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Detroit City Council President Ties The Knot!

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Michigan Chronicle

Vol. 84 – No. 16 | December 23-29, 2020

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A Man of

The New COVID-19 Vaccine Will Save Lives

Legacy:

By Curtis L. Ivery

We’re approaching a fork in the road. After much anticipation, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved extensively-researched COVID-19 vaccines. I plan to take it as soon as it is my turn, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I see this measure as the first step toward a global recovery and a chance to restore normalcy to our lives.

Wayne County Sheriff

Benny Napoleon

However, a sizeable portion of the population is not reacting to this good news like the good news it is. Instead of hope, they are buying into conspiracy theories. Rather than optimism, they are responding with distrust, disdain, and, in some instances, fear. According to a recent study, only 14 percent of African Americans Curtis L. Ivery think the vaccine will be safe and only 18 percent believe it will be effective.

is Remembered for His Strong Community Bonds, Love for Others By Sherri Kolade For a community that cared deeply he was many things: Wayne County sheriff, tireless volunteer, dedicated leader, public servant, friend and mentor. But to Tiffani Jackson, 33, he was just her dad. “He was the same person as your sheriff as your friend or your brother or my dad -- he was a genuine person and a consistent person. A loyal, kind, caring person. He truly had a heart for helping other people without expectation,” Jackson said of her father, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

This makes me shake my head in despair. While I understand the concerns, and recognize the reasons behind the skepticism of the Black community and other people of color, now is not the time to avoid health care recommendations. Nor is it the time to lean heavily on biases that are rooted in our past.

Napoleon lost his lengthy battle with ­ COVID-19 due to complications from the virus in the late evening hours on Dec. 17, officials confirmed.

True, our troubled history in this country contains more than one example of negligence and betrayal by the medical profession. The most famous case, of course, is the 40-year Tuskegee scandal involving 600 black men in Macon, Alabama. They were told they were being treated for “bad blood,” yet some were receiving a placebo and others injected with syphilis. However, the Tuskegee Experiment that began in the 1930s, has absolutely nothing to do with a highly-touted remedy of 2020 that could halt the spread of a life-threatening disease. African Americans have been disproportionately affected by COVID -19 and, along with Native Americans, have experienced the highest death rates. A vaccine will not exacerbate this problem. It will control it.

Photo credit: Facebook

Upon notice of his death, tons of heartfelt messages came pouring in from leaders and residents -- all highlighting how much Napoleon meant to them and about his dedication to his work. Mayor Mike Duggan said that he is “shocked and saddened” at the loss of one of the city’s greatest public servants and native sons. “I cannot think of a leader in this town who has been more loved and admired than Benny. He was born in the city, served our community courageously his entire adult life, and loved Detroit as much as anyone I’ve ever known,” Duggan said. “Please keep his daughter Tiffani, his family and friends, and the entire Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in your prayers as they struggle with their painful loss.”

Although it is important to learn from yesterday’s trials and errors, if we dwell on those mistakes, we are creating a cycle of overreaction that could do more harm than good. The current vaccine is not a testament to societal and racial inequity. It is a viable attempt to end a pandemic. At this point, we need to be future focused. We need to be proactive as we explore ways to preserve our health and wellbeing. That means opening our minds to progress, being willing to adapt and doing our own due-diligence when necessary. Looking back, the outcome of mass COVID-19 vaccinations today actually could parallel crises that occurred in the 1900s when Small Pox was globally eradicated by mandated vaccinations. Similarly, a 1950s vac-

See COVID-19

Napoleon, 65, described as a pillar in the community, a devoted public servant, family man and friend, was diagnosed with COVID19 last month, according to official reports. The sheriff’s office announced Napoleon’s diagnosis on Nov. 19, and he was hospitalized the following day.

See BENNY

NAPOLEON page A2

VACCINE page A6

WHAT’S INSIDE Benny Napoleon and his mother and siblings. – Photo provided by Tiffani Jackson

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Serving Our Communities for Over 170 Years

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Benny Napoleon, fellow police officers and Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Benny Napoleon and his daughter, Tiffany Jackson, are all smiles. – Photo provided by Tiffani Jackson


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December 23-29, 2020

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Benny Napoleon From page A-1 Jackson said that her father treated everyone with dignity and respect, and the man behind the badge was a fun person. “[He] loved to laugh and tell old stories of his childhood … he liked to travel, he liked to go on family trips,” Jackson said, adding that the family had annual family vacations. This year was different, though, due to COVID-19 and they were unable to travel. Jackson added that her father loved his staff, friends and others. “You rarely got him to speak ill of someone and if he did speak ill of someone it was because of [their] mistreatment of someone else; it wasn’t just fictitious issues that he would formulate with people,” Jackson added. “He tried to get along with everybody.” Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans expressed that the pain of Napoleon’s loss is palpable. “Words cannot begin to convey the pain we all feel tonight with the passing of Sheriff Benny Napoleon. We have lost a true pillar in our community. He was a dedicated public servant, a loving father to his daughter Tiffani, and a life-long friend to many. My heart aches as Renata and I send out our prayers and condolences to the family,” Evans said, adding that he and Benny were more than colleagues. “We were close friends. Benny shared a love for Wayne County—especially for the city of Detroit— and that love showed in his passion for making our lives better and our community safer and fairer.” He also shared his condolences with his brothers and sisters in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Detroit Police Department, who served with and under Napoleon. “Benny had such a strong bond with the men

and women who put on the uniform every day. I know he was strengthened by your thoughts and prayers in these last weeks,” Evans said. “It seems like we have had to say too many goodbyes since COVID-19 hit our community. Benny’s passing reminds us of the short time we have to make the world a better place. I can honestly say the world is a better place because of my friend Benny, and I will miss him dearly,” added Evans. Napoleon graduated from Cass Technical High School, according to his biography on the Wayne County Sheriff’s page. He joined the Detroit Police Department [DPD] in 1975 as a trainee police officer and was admitted to the Detroit Police Academy in June of 1975. He had many hats in the DPD in many patrol, investigative, undercover and administrative roles. He started his career walking a beat in the Second (Vernor) Precinct. He rose through the police department, being promoted to sergeant in 1983; to lieutenant in 1985; to inspector in 1987; to commander in 1993; to deputy chief in 1994; to assistant chief in 1995; and was appointed chief of police by Mayor Dennis W. Archer in 1998. After nearly 30 years of service, Napoleon retired from the DPD in 2001. In 2004, Napoleon was named assistant Wayne County executive to help oversee the administration of the country’s 19th most populous county. Napoleon served in that role until he was appointed Wayne County sheriff in July 2009. He won re-election in 2012 for four more years. Napoleon created many programs including the expansion of the Electronic Monitoring program to more than 500 tether participants a day generating annual cost-savings of $21.8 million, according to the website. He also reduced

COVID-19 Vaccine From page A-1

cine for Polio (once considered one of the most threatening diseases of childhood) proved to be nearly 90 percent successful in preventing infections. Based on my findings, Pfizer and Moderna have developed safe and effective vaccines. The Moderna vaccine was created by a Black woman, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a leading scientist with a coronavirus vaccine research team at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Health. To meet the approval of the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drugs that are being administered to the public must pass industry standards. Science, not politics, led to an expedited and unprecedented collaboration between researchers, health care providers, regulators, and insurance companies. This resulted in the vaccines being produced at a higher-than-normal speed. As a Black husband, father, and grandfather, I applaud their genius. Because of their intense, round-the-clock exertion, our families can feel safer. Likewise, so can essential workers,

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Benny Napoleon and his grandson, Malachi, relax ­together. – Photo provided by Tiffani Jackson daily inmate populations to levels before he started his tenure there by using alternative incarceration avenues. Napoleon participated in many things including the national dialogue as an expert panelist on judicial and law enforcement reform. Also, for more than a decade he was involved with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. He also participated most recently in the NAACP Forum Race and Politics in America; the Congressional Black Caucus’ Symposium in Pursuit of Policing and Criminal Justice Reform; and the League of Women Voters Policing in the 21st Century. Napoleon earned his associate’s degree in Law Enforcement, cum laude, from Mercy College of Detroit in 1980; his B.A. in Criminal Justice, cum laude, from Mercy College in 1982; and his Juris Doctor degree from Michigan State University College of Law in 1986. He was also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection School,

first responders, people of all walks of life. As chancellor of the Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD), I am pleased that my staff and students at all educational levels can move forward. I am convinced that the best way to end the COVID-19 pandemic is for all individuals to take the vaccine and continue to demonstrate personal responsibility regarding COVID-19 protocols such as the wearing of masks, maintaining social distance, and regular handwashing. We are being warned that some of the deadliest months of COVID-19 may lie ahead, and so we must remain vigilant while doing all we can to protect ourselves and support the greater good of society. I see the new vaccine as, perhaps, one of the most important milestones of this century—but it can’t work if we don’t give it a try. Let’s not allow memories of our grandparent’s struggles cause us to reject life-sustaining treatment in the here and now. The Black community needs this safeguard and, therefore, the Black community and all other communities should welcome it. Do not confuse the solution with the problem.

the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, the Aresty Institute of Executive Development at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University the Kennedy School of Government Executive Education where he was awarded a certificate of completion for the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program in July 2011. He was also a member of the State Bar of Michigan and has been licensed to practice law since 1987.

she said, adding that her father vowed to never allow his work to get in the way of his responsibilities with her. “We were best friends; I talked to both of my parents every day; multiple times a day. [He] was a confidant, a friend.” She added that when he found out she was expecting a son he asked her “what are we going to do with a little boy?” Then when her son got here, he quickly found out and she said that “he was the best creation God ever made in my daddy’s eyes.”

Jackson said that even with her father’s very busy schedule, he always made family a priority.

“He was truly a great man; there was nothing fake about the person that everyone saw and over the years learned to love,” Jackson said. “He would bear his heart to his community and he would give the shirt off his back to anybody who needed it.”

“I remember him always being present,”

Jackson said that people should remember

the good times to help them through. “And to allow his legacy to live on,” she said. “I think if there is anything we can learn from my father [it is] find whatever it is that you’re passionate about and to give it everything you got. Commit yourself to it and it will bear beautiful things. [That is] evident in his life. He gave so much.” Public viewings are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Monday, December 28, at Swanson Funeral home. Swanson Funeral home is located at 806 East Grand Boulevard in Detroit. Another public viewing will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 29 at Greater Grace Temple, 23500 W. 7 Mile Road in Detroit. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/benny.n.napoleon.

