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™ April 2016




Bible Economics: Obie McKenzie on Stewardship

What do these colleges and universities have in common? Albert Magnus College ◆ Albright College ◆ American University ◆ Bloomfield College ◆ Boston College ◆ Bowie State University ◆ Bryant University ◆ Cabrini College ◆ Caldwell College ◆ Cedar Crest College ◆ Centenary College ◆ Chestnut Hill College ◆ Clark Atlanta University ◆ College of Saint Elizabeth ◆ Cornell University ◆ Delaware State University ◆ Dickinson College ◆ Dillard University ◆ Drew University ◆ East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania ◆ Essex County College ◆ Fairleigh Dickinson University-College at Florham ◆ Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus ◆ Felician College ◆ Gannon University ◆ Georgetown University ◆ Georgia State University ◆ Georgian Court University◆ Howard University ◆ Hutchinson Community College ◆ Johnson & Wales University-Charlotte ◆ Johnson & Wales University-Denver ◆ Johnson & Wales University-North Miami ◆ Johnson & Wales University-Providence ◆ Johnson C. Smith University ◆ Kean University ◆ Kutztown University of Pennsylvania ◆ La Roche College ◆ Lincoln University of Pennsylvania ◆ Long Island University-C W Post Campus ◆ Longwood University ◆ Loyola Marymount University ◆ Loyola University Maryland ◆ Loyola University-New Orleans ◆ Lycoming College ◆ McDaniel College ◆ Mercy College-Main Campus ◆ Messiah College ◆ Monmouth University ◆ Montclair State University ◆ Morgan State University ◆ New College of Florida ◆ New Jersey City University ◆ New Jersey Institute of Technology ◆ New York Institute of Technology ◆ North Carolina A&T University ◆ Northeastern University ◆ Notre Dame of Maryland University ◆ Nova Southeastern University ◆ Occidental College ◆ Pace University-New York ◆ Pepperdine University ◆ Quinnipiac University ◆ Ramapo College of New Jersey ◆ Rider University ◆ Rowan University ◆ Rutgers University-Camden ◆ Rutgers University-New Brunswick ◆ Rutgers University-Newark ◆ Saint Louis University-Main Campus ◆ Saint Peter’s University ◆ Seton Hall University ◆ Smith College ◆ South Carolina State University ◆ Southern Methodist University ◆ Spelman College ◆ St. John’s University-New York ◆ St. Thomas University ◆ Stanford University ◆ Stevens Institute of Technology ◆ Suffolk University ◆ SUNY College at Oneonta ◆ Sweet Briar College ◆ Syracuse University ◆ Temple University ◆ The College of New Jersey ◆ The College of Saint Rose ◆ The New School ◆ The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey ◆ The University of Tampa ◆ The University of West Florida ◆ Tuskegee University ◆ Union County College ◆ University of Bridgeport ◆ University of Central Florida ◆ University of Delaware ◆ University of Hartford ◆ University of Maine ◆ University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth ◆ University of Miami ◆ University of New Haven ◆ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ◆ University of Saint Joseph ◆ University of Scranton ◆ University of South Florida-Main Campus ◆University of The Sciences ◆ Ursinus College ◆ Utica College ◆ Virginia State University ◆ Virginia Union University ◆ William Paterson University of New Jersey ◆ Xavier University of Louisiana

They have all accepted students from the KIPP NEW JERSEY senior class of 2016. Congratulations seniors on your hard work and accomplishments.

Enroll, apply, and get more info at

Deeply rooted in the community ®

2016 Ray Kroc Award recipient Billivens Sanon

Billivens Sanon of Oakridge, NJ started working with the Cottrell Organization after moving from Haiti in 2002. He was promoted to manager after only a year and has stayed with the organization since. Sanon can be counted on as a proponent of positive change. His pr shadow is profound within the community and organization he represents, and is consistently looked for to lead the way with business efforts. His strength lies in his positive innuence on his team, which reeects into his customer experience and in return, ranks his store top in the region for overall customer satisfaction.

2016 Ray Kroc Award recipient Patricia Tulloch

Established in 1999, the Ray Kroc Award was created in memory of McDonald's founder, Ray Kroc, to acknowledge hardworking restaurant managers who make his vision of excellence come to life in the restaurants and for customers every day.

Patricia Tulloch of Rosedale, NY is an employee of McDonald’s McDonald franchisee Dave Hatton. Originally from Jamaica, Tulloch is the General Manager of a Brooklyn McDonald's where she leads a crew of 50 employees. Patricia’s vision is to be a role model for what she expects from the management team and fr crew each and every day, working both sides of the counter with energy and enthusiasm. This leads to a changing culture where she empowers her team to provide an exceptional level of service to her customers, while running one of the highest volume restaurants in the region.

McDonald’s New York Tri-State Area Franchisees and McDonald's Corporation are proud to celebrate the 2016 Ray Kroc Award winners!

@McDNYTriState ©McDonald’s 2016

April 2016



Cover Photo:Bryant Branch Price

MONEY ..................................14


EDUCATION........................22 HEALTH ...................................42 CULTURE ................................46

Features Black Churchmen Celebrate MLK ..................10 Wall Street Project Hosts Clergy ...................14 Women Honored by United Way ....................16 NJ Pastor Accepts UN Post ......................20



&also inside

Guest Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 My View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Wealth Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

UNCF Gala Raises $1Million+ ........................22 Deltas Do It Again .........................................26 Tribute to Rev. M. William Howard .................31 Queen Geniuses .............................................34 Bridge Street Celebrates Service .....................36 NJ Devils Partner with Prudential & Barnabas...42 Talent Kicks Off Autism Awareness Month ......43 Harlem Nuns Celebrate 100 Years ....................46

Fitness Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 St Paul’s Historic Installation .....................48 Gospel Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Sarah Vaughn Honored with Postage Stamp..52 Selah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Black Folks Play Bridge, Too.............................54 The Way Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Like Father, Like Son.......................................55 The Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Spring Cleaning Your Desktop......................58 4

The Positive Community April 2016

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AnnuAl Alumni/Ae & PArtner DAy AwArDs luncheon “Celebrating the light in the ChurCh”

monDAy, mAy 2, 2016, 12:30 P.m. - 3:00 P.m. Special Recognition of alumni/ae who gRaduated in yeaRS ending in ‘6 and ‘1 Recognition of miniStRy paRtneRS

guest PreAcher Rev. Dr. Humberto E. Alfaro

Associate Professor of Ministry Studies, NYTS Director, Institute of Pentecostal Studies

the PArtner in ministry leADershiP AwArD Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III

Senior Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church

the Vernon m. Dougherty Distinction in ministry AwArD Rev. Dr. Henrietta Carter

(DMin 2002, MDiv 1991) Senior Pastor, Mariners’ Temple Baptist Church

the rising Alumni/Ae AwArDees Mr. Arthur Satterwhite, III (MARE 2013) American Bible Society

Mr. Haeman Hong-Shin (MDiv 2015)

The InTerchurch cenTer, 475 rIversIde drIve, new York, nY 10115 $50 donaTIon To rsvP and confIrm PaYmenT vIa Phone or emaIl: Alumnni/ae

Ms. Cynthia Gardner-Brim Director, Alumni/ae Affairs 212) 870-1244 |

Supervised Ministry Partners

Dr. Nancy Fields Assistant Professor & Director of Supervised Ministry (212) 870-1269 |

Checks Payable To: New York Theological Seminary, ATTN: Sontaia Briggs, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115. NYTS | 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 500 | New York, NY 10115 | (T) 212-870-1211 | (F) 212-870-1236 |







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

Ebenezer B.C., Englewood, NJ Rev. Jovan Troy Davis, M.Div.

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

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

Abyssinian B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Pastor

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

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

St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ Rev. Dr. Lanel D. Guyton, Pastor

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

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

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

St. Paul's B.C., Montclair, NJ Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover

Aenon Baptist Church, Vauxhall NJ Rev Alphonso Williams, Sr Pastor Agape Christian Ministries Worship Ctr. Rev. Craig R. Jackson. Pastor

Fellowship Missionary B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Elton T. Byrd Pastor/Founder First B.C. of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset NJ Rev. Dr. DeForest (Buster) Soaries, Pastor

Mount Zion Baptist Church, Westwood, NJ Rev. Barry R. Miller, Pastor Mt. Olivet B.C, Newark, NJ Rev. André W. Milteer, Pastor

St. Paul Community B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. David K. Brawley, Pastor The New Hope B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Joe Carter, Senior Pastor Union Baptist Temple,, Bridgeton, NJ Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Pastor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Park Ave Christian Disciples of Christ, E. Orange, NJ Rev. Harriet Wallace, Pastor

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

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

Pilgrim B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Glenn Wilson, Pastor

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

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

Morristown, NJ

Canaan B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Dr. Gadson L. Graham Cathedral International., Perth Amboy, NJ Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor

Essex County College, NJ

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

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

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

Marion P. Thomas Charter School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Community B.C., Englewood, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor, Pastor

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

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

Community Church of God, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Shirley B. Cathie., Pastor Emeritus

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

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

Concord B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson, Pastor

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

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

Newark School of Theology

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

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

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

Razac Products Co., Newark, NJ

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 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

Walker Memorial B.C. Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr., Pastor World Gospel Music Assoc., Newark, NJ Dr. Albert Lewis, Founder

Businesses & Organizations 125th St. BID African American Heritage Parade American Diabetes Association American Heart Association, Northern, NJ Brown Executive Realty LLC, City National Bank Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce

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

Medgar Evers College

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

Muslim American Chamber of Commerce

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

NAACP, NY State Conference*

Mildred Crump, Newark City Council NAACP New Jersey* New Brunswick Theological Seminary New Jersey Performing Arts Center New York Theological Seminary New York Urban League Nubian Conservatory of Music Schomburg Center

“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


Saving Our Own Community ON EDUCATION, POST-SECONDARY ATTAINMENT AND CAPITAL MANAGEMENT elcome to the first of The Positive Community’s 2016 semi-annual April Education Focus. We are now well into the final year of two-term U.S. president, Barak Obama (2008–2016). Consider this: children 14 years and younger, know of no other president; how many young people voted for the first time in the election and re-election of this president? ; The vast difference in world view of the millennial generation in contrast to generations before them—the parents, especially the grandparents—who had first-hand experience of times when many in the South were denied the dignity of basic human rights. Add to that, the unparalleled advances in science and technology over the past 50 years. According to historians, 150 years ago, in 1866, at the end of slavery and the Civil War; at the beginning of Reconstruction, the two most pressing concerns of the freedman were: 1) reconnecting with separated family members and 2) obtaining an education. The early days of Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) date back to these times. And many of these schools were sponsored by our very own faith institutions


The Future Not long ago my business partner, Editor Jean Nash Wells and I were introduced to a conversation/concept about the faith’s community’s role in post-secondary attainment. The idea acknowledges that the Black Church has always been a chief architect and traditional advocate for college education—post secondary education attainment. Ideals of family life and the church continue to play a strategic role in providing the spiritual and cultural grounding for advancement and achievement among young people. The times demand that we make certain moral, ethical, cultural and social adjustments to meet the challenges of a rapidly expanding economy and society. Post-secondary attainment simply

8 The 40 ThePositive PositiveCommunity CommunityApril April2016 2016

expands options for continuing education opportunities for young people graduating high school. We’ll share more about this in future issues. Our cover story introduces Mr. Obie McKenzie (page 37), a Wall Street asset manager who shares his knowledge about financial capital and Bible Economics: wealth creation, wealth management, individual and collective prosperity through faith, hard work and God’s blessings. In addition to financial capital, we should also be aware of other kinds of non-monetary capital: human capital, social capital, institutional capital and cultural capital. Indeed, we are a people of enormous wealth with a vast reservoir of opportunity to be harnessed if only we were to leverage our natural resources toward community progress. Instinctively we know these things to be true, but to secure our place in the future we must now learn about them for ourselves. These values and ideals must then be taught to the children. Let us take stock of our own group assets, talents and abilities—now! Nothing can be more destructive to the people’s progress and well-being than idleness—it is the destroyer of self-respect. Idleness is a root cause to myriad social ills with absolutely devastating consequences on family and community-life: poverty, violence, crime, homelessness, mental illness, addictions, child neglect etc, etc. The tragic result: increased homicide rates and mass incarceration. A Beacon of Hope In today’s media dominated society, what can we do to inspire a hunger for knowledge and a true thirst for righteousness in our young people? We must begin to explore every possible avenue of opportunity for progress. All able bodied men and women must be encouraged to find work; to fully develop one’s character, skills and abilities; and strive to be a “credit to the race.” Through our combined “capital” management,

Inaugural interview at the state-of-the-art television production studios of TPC-TV (The Positive Community Television), Lyndhurst, NJ L–R Obie McKenzie, Adrian Council and Jean Nash Wells.

we will rediscover for ourselves the community-building ideals of self-acceptance, self-reliance and self-respect. And finally, The Positive Community pays a special tribute to our friend Rev. Dr. M. William “Bill” Howard, Pastor Emeritus of the mighty Bethany Baptist Church congregation of Newark, NJ (page 31). In 2011, Dr. Howard leveraged his cultural capital, social capital and institutional capital as he joined with Al Koeppe, then president of the Newark Alliance of local corporations and private and public institutions, and the late Professor Clement A. Price of Rutgers UniversityNewark to establish The Positive Community’s Newark Leadership Roundtable Series (NLRS): Thoughtful, solution seeking conversations—education, health and business—from a glass half-full perspective. Now in its fifth year, NLRS shines on as a beacon of hope and opportunity; possibility and potential. It remains our most popular community outreach brand. We are grateful for Bill Howard’s years of service to our community as the former president of New York Theological Seminary in Harlem, and as a beloved pastor, effective and wise leader and teacher!

