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GOOD NEWS FROM THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY

Summer 2019

HARLEM WEEK

!

™ thepositivecommunity.com

$2.95

Celebrating 45 Years of Cultural Leadership

SPECIAL SECTIONS:

HARLEM CONGREGATIONS FOR COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT: LEADING HARLEM’S COMMUNITY REVIVAL WEST HARLEM GROUP ASSISTANCE: KEEPING HARLEM ACCESSIBLE !

GUEST EDITORIAL:

REV. JACQUES DEGRAFF: HARLEM RECLAIMS ITS FUTURE!

POSITIVEMUSIC

MATTERS

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Victory Plaza Senior Citizen’s Housing in Development


Happy. Happy. Healthy. Healthy. Loved. Loved. These These are are the the dreams dreams we we have have for our for our children. children. So we So we cherish cherish the the moments moments when when littlelittle giggles giggles fill the fill the room, room, imaginations imaginations taketake us on us great on great adventures, adventures, andand when when it seems it seems our our hearts hearts could could burst burst withwith pride pride andand love. love. Here Here andand now, now, we’dwe’d stopstop timetime if we if we could. could. Because Because when when kidskids are are being being kids, kids, we we all feel all feel better. better.

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hjmf genuse_2019.qxp_Layout 1 8/19/19 5:10 PM Page 1

AUG. 21ST

AUG. 21ST

AUG. 31 2019

AUG. 31ST 2019

THRU

NINA SIMONE

THRU

ST

SMOKEY ROBINSON

DIONNE WARWICK

DUKE ELLINGTON

MIRIAM MAKEBA

FREE GREAT OUTDOOR Concerts Bring you Blankets & Chairs

THURS AUG 22

ND

| 5:00 PM

SUMMER STAGE IN HARLEM HJ&MF SALUTE TO HARLEM/HAVANA

Featuring JAAMBO | THE FEELING MESSENGERS NAPOLEON THE LEGEND (SPOKEN WORD) | AFRIKAN KARTEL (HIP HOP) THE PLAZA | ADAM C. POWELL, JR. BLVD & W. 125TH STREET

SAT AUG 24TH | 6:00PM

HARLEM JAZZ & MUSIC FESTIVAL

Salutes

NINA SIMONE & SMOKEY ROBINSON

Featuring CRAIG HARRIS (JAZZ) | LEGACY (R&B) ST. NICHOLAS PARK PLAZA & THE GREAT LAWN | W. 135TH ST. & ST. NICHOLAS AVE.

SAT AUG 24TH | 8:00PM

HJ&MF Outdoor Family Film Festival With VIDEO MONTAGE OF HISTORIC BLACK ENTERTAINERS

SPIDERMAN: FAR FROM HOME

Featuring ST. NICHOLAS PARK PLAZA & THE GREAT LAWN W. 135TH STREET & ST. NICHOLAS AVENUE

WED AUG 28TH | 7:00PM HJ&MF SALUTES JAZZMOBILE’S

Honoring

TITO PUENTE

DUKE ELLINGTON & DIONNE WARWICK

Featuring KING SOLOMON HICKS (BLUES) | DANNY MIXON

(JAZZ) |CHARENEE WADE, TY STEPHENS, LYNETTE WASHINGTON U.S. GRANT NATIONAL MEMORIAL PARK | W. 122ND St. & RIVERSIDE DRIVE

THURS AUG 29TH | 5:00 PM

SUMMER STAGE IN HARLEM HJ&MF SALUTE TO ARTZ, ROOTZ & RHYTHM

WED AUG 21ST | 7:00PM

THURS AUG 29TH

SALUTES HARLEM/HAVANA

JAZZMOBILE RESIDENCY @ MINTON’S PLAYHOUSE

NATIONAL JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM 58 W. 129th ST | (212) 348-8300 | jazzmuseuminharlem.org

THURS AUG 22

ND

TWO SETS: 7:30PM & 9:30PM

JAZZMOBILE RESIDENCY @ MINTON’S PLAYHOUSE 206 W. 118TH STREET

THE PLAZA | ADAM C. POWELL, JR. BLVD & W. 125TH STREET

FRI AUG 30TH | 7:00 PM

HJ&MF’S “HARLEM ON THE HUDSON” Saluting TITO PUENTE & MIRIAM MAKEBA

Hosted by

Jazzmobile Featuring BOBBY SANABRIA BIG BAND (JAZZ & LATIN) AKIKO (JAZZ) | NAT ADDERLEY, JR. (JAZZ)

DENNY FARRELL RIVERBANK STATE PARK | W. 145TH STREET & RIVERSIDE DRIVE

SAT AUG 31ST | 3:00 PM to 6:00PM

HJ&MF SALUTES

“THE QUEEN OF SOUL” & “THE KING OF CALYPSO” Honoring

ARETHA FRANKLIN & HARRY BELAFONTE

Featuring RAY

CHEW & THE CREW (R&B & Jazz) | THE JEFF FOXX BAND (R&B and Blues)

TWO SETS: 7:30PM & 9:30PM 206 W. 118TH STREET

NO COVER | FOOD & BEVERAGE MINIMUM

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SAT AUG 24TH

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FOR INFO & RESERVATIONS: 212-243-2222

2 SETS: 8:00PM & 10:00PM

UPTOWN SATURDAY NITE

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SAT AUG 24TH

9:00PM to 12:00 MIDNIGHT

HARLEM LATE NIGHT JAZZ @ THE COTTON CLUB 656 W. 125TH STREET

$25.00 MUSIC CHARGE | FOOD & COCKTAILS

FOR INFO & RESERVATIONS:

LEGACY (R&B/DOO WOP) | IMPACT Repertory Theatre (R&B/HIP HOP) 212-663-7980 Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir (GOSPEL) | Young Devyn (R&B) |

Featuring

HARRY BELAFONTE

UPTOWN INDOOR EVENTS

@ SHOWMAN’S JAZZ CLUB

55 YEARS

ARETHA FRANKLIN

MON AUG 26TH

8PM to 12 MIDNIGHT

“SWING NIGHT”

@ THE COTTON CLUB 656 W. 125TH STREET

$25.00 MUSIC CHARGE | FOOD & COCKTAILS

FOR INFO & RESERVATIONS 212-663-7980

THURS AUG 29 | 7:00PM SALUTING THE 55TH ANNIVERSARY OF TH

HARLEM SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

@ SHOWMAN’S JAZZ CLUB

FRI AUG 30TH

9:00PM – 1:00 AM

HARLEM LATE NIGHT JAZZ @ MIST HARLEM 46 W. 116TH STREET | Cover $10.00 FOR INFO & RESERVATIONS: (212) 828-6478

SAT AUG 31ST

2 SETS: 8:00PM & 10:00PM

UPTOWN SATURDAY NITE

@ SHOWMAN’S JAZZ CLUB SALUTING GREAT HARLEM MUSICIANS 375 W. 125TH STREET FOR INFO & RESERVATIONS: 212-864-8941 | 2 DRINK MIN.

SAT AUG 31ST

8:00 PM to 12:00 MIDNIGHT

DANCE TO HARLEM’S HOUSE & AFRO BEAT @ SOLOMON & KUFF

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PROUD MEDIA PARTNER

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SUMMER 2019

CONTENTS 40

SECTIONS HEALTH ................................. 22 EDUCATION ........................... 28 MONEY ................................. 35 CULTURE ............................... 61

Features Harlem Reclaimes Future ........................................ 15 Prayers for One of Our Own ...................................... 17 Dedication of Owens Post Office .............................. 20 Rick Gropper and Malcolm Punter at Victory Plaza site

Ryan Health Gala .................................................... 22

SPECIAL SECTIONS:

Hooray for the Graduates ........................................ 25

HCCI Special Section ................. 40–51 Message from the President ............... 40 Let Us Break Bread Together ............... 42 Victoria Theater .................................. 44 Homeownership ................................. 45 Aging Out of Foster Care ..................... 46 Youth Programs .................................. 48 WHGA Special Section ............... 52–58 Keeping Harlem Accessible ................. 52

&also inside

Publisher’s Desk ................................ 10 My View ............................................. 16 Fitness Doctor .................................... 24 Gospel Train ....................................... 68 The Way Ahead .................................. 73 The Last Word .................................... 74

4

The Positive Community Summer 2019

Rev. Slaughter Sworn In ........................................... 26 The Importance of Education .................................. 28 Murphy Celebrates 114th Birthday! ......................... 29 Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance ............. 35 Staying with the Harlem Stride ................................ 36 Harlem Week Celebrates 45 Years ........................... 38 Celebrating Juneteenth ........................................... 61 Hazel Dukes Is Undefeatable! ................................. 62 Positive Music Matters ............................................ 64 Delicious Debra Sandler ......................................... 66 NY & NJ Clergy Endorse Cultural Narrative ............... 70 St. Luke’s Celebrates Cultural Narrative ................... 71 www.thepositivecommunity.com


FRIDAY 9 / 20 / 2019 New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Wellness & Events Center

Connecting Diverse New Jersey Businesses with Billion-Dollar Economic Opportunities

IN ONE DAY AND UNDER ONE ROOF, the NJ Connects Summit will offer the opportunity for diverse businesses to meet directly with procurement representatives from public authorities, agencies and institutions as well as federal, local, regional and corporate diversity leaders. The unique program – targeted to help diverse business owners tap into and access billion-dollar public contract opportunities – will include: plenary sessions and panels featuring key public and private sector speakers; exhibits; small business boot camps; and more.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WHEN YOU ATTEND

Hear from senior State Government Officials, including:

Sheila Y. Oliver Lt. Governor, State of NJ Commissioner, Department of Community Affairs

George S. Helmy Chief of Staff to the Governor

Matthew J. Platkin Chief Counsel to the Governor

Ronald L. Rice Senator Legislative District 28

Sandra B. Cunningham Senator Legislative District 31

Nancy J. Pinkin Assemblywoman Legislative District 18

Exposure to high level forecasts from State Cabinet and Authority Leaders

Elizabeth Maher Muoio New Jersey State Treasurer

Joseph L. Fiordaliso President Board of Public Utilities

Christopher Rein Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti Chief Technology Officer Commissioner NJ Office of Information Department Technology of Transportation

A seat at the Urban Mayor’s Roundtable to hear about municipal development plans and contract opportunities

Mayor Ras Baraka City of Newark

Mayor Christine Dansereau Borough of Roselle

Michael G. Massiah Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer The Port Authority of NY & NJ

Tai Cooper Vice President for Policy and Communication NJ Economic Development Authority

David E. Zimmer Executive Director NJ Infrastructure Bank

A Private Sector Leader Roundtable and Fireside Chats featuring:

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp City of Plainfield

Carolynn Johnson CEO of DiversityInc

Hester Agudosi, Esq. Sheila Y. Oliver Chief Diversity Lt. Governor, State of NJ Commissioner, Department Officer State Office of Diversity and Inclusion of Community Affairs

Barbara George Johnson, MPH, JD Executive Director The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy Thomas Edison State University

James Rhee CEO, Ashley Stewart

Clint Grimes Executive Director, Global Sourcing & Supplier Diversity, WarnerMedia

Mayor Wilda Diaz City of Perth Amboy

Friday, September 20, 2019 • New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Wellness & Events Center

REGISTER NOW!


Newark Clergy Alliance

PRESENTS

NEWARK PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES

PROSPERITY, SPIRITUALITY & OVERCOMING CHALLENGES GUEST SPEAKER

REV. DR. DeFOREST B. SOARIES, JR. TUESDAY SEPT 17 FREE ADMISSION

6PM-8PM DOORS OPEN AT 5:30PM NEWARK PUBLIC LIBRARY 5 WASHINGTON STREET, NEWARK NJ


R C

GREAT GREAT

T

OLL OLL

MAKE THE DIFFERENCE! MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

ALL ALL

TO PROGRESS TO PROGRESS

he clergy organizations, churches, community businesses and institutions listed below have committed to the purchase of at he clergy organizations, churches, community andthis institutions listed belowthe have committed to the purchase of at least 50 magazines per month at $1.50 each orbusinesses they support publication through purchase of advertising. Find out more 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 rollcall@thepositivecommunity.com. by calling 973-233-9200 or email rollcall@thepositivecommunity.com.

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

Rev. Barry R.B.C., Miller, Pastor NJ Abyssinian Newark, Rev. Barry R. Miller, Pastor Aenon Baptist Church, Vauxhall, NJ

Rev Alphonso Pastor NJ Aenon BaptistWilliams, Church,Sr., Vauxhall, Rev Alphonso PastorNJ Agape BaptistWilliams, Church, Sr., Newark,

Rev. Craig R. Jackson, Agape Baptist Church,Pastor Newark, NJ Rev. CraigBaptist R. Jackson, Pastor Antioch Church, Brooklyn, NY Rev. Robert M. Waterman, Pastor NY Antioch Baptist Church, Brooklyn, Rev. Robert M.ofWaterman, Archdiocese New YorkPastor

Brother Tyroneof Davis, Archdiocese NewOffice York of Black Ministry Brother Davis,Conference Office of Black Ministry BaptistTyrone Ministers of Greater NY & Vicinity Baptist Ministers Conference Rev.Greater Dr. Charles Curtis, President of NY &A.Vicinity Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis,NY President Berean B.C., Brooklyn, Rev. Arlee Griffin Jr., Pastor Berean B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. ArleeB.C., Griffin Jr., PastorNY Bethany Brooklyn,

Rev. Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey,NYSr. Pastor Bethany B.C., Brooklyn, Rev. Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey, Bethany B.C., Newark, NJ Sr. Pastor

Rev. Timothy Jones, Pastor Bethany B.C.,E.Newark, NJ Rev. TimothyMissionary E. Jones, Pastor Bethlehem B.C., Roselle, NJ Rev. Jeffrey Bryan, PastorB.C., Roselle, NJ Bethlehem Missionary Rev. Jeffrey Pastor Beulah BibleBryan, Cathedral Church, Newark, NJ Gerald Dickson, Senior Beulah Lydell Bible Cathedral Church,Pastor Newark, NJ Gerald Dickson, Senior PastorNJ CalvaryLydell Baptist Church, Garfield,

Rev. Calvin McKinney, Pastor Calvary Baptist Church, Garfield, NJ Rev. Calvin McKinney, Pastor Calvary Baptist Church, Morristown, NJ Rev. JerryBaptist M. Carter, Jr., Pastor Calvary Church, Morristown, NJ Rev. JerryB.M. Jr., Pastor Canaan C.Carter, of Christ, Harlem, NY Rev. Thomas Pastor NY Canaan B. C.D.ofJohnson, Christ, Harlem, Rev. Thomas Johnson,NJ Pastor Canaan B.C.,D.Paterson, Rev. BarryB.C., L. Graham, Pastor Canaan Paterson, NJ Rev. Barry L. Graham, Pastor Cathedral International., Perth Amboy, NJ Cathedral International., BishopAmboy, Donald NJ Hilliard, Pastor Perth Bishop Donald Pastor Charity BaptistHilliard, Church, Bronx, NY Rev. Reginald Williams, Charity Baptist Church,Pastor Bronx, NY Rev. Reginald Pastor NJ Christian LoveWilliams, B.C., Irvington,

Rev. Brandon Keith Washington, Pastor Christian Love B.C., Irvington, NJ Rev. Brandon Keith Washington, Pastor NJ Clear View Baptist Church, Newark, Rev. Curtis Belle, Church, Jr., PastorNewark, NJ Clear ViewW. Baptist Rev. Curtis W.B.C., Belle,Englewood, Jr., Pastor NJ Community

Rev. Dr. LesterB.C., Taylor, Pastor NJ Community Englewood, Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor,ofPastor Community Church God, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Antonio Church Porter, Pastor Community of God, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Antonio Porter, Pastor

Concord B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Gary Simpson, Pastor Concord B.C.,V.Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson, Convent Avenue BaptistPastor Church, New York, NY Baptist Church, Convent Avenue Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Willams, Pastor New York, NY Rev. Dr.and Jesse T. Willams, Pastor Cross Crown Christian Church, Orange, NJCrown Christian Church, Cross and Rev. LulaNJ A. Baker, Pastor Orange, Rev. Lula A.B.C. Baker, Pastor Ebenezer of Englewood, NJ

Rev. Preston E. Thompson, Jr., Pastor Ebenezer B.C. of Englewood, NJ Rev. PrestonNJE.Councilwoman-At-Large Thompson, Jr., Pastor Elizabeth,

Patricia Perkins-Auguste Elizabeth, NJ Councilwoman-At-Large Patricia Perkins-Auguste Empire Missionary Baptist Convention

Rev. Dr. Carl T. Washington, Pastor Empire Missionary BaptistJr., Convention Rev. Dr. CarlBaptist T. Washington, PastorNJ Evergreen Church, Jr., Palmyra, Rev. Dr. GuyBaptist Campbell, Jr., Pastor Evergreen Church, Palmyra, NJ Rev. Dr. Guy Missionary Campbell, Jr., Pastor Fellowship B.C., Newark, NJ

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

Rev. Dr. Renee Memorial, B.C.,Washington New York,Gardner, NY Senior Rev. Dr.Pastor Renee Washington Gardner, Senior Pastor Messiah Baptist Church, Bridgeport, CT Rev. James Logan,Church, Pastor Bridgeport, CT Messiah Baptist Rev. James Logan, PastorEast Orange, NJ Messiah Baptist Church, Rev. DanaBaptist Owens,Church, Pastor East Orange, NJ Messiah Rev. Dana Owens, Metropolitan B.C.,Pastor Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David B.C., Jefferson, Pastor Metropolitan Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Pastor Mt. Neboh Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev.Neboh Dr. Johnnie Green Jr., Pastor Mt. Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie Jr., Pastor Mt. Pisgah B.C.,Green Brooklyn, NY

Rev. Dr. EltonMissionary T. Byrd Pastor/Founder Fellowship B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. T. ByrdGardens, Pastor/Founder First Dr. B.C.Elton of Lincoln Somerset NJ

Rev.Pisgah Dr. Johnny Youngblood, Mt. B.C.,Ray Brooklyn, NY Pastor Rev. Dr.Olive Johnny Ray Youngblood, Mount Baptist Church, Pastor Hackensack, NJ Mount Olive Baptist Church, Rev. Gregory J.NJ Jackson, Pastor Hackensack, Rev. Gregory J. Jackson, Mt. Olivet B.C, Newark, Pastor NJ

First BaptistHenry Church, EastPastor Elmhurst, NY Rev. Patrick Young, Rev. Patrick Henry Young, Pastor First Baptist Church of Teaneck, NJ

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

Rev. (Buster) Soaries, PastorNJ First Dr. B.C.DeForest of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset Rev. DeForest (Buster) Pastor FirstDr. Baptist Church, EastSoaries, Elmhurst, NY

Rev. Dr. Marilyn Monroe Pastor First Baptist Church of Harris, Teaneck, NJ Rev. Marilyn Pastor FirstDr. Baptist of Monroe Jericho,Harris, Deptford, NJ Rev. Derek V. Gaitling, Pastor First Baptist of Jericho, Deptford, NJ Rev. V. Gaitling, Pastor FirstDerek Corinthian Baptist Church, NY

Rev. Michael A. Walrond, SeniorNYPastor First Corinthian Baptist Jr., Church, Rev. A. Walrond, Jr.,Plainfield, Senior Pastor FirstMichael Park Baptist Church, NJ Rev. Rufus McClendon, Jr., Pastor First Park Baptist Church, Plainfield, NJ Rev. McClendon, Jr., Pastor FirstRufus Baptist Church, South Orange, NJ Rev. Dr. Terry Richardson, Pastor First Baptist Church, South Orange, NJ Rev. Dr. Terry Richardson, Pastor General Baptist Convention, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester W.Convention, Taylor, Jr., President General Baptist NJ Rev. Dr.Neighbor Lester W.B.C., Taylor, Jr., President Good Newark, NJ

Rev. Dr.Neighbor George A.B.C., Blackwell, III, NJ Pastor Good Newark, Rev. Dr.B.George Blackwell, Grace C., Mt.A.Vernon, NY III, Pastor

Rev. Dr.B.Franklyn Richardson, Grace C., Mt. W. Vernon, NY Pastor Rev. Dr. Franklyn Richardson, Greater Zion HillW. B.C., Harlem, Pastor NY

Rev. Dr. Frank J. Blackshear, Pastor Greater Zion Hill B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Frank J. Blackshear, Harlem Congregations for Pastor Community Improvement Harlem Congregations for (HCCI) Malcolm A. Punter, President(HCCI) & CEO Community Improvement Malcolm A. Punter, President & CEO NJ Imani Baptist Church, East Orange, Rev. William Derek Lee, East SeniorOrange, Pastor NJ Imani Baptist Church, Rev. William Derek Lee, Senior Pastor It Is Well Living Ministries, Clark, NJ

