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From The Publisher’s Desk... WHAT’S BEING MISSED IN HATE HOUSE BILL 2?

EMPLOYEES CAN NO LONGER SUE EMPLOYERS FOR DISCRIMINATION Eleven Democrats helped the law pass The legislation pushed through North Carolina’s General Assembly on March 23rd, supposedly over Charlotte public restroom policy, eliminates a key legal right for workers that has been in place in our state for three decades. The Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, also called House Bill 2 (HB2), passed in less than 10 hours during a special session of the state legislature, was aimed at reversing moves by Charlotte to expand the city’s antidiscrimination ordinance. It has since faced a growing backlash from both LGBT rights advocates and the business community. Civil rights organizations filed suit in federal court to block the law Monday March 28th. Although most of the focus has been on the law’s impact on protections for transgender individuals and the obstruction of local non-discrimination laws, one of the most consequential provisions, in my opinion, of HB2… that nobody seems to be discussing at great length…is that employees in North Carolina can no longer sue employers for discrimination under state law for any reason (race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability). That’s right, for the first time in decades, North Carolina courts closed their doors to those fired because of their race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability. Those wrongfully terminated are left with only federal discrimination laws, which are largely inferior to the now defunct state discrimination claims. North Carolina joins Mississippi as the only two states that do not offer their citizens state law protection against the most basic forms of

discrimination. Let that sink in. The specific language in HB2 that amends N.C. Gen. Stat. 143-422 is as follows: “This Article does not create, and shall not be construed to create or support, a statutory or common law private right of action, and no person may bring any civil action based upon the public policy expressed herein.” Eliminating “civil actions” simply means “cannot sue” and not being able to sue, or go to court, puts workers right back where they were in the 1970s. The majority of cases in the state are over discrimination because of age, sex and disabilities. The addition to the legislative declaration effectively wipes out using it as a source to back up the right to sue in a state court.

The 1,100-word release, a series of questions and answers on the bill, stresses that the law doesn’t prohibit private employers from adopting non-discrimination practices and that it creates a uniform standard across the state.

eleven Democrats in the House helped the law pass in an 82-26 vote. Protests continue against the law as well. After passage, a handful of demonstrators were arrested at a rally outside the Executive Mansion and local demonstrations continued in several towns.

But the release did not include an explanation of the change in an employee’s right to sue for discrimination in state court. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit, multiple corporations and city governments have threatened to boycott the state, the White House has called the law “mean spirited” and the state’s own Attorney General Roy Cooper has refused to defend the law in court. (Note: Cooper, a Democrat, is running

HB2 is catastrophic for all North Carolinians, not only those discriminated against by their employers. For a state that loves to talk about growth, North Carolina is doing all that it can to turn off the very people it is, or at least should be, trying to attract. HB2 or House Bill 2 should be known as Hate Bill 2.

One little sentence undoes that. The law took effect immediately after Gov. Pat McCrory signed it the same night. Over the following weekend, as negative reaction to the new law built, more of the state’s major employee groups lined up in opposition to the bill. In response to the growing backlash, the McCrory administration launched an effort to get its take on the bill out, sending an email to all state employees and press releases from nearly every major state agency titled “Myth vs. Fact” on the new law.

against McCrory for Governor this year.)


While many have acknowledged that the state’s Senate Democrats walked out in protest during the rush proceedings (the law unanimously passed among Republicans in a 32-0 vote),

Phyllis Coley

Phyllis Coley CEO/Publisher | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



LGBTQ CHILDREN DESERVE OUR LOVE, SUPPORT, AND PROTECTION By Rob Thompson The week of March 21st, the North Carolina legislature passed and Governor McCrory signed a bill that sends a clear message to LGBTQ kids in our state, and the message is this: you are not worthy of our love and support and even basic legal protections. This is a message that these children have heard from bullies their entire lives and now our lawmakers have made it the official policy of our state. The public justification for House Bill 2 was to overturn a Charlotte ordinance that, among other discrimination protections, allowed transgender people to use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Legislators argued that the law was needed to protect women and girls from biological men from entering the ladies room. There is no data to support this concern. Over 200 cities across the country have ordinances similar to Charlotte’s and there have not been any reported problems. In fact, anyone with malicious intent entering a bathroom would have been prosecuted regardless of this law. A closer look at the data actually

indicates that transgender kids are the ones in need of protection. Fifty percent of transgender people have experienced sexual violence and bathrooms are one of the most likely places for transgender people to be physically or verbally assaulted. A national survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) found that 75 percent of transgender students feel unsafe at school and 59 percent of trans students have been denied access to restrooms consistent with their gender identity. Forty-one percent of transgender people have attempted suicide compared to just 4.6 percent of the rest of the population, according to a study by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In a recent presentation to the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, Dr. David Goldston of Duke University Medical School outlined the risk factors associated with youth suicide. Among them are a variety of factors related to how parents, peers, and society as a whole respond to LGBTQ youth, including bullying, social isolation, and parental rejection. Given these risk factors, it’s sad, but not surprising, that LGBTQ youth are more

likely to attempt suicide than other young people. Adolescence is already a time of tremendous transition. Grappling with sexual identity and gender identity adds to the insecurity and isolation many youth feel, because they often have to deal with the harmful reactions of their families, peers, teachers, and others in the community. I spoke with a friend of mine whose child is gender non-conforming about what this new law means to her. Here’s what she said: “My child has been hospitalized several times for suicidal ideation or talking about self-harm. His gender identity isn’t the issue; it’s how he’s treated by others as a result. He’s been consistently sent the message that he is ‘less than’ and that there is something fundamentally wrong with him. It’s not just other kids, but teachers and even mental health professionals. And now our legislators. This is a kid who is kind, smart, funny— honestly one of my favorite people in the world to have a conversation with. It breaks my heart that some part of himself might believe that this type of bullying is justified.” In addition to the bathroom-related provisions, House Bill 2 bans local governments from passing ordinances to protect LGBTQ people from employment discrimination. Since LGBTQ people are currently excluded

from the statewide anti-discrimination statute, this means that it is totally legal to fire or not hire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity everywhere in North Carolina. Once again, the message to LGBTQ children is clear: we don’t care if you end up being a scientist who cures cancer or an award-winning teacher—you don’t deserve the same protections all other children and citizens of this state are entitled to. During the legislature’s one-day session to pass this bill, there was a brief opportunity for the public to testify before the Senate Judiciary II Committee. Skye Thompson, a brave 15-year-old transgender youth, said to a room full of powerful legislators: “I’ve dealt with bullying my whole life and now I worry that my own state lawmakers are bullying me as well. I feel bullied by you guys.” Youth like Skye need our support, love, and protection, not reactionary laws that worsen the discrimination and bullying they already face. North Carolina, we are not this. We can do better. Rob Thompson is the Senior Policy and Communications Advisor at NC Child.          

AMERICAN DREAM HIJACKED BY HATRED By Mildred Robertson I thought about a Facebook post that compared the vitriolic Hitler with I am undone by the Republic front-runner Donald Trump. I times in which we shuddered at the comparison because live. it rang true. It occurred to me that this man, like Hitler may rise to power, fueled The other day as I lay by blind hatred and misdirected anger; a on a massage table hatred and anger that will surely result in the Masseuse said the the downfall of our nation if it is allowed muscles in my back to run rampant. were extraordinarily tight, and asked me what the source of I am undone by the times in which we my stress was. I chuckled to myself as I live. thought about my life and the times we live in. It appears to me that the entire nation is red-faced and belligerent, just like Donald I thought about my inbox full of political Trump. That is why he has been able to campaign propaganda, all asserting that gain traction, because so many look in his their respective candidate is the answer face and see themselves…even though to my prayers. None of them are. the majority of Americans are nothing like Trump…except for the hate. I thought about the nightly news and the ridiculous Republican campaign that is so America hated the Indians. Their sin… absurd it would be practically laughable, they stood between the European were it not so frightening. immigrants and the land that they wanted to claim as their own.


America hated the African. Why… to justify the injustice done to that mighty race by snatching its future from its shores, raping its women, emasculating its men, destroying its family structure, obliterating its culture, denying its humanity and building an empire upon the back of its labor.

racist, self-centered and miserable human beings who believe that the bounty this land has to offer is not enough to go around. We are being held hostage by a small group of powerful men who are manipulating the mindless masses to destroy opportunity for all except for the few of them.

America hated the Hispanics. Why… because they came and worked jobs Americans would not, took pay that Americans refused, and then had the audacity to attempt to reap the benefits of their labor by becoming a part of the American society.

And the masses do not even know that they will be left standing outside the gate with the Blacks, the Hispanics, the Asians and all others not born to privilege and wealth.You cannot reason with a man who has no reason.

I am dismayed that a performance by Beyonce elicits a nationwide backlash, but what appears to be the lifeless body of Sandra Bland hanging in a jail cell is not cause for alarm. Our nation has been hijacked, not by Blacks, or Hispanics or any other minority, but by a group of unthinking,


And so, I am stressed. I do not see an answer. I am undone by the times in which we live. Mildred Robertson is a Raleigh, NC-based management and communications professional with over 20 years of experience in public relations and institutional advancement.




Rep. Larry D. Hall By Rep. Larry D. Hall, Democratic Leader Republicans boasted in early March that they would call a special session to interfere with the City of Charlotte’s conduct of local business. It was publicized as an action to overturn a Charlotte restroom access ordinance, but in fact it was loaded with far reaching provisions that are destructive to labor, working families, minorities, and small businesses.  This new “law” facilitates statewide discrimination, prevents local governments from raising the minimum wage, eliminates citizens’ right to sue in state court for workplace discrimination, and overturns the will of local communities. On March 3, 2016, as the Democratic Leader of the N.C. House of Representatives, I called on House Speaker Tim Moore to be fiscally responsible and to stop yet another taking of local control.  The letter warned that a special session was not in the best interest of the state or the people of North Carolina, revealed the costly session as an election cycle fundraiser maneuver, and foreshadowed more unnecessary legal expenses with taxpayers footing the bill. “North Carolina is facing a number of