IT’S TIME FOR YOUR NEXT STEP. LET’S TAKE IT TOGETHER.

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We’ve created a number of resources designed to support your degree tourFrom that allows you toconnect experience from goals. online events that you withcampus faculty and staff anywhere, to a virtual we’re excited tour allows youall to that experience campus from tothat show you Wayne State hasanywhere, to offer.we’re Ourexcited test-optional admission to pathway show you allallows that Wayne has to without offer. Our test-optional youState to apply submittingadmission an ACT or SAT score, and pathway allows you to apply without submitting an ACT or SAT score, and our numerous scholarship programs — like merit awards and the Heart of our numerous scholarship programs — like merit awards and the Heart of Detroit Tuition — our continue our commitment to making a college Detroit Tuition Pledge Pledge — continue commitment to making a college education affordable for all. for all. education affordable Take a virtual tour at wayne.edu/tour and apply at wayne.edu/apply.

Take a virtual tour at wayne.edu/tour and apply at wayne.edu/apply.


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| December 23-29, 2020

Black And Brown Students Fall Behind On Distance Learning Track

Roots.

michiganchronicle.com

By Roz Edwards Black students aren’t learning online. The sudden switch to remote learning wiped out academic gains for many students in America, and widened racial and economic gaps with some losing the equivalent of a full school year’s worth of academic gains. Even though schools have made Herculean efforts in school districts across the nation to equip online students with laptops and tablets and establish student parent portals, disparities in technology continue to hamper academic development underscoring the Brown vs. the Board of Education decision which determined that “separate but equal” is not only unconstitutional, it’s just not true. Equipment handouts are not enough and the disparities are real. While schools earnestly attempt to assist students with their equipment and device needs by putting a laptop in every household doesn’t address the problem of more than one child needing the device for online classes. Students of color and low-income families are further disadvantaged during the COVID-19 pandemic, as parents in limited resource households are often working outside of the home and are less available to provide learning assistance during online class hours.

NW Goldberg Cares, a community development corporation, transformed 6134 15th Street into a Holland Maze Lot Design through Detroit Future City. NW Goldberg Cares ALSO implemented a program called Reading in the Holland Maze to boost literacy in Detroit. – Photo provided by NW Goldberg Cares’ Facebook page

Detroit Future City

Boosting Neighborhoods Through Land Beautification By Sherri Kolade The city of Detroit’s over 670,000 residents live in about 139-squaremiles with over 24 of those square miles vacant.

A Los Angeles Times survey of 45 Southern California school districts found profound differences in distance learning among children attending school districts in high-poverty communities. “As folks started losing income and losing jobs internet became disconnected and so it was kind of a live situation where we needed to keep providing hotspots to folks that were losing their connectivity,” said Dr. Jesse Noonan, chief academic officer of Ednovate Charter School in Los Angeles. Approximately 21 million people in America don’t have any home access to broadband, according to a 2019 report from the Federal Communications Commission, and an estimated 163 million people not usingdo not have high-speed internet connections. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress: • Some 15 percent of U.S. households with school-age children do not have a highspeed internet connection at home, according to a previously published Pew Research Center analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data. • 25 percent of black teens said they often or sometimes cannot do homework assignments due to lack of reliable access to a computer or internet connectivity. [Students with an annual family income below $30,000 were also more likely to say this than teens with a family income of at least

See DISTANT LEARNING page A-4

Detroit Future City (DFC), a non-profit think tank organization that uses policy advocacy and data to help create a better future for Detroiters, envisions turning those empty spaces into revitalized areas where community members can create and gather. And with the help of residents, and through partnerships [like the Detroit Land Bank Authority] that reality is happening block by block. During a Dec. 2 virtual lunch and learn presentation, DCF, and DLBA representatives spoke about what building and developing looks like in the city from a resident’s perspective. Megan McGreal, manager, Land Reuse at DLBA, spoke during the event.

square miles— throughout Detroit. According to DFC statistics, 72% of the city’s vacant lots are located in areas of concentrated poverty, with a poverty rate greater than 40%. Detroit also has an aging water system that is often overwhelmed by increasingly frequent and intense severe weather events, leading to flooding in parts of the city, according to https://dfc-lots. com/.

“[It] is delightful to have partnered with Detroit Future Cities [as they] talk about some great programs and resources they have for land beautification and activation,” McGreal said. Pier Davis, Land Use & Sustainability Program manager with DFC, said that one of the programs DFC developed is addressing how best to use the city’s vacant land.

Davis said that DFC, formed in 2010, released in 2012 a long-term vision after receiving over 100,000 responses from Detroiters about what they want to see in the city.

“We aim to make it easier for Detroiters to transform or beautify their vacant lots in their communities,” McGreal said. “And we also address stormwater issues that come along with increased rainfall and flooding we have seen as a result of climate change.” Davis said that the vacant land is a blank canvas where residents can think of ideas on what they might want to do with it. The DFC’s “The Field Guide to Working With Lots”, [a detailed guide that shows 38 lot designs] has answers to multiple questions about

what might come next in the lot acquiring process. Presently, there are over 120,000 vacant lots — inside of those 24

“We continue to work toward implementing strategies and programs that advance the recommendations created in that vision,” Davis said. “We work on community and economic development and focus on sustainability. … It’s the foundation of the working with lots program that offers Detroiters step-by-step instruction to transforming lots.”

See NEIGHBORHOODS page A-4

Detroit Institute of Arts Founder’s Junior Council Increases Support During Pandemic The Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) Founders Junior Council (FJC) has increased its giving to the museum this year as a show of its commitment during challenging economic times. The auxiliary, a group of young professionals dedicated to introducing young adults to the DIA and encouraging a lifelong involvement through a variety of fundraisers and social events organized around the museum’s world-class collection and special exhibitions, has made several pledges such as: • $500,000 to sponsor the exhibition Van Gogh in America. This exhibition is the first of its kind dedicated to the introduction and early reception of Vincent van Gogh’s art in the United States. On display will be 68 works by Van Gogh, illustrating the efforts made by early promoters of his art in America. The DIA was the first public museum in the United States to purchase a painting by Van Gogh—his Self-Portrait (1887), acquired in 1922. The DIA is the exclusive venue for this exhibition, which is scheduled to

In addition, the FJC has designated $250,000 for the purchase of African American Art for the museum’s permanent collection. This will enhance the museum’s existing commitment to acquiring work by African American artists. This effort is being led by FJC’s Vice President, Nathaniel Wallace and DIA Curator of African American Art Valerie Mercer, who is also head of the DIA’s Center for African American Art.

Angela Rogensues

Nathaniel Wallace

open in 2022.

programming quality and care of the collection.

• $250,000 to the DIA’s African American Art Fund. The Fund, a subset of the museum’s Endowment, was created to secure the legacy of the museum's African American collection. This fund will support curatorial staff, conservation, preservation, research, exhibition development, and operational costs associated with maintaining the

• $100,000 to support the museum’s Sustainability Fund, which was launched in the spring to support operations, exhibitions, programming, community outreach and staff, and to mitigate budget shortfalls caused by reduced attendance for the several months the museum was closed.

“I’m always amazed at the level of world class talent that exists in Detroit,” said Nathaniel Wallace, FJC Vice President. The opportunity to collect work from Detroit’s exceptional Black artist over the next five years, that’ll live within the DIA’s permanent collection, is significant.” Mercer reached out to a number of local artists and is using this gift as an opportunity to educate young collectors who are members of the FJC about how a museum’s collection is built, and how they can think

about their own collecting. "The Founders Junior Council is one of our most enthusiastic auxiliaries,” said Nina Holden, DIA Chief Development Officer. “In addition to being key fund raising partners for the museum, this auxiliary builds an important pipeline for volunteer leaders for the DIA. In fact, a number of members of our current Board of Directors began as members of the FJC.” “The Founders Junior Council is honored to support the great work of the Detroit Institute of Arts through considerable gifts this past year,” said Angela Rogensues, FJC President. “We are most proud of our gift of $250,000 to acquire African American artwork from local artists. It feels imperative and timely to be elevating the work and voices of African American artists in institutions like the DIA at this moment in our history.” To date, the FJC has raised and contributed nearly $5 million to the DIA since its inception in the 1970s.


Page A-4 • michiganchronicle.com • December 23-29, 2020

Congratulations To Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones on her recent nuptials to Bishop John Pitts Jr. of Temple of Praise International Church. The couple exchanged vows in a private ceremony in Las Vegas, NV this past fall on October 25th. Best wishes!

Distant Learning From page A-3 $75,000 annually). • In the same survey, around one-in-ten teens (12 percent) said they often or sometimes use public Wi-Fi to do schoolwork because they lack a home internet connection. Again, black and lower-income teens were more likely to do this. • One-in-four teens in households with an annual income under $30,000 lack access to a computer at home, compared with just 4 percent of those in households earning over $75,000, according to the 2018 survey. • School-age children in lower-income households are especially likely to lack broadband access. Roughly one-third (35 percent) of households with children ages 6 to 17 and an annual income below $30,000 a year do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, compared with just 6 percent of such households earning $75,000 or more a year. These broadband gaps are particularly pronounced in black and Hispanic households with school-age children – especially those with low incomes. The fix: Public TV stations serving some areas of the

U.S., including Los Angeles, upstate New York, Detroit, Houston, Boston and Florida, are trying to support families and schools by broadcasting classes online and providing related educational programming as well. In pre-pandemic days, kids without internet at home previously used libraries, community centers and restaurants for Wi-Fi access. But shelter-in-place restrictions in most states mean those options are also no longer available. So some libraries are leaving Wi-Fi on at night so people can access it from the parking lot. Some school districts have sent Wi-Fiequipped school buses to parks and YMCAs for a few hours during the workweek so parents can come to the site, connect to its Wi-Fi and download assignments. Al Gore warned of the calamity the Great Divide would cause between the haves and the have-nots, he no doubted shared insights on the impact technological disparities would have on communities of color, but the former Vice President and presidential candidate could not have foreseen the pandemic and the academic fall out caused by Apparently, it may be as apocalyptic as he suggested. A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi… has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It’s not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for.” – Thurgood Marshall.