All able bodied men and women must be encouraged to find work; to fully develop one’s character, skills and abilities; and strive to be a “credit to the race.” Through our combined “capital” management, we will rediscover for ourselves the community-building ideals of selfacceptance, self-reliance and self-respect.

April 2016 Positive Community April 2016 TheThe Positive Community 419

Black Churchmen Celebrate Martin Luther King at Paradise B.C.


ewark North Jersey Committee of Black Churchmen held their Martin Luther King memorial celebration at Paradise Baptist Church in Newark. The highest honor, the Dr. Edward Verner Award was given to Rev. Dr. Ronald L Slaughter for his leadership in helping to keep St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark open. For more than three years, the over 150-year-old facilty was threatened with closing. The award is named for the late Dr. Edward Verner, who founded the Black Churchmen organization in 1967 after the riots in Newark. Verner was a caring physician and an activist who practiced medicine for more than 50 years, starting out in Newark in 1955 as a general practitioner before specializing in diseases of the breast. Verner stayed close to the people, doing house calls when he wasn’t in the office or making rounds at the former United Hospital. Late in his career when he was semi-retired, Verner was still active in the community at 80 years-old. He often went to Broad and Market streets in downtown Newark to do blood pressure screenings. —JNW

At the podium, Honoree Rev. Dr. Ronald L Slaughter, and Bishop Jethro James (far right forward), pastor of Paradise B.C.

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka addresses Paradise B.C. congregation

Members of New Jersey State police along with Steven Gutkin, deputy director of NJ Office of Homeland Security, and the Paradise B.C. congregation


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S 10




The Positive Community April 2016



Call: Joy Theriot (718) 690-4988 or Rev. Henry Clay: (973) 902-2882 Email: Open house location: Join us for our next open house Saturday, April 23, 10:30am-12:30pm where the topic will be: Broken Lives Matter, Restoring Broken Families

United Missionary Baptist Church, 228 South Harrison Street East Orange, NJ 07018


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.


The Other Death on April 20th he day, April 4, jumps out at us and many immediately recall the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., occurring on that day in 1968. But, as quiet as it’s kept, April 4 should also remind African Americans that on this exact day, the black community lost one of the most charismatic and politically savvy public servants of the 20th century. His name was Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. He was born Nov. 29, 1908, and died April 4, 1972. By the time of his demise, his popularity had waned, he had lost a lot of political clout in the House of Representatives, and the Federal Government—which seemingly set out to destroy him— had prevailed. But during his heyday, initially as the first black councilman of Harlem and then as the first African American from New York to be elected to Congress, Powell was the darling of Harlem itself and the enemy of southern Dixiecrats on the hill. Though King deserves a prominent place in the annals of civil rights history, Powell also deserves a seat, so to speak, right alongside him because the son of a preacher man was as vigilant in fighting for the rights of black folks “up south” as King himself was fighting for this same population below the Mason/Dixon line. Powell’s father, the late Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., was the pastor of the legendary Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem where thousands of blacks placed their membership at the legendary institution. The church often housed thousands before the word megachurch was even coined. The junior Powell’s flamboyant and sometimes arrogant style apparently offended a number of his contemporaries, particularly the white congressmen. Still, he was determined to take care of the people’s business by getting down to business and eventually becoming the Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee. No small feat in a racist political environment. Sixty bills (pieces of legislation) were enacted on his watch. He not only was brilliant, but handsome to boot. His very hue afforded him the opportunity to pass for


12 The Positive Community

April 2016

Adam Clayton Powell, Sr.

white as many African-Americans did, but he boldly wore his blackness with both pride and defiance. Controversy seemed to follow Powell. He married Isabel Washington, sister of actress Fredi Washington before divorcing her to marry Hazel Scott, the incomparable jazz singer/pianist. His third and last wife was Yvette Flores Diago and like his previous marriages, this one also ended in divorce. He was not above visiting the nightspots back in the day, be it the Cotton Club or Barney Josephson’s Cafe Society. Powell spoke with conviction and fervor daring to speak truth to power even if he himself didn’t always abide by that same truth. As black saints have been known to say, “He could have lived on a flowery bed of ease,” but instead, he chose to spend his life fighting the good fight for his people. Such service made him neither saintly nor above reproach, like Caesar’s wife. No, his feet of clay were sometimes displayed prominently throughout his life and perhaps that is why the people of Harlem, his people, and those who resided outside of the popular enclave loved him so. You see, many thought he was just like them. They saw themselves in his failings and lived vicariously through his victories. The late educator Dr. John Henrik Clarke once said of Adam Powell, “The emperor has no clothes, but at one time he had clothes . . . and they were beautiful.”

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Wall Street Project Hosts Clergy Roundtable


lergy and community leaders from across the country gathered on February 16, 2016 at the Sheraton Times Square New York Hotel for the Ministers’ Roundtable during the 19th Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit. Discussion surrounded this year’s theme “Saving Our Homes, Stabilizing Our Communities and Expanding the Vision of the 21st Century Church.” Rev. Dennis A. Dillon, publisher, New York Christian Times, and chief minister of the Brooklyn Christian Center; Rev. Dr. David Jefferson Sr., pastor, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Newark, NJ; and Rev. Dr. Todd Yeary, senior pastor, Douglas Memorial Community Church, Baltimore; facilitated the discussion. Emphasizing that the church, the driver and facilitator of community economic development, needs to be more actively involved in the development and re-development of communities, the discussion concluded that faith-based organizaions must examine their pivotal role in advancing financial literacy, healthcare, social justice, technology

L-R: Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.; Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook; and Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, pastor Mt. Pisgah B.C. Brooklyn


The Positive Community April 2016

education, and voter registration. Hundreds of corporate executives, minority entrepreneurs, and community leaders attended the Wall Street Project Economic Summit. Reverend Jesse Jackson founded the Wall Street Project in

L-R: Bishop James B. Walker, presiding prelate, Seventh Episcopal District of CME Church, Washington, D.C.; Bishop John R. Bryant, senior bishop and presiding prelate, Fourth Episcopal District, AME Church, Chicago; Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Trombone Award recipient; and Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

L-R: Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, pastor Abyssinian B.C., New York; Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO & executive director, FPWA; and Rabbi Marc Schneier, founder and president, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding

1996, with the Citizenship Education Fund to encourage corporate America to recognize the value that minority entrepreneurs, vendors, and consumers bring to the marketplace and ensure equal access and opportunities for culturally diverse companies, consumers, and employees. “The Wall Street Project is not an end in itself, or a means to an end, but an evolutionary process,” says Reverend Jackson. “American business will not maximize its growth potential until all businesses have an equal opportunity to compete on an even playing field, where the rules are public and the goals are clear. That is the goal of the Wall Street Project.” Participants in the Wall Street Project Economic Summit include U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY; U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., member of the House Committee on Financial Services; the Hon. Michael Frerichs, treasurer, State of Illinois; the Hon. Scott Stringer, comptroller, NY; and Kurt Summers, treasurer, Chicago. Additional participants were John W. Thompson, chairman of Microsoft; Sheila C. Johnson, CEO, Salamander Hospitality; John W. Rogers, president, CEO, and Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments; Suzanne Shank, president/CEO, Siebert Brandford Shank & Co.; Johnny C. Taylor, president/CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund; and Earl G. “Butch” Graves, president/CEO, Black Enterprise. —JNW

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April 2016 The Positive Community


Three Oustanding Women Honored by United Way of Essex and West Hudson’s Women’s Leadership Council Photos: Vincent Bryant


n March 10, 2016, The 3rd Annual Women’s History Month Awards Breakfast – Honoring Legends and Legacies was held at the Newark Club, Newark NJ. Over 170 attendees came together to celebrate and honor three outstanding women who have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come. These extraordinary women have demonstrated character, courage, and commitment to our community. The honorees were: Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Rutgers University – Newark; Susan M. Cleary, president for District 1199J; and Terri Seeney, manager, Corporate Outreach Programs, Panasonic Corporation of North America. “The Greater Newark area is rich in women leaders who have shaped our history, both locally and nationally on many issues. That tradition continues and is exemplified by the contributions of these three women,” said Catherine Wilson, acting CEO United Way of Essex and West. The Women’s Leadership Council of United Way of Essex and West (WLC) is a network of women dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young people in Essex and West Hudson counties. Created and led by women, United Way Women’s Leadership Council is an integral part of United Way. Its mission is simple: “Mobilize the power of women to advance the Common Good in our communities.” “United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council is a dynamic group of women from all walks of life, who come together to ignite positive change and impact our communities—particularly in the areas of education, income, and health.” According to Robyn M. Pitts, chair, Women’s Leadership Council and member, Board of Trustees United Way of Essex and West Hudson. —JNW

Terri Seeney, manager, Corporate Outreach Programs, Panasonic Corporation of North America; Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Rutgers University – Newark; Susan M. Cleary, president for District 1199J

Keynote speaker Michellene Davis, Esq., EVP, Barnabas health

L-R: Catherine Wilson, acting CEO UWEWH; Dr. Gale E. Gibson, president, Essex County College; Robyn M. Pitts, chair, Women’s Leadership Council and UWEWH Board Member

Editor’s Note: On a special note Adrian and I were thrilled to see one of our mentees, Terri Seeney recognized among such distinguished leaders It was an almost overwhelming experience that brought tears to my eyes as we reveled in celebration of her success. Terri joined our staff at WBLS/WLIB radio after graduating from Spelman College over 25 years ago. It has been a pleasure to see her career develop. L-R: Eric Majette, Terri Seeney, and her parents Gail and Bill Seeney


The Positive Community April 2016


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

Let’s Talk About Spiritual Gifts he question of spiritual gifts in the church has always been very intriguing. The scriptures tell us in Ephesians chapter 4:7-8 that spiritual gifts are bestowed upon every believer according to God’s grace. Each believer is given at least one gift so that he/she may serve in the body of Christ for a specific purpose. These gifts are to be used for the benefit of the church. This basically means that is the Spirit of God working in you for the purpose of strengthening the church. It is for the profit of the entire body of believers. The Apostle Paul mentions several of the spiritual gifts in this passage as prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11). Other spiritual gifts are listed in Romans chapter 12 and 1st Corinthians chapters 12-14. What also has to be questioned when talking about spiritual gifts is why do they seem to be non-existent in most of our churches today? If every believer is to have at least one gift that was being manifested it seems that the church would be flourishing. The various ministries within the church would greatly profit from the positive impact of the activities emanating from the operation of everyone’s spiritual gifts. Unfortunately, many church leaders seem to be avoiding this subject. Why? I do not know, but they are not teaching their members about their spiritual gifts. Far too often, I find believers have no knowledge at all about the subject of spiritual gifts. In many cases their gifts remain under development, under-utilized, or even worst undiscovered! As a result of this lack of use of spiritual gifts, the body of Christ is not growing into the level of spiritual maturity that God has intended for it. But rather the church has become weak and ineffective. The prophetic voice of God is not being heard throughout our communities. Members are becoming disillusioned and are falling away. We have allowed worldly influences and practices to infiltrate our houses of worship. Our spiritual foundation is eroded. We have lost our spiritual compass and are now being tossed back and forth by waves and blown here and there by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). So the question must be asked, “Are you exercising your spiritual gifts? Are you doing your part for building up the


18 The Positive Community

April 2016

body of Christ?” The spiritual gifts are to be used to prepare God’s people for service in ministry. But the primary focus of many church members seems to be more with being entertained than being spiritually transformed. My brothers and sisters, we are missing the mark. We are to be building up the kingdom of God here on earth through serving each other. Your spiritual gifts are meant to be a blessing for the entire church community. When we allow the gifts of God to work through us, the entire body of Christ will be rewarded with unimaginable blessings. Just think what would happen if every believer really earnestly sought the Lord and developed their spiritual gifts. Imagine the awesome power from on high that would be unleashed into a sinful world. Imagine the radical spiritual transformation we would begin to witness within our communities. Imagine the spiritual revival that would take place throughout the land. Imagine how powerful our worship services would become as we focused on the majesty of God. You have been called to service. We are servants, co-laborers with Jesus. There is still work to do. Let us use our spiritual gifts to lift up each other and give God the praise, glory and honor.

