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The business of philanthropy:

Detroit’s gospel giants featured in local exhibit

Focus:HOPE raises the non-profit bar

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Volume 80 – Number 34

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May 3-9, 2017

Fox 2 Detroit News accused of shaming black elected officials By Councilman Scott Benson Special to the Michigan Chronicle

On Monday, Fox 2 News aired a story seeking to make an issue of the number of Detroit City Council employees that do not live within the city of Detroit. While Fox 2 News retains the right to pursue stories that they feel are in the public interest, it is questionable and concerning that they have a pattern of aggressively seeking to shame and embarrass elected officials, who overwhelmingly are black, with flimsy stories that seek to sensationalize trivial or Councilman even non-isScott Benson sues.

COMMENTARY

For the sake of full disclosure, I was included in the Fox 2 piece. According to the reporter, it is apparently newsworthy that one out of my eight employees is not currently a Detroit resident. That particular employee was a longtime resident of Detroit until he and his family were the victims of a violent crime and moved outside of the city limits for their own safety. I also have a part-time consultant on a six-month contract who does not reside in Detroit. Prior to his untimely death, our beloved Bruce Feaster, may God bless his soul, was a part-time employee who lived in Harper Woods. However, all of my staff members, past and present, work tirelessly every day for the city. I am proud of my team and even prouder of my well-established track record of working to bring thousands of jobs to Detroiters —more than the one or two positions Fox 2 chooses to highlight. Last week, I joined the mayor to break ground on the new $95 million Flex-N-Gate facility, which will bring over 600 jobs to my district, about 400 of which will be online by the summer of 2018.  In 2015, my involvement in the community engagement process with Linc Logistics brought 200 jobs to the 3rd District, with 80 percent of those jobs going to Detroiters. These are the stories that need to be told. I personally support residency for city employees, but people

See SHAME page A-4

WHAT’S INSIDE

The tangled web of the

Jacksons See page D-1

$1.00

The power of brotherhood By Keith A. Owens Senior Editor

“Dennis and I were just talking and we said hey, let’s do something so that the next generation can see what happens when brothers come together, stay together, work together, pray together, lose together, win together. And I think that hopefully that’s what this naming will mean. It will mean that anybody from anywhere can accomplish anything.” — Dr. Bill Pickard That conversation took place nearly half a century ago, when a young Bill Pickard and Dennis Archer were roommates at Western Michigan University in a dormitory semi-humorously known at the time as “Hungry Hall,” because it was the only dormitory on campus that didn’t serve food. Archer was planning on going into education, and Pickard’s major was social work. The two were also bonded through their fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, which created a valued social network and place of refuge on the predominantly white campus during the 1960s. But it was Ron Hall, the third man completing the trio of brothers, who both Archer and Pickard acknowledge was the genius of the group. A mathematics major, Hall was actually one of the co-founders of the Epsilon Xi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha on WMU’s campus that they all joined. Before his untimely death last year, Hall more than established himself as one of the most respected, gifted and astute business leaders in (at least) the entire state of Michigan.

William F. Pickard

Dennis W. Archer

Ronald E. Hall

Half a century later, thanks to a generous $3,050,000 philanthropic gift to the university from Dr. Pickard, a trio of new university facilities will be named in honor of the trio of brothers who met and became friends on the WMU campus, and who remained hugely supportive of each other, and of their university, throughout the years. From the press release:

dent of the American Bar Association as well as a former trustee; and

to honor the people so critical throughout his life really illustrate the transformational power that comes from friendship, common goals and powerful learning experiences.”

“Acting at its April 27 meeting, the WMU Board of Trustees approved naming two campus residence halls and a Heritage Hall conference room for the three alumni who met at WMU in the 1960s. They are: • Ronald E. Hall, a 1965 WMU alumnus, Detroit civic and business leader and automotive executive who died June 1, 2016, halfway into his eight-year term as a WMU Trustee; • Dennis W. Archer Sr., a 1965 WMU alumnus, former Detroit mayor, former member of the Michigan Supreme Court and past presi-

• William F. Pickard, a 1964 alumnus who is a current WMU trustee, longtime Detroit entrepreneur, and founder and chairman of the Global Automotive Alliance. Action by the WMU board April 27 means that, in recognition of a $3,050,000 gift recently made by Pickard to the university and in celebration of the three friends’ lifelong bonds and ties to WMU, the two residence halls that comprise the Western Heights complex will be named Hall-Archer-Pickard Hall East and Hall-Archer-Pickard Hall West. In addition, a conference room on the main level of Heritage Hall will be named the Hall-Archer-Pickard Conference Room.” “The lifelong bonds these men nurtured over the years are exactly the kinds of connections we wish for all of our students,” said WMU President John M. Dunn. “Trustee Pickard’s gift and his desire

Reminiscing about the conversation he and his old college roommate shared all those years ago, Pickard said “We never thought it would be anything like this, of course. I thought Dennis would become principal of a school, I thought I would become head of the Flint Urban League, or something like that. Pontiac Urban League. But Ron was the smartest guy. I mean, can you imagine a black guy, a math major?” But regardless of what they had imagined at the time, the careers of all three men — one from Cassopolis (Archer), another from Flint and the third a Cass Tech graduate from Detroit — their collective trajectory of overwhelming success and

See BROTHERHOOD page A-4

Additional $1.6 million in funding for the Water Residential Assistance Program for 2,000 low-Income Detroit residents The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Board of Directors this week approved a $1.7 million reallocation of WRAP (Water Residential Assistance Program) funding to the City of Detroit, as well as to the City of Flint, upon its return to GLWA as a contract customer, which is a program requirement. This brings the total commitment for Detroit eligible low-income residential households to $7.3 million since WRAP was launched on March 1, 2016. The reallocated funding is from the uncommitted 2016 bill assistance funds from GLWA’s three major county partners — Wayne, Oakland and Macomb. Of the $1.7 million being reallocated, just over $1.6 million will be directed to the City of Detroit, and approximately $132,000 will be set aside to provide future assistance to eligible Flint households once Flint executes the proposed long-term contract with GLWA. “The decision by the GLWA

consumption in the city are also eligible for a free water conservation audit, and up to an additional $1,000 for minor household plumbing repairs based on audit results.

Board of Directors to reallocate uncommitted funding to Detroit and Flint reinforces the spirit of regional collaboration that was at the heart of the Authority’s formation,” said Sue F. McCormick, chief executive officer of GLWA WRAP, which is administered by Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, provides qualifying customers at or below 150 percent of the federal pover-

ty threshold with help in paying current and past-due water bills. Eligible customers receive a $25 monthly credit toward current water bills with any arrears suspended for 12-24 months. Customers who make their monthly payments for six months receive an additional credit of up to $350 toward the arrearages (up to $700 during a 12-month period). Qualifying residents with water usage exceeding 120 percent of the average household water

“We are committed to making sure every Detroit water customer has a path toward assistance,” said Gary Brown, director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. “The reallocated funding for Detroit allows us to continue this help by enrolling up to 2,000 more Detroit households who face financial difficulties in paying their water bill. This is in addition to the nearly 6,000 enrolled in WRAP now. A robust and comprehensive program with a 90 percent retention rate, WRAP has reduced Detroit low-income residents’ water account balances and decreased their bill to the average residential bill of close to $50 for a two-person household.” Since its inception in March

See FLINT page A-4


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Continued increase in hepatitis A cases in Southeast Michigan Public health officials and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are continuing to see an elevated number of hepatitis A cases in the city of Detroit, and counties of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne. “Together with our local health partners, we are increasing outreach to vulnerable populations to raise awareness and promote vaccination of hepatitis A,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of MDHHS. “Those who live, work, or play in the city of Detroit, as well as Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties are urged to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and talk to their healthcare provider about their risks.” From August 1, 2016 to March 21, 2017, 107 cases of lab-confirmed hepatitis A have been reported to public health authorities in these jurisdictions. This represents an eightfold increase during the same time last year. Ages of the cases range from 22 to 86 years, with an average age of 45 years. The majority of the cases have been male. Eighty-five percent of the cases have been hospitalized with two deaths reported. Approximately one-third of the cases have a history of substance abuse, and 16 percent of all cases are co-infected with hepatitis C. No common sources of infection have been identified. Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease. While the hepatitis A vaccine is recommended as part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule, most adults have not

been vaccinated and may be susceptible to the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for: • All children at age 1 year • Close personal contacts (e.g., household, sexual) of hepatitis A patients • Users of injection and non-injection illegal drugs • Men who have sex with men • People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Persons with chronic liver disease have an elevated risk of death from liver failure • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates • Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A • Family members or caregivers of a recent adoptee from countries where hepatitis A is common Individuals with hepatitis A are infectious for two weeks prior to symptom onset. Symptoms of hepatitis A include jaundice (yellowing of the skin), fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and light-colored stools. Symptoms usually appear over a number of days and last less than two months; however, some people can be ill for as long as 6 months. Hepatitis A can sometimes cause liver failure and death. Risk factors for a hepatitis A infection include living with someone who

has hepatitis A, having sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A, or sharing injection or non-injection illegal drugs with someone who has hepatitis A. The hepatitis A virus can also be transmitted through contaminated food or water. MDHHS encourages residents in the city of Detroit and Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to check their hepatitis A vaccination status and talk to their healthcare provider about their risks for hepatitis A. Contact your local health department if you have questions or for more information.

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Flint water crisis continues three years later By D.L. Chandler In the three years since the Flint water crisis began, plans to overhaul the city’s crumbling water infrastructure are slow in development. Flint Mayor Dr. Karen Weaver is managing the crisis amid protests from residents demanding answers. April 25 marked three years since Flint switched its water source to the Flint River. Mayor Weaver has managed to secure emergency government funding but not the disaster-level funding she initially aimed for. Further, the city won a rare victory at the end of March when the state Michigan agreed to a $97 million settlement to make repairs to the water system. Last week, Weaver held a town hall meeting at a local church to discuss the city’s plan to continue using Detroit’s

water system, reports the Flint Journal. Six people were arrested for disturbing the meeting although many of the 100 residents in attendance were able to raise concerns about the safety of Flint’s water going forward. Weaver’s plan is to continue purchasing water from the Great Lakes Water Authority and establishing a 30-year contract with the service. Weaver hopes that an agreement with the city and the Genesee County Drain Commissioner’s Office and the Great Lakes Water Authority can navigate the approval process. While the town hall was the only scheduled public meeting so far, Weaver suggested she may host a series of radio town halls. Flint citizens have until May 20 to comment on Weaver’s recommendation to stay with Detroit’s water system.

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May 3-9, 2017

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Wigle Rec Center site new home for Midtown West

Developers will spend $77 million to bring more than 300 new residential units, 8000 square feet of retail space and one acre of public open space to the vacant site of the former Wigle Recreation Center. The new mixed-use development is intended to help meet the growing demand for housing in the city of Detroit.

the largest city-owned vacant parcel in Midtown, will have a significant impact on the surrounding community. Not only will it bring hundreds of new residential units to the neighborhood, it will also create permanent and temporary jobs. Developers The city chose PDH Development Group, LLC as the developer for the Wigle site. The group is a partnership between native Detroiter Roderick Hardamon and New York-based developer Mario Procida, a Bronxbased developer with expertise in market rate and affordable housing. Procida has previously worked with the City of New York and local community groups in Brooklyn and the Bronx to bring innovative, affordable housing to the neighborhoods.

PDH Development Group, a partnership between Detroit-based developer Roderick Hardamon and New York-based developer Mario Procida, will transform the 7-acre vacant lot into one of the largest residential and commercial developments in Midtown. Under the current terms, PDH will purchase the land from the city for $1.8 million. The development, known as Midtown West, will include 335 new residential units, 175 of them rental units and 160 for sale units. Thirty-five of the rental units will be affordable housing for residents making a maximum of 80 percent of the area’s median income. “Demand for living in De-

troit continues to grow and the Midtown West development will help us to meet the demand while putting seven acres of vacant city owned land back on the tax rolls,” said Mayor

Duggan. “As with any residential project that receives city support, the developers have agreed to reserving 20 percent of the rental units for low-income residents.” The $77 million development also will be subject to the city’s Community Benefits Agreement, which will require a community engagement process as the development moves forward. The project is the first residential development to go through the CBA process and the first in District Six. The project is also subject to Executive Order 2016-1, which requires that 51 percent of the hours worked on the project must be worked by Detroit residents. Two hundred temporary jobs related to construction will be created, with over 100

jobs expected to go to Detroiters. Eleven permanent jobs will also be created. The project, which is expected to break ground by fall 2018, will be completed in two phases. Phase I will include 167 of the 335 proposed new residential units. Phase I also includes the construction of 8000 square feet of new rental space, the one acre public open space, and a new street grid. The new grid will see the reopening of Fourth Street from Selden to Brainard and the rebuilding of Tuscola from Third Street to the Lodge access road. Phase II will see the completion of the residential units and some commercial space. Midtown West, which will fill

Procida is partnering with Detroit native Roderick Hardamon’s URGE Development Group, a real estate development and business innovation firm based in Detroit. Hardamon brings 20 years of experience in strategy, business innovation, mergers and acquisitions and operational transformation to the partnership. “Our team is excited to have been selected to develop the Wigle Rec Center site. We expect that our development will transform and anchor the western edge of Midtown and will positively benefit the community and its surroundings,” said Procida. “With its commitment to high level architecture and sustainable design, Midtown West will be an award- winning development and most importantly, a spectacular place to live.”


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Brotherhood accomplishment stands in a category all its own. But it is a record of accomplishment that never would have happened had they not been able to depend and lean on each other — frequently — throughout the years. Brothers. “Calling for help whenever we needed each other. We did some socializing together, but it was basically … man, I’m serious … when I was in my business journeys there were two or three times when without these guys, I would not have made it. I wouldn’t have made it. I would not have made it, man.” As an example, “I had a company that was almost in bankruptcy, and it was Ron Hall and Dennis, and some other folks that were really orchestrating the strings with the customers and the community and the lawyers, that helped me get out of it. Alex Parrish was my lawyer, and Ron was the head of Michigan Minority Business Development Council, and Dennis was the mayor at that time, and they were all talking a lot without my even knowing it. And all of the sudden one day (makes whistling noise) I was OK.” He continued, “Well, the story gets better because what happened is Dennis was appointed to the [WMU] board by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. And then, when Dennis’ term was up, Snyder was governor, and

choose where they live for a variety of reasons, including a spouse’s work situation, children and health. My office follows all hiring requirements and there is no ordinance that allows the city to impose a residency requirement upon its employees. Most reporters are aware that the state removed Detroit’s ability to require residency back in 1999.  If the true intent of the story is to highlight residency concerns, then why only focus on the relatively small staffs of nine Detroit City Council members versus the 52 percent of city employees who no longer reside in Detroit, and the negative fiscal implications on the general fund?  This issue is common knowledge across Detroit and a concern of City Council. As a body, Detroit City Council has been working to resolve this issue by authorizing and supporting a number of solutions, like Detroit Land Bank policies that incentivize Detroit employees to purchase homes and land, at a discount, within the city of Detroit.  In addition, City Council is implementing policies and passing balanced budgets that make Detroit a job-friendly, safe city where people want to invest, live and grow their families. Yet, the hard work done by our elected officials to improve our quality of life is routinely undermined by our local media’s anti-Detroit bias, which has been well documented for generations.  Television newsrooms are nearly 80 percent white, according to the Radio and Television News Directors Association.  In Detroit, this situation creates a fertile breeding ground for biased coverage that seeks to undermine, eliminate credibility and criminalize blacks from Hasse Street to the Erma J. Henderson Auditorium in both subtle and blatant ways.  In an effort to combat this negative Detroit bias, we have to stand up and hold our local media outlets

Page A-4

From page A-1 he said, ‘Hey man, one of you guys has got to come on the board. And I said, ‘Ron, congratulations, it’s you because I’m too busy!’ So Ron went on the board. And then, when Ron passed away, I called the governor and I said, ‘Hey, I gotta step up now. I gotta finish his term, because this is important for us.’ Now at that time, I didn’t know if we were gonna do a building or not. I simply wanted to complete the term. And then Dennis and I started talking a little bit and I said, you know what? Let’s see if we can do this. And just to show you how God works, man, the building that Ron lived in (Bigelow Hall) has been torn down. OK? The new building is built on the ground where Ron’s building was. “[But] see, this is what is so sweet to me. I was on the board at Grand Valley State University when I was in my early thirties in Allendale, Michigan. And they named the Living Center in my name, the William F. Pickard Living Center. And man, I tell you, at that time I didn’t have the money to even pay for the building. But they did it because they felt I would one day be able to do it. And now you go full circle, and I got another building named after me at Western Michigan University. God is awesome, man. God is awesome.” Unlike Hall and Pickard, Archer did not start his college career at WMU, but transferred from Wayne State University.

Ron Hall Sr. (r) and Dr. Bill Pickard. Hall co-founded the Alpha Phi Alpha chapter on Western Michigan University's campus that he, Pickard, and Archer all joined while students at WSU.

Shame

May 3-9, 2017

“I think I got up there about ’63 or so,” he said, where he met Hall and Pickard for the first time. “I did not have a clue of what I was going to do beyond graduating from Western and starting to teach, and looking forward to that. I did not have any idea that would have led me to what I’ve done of recent note. But the commonality that the three of us had was that our parents and mothers were very strong on our graduating from college.” That commonality led to a lifelong bond producing a whole far greater than the sum of its parts. One of the best examples of that occurred during Archer’s tenure as mayor of the city of Detroit. It was his administration that was involved in the beginnings of Comerica Park and Ford Field, as well as Compuware when it moved downtown, plus the three casinos that had been approved by Detroit City Council. Recognizing the need for Detroit to benefit from these major developments, Archer’s corporation counsel, Phyllis James, crafted Executive Order 4 “which required all of our city departments to do 30 percent of their spend with Detroit businesses. And that was able to make sure that businesses of color that had remained in the city of Detroit got a chance to do work on city projects,” said Archer. “Well, as it turned out, the Ford family, the Ilitch family, the three casinos and Compuware all agreed to follow Executive Order 4. I asked Ron Hall, who at that time was CEO of MMBDC, to take on the responsibility to make sure that businesses of color had opportunity to do work with all of those major investments. Ron did a spectacular job. That’s when Ron was recognized for his enormous talent and General Motors suggested that it would be wise that a company was formed with Ron because of his enormous talents. “Ron came to the attention, also, of Johnson Controls. And so they saw what Ron was able to do and how he was able to work with a lot of interesting and great people from different walks of life and his capacity in heading up the MMBDC that General Motors approved a new business called Bridgewater, which Ron built into a billion-dollar business before he regrettably died. His son now is the CEO of Bridgewater.” Hall’s wife, Ann, spoke about her late husband in a

From page A-1 accountable to provide fair and balanced reporting. We do not need reporting based on racist ideology or biased preconceptions, which seek to control black behavior and over-penalize and sensationalize commonplace occurrences. The propensity for these newsrooms to manufacture smoke so they can chase the overwhelmingly black City Council staff and other elected officials does not move Detroit forward but only seeks to perpetuate dangerous stereotypes and relive a past that Detroiters are moving away from. The acclaimed journalist Walter Lippmann wrote that societal feelings, beliefs, opinions and actions are responses to the “pictures in our head” not to the world itself. Media outlets, like Fox 2, now provide most of the pictures that shape our reality, giving news outlets a serious responsibility for shaping public discourse and the context for the creation of policy.  This should create a situation where Fox 2 thinks long and hard about the “pictures” they project to the world.  Unfortunately, the picture Fox 2 prefers includes confronting black elected officials unannounced at their doorstep, adding an element of “gotcha!” and unpreparedness, which conveys an appearance of guilt when the subjects were simply caught off guard.  A prime example is when I respectfully declined an on-air interview and offered to answer any questions via email. The reporter showed up, unannounced, in my front yard, confronting me and intimidating my wife at 8:15 am on Good Friday. Detroiters have to let the journalists covering our city know that we will no longer support the disproportionate focus on negative stories that target black elected officials. Detroiters want the “pictures in our heads” to be a fair and balanced representation of who we are and our historical

contributions to this city. We should also question how often Fox 2 airs similar stories using similar tactics about white politicians. Fifty three years ago, Malcolm X said, “If you aren’t careful the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”  (Speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, Dec. 13, 1964) We will not stand for continued media injustice. I invite the Fox 2 news management and other media representatives to an open meeting to have an important dialogue about issues of bias in local coverage.  We hope the local media community will accept this invitation.

Flint

From page A-1 2016, 58 GLWA customer communities have opted-in to WRAP, which is a first of its kind program in Michigan and one of only a few sustainable assistance plans in the country.  Initial WRAP funding for fiscal year 2016 was $4.5 million, which was expected to assist nearly 5,000 households in Southeast Michigan. From March 2016 to April 2017, nearly $6 million has been dedicated to Detroit from the total WRAP allocation and several other funding sources, bringing the total amount committed today to $7.3 million for assistance in Detroit. To date: Number of Detroit households enrolled in WRAP: 5,766; Number of Detroit households receiving minor home plumbing repairs: 558; Amount of funds used for minor home plumbing repairs: $325,534.38. Eligible residents may apply for WRAP by calling 313386-9727 or learn more at waynemetro.org/wrap.

