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June 2017

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the temptations the four tops Fri, Oct 6 @ 8PM An evening of timeless soul and R&B with two of the music’s most enduring supergroups.

beres hammond marcia griffiths & third world jul 22

horizon foundation sounds of the city Jul 6 - Aug 24 from 5-9PM Free concert series featuring Talib Kweli, Kurtis Blow, Tower of Power, Black Sheep/Das Efx and more!

earthquake’s father’s day comedy show Sun, Jun 18 @ 7PM Starring Earthquake, DeRay Davis, Donnell Rawlings, Luenell, Lil Duval and Chico Beans.

chaka khan el debarge Fri, Jun 23 @ 8PM R&B hits with Chaka Khan (“I Feel for You,” “Through the Fire”) and El DeBarge (“All This Love,” “Rhythm of the Night”).

bring it! live Thu, Jul 13 @ 8PM Miss D and her Dancing Dolls, audience participation and more!

jill scott Sat, Jul 15 @ 8PM The three-time GRAMMY-winning singer and songwriter performs her sensuous R&B hits like “He Loves Me” and “Fool’s Gold.”

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the art of rap Fri, Jun 30 @ 8PM DMX, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Mobb Deep, O50, Harlem 6 and Mysonne.

erykah badu Fri, Sep 15 @ 8PM This GRAMMY-winning singersongwriter has been one of the most distinctive artists in R&B and neo-soul.

@NJPAC 1.888.GO.NJPAC Groups of 9 or more 973.353.7561 One Center Street Newark, NJ 5/31/17 11:12 AM

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JUNE 2017

CONTENTS SECTIONS MONEY ...................................15 HEALTH...................................26 EDUCATION.............................35 CULTURE ................................44

Features Black Veterans March for Social Justice ................... 14


Social Entrepreneurship Roundtable ....................... 15 Black Women Did That! ........................................... 16 Dee Marshall Brings Money, Power & Respect ......... 20

ON THE COVER: Class of 2017 graduate Autumn Witter shares the dreams God gave her as she embarks on her next chapter in life

&also inside

Paralysis and the Importance of Nutrition ............... 26 Senior Citizens’ Fashion Show Wows! ....................... 30 Dr. Perry Simmons: A Ministry of Service .................. 32 McDonald’s Celebrates Future Achievers .................. 36 Hooray for the Graduates! .................................. 37-40

Publisher’s Desk .................................. 8 Newark Holocaust Remembrance ............................ 42 Guest Editorial ................................... 10 Randy Weston Talks with Rev. Howard at Bethany .... 44 My View ............................................. 12 Introducing Alexis Morrast ....................................... 46 Fitness Doctor .................................... 28 SHEELD Awards Banquet ......................................... 52 Gospel Train ....................................... 57 Renewal & Rebirth at Convent Avenue B.C. .............. 53 The Way Ahead .................................. 60 Changes at the Newark Museum ............................. 54 The Last Word .................................... 62 SHE Wins! Summit Empowers Women and Girls ....... 55


The Positive Community June 2017

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6/8/17 5:11 AM

2017 JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr.

Speaker Emeritus Sheila Y. Oliver


Senator Raymond J. Lesniak


Friends of New Jersey Legacy Foundation, Inc.

Assemblyman Gerald B. Green

for a FREE Statewide Juneteenth Celebration Saturday, June 24, 2017 2:00pm to 7:00pm

Elizabeth Councilwoman At Large Patricia Perkins Auguste

Assemblyman Jamel Holley

Newark Councilman Mildred Crump

Mrs. Kim Nesbitt Good Friends of NJLF, Inc. Elizabeth, NJ

Special Guest:

Roland S. Martin Host of News One Now

Mr. Robert Taylor, Esq. East Orange, NJ

Councilman William Gallman Jr.

Free Dinner • Music Elizabeth Waterfront Pier and Marina Broadway and East Jersey Streets, Elizabeth, New Jersey

ALL ARE WELCOME Former Ambassador Philip D. Murphy

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead

For additional information about these events you may contact any committee member or Mrs. Kim Nesbitt Good at 908-352-7078

Hillside Mayor Angela R. Garretson

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage

Pastor George E. & 1st Lady Britt

Pastor Orlando T. & 1st Lady Riley

Dr. Lawrence Powell Senior Pastor

Dr. Odessa McNeill Staff Elder

Mt. Teman A.M.E. Church

New Bethel Baptist Church

Elizabeth, NJ

Agape Family Worship Cen.

Elizabeth, NJ

Agape Family Worship Cen.

Rahway, NJ

Rahway, NJ

Mr. Robert & Mrs. Yvonne Davis Friends of NJLF Inc. Elizabeth, NJ

William D. Jones Executive Director Elizabeth Housing Auth. Elizabeth, NJ

Mr. Samuel Arnold, President Garden State Funeral Directors Association

Mr. Randall Wood Chairman of the Board Premier Community Development Corp.

Elizabeth Councilman Carlos Torres

Rahway Councilman David Brown

Elizabeth Councilman Manuel R. Grova Jr.

Rev. Dr. Stefanie R. Minatee, “Jubilation”

Adrian A. Council, Sr. Publisher & Co-founder The Positive Comm. Montclair, NJ

Mr. Teddy Good Co. Owner Nesbitt Funeral Home Elizabeth, NJ

Ms. Barbara Hayes Friends of NJLF Inc. Elizabeth, NJ

Founder/Artistic Director








he clergy organizations, churches, community businesses and institutions listed below have committed to the purchase of at least 50 magazines per month at $1.50 each or they 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

St. John’s B.C., Scotch Plains, NJ Rev. Dr. Evans L. Spagner, Interim Senior Pastor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater NY & Vicinity Rev. James Morrison, Pastor

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

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

Berean B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Arlee Griffin Jr., Pastor Bethany B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey, Sr. Pastor Bethany B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Timothy E. Jones, Pastor Beulah Bible Cathedral Church, Newark, NJ Gerald Lydell Dickson, Senior Pastor Calvary Baptist Church, Garfield, NJ Rev. Calvin McKinney, Pastor Calvary Baptist Church, Morristown, NJ Rev. Jerry M. Carter, Jr., Pastor Canaan B. C. of Christ, Harlem, NY Rev. Thomas D. Johnson, Pastor Canaan B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Barry L. Graham, Pastor Cathedral International., Perth Amboy, NJ Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor Charity Baptist Church, Bronx, NY Rev. Reginald Williams, Pastor Christian Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY Rev. A.R. Barnard, Pastor Christian Love B.C., Irvington, NJ Rev. Dr. Ronald Christian, Pastor Clear View Baptist Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Eric M. Beckham, M.Div., MFT Community B.C., Englewood, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor, Pastor

First Baptist B.C. of Teaneck, NJ Rev. Marilyn Monroe Harris, Pastor First Corinthian Baptist Church, NY Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr. Senior Pastor First Park Baptist Church, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Rufus McClendon, Jr., Pastor First Baptist Church, South Orange, NJ Rev. Dr. Terry Richardson, Pastor Friendship Baptist Church, Rahway, NJ Rev. Allen Thompson, Jr., Pastor

Mount Zion Baptist Church, Westwood, NJ Rev. Barry R. Miller, Pastor Mt. Olivet B.C, Newark, NJ Rev. André W. Milteer, Pastor Mt. Zion AME Church, Trenton, NJ Rev. J. Stanley Justice, Pastor New Hope Baptist Church, Metuchen, NJ Rev. Dr. Ronald L. Owens, Pastor New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Dr. Frances Manning-Fontaine Pastor Emeritus

General Baptist Convention, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester W. Taylor, Jr., President

New Jerusalem Worship Center, Jamaica, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice, Senior Pastor

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

New Life Cathedral, Mt. Holly, NJ Rev. Eric Wallace, Pastor

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

New Zion B.C., Elizabeth, NJ Rev. Kevin James White, Pastor

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

Paradise B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Jethro James, Pastor

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

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

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) Malcolm A. Punter, President & CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shiloh B.C., Plainfield, NJ Rev. Hodari K. Hamilton, Sr., Senior Pastor

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

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

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

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

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


Then I will go to the king . . . and if I perish, I perish. (ESV) Esther 4:16



ow, more than ever, especially in post-Obama America, we must passionately rally to preserve, protect and promote our own vital interests and to save our own institutions. It is absolutely essential that the African American people have the means and ability to tell our own stories on our own terms, to each other and to the world! The progress of our children and the integrity of our African American culture, values and traditions—our collective soul—mean everything! Today, in New Jersey, there are but only two black-owned media companies functioning in the entire state! In northern NJ, The Positive Community (TPC) Corporation remains an exclusive and unduplicated media outlet. However, our company’s ongoing challenge means that we must compete with large, outsideowned, well-financed, media conglomerates who would claim to represent black consumers (and our children) in the marketplace for short-term financial gain through advertising and sponsorship. TPC stands alone in representing our community's best in this diabolical, most hostile media and corporate environment! Unwittingly, we African Americans have all but surrendered our cultural sovereignty to the enemies of progress! Others now speak for and on behalf of—our news, our music and our image. The major advertisers and corporations that derive enormous wealth from black consumer spending fund these big media companies with large multi-million dollar marketing and sponsorship budgets. The majority of these media firms are functioning contrary to the short or long-term interests of our people! And this is all justified by unfair, undemocratic practices or “rules” that reward advertising dollars to media companies that have the highest quantitative metrics or “numbers” irrespective of content or accountability. The Dignity of Our Humanity Collectively, we have been so duped into playing by other people's rules; we take for granted or even ignore the value of our own inherent, qualitative relationships and cultural assets. Hence, in this year 2017, in the NY/NJ metropolitan area—the largest (#1) black consumer market in the USA; in NYC, the media and advertising capital of the world; the financial capitol of the

Positive CommunityJune June 2017 Community 2017 840TheThePositive June 2017

world; the fashion and theater capitol of the world, we own not a single radio station, TV station, cable franchise, major newspaper, major internet site or large theater. The Positive Community is the only locally-produced, African American-owned lifestyle magazine serving this entire region! After eighteen years, TPC continues to deliver a qualitative experience to our community of readers, our advertisers, and the161 churches in NY, NJ and Conn. that subscribe to TPC’s Great Roll call to Progress (see partial listing page 7). Our love for one another and love of God is, indeed, a qualitative experience that can never be measured by either scale or the latest technology. While we are very far from matching the resources and money of the entrenched "giants", our publication does enjoy the respect and goodwill of the people. TPC has unique value: it never fails to affirm or reflect the dignity of our humanity—the truth, beauty and goodness of a loving and gifted race! Saving Our Own Media The Positive Community seeks the advocacy, the encouragement and support from our institutions, including every single, forward thinking man, woman and child of God! We need multiple voices from our community’s leadership, the people of God, to speak-up on our behalf. We simply cannot do this alone. In addition to NYC’s Baptist Ministers’ Conference’s endorsement and commitment to advocate (see, May issue, page 16), we are also calling on other clergy leadership organizations and community institutions to join with us in this noble effort to save our own media; our own community; our children; our culture; our future—save our country, Now! And yes, we the people, descendants of the Great Emancipation of 1863; liberated sons and daughters of the Most High, will prevail, if we faint not! The health, happiness and prosperity of future generations; the integrity of our culture and the progress of the race very much depends upon the quality of our thinking and the decisions we make today! At such a time as this, are we willing to engage in a conversation regarding the business about our future? Can we count on your support for a righteous cause?

Masterpiece, Collector’s Edition


™ Winter 2017


ry Delive h July 7t

Barack Obama

A Presidential Journey | 2009–2017

A special Thank you to all who have purchased and patiently waited for the arrival of this reprinted Obama commemorative issue, the response has been overwhelming. Proudly display it in your home, office, and classroom or with the family archives for the edification of future generations—our children’s children. We must never forget our collective sacrifices and achievements—our claim on the American Dream!