NJ Pastor Accepts UN Post

Darrell Armstrong appointed by Baptist World Alliance


he Baptist World Alliance (BWA) has appointed Darrell Armstrong, a Baptist pastor in the state of New Jersey in the United States, as its chief administrative officer at the United Nations (UN). He succeeds attorney Mark Wiggs. Armstrong, a BWA representative to the UN since 2013, will supervise the BWA team serving with the UN in New York, United States; Geneva, Switzerland; and Vienna, Austria. He will determine who, from the list of approved BWA representatives, will participate in the various events in which BWA desires to participate. An author and human rights advocate, he has had a longstanding commitment to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and teaching religious tolerance. “I am delighted that Darrell has consented to

take up this new responsibility on a voluntary basis,” BWA General Secretary Neville Callam said. “I am confident that Darrell has the experience, giftedness, and enthusiasm to serve as requested.” Armstrong is pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton, New Jersey. In 2010, he was elected the first non-Presbyterian trustee to Princeton Theological Seminary’s Board of Trustees. He holds degrees from Stanford University in California, Princeton Theological Seminary, and The College of New Jersey. Since 1974, the BWA has had Special Consultative Status at the UN through the Economic and Social Council. BWA is also a member of the UN Committee of Nongovernmental Organizations, and enjoys




Class of 2016 Master o f Science Graduation Ceremony MONDAY, MAY 9TH AT 10 AM THE ALHAMBRA GRAND BALLROOM, 6TH FLOOR 2116 ADAM CLAYTON POWELL, JR. BLVD NEW YORK, NY 10027

Class of 2018 White Coat Ceremony


Class of 2016 D.O. Graduation Ceremony THURSDAY, JUNE 2ND AT 1 PM THE APOLLO THEATER 253 WEST 125TH STREET NEW YORK, NY 10027

consultative relationship with the Conference of NGOs (CoNGO), an international membership association. The global organization has access to 41 nongovernmental organization (NGO) committees in New York, Geneva, and Vienna. The BWA is also accredited as an NGO through the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI), which enables it to participate in briefings and receive announcements from DPI; is a member of the Committee of Religious NGOs; and collaborates with the Ecumenical Working Group that provides a forum for common work on issues of concern to UN representatives of Christian World Communions. BWA UN involvement includes Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR) of the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), presenting alternative human rights reports on particular UN Member States. At Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil in 2012, BWA co-sponsored side events and submitted documents contributing to the focus of the discussions there. The BWA has actively participated in the annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women. Courtesy of:

Receptions will follow ceremonies


The Positive Community April 2016

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Zâxáà VxÄxuÜtÇà Dr. Wayne E. Croft, Sr., Ph.D. Senior Pastor Saint Paul’s Baptist Church West Chester, PA

Community Baptist Church of Englewood

224 First Street Englewood, NJ 07631 Phone: 201-568-6369 Fax: 201-568-3512 Reverend Dr. Lester W. Taylor, Jr., Senior Pastor


UNCF “A Mind Is…” Gala Raises $1.1 Million

Photos: Bruce Moore

Rev. Al Sharpton, Fund II Foundation, Joel Klein Honored

L-R: Minchailou Kanoute, an 11th grader at KIPP NYC College Prep High School, and Dexter Norales, an 8th grader at KIPP Academy Middle School, helped introduce the FUND II Foundation and UNCF initiative for STEM scholarships.

KIPP Infinity 4th grader Candis Firpo helped to present the President’s Award to former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.

he vanguard of human rights and civil rights in this country has been and will remain the United Negro College Fund,” said National Action Network President Rev. Al Sharpton upon receiving The Shirley Chisholm Award for Community Service at the organization’s annual “A Mind Is…” gala March 3, 2016. “No matter what else we fight for,” the civil rights activist continued, “until we continue to take the chains off of the minds and dreams of our young people, we will have achieved nothing and will maintain nothing. That is why this award means so much to me.” $1.1 million was raised at the gala as UNCF continued its tradition of honoring leaders for their game-changing advocacy on behalf of education through partnerships with UNCF and their own work. This year UNCF students

from across KIPP NYC, a network of public charter schools serving students across New York City, had the oppor-tunity to introduce UNCF award recipients and share their future aspirations. KIPP Infinity 4th grader Candis Firpo helped to present the President’s Award to former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. Her classmates, Heidy Pecheco and Marcus Hemmings, shared their future aspirations after they graduate college in 2028 as part of the paddle raise. Sean Wilson, also a fourth grader at KIPP Infinity, helped to present Shirley Chisholm Award for Community Service to Rev. Al Sharpton. KIPP NYC College Prep’s Minchailou Kanoute, and Dexter Norales, an 8th grader at KIPP Academy helped to announce UNCF and FUND II’s Foundation STEM initiative and present the Fund II Foundation and its chairman, Robert F. Smith, with UNCF’s



The Positive Community April 2016

Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder National Action Network, and Michael L. Lomax, president UNCF

L-R: Fred Mitchell, VP Development UNCF; Faye and Karl Rodney, publishers of Carib News

Heidy Pacheco is a 4th grade student at KIPP Infinity Elementary who will graduate college in 2028.

highest honorthe Frederick D. Patterson Award. Later, Minchailou Knoute spoke about the experience. “As an 11th grader just starting the college application process, I was honored when my teachers offered me a chance to speak at the UNCF gala. It was my first black-tie event, but not the first time I’ve thought about the importance of a college education,” the young man explained. “The room was full of people who have spent their lives trying to improve the quality of education for people like me, and they’re still working hard on that today. I was proud to have the chance to address them – but I’ll be even more proud a few years from now, when I’m a college graduate thanks to the work of people like the UNCF and the “KIPP Through College program.” “It is vital to UNCF’s mission that we honor trailblazers in education whose work continues to strengthen our Better Futures® Campaign,” stated Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “When honoring our past, we forge a bridge to new partnerships and increase the resources provided to the next generation of leaders in our community.” This year’s Chairman’s Circle sponsors were Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting System. Platinum sponsors were Delta Air Lines, ExxonMobil, and Wells Fargo. Their support, along with that of attendees, helped raise funds for UNCF’s 37 member institutions and more than 400 scholarships, internships and fellowship programs. To view more images from the UNCF Gala Please visit

L-R: Johnny and Ann Parham with The Positive Community Publisher Adrian A. Council Sr.

G. Keith Alexander and President John Goldberg of Touro College, Harlem

L-R: Dr. David Jefferson, senior pastor Metropolitan B.C., Newark; Honoree Rev. Al Sharpton; Michael A Hardy, Esq.; Rev. Steffie Bartley, senior pastor New Hope Memorial B.C., Elizabeth, NJ ; NAN board chair Dr. Franklyn Richardson; and Hazel Duke, director, NY State NAACP. April 2016 The Positive Community


It’s Happening at

Columbia in April





Something Like a Nest

Men’s Tennis vs. Princeton

How to Master Difficult Conversations

Smartphone Apps for Citizen Scientists

Heyman Center, East Campus Bldg., Morningside campus Renowned photographer Andy Sewell exhibits 12 works from his recent series “Something Like A Nest.” For gallery hours and more info, call (212) 854-8443, email or visit

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13 Screening: Flowers of Freedom

6:30 P.M. TO 8:00 P.M. 12th Flr. Atrium, International Affairs, Morningside campus A remarkable portrait of a rural social movement for environmental justice in Kyrgyzstan, this documentary provides an intimate, subtle portrait of a group of women who struggle to have their claims heard by those in power. For more info, email

FRIDAY, APRIL 15 SATURDAY, APRIL 16 Ice Cubed: An Inquiry into the Aesthetics, History and Science of Ice

The Heyman Center, Morningside campus This interdisciplinary conference brings together scientists, humanists and artists for a conversation about the potential and properties of ice. Presenters will reflect on the ways in which ice disrupts fixed notions of matter. For more info, call (212) 854-8443 or email heymancenter@

2:00 P.M. Dick Savitt Tennis Center, Baker Athletic Complex, 533 W. 218 St. For more info, call (212) 854-2535 or visit

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 Explore South Pole Science

12:30 P.M. Nevis Science Center, Nevis Labs Learn how IceCube, the biggest and strangest telescope in the world, was built in one of the most remote and extreme environments on Earth. Kids and their families can practice their ice-drilling skills and try on cold weather gear used in Antarctic expeditions. For more info, call (914) 591-8100 or visit www.nevis

Softball vs. Cornell

1:00 P.M. Robert K. Kraft Field, Baker Athletic Complex, 533 W. 218 St. For more info, call (212) 854-2535 or visit

6:00 P.M. TO 8:00 P.M. Faculty House, Morningside campus Bestselling author Margie Warrell discusses how to have “courageous conversations” and provides practical advice to help you speak up about sensitive issues. RSVP required by April 12. Call (212) 854-9666 or email for more info.



Composer Portraits: Francesca Verunelli

8:00 P.M. Miller Theatre, Morningside campus Electroacoustic composer Verunelli is quietly becoming an artist to watch, with commissions from many of Europe’s top ensembles. For tickets or more info, contact the box office at (212) 854-7799 or

Lifelong Learners and Course Auditing Columbia provides scholarships for 50 residents of Manhattanville Houses, Grant Houses and the local community who are 65 years of age and older to audit up to two courses per year. Administered though the School of Professional Studies, the Lifelong Learners Program is designed for individuals committed to the principles of lifelong education. The University also funds up to 50 courses per year for 25 residents of Manhattanville and Grant Houses and 25 residents of the local community. This program provides adults not currently enrolled in college with the opportunity to attend up to two lectures drawn from the arts and sciences. Since there is limited space available to auditors, seats are taken on a first-come, first-served basis once registration is open. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as courses are posted (1 month prior to the start of classes). For more info, call (212) 854-9666 or visit ·

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

10:00 A.M. TO NOON 555 Alfred J. Lerner Hall, Morningside campus Smartphones are revolutionizing the collection of environmental data, but their potential as tools for citizen science is underutilized. This workshop examines a range of topics, including technological development and legal and privacy concerns. RSVP required. For more info or to RSVP, email

How Four Key Survival Traits Are Killing Us

6:15 P.M. 413 Kent, Morningside campus Four human survival traits have evolved to the point where they cause more deaths than they prevent. Lee Goldman, dean of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, discusses his new book, Too Much of a Good Thing: How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us. Registration required; register at events. For more info, call (212) 854-9666 or email sps-events@

THURSDAY, APRIL 28 FRIDAY, APRIL 29 Women’s History in Motion

Jerome Green Hall, Columbia Law School, Morningside campus Women’s History in Motion is a twoday conference celebrating the career of Alice Kessler-Harris, beloved teacher, scholar, colleague, mentor and friend. For more info, email

Columbia University in the city of new york




or Samuel Roberts, all of New York City is his classroom. Students taking his seminar on the history of race and mass incarceration go to see holding cells and talk to people awaiting arraignment in the five boroughs. Those enrolled in his course on drug policy visit community organizations in Harlem and the South Bronx that provide services to substance abusers.

Roberts, who came to Columbia in 2002 with a Ph.D. from Princeton, has been part of a working group on mass incarceration at the Mailman School of Public Health and also served as policy director of the Columbia Center for Justice, an initiative that includes faculty from all over the University who are interested in the impact of imprisonment.

“I want my students to see the real world,” says Roberts, an associate professor of history and sociomedical sciences and director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies. “These are experiences you can only get in New York.”

“It’s a public health issue,” Roberts says. “People’s bodies and minds are affected.” He is currently working on a book about the policy and politics of drug-addiction treatment from the 1950s to the present.

The visits to holding cells are done in conjunction with the Correctional Association of New York, a nonprofit that inspects New York State prisons. Students are accompanied by an assistant police commissioner as they observe conditions under which suspects are held and ask questions about access to food, water, medication and bathroom facilities. They also talk to police and corrections officers and sit in on arraignments.

Roberts also created a two-week summer program at the Institute for Research in African American Studies called “The Many Worlds of Black New York,” which has attracted teachers, journalists, artists, independent researchers and faculty from other institutions interested in the history, cultures and institutions of people of African descent in New York City.

Although suspects typically can be held for a maximum of 24 hours before arraignment, “a lot can happen in 24 hours,” says Roberts, adding that in some places students have made inquiries about prisoners who appeared to be in need of medical attention. The visits are followed by classroom discussions about what they have seen. Other topics for reading and discussion include federal sentencing guidelines, the war on drugs and issues facing women in prison.

Roberts, who hopes his Columbia students come away from his courses with real-world experience and skills they can use after graduation, notes that “community engagement comes in a lot of ways.” To read more about Professor Samuel Roberts’ work and Columbia University’s engagement in New York City, visit

Columbia University in the city of new york

National Officers, National Executive Board and members, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Deltas Do It Again PHOTOS AND TEXT BY LEM PETERKIN Annual Delta Day at the United Nations


elta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. convened its Annual Delta Day at the United Nations on March 18, 2016. Using the theme “Gender Motivated Violence: Empowering Women and Girls with Solutions,� the convening focused on issues that impact women and children in the world. Jamaica served as host country for the event in the ECOSOC Chamber at the United Nations. The array of speakers addressed the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and how some cultural traditions are a contributing factor in violence against women and girls. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a service sorority comprised of over 200,000 initiated members in 900 chapters in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and international countries and territories. The sorority provides public service programs

and projects through its Five-Point Programmatic Thrust of: Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement. Since its inception in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has been committed to serving as a catalyst for positive policy changes and social action advancements at all levels of government and international bodies. Established in March 2003, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. became a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was granted Special Consultative Status as an NGO to Economic and Social Council of the UN as a result of its volunteer services and humanitarian efforts performed to address issues throughout the world.

