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City.Life.Style. chop it up with CATS performer, Mariah Reives

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Michigan Chronicle

Vol. 83 – No. 52 | September 4-10, 2019

Hiram E. Jackson

Powered by Real Times Media |

Dr. Ben F. Chavis Jr.

Michigan Chronicle Publisher Re-Elected to Board of National Newspaper Publishers Association By CHRONICLE STAFF Hiram E. Jackson, publisher of the Michigan Chronicle, has been re-elected to the board of directors of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)—the national trade organization that represents African American newspapers and media companies—representing NNPA’s Region 3. “I am honored to have been re-elected to serve such a historic organization at such a pivotal point in its evolution,” said Jackson. “I understand the challenges that publishers face, and I am excited to work collaboratively to create viable solutions that will benefit all NNPA members.” Jackson is also chief executive officer of Michigan Chronicle parent company, Real Times Media, a multimedia company that includes a conglomerate of five publications–,,, the Michigan Chronicle, and the New Pittsburgh Courier—Who’s Who In Black, a professional lifestyle brand focused on business/social events, content, and programming, and marketing services company, RTM360°.

DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Marcus Garvey Academy, Elijah Rozier, and DPSCD board members Dr. Iris Taylor, and Angelique Peterson-Mayberry. PHOTO: Branden Hunter.


Clean Drinking Water Back at All DPSCD Schools By Branden Hunter “Cool and refreshing.” Those are the words Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti used as he took a sip of water from a new hydration station at Marcus Garvey Academy on the city’s east side, signaling the end of the DPSCD water crisis.

In this role, Jackson diversified the company beyond its stable of printed publications by building a digital-rich, multimedia platform which includes event production, custom publishing, and marketing services.

Last year, DPSCD students began the school year with no clean drinking water. That will not be the case for the 2019-2020 school year, as the drinking water will be turned back on September 3. DPSCD leadership assures concerned citizens that there will be clean drinking water at all 106 DPSCD schools thanks to several newly installed hydration stations.

“I am glad to have a visionary such as Hiram Jackson back on the NNPA board,” said Dr. Benjamin Chavis, president, and CEO of the NNPA. “I respect and admire the things that he is doing at Real Times Media and am confident that he’ll continue to be an asset to the growth and evolution of the organization. As the largest and most influential Black-owned media resource in the world, the Black Press of America delivers news, information, and commentary to the more than 47 million African Americans and others from all backgrounds each week. Now in its 79th year, NNPA member resources, including newspapers, websites, digital assets, and evolving social media presence are trusted information resources both domestically and internationally.


DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti takes a sip of water from one of the new hydration stations. PHOTO:Branden Hunter.

Marcus Belgrave Gets Detroit Street

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“Today is a proud moment to say that, as an organization, we defined a problem and moved forward with a solution,” Dr. Vitti said at the press conference. “We executed based on the timeline that we articulated around this time last year and this work would not have happened without private contributions.” Over 20 donors, including Quicken Loans United Way Delta Dental Foundation Ford Motor Company Fund and the Detroit Lions contributed close to $3 million to the initiative. Dr. Vitti said DPSCD did not use any of its own money to fund the hydration stations. Every school received one station per 100 students enrolled, with a minimum of two per building, bringing the total to over 500 stations. Dr. Vitti said the district was still working on installing hydration stations in teacher’s lounges and gymnasiums. The district also purchased 50,000 reusable water bottles for students, which will be made available on the first day of school.


WATER page A2

Survey Says: DPSCD Better at Fulfilling its Mission By Charles K. Dodson, Jr.

Late Jazz Trumpet Legend

The hydration stations appear to be regular water fountains, but come equipped with a safety feature that signals the filter system has to be replaced when red. Dr. Vitti said engineers will be on call when filters need to be replaced. The filters cost $54 each and the district would pay for the replacement filters, at a

reoccurring cost of $50,000.

The need to obtain a quality education may be more pivotal than it has ever been in history. The significance is even more dire for certain subgroups, particularly, African Americans, as African Americans currently have the highest poverty rate amongst Chrystal Wilson U.S. citizens. As a result, too many African Americans find it a struggle to provide the basic necessities in life: food, adequate housing, resources. Additionally, those that identify as poverty-stricken, also typically do not have access to the best options regarding education. However, all students deserve the opportunity to receive a quality education, despite their living conditions or socioeconomic status. Past and present research has indicated that education is the primary factor regarding being poverty-stricken or not. Therefore, essentially,

for many African-American families, education is their “lifeline” to escape their current circumstances. In the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), the idea of providing access to an adequate education seems to be fully understood and embraced. Over the course of a twoyear time period, the District has made vital strides to increase the overall quality of the education their students are receiving, and the numbers prove it. Starting in 2018, DPSCD began utilizing what is known as the Annual Stakeholder Survey, which solicits feedback and insight from district families, students, and staff to gauge their perceptions about the way DPSCD operates. Consequently, DPSCD has been able to receive data that informs them of the current satisfaction levels associated with the district, as well as how they can support student outcomes and should prioritize improvement efforts. Last year’s survey findings unequivocally revealed there was

improvement that was needed in the district. It indicated that 50 percent of teachers, support staff and instructional leaders were unlikely to recommend the district; 63 percent of central office staff were considered as detractors from the district; and 40 per-

cent of parents were considered detractors. When asked about what the results revealed to district leaders, Crystal Wilson, Assistant Superintendent of Communications

See MISSION page A2

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September 4-10, 2019








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Senate Bill 393 is being called a Backdoor Abortion Ban Bill undermines people’s reproductive healthcare and denies them control of their bodies

“This attempt to impose personhood is both dangerous and misleading,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Sen. Barrett is attempting to lay the foundation to eliminate abortion. The moment we establish a state-mandated definition of personhood in contradiction to federal standards and medical science is the minute that extremist right-wing officials can make abortion a crime. We won’t stand for it.” “This tax deduction bill is just the latest in an ongoing strategy to deny Michiganders their Constitutional right to an abortion,” Scott continues. “When shady bills that introduce personhood pass, they give other elected officials a clear path to continue to chip away at abortion access with ill-intentioned legislation. A bill such as Sen. Barrett’s, which gives personhood a concrete definition — 12 weeks gestation — clears the way for attacks that limit much-needed abortion care.”

The Michigan Chronicle is published every Wednesday. Periodical Postage, paid at Detroit, MI. Price $1.00 and other post office.

Medicare Parts B and C cover DPP for its members who qualify.


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Mission From page A-1

and Marketing for DPSCD stated, “Last year’s results showcased that climate and culture were areas of improvement for the district.” Wilson added, “The survey tells us what is working and what is not working from the perspective of people that are doing the work, the staff.” Based on findings from this year’s survey, it seems as though DPSCD district leaders really internalized last year’s survey findings and made a valid effort to improve. This year’s results showcased that 43 percent of teachers, support staff and instructional leaders are unlikely to recommend the district (down from 50 percent); 40 percent of central office staff are considered as detractors (down from 63 percent); and 36 percent of parents are considered to be

detractors (down from 40 percent). Also, students in grades 3-8 showed a four percent improvement pertaining to rigor of their academic experience, noting they believed that teachers were more likely to assist them in understanding their classwork. Wilson attributed much of the district’s progress to the “Blueprint 2020,” which is the three-year strategic plan Dr. Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of DPSCD, implemented when he arrived in Detroit in 2017. The plan is comprised of five priorities: Outstanding Achievement; Transformative Culture; Whole-child Commitment; Exceptional Talent; and Responsible Stewardship. Together, each of the five components help to propel DPSCD to the next level of success. Moving forward, Wilson asserts: “The district plans to build upon the momentum of this year’s improvements until all students receive the education they deserve.”

“I was elected under certain priorities that I put out there. I campaigned on the fact that I’m a pro-life legislator and will continue to advocate in that way,” Barrett says.


Prior bills introduced in Michigan and other states have tried to establish personhood in a number of ways.

age, including Medicaid, through your local Department of Health and Human Services office. You can also apply online at or call 1-855-7895610.

prise. He’s been given an official endorsement by Right to Life and introduced a “partial-birth abortion” ban earlier this year, even comparing the procedure  to his deployments in Iraq. 

By Patreice A. Massey

Critics have said that imposing “personhood” on fetuses is an age-old tactic to bar patients and medical providers from making critical decisions for themselves.

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1452 Randolph • Detroit, MI 48226 • Phone: (313) 963-8100

The evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program is a CDC-certified, yearlong program designed for adults of any age with prediabetes or at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Participants will learn to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. DPP workshops, led by trained lifestyle coaches, include 16 weekly one-hour group sessions followed by eight monthly sessions.

This week, Sen. Tom Barrett introduced a bill making it legal to claim a 12-week-old fetus as a dependent in order to get an income tax deduction. In reality, this bill is an attack on reproductive health care disguised as a tax deduction.

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Prediabetes is a serious health condition that affects over 2.6 million Michiganders (more than 1 in 3) and often leads to type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Center, a division of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, will offer the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in Detroit at the Samaritan Center on 5555 Conner St. Detroit, MI 48213. To be considered for the class, please attend the information session on September 26 or the first class on October 9.



Sen. Tom Barrett Sen. Barrett’s bill should come as no sur-

Clean water From page A-1

This is a turn around from almost a year ago when Superintendent Vitti and the board decided to turn off all drinking water in every DPSCD school after initial testing results for 16 schools showed higher than acceptable levels for copper and/or lead at one or more water sources. The district provided water coolers until a long-term solution could be identified and implemented. “Over the past year, we have demonstrated that our kids come first, and they deserve to have clean drinking water,” said DPSCD Board of Education President Dr. Iris Taylor. Superintendent Vitti stood with DPSCD board members and partners at Marcus Garvey Academy to unveil the new solution, and demonstrate how the new hydration stations will be used this upcoming school year. “This is a call to not only let our parents know that the drinking water will be on Tuesday, but that it will be cold and refreshing,” said Dr. Vitti,

The bill has been referred to committee on finance. No action has been taken yet. who drank from one of the new hydration stations himself. “It’s also a call to parents throughout this city, state, and country to demand that water be tested in schools. This is not just a DPSCD issue, but a national issue.” Dr. Vitti said the district would continue to have annual testing of drinking water in its schools, no matter if there are requirements to do so or not. Despite public and national outrage over the water shutoffs last September, there are currently no known or reported cases of DPSCSD students being adversely affected by lead in the water. DPSCD hopes that its proactive approach to ensure clean water for its students will be shared by other schools in Detroit and throughout the country. “I want to thank Dr. Vitti for his fearless leadership and keeping children first in the decisions that are made across this district,” said Elijah Rozier, principal at Marcus Garvey Academy. “I look forward to working with him and the board members on restructuring and growing our district.”


ACCELERATING TOWARD A CLEANER FUTURE We’re accelerating our carbon emission reduction goal, cutting emissions in half by 2030, and by 80% a decade earlier than planned. And we’re doing it while providing affordable and reliable energy. Together, we can speed Michigan toward its cleaner energy future.

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September 4-10, 2019 • • Page A-3

6 of the 10 leading Democratic candidates say they will boost teacher diversity By Kalyn Belsha

program for colleges to partner with school districts on teacher residency programs. He said he’d provide $10,000 stipends to teacher-residents, as well as funding for participating school districts.