Own this proud moment in American history. No home, school or church should be without one! TPC’s Obama Issue makes for a great fundraiser! Show your love! Order this priceless commemorative issue today. Only $13.99 per copy, includes shipping and handling. Call TPC at 973-233-9200 or order online

Guest Editorial 150 Years is Enough. Ryan P. Haygood, one of the nation’s leading civil rights attorneys, is CEO and president of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice whose mission is to empower urban residents through economic justice, a reimagined criminal justice system, and an inclusive democracy. He lives in Newark.


n June 28, 1867, the New Jersey Training School for Boys, also known as Jamesburg, New Jersey’s largest youth prison, opened its doors. Since then, thousands of children have passed through its gates. On June 28, 2017, we will launch a campaign outside of Jamesburg’s prison doors to declare that 150 years of youth incarceration is enough. With this campaign, we are lifting our collective voices to transform New Jersey's youth incarceration system into a community-based system of care by closing Jamesburg and Hayes—the state’s girls’ youth prison. So far, forty organizations have signed on to a letter to our elected leaders, echoing this demand. (To sign on your organization, please email New Jersey’s youth incarceration system has proven to be ineffective, racially discriminatory, destructive to youth and their families, and devastating to our state budgets. Incredibly, two-thirds of kids incarcerated in New Jersey's youth prisons are black, even though black and white youth commit similar offenses at similar rates. By contrast, there are fewer than 15 white kids incarcerated in the state. This gives New Jersey the 3rd-highest black/white youth incarceration disparity rate in the nation. Not only is New Jersey’s current youth incarceration system plagued by these unacceptable racial disparities, it is also extraordinarily expensive, costing about $500 a day to lock up one child. In contrast, community based programs are much more cost-effective. For example, programs run by Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP), a national nonprofit that provides community-based alternatives, have a daily cost of about $100. And finally, New Jersey’s youth incarceration system does not advance public safety or rehabilitate youth. Studies have shown that long-term juvenile incarceration actually increases recidivism rates and hinders development, and children who are incarcerated are also more likely to be imprisoned and live in poverty as adults. In New Jersey, of the approximately 500 young people released from commitment in state juvenile facilities in

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2012, 80% had a new court filing/arrest, 68% had a new adjudication/conviction, and nearly 33% were recommitted within three years of release. In the early 1800s, a few decades before Jamesburg opened, abolitionist Frederick Douglass famously argued that, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Douglass’s words echo today, with an eerie precision, in New Jersey’s youth prisons. Consistent with Douglass’s admonition, it is time for New Jersey to invest in what works: community-based, treatment focused programs for youth. Of a sample of 1,851 YAP cases between the ages of 14 and 17, over 87% were living in the community, and less than 5% were in secure placement, between six and twelve months after being discharged from YAP. Our #150yearsisenough campaign will urge New Jersey to fundamentally reimagine its youth justice system by reinvesting funds from closing Jamesburg and Hayes youth prisons into developing and strengthening community-based intervention, prevention, diversion, and alternatives-to-incarceration programming for our youth. And for those young people who may need to be placed in secure confinement for public safety reasons, these facilities should be small, developmentally-appropriate, treatment-centered, and provide wrap-around services that are close to home and familial support—not far away youth prisons. Transformational change will come, as it always has, from the ground up in our communities. I invite you to join us on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at noon, outside the gates of Jamesburg youth prison, as we launch our campaign to help build strong children so that there is no need to repair broken men and women. On that day we will lift our collective voices and say: 150 years is enough! For more information on how to join the campaign, please email Juvenile Justice Campaign Manager Retha Onitiri at






Outside NJ’s youth prison, The New Jersey Training School for Boys Grace Hill Road Monroe Township, NJ CONTACT:  @NJ_ISJ


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

An Actor Among Us Turron Turron Kofi Kofi Alleyne Alleyne Has Has aa Passion Passion for for Acting, Acting, The The Lord, Lord, and and More More


urron urron Kofi Kofi Alleyne Alleyne is is aa New New Jersey Jersey actor. actor. Kofi, Kofi, as as he he likes to be called, refuses to use profanity in films. likes to be called, refuses to use profanity in films. And, And, he he has has been been in in quite quite aa few. few. While While you you might might not not recogrecognize his name right away, his face is instantly familiar. nize his name right away, his face is instantly familiar. His His body body of of work work includes: includes: Red Red Hook Hook Summer, Summer, directed directed by by Spike Spike Lee; Lee; Invincible, Invincible, with with Mark Mark Wahlberg; Wahlberg; Blackout Blackout with with Zoe Zoe Saldana; Person of Interest; and a small part in the Saldana; Person of Interest; and a small part in the longtime longtime television television series, series, Law Law & & Order: Order: Criminal Criminal Intent. Intent. He He also also appeared in the 2012 documentary Slavery by Another appeared in the 2012 documentary Slavery by Another Name, Name, which which recounts recounts the the many many ways ways in in which which slavery slavery was was perpetuperpetuated in America long after its supposed abolition. ated in America long after its supposed abolition. Kofi; Kofi; his his wife, wife, Yakini; Yakini; and and their their two two children, children, Malachi Malachi and and Nakaia, live in Orange, are active in their church, Nakaia, live in Orange, are active in their church, and and faithfaithful ful in in their their commitment commitment to to God. God. Their Their late late pastor, pastor, the the Rev. Rev. Shelia Johnson, passed away in 2009. She was the sister Shelia Johnson, passed away in 2009. She was the sister of of Amina Amina Baraka, Baraka, aa renowned renowned writer writer in in her her own own right, right, and and Yakini's Yakini's mother. mother. Kofi Kofi said said he he got got the the acting acting bug bug while while in in college college majoring majoring in culinary arts at the Johnson and Wales in culinary arts at the Johnson and Wales University. University. He He recalled recalled auditioning auditioning at at the the Major Major Cross Cross School School of of the the Arts Arts

12 The Positive Positive Community Community June June2017 2017 12 The The Positive Community June 2017

and and being being accepted—an accepted—an impressive impressive feat feat since since he he said said some some 1,000 hopeful thespians auditioned as well. Cooking 1,000 hopeful thespians auditioned as well. Cooking began began to to take take aa back back seat seat to to his his urge urge to to act act and and his his talents, talents, he he said, said, took him to places like Rome, France, and London. took him to places like Rome, France, and London. But But today today the the actor, actor, who who continues continues to to audition audition for for varivarious and sundry parts, has moved into another sphere ous and sundry parts, has moved into another sphere of of the the arts arts and and has has written written aa screenplay screenplay entitled, entitled, Defining Defining Moments. Moments. The The idea idea was was literally literally given given to to him him by by God, God, he he said, said, because because he had never ventured into this genre before. he had never ventured into this genre before. In In fact, fact, he he remembers struggling with the piece and then throwing remembers struggling with the piece and then throwing his his notebook notebook clear clear across across the the room room in in frustration frustration because because the the words wouldn't come. words wouldn't come. It It wasn't wasn't until until he he was was in in church church and and Rev. Rev. Johnson Johnson preached, seemingly at him, saying, “God has told preached, seemingly at him, saying, “God has told you you to to do do something and you have to pick it up and do it.” He something and you have to pick it up and do it.” He has. has. Defining Defining Moments Moments is is about about an an ex-con ex-con who who is is haunted haunted by by his his past. He’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown and past. He’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown and fightfighting ing to to make make aa change change in in his his life. life. But But when when all all seems seems well, well, he he realizes it takes more than change to truly heal. Kofi realizes it takes more than change to truly heal. Kofi also also touches touches on on post-traumatic post-traumatic stress stress disorder disorder in in the the story. story. Because he isn't a professional writer, "seasoned Because he isn't a professional writer, "seasoned actors" actors" have have come come to to his his workshops workshops at at Lincoln Lincoln Center Center to to give give him him feedback on the storyline and how he can fine tune feedback on the storyline and how he can fine tune the the story, story, he he said. said. One One such such person, person, according according to to Kofi, Kofi, is is Derrick Derrick Anthony, Anthony, aa director director out out of of Chicago, Chicago, who who penned penned and and directed directed aa short short film film entitled entitled 10 10 Cards, Cards, which which was was shown on CBS-TV several years ago. Kofi was also shown on CBS-TV several years ago. Kofi was also an an actor actor in in the the film. film. The The last last film film the the Orange Orange resident resident said said he he was was in in was was Finding Her, a true story about a missing girl. It was released Finding Her, a true story about a missing girl. It was released in in the the month month of of April April this this year. year. Asked Asked what what advice advice he he would would give to those wanting to get into the film business give to those wanting to get into the film business he he said, said, “Get “Get educated educated about about the the business business by by becoming becoming an an apprenapprentice tice to to hone hone your your craft. craft. And,” And,” he he noted, noted, “if “if you you still still are are interested after that, then continue to pursue it.” interested after that, then continue to pursue it.” “It's “It's about about doing doing what what you you love love with with stories stories that that need need to to be told. Or,” he said, “it's just doing something for fun.” be told. Or,” he said, “it's just doing something for fun.”

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MC Jelani Mashariki

Photos: Lem Peterkin

Councilman Robert Cornage and veterans

Berean Baptist Church’s BCD Knights

BELOW: National Association of Black Military Women, Brooklyn Chapter

L–R: Wendy McClinton with Board Member Georgie Johnson; Grand Marshal Dwaine Perry; Jelani Mashariki and Board Member Charles Davis

Marching FORWARD Black Veterans for Social Justice


tepping off from the amphitheater at Brooklyn’s historic Restoration Plaza, Black Veterans for Social Justice (BVSJ) led their 6th annual Memorial Day Parade down Marcy Avenue. A proclamation from the NYC Department of Veterans Services and acknowledgement by Mayor Bill DiBlasio made the May 28, 2017 event the official Bedford Stuyvesant Memorial Day Parade. The parade is the brain child of BVSJ's President and CEO, Wendy McClinton. McClinton, sought the services of BVSJ at a time in her life when, as a single mother and a veteran, she was homeless. Now McClinton works to ensure the expansion of the organization developing an array of community services including support services for families of veterans, Prison Outreach, Job to Build (J2BO) and more. With her compassion for veterans and passion for her job, McClinton was present and visible orchestrating the parade. It was a festive affair with veterans from all branches of military service young and old in the parade, families along the parade route holding pictures of their loved ones, marching bands and steppers. The Berean Community


The Positive Community June 2017

BY PATRICIA COUSAR Drumline of the Berean Baptist Church was outstanding and the performances of P.S. 184’s drum line and the Step Team from Ebenezer Christian Center were dazzling, Master of Ceremonies Jelani Marshariki, director of BVSJ shelter operations, paid  homage to fallen soldiers and recognized those who bravely served. Jelani is the son of Job Marshariki, a decorated veteran who founded the agency in 1979, rendering services to populations of veterans returning from all branches of services who were being overlooked by other agencies. Mashariki Grand Marshal Dwaine Perry, a Native American, used his platform to bring attention to the plight of Native Americans. The National Association of Black Military Women and the  Bedford Stuyvesant Ambulance Corp. also participated in the parade.  The parade is expected to expand as BVSJ services continue to expand.  One issue McClinton is currently working on is adequate housing for veterans and their familes. She vows to take the fight to the City of New York in order to provide the housing that these heroes deserve.

L–R: TPC Editor Jean Nash Wells; TPC Publisher Adrian Council, Sr.; and Paula Mayo, president/executive director, The Interchurch Center


Social Entrepreneurship Roundtable at Harlem’s Interchurch Center


L–R: New York Life Representatives Nicholas J. Ruicci and Lamarr ButlerParker with Peter Gillo, TPC

L–R: Rev. Cornell Edmonds, Moderator Rev. Jacque DeGraff, and Panelist Cynthia Gardner-Brim

Yasser Pepen, community relations specialist, Fidelis Care, NY with and Rev. Jacque DeGraff Photos: Bruce Moore

n engaging conversation about the future of business development took place on April 27, as The Positive Community hosted the first of a series of roundtable discussions on social entrepreneurship in the 21st century. “Building Positive Communities” was the theme. The expert panel, led by Moderator Rev. Jacques DeGraff, introduced some of today’s change leaders as they discussed the questions “What is a social entrepreneur?” And, “How can one develop bold ideas for social change?”

L–R: TPC Publisher Adrian Council, Sr.; Clayton Banks, co-founder, Silicon Harlem; Jean Nash Wells, TPC editor-in-chief; Cynthia Gardner-Brim, director of Alumni Affairs, NY Theological Seminary; Michelle Dalzon, founder, (theBOM) The BlackOwned Market; Peter Markeeo Gillo, co-founder DIFFvelopment; Esi Kagale Agyeman Gillo, co-founder DIFFvelopment; and Rev. Jacque DeGraff

To see entire video go to

June 2017 The Positive Community


Black Women Did That Harlem Business Alliance Celebrates Brains, Grace & Power of Black Women Gale Brewer and Adrianne C. Smith


n recognition of the success and inspiration they have brought to world, the HBA celebrates black women for all that they do and will continue to do. “Growing up surrounded by strong, intelligent black women, running thriving businesses and organizations throughout Harlem – Black Girl Magic was always the rule. Not the exception,” said Regina Smith, executive director of Harlem Business Alliance (HBA). HBA shined the spotlight on nine of those outstanding women as part of their 36th annual fundraising gala, May 3, 2017 at Mist, Harlem, a first for the organization, which traditionally honors both women and men. This year’s theme, “Black Women Did That,” recognized the silent power of countless black women who fueled numerous movements from the Underground Railroad to Civil Rights, and brought innovations to space, science, arts, and entrepreneurship.

Honorees La-Verna J. Fountain, vice president, Strategic Communications and Construction Business Initiatives, Columbia University; and Adrianne C. Smith, managing partner, AdHere Network


The Positive Community June 2017

L–R: Dr. Walter J. Edwards; Honoree Vera Moore, president and CEO; and Regina Smith, executive director of HBA

Honorees Dyana Williams, CEO and journalist, community activist; and Sylvia Rhone, president, Epic Records

Honorees Sylvia Rhone (Business Person of the Year, music executive) Jeanne Wardford (Chairman’s Award, W.K. Kellogg Foundation), Vera Moore (Entrepreneurship Award, CEO, Vera Moore Cosmetics), Dyana Williams (Percy Sutton Award, Entertainment powerhouse and CEO, Influencer Entertainment), Glynda C. Carr (Government Service Award, advocate and political strategist), Kimberly Peeler-Allen (Government Service Award, political fundraiser and event planner), Jodie Patterson (Community Service Award, entrepreneur and activist), Dr. Aletha Maybank (STEAM Award, deputy commissioner for New York City Department of Health), and La-Verna J. Fountain (Woman of Action Award, VP for Strategic Communications & Construction Business Initiatives at Columbia University). Event Sponsors: Airbnb, Harlem Community Development Corporation, City National Bank, and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly

Dr. Walter J. Edwards, chairman and CEO, Harlem Business Alliance with Dr. Walter J. Edwards

Regina Smith and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Honoree Kimberly Peeler-Allen, and Regina Smith

L–R: Debbie Jackson with Vy Higginsen

Honoree Dr. Aletha Maybank receiving STEAM Award

Honoree Jeanne Wardford

Jodie Patterson accepting Community Service Award, Entrepreneur and Activist award

L–R: Dr. Clyde Pemberton, Dr. Ellis Charles, and Dr. Walter J. Edwards

Photos: Seitu Oronde & Debi Jackson

June 2017 The Positive Community


Majorie Perry President & CEO


The Positive Community June 2017

The Communications Lifeline program by Verizon keeps the lines of communication open for your family.

