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1 0 N O . 46
contents TRIP BURNS
6 Jackson Campaign Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. is working to develop a plan to rejuvenate the city’s image. COURTESY SPOTIFY
Cover painting by Kristen Ley
not an anger-management class, but a program that gets to the abuser’s core beliefs about themselves and their relationships, and helps abusers learn how to express themselves without hostility and violence. We teach people to be strong and not express their feelings—men, especially, because it is a sign of weakness, she says. The BIP classes are filled with abusers who initially thought they did not belong there or who attended only because a judge ordered them to go. Wyatt says most people leave with a different attitude. Although she knows she cannot reach all of them, she knows she has made an impact on many. “Anger is a powerful feeling that can move you away from your true feelings,” Wyatt says. Wyatt also works to improve and update the program, train new counselors and facilitators, and host seminars to update veteran facilitators and counselor’s knowledge. “We always need to be improving as facilitators,” Wyatt says. Bringing awareness to domestic violence is one way of curbing the tide. In the meantime, Wyatt helps everyone involved. She hopes that shelters like the Center for Violence Prevention and the programs it offers can expand to other cities so she will be able to “reach more souls.” “I hope to expand my vision and to continue to witness true transformational change in individuals,” she says. —Whitney Menogan
34 Get Nekked? An unorthodox Christian play is coming to Jackson this weekend. It’s not what you think. TARA BURKIETT
Helping abusers and victims of domestic violence get to the root of their problems is “a passion in my heart sent from God,” Mollie Wyatt says. A licensed psychologist, Wyatt counsels groups, families, couples and individuals in her private practice at Recovery Consultations in Highland Village. She is also a facilitator for the Batterers’ Intervention Program offered through the Center for Violence Prevention in Pearl and leads group-counseling sessions for domestic-violence victims. A Jackson native, Wyatt, 61, earned her doctorate in psychology from Mississippi State University. She lived in Nashville, Tenn., for about 20 years, but returned 10 years ago to be closer to her parents. She has a daughter, Jennifer, 33 and a granddaughter, Laya, 15. Wyatt is dedicated to helping those affected by domestic violence, whether they are victims or abusers. Her work focuses on helping them realize the issues behind their behavior. Judges who hear domestic violence cases can order offenders to participate in the 24week BIP program instead of sending them to jail. In her role as a program facilitator, Wyatt has led all-male and coed classes. The violent abusers are not just males, Wyatt stresses. “More females are coming out about being abusers,” she says. She adds that anger builds for abusers—whether male or female—often based on histories of abusive childhoods. Domestic violence is a cyclical, generational problem. The BIP, however, is
43 Weddings Abound Richard Coupe recalls his experience at a Muslim wedding in Starkville.
Spotify is quickly replacing Pandora with its almost unlimited supply of music. DIANA HOWELL
4 ............... Editor’s Note 4 ....................... Sorensen 6 ............................... Talk 10 ........................... Tech 12...................... Editorial 13 .................... Opinion 13.................... Mike Day 14 ............... Cover Story 17 ....... Chicks We Love 20 ......... Auction Guide 28 ................. Diversions 29 ......................... Music 30 .......... Music Listings 32 ........................... Film 34 ............................ Arts 35 ....................... 8 Days 36 ................ JFP Events 38 ........................ Sports 39 ................... Astrology 40 .......................... Food 43 ..................... Hitched 46 ............ Fly Shopping
A New, New Radio
Ronni Mott Ronni Mott came to Jackson by way of D.C. in 1997. She’s an award-wining writer on domestic abuse and the JFP’s managing editor, where she practices her hobbies of herding cats. She teaches yoga in her spare time. She wrote the cover story.
Andrea White Andrea White is a third-year student at George Mason University, working toward a bachelor of science degree in psychology, as well as minors in both gender studies and legal studies. She contributed to the cover story package.
Dylan Irby Dylan Irby is a college student from Colorado who occasionally stays in Jackson with his father. He aspires to be a game developer someday. He wrote a Chicks We Love profile.
Whitney Menogan Editorial intern Whitney Menogan is from Madison and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Tougaloo College. She enjoys reading, writing and having mind-blowing conversations with friends. She wrote the Jacksonian.
Darnell Jackson Contributor Darnell “Chris” Jackson is a writer, photographer, graphic designer and so much more. Darnell is a Jackson native and Jackson State graduate. He owns J.Carter Studios. He wrote a Chicks We Love profile.
Allie Jordan Allie Jordan is a senior at Millsaps College who loves Wilco, photography, and Mexico. She denies her brick city hometown and strictly identifies herself as a Jacksonian. She wrote a Chicks We Love profile.
Richard Coupe Richard Coupe, avid fan of the beautiful game, husband, brother and father of four, is still wondering what he wants to be when he grows up. He wrote the Hitched feature.
July 25 - 31, 2012
Executive Assistant Erica Crunkilton migrated to Mississippi to attend Ole Miss and never left. She currently lives in Flowood with her dashingly handsome fiancé. She spends her free time collecting neurotic pets. Let’s be honest: She runs this place.
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
Yes, It Was That Bad
hen I was a teenager in Philadelphia, Miss., there wasn’t a lot for young people to do. On the weekends, we would go “riding around.” I would get all dolled up, get together with one or more girlfriends, fill the tank, and we’d cruise. We first drove in a big circle in the parking lot of the A&J Drive-In (before and after it closed), then about half a mile along Beacon Street, turning left onto Holland Avenue, passing all the mammoth “nice” historic homes and then looping around the Sonic. Then we would retrace our path and start over. We always hoped to attract the attention of “cute boys” in one or the other parking lots. Sometimes we’d go riding around with them, flirting and maybe necking a little in the back seat, and then come back to our cars. This is what everyone did on the weekends. One night, on our requisite A&J loop, a couple of guys flagged us down and asked us if we wanted to go to a party. One of them was an older football player, who had won various honorifics and even one with Mr. in front of it. He wasn’t my grade, and I had never run in his circles. He was flirting with me—me! It never occurred to us that we shouldn’t crawl into their car to go to the party. Turns out, the “party” was at Mr. Popular’s house south of town. And the four of us were the only ones invited. When you’re 16, and live in a town where everyone knows everyone, you don’t expect to get hurt. Inside, he turned on music and pulled me toward him. Meantime, my friend had wandered away with the other guy, and I wasn’t sure where they were. The lights were dim. Mr. Popular suddenly turned sweet and started saying nice things about my hair or such: stuff girls like. He kissed me, and I could feel him pulling me toward another room. It was the first moment I started to feel fear. But I let him pull me in there—a moment I’ve replayed hundreds of times in the decades since. Why did I go? In his bedroom, Mr. Popular turned the music up and took me in his arms, tenderly at first. Then, suddenly, everything changed. He threw me back on the bed and climbed on top of me, all in one move. I started saying, “no, no, no,” and struggled to push him off. But he was strong. He planted his left elbow planted close to my right ear, and suddenly that hand covered my mouth, muffling what was becoming a scream. He kept that hand there, and rather expertly pinned my legs with his as he used his right hand to unzip and jerk my jeans down and unzip his fly. Then, with his left hand still covering my mouth and with my tears soaking it, Mr. Popular raped me. It didn’t take long, and then he rolled over on his back and let me go. By then, I couldn’t say anything, but just lay there and sobbed. He turned his head to look at me and said, “See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Mr. Popular then got up, zipped his jeans and left the room.
I was so shaken that it was hard to stand and pull my jeans up, but I managed. I was overwhelmed with shame and anger—at myself, for allowing this to happen to me. Me. As soon as I could, I walked out into his parents’ living room where he was drinking a beer and avoiding looking at me. Somewhere in the fog, my friend and her new buddy emerged, and we all got into the car. He drove us back to the A&J and dropped us at my car. My life had changed. It never occurred me to go to a hospital for a test, and I knew no one would believe me if I reported him. He was the big man on campus; he had “picked me up,” I had gone to his house (under false pretense, but still), and I had gone into his bedroom. I don’t remember what I was wearing, but I was out on a weekend night, so it was probably at least a touch sexy by Neshoba County standards. For the next 15 years, I would blame myself for being raped. I drank too much, and I did stupid things. It was hard to learn to trust—especially men—and my self-esteem was only surface, and I over-compensated in ways I’m not proud of now. As a result, it was hard to sustain a good relationship, and I ended up in some really bad ones. I was caught in the cycle that sexual assault too often creates. My catharsis came when I moved to New York City and finally managed to dump a perennial cheater, and met a remarkable man who helped me restore my confidence in myself, even though I was far from ready for a good relationship, I realize now. (He is still my friend, and my partner Todd’s friend, even though we don’t see him often enough.) At the time, I got involved with a small newspaper, even though I had no real idea
how to actually do one. But I had heart. During my virgin voyage into newspapering, I decided to write about being raped. After I wrote my story in a play-byplay fashion (not unlike this one), I let the male music editor read it. That simple act started my recovery, especially when the guy read it and cried. I didn’t publish my story, though. I wasn’t quite ready, nor have I been for all these years, to tell the story publicly. I sure wasn’t going to tell it when my mother was still alive. I’ve alluded to it here and there, but it wasn’t until this year, when we decided to focus the Chick Ball on sexual assault, that I knew it was my turn to come out, so to speak. I meet many young women who blame themselves for being assaulted. I meet women and men who excuse men for not being able to control themselves if a woman flirts, dances a certain way or even wears sexy clothes around them. (“Boys will be boys.”) And almost everyone I talk to about sexual assault manages to blame the victim, without even knowing it, just as they do with domestic abuse. They ask about her role first: why she/we (a) dressed sexy or (b) went with him or (c) didn’t scream loudly enough or whatever other excuse they can find not to ask: “Why does he rape?” Rape is a crime of violence and power, not of sex or passion. It is time we all talk about it, and often. Let’s start here: No means no—no matter what. Men who refuse to take “no” for an answer should go to prison. My rapist didn’t go to jail or prison, and I pray he never raped again. Even as I know he probably did. Donna Ladd will host the JFP Chick Ball this weekend to raise funds for a rape-crisis center. Get details at jfpchickball.com.
Mississippi Center for Justiceâ€™s Whitney Barkley is the lead attorney on the case against Virginia College. p9
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports that rape costs the United States $127 billion annually, more than any other crime. news, culture & irreverence
Wednesday, July 18 The Mississippi Center for Justice files a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of seven plaintiffs against Virginia College. ... Jennifer Tyrrell, a mother who was the leader of a Bridgeport, Ohio, Tiger Cub den, brings 300,000 signatures to the Boy Scoutsâ€™ national office in Irving, Texas, after dismissal on the count of her sexuality.
Friday, July 20 The state Board of Education recognizes the 2012 Parent of the Year, Karen Bedells of Clinton. ... President Obama slams Mitt Romneyâ€™s Medicare plan, telling seniors in Florida that his rivalâ€™s proposal would force them to fend for themselves and hurt them financially. Saturday, July 21 Authorities work to clear dangerous explosive materials from inside James Holmesâ€™ suburban Denver apartment. Holmes, 24, was arrested for allegedly opening fire in an Aurora, Colo., theater, killing 12 people. Sunday, July 22 Mississippi Braves manage just one run off seven hits in a 2-1 loss to the Jacksonville Suns.
July 25 - 31, 2012
Monday, July 23 Gov. Phil Bryant says he will resist expanding the stateâ€™s Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. ... Faced with concerns about his swastika tattoo, Russian singer Evgeny Nikitin pulls out of one of the worldâ€™s best-known opera events, the Bayreuth Festival in Germany.