Dennis Archer (L) and Dr. Bill Pickard. The two were roommates in the early '60s at Western Michigan University separate statement: “My family and I are so pleased that Western Michigan University has chosen to honor Bill Pickard, Dennis Archer and my late husband Ron by naming such an important campus facility after them. The university meant so much to Ron. I believe his days in Kalamazoo as an undergraduate set him on his life’s path and it was there that he met Bill and Dennis, two of his closest friends. “Bill, Ron and Dennis supported each other’s successes, for so many years, and I hope that seeing their names togeth-

er on WMU’s campus will be an inspiration to students, faculty and alumni of ‘Bronco nation’ for many years to come.” Said Bill Pickard: “I would say to all the young people, but especially the young African-American men and women who walk those grounds [at Western Michigan University] that they should know that we came under some challenging situations and yet, we not only achieved and succeeded, but we have given back to our community and now we’re giving forward in hopes that this will be a symbol to them of what can be done.

Michelle Davis

Coleman A. Young Foundation names Michelle Davis Educator of the Year

By Khary Turner

Special to the Michigan Chronicle

Michelle Davis has made her way back to the spotlight. In March, the Michigan Chronicle featured her work with The Brotherhood, the male mentoring program she started at Davis Aerospace Technical High school in Detroit. And now, the Coleman A. Young Foundation has named her the 2017 Fred Martin Detroit Educator of the Year. Davis is being honored Monday, May 8, as part of the Foundation’s CAYF Day activities. She will receive the award and be recognized in the morning, at the Annual Awards Experience breakfast, at MGM grand Detroit. A 5 p.m., a mixer and toast to Detroit scholars at Savannah Blue restaurant ends the day. The Coleman A. Young Foundation will also recognize five students who are receiving 2017 Coleman A. Young scholarships, which are valued up to $22,000, and book scholarships valued at $2,000. The Foundation has, since its founding in 1982, been a leader in helping Detroit youth succeed in college. By mentoring every scholarship recipient through a systematic process, the organization has maintained a 91 percent college graduation rate since 1995. Approximately 60 percent of scholar graduates return to Detroit to live and work. The Educator of the Year selection caught Davis by surprise, but she quickly adopted a perspective representative of the Detroit Public Schools Community District. “It feels amazing,” she said, “but it also feels surreal because there’s not necessarily a concrete educator of the year. So many educators give so much. They come early and stay late, tutor kids on their lunch hour and pour into kids, doing whatever they can with what they know. So many are educators of the year without the award.

“Whatever the children need, God uses us as a vessel. It’s coming through us, not from us. So I’m grateful because I feel like someone is saying, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ It kind of feels like the Coleman A. Young Foundation is saying that.” Davis was chosen among a field of nominees that included top educators from Detroit’s public and charter schools. An outpouring of heartfelt endorsements from colleagues, current and past students and community leaders made the impact on her students’ lives obvious. Among the evaluators was Fred Martin, the man after whom the award is named. Martin is a board member emeritus for the Foundation, and served as Mayor Coleman Young’s deputy personnel director and chief of staff. He was also an educator deputy superintendent of schools. Turner says that Martin, 98, found Davis’ reflective of the impact he pushed teachers to make on students when her served. Davis says the work is exhaustive, but she believes she is working in her purpose. The fact that she enjoys helping students develop is a bonus. “They get to create the life they want for themselves by the decisions they make today,” she says. “Those decisions propel them to the next level. That’s what I want for them.” Underscoring her commitment is the fact that Davis used the moment to plead for male mentors to support the young men at Davis. She started the program out of necessity, and in the absence of a male-led initiative. Now, she is asking men to get involved, by committing two 90-minute Friday sessions a month to spending time at the school. To learn more about the CAYF Day activities, visit “Events” at www.cayf.org. Khary Turner is executive director of the Coleman A. Young Foundation.


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May 3-9, 2017

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Progressive Women’s Caucus works to end wage discrimination The Progressive Women’s Caucus has introduced a 12-bill package that seeks to end wage discrimination in Michigan. While protecting equal pay is important for everyone, wage discrimination disproportionality impacts women in Michigan. The bills are being introduced to coincide with Equal Pay Day in Michigan. Women have to work into April of the year in order to earn what men earned in the previous year. April 4 of this year was recognized as National Equal Pay Day. “Wages lost to pay discrimination mean that women and their families have less money to support themselves, less money to spend in their communities, less money to save for the future and fewer opportunities to offer their children,” said state Rep. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), vice chairwoman of the PWC. “Families, businesses and our state economy all suffer because of this wage gap. It’s time for all of my colleagues — from both sides of the aisle — who say that they support pay equity and a thriving economy to join us to pass this legislation and see it signed into law.” According to 2017 wage data released by the National Partnership for Women and Families,

a typical white, non-Hispanic Michigan woman earns 74 cents for every dollar earned by a typical Michigan man when both have a similar education and experience level. The gap between men’s and women’s earnings is even greater for African-American women, who earn 64 cents, and Hispanic women, who earn 57 cents for each dollar earned by a man. That equates to an annual earning deficit of nearly $13,000 for full-time working women, which has serious, real-world implications for Michigan families. It could cover more than a year’s worth of groceries, about 5,500 gallons of gasoline, could help a woman save for retirement or post-secondary education for her children, and in many cases, cover a year’s worth of rent or mortgage payments. “Today is Equal Pay Day at the state capitol, and I am proud to join my colleagues and residents from across the state to say that we cannot talk about improving Michigan’s economy without first ending the pay gap,” said PWC Chairwoman Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit). “Many Michigan women are the primary or co-breadwinner in their family, and we all know women who are the

cluding religion, race and color,” said state Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids). “Prices have gone up, so gas costs more, groceries cost more and that makes it even harder on women who aren’t paid equally. At the very least, we can provide equal pay for equal work so women have a better chance to provide what their families need.”

head of their household. The wage gap is one of the most important economic factors affecting Michigan families, and so we are again introducing legislation to ensure pay equity.” The bills in the PWC pay equity package would: • Require employers to disclose, upon request, wage information for similarly situated employees. • Expand the prohibition of wage discrimination by amending the ­Workforce Opportunity

Wage Act.

“Not only is there a wage gap for women. Mothers experience an even larger disparity when compared to fathers,” said Danielle Atkinson, executive director of Mothering Justice. “We have an opportunity in Michigan to dismantle wage discrimination so every person can care for themselves and their families — it’s time to pass this legislation.”

ity between sexes.

• Amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to create a commission on pay equity within the Department of Civil Rights. • Require employers to post and inform employees about equal pay laws. • Create new user-friendly tools to report pay disparity in the workplace. • Require the state to include a review of wage differentials in its annual report with the goal of decreasing wage dispar-

• Allow remedies for wage discrimination under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. • Create an incentive awards program for employers who take steps to eliminate wage discrimination in the workplace and establish penalties for companies that don’t comply with equal pay laws. “My bill ensures that employers cannot discriminate when it comes to wages based on sex or any other category, in-

PWC members and their Democratic colleagues have introduced and fought for pay equity legislation in the last two legislative terms. “My colleagues and I will again fight for pay equity because it is one of the important issues facing us as a society,” said state Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit). “Making sure that workers are paid equally shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It’s unconscionable to allow people to be paid differently for doing the same work.”

Shirley Stancato receives honorary degree for work promoting racial equity

Shirley R. Stancato

Shirley R. Stancato, president and chief executive officer of New Detroit, has received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from University of Michigan for her efforts to promote racial equity in the region. U-M Regent Mark Bern­ stein conferred the degree with UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little during UM-Dearborn’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, April 30.

and racial divides,” Bernstein said, reading from the formal citation. “You inspire students and others with your commitment to create a more inclusive society and eliminate race as an obstacle to progress.”

“We celebrate your many contributions to Detroit and the state of Michigan, as an engaged citizen, champion of education and architect of civic engagement opportunities that bridge economic, geographical

Stancato, a prominent civic leader, expert on race relations and social justice advocate, joined New Detroit in 2000. Under her leadership, New Detroit, the nation’s oldest urban

This marked just the 11th time the University of Michigan Board of Regents has awarded an honorary degree at a UM-Dearborn commencement ceremony.

coalition, has developed ambitious initiatives to identify and eliminate racial disparities in Southeast Michigan. Little noted that Stancato also has been a longtime friend and partner of the university. She is an active member of the UM-Dearborn Citizens Advisory Committee and supports New Detroit–campus partnerships that benefit students and the region. She previously served as a commencement speaker for the campus. Prior to joining New Detroit, Stancato worked for what is now Chase Bank and its predecessor companies for more

than 30 years, rising to the position of senior vice president. She is a board member of the Coleman A. Young Foundation, Excellent Schools Detroit, Fifth Third Bank–Eastern Michigan, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, DTE Energy Community Advisory Council, Wayne State University President’s Community Advisory Group, Detroit Zoological Commission and the Statewide Educational Achievement Authority. A lifelong Detroiter, Stancato earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayne State University.

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presented by presented by WCCCD’s School of Continuing Education and The Bookworm Club WCCCD’s School of Continuing Education and The Bookworm Club in partnership with in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District and the Detroit Public Library Detroit Public Schools Community District and the Detroit Public Library Com and se eCome presented by much f anedhsoew presented by muucnhrfeadienghow he T can be un reaClub y of Continuing CCD’s School Education and The Bookworm aWCCCD’s e w h dClub School of Continuing Education and The Bookworm T ! d ing e 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. l l i c f a y presented by presented by n a n be! fu adrnw e 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. e l l L i , f d n in partnership with a inContinuing partnership withand The Bookworm Club Rfeu rn a e toWCCCD’s School of Education L ! , w d o ra of D’s School Continuing Education The Bookworm antod RGeDetroit Schools Community District and and the Detroit Public Librar Kro-w! Public e r P G in partnership with s t PublicGrSchools Community District and the Detroit Public Libra d e ad an dePre K DOWNTOWN CAMPUS agdraes de Schoolsin 6tGhrPublic DOWNTOWN CAMPUS Detroit Community District and the Detroit Public Library Com partnership with a r 1001 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226 g h 6t and se e 1001 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226 Coemhoew m u c Come aPubli h fun r ublic Schools Community District and the Detroit Students will receive FREE n eadin d a The s n e d e s c e e uhow an be! ho Students will receive FREE (While Supplies Last) m way m d e u 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. c l c l h fun r i h f f u n n u (While Supplies Last) n f r r e e a a e h e e ding T ad L , d a c e a y • Books and book bags • Refreshments n R a c b o w e! an be way -filled t Grow! 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. !

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‘Debate in the D’ at Mumford High School By Scott Talley Special to the Michigan Chronicle

Through the years, Detroiters have learned that whenever legendary radio personality John Mason is in the house, a big event must be happening, and that was definitely the case on Friday, April 28, when Mumford High School hosted “Debate in the D.” Proudly presented by UAW-Ford, “Debate in the D” gave 800 students from schools across Detroit a unique opportunity to witness an intercollegiate debate in the heart of their community. The event featured in-state debate teams from the University of Michigan-Flint and Central Michigan University in matchups against two world-renowned historically African-American colleges — Spelman and Morehouse.

Pictured from left: Ann Scott, David Clements, Thomas Kelly and Misha Stallworth. — Monica Morgan photos

“This is a great day and a threeyear dream for me,” said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles during a live broadcast of Mason’s 105.9 FM morning show, which took place in Mumford’s sparkling auditorium, the site of the debate.

Detroit’s gospel giants featured in local exhibit By Keith A. Owens Senior Editor

In what could be compared to a special pregame show before a highly-anticipated sporting event, Settles shared with Mason and his listening audience that a trip three years ago to Hartford, Connecticut (where Settles intently watched a debate that also featured historically black colleges and universities) was the inspiration for the program. “I said I have to bring this to ‘The D,’ recalled Settles, who once again lived up to his reputation of always showing up for his community, especially Detroit’s youth. What Settles saw in Hartford may have been his inspiration, but “Debate in the D” had a flavor that was distinctly Detroit. DJ Invisible, the pride of Martin Luther King High School, made sure the atmosphere was hyped as the students walked across royal red carpets and entered the auditorium where they would lend their energy to a very special occasion. The introduction of the individual debaters was handled by UAW-Ford community outreach coordinator Kevin Fite, a primary organizer of the program, who fittingly introduced the players to the audience with Mason-like flare. And the master-of-ceremonies duties were in the very capable hands of the celebrated, multifaceted entertainer Mike Ellison. “It’s encouraging and inspiring,” said Ellison, a few moments before he greeted the hundreds of young guests that converged on Mumford, including students from Cass Tech, Henry Ford, Detroit School of Arts, University High, University Prep Academy, Marcus Garvey, Sampson-Webber, University Prep Science & Math Middle and High Schools, Detroit Collegiate Prep at Northwestern, Western International, George Washington Carver and host Mumford. Ellison added: “I want the kids to walk away with whatever they want and a lot of times they will take something small and create some-

See Debate page B-2

Detroit has long been known as a gospel music Mecca, having produced some of the biggest national names in the industry, as well as some of the most well-respected gospel choirs. Considering that Detroit truly is the music capital of the world (not one city in the world can rival Detroit when it comes to musical depth and diversity of both genre and sheer talent), it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’re leading the pack when it comes to gospel. Last week, the Ellen Kayrod Gallery, located at 4750 Woodward Ave., opened a wonderful photo exhibit entitled “Detroit Giants of Gospel Music,” offering dramatic Sunday morning church pictures of local gospel artists that should ring familiar to anyone who has ever been to a black church, and that will likely open the eyes of anyone who has not. According to a press release, “The Ellen Kayrod Gallery was established in 1994 as a venue to exhibit the work of older adult artists (60 and older) studying in Hannan educational programs. Named to honor Ellen Kayrod, former executive director of the Foundation, the Gallery is committed to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and quality of life and continues to highlight the work of older, accomplished artists.” Photographed by David Clements, “Giants” is a relatively small exhibit, but that’s what makes the experience so intimate. Very much like church on a Sunday morning. Clements is a longtime producer and director of television productions. He is the author of “Talking Shops:

room what it felt like to be their age, but no one in that room could even begin to describe what it is like to have been on this earth for 103 years. Kelly moved to Detroit in 1922 for employment, like so many other African Americans around that time who were exiting the South. He has led a cappella groups since 1926, and organized the Masters of Harmony in 1953.

Detroit Commercial Folk Art” and was selected as photographer of “Art in Detroit Public Places,” both publications of Wayne State University Press. And speaking of intimate, the star attraction of the exhibit’s opening night last Friday was a performance by the Masters of Harmony, featuring the vocals of 103-year-

old lead singer Thomas Kelly, who appeared to be as spry and witty as someone several decades younger. Kelly, Detroit’s oldest performing musician, has been performing in gospel quartets since 1926, which would explain one of his many humorous comments when he instructed the audience that he could tell anyone in the packed

Kelly is probably the best example anyone will ever see of the saying, “practice makes perfect.” Because as someone who has been on stage for more than 80 years, witnessing his comfort with an audience was as much fun as listening to the performance. Kelly told several jokes, each of which was a hit with the crowd. Perhaps the funniest was the one he told about the young man who wanted his father to buy him a car. His father told him that if he performed several tasks and cut his hair, then he would buy his son the car. His son performed the tasks,

See Exhibit page B-2

DPSCD classrooms receive designer upgrades City Year Detroit recently launched partnerships with leading design firms dPOP and Gensler to redesign two school resource rooms in which City Year serves. These partnerships are the local iterations of City Year’s nationwide efforts to improve and beautify its classrooms across the country. To kick off the local initiative, the first of these projects — a resource room redesign at Noble Elementary-Middle School (Noble) led by dPOP — was officially revealed. A renovated and redesigned mentorship room is also currently under construction at Osborn Collegiate Academies (Osborn) with Gensler at the helm of the work. The Osborn project is expected to wrap early next month. “The generosity of the dPOP and Gensler teams on these projects cannot be overstated. The time, hard work and creativity they’ve invested for the

updated floor plan and layout, painting, the installation of new carpet and curation of donated furniture, as well as two decorative vinyl wall coverings, white boards and a new kitchen space. “At dPOP we understand the importance of an attractive, functional workspace in promoting positive energy and productivity,” said Melissa Price, CEO, dPOP. “To have the opportunity to support our city’s students with our work is a great privilege, and we’re proud to contribute to this partnership with City Year.”

benefit of Detroit’s students is remarkable,” said Andrew Stein, executive director, City Year Detroit. “We are fortunate to have vibrant spaces to share with students; spaces that will foster the growth our corps members work so hard

to achieve each day. The impact of these partnerships will resonate beyond the projects and help demonstrate our commitment to the well-being of the students we serve.” These redesign projects are

two of many aimed at upgrading and enhancing the spaces in which the nation’s underserved students learn. The Noble redesign, which was unveiled to students, teachers and administrators, entailed a number of components, including an

Resource room redesigns have also occurred at City Year sites across the country including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, D.C., many of which are a result of the organization’s national partnership with Gensler.

See Upgrade page B-2


community

THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE

May 3-9, 2017

Page B-2

U of M announces $30 million expansion of Diversity Scholarship Program dents’ success at Michigan, but also personally and professionally,” said Ayanna McConnell, the Alumni Association’s senior director for university relations and student engagement. “This program attracts a high percentage of STEM students, as well as students interested in graduate degrees. These students are some of the country’s best and brightest.”

Michigan Chronicle reports

The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan is investing in diversity by expanding its LEAD merit scholarship for underrepresented minority students by $30 million. Since 2006, underrepresented minority enrollment at U-M has declined 11 percent and by 50 percent among African-American students. That year, Michigan voters approved Proposal 2, which prohibits public universities and colleges from considering race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin in admissions and the financial aid process. As an independent nonprofit that supports the University of Michigan, the Alumni Association was able to develop the Leadership, Excellence, Achievement and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship Program in 2008 to bolster minority enrollment and improve access to opportunity. “Diversity makes for a better university, in every facet, which is why we felt that tripling our LEAD scholarship fund was the right thing to do,” said Steve Grafton, president of the Alumni Association. “Not only does a diverse student population help minority students feel more welcome on campus, it teaches all students the value of engaging with people of all creeds and cultures. Diversity is a primary tenant of U-M’s principles and one we are dedicated to improving for years to come.” LEAD cohort sizes have fluctuated since the program enrolled its first 22 students in 2008. The Alumni Association is currently establishing a $10 million fund and will increase it by committing another $10 million immediately from its endowment. In addition, it will campaign to raise another $10 million in a one-to-one match for gifts of more than $50,000. With a full $30 million LEAD scholarship fund, it is the Alumni Association’s goal to award up to 75 LEAD scholars per year by 2021. “This is the strongest match of any fund-raising and scholarship effort at the Alumni Association, and the endowment allows the LEAD Program to drive impact in perpetuity,” said Ralph Johnson, chairman of the association’s board of directors. “We can’t wait, and we can’t move slowly. The statistics are staggering, and these students will increasingly become underrepresented on campus. There is a pressing need to have the full $30 million fund activated and to get scholarships in the hands of more

Monique Becker, a LEAD alumna, graduated from U-M in 2015 and landed a job at the prestigious Detroit-based real estate development firm The Platform. She says the program allowed her the chance to meet and learn from accomplished U-M alumni, helping to set her up for a promising career in her hometown.

Ralph Johnson, chairman, University of Michigan Alumni Association board of directors underrepresented minority students at U-M.” LEAD will grant $5,000 to $15,000 per year, per student. To be eligible for a LEAD scholarship, a student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; have African-American, Latino or Native American heritage; have been accepted as a full-time, undergraduate student at U-M; possess a high school grade-point average of 3.5 or higher; and have an SAT score of 1220 or higher or ACT score of 27 or higher. Since the program’s inception, the Alumni Association has awarded 288 LEAD scholarships, and 21 percent of recipients were the first in their families to attend college. LEAD scholars enter U-M with an average GPA of 3.8 and have a 97 percent graduation rate, compared with 84 percent university-wide for underrepresented minority students. Of the LEAD scholars accepted last year, 28 were from Michigan. Forty-eight percent of current scholars are in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, and 37.5 percent currently enrolled have a 3.5 GPA or higher. Although the $30 million commitment to LEAD will make strides in increasing representation of minority students on U-M’s campus, the demand remains high. Last year, there were 560 qualified applicants for just 50 spots.

“It’s promising to see a high level of underrepresented minority students that value and seek the excellent education offered at U-M,” said Grafton. “Our job is to remain steadfast in our ingenuity and commitment to creating solutions that help these students more easily access that opportunity.” The program also includes access to peer and alumni mentors, professional development resources and internships. It boasts a social component that unites the LEAD scholars and creates friendships and connections that last long after the students leave U-M. “One thing that makes LEAD unique is the level of programming and engagement with alumni and donors who are completely invested, not only in the stu-

“Yes, they did,” his father replied. “And they walked everywhere they went.” Accompanied by two other vocalists from his group, who carried the alto and bass harmonies, the Masters delivered a smooth and polished performance that definitely lived up to their name. It’s not every day you get to see someone perform who has had 80-plus years of experience. The exhibit itself, which will be on display through June 16, is fascinating just for the way Clements manages to literally capture the spirit of gospel performance in such a truthful, respectful and elemental way. Anyone who has ever been to any one of the churches pictured, or any church like it anywhere in the country, can appreciate the expressions of sheer joy and passion exhibited by the performers.