Under the Communications Lifeline program, Verizon NJ residential telephone customers may be eligible to receive free or discounted local telephone service. Communications Lifeline participants can receive: • Discounted flat rate residential phone service, including touch-tone service • Additional optional features such as caller ID or three-way calling

To apply, just call NJ SHARES at 1-888-337-3339 or visit

Money, Power, Respect Dee Marshall hosts Men’s Forum


oney, Power & Respect emanated from every corner of the room at the Men’s Forum on Saturday, April 22 at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, NJ. Created by Dee C. Marshall, coach, author and TV lifestyle expert, to empower professional men and inspire authentic bonds and connections, the midday event, which concluded with a round of golf for those who were so inclined, attracted nearly 200 participants. Marshall, president of Raise the Bar, LLC, is also founder of the annual women's empowerment forum Win, Rock & Rule. Last year, following the women’s event, Gale Britton, VP of Diversity & Inclusion at Prudential, approached her about establishing a comparable event for men. “I’m a woman serving primarily women until last year when I started planning this,” explained Marshall. “I had no idea it would take a year to deliver, but so happy to report it was an overwhelming success.” Fearless, she added, “If TD Jakes and Steve Harvey can focus on women then I can certainly focus on men.” Prudential Enterprise Holdings, Open Road BMW, and MTA were contributing sponsors.

For more photos and video, visit


The Positive Community June 2017

Dee C. Marshall

BY JEAN NASH WELLS Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries of dfree

L–R: Steve Cooper, financial advisor; Kaylyn Kendall-Dines, media consultant; and Kahlil Carmichael “The Fitness Doctor,” pastor of It Is Well Living Church, Somerset, NJ

Photos: Karen Waters

George R. Barnes, financial advisor At Prudential

L–R: Michael Garner, Allan Boomer, Momentum Advisors and Obie McKenzie, Black Rock

Testimonials from the forum: Great thanks to Dee C. Marshall for putting this event together. She has proven once again she is a leader of men and women! Jeff Gardere, Ph.D. Board Certified Psychologist Every man I spoke to at and since the forum has indicated they left the event totally fed... this was never done with men before...  The most compelling testimony was from a young man who told me we may have saved a brother's life yesterday. What an awesome statement, but it was truly due to the arrangement of the panelists and the categories selected. I thank Dee and her staff for that... Steve Cooper Mortgage Banker, Alterra Home Loans

Relationship Panel: L–R: Jay Barnett, Author & Speaker, King Jay Barnett;  Jeff Gardere, Ph.D., Board Certified Psychologist; Walter Douglas, Jr., Chief Operating Officer, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Kahlil Carmichael, MAPCC, MDiv, CPT, Owner of The Fitness Doctor, pastor of It Is Well Living Church, Somerset, NJ

L–R: Nadir Jones, manager, Small Business Mentor Program; Gale Britton, vice president, Diversity & Inclusion at Prudential; Michael Garner, chief of diversity, MTA and president, 100 Black Men; Dee C. Marshall, author, coach and founder of Money, Power & Respect; George Cleary, deputy chief diversity officer.

L–R: Dr. Jeff Gardier, Touro College; and Michelline Davis, EVP RJW Barnabas Health

June 2017 The Positive Community







If you’re a certified Minority, Women, Disadvantaged, or Small Business Enterprise (MWDSBE) who wants to become a prime construction contractor in New York’s lucrative transportation market, join the elite team at the MTA. Enroll in the award-winning MTA Small Business Development Program, which includes the MTA Small Business Mentoring Program and the MTA Small Business Federal Program. Contracts - Prime Construction Bidding Opportunities up to $3 Million Access to Capital - Small Business Loans up to $900,000 Per Contract Bonding - Access to Surety Bonding Assistance Training - Free Classroom Construction Training Technical Assistance - MTA Expert Technical Assistance Mentoring - One-on-One Professional Development Free Business Plan Development Back Office Support


NYS MWBEs DBEs Small Businesses SDVOBs


Visit to select the program in which you are interested and download the application. You can also call 212.878.7161 for more information

MTA Department of Diversity and Civil Rights

Fernando Ferrer Interim Chairman, MTA

John J. Molloy Veronique Hakim Interim Executive Director, MTA Board Member; Chair, Diversity Committee, MTA

COMMITTEE MEMBERS Honorable David Jones Honorable Susan G. Metzger, Ph.D. Honorable Peter Ward Honorable Neal Zuckerman

Michael J. Garner, MBA Chief Diversity Officer, MTA

Donald Spero Deputy Chief Financial Officer
















he MTA Small Business Development Program (SBDP) is a groundbreaking initiative that provides small businesses, including MWDBEs and SDVOBs, the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. In 2009, the MTA revamped its Department of Diversity and Civil Rights under the PRIME CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS UPChief TO $3 MILLION leadership of Michael J. Garner, the MTA’s UP TO $900,000 Diversity SMALL Officer. BUSINESS One of theLOANS Department’s key priorities is the creation of small business development programs that can assist the MTA in developing a larger of Disadvantaged, diverse businesses If you’re a certified Minority,pool Women, or Small Business Enterprise wants to become aour primeprojects construction contractor in that can (MWDSBE) competewhoand complete New York’s lucrative transportation market, join the elite team at the MTA. Enroll safely, timely and within budget. in The the award-winning Small Business program MTA was built on Development a simple Program, idea: which includes the MTA Small Business Mentoring Program and the MTA Small Business engage small contractors in the MTA environFederal Program. ment through in-class training and support each individual contractor on small projects Contracts - Prime Construction Bidding Opportunities up to $3 Million that would be competitively bid. It was a simAccess to Capital - Small Business Loans up to $900,000 Per Contract ple learn and earn model that would be the Bonding - Access to Surety Bonding Assistance foundation of an award-winning program that Training - Free Classroom Construction Training would Technical attract Assistance hundreds- MTA of candidates inExpert Technicaland Assistance evitably build a pool of small business conMentoring - One-on-One Professional Development tractors who would from the intenFree Business Plangraduate Development sive eight-year Back Officeprogram. Support Today, the SBDP, along with its mentoring initiatives, is establishing the benchmark WHO CANbusinesses APPLY NEXT STEPS for small to grow and serve the MTA NYS andMWBEs the transportation Building Visit industry. to select the on our successful models, we launched the DBEs program in which you are interested and MTA Small Small Business Federal Program (SBFP),You can also Businesses download the application. which provides new training and business op-information SDVOBs call 212.878.7161 for more portunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and other small businesses to work federally-funded projects.and Almost MTAonDepartment of Diversity Civil Rights 300 contractors are actively enrolled in the program, and 97 have graduated. All of the MTA operating agencies are part of the process to increase small business inclusion and participation. Our collective goal is to strengthen our agency-wide efforts to help us eliminate those historical impediments that have prevented small businesses, including MWDBEs, from entering the transportation and construction industries. The SBDP and its affiliate programs are key building blocks in this effort. Fernando Ferrer Interim Chairman, MTA

Veronique Hakim John J. Molloy Interim Executive Director, MTA Board Member; Chair, Diversity Committee, MTA

June 2017 The Positive Community


COMMITTEE MEMBERS Honorable David Jones


The Positive Community June 2017

Gary with his mother, Joellen on Mother's Day 2017

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

Gary with faithful companion, Haze

Paralysis & Nutrition


was 18 years old my freshman year in college. I had made the starting roster of our football team and I read somewhere that my coach said I was probably the heart of the team because of my leadership and work ethic both in the classroom and on the field. I was on top of the world. On September 6, 2003, my entire life changed in just a millisecond. One hit and I was rendered a quadriplegic —a person affected by paralysis of all four limbs. I had to deal with it. Because I was an athlete, I was able to focus on the changes that my body was going through. I knew that I had to be thoroughly disciplined regarding whatever I had to do to recover. Being paralyzed is about so much more than just the inability to walk. Issues like bowel and bladder control, being able to feel, muscle atrophy, being able to regulate


The Positive Community June 2017


body temperature and managing a healthy weight years post injury, are a few of the many concerns of a person living with SCI (spinal cord injury). Today I continue to deal with the challenges of living life as a paralyzed man. Embracing healthy eating habits and exercising as much as possible keeps my body mass down and allows me to be ready for research trials that will hopefully provide answers and lead to finding a cure for paralysis. People living with SCI have difficulty burning calories because of their inactivity. So eating well is even more essential for us because of the ease with which we can gain weight due to the metabolic changes that occur in the body after trauma or disease. When I first started playing organized sports at age 12, I gained the insight that eating right would not only help me perform better during training and on the field of play, but it would set

the foundation for me to be disciplined and focused on living a healthy lifestyle. So, I eat as well as I can and exercise as best as I can because it's essential to lowering the health risks and added challenges I would have to deal with if I were to become overweight or obese. Caregivers must be able to lift or move a paralyzed person. Respiratory or breathing problems can develop. Undue strain and pressure on joints and ligaments are problems that can also occur. Most days I eat twice consuming between 400-1000 calories in total. Don’t get me wrong; I still have occasional junk food cravings. Some of my favorite foods are pizza, chicken wings, cheeseburgers and french fries. Treating yourself once in a while to foods that you crave is fine. It’s important to always remember that moderation and portion size are key when choosing to eat junk food; indulging in junk food more than once or twice a month could pose problems for your future health. According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Guide, people with spinal cord injuries are prone to two diet related problems: heart disease and diabetes. Heart disease is the primary cause of death in America. Consuming high fat meats, high sugar processed foods, and limited daily intense physical activities can lead to heart disease. For those of us with SCI, blood chemistry becomes impaired because of the body’s reaction to try and heal itself when trauma occurs. Insulin tolerance is high, and the body produces more and more insulin to transport energy to the body tissues. This is one of the pathways to diabetes. I am not a doctor nor am I a nutritionist; I am someone whose body went through serious trauma 14 years ago. I live now as a quadriplegic and make a conscious effort to control the things I eat and drink, and I do my best to do some type of exercise every day. Even though I'm not able to walk or do many things physically on my own, I have found different ways to exercise. When the weather is comfortable, I will push my power-assist manual wheelchair around a track for about two miles. When the weather is cold or raining, I have a stationary arm cycle that I use for at least 60 minutes a day. I have wrist weights because I have limited hand function. With the wrist weights, I do shoulder shrugs, bicep curls, and shoulder raises in order to increase strength and elevate my heart rate. If I can do these exercises with my limited body function, there should be no excuse for an able-bodied person to not find or take part in an exercise to help boost their overall health and keep illnesses like heart disease and diabetes at bay. We all have one body, one mind, and one soul. Don’t take your body or your health for granted. That saying, “You never miss something you have, until it’s gone,” is so true. Don’t live your life with regret. Eat right and get your body in motion!


Serving the Community for Five Decades.

Primary Health Care – Adult Medicine and Pediatrics Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center 2381 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (@ 128th Street) Call today for an appointment: 212-866-4400

Center Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00am – 5:00pm Thursday, 11:00am – 7:00pm | Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm The Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center is part of the William F. Ryan Community Health Network – a provider of primary, preventive, specialty and support services throughout New York City. At Ryan, we believe that “healthcare is a right, not a privilege.” We accept Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans. Affordable sliding fee available based on family size and income. June 2017 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.

Listen to Live


here is nothing more powerful than the voice of a father. The father’s voice is powerful. It is the father’s voice that gives instruction and correction to the children within his sphere of influence. Instruction is defined as “to give a direction or order.” Most men are great at giving orders and direction. Especially when we (men) truly believe the directive or instruction is helpful or solves a problem in the lives of people we love. A father who desires to protect and raise his children responsibly—regardless of his relationship status with their mother—should use his powerful, yet loving voice as a tool to give instruction. But this same voice must decrease at times to receive instruction. This is a problem for many men. Most men find it difficult to receive and follow instruction given by an authoritative figure. Perhaps not following instructions is the reason for health disparities in men, especially black men. Black men in the United States suffer from poorer health than any other racial group in America. For example, as a group, black men have the lowest life expectancy and the highest death rate compared to both men and women of other racial and ethnic groups. Look at some of these statistics: • Black men live 7.1 years less than other racial groups. • They have higher death rates than women for all leading causes of death. • They experience disproportionately higher death rates in all the leading causes of death. • 40% of black men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to 21% of white men. • They have a higher incidence of oral cancer and a higher rate of death from it. • Black men are 5 times more likely to die of HIV/AIDS. (source VeryWell) The question must be asked, “Why do we often disregard the instruction or bidding of our pastors, physicians, and health professionals?” Directives such as “eat healthy, exercise consistently, and visit your physician regularly,” are often ignored to the detriment of great men who are husbands, brothers, uncles, and dads. The inability to follow instructions that

28 The The Positive Positive Community Community

June June2017 2017

will often save our lives is thought to be linked to the fatherlessness epidemic, which plagues our communities and nation. Someone once said one of the sincerest forms of respect is listening to and doing what someone you respect says. Perhaps it is difficult to listen to and follow instruction when as a young black male, you never heard the voice of your own father give instruction for you to follow. I cannot tell you how many men I have met who really needed to start an exercise program, learn how to eat healthier, or heal spiritually by way of an authentic relationship with God through Christ. I gave them all I had. I offered my brothers instruction and directions on how to live well. Yet, regrettably, some were unable to receive instruction from me. It’s not that they didn’t want to; they simply could not receive. Proverbs 1:7 teaches us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” One of my most humbling experiences came when after years of telling me how to keep my car running smoothly, my mechanic reprimanded me after some routine scheduled maintenance. My mechanic friend said to me, “Kahlil you must protect your engine by keeping up with the scheduled maintenance. To do otherwise is foolish.” I got the point! On June 2, I spoke at an event held at Berean Baptist Church where Dr. Arlee Griffin Jr. is the senior pastor. It was an annual symposium on prostate cancer sponsored by the Honorable Ed Towns. As the men convened in Brooklyn, I prayed that those who attended this important symposium would listen to the life-giving instructions given by of all the physicians and speakers. It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. It’s time to listen and live. Happy Father’s Day, my brothers! Peace, blessings, and love to you all. If you’re interested in a free consultation or more in-formation on FitCare, call 732-921-3746 or email Disclaimer: The information contained in this column is of a general nature. You should consult your physician or health care professional before beginning any exercise prgram or changing your dietary regimen.

