Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine July/August 2020 Issue 03

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Issue 03


CONTENTS 38 Community Outreach

30 The 2NCs | Black Lives Matters

Black Lives Matter Plaza Washington, DC

56 Power Moves -The Art of Dance

6 Inspirational Moments Help Me Maintain 8 Education Is Key The Year of Virtual Graduations 12 Business & Entrepreneurship The Washington Informer 21 Health & Wellness Mind, Body, and Healthy Eating 34 Political Awareness Vangie Williams for Congress 40 Authors Speak The Power of Poetry 50 All Things Fashion Beauty and the Beast (COVID-19)

60 The Sports Report With Lady K Will the Real NFL Kneel


Front Cover Photography: Dominique Maasaquoi

Black Lives Matter Plaza Washington, DC #BlackLivesMatter



July/August 2020 Founders Karen McConnell-Jones & Dr. Sharon H. Porter Editor-In-Chief Dr. Sharon H. Porter

Contributing Writers: Inspirational Moments Education Is Key Business & Entrepreneurship Health & Wellness

Political Awareness Community Outreach Authors Speak Travel & Real Estate All Things Fashion

Performing Arts

Dr. Essie McKoy Dr. Sharon H. Porter

Layout & Design Dr. Sharon H. Porter Krystal Glenn

Karen McConnell-Jones Donna Harris Jason Greene Candice Camille Kyonna F. Brown

Director of Graphics & Design Krystal Glenn

Karen McConnell-Jones

Sales Team Michelle B. Hauser

Director of Sales Karen McConnell Jones

Karen McConnell-Jones Dr. Essie McKoy James Adéll Antonio "Tony" Turner Martina Turner

Seth Washington

The Sports Report

Karen McConnell-Jones


Karen McConnell-Jones Dr. Sharon H. Porter


Deputy Editors Karen McConnell-Jones Krystal Glenn

Photographers Dominique Massaquoi Stevie Gaymon V&P Consultant Karen Clay Contact


V&P Service Page Special dedication to Donna Harris and Krystal Glenn

The V&P Team is here to be a positive voice for our community through the stories that are shared in our magazine. In addition, we would like to provide services for our community to continue to help build our community one VISION and one PURPOSE at a time! For services and pricing, please contact us at

Karen McConnell-Jones Dr. Sharon H. Porter Krystal Glenn Karen Clay Stevie Gaymon Domminique Massaquoi Angela Bryant Jason Greene Kyonna F. Brown Dr. Essie McKoy James Adéll Antonio Turner Martina Turner Shaina Brown Alicia Morgan Alia Jackson Seth Washington Candice Camille Donna Harris Michelle B. Hauser

Inspirational Speaker and Business Development Consultant (Marketing & Branding Specialist) Educational Consultant, Panel Facilitator & Book Publisher Graphic Designer Website Designer Photographer Photographer Gospel Singer & Real Estate Agent Chef & Catering Service Inspirational Speaker & Social Media Specialist Inspirational Speaker& Educational Consultant Custom Men's Clothing Designer Hair Stylist & Hair Care Products Hair Stylists & Hair Care Products Hair Stylist Women's Clothing Line Specialist Social Media Specialist Vocal Artist & Master of Ceremony Personal Trainer Tax Accountant Virtual Assistant

Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine "Inspiring Our Community"


Contributors Angela Bryant Inspirational Moments

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Donna Harris Business & Entrepreneurship

A passionate and detail-oriented Tax Accountant, Donna Harris has been meeting the needs of individuals and corporations for more than 20 years. Donna has degrees in Management, Accounting and Business.

Candice Camille Health & Wellness

Candice Camille is CEO of Candice Camille Enterprises, Founder of Sexy Fit & Well, and Plank Talk Nation. She is a planking world record contender, an award winning sort after International Speaker and Media Personality. Along with being a High Performance Personal Trainer, Certified Emotional Mastery Coach and Amazon bestselling Author. She has also been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, WUSA 9, and ION TV. As a committed community leader, Candice is CoFounder of Girls Run, Inc. where she serves as a running and mentoring coach for young girls.

Dr. Sharon H. Porter Education Is Key The 2NCs

Dr. Sharon H. Porter (Dr. Sharon) , educator, best-selling author, publisher. Dr. Sharon is the Executive Director of the Next In Line to Lead Aspiring Principal Leadership Academy (APLA). and President of SHP Enterprise, the umbrella entity for Perfect Time SHP LLC, Coaching, Consulting, and Book Publishing Firm, The GRIND Entrepreneur Network, and SHP Media and Broadcasting. She is the host of The I Am Dr. Sharon Show.

Dr. Sharon is a Founding Partner and VicePresident,Media & Communications for WNM Ventures, LLC (The What Now Movement).

Chef Jason Greene Health & Wellness

Chef Jason R Greene is a certified chef who studied at the Art Institute of Washington. He is a very skilled, technically savvy, determined chef who specializes in Cajun Cuisine and innovating new types of menus as time progresses.

Chef Jason is constantly expanding his culinary knowledge and has strong aspirations in making Chef J Greene a household name. In January of 2013 Chef J Greene branched out and started TJay’s Catering Company, a company he quoted to provide high quality cuisine to nourish the mind, body and soul.

Dr. Essie McKoy Authors Speak

Dr. Essie McKoy, CEO of Dr. Essie Speaks, an award-winning educator, a four times Amazon bestselling author, a coach, an inspirational speaker, and a radio host. She received her Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) and an Educational Specialist Degree (Ed. S.) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Master’s Degree from Appalachian State University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Winston-Salem State University.

Karen McConnell Jones Business & Entrepreneurship The Sports Report Political Awareness The 2NCs

Karen McConnell-Jones is an Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, being the first African-American full-service upscale Salon/Day Spa, located in the prestigious downtown Washington, D.C., two blocks from the White House.

Ms. McConnell-Jones is the CEO & President of Class Act Productions and Class Act Speakers Bureau, lending her expertise in the area of Business Development, Business & Purpose Coach, and Inspirational Speaker. Best known for her work she does in the community, earning over 30 proclamations for her work in the community.She is also Deputy Editor, Director of Sales, Co-Founder and Owner of V&P Magazine & Media.

Kyonna F. Brown Health & Wellness

Kyonna is a media guru, successful business owner, and an established author. She wrote Blessed Hands: The Pathway to Forgiveness, and contributed to Breaking Free Forever, The Momentous Journey, and Break Through. Kyonna recently became a CMAT prison mentor. Pooch Styles, her trendy creative pet grooming and aesthetician business in the Washington, DC area, is where she and her staff offer FURgiveness to 4-legged members of various families. She provides tips and tools via her book How to care for the pet I love.

James Adéll Travel & Real Estate

James Adéll, originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, currently resides in Cary, North Carolina. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps . James attended Saint Augustine's University, where he studied Organizational Management, and completed the 37th Session of the Administrative Officers Management Program (AOMP) at North Carolina State University. He is the owner of James Adéll Custom Clothiers, LLC

Antonio Turner All Things Fashion

Tony Turner is co-owner of Tony Turner Hair Products & Salon located in Richmond VA. He is a licensed cosmetologist/ salon owner with over 30 years experience. He has worked for many hair care brands before creating his own line of hair care products. Tony is an award-winning hair stylist and was named Hair Styling Icon by Beauty & Barber Magazine.

He has owned multiple hair salons. Beginning with his first salon The Untouchables at the age of 19. He is looking forward to sharing his insight with V&P readers.

Dominique Massaquoi Photography

Contributors Martina Turner All Things Fashion

Seth Washington Performance Arts

Martina Turner is working on building the Tony Turner Unleashed Brand with her Husband/Business Partner, Antonio Turner, located in Richmond, Virgina.

Seth Washington writes about performing arts for V&P Magazine and brings a first-hand appreciation of the art spectrum. As a very active spoken word artist and master of ceremonies, his performance work routinely partners him with the kinds of musicians, singers dancers and other creative souls that he writes about.

Martina has 26 years of experience in the Cosmetology field. She's had the opportunity to do Platform work at the International Beauty Show in New York City, work with Wahl Clipper Company at the Bronner's International Beauty Show in Atlanta Georgia. Martina is working on photography, filming, designing, creating new looks for advertisement, commercials and Trade shows for Tony Turner Unleashed Hair Care Products.

Krystal Glenn Graphic Design

Dominique Massaquoi was born and raised in Washington DC. She is an up-and-coming photographer. She has a marketing degree from The Pennsylvania State University and is the owner of HawaDigital, a photography business.

Krystal Glenn is the Lead Cinematographer at OG Media Productions. She graduated from Hampton University in 2002 with a degree in Business Administration and started a career in Accounting with a non-profit organization.

She enjoys capturing special moments with her lens. She feels like photography is an art and it allows her to tell a story that can be captured in a second. She specializes in street photography, especially graffiti murals.,

She went on to attend Full Sail University and earned a Bachelors of Science in Digital Cinematography.She is a cinematographer, writer, speaker and producer.

During a previous period along his aesthetic path, Washington also captured 35mm film portraits and performance photos of jazz, rock and hip hop entities including national ,as well as, local Washington, DC area artists.

Michelle B. Hauser Sales Department

Michelle B. Hauser is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has worked in the medical field for over 17 years.

She is currently a Compliance Educator with a Health Care Organization in North Carolina. Michelle earned a Master‘s degree in Medical Health Administration from Strayer University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from Salem College.

As a cinematographer, she has worked on a variety of genres of projects including commercials, PSA, music videos and minidocumentaries, video streaming, short films, commercials and more.


Inspirational Moments


Help Me Maintain By Angela Bryant Sitting on the balcony overlooking the Annapolis Harbor, I can’t help but to get lost in the soothing, cradling sounds of the water’s waves crashing gently against the pier. In fact, if I close my eyes and focus just a little bit, I can visualize myself sitting on the sandy beach of a Caribbean island, such as Jamaica (my favorite getaway spot), sipping my favorite nonalcoholic beverage. In the distance, I hear music that is festive and inviting. Young navy officers from the nearby naval academy, stroll the streets smiling and laughing as if they don’t have a care in the world. And that could be the case, except for one thing. They are all wearing masks as mandated by the state governor due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping our nation—our world. From the Baby Boomers who were thrust into the virtual and digital world due to the pandemic related restrictions, to the Millennials and younger generations who are forced to experience and deal with the harsh and life-threatening fallouts of social and racial injustice and equality inherited from their ancestors and elected government leaders, Americans have JULY/AUGUST 2020 V&P MAGAZINE | 6

themselves in an economic, social and spiritual epidemic crisis—a crisis I believe can be resolved with a simple solution; compassionate people. In other words, when people care, it cultivates the right actions towards others, and those right actions reap the right results…Respect and Justice for all! Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet. In recent days, Americans have displayed selfish behavior by demanding governments to open too early while COVID-19 cases are still on the rise and failing to wear a simple mask when going into the public, placing our most vulnerable at risk. And if that wasn’t enough, on May 25, 2020, the “straw that broke the camel’s back” was the world watching the 8-minute and 46 seconds video recording of the brutal killing of George Floyd—another unarmed AfricanAmerican—by four Minnesota police officers sparking a wave of intense, and in some cases, violent protests and riots across the WORLD in response to racial injustice and police brutality.

“Compassion is passion with a heart.”