Debate

thing fantastic. But the one thing I’m very confident about is that some lives will be changed today.” During the debate, the four teams tackled topics with potentially life-changing impact —the viability of charter schools as an alternative to traditional public schools (University of Michigan-Flint versus Spelman) and a proposed literal desegregation of all public schools (Central Michigan versus Morehouse). After a thorough debate, equally covering both sides of the two topics, the student audience helped decide that there was no single winner. Instead, each person that participated in this historic event was declared a true winner, most importantly the attentive boys and girls that packed Mumford’s auditorium. “I really enjoyed the debate held at Mumford High School and I thought it was inspirational to young African-American students, as well as different races,” said Georgina Taylor, a mem-

“Rightfully or wrongfully, many people still judge the books by their covers”, said Archer. “This partnership al-

From page B-1 lows my very generous But what is also worth noting is that Clements chose not to photograph those gospel giants with whom everyone is so familiar, like the Winans family and so many others, but rather the somewhat lesser known giants who are not national stars but, rather, local sensations who have been amplifying the Gospel through song here at home in Detroit for decades. For example, in addition to the Masters, there are photos of the Heavenly Stars, who celebrated their 45th anniversary on Sunday, April 23, of this year, and Sunny Mason and the Morning Echoes, who have been performing together for 60 years. Those who love gospel will be sure to enjoy this exhibit, but it is also for those who may not even be particularly religious but who appreciate the importance of Detroit’s musical heritage and how gospel is such a key part of that heritage. Detroit is the center of gravity when it comes to great American music, and gospel is a big reason for that. Don’t miss this show.

From page B-1 ber of the Mumford student media team and one of many Mumford students that made principal Angela Prince look on with pride. “I also thought it was great exposure. Although we didn’t get to go out and visit their universities, I’m glad they came to our school and gave us this opportunity.” For the organizers, “Debate in the D” demonstrated the power of teamwork and community partnerships. “We hope this is contagious,” said Angelique Peterson-Mayberry, community relations director for UAW-Ford Department. “You don’t have to be UAW-Ford to do it. You can be the neighborhood block club and there are tons of people doing great things, but I think it needs to catch on to more people so we can cover a larger landscape.” To learn more about what UAW-Ford does in the community, please visit www.uawfordcommunity.org.

“It feels like a huge blessing, and I’m graduating debt-free,” she said. “The scholarship allowed me to be more free to choose graduate programs without thinking of debt as much.” Sullivan called the LEAD program and the Alumni Association “hugely helpful” by providing her a job on campus and by exposing her to different experiences. “Everyone’s coming from interesting backgrounds, majors and grade levels,” she said, adding that being a LEAD scholar was “very rewarding and challenging.”

Jackets for Jobs, Inc., the nonprofit that provides professional clothes to low-income individuals, is partnering with Dennis Archer, Jr. to collect business clothing to be distributed to low-income employees in need of business appropriate apparel.

Archer, the founder of Archer Corporate Services and Central Kitchen + Bar and CEO of Ignition Media Group, will team up twice each year in the fall and spring with his network of over 10,000 business colleagues to collect and contribute business clothing to Jackets for Jobs.

but declined to cut his hair because, as he said, both Jesus and Sampson had long hair.

For Rachel Sullivan, a U-M senior from Port Huron, Mich., a LEAD scholarship has helped her pursue her studies in movement science in the School of Kinesiology.

Dennis Archer, Jr. encourages colleagues to join him in donating business clothing to Jackets for Jobs

All donations will come from his large professional network of business colleagues and friends.

Exhibit

“I realized I wanted to diverge from my original plan of working internationally, instead committing myself to better understanding my birthplace, Detroit,” Becker said. “I am incredibly fortunate to have been guided by the LEAD network, resulting in my connection to The Platform.”

friends and I to help make an impressive first impression so that these very capable employees are welcomed into and respected in their workplaces.”

Dennis Archer, Jr.

Alison Vaughn

Jackets for Jobs founder Alison Vaughn hosted her 17th anniversary celebration on April 27 at the Greektown Casino Hotel where Dennis Archer, Jr. was being honored, along with Lucius Vassar, former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Judge Craig Strong.

seekers impress any employer.”

“Jackets for Jobs is honored to award Dennis Archer, Jr., one of our most loyal supporters, because of his longstanding commitment to our organization and for his continued efforts to give back to the community,” said Vaughn. “Our new partnership with Dennis Archer, Jr. will undoubtedly help job

Upgrade In November 2016, Gensler began collaborating with City Year Detroit on transforming an underutilized room into a student-focused mentorship room at Osborn. Planned for a reveal in early May, Gensler led collaborative workshops with students and City Year Detroit corps members, to better understand their needs and tap their creative talents. Using visioning sessions with the students, internal brainstorming, and coordinating materials and furniture selection with vendor partners, Gensler and Osborn students created a design rooted in meaning. It is now a dual-purpose space allowing for both mentorship and individual work with a focus on further developing high schoolers at a pivotal point in their lives. As a longtime partner of City Year, Gensler has helped renovate and reinvent spaces in schools around the country using a similar approach. “As designers and strategists, we seek opportunities to have impact, which is why we love to partner with City Year, whose mission is to help children reach their potential through education. The Osborn mentor and collaboration space in Detroit is a perfect fit for us,” said John Waller managing director, Gensler. “Specifically, we were most excited to workshop with the students and corps members to understand what makes the space and the school uniquely their own.” In over 300 schools in 28 cities nationwide, City Year supports students, teachers and schools by providing the “people power” to effectively meet each student’s academic and social-emotional needs. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members serve full-time in schools alongside teachers, establish-

Contributors supporting the partnership include co-CEO of Signal Restoration Frank Torre and cofounder of Lormax Stern Development Co. Chris Brochert. “I have supported and contributed to Alison’s efforts since her charity’s inception,” said Archer. “It is because of philanthropic leadership like Alison’s that Detroit is noted as one of the mostgenerous communities in the country.” If you would like to donate, Jackets for Jobs requests items be clean, hung on a hanger and in good condition.

From page B-1 ing developmental relationships with students and providing research-based interventions to help students and schools succeed. Our AmeriCorps members partner with teachers and principals to increase academic achievement and student engagement, while enabling schools to create learning environments that are responsive to students’ unique needs. Through direct support in the classroom, City Year AmeriCorps members bring additional capacity to help differentiate instruction and meet the needs of the whole class. At a school-wide level, City Year partners with administrators to provide whole school enrichment activities to improve climate and foster student engagement. Gensler has been an integral part of Detroit for more than 20 years — helping local clients envision their neighborhoods and design their places. Gensler is a global architecture, design and planning firm with 45 locations and more than 5,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas. Officially founded in 1965, Gensler serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. dPOP is a full-service commercial interior design studio located in the heart of Detroit, dedicated to creating inspiring workplaces for culture driven organizations. We dig deep to find out what really makes our clients tick; to understand their history and future aspirations. These findings inform each step of the design process, resulting in truly unique and functional environments built to foster productivity, creativity and collaboration.


community

THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE

May 3-9, 2017

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Jane’s Walk in Detroit expands to Hamtramck, shares history and future of neighborhoods On the fifth annual Jane’s Walk weekend in Detroit, hear stories about the wall that turned from segregation to community connector or head to two Hamtramck neighborhoods that welcome immigrant businesses and residents with strawberry desserts and mango lassis.

cities work best when they are explored and planned by the people who live there. Jacobs wrote the influential book “The Death and Life of the Great American City.” Other walks are scheduled in the Cass Corridor and in Southwest Detroit in Hubbard Farms, both on Saturday, May 6. On Sunday, walks also will be held on the east side on the Conner Creek Greenway, with a stop at the Detroit City Airport. A few neighborhood groups are still considering holding a walk.

Three walks will share the history and the current life near well-known landmarks: the 8 Mile Wall, also known as the Birwood Wall, and Joseph Campeau Boulevard, one of Hamtramck’s Main Streets. Another walk along Conant will focus on local landmarks and immigrant businesses.

The Hamtramck History Jane’s Walk will end at the St. Florian Strawberry Festival, held in a beautiful Catholic church built in 1908-1909. And the Banglatown/Global Detroit walk will stop at a Pakistani-Indian restaurant called Reshmi. (Walkers must bring money to buy their own drinks and food.)

They are among approximately seven walks in and near Detroit on Jane’s Walk weekend May 5-7. It’s the first time a Jane’s Walk has been held in Hamtramck, a city known for welcoming decades of immigrants, first from Poland and Eastern Europe and more recently from Bangladesh, Yemen and elsewhere, as 20-something artisans and entrepreneurs moved in. The walk, led by the Hamtramck Historical Museum, begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, while a walk led by Global Detroit will take place Saturday, May 6, mostly along Conant, the area sometimes known as Banglatown. “It’s an incredible community. This is the one place I find the most fascinating, the most alive other than New York City,” said Greg Kowalski, who chairs the Hamtramck Historical Commission and will lead the Joseph Campeau history walk. He encourages walkers to show up early to view the museum. Kowalski has led walking tours in Hamtramck for about 10 years and says sometimes even local residents learn things. He will tell the story of the American serviceman who helped liberate a French village in World War II, and won the Congressional Metal of Honor. A park in Hamtramck is named for the hero. The second Hamtramck walk will stop at Hamtramck Disney­ land, a few immigrant-owned businesses and a skate park. It

starts at the Knapp Branch Library on Saturday, May 6.

of Detroiters still don’t know about,” said Carol Thomas, who is helping to organize the 8 Mile Wall Jane’s Walk. “I grew up with the wall in my backyard” and her parents still live in the neighborhood at 8 Mile near Wyoming.

Many of the Detroit walks this year focus on the heroes, the history and early stories of their neighborhoods, from Detroit City Airport to stories of early residents of Hubbard Farms, an enclave near Corktown.

Thomas said. Though its original intention was to divide black and white neighborhoods, now the wall is painted with murals by Detroit artist Chazz Miller – and embraced by locals as a unifier, she said. The 8 Mile Wall Walk also starts at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 7 from Alfonso Wells Playground and Park. It will take 60 to 90 minutes and end in a community gathering to discuss preserving the wall.

The Eight Mile Wall, also known as Detroit’s Wailing Wall or Birwood Wall, will take place at the same time Sunday. The wall was built by the U.S. government in 1940 to divide a white neighborhood from black residents who lived in older homes so that white residents could obtain mortgages. It will be led by Friends of the 8 Mile Wall, a group of neighbors who want the wall to be designated a local historic landmark.

The walk will give insights and memories from several people who live near the 6-foottall wall. If he’s up to it, a man in his 90s — their oldest resident — will share his stories of the wall and the neighborhood,

“It’s definitely a story a lot

Eight Mile Road previously was featured in a Jane’s Walk in 2015 by residents of Green Acres and Sherwood Forest. The walks are always held the first weekend of May, around the time of urban community activist Jane Jacob’s 101st birthday. She believed that

All the Detroit walks are free and most are child friendly. They encourage locals to share stories about their neighborhood, explore Detroit and get to know their neighbors. Five years ago, the first Jane’s Walk in Detroit brought together city and suburban residents along with a sprink­ling of international guests in Green Acres and Sherwood Forest, off Livernois between Seven and Eight mile roads It was organized by Madhavi Reddy, Vickie Elmer and their husbands. Reddy, the strategic development manager at Community Development Associates of Detroit, now coordinates all the Detroit area Jane’s Walks, while Elmer, a writer/editor and cofounder of Mint Artists Guild, assists with communications and media. “It’s wonderful to explore so many diverse neighborhoods of Detroit, with an array of walks led by people who live or work in the neighborhoods,” said Reddy. Citizen-led Jane’s Walks are scheduled in Brazil, Canada, India, Kenya, Mexico and in many Canadian and U.S. cities. Toronto-based Jane’s Walk is funded in part by the Knight Foundation to share stories and the big ideas of Jane Jacobs.

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From Factor to Failure:

What black leaders can learn from the O’Reilly debacle By Julianne Malveaux (NNPA Newswire Columnist)

Former Fox News Channel anchor Bill O’Reilly, the man whose lofty ratings were responsible for the growth of the network, is no longer on the air. Revelations that $13 million had been paid, either by O’Reilly or the network, to women who said they had been sexually harassed repelled millions, some of whom protested outside Fox headquarters and took to the airwaves with their complaints. But it is unlikely that protests or complaints moved Fox to separate themselves from O’Reilly. Instead, it is most likely that the network severed ties with O’Reilly, because advertisers did not want to be associJulianne Malveaux ated with a program anchored by a man who seemed to find nothing wrong with sexual harassment. More than 52 advertisers pulled ad spots from “The O’Reilly Factor” in the wake of the New York Times article about the payouts. They included Advil, Mercedes, BMW, Jenny Craig, Hyundai, Allstate, Lexus and H&R Block. “The O’Reilly Factor” was the highest revenue-generator in cable television, bringing in about $120 million in the first nine months of 2016. “The O’Reilly Factor” dominated the 8 p.m. weekday hour, drawing more viewers than any other cable network. Don’t cry for Bill O’Reilly. He is leaving Fox News with “tens of millions of dollars” in a settlement. Be concerned, instead, for the women who have had to put up with his odious behavior; be concerned for those who didn’t come forward to get paid because they were afraid for their jobs, or because they feared they would not be believed; be concerned for the black woman that O’Reilly allegedly called “Hot Chocolate,” grunted when he saw her, and behaved so badly that she was frightened for her safety. Why didn’t she leave? She valued her job. She didn’t know if she could find another one. An African-American woman who heads a househod, on average, has just $4400 in liquid assets, compared to $20,519 for white women. With such a tiny cushion, an African-American woman is likely to think twice before airing a sexual harassment complaint. African-American women are also less likely to be believed than white women are, at least partly because of the way the world views black women. So, right on to the sister who called the Fox Hot Line to report that she was being harassed. She, and many of the other black women who have protested the culture of sexism at Fox, need to have cham-

pions that are as vocal as the champions Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson had. Indeed, one might look at the fact that Megyn Kelley pushed Tamron Hall off her perch as the only black woman anchor at the “Today” show as evidence of how much more highly valued white women are than black women. What did we learn from O’Reilly’s ouster, though? We learned that advertisers are controversy averse. They don’t want to be associated with an accused sexual harasser, especially when the accusations are persistent and are backed up with numerous settlements to women who have experienced harassment. Advertisers saw their brands tarnished, and their consumer base angered, by O’Reilly’s behavior. Too many of the companies that abandoned O’Reilly’s show have increasing numbers of women in senior management, in advertising and on their boards. While Roger Ailes, now himself dismissed from Fox for his harassing behavior, described O’Reilly’s antics with “Bill will be Bill,” increasing numbers of women (and some men) in charge find Bill’s behavior, not only odious, but also illegal. Increased sensitivity to issues of sexual harassment helped make it clear that O’Reilly’s behavior was simply unacceptable. What would it take for advertisers to draw the line on racial discrimination and/or discrimination against AfricanAmerican women? Racial discrimination does not cause the same repugnance that sex discrimination does. Indeed, companies that engage in widespread race discrimination might even get high fives from consumers who might like to practice racism themselves. The only way that African Americans could spark an advertiser exodus, on par with what happened to “The O’Reilly Factor,” would be to either work with partners who would put their feet down strongly, or to boycott the goods and services that a discriminating company provided. Unfortunately, there are few African Americans who would emulate those who boycotted busses for 381 days in Montgomery during 1955 and 1956. It seems unlikely that a critical mass of African Americans would inconvenience themselves to punish a discriminator. African American leaders would do well to study the O’Reilly case and to ask what it would take for us to send as strong a signal about race discrimination as the O’Reilly dismissal did about sexual harassment. Many thought O’Reilly was invincible, but he wasn’t. Race discrimination isn’t invincible, either. We just have to decide what we want to do about it. Julianne Malveaux is an author, economist and founder of Economic Education. Her podcast, “It’s Personal with Dr. J,” is available on iTunes. Her latest book, “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy,” is available at www.juliannemalveaux.com and at Amazon.com. Follow Dr. Malveaux on Twitter @drjlastword.

Blackonomics: Time for black fraternities and sororities to step up By James Clingman (NNPA Newswire Columnist)

Remember the scene from “New Jack City” when Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) told Scotty (Ice-T), “This ain’t personal, this is business?” And at the end of the movie, Scotty said to Nino, “This is personal,” as he proceeded to give him a beatdown. Well, this article is both personal and business. It’s a call to the Alphas, Omegas, Kappas, Sigmas, Deltas, AKAs, Zetas, Thetas, Iotas, known as the “Divine Nine,” and the fraternity I was part of back in the 1960,s at North Carolina College at Durham (now North Carolina Central University), “Groove Phi Groove.” The latent col- James Clingman lective power within these organizations is mind-boggling. Their members are conscientious, which is demonstrated by their friendship and loyalty to one another. They rally around their members during crises; they support one another when they get married and have children; they work together, locally and nationally, on community projects across this country. They even formed a national collective organization, The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc.; the group’s stated purpose and mission is, “Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.” I especially like the part about “mutual interest.” I know it’s a hard question to answer, based on our individualistic and proprietary approach to solving many of our problems, but what are the mutual interests among not only sororities and fraternities, but all black organizations? Is there one thing that all of us can and should do together without compromising our various missions and such? I believe there are several things we can do together, but reality tells me that all black people will never do any one thing together. So in light of that reality, we must come up with something that is simple yet powerful and will demonstrate our collective resolve, not just to the world, but to ourselves and our children. Keep in mind I said, “simple.” On the business side of things, this is a call — a challenge — to each member of the abovementioned black, proud, historic and venerable organizations to purchase at least one bag of Sweet Unity Farms Tanzanian Gourmet Coffee. The coffee is grown by family co-ops founded by Jackie Robinson’s son, David, 20 years ago. April 15, 2017 was the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson break-

ing the color barrier in Major League Baseball. We can break the economic barrier by collectively propelling his son’s company to unimagined heights by purchasing his coffee. In case you didn’t know, Jackie Robinson went to work for a coffee company when he left baseball. On the personal side, black folks are taking an Ice-T beatdown like Wesley Snipes received, only ours is an economic beatdown, much of which we are doing to ourselves by not supporting one another more than we do presently. What could be more personal than family? Again, one simple solution is for our black sororities and fraternities, comprised of millions of members around the world, to take this challenge personally and buy at least one bag of David Robinson’s coffee, a fitting tribute to his father’s legacy. By doing so, the world would witness a black-owned company, operating in Africa and the U.S., become a billion dollar firm virtually overnight, all because a group of conscientious black folks individually spent a very small amount of money on a black-owned product. A veritable, black economic renaissance. After accomplishing that simple goal, we could repeat it hundreds of times with other black companies, thus, creating larger firms that have so much business they would have to hire more employees. In the words of the R&B group Atlantic Starr, “Am I dreaming?” Maybe I am, but it’s a great dream and I pray it will come true. From what I observe among our social organizations, members of sororities and fraternities are the most conscientious; therefore, I am calling on the presidents of the Divine Nine to spread the word to their members to take this simple action step toward economic empowerment. In addition, I want all HBCU student associations, Greek Letter organizations, and individual students to insist that their cafeterias serve Sweet Unity Farms Coffee. Now that’s really a no-brainer, isn’t it? As I said, this is both personal and business, and I truly believe that our black sororities and fraternities can make it happen. With a little bit of money from a lot of people, we can accomplish a very personal and business milestone, one that our youth can look at as an example of blacks utilizing our latent power rather allowing it to sit on the shelf and eventually expire. Order your coffee at www.iamoneofthemillion. com (Click on the products tab.) No excuses, y’all. If you don’t drink coffee, give it as a gift to someone who does. Let’s do this. James Clingman is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for black people. His latest book, “Black Dollars Matter! Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense,” is available at Blackonomics.com.

