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Publisher’s Letter

Ebony S. Muhammad


CONTENT OCTOBER 2010 | VOLUME 2 | NUMBER 8

Events

Features

Business

Inspire Me

Food & Nutrition

Relationships HURT 2 HEALING | AUGUST 2010

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Question: Are the People Around You Killing Your Dream? By Niedria D. Kenny Founder/CEO of Freely Speaking, Inc. and Owner of Cornelius & Associates

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I‘m fresh off the heels of the Annual Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), held in Washington, D.C, September 15-18, 2010. There couldn‘t have been a more appropriate theme for this month Hurt2Healing issue. I would like to share the experience that I had and how it relates directly to the theme: Living your dream, making it a reality.

I always say, “Team work makes the Dream work”. Although I didn‘t Patton that phrase, those are my thoughts. In order to achieve the dream, you must have the right team. Very seldom will championships be won when the team does not mesh in sharing common goals for success, establishing and maintaining good working relationships. Thus, building the right team is vital for success. You have to know when and who to pass the ball to. You have to know when you are in control and when you are not. You have to be willing to pass the ball. You have to trust that when you do pass the ball your teammate will know which way to go with it. Knowing the direction to move towards should be established while formulating ―plays‖, if you will. When you have defined goals and everyone is on the same page, they are in the same play book, then the moment you are in the clutch you can pull out an all star performance. When building your team, you will have to make cuts where necessary (Extra baggage, coat tail riders, dead weight). During the CBC, I encountered situations where decisions about what was best for the team were challenged. This is perfectly ok, because it calls for deliberation. During the deliberating process you may discover two things: 1) who‘s guilty of being successful? 2) Do you have the wrong person or the right person? When your teammate‘s idea of how to complete a mission or accomplish a goal do not line up with your mission or they are so far apart that they encroach on your success, you need to make a cut. Not doing so can result in permanent damage in the area of your opportunity to excel.

When working toward your dream or your mission, Use resources: The CBC was a great resource, an avenue leading to a highway of connections for future business ventures. However, not having the right team will hinder this process. They will become an obstacle in the way of success. Keeping them on your team is you standing in the way of yourself. When your teammate lacks the same professionalism, class, etiquette, and respect you have then your team suffers as a unit. Commit yourself to your mission, stay with the plan.

Network and communicate to people what your goals are. Some people within your arms reach HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 6


may have the same vision you have; you can be more successful pooling together funds and plans to arrive at your commonplace. These are the positive people along the way of your journey that you will meet. Some will be for a season and others for a lifetime. Old friends can sometimes introduce you to new friends. Therefore, their purpose in your life has been served. Asking for discernment from GOD will help you determine who‘s who. That is why it is imperative that you keep GOD at the center of the plan. He is the blueprint for success. He is the master brick mason, Who never puts together anything that failed. Don‘t neglect your values by allowing yourself to conform to ideas that are not in line with your morals, which infiltrate your thought process when trying to climb the ladder. Keep positive people in your corner. Rid yourself of negative influences. Those people who put you down, criticize and ridicule have no business in your plan. By way of communication, I have had the pleasure of establishing wonderful friendships that lead to working with wonderful people who share my vision and helped me achieve one of my dreams, and that was to be provided an avenue to share with the readers my thoughts via Freely Speaking, Inc. The importance of having a vision…is having something to work toward. It‘s your goal. If you can‘t see it, how can you build it? If you wanted to build a deck onto the back of your house, start with the idea about how big or small you want it. That‟s your vision. Seeing that allows you to go to the appropriate place for the parts. Once the parts are in place (people) you can begin to build your deck.

Now that you have chosen your team, made your cuts, utilized resources, stuck to your plan, consulted with GOD, appointed him the man in charge, communicated your vision- you are on your way to completion. Welcome, your dream is now a reality.

Many Blessings, Niedria D. Kenny

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Niedria D. Kenny is the Founder of Freely Speaking, Inc. She is a poet and the author of Insane Asylum, Collage, and Memoir of My Career. Her hobbies include writing books of any kind, freelance photography and traveling. To understand the company is to understand the concept behind the Motto: Everyone will not like what you write, because everyone will not like what you say, and that is because everyone will not understand how you feel. Who is/What is Freely Speaking? Tactfully expressing thought and opinion by way of freely speaking out loud on an open mic or in text verse or prose. Having some regard for the feelings of others, however not restricted or hindered by the thought of what someone may think about what has been said. Under the umbrella of Freely Speaking, Inc., are books; short stories and poetry, expression apparel and accessories, as well as published blog articles. ―Freely Speaking‖ is done by way of expression apparel, the way you wear your hair and the style of clothes you wear that represents what you are saying. ―My goal has been to reach the masses, sharing openly with them my hurt and my healing and the process from one to the other by allowing them to see when I‘m weak and when I‘m strong or simply expressing that ‗I have something to say and I‘m not afraid to say it‘. I have invited others to join the movement in freely expressing what they want to say‖. – Niedria D. Kenny Apart from Freely Speaking, Inc. she is the Owner of Cornelius & Associates; A full service real estate/property management company that is in the growing process. Her expertise is in Real Estate sales (Licensed Realtor) and property management (Accredited Residential Manager and Certified Property Manager, Candidate). Bachelors of Business Administration, Concentration in Real Estate Management—currently pursuing a Degree in Journalism.

To learn more about Freely Speaking, Inc. visit: Blog: www.freelyspeaking357.blogspot.com Website: http://freelyspeaking.shutterfly.com To learn more about Cornelius & Associates, you may email Niedria Kenny at Niedriakenny@gmail.com HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 8


Freely Speaking, Inc. Poet/Novelist/Speaker Email: freelyspeaking3.57@gmail.com Blog: www.freelyspeaking357.blogspot.com Website: http://freelyspeaking.shutterfly.com HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 9


―The purpose of One Woman is two-fold. The conference will equip entrepreneurs with real, actionable, practical knowledge to help them survive and thrive in today‘s economy. Secondly, One Woman creates an opportunity for contractors and suppliers to meet and discover opportunities to work together‖. —TBA Chairwoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Member of Congress. For more information about the One Woman Conference, the presenters, the workshops, and to register for the 3rd Annual One Woman Conference 2011, please visit www.onewomanconference.com. To learn more about the Texas Business Alliance, go to www.texasbusinessalliance.org. You may also visit MWH Public Relations, the Woman One Conference event coordinator at www.mwhpublicrelations.com. HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 10


The Business of Life By Hasaun Muhammad

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Monthly Affirmations

I am worthy do experience my full potential and uncover all that has been deposited in me. 2. I am created from Perfection. I carve away that which does not serve me. 3. I am willing to boldly explore new ways of living. My evolution depends on it. 4. Allah’s (God’s) love compels me to be above average. 5. I am free to be, for the Power within me can handle it all!

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One-On-One with Rhonda Ridley, President/CEO of Affinity Public Relations

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Hurt2Healing (H2H): As a public relations specialist, your primary goal is to maintain public images for high profile individuals, commercial businesses, and organizations. Before you embarked on this particular path, what field or occupation did you hold? Share a little bit about how you transitioned into Rhonda Ridley, President/CEO of Affinity Public Relations. Rhonda Ridley (RR): Well, before I became a PR Professional, I was an elementary school teacher in New Jersey, a job that I loved immensely. It was while I was teaching that I began to help my godson‘s mom, who was a recording artist with her press opportunities. I actually had no idea what I was doing or what it was called, but I did enjoy the risk it took to pick up a phone introduce myself to someone I didn‘t know and try to inspire them to believe what I believe about a person, product, organization or event. It took me out of my comfort zone and fed the risk takers spirit in me that I hadn‘t realized yet. Helping my godson‘s mom eventually led to more PR/publicity work and soon I had this serious desire to see this thing all the way through. So, from 1991-1998 my days were filled with children and staff meetings while my nights welcome me to a whole new world with clients, celebrities and press. In April 1998 I had a very serious accident that took me out of teaching and I never went back. The transition took place at the end of 1999 when I met the man who would soon become my husband. He noticed that always talked about and admired public relations and suggested that since I had so much experience that I should just open my own agency. I loved the idea but thought just too ambitious a task to take on. His belief in me and my desire would, in a matter of months, birth Affinity Public Relations. (H2H): What qualities and characteristics does one need in order to be successful in public relations especially if they are coming from a "9-5" work environment? (RR): Aside from needing specific college education, namely a degree in either public relations, journalism, or communications and a minor in English and or psychology, in order to be a successful PR professional, one must love, I repeat, love people. The word ―public‖ in Public Relations, means just that; you will be a constant fixture in the public eye. This is where a decision must be made to define what you want people to know about you, your character, your attitude and your work ethic. ―Relations‖ means each and every person you come in contact with becomes an opportunity for you to create a relationship. For too long the PR industry has become known for its ability to deceive and manipulate. Be able to multi-task, work long hours, a great writer, self-disciplined, creative, be an amazing problem solver, understand people, organize well, keep accurate records, delegation, listening and speaking skills. (H2H): What are a few major mistakes you've seen others make in the PR industry? HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 16