Tuesday, July 24 Ward 3 voters go to the polls for a third chance to elect either Joyce Jackson or LaRita Cooper-Stokes to the City Council. ... The new chief of Pakistanâ€™s spy agency urges the United States to end drone strikes on Pakistani soil and identify targets that the countryâ€™s security forces can then attack. Get daily news, and now Associated Press reports, at jfp.ms and jfpdaily.com.
by Jacob Fuller
he City with Soul may soon get a fresh company in 2011 and have created market- print media, combined with non-traditional advertising campaign. Mayor Harvey ing plans for the state Head Start Association advertising, including the Internet and smart Johnson Jr. has asked the Jackson City and Jackson State University. This will be the phones, to show the positive sides of Jackson. Council to approve a deal with Fahren- companyâ€™s first project for a municipality, but The best way to market the Jacksonâ€™s posheit Creative Group to create a new marketing Thomas is not a stranger to such endeavors. itives, Thompson said, is to allow the people plan for Jackson. who live here to tell their stories. After the councilâ€™s work â€œWe want to be able to touch session Monday, Johnson every citizen in Jackson and anyone said that the deal was not who would find the story of Jackson for the actual marketing interesting. I think thatâ€™s everyone in campaign, only the plan for the country and across the world,â€? a campaign. The purpose, Thompson said. he said, is to accentuate the At the work session, Dean positives in the city. said that it is no secret Jackson gets â€œThere are a lot of good its share of negative criticism. The things that are going on here goal of the marketing plan is to get in the city of Jackson. Too ofJacksonians and people from around ten, those things get buried by the state excited about eating, shopsome of the challenges that we ping and living in the capital city. have,â€? Johnson said. Johnson said he wants to see â€œSo what weâ€™re trying to The city is working with Fahrenheit Creative Group to create a the cityâ€™s distinctions highlighted in new marketing plan to highlight Jacksonâ€™s positive aspects. do is create a strategy that will the marketing. brand the city based on posiâ€œWhen people start thinking about tive experiences, not just for our citizens, but Before starting Fahrenheit Creative, though, the city of Jackson, what is foremost in their for visitors as well.â€? she worked for Quicksilver Creative, where mind are all of these positive things that we If the city council approves the deal, she helped create Jacksonâ€™s Go 80 campaign have: the attractions, the cultural diversity, bewhich is on the agenda, at its regular session to help revitalize the Highway 80 corridor. ing the state capital, being the hub of finance July 24, Fahrenheit Creative Group will take Thompson said he and Thomas have and medical facilities, and that kind of thing,â€? the lead on the marketing plan. been talking with Anthony Dean, the cityâ€™s Johnson said. Olivia Thomas and Jason Thompson director of marketing, for a couple of weeks The deal on the table for Fahrenheit head Fahrenheit Creative Group, located about the plan. He said the plan will use REBRANDING, see page 7 at 921 N. Congress St. The two started the traditional ad venues, such as television and TRIP BURNS
Thursday, July 19 The U.S. Department of Education grants Mississippi a waiver of No Child Left Behind requirements, forcing the state to close the achievement gaps for students with disabilities and economic disadvantages, as well as racial minorities and students who are learning English. ... In Lebanon, fighting seizes neighborhoods encircling Damascus for a fifth straight day on Thursday, a day after President Bashar al-Assadâ€™s key security aides died in a bombing attack.
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REBRANDING, from page 6
what services are offered,” Whitwell said. Johnsonsaidthefocusoftheplanisformarketing in the Jackson metro area. The city will talk with the Convention and Visitors Bureau about using their resources to implement the campaign within a 100-mile radius of the city. Separate from the new marketing plan, the city will soon broadcast a television commercial in 20 markets across the southeastern U.S. aimed at promoting tourism to Jackson.
Thompson said it is time for Jackson to have a full-scale marketing plan, especially with similar plans popping up in towns like Madison recently. “The support is there with the administration, and citizens are ready for something,” Thompson said. Councilman Charles Tillman, Ward 5, and Council President Tony Yarber, Ward 6, said at the meeting that they, too, are ready to
CITY BEAT: Campaigns, Panhandlers and Buses of City Hall that he could campaign from his seat all he wants now, since he is no longer council president. JACOB FULLER
Campaigning from the Chair Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson said earlier this month that he will not officially announce his candidacy for the job of Jackson’s mayor until next year. The black Chevy Tahoe he has been driving around town with three large “Frank Bluntson for Mayor” decals on the windows seems to have beaten him to the punch. Meanwhile, Bluntson has been priming anyone who’ll listen about next year’s mayoral campaign. In recent months, he has used nearly every chance he’s had to criticize Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. during Jackson City Council meetings. He was at it again Monday during the council’s work session. When Johnson spoke about the new ADA-compliant bus stops, Bluntson wanted to know why the project was taking so long. Johnson then took a stab at Bluntson’s late buddy Frank Melton by pointing out that the project had the needed funds when Melton took office. Bluntson quickly turned it back on Johnson. “You’ve been back nearly four years, and you’re still just getting this started,” Bluntson said. More than a couple of fellow councilmembers made it clear they didn’t appreciate Bluntson campaigning from his council president’s seat when they voted Tony Yarber, Ward 6, as the new council president July 10. After that meeting, Bluntson told WAPT reporter Scott Simmons on the steps
Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson, a candidate in next year’s mayoral race, has taken every chance he can to oppose Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. at City Council meetings.
Whitwell v. Panhandlers Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell introduced an amendment in the Intergovernmental Committee meeting July 5 to a city ordinance that would triple the fine for panhandling and introduce second- and thirdoffense penalties that could include jail time. The amendment passed in committee and will go before the entire Council.
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see Jackson cast in a better light. “I’m excited about us even looking at a marketing campaign,” Yarber said. “I find it absolutely hilarious that I can watch TV and see commercials about Madison and everybody else, and as soon as we start talking about doing a marketing piece, then people are commenting (negatively). It’s hilarious.” Comment at www.jfp.ms. Contact Jacob Fuller at Jacob@jacksonfreepress.com.
by Jacob Fuller
How someone who is already begging for change could afford to pay a fine or where police would house panhandlers—the county jail is already tight for space—doesn’t seem to be Whitwell’s concern. He said a city ordinance against panhandling is already in place, which fines those charged with panhandling. He just wants to remind people that it is there. At the council work session July 23, Whitwellindicatedthathomelesspeoplecome to Jackson because the city is easy on them. “It’s time people get their heads out of the sand,” Whitwell said. “Our homeless population is burgeoning. It’s becoming more enhanced and intense. There used to be a time when everybody knew old Joe down the road and what his situation was and what his story was and what the problem was. We’ve got people now that are coming here specifically with specific intentions.” Whitwell mentioned two Clarion-Ledger stories that he said clearly articulated the homeless problem, which the city must do something about. He also gave a shout-out, of sorts, to the Jackson Free Press. “Mr. Fuller’s paper wants to say I’m the most hateful, spiteful, mean person in the world because I want to go lock people up,” he said. “I don’t want to lock anybody up. I also don’t want anybody getting hurt. We’ve got people being accosted. We’ve got people being yelled at and screamed at. Their personal space is being violated. We’ve got to do something.”
Maybe the final draft of Whitwell’s amendment will include a change in the definition of panhandling to include “accosting, yelling, screaming and violating personal space” and drop the jail part. A New Place to Wait JATRAN passengers may find themselves at one of several new bus stops around the city in the coming months. The city council voted July 24 on an order to amend the city’s contract with Integrated Management Services with about $900,000 in improvements to 25 bus stops. The main goal of the project is to make the bus stops compliant with regulations in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plan was originally started during Mayor Harvey Johnson’s first term. Johnson said when Frank Melton was elected and Johnson left office, the funds were in place to improve the bus stops. What happened to the project once Melton took over is unclear. Now the funding is in place once again, and the project is close to getting under way. Johnson said with the funding, part of which came from federal stimulus money, all parts of the bus stops must be made in the United States. One part that IMS was using was not made in the U.S., they discovered. So now they are purchasing Americanmade parts, Johnson said, and will soon begin construction. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Jacob Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Creative Group is worth $45,000. Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell said during the meeting that the city won’t be doing a lot of marketing with that amount of money, but Johnson said that the deal is for the group’s professional expertise in creating a plan, not an entire marketing campaign, which would include creative services and media placement costs. “We need to make sure we know exactly
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Of Skates and Smiles
Tell me about yourself and where you’re from. I was born here, but I was raised in Chicago, Illinois. I have three children. My daughter, Shenera, is 24 and attends Jackson State University. My two sons, Doniven, age 17, and Deymeion, age 16, attend Chamberlain-Hunt Military Academy in Port Gibson, Mississippi.
Your daughter owns a store in Jackson Square? Yes. She owns Kharisma Boutique. What sparked you to start up a roller rink here in Jackson? I just wanted to see if it would be fun, and it’s actually pretty cool to transform a warehouse into a skating rink.
Shanetha Lewis Skate and Shake, a new roller rink in south Jackson, opens July 28.
but it closed down, and everybody had to go to Gary, Indiana. I’ve been to several other places though: St. Louis, Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, and Cleveland, Ohio—just those three central areas. What do you have planned for the adults? I am trying to incorporate different nights, different themes like Old School Night, Hallelujah Sundays, Throwback
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July 25 - 31, 2012
Will this business have summer and after-school job opportunities for kids?
Do you have any other long-term aspirations, business-wise? This is it for me. I’ve had several other different business adventures. I pray to God that this works out and brings much success to me as well as the city of Jackson. What other business adventures have you had? Well, I’ve owned my own dump trucks; I’ve had a construction crew. I have worked for Allstate as well as the Metrocenter Mall. Are you currently involved in any business associations in Jackson? No, but (I) probably (will) in the future. Will you advertise your business on Facebook or Twitter? I’m trying to incorporate it now. I am developing a web page as we speak. We’re just waiting on finishing (the space) so I can take pictures and put those on there.
What are your hours of operation? Right now, since school is out, we’re going to open at 10 in the morning until midnight. Then, when school starts, we’ll go in after-school and stay open just a tad bit longer on the weekends—just a tad.
Do you have fond memories of roller-skating in roller rinks as a child? Yes, and we actually went out of town. Chicago had a roller-skating rink
Thursdays, Fun Fridays, Come Represent Yo Hood Night. I’ve got some wonderful ideas. I just can’t wait to get started and get open!
hanetha Lewis is all smiles at the front door of her soon-to-be-opened roller rink, Skate and Shake, in the Jackson Square at 2416 Terry Road. Underneath the powder-blue siding, a purple ’70s-type mural is painted on the windows, with the Skate and Shake logo in the center. A schoolgirl with long flowing hair frames one side of the logo. She skates with her left leg cocked at an angle and wears a purple Skate and Shake T-shirt; she looks like she doesn’t have a care in the world. As if mesmerized, a schoolboy in a green Skate and Shake shirt and green baseball cap stares at the girl from the other side of the mural. He looks as if he’s too scared to ask her to dance—but too cool to skate. Green and pink ribbons and stars surround him. The window also displays a big roller skate and more stars, beckoning passersby to come in and skate their problems away. At the time of our interview, the inside was still a work in progress, with remnants of construction remaining, the walls unadorned. But Lewis led me to each room, outlining the amenities her new establishment will offer: a kiddie skating room, birthday-party rooms, a spacious open skating area in the back, a game room, even a no-kids-allowed area for the adults to play pool and hang out while their kids skate and shake. She then filled me in on her new business venture.