Teacher diversity wasn’t an explicit part of either Hillary Clinton’s or Bernie Sanders’ platforms in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

Strategy #3: Tackle prospective teachers’ financial challenges

But as 2020 approaches, six of the 10 leading Democratic candidates for president, including Sanders, have laid out concrete steps they’d take to diversify the teaching force, which is about 80% white — a serious mismatch with the nation’s public-school students, about half of whom are students of color.

Most of the leading Democratic candidates have proposed tuition-free or debt-free college for students from lowand middle-income families. While not aimed specifically at teachers, these proposals would likely make it easier for black and Hispanic college graduates to pursue a teaching degree. 

“I’ve never seen presidential candidates be this interested in what I think is a relatively wonk-ish policy,” said Constance Lindsay, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has studied the issue. A key reason: while there was evidence that teachers of color benefitted students of color prior to 2016, several influential studies have bolstered the case in the years since. One, a study Lindsay co-authored, showed when black students had even one black teacher, they were less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to aspire to college — a finding both Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg have cited. Other research has found black and Hispanic students are more likely to be referred to gifted programs when they have black and Hispanic teachers. Black teachers are also less likely to suspend or expel black students and to have higher academic expectations for them. The emphasis on this issue reflects a broader shift away from some of the major topics that have dominated the national education debate over the last decade, such as how to evaluate teachers and schools. And it fits within a larger national shift toward acknowledging the ways in which race affects how students experience school. That’s helped bring the conversation about teacher diversity “to the forefront,” said Jessica Cardichon, who directs federal policy for the Learning Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank. While the Democratic candidates generally agree that the next president should do something to expand America’s pool of teachers of color, how they’d do it varies. Here’s a look at some of the common strategy’s candidates are proposing — and whether they could really make them happen. Strategy #1: Add and expand teacher-prep programs at colleges that serve many students of color One of the most popular ideas is to invest in historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, and other minority-serving institutions. That would expand an important part of the pipeline for teachers of color; HBCUs enroll about 2% of the nation’s teacher candidates, but 16% of all black teacher candidates. At least three Democratic candidates have said they’d set aside additional funds for teacher prep programs at colleges that enroll many students of color. Harris, herself a Howard University graduate, called for a $2.5 billion investment in teacher prep programs at HBCUs. Beto O’Rourke called for a $500 million fund to create teacher academies at HBCUs and minority-serving institutions, which he said could be used for schol-

Research has shown that black college graduates have higher average debt loads than other students. And while Hispanic students graduate with lower-than-average debt loads, they tend to have a harder time paying it off than their white and Asian peers because of their lower earnings. PHOTO - Michael Gerstein:Chalkbeat arships, mentorship programs, or to pay students’ teacher certification fees. And Sanders has called for a fund of an unspecified amount to expand existing teacher-training programs at HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions. Joe Biden has more vaguely pledged to work with HBCUs to recruit and prepare teachers. Elizabeth Warren, Julián Castro, and Cory Booker have all said they’d create a fund to help HBCUs, though they did not specify if any of that money would be dedicated to teacher training. That kind of funding would require Congress’ approval. Travis Bristol, an assistant professor of education at the University of California, Berkeley, points out that the federal Higher Education Act sets aside money that can be used to improve teacher training at HBCUs and minority-serving institutions, but Congress hasn’t adequately funded the program. Strategy #2: Fund new kinds of teacher-prep programs Only focusing on pushing more undergraduates into traditional teaching programs, though, leaves out a lot of prospective teachers of color. That’s why many candidates are also looking to expand programs that focus on helping adults who aren’t teachers to enter the profession.  Castro says he would offer grants to states to start or expand “Grow Your Own Programs,” which work differently across the country but generally target teacher’s aides, substitute teachers, and people who live in communities of color by providing financial assistance and mentoring as they earn teaching credentials.

Three candidates — Castro, Harris, and O’Rourke — have also said they’d invest in another kind of nontraditional teacher training program: teacher residencies.  Those programs typically pair up a student teacher with an experienced, effective mentor teacher for at least a year. In exchange for a commitment to teach for a certain number of years, student teachers are paid during their residency, making the program accessible to those who might otherwise struggle to pay tuition.  Residency programs tend to be more diverse than other pre-service teaching programs. Research shows teachers trained through residencies are more likely to stay in the profession — and retention is especially important for raising the overall percentage of black educators. And while some places, like California, have invested heavily in residency programs, they remain relatively rare. That could change if a presidential administration chose to invest substantially in the model. Castro said he would provide grants and stipends to teacher residents and their mentors for five years. O’Rourke’s plan would create a $500-million-a-year

Every leading Democratic candidate has said they support higher pay for educators, and many support the federal government getting involved to help. Doing that could make the teacher profession more attractive in general, including for college graduates of color who might otherwise pursue higher-paying careers. (While black and Hispanic teachers aren’t paid less than their white peers, they are more likely to be concentrated in high-poverty schools where working conditions are more challenging. Some also report added responsibilities they aren’t compensated for.) While any federal efforts to increase teacher pay would be complicated, there are some straightforward ways the federal government could make it easier to teach in a high-poverty school.  The president could work with Congress, for example, to increase grants for teacher candidates or boost loan forgiveness for teachers who work in high-poverty schools. And because there are already various federal programs funding teacher preparation and training, a presidential administration could also do more to help states understand how to use that money to boost teacher diversity efforts. Buttigieg, for example, has said he would issue guidelines on spending federal Title II funds to train new principals of color.

These programs recognize that teaching assistants are more likely to be non-white and more likely to be bilingual than traditional teachers. Harris and Buttigieg have also expressed support for “Grow Your Own” programs, and Biden has said he wants to help teacher’s aides work toward teaching licenses.  Those programs can focus on recruiting particular groups, like African American men, or filling hard-to-staff vacancies. “Teacher labor markets are highly

Northeast Guidance Center Is Now Northeast Integrated Health

By Karen Love

localized, and so to the extent you can shape candidates for your own market, they’re more likely to stick around,” Lindsay said.

Another approach would be raising teacher pay, which varies dramatically by state. 

July Northeast Guidance Center’s name


NORTHEAST and logo changed INTEGRATED to better reflect whoHEALTH

A study was conducted by the Ju- they are in the community; NEGC is nior League of Detroit and the League now Northeast Integrated Health. NIH’s of Women’s Vot- transformation is not only outward but LOGO USAGE ers in 1962-1963 inward as well. They are providing qualwhich showed ity integrated healthcare and continuFont: a dire need for ous improvements Logo with the addition of Nexa Bold basic services coordinated physical health to their aramong children ray of comprehensive services. In 2018, living on Detroit’s NIH added the pediatric clinic at the Eli Stronger Families, Stronger Communities Colors: east side, Harper Rubin Children’s building to their existPMS: and 2925the ing physical health clinic and pharmaPMS: 605 Woods Grosse Pointes. cy at their East Warren location. They CMYK: 76; 40; 1; 0 CMYK: 11; 17; 99; 0 Birthed from have partnered with Detroit CommuniRGB that : 58; 134; 198 RGB : 231; 200; 31 study was ty Health Connection (DCHC) sharing Sherry McRill the Northeastern joint staff to provide holistic health care TCF Center Wayne County Child Guidance Clinic to their severely emotionally disturbed 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226 in 1963, with four locations and 135 and chronic and pervasively Full color usage children is preferred: One color usage: full, part time and conmentally ill adult popSeminar Highlights Include: sulting staff. In 1966 ulations. By joining • Reunion Planning 101 the name changed to forces as one health • Be a Tourist in The D Northeast Guidance care team, they are con• Family Reunion Financial Planning 101 Center. Through its tinuing to provide an • How to Receive Free Items for Your Reunion commitment to inteenvironment that is the grated healthcare, per• Suggested Reunion Activities and Events best place for patients sons have the greatest to receive care in their All attendees receive a free planning kit and a chance to win prizes! chance to benefit from own neighborhood. NIH You will also meet with representatives from attractions, hotels, restaurants, best practices treatserves over 1,000 chilments that support in-surrounding T-shirt vendors anditsother service providers at our trade show. dren andthe 3,500 adults annually Pleaseindependence, give ample space logo/identity mark. Avoid spacial crowding of the logo and elements. clusion and recovery. “We are continuing to reach out to The population that NIH serves are in- see how Northeast Integrated Health TAGLINE dividuals who have been diagnosed with can better serve the needs of our resiat a serious mental illness (SMI), children Thedents through prevention, education NIH logo image can be used with or without the or tagline: call 313-202-1985. at risk of or with serious emotional dis- and integrated health care” said Sherry Healthcare Behavioral, Emotional & Physical Well-Being turbances (SED) persons of all ages with for McRill President and CEO of NIH. “Along life-long intellectual and/or development with Font our new name and logo and strate- Nexa Bold Italic (9% skew), 80% black disabilities, individuals returning to the gic plan for 2019-2021 is our continued community from in-patient facilities or commitment to provide the best possiother dependent living situations, youth ble care in a healthy and technologically aging out of foster care, homeless indi- advanced environment.” viduals, veterans and other families in For more information regarding availdistress. able services at Northeast Integrated

Seminar 2019

SATURDAY, SEPT. 28, 2019 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


2019 marked the 56th year in behavioral health for NIH and effective in

Services call 313-308-1400 or visit the website;


Viewpoint Michigan Chronicle

A Real Times Media Newspaper

September 4-10, 2019 | Page A-4


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CONTACT US 1452 Randolph • Detroit, MI 48226 • (313) 963-8100 e-mail:

Pediatricians Say Racism is Devastating to Black Children - Let’s Get to the Root Cause By Enola Aird, Esq.  Founder & President, Community Healing Network 

It’s amazing how often the news media give big play to an academic report that tells us something Black mothers already knew. Another example of the old wisdom nothing is real until White people discover or acknowledge it. Does that seem harsh? Consider the splashy coverage given to a recent policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) entitled The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health.  The AAP’s statement warned that the health dangers posed to children by racism “have become acute” and that racism, including racism experienced by the mother, “can have devastating longterm effects on children’s health.” It’s received plenty of favorable news coverage.

Do Americans believe the polls? Are the Democrats leading or is President Trump?

By Roger Caldwell NNPA Newswire Contributor

There are more than 20 Democratic candidates running for President of the United States, and if you listen to them talk, they all believe they can win the nomination. Everyone knows that most of these candidates know they can’t win, but they can raise money. No individual or agency can keep up with how they spend the money, and the amount is in the billions.

Great Again” is essentially a code slogan that means “Make America White Again,” and it is working under Trump’s administration. Most Americans are not looking for a minister to be the president, and most are comfortable if he does not tell the truth and breaks some rules. Many politicians are lawyers and they go to school to learn how to bend, stretch, and change the laws, and there is nothing wrong with lying as long as you don’t get caught. President Trump has changed the rules, because he does not care if he is caught lying. In fact, the President will say one thing one day and say something totally different the next day.

This may not Roger Caldwell make much sense, but in the first debate spanned 2 nights with 20 candidates up on the stage.

Our president believes the system is set up for White men to rule, and when you are caught with your hand in the cookie jar, most of the time money has a way of fixing problems.

President Donald Trump and the Republicans are laughing at this spectacle and the polls say the majority of leading Democratic candidates would win the election if it were held today. Quinnipiac University’s polls have been deemed “fake news” by the President.