These global protests across, in my opinion, are the outcry of diverse people who have had enough. In the final words of Eric Garner (killed July 2014 by NPYD police officers), they declare, ”I’m (we’re) tired of it, this stops today...every time you see me(us), you want to harass me(us), you want to stop me (us)...please just leave me (us) alone!” Enough is enough! With that said, there are signs of promise despite the lack of competent and compassionate government leadership. Across the world, there are multiple coordinated, peaceful protests that have initiated serious talks of lawenforcement reform and racial equality. And although it sounds good, history tells me that change will not happen overnight. So what do we do in the meantime and in-between time, when all the money and government powers of the world cannot and will not resolve the pandemic and racial crisis? And how do we find and maintain peace of mind in the midst of it all? Oh, how I wish I had a magic wand or better yet, the perfect prayer to instantly make our troubles vanish. But I can’t and neither can you. Awarding-winning, Christian artist, Jonathan McReynolds, perfectly penned the following lyrics of the song, Maintain: “I don't wanna live in stress or fear. Cause it's getting crazier everyday out here. All the love and peace you gave to me, I hold so dear. So help me maintain. Help me maintain.”As I read the above lyrics, they deeply resonate within me as if I wrote them myself. And I dare to say that I am not the only one who feels this way. In fact, take a moment to reread the lyrics and then pause letting them marinate for a moment. What is it you feel? Is it fear, craziness, stress or all three? Does a particular situation replay on the silver screen of your mind? And does your chest tighten as anxiety slowly seeps into your mind?

I ask these questions not to judge, but because I, too, battle with these emotional demons periodically. Between COVID-19 and all of the overnight changes that came with it, life as we’ve known it will never be the same. And I don’t care who you are or how strong you have been, this colossal, global change is both frightening and maddening when you look to the future. But God! But Faith! It is my faith in Jesus Christ that gives me security and hope for the future. Make no mistake. Regardless of what the world expert says, Christ and only Christ holds the future (and the present) in His hands. When I reflect on the words impeccably stated in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” I am confident that I can and will maintain peace of mind! Hallelujah! How about you? Are you a Believer of Jesus Christ? Have you put your complete trust in Him? If so, recall a time when no one else could solve your problem EXCEPT Jesus, or a situation where peace of mind could only be found in Him and meditate on it. This is how you will preserve your sanity and inner peace amidst the craziness of this world. How do I know? Borrowing the words of Gospel artist Tye Tribbett, “If He did it before, He can do it again!” As I come to a close, I leave you with the acronym below. May it be a blessing bringing you continuous P.E.A.C.E. during these difficult and uncertain times. Pray without ceasing. (Philippians 4:6-7) Engage God by reading His Holy Word. (Joshua 1:8) Arrest thoughts of fear and anxiety (Duet. 31:8) Claim the promises of God to keep you in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3) Empty your mind of life’s burdens (Psalm 55:22)


Education Is Key

Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., Ed.D.

Andraé Townsel, Ed.D.

Black Male Superintendents' Perspective on Addressing Race Relations in PK-12 Education By Sharon H. Porter. Ed. D.


There has been significant shifts and attitudes and increased dialogue regarding racial profiling, racial injustices, and racial inequities, in the past four months. Protests across the nation and across the globe have sparked a newfound cry regarding police brutality among African-Americans. These conversations, while important in any space, are pivotal in PK-12 education. While I am best known educationally, for focusing on women in education, I thought it was necessary to hear from our black male educational leaders regarding the most recent events of the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. While these occurrences are definitely not new, most can agree that it has struck a chord, specifically in the black community,

The Black Male is a heavily discussed topic in the field of education. As black males leading a school district, I felt the initial response to address the racial tension that has been heightened since the senseless death of George Floyd would be an intentional message to their school communities.

but also across the globe.

As an elementary school principal, I simply could not

I had an opportunity to hear from Dr. Gregory C.

staff and school community. Therefore; I knew as

Hutchings, Jr., Superintendent of Alexandria Public Schools, Alexandria, Virginia and Dr. Andraé Townsel, Superintendent of Benton Harbor Area Schools, Benton Harbor, Michigan. JULY/AUGUST 2020 V&P MAGAZINE | 8

sit in silence. I had to speak up and speak out to my district leaders, a message of hope and support had to have been shared. I thank both, Dr. Hutchings and Dr. Townsel for taking the time to share their thoughts and actions as it relates to this topic.

An Interview with Dr. Andraé Townsel SHP: What was your general message to your school community regarding the unrest globally regarding the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests? AT: Dear Benton Harbor Area Schools Community: Within the last week, there has been unrest across our country due to the death of George Floyd. The unjust murder of Mr. Floyd, an unarmed African-American man in Minnesota, has sparked and reignited the agony that African-Americans and Black people across the globe are experiencing. We have experienced this consistent trauma, in America, decade after decade. The mistreatment of African-Americans is intolerable and not acceptable. Our U.S. Constitution tells us that all children living in the United States have the right to a free public education. The Constitution requires that they be given equal educational opportunity, period. Our students deserve a fair chance to experience the benefits of life in America. And with that, we must stand firmly against racism and bigotry. We demand acceptance, inclusion, and equity. We are dedicated to our students and will ensure that they will be afforded every opportunity to thrive and excel in our global society. There should be no confusion about what is right and what is wrong. There should be no confusion about what racism is or is not. The solution is simple; treat people the way you want to be treated. The safety and security of the physical, social, emotional and overall well-being of our students and staff is our number one priority. We must be intentional about how we support one another. We must be brave, bold, and confident in upholding the core values of Benton Harbor Area Schools’ mission and vision. We must change expeditiously.

Let’s do it together. Our students deserve a prosperous future and it is up to us to shape and secure their future. Let’s lead for excellence. #leading4excellence SHP: How is (or how will) your school district assist students with processing these recent events? AT: We plan to hold a town hall about "Being African American in Today's Society" and COVID-19. We will talk about the tremendous impact the recent events have on our community and how it will shape our future. Educational leaders will need to stand strong with supports and services. SHP: Being a black male leading a school district during this time, does it affect how you lead? AT: This does not affect how I lead. At all times I am leading for excellence. I am constantly seeking the best information to successfully navigate the political and educational landscape. If anything, my philosophy of leadership has been validated by the recent events. I've always pointed out disproportionalities in education and effectively and successfully worked to address them. SHP: The nation has turned its collective attention to the perpetual problem of police brutality and racial profiling, predominately of black males, even as young as 12 with the killing of Tamir Rice, November 22, 2014, in Ohio. What, in your opinion, is the role of PK-12 education and educators as we move forward?

Photographs courtesy of Andraé Townsel, Ed.D.

AT: The role of PK-12 education is to meet the various needs of all students. For black male students, PK-12 education should ensure that it is safe to grow and develop organically. The role of educators is to ensure that all students feel loved and cared for. For black male students, educators must ensure that they feel valued. JULY/AUGUST

2020 V&P MAGAZINE | 9

An Interview with Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

SHP: What was your general message to your school community regarding the unrest globally regarding the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests? GH: As an African American man, the general message I continue to share has been one of a visceral reaction of extreme disappointment and not shock. In op-eds, in interviews, public forums and in our school communications to students, staff and families, I continue to emphasize that systemic racism grips American society today as much as ever and that conversations need to begin across our city, no matter how uncomfortable that makes some people. Racism has never gone away. We need to own, understand and denounce racism before real change can happen. In the days after the death of George Floyd, I thought long and hard about the message I should send to the school community and the community of Alexandria at large. I chose to record a personal video message in the first instance in which I shared my thoughts, told my story and issued a clarion call to change the narrative in this country to one in which every life was valued. I shared the perspective of myself as a father raising a young black man and how it feels to fear for the safety of your child just because of the color of his skin. In America today, I still walk into stores acutely aware that I am being watched as if I am going to steal; witness women clutch their purses when I enter an elevator; and sense the stares when walking in a certain neighborhood as if I do not live there. Some people are uncomfortable, afraid, and suspicious of me simply for being Black. This is my reality and I want people to understand that it should not be tolerated.

Photo Courtesy of Alexandria City Public Schools

SHP: How is (or how will) your school district assist students with processing these recent events? GH: ACPS is fortunate in that it has a hugely diverse student population. Being a student in our school division gives our children a valuable world view that accepts we don’t all look the same. Since the start of my leadership in ACPS, we have placed an emphasis on ensuring equity for all and equitable access to opportunities as well as experiences. The battle to rid inequities in education is front and center of everything we do. Public education is a contributing factor to systemic racism throughout our country. Therefore much work around normalizing the discussion about racism is essential within ACPS to address the awful truth of our educational foundation. This equity work means that administrators already have some of the tools needed to be able to pivot to discussions about George Floyd, the subsequent riots and protest with relative ease in an age appropriate manner. However, we must extend our professional learning and explicitly focus on racial equity which is the root of our issues. We also have teachers versed in restorative circles and practices who are able to utilize these techniques to bring about discussions in a safe and familiar space. Our counseling team has also extended their services to our staff and students as we all grapple with these most recent events. Anti-racism resources, (books, websites, etc) have been compiled and shared to help support our parents as they navigate this as well. While our staff and administrators undertake training in this area, we need to continue to shine a light on every corner that may harbor overt or covert racism. It is imperative that we provide anti-racism training for ALL employees and ensure that we establish an anti-racist culture within ACPS.

Photo Courtesy of Alexandria City Public Schools

Our textbooks and history lessons must provide accurate information about the founding principles of our country and share the ugly truth of the Black struggle. We must educate our students on all aspects of the lives of our “American Heroes” including their racist beliefs and inhumane actions. Knowing our history including the good, the bad and the ugly allows us to not repeat it.

"I will continue to build my knowledge of anti-racism strategies..." -Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

SHP: Being a black male leading a school district during this time, does it affect how you lead? GH: As an African American leader, I feel a responsibility to stand up and be counted and encourage others to do the same. I know that I stand on the shoulders of many before me who fought, died and protested for me to even have the opportunity to lead, especially in the city of Alexandria. I embrace the fact that I am a role model for African American males and have an opportunity to have a seat at the decision table to make change. My life experience as an African American man in America and my role as superintendent allows me to reach out across racial divides and unify. All this runs through my core leadership values. While we have diversity in our school population, we don’t see diversity in our AP classrooms and we don’t see diversity in our disciplinary records. This means we must look deeper at our own practices and ensure we continue to change from within. We need to dig into the data we have and identify our weak points, taking steps to sure-up our support systems for students who may need them. I am heavily invested in academic programs that identify and promote minority students who may otherwise fail to reach their full potential. It is my duty and responsibility to use my platform and position to make change for those whose voices have not been heard. As I watch this situation unfold, I have publicly pledged to no longer remain quiet when I am a witness to microaggressions, racism, and the belittling of our young people, especially those that are Black and brown. I will continue to build my knowledge of anti-racism strategies, work to establish a culture of anti-racism, and commit to engaging and listening to the perspectives of our young people with an open mind and heart. In galvanizing our community in Alexandria, I am confident that our ACPS mission, vision, core values and goals in our Equity for All 2025 strategic plan will serve as a roadmap to remove barriers for our students in ACPS and shift this narrative in a positive direction.

SHP: The nation has turned its collective attention to the perpetual problem of police brutality and racial profiling, predominately of black males, even as young as 12 with the killing of Tamir Rice, November 22, 2014, in Ohio. What, in your opinion, is the role of PK-12 education and educators as we move forward? GH: The killing of Tamir Rice really hit home with me because I was superintendent in Shaker Heights which is a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio when this horrific incident occurred. It literally ripped my heart and soul into shreds knowing that a young man’s entire life was ended due to senseless, racist, and unthinkable acts of violence. The role of educators of America’s children cannot be overstated at the best of times. Today, as we face this crisis, our staff and administrators, who have immense influence over the next generation of Americans, need to be reminded of their role in changing the course of our future and reshaping our country for the better. The subject of racism can and must be tackled head-on in the classroom from the earliest age, history lessons must reflect reality and teachers must rid themselves of prejudice if they are to be deserving of our children. A radical rethink of teacher certification, which involves stripping down and rebuilding attitudes, expectations and understanding must be considered as we move forward. We must be bold and courageous enough to no longer accept mediocrity within our schools and not allow anyone that breaks the spirits of our young people to work in our schools or even be near a child. Now is the time to learn from history and to eradicate the scourge of racism once and for all. Let us look back at 2020 as the turning point for our great nation.