KahlilLiving Carmichael, PastorClark, NJ ItRev. Is Well Ministries, Rev. Kahlil Carmichael, PastorLakewood, NJ Macedonia Baptist Church, Dr. Edward D. Harper, Pastor Lakewood, NJ Macedonia Baptist Church, Dr. Edward D. Harper, Pastor

Rev.Olivet André B.C, W. Milteer, Pastor Mt. Newark, NJ Rev. AndréAME W. Milteer, Mt. Zion Church,Pastor Trenton, NJ

Mt. B.C.,State Westwood, NJ NewZion Garden Jurisdiction COGIC NJ State Jurisdiction New Garden Bishop William Calhoon COGIC NJ Bishop William Calhoon New Hope Baptist Church, Metuchen, NJ New Hope Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Ronald Metuchen, NJ L. Owens, Pastor Rev. Dr. Ronald L. Owens, New Hope Baptist ChurchPastor of East Orange, East Orange, NJ of East New Hope Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Vernard E. Hinton, Orange, East Orange, NJ Pastor Rev. Vernard E. Hinton, NewDr. Hope Baptist ChurchPastor of Hackensack, Hackensack, NJ New Hope Baptist Church of Rev. Dr. Drew Kyndall Ross, Senior Hackensack, Hackensack, NJ Pastor Rev. Kyndall Mt. Ross,Holly, Senior NewDr. LifeDrew Cathedral, NJPastor Rev. Eric Pastor New LifeWallace, Cathedral, Mt. Holly, NJ Rev. NewEric ReidWallace, TemplePastor COGIC East NJ COGIC New Orange, Reid Temple BishopOrange, WilliamNJ Calhoon East Bishop WilliamAME Calhoon North Selton Church, Piscataway, North SeltonNJ AME Church, Rev. Dr. Eric and Piscataway, NJ Myra Billips, Pastors Rev. Dr. Eric Myra Billips, Paradise B. and C., Newark, NJ Pastors

Rev. JethroB.James, PastorNJ Paradise C., Newark, Rev. Jethro James, Pastor Park Ave Christian Disciples of Christ, East NJ Disciples of Christ, Park Orange, Ave Christian Rev. Harriet Wallace, East Orange, NJ Pastor Rev. Harriet Wallace, Pastor Pilgrim B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Glenn Pilgrim B. C., Wilson, Newark,Pastor NJ Rev. Dr. Glenn Wilson, Pastor

Ruth Fellowship Ministries, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Brown, Pastor Plainfield, NJ RuthTracey Fellowship Ministries, Rev. Tracey Pastor Englewood, NJ Shiloh AMEBrown, Zion Church, Rev. John D. Zion Givens, PastorEnglewood, NJ Shiloh AME Church, Rev. John D. New Givens, Pastor NY Shiloh B.C., Rochelle, Rev. Dr.B.C., DeQuincy Hentz, Pastor Shiloh New M. Rochelle, NY Rev. Dr.B.C., DeQuincy M. Hentz, Shiloh Plainfield, NJ Pastor

Rev. Hodari Hamilton, NJ Sr., Senior Pastor Shiloh B.C.,K.Plainfield, Rev. Hodari Hamilton, Shiloh B.C.,K.Trenton, NJSr., Senior Pastor Rev. Darell Pastor Shiloh B.C.,Armstrong, Trenton, NJ Rev. Darell Armstrong, PastorBrooklyn, NY St. Anthony Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Walter L. DeLoatch, Pastor NY St. Anthony Baptist Church, Sr., Brooklyn, Rev. Dr. Walter DeLoatch, Sr., Pastor St. James AMEL.Church, Newark, NJ Rev.James RonaldAME L. Slaughter, St. Church, Pastor Newark, NJ Rev.John Ronald L. Slaughter, St. Baptist Church,Pastor Camden, NJ Rev. Dr. Silas M. Townsend, Pastor NJ St. John Baptist Church, Camden, Rev.John Dr. Silas Townsend, Pastor St. B.C.,M.Scotch Plains, NJ

Rev.John Shawn T. Wallace, Pastor NJ St. B.C., Scotch Plains, Rev. Shawn T. Wallace, Pastor St. Luke Baptist Church of Harlem, NY Rev.Luke Dr. Johnnie Pastor St. BaptistMcCann, Church of Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie McCann,NJ Pastor St Luke B.C., Paterson,

Rev.Luke Kenneth Clayton,NJPastor St B.C.,D.R. Paterson, Rev. Kenneth D.R. Clayton, St. Mark Missionary B.C.,Pastor Jamaica, NY Rev.Mark OwenMissionary E. Williams,B.C., Pastor St. Jamaica, NY Rev. Owen E. Williams, PastorOrange, NJ St. Matthew AME Church, Rev.Matthew Melvin E.AME Wilson, PastorOrange, NJ St. Church, Rev. MelvinB.C., E. Wilson, PastorNJ St. Paul’s Montclair,

Rev.Paul’s Dr. Bernadette Glover, Pastor St. B.C., Montclair, NJ Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover,Red Pastor St. Paul Baptist Church, Bank, NJ

Rev.Paul Alexander Pastor St. BaptistBrown, Church, Red Bank, NJ Rev. Alexander Brown,B.C., Pastor St. Paul Community Brooklyn, NY Rev.Paul DavidCommunity K. Brawley,B.C., Pastor St. Brooklyn, NY Rev. David K.B.C., Brawley, Pastor NJ Tabernacle Burlington, Rev. Dr. CoryB.C., L. Jones, Pastor NJ Tabernacle Burlington, Rev. New Dr. Cory L. Jones, Pastor NJ The Hope B.C., Newark,

Rev. Joe Carter, Pastor NJ The New Hope Senior B.C., Newark, Rev. Joe Carter, Senior Union Baptist Temple,,Pastor Bridgeton, NJ

Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Union Baptist Temple,,Pastor Bridgeton, NJ Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Pastor United Fellowship B.C., Asbury Park, NJ Rev. James H. Brown, Sr.,Asbury Pastor Park, NJ United Fellowship B.C., Rev. James H. Brown, PastorNY Walker Memorial B.C.Sr., Bronx, Rev. Dr. Memorial J. Albert Bush Pastor Walker B.C.Sr., Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. J. Albert Sr., Pastor Welcome BaptistBush Church, Newark, NJ

Rev. Dr. Elijah C. Williams, Welcome Baptist Church,Pastor Newark, NJ Rev. Elijah C.Music Williams, Pastor WorldDr.Gospel Assoc., Newark, NJ Dr. Albert Lewis,Music Founder World Gospel Assoc., Newark, NJ Dr. Albert Lewis, Founder

“The Positive Community magazine does outstanding work in promoting the good works of the Black Church. All churches “and The Positive Community magazinetodoes in promoting the good works of the this Black Church. All The Positive Community . Please support magazine, thechurches only one businesses should subscribe and outstanding advertise in work Positive . Please this20, magazine, the only one and should and advertise in TheRev. BusterCommunity Soaries, General Baptistsupport Revival, May 2010 that businesses features good newssubscribe about thetoblack community.”— that features good news about the black community.”—Rev. Buster Soaries, General Baptist Revival, May 20, 2010


ADRIAN COUNCIL PUBLISHER’S DESK

SUMMER 2019

400 Years and Counting

W

elcome to The Positive Community’s (TPC) annual Harlem Summer Issue. We thank God and thank you too for this opportunity to serve. It’s a real pleasure and honor to provide this service to our readers, an alternate media space where we can see ourselves, on our own terms, as a mighty people of progress and goodwill! Indeed there is no going backward in TPC—it’s always, forward ever backward never! A special thank you to our community partners, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce/HARLEM WEEK celebrating 45 years, Harlem Hospital, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI), West Harlem Group Assistance (WHGA) and the Abyssinian Development Corporation. These are among the institutions, along with the many houses of worship that are leading Harlem’s Community Revival. And together, we deliver hope for tomorrow; opportunity for today! We ask that you support the forward-thinking business, corporations and institutions—sponsors—that advertise in this publication! The American Story

Now more than ever, there is an urgent need, particularly among our children, to know their story; to have for themselves a narrative that chronicles the trials, tribulations, triumphs and the wisdom of those who came before us: the ancestors. This year, 2019, represents 400 years since Africans arrived on these shores in 1619. Imagine the American story, from 250 years of slavery, to The Great Emancipation of 1863; from the March on Washington one hundred years later (1963); to the election of America’s first black president in 2008. Throughout it all, was our forefather’s story of consistent struggle, sacrifice and prayers for the freedoms this present generation enjoys today. Without ceasing, we must ever remind our young people never to forget: freedom isn’t free! It does come with a price. The struggle continues… “The 1619 Project”

The New York Times Magazine recently published “The 1619 Project.” The entire edition of the magazine is dedicated to exploring black life and culture in America. For educators, leaders of youth ministries and Sun-

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

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The African American Cultural Narrative

frican Americans are a unique people with a peculiar history in this land. Brought to these shores in chains from Africa in the early 1600s, our people toiled and suffered as captives in brutal bondage for a quarter of a millennium (250 years). On January 1, 1863, two years into the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, became law, signaling an end to slavery. On that day, the African American community of the United States of America was born.

THE GREAT CULTURAL NARRATIVE POSTER

One hundred years later, in August, 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial, as he led hundreds of thousands to a March on Washington, seeking an end to discrimination and 90 years of Jim Crow segregation in the South. It was a demand for full and equal citizen’s rights for the people in what has been called “the Second Emancipation.”

OUR American Story— In Classic Black! In the 100 years between the first and second emancipation, in the midst of bitter persecution, humiliation, lynching; enduring the denial of basic human rights, thePerfect resiliency of the African Amerfor Families, ican spirit continued to shine brightly in religion, business, education, medicine, invention, sports, and in the creative arts—music, fashion, dance, language, literature, and theater. Indeed, original Schools, Churches! American art forms and a popular culture which has become the envy of the world were founded Forty years after Martin Luther King’s tragic assassination in 1968, America elects its first black president, the Honorable Barack Obama (2008).

upon the souls of a forlorn people! And that is our story—the Truth, Beauty and Goodness of a loving and gifted race—revealed!

An Extraordinary History Ours is an extraordinary history of trial, tribulation, and triumph that we must never, ever forget! This is the very story we must tell our children and ever be remembered for all future generations. We the people, descendants of the Great Emancipation must tell our story and sing our greatest songs to each other and to the entire world! We must remind ourselves over and over again of the noble struggle, human dignity, sacrifices and wisdom of our torch-bearing forefathers; of our goodly heritage, our divine inheritance; our great music legacy—Positive Music Matters!

Order Yours Today!

Call:

973-233-9200 OR

visit www.thepositivecommunity.com

This is our story—the cultural narrative— a new language of freedom; a springboard toward a great and prosperous future; a spiritually enlightened ideal. A vision of hope, opportunity, and progress; liberty and happiness; health and wholeness—peace and goodwill!

(Poster Size: 19”x25”)

WE’VE COME THIS FAR BY FAITH…! —Adrian A. Council, Sr. © 2019 The Positive Community Magazine. All rights reserved.

day schools you can find curriculums, guides and activities for students developed by the Pulitzer Center at pulitzercenter.org/1619. In addition to the many gatherings, books releases and studies to commemorate the occasion, I want to recognize Rev. Dennis Dillon, publisher of the Christian Times newspaper, author, and pastor of Rise Church, Brooklyn NY, for his tireless effort in linking Africa and its limitless resources with African Americans through his “Door of Our Return” project. If it is planetary destiny that one day, all mankind will realize the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, then the Africa Diaspora must come together! Secure the Future—Now!

As we prepare the children for back-to-school, each of us is responsible for equipping our young people with knowledge of self—who they are and whose they are. The Positive Community’s Great Cultural Narrative is our American story in just 281 words. Every successful community has a story. Download this important narrative today: www.thepositivecommunity.com To insure the progress of our children and to protect the integrity of our African American culture, values and traditions, The Great Cultural Narrative is a must have learning tool. The future is secured through knowledge of facts and wisdom of experience; a hunger for truth and a thirst for righteousness! Forward ever backward never! www.thepositivecommunity.com


Columbia University Celebrates Harlem Week

Aspects of Negro Life by Aaron Douglas A pioneering artist of the Harlem Renaissance, Aaron Douglas (TC ’44) combined cubism and art deco with traditional African iconography to create a new visual language that celebrated authentic African American experiences. An educator, Douglas also taught a generation of students to find their unique voice and embrace black history. To learn more about Aaron Douglas and other notable alums, visit blackhistory.news.columbia.edu Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division, The New York Public Library. “Aspects of Negro Life” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1934.


RUTH FELLOWSHIP MINISTRIES INVITES YOU TO JOIN US

20TH PASTORAL ANNIVERSARY 1999 - 2019

Rev. Tracey L. Brown RUTH FELLOWSHIP MINISTRIES • 733 S. 2ND ST, PLAINFIELD, NJ WEEKNIGHT SERVICES HELD AT 7:30PM

ANNIVERSARY BANQUET @7:00PM

Monday 9/09/19

Tuesday 9/10/19

Wednesday 9/11/19

Thursday 9/12/19

Friday 9/13/19

REV. ILEY E.

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REV. DR. CAROLYN ANN

REV. DR. DARRELL L.

REV. DR. J. MICHAEL

Pastor, First Baptist Church • S. Bound Brook, NJ

Pastor, Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church • Roselle, NJ

Bright

Bryan

Knight

Founder & President, "Can Do" Ministries Atlanta, GA

Sunday • 7:45am 9/15/19 Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church Metuchen, NJ REV. DR. RONALD L.

Owens

Armstrong Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church Trenton, NJ

Sunday • 10:45am 9/15/19 Episcopal Supervisor, First Episcopal District of the AME Church REV. DR. JESSICA KENDALL

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Pastor, Fountain Baptist Church Summit, NJ Banquet Tickets $75 Adults $40 Youth under age 10 The Westwood 438 North Ave Garwood, NJ


Harlem Harlem Harlem Reclaims Reclaims Reclaims its Future its itsFuture Future

Dear Positive Community Family: Dear Positive Community Family: Dear Positive Community Family:

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ou’re invited! It’s the world premiere of the compelou’re It’sIt’s thethe world premiere ofthe thethe compelou’re invited! world premiere of compellinginvited! film, When Harlem Saved a King at Apollo theling film, When Harlem Saved a King at the Apollo ling film, When Harlem Saved a King at the Apollo theatre on September 20, depicting the grippingthestory atre on September 20, depicting the gripping story atre on September 20, depicting the gripping story of Dr. King’s stabbing in Harlem, and the hospital team that of of Dr.Dr. King’s in in Harlem, and hospital team that King’s Harlem, and the hospital team that saved him stabbing forstabbing history. There will bethe celebrities, live perforsaved him for history. There will be celebrities, live perforsaved him for history. There will be celebrities, live performances, surprise appearances, and a salute to three Harlem mances, appearances, and a salute to to three Harlem mances, surprise appearances, and a Research salute three Harlem Pillars:surprise The Schomburg Center for in Black CulPillars: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black CulPillars: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Apollo Theatre and Harlem Hospital Center. ture, The Apollo Theatre and Harlem Hospital Center. ture, The Apollo Theatre and Harlem Hospital Center. In an era of increasing division and hostility pitting AmerInIn anagainst eraera of of increasing division and hostility pitting Ameran increasing division and hostility pitting Americans one another, Harlem faces its own unique chalicans against one another, Harlem faces its own unique chalicans against one another, Harlem faces its own unique lenges as we face our tomorrows. Gentrification strikeschalfear lenges as as wewe face our tomorrows. Gentrification strikes fear lenges face our tomorrows. Gentrification strikes fear and resentment in many quarters dealing with transition. and resentment in many quarters dealing with transition. and resentment in many quarters dealing with transition. Yet, in many ways we ignore our own heritage of survival and Yet, in in many ways wewe ignore our own heritage of of survival Yet, many ways ignore our own heritage survival and triumph. Didn’t conquer slavery, Jim Crow and and aparttriumph. Didn’t we conquer slavery, Jim Crow and aparttriumph. Didn’t we conquer slavery, Jim Crow and apartheid while facing the most powerful military and economic heid while thethe most powerful military and economic heid while facing most powerful military and economic forces onfacing the planet? Why, then, do we tremble when our forces on the planet? Why, then, do we tremble when forces on the planet? Why, then, do we tremble our communities face predictable change? The time when has our come communities face predictable change? The time has come communities face predictable change? The time has come to reclaim our history, and heritage and reaffirm our values to to reclaim our history, and heritage and reaffirm our values reclaim our history, and heritage and reaffirm our values and proclaim our strength. and proclaim our strength. and proclaim our strength.

www.thepositivecommunity.com

BY BY BY JACQUES REV. REV. JACQUES REV. JACQUES ANDRÉ DEGRAFF ANDRÉ ANDRÉDEGRAFF DEGRAFF

Distressed communities bemoan their healthcare reDistressed communities bemoan healthcare re-reDistressed communities bemoantheir their healthcare sources, while resourceful neighborhoods partner with their sources, while resourceful neighborhoods partner with their sources, while resourceful neighborhoods with their care providers and in so doing, empowerpartner themselves. The care providers and inHospital soso doing, empower The care providers and in doing, empower themselves. Thea Friends of Harlem Center have themselves. chosen to forge Friends of of Harlem Hospital Center have chosen to to forge a a Friends Hospital Center have chosen forge new path toHarlem our health and wellness while creating a pillar new path to our health and wellness while creating a pillar newthe path to ourofhealth and wellness creating pillar for people Harlem and beyondwhile to rely on anda grow. forHarlem thethe people of of Harlem and to to rely onin and grow. for people Harlem and beyond rely on and grow. Hospital has come a beyond mighty long way dispensing Harlem hashas come mighty long way inYes, dispensing Harlem Hospital come a mighty long way in dispensing care toHospital our residents in aasegregated society. there was care to our residents in a segregated society. Yes, there was to when our residents a segregated society.care Yes, was acare time even theinprovision of health inthere Harlem a time when even the provision of health care in Harlem a time when even the provision of health care supremacy. in Harlem was done in the paradigm of racism and white was done in in the paradigm racism and white supremacy. was done the paradigm of racism and white supremacy. Thankfully, pioneers fromofacross the country led the fight Thankfully, pioneers from across the country led fight Thankfully, across the the fight to open the pioneers doors of from opportunity and country equality led inthe all arenas to from open the doors of opportunity and equality in all arenas to open doors science, of opportunity all its arenas lawthe to sports, and theand arts.equality Harleminhad own from lawlaw sports, science, and the arts. Harlem had itsSutton, own from to sports, science, and the arts. Harlem had its own share oftogiants including Dr. Muriel Petioni, Percy share of of giants including Dr.Dr. Muriel Petioni, Percy Sutton, share giants including Muriel Petioni, Percy Sutton, Congressman Charles Rangel, and Dr. Charles Cordise, who Congressman Charles Rangel, and Dr.Dr. Charles who Congressman Charles Rangel, and Charles Cordise, who fought to insure quality health care for all. Cordise, fought to to insure quality forfor all. fought insure quality care Now Harlem faceshealth ahealth newcare season ofall. challenges and opNow faces a new challenges NowHarlem Harlem faces a my newseason seasonof of challenges andop-opportunities. It has been privilege to serve as aand founding portunities. It has been my privilege to serve as a founding portunities. has been my and privilege to serve as a founding member of It Harlem Week the Eagle Academy, and a member thethe Eagle memberof ofHarlem Harlem Weekand and EagleAcademy, Academy, anda a coordinator for theWeek Million Man March, along withand serving coordinator for the Million Man March, along with serving coordinator for the Million ManCanaan March, Baptist along with serving from the pulpit of the historic Church. In from thethe pulpit thethe historic Canaan Baptist Church. from pulpit of historic Canaan Baptist Church. In other words, I of have witnessed and participated when itInhas other words, I have witnessed and participated it has other words, Ifor have witnessed and it has become time people of faith toparticipated stand up when forwhen ourselves. become time for people of of faith to to stand upup forfor ourselves. become time for people faith Next month, we can together make astand difference inourselves. an event Next month, we can together make a difference in anan event Nextwill month, we can make a difference in event that empower us together all. that will empower us all. thatHow? will empower all.You are invited to an extraordinary You may us ask. How? You may ask. You areare invited to to anan extraordinary How? You may ask. You invited evening that will raise funds for the creation ofextraordinary the very first evening that will raise funds for the creation of thethe very first evening thatcenter will raise funds for the creation of very first simulation in our community. Sim Centers are innosimulation center in our community. Sim Centers are innosimulation center ourproviders community. Sim Centers are innovative facilities thatinhelp improve health outcomes vative facilities that help providers improve health vative facilities that help providers improve health outcomes and will enable our Harlem Hospital Center tooutcomes attract the and will enable our Harlem Hospital Center to attract thethe and will Harlem Hospital attract very best enable health our professionals. We areCenter all too to aware of very best health professionals. WeWe areare allall too aware of of the very best health professionals. too aware the health disparities that have plagued our communities. Now health disparities that have plagued our communities. Now health that havetoplagued Now we can disparities each do something reverse our our communities. situation and in so wedoing can each dodo something reverse our situation and in in soso we can each something to reverse our situation and reclaim our futureto for generations yet to come. doing reclaim our future forfor generations yetyet to to come. doing reclaim our future generations come. Reverend Jacques André DeGraff Reverend Jacques André DeGraff Reverend Jacques André DeGraff Chair & President, Chair & President, Chair & of President, Friends Harlem Hospital Friends ofof Harlem Hospital Friends Harlem Hospital

Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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REV. THERESA NANCE MY VIEW

Rev. Nance is a retired pastor, radio talk show host, and documentary filmmaker.