To end AIDS in the United States, stay true to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy By Judith Auerbach, Robert Bank, Chris Collins, JD Davids, Rebecca Haag, David Ernesto Munar, Dana van Gorder, Phill Wilson and A. Toni Young (Original conveners of Coalition for a National AIDS Strategy) Ten years ago, hundreds of organizations and individuals signed a petition calling on all presidential candidates to create a national AIDS strategy. We knew the approach to HIV in the U.S. had to change. If you read about AIDS in the paper, it was likely about the horrifying scale of the global epidemic, the epidemic at home had largely become invisible. The national HIV response we saw was a patchwork — uncoordinated, without clear goals, underinvested where the challenge was most acute, with interventions delivered well below the scale necessary for impact. And the science of HIV prevention was changing dramatically without sufficient efforts to put it into practice. By the end of 2007, most presidential candidates, including John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, had accepted the challenge to create a strategy. In June 2010, President Obama issued the first comprehensive National HIV/ AIDS Strategy for the United States. Five Things We Learned

From Implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy 1) A commitment to being strategic provides political cover to do tough things. The Strategy itself was full of smart analysis of the epidemic and laudable goals, but its real impact came in how it was used. With strong leadership by Jeff Crowley, head of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), and his deputy, Greg Millett, a series of epidemiologically necessary but politically challenging policy innovations were undertaken, each justified by the new Strategy. This included: • Increased investment in HIV prevention for gay men, which had been seriously under-financed relative to that population’s share of the epidemic. • A new, “high impact” approach to HIV prevention emphasizing evidence-based programming at scale. • Reallocation of funds to areas of the country most affected by HIV. • Streamlining of data reporting to track progress more effectively. A new emphasis was placed on federal agency coordination that has shown some success and remains a work in progress, as well on the most affected communities, which are now at the leading edge of progress

Phill Wilson, one of the original conveners of the Coalition for a National AIDS Strategy in the U.S. response. 2) Changing the conversation is important, and it’s just the first step. The Strategy helped put the domestic epidemic back on the radar and galvanized the AIDS services community around a new approach to tackling the epidemic focused on epidemiologic impact. Beyond assuring the availability of services, the focus shifted to outcomes, and people asked how a policy would lead to accomplishing the Strategy’s prevention and treatment targets. Conversely, observing that an approach would fail to advance the Strategy’s goals was now a tool to fight bad policy. Using the “care continuum” as a framework

for assessing service delivery helped bring focus to the Strategy goal of greater equity. All of these were advances, but they only took us so far. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which led to a marked increase in Medicaid coverage among people living with HIV, as well as increased investments in appropriate services expanded access to lifesaving and infection-preventing measures. 3) It matters that the effort grew from the community. We wanted the White House to own the Strategy because we wanted the government to be responsible for follow-through. But it all started with the community. And that meant that AIDS service organizations were ready to engage creatively with the government when the nation embarked on a more outcomes-oriented approach full of hard choices. As the Strategy said, “The job ... does not fall to the federal government alone. ... Success will require the commitment of all parts of society.” 4) It takes amazing science and the commitment to deliver its results to everyone. The outcomes of HIV/AIDS research have been phenomenal, turning a deadly disease into a chronic, manageable condition in the space of a couple of decades. When we were working on the strategy effort, we had inklings of the potential efficacy of “treatment as pre-

vention” and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent both transmission and acquisition of HIV. When rigorous, multisite clinical trials proved these approaches did work, it changed what was considered possible, and scientific and policy leaders in the U.S. and around the world now said we had the opportunity to end AIDS. Soon, in places such as New York and San Francisco, activists, scientists and public health officials took up the challenge to end the epidemic and “get to zero” with localized, evidence-based, multi-sectoral strategies, an effort that has now expanded across the country. 5) Effective interventions are necessary, but not sufficient. We recently received welcome news about an overall reduction in HIV incidence in the U.S. But, disparities embedded in that reduction are stark: infection rates actually increased among gay men aged 25-34 and among Latino gay men of all ages. And, the severe, disproportionate burden on black gay men and black heterosexual women continues. Without health systems that can reach everyone and greatly expanded efforts to equalize education, promote economic opportunity and combat racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia in our country, we will not end AIDS.


community

THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE

May 3-9, 2017

Page B-5

African American 490 Challenge to fund rape kit tests wraps An ambitious fundraising campaign that brought together tens of thousands of women in metro Detroit to fund rape investigations is near a successful conclusion. Organizers of the African American 490 Challenge of Enough SAID, a campaign to raise $657,090 for rape kit processing, say a Jeans for Justice show April 26 was its final event. The group has raised $450,000 so far in support of efforts started by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, the Detroit Crime Commission and the Michigan Women’s Foundation to address a backlog of 11,341 untested rape evidence kits discovered in 2009.

Grace Centers of Hope presents 19th annual ‘Women Helping Women’ luncheon and fashion show “This has truly been a grassroots effort that’s brought together organizations and individuals from all walks of life, from sororities to businesses to churches to teens,” said Kim Trent, president of the AA490 challenge, whose name indicates the cost — $490 — of testing one rape kit. “We hope we can meet our goal by building on our success during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.” Denim Day on April 26, allowed employees of companies and organizations to pay a nominal fee in order to wear jeans to work, with the fees going to the fund-raising campaign. The City of Detroit, UAW Solidarity House and Fifth Third Bank were among those taking part in Denim Day. Jeans for Justice also held a fashion show featuring denim attire at the Motor City Casino. The casino, AARP and the Wellness Plan were co-sponsors. Denim Day is a global movement to end victim-blaming and misconceptions about sexual assault. It takes place the last Wednesday in April, sparked by an Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned a rape conviction because they felt a teenage victim must have helped her rapist remove her tight jeans, thereby implying consent. For more information or to donate, go to www.aa490challenge.org.

Grace Centers of Hope (GCH) presents the 19th Annual “Women Helping Women” luncheon and fashion show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 6 at the Royal Park Hotel, 600 E. University Dr., Rochester. The event will showcase some of Michigan’s top fashion designers who will feature the hottest spring fashion trends. Tickets are $100 and include a silent auction preview, luncheon and fashion show. All proceeds will benefit the Women’s Programs at Grace Centers of Hope. “It was just one year ago when we opened our new William A. Davis Women and Children’s Center, which allowed us to serve more people in need,” said GCH CEO Pastor Kent W. Clark. “This would have not been possible without the generous support of those who attend events like Women Helping Women and from those who graciously give on a daily basis to support our mission.” The Michigan designers showcasing their work at the event are: Bonnie Foley, creator of Christian LaRue; Katerina Bocci, an internationally recognized designer who just launched a luxury bridal collection; and Cynthia LaMaid who has dressed stars such as Jennifer Aniston and Lenny Kravitz. In additional to professional models, women and children enrolled in programs at GCH will be modeling the latest spring trends created by the designers in the fashion show. “Women Helping Women” begins with a silent auction preview featuring items valued up to $7,500. This includes vouchers from Delta Airlines that can be used anywhere in the world, blue topaz and diamond earrings, a day

of beauty at Luigi Bruni Salon, a shopping spree provided by the Village of Rochester Hills, autographed football memorabilia, exciting sports equipment and more. The silent auction is followed by a luncheon and high-energy runway show featuring fashion from the three top Michigan designers. Morning host on WXYZ TV-7 Ann Marie LaFlamme will serve as this year’s mistress of ceremonies for the first time. A Rochester Hills native, LaFlamme is a champion for women and children, working to recruit potential foster parents and find loving families for foster children in Michigan. She is heavily involved in supporting people in the community that she lives and works in. Through a comprehensive range of programs for individuals and families, GCH daily confronts and solves issues of homelessness, addiction, neglect, poverty and spiritual emptiness. The nonprofit organization’s $8.2 million annual budget is maintained solely through corporate and private donors. It does not accept any government assistance. GCH programs include: One-Year Life Skills program, providing job skills classes, and mentoring; Children’s Program, which offers pre-school and infant day care opportunities through its Hands of Hope Childcare Center, educational and recreational activities, parent support and case management; and After-Care Program that offers program graduates ongoing counseling as well as residential support in its Little Grace Village, a community of single and multi-family homes located in

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downtown Pontiac. The Diamond sponsor for the event is the Luther Family Foundation. Platinum sponsors are Volkswagen Group of America, WJR am 950 and the Moceri family. The Gold Sponsors are The Royal Park Hotel and Delta Airlines. Silver sponsors are Luxe Event Linen, Williams Family Fund, Mad Dog Technology, Bull Run Press, Emerald City Designs and. Bronze sponsors are Denise Warren, The Travel Authority, Flag Star, Cara Besh and Delphi. Patron sponsors are McLaren Oakland, Denise Warren, Plante Moran, Laura Jasurda, The Village of Rochester and Cara Besh. Valet sponsor is Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep and Kathy and Russ Sheltond. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Susan Cetnar at 1-855HELP GCH or visit www.gracecentersofhope.org. About Grace Centers of Hope Giving hope to the helpless since 1942, Grace Centers of Hope is considered one of the leading faith-based organizations in Southeastern Michigan, daily confronting issues of homelessness, addiction, poverty, abuse and spiritual emptiness. On any given night, Grace Centers of Hope provides transitional and emergency shelter to 150-200 men, women and children, in addition to serving more than 100,000 meals each year. Grace’s $8.4 million yearly budget is maintained solely through corporate and private donors, exclusive of any government assistance. To learn more about Grace Centers of Hope or to make a donation, please visit www. gracecentersofhope.org.


Page B-6 • THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE • May 3-9, 2017

Now Accepting Online Nominations

: M E 17 The Michigan Chronicle is now accepting nominations for the Men of Excellence induction Now in its seventh year, the Men of Excellence awards seeks to honor local, African American men who are visionaries in their given fields and inspire those around them to go beyond the norm and strive for the exceptional. They are entrepreneurs, community leaders, fathers, husbands, and inspirers. There is no shortage of negative publicity surrounding African American men, and here at the Michigan Chronicle, we know that there are more black men doing amazing things in business and the community than is being reported. If you know a man who has defied expectations and changed the status quo, then submit your nominations for the Men of Excellence award by going online to the MichiganChronicle.com.

Nominations are due May 8, 2017. Submit your nomination at www.michiganchronicle.com

www.michiganchronicle.com

#MCMOE2017


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Michigan AT&T employees honored with President’s Volunteer Service Award

May 3-9, 2017

It is National Volunteer Week and AT&T is celebrating employees being honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The PVSA recognizes individuals who demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism throughout the year. These employees, who live in various communities including Detroit, Kalamazoo, Flint and Battle Creek, are among 113 AT&T employees statewide and 4,288 nationwide to receive this Jim Murray honor. They logged a minimum of 100 service hours last year, with many volunteering more than 500 hours. “These individuals help our communities through selfless acts every day. Whether it’s mentoring students, cleaning up our parks or feeding the hungry, our employees are giving back,” said Jim Murray, AT&T Michigan president. “In honor of National Volunteer Week, we congratulate these employees and hope their stories inspire others as much as they inspire us.” Community service has been an integral part of our company culture for more than 100 years and takes many forms. Our employees give their time mentoring students, feeding the homeless, working with people with disabilities, supporting their churches, coaching athletic teams, helping pets in need, and so much more. These moments of giving can add up to millions of service hours. All AT&T employees and retirees volunteered more than 5.4 million hours— just in 2016. Points of Light administers PVSA, an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service. PVSA celebrates the impact we can all make to better our communities and our world. Every American, youth to seniors, is eligible to receive the honor. AT&T has recognized employees with the PVSA since 2012. AT&T submits a record of employees’ annual volunteer service hours to be verified and considered for the award. AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. The company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $400 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality. To learn more about all AT&T employee awardees go to http://www. about.att.com/csr/pvsa. For more information on PVSA, visit presidentialserviceawards.gov.

Noel Tichy, Heroes for HOPE co-chair with Focus:HOPE Chief Executive Officer and wife Nicole Lee – Roz Edward photos

The business of philanthropy: Focus: HOPE raises the non-profit bar By Roz Edward As Detroit’s awards season moves into full swing, complete with gala fundraisers and opportunities for the well-heeled to turn out and recognize the storied contributions of Detroiters from business to politics, few are as well received and as embraced with the type of enthusiasm and excitement as Focus: HOPE’s fourth annual “Heroes for HOPE” Awards Program and Dinner, sponsored by Lear Corporation. The event honors national and local leaders who have fought to advance social justice in our community and nation. The non-profit organization was established in 1968 following the ’67 riot to address the social and economic issues which continued to fuel the fervor of civil unrest in the streets of Detroit. It has grown into a world-renowned community and economic development model which has been replicated many times over to bridge racial and economic divides. The community support project conceived by two local visionaries, Father William T. Cunningham, a beloved Catholic priest, and Eleanor Josaitis, a socially active suburban housewife has evolved into an internationally acclaimed education and employment model, offering high-level training at its state-of-the-art campus facility on Detroit’s westside. “This [gala event] is a significant opportunity for us to showcase the impact of Focus: HOPE in the community, but also raise some desperately needed support for the organization. We can’t do what we do alone … so the support of the organizations here and the philanthropic arena are the engines for us to do what we do,” explained Jason Lee, Focus: HOPE CEO and an engineer by trade. Lee took on the responsibility to head the prestigious non-profit following a 12 years of service with the Detroit DAPCEP program. Advocates and entrepreneurs attribute the organization’s success to local and national support for tangible and concrete change through bricks and mortar development and economic self-sufficiency. The commitment is

Willie Horton, Heroes for HOPE honoree

Focus: HOPE CFO, Ollette E. Boyd

palpable and enthusiasts eagerly embrace the non-profit’s commitment to eradicating racism and poverty through education, training and employment for the city’s underserved minority populations.

versity School of Nursing Continuing Education, and major health care systems, including Henry Ford and Ascension will prepare 240 graduates for immediately available positions as patient care associates.

“We are looking at how we can be as innovative as possible to meet the needs of our community,” adds Lee. “The community is changing, we have an aging population, but we also have some young folks we need to address too.”

Through Focus: HOPE’s benchmark Machinist Training Institute program, students can earn a college degree in engineering through an extraordinary collaboration with university and industry partners. Students receive hands-on work experience through internships which may include research and development projects for the U.S. government.

Progressive work readiness, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs are the cornerstones of the Focus: HOPE curriculum. Participants are encouraged to earn credentials in fields ranging from STEM and college preparatory programs for high school students to certificate programs in Information Technology and advanced degrees in the engineering field. Chief Financial Officer Ollette E. Boyd explained that Focus: HOPE continues to expand its mission and grow its offerings through new partnerships. “Our work through our training programs are a key pillar of Mayor Duggan’s agenda for bringing jobs back to the city. We recently announced a partnership with the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, a work force training arm, to provide healthcare training to fill vital needs for students and patients.” The newest training track provided by Focus: HOPE and the Oakland Uni-

“I think if you go all the way back to Father Cunningham, this is a guy whose heart and passion was all about helping Detroit. And if you follow the mission’s and the programs that they’ve had over the years since Father Cunningham, they have evolved, they’ve modernized and they are contemporary in keeping with the needs of the day,” said Focus: HOPE Foundation honoree Dennis Archer, Jr. , Esq. CEO of Ignition Media, one of the region’s leading integrated marketing agencies. “There are a lot of people who talk about the new civil rights being economic rights. I would encourage people to just pause and reflect on not only the last 50 years, but what has happened since then … I think this organization

See Focus: HOPE Page C-2

Detroit students attend shareholders meeting with Warren Buffett By Lisa Wilmore Gail Perry-Mason, founder and director of Money Matters for Youth, a Detroit Impact Program, is a financial expert, best-selling author and financial coach who coaches kids in her money camps to purchase stock in the consumer items they buy. So, when she met billionaire investor Warren Buffett he invited Perry-Mason and her Money Matters for Youth Camp students to attend the annual shareholders meeting of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the multinational holding company he controls as chairman of the board. The May 6 meeting, which draws 40,000 people will be held in Omaha, Nebraska. The students (both from Money Matters for Youth and GM Chevy Motors Money Matters Project (through Rainbow PUSH Coalition)) who range in age from 8 to 18 will have an opportunity to meet with Warren Buffett and other investment moguls, and they will also participate in a weekend of events focused on financial literacy and investing during their two-day stay. “We are so thrilled that Detroit and Money Matters for Youth students will make an historic mark in Omaha at the closed meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders as the specially invited guests of the legendary CEO Warren Buffett,” says Gail Perry-Mason. “This is

such as First Independence Bank, Ally Financial, National Association of Securities Professionals-Detroit and Jaffe Rait Law Firm have stepped up to donate and show support,” said Perry-Mason. Money Matters for Youth has been a change agent and has created opportunities for some of the most vulnerable youth. MMFY is devoted to teaching some 200 students each year, ages 8 -18, the basics of economic and financial literacy. Additionally, students learn the importance of education and a healthy lifestyle as a means toward future success.

Gail Perry-Mason a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our camp students who vow to pay it forward by returning home and teaching Detroit youth, from families with a wide variety of incomes, the value of economic intelligence and of making smart investments.” There have been fundraisers to help secure the $35,000 needed to send 35 students and chaperones to Omaha on May 5. This goal has not yet been met, so donations are still being accepted. Those who desire to donate may do so by donating to the YOU Caring. “We are thankful to the many supporters, both individuals and corporate donors, who have assisted so far. Many generous donors in the Detroit-area,

The workshops primarily attract high-risk urban youth, in Detroit, Michigan neighborhoods and are designed to help participants learn about money management, banking, investing, obtaining and maintaining good credit scores, and entrepreneurship. Currently, the MMFY program participants are 95 percent African American, and represent a wide range of income levels, with approximately 80 percent from very low to moderate income households. MMFY challenges the norm by empowering young people and their families with a money management and investment skills programs that promote values, healthy spending habits, and education. Gail Perry-Mason is well known in the financial industry. She has climbed the corporate ladder from reception-

ist to senior director of investments at Oppenhiemer & Co. Inc. Her vision is to help make the next generation more successful, with tangibles such as better credit scores, better investment opportunities, and the knowledge required to make better financial decisions. Over the past 20 years, Perry-Mason has traveled all around the country, and internationally, speaking about and teaching financial literacy. Her goal is to turn consumers into entrepreneurs. Years ago, she learned about a camp which taught key financial tips and groomed students for the future. It cost more than $1,600 per student, so Perry-Mason knew few if any of those who she wanted to empower would ever be able to attend. That is when she began conducting money camps for kids. Perry-Mason was elected as one of Detroit’s Most Influential Women in the Financial Industry by The Women’s Informal Network. She is a prolific published writer and has written articles for local and national print media. Her second book, “Girl, Make Your Money Grow,” written with co-author Glinda Bridgeforth, was a national best seller and featured on Oprah’s “Debt Diet.” Gail Perry-Mason has written a new book and journal, “From a Full-Figured Woman to a Seven Figure Woman, A Women’s Guide to Shifting Her Assets, and Pearls of Wisdom.”


business

THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE

May 3-9, 2017

Page C-2

Citizens Bank gives $100,000 to nonprofits to help students, residents As part of an ongoing commitment to give consumers the confidence and tools they need to be fiscally healthy, Citizens Bank has announced that five nonprofit organizations in Southeast Michigan will receive $100,000 in contributions as part of the Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money financial literacy initiative.

(From left to right) Chevrolet Diversity Marketing Manager, Michelle Alexander; Songwriter, Philanthropist, Actress and DTU Ambassador, MC Lyte; National Newspapers Publishers Association, President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. and, Clark Atlanta University School of Arts and Sciences, Dean Danille K. Taylor, Ph.D.

Chevrolet and NNPA offer Journalism Fellowship to HBCU Fellows Chevrolet is putting more students in the driver’s seat with the expansion of its Discover the Unexpected fellowship program. Now in its second year, DTU provides college students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities the opportunity to change the narrative of media reporting in the African American community with the help of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. The eight 2017 DTU Fellowship Program students are: Taylor Burris of Spelman College, Darrell Williams of Morehouse College, Jordan Fisher of Clark Atlanta University, Tiana Hunt of Clark Atlanta University, Kelsey Jones of Spelman College, Ayron Lewallen of Morehouse College, Noni Marshall of Howard University and Alexa Imani Spencer of Howard University. Students will work in partnership with NNPA member papers in Washington D.C., Atlanta, New Orleans and Raleigh. “Last year we were honored to launch the DTU fellowship program at Howard University and meet a group of very talented journalism students,” said U.S. Vice President of Chevrolet Marketing Paul Edwards. “Their enthusiasm, insight and determination made the selection process extremely difficult. We’re excited to send more trailblazers on the road to highlight the positive, inspire hope and document the legacy of African American voices for generations to come.” This year, DTU fellows will work with editors and reporters from the Washington Informer, Atlanta Voice, Louisiana Weekly and The Carolinian. “The NNPA is looking forward to welcoming the next group of fellows to the program,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Ben Chavis Jr. “Our 2016 fellows showed that despite the negative perceptions seen in the media, there are also beautiful and powerful stories in African American neighborhoods across the country. Our 2017 Fellows will continue sharing stories of community advocates, making impactful and lasting changes on a local and global level.”

The fellowship program is open to communications, mass media, and visual arts students. A panel of judges consisting of NNPA and AUCC staff will conduct on-site interviews during the program’s AUCC launch. Chevrolet will award eight $10,000 scholarships to each fellow and provide a stipend to defray the costs of traveling to and from school as they report on their stories. In addition to the financial investment, Chevrolet will provide each fellowship team access to the Next Generation 2018 Chevrolet Equinox during their reporting assignments. Legendary lyricist and hip hop pioneer MC Lyte will return as the program’s national spokesperson and will be on-hand to kick-off the launch in Atlanta. Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet. com. NNPA is a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States. Since its founding 75 years ago, NNPA has consistently been the voice of the black community and an incubator for news that makes history and impacts our country. As the largest and most influential Black-owned media resource in America, NNPA delivers news, information and commentary to over 20 million people each week. Americans from all backgrounds seek news from the Black perspective from the NNPA member newspapers around the country. In America, now among the most diverse countries in the world, the Black Press of America is more relevant than ever. To learn more visit nnpa.org/ dtu.

