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HANK STEWART-

CREATE

FOUNDER of The Stewart Foundation

ILLUMINOUS ILLUMINOUS WHAT’S INSIDE:

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FUTURES

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06 PUBLISHER 10 COVER STORY 16 UP & COMING 26 HEALTH & WELLNESS 32 INSPIRATION 38 TRENDSETTER SPOTLIGHT 50 LEGAL TRENDS 52 PHILANTHROPY 59 AUTHOR’S CORNER 62 BEAUTY 68 FASHION 72 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 85 TRAVEL

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CAMELA DOUGLAS 28 “KIZZY” 34

BOOKER LONG 39

CONTENT CHARISSE RENEE 58

JOEY SOMMERVILLE 74

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TONY TERRY 77


T H E

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P U B L I S H E R 6

“A Strong PIllAr” By Willie Stewart, PUBLISHER

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n this month’s featured article my stance up against a strong pillar is intentional. My message to our readers is more of a question. What support pillars do you have in place that not only enhance your ability to succeed, but serve as a solid foundation in helping you reach your goals? As with the pillar, shown supporting my back, who can you count that has yours, can help keep you on your feet and on top of your game? Today’s economic climate is filled with uncertainty and unrest. How have you prepared for your future? Have you developed a plan that will financially sustain you? Do those plans include the necessary steps to ensure self-sufficiency? Are you on the right path to land you in your desired career? Once you have tackled those questions you’ll want to ask yourself, “What support pillars do I have in place”? What you identify as your needs is critically important. They can range anywhere from securing and retaining support for meeting your educational, financial, spiritual, emotional and social needs. Your pillars may be based on transportation, childcare, or even housing needs. Based on where you are and where you want to go those needs will vary from person to person. Have you carefully crafted a plan that identifies your resources and networks to propel you towards your goals? Often it is family and close friends who are looked to for support, while they can be your greatest assets; it is recommended that you explore branching out. This is simply accomplished by broadening your circle with positive people doing positive things. A good strategic plan should always include an alternate plan. If the desired course of action doesn’t exactly fall into place as planned you have a back-up plan that keeps you on course and one that allows you to quickly regroup. There is the old adage of “Being in the Right Place at the Right Time”. Will you be ready when the opportunity strikes? Will the pillars you’ve identified serve as the much needed support you’ll require? Begin to build a solid foundation that can support your goals and withstand any obstacles that may come your way. Make sure the pillars you identify and rely on are strong and have your back! ▄

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CATCH THE VISION A LETTER FROM SENIOR WRITER

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n lieu of today's national headliners challenging the power of the media and their reporting styles, we have to be mindful that although the First Amendment gives us the authority to speak "our truths" we shouldn't abuse it in the name of "it's our right." However, I am not saying that some media platforms are innocent of the "fake news" or "negative" reporting; be it in the digital, hard copy, or television format. What I am saying, is that for those of us who believe in uplifting, educating, empowering, and enlightening...we just choose to deliver POSITIVE PUBLICATIONS. All of our magazines are set up to give a voice to those feeling they have either lost theirs or have been limited to it. Trendsetters to Trendsetters Media Group prides itself on writing articles on unsung heroes and celebrating those who have worked hard to become successful in the endeavors granted them, no matter the foundation it was built upon. We believe that although we don't live in a perfect world, we can still "spot those roses amongst the thorns." We hope, based on these factors alone, you will continue to subscribe, purchase, and support the individuals, events, organizations, or businesses that appear in our publications. Whether it's Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine, Latino Trendsetters Magazine, or FanSetters Sports Magazine, we would love to share your story, or that of someone you know. Considering our population and base, if you have a new or existing business, consider branding with our publication. Reach out to us and we will meet your needs no matter the size of your company. This issue will include highlights of what to expect from Hank Stewart's Annual White Linen Affair as the Stewart Foundation provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for entertainment and fun for both the youth and adults that will benefit the educational values of the next generation and ensure that they have a fighting chance at a productive future. And as always, we supply you with updates on social and health issues, inspirational moments, arts and entertainment, and educational pursuits. Your ongoing support of us, lets us know that we are doing something right. The Publisher, Willie Stewart, our administrative staff, and team of writers enjoy your reviews and comments, so keep them coming! I will leave you with this quote from Nelson Mandela: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." â–„ We appreciate you!

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SHERNITA WIGGINS-WYNDER Senior Staff Writer Twitter: @Carmel-Velocity Email: shernita@trendtotrendmag.com

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NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT… TO ENSURE OUR FUTURE

" “The children are 20% of our population, but they are a 100% of our future!" As quoted by Hank StewarT By: Shernita Wiggins-Wynder

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hen your legacy entails, "leading to create leaders" what more can you ask for? Hank Stewart is known for many things...he's an international Poet, Author, Humanitarian, Philanthropist, Activist, Educator (in his own right), and MORE! I mean, if this man was Jamaican, he'd have "ten jobs" (in my Jamaican voice, no pun intended). What I am simply saying, is that when you are gifted, you have to make good use of those gifts. You have to plant them in fertile ground so that they will reap a bountiful harvest. So those with multiple talents and missions in life, are only as good as their "work ethics." Hence the "job" metaphor. I have spoken with Hank over the years and each time, his story is the same and consistent with purpose and focus...the youth. His passion and love for prosperity within our future generations are unsurpassed by his drive to "be about it...and NOT just talk about it." His record speaks for itself, so this time, I wanted you to hear it for yourself. The White Linen Affair is more than just a weekend of FUN and FASHION FETTISH! It's a weekend much like my blog titled, "Purposeful Living."

T2T: How many years have you been doing the White Linen Affair? And why do you think people keep returning?

HANK: This is our 16th year doing White Linen. One of the

Brian Christian Photography

things people enjoy...is good clean fun. You don’t' have to worry about any incidents and I think people enjoy the dress code. Getting dressed up in the different accent colors each year. I believe they enjoy picking out what they will wear and most of all, I think they truly believe in the cause. We do some amazing work around the Metro area in Atlanta. It's like Tom Joyner would say, "It's a party with a purpose." So you come out and enjoy yourself and all year long, those dollars are helping the young people, to be all they can be.

T2T: What is the guiding force behind this prestigious event? Why do you think it's successful each year?

HANK: There's a couple of things. As I said earlier, I think the

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people believe in the work that we do in the community. We've done a lot for the surrounding communities. We've had over a quarter of a million dollars donated for equipment. We have partnered with the McNair High School and McNair Elementary School. We've done Career Days where we've helped over 1000 youth get

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permanent part time jobs and we've had over 200 speakers through the years. We partnered with programs through the Obama Administration for "gardening" schools and contributed to Black History Programs, Women's History Programs, and Anti-Bullying Workshops. We try to tell that story so that the people will know what we do with the funding, so the people know that their dollars are hitting the ground and making it into the community. And the other thing, is that we have an amazing Executive Producer and Director, Gwen Mason. Gwen is Co-Founder of the Stewart Foundation and she runs the White Linen Affair. She is a perfectionist. I mean...she makes sure every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed. She does it with ease. When people come to our events, I don't really think they understand the amount of work that has gone into it. We start working on the White Linen in September. After we host it in July, we lock the hotel down, we start looking at talent. We are working all year long and Gwen does all of that with the amazing team that we have. We have a lot of volunteers, board members, Stewart Foundation families, and we have over a 150 who will have their hands in things over the weekend.

T2T: What can we expect to see this year? How is it different from previous years?

HANK: (laughing) This year will be the "best" year. I say

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jailed, but after a fellow inmate called "Pops" realized his innocence after looking at his file that Adams gave him, he encouraged Jarrett to be an advocate for himself which led him towards the road of becoming acquitted. He was released at age 27. His record was expunged. He didn't have a high school diploma so he worked hard and got his diploma, went on to get his Associates degree, a Bachelor’s degree, and finally...his law degree. And now he is with the Wisconsin Innocence Project that helped him. He's going to talk to our kids about how going to a party changed his life. We also have Deidra Dukes who is an anchor and reporter and we've been fortunate enough to have a lot of Civil Rights legends to come and speak at the Youth White Linen and the only one we have not had was Ambassador Andrew Young. We have him this year, to speak to the young people and their parents. We go into the evening with the Red Carpet hosted by actor Carl Payne and some other red carpet guests. We have a fashion show with Lisa Nicole and Dwight Eubanks. On Sunday, we will have Judge Penny Brown-Reynolds with inspiration and

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that every year, and we work hard to top the year before. But this year is truly the BEST YEAR ever! We have a golf tournament on Friday and it's hosted by Rashan Ali who is a national journalist who you might see on FOX or NFL. We also have Sam Crenshaw who is also a national journalist and those are the host for our golf tournaments and that's gonna be amazing. Once the tournament is over, we will go back to the hotel and the first 100 people that bought tickets, we will have a private VIP reception. They get to listen to Grammy and R & B artist Tony Terry who has a new CD coming out. The 100 people there will get that CD. That's a great way to kick it off. Then we have a movie screening of "Skinned" in celebration of the late Tommy Ford, a good friend of the foundation and a great friend and brother of mine. This is a film we started three years ago and we want to honor him with this premier. That Friday night, we will have a concert for the ladies hosted by actor Brad James and some amazing artists, "Diamond in the Rough Band," Hadiya, and Sandy Redd out of Chicago, and our headliner is Angie Stone and then we will have an old school party with DJ Lonnie Luv...and that's just Friday. Saturday morning we will have a White Linen Workout. A Youth White Linen, which this is what it's all about and we give out two awards every year to two individuals who have been instrumental in fighting and advocating; on behalf of children--and put up a courageous fight. We have about 150 kids who will be at the Youth White Linen and we will have door prizes and gift cards. I know they will have an awesome time. This year their speaker is Attorney Jarrett Adams, he is a young man who was incarcerated at 17 years old for going to a party in Chicago and was accused of rape. He spent 10 years falsely accused and


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T2T: Who will you be honoring this year? HANK: We will be honoring Roland S. Martin and Judge Glenda Hatchett for their contributions.

T2T: What is your anticipation on the outcome of the White Linen Affair this time that maybe you hadn't considered before?

HANK: My anticipation of the outcome, is that we are allowed to continue to touch the community. Touch the youth and organizations like Women of Gilgal. So, I am anticipating that we will sell out. You have to understand, we are losing our children. We have students not graduating, dropping out of school and not going to college. Our goal is to help them not only finish school, but to motivate them to go to college. The more dollars we raise, the more youth we can help and touch. That's my anticipation, that's my hope, and I am hoping we walk out of there with, more support for our youth. That way we can do more and spread our love, our support in the Metro Atlanta area. We have students who have gone off to college and graduated and are doing well. The foundation, is in our 11th year, and we've touched well over 15,000 students. Families have been touched, seniors have been touched, and we want to continue to do our part.

T2T: What else does the Hank Stewart Foundation have coming up the remainder of the year?

HANK: Go to www.thestewartfoundation.com and see what we are doing. Gwen, the foundation, and the board have done an extraordinary job. We have things every four months because we cycle out new kids all the time. What you have is...in our first quarter, that's August-October, we work with our children with "finance and health" the entire time. January we work with our Senior citizens, February-April is our educational programs that include Black History Programs, our Career Day, and more. MayJuly we have an anti-bullying campaign, we teach them how to brand themselves, create resumes', and things of that nature. What we have done...is a very good job of capturing the mind, body, and soul of a child. Our year is pretty predictable, but we bring in different people that are in those jobs in each quarter. We are not

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figuring out what we will be doing next month, we KNOW what we are doing. We don't have to figure out who will be our speaker, we KNOW who our speakers will be because we stick to our focus. That way, when a child exits out from the program they have been educated on health, wellness, motivated, spiritually so, and they have a heart for the people in the community. We believe that's the formula needed to help our children to function productively in society and their purpose in life. I tell people all the time, if that weekend is not feasible for you, buy a ticket and bless somebody with that ticket. Your dollars will still make a difference and you will allow someone to enjoy a great weekend on you. If you go to the Stewart Foundation page, you have professional educators who are constantly putting stuff out there for parents to help them prepare for sending their children to school, from elementary to high school, high school to college. FREE OF CHARGE...so parents can be better parents and grandparents can be better grandparents, godparents, and even extended families. We have to invest in our children because they are our greatest assets. There is a quote that says, "The children are 20% of our population, but they are a 100% of our future!" If you don't invest in that 20%, don't get mad in what they become. We're here to help our children, we feed them healthy meals, we don't turn them away and we try to find locations where the parking is free. This weekend offers a hotel with a $92 room rate and FREE PARKING! So you don't have to pay to park for three days. We want people to enjoy themselves and not worry about that and at the end of the day we are touching our children and making a difference. If you go to our website you can see where your dollars are going. I want to thank the Publisher of Trendsetters to Trendsetters Media Group, Willie and you as a writer for taking your time to tell our story so it can get out there. We are indebted to those people who step in and help us to get the word out there and tell our story in a way that people will see it. We appreciate how the magazine has been there and opened up its pages for us over the past seven years. We could not do what we do without great support and sponsorship of all the people involved, and we THANK YOU! After talking with Hank, I realized that...we awaken every day with a list and agenda for God to do for us (as if He hadn't already done enough). However, when do we get up with an agenda that caters to WHAT CAN WE DO...for our fellowman? Do we ask God to help us to sharpen our "gifts for good?" Increase our "wisdom for work?" Or my new favorite..."connect our purposes ON purpose?" If there were more Hanks and Gwen combinations...like the Barack and Michelle of our day, then our children will SHIFT the plane and this world will rotate into a new dimension of perfection instead of peril. If you haven't gotten a ticket...GET ONE! And if you purchased one...YOU just made a difference in the life of a child who will be grateful you did. SEE YOU THERE!â–„

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Jazz Brunch hosted by Joey Sommerville, performances by Marion Meadows and surprise guest Cicely Mason. And all of this is $100, the whole weekend and that includes lunch on Sunday. You can't beat it! The difference from previous years, is that...we've maintained the purpose and the one thing we've stepped up is the entertainment. We now have Grammy Award winning artists like Angie Stone, Toni Terry, Norman Brown, and Marion Meadows. These concerts would probably cost you $200 just by themselves and so we were able to bring the people all of this and we have church included. The talent was different. We also have great supporters and sponsors with Delta Airlines, Waste Management, Hartfield-Jackson, and Little Rock CafĂŠ, the real estate companies, individuals, and a list of sponsors that helped us to get ticket sales up to support our children. The talent and the honorees helped us to take it to another level.


