K.I.M. K E E P I T M OV I N G Magazine
BETâ€™s Sunday Best Winner Women Birthing A Dream
LeAndria Johnson What Keeps Her Moving
EDUCATE * EMPOWER * ENTERTAIN
Complimentary Issue K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Detroit Lion Luther Ellis speaks on the Power of Dad
Februaryâ€™s issue was a success. Here is what our readers had to say. I jumped with excitement when I found out about K.I.M. Magazine! It is so amazing to hear and see successful African Americans doing great things! I am so excited and ready to get involved with Keep It Moving Magazine! I wish everyone on this wonderful magazine the best of luck and may the Lord watch over all of you! I am literally reading your magazine right now! - Erin of ABC 12 - Flint, MI This magazine is wonderful. Lisa Saginaw Valley State University - University Ctr, MI This is truly an amazing magazine. Jamie - Dallas, TX I love this magazine! Andrea - Nashville, TN I will continue to support this new hip, socially conscious magazine. Tracey - Birmingham, AL Tell us what you think. Visit us on facebook.com/K.I.M. Magazine.
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Letter From The Editor These women developed a K.I.M. state of mind and birthed a force to be reckoned with. Sometimes, you may have to travail to get the outcome you desire. Yes, it’s true. You will face storms. You will face naysayers but you must not quit. You must keep pouring into yourself and your dream to get the results you desire. We will also talk about Brian Pruitt’s first annual Power of Dad Award Banquet where former Detroit Lion, Luther Ellis speaks on the epidemic of “Fatherlessness”.
What does it mean to birth? Many times when you think of a woman bearing a child you think of the 9 months she carries a child. You think about the pains and the aches she may have. You think about how her body goes through the different changes like gaining or losing weight or having swollen feet. All of these things go with birthing a child.
While reading this magazine, I want you to think about whom and what is stopping you from birthing your dream and preventing you from obtaining your destiny. When you have figured that out, I implore you to take the necessary steps to propel yourself to the next level in life. Even a tree has to get rid of dead leaves in order to flourish. May this magazine educate, empower, and entertain you. Most of all, may it inspire you to Keep It Moving.
To dream or not to dream. To live or to stay stagnate. There is no question to that. If you aren’t living, then you are dead. This can be physically or mentally.
Monique Riley President/Editor-In-Chief
A dream starts with a seed or an idea. A dream comes to fruition by force or by design. A dream can meet purpose and design an unstoppable destiny or it can meet a dream killer and turn out to be dust in the air if allowed. This month we will be talking about women who have birthed a dream. You will learn about women who have pushed their way into their destiny. K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Credits President Editor-In- Chief Monique Riley Vice President Senior Art Director Clover Riley Publishing & Design Riley Media Group Business Development & Marketing Riley Media Group Distribution Riley Media Group Interns LeVandis Gray, Isaiah Riley, Terrance Riley of TLI Group Cover: LeAndria Johnson Page 4 Leandria Johnson Photographer: Leon Bennett of Imagez by LB Los Angeles, CA Model: Katrina Smith Photographer: Daryl Peason of Pearvue Productions Las Vegas, NV
6 Decisions & Circumstances 10 Felicia Lenee Actor - Activist 12 Sunday Best Winner LeAndria Johnson Speaks
106 N. Michigan Ave. Saginaw, MI 48602 (989) 596-0524 www.kimmagazine.com firstname.lastname@example.org
14 Young Black Professionals 17 Man To Man 20 Up Next Meagan McNeal 22 Detroit Lion Luther Ellis speaks on the Power of Dad
Meagan McNeal photos courtesy of Starving Artist and Zeph Farmby
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Power of Dad photos courtesy of Clover Riley and Akareem Jabar K.I.M. Magazine is published monthly by Riley Media Group. 106 N. Michigan Ave. in Saginaw, MI. Copyright 2011 Riley Media Group. All rights reserved.
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K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Read about women who pushed their dream into existence. Pages 8,10, & 16. Model: Katrina Smith Photography By: Daryl Pearson of Pearvue Productions of Las Vegas, NV
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Decisions & Circumstances Tomorrow’s Treasures Comes From Today’s Trends Dr. Cleamon Moorer, MBA, PHD
Spring months always seem to bring a certain cheer and gleam to most. Budding flowers, longer days, rising sap, and the reality that winter is over simply feels good. It is also a time for planning and reflection. Citizens and natives of the Midwest truly enjoy this time due to the long awaited season for barbeques, cookouts, picnics, and any other pleasurably imaginable outdoor event. But, the reflections are often focused on the bitter cold of the previous winter. Coincidentally tax season is also right in the midst of these changing seasons. Yes, the idea of money, whether it be pleasing or frustrating also aligns the thought patterns of most, young and old. Either the promise of receiving a refund or the dread of owing the IRS is prevalent on the minds and hearts of many. Here is the good news: Just like you have control over your leisure and enjoyment plans for the Spring and Summer months, you also can take some control over your financial future today. It is possible to create a lifetime of “Financial Spring Seasons” by following a set of proven principles. The decisions that we make today set the stage for tomorrow’s circumstances. Consider the following simple principles as you create and embark upon a promising financial future. “Drops Make Puddles and Puddles Make Ponds” Where does your loose change go? You are bound to find hidden treasures in your jacket and coat pockets, dresser drawers, under couch pillows, and definitely beneath the driver’s and passenger’s
seats of your car. But, what if you don’t have a car? Have you heard the cliché, “That if you are looking for something, you will find it?” Don’t underestimate the possibility of finding loose changes on busses, parking lots, and commonly frequented public places. Sure, the loose change is not initially enough to pay a bill, but 2% of something is always better than 100% of nothing. Give yourself time, collect and round up loose change, and count it periodically, the accumulative results can be surprising. Also, consider banking at a Financial Institution that deposits all the change from your transactions into a separate account. Consider: “Bank of America’s Keep the Change Program” (http://www.bankofamerica.com/ promos/jump/ktc_coinjar/)
“Do it Yourself and Pay Yourself the Difference” Do Happy Meals really make our children happy? Are Instant Tax Service companies really doing you a favor? Does your stylist always have a good day and get your doo just right? What about the fascination with Starbuck’s or Dunkin Donuts? In each of the scenarios listed, you can do a far better job than any of the aforementioned product or service providers. A quick and simple meal at home can make a child say, “This is the best spaghetti ever, or greatest sandwich in the world.” The IRS allows any taxpayer with access to a computer who uses the simple form to file online for free; they will also transfer your refund by direct deposit to your bank account. Remember, style often times come from within. Who better knows your style than you? What part of America Runs on Dunkin?
