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November 2011


Focus on HEALTH

The Evolution of Al Sharpton

Health, Activism & Leaving His Legacy

Berean Community and Family Life Center Unique in New York

When Shawna had an aneurysm in her brain RWJ’s Gamma Knife was the perfect solution Shawna Scheidt was a typical college student, pursuing a degree in psychology. But two years ago she lost consciousness due to a near fatal AVM – a tangle of blood vessels called an arteriovenous malformation that leaked blood into her brain. Rushed to the hospital, Shawna had emergency surgery to stop the hemorrhage and limit the damage to her brain. When she awakened, she began a challenging recovery to restore her ability to walk and talk again. She was introduced to Dr. Shabbar F. Danish, Director of the Gamma Knife Treatment Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Suspicious that a portion of the AVM was still present, Dr. Danish ordered a cerebral angiogram, and with the results, the neurosurgical team at RWJ recommended a non-surgical procedure to treat the residual lesion. Shawna was treated using the newest generation of the Gamma Knife in the region, Perfexion, available only at RWJ. Using pinpoint accuracy, thousands of beams of radiation were simultaneously delivered to dissolve the malformation while protecting the healthy surrounding tissue. Shawna went home the same afternoon and enjoyed dinner with her family, which would be impossible with conventional treatment. Today, she is back to her normal routine and looks forward to returning to college.

RWJ is home to the latest advances in neurosciences, including the Gamma Knife.

The Heart of Academic Medicine • 732-418-8002 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

Strong Families plus Strong Schools build Strong Communities Working together, families, teachers, and school staff can have a powerful positive impact on our students, our communities, and our future. Here are some ideas to help reinforce what makes each child – and each family – special: • Write down the qualities that make each of your children unique and hang them in their rooms. • Get up early one day and have a special breakfast together. • Leave a note under their pillows mentioning something about him or her that makes you proud. • Create a family tree. • Make a collage depicting favorite things. • Look over family photo albums. • Establish family traditions. When children receive encouragement at home, they are more likely to succeed in school. Let’s work together to build strong students.

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

November 2011



Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Culture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Features NJBIC: Seeking Change We Can Believe In . 18


&also inside

Healing Men: ICB Hosts Health Fair . . . . . . 39 Hepatitis C: A Silent Killer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Guest Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Berean Baptist’s Unique Health Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

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

Higher Ground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Earth Talk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Health Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Ronald Del Mauro: 45 Years with St. Barnabas . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Spirit & Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Harlem Dowling 175th Anniversary . . . . . . 62

Gospel Train. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Jazz Master Randy Weston . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

The Way Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 The Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

Generation Next: Group Honors Dr. King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

PHOTO CREDITS Cover photo: Herb Glenn

Passings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

With you when



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Certificate of Christian Ministry Master of Divinity Master of Pastoral Care and Counseling Master of Religious Education Doctor of Ministry Program For additional information, call or e-mail Dr. Cynthia Diaz Director of Student Affairs and Vocational Discernment | 212-870-1212

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Roll Call for PC_Sept_11.qxd:Roll Call for PC Document.qxd 10/11/11 8:21 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 B.C. of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset NJ Rev. Dr. DeForest (Buster) Soaries, Pastor

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

World Gospel Music Assoc., Newark, NJ Dr. Albert Lewis, Founder

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

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

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

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

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

Businesses & Organizations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It Is Well Living Ministries, Clark, NJ Rev. Kahlil Carmichael, Pastor Messiah Baptist Church, East Orange, NJ Rev. Dana Owens, Pastor Metropolitan B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Pastor Mother A.M.E. Zion Church, Harlem Rev. Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith, Pastor Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church, Harlem, NY

Convent Avenue Baptist Church, New York, NY Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Willams, Pastor

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

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

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

Evening Star B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Washington Lundy, Pastor

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

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

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

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

New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ

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

125th St. BID African American Heritage Parade African American Muslims for Interfaith Relationships (AAMIR) American Diabetes Association

Ruth Fellowship Ministries, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Tracy Brown, Pastor

American Heart Association, Northern, NJ

Shiloh B.C., Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Gerald Lamont Thomas, Pastor

Brown Executive Realty, LLC

St. Anthony Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Duane E. Cooper

City National Bank

St. Luke Baptist Church of Harlem, New York, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie McCann, Pastor

Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce

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

Carver Federal Savings Bank Essex County College, NJ Inner City Broadcasting Medgar Evers College Mildred Crump, Newark City Council

St. Albans, NY COGIC Rev. Ben Monroe

NAACP New Jersey*

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

New Brunswick Theological Seminary

St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, Pastor

New York Theological Seminary

St. Paul Community B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. David K. Brawley, Pastor

Newark School of Theology

The Cathedral Int’l., Perth Amboy, NJ Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor

Schomburg Center

The New Hope B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Joe Carter, Senior Pastor

The College of New Rochelle

Thessalonia Worship Center, Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. Shellie Sampson, Pastor Union Baptist Temple,, Bridgeton, NJ Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Pastor

NAACP, NY State Conference* New Jersey Performing Arts Center New York Urban League Razac Products Co., Newark, NJ The Bozeman Law Firm The United Way of Essex and West Hudson University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ WBGO-88.3FM WKMB-1070AM

Walker Memorial B.C. Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr., Pastor West Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY Rev. Alvin Barnett


“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

125th Street BID, Community Boards 9, 10, & 11 and the 125th Street BID, Community Boards 9, 10, & 11 and the New York City Housing Authority present: New thYork City Housing Authority present: 125 Street BID, Community Boards 9, 10, & 11 and the New York City Housing Authority present: 125th Street BID, Community Boards 9, 10, & 11 and the New York City Housing Authority present:

Community Boards 9, 10, 11 Boards 9, 10, 11

Community Community Boards 9, 10, 11

Joyous Sounds and Lights Joyous Sounds and Lights Joyous Sounds and Lights Monday, November 21 , 5:30pm

Community Boards 9, 10, 11

Joyous Sounds andst Lights st

Monday, 21st, 5:30pm Harlem November State Office Building Plaza st Monday, November 21 , 5:30pm Monday, November 21 , 5:30pm Harlem State Office Building Plaza Harlem StateOffice Office Building PlazaPlaza BeforeHarlem the Lights: State Building Community Fundraiser

Join us on the Plaza of the Adam Clayton Before the Lights: Powell State Office Building: 163 West 125th St at Adam Powell, Blvd at 5:30 pm Join us onClayton the Plaza of theJr.Adam Clayton

Before the Lights: Before the Lights:

in us on the Plaza of the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building: 163 West 125 St Come out and enjoy an incredible display of in us on the Plaza of the Adam Clayton th at AdamBuilding: Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd at 5:30 pm well State Office 163 West 125will Joyous Sounds and Lights. The evening be th St well State Office Building: 163 West 125 St filled with music live performances provided Come out and enjoy an incredible display of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.andBlvd at 5:30 pm by Vy Higginsen of Mama I Want to Sing, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd at 5:30 pm Joyous Sounds and Lights. The evening will be th

Harlem Arts Alliance, andperformances more… filled with and live ome out and enjoy anmusic incredible display ofprovided by Vy Higginsen of Mama display I Want to Sing, ome out and enjoy an incredible of For Updates:will be yous SoundsHarlem and Lights. The evening Arts Alliance, and more… yous Sounds and The evening will be led with music and performances provided For Updates: led with music and live performances provided Vy Higginsen of Mama Want to Sing,

Vy Higginsen of Mama I Want to Sing, arlem Arts Alliance, and more… arlem Arts Alliance, and more… For Updates: For Updates:

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 6:00pm to 8:00pm 125th Street BID Office: 360 West 125th St, Suite 11

Community Fundraiser Community Fundraiser

Community Fundraiser

Tuesday, 15th, 2011 to for 8:00pm ComeNovember out and show your6:00pm support th th th 125Tuesday, StreetHoliday BID Office: 360 West 125 Suitewe 11 “Harlem Lights” 2011. Together, November 15 ,St,2011 6:00pm

to 8:00p th th Tuesday, November 15 , 2011 6:00pm toSuite 8:00p1 th th StreetOffice: from River to West River! 125 St, can125 light up 125 BID Street 360 Come th out and show your support for th 125 $25 Street BID Office: 360 West “Harlem Holiday Lights” 2011. Together, we 125 St, Suite 1 minimum suggested donation Streetand fromshow River toyour River!support can lightCome up 125th out


All proceeds will be out used toward installation andsupport for Come and the show your $25of minimum suggested donation maintenance the Holiday Holiday Lights along 125th 2011. Street Together, w “Harlem Lights” “HarlemthisHoliday holiday season. th Lights” 2011. Together, w from light up 125 All can proceeds will be used toward the installation and River to Rive th Street th thlight up 125 Street from can maintenance of theBID Holiday Lights along 125 Street River to Rive The 125 Street is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit holiday season. organization. Allthis contributions are tax deductible.donation $25 minimum suggested

$25 minimum suggested donation installation a All proceeds will be used toward the installation a maintenance of the Holiday Lights along 125thth Stre maintenance of the Holiday Lights along 125 Stre this holiday season. this holiday season. th The 125th Street BID is a 501(c)(3) not-for-prof The 125 Street is a 501(c)(3) not-for-prof organization. All BID contributions are tax deductib organization. All contributions are tax deductib

The 125th Street BID is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All contributions are taxtoward deductible. All proceeds will be used the

125th Street BID, Community Boards 9, 10, & 11 and the The Lights: 7:00pm New York City Housing Authority present:Participating The Lights: Lights: 7:00pm 7:00pm Participating Churches: The Participating 36 Skyline Streamers JoinThe us at Lights: the corner7:00pm The following churches will be Participating Churches: draped across 125th Churches: of 125th St & ACP welcoming the holiday lights with 36 Skyline Streamers Join us at the corner The following churches will be Street will brighten our 36 Skyline Streamers Churches: Blvd to Join usat at7:00pm the corner th The following churches will carolers down 125th Street onbe the draped across 125thth

of 125th St & ACP celebrate the Join us atSt the corner of 125 &lighting ACP Blvd at th 7:00pm to of the street of 125at 7:00pm St & ACP Blvd to celebrate the lighting Blvd at 7:00pm to celebrate the lighting of the street celebrate lighting of thethe street of the street

community from 36 Skyline Streamers draped across 125theour Street will brighten East River to the draped across 125th Street will brighten community from theour Hudson River for theour Street will brighten community East River tofrom the the Entire Holiday Season community from the East River to the Hudson River for the East River to the Hudson River for the Entire Holiday Season HudsonHoliday River forSeason the Entire Entire Holiday Season st

welcoming the holiday lights with The following churches will be welcoming the holiday lights evening of November 21st:with carolers down 125th Street on the Community Boards 9, 10, 11 lights with welcoming the 125th holiday carolers down Street on the November 21st: • evening Antioch of Baptist carolers down 125th Street on the evening of November 21st: • Saint Marks evening of November 21st: Antioch Baptist •• Williams Institute

Joyous Sounds and Lights

•• Antioch Baptist Saint Marks • St. Johns Baptist •• Saint Marks Antioch WilliamsBaptist Institute • Abyssinian Baptist •• Williams Institute Saint Marks St. • St. Johns MarksBaptist UME •• St. Johns Baptist Williams Institute Abyssinian Baptist • Friendship •• Abyssinian Baptist St. Johns Baptist St. Marks UME • Mt. Calvary •• St. Marks UME Abyssinian Baptist Friendship • St. Charles •• Friendship St. UME Mt.Marks Calvary • Mustard Seed Faith •• Mt. Calvary John Herrold; Zhen Friendship St. • Mt.Charles Neboh Baptist • St. Charles Mt. Calvary •• Mustard Seed FaithBaptist Heinmann; Diane Collier; Gospel Missionary Congressman Charles Rangel; John Herrold; Zhen •• Mustard Seed Faith St. Charles Mt. Neboh Baptist • St. Lukes AME John Herrold; Michael Unthank;Zhen Regina •• th Mt. Neboh Baptist Assemblyman Keith Wright; Heinmann; Diane Collier; Mustard Seed FaithBaptist Join us on the Plaza of the Adam Clayton Gospel Missionary Church of the Intercession Congressman Charles Rangel; JohnNikoa Herrold; Zhen Tuesday, November•• 15Gospel , 2011 6:00pm to 8:00pm Heinmann; Diane Collier; Smith; Evans; Brad Missionary Mt. Neboh Baptist Baptist th Congressman Charles Rangel; Councilmembers • St. Lukes AME Michael Unthank; Regina • Congregacion Cristianna Del Amor th th Powell State Office Building: 163 West 125 St Assemblyman Keith Wright; Heinmann; Diane Collier; 125 Street BID Office: 360 West 125 St, Suite 11 • St. Lukes AME MichaelYonnette Unthank;Douglas; Regina Taylor; Gospel Missionary Baptist •• Church of the Congressman Charles Rangel; Assemblyman Keith Wright; Fellowship andIntercession Love Church Robert Jackson, Inez Dickens, Smith; Nikoa Evans; Brad • Church of the Intercession Councilmembers St. Lukes AME atShellie Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd at 5:30 pm Michael Unthank; Regina Congregacion Cristianna Del Amor Smith; Williams; Nikoa Evans; Brad Geoffrey •• St. Joseph Assemblyman Keith Wright; Councilmembers Melissa Mark-Viverito Taylor; Yonnette Douglas; Congregacion Cristianna Del Amor Come out and••• show your support for Church of the Intercession Fellowship and Love Church Robert Jackson, Inez Dickens, Smith; Evans; Brad Holy Ghost Pentacostal Taylor; Yonnette Douglas; Eaton; Nikoa Jamillah Richards; •• Fellowship andCristianna Love Church RobertCouncilmembers Jackson, Inez Dickens, Congregacion Del Amor Shellie Williams; Geoffrey St. Joseph “Harlem Holiday Lights” 2011. Together, we • St. Philips Come out and enjoy an incredible display of Mark-Viverito Melissa Taylor; Yonnette Douglas; Shellie Williams; Geoffrey Laura Johnson-Avanessian; •• St. Joseph Fellowship and Love Church Robert Jackson, Inez Dickens, th Melissa Mark-Viverito Holy GhostPentacostal Pentacostal Eaton; Jamillah Richards; • Manhattan from River to River! can light up 125 •Street Shellie Williams; Geoffrey Holy Ghost Pentacostal Joyous Sounds and Lights. The evening will beMark-Viverito St. Joseph Eaton;Corey Jamillah Richards; Ortega •• St. Melissa St.Philips Lukes Baptist Laura Johnson-Avanessian; •• St. Philips Holy Ghost Pentacostal Eaton; Jamillah Richards; Manhattan Pentacostal Laura with Johnson-Avanessian; filled music and live performances provided • United House of Prayer $25 minimum donation Corey Ortega •• suggested Manhattan Pentacostal St. St.Philips Lukes Baptist Laura Johnson-Avanessian; • Soul Saving Station Corey Ortega by Vy Higginsen of Mama I Want to Sing, •• St. Lukes Baptist Manhattan Pentacostal United House of Prayer Corey Ortegath All proceeds will be •usedUnited toward the of installation and House Prayer St. Lukes Baptist • Soul Saving Station Harlem ArtsThe Alliance, and more… 125 Street BID is committed to improving the quality of life in the• community. th Soul Saving Station maintenance of the Holiday Lights along 125 Street United House of Prayer th

Committee Members:Monday, November 21 , 5:30pm Honorary Committee Committee Members: Harlem State Office Building Plaza Committee Members: Honorary Committee Members: Honorary Committee Committee Members: Honorary Committee Members: Members: Before the Lights: Community Fundraiser Members:

We work daily to improve and increase 125 Street’s commerce and tourism and strive toSoul encourage its ongoing th Saving Station season. The 125th Street BID is committed to improving the quality of life inthis the•holiday community. revitalization as a premier art, cultural, and entertainment destination The 125 Street BID is committed to improving the quality of life in the community. th For Updates: We work daily to improve and increase 125th Street’s commerce and tourism and strive to encourage its ongoing th life in the community. 125th Street BID is committed to improving theand quality We work dailyThe to improve and increase 125 Street’s commerce tourism and strive its ongoing The 125of Street BID istoaencourage 501(c)(3) not-for-profit revitalization as a premier art, cultural, and entertainment destination th We work daily to improve and increase 125 Street’s commerce tourism and strive to encourage its ongoing revitalization as a premier art, cultural, andand entertainment destination organization. All contributions are tax deductible. revitalization as a premier art, cultural, and entertainment destination

Map courtesy of HCDC

Come out and hear the sounds on 125th Street from Third to Twelfth Avenues. More than twenty Harlem churches Map courtesy of HCDC will welcome the lights with Holiday Carolers as the entire street is courtesy illuminated, block by block, under theCorporation direction th Map of Harlem Community Development Map courtesy of HCDC Come out and hear the sounds on 125 Street from Third to Twelfth Avenues. More than twenty Harlem churches th of Tony award winner Harlem’s ownThird George Twelfth Faison from the Faison Firehouse Theater. Come out and hear the with sounds on and 125Carolers Street as from Avenues. More twenty Harlem Map courtesy of HCDC will welcome the lights Holiday the entireto street is illuminated, blockthan by block, under the churches direction th will welcome the lights with Holiday Carolers as the entire street is illuminated, block by block, under the direction Come out and hear the sounds on 125 Street from Third to Twelfth Avenues. More than twenty Harlem churches of Tony award winner and Harlem’s own George Faison from the Faison Firehouse Theater. of the Tony award winner andCarolers Harlem’s George Faison from the Faison will welcome lights with Holiday as own the entire street is illuminated, blockFirehouse by block, Theater. under the direction of Tony award winner and Harlem’s own George Faison from the Faison Firehouse Theater.