"Leaders Beget Leaders, So Start Building" IN ONE MOMENT AN IDEA CAN AFFECT AN ENTIRE GENERATION. GWENDOLYN MASON UNDERSTANDS HER PASSION, AND WHAT'S MORE, SHE KNOWS HER PURPOSE. By Shernita Wiggins-Wynder

I

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magine a day where the youth...and icons who helped to mold and cultivate history, created inventions, and found cures that strengthened society, and leaders who stood up for equality and the betterment of all mankind, business and community leaders who fought for the right to infiltrate the economy with services that would stimulate money into much needed areas, and educators whose curriculum and impartation yielded higher intrinsic rewards that outweighed their paychecks...walked together in unity of mind and spirit. Imagine a transference of this wisdom into the youth as the mantel was passed from Elijah to Elisha. Well, Hank Stewart and Gwendolyn Mason may not have parted the waters of Jordan with their coats, but they have manifested miracles in the form of covering the younger generations and connecting them to the seasoned soldiers, to create leaders of outstanding proportion. And not just any leaders, young men and women who have gone through their program to move forward in purpose and diligently paying it forward. How did they do this? With a little advice from Evelyn T. Keener and an empowering conversation on a brisk sunny day. Keener suggested that Hank start a foundation, according to Gwendolyn. The two of them (Hank and Gwen) had helped her with the "Walk Against the Call Breast Cancer Walk." The first walk was executed at the Georgia Dome and they donated the funds to the Sisters by Choice charity. The next year, the Sisters by Choice, Inc. wanted to participate with the planning and within two years, they raised over $100,000. Sisters by Choice is now doing the walk and it has been renamed, "The Pink Ribbon Walk." The Hank Stewart Foundation was birth from a conversation that sparked a concept. The greatest plans are mapped out this way. Hank and I were on the phone one sunny afternoon discussing the state of affairs of our country and our people. Being raised in Atlanta (Black Mecca) it was common to see incredible leaders all around me. It was disheartening to think we were losing leaders who are the backbone of this nation.

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We began to share people in our lives that have been phenomenal leaders, Hank mentioned his grandfather and I mentioned the civil rights legends I saw often in Atlanta. We both said our youth need us! So we, decided not to talk about building great leaders...but to Be About Building Great Leaders, hence birth the Stewart Foundation.--Gwen Gwen's first reaction to this new idea of "leaders creating leaders" was Let's do this! She explained that they set out to achieve the first steps by reaching out to experts who were great in what they did. So they reached out to Attorneys Lee Breelove and Monica Teasley to handle the establishment of the 501c3 paperwork while she and Hank worked on the program development. And how does the White Linen Affair come into play with this vision? Well, I am reminded about the Greek parable I read once, "Hedgehog and the Fox." The moral of the story was that although the fox seemed to be good in multiple areas, he still could not catch the hedgehog who was good at one thing...defending itself. Philosopher Isaiah Berlin took this concept to the next level in his essay, "The Hedgehog and the Fox" in 1953 by dividing people into two groups. The ones who personified the fox were able to do a lot of things, but because they were all over the place, "scattered and unfocused" as he stated, trying to accomplish those things, they were rarely successful at doing any of them, to the heights of excellence. On the other hand, the people who were considered as "hedgehogs" although they were slow and often overlooked because of this idea, they were at least "constant" which meant, whatever they set their minds to, they were able to achieve to perfection, because they pondered over every aspect of superseding the competition or how to overcome obstacles. So when Jim Collins wrote his book, "Good to Great" in 2001, he established the "Hedgehog Concept" for businesses and those desiring to be a success in what they set out to bring to fruition. This was done by first finding out what you are passionate about...then determining how you can do it better than anyone,

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and finally developing the finances that would propel your idea or business into greatness. Now, that is how I see the White Linen Affair coming into play with the Stewart Foundation (TSF). Here, in the coming together of these two exquisite brains, they understood that mentality and knew they were passionate about the next generation who would one day become our nation's and world's leaders, and they knew the only way to create brilliant and inquisitive young minds was to secure "resources" that could open the door to achieve this. I'm not saying they had the Greek parable, Berlin, or Collins in mind when they accomplished this, but they surely fell into the "hedgehog" category when they set out to achieve a feat that most overlook, "securing and developing our future." Because of their efforts, hundreds of children's lives have been impacted. So how can you and I join in to help in this endeavor? Dr. King once shared that everyone can be great because everyone can serve! Service comes in many forms, some can give of their time, some can give of their resources and some can give financially. Shernita, everyone should be great, TSF foundation offers ALL that opportunity! This opportunity of supporting the TSF and the events provides resources and exposure to our upcoming leaders that they may not have obtained if this organization did not exist. By purchasing a ticket or donating to the TSF, you help in the short term goal of raising the necessary capital to support the next fiscal year's programmatic plans and as you continue each year to spread the word, you open the doors for them to reach a bigger goal of eventually obtaining a building that will be used to nurture the young entrepreneur minds so that they can...understand, grasp,

develop, market, and launch their very own businesses. Provide them the proper education and office space needed to execute their dream and eventually obtain store front property to retail those products and services.--Gwen In Gwen's own words when I asked her to describe Gwendolyn Mason...she simply said, she is a God fearing woman who loves Christ! She is the mother of three thriving adults who she adores dearly. She is a natural optimist always seeing the best in everyone, of which she’s been told could be dangerous. But that doesn’t matter to her because she knows that regardless of the circumstance or situations around her, God is always protecting her. She loves deeply and intensely, she encourages any and everyone who comes in contact with her. She recognizes that everyone is wearing an invisible button that says, “Make me feel special”. So she does just that by providing compliments, affirmations, encouragement, and a smile to everyone she comes in contact with. She thrives to make differences in the lives of our youth by leaps and bounds. As you can tell, she has been her own inspiration by the life she lives. In doing so, the "faces and hearts of the youth TSF serves in order to give them a fair chance is the driving force behind her passion for this foundation's endeavors. If you want to be a part of this process, you can do so by visiting www.thestewartfoundation.net and click on the donate button or purchase a ticket to the White Linen Affair or any of the TSF supported events. ▄

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2016 White Linen Affair Ribbon Cutting Ceremony


A REFLECTION OF PURPOSE THE STEWART FOUNDATION GRADUATE 2012 Written By Shernita Wiggins-Wynder

CHARLES WRIGHT, 23 CHIEF OF STAFF NON-PROFIT WRITER’S BLOCK HOUSTON, TX

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"D

on't complain about the losses of our youth, especially our Black males, if you aren't providing a way to gain their trust with alternatives and consistency."--Carmel-Velocity If you just look at the headlines across this nation, you will find too many parents grieving the loss of an African American male lost to the streets, gun violence, drugs, gangs, or police brutality. It is encouraging to know that we can save at least one of them when we take the initiative to steer them in a positive direction with love, understanding, and hands-on guidance, given there is such an out cry on our loses. Just like the reflections you see in the water of what surrounds it...what we impart into others yields a mirrored image of what that encompasses. You will find a success story like this in an interview with Stewart Foundation (SF) graduate, Charles Wright. Read and learn.

T2T: Give us a glimpse into what your childhood was like before The Stewart Foundation (TSF)?

Charles Wright: Before I was involved with The Stewart Foundation I was definitely headed in the wrong direction. I had a lot of bad influences and circumstances in my life at that point in time.

T2T: How were you introduced to the organization? Charles Wright: My parents were friends with Hank even before I was born. As Families we all went to church together during the time that he was first building up the foundation. (So the foundation of the foundation, ha!)

T2T: What was your first impression after entering the program?

Charles Wright: It was an exciting fresh new realm of experiences that I literally could have never dreamed of at the time. Hank, Gwen, and all the adults serving, showered every individual in their care with love and inspiration.

T2T: How did TSF impact your life? Share a defining moment you had with both Mr. Hank and Ms. Gwen that will remain with you for life.

most about Ms. Gwen was not in a moment but how consistently loving and inspiring she was towards me. Every time I saw her she greeted me with a contagious smile and so much encouragement that it carries me even today. Both she and Mr. Hank are huge reasons why I am, who I am today, and although I have suffered many trials and tribulations I am very proud of the outcome.

T2T: What did you pursue after high school? How did TSF help you to achieve this?

Charles Wright: After high school I moved to a new state and started college. I am still finishing my degree, but I am the Chief of Staff of a nonprofit organization and performing arts company called Writer's Block. What I do now is a reflection of what I did in the Stewart Foundation. I help young people grow and become empowered through their gifts, while serving the underprivileged and underrepresented. I like to believe that I'm following in their footsteps and carrying the torch.

T2T: Why do people need to support the White Linen Affair and other TSF events?

Charles Wright: I am so blessed to be able to encourage people the way I have been encouraged. I do what I do because I can relate to every young black male who has been robbed of their identity by this cruel world we live in. I was once in their shoes feeling like the world was against me and that there was no hope for my future. I am so grateful to my parents for making sure that I was involved with the Stewart Foundation. I encourage parents to get their children involved! I advocate for the Stewart Foundation so much because it has had a REAL, HUGE, and LASTING impact on my life. I truly believe it changed the direction I was headed towards. For any parent who finds it hard to get through to their children, I've come to realize; that sometimes you just need to place them in the care of others, of whom you can trust. The Stewart Foundation has built a legacy. I encourage people to go to the White Linen Affair and other events because they are fun and beneficial to everyone in attendance. Everything that Hank puts together is to serve. Whether it be to serve through entertainment, education, social justice, or active service...Mr. Hank's purpose is to always give back. In my opinion, we don't support enough people like him and Ms. Gwen, and you can see the results of it within our society. â–„

Charles Wright: Concerning Mr. Hank, I was about 17 or

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18 years old and he asked me to perform one of my pieces of poetry at his Hot Chocolate Affair that year. This was an evening for adults to enjoy themselves and I was given the opportunity to perform in front of them, and it was a lot of them. This event changed the course of my life for sure. What I remember


911: CALLING ALL VILLAGERS THE STEWART FOUNDATION GRADUATE 2011 Written By Shernita Wiggins-Wynder

COURTNEE FUTCH, 22 BRAND PARTNERSHIP ASSOCIATE NEW YORK CITY, NY

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uccess stories are like glistening pearls scattered across the bed of the ocean...few and far between, but priceless when one is in possession of it."--Carmel-Velocity Just in case you were wondering what type of impact The Stewart Foundation (TSF) is having on the community, here are a couple of testimonials that will inspire you to support or continue to support the future generations that are thirsting for the right type of knowledge that will give them a fighting chance. In an interview with two of SF's graduates, this is what one of them, had to say.

T2T: Give us a glimpse into what your childhood was like before the TSF?

Courtnee Futch: I grew up an only child in Austell, GA with my two parents, Teresa and John Futch. I attended an all-black Atlanta private school named Imhotep Center of Education from Pre-K(3) until the 8th grade. I was the youngest in my grade, as I began school

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early and later skipped a grade in elementary. I was significantly more into the arts and books as a child than athletics. In fact, I quit every sport I ever played. Instead, I enjoyed painting, writing, theatrically delivering all speaking parts in every school performance, and baking with my mom. Despite how talkative I was (and still am), I had a quiet childhood, often unable to hang out with friends because we all lived so far apart. School was everything I knew and very little existed outside of it.

tell you what I said while I was on that stage. Was it inspiring? Encouraging? Enlightening? I don't remember. But I recall thankfulness as an overall theme, and crying as I brought up the only two other people in the world that I love nearly as much as my own parents. The thing is, there will never be just one defining moment with them. Just knowing how proud they were of me, made me want to do more to make them proud. And I think I have.

T2T: How were you introduced to the organization?

T2T: What did you pursue after high school? How did

and Jacob went to Imhotep with me and lived down the street from the school. Our parents were all close, as were we, which is to be expected in a school with less than 120 students across all grades. Needless to say, many of us from Imhotep participated in the same after-school activities. Eventually, the Masons moved further away from the school and attended a school in Marietta. I was obviously heartbroken because Milan was my best friend at school, and Ms. Mason was like a second mom to me. Our parents kept in touch and when Ms. Mason approached my parents about their getting involved in TSF, I got involved as well. I joined in the spring of 2007, right before finishing the 8th grade.

T2T: What was your first impression after entering the program?

Courtnee Futch: I joined the program when there were only 10 other students at the meetings. There may have been, at any given point in time, twice as many adults as children. It went on this way for the first six or so months. I remember thinking that I might never have my own thing, between my parents’ involvement with the school and with the program. My fear was that there might not be an opportunity to develop without constant oversight, which is common with early teens. Over the next few months, the program became a place for youth to express themselves without the need for parental approval, rather the desire to make our mentors proud.

T2T: How did TSF impact your life? Share a defining moment you had with both Mr. Hank and Ms. Gwen that will remain with you for life.

Courtnee Futch: I was always an outspoken child, but I wasn't putting that energy anywhere. TSF gave me the confidence to speak my mind on topics I was passionate about. Because I was 2 years younger than all of my peers in school, I'd never thought of myself as a leader until I joined. Despite that, I ran for President of TSF in 2009, half on a bet and half on a whim. At first, it was about me but it became more about me wanting to represent this foundation that I loved so much. Years later, after my 2-year term as President ended, I was asked back to the Annual White Linen to introduce Hank and Gwen in front of an audience of more than 500. To this day, I could not

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Courtnee Futch: I went on to Syracuse University after high school, and graduated at 20 years old with a Bachelors in Communication and minor in Information Technology, Design and Startups. I immediately went on to obtain my Masters in Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises at Syracuse with a full scholarship and a fellowship. I walked across the stage at 21, the youngest graduate of a business school program at Syracuse and the first black woman from the Entrepreneurship Master's program. I now live and work in New York City where I manage Brand Partnerships for a global meal-kit delivery service, HelloFresh. I'll be starting culinary school in January, deep diving into my love of French and Southern American cooking. I wasn't keeping in contact as often during college but whenever I came home, TSF welcomed me back to events with open arms and a proud introduction. It's an amazing feeling to know you've got a cheering section waiting for you, whatever you decide to do.