The Mass Media in America has awesome power and it can turn a criminal to a saint, and a saint into a criminal. Americans are lazy, and they wait for the news to give them information and it does not matter if it is right or wrong.

“The Fake News has never been more dishonest than it is today. Thank goodness we can fight back on Social Media. Their new weapon of choice is Fake Polling. Sometimes referred to as Suppression Polls and they suppress the numbers. Had it in 2016, but this is worse,” says President Trump in a Tweet. Many Americans say the President is wrong, but the Quinnipiac University poll numbers do appear to be incorrect, because 60% of White people support President Trump and that number could be higher. President Trump is always talking about how much he loves America, and it appears that most White Americans love him right back. White Americans have been searching and looking for a savior, and President Trump is someone they can believe in. Almost their entire life, White folks have been looking for an individual they can put their trust in, and President Trump is their man. “Make America

According to the Quinnipiac University polls, Mr. Trump trailed Mr. Biden – the clear frontrunner thus far in the Democratic primaries – by a whopping 13 per cent, while Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and others also hold strong advantages. Trump says these are made up numbers that don’t exist. In 2016, the poll numbers were wrong and many of the political experts don’t believe President Donald Trump is 13 per cent behind the Democrats in the numbers in 2019. White people love President Trump and when he speaks the place is sold out. The economy is good, and the president can toot his own horn. The Democrats are all over the place, and the Republicans are in line and following their leader. It is hard to beat Trump especially since the economy is good. And don’t underestimate the love affair between the President and White America.

Jamestown to Jamestown:

Commemorating 400 Years of the African Diaspora Experience By Derrick Johnson NAACP President and CEO

History commonly and most often points to late August in the year 1619 when some “20 and odd Negroes” originating from Angola arrived in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia as the first documented enslaved Africans to land in what is now the United States. This nation and its wealth was built through forced labor and the very existence of Black men and women. It’s truly ironic that as this country celebrates 400 years of democraDerrick Johnson cy, the Black community is still fighting for equal rights, justice and freedom. The century that followed emancipation saw the creation of policies that discriminated against black people and largely excluded them from wealth building, creating an inherited disadvantage for future generations. This is why the idea of reparations, brought forth during the Civil War era, has continued to be a topic of grave concern for the NAACP. On a daily basis, we grapple with domestic terrorism and state sanctioned violence in the guise of white supremacy — all under the watch of one of the most racist administrations since the Jim Crow era. Along with his xenophobic policies, President Donald Trump is do-

ing all he can to punish immigrants and alienate Black Americans, using hateful tweets and chants of “Send her back,” as a rallying cry for his base. At NAACP’s annual convention, our delegates voted unanimously to call on the House to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump. We can’t and won’t whitewash or glorify this experience — but it has made us stronger and more resilient than ever. We know from the incredible Black voter turnout in the midterm elections that African-Americans are not only the most critical voting bloc, but the most powerful when we are encouraged to participate actively in our Democracy. Last month, the NAACP, embarked on a historic and spiritual journal to commemorate the 400-year anniversary of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. More than 200 African-Americans paid homage to the strength, power and resilience of our people. In our journey from Jamestown, Virginia to Ghana, we not only retraced the footsteps of our ancestors through the slave dungeons and along the shores where the enslaved had their last bath before their trek to the western world – we also immersed ourselves in the vibrant culture and join leading government and business leaders to learn more about business, development and investment in Ghana. Through this experience, we hope to actualize the healing and collective unity so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora.

But with all due respect, every Black mother in America has known this for as long as there have been Black mothers in America. And we didn’t need an academic statement to tell us. Every precious baby to whom we have given birth over the course of the last 600 years has come into a world that profoundly devalues Black life. What may be new to us is this devastating detail contained in the report: “The stress generated by experiences of racism may start through maternal exposures while in utero and continue after birth with the potential to create toxic stress. This transforms how the brain and body respond to stress, resulting in short- and long-term health impacts on achievement and mental and physical health. We see the manifestations of this stress as preterm births and low birth weights in newborns to subsequent development of heart disease, diabetes and depression as children become adults.” This should set off alarm bells throughout the Black community, particularly for Black mothers. We urgently need to find a way to protect the health and wellbeing of our beloved children in light of this deepening health crisis, the recent mass shootings in which children were among the victims-and the resurgence of White supremacy. Let’s begin with the AAP’s entirely accurate description of racism as “a socially transmitted disease passed down through generations leading to the inequities observed in our population today.” Exactly right. Here in the United States and around the world, Black chil-

dren are seen as “less than” -- less beautiful, less lovable, less capable, less intelligent, less worthy and less valuable. The AAP has made a range of reasonable recommendations using the usual language from our culture’s standard dictionary on racism, including “racial equality,” “racial equity,” “institutional structures,” and “implicit and explicit biases.” They point to the need for strategies to “optimize clinical care, workforce development, professional education, systems engagement and research in a manner designed to reduce the health effects of structural, personally mediated, and internalized racism, and improve the health and well-being of all children.” These are all good ideas, but we’ve heard some version of them before. What’s missing is a diagnosis and a cure that get to the root of the problem. So what can we, Black people, do to open the door to fresh recommendations that will yield something new and much better for our children? We can pinpoint the root cause of all the harms the AAP describes. It is the myth of Black inferiority. That myth -- or as I prefer to call it, the lie -- of Black inferiority, was devised centuries ago to justify the enslavement of African people. It dehumanized Black people, and placed us and our children at the bottom rung of humanity. Do you wonder why, with all the constitutional amendments and legislation and court decisions aimed at promoting racial equality, the same problems persist- and seem to be getting worse? It’s because the lie continues to negatively affect the world’s perceptions of Black children and Black children’s perceptions of themselves. The lie is at the root of the glaring disparities between Black and White children in health, safety, education, employment, wealth, mass incarceration, and nearly every other area of life. It is the reason why our children’s lives are devalued. It is the reason why doing anything while Black can be dangerous, and even deadly. The lie of Black inferiority is at the root of countless lost dreams, lost hopes, and lost lives. As a Black mother, I say that unless we, Black people, insist that pediatricians and anyone else concerned about the well being of Black children have the insight and courage to name and aggressively address that root cause, our children will continue to be devastated.

Do you have a news tip, opinion piece, firsthand account, information or photos about a news story to pass along to our editors? Well we want to hear about it. The Michigan Chronicle accepts opinion articles on any topic, for the Viewpoints page. Articles typically run from 300 to 600 words, but submissions of any length will be considered. All submissions must be original, and exclusive to The Michigan Chronicle. Submissions may be sent by email to

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Panel Presentation and Discussion Please join us for THE 2019 POWER ACT PANEL PRESENTATION and DISCUSSION to share information and encourage pro bono representation for victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in Metro Detroit and surrounding counties. Participants will include representatives from Interim House, Lakeshore Legal Aid and members of the judicial community.

Wayne County Community College District 1001 W. Fort Street, Room 236 Detroit, MI Wednesday, September 4, 2019 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm *The POWER ACT (Pro Bono Work to Empower and Represent Act of 2018, P.L. 115-237) requires judicial districts within the federal judiciary to hold an annual event to encourage the legal community to provide pro bono services to survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

September 4-10, 2019 • • Page A-5


Wells Fargo Announces $1 Billion Affordable Housing Commitment By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Correspondent

The lack of affordable housing has caught the attention of Wells Fargo and the banking giant isn’t taking it lightly and has unveiled an ambitious plan to tackle the problem. Candy Moore, the senior vice president and manager of Wells Fargo’s Community Relations and Southeast Community Development, told NNPA Newswire that the company will invest $1 billion over the next five years from its business and foundation to help make housing more affordable. “We will address three key issues in underserved communities that have been plagued by the lack of affordable housing – housing affordability, financial health and small business growth,” said Moore. “Charitable giving has always been a part of our history,” Moore said. “And, we feel we should be doing even more to address the systematic changes in affordable housing and uncover new ways to increase the availability and sustainability of affordable housing,” she said. Moore noted that if one took the available affordable housing units in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Atlanta, it would still fall far short of meeting current housing demands. “We want to continue to help the underserved reach their full potential with the support we’re offering through our philanthropic efforts,” Moore said. The $1 billion pledge is part of a larger effort for the bank to overhaul its philanthropic strategy, Moore said. As part of their commitment, Wells Fargo aims to donate two percent of its after-tax profits to corporate philanthropy concentrating on housing affordability, small business growth and financial health, she said. During a June presentation to the NNPA’s member publishers, Moore shared a video that underscored the importance of Wells Fargo’s new initiative and why it’s vital to people of ­color

Cynthia Eaglin and Rufaro Jenkins in front of their former home at Parkway Overlook Apartments in Washington, D.C. and others in underserved ­communities. The video presentation highlighted the Parkway Overlook Apartments in Washington, D.C. whose residents were unexpectedly forced to relocate when the development closed in 2008. As a result of the efforts of two former residents who fought hard for the community, working together with Wells Fargo and the District of Columbia, the apartments are being redeveloped a decade later. “I feel like a mother who watched her troubled child in school finally graduate from high school,” said Rufaro Jenkins, one of the residents who is now a homeowner. “I used to tell them in meetings that Parkway Overlook was one of my children. Mothers protect their children, and I was going to protect Parkway Overlook,” Jenkins said in the video presentation. After a 10-year process to secure approval and funding to rebuild the community, the renovations to Parkway Overlook are currently underway, and construction is expected to be completed this year, providing 220 apartments of affordable housing for families in Ward 8, which is considered one of DC’s

poorest areas. While Jenkins and former resident and fellow Parkway Overlook Tenants Association member Cynthia Eaglin are happy about the redevelopment, it’s been a long journey, they said in the video. The two have worked with Washington Interfaith Network – or WIN, a grassroots organization that brings citizens and residents together to develop solutions for communities — in this case, coming up with a strategy, bringing former residents together, and meeting with local leaders, according to the video. The biggest hurdle, though, was getting funding to redevelop Parkway Overlook, said Jennifer Knox, lead organizer for WIN. In 2014, Mayor Muriel Bowser, then chairwoman of the city council’s Committee on Economic Development, brokered a deal with the D.C. Housing Finance Agency and District of Columbia Housing Authority to take control of the property and finish the renovations, said Merrick Malone, director of the Office of Capital Programs for the District of Columbia Housing Authority. Ultimately, Wells Fargo pro-

vided the construction loan and equity for the project development, D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development provided $20.1 million in financing toward the project, and the D.C. Housing Finance Agency provided bond financing in the amount of about $38

Voice of the Community at your fingertips.

million and low-income housing tax credits. “We will need to work with you,” Moore told NNPA publishers. “We will need to work with civic leaders, local governments, and residents to address the full spectrum of housing affordability,” she said.

Page A-6 • •

September 4-10, 2019

The Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 Awards, in its 4th year, recognizes local African-American professionals who inspire others through their vision, leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service. They are individuals who exemplify extraordinary stature, poise and integrity who continue to break the mold and affect change in their professions and community.