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Coffee, cocoa, and cappuccino makers have never been easier to operate or cheaper to purchase. Independence is liberating and it is a step in the right direction to realizing financial freedom. “Invest As You Divest” Economics is simply the study of wealth and how it is created. So, an economy answers 2 questions. (1) How is wealth created? (2) How is it distributed? As a producer (worker) and as a consumer, you help to answer those questions. It is okay to make purchases out of desire and want. But, the manufacturer and or retailer wants you to buy products more than you can imagine. You could not want a 42in Flat Screen Television more than the shareholders of Wal-Mart want you to have it! Consider each purchase that you make as an investment. Investments ordinarily yield returns.
happiness in what can’t be bought. Consider the value of time with a friend or a loved one, enjoying music, nature, time, space, arts, literature, and most importantly each other. Build friendships, kinships, and memories based on love and not strife. The dignity of humility and the compassion felt through positive thinking, well wishes, and kind words can’t be bought and sold. And, while from time to time, you may think that things are going badly, or not according to plan. Don’t forget the less fortunate. Please strive and continue to volunteer somewhere and do something good for someone. Decisions to plant seeds of cheer and good will always yield circumstances of positive return in the near or distant future.
What is the return from watching the brand new 42in television? Does it inform, energize, entertain, educate, or detain you. Well, we know what it does for Sony, LG, Panasonic, and Haier. Absolutely, mass consumption of electronics yields returns of wealth to those corporations’ managers and shareholders. We rarely see commercials about investing. Granted, there are tons of “get rich scheme” commercials. Explore wealth creation strategies, tools, and programs that are not televised. Independent Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Permanent Life Insurance Plans, 401K/403B Accounts, and Treasury Bonds, are all vehicles to create wealth in the long run. Financial advising and counseling is free. Any amount of money is enough to start investing and putting to work for your future. Start at your local library and chamber of commerce reading books, articles, and web references on investing. Most of you reading this article can diligently invest as little as $50/month in the right investment vehicles and be in position to retire at age 65 with a nest-egg. “Take the Good with the Bad” Setbacks are bound to happen, layoffs, recessions, spells of sickness, and simple unforeseen financial hardships. Remember to budget and try to live below your means even when your periods (new jobs/promotions) of increase materialize. Thus, let’s try to find joy, peace, fulfillment, and
Dr. Cleamon Moorer is an Assistant Professor of Management at Dominican University. He is also the author of “From Failure to Promise: An Uncommon Path to Professoriate”. More information can be found by visiting www.fromfailuretopromise.com
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Birthing A dream
New Alternatives Youth Center See a need. Fill a need. No matter what you are doing. That is what Pamela Lamar-Jordan did. She founded the New Alternatives Youth Services Center in January of 1995. Ms. Jordan saw that there were so many children who needed guidance in her community. She made it her mission to assist young people who were at risk or had anti-social disorders. With crime running rampid in the community, she saw that molding young people and pouring into them along with giving them somewhere else to be other than streets, was a great way to assist in change. Ms. Jordan wanted to prevent young people ages 10-21 from becoming involved with drugs, gangs, and violence. She had a dream so she put in the time and research to bring her idea forth. While a student at Saginaw Valley State University, she began to do research on at-risk youth and anti-social disorders. She went to seminars and workshops near and far to find out how to start and develop her non profit organization. She developed a advisory council and enlisted leaders from the community to band together.
• Support Team Families, Counseling Referrals, Abstinence Program • Sister-2-Sister (This program shows girls how to act as young ladies by teaching etiquette, hygiene, and more.) • Boys II Men (This program shows boys how to be responsible young men.)
