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May 2011


Brenda Blackmon Staying Strong in the Fight Against Lupus

Special Sections Focus on Health NJ African American Heritage Parade & Festival

Dr. Robert L. Johnson From Student to Dean at UMDNJ Best Kept Secrets The Message is in the Music

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Depression: What We Teach Our Children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 From Student to Dean: UMDNJ’s Robert L. Johnson. . . . . . . . 17 Dealing with Grief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 SPECIAL ADVERTORIAL SECTION


African American Heritage Parade Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 MONEY


Where Does Our Money Go? . . . . . . . 47 Higher Ground: Executives Named . . . 50

&also inside


My View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Area Students Compete in NAACP’s ACT-SO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Morehouse Honors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

In Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Fitness Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Parenting 101 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Gospel Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 In the Spirit & Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 The Way Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 The Last Word. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82


BKS Teams with YWCA and Uses Music to Fight Domestic Violence . . . . 65 Harlem 4 Japan Benefit concert . . . . . 73 GREEN

The State of U.S. Air Quality . . . . . . . . 79

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Roll Call for PC_April_11.qxd:Roll Call for PC Document.qxd 5/3/11 6:29 PM Page 1







he clergy organizations, churches, community businesses and institutions listed below have committed to the purchase of at least 50 magazines per month at $1.00 each (one-third of the cover price) or support this publication through the purchase of advertising. Find out more by calling 973-233-9200 or email rollcall@thepositivecommunitycom

Abyssinian B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Pastor

First AME Zion Church, Brooklyn, NY Dr. Darran H. Mitchell, Pastor

Mt. Pisgah B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Pastor

Antioch Baptist Church., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Robert M. Waterman, Pastor

First B.C. of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset NJ Rev. Dr. DeForest (Buster) Soaries, Pastor

Mt. Zion AME Church, Trenton, NJ Rev. J. Stanley Justice, Pastor

Archdiocese of New York Brother Tyrone Davis, Office of Black Ministry

First Baptist B.C. of Teaneck, NJ Rev. Marilyn Monroe Harris, Pastor

New Hope Baptist Church, Metuchen, NJ Rev. Dr. Donald L. Owens, Pastor

Berean B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Arlee Griffin Jr., Pastor

First Bethel Baptist Church, Newark, NJ H. Grady James III, Pastor

Bethany B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. David Hampton, Pastor

First Park Baptist Church, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Rufus McClendon, Jr., Pastor

New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Dr. Frances Mannin-Fontaine, Pastor

Bethany B.C., Newark, NJ. Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Pastor

Friendship Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. James A. Kilgore, Pastor

Beulah Bible Cathedral Church, Newark, NJ Gerald Lydell Dickson, Senior Pastor

General Baptist Convention, NJ Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell, President

Black Ministers Council of NJ Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, Exec. Director

Grace B. C., Mt. Vernon, NY Rev. Dr. Franklyn W. Richardson, Pastor

Calvary Baptist Church, Garfield, NJ Rev. Calvin McKinney, Pastor

Greater Allen Cathedral, Queens, NY Revs. Floyd and Elaine Flake, Co-Pastors

Canaan B. C. of Christ, Harlem, NY Rev. Thomas D. Johnson, Pastor

Greater New Hope Missionary B.C., NYC Rev. Joan J. Brightharp, Pastor

Childs Memorial COGIC, Harlem, NY Bishop Norman N. Quick, Pastor

Greater Zion Hill B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Frank J. Blackshear, Pastor

Christian Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY Rev. A.R. Barnard, Pastor

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) Lucille McEwen, President & CEO

Christian Love B.C., Irvington, NJ Rev. Ron Christian, Pastor Community B.C., Englewood, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor, Pastor Community Church of God, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Shirley B. Cathie., Pastor Emeritus Concord B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson, Pastor Convent Avenue Baptist Church, New York, NY Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Willams, Pastor

It Is Well Living Ministries, Clark, NJ Rev. Kahlil Carmichael, Pastor Metropolitan B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Pastor Evening Star B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Washington Lundy, Pastor Mother A.M.E. Zion Church, Harlem Rev. Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith, Pastor Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church, Harlem, NY

Empire Missionary B.C., Convention NY Rev. Washington Lundy, President

Mt. Neboh Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie Green Jr., Pastor

Fellowship Missionary B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Kippie C. Brown, Pastor

Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Peekskill, NY Rev. Adolphus Lacey, Pastor

New Life Cathedral, Mt. Holly, NJ Rev. Eric Wallace, Pastor New Zion B.C., Elizabeth, NJ Rev. Kevin James White, Pastor Paradise B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Jethro James, Pastor Shiloh B.C., Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Gerald Lamont Thomas, Pastor St. Luke Baptist Church of Harlem, New York, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie McCann, Pastor

Businesses & Organizations

125th St. BID African American Heritage Parade African American Muslims for Interfaith Relationships (AAMIR) American Diabetes Association American Heart Association, Northern, NJ Carver Federal Savings Bank City National Bank Essex County College, NJ Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Inner City Broadcasting Medgar Evers College Mildred Crump, Newark City Council NAACP New Jersey* NAACP, NY State Conference* New Brunswick Theological Seminary

St Luke B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Kenneth D.R. Clayton, Pastor

New Jersey Performing Arts Center

St. Albans, NY COGIC Rev. Ben Monroe

New York Urban League

St. James AME Church, Newark, NJ Rev. William L. Watley, Pastor

Razac Products Co., Newark, NJ

St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, Pastor St. Paul Community B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. David K. Brawley, Pastor The Cathedral Int’l., Perth Amboy, NJ Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor

New York Theological Seminary Newark School of Theology Schomburg Center The Bozeman Law Firm The College of New Rochelle The United Way of Essex and West Hudson University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ WBGO-88.3FM WKMB-1070AM

The New Hope B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Joe Carter, Senior Pastor Thessalonia Worship Center, Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. Shellie Sampson, Pastor Union Baptist Temple,, Bridgeton, NJ Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Pastor


Walker Memorial B.C. Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr., Pastor

“The Positive Community magazine does outstanding work in promoting the good works of the Black Church. All churches and businesses should subscribe to and advertise in The Positive Community. Please support this magazine, the only one that features good news about the black community.”—Rev. Buster Soaries, General Baptist Revival, May 20, 2010



The Positive Community May 2011

May 2011 The Positive Community



“Unmask” Yourself to the Kids in Your Life: They Are Smarter Than You Think BY TERRIE WILLIAMS s adults, we do a pretty decent job of hiding our emotions when we are hurting—we wear the mask to let the world think we are o.k. In reality, for some, nothing could be further from the truth. It is easy to hide emotional turmoil from another adult because he or she will usually have their own issues to deal with—but kids are smart as whips and know when parents are going through something. Our kids grow up looking at everything we do, good and bad—and they learn from it. No matter how much you would like to protect your child from life’s difficulties, if you are depressed, addicted, not around a lot or violent—you are creating a direct legacy of pain. We always want to be the strong ones, the all-powerful and perfect ones. We do not want to admit our vulnerability or mistakes to our young. Kids are intuitive and miss nothing. So when a young person in your life says “Are you sad? Are you angry? Did you hurt yourself?” And you say “no”—it is at that point that we are unintentionally setting them up to hide emotions and suppress their feel-


ings. We are teaching them to lie, wear a “mask,” not deal with their emotions and to second guess their intuition—they ask because they sense something, yet they see that this most high person in their life just lied to them. Lastly and most critically, we are not providing them with the tools and coping mechanisms that we are supposed to provide them as the adults in their lives. Who else should they be getting this information from? We are supposed to tell our kids what we do when we falter—we must help them recognize the signs that we might exhibit if we are going through something. For example, tell them, “When I am sad, I may cry; it is a healthy thing to do because it means that I am releasing pain and/or disappointment. I may go for a walk or run, write in my journal, pray and ask God to order my steps, because I am not sure how I am going to get there and I may talk to my therapist or take medication to feel better.” And they will learn to trust you. Kids really are smarter than we think. Have you ever taken the time to view shows on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, etc.? Show content includes the trials and tribulations of divorcing parents, manipulation and teen sex. Children watch these shows; they know if you are keeping a secret or lying to them. Anyone can experience depression, regardless of race, gender or age—there are no barriers. Depression can rob individuals and their families of the joys of everyday life. It can even lead to suicide. It is important to recognize the signs of depression and to know how depression looks, sounds and feels. Prevention is a cure! Not recognizing the signs will create pain and confusion and hinder necessary treatment to enable healing….Healing starts with us! Dealing with people the way you really feel at any given moment—good, bad, or ugly—is not always an easy thing to do. Hiding and lying about unpleasant moods might seem like a way to avoid trouble, but it actually does more damage than simply being honest. The moment you stop pretending and playing a role from behind your mask, you open up the door, giving permission to others to follow suit. If we can get to the place where we show up as our genuine selves and let each other see who we really are, the awe-inspiring ripple effect will change the world. Terrie M. Williams is author of the critically acclaimed Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting, founder of The Terrie Williams Agency (est. 1988) and co-founder of the Stay Strong Foundation. For more information please visit,, and May 2011 The Positive Community



Rev. Nance is pastor of The Church by the Side of the Road in Passaic, NJ. She is also a radio talk show host and documentary filmmaker.


Happy Mother’s Day, Ma y mother was stunning. My mother was smart. My mother was remarkable. My mother, with a ninth grade education, studied the stock market, and invested in stocks with nothing more than sheer mother wit and wisdom beyond any academic setting. Am I prejudiced? In the immortal words of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin: “You betcha’!” Why would I not write for all of the world to see, the extraordinary gift God Himself gave me when He placed me in the womb of Marie Lewis, sired by my father, the late Wilton Lewis. My mom dragged me off to singing school when I was kid. And, at six or seven years old, I was the only African-American youngster attending that school, feeling very much alone. It was a prelude of situations to come where I found myself as the only woman, the only black, the first black or first female, et al. And, as the kids say, “It’s all good,” but so very, very lonely. Abraham Lincoln once said, “All that I am, all that I


My mother was 91 when she died. My dad was 87. Together, they lived a full life, a productive life, also, as surrogate parents to my many cousins who had a struggling mother at home and an absent father.


The Positive Community May 2011

hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” I would offer the same sentiments except to include my wonderful father in that equation as well. They provided yours truly, their only child, with a comfortable lifestyle by anybody’s standards, a Christian foundation, a proud work ethic, a love for family and an ability to see beyond color to get what I needed to get in this mean old world. I owe her...still. I owe him...still. When I was about to enroll at Drew University’s School of Advanced Religious Studies for my Master’s of Divinity degree, I was asked to write a composition about someone I admired. Naturally, I did mental gymnastics and went through the usual litany of famous people both black and white and then came back to my parents. I said in part, “My mother and father served God whether everybody was watching or nobody was watching.” And, that’s the truth. And, then they helped tremendously in being an extended family for my son and daughter. Today, I can proudly say my son is a detective and my daughter is a university professor. Like their mama, they owe their status in life to their grandparents who themselves paved the way for my kids and me. My mother was 91 when she died. My dad was 87. Together, they lived a full life, a productive life, also, as surrogate parents to my many cousins who had a struggling mother at home and an absent father. Yeah, I’m down with all the successful women of today making vast inroads into what was once virgin territory, but my mother outshines them all because she accomplished what she did without the benefit of a digital world, sundry opportunities at her disposal and a society that welcomed her in.

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Antoinette Ellis Williams, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies at New Jersey City University and Assistant Minister in Newark.

In Mama’s House, There is Still God f we were to believe popular culture and view the Madea character or Tasha Mack on The Game as endemic to black motherhood, we would be left with a loud mammy who is a negligent, self-absorbed, materialistic, ghetto woman leading our families. Of course we have glimpses of positive, loving, hard-working figures peppered in these stories, but sifting through the chaff of morose buffoonery is tedious at best and painful, gleaning little sustenance for our souls. Black communities, particularly churchgoers, fought hard to preserve and support these images and have asked us not to “hate” or engage in critical analysis. We are proud of the ability of Tyler Perry to employ actors and tell our stories. We are pleased that some of our black stars are “getting paid,” but at what cost to the rest of our community? Capitalism is not the driver I would like to be presenting black motherhood to this generation. My grandmother was a single mother in the 1930s; she was 26 years old upon the birth of her first child. She later married a man whom I never met, but by all accounts was an abusive “rolling stone.” So drama is a part of who we are but it is not the entire story. My grandmother spoke to us firmly with love, disciplined us without vulgarity, established clear expectations for us and built a strong hedge of protection from the ugliness in the world. With the birth of her children and grandchildren she sacrificed her wants for her family’s needs. In Mama’s house, there was still God. Black women as primary heads of households are not new. Patrick Moynihan in the late 1960s chastised the African American matriarchal family as “pathological” and the cause of almost every social anomaly of our community. Additionally, this domineering woman emasculated African American men according to many sociologists. Time has passed and the word “dysfunctional” or even worse has been attached to our female-headed families. Was Moynihan correct in his analysis of black families? What has happened to Mama’s house? Why do we laugh and skin our teeth at the negative figures? Are we simply escaping the pain in our lives, unable to face our truth? Perhaps the joke is on me and Madea and Tasha Mack are the “reality” of our families? Has God left our homes?



The Positive Community May 2011

The truth is, I do see mothers (biological, adopted, single, married, aunties, grandmothers, other mothers and yes, daddies) who are holding up the “bloodstained banner,” juggling their incredibly busy lives, (attending college, working, hosting play dates, after school activities, etc.) demanding more from their children with elegance and grace—and yes, “there is still God” in their homes. These women are not marketable and are not fought for by our “churchgoing” communities to appear in the media. They humbly and quietly do the most important business of mothering, without fanfare or lights. Return to Mama’s house where God lived, where Sweet Honey in the Rock sang that “there were no mirrors,” girls had to walk tall and wear slips. In Mama’s house, meals were prepared and served at home. Bills were paid on time and a savings account in everyone’s name was required to save for college or a house; she counted her pennies and remained out of debt. Young men who lived in Mama’s house got up early to work, find work or work to upkeep the house. Mama may not have been able to read, but she made you go to the library to take out a book and read out loud to her. Mama made sure you knew your Bible, reviewing memory verses before Sunday school class. She would sing “Blessed Assurance.” Children had a regular bedtime and came home when the street lights turned on, they said “yes, Ma’am” and respected their elders. Mama’s house was safe and open for strangers; love wafted through the air like baking cornbread. She did not make you feel bad when you made a mistake; her grace and kindness allowed you to know you were free and accepted. Mama’s house was a safe house along the Underground Railroad, a place to regroup, escape the vicissitudes of life, rest and prepare for the journey. Mama’s house made our families strong, able to withstand the assault against our roots. It was a place unwilling to absorb the carnal worldly pursuits of selfish desires or greed at the cost of the community. For Mother’s Day find your way to Mama’s house.

L–R: Rev. Lee A. Arrington, UMBA moderator & pastor of Paradise BC, NY; Rev. Dr. Betty Spencer, president UMBA; Rev. John L. Scott, associate minister, Union Baptist Church, NY, Associate Ministers Division; Rev. Dr. F. Timothy Horne, pastor, First Sharon Baptist Church, NY and vice president UMBA Congress of Christian Education; Lady Sandra Williams, corresponding secretary UMBA Ministers' Wives & Widows Auxiliary & Baptist Church, NYC

UMBA Quarterly Session Former Moderator Rev. Isaac B. Graham, pastor Macedonia Baptist Church, Harlem, NY; Rev. Chipolito, missionary from Malawi, South Africa; Rev. Dr. Joe Albert Bush, pastor Walker Memorial Baptist Church, Bronx and UMBA theme commissioner.


he Second Quarterly Session of the United Missionary Baptist Association officially convened Tuesday, April 12, 2011through Friday, April 15, 2011 at the Union Baptist Church located at 204 W. 145th Street, New York. Reverend Antonio Darnell An08MAR PosCommun 7-15x4-75 3/26/08 theme 7:27 AMforPage derson was host pastor. The association 20111 is "The Holy Spirit: God's Gift to the Church.”

L–R: Rev. Dr. Anthony Lowe, pastor Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Bronx, NY and UMBA 2nd vice moderator; Rev. Peter Wilson, pastor Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Mt. Vernon, NY and Rev. Lee A. Arrington, pastor Paradise BC NYC UMBA Moderator

The quarterly theme was "The Coming of the Holy Spirit.” Reverend Joe Albert Bush, theme commissioner and pastor of the Walker Memorial Baptist Church, Bronx, NY, was the opening (parent body) preacher. The United Missionary Baptist Association is comprised of 125 churches located in Manhattan, the Bronx and Westchester County.