T2T: Why do people need to support the White Linen Affair and other SF events?

Courtnee Futch: The program has changed so much in the last 10 years. Opportunities and funding that weren't available to us as readily during the first several years are abundant now. I sat last year and watched several students receive book scholarships, printers, and supplies for college. It brought me to tears. It's been incredible to watch how far The Stewart Foundation has come. Hank Stewart and Gwen Mason are easily the most dedicated, genuine and loving people that I know. Aside from my own parents, they helped shape so much of who I am now and they gave me the confidence and the platform to represent young black leaders of tomorrow. The old adage "It takes a village to raise a child,"never stops being true. It rings even more true with our black youth, who face challenges like police brutality, cyber bullying, colorism, social media fueled self-esteem, and a less-than-encouraging school system. I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to be the mentee of the best leaders in my community. All children deserve that chance. â–„

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Courtnee Futch: Gwen Mason's children, Milan, Jordan,

TSF help you to achieve this?


MICHAELSTAR:

Pop Star on the Rise!! By: TaMia O’Kelly

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ith a name, so eclectic as MichaelStar, it is only fair to believe that this creative young man is the golden star that the world has been waiting for. Singing since he was 2, belting out his rendition of “My Sunshine Has Come” by Angie Stone with a microphone in his hand, MichaelStar has always had a special spark of talent in his blood. At the age of 3, MichaelStar's mother left New York to move to Atlanta as a life changing experience for MichaelStar to express more of his love for music and entertainment. This relocation, opened doors for MichaelStar to discover his musical and acting abilities. This multi-talented artist has been performing on stages since he was 8 years old and considered a career in entertainment at age 12. He has auditioned and landed the lead roles in over fifty plays and musicals throughout Georgia. MichaelStar briefly took vocal and piano lessons at the Gwinnett School of Music. Along with his theater achievements, MichaelStar has performed for many charity events, such as Hosea Feed The Hungry and the Breast Cancer Awareness Program just to name a few. He has been featured on Comcast Television and WAEN TV. Currently, MichaelStar is signed with a talent agency called Real People Models and Talent Agency where he is frequently called out to casting calls for movies and commercial roles. Michael’s father is also a well-known recording Reggae artist who MichaelStar gets most of his inspiration from. He also admires the likes of Usher, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations. MichaelStar is not only a musician, but also an actor, anti-bullying advocate, and an entrepreneur! He was recognized and awarded for his support and performances at various charity events landing him a winner in the 2014 Hot New Artist Award at the Clean Music Movement Awards in Atlanta. MichaelStar sets the bar high when he continues to master not only his musical abilities but his ability to remain humble and give back to those who need it the most. Both of MichaelStar’s parents are from Jamaica, and even the request from his father for a reggae record has given him the inspiration for his new single “Jamaica” (a remixed version of Fats Domino’s Kansas City). Just recently MichaelStar traveled to Jamaica to not only promote his new single but to also shoot the music video for the record, which was a very indescribable moment for MichaelStar. He has been chosen to be the Artist of the Month for the month of July for a New Jack Radio in New York City and he will be returning to Jamaica to perform at the Kidz Hub Gala Awards. ▄

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For all inquiries contact his Publicist the O’Kelly Factor at 678-431-6462.

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Hadiya George “Delivering a new world sound through rhythm and truth”

By Kim J Hodge

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adiya George is an aspiring young musician borrowing sounds from Jazz, Blues, R&B, Rap, Hip Hop, and Dance foundations to form a new world music. Hadiya delivers a positive message by way of a gorgeous voice and rhythm that is truthful and empowering. She started singing in the choir from first grade and playing the viola in fifth grade, she’s now added guitar and piano to the list of instruments she plays. Hadiya’s music explores the, “sweetness of sound,” through mind, body, spirit, soul, reality, and love. Her music has been heavily influenced by Caribbean, Jazz, Blues, and R&B rhythms, and those around her while growing up in New Jersey, to her new life in Atlanta. Hadiya has performed with Ken Ford at “Music in the Park”, opened up for Marion Meadows at “Hank Stewart’s Hot Chocolate Affair” and most recently Toots of Toots and the Maytals at the “Bob Marley Birthday Bash” in Negril Jamaica. She is a former member of the Hank Stewart Youth Foundation and has performed at the Hank Stewart White Linen Affair, Youth White Linen and White Linen Sunday Brunch. Hadiya George became a member of The Stewart Foundation at the age of 9 and they have helped her to grow and follow her dreams as an entertainer. Now at the age of 21 her dreams are becoming a reality as she will be opening up for Angie Stone on July 28th at the Hank Stewart White Linen Affair. “The Stewart Foundation stone is placed squarely beneath our children’s hopes and dreams elevating them into achievable realities.” Check her out at www.hadiyageorge.com and look out for Hadiya’s new EP “BayView” coming soon. ▄


Teen Sisters Write Book Urging Young Girls of Color to Celebrate Their Hair They were encouraged by their father to turn their hair passion into a business opportunity By Chanel Martin

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ike most teens, sisters Zakia (15) and Alanna (14) Tookes, wanted part-time jobs to earn extra cash while on summer break. Their father, a real estate investor, entrepreneur, and published author, challenged them to find a more enriching work opportunity outside of working at their neighborhood fast food restaurant. Tookes wanted them to learn how to turn their pain points and passion for hair into an experience that could make them money and also teach them basic entrepreneurial and professional skills. Zakia and Alanna accepted the challenge and co-authored their first book, Do I Like What I See? a book that helps women and young girls of color embrace their natural hair by following the hair journeys of more than 30 women/young women of color. Their inspiration for the book stems from their love of hair, their own personal challenges with their hair, and from their desire to help other women and young ladies who struggle with caring for, loving, and accepting their

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natural crowns. “Our book will help women connect with their hair. There aren’t any hair journey books like ours; it holds history, facts, quotes, our opinions, and solutions,” boasts Zakia. Although writing a book is not an easy task, in less than two months the teen sisters managed to interview over 30 women and young girls, including civil rights leader and broadcasting executive Xernona Clayton. During Clayton’s interview, the sisters asked her what her most memorable hair experience was. Clayton responded, “When a boyfriend said that he would prefer that I had short hair. Short hair was very popular at the time. He wanted me to look like most women. Of course, he didn’t last long. I’m not going to have a man tell me what to do.” Zakia and Alanna are spending the rest of the summer promoting Do I Like What I See? “I feel like people will want to buy our book because we are young teens who had a goal and accomplished it,” explains Alanna. “Although there are other books about hair, our book includes multiple experiences and perspectives and is very relatable,” says Zakia. They hosted a launch party and premier on July 9th to celebrate the journey African American women and young girls take with their hair and to promote the book. Zakia and Alanna are using Do I Like What I See? to create a movement for mothers, daughters, sisters, and aunts to change their mindset, their hair story, and then their answer to ‘Yes, I like what I see!” To learn more about these teen entrepreneurs follow them on social media @doilikewhatisee. ▄

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DON’T LET AGE…AGE YOU!! By Beverly Hill (Shelley) Commentary Vol. 2

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ho wants to get old? Well, it’s inevitable…it’s happening daily. Yep, legs and butt have lumps and bumps, boobs don’t stand high anymore, hair is gray, but I love and appreciate the ME that I have become!! I could go on and on about this part of not allowing age to age you, but it goes much deeper than the physical, so let’s go deeper. I believe we can defy aging. In my opinion, it’s not by the façade of makeup, dying hair darker or plastic surgery, but it’s in how we nurture our bodies mentally, physically and spiritually. We must honor and care for them because God gave them to us to house our spirit/soul. To keep an old car in top shape, you have to take it in for tune-ups and routine maintenance. It’s the same with our aging vessels. There are health measures that can be taken to help facilitate in our longevity. Eating healthy, organic, non-GMO foods is very important as is getting plenty of rest. To keep the body mobile, we must keep it in motion by walking, exercising or by participating in ‘whatever’ activity that allows range of motion and flexibility. Because of my stretching I can stand with my feet

together and touch my palms to the floor with ease. Water is also very essential. It keeps our skin hydrated. Think about a plum that is supple and juicy. If you take away water, you have a crinkled up prune!! To care for the skin externally, if at all possible, I attempt to avoid putting anything on my skin that I cannot eat. I use lots of coconut oil from head to toe. It’s also important to maintain good dental health. Lol…I love the fact that I have all of my own teeth, something we take for granted. If allowed, life situations can take a huge toll on our health and longevity. I'm sixty-seven years young. I’ve been in physically/mentally abusive relationships. I've been raped, lost a baby, and I was told that I had multiple sclerosis and diabetes. I lost my 5,000 square foot home, five new large rental homes and my SUV. My husband of twenty years left in 2009…shall I go on?? I finally came to a point where I looked back at each trial and found the lessons. Amazingly, I was shown by God that all the stuff that brought me down actually took me higher. No one can take my power unless I give it! Any one of those situations could have taken me out or made me feel old and sorry for myself. I am a Goddess/Queen/Warrior! I will not

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create a better life. We can think ourselves up, or we can think ourselves down. I choose to think myself UP!! I have dominion and control over me. I take charge and won’t allow other people’s thoughts and messed up lives to mess up mine. The insecurities of someone else can keep you bound! If you can’t move about freely because of them, then you are in bondage too. I found my voice! All of this has helped me to speak loud and clear, and it has also taught me to speak with balance and diplomacy so that those that hear and read my words will be able to receive. I can play by the rules, or I can make my own. I’m a balanced non-conformist. God made me free to know who I am in Creation. There is no work, employment or task that is greater, more difficult or more rewarding than working on self! I don’t give up just because I don’t see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Beyond a shadow of doubt, no matter the trial, the sun always shines every day, everywhere, all the time. Willie Stewart, publisher of Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine was one of the biggest motivating factors in giving me my boost. At the age of sixty, I asked to put an article in his magazine, and he said yes. I had only finished high school and did not go to college or have any formal training. Yet, over the years I was exercising my God given talent as a lyricist. His belief in me allowed me to expand my talent in a different area of writing…journalism. Because of Stewart, now seven years later, many doors have opened to me and allowed me to cultivate my writing skills and to brand myself. I have become a highly confident woman. I love myself, and I know what I want! I exhibit strength, yet I am gentle! At sixty-seven years young, I am a lyricist, producer, writer, celebrity journalist, motivational writer, self-healer, and humanitarian. Concentrate on finding, loving, forgiving and nurturing self, and then watch and feel the age reversal. Don’t allow age, disease, sickness, or haters to keep you from starting or continuing your dreams. You are stronger than you think. You’re never too old to start, so don’t let age…age you!! ▄

Rodney Adams Photography

permit or give license to anyone or any situation to cause me weakness ever again! Instead of being a ‘willing’ victim, I chose to live! Do you want to live longer, look younger, be healthier and so much more? Then be true to yourself. Be true to who you are. Get rid of the old baggage so you can receive brand new luggage. Be okay with going deep inside to have a talk with yourself and really get to know the real you. In that truth, there are no questions, no right and no wrong. It’s your story to tell, so tell it. No one can dispute your journey. There was a time in my life where I was taking three steps forward and then two steps back. Eventually it became time for me to stop entertaining the past and start thinking forward. No more looking back, and no more allowing ‘stuff’ to cause stagnation in my life due to constantly looking in a direction that had me going nowhere. I was allowing myself to be held hostage. The fact that I had not learned what it meant to love and forgive myself caused me to attract numerous, numerous bad relationships. As I explored my life and worked on healing myself, enormous changes began to occur. I began feeling and looking younger and health challenges reversed! Learning how to work inwardly and continually doing work on myself keeps me feeling vibrant; therefore younger people gravitate to me! Positive self-talk is of utmost importance. Very often I talk to all of my cells, arteries, organs, veins, my brain, everything in my whole body, and even my skin!! I tell everything that it’s perfect! My DNA is perfect. There is NO sickness or disease. I speak life and perfection to my whole being. Whether you believe it or not, even listening to and being around complaining affects how we heal. Personally I don’t want to hear people whose only conversation is about medicines, ailments, doctor appointments and every pain in their body. This type of dialogue causes me to focus on the multiple sclerosis diagnosis I was presented with years ago!! Because I do not allow myself to be immersed in these conversations, I was able to put down my walking cane and daily injections for multiple sclerosis and take no medication for type 2 diabetes for almost eight years! We must learn to speak positive things into our lives. There is power in what we say, so make sure what you say is good! The things we allow to come into our spirit space have a tremendous influence on our total well-being. It also includes how we physically look and how we feel. It is the inner work that really turns back the hands of time! People, places, things, the words we listen to, and the words we speak impact our lives either positively or negatively. Don’t allow negative energy to penetrate the core of you. Your own negative thoughts can hinder you and your potential to fulfill your dreams. God gave us the ability to create good thoughts and to


