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Volume 89 • Issue 48

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July 13-19, 2017

The Ones to Watch


July 13-19, 2017

COVER STORY

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Separating the good to the great By Katrice L. Mines and Kamille D. Whittaker It’s not difficult to find an impressive young African-American executive in Atlanta. This is, after all, the well-established Mecca of black excellence. And so there is always a rising crop of leaders giving momentum to social change, economic growth, community activism and political progress. Sometimes you see them, as success is ushering them into the forefront of their industries and casting a light on their efforts. But, more often than not, they are working in the background … still establishing, still gleaning while making the change you see — and separating the good from the great. Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim | Change Agent Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim considers herself a status-quo disruptor. Add to that: visionary, strategist, coach, collaborative leader and mentor, and you have a precise character sketch of the Future Foundation’s CEO. Over the last 12 years as CEO, Abdur-Rahim has grown a team of two to a staff of 40, and raised $25 million-plus in revenue to service four locations and 11,000 students. It all began with two simple goals of learning as much as she could and working hard every day. All in all, her strategizing has produced. Abdur-Rahim grew up in Atlanta’s South Side — attending low-performing public schools before matriculating at the University of California, Berkeley, on an athletic scholarship. But while she ran track, Abdur-Rahim struggled academically, insufficiently prepared for higher education by sub-par local schools. The struggle, however, fueled her to dig in even deeper. After earning a master’s degree, she returned to her hometown of Atlanta to make an impact on kids like her. Joining the Future Foundation as a program director, Abdur-Rahim grew the organization from a small afterschool program into a phenomenon that brings together the non-profit, business, and government sectors to empower resilient youth. Abur-Rahim’s organizational “Theory of Change” addresses how poverty can be disrupted and alleviated anywhere by giving children access to family, education, health, relationship and life skill support, creating what she calls a “second family environment.” “Understanding the world is rapidly changing and success is occurring across broader business ecosystems, I pushed our board to reexamine our strategy. Disrupting business as usual is always a risk and continues to challenge me in ways I never imagined. However, the outcome of stronger communities is worth the challenge and I am up for it.” Jamel DaCosta | Purpose Driven St. Francis of Assisi once asked to be “blessed with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships … anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace … and just enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world.” It is against this pillar of reference that Jamel M. DaCosta says he finds himself -- navigating between the junctures of contentment and audacity in the midst of purpose. “I speak to my mentors, sometimes daily,

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to discuss my future plans, to share my goals and to get asked the difficult questions. Through those conversations I know if my desires are genuine or if they are for self. So, I know when my ambition isn’t a desire to be exalted but to be informed, to support a cause that I’m passionate about, and to offer any assistance that I can.” Howard University-groomed and University of Georgia Terry College of Business-molded, DaCosta has spent the last decade working as a finance analyst with one of the nation’s largest energy companies, the fourth largest retailer, and currently MARTA, where he has been involved in the research and financial analysis of transit-oriented development projects as well as developing MARTA’s 10-year, $2 billion capital plan. His position at the turnstile of Atlanta’s operational, development and infrastructure sectors has ushered him into civic conversations and roles that require his leadership and acumen: In 2011, Atlanta City Councilwomen Felicia Moore, tapped him to serve on the City of Atlanta’s Elected Officials Compensation Committee as co-chair, and he currently serves on the executive board of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Black MBA Association as director of Community Affairs. Service to the community is the cornerstone of generational connection, he asserts. “Whether we are spending time with elders with Meals on Wheels Atlanta, building a home with Habitat for Humanity, or handing out toiletries with the DeKalb Kids Project, when you are in the community there is a transfer of knowledge that takes place and you are able to have a better perspective of older/younger generations alike. When we continue to commit to our communities, our perspective of humanity evolves and our appreciation for one another deepens.” Meredith Lilly | Taking a Gamble Meredith Lilly has several choice words for the woman she is becoming: “Think big, work smarter and take measured, calculated risks.” Risk and eventual reward have become the operating motifs for the attorney-turned community organizer and political director. She gets it from her grandfather. “During one of my last conversations with my grandfather, who was 100 years old, he talked to me about how much he enjoyed his life and did everything he ever wanted to do. I think

that conversation validated my sense of intentional living and, in a sense, gave me permission to bet on me. I strongly believe in taking short-term loss for long-term gain. Almost everything that I’ve done in life that has paid off successfully, has cost me something.” Her cost-benefit analysis, she gets from her legal background and successfully running her own law firm after graduating from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston. And in 2007, being true to herself — she left it all behind to go work for the historic Obama for America Campaign, where the Alabama native started out her campaign career handing out fliers, making campaign calls and putting up campaign signs in Portsmouth, N.H. She then served as a regional political director, managing multiple campaign offices in several states across the nation. And in 2008, she received a presidential appointment as the senior advisor to the regional administrator of the United States General Services Administration in Atlanta — without question, it was the best risk she says she had ever taken. Then, there’s the reward. She was selected as state director of Obama for America-Georgia in April 2012. Since, she has been called upon to manage the campaigns of Mereda Johnson, Doreen Carter, and Mike Thurmond. Most recently, Lilly managed a successful congressional re-election campaign for Congressman Hank Johnson. Prior to this, she successfully led Kasim Reed’s 2013 re-election bid for Mayor of Atlanta as campaign manager. In her current role, Lilly serves as DeKalb County’s external affairs manager in CEO Michael Thurmond’s administration where she focuses on constituent services and community-based engagement — all feeding into another motif she espouses: “See a need, meet a need.” “The love for people and community motivates me. As I reflect on the things I hope to accomplish, I recognize that this is only the beginning. We are here for a purpose and until I’ve reached that point where my spirit directs me to do something else, I will pursue what needs to be done.”

