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â„¢ Summer 2016



EXCLUSIVE: A PASTOR'S QUEST Prayer Walk from NYC to Chicago It's a Love Thing

Tribute to Congressman Charles B. Rangel The Lion of Lenox Avenue

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SECTIONS MONEY ...................................14 HEALTH.............................29 EDUCATION............................36


CULTURE .................................69

Features Welcomed into the Lion’s Den...........................8 HCCI Opens Charles Curtis Plaza.....................14 BCS Fundraiser Looks Like A Million................16 NOBLE NNJ Awards.........................................18 Every She Needs A Shoe-B.................................20 Harlem Chef Melba Wilson’s Book...................23


Put Your Passwords on Lock............................24

CELEBRATING CHARLIE RANGEL Cover photo and others: Bob Gore


&also inside

NYC to Chicago Prayer Walk............................29 Room for Change Project Honored..................34 HEAF Volunteer Awards....................................36 S.T.E.A.M. in Harlem........................................38 10 Questions with Charles Rangel...................46 Havana Comes to HARLEM WEEK....................52 Happy Birthday, Inez Dickens!........................56

My View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Hooray for the Graduates!..............................60 Wealth Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Harlem Renaissance & the Machine Age.........69 Fitness Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Big Happenings at Carnegie Hall.....................70 Gospel Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Artistic Genius of Otto Neals...........................74 The Way Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 100 Black Women Chapter Marks 30 Years ....76 End Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 The Church That Founded Newark...................80 4

The Positive Community

Summer 2016


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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

Abyssinian B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Pastor Abyssinian B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Pastor

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

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

St. John Baptist Church Camden, NJ Rev. Dr. Silas M. Townsend, Pastor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

St. James AME Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Ronald L. Slaughter, Pastor

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

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

St. Paul Baptist, Red Bank, NJ Rev. Alexander Brown, Pastor

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

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

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

Friendship Baptist Church, Rahway, NJ Rev. Allen Thompson, Jr., Pastor

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

General Baptist Convention, NJ Rev. Tonya Green, Pastor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abundant Life Fellowship COGIC, Newark, NJ Supt. Edward Bohannon, Jr, Pastor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lagree Baptist Church, New York, NY Rev. Wayland Williams, Jr., 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

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. Shonda Townsend-Browne, Pastor

St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ Rev. Dr. Lanel D. Guyton, Pastor St. Paul's B.C., Montclair, NJ Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 that features good news about the black community.”—Rev. Buster Soaries, General Baptist Revival, May 20, 2010



I was Welcomed into the Lion’s Den


harles B. Rangel is in the final stretch of his legendary career in the House of Representatives. The “Lion of Lenox Avenue,” as friends and colleagues affectionately call him, has toiled in the vineyards of congressional law-making on behalf of his district for almost 46 years. New York City, New York State, and the United States have also benefitted enormously from his consummate skill as a legislator, negotiator, debater, campaigner, fundraiser, and yes, freedom fighter. Charlie’s quintessential personality, bow-tie, wit, intelligence, diligent preparation, ability to read a situation, capacity to roll with the punches and throw a few of his own, are very much in evidence as he continues to make his mark upon the “People’s House,” an institution he truly loves. Probably every Democrat or Republican who served or serves with him has a Charlie Rangel story to tell. I am sure their accounts will reveal the deep faith that sustains Charlie through thick and thin as well as his abiding faith in his people, his party, his country, and our democracy’s potential to generate justice. My Charlie Rangel story is unique: As a teenager living in public housing in East Harlem I became his constituent when he pulled off the upset of upsets by defeating Adam Clayton Powell. For the last 18 years I’ve been his colleague. From my days as a student at Howard University Law School, to when I was as a special prosecutor who was inspired by the way he used his position as chair of the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control to make the fight communities and law enforcement were waging against drugs Congress’ fight, to my years in the New York State Assembly, to the present, Charlie’s stories shared about the personalities and predicaments he encountered growing up in Harlem; being almost fatally wounded in the Korean war; wading through the rough and tumble politics of the New York State Legislature; what to do when you are a minority in the majority or a minority within the minority; the importance of preparation; and the need to be creative enough and bold enough to find common ground with Republicans, were a veritable “how to get things done” manual. Charlie is a founder of the Congressional Black Cau8 The Positive Community Summer 2016

cus. He played a major role in helping the CBC grow from its 13 members in 1971 to the potent legislative and political force it has become with 45 members today. Charlie was a source of encouragement and practical help when I became chair of the New York State Council of Black Elected Democrats, an organization that Rangel, David Dinkins, Basil Paterson, and Percy Sutton helped launch decades earlier. He actively supported COBED’S efforts to focus the collective legislative and executive power the state’s black elected officials wielded. He also ensured that COBED played a vital role in Hillary Clinton’s first U.S. Senate campaign. Congress was already in session when I won the special election in 1998 for the open seat in what is now the 5th Congressional District. I had hit the ground running. I didn’t have staff. I didn’t even know my way around Capitol Hill. In stepped Charlie Rangel, who signaled that he had my back. I quickly understood that when Charlie said something he meant something. Colleagues on both sides of the aisle held him in high esteem. He was (and is) a master of the committee system, rules and procedures, coalition-building, bipartisan compromise, and innovative law-making. His name is attached to hundreds of groundbreaking legislation, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Empowerment Zones, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (President Obama’s stimulus program that broke the back of the Great Recession), the Unemployment Extension Act, and dozens of bills that refocused the tax code to benefit American families. He made sure I got the committee assignments I wanted. He introduced me to House Democratic and Republican leaders and made sure I met every CBC member. He would frequently call me to suggest meetings or events I should attend. Almost two decades later, he still does. Charlie is the same with every new CBC member and many other incoming Democrats. He is always mentoring, always sharing his experience and expertise, always aspiring to achieve more for the American people, always encouraging colleagues to step up to the plate. I am a truly grateful for his generosity and genius. Without question, serving in Congress with the Honorable Charles B. Rangel is one of the greatest honors of my life.

Columbia University Honors

CONGRESSMAN CHARLES RANGEL For a Life and Career of Leadership and Public Service Congressman Charles B. Rangel has been a leader and friend of New York, Harlem, and Columbia University for a remarkable 23 terms in the United States Congress, working tirelessly to improve lives and build a better future for the individuals, families, and institutions of Northern Manhattan. Columbia and Congressman Rangel have worked together on many partnerships over the years. One of the most historic is now becoming a reality: Columbia’s new Manhattanville campus in West Harlem will officially open in the coming academic year, assuring that Upper Manhattan will remain a global center of ideas, education, and opportunity. It would not have been possible without the leadership and vision of Mr. Rangel. From helping navigate the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, to supporting a groundbreaking Community Benefits Agreement, Congressman Rangel was a constant, indispensable presence, not only in imagining what this onetime industrial area could be in the 21st century but also in doing the hard work of delivering on its promise. The educational, economic, cultural, and civic benefits to the surrounding West Harlem community, our city and nation, and people around the world will become an important part of Mr. Rangel’s vast and wide-ranging legacy. Columbia is proud to be his partner, grateful for his support, and admiring of his dedication to the people and institutions he has served throughout his singular career. Thank you, Congressman Rangel, for a career of service and an enduring legacy of leadership for our community and country.

Congratulations to my brother on his unparalleled Tenure in Congress and undeniable legacy of service!


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

Columbia University Celebrates Harlem Week The David N. Dinkins Archives


he life and career of New York’s first African American mayor, David N. Dinkins, is one for the history books. And now the David N. Dinkins Papers and Oral History Project, housed at Columbia University Libraries, offers researchers a wealth of material to study the 106th mayor’s contributions to politics and society. “I cannot think of another public figure more primed for reevaluation now than Dinkins on the 25th anniversary after his inauguration,” said Thai Jones, the Lehman curator for American history at Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The sweep of Dinkins’s life encompasses Howard University, the Marine Corps, and Brooklyn Law School. And Mayor Dinkins has been a professor of public policy at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs since 1994. Learn more about this extraordinary New Yorker and Columbia’s extensive collections on Harlem’s political, social, and cultural history at


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.


Sending Out an S.O.S.


.O.S. The acronym usually means Save Our Schools, Save Our Sisters, whatever. Today, as I pen this column, it means Save Our Sons. You see, I was contemplating what to write this month. After all, it is the good, old summertime. Folks have pulled out and dusted off the grills, 'ques are going on in various and sundry backyards and/or parks, and pitchers of lemonade are being placed on the tables waiting to be poured into frosty glasses inundated with ice. But then Baton Rouge happened. And, then, Minnesota happened back-to-back. Alton Sterling's life was snuffed out by two officers in Baton Rouge while he was on the ground. Philando Castile's life was taken as he attempted to reach for his wallet after he was stopped for what should have been a small traffic infraction, which should have resulted in a warning, at best; a traffic ticket, at worst. In a perfect world, I wouldn't be writing about both men in the past tense. However, we live in anything but a perfect world. I have a son who is a retired law enforcement officer. Today, he trains other officers at a local academy. Truth be told, I don't feel any more comfortable knowing that he has served as a guardian of the law than if he hadn't. While I'm writing about the loss of life, I would be remiss if I failed to comment on the Dallas police officers who were gunned down by someone who allowed his rage to overtake him. We mourn for those families as well. So, now what? The great, late civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer asked, "Is this America?" I'm afraid it is. Then, tell me. What are black folks supposed to do about the ethnicity they've been given since our hue appears to cause trauma to many? If folks don't like our ethnicity, I repeat, what are we supposed to do about it? We can't change who God made us. We can't hide on some forsaken island in an attempt to save our sons and ourselves. I don't know what happened in Baton Rouge. Neither do I know what happened in Minnesota. I just know this, a number of incidents that should be an exchange of

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civil conversation between cop and driver, seemingly, are always fraught with tension, especially if the driver and/or suspect happens to be black. Who will champion our cause? Decade after decade we've asked the larger community to understand that there are inequities in the judicial system; injustice in the socio-economic system, unrighteousness in the workplace often times, ungodliness within the religious communities themselves, yet, as the old folks used to say, "We can't hear nobody pray." Translated: Blatant silence from those who could and should come alongside black Americans to bear witness that such disparities are indeed true. The blood of Sterling and Castile cries out. The blood of those five police officers cries out, as does the blood of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo, Freddie Gray, Sean Bell, et al. I've read lately that some police officers have begun to reach out to people of color in a way that has not taken place in the past. Question: Did it take the lives of those innocent officers in Dallas to make those who wear the blue uniforms understand we're all vulnerable? Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

Phil Murphy at National Action Network Worship Service in New Jersey

New Jersey Democratic candidate for governor Phil Murphy (standing, left) joined with the Reverend Al Sharpton (standing, center), the family of Eric Garner, mothers of children lost to gun violence or while in police custody, and numerous public officials and clergy at the New Hope Memorial Baptist Church in Elizabeth, NJ, in worship and a call for social justice. The service was held on the second anniversary of the death of Eric Garner. Murphy, a national board member of the NAACP, spoke on the need for community engagement and the need for tougher gun safety laws to keep communities safe.


HCCI and Partners Celebrate Opening Of Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis Plaza


he blazing hot summer sun did not stop the grand opening celebration of the new seven-story development at 260 West 153rd Street in Manhattan on Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Named in honor of HCCI’s Chairman, The Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis Plaza includes 50 units of affordable housing for very low and extremely low-income households, an onsite daycare center, and new community service office for HCCI. The construction of the development was financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan, to create and preserve


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

200,000 units of affordable housing. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City’s affordability crisis by reaching more than half a million New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes to those in the middle class, all of whom face ever-rising rents. The project is the result of a partnership between state and city agencies and HCCI including The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and The Community

Photos: MacDonald Layne

HCCI Board Members flanked by partners cut the ribbon to celebrate the grand opening of the Rev. Charles A. Curtis Plaza. L–R front: Rev. Wendy J. Kelly-Carter; Imam Talib Abdur Rashid, secretary; George H. Weldon Jr., 2nd vice chair; Joan O. Dawson, PhD, 1st vice chair; Virginia Montague; Rev. Nigel Pearce; Chairman Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis; Rev. John L. Scott, EdD; and President/CEO.Malcolm A. Punter

Harlem residents, HCCI staff, development partners and clergy pray blessing the new building

L–R: Dickens, Curtis & Geoff - City Council Member Inez E. Dickens, HCCI Chairman Rev. Charles A. Curtis, and Geoffrey Eaton, Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel

Imam Talib Abdur Rashid, HCCI corporate secretary, delivers the invocation.

Reverend Dr. Charles A. Curtis is an international champion for social justice and equality who never stops fighting for affordable housing and the further displacement of long term Harlem residents. tion Corporation (CPC). The total development cost was approximately $21.5 million. HCCI provided $14 million Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) toward permanent financing, which leveraged a $3.5 million CPC loan through the New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS). HPD provided $1.09 million in City capital funding. Wells Fargo served as the lender. L+M Builders and Griffon Associates served as the builders, the project was designed by Curtis & Ginsberg Architects. The childcare center, named the Canon Frederick Boyd Williams Center for Child Enrichment after HCCI’s first Chairman, will provide up to 150 daycare slots. Tender Tots, which managers the childcare center, is hiring and accepting enrollment for the child care center. Job and enrollment information can be found online at The center opens in September. —JNW

Sending his greetings via his Chief of Staff Geoffrey E. Eaton, US Congressmen Charles B. Rangel said: I am proud to join in the celebration of honoring two beloved friends and great men whose legacy will endure. Reverend Dr. Charles A. Curtis is an international champion for social justice and equality who never stops fighting for affordable housing and against the further displacement of long term Harlem residents. The late Canon Frederick Boyd Williams dedicated his spiritual leadership to uplifting the lives of children and their families. He was an outspoken spiritual leader against South Africa Apartheid and advocated resources for those suffering from the scourge of HIV/AIDS. I am confident that The Plaza and Center will inspire many generations of leaders to fight for the voiceless. Summer 2016 The Positive Community


Photos: Mel Wright

L-R: Janelle Farris, COO at BCS; Michael Berry, BCS presenter; Honoree Chirlane McCray; Marla Simpson, BCS executive director; Aaron Dean, chair of BCS Board of Directors

$1.1 Million BCS Fundraiser A Record-Breaking Success


1.1 million dollars. That’s the amount raised by Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) at their 150th Anniversary Kick-Off Gala, characterized by Executive Director Marla Simpson as “…a record-breaking financial success.” The money will go directly into the BCS programs, Simpson declared. The comprehensive and holistic services BCS offers include: early childhood education; youth development services and educationally rich after-school programs; counseling for at-risk families; treatment, recovery, and job training to support the life goals of adults living with mental illness; person-centered rehabilitation and community living support for adults with developmental disabilities; and disaster recovery case management and relief services. Simpson also extended “…a special thank you to Charles Hamm, a longtime BCS supporter and former BCS chairman of the Board, for a major $500,000 donation,” she said, adding, “It will make an instrumental impact on BCS clients.” The elegant gala honored some of Brooklyn’s visionary trailblazers including philanthropists and long-time BCS supporters Irene and Charles J. Hamm, Forest City


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

Ratner Companies, NYC First Lady and mental health care activist Chirlane McCray, BCS program honoree Lanetta Darlington, and BCS outstanding service honoree Ellen Fine Levine. Carla Hall, acclaimed author, co-host of ABC’s popular lifestyle series The Chew and owner of the highly anticipated Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen restaurant in Brooklyn, served as emcee. Irene and Charles J. Hamm received the BCS Philanthropic Leadership Award. Charles J. Hamm started his illustrious career in advertising and marketing as executive vice president at McCann Erickson. He has been president and CEO of Independence Savings Bank, where he grew the community-based bank from eight branches to 150, and founded Independence Community Foundation, now known as the Brooklyn Community Foundation. In addition to his service on the BCS Board of Directors, including as chairman, Charlie’s impact has been felt throughout Brooklyn, through his work with such great institutions as Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Pratt Institute. Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz presented the award to Mr. and Mrs. Hamm.