(RR): Well, let‘s start with some of the mistakes I‘ve made. When I started I wasn‘t great with organization, I didn‘t feel very creative and I often missed extremely important deadlines. For the past 10 years Affinity Public Relations has been run from my home; this was not by choice, initially, but over the years, I do know that this is what God has always intended to do with this PR firm. When starting the company in 2000, I wasn‘t clear about what it meant to create a true working schedule for your day. Industry mistakes that I‘ve seen have been: Lying: Sharing inaccurate information with the press in order to get their clients in the press. Deception: Some people will invite you to an event based on false advertising about who‘s going to be in attendance. Manipulation: Trying to buy press or bribe press to feature their client or attend a client‘s function. (H2H): What realistic expectations should one have when going into business for themselves? (RR): Anyone going into business for themselves must know that they are responsible for EVERYTHING. You can‘t hope to walk into your business space, whether it‘s a corporate office or your home and not have a complete understanding of the entire business. Of course that‘s a negative and a positive; negative because familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of business is seriously time consuming, you may become overwhelmed quickly, positive because there is an ethical and moral substance that you can run this company by on a day to day basis that helps you stand out from the rest. Also, don‘t expect to make a profit immediately; that‘s totally unrealistic, you need to have great leadership skills; if you look behind you and no one‘s following you then you may not be a great leader. (H2H): What sets Affinity Public Relations apart from other firms? (RR): As a Christian Urban PR firm we are set apart because our standards, goals, mission and vision statement are all based on God‘s word. We recognize daily that we are a business, but we are a ministry as well. God directs all that we do, who we take on as clients, who we partner with and how we operate the business. (H2H): Your motto reads, "Serving You, Serves God 'I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters; you were doing it to me!' Matthew 25:45". What lead you to choose this particular scripture? How important is it to implement spirituality in what you do? (RR): First and foremost, I recognize myself as a servant and a servant doesn‘t question who to serve, but chooses to step up to the plate and serves everyone no matter the job; we must make HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 17


ourselves available at all times. Then when starting the company, we knew that this company was intended to take on clients that normally would not be able to afford the normal Public Relations fees; we‘d allow them an opportunity to have effective, successful and God-inspired publicity. Additionally, we‘d be able to create relationships with people that we‘ll share an eternal existence with. Our faith is totally important to the success, growth and sustainability of the company. This is God‘s company and He‘s entrusted me to oversee it in a manner that glorifies Him and a place where people know they‘ve experienced something different. (H2H): Is there anything else you would like to add? (RR): Additionally, never just follow your heart, it has a tendency to only want to serve the flesh, allow God to reveal to you all that you‘ve been created to be and do that. That‘s totally where your true success, both financially, but more importantly spiritually will be. You‘ll never have to ask if you‘re doing the right thing. As well, you‘ll always have a passion for it like nothing else. It‘s okay to love what you do, but love often fades. However, if you have a passion, which includes the pinnacle of sacrifice, God will be glorified, you will be successful, employees will flourish and customers will return. (H2H): Thank you so much queen! (RR): My pleasure!

Rhonda Ridley is the President/CEO of Affinity Public Relations, New York‘s Exclusive Urban Marketing and Branding Firm. Mrs. Ridley has also worked with and continues to serve clients such as Kim Fields. She is the Chief Writer for Gospel City Publications. Mrs. Ridley may be reached at: Rhonda@affinity-pr.com Chief Writer GospelCity.com Rhonda@gospelcity.com

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Harsh Reality, ImPossible Dream Shanise F. Craft Harsh Reality, ImPossible Dream is the inspirational true story of Shanise Craft, a single mother and businesswoman who has struggled, succeeded, been knocked down and lost it all, only to rise again into new and greater success with God as her guide. Born into the harsh reality of an urban environment cursed by alcohol, drug use, welfare, and single motherhood, Shanise Craft struggles throughout her life to rise above the curses and achieve her dreams. The challenges to be overcome and lessons to be learned along the way are many. "Despite all the good things my grandmother did for others, she was never a really good grandmother to me when I was growing up; in fact, she would never give us any gifts." "I don't mean to paint my grandmother as a bad person, but I will tell you she didn't teach her children any values. I watched them all find their own paths. My grandmother never even finished elementary school, and I guess the only values she could teach were the ones she knew. She was a wonderful cook and always opened her home to whoever needed sheltering. She did give me one spirit, and later in life I found out that I had an approval addiction." (Excerpt from Chapter 17 of Harsh Realities)

To purchase your copy of Harsh Reality visit us online at: http://www.shanisefcraft.com/ Follow Us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/Shanise-Craft Stay tuned for the One-on-One with Shanise F. Craft and her newly released book in the December edition of Hurt2Healing Magazine!

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Brand and Market Yourself‌The World Is Waiting For You! (Part 2 of 3) By Jesse Muhammad I hope that you have had the opportunity to implement some of the tips I gave you in Part 1 (Article Archive) of this three-part series on ways to brand and market yourself. Have they been successful for you? What has worked? Please give me your feedback. The world is waiting for you and there is no time to wallow in sorrow about how poorly your marketing strategy was this past year. Do an assessment, note the mistakes and learn from them by not consistently repeating them. Insanity is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Don't rob 2011 by kicking it off with the same old tactics. Here are some more tips to properly brand YOU: 1. Create a professional e-mail: Unless you are living in a cave, you should have an email address. Create an account with an email name that is tied to your business. It is recommended that you buy your own domain around your name and create an e-mail based on this domain. (i.e. mynamehere@mynamehere.com). When doing business avoid using your nickname from back in the day as an email address, it's unappealing and unprofessional. 2. Create a catchy e-mail signature: Every time you communicate with someone, you need to "pound" your brand into their minds. Your email signature, which appears at the bottom of each one that you send, should consist of some form of message that re-enforces YOU. For example mine is "Mediocrity is NOT in Your D.N.A.", which is the theme of my motivational talks. I have only been using it for over a year but a lot of my contacts tell me they think of me when they hear the word mediocre. 3. Keep Updated & Professional Photos: I know you are still using the same pictures from 10 years ago to promote yourself because you may be uncomfortable with the way you look but you don't know that can undermine your image. Once people see you in person, they might say "Man, you aged fast".(smile) Don't feel bad because most celebrities get their pics "photo-shopped" or graphically enhanced. Hire a professional photographer and do a fresh photoshoot once a year. You need to have your images on disk because you never know when it will be requested plus you need them for your website and kit. 4. Step up your appearance: A good friend of mine named K.Jer'Rod likes to say "Your image is the first judgement made". He's right. The man with a so-called million dollar plan that looks like he just finished playing rugby won't get heard. First impressions at in-person meetings are an important component of developing your brand. Be creative with your look but don't get outrageous. When you step into a room, command attention without having to say a word. Research shows how you dress dictates your posture. Dress according to your daily game plan. 5. Develop your information kit: If you are trying to get a new job, where is your resume? If someone wants you to speak, where is your track record? Can you email a bio to the news reporter who is on deadline and needs your info now along with a quote? The key is to build these things before they are needed. Develop stationery of busiHURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 21


ness cards, letterheads, etc. Research online the various media kits that are needed for your particular endeavor and start developing it immediately in electronic form. 6. Get Out of Your Bed: Emails and text messages are the norm but nothing beats the human contact. Stay abreast on the happenings in your city so you can make an appearance. I have a friend who goes to a minimum of seven events per week to network with people he can potentially add value to and vice versa. Whether it's a banquet, community event or private invite, do your best to plant your image into the minds of as many people you can because you never know when your big break will come. Like Kanye West says "get your back up off the fouton". 7. Build Your Database & Follow Up: Most potential business relationships go down the drain due to poor follow up. So you have to be relentless in following up on conversations you have with people who want to do business with you. Don't wait for them to do it, you do it! If you don't follow up, it negates the purpose for even getting yourself exposed. Relationship building is an art, so soak up as many books as you can on the subject matter. I recommend Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Branding and marketing yourself is not an insurmountable task. What are you waiting for? A new beginning is upon you. Best Regards, Jesse Muhammad Connect with me Online! FinalCall Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Chron Blog

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LAREIJON Fitness Boot Camp with‌

Nicole Hudson, CFT

...combines cardiovascular exercise along with resistance training, to improve physique, flexibility, and self-esteem through a fun-filled exercise regimen. No matter your age, size, gender, or fitness level, YOU can achieve great results! Contact Nicole Hudson now to secure your place: lareijon@yahoo.com 713.373.2939 Spaces Are Filling Up Fast!!! HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010

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11 Ways To Handle Stress By: Wholistic Stress Control Institute, Inc. www.wholistic1.com

*Take a deep breath. *Think positive. *Do some fun things-Laugh! *Exercise and eat nutritiously. *Talk with someone. *Relax and chill out! *Forgive yourself and others. *Let anger out - Scream! *Let go and Let God. *Get a massage! *Take a trip!