Neighborhoods From page A-3 She added that when transforming lots many factors goes into it such as thinking about what to create in that lot; the budget; supplies needed; and what team members would be involved. For five years the DFC offered a working with lots program, a grant program to beautify and transform vacant lots. 50 grantees have participated and over $380,000 has been awarded; 24 unique designs were installed throughout the city and nine acres of land were transformed. From overgrown shrubs and neglected lots to transformed spaces filled with colorful flowers, benches, intricate walkways, and maintained open space, the lots are “pretty manageable and easy to implement” Davis said, adding that other benefits of fixing up lots include getting to know neighbors, improved safety, and connectivity to nature. “The working with lots pro-

gram was instrumental in us developing our pocket park initiative across our neighborhood,” said Daniel A. Washington, founder and president of NW Goldberg Cares, a community development corporation. “The staff insight and ability to help us understand how to maximize land was needed as we converted blighted property to vibrant, usable space.” The group transformed 6134 15th Street into a Holland Maze Lot Design, and have implemented a program called Reading in the Holland Maze to champion child literacy in Detroit. Review the city of Detroit’s new plot plan, site design, and maintenance guide: https://detroitmi.gov/land. For more information on DFC and lots go to https://dfc-lots. com/. For more information on DLBA or for property-specific questions visit inquire@detroitlandbank.org or call 313-9746869 or go to buildingdetroit. org.


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Money.

michiganchronicle.com

| December 23-29, 2020

American Express Launches Program Aimed at Black Women Entrepreneurs By Megan Kirk American Express has announced the names of 100 Black women business owners selected as a part of their 100- for-100 program. Working in conjunction with IFundWomen of Color, a capital-raising platform that targets women of color, the initiative awarded the entrepreneurs $25,000 dollar grants and 100 days of support through business education, mentoring, marketing and virtual networking. Detroit native Brittany Rhodes is among the women selected. Through her program, Black Girl MATHgic, Rhodes is helping young Black girls conquer math. The first of its kind, the monthly subscription box is curated to help fight against math anxiety and encourage math readiness. “My boxes tackle the math that is presented in the third to eighth grades. It is around eight-years-old when a girl starts receiving negative messages around math,” Rhodes explains. “Girls having confidence issues, not ability issues, but the confidence to do the work.” Launched in June of 2019, the Black Girl MATHgic subscription boxes, which cost $39.95 a month, contain at least one screenfree activity, allowing children with no internet or computer access the opportunity to take advantage of the material. “We have to make sure our kids have the full picture,” Rhodes says. Inside the box is a real-world math activity book created by Rhodes, chapter books about mathematicians, positive affirmations, a guide to assist parents who are guiding their children through the learning experience and a custom sticker sheet that depicts the featured woman mathematician of the month. “We want parents to feel empowered. I always tell the parents they don’t have to be a math whiz. We work with a local Detroit artist who creates the images for the stickers. Some of the girls also put the positive affirmations in their rooms or their bookbags where they can see it,” Rhodes shares. Rhodes creates math lessons children can apply in everyday life, no matter their race. Looking to encourage education through the application of math, Rhodes wants to help children become prepared to solve real-life mathematical situations. “We have boys who have received the box too. Every box has a real-world theme and I feature a Black female mathematician every month. I find these women myself and they all have at least one advanced math degree,” Rhodes shares. Not exclusive to Michigan, the Black Girl MATHgic is available nationally. With plans to expand its reach, the boxes are gaining popularity and have also been sent internationally. “We have shipped over 1500 boxes to over 35 states, including Utah, Washington, California and Georgia, and we have recently started quietly shipping to Canada,” Rhodes says. Wanting to assist hard-hit Black women-led businesses, the 100 for 100 campaign is a part of American Express’ commitment of a $1 billion to provide equal opportunity and to encourage diversity in the business sector. Prior to the pandemic, Black women founded 763 new businesses per day, according to a report from State of Women-Owned Business by American Express. Recipients of the grant were surprised to learn they had been selected by American Express and IFundWomen. Previously working with IFundWomen of Color, Rhodes was hand-picked from a pool of Black female entrepreneurs to take part in the program. “I had been applying for pitch competitions and grants before I launched Black Girl MATHgic. I did not apply for the American Express program. I received an email from them because my information had already been in the system because I won another grant through the IFundWomen campaign,” Rhodes explains. “We had a Zoom call where I was told that I had actually been selected as a recipient of the grant money.” With the grant money, Rhodes plans to take her business to the next level and continue developing and evolving the brand. “I am so honored and grateful to be chosen as a 100 for 100 program recipient! This funding and education will help us grow our network and broaden our reach, build out our team so that we can effectively manage all of our projects, increase our knowledge in critical growth areas, and accelerate the impact of our work of building math confidence in our next generation,” Rhodes shares. “We are pumped!” With love for her hometown, Rhodes hopes to continue to inspire and shift the narrative about Detroit. “I have a need for people to know this is what you can do in the city of Detroit,” Rhodes says. For more information or to subscribe to Black Girl MATHgic, visit their website at BlackGirlMATHgic.com.

Photo provided by Grow Michigan

Grow Michigan Fund II Bridges the Economic Gap in Boosting Minority-Owned Businesses By Sherri Kolade

According to the press release, the fund for this second phase is working with Detroit-based First Independence Bank, one of the country’s largest African American owned banks, a consortium of other top area lenders, and the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Grow Michigan Fund II is joining forces with First Independence Bank, among other financial institutions, to assist in the economic needs of minority businesses in Detroit and throughout the state with capital -and advice where it counts.

Grow Michigan Fund II will actively identify opportunities to provide access to capital to qualified businesses, including minority-owned businesses, and assist lenders on how best to use the funds toward business growth and long-term sustainability, the release added.

Through Bloomfield Hills-based Grow Michigan, LLC, the organization, founded in 2012, is on a mission to offer their funding to small and middle-market businesses, especially in the state and to level the playing field. Grow Michigan II, LLC is capitalized by members of Michigan’s banking community and the Michigan Strategic Fund, according to a press release. It offers growth capital in the form of subordinated/mezzanine debt to the Michigan small business community. Grow Michigan Fund II recently announced that half of its $200 million Grow Michigan Fund II will be directed to minority-owned businesses in the city of Detroit and across the state, according to a press release. Derron Sanders, board member of First Independence Bank and Grow Michigan chief development officer, said that Grow Michigan has something extraordinarily more to offer in addition to their funding: sought after advice. “As an African American business owner myself, in addition to capital, what is also missing a lot is the advice part,” Sanders said. “One of the things I am really excited about with Grow Michigan is that we will have a number of seasoned business owners, entrepreneurs that will serve as advisors to those African American or minority [business] owners that will be part of Grow Michigan II.” Sanders said part of the gap that exists in the Black community is not always having a close relative or someone who could take the business owner through examples in re-

Kenneth Kelly, Chairman, and CEO, First Independence Bank and chairman of Grow Michigan Fund II al-time of what it is like for a business to navigate rough economical waters and survive, like during a recession. “I’m really excited that we have that as an element; that will really assist minority businesses in the future,” he said of the advice component. Grow Michigan was launched in 2012 with the mission to grow Michigan businesses and jobs by providing growth capital to Michigan business owners who do not have the necessary capital to grow their business, according to Grow Michigan’s website. The original Grow Michigan fund (Fund I) came to an end this year after creating over 3,200 Michigan jobs. Sanders said that the minority business community will be equally excited. “We plan to work really, really hard to introduce ourselves to the minority community, which I happen to be a part of, and bridging the gap,” he said.

“We are looking forward to fostering inclusion and wealth creation and to providing opportunities like never before for a sector that has traditionally and historically been underfunded and underserved,” Kenneth Kelly, Chairman, and CEO, First Independence Bank and chairman of Grow Michigan Fund II, said in the press release. “This fund represents one practical manner where we can positively affect change to support our economy and impact lives.” Grow Michigan Fund II extends the capabilities of senior debt providers by offering a highly efficient, cost-effective, and complementary capital structure for growing Michigan small businesses in a broad range of industries – including manufacturing, distribution, transportation, life sciences, and enabling technologies. To date, through Fund I, Grow Michigan has invested $61.7 million in transactions involving a total leveraged capital investment of $320.1 million while facilitating nearly 3,200 jobs. “During my time on the First Independence Bank board I saw firsthand their commitment to the Detroit community,” said Pat O’Keefe, one of the founders and CEO of Grow Michigan Fund II and the initiator of the revised business plan in collaboration with the bank. “They, along with other financial institutions who have

See GROW

MICHIGAN page A6

Black Developers in Detroit Hope to Make Affordable Assisted Living a Reality Soon Two developers are slated to bring an affordable assisted living facility to Detroit’s Russell Woods/Nardin Park neighborhood and provide senior residents access to a full suite of supportive services at their future abode. Miami-based Fabiola Fleuranvil, one of the developers on the project, and native Detroiter Gregory Jackson, automotive mogul and project co-developer, have teamed up to redevelop a dilapidated 138-unit former senior housing facility at 11421 Dexter Ave. into an affordable assisted living facility. This will help fill in the city’s shortage in senior housing, Fleuranvil said. The developers say that the Russell Woods/Nardin Park neighborhood presents “great momentum to

make this commitment to be part of this community’s rebirth.”

Fabiola Fleuranvil

Gregory Jackson

activate this underinvested neighborhood with new developments and amenities.”

I grew up in and to share in the vision for its revitalization,” Jackson said. “I remember when the building was first built in 1974. I know what the Russell Woods/Nardin Park neighborhood was like back in its heyday and I believe in what it could be moving forward. So, we’re excited to

Jackson, who grew up in that neighborhood, is excited to be bringing some new development to his old stomping grounds. “I’m excited to be back in the neighborhood that

“We’re excited to be among one of the first major residential developments coming to the Nardin Park neighborhood, and we have been meeting with the City’s Housing & Revitalization and Planning & Development departments to align this project with the larger needs in the community,” Fleuranvil said. “America’s population is aging and in Detroit, more than 15 percent of its residents are age 60 and older. Without this and future developments in the city’s senior housing infrastructure, Detroit will not be prepared to meet the growing needs of senior residents.”