Photo Courtesy of Alexandria City Public Schools JULY/AUGUST 2020 V&P MAGAZINE 11 11


SERVING THE COMMUNITY Five-time award-winning newspaper Black-owned Serving 50 years in the community Highlights positive images of the African American community.

BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY Dr. Calvin Rolark founded The Washington Informer Newspaper Co. Inc. in 1964. Denise Rolark Barnes, daughter of founder, is the leading voice and publisher of the Washington Informer.

UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE AND VALUE OF THE BLACK PRESS Many laid the groundwork for black journalists and publishers.

WOMEN IN JOURNALISM There are still challenges All journalists must demosntrate a passion for storytelling and truthtelling.


EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! The Washington Informer Newspaper 56 Years Strong and Still Standing! by Karen McConnell-Jones

Did you know that the Washington Informer Newspaper has been serving the community for over 50 years? The five-time award-winning black-owned newspaper has been the heartbeat for the African American community for so many years. Created to be and still continues to be the positive voice for the black community, serving the Washington Metropolitan area. The Washington Informer Newspaper Co. Inc. is a multimedia organization founded on October 16, 1964 by Dr. Calvin Rolark, in order

to highlight positive images of the African American community. Dr. Rolark was one of the District's finest leading voices and the voice for his community, building a publication that provides the best in local news coverage and that illustrates the very best of the black community. Building a family legacy that is still in existence today. Having his daughter at a young tender age of nine to be under his tutelage and teaching her the importance of having a publication built on integrity and to have a

working relationship with the community in which they serve, to do so with high honor and respect. Dr. Calvin Rolark daughter, Ms. Denise Rolark Barnes is now our leading voice and the publisher of the Washington Informer. “I worked alongside my dad at The Washington Informer since the age of nine, when the paper first started. I knew then that he was the face and voice of The Washington Informer, but I also knew that we were building an institution together. I feel strongly that individuals can continue to carry the legacy forward, but my job is to help build a brand that outlived him, and I hope it will survive me. Now that my two sons are engaged, I am incredibly proud that they understand the legacy began with their grandfather but that the name, "The Washington Informer, is a brand that must outlive us all" said Ms. Rolark Barnes. KMJ: Wow! That was such a great moment you just shared with us about your dad and continuing the family legacy. I am so excited and honored to be doing this interview with you, so without further ado let’s get started. The Washington Informer always stood for being a positive voice for the African American community, how are you staying true to that principal today? DRB: That is one of the easiest parts of our mission. As my dad often said, less than five percent of African Americans are engaged in negative activities. The majority of us are involved in positive activities, but if left up to the other media, no one would know it. There is much more positive news than we could ever print in The Washington Informer, but it’s our mission to report on as much of it as possible. So much of the positive news we are engaged in is taken for granted. We refuse to let that happen, so we keep telling the positive stories on every platform we use. Even if it’s a negative event, we can find a positive outcome. It’s never been hard to do.

DRB: This question brings back lots of memories. As a graduate of HU School of Communications, I told my dad when I joined the staff, that we should pay our writers and photographers. We couldn’t depend on getting quality content forever for free. Then we began using color photos while many papers were still only using black & white. We moved from typesetting copy at our printer to desktop printing in-house. We were late in the game to create a website, but we were recognized as one of the best when we did. We began publishing special print editions on topics including health, homeownership, financial literacy, older Americans, sustainability, HIV/AIDS, and other issues that impacted our readers in unique ways. We hired a social media specialist and established mobile platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. We recently created WIN-TV, a weekly live digital news program. We also launched WI Bride, a monthly news magazine focusing on millennials in the DMV, to name a few of our initiatives. KMJ: As a black woman in the media business that is still a male-dominant industry what model would you like to set and what words of encouragement would you like to give to the next aspiring black female journalist?

KMJ: The Washington Informer is over 50 years old and has made an historic name for itself so what are some enhancements you had to make over the years to stay relevant and current with where we are now?


DRB: Women have pretty much taken over the journalism industry, but we still have challenges. All journalists, regardless of race or gender, must demonstrate a passion for storytelling and truth-telling. I believe female journalists are natural for reaching the core of an issue, but they cannot be shy about it. If you are a student, write. Become a member of your school newspaper, write for your church organization, build your portfolio, and make sure you learn and use the new media platforms. Know how to tell stories in video and audio. Build a social media community. That’s what employers will be looking for. KMJ: Which brings me to my next question, the Washington Informer Charities Inc. was created to promote literacy and sponsors internship opportunities and writing competitions for students interested in pursuing careers in journalism yet how important is it overall for our young youth to have great writing skills? DRB: I’m glad you asked this question. Back in the day, we had lots of time to teach and train journalists. That’s one reason why WI Charities was established. Today, we seek grants that support our coverage of issues that impact our readers, and we need reliable and influential writers to help us fulfill that need. We not only look for excellent writers, but your passion for the craft is most important. We try to reinforce the idea that good writers become so because they write often. You can’t be so in love with their words that you’re not willing to have your work reviewed and critiqued. It is our job to help create great writers. KMJ: Final question, what would be that final thought or message that you would like to leave us with today? DRB: I want people to understand the importance and value of the Black Press. Those of us who are a part stand on the legacy of many great men and women who told our stories under dangerous conditions and in uncertain times. Folks like John Russwurm and Samuel B. Cornish, Frederick Douglass, and my idol, Ida B. Wells, all laid the groundwork for every Black woman and male journalist and publisher that followed. I hope that people, especially Black people, will never forget or discount the Black Press. We, in the Black Press, are among the voices that help to keep America honest. KMJ: Well said my friend. A lady with great dignity and class!

" I hope that people, especially Black people, will never forget or discount the Black Press." ~ Denise Rolark Barnes


Photo Courtesy of the Washington Informer

V&P Black Business Choice of the Month Ms. Denise Rolark Barnes, The Washington Informer Denise Rolark Barnes is the publisher of The Washington Informer, the award-winning community newspaper serving the African American community in the Washington Metropolitan area. In addition to her work at The Washington Informer, Rolark-Barnes maintains The Washington Informer Charities, a non-profit organization that promotes literacy and sponsors internship opportunities and writing competitions for students interested in pursuing careers in journalism. Rolark Barnes is past president of the AARP-DC. She serves on the boards of several local non-profit, community and municipal organizations, including Events DC, the DC Martin Luther King Holiday Commission, National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Maryland, Delaware, DC Press Association, American Lung Association, and the Commission on the 40th Anniversary of DC Home Rule. She is also a member of Leadership Greater Washington. She is an inductee in the D.C. Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the Generous Heart Award presented by the Jack H. Olender Foundation. Rolark Barnes is a graduate of Howard University and Howard University School of Law.


Business & Entrepreneurship

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! By Karen McConnell-Jones The Washington Informer Advertising & Marketing The Importance of Newspaper Advertisement

Did you know research shows that advertising in newspaper and magazine media, readers are more likely to act on an ad they’ve seen in their community newspaper and magazine, rather than on TV or radio? The Washington Informer has not only been the voice for the black community but has also provided a place where black businesses can advertise and have the support of their community in such a way that otherwise may not have been available to them. “Yes, the Washington Informer can help you speak directly and effectively to the African American community and again, I want to highlight the customer service you will receive through a relationship with us. Effective communication is key when having your advertisement messaging to be heard and seen” said Ron Burke, Director of Advertising and Marketing for the Washington Informer Newspaper.

Photo courtesy oft the Washington Informer

KMJ: Ron Burke, you know you are such a dear friend to me and we have been friends for over 15 years now, you have mentored me and my partner Dr. Sharon H. Porter behind the scenes on starting V&P Magazine, so I personally know how passionate you are about your work and giving back to your community and I know Dr. Sharon and I are so grateful to you for your guidance through our process of starting this magazine. And yes, a question is finally coming soon but I just had to take this time first to tell you how much I value our friendship and fully trust the business relationship that you have given me over the years. Which is so fitting to start my first question by asking, I know you are the Director of Advertising & Marketing for the Washington Informer Newspaper yet you are known for being hands-on and an out front in the community kind of guy. Why is that so important to you?

RB: I believe that everything starts with relationships, so I try to do whatever is necessary to create those relationships and then also provide the customer service necessary to nurture and grow those relationships. KMJ: How have you helped our black businesses and small community businesses growth through the way of advertising and marketing? RB: Advertising is nothing more than messaging and we have been successful in helping our partners with packaging and delivering their messaging in different ways across our print and digital platforms.


KMJ: You have volunteered your skill set to so many great causes and charitable organizations and now the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for The Washington Informer Charities Inc. why is giving back and serving a big part of what you do? RB: I was brought up to believe that you should try to make a difference while on this earth and giving back and serving allows me to make a difference in some small way. KMJ: Okay, let's have a moment of real talk here, we are right now in the middle of a COVID-19 Pandemic, not knowing when it’s going to end or if fully ever and on top of that we are still seeing our black men constantly experiencing police brutality that leads to our black men dying. So, three things here, how does this affect you as a black male, second, as a father with a black young son, and third, working for a black community newspaper? RB: We are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic of racism, and I try to use my role as a Black Man and Black Father to pride wisdom and the benefit of my experiences to my kids and others in my community. My role as a member of the Washington Informer family allows me to be part of an organization that provides positive news and information to our community. KMJ: Last question, since I know you so well I have to end with sharing with everyone that I know you are such the honorable family man. Why is this so important to you and what is your secret to balancing it all, work and family? RB: Karen, I appreciate you and all you do in our community through Class Act Productions and I want to thank you for the opportunity for The Washington Informer to be featured in Vision & Purpose Magazine. I do not have a secret – it all goes back to how I was raised and that is to work hard and always do the best you can so I try to translate that to work and family. KMJ: Ron, my friend, thank you for this opportunity to interview you but more importantly thank you for your humility you always display. Your community loves you for it.

V&P Black Business Choice of the Month Ron Burke Director of Advertising & Marketing Ron Burke is the Director of Advertising and Marketing for The Washington Informer and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for The Washington Informer Charities Inc. As a pioneer in Hampton City Schools, he integrated the junior high after his parents petitioned the Virginia Board of Education and persevered through a protracted struggle for this historical accomplishment. He is a product of the esteemed Hampton University’s business management programs. He joined The Washington Informer in 2002, after contributing to sales, contract negotiations and integrated network solutions for several telecommunications companies including Digex, Intermedia Communications, Protocall Communications and WorldCom. Ron also sits on the Board of Directors of MACNET, which is the advertising and marketing network for MACPA (Mid Atlantic Community Papers Association), and is National Marketing and Constituency Development Director for The National Newspaper Publishers Association.

Photo Cou rtesy of th e Washing ton Inform er

He credits life experiences and a strong faith as the guiding forces in his life, which includes his wife, Jennell, daughter, Cheyenne and son, Ronald Wayne. The four attend Trinity Episcopal Church. JULY/AUGUST 2020 V&P MAGAZINE | 17

Business & Entrpreneurship

PLANTING THE SEEDS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FINANCIAL PRESENT AND FUTURE By C. Adesalu Accountant, Life Insurance Agent and Financial Advisor

As expressed in the “In The Midst Of An Extended Tax Season: Have You Taken A Financial inventory?” article in the May/June edition, making sure you and your family are secure mentally and financially are vital. Taking care of yourself and your family includes ensuring there is enough life insurance coverage for you and your loved ones. There are many life insurance products like Term, Permanent, Whole Life, Guaranteed Issued and Accidental Death that fits all budgets. Yes, the premiums you pay are based on age, gender, and health; however no one should be excluded from being insured. For instance, investing in a Whole Life Insurance policy includes a cash value better known as a savings account with stipulations but can be utilized to fund present and future tangible financial goals.