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Founded August 5 1928; Became Daily, March 12, 1932 W.A. Scott, II, Founder/Publisher August 5, 1928 to February 7, 1934 Published weekly at 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway Suite 500 Atlanta, Georgia 30354 Periodicals Postage Paid at Atlanta Mailing Offices. Publication Number 017255 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Atlanta Daily World, 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway Suite 500 Atlanta, Georgia 30354 Subscriptions: One Year: $52 Two Years: $85 Forms of Payment: Check, Money Order, VISA American Express, MasterCard MEMBER: Associated Press Atlanta Business League Central Atlanta Progress Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce National Newspaper Publishers Website: www.AtlantaDailyWorld.com Lorraine Cochran General Manager lcochran@realtimesmedia.com

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NEWS

July 13-19, 2017

Odds for receiving a kidney transplant now equal Breeze cards go from for African-American candidates blue to silver

Improvements in national kidney transplant policy have evened the rates at which African-American transplant candidates receive kidneys from deceased donors, according to data from United Network for Organ Sharing. UNOS serves as the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) under federal contract. The national kidney allocation policy has been refined a number of times over the past 25 years to improve equity in transplant access. A recent analysis of the most recent policy, implemented in December 2014, shows progress on many key goals in its first two years of operation. As of November 30, 2016, African Americans represented 33.3 percent of candidates listed for a kidney transplant, while 34.5 percent of deceased donor kidney recipients from December 2015 through November 2016 were African American. The analysis also shows parity in listing and transplant rates among Hispanic and Caucasian candidates. “The transplant community has striven for many years to

close ethnic gaps between people who are listed for a kidney and those receiving them,” said Jerry McCauley, M.D., immediate past chair of the OPTN/UNOS Minority Affairs Committee. “African Americans are at higher risk for developing end-stage kidney disease than other ethnicities, and thus they’re listed for kidney transplantation at a rate higher than they represent in the U.S. population. Minority candidates still face challenges, as they often are not referred for transplant as quickly as others and can take longer to complete their evaluations. Once they are listed, however, the new allocation system provides equal access to transplantation.” UNOS serves as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network by contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation. The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop national organ transplantation policy.

Stacey Abrams reaches campaign fundraising milestone

Minority Leader Stacey Abrams’ campaign for governor had raised $541,758 from more than 3,000 contributors, laying the foundation for a strong grassroots campaign for Governor of Georgia – with 50 percent of the contributions to the campaign under $25. The Progressive organization Democracy for America, with over 30,000 members in Georgia and a million members nationwide, and EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics with more than five million members nationwide, also marshaled significant resources for the Abrams campaign. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 613, Atlanta North Georgia Building Trades Council, and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 926 provid- Stacey Abrams ed support for Abrams and her commitment to creating a Georgia that ensures the rights of working families.

“I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support my campaign for governor has received in just a few short weeks,” said Stacey Abrams. “Our campaign will harness the power of all Georgians to change the state, and this work must begin early. Because families across our state have chipped in and donated their time, Georgia will be a place where people have the opportunity to succeed — not just survive.” In the opening weeks of her campaign, Abrams has hired key staff, met with voters in Albany, DeSoto, Dalton, Macon, Savannah, Hinesville, Riceboro and Atlanta; recruited hundreds of volunteers, and has begun building critical infrastructure to contact voters in the Primary and General elections. This month, she will visit Augusta, Columbus, Athens, and Americus to continue speaking with Georgia families about the critical issues that impact their communities.

A. Philip Randolph Institute starts grassroots efforts for 2018 elections The A. Philip Institute, one of the nation’s largest organizations of African-American union leaders and activists will expand its training and its community participation leading up to the 2018 mid-term elections. APRI plans to kick off those efforts at its 48th annual National Education Conference August 2-6 in Hollywood, Fla., with hundreds of activists from around the country participating. The theme of this year’s conference, which will feature a keynote address from Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network, is #StayWoke. “In today’s tense political and social climate, working families and their communities face uncertainty about numerous issues including health care benefits, voting rights, financial security and social justice,” APRI President Clayola Brown said. The group plans to address those concerns and come up with solutions to help build awareness and drive community engagement during the Conference. “As we know from the 2016 elections, APRI activists and our allies have been fundamental and essential to educating, organiz-

ing and moving political and legislative victories,” said Brown. “With increased education, measurable programs, strong community partnerships and organizational development, we will recover, and we will advance. When we exhibit our courage, our strength, and our unity, we grow the ranks of those committed to advancing as one fight, the causes of social and economic justice.” Legendary Sirius XM talk show host Joe Madison will broadcast live from the Conference August 2. The APRI is a labor rights organization founded in 1965 by A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin. The organization has APRI has 150 chapters nationwide with membership from the nation’s top unions and community organizations. Brown is the first female to head the organization. “Our labor movement is being plagued with growth and program challenges at both the local, state and national levels,” Brown said in a message on the organization’s website. “Standing still and doing nothing, maintaining the status quo, or going backwards are not viable options. We must stay woke.”