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Palm Sunday at First AME Zion


n Palm Sunday, the historic First AME Zion Church at 54 McDougal Street in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn celebrated Ms. Sarah Raymond on the occasion of her 106th birthdy. Friends and family gathered to honor the congregation’s oldest member who is still hale and hearty and living every day as one who loves the Lord. L–R: Ray Savage stands next to the honoree, his Aunt Sarah, along with Rev. Dr. Daran H. Mitchell, senior pastor with his wife, First Lady and Associate Pastor Lynn Mitchell

The First AME Zion Inspirational Voices of Praise Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad

Young artist, Leon Tillman and the mural he painted in the church

Liturgical dancers, Sweet Feet of Glory


The Positive Community May 2011

Worship and Praise


P R E V E N T I O N , T R E AT M E N T & C U R E

From Student to Dean DR. RO BERT L. J O HNS O N TA KES TO P PO S T AT U MDNJ

he Newark-based University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is an institution of which both the city and the state can be justly proud. The nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university, it currently enrolls over 6,000 students attending its three medical schools, operates the state’s only dental school and accommodates over two million patient visits at its facilities in five cities. Last month, the school’s illustrious history began a new chapter when UNDMJ’s president recommended and Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Robert L. Johnson, MD, FAAP as the eighth dean of UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). An educator, clinician, researcher and administrator as well as the first alumnus of UMDNJ medical school to hold the post, Dr. Johnson was offered the permanent position after a nationwide search. He was formally welcomed to his new


By g.r. mattox

position earlier this month at a celebratory event which included remarks by William F. Owen, Jr., MD, president of UMDNJ, and Clement A. Price, Ph.D., Rutgers University. Dean Johnson’s address, entitled “A New Beginning,” unveiled his vision for the future of New Jersey’s first medical school, describing his plan for the first 100 days at the helm and emphasizing how faculty, students and staff play an integral role in advancing the mission areas of the school. Johnson, who lives in Orange, NJ with his wife Maxine, has been a part of NJMS for over 40 years. A member of Union Baptist Church, he serves as chair of the Deacon Board. He received his MD degree in 1972, did his residency at the old Martland Hospital and, after studying at New York University (NYU) for a couple of years, joined the faculty as an assistant professor of Pediatrics in 1976. Johnson rose through the ranks and for the past five and a half years served as interim dean. Fellow alumnus and current UMDNJ Board Chairman, Dr. Kevin M. Barry was one of many who studied under Dr. Johnson and praised his skills, welcoming him warmly to his new post: “Dean Johnson’s contributions to the community health and to the science of medicine are too numerous to mention,” he said in a statement, “New Jersey and the UMDNJ community are very fortunate to have him continue his leadership here at NJMS and we are looking forward to a great future.” As with many dedicated professionals, Johnson focused on being a doctor early in life. He recalled being about nine-years-old in Sunday school when he was asked what he wanted to be. “It stuck with me the rest of my life,” he said. After completing his undergraduate continued on page 81

May 2011 The Positive Community












AARP on the New Health Care Law: How it Impacts African Americans


n 2010, Congress enacted a new health care law which provides several new benefits to all Americans. Many of the benefits and protections in the new law are particularly critical to African Americans. Some of these changes you will see this year and others phase in over the next several years.  By knowing what’s in the law and when the different provisions take effect, you can take advantage of the changes for yourself and your family. The percentage of African Americans without health insurance is particularly high relative to whites and other ethnic groups according to statistics from the Census Bureau.  In fact, in 2009 one out of five African Americans were uninsured. An important provision in the new health care law provides funding to offer temporary health insurance to many who cannot get health insurance through other means.  This high-risk pool is officially known as the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), a first step to help people with pre-existing health conditions get the insurance coverage they need. Who is eligible for this coverage?  To be eligible for the PCIP or the high-risk pool in New Jersey, you must have been uninsured for six months, have a pre-existing condition, and be a United States citizen or national, or be lawfully present in the United States.  Individuals will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a lot of information available about this and other benefits of the health care law.  AARP’s website can be a great place to start: For information about the PCIP and high-risk insurance coverage in New Jersey called NJ Protect, we suggest either going to or calling 1-888-551-2130.


Top State Laws

Top State Laws That Could Enhance Your Quality of Life


Telemarketing Do-Not-Call Law: Thanks

to AARP, NJ has the strongest state law in the nation that stops unwanted telemarketing calls. Call 1-888-382-1222 or go to www. to register.


Identity Theft Prevention Act: AARP

led the effort to pass the strongest identity theft prevention law in the country. You can “freeze” your credit files at all three major credit bureaus, the best line of defense against identity theft. Call the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-242-5846 or go to


NJ Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry: The Rx Registry that AARP worked to achieve helps you find the lowest prescription drug prices in your area. Call the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-800242-5846 or go to


Energy Assistance: Help is available for families experiencing a temporary financial emergency. The Affordable Housing Alliance can help with grants up to $1,500 for moderate-income families who qualify. Go to or call 1-732-389-2204. If your service has already been shut off, call NJ SHARES: 1-866-657-4273. For other energy assistance programs, call 1-800-510-3102.


Independence, Dignity, and Choice in Long-Term Care Act: Championed by

AARP, this law provides options for home and community-based long-term care services. To learn more call your County Office on Aging at 1-877-222-3737.

The AARP New Jersey state office can provide bulk quantities of flyers and brochures for many of the programs described above. Call 1-866-542-8165 to order. AARP is nonpartisan and not-for-profit.

The Positive Community May 2011

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in honor ofofthose in honor thosewho whogave, gave,on on behalf behalf of of those who those whoreceived, received,and andwith with hope forfor those who continue to those who continue towait. wait. GetGet your family, your family,friends, friends,high highschool, school, college, hospital, college, hospital,house houseofofworship worship or company totoform company formand andenter enteraateam. team. Presented by:by: Presented

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simpleactact breathing wasn’t always hehesimple of of breathing wasn’t always easy for Newark resident E. Denise Peoples. easy for Newark resident E. Denise Peoples. Comedienne by vocation and accountant Comedienne by vocation and accountant by by trade,Denise Denisewas was diagnosed Idiopathic trade, diagnosed withwith Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis when she was 38 years Pulmonary Fibrosis when she was justjust 38 years old.Determined Determined keep living, at one point, old. to to keep living, at one point, she she performedininfront front audiences using an oxygen performed of of audiences using an oxygen tank,which whichshe she bedazzled with “gems.” Finally, tank, bedazzled with “gems.” Finally, onOctober October2,2,2006, 2006, received of life on sheshe received the the gift gift of life theform formofofa double a double lung transplant. Denise ininthe lung transplant. Denise wasone oneofofthethelucky lucky ones. many was ones. ForFor many the the gift gift will will never come…18 people die each day waiting never come…18 people die each day waiting for afor a transplant.With With over 1,000 African Americans transplant. over 1,000 African Americans on on the waiting list in New Jersey alone, the need is even the waiting list in New Jersey alone, the need is even greater amongst this population. greater amongst this population. Denisecontinues continues of lungs Denise to to putput herher newnew set set of lungs to to gooduse useserving serving a Donate Ambassador good as as a Donate LifeLife Ambassador andperforming performing local comedy clubs. These and at at local comedy clubs. These daysshe sheisisencouraging encouraging friends family days herher friends andand family to to comecelebrate celebratewith with as she participates in the come herher as she participates in the inauguralShare ShareNJNJ Walk/Run, in New inaugural 5K5K Walk/Run, JuneJune 12 in12New Providence.Denise Denise formed team “Breathin Providence. formed herher team “Breathin Ezy” in honor of the life-saving gift she Ezy” in honor of the life-saving gift she has has received.This Thisrace race special meaning for Denise received. hashas special meaning for Denise as funds raised directly benefit NJ Sharing Network, as funds raised directly benefit NJ Sharing Network, the non-profit organization that coordinates the non-profit organization that coordinates donationand andtransplantation transplantation nearly donation forfor the the nearly 5,0005,000 New Jersey residents in need of a life-saving New Jersey residents in need of a life-saving transplant. transplant. Formore moreinformation information to register asorgan an organ For or or to register as an and and tissuedonor, donor,visit visit tissue May 2011 The Positive Community


Echoes of Grief Conference Deals with Grief and Bereavement


Welcome to Rosedale Rosedale is a non-profit, non-sectarian Cemetery located in Montclair, Orange and West Orange, New Jersey. Burials: We are committed to preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of our grounds. Chapel: Graciously decorated, the Chapel is available for a variety of sacred services presided over by clergy of any faith. Webcasting: At Rosedale you can stream live, delayed, or recorded services from our chapel over the internet.

Tyrone Muhammed and assistant from Morticians That Care and Cotton Funeral Service Photos: Joe Allen

eath and dying are natural parts of the normal life cycle and inevitably occur in every life. These were the topics addressed at the “Normalizing Loss” conference held in April at Essex County College. The conference was sponsored by Echoes, Inc. and the Pathways to Healing Committee, a distinguished group of dedicated professionals who came together in the spirit of caring and compassion to host the important and informative conference Grief, death, loss and bereavement are difficult issues to face and often difficult to discuss, if discussed at all. In recent years, parents and families have been forced to come to grips with traumatic losses, particularly of boys and young men, based on circumstances seemingly beyond their control. Unfortunately, our communities as a whole are not healing appropriately from these losses and children especially need focused and intense guidance when faced with these issues. Presenters dealing with these subjects were Dr. Robin Eubanks, Rev. Dr. George Blackwell, Bishop Jethro James, Jack Ferrell from UMDNJ and Pamela McCalley of the Essex County Prosecutor’s office.

Eric Nixon, social worker, Newark Public School System and Beverly Henderson executive director, Echoes

Rev. Dr. George Blackwell and Dr. Robin Eubanks, UMDNJ

Crematorium Services: Our modern Crema- Scattering Area: Our hilltop scattering

torium and Columbarium prove Rosedale’s dedication to provide the finest facilities and service for every type of memorialization. Witnessing Room: The room was designed to permit families to privately observe the start of the cremation process. Indoor Columbarium: The Columbarium offers a beautiful, up-lifting setting for the inurnment of cremated remains. Outdoor Columbarium: This beautifully landscaped setting offers an attractive openair alternative to its indoor counterpart.

area is designed exclusively for cremated remains. It creates a comfortable environment to memorialize and remember deceased loved-ones. Urn Garden: Designed and cultivated for cremation burials, it is highlighted by warm sun; sculpted rose bushes and handsome bronzed memorial plaques.

Entrance: 408 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ Mailing Address: P.O. Box 728, Orange, NJ 07051 Phone: (973) 673-0127 Fax: (973) 673-8338 Web:


The Positive Community May 2011

We’ve been ranked in the top 5% nationwide for patient safety. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center is a recipient of the 2011 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ – one of only four hospitals in New Jersey and the only Bergen County hospital with this distinction. “If all hospitals performed at this level of distinction as Englewood Hospital and Medical Center approximately 174,358 patient safety events and 20,688 Medicare deaths could have been avoided…” – HealthGrades Our unwavering commitment to patient safety and top-quality care are recognized by many independent organizations that evaluate exceptional patient care standards. To learn more, visit “Awards & Accreditations” at

Congressional Ball for Congressman Payne


ongressman Donald Payne welcomed actor, Danny Glover, as his special guest at the Annual Congressional Ball on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at the Newark Club. US Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez were honorary chairs of the elegant event. Danny Glover has been a commanding presence in the entertainment industry for more than 30 years and also serves as UNICEF Ambassador. He has been a community activist and a fighter for student, worker and civil rights throughout his life.

L-R: New Jersey Congressman Donald M. Payne, NJIT President Robert Altenkirch, Rutgers Provost Steve Diner, Danny Glover and former Assemblyman William D. Payne.

L-R: East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser (center) and his wife Marilyn (left) join Michellene Davis, Esq., VP Government Relations, St. Barnabas Heathcare System at Congressman Payne's Annual Ball


The Positive Community May 2011

in collaboration with

CBC Health Braintrust

Honorary Co-Hosts: Congressman Donald M. Payne D-NJ Congresswoman Donna Christensen D-VI SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011 8:30am - 2:00pm The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Keynote Speaker

Dominique Wilkins NBA Hall of Fame

Oral Health Pavilion 50 12th Avenue Newark, NJ 07102




Blood Pressure


Navigating Health Care

Bone Density


Food for Life

Breast Cancer*


The Weight is Over


Prostate Cancer*

Holistic Wellness


Kidney Disease

The Workout Plan: Exercise 101

Blood Donations

Bone Marrow Drive

Better Habits, Better Life

*Pre-Registration Required for Prostate Cancer & Breast Cancer Screenings

To Register Visit or Call (973) 645-3213 REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 13th, 2011

Health & Clergy Leaders Meet



The Positive Community May 2011

Rev.Lester Taylor and Robert Garrett

Photos: Jean Wells

eaders in health and clergy met for lunch at the executive offices of Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) in Bergen County, NJ. The meeting was designed to create an open, ongoing dialogue about health issues and community-building strategies of mutual benefit. HUMC is the County’s largest private employer (over 8000). In addition to his role as president and CEO of HUMC, Robert “Bob” Garrett is a member of the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) national board of directors. He has also served as NJ state chair of the ADA. Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor is senior pastor of Englewood Community Baptist Church, Englewood, NJ. He is also 2nd vice president of the General Baptist Convention of NJ; and serves as moderator for the 51 church member North Jersey Missionary Baptist Association. In 2010, Dr. Taylor was appointed chairman of the music auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Dianne Aroh, EVP, chief Nursing and Patient Care office, HUMC

Kathleen Raines, administrative director, The Center for Health and Healing at HUMC












Q&A with La-Kisa Hines, Health Educator with UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

What does a Health Educator do?

Where do you typically present your topics?

A Health Educator focuses on health promotion and disease prevention. A Health Educator’s ultimate responsibility is to educate the community on how to improve their health and live healthier lives. This is done by designing, conducting and evaluating health education seminars throughout the communities we serve.

The presentations are conducted in numerous settings. You can find me throughout New Jersey in schools, daycare centers, community centers, health centers, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations.

What health topics do you offer?

Why does UnitedHealthcare Community Plan provide health education?

At this time, we are offering Asthma, Childhood Obesity, Cyber-bullying, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Lead Poisoning. I hope to add more to our list in the future.

Our mission is to help people live healthier lives. We are committed to making a positive impact in the communities we serve. Offering free health education workshops is a way to foster healthy communities.

What is the most requested health topic that you are asked to present and why?

What is UnitedHealthcare Community Plan?

There are 2 topics that are very popular. Many parents are interested in the Childhood Obesity presentation. The number of children diagnosed as obese has grown over the years. I have met many parents that are concerned for their children. Many of them seek more information and support to combat the problem. The other topic of interest is Cyber-bullying. The schools and youth programs have been very interested in the topic. The school administration has seen an increase in the incidents of cyber-bullying. My main point to the children about cyber-bullying is that it hurts people. I often tell them, “You shouldn’t do anything to someone that you wouldn’t want done to you.” The children appear to know that cyber-bullying is wrong but are sometimes overwhelmed by the fear of standing up to the bully.

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan is one of the largest Medicaid HMOs in New Jersey. We were previously known as AmeriChoice. Our plan offers both Medicaid and Medicare products. We have over 60 hospitals and over 10,000 physicians in our network. Currently we have approximately 360,000 members that we provide care for.

