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™ November 2016


Focus on Health

Dr. Pernessa Seele’s Sacred Energy

Sheila Thorne Why We Should Save Obamacare

NJPAC’s John Schreiber

Beautiful Music Ray Chew & Vivian Scott Chew Making


Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven

Kerry James Marshall: Mastry

Now through January 8 The Met Fifth Avenue

Now through January 29 The Met Breuer



—The New Yorker

—New York Times




For more information about these exhibitions, including a list of sponsors, visit us online.

Images (details): The Archangel Israfil from The Wonders of Creation and Oddities of Existence (‘Aja’ib al-Makhluqat) by al-Qazwini, Egypt or Syria, late 14th–early 15th century, opaque watercolor and ink on paper, British Museum, London. © The Trustees of the British Museum. Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Studio), 2014, acrylic on PVC panels, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation Gift, Acquisitions Fund and The Metropolitan Museum of Art Multicultural Audience Development Initiative Gift, 2015. © Kerry James Marshall.

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11/1/16 12:21 PM

Publication: AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Insertion date: NOVEMBER 19, 2016 Size: 7"x9.5 4C MAG

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CONTENTS SECTIONS MONEY ...................................13 HEALTH............................22 CULTURE .................................48 EDUCATION.............................61



Recapping the Business Roundtable...............13 Carver Bank Recognizes Rangel......................17 NAACP Honors Homeland Sec. Johnson.......20 Photos by Keith Maijor


&also inside

Healing AIDS Through Prayer..............................22 Affordable Healthcare in Harlem.................24 Newark Prayer Breakfast................................30 Do You Care about Obamacare?..................32 Heart Transplant Recipient Recovers.............42 Full Gospel Baptist Conference.....................43

Publisher’s Desk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Schrieber Helms NJPAC..................................48 My View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Abyssinian Welcomes Metro NY Churches.....52 Wealth Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Positive Music Matters Fish Fry.................56 Fitness Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Former NBA Player Gives Back....................61 Gospel Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 NAN Brings Tech to Newark........................66 The Way Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 NJ Black Issues Convention............................68 The Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Pillar College Appreciation Breakfast..........70 4 The Positive Community November 2016

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April 2016

Proudly Announcing our New Program


Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling Program at New York Theological Seminary

Approved by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services New York Theological Seminary now offers a non-degree certificate program in Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependency (including Alcohol and Nicotine Dependence) Counseling. The NYTS CASAC program focuses on: • • • • • •

psychopharmacological and physiological aspects of drugs, signs symptoms stages of alcoholism individual and group counseling skills the ethics of confidentiality family treatment multicultural issues including cultural competence

The CASAC program is specifically designed to address the needs of those who wish to prepare for a career as a CASAC Counselor , a Qualified Health Professional (QHP) in substance abuse/chemical dependency counseling or those who wish to enhance their skills as pastoral care counselors, pastors, ministers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, rehabilitation counselors, mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, marriage and family therapists, and school counselors.

AdditionAl detAils About the progrAm And courses offered cAn be found on our website At WWW.NYTS.EDU/CASAC. For additional information, or to apply, please contact: Adriane Hill, Director of Vocational Discernment 212-870-1212 | ~ For application and registration forms, please visit ~ APPLY NOW FOR OUR SPRING SEMESTER: REGISTRATION January 10, 11, 12, 2017 from 12:30 - 5:30 p.m. NYTS Offices: Interchurch Center, 61 Claremont Avenue, Suite 500, New York, NY 10115 (Claremont Avenue between 119th Street and 120th Street)

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

Mount Calvary United Methodist Church, New York, NY Rev. Francis Kairson, Pastor

Emmanuel Baptist Church, Brooklyn NY Rev. Anthony Trufant, Pastor

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

Empire Missionary B.C., Convention NY Rev. Dr. Ronald Grant, President

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

Aenon Baptist Church, Vauxhall NJ Rev Alphonso Williams, Sr Pastor

Fellowship Missionary B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Elton T. Byrd Pastor/Founder

Agape Christian Ministries Worship Ctr. Rev. Craig R. Jackson. Pastor

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

Mount Olive Baptist Church, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Gregory J. Jackson, Pastor

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

First Baptist Church, East Elmhurst, NY Rev Patrick Henry Young, Pastor

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

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

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

First Corinthian Baptist Church, NY Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr. Senior Pastor

Bethany B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey, Sr. Pastor

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

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

General Baptist Convention, NJ Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell, Jr., Presiden

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

Good Neighbor Baptist Church Rev. Dr. George A. Blackwell, III, Pastor

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

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

Calvary Baptist Church, Morristown, NJ Rev. Jerry M. Carter, Jr., Pastor

Greater Abyssinian BC, Newark, NJ Rev. Allen Potts, Senior 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

Canaan B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Barry L. Graham, Pastor

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) Drek E. Broomes, President & CEO

Abyssinian B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Pastor Abyssinian B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Pastor Abundant Life Fellowship COGIC, Newark, NJ Supt. Edward Bohannon, Jr, Pastor

Cathedral International., Perth Amboy, NJ Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor

Imani Baptist Church, East Orange, NJ Rev.Chuch Chamberlayne, Pastor

Mount Zion Baptist Church, Westwood, NJ Rev. Barry R. Miller, Pastor Mt. Olivet B.C, Newark, NJ Rev. André W. Milteer, Pastor Mt. Zion AME Church, Trenton, NJ Rev. J. Stanley Justice, Pastor New Hope Baptist Church, Metuchen, NJ Rev. Dr. Ronald L. Owens, Pastor New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Dr. Frances Mannin-Fontaine, Pastor New Jerusalem Worship Center, Jamaica, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice, Senior Pastor New Life Cathedral, Mt. Holly, NJ Rev. Eric Wallace, Pastor New Zion B.C., Elizabeth, NJ Rev. Kevin James White, Pastor Paradise B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Jethro James, Pastor Park Ave Christian Disciples of Christ, East Orange, NJ Rev. Harriet Wallace, Pastor Pilgrim B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Glenn Wilson, Pastor Ruth Fellowship Ministries, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Tracey Brown, Pastor

Charity Baptist Church, Bronx, NY Rev. Reginald Williams, Pastor

It Is Well Living Ministries, Clark, NJ Rev. Kahlil Carmichael, Pastor

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

Macedonia Baptist Church, Lakewood, NJ Dr. Edward D. Harper, Pastor

Shiloh AME Zion Church, Englewood, NJ Rev. John D. Givens, Pastor

Christian Love B.C., Irvington, NJ Rev. Dr. Ronald Christian, Pastor

Mariners’ Temple B.C., New York, NY Rev. Dr. Henrietta Carter, Pastor

Shiloh B.C., Plainfield, NJ Rev. Sheila Thorpe, Pastor

Messiah Baptist Church, Bridgeport, CT Rev. James Logan, Pastor

Shiloh B.C., Trenton, NJ Rev. Darell Armstrong, Pastor

Messiah Baptist Church, East Orange, NJ Rev. Dana Owens, Pastor

St. Albans, NY COGIC Rev. Dr. Ben Monroe, Pastor

Clear View Baptist Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Eric M. Beckham, M.Div., MFT 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

Metropolitan B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Pastor

St. Anthony Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Duane E. Cooper, Pastor St. John Baptist Church, Camden, NJ Rev. Dr. Silas M. Townsend, Pastor

St. Luke Baptist Church of Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie McCann, Pastor St Luke B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Kenneth D.R. Clayton, Pastor St. James AME Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Ronald L. Slaughter, Pastor St. Paul Baptist, Red Bank, NJ Rev. Alexander Brown, Pastor St. Mark Missionary B.C., Jamaica, NY Rev. Owen E. Williams, Pastor St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ Rev. Dr. Lanel D. Guyton, Pastor St. Paul's B.C., Montclair, NJ Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover, Pastor St. Paul Community B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. David K. Brawley, Pastor The New Hope B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Joe Carter, Senior Pastor Union Baptist Temple,, Bridgeton, NJ Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Pastor Walker Memorial B.C. Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr., Pastor World Gospel Music Assoc., Newark, NJ Dr. Albert Lewis, Founder

Businesses & Organizations 125th St. BID City National Bank Essex County College, NJ Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Marion P. Thomas Charter School Mildred Crump, Newark City Council Muslim American Chamber of Commerce NAACP New Jersey* NAACP, NY State Conference* New Brunswick Theological Seminary New Jersey Performing Arts Center New York Theological Seminary NobleNNJ Nubian Conservatory of Music Razac Products Co., Newark, NJ Schomburg Center for Research The College of New Rochelle United Way of Essex and West Hudson WBGO-88.3FM West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc.

“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 November 2016 The Positive Community 7 that features good news about the black community.”—Rev. Buster Soaries, General Baptist Revival, May 20, 2010


To Be Healthy, Prosperous and Happy:

Be Positive! I greet you with the words of Jesus of Nazareth—Son of Man/Son of God—Peace be upon you! t The Positive Community (TPC), we are excited about the future and the opportunity to engage in a conversation; to forecast an enduring, sustainable fifty year vision for our people—a positive community ideal. Back in 2011, we leveraged our cultural capital, social capital and institutional capital, by joining Al Koeppe, then president of the Newark Alliance of local corporations and private and public institutions; Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Pastor Emeritus of Bethany BC, Newark and the late Professor Clement A. Price of Rutgers University-Newark to establish The Positive Community’s Newark Leadership Roundtable Series (NLRS): Thoughtful, solution seeking conversations on education, health and business from a glass “half-full” perspective. Now in its fifth year, NLRS shines on as a beacon of hope and opportunity; of possibilities and potentials. It remains our most popular community outreach brand.


A Wealth Creating Ideal This tradition continued on Saturday, October 29th, at Rutgers School of Business. The Positive Community and community partner Wells Fargo Bank convened a Small Business and Technology Roundtable (page 13). Moderator Lyneir Richardson, executive director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED), Rutgers School of Business, lead an expert panel on the subject. Here’s a sampling of the questions: • How do we inspire job creating ventures among ourselves? • The concept of a business or corporation is to provide a product or service at a profit. Beyond that, what is the ideal relationship between a business and its local community? • What must we do to inspire and prepare our young people to see entrepreneurship or the vocation of sales as viable pathways to economic independence and lasting success?

8 The 40 ThePositive PositiveCommunity CommunityNovember November2016 2016

• What do we mean by the term “Social Entrepreneur”? • In an expanding global hi-tech economy, where do you see growth opportunities for the African American entrepreneur? • What is the difference between equity capital and working capital when seeking business financing? • The Black Church has played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement. Can this great institution that embodies so much tradition, culture and spiritual leadership also inspire, encourage and support a vision of economic advancement through technology (interdependence) grounded in cooperation within community that can foster what we might call a comprehensive community ideal— a true brotherhood? • Can the profit-motive be augmented by a service motive? • What will it take to move our communities forward through the use of technology and scientific innovation economically, socially, and culturally in this century? Now more than ever, we must be about the business of health, prosperity and teamwork, all of that which produces happiness and affirms the dignity of our humanity. After all, knowledge is power. We must now begin to prepare for the future on our own terms. As I see it, the keys to progress are: sincerity of purpose, selfacceptance; self-reliance and self-respect—a positive community-building, wealth creating ideal! Two weeks before the Roundtable, on October 14th, TPC, launched a new Positive Music Matters, social entertainment series, The Friday Night Fish Fry. It was awesome, wholesome and fun (page 56). Make plans for you and your friends to join us next time. A Cultural Milestone As we all know, Donald J. Trump has been elected President of the United States. He will take the Oath of Office on January 20, 2017. Our President, Barack Obama is now in the final days of a historic two terms (eight years) in the nation’s highest office. Fear not; let

not your hearts be neither troubled nor afraid. The best of our times are ahead us! All we have to do is to commit ourselves to doing something positive—now! For 16 years, TPC has featured no other image on our January cover than Martin Luther King Jr., “a 20th century prophet”. When we were just starting out in 2000, the late Rev. Charles Kenyatta of Harlem, our original photographer, admonished Jean and me to never take King off the cover. Why? Because . . . “King is King, always”! In 2017, TPC will depart from that sacred custom to present to our readers, advertisers and friends the essential President Barak Obama Commemorative Tribute Issue! This is the definitive edition that will be on coffee tables throughout the region for months to come. It will also be preserved as a family keepsake and passed along to generations yet unborn. Because of what we do today, fifty years from now, our descendants will see the Obama presidency as one of the most important achievements in our collective freedom journey. It’s a cultural milestone that we must always embrace and will never forget! We invite everyone to participate in this communitybuilding initiative, The Positive Community’s Obama Tribute Issue—our readers, churches, community institutions, businesses and corporations/advertisers. The healing begins as we promote a sense of belonging, worthiness and competency among ourselves! A Call-to-Action We are seeking the support and encouragement of our great community institutions and civic organizations: the NAACP; Urban League; National Action Network; One Hundred Black Men; One Hundred Black Women; D-Free; African Americans for Health Awareness (AAHA); My Brother’s Keepers; our fraternities and sororities; The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce; African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ; The Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry; The Muslim American Chamber of Commerce; labor unions; professional and fraternal organizations and sports teams; as well as all forwardthinking businesses and corporations that value our consumer dollars and who are much-valued stakeholders in community progress. The Positive Community is making a direct, heart-felt appeal to our Roll Call membership (see page 7). The many, many clergy leadership organizations and associations of this region: The Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater NY and Vicinity; The Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater Newark and Vicinity; Empire Missionary Baptist Convention of New York and their associations; General Baptist Convention of New Jersey and their associations; United Missionary Baptist

Convention of NJ; the AME Church and their districts, Elders and Bishops; Church of God in Christ and their Jurisdictions; Full Gospel Baptist Church; African American Clergy and Elected Officials in Brooklyn; Black Ministers Council of NJ; MPAC (Mobilizing Preachers and Communities) of NYC; North Jersey Committee of Black Churchmen; Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI); The Black Church Means Business; The Archdiocese of NY’s Office of Black Ministry; The Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Brooklyn; the Episcopal and Presbyterian denominations; The 7 Day Adventists denomination; and our Mosques, Synagogues and Temples. The enthusiastic support by these groups for this project is absolutely crucial! A Positive Community The future is now; the vision is clear! In decades to come, the success or failure of this present generation will be measured and judged not by our politics or a standard of living, but rather by the quality of our thinking. It remains forever true: The progress of our children and the integrity of our African American values, culture and traditions mean everything! Without the full embrace of these transcendent, qualitative values, there is no way forward. On such matters, the African American people are sovereign. And, we can only be denied if we deny ourselves! So, let’s not miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate and show our love for United States President Barack Obama, his family and his awesome accomplishments and contributions to America and the world in the next edition of The Positive Community magazine. Share a life-affirming, positive message of hope on our Facebook or our website’s message board Post your video message. We need our churches and schools to support this most noble, righteous cause with an ad placement in this very special commemorative, keepsake edition. Small businesses are welcome. If you are aware of any corporations or banks that should be included, let us know and we will reach out to them (Ideas to share or). For more information call us at 973-233-9200; email us: Our goal for 2017 and beyond, simple and straightforward is to be healthy, prosperous and happy—to be positive. Our immediate objective: the Obama Tribute Issue. So, together, let us muster the faith, courage and will to go forth in claim of our divine inheritance—our future—the American Dream! . . . Because a positive community is everybody’s business . . . It really pays to care! Amen! November 2016 Positive Community November 2016 TheThe Positive Community 419


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.