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority this week upgraded its blue breeze cards to new, more secure silver fare cards. Blue breeze cards will no longer be accepted at MARTA fare readers and unexpired balances that weren’t transferred to a new card became unavailable after July 9. But the new cards — offer added security to combat fraud and abuse — can be purchased for $2. “Although we first introduced our new cards in January of last year, we still have a few remaining customers who haven’t fully converted to our new silver Breeze cards,” said MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker. “We want to encourage everyone to upgrade to the silver Breeze card to help minimize any confusion on July 10.” Silver Breeze cards will be compatible with the other local and regional transit systems including CobbLinc, the Georgia Regional Transit Authority (GRTA), Gwinnett County Transit (GCT) and the Atlanta Streetcar, and are available at MARTA RideStores, online at breezecard.com, and at any Breeze vending machine located at all 38 rail stations. “We are pleased to offer this heightened technology that reflects current industry standards,” MARTA Chief Information Officer Ming Hsi said. “A more secure card decreases the likelihood of fraud or other abuse that can be detrimental to our customers.”

MARTA BREEZE CARD CHANGE: AT A GLANCE • July 10 – Silver Breeze cards went into effect; the blue Breeze cards are no longer valid. • MARTA Customer Service (404.848.5000) is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. • Silver Breeze cards can be purchased for $2 at MARTA RideStores, www.breezecard. com or any of the Breeze vending machines located at the 38 rail stations. • Reduced Fare and Mobility customers who need to upgrade to the gold Breeze cards can call 404.848.5112.

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NEWS

July 13-19, 2017

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Mayoral campaign cash totals, to date The latest mayoral campaign filings after the June 30th disclosure deadline show Council President Ceasar Mitchell, former COO Peter Aman, and Councilwoman Mary Norwood in the lead with four months to go in the campaign. — Peter Aman: $1,656,238 raised to date. — John Eaves: $137,682 raised to date. — Vincent Fort: $378,286 raised to date. —Kwanza Hall: $513,052 raised to date. — Keisha Lance Bottoms: $644,331 raised to date. — Ceasar Mitchell: $1,699,085 raised to date. — Mary Norwood: $1,019,464 raised to date. — Michael Sterling: $186,019 raised to date. — Cathy Woolard: $835,121 raised to date. Fundraising frontrunner Mitchell expressed appreciation to his donors in a written statement: “I am humbled by all the people who have contributed to our campaign. Atlantans from all around the city have entrusted us with their money, their ideas, their faith and their dreams. They have done so because they believe in what we can do, and what we will do. We will lead, and we will leave nobody behind.” Aman, who has lent his campaign money to match his donors dollar for dollar, in a written statement, cited nearly a century of inaction by “lifelong candidates who have collec-

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advocating for Georgians’ voting rights.” Joined by the New Georgia Project, Common Cause Georgia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta, the Georgia NAACP and the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, the ACLU of Georgia held a press conference last week at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to announce what actions the coalition would take “to combat the Trump administration’s unprecedented attack on voting rights and promote greater voter participation.” “Taken together, the Trump administration’s actions represent the gravest threat to voting rights in more than 50 years,” said ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young. “We’re fighting back to protect access to the ballot and ensure Georgia state officials are not complicit in Trump’s dangerous voter suppression scheme.” Last week, the vice chair of President Trump’s election commission Kris Kobach sent letters to all 50 states requesting a list of all registered voters, the last four digits of their Social Security

July 13-19, 2017

Top podcasts for your work commute

tively run dozens of times and spend years honing financial networks.” Norwood, the other frontrunner, pointed to how there is no self-funding and no political action committee money in her donations. The election is set for November 7. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held on December 5, 2017.

By Taylor Lee Whether you’re sitting in traffic or on the train, one way to make your commute to work smoother is by listening to podcasts. Starting your day off by listening to an inspirational, educational, or even funny podcast can motivate you to be the best you that day. Before you know it, listening to a podcast will become a part of your morning routine — and you just might wish your commute was longer. Some of the most highly rated podcasts include: Fresh Air “There are few podcasts I have continuously listened to and this is one of those few. Ira glass has a beautiful voice and produces beautiful stories. These stories have made me laugh out loud, made me cry out loud, and made me think about the life I live. It’s a beautiful hour that i can’t imagine living without.” – Listener Review TED Radio Hour TED Radio Hour is ranked #8 on the Top Audio Podcasts by Apple. It is hosted by Guy Raz, and is a co-production of NPR & TED. The topics discussed on TED

ACLU files voting and elections commission open records request

In response to the Trump Administration Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia last week filed an open records request for all communications between Georgia Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp’s office and the Trump administration related to voting and the elections commission. To verify that Kemp is not sending confidential, personal identifying information — such as Social Security numbers — the ACLU of Georgia also requested a copy of any information that his office sends to the Trump administration. As well, the ACLU of Georgia’s request also asks Kemp to provide the same information that the Justice Department has requested related to Georgia’s purge procedures. “Georgia deserves better than a bogus solution to an invented problem,” said Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project. “This is a time when we should encourage greater voter participation, not deceive and deter. Our work continues and we march on,