CONGRATULATIONS HONOREES Emeka Amazu Senior Buyer, Global Purchasing & Supply Chain General Motors Hodari Brown Public Affairs Specialist U.S. Small Business Administration Donovan Colquitt Founder The Scholar’s Key Dr. Maegan E. Daughtery, DDS Board Certified Pediatric Dentist Dr. Amy C. Parker DDS, MS & Associates Jewelette Estes Senior Project Manager—Corporate Marketing & Customer Experience Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Andre Gilbert II Deputy City Clerk City of Detroit Shawn Green CEO & Principal Broker Smart Realty & Investments Inc., Smart lending Group LLC, Smart Construction & Development LLC

Justin Kimpson National Program Manager Ford Men of Courage/Senior Director Ford Resource and Engagement Center Eastside Gleaners Community Food Bank

Portia Powell Vice President—Manager of Municipal Banking Operations Chemical Bank Asia Rawls Director of Software Education and Training Trumble Inc.

Josh Landon News Anchor WJBK/FOX 2 News

Charli Rose Mortician/Funeral Director Andrews Funeral Home

Erika Lawrence Assistant Product Manager, Digital Innovation General Motors

Kierra Sheard Singer/Songwriter/CEO/Designer Drew’s Girl Productions & Eleven60

Amber Lewis Director of Digital & Social Media City of Detroit, Mayor’s Office

Courtney Smith Chief Executive Officer Detroit Phoenix Center

Whitney Lewis Director of Communications, Wayne County Department of Public Services Wayne County Government LaShauna Lowry Executive Director Consumer Systems Team Ally Financial Drew Matthews Jr. Owner & Executive Chef Le Culture Café

Maxcel Hardy Owner & Chef River Bistro & Coop Detroit

David Merritt Co-Founder Narrow Way Café and Shop

Jessica Hayes-Stallings Founder Skinphorea Facial Bar & Acne Clinic

Jonathan Merritt Co-Founder Narrow Way Café and Shop

Danielle Hughes Dream Director The Future Project

Kiera Pack Owner Pareik Gallery & Pareik Studio

Darryl Humes Jr. Co-Founder Mature

Dr. Danielle Penson Clinician/Entrepreneur Kaydense Galleria

Tiffani C. Jackson  Founder & Executive Director / Contract Manager Eden Community Organization / Wayne County

Tameishia Pigford Chief Executive Officer Dream Celebrations, Inc.

Yelitsa Jean-Charles CEO & Founder Healthy Roots Dolls

Ken Porter President Porter Media Group

Maria Stroud Owner/President MES & Co. Lynita Taylor Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business Angelique Turner Industrial Engineering Manager/WO Pillar Lead Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Phaedra Wainaina Executive Director Vehicles for Change Detroit & MACC Development Daniel Wallace Global Diversity Initiatives Lead General Motors Meagan Ward CEO & Co- Founder Femology Dwanette Williams Assistant Vice President/Financial Center Manager Bank of America Bianca Wilson Psychotherapist Oak Park School District, The Guidance Center Chief Executive Officer Umbrellex Behavioral Health Services, LLC

Mikiah Keener Minister, Triumph Church

Join us in honoring the 2019 Michigan Chronicle 40 Under 40 honorees

Thursday, October 10, 2019 | 6 PM to 9 PM International Banquet & Conference Center 400 Monroe St. ■ Detroit, MI #MC40Under40


| September 4-10, 2019


DLBA property rehabilitation manager Veronica Johnson (center) and 400 Forward founder Tiffany Brown (center, right) pose with participants for a group photo ­following house tours.

Land Bank, Local Architect Team Up to Inspire Detroit Girls By Patreice A. Massey MANAGING EDITOR

Founder Tiffany Brown (right) discusses floor plans with students in her 400 Forward group

DLBA property rehabilitation manager Veronica Johnson (left) leads a tour inside a land bank renovation on Stoepel.

DLBA house on Stoepel and Grove served as a learning lab for students with 400 Forward

Detroit’s Fitzgerald neighborhood is buzzing: the sounds of power saws and hammering spill out of house after house. At the corner of Stoepel and Grove, the Detroit Land Bank Authority turns its latest Rehabbed & Ready project into a learning lab for young girls. The students belong to a group called 400 Forward, founded by Detroit native and SmithGroup architect Tiffany Brown. “Throughout my career, I never saw anyone at the table who looked like me,” said Brown. She created 400 Forward to expose girls growing up in Detroit to a profession they may have never considered. “You have a group of people designing a space for you, living spaces, learning spaces, without your input. In order to give them your input, you need to understand what it is that [architects] do.”

Inside two Land Bank renovation projects, the group studied existing floor plans and learned about how Johnson’s team modernizes old homes for today’s families. After the tours, the girls moved to the Homebase community center to design their own floor plans, practicing skills like measuring and sketching. The field trip paid off. “You see so many abandoned houses, and now when I drive by one, I won’t look at it as just messing up the street,” says 16-year-old Brionne Davis. “I will look at it and say, ‘wow, do you see that part of the house,’ and I’ll be able to inform my peers about it.” Her classmate at Detroit School of Arts, Dea’onne Reynolds agrees. “I really like going through [the houses] and seeing how they’re made and how we can fix them. It’s really showing young girls, especially in Detroit that there’s more to it and that we can fix things. We’re able to show people that we can do things as young women.”

400 Forward’s partnership with the DeWhen Brown met troit Land Bank Authe Land Bank’s Propthority is a unique erty Rehabilitation opportunity to inspire Program Manager Vea new generation of ronica Johnson, she Brionne Davis and Dea’onne Reynolds pose with their Detroiters to pour knew there was an floor plans after a tour their talents back into opportunity for her the city. 18-year-old Dejana Warren starts college students. “It just made sense for me to team up this semester in pursuit of a career in architecture, with the Land Bank and for the girls to begin to “I’d like to see more young people like me to come learn about residential construction in the city and and see this, and whoever wanted to get into archiin their backyards,” said Brown. The Land Bank’s tecture, this would be a good experience for them.” property rehab team is always looking for strate400 Forward is a Knight Foundation grant recipgic partners within the local design and construction industries and jumped at the chance to work ient and is still looking for match partners. To get with 400 Forward. “We want Detroiters to help us involved, check out You rebuild Detroit. It’s a way that we can connect with can learn more about the Detroit Land Bank Auour community and use our inventory to push that thority’s Rehabbed & Ready program at mission forward,” says Johnson.

Late Jazz Trumpet Legend Marcus Belgrave Gets Detroit Street By Branden Hunter The street sign on the corner of John. R and Madison Avenue in downtown Detroit now reads “Marcus Belgrave Avenue,” after the late jazz trumpeting great. The sign was unveiled during a ceremony Thursday before the official launch of this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival.

Singer Joan Belgrave stands next to a portrait of her late jazz great Marcus Belgrave at the corner of John. R and Madison Ave.

The particular block of Randolph being renamed is significant because it is in front of the building where Belgrave and his wife Joan mentored youth at what was formerly the Carr Center. The street also abuts the block of Madison Avenue that was renamed “Aretha Franklin Boulevard” in honor of the legendary Detroit singer (who Belgrave toured with early on in her career), as well as near the brand new mural of Stevie Wonder on the Music Hall (who Belgrave met when Stevie was only 13 when Marcus was performing in the backup band on many Motown hits).

“This is something that I could do to pay tribute to the man that I loved so dearly,” said Joan Belgrave, an acclaimed jazz vocalist in her own right. “He was not only my husband, but my musical partner. We played together, we created together, and we served the musical community together. So this is for all of that. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means.” Belgrave (1936-2015) came to Detroit in 1962 and became a Motown studio musician, playing on such classics as Martha & the Vandellas “Dancing in the Street,” and The Temptations “The Way You Do the Things You Do” and “My Girl.” Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, he joined Ray Charles’ backup band in 1958, the first leg of a career which saw him work with some of the most important instrumentalists of the 20th Century -- including Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, and Wynton Marsalis.


Page B-2 • • September 4-10, 2019

Students at Davis Aerospace Technical High School.

New Hygiene Initiative for Underprivileged Students to Start-Up at Golightly Career and Technical Center Providing students with an easy accessible resource for clean clothes, hygienic products and more By Chronicle Staff A new initiative is underway for underprivileged students at Golightly Career and Technical Center and Davis Aerospace Technical High School. Owner and Founder of The Blackwood Organization, Ebony Cochran and Master Teacher at Davis Aerospace Technical High School, Torie J. Anderson M.Ed, M.A.Ed. will launch “The Clean Closet”, a hygiene closet inside of Davis Aerospace Technical High School on August 30, 2019 at noon. The Clean Closet is the first of its kind and will provide free hygiene products and more to students who are in need.

Mock-up of Hygiene Closets.

Research shows that students who experience a lack of resources for clean clothes and adequate hygiene products are greatly affected. Student experience a strain on their self-esteem, their ability to focus, bullying and isolation. As a result, those students are unable to be productive, unable to focus on their education and ultimately, it leads to depression and self-resentment. Additionally, a large amount of those students live in poverty or are homeless. In Michigan, there are more than 36,000 children in Michigan’s elementary, middle, and high schools who face

homelessness and lack stability.

Belgrave Ave

the street naming, Detroit techno innovator Carl Craig’s pioneering Detroit electronic music label Planet E Records will release a limited edition “Detroit-only” reissue of Belgrave’s 1974 masterwork “Gemini II” via its Community Projects sub-label.

From page B-1

He also backed some of America’s finest vocalists, including Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn. “Marcus’ legacy is phenomenal. It reaches so far and so wide,” said Joan Belgrave. “I can’t go anywhere without someone telling me that he taught them, helped them or influenced them. Now, all of the people whose lives

he touched will be able to come back and see that his legacy is still here. This is something permanent that will be here forever in the city of Detroit that he loved.” Belgrave’s music is only part of his influence. As a teacher, he helped mentor several generations of jazz musicians and was a professor or visiting artist at numerous institutions, including Detroit-area schools and Michigan State University. He was also a key contributor to the collective around Tribe Records, the Detroit jazz independent label founded by Phil Ranelin and Wendell Harrison in 1974. In



can’t solve their overall situation, but we have to start somewhere.”

By implementing hygiene closets, Cochran “As a Teacher, I’ve witand Anderson will seek re- nessed kids coming to sources such as a washer school with poor hygiene and dryer, detergent, and it affects participatoothpaste, toothbrush- tion in class and other es, deodorant, body wash, students are unable to socks, clean uniforms and work with them,” said Anmore by campaigning for derson, “now is the time donations from the com- to fix this simple issue munity and community and to help our students leaders. Although the first focus on being great.” The hygiene closet will launch Clean Closet will need to in Davis Aerospace Tech- raise at least $3,000 to nical High School, “I hope begin purchasing items

for their initiative. Each school will have a closet specialist and students will be able to access their in-school hygiene closet two hours before and two hours after school. Physical donations are accepted at 23223 Nine Mack Drive St Clair Shores, MI 48080 by appointment only. To submit monetary donations and for more information, visit  www.thecleancloset. org or email

Realtor from Sold by Sade purchasing needed washer and dryer for Davis Aerospace Technical High school Hygiene Closet.

to put hygiene closets in all Detroit Public Schools to at least help a third of the student body,” says Cochran, “we know this

“Gemini II” was originally released on Tribe Records in 1974 (and later rereleased by Belgrave with a different album cover on his own Gem-Eye imprint), and was composed and produced by Belgrave. He also played trumpet, flugelhorn, and miscellaneous percussion on the record. Vintage copies of the album have traded for as much as $500.00 among collectors, and the record has long been one of the most sought-after recordings in Detroit jazz history. The remastered “Gemini II” will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl by Detroit’s Third Man Records, and will be available only during Detroit Jazz Festival weekend. “I’m so proud that Marcus will have a street in his name,” said Craig. “His legacy deserves this. Marcus is a prime example of how musicianship skills are sharpened in Detroit because Detroiters won’t accept anything less than musical excellence. When I think of musical excellence, Marcus’ smiling face dominates that whole thought. I’m so glad to have known the man and his horn and am happy and proud to be a part of this celebration.”