Jennifer Jones Austin is a senior-level executive, attorney and advocate, working for the advancement of under-served and under-supported children, individuals and families in New York City and beyond. She is the daughter of the late Reverend Dr. William A. Jones, former pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York.

Living Proof: Faith Without Works is Dead n September 2009, I woke up one morning with a flulike fever. Two days later I couldn’t see. I could hardly walk or stand. Three days later I was diagnosed with leukemia, and given a 1 percent chance of survival beyond that week. By the grace of God I did survive that week. However, my doctors believed I would not live much longer if I did not undergo a bone marrow transplant. Each of my siblings came forward, eager to be a donor for me, as siblings with the same birth parents typically are the best matches for bone marrow transplant patients because they share the same genetic and blood typing. Ironically, my siblings matched each other but they didn’t match me. Desperate for a transplant, I turned to the National Bone Marrow Registry and its eight million registered donors to find a match. It was then that I learned that race and ethnicity are significant factors in donor matching, and that African American donors are typically more compatibly matched with African American transplant recipients. I also learned that, tragically, the number of African Americans registered as potential donors in the National Bone Marrow Registry is statistically small, thus lowering my and other African Americans’ chances of finding a suitable match. Nevertheless, believing in the power of God and His ability to make a way somehow, my husband, family, friends, and many of you—my sisters and brothers in Christ—went to work, praying, organizing and hosting bone marrow donor drives across this country, to find a donor for me and others in need of a transplant. In just 13 weeks, with Christian churches leading the effort, 13,000 people joined the National Bone Marrow Registry. Together, in three months, we added more African Americans to the Registry than have ever been added in any single year.



The Positive Community November 2011

In February 2010, I received an umbilical cord blood transplant. Praise the Lord! Although potential unrelated donors in the registry were identified, my doctors determined that cord blood was the more viable option for me. Cord blood transplant is a growing alternative to unrelated bone marrow donor transplants because of the difficulty in finding compatible unrelated donors for patients from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, like African Americans. Adding more cord blood units following the births of children of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to the registry, along with unrelated bone marrow donor registrants, significantly increases the likelihood that all patients suffering from blood cancers and certain other blood disorders will find a match. Today, my body shows no signs of leukemia. To God Be All the Glory! As James 2:14-17 teaches, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Thank you, my brothers and sisters, for your faith and your works on behalf of countless others and me. You have brought hope to so many struggling with leukemia and other blood disorders, and you have demonstrated the strength of our churches and the impact we continue to have on our communities. I am forever grateful to God, and will always be thankful for the congregations of New Jersey and New York. For more information on how to become a registered bone marrow donor or how to donate umbilical cord blood, please visit

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

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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.


A Monumental Occasion he unveiling of the King monument on the Washington Mall had all the pomp and celebratory atmosphere fit for a king, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., thank you very much. President Obama, an example of Dr. King’s dream of judging the content of one’s character rather than the color of one’s skin, spoke eloquently. On that balmy day in October, the 16th, to be exact, the old guard came out and reminded us that there’s still much work to do. Rev. Joseph Lowery, the wonderful Harry Belafonte, Rev. Jesse Jackson and others gathered upon that historic site to remember not the man who would be king, but King himself. I am so glad God placed me in this early 21st century. There’s much to be thankful for, there’s much to be excited about, and still much for which to continue to strive. And, Dr. King wouldn’t have had it any other way, in my judgment. We, as a people, shouldn’t be looking for another King. He was a phenomenon and we shan’t see the likes of him again. There will be others coming over the horizon; they are now in the process of being groomed and trained for even greater things. After all, it was Christ Himself who said, “And greater things shall ye do.” It’s happening, right before our very eyes. And, even though I joined the ranks of senior citizens a number of years ago, I still have a charge to keep and a God to glorify in my own way, in God’s own time. I met recently with a young woman who is in the process of running for a statewide political office. I was thrilled to be able to impart some things that I believed would be beneficial to her regarding her own journey. I believe the Apostle Paul told his son in the gospel, Titus, that the older women should teach the younger women. In this case, the younger woman was willing to listen and that’s not always how it goes, much to my chagrin. Dr. King mentored by example and design. As a result of his each one teach one approach, Rev. Al Sharpton has surfaced as a prominent black man of God in the movement. You know, the struggle continues. Rev. Sharpton is training his executive director, Tameka



The Positive Community November 2011

Mallory and Tameka, I’m sure, will train others —for Booker T. Washington reminded us that we blacks are like the fingers of a glove...separate but equal. Therefore, we have our own individual paths to take but in so doing, we must not forget that we lift as we climb. That’s the way it’s always been. Perhaps some of the “brothas” who erroneously believe there’s nothing to live for, and some of the “sistas” who can’t get beyond their bling, will consider what is at stake when our minds stay focused on intangible things that can’t be squirreled away in some closet or tucked away in some drawer. Dr. King was a classic symbol of someone who could have lived on a flowery bed of ease, so the old saints used to say, but instead took the road less traveled...and it has made all the difference. My church and I plan to visit the statue on the mall, come next year. It was built by those who understood that Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson weren’t the only ones who sacrificed much for a cause. I can hardly wait.

Dr. Patrick Ianniello

Director, Master of Science in Education Program

I teach

“BE A ROLE MODEL.” Have you considered a career as a teacher? MCNY’s new one-year MSED Dual Certification in Childhood and Special Education program may be just for you.

Through a one year clinically-rich teaching experience, MCNY has uniquely reinvented the MSED to connect theory to practical teaching application. Our rigorous full-time program is NCATE accredited and is designed for professionals looking to make a career change or recent college graduates interested


“I teach aspiring teachers to be the best educators they can be. But in reality I know I am creating role models”

in entering the dynamic teaching profession. Think you have what it takes to be a role model as a teacher? Then join us at an upcoming admissions event and learn more about our MSED programs in Dual Childhood/Special Education, Childhood Education and Mathematics 7-12. Enroll now and begin this January. The Standard of Excellence in Teacher Preparation

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T L–R: Rev. Patricia A. Morris, corresponding secretary; Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Williams, assistant financial secretary; Rev. Keith A. Bolden Sr., financial secretary and Rev. Jimmie Howell, recording secretary

he Annual Session of the United Missionary Baptist Association convened at Second Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem. On Moderator Night, Moderator Rev. Lee Arrington gave his steward report and delivered his annual address. The event was well attended by dignitaries from throughout the state and the region. The UMBA represents over 146 churches in Manhattan, Bronx and Lower Westchester.

“…seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7

Moderator Rev. Lee Arrington with Rev. Washington L. Lundy, president Empire Missionary Baptist Convention and VP Northeastern Region, National Baptist Convention, USA. Inc.

The Master of Professional Studies at Sing Sing Prison Helping men to help themselves for the rest of their lives


Teaching a man to minister to others--by helping others, he helps himself; by helping himself, he helps to improve society.

L–R: Rev. Morris and Rev. James A. Kilgore


Teaching a man that in spite of his circumstances, he can learn something worth while and do something meaningful for himself and for society Photos: Bruce Moore


To help a man understand he has a sense of worth and that he’s capable of doing more. The NYTS Master of Professional Studies (MPS) is a one-year 36-credit graduate degree offered in Sing Sing Correctional Facility for persons who are currently incarcerated within the New York State Correctional System. This accredited degree is one of the most unique programs in theological education in North America today. NYTS has been offering the MPS at Sing program since 1982. During that period, over 400 candidates have graduated. Many have gone on to distinguish themselves in leadership both locally and nationally upon release, while many others continue to serve faithfully without wide recognition behind bars within the New York State Correctional System.

HELP SUPPORT The Master of Professional Studies at Sing Sing Prison For additional information or to become a supporter, visit us at or call 212-870-1211

Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins, Jr.


475 Riverside Drive, Suite 500 | New York, NY 10115| T: 212-870-1211 | F: 212-870-1236 |


The Positive Community November 2011

Baptist Ministers Conference of New York and Vicinity 2011 Installation Service


President Dr. Shellie Sampson Jr. is being pinned by Mrs. Morrison president of the Ministers Wives and Widows Division of UMBA (United Missionary Baptist Association).

Photos: Larry Reid & Wali Amin Muhammad

he Baptist Ministers Conference of New York held its Installation of Officers at the Thessalonia Baptist Worship Center on Monday, November 7, 2011 with a gathering of several hundred people present to participate in services of the 113 year old organization. President Sara Morrison of the minister’s wives and widow’s division (UMBA) led the flower pinning ceremony. The new president, Shellie Sampson Jr. pastor, of the Thessalonia Church of the Bronx, outlined his program for the next three years. This includes a greater focus upon civic, educational and economic development on behalf of marginalized people, increased teaching, information sharing and developmental seminars. There will be increased interaction with community organizations and increased monitoring of relevant issues that impact the community. There will also be greater use of available resources from creative and innovative ministers and lay persons. A revised internal structure will be put in place to increase the effectiveness of conference management, communications and attendance. The conference will increase its public discourse about the quality of life and well-being in our community. The conference intends to be on top of the issues and not the issues on top of the conference. That is, the conference will be more proactive than reactionary. All of this will be established on a more theologically grounded and informed conference.

Mrs. Deloranzo Sampson (Dr. Sampson's Wife); Makkari Sampson (Dr. Sampson's son) and Dr. Sampson.

L–R: Rev. Calvin Owens, Dr. Shelly Sampson, Rev. Charles Curtis and Rev. Morrison L–R: Rev. Isaac Stucks, sergeant-at-arms; Rev. Robert Jones assistant treasurer; Rev. Willie Cooper, treasurer; Rev. Calvin Owens, assistant financial secretary (outgoing president); Rev. Edgar Howard, financial secretary; Rev. Betty Spencer, corresponding secretary;

November 2011 The Positive Community


Money BuSINeSS, MoNey & WoRk

obama Student Loan Relief Reform


resident Barack Obama just took two serious steps to make life a lot easier for folks with student loans -- and there’s a good chance you or someone you know will benefit from these changes very soon.

Here's how: Effective this January, if you’re someone who has different kinds of loans -- guaranteed and direct -- you'll be able to roll them both into one direct loan and bring down your interest rate. You'll only have to write one check each month, and you’ll see a discount. This switch adds no cost to taxpayers across the board. You might remember that as part of last year's student loan reform, borrowers' loan payments could

be no higher than 10 percent of their disposable income. This is a big deal -- but it wasn’t going to help anyone enrolling before 2014. The President’s new program will affect students next year -- helping over 1 million students. This will have huge consequences for people struggling to make their student loan payments. Sometimes, it can be hard to see how policy changes will actually affect your day-to-day life. That’s not the case with this one. These changes will bring real benefits in helping millions of Americans get by month to month. A video explaining how these changes will help if you have a student loan can be viewed at

Presidnt Obama and family visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.


The Positive Community November 2011

Investing Dream for Equality. Investing in in the the Dream for Equality. Aetna is a proud supporter of the Martin Luther King Jr. Aetna is a proud supporter of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project in Washington D.C., and National Memorial Project in Washington D.C., and featured sponsor of the surrounding cherry blossom trees. featured sponsor of the surrounding cherry blossom trees.

Through our sponsorship, Aetna is supporting the planting of 180 new Through our sponsorship, Aetna is supporting the planting of 180 new cherry blossom trees at the memorial site, representing a living tribute for cherry blossom trees at the memorial site, representing a living tribute for many years to come. many years to come. Dr. King envisioned a future anchored in dignity, sensitivity, and mutual Dr. King envisioned a future anchored in dignity, sensitivity, and mutual respect. Aetna shares these same values, and continues his dream of respect. Aetna shares these same values, and continues his dream of opportunity through opportunity through our mission to improve health literacy and to promote equality in health our mission to improve health literacy and to promote equality in health care for all. care for all. To learn more regarding our efforts, please visit To learn more regarding our efforts, please visit Š2011 Aetna Inc. Š2011 2011007 Š2011 Aetna Aetna Inc. Inc. 2011007 2011007

Seeking Change We Can Believe In New Jersey Black Issues Convention 29th Annual Leadership Conference Jerome Harris, NJBIC Chair greets Dr. DeForest Soaries, Jr. at NJBIC Press Reception announcing NJBIC partnership with Dfree Campaign

Rev. Al Sharpton delivers keynote address at Donald K. Tucker and Community Change Awards Banquet



ommunity leaders and activists gathered at the 29th Annual Black Leadership Conference, a state-wide forum, with African American elected and public officials, corporate and government leadership. NJBIC’s 2011 Black Leadership Conference was convened on October 6-8, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick, NJ. According to Chairman Jerome C. Harris, Jr., the conference’s primary objectives are to discuss, inform, update, prioritize, and strategize on issues affecting black people in the state of New Jersey. Discussions centered around NJBIC’s four task force areas: health and human services, education, law and public safety, and economic opportunity and security.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman received the NJBIC Drum Major for Justice Award ,and was honored by the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus at the Donald K Tucker Leadership and Community Change Awards Banquet. L–R: N.J. Assembly representatives Herb Conaway, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Gordon Johnson, Elease Evans and Senator Ron Rice.


The Positive Community November 2011

Evelyn Field, NJ State Convener, National Council of Negro Women, received the NJBIC Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Senior Symposium on Black Aging Luncheon; Lillian Roberts, executive director, District Council 37, AFSCME,AFL-CIO was the keynote speaker. Maurice Coleman, senior VP/ Client Manager, Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch addressed the 19th Annual Youth Symposium at the Business and Youth Networking Luncheon, where the Honorable Donald M. Payne, United States Congress, 10th District, NJ also received the NJBIC Lifetime Achievement Award. The Reverend Al Sharpton, President/CEO, National Action Network was the keynote speaker at the Donald K. Tucker Leadership and Community Change Award Banquet. Honorable Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ Assembly, District 15) received the Drum Major for Justice Award.

L-R: Wayne Smith, Mayor Irvington; Jerome Harris, NJBIC Chair; Congressman Donald Payne, Honoree NJBIC Lifetime Achievement Award; Samuel Frisby, Mercer County Freeholder.

Wells Fargo Named One of Top 4 Women Banking Teams in the U.S. Michelle Y. Lee, regional president for the Northeast

Michelle Lee, Lucia Gibbons and Brenda Ross-dulan named to Top Team


hree Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) women executives from New Jersey are among those selected by American Banker as part of its annual Most Powerful Women in Banking lists. Wells Fargo was one of four companies selected in the top category. In total, 32 Wells Fargo women executives made the list. The New Jersey Team includes: Michelle Y. Lee, Wells Fargo’s regional president for the Northeast (NJ/NY/ CT); Lucia DiNapoli Gibbons, regional president for Northern New Jersey; and Brenda Ross-Dulan,

regional president for Southern New Jersey. American Banker selected women banking teams that demonstrate how women are making headway in the industry, based not only on individual performance, but also on statistics on the promotion of women into leadership roles and use of innovative diversity programs that help clear the path to power for all employees regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. Wells Fargo was recognized for addressing diversity in its business plans and for its new executive mentoring program that grooms high potential candidates.