What is the difference between UnitedHealthcare Community Plan and UnitedHealthcare? UnitedHealthcare Community Plan offers Medicaid and Medicare products. UnitedHealthcare is our commercial plan which offers services to individuals and employers. May 2011 The Positive Community


Welcome to the Community. AmeriChoice® of New Jersey, Inc. is now UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. But changing our name hasn’t changed all the reasons New Jersey families choose us. You still get the same doctors, the same access to specialists, the same large network of hospitals. Changing our name to UnitedHealthcare Community Plan says you’re part of a bigger community, over 3.3 million members strong, all across the country. So, New Jersey families can be confident they’ll receive the same great care. Welcome to the Community. Call 1-866-322-1194 (TTY: 711) for information about UnitedHealthcare Community Plan.

is now

©2011 UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

NJ11-MC006 Pos Community Ad 8.5x11V1.indd 1

5/2/11 2:55 PM

Good News, Bad News

Brenda Blackmon and daughter Kelly

Brenda Blackmon on Lupus and Faith that Guides Her Journey


ews has been good to Brenda Blackmon and Brenda Blackmon has been good to the news. She’s been seen on WWOR-TV channel 9 in the New York/New Jersey area for more than twenty years now. Currently the anchor of the 11 o’clock news, Blackmon enters millions of homes each night and informs the public of the latest happenings—some good, some bad. But Blackmon is always there to lessen the blow and comfort viewers with her inimitable delivery and poise. But what happens when bad news comes calling? How does the unshakable anchor deal with a personal tragedy while holding things together both professionally and personally, for herself and her family? Blackmon walks in faith; and it was that faith and God’s grace that guided her on a journey no parent ever wants to take. Blackmon came out on the other side determined to help others, and on a spring morning after having attended sunrise service, shared her story with The

By R.L. Witter

Positive Community to shine a light on lupus and inspire people worldwide to have hope. Blackmon recalls an evening with her daughter, Kelly, as the first time that lupus caught her attention. “We were watching America’s Next Top Model,” she explained. “One of the finalists had lupus and I remember telling Kelly, ‘She’s not going to win because she has that disease. They’re not going to let her win.’” Later, Blackmon discovered that a close relative who had passed away after battling several seemingly different ailments for many years had suffered with lupus. “No one ever really talked about it,” she said. That revelation came only after lupus, an auto-immune disease, struck even closer to home. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. The immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. It most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with May 2011 The Positive Community


COVERSTORY periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years ages 15 to 35. It is also more common in those of non-European descent, with lupus being three times more common in African American women than white women. In a strange twist of fate, the second woman in Blackmon’s family to be diagnosed with lupus would be her daughter, Kelly. “I was in denial,” Blackmon reflected. “I thought, ‘my daughter is different, she’ll be okay.’” Blackmon’s daughter, Kelly, was studying several states away in Virginia. After multiple incidences of simply not feeling well with symptoms of fatigue, chronic aches and skin problems, Kelly’s roommate dialed Blackmon’s phone number and said, “Miss Brenda, Kelly’s really sick.” Blackmon dispatched her brother who lived near the campus to check in on Kelly and see what was going on with her. “I’m a southern mom so you don’t even send your child off to school unless you’ve got relatives nearby,” Blackmon said with a chuckle. After a few visits to different doctors and some misdiagnoses regarding Kelly’s skin condition, Blackmon’s motherly instincts told her it was time for her only child to come home. “She flew into Newark and came to meet me at my office,” Blackmon reminisced. “If I had gone to meet her at the airport I’m not sure I would have recognized my own daughter… Her skin was dark but she had that typical butterfly rash across her face.” Within three months, Kelly was formally diagnosed with lupus. But that was only the beginning. It was 2003 when Kelly was first diagnosed. After reviewing all of her symptoms and putting together the puzzle that would lead doctors to test for and agree upon a lupus diagnosis, the Blackmon family felt hopeful and empowered knowing the enemy they faced. Kelly returned to school, graduated and even got married; things were looking up. In 2005, she experienced her first hospitalization for the disease. “I remained in

Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. The immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. denial,” Blackmon admitted. “I looked at it like chicken pox and the other things kids get and said, ‘it’s no big deal. See, she was sick and now she’s better—like it was a really bad cold.’ It wasn’t until ‘the big one’ that reality set in.” One might say it was a precursor of things to come, but no one could have predicted or expected what happened next. Blackmon returned from a trip abroad in 2007 to a message from her son-in-law to come to the hospital. Kelly was in a coma. Lupus was no longer satisfied with the “flares” it had inflicted upon Kelly thus far. This time, the chronic disease came back with a vengeance and attacked Kelly’s organs, including her brain. She was found unconscious and rushed to the emergency room. Overnight, she slipped into a coma and was placed on life support. “No parent should ever have to go through something like that,” said Blackmon. As doctors and specialists examined Kelly and reviewed her condition, the prognosis was bleak. After 52 days in intensive care, the doctors said that it was time to disconnect the life support. None of them held out any hope for Kelly, they (the doctors) had all given up on her. Now Brenda had to face the reality that though she was Kelly’s mother, legally she must defer to the wishes of her son-in-law, Alphonso, and he was adamant.“No one’s going to take my wife away,” he declared. “I’m going to take her home and she is going to be okay.” He didn’t want to entertain any ideas of disconnecting Kelly’s life support. Meanwhile, the doctors were stymied and repeated their somber recommendation. Blackmon, however, had come up with a solution. It was actually quite simple. She did the one thing that came easily to her, the one thing that had always seen her through good times and tough times throughout her life… She prayed. Blackmon drew upon a lifetime of faith to see her through the most harrowing experi-

Blackmon with Pete Samaha, Ron Bailey and Ronald Mcdonald at McDonald’s Gospelfest 2010


The Positive Community May 2011

continued on next page

COVERSTORY BRENDA BLACKMON continued from previous page

ence of her life. “Faith is the only thing I had to hold onto and I knew it would be enough to get me through. I was unable to function but He kept me functioning— and you don’t know where the strength comes from except from Him…” She reflected on one of her favorite short spiritual sayings, “Time alone with God is precious.” So she put her faith in the Lord and even went a step further, offering her life for her daughter’s. “I sent up a prayer and said, ‘Take my life.’ You know, I’ve had a good life—‘Take my life for hers.’” Thankfully, Blackmon and her family had also enlisted the prayers of people all over the world, and God heard those prayers. To the disbelief of more than a dozen doctors who had written off Kelly’s case as hopeless, 24 hours after being told that it was time to disable the life support, Kelly opened her eyes. “She’s my miracle!” exclaimed Blackmon. While Kelly was no longer in imminent danger, she still had a long way to go. Upon awakening she could neither walk nor talk, which made things quite frustrating for her. She had suffered a traumatic brain injury and had no memory of being admitted to the hospital. To this day, she has no recollection of anything until six months after the coma, when she awoke in a rehabilitation facility. Blackmon chuckled as she recalled her daughter’s first words in rehab, words about a particular nurse whose efforts to get Kelly to talk were unrelenting, “She said, ‘Who is she and why is she here?’” No sweeter words had ever crossed Blackmon’s ears. Three years later, Kelly is in remission and doing well with minimal medication. Meanwhile, her mother has been busy, very busy. Blackmon still anchors the news each night and has founded and heads up The Kelly Fund for Lupus, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to support, serve and educate

“Faith is the only thing I had to hold onto and I knew it would be enough to get me through. I was unable to function but He kept me functioning—and you don’t know where the strength comes from except from Him…” “Time alone with God is precious.” —Brenda Blackmon both people with lupus and the general public. She also testified in an open Public Hearing of the ACC (Arthritis Advisory Committee) and told Kelly’s story in support of a new drug, Benlysta up for FDA approval. Benlysta is the first drug in 50 years to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of Lupus; Blackmon can be proud that whether they know it or not, her testimony will have helped lupus patients worldwide when they are prescribed the new drug. Seemingly finding more than 24 hours in each day, Blackmon has also authored a recently released book, A Mom’s Story, which is available at She’ll also reprise her role as co-host of McDonald’s Gospelfest in June and is looking forward to reconnecting with gospel artist Dr. Bobby Jones, whom she knew when she lived in Tennessee more than 20 years ago. “The millions of dollars in scholarships McDonald’s provides for young people through Gospelfest are truly amazing,” she remarked. The warmer weather will find Blackmon participating in walks to raise funds for lupus education and research, as well as speaking at churches and conferences about her experience with her daughter’s illness and how those experiences have changed her life and her path. In parting she remarked, “It’s become a message bigger than that; it’s become a message not only about lupus but also about faith. I think God takes us in directions we didn’t even know we were traveling in, but He knows more about our journeys than we do.” Amen, Miss Brenda and we wish you safe travels on your journey of education, faith, miracles and hope.

May 2011 The Positive Community


obert Wood Johnson University Hospital and The Cancer Institute E and,Rat the t Wood Johnson MedicalASchool,D removedVthe cancer urgical technique called a TRAM flap procedure to reconstruct her







Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Unveils New Gamma Knife Treatment Center

ce as a cancer survivor to support other women diagnosed with right team by your side, breast cancer isn’t the lonely nightmare obstacle as much as an opportunity to help others through the motherapy. Hospital is one of America’s best hospitals, where, what others RWJ now the only hospital in the Central New Jersey Region to offer Gamma Knife Perfexion — cine.

the most accurate and advanced generation of the technology

The Heart of Academic Medicine


ood Johnson Medical School FlagshipJohnson Hospital for The Cancer Institute (RWJUH) of New Jersey obert• Wood University Hospital enter for the Robert Wood Johnson Health System Network announced today thatand it now offers Gamma Knife

Perfexion, a non-invasive tool specifically designed to treat lesions and tumors in the brain and upper spinal cord , without harming healthy surrounding tissue. RWJUH, in partnership with UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is the only facility in the Central New Jersey Region to offer Gamma Knife Perfexion, which represents the most advanced and accurate generation of this technology. “We are extremely excited to be the first in central New Jersey to offer the newest generation of the Gamma Knife,” said David Fernandez, Vice President of the Cancer Hospital and Neuroscience Center at RWJUH. “We chose this technology because it is the gold standard tool to treat diseases of the brain, and it is being used collaboratively among our radiation oncologists and our neurosurgeons. As Gamma Knife surgical technology has evolved over the years, it has become significantly refined with advanced engineering in radiation physics, robotic controls and computerized treatment planning for the most precise and targeted treatments available today.” The treatment is offered at the new, state-of-the-art Gamma Knife Center at RWJUH, which was completed in early 2011. RWJUH’s Gamma Knife Center team includes a fellowship-trained radiosurgeon, neuro-focused radiation oncologists, a physicist and experienced nursing director. The Center was designed to house the latest Gamma Knife technology, with a special focus on patient convenience and comfort. The facility is located on the hospital campus on the first floor at 10 Plum Street in New Brunswick. Free parking is provided in a parking garage attached to the facility. For more information about the Gamma Knife Center at RWJUH, please visit As the principal teaching hospital for UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and flagship hospital for The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, R-W-J is home to the region’s widest range of neurosurgical and cancer treatment options. About half a million people have undergone Gamma Knife treatment, and it's the only radiation therapy system cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for irra-


The Positive Community May 2011

2/24/11 2:09:29 PM

Gamma Knife Perfexion can be used to treat a wide range of brain diseases and spinal conditions including:

Primary and metastatic brain tumors

Acoustic neuromas


Pituitary adenomas

Arteriovenous malformations (AVM)

Functional and pain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and trigeminal neuralgia.

diating brain metastases. Recent research published in the Journal of Neurosurgery found that Gamma Knife treatment proved less harmful to normal brain tissue surrounding brain tumors than other commonly used treatment options such as Cyberknife and Novalis. “Because Gamma Knife surgery is non-invasive, the procedure is done on an outpatient basis and offers many benefits over traditional surgery such as fewer side effects, no incisions, fewer potential complications, shorter treatment times and greater convenience for our patients,” explains Shabbar Danish, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Neurosurgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Director of The Gamma Knife Treatment Center and Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at RWJUH.

Deborah thought breast cancer would slow her down. team at RWJ hadslow different ideas. Deborah thoughtThe breast cancer would her down. The team at RWJ had different ideas.

Breast cancer runs in Deborah’s family, but it doesn’t run her life. To her it’s a treatable disease, not a life sentence. When faced with having a mastectomy after several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, Deborah looked to her daughter for guidance, her mother for inspiration and the combined academic RWJ right treatment to save her life. Breastcancer cancerteam runsfor inthe Deborah’s family, but it doesn’t run her life. To her it’s a treatable disease, not a life Genetic testing identifi the biological threadafter thatseveral joinedrounds motheroftochemotherapy daughter to granddaughter. sentence. When faced withedhaving a mastectomy and radiation, Yet, despite their to familiarity with for the guidance, disease, Deborah, like for other women diagnosed with breast cancer, Deborah looked her daughter her mother inspiration and the combined academic wondered she would nd the strengthtoto silence her fears about survival. Headed by her oncologist RWJ cancerifteam for the firight treatment save her life. Dr. Genetic Michael testing Nissenblatt, theedteam Robert Wood University Hospital and The Institute identifi the atbiological threadJohnson that joined mother to daughter to Cancer granddaughter. of Jersey, part of UMDNJ-Robert WoodDeborah, Johnson Medical the with cancer and,cancer, at the Yet,New despite their familiarity with the disease, like otherSchool, womenremoved diagnosed breast same time,ifperformed innovative surgical TRAM flap procedure her wondered she wouldanfind the strength to technique silence hercalled fears aabout survival. Headed to by reconstruct her oncologist breast by harvesting her own Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and The Cancer Institute Dr. Michael Nissenblatt, the team Today, Deborah uses her experienceWood as a cancer survivor supportremoved other women diagnosed of New Jersey, part of UMDNJ-Robert Johnson MedicaltoSchool, the cancer and, atwith the breast cancer to realizeanthat, with thesurgical right team by your side, breast cancer isn’t the tolonely nightmare same time, performed innovative technique called a TRAM flap procedure reconstruct her they For her, isn’t an obstacle as much as an opportunity to help others through the breastimagine. by harvesting her cancer own tissue. challenges surgery,uses radiation and chemotherapy. Today, of Deborah her experience as a cancer survivor to support other women diagnosed with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital oneyour of America’s hospitals, where, others breast cancer to realize that, with the right teamis by side, breastbest cancer isn’t the lonelywhat nightmare call miracles, we simply call great medicine. they imagine. For her, cancer isn’t an obstacle as much as an opportunity to help others through the challenges of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is one of America’s best hospitals, where, what others call miracles, we simply call great medicine. 1-888-MD-RWJUH 1-888-MD-RWJUH

The Heart of Academic Medicine

Principal Teaching Hospital for UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School • Flagship Hospital for The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Core Academic Medical Center for the Robert Wood Johnson Health System and Network

The Heart of Academic Medicine

May 2010 The Positive Community

Principal Teaching Hospital for UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School • Flagship Hospital for The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Core Academic Medical Center for the Robert Wood Johnson Health System and Network













Common Foot Problems By Dr. Sharon Barlizo, Director, Wound Care Clinic Foot Center of New York


number of foot conditions are called “common” because they can affect anyone at any age. However, people with certain conditions—such as diabetes and hypertension—are at higher risk of being more severely affected by some of these conditions, or exposed to complications. It is important to be aware of their symptoms, so that you can take the necessary steps to remedy them as soon as they appear. Fungus: Inside your shoes where it is warm, dark, and moist, fungi can easily grow on your feet. Dry skin, redness, blisters, itching, and peeling can result. Over-the-counter anti-fungal powders or creams can help. If the condition does not improve within 2-4 weeks, see your foot doctor. Corns and calluses: Caused by pressure when the bony parts of your feet rub against your shoes. Over-thecounter medications are not indicated for people with diabetes or circulation problems. See your doctor. Warts: Skin growths, they are sometimes painful and may spread if not treated. Bunions. Develop when the joints in your big toe no longer fit together. They become swollen and tender.


The Positive Community May 2011

Bunions tend to run in families. If a bunion is not too painful, wearing special comfortable shoes may help. Physical therapy and shoe inserts can also bring relief. Medicines can help with pain, but sometimes surgery is needed to relieve the pressure and repair the toe joint. Ingrown toenails: Caused by the nail breaking into the skin. If you have trouble bending or cutting your nails, your foot doctor can cut your nails appropriately. Hammertoe: Caused by A shortening of the tendons that control toe movements. The toe knuckle grows and pulls the toe back. This can affect balance. Spurs: Calcium bumps that grow on bones of your feet, caused by stress on the feet. Standing for long periods of time, wearing badly fitting shoes, or being overweight can make spurs worse. Swollen Feet. May be a sign of more serious health problems. If swollen feet and ankles persist, see your doctor. Keep feet clean and dry, especially between the toes. Change shoes, socks or stockings often. And, most importantly, if you have diabetes or hypertension, see your foot doctor at least once a year, before foot problems appear.



to receive

Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for Inpatient Diabetes from The Joint Commission. This Gold Seal of ApprovalTM demonstrates the level of quality care provided by the experts at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Hackensack University Medical Center now has 15Gold Seals of Approval.TM It is only medical facility in the nation to obtain this record number of Disease-Specific Care Certifications.