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The Definition of Grindin’ By Salih Muhammad, Co-Founder of Grindin’ Coffeehouse

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Grindin’ Coffeehouse is a full service coffee shop and is located at 5296 Foothill Blvd in Oakland, CA. The coffeehouse offers a variety of gourmet coffee blends, teas, specialty drinks, smoothies, and pastries. With moderately priced items, Grindin’ works to serve a low economic community and the students of neighboring, Muhammad University of Islam daily. Customers at Grindin’ Coffeehouse shop have the opportunity to relax, socialize, and network in a safe, comfortable, and pleasant environment. The number of Grindin’ Coffeehouse locations could easily reach 3-5 within five years. We plan to open coffeehouses in numerous locations in urban communities. We plan to be “The Spot” for people of all creeds, classes, and colors with a focus on the youth. We plan to have a particular interest on young people by providing a peaceful and constructive environment. Grindin’ Coffeehouse is also working to become part bakery providing good, healthy, and wholesome baked goods. These baked goods will include the production and sale of Bean Pies, Cheese Pies, Carrot Cakes, Lemon Cakes and more. The founding youth of Grindin’ Coffeehouse are Donnie Sutton (17), Roson East (15), Salih Muhammad (14), Talat Muhammad (14), and Tony Byrd (14). After the departure of its founding members to higher education, the coffeehouse remains in the control of Muhammad University of Islam’s high school class along with Salih Muhammad. Its current members range in age from 12-16 years. Grindin Coffeehouse seeks to expand beyond the coffee business into other fields of endeavor under the same brand name. Grindin’ Coffeehouse is in the business of producing good, mature, and developed young men to reverse the stereotypical image that is generally portrayed today. Grindin’ Coffeehouse is the Vision for Tomorrow. Follow Us on Facebook! HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 29


Wedded Bliss Foundation Nisa Islam Muhammad, Executive Director

Welcome to Wedded Bliss Foundation, a community based organization helping teens, singles and couples develop healthy relationships and healthy marriages to improve their lives, better the outcomes for children and create stronger communities. We accomplish this in three ways. Our signature program is Black Marriage Day, the fourth Sunday in March every year. Visit www.blackmarriageday.com for more information. Wedded Bliss Foundation offers classes in Washington, DC in a community partnership with Lifestarts Youth and Family Services for men, women, singles and couples using the Basic Training Series developed by Nisa Muhammad and Dr. Rozario Slack. The organization also provides professional training in how to use the curricula and technical assistance to groups and organizations interested in strengthening marriage in the Black community. HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 30


Sadiyah A. Evangelista Attorney at Law “YOUR GODLY CRIMINAL WARRIOR LAWYER” Misdemeanor star at $250 Down Payments (with possible dismissal) Felony start at $500 Down Payments (with possible dismissal) “PROTECTING THOSE OF THE LORD’S CHILDREN WHO HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF PERFECTION FROM THE WRATH OF THOSE WHO HAVE ATTAINED IT UNKNOWN” Office: 832.623.2323 (24 Hrs) 2616 South Loop West, Suite 205 Houston, Texas 77054 Www.criminalwarriorlawyer.com HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010

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How Long Will You Wait to Discover Your Purpose? By Lady 4.0

T “ ”

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The Reasons Why I Love You The day you were born marked the beginning of my existence The woman I have become characterizes the substance of who you are The kindness in your heart is displayed by the compassion I have for others The sparkle in your eyes is a reflection of what I see in myself The boldness in your conviction is the reason I hold myself in such high regard The reverence you show for God HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 33


is the reason I am obedient to his word The love you give unconditionally is the reason I am not afraid of failure When I reach the end of my life I will rejoice because you were there And when our souls are rejoined in eternity it will be as if we were never apart Regardless of what happens during my lifetime You will always be present in my heart

Be Blessed,

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A Vehicle for Enlightenment and Information By Richard Muhammad

If knowledge is king, information vehicles that enlighten and inform are jewels in the crown of the ruler—and for a people steeped in ignorance and miseducation, truth is the light needed to guide to the proper path. The Final Call newspaper, founded by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam in 1979, is committed to bringing information, enlightenment and truth to a world dominated by corporateowned media outlets driven by a lust for profits, tainted by a fascination with all things trivial and all the gossip it can find. In essence, The Final Call is in the information and resurrection business and inextricably linked with the movement for spiritual renewal and progress that is the Nation of Islam. It follows in the tradition of Muhammad Speaks, with hard-hitting national and international news and coverage of political issues. It is also the official communications organ of the Nation of Islam. The entire first edition of the paper, except for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad‘s editorial and presentation of ―The Muslim Program,‖ was written by Min. Farrakhan. Members of his family and others designed the layout, did typesetting and copy editing and assisted with research. The emergence of The Final Call just two years into Min. Farrakhan‘s rebuilding effort of the Nation of Islam sent a message about his serious dedication to see the message of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad rebirthed. The Nation had went in an incredibly different direction shortly after the departure of Mr. Muhammad in 1975 and so did the powerful Muhammad Speaks newspaper. The first edition of The Final Call, dedicated to the resurrection of the Black man and woman of America and the world, emerged with the headline, ―The Ultimate Challenge: The Survival of the Black Nation.‖ ―In rebuilding the Nation of Islam, it is incumbent upon us to retrace the Honorable Elijah Muhammad‘s steps,‖ the paper noted. ―The first newspaper that the Messenger produced was in 1934 after His Teacher Master Fard Muhammad had left Him with the Mission. The name of that paper was The Final Call To Islam. ―One day, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to the Minister, ‗Brother, if there were any sign or HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 37


symbol that I would choose to represent my work it would be the trumpet ... for the trumpet is the sign of the resurrection of the dead,‘ ‖ the paper continued. ―So, as He began, we begin! THE FINAL CALL is a monthly message published by people dedicated to the resurrection of the Black man and woman of America and the world …‖ So from the faith and dedication of one man has come a weekly publication and an online edition that provides information to millions each year – and includes a fledging international English language edition that is published in the United Kingdom. Throughout Black America and now other parts of the world, the sight of Muslim men offering a newspaper to people has become a hallmark of the Nation and a symbolic and literal taking the truth to the streets to warn and inform through a spiritual message wrapped in news events and analysis that bear witness to the time – the time of great change and turmoil foretold in the scriptures of the Bible and the Holy Qur‘an, the book of scripture of the Muslims. The Final Call is headquartered in Chicago in the heart of a Black community has staff writers in the Nation‘s capital, in Houston, in Los Angeles and a correspondent at the United Nations, where The Final Call is the only Black-owned news publication with permanent media credentials. Contributing writers and columnists supplement the work of dedicated staffers. On April 16, 1996, The Final Call began its weekly publication schedule. ―Following the legacy of the Muhammad Speaks newspaper, published by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we plan to maintain and, in fact, increase our standard of excellence in bringing information to the Black community,‖ vowed the newspaper. As the newspaper marks over 30 years of publication, it is still growing and developing, but nothing will deter this news organ from bringing the truth to the world. Truth is what is needed today and it is perhaps the most precious commodity on the market. (Richard Muhammad is editor of The Final Call Newspaper. He can be reached at editor@finalcallnews.com.) For more information and to subscribe to The Final Call Newspaper, go to www.finalcall.com

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The Best Paper to Read! Visit www.finalcall.com

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We are a group of believers in the Nation of Islam, determined to stand and defend our Big Brother (Minister Farrakhan) through scripture. We wish to inspire others to do the same. We Are The Farrakhan Justice League! Visit us online at www.handsofffarrakhan.com

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The Exclusive with Valeisha Butterfield of Women In Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN)

How to Protect the Image of Women In Entertainment... HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 43