The NAYSC works with community leaders & community organizations like Family Youth This program started in the home of Ms. Jordan Initiative, Saginaw County Abuse Treatment & with her own money. She was able to have her Prevention Service, Word of Faith International family join the team. Together they took money Ministries, Family Independent Agency, Health out of their own pockets to take their young people Delivery and more. “We must realize the imporon college tours. They also took them on learntance of sowing into on our youth. It is important ing trips to different places like Washington, D.C., that the adults and organizations work together to Chicago, and New York. guarantee a future for our children”, says program coordinator Patricia Lamar. “Part of our mission Some of the services offered at New Alternatives statement states that the NAYSC believes that Youth Center are: every youth can reach his or her potential and become a role model for other children within their • Short- term suspension program (This alcommunity. We have to take a stand”, she said. lows students who have been suspended from school to make up their work and stay Ms. Pamela Lamar- Jordan passed away in at the center during the day so, they are not 2004 just when her organization began to take home alone or in the street.) flight. The thing about a vision though is that if • After- School program (Children are you write it and make it plain, it can go on without picked up from school, fed, and mentored you because the ground work has been laid down. by trained individuals,who go through an Although she did not see her youth center in full extensive program and background check at fledge as it is now, she saw it in her dreams. Delta Community College) 8
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
There have been hundreds of youth in Saginaw County to go through the New Alternatives Youth Services Center. Monique Lamar-Sylvia, sister of Pamela Lamar-Jordan, was appointed the executive director of NAYSC in 2004 and her mother Patricia Lamar, who works as the program coordinator. The name of the center then changed to
New Alternatives Youth Center. Together along with a team of mentors they are changing their community one child at a time. New Alternatives Youth Center is located at 915 Federal St. in Saginaw, MI. 48607.
Children who are apart of the New Alternatives Youth Services Center
Patricia Lamar - Program Coordinator
To advertise with us, please call K.I.M. Magazine today @ (989) 596-0524.
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Birthing A dream
Felicia Lenee Williams, also known as, Felicia Lenee says she is an artist activist. Growing up in Detroit and Saginaw, MI, she gained a love for the arts and the entertainment industry. She recalls her first play being, “The Three Wise Men” at McColl Elementary in Detroit, MI. It was then that she realized her love for the stage. Her mother, Corrine S. Williams, who is a social worker and human rights advocate, pushed her to succeed in this field. She took all measures in making sure that Felicia Lenee was thrusted into an environment that would shape and mold her for such a tricky industry like Hollywood. Felicia Lenee was a student at Handley Elementary, Heritage High School, and Saginaw School of Arts and Sciences in Saginaw, MI. It was these schools that gave her an opportunity to polish her craft and develop her acting style. Since then she has written, casted, directed, and performed in numerous plays like, “Natural High”, a one woman show “Cirque De Vie: From The Streets to The Stage”, “It’s Tricky” and many more. In order to work your craft, you must study your craft. That is what Felicia did she completed four years of extensive training in theatre school at the California Institute of Arts in Valencia, California. She also became a student of Adilah Barnes, owner of Barnsdale Gallery in Hollywood, California. Ms. Barnes was the acting coach for actors like Jada Pinket Smith, Toni Braxton, Kym Whitley, Don (DC) Curry, and more. It was this training throughout the years that has allowed her to travel all over the country and even internationally. She has even studied at the Montview Conservatoire. Felicia Lenee has had the opportunity to work around great actors like Steve Harvey and DeWayne “The Rock” Johnson. She was an extra in Spider Man and Biker Boyz, which included Laurence Fishburne. Growing up with a mother, who was a social worker, Felicia Lenee knew what it meant to be an activist. She saw her mother fight for the rights of people on a daily basis. This envioroment made her want to roll her sleeves up and assist towards change in the world around her. Not only did Felicia Lenee take on Hollywood gigs, but she made it a point to speak on issues through her
acting. “I came to a point, where it wasn’t about the spotlight of Hollywood or getting caught up in the hype of the lifestyle that comes with it. It was about contributing to change in the world I live in today”, says Felicia Lenee. We all can become a catalyst for change. Felicia began to take on the issue of domestic violence. She wanted to shed a light on something that she saw affected women in her childhood. Pulling from a journal of observations that she developed based on what she saw and heard from victims going through domestic violence, she began to figure out ways to help. “People who turn their back on domestic violence going on in their communities must speak up and speak out about this issue”, Felicia Lenee explains. To give people an agent to change she wrote a screenplay and short film called, “Murder or Justice”. Usually women who are in a violent relationship, have seen friends or women in their families go through similar issues. They either die at the hand of their abuser, get away, or take matter into their own hands. This short film is about a woman who has an abusive spouse. She has been brutally beaten. Like most women in an abusive relationship, this isn’t the first time that she has been hit. Many times victims try to cover up for their abuser. The main character decides enough is enough. She takes steps towards change. “You will have to view the movie to see if it was murder or justice”, says Felicia Lenee. When Felicia isn’t acting or entertaining with a cause, she works in massage therapy. Being told she has healing hands, Felicia Lenee believes human touch is so important. She first realized her gift of massage when her niece was born weighing about 1lb. While the baby was in the premature department at the hospital, she massaged her niece every day for weeks. My niece is now 14 years old and getting all A’s in school. “My niece still demands a massage when I see her”, laughed Felecia Lenee. “That is when I finally came to a point in my life and realized my purpose. The world is hurting physically and mentally. What better way to take my gifts of acting, entertaining with a cause, and using massaging to heal the heart and body”, Felicia Lenee said.