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Yes. I think I have incorporated quite a few college students. … I have 20 employees. You told me that you have hired additional security. I’ve hired an entire force. (Capital City Security will have) five security officers patrolling the parking lot and inside the building with cameras installed, just to make sure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
Do you have any advice for anyone who is maybe thinking of starting a business in the city of Jackson? It’s a lot of hard work. Be patient; continue to pray and hope that God sends (you) in the right direction. He put me on this path, and I’m going to just stick this out until the end. With the Man behind me, I can’t go wrong. You can’t go wrong. The Skate and Shake (2416 Terry Road, Suite 1600, 601-850-6398) grand opening is July 28, and admission is $8 to skate all day. Regular admission is $2, and skate rental is $3 to $4. The menu includes carnival-concession food: fries, tots, nachos, chilli dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, hot wings and burgers.
by R.L. Nave
College Promises: Too Good To Be True
legal argument. For-profit universities—sometimes called proprietary schools—have experienced huge profits and accelerated growth in recent years but, because many of the institutions are privately owned, it’s difficult to get an accurate revenue picture. The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities estimates that of the more than 2 million students its member institutions serve, 94 percent are eligible for federal aid. Considering that the average annual cost of attending college is $17,633, and private colleges generate $31.7 billion in revenues just from federal sources. Whitney Barkley, the Mississippi Center for Justice’s lead attorney on the case, said the organization started investigating after receiving complaints from Virginia College’s students about not doing enough live blood draws to be certified phlebotomists. Barkley said that the problems the plaintiffs face in finding employment aren’t just the result of the economic slowdown. “The problem is they’re not qualified for even a tough job market,” Barkley said. Washington and Anderson, the plaintiffs, say they feel disappointment more acutely because they lived up to their part of the bargain, attending class daily and studying hard. Both women graduated with honors. Washington said even though she observed the school’s failings, she didn’t want to see its flaws because she was excited about the bright future she thought was ahead. “I came in wanting to be better. My expectation was to get the education to allow me to be self-sufficient, where I did not have to remain on (public-assistance) benefits, where I could start somewhere and work my way up. That never happened. That’s not because I did not apply myself, because I did,” she said. “I just wanted them to be fair, because it wasn’t cheap. Now I’ve got this big old amount hanging over my head and I’m still jobless.” Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. Nave at email@example.com.
hirley Washington and Tiffeny Ander- some books at all, Washington said. Nor did lent practices of Virginia College, and its failure son had been kicking around the idea she know what portion of the $26,000 in fed- to adequately train, educate, and certify plainof going back to school when they came eral funds she borrowed to pay for school went tiffs has left them deeply in debt, unable to find across advertisements for Virginia Col- for books or anything else—she never saw a employment, and unable to make minimum lege. Actually, Washington stresses, the college statement until after graduation. monthly payments on their student loans.” ran “constant ads” on daytime television. After completing an externship at the Furthermore, Virginia College’s medical A single mom who graduated assistant program did not meet from Clinton High School, Washthe minimum requirements of ington was receiving public assis“its own accrediting agency”— tance at the time. She wanted to the National Healthcareers Aswork in health-care administration sociation. for the good wages and medical The college’s attorney, benefits, but also to show her chilRobert L. Gibbs of the Jackson dren that it’s never too late in life to firm GibbsWhitwell, PLLC, get more education. told the Jackson Free Press July “I wasn’t going to let that be 20 that he couldn’t comment my crutch,” Washington said of on the ongoing litigation except receiving government aid. She and that his client denies the allegaAnderson both enrolled in Virginia tions. He added that informaCollege in the fall of 2009. Antion on graduation, tuition and derson, who is married with three placement are available on the children and lives in Brandon, took Shirley Washington is one of seven women suing Virginia College in school’s website. classes at night so she could keep Jackson for misrepresenting the school’s credentials. Students in the college’s her job waitressing at Cracker Barmedical assistant diploma/cerrel during the day. Sonny Montgomery Medical Center, passing tificate program have a 60 percent job placeBoth women signed up for the medical- the National Healthcareers Association certi- ment rate. The Jackson campus’ rate is higher assistant program, they say, because admissions fication exam, and graduating with honors, at 62.8 percent, according to Virginia College’s representatives told them that at the end of the Washington hasn’t been able to find a job. website. 15-month-long program students would be She’s applied for 30 positions at the VA HosBirmingham, Ala.-based Educational certified phlebotomists and electrocardiogra- pital and put in applications at St. Dominic, Corporation of America, operates for-profit phy (EKG) technicians as well as medical as- Baptist, University Medical Center and River schools in 14 states, including 25 Virginia sistants, fields that offered wages of between Oaks Hospital—and has not had even one College campuses. $12 and $21 per hour. interview since finishing the Virginia College The company also owns a golf academy Washington, who is African American, program in December 2010. and culinary and business schools. Willis Stein noticed that her classes were overwhelmingly Anderson, whose experiences at the & Partner, a private-equity firm headquartered filled with black women (Anderson noticed school mirror Washington’s, found a job work- in the Chicago area, owns ECA. she was one of very few white women in her ing as a geriatric nurse’s aid earning $8.50 per The lawsuit against Virginia College, program). hour but says she’s disappointed because she’s which the Mississippi Center for Justice filed Despite what she was told during the ad- not doing what she trained for. along with Jackson attorneys Warren L. Marmissions process, Washington said she never “It hurts. It feels like I’ve been cheated,” tin and Kenya Martin, states that Virginia read an EKG from a human heart, and only Anderson said. “It’s like you’re not getting College LLC collected $292,658,424 in 2011 drew blood twice from a person and per- anything out of it after all that hard work, af- revenues, mostly from federal student aid. formed only three to four “finger sticks” to ter all that money. What are you going to do At the Jackson campus, Virginia College draw blood. with three certifications that you can’t use?” had $12,690,777 in revenues, 97 percent of There were other signs that something Anderson, Washington and five other which came from fees and tuition, also mostly was amiss, they say: Instructors skipped over women cemented their grievances in a federal from federal student aid programs. chunks of the textbooks, and they didn’t use lawsuit filed July 18. Plaintiffs allege “the frauduThe lawsuit only represents one side of a
by Todd Stauffer
Spotify: Disrupting the Disruptions
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plication for Spotify and create your account—which requires a Facebook login—you’re shown an interface that’s not unlike iTunes. Your “library” and playlists are on the left side, with the various listings of music and search results appearing in the middle. The library tools offer some unique options, like the ability to comb through the “Top” music charts for songs, or to just see what’s new on the service.
sic sharing recently and wondered why.) This, by the way, is another excellent reason not to listen to Maroon 5, at least not on Spotify. I’m kidding. (I’m not kidding.) Actually, I’m kidding, but either way you can turn off sharing in Spotify if that’s not appealing to you; head to the Preferences and turn off the option Show What I’m Listening to on Facebook. Spotify also has a Private Session option (on a Mac you choose Spotify > Private Session to turn it on), which enables you to listen to all the Maroon 5 you want without anyone being able to see you. (Whew!) You can share songs with your friends by dragging a song directly from the lists in the middle of the screen over to their icon on the Friend bar; you can also create entire playlists of songs and then share them to friends on Spotify or on Facebook (or via Twitter and Tumblr, or you can email a link to your playlist). For premium ($10 month) users, the other killer feature kicks in—you can pick and choose songs that you’d like to have available on your mobile phone (in playlists), sync them up and then you’re good to go—you’ve got the MP3s in the Spotify app, meaning you don’t have to stream at the gym or on the road if your plan doesn’t allow it or to save on data costs. Of course you can stream from your mobile, if you want, and the radio functions are available there, too. Intrigued? Whether you’re liking the social aspects of it or just encouraged by the idea of listening to a ton of songs you can choose, move around, and even sync to your mobile—Spotify might be your next app. COURTESY SPOTIFY
2012 Project Redirectory Phone Book Recycling
t’s amazing how quickly the technology “disruptions” come these days. The iPod and iTunes store disrupted the CD and the music industry, iPhones and Androids disrupted the iPod hardware business, XM radio disrupted FM radio, Pandora disrupted XM radio—and now Spotify is disrupting Pandora. And that’s just in my world. Spotify (spotify.com) has caught fire in recent months partly because it’s just getting to the States; the Swedish firm, which has already dominated Europe’s online music market, celebrates its oneyear anniversary in the U.S. this week, telling us that users have listened to 13 billion songs during the first year; worldwide, the service boasts about 10 million users, 3 million of whom pay for premium service. The major differences between Spotify and Pandora (pandora.com), in case you’re not already a fan ready to disrupt yourself, are twofold: Spotify is more about freedom to listen to specific songs, and Spotify is all about sharing. Where Pandora encourages a sort of genre-based music exploration (and, to be fair, I won’t be getting rid of it any time soon), Spotify focuses a little more on letting you pull together your own library of music—free of charge, if you can put up with the ads—and sharing it with your friends. Pandora lives in your browser (paying users can get a desktop app), while Spotify offers apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Blackberry with Windows Phone and Symbian support planned for U.S. customers. (Palm support is planned for European customers. Maybe WebOS is more popular over there?) When you launch the desktop ap-
You can also choose the “Radio” options, which give you streams of music similar to Pandora—e.g. “Maroon 5 Radio” gives your Maroon 5 songs plus other whiny, dance-y, pop-y songs that sound a like Maroon 5. (I’m just sayin’.) On the right side of the interface is something new: a stream of what your friends are listening to on the bottom and links to your people that you’d added that you’re particularly interested in following or sharing with. Where does Spotify get those friends? Remember that Facebook login that was required? Spotify grabs people you know in Facebook and drops them in here, showing you what they’re listening to using Spotify. Likewise, by default, what you’re listening to in Spotify will show up on your Facebook page. (You may have seen more mu-
I O T N C U ! R E T -EN /F #HARAC
Don’t miss the live auction of the following remarkable (and their donated services) at the JFP Chick Ball, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.: Terry Cooper (Owner, Absolute Fitness): 8 personal training sessions
Terry Sullivan (Owner, liveRIGHTnow): package includes yoga, training, tabata
Mitchell Early (Sommelier, BRAVO!): wine and cheese pairing
NIck Wallace (Chef, King Edward Hotel): Dinner prep for 10 in your home
Jesse Houston (Executive Chef, Parlor Market): private dinner for six
Sujan Ghimire (Dance Instructor, Salsa Mississippi): 4 hour-long private dance classes
Israel Martinez (Owner, LingoFest): 10.5 hours of Spanish lessons
Auctioneer: Dee Denton
July 28 • Hal & Mal’s Red Room • Cover $5 • 18+ • 6pm - Midnight For more info visit jfpchickball.com or follow us on Twitter @jfpchickball.
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Guns Kill Families
t may be an inconvenient truth in a state where so many people value their rights to own a firearm, but easy access to guns make women and children much less safer—in their own homes. The American Journal of Public Health warned that access to firearms increases the likelihood of intimate-partner homicide more than five times compared to situations where there are no guns. Put another way, while an abuser may choose a knife, a frying pan or their hands to try to kill his or her partner, a gun makes it a whole lot easier to kill, even from a distance. The facts are there if we’ll pay attention: American women killed by husbands or boyfriends are more likely to be killed with guns than all other methods combined, the Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association reported. Women are twice as likely to be shot and killed by life partners than they are to be murdered by strangers using any kind of weapon. Males most often use firearms to murder women, according to the Violence Policy Center of Washington, D.C. Handguns are the weapon of choice in domestic murders over rifles and shotguns. Studies show that a gun in the home presents more risk to health than benefit. The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine reported that most gun accidents occur in the home—with about 50 percent being family members under 25—and that a gun in the home is a high indicator of successful suicides (that is, more suicides fail when other methods are used). The Centers for Disease Control reports that, in 2006 alone, 7,564 persons 24 years old or younger died as a result of gun injury. This, the CDC reported, is equivalent to one Boeing 737 crash every week for a year with no survivors. With these kind of gun dangers in our midst, what is the answer? That is a tough one in a country that refuses to have a serious dialogue even about banning military-style assault weapons—the kinds that very few people would ever have occasion to use for self-defense (and would likely have caused more deaths in a dark, tear-gassed theater if pulled on a shooter in head-to-toe body armory). Clearly, there is no immediate compromise regulation in sight on any kind of firearm in the United States. You can’t even bring up guns as a public-health issue without getting shouted down and called names (watch the comments under this editorial at jfp.ms to see what we mean). So, that means it is up to all of us to self-regulate and to have the real facts at hand. We must know the dangers of having easily accessible guns in the home— to our own families and children. It is simply fact that the risk is statistically greater then guns’ successful use for self-defense in the home. Choose wisely, friends. Your loved ones’ lives hang in the balance.