Hope. Health. Hearts. All transplanted here. RWJBarnabas Health has one of the top 10 heart transplant programs in the nation and, as a system, performs more adult heart transplants than any program on the East Coast. Our expertise in all matters of cardiac health is why we’re a regional and national training center for clinicians. And together with you, our survival rates consistently meet or exceed all benchmarks. It adds up to the most experienced and comprehensive heart care program in New Jersey. Available at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, it’s a program where hearts are transplanted right along with hope and health. Because, after all, your heart doesn’t beat just for you. To learn more, please visit

rwjbh6290 TRANS_hispanc-Pos Comm 8x10.5-m1.indd 1

3/22/17 11:04 AM

L–R: Derrick Green, aide to Phil Murphy; Bessie Walker; Mildred Crump; Tiffany and Phil Murphy; guest; and Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins

L–R: Dr. Albert Lewis, Hon. Bessie Walker, and Dr. Mamie Bridgeforth

The 28th Annual Senior Citizens’ Fashion Show and Cultural Extravaganza Sponsored by United Healthcare

Eighty and Over Steppers, from Newark, NJ; under the direction of Tam Taylor


Photos: Herb Glenn

on. Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Council President Hon. Mildred C. Crump, and the Newark Municipal Council hosted the 28th Annual Senior Citizens’ Fashion Show and Cultural Extravaganza in the ballroom at the Robert Treat Hotel, on May 18, 2017. Approximately 1,000 senior citizens gathered for the United HealthCare sponsored extravaganza. The event was planned by the City of Newark Senior Citizen Committee chaired by President Crump. Special guests included Democratic candidate for NJ governor Phil Murphy, and his wife, Tiffany; and legendary singer Cissy Houston. The mayor, council members, and department directors participated as guest models. United Healthcare Community Plan team L–R: Health Educator Paula Valenzuela; Jim Olmstead, VP Sales and Marketing; Gladys Cartagena-Eskridge, Community Relations coordinator; Charlotte Kinsey, Faith-Based representative; Gus Barrera, Medicare Sales manager; Health Educator La-Kisa Hines; Eddie West Jr., Medicare Sales representative Seated: Mildred Crump and Cissy Houston


The Positive Community June 2017

New New Jersey Jersey residents, residents, learn learn how how you you can can getget get New Jersey residents, learn how you can


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This plan who Medicare and full Medicaid Medicaid benefits. benefits. This This information information is not is not a complete a complete description description of benefits. of benefits. Contact Contact the the for for benefits. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact plan the plan plan for more more information. information. Limitations Limitations and and restrictions restrictions may may apply. apply. Benefits Benefits may may change change on January on January 1 11 more information. Limitations and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change on January of of each year. year. Premiums Premiums are covered covered forfor for enrollees enrollees of of UnitedHealthcare of UnitedHealthcare UnitedHealthcare DualDual Complete Complete ONEONE of each each year. Premiums areare covered enrollees Dual Complete ONE (HMO (HMO SNP). SNP). 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Consult Consult aa health a health care care professional professional before before beginning beginning anyany any exercise exercise program. program. Availability Availability of the ofofthe Consult health care professional before beginning exercise program. Availability the SilverSneakers SilverSneakers program program varies varies bybyplan/market. byplan/market. plan/market. Refer Refer to your to your your Evidence Evidence of Coverage of for for more SilverSneakers program varies Refer to Evidence of Coverage Coverage formore more details. details. Healthways Healthways and and SilverSneakers SilverSneakers areare are registered registered trademarks trademarks of Healthways, of Healthways, Inc.Inc. and/or its itsits details. Healthways and SilverSneakers registered trademarks of Healthways, Inc.and/or and/or subsidiaries. subsidiaries. ©2016 ©2016 Healthways, Healthways, Inc. Inc. All rights All rights reserved. reserved. subsidiaries. ©2016 Healthways, Inc. All rights reserved. Y0066_161213_104149 Y0066_161213_104149 Accepted Accepted H3113-005_CST12290 H3113-005_CST12290 Y0066_161213_104149 Accepted H3113-005_CST12290 June 2017 The Positive Community 31

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Photos: Vincent Bryant

Rev. Simmons leads the opening prayer at a Phil Murphy for Governor rally.

The Lord Did Not Bring You This Far to Leave You Now By Glenda Cadogan


n June 30, 2017 Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Jr. will officially retire as pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, Newark, New Jersey. In July, the Sunday after the church installs its new pastor, Dr. Simmons will preach his last sermon to the congregation. His intended message to the flock of 850 congregants, whom he has shepherded for the past 35 years, is a powerful one: “In all your ways acknowledge God and he will direct your path. I plan to tell them to stay focused and trust in God,” he said, adding, “The same God that gave me to them will call forth the leader they need for such time as this.” Dr. Simmons was born and raised in South Georgia and is the son, grandson, and great grandson of preachers. The evidence of God’s call on his life, he says, was present even in his preteen years. It was at the age of 17 that he preached his first sermon at a tiny church in rural Georgia and eventually accepted the call to ministry. In his 51 years as a minster, Dr. Simmons’ accomplishments are beyond measure. He has been voted among the “Who's Who in Religion in America” and received the Religious Leader of the Year Award from the Newark Camp of the National

32 The The Positive Positive Community Community June June2017 2017

Council of Negro Women. But his central message of waiting and walking behind God’s lead seem to be the clarion call throughout the five decades since he preached his first sermon titled: “Wait on the Holy Ghost.”

Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Jr. and First Lady Emma Pinckney Simmons

Dr. Dr. Dr. Simmons Simmons Simmons took took took over over over the the the helm helm helm at at at Abyssinian Abyssinian Abyssinian Baptist Baptist Baptistin in in1982 1982 1982at at ataaatumultuous tumultuous tumultuoustime time timein in inthe the thechurch’s church’s church’s history. history. history.“When “When “WhenIIIcame came camehere here hereIIImet met metaaachurch church churchwhich which whichhad had had just just justexperienced experienced experiencedaaasplit, split, split,was was waswounded, wounded, wounded,and and andin in inneed need needof of of healing,” healing,” healing,”he he herecalled. recalled. recalled.“They “They “Theyneeded needed neededsomeone someone someonewho who who had had hadthe the thekind kind kindof of ofspirit spirit spiritwilling willing willingto to towork work workwith with withthem them themwhile while while they they theyhealed.” healed.” healed.”For For Forthe the thefirst first firstyear, year, year,says says saysDr. Dr. Dr.Simmons, Simmons, Simmons,he he he did did didnothing nothing nothingother other otherthan than thanpreach preach preachand and andminister. minister. minister.“I “I“Idid did did not not not try try try to to to change, change, change, replace, replace, replace, or or or introduce introduce introduce anything anything anything new.” new.” new.”The The Thehealing healing healingprocess process processlasted lasted lastedfor for forfive five fiveyears years yearsand and and with with withaaasolid solid solidfoundation foundation foundationlaid, laid, laid,Dr. Dr. Dr.Simmons Simmons Simmonsthen then thenled led ledhis his his congregation congregation congregationto to tothe the thegreatness greatness greatnessitititisisistoday today todaywith with withaaaboast boast boast of of ofbeing being beingaaa100% 100% 100%tithing tithing tithingand and andofferings offerings offeringschurch church churchwith with with more more morethan than than21 21 21ministries ministries ministriesdoing doing doingkingdom kingdom kingdomwork. work. work. “I “I“Iam am amhappy happy happythat that thatIIIam am amleaving leaving leavingaaachurch church churchthat that thatisisiswell well well trained trained trainedand and andvery very veryastute astute astutein in inthe the theword,” word,” word,”Simmons Simmons Simmonsreflectreflectreflected. ed. ed.“I “I“Iam am amleaving leaving leavingaaachurch church churchthat that thatunderstands understands understandsits its itsmismismission sion sionand and andwho who whobelieves believes believesin in inthe the themessage message messageof of ofMatthew Matthew Matthew chapter chapter chapter25. 25. 25.So So Sowe we weminister minister ministerby by byfeeding feeding feedingthe the thehungry, hungry, hungry, clothing clothing clothingthe the thenaked, naked, naked,housing housing housingthe the thehomeless, homeless, homeless,and and andhealhealhealing ing ingthe the thesick.” sick.” sick.” The The Thepower power powerin in inthese these theseministries ministries ministriesshows shows showsup up upin in inpractical practical practical ways ways wayssuch such suchas as asthe the theWomen Women Womenof of ofPurpose Purpose PurposeMinistry, Ministry, Ministry,which which which

Newark Newark NewarkMayor Mayor MayorRas Ras RasJ.J.J.Baraka, Baraka, Baraka,Rev. Rev. Rev.Perry Perry PerrySimmons, Simmons, Simmons, and and andthe the theMayor’s Mayor’s Mayor’sChief Chief Chiefof ofofStaff Staff StaffAmiri Amiri AmiriBaraka, Baraka, Baraka,Jr. Jr. Jr.

Abyssinian Baptist Abyssinian AbyssinianBaptist Baptist Church, Newark, NJ Church, Church,Newark, Newark,NJ NJ

works workswith with withbattered battered batteredwomen women womenin in inshelters; shelters; shelters;and and andthe the theMen Men Mento to to works Boys; Boys;Boys Boys Boysto to toMen Men Menmentoring mentoring mentoringprogram. program. program.In In Inaddition, addition, addition,the the the Boys; church churchhas has hasestablished established establishedaaavibrant vibrant vibrantfood food foodpantry pantry pantryand and andaaa church scholarship scholarshipprogram program programthat that thathas has hashanded handed handedout out outmore more morethan than than scholarship $400,000 $400,000over over overthe the theyears. years. years. $400,000 Personally, Personally, Dr. Dr. Dr. Simmons Simmons Simmons has has has aaa sterling sterling sterling record record record of of of Personally, accomplishments accomplishments which which which includes includes includes three three three published published published accomplishments books booksand and andbeing being beingboth both bothfounder founder founderand and andexecutive executive executivedirector director director books of of the the the Newark Newark Newark Adult Adult Adult Youth Youth Youth Drug Drug Drug Prevention Prevention Prevention of Partnership PartnershipProgram. Program. Program.In In Inaddition addition additionto to tobeing being beingthe the thespiritual spiritual spiritual Partnership advisor advisorto to toMayor Mayor MayorRas Ras RasBaraka, Baraka, Baraka,Dr. Dr. Dr.Simmons Simmons Simmonsserves serves serveson on onthe the the advisor Mayor’s Mayor’s Clergy Clergy Clergy Alliance Alliance Alliance and and and isisis the the the Chaplin Chaplin Chaplin of of of the the the Mayor’s Newark NewarkPolice Police Policeand and andFire Fire FireDepartments. Departments. Departments.He He HeisisisChairman Chairman Chairman Newark of of the the the Health Health Health and and and Community Community Community Wellness Wellness Wellness Federally Federally Federally of Qualified Qualified Health Health Health Center Center Center Board Board Board of of of Commissions Commissions Commissions of of of Qualified Newark, Newark, New New New Jersey; Jersey; Jersey; aaa member member member of of of The The The Newark Newark Newark Newark, Educational EducationalSuccess Success SuccessBoard; Board; Board;and and andaaamayoral mayoral mayoralappointee appointee appointee Educational whose whosemission mission missionisisisto to togive give giveback back backlocal local localcontrol control controlof of ofpublic public public whose schools schoolsto to tothe the theCity City Cityof of ofNewark. Newark. Newark. schools After Afterhanding handing handingover over overthe the thereins reins reinsat at atAbyssinian Abyssinian Abyssinianto to tothe the thenew new new After pastor, pastor,Dr. Dr. Dr.Simmons Simmons Simmonsplans plans plansto to toreturn return returnto to tohis his hishome home homestate state stateof of of pastor, Georgia Georgiawith with withaaaprimary primary primaryaim aim aimof of ofbeing being beingclose close closeto to tohis his hisfamily, family, family, Georgia most mostof of ofwhom whom whomstill still stilllive live livethere— there— there—including including includinghis his his91-year-old 91-year-old 91-year-old most mother. mother.“My “My “Myhope hope hopeisisisto to tomentor mentor mentoryoung young youngpreachers preachers preachersand and and mother. pastors pastorsand and andassist assist assistthem them themwith with withchurch church churchadministration,” administration,” administration,” pastors he heexplained. explained. explained.“I “I“Ialso also alsohave have haveone one onemore more morebook book bookin in inme me medealing dealing dealing he with withthe the thework work workand and andpurpose purpose purposeof of ofthe the theChurch Church Churchthat that thatIIIplan plan plan with to towrite.” write.” write.” to But Butin in intaking taking takingone one onemore more morenostalgic nostalgic nostalgiclook look lookat at atthe the thepast past past But three threedecades decades decadesand and andcentering centering centeringon on onthe the theprayer prayer prayerin in inhis his hisheart heart heart three for forhis his hiscongregation, congregation, congregation,Dr. Dr. Dr.Simmons Simmons Simmonssaid, said, said,“The “The “Thegood good goodpeopeopeofor ple pleof of ofAbyssinian Abyssinian Abyssiniantrusted trusted trustedme me mewith with withtheir their theirsouls. souls. souls.IIIwant want wantto to to ple thank thankthem them themfor for forthat. that. that.My My Myprayer prayer prayerisisisthat that thatthey they theywill will willput put putthe the the thank same sametrust trust trustin in inthe the thepastor pastor pastorthat that thatthe the theLord Lord Lordwill will willgive give givethem, them, them, same and andbe be bereminded reminded remindedthat that thatthe the theLord Lord Lorddid did didnot not notbring bring bringthem them themthis this this and far farto to toleave leave leavethem them themnow! now! now! far June June June2017 2017 2017The The The Positive Positive Community Community33 33 June 2017 ThePositive PositiveCommunity Community 33

Rogosin Institute Opens Dialysis and Kidney Care in East New York

Photo: Lem Peterkin

Better Health and Quality of Life


Rogosin President and CEO Dr. Barry Smith (center) leads the ribbon cutting for new Rogosin Institute

he Rogosin Institute (Rogosin), one of the largest notfor-profit dialysis providers in the NYC area, is opening its newest Dialysis and Kidney Care and Education Center at 2372 Linden Boulevard in East New York. A new concept in kidney care, the facility not only provides dialysis services for those whose kidneys do not function, but educational, preventive, and early diagnostic services are a major part of its programs. For more than a year, Rogosin staff members have worked closely with the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, community leadership, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Brownsville Multi-Service Family Center, and CAMBA, as well as faith-based, governmental, recreational, and other local leadership to form the Central Brooklyn Health Movement. In step with the current trend toward keeping well rather than

being treated for illness, the center is designed to meet community need, encouraging residents to take more responsibility for improving their own health. “We are privileged to be part of the East New York/ Brownsville community and to be able to partner not only with the community but also the great organizations already serving the people here,” commented Barry Smith, Rogosin president and CEO. “Together, we can make a great difference for health and life!” East New York is disproportionately affected by kidney disease, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams explained. “I applaud The Rogosin Institute for opening up their newest Dialysis and Kidney Care and Education Center in East New York,” he said. Rogosin Dialysis Centers or programs are located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. —JNW

MEOC student Ernesto Diaz with instructor Sean Wilkinson.