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numbers, their addresses, dates of birth, political affiliation, and their voting history. The same day, the U.S. Justice Department sent a separate letter asking for Georgia’s voter purge procedures. “Given Secretary Kemp’s own record of putting up barriers to the ballot box, his willingness to go along with this charade should concern everyone who cares about the strength of our democracy and the fairness of our elections,” Young said. “Georgia voters deserve to know the full extent of state officials’ collusion with the Trump administration’s voter suppression scheme — so that we can hold these officials accountable for their actions, and protect access to the ballot.” In addition to the open records requests filed, the ACLU of Georgia will mobilize its supporters to advocate for reforms to make it easier for eligible voters to vote, and “promote free and fair elections.” Specifically, the organization is calling for: “An end to the practice of removing voters from the rolls based on the absurd and arbitrary assumption that any voter who does not vote in a three-year period must have moved; non-partisan redistricting so that voters choose their elected officials, not the other way around; and same-day registration, so that Georgia voters have the option of registering to vote and casting their ballot on the same day. “Georgians understand that this is a scare tactic threatening our fundamental rights,” said Rev. Raphael Warnock, board chair of the New Georgia Project and senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. “Now more than ever, we must be careful as commissions and bad information can cheapen and undermine our democracy. We must protect our sacred right to vote.”

Nathaniel Russell Goldston III: A Life of Service

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Nathaniel Russell Goldston III, the founder of Gourmet Services Inc., has died at the age of 78. Born in Omaha, Neb., Goldston received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Denver in 1962, and worked at a food service company for 10 years after graduating from college. Here, he held positions such as district manager, regional vice president, and senior vice president. However, after being denied a promotion to chief executive officer due to racial discrimination, Goldston left in 1974 to start his own business, Gourmet Services, Inc. in Charlotte, NC. Gourmet Services Inc. grew to include contracts at six black colleges and employ 300 individuals. In its first year, the company generated $2.3 million in revenues. In 1976, Goldston met former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, who encouraged him to move Gourmet Services, Inc. to Atlanta. The business continued to grow after relocating, and eventually Gourmet Services, Inc. became the nation’s largest African American-owned food service management companies, boasting 2,500 employees; it was ranked 14th among the nation’s top 50 food service companies. Its clients include world-renowned businesses such as CNN, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Anheuser Busch, UPS, Turner South and NY Life. Gourmet Services, Inc. also provided exemplary foodservice to nearly every Historically Black College and University in the nation. In addition to his business acumen, philanthropy was always central to Goldston’s service

ethic and was a large component of his corporate formula for success. Gourmet Services, Inc. has donated millions of dollars in scholarships to students attending historically black colleges and universities; Goldston also established the Mary E. Goldston Foundation to provide scholarships to deserving African-American students. Goldston served as chairman of the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association, an organization designed to recognize the excellence of African American student golfers with athletic support and scholarships. He also served as a board member for numerous charitable organizations, including the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy and the Atlanta Diabetes Association. In addition, Goldston was a member of the Board of Trustees for Wilberforce University and the University of Denver. He also was an active member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He was recognized as the 2007 Supplier of the Year by the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council; and in 2008, he was inducted into Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine’s Hall of Fame. He was the recipient of the President’s Award from the National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc., Trumpet Award, Drum Major for Justice Award from the SCLC W.O.M.E.N. Goldston was the recipient of honorary doctorates from Wilberforce University and Stillman College. In 1986, Goldston founded the Atlanta Chapter of 100 Black Men of America along with 21 other local businessmen and civic leaders. In 1989, Goldston became the 100 Black Men of America’s second national president. Goldston passed away on July 4, 2017.

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July 13-19, 2017

COMMUNITY

DeKalb offering residents free disposal on Amnesty Day DeKalb County residents will be able to dispose of furniture and construction materials for free on Saturday, July 29, 2017. DeKalb County Sanitation Division will host Amnesty Day, an opportunity for County residents to dispose of items such as furniture and construction and demolition materials without charge. The event will be held on from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Seminole Road Landfill, 4203 Clevemont Road in Ellenwood. A part of the Operation Clean Sweep initiative, special collection items such as tires, yard trimmings, bagged garbage and appliances can be disposed at the landfill on that day, however, no hazardous materials will be accepted. “This event advances CEO Michael Thurmond’s efforts to address one of his most critical

priorities of cleaning up the county,” said Sanitation Division Deputy Director Tracy Hutchinson. “Operation Clean Sweep is remediating blight through beautification and Amnesty Day is an opportunity for residents to help participate in keeping DeKalb County beautiful.” Operation Clean Sweep is a multi-departmental initiative focusing on litter removal, illegal dumping, mowing grass, and removing debris, trash and grass from streets, sidewalks, roadway drains and rights-of-way. Departments partnering in the initiative include Roads and Drainage, Beautification, Sanitation, Communications and Public Safety. The event is open to DeKalb County residents and proof of residency is required.

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Blink Health is giving away $10 million worth of free diabetes medications Do you or someone you know need more affordable diabetes medication? Blink Health can help.

ATLANTA DAILY WORLD

July 13-19, 2017

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year, for someone who’s taking all three medications and paying the full retail price out of pocket, either because they are uninsured or have a high-deductible insurance plan. “Overall, diabetes is a growing epidemic that affects 1 in 11 Americans, and Blink Health is committed to doing all it can to help patients manage this chronic illness,” said Geoffrey Chaiken, co-founder and CEO of Blink Health. “We have seen far too many people who are struggling to afford prescription medication, and we’ve launched this program to help address the problem one patient at a time.” There is no cost to join Blink Health, and medication can be picked up at over 57,000 pharmacies nationwide, including Walmart, CVS, Rite-Aid, Target, and most independent pharmacies and grocers; and any patient with a prescription for any or all of these three medications is eligible to receive medication for free. To create an account, visit blinkhealth.com/ diabetes.