Hackensack University Medical Center

Proudly serving the community since 1888.


Kahlil Carmichael is the Pastor and Founder of It Is Well Living Church located in Central, New Jersey. He is the CEO of the Fitness Doctor Inc., a Fitness Rehabilitation and Wellness Consultation company. To contact Kahlil to become spiritually and physically fit visit or call 732-921-3746

Got Issues? ost of us are familiar with the now famous American Dairy Association slogan, “Got Milk?” with a famous person wearing a milk mustache. I thought about how ironically, when it comes to our health we often “wear” something as obvious as a mustache, except instead of milk we are wearing or showing the health issues that we have. How do we do this? We are winded when we walk up a flight of stairs. We may often be sweating profusely from a simple walk from the parking lot into the supermarket. Or we quite obviously are struggling with our weight. So many times we have heard someone write another brother or sister off with the statement, “He/she’s got issues.” Well let me let you in on a secret; we all have issues. The question is what are we going to do about them? How do we deal with the issues that we have, especially as it pertains to our health? I am especially concerned as we celebrate Mother’s Day this month about the health issues that more and more women are experiencing. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for African American women. Despite the information and advances in technology that we have access to, these numbers are continuing to increase instead of receding. This is an issue! What I am challenging each of us to do and I include myself in this number, is to engage in conversations with the mothers, wives, aunts, and sisters in our lives to get serious about their health. You may get some resistance but don’t back down, remember, their lives depend on it! Perhaps you can support them by providing them with the means to be successful such as a personal training gift certificate, or taking something off their plate. In addition, here are some guidelines from the American Heart Association that highlight the areas that would benefit women and the rest of us most if positive changes are implemented:


The Simple Seven: Get Active: We’ve heard it before but I will say it again, you have to move. We should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily that includes cardio exercise, strength training, and stretching. This should be done at least five times each week.


The Positive Community May 2011

Control Cholesterol: Get your numbers checked and then follow your doctor’s recommendations for making modifications in these areas. Eat Better: I know, I know, I know! This is perhaps the toughest area to manage. But it can be simpler if we look to eliminate the obvious culprits that sabotage our efforts: fried and fast foods, white sugar, extra butters and oils. And one of the biggest saboteurs of all time—calories from drinks like sodas and smoothies, and that tasty cream we put in our coffee (Yes, I love it too, French vanilla thank you). Yikes! Lose Weight: If you get active and consume less calories than you are currently consuming, this will automatically happen—you will lose weight. I encourage each of you to go the American Heart Association’s website to find out how to calculate your Body Mass Index, which will be used to determine how many calories you should be consuming daily. Reduce Blood Sugar: The best way to do this is to change your diet—perhaps completely. If you have not done so already, see your physician and see if you are in need of medication to get your numbers where they need to be. Stop Smoking: Wow, I know for many this seems like a “mission impossible,” but I have heard countless testimonies from people who have been able to stop this habit for good. I encourage you to get support for your endeavor to quit smoking and to believe above all that you can do this! If your health issues are something you have repeatedly tried dealing with on your own and you don’t see it going anywhere, I encourage you to get honest and access your faith. The problem arises when we will not even look at or make a true assessment of our issues and we continue on with life making excuses and refusing to humble ourselves. Don’t wait. Do it now. One of my favorite scriptures is from Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Stay focused, be diligent, keep the faith and watch the issues of your life dissolve one by one! Disclaimer: The information contained in this column is of a general nature. You should consult your physician or health care professional before beginning any exercise program or changing your dietary regimen.

Secret Recipe Tips — Healthy Baked Stuffed Whiting Ingredients 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine 2 medium size yellow onions, chopped fine 1 clove garlic, minced • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs ¼ cup minced parsley • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind Black pepper to taste • 4 whole whiting scaled and cleaned 1/4 cup dry white wine Directions Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a heavy skillet, melt the margarine, add the onions and cook, uncovered, until soft (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat. Transfer half of the onion to a bowl; add the garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon rind, and pepper, and toss lightly Stuff each whiting with 1/4 of the mixture. Fasten with toothpics. Sprinkle half of the remaining onion over a lightly greased 13"x 9"x 2" baking pan Arrange fish on top in a single layer and scatter the rest of the onion on top Pour in the wine, then cover the pan snugly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily Please call 908.227.9065 about catering your wedding, graduation or family reunion. Log onto our website and visit us in Plainfield , Union and Irvington New Jersey.

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Helping you to enhance the health and lifestyle of you and your family When it comes to your well being, you know there is no "one size fits all" approach. Wellness means different things to different people and your personal preferences play a part in what foods you select to fit your lifestyle. As a part of our LiveRight with ShopRite® program you will find color coded shelf labels throughout the store to identify product choices in several categories: Gluten Free, Low Sodium, Reduced Sodium, Organic, Natural, Low Fat Free, No Sugar Added, and Sugar Free.

Look for the Live Right with the ShopRite® name throughout the store to help you find product choices that are Right for you and your family. Look for these color-coded labels throughout the store.

Visit for a ShopRite nearest you and to learn more about Live Right with ShopRite® Pharmacy, and Wellness Education.

May 2011 The Positive Community



Be Involved!


uccess in school is extremely important in fostering confidence in children and having them develop healthy attitudes about themselves and the world around them. As a pediatrician, I am interested in how the young people who come to me are doing in school because it is often a reflection of their emotional and mental state. In my practice, I have found that children who do poorly in school tend to have more of a negative, cynical, and pessimistic view of life. They are frustrated and have given up because they think they are “stupid.” They stop trying to do well because in their mind it won’t make a difference. They tell themselves things like, “Why should I bother? No matter how hard I try, it doesn’t make a difference. I will never get this. I hate school.” As a parent, you are often unaware of this inner dialogue and become frustrated when your child seems to have an “I don’t care” attitude about school and life in general. If your child is failing and has always had trouble academically, it’s vital that you talk with your pediatrician and investigate whether or not he or she has a learning disability that needs to be addressed. If there is an issue, the school is obligated to make adjustments to fit the needs of your child. You are their best advocate, so you have to communicate often with the school to make sure your child’s needs are met. An A student who suddenly starts to get C’s and D’s on his report card sends up a red flag that something is going on in his life that needs addressing. Is he being bullied? Is something going on at home? Is he depressed? Is he hanging around the wrong crowd or experimenting with drugs and alcohol? Is there a problem with the teacher? The primary goal of the parents and pediatrician is to get him the resources to be successful. Your child may have the ability to do well but not feel motivated and appear to be doing the bare minimum. Perhaps she isn’t being challenged enough or has given up because she doesn’t think she can meet your expectations. She may feel that she is being compared to older siblings and isn’t capable of following in their footsteps. There are a multitude of reasons behind kids’ actions and behavior. You just have to get at the source using patience, good listening skills, and a non-judgmental approach. I have two words for you—GET INVOLVED! The more involved a parent is in a child’s education, the more success-


The Positive Community May 2011

ful a child can be in school. As a parent, it’s often difficult to participate in school activities and stay on top of schoolwork, especially if you are working one, maybe even two jobs. You may have more than one child attending different schools and be completely exhausted after coming home from work. How can you do it all? Developing a partnership with teachers is extremely important. Attend parent-teacher conferences and let them know you are committed to your child’s success in the classroom. If you cannot attend, email the teacher or set up another time to meet with them. Address your concerns early rather than waiting for the final grade on the report card. If your concerns aren’t addressed adequately, don’t be afraid to speak to the vice principal or principal to get the issue resolved. Join the Parent-Teacher Organization/Association so that you know what’s going on in school and volunteer in at least one activity so your child can see that you are involved. Try to attend your child’s school performances or send a family member or friend. A child becomes more interested in school when he sees that his loved-ones are interested. Success in school helps to foster an overall sense of well being in children. They spend the greater part of their childhood in the classroom. Their educational environment influences who they are and how they view life. Get involved. Stay involved. Your role is vital in helping them lead healthy, productive lives. About Dr. Liz Dr. Elizabeth Robinson Henry (Dr. Liz) has dedicated her life to providing youth with the knowledge and confidence to lead healthy and productive lives. She is the founder of Dr. Liz Consulting, a practice focused on making a difference in the lives of adolescents by addressing their physical, emotional, and mental needs. Teens, tweens and their parents can find resources on how to build self-confidence, manage anger and stress, and overcome issues such as bullying, emotions, fitting-in, and obesity at Disclaimer: The information in this article is solely for educational purposes and should not be relied on for a diagnosis. Always consult your physician for medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis.











Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey


Darrell K. Terry, Sr., MHA, FACHE

Chief Operating Officer, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey

recipient of the 2011 Khary Orr Leadership Award The African American Heritage Parade Committee, Inc.

1-800-The Beth


Message from the Chairman

To God be the Glory.


ach year the parade takes on a different theme, one that is reflective and demonstrative of civil matters throughout the global and local communities, as well as one that promulgates African cultural awareness, recollection and unity. This year the parade Committee is making a special effort to reach out to organizations and brothers and sisters from Africa and the Caribbean Islands for their participation in the parade. This is the International Year of People of African Descent as declared by the United Nations. We present this year the First Statewide Black Heritage Parade in tribute of our 45th Anniversary Celebration. Founded and held in the City of Newark in 1966, what began as “The Crispus Attucks Parade” (named in recognition and honor of the historic African American who was first to die at the Boston Massacre in 1770), was later titled “The Attucks-King Parade” in 1970, to commemorate Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Then in 1979, the title was changed to “The Black Heritage Day Parade,” with varying themes focused on remaining cognizant of the many evolutionary social concerns of the day, but also committed to preserving the traditions of past parades. From 1993 until today, this magnanimous cultural extravaganza has been presented as “The African American Heritage Statewide Parade,” having grown into an annual four-day observance with hundreds of thousands attendees, and participants from throughout the State of New Jersey, the United States of America, Africa and other countries around Board



Donald Bernard, Sr. Diane Lewis Carol Boyd Will J. Heard Khary Orr* Shawii Johnson Howard J. Scott Bridgette Turner Yolanda Van Fleet

the world. We are dedicating this year’s 45th Anniversary Celebration to the Crispus Attucks Society. Umoja means to strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race. We are eternally grateful to our premier sponsor, NJEA and anchor sponsor, Investor’s Savings Bank for believing in the importance of our celebration. Without these two major sponsors this year’s celebration would not have happened. We also salute Saint Barnabas Healthcare System, Wachovia, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Fedway Associates and Optimum. Communication is key and without our media partners we could not be successful. For carrying our message we thank Cablevision, WBLS, Kiss, Hot 97, The Positive Community and Reflections. Times are hard and the existence of celebrations like ours is threatened. It is imperative that we hold onto those things which instill pride, serve to inspire and unite us. We salute our 2011 Grand Marshalls Dr. Rosalind Jeffries and Rev. Dr. William D. Watley for dedicated service to Mother Africa, all people of color and our arts, culture and the African American Heritage Parade and for their sacrifice, wisdom and perseverance in motivating our people to reclaim the knowledge of our lost black heritage and walk with pride in the world. Peace and Godspeed, Donald Bernard, Sr. Chairman, African American Heritage Parade Committee, Inc. Technical Advisors Linda W. Brashear Karen Waters

Dianthe Dawn Martinez Carl Sharif


May 2011 The Positive Community



Whenfamilies families and When and schools work schools work together... our children together... our children are the winners! are the winners! NEW JERSEY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION Barbara Keshishian, President

NEW JERSEYWendell EDUCATION ASSOCIATION Steinhauer, Vice President

Barbara Keshishian, President Marie Blistan, Secretary-Treasurer Wendell Vice President Vincent Steinhauer, Giordano, Executive Director Richard Gray, Assistant Executive Director/ Marie Blistan, Secretary-Treasurer Research Director Vincent Giordano, Executive Director

Richard Gray, Assistant Executive Director/ Research Director


The Positive Community May 2011

SPECIALAAHPCADVERTORIALSECTION African American Heritage Parade Committee Salutes

The 2011 Grand Marshalls DR. ROSALIND R. JEFFRIES


osalind Robinson Jeffries is a powerful speaker specializing in art history, the cultural determiners of behavior, and the course of events in history. She analyzes paintings, sculpture, and the visual arts of peoples around the world, but especially Africans and also Africans in the global diaspora. She is a museum curator, educator, lecturer, and an inspirational God-conscious presenter who works to uplift the oppressed, give new insights to the intellectual, and spark community zeal. Dr. Jeffries earned a Ph. D. From Yale University and at

present she is on the teaching faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Last year she was awarded a one year Arthur Schomburg faculty position at Ramapo College, teaching faculty and students in African American History, studies in racism, and involvement in arts and cultural exhibitions. About fifteen years ago she was employed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Center for African Art. She lived and researched in Africa in 1965 and 1966. As a co-leader she lectured and traveled throughout Africa, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.



ev. William D. Watley, Ph. D. is the beloved Senior Pastor of the historic St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Newark, NJ. Under his leadership, St. James has grown spiritually, numerically, and financially. Membership has tripled, the number of weekly worship services has doubled, and the annual church income has increased by 700%. Dr. Watley’s ministry is characterized by a multifaceted approach that aims to provide holistic care to those he serves. To this end, he established the St. James Social Services Corporation which oversees a daily feeding program and food pantry that dispenses over 89,000 meals annually, a clothes closet that distributes over 20,000 articles of clothing per year, an Intergenerational After School Care Program and Safe Haven Summer Peace Camp for children, as well as various emergency service, mentoring, literacy and employment training programs for adults. Dr. Watley is the chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Visions Academy Charter High School in Newark, NJ, as well as the Board of Directors for the 220 unit St. James Towers. A preacher par excellence, Dr. Watley’s homiletical ability is both nationally and internationally recognized.

He has the distinction of being the Conference Preacher for the Hampton University Minister’s Conference for two consecutive years as well as a Conference Lecturer. At the invitation of the Church of God in Christ, Inc., Dr. Watley preached to over 20,000 people at their annual International Holy Convocation. He was a lecturer for the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church’s Pastor’s Conference held at Philips School of Theology. Dr. Watley has preached at the Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, as well as Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Men Are Builders Conference. Moreover, Dr. Watley has preached on the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America in addition to the island nations of Cuba, Barbados, Bermuda, and Trinidad. Dr. Watley received his Bachelor of Arts in Theology from St. Louis University and a Master of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center. He received a Master of Philosophy and his Doctor of Philosophy in Ethics from Columbia University. He holds a Doctor of Divinity from Payne Theological Seminary, and in addition, completed post-doctoral work at the Ecumenical Institute in Celigny, Switzerland and Harvard’s Institute for Education Management.

May 2011 The Positive Community



2011 Statewide Parade Dedicated to


Crispus Attucks Society

istorians know little about Crispus Attucks, and they have constructed accounts of his life more from speculation than facts. Most documents described his ancestry as African and American Indian. His father, Prince Yonger, is thought to have been a slave brought to America from Africa and that his mother, Nancy Attucks, was a Natick Indian. The family, which may have included an older sister named Phebe, lived in Framingham, Massachusetts. Apparently, young Attucks developed a longing for freedom at an early age. According to The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution, historians believe that an advertisement placed in the Boston Gazette on October 2, 1750, referred to him: “Ran away from his Master William Brown from Framingham, on the 30th of Sept. last, a Molatto Fellow, about 27 Years of age, named Crispas, 6 Feet two Inches high, short curl’d Hair, his Knees nearer together than common: had on a light colour’d Bearskin Coat.” The owner offered a reward of ten pounds for the return of the slave and warned ship captains against giving him refuge. Biographers believe that Attucks escaped to Nantucket, Massachusetts, and sailed as a harpooner on a whaling ship. Some writers proposed that he was using the name Michael Johnson. Attucks’ occupation made him particularly vulnerable to the presence of the British. As a seaman, he felt the ever-present danger of impressment into the British navy. As a laborer, he felt the competition from British troops, who often took part-time jobs during their off-duty


hours and worked for lower wages. Historians definitely place Attucks in Boston in March of 1770. Five Americans were killed and six were wounded in what came to be called the Boston Massacre. Attucks was the first one killed; he took two bullets in the chest. Rope maker Samuel Gray and sailor James Caldwell also died in the incident. Samuel Maverick, a 17-year-old joiner’s apprentice, died the next day. Irish leather worker Patrick Carr died nine days later. Attucks’ body was carried to Faneuil Hall, where it lay in state until Thursday, March 8, when he and the other victims were buried together.. He is one of the most important figures in AfricanAmerican history, not for what he did for his own race but for what he did for all oppressed people everywhere. He is a reminder that the African-American heritage is not only African but American and it is a heritage that begins with the beginning of America. Crispus Attucks became the first casualty of the American Revolution when he was shot and killed. Although Attucks was credited as the leader and instigator of the event, debate raged for over a century as to whether he was a hero and a patriot, or a rabble-rousing villain. The debate notwithstanding, Attucks, immortalized as “the first to defy, the first to die,” has been lauded as a true martyr, “the first to pour out his blood as a precious libation on the altar of a people’s rights.”