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
K.I.M. Magazine asked Felicia what advice she could give to a young person that wants to run to Hollywood and to make it big. She told us that it’s tricky. “If you are doing this to become famous, you should keep walking pass this job because you are doing it for Felicia Lenee filming on top of the wrong reasons. the mountains in California But for those who are interested in acting as a true profession, you must have passion. It may take some time but you will see how your work impacts others”, says Felicia Lenee. “Having substance is important. You will go a lot farther and last a lot longer”. In Felicia Lenee’s downtime she enjoys playing basketball and sitting in coffee shops to observe people. To purchase the short film “Murder or Justice” please send a money order or check made out to Felicia L. Williams in the donation amount of $10 dollars to P.O. Box 220001 Santa Clarita, CA 91322. To find out more about the film “Murder of Justice”, visit www.facebook.com/MoJ or www.kickstarter.com. To reach Felicia Lenee for a performance or engagement, send an email to email@example.com.
Good women can not stay down They keep rising Like they’ve got wings Some special strength That cannot be seen A good woman will never quit She shakes off the pain It adds to her zeal She holds her head up Determined she’s going to live She keeps going forward She’s living her life No one is going to stop her Not hardship, not a no good man Not a broken heart or a great disappointment Not wagging tongues or pointing fingers Or a downward or sideward glance A good woman, a righteous woman A woman who knows who she is in God Cannot be stopped, she smiles and keeps going She’s not looking back She reaches for the invisible hand of God And she keeps stepping Like she hasn’t missed a beat She knows the power of prayer And will ride upon the storm Excerpt from the book: “Reflections” By: Talata Dorsey Founder of Sojourner Truth Community Theatre 310 Johnson St. Saginaw, MI 48604 www.sojournertruth communitytheater.com
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
LeAndria Cover Story
Johnson Life after BET''s Sunday Best Monique Riley
Being a 27 year old single mother of 3 children, who lost her home to foreclosure is enough to make a person want to throw in the towel. Instead, LeAndria Johnson, of Orlando, Florida, conjured up enough strength to go compete in season 3 of BET’s (Black Entertainment Television) Sunday Best. This show is the gospel version of American Idol. The auditions were held in New Orleans, Louisianna. Losing everything that she had the day before, she went in the audition where thousands of other singing hopefuls were trying out. One could only imagaine, with a tv show called Sunday Best that people are dressed to impress in their sunday best. LeAndria was wearing a hoodie, t shirt, and some blue jeans. She also had on black flip flops with thick white socks. She was clearly not trying to impress anyone. Her clothes were in bags and she came there with all she had. You’ve watched shows like American Idol or Sunday Best, where people come in looking crazing and can’t sing. I am quite sure people judged her as soon as they 12
saw her, including the judges on the audition panel. As I saw her on televisison walk into the room. I said to myself, “I bet you she is about to blow the judges minds”. She walked in the room. The judges looked at her like where are you going dressed like that. She began to sing a congregational hymn called, “This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made”. The judges were in awe. I know that the viewing audience had to be as well. Her voice, strong yet gentle tone gave me goosebumps. You could hear in her voice a triumphant power that had been through some storms but in spite of all, she was alive and living and that she would still be glad that the Lord made the day. I rewinded that audition over and over on my DVR. A lesson was learned by all in that moment in tv land. You can never judge a book by its cover. The judges unanimously voted and she was pushed into the competition. The entire season was hosted by Kirk Franklin, with judges being Mary
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Mary, Yolanda Adams, and Donnie McClurkin. LeAndria sung and tore the house down. Each song she sang was so perfect for the things she had gone through , “He Was There All The Time”, “In The Midst Of It All”, “I Love The Lord”, and “Leaping Into My Destiny”. Every performance gave goose bumps and had the audience and judges almost in tears. With two people left in the competition, 79 year old Elder Goldwire McClendon of Philadelphia, PA and LeAndria Johnson, she won. Over 2 million voted over the phone and through texting. As the “Sunday Best” winner of 2010, LeAndria won a 2010 Ford Taurus, a cash prize sponsored by Degree, and most importantly a recording contract.
But after the glitz and glam of the show, what is next? You step into celebrity over night. How does one deal with the pressure of stardom of winning a gospel competition called Sunday Best?
Moore is a song that helps me a lot. Sometimes I just sing to myself and freestyle to myself. That’s just what you have to do to heal yourself. K.I.M.: Are there any singers that inspire you? You mentioned that when you were 16, you got serious about singing, was it anyone you tried to model your style after because your voice is unique I hear a lot of different genres. LeAndria: I never tried to model myself after any one. I just enjoy the different tones of different singers, emotions and styles. But Dorinda Clark Cole and Rev. James Moore are my favorite male and female vocalists. And then you have John P. Kee, The Winans, Commisioned , oh and I love Tonex and there’s Ricky Dillard, Donald Lawrence, and the Mary Mary’s of the world. K.I.M.: I saw you playing the drums on YouTube, and you were jamming. Do you play any other instruments?
K.I.M. Magazine had a chance to talk with LeAndria Johnson about her life after BET’s Sunday Best. K.I.M.: Are you working on your new album right now? And who do you plan to work with on your album?