employment ordinances that encourage And the backlash is growing. HB2 higher worker wages, benefits, and could affect corporations considering leave policies. our state for upcoming events: ESPN and the summer X games, the NBA and DISCRIMINATION the 2017 All-Star Game, and the NCAA and the 2017 and 2018 tournaments.  HB2 legalizes discrimination and This unconstitutional law also imposes prohibits local governments from requirements on public schools which banning discrimination by private could affect federal education funding. businesses.  Businesses are now free to discriminate against citizens at will “It is a shame to do this to the people of without recourse.  Local governments North Carolina and it’s an insult to the cannot protect their citizens from democratic process.  Republican leaders discrimination by private businesses.  called a $42,000.00 per day special This new law eliminates your right session for Raleigh to overturn the will of to file a civil action in state court at local communities. Legislators had only 5 the local county courthouse.  Your minutes to read the bill and no time to only recourse is to travel to a city interact with our constituents to get their with a federal courthouse. An Equal response.  The Republican majority has Without transparency and extremely Employment Opportunity Commission misplaced priorities and the 72 members limited public input and despite the claim is more expensive and harder to that called the session should waive 2016 legislative session being only file in federal court.  As an employee, their pay for the $42,000.00 day.  This a month away, a $42,000 per day you have less rights and protections special session passed a bill that takes special session to hear the illusory today than you had the week of March money away from families by prohibiting House Bill 2 on March 23, 2016 21st.  Be clear, any law that undermines a local living wage and allows statewide was called.  Legislators were given the rights of one group can undermine discrimination.  Republicans did not call only five (5) minutes to read the the rights of everyone. this costly session to deliver healthcare to bill and constituents were denied 500,000 North Carolinians, or to increase any meaningful right to review as LEGAL RIGHTS education funding for our children, or to Republicans refused to post the bill protect our drinking water from coal ash on the website per standard operating This law leaves employees defenseless.  dumping, or to create more jobs.  They procedure.  It affects everyone –people of color, did not call a special session to find women, older workers, religious solutions.  They voted today for statewide Predictably there was no time for minorities, immigrants, and others that discrimination and a huge taking of local legislators to interact with our require anti-discrimination protections.  power by the government.” constituents.  The bill that encourages HB2 eliminates the right of employees -Democratic Leader Larry Hall, March statewide discrimination passed the to sue their employer in state court 23, 2016 Republican-controlled House and when fired for a discriminatory reason.  Republican-controlled Senate that day Mississippi and now North Carolina The $42,000 session did not solve a and the Governor signed it into law are the only states without a state law problem –people are still dying each hours later.  The whole process was to protect private employees from day due to Republican refusal to rushed through in less than ten (10) workplace discrimination based on expand Medicaid, teachers are still hours. race, religion, color, national origin, age, leaving the state, education funding or sex. has not been increased, tens of THE POWER GRAB AND thousands are still burdened by Voter MINIMUM WAGE ECONOMIC REPERCUSSIONS ID, districts are still gerrymandered, our working poor are still in poverty, House Bill 2 is a huge power grab by House Bill 2 damages our state’s and our middle-class continues to state government.  The law restricts business reputation and trashes the carry the weight of the tax breaks for local governments from raising wages “new” state brand.  There is national the wealthy.  North Carolina is now and from dictating job standards in outrage and a corporate backlash.  being compared with Mississippi and public contracts.  It prohibits cities continues to be surpassed by South from raising the minimum wage higher Companies already speaking out against HB2:  Apple, American Airlines, Carolina. than the state’s minimum wage, which Biogen, IBM, Facebook, RedHat, PayPal, is currently $7.25 per hour, and it Bayer, Dow, Google, Lowe’s, Merrill As foreshadowed, a federal lawsuit makes it harder to create jobs that Lynch, NCAA, NBA, NFL.  People are was filed on Monday, March 28, 2016 pay employees a living wage –a wage refusing to vacation in North Carolina challenging the House Bill 2. sufficient enough to cover the basics.  The law takes money away from middle which hurts our travel industry and a Rep. Larry Hall (District 29 – Durham) is the DemoHollywood movie producer has called class families by preventing them cratic Leader in the N.C. House of Representatives. He for a boycott from filming in the state. can be reached directly via email at or from being paid a living wage.  The law by phone at (919) 733-5872. prohibits local governments and local problems and we should be working to find solutions instead of interfering with Charlotte’s affairs.  Republican leaders are not calling a special session about jobs or education or healthcare or access to voting, they are debating calling a special session for how Charlotte’s elected local officials conduct Charlotte business.  It’s yet another state government attempt at taking local control and this price tag –just in day one—will cost taxpayers over $42,000.  Special sessions are costly and big government taking local power is costlier.” -Democratic Leader Larry Hall, March 3, 2016 | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE




DURHAM, NC - Teen Najee Reams was inducted on Sunday March 6, 2016 in the Top Teens of America (TTA) Durham Chapter, sponsored by Top Ladies of Distinction Inc. (TLOD) - Durham Chapter. He was pinned and presented certificates by TLOD President Lady Dr. Thelma B. Brown, Top Teens of America (TTA) President Teen Mya Reid and TTA Advisor Lady Carolyn Robinson. Teen Najee, a senior at Hillside High School in Durham NC, is the son of Alicia McNair. Picture (L-R): TTA Advisor Lady Carolyn Robinson, TLOD President Lady Dr. Thelma B. Brown, Teen Najee Reams and TTA President Teen Mya Reid.


CHAPEL HILL, NC - The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta (DST) Sorority, Inc. and the 2BeatHIV Project co-hosted “Red for Cure”: A Forum on Black Women and HIV Cure on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at the UNC Friday Center. The community-focused event provided a space for community members and researchers to openly address issues related to curing HIV among Black women, who are one of the most vulnerable populations for acquiring the virus. “Red for Cure” forum panel members from left to right: Niasha Fray, Dr. Kia Caldwell, Dr. Allison Mathews (forum moderator), Dr. Maya Corneille, and Dr. Bahby Banks. Having a discussion after the event are (l-r) Karen Brown, Dr. Erma Smith King (DST Physical and Mental Health Committee Co-Chair) and Wanda Wilkins.


CHELSEA CLINTON VISITS SHAW UNIVERSITY RALEIGH, NC – Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, met with Shaw University students, faculty, staff and alumni Sunday March 13th. Clinton hosted a round table discussion to talk about her mother’s campaign platform and how the upcoming presidential election is such a critical one for Americans. Among the topics addressed were student loan debt, the Affordable Care Act, reducing gun violence and choosing a new U.S. Supreme Court justice. During her 30-minute talk, Clinton described her mother as a “change maker” with a proven track record. She also took questions from the audience and shared Secretary Clinton’s solutions to problems relevant to college students, mainly student loan debt. Secretary Clinton proposes a cap of no more than 10 percent of a person’s salary and that loans should be forgiven after 20 years of work experience. Chelsea Clinton is pictured with Shaw University President Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy and with Shaw University students. “We appreciated Chelsea’s willingness to reinforce the importance of voting and provide meaningful answers to issues that impact our community.” Dubroy said. Clinton is the only child of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. She currently serves as the vice chair for the Clinton Foundation and was a special correspondent for NBC News. A graduate of both Stanford and Columbia universities, she is an advocate for women’s rights, AIDS research and global humanitarianism.


Pi Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. members. | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE






“2016 AND BEYOND” Noted Scholar and Attorney Anita Brown-Graham is Opening Session Featured Speaker positive change. This year the NC Black Summit is convening against the backdrop of a pending legislative session, questions about sustainable energy, clean environment and an election-cycle replete with issues of voter protection and ever-changing district lines. This year’s theme, 2016 And Beyond, provides a broad platform for elected officials and conference-goers to discuss equally broad issues facing the state. Following the first day’s organizational business meetings, the NC Black Summit goes into day-long sessions with dynamic speakers on issues ranging from economic development, public school performance, energy, environment, elections and the upcoming legislative session.

Richard Hooker

Anita Brown-Graham RALEIGH, NC - The Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials will hold its 11th annual North Carolina Black Summit on April 21-22, 2016 at the Hilton Garden Inn Crabtree Valley 3912 Arrow Drive in Raleigh. Each year more than 300 of North

Carolina’s leading black elected officials, advocates and community members gather to discuss issues and policy objectives. These discussions are meant to develop proactive solutions that participants can take to their communities and use to implement

The opening session featured speaker will be attorney and noted scholar Anita Brown-Graham. Brown-Graham joined North Carolina State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) as director in January 2007. She leads IEI’s efforts to create constructive spaces for North Carolina’s leaders to come together across differences in sector, region and perspective in pursuit of a single goal – North Carolina’s improved economic competitiveness. This work has created new economic opportunities in energy, manufacturing, and healthcare innovations, among other areas. Before joining the IEI team BrownGraham worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Government for 13 years, training state and local leaders on economic and community development strategies needed to revitalize distressed rural communities. She has written three books and many articles on the subjects. She previously served as law clerk to the Honorable William B. Shubb in the Eastern District of California and as business litigation counsel in a Sacramento, California law firm. Brown-Graham is a William C. Friday Fellow, American Marshall Fellow, and Eisenhower Fellow. She was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2001. The White House named her a Champion of Change in Civic Engagement in 2013, and the Triangle Business Journal named her a Woman in Business Awardee in 2014 for her policy leadership in the state. Among a variety of additional honors and recognitions, Brown-Graham earned an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and, after attending graduate school at LSU, she earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“We look forward to bringing together Black Elected Officials, community partners and those interested in public policy from across the state to participate in a conference focused on our collective future,” says Alliance President Richard Hooker. “This is an ambitious event but we also know that effective public policy-making requires us to have a foundation of reliable Much of the IEI’s recent policy and data and best-practices on a wide planning work has focused on North range of topics in order to achieve the Carolina’s infrastructure for future empowerment economic and education job creation and the impacts of opportunity.” The sessions throughout shifting demographics on our local the day will feature some of the state’s economies. Job creation and economic foremost policy leaders as well as nonprofit and private sector. 2016 AND BEYOND CONTINUES ON PAGE 12 | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



the willingness of so many others to come to the table and discuss with the elected and community leadership its goals for improving our state through smart and thoughtful development and environmental stewardship,” says Courtney Crowder, Executive Director of the Alliance. “It certainly is hard to plan for the future with no care for available drinking water, clean air and healthy land.”

a founding executive of the Alliance. The last few years have seen an uptick in lawsuits and federal intervention as a response to legislative drawn voting districts that have left many voting rights organizations and advocates concerns about voter disenfranchisement and access. State Senator Dan Blue, Jr. and House Democratic Leader Representative Larry Hall along with Legislative Black Caucus Chair Representative Garland Pierce will preview the upcoming legislative session during an afternoon town hall meeting. The keynote speaker for the annual banquet is yet to be confirmed. However former speakers have been some of the nation’s top African-American leaders in business and government.

Viola Harris development that bring opportunities accessible to the entire state has long been a part of the Alliance‘s work and interest of its members. Inordinately high unemployment and underemployment is an unfortunate but perpetual feature of many communities of color across this state. “There is so much more we can do at the local level with public private partnerships and out of the box thinking to solve this employment problem in our areas,” says Edgecombe County Commissioner Viola Harris who is also Vice-President of the Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials. “We can hear from and work with our universities and our large employers to bring local solutions to statewide problems.”

Courtney Crowder Public education has always been a permanent feature of the Black Summit policy discussion. This year, a panel discussion focused on addressing low-performing public schools is planned. Additionally, there will be a panel featuring nonprofit organizations working across communities to educate voters on changes to election law and voting maps that could impact the performance at the ballot box. “These are issues we can’t afford to lose sight of,” says Brad Thompson,

The opening session gives way to a wide variety of topics and thoughtleaders on tap for the policy-savvy assembly. Invited to participate on the energy and the environment panel discussions are organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund, the Environmental Justice Network and the A. Philip Randolph Institute which is several years into a community organizing partnership with the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. The energy utilities will also have a chance to provide input during these sessions as well. Duke Energy, PSNC and local energy cooperatives are all slated to participate in the Black Summit for the first time as speakers. “We are grateful for the long-time engagement of Duke Energy and for


Brad Thompson


Noteworthy speakers such as Congressman James “Jim” Clyburn, Governor Douglas Wilder, former NAACP President Kwesi Mfume, Reverend Al Sharpton, Radio One Founder Catherine L. Hughes, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and many others have been a part of the North Carolina Black Summit. “This is a critical year with the election of a president, a new US Senator for our state, state legislative and local elections galore. We have to inform the people of the issues so they can prepare to vote and to have their voices heard at all costs,” Thompson went on to say. For more information, visit www.ncbeoalliance. org

DUKE NAMES WEST CAMPUS QUAD IN HONOR OF JULIAN ABELE African-American Architect of Duke University’s Original Campus

JULIAN ABELE Architectural model, Duke University West Campus (courtesy Duke University Archives) another portrait was hung in the newly renovated Gothic Reading Room in Rubenstein Library, joining former Duke presidents, board chairs and university dignitaries, including historian John Hope Franklin. Further recognition of Abele was raised in the recent campus debates on racial issues. 