L-R: Delta Sigma Theta CEO and National President Dr. Paulette Walker with Faye Rodney, Carib News; Dr. Marcella Maxwell, National Social Action commissioner, Delta; NYS-NAACP President Hazel Dukes; and Rosia Blackwell Lawrence, National Social Action Commissioner, Delta

L-R: Hon. Yvette Clarke, member of Congress (D-NY); Delta National President/ CEO Dr. Paulette Walker; Patience Stephens, Ph.D, special advisor on Education, UN Women; Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Mission to the UN; Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, 22nd national president and chair, National Social Action Commission, Delta


The Positive Community April 2016

Catch Up. Get Ahead. Summer Courses at CUNY

Register Today!



May 31


Brooklyn College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Lehman College, York College, Borough of Manhattan Community College

June 1

Baruch College, College of Staten Island, Hunter College, Medgar Evers College

June 6

City College, Queens College, School of Professional Studies, Bronx Community College, Queensborough Community College, Hostos Community College

June 2

New York City College of Technology




yack College and Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS) offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree tracks to students who are seeking a Christian academic community. Nyack and ATS students benefit from academically rigorous programs, intimate class sizes, and state-of-the-art facilities. In addition, our professors place equal emphasis on intellectual and spiritual growth, encouraging students to integrate faith and service in their educational experience. We spoke with Dr. Mayra Lopez-Humphreys, a professor and the director of the Master in Social Work program at Nyack. She shared her thoughts on service, education, and what makes Nyack special. What led you to a career in social work? I’ve been doing social work my whole life. As a child who grew up in ministry, there was just an expectation that you serve the world. That it’s the rent that you pay. What brought you to Nyack? Nyack is focused on service and leadership—servant leadership. I love to teach. I love to advocate and to serve the community. So it just seemed like a wonderful fit. How are you and your fellow Nyack professors alike?


The Positive Community April 2016










Anonymity is not possible here. We all have a strong commitment to serving our students and making sure that we provide them with as much support as we can so that they can be successful. We help our students to apply the same discipline to their spiritual and academic lives, and to seek the will of God with their mind, heart, and soul—with all of who they are. What do you hope your students gain through their academic experience? A deepened compassion, a commitment to social justice, and a stronger and more rigorous intellect. I want them to leave with the skill, the knowledge, and the values it takes to work professionally. That’s why I do what I do—so that students can bring their faith and education together in ways that change our world.

What else makes Nyack special? The community of people here. There’s a deep respect and commitment to walking with one another well. Students have a community. They help each other, listen to one another, get lunch together, and buy each other coffee. Our students want to know each other. They don’t want to just go in and out of class and be done. Anonymity is not possible here. And that’s a good thing, because it really encourages you to show up. If you had to choose one or two words that encapsulate Nyack’s spirit or DNA, what would they be? Well, in our program we talk about being compassionate catalysts as Christians. I think that really embodies what we are here.

What are some of Nyack’s best qualities?

What are your hopes for Nyack’s future?

We are one of the only colleges I know that has the diversity of faculty that we have. That’s a big piece of what makes us incredibly beautiful and unique. Our students can see themselves in the faculty here. They can also learn from people they don’t see themselves in and broaden their experience of what a professor looks like. Our strength is in our diversity and in the fact that we are in the city. We’re a Christian college in the middle of New York’s diversity. And we know that good things happen in diverse spaces. The Gospel propagates.

Given who were are and the makeup of our students and the diversity that we hold here, I hope that we would be leaders in addressing a lot of the brokenness that we see around us. I want our hearts to break with the world. And I want people to know that we’re not insular. A Christian college is not a conduit for hiding; it is a space for sending people out.

Prepare to grow. Prepare to learn. Prepare to serve.



WWW.NYACK.EDU 877.626.2236



In Newark, of Newark

Rutgers University-Newark: accessible, affordable, cutting-edge education preparing you to succeed in our rapidly diversifying world. Collaborating locally and globally, innovating to make a difference in New Jersey’s largest city, across the state and nation, and around the world. Bring your talents and join us as we take on the eternal questions and great challenges of our time. College of Arts & Sciences | School of Criminal Justice | Rutgers Law School, Newark | Rutgers Business School Graduate School | School of Public Affairs and Administration | University College


here’s something about Rev. M. William “Bill” Howard. His easy laugh and professorial tone call to mind for me a favorite teacher or grandfather. His numerous awards, impressive degrees, and high-profile friends and acquaintances belie his everyman appeal that makes him instantly relatable and approachable. I was fortunate to spend a couple of hours talking with him the day after Easter and experience his wit, wisdom, and humor firsthand.


A Young Boy in Georgia Born and raised in Jim Crow Georgia, Howard grew up witnessing and experiencing the cruelty of racism, segregation, and discrimination. While he could neither control nor regulate what went on around him, he could determine how he would act and react in the midst of his circumstances. Raised by his beloved paternal grandmother, Minnie Howard, a strong sense of fairness and his verbal gifts began cutting his path long before he had any inkling as to where it would lead. “I was shaped by the struggle for civil rights,” he explained. “So I guess I imagined doing something one day that would be relevant to that situation.” While sports interested young Howard and he displayed athletic talent, he was also drawn toward drama and academics. “I entered oratorical contests,” Howard recalled. “My oratory was almost always about human rights. In the eleventh grade, which would’ve been around 1962, I gave an oration about apartheid South Africa. I do have a long history in that, but I never connected the interest to a specific career.” Howard’s matter-of-fact tone and humility reminded me of the many sayings used in the church to often remind

us that God makes plans and moves in our lives long before we ever realize it. “I didn’t get a lot of guidance in high school to help me plan for college,” he reflected. He attended and graduated from Morehouse College. “So I majored in Psychology and minored in Philosophy.” The Journey to Ministry His choices of major, minor, and educational institution would later be helpful in his ministry, but Howard was yet blissfully unaware of his calling. That calling came later in the form of what was then called a trial year. “When I entered seminary in 1969, something like three percent of black clergy had some college,” Howard recalled. “I decided I would try this . . . I went to Princeton, they welcomed me . . . and I decided to keep going—not so much because I felt a call to congregational ministry—in fact, that call came much later. I graduated and aspired to work in administration, so I went to the Interchurch Center—the continued on next page

April 2016 The Positive Community


REV. HOWARD continued from previous page

Godbox—and began my work there.” That work included stints as executive director of the African American Council of the Reformed Church in America (1972–1992) and president of New York Theological Seminary (1992–2000). “When I went back to Georgia, people knew I had studied to be a minister—which was a little foreign—but they wanted to know what was my church,” he said with a chuckle. “I would explain that I was a denominational executive or president of a theological school and they were confused. It was only when I went to Bethany Baptist Church in 2000 to serve a congregation as senior pastor that many people in my hometown were convinced that I was, in fact, a preacher,” Howard explained through a belly laugh. International Affairs To most, the life of a Baptist preacher might not sound exciting, but Howard’s experiences have been full and varied, and some could even be the basis for a thriller or action movie. He may not have had that Rev. Howard and “Aha!” moment when he saw a white Nelson Mandela light and a voice or a feeling called him out of some house of ill repute, but M. William Howard has endured at least one truly harrowing experience and most definitely met God in close quarters. While still working in an administrative capacity in 1979, Howard traveled to Iran to conduct Christmas services for the 66 Americans taken hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran. “I was blindfolded and led into the cellar of the American Embassy by hostage takers,” he recalled. “I was taken there with my colleagues to offer Christian services to the American personnel being held hostage there.” Rev. Howard’s voice softened and his pace slowed as he continued. “To be blindfolded and led into a cellar by peo-

ple who are known to have taken hostages with no recourse, I felt a sense of helplessness and a sense of peace at the same time. And I refer to that as my point of surrender, meaning that I accepted that I did not have personal control of my destiny… I’m one who ardently promotes the notion that our faith must be completely integrated into what I call the funky realities of daily life. There was a spiritual breakthrough moment there.” Howard travelled to the Middle East again on a mercy mission, this time with Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1983 to obtain the release of a Navy pilot who was being held hostage in Syria. His personal experiences in international affairs and civil and human rights struggles here in the United States afford Howard a certain level of insight on situations today such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the current political climate. “See how people use religion,” he cautioned. “I’m a strong proponent of the notion that religion and politics should not be separated—and I’m not talking about electoral politics or saying that your faith tells you what candidate to support... ‘If you say you love God but hate your brother, you’re a liar.’ Faith does not require me to love my brother, but loving my brother is the evidence of my faith… When I see faith used as an instrument of division, an instrument of warfare, an instrument in our country of supporting a civil government that relegates marginalized people further to the margin, I think it’s the misuse of religion.” Bethany and Jazz Vespers After years in administration and demonstrating a passion for civil rights coupled with a desire to help people, Howard’s arrival at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, NJ was a perfect fit. His studies in psychology and philosophy coupled with his real-world experiences involving racism and his time in Iran combined to make him the man to helm the church in a city so full of strife and struggle. Under

To most, the life of a Baptist preacher might not sound exciting, but Howard’s experiences have been full and varied, and some could even be the basis for a thriller or action movie. 32 The Positive Community

April 2016

Howard’s leadership, community outreach increased through various programs including a charter school, a program for formerly incarcerated men, and even a community development corporation, Bethany Cares, Inc. A personal favorite of mine and a project close to the Reverend’s own heart is Jazz Vespers, now in its 15th year. On the first Saturday of each month between October and June, congregants and music fans alike can find worldrenowned jazz artists and local favorites praising God through the sounds of jazz. “I listened to jazz as a high school student in rhythm and blues country,” Howard explained. “I grew up in the church—I was the sexton ringing bells and tidying the building… But I was listening to Coltrane and Miles Davis… When I came to Bethany I already understood the spiritual dimensions of jazz music and had actually thought in my younger days that I would start a congregation that featured only jazz.” That never came to pass, but fortunately, upon Howard’s installation at Bethany they asked the pastor what he would like to have at his celebration and he requested that one evening be devoted to jazz vespers. “The deacons at Bethany were taken aback,” he chuckled; “most of them were quite confused. One of them asked, ‘Reverend, what on Earth does jazz have to do with the church?’ and I almost answered his question. Instead, I told him, ‘Don’t let me try to explain. Let’s you and I go over to St. Peter’s in New York City and experience jazz vespers…” Howard and several deacons piled into a church van accompanied by a second van, three touring buses, and a motorcade of private cars, in addition to those who went by train, making it the best attended jazz vespers in the history of jazz vespers at St. Peter’s. And 15 years later, Bethany’s own jazz vespers are attended by worshippers, fans, and artists from far and near. A Slower Pace After 15 years at Bethany Baptist, Howard has retired to spend time with his loving wife of more than 45 years, Barbara, and bask in the pride of what he considers to be his greatest accomplishment—his three adult children (two

Rev, Giward with Rev. James Forbes

sons and a daughter), and his beloved granddaughter. Visits and spirited discussions and debates with well-known friends such as Dr. Cornell West now occupy his time. But with a faith as strong as his and a heart sized to match, Howard still found time to preach the Easter service at Bethany and then offer me some spiritual guidance and reinforcement the following morning. “I want you to remember this and in critical moments share it with those who need it,” he advised. “You only meet God when you know for sure that you have nowhere else to turn. You may be pious, you may go through the motions, but you meet God when you know that it’s out of your hands—not that you are letting it go, but it is beyond your control . . . It is only when you know that you are not in charge, My Dear, that you meet God.” And with the warmth and wisdom of those words, Rev. Howard embodied exactly why I and so many others are so grateful to have met him.

“I want you to remember this and in critical moments share it with those who need it,” he advised. “You only meet God when you know for sure that you have nowhere else to turn. You may be pious, you may go through the motions, but you

Mrs. Barbara and Rev. M. William Howard

meet God when you know that it’s out of your hands . . .”—Rev. M. William Howard

April 2016 The Positive Community


Senator Keven Parker (center), Founder and President Regine Roy (left), and Queen Geniuses young women

Queen Geniuses Senator Parker Hosts 4th Annual Girls Empowerment Conference


n Saturday, March 5, 2016 more than 150 girls between the ages of 14-18 joined New York State Senator Kevin Parker and Queen Geniuses Founder and President Regine Roy for the 4th Annual Girls Empowerment Conference titled “Know Your Worth.” The conference, which was held at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, brought together young girls from across the five boroughs for a full day of programming including panel and breakout sessions, live performances by local cultural organizations, and workshops. Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo served as the keynote

speaker for this year’s event, and other community leaders came out to offer their services and words of encouragement to the young women. The conference was designed to ignite, inspire, and support the next generation of young female leaders by encouraging them to think critically, communicate powerfully, and seek opportunities that empower them to take actions in pursuit of their passions. “I am amazed at how the Queen Geniuses brand has grown over the last four years and my goal now is to expand the programs into schools and organizations

around New York City,” explained Roy. Partnering with Queen Geniuses for the fourth consecutive year, Senator Parker spoke highly of Ms. Roy, saying, “The work that she does not only empowers young women, but has the multiplier effect of empowering communities and transforming generations. For that, Queen Geniuses should be commended.” The Brooklyn lawmaker continued, “I am proud to have been a partner since the inception of this conference, and I plan on continuing to support their efforts in the years to come.”