By Way of Detroit, Newark’s Mildred Crump is Everywhere


he motor city, Detroit, has spawned many fine things, including Ford and General Motors, a myriad of talented people, and of course, Motown itself. But Detroit also is the birth place of a woman who has become a formidable fixture and a tireless leader in the city of Newark. Her name is Mildred Crump and she just happens to be the president of the Newark City Council. I recently met with Mrs. Crump to discuss the recent presidential election and her take on these very strange and baffling events that have political pundits scratching their heads and wringing their hands. But before we got into the crux of the political goingson, she recalled her father, the late Edgar Coleman, and the fact that he was prevented from demonstrating his full potential because he was pulled out of school to help his family, as was somewhat common in days past. “But, he read everything in sight,” she remembered. To Crump’s recollection, her father was also vigilant in seeing that her homework was correct, often taking a red pencil to check what she had done. Before his demise in 1963, he was employed by the Detroit Sanitation Department. And, she proudly indicated, he was socially aware, always urging blacks to vote

10 The Positive Community

November 2016

because of the importance of this franchise. By the way, Mrs. Crump’s sister, Mrs. Jean Abernathy Smith, recently became council president for a municipality she serves just outside of Cleveland, OH. It’s all in the family, as they say. And, what she says, or offers, is a scathing commentary on the events leading up to the presidential election. The Newark council president takes issue with the fact that Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s standard bearer, was not held to the same standard as Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent, she said. The questions, she noted, always seemed to be accusatory for Clinton, and laudatory for Trump. “I’ve never been a fan of Donald Trump and this was long before he aspired to the highest office,” Crump revealed matter-of-factly. She also described Trump as a caricature; but Clinton, she said, had character. Spoken like a true, retired educator, which is exactly what Councilwoman Crump is. If walls could talk, Crump’s would likely have interesting and substantial conversations at length. Her office walls are decorated with plaques, along with various and sundry commendations embossed and framed for posterity. She arguably is one of the most prominent women in the largest city in the state of New Jersey, and yet finds time to be faithful to the Bethany Baptist Church where she has been a longtime member. She makes it a point to make time to meet with constituents, whether business owners, lifelong residents, or people new to the city. As if that wouldn’t be enough, Crump is a regular attendee at local and state gatherings—as if somehow her days boast more than the 24 hours allotted to the rest of us mere mortals. Her father’s advice still echoes in her ears years later, “Never let them see you sweat.” The council president indicated that this, too, is her mantra. So, the calm, cool, and collected public servant has enriched the city that she loves and she joyfully says the city has given her as much if not more than she has given it.

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…Without exaggeration, it was one of the best business and entrepreneurship events I have ever attended. The expert “speakers who participated and the interaction with the audience were exciting and thought-provoking. I’m certain that the students, business owners, nascent entrepreneurs, and future community leaders who attended gained a wealth of knowledge and were motivated to reach and strive for success. I met many individuals who I will stay in touch with and hopefully find mutually beneficial ways to work with.

Carlos A. Rivera Dean of Business, Industry & Government Office of Academic Affairs Essex County College

I’m only a freshman I’m highschool I have many career goals that I am considering and being an entrepreneur was “Since one of them I wanted to have my own clothing business. Coming to this event has shown me a lot of tools that I would be able to use to get my career on becoming an entrepreneur on track. Being only 14, I have an advantage that most kids and adults don’t have.

Lakita Lloyd SHE wins scholar Photos: Karen Waters and Vincent Bryant

November 2016 The Positive Community


Business Roundtable: Small Business and Technology

Keynote speaker – Ed Young, CEO, Teacher Utility, Blackbird Solutions and F2F 6Sixty Digital

Panelist – Len Leach, Founder, Team Logic IT

Panelist – Julbert Abraham, CEO, AGM

Panelist – Judith A. Sheft Associate VP Technology & Enterprise Development NJ Innovation Institute NJIT

Panelist – Steve Jones, CEO/Innovator in Chief, websignia

Panelist – Scott A. Blow Chief Business Development Officer, Newark (CEDC)

It was very exciting and informative to participate in a workshop that influenced technology to benefit African“…American small businesses. The ability to use technology and social media to reach multi-generation audiences and develop client information profiles that meet the needs of various types of companies were enlightening. The panel of experts generously discussed their experiences that contributed to their success.

JAMES E. HARRIS President of New Jersey Association of Black Educators 1st Vice President, Montclair NAACP

“…A very informative business conference. We’re headed into a whole new phase of business technology and economic development. And that was so masterfully displayed at the roundtable. It was a wonderful, fantastic event! ”

14 The Positive Community November 2016

Halim Quddus Founder and President Muslim American Chamber of Commerce

Panelist – Mireya Contreras, Central Essex Community Bank District Manager, Wells Fargo

Moderator Lyneir Richardson, Executive Director of the Center for Urban Development, Rutgers Business School

Sherkera Green, North Jersey District Manager, Wells Fargo

“…The Positive Community Roundtable was a powerful example of the depth of experience and talent that already exists in our communities. There will be a direct correlation between entrepreneurial success in our communities and our ability to share our existing institutional and intellectual knowledge. The Positive Community is leading the way in making this type of collaborative information-sharing a reality! ” Scott A. Blow, JD/MBA


Thanks to our moderator, emcee, and panelists, without whom this event would not have been possible. A very sincere thank you to Wells Fargo, the lead sponsor of our Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurial, and Women’s Roundtables, and all the people at Wells Fargo who work with us to make certain we provide a memorable experience for all who participate in these events. Special thanks to our community partner Rutgers School of Business, especially Lyneir Richardson and Jasmine Cordeo. In her inimitable style, event coordinator entrepreneur, Kay Lucas of MediaSense has done a superlative job! Above all, we thank everyone committed to growth and excellence in education, and the advancement of business and entrepreneurship in our communities as we struggle to make a way for those who seek to achieve the American Dream.

Newark Leadership Roundtable Series (NLRS) In an effort to find solutions to some of the most pressing problems in our community, The Positive Community inaugurated a series of roundtables that are presented quarterly each year (Education, Business, and Health). The roundtables bring together thought leaders, professionals, educators, and the best and brightest minds to share their successes and inspire others.

November 2016 The Positive Community


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BCB Community Bank is located in Hudson, Essex, Middlesex, Bergen, Monmouth Counties, New Jersey and Richmond County, New York. Qualified applicants are required to attend comprehensive homeownership education. Private Mortgage Insurance required. Available on purchase and no-cash out refinances. *Low/moderate census tracts as identified on Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

Carver Bank Recognizes Small Business Customers and Congressman Charles B. Rangel Photos: Bruce Moore

L-R: Congresswoman Inez Dickens; Alma Rangel; Kenneth Knuckles, Carver Board of Directors, and president & CEO, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; Congressman Charles B. Rangel; Michael T. Pugh, president & CEO, Carver Federal Savings Bank; Blondel Pinnock, SVP, chief lending officer, Carver Federal Savings Bank

L-R: Rev. Lee Arrington, Rev. Reginald Williams, Michael Pugh and Kenneth Knuckles, CEO Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone

L-R:: Michael T. Pugh, honorees Nino Settepani and Leah Abraham, owners of Settepani Restaurant; Blondel Pinnock

L-R: Michael Pugh, honoree Aliyyah Baylor, owner of Make My Cake and Blondel Pinnock

wo small business entrepreneurs, both customers, were recognized by Carver Federal Savings Bank, at a business networking celebration at its headquarters and main branch located on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (125th Street) in Harlem. Aliyyah Baylor, owner of Make My Cake; and Nino Settepani and Leah Abrahamare, owners of Settepani Restaurant, were each honored for their contributions to the economic vitality of the local community. “As a mission-based community bank serving low- to moderate income neighborhoods across New York City, we have a laser focus on meeting the needs of Minority and Women Business Entrepreneurs,” explained Carver’s President and CEO Michael T. Pugh. “The values of commitment to community and economic empowerment are the reasons why we chose to recognize Make My Cake and Settepani Restaurant at our first annual business networking awards event for the Harlem community.” Congressman Charles B. Rangel, acknowledged for his legacy of service and commitment to the small business community in the Greater Harlem neighborhoods, in his remarks said, “Harlem is a special place. I was raised not too far from here on the streets of Lenox Avenue. Make no mistake about it, your businesses are anchored here in Harlem, your church-

es are anchored here, and your community is anchored here. We need to have a degree of solidarity in where we bank and conduct business. There are so many exciting things we can do together, we are stronger together, but we must work together.” To the numerous elected officials, community leaders, small business owners, and Carver customers in attendance Mr. Pugh said, “It is difficult to put into words the contributions that Congressman Charles B. Rangel has made over his life in public service that spans nearly five decades on Capitol Hill. During his tenure, Congressman Charles B. Rangel has provided a voice to so many Harlem residents and has been a powerful advocate for positive social change in the community. On behalf of Carver Federal Savings Bank and our Board of Directors, we thank Congressman Charles B. Rangel for his never-ending commitment to lifting people up in the Harlem community and for his contributions to our nation.” Carver is the largest African- and Caribbean-American managed bank in the United States, with nine full-service branches in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. For further information, please visit the company’s website at —JNW


November 2016 The Positive Community



Rev. Dr. Charles Butler is the VP of Equitable Development, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI).

God’s Plan for Salvation and You


piritual wealth building was initiated with God’s plan for salvation. This plan was designed to remove the curse that has plagued humanity since Adam’s rebellious act back in the Garden of Eden. After the discovery of man’s sinful action, God pronounced that He would “put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel,” (Genesis 3:15). Adam’s sinful behavior would have a devastating consequence on his spiritual life and all who would come after him. The scriptures say, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). We would now be eternally separated from a holy and righteous God. We had no way to redeem ourselves from this fallen state. All of humanity would be forever doomed to a fate of spiritual death. Henceforth we were to be known as children of disobedience. The sinful desires of our hearts had drawn us away from God’s love. We no longer walked with God, but instead would fellowship with the prince of darkness. We were to be lost forever. Our allegiance was with the father of lies (John 8:44). For this rebellious behavior, we deserved nothing less than to face complete and utter destruction from God’s terrible wrath. We would have to stand before God and be judged. Our fate was in God’s hands. The only one who could save us was God himself. Thank God for His mercy and grace. God’s love for us is rich in mercy. This love of God is made evident by the fact that while we were dead in our trespasses, He never stopped loving us (Ephesians 2:3-4). The vastness of God’s love is often overlooked and at times taken for granted even by those who are called by His name. We want to believe that we played a prominent role in our own salvation. But the truth is we did absolutely nothing. Ultimately spiritual wealth building is at all attainable because of God’s grace and loving nature. Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For by grace have you been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.”

What is our role in spiritual wealth building? It comes down to having faith in God. It comes down to believing and accepting His only begotten, Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It comes down to responding to the call and the working of His Holy Spirit in your life. Think about your role for a minute. It was God who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1st Peter 2:9). It was God who chose you in Him before the foundation of the world, that you should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (Ephesians 1:4). It was God who committed His love for you that while you were yet a sinner, Christ died on the cross for your sins, (Romans 5:8). As we begin to celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday, let us be mindful to give thanks to God for His goodness, His mercy and His grace. Let us reflect the love of God in our lives by showing love and kindness to those around us. Let us remember and help those who are less fortunate and in need this holiday season. To whom is given much, much shall also be required (Luke 12:48). God has richly blessed us. If you are truly a child of God, reciprocate the love of God towards others.

November 2016 The Positive Community


NYPD Opens Candidate Assessment Center Photo: NYPD

In the center is Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill ; First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin B. Tucker (to his right), and Assistant Chief Kim Y. Royster (to his left). The other members of the Department are members of ethnic and religious fraternal groups, Community Affairs Officers and Neighborhood Coordination Officers.


he commissioner and top NYPD brass cut a ceremonial ribbon on October 24, 2016 to open the Candidate Assessment Division on 20th Street in Gramercy Park — the seven-story building had been in use as the city’s police academy since the 1960s. The department’s recruitment process is now under one roof in the renovated building.




Bring Who You Are. To experience a virtual tour of the NYPD, explore career opportunities and get the latest testing information, visit us online or on social media.