On the other hand, Term Life Insurance provides coverage for a certain period and is paid if the insurer transitions during that time frame. Least but not last, Guaranteed Issued Life insurance is a small whole life insurance policy that has minimum to no health qualifications. There IS a policy that fits your needs and budget. For the best coverage contact a knowledgeable financial advisor or insurance agent that will lead you in the right direction. Secondly, doing a reality check on a budget you set is crucial. During my years of financial advising I believe the 20-70-10 rule is reasonable and attainable. Twenty (20) percent of your net income should be invested in savings. Savings should be diverse which may include CDs, savings bank account, retirement, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, commodities, annuities, and/or real estate.


The seventy (70) percent indulges in some of your wants while addressing your needs better known as “paying your bills on time.” And that handy dandy ten (10) percent should be dedicated to a life changing mission which can be a donation to a spiritual/religious establishment, nonprofit/foundation or any other cause you want to support. As my grandmother used to say with only a third-grade education, “Your Credit is You!” At times we face unfortunate circumstances that may negatively affect our personal credit but as Jesse said, “Keep Hope Alive.” Your “wrongs” can be made right with knowledge and perseverance.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the federal law that governs debt collection practices which prohibits debt collection agencies from using abusive, unfair, and deceptive practices to collect debt. A good nugget you should know is that each state has requirements a collection agency must meet before legally operating/collecting in your state. Contact your state’s consumer affairs department or attorney general's office for instructions on how to verify an agency’s licensing.Hopefully, these financial facts will assist with building the legacy your family deserves. It is best to have a financial guru or advisor in your list of contacts. As another reminder, individual federal tax returns were due by July 15, 2020. For our future issues of V & P, I would like to address the tax matters that are relative to you, our Readers. If you have a situation that you are concerned about, let me hear from you. Your name and/or company will remain anonymous. I do ask that in your contact information, provide me your name and business type if applicable. But also, give yourself and/or your business a code name. This will enable you to recognize that the article is addressing your specific concern(s) while possibly helping others in similar circumstances. On the subject line of your email, enter “Tax Matters.”

Contact V&P For All Your Media Needs


Health & Wellness

LOVE YOUR BODY LOVE YOUR LIFE! By Candice Camille How do you feel when you first wake up in the morning? Are you eager to get your day going because you’re full of energy or do you grumble and hide your head under the pillow because you could use another 12 hours of hibernation? Evaluating how you feel first thing in the morning is a good indicator of your overall health. Generally speaking, if you’re maintaining a healthy weight and eating a good share of fruits and vegetables daily, you should be starting the day with a bang and not feeling sluggish. On the other hand, if you live a sedentary life and rely on the closest fast food joint, then you will likely be the one who wants to go back to sleep, who needs five cups of coffee to conquer the day, or who grumbles about every little thing that might go wrong. How you start your day has a direct impact on whether you see things positively or negatively and it can also affect the moods of your family members and coworkers. Wellologist Tip: Start your day with a smile. Your smile will be infectious and you’ll improve someone else’s mood as well as your own. We’ve all heard the same news stories for years telling us to lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise. However, there are just as many people who believe you should just accept your body as it is and, so long as you’re a good person and living a productive life, then that’s all that matters.

You already know about the life-threatening illnesses and problems you face due to excess weight. You already know your risks increase significantly as your weight increases. This shouldn’t scare you because it’s nothing you haven’t heard already – and if you were really concerned about the risks, you probably would have taken action already! So, my question to you is what are you pretending not to know? Studies have proven that lifestyle changes ultimately decrease the risk of weight-related illnesses. Such as heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, sleep apnea, depression and osteoarthritis. Whether you could stand to lose 10 pounds or 100, it’s time to love your body and love your life! Wellologist Tip: 1. Drink 8 glasses of water every day 2. Try a new, healthy recipe twice a week 3. 30-minute brisk walk four times a week Before you know it, you’ll start to see progress and you’ll quickly form new healthy habits that will help you make lifelong changes to your lifestyle. If you firmly believe that you will lose weight and become a healthier person, then you’re more likely to take the necessary steps to make it a reality. Remember that you are in control of your body and how you nourish it. Show yourself the kind of love and respect you deserve. Only you can make your life better. You Get To Decide!

Well, it’s true that you shouldn’t judge people strictly based on looks. It is also true that losing weight for shallow or vain purposes will only be a temporary fix and then it’s back to your unhealthy habits. The real reason to lose weight is that you love your body so much that you have a deep desire to be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy.


Health & Wellness

CoCo Cotton

Carson Joyful Noise

Pandemic Pet By Kyonna F. Brown As humans our worlds have been flipped upside down. Everything as we’ve known it to be either shattered or just stopped. Our families come in many sizes, shapes, and even fur. Yes, fur! Let’s talk about the health and wellness of our fur babies during this season. Many of their habits and schedules have been changed as well. Some may think, yeah for the pets, but just like us, some of them do not take to change well. Many pets are at home during work hours alone. Now we’re invading their space. This brings confusion as they are creatures of habit. It may seem fine now, but what happens when we go back to work? This is when the harm

can take place. Anxiety can be developed. This can lead destructive behaviors. Tearing up toys, biting their cage, and even chewing on themselves. A suggestion to help with this possible behavior is to keep them on a schedule. If you’re working from home and they’re caged usually. Put their cage time on your work schedule. This will allow them to keep the pattern of time they had before. When it’s lunch time take them for a brief walk and repeat the AM schedule with your PM schedule.


During the pandemic we have had lost emotions and may have become emotional eaters. Our pets might have gotten some extra snacks without the proper exercises. We often feel that they need a treat. There’s not a problem with that, but just like us, bad snacks will add roundness to their little belly’s. As a professional groomer and pet aesthetician, when the State of Maryland was in Phase 2 of reopening, I saw a few pets that appeared to be emotionally eating through the pandemic with their pet parents or given love snacks. Most dog food bags give the recommendations for quantity feeding on the back of their products. This portions out the food appropriately for your pets size. It is a good rule of thumb to follow. Just like us pets can develop diabetes, heart issues, liver issues, and even obesity. Food plays a big factor in these developments.

Health & Wellness

Tips for Grooming at Home According to the Farmers Dog Digest, here are some healthy snacks for pets with some great information about the health benefits of consumption. Apples An apple a day may not keep the vet away, and that’s probably for the best— vets are really important!—but apples are a healthy snack for dogs. Apples are relatively high in fiber, which can aid in your dog’s digestion. They’re also a good source of antioxidants (vitamins A and C), which can help protect against free-radical damage. An added benefit: They can help remove residue from teeth to keep your dog’s mouth healthy and their breath fresh. Caution: Apples contain amygdalin, a form of cyanide that’s poisonous if consumed. So always remove the seeds and core before offering them to your pup. Bananas Bananas are low in cholesterol and sodium, relatively high in fiber, and contain potassium, vitamins (including vitamin C), fiber, and copper, which can contribute to a healthier heart, better digestion, and increased energy. Keep in mind that a small banana has 12 grams of sugar, so serve in moderation. Blueberries Blueberries are not only rich in antioxidants (vitamins C and K) and high in fiber, but they contain powerhouse phytochemicals, including anthocyanins, which give the berries their color. Share the health next time you’re whipping up a smoothie and toss a few berries into your dog’s bowl. Pro tip: break open blueberries to unleash their scent and make them more interesting to your dog. Cantaloupe Filled with beta-carotene, fiber, folate, niacin, potassium, and vitamins A, B-6, and C, this sweet melon is a nutritional powerhouse for your pup. Don’t forget to remove the seeds and rind, as they can both cause stomach and digestive issues. Carrots Carrots are rich in nutrients like fiber and the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may help protect against certain diseases. One study of transitional cell carcinoma in Scottish Terriers—a urinary bladder cancer prevalent in the breed—found that certain leafy green vegetables and yellow-orange vegetables (like carrots!) may slow the development of or prevent occurrence of the disease. The texture of carrots may also help remove film from the surface of teeth and do a small part in helping prevent the buildup of plaque (be sure you’re still brushing though!) Celery This crunchy, low-calorie snack contains vitamins A, B, and C, which can help boost your dog’s immune system and overall health.



Healthy Snacks for Your Dog Cucumbers

Cucumbers contain nearly no fats and oils. They are however, loaded with nutrients like potassium, copper, magnesium, biotin, and vitamins K, C, and B-1. The high water content in cucumbers will help hydrate your dog, so they’re especially good for summer and active days. They also deliver phytonutrients that can help fight the bacteria that contributes to bad breath. Cool! Green Beans A crunchy source of iron, calcium, fiber, folic acid, niacin, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, and K, green beans are another excellent choice. Only feed fresh or canned varieties minus the salt. Pears A frequently overlooked option for dogs, pears contain fiber, and vitamins C and K, which contribute to better digestion and a stronger immune system. Just be sure to remove the core before serving. Pumpkin Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene –the antioxidant responsible for its rich orange color- as well as such powerhouses as fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Holistic veterinarians also say it may help in some instances of diarrhea and constipation. We recommend canned pumpkin puree. Canned pumpkin pie filling may contain ingredients like sugar, spices, and xylitol. Consider subbing in pumpkin for peanut butter—it’s about five calories per tablespoon versus 100 calories for the same amount of peanut butter. Red Peppers Packed with vitamins and antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and boost immunity, slices of raw red peppers are a sweet treat as long as you remove the stems and seeds. Also be sure to keep spicy peppers away from your dog as they can cause digestive upset. Strawberries Strawberries are a great source of fiber and vitamin C, which boosts immunity. Strawberries also contain a compound, malic acid, that may aid in whitening dogs’ teeth. Like bananas, strawberries are high in sugar and need to be given in small portions. Opt for fresh berries only and avoid canned fruit in syrup or with added sugar. If strawberries are a new treat, start out with small amounts to avoid stomach upset. Sweet Potatoes Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene and vitamins B-6 and C. They also contain minerals which serve many purposes in a dog’s body; potassium, for example, helps keep kidneys functioning properly, maintains the right fluid balance in the body, and helps with nerve and muscle function. Their high dietary fiber content also helps digestion. If you’re cooking sweet potatoes for your dog at home, opt for steaming or boiling them. Cautions: raw potatoes can be pretty rough on your dog’s digestive system, so be sure to cook them. Also, WSAVA advises against feeding dried sweet potato treats, as they’ve been associated with kidney disease.



Healthy Snacks for Your Dog Watermelon Consisting of 92 percent water, watermelon is a tasty treat that can help keep your dog hydrated on a hot day. It’s also packed with nutrients like potassium and vitamins A, B-6, and C.Like apples, watermelon seeds can cause intestinal blockage and digestion problems. Keep the rind out of your dog’s reach too, as it can also lead to gastrointestinal upset.

Practicing Prudent Portion Control Even too much of a fruit or vegetable can contribute to weight gain, so mastering portion control is essential. You’ve probably heard of the 90/10 rule stating that treats should comprise no more than ten percent of a complete and balanced diet. Precisely measuring ten percent isn’t always straightforward, however, and guesstimating can result in overfeeding. Lastly let’s talk about our hygiene care during the pandemic. A lot of us were walking around with hair undone, nails not manicured, and even bushy eyebrows for some women. Our pets had overgrown bangs, nails growing into claws, ears that needed cleaning, and even full anal gland sacks. Their hygiene had been put on hold. As a pet professional I fill that our pets hygiene are an essential service as they are essential needs for their overall health. Many pet parents were lost, some took to YouTube and tried to master the skill. Many owners soon had a new respect for their groomers and their craft. Here are some at home tips for grooming:

#1. Always use pet shampoo and conditioner for cleaning. Human products are more acidic and can burn your pets skin or leaves the skin dry causing other health issues.