Portrait of Julian Abele (courtesy Duke University Archives) DURHAM, NC -- To recognize the contributions of Julian Abele, the AfricanAmerican architect of Duke University’s original campus, the university has named the main quadrangle encompassing the original academic and residential buildings Abele Quad and will take several other steps to make Abele’s role at Duke more prominent, President Richard H. Brodhead announced in March. The university’s Board of Trustees approved the naming at its February meeting. Abele, who in the 1920s was the chief designer of the Philadelphia architectural firm of Horace Trumbauer, played a central role in the creation of Duke’s

East and West Campuses and continued to contribute to the design of the growing campus until the 1950s. His contributions, however, weren’t widely known on campus until the mid-1980s, when Duke students and others brought attention to his role in the launch of the new university that was established in what was at the time North Carolina forest. Since then, Abele’s work at Duke has been recognized on campus and in national publications. In 1988, his portrait was placed in the lobby of the Allen Building, the university’s main administration building, and in 2015

Abele Quad goes from the steps leading up to Clocktower Quad to the steps leading up to Davison Quad, and Davison and Duke Hospital, 1930 (courtesy north to the Chapel Quad Duke University Archives)-1 -- the principal gathering space for celebrations, protests, concerts and ceremonies, in addition to being the busiest portion of West Campus. More than 30 buildings and spaces designed by Abele are now part of Abele Quad, including West Union and the Perkins and Rubenstein Libraries, which have undergone major renovations in recent years to transform his iconic Gothic designs into modern, state-of-the-art educational and gathering spaces. Also included is the Allen Building, the university’s main administration building and Abele’s last work that was completed after his death in View showing front of Library [Dated 1950. A marker designating Abele 1930-01-09 on back of photo] (courtesy Quad will be placed on the mostDuke University Archives) trafficked pathway at the center of the quad between the academic and architect designed the beauty of this residential sections. campus. Now, everyone who lives, works, studies and visits the heart of Duke’s “Julian Abele brought the idea of Duke campus will be reminded of Abele’s role University to life,” said Brodhead. “It is an astonishing fact that, in the deepest days of racial segregation, a black DUKE CONTINUES ON PAGE 14 | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE




Cameron Indoor Stadium construction (courtesy Duke University Archives)-1

Duke will also purchase the rights to the Odili Odita mural “Shadow and Light (for Julian Francis Abele)” and make it a permanent installation at the Nasher Museum of Art. The mural is currently a temporary installation at the Nasher that is scheduled to be removed in three years.

Aerial of Duke University Chapel (courtesy Duke University Archives)-1

Duke University Chapel construction (courtesy Duke University Archives)-1 in its creation.” Last fall, Brodhead appointed a committee, chaired by Executive Vice President Tallman Trask, to consider how the university might best recognize


Abele’s historic role at Duke. The 11-member committee included Durham architect Phil Freelon, lead architect of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.; Dean of Humanities Rick Powell; Nasher Museum director Sarah Schroth; University Archivist Valerie Gillispie; professor of art, art history and visual studies Annabel Wharton; Duke Chapel sexton Oscar Dantzler; trustee Michael Marsicano; and students Michael Norwalk, Keizra Mecklai, Alisha Hines and Seth Pearson. 

In addition to the designation Abele Quad, a plaque explaining the architect’s role in Duke -- and American -- history will be placed in Duke Chapel, the most celebrated of his designs, and his name and Trumbauer’s will be added to the cornerstone of the chapel.

Also based on the committee’s recommendations, the university will commission a biography of Abele, and fund the annual event celebrating African-American student achievement in his honor.

Sketch of Wallace Wade Stadium (courtesy Duke University Archives)-1 The committee reviewed the history of Abele’s contributions and consulted with surviving members of the Abele family to develop a comprehensive plan for the




The Power Of Documentary Films

The annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will take place is downtown Durham April 7th – 10th By Sherri Holmes DURHAM, NC - Documentary films are about more than just storytelling. They have the power to shift your perspective, change your focus, and give you an appreciation for a different point of view. Documentary filmmaker Margaret Byrne said: “It’s about understanding people on a deeper level. With a documentary film you can create a very immersive experience.” The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has achieved international acclaim and is held annually in Downtown Durham, NC. This year it will take place from April 7 – 10. People travel from around the world to attend this wonderful event which features almost 100 films. One of the films in the festival was directed by Roger Ross Williams, the first African American director to win an Academy Award. Williams said, “I didn’t realize that I was the first African American until after I had won. You would think that in over 80 years there would have been someone else. It was a great honor but it was shocking when it wasn’t acknowledged by the Academy.”

a result of issues in the Hollywood industry. “Look at me. After winning an Academy Award directors typically receive lots of offers from Hollywood. I didn’t receive anything.” Still, Williams appreciates the Academy’s response to the recent criticism. He said, “I applaud the Academy’s efforts. It’s great that they are leading the way in forcing Hollywood to become more diverse.” Williams also feels that it is important to not just wait for Hollywood to recognize the African American community. He admires the work of Ava DuVernay, who launched a film distribution company that is dedicated to supporting independent films by people of color and women filmmakers. Although Williams often develops films that address issues related to those of African descent, he doesn’t believe that he should limit his focus. Williams said,

“I think it is important that I can tell an array of stories and interests.” His film at Full Frame will be Life, Animated. It’s about an autistic boy who learns to communicate and relate to the world through Disney movies. Williams said, “I hope that everyone sees this film and experiences the brilliance of Owen and sees that people living with autism have so much to offer the world.”

(Photo: Marc Yankus)

Williams believes that the diversity problem at the Academy Awards is

This unprecedented film celebrates Dr. Maya Angelou by weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining civil rights moments. Co-Director Rita Coburn believes that it provides insight into an important piece of history and should be seen by all generations. She said, “Dr. Angelou traveled the world at a time when most people didn’t fly. She lived in Ghana. She interacted with Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King and Harlem Renaissance artists and writers. Her life was so well documented and open. Once you see the film, you get a sense of what that was like

Maya Angelou during that time. She lived such an amazing life. . .what she did extended throughout the world.”


Owen from Life, Animated

Roger Ross Williams


Williams appreciates film festivals that actively support people of color and set an example for Hollywood. The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival features several films that are by or about those of African descent.

This is a coming-of-age tale about three young black men who live in rural Bertie County, NC. The film weaves their stories together as they navigate unemployment, grief, violence, first love, fatherhood and difficult family relationships, all while trying to define their identities as adults. Director Margaret Byrne said, “I hope this film spurs a bigger conversation about mass incarceration, single motherhood, globalization and our rural communities. It is not just about poverty, it is about institutional racism and generational poverty.” FULL FRAME CONTINUES ON PAGE 17 | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE







Destini Riley

This film is about the search for two forgotten blues singers that takes place in Mississippi during the height of the American civil rights movement. According to filmmaker Benjamin Henin, “Two Trains Runnin’ describes an important but overlooked moment in America’s history, when the dynamics of race were temporarily reinvented and the country made gigantic leaps forward—or what appeared as such at the time. And it features some of the most amazing music you’ll ever hear.”



Since 2010, 288 laws regulating abortion providers have been passed by state legislatures. In 2016, the US Supreme Court will decide whether individual states may essentially outlaw abortion, (Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt). This film follows the “trapped” clinic workers and lawyers who are on the front lines of the battle to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women.


I, Destini is an animated documentary that explores the life of a young man grappling with the effects of having an incarcerated loved one. Each shot of the film, each written word, and each animated frame was born from a series of creative workshops between director Nicholas Pilarski and 15-year-old Destini Riley. From this collaboration was created an autobiographical film in which Destini explores issues relating to race, class, media, and over-policing in her community of Durham, NC.

This film is a deeply personal story about the fight for good jobs and safe parks in our nation’s capital. With unemployment exceeding 25 percent in D.C.’s Ward 8 during the Great Recession, nonprofit Washington Parks & People receives a $2.7 million stimulus grant to put long-term unemployed residents back to work through a new green job training program.

Tickets for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will go on sale, April 1, 2016 at 11am. If a show sells out, individuals may still be able to see a film by joining the Last Minute Line the day of the event. The festival also features several free events including outdoor movies, film panels and specialty programs. For more information visit www.


Sherri Holmes is the Director of the Triangle Friends of African American Arts. She can be reached through the website, www. africanamericanarts. org.

AN EVENING OF HOPE FOR SICKLE CELL DISEASE DURHAM, NC - Bridges Pointe, Inc., the official sickle cell agency of the Triangle, is celebrating its 20th year anniversary. Volunteers and supporters are sponsoring the 15th Annual Evening of Hope fundraising event on Saturday, April 16, 2016, 6 pm-10 pm at Durham’s Millennium Hotel. The theme of the event is “Sickle Cell Lives Matter.” Bridges Pointe’s is commemorating partnerships with the Triangle community on behalf of individuals living with sickle cell disease. Proceeds from the Evening of Hope are the major source of funding for all programming in the upcoming year. In addition, this year Bridges Point, Inc. is honored to be joined in their efforts by Durham native and international jazz artist Eve Cornelious, designated spokesperson and Honorary Chair (www.

Eve Cornelius

support system. Bridges Pointe, Inc. History Bridges Pointe, Inc., originally named the Bridges Housing Corporation, was organized in 1996 by staff and volunteers affiliated with the Duke Ceasar Sant Comprehensive Sickle cell disease is a group of related Sickle Cell disorders that affect red blood cells. Center. The It is genetic, which means that it is late Dr. George Bridges Pointe Apartments, the first housing program passed from the mother and/or father to C. Phillips was in the United States to be developed specifically for their child. Sickle cell disease causes the visionary individuals with Sickle Cell Disease. (Submitted Photo) red blood cells to become shaped like of Bridges crescents or sickles and often become Pointe. A stuck in blood vessels causing pain and young hematologist, he had empathy for adults with sickle cell disease. serious medical problems. Sickle cell and understanding of the comprehensive disease is more common among African needs, medical and psychosocial, of the In a collaborative effort with Durham Americans and Hispanics but other young adults living with Sickle Cell Community Land Trustees and a variety groups of people are also affected. Disease. He often spoke of a “group of community agencies, the work began home” or residential treatment approach for the development of Bridges Pointe In the United States over 70,000 people to address the needs of young adults. His Apartments and a plan for services. have sickle cell disease. About 1,000 untimely death in July 1994 preceded babies are born with the disease each year steps to implementation. However, his Bridges opened a community-based in the U.S. The average life expectancy vision has lingered with his former cooffice in space donated by Southern Real in America for those who suffer from workers. Estate Company at Durham’s Lincoln this has improved but remains at Apartments. Bridges and Durham approximately 55 years. With the vision in mind, Evelyn Sanders Community Land Trustees established and Elaine Whitworth, both social a partnership and by the time the While there is currently no absolute workers, founded Bridges, a 501(3)(c) the apartments were completed in 2004, cure, those who suffer from this disease community-based nonprofit organization. housing was provided for eight sickle cell are able to lead productive lives. Like The vision came to fruition with the patients. Bridges Pointe Apartments was all patients with chronic disease, support of Dr. Wendell Rosse, who the first housing program in the United sickle cell patients are best managed founded the Duke Comprehensive Sickle in a comprehensive multi-disciplinary Cell Center. The initial goal was program of care and a strong extended to establish a residential service BRIDGES POINTE CONTINUES ON PAGE 20