See DEVELOPERS page A6


Page A-6 • michiganchronicle.com • December 23-29, 2020

Could COVID Kill Entrepreneurship? How To Make Sure It Doesn’t

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has left many existing small businesses struggling, and the continued economic uncertainty threatens to kill the ambitions of entrepreneurs who planned to launch new businesses but now must put their dreams on hold.

poorly funded state and local support structures could struggle.” Look at how your supplies get to you. If you’re part of the supply chain, look at how you deliver supplies to your customers. “Explore alternate shipping solutions and routes – trains, planes, cars, trucks, boats,” Gray says. “Now is the time to investigate all of them. Build in redundancy.”

“This crisis will end up being much worse for small businesses than the 2008-11 sub-prime mortgage crisis,” says Andi Gray, president of Strategy Leaders (www. strategyleaders.com), a business consulting firm. “That 2008 crisis mostly hit banks, mortgage,insurance, automotive – all of which were primarily big, publicly owned stock companies. The only small business dominant category was the construction sector which was devastated for years. Today’s crisis hits and potentially harms nearly every type of small business. “During that 20082011 period, for the first time, the number of business starts fell below the number of business failures. In other words, more businesses were killed off than were launched, and many people wondered whether we had killed entrepreneurship itself. It took five years or more for the small business community to recover from that. The COVID-19 pandemic impact is so much larger and deeper.” And when small business takes a hit, the country as a whole suffers, she says. “Small businesses make up 50 percent of the gross-domestic product and also employ half the workforce,” Gray says. “What happens to them determines what happens to the overall economy. We as a country cannot afford to fail them.”So,

Staying in business is difficult even without a major crisis, Gray says, as three out of four businesses fail in every 10year cycle.

what steps should small business owners take to make sure they come out on the other side of the current crisis in good shape? Gray suggests a few questions for them to consider: How is your online game? If business owners aren’t already thinking of themselves as all-virtual, e-commerce sellers, they need to be, Gray says. “That’s how your customer of today and the future is going to want to buy and receive products and services,” she says. “You may need to update your website. Evaluate how good you are at social media communication and promotion. Rethink how you can get orders, track delivery, and receive payments virtually.” What’s happened to banking and access to capital? In recessions, banks shut down their credit lines, and reduce capital access if they have any concerns about a customer’s ability to pay

down debts on time, Gray says. “This will get worse before it gets better. That means you may wake up one morning to find your business is facing challenges with access to capital,” she says. “To keep your credit lines open and approved, it’s essential that you put in the time and effort to work with your bank.” Without access to the proper amount of capital, she says, your business may not be able to function. How have employees been affected? Businesses must be prepared for challenges that impact work production, Gray says. She points to a study by Microsoft that showed employees’ brains are measurably more stressed working remotely than in an office. It’s harder for remote workers to process information and they get fatigued more easily. “And that’s just one aspect of what our employees are dealing with as the world around them changes so

Comcast RISE Offers Marketing and Technology to Minority-Owned Small Businesses By Megan Kirk Comcast Corporation is bringing marketing and technology resources to Black-, Indigenous- and People of Color-owned businesses. The initiative, designed for small businesses, is entering its second phase of eligibility and is looking to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Comcast RISE, an acronym meaning Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment, launched its first phase in October to support Blackowned small businesses. The program is expanding its reach to include small businesses owned by People of Color and Indigenous. to assist those owners during these unprecedented times. Marrying two of the company’s brands, Effectv and Comcast Business, the RISE program seeks to give small business owners the tools and knowledge necessary to survive the pandemic. Based on their individual needs, select businesses will receive consulting, media and production services from Effectv or technological upgrades through Comcast Business. The advertising sales entity of Comcast Cable, Effectv assists advertisers on the local, regional, and national scale to develop their businesses through digital mediums and the gift of television. Com-

cast Business lends its help through television, Ethernet, Internet, Voice services, and Wi-Fi. Noted as the nation’s largest cable provider to small- and midsized businesses, Comcast Business also provides Managed Enterprise Solutions for companies looking to revamp. The first phase of reward recipients included over 700 businesses with 39 of them in Michigan. RISE will provide essential services such as a 90-day tv media campaign, 30-second commercial production, and computer equipment and internet, along with one year of voice and cybersecurity services. The RISE program will also offer business resources for curated content through its X1 platform. Continuing to provide economic assistance to small businesses impacted by the pandemic, RISE is unveiling its plan for 2021. Next year, Comcast will award grants for up to $10,000 for companies that have been open for three to five years and are based in the United States. Stemming from Comcast NBCUniversal’s multi-year $100 million plan for diversity, inclusion and equality, Comcast RISE gives small businesses of color the chance to thrive by distributing $75 million in cash and $25 million in media over the next three years. For more information or to apply for the program, visit www.comcastrise.com.

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Developers From page A-5

The $20 million project is projected to be completed in an 18 to 21 months with on-site amenities in the 138-unit building to include: • Adult day care • Commercial kitchen and dining room with three meals daily • Fitness center • Transportation • Computer room and broadband access in the apartments • Beauty salon, community room and social activities • Housekeeping and assistance with Activities of Daily Living The developers are in the process of pursuing financing from various sources, including the city, Community Development Financing Institutions (CDFIs) and tax credits from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. “It is an extensive financing and construction process and a long-term vision that we have for the community,” she said The project’s affordability will be at or below 60 percent of area median income for the city and will primarily rely on a capital stack that includes Low Income Housing Tax Credits, tax exempt bond financing, HOME Funds, and other subsidies and debt to remain 100% affordable for the residents, Fleuranvil confirmed. With a rough estimate of 40% of the city’s Section 8 voucher carriers being seniors, the facility will combine the vouchers with Medicaid waivers to pay for the services and support the cost to residents, she added. Fleuranvil said that she and Jackson are not the first to be developing an affordable assisted living facility in the city but are “among the first” as there is a shortage and a need for more inventory. She added that assisted living is not typically an affordable product and is largely self-pay for seniors who can afford it. Most assisted living facilities do not accept Medicaid or Section 8 vouchers, and for some builders, it is sometimes “much easier” to not have to deal with Medicaid, income limitations or other aspects when operating assisted living facilities. “There is a large segment of seniors that cannot afford to live in assisted living as the cost can be upwards of $4,000 to $7,000 out-of-pocket per month,” she said, adding that affordability has left a huge gap to fill. “Pensions are running out a lot quicker; you can’t pay $4,000 out-of-pocket and be on a fixed income. That affordability is a critical need, and that’s what our project will provide – affordable living based on your income in addition to the amenities and supportive services for seniors that are finding it much more difficult to live alone or without help.”

“He’s been in business well before I have been in business,” Fleuranvil said. “He takes risks; he’s entrepreneurial and was not afraid to go into unchartered territory. That is important to me, and I am excited to have this collaboration.”

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Fleuranvil said that her and Jackson make good partners.

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The millennial developer added that the two met when she came to Detroit to explore development opportunities. She was seeking out an emerging market to expand to and with a lower barrier to entry, and Detroit fit the bill. Fleuranvil says that the developer community invited her in and connected her with Jackson. “As a young Black female developer, equitable development is very important to me, and I appreciated that Detroit had a built-in ecosystem of successful

“The good news is that small business owners are known for being nimble, flexible, and resourceful,” she says. “Many of them are finding new opportunities by solving problems that didn’t exist, or weren’t priorities, at the start of 2020. If we can buy them some time, they’ll be able to retool, market their new services and products, and keep good people employed.”

Black developers,” she said. “For me as a developer, and as I continue to grow my business, I was looking for a market, a community, where I could plant some seeds and grow,” she said adding that the “comeback city” has something in store for those looking for growth opportunities and that could be good for talent attraction. “As the outsider, Detroit has embraced me, and everyone has been very excited to see this project come to fruition.” The developers state that their vision for the Russell Woods/Nardin Park neighborhood is far greater than this initial project. The city is currently in the midst of a $3 million streetscape project, and the neighborhood also aligns with the City’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund. The developers say that they are discussing with the city ways to address the blight in the neighborhood and reactivate its commercial corridors with other development projects. Jackson said that he saw the best of the community growing up and he saw the deterioration of the community in the last 30 years or so. “I have relatives, friends that still live there; I know of the great need for housing because so much of the housing in that area has deteriorated, been torn down, needs renovation -- but no one has come into that area and did any kind of housing,” he said, adding that this project provides that opportunity for seniors. Jackson added that by late 2022 or early 2023 they want to have a “shovel in the ground” in terms of redevelopment. “There is great need in the communities of Detroit outside of downtown,” Jackson said. “I think it is sort of the new frontier of development within the city and I hope that this would be a project that would signal to other African Americans and other developers to get involved and let’s rebuild the neighborhoods of Detroit.” For more information go to http://www. iconheritagepartners.com/detroit-confirmed-for-138-unit-senior-housing-development.

Grow Michigan From page A-5

embraced our concept, will serve as perfect partners for achieving our objective of providing access to real capital for minority business enterprises.” “The need is there and the Grow Michigan formula – almost unlike anything else in the country – has proved itself,” added Kelly. “We want to lead the charge in assisting business growth and minority-owned companies formation through mergers and acquisitions in the middle market; providing the knowledge, relationships, and financial boost needed for success.” Leon Richardson, founder and president of minority-owned Chemico Group in Southfield, is among the companies provided mezzanine financing by the first Grow Michigan fund. “We would never have reached our current level (nearly $200 million in annual sales) without their support,” he said. Grow Michigan aims to lend to companies that have a: • Profitable small businesses with strong management teams • Established relationships with senior lenders • Typical loan size between $500,000 and $5 million • Revenue from $3 million to $50 million and positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization [EBITDA] • Capital will lead to increased employment in Michigan For more information, visit: growmichiganfund.com


December 23-29, 2020 • michiganchronicle.com • Page A-7

“She gave every ounce of her life to the people in her district!”