October H2H Exclusive August 26, 2010 Ebony S. Muhammad

Ebony Muhammad (EM): Please give a brief history of Women In Entertainment Empowerment Network, how it was founded, the location, and the mission. Valeisha Butterfield (VB): Sure, no problem. So basically I‘ll give you the snapshot of my life and career…I‘m 32 years old, and I say that to say that I‘ve spent twelve years now working in the nonprofit sector and the entertainment business so, if you do the math, you‘ll see that I started very early as a student at Clark Atlanta University. And, even at Clark --- I came from a very small town in North Carolina and went directly from that small town, which is called Wilson, North Carolina, to Atlanta which was an entertainment hub. From a freshman in college, I knew right away that I wanted to have some sort of hybrid between the entertainment business and community service and giving back. So, every internship that I had, every job that I had in my college career, was either with a nonprofit organization that dealt with community programs or with the entertainment industry. However, I could never figure out how to combine the two. So, after graduating from college, I moved to New York and interned, again with many entertainment companies. One day when I was working at HBO Sports, I saw Russell Simmons on CNN talking about the need for young adults, especially minority young adults, to get involved in the voting process and to become civically engaged. And then, the light bulb went off. I was like, okay, that‘s the blueprint. That‘s exactly what I want. He has, somehow, managed to do both, the entertainment balanced with civic engagement, community service, and giving back. So, then I reached out to Russell Simmons, who I did not know and he didn‘t know me. I introduced myself by email and within 5 minutes, he offered me an unpaid internship with his organization. When I got the response from Russell, I was obviously, you know, shocked and I went in to meet with him. What I know now is that he gets thousands of emails like this a day and for him to even respond, I felt like, was a blessing. When he responded within 5 minutes, he said I could come in for a meeting, and I did. Now, I‘m 25 years old at the time. I have a degree, experience on my resume, and he brought me on board as an unpaid intern, at 25. So, obviously, that was a very humbling experience and it made me really question how bad I really wanted this and how much I was willing to sacrifice. So, I did, and in New York, as you can imagine, it‘s very tough to work unpaid, so it involved sleeping on a friends couch and it was very humbling. And nobody understood it at the time, especially my parents. So, for a year almost, I work unpaid. And, after that year, I went, within a two year period, from being an unpaid intern to being the Executive Director and the head of his foundation, the nonprofit division and there I spent a little over 6 years working as the head of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network alongside Dr. Ben Chavis. Dr. Ben and I worked hand in hand toHURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 44


gether for many years and created programs that dealt with voter education, voter registration and financial literacy for minorities 18 -35 years old. So again, I did that for 6 years and back in 2007, while I was still working there the national dialogue became women and the way we are portrayed in music videos, and the way we are portrayed in the entertainment industry. And although it had been a discussion for many years, back in 2007 it really hit the fan, because Russell was on Oprah and it was a very heated debate on the show about the entertainment industry and the way women are portrayed. The whole Don Imis situation happened and it went from being a Don Imis controversy to the entertainment industry and at that time, the voice was so loud that I knew that I had to do my part, because I worked in the entertainment industry. I had to work from the inside out to help create change. How can I be a woman in this business and not give these young women without a voice, a voice? I just felt that responsibility, and so I went to Russell one day, this was after he had gone on Oprah, and I told him that I had a vision for creating a program at the time that would mobilize women who worked in the entertainment industry to help create more balance and the way we are portrayed and right away, he gave me the green light. He was just like ―Go. Just do it, I‘ll fully support it.‖ We had a launch event in 2007 and everybody you could imagine who was an influence in the business came out to support and they were fully on board. Since that time, we are now a nonprofit organization and in three years, we now have registered over 43,000 members worldwide and we create programs year round and our deal with four issues: financial literacy, career / workforce development, personal advancement (that‘s the fun part, we talk about relationships between men and women) and health education where we talk about everything from HIV awareness to obesity. So, that‘s the long and short of it. EM: Wow. And you answered quite a few of the questions that I had and I‟m glad that you went into that kind of detail in regards to the different issues because I look on the website and you see scholarships and more so the entertainment part of it and the awards but to know that you delve into obesity and other factors that affect our community, like HIV and AIDS especially amongst black women, that‟s phenomenal. I really commend you for that and for having that vision and moving out on it because it‟s one thing to think about it, when you hear those kinds of issues and see how we are portrayed in entertainment but it‟s a whole other ballgame when you actually move out on it and you have the support that you do.

VB: Well, let me tell you. While we have the fabulous, fancy events and all that, we are in the trenches too. We had an event in New York City and it was one of our major events…..all of our events for the community free of charge to the public and we had over 3,000 girls at this HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 45


one event in New York and we did free HIV testing on site. We had psychiatrists on hand, medical professionals and subject matter experts on hand and you‘d be surprised at some of the results that were coming back because it was an instant test. EM: Wow…. VB: Yea…. And I‘m still getting chills just to think about it because then we realized how critical our work was because these young ladies had never had the courage, in many cases, to even get tested or to even seek information because they were never in an environment where they felt comfortable enough without being judged. It‘s always important for us to never be judgmental and make sure we have a welcoming environment where the girls feel like they are among peers and not people talking down or at them so, we try to provide that environment.

EM: And I can only imagine too, with the results being instant, and immediately given to them……because, usually, it takes around a couple of weeks or something like that to give you an opportunity to get your mind set for a positive or negative……. So to have it instantly it‟s good to hear that you all were prepared with psychologists and therapists there to be a buffer or cushion for that. I wanted to ask you, with that being said, what kind of opposition did you all face, with it being so controversial on Oprah or just the idea of women being portrayed as we are in entertainment? Did you have opposition from either those in entertainment or those outside of entertainment in what you were seeking to do? VB: You know, I won‘t say it‘s been rosy but we have not had much opposition, and I think it‘s because of our approach. We spent a lot of time planning and strategizing before we even launched, just to be sure that our approach was appropriate given the fact, of course, that we do work in the business. We wanted to make sure that we always had a collaborative approach. We‘re not condemning anyone, we are collaborating and partnering with people who are either like minded or who we want to understand these issues and make a difference. So, we always took that collaborative, partnership approach, whether it be with young women or with partners or with the entertainment industry and I think that has been helpful. We always try to avoid going the ‘shame‘ route. We have a lot of meetings behind the scenes that you will never hear about publicly because it‘s important for us to have dialogue and really get to the root of the problem like I think, sometimes issues among our community and you can define ‗our community‘ however you want, but I think, sometimes dialogue should happen behind closed doors to make a real difference and make a real impact. So, it‘s important for us to have those closed door meetings where we are laying out the issues, not letting people off the hook but making sure that they know that we do want to collaborate with you and not just shame you into doing HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 46


what we want you to do. Then, I think the final thing is balance. We‘re not trying to change the industry overnight. We believe in freedom of expression and all of those rights. So, instead of trying to change people and change things instead we‘re trying to create more balance. So, we want to create more programming that portrays women in a positive light. We are empowering young women to become the video directors and to become the choreographers and to get in those leadership roles so that they can say not only do we demand respect, but now we are in leadership positions where we can create that respect. We are trying to raise up a whole new generation of women who are in the position to create change too.

EM: Exactly. And you sparked some ideas too on just being the solution to the problem and not just complaining about it, not having a sole obsession or just to do a lot of male bashing but to actually be the change that we want to see.

VB: Exactly. Because people are tired of panel discussions. EM: Right and “the meeting about the meeting” so we can talk about it. Take action. You definitely have to take action. And you mentioned the balance, and I saw that even though you have the women in the forefront, which is definitely a vision that you want to have when it comes to entertainment and improving that aspect, but you also appeal to men in business as well. You mentioned that you wanted to make sure that the approach is appropriate and I think, with you including men it gives them maybe the comfort or the assurance, that this is not exclude or belittle or emasculate them in the industry.

VB: Exactly

EM: So, you mentioned the support from the entertainment industry, which leads me into your Board of Directors and your supporting staff that I saw on the website. I saw some very familiar faces like MC Lyte, LaToya Luckett, Lauren Lake….How was that collaboration with those and the other individuals of the staff? How did the staff come together?

VB: First, let me just say that we are entirely volunteer based so we have no staff.

EM: Oh, okay (Laughter)

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VB: In that, we all have full time jobs outside of this. Hopefully, one day, we‘ll get to a point where we can staff up but right now, we are volunteer based, 100%.

EM: Wow. That is phenomenal.

VB: It‘s tiring, as it can be but also it fuels the fire it reminds us of how important the work is because we‘re willing to do it for free…

EM: Yes ma‟am VB: So, I did want us to say, that we are a 100% volunteer based organization which is a blessing. Also, as far as the Board of Directors, we have a phenomenal board. It was important for us to have a good, diverse board that included not only women who are in front of the camera but also women who were behind the scenes and then also women who had absolutely no experience at all in the entertainment business. Some who are educators, some who are attorneys, and some who have a career in non profit work and who have never worked in entertainment. We wanted to make sure that we had a balance and we had different perspectives and different views and we were kind of covering all bases. That was kind of the approach on how we even recruited board members. And for the familiar faces like MC Lyte and LaLa and LaToya Luckett and all those great women that you know already from being on camera-these are women who, while they have familiar faces but they do the work. I don‘t care when we call on them, they are there. And they are there for the right reasons, they‘re not there to make any money or to become more famous but it‘s really because they believe in our mission. We wanted women who were respected but who also believed in the cause and would be willing to kind of shut out all of the fabulous-ness and do the work and these are women who have done that. EM: I would even say because they are in the entertainment field and they are women, they know exactly why this type of organization is important and why the cause is important to push. I think that they would be extremely eager to do the work to see that change occur. And you mentioned those who have no experience, are there any internships that you all provide along with scholarships? VB: Oh yes. At all of….not all, most of our community events, we always give away internHURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 48


ships on sight. So, that‘s a big portion of what we do and also we have a career section on our website and we post internship opportunities and job opportunities for our members. So that‘s just one of the benefits and perks of being a member because you get, sometimes, access to inside internship information that isn‘t posted but will post for our members so they are aware of it and can be considered.