The Tubman Twenty Will Be Worth the Wait

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he president of these United States has decided the image of Harriet Tubman, “Black Moses” as she is often called in black circles, will not appear on the $20 bill as planned. According to published reports, Mr. Trump has decided to keep the image of Andrew Jackson embossed on that $20 until 2028—long after he has left the office of the presidency, I might add. Not to worry. Tubman has some “grandchildren” residing in the Republic in the forms of the 34 black women who graduated in May from the long, gray line, also known as West Point. The admissions process and the requirements for graduation from West Point—the most prestigious U.S. military acade-

So until 2028, regarding the Tubman twenty dollar bill, we’ll wait, Mr. President. Black folks have been known to say, “He may not come when you want Him, but He’s always right on time.” Touché. 16

The Positive Community Summer 2019

my—are rigorous and discerning, creating a most elite group of candidates, cadets, and eventually soldiers. They, like Sister Harriet, are warriors in the tradition of a soldier. Tubman repeatedly went back to free enslaved blacks while simultaneously putting her very life on the line. She served as a spy and scout for the Union Army during the Civil War. These brave cadets shall be ready to lay down their lives for the cause of freedom, should the time come. It should be no surprise that Trump doesn’t want Jackson’s image removed. He is delighted by the “Good Ol’ Boy” (Jackson) and may not see the value of having Tubman on a piece of currency. Perhaps if Tubman had come from Norway, it would have been a different story. Now, 2028 is the designated date for the unveiling of this marvelous piece of history. Tubman’s “grandchildren” won’t have to travel by night incognito to go after the enemy, unless at war. You know those sistahs trained with great discipline and great courage—they are fully ready and most definitely can meet any foe, foreign or domestic. Just an aside: They will make us proud. They already have. Perhaps because Tubman didn’t look like Lena Horne she wasn’t wanted, but if you think about it, she didn’t have to look like Horne based on why she was sent to Earth to perform the task assigned to her: to deliver her people. So until 2028, regarding the Tubman twenty dollar bill, we’ll wait, Mr. President. Black folks have been known to say, “He may not come when you want Him, but He’s always right on time.” Touché. In the end, we’ll let the West Point cadets—all 34 of them—and their skills, discipline, and love of country speak for themselves. And, despite having to wait a while longer to spend our first “Tubman,” Harriet Tubman’s “grandchildren” may have the last laugh after all. www.thepositivecommunity.com


Rev. Theresa Nance

Prayers for a Member of Our Community By R.L. Witter

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or more than 15 years, the My View column has appeared monthly in The Positive Community. Covering everything from local events to national and international news, the musings of Rev. Theresa Nance have sometimes made us chuckle at her wit, other times made our blood boil with her commentary on injustices, but always made us think. Recently, Rev. Nance suffered a stroke. While she’s dealing with some physical limitations, her mind is still sharp, thank God! It has been devastating to her family— both her blood family and her extended family of friends and loved ones, which undoubtedly includes all of us at The Positive Community. Anyone who knows Rev. Nance will tell you, she’s a spiritual spitfire with a heart of gold and a keen wit. She’s the sort of pastor who will not only guide her flock, but also feed and clothe it. She always has a kind word for any and everybody who would like to

Rev. Nance after officiating our wedding.

www.thepositivecommunity.com

hear it, and she’ll also give it to you straight, no chaser, when necessary. Our bonds with Rev. Nance run deep. In addition to her monthly column, she also hosted The Positive Community Hour radio show for a number of years, regaling listeners with her stories, preaching good news, offering thoughtful insight, and asking in-depth questions of her many guests. Beyond the column and the radio show, those bonds include her appearances at countless events, luncheons, and lectures, and for me, an unforgettable personal favor. Shortly after I arrived at TPC, Rev. Nance said to me, “I know a nice gentleman I think would be perfect for you; I’d love to introduce the two of you.” He was the best friend of her son, Bert. They had known each other since they were around 10 years old and were still close—“brothers.” I politely answered, “No, thank you.” For six months she attempted to negotiate a meeting, and I continued to decline the invitation. I only begrudgingly agreed upon her promise to cease her matchmaking efforts if I had one, single lunch with him. As you can imagine, I met him for lunch, it lasted almost three hours, and we were married at her church less than two years later as she officiated with a wide grin across her face. In the more than 10 years since, I’ve had the pleasure of deepening my relationship with Rev. Nance and growing closer to Bert; his wife, Lauren; their daughter, Leah; and Rev. Nance’s daughter, Dee. While this might sound like a one-of-a-kind story, I promise you, it isn’t. Rev. Nance has done so much for her family, congregants, and several communities over the years. So please, take a moment to join us in saying a prayer for continued improvement and a full and speedy recovery. We love you, Rev. Nance. You are a cherished and integral part of The Positive Community. Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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From The Pen of Bishop-Elect Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood To Whom It May Concern,

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his announcement is made rooted in eight (8) years of research along with conversation, after conversation, after conversation, with clergy respected and revered. I am sure that more than I have recognized an almost mad-rush to the biblical office of Bishop. I preached on Sunday at 6am, June 23rd, my birthday and the day of my 2nd Ordination; Acts 2 verse 12. My heart’s query was that of the crowd-what does all this mean? With no harm intended, wherever I looked, turned or traveled; there was a Bishop here, a Bishop there and all of a sudden Bishops everywhere! What does all this mean?

I have learned through the years, that obedience is better than sacrifice; that tribulation works patience; and that waiting on The Lord for direction is the way to go. So, in January 2019, a commitment was made to study and be tutored around this Sacred Office of Bishop. A prominent pastor spent time with me, opening my eyes via questions about my already historic ministry; questions about my style and thought processes and questions about the demands that would be placed upon me, were I to submit to what he called this “Elevation” to office. For several months we worked together, and I got good traction on walking this path of service (The New Testament Bishopric). In due time I made the choice of my Chief Consecrator, met with him, and was deluged with information and inspiration. The Right Reverend Bishop Emilio Alvarez, PH.D. is my choice. Reverend Dr. Emilio Alvarez Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of Christ the King in the Union of Charismatic Orthodox Churches. So far it has been an adventurous walk. I ask for your prayers that the abiding presence of the Holy Ghost will be manifested in my promotion to greater service.


Steve Johnson Auto Specialist- BRAM Automotive

Hello, my name is Steve Johnson and I’m an Auto Specialist here at BRAM Automotive. I believe everyone is entitled to driving a nicer, newer car and my goal is to provide you with an excellent car buying experience. Whether it’s for an Audi, Chevy, Lexus or a Nissan, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any and all questions, comments, or concerns at the email and number provided below. I look forward to getting you into the car you deserve! Sincerely, Steve Johnson

Audi Brooklyn | Bay Ridge Chevrolet | Bay Ridge Lexus | Lexus of Queens Lexus of Manhattan | Bay Ridge Nissan Tel: 646-993-2270 Email: sjohnson@LexusOfManhattan.com


Back in the day: L–R: Chris Owens with Annette L. Robinson, former chief of staff to Cong. Owens and New York State Assembly (District 56, 2002-2017) Brooklyn Postmaster Eddie Banner unveils the plaque along with the Owens grandchildren and family members

Dedication and Renaming of Brooklyn U.S. Post Office Honoring Major Robert Odell Owens (June 28, 1936 – October 21, 2013) BY CAROLYN JENKINS

Major Owens

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Photos: Lem Peterkin

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rom a humble background in Collierville, Tennessee and influenced by his father’s philosophy of helping people (which he had patterned after FDR’s New Deal), the late Major Robert Odell Owens knew early in life there was a larger world offering many opportunities. A proud graduate of Morehouse College who received his M.A. from Atlanta University, his mother’s encouragement to do his best inspired Owens to say, “There is no reason why I couldn’t go out and scale life’s summits.” That’s exactly what he did. On a bright Friday morning, a contingent of politicians, clergy, family, and friends gathered at Beulah Church of the Nazarene to take part in the tribute to Owens’ legacy. The U.S. Post Office located next to Beulah now bears his name. U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives; U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the companion legislation in the Senate soon after, to make this day a reality. One of the many public officials to address the audience, Clarke said, “Major led the coalition for community and the future of progressive politics. I am honored to be here with the Owens family. Congressman Owens challenged all of us to revolutionize the postal service. Major gave a lifetime of service. He put action to his passion.” His son, Christopher R. Owens, spoke of the tribute to his father. “I feel wonderful being part of the process of

Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn District Attorney L–R: Christopher Owens, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane D Williams, Rep. Yvette Clark, Former Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns, and Rev. Dr. Daryl G. Bloodsaw

keeping heritage alive – he was a real progressive congressman.” Owens served New Yorkers in public office for 32 years, first as a member in the New York State Assembly from 1975 to 1982 and succeeded Shirley Chisholm as the representative for New York’s 11th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Maurice Continued on page 69

The Positive Community Summer 2019

www.thepositivecommunity.com


SPEED CAMERAS ARE

WORKING LONGER HOURS! To save lives, New York City is expanding its use of speed cameras.

On July 11th, the City will start issuing speed camera violations from 6 AM – 10 PM, Monday through Friday, year round. The City will operate speed cameras in 750 school speed zones. Expanding the speed camera law is one aspect of the City’s comprehensive plan to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries. Learn more at nyc.gov/visionzero.

®


Health ideas for wellness

L–R: President and CEO of Ryan Health Brian McIndoe, Market President New York City TD Bank Ralph Bumbaca, President and Co-Founder Harlem Pride Carmen Neely, and President and CEO of Healthfirst Pat Wang

Caring For New York Gala Over $650,000 Raised By Ryan Health To Provide Healthcare For New Yorkers

L–R: Executive Director Ryan Health/Adair and Frederick Douglass Charles Shorter with Carmen Neely

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undreds of New Yorkers celebrated Ryan Health’s mission of providing affordable healthcare to tens of thousands of New Yorkers and raised over $650,000 at the Caring For New York Gala, which brought together titans of business, healthcare, and philanthropy. “Our Caring for New York Gala underscores the role Ryan Health plays in ensuring a healthy New York,” said Brian McIndoe, MPH, president and chief executive officer of Ryan Health. “We provide high-quality, affordable healthcare at our community health centers, in schools, and through our mobile health center. “Through the generosity of hundreds of leaders from the business, healthcare and philanthropic communities, our Gala supports Ryan Health’s mission of meeting the healthcare needs of over 50,000 New Yorkers who otherwise struggle to receive the care they need,”

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

“Our honorees are pioneers in their respective fields, and they make New York a more equitable and welcoming place to live and work,” McIndoe said. Caring for New York Gala Sponsors at the Health Champion level include Healthfirst, TD Bank, and Quest Diagnostics. Sponsors at the Health Crusader level include Affinity Health Plan, CohnReznick, 340Basics, Mount Sinai, and Gilead.

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Exceptional Primary Care and Specialty Services for Adults and Children Ryan Health | Frederick Douglass

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Monday–Friday: 9:00am–5:00pm We accept many Medicaid, Medicare, Child Health Plus, and commercial health plans We serve all patients regardless of ability to pay We offer a sliding fee-discount program based on family size and income


KAHLIL KAHLIL KAHLIL CARMICHAEL CARMICHAEL CARMICHAEL THE THE THE FITNESS FITNESS FITNESS DOCTOR DOCTOR DOCTOR

Kahlil MAPCC, MDIV, CPT is the pastor of Live Well Church, in Somerset, New Jersey. Kahlil Carmichael CPT is the pastor of Live Well Church, in Somerset, New Jersey. Kahlil Carmichael Carmichael MAPCC, MAPCC, MDIV, MDIV, CPT CPT is is the the pastor pastor of of Live Live Well Well Church, Church, in inSomerset, Somerset,New NewJersey. Jersey. He is a fitness specialist at The Fitness Doctor, a fitness and wellness consulting company; and the He Fitness Doctor, fitness and wellness consulting company; and the He is is a a fitness fitness specialist specialist at at The The Fitness Fitness Doctor, Doctor, aa a fitness fitness and and wellness wellness consulting consultingcompany; company;and andthe the author of 50 Tips for a Better You. He is a contributor to Guideposts magazine. His first publication, author He is contributor to Guideposts magazine. His first publication, author of of 50 50 Tips Tips for for aa Better Better You. You. He He is is aa a contributor contributor to to Guideposts Guideposts magazine. magazine.His Hisfirst firstpublication, publication, Living Living Better, is available now. Go to www.livewellchurch.org for more information. Living Longer available now. Go to www.livewellchurch.org for more information. Living Longer Longer Living Living Better, Better, is is available available now. now. Go Go to to www.livewellchurch.org www.livewellchurch.orgfor formore moreinformation. information.

Physical Not Spiritual

I

admit admit IIII sometimes admit sometimes tend to over admit sometimes tend tend to to over over spiritualize spiritualize things. things. Like Flip Wilson, I’ve been known Like Flip Like Flip Wilson, I’ve been known Like Flip Wilson, I’ve been known to to say, say, “The “The devil devil made made me me do made me do it!” Some of you reading made me do it!” it!” Some Some of of you you reading reading this this article article have have at at one one time time or at one time or another over spiritualized at one time or another another over over spiritualized spiritualized your your bad bad behavbehavior, life situation, or circumstance ior, life life situation, situation, or ior, ior, life situation, or circumstance circumstance when when the the matter matter had had nothing at all to do with the spiritual. nothing at all nothing at all to do with the spiritual. nothing at all to do with the spiritual. A few weeks ago was in my home A few few weeks weeks ago A A few weeks ago III was was in in my my home home office office finishing finishing some work when my chest began to some work really some work when my chest began to some work when my chest began to really bother bother me. me. II tried to work through the discomfort, tried to work but the pain tried to work through the discomfort, tried to work through the discomfort, but the pain was was intense. thought was experiencing intense. IIII thought thought III was intense. intense. thought was experiencing experiencing the the residual residual effects effects of an epic of an an epic epic chest chest workout of chest workout engaged of an epic chest workout III engaged engaged in in earlier earlier that that week, week, but this but this this pain pain was return to but pain was different. different. II tried tried to to return to bed bed and and get some rest, but the the problem problem persisted. persisted. get some some rest, rest, but get Thank God my wife wife made made the the decision decision to Thank God God my Thank to go go to to the the ER. ER. After multiple After multiple multiple tests with After tests in in the the ER, ER, II was was diagnosed diagnosed with high high blood blood pressure. pressure. II was blood pressure. was devastated devastated when when told told it it was was “dan“dangerously high.” Of course, course, it gerously high.” high.” Of to exercise gerously it was was not not due due to exercise or or diet (I diet (I (I am am the the Fitness diet am the Fitness Doctor). Doctor). It It was was attributed attributed to to heredheredity and stress. Yes, STRESS!! STRESS!! And And the the only ity and and stress. stress. Yes, ity only way way to to fix fix this this was to decrease my stress stress and and start start taking was to to decrease decrease my blood pressure was taking blood pressure medication for the the rest rest of of my my life. life. medication for medication Reflecting Reflecting on Reflecting on the the past past two two years, years, II can can see see my my body body was was trying trying to to tell tell me most dangerous trying to tell me something. something. One One of of the the most dangerous aspects of hypertension aspects of of hypertension hypertension is aspects is you you may may not not know know you you have have it. it. In fact, nearly one-third of of people people who In fact, fact, nearly nearly one-third have high In who have high blood blood pressure pressure don’t don’t know pressure don’t know it. it. The The only only way way to to know know your your blood blood pressure pressure is is high high is pressure is high is through through regular regular checkups. checkups. This This is is espeespecially important if you you have have aa close close relative cially important important if cially relative who who has has high high blood pressure. blood pressure. pressure. blood IfIf your your your blood blood pressure If blood pressure is is extremely extremely high, high, there there may may be be certain certain symptoms symptoms to to look symptoms to look out out for, for, including: including: t Severe t Severe Severe headache t headache t Severe headache t Fatigue t Fatigue Fatigue or t or confusion t Fatigue or confusion confusion t Vision t Vision Vision problems t problems t Vision problems

t Difficulty breathing t t Difficulty breathing t Difficulty Difficulty breathing breathing t Irregular heartbeat t t Irregular heartbeat t Irregular Irregular heartbeat heartbeat t Blood in the urine t t Blood in the urine t Blood Blood in in the the urine urine t Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears t t Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears t Pounding Pounding in in your your chest, chest,neck, neck,or orears ears

experienced fatigue, severe headache, and poundIIII experienced experienced fatigue, severe headache, and poundexperienced fatigue, fatigue, aaaa severe severeheadache, headache,and andpoundpounding in my neck. But what did I do? Like many people of ing in my neck. But what did I do? Like many people ing in my neck. But what did I do? Like many people of ing in my neck. But what did I do? Like many peopleof of faith, I spiritualized it. I thought it was the “enemy” trying faith, I spiritualized it. I thought it was the “enemy” trying faith, I spiritualized it. I thought it was the “enemy” trying faith, I spiritualized it. I thought it was the “enemy” trying to slow me down. The only enemy was within me and its to to slow me down. The only enemy was within me and its to slow slow me me down. down. The The only only enemy enemy was waswithin withinme meand andits its name was hypertension. I tried to pray my symptoms away name was hypertension. I tried to pray my symptoms away name was hypertension. I tried to pray my symptoms away name was hypertension. I tried to pray my symptoms away but what was experiencing was physical not spiritual. but but what was experiencing was physical not spiritual. but what what IIII was was experiencing experiencingwas wasphysical physicalnot notspiritual. spiritual. Don’t worry, Beloved. I am on the mend. I feel better Don’t worry, Beloved. I am on the mend. I Don’t worry, Beloved. I am on the mend. I feel better Don’t worry, Beloved. I am on the mend. Ifeel feelbetter better than ever. I needed some medication. I needed to than ever. I needed some medication. I needed to make than ever. I needed some medication. I needed to make than ever. I needed some medication. I needed to make make an appointment to visit my doctor, period. an appointment to visit my doctor, period. an appointment to visit my doctor, period. an appointment to visit my doctor, period. Yes, believe in the power of prayer. Yes, believe God Yes, Yes, believe in the power of prayer. Yes, believe God Yes, IIII believe believe in in the the power powerof ofprayer. prayer.Yes, Yes,IIIIbelieve believeGod God is a healer. But I also believe God gives us wisdom, is a healer. But I also believe God gives us wisdom, and is a healer. But I also believe God gives us wisdom, and is a healer. But I also believe God gives us wisdom, and and wisdom helps us differentiate when its time to put action wisdom helps us differentiate when its time to put action wisdom helps us differentiate when its time to put action wisdom helps us differentiate when its time to put action behind our faith. The bible teaches that faith without behind behind our faith. The bible teaches that faith without behind our our faith. faith. The The bible bible teaches teaches that that faith faith without without works is dead (James 2:26). Beloved, if you have not been works is dead (James 2:26). Beloved, if you have not works is dead (James 2:26). Beloved, if you have not been works is dead (James 2:26). Beloved, if you have notbeen been to the doctor, clinic, or hospital to have your pressure to the doctor, clinic, or hospital to have your pressure to the doctor, clinic, or hospital to have your pressure to the doctor, clinic, or hospital to have your pressure checked its time to work your faith, because it’s not spirchecked checked its time to work your faith, because it’s not spirchecked its its time time to to work work your your faith, faith,because becauseit’s it’snot notspirspiritual but physical. itual but physical. itual but physical. itual but physical. Live Whole, Live Well, Live Free. Live Live Whole, Live Well, Live Free. Live Whole, Whole, Live Live Well, Well, Live LiveFree. Free.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this Disclaimer: Disclaimer: The The information information contained containedin inthis this general nature. You should consult column column isis of of aaa general general nature. nature. You Youshould shouldconsult consult your physician or health care professional before your your physician physician or or health health care care professional professionalbefore before any exercise program or changing your beginning beginning any any exercise exercise program programor orchanging changingyour your dietary regimen. dietary dietary regimen. regimen.

t Chest t Chest Chest pain t pain t Chest pain

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

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Sabrina Dunn

Cornell University Degree in Nutritional Sciences Plans to attend medical school. Granddaughter of NJ businessman Danny Dunn.