Founder and President Regine Roy and Queen Geniuses young women


The Positive Community April 2016

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Bridge Street AWME Church Celebrates 250 years of service to God and Community


for the service of celebration, which also included well wishes from community leaders, governmental officials from both city and state, pastors, families, and friends from other churches. There was glorious music, liturgical dancers, abounding fellowship, and the clear notion that as Bridge Street’s pastor Rev. David B. Cousin acknowledged, Bridge Street AWME Church will continue to make history. -—JNW Photos: Brandon Walker

he congregation of Bridge Street AWME Church, the oldest continuing black church in Brooklyn, celebrated its 250-year anniversary on Sunday, February 28, 2016. Throughout its history, the church hosted some of the most outstanding African American icons including Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Rev. Dr. Cornell William Brooks, the president and CEO of the National NAACP, was the guest speaker

Spencer Jackson receiving the Youth Award from Pastor David Byron Cousin, Sr.

L-R: President William Cornell Brooks; Rev. Melvin Eugene Wilson; and Pastor David Byron Cousin, Sr.

The Liturgical Dance Ministry performing to the song “I’ve Got A Testimony”

Rev. Charles Griffin receiving the Founders Award from Pastor David Byron Cousin, Sr.

Elected Officials standing with President Cornell William Brooks and Presiding Elder Eugene Melvin Wilson

Public Advocate Letitia James addressing the congregation with congratulatory greetings (Hon. Annette Robinson of the New York State Assembly in background)


The Positive Community April 2016


“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”—Matthew 6:33

ith a voice so clear and authoritative and a message so profoundly timely, when Obie McKenzie speaks we listen. These days he is speaking louder than ever and his message of “Bible Economics” is beginning to resound. His primary caution—especially to the African American community—is “stop spending money you do not have to buy things you do not need to impress people who do not care.” However, the central theme of his Bible Economics is: “There are two different economies,” he says. “There is man’s economy and there is God’s economy. Man’s economy is motivated by self-interest and greed and its objective is money. God’s economy is motivated by love and giving and its objective is abundant life in the here and eternal life in the hereafter.” McKenzie, is a Wall Street businessman with close to 45 years of experience. “Coming from a working class family I always had a desire to make money and learn about the business of making money,” he explained. “That’s why I ended up graduating from Harvard Business School. I learned a lot about business there, but not very much about money.”


After years of working in the financial services sector in New York, McKenzie, a native of Tennessee who grew up in Indianapolis, explained that it became clear to him that the middle class was being decimated by this economy. “I realized that the American dream was no longer readily available to people in my community,” he said. “In fact, the norm is that people are borrowing from Peter to pay Paul just to make ends meet.” McKenzie grew up in a traditional southern church family but had “strayed from the fold” as they say.

McKenzie, is a Wall Street businessman with close to 45 years of experience. “Coming from a working class family I always had a desire to make money and learn about the business of making money.” he explained. continued on next page April 2016 The Positive Community


OBIE MCKENZIE continued from previous page

“There is man’s economy and there is God’s economy. Man’s economy is motivated by self-interest and greed and its objective is money. God’s economy is motivated by love and giving and its objective is abundant life in the here and eternal life in the hereafter.” However, driven by his passion to be of service and help lift people out of financial despair, he returned to his roots in the church and began to study the Bible, ardently, and unearthed what would become his teaching. He discovered that there are 2,003 scriptures about money. “I was fascinated when I realized how much the Bible had to say about money,” he revealed. And he was such an intense student that he ultimately became a Bible instructor at Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem. With entrepreneurship in his bloodline, McKenzie decided from a very young age that he wanted to be a businessman. In fact, driven by a fierce spirit of independence, he actually started several of his own small businesses at 9 years-old. “I carried three newspaper routes, sold ice-cream in the summer, cut grass, and mopped up at the local laundry on mornings before school,” he recalled with pride. His family history is one in which his fore parents worked from sun up to sundown as sharecroppers. “But with the going rate for cotton at $3 for 100 pounds they could not pick enough to support the family,” he explained. So like many other southern families of the day, they migrated north, some of them stopping in Indianapolis and others in Detroit to work in the automobile industry. His parents opted for Indianapolis where they lived with their three children and operated a dry cleaning business. McKenzie was a good athlete and a good student so his career could have taken either path. But eventually, his ambitious nature in business

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won out over sports and after graduating from Tennessee State, he enrolled at Harvard Business School. He graduated in 1972 and headed to Wall Street, where he has been ever since. McKenzie has held various positions in major banks including Citibank, Chemical Bank, and Freedom National Bank; founded McKenzie & Company, a NASD registered broker dealer; and was manager of Banking and Pensions at The New York Times. “But the economy I learned about on Wall Street was completely different from the economy I eventually studied in the Bible,” he explained. McKenzie then shaped his doctrine into a soon to be published book, Bible Economics: Things I Wish I had Known. “It is a message I have taken everywhere so that we in the African American community do not continue to suffer the ills of man’s economy,” he said. “Bible Economics is designed to do just that by teaching the scriptures in the

Obie McKenzie and his wife Natalie Bowen-McKenzie

Managing Director at BlackRock, the largest publicly traded investment management firm in the United States and part of the Global Client Group, McKenzie has been instrumental in gathering more than $50 billion of institutional assets for several firms, municipalities and state governments. Bible that are about money. Ultimately people will discover that the laws of man’s economy are completely different from the laws in God’s economy and they can choose one or the other.” Managing Director at BlackRock, the largest publicly traded investment management firm in the United States and part of the Global Client Group, McKenzie has been instrumental in gathering more than $50 billion of institutional assets for several firms, municipalities and state governments. In 2011, Black Enterprise magazine honored him as one of the 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street and two years later he was named Public Fund Marketer of the Year by Money Management Intelligence. He has received many awards, among them the 2014 Urban Angel Award from New York Theoloogical Seminary as one who has made

extraordinary and positive contributions to the life of the City. And McKenzie is making a difference by making this a world more clearly resembling what God intends. He is an exceptional role model, who exemplifies the wisdom in following the path he has chosen. He is a sought after speaker, a teacher and a vocalist. His message, as fresh and as necessary as the day he began preaching it 30 years ago, is resounding. Even as he continues to navigate in the economy of Wall Street, it is clear that McKenzie has chosen to live by the laws of God’s economy. McKenzie resides in Englewood, New Jersey with his wife Natalie Bowen-McKenzie. He is the proud father of one daughter, Keisha McKenzie-Pagden, and grandfather to Samuel McKenzie-Pagden. April 2016 The Positive Community













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Health L-R: New Jersey Devils Head Coach John Hynes; Devils captain Andy Greene; Devils mascot; Scott O’Neil, CEO, Prudential Center and New Jersey Devils; Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and CEO, Barnabas Health; Devils forwards Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac; Lou LaSalle, SVP External Affairs, Barnabas Health; and Hockey in New Jersey Co-Founders Keith Veltre and Dennis Ruppe joined youth hockey participants from Hockey in New Jersey to announce a new partnership between Prudential Center, the Devils and Barnabas Health

New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center, and Barnabas Health New Partnership Agreement


arnabas Health has been named the Official Health Care Partner of the New Jersey Devils hockey team and Prudential Center sports and entertainment arena. The announcement, at a press conference on March 16, 2016, also included the unveiling of a new name and logo for Prudential Center’s practice facility, now called the Barnabas Health Hockey House. “This partnership will allow both of our organizations to leverage resources to reach the youth of New Jersey and families throughout the state. With the new Barnabas Health Hockey House serving as the home of grassroots hockey in New Jersey, we look forward to investing in health promotion, community outreach, and overall wellness programs,” stated Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and CEO, Barnabas Health. Barnabas Health Hockey House, one of only two NHL practice facilities attached to a main arena, is the epicenter of youth and amateur hockey in New Jersey. The Barnabas


The Positive Community April 2016

Health Hockey House staff and Barnabas Health’s team of specialty physicians and nutrition and wellness experts will collaborate on programming designed to promote optimal performance and good health, while building confidence, sportsmanship, and life skills. The New Jersey Devils and Barnabas Health will also partner on a rink affiliate program that will bring youth hockey clinics and wellness and nutrition education to players and coaches at ice hockey rinks throughout the state of New Jersey. The agreement launched the Devils and Prudential Center’s Marquee Partnership program, naming Barnabas Health as a member. The new platform will align the most powerful brands in Jersey committed to unifying and inspiring the lives of the families, neighbors and communities throughout the state. “New Jersey is where our families, employees, partners,

Photos: Vincent Bryant

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

“My heart’s in this one” Talent kicks off Autism Awareness Month PHOTO AND TEXT BY g.r. mattox

C L-R: Hugh Weber, president, Prudential Center and New Jersey Devils; Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and CEO, Barnabas Health; and Scott O’Neil, CEO, Prudential Center and New Jersey Devils stand outside the newly named Barnabas Health Hockey House at Prudential Center.

and fans call home, and we are committed to uniting Jersey’s townships, counties and communities through the power of sports and entertainment,” said Scott O’Neil, CEO, Prudential Center and the New Jersey Devils. “We are proud to partner with Barnabas Health to build stronger communities with healthy, active lifestyles and world-class healthcare.” “As our mission has changed towards keeping people healthy and serving as an innovative resource for the communities we serve, this is a perfect match bringing together New Jersey’s team and the state’s finest health care system,” remarked Ostrowsky. In the coming weeks Barnabas Health will finalize its merger with Robert Wood Johnson Health System. Once complete, the transaction will create New Jersey’s largest health care system and one of the largest in the nation – to be known as RWJ Barnabas Health. —JNW

omedy show headliner Talent’s catchphrase is, “Don’t take none of this personal: IT’S JUST COMEDY!” But when it comes to the subject of autism, he’s very serious. The side-splittingly funny comedian, actor and writer reprised his role as MC for the Second Annual Comedy for a Cause showcase. The event was a benefit for Nassan’s Place, an organization making a difference in the lives of children and families affected by autism in underserved communities. He ushered in Autism Awareness Month by bringing along some friends in the business to entertain a sold out house in Orange, NJ that rocked with laughter. He describes his connection with Nassan’s Place as “divine intervention” —his middle son suffers from the condition. “My heart’s in this one. I had been looking for something steady to do regarding autistic kids, because it’s one of those things that’s on the back burner when regarding research and funding, so for me this was a no-brainer.” Founder Nadine Wright-Arbubakrr was excited about the sold-out house, an additional milestone for the non-profit. This is one more step in her journey toward helping families in need of the many services Nassan’s Place provides “It’s just another way to bring awareness to autism as we continue to raise funds to help families gain access to affordable and accessible programs in urban area that currently do not exist.”


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L-R: Comedy for a Cause MCs, PR Rep Valerie Merritt and comedian Talent, with Nassan’s Place founder Nadine Wright-Arbubakrr

April 2016 The Positive Community


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.

I’m Losing It oss can be particularly devastating, but there is one type of loss seldom spoken about. I’m referring to something called functional loss. Functional loss is the loss of some muscular or neurological functions of the body. A good amount of people experience functional loss. When we think of losing muscular or neurological function of the body, we tend to visualize or think about the inactive adult or senior population. But if we are honest, more and more people under the age of 45 are experiencing functional loss on some level. I was playing in a charity basketball game with the Three Doctors Foundation about six months ago when I realized my basketball skills had diminished. My skill set at age 45 is not what it was at age 23. I can no longer dunk the basketball or dribble with the speed and precision that I once possessed. Although I am in great shape (Thank God!), I am experiencing some functional loss as it pertains to my basketball ability. Perhaps you are experiencing the loss of some muscular function and it is really bothering you? Don’t worry; many times exercising the right way for the right reasons can help. Loss of muscle is called muscle atrophy. Muscle atrophy is defined as a decrease in the mass of the muscle; it can be a partial or complete wasting away of muscle, and is most commonly experienced when persons suffer temporary disabling circumstances such as being restricted in movement and/or confined to bed as when hospitalized. When a muscle atrophies, this leads to muscle weakness, since the ability to exert force is related to mass. Modern medicine's understanding of the quick onset of muscle atrophy is a major factor behind the practice of getting hospitalized patients out of bed and moving about as active as possible as soon as is feasible, despite sutures, wounds, broken bones, and pain. Research has also shown that muscles continue to grow larger and stronger from the time of birth up until around age 30; people can lose as much as 3 to 5 percent of their muscle mass every 10 years after their 30th birthday. After the age of 75, atrophy tends to accelerate. The main reason for muscle atrophy is a lack of physical activity. This can happen when a disease or injury


44 The Positive Community

April 2016

makes it difficult or impossible for you to move an arm or leg. My heart goes out to anyone who is experiencing muscle loss due to a debilitating disease or injury. But to the masses of people who refuse to exercise the right way for the right reasons (or exercise at all), I want to lovingly encourage you to get moving and start lifting weights to build muscle. That’s right! Weight or resistance training reverses the effects of muscle atrophy. Here are two easy ways to start reversing the effects of muscle atrophy if your doctor has given you the OK to begin an exercise program: Step 1 Use light resistance such as small hand weights or resistance tubing to begin rebuilding your lost muscle mass. Resistance needs to be added gradually, adding too much too quickly can result in injury. A leg extension with a resistance band is an example exercise for atrophied quadriceps muscles. Step 2 Add more resistance, moderately, in the form of heavier free weights or weight machines. Include more functional movements into your exercise program. Squats and step-ups will help to continue to build up atrophied quadriceps muscles while overhead presses will strengthen atrophied muscles in the upper body. I strongly recommend working with a fitness professional to ensure you are working out correctly with the proper form and intensity for you. Give me a call, I would love to help. Someone once said, “The human body is the tabernacle of the spirit, and God expects that it be kept clean and unimpaired.” Functional loss is a real loss and must be grieved. It may be hard to accept that we can no longer do what we once we did, but don’t stay there too long. God’s house must not be damaged, weakened, or impaired if we can help it. Exercise Consistently, Eat Healthy, and Live Well! If you’re interested in a free consultation or more information on FitCare, call 732-921-3746 or email

A Little Girl With Lots of Heart Laila appeared healthy at birth, but at her two-week check-up her doctor detected a problem with her heart. She was immediately referred to the Children’s Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (CHoNJ), the largest pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery program in the State. The pediatric cardiac surgical team discovered a ventricular septal defect – a hole in the lower chambers of Laila’s heart – and scheduled her for her surgery at CHoNJ’s Children’s Heart Center in Newark. Thanks to their skill, Laila’s heart was repaired and today she’s back to playing with her big brothers.