Host Kirk Franklin awaits judges reviews for LeAndria
LeAndria: Yes, I am working on my album. As far as who I’m working with, I really can’t say until it’s a sure thing but there are a lot of great things in the works. K.I.M.: How long have you been singing and what really encouraged you to get started singing? Have you always wanted to do this as a career? LeAndria: Not until the age of 16. That was when I wanted to make singing a part of my life in a different way. I have been singing as long as I can remember, I started performing when I was two. By the time I was 14 I knew I had a unique gift. By the time I was 16, I wanted to express my feelings and my pain through music. K.I.M.: Is there a specific song that you go to in time of need or when you need to be soothed? LeAndria: “He Was There All the Time” by James
LeAndria: Oh wow! Yes, I play the drums but it’s more of a hobby. I have to really be in that type of mind set to really play the drums. But as far as other instruments, I use to play the piano. I stopped playing when I was eight. I plan on going back to get lessons but I still can play.
K.I.M.: I saw an interview with you where you were speaking on the church. It seemed as if you were saying that in the church, things were not always addressed when it comes to young people trying to be saved. Do you think this may sometimes cause young people to stray away from the church? How important is it to you that a young person who’s trying to be saved, stay transparent or become transparent? Do you think we are losing people when we try to sweep things under the rug? LeAndria: Of course, that’s what going on in the world today. A lot of role models, a lot artists, and a lot of pastors are dealing with a lot of the same issues that we are dealing with as followers. And their view is, well I can’t expose myself. I can’t kill my witness. That’s their excuse. But for the young people from our generation, I need them to understand that yes, you love God and you chose him to be your pathway in life. But here you are,
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
you drink, you smoke, have premarital sex or your gay or a lesbian or you lie, you cheat or you’re a thief. If your like me and you fall in one of those categories, you feel like you can’t come to church, you can’t join the choir, you can’t play an instrument, you feel like you can’t be a part of that type of atmosphere. But you can! Take one day at a time to get where you need to be. I feel that everybody should have their own self-conviction because you can’t judge. You don’t have the right to judge. You may not be smoking, but you’re still drinking or you’re cursing. I wish people would quit judging. Judge your own self before you judge me. That’s why I’m so transparent that I tell people quick, after Sunday Best I fell. I sure did! I started drinking. I started smoking, I sure did! Yes, LeAndria said in her own words she did it. But the thing about it is I had to realize what God has given me. And through my own self conviction I was like, God has been too good to me to be just sitting here drinking and smoking just wasting your life and letting the devil take control of your life. So I stopped, I prayed for God to deliver me and he did. So I thank God for that. But that’s just where I’m at right now. I tell the story everywhere I go and pastors tell me don’t tell them you were drinking after you won Sunday Best. Why not? Why wouldn’t I tell them that’s what happened to me. I’m real. That’s just where I’m at. I just tell the truth I tell people all the time don’t fear Christians. Fear God. We are all in this world together.
thing. But when something happens to you don’t always go negative. Life and death is in the power of the tongue. We can be put in certain situations just so we can triumph and show people how real God is. I didn’t whine or cry about my situation. What good will that do? I had to keep it moving. K.I.M.: That brings to my last question. Who and what inspires you to keep it moving? LeAndria: Myself and God. My experience with God inspires me to keep it moving. What I know about God inspires me to keep it moving. You often hear that saying, it’s all about God. With my imperfect self, it is all about God. I am nothing without him.
LeAndria Johnson rejoices after winning BET’s Sunday Best Competition in 2010.
K.I.M.: I tell people all the time that my walk with God is my walk with God yours may not be the same but as long as you’re walking with him…. LeAndria: Right, I’m not expecting everyone to follow me. Everyone’s not going to follow me because they don’t have my faith. They have not been through what I have been through. Pastors tell me that you’re not ministering in my church, if you going to tell people that you were drinking. Well, I guess I’m not ministering in your church then. He who is without sin cast the first stone. In fact, that’s the name of one my songs. We die daily, no one is all sanctified and Holy Ghost filled all day. Nobody is, from the top bishop to the children. Christians need to get that out of their head. K.I.M.: Wow! I remember when you were on Sunday Best and you were talking about how you lost your house. It’s so many people going through that currently. What type of advice would you give them?
LeAndria Johnson with legendary stylist JBolin (left) and his team.
LeAndria: The only way to deal with that is to come to the realization that you did lose some14
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Young Black Professionals Tony Roberson is a native of Saginaw, MI. He attended Emerson Elementary, Central Junior High, and Saginaw High School. In his junior year in high school, he co-oped at Dow Chemical in Midland, MI. What motivated him to go to college? Tony said that he always wanted to go to college and took every step to make sure that he achieved his goal. He graduated from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He then went on to gain an Executive MBA at the University of South Florida. He is now employed at Leslie Controls in Tampa, Florida. His job is to help increase market share. Tony travels around the world to countries like Africa and China to speak to current and potential clients on engineering the best solution for their business. Tony told K.I.M. Magazine that he attributes his success to growing up with positive people in his life. â€œGrowing up in the inner city, with parents who didnâ€™t have a lot, and being surrounded by drugs and violence in my community, inspired me all the more to be successfulâ€?, says Tony.