�oora�

Graduates! for the

BE YOURSELF The health plan for individuals

AMIDA CARE is a welcoming community that celebrates you for who you are. We see each member as a whole person, with physical, emotional, and social needs. You can expect: Comprehensive health coverage Personal champion who works with you privately to customize your health care Expertise in sexual health, including HIV treatment and PrEP access Help with housing referrals, job training, and other support programs

Medicaid Health Plan Stock photo with model.

Call us for confidential answers: 1-855-GO-AMIDA (1-855-462-6432), TTY 711 www.AmidaCareNY.org www.thepositivecommunity.com

Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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Reverend Slaughter Sworn In

G Rev. Dr. Ronald Slaughter

overnor Phil Murphy nominated Rev. Dr. Ronald Slaughter for the state parole board almost a year ago. Slaughter was sworn in May 22, 2019 to his six-year term as an associate board member at the agency. He took the oath at the church he serves as senior pastor of

First Family: L–R: Kylynn Rona, Rev. Slaughter, Ronald LeVant, II, First Lady Kyla Trinett, and Kellyn Skyla Slaughter

Saint James AME Church in Newark. “I’m able to bring in a different perspective—as a clergy, as a minister—who believes not only in redemption, but also believes in the importance of putting people on the right path,” Rev. Dr. Ronald Slaughter said.

Honorable L. Grace Spencer swears Dr. Slaughter into state parole board

Anniversary Celebration for Reverend Milteer Photos: Vincent Bryant

A

nniversaries are milestones to be celebrated and Rev. Andre' W. Milteer celebrated his 20th pastoral anniversary and 30th year of preaching recently. An accomplished musician, this pastor of Mt. Olivet BC in Newark NJ received accolades and blessings aplenty during spirit-filled festivities at the Regency in Verona, NJ. Pastor Milteer hosts the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Greater Newark and Vicinity for their weekly meetings.

L–R: Rev. Milton Milteer with Rev. Louise Rountree, director of Mayor's Office of Clergy Affairs/Newark Interfaith Alliance

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

L–R: Rev. Milteer with Rev. Perry Simmons, pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church, Newark

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One of the World’s

Best Hospitals

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center It’s one thing to say that you are world renowned, and it’s quite another to be recognized as world renowned. Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is a destination for heart and lung transplant patients. Premier hospitals from around the country send Newark Beth Israel their most complex cases, such as double heart and kidney transplant. Our cardiac program has been advancing research and perfecting innovative procedures. Our cancer program is a component of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. And our Children’s Hospital of New Jersey is known for caring for the most serious pediatric cases. And now, the world knows.

rwjbh.org/newarkbeth


Education the art + science of learning

The Importance Of Education Baptist Ministers Conference Of Greater New York And Vicinity Addresses Education With Berkeley College President

M

ichael J. Smith, president, Berkeley College, met with Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis, president of the Baptist Ministers Conference (BMC) of Greater New York and Vicinity and members of the BMC on Monday, July 8, 2019 at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem, NY. President Curtis invited President Smith to discuss Berkeley College’s mission. “We need to have more colleges like Berkeley engaging with our congre-

gations,” said President Rev. Dr. Curtis. “This day is very meaningful,” said President Smith. “Through education, we plant the seeds that fill the gardens of the mind. We are grateful for the opportunity to grow these seeds with you.” During the meeting, the organization discussed issues of affordable housing, the status of the legalization of marijuana, reforms in policing, and workforce development, including the topic of jobs with livable wages.

L–R: Chris Christiansen, assistant chair, Management, Larry L. Luing School of Business® and Basketball Coach Emeritus, Berkeley College; President Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis, Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater NY and Vicinity; Michael J. Smith, president, Berkeley College; Elijah Craig, assistant Basketball Coach and Berkeley College alumnus

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

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114 Years!

B ready It’s a different world than we used to know. Berkeley is a different kind of college that’s preparing the next generation of leaders. We’re powerful. Our programs are developed with input from industry experts to teach the skills today’s employers demand.

A

lelia Murphy. If you needed the question to win $100,000 on that famous quiz show, Jeopardy, would you know the question? Well here it is: Who is the oldest woman in the United States? Yay!! You won. That’s right. On July 6, 2019, Alelia Murphy celebrated her 114th birthday becoming the oldest living person in the United States. And we mean she celebrated. Wearing a bright yellow dress and a crown perched atop her neatly coiffed head, Mrs. Murphy enjoyed every minute of the party in her honor hosted by the African American Caucus of 1199SEIU. Among the friends and family members present were her daughter, Rose Green, who said her mother was her best friend. “I’m so glad she has lived so long and that she is alive, “ she said. What is the secret to her long life? Granddaughter Nefer Nekhet said that whenever her grandmother is asked that question, she answers, “I’m blessed, because the Lord kept her here for so long.”

THE NEWARK SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY FALL 2019 PROGRAM

We’re professional. Our faculty bring real-world professional experience to the classroom. We’re flexible. Day, evening/weekend, and online classes make it possible to balance an education with even the busiest schedule. We’re practical. Every program includes an internship, practicum, or job-related assignment for valuable career experience. Graduates receive free career assistance.

We invite you to learn more about Berkeley College, where professors will know your name…and employers will recognize your qualifications.

Please visit BerkeleyCollege.edu/BeReady or call 800-446-5400 ext. ATL Berkeley College reserves the right to add, discontinue, or modify its programs and policies at any time. Modifications subsequent to the original publication of this document may not be reflected here. For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit BerkeleyCollege.edu and view our catalogs at BerkeleyCollege.edu/Publications. For more information about Berkeley College graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed programs, and other important disclosures, please visit BerkeleyCollege.edu/disclosures.

www.thepositivecommunity.com

The Old Testament Christian Theology (The Doctrine of God) Religion and Science Biblical Hebrew For further information, Please contact Admissions at 973-297-0505 or nstnewark@aol.com Offering advanced classes in Bible and Religion since 1997 Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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Rev. Dr. Robert L. Curry

th Anniversary Celebration

&

Retirement Luncheon

Saturday, September 21, 2019 12Noon – 4:00pm

The Stony Hill Inn 231 Polifly Road Hackensack, NJ 07601

Farewell Sermon as Pastor September 22, 2019 10:45am

Mount Zion Baptist Church

25 Rev. Dr. Robert L. Curry Drive South Hackensack, NJ Additional information 201-487-6277 Tickets may be purchase on eventbrite.com

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ECC’S 21ST ANNUAL GOLF & TENNIS SCHOLARSHIP TOURNAMENT October 7, 2019 Maplewood Country Club Contact: bellodecastro@essex.edu


The Future is Now: Stand Up, Speak Up, and Be Counted! ANNUAL BLACK LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

October 3-4, 2019

Kennedy Center 429 John F. Kennedy Way, Willingboro, NJ 08046

The Future is Now: Stand Up, Speak Up, and Be Counted! ANNUAL BLACK LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

October 3-4, 2019

THE 2019 NJBIC LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE FEATURES: POWER SPEAKERS, FORUMS, WORKSHOPS ON ISSUES AFFECTING THE BLACK COMMUNITY

Presenters Provide Information from Five Conference Tracks • Economic Opportunity/Anti-Poverty • Education • Criminal Justice Reform • Health and Environment • Hot Topics On-line Registration is available for Conference Registration, Advertising, Sponsorships and Exhibitors at www.njbic.org For Conference Information Please call: NJBIC Conference Office

Tel. 908-561-4062 • Fax 908-561-6827 Email: clyde@allenandpartners.com or visit us at www.njbic.org

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Universal values. Personal attention. The students at Touro NYSCAS come from all walks of life, but share the same inner drive—and we’re here to help. No matter your background or intended future, we’ll give you the support you need to turn your goals into real achievements.

Learn more at NYSCAS.Touro.edu 212.463.0400 x55500 Touro is an equal opportunity institution. For Touro’s complete Non-Discrimination Statement, visit www.touro.edu


PREPARE TO GROW • PREPARE TO LEAD • PREPARE TO SERVE

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15 OF NYACK’S 49 PROGRAMS ARE FULLY ONLINE. STUDY FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!


M Money

buiness, finance + work

Four generations of the Daughtry family: Executive Director Sharon Daughtry; Rev. Dr. Karen Daughtry; Founding Chair Herbert Daughtry (center); Dawnique Daughtry; Lorenzo, Lauren Joy and Sarah Daughtry-Chambers

L–R: DBNA Executive Director Sharon Daughtry; NY Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital President Robert Guimento; DBNA Founding Chairs Rev. Dr. Herbert D. Daughtry, Sr. and Rev. Dr. Karen Daughtry; and NY Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital Vice President Alan Lee

The Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance

F

ounded in 2005 by Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry, The Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance (DBNA) works to enhance the lives of Brooklyn residents. To improve the quality of life through a healthier environment in the neighborhood around Atlantic Yards Project, in particular the Barclay Center, the organization developed a six-point package of specific needs called the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) to which the developers, Forrest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) agreed. The agreement required the following:

• • • • •

An Office of Arena-Related Programs which guarantees complimentary tickets for events at Barclay’s Center and a Meditation Room A state-of-the-art Health and Wellness Center to provide comprehensive healthcare for the community An early childhood, youth, and senior citizens center linked through an intergenerational initiative A Project Gallery to document and celebrate the creation of the CBA and Brooklyn’s rich history A Community Foundation to provide outreach assistance for programs that foster economic self-sufficiency; youth, child, and health services; environmental sustainability; and prison reentry initiatives. Parks and playground maintenance.

On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, DBNA hosted a successful fundraiser on the the Brooklyn Commons rooftop. Funds will be used to continue DBNA’s work, which by now has helped thousands of Brooklyn residents.

thepositivecommunity.com www.thepositivecommunity.com

Leon Ellis Faith & Love Fuel His Vision

Heather Hall, senior director of Community Relations at BSE Global shares remarks as special community partners listen

By Glenda Cadogan

New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital doctors and community leaders attended the DBNA fundraiser at Brooklyn Commons Rooftop Summer 2017 The Positive Community 17 Photos: Bruce Moore Summer 2019 The Positive Community 35


Preparing for homeownership

Proud TMA graduates

Abyssinian Development Corporation Staying with the Harlem Stride Young minds inspired by STEM

TMALS student with STEM project at Super Saturday

M

Seniors celebrating their college decisions at Decision Day

eet Ahmed, a proud graduate of Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change (TMA), the public middle/high school in Central Harlem and Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) partner since 1989. He now attends City College, but the road to get there was not straightforward. City College informed him he had a balance to pay. With a big bill and an even bigger dilemma, Ahmed worked with ADC’s college counselor and finally received full TAP and PELL grants and a refund check! And then there’s Karma. Karma took ADC’s Harlem Economic Literacy Program (HELP) with dreams of becoming a homeowner. She recently shared the following: ”I have currently been in my condo for 10 years and I am very grateful for what ADC provided me. The amount of knowledge I amassed and the first homebuyers grant were truly remarkable... my family and I thank the homeownership counselor and ADC.” “It takes a village” is not an empty phrase at ADC, it is real action. ADC has touched thousands of lives like Ahmed’s and Karma’s since its inception in 1989, providing tools, resources, and services that empower Harlem residents and families to realize their goals and dreams. Our work is ofttimes challenging, but always gratifying.

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

Seniors enjoy Spa Day at Abby Towers

One thing that has never changed is the certainty that each person holds tremendous potential that can be nurtured on fertile ground. Central Harlem is undergoing rapid changes brought on by gentrification, impacting our community in complex ways, from a shifting cultural landscape to the ability to absorb higher prices on limited and fixed incomes. ADC is responding to these dynamic changes as it remains true to its vision of a Harlem community that embraces all of its residents. Educational Programming is a central focus of ADC’s work that began with the sponsoring of TMA followed by Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School (TMALS), creating a K-12 education pipeline ADC continues to nurture today. ADC supports a STEM Program at TMALS developing young minds into future physicians, scientists, and more; and a College and Career Office at TMA that supports students on their college trajectory -- this year 86% of the senior class will go to SUNY, CUNY, and other 4-year colleges. ADC is also an anchor partner for the annual Super Saturday STEM Expo at the Harlem Armory, where student projects inspire STEM exploration in fun and creative ways. www.thepositivecommunity.com


TMALS student with STEM project at Super Saturday

Senior outing for Senior Unity Day

Believe. Build. Empower

Seniors doing their chair exercises during fitness hour

Senior Services, based at Abyssinian Towers (Abby Towers), is an essential part of ADC’s vision to ensure Central Harlem’s young and old alike can engage in positive life outcomes in a community that supports them. Dedicated Senior Services staff provide resources and information that help seniors live better independent lives through comprehensive case management and ongoing activities including fitness and aerobic exercises, educational workshops and presentations, and social and cultural endeavors. Abby Towers and Ennis Francis Houses host the monthly New York Common Pantry’s Nourish Commodity Supplemental Food Program, offered to eligible seniors 60 and older. The Harlem Economic Literacy Program (HELP) prepares first-time homebuyers for successful home ownership. Friendly workshops gently speak to community concerns and pre- and post-homeownership education. To date, 2,948 participants have graduated from the program with tools toward financial health and sustainability. 313 have purchased homes, and 73% of HELP graduates have received homeownership grants. With displacement a real and present risk, this program is a lifeline. Visit www.adcorp.org/help to learn more and register for our September workshop. www.thepositivecommunity.com

TMA Seniors at Bed Bath and Beyond dorm supply event

Real Estate bolsters the physical and human capital of Harlem through its residential and commercial property portfolio. We have expertise and experience in the preservation and rehabilitation of affordable housing and currently manage approximately 600 units of low- to moderate-income housing. Our portfolio also includes approximately 20,000 square feet of commercial retail space. ADC’s footprint extends beyond its current portfolio to the sale of properties to minority developers who share our commitment to support affordable housing in Harlem, resulting in the preservation and/or creation of over 400 affordable housing opportunities. As these comprehensive programs and services evolve, one thing keeps us moving forward -- our unwavering commitment to help each and every member of the Harlem community thrive. Rapid changes in Central Harlem require ADC’s programs now more than ever to ensure no one is left behind— not the young student in public school who may one day be president, nor the senior resident who has words of wisdom that need to be heard. Courtesy of Abyssinian Development Corporation Visit www.adcorp.org/help to register for our September economic literacy workshop Summer 2019 The Positive Community

37


SSSpppeeecc ii aa ll tt oo T T TP P PC C C

HARLEM HARLEM HARLEM WEEK! WEEK! Forty-five Forty-five Forty-five Years Years Young Young

T

By By ByHerb Herb HerbBoyd Boyd Boyd

his his his hisyear year year yearbrings brings brings bringsaaaasignificant significant significant significantnumber number number numberof of of ofanniveranniveranniveranniversaries, saries, saries, saries,few few few fewmore more more moremomentous momentous momentous momentousthan than than thanNeil Neil Neil NeilArmArmArmstrong’s strong’s strong’s strong’swalk walk walk walkon on on onthe the the themoon moon moon moonfifty fifty fifty fiftyyears years years yearsago ago ago agoor or orthe the the arrival arrival arrival arrivalof of of ofthe the the thefirst first first firstAfrican African African Africancaptives captives captives captivesto to to toJamestown Jamestown Jamestown Jamestown 400 400 400 400years years years yearsago. ago. ago. ago.In In In In1974, 1974, 1974, 1974,forty-five forty-five forty-five forty-fiveyears years years years ago, ago, ago, HARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK WEEK WEEK WEEKbegan began began beganas as as asHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMDAY. DAY. DAY. DAY.That That That Thatcelebratcelebratcelebratcelebrated ed ed edDay Day Day Dayhas has has hasgrown grown grown grownexponentially exponentially exponentially exponentiallyin in in interms terms terms termsof of of oflength, length, length, length,now now now aaaamonth month month monthlong, long, long, long,(It (It (It (Itisis isissaid said said saidthat that that thatonly only only onlyin in in inHarlem Harlem Harlem Harlemcan can can canaaaweek week week last last last lastfor for for foraaaamonth.)—as month.)—as month.)—as month.)—aswell well well wellas as as asin in in inthe the the thenumber number number numberof of of ofevents, events, events, an an an anaverage average average averageof of of offour four four foureach each each eachday, day, day, day,thus thus thus thusmore more more morethan than than thanaaaahundred. hundred. hundred. hundred. Each Each Each Eachyear year year yearunder under under underthe the the theleadership leadership leadership leadershipof of of ofthe the the theboard board board boardof of of ofHARHARHARLEM LEM LEM LEMWEEK. WEEK. WEEK. WEEK.Inc., Inc., Inc., Inc.,aaaatheme theme theme themeisis isisdesignated designated designated designatedfor for for forthe the the theWeek, Week, Week, and and and andon on on onthis this this this45th 45th 45th 45thanniversary, anniversary, anniversary, anniversary,events events events eventswill will will willtake take take takeplace place place placeunder under under the the the therubric rubric rubric rubricof of of ofOur Our Our OurLocal Local Local LocalHistory History History HistoryCreates Creates Creates CreatesaaaaGlobal Global Global GlobalImpact. Impact. Impact. Impact.“We “We “We have have have havechosen chosen chosen chosenthis this this thistheme theme theme themebecause because because becauseno no no noneighborhood neighborhood neighborhood neighborhoodhas has has impacted impacted impacted impactedthe the the theworld world world worldlike like like likeHarlem,” Harlem,” Harlem,” Harlem,”said said said saidLloyd Lloyd Lloyd LloydWilliams, Williams, Williams, Williams, chairman chairman chairman chairmanof of of ofHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK. WEEK. WEEK. WEEK.“From “From “From “Fromthe the the themusic music music musicand and and andlitlitliterature erature erature eratureof of of ofthe the the theHarlem Harlem Harlem HarlemRenaissance Renaissance Renaissance Renaissanceto to to tothe the the theactivism activism activism activismof of ofthe the the 1960s 1960s 1960s 1960sto to to toits its its itsrecent recent recent recentresurgence resurgence resurgence resurgenceas as as asaaaaculinary culinary culinary culinarymecca, mecca, mecca, mecca,one one one thing thing thing thingisisisisalways always always alwaysclear—WHAT clear—WHAT clear—WHAT clear—WHATIS IS IS ISCREATED CREATED CREATED CREATEDIN IN IN INHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEM ECHOES ECHOES ECHOES ECHOESTHROUGHOUT THROUGHOUT THROUGHOUT THROUGHOUTTHE THE THE THEWORLD.” WORLD.” WORLD.” WORLD.” And And And Andnowhere nowhere nowhere nowherewill will will willthat that that thatecho echo echo echofrom from from fromHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK WEEK WEEK WEEKbe be be more more more moreresonant resonant resonant resonantthan than than thanwhen when when whenthe the the theHarlem Harlem Harlem Harlemspirit spirit spirit spiritisis is ishonored honored honored honored at at atatvarious various various variousevents, events, events, events,highlighting highlighting highlighting highlightinghistoric historic historic historicHarlem Harlem Harlem Harlemindividindividindividindividuals uals uals ualssuch such such suchas as as asPercy Percy Percy PercySutton, Sutton, Sutton, Sutton,Ella Ella Ella EllaFitzgerald, Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald,Tito Tito Tito TitoPuente, Puente, Puente, Puente, Sugar Sugar Sugar SugarRay Ray Ray RayRobinson, Robinson, Robinson, Robinson,Malcolm Malcolm Malcolm MalcolmX, X, X, X,Maya Maya Maya MayaAngelou, Angelou, Angelou, Angelou,AlexAlexAlex-