Promoting Free Academic and Workforce Development


ay 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) and its commitment to the Harlem community. Funded by the State University of New York (SUNY) and administered by the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY), the MEOC offers free academic programs to adult learners, including English for Speakers of Other Languages, High School Equivalency Preparation and College Prep. Students at the MEOC can also


The Positive Community June 2017

L–R: Anthony Watson, MEOC executive director; Antonio Pérez, president of BMCC; Charles B. Rangel, former US Representative; Assemblywoman Inez Dickens; and H. Carl McCall, chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees.

choose career training in Certified Microsoft® Office, Security Officer Training and Civil Service Exam Prep. For those interested in the healthcare industry, the MEOC offers Electronic Health Records and Certified Nursing Assistant training programs. The MEOC also offers the Hospitality Training Program, which prepares individuals for certifications from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), giving them an edge over other job seekers as they pursue careers in the hospitality,

restaurant, and hotel industries. Located in the heart of Harlem on 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard, MEOC has helped more than 50,000 individuals reach their goals. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER A fundraising gala, “Celebrating 50 Years,” was held on May 3, 2017 at Harlem’s legendary Alhambra Ballroom. More than $39,000 was raised to benefit the MEOC Student Emergency and Scholarship Fund. The Continued on page 61



Graduates! for the


God Gave You Your Dreams For A Reason


y name is Autumn Jeannette Witter. I graduated from Chamblee Charter High School’s magnet program on May 25, 2017 with a 3.717 GPA. I was accepted into many schools, and I will to attend Howard University. I chose Howard for many reasons. Women in my family have a long history at Howard. My aunt, two first cousins once removed, a third cousin, and a fourth cousin all attended Howard and raved about their experiences. I was concerned there might be a lack of diversity at an HBCU, but I was mistaken. A visit to the campus revealed students of all colors and backgrounds. There just happened to be no shortage of people of AfricanAmerican decent. After that, I definitely had my heart set on Howard, and a full tuition academic scholarship sealed the deal. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a singer. I began to sing at cookouts, family reunions, the Boys and Girls Club, and eventually as an opening act for Mindless Behavior in the popular singing group, WeRCharm. Currently, I am working on making music as a solo artist. Music is my #1 passion— it’s part of my daily life. I also love writing, directing, editing, and acting in films, so I’m contemplating majoring in Film, Media, and Journalism at Howard. Aside from the arts, I also hope to one day have clothing, makeup, and shoe lines. My aspirations include philanthropy and community activism as I plan start an organization that helps kids go to college 100% free and funds the startup of their dreams. I’m also passionate about helping foster children find good families and forever homes. I believe every child deserves love and opportunity, and I want to provide foster children with resources and guidance to make sure their dreams are realized. The dreams I have are big, but I know that one day they’ll become a reality. A wise woman once told me, “Just because no one else believes in your dreams, it doesn’t mean you give up. It means that God gave you your dreams for a reason.” And I believe that.


ur June 2017 cover girl holds a special place in both our hearts and our history here at The Positive Community. Not only is Autumn a beautiful and intelligent young woman, this is her second time gracing our cover. The first time was as a toddler in her Easter best, celebrating the beauty of spring and an adorable helping of brown sugar bubbling with wonder and giggles. Now, as she embarks on her journey into adulthood, she serves as both a reminder of and an inspiration for what The Positive Community strives to be and promote in our community: beauty, success, intelligence, compassion, generosity, and excellence. Good luck in your next chapter, Autumn! And who knows, perhaps her endeavors and accomplishments will lead her to grace our cover again in years to come… Full disclosure: I am Autumn’s extremely proud grandmother! Jean Nash Wells Editor-in-Chief

June 2017 The Positive Community


Future Achievers New York Tri-State Area Ronald McDonald House Charities Award Scholarships

Co-Hosts Tobias Truvillion and Kareem McKenzie

Melba Moore Photos: Irving Street Rep

Lee Dunham Scholarship recipient (center)


earts were warmed as stars, family members, and loved ones gathered on June 7, 2017 at the beautiful Crystal Plaza in Livingston, NJ for the annual New York Tri-State Area Ronald McDonald House Charities African American Future Achievers (RMHC/ AAFA) Scholarship Luncheon. “The RMHC/African-American Future Achievers Scholarship program was designed to address the reality that many students of African descent face significant financial barriers to higher education,” said Christopher Perry, executive director of RMHC-NYSTA. “We are incredibly proud to offer 14 generous college scholarships this year to help these promising young students achieve their dreams of obtaining a higher education.” (See next page) "We are so proud to offer 14 scholarships, which is nearly a quarter million dollars and look forward to raising more money to support more students in years to come, “ said Paul Hendel, McDonald's Owner Operator and McDonald's New York Metro Co-Op President.


The Positive Community June 2017

Alyson Williams

The event was co-hosted by two-time New York Giants Super Bowl Champion, Kareem McKenzie and actor, Tobias Truvillion, star on primetime series Empire. Not only were the hosts extravagant, but there were also two amazing performances by Melba Moore, who sang her heartfelt song “If You Believe” and Alyson Williams, who sang one of her hits “Just Call My Name.” Each scholarship recipient was awarded by a member of The New York Tri-State Area McDonald’s Owner/Operators Association with a special scholarship, the Lee Dunham Memorial Scholarship, given to Nicole Taylor a student from East Orange Stem Academy. RMHC/AAFA has been able to transform the lives of eligible graduating high school seniors who face limited access to educational opportunities by virtue of their financial background. With its college scholarship program, the nonprofit organization assists students in their efforts to reach their educational goals and their aspirations to become leaders of tomorrow.

�oora� for the


es! t a u d a r G

he Chad School Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of our 2017 scholarship awardees for Chad Scholars Program. Six Newark area students have been selected to receive our $10,000 scholarship: We want to acknowledge the efforts of the Scholarship Committee in selecting this year’s cohort of students. The committee interviewed 10 exceptional candidates and ultimately chose 6 Scholars whose accomplishments and ambitions reflect Chad’s legacy of success and excellence in education.

Congratulations to the 2017 Chad Scholars! 2017 Chad Scholars L–R: Tiiera Broxton, University High School, Rutgers University; Ryan Welch, North Star Academy, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Prince Abruquah, Weequahic High School, Rutgers University; Mariamu Olumbe, Science Park High School, Howard University; Sabbathina Agyei, University High School, Rutgers University; and Renee Onque, Bard High School Early College, Lincoln University

These students were awarded McDonald’s Future Achievers Scholarships of $16,000 over four years: Name Hometown High School University attending 1. Kelly Bamfo Bronx, NY Stephen T. Mather High School Alfred State College 2. Kamille Banks Lodi, NJ Lodi High School Spelman College 3. Akalah Bobb Brooklyn, NY Uncommon Collegiate Charter HS Marshall University 4. Berlindyne Elie Irvington, NJ Christ the King Preparatory HS Boston College 5. Ryan Emmanuel Brooklyn, NY Cristo Rey High School Fordham University 6. Raniya Martin-Davis Passaic, NJ Paterson CS For SCI/TECH University of Florida 7. Rouwaida Nitiema Newark, NJ Newark Early College High School Gettysburg College 8. Minasdine Rene Stamford, CT Stamford High School Fairfield University 9. Milencia Saintus Roselle, NJ Abraham Clark High School Seton Hall University 1 0. Samayia Taylor Newark, NJ St. Vincent Academy Howard University 11. Michael Watson Uniondale, NY Uniondale High School Princeton University 1 2. Adam Wickham New York, NY Stuyvesant High School Princeton University 1 3. Chris Yankah Elmont, NY Elmont Memorial High School Vanderbilt University 1 4. Nicole Taylor East Orange, NJ East Orange STEM Academy Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Nicole Taylor received the Lee Dunham Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $25,000 over four years.

June 2017 The Positive Community


Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County

Union Club Graduates with Russell Triolo, CEO; Ron Brangman, associate club director; and Amanda Kucsera, director of Education

Seniors Embarking On Graduation & Emerging As Alumni


he rainy weather was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind as the Boys & Girls Club of Union, NJ celebrated the graduation of senior members. This year, 27 members of the Union Club are graduating from high school on time, with plans for their future. CEO Russell Triolo inducted each into the National Alumni & Friends Organization of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. After reciting the induction oath, each senior was presented a spcial pin by CEO Russell Triolo. It was a wonderful evening, celebrat-

ing the success and accomplishments of the seniors. Seniors will be attending a spectrum of learning institutions ranging from Bloomfield College, Delaware State, Hartford University, and Rutgers University to as far as University of Kentucky and US Air Force Academy. Two members have received scholarships. One senior will be heading to Howard University with a full academic scholarship and another will attend Indiana University of Penn on a full athletic scholarship.

Montclair State University

Montclair HS

Glover and Baraka receive honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees


oycelyn Frazier worked with The Positive Community for a month honing her research and writing skills. Interviewed and wrote the profile of Alexis Morrast and researched and created a slide presentation

on Social Entrepreneurship. Joycelyn is graduating from Montclair High School and will study at either at Kingston University or City University of London both in England. Joycelyn wants to explore different types of writing career options, gradate from college with a degree in English, then work in the book publishing industry and finally write and publish a novel.


The Positive Community June 2017


ewark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and legendary tap dancer Savion Glover received honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees and addressed the graduates during the Montclair State University Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on May 25, 2017 at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Pictured L–R: Tony Award-winning Entertainer Savion Glover, Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole, and Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka at the commencement.

College of Staten Island

Chigozie Okoye with Nursing Professor Barbara Dicicco Bloom BS in Communications Design and Digital Media Concentration Studio Art Minor Staten Island resident Career Goal: Animation.

Sheriff Akanmu BS in Nursing Staten Island resident Career Goal: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

� a r o �o

Shantel Rowe BA in English Minors: Journalism and American Studies Staten Island resident Future Goals: Write in Music Entertainment Release Memoir(S)/ Professor of Creative Non Fiction or Music Entertainment Writing

s! e t a u rad

CUNY’s Macaulay G Honors College


oy Nuga, South Bronx raised and daughter of Nigerian immigrants, is an award-winning scholar and is headed to a job at Goldman Sachs. Wan Holloway, son of Caribbean parents, is on the Dean’s Honors List, as well as headed to a career in coding and digital communications.

he for t


ustin Banks graduates from Montclair High near the top of his class. An avid lacrosse player, Justin will continue his education at SUNY New Paltz, majoring in business administration. This summer he will be working as a lifeguard. Justin and our cover girl, Autumn Witter, are second cousins.


avier Parks graduates from Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ. He will attend the University of New Haven majoring in Engineering. Xavier received partial academic scholarships from the university and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Joy Nuga

Wan Holloway June 2017 The Positive Community


Chad School Foundation Helping Newark Students Fulfill their Dreams The Chad School Finance Chair Kim Johnson with 2017 Corporate Citizen Award recipient Preston D. Pinkett III

L–R: The Chad School Executive Director Eric Stevenson, Board Chair Dr. Kia Grundy, and Trustee William Williams


uilding Educational Wealth,” the theme of this year’s Chad School Foundation Scholars Awards Reception, captured not only the essence of the evening, but the mission of the organization. Honors were bestowed upon five outstanding individuals for their service in the Newark community, and six exceptional students received scholarship awards.



GUEST SPEAKER REVEREND DEBRA L. HAGGINS Chaplain of Hampton University Executive Director Hampton University Ministers’ Conference Organists’ and Choir Directors’ Guild



The Positive Community June 2017

L–R: Pat Curvin, and 2017 Chad Legacy Award recipient Bill Payne

Photos: Raymond Hagans

Every dollar raised from the event benefits the Chad Scholars Program, which provides $10,000 in scholarship money to a high-achieving, economically-disadvantaged student to attend a four-year college or university. Since 2010, The Chad School Foundation has awarded over $250,000 in scholarships to support Newark area youth. Moreover, the Foundation has committed to increasing the number of scholarship awards for 2017 so more students can realize their aspirations and fulfill the hope of the Newark community. Honored at the reception were: Dr. Kia CalhounGrundy, a Newark area practicing pediatrician as Distinguished Alumna; City National Bank Chairman & CEO Preston D. Pinkett, Distinguished Corporate Citizen; Roger Leon, assistant superintendent, Newark Public Schools, Distinguished Educator; and Deborah SmithGregory, president NAACP Newark, Distinguished Public Servant. The Honorable William Payne, former Assemblyman for 29th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly, received the inaugural Chad Legacy Award. With nearly a 50-year legacy of calling the community to action, educating children in schools, initiating and supporting advocacy efforts to improve public schools, and now awarding scholarships (see Hooray for the Grads, page ##) to expand college access through the foundation's work, Chad has continually demonstrated its ability to impact education in Newark.