Lanetta Darlington with husband and daughter

L-R: Janelle Farris, COO at BCS; Marla Simpson, BCS executive director; Mayor David Dinkins; Emcee Carla Hall

Chirlane McCray, the First Lady of the City of New York, received the BCS Civic Leadership Award. “BCS has always been as vigorous and dynamic as Brooklyn itself, “ stated Ms. McCray, a longtime Brooklyn resident and community advocate. “Throughout its history, the organization has been at the forefront of movements that would go on to change the world.” Forest City Ratner Companies received the BCS Corporate Leadership Award. Forest City’s leadership in the construction of Downtown Brooklyn paved the way for the economic boom Brooklyn is experiencing today. From the MetroTech Center in 1992 to Atlantic Center in 2004 to Barclays Center in 2012, Forest City has built with a deep-seated belief in Brooklyn and the people who live there. Bruce C. Ratner, Forest City Ratner’s executive chairman and former member of the BCS Board of Directors; and MaryAnne Gilmartin, Forest City Ratner’s president and CEO; accepted the award on behalf of the company from Eric L. Adams, Brooklyn Borough President. “You cannot be judged by brick and mortar. You must be judged on how you build people,” he said. Lanetta Darlington received the BCS Program Leadership Award. Ms. Darlington attended the BCS Gary Klinsky Children’s Centers (GKCC) after-school program at P.S. 149 in East New York as a child. Her parents, who emigrated to Brooklyn from Guyana, inspired Lanetta to focus on academics. Today, she is a successful financial analyst at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She remains committed to GKCC as a volunteer and is also involved in community work in her East New York neighborhood, where she continues to reside with her husband and daughter. Steven Klinsky, founder and CEO of New Mountain Capital, a former BCS Board member and long-time benefactor of the GKCC program, presented the award Ellen Fine Levine was awarded the BCS ONE Brooklyn Community Outstanding Service Award. Ms. Levine is vice-chair and treasurer of the BCS Board of Directors. Through her exemplary service on the BCS Board since 2007, Ms. Levine has had a lasting impact on BCS. Until her retirement in 2015, Levine was managing director and executive client officer of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), and previously, the company’s chief financial officer and treasurer. Edward Gentner, Esq., senior counsel at Cullen and Dykman LLP and vice-chair of the BCS Board of Directors, presented the award. —JNW

L-R: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams presents BCS Corporate Leadership Award to MaryAnne Gilmartin and Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner

... the organization has been at the forefront of movements that would go on to change the world — Chirlane McCray

Summer 2016 The Positive Community


Noble Northern New Jersey 29th Annual Statewide Awards and Recognition Gala


L-R: Jules A. Ship, president, NOBLE Northern NJ Chapter; Deputy Chief Earl J. Graves, Essex County Prosecutors Office; Deputy Chief Wilhelm Young, Montclair Police Dept.; Siddeeq W. El-Amin, treasurer, NOBLE Northern NJ Chapter; Sgt. Mahasin El-Amin, Plainfield Police Dept.; Chief Quovella Spruill, Essex County Prosecutors Office; and Don Wactor, immediate past president, NOBLE Northern NJ Chapter

INPO: Eugene Isaiah Beals, West Orange High School; Ife Campbell, Summit High School; Mariah Holmes, Kestrell Heights High School; Maya Holmes, North Star Academy College Prep High School; Eddie James Cannon, Central Jersey College Prep School; Brittany Makhanda-Smith, Union High School; Jared Gregory, Piscataway High School; and Jules A. Ship, president, NOBLE Northern NJ Chapter

embers of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Northern NJ Chapter and their guests gathered on Friday evening June 10 to celebrate their 29th Annual Awards and Recognition Gala at the Pines Manor in Edison, NJ. The event, marked by comradery, acknowledgement of successes, and gratitude for blessings, was a tremendous success and enjoyed by all those in attendance. The Essex County Prosecutors Office received the Honorable Glenn Cunningham Public Safety Award for outstanding service to the Essex County community; Ms. Lori Scott-Pickens, director, Community Outreach and Community Based Learning, Rutgers University, School of Criminal Justice, was the James Spellman Community Service Award recipient. Recognition awards for promotional achievement and service in the line of duty were presented to several deserving officers. Eight outstanding New Jersey graduating high school seniors received scholarship awards. Several organizations and individuals, including a number of New Jersey State elected officials, received appreciation awards for their dedication and assistance to NOBLE NNJ in its ongoing efforts to improve conditions within the law enforcement community and the community that we serve. Top Row – L-R: Lt. Thomas Sheehan; Det. Anneesha Ford; Deputy Chief Earl J. Graves; Deputy Chief Jose Ramirez; and Lt. Thomas Kelly; Front Standing – L-R: Vice President William Oliver, NOBLE Northern NJ Chapter; Sgt. Luigi Corino; Capt. Paterson Paster; Chief Quovella Spruill; Acting NJ State Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; Det. James Ventola; Det. Canairi De Los Santos; and NOBLE Northern Chapter President Jiles H. Ship Photos: Karen Waters

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The Positive Community

Standing L-R: William Oliver, Charles Watts, Bruce Harmon, Bill Ford Sitting L-R: Jacquelynn Hartsfield, Zinnerford Smith, Debra Harmon, Gale Ford Summer 2016

Lori-Scott-Pickens, James Spellman Community Service Award recipient.

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Brooklyn woman creates product that brings an end to the dilemma of most women who wear high heels With Maya Angelou’s Poem Still I Rise, etched in her consciousness, Vicki Sylvain, creator and owner of the Shoe-B Store, pushes past limits to make the words meaningful in her life. Out of the huts of history’s shame/I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain/I rise.


orn in New York City to Haitian parents, Sylvain has committed her life to the growth and advancement of women and young people. Whether it is a commercial business enterprise or a non-profit initiative, her goal is always the same -- make life better, easier, and more fulfilling for others. In business enterprise, Sylvain, 41, is the creator of a creative shoe bag called the Shoe-B and owner

Vicki Sylvain shows off her creation Flats inconspicuously stashed in the smart clutch bag

of a store by the same name. The Shoe-B is a novel, stylish clutch that doubles as a shoe bag bringing an end to the dilemma most women who wear high heels face. What to do with their shoes after changing into flats at the end of a long event? In its clutch form, The Shoe-B can carry personal items and a pair of flats. But here’s the novelty: it expands into a tote bag that fits up to a size 13 pair of stiletto shoes, boots, or sneakers. “I created the Shoe-B to give women a fashionable and discreet option to carry their heels and flats,” says Sylvain. “Like other women, I, too, was always uncomfortable about carrying my shoes in my hand—or worse yet a plastic bag— after a long day at work, church, or a special event. So I searched for viable alternatives.” The idea of the Shoe-B percolated in Sylvain’s head for a number of years. In 2014, she finally created a prototype and by the end of the year had the product on the market. The winner of the Brooklyn Public Library 2015 PowerUp! Kreyol Business Plan Competition, Sylvain received further funding to enhance the product and gained the attention of city officials who invited her to be You partied the night away and off come the heels, into the extended bag and out come the flats….ahhhh!


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

part of an incubator business project. Last year, the Shoe-B store opened a store front in the busy downtown Brooklyn area. Consciously, the B in the Shoe–B stands for bag. But at the soul level it is a tribute to the bumble bee which Sylvain says has “followed” her all her life. “I am not sure what’s the reason but I have always been attracted to the bumble bee and the colors yellow and black. So I use this as inspiration by taking example from the bumble bee.” She explains: “Aerodynamically, because of its weight to wing ratio, the bumble bee should be incapable of flying. Yet it does!” she says. “So to me the message is about doing what’s impossible and believing in yourself. I hope to inspire this same kind of confidence in women when they step out in their heels holding a Shoe-B.” In addition to comfort for the modern woman, Sylvain created the Shoe-B fueled by a need to generate funding for her passionate nonprofit work, in particular Quiescere Resource Center (QRC), and the Survival Kit Drive for Haiti Project. Quiescere is a non-profit organization that provides educational support and ESL classes to new immigrant families. “As a first generation Haitian American I saw how much my parents, who

migrated here from Haiti, struggled to navigate the educational system when I went to high school,” Sylvain explained. “I wanted to simplify that journey for other immigrant parents and thus Quiescere -- which means to be at ease, was born.” The Survival Kit Drive was created shortly after the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010. “I launched the Survival Kit Drive for Haiti Project out of a concern for women’s basic hygiene during the devastation. The Survival Kit Project is now a national initiative and has grown considerably with the support of 1199SEIU; The Links, Inc; and the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce.” In the past six years survival kits have been distributed to over 25,000 women and children in Haiti. The project has expanded to other distressed areas including the Philippines after the typhoon and Far Rockaway after Super Storm Sandy. So with the aim of keeping her nonprofit work alive, Sylvain created the Shoe-B and uses a percentage of the sale of each bag toward the Survival Kit Project and QRC. “My ultimate aim is to move part of the production of the Shoe-B to Haiti,” she revealed. “In this way, we are not only handing out alms, but providing employment opportunities in an area where it is so desperately needed.” With every Shoe-B sold, there is another intangible that takes place: Sylvain breathes life into her personal motto; “Where there is no opportunity, create one; where there is a need, fill it.” And still, like air, she’ll rise. So let it B.

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Summer 2016 The Positive Community



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

Praise HIM, in EVERY Circumstance


he writer stated a beautiful message in Psalms 34:1 when he said, “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Praising the Lord is a vital and essential element of spiritual wealth building. As a believer in Christ, you are expected to praise God in season and out of season. It is important to praise the Lord when you are experiencing His blessings in your life as well as during times of trouble. Yes it is easy to praise God when things are going well, but how about when the storms of life are looming over your head? Can you still offer up praises to the Lord in those dark and trying times? The answer should be a resounding yes! Furthermore, it is at those times of trials and tribulations that it becomes even more important to praise Him. Those are the times when The Enemy is trying to take your focus away from the goodness of God. The Enemy is trying to get you to wallow in your misery and despair; he wants you to believe that God has abandoned you when you need Him the most. Let’s take a brief look at the reaction of the Apostle Paul and Silas in Acts 16. They received a humiliating public whipping for exorcising a demon from a young

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woman. Then they were thrown into the deepest part of the prison and locked in chains. These two men, although badly beaten, began to sing praises to the Lord giving no thought at all to their own situation. The scriptures report the other prisoners listened to their singing, (v.16:25). Then, while they were still singing praises to the Lord, there was a violent earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison. All the gates of their cells were immediately opened. Normally, given an opportunity to escape from prison would have been considered a blessing from God, but these men and all the other prisoners remained in their cells. The guard assumed they had escaped and was about to kill himself because he was ultimately responsible for imprisonment, but Paul cried out to him, “Do not harm yourself, we are all still here.” (v.16:28) The guard experienced such a spiritual revelation that he came trembling into their cell, fell down and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” By praising God, Paul and Silas were able to lead a soul to Christ. The scriptures report that the man took the Apostles to his house, cleaned up their wounds and fed them. His entire household was baptized in the name of Jesus! Praising God is an aspect of worship that is very personal and spiritual. In Psalms 150 the writer again affirmed this act when he said “Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” God is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. He, and He alone, is worthy, for there is no other name given unto men by which we can be saved. Think back to Jesus’ triumphant return to Jerusalem, when the people laid their cloaks and palm branches on the road and shouted “Hosanna, to the Son of David! … Hosanna in the highest…” (Matthew 21:9) When the Pharisees urged Him to silence the crowd, Jesus replied that if they stopped, the rocks would cry out (Luke 19:40). All creation has to acknowledge His majesty, glory, and power. He is the Sovereign God, the Creator, and Ruler of the universe. Praising the Lord should bring pure joy to the hearts of all believers.

Melba Wilson: A Chef You Can Bank On Carver Federal Savings Hosts Book Signing


Photos: Bruce Moore

f you are looking for a delicious meal, you can bank on Melba Wilson to deliver. Whether you are dining at her warm and inviting restaurant in Harlem or writing down the recipes she shares on her visits to various Food Network programs, you get the idea that Ms. Wilson knows her way around a kitchen. Melba’s American Comfort: 100 Recipes from My Heart to Your Kitchen, her first cookbook, is a winner, too. On Wednesday, June 8, 2016, Carver Federal Savings Bank (“Carver”) hosted a book-signing event to celebrate the launch. Carver and Melba Wilson have a long-standing relationship that is deeply rooted in their mutual support of the community in which they serve. Wilson turned to the local bankers at Carver to support her dream of expanding her business. Carver responded and the rest, you might say is history. Melba’s Restaurant is regarded as the premier comfort food destination in New York

City. Known for its support of local business, Carver is a go-to resource for funding. In fact, for every deposit dollar it takes in, Carver reinvests 83 cents back into the community making it possible for businesses such as Melba’s to get the funding they need to establish themselves and become thriving members of communities such as Harlem. Melba, a Harlem native, began her storied career in esteemed restaurants such as Sylvia’s and Rosa Mexicano, rising through the culinary ranks. She has appeared on The Next Food Network Star, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, The View, and most recently The Dish and Consumed. The book, beautifully laid-out with photos of her tantalizing dishes along with interesting history about Melba and her family, features little tidbits of how and why she created a certain recipe or how with a few simple twists you can make it your own. Melba’s American Comfort is available online at Amazon or at Barnes & Noble online and in store.


“My intimate corner spot at 114th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard is my flagship,” Wilson writes in the book, “but the heart and soul of my cooking is still rooted in my grandmother’s kitchen and the home kitchens of all of us who cook in our ancestors’ footsteps. With this book, I aim to share that spirit and those recipes so you can bring them into your kitchen for your own family to enjoy as mine has for generations. These recipes are simple, foolproof, true to their down-home spirit and dedicated to at-home success.” Thanks Melba, my family loved those eggnog waffles.

Carver Bank officers with Melba Wilson (center) L–R: Michael T. Pugh, president/CEO; Charles Lockley, VP business lending officer; Blondel Pinnock, SVP chief lending officer; Melba Wilson; Frank Gleeson, SVP/controller; Judith Mason, AVP branch manager; and Rebecca Grant, executive assistant.