CHATTER Join the conversation at www.jfp.ms/comments
On ‘New Abortion Law: Medically Justified?’ Ventana29erRider: Clearly, the only place in the country where race is an issue is Mississippi. All medical offices are for-profit. All doctors (myself included) work for profit. The judge was right to block this ridiculous law. It is NOT medically necessary for a doctor to have hospital admitting privileges. The law is an attempt to block a legal right to an abortion. It is not about “protecting women.” Only an idiot would think it’s about protecting women. Anyone who needs emergency care can go to any emergency room where ER doctors have admitting privileges.
On ‘Voter Fraud Problem?’
July 25 - 31, 2012
goldeneagle97: As I mentioned in another thread, this isn’t about protecting the integrity of voting. It’s about voter suppression in the name of partisan politics. California congresswoman Barbara Lee opined yesterday on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry that it’s ironic how this country wants to spread democracy around the world, but doesn’t want its own people to practice their democracy here.
On ‘Capital City Classic No More’
blackwatch: I am HBCU alum and a PWC alum and a football fan. The argument Alcorn is making assumes that the appeal and scope of the HBCU games/ classics is the same as an SEC or ACC game. It is not. I am not saying that there is a difference of import to the respective schools, but the appeal, what makes them marketable and interesting are quite different. HBCU football is about the expe12 rience; the appeal of SEC football is about the football, played by future pros.
Scars Run Deep
ost people hear about victims of domestic violence. It’s always a friend or a relative of a co-worker or that woman you passed in a crowded bar whose name is bandied about in hushed tones. It may be the nameless couple that you see fighting outside the club or the noisy upstairs neighbors that you never see but always overhear. In most instances, we’re able to detach ourselves. It’s much easier to write it off that way as someone else’s problem. Domestic violence is something that happens to “other people,” and you can paint the victims as “stupid” or “crazy” for enduring such dangerous conditions. When it hits closer to home, your thoughts will change. I promise. I had never dated anyone who had been in an abusive relationship (at least, not to my knowledge) until I met my wife. Our relationship began like any other. I didn’t see the signs at first. But as we got more comfortable with each other, the remnants of past episodes emerged—the angry outbursts, the trust issues, the fear of getting closer and the reluctance to let her guard down. They came from an 11-year-long abusive relationship that she slowly began to tell me about. She suffered physical violence that left her with scars, some still visible to this day, and mental scars that only heal with time. I got angry hearing those accounts—really angry. I grew up watching a hard-working, caring man take care of his wife and family. Sure, my folks argued just like plenty of married couples, but I never knew a man that exhibited the violence my wife described. My father taught me that
a man never, ever, under any circumstances, puts his hand on a woman to hurt her. That lesson sticks with me to this day. And it’s a mantra I pass down to my sons and my daughters, so my sons don’t become abusers and so my daughters don’t open themselves up to abuse. I asked my wife many times why she stayed so long. Why 11 years? I couldn’t fathom it. I thought like many do that there is no way anyone would stay that long. But once she explained, once she talked about being brainwashed, having her self-esteem destroyed, having any personal goals postponed, I gained understanding. Fellas, in honor of the JFP Chick Ball, I implore you. If you are dating a woman who has been a victim of domestic violence or assault on any level, be patient, be loving and be compassionate. Be understanding. The scars run deep, and they are nothing that you can repair with trinkets and a “good talking to.” These victims are like mental slaves who have been emancipated but without the ability to foster a normal, loving, relationship—not at first. That’s where we (real men) come in. That’s where real friends step in. And after a while, these women will know what love is from the right mate. I salute you, Funmi Franklin. Your strength is otherworldly, and your journey has been a glorious one. Wife, mother, best friend, Queen: Thank you for confiding in me, and thank you for letting me love you. You’ve been through much but now, you must use your story to help others. And that’s the truth ... sho-nuff.
Email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, MS 39296. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Or write a 300-600-word “Your Turn” and send it by email, fax or mail above with a daytime phone number. All submissions are subject to fact checks.
FUNMI “QUEEN” FRANKLIN
EDITORIAL Managing Editor Ronni Mott Reporters Jacob Fuller, R.L. Nave Features Editor Kathleen Morrison Mitchell Events Editor Latasha Willis Deputy Editor Briana Robinson Copy Editor Dustin Cardon Contributing Editor Valerie Wells Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Fashion Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Torsheta Bowen, Quita Bride, Marika Cackett, Richard Coupe,Tam Curley, Scott Dennis, Jim Pathfinder Ewing, Bryan Flynn, Diandra Hosey, Pamela Hosey, Robyn Jackson, Garrad Lee, Genevieve Legacy, Amanda Michaud, Jessica Mizell, Anita Modak-Truran, Larry Morrisey, Robin O’Bryant, Eddie Outlaw, Casey Purvis, Debbie Raddin, Julie Skipper, Kelly Bryan Smith Editorial Interns Elyane Alexander, Matt Bolian, Aaron Cooper, Piko Ewoodzie, Ceili Hale, Lindsay Hayes, Dylan Irby, Christianna Jackson, Darnell Jackson, Allie Jordan,Whitney Menogan, Vergie Redmond, Sara Sacks, Sam Suttle, Victoria Sherwood, Ben-Cuda Stowers, Adria Walker Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris
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Jackson Free Press
P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at jacksonfreepress.com The Jackson Free Press is the city’s award-winning, locally owned newsweekly, with 17,000 copies distributed in and around the Jackson metropolitan area every Wednesday. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. Firstclass subscriptions are available for $100 per year for postage and handling. The Jackson Free Press welcomes thoughtful opinions. The views expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. © Copyright 2012 Jackson Free Press Inc. All Rights Reserved
Putting Down the Baggage
t would be awesome if we got the chance to wipe away every bad relationship before starting a new one. My life, though, tells a different story. The person I have become after being abused has directed every relationship I’ve encountered since that horrible time in my life. The damage has been tolerable—until now. I’m married, and the woman with the broken spirit and persistent baggage must die, and I mean to kill her. My husband often has to bear the burden of my emotional baggage and leftover emotions from the abuse I endured as a young adult. He’s written about it; I’ve written about it. We talk and pray about it together and individually. It is a huge mountain of pain that doesn’t go away just because I am now married to a great man whom I love dearly. Being a domestic-abuse survivor takes its toll on any partner she or he enters into a relationship with. And unless people evaluate these issues they linger, festering into a huge mess of a person. I often talk about the bruises and the physical pain, but rarely do I allow myself to retreat into the mental anguish that I went through during that time in my life, and never do I broach openly the subject of the pain that remains. I think it’s high time that I do that. The first time my partner hit me, he convinced me that I had created that monster in him. It was my fault, he said, and any man would have hit me for what I’d done. I should have kept my mouth shut. I led him to it. By the time he finished manipulating and blame shifting, I felt dirty and worthless. I actually felt sorry for him and the way I had hurt him. It was indeed my fault. His life had been hard; he had a difficult childhood. He watched his dad hit his mother. Even though I knew he had anger issues, I mouthed off to him anyway. He was on the edge, and I pushed him over. Of course I deserved to be kicked and pushed and punched like a rag doll. He was teaching me never to do it again. I cried, and I begged him to forgive me. The amount of self-worth I lost in this one event has taken me years to rebuild—I am still working on it. Maybe if I hadn’t been broken from the death of my father and looking for the love of a man in any form, I would have had the self-awareness to recognize that he was off his rocker. Then, I might have had the wherewithal to pack up my things and leave right then. Maybe I could have saved myself the next seven years of losing myself to
him again and again. Instead, I fell—head first—into an abyss of self-doubt and self-hate that’s been with me since that day. Sure, I learned to love myself again. Yet, the idea of completely loving another person—a man—scares me to no end. Yes, even after getting married and taking vows, doubt and fear tend to control me. Needless to say, I take every precaution to protect myself. I’ve tucked away this place in my head that consumes me when I feel vulnerable. It tells me that all I need is me. It sparks a vacancy in me that separates me from reality. I find solace in this place because it’s just me there. In this place of imaginary selfwisdom, I know that no one else can be trusted and everyone, at some time, will disappoint me, hurt me, fail me—but me. If I can’t depend on anyone else, I will never fail me. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with a husband who loves me enough to listen and who’s confident enough to know that it’s not about him. He takes the time to reassure me that I no longer need that dark “me” place. Women who have been abused and get out of the relationship without dealing with the mental anguish take it with them into new relationships. It is indeed unhealthy. Our inability to forgive ourselves for not being strong enough is what ultimately breaks us. Our refusal to forgive lends refuge to the lack of trust, disbelief in real love and inability to acknowledge self-love. Oprah Winfrey said it best: “I am a woman in process. I’m just trying like everybody else. I try to take every conflict, every experience, and learn from it. Life is never dull.” For me, knowing that adversity and conflict build character, I accept my imperfections. I acknowledge my shortcomings. I recognize that time in my life where I didn’t do what was best for me; my broken spirit clouded my decisions. Today, I am more interested in mending the scattered pieces of my psyche. I’m working on being whole again so that I can give love without regret or anticipation of failure. I believe that I have come to a place in my life where there is no going back. I refuse to be in bondage to the pain that owned me years ago at the hands of one very cruel man. I deserve to be free of the baggage, and so does my ever-loving and tolerant husband. Funmi “Queen” Franklin is a word lover, poet and advocate for sisterhood. She has a weakness for reality shows and her puppy, Shaka.
Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer
ENDING THE SILENCE, PART II:
The Real Roots of Evil by Ronni Mott
“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” —Audre Lorde
*Names have been changed in this story.
had sex, she said later, but they never had intercourse. Males in Jails Amara’s story points to numerous issues swirling around dysfunctional sexual relationships, including the cyclical nature of domestic violence and how it can put young people in the path of sexual predators. She is also African American, and while she never presumed to speak for a mythical monolith of “black people in America,” both the history of blacks in this country and the current reality of the culture inform her narrative. Sex with a 16-year-old girl in Mississippi—as in the majority of states—is not illegal. However, the power differential between a 39-year-old man and a 16-year-old woman is obvious. He had the control and the upper hand. He knew that, and admitted to her years
thanked her for not telling anyone. “I really had a lot of depression and emotional problems since then,” she said. “I look at that father-figure thing closer now.” Up to 95 percent of rape victims know their assailants, so it’s not a stretch to say that most sexual assault and rape occurs on the continuum of intimate partner or domestic violence, all of which centers around the perpetrator’s need for power and control. Short of intimate partner homicide, rape is the ultimate expression of that need, said Sandy Middleton, executive director of the Center for Violence Prevention in Pearl. “What could be more controlling than rape?” she asked, or the threat of rape. When it comes to domestic violence, the range includes everything from psychological and verbal abuse to stalking to physical assault, including rape.
tion he gave her, but she knew it was wrong. She didn’t tell her mama about it until years later. The older man drew the young woman in; his interest was something no one had ever shown her before. She felt wanted and loved for the first time. That night wasn’t the only time the two
later that he was wrong to take advantage of her. It wasn’t much of an apology, Amara said. The pastor told her she had to forgive him; not to do so was a sin. He also told her that he had noticed her from the start, even remembering the blue dress she wore her first day in the church when she was 14. He
For black women, though, rape is also fraught with historical baggage and its own set of rules. “Historically, we have learned the system, which in our minds is white folks, is not to be trusted,” CeCe Norwood, a rape-crises counselor in Toledo, Ohio told The Los Angeles
KRISTIN BRENEMEN / MODEL: JFP INTERN CHRISTIANNA JACKSON
July 25 - 31, 2012
mara* showed up at the Jackson Free Press office unexpectedly one Thursday afternoon. Her rose-colored blouse was soaking wet from a sudden thunderstorm. Her big dark eyes scanned the room as she talked, and her hands, like her eyes, were in constant motion, fidgeting with her hair and plucking at her damp clothing. Her voice was soft and unaffected. When our eyes met, she would quickly look away, like a watchful doe on the lookout for danger. Her mother was 16 when she gave birth to Amara. Her parents did not marry, and her stepfather controlled and verbally abused her mother. “He didn’t respect her,” she said. Home wasn’t a happy place. While her stepdad never abused Amara, her mom frequently took out her pain and frustration on her oldest child. When she was 14, Amara’s family began attending a new church. One afternoon at youth choir practice, Amara was sitting in the pews crying. It was a typical teenage moment, she said. She can’t remember exactly why she was crying; perhaps someone had picked on her, probably calling her ugly or stupid. Her pastor put his arm around the teen to console her and offered her the love Amara yearned for. “He said if I wanted, he would be my father figure,” she said. “I didn’t ask for it.” For the next 18 months or so, the pastor gave Amara a refuge from her turbulent home life. She spent many days and nights at his family’s home. Looking back, she said was never alone with him. His wife and children were always around. Other church members noticed the special interest the pastor showed to his young charge, and some weren’t pleased. Even Amara’s grandmother felt it wasn’t quite right, though she didn’t know why. Amara didn’t care. The pastor was caring and nurturing. Anything was better than life with her mother and stepfather.
One evening in 1999, when the pastor offered her a ride home from church, Amara didn’t want to go. Instead, the two of them went back to his house. His wife and kids were out; they were alone together for the first time. As Amara stood at the kitchen sink doing dishes, he came up behind her and kissed her on the neck. She didn’t like it. “My feelings were really hurt,” she said. “I was really like in shock. Like, ‘I can’t believe this.’” The pastor was sexually excited, though, and despite her misgivings, Amara became excited as well. The sex was oral, she said. They ended up on the floor. She’s certain they would have had intercourse that night, but the pastor’s wife returned home. They had just enough time to pull themselves together. Amara was 16, the pastor 39. The experience left Amara confused and ashamed. She wanted the special atten-
Sexual Assault on Campus: Itâ€™s Time to Speak Out
Times during a National Sexual Violence Prevention Conference in 2004. UCLA professor Gail Wyatt first documented the phenomenon of black women protecting black men with silence in 1980. Black women, Norwood indicated, are supposed to protect the black community, not expose it. Some of that attitude is a holdover from Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras in the South, when a black men could be lynched for â€œattackingâ€? a white women. Itâ€™s an attitude that leaves many black rape victims making a Hobsonâ€™s choice between sexism and racism. If she reports an assault, could it result in putting another black man in prison? African Americans make up almost 40 percent of people in prison and jail, though they make up only about 13 percent of the U.S. population. Further complicating the issue are pervasive myths including that black women canâ€™t be raped. It is a falsehood with roots in American law. In 1859, for example, a Mississippi judge ruled that an older black slave
students whose â€˜friendâ€™ was a victim and didnâ€™t report because they were ashamed, afraid, didnâ€™t know it was rape, didnâ€™t want to get anybody in trouble or any combination of those reasons.â€? As a victim, schools encourage victims to report sexual violence just as Laura Dunn did at the in 2004. You may not be fond of the idea, but it can often lead to closure. Try not to be afraid of informing law enforcement about what happened. To avoid sexual assault from occurring, many schools start by educating students. Jackson State University has offered â€œNot on Our Campus,â€? a program funded by the federal Office on Violence against Women, for three years. The program educates students about violence against women. And the campus chapter of the Na-
could not have raped a 10-year-old black girl. â€œ[T]he crime of rape does not exist in this State between African slaves,â€? he concluded. â€œâ€Ś Their intercourse is promiscuous.â€? In her poem â€œthatâ€™s proof she wanted it,â€? poet Honoree Fannone Jeffers wrote: â€œWhy do you think there are so few reports of rape in the black community / Because rape doesnâ€™t happen in the black community.â€? Jeffers performed the poem in the 2006 film â€œNo! The Rape Documentary.â€? The movie, produced, written and directed by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, confronts all aspects of sexual violence, focusing on the experiences of African Americans. In â€œThe Role of Religion in Violence Against Women,â€? an essay in the filmâ€™s accompanying study guide, Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons wrote about the imbalance of men and women in black churches. The theme resonates in Amaraâ€™s story of her relationship with her pastor. Citing Delores Williamsâ€™ book, â€œSisters in the Wilderness,â€? Simmons wrote: â€œBlack
tional Organization of Women at Millsaps College had a good turn out at a womenâ€™s empowerment event, Conway said. Such programs are a beneficial and healthy way to spread awareness and gain knowledge. Being able to identify sexual assault is a key to protecting yourself and your friends. Omari offered this advice to college women: â€œBeing safe is important, although we must be careful not to blame the victim. Women should have the right to go wherever they want to go, dress anyway they want to dress and stay out as late as they want to without having to fear being sexually assaulted. â€œThat being said, however, I would say to women who are out drinking to always watch their drink and to use a buddy system, where they look out for each other
women have â€˜accounted their perseverance on the basis of their faith in God who helped them make a way out of no way.â€™ Yet as Williams notes, black womenâ€™s faith has been used against them by men in their churches and in their mosques. She calls it â€˜a colonization of the femaleâ€™s mind and culture.â€™ â€Ś Engrained notions have covertly justified male violence against women as menâ€™s right as heads of their households to rule with an iron fist (literally and figuratively) and to chastise â€˜head strong and disobedient wives and girlfriends,â€™ often depicted as loud-mouthed â€˜Sapphiresâ€™ and â€˜ball-busters.â€™â€? Those notions are as old as Genesis, Simmons wrote. Long-held depictions of Eve being created as an afterthought and being responsible for bringing evil into the world have many leaders, black and white, castigating rape victims while holding ministers and male parishioners as blameless targets of a womanâ€™s sexual wiles and inherent dishonesty. â€œOneâ€™s gender role is learned as it is transmitted to a child almost from birth,â€? she
when theyâ€™re out partying. Know what you want out of any sexual encounter, and if you are uncomfortable and/or fearful about where a date is going, speak up! Trust your instincts: This is not the time to be polite or passive. And remember, rape of any kind is never the victimâ€™s fault. It is a crime motivated by the perpetratorâ€™s need to control, humiliate and harm.â€?
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wrote. â€œThe child observes early the allotment of privileges such as the right to speak and be heard, to make decisions, and who wields the power in the home, in the political realm and in the religious institutions.â€? â€˜He Really Liked Meâ€™ After she graduated from high school, Amara began college in New Orleans. She hoped leaving Jackson would give her some relief from the untenable situations she couldnâ€™t seem to get away from here in town. She had begun a relationship with Damitri, who seemed to care about her. But he was abusive. â€œHe had anger problems,â€? she said. She blamed his behavior on herself, thinking, â€œWhy do bad things happen to me.â€? â€œHe started choking me and really verbally abusing me.â€? He would call her names, like â€œugly b*tch.â€? He kicked her in the back and sprained her thumb once. â€œBut he really
rape someone if they thought they wouldnâ€™t be caught or punished. Alcohol is a big factor in rape. About three-quarters of reported sexual assaults and rape are alcoholrelated. Consumption of alcohol or other drugs is not an excuse for rape; it does not matter if you drank or used drugs or if your attacker did. Under the law, being drunk or drugged makes a person incapable of giving consent, and without consent, sex becomes rape. â€œJust being a woman on a campus makes you vulnerable, but drinking to excess at parties or in the clubs puts young women at a higher risk of being sexually assaulted,â€? said Dr. Safiya Omari, director of the Southern Institute for Mental Health Advocacy, Research and Training at Jackson State University via email. In the aftermath of sexual assault, one of the most important things you can do is to reach out for help. Most colleges offer support to students who have been sexually violated, such as counseling or guidance in reporting. John Conway, director of campus life at Millsaps College, said that victims are â€œalways encouraged to report their case.â€? While universities may report a low occurrence of sexual assault cases, that does not mean they are not happening at the nationally estimated rates. â€œI think it means that women arenâ€™t reporting (sexual assault and rape) for various reasons,â€? Omari said. â€œWe get anecdotal reports at just about every education and/or outreach forum from
KRISTIN BRENEMEN / MODEL: INTERN DARNELL JACKSON
oward the end of her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin in 2004, Laura Dunn attended a frat party where she drank way too many raspberry vodkas. Two guys she previously knew and trusted took her to another house. They were just making a stop before going to another party, Dunn thought. The men had other things in mind, she told NPR News in 2010. They raped her as she drifted in and out of consciousness. Dunn kept the incident to herself for 15 months, until a professor told Dunnâ€™s class that rape victims could report their cases to the dean of students. Dunn reported the incident that same day. When you hear â€œsexual assaultâ€? and â€œrape,â€? you might picture dark alleys in a big city instead of a college campus. In reality, students on campuses are vulnerable; rape and sexual violence are huge campus problems across the nation. It can happen to anyone, although girls aged 16 to 19 are four times more likely to be targets of sexual assault than any one else, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network states. Many of those targets are college students: One in five college women will become victims of rape during college, the majority in their first year, a New York University study found, and 80 percent to 90 percent of victims will know their attacker. Like their victims, sexual predators could be people you know. In the NYU study, 35 percent of men reported that they might
by Andrea White
more SILENCE, page 16 15
ENDING THE SILENCE, FROM PAGE 15
July 25 - 31, 2012
don’t know if they believed me,” she said. But later, Fat Boy sent a message to Amara through Damitri: “Tell her I’m sorry.” ‘Abuse, Misuse and Exploitation’ Rape is a public health issue. Among the myriad of victim reactions to sexual assault are nightmares, depression, fear and distrust, anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The trauma that begins with the victim spreads outward to her family, friends and society. “Schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, campuses and cultural or religious communities may feel fear, anger or disbelief when a sexual assault happens,” states the National Sexual Violence Resource Center in its information sheet “What is Sexual Violence?” Rape costs taxpayers money, too, including medical services, criminal justice expenses, crises and mental-health fees, and lost productivity. Individually, the financial cost of each
‘My Library Card Saved Me’ Two things happened to Amara after Fat Boy’s attempted rape that opened her eyes. First, she found out she was pregnant by Damitri. Then, she attended a lecture about
When Amara went back to their apartment to collect some things she’d left behind, Raymond insisted that she pay the light bill that he couldn’t. “When I said I wasn’t going to pay it, he head butted me,” she said. “We had some issues in our relationship, too.” The cut required about 10 stitches. Like many women who have survived intimate partner violence, Amara has drawn on reserves of strength she hardly recognizes, although she struggles with depression. She supported herself and her son with home-based businesses, first as a “mystery shopper,” and she began a cleaning service. Relationships with men, she said, were going to be simpler, with no attachments. Even when she found herself pregnant with her second child, she didn’t ask for the father’s support, but they maintain a relationship. The minute she saw her baby, she fell helplessly in love, as nearly all mothers do. “I think what saved me was my library card,” she said. She tried to get counseling, but didn’t have the money to continue. Instead, between her classes at JSU, Amara began to scan the stacks, where she discovered self-help
domestic violence at Jackson State University. As the speaker told the audience about the warning signs, Amara recognized her life,. “I didn’t want to have a baby in this situation,” she said. Awake to the danger, she made an escape plan, just like she learned in the lecture. She reached out to a friend, Raymond, and asked him to help. On the night that she couldn’t take any more of Damitri’s abuse, Amara called Raymond and got out. Amara saw Raymond as a man she could finally trust, and they soon fell into a relationship. But Raymond turned out to be less than she thought. He didn’t have a high-school diploma, and he found it difficult to find anything but temporary jobs. Amara supported and tried to help him, correcting his spelling and grammar on job applications and offering her support in getting his GED. When it became clear to her that Raymond was not what she needed for herself and her son, she left him. What happened next left her with a scar that arcs through and over her right eyebrow.