Hair Under Attack By Dr. Linda Amerson

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e kind to your hair! Your neglect and abuse can cause you to be your hair's worst enemy. Although IMAGE is socially important, there are consequences which may result from hair abuse! Professionals and consumers must first obtain the right tools for the variety of hair textures. Below includes a list of commonly used grooming tools and the correct way to use them. In addition, if you think you have alopecia, damaged hair, hair shedding, hair breakage, dry hair, or all other problems associated with hair or scalp disorders, seek the expertise of a doctor of Trichology. Heat damage from styling/grooming tools may include: Blow Dryers-when using a blow dryer, be careful not to over dry the hair particularly on a high heat setting. You could contribute to a hair shaft defect known as bubble hair, which further damages the hair shaft. Choose a dryer that has balanced weight in your hand. It should also fit comfortably and not be too heavy, and have a long enough power cord for easier mobility. It should have heat settings of low, medium, high, and cool air, and wattage between 1200-2000 is sufficient. Curling Irons-are a popular tool. However, these hot little devils have metal cylinders which require careful usage on all hair textures. Always test the heat temperature on a white towel or paper towel to avoid scorching and damaging the hair. A variety of sizes are available according to hair length, and the desired curl size. Professional curling irons should have more than one heat setting, and fit easily in your hand. Make sure your hair is thoroughly dry prior to using a curling iron. Licensed Professionals, please educate your clients about how to properly maintain their hair style at home. This helps to avoid any further damage to the hair shaft. Flat Irons - These irons are very popular and vary in price. Some consumers choose the detachable style, which includes detachable plates

for straightening, crimping, and waving the hair. Avoid over usage of this tool as you may contribute to hair shaft defects such as trichorrhexis nodosa, ridges and grooves on the hair shaft, trichoptilosis, and tapered hair. Mini Flat Irons-These irons work well for short hair styles. Straightening Tongs-are smaller and more compact than the regular flat iron. They are most effective on short hair and bangs. Again, avoid over usage of this tool, as this may contribute to further hair damage. Thermal Straightening Irons- also called pressing combs or hot combs. Thermal straightening irons are used popularly on ethnic hair textures. Use extra caution when heating your thermal iron. Over heating this thermal iron may contribute to hair breakage, central centrifugal scarring alopecia (ccca), scorching of all hair textures, ridges and grooves in the hair, and brittle hair. Hair does have a tolerance to heat used on it. These irons are available in both marcel or electric. The Nouri Edge Stick- is another alternative to straightening the hair. It has a guard on the sides to help avoid scalp burns. The Nouri Edge Stick is good for children and adults. It is important to keep the plates and barrels of any heat implement clean. Styling products may build up quickly and make these tools extremely hard to use, not to mention unsanitary. One suggestion is to use oven cleaner to spray and remove the buildup weekly, or when buildup is visible. There are other professional items available to also assist with buildup removal. And remember - always turn off or unplug your heat appliance after usage. â–„

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All questions and inquiries should be forwarded to Dr. Linda Amerson at (817)-265-8854 - LA’s Hair & Scalp Clinic, Arlington, TX. Tune in every Wednesday @ 11am-12noon CST to Ask the Hair & Scalp Doctor Radio Show on www.DfwiRadio.com dramerson@hairandscalpessenttials.com, www.hairandscalpessentials.com

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Multi-Million Dollar Body By Camela Douglass, M.S. ED., C.P.T

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penny for your thoughts, and a $1 for your body. At least that’s what it used to be. The human body used to be worth 97 cents. Surprisingly, now you can rake in a whopping $46 million for every usable part of your body—but, you would have to be dead. An ounce of hair is worth as little as $5, a heart goes for $57,000, and a pair of lungs could cost you $116,000. Even more valuable than the aforementioned is bone marrow, which is worth $23,000 per gram, totaling $23 million for 1,000 grams! With this newfound information, you would think that people would take better care of themselves so that their family can receive a big payoff when they die. Unfortunately, most people take better care of their cars than they do their own bodies. They get scheduled oil changes, regular wash and detail, and some car lovers even give their cars a pet name. Many people find great pleasure and importance in taking care of a $30,000 car versus taking care of a $45 million dollar body. The car is even left in the will, for someone to inherit, even after their loved one is dead and gone. The formula is simple. How you see your body is how you’ll treat your body. Therefore, when you don’t exercise or eat healthy, you are demonstrating how much you believe your body is actually worth—nothing. If you see yourself as an heir to the family’s curse of diabetes and high blood pressure, then you will become an heir in sickness and disease. Heir or no heir, after you take a look at the numbers, it will never be about you being worth $45 million! Clearly, if that was the case, you would still have to die healthy, leaving the money (profit) from the sale of your body parts to your beneficiary. With this being said, it would still go back to self-worth. After taking care of your body like the temple that it is, you won’t want to die. You will be too enthralled in living a rich, healthier, and fulfilled life. My mentor and motivator, Dr. Myles Munroe, once said, “When you don’t know the purpose for a thing, abuse is inevitable.” This is true about everything in life. Your body is your personal vehicle that is carrying your God-given purpose in it. However, if you don’t understand this purpose, abuse is inevitable. You must get back to the purpose that you are carrying in your body and take care of it. Even the celebrities understand the worth and purpose of their bodies. Many have insured their legs, voices, and eyes because they know what their body means for their business. What does your body mean for your business—to your purpose? It’s time out for treating your car better than your body. Your body is a temple—not a Ford. ▄

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Camela Douglass, M.S. ED. C.P.T. is an educator, life coach, and personal trainer. She is the owner of Mo Better Me Lifestyle Change Program in Canton, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio .

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BIG BONED FITNESS By Crystal Brown

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ig Boned Fitness® is a brand for confident plus size and curvy women. It represents many women with independent experiences when it comes to fitness, wellness, weight loss, and nutrition. Our community seeks to facilitate discussion of topics that are common with respect to health and wellness. Weight loss is only one concern that affects our members. April 22, 2017, Big Boned Fitness® held an open casting call for its first fitness fashion troupe. We opened up the call to women who were size 12 and up. The call asked for women who were plus size and dedicated to a lifestyle of fitness and wellness. It was amazing to hear how passionate these women were about their wellness journeys. Every woman had a story that we could each relate to, and each story brought on a new inspiration. The first project for the troupe is to produce a fitness DVD. Our favorite exercise equipment of choice is the cordless jump rope. The video project will feature 4-6 exercise routines ranging 5-30 minutes in length. Our routines will cater to a plus size community where effective low impact cardio would benefit beginners and participants with knee and joint pain. It will also feature a fun and challenging stretch and flexibility routine using the exercise ball. ▄ We’ve recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to generate interest and support for the project. Tiers of support range from $10 to $250. Gifts promised for support are DVDs, posters, and 2018 calendars.

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on

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BlESSED IS SHE WoMEn'S rEtrEAt “17” WOMEN EMPOWERING WOMEN IN SISTERHOOD Written by: Shernita Wiggins-Wynder

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ou know, there is a saying, "If you put two or more women in a room, you are asking for drama!" In some cases, that may be, however, during the weekend of April 28-30, 2017, over 30 women joined together to fellowship, inspire, and empower each other. I was asked to tag along at the Blessed is She Women's Retreat in Destin, Florida by a good friend Lady Elect Sybil Smiley of City of David Zion. She and three other women, Elect Ladies Travell Porterfield, Restoration Tabernacle, Reshonda Watson, Highway to Heaven and founder, Kamme Miller, Miracle Church orchestrated the event by inviting women from their ministries in Pensacola for a weekend of fellowship, empowerment, and merriment! I was there as an invitation to observe and observe, I did! On the morning of Friday, April 28 th, several of us met up early and carpooled the hour drive from Pensacola, Florida to Destin, Florida. Upon getting to the location, many of the women were already there checking in and excitedly chattering away with each other, making friends and trying to find out what they were going to do next. After we unpacked our things into our rooms, Sybil eased away to join the other committee members to prepare for our evening of sharing, good food, and fun. Those of us who traveled together joined up with some others to grab a few snacks for later that evening. As I sat back and watched in my journalistic mode, taking it all in...I finally realized something. These were not church folks getting together to preach a word, speak in tongues, or rebuke someone for their sins...these women, like myself, were women who wanted...needed...to steal away for a moment of celebration. So what were we celebrating? Simply, being women and daughters of the Most High God.

As the evening drew near for the "Golden Pearls Banquet" we whisked up to our rooms and took great care in getting dressed up for what many of us had no clue as to what we would encounter. I slid into my black and velvet Calvin Klein dress compliments of Dillard's, my three strand pearls (repping my AKA Sorority because we all know "pretty girls wear pearls"), Michael Kors silver heels compliments to my aunt Carolyn, and little black velvet clutch and headed down for the event. I joined the other amazingly beautiful women who strutted in as true daughters of the King in their jumpsuits, sparkling attire, long and short elegant dresses, and pant suits. As we entered the room we were met with hues of pink, gold, and white décor and greeted with strands of golden pearls (no they weren't real) but they may as well have been, because that is just what the ambience and atmosphere demanded...a royal banquet fit for the Queen’s, that we were. The night was a whirlwind of sharing everything that a soul could bare. It was a different kinda, "What you say here, stays here" moment. Tears streamed down faces as one woman after another opened her soul and revealed the pains that made her who she was today. NO ONE recorded, or Facebook live, NO ONE judged, NO ONE side-eyed or whispered behind anyone's back...NO ONE pointed a finger or scolded anyone to "repent" or uttered "shame on you!" This was a cleansing of the heart, mind, and spirit. It was needed and I found myself clinging to my napkin quite a few times in between dabbing my eyes. This was not a "pitty-party" we were simply honestly and frankly soul-stirring women, old and young, who needed to vent ingenuously to sisters who were ready to "mourn when each mourned" and "rejoice when each rejoiced." And without notice, as I was enjoying the tasty soul food in the natural and spiritual, I was asked to come up and share about our magazine and what my role and my purpose was. I've spoken many times before hundreds of people, but this

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were getting groomed for a mission far greater than we had imagined. You see, even when we filled up the Olive Garden that afternoon we released our troubles and we bonded. Laughter erupted into the atmosphere and applauds cracked the silence as the appreciation for what those four prodigious women had worked so hard to achieve, yielded us. We went from "Women on a Mission" to Women Positioning for Purpose." We each had something to look forward to...strengthening bonds between us and other women in order to glorify our Father. WE are daughters...WE are fighters...WE are purposedriven...and WE are letting the world know...BLESSED IS SHE! â–„ This article is a reminder that WE are BETTER together...and when united in harmony, we can do anything! In a world full of cold hearts, envy, strife, and confusion, never lose sight on what you can see or perceive with the naked eye...set your eyes on the hidden things that are filled with love and support of one another. When this is done, the galaxy is endless with possibilities. For more information on how you can join in the next retreat or see photos from this amazing weekend, visit http://blessedissheministry.weebly.com.

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moment became intimate as I candidly bared my tinder box of unabashed moments that tormented, enraged, empowered, and embodied me...just as every other extraordinary woman had done ahead of me. And they didn't look at me with bewilderment, they embraced me. The evening ended with each ministry bestowing awards and recognition upon some of the ladies from their ministry and it was evident, it was unexpected. Needless-tosay, no one was ready to retire for the evening and there wasn't a dry eye in the place. But the rest of the weekend awaited us. The next morning, we would be releasing balloons into the air on the beach representing the emancipation of our past ties to pain and unforgiveness. The morning air was set in the perfect ambience for such a momentous occasion. We tailgated to the site, got out and gathered our balloons, making sure each lady had one...I documented the journey with a camera as my sister Sybil held the one we would share together demonstrating her holding me up in intercession. As the colors of blue, yellow, pink, and purple shirts beelined to the beach, onlookers watched in awe and wondered what this group of women were about to do. We found the perfect spot and then gathered together in a circle to pray. Our sister, Travell Porterfield took the reigns and set off a petition into the heavens I know was aromatic to the Lord. Each woman held her balloon of valor and then when prompted, passed it to the right to the next sister, then the moment came for "sweet release" and up...up...and away, the balloons rose into the air...high above the buildings and disappeared into the sky. The remainder of the evening set off a tenacity in spirit, weights lifted...making room for shopping and enjoying the newfound friendships we had attained. That night, some of us went out by the pool and hot tub and continued into the wee hours not wanting the weekend to end. We were no longer just women from various ministries, first ladies, laywomen, armor bearers, mothers, etc., we were bound by spirit and blood connected from the precious veins of Christ, akin in solidarity. As we said our bittersweet goodnights, the remainder of my roommates and I retired for the night, but spent it in slumber party mode once again, but toned down from the night before...only chatting and taking pictures to capture the moment in time. See the night before...you would have thought we were teenagers in the room. We giggled as we shared stories you only told your sister or best friend, made each other laugh with jokes, and I even got a chance to share some of my favorite childhood ghost stories under the glare of a flashlight (see my creative mind didn't just begin) and we laughed so hard, we were in tears. Looking back on it now, I realize that that weekend was more than women in ministry stealing away for a moment of gratis...we


Shree Valentina Williams: OVERCOMING PAIN Published by Trendsetters to Trendsetters Media Group

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any will ask, “who is Shree Valentina Williams?”. Well, Shree is a woman who is determined to succeed despite her past. February 14 in Jacksonville, Florida, an innocent baby girl filled with purpose was born. Her name “Valentina” was given due to the day that she was born which the world knows as “Valentine’s Day”. Life has a way of throwing a curve ball and she found herself in the hands of a foster care child who gained her families trust, but robbed her of her innocence at the age of five years old. What is a little girl to do when she has been robbed? Many remain silent and Shree joined the number of silent victims who have lost their voice at the hands of a rapist. Without the help of professional counseling, Shree found other ways to deal with her pain by being very active in various neighborhood activities, but all the activities in the world would not restore the voice of her innocence. Writing, singing, school and church became her way of escape. Although she filled the hole in her soul with these things, the lack of support and not knowing how to express her pain, she developed anger issues and those around her were clueless as to why. Out of anger comes low-self-esteem and trust issues. Trust was her biggest issue and with lack of trust comes confusion. Imagine a little girl playing in her mommy’s shoes, but when this little girl looks in the mirror, she is really a grown woman playing dress up. Torn on the inside and beautiful on the outside, but the scars of the past are obstructing her view. This is the image that many victims of rape see and so did Shree as she continued the journey of trying to hide her pain. She found herself dealing with negative spirits that kept her from understanding and fulfilling her purpose. Looking for love in all the