International Year for People of African Descent


On December 18, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year beginning on January 1, 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent (Unity):

To Strive For and to Maintain Unity in the Family, Community, Nation and Race.

The Year aims at strengthening national actions and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent in relation to their full enjoyment of economic, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge


The Positive Community May 2011

of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture. The General Assembly encourages Member States, the specialized agencies of the United Nations system, within their respective mandates and existing resources, and civil society to make preparations for and identify possible initiatives that can contribute to the success of the Year.


May 2011 The Positive Community



Festival Site

Show Your Solidarity... Wear


The Positive Community May 2011

Green, Red or Black on Parade Day


May 2011 The Positive Community



Investors Savings Bank is an independent, full-service community bank operating over 80 branches. With $9.8 billion in assets, we have the size, Investors Savings Bank is an independent, full-service community bank scope and talent to deliver a full range of banking products and services. operating over 80 branches. With $9.8 billion in assets, we have the size, scope and talent to deliver a full range of banking products and services. Investors serves a wide range of consumer, business, commercial real estate, serves nonprofit and local government customers. In commercial addition, our Investors a wide range of consumer, business, Charitable Foundation supports local and statewide organizations that real estate, nonprofit and local government customers. In addition, our enrich the quality of life in the communities we serve. organizations that Charitable Foundation supports local and statewide enrich the quality of life in the communities we serve. Through its extensive branch network, Investors is able to offer a financial product line that is competitive thoseis of larger financial Through its extensive branch network, with Investors able to offer a institutions. This strength combined withwith a highly locally financial product line thatis is competitive thoseexperienced, of larger financial institutions. This strength combined with aon highly experienced, based management teamisand a clear focus the needs of Newlocally Jersey based management and a clear focus on the needs of New Jersey residents, businessesteam and communities. residents, businesses and communities.

is proud to support the is proud to support the African AfricanAmerican American Heritage Heritage Statewide StatewideParade Parade & & Festival Festival

Sanford 97 73 3..3 3772 2..11770066 Sanford Branch Branch • •9

Cynthia 829 Sanford SanfordAvenue Avenue••Newark, Newark,NJ NJ CynthiaCrenshaw, Crenshaw,Branch Branch Manager Manager •• 829 Member FDIC Member FDIC


The Positive Community May 2011

Money B usiness , M oney & wo r k

Where Does Our Money Go?

By Jean Nash Wells

Prudential Releases Study on Finances of African Americans Loyalty and Trust of Financial Institutions Needed


ccording to a study, The African American Financial Experience, released recently by Prudential Financial Inc., African Americans say they are optimistic about achieving their financial goals, many of which reflect a strong focus on the well-being of the family and community. On the other hand, there are many barriers to achieving those goals. The study was released at a press conference on April 13, followed by a panel discussion facilitated by Prudential’s Head of Human Resources, Vice President Ronald K. Andrews. Participating as panelists were Kelvin Boston, author, personal finance expert, executive producer and host, PBS Moneywise TV; Mark Hug, vice president and chief marketing officer, Prudential Insurance Company of America; Wilhelmina A. Leigh, Ph.D., senior research associate of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank based in Washington, D.C.; and Rev. Continued on page 52

Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad

L-R: Rev. Dr. DeForest “Buster” Soaries, Wilhelmina A. Leigh, Ph.D.; Mark Hug and Kelvin Boston

Ronald K. Andrews May 2011 The Positive Community


The Essex County Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action is committed to promoting business opportunities for small, women and minority-owned vendors. Essex County’s Bonding Readiness Program is the first-ever multiple county bonding program geared to helping SBE, DBE, MBE and WBE businesses gain the necessary credentials to apply for government contracts. We encourage you to sign up for this FREE program. - Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

Essex County Bonding Readiness Program Free Development Course for Small Businesses Presented by Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive, The Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Essex County Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action The County of Essex has partnered with The Surety & Fidelity Association of America to provide a Bonding Readiness Program to SBE, DBE, MBE and WBE vendors in New Jersey.

Session Begins Apr. 14, 2011 The program is FREE but registration is required. Contact us for more information and to RSVP - 973.621.5420

Workshops Include: • Business Planning and Management for Construction • Construction Accounting and Financial Management • Banking and Financing for Contractors • Bonding and Insurance for New and Emerging Contractors • Marketing, Estimating and Bidding • Project Management and Field Operations • Claims and Dispute Resolution • Managing Growth Ideal Candidates Should Possess the Following: • Minimum of 2 years business experience • Financial records covering Profit and Loss • History of successful project experience • Commitment to complete the program

This project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding should not be construed as an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA funded projects are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested two weeks in advance. Contact Deborah E. Collins, Esq., Director, Small Business Development and Affirmative Action, Hall of Records, Room 449A, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Newark NJ 07102. Telephone: (973) 621-2010.

“We invite all small, women and minority business owners and prospective entrepreneurs to visit our new Small Business Development Resource Center and Reference Library. It will provide entrepreneurs with information to transform their ideas into new businesses and help current vendors to expand their companies. This is another opportunity we are offering to empower small, women and minority vendors and help them succeed in today’s competitive market.” Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive The Board of Chosen Freeholders And the Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action

Essex County Small Business Resource Center & Reference Library Essex County Hall of Records Fourth Floor, Room 447 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. Newark, NJ 07102

RESOURCE CENTER HIGHLIGHTS: •Specialized 500-Book Business Library •Computer/Internet Access •Daily Newspapers & Business-Related Periodicals

OPEN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY BYAPPOINTMENT ONLY Call 973-621-2011 to schedule yours today! This project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding should not be construed as an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA-funded projects are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested two weeks in advance. Contact Deborah E. Collins, Esq., Director, Small Business Development and Affirmative Action, Hall of Records, Room 449A, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Newark NJ 07102. Telephone: (973) 621-2010.


veteran Marketing Executive Laurel richie Named President of WNBA


ichie will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the world's premier women's sports league, which tips off its historic 15th season this summer. Richie served most recently as senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Girl Scouts of the USA. She was responsible for the organization's brand, communications, publishing, marketing and web-based initiatives, and was the driving force behind the recent Girl Scouts brand revitalization. “Laurel combines extraordinary skills with a tremendous enthusiasm to help evolve young women into leaders,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “She joins the WNBA at such an exciting time in its history and we know her expertise will be key to continuing the growth and success of the league.”


Ceylon Frett Promoted to vice President at NobleStrategy

eylon Frett has been promoted from director of Business Development to vice president of NobleStrategy, a construction management and training firm with offices in Harlem, Long Island City and Newark. “Ceylon has been a tremendous asset to NobleStrategy and has been instrumental in our company’s success even during difficult economic times,” said William S. Parrish Jr., president/CEO of NobleStrategy. “In addition to business development, Ceylon now serves as a company executive directly responsible for all daily operations, client services and project management.”  With over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and technology consulting, Frett has managed construction management and training services for many of NobleStrategy’s clients, including the New York City School Construction Authority, Merrill Lynch, New York City Charter School Center and the Brick City Development Corporation, the primary economic development catalyst for the City of Newark.  Frett graduated from Morgan State University with a B.S. in Marketing and the Fundamentals of Construc-


The Positive Community May 2011

Prior to Girl Scouts of the USA, Richie worked at Leo Burnett Worldwide and Ogilvy and Mather, where she spent more than two decades building brands for blue chip clients including American Express, Pepperidge Farm and Unilever, among others. She continues to work with Ogilvy as a founding member of its Diversity Advisory Board, supporting efforts to attract and retain top talent. Richie, a graduate of Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Policy Studies, received the YMCA Black Achiever's Award and Ebony magazine's Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications, and was named one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal. “I am fortunate to have worked with an organization as inspiring as Girl Scouts, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to build upon the successes of the WNBA and help grow this league into a world-class business.” said Richie.


New Executive Director Named at the One Hundred Black Men, Inc.

hilip Banks Jr., president of the One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York City, recently appointed Steven Board, 50, as the new Executive Director of the organization, effective March 16, 2011. Board previously managed citywide health & wellness initiatives, golf outings, award dinners as well as volunteer and donor events for the New Jersey-based company, Isles, Inc. He is the founder of FXO Event Marketing Group and was formerly VP of Event Marketing for Bates USA in New York and the east coast regional sports marketing manager for Nike in charge of all sports marketing efforts for the brands. Board has a bachelor of Science Degree in Sports & Recreation Administration from Lincoln University, a Master of Science Degree in Event Management from Lehman College and a certificate in Sports & Entertainment Marketing from New York University. “The founding chapter of One Hundred Black Men is pleased to welcome Steven to the organization. He is a highly creative, goal-oriented professional with more

Continued on page 66




GIVE 110% GIVE110% 110% GIVE 110% GIVE









Continued from page 47 Dr. DeForest “Buster” Soaries, author and senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, NJ. Dr. Soaries’ book, dfree Breaking Free from Financial Slavery, published by Zondervan earlier this year, puts forth a strategy that teaches people how to become and stay debt free. One critical issue that came out of the study is that African Americans do not use financial products and lack relationships with financial professionals. Not the least of reasons for that, say 78 percent of those surveyed, is that financial services companies have not effectively engaged the African American community. “Where are the financial advisers?”asked Rev. Soaries, rhetorically. “What financial services company is going to let an adviser come to work each day with $50,000 on their books? No one wants 200 clients with $2,000 in an IRA,” he said. When it comes to doing business with a financial services firm, 94% said trust is critical or very important and few financial institutions meet that criterion. Although the majority say they want financial advice, concerns about finding a “qualified professional they can trust and relate to” prevent them from hiring an advisor. Mark Hug seemed to be surprised. “I thought the industry was doing a better job than that,” he said,

and put forth the idea that the industry should take a three-pronged approach to earn trust, which would include having higher ethical standards; have a broad cultural understanding, which the industry lacks and as an industry do a better job of local community support. Results of the study show that emphasis on community support in order to gain trust permeates all income groups, and is highest in the $100,000 plus income group who actually use financial advisors at the same level as the general population. Along with the support of the black community and its charities, promoting financial literacy to young people, investing in or making loans to small minority businesses and instituting diverse hiring practices, were the actions that respondents felt would be most helpful in boosting interest and trust in financial services companies in the African American community. Opening branches in the community, advertising in black media, and “portraying people like me” in marketing materials and ads were also important factors to more than 50 percent of those studied. For more information and to see the complete study visit or www.

Talk Show Host Learns that Smartphones are for Adults too! L–R: John Jefferson, regional vice president, AT&T External Affairs; Tammy Tindley, AT&T area manager; Jeanne Parnell, host/producer of “City Lights” on WHCR-FM; Store Manager Clement Ezeanii and Assistant Manager Justin Wasserman.


February 2011 briefing of Harlem business leaders and media by AT&T Northeast Regional President Steve Hodges hosted by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce sparked the interest of Jeanne Parnell, Harlem resident and popular host of “City Lights” on WHCR-FM. Jeanne invited John Jefferson, regional, vice president, AT&T External Affairs, to be a guest the program. The interview led them to a discussion about products and plans for seniors who would prefer larger keypads, brighter


The Positive Community May 2011

face plates, and affordable rate plans. So Jefferson invited Jeanne and a few of her friends to come to an AT&T retail store for a tutorial on devices for sophisticated consumers. At the West 125th Street store, Tammy Tindley, AT&T area manager and store manager Clement Ezeanii and his staff demonstrated various devices—smartphones, iPads and e-readers—to Jeanne’s guests, Ahsaki Benion-Habersham, Martha Buckner, Victoria Horsford, Michelle Stent, and George Williams and several others who listen to her

program on WHCR. They received a hands-on presentation about easy-touse handheld devices from a simple phone to an iPad as well as tips on getting the most from mobile and broadband. According to Jeanne, she was surprised to learn that seniors are not the only ones who have difficulty using some of the new devices. “Younger people who wear eyeglasses and have dexterity problems have difficulty, too, as some of the younger people there pointed out. It was a revelation,” she said. Jefferson reiterated AT&T’s commitment to Harlem through their “AT&T in Your Neighborhood” initiative and because this gathering was so informative to both Jeanne and her friends and to AT&T they intend to hold more such events to help them learn about ways to meet the communications needs across New York City.

May 2011 The Positive Community


Britanny Robinson NewBrunswick medalist

Education T eaching , L ea r ning , M a k ing a D iffe r ence

ACT-SO Medalists Ready for National Competition Shaun Adams, New Brunswick Advisor and Adele Taylor, gold medalist for business

Myriah Martin 11th Grade. Performing Arts - Dance. Manhattan Center for Science & Math

Amber Spencer-Knowles 11th Grade. Visual Arts - Photography. Brooklyn High School for Music & Theatre


t a time when the system is challenged and more demands are put on our children to succeed, ACT-SO, the Academic, Cultural, Technological, & Scientific Olympics is one of the best kept secrets in education.   In 1977 Vernon Jarrett of Chicago, a renowned author, civil rights activist and journalist, initiated the idea of a program that would promote and reward young academic achievers the same way sports heroes are honored. The first national ACT-SO Olympics of the Mind, competition was held in 1978 in Portland Oregon. ACT-SO is a youth program under the administrative aegis of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). A year-long enrichment program designed to encourage high academic and cultural achievement among underserved minority high school students, the program relies on community volunteers and business leaders to serve as mentors and coaches in promoting academic and artistic excellence among African-American and Hispanic students. By


The Positive Community May 2011

providing an arena where students strive to excel in the sciences, arts and humanities, ACT-SO equips its participants with the skills to live meaningful lives. On an early, rainy Saturday morning in April, in New York and New Jersey, nearly two hundred students in each location, weighed down with instruments, science boards and dramatic props, trooped to their designated location for the annual Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition, judged by professionals who volunteered their services for the day. With the first level of competition completed, gold medal winners will go on to the national level to represent their home state. The 31st annual national ACT-SO competition sponsored by the NAACP will be held July 20-24 in Los Angeles, CA where medals are awarded, along with cash scholarships. The new season will start again in September. The program is open to students in grades 9-12. For more information for New Jersey ACT-SO visit the website, www. or for New York go to

NY Photos: Gerald Peart

You Are Invited To The Newark School of Theology Summer Semester  Open House   School Newark of School Theology The Newark of Theology The Newark School ofTheology Theology The Newark School of Saturday, May 21, 2010 The The Newark Newark School School of Theology Theology The Newark Newark School The Newark School of Theology The SchoolofofTheology Theology 10 am to 12 Noon of Theology The Newark School

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• May One-on-one assistance with your quesOpen House Open House Saturday, 21, 2010 Open House Saturday, May 21,2010 2010 Saturday, May 21, Saturday, May 21, 2010 tions Saturday, Saturday, May May 21, 2010 2010 Malik Williams - 12th Grade, Brooklyn Technical High School Saturday, May 21, 10 am to 12 Noon May 21,Invited 2010 Saturday, May 21,2010 2010 1010 am to 12 Noon You Are To Saturday, May 21, 2010 • Saturday, Meet some of the faculty with judge Anaelechi Owunwanne, architect am to 12 Noon 10 am to 12 Noon 10 10 am am to to 12 12 Noon Noon Saturday, May 21, 2010 Saturday, May 21, 2010 10 am to 12 Noon The Newark School of Theology • Saturday, Review our current courses 21,am2010 10toam 12 Noon 10 to 12 Noon 10 am 12toNoon Join Us The School Join Us At The School • AtLearn about the new course being 10 am to 12 Noon 10Join am to 12 School Noon Join Us At The School UsAt AtThe The Join Us School 10 am Noon

Abigail Shallow 9th Grade Visual Arts Painting. Bedford Academy High School, Brooklyn