The upcoming 2016 Evening of Hope promises to be both uplifting and entertaining. The elements of the evening will be ambience, good food and extraordinary entertainment by Forever More. Additionally there will Erica Smith on the flute and keyboard. The special guest and featured entertainment will be Caesar Sant, a six-year-old child prodigy. Despite three strokes and his complications from sickle cell disease, Sant is a superb violinist. A local celebrity in the Piedmont, he has been featured in a National Geographic documentary and can be seen on YouTube. The severity of his disease makes him a candidate for a life-saving, bone marrow transplant at the cost of $500,000. Sickle Cell Disease and Trait


Community-Based Sickle Cell Initiative Group



BRIDGES POINTE CONTINUES States to be developed specifically for individuals with Sickle Cell Disease. Since 2004, the plan of the services evolved to embrace a broader vision and mission. That included, but was not limited to: • Staffing of Bridges has been patient volunteers and patients who have been compensated, short term when funds were available; • Patients have provided staff roles as tech support, administrative, health educator for a variety of program activities; • Mental health services for patients were made available through an arrangement with Southeastern Adult Day Health case management. On-going social support and referrals are provided through series of health and wellness workshops; • Housing has been maintained for six patients at Bridges Pointe, Inc. apartments for 12 years; • For most of the last twenty years, Bridges Pointe, Inc. has been in partnership with NCCU’s Health Education Department. In six annual threeday blood and bone marrow drives, the organization also provides sickle cell education to three hundred students in the at risk population; • The affiliation with Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA) has afforded opportunities to lobby for federal funding on Capitol Hill and afford a dozen patients training on advocacy each year; • Qualifying to become an affiliate chapter of SCDAA • Funding patient participation in the National Conference for SCDAA. Patient advocacy and leadership development focused on sickle cell disease and minority These forums offers opportunities for our triangle patient representatives to network with others from across the country in a collaborative effort to address issues related to this disease. Our patients voice in advocacy for federal funding for local and national programs that will benefit individuals affected with sickle cell disease throughout the USAPatients have been taught skills to advocate for improved quality of care in local health care resulting in a Day hospital for Sickle cell treatment at Duke.


The vision was to empower adults with sickle cell disease to master basic life skills by becoming more selfsufficient and productive. The mission of Bridges is to enhance the quality of their social and economic lives. Bridges accomplishments have addressed all these issues.

The Lay Volunteers

A core project of Bridges has been the Lay Volunteers. Originally a research project of the former Duke Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, an eight-hour curriculum was developed. It was designed to turn individuals, health professionals, and organizational reps from all segments of the community into educators. Accurate messages about sickle cell disease were spread in the community to combat years of myths and misinformation. Once hooked, volunteers have stayed for years giving back in time, talent and resources, where there was once benign neglect of the people with both trait and disease. Out of these trainees have come leadership and

Lay Volunteers membership of the Board of Directors, currently led by Matthew Jarmond and Alvin “Hap” Johnson.

depends on the generous donations of time, talents and financial resources from the triangle community for its existence. Please consider joining hands with Current Initiative Bridges in this worthwhile celebration Bridges Pointe, Inc. has now begun to and fundraising effort - get involved and reach a broader base of the community by lend a supportive and helping hand to engaging church congregations in their individuals living with sickle cell disease. Sickle Cell Awareness projects. From Tickets, Ads and Sponsorships are available. the pulpit on Sunday morning to health Contact persons for more information: Jean ministries, there are ongoing activities Toomer at 919-683-6351 or via email: jean. where sickle cell awareness is promoted; or Elaine Whitworth at at health fairs, blood drives, training, seminars, health tips or activities that 919-450-5683. #sicklecelllivesmatter! reach hundreds of parishioners. With no major funding source, Bridges

John A. Hunter, Sr. Scholarship Gala DINNER –DANCING – SILENT AUCTION Friday May 20, 2016 7 pm -12 am Ivy community center 4222 Fayetteville rd Durham, NC 27713 Sponsored by the durham chapter of Winston-salem state university national alumni association For more information, call 919-302-5899 or 919-484-2445 Email or


ART OF COOL FESTIVAL GEARS UP FOR THIRD YEAR Art of Cool partners with American Tobacco Campus as Title Sponsor, Announces More Up-And-Coming Talent to Lineup DURHAM, NC - Coming off of a strong sophomore year, The Art of Cool Festival is gearing up to present its third year festival May 6-8, 2016. The festival has announced American Tobacco Campus (ATC) as its title sponsor this year. ATC partnered with Art of Cool (AOC) as a title partner in its inaugural year.

The Art of Cool Festival has added some spectacular acts to the performance schedule. Anderson .Paak, fresh off his signing with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records, is set to perform on Friday, May 6th. Tennyson, noted as one of Okayplayer’s artists to watch in 2016 joins him, along with group j*davey, NC group The Hot At Nights, All Cows Eat Grass, and Donnie. The Art of Turntables will also perform at Motorco Friday, May 6th, and Jamla artists Rapsody, 9th Wonder, Heather Victoria and Khrysis will perform at the Pinhook Friday, May 6th.

“The American Tobacco Campus is proud to have supported Art of Cool since this vibrant festival first took root,” stated Jesica Averhart, Director of Community Partnerships and New Business Development at American Tobacco. Durham and the Triangle are bursting with talent, ideas and potential. We appreciate the way Art of Cool shines a spotlight on so much of what makes our community special.”

“We are thrilled to announce these additions to our schedule,” states co-founder Cicely Mitchell. “We’ve worked diligently to curate a lineup both millennial fans and traditionalists will enjoy.”

The Art of Cool Project is a 501(c)(3) jazz presenting non-profit organization that strives to cross artistic, economic and social boundaries to bring together a diverse mix of people, cultures, experiences and creativity.

The 2016 lineup includes the legendary Terence Blanchard headlining on Friday (May 6th, 2016) at the Carolina Theatre. This presentation is in partnership with The Sol Kitchen. Festival favorites Thundercat and Moonchild will reappear on this year’s lineup, and AOC favorite Kamasi Washington is also set to perform. The Internet, part of the Odd Future Records label, will headline at the Carolina Theatre on Saturday.

Other artists of mention include Nicholas Payton, Taylor McFerrin, Kendrick Scott, and JD Allen. The Supreme Sound Band, presented by Revive Music/Blue Note Records, will commandeer the PSI Theater for a two-night stand May 6-7, 2016. They will present artists from the record label including Derrick Hodge, Brandee Younger and Marcus Strickland.

The 2016 festival will focus not only on entertainment but also education. North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dr. Ira Wiggins and NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Lenora Helm Hammonds will kick off the entire festival on Friday, May 6th at The Carolina Theatre before Mr. Blanchard’s performance. Vocalist Charanee Wade will be the featured guest vocalist for NCCU’s opening presentation. NCCU will also host the official late night jazz jam sessions at Beyu Caffe on May 6th and 7th from 12 am – 2 am. Also kicking off the festival will be a showcase performance from our StArt of Cool All-Star Band. StArt of Cool is AOC CONTINUES ON PAGE 22 | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



ART OF COOL FESTIVAL 2016 LINEUP (DURHAM, NC || MAY 6-8, 2016) AOC’s jazz education program for 3rd - 8th grade Durham youth. 2016’s festival will also be a fundraiser for the StArt of Cool program. Etix will donate $1 to StArt of Cool for every festival ticket sold. 2016’s ticketing options have changed slightly from the previous two years. Patrons will be able to see all performances by purchasing a VIP ticket, or can purchase a la carte with the option of single headliner and club pass tickets. Single and All Access day passes are only


available under the VIP experience for 2016. “For 2016, we’ve carefully curated content to appeal to both the young and young-at-heart,” Mitchell explains. “We want Art of Cool to be that voice of new music that lets listeners fall in love with a new sound they may have not discovered on their own. We also want the community to learn more about our jazz education program, stArt of Cool, and see our kids shine as they kickoff the entire festival.” All tickets are now on sale. Patrons can purchase headliner tickets to see Terence Blanchard, Moonchild/The Internet via TicketMaster or Carolina Theatre Box Office. All other passes are available via eTix on the official festival website (





by Rhiannon Fionn

The state began testing well water near coal ash dumps following the 2014 Dan River coal ash spill when the N.C. General Assembly passed the Coal Ash Management Act, or CAMA.

“I’m fighting for my kids and my neighbors,” says a determined Amy Brown. Brown and hundreds of other North Carolina residents have been using only bottled water for the better part of a year now for cooking, drinking, hygiene and even for their pets. Like Brown, most of those residents live near impoundments of coal ash — the waste product created when coal is burned for electricity. Now residents are learning that the “do not drink” orders placed on their well water supplies have been lifted by state officials. That decision has provoked fear and confusion among residents and some experts about the safety of their water supply. “This news makes me feel like we’re not getting anywhere,” said Brown, before her voice wavered with emotion.

Duke Energy owns the coal ash dumps and began providing bottled water to residents under the CAMA rules after the well water test results were made public. A review of the relevant letters and public comments reveals both the state and company were aware of the test results for several weeks before residents were notified. Duke Energy maintains that it is not responsible for the contamination.

Photo credits: Down East Coal Ash Coalition

In April 2015, the state began notifying residents their water wells were contaminated, many with the carcinogen hexavalent chromium and vanadium, which is known to harm kidneys and affect blood pressure. Residents were issued the “do not drink” notices by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. Duke Energy’s coal ash impoundments were suspected as the cause of the contamination and the company was compelled by the state legislature to provide bottled water. But on March 7th, during a county commission meeting in rural Lee County, state officials announced most of the “do not drink” orders were being withdrawn. “The first I heard of it was when the media contacted me,” Brown said. Tom Reeder, the Assistant Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, is one of two state officials who spoke to the Lee County Commission. “Every major city in North Carolina has either [hexavalent chromium] or vanadium in it in levels above what people have been calling these ‘action levels’,” he testified. “That’s WinstonSalem, that’s Raleigh, that’s Asheville,

that’s Charlotte, that’s Greensboro, that’s Wilmington – every city we have this data for exceeds those levels.” Reeder claimed other major cities in the U.S. have hexavalent chromium and vanadium in their drinking water, purportedly from natural geological sources, and in some cases the levels present in drinking water were higher than those found near coal-ash sites in North Carolina. Following Reeder’s testimony, Commissioner Robert T. Reives berated him for not speaking specifically about the drinking water in his county and asked, “Why were we told not to drink the water?” “You’ll have to ask Dr. Williams that,” Reeder responded, referring to Dr. Randall Williams, the state health director. “I’m telling you from a

regulatory perspective, your water meets the requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act,” Reeder said.