Special Guest: Mayor Mike Duggan

September 4-10, 2019 • • Page B-3

8 things you need to know about the new school year By Lori Higgins  CHALKBEAT

The countdown is over. Today is officially the first day of school in Michigan — and for the state’s largest school district. So now that all the supplies and spiffy new uniforms have been purchased, it’s time to turn our attention to more weighty issues that will be important during the 2019-20 school year. Our top things to know about the new school year include issues such as third-grade reading, a budget impasse, and a fix for Detroit’s crumbling schools. Budget impasse If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you know that school leaders across the state are becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of movement toward adopting a state budget. This matters because no state budget means school districts and charter schools had to start the school year not knowing how much state funding they’re going to get this year. Because of that, some districts have delayed big hiring and spending decisions. Things could get really difficult if there’s a shutdown and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders aren’t able to resolve their budget differences by the time the first state aid payment to schools is issued next month. How a district survives that will depend on how much reserve funding they have. At a recent meeting, Detroit school district board members learned the district has about nine weeks of reserve funding — meaning they would have to miss October and November state aid payments for things to be really dire. Third-grade reading It’s high-stakes time for Michigan’s third graders. The state’s Read by Grade Three law has been on the books since 2016. But this is the year schools are required to hold back third graders who are a year or more behind in reading. MSU researchers who are studying the impact of the law estimate that between 2,000 and 5,000 students could be held back. But here’s the reality: The law allows for a number of exemptions that you can expect many districts to use to cut back on the number of children held back — and there are a lot of school leaders who believe mandatory retention is ineffective. New year for Detroit schools It will be a critical third year of reform for the Detroit Public Schools Commu-

nity District. The year is beginning on a relatively positive note, given M-STEP results released last week show the district made across-the-board gains. If you’re a high school student, this year will bring changes to how you learn math and English language arts. All students will see the impact of tweaks to the student code of conduct, which gives school leaders more flexibility in meting out punishment. Several new schools are opening, including one focused on engineering and social justice on the Marygrove College campus, and one that is billed as the district’s first wall-to-wall Montessori school. Meanwhile, more schools will be fully staffed. The year is beginning with 75 teacher vacancies, down from 275 two years ago. And Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has said 60% of schools will be fully staffed. Facility needs in Detroit schools If you’re a parent with children attending schools in the Detroit district, you know all about the facility needs. Last year, a review put the needs at more than $500 million. The price tag could grow to $1.4 billion in a few years if nothing is done. But officials in the district are hoping to do something about it. They’ll start by engaging the community in meetings that will begin in October. Vitti

said in this recent Q&A that he wants the community to have a voice in decisions about what happens with district schools. Fixing the problems is one thing. The district will also have to determine how to pay for the fixes. Fewest charters opening Has the number of charter schools in Michigan peaked? Just three new charter schools are opening in Michigan this year, the fewest number of charter schools to open in a single year since charters were first allowed in the mid 1990s. And with six having closed at the end of last year, the total number of charter schools in the state is now down to 294, according to a state charter advocacy group. There were 300 charter schools a few years ago. The three new charter schools are opening in Flint, Plymouth Township and Redford Township. A-F grades Students get letter grades. Now schools will too — just not as soon as lawmakers wanted. Controversial legislation passed during the lame duck session in December required the Michigan Department of Education to issue letter grades for public schools in the state by Sept. 1. But that deadline came and went without the grades, in part because

state education officials say some key data needed to calculate the grades isn’t available yet. Expect to see them issued later in the school year. Meanwhile, a local effort to issue letter grades to district and charter schools in Detroit is on track. Those grades will be issued in early 2020. Teacher evaluations Expect to see a renewed debate in Michigan about how teachers are evaluated — and how much of their evaluation should be based on test scores. Last year was supposed to bring a big change, with 40% of a teacher’s evaluation based on student test scores. In the previous year, it was 25%. But lawmakers essentially punted that change to this year, keeping the percentage at 25%, but for just one year. New state superintendent After a lengthy search, Michigan has a new education leader. Michael Rice, who was superintendent in the Kalamazoo Public Schools when he was hired in May, officially began the new role last month. It remains to be seen how influential Rice will be in helping steer Michigan’s education system toward the top, after years of flat or declining test results.

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Page B-4 • • September 4-10, 2019

PHOTOS: Jordan Woods

Several Heavy Hitters,

One Common Goal By Jordan Woods There were many exciting things for people to do in and around the city of Detroit on Saturday August 17, 2019. There was The Dream Cruise roaring along Woodward Avenue, covering many of the areas that make up Metro Detroit. Then there were the many restaurants and shops for people to visit in Detroit’s thriving downtown area. But, despite all of these other enjoyable options, one of Detroit’s most successful natives, some of the city’s most powerful leaders, and a community of selfless allies choose to gather in a neighborhood on Detroit’s west side at the Dauch Campus of the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM). They united around something bigger: continuing to build upon the tangible and interpersonal benefits that BGCSM and the Sean Anderson Foundation provide to all people across the state of Michigan, benefits which serve as a structure that enables many people to reach their full potential. Saturday’s main event was the unveiling of the Sean Anderson Production Studio on the Dauch Campus. The second such studio Sean Anderson has donated in Detroit (the other inside his alma mater, Cass Technical High School), the space will help the city’s youth learn the skills and express the creativity necessary to have rewarding careers in entertainment. Some of the kids on hand for the Saturday event were already making productive use of the studio, quickly taking to the stage to practice vocal and dance routines. The unveiling was just one part of the 2nd Annual D.O.N (Detroit’s On Now) Weekend, presented by the Sean Anderson Foundation, as well as Ally Financial Inc. Running from August 17-18t the weekend championed Detroit’s youth, neighborhoods, educators, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. Highlights from the weekend included: The “Detroit Block Party” which featured food, carnival rides, free haircuts, performances from local artists, health screenings, and much more. A mental health panel featuring psychiatrist Jessica Clemons, alongside two native Detroiters, Big Sean and author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. The discussion was centered on the effects of economic oppression, systemic racism, and the shortcomings of the legal system on mental health in the black community. And, a bowling party at the Garden Bowl, located in Midtown Detroit. On board for the D.O.N Weekend were Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan,

September 4-10, 2019 • • Page B-5

Lt. Governor Garlin Cilchrist, BCGSM Board President Hiram Jackson, Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem Mary Sheffield, BCGSM Board Member David Dauch, Sean Anderson Foundation Board Members Myra and Sean Anderson, and many others. Also on hand was one of the exemplary teen BGCSM members, Myles. Serving as the emcee for Saturday’s unveiling event, Myles spent much of his time on stage speaking of the gratitude he has for what the Boys & Girls Club has done for his life.   “I would not be the confident leader I am without the Boys & Girls Club,” Myles expressed. In fact, the Boys & Girls Club played such a role in harnessing Myles’s talents to the point where BGCSM President & CEO Shawn Wilson half-jokingly dubbed him as a future leader of BGCSM. “I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be in good hands with Myles in charge,” Wilson remarked. Myles’s journey is a perfect example of exactly the kind of visible impact that BGCSM has been having on members across Michigan, an impact that will be amplified at the Dauch Campus with the addition of the new resources. Saturday’s events and the plans for what’s to come represent the fulfillment of the shared and prioritized goal to provide individuals with an infrastructure, foundation, and community from which they can live their lives. This initiative hits home for everyone connected to it, but it is especially true for Detroit natives Myra and Sean Anderson.  Before he became “Big Sean,” Sean Anderson grew up with a unique perspective on how vital it is to have a stable foundation as early as possible. Growing up, his mother and grandmother were Anderson’s protectors and champions. They made sure he had a good environment at home, which was supplemented with the support he received from other people in his inner circle.  “Growing up, I had a family away from a family,’’ Anderson explained.  “I had a core of friends that I could talk to, that I could be myself with, that encouraged me and supported me, and it-- it’s life-changing.” While this was the case for him, as Anderson recalls, it was not the case for everyone around him. He’s lived through neighborhood friends losing their lives way too soon, and has had many other instances of being a witness to how life can head in a negative direction for people who lack a proper support system. His experience with having a reliable group of loved ones and knowing the consequences of a lack thereof even furthers the value that Anderson provides to the community he calls home, both through this endeavor and his many others. “I think it [having somewhere productive to go] could save somebody’s life,” Anderson said. “I think it could change somebody’s life and be the start of billion-dollar companies.”  Emotionally, Sean’s mother, Myra Anderson, echoed his sentiments. “I just want to get kids off the streets,’’ Ms. Anderson told a crowded room, fighting back tears. “This is such a good, clean, safe place that you can feel good about having your kids here”. So, while there were many great events going on around the city of Detroit on August 17,  there was something distinct and special about this one. Much of the other happenings were centered around relaxing and having fun, both of which are very important to a well-rounded life. The BGCSM adds to these tenets by setting its main goal as ensuring that as many people as possible have a stable foundation for life from which enjoyment can then come. Whether it’s mental health resources, technical skills, support and technology, or a community of individuals coming together to support each other as one, the Dauch Campus of BGCSM has it all.  For more information on or to donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan, please visit, and be sure to check out for more information on the Sean Anderson Foundation’s philanthropic efforts.

PHOTOS: Kory Woods

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September 4-10, 2019

Mental Health Awareness Matters

By Cierra Mayes

Texas Metro News Writer

With so much going on in the world today, there are many real-world issues that are in need of our focus. One of these issues happens in our everyday lives: mental health. There is so much awareness that needs to be brought to mental health that goes unnoticed. Many of these issues began from trauma caused in one’s life.

StreetWise Partners Brings High Impact Workforce Development Program to Detroit hard skills training and/ or college credentials (prior college coursework, registered apprenticeships, Bachelors, Associates and/or Certificates). Often individuals are facing limitations and challenges spanning work, education, access to professional networks, role models, and unstable housing.