W

e remember the life of Jewel Ware, longtime community servant and advocate who served honorably as Wayne County Commissioner since first being elected to the office in 1994. Jewel Ware will forever be remembered for her advocacy for seniors and young people and on issues ranging from mental health care to criminal justice reform during her 26-year tenure on the Commission, including six years as commission Chair. Commissioner Ware represented the 2nd Commission District, including Downtown and Midtown Detroit, the historic Indian Village neighborhood and Belle Isle, as well as the site of the new Wayne County Criminal Justice Complex. Throughout her tenure on the commission, Commissioner Ware, known as the dean of the commission, was also an advocate for improved health care for the uninsured and underserved, including improved mental health care. In the past year, Commissioner Ware sponsored a resolution calling for a ban on chokeholds and restraint by police in using deadly force. That resolution was unanimously adopted by the commission Commissioner Ware served as the commission’s vice-chair pro tempore during her most recent term and was commission Chair from 2003-08. During her tenure as commission chair, she established the commission office of policy research and analysis to provide in-depth review of county contracts and operations. In her district, Commissioner Ware, a certified social worker, was involved in the Mittens and Socks Winter Drive for Children and cleanup programs sponsored by the Midtown Alliance. She also served as host for an annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social & Legislative Briefing.

Warren C. Evans, Wayne County Executive Alisha R. Bell, Chair of the Wayne County Commission Christos Moisides


Page A-8 • michiganchronicle.com •

December 23-29, 2020

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City ity.. Life ife.. Style. B1 | December 23-29, 2020

Where City Meets Life and Life Meets Style

michiganchronicle.com

After-H(ours)

Access Equity and Opportunity in a 24-Hour Economy By Adrian Tonon, Jabari Jefferson and Andre Reed Photo Lil Monsterr As we navigated and pivoted through the COVID-19 pandemic most stages and the gig economy have continued to suffer tremendously since March 2020. Meet four industry leaders who are championing to save and sustain our music venues, and gig economy. Shahida Mausi / The Aretha Amphitheater / National Independent Venue Association  (NIVA) It’s no big secret that surviving and thriving in the music industry can be very competitive. I personally understand the journey of a starving musician to a full time creative, so it’s been my goal to make sure other artists have access and resources to help them connect and progress in this industry. One of the things you need to navigate through this economy as an artist or creator, is a product. This product takes multiple stages and it’s difficult to do that all yourself. I’ve had the great opportunity to be in contact daily with a collective of individuals whose businesses are great at producing products and as they are completed the real grind comes for artists. There’s always something going on in Michigan: places to perform at and chances to connect with Fellow creatives, Future fans, and Financial investors. Those are 3 F’s we raise awareness about to nudge artists and musicians in the right direction. The main problem I learned from conversations with artists is that they don’t know about the festivals, mixers,  and events that are important for them to attend in order to deliver and promote their product. Instead, they spend most of their time trying to build a social media following or streams on platforms. With times changing drastically and most of our venues being closed, we put a huge spotlight on Detroit and it’s Creative Culture which is like no other. We raise the awareness around the world, that Detroit is still a hub of quality, professional and talented groups and individuals. This is an initiative that is currently in production and already gaining momentum. An initiative to take what and who we have, film it, and make it an international business card. At this current time concerts, performances and meetings are all virtual. We have literally seen our entertainment industry completely evolve in months. This project will highlight, show off and expose Detroit’s creative history as well as the present. The perfect way to show that our creatives don’t have to relocate just to become successful. Karen Addison / Griot Music Lounge  We are focusing on social media presence right now to engage with our audience, while simultaneously maintaining contact with our clients and making plans for the 2021 rollout. The amount of attention that we are paying in preparation of a new venue experience has evolved immensely, relative to COVID-19. Facing those still lingering concerns and ensuring the safety of our audience.  Our core values that align with equity and opportunity are Responsibility, Service and Support. Responsibility is understanding your duty to reach back into your community and give back from your place of privilege and/or strength. Service and Support go hand in hand, working as the physical act of responsibility. When we do become cognizant enough to gain that understanding, we must actively do so through whatever channels are at our disposal, exercised through both service and support.

See AFTER H(OURS) Page B-2

Give The Gift of a

By Lori Lewis Recently I assembled a group of Wedding Planners for a photoshoot to celebrate how despite the pandemic’s restrictions and limitations, we have all been able to execute elaborate, over-the-top weddings for our clients who felt love was NOT canceled. We celebrated ourselves and our clients, and we realized what an incredible gift our services would be to any couple planning their Wedding for 2021, 2022, and beyond. Hence, The Real Wedding Planners of Detroit was born. According to The Knot’s 2019 Real Weddings Study published in February 2020, the average cost of a Michigan wedding was $29,700. That’s a considerable amount of money for just a oneday celebration, so why not entrust a professional to ensure that everything you’ve invested in for the Big Day is handled effectively and correctly? For those who are just unsure on whether they REALLY need a Wedding Planner, I revisited a 2012 article titled “Should you say I Do to a Wedding Planner?” by Elizabeth Alterman, who highlights the following: ■ “ Planners ...run interference between the couple and opinionated relatives while simultaneously averting potential disasters on the big day.” ■ “ Planners ... provide brides with budget spreadsheets that track wedding-related expenses and can reign in potential overspending.  ■ [ Planners]... also supply checklists to help couples stay ahead of fast-approaching deadlines.” ■ “ Planner[s] can also save a bride plenty of heartache by vetting everything from the venue to the videographer.” These are just some of the attributes that couples don’t even think about during wedding planning. Before you decide to hire a Wedding Planner, answer the following:

1. Do you and your fiance work full time? 2. Are you planning a destination wedding? 3. Do you have a lot of family dynamics (or “drama”)? 4. D  o you have a wedding support system, but you still feel overwhelmed by all the details? If you answered “yes” to at least one, you need a Wedding Planner! Meet the Real Wedding Planners of Detroit! Each of us offers unique talents and services that fit your personality, wedding vision, and style.  Your Wedding Planner is going to become the next closest person to you after your fiance; your bond is like no other as you’ll be sharing intimate details and plans as you approach your wedding day, so you want, and need, the right one!   First step? Make sure you know your initial answers to the following; it may change during planning, but it’s the start of your vetting process: • What’s your style, and what do you need help with everything leading up to the Big Day or just the Day Of details? • Consider your options. Do you need a Wedding Planner or a Day of Coordinator? There is a difference; Minimally, a Planner guides you along the entire wedding planning process; a Day-Of Coordinator begins between 3-6 months before your Wedding and ensures everything is executed on the Big Day. Finally, reach out and have a conversation. I know six professional, creative, and pretty awesome ones you can start with:

Meisha Pigford is the owner of the award-winning planning & design firm, Dream Celebrations, Inc., who creates premium

See WEDDING PLANNER Page B-2

Jack Daniels Introduces Culture Shakers Program

By Megan Kirk

Jack Daniels is launching a new program celebrating the contributions of Black and brown bartenders with Gentlemen Jack Culture Shakers. The first of its kind, the program is shining a light on the diverse culture of mixology and serving up a shot of history at the same time. Among those acknowledged is Detroit bar manager Asher Miller. Beginning as a dishwasher in a local restaurant, Miller planned on leaving the restaurant industry in hopes of returning to school. Then, opportunity knocked on his front door. “Our head chef offered me a choice between bar-backing and being a server. Bar-backing sounded more fun,” Miller explains. “I had no concept of what bartending was in general, much less what craft cocktails would entail. I went into it blind.” Falling in love with the art of cocktails and learning the artistry, Miller rose in ranks. Bartending for the past four years and managing bar operations at Grey Ghost in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood, he was met again with opportunity when he was referred to the Culture Shakers program. “I work very closely with Jack Daniels’ parent company through my bar program. I have a lot of contact with reps on various levels. One of the state representatives actually recommended me for the program,”

Miller says. “We’ve done a lot of events together, especially over the last four years. They’ve gotten a chance to see my work ethic, the products I create and how I run a program.” The program, which features several bartenders from across the country, pays homage to a scene not

often learned. The Black and brown influences of bartending and mixed cocktails is overlooked by the masses. “You don’t learn a complete history of beverages in the United States. You learn a very white-centered history,” Miller says. To help spread knowledge on the history of Black and Latinx bartenders is New York Best Selling Author Alice Randall. Penning the novel Black Bottom Saints, the Detroit native, who now teaches at Vanderbilt University, explores the roles Black and brown bartenders played in the evolution of cocktails. Paying homage to names such as Ada ‘Brick Top’ Smith and Thomas Bullock, the author believes that Jack Daniels is helping to honor these forgotten bartenders. “Culture Shakers, this program, is putting those names back up because it is important to see the present and the future. But, when you erase this path and we don’t recognize that the great bartenders of American life were these Black people, innovating, we lose a big part of the story,” Randall shares. With deep roots to Detroit’s bar culture and having an extensive background in Black cocktail creation from early childhood, the novelist argues Detroit has notably played a major role in early bar culture and cocktails. “I was born in Detroit in 1959 when Detroit, Mich-