State Health Director Randall Williams, MD, explained to the commission, on behalf of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), why its “do not drink” orders were being revoked: We realized that as you looked around the country … that at least with vanadium, there was no regulation. And while there was regulation for chromium, it didn’t specifically say hexavalent [chromium] VI; it did say that for the purposes of the EPA that chromium could be made up of only hexavalent [chromium] VI. Williams is an obstetrician and gynecologist, not a toxicologist, and he took his position with DHHS in July 2015, months after the “do not drink” orders were issued to residents. During his testimony, he noted that vanadium and chromium – though not hexavalent chromium – is found in vitamins.

Reives continued asking questions as Reeder walked away, throwing up his hands and saying, “I didn’t send the letters.” Environmental groups say that pointing out how municipal water is also contaminated doesn’t mean the state should withdraw public health protections It was only in the last 30 seconds of his from citizens using well water. 30-minute testimony that he stated that those who received “do not drink” orders “While the amounts of hexavalent under CAMA would be notified of the chromium detected in municipal water state’s revised decision. supplies in North Carolina are worrisome and show we do need state and federal Dr. Kenneth Rudo is a toxicologist who drinking water standards to catch up works with Williams in DHHS and is to the latest science, some of the levels one of the scientists who helped establish found in wells near Duke’s coal ash North Carolina’s hexavalent chromium sites have been much higher,” said Katie and vanadium health standards. In Hicks, Associate Director for Clean Water the past, he has publicly stated that for North Carolina. the human body reacts differently to WATER SAFETY CONTINUES ON PAGE 24 | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE


The state’s announcement comes in the middle of a month-long series of statewide public hearings regarding priority rankings for Duke Energy’s coal ash impoundments and three days after the Department of Environmental Quality issued 12 violation notices to the company for “unauthorized discharges of wastewater” near the company’s coal ash impoundments.

WATER SAFTEY CONTINUES hexavalent chromium and vanadium when consumed via water. Currently on leave, Rudo declined to comment for this article, instead referring me to Nancy Holt, an established expert on water quality and public health issues who is presently working with the Flint, Mich., community, and has worked with at least 30 other states during her 40-year career. She said: What’s happening in North Carolina is similar to what’s happening in Flint. The water is not safe to drink, even if it is in municipal water supplies – it’s not safe. What’s happening now is about politics. I have never known a state to withdraw ‘do not drink’ orders. The only thing that is important is protecting people, and the state of North Carolina has withdrawn that protection. It’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.

Duke Energy owns 14 coal plants in North Carolina and all of the coal ash dumps that are subject to North Carolina’s priority rankings. A site’s ranking determines how quickly, or if, a site will be excavated and the ash moved to a lined, monitored landfill.

State and Federal Standards U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act, established in 1974, does not include a standard for vanadium. The agency’s standard for total chromium is 100 micrograms per liter, twice what it was prior to 1991. “Total chromium” includes both hexavalent chromium (chromium VI) and chromium III; the first is a carcinogen, the second is needed by the human body to function properly. EPA’s standard for chromium is under review. The agency’s new standard is expected to be released in December 2016. Not only is it confusing that government lumps two types of chromium together – one harmful and one beneficial - but the standards for chromium can be different for groundwater, treated municipal drinking water and well water, and they can be different in each state. Following an investigation in the 1990s near a Pacific Gas and Electric plant — made famous by the movie “Erin Brockovich” — California established the nation’s first public health limit for hexavalent chromium at 0.02 micrograms per liter of drinking water. That standard was lowered to 0.01 micrograms in 2014. But a discovery of an exceedance of that standard only triggers a government warning to discontinue cooking with or drinking the water. In 2015, N.C. DHHS established a state public health screening level for hexavalent chromium at 0.07 micrograms per liter in drinking water – seven times California’s standard. In North Carolina, the groundwater standard for hexavalent chromium is 10 micrograms per liter.


It’s the state’s public health screening level that is being eliminated, and that is why the “do not drink” orders are being withdrawn. For this article, DHHS staff was asked which state or private sector toxicologists were involved in the state’s decision to revoke the “do not drink” orders. They did not respond to multiple requests.

Public Health at Risk In an email dated Feb. 16, 2015, a state health assessor for DHHS, Sandy Mort, MS, noted the state’s standards for chromium were “dated and no longer protective of public health.” She explained that hexavalent chromium poses “an unacceptable level of excess lifetime human cancer risk.” It’s that “dated” standard that North Carolina is apparently now reverting to. According to state emails obtained via public information requests from state agencies, DEQ and DHHS are acting against the advice of numerous employees – including scientists and public health experts. According to an article in The Salisbury Post, Rudo said: “Our rules require us to look at chemicals based on a one-in-amillion cancer risk.” Rudo has defended DHHS’ 0.07 public health screening level during public meetings and also when speaking privately to residents. At the meetings — and according to several residents who communicated with Rudo

— he has maintained that not only would he avoid drinking the contaminated well water but that he wouldn’t give it to a dog.

A “low priority” ranking would allow the company to cap the dumps with a synthetic cover, clay, and grass then leave it in place, despite evidence that groundwater is already contaminated near each site. The company will continue monitoring the groundwater near the coal ash dumps, whatever their priority ranking, and submit those reports to the state.

“The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services performed Health Risk Evaluations (HREs) on 360 wells pursuant to CAMA,” Alexandra Lefebvre, a public relations representative Unwelcome News for DHHS explained in an email. “Of these, 330 exceeded the screening levels for one or more constituent and the HRE Duke Energy public relations representative Paige Sheehan said the recommended that the water not be used company will continue delivering bottled for drinking or cooking.” water for the time being and that Duke had offered bottled water to provide According to Lefebvre, of those, 95 citizens with “peace of mind.” of the “do not drink” orders will stand either because their well water contained “[The state’s withdrawal of ‘do not drink’ hexavalent chromium, vanadium and orders] is certainly welcomed news to some other contaminant — like arsenic, well owners, but it’s terribly unfortunate cobalt, manganese, lead, or iron — or, the state took almost a year to give them their well water contains one of those certainty that their water is safe to drink,” other constituents but not hexavalent Sheehan wrote in an email. chromium or vanadium. In January 2016, DEQ’s Reeder reported to the N.C. Environmental Review Commission (ERC) that 424 North Carolina households were ordered to avoid their water. North Carolina’s decision to revoke its “do not drink” orders precedes a “Report on the Study of Standards and Health Screening Levels for Hexavalent Chromium and Vanadium” due on April 1, 2016, to the state’s ERC and the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services.


Amy Brown says the state’s decision to revoke her “do not drink” order is not welcome news. She does not have “peace of mind.” “How can I use this water after I was told a year ago that my water was unsafe? How can I erase a whole year of fearing my faucet?” Brown told me. Rhiannon Fionn is an independent investigative journalist and filmmaker in post-production on the documentary film “Coal Ash Chronicles.”  (Reprint permission granted by



Nixon and Ehrlichman could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Presidents Richard Nixon (l) and Ronald Reagan An article in Harper’s [magazine] reveals what most African-Americans already suspected; the drug war was designed to decimate the black community. Writing for Harper’s, Dan Baum states the following: At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We

I must have looked shocked. Ehrlichman just shrugged.Then he looked at his watch, handed me a signed copy of his steamy spy novel,The Company, and led me to the door. But three former Nixon aides say the quote just doesn’t sound like Ehrlichman, and if he did say it, he was mistaken. Erhlichman may have never said anything to suggest this, but Nixon himself was taped referring to the “little Negro bastards“ on welfare and stating that they “live like a bunch of dogs.” The former officials also noted that the Nixon administration established drug education and addiction treatment programs. While this is true, Nixon also signed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, which gave law enforcement the right to conduct “no-knock” searches, allowing them to enter premises without notifying occupants. This is presumably what Ehrlichman was referring to when he allegedly said the drug war gave authorities the license to “raid [the] homes” of black people and hippies. Fast forward to the 1990’s when the crack epidemic was at its height and Bill Clinton signed the crime bill that accelerated mass incarceration. Thousands of African-American men were caged so they could financially benefit private prison companies while also creating jobs and contracts for those who would build prisons and hire staff. Hence, African-American communities aren’t infested with drugs because we’re lazy or because we lack willpower. Our communities are drug infested because that’s the way our government wants it. Obviously, there’s a lot of money to be made in setting black people up to fail. | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



While most of the news reports covered the terrorist attacks in Belgium that killed more than 30, there was bombing in Nigeria six days before that killed 22.

Two female suicide bombers walked into a Maiduguri mosque on March 16th shortly after morning prayer and killed dozens of worshippers, BBC wrote. The first bomber struck inside the mosque, while the second blew herself up outside while people tried to flee the scene. BBC reported than another eighteen people were wounded in the attack. A statement from Nigeria’s army says all the wounded have been taken to a hospital in a nearby town. Eyewitnesses told the Associated Press, “We were just a few meters away from the mosque when a loud bang erupted and all we could see was dark smoke and bodies littered around.” Al Jazeera notes that while it’s unclear who is responsible for this attack, Maiduguri is the birthplace of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram. This is the same group that kidnapped thousands of Nigerian girls, killed some 20,000 people and displaced 2.3 million Nigerians since they started their violent campaign in 2009. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari told the BBC last December that Nigeria had “technically won the war” against Boko Haram. He said that the militant group could no longer mount

While most of the news reports covered the terrorist attacks in Belgium that killed more than 30, there was bombing in Nigeria on March 16th that killed 22. switching tactics. It now uses improvised explosive devices to attack the military and increasingly deploys children and women as suicide bombers to hit soft targets such as mosques. The group is also staging crossborder attacks in neighboring countries. Belatedly, there is now the realization that the group is a regional threat.

But as we’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, militants groups The attack took place shortly after worshippers with dedicated started their early morning prayers followers can sustain their violent campaigns for many years. Boko Haram, “conventional attacks” against security which is linked to the so-called Islamic forces or population centers. State, has continued to carry out suicide attacks in northern Nigeria and That may be true but it does not mean neighboring Cameroon. the conflict is over - far from it. The Nigerian army may have recaptured And as this latest attack in Maiduguri towns and villages that were controlled shows, the bombers are extremely by the Islamist militants but Boko difficult to stop. Haram still has bases and responded by





RALEIGH, NC - In its efforts to help small businesses succeed, The Support Center (TSC) is working on growing and enhancing its technical assistance, coaching and training programs. This effort will be led by Joe Battle, TSC’s new Business Services Director, who is also the owner of Success360i, a technical assistance and custom solutions agency that helps entrepreneurs succeed. An accomplished, forward-thinking executive with over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, account management, and IT, Joe Battle has achieved leadership success in multiple industries, including technology, consumer packaged goods, market research, and business services. He recently served as business counselor for the Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC). Prior to SBTDC, Joe was account executive at GXS, national sales manager at Graphik Dimensions, vice president of client services at IRI, product manager at Kayser-Roth, and brand assistant at Procter & Gamble. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA from Duke University. TSC’s technical assistance program aims to assist small business owner at all stages, from completing the loan application process to providing the right resources upon loan closing to help them succeed. TSC will also work with our existing borrowers to help them with any form of technical assistance or training on a range of topics, such as financial management or marketing.