By Chronicle Staff

For over 22 years, StreetWise Partners (501(c)3) has been committed to leveraging mentorship to increase employment opportunities for members of under-resourced and overlooked communities. With offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and now Detroit, they tackle the skills gap by pairing volunteers with mentees who are unemployed or underemployed to provide them with the skills, resources and access to networks they need to secure and maintain employment. Their one-year program provides 13 weeks of professional workshops followed by 9 months of ongoing coaching as mentees navigate the job search process. Led by Detroit Program Director Dichondra Johnson, native Detroiter and workforce expert, StreetWise Detroit opened its doors in May in downtown Detroit and is on track to launch programming in mid-September 2019. Johnson brings over 20 years of diverse experience in the performing arts, secondary and post-secondary education, non-profit, business, health care, and government sectors and has many professional achievements including launching nationally-recognized arts, government, and veteran education and career development initiatives. “We at StreetWise recognize the ever-present need to connect local skilled talent to career opportunities in Detroit. Through our unique program model, we will work with StreetWise Detroit mentees to grow their professional networks

Detroit Program Director Dichondra Johnson. and support meaningful career connections that lead to gainful employment and higher paying wages,” says Johnson. StreetWise Detroit began its program recruitment campaign this summer with a goal of recruiting a diverse cohort of 20 mentees and 40 mentors for the first program cycle. StreetWise will double its recruitment goal to serve 40 mentees in both its Spring and Fall 2020 cohorts next year. “Our work pairing program mentees with professional mentors would not be possible without the support of our dedicated volunteers representing an array of bluechip organizations, along with our national and local corporate partners. StreetWise mentors pay it forward while supercharging their careers and expanding their own professional networks, making it a life- changing experience for both our corporate volunteers and mentees,” says Johnson. StreetWise aims to recruit adult mentees aged 18-65 from underserved communities in Metro Detroit, with an emphasis on serving native Detroiters. StreetWise program mentees are HS/ GED graduates with basic

Farm Bureau Insurance Invites Michigan 8th Grade Students To Write About Their Personal Michigan Heroes Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan is once again sponsoring its annual America & Me Essay Contest—celebrating its 51st year. For over 50 years, several thousand eighth graders from hundreds of Michigan schools have entered the patriotic writing contest, which encourages Michigan young people to write about their Michigan heroes, especially those individuals who have made a difference in their lives. This year’s contest, held September 3 through Nov. 15th, will again ask students to write on the topic “My Personal Michigan Hero.” ELIGIBILITY: Signup kits will be sent to schools throughout Michigan in late August.  The contest is open to any eighth-grade student in Michigan enrolled in a public or private school and offers a variety of awards on the local and statewide levels. AWARDS:  The firstplace entry from each

school will be entered into the statewide competition from which the top ten essays in the state will be chosen. Each top ten statewide winner will receive a $1,000 cash award, another $1,000 for the school they attend, and another $500 for their school if the school is sponsored by a Farm Bureau Insurance agent. A special day will be planned to celebrate the top ten winners in May 2020.  Each of the top ten winners are allowed to bring two adults and a teacher to the awards celebration. As sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. To learn more about the 51st contest year, view video highlights from last year’s awards day or to read highlights from last year’s entries, AmericaAndMe or contact Lisa Fedewa at 517679-5411 or at lfedewa@

There are no costs for mentees or mentors to participate in the program. StreetWise Partners will assist participating mentees with transportation needs and is currently seeking local partners to provide transportation services, donated professional work attire, and other supportive services for participating mentees. Attendance at StreetWise Information Sessions is the required first step to participate in their upcoming programs. StreetWise Detroit is hosting weekly Networking and Information Sessions for interested participants and professional volunteer mentors at the StreetWise Detroit Office, WeWork (1001 Woodward Avenue), and local corporate and community host sites. For more information visit StreetWise Partners Detroit:

If we took the time to address these problems, we would be able to avoid many wrong doings of others in our ommunity COMMENTARY cand around the world. Everyone has that one friend they don’t see eye to eye with sometime. For many people, I know that friend can be anxiety. Anxiety happens to everyone whether you realize it or not. Cierra Mayes It can become a bigger issue when it’s affecting your everyday life and you believe what you’re feeling is true. Anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, and more, are all things that can be controlled. Depression is another issue that is triggered from one’s trauma. It is important that if you face one of the many issues, you seek help.  There are many who are willing to help those that are affected. Raven Fairley, a graduate student from the University of Missouri, with a focus in sports management, has created a platform that focuses on the mental health issues of professional athletes. Even though she focuses on professional athletes, she is willing to help anyone in need.  “The Silent Injury” is an organization Ms. Fairley created to share with others the importance of mental health. Growing up in a sport household where her grandfather, father, and uncle had always been involved in sports, sports was something that she knew about and kept her focus towards. She says the reason she wants to focus on professional athletes is because they are the ones that have issues that go unnoticed. “Injury depression is real. I’ve experienced up close with a lot of my guy friends in football and basketball.  “When they get injured, they wonder if they’re going to be back on the field, or while they’re out, who’s going to take their spot, and ‘when I get heeled, am I going to have my spot back?’ For them, they’re not only in physical pain, but mental pain as well,” she said. Mental health awareness in athletes is definitely an issue that should be addressed.  High profile cases such as the O.J. Simpson trial and Aaron Hernandez case are prime examples. Many players have their mind focused on playing sports professionally, and if it doesn’t happen some began to think negative thoughts about what they are doing and other options for their future. The en-

Raven Fairley, a post graduate student at the University of Missouri, with a focus in sports management, has created a platform that focuses on the mental health issues of professional athletes. vironment you are raised in plays a big role in anyone’s mental health. For athletes, if you have your family depending on you to make it, it can hurt that player mentally if a pro career doesn’t materialize, Ms. Fairley said. “Just seeing in the Black community that we don’t necessarily acknowledge mental health issues, we just kind of push them off to the side, really caught my interest.  We always hear “just pray about it” and just kind of brush it under the rug. Even though mental health issues are becoming a problem in the media, it has always been an issue.” Besides athletes, our favorite celebrities, and those we aspire to be [like], go through rough times also.  More people are open to talk about their mental health now more than ever because many have created that space for one to talk about their problems. Raven Fairley’s organization is set to launch at the end of 2019. Cierra Mayes is an intern at I Messenger Media LLC. She is a graduate of North Texas University.


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| September 4-10, 2019

FROM LEFT: Rebecca Sloan, The Fillmore Detroit (Overall Service Champion); Jim O’Keefe, Wayne County Airport Authority (Volunteers category winner); Tammy Lapins, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit (Hotels category winner); Ashley Smith, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Attractions and Casinos category winner); Larry Alexander, President & CEO, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau; Abdulwahab Nagi, Delta Air Lines (Transportation category winner); Claudete Rotary, Hyatt Place - Detroit Utica (Behind the Scenes category winner); and Brandon Page, Apparatus Room at the Detroit Foundation Hotel (Restaurants category winner).

Metro Detroit Hospitality Community Celebrates the Best in the Tourism Industry at 25th Anniversary of the ROSE Awards By Chronicle Staff

The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) honored 187 members of the metro Detroit hospitality community for their excellent customer service at the 25th Anniversary of the Recognition of Service Excellence (ROSE) Awards. More than 650 people attended the celebration at Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel on Aug. 28, 2019. During the ceremony Premium Event Services was also awarded the William F. McLaughlin Hospitality Award. This is the only award in the state of Michigan that honors customer service excellence in businesses.

From left: Glenda Lewis, WXYZ-TV/Channel 7 news anchor, Tammy Lapins, Westin Experience Specialist, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit and Shonda Isaac, Area General Manager, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

“The metro Detroit hospitality community is made up of the finest front-line and behind the scenes ambassadors that are creating memorable experiences and attracting 19 million visitors to the region each year,” said Larry Alexander, DMCVB President & CEO. “The ROSE Awards is our opportunity to say thank you to our partners for all they do to help metro Detroit rise above the rest in providing customer service.” ROSE Award nominations were provided by clients, guests, supervisors and the general public. One winner in each of the six categories was chosen. Additionally, one overall service champion, selected by a panel of expert hospitality professionals was also recognized. The 2019 category winners were:

From left: Glenda Lewis, WXYZ-TV/ Channel 7 news anchor and Abdulwahab Nagi, Aircraft Load Agent, Delta Air Lines.

•Volunteers — Jim O’Keefe, Airport Ambassador Volunteer, Wayne County Airport Authority •Attractions and Casinos – Ashley Smith, Guest Services Associate, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History •Transportation – Abdulwahab Nagi, Aircraft Load Agent, Delta Air Lines •Restaurants – Brandon Page, Bartender, Apparatus Room at the Detroit Foundation Hotel •Behind the Scenes – Claudete Rotary, Housekeeper, Hyatt Place – Detroit Utica • Hotels – Tammy Lapins, Westin Experience Specialist, The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit The 2019 Overall Service Champion was Rebecca Sloan, Administrative Assistant at The Fillmore Detroit. Sloan was recognized for her ability to ensure the highest level of guest services to patrons and for her genuine care to assist within the community while keeping a humbling attitude as she was battling breast cancer. WXYZ’s Glenda Lewis served as mistress of ceremonies for the evening, which included entertainment by Beth Griffith-Manley, NUCLASSICA, Rodney Page, Daniel D. and Dave Santia. The Red Rose sponsor of the event was MotorCity Casino Hotel. For more information about the ROSE Awards, go to

From left: Glenda Lewis, WXYZ-TV/ Channel 7 news anchor and Brandon Page, Bartender, Apparatus Room at the Detroit Foundation Hotel.

From left: Richard Yurcak and Michelle Yurcak, Premium Event Services, Larry Alexander, Detroit Metro CVB and John Yurcak, John Tse and Cody Walsh, Premium Events Services.

From left: Glenda Lewis, WXYZ-TV/ Channel 7 news anchor, and Ashley Smith, Guest Services Associate at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

From left: Glenda Lewis, WXYZ-TV/ Channel 7 news anchor, and Claudete Rotary, Housekeeper, Hyatt Place – Detroit Utica.

Jim O’Keefe, Airport Ambassador Vol- From left: Glenda Lewis, WXYZ-TV/Channel unteer, Wayne County Airport Author- 7 news anchor and Rebecca Sloan, Adminisity. trative Assistant at The Fillmore Detroit.

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September 4-10, 2019

Photograph by Marvin Shaouni

The Michigan Chronicle supports the businesses along the Avenue of Fashion. We want you to do the same. Below is a listing of the businesses impacted by the construction on Livernois.

Stop by at least one of them today! RETAIL Sharmells, 18967 Livernois Canvas Livernois, 18985 LIvernois Mike-Itchells on the Avenue, 19106 Livernois Prisca Fashion for Less, 19110 Livernois African Fabric & Fashion, 19160 Livernois The Shoe Box, 19186 Livernois Mike’s Market Grocery Store, 19195 Livernois Teasers, 19355 Livernois Detroit Fiber Works, 19359 Livernois Jo’s Gallery Cafe, 19376 Livernois Simply Casual, 19400 Livernois Livernois Pop-Up Shop, 19410 Livernois Professional Racquet Services, 19444 Livernois Art n Motion, 19452 Livernois Flag Ship Boutique, 19456 Livernois Karisma’s Kloset Detroit, 19458 Detroit Three Thirteen, 19495 Livernois Stitches, 18955 Livernois D’Created Boutique, 19480 Livernois Superior Screen Printing and Sportswear, 19174 Livernois Framing & Custom Design, 19496 Livernois In & Out, 19910 Livernois Fel’le Art Gallery, 19926 Livernois Liquor Palace, 20078 Livernois Fred’s Unique Furniture, 20201 Livernois Magic Dollar Store Plus, 18647 Livernois Foot Locker, 19121 Livernois Suits for Less, 19131 Livernois CVS, 18600 Livernois Pet Supplies Plus, 18956 Livernois Metro PCS, 18984 Livernois