Laneise HaulcyCollier was born and raised in the city of Saginaw. She attended Jones Elementary, Central Junior High, and graduated from Saginaw High School. She obtained a Bachelors of Arts and Bachelors of Business Admination at Saginaw Valley State University with a minor in German and Music Performance. Laneise has took full advantage of her college experience by participating in study abroad programs to Spain, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands. She speaks six different languages which are, spanish, french, german, mandarin chinese, american sign language, and japanese. Her life goal is to make a difference. Laneise told K.I.M. Magazine that she thrives on helping others and is thirsty for it. She volunteers her spare time working with youth by teaching piano, mime, and dance. Laneise would like to work in foreign relations. This would allow her to travel the world and associate with different cultures. Her dream job is to work under the direction of President Barack Obama in the White House.
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Birthing A dream
Coined as Saginaw’s only female promoter, Keva Clark is ready to soar. To cultivate a dream is to always be learning. “Sometimes it’s easy to lose focus of life and yourself. I thank God for allowing me to gain clarity in understanding my path”, says Keva. “I haven’t always seen things so clearly.
to develop the courage to get out and network with people. “I became a social butterfly after that”, Keva said. Growing up as a sheltered child in Elaine, Arkansas, Keva was not as apt to getting out meeting people and connecting. After her divorce, she found independence and began to look at the world in a different light. She began to blossom.
“ When my marriage ended in divorce after 12 years, I was faced with the questions of what do I do now. I was left to raise two children on my own. I had to start over”, Keva explains. Ms. Clark learned quickly that putting your trust in man will fail you every time. She began to focus on God and herself. Already having a bachelor’s degree in sociology and communications, she decided to further her education after her divorce. Keva obtained her teacher’s certification in communications and theatre. She is currently working on a masters in Educational Leadership. Sitting in church one Sunday, an idea came to her about a new business that she would start. “God gave me the name, KC Devine Christian Entertainment, said Keva. My company does promoting, artist management, concerts, and events. That can also include weddings and conferences. The great thing about this is that it is geared towards the Christian lifestyle. Growing up in church, I didn’t see a lot of events where Christians were having fun”, Keva explains. For her first five years, her company focused on doing conferences, poetry shows, and concerts. She wanted to assist in increasing the attendance of youth by drawing them in with a fun atmosphere.
Her first event was a concert where she brought in choirs like Eastern Michigan Gospel Choir and others from the Detroit area. In the beginning, her events started off with like 20 young people, now hundreds are coming to KC Devine events. This year she is bringing gospel rap artist, LeCrae to Saginaw. What is it like being the only female promoter in Saginaw, MI? Keva says it has it’s challenges, in this man’s world. “It’s not always easy bringing something new to an area, but I felt a need to do something different. At first, I had a challenge but, once I connected with promoters in Flint and Detroit, I knew I had my foot in the door”, said Keva. The support of her pastor and first lady at Word of Faith International Ministries motivated her to keep moving forward.
Keva expressed that her love for the public and the people of God pushed her into the entertainment field. Joining SVAALTI, (Saginaw Valley African American Leadership Training Institute), helped her
Working as an educator in the Leona Group School System, running a business, and being an involved mom is indeed a full plate. Keva told K.I.M. Magazine that having balance in your life is vital. “Putting God first and having great kids who understand what their mother has gone through and what she has become makes the difference. They understand the work that God has done in me”, smiled Keva. Her mission in life is to encourage single women, who may have left a bad relationship to know that they can and will make it in life. Keva says, “Know that failure is not an option. You can and you will make it. Turn your failure into success. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off and move into your destiny. If I can do it. You can too!”
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Man to Man Q: I am an 18 year old student at a very prestigious
she probably won’t forgive you until you have fin-
college. I am in a huge dilemma right now because
ished school and get a “real job”. No woman with
my girlfriend back home is pregnant with my child.
a newborn child wants to move hundreds of miles
I have always said that I would never be the type of
away from home being supported by a full time stu-
dad who made excuses as to why I couldn’t be there
dent with a part time job. If that’s the case, you
to raise my child. I also told myself that I would
need to be the one who makes the sacrifice. I think
finish school no matter what. Now I am consider-
you need to go back home. But don’t drop out of
ing walking away from a full ride scholarship to a
school. I don’t know where you live, but I’m sure
university that most people wouldn’t even dream of
there is a local college wherever you are. I under-
attending. Becoming a man kind of just snuck up
stand that it will not be the same as the prestigious
on me. Now I just don’t know what to do. –Terry
university that you’re at now. It will be really dif-
ficult to let go of your dream that you worked hard for, but being physically there for your child should
You are in no doubt a tough situation. One
now be your biggest dream. And you can live that
thing I will never tell a man to do is miss out on
dream while getting an education that will help you
his child growing up. I also will never tell a young
provide for your child in the future. Don’t let any-
man to walk away from a full ride scholarship to
thing stop you.
an elite university. So what I think you need to do is find a way to meet in the middle. The first step is to try and see if it is possible for the mother of your child to move to where you are. Most colleges
Are you a man looking for advice? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
have family housing. If she believes in you, that should not be a problem. Maybe she does not want to move that far away from her family. It is difficult for a young mother to move hundreds of miles away from her support system. So ask her about it but don’t pressure her to do it. It will take her years to forgive you for that. To be more specific, K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Embarrasing stories * I went to my friend’s grandmother’s funeral a couple of years ago. After everyone was seated, an older man came down the isle strutting and went all the way to the front of the church and sat next to the casket, but kept getting up and down, pacing back and forth. I exchanged crazy looks to my other friend that was also there. Afterwards, we both gave my friend a hug, and I’m the jokester of the crew, so I asked her, who invited the crazy uncle, (cause everyone has one). She said, “That’s my Dad”. I couldn’t believe it, I just said, OH! Come to find out he is a bi-polar schizophrenic! But she was cool, we all started laughing; talk about putting your foot in your mouth!!!
