MBA from harvard, and spend all day looking at complicated stock charts or doing hours of research to start buying and selling stocks. or, that it is just too risky and you will lose all your money. With the proper education, people will understand they can make money annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily and even within minutes and seconds from buying and selling stocks, while minimizing risks. Learning to buy and sell stocks is a valuable skill people can use for the rest of their lives,” fenwick says. fLip that Stock (www.fLipthatStock.com) and hold that Stock (www.holdthatStock.com) offer excellent educational programs through their online memberships, live seminars, conference calls, webinars and private and group coaching programs that teach people step-bystep how to start buying and selling stocks using the latest technology. “the response has been overwhelming since we launched. People have been flooding our websites to learn how to get started. Learning how to buy and sell stocks is a valuable skillset that is one of the keys to taking control of your financial future outside of a job and the fact that you can do it from your laptop, tablet or even smartphone from anywhere in the world makes it even more appealing to people,” fenwick adds. . Editor’s note: J. R. Fenwick is currently touring the country doing LIVE seminars to educate people on the stock market. Details about the tour schedule can be found at www.LiveSeminar Registration.com. For more information on interviews and seminars, email FLipThatStock@gmail.com or visit www.BookJRFenwick.com

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Boomers Are Changing Retirement So “What’s

By Adam Dempsey

next?” that’s the question being asked by many Americans of all cultures age 60 to 70, the upper half of the Boomer generation. While observing their parents, essentially duplicating the retirement or non-working model of their grandparents, Boomers are deciding the being put “out to pasture” roadmap is not a direction many will be following. the week of September 24, this year, was designated as Active Aging Week. initiated by the international Council on Aging to promote healthy lifestyle benefits and age friendly wellness activities, it is also a good time to explore the new positive direction and

perspectives Boomers are generating regarding aging in America. the generation that took on civil rights, feminism, anti-war and sexism will not be changing ageism. And the first place that starts is refashioning the traditional notions regarding aging in America. “one of the exciting things happening right now with retirement is there are so many new options available,” indicates Khristine rodgers, president of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors in an interview on the Active generation television series for boomers. “With all the options that we know, not only are we talking about but i think now showing support for, there’s not one prescription as to how we should retire anymore,” she adds. two terms rising from a study of retirement by Merrill-Lynch are aiding boomers to frame a different retirement future. “the Longevity Bonus,” meant to illustrate the additional contributions and volunteer assistance non-profits may receive from boomers working and living longer. Boomers are seizing the term as defining as they will be living longer, the “forever” part of “forever young” will be later than sooner, so the new longevity can be done their way. the second term “the freedom Zone” is exactly that – what Boomers will do with those 2000 hours freed

from career work. the Boom has always been a future-forward thinking generation and now viewing “the freedom Zone” as a new time to recover dreams long on hold and to sample new life options. former retirement coach Madeline hughes observes, “Sometimes we talked about them (clients) having an extra 2,000 hours, what am i going to do with it, how am i going to use this time.” She continues, “So i think it’s important to set some boundaries, because people around you, your family, your friends, suddenly you have all this time in the world and people can encroach on your time. So i think it’s helpful to have some idea of what you’re going to do and have some flexibility within that basic framework.” the Merrill Lynch retirement study also indicates that 55 percent of the respondents view retirement as a fresh period in life, not the epilogue or credits roll, so change is cool with them. founded by Marc freedman, the encore movement is also facilitating this rethinking of aging in America. the encore view is people in later life can be an essential resource who can contribute to creating better futures for generations of young people. toward this end, encore challenges traditional thinking regarding aging to allow fresh perspectives to be developed which can in turn facilitate personal growth and have new impact on society. encore.org created the Purpose Prize to evidence that older Americans are a largely untapped and little resourced treasure of solutions to a myriad of today’s most pressing social challenges. in the decade since the inception of the Purpose Prize, they have received an excess of 10,000 nominations which led to just under 100 recipients in awarding more than $5 million to support additional work of social innovation and creativity in the latter years of life. Persons of color in multicultural communities have long been among the recipients of the prize, now being administered by AArP. Another outreach program, the encore Prize: gen2gen Challenge, will award two $50,000 prizes to organizations or individuals of any age with new ideas for engaging older adults in improving the lives of children and youth. these are the types of actions and activities at work that lead to changing the old perceptions of aging. in Denver, the organization Boomers Leading Change and their association with AmeriCorps senior corps are among the leaders of the encore vision in the rocky Mountain west. Surveys are also indicating more than 80 percent of Boomers prefer “aging in place”, in their present

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homes or other residential options in lieu of typical senior retirement communities. Also, the term “downsizing” is currently morphing into “rightsizing.” Perhaps the present home continues to be right, the place where key family memorabilia, materials and equipment for hobbies and pastimes, along with artifacts from careers remain present. the things we need that in many places cannot fit into a smaller retirement community dwelling space. fashioning an active health plan to accompany your financial plan is another new notion surfacing. “the things you want to focus on when going in (for a checkup), when you are fairly well, to talk about, is how to stay well maybe even get healthier,” indicates Dr. Wendolyn gozansky, Vice-President, Colorado Medical group for Kaiser Permanente. She also notes, “We’ve seen a lot of folks when they have the additional time to exercise more or even take up new hobbies or interests, they actually become more engaged in life and actually get healthier.” “My philosophy is you don’t grow old because you played, you go old because you stopped playing, so that’s why you age, “indicates rocky Mountain Senior games Director Kate Amack. “You’ve got to move. Motion is lotion for your joints and muscles, you’ve got to move.” typical aging models such as men sitting on benches sharing war or sports stories and women in knitting circles and cooking classes, or both men and women solely focused on the grandchildren are currently undergoing real transitional change by boomers. Just how much or little you get involved with the new program will determine your answer to “What’s next?”. Editor’s note: Adam Dempsey is the producer/host for the series “The Active Generation,” Boomers Changing Aging to Ageless” telecast three years on RMPBS, and a member of the Denver Commission on Aging.

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Baltimore Urban Spectrum September/ October 2017  

In partnership with the award winning Denver Urban Spectrum, the Baltimore Urban Spectrum online publication second issue focuses and is abo...