Chairman and CEO of Harlem Week Lloyd Williams and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

ander ander anderHamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton,Nina Nina Nina NinaSimone, Simone, Simone, Simone,Harry Harry Harry HarryBelafonte, Belafonte, Belafonte, Belafonte,Althea Althea Althea Althea Gibson, Gibson, Gibson,and and and andTupac Tupac Tupac TupacShakur Shakur Shakur Shakurto to to toname name name nameaaaafew. few. few. few. AA Avivid vivid vivid vividportion portion portion portionof of of ofHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK’s WEEK’s WEEK’s WEEK’sremarkable remarkable remarkable remarkablehishishishistory tory toryoccurred occurred occurred occurredatat at atthe the the theopening opening opening openingceremony ceremony ceremony ceremonyof of of ofthis this this thisyear’s year’s year’s year’sfesfesfesfestivities tivities tivitiesatat at atGrace Grace Grace GraceMansion Mansion Mansion Mansionwhen when when whenWilliams Williams Williams Williamsshared shared shared sharedthe the the thestage stage stage stage with with withTony Tony Tony TonyRogers, Rogers, Rogers, Rogers,Stephanie Stephanie Stephanie StephanieFrancis, Francis, Francis, Francis,and and and andVoza Voza Voza VozaRivers Rivers Rivers Riversto to to to receive receive receiveaaaaproclamation proclamation proclamation proclamationfrom from from fromMayor Mayor Mayor MayorBill Bill Bill Billde de de deBlasio. Blasio. Blasio. Blasio.Rogers, Rogers, Rogers, Rogers, Francis, Francis, Francis,and and and andRivers Rivers Rivers Riverswere were were wereamong among among amongaaaacoterie coterie coterie coterieof of of ofnotables notables notables notableswho who who who inaugurated inaugurated inaugurated inauguratedHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK WEEK WEEK WEEKin in in in1974. 1974. 1974. 1974.Later, Later, Later, Later,from from from frommy my my mylilili-library, brary, brary,IIIresearched researched researched researchedaaaacollection collection collection collectionof of of ofbrochures, brochures, brochures, brochures,programs, programs, programs, programs, and and andmagazines magazines magazines magazinesin in in inorder order order orderto to to toget get get getaaaasense sense sense senseof of of ofthe the the theWeek’s Week’s Week’s Week’sevoevoevoevolution lution lutionand and and andfrom from from fromaaaa1993 1993 1993 1993HARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK WEEK WEEK WEEKpublication publication publication publicationthe the the the eminent eminent eminent eminentArthur Arthur Arthur ArthurBarnes Barnes Barnes Barnesprovides provides provides providesaaaadefinitive definitive definitive definitivehistory history history historyof of of ofthe the the the Week Week Weekthat that that thatbegan began began beganwith with with withjust just just justaaaaday day day dayof of of ofcelebration. celebration. celebration. celebration. At At Atthat that that thattime time time timeHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK WEEK WEEK WEEKwas was was wascommemorating commemorating commemorating commemoratingits its its its 19th 19th 19thyear year year yearand and and andBarnes, Barnes, Barnes, Barnes,who who who whohad had had hadserved served served servedon on on onthe the the theHW HW HW HWcomcomcomcommittee mittee mitteefrom from from fromits its its itsinception, inception, inception, inception,reflected reflected reflected reflectedon on on onits its its itsachievements achievements achievements achievements and and andpurposes. purposes. purposes. purposes.“…There “…There “…There “…Thereisis isisno no no noactivity activity activity activitythat that that thathas has has hasdone done done donemore more more more to to toencourage encourage encourage encouragethe the the therevitalization revitalization revitalization revitalizationof of of ofour our our ourbeloved beloved beloved belovedcommunity community community community than than thanHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK.” WEEK.” WEEK.” WEEK.”He He He Hesaid said said saidHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK WEEK WEEK WEEKestabestabestabestablished lished lishedaaapositive positive positive positivebusiness business business businessclimate, climate, climate, climate,“that “that “that “thatsays says says saysto to to tothe the the theentire entire entire entire city city city‘You ‘You ‘You ‘Youcan can can cando do do dobusiness business business businessin in in inHarlem, Harlem, Harlem, Harlem,we we we wewelcome welcome welcome welcomeyou!’” you!’” you!’” you!’” Barnes Barnes Barnesadded: added: added: added:“The “The “The “Thecommercial commercial commercial commercialand and and andcultural cultural cultural culturalattractions attractions attractions attractions are are areof of ofhigh high high highquality quality quality qualityand and and andappealing appealing appealing appealingto to to toyoungsters, youngsters, youngsters, youngsters,seniors, seniors, seniors, seniors, and and andthe the theentire entire entire entirecommunity.” community.” community.” community.” That That Thatold old old oldadage adage adage adageabout about about about“past “past “past “pastbeing being being beingprologue” prologue” prologue” prologue”certaincertaincertaincertainlyly lypertains pertains pertains pertainsto to to tothe the the thecurrent current current currentiteration iteration iteration iterationof of of ofHARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMWEEK. WEEK. WEEK. WEEK. Many Many Manyof of of ofthe the the theimpressions impressions impressions impressionsas as as aswell well well wellas as as asthe the the thevision vision vision visionof of of ofBarnes Barnes Barnes Barnes have have have bloomed bloomed bloomed bloomed into into into into full-fledged full-fledged full-fledged full-fledged stand-alone stand-alone stand-alone stand-alone events, events, events, events, though though though they they they theycontinue continue continue continueto to to toconnect connect connect connectwith with with withother other other otheractivities activities activities activities during during duringthe the the thefestive festive festive festiveWeek. Week. Week. Week. Several Several Several Severalof of of ofthe the the thefamous famous famous famouspersonalities personalities personalities personalitiesto to to tobe be be behonored honored honored honoredthis this this this year year yearare are arestill still still stillvery very very verymuch much much muchvital vital vital vitalmembers members members membersof of of ofour our our ourintimate intimate intimate intimateand and and and extended extended extended extendedcommunity, community, community, community,including including including includingKareem Kareem Kareem KareemAbdul-Jabbar, Abdul-Jabbar, Abdul-Jabbar, Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Sidney SidneyPoitier, Poitier, Poitier, Poitier,David David David DavidDinkins, Dinkins, Dinkins, Dinkins,Doug Doug Doug DougE. E. E. E.Fresh, Fresh, Fresh, Fresh,and and and andCharles Charles Charles Charles Rangel. Rangel. Rangel.But But But Butfar far far fartoo too too toomany many many manyare are are arewith with with withthe the the theancestors ancestors ancestors ancestorssuch such such suchas as as as Sarah Sarah SarahVaughan, Vaughan, Vaughan, Vaughan,Joe Joe Joe JoeCuba, Cuba, Cuba, Cuba,Ossie Ossie Ossie OssieDavis, Davis, Davis, Davis,Ruby Ruby Ruby RubyDee, Dee, Dee, Dee,MachiMachiMachiMachito, to, to,Donny Donny Donny DonnyHathaway, Hathaway, Hathaway, Hathaway,Sandman Sandman Sandman SandmanSims, Sims, Sims, Sims,and and and andother other other otherluminarluminarluminarluminaries. ies. ies. In In In1974, 1974, 1974, 1974,with with with withHarlem Harlem Harlem Harlemwallowing wallowing wallowing wallowingin in in indetritus detritus detritus detritusand and and andsquasquasquasqualor, lor, lor,HARLEM HARLEM HARLEM HARLEMDAY DAY DAY DAYbecame became became becameaaaamagnet magnet magnet magnetto to to tostop stop stop stopthe the the themassive massive massive massive departure departure departure departureof of of ofresidents, residents, residents, residents,most most most mostof of of ofthem them them themno no no nolonger longer longer longerwilling willing willing willing to to toendure endure endure endurethe the the thepoverty, poverty, poverty, poverty,the the the thefilth, filth, filth, filth,dilapidated dilapidated dilapidated dilapidatedhousing, housing, housing, housing,and and and and

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year they will launch the inaugural Harlem Jazz & Music the inadequate schools and commercial outlets, to say nothing of dirty and unsafe streets. Applying a rosy glow to the widespread depression was an onerous task but Williams and dreamers were not about to surrender to the general dismissiveness, the negativity that seemed so immutably pervasive. But like a phoenix from its ashes, Williams, Rivers, and their diligent extended family, armed with certitude and determination, recovered some of Harlem’s glorious luster, mainly in presenting a cavalcade of sizzling performances from a host of incomparable entertainers. Despite the economic setbacks, the dismal misery index, and particularly the wave of gentrification, HARLEM WEEK has continued to grow and flourish. This year they will launch the inaugural Harlem Jazz & Music

Festival, which will have everyone “Take the A Train” to Harlem. This year’s 45th anniversary celebration will provide a fresh veneer to the luster of the past. What was started years ago under the leadership of Percy Sutton has become the bedrock or lodestone from which HARLEM WEEK emerged. It is true of its procreation: “Leaders, members, associates, managers and staff of HARLEM WEEK and The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce are to be congratulated because they have collectively forged a most impressive path, one that future generations can follow with pride and assurance. Like the Sankofa bird, you look back but you always face forward because in the rear view mirror of your storied journey looms a very bright future.” Forty-five years and counting—let the party begin!

The party begins!

Harlem Havana

L–R: Lloyd Williams, Tony Rogers, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Stefanie Francis (center), and NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray

Great Day in Harlem

Photos: Seitu Oronde

Harlem Week Executive Producer Voza Rivers

Forty-five years a

All Photos: SEITU ORONDE

Ahmaya-Knoelle and Vy Higgensen's Gospel for Teens www.thepositivecommunity.com

Summer 2019 The Positive Community

39


Special Section MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT BY MALCOLM A. PUNTER PRESIDENT & CEO, HCCI

F

or more than 33 years, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI) has committed to producing quality, affordable housing for the Harlem community and beyond. We recently announced the development of Victory Plaza Senior Housing complex. This will be our third senior building in the Harlem community. Our flagship senior buildings include Victory One, with 110 apartments; and Dr. Muriel Petioni Plaza, with 65 units. By and large, the Victory Plaza Senior Housing complex exemplifies our mission and vision for affordable and equitable development through the core achievement of adding additional senior housing to Central Harlem. This achievement represents a strategic victory for our community. In order to accomplish this continued mission, HCCI partnered with Camber Property Group, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to construct Victory Plaza,136 units of 100 percent affordable building for seniors. The building, located at 11 West 118th Street, will include 41 units set aside for formerly homeless seniors, who will receive intensive case management services provided through a $205,000 renewable grant awarded through the NYC Human Resource Administration. Victory Plaza will be constructed using the

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latest sustainable design principles, and leverages recent zoning changes passed by NYC’s City Council to facilitate the creation of new senior, affordable housing targeted to individuals and families with incomes between zero and fifty percent of the area median income. The nine-story building will feature plentiful interior and exterior community space for residents to congregate and an outdoor garden, as well as offices for on-site social services. The $65 million project is being financed by HDC, HPD and Wells Fargo. The NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is funding $46 million in tax-exempt bonds and subsidy, HPD is contributing $7 million in subsidy, and Wells Fargo is contributing $26 million in equity generated from the sale of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, along with a $39 million Letter of Credit. The building is expected to be completed in December 2020. Victory Plaza is just one example of HCCI’s innovative commitment to the affordable development industry in the Northeast. HCCI is also a community partner in the nearly $200 million economic development and job creation project, the Victoria Theater Hotel and Affordable Housing project rising above the Harlem skyline on West 125th Street in Central Harlem’s business district. The Victoria Theater will not only contain 210 Marriott branded hotel rooms, the project also provides 229 mixed-income affordable housing units. Exact Capital Group, LLC, a local for-profit real estate developer, partnered with HCCI to procure the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit financing to underwrite the affordable housing component of the Victoria Theater project. Continued on next page

www.thepositivecommunity.com


PRESIDENTS MESSAGE

Continued from previous page HCCI promotes affordable rentals and home ownership opportunities targeting low-income residents, as well as opportunities that prioritize law enforcement, teachers, firefighters, and other civil servants. HCCI’s award-winning homeownership training programs have assisted more than 2,000 first-time homebuyers; our financial literacy and credit-building lending circles have assisted homeowner hopefuls to become homebuyer eligible, and learn to address the responsibilities of homeownership. HCCI also offers an after-school program for youngsters ages 5 to 12. These programs offer homework assistance, S.T.E.A.M. enrichment activities, and have included dance, arts and crafts, and science and technology projects. The after-school program follows the public school calendar and provides service from 2 pm to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. HCCI Technology Clubhouse, the HCCI technology center, offers the latest technology, software, and computers for youth ages 10 to 18. Collaborations with MIT and the Tribeca Film Institute have made this a popular destination for area youth. Rev. Canon Frederick B. Williams Center for Child Enrichment, facilitated by Tender Tots, offers the Bradhurst community 150 childcare slots for children of all ages. This state-ofthe-art facility was developed by HCCI and is located on 153rd Street in the Corridor of Service.

UNCOMMON EXPERTISE. UNMATCHED IMPACT.

CPC IS PROUD TO PARTNER WITH

HCCI WHOSE VITAL WORK PROVIDES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPOWERMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE HARLEM COMMUNITY.

www.m3energy.com

OUR MISSION IS TO SAVE YOU MONEY ON ENERGY WORK WITH OUR INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTNTS

46-48 East 129th Street

Together, CPC and HCCI transformed this Harlem building into an affordable co-op that will serve the new homeowners and community for years to come.

Congratulations HCCI in being recognized for your continued service to the Harlem community! M3 Energy | 212-920-9039 | Info@M3Energy.com www.thepositivecommunity.com

communityp.com Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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HCCI SPECIAL SECTION

Let Us Break Bread Together HCCI CELEBRATES 33 YEARS OF SERVICE

L–R: HCCI 1st Vice Chair Rev. Keith W. Roberson, M. Div.; Honoree Michael Garner, president of One Hundred Black Men; and George H. Weldon, Jr., HCCI's 2nd vice chair

Photos: MacDonald Layne

L–R: Rev. Nigel Pearce; honoree Clark Pena, director of Advocacy for the Construction Workforce Project; Malcolm A. Punter, president & CEO of HCCI.

HCCI board member Rev. Dr. John L. Scott greets the Honorable Charles B. Rangel.

L–R: Malcolm A. Punter, Honoree Vy Higginsen and TPC Publisher Adrian Council, Sr.

O

n Wednesday June 26, 2019, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI) celebrated 33 years of service at its 17th Annual “Let Us Break Bread Together” Awards Gala, held at Marina del Rey in Throgs Neck, NY. The elegant ballroom played host to an array of powerful guests including business owners and real estate insiders, as-well-as civic and community leaders such as former Mayor David N. Dinkins, the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, the Honorable Assemblywoman Inez E. Dickens, the Honorable Assemblyman Al Taylor, and others. Hosted by co-host of The Pledge Drive on WNET/PBS and former news correspondant Denise Richardson, the awards recipients included: founder of Mama Foundation for the Arts Vy Higginsen; Jennifer Jones Austin, Esq., executive director of FPWA; Michael Garner, president of One Hundred Black Men of NYC; Clark Pena, director of Advocacy for the Construction Workforce Project; and Rev. Reginald Williams, president & CEO of Addicts

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

L–R: Rev. Wendy Kelly Carter with Akilah Thompson, winner of the James W. Morris Scholarship Award.

Rehabilitation Center. This year HCCI also presented Special Community Awards to founding board members Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins, Jr.; Rucker Pro Turnament co-founder and founder of Each One Teach One, Robert “Bob” McCullough, Sr.; and Founder and CEO of Street Corner Resources Iesha Sekou. HCCI President & CEO Malcolm A. Punter proudly greated guests and announced HCCI’s recent accomplishments which include the completed rehab of 10 limited equity co-ops in East Harlem; 345 units of housing in the pipeline, which includes 135 units of very low income senior housing; and the agency’s role in the Victoria Theater project on 125th Street. “Tonight was great! As always, our luminary award recipients reflected the mission of HCCI and the excellence that abounds in our community,” said Punter. “We were honored to have them join us, as we celebrated HCCI’s 33rd year of service to the Harlem community.” www.thepositivecommunity.com


HCCI SPECIAL SECTION

L–R: Sheila Sturks, Assistant to HCCI's President & CEO, with Assemblyman Al Taylor and the Honorable David N. Dinkins (seated).

L–R: Rev. J. Loren Russell, HCCI board member; awardee Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins; Assemblywoman Inez E. Dickens; awardee Iesha Sekou, founder of Street Corner Resources

Nadi and Harry Ghaness flank Sydni-Sophia Russell, winner of their scholarship award.

L–R: Malcolm A. Punter, Honoree Jennifer Joans Austin and Dr. Joan O. Dawson

HCCI Boardmembers, STANDING L–R: Imam Talib Abdur Rashid; Rev. Dr. John L. Scott; Rev. Dr. Nigel Pearce; Mr. George H. Weldon, Jr.; Rev. Keith W. Roberson; Rev. Gregory A. Merriweather, Jr.; Dr. Malcolm A. Punter; Rev. Dr. J. Loren Russell. SEATED: Rev. Wendy Kelly-Carter; Dr. Joan O. Dawson; Rev. Eva G. Duzant www.thepositivecommunity.com

He added, “We look forward to continued service in the Harlem, as well as expanding our programs beyond New York City.” This elegant affair was was bursting at the seams with supporters. “Our corporate and community supporters came out in droves,” said HCCI Chairperson Joan O. Dawson. “Their presence is a testament to the impact HCCI has made on Harlem, and we are grateful for their continued support.” Elijah Ahmad Lewis, a member of Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir who also performed on Broadway in Motown the Musical, gave a stirring performance. And Charisa the Violin Diva brought the house down with classic and contempary violin and vocal performances. Five $1,000 scholarships were presented to local youth. Danielle-Michelle Daniels received the Canon Frederick Boyd Williams Community Service Scholarship, which is funded through an endowment from the Rockefeller Foundation. H&N Insurance Agency & Financial Group Scholarship Awards were presented to Sydni-Sophia Russell and Sheck Mulbah; the George H. and Lottie K. Weldon Scholarship Fund was awarded to Percival Poyser; and the new James W. Morris Scholarship Award was awarded to Akilah Thompson and presented by HCCI board member Wendy Kelly Carter, on behalf of the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees. Proceeds from this event benefit the ongoing work of HCCI, a diverse, interfaith consortium of congregations established to revitalize the physical, economic, cultural, and spirit of the Harlem community. HCCI has made a substantial impact on the social and living conditions in Harlem by developing low to moderate income housing, creating supportive health and human service facilities and programs, providing commercial development opportunities to local businesses; and expanding cultural programs. To learn more about HCCI and to view testimonials by residents who have been impacted by HCCI’s programs, please visit www.hcci.org. Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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HCCI SPECIAL SECTION

Victoria Theater

L–R: Craig Livingston, Exact Capital and Malcolm A. Punter along with Victoria project workers

BY JAYLEN ROGERS

T

hrough its affiliate, Victoria Theater Housing Development Fund Corporation, HCCI applied for and was awarded an allocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from NYS Housing and Community Renewal to provide affordable housing for Harlem’s most significant real estate project to date. Once completed, the Victoria Theater Redevelopment Project (VTRP) will be the tallest and most complex building on historic 125th Street. The project was realized in partnership with Danforth Development partners, Exact Capital, Harlem Community Development Corporation (HCDC), the Lam group, and Harlem Equitable Development Corp. Located at 233 West 125th Street, just steps from the famed Apollo Theater, the site will yield a 385,000 square foot, mixed-use complex housing a Marriott Renaissance hotel, 191 units mixed-income rental apartments, 30,000 square feet of retail space, and 25,000 square feet of cultural space that will include two black-box convertible theaters. These convertible theaters can be configured as traditional performance venues with seats or converted into a ballroom where receptions and other large events can be held. The state agency, HCDC, has owned the Victoria Theater site and will continue to own the cultural space, which the Apollo Theater Foundation will operate with cultural partners including: The Classical Theater of Harlem, Jazzmobile, and The Harlem Arts Alliance. According to HCDC President Curtis Archer, the project “will be a cultural destination and a jobs magnet that will be transformative for the street.”