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The country’s leading prescription drug savings platform has launched a program to help #TreatType2 diabetes with $10 million worth of diabetes medications. Diabetics who create an account on Blink Health’s website or free mobile app, will receive a free, one-year supply of the three most commonly prescribed generic medications: metformin, glipizide and pioglitazone while supplies last. The program will also cover the three medications for existing Blink Health patients who use them. As part of Blink Health’s ongoing commitment to support people who are living with diabetes, the #TreatType2 program is designed to help the largest population of people managing this condition. Of the nearly 29 million Americans with diabetes, approximately 95 percent have been diagnosed with type 2. African Americans are 77 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic Caucasians, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources. Blink Health’s $10 million giveaway represents a potential savings of up to $4,000 per patient, per

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LIFESTYLE

July 13-19, 2017

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FDA approves new sickle cell drug for first time in 20 years The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Endari (L-glutamine oral powder) for patients age five years and older with sickle cell disease to reduce severe complications associated with the blood disorder. “Endari is the first treatment approved for patients with sickle cell disease in almost 20 years,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence. “Until now, only one other drug was approved for patients living with this serious, debilitating condition.” Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder in which the red blood cells are abnormally shaped (in a crescent, or “sickle,” shape). This restricts the flow in blood vessels and limits oxygen delivery to the body’s tissues, leading to severe pain and organ damage. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 100,000 people in the United States have sickle cell disease. The disease occurs most often in African-Americans, Latinos and other minority groups. The

average life expectancy for patients with sickle cell disease in the United States is approximately 40 to 60 years. The safety and efficacy of Endari were studied in a randomized trial of patients ages five to 58 years old with sickle cell disease who had two or more painful crises within the 12 months prior to enrollment in the trial. Patients were assigned randomly to treatment with Endari or placebo, and the effect of treatment was evaluated over 48 weeks. Patients who were treated with Endari experienced fewer hospital visits for pain treated with a parenterally administered narcotic or ketorolac (sickle cell crises), on average, compared to patients who received a placebo (median 3 vs. median 4), fewer hospitalizations for sickle cell pain (median 2 vs. median 3), and fewer days in the hospital (median 6.5 days vs. median 11 days). Patients who received Endari also had fewer occurrences of acute chest syndrome (a life-threatening complication of sickle cell disease) compared with patients who received a placebo (8.6 percent vs. 23.1 percent). Common side effects of Endari include constipation,

nausea, headache, abdominal pain, cough, pain in the extremities, back pain and chest pain. Endari received Orphan Drug designation for this use, which provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases. In addition, development of this drug was in part supported by the FDA Orphan Products Grants Program, which provides grants for clinical studies on safety and/or effectiveness of products for use in rare diseases or conditions. The FDA granted the approval of Endari to Emmaus Medical Inc. The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Kidney disease: Study sheds light on impact of common gene variant in African Americans, identifies the culprit Researchers have found that high levels of a blood protein, suPAR, combined with a common genetic mutation in African Americans accelerates the progression of chronic kidney disease. The findings were reported last month in Nature Medicine. The study, conducted by researchers from Emory University, Rush University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins, the National Institutes of Health and the Israel Institute of Technology, looked at two well-known genetic risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) in African Americans, the mutated G1 or G2 variations in the gene known as Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1). To be at risk for developing CKD, an individual must have inherited two of these gene variants, one from each parent. Between 15 and 20 percent of African Americans carry a genetic mutation of the APOL1 encoding gene that puts them at a high risk of CKD, but only about half of them develop the illness — a variance that long has puzzled researchers. CKD is a progressive failure of function that prevents kidneys from fulfilling their role to filter waste from the blood stream. Known as a silent killer, it can cause severe organ damage before symptoms (blood in the urine, swollen hands and feet, excessive thirst) develop. In the advanced phases, patients develop serious complications, including cardiovascular disease and eventually the kidneys fail. “Our landmark study finally provides a potential explanation for how the APOL1 gene variants lead to kidney disease. The gene mutation’s toxic effects require high suPAR levels as a catalyst leading to rapid worsening of kidney function,” says Salim S. Hayek, MD, first author of the study and Emory University cardiology research fellow at the Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute (ECCRI). Hayek says the kidney function of patients with APOL1 mutations who have low suPAR stays relatively stable. “Those who have both