New fund named in honor of Deborah Virgiles for Ronald McDonald House of Detroit at the end of the bowel, throughout the colon and in 40 percent of the small inFamilies and friends came together testine. Now one-year-old, Camden came for a spring tea on April 22 to the event, looking adorat the Royal Park Hotel in able, along with big sister, Rochester to raise funds Carly, age 8. The couple for the Ronald McDonald is expecting a son in May. House of Detroit. With Their two-year-old daughticket prices, a silent aucter, Claire, did not attend. tion and a percentage of The family stayed two sales from Saks Fifth Avemonths at the House. nue’s onsite Ippolita jewManning said, “The most elry sale, the event raised important thing is that we $20,000. didn’t feel like we were Jennifer Litomisky, alone. Small gestures made executive director of the a big difference. The power Ronald McDonald House Deborah Virgiles of a single night’s rest or of Detroit, announced the a home-cooked meal can Deborah Virgiles Family Fund in memory help mend a broken soul. I knew this of former board president Deborah Vir- was a home to start healing in. We now giles, who was a co-chair of the tea since consider everyone at the House our newits inception and died last spring. Con- found family.” tributions to the fund will be used to Litomisky presented the family with supplement the unpaid cost of the room. a glass heart, noting, “I’m glad we were Of the actual $200 per night room cost, there for you.” guests only pay $10 per night. No family The tea drew 160 people. Saxophonist is turned away due to an inability to pay. Yancyy entertained with light jazz while Andrew Manning, of Wixom, a former Darrell Swift sketched portraits and a guest at the House, told of the medical balloon master whipped up balloon cresaga that he and wife Vanessa Yaldoo ations for kids. Teresa Saputo, of Oakwent through when they learned their land Township, and Kyla Marcial, of newborn daughter, Camden, had Clinton Township, co-chaired the event Hirschsprungs disease, a birth defect and are board members of the House. in which she had nerve cells missing Michigan Chronicle reports

Focus: HOPE being located with their main campus right in the neighborhood and serving people in a 100-block radius in the neighborhood and beyond ensures the impact is felt and can be sustained.” Focus: HOPE’s cradle to postsecondary pipeline, involves a comprehensive approach to realizing economic self-sufficiency. In addition to its existing adult education and training programs (including training in engineering, information technologies, and machining) it has focused on programs which move forward the three “E’s” of the HOPE Village Initiative goal: education, economic self-sufficiency and environmental protections. “I go back when Father Cunningham and Eleanor Josiatis started Focus: HOPE. Those two people were special,

From page C-1

“These contributions from Citizens Bank are important investments in the future of Southeastern Michigan,” said Rick Hampson, president of Citizens Bank, Michigan. “These five organizations in greater Detroit all work toward helping people become more knowledgeable about their finances. Helping people learn how to better manage their money results in an improved quality of life.” The Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, which economically empowers women and minorities, will receive $30,000 from Citizens Bank. Michelle Richards, executive director of the organization, said the donation will be used to support the financial education component of its loan program for Detroit-based small businesses. “Small business financial education is a critical component of our loan program that the Citizens donation will help to finance,” Richards said. “We are pleased that Citizens Bank has the foresight to realize how important financial literacy is for women and minorities.” April was National Financial Literacy Month. The other Southeastern Michigan nonprofits receiving donations from Citizens Bank include: • Detroit Land Bank Community Development Corp., $25,000. The Land Bank, which strives to stabilize Detroit’s housing market, will use these funds for a homebuyer counseling program. • Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan, $20,000. This donation from Citizens Bank will be used to help students learn how to proactively manage their finances. • Southwest Economic Solutions, $20,000. This organization will use the Citizens donation to provide neighborhood entrepreneurs with support for improving personal and business

financial skills. • Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, $5,000. This donation will be used for a program that includes free tax preparation services and financial savings coaching for low-income people. Leveraging the financial expertise of its bankers and its partnerships with local nonprofits focused on financial education, the Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money program this year includes $1.4 million in donations to 80 nonprofits and volunteer outreach by more than 400 trained Citizens colleagues to teach financial literacy in communities throughout the bank’s footprint. Throughout the year, Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money is expected to improve the financial acumen of more than 260,000 individuals seeking a better understanding of financial topics ranging from the basics of checking accounts to the intricacies of household budgeting and long-term financial planning. Citizens has launched a new Financial Fundamentals hub on its website (www.content.citizensbank.com/financialfundamentals) to provide consumers with information on budgeting and saving, home ownership, protecting identity, and more. The bank is also inviting those interested in learning more about money management to join a “Make It Count” challenge on its Facebook page throughout the month of April to learn and share tips about topics such as goal-setting, saving, and managing credit. Nonprofit organizations from across the bank’s 11-state footprint were chosen in a competitive application process based on their track record of success providing financial education programs, clear and measurable goals for the program and a demonstration to incorporate sustainability in their program plans. Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money is part of the bank’s broader Citizens Helping Citizens program, which addresses four key areas — hunger, economic development, financial education and volunteerism.

Annual ‘Thank You’ awards recognize Detroit neighborhood small business owners Quicken Loans, Detroit Development Fund, DTE Energy Foundation and Detroit Smart Pages Newspaper today announced that the 3rd annual “Thank You” Awards Ceremony, recognizing Detroit neighborhood small businesses will be held Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Gem Theater located at 333 Madison St. in Detroit. More than 40 small neighborhood businesses throughout the city will be recognized and honored for their investment, commitment and dedication to the communities and customers they serve. Lauren Sanders, former WDIV anchor and native Detroiter will serve as Mistress of Ceremony and several city officials, community leaders Beverly Smith and business owners including Detroit Council President Brenda Jones, Charlie Beckham, Group Executive city of Detroit, Bill Ross, President of the Booker T. Washington Business Association, Ed Deeb, Founder of Detroit Metro Youth Day, Paul Wasserman, owner of Henry the Hatter, Camille Walker-Banks, Executive Director Wayne State University, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, and Ron Fournier, Publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business will be among the award Presenters. “Our goal is to bring together corporations, community leaders and city officials to meet, greet and thank the business owners who have been instrumental in the development and resurgence that’s now taking place in the city,” said Beverly Smith, publisher of Detroit Smart Pages Newspaper and founder of the “Thank You” Awards.

To highlight the evening, the audience will be entertained with a special and I live my life according to many of performance by Ballet Detroit under the the principles they practiced,” said spe- direction of Ballet Master, Sergey Racial honoree and Major League Baseball yevskiy at the Detroit Opera House and great Willie Horton, adding that his work video presentations of business owners with the organization affirmed his belief highlighting their long history in the in a duty to service and fair treatment for city of Detroit. citizens. “The Detroit Development Fund is “Father Cunningham and Eleanor Jo- pleased to once again help sponsor the saitis’ vision for creating opportunities Thank You Awards and Reception. It is for people is one we should be carrying great to see the new businesses openout every single day. Everybody should ing in Detroit, but it is also good to take support skill development for opportu- time to honor many Detroit businesses nities to be successful … and unfortu- that have been here for several years and nately as we see less and less help from have gone through the many ups and the public sector to support these pro- downs in the economy. The businesses grams, we have to rely more and more we are recognizing are truly the backon foundations and private donations bone of the Detroit business communito support this good work,” concluded ty,” said Ray Waters. Heroes for HOPE honoree Sen. Debbie Quicken Loans, DTE Energy FounStabenow.

dation and Detroit Developing Fund are hosting sponsors for this year’s event. Other sponsors include: Fifth Third Bank, Clark Hill, PLC, Wayne State Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Radio One, 910am Superstation, Voiceover Productions, Atwater Media, Heritage Optical Centers and the Michigan Chronicle. “The DTE Energy Foundation supports organizations that create a culture of innovation through entrepreneurship, accelerate economic growth, as well as strengthen and develop businesses that enhance Detroit and its resurgence,” said Faye Nelson, vice president at DTE Energy, and board chair and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “Many of the businesses that will be honored during the Thank You Awards have embodied these ideals and continue to contribute to Detroit’s revitalization.” Someone once said, “If downtown is the heart of Detroit, then the neighborhoods are the soul of the city.” If that’s true, then few events breathe more energy and life into the soul of the Motor City more than the annual Detroit “Thank You” Awards. Beverly Smith took a simple idea and turned it into a yearly, must attend, grassroots business reunion that celebrates the neversay-die spirit of our city. If you want to be inspired, make sure you attend this wonderful Detroit tradition. Thank you for caring, Bev, and good luck! Chuck Stokes, Editorial Director, WXYZ. The honorees represent a cross section of businesses throughout the city including: salon owners, grocery stores, retailers, restaurants, and non-profit organizations. • “Starting and maintaining a small business takes determination, tenacity and ingenuity,” said Steve Ogden, Quicken Loans Vice President. “The Thank You Awards take the time to recognize the people and stories behind the small business community in Detroit and give all of us an opportunity to learn from these entrepreneurs while acknowledging their achievements in contributing to the economic, social and cultural success of our city.” The evening will consist of a networking reception, buffet dinner, awards ceremony and entertainment. Tickets are available to the public for $35 and can be purchased online at www.thankyoudetroit.com or one of the following Detroit locations: Hot Sam’s Clothier, 127 Monroe, 313-961-6779; Times Square Clothier, 19330 Livernois, 313-342-9005 and All About Technology, 6450 Michigan Avenue, 313-218-4888 and Prince Valley Market at 5931 Michigan Avenue, 313-898-9717. For more information and sponsorships, please contact Beverly Smith at 313-268-3523. Please visit www.thankyoudetroit.com for a list of all honorees since 2015, photos and video presentations.


UAW-FORD’s

Section C-3

May 3-9, 2017

Winning formula:

CT’s Triniti Smith excels in school, sports and service On the rise: Lifted by a loving family and an always-supportive village, Cass Tech senior Triniti Smith had an amazing high school journey in the classroom, on the volleyball court and in the community. And more great things will be expected when she enrolls at Morgan State University on a full scholarship in the fall.

Senior volleyball setter embraces hard work while saying ‘NO’ to excuses

By Scott Talley Special to the Michigan Chronicle If it is true that numbers do not lie, then it must be said that Triniti Smith is the absolute, genuine truth. The highly impressive numbers associated with the Cass Tech senior include a 4.15 cumulative grade point average, more than 200 hours of service performed to help others in her community, and a long string of special moments on the volleyball court as an All-City setter for the Technicians. Because of all of this and much more, the “Best of Young Detroit” is honored to highlight Triniti as our community heads into the high school graduation season. “Triniti is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached,” said Cass Tech varsity volleyball coach Ramona Cox, who has worked closely with Triniti since her ninth grade year, when Triniti was starting out on the Cass Tech junior varsity team. Ultimately, they would make the move up to the varsity ranks together, and as the saying goes: “the rest was history.” Looking back, Triniti was a part of a very special era of Detroit Public School League volleyball that will be forever recognized for high-level play. Triniti and her teammates made annual trips to the PSL championship game, and as a sophomore in 2014 she was a part of a squad that hoisted the big prize (Cass Tech’s fifth consecutive PSL title at the time). However, Triniti’s initial decision to play volleyball may go down as an even greater life moment for this very special young woman. “Before I played volleyball I did track and that was all about me and what I wanted,” said Triniti, who has been involved with the Motor City Track Club for more than a decade, and is a former AAU Junior Olympics national finalist in the discus and shot put. “But when I played volleyball, I quickly learned that it was a team sport and you can’t do it all by yourself. It made me such a selfless person. People can call me whatever they want, but I don’t think they can call me selfish.” Cox marvels at the way Triniti took younger players under her wing while a member of the Cass Tech volleyball program, but Triniti’s giving nature has also been felt in our community. As a member of Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church and an active participant in its

youth ministry, Triniti has entertained at nursing homes, fed homeless people in the Cass Corridor, read to children and tutored ninth and tenth grade students in math and science. Being a childcare associate for the Ready to Learn Childcare Center for two summers was another important voluntary act of giving for Triniti, and an experience that she thinks will greatly impact her future.

“I want to be a child psychologist, so I wanted to see if can I handle being with kids,” said Triniti, who is graduating from the health and human services curriculum at Cass. “I found out that ‘yes,’ I love kids. I want to be with them a lot and make a difference in their lives.” Triniti will continue to prepare for her future career this fall when she goes off to Baltimore on a full scholarship to Morgan State University, where she also will play volleyball. “That (her college selection) would be my proudest moment during Triniti’s high school days,” said Tammy Smith, Triniti’s mom and a 1985 Cass Tech graduate. “To see all of the hard work and sacrifice that she has done through this four-year journey, it was an extremely proud moment. She had five full-ride offers, and she said she didn’t want to sacrifice education for her sport, and she chose the school that was the best fit. She did it herself.” And Triniti will take many fond memories of Cass Tech with her to Morgan State. “Even though it (Cass) is a big school, it’s still a small community that wants to see you succeed and wants you to be successful,” said Triniti, who was in the running for valedictorian as this section was going to press. “I thank all my teachers, and counselors and the entire staff. Also, the people you surround yourself with are very important. I have friends who are

going to MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Michigan, on full-ride scholarships. We all bring something to the table and I like that…Being at Cass really paid off in the long run.” In speaking with the “Best of Young Detroit,” Triniti shared her deep appreciation for her entire support system, which along with the Cass Tech Nation has included mom and dad (Corry ‘Play Like Me’ Smith Sr.); two college-educated siblings (Tasia and Corry Smith Jr.); Legends Volleyball Organization director Kilee Goetz, who worked tirelessly to identify promising scholarship opportunities for Triniti; and, many others, including loving grandparents. And after thanking her entire “village,” Triniti shared some caring advice for youth everywhere. “You are your biggest obstacle, and anyone can do anything that you put your mind to,” stated Triniti, who overcame a diagnosis of severe idiopathic scoliosis in the fifth grade to participate in sports and later had to navigate the challenges of demanding schoolwork and athletics, including getting home routinely at 10 p.m. following evening volleyball club practices in Brighton. Triniti added: “I like positive visualizations of situations and I don’t believe in a lot of excuses. You don’t have to go to Cass, no matter where you are, you can work harder.“

And that’s the absolute, genuine truth, which Triniti Smith is.

Michelle Davis is CAYF “Detroit Educator of the Year”

Michelle Davis

The “Best of Young Detroit” congratulates Davis Aerospace Technical High School teacher Michelle Davis on being named the Coleman A. Young Foundation’s (CAYF) Educator of the Year. CAYF bestows this award annually to an educator who exemplifies the leadership characteristics and spirit of the late Mayor Coleman A. Young, “by going the extra mile, motivating students to achieve their potential, helping them overcome

obstacles and challenging them to reach their goals.” Ms. Davis will be recognized during CAYF’s Annual Awards Experience on May 8, which also will celebrate the 2017 CAYF scholarship recipients. For more information on CAYF, please visit cayf.org and to read the thoughts of some of Ms. Davis’ students in this week’s “Student Voices” installment, please see the second page of our section.


UAW-Ford’s Best of Young Detroit

May 3-9, 2017

Page C-4

Student Voices

Davis Aerospace students have wise words for influential people Our student contributors at Davis Aerospace Technical High School continue to demonstrate their intellect and thoughtfulness. In this week’s “Student Voices,” they share with our community what they would say if given an opportunity to have dinner with anyone in the world—present and past. As always, some of the people selected may come as a surprise to readers, and that type of introspection and diversity of thought is exactly what the “Best of Young Detroit” appreciates about our contributors and their most dedicated teacher, Michelle Davis. Johnnie Davis, junior: “Donald Trump! This is the man who I would select as a dinner companion if I had the choice of any individual—present or past. I choose him because people that are dead have no effect on the present because they have already altered their future, which is now the present. Donald Trump is the president of this country and in his short time in office he has used his power to make multiple illogical executive orders that have endangered our relationships with allied nations and has created tension between the United Nations. “If I could sit down and have dinner with him, I would discuss topics of importance with him concerning the future of America such as preventing future wars, lessening our national debt, and improving the economy. The most crucial topic I would discuss is what can he do about relieving tension with other countries such as Russia and North Korea? I think that this is most essential for preventing future wars that could arise under the current relationship status between those countries and the U.S. Unfortunately, in the modern time we live in, use of a nuclear weapon in war is possible. Nuclear

weapons have apocalyptic traits in the use and aftermath of them. They also permanently damage the earth because the radiation lasts hundreds of years. This is why if I had the opportunity to have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, it would have to be Donald Trump. And just for the record, I am not fond of him at all.” Joe Nathien Sanders-Boyce, junior: “The soulful sounds of Jill Scott’s music renders me vulnerable and pleased. Thus, she would be my choice for a fine dining experience. I admire everything she does. Ms. Scott’s unique and profound ballads massage my mind and make me very emotional, while releasing me from all negative thoughts. I am deeply touched by her words of wisdom, which are poetry filled with compassionate scriptures and sensational sonnets. “If I had the opportunity to have dinner with Ms. Scott I’ll probably burst into tears. The amount of reverence that I have for her, and her music is unreal. This phenomenal woman’s music has enlightened me to be the person I am today, waking up in the morning to “Blessed” as my alarm —“Assertive & Punctual“. I would ask her tons of questions such as what inspired the CD ‘Who is Jill Scott?’ In which I must say was a monumental and mind-boggling album. I also would ask her about her past endeavors. What made her the woman she is today? “I would be extremely honored to be in her presence, providing me with the opportunity for her to educate me about our people, quench my thirst for knowledge, and elevate my mentally. Maybe we could talk about ‘Revelation 3:17’ with a nice lemon squeeze, and she could apprise me of the time ‘She’

was caught up in the maze of love and tell me more about her journey, like does she deem where she is in life satisfying to her?” Jessica Peeples, senior: “I could go on Google and search Michelle Obama and read information and articles about her all day. However, sitting down, having dinner and holding conversations with her, hearing about her successes out of her own mouth, would be awesome! She is an extraordinary role model. Michelle Obama graduated from Harvard Law School, and became a lawyer. She had a dream and didn’t continue to dream about it. Instead, she got up and went for it. I would greet Michelle Obama with great enthusiasm and compliment her on her and her husband’s success. Then I would lay out some of my plans for the future and ask her what her advice would be on how to accomplish those plans in the most significant way possible. “Michelle Obama reminds me of how I picture myself in the future. She’s involved with communities, she’s a wonderful speaker, and she shows leadership and confident traits. I love her because she doesn’t hide behind President Obama; she has her own opinion towards things. Michelle is truly her own person, wise and a true definition of a strong black woman. “If I could have dinner with Michelle Obama, I would ask her a few personal questions that I am curious to know. Those questions include: How do you handle the pressure of managing a family, being First Lady, being a lawyer, being a woman, and keeping it all together? How do you prioritize? Did you ever foresee yourself as First Lady? What was the best and worst part of being married to the President? If you could

change one thing about yourself what would it be? What’s the biggest misconception about you? And, what is the biggest cause you hope to be remembered for after your husband ‘s presidency?” Christopher Freeman, junior: “I have a dream to dine with a king. Not the king of Egypt or England, but a man whose last name truly symbolizes his role in the black community—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I would like to have dinner with him to commend him for his efforts in making life better for African Americans. He would probably be in such a state of amazement by seeing multiple cultures of people together in peace. I would also like to ask him what I could do to make a difference in the world to finish the mission of equality that he started. I would ask him for notes to make better speeches and to become a more powerful man. Then, I would ask him how he feels about the new politicians that have come into office. Moreover, I would ask if the movie on his life portrayed him accurately and which parts of the movie were incorrect? Afterwards, I would request that he look around the restaurant so he could fathom the fact that a dream thought to be unreal is now a reality. We would also converse about what he would have done differently in his life. I would talk to him about how his efforts allowed for our first African American president to be elected to office. After we had finished our meal and our lengthy conversation I will thank him and shake his hand. There is still some racism, but with Martin Luther King Jr.’s words in our heart, we can persevere to find equality.