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wrong places, Shree found herself in two physically abusive relationships which almost took the innocent life of her child. Being robbed of her innocence followed her, but Shree found the courage to reconnect with her purpose and stop the chain of abuse and close the door to an abusive past that was sneaking its way into the next generation. Shree is the proud mother to three wonderful children: Hannah age 20, Sha’Marcus, whose name is inspired by ShaQuille O’Neal, age 18 and Edith age 16 and grandmother to Valentina who is 4 and Prince Williams 2. She also served as the caregiver to her niece Asia age 6. Getting over her fears, she decided to pack up unannounced to anyone and move to Atlanta, Georgia. Finishing college with determination and focus as her guide, she begins to reconnect with her innocence and use her painful past as a stepping stone to a greater life for her and her family. Discovering the power of the pen, writing became her coping mechanism. With Mary J. Blige as her muse, as a fan, she adopted the soulful singer’s concept of “pen to paper” therapy. In addition to writing, Shree found solace in various other music as well as Def Jam comedian Steve Harvey. Using his rags to riches story as inspiration, she gained the courage to start her own career as a writer. Through her love for writing, Shree can carry the labels of author, play and screenwriter. Shree playfully quotes, “I’m not famous until I meet Steve Harvey”. Allowing this quote to push her beyond her pain, she strives daily to serve. Giving helps her to cope and her giving is acted through sharing her journey with other victims of rape and abuse. Partnering with the local police department, donations are made to her charity so that clothing and personal items that the victims need are provided to them and their children. Ultimately, her mission is to become a motivational speaker who serves to help other victims who have or are going through what she has experienced. Shree wants to let them know that they too have the power to reconnect with their innocence and take control of their lives. Currently in the process of writing a book on coping and becoming what God created individuals to be, Shree is a living testimony of faith over fear and being able to regain one’s innocence. For more information, you can locate Shree via Facebook by following her page “Author Valentina” where you can discover her in the Fall article or Edition where there will be more talks of her upcoming book. ▄


“KIZZY” PREPARED for Her GOSPEL JOURNEY By Kimberly Campbell / CEO Mercedez Star Records

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he Gospel music world should prepare themselves for the soon to be released anointed voice of “Kizzy”. Kizzy a pulsating and courageous mother of four from the small country town of Mexia, Texas is gearing up to take the Gospel recording industry by storm. Music has always been a focal point for Kizzy where she and her cousin grew up listening to Gospel award winner Pastor Shirley Casear. Seamlessly striking every cord and hitting each note effortlessly has earned Kizzy her Gospel Rites of Passage. However, life’s journey hasn’t been as easy for her. Like her mother who dropped out of high school to raise a child, Kizzy too found herself entangled in what many dub “the generational cycle”. Kizzy knew in order to provide a better life for herself and her children that was a chain that had to be broken. Relying on education, which she holds dear, she went back to school, obtained her GED along with additional course work. Kizzy revealed how the song and lyrics of “Jesus Sweet Jesus” got her through some very difficult times, recalling situations and distresses that no young girl should ever have to endure. Kizzy treasures how God has given her wisdom, knowledge and discernment, as well as insulating her with abundant God-fearing people. Through it all, she has learned to love wholeheartedly, no matter what, cherishing that it is Christ who strengths her. Kizzy’s captivating and inspirational lyrics are always presented as a ministry in music and is credited with her having received an opportunity a few years ago to launch an album in Nashville. Regrettably, Kizzy was not in a position at the time to make such a move as her children who are her world were too young. Although, she declined the offer, she remained faithful that the God she serves would show her favor in his time. The Jesus Sweet Jesus that Kizzy has relied on for most of her life again blessed her with a second opportunity. This time Kizzy was prepared, as we know it’s not always in our time, but in God’s time. Kizzy has been granted the opportunity to be a blessing to listeners across the Country. There is no doubt that her debut album will be a reflection of just how sweet Jesus has truly been. Kizzy desires to prompt our Readers and her listeners to remember that God sits high and He looks low, and He is a keeper and has not failed her and will not fail you either. ▄

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Pastor Shirley Caesar " Still A GIANT in the World of Spiritual Music� Written by Mark Deming

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giant in the world of spiritual music, Shirley Caesar has been called "the First Lady of Gospel Music" thanks to a career that has spanned seven decades and brought her 11 Grammy Awards, as well as 15 Dove Awards. Shirley Caesar was born in Durham, North Carolina on October 13, 1938. Shirley was one of 12 children born to her father, James Caesar (aka Big Jim Caesar); Big Jim made his living working in tobacco but preached the gospel in his spare time, and also sang with a gospel group. Young Shirley had begun joining in with the group on occasion when Big Jim died, and with her mother handicapped, she began singing at local churches to help bring in money for the household. Caesar soon advanced to performing with a traveling evangelist, Leroy Johnson, and in 1951 she cut her first record, a single for Federal Records, "I'd Rather Have Jesus" b/w "I Know Jesus Will Save." In 1956, Caesar enrolled at North Carolina State College, where she majored in business education with hopes of becoming an evangelist. Caesar was still singing, however, and in 1958, when the celebrated female gospel group the Caravans appeared in Durham, she asked to sing a solo in place of a member of the act who was unable to appear. Caravans leader Albertina Walker was pleased with Caesar's work, and with her family's blessing, Shirley left college to join the Caravans full-time. In 1961 Caesar released a solo single, "Hallelujah, It's Done," which incorporated a sermon along with the music, and she began tour-

ing as a singing evangelist during downtime from the Caravans. Shirley's work on her own helped her develop a dynamic performing style, and when creative differences led her to leave the Caravans in 1966, she was ready to launch a solo career. She soon formed her own gospel group, the Shirley Caesar Singers, and by 1969 they had landed a record deal with HOB Records. In 1971, Caesar won her first Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance for her version of "Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man from Galilee," and in 1975 her cover of Melba Montgomery's "No Charge" became a crossover hit that appeared on the R&B and pop charts. From the late '70s onward, Caesar was a dominant figure on the gospel charts, and in 1981 she won her first Gospel Music Association Dove Award for her album Rejoice (she would receive 14 more Dove honors by 2002, as well as 13 Stellar Awards, another major honor in gospel music). While Caesar's career was more than enough to keep most people busy, in 1969 she launched the Shirley Caesar Outreach Ministries to help serve the needs of the people of Durham, and the organization became a registered nonprofit in 1981, funded in part by Caesar's performance fees. Also in 1981, Caesar enrolled at Shaw University to complete her business degree, and in 1987 she was elected to the Durham City Council. Caesar became a pastor at the Mount Calvary Word of Faith Church in Durham, where her husband, Bishop Harold Ivory Williams, also served until his passing in 2008. In addition to her recording career, Caesar appeared onstage in the gospel musical Mama, I Want to Sing and its two sequels, as well as the movies The Fighting Temptations and Why Do Fools Fall in Love and the TV show The Parkers. In 2016, Caesar got an unexpected boost in visibility when a clip from her performance of the song "Hold My Mule," in which she reels off a holiday menu that includes "greens, beans, potatoes, tomatoes," was used in an online video that went viral. Thanks to the video, "Hold My Mule" rocketed to the top of Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs chart, giving Caesar her first number one in the survey. As if to confirm that Caesar was no novelty act, near the end of 2016 Shirley received two Grammy nominations, for the album Fill This House and for her performance with Anthony Hamilton on the song "It's Alright, It's OK." In addition to these two nominations, the Recording Academy also honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the art of recorded music. â–„


Roland Martin Honored at the HANK STEWART White Linen Affair:

He's More Than Just A Unique Voice, He's the Voice of A People By: Shernita Wiggins-Wynder

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f you turn your television to TV ONE in the mornings at

7 a.m. EST, you will hear the uncompromising reporting of nationally syndicated journalist, Roland Martin on NewsOne Now. This journalist who has covered multiple Presidents, given you the most outstanding breakdown of political analysis on the state of the world today, best sports coverage, and sparked thought-provoking concepts when it comes to issues that many are not as vocal to provide such a viewpoint...all from the perspective of an African American man. His portfolio reads like the "Who's Who in Journalism," and rightfully so, since he has been awarded over 30 awards during his career. I will share a few, you can Google him or visit his page to read in detail for all of them. For this article, I will only name a few. In 2008, he received the President's

Award by the National Association of Black Journalists, 2009 he was awarded the Peabody Award for his exemplary reporting on the 2008 Elections while he was a journalist at CNN, he is a two time NAACP Image Award recipient, he has been named as one of Ebony Magazine's Most Influential African American’s in the U.S. multiple times, and a pinnacle in 2013 led him into the doors of Journalist of the Year for his contributions in journalism on the voter suppression and other issues facing Blacks today. So why is he being honored at the 2017 White Linen Affair this year? Is it because he graduated in 1987 from a magnet school of communications? Or his multiple degrees, or Bachelor of Science in Journalism? Maybe it's his Masters in Christian Communications? Either way, I am sure with Founder Hank Stewart, it has more to do with the fact that when you

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know that Roland Martin has something to say about a topic, he does so with more than talk, he is ALL ACTION. Roland is consistent in his commitment to "cleancut" journalism. I call it that because it will "cut clean to the point." Not many reporters or journalist are willing to lay it all on the line for what they believe in, with the understanding that there may be some type of consequences. Like rebuttals questioning his loyalty to the society for which he lives within, because he will put whoever needs to on front street to expose the deceptions. However, he has no problems with supporting the positive and making society aware of it, like his reporting on Physicist, Dr. Hadiyah Nicole Green with her ground-breaking research on cancer treatment. The difference with Martin is that, he is more concerned about the American people...especially the African American people to help them understand the truths about what matters most to them. I am sure that when the White Linen Affair committee was coining the selections, Martin stood out considering he is very much a part of the process when it comes to making statements about political and social issues. Because he follows up with holding people accountable or making them aware of specific outcomes. Especially, those who can receive a negative impact from those aftermaths that affect their lives. Martin has been uncovering stones that have hidden loop-holes for quite some time and when those individuals are exposed, he compels them to either give into account for their actions in the political process or the social injustices that have become rampant. His ability to "shake'em up" has opened the doors for his career to catapult into a realm that is shared by a rare few. Is he the Tom Brokaw of journalism? NO...he is the one and only...Roland Martin of TV ONE. A man ready for purpose and not afraid to walk in it. As an honoree at this year's White Linen, he will be celebrated by his peers who are on the battlefield for the same purpose. Getting the laws to reflect equality, setting an example for the next generation, ensuring that the African American perspective doesn't get lost in the world of "Uber journalism" as he states. He is equally blessed in his personal life because he is married to his own version of Michelle Obama, Dr. Jacquie Hood Martin. Both of them are authors of books, exceptional motivational speakers, supporters of each other's work, and community servants who are believers of Christ, which makes them a force to be reckoned with in this day and age. This combination that Roland Martin possesses, has earned him a spot in the history of community celebration of the African American accomplishments by his own people...and NO ONE could be more deserving in this field than, he. Just tune into TV ONE's NewsOne Now, and you will begin to understand. â–„


BOOKER LONG:

Creating Relationships with His Art all Over the World By Kimberly Lindsey

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ooker Long – an Ohio native and graduate of McKinley High School in Canton, started his love for art and cartoons at an early age of five. So much so he began to draw them. Putting pencil to paper was a way to escape into his imagination. This was his escape long into his young adult life. Booker attended Kent State University in Akron Ohio, as an Art major. While Booker was truly immersed into the college life he was drawn to the fraternity of Iota Phi Theta Inc. in 1989 at Akron University. The visionary he was, lead him to pledge a fraternity that wasn’t represented at the University at that time, opening up the doors for thousands of brothers to come after him. It was then that those Brothers whom didn’t know who and what Mr. Long would one day be, named him “ANIMATION”. Line Name: Leviathan 1989 Beta PI Chapter #Ace. Booker long began his career as an animator/producer/ director in 1992 when he moved to Atlanta, GA and became the Vice President of Dream Productions, a company that produced educational programming for children, which aired on Georgia public broadcasting. Booker served not only as producer and animator on this project, but he used his background and life experiences to write for the project and to become one of the characters himself – a motivational speaker for children – acting in live stage performances throughout Georgia. Presently he continues as President of a new production company “Always Dreaming, LLC” which is currently working on an animation project called “21” which he is overseeing as Creator/Producer. He is a BEAST with a pencil. He recently reunited with a childhood friend and Canton Ohio native by the name of Bryan O. Shelton also a conservationist. What would we do without social media. Working together to get the word out to the world about these endangered species they are trying to save. This is an awesome opportunity for him to showcase his art work in the raw, from paper to tablet, then color and print. The elephant that was created for the organization was amazing to say the least. He will be a part of history again. Through this friendship came another opportunity for him to showcase his talents. Creating relationships with people all over the world. His art work has gone as far as Nairobi Africa in the hopes to help save the endangered species over there. Paula Kahumbu brims with energy and passion for preserv-

ing threatened wildlife and habitats, also discovered another frequently endangered species: conservationists themselves. She explains that “conservationists do crucial work on a shoestring, cut off from the rest of the world. They’re in remote, isolated places, some even risking their lives, with no chance of getting on the international radar screen. Meanwhile, millions of people who care about the catastrophic loss of wildlife and habitats aren’t sure how to help.” Stay tuned and keep your eyes open for this up and coming artist. From cartoons, self-portraits, logos, creating tattoos you name it he can do it. He has partnered with a great friend an extremely talented artist and cartoonist Stan Jackson together they are working towards producing the first “Chocolate Cartoon Network” and would like to one day own his own production studio.▄

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TYRONE BROXTON

“Pouring recruitment talent into his own cup of tea” Written By Lillian B. Young

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yrone Broxton is a Senior Executive Search Consultant for one of North America’s premier executive search firms. Tyrone primarily works with clients in and around the Greater Atlanta area with a focus on Human Resources executive searches. We recently spoke with Tyrone to get his viewpoint on the job market, search and placement climate occurring today.

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When asked what trends he has identified over the years with respect to both candidates and employers Tyrone shared the following:

Tyrone: “In many industries, especially in white-collar professions, the market is candidate driven. This was not the case during the recession. Candidate’s had slim pickings as companies were not hiring as much. The economy has since recovered and employers are hiring at vast rates. However, the challenge is many employers still have a recession mindset when it comes to salary offerings, which limits them from capturing the top talent everyone is fighting for.