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the APOL1 mutation and high suPAR levels, however, have more rapidly worsening disease. We think this is because suPAR and mutated APOL1 proteins bind together to activate a mechanism leading to the destruction of kidney cells,” explains Hayek. Researchers analyzed blood for suPAR levels, screened for APOL1 gene mutations, and measured kidney function from two separate cohorts of African American patients — 487 people from the Emory Cardiovascular Biobank, 15 percent of whom had a high-risk APOL1 genotype; and 607 from the multi-center African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension, including 24 percent with the high-risk mutation. Using these two large, unrelated cohorts, the researchers found that the rate of progression of kidney disease in patients with the APOL1 mutation was highly dependent on the plasma suPAR levels: APOL1-related risk was reduced in lower, and strengthened in higher levels of plasma suPAR. The team then went on to use purified proteins and examine whether suPAR and APOL1 bind to each other, and found that the mutated G1 and G2 variants, together with suPAR, synergistically activated certain receptors on kidney cells. This leads to the activation of a mechanism, resulting in “self destruction” — also known as autophagy — of kidney cells. Using cell models and genetically engineered mice, the authors then could reproduce kidney disease changes upon expression of APOL1 gene variants only in the presence of high suPAR levels. This study solidifies earlier findings of suPAR’s general role as a kidney disease marker and risk factor for the disease. It may ultimately help clinicians identify patients that need early intervention to prevent progression to kidney disease,” says Arshed Quyyumi, MD, co-author of the study and co-director of the ECCRI. In November 2015, Hayek, Quyyumi and study colleagues published a New England

Journal of Medicine study that showed high levels of suPAR could be an indicator of future kidney disease much like cholesterol and blood pressure levels help predict heart disease. Lifestyle and environmental pressures such as smoking promote the rise in suPAR levels produced by bone marrow cells and puts people at high risk of kidney disease. Once elevated in the blood, suPAR is associated with inflammation and kidney disease, including a scarring type that senior author Jochen Reiser MD, PhD, Rush University Medical Center, has spent his career studying: focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. “What we are learning today is that suPAR in a general way is to kidneys what cholesterol is to the heart, a substance that can cause damage if levels rise too high, or a substance that can likely make many forms of kidney disease worse,” Reiser says. Based on these fundamental insights, suPAR level testing may become a routine test at many institutions around

the world. Like cholesterol, suPAR levels vary from person to person. Some environmental factors can contribute significantly to elevated suPAR levels. “Lifestyle is a big factor, bigger than we thought,” Reiser says. Researchers say that smoking, weight gain and even frequent kidney infections can add up and send suPAR to dangerous heights. Weight loss and smoking cessation can help bring levels down. Until new therapies are developed to block suPAR, avoiding smoking and living a healthy life are the only measures that can keep suPAR levels low.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Apex Museum Exhibit, ‘Blacks on Stamps: A Celebration of Black History Makers’

Since 1940, the U.S. Postal Service has been honoring Black American history makers in the fields of science, math, business, sports, music, politics, military service, education and leadership. Who are these distinguished Black women and men? What did they do to deserve such an honor? The APEX Museum’s online exhibit “Black on Stamps: A Celebration of Black History Makers” helps to answer these important questions. On April 7, 1940, the Post Office Department issued a stamp honoring African-American educator Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) as part of its Famous Americans Series. The nation’s first stamp to honor an African-American, it holds a unique place in American history. Social, economic, and legislative struggles since 1940 have produced deeper understanding and acceptance among racial groups. Today, the United States Postal Service (USPS) regularly honors African-Ameri-

cans and their widely varied contributions to the nation and the world. Born a slave in Hale’s Ford, Virginia, Washington served as a role model for other struggling African-Americans, and, as founder of Alabama’s Tuskegee Normal Industrial School (renamed Tuskegee Institute in 1937), he profoundly influenced the community’s self-esteem and self-reliance. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, responding to numerous petitions from African-American supporters, recognized the timeliness of such a stamp and directed that Washington be considered for this important stamp series. Major Robert Richard Wright, Sr., among others, had aggressively lobbied for a stamp honoring Booker T. Wash-

ington since Roosevelt took office in 1933. When Wright read the POD’s decision to feature Washington on the 10¢ stamp, announced in 1939, he reflected with gratification, [the stamp] “comes pretty nearly within the limit of seventy-five years of Negro Emancipation.” The exhibit is in honor of the many extraordinary Black women and men who overcame enslavement, racism and discrimi nat i on to become cultural icons and pioneers in virtually every field of study. These Black History Makers have left a legacy of achievement to be admired and replicated. The charge: Aspire for greatness.

Clayton State University hosts open house to launch new film and digital media certificate

The Film and Digital Media Center at Clayton State University is hosting an open house on Saturday, July 15, from 1-3 p.m. to launch its new film and digital media certificate. The event will serve as an informational session as well as a meet-and-greet with faculty for those interested in pursuing a career in filmmaking and content creation. “There’s a window of opportunity in content creation,” says Glynn Beard, the new director of the Film and Digital Media Center. “I want to see the next generation of films shot in Georgia, written in Georgia, with Georgia writers and pro-

ducers.” Guests will have a chance to hear from instructors about coursework in writing, production and post-production. A live film production shoot also will be conducted during the event. A Q&A session and a presentation with special guest, Tamara Patridge, project manager at Clayton County Economic Development, will round out the open house. Refreshments will be available during the event. The film and digital media certificate will give students a well-rounded skill set to be able to work in both “above the

line” and “below the line” positions in the film and media industry. Students will be exposed to instruction in all phases of production — from developing story concept and filmm aking to promotion and screening. Rigorous coursework trains students in technical, craft and storytelling methods including screenwriting, producing, directing, lighting, set design, cinematography, editing, sound mixing and mastering. Clayton State University has served as a film location for television and film including The Vampire Diaries, Joyful Noise, The Boss and Captain America: Civil War.