Holocaust survivor Michael Zeiger

Newark Holocaust Remembrance Miles Berger and Pastor Ronald Slaughter

Photos: Vincent Bryant

Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins with Miles Berger


ayor Ras J. Baraka, the Berger Organization, and the Newark Holocaust Remembrance Committee presented the City of Newark's 30th Annual Holocaust Remembrance on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at the Robert Treat Hotel. As in previous years, students from Newark Public Schools participated. Students from Catholic Schools who are studying the Holocaust as part of their curriculum also attended. Reflecting on the both the 75th anniversary of the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights era and its associated struggles against poverty and injustice, “We Shall Overcome” was the theme chosen for the observance. The significance of the observance was not lost on anyone in attendance, in light of this time in our nation, when Americans are greatly divided and residents and citizens face denials of their rights and liberties. Holocaust survivor Michael Zeiger, the keynote speaker, told the spellbinding story of his life in Nazi Germany as a young child with his family and how they survived because of the help of a Polish peasant known as the village fool. Mr. Zeiger's story became the children’s book “The Secret of the Village


The Positive Community June 2017

L–R: Miles Berger, Brendan Berger, Holocaust survivor Martha Klein, and her daughter Suzanne Berger

Fool, which teaches elementary schoolage children about the Holocaust, and is being made into a movie. Miles Berger, CEO of the Berger Organization (owners of the Robert Treat), served as the master of ceremonies of the event. Berger said that the purpose of the event was to educate the city’s youth about the tragic events of 84 years ago in Nazi Germany. “We have to be really careful and mindful of the climate that we live in today,” stated Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, emphasizing the fact that we must be aware of what is happening in the world today and that “We are here to help and support one another.” Speakers also included Rabbi Samuel Klibanoff of Congregation Etz Chaim in Livingston; and Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Jr. of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark. The Arts High School Advanced Choir performed “God Bless America” and “We Shall Overcome.” Pastor Ronald Slaughter of Saint James AME Church in Newark delivered the closing benediction.


Amina Baraka, mother of Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka lighting a memorial candle

Free Summer Day Program for girls and boys ages 7-13 that reside in the City of Newark. Make this the Best Summer Ever by registering your child to participate in an array of fun activities at Camp Watershed: REGISTRATION BEGINS APRIL 1ST!!! Swimming Arts & Crafts Drama Dance Music Poetry Career Exploration &

Boating Fishing Hiking Sports Yoga Games Team Building

FREE transportation provided on buses from the following sites:


Boylan Recreation Center, 916 South Orange Ave. Bradley Court, 50-74 N. Munn Ave. John F. Kennedy Recreation Center, 211 West Kinney St. Rotunda Recreation Center, 75 Clifton Ave. Vince Lombardi Recreation Center, 201 Bloomfield Ave. Sharpe James Kenneth A Gibson Recreation Center, 226 Rome St. Hyatt Court Recreation Center, 56-72 Hawkins St. Pennington Court Recreation Center, 203 Pennington St. Marquis Bo Porter Sports Complex, 378 Lyons Ave Hayes West Recreation Center, 179 Boyd St.

Call the Division of Recreation @ (973) 733-6454 for registration info.

Culture M U S I C ,



Randy Weston



Risasi Dais (L–R) Rev. Dr. M. William Alexis Morrast Howard, Jr. and Randy Weston

s we celebrate Black Music Month and the richness of the history of black music, we should also be looking toward the future of black music. As George Benson and later, Whitney Houston famously sang, “the children are our future.” While it’s easy to dismiss current popular music as a fad and pronounce it inferior to the classics —or whatever genre or era of music each of us might personally prefer, it is imperative that we acknowledge and encourage the next generation of singers and musicians as we will eventu-

ally pass the baton to them as both the keepers and innovators of our musical legacy. One young person striving to achieve the artistry and longevity of someone like Randy Weston is singer/songwriter Alexis Morrast. While Alexis is at the beginning of her musical journey, no one knows her final destination. “Teach them well and let them lead the way” should be our mantra as we wish her well and watch her star rise.

44 The Positive Community June 2017 44 The Positive Community June 2017

A Conversation with Randy Weston

Jazz Jazz Giant Giant at at Bethany Bethany By By M. M. William William Howard, Howard, Jr., Jr., Pastor Pastor Emeritus, Emeritus, Bethany Bethany Baptist Baptist Church Church


nn June June 33 in in the the afternoon, afternoon, II sat sat down down with with Randy Randy Weston Weston for for aa 90-minute 90-minute conversation conversation in in the the sanctuary sanctuary at at Bethany Bethany Baptist Baptist Church Church in in Newark, Newark, to to talk talk about about his his most most recently recently released released recordrecording, ing, African African Nubian Nubian Suite. Suite. In In his his 91st 91st year, year, this this giant giant of of

American American classical classical music’s music’s “golden “golden age” age” isis as as passionate passionate and and inquisitive inquisitive about about the the music music as as he he has has ever ever been. been. Growing Growing up up in in Brooklyn Brooklyn in in the the 1920s 1920s and and 30s 30s with with aa Jamaican Jamaican father father and and aa mother mother from from Virginia, Virginia, Randy Randy Weston Weston was was surrounded surrounded by by family family and and neighbors neighbors who who relished relished music, music, dance, dance, and and other other forms forms of of cultural cultural expression. expression. Music Music lessons lessons for for children children were were assumed, assumed, and and listening listening to to music—all music—all kinds kinds of of music—was music—was aa comcommonplace monplace pastime. pastime. And And Randy Randy speaks speaks glowingly glowingly about about the the rich, rich, cultural cultural environment environment he he knew knew as as aa child, child, growgrowing ing up up in in aa working working class class community community of of black black people people from from nearly nearly everywhere everywhere in in the the world. world. Max Max Roach Roach lived lived just just around around the the corner, corner, where where Miles Miles and and so so many many other other musicians musicians of of note note were were frequent frequent visitors. visitors. Eddie Eddie Heywood Heywood (“Begin (“Begin the the Beguine,” Beguine,” “Canadian “Canadian Sunset”) Sunset”) lived lived just just across across the the street. street. As As detailed detailed in in African African Rhythms, Rhythms, his his autobiography, autobiography, early early in in life life Weston Weston came came under under the the influence influence of of masters masters like like Duke Duke Ellington, Ellington, Mary Mary Lou Lou Williams, Williams, Nat Nat King King Cole, Cole, and andLouis LouisArmstrong, Armstrong,among amongothers. others.He Hewas wasalso alsoheavily heavily influenced influenced by by his his father’s father’s insistence insistence that that he he look look toward toward Africa Africa to to understand understand his his roots, roots, so so long long before before he he deciddecided ed to to concentrate concentrate on on music music as as aa profession, profession, his his appetite appetite for for African African history history and and culture culture had had been been whetted. whetted.

Introducing . . . Alexis Morrast

continued continued on on next next page page

By By Joycelyn Joycelyn Frazier, Frazier, TPC TPC Intern Intern (See (See page page 38) 38)


lexis lexis Morrast Morrast isis often often described described as as having having an an old old soul soul because because of of her her love love for for music music from from before before her her time. time. AA 15-year-old 15-year-old singer/songwriter singer/songwriter from from Plainfield, Plainfield, New New Jersey, Jersey, she she isis precociously precociously gifted gifted with with aa rich, rich, mature mature singing singing voice, voice, much much like like some some of of her her favorite favorite musicians, musicians, Stevie Stevie Wonder Wonder and and Ella Ella Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald. Her Her beautiful beautiful voice voice will will bring bring tears tears to to your your eyes. eyes. Her Her obvious obvious raw raw talent talent isis astonishing. astonishing. and and when when she she perperforms forms she she sings sings from from the the heart. heart. Alexis Alexis Morrast Morrast isis defidefinitely nitely going going places. places. First First introduced introduced to to music music by by her her parents, parents, Alexis Alexis began began singing singing at at the the age age of of three. three. Coming Coming from from aa musimusical cal family, family, she she has has had had many many artistic artistic influences influences like like her her aunt, aunt, Vernell Vernell “Vee” “Vee” Sales, Sales, half half of of the the R&B R&B duo, duo, Koffee Koffee Brown. Brown. Alexis Alexis has has wanted wanted to to be be aa singer singer for for as as long long as as continued continued on on next next page page

June June2017 2017 The The Positive Positive Community Community 45 45 June 2017 The Positive Community 45


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This appetite was the impetus for his eventual move to Morocco in North Africa, where he lived and operated the African Rhythms Club in Tangier for several years. When many of his contemporaries were moving to Europe—seeking to escape the artistic containment that was the inevitable companion of American racism, Randy was, instead, traveling throughout the West Coast of Africa mining the deep well of spiritualism inherent in traditional music. The wisdom and insight attained on this pilgrimage are the driving force in Weston’s music today. The syncopated strikes of the piano keys that betray the undeniable influence of Thelonious Monk, and the rhythms, which he tells us emanate from the natural sounds of the earth, give him a distinctive and timeless sound. The ethos of Africa lies at the center of his music, as well as his philosophy and life mission. If you start a conversation with him about music, little time passes before you’re engaged in dialogue about the African origins of civilization. Uhuru Africa (1960), a suite of four movements, is a full-throated musical affirmation of this philosophy. Moreover, he provides the soundtrack for Kemtiyu (2016), a documentary film on the life of Cheikh Anta Diop, the legendary Senegalese scientist and researcher of ancient African civilization; and this surely secures Weston’s place at the pinnacle of Afro-centric performance artists worldwide. Highlighting music’s African roots is no doubt his mission. It is as if, while spellbinding audiences with his rich, rhythmic musical compositions, he is, at the same time, aiming to raise our awareness of their ancient beginnings. He plays from his soul, but he reminds us that while Africans have been in the Americas for some 400 years or more, they were in Africa far, far longer. That continent’s spirit still permeates whatever they create. African Nubian Suite, his latest released recording, was the main focus of the Bethany conversation. It consists mainly of original Weston compositions, but it features guest artists from Africa, some playing traditional instruments, along with spoken words that help to expound on the Afro-centric theme. A brief introduction of the recording and an explanation of its impetus is located here: In his own words, Weston describes the background and motivation that drive his creative genius. This was the subject of our informal talk that had people listening in and sitting on the edge of their seats.

46 The The Positive Positive Community Community June June2017 2017

Also that afternoon, there were sounds streaming from the bowels of the collective psyche of the ancestors, via the fingertips of the artist and Bethany’s marvelous sanctuary piano, like “Blue Moses,” “Bantu,” “High Fly,” “Little Niles,” “The African Family,” “Cleanhead Blues” and “The Healing”—the latter having been requested by Mrs. Fatoumata Mbengue Weston at the close of the program. The time flew by, but, by the conclusion, all present were filled with gratitude for having experienced music that is grounded in a larger purpose and worldview. And how consoling and inspiring it was to feel in the sanctuary of God a spiritual presence not bound by sectarian doctrine.


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she can remember. Surprisingly, she has never taken vocal lessons; but wants to enhance her voice. She says there is always room for improvement. She doesn’t consider herself as having a preference for one specific genre of music because she aspires to be great in them all. Recently, her first demo titled “Introducing Alexis Morrast!” was made available on her website: You owe it to yourself to take a listen. A collection of original songs is waiting to be recorded, hopefully by the end of the year. You may be wondering how this high school sophomore balances her music with other obligations and how she handles so much success. Alexis says she manages herself by always making sure her music doesn’t take over all of her time. Even though she has a lot on her plate, she always makes room for her favorite pastimes, which include spending time with her family, ice skating, and photography. The defining moment for young Miss Morrast occurred this past February when she won first place on Showtime at the Apollo singing the classic “My Funny Valentine.” In the past, she has performed at the 2013 U.S. Open, the 2015 Central Jersey Jazz Festival in New Brunswick, at NJPAC, on the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center, and at the Apollo Theatre emerging as a two- time amateur night winner, later returning as their special guest. She has had many experiences on stage, which puts her ahead of the game. She’s not nervous singing in front of people, loves being in the spotlight and singing is what she was born to do.

15th Annual ImageNation Outdoors Festival SOUL CINEMA & MUSIC UNDER THE STARS Don’t miss the amazing musicians and panel discussion at the ImageNation Outdoors Festival, in partnership with Injoy Enterprises, with media support from


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Two Fish and Five Loaves

L–R: DJ Mitch the People Plezzer and Bob Lee

Mother’s Day Brunch


n Mother’s Day 2017, Clinton Banquets in Union, NJ was the place to be as hundreds came out to dine, dance, and celebrate family. Two Fish and Five Loaves renowned owner/chef Min. Kevin Smallwood and his staff hosted their annual Mother’s Day Brunch featuring a spectacular soul food buffet. WBLS/WLIB radio personality Liz Black was emcee, and music was provided by DJ Mitch the People Plezzer. Photos: Karen Waters

Isaac Kalema, Shane Nelson, Kevin Smallwood, Quinton Fields, Derek Smallwood, Xavier Selby

Maurice McCoy with daughter Arianna, and wife Robin McCoy

Radio personality Liz Black with Chef Kevin Smallwood and guests

The crowd enjoys line dancing

Hooray for the Grads! ALSO Next Issue: Call or email your pics

July/August Harlem Summer Issue

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June 2017 The Positive Community




Stir the soul and enjoy a midday break with some open-air jazz. Bring your lunch. Bring a friend.