CHAPEL HILL, NC - The Nineteenth Annual Community Dinner is Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 1 PM in the McDougle School Cafetorium, (900 Old Fayetteville Rd., Chapel Hill). The Community Dinner is a community building event, crossing economic, racial, religious and ethnic barriers and presenting a wealth of wonderful, culturally diverse food and entertainment from our own community. In 2014 The Community

Dinner was a winner of a National League of Cities Award for Cultural Diversity. Mildred “Mama Dip” Council, owner/ operator of Mama Dip’s Kitchen, will coordinate the menu and, along with the Carolina Inn, provide the Dinner’s main courses. In addition, many local restaurants and churches donate side dishes and desserts to complete the feast. This gives attendees the opportunity to taste food from our many community partners who contributed dishes, all in one place. Displays in the corridor leading to the Cafetorium offer information from groups partnering with the Dinner, explaining who they are and what they do to make our community a better place.

Community Dinner organizer Nerys Levy (l) and Mama Dip, owner of Mama Dip’s Restaurant and preparer of the main meal (Photo courtesy of

Again this year Orange County Solid Waste coordinates making the event a Zero Waste Community Event (95% composted or recycled) with all of our dinnerware made from compostable materials. This year’s entertainment will include the First Baptist Church Choir,

RALEIGH, NC - Margarett Herder-Hill is the new director of the University Writing Center. Herder-Hill earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Winston-Salem State University and a Master of Arts degree in English and African-American Literature from N.C. A&T State University. She brings to this position nearly six years of experience in HBCU writing centers and a passion for students. In addition, she is passionate about the sustainability and prosperity of HBCUs and HBCU writing centers. Herder-Hill is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.


DURHAM, NC - North Carolina Central University (NCCU) student Ezzard Pickett has been appointed to serve as senior vice president of the University of North Carolina Association of Student Governments (ASG). The ASG is a student organization designated to represent the interests of students in the deliberations of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Pickett, a sophomore political science major, is a member of the NCCU ROTC and also serves as student government association director of university affairs. In 2015, Pickett served as freshman class president. In this role, Pickett will facilitate discussion in the ASG General Assembly during conferences and work directly with campus liaisons of each institution to properly engage advocacy events and introduce new ASG initiatives. KidzNotes, the Bucket brothers, the Bouncing Bulldogs, the Paper Hand Puppet intervention—and more. The event, a 2014 winner of a National League of Cities Award in 2014, is sponsored by Orange County Department of Housing, Human Rights and Community Development, the Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, Strowd Roses Inc; Orange County

Public Libraries and the Paper Hand Puppet Intervention. Tickets are $3.00 for children aged 10 and under and $8.00 for adults. A large number of the tickets for the Dinner are distributed to people who might not otherwise be able to afford the ticket price. Community members are asked to volunteer and if possible help feed a family by making an online donation on our website www. For more information contact Nerys Levy at | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE


‘TELLING OUR STORIES OF HOME’ FESTIVAL EXPLORES MEANING OF ‘HOME’ FOR AFRICAN AND AFRICAN DIASPORA COMMUNITIES Free panels, workshops, films and performances will take place March 31-April 2 and April 6-8

The book “Help Me to Find My People” by former UNC-Chapel Hill history professor Heather Williams inspired professors Tanya Shields and Kathy Perkins to develop an event to engage with feminist discourses of home. (Photo by Alyssa LaFaro)

Chapel Hill, NC – A festival on March 31-April 2 and April 6-8 will bring national and international scholars, activists and performers to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus to discuss the meaning of home in African and African diaspora communities.

War, globalization, gentrification, environmental catastrophe and incarceration offer layered meanings of “home” for women across the globe. “Telling Our Stories of Home” will provide a platform for these women to engage in storytelling across national boundaries.

Participants will address the questions like: What is home in the lives of these women; How is home shaped by exile, incarceration, war, stress, anxiety or climate change; How do we belong to our homes, if our experiences have been erased, marginalized or misrepresented.

“Telling Our Stories of Home: Exploring and Celebrating Changing African and African Diaspora Communities” is the brainchild of two Carolina faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences – Tanya Shields, associate professor of women’s and gender studies, and Kathy Perkins, professor of dramatic art. They were awarded a Humanities in the Public Square grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the project.

Artists and scholars from countries as varied as India, Grenada, Brazil and Rwanda will participate in panel discussions, film discussions, workshops and performances. The inaugural reading of the play, “Torn Asunder,” based on the book “Help Me to Find My People” by former UNC faculty member Heather Andrea Williams, will be among the highlights. Events will primarily take place at The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

The festival is made possible through collaboration with community and campus partners including the Marian Cheek Jackson Center in Chapel Hill, the Durham Arts Council, the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, the Chancellor’s, Provost’s and Dean’s Offices, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the Center for Global Initiatives and others. For more information and a complete schedule, visit

DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. CO-HOSTS A SUCCESSFUL “RED FOR CURE” HIV FORUM CHAPEL HILL, NC - The Chapel HillCarrboro Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the 2BeatHIV Project co-hosted “Red for Cure”: A Forum on Black Women and HIV Cure on Saturday, February 27 at the UNC Friday Center. The community-focused event provided a space for community members and researchers to openly address issues related to curing HIV among Black women, who are one of the most vulnerable populations for acquiring the virus. The event featured a panel of UNC researchers including Dr. Kia Caldwell, Professor UNC-Chapel Hill; Dr. Maya Corneille, Professor NC A&T State University; Dr. Bahby Banks, Research and Evaluation Consultant; and Niasha

Panel members for “Red for Cure” Forum (left to right) are Niasha Fray, Dr. Kia Caldwell, Dr. Maya Corneille and Dr. Bahby Banks.


The event also focused on how community members could be involved in finding a cure for HIV. Dr. Allison Mathews asked, “What should the future of HIV cure look like in our communities?” An attendee responded, “Before we can reach a cure we need to increase access to healthcare, education, and involve men in discussions about women’s health.”

Members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Standing from left to right: Deborah Taylor, Danise Hicklen, Pandora Frazier, Deborah DeBourg-Brown, Jemma Boler, Dr. Allison Mathews (forum moderator), Dr. Erma Smith-King (Physical and Mental Health Committee Co-Chair), Ebony Sneed, Remisha Jones, Lorraine Erhunmwunsee, Erica Farrar, Sherry Smith, and Karen Brown; Kneeling from left to right: Patrice Smith (Physical and Mental Health Committee Chair) and LaShica Waters. Fray, MA, Doctoral Student, UNC Health Behavior. Approximately 45 attendees discussed issues related to Black Women and HIV cure research, including HIV-related stigmas, overcoming barriers to accessing health care, increasing educational opportunities, and increasing communication with women living with HIV. One of the most impactful topics to emerge from the discussion was about ways to combat HIV-related stigmas. One woman living with HIV stated,

“The issue is that we have support groups with HIV, but we do not have support groups for our loved ones to learn about support and the disease and how to protect themselves. How can I educate my sister to not be afraid if I can’t bring her into my support group?” To combat stigma, it is important to provide combined education and support for those living with HIV and their families to openly discuss the challenges related to HIV.


To date, researchers are working to improve community engagement, better understand the ethics of HIV cure clinical trials participation, and develop new medications to cure HIV. Dr. David Margolis, Director of the HIV Cure Center and Professor of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill is partnering with Glaxo Smith Kline to develop new scientific approaches to curing HIV. Currently people living with HIV can take medications to prevent them from passing the virus on to their sexual partner. Additionally, PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) can be taken on a daily basis to prevent HIV-negative individuals from acquiring the virus. Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill are global leaders in efforts to find a cure for HIV, yet the involvement of community leaders is also necessary to reach the goal of an HIV free society. To get involved in finding a cure for HIV, join the confidential discussion forums hosted on Contact Dr. Allison Mathews for more information about the 2BeatHIV Project at

THE GENERAL BAPTIST STATE CONVENTION DONATES $100,000 TO SHAW UNIVERSITY RALEIGH, NC – Shaw University’s Thomas J. Boyd Chapel has a new look thanks to a generous $100,000 gift from the General Baptist State Convention (GBSC). Updated lightning, restored wood beams and a completely new lobby are just a few of the Chapel’s renovations made possible with the gift. The Chapel also received new glass doors, new carpeting, fresh paint, upgraded restrooms, and a brand new drum set, sound system and keyboard/organ.

University was first dedicated on June 15, 1948. The Chapel was completely renovated and rededicated on November 21, 1993. The renovation was made possible because of funds donated by Dr. Thomas J. Boyd, a 1948 Shaw graduate for whom the chapel was subsequently named. Two years after Shaw University was founded in 1865 by Dr. Henry Martin Tupper, the GBSC diligently raised funds to assist with the school’s operations. Since then, the GBSC has continued its philanthropic support of Shaw, through scholarships and donations.

“The renovations to the Thomas J. Boyd Chapel allow us to continue to serve as an educational sanctuary for Shaw’s students, staff and community where their religious and spiritual commitment can be enhanced and uplifted,” said Shaw University President Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy. “We are eternally grateful to the General Baptist State Convention for their unwavering and long-standing support of our institution.”

In addition to its financial support, the GBSC and its members have given their time and talents to the University, by recruiting students to Shaw and its Divinity School and serving as speakers for a variety of Chapel and Divinity School events.

Shaw University’s Thomas J. Boyd Chapel

The Thomas J. Boyd Chapel at Shaw

FALCONS: AT&T’S ELITE 10 RALEIGH, NC - When an employer interviews numerous college students for an internship, he or she looks for a candidate who is the right fit for their company. However, what happens when an employer interviews 10 candidates and all candidates are exactly what their company wants? The only thing that makes sense— hire all 10. In December of 2015, ten Falcons were hired by AT&T’s Area Manager for Network Operations Mr. Robert Wilson to be part of the AT&T Operations Internship. The AT&T Operations Internship will provide each Falcon with the ins and outs of planning, designing, building and maintaining one of the largest networks in the world. The internship will also include challenging projects and the chance to work with multiple teams with different perspectives. Furthermore, they will interact with senior leaders and gain valuable insight as part of AT&T’s Executive Speaker Series. At the end of the internship, Falcons will have an opportunity to present their accomplishments to AT&T’s vice presidents and show the value their brought to the company. “The AT&T Operations Internship is a professional development opportunity for our scholars to gain practical hands-on experience,” said Dr. Cindy Register Love, director of the University’s Professional Development and Career Services. “In order for each scholar to be selected for the internship, they were engaged in a rigorous process of a “Brand Called YOU” to include resume and interview preparation, and dress for success etiquette.”

The Falcon Elite 10 are as follows: Beatrice Beaubrun Freshman, Business Major Sicklerville, NJ

Carneisha Cosby

Junior, Public Health Science Major Richmond,VA.

Ashley Crawford

Sophomore, Elementary Education Major Franklinton, NC

Kendrick Cunningham

Sophomore, Elementary Education Major Charlotte, NC

Tamiya Dortch

Junior, Political Science Major Goldsboro, NC

Stephen Gumbs

Junior, Exercise Science Major Hartford, Conn.