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November 2016 The Positive Community


L-R: Renee Baskerville, Montclair Municipal Council member; Sheila Y. Oliver, Speaker Emeritus NJ State Assembly; Hon. Robert D. Jackson, Mayor of Montclair and his wife, Cheryl Stephenson Jackson; NJ State Senator Nia H. Gill, President Pro Tempore

L-R: Atty. William, J. Ewing; Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security; and Montclair NAACP President Albert E. Pelham

Montclair NAACP Honors Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson


n 1916, a small group of black townspeople in New Jersey came together to protest the atrocities perpetrated against members of their race, and the Montclair Branch NAACP was born. The national organization had been founded seven years earlier. One hundred years later, the Montclair NAACP is a vibrant organization and a valuable resource in the community. The branch has formed coalitions with fraternal and community groups and organizations to sponsor forums and activities of interest to members and the community. Increasingly, the branch supports the programs of local groups, whose efforts are in concert with the ideals and mission of the NAACP, in recent years, working closely with the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW); The League of Women Voters; The Montclair Senior Housing Corporation; The Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation; The Fourth Ward

Collaborative; the Urban League; local sororities, fraternities, and churches. The Annual Thurgood Marshall Freedom Fund Dinner is a much anticipated event and this year, especially so. At the Hanover Manor, on Friday, October 28, the United States Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson received the most prestigious Thurgood Marshall Award. Johnson, a Montclair resident, is a graduate of Morehouse College and Columbia Law School. Appointed in 2013 by President Obama to run the third largest federal agency, in his remarks, Secretary Johnson spoke of the tremendous task that Department of Homeland Security has in keeping America safe and the exceptional team that has done the job. He spoke of his respect and admiration for President Obama. NJ State Senator Nia H. Gill, also a Montclair resident, gave an inspirational keynote speech. Other honorees included

20 The Positive Community November 2016

Photos: Karen Waters

L-R: Rev. Derrick Green, representing NJ gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, with Sean Spiller, Montclair Municipal Council

L-R: Deborah Smith-Gregory, president Newark NAACP with Debra Jennings, director of Student Parent Access Network (SPAN)

Wendy Young and her husband, Deputy Chief Montclair Police Department Will Young,

Shivaun Gaines, director, Government Relations, Office of the President with Junea Williams-Edmund, Asst.VP Compliance & Organizational Effectiveness, both Montclair State University

Adrian A. Council, Sr. and Jean Nash Wells, publishers of The Positive Community, who received the Madame CJ Walker Business Award; as well as Harrison Kadel Allen, Tuskegee Airmen Armed Services Award; Montclair Councilman Sean Spiller, Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels Legislative Award; Tanya Poteat, Education Award; Dr. Nicole McGrath, Community Service Award; Rev. Ann Ralosky, Ministry Award; Montclair Police Chief Todd M. Conforti, Public Safety Award; Howard Finney, III, Trailblazer Award; and Lois Donegan, In-Service Award. Two most impressive students, Marcus Washington, and Jamie Washington each received the Little Rock Nine Student Achievement Award. Special thanks to Albert E. Pelham, president, NAACP and Executive Officers James E. Harris, Christine Roz Samuels, Beverly A. Bussey, William L. Scott, Marcia Brewington, and Lynne Williams. —JNW

November 2016 The Positive Community


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L-R: Shahriar Khan, Director with the NYC Economic Development Corporation; E. Ronald Guy, Board Chair, the William F. Ryan Community Health Center; Congressman Charles Rangel; Brian McIndoe, President and CEO, William F. Ryan Community Health Network; Charles Shorter, Executive Director, Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center; and Noel Manyindo, MD, Assistant Commissioner for the Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene.

L-R: NY State Senator Bill Perkins; Charles Shorter, Executive Director, Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center; Brian McIndoe, President and CEO, William F. Ryan Community Health Network, and E. Ronald Guy, Board Chair, the William F. Ryan Community Health Center

Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center Opens


e remain committed to delivering worldclass medical care to our neighbors, regardless of their ability to pay,” declared Charles Shorter, on the occasion of the ribbon cutting for the opening of the Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center in Harlem. Shorter is executive director of the new center as well as the Ryan/Adair Community Health Center on 124th Street in Harlem. Located at 128th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in the heart of Harlem, center funded received funding as part of the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Community Health Center Expansion Program, and through the HIIP (Health Infrastructure Investment Program) from the federal Health and Human Services’ HRSA division. “This is a momentous occasion, not just for Ryan’s staff and leadership, but for the communities we have pledged to serve,” said President and CEO of the Ryan Network Brian McIndoe, MPA. “Our guiding principle has always been that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and the Ryan / Frederick Douglass Health Center will allow us to better carry out that mission.” The center offers high-quality primary healthcare and support services to medically underserved members of the Harlem community and beyond. Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were longtime member of Congress Charles B. Rangel; Shahriar Khan, director of the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Community (NYCEDC) Health Center Expansion Program; Noel Manyindo, M.D., assistant commissioner for the Harlem Neighborhood Health Action 24 The Positive Community November 2016

Center, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; New York State Senator Bill Perkins; New York State Assembly Member Keith Wright; New York City Council Member Inez Dickens’and E. Ronald Guy, Board Chair for the William F. Ryan Community Health Center. “Every New Yorker deserves high-quality healthcare access in the neighborhood they call home,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. The new Ryan / Frederick Douglass Community Health Center will serve thousands of Harlem residents– regardless of their ability to pay – ensuring better health outcomes and better quality of life.” And New Yorkers are set to receive even more services from The William F. Ryan Community Health Network. Plans are afoot to expand its already comprehensive diabetes management services program, targeting more than 1,300 patients at highest risk from neighborhoods including the Lower East Side, Harlem, Midtown and elsewhere. Funding for this program expansion is being provided through a $425,000 grant from the Robin Hood Foundation. The Ryan / Frederick Douglass Health Center joins the Ryan / Adair Community Health Center as the Network’s two locations in Harlem. The other Ryan locations serve the Upper West Side (the Ryan Women and Children’s Center and the William F. Ryan Community Health Center); the Lower East Side (Ryan-NENA Community Health Center); and Midtown Manhattan (the Ryan Chelsea / Clinton Community Health Center). “Our continued growth is a testament to the value we provide to the communities we serve,” said Charles Shorter. —JNW

Photos: Bruce Moore

Affordable Health Care Expands in Harlem


Primary Health Care – Adult Medicine and Pediatrics Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center 2381 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (@ 128th Street) Call today for an appointment: 212- 866-4400 Center Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00am – 5:00pm Thursday, 11:00am – 7:00pm | Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm The Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center is part of the William F. Ryan Community Health Network – a provider of primary, preventive, specialty and support services throughout New York City for almost 50 years. At Ryan, we believe that “healthcare is a right, not a privilege.” We accept Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans; affordable sliding fee available based on family size and income.

November 2016 The Positive Community













Topic: Tabiri Chukunta


he journey that took Tabiri Chukunta from a small Nigerian village to his present role as director of community outreach for Saint Peter’s Healthcare System has all the makings of a modern Odyssey, but its key moment, perhaps, was the day he “died.” As a young soldier in Nigeria’s civil war in the late 1960s, he suffered a severe gunshot wound during battle. “The doctors told me I was dead,” Chukunta said. “As the son of a minister and a missionary, I’d learned faith; that day I experienced God for myself.” That belief propelled him toward community service when he arrived in the United States in 1973. Beginning life at Saint Peter’s as a parttime parking attendant in the mid-1970s, Chukunta worked his way over the next 17 years to security guard, and next to director of hospital safety and security. Then his enthusiasm caught the attention of administrators, who thought he’d be perfect in a community role. Perfect, indeed. In the decade since Chukunta embraced the challenge of building relations between Saint Peter’s and the surrounding Middlesex and Somerset counties communities, Saint Peter’s has become the region’s acknowledged leader in pro-

moting ethnic and religious diversity, with the goal of improving “population health” – a catchphrase of today’s healthcare reform— placing Chukunta ahead of his time. Chukunta has since established ever-growing bonds between Saint Peter’s and the region’s African-American, Orthodox Jewish, Asian Indian, Muslim, and numerous other ethnic and religious communities, visiting temples, churches and mosques in a steady carousel of informal sit-downs and larger formal events. The results have been dramatic from the perspective of better community health. For instance, through Chukunta, Saint Peter’s is intensely devoted to serving the observant Jewish community. Saint Peter’s has funded a Bikur Cholim in the Chabad House in New Brunswick. Now the families of Jewish patients can walk just a few blocks to visit loved ones in fulfillment of their faith. Chabad House rabbis continue to work with Saint Peter’s staff to educate our health providers in the care of observant Jewish patients. Patients are served kosher meals and are tended to by a staff that is respectful and understanding of religious practices. Saint Peter’s has also sponsored health fairs for the Orthodox Jewish population in Lakewood, aiding more than 10,000 men,

Ronald C. Rak, CEO of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, accepts the Martin Luther King Award for Community Service due to our work with the African American community from the Rev. Buster Soaries, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset.


The Positive Community

November 2016

Tabiri Chukunta, executive director, community outreach, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

women and children. Similar culturally specific health fairs have aided hundreds more individuals in the Latino, African-American, South Asian, Muslim, and other populations, through Chukunta’s relationship-building. Chukunta, D.Min, is also associate minister at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset – the congregation led by The Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries, the former New Jersey secretary of state. There Chukunta has helped Saint Peter’s refurbish an empty warehouse as healthcare space for screenings, workshops and informational sessions. Saint Peter’s is also a primary health education resource for more than 200 seniors at the church’s senior citizens apartments, thanks to Chukunta. “It’s obvious that sick people need care,” said Soaries in a 2015 magazine article. “Less obvious – but still critical – is the need for preventive care. Early on, Saint Peter’s University Hospital saw the benefit of being on the front end in prevention and education” for the area’s African-American community. Tabiri Chukunta was instrumental in driving that effort. “My struggles have helped me to empathize with others and to be of help to them,” he humbly says.

Don’t let diabetes and hypertension control your life.

if you suffer or are at risk for diabetes and hypertension, saint Peter’s university Hospital can help. if you are 18 years of age or older, you can receive high quality care to better manage these chronic diseases—even if you have no insurance or not enough of it to cover long-term medical expenses. in one convenient location at The Diabetes and Hypertension center at saint Peter’s Family Health center, you can benefit from comprehensive care provided by physicians, nurses, a nutritionist and a social worker, all experienced in helping you to better manage your diabetes and hypertension. in addition to primary care and follow-up care, we offer: ■

■ ■

education on managing medications and living and coping with chronic disease; nutrition counseling; Foot, skin and eye care;

■ ■ ■

support groups; information about community resources; and extended hours on wednesdays until 7 pm and saturdays from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm.

our goal is to help you make healthy lifestyle changes so that you can succeed in managing your diabetes and hypertension, and ultimately, reduce emergency room visits and hospital stays. To learn more about The Diabetes and Hypertension Center at Saint Peter’s Family Health Center, call 732.339.7672 or visit

123 How Lane, new Brunswick, nJ 08901


We hope you never have to use our emergency department. But when a medical emergency happens, Saint Michael’s Medical Center is here for you. Our modern emergency department has the shortest wait times of any hospital in Greater Newark. And now that we’re under the new ownership of Prime Healthcare Services, we’re reducing those wait times even further. Our emergency doctors and nurses are the top in their field. They’ll treat you with the respect and compassion you deserve and get you on your way - because you’ve got better places to be.

November 2016 The Positive Community


Photos: Karen Waters

Clergy Leaders, elected officials and friends

Spiritual Display of Love and Unity

Newark Council President Mildred C. Crump and Saideh Browne, president of the National Council of Women of the United States

Newark Prayer Breakfast Unites Clergy Leaders


ayor Ras J. Baraka and Mayor’s Office of Clergy Affairs Aide Rev. Louise Scott-Rountree hosted the Mayor’s Third Annual Inter-Faith Prayer Breakfast at the Robert Treat Hotel, in downtown Newark. The annual event unites Newark clergy leaders of all faiths from across the city. The Mayor’s of Clergy Affairs addresses a wide array of issues throughout the year clergy leaders as they assist in improving the quality of life of others. Serving as guest speaker and preacher, Rev. Dr. Lester W. Taylor, Jr. senior pastor of the Community Baptist Church of Englewood, NJ, delivered an inspiring message. Rev. Taylor is also first vice president of the General Baptist Convention of NJ (GBCNJ). Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell, Jr is president. Pastor Taylor succeeds Rev. Campbell as president of and will take office following his installation in December.

Rev. Taylor and Gospel Music Impresario and Music Director Dr. Albert Lewis

Rev. Taylor delivers the Word! Mayor Baraka is moved by his sermon

Rev. Patrick Council, director L-R Councilman John Sharpe James, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.; of Department of Recreation, Rev. Louise Rountree, Mayor Baraka, Democratic gubernatorial Cultural Affairs and Senior candidate Phil Murphy, Dr. Perry Simmons, Abyssinian BC, Services, Newark with Newark, Pastor Pablo Pizarro; Lighthouse Assembly of God Newark Council Member Joseph McCallum 30 The Positive Community November 2016

Charlotte Kinsey, Faith-Based representative; La-Kisa Hines, Health Educator; Jim Olmstead, VP Sales and Marketing; Ramon Jimenez, licensed sales representative; Paula Valenzuela, Health educator; Gladys Cartagena-Eskridge, Community Relations coordinator

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, TTY 711 Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a contract with the State Medicaid Program. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. This plan is available to anyone who has both Medicare and full Medicaid eligibility. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, co-payments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change on January 1 of each year. Premiums may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details. Premiums are covered for enrollees of UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete ONE (HMO SNP). This service should not be used for emergency or urgent care needs. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. The information provided through this service is for informational purposes only. The nurses cannot diagnose problems or recommend treatment and are not a substitute for your doctor’s care. Your health information is kept confidential in accordance with the law. The service is not an insurance program and may be discontinued at any time. H3113_160217_141827 CST10317A_H3113-005

DO YOU CARE ABOUT OBAMACARE BY SHEILA THORNE President/CEO Multicultural Healthcare Marketing Group, LLC

There are benefits and downsides of Obamacare and whether you see it as a good thing or not will depend on your own personal situation, where you live and your willingness to become a more informed decision-maker and manager of your own health and healthcare.