To read more about Laila’s story, visit

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

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

Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, U.S. Congressman

G. Keith Alexander and Phyllis Yvonne Stickney

The Legendary Dionne Warwick

Bro. Tyrone Davis, Archdiocese of NY Office of Black Ministry

Against The Odds A Harlem-Based Order of Black Nuns Celebrates 100 Years


he Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, Inc. (FHM), is one of only three orders of black nuns in the United States. In 2014, the outlook was bleak —economic hardships, a decline in interest in religious life by young Americans, and an aging and infirm membership had dealt a near death blow to the Harlem-based order, best known for its work in educating children and feeding the poor. So, they began preparing to close their doors. But something Pope Francis said in an interview helped save them from the brink. The message they heard applied directly to them, it seemed. “Let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself, “ Pope Francis said. Thinking back to scripture where Jesus told the disciples who were fishing, but not catching many fish, to “cast the net on the right side of the boat,” which they did with much success, inspired the sisters to embark on a course of revitalization, think outside the box and take on new activities. The sisters have reached out to other places in the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean to encourage others to join them in religious life. As a result, they have welcomed six new sisters in formation


The Positive Community April 2016

(in training) and expanded the day nursery and food pantry. They have opened a convent in the Archdiocese of Owerri in Nigeria, where the sisters do home visitation to the sick elderly, teach Catholic catechism to children, and prepare Catholic couples for marriage. Founded on October 15, 1916 by Miss Barbara Williams, a black woman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who took the name Mother Theodore Williams, and encouraged by Father Ignatius Lissne in Georgia, to have an order of black women that could address the needs of the black community. In 1923, the group moved to Harlem at the request of Cardinal Patrick Hayes and launched one of the first preschool educational programs in New York. Such notables as Rangel and the late Kevin Lofton, president of the Catholic Health Association of America, began their education at St. Benedict Day Nursery, which continues to carry on a legacy of excellence. The FHM feeds more than 20,000 families annually at the St. Edward Food Pantry in Staten Island at Mt. Loretto, a center for Catholic Charities; the order was awarded the Kathy Goldman Beyond Food Award at the 15th Annual Food Bank of

The Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary; Tony and multiple Grammy Award-nominated artist, Melba Moore; and honorees

L-R; Michael Hardy, Dr. Durrah, Mrs. Jackie Norris, Jeanne Parnell, and Judge Tanya Kennedy.

New York Conference in 2006 for their efforts to address the hunger crisis. The sisters also have led several preventative care medical missions to Nigeria servicing approximately 2,000 people per mission since 2000, and they provide clothing, Christmas gifts, and toys to the needy and provide altar bread to many parishes in the Archdiocese of New York. The order, which has just celebrated its 100th anniversary, held a fundraising gala and benefit at the New York Academy of Medicine in Manhattan on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. Honorees at the gala were Marc H. Morial, National Urban League president & CEO; Wendy Oxenhorn, vice chairman/executive director of the Jazz Foundation (and Street News founder); the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, US Congressman; the Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network president and & founder; and the African-American Catholic bishops. Susan L. Taylor, Essence magazine editor in chief emerita and founder/CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, presented the Centennial Award to the Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Entertainment was provided by Melba Moore, Tony and multiple Grammy Award-nominated artist; Carmen Ruby Floyd, Broadway actress and singer; Qaasim Middleton, American Idol contestant; Vince Edwards, actor-singer; Dionne Warwick, Grammy Award-winning vocalist; Alysia Joy Powell, star of NBC’s Mysteries of Laura;

Young students

Photos: Bruce Moore and Seitu Oronde

Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, award-winning actress and comedian; and Charles D. Smith, CEO of LifeStyle Service Group and former NBA player. Contessa Brewer, CBS News anchor, and David Ushery, WNBC-TV anchor, hosted, and G. Keith Alexander, radio and television personality, served as announcer. “We are looking forward to celebrating these wonderful honorees who have provided important services to the community throughout the years,” said Sister Gertrude Lilly Ihenacho prior to the gala. A congregation minister, Sister Gertrude heads up the mostly black order. On January 6—to coincide with the arrival of the Magi, who brought gifts to celebrate Jesus’ birth—the order launched the “100 Days of Kindness,” asking everyday New Yorkers to perform a daily good deed, big or small, to enrich another’s life in honor of their 100 years of service. The campaign is part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy 2016 as declared by Pope Francis (which runs through November 20, 2016). A Jubilee Year, or Holy Year, is a special time of blessings and pardon from God for Catholics internationally and Pope Francis encourages Catholics to focus on forgiveness and not judgment this year. Proceeds of the benefit will help the order provide scholarships to needy children to attend and revitalize the St. Benedict Day Nursery, which services children ages two to four, and will help train the next generation of sisters. —JNW April 2016 The Positive Community


St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair, NJ Makes History First Woman Installed As Senior Pastor BY CARMEN CHAMBERS

Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover


t. Paul Baptist Church witnessed a landmark in its 113year history when the Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover was installed as the senior pastor, making her the first woman to lead the congregation. Dr. Glover demonstrated her commitment to St. Paul during her tenure as interim pastor since September 2013. She previously served with distinction as executive pastor at Cathedral International in Perth Amboy, and associate professor of Preaching and Worship at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, both in New Jersey. Additionally, as a dynamic preacher of deep conviction and a discerning and articulate interpreter of church and social issues, Dr. Glover is a sought-after speaker for conferences, training seminars, special church services, and community events. The installation celebration, themed: “Forward in Hope: Pastor & People With God,” took place over a four-day period from March 10 to March 13, 2016. Thursday evening’s

Rev. Dr. Clarence Glover giving the pastoral charge to Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover


The Positive Community April 2016

service of prayer and communion set the tone of thanksgiving to God for His blessings and invocation of His Divine guidance. Bishop Clarence Glover, senior pastor of Mt. Bethel Ministries in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, charged both pastor and people to uphold the biblical principles of correction and encouragement. On Friday evening, a praise and worship explosion of music and liturgical dance blessed the majesty of God. Guest choirs and dance teams joined St. Paul in a glorious experience. The congregation gathered on Saturday with family and friends at the Bethwood in Totowa, New Jersey for a luncheon fellowship. The luncheon speaker, Dr. Karen Wells, noted psychologist and consultant for various NJ State Divisions and the Judiciary, defined hope. Sunday morning, Rev. Deborah Spivey, an associate minister at St. Paul, delivered a soul-stirring and prophetic message around worship and the normalcy of change. The celebration culminated with the installation service at 4:00 P.M. on

Sunday. The ceremony’s significance was heightened by the fact that the installation message was delivered by Dr. Glover’s 91-year-old father, the Rev. Dr. Sterling E. Glover; and the Charge to the Pastor was given by her brother, Rev. Dr. Clarence Glover. Rev. Dr. Sterling Glover was formerly pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church, Scotch Plains, New Jersey and Emmanuel Baptist Church of Cleveland, Ohio. Rev. Dr. Clarence Glover is pastor of the New Nazarene Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Installation of their new senior pastor marked the beginning of a new chapter in the life of a church grounded on the pillars of worship, service, evangelism, growth, and fellowship. The congregation has resoundingly acknowledged God’s leadership in their calling of the Rev. Dr. Glover. This divinely ordained union of pastor and people will now go “forward in hope” under the guidance of God.

Rev. Dr. Sterling E. Glover

Rev. Dr. John H. Spencer, Jr., president of the New Jersey Convention of Progressive Baptists

MAKER SPACE Unveiling the newly expanded Makerspace — where visitors get inspired, learn new skills and then create.

Also, don’t miss:

APRIL 30, 2016

| 11 AM – 4 PM

@nwkmakerfaire Lead sponsor:

Additional support provided by:

PSN Family Charitable Trust

Supported in part by a grant from New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism


Here is the next great adventure in art Here is The Met

Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible

Nasreen Mohamedi

Through September 4

Through June 5


Madison Avenue at 75th Street


Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible is made possible by Leonard A. Lauder and The Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Foundation, the Jane and Robert Carroll Fund, Howard I. Hoffen & Sandra Hoffen, Kenneth and Rosalind Landis, Ann M. Spruill and Daniel H. Cantwell, and Northern Trust. It is supported by an Indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Nasreen Mohamedi is made possible by Nita and Mukesh Ambani and the Reliance Foundation. The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía with the collaboration of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.

Details: Alice Neel, James Hunter Black Draftee, 1965, oil on canvas, COMMA Foundation, Belgium. © The Estate of Alice Neel. Nasreen Mohamedi, Untitled, ca. 1975, ink and graphite on paper, Sikander and Hydari Collection.

April 2016 The Positive Community



James Powell is “Reconstructed” Grace & Peace et’s get straight to it! I recently came upon a link to one of the most moving and sincere songs! Titled “Recover,” it’s a mid-tempo bumping track that you can groove to, but most importantly, it’s an inspired lyrical faith message that gives hope to all who are on the border of turning back. I actually received a link to the song’s video, which really made it connect for me (it’s on YouTube, so you can see for yourself). Wait, I apologize, allow me to backtrack and introduce this artist, James Powell. Now some of you may remember this vocal genius from his group Remnant back in 2011. Well, Powell is now telling his story with a testimony that only the called of God could make it through. The Jamaica, Queens, NY native grew up in church surrounded and enriched by musicians, preachers, and singers. Powell has both the gift of music and the word of God imbedded in him, and by the age of 13 he was proclaiming the gospel. With that endowment it was a natural move to continue in that direction, so in 2006 he moved to California and became an ordained pastor. Pastor Powell of Kingdom Life Power Center in Rancho Cucamonga, CA has never let go of the musical side. In moments of loss he penned some of the most revealing expressions of a survivor in his compositions. Powell testifies about how he lost his job and his home while his health was failing among other things. But the good news is that he was able to “Recover,” and that’s the third single from his album Reconstructed. “I wrote ‘Recover’ in 2010 when I was going through a really tough period in life. It seemed like one thing after another was hitting me,” Powell recalled. “I was desperate to hear from God. I said to Him, ‘When is this going to stop?’ Then He spoke to my spirit and said one word, ‘recover.’ I researched the word and it’s defined as ‘the process of regaining what was lost.’ God also told me that I wasn’t really losing anything; things were being removed


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and replaced with better things. That’s exactly what the Lord did for me.” So here we are now, blessed to hear his appreciation of the Father on Reconstructed, filled with inspirational-ballads like “Everyday,” that proclaim his love for God, needing him as the deer panteth for the water. It’s like the commitments of David in Psalms combined with the romantics of Solomon in Proverbs. James Powell’s vocals are smoothly placed over a neo-soul melody. You can also witness that style on his song “I Owe Him A Praise.” The slower pace puts him in the mindset of an intimate praise & worship session. Powell is declaring who God has been to him throughout his life: “He’s been good, He’s been kind . . . from the rising of the sun, to the setting of the same. Jesus is worthy, so I owe Him a praise.” There are also some triumphant hymns that will take you back, but the presentation of the James Powell versions will make you a lover of remakes. Songs like “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” and “Victory in Jesus” which I don’t think I’ve heard since the early ’80s. However what’s amazing about this album is a live, crisp sound in the music and vocals. Powell explained that this was done intentionally, “With Reconstructed, I wanted to deliver a real sound. On this project, there is nothing digital; all the instruments are real. I wanted to make sure that the authentic and foundational natures of these hymns were captured.” Whether as a new or returning artist, however you see James Powell, know that he’s not a quitter. With everything that was against him, he chose to wait on God with an answer. That answer birthed a lyrical message that would not only heal him, but be able to heal others. Reconstruction may be severe and may be a little harsh to deal with, but it’s guaranteed to be better than it was, and with God that’s a definite promise!