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November 2011 The Positive Community



of saving the world

. website design . logos & identities . brochures & collateral

. web applications . mobile apps . blogs & online stores

. social media marketing . search engine marketing . email marketing

Photo: Bob Gore

MBdA Business Center opened in New york L–R: David A. Hinson, national director, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Department of Commerce, Washington, DC; Owen Jackson, VP, Business Development NCRC; Suzette Bather, director, NY-Manhattan MBDA Business Center; Heyward B. Davenport, regional director, MBDA Northeast Region; John Taylor, president/CEO, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Inc.


he National Community Reinvestment Coalition ment Agency to create jobs and strengthen the U.S. (NCRC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s economy by increasing the number, size and prosperity Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of minority-owned firms. hosted the grand opening of the NY-Manhattan MBDA The National Community Reinvestment Coalition Business Center (NYCMBC)—one of a nationwide is an association of more than 600 community-based network of over 40 centers designed to stimulate job organizations that promote access to basic banking creation and the growth of minority businesses. It is services, including credit and savings, to create and susthe third business center opened by NCRC, which also tain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant manages the Houston and Washington, DC centers. communities for America's working families. For more Suzette Bather is the center’s director. information, visit NCRC’s website at NYCMBC utilizes strategic partnerships and the diverse business Is your computer and professional backgrounds of guy driving you its principals to improve minorityowned companies’ performance crazy? and profitability. At last week's grand opening, the center celebrated partnerships with the New York City Department of Small Business Services, the Empire State Development Corporation and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. We can help. The center’s growing client list What if your computer CMIT is Your Technology Team includes some of the most recogcrashes and you can’t access nized small minority and womenOUR SERVICES your customer information? owned firms in the NY/NJ region CMIT Marathon - Service Plans Security - Backup Solutions What if you suddenly can’t that operate across a range of - Disaster Recovery access email? industries including construction, Support - Troubleshooting information technology, energy, - Software & Hardware and staffing & retail. The annual - Computer Networks infected with a nasty virus? Hosting - Email, Servers, Web revenues of MBDA clients range CMIT Anti-Spam What if you had a team of from $1 million to more than $9 Voice Over IP (VOIP) professionals to take care of million in profit. Consulting Services your systems so you can The MBDA Business Center in Payment Plans focus on your business? Manhattan, NY is part of a nationCMIT Solutions of Northern Union wide network of centers established 973.325.3663 by the U.S. Department of Com800.399.CMIT merce’s Minority Business

November 2011 The Positive Community


GoGreen S AV ING



EARTHTALK® From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Unused Pharmaceuticals Contaminating Our Water harmaceutical drug contamination in our groundwater, rivers, lakes, estuaries and bays is a growing problem. Millions of us are flushing unused medications down the toilet and discharging them in our body waste—even though sewage treatment plants and septic systems were never designed to deal with such contaminants. Additional discharges by healthcare facilities exacerbate the problem. As a result, researchers have identified traces of pharmaceutical drugs in the drinking water supplies of some 40 million Americans. A nationwide study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1999 and 2000 found low levels of pharmaceuticals—including antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids—in 80 percent of the rivers and streams sampled. According to Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE), the effects of constant, low-level exposure of pharmaceuticals on ecosystems and humans are uncertain, though “possible health concerns include hormone disruption, antibiotic resistance and synergistic effects.” And antidepressants, says CCE, can “alter the behavior and reproductive functions of fish and mollusks.” CCE cites a recent Stony Brook University study showing that some fish species in New York’s Jamaica Bay are experiencing “feminization”—the ratio of female to male winter flounder was 10 to one in the studied area—likely a result of flushed pharmaceuticals that can act as “hormone mimics” and cause such effects. New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation concurs, citing a number of other studies underscoring the impacts on aquatic life. What irks CCE about the problem is that almost all known sources of drugs in the environment first pass through wastewater treatment plants where they could be filtered out,



The Positive Community November 2011

but these facilities are not required to be equipped with pharmaceutical filter devices. In light of the problem, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007 established its first set of guidelines for how consumers should dispose of prescription drugs. First and foremost, consumers should follow any specific disposal instructions on a drug’s label or the patient information that accompanies the medication—and shouldn’t flush the drugs down the toilet. If there are no disposal instructions, the FDA recommends finding out from your municipality if any take-back programs are in place. Also, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration sponsors National Prescription Drug Take Back Days across the country at various sites a few times a year. “If no instructions are given on the drug label and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash, but first take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter,” says the FDA. This will make them less appealing to children, pets or people who may intentionally go through your trash, says the agency, which adds that a final step is to put the medication into a sealed bag or other container to prevent leaks. EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine ( Send questions to: Subscribe: Free Trial Issue:

African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) 2011 Business Leadership Conference


ew Jersey’s leading business owners, corporate executives and industry experts convened at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ on October 25, 2011 for the African American Chamber of Commerce New Jersey’s annual Business Leadership Conference. Over 60,000 African American owned businesses in New Jersey, contributing in excess of $4.4 billion in annual revenue to the State’s economy. “This year’s AACCNJ Conference promises to cover it all,” said John E. Harmon, President/CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber worked hard to put together a timely and relevant program and provide business owners the information they need to emerge from this fledging economy stronger than ever before and we succeeded.”

L-R: Troy Webster, City of East Orange with Mark Bocchieri, director of External Affairs; Maurice Brown director of Public Policy annd Cheryl Abdus-Salaam, manager Corporate Responsibility, all with Verizon NJ

L–R: Miguel Centeno, Aetna with Malcolm Dunn, entrepreneur

Vaughn McKoy, president PSEG Foundation

L–R: AACCNJ Board Chair, Hosea Johnson and John Harmon Sr.

Photos: Jaime R. escarpeta

John Harmon, Sr., President, CEO AACCNJ

L–R: John Harmon Sr and Dr. Rolan Anglin, Rutgers University

L–R: Rick Thigpen, VP Governmental Affairs and Shauwea Hamilton, Corporate Responsibility PSEG

L–R: Boaard Members Neil Williams and Ramelle Massey with Business Coach Bob Warrington

November 2011 The Positive Community













Older Adult Hunger Is Around the Corner By PHyLLIs HILL sLAter, AArP NeW yOrK exeCutIve COuNCIL


ince the recession began in December 2007, many older Americans have suffered real – and unexpected --financial setbacks. Perhaps they lost their job, or the value of their home plummeted. their retirement funds may have shrunk or disappeared entirely. they may have lost their spouse or partner, or had some serious health problems themselves. But among all of the unexpected things that have happened to millions of older Americans, perhaps nothing is as unexpected as hunger. yet according to new research for AArP Foundation, since 2001 the number of people ages 50+ at risk of hunger in the u.s. soared by 78 percent. today,

nearly nine percent of older Americans – 1 out of 11 of them – are at risk of hunger. One in every four New yorkers age 60 and older living at home is considered nutritionally at risk, according to the Nys Office for the Aging. this new surge in hunger comes just as the old safety nets are shredding. states, cities and towns are cutting back their budgets, and services to help the old and the poor are often the first to go. More and more people are turning to local food banks and other anti-hunger groups for help, and these groups are receiving less and less support from the government. Help is desperately needed.

One in every four New Yorkers age 60 and older living at home is considered nutritionally at risk, according to the NYS Office for the Aging.

Around the Corner Hunger is bringing much needed aid to hunger relief organizations. An online tool, Around the Corner Hunger is designed to drive food and much needed funds to community food banks and local hunger-relief organizations and is spearheaded by AArP Foundation. In Los Angeles, Houston and New york/New Jersey metro areas, Around the Corner Hunger is helping to ensure that nutritious meals are provided to this often invisible segment of our population. ensuring that older people have enough nutritious food to eat is best done at the community level, close to the problem. that’s why, 100% of the donations raised will go directly to local hunger relief organizations. In the New york metro area, the program will steer donations to City Harvest, the yM & yWHA of

Washington Heights and Inwood, Meals on Wheels staten Island, Long Island Cares, Island Harvest, and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

Working together, corner by corner, is the only way to help solve this growing crisis. To donate and learn more, visit www. AArP Foundation is AArP’s affiliated charity. the Foundation is dedicated to serving vulnerable people 50+ by creating solutions that help them secure the essentials and achieve their best life. AArP Foundation focuses on hunger, housing, income and isolation as our key mission areas. the Foundation envisions: ‘a country free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable.’ Foundation programs are funded by grants, tax-deductible contributions and AArP.

For more information about AARP Foundation, please log on to


The Positive Community November 2011

Education TeAChING, LeARNING, MAkING A dIffeReNCe

Bill Cosby Keynotes

Medgar evers founders day dinner

L–R: MEC Provost Howard C. Johnson, MEC President William L. Pollard, Malaak Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Daniel Evers-Everette, grandson of Medgar Evers; MEC Vice President of External Relations Moses Newsome.

L–R: Pat Battle, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, honoree Byron Lewis with his wife, Sylvia and retired Congressman Major Owens

Malaak Shabazz and Daniel Evers-Everette


Keynote speaker Bill Cosby

elebrating 40 years of “creating success, one student at a time,” Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York hosted its Founders, Visionaries and Alumni Dinner Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 in the college’s beautiful Academic Building on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. It was a memorable evening that featured a keynote address by world renowned comedian, actor, philanthropist and author, Dr. Bill Cosby. Medgar Evers College is dedicated to higher education as a vehicle of transformation. The evening’s honorees, who share that belief, included: communications pioneer, Byron Lewis, UniWorld chairman/ CEO; Annabelle Miller, Medgar Evers College alumna and vice president in Sales Management at Macy’s; and

Honoree Annabelle Miller with her Distinguished Alumna award

Dr. Bill Cosby. Pat Battle, anchor of NBC-TV’s Weekend Today in New York served as mistress of ceremonies for the event. Four decades ago, visionaries and founders in Central Brooklyn struggled to create an institution that would be committed to guaranteeing higher educational access to the community. Many of those leaders were and have become some of New York City’s and this nation’s most distinguished figures. Founders include: the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Congressman Ed Towns, New York City Councilman Al Vann, Educator Dr. Marcella Maxwell, Civil Rights Activist Elsie Richardson, and Judge William Thompson, Sr., amongst several other notables. –JNW November 2011 The Positive Community


It’s happening at

Columbia in November

Tuesday, Nov. 1–Thursday, Dec. 1 Exhibition: Ode to Play Mary Lasker Biomedical Research Building, Medical Center campus Harlem-based artist Jessica Maffia seals books shut to carve out a physical space for reinterpretation or generation of a new story. For more info, visit or www.arts

Exhibition: The Space Between Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion, Medical Center campus Washington Heights-based artist Diana Schmertz’s artwork is composed primarily of close-up images of physical contact between people. For more info, visit or

Thursday, November 10 Criticism in Action: The Godfather Movies 6:15 p.m. Common Room, Heyman Center, Morningside campus Speakers: author Greil Marcus and music critic John Rockwell. For more info, call (212) 854-8443 or visit

Bob Dylan in America Noon Lehman Center, 406 International Affairs, Morningside campus Speaker: Sean Wilentz, professor of American history, Princeton University. Reservations required. For more info, call (212) 854-3060 or email

Friday, November 11 Women’s Basketball vs. Vermont Noon Dodge Physical Fitness Center, Morningside campus For more info, call (212) 854-2535 or visit

Saturday, November 12 Short Film Television Series 10:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Channel 25 on most systems, Channel 22 on Cablevision Produced by Columbia film students Brooke Sebold and Mayuran Tiruchelvam; director of production, Maureen A. Ryan, assistant professor, School of the Arts, Columbia University. For more info, call (212) 854-2875 or email

Composer Portraits: George Lewis 8:00 p.m. Miller Theatre, Morningside campus Columbia Professor George Lewis brings an eclectic background as a performer, scholar and pioneer of computer music to his compositions. The International Contemporary Ensemble is joined by percussionist and conductor Steven Schick in this world premiere; poet Quincy Troupe appears as narrator. Tickets: $25; CU Students: $7; CU Faculty/Staff: $15. For more info, call (212) 8547799 or visit

Saturday, November 12

Thursday, November 17

How Has the Last Quarter of a Century Changed the World of Real Estate? 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Morningside campus

Mellon Visiting Artist and Thinkers Program: Isaac Julien 6:30 p.m. Miller Theatre, Morningside campus

A symposium organized by Kate Ascher, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. For more info, call (212) 854-3414 or visit www.arch

Filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien will discuss his recent work, Ten Thousand Waves. For more info, call (212) 854-2875. For reservations, visit

Monday, November 14 Café Science: Doctors, Astronauts and Nuclear Accidents 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PicNic Café, 2665 Broadway at 102nd Street Speaker: Norman Kleiman, Columbia University. $10 per person. Seating is limited. For more info, call (877) 854-2586 or visit

Men’s Basketball vs. Furman 7:00 p.m. Dodge Physical Fitness Center, Morningside campus For more info, call (212) 854-2535 or visit

Tuesday, November 15 Color, Ethnic/Race Identity and Socioeconomic Status in Latin America 6:00 p.m. Sulzberger Parlor, Barnard campus Speaker: Edward Telles, Princeton University. For more info, call (212) 854-2037 or visit

Tuesday, Nov. 15– Wednesday, Nov. 16 Fiction and History: A Two-Day Symposium Faculty House, Morningside campus Speakers: E.L. Doctorow, author; Kenneth T. Jackson, Columbia University; and John Demos, author and historian. Reservations required. For more info, call (212) 854-7309 or visit https://alumni-friends.library

Wednesday, November 16 What Is New? 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Morningside campus Speaker: architect Zaha Hadid. For more info, call (212) 854-3414 or visit www.arch.columbia .edu/events.

Diversity and Conservation 6:10 p.m. to 8:10 p.m. 1015 Schermerhorn Extension, Morningside campus Speaker: Matt Palmer, director of undergraduate studies, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University. For more info, call (212) 854-6709 or visit

Sunday, November 27 Women’s Basketball vs. Army 1:00 p.m. Dodge Physical Fitness Center, Morningside campus For more info, call (212) 854-2535 or visit

Monday, November 28

Writers at Barnard Reading Series 7:00 p.m. Sulzberger Parlor, Barnard Hall, Barnard campus

Café Social Science: Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PicNic Café, 2665 Broadway at 102nd Street

Speakers: Polly Delvin, Nick Laird and Saskia Hamilton, all of Barnard College. For more info, call (212) 854-2037 or visit

Speaker: Shamus Khan, Columbia University. $10 per person. Seating is limited. For more info, call (877) 854-2586 or visit

Saturday, November 19 Renee Rosnes Quartet 8:00 p.m. Miller Theatre, Morningside campus Pianist Renee Rosnes returns to Miller to headline a show that includes several of her original works for the quartet. Tickets: $25; CU Students: $7; CU Faculty/Staff: $15. For more info, call (212) 854-7799 or visit

Fall Concert Series: Nino Rota 8:00 p.m. The Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave., Morningside campus Chamber music by Emanuele Arciuli, David Fulmer, Carol McGonnell, Chris Gross and Fiona Kelly. For more info, call (212) 854-2306 or visit

Football vs. Brown 12:30 p.m. Robert K. Kraft Field, Baker Athletics Complex, 218th Street and Broadway For more info, call (212) 854-2535 or visit

Monday, November 21 Café Humanities: Writing About African Philosophy 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PicNic Café, 2665 Broadway at 102nd Street Speaker: Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Columbia University. $10 per person. Seating is limited. For more info, call (877) 854-2586 or visit

Sustainable Coastal Economies: The Science and Policy of Managing and Conserving Ocean Resources 6:10 p.m. to 8:10 p.m. 963 Schermerhorn Extension, Morningside campus Speaker: Caleb McClennen, Wildlife Conservation Society and research scientist, Columbia University. For more info, call (212) 854-6709 or visit

All events are open to the public. This is a sampling of them. For additional events or general information, visit or call (212) 854-2871. For Columbia sports info, visit Guests in need of disability services should call (212) 854-2284 prior to the event.

Where Is New York? Visions at Pier 42 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Morningside campus Speaker: A People’s Plan for the East River Waterfront co-authors Anne Frederick, Hester Street Collaborative; Damaris Reyes, GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side); and Esther Wang, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities. For more info, call (212) 854-3414 or visit www.arch.columbia .edu/events.

Italy at Columbia Lecture Series: Women in Pompeii 1:10 p.m. The Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Ave., Morningside campus Speaker: Classics Professor Kristina Milnor, Columbia University. For more info, call (212) 8542306 or visit

Tuesday, November 29 Natural Disasters and Sustainable Development 4:20 p.m. to 6:10 p.m. 102 Jerome Greene Hall, Morningside campus Speaker: John C. Mutter, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University. For more info, call (212) 854-6709 or visit

Urban Resilience and Other Strategies for an Eco-Economy 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 1015 Schermerhorn Extension, Morningside campus Speaker: John F. Williams, HDR Engineering Inc. For more info, call (212) 854-6709 or visit

Getting to Columbia The Morningside Heights campus is located at 116th Street and Broadway. By subway: No. 1 train to 116th Street station. By bus: M4, M11, M60 or M104.

A celebration of the people and programs that enrich every part of the University. – Chancellor Matthew Goldstein


pen houses, admissions and financial aid workshops, lectures, museum exhibits, sports tournaments, book talks and panel discussions with world-class faculty, achieving students and honored guests; visit

NOV. 13 Broadway Close-up




Queens College 9 A.M. - 8 P.M.

Kingsborough Community College 3 P.M. – $25 Master Class

HunterCollege 7:30 P.M. $5-$12, Free with Hunter ID

NOV. 19 Gilberto “Pulpo” Colon Jr.


NOV. 29

College of Staten Island Observatory 7:30 P.M.

Professor Anita Hill

NOV. 18 3rd Annual


College of Staten Island


Brooklyn College 11 A.M.

Baruch College Newman Vertical Campus 3 P.M.-7 P.M.

Anita Hill

NOV. 15

Wenzhi Zhang Jazz


NOV. 3


Lehman College 10 A.M.-4 P.M. & 7:30 P.M.

Life-size ceramics by Chinese artist Wenzhi Zhang

ALL MONTH Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bernini:

Hostos Community College 7 P.M. – Free with ticket

NOV. 17



Queensborough Community College

NOV. 16




Borough of Manhattan Community College 3 P.M.- 7 P.M.

(Call in advance of attending all events to confirm date/time details and whether registration is necessary.) For a complete listing of Open Houses at all CUNY colleges and details on hundreds of other events during CUNY Month, VISIT WWW.CUNY.EDU/CUNYMONTH











Photos: Brian Majors & Linda Pace

Gathering of Eagles

L–R: Bishop George Seawright, Dr. DeForest Soaries with host Bishop Donald Hiliard

Dr. B. Glover, Dr. Leonard Sweet, former president, United Theological Seminary and Bishop Donald Hilliard, conference convener.


ecently, Bishop Donald Hilliard and the CovRudolph W. McKissick, Jr of Jacksonville, FL; Rev.Dr. enant Ecumenical Fellowship (CEFCA) hosted Deforest “Buster” Soaries, Bishop E. Earl Jenkins and the annual Eagles Gathering. Attendees includmany others. The theme of this year’s conference, “My ed pastors, leaders and ministry workers from churches Humanity… His Divinity.” Topics focused on leadership, across the country, including attendees from New York, family, marriage, finances, the pitfalls of pride, technol11OCT Positive 4-5x4-5_Nyack Rhode Island and Alabama. Speakers included BishopCommunity ogy and morality. 10/10/11 9:31 AM Page 1


of Divinity of Arts • Master of Professional Studies • Certificate Programs • Master

Conference attendees

Information Session:

Saturday, November 19th 2011 • 11:00am 361 Broadway, New York NY 10013

Call 866-42-NYACK or visit our website at to register to attend!.

Nyack, NY • New York, NY L–R: Bishop Hiliard and wife, Pastor Phyllis Hilliard

November 2011 The Positive Community


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Clergy Appreciation NyC Council Speaker Christine Quinn hosts Reception NYC Housing Authority Youth Chorus

Speaker Christine Quinn

Publisher Adrian A. Council, Sr.