uring a presentation at the 1966 Second National Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights in Chicago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is purported to have said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” The healthcare system in America has been in crisis for many decades. The crisis has been even more acute among black Americans, who on average experience poor access to care, lower quality of care, and suffer a disproportionate impact of chronic disease, disability, and premature death. Research has long shown low-income Americans, including many people of color, have significantly less access to medical care and suffer higher incidence, higher mortality, and shorter survival rates from childhood illnesses, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, AIDS, and other diseases. However, the data are compelling that access to care with health insurance plays a significant role in closing the equity gap in healthcare for black Americans. In 2008, there were 50 million uninsured Americans and 25 million underinsured – many of them people of African heritage. Presidents of the United States and congresses have debated for almost a century over what role government 32 The Positive Community November 2016

should play in helping people in America afford medical care. From the first effort at healthcare reform in 1912 by President Theodore Roosevelt, there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts during the administrations of presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton to propose comprehensive healthcare reform of a badly broken healthcare system in crisis. In light of the long history of reform efforts, the passage of the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act represents a significant accomplishment. The late Congressman Louis B. Stokes, creator and founder of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, hailed it as the most important piece of healthcare legislation since the creation of Medicare for the elderly under President Lyndon B. Johnson and the most significant piece of civil rights legislation since Brown vs. Board of Education. The goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now commonly known as Obamacare, is to provide affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans and reduce the growth of healthcare spending. In 2008, there were 50 million uninsured Americans and 25 million underinsured. There is no question that this comprehensive overhaul of America’s healthcare system was long overdue. In 2009, President Obama began an intense year of bitter, contentious, bi-partisan wrangling to draft the legislation that created the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) now commonly referred to as “Obamacare”. The ACA was signed into law on March 23, 2010 and the majority of the law’s provision was upheld by a 5-4 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court. Due to persistent, personal commitment and determination, President Obama took a personal interest in lobbying for the ACA at great loss of political capital. After just one year of bringing all stakeholders to the table – drug companies, insurance companies, healthcare

As a result of the implementation of the ACA, the number of uninsured African Americans went from 21% to 11% and Hispanics/Latinos from 32% to 19%. Source:

professionals, hospital administrators -- the ACA ushered America into an unprecedented and unparalleled era of a major overhaul and transformation of America’s healthcare system. On December 14, 2012, states had to notify Washington if they would be setting up new health insurance markets, called exchanges, in which millions of households and small businesses would shop for private coverage. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would run the exchanges in states that were not ready or willing to do so. The complex law is over 2,400 pages and includes ten sections that address different parts of our healthcare system in dire need of fixing. These issues include public and private health insurance reform, changes in health care delivery, how we manage chronic disease, how to increase the number of people in and improve the quality of our healthcare workforce, how to expand public insurance programs and introduce new health insurance options for individuals who are poor or with low incomes, and how to better public and private policies. The ACA is a long and complicated piece of legislation and there are many parts that definitely still need work and refinement. However, the law holds much promise for persons who have historically faced major healthcare barriers and inequities. The ACA is about much more than the insurance reform aspect that has been the primary focus of the media and the center of political debates. So much of the law is not talked about in the media. So much of the law is misrepresented. There are benefits and downsides of Obamacare and whether you see it as a good thing or not will depend on your own personal situation, where you live, and your willingness to become a more informed decision-maker and manager of your own health and healthcare. While parts of the law definitely need work and revisions, there are many benefits to the ACA. One of the most important benefits of Obamacare is the guaranteed health insurance for those who have a pre-existing

condition. Another valuable benefit of Obamacare has provided insurance to millions of children who remain on their parent’s insurance up to the age of twenty-six. The ACA provided prescription drug discounts for seniors who reach the coverage gap in Medicare Part D. The law requires insurance companies to provide preventative services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, without charging co-pays or deductibles. The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. According to The Commonwealth Fund, the ACA has facilitated insuring more than 20 million Americans and facilitating change in how we organize and pay for health care. Changes in healthcare delivery, brought about by the ACA have lowered hospital patient readmissions. The recent challenges in the ACA marketplaces – like skyrocketing premiums – are not insurmountable. There was a lot of mispricing of premiums in the early years of the law and now prices are rising to market level. Premium prices are now being adjusted based on actual experience, which accounts for the increases in premiums. There are many options for improving the affordability of private health insurance. There have been over 50 attempts to repeal the ACA that translates into 80 hours of time at considerable cost to taxpayers -- time that would have better spent on fixing its deficiencies. Repealing the ACA would negate all of the gains achieved in the last six years, especially for the uninsured and underinsured. The ACA has made significant differences in the lives of millions of Americans. We must stand united to make sure that America delivers on its promise of quality, affordable, accessible, culturally competent healthcare for all Americans– it is not a privilege but a civil right. November 2016 The Positive Community



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Appreciation Breakfast Honoring Deacon Willie Burke BY VINCENT BRYANT


eacon Willie Burke was honored with an appreciation breakfast for his service as president of the Layman ministry of the General Baptist Convention of

New Jersey. Deacon Burke has served in that capacity for three terms. At his church, The Metropolitan Baptist Church, he serves as the chairman of the Deacon Ministry. With family, church members, friends, and Laymen from throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania in attendance, the breakfast surpassed all expectations. Rev Dr. Jesse Voyd Bottoms, pastor of Beulah Baptist Church in PoughkeepL-R: Willie and Coretta Burke, Rev Dr. Guy Campbell, Jacquette and sie, NY and Vice Rev. Dr. Jessie Bottom, and Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, senior pastor of President At Metropolitan Baptist Church Large for the

L-R: Willie Burke and Layman President-elect Darryl Koon

National Baptist Congress USA, Inc., served as guest preacher for the occasion. His message, “Having Breakfast with Burke,” centered on Genesis 24:33 — “A meal was set before him, but he said, I will not eat until I have told of my errand... And [Laban] said, ‘Speak on.’” Well fed with physical food, the message filled the souls of those in attendance. In the words of Deacon Willie Burke, “To God Be the Glory!”

Health Services Executives Focus on Diversity


t the October monthly meeting of the NY Regional Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), members heard from a panel of leading experts about diversity and inclusion in healthcare organizations. Much of the discussion focused on measures that would enhance diversity, including understanding and managing unconscious bias. Leadership diversity in the “C” suite remains an important objective of NAHSE.--ACC L-R: Syrine A. Reese, director of Talent Acquisition, Healthfirst; Kevin Antoine, JD, AVP, Diversity and Inclusion, SUNY Downstate Medical Center; Hope Mason, MPA, president, NY Regional Chapter, National Association of Health Services Executives; Kenya Beard, EdD, director, Center for Multicultural Education & Health Disparities; Pamela Abner, MPA, chief administrative officer, Office of Diversity and Inclusion,The Mt. Sinai Health System; George Hulse, VP, Community Engagement, Healthfirst.

36 The Positive Community November 2016

KAHLIL CARMICHAEL THE FITNESS DOCTOR Kahlil Carmichael is the spiritual director and founder of It Is Well Wellness and Worship Center in Somerset, New Jersey. He is a spiritual leader and the owner of The Fitness Doctor; a fitness and wellness consulting company. He writes a monthly column for The Positive Community Magazine and is the author of 50 Tips for a Better You! To grow spiritually and improve physically, or have Pastor Carmichael present his wellness seminar to your church or group you can email Kahlil at or call 732-921-3746.

Run and Win


he presidential campaign of 2016 was crazy. Both candidates came out swinging. The debates were ugly and the comments were not at all (to say the least), presidential! And the media: forget it. In the words of noted author Nathan McCall, “Makes me want to holler!!!” This election also made we want to go on a two-month sabbatical to Hawaii and keep my vote to myself. But of course, I would never do that. Too much has been sacrificed for that nonsense. I know some of you felt the same way. I heard some of my Caucasian brothers and some others say, “I’m not voting. I think I am going to sit this one out. “Please no!” I begged. “This election is too important. The future of our great nation is at stake. Everything the previous administration has accomplished is in jeopardy of being destroyed if we all don’t vote for the most qualified candidate.” I tried to show them another way to keep our sanity and make it through this farcical and insane election without squandering the privilege to vote. I suggested we get moving. That’s right, exercise. But not just any exercise. I recommended incorporating some power walking or running with prayer and meditation. I know we always talk a lot about walking and walking is great. But today I want to encourage those who are able to run (or run/walk) to listen to these benefits of running. Running Is Good for Your Heart Running is the best cardio. It’s the king of cardio. Running even five to 10 minutes a day, at slow speeds (how does a nice 12-minute mile sound to you?) is associated with a drastically reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a landmark study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Compared with never-runners, regular runners have half the chance of dying from heart disease. So if you have checked with your physician and he or she tells you you’re healthy enough to run, get moving! Running Makes You Happier Physical exercise, running included, is known to release endorphins in the brain. Endorphins act as a natural “drug” that make a person more energetic, more awake and, yes,

happier. The endorphins can kick in during a run, after a workout, or both and are generally referred to as a “runner’s high.” Almost every runner experiences an elevated mood after running, and most will tell you that their moods tend to be gloomier when they don’t run. Running Burns, Lots of Calories Running requires a lot of fuel (aka calories). In fact, the average 150-pound person will burn about 12.2 calories per minute running a 10-minute mile. And that’s on flat terrain. Head outside where wind and hills up your effort and you can expect to burn even more. Of course starting a running program requires that we adhere to one of the most important training principles, the principle of specificity. In other words, exercise has to be specific to your life inclusive of time, health, and other factors specific to your being. If you have had a knee or hip replacement you might want to hire a fitness coach to guide you through the process. My dad, who was an avid runner, now has to alternate between running and walking due to two knee replacements seven years ago. Walking and or running outdoors in this beautiful crisp fall air has the ability to help alleviate stress. Couple that with prayer, and you will find that you are able deal with anything the media and the political environment hurl your way. Running is hard; hard to start and hard to finish. But someone once said, “The hard is what makes running so great!” I want to encourage you to take your fitness routine to the next level. And unlike a run for political office, when it comes to physical fitness, cardiovascular health, and a general feeling of well-being, everyone who runs is a winner. If you’re interested in a free consultation or more information on FitCare, call 732-921-3746 or email Disclaimer: The information contained in this column is of a general nature. You should consult your physician or health care professional before beginning any exercise prgram or changing your dietary regimen. November 2016 The Positive Community













New Guidelines Issued for Exercising with Diabetes


n the battle to effectively manage diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle can be your worst enemy. Sedentary behavior like prolonged sitting--either at a computer desk, in meetings, or when watching TV–can actually set back efforts to prevent or manage diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle’s effect on diabetes management is in fact so serious, the American Diabetes Association has released new recommendations on how to fight back. The ADA now recommends people with diabetes get up and move for at least three minutes every half hour, citing studies that indicate “improved blood sugar management when prolonged sitting is interrupted every 30 minutes.”

walking in place. If you can’t manage to get up every thirty minutes, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise every day. Try not to go more than 2 days in a row without exercising. Why exercise is important Exercise, along with a healthy diet, is an essential pairing for overall health. But exercise is especially important for people living with diabetes, because of its role in regulating blood sugar. Exercise actually helps to lower blood glucose, because it increases “insulin sensitivity,” or your body’s ability to use insulin to break down glucose. Insulin sensitivity is heightened during and after physical activity. The more your exercise, the more you help this process.

“Physical movement improves blood sugar management in people who have sedentary jobs and in people who are overweight, obese, and who have difficulty maintaining blood sugars in a healthy range,” the guidelines state.

Further, exercise allows your muscles to use glucose for energy. When you use muscles during activity, it allows your cells to break down more glucose, whether your body has insulin available or not.

The ADA recommends getting up every 30 minutes during the day to perform light exercises such as leg lifts or extensions, torso twists, desk chair swivels, side lunges, overhead arm stretches, and

Exercising with diabetes complications The benefits of regular exercise for people with diabetes are clear. But what do you do if you suffer complications from diabetes? Staying active while living with

diabetes is important to overall health, but it can be difficult depending on the other conditions your diabetes might be causing. If you are experiencing complications due to diabetes, it’s important to talk to your provider about the safest physical activity for your situation. If you have foot damage, talk to your provider about light weight training, core-strengthening exercises, swimming, or cycling. If you suffer from heart or kidney disease, discuss the benefits of walking, stationary cycling at a moderate pace, or a combination of light aerobics with weight training. If you suffer from neuropathy (peripheral nerve problems), swimming and other water exercises, elliptical training, stationary cycling, or strength training might be good options. If you suffer from retinopathy (retina problems causing loss of vision), talking to your doctor about exercises that do not require excessive straining, such as walking, light aerobics, or stationary biking. It is also important to get an eye exam every year with an eye care professional.

Open Enrollment ends January 31, 2017 If you are looking for quality, affordable health insurance, now is the perfect time to get covered. Fidelis Care offers health insurance for people of all ages and at all stages of life. For Metal-Level Products available through New York State of Health: The Official Health Plan Marketplace, open enrollment ends on January 31, 2017. To review health insurance products, Fidelis Care encourages individuals to use the Fidelis Care Affordable Care Advisor, found on the home page of The Affordable Care Advisor enables users to quickly estimate the cost of coverage, including government subsidies and tax credits. 38 The Positive Community November 2016

Cost-saving benefits, personalized care

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The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. Fidelis Care is a Coordinated Care plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the New York State Department of Health Medicaid program. Enrollment in Fidelis Care depends on contract renewal. Fidelis Care is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Fidelis Care depends on contract renewal. H3328_FC 16145 Accepted

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November 2016 The Positive Community


Every breath is a miracle… ever smoked a day in her life, she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. She was performing regularly as a stand-up comic, but this was no laughing matter. She struggled to breathe, would often faint and ultimately came to rely on an

walkers, runners and volunteers to honor those who gave, pay tribute to those who received, offer hope to those who continue to wait and remember the lives lost while waiting…for the gift of life. For the past six years, Denise has

“There’s no greater gift than the gift of organ and tissue donation. I’m a living, breathing example of it.”

E. Denise Peoples, double-lung transplant recipient and NJ Sharing Network volunteer


erhaps no one knows this better than E. Denise Peoples. This fall, Denise, 52, is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of her life-saving, double-lung transplant. “God is good. He put the right people in my path,” she says. Denise’s difficult path began in 2002 when, without a family history or having

oxygen tank. But she did not let her condition stop her. “Even with the oxygen, I continued doing my comedy. I just kept smiling and kept going,” she says. Her strong Christian faith played an instrumental role in her recovery. Family, friends and members of her church showered her with prayers, visits, phone calls, anything she needed during her darkest days. After her successful transplant in 2006, Denise adopted the motto “Breathin’ Ezy.” It’s the name of her NJ Sharing Network 5K Celebration of Life team. The annual 5K Celebration of Life brings together thousands of

walked the course and is now training to run in 2017. Denise feels blessed to have connected with NJ Sharing Network along her journey. As a volunteer, she has made television appearances on behalf of the organization and addressed high school students, hospital transplant teams and faithbased community groups. She tells her audiences that everyone has the power to save a life, and many have registered as organ and tissue donors after hearing her inspiring story. “There’s no greater gift than the gift of organ and tissue donation,” she says. “I’m a living, breathing example of it.”