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HCCI was enlisted to help recruit local workers and provide affordable rents for local people who have been pushed out by increasing gentrification. The theater will support local arts groups that often find venues like the Apollo Theater cost prohibitive. “HCCI is proud to help empower local residents with jobs and access to affordable housing,” said HCCI President & CEO Malcolm A. Punter. “Also, preserving the cultural heritage and institutions within the community is an important aspect of our holistic community development strategy.” “Exact Capital and HCCI have a long-standing relationship of working together in Harlem,” explained Craig Livingston, managing partner of Exact Capital. “Aside from the Victoria Theater project, we’ve worked together to preserve the affordability of over 700 apartments in Harlem. Both HCCI and Exact are committed to furthering economic development and job creation efforts in Harlem. This project was just a natural extension of a flourishing partnership. “125th Street is the main business corridor and there certainly will be more investment on 125th Street, including taller buildings,” he continued. “Hopefully the firms that choose to invest in and develop on 125th respect the rich history of this community, and most importantly, conduct their business ventures in a way that incorporates Harlem’s legacy and supports the residents there now who make it the vibrant community that is Harlem.” www.thepositivecommunity.com


HCCI SPECIAL SECTION BY JAYLEN ROGERS

I

Home Ownership

n 2016, HCCI commenced redevelopment of a 10unit building at 46-48 E. 129th Street in Harlem, converting it into a limited equity co-op property. In May 2019, HCCI celebrated the ribbon cutting for this newly developed cooperative. Before redevelopment, the buildings were under the control of the HPD’s Tenant Interim Lease Program (TIL). To realize the project, HCCI worked with state government agencies like the NYS/HCR & NYC HPD and Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), who funded the project. Six units in the building were already occupied. The residents living there were able to keep their homes and will become homeowners as official members of the limited equity co-op. During renovation tenants were  relocated then returned to  their homes  when the work was completed. In addition to managing the construction, HCCI established the cooperative entity on behalf of the pre-existing residents and trained them to manage the co-op. The residents learned about budgeting, building management, and equal opportunity housing laws. According to Tenant Organizer and Co-op President Patricia Mulligan, “HCCI and all the tenants who called this place their home had a vision that the neighborhood could be fully restored to glory, and we made that vision a reality through perseverance.”    HCCI is committed to helping Harlem residents establish equity through homeownership.  “We have  assisted more than 2,000 households achieve homeownership,” said Rev. Dr. Charles Butler, vice president of Equitable Development at HCCI.  Most residents enroll in Dr. Butler’s Homebuyer Education Seminar. However, www.thepositivecommunity.com

the six pre-existing residents of East 129th Street were in the unique position of establishing limited-equity cooperative units, wherein they will pay from $250 to $2,500 to own apartments in the new co-op. The remaining four apartments are for moderate income residents who will pay significantly more, but, otherwise, have very few options to own a home in Harlem.   According to Sherill Henry, director of Real Estate Development at HCCI, “Many moderate-income people are priced out of homeownership in New York City because they earn too little to pay market rates and earn too much to qualify for low-income opportunities. Programs like this assist struggling middle-class, also known as moderate-income residents, who would otherwise be forced to move.  This project was ideal for HCCI because  our goal is  to combat  trends of displacement among both low, and moderate income residents.” “We chose to work with HCCI because we admire their dedication to providing housing for low income residents of the area and also their commitment to preserving the cultural heritage here in Harlem.” said CPC Vice President and Mortgage Officer Lawrence Hammond. CPC loaned $1,168,605 to the development.  The project was also funded by HPD, which provided a total of $2,217,000. $1,550,000 was contributed through its Resolution A program,  and  $667,000  through the  Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program.  The state of New York Affordable Housing Corporation subsidized the 10 units by contributing $40,000 toward each homebuyer’s mortgage, totaling $400,000.

Summer 2019 The Positive Community

45


HCCI SPECIAL SECTION

Youth Aging Out Of Foster Care

BY JAYLEN ROGERS

E

ach year in New York City, over 1,000 young adults are removed from the foster care system upon their 21st birthday. Few are adequately prepared to live on their own, and many become homeless. Established in 2008, HCCI’s Young Adult Supportive Services (YASS)/Independence Starts at Home (ISAH) program helps these youths who have aged out of foster care become self-sufficient and productive members of society. Referred by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and the Agency for Children’s services (ACS), YASS participants reside in David and Joyce Dinkins Gardens, a state-of-the art 85-unit low-income green building in New York City, where they receive ongoing case management to help them sustain their new standard of living and reach their maximum potential. Aquasha Williams entered the foster care system early in her youth. From birth she has suffered from cerebral palsy, a nerve condition that has restricted her to a wheelchair her entire life. Upon aging out of foster care, Williams struggled to find affordable housing that would also accommodate her disability, and resorted to staying in a community shelter for a while. “I was 22 when I was out of the shelter and I pretty much was on my own until I found HCCI,” she remarked. “Being in a wheelchair is hard enough, you would think they would make things for handicapped people more affordable right? Wrong!”

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

Aquasha experienced continuous difficulty finding housing that could accommodate her needs and was eventually referred to HCCI, where she received assistance creating a resume, and was referred to services that helped her manage her disabilities, making her more self-sufficient. “Aquasha, is definitely a fighter,” said her case manager of three years, J.D. Lawrence, who also serves as director of Resident & Community Services at HCCI. “Upon aging out of foster care Aquasha discovered that many of the certificates she earned weren’t accepted by many employers and institutions, and are practically useless,” he said. This disappointing realization did not stop the self-determined Aquasha from pursuing her goals. With guidance from Mr. Lawrence and educational resources provided by HCCI, she works tirelessly to obtain her GED and attends online business seminars for her business. Today, Aquasha is 33, owns an online jewelry boutique called Blaque Queens Bling, and serves as a consultant for online retailer, Paparazzi. She plans to explore photography as a hobby and looks to expand business opportunities. “I am forever grateful I had the opportunity to learn how to take the resources provided to me and tailor them to my needs” said Williams. “The most important thing YASS did for me was help me learn and mature on my own. Now, when I go to look for other apartments in the future, I know how to handle myself without others having to speak for me.” www.thepositivecommunity.com


Negations & Financial Specialist

Congratulates HCCI Congratulates HCCI On the Congratulates Congratulates HCCI On theHCCI Congratulates HCCI Victoria Plaza On the Project On the On the Projectleadership in the revitalization of th We at Benchmark Title are proud ofVictoria your pioneering and continued VictoriaPlaza Plaza Project

We at Title are proud of your pioneering and continued leadershipMay in theyou revitalization ofthe the revitalization Victoria Project Benchmark Title are proud of your pioneering and continued leadership Harlem community asBenchmark has been demonstrated overPlaza the last 33 years. haveincontinued success an Victoria Plaza Project Harlem community as has been demonstrated over the last 33 years. May you have continued success and We at Benchmark Title are proud of your pioneering and continued leadership in the revitalization of the know that we will always be there to support you and the Harlem community. m community asBenchmark has been demonstrated over years. May you have continued succe We at Title are yourbe pioneering andlast continued leadership in the revitalization of the know thatproud we willof always there tothe support you 33 and the Harlem community. Harlem community as has been demonstrated over the last 33 years. May you have continued success and know that we will always be there to thehave Harlem community. Harlem community as has been demonstrated oversupport the last 33 you years.and May you continued success and know that we always be you the THOMAS N. DECARO JEAN M.JEAN PARTRIDGE BERNARD T. Harlem CARR community. THOMAS N. DECARO M. PARTRIDGE BERNARD CARR ANTHONY EPPS ANTHONY EPPS know that we will will always be there there to to support support you T.and and the Harlem community. PRESIDENTCHIEF CCOUNSEL HIEF COUNSEL SVP AFFORDABLE HOUSING HOUSING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT RESIDENT SVP AFFORDABLE BUSINESS DEVELOPMEN OMASPN. DECARO JEAN M.JEAN PARTRIDGE BERNARD T. CARR ANTHONY E 222 Bloomingdale Road White Plains NYBERNARD 10605 914-250-2400 F: 914-422-1550 THOMAS N. DECARO M. PARTRIDGE T. CARR AANTHONY EEPPS 222 Bloomingdale Road White Plains NY 10605 914-250-2400 F: 914-422-1550 THOMAS N. DECARO JEAN M. PARTRIDGE BERNARD T. CARR NTHONY PPS www.BenchmarkTA.com PRESIDENT PPRESIDENT CHIEF CCCOUNSEL SVP AFFORDABLE HOUSING BUSINESS DEVEL HIEF CCOUNSEL SVP BBUSINESS RESIDENT HIEF www.BenchmarkTA.com OUNSEL SVP AAFFORDABLE FFORDABLE H HOUSING OUSING USINESS D DEVELOPMENT EVELOPMENT 22 Bloomingdale Road White Plains NY 10605 914-250-2400 F: 914-422-155 222 222 Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Road Road White White Plains Plains NY NY 10605 10605 914-250-2400 914-250-2400 F: F: 914-422-1550 914-422-1550 www.BenchmarkTA.com www.BenchmarkTA.com www.BenchmarkTA.com


HCCI SPECIAL SECTION

Youth Programs

H

CCI provides youth programs for Harlem families to serve children from infant to high school in its Corridor of Service, located on Harlem’s 153rd Street between Macombs Place and Frederick Douglass Blvd. HCCI stays engaged in the lives of local children through the provision of a state-of-the art pre-school, a free afterschool program that provides homework assistance to local children, and a teen filmmaker training program. To enroll visit www.hcci.org. AFTER SCHOOL Lisa Fields-Linnen’s Hands that Make A Difference afterschool program visits area elementary schools and picks up neighborhood children who attend the program. Housed and funded by HCCI, this free program serves 30 children providing a safe, nurturing, child care environment where children are tutored, fed, and engaged in educational games and recreation. To learn more visit www.hcci.org/ youth-programs. PRE-SCHOOL The Canon Frederick Boyd Williams Child Enrichment Center provides 150 slots for infants and children up to age five. HCCI developed this state-of the art facility to serve the childcare needs of Harlem’s Bradhurst community. The

48

The Positive Community Summer 2019

BY JAYLEN ROGERS

center is named in honor of Canon Frederick Boyd Williams, the first person to serve as chair of HCCI’s Board of Directors, who believed that providing low-cost, high-quality childcare would enable more low-income parents to join the workforce. To enroll visit www.tendertots.com TEEN FILMMAKER TRAINING PROGRAM Launched last year in partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute and ImageNation Cinema Foundation, HCCI’s Teen Filmmaker Training program teaches teens the A to Z of filmmaking. Working directly with high school students, ages 14-18, the program offers invaluable hands-on experience in a highly collaborative setting. “Our Film program connects local youth with filmmakers from the Harlem community. In fact, one of this year’s instructors, Riley Wilson, just won a top jury prize at the American Black Film Festival. He used his winning project as a case study for our students,” noted Malcolm Punter, President & CEO of HCCI. “This a great way to highlight Harlem jewels while empowering our youth with transferable skills.” Funded by Con Edison, the HCCI Teen Filmmaker Training Program is held in the spring of each year. To learn more about this afterschool program, visit www.hcci.org/ youth-programs. www.thepositivecommunity.com


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49


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JOAN JOAN JOAN O.JOAN JOAN O. DAWSON, O. DAWSON, JOAN DAWSON, O. DAWSON, DAWSON, O.PH.D. DAWSON, PH.D. PH.D. PH.D. PH.D. MALCOLM MALCOLM MALCOLM MALCOLM A. MALCOLM A. PUNTER, A. PUNTER, PUNTER, PUNTER, A.ED. PUNTER, ED. D. ED. D.ED. D.D.ED. D. D. O. PH.D. MALCOLM A.A. PUNTER, ED. Chairperson Chairperson Chairperson Chairperson Chairperson of ofDAWSON, of the Board the ofBoard the Board ofBoard Board the Board President President President President & President CEO & CEO & &CEO &CEO CEO & CEO JOAN O.the PH.D. MALCOLM A. PUNTER, ED. D. Chairperson of the President JOAN O. DAWSON, PH.D. Chairperson of the Board

MALCOLM PUNTER, ED. D. President &A. CEO

EMPOWERING EMPOWERING EMPOWERING EMPOWERING EMPOWERING HARLEMITES HARLEMITES HARLEMITES HARLEMITES JOAN DAWSON, PH.D. EMPOWERING HARLEMITES MALCOLM A.PUNTER, PUNTER,ED. ED.D. D. Chairperson of theHARLEMITES Board JOAN O.O.DAWSON, PH.D. President &A. CEO MALCOLM EMPOWERING HARLEMITES Chairperson the Board REBUILDING REBUILDING REBUILDING REBUILDING REBUILDING COMMUNITIES COMMUNITIES COMMUNITIES COMMUNITIES President&&CEO CEO Chairperson ofofCOMMUNITIES the Board REBUILDING COMMUNITIES President EMPOWERING HARLEMITES REBUILDING COMMUNITIES EMPOWERING HARLEMITES EMPOWERING HARLEMITES REBUILDING COMMUNITIES Victory Victory Victory Plaza Victory Plaza Victory Plaza Senior Plaza Senior Senior Plaza Housing, Senior Housing, Housing, Senior Housing, Completion Completion Housing, Completion Completion Date Completion Date Date 2021 2021 Date 2021 Date 2021 2021 WWW.HCCI.ORG WWW.HCCI.ORG WWW.HCCI.ORG WWW.HCCI.ORG WWW.HCCI.ORG Victory Plaza Senior Housing, Completion WWW.HCCI.ORG REBUILDING COMMUNITIES REBUILDING COMMUNITIES Victory Plaza Senior Housing, Completion Date 2021 Victory Plaza Senior Housing, Completion Date 2021 Victory Plaza Senior Housing, Victory Plaza Senior Housing,Completion CompletionDate Date2021 2021

WWW.HCCI.ORG WWW.HCCI.ORG WWW.HCCI.ORG WWW.HCCI.ORG


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Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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WHGA SPECIAL SECTION

Keeping Harlem Accessible to All

I

t is Wednesday morning and the storefront at 625 Lenox Avenue is teeming with activity. Boxes of fruit and vegetables crowd the sidewalk; a long line has formed. It's food distribution day at the Healthy Food Pantry. Launched in 2014, the food pantry at West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. has emerged as an essential neighborhood resource. During a typical week, the pantry distributes food to over 1,200 families, averaging 5,000 per month. It is a crucial lifeline for hundreds of Harlem families facing food insecurity. Pantry clients include grandparents supporting multiple generations on one social security check, single adults out of work, and even working families collecting their only source of fruit and vegetables for the week. "Having food from the pantry allows me to stretch my check a little further. I am feeding my daughter and three grandchildren on this check," explains one client. WHGA launched the Healthy Food Pantry under the Communities for Healthy Food initiative sponsored by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Illumination Fund. Honorable Inez Dickens, a member of the New York State Assembly and former New York City Council member, ensured public funding for the program. A host of food supply partners such as Food Bank, City Harvest, Whole Foods, and Harlem Grown help keep the shelves at the pantry stocked with fresh produce and whole grains. Cooking demonstrations introduce clients to new ways of preparing healthy and delicious foods with weekly deliveries from WHGA. 

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

Harlem is one of the nation's most historically vibrant and celebrated food hubs. Celebrity chefs from the local restaurants and bistros make regular appearances on television, especially the Food Network. Ironically, the area has one of the highest rates of food insecurity. According to Food Bank, the term “food security” means “access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.” Food insecurity in Harlem is among the highest in the nation at 28.6 percent of Central Harlem households dealing with food insecurity. They are often uncertain about where they will get their next meal. Across New York City's metro area, more than 1.2 million residents, or 14.4 percent, are food insecure. While nutrition and fitness became vital to WHGA's service model, affordable housing development and preservation is still a core aspect of its mission. Housing quality and livability in Harlem's aging and deteriorating housing stock rose as a significant issue in the 1970s. While there were thousands of vacant units across the city, many were inhabitable and in disrepair. WHGA first formed nearly 50 years ago as a tenant organizing concern was instrumental in bringing many of these housing units back online. The organization worked with government agencies to hold negligent and absentee landlords accountable for the care of their buildings. Over time, WHGA began renovating apartments and houses, as well as managing building maintenance and operations. Today WHGA's housing development and preservation portfolio consists of over 1,900 units, with combined construction costs of $451,565,865.  www.thepositivecommunity.com


WHGA SPECIAL SECTION

Affordable housing is a vital resource for families in NYC, recently rated the most expensive real estate market in the nation. Nearly 60 percent of New York City households are rent-burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing costs. The housing crisis has resulted in a precarious situation for families who also pay the nation's highest energy and food bills.    Building activity is ongoing in NYC. Cranes and scaffolding are as ubiquitous as cars. While the majority of developments in the city focus on luxury renters, WHGA's developments target low-income renters. Randolph Houses represents WHGA's most recent project. The award-winning, two-phase, 36-building, 147- unit development is now home to low-income and moderate-income families, and military veterans. Financed by public and private funding sources and co-developed with Trinity Financial, Randolph Houses is remarkable boasting luxurious, yet affordable living.   In addition to the unit renovations, the development includes 3,000 square feet of community space incorporating a library, computer rooms, laundry rooms, and landscaped outdoor space for tenant use. In addition to these amenities, the renovations have integrated green building practices to meet the requirements of the Enterprise Green Communities criteria. A network of social service providers supports tenants with varying needs. Designed to engage residents, the programs feature health, wellness, job training, and cultural activities while building community.  www.thepositivecommunity.com

Research demonstrates that housing in and of itself is crucial to long-term health and economic outcomes, particularly for children. While WHGA's social service programs are essential, Randolph Houses is a model for providing quality housing in increasingly expensive real estate markets. In addition to developing and renovating affordable rental units, WHGA has managed to keep the dream of homeownership alive for working families. WHGA recently completed a 12-unit cooperative development at 211 West 145th Street. Created for first-time homeowners earning at or below 100% of the area median income, project amenities include washer and dryers in each unit, subway tiling in kitchens and bathrooms, and hardwood flooring. This project was funded by Community Preservation Corporation and NYC Housing Preservation & Development. Financial literacy courses and counseling will train new home buyers on the ins and outs of home financing, credit, and the mortgage closing process. Twenty-five cooperative and brownstone units developed by WHGA have been purchased by low, moderate-income, and formerly homeless families. Building affordable housing has become increasingly costly and challenging for nonprofit organizations due to demographic shifts and markets and variable construction costs with volatility in lumber costs and labor. New highend owners and developers often protest the placement of social service programs and low-income housing due to fear of declining property values and vandalism. For instance, WHGA and the Randolph Houses development Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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WHGA SPECIAL SECTION

trinity financial

Congratulations to WHGA on 48 years of dedicated work within the Harlem community

Delivering high-quality housing, community resources, and a stronger urban fabric.


WHGA SPECIAL SECTION Door to Door Laundry Service

The smart way to do laundry! www.SMARTSUDZ.com

973-379-4063

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Goldstein Hall is proud to support West Harlem Group Assistance’s dedication & commitment to the community!

New York City | Hudson Valley | Washington D.C. www.goldsteinhall.com

THINK GREEN. THINK FAST. THINK SAVINGS. Join more than 100 businesses in making the shift to more efficient deliveries.

www.thepositivecommunity.com

NYC DOT is committed to improving the movement of goods in the city. We are recruiting businesses to join our Off-Hour Deliveries program. Delivering and receiving goods during off-peak hours helps reduce daytime congestion and improves air quality for everyone. Learn how your business can boost productivity and contribute to a better quality of life in NYC by visiting ohdnyc.com today.

Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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WHGA SPECIAL SECTION team faced opposition to the site's renovation. WHGA even thwarted a campaign to demolish the site in favor of an exclusive park. With funding difficult to come by, and despite the many challenges, amazingly, with minimal resources, WHGA provides all of these services and opportunities. Led by Donald Notice, WHGA has managed to provide a host of vital resources and services to New York's most vulnerable residents. Notice joined WHGA in 1992 as the deputy director, bringing years of housing finance experience at NYC's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He became executive director in 1997. Focusing on brick and mortar projects at West Harlem Group, Donald says, "If we build our housing stock and take care of these buildings, everything else will fall into place. People will have a decent and affordable place to live, the organization can use the buildings for programs and services," he continued, "and we can offer space to other nonprofit organizations and businesses at an affordable rate. "Though nonprofits are inherently mission-driven, leaders must pay close attention to the bottom line to make sure that their fiscal operations are intact and the numbers add up," says Notice. 'It's a struggle day to day, but our community is counting on us to get this right." After 48 years of service and the completion of several thriving developments, WHGA has undoubtedly found a formula for success.