books. She credits one author in particular, Iyanla Vanzant, for helping her to straighten herself out. Amara took what she learned and put it into practice. Today, Amara, 28, continues to work from home while she works toward her master’s degree at JSU. Her baby is almost 2 years old, and she home-schooled her firstborn, last year. Now 7 years old, he’ll probably go to public school next year. “He’s very outgoing,” she said. Amara is in what may be the first fairly stable relationship of her life. It’s not perfect, she said, but she’s stopped looking for a man to save her. Instead, she’s looking forward to being a successful business woman, and she is stronger for the lessons she continues to learn. “I’m in a better place, now,” she said. “Me and my library card. … I have a new-found feminism.” “I do think I am my own hero.” Comment at www.jfp.ms. Contact Ronni Mott at email@example.com.
KRISTIN BRENEMEN / MODEL: JFP INTERN VICTORIA SHERWOOD
liked me. I really felt like I needed to stay with him. Finally, somebody really likes me.” He would get angry and bang his head on the wall. Amara took it as a sign that he cared. One late summer day in 2004, Amara showed up at Damitri’s grandmother’s house, ready to help the woman sort clothing for Goodwill. “Come anytime,” his grandmother had told her, so she hadn’t called ahead. The woman wasn’t home, but the front door was unlocked. Amara went in—she knew where the clothes were—and started picking through the pile and folding the clothes. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw someone pass by the door of the room where she was working. “I heard the front door lock,” she said, “and I thought, uh oh.” A few seconds later, Fat Boy, Damitri’s cousin, stood in the doorway, wrapped in sheets as if he’d just gotten up. “Where you going?” he asked her when she tried to push past him. Fat Boy was naked under the sheets, except for the condom on his already erect penis. Amara tried to fight him, but the man easily overpowered her and pushed her to the floor. “She had these little labels on the dresser,” Amara said. “I just remember ‘Socks.’” She was screaming, but the house was in the country, isolated. She remembered thinking, “Nobody knows where I am.” He had some sort of a bat, she said, and threatened to hit her. Reaching up under her turquoise dress, Fat Boy ripped at her panties and discovered Amara was having her period. Enraged, he swore at her. “Get the f*ck outta here, nasty b*tch,” he yelled. She got away, taking the nearest exit from the trailer. She went out a window backward, cutting her leg, and ran across the street for help—to her attacker’s mother. Amara reported the attack to the police. The detective was nice enough, she said, but he didn’t offer her much hope or support. He kept wanting more information. “I did sign up for counseling,” she said, but it was too far from New Orleans, and she stopped going after a couple of sessions. The incident left her traumatized. She remembers feeling paranoid for months, afraid that any man she met would try to rape her. Amara soon moved back to Jackson. Pressured by Fat Boy’s mother to drop the charges, Amara found out that she couldn’t. The deputy had filed the assault charges for her. Still, she said, it was her word against his. She never met with a prosecutor, and a grand jury failed to indict Fat Boy. Police never arrested him, and he never did time. Some experts believe as few as six in 1,000 sexual perpetrators will ever spend a day behind bars; fewer than 85 percent of victims ever report rapes or sexual assaults. Amara found herself mired in a morass of family drama: The entire family rallied around Fat Boy, she said, trying to protect him from the woman he had tried to rape. She stopped going to Damitri’s family functions, afraid of running into her attacker, further strain16 ing her tenuous relationship with Damitri. “I
help,” he writes. “… We’ve been set up by the sense of superiority and entitlement, and the small benefits we gain to collude with and perpetuate sexism and male supremacy.” Kivel continues: “[I]t is particularly powerful when men challenge other men on issues of male violence, contradicting the myth that it is natural, inevitable or inconsequential for men to abuse women. … This is truly men’s work—to reclaim our own humanity and stop all forms of male violence and exploitation.” While women are not innocent of violent or abusive behavior, men are the perpetrators and women their victims in more than 85 percent of violent sexual crimes, and often, when men rape, their victims are also male. One in five women and one in 71 men will be rape victims at some point in their lives, concluded the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, published last year.
rape is $151,423 reported the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology in 2010. The annual tally is higher than any other crime: $127 billion according to the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. “Sexual violence is a social justice issue that occurs because of abuse, misuse and exploitation of vulnerabilities,” the NSVRC states. “It is a violation of human rights and can impact a person’s trust and feeling of safety. Acts of sexual violence are not only about control and/or sex, but the rape culture exists, in part, because of disparities of power that are often rooted in oppression.” The way we raise boys is the start of much oppression—including the oppression of women—says social-justice activist and author Paul Kivel in “Men’s Work—To Stop Male Violence.” “We tell them to act like a man, to be tough, aggressive, in control, not to express their feelings, not to cry and never to ask for
8th Annual JFP Chick Ball
July 28, 2012 http://www.jfpchickball.com
Chicks We Love
hristy Harrison grew up with a desire to help others. Now she gets to every day as a social worker at St. Dominic Hospital specializing in victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Harrison understands the struggles her patients go through, having experienced violence both as a child and an adult. “There was always someone there to help me when I needed it,” Harrison says, “and I always want to be there for that person, too, whoever it is.” For much of her childhood, Harrison, 38,
er motto is to put God first, focus on your dreams and be determined to make it happen. Constance Garnett, a self-driven businesswoman who has worked for Oce North America for the past four years as the sales manager, is driven to be successful. Originally from the Delta, this Mississippi native has made a way for herself. Garnett says it took a lot of focus and determination to be in corporate America for 19 years: “I have drive and ambition to succeed in everything I do.” She says in the business of sales, you have to build a relationship with custom-
mberly Holmes, 43, feels fortunate to have a job that is both rewarding and enjoyable. Holmes monitors the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program as division director for the program under the Division of Public Safety Planning for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. “I’m paid to do a job that makes a huge difference and impacts individual lives,” she says. A STOP grant allows the Center for Violence Prevention in Pearl to offer free legal services and support to victims of domestic
rtist Kristen Ley is continually amazed by the amount of support she receives from the Jackson community for her work. “I’m still so humbled that people want to put my art on their walls. I’ve seen that when people are passionate about the city, the city becomes passionate about them.” Ley says. But, it’s really no surprise that she gets community support. The 27-year-old uses her talents in art and graphic design to uplift the city whenever possible. “We have so much talent here in Mississippi and Jackson. I’d love to help create opportunities for people who love art and who love to create to express that,” Ley says.
provided a guiding hand for individuals in need, volunteering at a camp for children and adults with disabilities. Getting the idea to go into social work from a TV program, she would later earn both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. Now, Harrison is one of 12 social workers at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson where she and the current ER director, Nikki Nissen, have rewritten protocol concerning how to deal with admitted assault victims. St. Dominic is a non-profit hospital, which
Harrison says benefits the way they deal with individual patients. “They’ve been very focused on the person and the patient, and not just the bottom line,” she says. Though Harrison experiences some difficult things in her career as a social worker, she finds value and self-fulfillment through her job. “I’ve got to be able to know that I’ve done something for somebody else at the end of the day,” she says. “I think that’s what we’re all here for. And it hurts my heart if I’m not doing that.” —Sara Sacks
ers by being a people person, and that she cares about people. Her long-term goal is to become vice president of a company. “I want to be the wind behind the wing,” she says. This Delta native owes all her success to her mom, Dorothy Clark. “She is the most instrumental person in my life. She taught me to be determined to be somebody at the age of 9,” Garnett says. Throughout her childhood, Constance also regularly attended camps that helped shape and mold her. “This experience has helped me to become versatile, relatable and to do presentations
on any level,” she says. She challenges parents today to do the same, asking, “What are you going to surround your children with now, that will help them in the next 10 years?” Garnett loves to give back in the community. “It is a privilege for me to be working with the Center (for Violence Prevention),” she says. Her sister, Candice, introduced Greene to the Center where she is now on the advisory board. They are a great organization, and any exposure will enhance their work and let the people know that they are a great outlet.” —Elyane Alexander
violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. “Without the funds, many women will stay in dangerous situations that might lead to homicide, which is the worst-case scenario,” Holmes says. The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)—now stalled in Congress—authorized the STOP program. Its funding also aims to improve prosecution strategies and effective law enforcement in cases involving violence against women. “I thoroughly enjoy what I do,” Holmes says.
Holmes, a Jackson native, graduated from Murrah High School and received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a master’s in public policy and administration from Jackson State University. She has worked with other justice programs under the Department of Public Safety since 1995. Holmes is a single mother of two children: daughter Ember, 23, and son Emani, 17. She loves to play tennis, dance and travel. Her favorite place to travel? “Jamaica, ya mon!” —Christianna Jackson
Through her involvement in the Leadership Greater Jackson class from which she just graduated, she designed promotional materials for philanthropic programs at Oak Forest Elementary School and volunteered with those programs. She also created a set of fineart watercolor prints of her favorite places in Jackson, such as Brent’s Drugs in Fondren and the Standard Life building downtown. Though Ley graduated from Mississippi State University in 2007 with a degree in graphic design and a minor in marketing, she expresses her creativity in many forms. She enjoys painting, sewing, designing, woodworking and let-
ter-pressing. “It’s really therapeutic. Creating and doing things creates a satisfaction for me; it gives me a moment of quiet to get my thoughts out in a piece of art,” Ley says. Earlier this year she launched Thimblepress, a studio for her various art forms. Ley attended high school at Jackson Academy where she now works as a graphic designer. She also does freelance design, including this week’s cover art of the Chick Issue. Whenever Ley isn’t being crafty, she enjoys hanging out with her goldendoodle, Willow, and her cat, Norman. —Allie Jordan
more CHICKS WE LOVE, page 18
COURTESY KRISTEN LEY
COURTESY CONSTANCE GARNETT
COURTESY CHRISTY HARRISON
very year just in time for the JFP Chick Ball, we name our roster of “Chicks We Love.” Yes, we know they are powerful women; that’s why we pick them. But just as we did when we took back the word “chick” as the name of our annual domestic-abuse fundraiser eight years ago, we love calling them “chicks.” Maybe because the word was once meant to degrade us. Maybe it’s because there’s a fun vibe to the word that means that these women are serious, but like to have a great time while loving life and all sorts of people. That is the kind of woman we honor every year at the JFP Chick Ball; be in Hal & Mal’s Red Room around 8 p.m. Saturday to toast these women. They’re plain fabulous, no matter what you call them.