T2T: What obstacles have you seen most candidates experience and what type of advice have you provided that has proven successful?

Tyrone: “In many instances, candidates are not as prepared for an opportunity when it becomes available. Their resume reads like a job description, they fail to keep track of measurable achievements, and many don’t interview well, primarily because they’re out of practice. My advice is to update your resume once per quarter or twice per year because you never know when the company is prepping for a layoff, acquisition, or when someone like myself will offer you the job of a lifetime. Never get complacent, know what you want and write it down.”

T2T: Share with our Readers your LinkedIn featured article entitled “My Cup of Tea”.

Tyrone: “I have to give much of the credit to my better half.

It started with sharing articles pertinent to market trends and candidate tips. I became increasingly frustrated with reviewing poor resumes and started providing daily “Resume Advice” tips. Thereafter, I started notifying people of roles I’m working via “Call Tyrone” and added a “Tip of the Week” and a “Ty’s Take” rant to the arsenal, but the “My Cup of Tea” articles are really the pinnacle of all things. The article that resonates most with candidates is “Build Your Resume like a Bacon Cheeseburger.” You’d be amazed how many professionals, who review hundreds of resumes a day and make decisions based off them, have a poor resume themselves. This concept seems to shine a light on an area that many struggle with and the articles I’m most proud of.”

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As a Senior Executive Recruiter what do you hope to accomplish as your next project?

Tyrone:

Obviously, I hope to achieve continued success in the placement of top HR talent with growing companies at my firm. On a personal note, I look forward to expanding the “My Cup of Tea” brand and taking it to the next level. I have a writer’s heart and a plethora of future article topics waiting to be penned.

T2T: How can our Readers reach you, so they too can learn to build their resumes like a Bacon Cheeseburger and possibly benefit from some of the same advice you have passionately passed on to others?

Tyrone:

You can find my work via social media on LinkedIn – search Tyrone Broxton; @tyronebroxton on Twitter, @officialmycupoftea on Facebook. The hashtag associated with everything is #KeepKnockin and #MyCupofTea. Consistency is key to a successful brand and it’s important to engage with your following frequently. Soon those who appreciate the written word will see the man behind the keyboard on YouTube and even a “Build Your Resume like a Bacon Cheeseburger” Service will be offered to those who need help in that department. ▄

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The Mrs., understanding my background in journalism and communications, suggested creating a greater presence on LinkedIn.

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"HOLD ON...Don't Shoot!" FERGUSON THE MUSICAL

MY BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL AND MY VOICE...POWERFUL Written by: Shernita Wiggins-Wynder

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irector and Playwright, Peachanda Dubose has done it again! Ripping a storyline straight from the national headlines, she has taken the current news of how so many African American males and females have been brutally murdered with little or no effort for protecting life. Some police officers have lost the sight of using caution and that a person is "innocent until proven guilty" and have opted to use deadly force, instead. Ferguson the Musical, is a dramatic play about a young man who was murdered by a local police officer. Because he has a record and prior charges, his death was deemed as justified to some. Considering we all come from various walks of life, Peachanda decided to take us into the locked doors of the lives of twelve jurors who explore every option to try and understand what happened to bring a verdict on the officer charged. In the midst of the heated litigation, these men learn how to look within themselves to reach the depths of what took place, in order to bring about a verdict they could live with, although some of them could care less. Some jurors who were filled with resentment because of the twists and turns their lives took. Other jurors, who because they led a decent life, felt the young man got what he deserved. Then there was the young men who were ready to send the cop to the electrifying abyss because they were tired of hearing about Black people being shot like targets or animals being put down. The play teaches a lesson from the eldest juror who understood the agony of "being Black" and one juror who will learn a lesson he will never forget. And in the midst of these amazing men, we have the only female castmate, who is the reporter following the breaking story and a camera man who is clueless to the suffering stemming from this type of behavior until it hits home. This phenomenal cast consisted of Alfred Rutherford, Reggie

Myles, Guy Williams, Jaimyon Parker, James Sims, Britt Prentice, Daniel Stafford, Chris Bolton, Elijah Jamal, Malachi Rivers, Michael Higgenbottom, Darelle Dove, Danny DeLloyd, Ernest Harden Jr., and Trisha MannGrant. The play begins with heated discussions that vet one juror against another causing sparks to fly. As each controversy is triggered, the foreman finds it harder and harder to keep the peace. The evening progresses with one distraction after another interfering with many of the juror's reasoning, but compelling them to at least...think and consider what has been said. The conversations are deep and keep you on the edge of your seat, however, the wit of the cast entices you to erupt with laughter from their winning taglines. A couple of the cast go from "preaching to the choir" to singing lyrics that give homage to those who are no longer with us. Their melodic voices set shouts and cheers throughout the theater and even gave some us the true meaning. But my personal favorites were the intense monologues of actors Ernest Harden, Jr. and Trisha Mann-Grant who gave award-winning performances that had the crowd drawn into their passionate and intense moment of reflection. Trisha Mann-Grant gave an award winning performance by sharing the thoughts of what I assume many reporters feel. They are instructed to report the news in a neutral light, regardless of how some of them really feel. Many of them are either for or against some of the stories they report, but for reasons beyond their control, they cannot share in that revelation on air. However, during one point in the play, Trisha's character could not hold her piece and she reflected in a manner I would guess many desire to, but can't. Some of the key moments were when one of the jurors was on his phone checking the score of his favorite team and another juror pointed it out that he wasn't focusing and con-

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tributing. Then another juror snatched his phone out of his hand and then that juror stood up and they began to argue and another juror chimed in on the importance of him staying focused because there was a man's life on the line for a crime and another life that was lost. Then one of the jurors in the argument calmed the situation down and took the phone and gave it back to the juror and told him, "Now sit you’re a** down!" He gets upset and walks to an open space on the floor egging the juror to step to him to settle the matter. Then Ernest's character interrupts the argument explaining they needed to get back on course and then he says in his fatherly voice, "Now sit your a** doooown!" The audience again erupted with laughter as the juror in a boyish like way, scurried back to his seat. Then there was the moment where rapper Michael Higgenbottom's character shared his passion behind seeking justice for the slain young man then he broke out in lyrics with the background chorus, "I can't breath!" The crowd began to chant the words along with the jurors and at the end of it, they stood and cheered. Again, this amazingly creative writer has managed to draw her audience into the message by using the gifts embedded inside her very talented cast. Ernest Harden Jr.'s monologue performance began with him telling about his childhood growing up in the south, the hardships, separatism of facilities, police brutality, and the racism he and his family experienced and then he ended with, "...that ain't why I changed my vote. It's because the hatred that I see...right here at this table. Some of us are willing to dismiss the facts, willing to throw the blind eye...because we hate ourselves." The entire place was silent. Lingering on his every word as if our very lives depended upon it. THIS was the intent of the extraordinary literary talents of Director Peachanda Dubose, to make the audience see that every situation is different and you won't fully understand what you would do under these circumstances, unless you were there...and she took us there! The ending was a twist and there was many that tears streamed down on several occasions because we could attest to the truth she brought to the stage. ▄

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If you have not seen this play, you need to have it come to your city and remember to STAY WOKE! For more information, visit, Ferguson the Musical or Peachanda Dubose on Facebook. Visit www.trendtotrendmag.com to see a postplay interview.


CLARENCE ”Pencilman” POINTER ARTIST | EDUCATOR | HUMANITARIAN Written by: Shernita Wiggins-Wynder

Faith Conquers Fear: An Important Point'er from the "Pencilman"

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Pointer's pieces can be found in the hands of Rosa Park's estate, Motown legends, Barry Gordy and Smokey Robinson, an entire wall of legendary musical artist for Los Angeles Rams former wide-receiver Willie "Flipper" Anderson, in the offices of prominent ministers, community leaders, and on television shows. For a detailed list of Clarence's art and commissioned works visit http:/www.clarencepointer.com. When asked to share the essence of WHO Clarence is and where did his inspiration derive from? He humbly stated, Once I discovered that I had a gift to draw, I always wanted to become a professional artist. Having the ability to put smiles on faces was an amazing thing and seeing the works of artist Charles White in Ebony magazine, sorta kickstarted it all. One thing that Clarence wanted to be known, is that, although visual arts media have evolved into various technology digital formats, he has no desire at this time to deviate from his pencil. I'm just simply old school, I stay to what I do best and have excelled. The pencil does what I need it to do. I don't need software to create a realistic image. I don't discredit those who do; but at this time...it's not for me. I found this response to be genuinely conducent of an artist in a passion niche` and that's a good thing! There is nothing wrong with experimenting with creativity in a plethora of ways, but when you focus on one thing you love, you tend to MASTER it. These are those who have a wealth of wisdom to share with others, hence his community service to organizations, non-profits, and art lovers alike. I always give back to the community, the most significant one is giving a quarterly lecture to the college nearby, with hopes of

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hen one looks upon the images of Clarence Pointer, he or she is drawn into the advanced techniques of chiaroscuro forms of light and dark hues aesthetically balanced upon its surface creating an illusion of a threedimensional mirrored image of his subject. Pointer can be likened unto the Master Artists of the Renaissance era from which this Italian technique was birth and used widely and most famously known, by Rembrandt. Although this artist, did not have formal training like my favorite Master of the Arts...Leonardo di Vinci, their stories are one of mystery, intrigue, and passion. While a young Leonardo was trained by the masters of his time like Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio and skilled in the areas of engineering and other art forms. It is said, that as an apprentice, he drew with such detailed composition in his contribution to the Baptism of Christ painting of the young angel holding Jesus' robe, in a manner that was superior to that of his mentor Verrochio, that made his Master put down his brushes to never paint again. Now, I am not for certain that Verrochio actually did this; but in contrast to da Vinci's moment of a creational epiphany...Clarence Pointer, on the other hand, had a different experience. Clarence was in an art class in the early 80's and he got a "B" in the class. He stopped drawing until while serving in the Air Force as he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan; he encountered a Japanese artist who imparted these words of wisdom...that he needed to devote more time to each project. This nugget of encouragement rekindled Clarence's love for drawing to a level that propelled him into the atmosphere of success to which he is still soaring. Also, like Leonardo, Clarence has touched countless lives in both the young and old with his instruction and secured his presence in the world of art, known as the "Pencilman."


inspiring and encouraging students and simply being involved in any activities that arise. It's no surprise that this artist who holds a mastery of the graphite medium, works for mere pennies on the dollar for his students at the university. His story will make you laugh and appreciate the simple art of depth into the hearts of many, because his focal point are those who love the arts and that makes it the highlight of his career. When you understand these basic terms in the love of art, you leave no room for negative space and your perception is not distorted. As an art educator who spent many years in education advocating the arts and teaching students and adults how to express themselves creatively, sharing a passion for the arts (in an era where funding for the arts are being cut majorly) with a kindred spirit, is refreshing—to say the least. Charles White and Ernie Barnes were an early influence in my life. The living legend, Mr. Simmie Knox is another. We had a great conversation about a year ago, in

which he shared some serious wisdom with me. It helped instantly to bring more life to my drawings. When asked what legacy Clarence wanted to leave with his children and future generations, he simply said, If you have a God given talent, you have to maximize it. That means use "it" and not excuses as to why you aren't. Let it be known, staying passiondriven, is the key to your success. I always found time to practice and stayed with one medium. I didn't get caught up in what everyone else was doing. I just did what I was good at. For more information on how you can commission a "Pencilman" piece, visit his website mentioned in the article. â–„

Clarence Pointer presentation to Mr. Hank Dixon of the Motown "ORIGINALS" with their mega hit "Baby I'm For Real"

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hen one looks upon the images of Clarence Pointer, he or she is drawn into the advanced techniques of chiaroscuro forms of light and dark hues aesthetically balanced upon its surface creating an illusion of a three-dimensional mirrored image of his subject. Pointer can be likened unto the Master Artists of the Renaissance era from which this Italian technique was birth and used widely and most famously known, by Rembrandt. Although this artist, did not have formal training like my favorite Master of the Arts...Leonardo di Vinci, their stories are one of mystery, intrigue, and passion. While a young Leonardo was trained by the masters of his time like Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio and skilled in the areas of engineering and other art forms. It is said, that as an apprentice, he drew with such detailed composition in his contribution to the Baptism of Christ painting of the young angel holding Jesus' robe, in a manner that was superior to that of his mentor Verrochio, that made his Master put down his brushes to never paint again. Now, I am not for certain that Verrochio actually did this; but in contrast to da Vinci's moment of a creational epiphany...Clarence Pointer, on the other hand, had a different experience. Clarence was in an art class in the early 80's and he got a "B" in the class. He stopped drawing until while serving in the Air Force as he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan; he encountered a Japanese artist who imparted these words of wisdom...that he needed to devote more time to each project. This nugget of encouragement rekindled Clarence's love for drawing to a level that propelled him into the atmosphere of success to which he is still soaring. Also, like Leonardo, Clarence has touched count-


MONICA A. TEASLEY, Esq

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Birth of a Foundation By Monica A. Teasley, Esq