Congratulations to West Harlem Group Assistance on all your positive contributions to the community! @LISC_NYC lisc.org/nyc

Erin Construction & Development applauds WHGA for their commitment to Harlem and its community

www.erinconstruction..com 516.616.4610

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

Erin Construction & Development applauds

www.thepositivecommunity.com


WHGA SPECIAL SECTION

Mega Contracting Group is proud to partner with West Harlem Group Assistance in building and developing affordable housing for families in the Harlem Community! Wishing continued success in building and preserving smarter, safer and more inclusive communities.

www.megagroup.nyc


WHGA SPECIAL SECTION

Congratulations, Congratulations, Congratulations, Congratulations, West West Harlem Harlem Group Group West West Harlem Harlem Group Group

S.P. S.P.would Contractors like the tolike congratulate to congratulate the the S.P. Contractors S.P. Contractors Contractors like would towould congratulate like towould congratulate the S.P. Contractors S.P. Contractors would would like to like congratulate to congratulate the the West West Harlem Harlem Group Group Assistance Assistance West Harlem West Harlem GroupGroup Group Assistance Assistance WestWest Harlem Harlem Group Assistance Assistance

Congratulations, Congratulations, on their on their 45 years 45 years of service of service to theto the ontheir their on their 4547of years 45 years ofservice ngratulations, ratulations, on on 47their years years service of to service theofto service the to theto the West West and Central and Central Harlem Harlem communities. communities. West West Harlem Harlem Group Group WestWest and and Central Harlem Harlem communities. communities. West Central and West Central communities. communities. Weand are Central We aHarlem proud are aHarlem partner proud partner of the West of the Harlem West Harlem Group. Group.

arlem Harlem Group Group

We areWe a proud are a partner proud partner of the West of theHarlem West Harlem Group.Group. We are We a proud are a partner proud partner of the West ofContractors theHarlem West Harlem Group. Group. Contractors of NY of NY 8-67 Astoria 8-67 Astoria Boulevard Contractors Contractors of NY of Boulevard NY LIC, NY 11102 LIC, NY 11102

8-67 Astoria 8-67 Boulevard Astoria Boulevard Email: fcal@spcontractorsny.com Email: fcal@spcontractorsny.com LIC, NY 11102 LIC, NY 11102 Email: fcal@spcontractorsny.com Email: fcal@spcontractorsny.com

S.P. Contractors S.P. Contractors wouldwould like tolike congratulate to congratulate the the West Harlem West Harlem GroupGroup Assistance Assistance on their on 45 their years 45 years of service of service to theto the West and WestCentral and Central Harlem Harlem communities. communities. We are aWe proud are apartner proud of partner the West of the Harlem West Harlem Group. Group.

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8-67 Astoria 8-67 Boulevard
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 LIC, NY 11102 LIC, NY 11102 Email: fcal@spcontractorsny.com Email: fcal@spcontractorsny.com

years 45 years of service of service to the to the 58 The Positive Community Summer 2019

www.thepositivecommunity.com


Website

Visit our photo galleries! Like us on Facebook

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Summer 2019 The Positive Community

59


nov 9–24

the roots with a christian mcbride situation nov 16 Buddy Guy with Mavis Staples Sun, Nov 10 @ 7PM Chaka Khan Thu, Nov 14 @ 8PM Steps Ahead, Michael Franks and Spyro Gyra Fri, Nov 15 @ 8PM Lee Ritenour with Dave Grusin & Friends Thu, Nov 21 @ 7:30PM

the temptations & the four tops oct 12

gladys knight special guest Will Downing Thu, Aug 29 @ 8PM An evening of timeless soul, R&B and more!

savion glover directs the tap dance kid Fri, Sep 13 @ 7PM Sat, Sep 14 @ 7PM Sun, Sep 15 @ 2PM The Tony Award® winning tap master directs young artists in the hit Broadway musical that launched his career!

Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life featuring The DIVA Jazz Orchestra Sat, Nov 23 @ 3 & 7PM For full schedule, visit njpac.org/moodyjazz

thanksgiving comedy fest DeRay Davis, Tony Rock, Jess Hilarious and Drew Fraiser Hosted by Smokey Suarez Fri, Nov 29 @ 8PM An uproarious night with some of the very best in stand-up comedy! @NJPAC • 1.888.GO.NJPAC • njpac.org Groups of 9 or more call 973.353.7561 One Center StreetNewark, NJ

August-Positive-Community.indd 1

8/6/19 11:40 AM


Culture

music, art + literature

Juneteenth Celebration

T

L–R: Union County Assemblywoman Linda S. Carter, Elizabeth Councilwoman-At-Large Pat Perkins-Auguste, and Debra Marshall of Keller Williams Photos: Karen Waters

he Union County Black Leadership Caucus hosted and celebrated at its Inaugural Juneteenth Jazz Freedom Brunch on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at The Tavern at Ash Brook (Ash Brook Golf Course) in Scotch Plains, NJ. Live, outstanding jazz was provided by Alsamarol 2057. Elizabeth Councilwoman-At-Large Patricia Perkins-Auguste gave a masterful, affirming speech expressing why we honor and celebrate Juneteenth. Host committee members are Union County Assemblywoman Linda S. Carter, Union County Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley, Union County Freeholder Angela Garretson, Union County Freeholder Andrea Staten, Union County Freeholder Rebecca Williams, and Elizabeth Councilwoman-At-Large Patricia Perkins-Auguste.

Pat Perkins-Auguste empowering Juneteenth attendees

Standing: L–R: Union Township Mayor Michele Delisfort; Sam Bishop; Jerry Walker; guest; Donna Eleazer; George Cook, Jr.; Steve Hockaday; guest; Denise Ridley; Jerry Jacob; Susan Hairston; guest; Clifton People, Jr.; Joel Chapman; William Gallman Jr.; and Eric Andrews. Seated: L–R: Joylette Mills-Ransome, Jamel C. Holley, Patricia Perkins'Auguste, Linda Carter, Andrea Staten (Freeholder Union County), Angela Garretson (Freeholder Union County), Andrea Hyatt-Lawrence (Hillside Township Councilwoman) and Ashley Davis (Plainfield 1st Ward Councilwoman). www.thepositivecommunity.com

Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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Undefeatable! Hazel Dukes Honored

D

r. Hazel N. Dukes, you know the name. She is the audacious activist with the unbeatable spirit who for over 50 years has been involved in civil rights and justice causes. Now, as an octogenarian, Dr. Dukes still participates in marches, protests, and demonstrations. A lifetime member of the NAACP, as president of the New York State NAACP she oversees 56 local branches throughout the state. Hazel Dukes is a fighter, a courageous fighter for freedom for all. So it was no surprise that the Migdol Organization, a Harlem based company led by Jerry and Aaron Migdol, honored Mrs. Dukes on Sunday, June 30th at a private reception at Ruby’s Vintage following the unveiling of a plaque at on the building at 2332 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. “My father and I often say, particularly with notable people and loved ones, that

it would really be special if people could celebrate and acknowledge individuals while they are alive because we so often don’t say all there is to say about someone until they are gone.” explained Atty. Aaron Migdol. “While we know Hazel has many more decades of fight in her, we wanted to celebrate her now and make sure she gets the opportunity to hear and feel the love this community has for her.” He continued, “Hazel Dukes is a civil rights icon and an institution in Harlem. It was an honor and a pleasure to make a plaque for her and have such a wonderful ceremony.” —JNW

Dorthaan Kirk, Newark’s First Lady of Jazz A 2020 NEA Jazz Master

N

ewark’s First Lady of Jazz, Dorthann Kirk is the recipient of the prestigious Jazz Master award given by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Kirk, along with fellow Jazz Master awardees Bobby McFerrin, Roscoe Mitchell and Reggie Workman, will be honored at a special concert at SFJazz Center in San Francisco on April 2, 2020. Unlike the other honorees, Kirk is not a musician. She retired from WBGO Jazz 88.3 in 2018 after four decades as a founding employee of the award-winning public

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

radio station in Newark. She continues to produce and book events throughout New Jersey, inspire and support young musicians through the Dorthaan Kirk Scholarship Opportunity Fund, and serves as a consultant to New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). In addition to all of that, Dorthann heads up Rokir Music Corp. building upon the legacy of her late husband, Rahsaan Roland Kirk; books Bethany Baptist Church’s Jazz Vespers; and consistently offers her time and expertise to help secure the future of the art form. — TPC Staff www.thepositivecommunity.com


Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. Essex County Executive and the

Board of Chosen Freeholders Invite You To Join Us For

ESSEX REMEMBERS ~ A Solemn Ceremony Commemorating the 18th Anniversary of the 9/11 Tragedy ~

Date: Time: Place:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 8 a.m. Essex County Eagle Rock Reservation Essex County Eagle Rock 9/11 Memorial Eagle Rock Avenue, West Orange, NJ

For more information, please call 973-621-4400 Chamber Music at the Site until 2 PM


Wells Fargo SVP Government Relations Stephen Ball

L–R: Panelists Junius Williams, Stefon Harris, Alexis Morrast, and Che Williams, inset: Rev. Stefanie Minitee

L–R: Ecumenical Clergy Affairs Director Rev. Louise Scott-Rountree and Rutgers-Newark Vice Chancellor Marcia Wilson Brown

Family of Junius Williams L–R: His wife, Dr. Antoinette Ellis–Williams; brother, John Williams; and son, Junius O.Williams

Newark Historian Junius Williams

L–R: Lorenzo and Tiffany Morrast Photos: Karen Waters and Raymond Hagans

Music, Spirituality, and Social Impact: Positive Music Matters

G

uests gathered in the lobby of the Marion P. Thomas Charter School on the evening of Wednesday, June 12, enthusiastically savoring the delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared and served by the students in the school’s culinary class. Their appetites sated, the crowd moved into the auditorium where another installment of the popular Newark Public Lecture Series presented by The Positive Community and the Newark School of Theology was about to begin. The discussion this time entitled Music, Spirituality, and Social Impact: Positive Music Matters was moderated by music aficionado and Newark Historian Junius Williams, Esq. The intergenerational panel explored the current state of black music in America. Panelists included Rev. Stefanie Minitee, artistic director of Grammy Award winning Jubilation Choir; renowed jazz artist, educator and composer, Stefon Harris; 18-year-old jazz vocalist,

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

Alexis Morrast; and Che Williams, aspiring filmmaker, music lover, student at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA., and the son of Junius Williams. Here’s the takeaway: To secure the future, the African American people must accept full responsibility for their great music legacy —all of it! A spirit of goodwill prevailed among all who were present. On that day, the generations were of the same accord in discussing potentials and possibilities, values, ideas and ideals—the future of black music in America. And yes, everyone did agree: Positive Music Matters! Very special thanks to our sponsors/community partners: Wells Fargo, RJW Barnabas Health and WBGO Jazz 88. To view excerpts visit our digital platform www.thepositivecommunity.com www.thepositivecommunity.com


Panelists TPC Positive Music Matters L–R: Junius Williams; his son, Che Williams; Alexis Morrast; her grandfranther, Rev. Robert L. Morrast, pastor of St. Peter’s B.C., Newark; and Stefon Harris

At Left: TPC Lecture Series sponsor Stephen Ball with Wells Fargo team

www.thepositivecommunity.com

Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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SSiim mppllyy D Deelliicciioouuss

D Debra ebra SSanDler anDler Mavis Mavis Foods Foods Brings Brings the the Flavor Flavor of of the the Islands Islands into into Your Your Home Home By ByR.L. R.L.Witter Witter

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uch uchlike likethe theway wayTrinidadian Trinidadianfood food combines combines elements elements from from different different cultures, cultures, Debra Debra Sandler Sandler has has studstudied iedand andmastered masteredaalittle littlebit bitofofeveverything erythingtotocreate createaalife lifeand andcareer career asascolorful colorfuland andinteresting interestingasasaaCaCaribbean ribbeanfeast. feast.Everything Everythingshe’s she’sdone donehas hasled ledher hertotothis this place placeininher herlife, life,aaplace placeone onemight mightcall callher hersweet sweetspot. spot. “I“Iwas wasinterested interestedininpolitics politicsand andlanguages,” languages,”Sandler Sandler said saidofofher heryouth youthininTrinidad. Trinidad.“It “Itwas wasalways alwayssomething something international, international,being beingborn bornininone onecountry countryand andgrowing growing up upininanother. another.My Myfamily familywas waspolitically politicallyoriented, oriented,sosoI Ial-always wayshad haddesigns designson onsomething somethingininpolitics politicsand andlanguaglanguages.” es.”Born BornininVenezuela Venezuelaand andraised raisedininTrinidad, Trinidad,Sandler’s Sandler’s daughter daughterdubbed dubbedher her“Trinizuelan” “Trinizuelan”years yearsago agoand andtoday, today, Sandler Sandlerhonors honorsher herheritage heritagewith withaaline lineofofCaribbean Caribbean sauces saucescalled called“Bazodee,” “Bazodee,”which whichmeans means“head “headover overheels.” heels.” The Thepath pathtotobecoming becomingaa“sauce “sauceboss” boss”was washardly hardlyaa straight straightone. one.“I“Ifollowed followedmy myinterests interestsand andpassions,” passions,”SanSandler dlersaid. said.“I“Ifollowed followedwhere wherelife lifeled ledme.” me.”First, First,that thatwas was totoaadegree degreeininInternational InternationalBusiness, Business,which whichled ledtotoaajob job atatPepsiCo, PepsiCo,where whereshe sheworked workedfor for13 13years. years.“I“Ithink thinkthat that was wasthe thefoundation foundationfor formy myinterest interestininconsumer consumerprodproducts uctsand andthe thefood foodindustry,” industry,”she sherecalled. recalled.She Shewent wenton on totovarious variouspositions positionsatatcompanies companiesincluding includingJohnson Johnson&& Johnson Johnsonand andMars, Mars,Inc., Inc.,where whereshe shecontinued continuedtotohone hone her herskills skillsasasshe sherose roseup upthe thecorporate corporateladder. ladder.Sandler’s Sandler’s

The The path path toto becoming becoming aa “sauce “sauce boss” boss” was washardly hardlyaastraight straightone. one.“I“Ifollowed followedmy my interests interests and and passions,” passions,” Sandler Sandler said. said. “I“Ifollowed followedwhere wherelife lifeled ledme.” me.” bazodee.com bazodee.com

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

www.thepositivecommunity.com


bazodee.com

Debra and Auntie Mavis

climb afforded her a view of the food and beverage businesses, as well as some self-reflection. “There’s something about when you are an immigrant, when you are not in the land of your home,” she said. “The food takes on a different importance; it connects you back to your home… I’m from a family of cooking women so food was always at the center of our lives. Later on, the two things just came together.” Bazodee is the culmination of where Sandler’s business and life experiences with food combine to make something great. In recent years, Sandler recognized the importance of food and tradition in her life and their importance to her entire family. “My earliest memories are of my maternal grandmother, who’s from Venezuela, making pastelles—a Christmas dish,” she fondly recalled. “As a young woman in the family, it was something you had to learn and everyone had a role… It was an annual tradition and you were just so proud of whatever role you had and you had to do it well because it was like an assembly line . . . We were just talking about it the oth-

Much like the way Trinidadian food combines elements from different cultures, Debra Sandler has studied and mastered a little bit of everything to create a life and career as colorful and interesting as a Caribbean feast. www.thepositivecommunity.com

er day and how much fun it was getting together to make the pastelles and then getting to eat them.” Today Sandler honors her roots and her family with the Bazodee line of sauces and marinades that are bringing an authentic taste of the Caribbean to kitchens across America. “We decided to start with the marinade, as it’s kind of the foundation for seasoning your food,” she explained. “Next we did the pepper sauce and we did two versions of the pepper sauce because for some people, there’s never any pepper sauce that’s hot enough,” she chuckled. Truly a family affair, there are currently three generations of Sandler’s family working to bring Bazodee and its bold flavors into your home. “Aunt Mavis works on the recipes; I do the marketing; and my daughter, Kiah, helps with the social media,” Sandler explained. “I toyed with naming products after family members, but some of them are shy. I have an aunt in Holland who created a fish recipe we’ll be putting out in the next year or so.” With her keen understanding of marketing and ability to analyze trends, Sandler has a sunny outlook for Bazodee. “People are looking for more flavor and that old, sort of bland approach is waning. In my family, you cannot serve people dry rice,” she stated emphatically. “There has to be gravy or something, but not plain rice. Now do some people still eat dry rice? Absolutely, but more and more people are looking to spice things up and Bazodee is perfect for that.” When she’s not creating tantalizing aromas in the kitchen or planning the next marketing strategy for her company, Sandler enjoys traveling (she speaks three languages), holding positions on various corporate boards, and deepening connections with her family and her faith. “I’m not in church every week, but I have a deep faith,” she explained. “I believe in the power of intention, faith, and prayer; I have conversations with God every day. And I don’t know where I would be without that foundational belief in something greater than myself.” With her gaze steadily on the future, Sandler and Bazodee are already looking ahead to their next offerings. They have curry, tamarind, and garlic sauces ready to go, some to be introduced later this year. “I see only continued opportunity with Caribbean food,” she mused. “I’m focused on building the legacy and seeing where it goes from there.” So if you have an opportunity to taste one of her recipes or spend some time with Debra Sandler, take it! You’ll be bazodee over both.

Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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PATRICIA PATRICIA PATRICIA BALDWIN BALDWIN BALDWIN

Martin Martin Christie— Christie— The The Musical Musical Musical Director Director Director Pushed Pushedby byFaith Faith Grace Grace&&Peace Peace PeaceFamily! Family! Family!

A A

nyone nyone nyonewho who whohas has hasparticipated participated participatedin inany any musical musical musicaldededepartment partment partmentknows knows knowsthe the theimportance importance importanceof ofthe the themusical musical musical director. director. director. In In In this this this case, case, case, the the musical musical director director director isisis known knowntotosome some someas as as“The “The “TheAnswer” Answer” Answer”for foryour yourgospel gospel gospelmusic music music solutions, solutions, solutions,but but buthe he heprefers prefers prefersto to tobe be becalled calledMartin Martin MartinChristie. Christie. Christie. Whatever Whatever Whateverhe he heputs puts putshis his hishands hands handsto, to, to,his hisheart heartwill will willbe be bethere there there representing representing representingthe the theLord’s Lord’s Lord’s work work work in in truth, truth, never never neverletting letting letting go goofofhis hisfaith. faith. faith.Bishop Bishop BishopGeorge George GeorgeChristie Christieinstilled instilled instilledgreat great great faith, faith,purpose purpose purposeand and andpassion passion passioninto into intohis hisson sonfrom fromage age agenine. nine. nine. Music Musicwas was wasaaalove love lovethat that thatMartin Martin MartinChristie Christie Christienot notonly only onlyfell fell fellhard hard hard for forbut butworked worked workedhard hard hardat at atobtaining obtaining obtaining the the matters matters mattersof of ofthe the the Levites Levitesand and andhis his hisown own owncalling. calling. calling. Forever Forever Foreverupdating updating updatingthe the thesounds sounds soundsand andthe thecraft craftof of ofgospel gospel gospel music, music,it’s it’s it’svery very veryhard hard hardfor for forsome some someto tobelieve believethat thatthere there therewas was was only onlyone oneway way wayfor for forhim him himto to todo do doit. it. it.Christie Christie Christiestated, stated,“I“I “Itried tried triedto to to do dosecular secular secularonce, once, once,on on onaaawell-known well-known well-knownrecord recordcompany company companywith with with aagroup group(not (not (notmine). mine). mine).IIIfelt felt feltsome some somekind kind of of way, way, way,but but butmy my my heart heartalways always alwaysled led ledback back backto to toGod. God. God.At At Atthe themoment momentof of ofsigning signing signing the thepapers, papers, papers,the the thecompany company companylet let letthe the thegroup groupgo, go,that’s that’s that’swhen when when I Iknew, knew,I’m I’m I’msticking sticking stickingwith with with(the (the (theworks worksof) of)Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,and and andI’ve I’ve I’ve never neverlooked looked lookedback.” back.” back.”Humbleness Humbleness Humblenessisisaatrait traitthat that thatMartin Martin Martin also alsodeveloped developed developedat at ataaayoung young youngage; age; age;you youwill willnever never neverfind find findhim him him boasting boastingabout about abouthimself. himself. himself.You You Youwill will willhowever howeverfind find findChristie Christie Christie very veryfocused, focused, focused,prayerful prayerful prayerfuland and andreserved reserved reservedto tomake make makesure sure surethat that that the theanointing anointing anointingaccompanied accompanied accompaniedby by byhis hisgifted giftedskills skills skillswill will willbe be be what whatthe theoverall overall overallsound sound soundrequires. requires. requires.Just Justask asksome some someof of ofthe the the greats greatswith with withwhom whom whomMartin Martin Martinworked worked worked as as musical musical musicaldirector director director starting startingwith with withNew New NewYork’s York’s York’sfinest: finest: finest:the the late lateRev. Rev. Rev.Timothy Timothy Timothy Wright, Wright,Bishop Bishop BishopAlbert Albert AlbertJamison Jamison Jamison&&Eastern EasternNY NY NYChapter Chapter Chapter ofofGMWA. GMWA. GMWA.Then Then Thenyou you youhave have havePastor Pastor PastorShirley ShirleyCaesar, Caesar, Caesar,RegiRegiRegina naBell, Bell,JJ JJJJHarriston Harriston Harristonas as aswell well wellas as asaa three-year three-yeartour tour tourwith with with Yolanda YolandaAdams. Adams. Adams.The The Thelist list listcan can can go go on, on, but but you you youget get getthe the the picture. picture. When WhenGospel Gospel Gospelartists artists artists are are are looking looking looking for for an an authentic authentic authentic M.D. M.D.totoplay play playwith with withor or ormake make makeup up upaa skillful skillfulband, band, band,Martin Martin Martin Christie Christieknows knows knowswhat what whatisisisneeded needed neededand andwill willensure ensure ensurethat that thatthe the the