8th Annual JFP Chick Ball from page 17
ou’ve probably seen her before. Maybe you remember her as a security guard dressed in fishnet stockings hitting people with a whip in the Sweet Potato Queens parade entourage, or perhaps she is your fitness instructor at the Courthouse or Baptist Healthplex. Maybe you have been to Nick’s Restaurant sometime in the last 23 years, and she was your server, or you spotted her walking out of her pink house on Mitchell Street. No matter how you know Janis Boersma, one thing is for sure: She is somebody you don’t easily forget.
any corporations have profited for years off the poor living conditions and lack of regulations offered by third-world countries, but Grace Greene, 30, chose a different business model. As founder and CEO of Peru Paper Company, she didn’t just want to give women and their families the means to survive, she wanted to give them the means to live. By creating a business, she offered women who lived in poverty and suffered from low self-worth the opportunity to take control of their lives. Peru Paper Company (perupaper.com) is based in the city of Trujillo, Peru, where its employees produce handmade greeting cards using recycled materials. When Greene visited Peru
osemary Horne lives by her favorite quote: “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.” With that guiding her, Horne is able to fight for victims of violent crimes. Now, she is the state project director for the Victims of Crime Act. Horne has worked with the Mississippi Division of Public Safety Planning under the Department of Public Safety managing federal funds awarded to the state to fund services for victims of violent crimes for the past five years. Horne says victims of child abuse, domes-
hen her (now ex-)husband was not interested in buying a portable toilet company because he “didn’t want to be in the crap business,” Lauren McGraw decided to buy the company herself in 1997. She got the idea at a rental show meeting 15 years ago in New Orleans. McGraw is now the founder and CEO of the largest female-owned portable toilet company in the Southeast, Gotta Go. Gotta Go provides portable toilet rentals
July 25 - 31, 2012
VIRGIL W. SELF
COURTESY ROSEMARY HORNE
VIRGIL W. SELF
inston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Heather McTeer takes that motto as a personal credo. “There are a lot of tough things a woman in politics has to go through, but you must keep on pushing and going,” McTeer says. “Don’t only follow the trail that’s been set before us, but also lay a trail for the young women after us.” McTeer was elected mayor of Greenville in 2003, and re-elected in 2007. Not only was she the city’s first female mayor, but McTeer was also the first African American to hold the position
July 28, 2012 http://www.jfpchickball.com
of mayor. Being mayor was very challenging but extremely rewarding. “Every day I was able to improve the lives of people in the community. Not everyone agreed with me, but that is the nature of politics. It taught me how to build consensus,” she says. The National Women’s Political Caucus endorsed McTeer when she ran for Congress this year against Rep. Bennie Thompson. She is trying to get more women in politics, because Mississippi is one of four states that have never sent a woman to Congress. McTeer strongly supports
women’s rights and reproductive rights. McTeer, 36, graduated in 1998 from Spelmen College in Atlanta with a bachelor of arts in sociology, and she earned her juris doctorate at New Orleans’ Tulane University Law School. She is now a practicing attorney in Greenville. She also serves as the state director for Political Institute for Women; the national spokeswoman for She Should Run!, a program that encourages women to run for public offices, and as a chairwoman of EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee. —Adria Walker
Boersma, a 58-year-old Arkansas native, moved to Jackson in 1987. Since then, she has worked at Nick’s Restaurant, and for the past five years Boersma won the Jackson Free Press’ Best Server in Jackson award. When it comes to revealing the secret to her success, she leans in and whispers, “It’s addictive; my customers are addictive.” Smart and energetic, this former librarian and photography teacher is so much more than an amazing server. She is a longtime member of the all-women So Fondren, So
Fabulous group, a fitness instructor, an avid church-goer and a staunch beer advocate. In fact, you could call Boersma the mother of brewpubs in Mississippi; state Sen. John Horhn cites Boersma as the inspiration behind his brewpub bill. So if you find yourself hungry on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, head over to Nick’s and meet Janis Boersma. She will greet you with bright blue eyes, a big welcoming grin and, if your timing is right, a hair color not found in nature. —Matthew Bolian
in the late ’90s, she had no idea that this would be on her horizon, but it was the first of many short-term missions she would go on throughout high school. Eventually, she decided to spend two and a half years in Trujillo teaching English for a group called Peru Mission. During this time the seeds were sown for what eventually became Peru Paper Company. “Charity often makes people feel more dependent,” Greene says. Their work not only provides for their family, it helps them realize their importance to the family and society. Now they are essentially in charge of Peru Paper, and “the direction it takes” Greene says, “is up to them.” The project that began with three em-
ployees and drastically limited funds, and resources has grown to be a thriving business with 15 employees. These women aren’t just putting food on the table now; they’re paying for their children’s education, for dental care and for housing renovations. Greene credits “a lot of work and a lot of prayer” as the reason why Peru Paper has done so well. She didn’t offer any other explanation because, like every good businesswoman, she’s busy, and, as every missionary knows, you can’t explain it. Locally, Greene is on the advisory board for the Center for Violence Prevention. —Sam Suttle
tic violence, sexual assault, homicide and other underserved victims of elderly abuse, human trafficking and cyber-bullying are the major categories of violent crimes she works to combat through her position. “I love what I do,” says the 42-year-old mother of two and proud grandmother of one. Throughout her 19 years of service with the state, Horne has worked in several departments, including the Mississippi Department of Health, Division of Medicaid and the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). This month, the Mississippi Division of
Public Safety Planning was awarded a $3.8 million grant for assistance and services for victims. Through her position, Horne will manage funds from this grant with priority attention going to victims of violence that she fights for daily. Funds also will go to assist victims of federal crimes, assault, robbery, gang violence, hate and bias crimes, fraud and more. Just as the JFP Chick Ball does annually with the Center for Violence Prevention, Horne enjoys working to help victims of violent crimes year round. —Darnell Jackson
for construction sites, disaster relief and special events. “We started renting toilets and a whole lot more,” McGraw said. Gotta Go also rents out shower trailers for places without running water, larger bathroom trailers, hand-washing stations and water delivery. For waste managing, the company provides dumpsters and recycling pickup. McGraw also owns Gotta Jump, an inflatable bounce-house company and the first liquor store in Flora called Cotton Exchange Liquor Store. Her entrepreneurial endeavors involve
about 16 employees, 10 trucks and 2,000 portable toilets. She services 10 Mississippi counties. Gotta Go went from simple toilet rentals to a multi-faceted organization that does a lot to help out the public. It provides services that people need and some that the state or city might not be able to pay for. Whether it’s helping out with a disaster, construction or events, Lauren McGraw has built a company that helps out people in the Jackson community, all the while being one of Jackson’s sassiest entrepreneurs. —Dylan Irby
halotta Sharp brings 16 years of ex- that point, she didn’t even know what a rape perience as a nurse and a passion for kit was. helping and healing to every aspect of “Basically, we were picked as warm bodher job with the ies” for the course, Sharp Mississippi Coalition said. Rush had a quota to Shalotta Sharp Against Sexual Assault. fill for the class, and she As a certified Sexual Aswas in it. sault Nurse Examiner, “I thought, ‘OK, or SANE nurse, Sharp cool: an 8-to-5, Monday joined the organization through Friday, easyfull time in 2010 so that breezy week for me,’ she she could teach others said. “Day one of the how best to help trauma content was so heavy that patients, specifically it was a little overwhelmthose who are victims of ing. I didn’t realize how rape and other violent much I didn’t know. By sexual encounters. day three, we had had a Sharp wasn’t thinklot of psychological coning about anything as tent, and it hit me that not specific as being a nurse only am I learning about for rape victims when sexual assault patients, she graduated from the but I’m learning about University of West Alabama in 1996 with an trauma patients. It hit home with people I had associate’s degree in nursing. Within a year, known in my life that had been through this.” though, she was working in the emergency One of those people was her youngest room at Meridian’s Rush Hospital. One day, daughter, Sharp said, who was raped while she her nurse manager picked her to attend a was in college. Sharp only found out about her week’s training for sexual assault victims. At assault when Jo tried to commit suicide months
later. “My daughter had a very difficult time after this event,” Sharp said. “She dropped out of school, out of life, lost her friends from Troy and had horrible bouts of depression.” “Like so many, I had thought, ‘Well, that’s sad, but get up and move on,’” Sharp said. Through the course, “It hit me how long-term these effects were.” She returned to Rush Hospital full of ideas on how to change procedures in the emergency room. She gives credit to Dr. James Cady for helping her start a SANE program at Rush. That program is now self-sustaining. Sharp began teaching others in 2005. Sharp, 47, lives in York, Ala., with her husband of 16 years, Ronnie. She travels all over Mississippi and to West Virginia training nurses, law enforcement and advocates on how to care for victims of sexual assault. Certified to care for both adults and children, she also continues her work in the ER at Rush Hospital. She is the only certified SANE pediatric nurse in Mississippi, and one of only about 300 worldwide. “If I had to do it all over again, I think I’d try to get involved sooner, Sharp said. “I can honestly say that this is my dream job. It’s the best job in the whole world.”
Men of Character Live Auction
on’t miss the live auction of the following remarkable (and their donated services) at the JFP Chick Ball, scheduled to begin at 7:50 p.m. Dee Denton is the auctioneer. Terry Cooper, owner, Absolute Fitness: 8 personal training sessions Mitchell Early, sommelier, BRAVO!: wine and cheese pairing Jesse Houston, chef, Parlor Market: private dinner for six Israel Martinez, owner, LingoFest: 4 private, 2-hour Spanish lessons each to one or two people Terry Sullivan, owner, liveRIGHTnow: package includes yoga, training, tabata Nick Wallace, chef, King Edward Hotel: Dinner prep for 10 in your home Sujan Ghimire, Salsa Mississippi: 4 hour-long private dance classes Eddie Outlaw, owner, William Wallace Salon: a cut and color with a personalized line of products
Hero of the Year: Shalotta Sharp
JFP Chick Ball Auction Guide
July 28, 2012
here can buy cool art, jewelry and furniture and help keep women and children safe all at the same time? The 8th Annual JFP Chick Ball, of course. It features a huge silent auction of donated items from local businesses, artists and so many other philanthropists. The proceeds from this year’s Chick Ball go toward funding a rape crisis center at the Center for Violence Prevention in Pearl. Flip through this silent-auction guide for samples of what will be featured from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 28. There’s still time to donate! Call 601-362-6121 ext 16 or email chickball@ jacksonfreepress.com to give or volunteer. And don’t forget to thank these donors, buy their art and shop in their local businesses.
3 Handmade necklaces, Genevieve Legacy
Art piece, Nola Gibson
Art Piece, lotion and cologne, Circa
Avon gift basket, Pepper Lyn’s Gifts and More
Earrings, Red Square
Painted feather, Feathermore by Elaine Peterson
Bracelets and earrings, Village Beads
Possum belly pipe lamp w/ bookshelf, Katie Katzenmeyer of Stella Bleu Designs
Art piece, Nola Gibson
Art piece, Nola Gibson
Art piece, Nola Gibson
July 25 - 31, 2012
Art piece, Nola Gibson
Cake stand, Caroline Debeukelar
2 Framed flower paintings, Glo
“Mallord Pond” Plate, Nola Gibson
Christmas ornament, Caroline Debeukelar
Stationary pack, Caroline 2 Photo albums, Caroline Debeukelar Debeukelar
Art piece, Nola Gibson
Ceramic frog luminary, Fat Cat Ceramics
Gift certificate, mug, t-shirt, Sneaky Beans
“Rise” painting, Kira Cummings
Set of three cookbooks, Tony Parkinson
“Universal Women Night Dancing on the Beach,” Howard Jones
Earrings, Pink Bombshell
Little girl’s dress, Kasey McKay of Bug and Bell
Shirt, Red Square
Picture, Mitchell Davisph
Mississippi hummingbird picture with frame, Deveon Sudduth Photography
Art pieces, Heavenly Designs by Roz
“Powerless” wood-buring, Kira Cummings
Free bird dress size 2/3, Savannah Perry of Quirky Finch
Set of three framed pictures, Phyllis Robinson of On Location TV
Set of two prints, Paul E. Buford
Seashells in frame, Dana and Jonathan Larking of IMC Inc.