July 13-19, 2017

Kenny Leon and True Colors Theatre Company announces resignation of executive director Artistic Director Kenny Leon and True Colors Theatre Company this week announced the departure of Executive Director Jennifer Dwyer McEwen after more than nine years with the company. McEwen submitted her resignation in May after accepting a new role with the Town of Hilton Headas its new Culture and Arts Network Director. McEwen joined True Colors in 2008 as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations and was promoted to Executive Director in 2011. At the beginning of her tenure, McEwen worked with Leon and the Board of Directors to reorganization the operations of the company, pay off a significant operating debt, and build a cash reserve from budget surpluses. In her new role as Culture and Arts Network Director, McEwen will lead the process to create and implement a civic plan for enhancing Hilton Head Island’s existing entertainment, arts, culture and heritage assets and for identifying new assets for development. McEwen received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans. Most recently, she is a member of the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, a professional development experience designed to support 50 cultural leaders to effectively lead change in their organizations, communities, and the cultural field. A national search is underway to hire McEwen’s replacement.

JAY-Z to stop in Atlanta for 4:44 Tour

Brown Sugar launches on Amazon Fire TV

Brown Sugar, the new subscription-video-on-demand service featuring the largest collection of iconic African-American movies is now available on Amazon Fire TV. Brown Sugar features titles like “Dolemite,” “Jackie Brown,” “Cotton Comes to Harlem,” “Foxy Brown,” “Cooley High,” “Blacula,” “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central,” “A Soldier’s Story,” “Black Caesar,” “Which Way Is Up?,” “Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip” and “Car Wash” as well as acclaimed documentaries such as “More Than a Game,” chronicling Lebron James’s journey to fame. Amazon customers with Fire TV or a Fire TV Stick can now watch Brown Sugar’s

extensive and one-of-a-kind of cult classics, all un-edited and commercial-free as they were originally seen in theaters. Customers who purchase a Brown Sugar subscription in the Amazon App store will receive a seven-day

free trial and then pay $3.99 per month thereafter. The service is also available for Amazon Kindle Fire tablets. Amazon Fire TV is the No. 1 selling streaming media player in the United States across all retailers, and Fire

TV Stick is the most reviewed product in Amazon history. Brown Sugar also showcases original programming and features complete seasons of the hit Bounce television network series Saints & Sinners, Mann & Wife, Family Time, In The Cut and Ed Gordon. Fans can also go to Brown Sugar to watch all the exciting action of Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce. Brown Sugar is available for mobile phones and tablets in the Amazon App store, Google Play Store and iTunes App Store and for computers at www.BrownSugar.com. Brown Sugar is owned by Bounce, the fastest-growing African-American network on television.

JAY-Z announced a massive 31-venue North American tour for this fall/winter in support of his latest album, 4:44. The tour kicks off October 27 in Anaheim with his Atlanta stop scheduled for Tuesday Nov. 14. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday, July 14. Tidal users will have an opportunity to purchase tickets starting July 10 at noon EST. Citi® is the official presale credit card for the 4:44 TOUR. As such, Citi® card members will have access to purchase U.S. presale tickets beginning Monday, July 10th at 12 p.m. ET until Thursday, July 13th at 10 p.m. ET through Citi’s Private Pass® program. Aside from the 4:44 Tour, the rapper will also be performing at a few festivals this year, including The Meadows (which takes place in New York City between September 15 and 17), the Austin City Limits Festival in October, and Made In America Fest in Philadelphia in September (though the latter was founded by JAY-Z, and, unsurprisingly, the same Tidal pre-sale conditions applied to tickets for this). Europe-based fans can catch JAY-Z at V Festival in Chelmsford in the U.K. on the weekend of Friday, August 18.

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ANNOUNCEMENT C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc will be holding a DBE Subcontracting Opportunity Meeting for I-85 Widening Project on July 26, 2017 at 10:00am. The meeting will take place at the CWM Training Facility located at 1674 Old Hwy 41 in Marietta, GA 30060. C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc is seeking GDOT DBE qualified subcontractors to participate in this Georgia Department of Transportation project. This project involves widening a portion of I-85 in Gwinnett and Barrow Counties. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the general scope of the project, schedule, contract requirements and requirements for submitting bids to C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc. If you have any questions regarding this meeting, please contact Penny Wilson at (770) 422-7520 X1210.