Imam Rabbi Soulemaine Konate Michael Miller

ew York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn recently hosted her Fourth Annual National Clergy Appreciation Month reception on October 24. The event, held at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, brought together diverse religious leaders from throughout the NYC area. Rabbi Michael Miller, EVP/CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York performed the duties of master of ceremonies; the Invocation was delivered by Imam Soulemaine Konate leader of Masjid Aqsa in Harlem. Following Speaker Quinn’s remarks, Adrian A. Council Sr., publisher of The Positive Community, delivered the keynote address, “A Community Building Ideal for the 21st Century.” The benediction was given by Reverend Lorenzo Ato, administrator of the Church

Inez Alexander, NY Theological Seminary (NYTS)

Lori Hartman, NYTS

Carrie Mobley, NYS Faith Based Initiatives

of Saint Emeric and assistant director for Hispanic Media at the Office of Communications of the Archdiocese of New York. Entertainment was provided by New York City Housing Authority Youth Chorus, under the direction of Larry Matthew. Since its inception in 1997, more than 800 chorus members have been engaged in vocal training and have learned music theory, music history and the study of movement. Through participation in the chorus, members enhance self-esteem, develop confidence, poise, self-discipline, self-respect and self-determination. Mrs. Altaracia Hiraldo, founder and executive director of Dominican Sunday Community Services in Upper Manhattan, also performed a vocal solo inspired by her homeland, the Dominican Republic.

Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad

L–R: Kihani Brea, Assistant to Speaker Quinn, NYC Councilman, Mathieu Eugene, Jean Nash Wells Some of the clergy leaders in attendance

November 2011 The Positive Community


Where Faith & Knowledge Meet New Brunswick Theological Seminary horace Grant underwood Memorial dedication

Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union counties) offer a positive, encouraging and safe environment where children can grow in body, mind, and spirit. Our caring, qualified teachers provide a strong academic foundation. We are deeply committed to helping students develop into productive, responsible adults and citizens with goals and direction. 3 97% of graduates advance to college 3 NJ core content standards met or exceeded 3 High academic standards 3 Christ-centered values

Photo: Linda Pace

The Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Newark (serving


n October 27, 2011, New Brunswick Theological Seminary dedicated a special memorial to Dr. Horace Grant Underwood (1859-1916) in Gardner Sage Library, the beautiful and historic anchor to its New Brunswick campus. Underwood graduated from NBTS in 1884, and later that same year was appointed by the Board of Missions of the Northern Presbyterian Church to serve in Korea. He became a pioneer in Christian mission in that country, engaging in evangelism, church planting, education, and public life. The memorial, which includes a sculpted bust in Italian marble of Underwood, provides a focus for the many Korean visitors who come to the seminary to honor an ancestor who has had such a significant influence on the Christian Church in Korea. The sculptor of the bust is Mr. Charles McCollough.

L–R: The Rev. Dr. Hak Joon Lee, professor of Theology and Ethics, Fuller Theological Seminary; The Rev. Dr. Gregg A. Mast, president, New Brunswick Theological Seminary; The Rev. John Underwood, great-grandson of Horace G. Underwood; The Rev. Laurel Underwood, great-granddaughter of Horace G. Underwood; The Rev. Dr. Suk-Hwan Jueng, dean, Yonsei University School of Theology; and Dr. Soo-Young Kwon, associate dean, Yonsei University School of Theology.


The Positive Community November 2011


he Baptist Ministers Conference of Newark and Vicinity under the leadership of Rev. Elizabeth J. Campbell, president, hosted a retreat at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. The daylong conference was especially designed for evangelists, associate ministers, assistant ministers and ordained associate pastors, under the theme: “The Second Seat.” The event moderator was Rev. Dr. Forrest Pritchett, professor, Seton Hall University. Topics of discussion included, “A Demonstration of True Servant hood” and “The Price and Meaning of True Greatness.” Host pastor, Rev. André Milteer.

November 17

Photos: Vincent Bryant

Newark Ministers Conference

L–R: Rev. Elizabeth J. Campbell, Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Newark and Vicinity, and Rev. Shirley A. Rucker, associate clergywoman, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Newark, NJ

Professor Forrest Pritchett

December 1

December 15

November 2011 The Positive Community


NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner Salute to ACT-So

L–R: Rachel L. Manns, Adrian Council, Cheryll Nash Heggins, Robert Nash, Josephine Nash and Angela Ridenour Rev. Ralph Branch and Newark City Council President Donald Payne Jr.

Hosts Bill Payne and Tracy Munford

Photos: Vincent Bryant

Kathleen TurpinMerritt


he Newark Branch NAACP recently hosted its 97th Annual Freedom Fund Awards Dinner at Newark Symphony Hall’s Terrace Ballroom. Under the leadership of Newark Branch President Joyce Simmons, this year’s theme, “Affirming America’s Promise: a salut to ACT-SO” focuses on the advancement of our children, who will become the citizens entrusted with continuing the mission of the NAACP. This year’s Dinner Chairperson was Kathleen TurpinMerritt. Master and Mistress of Ceremony were Hon. William D. Payne and Tracy Munford.

Congressman Donald Payne Sr.

L–R: Debra Chandler, NAACP; Mildred Crump and Judge Marilyn E. Williams Jean Nash Wells

Honorees: Education Award: Shavar D. Jeffries, Esq. former Newark Public Schools Advisory Board Chair Community Service Award: Jean Nash Wells Co- founder, Editor-in- chief of The Positive Community Social Justice Award: Lawrence Hamm (Adhimu) Founder, People’s Organization for Progress Branch Service Award: Dadisi Sanyika Newark Branch NAACP for 27 years; 2nd VP and Political Action Committee chair

ACTSO participant in Theatre Ashley Crooks performs

The highlight of the evening was a special performance showcase of the diverse talent of the young people involved in the organization’s ACT-SO program. Said President Joyce Simmons, “This is our 20th year for Newark ACT-SO, which stands for Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. We salute our children who have gone through this program. These young people are our torchbearers, our hope and promise for a better tomorrow.” L-R: Dr. Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant and Della Moses Walker

L-R: Kevin Foushee, Tasha Lohman, Jean Nash Wells, Wilie Blalock III and Corby Ellis-Mare


The Positive Community November 2011

Margaret & Richard Cammareri

L–R: Rev. Dr. Kenneth D. R. Clayton and Rev. Dr. Calvin McKinney

GBC NJ Annual Session Community Baptist Church, englewood, NJ october 3-7, 2011 Photos: Vincent Bryant

L–R: GBCNJ President Guy Campbell with Rev. Dr. Perry Hopper of MMBB

Julia McClure L–R: Gayle Taylor, Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor and Hon. Mildred Crump

L–R: Nellie Suggs, Rev. Dr. Perry Hopper, Madinah James

RIGHT: Community Partners from Englewood and Hackensack Hopitals L–R: Susan Kraus, Ines Serna, Dr. Duane Fredericks, MD; Gracy Varkey and Elaine Alonso-Cabral

L–R: Deacons Douglas Davis, Darryl Koom, Richard Stanard, Walter Brown, Wilbert Noble

L–R: Thelma Scott, Rev. Albert L. Morgan and Ana Smith

When You’Ve taKen CaRe oF the

heRe & noW it’s easier to think about the heReaFteR.

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Real Planning, Real SolutionS. that’S ouR Calling. The Positive Community November 2011

L–R: Rev. Grady James, Dr. Charisse and Rev. Kevin Williams

“We know our community. We live here.” Dr Philip Bonaparte, Chief Medical Officer, Horizon NJ Health “I feel the need to make a difference, not only in my life, but in the lives of others. I am involved in health issues facing predominantly the African-American and Latino community. I understand what it’s like to come from humble backgrounds. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield lives in New Jersey and we believe in access to quality healthcare for every resident. To’s as important as breathing air.”

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Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® Registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®’ and SM Registered and service marks of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. © 2011 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Three Penn Plaza East, Newark, New Jersey 07105.

General Baptist Convention of NJ Rev. Evans Spagner and his wife, Diane

Deacon James Clark

Superintendents and Christian educators Banquet Glenpointe Marriott hotel, Teaneck, NJ october 2, 2011 Photos: Vincent Bryant

L–R: Rev. Dr. Arthur White, Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor, Rev. Vernon Walton, Linda Martin and Rev. Evans Spagner

Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell; Rev. Dr. Arthur White Rev. Dr. James S. Allen and Dr. J. Wendell Mapson

Sister Doris Bryant and Min. Leetha Williams

Rev. Olivia Stanard with her brother, Deacon Richard Stanard

Min. Louise Roundtree, Rev. Alfonso Williams, Rev. Johnny Caldwell, Rev. Dr. George and Mrs. (Helena) Blackwell

Rev. Vernon Walton and Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell

November 2011 The Positive Community


Newark School of Theology Hosts Conversation


he Newark School of Theology hosted a conversation with Biblical scholar Norman K. Gottwald at Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral in Newark on October 23, 2011. Dr. Gottwald is past-president of The Society of Biblical Literature. He is known throughout the world for his pioneering research on the origins of ancient Israel and his commitment to social justice issues. Conversation focused upon bridging the gap that currently exists between the academic study of the Bible and ministry on behalf of the poor and marginalized. Dr. Gottwald is a founder of The Newark School of Theology. His friendship and collaboration with its president, The Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D., dates back to 1969, when Dr. Bendall was a graduate student in Systematic Theology at The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.


The Positive Community November 2011

Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad

L–R: Norman Gottwald with Rev. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D.

NST Board members & guests

Health P R e V e N T I o N , T R e AT M e N T & C u R e

Healing Men International Christian Brotherhood hosts Men’s health fair

Barclay Center raffled off tickets to a future Brooklyn Nets game

New York Blood Center collected over 40 pints of blood workshops and counseling sessions were conducted on eating healthy


ver 1,100 men, including WBLS-FM radio personality Dr. Bob Lee, gathered together at Christian Cultural Center to participate in the International Christian Brotherhood (ICB) 3rd Annual Men’s Health Awareness Fair. “It is important that as men we continue to monitor our health,” said Dr. Bob Lee. “Statistics have shown that early detection often leads to prevention.” Participants, who ranged in age from 18 to 70, had a chance to take part in a variety of free health and fitness screenings including PSA and cholesterol, glucose and diabetes screenings and HIV/AIDS testing. The New York Blood Center collected over 40 pints of blood. Information on dieting and exercise along with healthy eating tips from leading nutrition and fitness experts was available for attendees. CCC’s own Gye-Nayme-Ru martial artists presented a martial arts exhibition; Ahmawan of Ammo

ics demonstrated weight training techniques and Kayla Thompson of Total Body Fitness displayed stretching techniques and aerobic exercise drills. Minister Lamont O’Neil, who oversees the world renowned Boots Step Ministry, conducted a step clinic that featured complicated and energizing moves that also provided a full cardio workout. The day ended with a raffle drawing for free tickets to the Brooklyn Nets opening game donated by Barclay Center. It is a known fact that men are less likely to seek medical help than women. This can lead to delayed diagnoses, which hinder the treatment of sickness. Current statistics show that heart disease, cancer and diabetes top the list of leading causes of death among men. Of the 292,000 African American men who die each year, half succumb to heart disease and cancer. Founded by A.R. Bernard, pastor, founder & CEO of November 2011 The Positive Community


Photos: LaVelle finerson

Massage therapy was a big hit

the Christian Cultural Center, the International Christian Brotherhood (ICB) is a fraternal organization that seeks to train men in Christ-likeness as the standard for manhood. With its motto, “We Train Men,” ICB is dedicated to establishing a global network of Christian

ICB Men’s Health Fair was an event for the entire family

men, who, regardless of race, denomination or nationality, commit their knowledge, influence and affluence to affecting positive change in their societies. ICB’s mission is to establish chapters in cities and churches around the world. —JNW

Patients in the Pink Church and hospital Partner for Breast Cancer Awareness


embers of Smith Memorial Church of God in Christ in Newark, under the leadership of Dr. Cornelius H. Evans, pastor, presented pink lap blankets to patients of The Frederick B. Cohen, MD, Comprehensive Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (The Beth). The blankets were crocheted by the church’s Prayer Shawl Ministry, led by President Janice Roberson-Scott. This is the first project of the ministry with The Beth. Future projects include blankets for babies and lap blankets for dialysis patients. The blanket distribution was part of the hospital’s “Get Your Pink On” activities in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All month long at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, pink lights were displayed on Osborne Terrace, the hospital’s street and Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Ribbons were tied around trees in the area. On October 14th, a group photo of employees wearing pink for “Get Your Pink On” day was taken at


The Positive Community November 2011

Seated L–R: Patient and Irvington resident Carla Thigpen with Diann Boyd, RN, BSN, OCN, nurse manager at Beth’s Cancer Center and Lois Green, RN, BSN, MBA, assistant VP of Ambulatory Services. Standing are members of the Smith Memorial COGIC Shawl Ministry: Janice Roberson Scott, Virginia Roberson, Dorothy Roberson, Dorothy Griffin and Monica Greene

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Saturday, October 29, an Annual Breast Cancer Screening was held providing instructions on breast health and breast self examination, clinical breast examinations from a physician and appointments for free mammograms.

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Sharp as a Tack Rev. Al Sharpton talks Weight Loss, Activism and Moving Forward BY R.L. WITTER he Reverend Al Sharpton has been working for and in the black community


for practically his entire life. He was preaching and touring with Mahalia Jackson when he was a toddler; he was a youth director with Jesse Jackson’s

“Operation Breadbasket” by age 15; he founded the National Youth Movement by 16 and was a tour manager for James Brown by 17. Rev. Sharpton has been Keepin’ It Real on the radio since 2006 and this year, he parlayed a guest-hosting stint on MSNBC into his own hour-long television show, PoliticsNation (6pm Monday–Friday). Somehow, he also finds the time to continue to run the National Action Network, a not-for-profit civil rights and social justice organization headquartered in New York. After ruling out the possibilities of Rev. Sharpton possessing the secret to time travel or hiding a red cape and blue tights beneath his tailored suits, the activist and media mogul shared how he manages his hectic schedule and keeps a break-neck pace.

Less is More “I grew up and was mentored by workaholics,” he confessed. “When you’re raised around workaholics, you become one.” Workaholic is an understatement in this case. Rev. Sharpton begins his days in the wee hours before dawn and ends them after the late night hosts have concluded their monologues. While we’re seeing more of him in the media, we’re actually seeing less of him. After tipping the scales at 305 pounds at one time, the now svelte Baptist minister maintains a five pound range between

Photo: Herb Glenn

178 and 183 pounds today. True to form, there was no miracle drink, no weight-loss surgery or fad exercise apparatus. It was his own tried and true brand of activism that led to the Reverend’s weight loss. While others have experienced life-changing weight loss in spas and treatment centers, a jail cell and the comments of his daughters, Dominique and Ashley, were Rev. Sharpton’s slimming salvation.

continued on next page

November 2011 The Positive Community


COVERSTORY AL SHARPTON continued from previous page

figures, my pastors —Rev. Washington and Rev. William Augustus—then James Brown.” As a teen, Sharpton had been a close friend of Brown’s son, Teddy, who died in a car accident. “When he died, James took me as his son… We were very close.” The Godfather of Soul had a profound effect on Sharpton and his words inspired the Reverend on two of his major undertakings, one of which being his aforementioned weight loss. Taking Initiative In what would ultimately be their final conversation, Brown opened Sharpton’s eyes to an insidious situation and prompted him to take action, “We were talking and he said ‘You all have lost your minds,’” Sharpton reminisced. “I asked him what he meant and he said, ‘When you were growing up, I gave you “Say It Loud,” Aretha Franklin was singing “RESPECT” and now these kids are calling women hoes and Bs and calling us ni—as? I gave your generation pride and self-respect and now these kids are making lyrics that tell other kids to hang their heads down? You march and protest when white people call us ni—as, so how do you let our own people say these things about us?’ He really made me think,” Sharpton revealed. The Decency Initiative was born out of that final conversation between two old friends, a man and his mentor. The Decency Initiative serves to uplift people of color by banning three words from music: “ni—er/ni--a,” “ho” and “b-tch (B).” “A woman called in to my radio show, Keepin’ It Real with Al Sharpton. She said she was 21 years old and she was offended by the music,” Sharpton recalled. “She liked some of the music, but one day she was driving to work and on the radio every song was calling her a B and sometimes several times within each song and she said, ‘How many Bs do I have to be before I get to work?’ That’s when we marched on the major music labels at the time. We told them, ‘You have standards for other music. You wouldn’t

Photo: Sertu Oronde

“It means something when your children talk about you,” the Reverend reflected on his prior weight. “But also, the media, the cartoons and what other people say about you—it’s hard to be taken seriously when you are seen as the picture of obese and you don’t care about how you look.” It was a 90-day jail sentence that sparked his transformation, and his commitment, determination and stamina —all hallmarks of his activism—that fueled the fat-burning fire that resulted in his dramatic weight loss. “I led a protest in Vieques, Puerto Rico, protesting the Navy bombing range and I was sentenced to 90 days in jail.” Sharpton recalled. “So four of us decided we would go on a hunger strike for the first 40 days together—I got more time than they did. We decided that we would only consume liquids for that 40 days and after about the third or fourth day I wasn’t really even hungry. I realized that I could control my hunger, my appetite. I learned that we eat more than what we need. We eat when we’re not hungry. We eat what we like; we eat for taste. So that was really the start for me. I began working out while I was in jail and then after my 90 days, I began to get my regimen together.” During his 2004 presidential run, Rev. Sharpton gained back some weight and set out to tweak his regimen and lose the weight again. He did, and he has kept the weight off ever since. “I began to watch what I ate again and I cut back on fried foods,” he explained. “Now I eat pretty much a plant-based diet. I gave up all meat and I eat fish about two times a week. I also gave up all fried foods —no fried food at all!” Combined with daily exercise, this system has worked incredibly for the Reverend. Being fit and healthy allows him to maintain his workaholic ways. When he said he grew up around workaholics, he meant his mother and the hardest working man in show business. “James Brown was my mentor, a father figure to me,” Rev. Sharpton continued. “Like young men who don’t have a relationship with their father will do, I looked for father

Sharpton in October 2011, at the March on Washington for jobs and justice.