Summer 2016 The Positive Community


5 Tips For Beefing Up The Security Of Your Password


NN Money has reported that Trustwave examined 120 retailers nationwide and found that 90% of their credit card terminals were made by the same manufacturer — and all had the same default password. That makes it easy for hackers to target those machines and potentially install malware that could steal troves of consumer data. Other than making you more aware of the massive gaps in today’s data security, this news should also hammer home how important password management is. Still using “password123” as your preferred login? Employ the same password for all of your online accounts? You’re precisely the kind of target that cybercriminals hope for when they launch their nefarious attacks. Here are five recommended strategies for beefing up the protection of your passwords, which is a good first step on the path of comprehensive security for your entire IT environment: 1. Change your passwords! Some easy-to-use online crackers can decode any password with fewer than 7 characters in seconds. So creating strong and unique passwords that are at least eight characters long and mix upper- and lower-case numbers, letters, and symbols — think “P@ssw0rd#!23” instead of “password123” — are a necessity for online security. 2. Always take advantage of two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication requires a standard password as well as a second unique code. This can be generated and sent directly to your mobile device via text message or voicemail; generated via phone swipe, fingerprint scan, or voice recognition; or confirmed by landline, LED screen, or even wearable technology. Nearly every major online service offers this option, so make sure to take advantage of it. 3. Use a password management tool deployed by a trusted IT partner. Password security isn’t just about keeping your personal data safe. Industry regulations like HIPAA, PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley, and FINRA require full password audit reports. And if you’ve ever had to let an employee go, you know how important instant lockout and access administration is. Free, consumer-grade password tools can only go so far to satisfy the unique requirements presented by the small and medium-sized business market. If you’re interested in password management as a service, CMIT Solutions can help. 4. Institute a regular assessment of your personal and business accounts — especially those you don’t use very often. Anytime there’s a major password hack, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Twitter, and other popular services leap into action to protect their users. But the best kind of security is the proactive kind, so make a note to check your social media and email accounts periodically to ensure everything is in working order. If you only use Facebook, Twitter, or that old email account once a month, these are the easiest targets for hackers. Also, if any site has required you to reset a password recently, consider that another red flag and assess your other accounts. 5. Ensure that anti-virus software and security patches are up to date. Speaking of a proactive approach… Maintenance and monitoring services like CMIT Marathon come with built-in anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware software that can stop the kind of malicious password-hacking viruses in their tracks. That includes patches and fixes for Java, Adobe, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Office… Comprehensive security with multiple layers is possible — especially with an experienced IT provider on your side. If you’re unsure about the security of your passwords — or overwhelmed by the idea of changing them all — contact CMIT Solutions today. We take online security very seriously, and we’re committed to improving productivity and efficiency so that you can achieve your business goals. If you want to make technology work for your business, not against it, we’re here to help. CMIT Solutions of Northern Union 973.325.3663• 800.399.CMIT


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

Never Too Late to Learn Frontiers host A B C’s of Finance Lecture


he Frontiers International of Plainfield presented a lecture on “The ABCs of Black Economics and Entrepreneurship” on June 25th at the Washington Community School. This lecture, part of the Westry Horne Cultural and Heritage Series, featured Richard Barber, the “Economic Evangelist,” and Jeffery Dunn, the president of the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce and director of the Business Incubator. The presenters provided useful information about what African Americans can achieve through collective economic actions and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. The program was partially funded by the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission. For more information on Frontiers’ events go to their Facebook page “Frontiers International Plainfield Area Club.”

L-R: Richard Barber, Frontiers Club President Rev. Louis Slade, and Jeffery Dunn.

Thank You Congressman

Charles Rangel For Your Distinguished Career of Dedicated Service

Mildred C. Crump


Summer 2016 The Positive Community


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It’s a Love Thing: NYC to Chicago Anti-Violence Prayer Walk— Positive Music Matters

By Adrian A. Council, Sr., Board Chair, African Americans for Health Awareness Committee (AAHA)

Rev. Drew Warren, Associate Pastor, Infinity Mennonite Church, Adrian A. Council, Sr., Rev. Al Taylor and Robert Jackson, former NYC Councilman, and candidate for NYS Senate, in front of the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building on West 125th Street in Harlem.

Activist Earl Best, the “Street Doctor,” Rev. Taylor, Rev. Louise Roundtree and Director Gwen Moton

nspired by his work with “Man Up in Harlem,” Rev. Al Taylor has embarked on a mission to walk 780 miles through seven states from New York City to Chicago It’s A Love Thing, 780 Prayer Walk, is a humanitarian initiative to listen, reach out, and pray with people in need of comfort and liberation; letting them know they matter. The theme of the walk: It’s A Love Thing seeks to demonstrate, with every step, the dual force of prayer and positive music. “Positive Music Matters” initiated by The Positive Community serves as an additional rallying cry of the walk. On Sunday August 7, Rev. Taylor, began this historic freedom journey with an 8am prayer service at the Church of the Convent on East 42nd Street in Manhattan (a Presbyterian parish near the United Nations): Rev. Dr. Cornell Edmonds is pastor. I was among the group who walked six miles to Pastor

Taylor’s Infinity Mennonite Church (IMC) on 146th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem. Along the way, the group stopped to pray at public housing projects and playgrounds. After worship service at his church, where he serves as senior pastor, Rev. Taylor continued his journey across the George Washington Bridge toward his next stop, Paterson New Jersey. The sermon at IMC, delivered by guest Preacher, Rev. Bill Devlin of Infinity Bible Church in the Bronx, spoke to the soul—the love of God and the value of unselfish service to others with the charge: “Go Forth!” On Monday, August 8, Rev. Taylor walked from Paterson into the City of Newark, arriving in time for an informal reception and refreshments at Pillar College. At noon, he was welcomed on the steps of


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Summer 2016 The Positive Community



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City Hall by Rev. Louise Roundtree, director of Clergy Affairs for Newark, and Cultural Affairs and Tourism Director Gwen Moten. They were joined by local clergy leaders who spoke words of encouragement and prayed for Rev. Taylor’s endurance and safe-passage in his travels. Some Newark religious leaders and law enforcement officials greeted or joined Rev. Taylor during parts of his walk as he continued from Newark to Morristown, New Jersey covering over 30 miles on August 8. Family Fest On another note, Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Executive Director of Cultural Affairs and Tourism Gwen Moten, announced that the City of Newark will launch the “Family Fest—Positive Music Matters” outdoor concerts on Thursday, August 11, at 6 p.m., at the corner of Chadwick and Hawthorne Avenues, in the City’s South Ward. The five-week concert program at sites in all five of Newark’s wards is designed to showcase young artists, entertain residents, and empower them with positive and supportive messages and social commentary. “We are working to use the inspiring power of music to send positive messages to our residents of all ages, which will promote neighborhood unity and to transform the lives of at-risk persons, most importantly our youth, who draw their messages and ideas from these musical forms. It also will showcase our home-grown talent, and their examples of dedication to achieving

Prior to the walk, Adrian Council introduces NYC Pastors Rev. Taylor and Dr. Edmonds, to community leaders at monthly ecumenical clergy meeting in the Municipal Council Chamber, City of Newark.

positive success will inspire our youth to do the same in their lives. I congratulate our partners on developing this initiative and look forward to joining my neighbors at these concerts,” Mayor Baraka said. Guns Down; Life Up! The anti-violence Prayer Walk from NYC to Chicago and Newark’s Family Fest are powered by a Positive Music Matters soundtrack—America’s best in music, song and spoken word—black folk music: the Negro spirituals, blues, gospel, jazz, soul, rhythm and blues, funk, neo soul and hip hop. Positive music helps to secure a future of progress for our children and affirms the dignity of our humanity! Songs of unity, hope, faith, love, freedom, wholesome fun; peace and goodwill are with us to inspire, comfort and encourage!

Pillar College welcomes Rev. Taylor to Newark. L–R Natalie Provilon, Shellie Bell, Vice President Wayne Dyer with Rev. Taylor

Its a Love Thing ministry: Rev. Dr. Cornell Edmonds, pastor, Church of the Covenant, NYC and Rev. Al Taylor, pastor Infinity Mennonite Church of Harlem at Newark City Hall

30 The Positive Community

Summer 2016

Rev. Taylor addresses dignitaries and an enthusiastic audience on the steps of Newark’s City Hall.

A special thanks to The Fund for New York City Health and Hospital Corporation’s Guns Down; Life Up! initiative for contributing tee shirts, hats and bags to the Prayer Walk: “Guns Down; Life Up!” The Prayer Walk will also pass through Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan. Rev. Taylor is due to arrive in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, September 9. For the latest updates on the progress of the prayer walk, town by town, city by city, visit our website or follow us on Instagram @thepositivecommunity; like us on Facebook. Also follow on Twitter@ALoveThing247 and go to itsalovethingalways on Facebook. Please, donate whatever you can to provide provisions for this great and noble, community-building cause—today! . . . Because a positive community is everybody’s business . . . It really pays to care!

Clergy laying hands on Rev. Taylor as he prepares to continue his journey.

“Positive music is the substance of power that can and will break every type of enslavement.” —Rev. Dr. Pauline E. Ballard, Pentecostal Family Prayer Center, Newark, NJ Pastor Ballard recently celebrated her 86th birthday!

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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.

Get Your Zeal Back


here is the time going? Summer is moving full steam ahead. It won’t be long before I am relaxing at the beach in beautiful North Carolina. I can’t wait. My family and I really need the rest. If I can be honest and extremely transparent my enthusiasm and zeal has left the building. I know. How can it be that The Fitness Doctor—Mr. Mind, Body, and Spirit—is lacking enthusiasm and zeal? Well, the truth of the matter is everyone has moments of apathy and indifference, especially during the summer months. Hence the lazy, hazy days of summer! Apathy is defined as lack of energy, enthusiasm, or concern. The main symptom is a lack of motivation to do, complete, or accomplish anything. People with apathy typically have low energy levels. Emotions, motivation, and willingness to act are often lower or diminished. Activities or events that normally interest a person will create little to no response. But until you can make it to your own beach, “staycation,” or other restful place, here are a few Fitness Doctor tips to help you overcome apathy and get your zeal back. Get some rest Most people tend to do too much when they go away for vacation. Their itinerary is packed. When they return home they find that they need a vacation to recover from their vacation. To overcome apathy and get your zeal back, make a commitment to really relax and be still. Being still has a way of dispelling anxiety, which is thought to be a cause for apathy. Fear of deadlines, financial obligations, and other responsibilities can cause a person to lose enthusiasm. Get some rest for your mind, body, and spirit—and watch your zeal for living return. Pray more

Authentic prayer has a way of bringing restoration to our souls. When our soul is restored our zeal returns. We feel energized and enthusiastic about life. Scripture reminds us, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11 NIV) Keeping your spiritual fervor through prayer helps restore passion and zeal. Exercise A curative remedy for apathy is physical exercise. In an article by Calm Clinic looking at the relationship between anxiety and apathy, we learn although it doesn’t seem apathy related, exercise has several qualities that appear to improve mood and reduce lethargy. Exercise releases neurotransmitters that create a more relaxed feeling and boost overall mood. It can be hard to exercise while you’re feeling apathetic, but if you can get yourself outside when weather permits and running or walking more (indoors as well), you will have a better chance to improve your mood. Unplug In a world where we have all the information that we could ever want right at our fingertips, it is critical to take time to set some limits on how much, when, and where we receive information. For example, you might begin by placing your cell phone out of sight and silencing it at a certain time each evening, or responding to emails only during certain times of the day. Another idea is not watching TV during meal times with your family. Creating quiet time for yourself is essential if you are going to recharge and get your zeal back. It is often difficult for most people to keep themselves motivated all the time, but with the above tools and using a bit of wisdom, you can get your zeal back. If you’re interested in a free consultation or more information on FitCare, call 732-921-3746 or email

Summer 2016 The Positive Community



L–R: Briana Anderson with Tiffany Baskerville

L–R: Briana Anderson, Marley Dias, Tai Cooper Chief Policy Tai Cooper, Advisor for Mayor Ras Baraka, (From Right) are: Amina Anekwe, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, Co- Founder of Grassroots Community Foundation.

Briana Anderson’s #RoomForChange Project Honored BY TIFFANY BASKERVILLE


riana Henderson, a sixth-grader at South Orange Middle School, along with friends, Amina Anekwe and Marley Dias, founded a social network called BAM, the purpose of which is to support adolescent girls, “who love to play, laugh and give back,” she explained. On Wednesday, May 4, The GrassROOTS Community Foundation and The YMCA, Youth Emergency Service (YES) Program honored Briana Anderson for her #RoomForChange Project at the YMCA in Newark. Briana had an opportunity to spend time with various young people in the Youth Emergency Service Program (YES) in Newark and during that time learned that adolescents lived at the Y without parents or caretakers. Knowing that having a place to stay that is mentally comfortable can impact an individual’s life made Briana wonder “What can I do to help make their lives a little easier?” Thus, Briana created the #RoomForChange project with the support of the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, a public health and social action organization for women and girls, under the guidance of Co- Founder Dr. Janice Johnson Dias. Using any resource she could find, Briana sought participation from Home Depot, who donated the paint and Ikea, provided lamps, rugs, and dressers. She even found someone who, with his staff, painted the rooms. 34

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Summer 2016

The redesigned five rooms each have their own animal and color theme. Two rooms are for girls, two for boys, and one unisex room. Seeing the young faces bursting with excitement, Briana was overjoyed. I asked her what impression she hoped the young people would feel. “Peace,” she answered. “A peace of mind to know there are people who love and support them no matter the situation.” Briana, along with her B.A.M. social network friends Marley Dias and Amina Anekwe, thanked all who came out to support the event. Before departing, Tai Cooper, chief policy advisor for the Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, remarked, “When you invest and have faith in young women and girls, change happens, and because of that aspect some child or family will sleep tonight having a place that can at least make them feel at home.” As for Briana, she says, “My dream is to finish all 19 rooms on the sixth floor and adopt the whole floor,” No doubt, she will. Editor’s Note: Tiffany a senior at Essex County College, plans to continue her Journalism studies at Rutgers University in 2017. She is currently an intern at The Positive Community and, we are proud to say, is on the Dean’s List at ECC.