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ideas. The Board helps to get the ideas implemented. The Stewart Foundation has a highly successful board that covers all areas including the parts necessary to run the business like a CFO and IT Director, but the roles necessary to assist with the programs and services Volunteer Director and Creative Director to name a couple. These people ensure that the business runs, meaning funds are gathered and maintained to support the programs and services for the target need group and that the programs run without a hitch. The next step to a solid organization is incorporating under the laws of the State in which you plan to do business. Incorporation provides a formal structure and gives credibility to your programs and services, provides protection from liability for the officers and directors and is required by the IRS in order to be considered for tax-exempt status. Please note that incorporating registers the nonprofit with the State but does not make it tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Finally, in order to receive tax-exempt status for your organization, you must file for 501 (c)(3) status with the IRS. Tax-exempt status helps improve the ability to garner funding and increase revenue. A nonprofit must generate income just like a for-profit organization however, 80-90% of its profits must be put back into the organization to support the mission and the programs and services of the organization. Maintaining a relationship with an attorney ensures that you remain compliant with the IRS and your state agency that regulates charitable organizations and charitable solicitations. The biggest challenge for most new nonprofits is to develop and maintain reliable income streams. Organizations should establish a signature event amongst their fundraising activities that supports their fundraising goals. Each year with this concept in mind, The Stewart Foundation hosts its annual main fundraising event, Hank’s Stewart’s White Linen Affair. This event is where they focus much of their fundraising goals in an effort to support the goals of the nonprofit. Each year a number of youth are supported through The Stewart Foundation Youth Leadership Program focusing on project management as a tool to develop characteristics needed for structured leadership. The program develops Leaders of Tomorrow and because of sound management and excellent fundraising, the LOTs and the parents do not have to pay for any of the services or programs offered. The Stewart Foundation has grown into a successful Foundation because it followed all the right steps in its establishment. The Grant Makers for Effective Organizations defined an effective nonprofit as “one that has the ability to fulfill its mission through a blend of sound management, strong governance, and a persistent rededication to achieving results.” The Stewart Foundation is the epitome of an effective nonprofit. Support the Stewart Foundation and other charitable organizations by offering your time, money and support. Contact me if you are ready to birth your own nonprofit/tax exempt organization. ▄

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nonprofit organization can be an inspiring way to give back to your community and fill a particular need. When deciding to birth a foundation one must understand the steps involved in moving the organization forward. Growing and sustaining a nonprofit may take years of effort and a great deal of determination, but it is all worth it when you witness the success of its programs. The Stewart Foundation has been established since 2009 and was grown out of a casual needs analysis. Part of a needs analysis is to determine whether other organizations are already doing the same or similar work in your community. Hank Stewart and some of his closest friends and advisors discussed a need to provide mentoring, community service programs, leadership and self -awareness development to children of color that were being overlooked by a number of organizations in the community. Thus, there was not a formal analysis but a casual one based on observations of the group. They developed a mission around these thoughts. Now one may think there are a number of organizations like this, but what makes every nonprofit uniquely different and successful or unsuccessful is how they approach their mission. The Stewart Foundation was established to create future leaders (Leaders of Tomorrow or LOTs) and owes its success to a few things, strong adult leadership, numerous capable and active volunteers and strenuous fundraising efforts. To make sure a nonprofit is for you, speak with a business attorney specializing in nonprofits about what is required to make sure the organization will be established properly and will grow and prosper. Public charities must be organized and operated exclusively for tax-exempt purposes as set forth in the Internal Revenue Code, if one is considering more than just nonprofit status. I have had the pleasure of knowing Hank Stewart, Founder, and from the start, he knew what he wanted his organization to look like and worked hard, with my assistance, to ensure that it was formed properly under the laws of the State of Georgia and the Internal Revenue Code of the Internal Revenue Service. In order to build your foundation as you establish your nonprofit organization, take the time to discuss with those that support your ideas and an attorney and develop your mission. It is important that you are able to communicate your nonprofit’s purpose, not just to the IRS but to the group it will serve and how it will serve them in order to gain active participants. Also, a nonprofit is a business just a like a for-profit business, and can benefit from a business plan which can describe how the organization intends to achieve its mission in more specific details. Finally, the biggest piece of the foundation is the Board. The nonprofits governing body fulfills a variety of roles and legal responsibilities. A good board will change as the organization grows and matures. A successful board is critical to ensuring the long-term success of the Organization. The Stewart Foundation’s success directly correlates to the strength of its board, which has been strong from the start. When I am setting up nonprofits and meeting with the founders, I focus on income stream and board recruitment. Without a strong board to assist with organizing events and corralling the volunteers, great ideas are just that,


THREE ATLANTA WOMEN SETTING TRENDS:

BY HIGHLIGHTING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES THRU MARKETING, FASHION AND PERFORMING ARTS By Joycelyn Osborne

Diversity and Inclusion/PR Consultant, specializing in the disability population, Norma Stanley, president/CEO E.E.E. Marketing Group. (Photo Credit: Chanteria Walker)

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hree metro-Atlanta women-owned businesses each share something unique in common. They are setting trends, changing lives and building their businesses through their commitment to increasing the visibility and highlighting the abilities of people with disabilities (PWD), thereby enhancing the quality of life for this community, through the work they do. As a diversity and inclusion/public relations consultant, Norma Stanley works to enlighten, empower and enrich families of children and adults with disabilities, as well as the companies and organizations that support them, through her company, E.E. E. Marketing Group, Inc. Stanley says she became more aware of the need to share information about this untapped consumer segment, as she was raising her daughter, Sierra, who was born with cerebral palsy and is now 28. “As a mother and primary caregiver for my daughter, I not only wanted to make sure she had the best life possible, but also wanted to encourage and help make life easier for other moms

experiencing the same challenges. As a marketing professional, I recognized there was a real void in sensitivity, community outreach and marketing support by major companies towards the disability community,” shared Stanley. Stanley recently received a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama’s Foundation for her years of service in the disability community. “I saw few marketing programs designed to reach this significant consumer segment that has a population of over 1 billion globally and over $1 trillion in disposable income, with over $500 billion in the U.S. alone,” she continued. “Helping companies understand the economic significance of this community, helps organizations that offer needed support to these families and our goal is to continue bringing key issues to the forefront, while securing corporate support wherever possible, which I try to do this through a number of platforms,” she said. In addition to giving educational workshops and developing PR programs for companies, those platforms include books, hosting online radio shows, giving inspirational talks at conferences and events and even singing. Stanley’s first inspirational book was written for and about mothers of special needs children, and is entitled, “The Elected Lady— Finding Victory in the Challenge. (Words of Faith, Reflections and Inspiration for Mothers of Special Needs Children and Other Moms.”) Her second book, " Just Do It! Ten Tips for Avoiding the Dream Stealing Trap of Procrastination"is due for release next year, and her first independent CD music project, “Nella-Joi,” is due for release this summer. The owners of the other two businesses, Sharon Gary-Dill and Myrna Clayton are actually friends of Stanley’s, who became sensitive to the disability community through their own experiences, leading them to seek change where they could.

Businesses/Disability Community Sharon Gary-Dill is a fashion designer and owner of Fashion by D’Shacourt Studio in Decatur. She is also executive producer of “An Evening of Fashion and Elegance,” an ongoing series of fashion show events highlighting the inner and outer beauty of perfectly imperfect people. Among the models featured in the annual fashion show productions, are individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, including Stanley’s daughter, Sierra. “I believe there is beauty and ability in everyone, and my goal is

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“ I have felt compelled to support this underserved community ever since I saw an extremely talented young boy on crutches struggle to get up on a stage that was not accessible years ago, and wondered how many more talented people like him were out there,” shared Clayton. ”My spirit was touched and my heart was pricked at that moment and I wanted to help identify and expose the untapped talent in this community. Abel2 Nonprofit was established so we can not only do that, but also address the issues of community engagement and employment in this community,” she continued. “We’ve been blessed recently to begin collaborations with organizations like The Shepherd Center, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center and others, to assist us with our objectives and we’re very excited about it,” she said. ▄

Myrna Clayton, executive director of Abel2 Nonprofit with Jazz Singer, Rusty Taylor, who was preparing to sing the National Anthem at an Atlanta Braves game. Photo Credit: Shine Huang)

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Fashion Designer, Sharon Gary-Dill (far right), owner of Fashion by D'Shacourt Studio, with some of her models with special needs. Models:Villair Barrett, Sierra Stanley (seated), Tamica Savoy Roland and Kayla Davison (Photo Credit: Bellevu Images)

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to include models with disabilities in fashion shows as often as possible,” says Gary-Dill. “Seeing the smiles and increase in their confidence and self-esteem is important to me and their families,” she continued. “And we’ve gotten great response from our shows that include models with disabilities, with recent invitations to participate in fashion week events in Paris and Italy, and we look forward to doing that in 2018,” she said. Myrna Clayton is a popular international singer based in Atlanta, who’s also founder and executive director of Abel2 Nonprofit, an organization compiling a roster of talent while working to increase the profile of performing artists who are differentlyable, as she prefers to refer to them. Clayton creates events which not only offer paid opportunities for these performing artists, but ensures audiences that are differently-able, can come and enjoy them because the venues are accessible. She recently held the “Jazz Goes Gospel’ event in June at Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church, where many of her well-known Atlanta singer and musician friends performed to help raise funds for her organization. She is also planning a showcase of differently-able performing artists at the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, in early August.


A Formula for Success:

Ceasar Richbow and Michael Robinson of Film and TV Production Company

Total Momentum, LLC Create Opportunities for Georgia Community

ŠOscar Spearman

Photography.

By Phyllis Caddell

Ceasar Richbow

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ix together a lawyer, accountant, pastor, and a seasoned business executive, add a splash of creativity and collaborative innovation, and you have a formula for success. Lawyer, pastor and accountant, Ceasar Richbow is a distinctive and goal-driven professional who thrives on building relationships, creating rapport and fostering networks to deliver quality service while incorporating his professional and academic experience in the task. Seasoned business executive Michael Robinson, who proclaims that the odds have always been against him but he always finds a way to win, is a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur who reckons that every problem that presents itself is an opportunity in

Michael Robinson disguise and believes that a wise person does not wait for opportunities to present themselves, but creates them. Together, they are at the helm of Total Momentum Productions, LLC, a full-service motion picture and television production company delving into the promising film industry operating as a finance fund for Atlanta-based film and television projects specializing in the development, financing, and production of a variety of independent film and television projects where they take ideas and make them happen. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, the Georgia film industry currently ranks third in the nation behind California and New York, with nearly 3,000 motion picture and television industry businesses, including 1,957

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receivable company from one employee to over 200, Robinson attributes his success to researching the best practices to formulate policy or processes that deliver best results. As CFO and legal counsel, Richbow has years of experience in the field of accounting and business, developing core competencies in business, tax and estate planning, representing a wide range of clients in those areas. Also a former Internal Revenue Agent, senior tax manager at multinational accounting firm Ernst and Young, LLP, and Chief Tax Executive for a multinational group of companies, one of his major accomplishments is becoming the first African American to become a corporate tax manager at the New York office of Ernst and Young, LLP where he continues to be a trailblazer in this field. Richbow and Robinson are different in many ways, but their similarity is their desire to benefit humanity and to find and fund family-friendly films that make a difference in people’s lives. They also have a passion to helping communities and organizations in need. As the Pastor of Heart of Christ Church in College Park, Georgia, Richbow operates the Heart of Christ food pantry where they feed thousands every Wednesday and Saturday. In addition, Robinson solicits donations for Heart of Christ as well as contributes funds to the back-toschool supplies drive and the end-of-year Holiday season fund for employees in his call centers in Montego Bay Jamaica. With the forecast for continued growth ahead, Total Momentum will continue to align themselves with fruitful partnerships to create opportunities for the Georgia community. ▄

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production-related companies. There are only two film production companies in Atlanta that are able to fund and green light films. One is Tyler Perry Productions. The other is Total Momentum Productions. “We launched Total Momentum in Atlanta for several reasons,” states Richbow. “Georgia is my home, it has an extensive talent pool of actors and casting companies for principals and extras, and the growing number of filmmakers and film-ready workforce makes it beneficial to our company and the community.” Because Georgia is a film-friendly and camera ready state, the opportunities are endless for Total Momentum—the company currently completed an agreement to fund a slate of independent films with Georgia-based film company Tammy’Dele Films (TDF), a full-service production company creating programming for all media platforms. The films, to be directed by Tammy’Dele founder and principal Tammy Williams, will focus on family-friendly content. The initial slate will be comprised of three films, Dempsey The Dog, Rescue Sal, and Ernie & Cerbie, the first to be released the fourth quarter of 2017. “Tammy’Dele had a shared vision of projects we wanted on our slate for 2017, states Robinson. “A very creative director, Tammy exceeded our operating expectations from start to finish of Ernie and Cerbie. From casting, crew hires, to setting up the pre-production office, and other director responsibilities, she was hands-on.” The TM business model is to help fund and green light Georgia-based filmmakers with completed scripts, budgets, and a strong production team. Tammy’Dele Films have proven the model as they have completed scripts, budgets, and global distribution of three projects in post-production. As CEO, Robinson’s role is to develop strategic business relationships that turn into fruitful partnerships that will, in turn, create opportunities for the Georgia community while staying true to the intent and vision of the company—the perfect role for someone who is driven by seeking out challenges and opportunities. With a wealth of achievements, the most remarkable being developing and building a multi-million dollar grossing account


"Legends Making A Difference" 7th Annual Legendary Awards Honor Malcolm Jamal Warner, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Egbert Perry and BRICK Cosby Show Kid Actors Reunited at 7th Annual Legendary Awards By: Legendary Awards STAFF

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ivas Unlimited Inc. presented the 7th Annual Legendary Awards created to honor the accomplishments of citizens who have left an impact within their professional field of practice. The celebration took place at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia. The Annual Legendary Awards was hosted by Stevie Baggs Jr., We Tv’s “Match Made in Heaven” and Trina E. Braxton of We Tv’s, “Braxton Family Values.” The Honorees for 2017 Legendary Awards were: Comedian and Actor, Rodney Perry (Ambassador); Philanthropist, Eric Merriweather (Humanitarian Award ); Innovative Leader, Kristin Connor (Health Award); Civil Rights Icon, Rev Dr. CT. Vivian (Pioneer Award); Actor, Director and Musician, Malcolm Jamal Warner (Trailblazer); Business Mogul, Egbert Perry (Business Icon); News Anchor, Aungelique Proctor (Media Award);The iconic, Mike “The Stinger” Glenn (Sports

Award); and 70’s artists, Brick (Entertainment Award) Celebrity guests, honorees, presenters, vocalists, executives, elected officials, and others were in attendance for the Red Carpet: Actor, TC Carson, R&B Sensation Tony Terry, Outkast’s own Sleepy Brown, NFL Great, Kordell Stewart, Actress Elizabeth Cooper, Actress, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Songster, Alfreda Gerald, and R&B Diva, Angie Stone to name a few. Rhonda Wilkins, Creator and Executive Producer of the Legendary Awards and John Wilkins CEO of the Legendary Awards Foundation., presented the Legendary Awards to a deserving and achieved group of honorees for its seventh year celebration. Saturday kicked off with the Women’s Empowerment Brunch which highlighted an Entertainment Panel with Trina Braxton, (Braxton Family Values); R&B Diva, Angie Stone; Dr. Yamma Brown, (daughter of James brown); Sing-

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Photography by Greg Cee JULY/AUG 2017

the perfect opportunity to launch the Legendary Awards. As a person known for turning her visions into reality, Rhonda eagerly accepted the task of creating and planning this event. The Legendary Awards is dedicated to promoting the empowerment of people working together, to enhance and expand the awareness of a worthy cause. Since its conception, the Legendary Awards has made significant strides by implementing a few additional programs. Each initiative is devised to raise awareness and funds for research which supports healthy living. We are proud to announce, in September 2014, The Legendary Awards Foundation received it’s nonprofit status (501 c 3), affording them the opportunity to offer scholarships towards worthy organizations and causes. ▄ Stay up-to-date with The Legendary Awards at www.legendaryawards.com, Twitter and Instagram (@legendaryawards).