* I was attending the funeral of a friend’s brother in saginaw about 2 years ago in the winter. Now we all know the downside of Michigan winters, so we all can visualize what happened. I was walking with my two sisters crossing the street to the church and in the middle of the street was a patch of ice. My sister grabbed onto me to balance herself and I was the one who ended up falling in the middle of the street for ALL to SEE!!! I will never forget the laughter that came quickly after and the limp. I went in to the church with snow all over me. It’s a good thing we were going in the back entrance! 18
* My cousin’s girlfriend is pregnant. I only see this cousin once or twice a year. Since I only see my cousin once or twice a year, I only see his girlfriend once or twice a year. So the last two times I saw her, she was pregnant. The third time I saw her, it was on Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house with the whole family there. My cousin’s girlfriend walked through the door. I was as loud as I could possibly be when I said, “Wow you look like you’re really ready to have that baby. When is it due?” The entire room went silent for about five seconds. Then she broke the silence when she said, “I already had the baby four months ago.” Then my cousin walked through the door holding the baby looking confused while saying, “Why is everyone so quiet? What happened?” Without saying a word I just got up and left the house.
Do you have any funny stories that you would like to share? If so, send them to email@example.com
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Svsu’s Taste of soul Saginaw Valley State University hosted its annual Taste of Soul event during Black History Month on February 23, 2011 inside the RFoC cafeteria. It featured present and traditonal “soul food” that was available for the campus as well as the public in a buffet style. Beside students and falculty of SVSU, there ware many community leaders present like Joyce Harvin of Community Connections Radio Show, Leola Wilson of the NAACP, Delaina Spates - Allen of Saginaw Future and Saginaw Board of Education, and Audrey Parker owner of First Class Salon in Saginaw. This event featured five chefs from the Great Lakes Bay Region. Betty Williams from The Magic Kitchen in Saginaw prepared barbeque spare ribs. Natasha and Leon Burns, owners of the Rite Spot restaurant in Saginaw, prepared fried catfish. Carrie Fisher from the Gourmet Shoppe in Midland, MI provided red velvet cupcakes, and SVSU’s own Barbara Jean made greens. Recipe cards were available for students who desired to create their own soul food dish. Plates were full and so were the stomachs. “The food was great. I especially enjoyed the ribs” said Laura of the SVSU faculty. If you were not there, you missed out. Check it out next year! K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Meagan McNeal for this project.” said Meagan.
The first time I heard Meagan McNeal’s voice, I heard greatness. Her silky melodic jazz tones command attention to all who are present. You’ve heard of Jill Scott, Ledisi, and Floetry. It won’t be long before you hear Meagan McNeal’s name in that realm as well. This Chicago native started singing at the early age of 9 years old with a debut at her aunt’s wedding. Every since then she has been aiming to fulfill her dream of being a musical inspiration to the world.
Meagan McNeal’s CD, “Mind Set” takes it listener’s on a soulful journey with songs like “Rainwalk”. This song talks about a young girl who has dealt with obstacles in life but tries to overcome them. “Believin” is an inspirational song saying to never give up. The single, “Chocolate Dipped” is a hot song to share with the love in your life. It is sure to be a hit no doubt. Monique Riley
It was in 2007 that she began her solo career while attending Western Michigan University to study sales and business marketing. Working as an intern at Hidden Beach Records in 2009 & 2010, the label of Jill Scott and Kindred, she gained some perspective of the music world and all it entailed. Singing in some of the best venues, she has travelled from LA to Spain giving the world a taste of her unique hybrid sound. Meagan has had the opportunity to tour the country and open for singers like Dwele and Will.i.am of the group, Black Eyed Peas. She has even did background for Eminem and the O Jays. K.I.M. Magazine asked Meagan to tell us her concept of her album “MindSet”, which was released in December. “ I believe that products are birthed from what our mindset is. Therefore, if we think positive, the results will be positive. If we become negative then that is what is manifested through our lives. That is what I focussed on while creating songs 20
To purchase this awesome CD, “Mind Set”, visit www.meaganmcneal.com or www.cdbaby.com/cd/meaganmcneal or download on iTunes.
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
I’m Seeing Double
I recently celebrated with my husband an event that was absolutely wonderful. We honored fathers, who contributed not only to their own kids but to the community as a whole. I picked out a gorgeous dress and bought a magnificent scarf to go with it. I was fabulous. I posed for pictures and gave the photographer my “model smile.” I was given one of the pictures a lady had taken of me at the banquet and was confused. What I saw in the picture and how I see myself in my head were two different images. For a minute, I thought, “Oh my god, I think I’m seeing double.”