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HEAF Volunteers Get Their Just Desserts


EAF (Harlem Educational Activities Fund) is an after school program that serves students on an eleven-year continuum beginning in 6th grade and continuing through college and beyond, instilling a college-bound attitude early and providing a range of essential academic and youth development services to help underserved young people succeed in college and life. During the graduation season when students are being lauded for their academic achievements deservedly so, HEAF took time to honor the volunteers who help make their achievements possible. Just Desserts, HEAF’s third annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, was held on June 22, 2016 with the purpose of recognizing and celebrating the organization’s most outstanding volunteers and corporate partners. Long-time HEAF partners Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz were recognized with the Summa Cum Laude award for outstanding service and dedication. Their popular Legal Mentoring Program, through which HEAF students work with attorneys of both firms to review and argue for real-life court cases, gives them the opportunity to present their 36

The Positive Community

L-R: Brittany Reynoso, Bloomberg L.P.; Ruth Rathblott, HEAF CEO/president; Honoree Brett McCollough; and student award presenters: Harianne Hewitt, Fanessa De la Rose, and Jordan Jones

cases during a mock trial at a New York City courthouse. A committed corporate partner, Popular Community Bank received the Magna Cum Laude Award for the extensive support it provides HEAF’s students, i.e., financial literacy workshops, student mentoring, and employee engagement in HEAF’s programs, including Project Restaurant, one of the organization’s signature summer classes. During the five-week entrepreneurial course, students research and design their own food truck concept, implement their ideas from concept to finished project, and learn the basics of marketing, financial planning, and

Summer 2016

business development. At the end of the course, students take part in a business plan competition, judged by the Popular Community Bank team. In the individual volunteerism category, HEAF Board Member Brett McCollough received the Cum Laude award for outstanding commitment and Talia Tseriotou, who volunteers regularly as a high school math tutor, received the Dean’s List Award for dedication to student success. McCollough, manager of Information Technology Operations at Bloomberg L.P., joined HEAF’s Board of Directors in 2013. In a short amount of time he has established himself as

an outstanding champion for the organization through his leadership, engagement, and unwavering enthusiasm. A true ambassador for HEAF’s mission and students, he has gone to great lengths to make HEAF part of his personal brand, always seizing any opportunity to introduce HEAF to his networks or to connect the organization with valuable resources. In addition to generously donating his time and skills, actively fundraising for HEAF, and engaging Bloomberg employees in several volunteerism initiatives, Brett recently took the lead on providing the organization’s staff with cutting-edge technology for fundraising, financial, and programmatic data tracking and enlisted Bloomberg professionals to lead staff trainings at HEAF in the areas of human resources and effective management. He also played an active role in launching the Frank Savage Speaker Series, a community initiative through which HEAF’s students have unique opportunities to meet and interact with accomplished guest speakers from a variety of professional fields. Founded in 1989 by philanthropist and real estate developer Dan Rose, HEAF creates pathways to college and the professional world for over 500 underserved minority youth each year, by providing resources that help them achieve higher education, fulfilling careers, and greater lifetime earnings. To get involved with HEAF or donate to the organization, please visit


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Name: Tom J. Culley, Senior Pastor at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Edison, NJ Hometown: St. Louis, Mo; Graduate of Sumner High School, the oldest African American High School West of the Mississippi River. Previous: BS Ed. SIUE; M.B.A. Webster University Degree: Master of Divinity NBTS Aspirations: Future aspirations are to partner with other churches to address the social, economic and political structures that systematically work against the poor in our society. Hopefully through prayer and positive action we can bridge the economic division that plagues our country.





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Summer 2016 The Positive Community


S.T.E.A.M. IN HARLEM “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math”


s a society we have gone through the industrial age, the automotive age but no time in our history has been as transformative as the digital age we are living in now. Technology has completely reformed how we go about everything in our lives. This digital age has been and will continue for the foreseeable future to be the catalyst to bring our society together or keep us separated. There have been ongoing discussions and concerns about the “digital divide” that we are experiencing in this digital age. Many communities are underserved because of a lack of information and access to participate in and benefit from this digital age. Over the last few years, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) initiatives and curriculums have been instituted in schools, cultural centers, and youth & senior programs around the country to insure that Americans are competitive globally in this digital world. Competitive in this case means not only in education, but also in jobs and participating in the global economy that is being shaped by technology. Studies by IBM have found that “the arts build the 21st Century workforce.” Harlem, as most are aware, has always been a leader in arts, culture, literature, politics, fashion, and activism. Harlem has also been for the last decade plus, through the leadership of Congressman Charles B. Rangel, focused on bridging the digital divide. As a result, The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and HARLEM WEEK, in partnership with Silicon Harlem, The Office of Congressman Rangel, The Office of The NYC Comptroller, and a number of partners kick off with this year’s HARLEM WEEK festival a STEAM initiative to encourage residents, students, and seniors in Harlem and the Harlems around the world to become engaged and active in this digital society we now live in. The STEAM Initiative begins with five events during HARLEM WEEK and continues throughout the rest of 2016 touching all age groups in making the digital divide non-existent. HARLEM WEEK STEAM activities include: 38

The Positive Community

Summer 2016

1.Technology Pavilion at “A Great Day in Harlem” Sunday, July 26th, 12 Noon – 6PM Site – Sakura Park (W. 122nd Street & Riverside Drive) Targeted towards youth age 12-18 and their families This Technology Pavilion will feature “The Internet of Things,” interactive exhibits, robotics demonstrations, “smart” devices and more 2.Demystifying Technology Conference at New York City Senior Citizens Day Tuesday, August 4th, 2PM – 4PM Site – Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office building, 163 West 125th Street, 8th Fl. Focus is on inclusion and involvement of the senior citizen community and to be tech savvy, informed, and educated. Using technology to manage and communicate health concerns, order prescriptions, save money, stay connected to family & friends, and more. 3.Youth Education & Career Conference 2.0 Saturday, August 8th, 11AM – 5PM Site –Our Children’s Foundation, 527 West 125th Street, NYC Targeted audience students & young adults 13-22 years of age Focusing on 21st century careers plus special “Hackathon” activities with an emphasis on A: Health; B. Music and the Arts; C. Community concerns i.e. housing, education, employment, etc. 4.New York City Economic Development Day Tuesday, August 11th, 3:00PM - 5:00PM Site – Columbia University (114th – 116th & Broadway) Afternoon business conference focus with special remarks from Comptroller Scott Stringer & Maya Wiley, counsel to Mayor DeBlasio Targeted towards small businesses, professional service providers, and community based service organizations this special conference will feature discussions on digital economic development & inclusion. 5.New York City 2-Day Children’s Festival “Tech Games” Saturday, August 15th & Sunday, August 16th, 12Noon - 5:00PM Site - Henry H. Garnet Public School (W. 135th Street between Malcolm X & Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvds. Theme: “Back To School” Focus on making our children technology proficient at an early age to stimulate their minds, interest, and make STEAM fun as well as challenging.

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The Sky’s the Limit: 50 Years of Improving Lives Through Education and Training The Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) is celebrating 50 years of providing academic and workforce development services to eligible New Yorkers. Funded by the State University of New York (SUNY) and administered by the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY), the MEOC offers tuition-free academic programs to adult learners, including English for Speakers of Other Languages, High School Equivalency Preparation and College Prep. Students at the MEOC can also choose career training in Certified Microsoft® Office, Security Officer Training and Civil Service Exam Prep. For those interested in the healthcare industry, the MEOC offers Electronic Health Records and Certified Nursing Assistant training programs. “Our goal is to move our students towards self-sufficiency,” says MEOC Executive Director Anthony Watson. “Our programs are not only changing the lives of the individual student, but also the lives of their families.” As workforce trends of New York City have evolved for the last 50 years, the MEOC has adapted its programs and trainings.

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. . . And the Lion of Lenox Avenue Hasn’t Had a Bad Day Since BY HERB BOYD SPECIAL TO THE POSITIVE COMMUNITY


hen you have served nearly half your life in Congress as Rep. Charles B. Rangel has done—“and 86 years in Harlem,” as he likes to say—you have every right to rest on your laurels, or just rest. But such is not the case for the retiring congressman. He has a few more miles to go before he sleeps, and a few of them began almost immediately after he stepped down from his august position during the recent primary election campaign for his seat. As expected, the race to replace Rangel in his leadership role in the 13th Congressional District was hotly contested. Former State Senator Adriano Espaillat narrowly edged Assemblyman Keith Wright, who had been endorsed by Rangel. With the congressional lines of the district redrawn four years ago and a large swath of it now in Washington Heights and the Bronx, a Latino candidate had a more favorable chance of winning. An additional factor that did not augur well for African American candidates, mainly from Harlem, was that there were too many of them. Forced to share the ever-shrinking black vote in the district, the candidates basically neutralized each other, particularly when Espaillat had no Latino candidate capable of minimizing his numbers. His fellow Dominican, Guillermo Linares, fared poorly.

Since it was such a close race, Wright thought about a recount and then a delay to await absentee and affidavit ballots. Apparently this strategy, which Espaillat had done in two previous losing efforts against Rangel, was dropped and with Rangel as the mediator, the two top vote getters had a pow-wow at Sylvia’s Restaurant. After Wright conceded, Rangel addressed the press conference. “We have enough room for everyone to work together,” he said, “and the only way we can achieve it is to work together with unity.” The Lion of Lenox Avenue, one of his sobriquets, had roared. Even as he exits his perch in the nation’s capital, Rangel has an assignment, a diplomatic move to ensure that his large footprint is not muddied with contention and confrontation. Too much of that had occurred during the campaign. It was time now to set aside the differences and stabilize the district, which lately had become increasingly challenging for Rangel. Still, right down to his last days in office, the representative was sending out press releases and emails about various issues impacting his district and the nation. Looking back over his career, it’s remarkable to note that for each year in office he authored or co-sponsored a major bill. One piece of legislation he has passionately continued on next page Summer 2016 The Positive Community


THE LION OF LENOX AVE. continued from previous page

fought for has proved elusive, and that’s his bill to reinstate the draft. His Draft Act would open the draft to women and require everyone between the ages of 18 to 25 to register for the Selective Service System. “Armed conflict is unpredictable, chaotic, and costly,” he told the press. “When I served, the entire nation shared the sacrifices through the draft and increased taxes. But today, only a fraction of America shoulders the burden. If war is truly necessary, we must all come together to support and defend our nation. As a Korean War veteran, I know the toll war takes.” Even so, there were a slew of legislative victories, particularly during his tenure as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Whether for people in his district and his launch of the Empowerment Zone Act, or abroad with the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the warp and woof of his political weight was felt. His influence has been decisive as well, as a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. It’s no exaggeration to say Rangel has spent half his life continuing the legacy of his predecessor Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. as a representative of Harlem. He defeated Powell by a mere 150 votes, a margin of victory even smaller than Espaillat’s recent triumph. “All I really had to do was to dominate the vote in my own district, because it was the heart of the congressional district, geographically, politically, and numerically,” Rangel said, recalling that race back in 1970. Rangel maintained his base, but he believes he won the primary against Powell because of the reformed Democratic precincts on the Upper, Upper West Side. Over the succeeding years, that is, every two years for the next forty-six years, Rangel would be successful in keeping his seat with only a couple of real hiccups from opponents. His tenure in office is an American success story, one that he recounted in a 2008 tome entitled And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since. It’s a title that begs the question of the “since.” When was this last bad day? Perhaps it was back on the streets of Harlem when he was a fatherless high school dropout. Maybe when he had a dead-end job pushing racks in the garment district. It might have been when he was in the Army and the recipient of a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart after narrowly escaping death during the Korean War. Or it could have been the long 54-mile walk during the civil rights march in Selma in 1965 that left its mark on this feet. And it could have been the day he was found guilty of 11 ethics charges by the House Ethics Committee panel. That could have been the day. Any one of these days might have been a turning point in his life, but Rangel is as savvy a writer as he is a politician, and the title, metaphorically, is merely a device to lure you into

42 The Positive Community

Summer 2016

his story, a story that includes his long and prosperous 52year marriage to Alma Rangel, for whom a marvelous assisted living facility with 88 units is named. Of all the episodes of his eventful life, nothing is more beguiling than his membership in the Gang of Four, a legendary quartet that evokes visions of the Three Musketeers. In many respects, the four—Rangel, Percy Sutton, Basil Paterson, and David Dinkins—had adventures, particularly in the legal, political, and entrepreneurial realms, that would compare favorably with the escapades of the musketeers. It’s always fascinating to hear or read about how four great men came together to forge a friendship that is forever. Two members of the gang with a bond that would have made even Damon and Pythias envious, are no longer alive—Sutton died the day after Christmas in 2009 and Paterson two years ago on April 16. As expected, Dinkins and Rangel were crestfallen having to say goodbye to their partners. In 2013, the memory of Sutton was still fresh for Rangel as he sang his praises at the Harlem Fine Arts exhibit. “I am so pleased to be part of this wonderful event that honors my dear, dear friend Percy,” said Rangel. “Percy would have been happy to be here. He was a huge advocate for the arts. The arts are a crucial pillar in the development of our communities, our youth, and our culture. That's why I have been committed to protecting funding for the arts and related educational programs.” Whenever Rangel is asked about Paterson he reiterates what he said when his friend died, “I have never heard an unkind word about Basil Paterson in the over 60 years that I’ve known him.” Dinkins and Rangel, the youngest of the Gang, are still as active as ever, appearing at sundry events, workshops, lectures, committee meetings, and practically every event sponsored by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. Both

are key members of the Harlem Think Tank, hosted by President and CEO of the Chamber Lloyd Williams, and H. Carl McCall. A major undertaking by the chamber nowadays is the Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival, a cultural exchange, beginning during Harlem Week, and in February when a number of artists will travel to Havana for concert performances, exhibits and workshops. Rangel, who traveled to Cuba in March of this year as part of a bipartisan delegation with President Obama’s visit, is a logical choice to co-chair in partnership with Mayor Bill de Blasio for the festival. “I would have never imagined in 1995 when Fidel Castro visited Harlem that I would be traveling to Cuba with our own sitting President to meet with Raul Castro in effort to open new doors between our two nations,” Rangel said in an email from Cuba. That cultural door will be opened wider as the festival gains momentum and support from Governor Cuomo, who through his emissary, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has fully embraced the initiative. Like Rangel, the state sees some grand opportunities to expand trade, culture, and goodwill with a nation viewed for many years as a pariah. Rangel capped off a recent meeting between the various parties involved in the festival by noting that England had voted to leave the E.U. and that Donald Trump was talking about building a wall to keep Mexicans out, “but here in Harlem we are building a bridge to Cuba,” he said. And in a few days Mayor de Blasio will host an event at Gracie Mansion to give his “olé” to the festival. So, right down to his last days in Congress, Rangel has lost none of that vigor, none of that desire to keep his hand on the pulse of his constituency, overseeing the recent primary election that has ushered in a new representative. Adriano Espaillat is guaranteed victory over Tony Evans, an Adriano African American Republican in the Espaillat general election in November. Rather than learning his way around the corridors of Congress, Espaillat better get ready to continue the sit-down strike Rangel participated in during the closing session of Congress in which the Democratic representatives expressed their frustration at their colleagues across the aisle. “I have marched, I have sat-in, I have been involved in all types of demonstrations, but I have never felt more proud to see my colleagues of the Democratic Party actually say that this government is going to stop until there is a response from the Republican leadership,” Rangel said at the end of June. “I am proud that we are saying enough is enough; we are not going to take a break; we are not going to go home unless a bill comes to this floor to control the violent use of guns.

The Lion and President Barack Obama

The Lion and Hillary Clinton

“When I marched from Selma to Montgomery I didn’t have the spirit that some of my Southern brothers and sisters had,” Rangel continued. “I just thought that this was going to be another in-vain demonstration, but my God, people came from all over the country to join with us and civil rights and voting rights came to be a part of that.” There is sure to come a time when the Lion of Lenox Avenue will no longer be roaring on the ramparts for social justice or attuned to the electorate, but he has left a most impressive legacy. Rangel can look back and know he has inspired a pride of hopefuls, all of them dedicated to prowling the precincts with the same tenacity and integrity. Yes, the Lion can sleep tonight. He’s been a most resourceful leader; one that hasn’t had a bad day since, well, you know when. Summer 2016 The Positive Community



HCCI Salutes Honorable Charles B. Rangel It is impossible to capture the contributions of one who has spent more than half of his life, as a valiant and relentless advocate for those who would have gone unseen and unheard, if he had not been present. Congressman Charles B. Rangel has been a global guardian of justice and righteousness, who continually encourages our nation to be on the right side of history. His support of HCCI has been invaluable and consistent over our 30 years of existence. And, it is our hope and prayer, that he will enjoy his retirement, but will remain one of our senior statesman, guiding us to successfully face the new challenges of our day and time. Many Thanks,

Dr. Charles A. Curtis Chairman, HCCI Senior Pastor, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church

Malcolm A. Punter President & CEO

“Faith without works is dead.� - James 2:14:26 To learn about HCCI, visit us on line at

Yvette D. Clarke House Representative 9th Congressional District Thank you for your dedication and commitment to public service. I commend you for your relentless fight for what is right and just. I am wishing you the best in your retirement.