See CULTURE SHAKERS Page B-2


Page B-2 • michiganchronicle.com • December 23-29, 2020

Salonniere Hosts Virtual Salon Conversation on Breast Cancer By Megan Kirk Michigan Chronicle managing editor, AJ Williams joined Salonniere at Shinola Hotel in downtown Detroit for the Virtual Salon Conversation; a dialogue focused on Inclusive Beauty x Health. The Virtual Salon, in partnership with The Lip Bar, San Morello, Mac & Lo, Dynami Foundation and Shinola Hotel, addressed prevention and treatment of breast cancer, providing support for those affected by the illness and discussed the role of mental health. Topics also covered breast implants and plastic surgery as well as beauty tips. Zell Randle, two-time breast cancer survivor and founder and CEO of Living Brave Through Breast Cancer, joined the virtual conversation to share her own experience with the disease. First diagnosed in the late 1980’s and again over 25 years later, Randle founded her organization to provide resources to other breast cancer survivors and those still in the fight to encourage them to live brave. “Listening to Oprah Winfrey, and she said, ‘sometimes you just have to live brave’ and when she said that it struck a chord in me and it hit me really hard in my core. And I said that’s what I’m doing. I’m living brave through breast cancer. I have to do something to help the next group of people that are in a situation like this,” Randle explains. Dr. Jen Green, Head of the Beaumont Department of Naturopathic Medicine was on hand to discuss cancer-fighting foods and the benefits of consuming a Mediterranean diet, while chefs from San Morello provided cancer-fighting recipes including coconut curry, Omega-3 fatty acids and supplemented nuts. “The area of nutrition, I think, is underappreciated in conventional oncology care. We think of nutrient as a soft therapy, but when we actually go and look at the data in breast cancer, it’s pretty compelling,” Green says. A five-year study conducted around breast cancer-related nutrition with over four thousand post-menopausal women actively engaged in a Mediterranean diet, showed significant reduction in the risk associated with breast cancer. “Over that time period they found that the women in the Mediterranean diet [group] who took lots of extra oil, had a 68 percent lower risk of breast cancer,” Green shares. As cases of breast cancer rise, the age of diagnoses is becoming younger. Traditionally, breast cancer screenings begin at age 40, however, early detection is key. Dr. Frances Sterling of ThermaScan of Michigan joined the conversation to share detection options through thermography which does not use radiation and can detect early breast cancer 5-8 years in advance through heat patterns created by new blood vessel formation

required to “feed” cancer. Dr. Laura Nadeau, an oncologist with Hematology Oncology Associates, Beaumont Hospital, joined the conversation to shed light on genetics and potential risk factors. “Even if there is not a known genetic mutation in the family or if a woman has breast cancer and she doesn’t test positive for a genetic mutation, there’s still an increased risk among family members. So, we still recommend enhanced screening and early screening in identifying additional risk factors to help detect and prevent cancer as early as possible,” Nadeau explains. With the increasing number of women under 40 being diagnosed with breast cancer, environmental factors, diet and exercise are being examined as possible risk factors in contracting the illness. “Some of the reasons have to do with, certainly, lifestyle. Of course, a lot of the diet products are marketed towards women, there’s a lot of artificial and processed foods that are felt to contribute. Women are more involved in the workplace, which means they’re not getting, necessarily, as much activity,” Nadeau shares. “But there are other potential environmental factors that we don’t know, but we do know we need to think about it more in younger women and encourage screening in younger women.” Dr. Daniel Calva Cerqueira, a John Hopkins trained plastic surgeon, joined the salon conversation from Miami to discuss the rise in breast implant illness and natural alternatives. For a woman with breast cancer there are options without breast implants using her own body fat via liposuction to reconstruct an entire breast. For women without breast cancer, using your own body fat is also an option instead of an implant for cosmetic breast augmentation. This eliminates the use of foreign body and exposure to breast implant illness” For women who don’t want to lose their hair during chemotherapy, Dr Mario LaCouture joined the conversation from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a top cancer research and treatment center, to share lesser known options for “cold capping” an FDA approved procedure that freezes hair follicles with a cold cap device to preserve hair. This same approach can be used to freeze hands, feet and eyebrows to prevent nerve damage, nail loss and eyebrow loss.” Dr. Molly Powers, a breast cancer patient herself and dermatologist in Michigan, shared funding options for Detroit area women for the expenses of cold capping, through an organization she co-founded called Cap and Conquer. And, for women who lose too much hair during cold capping or prefer the option to preserve their hair before chemo, Deborah McDowell, founder of Hair With A Cause, joined from Los Angeles to share

their pre-chemo hair preservation system called “CPR”: Cut, Preserve and Reattach Hair after chemotherapy, as well as extensions for cancer survivors based on her previous work with celebrities in the entertainment industry. While the diagnosis of any illness can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, it is especially true for those fighting breast cancer. To touch on the mental wellness aspect of breast cancer, Dr. Theresa Egan, a licensed psychologist and emotional wellness practitioner, provided tips to guide friends and family through providing assistance. “Please do not say, ‘I’m praying for you,’ or ‘things will get better.’ While these things may be true, she does not feel that way. Offer rides. Driving can be exhausting and dangerous through treatments. Offer to drive them to and from doctor’s appointments,” Egan suggests. Knowing the battle against breast cancer is both mental and physical, feeling beautiful is a key factor in fighting the illness. Through losing hair and physical changes, breast cancer fighters are encouraged to find beauty within themselves. Nurse and makeup artist for The Lip Bar, Whitney Harmon, offered a makeup tutorial to feel and look beautiful through the fight for healing. Noting the “10-minute makeup look” helps, adding some essential products to your everyday look can help enhance feelings of beauty. “Fast face, it literally takes ten minutes max to do your makeup. So, it’s foundation, eyebrow pencil, face pallet, mascara, eyeliner and that’s really it,” Harmon says. “Its fairly simple and you can create a full-face look in just a few minutes, and you can feel like yourself.” As cancer testing and treatments can become costly, to help bridge the gap to access and affordability, The Lip Bar and The Salonniere are partnering to provide mammograms to uninsured hospitality workers in the city of Detroit. The Detroit cosmetic line has committed to donating a portion of specific sales proceeds to the Dynami Foundation, who will use the funds to give mammograms and fund basic needs for families that work in the hospitality industry. “Throughout the end of the year, The Lip Bar will be donating 15 percent of all sales using the promo code BREASTCANCERFIGHTER10 to the Dynami Foundation,” Harmon says. “In order to participate, all you have to do is use the code online or in-store. You’ll receive 10 percent off your order and 15 percent will be going to the Dynami Foundation.” “To watch the Virtual Salon, head to www.salonniere.co/Virtual-Salon To read more, check out The Lip Bar x Salonniere on TLB Blog https://thelipbar.com/blogs/main“

From page B-1

It’s about being an active presence in your community and maintaining reach during such unprecedented times. While our business is currently closed to the public, that reach can show up in different ways for other businesses. We need to support those who support us, even in the times they cannot.

In this digital environment, we truly have the opportunity to be citizens of the world. Covid-19 has required each of us to find new ways to live our lives. One new way I have found has brought me to connect with people I never or barely knew, people with whom I have much in common. Pre-Covid, we were all so busy in our silos. Once we were all shut down and shut in, we connected digitally with others facing similar challenges. For many of us, two great alliances arose. The first is the Black Promoters Collective. The second is the National Independent Venues Association, which has resulted in the Michigan Independent Venues and Promoters Association. All three of these organizations were born during the pandemic. Each will make the industry in which I work a better place. Working with each has allowed me to cast down by bucket and prepare to bloom anew. Booster Mostyn / DETROI’T / Artist, Curator Although opportunities present themselves all the time, I believe it is still the artists’ job to come bearing “gifts”. These gifts are essentially what makes the artist valuable. Here are three values I always apply so that I remain valuable and acquire opportunities. The first is innovation. It’s always important for artists to be innovative because trends, music and the industry itself is always moving and always changing. We have to make sure we keep up, and produce products that are always able to keep up with the standards of the rest of the industry. The second is agility. This is the ability that allows an artist or creator to always be able to be flexible and versatile. That way when the questions are asked as far as what you can do, you can give a yes as much as possible. A lot of times I have clients that have ideas for songs that only exist in their imagination, and no they are not always in the same genre. Agility allows me to take the idea they’ve given me, and be able to put my touch to it and make it marketable. The last value, but

From page B-1 experiences for her clients that leave them and their guests saying WOW! Website: www.dreamcelebrationsinc.com  Social media:  @dreamcelebrations4u Brandi Peart is the owner and lead planner of B Posh Events. She is a wife and mother of 3 who has mastered the art of balancing family and entrepreneurship.  Website: www.bposheventplanning.com  Social media:  @bposhevents Lorri Lewis, or as she’s affectionately called The DirectHer, is a Wedding Expert. He has been in the industry for over 20 years, including the Wedding Coordinator at Oak Grove A.M.E. Church in Detroit, Michigan.   Website:  www.thedirecther.com Social Media: @thedirecther and @beforethebigdaypodcast Brandy Lane- the owner of WillUParty Event Planning, named after her parents Willie and Lucille. She is full of energy and loves what she does.  Website: www.willuparty.com  Social media:  @willuparty  Pilar Doakes of The Four Seasons Event Group is based out of Detroit, MI, but available for travel throughout the US.  Website:  www.fourseasonseventgroup.com  Social Media: @fourseasonsevents Crystal Marie Young has established a visible signature service of Destination Weddings. She proves that you can stand out in the event industry as a destination wedding expert—and attract the right clients—by embracing your true self. She founded Crystal Marie Events LLC (CME), a Certified Woman Owned Small Business.  Website: www.crystalmarieevents.com  Social: @crystalmarieevents There you have it, The Real Wedding Planners of Detroit. We don’t know when Rona will go away for good, but these professionals have persevered through it and delivered beautiful, memorable weddings despite it.

After H(ours)

As the CEO of a company, my core values require me, and any CEO who cares, to provide opportunities by supporting One Fair Wage, training internships and jobs for returning citizens. We must do this not just with our words but with the actions of raising tip workers’ wages at least to minimum wage plus tips, providing paid internships and creating opportunities for returning citizens to join in work that improves our community.

Wedding Planner

If it’s not you getting married, then consider giving one of the best gifts you can this year - the Gift of a Wedding Planner!