JOIN US IN OUR LIFE-SAVING MISSION NATIONAL DONOR SABBATH NOVEMBER 11–13, 2016 During the month of November—a time associated with giving thanks—faith-based communities unite to increase awareness about organ and tissue donation. Partner with your faith-based leader to get involved anytime throughout the year:

INVITE a transplant recipient or donor family member to speak in your faith-based community. HOST donor registration drives and distribute informational materials. SHARE stories of those who have been touched by organ and tissue donation in faith-based bulletins.

To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit

#NJSN #CelebrateLife

Jacquelyn Copeland, MD, breast radiologist

Less waiting. Less wondering. Less worrying. When it’s time for your regular mammogram, we’ll be waiting for you. But you won’t be waiting for us. That’s because our Leslie Simon Breast Care and Cytodiagnosis Center now provides mammography results and many follow-up tests during the same visit. Our newly renovated center offers a serene environment, the latest technology, and a dedicated, compassionate team working to get you the care you need, when you need it — one more reason to make Englewood Hospital and Medical Center your hospital for life.

Heart Transplant Recipient Makes a Complete Rebound


amantha Denti was only 28 years old when her doctors told her she was dieing. She had been battling heart disease for several years and now she desperately needed a heart transplant. Her troubles began at the age of 23 when she began to feel light headed and dizzy, and it hurt her to breathe. Her doctor told her that she needed to rest and calm down. Not satisfied with this response, she received additional testing at Community Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, which confirmed her worst fear – advanced heart failure due to cardiomyopathy, the same heart disease that plagued her father. Samantha was referred to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, also an RWJBarnabas Health facility, for a pace maker and defibrillator, along with medication. Her condition continued to worsen and she was referred to Mark J. Zucker, MD, Director, Heart Failure Treatment and Transplantation Program at Newark Beth Israel, who determined that the left side of Samantha’s heart was markedly abnormal and not pumping effectively.

The plan was to implant a ventricular assist device (VAD) – designed to partially or completely replace the function of her failing left ventricle. It was understood that Samantha would eventually need a new heart. Then the right side of her heart gave out and both heart chambers were not functioning. The young Toms River woman began to say her goodbyes to her loved ones. She sat down and wrote a letter, about the importance of not putting your dreams on hold. She wrote about her dreams and all the things she wanted to accomplish. She had always wanted to be a basketball coach. Two week later, Samantha found herself in a hospital bed at Newark Beth Israel with only 24 hours to live, then the “miracle” call arrived – there was a heart for Samantha. Margarita Camacho, MD, Surgical Director of Cardiac Transplantation and Assist Devices at Newark Beth Israel boarded a plane herself to retrieve the heart for transplant surgery. Dr. Camacho personally recovers every heart she ultimately transplants. “Newark Beth Israel is my slice of heaven,” says Samantha. “I’ve never seen such commitment and compassion. The entire staff was phenomenal – they treated me like family. I wouldn’t be here today without them.” The surgery was a success and afterwards physiologists worked with Samantha to rebuild her strength and independence. She was so grateful to be alive that Samantha decided to fulfill every item on her wish list,

42 The Positive Community November 2016

though she had no idea how she would ever become a basketball coach, when she had just learned how to stand and walk again. Soon after her release from the hospital, another phone call changed her life forever; her cousin’s high school basketball team offered her a coaching position. Samantha had no idea how she would coach basketball when she could barely walk but in time she regained her strength and the team also encouraged her to get back on the court. This June, Samantha was able to participate in the Transplant Games of America. She participated in the basketball, volleyball and trivia tournaments and her basketball team won silver.

About the Heart Failure and Transplant Program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center The heart failure and transplant program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, is one of the top five programs in the nation, and is the most comprehensive center in New Jersey. The program is at the forefront of improving the quality of life for transplant candidates and recipients, as well as increasing access to transplant. For more information, visit or call 888-724-7123.

22nd Annual State Conference of the Full Gospel Baptist Church International of New Jersey


ehovah-Jireh Praise and Worship Church Center in Newark, NJ hosted the 22nd Annual State Conference of the Full Gospel Baptist Church International of New Jersey. Presiding Bishop Joseph W. Walker and State Bishop and Host Pastor Rudy V. Carlton presided over the four-day conference, October 26 -30th. --AAC

L-R: Pastor Rodney Brown, Dr Kim Yancey James, Bishop Jethro C. James, Pastor Bryant R. Ali, Overseer Jean B. Taylor, Lady Linda L. Carlton, and Bishop Rudy V. Carlton Photos: Vincent Bryant

L-R: Lady Brenda Robinson and Elder Julia A. Feacher

Roberto Clemente Gala

L-R: Carol Dortch Wright, PRAHD member of Board of Directors; PRAHD Executive Director Yvonne Lopez; Honoree Abraham Lopez; Juan Carlos Nordelo, PRAHD grant-writing consultant


RAHD celebrated its 30th Annual Roberto Clemente Gala. A comprehensive, HUD certified social service non profit~PRAHD has been operating for over 40 years providing programs and services to approximately 17,000 individuals annually. Abraham Lopez, chief of staff for New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno received the Roberto Clemente Award. PRAHD is an active community provider and steward that constantly campaigns for the rights, dignity and betterment of impoverished individuals and communities.

November 2016 The Positive Community


Chew on This, That, & So Much More

Vivian and Ray Chew Share Their Insights and Inspiration By R.L. Witter

Photo: Fadi Kheri


nterviewing multiple parties simultaneously can be a nightmare for everyone involved. With each party wanting to speak their piece, the conversation can easily be derailed. Married couples can be especially difficult. It can seem that they want to appear as though they are in harmony—on the same page, but too often the façade they’ve worked hard to craft belies the reality. Not so with Vivian and Ray Chew! The striking entertainment power couple has mastered the give and take mandatory for a strong marriage. They have perfected the art of being successful both as individuals and as part of a unit. After spending 90 minutes with them, I left with my spirit full and lifted, and some new relationship goals. While many of us are familiar with Ray Chew the musician, producer, and musical director, we might not be aware of his sense of humor and near perfect comedic timing and delivery. He pulled me in on the first ques-

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November 2016

tion when I asked how the couple met. Ray began slowly and thoughtfully talking about years of mutual admiration as business colleagues. Then deadpanned, he delivered a punchline about Vivian stalking him on the streets of New York City and cracked up laughing! Once the laughter subsided, his wife gave it to me straight, “During the time we were colleagues, he never paid me any attention,” she confessed, “and I was a little heartbroken by that.” She continued and her voice lilted a bit, “then the stars aligned and the time was right, and here we are.” Vivian’s smooth, focused demeanor was revealed as she casually added, “I know exactly when it was for me. It was Friday, December 13, 1996. It was a stormy day and Ray came to my office . . . at Epic Records . . .” She recalled the story; Ray playfully and quietly interjected, “That’s because you were 45 minutes late . . .” Vivian continued, “He turned around and that smile . . . it was like Cupid’s arrow!” That smile, coupled with Ray’s pride in

and love of being a father, won her over; and just shy of 20 years later, it would seem they are both still winning— romantically, professionally, and spiritually. As much as they share a love for each other and their family, they also share a love of music, which can at times be challenging. “I used to say music was Ray’s mistress,” Vivian explained. “But now music is my sister wife—it’s definitely the third member of our marriage,” she chuckled. And it makes sense. Ray has been playing music since he was a toddler. “Music was my first friend,” he explained. “My first spirit-driven experience; music has been something that has occupied my life for as long as I can remember . . . I’ve always been on one path that hasn’t varied or turned in any way.” That path has led him to playing keyboards and producing records for artists like Ashford & Simpson, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, and Quincy Jones; playing with the Saturday Night Live band, and leading the band for Showtime at the Apollo, American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars, among myriad other projects and performances. “I knew this was my calling, my mission,” he said. “This is what my ministry would be.” I asked if there was ever an inkling to do something else or perhaps a backup plan, he responded, sounding serious, “I’m working on a backup plan now, you know”—and the Chew humor comes out again—“just in case after 50 years this doesn’t work out.” Vivian’s involvement in music has been mostly behind the scenes, a place where she is most comfortable. “I grew up in the Black Baptist Church,” she explained. “The

Photo: Ron West

music ministry is what brought me to my love of Christ and my acknowledgement of Him as my Savior and Redeemer . . . I don’t just hear music, I really experience and feel it and I can remember every part . . .” She did volunteer, though, that she can neither sing nor hum on key, but it doesn’t stop her from loving and experiencing music. “I got very into going to live shows at an early age . . . I knew that my strength has always been support, the person behind the person . . . I knew how to put the pieces together to make somebody else shine.” Combining her love of music and her ability to make others shine proved brilliant. She fashioned a successful career in management and promotion, culminating in the launch of her own firm, TimeZone International. “I get my joy out of doing that for other people,” she said. Another aspect of their relationship where they are equally yoked is their faith. Both Vivian and Ray credit the church with their earliest memories of music and helping to develop their love for it. “I’ll speak for both of us,” Vivian said. “We don’t do anything without checking with God first. We know that He already knows how our story is going to end, so who better to check-in with on how to fill in the chapters, than God?” Ray agreed adding, “My musical journey has been guided by God in my spirit, so there isn’t any music I do that’s not sanctioned by God . . . My every waking thought is rooted in gratitude. I want the choir to say ‘Hallelujah!’ I’m going to direct that and direct the orchestra to do that.” He continued, “It’s been wonderful that I’ve been appointed and anointed to do lots of gospel shows . . . And I’ve worked with the world’s greatest gospel artists, some of them will be appearing on the stage with us December 6.” On December 6th, Chew Entertainment will produce A Night of Inspiration at Carnegie Hall. Billed as a night of uplifting music, the program will feature a 64piece orchestra, a 200-voice choir, and gospel heavyweights including Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Donnie McClurkin, and many more. “I always knew I had a higher calling than secular music,” Vivian shared, “and my career up until 2010 was entirely about secular music.” It was in 2010 that the Chews produced the first Night of Inspiration, and it’s just growing and getting better. Meanwhile, the Chews are happily focused on family and faith, much more so than fame. They have also begun a foundation called “Power 2 Inspire,” which continued on next page November 2016 The Positive Community


VIVIAN AND RAY CHEW continued from previous page

aims to give young people access to mentors in the music business, whether as a musician, a musical director, or a music executive. Vivian beamed as she spoke, “We will be fully active in 2017 going around the country speaking with kids. We’ll have scholarships, create internships, and this will be our big giveback.” Another new venture is their RVMK Studios, which opened this past spring in Hackensack, NJ. They plan to “nurture and develop” young people there free of charge. Vivian is passionate about travel and wants to work that into the foundation as well. “I’ve visited six continents,” she said proudly. “And I am determined to make it to Antarctica for about 60 seconds so someone can snap a picture,” she chuckled. “I think it’s empowering to have a passport, and with only 12 percent of Americans having one, imagine how many of those people are black. So I want to be able to provide a passport and an internship in Capetown, London, or Tokyo.” As the holidays approach they’ll turn their attention to the grandkids’ school concerts and Vivian will play her favorite holiday music by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. “It’s a combination of rock & roll and orchestra, and it’s just so different and powerful!” she exclaimed. They will also prepare to begin a new year undoubtedly filled with new projects and adventures. Our time together was winding down and I asked if there was anything else they wanted people to know about their lives and their marriage. Ray recapped A Night of Inspiration and Power 2

Vivian Chew meets with girls 14–17 at Mist Harlem on April 1, 2016 during CURLS Girls Rule the World: Empowering Entrepreneurs Luncheon.

Inspire, while happily offering to preach if given a microphone. Vivian started to speak then paused before declaring, “I want people to know I loved hard.” I promise you. Friends, family, and anyone who has ever witnessed the love and the bond between these two people, know exactly that.

Photo: Keith Major

46 The Positive Community

November 2016


Yolanda Adams

Lawrence Brownlee

Shirley Caesar

Olen Cesari

Donnie McClurkin

Cantor Azi Schwartz

Richard Smallwood

Dionne Warwick

Donnie Kim McClurkin Burrell

Ray Chew

A Night of Inspiration Tuesday, December 6 at 8 PM | Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage Ray Chew, Music Director Yolanda Adams | Lawrence Brownlee | Shirley Caesar | Olen Cesari Donnie McClurkin | Cantor Azi Schwartz | Richard Smallwood Dionne Warwick | New Faith Church from Cape Town, South Africa Additional artists to be announced Acclaimed composer, music director, and producer Ray Chew leads outstanding soloists and a 64-piece orchestra, along with Dr. Lester W. Taylor directing a 200-voice mass choir, in a program of uplifting music from diverse traditions. Lift up your spirit with moving music—get your tickets now. Tickets start at $36. Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Chew Entertainment. | 212-247-7800 Box Office at 57th and Seventh Artists, programs, and dates subject to change. Š 2016 CHC. Photos: Brownlee by Derek Blanks, Cesari by Federico De Angelis.