“Gilded Lily” art piece, Latasha Willis
Framed woodpecker photo, Jeff Monk
Two gift bags, Good Samaritan Center
Kathy Willingham painting, Marika Cackett
JFP Chick Ball Auction Guide
July 28, 2012
JFP Chick Ball Auction Guide
July 25 - 31, 2012
Set of four handmade cards, Theresa Hebler
Purse, Libby Story
July 28, 2012
Small framed Chick Ball watercolor, Wanda
Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Joe T’s Wine and Spirits
“Me” limited edition print, PHenson Studio
Hydrangea’s acrylic on canvas, Wanda Monk
Two Polo caps, Gordon’s Urban Wear
Lynn Green Root painting, Laura Tedder
“Facing A New Year,” Katie Farrar
Three T-Shirts, Swell O Phonic
Signed Deuce McAllister Ole Miss jersey, Jacob Fuller
Ralph Lauren sunglasses, Custom Optical
Bags and t-shirt, Pam Johnson
Painted wood blocks, Michele Campbell
Four purses and a bracelet, The Hair Boutique Salon
Book and CD, Butterfly Yoga
Picture frames, David Murray of the Flowood Flea Market
Tabl, David Murray of the Flowood Flea Market
B&W image, Photography by Christina
Artwork, Fair Trade Green
Best Sushi In Town sushi, steak, martini and more! 601.948.8808
100 E. Capital St. Suite 105 • Jackson MS • www.wasabims.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
WHOLE CARE FOR YOUR PET,
Intern at the JFP We currently have openings in the following areas: • Editorial/News • Photography • Cultural/Music Writing • Fashion/Style
• Arts Writing/Editing • Internet • Graphic Design • Communications: Marketing/Events/PR
Interested? Send an e-mail to email@example.com, telling us why you want to intern with us and what makes you the ideal candidate. *College credit available to currently enrolled college students in select disciplines.
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Hone your skills, gain valuable experience and college credit* by interning with the Jackson Free Press. You set your hours, and attend free training workshops.
JFP Chick Ball Auction Guide
Scarf and nail polish, Arco Avenue
Jewelry set, Nagrom Accessories
Family membership and a stuffed animal toy, The Jackson Zoo
Bath set, Hemline Ridgeland
July 28, 2012
Indian silk letter holder, Noel Didla
Shirts and mug, Another Broken Egg
Art piece, Josh Hailey Studio
Two purse, Material Girls
Oil painting, Laurilyn Fortner
Hand-painted tees, S.Mack Tee’s
Artwork, Lisette’s Photography & Gallery
“Crow Man Blues,” Shannon Valentine
Gift basket, Nandy’s Candy
Zebra striped wrap dress, Attitude Not Included Boutique
NOTE: Items received after July 20 did not make the auction guide.
July 6 - 12, 2011
Gift Certificate Donations
$40 Gift certificate, Friends and Company 1 Month of gold level tanning gift certificate, Palm Beach Tan Gift certificate for manicure, Fondren Nails Gift certificate for piano tuning, Royce Boyer Gift certificate for a dance workshop, Tracie Wade of LaMornes Dance and Fitness Gift certificate for haircut, Glamour Salon $100 off computer repair gift certificate, Kismar Computer Services Gift certificates for beading classes, Village Beads
Three classes worth of Spanish gift certificate, Lingofest Language Center Gift certificates for 25 free subs and drinks, Susanne and Brian Atkins of Firehouse Subs in Flowood Three $10 gift cards, Koinonia Gift certificate for one hour massage, Massage Envy Two $50 gift certificates, Shoe Bar $50 gift certificate, Royal Bleau Boutique $20 gift certificate, Brent’s Drugs Gift certificate for two guitar lessons, Fondren Guitars Gift certificate, Sneaky Beans Two $10 gift cards, Yogn Frut Gift certificates for $45, Two Sisters
Gift certificate for manicure, Victoria Walker of Social Agenda Gift certificate for haircut, Kim Dismuke of Social Agenda Gift certificate for pedicure, Lauren Burns of Social Agenda $100 Gift card, Pure Barre $100 Gift certificate, Mi Cherie Treasures $50 Gift card, Heavenly Designs by Roz Two $25 gift certificates, Good Samaritan Center Two gift certificates for an evening of performances, Emma Wynters of MS Madness Music Management $100 Gift certificate, William Wallace Salon
$50 Gift card, Mangia Bene Gift certificate for a full makeover and a cut & style, Kate McNeely - Social Agenda $25 Gift card, Fondren Cellars Gift certificates for one month of unlimited classes, Butterfly Yoga Gift certificate for six classes, Butterfly Yoga Gift certificate for special event makeup application, Butterfly Faces Makeup Artistry Gift certificate for one art class, Artful Hours Painting Lounge $250 Gift certificate towards a wedding cake, Cakes by Iris $25 Gift certificate, Kincade’s Fine Clothing
TA K E A D V A NTA GE OF OUR PA TIO DURIN G...
6 22 DU L ING AVENU E
JA C K S ON , MS 39216
601Â 366Â 5757
Host an Exchange Student Today ! (for 3, 5 or 10 months) Make a lifelong friend from abroad.
Camilla from Italy, 16 yrs.
Enjoys dancing, playing the piano and swimming. Camilla looks forward to cooking with her American host family.
Enrich your family with another culture. Now you can host a high school exchange student (girl or boy) from France, Germany, Scandinavia, Spain, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Italy or other countries. Single Daniel from Denmark, 17 yrs. parents, as well as couples Loves skiing, playing soccer and with or without children, watching American movies. Daniel may host. Contact us ASAP hopes to learn to play football and for more information or to live as a real American. select your student.
Karen (Toll Free)
Karen at 1-800-473-0696 (Toll Free) www.assehosts.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAMS
Founded in 1976 ASSE International Student Exchange Program is a Public Benefit, Non-Profit Organization. For privacy reasons, photos above are not photos of actual students
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at 1-800-473-0696 www.assehosts.com or email email@example.com.
50 STATES = $50 July 25 - 31, 2012
To celebrate Independence Day, the Baptist Healthplex invites you to show your allegiance to good health. In honor of our 50 states, you can join for $50 from July 1â€“31, 2012. Two convenient locations: JACKSON â€” 601-968-1766 CLINTON â€” 601-925-7900 www.mbhs.org
*Amount applies to the primary member for the month of July, 2012.
26 The Following Is Not For Print/For Information Only Placement: Jackson Free Press. 2012. 9.5â€? x 6.167â€?. Commissioned by Robby Channell.
BRIGHT PROSPECT, HINDS STUDENT. Register Now â€“ Aug. 10 Classes begin Aug. 13 JACKSON
Hinds Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or veteran status in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. George Barnes, Vice President for Administrative and Student Services, 34175 Hwy. 18, Utica, MS 39175, 601.885.7001.
MUSIC p 21 | FILM p 32 | ARTS p 34 | 8 DAYS p 35 | SPORTS p 38 Chick Music: These girl acts perform at the JFP Chick Ball July 28. Line-up at jfpchickball.
Isbister Irby’s Influential Shows
10 Things About Valley and Melody by Matt Bolian
by Briana Robinson
Is Today Opposite Day?
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Chicks: Make Music!
by Natalie Long
s I did the music listings this week and worked on this article, I thought about our upcoming annual JFP Chick Ball and how much it means to me. I also thought about how hard the Chick Ball committee works to find a dynamic assortment of women entertainers here in the City With Soul. And while I am thankful for all the wonderfully talented women in this town, I can’t help but wonder: Why are there not more women expressing themselves musically? It’s not because this city’s female population is untalented—I’ve seen too many girls with the potential to be wonderful performers at open-mic nights and karaoke around here. Why aren’t more women musicians up front and running toe-to-toe with successful male bands here in Jackson? And why, when I did the listings, out of 100 shows, could I only count six female singers in the lineup? I’m not sure I know the reason behind it, but I will tell you from my point of view that maybe some women feel like they can’t measure up in music because it is a predominately male domain, and has been since the beginning. Tammy Wynette, in an interview
Someone mentioned to me the other years ago, talked about how women singers day that women in Jackson are too comwere considered “property” at the bars they petitive when it comes to music. I call BS performed in, and were pretty much seen like on that. Of all the women musicians in that in the recording studio. this town, I can’t think of a better group From my experience performing, I’ve had my fair share of guys come up to me with negative criticism on my singing and one even told me my ass needed to be in a kitchen somewhere, not behind a microphone. I’ve also had great talks with lots of my girlfriends who love music as much as I do and are knowledgeable about the history of music, and we’ve discussed how some guys cannot stand it for a girl to know more about music than they do. And what have we as women done in the past when Joan Jett is one female rocker Natalie Long looks up to. someone got mad at us for being a music lover? Backed down, or tried to keep upping the score by going even of women I’d rather work with and hear further with how much musical knowledge play live. We’ve all gotten along and even we know, only adding fuel to the fire. As my sang along when our bands are playing. As hero Joan Jett said in an interview, “People one couple from Austin, Texas, said to me don’t want to see women doing things they at Parlor Market’s PM Burger event, “Man, don’t think women should do.” all of you seem like one big family.”
I could not agree more. We are a family, not just in music, but in every aspect this city has to offer. I encourage the girls who are out there that want to play or perform in Jackson to do so. Find a guitar player, get up a band of musicians who share your vision of what you want to do musically, learn how to play an instrument, write songs, take vocal or instrument lessons, and don’t be scared of expressing yourself because of what someone might say (because, let me tell you, someone is going to say something negative at some point). Shake off any negative and derogatory comments that come your way. It is our time, ladies, to step up to the mic, and find our own musical voices. There are too many music enthusiasts in this town that would appreciate more women singing their songs and expressing themselves. We have the support and, of course, you have my support. Go out and find your voice. I’ll be there to sing along with you, too.
livemusic JULY 25 - WEDNESDAY
Weekly Lunch Specials
LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR ALL SHOWS 10PM UNLESS NOTED
GUYS PAY $5, LADIES ENTER & DRINK FREE CATHEAD VODKA 9-10PM FRIDAY
featuring Members of Nekisapaya & Static Ensemble SATURDAY
Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm Thursday
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MID DAY CAFE Serving Lunch 11-2!
LADIES NIGHT w/ DJ Stache LADIES DRINK FREE Friday
Dirty Bourbon River Show
with Special Guest
Dent May with Ills and Spirituals Monday
2-for-1 Drafts Tuesday
July 25 - 31, 2012
214 S. STATE ST. â€¢ 601.354.9712
2-for-1 Beer Specials Highlife, Highlife Lite, PBR, Schlitz, Fatty Natty Open Mic w/ Jason Turner
KARAOKE w/ DJ STACHE
FREE WiFi Open Mon-Sat, Restaurant open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm & Sat 4-10 pm
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