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On or Before May 17, 2010 The Newark School of Theology Gloucester Students 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 Two Park Place The School of Theology P.O.Newark Box 831 The Newark School of Theology Newark, NewTwo Jersey 07101 Park Place Two Park Place Two Park Place of Theology Two Park Place Two Park Place Two Park Place The Newark School   Two Two Park Park Place Place P.O. Box 831 P.O. Box 831 Two Park Place Two Park Place Two Park Place Two Park Place P.O. Box 831 P.O. Box 831 P.O. Box 831831 P.O. Box 831 973-297-0505  P.O. P.O. Box Box 831 Newark, New Jersey 07101 P.O. Box 831 Newark, New Jersey 07101 P.O. Box 831 Two Park Place Two Park Place P.O. Box 831 P.O. Box 831 Newark, New Jersey 07101 Two Park Place Newark, New Jersey 07101   Newark, New Jersey 07101 Newark, New Jersey 07101 Newark, New Jersey 07101 Newark, Newark, New New Jersey Jersey 07101 07101 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 Newark, New Jersey 0710 P.O. Box 831 P.O. Box 831 Newark, New Jersey 07101 973-297-0505 Newark, New Jersey P.O. Box 831 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 Newark, New  Jersey 07101 Newark, New 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 Newark, NewJersey Jersey07101 07101

The Newark School of Theology Theology TheNewark Newark School of Theology The Newark School of The The Newark School School of of Theology Theology The Newark School of of T The NewarkThe School of Theology Newark School The Newark School of Theology The Newark Newark School The Schoolof ofTheology Theology 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 973-297-0505 Empowering yourself with knowledge ables you to grow in God, your church, your Empowering yourself withyour knowledge enables you to grow in God, your church, your workpla workplace and community.

community. Empowering yourself with knowledge enables to grow in your church, your workplace and workpl your Empowering yourself with knowledge enables youLooking to God, grow in God, your church, your workplace and y you Empowering yourself with knowledge enables you to grow in God, your church, your forward to meeting with friends .. your old and new. EmpoweringEmpowering yourself with with knowledge enables you totogrow grow inGod, God, your church, your workpla workpl yourself with knowledge enables you grow in youryour church, workplace and you Empowering yourself knowledge enables you to in God, church, your community. community. Empowering Empowering yourself yourself with with knowledge knowledge enables enables you you to to grow grow in God, God, your your church, church, your your workplace workpla Sincerely, Looking forward to meeting with friends .. community. Empowering yourself withcommunity. knowledge enables you totogrow God, your church, community. Empowering yourself with knowledge enables you to grow in God, your church, your workplace Empowering yourself with knowledge enables you growinin God, your churcy community. Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Looking forward to meeting with .. old and new. Looking forward to meeting with friends ..friends old and new. community. community. Looking forward to meeting with friends .. old and new. old and new. Charnika Webster community. Looking forward to meeting with friends .. old and new. community. community. Empowering yourself with knowledge enables you to growwith inwith God, your church, your workplace your President Looking forward toyou meeting withand friends .. old..your and new. Looking forward totomeeting meeting with friends oldand and new. Empowering yourself knowledge enables you to with grow in God, church, your Sincerely, Empowering yourself knowledge enables to grow in God, your church, yourworkplac workpl Looking Looking forward forward to meeting with friends friends ....old old and new. new. Sincerely, 12th Grade   Sincerely, Looking forward to meeting with friends .. old andand Sincerely, Looking forward to meeting with friends .. old and new. Looking forward to meeting with friends .. old community. Rev. Sincerely, Sincerely, community. Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. community. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Sincerely, Sincerely, Humanities Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Sincerely, Sincerely, Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Sincerely, Sincerely, Looking forwardShort to meeting with friends .. old and new. Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D.....old Looking forward to meeting with friends President Looking forward to meeting with friends oldand andnew. new. Story President Rev. Rev. Douglas Douglas Bendall, Bendall, Ph.D. Ph.D. Jude Appiah President Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Rev. Douglas Ph.D. President Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Rev. DouglasBendall, Bendall, Ph.D. Sincerely, President President Sincerely, Brooklyn 10th Grade Sincerely, President President President President President President Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Community Arts Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Science/Math. Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. & MediaPresident Queens High School for President President

the Sciences, Queens

High School

May 2011 The Positive Community



On June 3, 2011, the New York Branch NAACP will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Organized January 27, 1911, the New York Branch became the first branch chartered by the national organization and was housed in the village of Harlem.

NAACP Advertorial

Today the New York Branch has more than 6,000 members, making it one of the largest branches in the country. The branch continues to maintain an aggressive community-oriented program under the volunteer leadership of its unprecedented 17-term President, Dr. Annie B. Martin, and an active, dedicated Executive Board, conducting voter registration drives, education seminars, health fairs, a Saturday prep school, forums and meetings that focus on civil and human rights and the overall quality of life in the community. Founded in 1909 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been one of the world’s leading and most effective civil rights organizations, continuously fighting for justice, equal opportunity and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as promised to all Americans by the Constitution of the United States. The NAACP has a national membership of more than 600,000 in its 1,700 branches. As Frederick Douglass said … “without struggle there can be no progress.” And, as the national banner of the NAACP proclaims, “The Struggle Continues.”


The Positive Community May 2011

gh09664_NAACP 100 ad_Layout 1 5/3/11 4:55 PM Page 1

The United Federation of Teachers is proud to share in the history of the New York Branch NAACP

Happy 100th New York Branch NAACP 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 p: 212.777.7500 Officers: Michael Mulgrew President • Michael Mendel Secretary • Mel Aaronson Treasurer Robert Astrowsky Assistant Secretary • Mona Romain Assistant Treasurer Vice Presidents: Karen Alford • Carmen Alvarez • Leo Casey • Richard Farkas Aminda Gentile • Sterling Roberson

Photos: Margot Jordan

Area Men Honored at Morehouse College

L-R: Dr. Anthony Van Jones, Rev. June Juliet Gatlin, Agape Spiritual Center Los Angeles, CA and The Rev. Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., Dean of The Chapel, Professor of Religion and College Curator; Morehouse College.

L-R: President Robert Michael Franklin, PhD presents award to Reverend Dr. Harry Starks Wright Sr

Pictured with Jeff Burns Jr. (c) are his aunt Dorothy Russell of Atlanta and Morehouse College President Robert Michael Franklin, Ph.D.


hree distinguished gentlemen from our area were among those honored recently at Morehouse College during the college’s 2011 Science and Spiritual Awareness Week in Atlanta, Georgia. The induction ceremony took place at The Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on the campus of Dr. King's alma mater. New Yorker Jeff Burns, Jr., vice chair of Howard University's School of Communications (BOV) was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers and Laity. Dr. Anthony Van Jones, distinguished visiting fel-

low, Centre for African American Studies and The Program in Science, Technology & Environmental Policy, Princeton University, was the guest speaker at the event and was inducted into the Morehouse Collegium of Scholars. The Reverend Dr. Harry Starks Wright Sr. (Morehouse Class of ’53), senior pastor emeritus of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY was inducted into the Morehouse College Board of Preachers. A cadre of Cornerstone congregation members flew to Atlanta to witness their beloved former pastor receive the prestigious honor.

In his charge to the new inductees President Franklin said in part:

Because the crises of character education and character values in America require more ethically and spiritually-oriented role models and moral examples, I am pleased to induct you into the Morehouse College prophetic religious tradition, the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers, Board of Sponsors, and Collegium of Scholars, and do hereby charge and challenge you to be affirmative and appreciative, coherently critical examples for this generation of students, always remembering that our vision is the creation of a global society in which the full development of each individual’s potential is the central goal. I charge you to be servant scholar leaders, guaran-


The Positive Community May 2011

tors of continuity, celebrators of change, negotiators of structure, and facilitators of meaning with the hope that we can right age-old wrongs that continue to haunt the American people and the world. Lastly, I charge you to use your time, talent, tender and technology to help usher in an age of peace and nonviolence for the children of the world, to raise another generation of morally inspired leaders committed to building the beloved world community, in token of which you are now given these citations which list twenty global ethical options by which Dr. King, and many Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Christians and scientists lived their lives and transform the world.

Let Us Break Bread Together HCCI Hosts Benefit Gala At Panache In Harlem


he Honorable David N. Dinkins received the Canon Frederick Boyd Williams (CFBW) Community Service Award at the Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI) 25h Anniversary “Let Us Break Bread Together” Awards Gala on Thursday, April 14, 2010 at Harlem’s Panache Supper Club in New York City. For the second time, after years of taking this wonderful event downtown, HCCI has affirmed its commitment developing the Harlem economy by hosting the event in Harlem. Hosted by Rev. Walter C. Barton, Jr., honors also went to: Bruce S. Dale, SVP of Community Preservation Corporation; James Allen founder of Addicts Rehabilitation Center (ARC); Rev. Dr. William James, pastor emeritus of Metropolitan United Methodist Church and chair of Housing Urban Development Corporation; and Stephanie B. Weldon, local business woman and board member of Greenhope Services for Women. Ronald Wright Norman received HCCI’s fourth annual CFBW Scholarship award established through an endowment by the Rockefeller Foundation. A resident of HCCI’s housing for youth who have aged out of foster

L–R: Dr. Dedrick Blue; Lucille McEwen; C. Virginia Fields; Honoree - Bruce Dale. L–R: Dr. Charles Curtis; Honoree Mayor David Dinkins; Dr. Muriel Petioni; Mrs. Joyce Dinkins.

care, Norman secured a full scholarship to Syracuse University from JP Morgan Chase with assistance from HCCI. The $1000 CFBW scholarship will assist him with books and incidentals during his first year. The celebration included performances by Saint James, Tres Voce and ARC Choir member Deborah Alexander, who sang in tribute to James Allen. Lucille McEwen, HCCI president, noted, “For 25 years, HCCI has helped to rebuild the Harlem community and to transform the lives of its residents. Tonight we celebrate the resilience of this community and the future of an institution that has dedicated itself to building maintaining this neighborhood’s great legacy.” Proceeds from this event will benefit HCCI, a diverse, interfaith consortium of more than 90 congregations established to revitalize the physical, economic, cultural, and spiritual conditions of the Harlem community. HCCI has made a substantial impact on the social and living conditions in Harlem by developing low to moderate income housing; creating supportive health and human service facilities and programs; providing commercial development opportunities to local businesses; and expanding cultural programs.

SONYMA makes homeownership affordable in these difficult times. The State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) offers first-time homebuyers: • 30- or 40- year fixed interest rates that are typically below market; • Financing up to 97%; • Flexible underwriting guidelines; • Down payment assistance (higher of $3,000 or 3% of the loan amount or up to $15,000); • No points; • No financing add ons. For more information, call

1-800-382-HOME (4663) or visit


The Positive Community May 2011

Honoree - Stephanie Weldon's family and guests; Dr. Ann Elliott; Lucille L. McEwen; Dr. Charles A. Curtis.

NYTS Honors Urban Angels


n April 5th New York Theological Seminary hosted its 2011 Urban Angel Awards Gala at Gotham Hall in midtown Manhattan. This year’s distinguished honorees: Rossana Rosado, publisher & CEO, El Diario La Prensa; Rev. Dr. Franklyn Richardson, senior pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Mt.Vernon, New York; BiBi Russell, UNESCO special envoy and artist for peace, founder, Bibi Productions; Rev. Dr. Paul C. Chang, senior pastor, Korean Methodist Church and Institute, New York; Marie Michel, Esq., public interest lawyer and Family Equality Council, advancing social and legal equality for LGBT families. Co-chairs for the event were Dr. William Lee and Ms. Susan K. Reed. Past honorees include, among others, the Hon. Hazel Dukes, NAACP New York State Conference and Maria Elena Girone, Puerto Rican Family Institute.

L–R: 2011 Urban Angel honoree, Rossana Rosado, CEO and publisher of El Diario La Prensa and Julio Medina, CEO of Exodus Transitional Community

Photos: Bob Gore

Emcee for the evening, NBC personality, DeMarco Morgan

L–R: Jacqueline McLeod and Rev. Alfonso Wyatt, NYTS alum and D. Min candidat

L–R: Mayor Clinton Young of Mt. Vernon, New York; 2011 Urban Angel Honoree, Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, pastor Grace Baptist Church and NYTS President, Dr. Dale T. Irvin

Ronneak M. Lee

L–R: Dr. Joseph Crockett, co-pastor, St. Marks Episcopal Church in Harlem and Renee Guy Crockett Maria Estevez and Atty. Paul Martin

L–R: Dr. Eleanor Moody-Shepherd, vice president for Academic Affairs and Academic dean; 2011 Urban Angel honoree Marie Michel, Esq.; NYTS President Dr. Dale T. Irvin May 2011 The Positive Community


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The Positive Community May 2011

Education is an Investment “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is a fundamental resource.� -John F. Kennedy

Strong schools make strong communities. NJEA is proud to advocate for an excellent education for every child.

Barbara Keshishian, President Wendell Steinhauer, Vice President Marie Blistan, Secretary-Treasurer Vincent Giordano, Executive Director Richard Gray, Assistant Executive Director/Research Director

NJ District A.M.E. Conference


Rev. Reginald T. Jackson

L–R: Rev. Kenneth Saunders, Rev. William Watley

Photos: Joe Allen

he NJ District of the AME Church held its 139th Annual Conference March, 21-27 2011 at the Sheraton Newark Airport Hotel, NJ. Daily business sessions were held at 8:00 AM with daily noon time "Power Hours" featuring ministers and congregations from within the denomination. Nightly Worship Services were held at St. James A.M.E. Church in Newark. The host Pastor was Rev. William Watley. Host presiding elder was Howard Grant and presiding bishop of the NJ District is Richard Franklin Norris. In addition to pastor reassignments, five new ministers were ordained.

St. Matthew Praise Team - Chris Tann, Veronica Morton, Jason Gathright, Catherine Ingram, Davinia Stewart, Rev. Marian Sykes Johnson

L–R: Bishop Cummings and Bishop Norris Bishop Richard Franklin Norris

Rev. Dennis E. Hughes

St. James Conference Staff

L–R: Rev. Shanda Short, Rev. Shirley Roberts


The Positive Community May 2011

Rev. Stanley Gordon Smith, Bethel AME Church, Copiague LI, NY and Adrian Council

St. James' Liturgical Dancers

Culture M U S I C ,




The Message is in the Music BKS TEA MS WITH WY C A TO S TO P DO MES TIC V IO LENC E

er eyes were dark, her skin bore cut marks and her voice was nothing more than a whisper. And these were only the external wounds. Sadly, the emotional scars that were not visible to the eye were equally deep and even more painful. To some, she is just a statistic—one of the three million women who are abused by their husbands or boyfriends every year. But to many others she is a mother, a sister, an aunt or a best friend, and though these statistics may be grim, this story is one with a message of hope. It is about a ray of sunlight in the dark world of domestic violence. The statement comes in the form of a music compilation CD that tells the three women who are likely to be killed each day by a current or former intimate partner: Rise up because there is a reason to live. The recently released CD compilation, Rise Up Against Domestic Violence, is a joint partnership between Best Kept Secrets (BKS) Entertainment LLC and selected regions of the YWCA. It uses the power of music as a vehicle of healing and is aimed at not just bringing a greater awareness to the scourge that is domestic violence but providing solutions as well. Artie Smallwood, who is the co-founder of BKS, spearheaded the project from conception to completion. Rise Up Against Domestic Violence is a holistic compilation that takes listeners through a range of emotions, but also provides solutions to women who are directly affected,” Smallwood tells The Positive Community. “So in addition to inspiring


By Glenda Cadogan

music, the CD also includes the contact information for the YWCA national domestic violence hotline.” According to Smallwood, he visualizes the day when someone listening to the CD is touched to the point of reflecting on their relationship and then taking corrective actions. “And the same goes for other issues as well,” he says adding, “though there are several songs speaking directly to the issue of domestic violence, there are many other tracks that simply carry a positive message of empowerment.” Designed to support the YWCA Domestic Violence Initiative, the compilation featuring 16 original tracks launched on May 10 and is available through all popular online retailers including: iTunes, Rhapsody and AmazonMP3. According to Smallwood, the CD came about as a result of a conversation with his friend and colleague, Theresa Austin who is on the board of the YWCA in Union County NJ. “It was in exploring ways that BKS could support the YWCA that I found out how far-reaching the problem of domestic violence is in society in general,” he says. “That’s when we decided to team up our efforts to bring greater awareness to this issue. After I started talking to people about the project, I was amazed by how many women revealed to me that they were in similar situations of being either emotionally or physically abused.” Under the partnership agreement, BKS and the YWCA will jointly promote the Rise Up compilation. A percentage of all proceeds from sales will then go toward the YWCA Domestic Violence Initiative. The participating YWCA regions to date include: The Great Lakes Alliance, Northeast Region, New England, continued on next page

May 2011 The Positive Community


Message in the Music continued from previous page

Southwest/Delta and the Mid-Atlantic. Rise Up Against Domestic Violence includes GrammyTM Award Winning artist Lalah Hathaway, Latonya Blige featuring Mary J. Blige, Native American recording artist/songwriter Jana Mashonee and New Jersey native, Rashanna Harmon. The songs share inspiring, uplifting and courageous messages via various genres including R&B, Pop, Rock, Inspirational and Hip-Hop. One of the most popular and compelling tracks on the albums is called “A Reason to Live.” Written by Norman Bradley, CEO of BKS and sung by Rashanna Harmon, the song offers hope to women in broken relationships in particular and people seeing hard times in general. “When I sing that song I am reminded of the countless times in my life when things were tough and I needed to find the strength by being thankful for life,” says Harmon. “And that’s what this song is about—it’s about being grateful even for the little things in life. Sometimes we take the simple things for granted, but it’s important to always remember that there is hope in your life no matter how bad things may seem. “A Reason to Live” is a song that reminds us to never give up.”