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July 13-19, 2017

GUEST COMMENTARY

GUEST COMMENTARY

by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

by A. Peter Bailey

Are you better off in a 45 presidency? The man who currently occupies the Oval Office (I call him 45, but y ’all know his name, and we don’t call it because we do not believe in feeding bloated egos), promised to “Make America Great Again”. He said that he would create jobs, generate economic growth, and create a new and better health care environment than the one we got from the Affordable Care Act. Instead, he has found himself stuck in the muddy quicksand of wanting to repeal, but not replace, the legislation that provided health insurance for more than 20 million people. When he was a candidate, 45 claimed that unemployment data was false and manipulated. As President, he has touted the unemployment rate improvement as evidence that he is doing a good job. But the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the employment situation is steady, but not especially good. While the unemployment rate is lower, by 0.4 percent, than it was when 45 took office, little else has changed. The Black unemployment rate, at 7.1 percent, is, as always, nearly double the white rate (3.8 percent), and the number of people who have been unemployed for more than half a year has not changed much. The labor force participation rate (the people who are working or looking for work) is just below 63 percent, as it has been most of the year. The employment-population ratio, or the percentage of people holding jobs, is also steady, at 60.1 percent. The Bureau of labor Statistics report (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf) repetitively describes indicators as “changed little”, which means that few are better off than they were when 45 took office. The low unemployment rate is deceptive. In a vibrant economy, more people would be entering the labor force, with the understanding that if hard times are over, good jobs are now available. Although some new college graduates have entered a vibrant market with high demand for their services, many others have not seen their prospects improve. Indeed, African American college graduates face unemployment rates that are far higher than their white counterparts. According to the Economic Policy Institute (in full disclosure, I am a member of that Board), young black college graduates have an unemployment rate of 8.0 percent. College graduates remain worse off than their counterparts who graduated in 2000 and 2007, the year before the Great Recession. Low labor force participation rates, then, tell a story. It is challenging to look for work when you have limited resources. Some recent graduates, and others, will not fully participate in the labor market because they don’t have the wherewithal. Others will work, but have no choice but to accept underemployment – with the marketing major now working in retail or in a fast-food restaurant

because that is the only job she can get. And the number of people who work “part time for economic reasons”, or “involuntarily part time”, at 5.3 million, is again, “little changed”. How many young people who did the right thing, checked off all the boxes, took the STEM classes, and graduated with thousands of dollars’ worth of debt because they invested in themselves, now find themselves underemployed? So Bobby Womack had this song, “If You Think You’re Lonely Now”. I think about it when I recall some of my commentary on the Obama Presidency, especially in my book, “Are We Better Off: Race, Obama and Public Policy”. No, the majority of Black folk were not materially better off in the Obama years. But if we think we were hurting then, wait until the Trump years evolve (sing along). None of the promises that 45 offered to “help” the people have resulted in positive change. If you think Obamacare hurt, think about what Trumpcare will do! If you think the economic situation was challenging for working people under President Obama, imagine the challenges under 45 leadership. 45 has been insistent and persistent about rolling back many of the important innovations that took place under President Obama’s leadership. He is rabid about rescinding the Obama legacy, and too many have allowed their own racial bias to support his efforts. Still, the new unemployment rate data tell us as much as we need to know. Workers are not better off under 45. Wages remain lower than they should be, and job expansion is somewhat tepid. Labor force participation and the employment population ratio are lower than they should be. There are too many people who are out of work, or underemployed and stuck in unsatisfactory work. 45’s Presidency has not only eroded our nation’s standing in the world, but it has also eroded the economic wellbeing of millions in our own country, as the unemployment rate data attest. 45’s buffer is the blind loyalty of those who prioritize partisan politics over national wellbeing, and racial hegemony over common decency. And maybe, just maybe if there were economic returns to this idiocy, I might understand. But there are no returns, nothing but jingoistic chaos.

Reality Check: Donald J. Trump is NOT crazy It’s time for television and radio talk show hosts, educators, editorial writers, columnists and politicians to cease describing U.S. President Donald J. Trump as being “crazy,” “mentally sick,” “childish,” etc. A person with such afflictions is legally and otherwise not responsible for his or her words and behavior. Trump knows exactly what he is saying and what he is doing and should be totally accountable for the consequences of his shenanigans. It’s my position that the behavior of the President of the U.S. is guided by three major forces. One is his extreme resentment and rage at the way he has been and is currently being treated by the big boys who really run this country, the so-called establishment. They treat him like an uncouth boy from Queens, New York who has no class. Many of them are probably guilty of the same social and financial scams that Trump indulges in. But they do them quietly, under the radar. Trump does his openly and flagrantly. To the big boys that is close to unforgiveable. A second force that guides Trump is his never having been held accountable for his escapades. As head of a family business he didn’t even have to deal with a board of directors. Whatever Donald said and whatever Donald did was not to be questioned by wife, children, siblings, business associates, friends, employees, journalists or anyone else. Having to explain and justify a decision he has made—bad or good, right or wrong, legal or illegal, messes with his last nerve. And he lashes back. However, he is careful as to whom to attack in his outbursts. It’s very revealing that he reserves his most vicious and personal attacks on any woman who has the audacity to question his behavior. I have heard several male television pundits say some rather nasty remarks about Trump but he never responds to them with the unbridled fury he directs at women pundits. Finally, I am convinced that Trump is a

European supremacist who strongly believes that people of European descent should be the dominate force in world affairs. He regards Islam, not just ISIS, but Islam as the current most serious threat to continued European domination. This is evidenced by the following statement that he recently made in his visit to Poland: “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost?...Just as Poland could not be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph.” What President Trump fails to say is that the West doesn’t just want to survive. It wants to dominate. Trump believes equally strongly that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the one who can best assist him in confronting what he considers the Islamic threat because Putin and the Russians are also European supremacists who have the same attitude toward African and Asian people as other Whites in Europe and the United States. Thus Trump and Putin have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Of course, Putin wants to be top dog and may also have some dirt on Trump’s financial affairs that gives him the edge in their relationship. But I am convinced that between them is a shared belief that people who look like them have the right to be the controlling factor in global affairs. Like I said, Trump is not crazy, childish or mentally sick. He has an agenda that has garnered him the support of a significant number of white people in the United States and in Europe. A. Peter Bailey, whose latest book is Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, the Master Teacher, can be reached at apeterb@verizon.net.

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