#2. Nails are a must. Long nails can enable difficulty with walking and present damage to their paws. The nail can grow under and pierce their pads causing more discomfort, an infection, and a vet bill. Clipping nails can be a challenge. I recommend that you use an electric filer. This will help you smooth out the nails. For pets with long hair, use an old knee high stocking over the foot pressing the nails through the stockings. Doing this will prevent the hair from circulating around the electric filer. #3. Comb and brush! When doing this, it prevents matting for long haired pets. This needs to be done daily, but 3 to 4 times a week will work. Use a detangler spray to add moisture. This will allow you to get through the process without breaking the hair and causing discomfort. Dry static hair is what causes matting. Doing this is a sure way to prevent your pet from becoming tangled. Matting hides skin issues, fleas and ticks, and it can also affect their mobility. #4. Ear cleaning. This will eliminate potential infections and keep their ears healthy. When choosing a solution make sure that it’s all natural. You want to stay clear of alcohol based products. They will cause more harm than good. Never poor the product directly into the ear. Use a large cotton ball with the solution applied to it. Once liquid is in the ear canal it is almost impossible to get it out. That can cause an infection as well. Those tips were just the tip of the iceberg. As you see, the pandemic didn’t just shift our normal, but it affected our pets as well. Pet parents, we have a duty to take care of our pets, but in uncertain times, what used to be so easy for us to do became a challenge. It was easy for us to go to the professional. Now you have some insight and helpful tips. I hope these tips will prepare you for the future and maybe even aid in some of your new regular health maintenance regimens with your fur babies.


Health & Wellness


Summertime eating habits can get very unhealthy at times with tons of barbecue that is served during this delightful season. Now as a chef myself I will admit I have the same guilty pleasure for barbecue, but I have learned to incorporate some healthy alternatives to my menu. Traditionally, smoking and grilling is dedicated to pork, beef and chicken leg quarters. These meats have fatty sections in them that add to the natural flavor during the grilling and smoking process but can be very unhealthy for you. A healthier alternative to those meats would be something that’s leaner such as salmon, chicken breast and even vegetables. Salmon is a unique fish, not only does it swim upstream causing it to have a very lean body structure, but it has an amazing nutritional value for you. Salmon provides vitamin A, multiple vitamin B-vitamins and a healthy fat essential called Omega-3 that is essential to your heart, brain and nervous system. Salmon is also

rich with several minerals including magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. There are tons of fun recipes for grilling or smoking salmon online, but simply using lemon juice, cracked black pepper and sea salt is all you need. A chef's tip for salmon would be to remember to cook at high heat for a short period of time. The Chicken Breast, being the leanest part of the chicken; its low in sodium, high in protein and sugar free, making it a popular addition to a healthy diet. The healthy benefit of this low-fat protein helps the body maintain muscle mass and helps build muscle in conjunction with a workout regimen. Another fun fact is the consumption of healthy proteins such as chicken breast helps you feel full, which can help reduce food cravings and prevent overeating. A chicken breast can be treated just like a pork shoulder; it can be seasoned, smoked and shredded giving you pulled chicken a healthier alternative to pulled pork.


A chef's tip for chicken breast would be to remember to cook at a medium to low heat for a long period of time.

Vegetables are of course healthy so there is no

The body frame, neutral flavor and meaty texture of

disputing that but can be challenging when it comes

the Portobello Mushroom makes it perfect for grilling

to preparing them especially during the summertime.

just like the world-famous hamburger.

There are a few vegetables such as Asparagus, Eggplant and Portobello Mushroom that if properly

A chef tip for grilling vegetables would to be to brush

prepped before grilling can be both flavorful and

with a vinaigrette or Italian dressing and placed on


the grill with high heat cooking for a very quick timeperiod.

Asparagus is an excellent source of potassium, an essential nutrient involved in blood clotting and bone

Now understanding that your summertime barbecue

health. In addition, asparagus is high in folate, a

can have a healthy alternative that still will provide

nutrient vital for a healthy pregnancy. Eggplants are

flavor and fun. I encourage you to explore what great

rich in fiber and antioxidants, just one serving can

benefits these specific food items can provide you.

provide at least five percent of a person’s daily

The summer of 2020 will be interesting enough with

requirement of fiber, copper, manganese, B-6 and

COVID-19 being as present as it is so eating while

thiamine. Eggplants are also a source of phenolic

maintaining a healthy nutritional balance will be vital

compounds that act as antioxidants. Portobella

to your overall health!

Mushrooms are a great source of protein, they include






Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Copper and Selenium.



V&P Inspiring Our Community Podcast Special dedication to Donna Harris and Krystal Glenn

A V&P Media Production


Photo by Domminique Massaquoi

From the Founders

By Karen McConnell-Jones and Dr. Sharon H. Porter

The 2NCs

Mayor Muriel Bowser is one of a few black female mayors across the nation’s 100 largest cities and just happens to be mayor of the District of Columbia...Yes, Washington, DC. Bowser has been mayor of the District of Columbia since 2015. Since the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests, the Mayor has found herself in oftentimes a verbal and twitter war with the 45th president of the United States. Bowser, tweets, “I call upon our city and our nation to exercise great restraint even while this President continues to try to divide us…” Taking a stance and making a clear statement on what is at the center of attention in our country “Black Lives Matter.” In the prestigious area of downtown Washington, D.C., in view of the White House spreading two city blocks long in BIG BOLD YELLOW writing is “Black Lives Matter,” placed there by the Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. Some would say that this goes against her own police department and how does this help the situation of police brutality while others would say that she took a STRONG BOSS CHIC move. Mayor Bowser’s Chief of Staff John Falcicchio said “There was a dispute this week about whose street it is, and Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear whose street it is and honor the peaceful demonstrators who assembled Monday night.” On the other hand, President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr brought in the federal police and National Guard units to the capital against Bowser’s wishes. Trump then had federal law enforcement forcefully clear the area of the peaceful protesters just so he can have his photo op moment for the news cameras while standing on the corner with a bible in his hand. Leaving one to say what purpose did this serve? Only he knows as with most things he does, in which most cases are questionable and in poor representation of leadership of our country. Not only did Mayor Bowser paint the mural of the ‘Black Lives Matters” two blocks long, she even had the street sign name changed to say “Black Lives Matters Plaza NW.” Onlookers cheered as the street sign was being hung while the song “Rise Up” by Andra Day was playing in the background. Mayor Bowser addressed the crowd by saying “In America you can peacefully assemble.” Which the peaceful protest comes at a point when we are living in very delicate times with the COVID-19 Pandemic being upon us globally and the whole world is trying to embrace and adjust to our new normal and then witnessing another police brutality with the death of George Floyd, having this to be the reason why the community as a whole is saying enough is enough. JULY/AUGUST 2020 V&P MAGAZINE | 30

Photo by Domminique Massaquoi

"Black Lives Matter" Too

We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted or to get

Like her or not, it is hard to deny that the painting

caught up in which some will have this to be a

of Black Live Matter followed by the city’s flag was a

battle about the current president showing his

true “Boss Move” She released a video on twitter

power over Bowser, Bowser showing it’s her city

from a rooftop showing the White House

and the Black Lives Matters organizers coming out

overlooking the Black Lives Matter Plaza...A Boss

against Bowser saying it’s not enough. When the

Move.This move sparked several other cities to

real matter is that the community voice has spoken

create a space on their city streets for Black Lives

no more police brutality and no more injustice.

Matter or End Racism Now… Raleigh NC, Charlotte,

Wrongful deaths and lives being lost, especially

NC, New York city were among some of the cities

black lives will no longer go unnoticed without

that followed Mayor Bowser’s lead in declaring a

justice being served. Let the record show that the

designated space for #BlackLivesMatter on the city

community voice has been heard Loud and Clear!


This is not the first time Mayor Bowser has had run-

Unfortunately, when some people hear "Black Lives

ins with the current president as she fights for the

Matter", they interpret it as Black Lives Matter

residents of the District.There was the federal

ONLY...When the true meaning is Black Lives

government shut-down in 2019, relief funds offered

Matters TOO... It was never meant to exclude

to the city during COVID-19, clashes when he

anyone, only to bring awareness to the many black

wanted to hold a grand military parade in the

lives that are being killed at the very hands that

capital. But this most recent public clash over

have sworn to protect and serve.

#BlackLivesMatter has taken it to a new level. Mayor Bowser has been placed in the national spotlight due to the ongoing twitter exchanges and bantering about how things were being handled in the city as it relates to the protests and looting.. Mayor Bowser did not back down. AT ALL.



I’m Running This Race and I Have the Community Behind Me! Meet Candidate Vangie Williams for Virginia's 1st Congressional District Vangie Williams is an author, strategic planner, and an American Politician from Virginia's 1st Congressional District which stretches from Northern Virginia to as far south as Hampton Roads. Vangie is a member of the Democratic Party. Vangie is originally from the Washington, D.C. area, and she comes from very humble beginnings. Vangie’s childhood story can be breathtaking all on its own but yet, she used her family’s struggles and her childhood experiences to become a doer and a believer at such a young age. Vangie went on to become a STELLAR worker in her young career while attending college to obtain not just one degree but nevertheless, obtaining four degrees. Her degrees include: Associate of Applied Science (AAS )in Construction Management from Montgomery College, Rockville, MD; Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in Federal Acquisitions and Contract Management from Strayer University, Fredericksburg, VA; and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA)in Project Management from Ashford University, Clinton, IA. Vangie currently works as a strategic planner and she is a professional problem solver. When Space Shuttle Columbia went down in 2003, NASA tapped Vangie to get the space flight master program plan back on track. Currently, Vangie works for BCF Solutions in Dahlgren, VA. From 2008-until present, Vangie had been a Program Control Principal/Senior Program (PMO) Strategist with SAIC in Washington, D.C. Before that, she worked for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in Greenbelt, MD, TEK Systems Inc in Arlington, VA, and various construction companies in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. Her career in high-level project management in the areas of aerospace, construction, defense contracting, government operations, IT, and national security spans three decades. In addition, Vangie has been licensed as a realtor in Virginia and Maryland since 1997. JULY/AUGUST 2020 V&P MAGAZINE | 34

Vangie Williams Political Trail In 2017, Vangie announced she was running as a Democratic Party candidate for Virginia's 1st Congressional District. Vangie defeated both Edwin Santana and John Suddarth in the Democratic primary for U.S. House Virginia District 1 on June 12, 2018. Vangie was defeated by incumbent Republican Rob Wittman in the general election for U.S. House Virginia District 1 on November 6, 2018. Since such time Vangie has kept herself relevant in the community and has prepared to run her race with the community support behind her for the primary in July 2020 and then on to the general election in November 2020. “I am declaring to be victorious and to be the first African-American woman in the United States House of Congress for Virginia’s 1st Congressional District” said Vangie. Vangie then goes on to say “I want to focus right away on what I can do to make things better, and that starts with representing my constituents. I remember trying to get a meeting with Wittman in his office, and he had no time for me. I want to have time for my constituents. We deserve that voice on Capitol Hill, We Deserve to be Heard. Additionally, I want to have a laser focus on the things we need to make life better. I will fight for transportation dollars to help bring transit to our communities and build a better infrastructure. I want to officially do something about rural health care, rural broadband, our economy and jobs, social justice and criminal justice reform and working families. Some of these fights will be easier, and some will be harder, but you need someone who’s pushing in the right direction, and that’s what I’ll do. As a strategic planner and a professional problem solver I will use my skill sets and the tools that I know will work and roll out a master plan that will be for the betterment of our constituents in District 1”.