The Positive Community November 2011

a fair rate]. It is discriminatory to exploit the market but not invest in it. And we successfully got a lot of the major corporations to increase their media budgets. I want to stress that we had to prove it more than once, which we just did since the last convention in April because a lot of advertising budgets across the board went down that are now restored… People must do business with us as more than a consumer and the distributor, manufacturer or owner, they must do business with us through advertising. If you want to exploit our market, you must come through those that give voice to our market.”

photo: W P ali Amin Muhammad

Sharpton broadcasting his radio show from Occupy Wall Street

let anyone make records calling Jewish women or Irish or Italian women ho*s and Bs—as you shouldn’t. So why do you allow records to be made calling black women out of their names?’” The struggle continues, as Reverend Sharpton explained: “I was meeting with some music artists recently… And this one guy was telling me that I’m getting older, I’m in my 50s and he’s in his 30s and the words don’t bother him so maybe it’s a generational thing. I told him that in a time when the model of womanhood and femininity in the free world is a black woman—not the model of black femininity but all femininity—is a black woman in the White House, why should we be denigrating black women? When we’ve got a black wife and mother, two daughters and a black grandmother in the White House, how is that okay?” Another project on which Sharpton and the National Action Network are diligently working is the Madison Avenue Initiative. Corporations were lowering their advertising budgets when advertising in black or urban radio markets, while paying much higher prices to advertise elsewhere. “We found out about a memo that was circulated that referred to black radio audiences as ‘a suspect, not a prospect,’” the Reverend explained. “We started looking at stations whether they were black-owned or not and found that the advertising reflected the memo —stations that were in the top five in their market but number thirty in ad revenue. Then we started looking at periodicals—magazines, newspapers— we saw the same thing. So we started going after corporations, saying that you cannot sell in our community and not advertise with our entities [and do it at

Looking to the Future Giving voice to our market, our people and our causes is something Sharpton has done for decades and plans to continue to do for years to come. “One of the things I want to do is really build the next generation of young leaders…we even have a 12-year-old leading our youth department,” he explained. “When I started doing radio, I started putting a lot more of the work on my team to do the travel and the organizing and administrative work. I travel to the chapters and for the big stuff; but how are they ever going to grow if they’re totally dependent upon me making every move? I am determined to leave a national civil rights organization as a part of my legacy.” He continued, “I’ll never forget what Mrs. King once said to me; I asked her what was one of the things we never hear about that someone growing up seeking to be a civil rights leader should know about Dr. King. She said the difference between Martin and other leaders is that he was not a small man. He was big enough to be big and the problem is that you have too many small men trying to do big missions. When you are small and insecure, it’s all about you and you never become big enough to allow the bigness of the cause to be your priority. Martin produced Ralph Abernathy, and Josea Williams and Andrew Young… Many leaders don’t produce anything but memories of them and I’m determined not to do that… It’s from generation to generation.” Rev. Sharpton had some advice for the next generation: “They need to first do an inventory on themselves. They need to realize that whatever circumstance they were born in and to whomever they were born was not their choice. There is no circumstance you are in that someone has not been in a worse circumstance and not excelled anyway. They found their gifts and talents and worked on them. They found out what they were passionate about and they were able to use their passions and talents to drive them forward,” he opined. “Don’t make excuses for what you don’t have,” he continued. “You do have inate talent, you have some purpose—God gave everyone a purpose, a calling! And if you answer that calling, work on it, discipline and perfect it— you can go wherever you want to go.” November 2011 The Positive Community













Fidelis Care, the New York State Catholic Health Plan provides quality, affordable health coverage to more than 700,000 children and adults in 58 counties statewide. Fidelis Care's mission is to ensure that every resident, regardless of income, age, religion, gender, or ethnic background, has access to quality, affordable health coverage, provided with dignity and respect. Fidelis Care is the largest government programsbased health plan in the state, and serves members through an extensive and growing network of more than 48,000 providers. Fidelis Care Child Health Plus provides affordable health insurance for children under the age of 19. there are more than 340,000 uninsured children in New york state, and Child Health Plus can play an important role in greatly reducing this number. through Child Health Plus, children are covered for regular checkups, immunizations, routine dental and eye care, prescriptions, hospital and emergency care, and more. Fidelis Care Family Health Plus is for uninsured adults, ages 19-64, who are residents of New york state, and who are not eligible for Medicaid. Members are covered for hospital and emergency care, prescription drugs, dental checkups, eye exams, glasses, and more. Fidelis Care Medicaid Managed Care is health coverage you can count on for you and your family -- at no cost. Fidelis Care Medicaid Managed Care is an easyto-use health program that covers hospital and emergency care, maternity care (ask about our BabyCare programs), dental care (in some areas), eye exams, eye glasses, and more. Members participating in Fidelis Care's Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, and Medicaid Managed Care programs receive care from their own primary care physicians whom they know and trust. Seniors are served through Fidelis Care's Medicare Advantage and Dual Advantage plans. Fidelis Care offers two Medicare Advantage plans that feature low copays for primary care and specialist doctors visits, and no-cost preventative screenings and labs. Plans are available with or without prescription drug

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The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information contact the plan. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1, 2013. Please contact Fidelis Care for details.

It’s Our Mission. Quality Health Coverage Family Health Plus with Fidelis Care • Health insurance coverage for adults 19-64 in New York State who qualify • Checkups with your own doctor • X-rays and lab tests • Hospital and emergency care • Dental and vision care • Speech and hearing services • Behavioral health services • More than 48,000 quality providers Family Health Plus is a New York State-sponsored health insurance program offered by Fidelis Care. Some services require a copayment.

Proof of age, income, and address necessary to enroll. To find out if you are eligible for one of our government-sponsored health insurance programs, call Fidelis Care at:

1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) (TTY: 1-800-421-1220)


November 2011 The Positive Community


Different Drummers Berean Community & Family Life Center is unique in New York BY GLENDA CADOGAN

he Berean Community & Family Life Center (BCFLC) sits as a veritable oasis in the heart of the Crown Heights/Weeksville section of Brooklyn, New York. Not only does the Center provide for the medical needs of the community, but it also maintains several wellness programs that are beneficial to the entire family. Established in 1986 as a not-for-profit agency, the Center is the programmatic arm of the historic Berean Baptist Church, which is pastored by Rev. Dr. Arlee Griffin, and is the first of its kind in New York City. The Center grew out of the church’s commitment to address human needs locally as well as globally. In addition to its award winning wellness programs, the BCFLC offers a range of health, educational, recreational and social service programs. This unique center houses a medical clinic with highly respected physicians providing services in the areas of podiatry, gastroenterology, pediatrics, OB/GYN, physical therapy and nutrition. According to Angela Brown, BCFLC’s executive director, some of the wellness programs were established in response to data collected in research into the lifestyles of people living in the communities bordering the center. “Though we are surrounded by public housing developments, there were no establishments that provided



The Positive Community November 2011

health and nutrition,” she explained. “Instead, there were bodegas and subpar supermarkets that offered poor and unhealthy food choices. Our research also showed that there were major health disparities in the community and people were largely suffering from ailments and illnesses that are preventable.” Berean’s response was to empower people to make better and healthier choices. This according to First Lady Angela Griffin, who is the center’s immediate past executive director and current VP of the board of directors. “With the health statistics that were available to us we knew that most of the ailments that affected people in the community could be prevented with increased physical activity and improved health choices,” she explained. “So we started at the grassroots level to educate the community in these two main areas. There is no reason our communities should be at the highest rate of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity related diseases when all the research shows that it’s all based on our diets. So in our wellness programs we focused on moving people away from sedentary lifestyles of watching too much television and eating from the corner store.” The BCFLC’s action response to encouraging young people to become more active was the creation of the

AABerean Drumline, a program that teaches youth of different faiths about health and wellness through music and step. Established in 2009, the purpose of the Drumline is to provide physical activity that engages adolescents to combat obesity, prevent disease, and encourage an overall healthier lifestyle. The program, which is led by Associate Pastor Byron L. Benton, has been a hugely successful endeavor for the Center, so much so that it was the driving force behind helping the agency to place among the top three winners in the 2011 Aetna Voices of Health Award. Aetna selected 35 agencies from across the country whose mission encourages racial and ethnic equality and healthcare. BCFLC captured the 2nd place award with more than 118,000 email votes. Drumline was featured in Aetna’s 2011 Healthful Blessings calendar, which is distributed nationally. “Though many of us know what the issues are, getting our kids to do the right thing is another story,” said Griffin. “We felt that it would be beneficial to bring in something creative and cultural that young people could connect to. As a culture, we connect to dance, to music, to movement and to drumming. So with the Drumline it was easy to get the kids involved and moving. They learn the techniques of playing the drum but at the same time it provides us with an opportunity to teach them about good nutrition and healthy food choices.” Two other highly acclaimed wellness programs at the BCFLC are the Weigh-to-Go Kids Program, which carries an

agenda similar to the Drumline, and the Life Cycle Program that promotes health and wellness for adults through the support of individual weight loss and fitness goals. “In this program we cater to adults by educating them on the importance of good nutrition and some of the underlying reasons we make poor choices,” said Brown. Nutrition, behavior modification classes, exercise and fitness sessions which are monitored by a physical therapist are all part of the six-week Life Cycle Program. The programs at BCFLC have not been without measureable rewards. According to Brown, to find the positive results one needs to look no further than the kids in the Drumline and the Weigh-to-Go Kids Programs. “The changes seen in the lives of these kids are so evident to us,” she said. “When they first come in, some of them are a little rough around the edges. But then you see the change in them when they realize that there are other people in the community who love and support them. They start greeting us with hugs and kisses. Then their grades go up and as their self esteem increases, they begin to interact better among themselves.” “Our approach is all about promoting and maintaining a holistic lifestyle,” Griffin added. “It’s about making healthy living fun while at the same time catering to body, mind and soul.” In so doing, the Center lives up to its mission to be a place “where hearts of love and hands of hope meet to embrace the whole you.”

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November 2011 The Positive Community

49 A







Healthy Living with Diabetes





we put your health first

Managing diabetes can be as simple as learning the ABC’s because Healthfirst NJ continues to expand into more counties in New Jersey. Visit our website at to learn more about Healthfirst NJ and our service areas. Healthfirst NJ offers the health care benefits and services you need to monitor your diabetes. ©2010 Healthfirst Health Plan of New Jersey, Inc.

Learning about the steps you can take to control and monitor your diabetes will assist you in living healthy with diabetes.

What does having diabetes mean? Diabetes means that your blood glucose (sugar) is too high because your body can not produce or properly use insulin. Glucose comes from the food we eat. An organ called the pancreas (PAN-kree-as) makes insulin (IN-suh-lin). Insulin helps glucose get from your blood into your cells. Cells take the glucose and turn it into energy. THE ABC’s The ABC’s of diabetes stand for: A — A1C The hemoglobin A1C (A-one-C) test measures your average blood glucose over the last 3 months. The A1C goal for most people is below 7. B — Blood Pressure High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. Maintaining a blood pressure target below 130/80 will help keep your heart healthy longer. C — Cholesterol Low-density lipoprotein (LDL is also called the bad type of cholesterol) in large amounts can build up and clog your blood vessels. Maintaining your LDL cholesterol below 100 will help to manage diabetes and keep your heart healthy longer. What can affect my blood glucose levels? Things that make blood glucose too HIGH: • Eating more than usual • Eating foods high in glucose (sugar) • Exercising less than usual • Stress • Sickness • Taking certain medicines • Not taking your diabetes medication Things that make blood glucose too LOW: • Eating less than usual, delaying, or skipping a meal • Exercising more than usual • Taking more insulin than needed • Taking too much diabetes medication Information contained in this health publication was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the National Diabetes Education Program.

What types of diabetes can affect me or a family member? Diabetes can occur in three ways, including: • Type 1 diabetes – Means that the pancreas does not make insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin everyday. Type 1 is also called “insulin-dependent” diabetes. nosotros ponemos su salud primero

• Type 2 diabetes – Means the body does not make enough insulin or use it very well resulting in glucose building-up in your blood and not getting into your cells. If the blood glucose stays too high, it can damage your body. Adults most often get type 2 diabetes. • Gestational (jes-TAY-shon-al) diabetes – Occurs diawhen a woman is pregnant. It raises her risk of getting dia betes for the rest of her life and her child is at risk for being overweight and getting diabetes. What are the health risks of having diabetes? High blood pressure and high cholesterol along with diabetes increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. Other complications of diabetes include, blindness (retinopathy), nerve damage (neuropathy), and kidney damage (nephropathy). The good news is that by seeing your health care provider regularly and managing your diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol, the risk can be decreased. What steps can I take to lower my risk of heart disease and other diabetes problems? • Know your ABC’s – Work with your PCP to learn how and when to test your blood glucose and use the results to manage your diabetes. • Ask your PCP for a diabetes meal plan – It will help you choose healthy food options. Healthy meal options include foods low in fat and salt and high in fiber like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. • Stay at a healthy weight – Set a goal to get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days. Simple activity, such as a brisk walk, will help monitor your weight and diabetes. Consult with your provider before starting an exercise plan. • Stop smoking! – Ask your provider for help. • Continue to take your medications – Even when you feel good. • Ask your doctor about taking aspirin. • Check your feet every day – Call your PCP if a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your feet or toes does not begin to heal or improve after one day. • Brush your teeth and floss daily – This way you will avoid problems with your mouth, teeth, or gums. • Report changes in your eyesight to your PCP. • Seek help – From a friend, support group, clergy, or family member if you feel down. 093-054-10

Healthfirst NJ Member Services is available to assist you Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at: 1-888-GO4-HFNJ • (1-888-464-4365) • TTY 1-800-852-7897 (for the hearing or speech impaired)


Healthfirst NJ Healthfirst NJ Medicare Plan Healthfirst NJ Healthfirst Medicare Plan Healthfirst NJ Medicare Plan Medicare Medicare Plan Advantage Plan Select a Medicare Select a Medicare Advantage Plan time runsout. out. Plan Select Medicare Advantage Select abefore abefore Medicare time runs Select abefore Medicare Advantage Plan time runs out. before time Annual Enrollment Period begins before time runs out. Annual Enrollment Period begins

October 15, 2011 and ends December 2011. Annual Enrollment Period begins7,7,2011. Annual Enrollment October 15, 2011 and ends December Annual Enrollment Period begins October October15, 15, 2011 2011 and and ends ends December 7, 2011. October 15, 2011 and ends December 7, 2011.

Tolearn learnmore moreabout about To HealthfirstNJ NJMedicare MedicarePlan Plan Healthfirst To learn more more about To learn for 2012 call: for 2012 call: To learn more Healthfirst NJabout Healthfirst NJ Medicare Plan Healthfirst NJ Medicare Plan for 2012 call: call: for 2012 1-877-737-0234 1-877-737-0234 for 20121-800-852-7897 call: TDD/TTY TDD/TTY1-800-852-7897 1-877-737-0234 1-877-737-0234 (for impaired) (forthe thehearing hearingororspeech speech impaired) 1-877-737-0234 TDD/TTY 1-800-852-7897 1-800-852-7897 TDD/TTY 77the days aaweek, 8am–8pm days week, 8am–8pm (for the hearing or speech speech impaired) (for hearing or impaired) TDD/TTY 1-800-852-7897 (for the hearing or speech impaired) days week, 8am–8pm 77 days aa week, 7 days a week, 8am–8pm

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A Coordinated Care plan with a Medicare Advantage contract and a contract withwith Jersey Advantage Medicaid A Coordinated Care plan aNew Medicare | 1-877-737-0234 program. NJ Medicare Plan’s contractHealthfirst and a contract with the Newservice Jerseyarea Medicaid Coordinated Care planNJ with Medicare Advantage Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Union, Somerset program. Healthfirst Medicare Plan’s service area AAincludes Coordinated Care plan with aa Medicare Advantage contract and contract with the New New JerseyUnion, Medicaid and Middlesex Counties. includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Somerset contract and aacontract with the Jersey Medicaid program. Healthfirst NJMedicare Medicare Plan’s service service area Aprogram. Coordinated CareCounties. plan with a Medicare Advantage and Middlesex Healthfirst NJ Plan’s area includesand Bergen, Essex,with Hudson, Passaic, Union, Somerset contract a contract the Passaic, New Jersey Medicaid includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Union, Somerset andMiddlesex Middlesex Counties. program. Healthfirst NJ Medicare Plan’s service area and Counties. includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Union, Somerset and Middlesex Counties. H7015_MKT12_41 File & Use 10172011

H7015_MKT12_41 File & Use 10172011


Leonard Murray II named Board Chairman east orange General hospital


eonard Murray II of South Orange has been named chairman of the East Orange General Hospital Board of Trustees. Murray, a community leader, global investment, banking, and business development professional, will serve a two-year term. In his position, Murray will lead the 13-member trustee board in overseeing the mission and vision of the 240-bed hospital and shape the strategic direction for its executive team, physicians and staff. Murray, a graduate of Morehouse College, is managing partner of Zion Consulting Group, a real estate and business development advisory firm. He studied international finance at Columbia University’s Graduate School of International & Public Affairs and has more than 20 years of real estate, consulting, global asset management and investment banking experience. He began his career as a financial analyst in Merrill Lynch & Co.’s corporate finance/investment banking division where he oversaw over billions of dollars in equity and debt transactions. Along with his commitment to East Orange General, Murray is actively involved with non-profit organizations impacting the lives of children and young adults. He serves as the chairman of the Board of Youth Build Newark, a non-profit organization that helps high school dropouts complete their education while train-

ing them in the construction field. He also serves on the Board of the Pingry School. The Trustee Board also added two new members to its ranks, Rajendra Desai, M.D., a Millburn-based board certified cardiologist and member of the hospital’s medical staff, and Amir Hashemi, an Essex County real estate management executive, developer and owner of retail stores. Both will also serve two-year terms. Returning board members are: Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams (outgoing board chair), PhD.; Gloria Boseman, PhD.; Richard Grodeck, Esq.; Winston Scott, M.D.; Todd Polyniak, CPA. Also, Alan Butler Clark, M.D (Honorary member); N.J. Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (Honorary member); Adeniyi Ogunkoya, MD., president, Medical Staff-ex-officio; Jackson Okoya, M.D., presidentelect, Medical Staff-ex-officio and Joyce Harris, R.N., president, Auxiliary-ex-officio. East Orange General Hospital is East Orange’s largest private employer and Essex County’s only independent, fully accredited, acute-care hospital. Serving the community for over a century, the hospital’s specialty areas include: Same Day Surgery, Physical Rehabilitation Services, Behavioral Health, Family Health, Emergency Medicine, Outpatient Hemodialysis, Hyperbaric/Wound Management, Vascular and Medical/Surgical Services.