FINE ARTS NEWS

DPSCD Student Exhibition on display at DIA through May 28

Briana Davis

DuJuan Goulbourne

Le La Barnes

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is now displaying hundreds of imaginative works created by Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) students, as part of the 80th annual “Detroit Public Schools Community District Student Exhibition.” The exhibition can be viewed through May 28 in the DIA’s Special Exhibition Galleries South on the second floor near Farnsworth Street. Viewing of the exhibition is free and the public is welcome. The partnership between the DIA and the Detroit Public Schools is the longest standing continuous relationship the museum has with an educational organization. Many of the students whose works have been featured in the exhibition have gone on to pursue successful careers in the arts, including, Tracy Reese, a New York-based fashion designer who has dressed the likes of former First Lady Michelle Obama; and, Mario Moore, a New York-based contemporary painter whose works have been shown in exhibitions across the country. For eight decades, the exhibitions have impacted and inspired an immeasurable amount of people, from the students themselves, their families and the visitors who come to see the artwork. Students from 18 schools in grades K–12 submitted ceramics, collages, drawings, videos, textiles, jewelry, paintings, photography, prints, sculpture and other works. A jury of local artists, retired DPSCD educators and DIA staff selected the nearly 400 pieces included in the show. This year exhibition also includes eight videos, more than ever before. In addition, each year entries are featured on exhibition promotional materials. This

Sydney Smith

year’s selections are: POSTER “Coney With Everything,” Mixed Media: Mohammed Saifur Rahman, Grade 12, Cass Tech CHECKLIST COVER “Brown Eyed Girl,” Drawing: Kyra Williams-Davis, Grade 11, Renaissance “In the Moment,” Drawing: Dujuan Goulbourne, Grade 12, Renaissance BOOKMARK “Aptikal,” Jewelry: Tai’Janae Harris, Grade 12, Cass Tech “Blue Squid,” Painting: Kara Collier, Grade 8, Carver STEM Academy “Floetry,” Jewelry: Le’La Barnes, Grade 11, Cass Tech POSTCARD “Sending Love,” Photography: Seth Crosby, Grade 12, Renaissance “Synthetic Confidence,” Photography: Lauren Crymes, Grade 12, Renaissance “Women in the Water,” Photography: Seth Crosby, Grade 12, Renaissance BANNER “A Busy Crowd at the Show,” Painting: Joy Brown-Paymon, Grade 3, Carver STEM Academy PROGRAM COVER “A Couple,” Painting: Sydney Smith, Grade 8, Bates Academy DIA WEBSITE “Redwood Boots,” Painting: Jordyn Willis, Grade 11, Renaissance DIRECTIONAL SIGNAGE “Flying High with the Friendly Skies,” Drawing: Tyleigh Wilkins, Grade 3, Carver STEM Academy “Girl Robot,” Drawing: Briana Davis, Grade 4, Carver STEM Academy “Lesson of the Spider,” Painting: JoAnne Hollis, Grade 12, Cass Tech “Max’s Grill,” Painting: Dezjaney Smith, Grade 12, Cass Tech “Rooster,” Drawing: Magdalene Sanchez Pryzgodski, Grade 3, Academy of the Americas The DIA is located at 5200 Woodward. Hours are: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Standouts from Detroit are selected during recent NFL Draft According to data provided by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, just 6.5 percent of high school football players will play in college, and the National Football League drafts roughly just 1.6 percent of college players. Nonetheless, despite the daunting statistics, when the NFL held its annual draft of college players last week in Philadelphia, to the “Best of Young Detroit’s” knowledge, there were at least four young men from Detroit that heard their names called during the three-day event. There also may be a few more Detroit products that enter the league as undrafted free agents. While the college programs are often given most of the credit for the players’ development, the unsung heroes are the parents, teachers, coaches (including high school and youth level), and other members of these young men’s support systems since childhood. The “Best of Young Detroit” salutes the young men from Detroit that were selected in the NFL Draft, along with their extended support systems. We wish the players continued success and hope they are able to use their platforms as professional athletes to help others, including the communities and neighborhoods that produced them. Following is a listing of players from Detroit selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, along with a tiny sampling of their college accomplishments, which led to them being coveted by the league: Malik McDowell, Seattle Seahawks, second round pick (35th overall selection): Despite suffering an ankle injury during his 2016 season at Michigan State, the defensive lineman was named second team All-Big Ten for the second consecutive season. McDowell’s best campaign as a Spartan came during the 2015 season, when he registered 13 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, while helping lead Michigan State to the college football playoffs. Jourdan Lewis, Dallas Cowboys, third round pick (92nd overall selection): After overcoming an early-season injury during his 2016 senior campaign at the University of Michigan, Lewis registered 25 tackles

Your Feedback Matters The “Best of Young Detroit” welcomes feedback from our community. Please submit story suggestions and other comments to Scott Talley at stalleyassociates@gmail.com or 313-590-3686.

(including 3.5 for loss) to go along with two interceptions and nine pass breakups. As a result, Lewis was the Big Ten Conference Defensive Back of the Year, a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (given to the nation’s top defensive back), and named first team All-American by multiple outlets. Delano Hill, Seattle Seahawks, third round pick (95th overall selection): A teammate of Jourdan Lewis at Michigan and Cass Tech, Hill was selected just three picks after Lewis by the Seattle Seahawks, where he will join another Detroit product, Malik McDowell. Hill is coming off an outstanding 2016 senior season at Michigan, during which he registered 52 tackles (including 4.5 for loss), three interceptions and three pass breakups en route to earning second team All-Big Ten honors. Desmond King, Los Angeles Chargers, fifth round pick (151st overall selection): A super standout in the defensive backfield for the Iowa Hawkeyes, the pride of East English Village was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus first team All-American during his 2015 junior campaign at Iowa, when he also captured the Jim Thorpe Award, awarded to the nation’s top defensive back. King’s onfield highlights during his junior campaign included eight interceptions, 13 pass breakups and 72 tackles. King capped his collegiate playing days by once again being named first team All-Big Ten for his 2016 senior season.

Community Employment

Free Career Day program comes to Focus HOPE Conference Center on May 24 The “Best of Young Detroit” would like to inform all community members, ages 18 and up, that there will be a free career day program on May 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Focus HOPE Conference Center, 1400 Oakman Blvd., Detroit. Paid apprenticeship programs, entrepreneur programs and more are expected to be presented during the event, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. To register for the program and additional information, please contact the Focus HOPE Center for Children at 313-494-4400.


business

THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE

Craft Syndicate celebrates second year empowering entrepreneurs Craft Syndicate by Dutch Masters wants to give a mentorship opportunity and a $15,000 grant to aspiring music producers. Craft Syndicate returns, celebrating its second year and is searching for innovators with an unwavering commitment to making their dream a reality. Craft Syndicate looks to share the craft by pairing an aspiring music producer with an established music producer and entrepreneur, and tasking them to collaborate in developing a marketable song. The winner of this year’s competition will be awarded the opportunity to work with industry expert and noted music producer, Don Cannon. Hopefuls can register to be entered into the competition: • Entry: March 31 through April 20, producers 21 and older could apply by registering through the Craft Syndicate official site, www.Craft-Syndicate.com. Once registered, an entrant could submit one or more music tracks and must upload, tagging each with @ craft_syndicate and using the hashtag #CraftSyndicate in the post copy to a participating social media site (i.e., Twitter, Soundcloud or Instagram) • Selection: Contest entries were initially judged by a panel of music professionals each of whom will select up to 10 finalists. • Finals: Mentor Don Cannon selects the grand prize winner

dicate judges will be Grammy Award winning producer, and music executive, Kawan “KP” Prather, resident tour DJ, and author, DJ Mars, and music producer OG Parker. In 2016, the first Craft Syndicate program was launched in the fashion vertical and partnered with renowned fashion designer Jeff Staple. Program winner, Alexander-John, and Jeff Staple went on to launch a successful street wear collection: OFLUXURY.

Music producer, Don Cannon from all the chosen finalists. “Being a mentor for the Craft Syndicate program allows me to connect to and inspire other DJs and producers to excel and know there are no limits to their futures,” said mentor Don Cannon. “As a music executive and DJ, I look forward to working with young producers and artists because it allows me to get re-energized. I always keep my ear to the streets and working directly with them is the best way to understand how any generation’s music works.” “I’m excited to hear all the submissions and meet the winner,” said Sarah Krysalka, director of marketing for Dutch Masters. “When you think of Dutch Masters, you think of craftsmanship, creativity, camaraderie and the role it plays in culture with such die-hard

fans. So Craft Syndicate is all about finding those individuals who, too, are perfecting their craft. Who have not just the desire but the need to express themselves through their art. Who are gratified not only when their work gets some shine, but also when their peer, their community, their cause is being heard and reverberated. This program is to honor their hustle and support their artistic expression. And personally, when you see someone who’s ready, who’s doing the work, someone who just needs that opportunity and I can help give it to them… that’s a big reason I love my job. I can’t wait to hear the finished track. Future mentee, I’ll see you at the release party! Lending their expertise to the this program as Craft Syn-

As part of Craft Syndicate’s ongoing commitment to creative entrepreneurship, the plan is to roll out additional programs in 2017. Once again, pairing up-and-coming creators in fashion, film, food and art/design with established entrepreneurs for the purpose of sharing the craft and collaborating on all-new products together. Designed to bring dimension to and serve as proof of Dutch Masters’ value proposition, “Share in the Craft,” Craft Syndicate is a communications platform that uses social media to encourage creative entrepreneurship. It works towards this goal by pairing aspiring entrepreneurs in fashion, music, design, art, food and film with established entrepreneurs in each field and tasking them with co-developing a new product. Each program is fully funded by a grant of up to $15,000 awarded by Dutch Masters.

Founders to open second taproom in Midtown Founders Brewing Co. announced that, for the first time in their 20-year history, they will open a second taproom. The new facility will feature a fully-operational brewery and retail taproom located in the lower Cass Corridor neighborhood in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, a burgeoning cultural hub adjacent to sports arenas, music venues and more. “Having been born and raised in the metro area, Detroit has long held a special place in my heart,” said Mark Dorich, Founders’ vice president of retail operations. “It’s a hard-working, no-nonsense, culturally diverse and musically-inspired town, which happens to have the best sports teams in the country. Some of our strongest support has come from the east side of Michigan, and we could not think of a better place to expand our taproom experience. We anticipate creating a taproom that is inspired by what we do in Grand Rapids, but unique in its own Mo-

town way. We’re excited to be a larger part of ‘the D’” Based in Grand Rapids since 1997, Founders’ decision to open a second taproom in Detroit reaffirms their longstanding commitment and pride in their home state of Michigan. The new location will include a full-service taproom serving unique menu items and locally-made Founders beers from the on-site brewery, in addition to the classic Founders lineup. Founders plans to staff the facility primarily with Detroit-area employees in an effort to contribute to local job growth and economic revitalization. Hiring will begin in summer 2017. The 14,000 square foot building is located at 456 Charlotte St. and will undergo construction beginning in summer 2017. The grand opening is targeted for winter of 2017. Founders has partnered with Midtown Detroit, Inc. and Invest De-

troit on the development of the property. “The introduction of a brand like Founders Brewing Co. to the south Cass neighborhood will have a catalytic impact and attract others to invest,” said Sue Mosey, executive director, Midtown Detroit, Inc. Midtown Detroit, Inc. has partnered with Invest Detroit to bring the development to life. “We are again pleased to partner and co-invest with Midtown Detroit, Inc. to facilitate the redevelopment of a building in this emerging district,” said Dave Blaszkiewicz, president and chief executive officer of Invest Detroit. “Sue Mosey and her team have done an amazing job of attracting new businesses to the community. This location for the highly recognized Founders Brewing Co. will be a critical asset to encourage additional investment to revitalize the surrounding area.” 

May 3-9, 2017 Page C-5

AFL-CIO says Michigan workers need safety protections A new report from the AFL-CIO shows that the state of Michigan reported 134 workplace fatalities and 96,000 workplace-related injuries and illnesses in 2015. The report, titled “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect,” compiles data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2015; the most recent year data is available. The new data was released in advance of Workers Memorial Day, which took place on April 28 to commemorate workers who have died or suffered illness or injury on the job. “Everyone deserves to have a safe place to work,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Even one death in the workplace is too many, and this report shows us that Michigan still has a long way to go to keep people safe on the job.” According to the report, the average penalty for OSHA violations in Michigan was just $763 in 2016, which ranks 48th-lowest in the country. As of 2017, there are 55 state Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHO) and one federal CSHO inspector responsible for inspecting job sites across the entire state of Michigan. Based on the number of job sites in the state, it would take these 56 inspectors 51 years to inspect each workplace in Michigan one time. “Michigan needs to get its priorities straight,” said Bieber. “Instead of giving more tax breaks to their corporate donors, Governor Snyder and Republicans in the legislature need to focus on improving lives for regular working people, and that includes safer workplaces. We need more inspectors on the beat to enforce our workplace safety laws and hold corporations accountable when they cut corners, break the law, and put workers’ lives at risk.” Workers in Detroit, Saginaw, Calumet, Hancock, and Marquette gathered at Workers Memorial Day ceremonies to honor those who were hurt or killed on the job. Attendees will also speak out against recent actions taken by the Trump administration to roll back and block regulations that protect workers from serious hazards, as well as cuts to the job safety budget.

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Page C-6 • THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE • May 3-9, 2017

A Speakers Forum

FORUM III

Salvador Salort-Pons

Juanita Moore

Ron Kagan

George N’Namdi

Destination Detroit: Creating a World Class Hub for Arts, Culture and Entertainment May 18, 2017 • 7:30 a.m. Detroit Athletic Club 241 Madison Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226 Panelists

Salvador Salort- Pons President & CEO • Detroit Institute of Arts

Juanita Moore

President & CEO • The Charles Wright Museum of African American History

Ron Kagan

CEO • Detroit Zoological Society

George N’Namdi

Founder & President of N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art Presented by:

Media Sponsors:

For More Information Call 313-963-5522

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Reflections By Steve Holsey

Married in real life Some people, even some who watch “Empire,” are still unaware of the fact that Trai Byers, who portrays Andre Lyon, and Grace Gealey, who is Anika Calhoun (Cookie Lyon — Taraji P. Henson — snidely refers to her as “Boo Boo Kitty”), married in April of last year. They are not lovers on Trai and Grace Geathe show. (She ley Byers is now identified as Grace Byers in the credits.) Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker met as Damon Carter and Teri Joseph on the long-running TV series “Soul Food.” They exchanged vows in 2005 and have two Nicole Ari Parker and children. They Boris Kodjoe had a love relationship on “Soul Food.”

Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe with their children

Two nice looking couples. ARETHA FRANKLIN has often taken oversensitivity to new heights. It stopped me in my tracks when I read online last week that she is furious with Dionne Warwick for mistakenly saying in public (five years ago!) that she (Franklin) was Whitney Houston’s godmother.

By Steve Holsey The word dysfunctional was not created to describe the Jacksons, but the famous family belongs under that banner.

Why is that anything to get mad Aretha Franklin about? Many believe that Franklin creates drama to “stay in the news.” Such a great artist and icon should not give in to such urges. Franklin said, according to The Associated Press, “She blatantly lied on me…fully well knowing what she was doing.”

One of the most recent dramas involves matriarch Katherine Jackson and her nephew-in-law, Trent Jackson, the son of patriarch Joseph Jackson’s brother. He had been hired as Mrs. Jackson’s driver, but she accused him of not only getting into her business affairs, but also of “bullying, manipulation and elder abuse,” leaving her in a “constant state of fear and confusion.”

Katherine Jackson

Mrs. Jackson tried to get a restraining order against Trent Lamar Jackson, but for whatever reason the judge dismissed the case.

Trent Jackson

Franklin has a long history of overreacting, involving, among others, Mavis Staples, Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Beyoncé, Ruth Pointer and Natalie Cole. WILL SMITH and DJ Jazzy Jeff are getting back together Aug. 26-27 for a pair of overseas performances. They will play in Croatia for the MTV Summerblast and the United Kingdom for the Livewire Festival. Many fans are hoping that this will lead to bookings in the U.S.

Some believe that there are forces at work against Mrs. Jackson because Michael Jackson left everything to his mother and his kids. At age 86, Katherine Jackson should La Toya Jackson in Playboy not have to go through any of this madness, especially since she’s still grieving over the 2009 death of Michael.

Jermaine Jackson and wife number two, Randy Jackson Alejandra Oaziaza

Jermaine Jackson and Randy Jackson each have children by the same woman! Randy had been dating a woman named Alejandra Oaziaza and they had two kids. Later, after Alejandra and Randy broke up, she got into a relationship with Jermaine, married him and gave birth to two children. So Randy’s kids and Jermaine’s kids are siblings and cousins!

Will Smith and D.J. Jazzy Jeff Gabrielle Union has written a self-revealing book scheduled to be published in October titled “We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated and True.” Viola Davis and John Legend both have a prestigious Time magazine cover based on them being among “The 100 Most Influential People.”

Now that’s what you call creepy.

Janet Jackson and James Wissan Al Mana and Janet Jackson DeBarge

La Toya Jackson, the least talented member of the family, raised plenty of eyebrows in 1989 when she provocatively posed nude with a large snake for

See Jacksons Page D-2

NNPA Newswire Exclusive

Bill Cosby finally breaks his silence By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

Viola Davis and John Legend Time magazine covers Nat Morris says via e-mail that a reunion of “The Scene” dance and entertainment show is being planned for July 15 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. He wants former dancers and staff members, along with potential advertisers, etc., plus general fans, to visit thescenereunion.com for more information. On July 21, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith will appear in “Girls Trip,” their first film together since “Set It Off” in 1996. Anthony Anderson relates a funny story regarding his hero, James Earl

See Reflections Page D-2

Bill Cosby is blind. It’s been more than two years since the embattled, television and film legend, who was once known as “America’s Dad,” had spoken out publicly. During a recent interview with the NNPA Newswire, Cosby revealed that he’s lost his sight. Waking one morning about two years ago, he nervously called out to Camille, his wife, “I can’t see.” Doctors later confirmed the worst, that there was nothing that could be done to repair his vision. “When he would perform,

we’d draw a wide straight yellow line from backstage to the chair on the stage and he’d rehearse the walk, hours before the show,” said Andrew Wyatt of the Purpose PR firm, a public relations agency in Birmingham, Ala. Wyatt has worked with Cosby for years. Wyatt said that his star client has decided that it’s time to talk. Together, Wyatt and Cosby said they grew comfortable that the NNPA Newswire would be more interested in “facts over sensationalism.” Cosby has shunned most media inquiries, since allegations of sexual misconduct Bill Cosby said that he hopes to perform again. The legendary comedian, who is facing criminal sexual assault surfaced in late 2014. Some

See Bill Cosby Page D-3

charges in Montgomery County, Pa., will turn 80 in July. (Courtesy Photo/Bill Cosby)


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Jacksons

From page D-1

Playboy magazine. According to Jermaine, she had always been terrified of snakes. That same year, La Toya married an older man named Jack Gordon. The marriage went sour and in her autobiography, “Growing Up in the Jackson Family,” she claims that on one occasion he left her “in a pool of blood,” which was surely an exaggeration. Jermaine Jackson despised Gordon. When I interviewed him in 1989, when the subject of La Toya’s marriage came up, Jermaine reached over and turned off my tape recorder, so he could tell me, off the record, what he really thought of Gordon. In Katherine Jackson’s book, “My Family, the Jacksons,” she said one day Joe Jackson hit her…something he only did once because she let him have it with an ironing cord. It was she who persuaded Michael to do the “Victory” tour in 1984. She convinced him by saying this would give his brothers a chance to make some money. Michael was riding high with the history-making “Thriller” album and was not interested in a Jacksons tour. Joe Jackson felt that Berry Gordy was getting too close to his sons, having too much influence on them. “It’s my blood running through their veins, not his,” he publicly declared. Marlon Jackson made a solo album in 1987 titled “Baby Tonight.” The first single, “Don’t Go,”

was a hit, reaching No. 2 on the national R&B Singles chart although it failed to go Pop. Jackson told reporters that he was “no longer in the Jacksons.” “I’ve always wanted to do a solo album and pursue a solo career,” said Jackson. “I feel that God has a time for everybody and I think that this is my time.” But when his solo career began to falter, Marlon rejoined his brothers. Marlon is one of most stable members of the Jackson family. For example, he and Carol Ann Parker have been married since 1975. Speaking of solo endeavors, Tito Jackson made his debut solo album, “Tito Time,” last year — at the age of 63. Better late than never. No doubt Jermaine Jackson loved his brother, Michael, but in 1991 he wrote and recorded a scathing attack titled

“Word to the Bad!!” He said harsh things such as, “You only think about what you want,” “You forgot about where we started from,” “You changed your ways, even told me lies,” “Could not trust you, still I loved you,” and “If you don’t care, I don’t care.” In 1995, a woman named Margaret Maldonado, who had lived with Jermaine Jackson and had two children with him, wrote a book titled “Jackson Family Values: Memories of Madness” in which she accused him of things we won’t print. Janet Jackson’s third marriage, to Wissan Al Manna,” the billionaire businessman from Qatar, an Arab country in the Middle East, is at a well-publicized end of the road. Her first marriage, to James DeBarge of the group DeBarge, was annulled. He had a drug problem as does practically everybody in that

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit presents ‘heartBEAT: A Story of Love, Hate and Rhythm’ Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is proud to present “heartBEAT: A Story of Love, Hate and Rhythm” May 11-22 at the Detroit Film Theatre inside the Detroit Institute of Arts. The moving and inspirational production intertwines the vibrant languages of theatre and music with the beauty of spoken word poetry, contemporary edge of hip-hop and rhythmic intensity of STEP and percussion to paint a portrait that creatively depicts the complex accounts of the battles between love and hate that young people face every day. The original stage play with original music is a powerfully relevant and inspiring experience for all. Tickets for all performances of “heartBEAT: A Story of Love, Hate and Rhythm” can be purchased online at www.mosaicdetroit.org. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 seniors and $15 for students with valid ID. VIP priority reserved seating is available for $35 per ticket. Family 4-Pack and group rates are available — contact, Kristen Clauder, 313-872-6910, ext. 4021. Children under 5 not admitted. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Mosaic is an internationally-acclaimed performing arts company and national leader in creative youth

development. Mosaic’s all-teen theatre and vocal music performances have toured Africa, Asia, Europe, Canada, the White House, the Kennedy Center and throughout the U.S. Mosaic has won national awards from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as two gold and two silver medals at the 2014 World Choir Games in Latvia. Mosaic has also represented the U.S. at the World Festival of Children’s Theatre and has ongoing partnerships with The Public Theater in New York and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Mosaic’s mission is to empower young people to maximize their potential through professional performing arts training and the creation of theatrical and musical art that engages transforms and inspires. In Mosaic’s 23-year history, 95 percent of its youth performers have gone on to college. Show dates and times: • Thursday, May 11 and May 18 at 10 a.m. (student matinee performance) • Friday, May 12 and May 19 at 8 p.m. • Saturday, May 13 and May 20 at 8 p.m. • Sunday, May 14 and May 21 at 4 p.m.