EM: Yes Ma‟am. And speaking of the membership, this is a membership organization so what is the criteria? You already mentioned how many members you have, but where are the locations of the chapters, and how are they established in the different cities?

VB: Right now, we are based in New York City but we‘re a national, actually a global organization. The majority of our members are in the U.S., throughout the country but then also have some members in South Africa, some members in Bermuda, some members in France, so we‘re really spread out but we are working now on our first pilot chapter and it will probably be in Atlanta, Georgia because we had a national tour last year and we had the highest attendance of our events, outside of New York, in Atlanta. So, right now, we are working on our first chapter and it will probably be in Atlanta but right now we‘re working on creating those chapter offices. So, starting in 2011, we‘re going to release the guidelines and policies and provide kind of a quarterly report on what the Atlanta chapter is doing and then we‘ll send out a notice or request for proposals for chapters that would be interested in doing the same. So, in 2011, we‘ll start rolling in out.

EM: Yes ma‟am. Congratulations!

VB: Thank You… EM: I‟m blown away. I love the website, because it makes you want to learn more. It gives you enough to where you are like „Okay, I gotta learn a little more about this organization.‟ And for you all to be international, you know, to be global and for people to really take to this cause and understand how serious it is that is outstanding. Is there a part of the program that targets etiquette or femininity that you offer to young girls so that when they become of age, they don‟t fall victim to certain aspects of the entertainment field?

VB: That‘s another thing that‘s a part of our program or part of our strategic plan for the next three years. We‘re trying to find funding now for what we‘ll calling WEEN Summer Academy. HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 49


And, basically, the summer academy would be an 8 week curriculum in all of the markets where we‘ll have those chapters‘ offices. Basically, women who are interested in any type of entertainment track, whether they want to be a publicist, they want to be an entertainment attorney, an accountant or video director, even. We‘ll have different tracks for them and it‘s kind of like a ‗crash course ‗in each of those areas and then in the end, we‘ll kind of select who the top in each of those academies and fly them out for some type of ceremony. So, that‘s in the works but we‘re trying to find funding for it now and it will include an etiquette piece as well. We feel like if young women are provided with more options that they‘ll take those options. Right now, I think that young girls are just not getting the information and they think that what they see on TV is all they are limited to so we‘re trying to expose them to the ‗behind the scenes‘ so they will at least know that those options are available.

EM: Exactly. And you know, I really have to thank you because, when I was in high school, Exscape (female singing group) was really big back then… and I was in a singing group and we went to the studio and we had to keep our grades up in order to go. So, when I got to college, I wanted to be a music video director so I did my internship and then I wanted to explore A&R. I wanted to be in the entertainment field, just behind the scenes. Then I got the opportunity to attend a few conferences, and when I saw how the women were being treated it really turned me off. And, I tried to fight through it , I was like maybe it was just that label, but the more I started to network, it was just a general tone for music entertainment and I was like, “Okay, maybe this just isn‟t for me, as a woman or the type of woman that I am or want to be.” So, I‟m getting chills and I‟m excited, because it‟s definitely needed. I know, for myself and I know a few other women who really wanted to go into music entertainment but didn‟t want to have to compromise their values in order to get where they wanted to be. So, I really, really commend you and your organization for providing that option. VB: Thank You. And I gotta give Russell a lot of credit for that, because I have so many friends and so many peers who gave up or who became frustrated because they weren‘t in a safe environment like I was. Working with Russell, I didn‘t have to deal with a lot of the riff raff and so I was kind of protected in not having to deal with a lot of the things that a lot of other have been through so it enabled me to stay positive and to keep pushing forward. I can‘t tell you enough how much of a class act he really was in how he treated his employees and how he created a safe place for the women in his office. We never felt unsafe and we never felt like we had to compromise who we were in order to be successful. So, BIG PROPS to Russell for that.

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EM: Yes ma‟am. Okay, well the last thing I wanted to talk to you about, the Annual WEEN Awards. Tell me a little bit about this event. Who will be this year‟s honorees? What special events that are going to be taking place? VB: Okay. So, it‘s on September 2nd (2010) and it‘s our second annual and each year we try to do it in a different city. Last year, we did it in Washington, DC. This year it‘s happening in New York City. So, we honor six women or it doesn‘t have to be women, but this year it‘s all women, who have proven in their careers to support women‘s empowerment and the kind of cool thing about it is also, each of the categories directly ties into the subjects that we cover. So, we have a financial literacy category. We have an entrepreneurship category, we have a community service category. We try to make sure that the honorees supports our mission and the programs that we offer. It‘s a fundraiser. It‘s our biggest fundraiser of the year and all the money that‘s raised is used to provide those programs that I mentioned before. So, it kind of keeps our doors open and keeps our programs free to young women. This year is just going to be amazing. I‘m so excited. We‘re honoring Soledad O‘Brien from CNN, she is getting the Community Empowerment Award because of her In America series. We‘re honoring Nia Long, for having a 20 plus career that has always been empowering to women, honoring her with the Women Empowerment Award. Also, we are honoring LaToya Luckett, and the funny thing about LaToya is that we‘re not honoring her for anything she‘s done in music. Instead, we‘re honoring her entrepreneurship, for her clothing line and the boutiques that she has in Houston. So, that‘s the interesting twist with LaToya, she‘s getting the Entrepreneurship Award, because a lot of women who work in front of the camera don‘t take that entrepreneur route but she‘s done that. Esther Silver Parker, who is a lady whose served as a top executive for Wal Mart for many years, she‘s getting the Corporate Award. Hydeia Broadbent is getting honored. She was born with HIV, has been a global activist since age 5, she‘s now 26 years old, living with the disease and speaking to the world about it so she‘s getting the Health Award. And the final person is Angie Martinez. Because we have the event in a different city each year, we want to make sure that we honor somebody from that city. So, this year, it‘s New York so we‘re honoring Angie Martinez who has been on the airwaves and on radio for over 20 years and has really become the fabric of New York City. So, Angie Martinez who never gets honored is getting honored (next Thursday).

EM: I was gonna say, I think that‟s long overdue….. (Laughter) VB: Seriously, it is. And, then aside from our six great honorees, we have confirmed Gayle HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 51


King of Oprah magazine, Kevin Lyles is confirmed, Steven Hill, President of BET is confirmed. The singer Estelle is one of our presenters, Rocsi from BET. There just a long list of people who are all coming out and so we‘re excited. EM: And your hostess, I saw, is Lauren London…. VB: AHHH……She‘s no longer our host….. EM: Oh, okay. VB: She ended up having to cancel and she is so sad about it. She got confirmed to do a Tyler Perry film and that was a BIG opportunity for her so instead, a young lady Melodie Thornton of the Pussycat Dolls is our host now.

EM: Okay. And I wanted to, and this just came back to mind. To talk or at least ask you about the aspect of spirituality in all of this. How much of an influence is that in doing this type of work and is that something that you are going to implement in the program as well for the women?

VB: For us……well, I can only speak personally. We are non denominational. We accept all people but for me, my faith is all I have, and so it has been the driver for me in all of this and I believe that had I not had faith in Him that none of this would have been possible so that has been my personal philosophy. Dr. Ben will be giving the blessing of the meal at the WEEN Awards, so, although we are non denominational we make sure that we have spirituality in everything that we do and for me, you know, I‘m a Christian. I‘m a Southern Baptist Christian. It was part of my upbringing so it‘s just a part of who I am and I truly believe that it all has to boil down to something or someone that‘s higher than us.

EM: Wonderful! For more information about WEEN, membership and the awards for someone who might be in the area and want to attend or just to see what you‟re all about and to have a tangible idea of who you are, as well as for general information, how can they get in touch with you?

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VB: they can always go, of course to WEENonline.Org . On the website you can email me directly and I always make sure that I have an open door policy. So, you can go to the website, my email address is there and also my Twitter. Can you mention that membership is free? EM: Yes, that is important! VB: Yea because a lot of people have misinterpreted that and think that there is a membership fee and there isn‘t so I just wanted to make sure that I mentioned that.

EM: What comes with the membership?