CHARLES RANGEL To a True Champion of Justice A colleague and friend PAID FOR BY CLARKE FOR CONGRESS


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

At left, TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen with the great Charlie Rangel, and above, Local 100 members at the 2015 African American Day Parade in Harlem.



The Transport Workers Union Local 100 – New York’s transportation union representing 42,000 hard-working men and women – salutes the great Charles Rangel for a lifetime of service to America, New York State, New York City and Harlem. Charlie has been a fierce fighter for working families and good, middle class union jobs his entire career. His voting record in Congress on the economy, civil rights, education, energy, the environment, transportation and infrastructure, families and children, health care, homeland security, immigration, jobs, Social Security and Medicare has reflected the needs of workers 100 percent of the time.

Thank you, Charlie, for giving voice to America’s workers, and for always being there for us.

Paid for by Transport Workers Union of Greater New York, Local 100, AFL-CIO | 195 Montague St. Brooklyn, NY 11201 | John Samuelsen, President | Earl Phillips, Secretary Treasurer Angel Giboyeaux, Administrative Vice President | LaTonya Crisp- Sauray, Recording Secretary

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Harlem Week Interview with Congressman Charles B. Rangel US Army (1948–52, Korea) Medals: Bronze Star for Valor; Purple Heart for his wounds; and he hasn't . . . “had a bad day since.”


s Congressman Charles B. Rangel is at the end of this year (2016) leaving the US House of Representatives after a historic 46-year run as Harlem’s 2nd member of Congress (the 1st member was the legendary Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. who was elected in 1945 and served until 1971 (to be succeeded by Rangel). HARLEM WEEK, Inc. wanted to ask 10 key questions of Rangel, who was one of its co-founders. HW: Tell us about the origination of the name “Gang of 4” which included you, Percy Sutton, David Dinkins, and Basil Paterson? CBR: The term began as a negative name for Percy, David, Basil, and me in the mid-eighties when a then mayoral candidate, Herman Badillo, was unable to secure our support to corner the black vote. We didn’t take exception to the term, in fact, we turned the negative accusation and term into a positive one, which now has historic connotations.

The Congressional Black Caucus circa 1971 Rangel was one of the founders

HW: How, in your estimation, has HARLEM WEEK helped the growth and development of the greater Harlem area over the years? CBR: A celebration that began as a day, morphed into a week, and is now a month-long event and has given the historic community and even wider international exposure. I attribute its cultural, economic, and civic growth to the visionary leadership of Lloyd Williams, Percy Sutton, and other luminaries.

Alma and Charlie

THE GANG OF FOUR: David Dinkins, Basil Paterson, Percy Sutton, and Charlie Rangel

46 The Positive Community

Summer 2016

HW: How did you first meet your wife, Alma? CBR: We met on a blind date at the famous Savoy Ballroom, and from that moment on, Alma and the Savoy are inextricably linked in my vision and memory.

CBR: There is nothing firm at the moment, but I know I will find a way to get involved in education, particularly for the students at The City College of New York. I plan to work in raising funds and scholarships for those students in need of financial support.

HW: What do you believe to be your most important international accomplishment while in Congress?

HW: What is your fondest memory of your beloved mother?

CBR: Let’s look at this question by regions. I am very proud of being instrumental in the growth of CARICOM and I authored the Caribbean Basin Initiative, neither of which was on the agenda when I arrived in Congress. Of course, my Rangel Amendment or the “Bloody Rangel Amendment,” as it was called by the advocates of Apartheid, has to be among the most important legislative accomplishments of my career. What it did was to deny tax deductions for all U.S. corporations doing business in South Africa at that time. Also, there’s the African Growth and Opportunity Act that has facilitated trade between the U.S. and Sub-Saharan nations on the continent.

CBR: My single mother never tired of saying “God is good.” Even during rough times, she never gave up on me and taught me never to complain.

HW: What do you believe to be your two most important domestic accomplishments?

HW: Who are your top two African-American heroes?

CBR: From a domestic standpoint, I think the National Empowerment Zone legislation has greatly enhanced urban and rural economic development. The Earned Income Tax Credit is something I fought long and hard for with the purpose of increasing allowable income of workers, earning up to $30,000 a year.

HW: What is your fondest memory of your older brother Ralph? CBR: Alma always kids me about expanding my social circle, my political advisors. Well, when Ralph was around I didn’t need any social life. With him in my life I didn’t need anyone else. Of course, “the Gang of Four” took his place when Ralph wasn’t around.

CBR: That’s not an easy question since I have so many who belong at the top. Still, there’s Muhammad Ali, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and, to stretch the category a bit, I must add the great Nelson Mandela. Let me also note that Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. should go down in history as one of the most consequential and effective political leaders we’ve ever had.

HW: How did you develop a love for jazz? CBR: Other than attending the various clubs and concerts that featured Jimmy Lunceford, Earl Hines, Lucky Millender, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington as well as many visits to 52nd Street, which was in the 40s, 50s & 60s the home of Jazz clubs, and of course Minton’s here in Harlem on W. 118th Street, most of my contact with the world of jazz and the musicians came during my time working as a night desk clerk at the famous Hotel Theresa on 125th St. HW: What are your plans after you leave the congress?

Summer 2016 The Positive Community



CHARLES B. RANGEL The 400,000 healthcare workers of 1199SEIU celebrate Congressman Rangel for his 45 years of trailblazing service. Congressman Rangel has always stood side by side with working people for quality healthcare, good jobs, rights and social justice.





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Summer 2016

CWA Local 1180


Congressman Charles B. Rangel on his retirement after serving New York’s Harlem & the Bronx for 47 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. His stellar record of accomplishments has served his constituents, New York State, and the country well. His service on the Judiciary Committee, the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, the powerful Ways and Means Committee, and numerous caucuses has given Congressman Rangel the chance to make an enormous impact as one of the most effective lawmakers in the House. CWA Local 1180 wishes Congressman Charles Rangel all the best in his retirement.

CWA Local 1180 EXECUTIVE BOARD Officers

Members at Large

Arthur Cheliotes, President

Robin Blair-Batte

Debra Paylor

Gina Strickland, First Vice President

Hilary Bloomfield

Lenora Smith

Gerald Brown, Second Vice President

Charles Garcia

Venus Williams

Gloria Middleton, Secretary-Treasurer

Denise Gilliam

Hazel Worley

Lourdes Acevedo, Recording Secretary

Lisa Lloyd

CWA LOCAL 1180 New York Administrative Employees Local 1180 Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO 6 Harrison Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10013-2898 212.226.6565



First Ever Cultural Exchange to Feature Music, Visual Arts, Dance, Film, Food and Educational Initiatives


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

Photos: Debi Jackson


o I smell pasteles? And is that the aroma of mofongo? Today, it might be; and come August, it most definitely will be! Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Representative Charles Rangel recently announced the first-ever annual Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival, an international visual and performing arts, fashion, education and culinary exchange celebrating the rich artistic connection between iconic cities Harlem, New York and Havana, Cuba. The Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival will first bring world-renowned Cuban musicians, visual artists, dancers, film, chefs and educators to the U.S. this summer as part of HARLEM WEEK activities from August 15-21. The summer streets will sizzle with the melodic sounds and tantalizing rhythms of Cuba. In February 2017, an American delegation of artists and cultural leaders will travel to Havana and take part in a number of curated events. It’s been a long time coming. Plans for this unprecedented cultural exchange have been in development for over two years, with efforts led by Congressman Rangel and The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY 5) and the Cuban Deputy Minister of Culture Fernando Rojas. “On behalf of the State of New York, I was pleased to have led a State trade mission to Cuba in April of 2015, the first by a sitting U. S. Governor. Our New York global initiative and our trade mission to Cuba are all about opening the door to new economic opportunities,” said Governor Cuomo. “Therefore, I am honored to have been asked by my friends, Congressman Charles Rangel, Congressman Gregory Meeks, and The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce to co-chair the Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival, which is our State’s first cultural and educational initiative with Cuba.” The anticipation and excitement are palpable as Harlem prepares to recognize and celebrate the roots of one of the Village’s proudest populations. Rojas informed The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce delegation, led

Voza Rivers with Lloyd Williams, HARLEM WEEK

by Congressman Rangel in March of this year, that the “Havana/Harlem initiative is magical and is about the Cuban participation in one of the most prestigious cultural events that takes place in the United States.” The festival, set to be an annual event, will also bring full circle Rep. Rangel’s tireless efforts of over 20 years to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Since 1993, he has pushed for the Free Trade with Cuba Act to allow all Americans to visit the island, enable Americans and Cubans to conduct business together (H.R.871: Export Freedom to Cuba Act of 2013L), and lift restrictions on humanitarian assistance (H.R.873: Promoting American Agricultural and Medical Exports to Cuba Act of 2013). “I am elated that in my final year in Congress, I can finally see that the goal to remove the barriers between the U.S and Cuba is going to be achieved. It’s been a long road but I and key members of the Congressional Black Caucus were dedicated to officially opening the doors to the Cuban people,” the 2nd most senior member of the House of Representatives remarked. “The Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival kick off in New York is a wonderful start to this new relationship.”

L–R: Arva Rice, NYUL and Willie Walker

Kenneth Woods, Sylvia’s Restaurant; Lloyd Williams and Marcus Samuelsson, Red Rooster Restaurant

The Havana to Harlem festival comes on the heels of President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba last March. The 90-mile trip sought to bridge a more than 50-year divide between the U.S. Cuba that began in 1961 during the Cold War. Approximately 40% of Americans currently living weren’t even born when the United States and Cuba severed diplomatic relations in 1961. For added perspective, consider that prior to President Obama’s 2016 visit, the last American President to visit Cuba was Calvin Coolidge, in 1928. President Obama has outlined his next steps for U.S.-Cuba relations: • Re-establish diplomatic relations • More effectively empower the Cuban people by adjusting regulations • Facilitate an expansion of travel to Cuba • Authorize expanded sales and exports of certain goods and services from the U.S. to Cuba • Authorize American citizens to import additional goods from Cuba • Initiate new efforts to increase Cubans’ access to communications and their ability to communicate freely Congressman Gregory Meeks is equally enthusiastic about the cultural exchange, stating, “As Co-Chairman of the House of Representatives Organization of American States Caucus, I am particularly pleased to serve in a lead role, with my esteemed colleague Hon. Charles B. Rangel, supporting the Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival. On behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus I will proudly lead the New York delegation to Havana in February 2017.” Harlem will return the favor next year when the Harlem to Havana delegation arrives in Cuba. This new cultural collaboration reinforces the unique and storied history of Harlem and Havana. “Through this new program, we look forward to showcasing the vibrant music, dance, culture and culinary offerings these two iconic places share and further

NY Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul

ing this incredible bond,” said Fred Dixon, president & CEO of NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization. “The value of cultural exchange is undeniable—and the rich artistic traditions of Harlem and Havana make this an incredible opportunity for both learning and entertainment,” said Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. “I thank Lloyd Williams, Governor Cuomo and Congressmen Rangel and Meeks for their leadership and vision to make this unique program a reality.” A U.S. delegation, including members from The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce who were joined by Rangel and Meeks, traveled to Cuba in March, the same week President Obama made his historic visit. “Harlem and Havana have been home to some of the world’s top artistic icons who have brought memorable music and art to the world” said Lloyd Williams, president of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. “This festival and a new relationship between these two iconic cities can only prove beneficial to the world.” Among the artists performing during the Harlem Week festival is Cesar Lopez, considered one of the most important saxophone players in Latin Jazz . He leads Habana Ensemble, a super group featuring some of Cuba’s top musicians. Jorge Luis Pacheco, one of the leading pianists of the new generation of jazz in Cuba will also perform. In 2015, Vanity Fair noted him among “sensational, young jazz players.” Contemporary artist, Edward Roca Salazar, also known as “Choco,” deemed by the New York Times as one of Cuba’s “most distinguished printmakers,” will also participate. He is considered a master of collography, a printmaking process in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate (such as paperboard or wood). By all accounts, the people and culture of Cuba are both beautiful and welcoming. “Havana was a wonderful life experience for me. I hope this relationship with HARLEM/HAVANA opens up to the point of free travel between Cuba and the United States. I look forward to returning to Havana,” said multiple Grammy Award-winning, singer, and songwriter Smokey Robinson. So be sure to wear comfortable shoes and do a few stretching exercises to limber up and be ready when those Afro-Cuban beats hit you and you find yourself dancing in the streets during Harlem Week. For more information, please visit Summer 2016 The Positive Community 53

Metropolitan Room at the Newark Club offers an elegant atmosphere, overlooking the New York skyline from the 22nd floor, with second-to-none dining by our world-class chef. Discover our panoramic views for your corporate or social event by contacting (973) 242-0658 or or visit

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The Positive Community

3/1/13 1:43 PM

Summer 2016







Inez Dickens’ Birthday Party


riends and well-wishers came out in mass to celebrate Harlem’s favorite lady, NYC Councilwoman Inez Dickens. Mist Harlem was the destination as the guest list a featured who’s who in Harlem community life!

L–R: Inez Dickens and Charles Rangel

L–R: Malcolm Punter, HCCI; Geoffrey Eaton, NAACP; and Entrepreneur Edgar Ramsey

L–R: Congressman Charles Rangel, Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, with Inez

Leon Eastmond and Inez

Photos: Bruce Moore

Inez and Ken Knuckles

Inez with Lloyd Williams

L–R: Michael Garner and Londel Davis

Robert Jackson and Bill Perkins Smooch Inez Dickens


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

Inez E. Dickens

Democrat for the 70th Assembly District

Continuing Commitment to Public Service

INEZ IS A DEMOCRAT THAT FIGHTS FOR: • Affordable Housing • Quality Health Care for All • Social & Criminal Justice Reform • Pay and Gender Equity • Immigrant Rights • Equal Access To Quality Education • Paid Sick & Family Leave • LGBTQ Rights • Increased Minimum Wage • Ending Gun Violence PAID FOR BY DICKENS FOR NEW YORK



Congratulations, Congressman Rangel on a distinguished career of public service to the Harlem community and the nation. Leon Eastmond & Easco Steel Boiler Corp.

Salute Congressman

Charles Rangel

And his 46 years of dedicated service

Summer 2016 The Positive Community


Pillar College Class of 2016


n Saturday May 21, 2016 Pillar College held its graduation service at Rutgers Community Church, Somerset, NJ. This year’s commencement speaker was Rev. Randall M. Lassiter, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Paterson, NJ. Pillar is an undergraduate institution of higher learning that is faithful to classical Christianity, grounded on the authority of God’s Word, and committed to challenging Christians to serve Christ with passion and purpose. As He came into the world to


for the

serve God and humanity, you also are invited to learn how to invest your life to make a lasting impact on our world. Mission Statement Pillar College educates, inspires, and equips students for excellent scholarship, service, and leadership. Rooted in and committed to Christian faith and love, Pillar fosters intellectual, spiritual, and social development among its diverse student population at various instructional sites throughout the world.