Launched about two years ago, BKS has a mission to create socially responsible content that will be primarily available online. With, Rise Up Against Domestic Violence being its first release, the recording company is not only fulfilling its mission but helping the one in three girls who—according to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence statistics—will be sexually abused before she turns 18. “We know that domestic violence affects every age group,” Smallwood says. “But we particularly wanted to reach the younger people of the iTunes generation and music has always been a way to speak to them without lecturing. To us, it’s important that they know that it is not acceptable to mistreat women.” According to National Network to End Domestic Violence, every year nearly 2.2 million people call a domestic violence crisis center or hotline to escape crisis situations or seek advice. The message of Rise up Against Domestic Violence is available to them as well—“It’s a beautiful day to take a ride/There is still hope for you/Just believe that there is a reason to live.

HIGHER GROUND Continued from page 50 CEYLON FETT: tion Management Certification Program at New York City College of Technology. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., chairman of the Newark Public Schools School-to-Career & College Initiatives Technology Advisory Board and a board member of the Rutgers University Small Business Development Center. “I look forward to working closely with Bill Parrish as we advance not only the interests of NobleStrategy, but those of minority-owned businesses throughout the New York metropolitan region,” said Frett. PHILIP BANKS: than 25 years of cross-disciplinary, integrated planning, management and program development experience. We know that he will be a tremendous asset to our chapter,” said Mr. Banks.


The Positive Community May 2011

BY PATRICIA BALDWIN THE GOSPEL OF MOM Grace & Peace! he celebration of Mother’s Day would not be the same if it wasn’t for the power of birth. We enter into this world from the womb of a mother! It is the love of a mother that gives her the patience and endurance to even go through the pain and pressure of labor, and it’s that same combination helps to raise up a child in Elder Lillie Baldwin the way he/she should go so when they are old, it will not depart. So when any good thing happens in a child’s life, you can rest assured that mother will get the credit for believing in them and Momma is gonna teach them that all the glory and honor belongs to God. There are great mothers who have been examples for their sons and daughters in this gospel industry. Mothers who don’t often get acknowledged for their sacrifices and investments. A beautiful spirit and welcoming smile are immediately noticeable in Delores “Mom” Winans. A woman of faith, saved at the age of 16 and married at 17, without God she would not have been able to be a good wife and mother. With ten children, 13 grandchildren (who make up groups like The Winans, Bebe & Cece Winans, Angie & Debbie Winans, Winans Phase2, etc.) and her own Grammy award that she and her late husband, David, received in 1989, she has never allowed the fame to overtake what God has called her to do. “God saved me when I was 16 and has kept me until now,” she once said. “God is faithful, and when you adhere to


There are great mothers who have been examples for their sons and daughters in this gospel industry. Mothers who don’t often get acknowledged for their sacrifices and investments.

God’s word and live for Him, He will not fail you.” Still declaring the gospel of Jesus along with living the life she’s been singing about, Mom Winans is still going strong. I want to take this opportunity to honor my mother, Elder Lillie Baldwin, who not only loves God, but loves gospel music as well. My mother was in a quartet, along with my grandmother, her god-sister and my dad, called “The Divine Gospel Singers.” I remember their joy in singing and just being at every program or concert there was in Brooklyn and like a good mother, where she went, her children were right behind her. She learned from her mother how to harmonize, teach and write music and she loved the piano—yup she played, too. You had to include where you were from in your name because there other groups that had the same name, so they changed theirs to Divine Gospel Messengers of Brooklyn, NY and made a record. Remember those black vinyl things? My mother was featured on the lead on the A-side “There Are Times” and on the B-side, “I’m In Love With My God.” I remember my sister and I being excited and in shock because we couldn’t believe it was Mom, although we heard her do it live all the time. My mother found herself in radio for a couple of years as host on a local Harlem-based gospel music show, which lead her to be a part of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. She served for several years in the National Gospel Announcers Guild, a voluntary association of religious announcers who came together to address their common needs as professional broadcasters. Eventually, she was given the opportunity to write for The Positive Community and originated this very column. A good mother will somehow lead you to walk in her footsteps even though you are trying to define yourself as your own person. She has enough unconditional love to chastise you when needed and pray you out of whatever you got yourself into. Most of all, although she gave you life and even if you didn’t come from her womb, she will introduce you to the one who gives you new life. We celebrate the gospel, we celebrate you!

May 2011 The Positive Community





The Songs YOU LOVE.

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For companies or businesses interested in sponsorship, marketing, sales or corporate exhibit information on: The Health Village please contact Ms. Ricketts at (212) 862 7200 or email The Children’s Festival please contact Mr. Majette at (212) 862 8477 or email Family Health Walk-A-Thon & Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run please contact Mr. Causey at (212) 862 8477 or email or 732.246.7469 Tickets also available at Heads Together (1330 W. 7th St., Piscataway • 908.226.9545)

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May 2011 The Positive Community


President Obama Speaks at NAN Gala Photos: Risasi Dais & Wali Amin Muhammad

R–L: Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III


resident Barack Obama was the featured speaker at the “Keeper’s of the Dream” annual fundraising gala of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN). Obama’s appearance at the event, which was held at the New York Sheraton Sheraton Hotel & Towers, marked his second appearance at a NAN event. The first was in 2007 as a candidate for president. At the time he promised that regardless of the outcome he would come back. Other convention highlights included MSNBC's Ed Schultz and noted columnist George Curry, Spike Lee and football great Jim Brown. Sharpton also unveiled a $20 million dollar building fund and announced that he had finalized his debts and tax liens a year earlier than agreed. President Obama delivered a rousing speech, and in closing stated: I’m not asking you to think about what we’ve already done so you can be satisfied with our progress. I know this isn’t the National Satisfaction Network.  This is the National Action Network.  (Laughter and applause.)  But I am asking you to draw inspiration from the fact that we know change is possible.  I am living testament that change is possible.  (Applause.)  We know we have the ability to put our shoulders to the wheel of history and steer America towards the promise of a better day.  We know that we stand on other shoulders and step by step, inch by inch, we make progress. That’s what we’ve been doing. And if you’re as committed as I am to continuing to change this country for the better, if you feel the same determination that I do to tackle the problems that haven’t yet met, if you’re still willing to believe in what we can do together, I am absolutely confident we will do what you’ve been doing for the last 20 years.  We will build an America where the ideals of justice and equality and opportunity are alive and well, and we will reclaim the American Dream in our time.  So thank you.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America. Thank you.

Keynote speaker, Bill Cosby

Jim Brown, Reverend Al Sharpton and Spike Lee


The Positive Community May 2011

L–R: Vivian FrazierEdwards, former Governor David Paterson and Minister Charlene Griffen,

Congressman Charles Rangel

DC37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts

York City L–R:L–R: Lee New A. Saunders, Comptroller John Lie, AFSCME/AFL-CIO LillianCouncilmembers Roberts, DC37 D. Seabrook, Foster and and Helen Norman NY CorrectionRobert OfficersJackson Union

Producer Vy Higgensen, Councilmember Inez Dickens, L–R: Paulette Washington, Jackson and Roland Martin Knolle Higginsen-Wydro andLatanya Lu Willard

Knolle Higginsen-Wydro, Imhotep Gary Byrd, Vy Higgensen, Stevie Wonder

Photos: risasi Dais & Wali Amin Muhammad

Zulu Zimmerman, Reverend Conrad Tillard and Akil Rose

StevieStevie Wonder and Japanese GospelGospel Choir Choir Wonder and Japanese May 2011 The Positive Community


Artwork by Bryan Collier


The Riverside Theatre, Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theatre Group, and Walk Tall Girl Productions present



A NEW MUSICAL Book, lyrics and direction by

Daniel Beaty

Music by Daniel Beaty, Jamal Joseph and Charles Mack Up-ended and pushed to the limit, the residents of a Harlem neighborhood find hope in the most unusual places.

Performances May 6 - May 29



Previews May 6-10


Opening Night May 12

The Riverside Theatre 91 Claremont Avenue, New York, NY

(One block west of Broadway between 120th & 122nd Street)

Box Office Tel 212.870.6784

Previews ........................................ $15 Regular .......................................... $25 Groups (10) .................................... $20 Opening Night ............................... $50

Includes Special Opening Night Reception and Bryan Collier art exhibition


Call 212 926 2550 for additional information


The Positive Community May 2011


Queen Esther

Harlem Japan Benefit Concert

Jeff Redd

An Historic Evening Alyson Williams


n Tuesday, April 19th, an extraordinary gathering of Harlemites came out to support the benefit concert, Harlem 4 Japan, held at Aaron Davis Hall on the campus of The City College of New York. The evening opened with a special message from Lloyd Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and City College President Lisa Staiano Coico. They both shared their enthusiastic support for the benefit concert and spoke of Harlem's relationship and support of the Japanese people following the recent earthquake, tsunami, and poisonous gasses leaked by the nuclear reactor explosion.  The evening's entertainment began with the Soh Daiko drummers, the first Japanese taiko drummers on the East coast, followed by a stellar line-up of artists who donated their time and talents. Rhythm and Blues legend and Grammy nominee Chuck Jackson, Yuichiro Oda, Yuko Darjeeling, Toya, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Alyson Williams, The New York African Chorus Ensemble, the Jason Marshall Trio, Oscar and Grammy nominated IMPACT Repertory Theatre, jazz trumpeter Joey Morant, saxophonist Lonnie "the Prince of Harlem" Youngblood, 15-year-old

guitarist Solomon Hicks, 15-year-old vocalist Tiffany Obi, 10-year-old organist Matthew Whitaker, vocalists Claude Jay, Janice Marie Robinson, Lady Cantrese, Annette St. John, Lee Olive Tucker, Queen Esther; winner of the 2008 Jazzmobile vocal competition, Tevin Thomas; Harlemwood Records recording artist Lainie Cooke, choreographer Obediah Wright and the Balance Dance Company, pianist Christian Sands from the Manhattan School of Music, the New Amsterdam Musical Association and Keith "The Captain" Gamble, to name but a few of the many musicians, singers, and dancers who took part. Thousands of dollars were raised during the evening and contributions were made to the Japan Chamber of Commerce, The Japan Society and The Consulate General of Japan.  The concert was supported by The City College of New York, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Community Works, Harlem Arts Alliance, the Dwyer Cultural Center, International Artists for Peace and World Harmony, Council Member Inez E. Dickens, The Office of State Assemblyman Keith Wright, Voza Rivers/ New Heritage Theatre Group and Katsuya Abe. May 2011 The Positive Community


Love, Fellowship, Praise and Worship Rev. Brightharp Anniversary Celebration


ev. Joan J. Brightharp recently celebrated 19 years as pastor of Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church of NYC. It was an outpouring of love, fellowship, praise and worship as congregation members, family and friends gathered to honor Rev. Brightharp for her years of leadership in ministry!

L–R: Rev. Brightharp with Sis. Lee Alexander, president of Pastor’s Aide League.

L–R: Sis Natalie Wright presents flowers to pastor and her husband, Min. Cornelius Dargan

Songs of praise

Bishop Edna Isaac, guest preacher from Testament BC, Baltimore, MD

Rev. Brightharp’ s granddaughter, Monique Bush (gray and pink outfit) stands before her grandmother for group photo.

Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad


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The Positive Community May 2011


his month’s arts news takes us on quite a journey. We start at The Riverside Church for a brand new musical from an acclaimed genius, to Columbia University for a talk about Harlem and religion, dance at Mount Moriah AME, music at Grace Baptist and a call to step up in faith for HIV/AIDS.


Tearing Down the Walls at The Riverside Theater at Riverside Church, Reverend Stephen H. Phelps, Interim Senior Pastor The Riverside Theater, Voza Rivers/New Heritage Theatre Group and Walk Tall Girl Productions present a new musical with direction, book and lyrics by Obie™ Award winner, Daniel Beaty (Through the Night), and music by Beaty and the Oscar-and Grammy-nominated songwriting team of Jamal Joseph and Charles Mack. Infused with soulful music, impassioned spoken word and laugh-out-loud humor, it’s Daniel Beaty about residents of a tight-knit Harlem community upended and pushed to the limit by life’s challenges, who find hope in the most unusual places. The cast includes Dietrice Bolden, Umi Shakti, Adrienne C. Moore, Rumando Kelley, Jevon McFerrin and Kelechi Ezie. The Riverside Theatre, 91 Claremont Avenue, New York NY (1 block west of Broadway between 120th & 122nd Streets), 212 870 6784, $20 General Admission; closes May 29 Jazz and the Spirit: The Art of Harlem in the American Religious Imagination Since the beginning of our musical expression, religion has occupied a place of privilege in the black musical canon. A distinguished panel comprised of Professor Marcellus Blount; composer, pianist, arranger Courtney Bryan; Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III (Abyssinian Baptist Church) and historian Josef Sorett will talk about the way this has and continues to work. Courtney Bryan This panel, presented by Columbia University, is part of the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival 2011, a partnership of Jazzmobile, The Apollo Theater, Columbia University and Harlem Stage. Miller Theatre at Columbia University, 2960

Broadway at 116th Street, NYC. Free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations required. Saturday, May 14, 2:00pm

Stop the Noise! Can You Hear the Heartbeat? The Melody above the Noise presented by Mount Moriah AME Church, Reverend Robert R. Lowe, senior pastor Under the direction of dancer Gia Hall, the AbunDance Liturgical Dance Ministry celebrates its Annual Day in a concert featuring liturgical dance and the spoken word of performance artist Ortavia “Wisdom” Jackson at the Queensborough Community College Performing Arts Center, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside NY. Tickets are $20 and available at the church on Sundays, by calling the church office (718) 276 1908 and at the concert if available. Friday, May 20, 8:00pm Spring Recital of the Grace School of Music with Wesley Reynoso presented by Grace Baptist Church, Reverend W. Franklyn Richardson, Senior Pastor Focused on creating the next generation of exceptional musicians, this school provides instruction in many instruments as well as voice and music theory classes for children, teens and adults. Wesley David Reynoso, who currently serves as the organist for Grace Baptist Church, has collaborated and performed with Grammy artists and nominees such as Earl Klugh, Dave Valentin, Antonio Sanchez and Diane Schuur. Grace Baptist Church is located at 52 South Sixth Avenue in Mount Vernon New York. For more information call 914 668 2806. The twelve-week Spring Trimester that began March 21 will present Recital Week from June 6th through 11th. National Black HIV/AIDS Theater Initiative All interested parties are welcome to participate this summer in a roundtable discussion. Calling all black theaters and theater artists to join in the movement to bring a play about HIV/AIDS to a theatre near you! This roundtable is being presented as part of the 2011 Stepping up in Faith for HIV/AIDS and will be held on Monday, July 11, 2011 from 6:00 – 9:00pm at Dwyer Cultural Center, 258 St. Nicholas Avenue, Harlem, NY. 2011 Stepping up in Faith for HIV/AIDS has free events happening borough-wide in New York City from July 10 – 16, 2011. For more information contact New York City Faith in Action, Please let me know about the arts and cultural events taking place at your church:

May 2011 The Positive Community


Have a Wonderful Mother's Day!