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Newark Museum Business Community Council

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Museum Members and Newark Residents: FREE Soon-to-be Members & Jazz Lovers: $5


The Positive Community June 2017

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June 2017 The Positive Community


L–R: Wendell C. Woods, minister of music, Shiloh B.C; Lauren Lawson Leaston, administrative secretary, Shiloh B.C.; Joylette Mills-Ransome, SHEELD executive director; Cynthia Lewis, former SHEELD member; Deacon Charles Hand, Shiloh B.C.; and Lenny Green, host of syndicated radio show the “Quiet Storm” WBLS/New York

SHEELD Board members L–R: Arthur Kelly; Joylette Mills-Ransome; Erika K. Phillips; Pastor Hodari Hamilton, Shiloh B.C.; Gloria Grant-Jones; Ruby Simmons; and Master of Ceremonies Lenny Green

SHEELD Holds First Awards Banquet


Photos: Karen Waters

artnering with Shiloh Baptist Church, Shiloh Economic, Entrepreneurial and Lifelong Development Corporation (SHEELD) is committed to caring for children and the Plainfield NJ community. For their First Annual Awards Gala at The Westwood in Garwood, NJ on Sunday, May 21, 2017 , Community Service Awards were presented to the following: Flora Williams, retired school teacher; Hon. Bonnie Watson Coleman, U.S. Representative; Adrian Council, TPC publisher, and VP Adam Beder, JFK Health, Govenrnemt Relationships. Youth members LaJuan and LaMar Dotch spoke, and Lenny Green of WBLS/107.5 FM radio served as master of ceremonies. Funds from the gala will help SHEELD carry out its mission to provide basic necessities to the residents near and around Shiloh Baptist Church in the West End of Plainfield. Honorees L–R: TPC Publisher Adrian A. Council, Sr.; U.S. Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, 12th Congressional District; Flora Williams, director, Lord’s Kitchen; and Adam Beder, VP JFK Health Systems


The Positive Community June 2017

Guest Preacher, Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr.


Convent Avenue Sanctuary

Renewal and Rebirth At Convent Avenue Baptist


Photos: Bruce Moore

tanding majestically on the corner of Convent Avenue and 145th Street in Harlem, Convent Avenue Baptist Church, a pillar of the community, hosted its Spring Revival. The congregation, friends, and family heard soul-stirring messages based on the theme of the revival, “A Church Standing on the Promises of God” (2 Corinthians 1:20). The three-day event, May 22–24th, featured guest preachers from near and far including Dr. William H. Curtis, Mt Ararat Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, PA and Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr., First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC) in Harlem. Rev. Jesse T. Williams is senior pastor. Formed in 1942, the church has kept to its motto, "Changed People, Changing the Community and the World for Jesus Christ.” Worship, Discipleship, Stewardship, Fellowship, and Leadership are the five basic principles that provide the foundation through which church members and clergy seek to live up to that dictum. —JNW Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr., senior pastor, (FCBC) in Harlem and Rev. Jesse T. Williams, host pastor.

June 2017 The Positive Community


Newark Museum Enhances Community Engagement Initiative Will Reopen Historic Front Entrance After 20 Years


ith residential and commercial development booming in Newark, the Newark Museum is adding to the revitalization by reopening its Washington Street doors after two decades. The project is timed to take advantage of the significant renewal efforts happening all around the city of Newark. In addition to the new double glass doors that will serve as the main entrance to the Museum, exterior enhancements include a public terrace that will be used for programs and events, and a new ramp that will make the Museum fully accessible. Within the Museum, reopening the main entrance will result in a transformation of the existing space, including state-of-the-art visitor’s amenities; a high-profile spotlight for and access to its renowned Arts of Global Africa collection; and a new Continued on page 61


The Positive Community June 2017

Rendering of the new lobby court

er, Rock, Poarps! Sciss Girl Code Panelists: Newark natives Salome Daniel, Howard University freshman; Monique Davis, Centenary College junior; A'Dorian Murray-Thomas SHE Wins Founder (Swarthmore College); Destiny Crockett 2016 Princeton University graduate; Dashay Carter, Newark Public School Board; and Ayanna Fowler, Hampton University junior

Photos: Karen Waters

Ebony Ferguson completing her SHE Wins business cards to distribute to emPowerHER peers and volunteers she wants to get to know beyond the Summit.

SHE Wins! 1st Annual “EmPowerHER” Summit 2017


espite what appears on television, online, and on social media that portrays young black women in an obscenely negative way, there are young women everywhere doing great things. Meet the women and girls who created and participated in the first Annual “EmpowerHer: SHE Wins Girls Summit” on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Online registration sold out days before the event occurred with nearly 100 young women of Newark arriving at the Courtyard Marriot in Downtown Newark for a day of college readiness, girls empowerment, and social justice work. The day was action-packed and began with opening remarks from Newark native Sherkera Green, Wells Fargo Mid-Essex Regional Banking District Manager, who stressed the importance of dreaming big and making a plan for one’s success. Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University Brittney Cooper, also known as “Professor Crunk,” was the phenomenal keynote speaker. Professor Crunk dispelled several myths about black and brown women and girls. The conference included youth-led panels and interactive workshops, and each attendee left the EmpowerHer Summit inspired to continue chasing her dreams and more prepared for the journey. “EmpowerHer” breakout sessions included:

SHE Wins Scholars Tionne Murphy, Thylasia Hamiel, Falizjiah McKinnis, and Carol Sagna are all high school freshmen.

• “Paying For College” & “Money Management 101” with Wells Fargo • Love and Hip Hop: Examining the Objectification Women and Girls in the Media and Music • Black Lives Matter: The Importance of Student Activism and Organizing Girl Code: A Conversation on Choice, College, and Careers Panel was filled with young women from Princeton, Howard, Hampton, Emory, Centenary, and Rutgers who are powerhouses! Perhaps it is safe to say one of the most emotionally powerful moments for many girls happened during the panel “Boys II Men: A Conversation on Fatherhood and Friendship” led by some amazing men from the Newark community: Barry Carter (journalist for The Star Ledger), Shavar Jeffries (national director of DFER), Sha Reagans (principal at Team Academy), Tyrone Daye (president of Newark Greek Council) and Abdul Nashid (athlete and scholar from Newark Collegiate Academy). Please visit for more photos and to learn more about SHE Wins, Inc.

Samarah Moore and Jamiyah Lamar, 7th graders at B. R. I. C. K. Avon Academy in Newark June 2017 The Positive Community


FREE FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT!* 18 Days of Summer Fun *Included with fair admission.

Free Live Shows & Events Daily Hypnotist Steve Bayner • Racing Pigs • Concerts Sinbad’s High Dive Show • All-American Thrill Show • Petting Zoo Strolling Magician Artie Miller • Fireworks July 3 & 4

Bargain Nights at the Fair Family Value Day: June 23 • Kids Go Free: June 27 Cheap Cheap Night: July 6 • Patron Appreciation Night: July 9

Parking: Monday–Wednesday: FREE | Thursday–Sunday: $5 | June 23: $2 | July 3 & 4: $5


Children 34'' and shorter are admitted FREE, must have ticket to ride. There are no Unlimited Ride Hand Stamps available Friday, June 23.


Celebrating Pugh:Celebrating EarnestPugh: Earnest Powerhouse! GospelPowerhouse! aaGospel GRACE & PEACE FAMILY, GRACE & FAMILY, GRACE & PEACE PEACE FAMILY,


t's that season again, when everything everyone t's season again, when everything and everyone t's that that season again, when everything andand everyone —in their own way— evolves from past experiences. —in —in their their own own way— way— evolves evolves from from past past experiences. experiences. You're either in the process of releasing, collecting, You're either in process of collecting, You're either in the the process of releasing, releasing, collecting, graduating or gaining wisdom. Whatever you don't graduating don't graduating or or gaining gaining wisdom. wisdom. Whatever Whatever you you do, do,do, don't forget to celebrate the journey because you made it by forget forget to to celebrate celebrate the the journey journey because because you you made made it it by by the grace of God. And don't be surprised if someone the the grace grace of of God. God. And And don't don't be be surprised surprised if if someone someone decides to take it upon themselves it for you— decides to it themselves and do it you— decides to take take it upon upon themselves andand do do it for for you— to hear the melody in the atmosphere and enjoy to to hear hear the the melody melody in in the the atmosphere atmosphere and and enjoy enjoy the thethe ride because you deserve it (Thanks J.J. Hairston)! ride ride because because you you deserve deserve it it (Thanks (Thanks J.J. J.J. Hairston)! Hairston)! Speaking of deserving, of Houston choSpeaking of the City of has choSpeaking of deserving, deserving, thethe CityCity of Houston Houston hashas chosen to honor a Gospel music powerhouse—contralto sen sen to to honor honor aa Gospel Gospel music music powerhouse—contralto powerhouse—contralto range having, worship singing, “For Is The Great range having, worship singing, “For He Is Great II I range having, worship singing, “For HeHe Is The The Great Am”-claiming, Earnest Pugh! The event took place Am”-claiming, Am”-claiming, Earnest Earnest Pugh! Pugh! The The event event took took place place at at at Houston’s City Hall In the Legacy Room. Houston’s Houston’s City City Hall Hall In In the the Legacy Legacy Room. Room. In recognition of multi-octave vocalist Earnest Pugh’s In of vocalist Earnest Pugh’s In recognition recognition of multi-octave multi-octave vocalist Earnest Pugh’s notable successes and inspiring career in gospel music, notable notable successes successes and and inspiring inspiring career career in in gospel gospel music, music, the City of Houston and its Honorable Mayor Sylvester the the City City of of Houston Houston and and its its Honorable Honorable Mayor Mayor Sylvester Sylvester Turner commemorated Pugh's eleventh Billboard Turner commemorated Pugh's eleventh Billboard Top Turner commemorated Pugh's eleventh Billboard TopTop 20 radio single, "I Need You to Breathe,” with a special 20 20 radio radio single, single, "I "I Need Need You You to to Breathe,” Breathe,” with with aa special special ceremony. Don't get it twisted, there are a lot of great ceremony. ceremony. Don't Don't get get it it twisted, twisted, there there are are aa lot lot of of great great artists from Texas, but no other Houston recording artists artists from from Texas, Texas, but but no no other other Houston Houston recording recording artist earned as many Billboard Gospel Airplay chart artist has earned as Billboard Gospel Airplay chart artist hashas earned as many many Billboard Gospel Airplay chart hits since the tabulation was launched in 2005. hits hits since since the the tabulation tabulation was was launched launched in in 2005. 2005. During event, Pugh debuted music video During the event, Pugh debuted the new music video During thethe event, Pugh debuted thethe newnew music video for “I Need You to Breathe” from his highly-anticipated for for “I “I Need Need You You to to Breathe” Breathe” from from his his highly-anticipated highly-anticipated album Fully Persuaded (EPM Music Group/eOne), album Fully Persuaded (EPM Music Group/eOne), album Fully Persuaded (EPM Music Group/eOne), which released globally on June 2nd. Grammy® Awardwhich which released released globally globally on on June June 2nd. 2nd. Grammy® Grammy® AwardAwardnominated Vocalist Kim Burrell and local KRIV nominated 26 nominated Vocalist Vocalist Kim Kim Burrell Burrell and and local local KRIV KRIV Fox FoxFox 26 26 News Anchor Jonathan Martin hosted the star-studded News News Anchor Anchor Jonathan Jonathan Martin Martin hosted hosted the the star-studded star-studded event. Some of Houston’s greatest musical artists such event. Some of greatest musical artists such event. Some of Houston’s Houston’s greatest musical artists such as Kathy Taylor, Terrence Hartford, Nikki Ross, David as as Kathy Kathy Taylor, Taylor, Terrence Terrence Hartford, Hartford, Nikki Nikki Ross, Ross, David David Michael Wyatt, Carl Thomas were there to share Michael Wyatt, and Carl Thomas were there to in Michael Wyatt, andand Carl Thomas were there to share share in in the experience and give remarks as well. the the experience experience and and give give remarks remarks as as well. well. During proceedings, Pugh shared spotlight During the proceedings, Pugh shared the spotlight During thethe proceedings, Pugh shared thethe spotlight