Culture Shakers From page B-1

certainly not least, is persistence. Persistence is also known as “The Push”. The push that never takes a no, never gives up, and always finds a way. Let’s be honest, the music industry before and during the pandemic has been a competitive, fast moving machine where there are many opportunities, creators, and often many no’s. With persistence, I’ve always managed to push past the no’s and experience great moments of opportunity. I believe businesses can better connect with the community by utilizing resources at their fingertips. Social media and media platforms have almost made it impossible not to be reached. There are communities and groups on facebook that have hundreds of people connecting every day and exposing their business to other business owners and consumers. This convenience allows the artists and businesses to be easily accessible. With messages, notifications and event invitations, this is the peak of a time where artists are able to directly communicate with their community and fans. On a bigger scale, all eyes are on social media outlets and streaming services like Youtube and Netflix, so connecting means pushing out content for everybody to see, follow and support. Your own community can easily be your starting fanbase which makes It very important to always, in some form, give the people a way to get back to you. Whether it’s a social media tag, or even a branded logo. Being personable and recognizable will always make it easier to connect.  Cornelius Harris / Underground Resistance / Detroit Berlin Connection (DBC) Sustainability isn’t built by hype, but consistency.  In these times, consistency is difficult to maintain.  To that end, we’ve supported the efforts of venues in their shift towards outdoor and limited space events.  There are others that have food as an element of their business and have shifted to carry out meals as a way to stay in the public eye during this time.  We’ve also been supportive of gig workers, DJs, producers, and others, who have taken this time to concentrate on new productions and online performances, while

acknowledging that this will not be sufficient for immediate losses of income. DBC has maintained communications with numerous venues and artists, and while we may not be able to change the financial aspects of what they’re dealing with, often being able to vent to others who understand the challenges as much as we do, can help.  During and post COVID-19 we will continue to advocate for 24 hour activity that can also serve as an economic stimulus for communities across Detroit. The relationship between musical artists and creative business people in Detroit and our counterparts is the foundation of the Detroit Berlin Connection, but it is also a relationship that is built on equity and opportunity.  For the past several years we’ve brought Berlin creatives to Detroit and this year was to mark our first time sending a Detroit artist to Berlin.  COVID-19 has caused this to be postponed, but through our exchanges and sharing of resources, we aim to continue to build opportunities by giving a platform to Detroit creatives to have their work be experienced by an international audience. It’s a matter of constant reassessing given the shifting circumstances.  Flexibility and creativity are key.  Businesses, be they creative or corporate understand that while they have adjustments to make, so do their customers.  The streaming of DJ sets was an attempt to bridge that gap and provide fans and customers with an in-home semblance of a live performance.  But now, understanding how people experience these things at home has opened doors to new forms of expression.  But that constant attention to the end users, the listeners, is now more important than ever. Ten years ago making it in music in Detroit was moving to Los Angeles. Currently we have the opportunity to retain and attract artists who can sustainably work, live and play in the City of Detroit. Join us for the sixth series to hear from four leaders who are intentionally developing home-grown artists and a music economy workforce.

igan was arguably the epicenter of American bar culture,” Randall says. Going on to name a few bars in the city that changed popular bar culture, Randall explores the rich history and notoriety of these establishments. “It was the Elbow Lounge, The Prosperity Lounge, The Phelps Lounge; there were fancy bars and there were blind pigs and there were show bars, and frankly, as a little girl, growing up with my parents in Detroit when I was little, I was at some of all of them,” Randall shares. In addition to the program, Gentleman Jack Culture Shakers is releasing a film to add a visual perspective. The film, which explores bartending from the aspects of each of the cocktail artists chosen for the program, presents the art of alcohol from each of their perspectives. “The filming process was very interesting. It took me a while to warm up because I’m a pretty awkward person,” Miller says. “My favorite part was going to the distillery. Everyone loves to work there. They had a passion for Jack Daniels.” As Culture Shakers gears up to release its first class of bartending influencers, the importance of representation in the field continues to be a focal point. “I think that as we continue on and we have programs like Culture Shakers that continues to uplift the Black and brown bartenders and people of different groups, just to show how diverse this industry truly is and how much color and flavor you can get from different people, I think its extraordinarily important,” Miller shares. The film is set to release in January 2021 and was filmed by Storm Saulter in each of the six participant’s hometown. For more information on the Jack Daniels brand, visit their website at jackdaniels. com.


December 23-29, 2020 • michiganchronicle.com •

Page B-3

Lauren Gillon creatively prepares her dishes from scratch. – Photo provided by Lauren Gillon

By Sherri Kolade

Braised Collard Greens Recipe: 2 tbsp of vegetable oil 1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups) 3 tbsp of minced garlic 3 to 4 bunches of collard greens 2 to 3 lbs of smoked meat 2 tsp crushed red pepper 3 tsp granulated garlic 3 tsp granulated onion 3 cups of chicken broth 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar 1 tbsp granulated sugar Salt, to taste Black pepper, to taste

When you think of a Christmas holiday meal, what comes to mind? Gathering at the table with A Motown Christmas Album” playing in the backdrop as relatives surrounded delicious dishes including Great Aunt Ruby’s decadent pecan pie? Or Grandaddy’s prized ham smoked and glazed just right? Extra pineapples, please. Whatever it is that might whet your appetite around Christmastime, this upcoming holiday [though atypical] and your family recipes might feel extra special this year. Especially when making cherished family recipes passed down through the generations for our family and friends to eat. Because all of our loved ones might not be able to come around our tables due to certain restrictions because of COVID-19. But, hopefully, these recipes from two local chefs will spread some holiday cheer, and who knows, maybe you could add these dishes to your family collection, too.

Start with the base flavor. My family has always taught me to make greens with smoked meats. They add a distinct flavor to veggies and the smokiness is undefeated. In college, finding smoked meats wasn’t always easy so I would substitute for fresh bacon. My preferred meat is smoked turkey parts. You can also choose smoked pork parts. Start by heating 2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat. I like to add a medium onion that has been peeled and chopped as well as minced garlic.

For Detroit-based Lauren Gillon, 25, she has perfected cooking into a work of art with her business Elle, the Foodie. The food and wine blogger and co-host, The Millennial Winedown, details her food adventures at millennialmeetsstove.com. And on her website, she shares one of her famous recipes passed down from her great grandmother: braised collard greens. Gillon’s mother gave her the recipe after receiving it from her mother, who received it from her own mother.

Lauren Gillon, a home-based chef, and her grandmother inspired her to make delicious Next, I like to add chicken broth or chicken bouillon dishes, including braised greens. – Photos provided by Lauren Gillon with a cup or two of water to prevent the bottom of

Gillon, who grew up cooking greens before the holidays or for Sunday dinners said that making them entailed creating a small assembly line her

Cover the pot and allow the greens to simmer for 2 hours or until the smoked meat has fallen off the bone. Serve immediately and tag @elle.thefoodie in your pics!

Detroit Chef James Chatman, 30, marches to the beat of his own drum and our taste buds are ever so grateful for it. Chatman, years ago, played football and had a scholarship at Wayne State University that he turned down because cooking was his true passion. “When I was in the kitchen I was calm and relaxed and felt peace; I knew it was something I wanted to do,” Chatman, who graduated from culinary school, said. “I got my inspiration from literally watching the women in my family cook.” Both sets of his grandmothers threw down in the kitchen and his dad isn’t too shabby either. That’s when the recipes were passed down to him like his grandfather’s teacake and honey-baked ham recipe; and his grandmother’s roast. “Since I can remember it started with my grandma [mak-

grandma created where one would pick the greens, wash them, and rinse for cooking. “During college when I was away at school I would get home and get recipes,” Gillon said later of developing a desire to cook food, which she has been doing for the last four years. Everything from homemade, buttery, flaky biscuits to hearty chilis [layered with bacon and colorful [vegetables] can also be found on her seasoned Instagram page -- just don’t go there hungry.

ing the roast], then my mom makes it and now I make it from time to time -- I usually only make it around holidays,” Chatman, who operates Family Table 313 said, adding that he is the first chef in his family. For more information find him on Instagram @jecwhlgn or email him: chefjec@thewhlgn.com. With his tea cake recipe, he said a lot of people love it but they are skeptical at first. “People are like, ‘What is it?’ because it looks like a real brown piece of cornbread,” he said, adding that the cinnamon-infused morning treat is something to accompany tea or coffee. “My granddad made that all the time, especially around Christmas and Thanksgiving.” Chatman said that food is relative, an element which he tries to incorporate at his business. “Food is life; it’s my life,” he said. “Food is definitely family.”

i

Now, as an adult, Gillon makes her grandma’s greens and prepares them for her whenever she gets a craving, and she approves of them every time. When asked what it smells like in her kitchen with the greens cooking on the stove, with sincerity, and without hesitation, Gillon said something like home. “Like a southern grandmother’s kitchen,” Gillon said, adding that it smells savory, smoky, with a hint of acidity from the vinegar to round it all out.

the pot from scorching. I also like to add in my garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper. At this point, I add in whatever smoked meat (in this case, a smoked turkey leg) I have chosen to use and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the collard greens to the pot with smoked meat. Add in vinegar and sugar and pushed the greens down into the pot during the wilting process. They may not all fit at first, but as they cook down- you will find that there will be plenty of room.

Tea Cake Recipe:

• 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature • 1/4 cup butter-flavored shortening • 1 cup granulated sugar • 1 egg room temperature • lemon zest 1 small lemon • 1/2 vanilla bean scraped • 2 cups all-purpose flour • 2 teaspoons baking powder • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg • 1/4 cup buttermilk Instructions • In a large bowl cream together butter and shortening until creamy • Mix in sugar until well combined • Mix in egg. • Mix in lemon zest and vanilla bean paste. Set aside. • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg •Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk •Turn dough onto a smooth surface and knead until the dough is soft • Shape into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. • Refrigerate for 1 hour (or freeze for 30 minutes)

• Preheat oven to 350 F. • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. • Remove dough from fridge and plastic wrap. • Knead the dough to soften it • Roll dough to 1/4-inch thick ( I rolled the dough on parchment to prevent sticking) • Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circle shapes. • Place cookies on prepared pan about 2 inches apart. (see note) • Bake for 8-10 minutes until bottoms are lightly golden. (see note) • Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling • Once cooled store in an airtight container