Proud Season Sponsor

John Schreiber CEO/President NJPAC By Glenda Codagan


n accepting the position of CEO/President of New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in 2011, John Schreiber articulated his vision this way: “[To create] a performing arts center that feels like home.” Five years into the job and Schreiber is on target with his vision, as NJPAC is now widely considered “the artistic heart and soul” of the Newark community. “This place has always felt like home to a lot of people,” said Schreiber. “But now more so than ever as we have emerged as the most diverse performing arts center in the country in terms of our programing and audience. A lot of performing arts centers are seen by their communities as intimidating and standoffish. That’s not the case at NJPAC,” he asserted, adding, “in fact we are genuinely reflective of the various communities we serve. More than half of our annual audience are African Americans, Hispanics, Indians and Asians, many of whom come back several times during the season. I think that’s because it is a warm and welcoming place and does feel like home to them.” With a commitment to diversity programing, Schreiber

48 The Positive Community

November 2016

said he made one of the smartest moves four years ago when he hired David Rodriguez as executive producer/vice president. “David is our chief programmer and with an impressive background in the industry he has an instinct for what people want to see. At present, NJPAC is the major presenter of urban music in the region and our diversity programing has been good for our mission and our bottom line.” That bottom line is one of the areas in which Schreiber finds pride when he looks back at his five years at the helm. “I am extremely proud of the fact that we have been able to balance our budget. It is a $45 million budget and we spend about $7.5 million of it on education and community engagement,” he explained. “To spend that much money on mission and still have a balanced budget is not an easy thing to do,” he added. “That speaks to what a great team we have here at NJPAC.” Schreiber, a native New Yorker, came into the position having had a solid work experience in the industry. He started his professional career working with the Newport

Jazz Festival while still a teenager. On this job he had the opportunity to work with greats like Sarah Vaughn, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie. Later in his 20s he became road manager with Festival Productions, which at the time was the largest producer of jazz and folk music. His professional choices, says Schreiber, were informed by his early influences growing up with a very musically diverse father. “Since the age of four I grew up listening to the music of Sinatra, Ella, Torme, and Ellington. For a long while I thought all music was like that,” he recalled. “Later I got to work on the road with some of these great musicians and I am always taken by how things can come full circle.” In fact, one of the most memorable stories of Schreiber’s career involves his life on the road with the jazz singer Betty Carter. “It was Betty Carter’s first European tour and my first as a road manager,” he explained. “My job was to make sure the musicians were happy; the artists showed up on time; we got paid and moved on to the next city. One morning we had a very early call time to get to the airport for travel from Berlin to Spain. Betty was exhausted so she told me that I should go on ahead with the band and she would get there. In fact she insisted. I didn’t know what to do,” Schreiber admitted. “This was Betty Carter and I was a 22year-old road manager. I decided to trust Betty. But sound check came and there was no Betty. One hour before show time at 8 p.m. and there was no Betty. I saw my career flashing before my eyes. I recoiled and said to myself, ‘this has been a short happy career for you, buddy.’ At 8:02 p.m. Betty Carter walked in and gleefully said to me: ‘I told you not to worry.’ For years we had many laughs about this incident but she refused to tell me how she did it.” Vision driven, Schreiber is now focused on moving NJPAC full steam ahead. “We just broke ground on a 22story residential tower situated across the street from the Arts Center,” he stated. “In two years there are going to be 245 market rate apartments on our campus. I believe that this new tower— with its beautiful apartments—is going to be transformational for what I call our Urban Arts and Education District.” Included in the geography of this district are: The Prudential Center, NJPAC, The Newark Museum, The Newark Public Library, Rutgers Newark, and Audible. “This is an exciting neighborhood filled with opportunity

as a cultural and residential destination,” Schreiber pointed out. “And I am very excited about Newark’s future and the role its citizens will play in creating it. I am also pleased to have a mayor like Ras Baraka who is a poet and lover of the arts. I think all this is a great alignment of the sun, the moon, and the stars for a bright future for the City of Newark. I am so proud and excited that that NJPAC, as the anchor cultural institution in the state, is an important collaborator in this new world.”

Schreiber, a native New Yorker, came into the position having had a solid work experience in the industry. He started his professional career working with the Newport Jazz Festival while still a teenager. On this job he had the opportunity to work with greats like Sarah Vaughn, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie,




Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie. Later in his 20’s he became road manager with Festival Productions, which at the time was the largest producer of jazz and folk music. His professional choices, says Schreiber, were informed by his early influences growing up with a very musically diverse father. November 2016 The Positive Community


The best age to celebrate Christmas? The Victorian Age. CHRISTMAS IN THE BALLANTINE HOUSE

November 25 – January 8 Experience the Ballantine House in its full splendor with Feasting with Family & Friends: Christmas in the Ballantine House. Additional exhibitions on display include Life, Love, Death: The Ballantines, a beer dynasty’s lasting legacy; and Hot, Hotter, Hottest: 300 Yearsof NJ Ceramics. And be sure to surprise that special someone in your life with the perfect holiday gift: a Newark Museum membership!

The Newark Museum, a not-for-profit museum of art and science, receives operating support from the City of Newark, the State of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State—a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, the Prudential Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Victoria Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, the Estate of Gwendolin E. Stableford and other corporations, foundations and individuals. Funds for acquisitions and activities other than operations are provided by members and other contributors. 11/16.

Memories of these shows will last a lifetime! The Hip Hop Nutcracker featuring special guest MC Kurtis Blow • 12/17

Festival of Soul Russell Thompkins, Jr. & The New Stylistics, The Dramatics featuring LJ Reynolds, The Jones Girls featuring Shirley Jones, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, and Ted Mills – the voice of Blue Magic. Hosted by Felix Hernandez Friday, November 25 at 8pm

An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson Thursday, December 15 at 8pm The famed astrophysicist of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey unravels the mysteries of modern science for Earthlings!

Only NJ appearance of this ‘70s soul band extravaganza!

A Night of Symphonic Hip Hop featuring Nelly

Patti LaBelle

Friday, January 27 at 8pm

A perfect Valentine’s weekend! “Lady Marmalade,” “If Only You Knew,” “On My Own” and more from a queen of rock and soul.

The chart-topping rapper, singer and songwriter and his band perform greatest hits, backed by a symphony orchestra.

Sunday February 12 at 7pm

Kwanzaa Celebration Forces of Nature Dance Company with special guests Les Nubians

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Dance Theatre of Harlem

Saturday, December 17 at 2pm & 8pm

Saturday, January 14 at 8pm

Celebrate Kwanzaa with this daring theatrical dance company, this year featuring the Afro-French jazz duo Les Nubians.

Experience the passion, power and perfection of Dance Theatre of Harlem, returning for NJPAC’s annual tribute to MLK.

Hot for the Holidays Martin Lawrence with Usher, T.I., Jidenna, Doin Time: Uncut Live Travis Scott, Young Thug, Sunday, December 11 at 7pm Joey Bada$$, Kehlani, This event is held at the Prudential Center, 25 and more! Saturday, December 3 at 8pm This event is held at the Prudential Center, 25 Lafayette Street, Newark.

Lafayette Street, Newark.

Gladys Knight The Whispers Sunday, January 15 at 7pm An evening of timeless music with “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight plus the classic R&B sound of The Whispers.

FREE! Kwanzaa Children’s Festival Saturday, December 17 12 - 5pm Enjoy hands on activities and performances that share the meaning Kwanzaa. Don’t miss the Artisan Marketplace held in Prudential Hall. NJPAC’s Kwanzaa Festival and Marketplace is made possible through the generosity of Leon and Toby Cooperman.



Photos: Bob Gore

L-R: Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III and Rev. Dr. Cheryl Dudley lead the congregation in observing the Lord’s Supper

L-R: Rev. Dr. Stephan McKinney, vice president ABCMNY; Rev. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Society; and Rev. Dr. Campbell B. Singleton, III, associate executive director, ABCMNY

52 The Positive Community November 2016



ver 500 delegates and guests journeyed from 8 counties in Metropolitan New York to gather in the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church, in Manhattan, on Saturday, November 5, 2016, to attend the 225th Annual Meeting of the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York (ABCMNY). The Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, III is the pastor of this 208year-old host congregation, who provided warm hospitality to all in attendance. Although the Abyssinian Baptist Church joined the Region in 1810, it was the first time the Annual Meeting was held there. The Annual Meeting is a time of inspiration, study, business, worship, and fellowship for over 190 multicultural, multinational, and multiethnic worshipping congregants scattered throughout Southern Westchester, the five boroughs, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. The theme, This Is Our Body, taken from Ephesians 4: 15-17, shaped the context for the day and offered a provocative and stimulating point of reference for ongoing dialogue concerning our unity in Jesus Christ. This meeting was monumental in that the Region had reached a milestone and gathered to celebrate 225 years of continuing Baptist life, thought, and witness. In a morning plenary entitled, “Reflections on 225 Years of American Baptist Witness in the New York Metropolitan New York,” three scholars and theologians shared in a rich conversation. The Rev. Dr. Priscilla Eppinger, executive director of the American Baptist Historical Society; the Rev. James Stallings, retired regional minister of ABCMNY; and the Rev. Dr. Everett Goodwin, retired senior pastor of Scarsdale Community Baptist Church and noted Baptist historian, unpacked and explored layers of meaning in the history of a people called American Baptists. The Rev. Dr. Cheryl Dudley, regional minister of ABCMNY introduced and articulated Living Our Vision (strategic plan) in her Regional Report. She provided leadership and boldly articulated the direction the region is going and the priorities and values it ambitiously seeks to embrace and embody in the years to come. Two videos shown in the morning supplemented her report and offered audio and visual imagery. The morning concluded with a business meeting where officers were voted into positions and new pastors, ministers, and new churches were recognized and enveloped in prayer. A choir and praise team comprised of ABCMNY churches was formed for this occasion and joyfully sang throughout the day creating an enthusiastic atmosphere. The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Society, preached an inspiring message that grappled with the notion of doing ministry in our body that is both frail and strong at the same time. At the conclusion of the day, Dr. Butts and Dr. Dudley led the congregation in an observation of the Lord’s Supper. The liturgy with its symbols of cross, bread, and cup displayed in a powerful way the giftedness of the body of Christ, its sacrifice and the role of the church to share Jesus with a world hungry for the bread of life.


December 2 thru January 1


“Exuberant, high-energy entertainment.” The New York Times



Groups of 15 or more save up to 30% ®



Photos: Bruce Moore

Surprise Celebration for Rev. Patrica Morris


n Saturday, September 24, 2016, members of The New Springfield Missionary Baptist Church of Harlem celebrated the return of their beloved pastor, Rev. Patricia Morris, to the pulpit after a six month absence due to illness, and her fifth anniversary as pastor. In addition to congregation members, in at-

Rev. Patrica Morris

L-R: Rev. Dr. Renee Washington Gardner; Rev. Carl Washington, Jr.; Rev. Patrica Morris; and Keith A Bolden, Sr.

tendance for the surprise banquet were pastors, ministers, colleagues in the United Missionary Baptist Association including Moderator Rev. Carl Washington, and of course family and friends. It was, indeed, a celebration of the goodness of God and His ability to restore His servant as he kept His Church.

That’s Love


on Viapree lives for enlightenment. Now that he’s retired, Viapree, 66, spends time reflecting on his life – searching and finding deep meaning in it. After he began reexamining his journey on earth, Viapree had a “divine epiphany.” The revelation inspired him to bring together more than 50 of his mentees for the 2016 DV Connector Networking event at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark on October 8th. In heartfelt expressions of love and appreciation, each individual recalled ways in which Viapree inspired, encouraged and, in many instances, helped change their lives. To many, he’s a

“shepherd,” “navigator,” and “beacon of light.” Imparting wisdom, Viapree tasked mentees to know and embrace their creator, live and fulfill their purposes – with love at the center – and become change agents. “It’s your turn. I did my work,” the former director of Government Affairs at Cablevision told his protégés. “Start. Build up. Maximize. Do your work with each other, together, to make my work count.” 54 The Positive Community November 2016

November 2016 The Positive Community


Positive Music Matters: Friday Night Fish Fry in Full Effect!


usic, dancing, great food, and the good people converged at the Crystal Room of Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ! Celebrity caterers Two Fish and Five Loaves and The Positive Community joined forces to sponsor a night of happiness and good times. The focus of the Friday Night Fish Fry is to promote

56 The Positive Community November 2016

a sense of belonging while celebrating our collective cultural assets and gifts through comedy, music, and dance—the very best! By popular demand: SAVE-THE-DATE. Friday February 17th, all roads lead to the Crystal Ballroom for part 2 of the Friday Night Fish Fry: In Classic Black!

“…Congratulations to The Positive Community family! This was a fantastic event. Good conversation; good food. Great music…Keep on bringing people together!” -Kaylyn Kendall Dines “…I appreciated the cultural richness and the family embraces at the Fish Fry. It coincided with my recent visit to the African American Museum at the Smithsonian in D.C.” -Claude Gray Lantham , MD

November 2016 The Positive Community



In His Safety Celebrating the Life of Lecresia Campbell GRACE & PEACE,


really believe the ways of the world should bring us all closer to God, His word and His Amazing Son, Jesus The Christ. Our goal should be to live as passionate, purposeful, and loving representations of God so that we may live again to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Gospel music as well as the Family of God on this earth has released another soldier back to its foundation. Before there was a developed sound of the highest effortless soprano note sung by Mariah Carey or Chanté Moore, there was gospel’s well preserved gift by the name of Lecresia Campbell. This woman of God was a great contributor to the gospel music sound just for her vocal range alone. Not only did she record, but she first pursued a career as an elementary school teacher, expanding into vocal coaching and music writing through the years. It was after recording her rendition of “Perfect Praise (Oh Lord How Excellent),” with Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago, IL, that took the nation by storm, Lecresia became a background vocalist for Vanessa Bell Armstrong and later shared the stage as a solo artist with singers such as Larnelle Harris, Donnie McClurkin, Mary Mary, Gerald Levert, Stephanie Mills, and an endless list of incredible talents. Ms. Campbell went on to record “Stand Still” in 1989 and “The Change Will Come” in 1990 with The Wilmington Chester Mass Choir; “Magnify,” which earned a number 5 spot on the charts in 2001, with the Gospel Heritage Praise and Worship Conference; “Safety” in 2004 With the Gospel Heritage Praise and Worship Conference; “Strong Tower” in 2005 With Brenda Jefferson; and, most recently, “Almighty God” With Russell Delegation Chorale. In Addition to Ms. Campbell’s well known singles she recorded her first album, Hymns, in 1985. It was when Lecresia recorded her first solo project entitled, Even Me, that she achieved another level of recognition, and earned a Stellar Award® nomination for Best Female Vocalist (traditional). Another recording,

58 The Positive Community

November 2016

“Stand Still,” received six Stellar® nominations. Ms. Campbell was also nominated for and won Best Female vocalist at the Mississippi Music awards, and recently received a lifetime achievement award from Theresa Harriston and the Gospel Heritage Praise and Worship Conference. In between recording and touring, Ms. Lecresia began captivating audiences in musical plays such as Dreamgirls, in which she starred as Effie. She performed in two of David Talbert’s hit shows Mr. Right Now and His Woman, His Wife. Both productions toured the country performing to sold-out audiences for three years. Her latest acting role was when she played TV Judge Curtis Mathis’ mother in Tell It to the Judge. Ms. Lecresia also loved serving as the Praise & Worship leader as well as being the Minister of Arts & Worship Ministry at her home church Freedom Temple Ministries in Rock Hill, SC where Bishop Herbert C. Crump, Jr. presides. No matter what she did, or what abilities she had musically, the passion in her teaching abilities always kept her humble and willing to be conscious to give back and show them the excellent level that God deserves. “What I’ve learned dealing with church (people) we’ve been dealing with mediocrity so long, that it’s become your good; so when you are pushed and challenged to excellence, you hate it. And you have to question are you doing it wrong? Or is it time to do something different” she stated in a 2013 interview with Praise Café. Lecresia is known to some as a sister, aunt, daughter, and a humble friend. She gave of her heart the passion of life and exuded dreams one could hope to accomplish. Minister Lecresia Campbell’s legacy will live on in our hearts, souls, and ears. The beautiful lyrics to her favorite song, “In His Safety,” were sung to her at her homegoing services in October. We believe she is now resting peacefully as the words echo throughout her friends, loved ones, and the Heavens: “I’m in His safety/Dwell in His safety, the safety of The Lord.”