Reflections Jones. It so happened that Jones was seated next to him at the airport, but Anderson was too awestruck to say anything. Wanted to look intelligent, he began “reading” a copy of the Wall Street Journal. Jones gave him a funny look when he got up to leave and Anderson soon found out why — the newspaper was upside down. When Motown Record Corp. was hot in the ’60s and early ’70s, so was Stax Records in Memphis. In celebrating the 60th anniversary of Stax, there will be an abundance of reissues, new hits compilations and more. The Stax roster included, among others, Otis Redding, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, the Staple Singers, Johnnie Taylor, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Isaac Hayes, the Emotions and Detroit’s own Dramatics. BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…that country legend Merle Haggard made it clear that he hated Millie Jackson’s slowed down, R&B version of his hit “If You’re Not Back in Love by Monday.” (I, like so many others, thought it was fantastic and still do.) MEMORIES (gospel): “I Don’t Feel Noways Tired” (James Cleveland with

From page D-1 the Salem Inspirational Choir), “Why We Sing” (Kirk Franklin & the Family), “Take Me Back” (Andraé Crouch & the Disciples), “Lord Don’t Move the Mountain” (Inez Andrews), “Open My Heart” (Yolanda Adams), “Everything’s Gonna be Alright” (Al Green), “You Brought the Sunshine (Into My Life)” (the Clark Sisters), “Oh Happy Day” (the Edwin Hawkins Singers), “The Question Is” (the Winans), “I’ll Make It Alright” (the Beautiful Zion Missionary Baptist Church Choir). BLESSINGS to Dorothy West, Franklin Mills, Ray Parker, Jr., Stanley Hamilton, Princess Hayes, Clifton Akai-Tuggle, James Mitchell, Jr., Danton Wilson, Janice Wilson and Theresa Robinson-Stanley. WORDS OF THE WEEK, from an anonymous source: “Accept who you are — don’t change anything! — and fully enjoy whatever brings you pleasure.” Let the music play! Steve Holsey can be reached at svh517@aol.com and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.

family. No point in delving back into all the child molestation charges Michael Jackson faced, not to mention his many other foibles and missteps. But it was strange that he settled out of court with one of the accusers, purportedly to bring that drama to an end. But if there was no wrongdoing, why pay up? The settlement implied guilt. It seemed that Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley in 1984 because he felt it was “right” for the “king of pop” to marry the daughter of Elvis Presley, the “king of rock and roll.” It was as though Lisa Marie was a “prize.” No surprise that the marriage only lasted two years. Sometimes she wouldn’t see him for weeks. And then there was the strange Debbie Rowe situation, the nursing assistant in a dermatologist’s office in Beverly Hills. Michael Jackson was a patient. She and Michael became good friends and at one point, according to ABC News, she said to him, “You need to be a dad, and I want you to be.” They reportedly got married in 1996 so that the boy and girl, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. and Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, would have a name. Michael had custody of the kids who did not look the least bit interracial. They divorced in 1999. She is believed to have been a surrogate. A third child, Prince Michael Jackson II, nicknamed “Blanket,” was born in 2002 by way of another surrogate whose name has never been made public. This is the baby Michael shockingly dangled over a balcony in Berlin. He later acknowleged that it was a terrible mistake and said he had gotten “caught up in the moment.” There will never again be a family anything like the Jacksons.

May 3-9, 2017 Page D-2

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2017 Detroit Jazz Festival delivers with iconic musicians

The Detroit Jazz Festival, the world’s largest free jazz festival, has announced its artist lineup for the 38th annual Labor Day weekend event. The lineup, which is filled with rich and diverse jazz talents, is anchored by 2017 Artist-in-Residence Wayne Shorter, a revolutionary saxophonist and composer globally recognized for his immense contributions to jazz music. Ranging from genre-defining icons to up-and-coming artists, this collection of worldclass musicians continues the festival’s proud tradition of delivering a distinct performance schedule that cannot be found anywhere else. Live sets will take place Sept. 1-4 on four stages in downtown Detroit. “Every year during Labor Day weekend, the Detroit Jazz Festival creates a scene downtown that bursts at the seams with culture, vibrancy and wonderful music,” said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors. “We are proud to deliver a festival, for free, that Detroit­ ers and jazz fans from around the world continually mark on their calendars as a can’t-miss event. Our remarkable lineup of musicians and joyous atmosphere will deliver attendees a jazz experience that not only highlights great artists, but also our dynamic community.” Shorter will help set the tone for the festival by jump starting performances on opening night with a quartet featuring Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade. Additionally, Shorter also will participate in other special artist collaborations, a hallmark of the Detroit Jazz Festival, throughout the holiday weekend. One of these rare performances is a Wayne Shorter Quintet, featuring Geri Allen, Leo Genovese, Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington, and will take place on Sunday night. Shorter will be featured in an additional collaboration on Monday, making its North American debut: Wayne Shorter Quartet with the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra perform “Emanon.” “The Detroit Jazz Fes-

May 3-9, 2017

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Day-by-day Festival highlights include: Friday: ■W  ayne Shorter Quartet featuring Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade ■M  iles Mosley ■H  erbie Hancock ■G  eorge “Sax” Benson Detroit Jam Session Saturday: ■H  UDSON Jack DeJohnette | Larry Grenadier | John Medeski | John Scofield ■ Dee Dee Bridgewater ■T  heo Croker Quintet ■ Chucho Valdés Joe Lovano Quintet ■ D  onny McCaslin ■S  panish Harlem Orchestra ■M  iles Mosley + The West Coast Get Down ■ Billy Childs Quartet: Rebirth ■D  anilo Pérez: PanaMonk ■ J ohn Patitucci: The Electric Guitar Quartet Sunday:

tival is an event known worldwide for consistently showcasing musicians who expose people to the many beautiful, varied and intricate forms of jazz,” said Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. “We believe in celebrating earnest, inventive artists that push the boundaries of self-expression through creativity and sound. With hypnotizing acts like Wayne Shorter, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Herbie Hancock on deck, this celebration will keep attendees grooving the entire festival weekend.” Tapping into Detroit’s musical roots, the Legacy Series will honor the artistry and mentorship of George “Sax” Benson, a saxophonist, composer and music teacher from Detroit. Professional artists at any stage in their career inspired by Benson’s mentorship and catalogue of music — ranging from swing to bebop, hard-bop and more — can submit for a paid performance slot at the Detroit Jazz Festival, where the winner will play Benson-themed compositions and help add to the Detroit sound tradition. Benson has taught generations of jazz artists from his home studio, Wayne State University and the Detroit Wayne Music Studio, now part of the Detroit Saxophone Center. Other efforts by the Detroit Jazz Festival to include more unique, un-

discovered voices in this year’s programming include the following: • The J.C. Heard National Drums Competition: Named after one of the most-recorded drummers in history, J.C. Heard, the festival will recognize and provide a performance opportunity to an outstanding jazz drummer who is 35 years old or younger. The winner’s style will reflect the values Heard embodied — originality and a commitment to jazz tradition.

Jazz Fest LIVE! app, made possible by a generous donation from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The app will livestream all four stages, all four days, so both festival-goers and out-of-town fans can watch whichever musician they desire, regardless of location. Additionally, the app also features festival schedules, maps and more. Register for the app at https://live. detroitjazzfest.com or download it from the Google Play and Apple App stores.

• The New Project Series: To support jazz ensembles of excellence, the Foundation is calling for submissions from ensembles with five pieces or more for a paid performance at the Festival. The new project must be a national premiere and 55-70 minutes in length.

The Detroit Jazz Festival takes place in Hart Plaza and Campus Martius in downtown Detroit. Four stages — the JPMorgan Chase Main Stage, Carhartt Amphitheater Stage, Absopure Waterfront Stage and Pyramid Stage — will host the performances during Labor Day weekend.

• The Original Voices Series: Open to jazz artists of all disciplines and at any stage in their career, the festival will select a musician, vocalist and/or ensemble who epitomizes originality — from composition to improvisation, texture, style and more — to play a paid performance during Labor Day weekend programming. To ensure that jazz enthusiasts across North America have the opportunity to see every performance at this year’s event, the festival has brought back the Detroit

Programs are free with museum admission and free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties unless otherwise noted. For more information, call (313) 833-7900 or visit www.dia.org.

Enjoy a guided tour of select galleries for an overview of the collection. General and Family Guided Tours: Saturdays and Sundays, 1 and 3 p.m. Enjoy a guided tour of select galleries or enjoy family and kid-friendly tours. 55+ Thursdays: 1 p.m. The first Thursday of the month features a guided gallery tour; the second a talk; the third an art-making activity; and the fourth a film. In months with a fifth Thursday, a second gallery tour will be offered. Detroit City Chess Club: Fridays, 4 to 8 p.m.

“Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement” on view July 23 through October 22

The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members have won state, regional and national competitions. People wanting to learn to play chess should show up between 4 and 6 p.m. There will be no teaching between 6 and 8 p.m., but visitors can play chess.

General Guided Tours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Drawing in the Galleries (for all ages): Fridays, 6 to 9 p.m.; Sundays, Noon to 4 p.m.

Exhibitions:

Monday: ■V  ijay Iyer ■R  egina Carter: Simply Ella ■S  tanley Clarke ■N  ew Light: The Music of Elvin Jones: Live @ The Lighthouse, featuring Dave Liebman, Gene Perla, Adam Niewood, Adam Nussbaum ■ Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet ■ J ohnny O’Neal Trio ■W  ayne Shorter Quartet with the Detroit Jazz Festival Symphony Orchestra perform Emanon The full Festival schedule will be available at detroitjazzfest.com as the event nears.

From page D-1

of those accusations dated back almost 50 years. In 2015, According to CNN, Cosby was charged with three counts of felony aggravated assault in a case involving Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee. Earlier this year, CNN reported that Cosby’s “criminal sexual assault trial will stay in Montgomery County Court in Pennsylvania, but the jurors will come from another Pennsylvania county.”

“This marks the third defamation lawsuit against Cosby that was either withdrawn or dismissed recently, prompting some Cosby crowing,” USA Today reported. “However, another defamation case against him, filed by six accusers, is still pending in the same federal court in Massachusetts.”

In addition to great art, the DIA presents a variety of multicultural activities in July, from a reading by local ArabAmerican author and former director of the Arab American National Museum Anan Ameri, to an animated movie retelling the story of an ancient Indian epic, to world music during the annual Concert of Colors and a documentary about musicians in Mali. Opening July 23, is the exhibition, “Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement,” featuring 34 paintings, sculptures and photographs mostly by African-American artists working both collectively and independently in the 1960s and 1970s.

Under the Direction of Gil Goldstein Featuring: Joe Lovano, Donny McCaslin, Rick Margitza, John Patitucci, Brian Blade and members of the DJF Orchestra

Bill Cosby

In February, a federal judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed against Cosby by accuser Katherine McKee, according to USA Today.

Art-making workshops, Concert of Colors and animated film this summer at the DIA

■H  enry Butler & the Jambalaya Band ■C  ameron Graves ■ B  enny Golson ■S  ean Jones Quintet ■ J ohn Beasley: MONK’estra ■K  yle Eastwood Quintet ■A  kihiro Nishiguchi Trio ■K  amasi Washington ■ Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet ■ K  at Edmonson ■Q  uintet: Wayne Shorter, Geri Allen, Leo Genovese, Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington ■W  ide Angles: The Music of Michael Brecker

While the beleaguered superstar declined to address any of his legal cases, his youngest daughter, Evin, felt compelled to speak out. In a statement, which can be read in its entirety on BlackPressUSA.com, Evin, 40, questioned the veracity of the allegations against her father. “The harsh and hurtful accusations…that supposedly happened 40 or 50 years ago, before I was born, in another lifetime, and that have been carelessly repeated as truth without allowing my dad to defend himself and without requiring proof, has punished not just my dad, but every one of us,” Evin said. Devin T. Robinson X, an actor and renowned poet who’s been featured on MTV, NBC, CBS and BET, said that Bill Cosby represents the finest example of someone being found guilty in the court of public opinion without ever facing trial. “Punishing people be-

fore they’re convicted in court only seems accurate when it serves a media narrative that doesn’t hurt a specific demographic,” Robinson said. Dr. E. Faye Williams, president and CEO of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc., agreed. “If the president of the United States can go on working in the White House after he has bragged about doing gross, sexually-explicit and abusive things to women, without their permission, then justice requires that Bill Cosby should not be punished, unless he is convicted of crimes,” said Williams. Perhaps, the closest Cosby came to addressing his ongoing legal battles during the interview was when he opined about the true history of America. “The history about African Americans is a history of the United States, but the true history, not the propaganda that is standard in our nation’s history books,” Cosby said. “The great writer, James Baldwin, said, ‘If you lie about me, then you lie about yourself.’ The revolution is in the home. There is something about someone saying, ‘I didn’t know that,’ that could cause a change in that person’s thinking.” Cosby said he thinks about his illustrious career that, at least for

now, has been placed on hold because of the court cases. Few have achieved the legendary status enjoyed by Cosby. His career has spanned more than six decades and includes a host of best-selling comedy albums and books, Gold and Platinum records, and five Grammy Awards. With his role in “I Spy” in the 1960s, Cosby became the first African-American co-star in a dramatic series, breaking TV’s color barrier and winning three Emmy Awards. After starring opposite Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier in the 1970s trilogy, “Uptown Saturday Night,” “Let’s Do It Again” and “A Piece of the Action,” Cosby’s star soared even higher in the 1980s when he single-handedly revived the family sitcom and, some argue, saved NBC with “The Cosby Show.” “Darn right,” he said, when asked if he missed performing. “I miss it all and I hope that day will come. I have some routines and storytelling that I am working on. I think about walking out on stage somewhere in the United States of America and sitting down in a chair and giving the performance that will be the beginning of the next chapter of my career.”


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May 3- 9, 2017

THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE

OBITUARIES

ANNOUNCEMENTS

HELP WANTED

Marjorie McWilliams

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Volunteer Board Member

Notice is hereby given that the City Council of Highland Park will hold a Public Hearing Monday, May 15, 2017 7:15 p.m. Robert B. Blackwell Municipal Complex 2nd Floor Council Chambers 12050 Woodward Ave. Highland Park, MI 48203 To consider the following:

The George Washington Carver Academy (GWCA) Board of Directors is looking for talented and conscientious volunteer members who believe in the Academy’s mission and vision and are willing to be active in their governance roles. If you can contribute your time, thoughtfulness, skills and abilities one evening a month, and if you are interested in exploring this opportunity to find out whether this is right for you, please call Alma Hollins, GWCA Board Liaison, at (248) 440-7318 or email alma@provision4solutions.com.

PROPOSED GENERAL OPERATING BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2017-2018 Copies of the proposed budget may be viewed at the City Clerk’s Office

A memorial service was recently held for Marjorie E. McWilliams (Hawkins) who passed away on April 8, 2017 at the age of 73.

Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Brenda Green City Clerk

She was the beloved wife of the late Ermine McWilliams, the dear sister of Victoria Adams (Arkansas), Ollie M. Weaver (Arkansas), Claudia D. Love (Florida), Ernestine Wilson (Arkansas) and Lois Smith (California). Her warm memory is also being cherished by numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

DETROIT EMPLOYMENT SOLUTIONS CORPORATION A Michigan Works! Agency, in cooperation with the MAYOR’S WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BOARD (MWDB) REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Mrs. McWilliams was preceded in death by siblings Edward A. Hawkins (Illinois), Jesse D. Hawkins (Arkansas), Cremonia Wright (California) and Ellis D. Hawkins (Michigan).

WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT (WIOA)

R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

On behalf of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board (MWDB), Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) is seeking proposals from qualified vendors to serve as the One-Stop Operator and coordinate the Detroit Michigan Works! One-Stop Career Service System. The City of Detroit in partnership with the MWDB is in the initial stages of implementing a more comprehensive and integrated approach to service delivery in Detroit. The goal of this RFP is to have the successful bidder fully participate in and support, during a one-year contract period, the start of crucial partnership and system building among multiple organizations providing workforce-related services in the city, including those delivered through the one-stop career service centers. This effort will help develop and enhance the City of Detroit’s workforce development system by focusing on a fully coordinated and integrated customer service strategy that is market driven and offers value-added services to both job seekers and employers.

Please share a memory of Marjorie by signing her guestbook at www.cremationmichigan.com.

PERSONAL SERVICES MRS. LINN

BORN GIFTED READER The 7th Daughter without asking you a single word. I will tell you what you want to know. Tell your present, past and future. Tell you who your friends and enemies are. Why you’re so unlucky. If your loved one is true or false.I will advise you all problems of life, such as love, marriage, business and health, etc. Why suffer, you can be free from all troubles. I guarantee Sucess where others failed. I am superior to any other reader you have seen. Don’t let distance keep you away from Health and Happiness. Hrs. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Daily and Sunday.

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REAL ESTATE FOR SALE

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Grandmont Rosedale A Place Where You Belong

ONE-STOP OPERATOR THIS IS NOT A NOTICE OF EMPLOYMENT

Proposals will be accepted from those organizations demonstrating a minimum of three (3) years of experience providing the services requested in this RFP for projects of similar scope and size. Eligible prospective vendors include public and private non-profit agencies, private-for-profit organizations, units of local government including community colleges and universities, and faith-based and community organizations of demonstrated effectiveness. Small businesses, minority-owned firms, women’s business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms are encouraged to review the RFP and consider applying. DESC expects to award one (1) contract for the services described in this RFP. The period of performance is July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. Based on performance, contingent upon the availability of funds, and at DESC’s sole discretion, contracts may be developed for up to two (2), one (1) year Program Years (PY 2018 and 2019). All questions regarding this RFP shall be submitted by email no later than 12:00 noon, May 8, 2017 to the attention of: Chauncey Samuel, Procurement Specialist Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation descprocurement@detempsol.org ALL INQUIRIES MUST BE VIA EMAIL A Pre-Proposal Conference is scheduled for May 10, 2017, 1:00 p.m. at the following location: Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation 440 E. Congress, Suite 400, Detroit, MI 48226

12TH ANNUAL NEIGHBORHOOD OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017 - 1-5PM North Rosedale Park Community House 18445 Scarsdale, Detroit MI 48223

Homes for Sale Open for Viewing www.grandmontrosedale.com/ 313-387-4732 Ext 105 or 313-909-0760

ANNOUNCEMENTS

REQUEST FOR QUOTES The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) is soliciting RFQs for Ceiling Tile Replacement for 3 Years with 2-1 Year Options, Control No. 17-2289A. RFQ forms may be obtained beginning on April 24, 2017 from www.mitn.info. RFQs are due by 3:00 PM ET, May 24, 2017.