! Graduates

L-R: Archdeacon Peter Jackson, Ph.D., The Diocese of Newark; The Rev. Dr. R. Douglas Bendall; The Rev. Miguel A. Hernandez, M.Div., STM

L–R: The Rev. Deacon John H. Van Dine, Jr.; Mary H. Thurmond; Minister Cynthia D. Sayles-Morales; The Rev. Dr. R. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D.; Nancy J. Hansen; The Rev. Deacon Kenneth R. Bocinno; Adrian A. Council, Sr., Board co-chair

Newark School of Theology


n June 5, 2016 Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral, Newark, NJ, hosted The Sixteenth Graduation Class of The Newark School of Theology with The Rev. R. Douglas Bendall, founder and president, and Mr. Adrian A. Council, Sr., Board co-chair. NST teaches academic theology to ministers and lay persons in Essex County and vicinity. It offers core courses 60

The Positive Community

Summer 2016

taught in master of divinity programs. The ecumenical non-sectarian approach to the study of theology at NST is accessible to all, including inner city ministers, lay persons, those seeking to discern a call to ordained ministry, and inquirers of every religious persuasion. Fall classes begin the first week after Labor Day. For further information, email or call 973-297-0505.




800.876.9225 1 SOUTH BOULEVARD NYACK, NY 10960

Photos: Lem Peterkin

L-R: Council youth member Charles E.H. Ross-Ripley, welcome speaker; Wayne Devonish, chairman, 500 Men Making A Difference—Community Service Award; Dr. Marceline Watler, mistress of ceremonies; Rev. Elizabeth Butler, pastor, Church of New Beginnings—Ecumenical Award; Katie L. Davis, Council president; Dr. Eda Harris-Hastick, Medgar Evers professor and director of Social Work Program—Education Award; Celeste Morris, president, Morris Allsop Public Affairs—Business Award; and Danica Fouad, Class of 2016, Medgar Evers College Preparatory School—Youth Award

Medgar Evers Community Council Annual Spring Luncheon


he Community Council for Medgar Evers 2016 hosted their Annual Spring Luncheon for Scholarship and Leadership at the College’s Science Building Atrium Cafeteria. The Council serves as an advisory body to the president and the college, and raises funds via community support, forums and other activities. Founded in1980, the Council, headed by community activist Katie Davis, has provided more than $250,000 in scholarships for Medgar Evers students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. During the luncheon a special tribute honored Agnes M. Abraham, a dedicated MEC alumnae. —JNW

Tribute in memoriam to Agnes M. Abraham by NYC Health+Hospitals singers L-R: Hilton Samuel (Kings County), Angela Cooper (McKinney), and Samuel Clarke (Kings County). Ms. Abraham served as the Council’s parliamentarian and was a member of the Scholarship and Grants Committee. A proud Medgar Evers graduate, she served as president of the Student Government Association. At NYC Health+Hospitals she was Community Affairs director and former chair of the Council of Community Advisory Boards.

Katie L. Davis, president, Community Council for Medgar Evers College, Inc. and scholarship recipients Starasia John— Academic Achievement; Dr. Marceline J. Watler, mistress of ceremonies; Yahya Mused—Hon. Lucille Rose Memorial; Latoya Collins—Dr. Cecil Gloster Memorial; and Dr. Joan Tropnas, Scholarship Committee chair. Not pictured are 2016 scholarship recipients: Abena Charles—Academic Achievement; and Carmen Zinsou—Academic Achievement. 62 The Positive Community Summer 2016


Orubba Almansouri City College of New York Salutatorian 2016 B.A., English and History



Orubba Almansouri, in a graduation speech that moved Michelle Obama to invite her to a White House summit on women, told how she broke barriers that kept traditional Yemeni girls out of school. “What I was used to seeing as endless walls just became obstacles that I had to learn to break down or climb,” Almansouri said.

AWARDS Winner, Mellon Mays Fellowship Winner, Colin Powell Fellowship

GOAL Master’s in Near Eastern Studies, then a Ph.D.

CUNY’s high-quality, affordable academic opportunities make it “the American Dream Machine,” in the words of the late City College alumnus and Intel Corp. founder Andrew Grove. CUNY students dream big, work hard and accomplish much, winning the most prestigious awards in the nation. In 2016, these included 10 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships and 13 Fulbright Fellowships for research and teaching abroad, among many examples of the transformative value of a CUNY education. — Chancellor James B. Milliken




he Heggins family was busy this graduation season celebrating the accomplishments of four female family members who have progressed in varying levels of education: sisters Destiny, Taylor, and Kori and cousin, Kaia Atexide.

Graduates! for the

Destiny Heggins 21 years old—Howard University I recently graduated from Howard University’s School of Communications with a B.A. in communications and culture. From being the entertainment manager of the Taste of DC food festival to the programming director of Howard University’s School of Communications, I was very active in DC on and off campus. I was even afforded the opportunity to travel to South Africa in my senior year to research the impact of Social Strategy throughout the Fees Must Fall Student Movement. I aspire to be a creative strategist and enroll in graduate school next fall for my Masters degree in Strategy.

Taylor Heggins 18 years old—Mother Seton Regional High School Sports were a major part of my high school career. From volleyball, to softball, to track, I’ve enjoyed playing them all. I even helped create the winter track team at Mother Seton Regional High School. Before transferring to Mother Seton I was promoted to Sergeant 1st Class in my JROTC course at Union High School. Of the seven colleges to which I was accepted, I have chosen to attend American International College, where I am enrolled in a six-year accelerated Doctorate of Physical Therapy program.

Kori Angelique Heggins 6 years-old—Haledon Public School Kori Angelique Heggins graduated from Kindergarden at Haledon Public School on June 20, 2016. She will enter the 1st grade in September. Her hobbies are gardening, writing, and participating in home improvement projects with her Mom. She is very opinionated and is a leader in her own right.

Kaia Atexide 12 years-old—Berkeley Elementary School Kaia graduated from Berkeley Elementary School in Bloomfield. A member of the Gifted and Talented Program and an Honor Roll student, Kaia placed 3rd in the entire 6th grade class in an essay competition on the subject of Daughters of the Revolution. She enters the 7th grade at Bloomfield Middle School in the fall.


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

The Wight Foundation, Inc.



he Wight Foundation provides grants, based on family income, to attend boarding schools in the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regions. Applicants must currently be in the 7th grade, excel in their academic work, and attend school in the Greater Newark area (Essex, Union, Hudson, Passaic and Middlesex Counties).

David Asamoah-Duodu

Graduates! for the

Hometown: Newark, NJ. Middle school: Blessed Sacrament School (Newark, NJ). High school: The Taft School ‘12 (Watertown, CT). College: Tufts University ‘16 (Medford, MA). Major: B.S. in Clinical Psychology, Minor in Religion. Current occupation: Graduate student. Future educational plans: Starting in fall 2016, David will pursue his doctorate in psychology (Psy.D. degree) from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. Career aspirations: Licensed clinical psychologist specializing in therapy of black families and black couples.

Arlene Bigirimana Hometown: Clifton, NJ. High school: The Hotchkiss School ‘12 (Lakeville, CT). College: Johns Hopkins University ‘16 (Baltimore, MD). Major: B.A. in Public Health. Current occupation: Graduate student. Future educational plans: Starting in fall 2016, Arlene will pursue her M.S.P.H. (Master of Science in Public Health) in Health Policy and Management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Career aspirations: Protecting and serving underrepresented and underserved individuals, promoting health education, health literacy, and the advancement of health policy initiatives

Gabrielle Thomas Hometown: Newark, NJ. High school: The Purnell School ‘09 (Pottersville, NJ). College: Kenyon College ‘13 (Gambier, OH); Rutgers School of Law ‘16 (Newark, NJ). Major: Bachelor’s in political science and Juris Doctorate. Current occupation: Studying for the bar and preparing to begin as a Law Clerk for Middlesex County Family Court. Career aspirations: practicing attorney in family law, focusing in juvenile rights.

Skylar-Bree Takyi Hometown: Newark, NJ. Middle school: St. Joseph School (East Orange, NJ). High school: Phillips Academy Andover ‘16 (Andover, MA). College: Harvard University ‘20 (Cambridge, MA). Course of study: History and Literature. Career aspirations: To become a screenwriter.

Inayah Bashir Hometown: East Orange, NJ. Middle school: St. Joseph School (East Orange, NJ). High school: The Lawrenceville School ‘16 (Lawrenceville, NJ). College: Wesleyan University ‘20 (Middletown, CT). Course of study: Government. Career aspirations: To become a lawyer, with a special interest in constitutional law.

Summer 2016 The Positive Community


Essex County College On Friday, June 3, Essex County College graduated 1,433 students at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Essex County College Class of 2016 Valedictorian Ashley Morales is presented with plaque from Board of Trustees member Wesley N. Jenkins

Student Assistant Marshals lead the procession. L-R: Anna Kyrylova, Yulia Thame, Kevin Herrera, and Peace Omorogiuwa. L-R: Essex County College Acting President Dr. A. Zachary Yamba; Salutatorian Caio Matias; Valedictorian Ashley Morales; ECC Board of Trustees Chair Mrs. Bibi Taylor; and Keynote speaker Dr. Edwin W. Powell, educational psychologist/assistant professor at Howard University.

Minister Mark Beckett, Union Baptist Church, Montclair, NJ and ECC, West Caldwell Tech faculty member, sings the National Anthem

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The Positive Community

Fredrick Douglass Academy

Aashe Punter graduated from Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem on June 23, 2016. She will attend Virginia State University, an Historically Black College & University in fall 2016. Summer 2016

L–R: Proud father Malcom A. Punter, president/ CEO of HCCI; Mom Aarian, Aashe; and brother, Malcolm Punter, Jr.

Make every second of your career count. As Northern NJ’s Level 1 Trauma Center our fast-paced environment allows for an exciting and highly rewarding career.

Director of Nursing, Emergency Department The primary purpose of the Director of Emergency Services position is to provide strategic leadership and operational oversight to the Emergency Department. The Director will facilitate the smooth and efficient operations of the Emergency Department, and ensure adherence to all regulatory and quality standards, in collaboration with the ED physician leadership. The Director promotes a positive patient experience through education and support of staff. This position coordinates throughput processes, and positions the hospital to respond effectively to internal and external disasters that may occur.

Qualifications • Licensed as a Registered Nurse in the State of New Jersey.

• Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing is required; • Master’s level in Nursing or other healthrelated/business field required. • Five years of related experience required with three years of progressive management experience and a strong knowledge of ED operations is required. • Certification in Emergency Nursing preferred. • Must demonstrate significant accomplishments in an Emergency Department setting, as well as, possess strong, organizational and problem solving skills, strong communication and consensus-building skills and have a demonstrated record of promoting organizational change within a union environment. • Proven ability to work effectively with medical staff is required as is an in-depth knowledge of state and federal regulatory guidelines.

About University Hospital University Hospital ranks among the Best Hospitals in Northern New Jersey and the New York Metropolitan area, according to Best Hospitals rankings, published by U.S. News & World Report. We are home to northern New Jersey’s Level 1 Trauma Center, and with 89,978 ER visits in 2015, our fast-paced environment allows for an exciting and highly rewarding career. We have earned recognition for quality standards from the ‘Get With The Guidelines’ (GWTG) program, which puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals, helping to ensure that the care we provide to coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure patients is aligned with the latest scientific guidelines.

Apply at Also hiring Staff RN Positions: Full Time, Part Time and Per-Diem

One Goal. One Passion. Every Patient. Every Time.

Rutgers University Newark Commencement 2016

L–R: Commencement Speaker Soledad O’Brian with Chancellor Nancy Cantor


Graduates! for the


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Summer 2016

Culture L I F E , M U S I C , A R T & L I T E R AT U R E

Jacob Lawrence

Augusta Savage

The Harlem Renaissance And The City in the Machine Age At The Newark Museum

New Installation Highlights Art Deco


new installation at the Newark Museum highlights Art Deco, abstraction, and the machine aesthetic, and features a long-term installation on the Harlem Renaissance. The first major African-American art movement in the United States, the Harlem Renaissance created an entirely new black cultural identity. Leading figures of the Harlem art community are highlighted, with works by Augusta Savage, Charles Alston, Jacob Lawrence, and William H. Johnson among others. Fostered by the progressive ideas of African-American intellectuals W.E.B. DuBois and Alain Locke, the Harlem Renaissance began as a literary movement that grew to encompass both visual and performing arts. Spanning the years between World War I and the Great Depression (roughly 1918-1930), the Harlem Renaissance coincided with an economic boom in the United States. Jobs were plentiful in northern cities during this period (also known as the Roaring Twenties), and between 1920 and 1930 almost 750,000 African-Americans left the rural South and migrated to urban areas in the North in what came to be described as the Great Migration.

New York City was a major destination for migrants coming from the American South, and it was in the living rooms and artists’ studios of Harlem in these years that the brightest thinkers, musicians, playwrights, visual artists, and social theorists gathered to exchange ideas and build a new black visual culture that became integral to modern art. Visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance used both traditional and avant-garde approaches to assert a distinctively African-American aesthetic. Portraits of individuals, families, and scenes of everyday life in the South and the North were common subjects, in keeping with the goals of the Harlem Renaissance, to properly represent and celebrate African-American identity and history. Another exhibit, part of the 350th anniversary celebration of the City of Newark, is “Modern Heroics,” which features the extraordinary work of African-American artists from the Museum’s collection, Urban. Legends. —JNW A visit to the Newark Museum is worth the trip from Harlem or anywhere. You will be surprised what you’ll find there. Summer 2016 The Positive Community


Gospel/Secular ‘Night of Inspiration’ On Tap for December


n June, Robert F. Smith was elected chair of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees. Smith’s winning majority manifested three years after Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director, invited him to become a trustee at the prestigious music venue. “I am humbled and honored to serve as Carnegie Hall’s next chairman, working with the board, staff, and entire Carnegie Hall community to advance this iconic institution,” Smith said. “Carnegie Hall is perfectly placed to champion not only artistic excellence, but also access and exposure to the best music in the world. During my time on the board,” he continued, “I have enjoyed working with Clive Gillinson on this mission and look forward to building on the Hall’s already considerable outreach efforts into communities to reach our next generation of music lovers and performers. I am excited to continue our partnership and to have this opportunity to work with so many who care about Carnegie Hall, building on its extraordinary legacy to take it to even greater heights in the future.”

Photo Courtesy of Carnegie Hall

Big Things Happening At Carnegie Hall

Robert F. Smith

PHOTOS AND TEXT BY VINETTE K. PRYCE “I’m thrilled that Robert has agreed to become Carnegie Hall’s new chairman, and I personally look forward to working closely with him to chart the future course for the Hall,” Gillinson raved, ecstatic over Smith’s election. “I have greatly enjoyed our work together over his time on the board and have valued his passion for music and his global commitment to young artists through his rich and varied philanthropic efforts with the Menuhin Competition and the Sphinx Organization among others.” Gillinson added, “Robert’s appreciation for connecting underserved communities to the arts, combined with his keen understanding of the transformational power of digital technology will bring capabilities that will be very important to us as we continue to evolve Carnegie Hall’s unique leadership role in the world of the twenty-first century.” Less than two weeks later, Gillinson made another announcement: the upcoming season will include a “Night of Inspiration” at the end of the year, dedicated to diversity, gospel, and secular music and helmed by Chew Entertainment’s Ray and Vivian Chew. The power couple may be best known individually for their own successful careers: Ray, currently musical director for Dancing With The Stars, formerly led Ray Chew & The Crew at the Apollo Theater and the TV show Showtime at the Apollo, as well as being musical director for American Idol.