KMJ: I am sincerely impressed with what you just stated and what you bring to the table. And for the educational lesson you just give about your district. You have done your homework and you are well prepared but before we go any further let’s go back to the beginning. What made you initially want to run for Virginia's 1st Congressional District and now for the second time? VW: I’m motivated by the same issues that motivated me to run last time. We’re in a worse position than we were two years ago. Health care is just as unaffordable; traffic is worse, our rural communities still don’t have high speed internet and Rob Wittman continues to side with the people who are making it worse instead of doing something to make it better. I want to put solutions first and give the First District the representation it deserves. KMJ: After being defeated by the incumbent Rob Wittman in 2018, whom won with over 30,000 more votes than you, one would say you did pretty well for your first time running for office and others would say why again and what is your plan of action to finally defeat Rob Wittman this time?

VW: In 2018, I didn’t lose; I learned. This isn’t an easy district for a Democrat, but that doesn’t mean we can’t win it. We came within 10 points last cycle in a district that’s supposed to be safe Republican, and I think that our odds are pretty good this time. Northern Virginia is growing very rapidly, and that’s changing the political dynamics. The neighboring districts—the 7th and the 2nd—was drawn in 2010 to be safe Republican seats, but they’re now represented by Democrats. We can do the same thing in the 1st by getting all the new voters in this district to register and turn out. Let’s also remember that under Donald Trump, independent voters have really soured on Republican leadership. Nobody ever said it would be easy, but we have a good chance. KMJ: Let's talk and touch on the obvious here, you being a woman candidate and an African-American woman who is running for Congress in a District that is still so very conservative how has this been for you and do you think that the constituents are ready to vote for change? VW: We don’t really think twice when black people vote for white politicians, but it still seems surprising when white people vote for black politicians! That’s a dynamic we need to change, and I think it is changing. Nobody expected a black woman named Lucy McBath to win a Congressional seat from a majority white suburb in Georgia, but it happened, and I believe communities throughout the First District of Virginia are ready for the same type of change.

KMJ: If I may stay personal again for a moment. You are happily married with six daughters, you and your husband are hard workers, well-educated, and you both are small community business owners and entrepreneurs. What example do you want to be for your daughters and what does that family legacy look like that you will have for your daughters? VW: My example is simple… don’t ever accept limitations. Challenge yourself to be better than you were a year ago, a month ago and yesterday. As far as my family legacy, we continue to set the example that if you work hard and play by the rules that you will see your success rewarded. Education is a priority, but experience matters! We are continuing to grow our company, Acumen Program Management Strategies, leaving them a company that they can continue to learn, grow and share.


KMJ: As an aspiring new candidate two years ago, how was it to be interviewed by former Congresswoman of Maryland's 4th Congressional District, Ms. Donna Edwards and what are some of the takeaways she gave you that you have put into practice now? VW: That was an awesome interview. Rep. Edwards was real with her words. My takeaway was work hard, maintain your integrity and be there for your constituents. Having a seat at the table means representing your community and making sure that every man, woman and child hear their voice while you have that seat. KMJ: Last question, why vote for Vangie Williams for Congress? VW: I’m a professional problem solver who will get things done for the people of this district. This district has been my home and my community for my entire life and I want to make things better. I am not running to be the conservative or the liberal Congresswomen; I am running to be the people’s Congresswoman. Not just for the 1st District of Virginia but America. We Deserve to be Heard. We Deserve Better. We Deserve Leadership. KMJ: Wow! You truly have a powerful message. Thank you and May God bless you my friend. Photo Courtesy of EMERGE Maryland Class of 2020 V&P Magazine asks all our readers and followers to please stay involved and to stay informed. If you have any concerns about the voting process during this year’s primary and the general election season because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, please call your local Board of Elections for guidance. Please know that your vote is important especially in this season we are in right now, so please LET YOUR VOTE BE YOUR VOICE!!!



V&P CHOICES OF THE MONTH FOR JULY/AUGUST National Dog Lover Day National Dance Day was launched in 2010 by Nigel Lythgoe, the co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance and co-founder of American Dance Movement (formerly the Dizzy Feet Foundation) in partnership with American congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton who introduced a National Dance Day resolution to express support for dance as a form of valuable exercise and of artistic expression, reserved on the last Saturday in July. August-National Black Business Month, Historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan Sr., founded National Black Business Month in August 2004 to “drive the policy agenda affecting the 2.6 million AfricanAmerican businesses. ”August-National Dog Lover Day is celebrated August 26th annually and was founded in 2004 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige, also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day and National Cat Day and many more philanthropic days to bring attention to the plight of animals and encourage adoption. (


August 26

Photography by Dominique Massaquoi

JULY 2020 Days: 3rd Recognized Independence Day (United States) 4th Independence Day 4th International Day of Cooperatives 11th World Population Day 12th Malala Day 15th World Youth Skills Day 18th Nelson Mandela International Day 21st National Ice Cream Day 25th National Dance Day 28th World Hepatitis Day 29th Global Tiger Day 30th World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 30th International Day of Friendship Month of July Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month July 7th- July 13th -National Therapeutic Recreation Week in the United States.

AUGUST 2020 Days: 1st National Minority Donor Awareness Day (United States) 8th International Cat Day 9th Book Lovers Day 9th International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 10th World Lion Day 12th International Youth Day 12th World Elephant Day 17th National Nonprofit Day 17th International Homeless Animal Day 19th World Humanitarian Day 20th National Radio Day 26th National Dog Day 29th International Day Against Nuclear Tests The Month of August-Black Business Month American Indian Heritage Month Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month National Breastfeeding Month (United States) National Immunization Awareness Month (United States) August 1- August 7 World Breastfeeding Week The Month of August - Senior Citizens Awareness Month







Yes, we love to write Sometimes, all day and all night! We love to let our ideas flow So, we can continue to develop and grow! Sometimes, we write long book and short books No matter the length, just take a look! We write about things that touch our hearts And helps us to never feel apart! Poetry allows our soul to release So we can live in harmony and peace! We can read about inspiration Or perhaps, education! We can write about pain Sometimes, it helps us to remain sane! Read to gain knowledge Just as if we were in college! We cannot limit our scope There are too many people who need hope! Search around and find a book We never know, we might get hooked! Write poems about our passions It helps us to show some compassion! Reading allows us to go places And we get to indulge in quiet spaces. Take a journey and we will find Reading elevates our mind! Read to a kid And we will be glad we did! Read, write, write, read Help make an impact on those in need! Read, write, write, read Do an act of kindness and sow a good deed! JULY/AUGUST 2020 V&P MAGAZINE | 40

Dr.Essie McKoy

Poetry is so powerful! It brings language to life and allows us to use our imagination and express ourselves in so many ways! It gives us the ability to express not only their emotions, but our ideas as well. We share personal and professional experiences, feelings, and our life journey when we allow the pen to flow! We can be as creative and original as we so desire. Great poems can leave a strong impression in the mind and a sense of wonder in the spirit. We use meaning, sound, and rhymes to convey a message that will elicit a heartfelt response or memory. Some poets use a variety of styles to express themselves. Poetry such as sonnets, concrete, Iambic pentameter, blank verse, narrative, cinquain, lyric poetry, sestina, free verse, haiku, limerick, ballad, ode, villanelle, acrostic, and elegy can allow for authors to share in a wide range of ways. Poetry is so accessible and one of the most known forms of art. We hear and see it all around us. It is known that poetry predates other styles of literature and was noted to be evident in the 384 to 322 BC. The first ever recorded scripture was based on verbal storytelling styles. Since then, words have been added and the techniques beautified to add more depth and meaning. The philosopher, Aristotle, formed the basis for much of the poetry and he was known to have divided poetry into the tragic, the epic, and the comic. From this, three categories originated. They are lyric, that expresses emotions, dramatic, that describes a situation or event, and epic, that is usually a character-led narrative, covering culture and patriotism. Early on, many believed that poetry had a very loose structure, but over time it became more solidified. Even to this day, poets’ creativity is like a canvas to an artist.

It is amazing how poets can create their own work without consideration of specific elements. Poets put their hearts and souls into their work, and this creates that personal original version of their masterpiece. Sometimes poets try to find the perfect way to express themselves and try to convey that to their readers by injecting so much creativity into their writing. They adapt and modify their patterns of language to appeal to their audiences. This can produce unimaginable and various authentic and inspirational work. One can use poetry to reveal their internal thoughts in very profound ways. There are many examples of this type of poetry. Many have shared that poetry is like breathing life into a piece of writing and sharing it with the external world. The greatest thing about being a poet is that there are no rules to write by. You can create your own rules or have no rules at all!


Right now, in our world, there is so much going on and sometimes we do not know the most appropriate ways to find our voice or show our support, or just give voice to our pain. The global pandemic and the social unrest in our world have caused so much grief, suffering, ill feelings, and undesirable tension. Many authors find comfort in poetry. They allow their words to flow, their emotions to be revealed, and their talents to shine when expressed in the most authentic form of poetry. If you desire to become a poet, you must read a lot and write a lot. Write, revise, write again and even get others to read what you have written. Spend time thinking and allow the content of what you want to write about find you. Think about the kind of poetry you want to write and read it aloud all along the way. When you experience something whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, use poetry to express your perspectives. Become consumed with that subject and sometimes you will find that it yields the best writing you can produce. To be a passionate writer, you must be passionate about the topic you choose to write about. If you think that it may be a piece of writing that you are not proud of, let your readers critique it and provide authentic feedback. Sometimes, it can be the simple things that can become the most extraordinary pieces of poetry. Remember not to stick to the same genre, the same style, the same process! Mix-it-up and add more flavor to a form of poetry that is not only fun, but powerful! Let the thoughts of your mind and the words of your tongue flow on the pages to create a beautiful piece of art that will be forever etched in the hearts of your readers!

Join The Movement


Photos by James Adéll TRAVEL & REAL ESTATE

10 Awesome Restaurants (You've Probably Never Heard Of)! BY JAMES ADÉLL Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to travel. Whether near or far, there's just something exciting about exploring new people and ways of life that are different from my own. Whenever I'm on vacation or visiting friends or relatives in a new city, it takes quite a bit of planning and a variety of essentials to ensure my time away from home is a memorable one. In 1943, a man by the name of Abraham Maslow proposed a theory of human motivation, commonly referred to as 'Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs', which lists an array of basic human needs that include air, water, clothing and the need for reproduction. (


There are two more items that Maslow listed which I have found to be essential to the success of my trips. One of those basic needs is 'Shelter'. I sleep much better knowing that I am in a clean, comfortable, and safe environment when I'm away from home. And, I mean clean, clean. You know...fresh aroma, quality towels and linen, and preferably a comfortable quality mattress. But, venue and accommodations are an entirely separate topic all together. We'll have to dive into that one on another day! The second item of importance to me when I'm in travel-mode is...(drum roll, please)...FOOD!!! That's right, and I'm not alone! I have a plethora of friends and family who also love experiencing the flavor and creativity of the food preparation that is often only found at lesser known eateries. We constantly share exciting and new eating spots that are off the beaten path but have managed to leave an indelible impression on us due to a cozy atmosphere, excellent customer service, or an amazing entree that left us craving to order everything on the menu! Well, do I have a treat for you! I have compiled a list of 10 uniquely awesome restaurants both far and near that meet this criteria as shared by me and my trusty tribe of foodies! Although there were numerous other restaurants that deserve to be on this list, I had to draw the line somewhere! So, without further ado, let's get at it!

#10 Kelsey & Kim's Southern Cafe 1545 Pacific Avenue Atlantic City, NJ We get started with one of my favorite restaurants in Atlantic City! This husband and wife duo have done an amazing job immersing their patrons in authentic soul food cuisine as they enjoy live jazz and soul music. The warm and soothing atmosphere provides the perfect venue to enjoy the sultry sounds of A-List vocalists such as Raheem Devaughn and other local artists and bands. A few of their menu specialties include their Fried Turkey Chops smothered in gravy, Pan Seared Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, and of course Macaroni & Cheese, Collard Greens, and Candied Yams. Breakfast is served daily until 2:00 p.m. and spirits are available at the well-stocked bar. This location is only a short walk away from the Boardwalk, as well as a variety of Casinos, shops and other attractions. Kelsey and Kim own and operate a total of three (3) restaurants in the area.