DN FOCUS SOCIAL Opinion AN OPEN LETTER TO VOTERS

Page B-4 • michiganchronicle.com • December 23-29, 2020

Why Georgia Is Important To Black America LET THE PEOPLE BE HEARD

AN OPEN LETTER TO VOTERS

Why Georgia Is Important To Black America Chris B. Bennett

Seattle Medium

Hiram Jackson

Michigan Chronicle

Larry Lee

The Sacramento Observer

Sonny Messiah Jiles

Houston Defender

Michigan Chronicle

Larry Lee

The Sacramento Observer

Sonny Messiah Jiles

Houston Defender

AFRO American

AFRO American

Denise Defender, Michigan Chronicle, restore our country’s promiRolark Defender,News, Michigan Chronicle, restore our country’s promiBlack voters across the country turned out New York Amsterdam nence in the world. Barnes For folks in GA, early voting in unprecedented numbers with purpose and Sacramento Observer, Seattle Black voters across the country turned out New York Amsterdam News, nence in the world. The Word in Black is an Medium, Louis American began on Dec. 14 and ends on passion for the Nov. 3 General Election. Their Washington Observer, Seattle For folks in GA, early voting in unprecedented numbers with purpose and St. Sacramento reimaging of the overwhelming participation in one of the na- and The Washington InformFriday, Jan. 1. Don’t Word in Black is andelay, go to Informer BlackPress, a journey passion for the Nov. 3 General Election. Th eir Medium, St. Louis American began on Dec. 14 and ends on tion’s most important elections proved that er – we are compelled to supthe polls and reimaging ofcast theyour vote. initially begun by andpublishers The Washington Inform- of BlackPress, Friday, Jan. 1. Don’t delay, go to overwhelming in one ofport the our na- fellow Dr. Donald Black votes count and participation Black voters matter. of For others across the coun10 publishers a journey tion’s important elections thatBlackernewspaper, – we areThcompelled to sup-owned initially the polls and cast yourSuggs vote. try, remember takes a village, We still most have unfi nished business, as allproved Atlanta’s e independently begunitby media companies. and we all must do our part, St. Louis Atlanta Voice, in our urgingfellow all Black eyesBlack are now on Georgia, where the voters results matter. For others across the counvotes count and Black port publishers of 10 publishers of of a much anticipated contested Georgian’s Black newspaper, The including: owned independently We still have and unfihotly nished business, as all – particularly Atlanta’s Black try, remember it takesAmerican a village, Jan. 5 election runoff will impact the plight voters – to stay engaged and to vote in the • Contact friends and companies. family members who media all in Black and we all must do our part, eyes are now on Georgia, where the results Atlanta Voice, in urging live Georgia and make sure they are aware of African Americans and African American runoff election. of a much anticipated and hotly contested Georgian’s – particularly Black Georgia’s native son Dr. Martin Luther of important voting dates and deadlines.including: communities throughout the country. At the Elinor Tatumwho • Contact friends Jan. 5 election runoff will impact the plight voters to “Our stay lives engaged to vote in theto vote center of political discussions are the issues of King, Jr., reminds us –that, begin and • Encourage them early and reach out and family members socioeconomic police reform, inclu- American to end the dayrunoff we become silent about things to their extended network to enliveininGeorgia Georgia and make sure theyNew are aware of Africanjustice, Americans and African election. York they doLuther the same. of important voting dates and deadlines. sion,communities empowerment and civil rights.the country. thatAtmatter. is our call to action. son VotersDr.sure Amsterdam throughout the ” ThisGeorgia’s native Martin News Despite well-documented attempts to in Georgia cannot be silent: VOTE on Jan. 5 • Volunteer to assist phone banks and safely center of political discussions are the issues of King, Jr., reminds us that, “Our lives begin • Encourage them to vote early and reach out suppress the Black Vote, the Black Press, because what happens in Georgia will impact distribute literature throughout the commuto their extended network in Georgia to ensocioeconomic justice, police reform, inclu-in the to U.S. end and the beyond, day weregardless become silent things along with national civil rights organizaeveryone nity ifabout you decide to visit. Janis Ware civilfought rights. of race, creed,that Thsexual is is our call •toDonate action. sure theythat do have the same. to Voters non-partisan groups a tionssion, and empowerment local grassroots and efforts, color,matter. religion” or orienWashington tation. to in Georgia cannot be silent: strong history of voter in Georgia. to make sure voters were armed with the • Volunteer to assist phone banks and safely Despite well-documented attempts VOTE on Jan. 5 engagement The Atlanta We have power todistribute fight voter literature suppres- throughout theVoice information to make must finish the fiwhat ght inhappens Georgia. in TheGeorgia suppressnecessary the Black Vote,surethetheir Black We Press, because will the impact commuballots were cast and counted. This resulted stakes are high and impact all of us. We need sion, get souls to the polls, re-ignite the flame along with national civil rights organiza- everyone in the U.S. and beyond, regardless nity if you decide to visit. in the largest voter turnout of Black people Georgians to elect leaders that will put Amer- of our political clout in America and create • Donate to non-partisan groups that have a and local efforts, fought race, creed, color, religionaor sexualthat orienback to of work, bolster small businesses narrative provides the foundation for in ations presidential electiongrassroots in the history of icans strong historyinofall voter engagement inPatrick Georgia. make sure voters were armed with the from tation. participate this to country. to rebound the effects of the pandem- African Americans to fully Washington However, the job necessary of the Blackto Press and sure ic, rescue evictions of the American We have the power to fight voter suppresinformation make their families Wefrom must finishand theforefight aspects in Georgia. The dream. The Dallas Black voters iswere not over. publishers of nine appropriate front- all Georgia, we’re counting on get you souls to let your sion, to the polls, re-igniteWeekly the flame ballots castAsand counted. This closures, resultedprovide stakes are highPPE andtoimpact of us. We need of the nation’s leading Black newspapers – The line and essential workers, retain affordable voices be heard. Vote on Jan. 5. We know you in the largest voter turnout of Black people Georgians to elect leaders that will put Amerof our political clout in America and create Baltimore AFRO, Dallas Weekly, Houston healthcare, lower prescription drug costs and will make us proud!

a narrative that provides the foundation for African Americans to fully participate in all aspects of the American dream. Georgia, we’re counting on you to let your voices be heard. Vote on Jan. 5. We know you will make us proud!

1 in 8

PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV ARE UNAWARE OF THEIR STATUS.

Change the numbers. Change your future. There are a lot of statistics surrounding HIV. Like this one: Did you know early detection, intervention and treatment can reduce the risk of transmission by 93%? Learn about HIV and where to get tested at Michigan.gov/HIVSTD.

Hiram Jackson

Dr. Frances M. Draper

Defender News Service

icans back to work, bolster small businesses to rebound from the effects of the pandemic, rescue families from evictions and foreclosures, provide appropriate PPE to frontline and essential workers, retain affordable healthcare, lower prescription drug costs and

Seattle Medium

Dr. Frances M. Draper

Defender News Service

in a presidential election in the history of this country. However, the job of the Black Press and Black voters is not over. As publishers of nine of the nation’s leading Black newspapers – The Baltimore AFRO, Dallas Weekly, Houston

Chris B. Bennett

Denise Rolark Barnes The Washington Informer Dr. Donald Suggs

St. Louis American

Elinor Tatum

New York Amsterdam News Janis Ware Washington

The Atlanta Voice

Patrick Washington

The Dallas Weekly


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December 23-29, 2020 • michiganchronicle.com • Page B-5

ANNOUNCEMENTS

REQUEST FOR QUOTE The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) is soliciting RFQ for No. 21-3295 for ­ Palo Alto (Traps) Cortex XDR & ­Logging Service Subscriptions. RFQ forms may be obtained beginning ­December 28, 2020 from http://www.mitn.info. RFP is due by 3:00 PM ET, January 17, 2021.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) is soliciting RFP for No. 21-3311 for ­Computer Network Hardware and Software. RFP forms may be obtained beginning December 28, 2020 from http://www.mitn.info. RFP is due by 3:00 PM ET, January 28, 2021.

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DETROIT WATER AND SEWERAGE DEPARTMENT NOTICE PUBLIC HEARING – BUDGET For Fiscal Year 2021-22 Notice is hereby given that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be virtually. Call in using your phone: United States Toll-Free: +1 855-552-4463 United States: +1 206-462-5569 Chime Meeting ID: 7969 88 5221 If any member of the public would like to speak during public comment, they must email dwsd-publicaffairs@detroitmi. gov prior to 2:00 p.m. on the date of the meeting, with their name, the phone number they will be using to call in, and a brief description of comments. Your phone number will not be revealed to anyone else dialing into the meeting. OR If you do not want to leave your phone number, you may email your comments to  dwsd-publicaffairs@detroitmi.gov prior to 2:00 p.m. and your comments will be read into the record at the Board meeting during public comment.

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Walker-Miler Energy Services is hiring! Several Positions Are Ready to be filled by Extraordinary Individuals!

Energy Advisor I – Jackson, MI Energy Advisor I – Farmington Hills, MI IT Manager – Detroit, MI Web Developer – Detroit, MI IT Desktop Engineer – Detroit, MI IT Helpdesk Technician – Detroit, MI Business Development Manager – Detroit, MI Marketing Manager - Detroit, MI Talent Acquisition Manager – Detroit, MI HR, People Manager - Detroit, MI For a full list of qualifications please visit https://wmenergy.com/careers-2/ **Please note the location of the position when applying.**

Self-Care Strategies to Help Stay Healthy This Holiday Season (Family Features) With the COVID-19 pandemic added to the typical cold and flu season, many Americans are wondering what they can do to protect themselves and others this holiday season and how to respond if they get sick. “As we enter this cold and flu season, it’s so important to practice self-care,” said Dr. Ian Smith, a physician, best-selling author and host of “The Doctors.” “Key preventative measures like washing your hands often and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze can be extremely effective in preventing the spread of germs. With COVID-19 also in the picture, there are a lot of questions on everyone’s mind around how to stay healthy and correctly identify and treat symptoms of the cold and flu or COVID-19.” Flu vs. COVID-19 If you get sick this season, your first question will likely be whether it’s the flu or COVID-19. Both the flu and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses caused by viruses. The flu is caused by the influenza virus and COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19, like fever and cough, are similar, making it difficult to tell the difference based on symptoms

alone. Testing may be required for a proper diagnosis. If you have questions or concerns about your symptoms or about COVID-19, consult your health care professional. Cold and Flu Treatment For the common cold or flu, there are a variety of products available that contain several active ingredients commonly used to treat symptoms of respiratory viral infections. For example, Mucinex DM contains dextromethorphan, which helps to control cough and guaifenesin to help thin and loosen mucus and lasts 12 hours when used as directed. You can identify the right formula to provide relief based on symptoms you are experiencing by using the online tool at Mucinex. com, where you can also find more information regarding self-care remedies.

Holiday Gatherings If you’re hosting or attending a gathering this holiday season, check local and state health sites for restrictions on gathering and guidance beforehand. Take appropriate measures to protect yourself and others, and remind fellow guests to take similar precautions. Don’t attend or host an event if you’re sick or have had close contact with someone who is sick. If feasible, keep the event outdoors or ensure the space is well ventilated with open windows. Limit the number of attendees so safe social distancing can be maintained between people not from the same household, and wear masks when less than 6 feet apart or indoors. Frequent hand washing and limiting food preparers or servers can also help reduce the spread of germs.

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