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This RFP will be available on the DESC website. Anyone requiring assistance in locating the RFP is welcome to contact Chauncey Samuel, Procurement Specialist at descprocurement@detempsol.org. Sealed bids must be received at the DESC Procurement Unit, 440 E. Congress, Suite 400, Detroit, Michigan 48226, no later than 3:00 p.m. on May 26, 2017. A Public Recording is scheduled for May 26, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. at the same address. Each vendor is responsible for ensuring that its bid is received on a timely basis. Late bids will not be accepted. DESC will not extend the due date for bids on the basis that the U. S. Postal Service or another mail courier has lost or failed to deliver the bid. DESC is not responsible for bids delivered to the wrong location. Faxed or emailed bids will not be accepted. Bids received late will be returned unopened. DESC, in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, does not discriminate in employment or in the provision of services based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, height, weight, genetic information, marital status, arrest without conviction, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship or participation in any federally assisted program or activity. Auxiliary aids and services will be made available upon request to individuals with disabilities (TTY Number: 711). Information contained in this document will be made available in alternative format upon written request to DESC. Mayor’s Workforce Development Board, Cynthia J. Pasky, Co-Chairperson David E. Meador, Co-Chairperson

Name

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation Board, Laura A. Hughes, Chairperson

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Charter Schools. Provides leadership and direction to the public policy unit. Monitors and evaluates impact of state & federal programs on charter schools and serves as an informational liaison with various governmental agencies/legislative offices, charter school boards of directors and education reform organizations in conjunction with various Center units. Required: Bachelor’s degree, three years of related experience. For a complete list of requirements and to apply on-line please visit www.jobs.cmich.edu. CMU is an AA/EO institution, providing equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans, and individuals with disabilities (see www.cmich.edu/ocrie). Seeking

COORDINATOR FOR VETERANS SUPPORT SERVICES AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY Center for Multicultural Initiatives

Singular focus of helping veterans on campus resolve problems that could interfere with their educational goals. Connect veterans with appropriate institutional, local, state and federal resources that address veteran challenges and provide opportunities. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience. Proven ability to work effectively with students, faculty and staff including those from diverse backgrounds. Knowledge of Federal VA Educational and other Benefits Programs. Proficient computer skills. Refer to online posting for additional qualifications and requirements. First consideration will be given to those who apply by May 9, 2017. Must apply on line to: https://jobs.oakland.edu

Seeking

ACADEMIC ADVISER AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY Arts and Sciences Advising

Provide academic counseling to current and prospective undergraduate students who are pursuing or plan to pursue an undergraduate degree program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Assist in the design, development and implementation of student retention and advising activities. Minimum Qualifications: Master’s Degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Minimum one year experience in academic counseling or advising. Salary is commensurate with education and experience. There are 3 positions available. Refer to online posting for additional requirements. First consideration will be given to those who apply by May 9, 2017. Must apply on line to: https://jobs.oakland.edu

Seeking

SENIOR PLANNING ANALYST AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY School of Medicine

Core responsibilities includes colleting and researching data to perform analysis, develop programs and support projects and existing programs to aid the School’s strategic planning, and program initiative processes. Ensure the School of Medicine collects the information necessary to make informed planning decisions. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in a related field or equivalent combination of education and/ or experience. Five years’ experience in the field of strategic planning or related area. Knowledge of higher education/healthcare financial environment preferred. Refer to online posting for additional requirements. Salary is commensurate with education and experience. See online positing for additional position requirements. First consideration will be given to those who apply by May 11, 2017. Must apply on line to: https://jobs.oakland.edu WWW.MICHIGANCHRONICLE.COM

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Seeking

ACADEMIC ADVISER AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY Engineering & Computer Science

Provide academic counseling to current and prospective students who are pursuing or plan to pursue a degree program in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Minimum Qualifications: Master’s Degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience. One year experience in academic counseling or advising. Strong technical and database skills. Ability to work with a diverse population of students. Salary commensurate with education and experience. Refer to online posting for additional requirements. First consideration will be given to those who apply by May 9, 2017. Must apply on line to: https://jobs.oakland.edu

Seeking

ACADEMIC ADVISER AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY Health Sciences

Provide academic advising to current and prospective students who are pursuing or plan to pursue a degree program in the School of Health Sciences. Minimum Qualifications: Master’s Degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience. One year experience in academic counseling or advising. Strong computer and database skills. Ability to communicate effectively with others. Salary commensurate with education and experience. Refer to online posting for additional requirements. First consideration will be given to those who apply by May 9, 2017. Must apply on line to: https://jobs.oakland.edu Seeking

ACADEMIC ADVISERS AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY

Business Administration

Provide academic advising to current and prospective undergraduate students who are pursuing or plan to pursue an undergraduate degree program in the School of Business Administration. Minimum Qualifications: Master’s Degree in Counseling, Higher Education or related field or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience. Minimum one year experience in academic counseling or advising. Salary is commensurate with education and experience. Two positions are available. Refer to online posting for additional requirements. First consideration will be given to those who apply by May 8, 2017. Must apply on line to: https://jobs.oakland.edu Seeking

OFFICE ASSISTANT II AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY Admissions Department

Minimum Qualifications: High school graduation or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Four years general office work, including experience in prioritizing work and meeting deadlines. Ability to operate standard office equipment. Knowledge of proper grammar, spelling & punctuation, intermediate word processing, spreadsheet and database applications. Ability to effectively interact with the public, students, faculty, and staff. This is a full time, clerical-technical position. Some evenings and weekends will be required. Salary is $39,693 annually. Refer to online positing for additional requirements. First consideration will be given to those who apply by May 15, 2017. Must apply on line to: https://jobs.oakland.edu Seeking

SKILLED TRADES VI - ELECTRICAL AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY University Housing

Minimum Qualifications: High school graduation or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Electrical journeyman’s card or Master Electrician License from the State of Michigan and proof of six years continuous job related experience dealing with a variety of commercial, industrial and residential electrical systems. Must also possess a working knowledge of other trades including plumbing & mechanical installations as these may impact electrical installations & repairs. Valid MI vehicle operator’s license and driving record acceptable for coverage by the university’s insurance carrier. Salary is $28.62 per hour/$32.20 after 90 days. First consideration will be given to those who apply by May 10, 2017. See online posting for additional position requirements. Must apply on line to: https://jobs.oakland.edu

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praise connection

THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE

Bettie Jean Howard

HELP WANTED

Services for Bettie Jean Howard were held on April 21 at Oakland Avenue Baptist Church with Pastor Larry Walker, Sr. officiating. Mrs. Howard passed away on April 13, 2017.

Seeking

EVENT COORDINATOR AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY

Bettie Jean Gordon was born in Detroit on Dec. 4, 1926 to James and Mamie Gordon. She attended Detroit Public Schools and subsequently worked as an entrepreneur, a hotel manager and at the polls for local, state and federal elections.

Academic Affairs

Plan, manage and execute high level events for Academic Affairs and with the College and the Schools that are designed to advance campus and academic priorities, including University Commencement, convocation, and conferences. Work on project expenditures with the involved units; ensure purchase are made in compliance with University policy. The ability to work extended hours; including early morning, evenings and occasional weekends. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and/or experience. One to two years of experience in managing the logistics of high-level special events from start to finish. Experience working with and for top-level executives and high ranking officials. Experience working in a higher education environment. Salary commensurate with education and experience. Refer to online posting for additional requirements. First consideration will be given to those who apply by May 9, 2017. Must apply on line to: https://jobs.oakland.edu

PROFESSIONAL HELP WANTED

Senior Consultant,     Sharepoint  Development      

(Troy, MI)  Provide  technical  and  project   management  in  the  Sharepoint,  design   and  architecture  areas,  developing  and   delivering  solutions  for  customers  in  the   Microsoft  space.  Lead  development  for   complex  projects,  act  as  lead  consultant   on  teams  or  individual  projects.   Bachelor’s  in  Computer  Science,   Information  Technology,  or  related  field   +  5  years’  exp  as  Programmer  or  any   related  IT  occupation.  Must  have  five   years  of  exp  in  Sharepoint  development   using  Sharepoint  2010,  2013  or  later.   Must  have  exp  using  Visual  Studio  C#,   .NET  framework,  Web  Services,   ASP.NET,  Sharepoint  CSOM  and   JSOM,  Javascript,  jQuery,  HTML,  CSS,   Sharepoint  REST  API,  UX/UI  design,   SQL  Server.    Will  accept  any  suitable   combination  of  edu,  exp,  or  training  in   lieu  of  bachelor's  degree.  Must  be  willing   to  travel  or  relocate.  Employment  may   occur  at  various  locations  throughout   U.S.  Resumes  to  Attn:  Karen  McCasey,   RCM  Technologies,  20  Waterview  Blvd.,   Parsippany,  NJ  07054.    Include  Ref.   Code  RCMS1.      

In honor of excellence St. Paul AME Church recently celebrated Fred V. Butler for 26 years of excellence in music ministry. The event was held on Saturday afternoon at the church in Detroit. From left are Keith Moore, Tony Ewell, Marion Gates, honoree Fred Butler IV, O’Neil D. Swanson Sr., president/CEO, Swanson Funeral Homes, Inc. and Pastor Andre Spivey. — Marcus Patton photo

The Power of Prayer

Be still, not idle

By Dorma McGruder

Prayer power shows you the balance. (Psalms 46:10) Be still and know that I am God. (James 2:17) Faith without works is dead. Being still opens our minds to listen to God’s instruction. When we move before God finishes speaking to us, we make mistakes. Yet we still must take specific action. What do I mean? If you believe God called you to ministry, business, writing, praying, education, marriage, moving away from home, anything — be still. Don’t tell anyone. Pray about it. Watch for open doors. That is part one. Part two: Working faith? Prepare quietly. Research what you are feeling in your heart and mind to do. We can discover a new seed

of something buried in the bigger picture. You are not wasting time doing a business plan, researching schools, looking at new locations. Both work together. Your actions of preparation show God you believe He will bless you. Waiting on God you are being still and demonstrating obedience. Prayer power allows you to do both and directs you to the right person and situation. Preparation action on your part is required because prayer is not enough. Once your waiting and action have done what God wanted, He brings your blessing to you. When you don’t know what to do, patiently and prayerfully start with the best you have in your hand right now. When I do this, doors swing open!

Dorma McGruder 313-282-3382 www.dormamcgruder.com

 

Are you hosting a concert or faith-friendly event? Are you celebrating an anniversary or special occasion?

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PRAISE CONNECT Contact us at: 313.963.5522

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Bettie Jean Howard is survived by a son, Marcus Howard; six daughters, Jarina Ross, Sharon Sanford, Suzette Crawford, Patricia Marbly, Debbie Martin and Annette Howard; and many other relatives and friends. Swanson Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

Interment took place at Trinity Cemetery.

Anthony Hill, Sr. Services for Anthony Hill, Sr. were held on April 8 at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on the west side of Detroit. Mr. Hill passed away on April 1, 2017. Anthony Hill, Sr. was born on July 27, 1965 in Detroit to Hura and Marilyn Hill, one of four children. He was educated in the Detroit Public Schools. He had worked as a hi-lo driver for Ford Motor Company. In 1997, his family of two grew to four when he married Tanya Reneé Taylor. He enjoyed roller skating and dancing, but especially enjoyed being an active Jehovah’s Witness. Cherishing the memory of Anthony Hill, Sr. are his wife, Tanya Hill; sons, Brian Green and Anthony Hill, Jr.; father, Hula Hill, Jr.; mother, Marilyn Hill; a sister, Angela Maas; two brothers, Derrick Hill and Hura Hill III; and many other relatives and friends.

Ruthann Shaw Services for Ruthann Shaw were held on April 20 at Rose of Sharon Church of God in Christ with Superintendent Ronald L. Griffin officiating. Mrs. Shaw passed away on April 13, 2017.

Creative Exterior Designer

Senior Software Engineer   Warren, MI, General Motors. Design, dvlp code, review, test, integrate &verify embedded automotive ECU software incldg infotainment &safety modules for vehicles to play tuner audio sources such as Amplitude modulation (AM), Frequency modulation (FM), Sirius Radio (SiriusXm), Media, Navigation, OnStar audio, Android auto &car play using Android, real time OS (RTOS), C, CAPL, &CAN. Dvlp, configure &execute software to play safety &driver alert chimes for different vehicle architectures, global market (Europe, China, NA &rest of the world) using calibrations, C, C++, Java programming languages &vehicle protocols such as CAN. Lead, dvlp, execute, review, test &integrate the Android application software for electric &hybrid vehicles to provide energy performance &charging related information in car radio for current &future model year electric &extended range electric vehicles. Lead, estimate, conduct scrum &review work of 10-member scrum team to achieve the project goals based on Agile software methodologies. Dvlp Human Machine Interface Screens using Android &Java to present the user to update the software when software revived Over the Air (OTA) or removable disk with the software (USB). Bachelor, Electronics &Communication Engrg, Electrical Engrg or related. 60 mos of post baccalaureate &progressive exp as Software Engineer, Technical Lead, or related, designing/dvlping, reviewing, integrating, &verifying embedded automotive ECU infotainment &/or safety system software for vehicles, using C, CAPL, RTOS, &CAN. Mail resume to Ref#2791, GM Global Mobility, 300 Renaissance Center, MC:482-C32-D44, Detroit, MI 48265.

She married Willie Howard in January 1944. They had 16 children. She and her husband opened the A-1 Grill Restaurant. She accepted Christ at an early age and always practiced Christian principles. She enjoyed cooking and decorating.

Arrangements were handled by Swanson Funeral Home.

Warren, MI, General Motors. Design and develop concept and production passenger cars from early napkin sketch to full size working prototype and/or production cars. Assess proposed architecture solutions and focus on the best interest of the company’s future products. Lead future passenger car design program including vehicle exterior body in white (BIW) systems, including doors, roof systems, hoods, rocker panels, fenders, front fascia, fascia clips, A/B/C/D pillars, head lamps, tail lamps, turn signals, wheels, radiator grilles, outside rear view mirrors and LED technologies, using Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Alias Automotive, Autodesk Showcase, VRED, and PowerPoint. Sketch and propose concepts and mockups of vehicle architectures and functions such as lighting, full vehicle front end, and radar systems. Translate 2D sketches into 3D by giving directions to the 3D sculptors to create 3D models as close as possible to the sketch. Bachelor, Transportation Design or Industrial Design. 12 months’ experience as Exterior Designer, performing passenger car exterior BIW systems design, including doors, roof systems, hoods, rocker panels, fenders, front fascia, A/B/C/D pillars, lamps, wheels, radiator grilles, outside rear view mirrors and LED technologies, using Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Alias Automotive and Showcase, and VRED. Mail resume to Ref#49, GM Global Mobility, 300 Renaissance Center, MC:482-C32-D44, Detroit, MI 48265.

May 3-9, 2017 Page D-5

Inspirational Lifestyles: Hate what is evil, but love what is good By Cheryl Jackson Hate what is evil but love what is good and do what is just and right in your community. Break Down: Growing up I was told that the word “hate” wasn’t good because it was such a strong word. However, as time passed, I realized that sometimes it should be used to help make a point. In our scripture today, Amos is speaking on behalf of God, telling his people that they should hate evil because evil is against and God’s will for their lives. Evil is anything or anyone that is against the goodness of God and what God has intended for His people. Amos says, that we should hate evil, but that we should also love good. The word “good” in the Hebrew (bwj) can be translated as “good things”, “benefits”, “welfare”, “beautiful” or “pleasant”. We should love what is pleasant and beautiful, but, if we do this, we must also maintain justice in the courts. During Amos’ time the courts were the same as your local community, block or street. He is instructing that God’s people hate evil but love good. One way that we

can show that we love what is good is by us maintaining justice in our community. This means that we can show God’s love by doing what is right not just in our communities, but on our street, our blocks and/or in our schools. Justice is speaking up for those that cannot, doing good for those that need it and speaking up for those that are unable to do so. Love in justice. Live It Out: Today “be” God’s love by hating what is evil or against God and God’s word by loving what is good and showing someone else justice. How can you do what is right on someone else’s behalf today? Prayer: Jesus today show me how I can actively hate what is evil and visibly love what is good on Your behalf. Help me to do good, or perform justice on behalf of those that need it today. God show me today and I will do it. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. Amos 5:15 Hate evil, and love the good, and establish judgement in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

Ruthann Shaw was born on Sept. 22, 1946 to Eugene Thomas, Jr. and Catherine Thomas in Detroit. She was educated in Detroit’s public school system, graduating from Eastern High School. She married Matthew Shaw in 1968 and they were blessed with two children, LaVonda and Matthew. Mrs. Shaw worked for the State of Michigan as a social worker for over 30 years. She loved bowling. Cherishing the memory of Ruthann Shaw are her children, LaVonda Elaine Shaw and Matthew Shaw II; a sister, Donna Mae Outley; and many other relatives and friends. Swanson Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

Interment took place at Elmwood Cemetery.

Keith Darnell Holcomb On April 22, services for Keith Darnell Holcomb took place at United Prayer Temple Baptist Church with Pastor B.D. Holcomb and Rev. David Lewis officiating. Mr. Holcomb passed away on April 14, 2017. Keith Darnell Holcomb, affectionately known a Keylo, was born in Detroit to Patricia Y. Wright and Jerome Holcomb on Nov. 7, 1968. He attended Detroit Public Schools as well as Detroit Job Corps Center. He was a skilled tradesman, excelling in plumbing, carpentry, electrical and more. Cherishing the memory of Keith Darnell Holcomb are his sons, Darnell Holcomb and DeShawn Holcomb; sisters, Rowna Santae and Ronda Gale; brother, Jerrod Payton; fiancé, Sherri Brown; and many other relatives and friends. Swanson Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

Interment took place at Lincoln Memorial Park.

Betty Jane Barfield Services for Betty Jane Barfield were held on Monday, May 1 at Zion Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor at 11 am with a family hour at 10 am. Mrs. Barfield passed away on April 24, 2017. She believes behind to cherish her memory her loving husband of 72 years, Johnny W. Barfield, six children, 13 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, one brother and many other relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Parkridge Community Center: AAACF with Mrs. Barfield’s name written on the memo line. Mailing address: Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF), 301. N. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Website: www.aaacf.org/barfield. Questions should be directed to Swanson Funeral Home at 313.272.9000.


entertainment

THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE

May 3-9, 2017 Page D-6

‘The Gay Preacher’s Wife’ the Lydia Meredith story By Alisha Dixon Lydia Meredith’s story is one of faith, tolerance and triumph. She is a mother, activist and best-selling author of “The Gay Preacher’s Wife: How My Gay Husband Deconstructed My Life and Reconstructed My Faith,” a book that chronicles her journey from first lady to becoming a pivotal voice for LGBTQ and human rights.

Calvin Biggs, Jr. and Casaundra Freeman

‘Countdown to the Happy Day’ performed at Detroit Repertory

By Thomas W. Stephens

“A gritty, powerful look at a female army veteran and a 7th grade dropout and their search for happiness.” The first professional production of Thomas W. Stephens’ powerful play “Countdown to the Happy Day” will have a champagne celebration on Thursday, May 25, at the Detroit Repertory Theatre at 8:30 p.m. Opening nights at the Rep are always full of camaraderie and celebration. This one will be no different. Guests are invited to join in a champagne toast in the elegant lobby gallery of the theatre after the show with the cast, crew and playwright who will be in attendance for opening night, as well as the following evening’s performance, Friday, May 26, at 8:30pm. Tickets are still the lowest prices for professional theatre in the region at $17 advance or $20 day of performance, and may be purchased online at detroitreptheatre.com or by calling (313) 868-1347. “Countdown to the Happy Day” will run Thursdays through Sundays until June 25. More information may be found at detroitreptheatre.com. Gertie, a troubled army veteran and self-made bag lady encounters Cervin, a hulking 7th grade dropout. The emotionally combustible relationship that ensues proves to us and to them, that their lives matter. Sandra Love Aldridge makes her directorial debut with “Countdown to the Happy Day.” She is no stranger to the Rep stage. She is an alumnus of the DRT’s famous Actors’ Workshop, and has acted in numerous Detroit Rep productions over the past few decades, garnering many subscriber

awards. She most recently returned to the Rep stage as the title character in “The Realization of Emily Linder.” The cast includes another beloved veteran actor of the Detroit Repertory stage, Casaundra Freeman. She will be familiar to metro Detroit area audiences for her work on many stages in the region. Most recently, she appeared in Firepower at the Rep earlier this season. Freeman shares the stage with Calvin Biggs, Jr. He is a current student of theatre at Wayne State University and is making his professional acting debut in “Countdown to the Happy Day.” Harry Wetzel is the set designer for “Happy Day”; Mary Copenhagen will design the costumes; Thomas Schraeder is the lighting designer; Burr Huntington is the sound designer. All tickets, fundraisers, bargain booklets and subscriptions remain the most affordable prices for notfor-profit professional theatre in the region. General admission is $17 in advance and $20 for regular admission — all seats, all performances. The Rep’s “Anytime, Multi-Use” Gold Double Subscription for two is the unmatched price of $100 and a Silver Single Person Subscription is $50. 10-ticket Bargain Booklets, regular and matinee are $110 and $100 respectively and make great mini-fundraisers. For tickets, fundraisers and information call or visit the Rep Box office, 313.868.1347. Tickets can be purchased by phone using Visa or MasterCard. There is no surcharge.

Lydia Meredith’s seemingly perfect life was ripped apart by the news that her husband of 30 years, Rev. Dennis A. Meredith, had been unfaithful throughout their marriage and was leaving her for another man. “I was one of those preachers’ wives who sat in the pew on many a Sunday morning while my “real” life was a fraud. I watched my husband stand in that pulpit on Sunday morning, preaching one message and living out yet another,” Meredith wrote in an excerpt from the book. “I had to make a decision. Did I want to hold on to my pride, my pain, my perception of what I wanted? Or was I going to deal with my new reality and bring my family back together? The first place I turned to for answers were God. I prayed. I wept. I prayed. I wept. I prayed and I wept. God woke me at 3 a.m. I sat straight up in the middle of my bed. What did Jesus really say about homosexuality? What was Jesus’ message about gays?” To find the answers, she began pursuing a degree in theology, but while in her pursuit she discovered what was taught in the church and what was actually written in the Bible were quite different. In fact, she said, within the teachings of Jesus, she discovered story after story of tolerance, something that was absent in the church. “The church has a moral requirement to look at the current moral fabric of our society and the world and begin to revise the perceived context within the current interpretations. Much of what is over-interpreted today doesn’t fit within the founding principles of the church in the 21st century,” she said. “The church needs a new kind of ministry, one steeped in the tradition of the ministry “started” by Jesus. Free of bias, the discrimination, hate or prejudice marked by loving God and others – this is the key to social transformation.” The lesson in tolerance grew even closer to home when she found out her son was gay. This news, Meredith said, allowed her to truly see the negative attitudes that society and the church have toward the LGBTQ community, a perspective she otherwise may have never been exposed to if it weren’t for her son.

Lydia Meredith ery day and be there for them. Most of all love them. Ask them how their day went be involved with all they do. Don’t let them suffer in silence because they may feel different and may be getting bullied. Communication is key.” Society’s culture of intolerance, Meredith said, is to blame for the discrimination, violence and lack of acceptance. Acknowledging the humanity in everyone regardless of differences, Meredith believes, is key. “To attack a person’s human sexuality is to attack a person’s human identity. Homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or emotional problem. Until we, as a society and faith community, are able to value diversity we will not be able to move forward toward achieving social transformation and world peace,” the former first lady said. “This is about changing how we view Christianity and how we view each other. My story is a true testament of taking a situation that could break you and turning it into something that can help others. This is bigger than me.” For more information about Lydia Meredith and to purchase “The Gay Preacher’s Wife: How My Gay Husband Deconstructed My Life and Reconstructed My Faith,” visit www.lydiammeredith.com.

“You must speak to your children ev-

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