James Adéll's #9



The Smoke Pit 796 Concord Parkway Concord, NC 28027

Joe Marzilli's Old Canteen Italian Restaurant 120 Atwells Avenue Providence, RI 02903

This local eatery is a favorite in the area for the absolute best in pit cooked barbecue. The finest quality pork is butchered inhouse and then slow cooked daily with local hickory wood for up to 18 hours. The result of this perfected craft is a substantial lunch and dinner crowd pretty much every day of the week. However, the fast and friendly customer service will get you seated and served before you know it.

Since 1956, this restaurant has provided upscale Italian cuisine on Historic Federal Hill in Providence, RI. You can expect moderate pricing, white table clothes, and an extensive wine list that will satisfy a discerning palate. This is the oldest family owned Italian restaurant in Rhode Island and they pride themselves on their fresh ingredients, fine quality, and meals that are prepared with love.

The dress code is casual and the prices won't break the bank. Feel free to check out one of the four (4) locations in various cities throughout the region and order anything from their famous Brisket, to the smoked chicken wings, or a full slab of ribs! This is the south, so you can rest assured that the tea here is already sweetened and served on ice!

While you're there, be sure to drive over to the city of Newport to check out the stately cliff-view mansions that overlook the Atlantic ocean. "Everything on the menu is good, but I have to have the Calamari every time that I'm there!" - HCK

If you happen to be a race fan, this would be a great opportunity to take a tour of the NASCAR Hall of Fame just a short drive away in the beautiful uptown area of Charlotte, also known as the Queen City. MAY/JUNE 2020 V&P MAGAZINE | 45


The Cotton Exchange Tavern 201 E. River Street Savannah, GA 31401 If ambiance is high on your list, this former cotton warehouse with exposed stone and brick walls that sits on the river will check all of your boxes as you dine on the southern cuisine of seafood, steak, or poultry options. Enjoy a variety of their seasonal cocktails from the covered outdoor seating area in the back as you take in the views of the moss-covered trees. "The food was good and the atmosphere was better...that's what I loved the most" -AAP The prices are very reasonable and the attire is relaxed. Sounds like a romantic place for a first date, or for a date night with your significant other!

#6 Bread & Butter Restaurant 2705 Bonds Avenue Charleston, SC 29405 This husband and wife team have made quite the impression on the Charleston area community with a variety of seafood and soul food delicacies adored by the locals, who are also known as 'Geechee' (Descendants of West Africa ). I don't know if you've ever been to Charleston and listened to the Geechee dialect, but I could have sworn that I was in Jamaica when I heard them talking for the first time...ijs! The food is always fresh and the customer service is impeccable. I hear that the husband is very entertaining if you happen to be waiting on your order! Bread & Butter has a down to earth feel that makes everyone feel welcome and a variety of delectable dishes that will make anyone feel delighted! "My favorite is their Seafood Box...crab legs, shrimp, corn on the cobb, and sausage all bathing in this delicious garlic butter sauce...worth every penny, nickle, and dime chil'!!!" - MLL Charleston is overflowing with museums, gardens, mansions, and shops for tourists to take in. The Battery and White Point Garden is one of my favorites.



Sunflower Family Restaurant 5400 Statesville Road Charlotte, NC 28269


Hands-down, this is probably the restaurant that I frequent the most on this list. Although this family owned Greek restaurant has a medley of daily specials listed on the board at the entrance such as grilled chicken breasts that are marinated for several days, spectacular salad options, and gigantic well-seasoned pork chops, I have a tendency to order the breakfast most days for lunch. The waitresses all get to know you and they work hard to keep everyone smiling and happy. The owners George and his wife Dora are very friendly and personable, and they will often check in with you to make sure that your food is good and that you are doing well personally if they haven't seen you in a while. The restaurant is an old house that was converted to a restaurant many years ago, so the seating is limited but adequate. There is usually a pretty decent crowd there every day, but the regulars know that you need to get there around 11:00 a.m. to beat the lunch crowd since the restaurant closes each day at 2:00 p.m. There are still many people who do not realize that the city of Charlotte is the home of the NFL Carolina Panthers, the NBA Charlotte Hornets, the Charlotte Checkers Hockey team, and the Charlotte Knights Triple-A Baseball team. The city also has a host of museums and parks in a vibrant uptown area that is perfect for walking and sightseeing. I'd have to say that Sunflower Family Restaurant is definitely one of Charlotte's best kept secrets as well.

Kaab Gluay Thai Restaurant Pa Tong, Kathu District Phuket, Thailand 83150 If you are planning a trip to soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Phuket, and you're looking for an upscale restaurant with a casual vibe and excellent menu options, then Kaab Gluay is your spot! I have made it a point to visit Kaab Gluay each and every time that I've been blessed to travel to this region of the world, and it has delivered on every occasion. I have always gone to the restaurant with local friends from the area who have always done all of the ordering. They order an array of seafood, pork, and chicken dishes that are brought out in family style portions for everyone to enjoy.The American dollar stretches pretty far in Thailand with a ratio of approximately 30:1, with 1 U.S. Dollar being equivalent to 30 Thai Baht (THB) My favorite local beer is the Chang (pronounced 'Chong') which blends perfectly with the medley of spices often infused in Thai dishes. If available, I recommend the 2nd floor open air terrace for dining. You can walk off your meal by taking a stroll through the party district on Patong Road, also known as Walking Street to take in the lively nightlife of Patong Beach.


The Slutty Vegan | 1542 Ralph David Abernathy | Atlanta, Georgia 30310

It may smell like ground beef on the grill as you're waiting in line, but nope! Everything here is meat allowed. Take one bite of these burgers and you'd never know the difference though! Even the most die-hard meat lovers are clamoring over these veggie burgers that are drenched in a special sauce created by owner Pinky Cole. Menu favorites include the One Night Stand, the Menage A Trois, the Chik'N Head, and the Side Heaux. The newbies ordering for the first time are called 'virgins', while returning patrons are affectionately referred to as 'sluts'. Can't make this up, nor can you deny the fact that the Slutty Vegan has captured the hearts, minds, and appetites of ATL-ians and beyond. The price list is very reasonable and the dress code is as you are. Many popular celebrities have supported and rallied around this eatery, such as the rapper Ludacris, actresses La La Anthony and Gabrielle Union, and NBA All-star Chris Paul. The vibe here is electric as the staff jams to the latest hip hop music while preparing food and engaging customers. In addition to the current brick and mortar location and mobile food truck, there will soon be an additional brick and mortar location to satisfy the insatiable appetite of this healthy alternative feeding frenzy. Kudos to owner and founder Pinky Cole for having the creativity and audacity to get us out of our comfort zone by teasing our minds and our appetites with such an intriguing business model and menu. I've been trying to eat healthier anyway, but the Slutty Vegan has definitely gotten my attention, and apparently everyone else's, too!


Dames Chicken & Waffles | 530 Foster Street | Durham, North Carolina 27701

If you love jazz music as much as you love food, then Dame's "Almost Famous" Chicken and Waffles is the spot for you! They have three locations in North Carolina, but the original location shares its home with the likes of the Duke Blue Devils Basketball team, North Carolina Central University Eagles (NCCU), and the Durham Bulls Triple A baseball team. A flashback to the Harlem Renaissance, the sights, sounds, and savory southern cuisine are a staple of the 'Research Triangle' area, which also consists of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Everything on the menu is awesome and the prices won't break the bank. The dress code here is come as you are, but I'd recommend Grown & Sexy attire for early evenings on the weekends. This is a great Friday night locale to take in a live local jazz band and of course indulge in their "Almost Famous" Chicken and Waffles, that are beyond famous if you are from this region.


Sakina Halal Grill | 1108 K Street NW | Washington, DC 20005 This restaurant is sure to satisfy your cravings for authentic Pakistani-Indian cuisine by employing the most qualified Pakistani-Indian Chefs on their staff. The prices are very reasonable and the dress code is casual with outdoor seating available as well. It is fitting that this restaurant is located in the heart of our Nation's Capital, because the owner apparently has a heart of gold. He can often be seen providing meals for the homeless population who frequently walk through his doors to request a hot meal. Without question and without hesitation, he has delivered on taking care of those less fortunate than you and I. That my friend should be commended. The good they do for mankind, coupled with their savory dishes, is why the Sakina Halal Grill comes in at Numero Uno on our list!!! I can't wait to get back to D.C. to visit family. I will definitely be supporting this great establishment and exploring their vast menu options! So, there you have it! I hope that during your travels, you're able to dine at one of these 10 awesome restaurants that were just mentioned. If you do, please drop me a line at to let me know what your experience was like! Also, please be sure to check with each of these fine establishments before you travel there to verify their hours in the midst of the COVID-19 restrictions and quarantines. Be safe and be sure to mask-up unless you're chowing down! Bon Voyage and Bon Appetit!


It's All Fashion

BEAUTY VS. THE BEAST (COVID-19) By Tony Turner Thank you for making your appointments. This is the new protocol for your visit at Unleashed The Salon. In order to book and confirm your appointments, you must prepay with credit card or debit card. Appointments are ultra limited. We advise our customers to book your appointments for the month to secure your standing appointment. There are limited time slots per stylist. The appointment slots are as follows: 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. This allows us to space our clients out at least three hours apart. This limits the amount of people in the salon at any given time. It allows us to give you quality time as well as give us time to thoroughly sanitize the Salon in between clients. It also will give us a little time to take a breather. The mask and face shield that is mandatory for us to wear is breathtaking and we are not talking about beautiful. It is literally hard to breathe in this apparatus. There is a $25 increase to all services. The minimum price to book an appointment is $75. In order to survive, we have to increase it in order to meet the cost of business with so few guests. Safety first is our motto.

Clients must come alone. Upon arriving, please call and await our response to come to the door. All guests will have their temperature checked via infrared thermometer (touchless). If your temperature is high, your appointment is canceled and a refund of 50% will be given back to you. If you are 15 min. late your appointment is canceled, there will be no refund. All guest must wear mask while in the salon. Hand sanitizer must be used upon entering the salon. If you feel you are ill, please cancel your appointment before 24 hours of your appointment to receive 50% of your deposit. Everyone must wash their hands after using the restroom. We thank you, in advance, for your patronage. We will get through this together. Safely and responsibly. There is a waiver to sign in case of illness, in order to protect us from legal cases. Thank you very much! I thought this would be an interesting read. It's how our salon is battling COVID-19. We are forced with a dilemma; work and die, don't work and be homeless, or pray and use wisdom to protect you and your customers the best way you can and get it in a pandemic. Body Armor, that's what it feels like working in the Salon. Breathing through the mask and face shield, feels like working with a 100 lb. body suit on all day. The apparatus is hot. Your lungs are working overtime in order to pull oxygen through the mask and visor. By midday your shirt is pretty wet from perspiration. After you have given your very best to your client while working with a fish bowl on your head, you run outside to catch some air before sanitizing the whole shop. From your station to your chairs, all of your tools and bottles, the shampoo bowls, the door handles, your face shield, the floors, the dryer's chairs, and let's not forget the restroom. Reset back to cleaning your hands and spray your clothes with Lysol. It makes you wish a customer would complain about your prices. You’d be like," I understand". May the door knob hit you where the Good Lord split ya! In my Fred G. Sanford voice. The G is for " Get the ......... on! No, but seriously one cough and you're gone. It's real, govern yourself accordingly. Beauty vs. The Beast.

Tony & Martina Turner, Owners


I'm Tony T and I say Peace.