Jeanette M. Grimes, MhS, Manager of Community Initiatives Northern New Jersey


s. Grimes recently joined the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as manager of Community Initiatives. Her work focus area will be in Northern New Jersey, with expertise in African American programs. Grimes will be closely involved with the ADA’s faith-based education component, LIVE EMPOWERED, PROJECT POWER. The initiative’s goal is to increase the awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and emphasize the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices. Jeanette considers herself a Jersey girl with Virginia flavor. New Brunswick born, she grew up partly in the beautiful state of Virginia and has over 20 years experience working with and for non-profit organizations. She earned a Master's of Human Services degree in 2010 from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania with research including substance addiction and recovery solutions.


The Positive Community November 2011

Grimes has been trained as an advocacy leader, served as a statewide community organizer for an advocacy group and has consulted nationally for a literacy center based in California. She is a member of Optimist International and places high priority on volunteering. Grimes also places high priority on “family” and working with families holistically. She enjoys five children and six grandchildren, and has unofficially adopted other children with the belief that families and their health are our future. She considers it an honor to help guide and assist families with moving towards healthy success and is grateful for each opportunity to help communities and families. Jeanette would like to thank her family, friends and co-workers for supporting her in her endeavors. The ADA’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

Take the pledge that’s more likely to take your life than breast cancer and AIDS combined


Selma Betancort 732-469-7979 ext 3510

Jeanette Grimes 732-469-7979 ext 3507

“We know our community. We live here.” Dr Philip Bonaparte, Chief Medical Officer, Horizon NJ Health “I feel the need to make a difference, not only in my life, but in the lives of others. I am involved in health issues facing predominantly the African-American and Latino community. I understand what it’s like to come from humble backgrounds. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield lives in New Jersey and we believe in access to quality healthcare for every resident. To’s as important as breathing air.”

Horizon NJ Health can help you and your family, too. If you are uninsured, enroll in our NJ FamilyCare or NJ FamilyCare ADVANTAGE plans. To see if you’re eligible, call 1-877-7NJ-HEALTH (1-877-765-4325)

Horizon NJ Health Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® Registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®’ and SM Registered and service marks of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. © 2011 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Three Penn Plaza East, Newark, New Jersey 07105.

Ron Del Mauro: 45 Years at St. Barnabas BY GLENDA CADOGAN f there are three qualities that mark the leadership of Ronald J. Del Mauro, CEO of Saint Barnabas Health Care System in New Jersey, they are: vision, quality of care and compassion. And by sustaining a healthy balance between all three over his 45 years at Saint Barnabas, what resulted is not just an integrated healthcare delivery system that is the largest in New Jersey and one of the largest in the country, but a treasure in the area of healthcare as well. At year’s end when Del Mauro retires, he does so with the satisfaction that among his accomplishments are: building a world-class cardiac surgery service named as one of the 50 Best Hospitals in the U.S; the state’s oldest, most experienced heart transplant program ranked in the top five by volume nationally; and New Jersey’s only lung transplant program. Del Mauro began his career with Barnabas Health in 1967 at a time when citizens of New Jersey in need of critical health care were forced to travel to New York City or Philadelphia. In 1986, when he took over Saint Barnabas Medical Center it was financially in the red and had a questionable public reputation. But with his


“Midas touch,” Del Mauro carefully guided the Saint Barnabas ship not just to safe financial waters, but to a national reputation for excellence. Now, as he prepares to make his departure he is gripped by competing emotions of excitement and angst. “I think what I will miss most about Saint Barnabas are the people,” he told The Positive Community. “Whether it is the security guard at the front desk, the nurses or the doctors, I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that I have played a small part in enabling them to have secure jobs. I’ve seen many of them raise families and access healthcare from our system and I know that I will miss the interaction with them,” he said, adding, “When you put 45 years in an institution, it builds bonds that are difficult to break. In fact I think that emotionally, I will never leave Saint Barnabas.” But also in his focus is the excitement about moving on to explore other opportunities and personal pleasures like spending time and travelling with his family. “I am retiring from Saint Barnabas but not from life,” he said. “So there are a number of things on the horizon like possibly teaching and taking up positions on several boards. My plate will certainly be full.” According to Del Mauro, the decision to retire is one he wrestled with for a number of years. “I wanted to wait until the system was strong and secure,” he explained. “It’s certainly there now so the timing could not have been better. The future of Saint Barnabas is brighter than it has ever been and I believe it will only continue to grow and fulfill its obligation of delivering the finest healthcare to the two million patients we see annually.” Del Mauro also takes with him fond memories, like those of his two sons who were born at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, and other unforgettable ones like the many memories of people whose lives were changed because of the healthcare they received from the system. “I particularly remember meeting a woman who had a heart transplant at Saint Barnabas,” he recalled fondly. “She was very young at the time and had four children. She was able to access life-saving care at our system. These are the kinds of things and people I will always remember,” he said. Juggling his thoughts between introspection, reflection and projection, Del Mauro also talked about the pride he takes in the number of community programs offered at the institution and the much-talked-about imminent renaissance in Newark. “We have developed programs that are truly first-class,” he asserted. “People come from all over the country to access programs like our heart and kidney transplant. But as important as these programs are, I believe that it is equally important for people to be treated in an appreciative and pleasant environment whether they have the ability to continued on next page

November 2011 The Positive Community


Affordable Healthcare Conference Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad

faith-based, Nonprofit organizations and Small Businesses

L–R: Miguel Centeno, Aetna Regional Director, NE Community Relations and Urban Marketing, Rev. Dr. Fred Lucas and Halim Quddus, president, Muslim American Chamber of Commerce.


here are millions of Americans “living on the edge” without healthcare coverage, creating one of the great challenges to churches, community organizations and businesses. In an effort to identify affordable healthcare for the leaders of these organizations and their employees, Rev. Fred Lucas, who for almost four decades has been at the forefront of community and economic development, collaboration-building and the empowerment of community-focused ministries, held a conference designed for clergy leaders and their staffs, faith-based groups, nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Sessions included presentations by Aetna and the Aetna Foundation detailing their NY Region Faith-based Initiative, which Lucas helped to design and implement. Information that clarified the Obama healthcare legislation pointing out the benefits was most helpful. Participants came away with a much better understanding of the options available. The Conference was held on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at the Mutual of America Headquarters located on Park Avenue in New York City and was co-sponsored by Faith Center for Community Development, Aetna, Mutual of America and Sovereign Bank.


The Positive Community November 2011

RON DEL MAURO pay for it or not.” And on the Newark renaissance he declared, “If there is going to be a renaissance in Newark —and I certainly believe in that—then healthcare and education are as important as a performing arts center. I firmly believe that Saint Barnabas does and will continue to play a part in that renaissance. Barnabas has been a catalyst for change in the area and we have certainly raised the bar in ensuring that everyone who crosses our portals has the kind of healthcare that they absolutely deserve.” Barnabas employs 18,000 people and has annual revenues in excess of $2.4 billion. Under Del Mauro’s leadership the system has flourished, becoming a superior healthcare facility and one of the most viable economic engines in the state. “When I look back over 45 years from where we were to what we have built, it feels special,” he revealed. “But no one can do this kind of work alone. You need a team of people who are committed to a core philosophy. I’ve been blessed to have doctors, nurses and employees from all walks of life who worked with me to make this success possible. My hope is that when people reflect on my time at Saint Barnabas, I’m remembered as someone who played a small role in making this happen.”

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ntnt cip eyeyRe dn , Ki odod ciiepie Re rtrtGoGo be dn RoRo , Ki be Educator EducatorRobert RobertGood Goodwaited waited1818years years totoreceive the gift of a kidney receive the gift of a kidneytransplant. transplant. Close Closetoto5,000 5,000New NewJersey Jerseyresidents residentsare areinin need needofofa alife-saving life-savingtransplant. transplant.Help Helpsave save lives today by registering to be an lives today by registering to be anorgan organ and andtissue tissuedonor. donor.

Visit www.sharenj.orgfor formore more information or to register. information or to register. National Donor Sabbath is a time for the religious National Donor Sabbath is a time for the religious community to reflect on the life-saving importance of community to reflect on the life-saving importance of organ and tissue donation and how it touches those in organ and tissue donation and how it touches those in our communities. To involve your house of worship, our communities. To involve your house of worship, please visit or call 908-516-5429. please visit or call 908-516-5429. ad_vertical_full Page.indd 1 ad_vertical_full Page.indd 1

etired East Orange Police Officer Steven Sims etired East Orange Police Officer Steven Sims was one ofofthose men who never wanted to to seesee was one those men who never wanted a doctor, nono matter how sick hehe felt. SoSo it took an an a doctor, matter how sick felt. it took emergency hospital visit in in January 2005 to to diagnose emergency hospital visit January 2005 diagnose a heart problem and the fact that at 56 he was in in a heart problem and the fact that at 56 he was desperate need of of desperate need a new heart. After a new heart. After Don’t Don’ttake takeyour your initially refusing to to be be initially refusing put on a transplant organs to heaven, a transplant organs to heaven,list,putheonagreed – – list, he agreed heaven knows we to Hearty heaven knows wethanks thanks to Hearty Hearts volunteers. need them here! volunteers. need them here! TheHearts group, made upup The group, made ofofpeople who have undergone heart transplants at people who have undergone heart transplants at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, visited him there Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, visited him there and answered all of his questions. On March 14, hishis and answered all of his questions. On March 14, mother’s birthday, hehe received thethe heart of of a 24-yearmother’s birthday, received heart a 24-yearoldold man who had died in a car accident. Steven, who man who had died in a car accident. Steven, who retired in 2006 after 23 years with the East Orange retired in 2006 after 23 years with the East Orange Police Department, is proud to to continue honoring hishis Police Department, is proud continue honoring oath to serve and protect – by volunteering. oath to serve and protect – by volunteering. Today, he is a one-day-a-week Hearty Hearts Today, he is a one-day-a-week Hearty Hearts volunteer. A speech to East Side High School in volunteer. A speech to East Side High School in Newark, as part of his volunteer work with NJ Newark, as part of his volunteer work with NJ Sharing Network’s High School Heroes program, Sharing Network’s High School Heroes program, made quite an impact. A young man who heard him madelater quite an impact.his A young who heard speak, encouraged family man to donate the him speak, later encouraged his family to donate the organs of his 18-year-old sister, Maria, who died organs of his 18-year-old sister, Maria, who died after a hit-and-run. Her donation helped five people a hit-and-run. Her donation five people in after urgent need of transplants. “She’shelped my number in urgent need of transplants. “She’s my number one hero,” he said, adding that her brother is a close one hero,” hebegins said, adding thatwith herthis brother a close second. Steven each day little isprayer: second. Steven begins each day with this little “Thank you God for letting me live another day.”prayer: “Thank you God for letting me live another day.” For more information or to register as an organ and For donor, more information or to register as an organ and tissue visit tissue donor, visit November 2011 The Positive Community


10/25/11 2:18 PM 10/25/11 2:18 PM


Norma J. Goodwin, M.D. is founder, president and CEO of Health Power for Minorities LLC® (Health Power®) and editor-in-chief of

e at Health Power for Minorities (Health Power) are excited about our new Men’s Health campaign. Before discussing it, I’d like to wish all of you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving season! Although the focus this time of year is on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie and all the other goodies, the Health Power website,, has cultural specialty recipes with turkey for after Thanksgiving, and other tools to add meaning to your holiday season and a healthy note to eating and other activities. They include Health Power Tip Sheets from our Food & Fitness Channel such as “Cooking Good and Eating Healthy,” “Walking for the Health of it,” and “Wise Drinking.” On an inspirational note, get on the right track for the season by choosing quotes from our Spiritual Health Channel. They may give you a new perspective on thankfulness, love, friendship, purpose, prayer, etc.


Other Important November Events Related to Minority Health and Culture: This is National Native American or American Indian Heritage Month. Join us in saluting their spirit, strength and determination to survive by visiting the Health Power Native American Channel, which has a wide variety of information. This is also American Diabetes Month: Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type, occurs much more in African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans than in Caucasian Americans, it is largely preventable and can often be controlled, and it’s much more than “a little touch of sugar.” In fact, without adequate treatment, diabetes can cause heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and other medical problems. Two key facts: About 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes are obese, and diabetes control matters a lot. Try the diabetes crossword puzzle on our website to check your awareness. November is also Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. I discuss “The Aging Brain and What the Faith Community Can Do” on our website’s Aging Channel and there’s also a tip sheet on fighting the stigma of mental illness.


The Positive Community November 2011

The Great American Smokeout, on November 17 this year, urges smokers to either quit or plan to quit that day. Smoking causes multiple illnesses and often leads to early death. Check out our “Quit Smoking and Win” tip sheets to help smokers quit. Men’s Health Campaign: “Men’s Health is Power” For centuries, men have been breadwinners, protectors, soldiers, fathers and husbands. They are taught to be strong and firm, thus withstanding pain and weakness. This tradition has led to a culture of men—fathers, husbands and partners—who have ignored their own health and well-being in the name of masculinity. Over the years, poor health education and a lack of male specific health programs that focus on men’s health and well-being have continued, and in some ways gotten worse. Health Power and the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (Joint Center) are partnering to improve the health of men of color. This campaign, based on extensive cultural experiences and research, is named “Men’s Health is Power” because it’s true. One example is that Men’s Health is also a women’s and family health issue in many ways. There is no national effort to coordinate disconnected yet much needed men’s health services, although there is an active federal Office of Women’s Health. Further, little attention has been given to redefining pathways for effective movement from boys to men, to fathers. Thus, many unplanned pregnancies and single parent and fatherless homes have resulted, especially in low-income communities. The “Men’s Health is Power” campaign, directed by Jermane Bond, Ph.D. of the Joint Center, will focus on increasing men’s awareness, disease prevention through risk reduction, and early disease detection and control with the Men’s Channel of the Health Power website and its other resources serving as a home for men of color in helping to meet their needs for health and well-being. Until next month, visit for more information about the important issues discussed in this column. As always, best wishes for your physical, mental and spiritual health. And remember, Knowledge + Action = Power®.

Hepatitis C: A Silent Killer New yorkers urged to Get Tested


uring September and October of this year, yellow “C”s appeared throughout New York City in an attempt to make New Yorkers aware of hepatitis C. A viral disease, hepatitis C was discovered in 1989, and is the leading cause of liver transplants in the U.S. Over the years, scientists have learned more and more about hepatitis C but there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C and you are never immune to hepatitis C. The good news is that with successful treatment, hepatitis C can be cured. A silent killer that affects more New Yorkers than residents of any other city in the country, four million Americans have hepatitis C and 75 percent of them don’t know it. And African Americans are twice as likely to have hepatitis C as other groups. In fact, one in seven African American men between the ages of 51 and 60 has hepatitis C. Hepatitis C often shows no symptoms. The only way to be sure you don’t have it is to be tested. About 85% of hepatitis C infections will become chronic, or long-term, infections. However, unlike another form of hepatitis called hepatitis B, or another serious infectious disease like HIV, hepatitis C can be cured with successful treatment. That’s why it’s better to know if you have hepatitis C. The virus may have found its way into your life, but you can take action to treat it. With that said, although there are common misperceptions and stigma, hepatitis C can affect anyone. In fact, two out of three people with this disease were born between 1946 and 1964-- the baby boomer generation.

For these people, the consequences of not knowing they are infected can be deadly. Often the first sign of illness occurs when a person’s liver stops working or they develop liver cancer. Some physicians have compared the experience to suddenly “falling off a cliff.” Since most people in the United States have had chronic hepatitis C for many years without knowing it, the number of people approaching the edge of this “cliff” is expected to skyrocket over the next 20 years. •

Nearly 150,000 New Yorkers are infected with hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and the need for a liver transplant in this country.