VB: They can expect to receive access to internships and job opportunities on the website. They also get access to all of our events so all of our events minus the WEEN Awards which is a fundraiser, but all of our community events either in New York or nationwide are all free to our members. So by being a member, you get in for free so not only is membership free but you get all this free stuff just by being a member. And then, of course, you‘ll get all the information on upcoming chapters, upcoming scholarships, contests that are also available to WEEN members only. EM: Where else can the readers find you and WEEN? VB: Essence Magazine just selected me as one of their top forty under 40 and that comes in their October issue. EM: Wow. Congratulations! VB: Thank You. Thank you, thank you! EM: Wow, I am so proud of you. VB: Thank You EM: and you have 100%... 1000% of my support! HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 53


VB: Thank you very much and I definitely want to do more in Houston so we should definitely talk about it. EM: Yes maâ€&#x;am. We most certainly will and will certainly keep in touch with you. VB: Okay. Please do. EM: Thank you for your time. VB: Thank you!

For more information about Women In Entertainment Empowerment Network, visit them online at www.WEENonline.org

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ASK MS. MAVIS My Dream vs. My Reality

Greetings Readers!

apartment I furnished was full of items

This month’s theme, “Living Your Dream/ Making It a Reality” is a topic that I can share about in many different areas of my life. My personal experiences have allowed me to make some of my dreams a reality as well as taught me to apply some reality to some of my dreams. Allow me to expound. The only dream I

donated from my family. As in the title of this piece, some reality did indeed affect how that dream turned out. The next dream I allowed myself to have was one of obtaining a Cosmetology license. I mainly pursued it to please my

“That dream did come true, but

not before I became a young mother; and the first home apartment I furnished was full of items donated from my family.

remember having as a girl was about furnishing a house. I recall going to a large department store in downtown Houston almost every day after school with my best friends. We would go up to the home décor floor and pick out furniture for every room in our dream house. Back then I guess that was as big as my dreams could get, and it was fun. That dream did come true, but not before I became a young mother; and the first home

”.

Aunt Flossie, who had a beauty salon and did my hair all my life. But then I remember thinking it might be a

good career to have and then maybe inherit a family business. So, that dream did become a reality for me and I worked in that field for many years. It was a huge challenge to build up a clientele base, so again, the reality of having to support a family as a single parent kicked in and I left that field for something more dependable. HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010

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The first really significant dream I had didn’t

the loss of my hair, I was given a vision

occur until well into my adulthood. I was the

from God. And trust me, I have no doubt

mother of five children, ages 5-18, and strung

that it was from Him! The vision gave me a

out on drugs. I found myself lost, alone and

name for the dream, a concept for the

out in the cruel world of addiction, associating

dream, and all the inspiration that I could

with people on the same road. I would often

handle at that time. I got to work thinking,

dream of being a drug-free and responsible

writing, creating, and organizing material to

mother, but had not reached the point where I

make that vision become a reality.

wanted to get the help. Then one day in 1988, after surviving five grueling years of a deep ad-

There have been, and will be, times when

diction, I woke up one morning and said “I

reality will cause me to put it aside for a

don’t want to do this anymore”. At that mo-

minute, but I absolutely refuse to ever give

ment the dream began to materialize for me

up on it. Proverbs 29:18 states “Where

because I allowed myself to reach out and ask

there is no vision, the people perish.", so

for help. That was a step I had to take in order

that tells me it is very important to have a

to accomplish any other dreams that were to

vision. I believe that a delay is not a denial

come.

and roadblocks are temporary. It is up to

I never dreamed of becoming a Licensed

each and every one of us to turn stumbling

Chemical Dependency Counselor, in fact, I ran

blocks into stepping stones and keep pur-

from it for 15 years. But in 2003, after being

suing our dreams. Without a vision, I

spiritually awakened, I realized it was my pur-

would be aimless, and would have no clear

pose; or more specifically, my calling in life.

goal in mind for my business. I know that

That year I enrolled in counseling school,

overcoming any obstacle is considered a

which was paid for by the State of Texas. One

part of my success.

year later, I passed the LCDC exam, which was paid for by another program. Sometimes things will happen that let you know when you are on the right path, but we often miss those signs by focusing on the wrong things. Today, I am in the process of making my latest dream a reality. In 2007, while recovering from

My vision is The Overcomers Foundation, Inc, and it will be designed to assist anyone seeking help in overcoming obstacles in life. My primary area may be chemical dependence, but that always affects all other areas of a person’s life. Drug and alcohol addiction is just one area of life that people HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010

58


have to recover from, so my organization

Read, read, read, and obtain as much

won’t be limited to just that problem.

knowledge as possible so you can be as

Everybody is in recovery from something, and

successful as possible. And don’t forget,

many want to ask for help but have no avail-

Dream big, after all, you only go around

able resources. So it is my dream to be a “one

once!

stop shop” for people and whatever life challenges they are recovering from. The first leg of this dream is targeting children

Peace & Blessings Ms. Mavis

and youth with a Drug Education and Prevention Program in the schools. I believe that many people recovering from addiction might have been prevented from it if they had received adequate information and prevention training while younger. The statistics are mind-boggling of children involved in drug use or in households of drug-users that really want something different for their lives. I am in the process of procuring funding for the program I have developed, and when I do, the dream will come to life! In closing, let me encourage anyone that has a vision to pursue it, and don’t let anything or anyone deter you from it. There will be times when the realities of life may step in and create delays, but if you will just look at it as temporary, you will bounce back and accomplish your goal. Don’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it, and familiarize yourself with people who became successful at what you dream of doing.

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Live Joyfully Judge Glenda Hatcheet On creating the life you’re meant to lead. ESSENCE Magazine October 2010

ESSENCE: What are the common obstacles we let get in joy’s way? JUDGE HATCHETT: We have got to stop looking for answers outside of ourselves. Even if you have been wronged, ask yourself if you are going to stay being a victim or figure out how to move to higher ground and be victorious.

Start each day with an idea of what you can do to work toward your dream, says Hatchett

ESSENCE: What question can we ask to discover our passion? JUDGE HATCHETT: If the sky

were the limit, and I didn’t have barriers in life, what would I d o? Set a timer and take five minutes to write down your answer. That will tell you what your soul is craving. ESSENCE: How do we avoid letting life’s negatives get to us? JUDGE HATCHETT: Acknowledge the hurt, go through a grieving process, and then parlay the event into something better. Resilient women learn the lesson and move on. ESSENCE: What would you like Black women to do after they finish reading this? JUDGE HATCHETT: Challenge themselves to do one things that will make their lives better and commit t o it. Women who live their lives intentionally are more purposeful, powerful and passionate. HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 60


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Understanding and Identifying A Supportive Mate By Sister Striving

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Some statistics have indicated that girls are more likely to graduate from high school more than boys. Girls are also more likely to have a desire to go to college and finish in comparison to boys. With these statistics, girls are almost groomed to start thinking of a career as early as middle school. When it comes to boys, they typically start talking about college well into high school years if they are interested. Around the ages 13-16, boys can start losing interest in school, and getting ―caught up‖ in worldly activities such as gang banging, selling dope, fast money schemes, etc. Girls tend to stay on a course of study, and mothers or grandmothers will coach them along the way (typically). This is not the same (at times) when it comes to boys. Also, girls mature faster than boys, and we know boys learn best in the morning times. Other scientific studies have shown how boys and girls learn differently. I addressed these points listed to make everyone aware that as a college educated woman, I am more capable of obtaining a ―good job,‖ being more career driven, and having more capabilities to surpass a black man going for the same position I desire in ―Corporate America.‖ This happens on a daily basis, and men know that we as women have an advantage over them in the early stages of our development. I understood as a child, very early, what it was I was being trained to do. I come from a ―traditional 2-parent home,‖ which is rare nowadays. I always watched my mother work really hard all my life. My father was a truck driver, so when I was little, I did not see him much that I can remember. He was away from home a lot, so my mother ―held down the fort.‖ She was a stay at home mother with us for a few years while my dad did truck driving. As I got older, my mother returned to work when I was able to go to a traditional, all day school. It was not until I was about 6 or 7 years old that I remember my father getting hurt on his job. He ended up having to go into very early retirement due to his injuries. My mother worked as a manager in the fast food industry when she went back to work. My dad never finished school, and only went to the 3rd or 4th grade. He had to work in the field picking okra, corn, sugar cane, or whatever was in season with his mom and family to have food to eat for himself and his siblings. This was also how they made a living in the ―country part of Louisiana‖. Mom did finish high school, and was the valedictorian back in the late 60‘s. My mom went to school in the ―city part of Louisiana‖, so she did not have to do work in field like my dad. In what I saw with my parents, I developed a strong work ethic, dependability, and reliability when it came to working. They both always told me to work hard, and if you don‘t know, say you don‘t know, but find out the answer on your own. They also HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 64