The Positive Community May 2011


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For call: information call: (973) 643-8014 or For information For information call: (973) 643-8014 (973) 643-8014 or or For information call: (973) 643-8014 or

WE’RE BACK! Carolina Flower Shop, a landmark in the Harlem community since 1939 has returned in a big way!

Flower Shop Too

"Transforms Floral Design Into A Symphony of Personal Harmony"

Philip Young

Photo: Bill Moore

Carolina Flower Shop Too (1952 7th Avenue between 117th & 118th Street) is celebrating 81 years in the community in our new location in the Village of Harlem. • Telephone: 212-662-0641 Store Hours – Monday –Saturday 8am to 8pm and Sunday 8am-3pm

May 2011 The Positive Community


Questions about Medicaid or Medicare?

The Bozeman Law Firm can help… As we and our parents and loved ones age, more and more we need to understand the entitlements, requirements and limitations of both Medicare and Medicaid. Our office has focused on these areas over the past years as a part of our Trust and Estates and Elder Law practices. As a result we have developed seasoned staff conversant in the eligibility requirements for these very vital programs. In addition to myself, Attorney Carla Lewis Burnett, a registered nurse and an experienced attorney, Renee Woodard, MSW, an experienced and capable nursing home social worker and administrator, and Alice Nicholson, Esq., of Counsel to our Firm, who focuses on Social Security Disability entitlements, all are available to our clients for consultations, assistance with Medicaid and disability applications and, when necessary, Medicaid and Disability Fair Hearings. We also handle Guardianship hearings and proceedings and Sandra Miller is available for accountings and assistance in complying with reporting requirements for Article 81 and other forms of Guardianships and Probate and Estate filing requirements.

Visit Our New Improved Interactive Website: THE POSITIVE

View The Entire Contents of The Positive Community Online

Plus… Photos Video Music Events Calendar Prizes special online only content

A consultation now may save you time, money and disappointment in the long term as you contemplate your future living and health needs and those of your elderly loved ones.

Bruce L. Bozeman Attorney at Law


Visit Frequently…there’s always something new Check us out on Facebook 6 Gramatan Avenue Mount Vernon, NY 10050


The Positive Community May 2011

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No Cost Noand Cost Low and Cost LowWays Costto Ways SavetoMoney Save Money and Energy and Energy

Improving or Getting Worse?

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keep our planet keep our beautiful planetand beautiful more importantly, and more importantly, functional for functional ourselves forand ourselves the generations and the generations to come. to come.

ir quality across the United States has improved tion levels can cause breathing difficulties or worse. The Check out these Checkeasy out no these costeasy or low no cost cost or tipslow to cost maketips your to make life and your thelife entire andworld the entire a greener worldplace. a greener place. dramatically since 1970 when Congress passed group’s “State of the Air: 2010” report looks at levels of the Clean Air Act in response to growing polozone and particle pollution found in monitoring sites lution problems and fouled air from coast to coast. across the United States in 2006, 2007, COST and 2008, and NO COST NO COST LOW COST LOW According to data from the U.S. Environmental Proteccompares them to previous periods. • Install low-flow • improvement Install showerheads low-flow and showerheads sink aerators and to sink reduce aerators to reduce • Turn off everything • Turn off not everything inofuse: not TVs, in use: lights, TVs, etc.computers, tion Agency (EPA), levels all lights, major aircomputers, pollution con- etc. The biggest was found in year-round hot water water use. • Check furnace • nitrogen Check or air conditioners furnace or air(AC) conditioners filters monthly, (AC) filters and clean monthly, and clean taminants (ozone, oxides, carbon monoxide, (annual) particulate levels, which the ALA attributes • Seal andwindows weatherstrip doors windows to keep and doors heat orto keep heat or or replace as needed. or replace Dirty as filters needed. block Dirty airfilters flow through block airyour flow through your• Seal and weatherstrip sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and lead) are down to recent efforts to clean up and major industrial air polluconditioning escaping.from escaping. heating and cooling heating systems, and cooling increasing systems, yourincreasing energy billyour andenergy bill and air conditioningairfrom significantly since 1970; carbon monoxide levels alone tion sources. “However, the continuing problem dem• A water tank•insulation A water tank wrapinsulation costs about wrap$20 costs andabout helps$20 holdand the helps hold the shortening theshortening equipment’s thelife. equipment’s life. dropped by more•than 70 percent. onstrates that more remains to be todone, especially in heat inside. 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Magazine ( But according to the American Lung Association Send questions to: Community NA Positive June 2009 The June 2009 Community The PositiveNA (ALA), even though air quality around the country is Subscribe: improving overall, some 175 million Americans—58 perFree Trial Issue: cent of the population—still live in places where

May 2011 The Positive Community



NATO, the U.S. and the Libyan Civil War


voted for Barack Obama in 2008, have supported most of his administration’s initiatives, and expect to vote for him in 2012. But I have serious doubts concerning United States and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) military intervention in the Libyan civil war. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”− Matthew 5:9 (New International Version) President Obama’s peacemaking efforts prior to bombing Libya had been commendable. Early in his term, he made peace overtures to the Muslim world through a speech delivered in Cairo, Egypt. His administration also established an exit strategy for U.S. troops in Iraq, and focused U.S. military action in Afghanistan toward dismantling al-Qaeda, with a view toward eventual U.S. disengagement. “…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” − Matthew 25:40 (NIV) Domestically, President Obama’s economic stimulus initiatives helped mitigate the “Great Recession,” which he inherited from former President George W. Bush and which caused people to lose jobs and homes. President Obama also pressed passage of the 2010 Health Care Law, which, when fully implemented, should help people least able to help themselves get quality medical care. Regarding Libya, if the stated reason for the U.S./NATO intervention—to prevent a massacre of innocent civilians— is true (and I hope it is), then that military action may also be covered by Christ’s encouragement to help folks in need. But is that official reason the whole truth? If so, why did not NATO and the U.S. militarily intervene in the Cote d’Ivoire civil war that endangered civilians and was occurring at the same time? And why had not NATO and the U.S. intervened militarily to stop the massacres of civilians in Darfur and the Congo? “You cannot serve God and wealth.” − Matthew 6:24 (New American Standard Bible) Was the Obama administration influenced, as past administrations have been, by that permanent “invisible government” that promotes the interests of major U.S. and British oil companies? Libya contained 39.13 billion barrels of proved oil reserves as of January 1, 2009, ranked ninth in the world and first in Africa, according


The Positive Community May 2011

to the CIA World Factbook. Congo’s oil reserves were only 1.506 billion barrels, ranked 35th in the world, and Cote d’Ivoire’s reserves were a mere one million barrels, ranked 70th in the world. Although Sudan contained 6.4 billion barrels, ranked 20th in the world and fourth in Africa, those reserves were not all in Darfur. Past presidential administrations have uttered highsounding excuses for U.S. attacks on other countries. Remember President George W. Bush’s famous “weapons of mass destruction”? Those “WMDs” were never found in Iraq. But the 2009 CIA World Factbook indicated Iraq’s 115 billion barrels of oil reserves ranked it fourth in the world after Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iran. NATO was organized after World War II as a selfdefense alliance against Soviet armies then stationed in eastern and central Europe. I do not believe that NATO has suddenly metamorphosed into a philanthropic organization focused on protecting people outside of its borders. With the Soviet bloc now weakened, and NATO strengthened by several permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council, NATO appears to have expanded its mission to include imperialist interests outside of Europe. Key NATO members Great Britain and France were colonial powers that “owned” vast territory in Africa (France colonized Libya) from the late 19th century continued on page 81



continued from page 80

continued from page 17

through the mid-20th century. After the overturn of overt colonization, France in particular has frequently engaged in neocolonialism, through which it influences outcomes in its former colonies’ affairs without actually “owning” them. Selective military action is a tool of neocolonialism. May is African Liberation Month, and it is interesting that in April, leadership of the African Union (AU) condemned NATO’s bombing of Libya. Whenever former colonial powers take military action in Africa, the specter of potential re-colonization emerges. The AU includes virtually all of Africa’s nation-states and unsuccessfully attempted to broker a ceasefire in Libya. For the record, I do not support Gaddafi. My problems with him extend back to Libya’s role in the 1970s/1980’s civil war in Chad, and his orchestration of the 1998 terrorist bombing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Nor do I support al-Qaeda, which U.S. intelligence sources have indicated may be part of the Libyan opposition. But God knows the heart, including the true motivation for the NATO/U.S. leadership’s bombing of Libya. All I can do is analyze perceivable facts, remembering that God judges nations as well as individuals. I by no means plan to join the domestic forces seeking to overturn President Obama. Instead, I encourage those who, like me, generally support the President but have doubts concerning U.S. military intervention in the Libyan civil war, to write to Mr. Obama, praising his positive accomplishments but questioning his Libya decision.

work at Alfred University in upstate New York and being accepted to several medical schools, he chose the College of Medicine and Dentistry, where he was the only African American in his class. “I was interested in several things that I studied,” he remembered, but although his strongest interest was in pediatrics, he found that the patients “aged out” of the specialty at around 12 or 13years-old. “I had some experiences with older children and it crystallized an interest in teenagers,” he said; “In those days the study of adolescent medicine was a new field and there were very few training programs.” NYU was one school with such a program and while a there, Johnson co-founded The Door, a multi-service center for adolescents in Manhattan, which is a nationally and internationally acknowledged model for integrated youth services. He is also noted for being one of the first to get involved in HIV/AIDS care during his New York study. When he came back to NJMS it was with the desire to start similar programs that took into consideration issues involving teenagers in New Jersey and the Newark community. “My own practice has a great focus on behavior,” Johnson, explained. This included the underlying causes of teenage pregnancy, why teens get arrested, develop drug problems and contract sexually transmitted disease. He notes that working with both the parent and the child is a key point because a lot of this behavior results from teenagers and parents who have issues with each other that begin when the teen is a child. “If a child has been brought to me because of some misbehavior, and I don’t actually look at the parent and what they may be doing to help the child work through the problem, it just doesn’t work well.” He encapsulates his experience and expertise in one of his two published works, Strength for Their Journey, a guide for parents of African American teens. Johnson also started a strong Adolescent Division which includes the successful Young Fathers Program at UMDNJ which started in the 80’s as a response to what was then an epidemic of teenage pregnancy. “We noted that teenage pregnancy was a major cause of school dropout among both young women and men. In our discussions with the young men, we found that many wanted to be involved with their children but they just didn’t know how to do it because they had no role models at home.” Johnson has served on numerous boards, committees and task forces nationwide, statewide and locally. He plans to continue holding his faculty appointment as professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at NJMS. He also continues a regular schedule of seeing and treating patients. He says his work with teenagers will most certainly continue. “It’s the one thing for me that is the most rewarding; I didn’t know what was going to happen when this all started,” Dr. Johnson says of his work with adolescents, “but it is something that pleases me the most.”

May 2011 The Positive Community



The Last Word BY R.L. WITTER

Vol. 11, No. 5

Publisher Adrian A. Council, Sr. Editor-in-Chief Jean Nash Wells Associate Editor R. L. Witter Sales Angela Ridenour Adrian Council, Jr. NGS Communications, Inc. Satori MPR Church/Community Affairs Coordinator Faith Jackson Contributing Writers Sonja Gracy Dr. Phillip Bonaparte Dr. John Palmer Mwandikaji K. Mwanafunzi g.r. mattox Rosemary Sinclair Patricia Baldwin Rev. Theresa Nance Rev. Reginald T. Jackson Herb Boyd Glenda Cadogan Toni Parker Helene Fox Rev. Dr. Joanne Noel Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood William Parrish Jeanne Parnell Photographers Bob Gore Wali A. Muhammad Seitu Oronde Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins, Jr. Darryl Hall Vincent Bryant Donovan Gopie Linda Pace Hubert Williams Art Direction & Layout Penguin Design Group Martin Maishman The Positive Community Corp. 133 Glenridge Avenue Montclair, NJ 07042 973-233-9200 Fax: 973-233-9201 Email: Website: All contents © 2010 The Positve Community Corporation. All Rights Reserved. This publication, in whole or in part, may not be reproduced, stored in a computerized or other retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means whatsoever without the prior written permission of The Positive Community Corporation. Any opinions expressed herein are solely the opinions of the writer(s) and not necessarily those of The Positive CommunityTM, its management or staff. The Positive CommunityTM reserves the right to retain all materials and does not assume reponsibility for unsolicited materials.


t’s May and instinctively our thoughts turn to Mother’s Day— flowers, cards, brunch and candies (well maybe not the candies). As I think of the women in my life who so elegantly and diligently represent what I believe to be idyllic incarnations of motherhood, there is one particular woman who makes my list despite my never having met her. You can keep June Cleaver and Carol Brady. While I have nothing against them and plenty of fond childhood memories of those t.v. moms, they simply don’t look or sound like my mother and I would find quite suspect any of their attempts at corn pudding and candied yams. Sure, there was Claire Huxtable, the beautiful legal eagle who was a power attorney by day and wife and mother to her husband and children by night… she ‘s close but no cigar because, well—she isn’t real and exists only in my memories of the 80s and on those nights when I catch her on Nick at Nite. There is another woman who lights up the screen when she appears. She is tall, brown-skinned, intelligent and beautiful. Her fashion choices set trends and the definition of her arms sends women flocking to the gym to try to duplicate her healthy and sensuous physique. She is, in fact, an Ivy Leagueeducated attorney and now works day and night as not only a wife and mother, but a role model, fashion icon, spokesperson, and trusted presidential confidante and advisor—everything that one could hope and pray for in a wife and mother, indeed. She is also a woman of faith. During her husband’s presidential campaign she remarked on Tom Joyner’s radio show, “… it means the world to us to know that there are prayer circles out there and people who want to keep the spirits clean around us.” She spoke at the National Baptist Convention USA

Annual Session saying, “I came here today as a Christian, as a person of faith who believes we have all have been called to serve our fellow men and women and to honor God’s creation.” And serve she did and does, from being on the board of her daughters’ former school in Chicago and fighting to maintain diversity, to advocating on behalf of military families. Her “Joining Forces” program aims to assist military families with education, employment and wellness; it harkens back to a time when mother’s took care of the neighborhood and community collectively, looking out for others—especially those less fortunate and who made sacrifices for the wellbeing of the masses. She is currently laboring to fight childhood obesity. “And how about getting your church or place of worship involved? That’s what we’re doing through ‘Let’s Move!’ Faith and Communities, we’re supporting faith leaders who want to build healthier congregations,” she said in a recent trip to an Atlanta area mega-church. She has planted a vegetable garden at the White House and placed salad bars in schools; and yet she is still hip and down-to-earth enough to make sure there are ribs at the White House Superbowl party and do “the Dougie” to a Beyoncé song with hundreds of children while cameras capture her every move. And at the end of the day, she makes sure that her daughters have cleaned their rooms and cleared their own dishes from the table because as she says, “they don’t need their lives to be easy. They’re kids.” Beauty, brains, style, substance, wit, wisdom and the ability to vacation on the Vineyard or bust a move to Beyoncé— She’s a bad mamma jamma! Happy Mother’s Day, FLOTUS!


Thursday, May 26th 


6:35pm Friday,  May 27th 

6:35pm Saturday,  May 28th  6:35pm 

6:35pm Sunday,  May 29th  1:05pm 

Partnering with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s  Move! Initiative, the Newark Bears announce our  First Annual Let’s Move! Newark Opening Day  with the Honorable Cory A. Booker and other  Surprise Guests!  Kickoff Memorial Day weekend  with the Bears! Seniors Citizens  receive a discounted ticket with ID 

Come See Post‐Game  Fireworks!! 

Legends Sunday: Post‐Game  Meet and Greet with  Coaching Staff Including: Tim  Raines, Ron Karkovice, Mike  Torrez, and Jim Leyritz! 

For Tickets or More Information, Call 973‐848‐1000 or  Go To Groups of 20 or More  Receive Discounts! Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter! 




Saturday, June 18th Kirk Fathers Day Weekend Franklin


Jakes Also Featuring ... Vickie Winans Cissy Houston and More!









Hezekiah Walker Appears courtesy of the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Tour

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May 2011 Issue  

The Positive Community is the only faith-based lifestyle magazine targeted to the African American market in the New York /New Jersey area....