BEAUTY VS THE BEAST (COVID-19) By Martina Turner

The Beauty industry as well as other businesses had to rethink their way of

Safety, time, and cost of services are to be

surviving during this Global Pandemic. Small

taken into consideration of how to run

businesses to large corporations are being

your business. This is a life or death

affected, some businesses will close and

situation until a vaccine is available, this

others will thrive. How will the Beauty

is the new reality and severity of styling

industry overcome this Beast (COVID-19).

hair behind the chair during this Global

Beauty salons and barbershops have just

Pandemic. Business owners need to make

reopened their businesses. There are new

sure their business plan can accommodate

regulations and sanitation guidelines that

the revenue needed to keep their finances

must be followed for the safety of their

balanced. The positive outlook is a healthy

clients as well as themselves. Social

working environment, keep your

distancing can not be avoided, so

workspace clean, wear masks, face shield,

cosmetologists and barbers will have to

gloves, wash your hands thoroughly and

change their work schedules. How many

check your clients temperatures at the

clients can they service in a day to


accommodate timing of services and properly cleaning up between each appointment.

Enjoy getting back to the Creativity, Love, and Passion of doing your clients hair.


On the product side of business during this pandemic a lot of retailers closed their businesses and some permanently. Top Hair and Skin care brand companies had to change their way of marketing. Instead of Brick and Mortar stores it changed to Direct to Consumer. If you have noticed, you will see a vast amount of Instagram and Facebook sponsored ads from top beauty brands to new beauty brands being sold online. Same marketing strategy from big to small companies. Advertisement, production and shipment is key to sustaining a business during this pandemic. I always say there's a blessing in the storm. COVID-19 has made everyone become more conscious of thoroughly cleaning in their place of business and in their homes. We are thinking more about our health, spending time with family, saving money, and having that push to start a new business venture for a needed source of income. It has also given people time to rest and rejuvenate to get prepared for the next big opportunity.

Keep a positive mindset, follow your passion, do your research. Most importantly Invest in yourself. This pandemic has shown how you must at any given time change and adapt to the new normal and still maintain all that you have worked hard for. Save and spend wisely and make smart investments.

Beauty wins!


Performing Arts



Thus far this year we've danced quarantine dances, DJ'ed via instagram. Resilient graduates waltzed across socially distanced High School and College stages. While fierce, multi-ethnic ensembles perform energized Black Lives Matter protests in city streets for audiences worldwide. Tik Tok exhibitions keep going and online dance classes are lit. Within these collective energies and current movements, we celebrate Dance in the month of July. LaMika Deon, Founder and Artistic Director, along with Miriam Clark, Project Manager, both of Dynamic Moves Dance Studio and Company, in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, teach multi genres of dance from ballet to Hip Hop with classes for children and adults. Their method emphasizes developing technically sound dancers and strong leaders through discipline, character building, fun and team work. In the words below, V&P Magazine's Performing Arts lead contributor, Seth Washington engages these gifted influencers to enlist their assistance in unpacking some truths about the empowering art of dance, while unearthing some wisdom about life’s distinct rhythms and choreography in the year 2020.

SW: There are so many steps, so much to learn. Where does one even begin? WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO DANCE? MC: Just give it a try. Few are very good at anything when they are first starting out. LD: Take care of your body and always dance with purpose. When I was 17...I performed a solo and when the show was over this young lady, who was deaf, came to me with her interpreter and told me I changed her life. She said my movements touched her and she understood everything my moves said even though she couldn’t hear the words of the song. So to every dancer...tell a story and save a life through your God-given gift of dance.



SW: It remains important for one to move with an understanding about the rhythm of the times, with an attitude of excellence and the proper resources. WHAT ARE THE DANCER’S TOOLS? LD: The tools help the dancer to advance in their craft. Some Instruments Of Dance: Mirrors...reflection for self correction Ballet Bars...proper support to enhance technique Ballet Turn Board...assists for future turns and twists Yoga Blocks and Flexibility Bands...flex prep for stretch goals Ankle Weights...building strength for the journey Mats...for when it’s time to go ‘all in’ Smartphone or Computer ...for virtual classes via zoom LD: I would say the feet are a part of a dancer’s [main] instrument which is our body. The feet assist in bringing the song we dance to, to life...and depending on the style of dance that’s being executed, there are different shoes. Types of Shoes That Move you can feel the rhythm Ballet and Pointe...movement of tradition and elegance Lyrical and sneakers for Hip Hop...the world’s dance language of now. The toddler dances perhaps not knowing why, overjoyed nevertheless with the process. Dance teachers encourage us for they know that our bodies, hands, and feet yearn to speak. Protestors from Minneapolis to Milan, rogue line dance for justice because the main stage is tilted. Elders dance knowing exactly why, though no longer overjoyed, yet, perfectly at peace in the movement. SW: The shoes and tools are now situated and as for this new or temporary 'normal', there are extra masks, along with, plenty of hand-sanitizer too! However, there are those moments when certain thoughts creep in. WHAT MUST THE DANCER OVERCOME? MC: Fear of the unknown. Fear that you may hurt yourself. Fear that you are not good enough. Fear of performing in front of an audience. LD: You also have to overcome the negative words of people. I remember a Pointe teacher who told me I shouldn’t do Pointe because I don’t have the feet for it. I was crushed! I didn’t overcome it then, but I eventually found a way to overcome those words.


SW: If you don't mind, please repeat the 'why', for it will help to calm the inner butterflies that tend to flutter just before the movement begins? WHY DOES CULTURE AND SOCIETY NEED DANCE ? MC: Dance has always been a way to express yourself or a feeling without using words. Learning about dance in other cultures also increases awareness and understanding of diversity. LD: I always say that a dancer’s purpose is to change lives and I truly believe dance is needed because it brings communities together. It empowers and its used to create and tell history. I have literally seen dance transform people into something great. Hey, it’s also a fun and exciting way to get in shape and stay in shape. SW: On any given day, in the midst of life's dance, sometimes it seems like a song or a particular moment calls for a personal testimony. WHAT'S THE BEST TIME TO DO YOUR DANCE? MC: Anytime you feel like moving or have a desire to express yourself. LD: I would say the best time to dance is in a dance class, on stage, at a performance, for fun, or sometimes when the dancer is alone and needs to express themselves in a way that words can’t explain. MC: When a person dances when no one is looking...Well that’s probably the purest form of dance there is. In the calm of the mirror the dancer has danced the dance a thousand times that we might one evening, while sitting in row 'J', receive the storm of grace from the movement of excellent expression. This dance is rated blessed.

Photos Courtesy of Dynamic Moves Dance Studio and Company



BY KAREN MCCONNELL-JONES We all know the NFL (National Football League) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams spreading out over two conferences, the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL also has the highest fan base in sports and has the highest revenue intake of all sports at a whopping 14.48 billion a year. However, we all know that in the past four years the NFL has been under heavy scrutiny and much controversy over the player’s right to kneel down during the national anthem, having one player Colin Kaepernick to be blackballed and blacklisted out of the NFL most would say, because of his protest and his display for freedom of expression by kneeling during the national anthem. Colin Kaepernick, an American Professional Football Player, and the second round draft choice by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft was claimed to be the 49ers newest franchise quarterback. Nonetheless, in his fifth season (2016) with the NFL, Kaepernick decided to protest by kneeling down during the national anthem to show his freedom of expression and make a stance against the police brutality and racial inequality that was taking place throughout the United States. We were constantly seeing the unfairness and the unjust killing of our black men at the helm of white police officers. In which, Kaepernick's protest started great controversy throughout the league. Even so, the players were told by the league that they must stand during the national anthem or they can stay in the locker room until the anthem was over if they chose not to stand.


On September 24, 2017, the NFL protests became more widespread when over 200 players sat or knelt in response to President Trump’s expletive-filled rant calling for owners to “fire” the protesting players. Unfiltered and uncensored remarks coming all too often from someone who is supposed to be the leader of our country. This cannot be the American way and the players stood their ground. Colin Kaepernick is out of the league with more controversy to follow him, getting let go by the 49ers and no other team picking up such a prized quarterback. Which led to a lawsuit between Kaepernick and the NFL, Kaepernick and the NFL came to a settlement agreement on February 15, 2019 offering few details about the nature of the settlement. Also, Eric Reid settled his similar suit with few details about his settlement as well. The NFL later formed a partnership with Jay-Z which came with some backlash as if the NFL only had Jay-Z to be the buffer between the league and Kaepernick and the black community.

Where Is The NFL Now? The NFL is still finding themselves in the middle of a controversy. As we are in the middle of a COVID-19 Pandemic and the whole world is adjusting to what is said to be our NEW NORMAL and now, once again, the whole world witnessing another police brutality as George Floyd was seen on video tape crying out for his life. Not able to breathe while police officer (Derek Chauvin) has his knee kneeling in the throat of George Floyd which led to his death. The whole community is extremely furious of what we just witnessed. Protesting is going on everywhere in several cities. All races and nationalities, black, white, young and old coming together to show unity and to say enough is enough of black lives being lost at the helm of police officers that are just taking their authority way too far. NFL Wide Receiver Michael Thomas Jr., for the New Orleans Saints led the compelling protest this time around along with several other NFL players, daring the Commissioner (Roger Goodell) of the NFL to give a public apology and to admit that the league was wrong for not allowing the players to peacefully protest in their own way, especially Colin Kaepernick and also admit that “Black Lives Matters”

Yet, then again, on the other hand, you have Drew Brees quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, same team and teammate to Michael Thomas Jr. saying in an interview the day before that he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag” when it comes to kneeling in silent protest for racial injustice during the national anthem. After much backlash and take you to school history lesson on the racial injustice and police brutality from Michael and other teammates and even Aaron Rogers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers wrote on Instagram that “it has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag.” Then on the very next day Brees released a video tape and a written apology recanting his statement. Saying that he stands with the black community and he knows Americans, including himself have not done enough to fight for equality or to truly understand the struggles and the plight of the black community. Once again, having President Trump showing what he knows best that ignorance is bliss and that he constantly straddles the fence of showing racialism himself.


Now, on June 6, 2020, the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a video in which he apologized for how the NFL had failed to support players’ protests over racial injustice and police brutality during the national anthem. He went on to say “it has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country. We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”



Goodell also said that, “Without black players, there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff.” However, it was duly noted that the commissioner Mr. Goodell did not apologize to blacklisted quarterback Colin Kaepernick who originally started the movement in 2016, when he began sitting, then kneeling, during the national anthem in his peaceful protest against police brutality. Having some players and fans to question whether the commissioner was sincere or not with his apology. Even the Reverend Al Sharpton demanded the commissioner to find Kaepernick a quarterback job back in the NFL during his speech at George Floyd’s funeral (Delivering the eulogy at a private service held for George Floyd).

Reverend Al Sharpton, known for being firm and to the point, stated "oh, it's nice to see some people change their mind. The Head of the NFL said, ‘Yeah. Maybe we were wrong. Football players, maybe they did have the right to peacefully protest’. “Well, don't apologize, give Colin Kaepernick a job back” Sharpton said. "Don't come with some empty apology. Take a man's livelihood. Strip a man down of his talents and four years later, when the whole world is marching, all of a sudden, you are talking about you sorry." Some people would say that Sharpton only said what most of us are feeling. But I do know one thing for certain we are living in sensitive times right now and the whole world is watching and paying closer attention than ever before.


So, your word must be your bond and it’s time to ACT and not REACT!!!! People are watching commissioner and we will continue to see how this all plays out. Remember, this is America, the land of the free and the right to have freedom of expression. In these days and times we must continue to stand together in unity as togetherness can change things. Our community as a whole will continue to come together and hold others of wrongdoing accountable, starting with the top of our leadership of who we have in leading our country, representing this great nation of ours, which is a NECESSARY change that is needed. We will no longer stand for incomprehension at the top of our leaderboard. Whether it's the president's seat, commissioner of the NFL, nor our community authoritative figures. We, the community, demand cup-full intentional solutions and no more spilled-over empty answers.