BEAUTY/BARBER Dixon Barber Shop, 18937 Livernois Naturally Beautiful, 18981 Livernois Uppercuts, 18989 Livernois Terry’s Wigs & Lashes, 19139 Livernois Beauty Spot Supply, 19155 Livernois 21st Century Salon, 19353 Livernois Micah’s Salon & Boutique, 19374 Livernois Inspirations Old School, 19558 Livernois The Buzz, 20094 Livernois Happy to be Nappy, 18945 Livernois Exclusive Virgin Hair, 18975 Livernois Ho Nail & Spa, 18984 Livernois African Hair Braiding, 19118 Livernois African Nubian Queens, 19301 Livernois

L. Swygert’s Salon, 19464 Livernois Heavenly Creations, 19480 Livernois

FOOD/DRINK/CATERING Biggby Coffee, 18685 Livernois Legends Pizza on the Ave, 19163 Livernois Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, 20150 Livernois Good Cakes and Bakes, 19363 Livernois Durden’s Catering, 20504 Livernois Boston Market, 18610 Livernois China Wok, 18670 Livernois Table No. 2, 18925 Livernois Mr. & Mrs. Benson Bakery, 19126 Livernois Narrow Way Cafe, 19131 Livernois Bucharest Grill, 19492 Livernois Noni’s Sherwood Grille, 19700 Livernois Hangover’s Lounge, 20143 Livernois

MEDICAL/HEALTH Apple Denture Center & More, 18657 Livernois Wayne County Dialysis Center, 20001 Livernois Sherwood Urgent Care, 20176 Livernois iCare Spine and Rehab Center, 18984 Livernois Heidelberg Dermatology, 20400 Livernois

SERVICES/OTHER House of Morrison Shoe Repair, 18933 Livernois Prime Financial Plus, 19966 Livernois Capital Transfer Agency, 19983 Livernois Team LBR, 20122 Livernois (real estate) Pyratech Security Systems, 20154 Livernois USPS, 20501 Livernois Red Carpet Select Restore, 19144 Livernois Majik Touch Dance Studio, 19200 Livernois Summit Realty, 19218 Livernois Professional Racquet Services, 19444 Livernois Hill Realty, 19983 Livernois

AUTOMOTIVE/GAS STATIONS/CAR WASHES Valero, 6401 W. Eight Mile Road BP, 4125 W. Eight Mile Road BP, 19030 Livernois Hubert’s Towing & Auto Repair, 20049 Livernois U-Haul, 19797 Livernois Detroit Detail Express, 18911 Livernois

City. Life. Style. C1 | September 4-10, 2019

Where City Meets Life and Life Meets Style

Broadway In Detroit Presents

CATS By AJ Williams City.Life.Style. Editor

One of the biggest hits in theatrical history, CATS opens in Detroit at the Fisher Theatre this week as part of a multi-season North American tour. 

Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the record-breaking musical spectacular has captivated audiences in over 30 countries and 15 languages, is now on tour across North America! Featuring new sound design, direction, and choreography for a new generation — experience CATS for the first time as it begins a new life, or let it thrill you all over again! City.Life.Style. chopped it up with CATS performer, Mariah Reives: Reives began dancing at a small studio in Sanford, North Carolina. She then went on to train at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a B.A. in Teaching. She has been seen on television for “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and now comes to Detroit in her role as Cassandra in CATS! 

Mariah Reive

City.Life.Style: When and how did you know dancing was your passion?

Mariah Reives: I began dancing when I was three years old, but it wasn’t until I was about seven or eight years old that I really started to take dance very seriously. I went to North Carolina School of the arts starting my sophomore year of high school to focus more on this art. It was there that I really found the drive to become a professional dancer and to pursue this career. I went to Marymount Manhattan College in New York where I found my true passion for musical theater. Being able to bring both dance and musical theater into 1 show is a dream of mine. CLS: Who or what influences your dance style? Reives: I’ve had many mentors in the past but what truly influences my dance style today are the children who come to see the shows. I enjoy watching their faces and seeing them be inspired by just the simple art of dance. CLS: What can the audience expect from CATS and your performance? Reives: Cats is unlike any musical you will ever see. It’s such a classic but the new choreography done by Andy Blakenbuehler bring an exciting show for all generations. You will laugh, you may cry, you may even see yourself in


Soirée on the Greenway Returns With Live Art and More! By AJ Williams – City.Life.Style. Editor A sense of mystery and whimsy will fill the air as the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s popular Soirée on the Greenway returns to the Dequindre Cut Freight Yard. on Friday the 13th of September The seventh annual Soirée on the Greenway is presented for the second year by Citizens Bank.  “Citizens Bank is proud to return as presenting sponsor for Soirée on the Greenway,” said Rick Hampson, president of Citizens Bank, Michigan. “The work that the Conservancy is doing along the riverfront is crucial to boosting the economic vitality of the Detroit community and their efforts are bringing together people from all corners of the city.” The first 100 Soirée guests will receive complimentary one-of-a-kind masks created by artists across the country thanks to Ford Motor Company, the Mask Sponsor.  Masks will be provided to VIP ticket-holders and will be available for any guests who make a $25+ donation at the event. As in previous years, Soirée features unique food, drink and interactive art.  Local food trucks YumVillage, Tres Leches ‘N Snacks and TruckShucka will tempt attendees’ taste buds with delicious menus based on the fall season, and award-winning chocolatiers Bon Bon Bon will present a Build Your Own Bon activity.  Atwater Brewery is providing a See SOIRÉE ON THE GREENWAY Page C-2

Page C-2 • • September 4-10, 2019

Soirée on the Greenway From page C-1 selection of beer and hard seltzer for event attendees. The pedal-powered animal bikes by Detroit artist Juan Martinez that were a hit at last year’s event are back.  The bikes include life-sized renditions of a rhino, a bison and a 20-foot pangolin, each of which will be available for guests to ride up and down the Cut throughout the evening.  Dr. Nitro will also be on hand with fun science demonstrations and nitrogen-infused ice cream.  Additionally, the Boston Tea Room will offer guests free palm readings.  Guests to Soirée will also be invited to participate in an interactive graffiti experience by CANVASxDetroit. Soriee on the Greenway takes place Friday, Septemeber 13th from 6 pm to 10 pm. For more information on tickets visit

City. Life. Style. Where City Meets

LIFE STYLE and Life Meets

In Print and Online

Mariah Reives

Reives: This will be my first time in Detroit. I am looking forward to seeing the city and exploring all the sites that Detroit has to offer. Cedar Point is definitely on that list!

a couple of cats, but overall you will leave the theatre with a smile and happy heart.   4.94 in. CLS: Is this your first time to Detroit? What are you looking forward to doing while in the D?

CATS returns to Detroit from September 3-15, 2019 and tickets start at $35. For more information visit or

From page C-1


10.5 in.


Keeping You Informed Away or at Home.




MotorCity Casino Hotel and MotorCity Casino Hotel design are trademarks of Detroit Entertainment, L.L.C. ©2019 Detroit Entertainment, L.L.C. All rights reserved.


| September 4-10, 2019


PHOTOS: Kory Woods

Lions’ DE Flowers Tackling Community Involvement with Detroit Teens

By Kory Woods

The Detroit Lions signed two-time Super Bowl champ Trey Flowers expecting that he would make an immediate impact on the football field. Fortunately for the Detroit community, he had more in store. In this case, it meant stopping by the Teen HYPE offices last Thursday. He walked in with the goal of learning about the teenage organization, their cohorts, and how he could help. For those who don’t know, Teen HYPE (Helping Youth by Providing Education) is an organization that has “reached more than 35,000 Detroit-area youth through programming that assures every young person reaches their potential.” Several members shared experiences with Flowers that led them to join the youth development group.  The “family” environment was a central theme. Flowers, one of 10 siblings, believes of being in the right room to use his platform. “I’m not an in the limelight type of guy”, said Flowers. “I’m reserved and conservative. [But] as much as I learn [about] myself, I’ve learned that I am able to inspire others such as people and kids looking up to me. I had to understand that I do have a voice that does

encourage and inspire people.”

Members of Teen HYPE took advantage of the opportunity to ask the former Arkansas Razorback a bevy of questions. Topics ranged from his upbringing to how he handled constant relocation. Flowers was asked if his visit was a “one-off” or whether he really planned to make a change. It was at this moment that the conversation took a serious tone.  “I definitely plan to do a lot in the community. I love children and for me, kids got a different outlook on life and a different opportunity”, said Flowers. “As you get older, those opportunities tend to dwindle. If you can encourage kids at this age or younger age, you can help them take advantage of those opportunities. That’s what I plan to do.” From a quick dance battle to the teens teaching Flowers how to do fraternity/sorority style step, the visit ended with all smiles. And a rousing send-off. This was the first of many stops for Flowers and the new Flowers of The Future Foundation.  Its mission is to establish community engagement, promote physical fitness and developing positive values and engagement through philanthropic efforts.

NBA All-Star Steph Curry Kick Starts New Division I Golf Program at Howard University By Lauren Poteat NNPA Newswire

The world of golf will never be the same now that the historic Black institution, Howard University, has officially launched its first ever NCAA Division I golf programs. Announced on Monday, Aug. 19, at the G C Langston & Driving Range in Northeast D.C. three-time NBA Champion, Stephen Curry — Point Guard for the Golden State Warriors — joined HU President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick and HU Athletic Director Kery Davis to pledge his commitment and heavy financial support to the new sports program over the next six years. “Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible but just as impactful,” Curry said. “It’s a discipline that challenges your mental wherewithal from patience to focus and is impossible to truly master. So, when you hear about these passionate student athletes who have the talent but don’t have a fair shot at the game, it’s tough. I feel really honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University and look forward to building their first men’s and women’s golf teams with them.” Curry was ignited by Howard senior Otis Ferguson IV, who approached him back in January, after a special HU screening of the documentary “Emanuel.” The film documents the 2015 massacre of nine innocent Black people while worshipping at Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Curry is the executive producer on the project, and the two-time NBA MVP and avid golfer felt compelled to help Ferguson, after he admitted that he had attempted to start a golf team at the school, but sadly fell short. “No matter where you come from or what socioeconomic background you had, we all were that kid once upon a

Howard University student Otis Ferguson (second from left) inspires Stephen Curry (center) to fund a new golf team for Howard University. Also pictured are Howard University Athletic Director Kery Davis (far left) Calloway CEO Oliver “Chip” Brewer (second from right) and Howard University President Wayne Frederick (far right). (Photo: Howard University) time that was just excited about finding out who they were as a person through athletics,” Curry said. “I was blessed at a young age that we could afford to play,” Curry continued. “I just think about how many kids, especially from underserved communities, have the talent to play but just don’t have the funds or the resources.” The Division I men’s and women’s varsity golf teams are set to begin in 2020 and train and promote more Black players in the field of golf while harnessing key traits, like endurance, strength and strategy. During the press conference, it was announced by Davis that there would be three scholarships for the inaugural year. Two on the women’s side and one for the men’s team, adding that Curry

had already committed to working with the school to raise money for endowment for the program, which he believed would amount to between $6 to $8 million on—top of Curry’s own reported six-figure donation. “I don’t like to talk about anybody else’s wallet, but let’s just say this, [Curry] is putting up enough that we will be able to, in the first year, hire a coach and spend the necessary resources to create and develop a team starting in 2021,” Davis said. “He is also putting up enough to pay the operating and scholarship expenses for that team on both the men’s and women’s side for the next five years after that.” According to, there are an average of 25.7 million golfers throughout the United States. However Black Americans only account for 1.3 mil-

lion of that population in comparison to their white counterparts, who make up over 20.3 million — something President Frederick said, he was looking forward to changing. “Howard University is honored to partner with NBA Champion Stephen Curry to launch what is sure to become one of the best golf programs in the country,” President Frederick said. “This program will expose the campus to a game with numerous benefits. Golf is unique because it can be played through various ages of life. Grandfathers can play with granddaughters. Expanding the competitive opportunities for student athletes, especially in arenas where they are underrepresented, is consistent with the university’s strategic plan.”