told me never make the same mistakes, and always be the one at your job your supervisor can depend on. They instilled in me that whatever career I pick, do my job well and accept challenges along the way. The easy way, is not always the best way. I took these values to heart. When my dad got hurt at work, things changed in my home when I was a child. My mother began to be the one in the home with the steady income. My father did what he could to make money, but his neck and back injuries caused him not to be able to do a lot of lifting, sitting, standing, etc. Their roles of the duties of a father and duties of a mother began to change. With the change in the home, it became some ―role reversal‖ between my parents. My dad cooked every day, he washed clothes, he checked on me when I was sick at night when mom worked late, etc. I wanted to share some of my personal experience, because I learned early that I had to support my husband in what he wanted to do to be a provider and hold his position of head of household. There were many times my mom did not agree on how my dad… let‘s just say came into financial success J. Sometimes he gambled and sometimes he did odd household jobs for money since he is so good with his hands. For my dad, doing this gave him is sense of natural belonging providing for his family. However, I learned also, that it did not make him less of a man to cook, clean, wash clothes, when my mom was at work. I figured out along the way that my mom showed her appreciation for him doing this in her own way with him by paying bills, planning family trips, etc. Sometimes, your mate will do business ventures that you as an educated woman, don‘t always agree with. You have to support him in his venture, because most millionaires fail several times before having that one thing that makes them financially successful. I have sometimes let my husband make mistakes (even if I knew from my education, that his idea would not work). I have to allow him to do what a man does which is what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad says‖ The Black Man and Woman learns through experimentation.‖ I am fortunate to have a mate who supports my dreams and current career. It was not easy at first. Men can feel very intimidated, if you will, by a college educated woman if the man does not have the same education. They can sometimes be unsupportive in a woman wanting to earn a salary for herself. I have been accustomed to supporting my husband by being his ―cheerleader‖. I tell him how proud I am of him and that I am his biggest supporter. I say this because this helps him to focus and make better decisions for the family when he has his wife and children to think about. The weight of this falls on him, so to beat him down when he is failing, kills the spirit. This same thing is done when the roles are reversed for my career. He reciprocates the same behavior I do for him with my career. However, as an educated woman, I have to HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 65


be as skillful as possible when I go to him with suggestions or corrections to his actions. We as women can tend to sometimes make a man feel inferior when we use our educational knowledge as a weapon against him. We have to be a consoler as the Holy Qur‘an states. We have to be so clever in correcting him to the point they don‘t realize that they are being corrected. When you are a supportive mate, you don‘t mind, on either side, stepping outside your role to help with your household for whatever this may entail. If the woman works and her mate is supportive of her, he may get the children ready for school, clean up, etc. The same is true for a working woman in that she will share her earnings by paying bills, etc. The two must understand they are only helping that person when needed. Even though the Holy Our‘ an says that a woman‘s earnings is her earnings, and a man‘s earnings is her earnings, but when there is love and support, she is willing to give it to him whenever needed. However, problems can arise when a mate expects the other to step outside their role on a regular basis. It‘s important to know when either choosing a mate or if you‘re in a relationship, you ―know your role.‖ As a woman, even though I have a career, goals, and love going to school, I have my seven units as prescribed by Allah (God) that have to come first. Being negligent in my duties as a woman can be damaging to the home. For a man, if he is not maintaining and sustaining the home and the woman, he is failing in his duty as a man as well. It is incumbent for both to find a balance they can agree on. Each couple will have what works for them; however, no one should stand as judge for that relationship. If all parties in the home are happy and their home is heaven for them, which is all that matters. What works for one family, is not going to work for another. Choose which one you want before you are in a relationship, or if you are in one, sit down and talk to your mate about how you want to have your household structured. In conclusion, if you are not married and want to have a career, education, etc., it can be done. You will have to find someone willing to allow you to do your experimenting. Remember, the brother that wants a stay at home wife will most likely always have that desire, so he may not be the one for you. Explore and be ready to make sure to balance your career and duties. Most importantly, no one can fall short in their obligation. Your house can fall apart if everyone is not on the same accord. It is a struggle on a daily basis, but make sure you have someone willing to struggle with you for the greater good.

Peace and Love, Sister Striving

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One-On-One with Dr. Patina Muhammad Part 2 of 3

What Other Doctors Won’t Tell You...

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Hurt2Healing (H2H): Okay. You mentioned that balding is due to dyhydro testosterone… Dr. P: Too much. (H2H): Oh, too much of it and is an indication of prostate issues. Dr. P: Absolutely. (H2H): Now, I’ve seen quite a few brothers… and we’ve always understood it to be hereditary so it’s okay, but from what you’re saying, that’s an indication. Dr. P: That‘s a good one. I‘ve only known of maybe two neurologists who actually show their patients about this male pattern baldness and relaying it to the prostate. What happens, when you start to see that it means that there‘s too much dyhydro testosterone that‘s underneath the scalp that‘s not allowing the hair to protrude through the hair follicles. Then, eventually, when they become totally bald and it looks like they put grease on their scalp, that‘s the dyhydro testosterone and it is definitely a direct link to the prostate. So, when you see that, that‘s when you want to start taking this green mix, and I meant to mention that in the seminar. There‘s a green mix with the oat grass and wheat grass. There are three. I can‘t remember the other one, but there‘s a blend that actually gets rid of the dyhydro testosterone, and they‘ll start growing their hair but you have to catch it early enough before the roots start to die, because if it stays there too long, like years, the roots start to die so it would be almost impossible for the hair to come through. So, when you see that, you know that you‘re heading towards prostate issues and usually it goes into the benign prostate, the enlarged prostate then over a period of time, if the person doesn‘t correct the problem or if the men are wearing their wallet in their front pocket or they have their cell phone or a pager on your side…….all of those things are interfering with the prostate. Now, you‘ve got the laptop computer and the poor reproductive system is being fried. I think I started seeing it about four years ago in my practice. These young men coming in with erectile dysfunction and I‘m wondering ‗what is this?‘ These young men, in their twenties, can‘t have an erection……you see on the TV, that‘s all their advertising now because so many men are suffering from it.

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(H2H): Exactly, and they won’t tell us why or what’s causing it. They just want to treat the symptoms….. Dr. P: and, one of the brothers at the seminar, he talked about having a chiropractor that he sees regularly and how his back keeps going out and the doctor had told him not to carry his wallet in his back pocket, because it was throwing his back off but to carry it in the front pocket. And I said to him, ―Yea, right. Now it‘s frying your prostate.‖ It‘s so funny because his response was that the he (the doctor) didn‘t really care about the prostate because he was a back doctor. But the thing is, some people know about these wallets and what‘s it‘s doing, even the police, when you go to the police academy, they train the officers not to carry their wallet on them because it throws your balance off and it throws your back off. So, they know some but they don‘t know how deep it goes into causing or being at the root of these terrible diseases that the men suffer from. (H2H): You mentioned cell phones as well. I noticed this morning on my way here that I usually keep my cell phone right here (pointing to lap) so I can feel it or hear it when it goes off, and I caught myself and was like, “how long have I been doing that?” What damage is being done just by me keeping my cell phone in my lap? Something as small as a cell phone, you said cell phones are computers, but those small things that we really don’t pay attention to are costing us our lives basically. Dr. P: Absolutely…… (H2H): And I really appreciate that, because it’s helping me to become more conscientious of that. I need to get one of those little protective devices to put on my phone. Dr. P: Yes. That would be a big difference. (H2H): I don’t use the Bluetooth. I have a wire earpiece so it’s not directly to my head but still…….. I was at work one day, and I had my cell phone on my desk along with paper clips. Well, I picked up my phone and the paper clips were stuck to the phone. The phone wasn’t even being used, it was on standby. That blew my mind. I need to get one of those devices on my phone! So, when I saw that, it really opened my eyes to how serious it was. Dr. P: Now, some of those companies, you do have to be aware of because now a lot of HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 71