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Check out our new website • Post your messages of hope and encouragement as we come to the year’s end. Send greetings of peace and goodwill to all! • Now online spectacular photos from Brooklyn’s St. Paul Community Baptist Church’s annual MAAFA Suite • Check out our special coverage of Circle of Sisters • See exclusive videos of The Positive

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Royal Ivey with the young people chosen as winners for their good altitudes, work habits and participation

Fittness Training

Ex-NBA Player Gives Back to His Community BY STERLING IVEY

Ivey stressed the importance of education to

Photos: Lem Peterkin

the young people in attendance. Statistics show that only three out of 10,000 high school basketball players will end up in the NBA. Ivey was one of the lucky ones. He played college basketball at the University of Texas at Austin, where he finished as the school’s all-time career leader in games started.


nother year and another successful Royal Ivey Skills Clinic. For the last nine years, neighborhood kids from Hollis, Queens have counted on the not-for-profit organization Defending Your Dream, Inc. to produce a fun, free, and entertaining clinic. This year was no different. The Skills Clinic isn’t your average summer basketball

Royal Ivey, his mother, Jennifer, and winners of the poetry competition

camp or tournament. The philosophy behind the clinic emphasizes respect, accountability, and thoroughness as well as basketball fundamentals, fitness, and hard work. Being well rounded, the arts, reading, career, health, and financial literacy are also featured. A ten-year NBA veteran, the Harlem-born Royal Ivey, who is now an assistant coach with the Oklahoma Thunder, says the ideals he stresses in November 2016 The Positive Community 61

Arts and Crafts with Jocelyn Goode-Morgan

Hands-on coaching

the clinic have been critical to his success. Royal greeted the youngsters, answered the questions the excited youngsters were eager to ask, then joined in on calisthenics and skill drills that are important for developing good foot movement, agility, and attention to detail---all of which are important to basketball. Ivey stressed the importance of education to the young people in attendance. Statistics show that only three out of 10,000 high school basketball players will end up in the NBA. Ivey was one of the lucky ones. He played college basketball at the University of Texas at Austin, where he finished as the school’s all-time career leader in games started. And though he was drafted into the NBA before earning his degree, he knew he needed education as a

backup for life after basketball. So during the 2011 NBA lockout, he took advantage of the time, went back to school, and received a degree in Applied Learning from the University of Texas. This year’s clinic ended on a great note as usual, with youngsters receiving medals, trophies, iPads and gift bags for competition and participation. The gift bags always contain books and other material useful for the beginning of the school year. Royal Ivey and his family poured their hearts and souls into the program again this year. Though Royal is making a transition from NBA player to Oklahoma Thunder coach, the formula is still the same, working as they plan for an extra special 10th anniversary session in 2017.

62 The Positive Community November 2016




It’s Happening at

Columbia in November THURSDAY, NOV. 3 & FRIDAY, NOV. 4




Mass Incarceration

Indigenous Knowledge and Education

12:10 P.M. TO 1:10 P.M. 102B Jerome Greene Hall, Morningside campus Glenn E. Martin, founder of Just Leadership USA, shares his goal to cut the U.S. correctional population in half by 2030 and discusses how the legal community can be part of the solution. For more info, visit or email

Exhibit: The Apache Chronicles

Women’s Basketball vs. Colgate

3:00 P.M. TO 4:45 P.M. 525 W. 120 St., Teachers College campus Indigenous advocates discuss how ties between indigenous communities in the U.S. and Mexico affect education in New York City. For more and to register, visit or call (212) 854-4643.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3 Screening: Chocolat 7:00 P.M. TO 9:00 P.M. East Gallery, Buell Hall, Morningside campus Follow the real-life travails of Rafael Padilla, aka Chocolat, a former slave who made his way to France in the late 19th century and became a star of Paris’ Nouveau Cirque. For more info, visit or call (212) 854-4482.

Theater Talk: Sweat 1:00 P.M. 501 Dodge Hall, Morningside campus Lynn Nottage discusses her latest play Sweat with Columbia’s David Henry Hwang. Sweat is the story of a group of friends who work together at a factory when layoffs and picket lines pit them against each other. For more info, visit

Screening: Jackson: The Place With One Clinic 5:30 P.M. TO 8:00 P.M. 106 Jerome Greene Hall, Morningside campus This film looks at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, the crisis pregnancy center across the street and the lives of women navigating access to abortion. Registration required at For more info, email

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 A Conversation With Sebastian Junger 6:00 P.M. TO 8:00 P.M. 525 W. 120 St., Room 147, Teachers College campus In his book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, Junger explores the human drive to belong to groups. Junger and Columbia professors Peter Coleman and Beth FisherYoshida discuss tribes through the lenses of journalism and social science. For more info, email or visit

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 Changing Face of Harlem 6:00 P.M. 104 Diana Center, Barnard campus Shawn Batey’s one-hour documentary examines the unique nature of the culture and history of Harlem through personal reflections of residents, business owners, politicians and developers. For more info, visit or email

Tim Munro: Recounting 8:00 P.M. TO 10:00 P.M. Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway, Morningside campus Tim Munro combines music, storytelling and song with dreamy lighting to explore the time between sleep and waking. For more info, call (212) 854-7799 or email

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 Football vs. Cornell 1:00 P.M. Robert K. Kraft Field, Baker Athletics Complex, 218th Street and Broadway For more info, call (212) 854-2535 or visit

Jazz: Alicia Olatuja Sextet 8:00 P.M. TO 9:00 P.M. Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway, Morningside campus Called “one of the most thrilling vocalists of today,” Olatuja has an incredible range, fueled by fluency in multiple music styles and classical studies. She wowed audiences at Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration. For more info, call (212) 854-7799 or email miller-arts@

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15 Book Talk: Judas, Imagining a Traitor 8:00 P.M. TO 10:00 P.M. World Room, Pulitzer Hall, Morningside campus Amos Oz, author of the best-selling memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, speaks about his latest novel. Registration required; email to register. For more info, visit ·

For disability services, call (212) 854-2284 prior to the event.

6:00 P.M. 423 Hamilton, Morningside campus This collection features painted skateboards and other pieces by artist Douglass Miles and his skate crew from the award-winning film The Apache Chronicles. For more info, call (212) 8540510 or visit

Screening: Pray the Devil Back to Hell 7:00 P.M. TO 9:00 P.M. 208 Knox, 606 W. 122 St., Morningside campus Interviews and archival images recount the experiences of a group of visionary women instrumental in bringing lasting peace to Liberia. For more info, visit or call (212) 854-4633.

Lecture: France, Story of a Childhood 6:00 P.M. TO 7:30 P.M. Buell Hall, Morningside campus Zahia Rahmani tells a moving tale of imprisonment and escape, persecution and loss, as she narrates the story of her father, a soldier during the Algerian War for Independence. For more info, visit or call (212) 854-4482.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18 Stargazing & Lecture: How to Stage a Moon Landing 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 301 Pupin, Morningside campus Zephyr Penoyre’s lecture will be followed by stargazing on the roof, weather permitting. For more info and to register, visit

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21 Look Beyond Your Fork 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Pulitzer Hall, 3rd Flr. Lecture Hall, Morningside campus Saru Jayaraman, cofounder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), an organization dedicated to raising the minimum wage for restaurant workers, shares her story of activism. Join us to look beyond the end of your fork and learn what’s really behind the food you eat. Registration required. For more info and to register, visit or email

2:00 P.M. Francis S. Levien Gymnasium, Dodge Physical Fitness Center, Morningside campus For more info, call (212) 854-2535 or visit

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 Artist House: Ornette Coleman in SoHo 7:00 P.M. TO 9:00 P.M. Buell Hall, Morningside campus In the late 1960s, Ornette Coleman acquired a large, unfinished space at 131 Prince St. Drawing on interviews and archival photographs, Brent Hayes Edwards attempts to begin to tell the history of Artist House and explain Coleman’s central role in arts activism. RSVP required. For more info and to register, call (212) 851-9270 or email

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 Poetry Reading: Thylias Moss 7:00 P.M. 501 Dodge Hall, Morningside campus MacArthur “Genius” grant-winner Thylias Moss reads selections from her most recent collection, Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code: New and Selected Poems. For more info, visit

Manhattanville Course Auditing and Lifelong Learners Program Columbia University funds up to 150 courses each academic year for residents of Manhattanville Houses, Grant Houses and others in the local community. The programs provide adults not currently enrolled in college with the opportunity to attend selected lectures drawn from University offerings in the arts and sciences. The application deadline for the spring semester is Jan. 5. For more info, visit manhattanville-auditing-program.

Columbia University in the city of new york

DOE teachers practice their “be seen looking” classroom management technique at Uncommon’s all-day workshop.

DOE teachers role-played with each other to practice how to get 100% engagement from students.

Uncommon Schools and NYC DOE Building Bridges for Brooklyn Kids It was something you don’t see every day in Brooklyn on a Saturday.

we’re learning from,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña recently said.

In the large cafeteria of Uncommon Charter High School, about 130 Brooklyn educators — district and charter alike — focused together on how to raise student achievement in all of their schools.

Uncommon, which graduates students from college at five times the rate of low-income students nationally and has some of the highest student achievement results for low-income students in all of New York, values this partnership to share effective practices, and also to learn from district schools.

While some media have reported in the past about the divide between charter schools and district schools — especially when it comes to co-location or sharing of buildings — this Saturday program showed just the opposite: charter and district teachers and leaders strategizing together on how to make classrooms better for all children in Brooklyn. The workshop is part of a series offered by Uncommon Schools, which operates 22 public charter schools in Brooklyn, for district teachers from Community School Districts 16, 18, 19 and 23 in Central Brooklyn. “It’s all about good teaching and making it work for our students,” said Stephanie Martin, a District 18 Teacher Development and Evaluation Coach, who attended the daylong session this month. “We can pull the pieces of what we are learning from Uncommon and implement it in traditional public schools.” Uncommon has been partnering with the New York City Department of Education teachers in such collaborations for several years. “It is essential that we share best practices and the Uncommon Schools teacher feedback model is done particularly well and is something

had over 15 years of experience. “These experienced teachers took time out of their busy Saturdays just to learn,” Harris said. “We encourage teachers to be lifelong learners in our school system so it’s great to see so many teachers in Brooklyn voluntarily come to the workshop to learn from Uncommon some of the practices that are being used in the classroom.”

The day opened by showing a video of an Uncommon teacher greeting students individually before class who were coming back from lunch. Very quickly, the educators in the workshop identified the benefits of the technique the teacher was using.

Bonnie Bonjen, a teacher at PS 214, said she learned from watching and listening to other teachers as they performed various drills.

“The teacher is building connections with students,” said a NYC DOE teacher in the audience. “The teacher is making each student feel wanted and important,” said another NYC DOE teacher. “He was getting students ready for work for those who looked like they were coming back from lunch in a bad mood,” another said.

Martha Mancini, an assistant principal at PS 214, said she already discussed one classroom technique called tracking with two teachers at her school who also attended the workshop.

They concluded that this “threshold greeting” after lunch and before class was an impactful way to affect the instruction that would happen next in this teacher’s classroom by setting the right tone for students. Melissa Harris, the Senior Executive Director of the Office of School Design and District Partnerships at New York City DOE, said she was thrilled that both novice and experienced teachers participated. A significant percentage of the teachers

“We grow from each other,” Bonjen said. “This shows power and unity- we serve together and it’s the best for our kids.”

“We’re going to turnkey the information and ensure that it is used in our school,” Mancini said. The day was so successful that already 150 teachers are signed up for the January workshop. For more information contact Crystal McQueen-Taylor at crystal. Uncommon Schools runs 22 public college-prep charter schools in Brooklyn serving 7,000 students and 13 North Star Academy schools in Newark serving 4,600 students. All of Uncommon’s high school graduates were accepted to 4-year colleges and universities last year.

A New Tech Center for Kids in Newark NAN-Newark Tech World in Newark’s South Ward to offer courses in web and graphic design, music production, digital literacy, computer networking

Panasonic joins Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and National Action Network to unveil NAN-Newark Tech World. From left to right: NAN NJ State Director Rev. David Jefferson, NAN Founder and President Rev. Al Sharpton, Panasonic Corporation of North America Chairman & CEO Joseph M. Taylor, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark City Council President Mildred C. Crump, NAN NJ Director and Tech World Coordinator Rev. Steffie Bartley, and Newark South Ward Councilman John Sharpe James.


o help bridge the growing digital divide and offer greater access to technology and training through after-school academic enrichment, Panasonic Corporation of North America recently joined Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and the National Action Network to become the anchor funder of NAN-Newark Tech World, which will serve as a high-tech community center for the City of Newark. “NAN-Newark Tech World is an important and historic step for the community in Newark, New Jersey and NAN’s work to bridge the digital divide. The tech industry has been out of reach for people of color for far too long, but now, thanks to the assistance of Panasonic and Newark Mayor Baraka, students will be able to learn new skills that will enable them to succeed in the workforce for years to come,” said National Action Network

66 The Positive Community

November 2016

Founder and President Rev. Al Sharpton at a ceremony announcing the tech center, which is expected to open in the near future. NAN-Newark Tech World will offer courses in web and graphic design, music production, digital literacy, computer networking, and more. It will operate in the building once occupied by the Boys & Girls Club in Newark’s South Ward, an area of focus for revitalization efforts. Students will be able to go to the super-fast Internet and computer-based IT training facility after school to take classes or use Panasonic technology to complete schoolwork. Students in communities like the South Ward are

Learn more about Panasonic at often greatly impacted by the digital divide and struggle to compete for educational opportunities and subsequently higher-paying jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematic fields “Making technology more easily accessible to students in Newark can have a real impact on their future education and career opportunities, as well as the future of industry in the city,” said Panasonic North America’s Chairman and CEO Joseph M. Taylor at the ceremony. Since moving its headquarters to Newark in 2013, Panasonic has been a strong supporter of bolstering

local students’ access to tech and digital learning. The company helped to refurbish and enhance NJPAC’s digital broadcast capabilities to enable the performing arts center to become a world-class broadcast center for digital learning. For 25 years, Panasonic has collaborated with Newark’s NJIT on the Creative Design Challenge, an annual robotics competition for high school students, that helps create a pipeline of tech talent essential for industry’s future. Panasonic also sponsors the Panasonic Student Eco Citizenship Program for NJ middle school students to complement their science studies.