Page C-4 • • September 4-10, 2019

Breaking Barriers in Ballet:

Misty Copeland Set to Receive Trailblazer Award

By Lauren Poteat NNPA Newswire

Misty Copeland had the world of ballet standing still, when she made history as the first Black female principal dancer to the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 2015, just months after becoming the first Black woman to perform the lead role of “Odette” in ABT’s coveted “Black Swan” in the winter of 2014. Determined to shatter the glass ceiling of the ballet world, on Sep. 11, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will honor Misty Copeland with their esteemed Trailblazer Award during the CBC’s annual “Celebration of the Arts” event—an award that Copeland deemed as not only an honor but also a necessity. “It’s so important for other Black dancers to see a possibility, a future for themselves, in a world that still doesn’t include many other Black ballerinas,” Copeland said. “There’s definitely still a glass ceiling in the ballet world,” Copeland continued. “There’s only one Black principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre in their entire almost 80-year history and a lot of people don’t have the understanding that just because it’s been done once, doesn’t meant that that problem goes away… having one Black president didn’t mean that racism didn’t exist.” “If I didn’t have art in my life, then I wouldn’t be the articulate, confident person that I am today. Fields in STEM are important but the arts are also so vital… not every child learns the same way and sometimes the missing link is art.” Growing up as the fourth child of six in underserved areas of San Pedro, California, Copeland spoke to a time where she and her five other siblings found themselves all living in a small motel after her mother’s

Photo Credit: Naim Chidiac Abu Dhabi Festival / Wikimedia Commons marriage to her fourth husband became abusive — both emotionally and physically — to Copeland’s mother and all of her children. Despite the economic and social hardships, Copeland said that she was able to find solace and her voice through the world of dance. At the age of 13, the ballet lessons that she began taking at at the local Boys and Girls Club would eventually allow her to move in with her teacher’s family and eventually prepare her to make history. “It’s been 25 years now that I’ve been a part of classical ballet and I still have that same fire,” Copeland said. “I think

for me it was initially out of my own need, as a 13-year old girl growing up in underprivileged areas, to find structure, something I never had, and dance provided exactly what I needed for that time in my life.” “I represent ballet and any child that needs to see someone persevere,” Copeland continued. “What it means to be an underdog and to be mentored and have an amazing support system and represent that American dream.” Since joining the American Ballet Theatre in 2001, Copeland has gone on to be inducted into the Boys & Girls Club National Hall of Fame; serve on

the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, under the Obama administration; publish three books, including the New York Times Bestselling memoir, “Life in Motion;” secure her own clothing line with Under Armour; and receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford. All the while Copeland has been an ardent beliver in reminding others that “representation is important.” “I’m still a Black ballerina and a Black woman in this world and that doesn’t just disappear with titles,” Copeland said. “The more I use my visibility, my platform, my voice, to

Trailer for Upcoming Harriet Tubman Movie Sails Over Ten Million Views in Five Days By Lauren Victoria Burke

val in September 2019. 

NNPA Newswire Contributor

Originally Viola Davis was set to star in and produce a film on Tubman but the development of the current film by Focus began in May 2016. In February 2017, Cynthia Erivo was cast as Harriet Tubman and Seith Mann, who is African American, was selected as the director using a screenplay by Gregory Allen Howard.

A movie preview for the upcoming biopic featuring the life of legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman, entitled “Harriet,” was viewed by over ten million people in five days from July 21 to July 26 on Facebook. Another social media post of the same movie trailer on YouTube received over four million views. The movie will be released on November 1. The film stars British actress Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman and Janelle Monae, Joe Alwyn and Leslie Odom.   “Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, “Harriet” tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history,” a write-up by Focus Features read. The world premiere for “Harriet” will take place at the Toronto International Film Festi-

Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross in March 1822 and died on March 10, 1913. She was an abolitionist, activist and a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War.  Tubman escaped slavery and traveled thirteen missions to rescue over 300 enslaved people, many family and friends. Tubman used a network of antislavery activists and safe houses to bring people to freedom. The vast network would become known as the Underground Railroad.  Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and writer for NNPA as well as a political analyst and strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at and on twitter at @LVBurke

continue to speak about diversity both in front of the scenes and behind them, the more I’ll be able to help change the directory of dance.” “A lot of underserved areas and youth either don’t receive access to dance courses or don’t receive quality training, which limits their chances of going even further when that time comes,” Copeland continued. “My hope, is that with my platform, I can continue this conversation to bring about change, to show younger people how to own their own power, to embrace who they are, to walk in their own path and to be represented.”


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More Women and Minorities Needed for Financial Planning Jobs (StatePoint) Americans’ need for competent and ethical financial advice continues to grow, but the population of professionals who can provide such advice is shrinking. At the same time, the demographics of wealth in the U.S. are shifting. The average net worth of African American families increased by 30 percent from 2013 to 2016, according to the Federal Reserve. Women now control more than onethird of wealth in the country, according to The Boston Consulting Group. And an “InvestmentNews” report found the top-fifth of Latinos, or more than 2.1 million households, have an average wealth of more than $400,000. Not reflecting these changes, however, are the demographics of today’s financial planning workforce. Less than one-fourth of the more than 84,000 Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals are women, and only 3.6 percent are Black or Latino. The gap between the current state of the financial planning profession and what is needed

in this shifting landscape presents big career opportunities for aspiring CFP professionals, particularly female and minority candidates. “We need more financial planners,” says Brittney Castro, a Los Angeles-based Latina CFP professional. “It’s such a great career. You’re helping people with their money, you make good money, and you have ultimate freedom over your time. That’s a win-win-win.” Financial planners earn a median pay of $89,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also projects that job opportunities within the financial advisory industry are expected to grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. This means CFP professionals can enjoy lucrative careers with long-term opportunity and room for growth, all while helping others. The ways in which diverse financial professionals benefit their communities is multifaceted, according to Justin Sullivan, CFP, an African American investment advisor for a wealth management company in Atlanta. Giving back

is a central part of the work, he says, whether through formal financial planning services or simple conversations with people in the community. “I think we take for granted what people know, especially when you talk about groups that have not historically been exposed to wealth.” Becoming a CFP professional also provides opportunities to serve as a mentor for future generations of financial planners and encourage even greater diversity in the profession. “There are not many of us -- women of color -- who are financial planners, so I have a responsibility,” says Rianka Dorsainvil, a CFP professional in Washington, D.C. “I have to volunteer and raise my hand for leadership positions so other women of color can say, ‘I see her in me, so I can do that too.’” To learn more about financial planning careers, visit Today’s CFP professionals take pride in meeting the growing need for financial advice, helping people in their community achieve their financial goals, and making a positive difference in their clients’ lives.

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son Dr. M. Roy Wil for Has Delivered Wayne State By Hiram E.




the was named Wayne Roy Wilson When M. history of recall nt in the 12th preside ity in 2013, I can if the State Univers hoping that, hadn’t fiuniversity sethad at least inthe its man, it nally found ne who could keep right the tled on someo and headed in stitution stable direction. WilNow, as ncy son’s preside sixth nears its clear it’s year, been that he has more so much than a caretak state’s er for our relargest urban isearch univers , Wilson ty. Indeed himn has proven vision- Hiram E. Jackso self to be and just to ary, smart y committed not . wholeheartedlbut to all of Detroit acWayne State, university’s a few of the watch: Consider ts under his rate complishmen r graduation the State’s six-yea ement in • Wayne fastest improv of the Afritripling has had the a including nation — tion rate an gradua Coleman can Americ ed its largwelcom By Trevor W. s, the school City addres a • Last fall, class in history State of the an tIn his sixth Mike Duggan made est freshm ed its commi t its’s has deepen to reclaim Detroit Mayor a provos for Detroit • The school on by creating difor job opportu spirited call ty; a chief leading city progress made ment to inclusi oversee diversi of Multiculspot as a much praised the position to and an Office nities. He goal already but said versity officer; t Engagement toward that s to be done. highly a tural Studen f room work remain Wilson, himsel crowded es to pursue tobefore a Meanwhile, Speaking surgeon, continu g access Village Preparathe English trained eye aimed at boostin African at the East Duggan said among s for y, a strategy forward ical science ry Academ the city has moved of color. million to the biomed other students of where $10 n and areas invest plans to Americans e, he formed a coalitio Police Depart was in its colleges more Detroit and officer), For instanc universities and g Infrato hire 70 s nel (civilian Detroit-based NIH-funded Buildin (BUILD) ment personfor job training program the Diversity to launch Promise to decline $4.5M more Leading to ing the Detroitof numerous structure the drastic ts prior and expand Galled by g the cost studen Program. trades. include coverin ty med school also estabfor the skilled in minori arrival, Wilson certifications program, unemployChrysler to his 2013Wayne Med-Direct d while noting 50 percent , Ford, and of central However, onally talente lished the more than it is nally General Motors tees excepti tion out ment is down he acknowledged success in shifted their produc and 1957, while which guaranstudents from traditio to ion n 1945 es of recent from its peak, high school ted groups admiss cturing plants to as exampl forward. Detroit betwee ptably high. not one still unacce Detroit e building 25 new manufa five years underrepresen medical school. area. But d everyon ways we made“If you look moving Wayne State's he stresse of the city in the metropolitanitself. r of under“In many said. the numbe However, of ahead the city s,” Duggan rate it has been been Consequently, ties in the School in of progres of them in focus what’s been done. loyment against has minori 8.5 per- should up seven already to unemp nted t we’re the dismal at a represe “So, what for a long time,” Duggan t un- and not what’s from 20 percen 60 last goal for our rose from arrival, to cut in half still have the highes Medicine a central ” after Roy’s want to be in the making we “We’ve got United States. cent. But said. “We 2014, a year rate in the ” Duggan g job oppor- said. he was defor pov- future, employment year. r for stratetted to creatin Duggan saidnarrative that However, pattern follows ers have a city commi deputy directoprogram cothe The same Detroit The former to change that large s.” g and ed on admin“35,000 years last tunitie termin plannin te the city the fic l Institu erty he said.out of poverty in he said the reverse the had taken root over best bets were to gic scienti a good at the Nationa To that end, Disparities plants niined to been moved you can say that’s ordination t and Health Health, he rural commu cturers, manufacturing n was determ in highes and s Health the manufa y years istratio of facilitie five Minorit of major new areas. to avoid union we still have l Institutes of health disStates.” 70-year trend locating in rural Pro- openmainly in the south, ges record. Except of the Nationa in the United ties A2 lly auto, related the challen University poverty rate increasing has tackled TUNITIES page ts from con- especia how New York Detroit native, partDetroit by See OPPOR city residen Duggan said He noted , a forging new parities in Warning Tom Sugruethat the “Big Three; dollars and well-being of our themselves, lishments fessor research an wrote gratulating improve the other accomp point and histori nership to there are manycity officials could community. he and other


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