with incomparable talented musical team consistwith his incomparable and talented musical team consistwith his his incomparable andand talented musical team consisting of Lucius Hoskins (producer/writer), Keith ing of Lucius Hoskins (producer/writer), Keith ing of Lucius Hoskins (producer/writer), Keith Williams (creative director/producer), Ken Hoskins Williams (creative director/producer), Ken Hoskins Williams (creative director/producer), Ken Hoskins (writer) Alfred Singleton (writer). Pugh (writer) and Alfred Singleton III (writer). Pugh also (writer) andand Alfred Singleton III III (writer). Pugh alsoalso spoke about his 501c3 nonprofit organization, Veterans spoke about his 501c3 nonprofit organization, Veterans spoke about his 501c3 nonprofit organization, Veterans Emergency Relief (VER), which addresses privation Emergency Relief (VER), which addresses the privation Emergency Relief (VER), which addresses thethe privation issues of female combat veterans. For Pugh, a veteran issues of female combat veterans. For Pugh, a veteran issues of female combat veterans. For Pugh, a veteran himself, the cause is close to his heart and purpose. himself, the cause is close to his heart and purpose. himself, the cause is close to his heart and purpose. “I “I “I moved to Houston nearly four years ago to serve as moved to Houston nearly four years ago to serve as an moved to Houston nearly four years ago to serve as an an artist residence & worship pastor growing artist in residence & pastor for two growing artist in in residence & worship worship pastor forfor twotwo growing churches,” Pugh stated. “When I completed those assignchurches,” Pugh stated. “When I completed those assignchurches,” Pugh stated. “When I completed those assignments, I felt God revealed his true purpose for ments, I felt God revealed his true purpose for me in ments, I felt God revealed his true purpose for meme in in Houston by encouraging me to launch VER in 2016. Houston by encouraging me to launch VER in 2016. Houston by encouraging me to launch VER in 2016. II I know importance of sharing love, bringing encourknow the importance of love, bringing encourknow thethe importance of sharing sharing love, bringing encouragement, and contributing vital resources to impact agement, and contributing vital resources to impact agement, and contributing vital resources to impact communities while offstage.” communities while offstage.” communities while offstage.” Pugh experienced incredible success in the music Pugh has experienced incredible success in music Pugh hashas experienced incredible success in the the music industry as an award-winning artist, producer, and label industry as an award-winning artist, producer, and label industry as an award-winning artist, producer, and label owner of EPM Music Group and P-Man Music, but owner of EPM Music Group and P-Man Music, but this owner of EPM Music Group and P-Man Music, but thisthis recognition holds special meaning. “I am so humbled recognition holds special meaning. “I so by recognition holds special meaning. “I am am so humbled humbled by by this gesture from Mayor Turner,” he said. “He has been this gesture from Mayor Turner,” he said. “He has been this gesture from Mayor Turner,” he said. “He has been a consistent supporter since I first relocated to Houston. aa consistent supporter since I first relocated to Houston. consistent supporter since I first relocated to Houston. While I always knew believed in my minWhile II always knew that he believed in gift and minWhile always knew thatthat he he believed in my my giftgift andand ministry, this gesture and recognition truly blew me away! istry, this gesture and recognition truly blew me away! It’s istry, this gesture and recognition truly blew me away! It’sIt’s honor to live a city with a mayor who such an honor to in with aa mayor who has such aa a an an honor to live live in aaincity city with mayor who hashas such clear love and passion for inspirational and spiritual matclear love and passion for inspirational and spiritual matclear love and passion for inspirational and spiritual matters, despite many priorities, would take time ters, and despite his many priorities, would take time to ters, andand despite his his many priorities, would take time to to recognize and encourage my achievements in the music recognize and encourage my achievements in the music recognize and encourage my achievements in the music industry.” industry.” industry.” celebrate you, Brother Pugh, being examWe celebrate you, Brother Pugh, for being an examWeWe celebrate you, Brother Pugh, forfor being an an example and never giving up on God's plan for your life, that's ple and never giving up on God's plan for your life, that's ple and never giving up on God's plan for your life, that's what Kingdom Builders do! what Kingdom Builders do! what Kingdom Builders do! —Dedicated to my father, Ervin C. Baldwin, Willie —Dedicated to father, Ervin C. and Mr. Willie —Dedicated to my my father, Ervin C. Baldwin, Baldwin, andand Mr.Mr. Willie A. Roberson. You never gave up, I love your strength and A. Roberson. You never gave up, I love your strength and A. Roberson. You never gave up, I love your strength and II I love you! lovelove you!you! Happy Father's Day! Happy Father's Day! Happy Father's Day! Community 57 Positive The 2017 2017 June Community Positive The 2017 JuneJune June 2017 The ThePositive Positive Community Community 57 57

Changing of the Guard at NYC’s Baptist Ministers’ Conference Photo: Bruce Moore

Photo: Vincent Bryant

At the Phil Murphy Rally

L-R: Rev. Curtis; Rev. Morrison; and new First Vice President Rev. James B. Barnwell, III



ev. James D. Morrison, Jr. recently stepped down as president of the Baptist Minister’s Conference of Greater New York and Vicinity. In his final sermon to the BMCGNY&V, Morrison said his retirement was necessary to allow him to move back to Virginia in order to care for his ailing parents and to shoulder the responsibilities of his father’s church. Reverend Dr. Charles A. Curtis, currently first vice president, will become acting president until a new presidential election is held.


Mental Health Weekend

ev. Patrick O. Council, pastor of St. John Baptist Church, Newark and First lady Alicia. The photo was taken following a Phil Murphy 4 Governor rally where he served as master of ceremonies. Patrick is also director of Recreation, Cultural Affairs and Senior Services for the City of Newark.


uided by New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, the NYC Department of Health and its Thrive NYC focus on Mental Health sponsored the second annual Weekend of Faith, May19-21, 2017. Pastors and clergy were asked to hold a conversation about mental health focusing on addiction and substance misuse. Bronx Christian Fellowship Church, headed by co-pastors Tim and Que English, was one of over 1,000 churches that participated A highlight of the event was the testimony of Jasmine Davis. Jasmine, 13 years old, shared her battle with bullying, even going so far as having thoughts of suicide. Jasmine explained that it is important to surround yourself with people who care for you and to whom you can speak. For her, counseling with a professional has been helpful, and she can share her concerns with her pastor, her aunt, and her mom and feels she no longer has to keep thoughts and feelings to herself. She also enjoys her friendships through the church’s youth council. Jasmine sent a strong message to the audience about the suffering of young people as it relates to depression and how she is overcoming it with support and counseling and of course, the help of God —TPC Staff


The Positive Community June 2017

Rev. Dr. Que English and Not On My Watch! (NOMW) youth council members: L–R: Niara Chapman, Anthony Williams, Peyton JacksonNelson, (behind Peyton) Marquis Hunter, Mia King, (little girl in front of Mia), Christina Tyndall, Jasmine Davis, and Grace Tyndall

NEW HOURS OF OPERATION OPEN 7am to 7pm: Wed., Thur., Fri., Sat. & Sun. CLOSED: Mon. & Tues

June 2017 The Positive Community



Let’s Help Victims of Famine and Drought in Africa But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink… Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give you something to drink?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me. Excerpted from Matthew 25:31-40 (NASB)


s of the latter half of spring 2017, famines and droughts are impacting many people in and near the Horn of Africa and in northeastern Nigeria, including all or portions of Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya. UNICEF (also known as the United Nations Children’s Fund) has reported nearly 1.4 million children may starve in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Yemen is located across the Red Sea from the Horn of Africa. Atlanta Black Star News reported in late May 2017 that, during President Donald Trump’s visit to the Pope, President Trump announced a new United States multimillion dollar program to aid four famine-stricken African countries. But what Trump didn’t mention, according to Atlanta Black Star News, was his proposal to slash foreign aid funding for the coming fiscal year, which would, effectively, reduce funding available to those four countries. Relief agencies fear such a reduction will ultimately result in more hunger-related deaths. Even without the current famines and droughts, Africa’s overall population is poor in comparison to the United States’ population. Accordingly, to positively conform with Jesus’ words cited at the beginning of this col-

60 The The Positive Positive Community Community June June2017 2017

umn, Christians in the United States should do what we can to feed people most severely impacted by the current famines and droughts in Africa. Although individual Christians and individual congregations could collect and send food, water, etc. by themselves, the magnitudes of the famines and droughts in impacted parts of Africa would likely make collective work among congregations much more effective. In the earlier 2000s, a significant number of Christian congregations in the New York City area worked together to ship a huge amount of needed items to people who were then suffering in the Darfur area within Sudan. Members of the congregations donated items, which were subsequently consolidated and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to West Africa. Next, the goods were transported over land to East Africa, where Darfur is situated. The Reverend Herbert Daughtry, whose Brooklynbased House of the Lord Church centrally organized the multi-congregational effort, accompanied the caravan. When the caravan arrived at its central destination in Darfur, Rev. Daughtry preached to the residents, and the collected goods were distributed to people in need. Let’s do that again. And, of course, in addition to careful planning, management, sacrificial giving, and hard work, we should stay in prayer – inter-congregational, congregational, small group, and individual prayer – before, during and after the actions. “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”—Philippians 4:6 (New Revised Standard Version) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”-—Proverbs 3:5 (King James Version) Finally, UNICEF’s website states, “The severe malnutrition and looming famine are largely man-made.” Other sources also suggest that corporate activities in the United States and other highly industrialized nations are generating “climate change,” which causes and/or aggravates droughts and famines in Africa and elsewhere.


Continued from page 34 evening included a cocktail reception, catered dinner, silent auction, live music, and several guest speakers, such as H. Carl McCall, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York System. “This gala marked 50 years of MEOC providing the residents of Harlem and throughout New York City with exciting opportunities to fuel their socio-economic mobility through education and training,” said MEOC Director Anthony Watson.

Visit Our New Bold Website!

Newark Museum

Continued from page 54 special exhibition space of more than 5,000 square feet with wood floors, new ceilings, and walls to accommodate major shows. A lift will be installed in the Engelhard Court, making it accessible to all visitors. The Museum will be open to the public throughout construction with exhibitions and programs. Arts of Global Africa galleries, will open on November 3. “We see all around us how the neighborhood is changing quickly to accommodate its renewed development and growth. With this move, the Newark Museum is poised to reaffirm its role as both cultural and business anchor in the community,” said Director and CEO Steven Kern. “With the doors open, the Museum will project neighborhood vitality, stability, and security.” The Museum is celebrating the centennial founding of its African Art collection this year, highlighted by the relocation and reinstallation of this collection to galleries on the first floor of the Museum’s main building, closest to the Washington Street entrance. One of the most comprehensive collections of African Art in the country, the Museum’s African Art Initiative provides for 1,500 square feet of new permanent gallery space. Fully integrated into the museum’s Global collections, the new galleries feature a thematic, crosscultural display of African art, both historical and contemporary. The new special exhibition space will welcome visitors on March 23, 2018. June 2017 The Positive Community



Vol. 17, No. 6




Publisher Adrian A. Council, Sr. Editor-in-Chief Jean Nash Wells Associate Editor R. L. Witter Sales Angela Ridenour Adrian Council, Jr. NGS Communications, Inc. Satori MPR Marc Williams Contributing Writers Mwandikaji K. Mwanafunzi g.r. mattox Patricia Baldwin Rev. Theresa Nance Glenda Cadogan Helene Fox Rev. Dr. Joanne Noel Photographers Bob Gore Wali A. Muhammad Seitu Oronde Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins, Jr. Darryl Hall Vincent Bryant Hubert Williams Brian Branch Price Karen Waters Art Direction & Layout Penguin Design Group Martin Maishman Production Assistant April Davis 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 The Positive Positive Community Community 62

The Last Word

June June 2017 2017

here does the time go? We’re already halfway through 2017 and people I knew as babies are suddenly heading off to college; how did that happen? As much as time seems to fly by, many days of the past five months have seemingly dragged on and on due to news of scandal, possible corruption, increased divisiveness in our country, and tragic violence. Some days I find myself reluctant to turn on my computer, phone, or television—dreading the onslaught of political and social happenings that seem to wipe my morning smile from my face faster than the Arizona sun can melt an ice cube. It is in these moments that I push myself to fire up that computer and dive into my work at The Positive Community. As I research and read about people who are actively working to improve themselves and their communities, our communities, I am energized and inspired! Whether it’s Dee C. Marshall facilitating a workshop for men or one of our many churches bestowing scholarship money upon graduating seniors, there is always someone, somewhere, doing something of substance simply because it’s what God has placed in their heart to be done. Sure, the world seems to be in constant turmoil these days, and if my Gram were here she’d be telling anyone who’d listen, “We’re living in the last days!” But despite the doom and gloom, there is sunshine to be found if we just look for it. As a lifelong jazz fan, I found plenty of sunshine in a conversation between legendary pianist Randy Weston and one of my favorite theologians, Rev. Dr. M. William Howard. The history and pure joy those men shared through their mutual love of music brought a wide smile to my face. As I marveled at the

wealth of life experience between them, I then thought of young Alexis Morrast, the musician just beginning her journey and I welled up with happiness and hope for her future. Whether she sells millions of records or sings in her bedroom, she’s living her dream and honing her talent. Isn’t that really why we’re all here? That hope I feel is compounded exponentially when I page through the names and achievements of the Class of 2017 graduates from both high school and college. These young people have so much ahead of them —and not all of it will be pleasant or positive. But what I do know is that the future is theirs and with the tools and technology at their disposal, they will work to improve whatever we leave to them. One of the most powerful tools will be our legacy. Henceforth and forever more, generations will be able to look back at our history in this country from slavery through the Obama presidency and beyond, and draw upon the strength, knowledge, and wisdom of their ancestors who made a way out of no way and never stopped striving. While it seems that some people are doing their best to erase every accomplishment and achievement of the first black president, we know it will not happen. We cannot let it happen, and our best and brightest will see to it that it doesn’t. I’m reminded that Barack Obama ran on a campaign of hope and change; and while change isn’t always for the better, there’s always hope. And as we honor Black Music Month I am reminded of India.Arie’s catchy tune and uplifting words, “There’s hope/It doesn’t cost a thing to smile/You don’t have to pay to laugh/You better thank God for that.” Thank you, Lord.



Join Friends of New Jersey Legacy Foundation Inc. for the 56th Birthday Celebration of President Barack H. Obama Saturday, August 5, 2017 Cornucopia Dinner Cruise Line Elizabeth Waterfront Marina 71 Front Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey Boarding: 6:00pm • Sailing: 7:00pm Donation: $125.00 Please wear white attire (Seating is limited) For tickets contact: Mrs. Kim Nesbitt Good 908-352-7078 • Ms. Barbara Hayes 908-245-2664 • Mrs. Yvonne Davis 908- 289-4291 Mrs. Yvonne Davis 908-289-4291 • Mrs. Nancy Bates 908-245-1979 Ms. Deborah Hunter 908-820-8761 • Mrs. Joyce Paschall 908-276-1441

There’s a new place uptown for art, science, learning and community

The first buildings of Columbia’s Manhattanville campus are now open, providing New York with a new center for pioneering research, artistic creativity and community engagement. With a sustainable design of tree-lined sidewalks, open green spaces and public services that will continue to unfold in the years to come, Columbia Manhattanville is a city campus built to welcome people and ideas.

The Lenfest Center for the Arts houses new film and theater spaces at Columbia’s School of the Arts and the Wallach Art Gallery. Come to the Wallach’s summer exhibition “Uptown” featuring Harlem artists, opening on June 2.

The Jerome L. Greene Science Center is home to the Nobel Prize–winning brain scientists of the Zuckerman Institute. Learn about their cutting-edge research in the public main floor that includes a community Education Lab and Wellness Center.

June 2017  

Hooray for the Graduates!; The Business Issue; Dr. Perry Simmons: A Ministry of Service; Celebrating Black Music Month: Positive Music Matte...

June 2017  

Hooray for the Graduates!; The Business Issue; Dr. Perry Simmons: A Ministry of Service; Celebrating Black Music Month: Positive Music Matte...