* Contemplative Stage: You are thinking about changing. * Action Stage: You are actively changing. * Maintenance Stage: You maintain your change. Ok, at this phase you have to be honest with yourself. I’m truly in the contemplative stage of change. I’m thinking about changing, but haven’t moved to action just yet. So, if you are like me, then here are a few steps that I hope you will consider to help you move to the next phase of change.
I thought hard about how to reconcile the picture in my head and the picture the lady had taken. I really am much-much skinnier in my head. At first, I made excuses for myself. Maybe the side profile was not the best shot. I did have 2 kids. Finally, I had to come back to the reality that maybe I’m the size I look in the picture. That was truly humbling. However, there was one bright side to the picture. I decided to use the infamous picture as the “before” picture, and hopefully in the future, there will be a fabulous me in an “after” picture. After much introspection, I was brought back to my New Year’s resolution. This was the year that I was going to lose weight. This was my year to be fabulous. But in order to become fab, I had to make some changes. I have been thinking about the stages of change. I would like to share them with you:
1. Set a reasonable goal. 2. Make time for yourself. 3. Get a partner that will hold you accountable. 4. Don’t get mad when your partner challenges you. If you start with these steps, you may be able to reconcile the two images of you. And, hopefully not see double.
Dr. Delicia Pruitt, MD. of Seals Medical Care 2002 Court Street Saginaw, MI 48602 (989) 799-2632
* Precontemplative Stage: You are not ready to change. K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Power of Dad
Saginaw, a city of great fathers! That’s what it read on a Power of Dad billboard a few months ago in Saginaw. Unfortunately, the billboard which was supposed to be positive and inspiring received negative reviews from lots of people in the city. How can you blame them, after all there are a great number of kids in this city who have absent or inconsistent fathers. For a long time now, whenever you heard something about fathers in Saginaw it was always negative. That is no longer the case. K.I.M. Magazine is proud to cover Brian Pruitt’s first annual Power of Dad Fatherhood Recognition Awards held at the Horizon Center in Saginaw, MI. Eight great fathers were acknowledged, applauded and awarded for their great work.
of the Power of Dad organization. Brian Pruitt was known first for being a great football player at Central Michigan University, where he was second in the Nation in rushing yards in 1994. He is now leading the Nation in the fight against fatherlessness. His organization, Power of Dad, mentors thousands of fatherless children. He travels all around the country speaking, motivating and inspiring men to take their rightful place as fathers. Brian initially wanted all eight of the men who were awarded to receive a sword to symbolize their weapon in the fight against fatherlessness. Thankfully, the Power of Dad Board concluded that it would not be a good idea to give swords to eight men in a crowded room. However, as a surprise to Brian Pruitt, he Katie O’Mara from WNEM TV5 was awarded a sword for all of his news was the MC for the event and hard work and dedication. she was moved to tears on more “As someone who grew up fatherDetroit Lion’s than one occasion by the award less, I vow to be the worst nightmare Luther Ellis presentations. The guest speaker on to fatherlessness.” that night was former Detroit Lion’s Brian PruittLuther Ellis. Who better to be a guest speaker at a Power of Dad event than a man who has eleven Detroit Lion Defensive Lineman, kids? The 2 time Pro Bowler talked about how beLuther Ellis speaks to K.I.M. Magazine ing a successful football star does not make you a great dad or husband. He realized he had to work K.I.M. Magazine: What prompted you to get just as hard at being an active, involved, hands on start working with nonprofit organizations? father as he had to work hard to be a great football player. “It’s not enough to just go to work and Luther Ellis: Just like Brian Pruitt, I think it bring home a check, being a father is about so was the overall message here. Being a father, bemuch more than that,” said Ellis. ing a man, this country calls for us to step up and be an example and try to give back to our comThe night was capped off by an unexpected munities outside of our own sphere of life. Many award that was given to Brian Pruitt, the Founder of us get caught into our own world, that we forget 22
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
that there are other people out there. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day of you just donating your time, there is always a way to give back. K.I.M. Magazine: When you spoke tonight, you mentioned an acronym called R.E.A.L. what does that mean? Luther Ellis: It means reject passivity, engage with other men, accept responsibility and lead courageously.
Dr. Eugene Seals, MD. and Former Mayor Joyce Seals
K.I.M. Magazine: With you being in the NFL and being a star was it hard to become the man you needed to be? At what point did you accept and live the R.E.A.L. acronym? Luther Ellis: Well it’s from the point of having a couple children to three or four children to quite honestly being overwhelmed. I had the feeling that I didn’t know how to be a father. I’m not saying my father did a bad job. But my father wasn’t a great example for me when I was growing up. He was passive. He was there in the home but he was not active, he didn’t engage the way I thought he should have engaged. In the midst of everything going on in my life, I met a guy who taught me how to be a father and a husband. He also led me to Christ. That was the turning point when I really accepted R.E.A.L. and started truly putting my family first. To learn more about the Power of Dad non-profit organization, visit www.powerofdad.org.
Detroit Lion Luther Ellis and Brian Pruitt
TV5 Katie O’Mara
Award Recipient Andre Buckley
The Eight honored fathers with Luther Ellis & Brian Pruitt
Vice President of K.I.M. Magazine, Clover Riley & Founder of Power of Dad Organization, Brian Pruitt, prepare for the battle against fatherlessness.
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011
Free Admission - Donations Accepted 24
K.I.M. Magazine March 2011