LOOK! From the World Famous Apollo, to the Historic Newark Symphony Hall returns the most anticipated dramatic, provocative, & riveting stage play ““WHILE U WERE PREACHING”! On May 21, 2016 all roads will lead to the NEWARK STAGE. Tickets on SALE now for this limited performance best this side of town with only 2 SHOWS – 1 pm Matinee & 7 pm. at The Historic Newark Symphony Hall’s Box Office – 1030 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102. “BRICK CITY” Native Michael G Carr Sr., rising & prolific Playwright/ Executive Producer & CEO of Initials Entertainment & Productions in association with The Historic Newark Symphony Hall Ministerial Council led by the renowned Dr. Albert J Lewis—Curator, delivers a powerful and timely message. “While U Were Preaching, is not just another play, it’s so much MORE… reminding us that we all have struggles and demons we must face and conquer. The stage production addresses real life situations invoking conversation while offering solutions. ““WHILE U WERE PREACHING” directed by Dwayne Hickman, also a native of NJ, offers something to everyone regardless of lifestyle, faith, or gender. Packed with Newark’s finest talent – Recording Artist Felicia Moss, Louise Scott-Rountree and introducing Daryl & Tasha Alexander who deliver a magnificent performance along with Recording Artist Dr. Barbara Clark, Tiffany Award Winning artist Michael T. Baker, are just a few leading actors in this phenomenal stage play. HURRY! You can SAVE $5 using special promo code for General & VIP Admission! Promo Code: IEP05TPC. Playwright & Executive Producer Michael G Carr has also just released his 1st official DVD of another inspiring and uplifting stage production that champions those suffering with Mental Illness, Cancer, Domestic Violence & Drug Addiction entitled “DIDN’T KNOW MY OWN STRENGTH” which can be purchased online @ “BRICK CITY”, (Newark NJ) continues to shine as Michael G. Carr (Pastor) is a prime example of how hard work and perseverance will lead to open doors and much success. For bookings & Media Release Information on other stage productions visit or call 908-552-6218. Whatever the need, Initials Entertainment & Productions offers Quality & Timeless stage productions with diversity.

April 2016 The Positive Community


Photos: Risasi Dias

Jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves spoke of Sarah Vaughan’s special influence on her singing career

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka

L-R: 100 year old pianist Clement “Clem” Moorman, the stepfather of singer Melba Moore, accompanied her during her performance and addressed the audience during ceremony at Newark Symphony Hall, as Ms. Moore stood nearby


n March 29, 2016 The U.S. Postal Service dedicated a Forever Stamp honoring Sarah Vaughan, one of America’s greatest singers and a native of Newark, NJ. Befitting the occasion, the ceremony was held at the Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall at Newark Symphony Hall.

Sarah Vaughn Postage Stamp Unveiled The seventh in the Postal Service’s Music Icons collection, Ms. Vauughn joins Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, and Lydia Mendoza in the series. “As one of the most compelling vocalists in American history, Sarah Vaughan was renowned for her

miles & ’trane festival miles davis: the sorcerer at 90 MAY 12–14 • 8PM Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and music directors Ali Jackson and Marcus Printup

miles & ’trane festival joe lovano: the spiritual side of coltrane with ravi coltrane MAY 13–14 • 7PM & 9:30PM Saxophonist Joe Lovano with Brian Blade, Steve Kuhn (5/13 only), Geri Allen (5/14 only), Tom Harrell, Andrew Cyrille, Reggie Workman, and special guest saxophonist Ravi Coltrane

the ray charles songbook MAY 20–21 • 8PM Vocalist Diane Schuur with Jamison Ross and the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, led by JLCO trumpeter Kenny Rampton

body & soul: america’s unforgettable crooners MAY 20–21 • 7PM & 9:30PM Music director Bryan Carter with vocalists Denzal Sinclaire, Benny Benack III, and Charles Turner Jazz at Lincoln Center Venue Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office Broadway at 60th, Ground Fl. CenterCharge 212-721-6500


The Positive Community April 2016

artistic eloquence. Her dynamic vocal range, iconic vibrato, and innovative phrasing helped to transform jazz and popular music,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman, who dedicated the stamp. Stroman was joined at the stamp dedication by Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Melba Moore. The ceremony featured a proclamation from Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and a video tribute to Vaughan that included remarks by legendary singer Tony Bennett. There were musical performances by Moore, vocalist Carrie Jackson, the Mount Zion Baptist Church Choir, and the NJPAC Jazz for Teens Ensemble with Jazzmeia Horn. WBGO radio host Rhonda Hamilton served as emcee. The stamp event was co-sponsored by Newark Celebration 350, which commemorates the city’s rich history by celebrating the talents of its citizenry. Sarah Vaughan was born on March 27, 1924. She died on April 3, 1990. She is beloved by fans and professional musicians alike. —JNW



hen I tell people I play bridge, they often look at me like I have two heads. If they have heard of the game at all, they typically associate it with older white women such as the characters in the sitcoms The Golden Girls and I Love Lucy. That association is unfortunate because there is a rich tradition of African Americans of all ages, male and female, playing and excelling in the game. In 1932, a group of African American tennis players in Buckroe Beach, VA (near Hampton) formed the American Bridge Association (ABA). This was in response to the refusal of mainstream (white) bridge leagues to allow blacks to play at their tournaments. The ABA still exists with approximately 3,000 members nationwide. ABA bridge clubs are located in all of the major cities in the USA. Bridge is a card game that exercises critical reasoning skills, much like Chess and Sudoku. In fact, it has been called the chess of card games. It bears a family resemblance to the games Spades, Bid Whist, and Hearts (a.k.a. Dirty Hearts), but it requires more strategy, tactics, and less luck than those other games. If you think you are good at any of those other games, I encourage you to try bridge. It is a bit more challenging, but more rewarding. Bridge is played by highly successful people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and the Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. In the African American community, there are no household

names who play the game but there are countless African American doctors, lawyers, teachers, and everyday people who enjoy the game. There are bridge tournaments held all over the world and many lifetime friendships are developed through the game. My own mother met my father when he was teaching a bridge class and they both met many of their dearest friends at bridge tournaments. The benefits of playing bridge include improved concentration, math skills, problem-solving skills, logic skills, communication skills, and social skills. I can personally attest to an improved attention span, better concentration, and less distractibility since I started learning the game. It also provides unique opportunities for scholarships, awards and recognition of your accomplishments. If you are young, it is a fun way to build your problem-solving skills. If you are in your prime or past your prime, it is a fun way to meet people and stave off dementia. I strongly encourage everyone to learn the game. It is a priceless endeavor that never stops giving back. In New Jersey, there are ABA clubs located in Montclair, Newark, and East Orange. In New York, there are ABA clubs in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan (Harlem), Queens (Cambria Heights), Long Island (Westbury), and Mt. Vernon. Some of the clubs meet in the daytime, while some meet in the evenings. Most of them offer free classes. The ABA website (ababridge. org) has specific contact information for each club.

Among the little known treasures in Newark is The Newark School of Theology (NST). This is an academic school of Theology that was founded to provide seminary level education to anyone who desires to study Theology. The mission of the school is to create a community of students and scholars who are seeking a deeper understanding of God. Two Park Place Newark, NJ 07101 973-297-0505

NST’s mission is accomplished by the careful reading and discussion of books written by leading scholars in their respective fields. Textbooks are carefully chosen to reflect the best scholarship in the areas of Biblical Studies, Theology, Pastoral Care, Interfaith Studies, and Biblical Languages. Every instructor has earned degrees from an accredited college or university and school of theology.

What is The Newark School of Theology doing in Newark? We are seeking to bring the Light of the Gospel that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King served so selflessly and courageously to bear upon the creation of the Beloved Community for which he laid down his life. We are an educational mission dedicated to the healing and renewal of the City of Newark by bringing the Light of the Gospel to all. We draw upon the best of what has been in the study of religion and think about what we have learned from our textbooks and discussions within the context of our lives. The Newark School of Theology provides a safe place for students and faculty to think about the core values and insights by which we live in community with others. Our approach to the study of Theology opens us to the transforming work of The Holy Spirit as well as providing us with a deeper understanding of God. --The Reverend R. Douglas Bendall, Ph.D. Founder and President


The Positive Community April 2016

Like Father Like Son, Greater Things to Come BY JULIA WARREN


n the Spring a young man’s heart and mind turn to many things, for Stefon Johnson, it’s baseball. Like his father before him, Stefon loves baseball. His father, Rev. Bernard

• • • • • • •

Johnson, III, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, Asbury Park, NJ, starred in baseball at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and Michigan State University. Still in college, Bernard was invited for a major league try-out with the Milwaukee Brewers in Waterloo, Indiana as a minor league prospect with the potential of signing as a free agent, but opted to return to college. Now his son is following in his father’s footsteps as he pursues his own path in baseball. A quiet, thoughtful young man, although he plays baseball and other sports, he continues to do well in school. A solid B student, he enjoys math and science and made it to the finals at the Park Middle School Science Fair in 2014. Stefon began his baseball career, at the age of five in youth tee ball in the

Scotch Plains Recreation League. Stefon excelled at tee ball and practiced hitting balls, fielding, and pitching with his dad at Jerseyland Park in Scotch Plains. On many Sundays, after attending service with his grandmother, Stefon can still be seen with his baseball gear, and not one, but two bats waiting for his coach. In the fall and winter months, his parents take turns driving him to an indoor dome facility, in Flemington NJ. Stefon also wears the traditional Johnson family uniform number 20, a number his family members have worn with pride as well as athletic integrity. Stefon has helped to lead his teammates in several tournaments. Along the way he has accumulated a long list of accomplishments which include:

9U District All-Star Game Winning Pitcher, Scotch Plains Fanwood Travel Baseball Team Selected by Babe Ruth League - Cal Ripken Association National Annual Publication: Best Players in Babe Ruth League in 2012 & 2013 representing New Jersey Youth Baseball Disney World Annual Youth Baseball Extravaganza (Orlando Florida) 2014 NJ Chargers Elite Club Baseball Finals vs Puerto Rico Cal Ripken Youth Baseball Tournament, 2014 & 2015 Semi-Final & Finals, Aberdeen, MD Diamond Nation (indoor stadium) Winter Tournament Championship 2015 Flemington, NJ NJ Chargers Elite Club Baseball Team Northeast Regional Championship 2015 NJ Chargers Elite Club Baseball Team: Baseball Heaven, Long Island, NY National 12U Club Team Tournament, Semi- Finals vs. MVP (California) 2015

A multi-position player, Stefon made the Park Middle School 8th grade junior high baseball program as a 7th grader for the 2016 Season. He has won acclaim as a pitcher, but this year he is seeking a starting position as a shortstop or second baseman on the junior high baseball team. And no doubt, with skill and determination, Stefon will attain his goal. In addition, Stefon has accomplished a dream that many young players have--making the team at the Elite Full Count Baseball Academy in Middlesex, New Jersey to play in

the Youth National Tournament in Cooperstown, NY, the site of the Baseball Hall of Fame. This tournament will host more than 100 teams from around the United States. Stefon has often experienced being the only African American player on his teams including tournaments in the Eastern region of the US. The one notable exception is Tywon Malone, a six foot, 220-pound baseball phenom from Monroe Township NJ who is also known nationally for his spectacular baseball play. On opening day, April 2015, only

7.8% of the players in in the Major Leagues were African Americans. To increase those numbers we must support our young African American baseball players at all levels. Go to a little league or high school game, even if you don’t have a child on the team. Encourage the players. Show them that we care about them and their dreams. This summer Stefon will be traveling around the country representing New Jersey and African American teens in the sport that was first integrated by Jackie Robinson.

April 2016 The Positive Community



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April 2016 The Positive Community


Looking for a Spring Cleaning Boost? Start With Your Desktop


ith warmer weather and more daylight comes a desire to get spring cleaning underway. One of the easiest ways to get that started is also one of the most overlooked: keeping the desktops of our computers clean and organized. Beyond the aesthetic value of actually being able to see your home screen wallpaper — and being able to find that file you’re looking for — a clean desktop can also improve computing performance, too.
Older versions of Windows included a Desktop Cleanup Wizard. This ran as an automatic scheduled task, moving files or program shortcuts that had not been opened for 60 days to a separate directory. Predictably, this rankled many users, who were often left confused when desktop files or shortcuts suddenly disappeared. Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 integrated this desktop cleanup function into the System Maintenance Wizard, but a number of easy-to-follow tricks and free apps can also do the trick. See below for our favorite suggestions.