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The Positive Community Summer 2019

artist artist artistisisiscomfortable comfortable comfortableto totoleave leave leaveitit itin ininhishishands. hands. It It is is with with those those thosesame same samehands hands handsthat that thathe he hecreates creates createsaa asound. sound. Martin Martin not not only only onlyplays plays playskeyboard, keyboard, keyboard,organ, organ, organ,bass bass bassguitar, guitar, guitar, drums drums and and can can kick kick kickitititon on onthe the theaccordion accordion accordion once once once and and and aa while, a while, but but he’s he’s also also a a gospel gospel gospelmusic music musicproducer, producer, producer,concert concert concert promoter, promoter, promoter, sound sound design design installer installer installerand and andthe the thesound sound soundtechnician technician technicianforforseveral several TVTV proproductions, ductions, ductions,including: including: including: Gospel Gospel Gospel Today Today Today and and and Bobby Bobby Jones-BET. Jones-BET. There There Thereare are aresome some someplays plays playsand and and off off off Broadway Broadway Broadway productions productions that that Martin Martin MartinChristie Christie Christiewas was wasblessed blessed blessed to toto be bebe aa part apart part ofof like like thethe never never forgotten forgotten forgotten“Mama “Mama “MamaII Want IWant Want to toto Sing” Sing” Sing” to toto the the courageous courageous story story line line linefrom from fromthe the theproduction production productionHonorable Honorable Honorable Distinction Distinction byby thethe Mount Mount MountPisgah Pisgah PisgahBaptist Baptist BaptistChurch’s Church’s Church’sInCarn InCarn InCarn Ministry Ministry (where (where he he heisisiscurrently currently currentlyworking). working). working).Preaching, Preaching, Preaching,teaching, teaching, designdesigning, ing, ing,pushing pushing pushingand and andplaying playing playingis isis where where where this this this musical musical director’s director’s talents talents talentslie lie lieand and andby by byusing using usingeach each eachof ofofthem them them inin itsits prospective prospective place place placeand and andtime, time, time,you you youget get getthe the the best best best of ofof what what what God God has has to to offer offer to to tomake make makeyour your yourmusical musical musicalarrangement arrangement arrangementauthentic authentic in in sound sound and and andproduction. production. production. For For Foranyone anyone anyonewho who whoquestions questions questions the the the know-how know-how know-how toto stay stay in in thethe gospel gospel gospelmusic music musicbusiness, business, business,there there therecould could couldbebelots lots of of answers, answers, but but butknow know knowthat that thatone one oneof ofofthem them themis isisfaith, faith, faith,maybe maybe more more than than the the thesize size sizeof of ofaaamustard mustard mustardseed. seed. seed. Martin Martin Martin explains, explains, explains, “I “I started started mymy career career careerby by byfaith faith faithwhen when whenII made Imade made up up up in inin my my my mind mind this this (gospel (gospel musician) musician) musician)isisiswho who whoII Iam. am. am.II Iwas was wasled led ledby bybyfaith faith when when I went I went seeking seeking seekingthese these theseworking working workingopportunities opportunities opportunities (I (I never never saysay gig, gig, be-because cause causeIIIowe owe oweGod God Godmore more morethan than thanjust just justplaying playing playing forfor a check—I a check—I really really reallytry try tryto tototeach teach teachthese these thesenew new new cats cats cats that) that) that) from from churches churches to to mainstream mainstream mainstreamartists. artists. artists.It ItItwas was was by byby faith faith faith that that that I truly I truly trusted trusted God God to to tolead lead leadme, me, me,and and andI’ve I’ve I’vebeen been beenthroughout throughout throughout this this country, country, overoverseas seas seasand and andback. back. back.II stand Istand standon on onGod’s God’s God’s word, word, word, that that “Now “Now faith faith is is the the thesubstance substance substanceof ofofthings things thingshoped hoped hopedfor for forand and the the evidence evidence of of things things thingsnot not notseen.” seen.” seen.”(Heb (Heb (Heb11:1). 11:1). 11:1).II never Inever never said said it it was was always always easy, easy, easy,but but butit’s it’s it’salways always alwaysbetter better betterwith with withGod—He God—He God—He will will always always getget the the theglory glory gloryfrom from fromwhat what whatII do!” Ido!” do!” Your Your Yourplacement placement placementin ininposition position position with with with God God God should should never never bebe aaaproblem, problem, problem,‘cause ‘cause ‘causeonly only onlywhat what what you you you do dodo forfor Christ Christ will will last! last! www.thepositivecommunity.com


ODELL OWENS POST OFFICE Continued from page 20

Reid, his first assistant director and long-time friend, remembers Owens “as trustworthy. He was a man of his word, and any disagreements were about issues only.” A primary backer and floor manager of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Owens commented at one time, “Greater than all the physical barriers are the barriers of entrenched attitudes and the silent insistence that people with disabilities should be grateful for minimal governmental protection and assistance.” Owens once remarked, “I’m not ashamed to be called a liberal.” Former Congressman Ed Towns served with Major for 24 years. “This is a great day in Brooklyn as we pay homage. Major Owens had tremendous integrity. If he gave you his word, it meant something. Brooklyn was a place he felt very close to and this is a great moment to recognize all the work he did as a State Senator, member of Congress and Commissioner in New York,” Towns said. Michael Barbosa represented Attorney General Letitia James; Christopher Benham, regional assistant, represented Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; and Juliet Lopez represented Senator Charles Schumer. Each read a statement from the elected official. After closing remarks by Christopher R. Owens and Elijah Dixon Owens, the procession moved next door for the unveiling of the plaque dedicated to Major Robert Odell Owens. The beautifully-crafted plaque will draw the attention of post office patrons for some time to come – they might even be moved to salute!

NJ Gospel Music Month Celebration

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ev. Dr. Albert Morgan and The Union Baptist Temple of Bridgeton, NJ hosted the final event of New Jersey’s African American Gospel Music Month, founded by Dr. Albert L. Lewis. Rev. Derrick Green, senior advisor for Diversity, Faith, and Urban & Regional Growth for the State of New Jersey, presented a proclamation from Governor Phil Murphy to Dr. Lewis. A letter of congratulations from Dionne Warwick was read to the 500 attendees. Union Baptist Temple Mass Choir, the Gospel Music Preservation Alliance (Philadelphia, PA), Rev. James Scott & The J.C. Choir (Philadelphia, PA), and Andrew Potts Jr. & Lem’U’El (North Jersey) gave musical performances. The special guest for the evening’s concert was world renowned singer, Melba Moore. www.thepositivecommunity.com

L–R: Dr. Albert Morgan, Melba Moore, Rev. Derrick Green, and Dr. Albert L. Lewis Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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STANDING: L-R: 1st VP Rev. Dr. Johnnie G. McCann; 2nd VP Rev. Aleatha McLeod; Rev. Dr. William Freeman; Rev. William Chambliss; Rev. Bennett Johnson, Jr.; Rev. Issac Stucks; Rev. Geraldine L. Harris; Rev. Dr. John L. Scott; and Rev. Andre Milteer SEATED: NJ President Rev. Bryant Ali and NY President Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis

Newark and NYC Clergy Leaders Endorse TPC’s Cultural Narrative at Fellowship Meeting in Harlem

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he Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Greater NY & Vicinity and The Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Newark, NJ and Vicinity came together for their semi-annual fellowship at St. John’s Baptist Church where Rev. Dr. John L. Scott is pastor. The Great African American Cultural Narrative was discussed as becoming a part of a cultural education curriculum for churches, Sunday school programs, and youth ministries throughout the region. “Our children must learn the whole story about our American freedom journey” said Dr. Charles Curtis, NY president. Pastor John L. Scott agreed, “Young people should be taught to

read, speak, and comprehend this narrative at an early age. In fact, no home, school, or church should be without this Cultural Narrative poster on their wall.” Newark President Rev. Bryant Ali then delivered a stirring, timely message of hope and encouragement by sharing his personal testimony about the trials of life and finding victory and peace through faith in God and in loving, unselfish service to his fellow man and woman. The Baptist Ministers’ Conferences meet each Monday at 1pm in Newark, NJ at Mt Olivet BC where Rev. Milton Milteer is host pastor; 2pm in Harlem at Convent Ave BC where Rev. Jesse Williams is host pastor.

TPC Publisher Adrian S. Council, Sr. presents the framed Cultural Narrative poster to host Pastor John Scott

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St. Luke BC of Harlem Celebrates the Cultural Narrative Dr. Johnnie McCann and First Lady Tselane McCann

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efitting Memorial Day weekend, the Sunday, May 28 worship services at St. Luke Baptist Church in Harlem honored the many veterans who fought and died in America’s wars. Senior Pastor Johnnie McCann indicated that he wanted to impress upon the congregation, particularly the young people, the many sacrifices made by those who came before us. The Cultural Narrative poster was employed to show why we must know our narrative and tell our own story. We cannot remind ourselves enough that, “Freedom isn’t free.” Dr. McCann has written several books and serves as first vice president of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Greater NY & Vicinity.

Rev. Dr. McCann blesses congregant Photos: Bruce Moore

Bronx County Judge Verna Saunders

TPC Publisher Adrian S. Council, Sr. presents the Cultural Narrative to St. Luke Baptist Church www.thepositivecommunity.com

Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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MWANDIKAJI MWANDIKAJI K. K. MWANAFUNZI MWANAFUNZI THE THE WAY WAY AHEAD AHEAD

Exploring Slave Castles and More in West Africa

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nn July July 2019, 2019, aa group group of of people people affiliated affiliated with with Brooklyn’s Brooklyn’s St. St.Paul PaulCommunity CommunityBaptist BaptistChurch Church(SPCBC) (SPCBC)travelled travelledto to West West Africa Africa to to enhance enhance their their knowledge knowledge of of slave slave castles castles and and other other aspects aspects of of historical historical and and contemporary contemporary Africa. Africa. They They were were led led by by their their pastor, pastor, the the Rev. Rev. David David K. K. Brawley. Brawley. Most Most blacks blacks living living today today in in North North America, America, South South AmeriAmerica, ca,and andthe theCaribbean Caribbeanare aredescendants descendantsof ofAfricans Africanstransporttransported ed involuntarily involuntarily from from Africa Africa to to the the Western Western Hemisphere. Hemisphere. Typically, Typically, these these Africans Africans were were imprisoned imprisoned in in “slave “slave castles” castles” on on the the West West African African coast, coast, then then later later transported transported to to the the Western Western Hemisphere. Hemisphere. “Slave “Slave castles” castles” were were essentially essentially warehouses warehouses with with Africans Africans packed packed tightly tightly together together to to maximize maximize space space and and slave slave trader trader profits. profits. II analyze analyze that that calling calling these these structures structures “castles” “castles” relatrelated ed to to the the buildings buildings being being fortified fortified to to keep keep other other folks folks out out and and to to keep keep the the merchandise merchandise (the (the African African slaves) slaves) inside. inside. Castles Castles in in European European history history were were fortified fortified to to keep keep out out inintruders, truders, and and were were essentially essentially forts forts that that nobility nobility lived lived in in to to protect protect themselves themselves and and their their wealth. wealth. SPCBC SPCBC annually annually commemorates commemorates “The “The Maafa” Maafa” (the (the great great suffering) suffering) during during late late August August through through early early September. September. The The commemoration commemoration typically typically includes: includes: t t AA dramatic dramatic performance performance

about about black black enslavement enslavement t t The The Maafa Maafa Museum Museum t t Lectures Lectures by by historians historians t t Additional Additional components components

The Theoverall overalltheme themeof ofthe theMaafa MaafaCommemoration Commemorationisis“The “The Way Way Out Out isis Back Back Through,” Through,” meaning meaning by by studying studying the the history history of of the the transatlantic transatlantic slave slave trade trade and and the the history history of of the the westwestern ern hemisphere hemisphere enslavement enslavement of of blacks, blacks, we we can can enhance enhance our our understanding understanding of of many many problems problems blacks blacks continue continue to to face face in in the theAmericas, Americas,and andthereby therebybe bebetter betterequipped equippedto tosolve solvethose those problems. problems. You You have have probably probably heard heard the the saying, saying, “Those “Those who who forget forget their their history history are are doomed doomed to to repeat repeat it.” it.” Moreover, Moreover, II encourage encourage Christian Christian congregations congregations to to comcommunicate municate with with each each other. other. Church Church isis not not just just aa building, building, but but an an international international spiritual spiritual community. community. www.thepositivecommunity.com

Cape Cape Coast Coast Castle, Castle, Ghana Ghana Wiki WikiCommons Commons

Historically, Historically, The The Black Black Church Church has has played played aa significant significant role role in in black black progress. progress. Over Over the the centuries, centuries, numerous numerous leadleaders ers of of movements movements for for black black progress progress have have been been Christian, Christian, such such as as (but (but by by no no means means limited limited to) to) Martin Martin Luther Luther King, King, Harriet Harriet Tubman, Tubman, Marcus Marcus Garvey, Garvey, and and far far too too many many more more to to name name in in this this space. space. Nonetheless, Nonetheless, unfortunately, unfortunately, Africa’s Africa’s overall overall population population remains remains one one of of the the economically economically poorest poorest in in the the world. world. AcAccordingly, cordingly, during during the the recent recent trip trip to to Africa, Africa, SPCBC’s SPCBC’s African African Justice Justice Ministry Ministry reportedly reportedly laid laid groundwork groundwork for for sending sending clothing clothing to to help help the the African African poor. poor. The The ministry ministry prefers prefers to to work work through through church church congregations, congregations, which,—straight which,—straight talk—enhances talk—enhances the the probability probability of of cooperation cooperation and and lessens lessens the the probability probability of of corruption. corruption. During During late late August August and and early early September, September, SPCBC’s SPCBC’s MaaMaafa fa Ministry Ministry utilizes utilizes museum museum tours, tours, lecturers, lecturers, and and dramatdramatic ic performances performances to to educate educate the the congregation congregation and and others others regarding regarding the the history history of of African African slave slave trade trade and and slavery slavery in in the the Americas Americas and and Caribbean. Caribbean. II would would not not be be surprised surprised to to see see this this year’s year’s Maafa Maafa presentations presentations include include aspects aspects of of knowledge knowledge gained gained and/or and/or enhanced enhanced from from this this summer’s summer’s trip trip to to Africa. Africa. Nor Nor would would II be be surprised surprised to to see see knowledge knowledge enhanced enhanced by by the the trip trip enhance enhance the the international international social social justice justice activiactivities ties of of the the St. St. Paul Paul Community Community Baptist Baptist Church Church and and other other congregations. congregations. Summer 2019 The Positive Community

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GOOD NEWS FROM THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY

The The Last Word

thepositivecommunity.com

BY BY R.L. R.L. WITTER WITTER

August 2019 

Vol. 20 No. 6

Publisher

Adrian A. Council, Sr.

Editor-in-Chief Jean Nash Wells

Associate Editor R. L. Witter

Sales

Angela Ridenour Adrian Council, Jr. Marc Williams Burton Waddy NGS Communications, Inc. Satori MPR

Contributing Writers Patricia Baldwin Glenda Cadogan Fern Gillespie Derrel Jazz Johnson g.r. mattox Mwandikaji K. Mwanafunzi Rev. Theresa Nance

Photographers

Vincent Bryant Risasi Dias Regina Flemming Bob Gore Raymond Hagans Bruce Moore Wali Amin Muhammad Seitu Oronde Karen Waters Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins, Jr.

Art Direction & Layout Penguin Design Group Maishman Media, LLC

Production Assistant April Davis

The Positive Community Corp. 133 Glenridge Avenue Montclair, NJ 07042 973-233-9200 Fax: 973-233-9201 Email: info@thepositivecommunity.com Website: thepositivecommunity.com All contents © The Positve Community Corporation. All Rights Reserved. This publication, in whole or in part, may not be reproduced, stored in a computerized or other retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means whatsoever without the prior written permission of The Positive Community Corporation. Any opinions expressed herein are solely the opinions of the writer(s) and not necessarily those of The Positive CommunityTM its management or staff. The Positive CommunityTM reserves the right to retain all materials and does not assume reponsibility for unsolicited materials.

74 The Positive Community Summer 2019 NA NAThe ThePositive PositiveCommunity Community Summer Summer2019 2019

FAITH FAITH WITHOUT WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD

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hat hat use use is is it, my brethren, brethren, if if someone says says he he has has faith but he hehas hasno no works? works? Can Can that that faith save him? him?IfIf aa brother brother or or sister sister is without clothing clothing and and in in need need of of daily daily food, and and one one of of you you says says to to them, them, ‘Go in peace, peace,be bewarmed warmed and and be be filled,’ filled,’ and yet yetyou youdo donot not give give them them what what is necessary essaryfor fortheir their body, body, what what use use is that? Even Even so so faith, faith, ifif itit has has no no works, is dead, dead,being beingby byitself itself .. .. .. For For just as the body body without without the the spirit spirit is is dead, so also also faith faith without without works works is is dead.”— James James2:14–17 2:14–17 It’s It’s time time for for God-fearing God-fearing people to to put put our our faith faith into into action action and be the the change change we we want want to to see see in the world. world. We We can can no no longer longer sit idly by, offering offering “thoughts “thoughts and and prayers” while while hate-filled hate-filled rhetoric rhetoric fans the flames flamesof ofthe thehatred hatred that that has has burned in in America America since since before before America was was even even America. America. Just Just as as we did during during the the Civil Civil Rights Rights movement, movement, faith-based faith-based organizations organizations and houses es of of worship worship need need to to take take the lead in inthis thisfight. fight. Since Since the the 2016 2016 election, election, we’ve been been told told we we are are the the majority, majority, the current current president’s president’s supporters supporters and followers followersare are merely merely aa small small segment of of the the American American population. population. Well, they theymay mayhave havefewer fewer people, people, but they seem seem to to have have aa greater greater resolve resolve and they they definitely definitely have have more more evil in their their hearts hearts and and more more guns guns in their hands. hands. As As they they are are emboldened emboldened by words wordsof of hate, hate, bigotry, bigotry, and and violence, we weneed needto tobe beuplifted, uplifted, inspired, inspired, and encouraged encouragedby byour our faith. faith. Our Our leadership ship should should be be engaging engaging congregations tionsin inchanging changing the the tide. tide. Houses of faith faith should should be be ground ground zero zero for the movement movement we we need need today. today. Decent people people everywhere everywhere should should make it our our business business to to stand stand against against those who who try try to to divide divide us us along along the lines

of race, religion, religion, economics, economics, citicitizenship, and and anything anything else. else. People People of of true true faith—those faith—those who who invoke God’s God’s name name in in love, love, not not hate; in peace, peace, not not war—must war—must drown out out the the voices voices of of those those who who preach hate hate under under the the guise guise of of Christianity. Christianity. We We must must call call out out the the hypocrisy of of their their support support for for aa demagogue. demagogue. We We must must take take them themto to task over the the twisting twistingof ofScripture Scriptureto to suit their their backward, backward, bigoted, bigoted, shameful agenda. agenda. We have have houses houses of of worship worship in in every corner corner of of America, America, and and the the world. Let Let us us mobilize mobilize our ourbrothers brothers and sisters sisters and and make make our ourvoices voicesand and faith heard heard throughout throughout this this land. land. Anywhere Anywhere this this president president makes makes an an appearance, appearance, so so should should we. we. We We should make make America America aa place place where neither neither he he nor nor his his supportsupporters can find find shelter shelter for for their theirhatred hatred and make make itit known known that that God’s God’speopeople are a force force to to be be reckoned reckonedwith with and our love love and and faith faith are arefar farmore more powerful than than their their evil evilever everwill willbe. be. As MLK so so eloquently eloquently stated, stated, “Darkness “Darkness cannot cannot drive drive out out darkdarkness; only only light light can can do do that. that. Hate Hate cannot drive drive out out hate, hate, only onlylove lovecan can do that.” Let Let us us take take aa page page from from our Lord and and be be the the light light in in our our communities. communities. www.thepositivecommunity.com thepositivecommunity.com thepositivecommunity.com


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Profile for The Positive Community

Summer 2019  

Sections: Health 22 Education 28 Money 35 Culture 61 HCCI Special Section 40-51 Message from the President 40 (41) Let Us Break Bread Toget...

Summer 2019  

Sections: Health 22 Education 28 Money 35 Culture 61 HCCI Special Section 40-51 Message from the President 40 (41) Let Us Break Bread Toget...

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