Kyrie Givens

Sophomore, Business Administration Major Washington, DC

Reshae Green

Junior, Theater Major Upper Marlboro, MD

Carlisa Maxwell

Sophomore, Psychology Major Charlotte, NC

Alexandria Saunders

Junior, Sport Management Major Baltimore, MD | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE




SAMANTHA’S INFINITE SOLUTIONS DIABETES & HAIR LOSS I am a beauty professional who frequently encounters what I think is a medical question. Does diabetes cause hair loss? Studies show that there is a direct correlation between diabetes and hair loss. Hair is an appendage that reflects the body’s internal condition. Healthy hair is fed through the capillaries. Conditions such as type 1 diabetes (the body does not produce enough insulin - a hormone that converts sugar into energy) and type 2 diabetes (the body doesn’t utilize insulin effectively) elevate the blood glucose levels. This is because the hormone insulin is unable to transfer the sugar in the bloodstream to the cells to be stored or used as energy. High glucose levels in the bloodstream prevent proper blood circulation to the roots and the follicles of hair. The lack of oxygen and nutrients will cause the hair to become weak and/or it may even stop growing and lose the ability to be revitalized or regenerate itself. Women with diabetes are likely to experience hair loss because of a weaken immune system as well as malnourished roots and hair follicles due to a compromised circulatory system. For individuals living with diabetes there are things you can do to improve blood circulation and the health of the body’s

organs. They are: • Establish a routine exercise regimen. This will increase blood circulation because the blood vessels in our muscles expand; • Do not use tobacco products. The carbon monoxide ingested from tobacco products contributes to the buildup of plaque and fat by destroying the thin layer of cells in the blood vessels that allow the blood to circulate smoothly. While the nicotine sends stress signals to the brain, the fat stored in cells are released into the bloodstream for an extra boost of energy; • Alcohol should be consumed in very moderate If you want strong, silky, velvety soft strands of hair, contact the salon professionals at C’ameleon Infinite Salon Solutions. Samantha 919-599-6525 Fallon 919-308-1413

figs, raisins, pineapple, oranges, blackberries, etc. • Add Biotin supplements to your daily diet. They are known for promoting hair growth. Taking Biotin supplements will also increase blood circulation by helping to metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to help lower blood glucose levels. They are also food sources such as fish, soy beans, eggs and almonds that have significant amount of Biotin. For recommended daily intake of a Biotin supplement please consult your physician. amounts. Studies show that moderate consumption of alcohol will keep the fat in the blood balanced and in proportion. Please consult a physician on what would be moderate alcohol consumption for your height and weight. • Eat foods that contain vitamins C, E and potassium. These vitamins will help regulate blood and widen blood vessels increasing blood circulation. Some examples are asparagus, apricot, grapefruit, green peas, green leafy vegetables,

It the mission of C’ameleon Infinite Salon Solutions to provide the scalp and hair shaft of each of our guests with a healthy, growing environment. The salon professionals at C’ameleon Infinite Salon Solutions offer a therapeutic approach for rejuvenating or restoring the health of the scalp and hair shaft. We nourish the tresses of our guests with stimulating scalp massages with advanced hydrating formulas to instantly gratify guests with or without hair loss issues.

C’ameleon Infinite Salon Solution

1920 East Hwy 54, Suite #220 Durham, NC 27713 Phone: (919) 599-6525 Mention this column and receive a 15% discount on any hair service. Walk-ins welcome.

Samantha Huntley | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



WE CAN PREVENT KIDNEY FAILURE Kidney disease often has no symptoms until it is very advanced, so it can go unnoticed. Lifestyle changes can make a big difference in reducing one’s risk for developing kidney disease and early testing and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease and its complications. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure. African Americans and Kidney Disease Due to high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, African Americans have an increased risk of developing kidney failure. African Americans need to be aware of these risk factors and visit their doctor or clinic regularly to check their blood sugar, blood pressure, urine protein and kidney function. • African Americans suffer from kidney failure at a significantly higher rate than Caucasians - more than 3 times higher. • African Americans constitute more than 35% of all patients in the U.S. receiving dialysis for kidney failure, but only represent 13.2% of the overall U.S. population. • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in African Americans. African Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as Caucasians. Approximately 4.9 million African Americans over 20 years of age are living


Syphilis rates in North Carolina are highest since the year 2000, and state health officials are reminding citizens that regular screening is key to prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. The number of syphilis cases in North Carolina increased 40 percent from 2014 to 2015, with the highest number of cases in some of the state’s most populous counties: Cumberland, Durham, Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake.


link with heart attacks and strokes.

with either diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. The most common type of diabetes in African Americans is type 2 diabetes. The risk factors for this type of diabetes include: family history, impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes during pregnancy, hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, obesity and physical inactivity. African Americans with diabetes are more likely to develop complications of diabetes and to have greater disability from these complications than Caucasians. African Americans are also more likely to develop serious complications such as heart disease and strokes. High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure among African Americans, and remains the leading cause of death due to its

Symptoms of Kidney Disease Symptoms of kidney disease may vary for different people but include feeling tired, having less energy, loss of appetite, nausea, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, swelling of the legs, itching, and confusion. According to Dr. Crystal Tyson, a nephrologist and hypertension specialist at Duke University Medical Center, “The best way to protect your kidneys is to prevent or control high blood pressure and diabetes. Improve your diet by eating less salt and eating more vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts. Exercise regularly. Avoid frequent use of pain medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), BC powder and Goody’s powder as these medications can harm the kidneys.” Tyson

Kidney Disease Prevention • Keep blood

• • • • • • •

pressure below 140/90 mm/Hg, but check with your health care provider for your appropriate target. Take your medication as directed Lose weight if you’re overweight or obese Follow a healthy diet Lower salt in your diet Exercise Quit smoking Limit alcohol to 1 drink per day if you are a woman and 2 drinks per day if you are a man

If you have diabetes, take these steps, too: • Meet blood sugar targets as often as you can. • Have an A1c test at least twice a year, but ideally up to four times a year. An A1c test measures the average level of blood sugar over the past three months. ABC’s of Kidney Disease Always the right nutrition Be active and exercise regularly Check your blood pressure and aim to keep it below 140/90 mmHg. Health Tip is a message from Community Health Coalition, Inc. and is written in partnership with Central Carolina Black Nurses’ Council Inc., The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham and Vicinity, NC Mutual Life Insurance Company and Duke Regional Hospital.


Health Officials Urge Regular Screening, Early Treatment

The majority of syphilis cases are reported in males. In calendar year 2014, men made up 90 percent of those diagnosed, and of these new cases most were among men reporting sex with men. Those who are HIV positive are at highest risk of contracting syphilis. In 2014, 48 percent of males diagnosed with syphilis were co-infected with HIV.

“When a sexually transmitted disease goes untreated, it will lead to other issues,” said Evelyn Foust, head of the Communicable Disease Branch in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health. “In the case of syphilis we are seeing a rise in ocular syphilis, which may cause permanent loss of sight. We are urging individuals to be open with their healthcare provider about their sexual

health, and for providers to be diligent in proactively screening and educating their patients.” In January 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated a clinical advisory outlining a national increase in ocular syphilis, and diagnostic and treatment options. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, any patient who presents with classic features of syphilis, or who has had a recent sexual exposure to syphilis, should be treated without waiting for test results. “Delays in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular syphilis have resulted in significant consequences for patients, including permanent visual impairment and blindness,” said Victoria Mobley,


M.D., HIV/STD medical director for the Communicable Disease Branch. “Syphilis has not gone away, and it’s still as important as ever to practice safe sex and get tested regularly, not only to intervene early, but to limit the exposure of syphilis, HIV and other STDs to future partners.” People should be tested for all STDs if they have been sexually active with more than one partner or with a partner whose STD status is unknown. Syphilis and HIV tests are available at local health departments. For information about syphilis including signs and symptoms, testing sites, prevention and treatment options visit http://epi.ncpublichealth. info/cd/diseases/syphilis.html.



By Lawrence “King Law” Davis

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME Have you ever loved somebody (or something) so much that you would go to the end of the Earth and back for them (or it)? For me…that love is for the game of lacrosse. Lacrosse has always been a part of my life.

player while in college because of his athleticism, flair, and IQ of the game. He was my first true inspiration in the game, and to have a chance to meet him was amazing. After he addressed the group, we went back to our competition and next up was the fastest shot portion. I made it down to the last three and the first guy slipped and shot something ridiculously slow. It came down between me and my good friend growing up who was much bigger and stronger than I was.

Elementary Days

I started practicing in the 4th grade with a few of my friends but it was not until my 5th grade year that I really started playing lacrosse competitively. When I first started playing, I had a coach named Mark Vignola that shared a book with me that really opened my eyes to the game. I grew up a huge football fan coming from a football family. The new gift from my coach was a history lesson on the first all-black lacrosse team, starring NFL legend Jim Brown. I did not know about any black people playing the sport other than the few that were on my team due to the fact that my Pop Warner football team was sent to play lacrosse. When I realized that Jim Brown was better at lacrosse than football, but there was not a pro lacrosse organization until the mid-90’s so he could not go but so far playing the game.

Middle School

I went to a school that was 6th - 12th grade and I got influenced by some of the older kids in the neighborhood to go in the wrong path. I constantly got in fights with classmates and arguments with teachers and administrators. My mother had to come to the school on numerous occasions to talk to the principal. There was talk about me going to an alternative school after I got a bad reputation through the first couple of years of middle school. I still continued to play lacrosse throughout this time, but baseball was my main focus. In the summer leading to my 8th grade, I was invited to a lacrosse camp at East Chapel Hill High School.

Myles Jones is the future of lacrosse. Late last month, he was the No. 1 pick in the Major League Lacrosse college draft. The Atlanta Blaze, an MLL expansion team that will begin play this spring, made Jones their first-ever selection—the instant face of the franchise and, to an extent, the league. (Photo: Lawrence Davis) I had a chance to work out with their varsity team and coaches, along with some of the best 100 players in the area. The camp was a week long, and by the end of the week, I had opened some eyes. The last day was a fun and competitive kind of day. We were told that a well-known college lacrosse player was coming to hang out with us for the day, but I did not give that any attention. This day was all about skill competitions. We had to see who was the fastest, who had the fastest shot, and who the most accurate shooter was. I did not win the races to be the fastest person. In between the skill show, we were instructed to come to the other side of the park where we practiced in order to sit and listen to our special guest. When I walked over and sat down, I saw Kyle Harrison standing with our instructors. Kyle Harrison was an All-American at John Hopkins

University and was really the first famous African-American lacrosse player. He went on to play lacrosse professionally and is still playing today in the Major Lacrosse League (MLL). Harrison was a very dominant

The prize for winning this part was a brand new pair of shiny red Warrior Mac Daddy gloves that I really had my eye on for a while. I was walking up to shoot, feeling skeptical of myself because I knew my friend could shoot much faster than I could. I got up to the line to shoot from and picked my ball up. I walked back to get a little running room to gain momentum. As I’m backing up, I hear Harrison yelling “You got it, bud. Just sting the back of the net.” I ran up and shot with more confidence, but I only registered a 67 mph effort. My friend steps up and steps in to what looks like is about to SPORTS CONTINUES ON PAGE 34

Harrison | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



the JV game late and when my mom arrived and did not see me on the field, she panicked. She harassed Damien, the coaches, and the parents to figure out what happened to me. No one knew. Damien finally gave in during the fourth quarter to tell her that I was called up this morning. Around the same time, the varsity team showed up to the stadium and my mom saw me walking in and had the biggest smile.

be one of his harder shots he has ever taken. I did not even want to watch so I turned around and looked away. I heard people cheering and jumping in the back. The coach screams out “78 mph, we have a winner!” Next thing I know, people are hugging me and giving me high-fives. I was so confused. My friend had a faster shot but he missed the goal so I won by default. I finally got the gloves I wanted for a long time. As I am practicing on a goal on the side of the field to work on my accuracy for the last part, Kyle Harrison and another couple of coaches come over to me. Harrison presented me with a helmet and shoulder pads to help me get started since I usually just borrowed my friend’s equipment to play. I was blown away by this act of generosity. He encouraged me to keep playing and to keep working hard.