5 Ways to Get a Nice and Clean Computer Desktop 1. Looking to rearrange things but keep files and shortcuts easily accessible? This is the easiest fix, either by manually deleting all shortcuts and consolidating documents into a folder or choosing between various Sort By options. Right-click your desktop, choose Sort By, and choose from options like Name, Size, Type, and Date Modified. Choosing the View option allows you to change icon size, Auto Arrange icons into vertical rows, or Align to Grid so that everything’s neat and tidy. 2. Look into free applications like RocketDock or Fences. RocketDock, one of the most popular dock programs, comes with most icons that are default components of every Windows desktop. And Fences by Stardock allows users to group desktop icons by category. Both Windows-specific apps offer countless customization options, too. 3. Change the destination of downloaded files. This one can be a double-edged sword — if files downloaded through your mail client or Internet browser don’t automatically land on your desktop, you might not be able to easily locate them. But if you do send them straight to your desktop and don’t keep up with the deluge, your desktop will quickly get swamped. The best compromise? Create a Downloads folder on your desktop and point files there for quick organization. 4. Go minimal and hide nearly everything on your desktop. Using a program launcher like Launchy can give your desktop that fresh and clean look while still providing quick access to any program or document on your computer. You can even search Google with Launchy. 5. If you use Apple products, look into an app like Clean. Organization is paramount on Macs, which feature handy, easily customizable docks. An app like Clean by Vojto Rinik, which runs in the background, can organize your desktop at regular intervals by automatically moving files from your desktop into another designated, time-stamped folder. With a few simple tools and tricks like these under your belt, your spring cleaning can get underway, starting with that disorderly desktop. Want to know more about how to boost the efficiency and productivity of your business? Intrigued by the tips outlined here but have further questions? Contact CMIT Solutions today — we worry about IT so you don’t have to. CMIT Solutions of Northern Union 973.325.3663• 800.399.CMIT


The Positive Community April 2016


Professor Joanne J. Noel, B.A., M.A., M. DIV., DMIN is Chair of General Studies and Associate Professor of English, Pillar College.

Renouncing Jekyll and Hyde: Reclaiming the New You obert Louis Stevenson wrote the novella: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The story is about transformation. Dr. Jekyll discovered a formula that allowed him to change himself into another man. He could alter his thoughts, feelings, looks and actions. Whenever he wanted to change, he took the potion and he became Mr. Hyde. When Mr. Hyde wanted to get away from being Mr. Hyde, he took the drug and went back to being Dr. Jekyll. Stevenson’s 19th century text shows that human beings have always toyed with the issue of transformation. Even now in the 21st century, we try it through various means: Botox, liposuction, plastic surgery, hair implants, dyes, and a make-over can contribute to the “new” and improved you. All these measures, however, are temporary. I think about Stevenson’s theme of transformation in light of Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians where he states that “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The Apostle Paul did not live in our 21st century society, a society obsessed with newness and upgrades, but he shares with us an innovative and permanent way of becoming “new.” This newness that Paul speaks of is not found in a bottle, surgery, or a gadget but in a person —Jesus Christ. Based on the law of reciprocity, humankind should have been condemned to perpetual suffering because as beings created for and by God, we have refused to honor God and have sinned against God. Instead Paul assures us that God “reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Justification is God's act of eliminating the culpability and consequence of sin while at the same time declaring sinners righteous through Christ's atoning sacrifice. This “newness” would not be a possibility if we had not been justified by our confession of faith in Christ. Paul talks of “newness” to the church at Corinth because it is beleaguered with “old” behaviors and beliefs: hate, jeal-


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ousy, selfishness, sexual immorality, abuse, idolatry, antiauthority. In this AD 56-57 epistle, Paul reminds them of their “new” birth—a newness of the inner spirit that comes through baptism by water and the Holy Spirit. Through Christ a new beginning, a new life, a new hope, a new perspective, a new behavior, a new attitude is yours. Stevenson’s novella wasn’t just about transformation but about dual natures operating in one individual. When Dr. Jekyll was Dr. Jekyll, he was good. When he became Mr. Hyde, he was evil. It’s interesting that Paul’s epistle emphasizes that what is preeminent when someone has been justified in Christ is one nature—the new has come! When we are in Christ, there is no room for Jekyll and Hyde personalities. Paul is emphasizing to believers in the Corinthian church that if they are in Christ, the old is gone. The new is here. There is no dual personality, one set of actions in church and another outside of the church. There is consistency in our actions; the old is gone! The new is here! What does being a new creation mean for you? It may mean curbing your spending. It may mean curbing your tongue. It may mean praying more. It may mean paying off the debt you owe. For the 21st century Christian, Paul’s epistle still resonates. First, as part of the body of Christ, you need to activate your newness. One of the ways you can activate your “newness” is by releasing others who have sinned against you, “not counting people’s sin against them” because this holding on to the “old” perpetuates dissension and disunity in the church and can be a cancer in your soul. As a believer in Christ, the Spirit empowers you to trade in old behaviors for godly ones. For example, you trade un-forgiveness for forgiveness and trade hate for love and contentiousness for peace. Because of the work of Christ and the Spirit’s transforming presence, Christians don’t need to hold on to old behaviors and old thinking that dwarf our spiritual and emotional growth and limit our potential in Christ. If anyone is in Christ, the old is gone. The new is here.


Love Jesus, Feed His Sheep When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” —John 21:15-19 (New Revised Standard Version)

he above conversation between Jesus Christ and Simon Peter occurred after Christ’s resurrection— during the 40 days that Christ made appearances on earth prior to His ultimate biblically recorded ascension into heaven. The evening prior, several of Christ’s disciples had been together at the Sea of Tiberias (i.e. the Sea of Galilee). Peter announced that he was going fishing and the others said that they would go with him. They caught no fish that night. Around daybreak, the resurrected Jesus called out to them from the shore (although they did not yet realize that it was Jesus) and advised them where to cast their fishing net. When they followed his instruction, the net became so full of fish that that they had trouble pulling it in. John told Peter it was Jesus speaking to them from the shore. The disciples came ashore, dragged in their haul of fish, and ate breakfast with Jesus. The conversation occurred after they had eaten. I think that in order to comprehend that conversation’s significance, we need to remember that Peter, James, and John had been professional fishermen before Christ called them into His service. When Peter led them to go fishing after the Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, it was as if they were shifting their primary attention back toward the career that they had pursued before Christ had called them to be “fishers of men” three years earlier. The biblical text does not specify what noun was


the antecedent of “these” when Jesus asked, “Do you love me more than these?” I sense that many readers assume that Jesus was asking Peter whether Peter loved Jesus more than the disciples. But I think Jesus was asking whether Peter loved Jesus more than the fishing profession. Recorded conversations and actions from the prior night through to that morning had all been about fish: going fishing, not catching fish, catching a humongous number of fish, cooking fish, and eating fish. I don’t think Jesus was totally changing the subject when He asked, “Do you love me more than these?” I think he was asking Peter whether he loved Christ more than fishing, even though Peter, at the time of the conversation, had probably spent more prior years of his life as a fisherman than the mere three years that he had spent following Christ. I suspect that if Jesus was gesturing while He spoke, He was pointing toward the fish—those that had been netted and the bones and remains of those that had been eaten. By implication, the question also applied to the other professional fishermen who were with Peter when the conversation occurred. By further implication, I think it also applies to Christian leaders generally, from Christ’s earthly ministry to the present, be they preachers or laypersons, teachers or athletic coaches, parents, siblings, friends, etc. Does each of us love Christ more than our career, trade, profession, job, organization, hobby, culture, ideology, etc.? Last month we Christians commemorated Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), His crucifixion (Good Friday), and His resurrection (Resurrection Sunday). This month, let’s commemorate and study Jesus’ earthly appearances and teachings on earth between His Resurrection and Pentecost (approximately 50 days after Resurrection Sunday), including that we should: 1) love Christ more than anything else, and 2) feed and nurture His people. I believe that correct priorities lead to the best results in the long run, and often even in the short run.

April 2016 The Positive Community



The Last Word April 2016


Publisher Adrian A. Council, Sr.

t’s April 2016. It’s springtime and birds are chirping, bees are buzzing, flowers are blooming. Winter clothes are being packed away. I’m attending weddings and receiving invitations to more in the coming months, so everything is pastel-colored and happy. I should be pleased as punch, tiptoeing through the tulips without a care in the world (except for those pesky allergies), but I’m not. I find myself favoring my black clothes despite the warmer, brighter weather. These are the sorts of things you do with an impending breakup looming overhead. I find myself longingly gazing at photos taken during happier times. Smiling faces full of love and hope, parties, introductions, and the excitement of a new relationship have been replaced with the anxiety of saying goodbye. Boxes will have to be packed, a forwarding address provided to the post office, and the awkwardness of ignoring the elephant in the room looms large. He’s leaving. “I can do this,” I tell myself. Lord knows I’ve been through this before; it’s hardly my first rodeo. But this relationship was just so different. In reality, this man, the man broke the mold. Yes, he’s handsome, despite the grey hair and wrinkles that have appeared during our years together. But that wasn’t what attracted me to him. His intellect coupled with his smooth demeanor drew me in from the outset. His family values and commitment to doing what was best for us made plenty of other women take notice of him as well. The loving way he, as a husband, looked at his wife; the way he made every effort to spend time with the kids. Not only was he willing to relocate to make this relationship work, but he was amenable to moving in his mother-in-law? Who does that these days, really? He even quit smoking.


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.

62 The Positive Community


Vol. 16, No. 4

April 2016

The way he is open to others regardless of how different they are and the way he seems to be able to relate to any and everybody encouraged me to venture out of my comfort zone and be more adventurous. After all, if he could sing and dance in public, talk trash to the fellas on the basketball court, and despite his slight physical stature always let me know I was safe and that he had my back, the least I could do was try to be more open-minded and open-hearted. He really did make a valiant effort. He never lost his temper no matter what insult was hurled at him, and though I’m not proud of it and it hurts to admit it, there were many. What makes it worse is that more often than not, they were just words said in anger, verbal bombs thrown over the wall in an attempt to get a rise or reaction or somehow try to make him seem less than the man he truly is. If he had tried to control me or cut me off financially, I could make better sense of it. If he had been caught cheating or stealing I could suck my teeth and shake my head while bidding him good riddance. But he’s not that guy. He encourages me to see my doctor for preventative treatment and even reopened the lines of communication to resuscitate a friendship that had fallen apart so long ago that most of us barely remember why. Sigh. I guess you can call me Kameria because I’m ready to cry about Barack Obama leaving the White House just like that little girl did! I’m going to cherish these last months as we prepare for the end of the Obama era. And next year I’ll be saying, “Let’s make America great again.”


World Premieres including Exodus, Open Door and Awakening!

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater • 5/6-8

Rachael McLaren. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Mint Condition and Floetry

Riverdance 20 Years The Anniversary Tour

Fantasia and Anthony Hamilton

Richard Marx

Brian Regan

Rock out for a soul-filled night of R&B when Mint Condition (“What Kind of Man Would I Be”) and Floetry (“Say Yes”) hit the stage

This international Irish dance phenomenon captures the imagination of audiences across all ages with an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song.

Hear soulful hits like Fantasia’s “When I See U” and “Without Me” and Hamilton’s “Best of Me” and “The Point of It All.”

“Right Here Waiting,” “Hold on to the Nights,” “Endless Summer Nights” and more!

Hailed as one of the best in the business, Brian Regan is the unique comic whose material appeals to generations of fans.

Thursday, April 21 at 8pm

Thursday, April 28 at 8pm

Richard Nader’s 27th

featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo

Annual Summer Doo Wop Concert

Invincible: A Glorious Tribute to Michael Jackson

The Grammy-winning band behind “Bamboléo” celebrates 25-plus years of flamenco, salsa and pop fusion perfection.

Featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, Lou Christie, “Duke of Earl” Gene Chandler, The Duprees, Shirley Alston Reeves (The Shirelles), The Coasters, Jay Siegel’s Tokens, Tommy Mara and The Crests and special guest Ladd Vance.

The world’s number 1 tribute show to Michael Jackson honors this phenomenal talent from the Jackson 5 to solo artist.

Sunday, May 15 at 7pm

Sunday, May 8 at 8pm

Friday, April 22 at 8pm Saturday, April 23 at 2pm & 8pm Sunday, April 24 at 2pm & 7pm

The Gipsy Kings

Produced by John Scher/ Metropolitan Entertainment

Thursday, April 28 at 8pm

Saturday, June 11 at 8pm

Jersey (New) Moves!

Emerging Choreographers The second annual program to showcase New Jersey’s best upand-coming dancemakers! Friday, June 17 at 8pm

Earthquake’s Father’s Day Celebration Earthquake hosts a hilarious night of comedy, with performances by Lavell Crawford, Michael Blackson, Deon Cole and Pat Brown! A great Father’s Day gift Sunday, June 19 at 6pm

Sunday, June 5 at 3pm

For tickets and a full schedule visit or call 1.888.GO.NJPAC • Groups: 973.297.5804 NEW JERSEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • One Center Street, Newark, NJ World Music Series sponsored by American Express


April 2016  

Obie McKenzie on Bible Economics; Rev. Dr. M. William Howard: A Loving Tribute; UNCF Gala; Black Churchmen Celebrate MLK; Wall Street Projec...

April 2016  

Obie McKenzie on Bible Economics; Rev. Dr. M. William Howard: A Loving Tribute; UNCF Gala; Black Churchmen Celebrate MLK; Wall Street Projec...