People are at increased risk for hepatitis C if they: • Had a blood transfusion before 1992 • Have tattoos or body piercings • Used drugs – even just once • Work in a healthcare setting

People can visit or http://www. earn more about hepatitis C and find locations around the city to get tested. Find Hep C is a campaign created by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated to raise awareness of the disease. November 2011 The Positive Community


Giving Honor where Honor is Due Photo: herb Glenn

Herbert D. Glenn

Seniors receiving Manicure Therapy at Senior Spa Day held at Metropolitan Baptist Church

Senior receives Massage Therapy and Facial at Senior Spa Day held at Metropolitan Baptist Church

By heLeNe fox


any of the most successful ideas helping to create opportunity for development have come from faith- based institutions. Education, entertainment and a place to worship have all evolved from the sanctuary experience, which continues to offer a valuable resource that provides nurturing and direction. Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey has provided this type of opportunity for Herbert D. Glenn, founder/president of WeCarePartners, Inc. a public awareness community resource. His organizational ideas are influenced by the participation he has grown to enjoy in his commitment to having his life controlled by the spirit of the Living God. His passion to do for others has grown into an outreach initiative that caused him to take his church leadership skills and turn them into an outreach initiative for change. Realizing an urgency to provide information and resources that are not provided through main-stream media, Glenn created WeCarePartners, Inc. to identify with the concerns of his lifestyle. He uses his public relations/media marketing skills to help offer a new direction for leadership and his persistence is beginning reap benefits not only for himself, but for those he serves. “I began this journey after participating with Pastor Jefferson in a protest to end gun violence,” Glenn explained. “I was moved by the 'take action attitude' that was generated after the violent death of one of our church members. On the day of the protest march my good friend, Earl 'The Street Doctor' Best, called


The Positive Community November 2011

and asked if I would participate in a mission to help a woman who was also victimized by violent crime. After meeting with 'Street,' Larry Hamm of Peoples Organization for Progress (POP) and the woman needing help, I was compelled to create an organization that would help to raise awareness using the media as my tool of choice.” The WeCarePartners, Inc. was created to include any organization having the same interest that Glenn was motivated to represent. The concept is now a movement called The Responsible Citizenship Crusade. The idea is to give honor where honor is due. It represents the urgency to not just give back, but to take action toward providing direct support to helping the most vulnerable citizens. It also helps to provide a method to develop a concerted effort to provide better quality for the lifestyles of families. The responsible citizenship crusade has recently provided health and wellness guidance to seniors at Metropolitan Baptist Church, pampering them using holistic techniques in massage therapy, facials and manicures. The movement will continue and expand throughout the metro area. The initiative will help to create awareness of the urgency to make healthcare a primary issue and promote health and wellness by partnering with the Urban Mayors Health and Wellness Campaign inspired by Mayor Wayne Smith, chairman of the Urban Mayors Association in New Jersey. Anyone interested in participating with the Responsible Citizenship Crusade can contact Herbert D. Glenn at PO Box 298, Irvington New Jersey, 07111 or by calling 973.847.1983.

Photo: herb Glenn

Mother Shelton (seated) with friends, L–R: Jesse Martin, Louise Brumell, Crystal Powell, Myrtle Johnson, Pearl Simpson

Mother Shelton Celebrates 103rd Birthday


eptember 21, 2011 marked the 103rd birthday of Mother Eddie Shelton. On the momentous occasion, Mother Shelton was treated to a surprise birthday party at the South Mountain Health Care and Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey arranged by Sister Myrtle Johnson, immediate past president of the Missionary Baptist Association of NJ.

The honored centenarian was radiant and enjoyed visiting with the many friends and relatives who attended the celebration. Mother Shelton is a founding member of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark New Jersey. She is also one of the original organizers of the North Jersey Baptist Missionary Association.

November 2011 The Positive Community


harlem dowling kicks off 175Th Anniversary


n Wednesday, September 21, Harlem Dowling West Side Center for Children and family Services kicked off its 175thAnniversary celebration with a special pre gala reception at TD Bank. The fundraising event, which announced its 2011 honorees, was hosted by TD Bank’s Vice President, Field Market Manager Denise Simpson and store manager Patrick O. Ugbomah. It took place at the bank’s109th and Broadway branch. Harlem Dowling consultant physicians Dr. James McKnight and Dr. Jeffrey Gardere along with author Sheri Migdol were the guests of honor. Dr. McKnight, a noted child and adolescent psychologist, and Dr. Gardere, a celebrity psychologist and TV personality, each received the 2011 James McCune Smith Award. This award honors the first African American licensed

Photos: hubert Williams

Host TD Bank Sr. VP Denise E. Simpson (left) and Store Manager Patrick Ugbomah (right) congratulate honorees Dr. Jeffrey Gardere (2nd left), Sheri Migdol (center) and Dr. Jeffrey McKnight (2nd right)

Architect Samir S. Shalt unveils Harlem Dowling’s future home Dorothy Worrell, executive director

physician and dedicated Colored Orphan Asylum staff doctor. Sheri Migdol received the 175th Anniversary Community Service Award. Mrs. Migdol, the wife of board member Gerald S. Migdol, Esq., is a tireless civic servant and dedicated volunteer at Harlem Dowling’s food pantry. Harlem Dowling Board President Tim Mulvaney and Executive Director Dorothy Worrell used the occasion to unveil a scale model of its new facility, the standalone facility that will bring all its services under one roof. The multimillion dollar green project will include office space and provide subsidized housing to low-income families. Mulvaney and Worrell were joined by funding partner Wayne Benjamin of Harlem Community Development Corporation; Project Manager Mike McCarthy of Alembic Development Company and architect Samir S. Shalt.

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The Positive Community November 2011

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Randy West stands to thunderous applause at Bethany B.C.

Culture L I f e , M u S I C , A R T & L I T e R AT u R e Photos: Risasi dais

Jazzmaster Randy Weston Thrills Audiences in Newark and Brooklyn

When Randy Weston plays a combination of strength and gentleness virility and velvet emerges from the keys in an ebb and flow of sound seemingly as natural as the waves of the sea Langston Hughes


ith a career that spans more than six decades, Randy Weston is one of the world’s foremost pianists and composers and is recognized as a true innovator and visionary. On Saturday, October 1 at Newark’s Bethany Baptist Church, Weston thrilled the audience in the packed church with magnificent artistry and skill and beautiful African rhythms. Two weeks later on October 17, 2011, the Brooklynborn Weston was honored with a Jazz Treasures award at a reception in the Rotunda at Brooklyn Borough Hall by Transart, an organization whose mission is to keep jazz alive. Addressing the relevance of jazz culture, Greer Smith, Transart’s founder said: “Historically, Brooklyn has been fertile ground for this culture, a culture that has shaped a music that is treasured worldwide. Acknowledging Randy Weston for his work in consistently promoting jazz and its African roots is a way to say ‘thank you’ and to introduce him to a generation via his music and his humanity.” The Newport Jazz Festival newsletter writes that Randy Weston is “…the music’s most profound living link to Africa, born in Brooklyn to parents whose roots are in Jamaica, Panama, and the American south. Pianistically, he is a descendant of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Nat King

Randy Weston playing at Transart Jazz Treasures Award Program

Cole and John Lewis…. [He] is anchored in the ancient, ancestral ache of the blood, sweat, and tears of his people. Mr. Weston has written some of the most identifiable jazz standards of the modern era, including the hip-notizing “Little Niles,” and the immortally cool “Hi-Fly.” Unlike a lot of people who talk about Africa, Weston actually lived [there], ran a jazz club in Morocco, and established life links with the mysterious Gnawa musicians of that country.” Weston cites Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, and Duke Ellington as piano heroes, yet says that Thelonious Monk had the greatest impact. His first recording as a band leader came in 1954 on Riverside Records. It was in that period that he wrote many of his best loved tunes including those mentioned above. “Hi-Fly” is a “tale about being my height and looking down at the ground,” says the 6' 8" jazz master. Selected as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2001, Weston is the 2011 Guggenheim Fellow for the Creative Arts. Other awardees are Dr. Robert O'Meally, Zora Neale Hurston professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and founder/former director, Columbia's Center for Jazz Studies and Charenee Wade, the 2010 2nd Place Winner Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition. —JNW November 2011 The Positive Community


Kwanzaa Festival and Artisan Marketplace

A celebration of culture and community Artisan Marketplace

Fri, Dec 16, 6–11pm Sat, Dec 17, 12–8pm Sun, Dec 18, 12–7pm NJPAC’s Prudential Hall Lobby becomes a holiday shopping stop featuring top vendors from throughout the area / Free and open to the public

Free Children’s Festival

Sat, Dec 17, 12–5pm FREE storytelling, hands-on arts and crafts workshops, and dance and music classes that explore Pan African culture / For ages 3+

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Made possible through the generosity of Leon and Toby Cooperman

Sat, Dec 17, 2pm & 5pm Celebrate Kwanzaa with this powerful, all-female drum and dance troupe from Nigeria, plus a Tribute to the Elders honoring Lois Thomas, Dr. A. Zachary Yamba and Chuck Davis at the 5pm performance / $12–$22

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Rev. Nana Prempeh Annin-Bonsu shares a smile with Rev. Dr. Lamont Thomas

Ghanaian Minister meets NYC Pastors


ev. Nana Prempeh Annin-Bonsu, president of the West African Tourism Union and owner of Starline Travel in Ghana, paid a visit to the United States recently. While in New York City he was the guest of Journeys Unlimited and made a presentation about the history of Ghana to pastors of several local churches. In anticipation of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation on January 1, 2013, Rev. Annin-Bonsu discussed

the slave trade, relating the history of Cape Coast Castle, from which the slave trade emanated. After being kept in underground dungeons specifically built under the castle for the purpose of holding them until it was time to export them, Africans were hustled out by the hundreds exiting through what became known as the “door of no return" and onto slave ships enroute to America and Europe. Pastor Kevin Griffin (right) of Child Memorial COGIC in Harlem with his son Joshua

BELOW: Rev. Nana Prempeh Annin-Bonsu, Rev. Joy Clarke of St. Peters Lutheran Church in Queens, Sharon Fleming of Journeys Unlimited and Rev. Dr. Lamont Thomas of Shiloh Baptist Church, Plainfield, NJ. Photo: Wali Amin Muhammad


The Positive Community November 2011

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ESTHERS OF DANCE Friday, November 18, 7:00pm

I mistakenly omitted this picture from last month’s column. Because it is too lovely to overlook, and the event hasn’t happened, I am including it to remind you that the Esthers of Dance are part of a special tribute to Susan L. Taylor at the 2011 Stars of NY Dance event at Brooklyn’s Kumble Theatre. The Esthers of Dance of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church pictured from left to right: Naeemah Brown, Deborah Barton, Brigette Barfield, Melissa Gray, Cheryl Todmann, and at center the Pastor of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood. For more info visit RELIGION AND THE MEDIA Wednesday, November 30, 7:30pm Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway at 121st Street, NY NY 10027 Religion increasingly affects world events. But do the media (print, television, online) truly understand each of the religions they cover? Is current religion coverage adequate to the task? Are there better ways for the media to address religion and religious issues? Panelists include Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning correspondent for ABC News Nightline; Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Senior Religion Editor, The Huffington Post; and Brent Staples,


The Positive Community November 2011

Editorial Board Member, The New York Times. The moderator is Nicholas Lemann, Dean & Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. RSVP online at or by calling (212) 280 6093. Free. NATIVITY: A LIFE STORY Friday, December 2, 8:00pm, Riverside Theatre at The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive, NY NY 10027 Presented by CSong Inc, in loving memory of actor and ordained minister, James Stovall (pictured). Featured performers include Lillias White, Ebony Jo-Ann, Alyson Williams, Priscilla Baskerville, Dwayne Grayman, Lou Myers, Clarissa Sinceno, Saint Christopher, Michele Sorel, Tyrone Aiken, Damon Horton, The Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble, Harlem Boys & Girls Alumni Choir, Brooklyn School of the Arts Performing Choir, and Mount Vernon’s Grace Baptist Church Children’s Choir. For more information call (914) 512 5395. Tickets are $50, $25, & special rates for seniors and groups. THE DAVID AND GOLIATH RUMBLE Sunday, December 11, 2:00pm Riverside Theatre at The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive, NY NY 10027 Written, directed and choreographed by Dr. Glory Van Scott, starring Dr. Glory’s Youth Theater (pictured). An expanded version of the original, artistic modern day dramatic, musical and dance version of the Biblical David’s tangle with Goliath—and his ultimate triumph over this terrorizing bully. David and the other children recognize that a bully is a coward, and to defeat one…you do not have to become one! Free Admission. Flo Wiley is a disciple at Memorial Baptist Church, Harlem NY. To have your church’s arts event listed here, please email: s

Bridgett Nicole Bush and her father Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr.

Mr. & Mrs. Jason L. Turner

Bridgett Nicole Bush and Rev. Jason L. Turner Wed in New York


n the beautiful Friday afternoon of August 5, 2011, New York had its own "royal wedding." Over 500 guests, from as far as Malawi, Africa, made their way to the Bronx to witness the marriage of Bridgett Nicole Bush and Rev. Jason L. Turner. The bride is the daughter of Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr. and First Lady Mary Bush. The groom is the son of the Rev. James Turner Sr. and First Lady Donsetta Turner of Nashville Tennessee. As trumpets sounded and the choir proclaimed “Let Mount Zion Rejoice,” the bride tearfully made her way down the aisle on the arm of her father, who is pastor of the historic Walker Memorial Baptist Church in the Bronx.

At the altar they met the groom’s father, senior pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Nashville. Both fathers who, coincidentally were classmates at American Baptist College in Nashville, presided over the wedding ceremony. Following the exchanging of vows, the couple took Holy Communion and were anointed with oil. Upon completion of the wedding ceremony guests were treated to a festive reception at Terrace on the Park in Corona, Queens, where the newlyweds shared their first dance to “You're All I Need to Get By.” The couple honeymooned in Jamaica. The groom is the senior pastor of Community Baptist Church in New Haven, CT and the bride is a prosecutor in New York.

November 2011 The Positive Community


Students from the Dance Theatre of Harlem School’s Cabriole Program


dance Theatre of harlem Celebrates Partnership With “Sister City” detroit L–R: Kendrick Ashton, DTH board chair; Fashion Designer Tracy Reese; Len Burnett, Co-CEO Uptown Magazine and Virginia Johnson, DTH artistic director


family-friendly, house party-style event held on Sunday, October 23 celebrated the longstanding partnership between Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) and its “sister city” Detroit. Detroiters for Dance Theatre of Harlem is its effort to build champions and audiences both in Detroit and New York City, in anticipation of the return of the Dance Theatre of Harlem company and its on-going outreach activities in Detroit. About 100 guests attended the intimate event, including honorary hosts designer Tracy Reese and Len Burnett, Co-CEO and group publisher of Uptown Media Group (Uptown and Vibe Magazines), both Detroit natives. Co-Chairs for the event were Dance Theatre of Harlem Board Members Lori Hall Armstrong of Verbify and Jai Jai Ramsey Greenfield of Harlem Vintage. DTH staff members hosted special activities for young children, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem School’s Cabriole and Professional Training Programs performed. All of this with—what else? — a wonderful mix of Motown classics and other musical genres by DJ Sharee Nash. Over the past two decades, DTH has served the Detroit community through performances and education initiatives, which have included engagements at the Detroit Opera House and the Music Hall and arts education residencies in various Detroit Public Schools. Currently, the exhibition Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts is on display at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History through January, and the museum’s September 9 gala celebrated Dance Theatre of Harlem’s achievements and featured a performance from the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble. The Ensemble returned to Detroit on November 6 for an interactive performance at the Detroit School of Arts.


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November 2011 The Positive Community


World-Renowned Jazz Organist

Rhoda Scott Organ Jam With All-Star Jazz Line-up

Featured Organists: Rhoda Scott, Mel Davis, Radam Schwartz, Nate Lucas and Reuben Wilson. Also Appearing: Leo Johnson, Victor Jones, Taylor Moore, Bill Wurtzel, Earl Grice, Mark Bowers, Marcus Miller, Joe Brown, Jr., Cynthia Holiday, Dwight West and more.

December 3, 2011 8:00 pm –1:00 am Terrace Ballroom

Rhoda Scott, originally from New Jersey and living in France for most of her 40-year career, is one of the world’s most celebrated jazz organists. Scott’s style combines the precision of classical music, the swinging groove of jazz and blues, and the deep, rich soul of African-American spirituals. Newark Symphony Hall, WBGO and Bethany Baptist Church have come together to present this premier musical artist in her first appearance in the City of Newark in many years.

Tickets $25

Tickets can be purchased at Newark Symphony Hall Box Office To charge tickets call 973.643.8014 or NEWARK SYMPHONY HALL

1020 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102 76

The Positive Community November 2011

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Dawkins & Dawkins Rhythm & Praise L–R: Anson and Eric Dawkins

Grace & Peace! s the season of Thanksgiving comes rolling in, we begin to reflect on where we’ve been in life, what we’ve done with our lives and what changes we will make. All things in consideration and appreciation you are able to give God all the praise for all that He’s done and what He didn’t do. In your own way you come to a place where your declaration is complete with a “Hallelujah anyhow!” Well the dynamic duo, Dawkins & Dawkins, has returned to Gospel music with their own affirmation From Now On from Light Records and in stores now. You may remember their songs “Need To Know” and “Wrapped Up.” Well these brothers, Anson and Eric Dawkins, decided to take a sabbatical from recording and it lasted for 10 years, but they never strayed away from God and His purpose. Eric took time to produce other artists including Ruben Studdard, Tyrese, Tank, Chris Brown and Christina Aguilera; Anson became a college and career pastor at his home church. Happily, the brothers are back with their new CD—16 tracks filled with the sounds of Rhythm & Praise, though continuing with their contemporary flow. If you know Dawkins & Dawkins music, you can tell that each song displays a more mature writing and musical style. Although the ultimate goal is to capture the lost with an infectious groove while giving the message of Jesus, the youth and the young at heart will be able to groove to their sound. “We’re raising the bar with elements that our fans are expecting to hear, but also stepping into some areas that we haven’t ventured into before, i.e., pop and rock, that will no doubt place us in other arenas,” Eric explained.