High School

Moving into my freshman year in high school, I was very confident and experienced for a first year guy. I spent two games on JV, breaking the school groundball record in my second game in high school. The next day at school, my coach hands me a varsity jersey and helmets and tells me I am moving up for the night. We had a game that night and one of our key defenders went down with an injury in the game the previous night. All of my friends knew but I begged them not to tell my parents because I wanted to surprise them when they got to the game. My mom came to the game with my best friend Damien. They came to


That game was my breakout game. I had a great game versus a top ten team in the state while we pulled an upset. I ended up getting hurt on a freak play in the end of the game, but my point had been proven. My high school coach told me that I played one hell of a game and that I was permanently on varsity moving forward. I continued to bust my butt throughout high school, traveling up and down the east coast to play lacrosse with a club team. While playing up in Annapolis, Maryland, my club team had a game versus an all-black lacrosse team. The small team of 12-15 players was called Blax Lax. We beat them badly but at this moment, it wasn’t about the final score for me. The bigger picture was that we all played for the same team outside of lacrosse. My mom and Damien’s mom, Sharon Elliott-Bynum, spent their time during the game on the Black Lax sideline making sure they were hydrated and in between games making sure they were well taken care of. I ended up running in to the same team in another tournament and it was one of the cooler experiences in life to play against an all-black team.


Heading to High Point University after high school was almost ideal. The school was perfect, it had everything and more. I originally was going to Catawba College to play, but after I visited HPU, I fell in love. I went as an invited walk-on, which means I had to go through a try-out process. I made it, but then a defender transferred in so they gave the spot to him. The coaches invited me back to sit out the season and learn the system, then to join the next year. I quickly accepted the offer but as time went on, things changed. I was moving from being a player to being the team manager. I was upset with my change of roles and stopped caring as much. I started to focus less on lacrosse and more on the student part of college life. That ended up leading me to getting myself in

trouble a few times. I was quickly called in for a meeting to tell me I was being dismissed from the program for my actions off of the field. I was granted a release by the NCAA to transfer. I was headed to Guilford College to play along with a few of my childhood friends, but I saw a better offer to write and cover sports. Now Looking back at my experiences, I went through so much adversity. It was difficult to understand why I got myself in trouble or why things were happening in my life like they were. But now I am a more confident person because of it. I was able to build my leadership skills leading my high school team during my junior and senior year, along with other leadership camps and opportunities.

I work really hard to make a good impression on the younger players, because they need someone in their life they could look up to. I always had someone in my life to help and mentor me in order for me to be successful, so this is my way of giving back. It also gives me the chance to promote diversity through the game of lacrosse as well. Lacrosse is the fastest growing team sport in the world, which means it is becoming more diverse every day. It used to be considered a preppy, high-class sport. Now we are seeing more African-American players all over. The face of lacrosse right now is a guy at Duke named Myles Jones. He was the #1 pick in the MLL Draft this year and has broken several records while at Duke. He won two national championships in his first two years on campus.

The pain I felt when I got dismissed from HPU was devastating. Jones has embraced the Fortunately I was able to role of being the face of get a coaching gig being lacrosse as an Africanan assistant coach of a American male. He junior varsity lacrosse understands the stigma team at Sanderson High of being a black guy in School in Raleigh through a predominantly white a guy I played lacrosse sport. This is amazing with in a local summer to see because there are league. Once I got there so many little children and proved what I that look up to him like Jones knew, I was moved up people look up to Kobe to be a varsity assistant Bryant, LeBron James, and Tom Brady. coach. Being back in lacrosse was a Hampton University got the founder blessing, and I did not want to let this of the Blax Lax organization to come opportunity to grow get away from start a lacrosse team there. me. Now, Hampton is the first Historically The first season was rough, going Black College & University to have a 2-14 in our first year as a program. D-1 lacrosse program. Coach Lloyd The plethora of losses drove me Carter also played alongside Jim crazy, but at least it put me in drive. Brown on the club team at Morgan That same drive led me to spending State that was the first all-black team. countless hours learning how to be a Howard University is the only HBCU better coach, mentor, and leader. The women’s program to have lacrosse. second year was slightly better since Navy is being coached by a brother we finished 3-13. There was still a named Rick Sowell. The world is great deal of losses so there was still becoming more diverse and as the things to improve on. One thing that I world grows so will the game of took away from the season was that lacrosse. we have a team that wants to get better. I was then promoted to Head I am blessed to be in a position to Coach moving in to the third season. help spread diversity and watch the God blessed me to be in position so game grow in front of me. My work is that I can make a difference. So far far from over though. I plan on being we are 3-4 with at least nine schoolable to start working with kids under record broken and a promising second the high school age to help mentor half of the season coming up. them up through high school.

King Law

Lawrence “King Law” Davis III Lawrence “King Law” Davis is a Business Administration major and Asst. Varsity Lacrosse Coach at Sanderson High School in Raleigh. He can be reached at




Saturday, April 9, 10 am – 2 pm Durham County Main Library 300 North Roxboro Street Durham, NC

DURHAM, NC - The Durham Chapter of The Links Incorporated is working in conjunction with Durham Crisis Response Center (DCRC) to produce, “Let’s Work Together To Stop Domestic and Sexual Violence”, Saturday, April 9, 2016, 10:00 am2:00 pm, at the Durham County Public Library (300 N. Roxboro Street). Registration will begin at 9:30 am and lunch will be provided. This event is free to the public. “April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” says Kate Selby, Sexual Assault Advocate for DCRC. “During this month DCRC explores topics related to sexual assault, in order to educate the

at ways to safeguard ourselves while using technology and social media. The documentary, “Not Just Pictures” by Dr. Sharon Cooper, Forensic Pediatrician and Executive Producer, will be viewed and experts will be on hand to facilitate a discussion. The posting of photos without consent, especially those of children, is not a victimless crime and can have longlasting repercussions, as depicted in the video. “To our knowledge, this is the first showing of this video in Durham,” says Ms. Selby. Members from the Durham Police Department will also be on hand to share not only the type of problems such crimes have posed in our community, but the measures that can be taken to maximize safety in the cyber world. DCRC has worked with many clients who have experienced cyberstalking in intimate partner relationships. “We all use smart phones and social media to connect with friends and family and we don’t think about who

may be following our actions on the internet. We want people who are concerned for their safety to know how to protect themselves on the internet’” says Nana Asante, Legal Advocate with DCRC. “This includes people who

are trying to end a marital or dating relationship.” For further information, you may contact, DCRC at 919-403-9425 or www.durhamcrisisresponse. org and The Durham Chapter of The Links Incorporated at

The Durham (NC) Chapter of The Links, Inc., The Durham Crisis Response Center, & The Durham County Library Present

Dr. Sandra White-Olden community and to make our services known to those who might need our help.” “The Durham Chapter of The Links, Inc. is pleased to partner once again with DCRC to address another crucial issue regarding domestic and sexual violence in our community. We are committed to bringing this issue to the forefront and helping our community confront violence against women and children in a meaningful manner,” says Links member, Dr. Sandra WhiteOlden. “The event is free and open to the public.” With a highlight on Keeping Safe in the Cyber World, the workshop will have a dual focus, first, looking at the impact of sexually explicit images that are disseminated via the internet and secondly, how we all should look



Domestic Violence & Sexual Forum April 9, 2016 Durham Public Library 10am – 2pm Learn more about Violence Against Women & Children with The Durham Crisis Center and The Durham (NC) Chapter of The Links, Inc.

Lunch will be provided

In Partnership  with:   Community  Health  Coali+on,  Inc.   Durham  County  Women’s  Commission   To  report  Domes+c  Violence  and  obtain  informa+on  on  repor+ng  op+ons,  please  contact:   24  Hour  Crisis  Line  919-­‐403-­‐6562 | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



25 MOST REDNECK CITIES IN NORTH CAROLINA In doing so, they found out that these are the 25 most redneck cities:

Photo: Google Maps What comes to mind when you think “redneck?” According to RoadSnacks. net, these are the 25 most redneck cities in North Carolina. The criteria they researched on the census, Yelp and Google Maps includes: •Small towns with least amount of high

school graduates •Number of bars per city •Number of mobile homes per capita •Number of tobacco stores per city •Number of fishing gear stores •Number of guns and ammo stores per capita •Number of Wal-mart, Bass Pro Shop and dollar stores nearby

The San Juan, Puerto Rico funeral director of Marin Funeral Home has been honoring families’ requests for nontraditional embalmments for their loved ones. Damaris Marin most recently helped a family honor Fernando de Jesús Díaz Beato, 26, by making him look alive and sitting him on a chair from his mother’s house at his funeral. Beato’s sister Lhizz Diaz Beato told BuzzFeed News the family wanted to remember Fernando as “happy” and “active” after he was shot and killed outside their home on March 3rd. Police have not yet determined a motive for the shooting. Marin told BuzzFeed she’s done nine other nontraditional funerals like Beato’s and that while she’s received criticism for it, “if that’s something that the family wants, why wouldn’t you do it?” BuzzFeed also reports Beato’s mother went from crying to being happier when she saw her son sitting upright in the chair at the funeral. She remarked that it looked like the “same son that he was,” Diaz Beato said.



1. Mocksville (No. 1 in gun, fishing and tobacco stores per capita) 2. Mooresville 3. Gastonia (No. 1 in Wal-mart’s per capita) 4. Aberdeen 5. Pineville 6. Asheboro 7. Lincolnton 8. Hendersonville 9. Monroe 10. Smithfield 11. Lumberton 12. Roxboro 13. Selma 14. Lexington 15. Bessemer City 16. Henderson 17. Hillsborough 18. Marion 19. Morehead City 20. Roanoke Rapids 21. Rockingham 22. Waynesville 23. Spring Lake 24. New Bern 25. Belmont



HILLSIDE HIGH SCHOOL INTERNATIONAL THEATRE DURHAM, NC – Hillside High School International Theatre, under the direction of Mr. Wendell Tabb, presented Fame: The Musical March 18th through March 20th. Set during the last years of New York City’s celebrated High School for the Performing Arts on 46th Street (1980-1984), Fame: The Musical is the bittersweet, but ultimately inspiring story of a diverse group of students as they commit to four years of grueling artistic and academic work. With candor, humor and insight, the show explores the issues that confront many young people today: issues of prejudice, identity, self-worth, literacy and perseverance. With its contemporary pop-score featuring the hit song, Fame, this was the ideal musical to close out Hillside High School’s International Theatre department’s season of plays.

Wendell Tabb

Photography courtesy of CenturyFX Media Devyn Edwards, Photographer HILLSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONTINUES ON PAGE 38 | April 2016 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE








Spectacular Magazine - April 2016 online  

Anita Brown-Graham/NC Black Summit; Duke Campus Architect Julian Adele; NC Water Crisis; Art of Cool; Full Frame; For the Love of the Game;...

Spectacular Magazine - April 2016 online  

Anita Brown-Graham/NC Black Summit; Duke Campus Architect Julian Adele; NC Water Crisis; Art of Cool; Full Frame; For the Love of the Game;...