L–R: Alisha Lee and Publicist Rachel Noerdlinger L–R: Mayor Ras J. Baraka with former NJ Governor James E. McGreevy

Photos: Vincent Bryant & Risasi Dias

Newark Public Schools Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf

Panasonic Chairman and CEO, Joseph Taylor addresses audience at NAN Tech World ribbon cutting.

November 2016 The Positive Community


L-R: Kelley Drakeford Ledet, regional administrator, US Small Business Administration; Michelline Davis, Esq. EVP Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, RWJBarnabas Health; Reva Foster, State Chair NJBIC, Mildred Crump; and Missy Balmir, Thorough

L-R: Sean Spiller, Secretary Treasurer NJEA; Sarah Jones, Esq., manager Government Affairs and Corporate Community Affairs Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield NJ; Mildred Crump, president, Newark Municipal Council; Keynote Speaker Tara Dowdell, president Tara Dowell Group; and Chris Durkin, Essex County Clerk at the NJBIC Business and Youth Luncheon.

New Jersey Black Issues 34th Annual Convention


he 34th annual New Jersey Black Issues Leadership Convention took place October 6-8, 2016, at the Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers University Newark, NJ. In line with the convention theme: “Now is the Time:Implementing the Black Leadership Family Plan,” topics of discussion included Intergenerational Wealth Leadership Challenge; Fight to Vote: Voter Enfranchisement; Fraud Watch and Prevention; and at the ministers’ forum, “New Tools for Faith Leaders.” The New Jersey chapters of the nine Black Greek letter organizations (known as the Divine Nine) had a productive and collaborative NJ Statewide Divine Nine Day of Social Action on October 8. The Divine 9 Voter Engagement Workshop closed out the convention, with a panel moderated by Denise Johnson-White, Esq. of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and members of all nine organizations participated as panelists

Publisher Adrian Council at the NJBIC Chair Reception where The Positive Community magazine was honored during “A Celebration of Arts and Media” at the University Club Rutgers University – Newark

L-R: NJ State Senator Ron Rice; Robert Torricelli, president, Rosemont Foundation; Donita Judge, Esq., project director/sr. attorney Advancement Project; Ryan Haygood, president/CEO NJ Institute for Social Justice participate on “Fight to Vote: Voter Enfranchisement” panel

68 The Positive Community November 2016

Dr. Taylor to Lead General Baptist Convention Photos: Karen Waters

GBC President Guy Campbell, Jr. with First Lady, Deaconess, Dorthy Campbell


ev. Dr. Lester Taylor, senior pastor of Community Baptist Church of Englewood and 1st VP of the General Baptist Convention of New Jersey is now, president-elect of the convention. Installation will take place on December 3, 2016 at Tabernacle Baptist Church, in Burlington, NJ. Current President Dr. Guy Campbell, Jr. leaves the post with a strong legacy of service for eight years. Among his many accomplishments is his leadership in the organization’s

Recently elected officials of the General Baptist Convention of NJ with Presidentelect, Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor, Jr. (hands folded, brown suit).

purchase of a building to house the statewide offices and headquarters of the GBCNJ

in Trenton, NJ. Dr. Campbell is pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church in Palmyra, NJ.

Committed to Supporting New Jersey Business One of the nation’s leading public polytechnic universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university shaping tomorrow’s leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. From federal grant assistance to highly successful extension centers in manufacturing, health information technology and commercialization support for entrepreneurs, NJIT’s vast array of resources help fuel the economic engine of the City of Newark and State of New Jersey. We invite you to consider partnering with NJIT as you achieve your entrepreneurial and small business efforts!

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November 2016 The Positive Community


Pillar College Appreciation Breakfast


people. Pillar College recognizes that the nature of the service provided by pastors and their families is unique. God has entrusted to them one of the most precious of assignments — the spiritual well-being of His flock. Especially in this time, pastors and their families live under incredible pressures. Pillar College seeks to acknowledge, affirm and encourage pastors in their high calling and hosting a Pastor Appreciation is one way to achieve that goal. Pillar College is New Jersey’s only four year, fully accredited evangelical college. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Pillar College offers both Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees. Campuses are located in Somerset, Newark, and Paterson, NJ.

L-R: Rev. Efrem Smith, CEO World Impact (and speaker); Cathy Proctor, Pillar College, director of advancement; Keyla Pavia, Pillar College chief of staff; Dr. David E. Schroeder, Pillar College president

L-R: Rev. Thomas Keenan, associate minister First Baptist Church Lincoln Gardens; Bishop Frank Dupree, Metro Apostolic Network; Rev. Efrem Smith, speaker and CEO World Impact; Dr. Joanne Noel, Pillar College, chair of General Education; Bishop George C. Searight, senior p[astor Abundant Life, New Brunswick and Pillar College Board of Trustees

Photos: Karen Waters

ach October is National Pastor Appreciation Month and each October for the past three years, Pillar College has hosted a Pastor Appreciation event. This year’s event was a Pastor Appreciation Breakfast at the Robert Treat Hotel. All clergy were welcome and came as guests of the college. The speaker for the Appreciation Breakfast was Rev. Efrem Smith. Rev. Smith is an internationally-recognized leader and speaker. He also consults on issues of multi-ethnicity, leadership, and community development for churches, educational institutions, and other organizations. Efrem is the president and CEO of World Impact, an urban mission, church-planting, and leadership-development organization with headquarters in California. Clergy Appreciation Month is a special time that congregations set aside each year to honor their pastors and pastoral families for their hard work, sacrificial dedication and multiple blessings provided by these special

L-R Rev. Douglas Bendall, PhD, president Newark School of Theology; Gail Barkley Warden, Trinity Cathedral, Newark; Rev. Kevin Smallwood, Associate Pastor Cathedral, Perth Amboy, NJ

70 The Positive Community November 2016

Dr. David E. Schroeder, president, Pillar College







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November 2016 The Positive Community


continued from page 22 And if Coco-Cola can get there, why can’t we get these services and information there.” Seele is continuing her work via the Annual Healthy Churches Conference 2020. The third annual conference takes place this month in Charlotte, NC. “This is not a once a year thing, ” explained Dr. Seele. Partners are given information on a weekly basis, and the Healthy Churches Conferences are “ a coming together and getting connected so that you’re getting resources and capacity development all year round.” The three-day capacity building and training conference brings prominent leaders in the health and faith community together to address the alarming rates of illness among African Americans. Dr. Seele’s goal is that in her lifetime, every church will have a functioning health ministry—a working coalition in the congregation that results in more than a yearly health fair and does not compete with other ministries or activities. “I believe that when we look at the tremendous burdens of health in our community we are at a point where this kind of ministry is required,” she explained. “One that is addressing all the health fields in our congregation and community. The alarming rates of health disparities demands it.” For photos and information about the Healthy Churches Conference 2020 visit The National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS will take place March 5-11, 2017. For more information, go to:

72 The Positive Community November 2016


Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas


uring the last three months of each year, autumn into early winter, people who live in the United States typically recognize three special days: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I think many of us should rethink how we recognize each of these days. The word “Halloween” evolved from the phrase, “All Hallows’ Eve.” November 1 is recognized by many Christian denominations as “All Saints Day,” also called “All Hallows Day.” It is a day for honoring known and unknown saints, “including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed” (the quoted portion of this sentence is from Wikipedia). For some denominations, recognition of All Saints’ Day begins on the evening of October 31. But current day Halloween, as popularly practiced, appears to have nothing to do with Christianity. For example, in residential front yards this October, I saw gruesome three-dimensional images of witches, jack-olanterns, skeletons, and such—some dramatically positioned to draw attention. I‘m sure many people say it’s all in fun, but I suspect that such stuff drills diabolical thoughts into the minds of children, such as “trick-or-treaters,” to whom Halloween in America is largely targeted. According to Wikipedia, “Today’s Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celticspeaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots.” Thank God Thanksgiving comes less than a month later. These days, generally speaking, what I see of Thanksgiving seems much more God-centered than what I see of Halloween. Extended families, friends, and others gather, fellowship, give thanks, and consume a meal. I suppose some folks just associate Thanksgiving with eating turkey. But at a deeper level, for many of us, the Thanksgiving holiday centers on God, to Whom thanks is given for family and victories, as well as for food. Historically, in America, Thanksgiving began with Native Americans and newly arrived Pilgrims gathering in Massachusetts to celebrate the Pilgrims’ survival on this continent. This year, let’s remember the tone of that

international fellowship, especially in light of recent calls for Americans to wall off Mexicans and ban Muslims. “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him . . .”—Exodus 22:21 (New International Version) Christmas, of course, is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. As such, it is the most obviously God-centered of the three annual fourth quarter holidays. Nonetheless, Christmas has become highly secularized and monetized in America. Many large retail establishments achieve annual profit only if they achieve humongous gross income from sales during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hence, the term “Black Friday,” which applies to the day after Thanksgiving Thursday, and is the first day of the time of year that will determine whether these stores finish the calendar year “in the black” (i.e. at a profit) or ”in the red” (i.e. at a loss). We, as Christians, should prioritize differently than the large store chains do. Jesus preached, in the Sermon on the Mount: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”—Matthew 6:24 (New American Standard Bible) Jesus’ disciple, John, wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”−John 1:1-2 (NASB) “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”—John 1:14 (NASB) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.—John 3:16 (NASB) Although Christmas time is, apparently, primarily profit time for solely secular retailers, for us as Christians it is the time to celebrate God’s taking human form in order to save whoever believes in Him. So let’s celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving from a Christian perspective. As for Halloween, let’s not celebrate it at all. If, however, you choose to worship God on All Saints Day, that’s fine.

November 2016 The Positive Community



The Last Word


Vol. 16, No. 9

I CRIED ON ELECTION NIGHT 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 Marc Williams

Contributing Writers Mwandikaji K. Mwanafunzi g.r. mattox Patricia Baldwin Rev. Theresa Nance Glenda Cadogan Helene Fox Rev. Dr. Joanne Noel Photographers Bob Gore Wali A. Muhammad Seitu Oronde Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins, Jr. Darryl Hall Vincent Bryant Hubert Williams Brian Branch Price Karen Waters Art Direction & Layout Penguin Design Group Peter Gillo The Positive Community Corp. 133 Glenridge Avenue Montclair, NJ 07042 973-233-9200 Fax: 973-233-9201 Email: Website: All contents © 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.

74 The Positive Community

November 2016

n November 8, 2008. As Americans cast their votes and numbers were coming in, pundits and commentators gave us the news. It looked like it was actually going to happen. After 232 years of American history, America was electing its first African-American President. Barack Obama was named President-elect and the world celebrated a milestone many thought could and would never happen. His victory was more than a milestone. It was a touchstone for all Americans, but especially African Americans who would always have this historic event to cite as the moment when we actually felt integrated into the fabric of America. Slavery, racism, Jim Crow, and discrimination had always been there, but finally, there was also a patch added. Healing was now possible as the election of a black man, married to a beautiful, black woman, and with two adorable daughters would be moving into the White House (a house built by slaves) and guiding America in the forward march toward progress. America was finally living up to its promise of “regardless of creed or color.” Crowds around the world cheered as the music of Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Etta James played. Our euphoria was interrupted when a Republican Congress outright refused to work with our new President. Over the next eight years, The Obamas endured some of the nastiest insults and countless threats on their safety and that of their precious little girls. Every insult imaginable— both racist and simply vulgar—was hurled at the First Family, but through it all they comported themselves with honor, dignity, class, and grace. Life went on and they both survived and thrived. Our economy improved, as did America’s reputation worldwide. President Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize, brought home thousands

of troops from the Middle East, saved the auto industry, saved hundreds of thousands of homes from foreclosure, created new jobs, protected the environment, and unveiled a plan for national healthcare coverage for all. He did more, too; but even if he didn’t, would that not have been enough? Oh, and he did it all while being obstructed at every turn by the Congress and Senate that were supposed to assist him in improving America. Meanwhile, things continued to improve as unemployment subsided, the economy recovered, real estate bounced back, and as much as a certain segment of the government seemed to stoke the fires of racial unrest, by and large in our personal lives, American race relations were seemingly improving. On November 8, 2016 I cried again during the U.S. presidential election. This time I cried tears of fear, frustration, and confusion. America was electing its first president openly endorsed by white supremacists in more than 50 years. Donald J. Trump was named President-elect and the world was collectively stunned as we mourned a low-point we never thought would actually happen. Trump’s election seemed to rip the American fabric not just at the seams, but in a manner that even if it ever were to be mended, it would leave obvious, ugly reminders of the lacerations for the remainder of our American history. The morning after Trump’s election, we were asked to unite behind our new president and support his endeavors in a joint, bipartisan effort… The way they did for President Obama? Yeah, okay. We’re not happy about it, but we’ve been here before. It won’t be easy, but we’ll make it through, somehow. We survived centuries of slavery and Jim Crow; we’ll survive this, too.

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November 2016 The Positive Community


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The Positive Community

November 2016

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November 2016  

Focus on Health Vivian and Ray Chew on Faith & Inspiration; Dr. Pernessa Seele's Sacred Energy: NJPACS's John Schreiber; Sheila Thorne: Why...

November 2016  

Focus on Health Vivian and Ray Chew on Faith & Inspiration; Dr. Pernessa Seele's Sacred Energy: NJPACS's John Schreiber; Sheila Thorne: Why...