The Positive Community November 2011

Dawkins & Dawkins teamed up with several accomplished writers and producers to make this project a huge success. While there are mostly up-tempo tracks and a few creative sounds, if you will, the vocals are still impressive. These gentlemen can truly sing saaang! I love to read liner notes and I found it insightful and encouraging that in theirs, the brothers found time to give a scriptural reference to each song. So even though you can bounce your head or cut a step or two with the contemporary groove, you have to know that God’s word is ever present to justify every lyric. The beautiful interlude “Fill Me” appears not once, not twice, but four times on this project and it is a lovely way to begin your listening journey. By now you’ve heard the first single, “Get Down” (Psalms 37:18-19); it’s currently in the top 25 on Billboard’s Gospel Songs chart and constantly on the radio. It’s a call to Christ. The song, which speaks to the power of prayer, is wrapped around a hot beat laid with pure Dawkins & Dawkins vocals. The music video was recently added to BET and Centric’s video rotation. “I’m Just Saying” (Psalms 73:28) reminds me of old school 70s dance music, but incorporates the message of getting to know Jesus better. “Ordinary” (John 8:32) inspires listeners to realize the extraordinary nature of their faith. Another standout is “Like Him” (Luke 14:27), which is what we all strive to become as we follow Christ. With each song, no matter where you listen to it —at home, in the car, at the church, or at the club— it epitomizes the duo’s perfectly honed skill as urban inspirational leaders. This is a CD that will have you in love with Jesus and loving to groove to the sounds of two prolific songwriters/singers/producers. I warn you, this is not an average comeback album. It’s time, experience and wisdom set to a style of music that can and will find and draw in the lost. Get it! The Dawkins brothers sum it all up with one powerful biblical quote: “For you have been called to live in freedom my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13

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Line Dancing S ’ Y BROADWA dance your Way to health S U HILARIO NEW MUSICAL g new musical!” and surprisingly fillin “An effervescent, tasty YORK TIMES – BEN BRANTLEY, THE


L–R: Philip Thomas, executive director, NSH and Board Member Al Bundy


Book by

oul Line Dancing has become a healthy lifestyle entertainment choice for hundreds in the Newark area! On Friday October 14th, attendance records were once again shattered at the Terrace Ballroom, next door to the historic Newark Symphony Hall. The numbers of participating guests topped over 500 before 7pm! Come get your groove on every 2nd Friday. All roads lead to Soul Line Dancing and Game night at the Terrace Ballroom— fellowship, food, fitness and fun. Bring your friends and get your dance on!!

eane Douglas Carter B Lewis Flinn Dan Knechtges

Music and Lyrics by

raphed by Directed and Choreog

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The Positive Community November 2011



Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad

Line dancing tops 500 at Symphony Hall in Newark

Generation Next: The Leaders of the future

Gathering honors dr. king despite Rescheduling of Memorial dedication Host Committee

L–R: Raymond Moore, C. Travis Johnson, Laz Alonso, Kouri Marshall, Brandon McCollough Thione Niang


ctober 16, 2011 marked an historic day in American history. Thousands descended upon Washington D.C. to bear witness to the unveiling of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, just steps away from The National Mall’s other iconic sites. Originally scheduled to be held in the weekend of August 27-28, a hurricane named Irene descended upon the District of Columbia forcing the postponement of the dedication. Still, Irene could not stop some of Washington’s finest young black leaders from convening that fateful weekend to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. On Friday, August 26, 2011 over 100 young professionals and local leaders gathered in the nation’s capital for the Generation to Generation: The Dream Lives Reception. The event was presented by Generation-Next, a non-profit organization comprised of young men and women from around the nation who have tasked themselves with developing and implementing the upcoming generation of leaders in the Black Community. Generation-Next Founder and President Brandon McCollough welcomed the crowd and provided background about the newly formed organization and encouraged their participation. “We look forward to working with each of you in discussing and solving the major issues our generation will face.” Actor (most notably, Jumping the Broom), and guest host Laz Alonso, described the effect of Dr. King’s dream on his professional career choices. “I feel like I bring (the dream) to life through action by doing everything in my power to create an image of an African-American man onscreen that we can feel proud of watching.” He further went on to explain that we each have the duty to carry on the work saying, “The only way that his dream continues to live is if each and every one of us brings it to life through action.” Keynote speaker, Thione Niang, national co-chair

Dr. Ed Jackson

Guest Host Laz Alonso

of Gen44, a program that cultivates young Democratic leaders, delivered a powerful address calling the attendees to action. “Let us bring our forces together, that way we can celebrate the great legacy that Dr. King and his generation have brought us.” Thione went on to explain the realities of the work that is to be done in the here and now. “In my country, Senegal, there is still slavery and young people who barely have something to eat. Right here in Northeast Washington DC, the capital of the United States of America, there are children here who have very blurry futures.” A highlight of the reception was the appearance by chief architect of the memorial, Dr. Ed Jackson. Extolling the gathering of young leaders , Dr. Jackson was most supportive in his comments. “This collective of individuals is extremely beautiful, and if you can perpetuate this, you guys are actually on to something,” he said. After offering reflections on his work on the memorial project, Jackson invited everyone to experience it themselves day or night, or in spring when the renowned cherry blossoms have bloomed, promising that each experience is bound to take one’s breath away. Host organizations in attendance included the Young Professionals Network of the Northern VA Urban League, Congressional Black Associates, Northern Virginia NAACP, Young and Powerful for Obama, Young and Powerful Group of DC, and Capital Cause. Organizers were Brandon McCollough, Raymond Moore, Travis Johnson, and Kouri Marshall. Guests were also treated to a powerful recitation of a poem by Angelique Roche, The Power of the Dream, a piece that was as soulful as it was inspiring. For more information on Generation-Next and future events/initiatives visit November 2011 The Positive Community


Secret Recipe Tips — Southern Potato Salad 1 cup. mayonnaise 4 cups diced potatoes, peeled and cooked 1 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp black pepper 1 cup celery, diced 1/2 tsp. celery seed

1. Combine all ingredients, except potatoes, blend well. 2. Add potatoes, mix well. 3. Refrigerate for 3 hours and serve cold.

Call us today at (908) 227-9065 or visit us online at


The Positive Community November 2011

Call us at Two Fish and Five Loaves Today to order your holiday meals. We deliver to your home on Thanksgiving morning... ready for your family and friends to enjoy.



DECEMBER 9 •13 APR. •• JUNE APR. 8 8 •• MAY MAY 13JANUARY JUNE 10 10 13 Friday, Friday, 5:00 5:00 pm pm –– 12:00 12:00 am am Terrace Ballroom Terrace Ballroom

Scrumptious Dinners Available by Eclectic • Music by DJ Joe Smith Scrumptious Dinners Available AllCatering Evening

Scrumptious Dinners Available All Evening Line Line Dance Dance Lessons Lessons with with Kenny Kenny J: J: 5:00 5:00 -- 7:00 7:00 pm pm Ladies Ladies and and Gentlemen Gentlemen Free Free Admission Admission Before Before 7pm 7pm ($10 ($10 After After 7pm) 7pm) Raffl Raffle e Prizes Prizes ● ● $5 $5 Wine Wine ● ● $5 $5 Beer Beer ● ● $3 $3 Drink Drink Specials Specials

Tickets can be purchased at the Newark Symphony Hall Box Office located at 1030 Broad St. Newark, NJ Tickets can be purchased at the Newark Symphony Hall Box Office located at 1030 Broad St. Newark, NJ For information call: (973) 643-8014 or For information call: (973) 643-8014 or

November 2011 The Positive Community



Sylvia Robinson March 6, 1936 – September 29, 2011


ylvia Robinson was revered as “the mother of hip-hop” for her decision to record three young rappers from the New York City area —Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike and Master Gee— as the Sugar Hill Gang over a rhythm track adapted from Chic’s “Good Times” in 1979. The record was called “Rapper’s Delight” and reached No. 4 on the R&B charts, proving rap was a viable art form and opening the gates for other hip-hop artists. “Rapper's Delight” brought rap into the public music arena, and revolutionized the music industry as it introduced the idea of re-using existing compositions, a practice that later became known as (music) “sampling.” After beginning her recording career as a teenager, Robinson found success both as a solo act and as part

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.

of the duo Mickey & Sylvia, with Mickey Baker. They eventually sang back-up on an Ike and Tina Turner record. She co-wrote the hit single “Love on a Two-Way Street” and the early Disco classic, “Pillow Talk.” Ms. Robinson later founded Sugar Hill Records with her then husband, Joe Robinson. After signing Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, she co-wrote their seminal 1982 hit, “The Message,” which is credited as the rap song that brought socially conscious lyrics into hip hop. Later acts signed to Robinson’s Sugar Hill Records label included all-female rap/funk group, The Sequence, featuring a teenaged Angie Stone (recording as “Angie B”), who had a million-selling hit in early 1980 with “Funk U Up” and The New Style, who later found success as Naughty by Nature.

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 November 2011


Countering Recidivisim “‘…I was in prison and you came to visit me.’” —Matthew 25:36 (New International Version) tudies have shown that lonely people often get depressed during the holiday season. So Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is a good time to visit the sick and shut-in. Although prison inmates are literally “shut in,” we may not typically think of them as lonely since they are packed together with so many others that privacy seems impossible. But I suspect that many incarcerated persons feel intense separation from family and friends. Accordingly, visiting someone in prison seems an appropriate way to honor Jesus during the season for which He is the reason.


You cannot serve both God and Money. —Matthew 6:24 (NIV) Too many black people, especially young males, are incarcerated. Sinful love of money and what it buys lands lots of folks in jail. But the love of money also appears to motivate many folks involved in imprisoning others. Worse than Slavery; Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice, authored by David M. Oshinsky, describes how Parchman State Penitentiary in Mississippi perpetuated white profit from black labor deep into the 20th century. In the 21st century, too much of this continues through the broader prison/industrial complex. Rural New York communities that contain prisons benefit from the paid jobs related to overseeing convicted persons sent “upstate” from downstate urban communities. Until recently, prisoner populations were counted as residents of the upstate communities, which entitled upstate communities to more political representation and greater entitlement to public sector economic benefits that are based on population. A fairly recent New York State law requires that convicts be counted as part of the population where they are likely to return upon release, according to Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams. But even that law is presently being challenged. In some parts of the United States, private companies build and operate prisons on a for-profit basis. “…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) REPENTENCE: a turning away from sin, disobedience, or rebellion and a turning back to God (Matt. 9:13; Luke 5:32).—Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, pp. 1077-1099

Our Christian focus toward incarcerated persons should prioritize helping them change the direction of their lives from negative to positive. Education can be a tool in this process. According to Dr. Divine Pryor, a 1994 Rand Corporation study showed that recidivism decreased as convicts’ formal education increased. Dr. Pryor moderated an October 2011 panel discussion at St. Paul Community Baptist Church (SPCBC) in Brooklyn entitled, “Life’s 2nd Chances: Reborn & Rehabilitated,” described as “a close look at the [prison] reentry system.” Dr. Pryor is an alumnus of the Master of Divinity program at Sing Sing prison in Ossining, New York, formerly run by New York Theological Seminary (NYTS). Dr. Ron William Walden, who is presently associated with the NYTS prison education program, was also on the panel, and suggested that churches that are already hubs of community activity should become centers for ex-convicts’ re-entry into society. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” −Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)

Jesus spoke these words when he began his ministry in Nazareth. Today, the phrases have literal meaning regarding incarceration in America. A disproportionate number of incarcerated persons originate from poor neighborhoods. If they hear and accept the “good news” of Jesus Christ in time, it may deter them from criminal activity before they land in prison. If they hear the good news later, it may deter them from returning to prison. We should seek freedom for persons who have been falsely convicted and imprisoned. The Innocence Project is to be commended for its role in “releasing the oppressed” by successfully getting numerous false convictions overturned. We should also seek “freedom for the prisoners” who have already served their time. According to an NIV Study Bible footnote, “the year of the Lord’s favor” referred to the Year of Jubilee, which every 50 years mandated that slaves be freed and debts be cancelled. Christ likely also was pointing to ultimate liberation from sin and its consequences for those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This holiday season and beyond, let’s seek “the Lord’s favor” for our incarcerated brothers and sisters. Bring some Christ cheer to someone in jail. November 2011 The Positive Community



Vol. 11, No. 10

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 Linda Armstrong 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.


The Positive Community November 2011

The Last Word BY R.L. WITTER Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf. —1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (New International Version) s we feel the chill in the air and begin to anticipate the tastes of Thanksgiving specialties, we should also take time to reflect upon those things for which we are actually thankful. Sure, I’m thankful for the yams and that big, beautiful bird, the macaroni and cheese, the corn pudding, green beans and don’t forget the gravy! But I’m more thankful for the people around the table, my husband, brothers, mother, cousins, aunts, uncles and those friends who aren’t related by blood but simply feel like members of the family. No matter the occasion or holiday, I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to break bread and spend time with my family members and friends. After living across the country for 15 years and spending more holidays than I care to remember without them and missing various family picnics, parties and gatherings, I have a great appreciation for the cacophony of relatives and friends that erupts upon entrance into a sweet and savory scented home and wanes only after the prayer is said, plates are piled high and the voices are replaced by the sounds of silverware and satiety. Afterward, the stories of our collective past and our individual embarrassments evoke laughter, denial and Uncle Bobby’s patented “Whoop whoop!” In a world fraught with so much suffering and uncertainty, we are incredibly blessed to be able to not only gather close to our loved ones, but share the day with those who are far away via telephone, email, Skype and the like. This year particularly, we are blessed to


have many U.S. service members returning from Iraq. While the economy is sluggish and the turkey might not be the largest one we’ve had or might in fact, be a pot of soup or a can of beans, we still have good reason to be thankful! Thanksgiving is about family— whether you were born or married into it or chose yours from a patchwork of treasured friends. Beyond the food and the football, it’s family that makes the day memorable, joyous and fun. As we finalize our plans and debate what type of stuffing to have and who makes the best sweet potato pie, let’s take a moment to be genuinely thankful for all that we have, mainly the opportunity to thank God for all that has done and continues to do in our lives, the least of which is most definitely not our health— physical, emotional and spiritual. As heart disease and diabetes continue to devastate our community, let’s take a page from Rev. Al Sharpton’s book and think about what and how much we’re eating. Go ahead and have a little taste of everything, but plan some family activities to help us get up, get out and get active! Let’s enjoy the cornucopia of tastes and smells, but remember that the greatest blessing and the thing for which we should be most thankful is the love of our family, most of all, our Heavenly Father, through whom all things are possible and given. “…Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!” —1 Samuel 25:6-7 International Version)

The Positive Community’s



n one year, America will observe the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation—the sesquicentennial commemoration. From the date of January 1, 1863 through January 1, 2013 we, as a group are blessed with an enormous opportunity to measure, assess and define our American journey, our claim on the American Dream.

Below is a cultural narrative—our story—an oral history, a brief presentation of our deep collective experience that dates back

to before this nation’s founding: African Americans are a unique people with a peculiar history in this land. Brought to these shores in chains from Africa as slaves in the early 1600s, our people toiled and suffered as captives in brutal bondage for a quarter of a millennium (250 years). On January 1st 1863, two years into the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, became law, signaling an end to slavery. On that day, the African American community of the United States of America was born. One hundred years later, in August, 1963, at the height of the civil rights movement, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial as he led hundreds of thousands to a “March on Washington” seeking an end to discrimination and Jim Crow segregation in the South. It was a demand for full citizenship rights for the people in what has been called “The Second Emancipation.” Forty years after Martin Luther King’s tragic assassination in 1968, America elected its first black president, Barack Obama (2008). In one hundred years between the first and “second emancipation,” in the midst of bitter persecution, humiliation, lynching and the denial of basic human rights, the resiliency of the African American spirit continued to shine brightly in religion, invention, sports and in the creative arts—music, fashion, dance, language, literature and theater. Indeed, original American art forms and a popular culture which has become the envy of the world were founded upon the souls of a forlorn people! And that is our story-the Truth, Beauty and Goodness of a loving and gifted race revealed! An Extraordinary History Ours is an extraordinary history of trial, tribulation and triumph that we must never forget! This is the story that we must tell our children and be ever remembered by the young and the old. We the people, descendants of the Emancipation Proclamation, must tell our story to each other reminding ourselves, over and over again of the great, noble struggle and scarifies of those who came before us. This is our story, our cultural narrative, our Grand Jubilee and springboard into a great and prosperous future—a vision of hope and progress; health and wholeness; peace and goodwill!! Stay tuned to The Positive Community magazine and online for features and updates on news, church events, concerts, and other activities leading up to January 1, 2013—the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation—our Great Countdown to Freedom: The Grand Jubilee!! To become a Community Partner or Sponsor: Call Today 973-233-9200.


The Positive Community October 2011

United Federation of Teachers

PROUDLY STANDS WITH OUR COMMUNITY United Federation of Teachers • A Union of Professionals 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 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, Catalina Fortino, Sterling Roberson

November 2011 Issue - The Positive Community  

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

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