L-R: Ray Chew, Vivian Chew, and Clive Gillinson


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Summer 2016

Vivian Chew is a former record company talent scout who signed a diverse roster of singers–-among them Jamaican reggae artists Shabba Ranks, Patra, and Third World – to deals at SONY Music and Polygram Records. Now an international music consultant, Vivian regularly books performances in Europe and Dubai for her expansive lists of clients. Gillinson praised the notion of “exploring the world through music” and added that the Chews are “among the most extraordinary people in the world.” Chew explained to a select group of guests at a special reception on June 6 at Carnegie Hall, that the December 6 showcase will be “not just a concert” but a spectacular event. “It moved us beyond the spirit of doing a show,” Ray said, explaining his reason for tackling such a project. It was a “vision of the future…where secular and gospel can come together.” One of the stellar artists he named for the date is rhythm and blues singer Dionne Warwick. Vivian cited a group from South Africa that will make its New York City debut on the world’s most iconic performance stage in America – the Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. Yolanda Adams and Hezekiah Walker have also signed on, with more to be announced. Constructed inside the Stern Hall, the 42-feet deep wooden structure has been the site of many famous lectures, including the Tuskegee Institute Silver Anniversary Lecture by Booker T. Washington. Sissieretta Jones was the first African American to sing at the Music Hall, which was renamed Carnegie Hall the following year, June 15, 1892. Since then, some of the most celebrated African Americans have stood tall on the great stage: Paul Robeson (in 1929), Duke Ellington (1943), Louis Armstrong (1947) Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzie Gillespie’s reunion with Charlie Parker (1947), Billie Holliday (1948), Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba (1963), Eartha Kitt (1974), and Odetta (1980). Leontyne Price, Martina Arroyo, Marian Anderson, and Jessye Norman have also made their mark at the midtown location. Although a mention of the venue conjures up thoughts of symphonies, virtuosos, chamber music, Chopin, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky, President Woodrow Wilson (in 1919), Mark Twain (in 1906), and The Beatles (in February1964), along with a number of festivals--tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Fats Waller, and cultural presentations are also included in the storied history and tradition of the New York landmark. Included, too, on previous billings are lineups featuring jazz, hip-hop, spoken word, rhythm and blues, pop, and some of the most eclectic performers from all corners of the world. Now celebrating 125 years, the renowned venue may be in for a banner year with a promise of “more choices... more variety… more bravos” during their 2016-2017 season. There is an age-old joke in which a musician is lost in New York and asks someone, “Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” And the punchline reply is “Practice, practice, practice.” That’s true, and there are a few other ways, too. Take the N, R, or Q trains, “practice,” and sing some gospel with the Chew Crew.

I’m thrilled that Robert has agreed to become Carnegie Hall’s new chairman, and I personally look forward to working closely with him to chart the future course for the Hall

Reverend Willard Ashley and Elder Reverend Kevin E. Taylor

For ticket info. Check

Summer 2016 The Positive Community



Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music • 10/7-8

Savion Glover’s Chronology of a HooFer

Festival of Praise

Festival of Soul

Wednesday, November 9 at 8pm

Thursday, November 10 at 7:30pm

Friday, November 25 at 8pm

See YouTube sensation Miranda Sings, the zany character performed by Colleen Ballinger-Evans, in a live comedy show!

A soul-stirring gospel extravaganza with GRAMMY winner Fred Hammond, Hezekiah Walker and more! Hosted by the comedian Earthquake.

An extravaganza of ‘70s soul bands, Russell Thompkins, Jr. & New Stylistics, The Dramatics feat. LJ Reynolds, The Jones Girls feat. Shirley Jones & more!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle

An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Hip Hop Nutcracker featuring Kurtis Blow

Thursday, December 15 at 8pm

Saturday, December 17 at 3pm

Saturday, December 10 at 11am

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, best-selling author and director of the Hayden Planetarium, unravels the mysteries of modern science for Earthlings.

NJPAC’s very own holiday smash is back! Rap legend Kurtis Blow rejoins the cast for this mash-up for the entire family.

Saturday, October 8 at 8pm

The tap master of Broadway’s Shuffle Along and Tony Award winner chronicles his performance history through photos, words, stories and rhythmic percussion.

The author’s most beloved tales come to vivid life in Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s magical, hour-long production.

Miranda Sings

Cinderella State Ballet Theatre of Russia Sunday, December 4 at 3pm

Set to the music of Prokofiev, Cinderella is one of the most magical of the storybook ballets, the enchanting story of wishes that really do come true.

discover.create.grow. Arts Education@NJPAC Discover after-school and Saturday programs at NJPAC. Classes in Hip Hop, Musical Theater, Dance, Jazz and more! Visit for more information.





Ray Chew

Sa le at Aug 8 A us M t 29

Donnie McClurkin

A Night of Inspiration Tuesday, December 6 at 8 PM Ray Chew, Music Director

g n i m o C

! n o o S

Yolanda Adams | Shirley Caesar Donnie McClurkin | Cantor Azi Schwartz Richard Smallwood | Dionne Warwick New Faith Church from Cape Town, South Africa Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Chew Entertainment.

Tickets start at $36. Details, tickets, and more great concerts at, 212-247-7800, or the Box Office. Artists, programs, and dates subject to change. Š 2016 CHC.

Proud Season Sponsor

Summer 2016 The Positive Community 160805_Positive Community_Night of Inspiration_Half Page + Artists.indd 1


8/1/16 10:30 AM

The Genius of Otto Neals: BY EULENE INNISS Painter, Sculptor, Printmaker



The Positive Community

Summer 2016

Otto Neals accepts Award from Deborah Pope Photos: Lem Peterkin

ducators have long advocated for Arts education. They see the innumerable lifelong lessons students learn: practice makes perfect, collaboration leads to creativity, small differences can have large effects, and there are several paths to problem solving. Otto Neals, a native son of Lake City, South Carolina, has lived in Brooklyn since he was four. He is a celebrated painter, sculptor, and printmaker. Self-taught, Neals says that he remembers having an interest in art from around the age of four. Other than a one time high school course in sign painting and a workshop at Brooklyn Museum, his raw, unharnessed talent evolved into masterpieces. He was privileged to bond with Artist Shirley Hawkins in 1958 and later Ernie Crichlow, Jacob Lawrence, and others. Through membership in an arts group, Neals sharpened his skills and received constructive advice. Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Alliance along with the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation--named for the famed author of children’s books--commissioned him to create a bronze sculpture entitled Peter and Willie, based on the Keats’ works and illustrations. The sculpture, which depicts a child reading with his dog, is located in the “Imagination Playground” in Prospect Park. For this work, Neals was presented the New York City Arts Commission’s “Award for Excellence in Design.” The site was dedicated as a literary landmark on June 10, 2016. Among the other commissions Neals has created are ten bronze plaques for the Harlem Walk of Fame, a sculpture for Brooklyn’s Children Center, a 20-foot mural for Kings County Hospital, and recently, a bronze portrait of the late Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton for the City University of New York. Neals’ works are featured at the Library of Congress, the Columbia Museum of Arts in South Carolina, the Smithsonian institute, Huntsville Museum of Arts, and the Collections of Congressman John Lewis, jazz musician Randy Weston, actor/singer Harry Belafonte, and Oprah Winfrey. Neals spoke about some of life’s challenges that helped to shape his career. He had a love for the saxophone, but after many attempts at playing, had to acknowledge that his strength was in art. After leaving the military service, he was employed by the Postal Service and for seven years persistently applied for a position in the Art Department and was denied. With union intervention, he was eventually assigned a position as a sign painter and rose to the position of head illustrator, before retirement. Mr. Neals’ message to the youth is, ”Always think positively. Do the right thing to increase your talent. We have all been granted talents by the Creator, we must build on them!”

Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna with Otto Neals

Tammy Hall reading to the students as Otto Neals looks on

Literary Landmark designation for the Peter & Willie Statue By Otto Neals

P.S. 321 and P.S. 9 students wished the late author-illustrator Ezra Jack Keats a Happy Birthday

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Bergen/Passaic Chapter

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter Celebrates 30 Years Of Service & Advocacy in Our Communities


or 30 years the Bergen/Passaic Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. (NCBW 100) has advocated on behalf of black women and girls promoting gender equality in areas of health, education, public policy, art, culture, youth, and economic development. It was no surprise, then, that their annual fundraiser would be extra-special this year. The 30th anniversary festivities on August 1, 2016 took place at The Hanover Marriott in Whippany, New Jersey. Over 650 guests were present to cheer on, support, and celebrate the women and their accomplishments. President Yvonne L. Witter and Founding Chapter President Mary Ann Miller served as co-chairs along with past presidents Deborah “Beechie” Witcher Jackson, Jaclyn Durant, Rita Williams-Bogar, Rosa Whiteside Bland, Carolyn Carman-Blackwell, and Ursula Parrish Daniels, PhD. Actress, author, Emmy-award winner, and comedian Sherri Shepherd kept the party-goers in stitches. Guests enjoyed a contemporary jazz reception that included a performance by violinist Laticia Lewis. The dynamic Valarie Adams and the Dimension Band and DJ Kevin “Sugar Daddy” Woodley kept them on the dance floor.


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

Proceeds from the gala, the organization’s major source of funding, make it possible for NCBW 100 to provide community programs and events that enhance our community. President Witter in her remarks noted that this year marked “a significant increase in private and corporate level sponsorship support. Our goal has been to provide programming in our target areas that positively affect the everyday lives of black women and girls.” Some examples are the annual heart healthy wine tasting, where disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and stroke are brought to light; hosting World AIDS Day red ribbon youth forums to raise HIV awareness in our youth; support of student STEM education; and symposia focusing on estate planning and retirement options. “Our biggest accomplishment,” Witter explained, “was establishing the Mary Ann Miller Scholarship Fund for the deserving young ladies who are members of our role model mentoring program. —JNW Visit photo gallery for more NCW100 photos

Photos: Karen Waters

L-R: Dr. Ursula Parrish Daniels and Troy Mitchell

Guests dancing the night away

Tommy DiDario-Benitez, Sandra Rice, and Gio DiDario-Benitez

L-R: Rev. Dr. Marilyn M. Harris, Tileah A. Saleem, and Johnnie L. Alexander L-R: Janice Griffith Johnson, Sherri Shepherd, and President Yvonne L. Witter

ABOVE; L-R: Sharon Banks-Williams, PhD.; Joanne English Rollieson; and Stephanie Greene Davenport

L-R: Thom Jackson; Beverly Baker-Jackson, Esq.; First lady Nicole and Rev. Darrell James

AT LEFT; L–R: Deborah Witcher Jackson; Deborah E. Collins, Esq.; and Joyce Wilson Harley, Esq. Summer 2016 The Positive Community


Make this your Museum.

NE S a COM RE WA S R tu r d MU IDE K N o a y , NIT NT on Oc Y D – 4 t o b AY pm er 29


Newark residents join for free. 1965 John J. O’Neill Bequest Fund 65.65 Charmion, von Wiegand, The Sign of Keeping Still, 1953, Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in., Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Miller, 1956 56.47 © Courtesy of the Estate of Charmion von Wiegand and Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY


The Positive Community

Summer 2016

49 washington street, newark, nj 973.596.6550 711 tty On-site parking available for a fee.


Perfect Security—Celebrating the Life of Tunesha Crispell


ust two years and two months after the passing of her husband, Composer and Musician Melvin Crispell II, Tunesha Crispell now joins him in eternal rest after a long battle with cancer. Tunesha was the creative voice that inspired her husband to write lyrics about our Father that remain unique and unduplicated. She was a gifted songwriter as well, but singing about her love for God was when she shined. It was her voice that put her on albums and sent her around the world—exceeding even her own expectations of God’s promises to her. Her jazzy style and sound—let’s just call her a Contralto (because she could do it all), was always able to capture the ear and the heart of the lost. Even those who already loved God and those who just loved music had to listen again to her interpretation of hymns and new classics; it was Tunesha’s gift that made her known as the “Lady with the voice like light.” The Brooklyn, NY native was obviously gifted to be musically inclined because she inherited it through her parents. Tunesha could teach, play, and sing because in her house, music was a second language. Her mother sang with gospel groups growing up, and her father was a secular artist back in the day, up until the ’90s. Her love of music, coupled with the love of Christ, was her contribution to gospel music throughout local churches. Both Tunesha and Melvin Crispell were known to have that Brooklyn sound—it’s that Bible Way Church exclusive sound that drew people. Tunesha was that girl to watch out for, not as a threat, but for God’s glory to be exalted and you heard it in every note. The transition from background singer to the forefront wasn’t a comfortable one at first, but Tunesha was ready to be on the frontline. She lent her voice to both the local up-andcoming artists and the well-established ones. You may remember her as one of the lead voices on several of Stellar Award Nominee James Hall’s projects (which also included her husband)—songs like “God Specializes,”

“Sweet Jesus Boy,” and “Anything But Fail.” You can also hear her featured on the Godfather Rev. Timothy Wright’s Live In New York album as well. After lending her voice to others, Crispell was ready to do her own solo project, Just as I am, with her first single “Holy,” written by her husband out of an experience of God in nature. Of course, Tunesha never found it robbery to contribute to Melvin’s entire projects including his Testimony live recording in Charlotte, NC (where she and her husband relocated years ago) as well as many others, some probably not even recorded. In March of 2016, she was captured on video at the Levite Community Fellowship Church in Chesapeake, Virginia singing “I Win.” About a month ago, on Facebook a Go Fund Me page called “Tunesha Crispell’s Road to Recovery” began being circulated. This is a tribute and testimony of how giving up was not an option. While watching it, you could hear her melodic voice in the background softly singing “He’s Able.” The point is, she never lost her faith. As a matter of fact, she didn’t lose her battle; she’s recovered in the arms of The Lord. Tunesha was a beautiful woman of God, a compassionate person who genuinely made a memorable impression on everyone she met, even with just her smile. She was loved and will be truly missed, but her sound will remain to be repeated, but never duplicated. Tunesha’s incomparable love was her son, Melvin Crispell III. He’s left to carry on the musical legacy of both his mom and dad (with that infectious smile) and if you surf the web, you’ll find that he’s already begun to make his mark. The homegoing Celebration began with “A Night of Music Honoring The Life of Tunesha Crispell” followed by the official homegoing service, both held at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC where Leonzo D. Lynch is pastor. Rest easy, Tunesha Crispel October 26,1972–July, 13, 2016 Summer 2016 The Positive Community 79

The Church That Founded Newark

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka

The Crane Family, descendants of First Church founders; the Honorable Ras Baraka, Reverend Dr. Glen Misick, and Dr. Jennifer Misick

Newark’s Founding Families Return to the City Greeted by Mayor Ras Baraka


ow many institutions can say they had a role in the founding of a city, a country, and one of America’s most prestigious universities? And how many places host a network of tunnels that Harriet Tubman allegedly traversed? The 350th Anniversary Founder’s Day Worship Service celebrated the role of First Presbyterian Church in the founding of Newark, the Underground Railroad, and the establishment of Princeton University. During this historic occasion, the church honored members of the Crane family who trace their ancestry back to the 1600s at the church. On Sunday May 15, 2016, at First Presbyterian Church, The Reverend Glen C. Misick, the church’s first black pastor, officiated and Mayor Ras Baraka spoke. Rev. Misick conducted several baptisms using the historic baptismal bowl made in England in the 1600s and given to the church by the Crane Family. Rev. Misick, who joined the congregation in 2013 after many years in Harlem, says he is “energized by 80

The Positive Community

Summer 2016

the role that First Presbyterian can play in the city’s transformation” and has been busy exploring ways he and the congregation can connect with the community. The church has begun to host the Urban League of Essex County Young Professionals monthly meetings, as well as explore tourism opportunities to build awareness of the church’s rich history. For instance, one of its pastors was the Reverend Aaron Burr, father to the younger Burr who infamously shot Alexander Hamilton during a dual. Misick has also begun a quarterly community feeding program in partnership with Catholic Charities. First Presbyterian Church also known as “Old First Church,” was founded in 1666 and has a rich treasure of authentic records, which declares that it is “the Church that founded Newark.” It was also rumored to have been used as a regular stop on the Underground Railroad. To learn more visit or call 646-856-9076.