companies are just jumping on the bandwagon and making cell phone protectors that are not protecting at all. What I do, when I travel, I always try different cell phone protectors to see which ones are really working. Like the ones here, they work and then there‘s some that offer no protection. Just like some of the bottled water. (H2H): You mentioned that there is a parasitic infection that mimics Alzheimer’s disease, and you were saying that it’s the excrements of these bugs that get into the brain. What other things can we look for or pay attention to, aside from just craving junk foods that could be an indication of that parasite? Dr. P: Diabetes, hypertension or any type of heart disease as well as chronic craving. Now, if it‘s a craving on and off or you basically know you were stressed; I‘m not talking about that but if you just chronically crave ‗dead foods‘ then you may want to consider that infection. That infection, it‘s called liver fluke. It travels from the colon and it goes up to the heart and to the pancreas. So, when it gets into the pancreas, of course, the pancreas starts weakening and it doesn‘t produce enough insulin so the blood sugar piles up in the blood system. In order for the body to utilize the blood sugar it has to have insulin along with it so you don‘t have enough insulin to go around to the blood sugar so it piles up and now they can diagnose you with diabetes. When it gets into the heart, it may cause high blood pressure; it may cause, over a period of time, congestive heart failure. That‘s why I say, those diseases, they go hand in hand. Next thing you know, you‘re being diagnosed with Alzheimer‘s. So, you just have to look at the pattern and what‘s going on with you. You have to really focus. Now, with the tests, if I see that a person‘s colon is weak, pancreas is weak, spleen is weak, heart is weak, I‘m definitely going to suspect that liver fluke. (H2H): Wow. So it just moves and infects all parts of the body and the major organs…….Okay. And then by the time it gets to the brain it’s pretty much a wrap. Dr. P: Right. That‘s why it‘s very important to get regular checkups, because if we can catch these disorders and disease in time, they could be totally reversed. But if you wait for years and years, it could cause permanent damage to the brain. (H2H): and that should encourage…..because I know, especially with black men, we have a problem with getting checkups. We put that off. We really have a hard time with going to the doctor. Even to the point where now we have, I think Magic 102 has “Take A Loved One To the Doctor” day, because of that issue. But knowing that you can catch these ailments and knowing that it may not always be bad news when you get that check up, we can reverse this right now. HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 72


Dr. P: Not only that, but you can always go and find out what‘s going on and you don‘t have to take the treatment right away. A lot of people are so afraid, and they have a right to be afraid but you have to use your common sense. So, you don‘t have to take the treatment. You can go alternative, complementary……there‘s different other ways, you just have to be broad minded. But, you don‘t want to ignore what‘s happening in your body and you don‘t want to learn to live with it either. Part 3 Next Issue Allah Willing...

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The Expectations of Marriage: Reality Check! One-On-One with Hannibal & DeAndrea Muhammad

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Hurt2Healing (H2H): What were your expectations of marriage before the wedding? Have those expectations evolved since, and if so how? DeAndrea Muhammad (DM): I anticipated marriage to be a struggle yet rewarding. My parents stayed married until my father recently passed away. I learned from their marriage that there would be many ups and downs. In a recent blog submission to ―The Life and Times of a Modern Day Queen‖ I wrote ―My father died recently and my mother stayed by his side for over 20 years. I'm not going to say they had the perfect marriage, but when he was being rushed to the ICU every month she was there. When he was too sick to work toward the end of his life, she worked overtime. Marriage is not always romantic. It means taking responsibility. Taking responsibility for the others faults, issues, debts, shortcomings, happiness and life.‖ My expectations of marriage haven‘t changed. Marriage is a journey. Hannibal S. Muhammad (HM): I knew this was really about to be a difficult task. I have been taught my whole life that marriage is half your faith. We as a people are conditional worshippers. We pick and choose when we want to be faithful. It is always on our own terms and not God‘s terms. I expected to get married and stay on the honeymoon for the rest of our lives. We would come up for a little oxygen, but stay in cloud 9 forever. (H2H): How would you advise courting couples to prepare for marriage spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally? (joint answer) The best preparation for marriage is to know yourself and to know what you want. Finish school and know your personal goals along with the goals you would like to achieve as a couple. Also to indentify who you are. Never lose your identity. That is what attracted your mate to you. There is such a thing called ―compromising‖, but there are ways of doing it where you are still able of being who you are. Get to know each other‘s immediate family and family abroad. Also learn about their friends. One of my favorite artists made a track talking about you are of the five people you associate yourself with. Remember, you can always prepare yourself financially, but you will never be financially satisfied. (H2H): Collectively, how do you wish to impact the world through your marriage?(joint answer) We wish to impact the world by displaying genuine honest love in marriage. We pray the fruit of our union will be the problem solvers of this world ills and leaders to the masses. We are not perfect inside or out, but we strive to be the best example for each other. Focusing on our marriage first will be a reflection of how a marriage would look HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010 77


abroad. There is a quote: ―perfect practice equals perfect results.‖ Well I say ―perfect practice equals a perfect marriage.‖ Minister Farrakhan has showed an example and reading the book. ―Closing The Gap‖ by Brother Jabril Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan elaborates on the struggles him and wife Khadijah Farrakhan went through. I will end like this. Love is a fight. Every day you should step into the ring and fight for the love of your life and make deposits into your mates emotional bank account. ―Take the first step onto the ladder of love and receive Allah (God‘s) great gifts.‖ Sister Ebony, we thank you for taking the time and interest into wanted our views of marriage. We pray that what Allah has blessed on our hearts touch each and every soul that reads this. (H2H): Thank YOU! May Allah (God) continue to bless you and your family!

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HURT 2 HEALING | SEPTEMBER 2010

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Our Cure Is In the Kitchen Natural Home Remedies for Common Health Problems

Cold Sores The Healing Elements of Aloe Vera “I have been able to completely prevent cold sores from erupting by rubbing fresh aloe vera juice on the spot as soon as the tingling starts,” says Rosemary, of Dayton. The gel of this fleshy succulent has long been used for skin problems, and a few studies suggest that compounds in aloe vera gel promote healing.

Memory Problems She Avoids Aluminum One woman says her fears about aluminum’s possible link to Alzheimer’s disease have led her to avoid the metal. She doesn’t use aluminum kitchen utensils, and she won’t use any deodorant that has aluminum mentioned on the label. Please be mindful of the ingredient for food allergies. For medical concerns, Consult your physician.

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Safiyyah’s Sweets & Treats Gingerbread Ingredients

Method

2 Eggs

Cream shortening and sugar; blend molasses. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

1/2 c. Shortening (veg) 1 c. Molasses 1/2 c. Sugar 2.5 c. Flour 1 tsp. Salt 2 tsp. Baking Power 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda 1 tsp. Ginger 2 tsp. Cinnamon

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, soda and spices. Add to creamed mixture alternately with hot water. Spoon batter into a greased 9x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until gingerbread tests done. Cool. Yield: 9 to 12 Servings. Note: Substitute 1 cup buttermild for 1 cup hot water, if desired. Omit baking powder and increase soda to 1-1/2 teaspoon.

1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves 1 c. Hot Water

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Links / Resources Stay Connected

Wholistic Stress Control Institute, Inc. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence American Holistic Health Association Houston Association of Black Psychologists American Bar Association: Commission on Domestic Violence (Statistics) Social Issues Research Center Association for Death Education and Counseling HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010

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Special Thanks… I would first like to thank Almighty God for the courage and inspiration to compile such writings and subjects for the betterment of myself and others, THANK YOU! I would like to extend my deepest and most sincere thanks to all of the contributors to this month’s edition; Valeisha Butterfield Rhonda Ridley Dr. Patina Muhammad Hannibal & DeAndrea Muhammad “Sister Striving” Mavis Jackson Lady 4.0 Jesse Muhammad Richard Muhammad Hasaun Muhammad Salih Muhammad Niedria D. Kenny Deric C. Muhammad Kim Floyd (Rolling Out Magazine) Shanise Craft Margo Handy Williams THANK YOU! To ALL of the Hurt2Healing supporters...I cannot find the words adequate enough to express to you of how much I appreciate all of the love and encouragement you give! I don’t take for granted the time you lend to read this publication! THANK YOU! I dedicate this to ALL of you!!!!

Peace & Love,

Ebony Safiyyah Muhammad HURT 2 HEALING | OCTOBER 2010

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A Call for Justice In Birmingham, Alabama By Clarence Muhammad

Brenda Ward lost her grandson, Rasheed Ali Ward, on June 17, 2010. He was in the vicinity of a murder for hire. Two brothers allegedly robbed a drug dealer. The drug dealer apparently had a contract out on them. Ms. Ward adopted Rasheed from his mother. He and other young men in the community would look after a young lady who was a recovering addict with four children. He had a daily routine of bringing her food. The killers had found out the surviving brother was in the area. They shot him in the head 32 times. Her grandson Rasheed ran and begged for his life. The killer shot him in his liver. He went to the hospital but didn't make it past the operating table. Ms. Ward reached out to the Nation of Islam. We have been instrumental in organizing the rally and march in the area Rasheed was killed. Though there were witnesses, everyone present is afraid to identify the killers. Rasheed's best friend was there, and he was shot in the arm. The rally took place on the June 29, 2010. Minister Tremon Muhammad spoke. Councilman Jay Robeson, Horace Huntley from Commissioner George Bowman's office, and others also gave words of comfort and encouragement. There were approximately 60 members of the community present for the rally. The governor has issued a reward of $ 10,000. Contact info Brenda Ward 205-240-9910.Min Tremon.205-585-1635.

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H2H Magazine October  

How to Protect the Image of Women In Entertainment f/ Valeisha Butterfield

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