NC350 865 Summer in the City 7x4.75 copy.pdf




10:55 AM

Arts! Music! Films!

Festivals! Parades! Tours!

Community Events & More!











August 13, 10am-11pm. Raindate August 20. St. Peter's Park, 306-350 Leslie Street

17th Annual Food and Music Festival.

August 13

West Ward Outreach Festivals: Celebration of the Young Child

4-9pm at Ivy Hill Park. 5 Manor Drive


August 13, 11am-6pm Orange Street (between Roseville Avenue and N. 11th Street) Festival: August 13-14, 10am at 44-60 Clover Street Parade: August 14, 12pm. Leaving at Newark Penn Station

For more info

August 20, 11am-6pm Vailsburg Section on S. Orange Avenue (between Sandford and Stuyvesant Avenues)

Follow the fun #newark350

LAW OFFICE OF CLARENCE BARRY-AUSTIN, P.C. 76 South Orange Avenue Suite 207 South Orange, NJ 07079 TELEPHONE: 973-763-8500 FAX: 973-763-4800 MEMBER OF NJ AND NY BARS • CERTIFIED CIVIL TRIAL ATTORNEY

Selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers List for the tenth consecutive year Practice limited to personal injury and other civil litigation matters


For all events:

Your Vote Counts! Register Today.

Email: Website:

Summer 2016 The Positive Community



treet treet Willia treet le oo ee erse erse le oo e erse oh ii ee ss astor eee oh astor oh i e s astor “The Church Church Without “The WithoutWalls” Walls” “The Church Without Walls”

1891 1891 2016 1891 --- 2016 2016

Montclair Township Theme: Legends…Then and Now Theme: Legends…Then and Theme: Legends…Then andNow Now Please Join Us As We Celebrate 125 Years PleaseJoin Join Us Us As As We Celebrate 125 Please Celebrate 125Years Years Rejoicing andWe Thanking God… Rejoicing and Thanking God… RejoicingHeand Thanking God… is Amazing! He is Amazing!

He is Amazing!

Sunday, Sunday, September September 18, 18, 2016 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016 GUEST PREACHER GUEST PREACHER




10:00 10:00 A.M. A.M. SERVICE SERVICE

10:00 A.M. SERVICE 82

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Summer 2016


ilhelm “Wil” B. Young was sworn in as Deputy Police Chief of Montclair, NJ on June 24, 2016, along with new Police Chief Todd M. Conforti and Deputy Chief Tracy L. Frazzano. Pictured above: Joined by family members, Young takes the oath of office. L-R: Son, Dallas and daughter, Sierra, students at Montclair High School; and his wife, Wendy. His brother, John S. Young holds the bible. Montclair Municipal Clerk Linda Wanat looks on.

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Revival Evening Service Wed. 7:00 p.m. Guest Preacher: 
 Rev. Jeffrey M. Crenshaw, Pastor, Greater Tabernacle Baptist Church. Revival Evening Service Sun. 5:00 p.m. Guest Preacher: 
 Rev. Carl L. Washington, Pastor, New Mt. Zion Baptist Church.





Youth Revival Service Thurs. 7:00 p.m. Guest Preacher: 
 Min. Terri Lynn Baker, Youth Minister, New Gethsemane Baptist Church. Anniversary Banquet Fri. 7:00 p.m. at Eastwood Manor, Bronx, NY. Keynote Speaker: Rev. Reginald Williams, Pastor, Charity Baptist Church. Tickets are $125, in advance.

Anniversary Worship Services Sunday at 11 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. Guest Preachers:
 (morning) Rev. Brenda K. Davis, Paradise Baptist Church; (afternoon) Rev. Michael A. Walrond, First Corinthian Baptist Church.



All events take place at the Church unless noted.
 For additional information and Banquet Tickets contact: Trenace Phillips, Chairperson, at 917-744-0363 • or • Tracy Atkins, Co-chairperson, at 917-337-6494


The Mayor’s  Office,                                     The  Department  of  Recreation,                                     Cultural  Affairs  &  Senior  Services                                    


Dates &  Locations:  

Thursday, August  11,  2016  @Chadwick  &  Hawthorne  Ave  (South  Ward)                                 Thursday,  August  18,  2016    @  Peter  Francisco  Park  (East  Ward)                                                 Thursday,  August  25,  2016    @  Elmwood  Park  (North  Ward)                                                         Thursday,  September  1,  2016  @  Hyatt  Court  (Central  Ward)                                                       Thursday,  September  8,  2016  @  West  Side  Park  (West  Ward)  

6:00pm –  9:00pm             Come Out and Enjoy Jazz,   Hip Hop & House Music  

Lobby rush for one of Newark’s most anticipated dramatic stage productions

While You Were Preaching

L–R: Actress Felicia Eaton; Playwright Pastor Michael Carr; Rev. Louise-Scott Rountree; President/CEO New Day Associates, Mr. John Blassingame; and Director Dwayne Hickman

Pastor Darryl Alexander plays the preacher



OW, redemption never felt so REAL! Brick City’s own native Playwright/Executive Producer Pastor Michael Carr hit another homerun! On May 21, 2016, the long-awaited return of While U Were Preaching debuted at historic Newark Symphony Hall, and what an amazing debut! Filling both shows, the audience was literally on the edge of its seats and some members almost left their seats to make a beeline for the stage! Certainly this playwright has hit the nail on the head with this dramatic and provocative stage production. Every leader, pastor, and laymen MUST see this riveting production—the singing and the actors were nothing short of amazing and the stage was on fire, leaving the audience wanting more. While U Were Preaching is destined for greatness! This is the best off -Broadway production I’ve witnessed in a long time! Missed it? No worries as my sources say that While U Were Preaching is set to return this fall. Pre-order tickets by contacting the Symphony Hall box office @ 973-643-8014 or emailing, and remember to like While U Were Preaching on Facebook at http://www.facebook. com/initials.entertainment.

Summer 2016 The Positive Community FB.ContemporaryBride.3.5x4.75.indd 1


6/27/16 6:00 PM

Pastor Albert Morgan Celebrates Anniversary BY CHERRI WELLS


nion Baptist Temple, Bridgeton New Jersey enjoyed a day of love for “God’s Mailman” on Sunday, May 22nd 2016. This day was the first of a three part series commemorating Minister Albert Morgan’s 30th Pastoral Anniversary. Our radio and television listeners were our special invited guests for the day. Pastor Morgan was excited to have his parents, Deacon L. E and Mother Gloria Morgan, in fellowship today. The Alumni from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) came to support their schoolmate. During the morning service, the Youth Department presented Pastor Morgan with a quilt made of their personal sentiments and pictures. The teen groups told the attributes of Pastor Morgan. The surprise psalmist for the day was the incomparable Lecresia Campbell. She led the Union Baptist Temple’s Levites in her song, “In His Safety.” Pastor Morgan preached from his series based on “Not A Fan, But A Follower,” the sermon, “What… You Don’t Love Me No More?” Pastor Morgan stated, “I am just as excited today as I was thirty years ago when I was first installed by Reverend B. F. Johnson (Metropolitan Baptist Church, Newark).

Saints from Jerusalem Baptist Church Trenton NJ

Following the morning service, everyone was invited to a fellowship dinner at the Alms Center. The delicious meal was prepared by Deacon Anthony Hannah. Pastor Morgan greeted everyone. He was astonished that so many of his family, church members, friends, and listeners had dinner with him.







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The Positive Community

Summer 2016

Summer 2016 The Positive Community


Chicago, 1927 and she’s The Mother of the Blues... GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY! 732.345.1400 or 21 Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, NJ


Pursuing Peace Among Blacks and Police Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”–Matthew 22:34-40 (New International Version)


ecently, news media has been inundated with reports of bloodshed, including mass violence. Some of this violence has involved black Americans and police. Whether or not this continues, I think that we Christians should purposely stay focused on loving God and loving people. Typically, we human beings tend to defend our overly aggressive actions by blaming others. When police kill an unarmed black man, the police frequently claim they felt threatened. On the other side, I suspect that if the black former soldier who recently massacred police in Dallas, TX had had the opportunity to explain his actions, he would have insisted that he was implementing justice for atrocities committed by police against blacks in the United States. God instructs us to align our own actions with His unchanging will. His instructions often seem illogical to us: We wonder, why should I “turn the other cheek” if someone hits me? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ preached, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NASB) So we should move beyond just being peaceful. Christ says we are blessed when we make peace. Natural human mindsets focus on defending ourselves, or even toward seeking revenge for past atrocities committed against us. But in Luke 6:31, Christ says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Our natural inclination is to do to others in reaction to what they do to us. If they treat us nicely, we may treat them nicely. If they treat us badly, we are likely to treat them badly to

punish them for how they have treated us, and/or to demonstrate that we are not pushovers. But Christ’s instruction suggests that we should treat people well regardless of how they treat us. We should introspectively examine ourselves to determine how we want to be treated, and then treat other people the way that we want to be treated, even as we pursue justice. That’s not natural, but it is God’s will. I believe it is through God-centered minds that we improve society, not through basic instincts. Then there’s the issue of black folks being, effectively, outsiders in American society—despite our having been here, historically, much longer than most white ethnic groups. “Do not mistreat an alien, or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt” –Exodus 22:21 (NIV)

The definitions of “alien” in Webster’s Unabridged Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language include: “a resident born in or belonging to another country who has not acquired citizenship by naturalization” and “a person who has been estranged or excluded.” Both definitions applied to the Jews in ancient Egypt. Regarding African-Americans in the United States before the Civil War, the Dred Scott Decision pretty much paralleled the first definition. The second definition continues to apply, to a large degree, to African Americans in 2016. We should recognize these facts and continue to seek justice. And while so striving, we should, as God instructs, treat our oppressors as we want to be treated, regardless of how they treat us. And we should be peacemakers. History demonstrates that victories against oppression can be achieved through organized Christ-based methodology. The abolitionist movement was largely Christ-based. So was the Civil Rights movement. Let’s stay on the proven path to victory.

Summer 2016 The Positive Community




Vol. 16, No. 6

CHARLES RANGEL— AN INTERNATIONAL LEGEND By Lloyd Williams The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce

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.

90 The Positive Community


Summer 2016

he Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival is a most challenging and important international music, art, and cultural exchange chaired by Congressman Charles B. Rangel and co-chaired by NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo, NY City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Congressman Gregory Meeks. The concept began approximately two years ago when Congressman Rangel encouraged the establishment of a working relationship between Havana—led by the Cuban Ministry of Culture; and Harlem—led by The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. In the summer of 2015, at the request of Congressman Rangel, I led a delegation to Havana to establish face to face communication between the Cuban government and the Chamber’s delegation of twenty-five persons including: Council Member Inez Dickens; Voza Rivers, Harlem Arts Alliance; Michael Garner, 100 Black Men; Larry Scott Blackmon, Fresh Direct; Zenaida Rodriguez, MTA; Barbara Askins, 125th St. BID; Deborah Jackson, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation; and others. In our meetings with the Cuban Ministry of Culture, the concept for Harlem/Havana took off. Returning to New York we met with Congressman Rangel, who coordinated a series of meetings with key New Yorkers including Hon. H. Carl McCall, SUNY; Karen Witherspoon, The City College of New York; Hazel Dukes, NAACP; Curtis Archer, Harlem Community Development Corporation; Fred Dixon, NYC & Company; Kenneth Knuckles, Esq., Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; Charles Flateman, The Shubert Organization; and Donna Walker-Kuhne, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The concept was thoroughly discussed, embraced and put into motion. The planning continued during a return visit to Havana in March

Congressman Rangel overlooks the scene on the street below from the balcony of the historic Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso

of this year. The Cuban Ministry of Culture brought together five of their top Afro-Cuban bands for our delegation to select two; four fashion designers for us to select two; three fine artists for us to select one; and three dance companies for us to select one— all designated to come to Harlem in August. Much of the planning was under the leadership of Congressman Rangel, who led the March Harlem delegation in the meetings as well as in the artist selection processes. Ironically, our delegation’s arrival overlapped the much heralded visit of President Barack Obama to Cuba—the first time a sitting president had visited that nation in over ninety years. During the President’s time in Havana he announced the relaxation of the U.S. embargo on Cuba, which had been in place for over half a century. As a result, what was first announced following the President’s visit to Cuba was the launching of the Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival taking place from August 14 through August 21. The festival will feature performances and programs at the Apollo Theater; Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine; First Corinthian Baptist Church; Jazzmobile; NJPAC; eight Harlem restaurants including Sylvia’s, Harlem’s Floridita, Red Rooster, and others; an Upper Manhattan Auto Show featuring classic cars depicting the vehicles of Havana; outdoor festivals at Summer in the City, HARLEM DAY, and more—all because of the vision of Congressman Rangel. Rangel’s leadership is consistent with his historic international outreach. Congressman Rangel’s leadership in bringing about the relaxation of the U.S. Embargo on Cuba will assure that his legacy carries forth in the annual Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival

C h a i r m a n , Co n g res s m a n C h a r l es Ra n g e l & N Y Sta te G ove r n o r

A n d rew C u o m o , N Y C i ty M a yo r B i l l d e B l a s i o & Co n g res s m a n Gregory Meeks in concert with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and Cuban Ministry of Culture wishes to acknowledge a n d t h a n k t h e v i s i o n , d e d i c a t i o n , c o m m i t m e n t a n d s u p port of those who served as Sponsors, Co-Sponsors, Partners and Supporters of the











The Official Airline of HARLEM HAVANA 2016

The Official Ground Transportation Partner

The Official Hotel Partner

The Official Wine of HARLEM HAVANA 2016

You are invited to join with us in HAVANA in February 2017 as H A R L E M g o es to H AVA N A . a n d a g a i n i n H A R L E M i n Au g us t 2017 as HAVANA comes back to HARLEM


Harlem Summer Issue 2016  

Celebrating U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel, HARLEMWEEK, Havana to Harlem, Welcomed into the Lion’s Den, HCCI Opens Charles Curtis Plaza,...

Harlem Summer Issue 2016  

Celebrating U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel, HARLEMWEEK, Havana to Harlem, Welcomed into the Lion’s Den, HCCI Opens Charles Curtis Plaza,...