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er, Sonya McGuire; Keshia Jackson (daughter of Millie Jackson); and that segment was moderated by Nicci Gilbert-Daniels of Brownstone. The evening ended with a fashion show produced by Olando Narcisse of Multi4orce, LLC. Featuring designs from Van Miller Designs, The Lisa Nicole Collection, Talisha White for Kids, Howard Gillespie for the Men, and Keisa Talley for the Plus Collection. The Legendary Awards was introduced to the world in 2010 by Visionary, Philanthropist, and Entrepreneur Rhonda Wilkins. The concept was to provide a platform for “Living Legends” and to be able to honor others that have made a difference in their life and career. CEO and Creator, Rhonda Wilkins explained that her passion for giving back started at an early age and that being a part of her church’s organization gave her the knack for philanthropy. In addition to this, she found joy in raising money for worthy causes in her church and community. In 1999, Wilkins successfully created Diva’s Unlimited Inc., an event production boutique specializing in EVENT PRODUCTION and EVENT MARKETING. In 2009, Wilkins was approached by client NBA Hall of Famer, Dominique Wilkins to coordinate his 50th birthday celebration. Dominique’s status as a basketball legend combined with such an important birthday milestone provided


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SPEAKER/AUTHOR

TORI LYNN

Topics discussed in Taboo are: 1) Is “pleasing” your mate a sin?” 2) My wife doesn’t want to have sex with me anymore… 3) I pushed him to another woman, now I understand why. 4) Men want Peace, Women want Communication. 5) How-to “please” your mate. (Adult Content) The Church divorce rate is fifty percent, and the world’s divorce rate is fifty percent, “That’s because the world is taking half of y’alls (Church) men!” This book was also written is to bring awareness to issues like molestation, infidelity, forgiveness, and intimacy to better understand their mates’ stance and feelings; and also written with hopes of bridging the gaps between the church and the fam-

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ily, parent and child, and husbands and wives. Tori Lynn is not a minister, so if you’re not ready for what you are about to read, put this book down. Everyone else, put your big britches on and grab your church fan. The Divorce, best-selling autobiography, is where Tori Lynn tells her poignant story that thrusts the reader into the dark filled world of crumbling marriages. The Divorce is a riveting and suspenseful story of trials, tribulations, and faith, and a must -read for anybody who has known the scourge of division. This honest and insightful story follows Tori as she pursues a relationship filled with doubts, due to red flags, but she pushes aside for a variety of reasons. Tori takes a dizzying tailspin through the pits of depression that led to a wavering relationship with the Lord. From alluring desires to resentment and separation, the reader will take on a rollercoaster of non-stop emotions. From the moment when their eyes first lock in church, to John getting fired for eating chicken and dumplings, and explosive brawls; you will get mad, cry, and even laugh. The journey from beginning to end is an exciting one that will leave the reader begging for an encore. Tori Lynn obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in three years, graduating in 2000. While pursuing her degree, she was enrolled full-time in school to be a barber/ stylist. She was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and in 2002, Dallas, Texas became her new home; as of 2016 she moved to Atlanta, GA where she resides with her two daughters, Erin Lynn and Ryan Lynn, who are also published authors and entrepreneurs. ▄ Taboo and The Divorce on her website at AuthorToriLynn.com. To schedule an event, interview, or speaking engagement with the author please contact Tori Lynn at 214-997-4077. Find Tori on YouTube & Facebook @AuthorToriLynn

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ori Lynn is an author, motivational speaker, actress, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. She was a guest on Trinity Broadcast network, countless radio interviews, and founded a 2013 movement called, “WeR1.” She has a passion and dedication for speaking to men and women who are facing, going or has gone through a divorce or hardship. Taboo, debuted July 1, 2017, is a self-help and how-to book, written for sex in marriages, and other topics that many parent, churches, newlyweds are a bit too shy to discuss. Many men want and marry the Good Girl; but, those same men may cheat on the Good Girl with the Freak. Why??? The parent teaches the Good Girl not to have sex; the church preaches fornication, hell, fire, and brimstone. Both teachings gives the notion that, Sex is bad. Then, the Good Girl gets married, and is expected to perform her wifely duties; but she may struggle with what to do, how-to, and what is right or wrong. Marriage is a wedding Gift from GOD, and the two becoming one is a form of Worship and ministry unto HIM.


BEST-SELLING AUTHOR

SHARI QUINN

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fter publishing her first novel over three years ago, many began to reach out to best-selling author Shari Quinn to share their dreams of writing and book publishing to share their life-shattering stories with the world as she could relate to both sides of spectrum. Shari’s first book, Disloyalty, was birthed out of an unfortunate incident where her best friend of 20 years began a secret love affair with the man Shari was dating. While the events surrounding the betrayal were painful, Shari used writing as a mechanism for healing to cope with the infidelity. Instead of retreating to a dark space, Shari decided to document her recollections of the many events surrounding the relationship involving the trio. She took a three-month leave from work and taught herself how to write three-dimensionally for fiction. While she was an advanced academic and technical writer, she did not have the gnat for creative writing so she embarked on the quest to learn the elements of fiction writing including character development, creating intriguing conflicts and heightening climaxes with surprising plot twists and a nailbiting cliffhanger that left fans in awe and craving for a sequel.

At the time, Shari worked as an Academic Partnership Manager with a local college. She has been in the higher education industry for more than 17 years and served in leadership roles as School Director, Director of Admissions and Assistant Director of Admissions. She has also taught at the collegiate level for many years and served as a guest speaker in over 75 high schools throughout New York State. She believed the leave from work was essential for her to focus on her goal of completing this book, followed by a strict writing discipline. During her three-month work hiatus, the former college professor of marketing, management and communications conducted extensive literary research and taught herself self-publishing. Since publishing with a book publisher was incredibly costly, she decided to develop her own publishing company rather than pay the upfront investment and share her royalties with a publisher. With an earned MBA with a concentration in marketing and having taught entrepreneurial courses in the past, she knew the valuable concepts of starting and sustaining a successful business, thus she created Shari Quinn Publishing. Because of her determination, dedication and the resilience to recover from

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living is now the epitome of strength and a victorious survivor. Today, over 15 years from her devastating diagnosis, she is now a world speaker on HIV, living undetected of the virus and lives in the greater Atlanta area enjoying watching her two daughters grow to become amazing young women and she was told she would not live to see them grow. Her story will empower you. Some of the other stories range from women battling and surviving breast cancer, living with Lupus; a woman who is confined to a wheel chair from a rare spine ailment who was also crowned Miss Wheelchair New York; a pastor nearly facing divorce and loss of faith. Additional stories include loss of jobs to the death of children, homelessness, low self-esteem and a woman’s repeated entrepreneurial quest with one failed business after another. While all of these women endured great challenges, they all were able to defeat the odds. In their stories they shared details about their experiences, how the experience impacted their life, and how they have been able to either live with or overcome the challenge. These stories are heartbreaking, empowering and encouraging. These incredible women were brave to expose their pain and personal stories with the world. When intensively interviewing and communicating with the women over the year span, Shari became inspired and compelled to share her personal story about her fears and insecurities, which was not part of her objective. However, she narrowed down the 20 selected submissions to 14 and added herself as the 15th story. Although she aspired to inspire others through this book, she didn’t realize how much the women stories and bravery would inspire her, and give her a new perspective. No matter your gender or age, Behind the Smile will undoubtedly touch your heart, inspire you and increase a level of humanity to always be kind because you may never know the pain and tears behind someone’s masked smile. Since May 31st it has received raving reviews from fans. To avoid royalty splits, Shari donates proceeds of the book to a local shelter that provides transitional housing for homeless women. Shari considers herself a genre-fluid author and is the creator of five books: Disloyalty, How to Market Your Book: An Author’s Guide, the cookbook Taste! Our Family Recipes coauthored with her cousin Ann Johnson; the Art of Book Writing, and Behind the Smile: 15 Women Who Survived the Storm. The cookbook Taste! was featured in Essence Magazine as of one of 15 cookbooks authored by African American women. Shari is currently working on short film production to showcase vignettes of the women Behind the Smile which is expected to debut in late 2018 under Shari Quinn Production. Readers have already requested a sequel of the book with hopes of encouraging others through their stories. In her spare time, Author Shari Quinn enjoys traveling, cooking and baking. Beaches and nature is a regular place for her to retreat. The former Gwinnet resident now lives in her hometown area of upstate New York. All of her books can be located on Amazon.com. [insert Amazon Author Page]. shariquinn2@gmail.com. To learn more about Shari, follow her on Instagram, @shariquinn2.▄

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the pain, Shari completed Disloyalty the full length suspense novel in a brief three months which sold out in the book stores many times. After publishing her traumatic fictional story, her book created social media and news phenomena. Through effective marketing strategies, she strategically created a high demand for her high profile book and its mysterious book cover with the red-painted fingernail closely pressed against the piercing red lips to insinuate a large secret inside. Books flew off book store shelves and distributor warehouses across the country. Many people began to write the now famed author about their dreams of book publishing and requested to retain her consulting services and assistance in helping them write their story. Shari soon discovered the public’s strong interest in book writing so she designed a How-to workshop, created a barter agreement with a local college in exchange for free classroom space to facilitate her well-attended workshops. She offered fee-based How to Write a Book workshops and taught aspiring authors the art of book writing, publishing and marketing. Their stories were awakening, shocking and life-shattering. Surprisingly, they each managed to survive their thunderous storms. Men and women attended the workshops. As a follow-up, Shari would often reach out to the enthused and motivated attendees three- to six-months after the class to learn the progression of their writing project. To her surprise, many were distracted by life happenings and deferred their writing for a later time in life. To help re-motivate them to share their stories, realize their dreams of publishing and inspire others who may be going through similar life challenges, Shari put out a casting call to solicit stories from courageous women who have overcome unimaginable obstacles to share their story in her latest book, Behind the Smile: 15 Women Who Survived the Storm. Inquiries were overwhelming and over 35 story submissions were received. With the help of her hair stylist who opened her hair studio on a Sunday afternoon to host interviews of the women, Shari selected 20 empowering, eyewatering stories to spotlight in her new motivational book. More intense, emotional interviews proceeded with the future authors. The purpose of the book was to use her platform to help shine a beacon of light for others, provide a sense of hope that they, too, could make it through their storm. Knowing that all would not complete the project for various reasons, she accepted a few more than needed to reach her forecasted goal of 15 during this year-and -a-half long project. Behind the Smile is a collection of carefully chosen inspiring short stories of amazingly courageous women who have persevered through life’s most difficult challenges and overcame the most tragic situations that would break the average person. Part of Shari’s goal was to profile a diverse population of women from all age categories, races and background to appeal to the masses. It was important to make sure their stories were able to touch all generations and readers. The stories range from a woman living with HIV who contracted the life-altering virus from her adulterous husband. She also shared the traumatic experience of surviving a brutal rape and kidnapping on her way to elementary school by unknown assailants. Tearfully, her younger brother helplessly watched the attack as he hid behind bushes. Throughout her life, she has experienced a myriad of rollercoaster emotions coupled with shame and homelessness but in the end created her own silver


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MOTHER EDUCATOR “Teaching and Learning is Infinite”

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am mother, educator, model, and most of all I am Woman. My journey in this thing called life is exactly what it is, a journey. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1989 where I attended Clark Atlanta University for a year. After completing a year at Clark, I decided to do some soul searching and not return to college. On September 2, 1992, I gave birth to my first born, Kasia Renee. Being a single parent wasn’t part of my plan. However, being a single mother has taught me how to sacrifice, be more selfless, and strong. It wasn’t until 1994, when I met my ex -husband, and moved to Huntsville, Alabama. While living in Huntsville, AL, I was able to enroll at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, where I was initiated into the illustrious sorority of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In 1996, we moved to Irving, Texas where I enrolled in Dallas Baptist University where I gave birth to Jordan Ford, (1996) and Kristopher (1999). After living and working in Irving, Texas for so many years, we decided to relocate to Atlanta, GA in 2001. I have been in the field of education since 2004 in Douglas County. I am a special education and general education teacher. I have taught middle grades in all subject areas. I was named the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year from my school. I have had the privileged and honor of working with some of the best teachers in the County. I am an active member of Sigma Omega Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Within this chapter, I work with Douglas County communities through various community service works. This includes, voter’s registration, refurbish playgrounds, back to school book bag drive, just to name a few. Serving the people of Douglas County gives me pure joy. In the area of love, I am a woman who loves hard. Often times, love is not reciprocated from other’s. Since my divorced, I only loved two men. Although those relationships did not work out, I still haven’t given up hope. I see people around me getting married. ►

BEAUTY SPOTLIGHT JULY/AUG 2017


MODEL Although I am extremely happy for them, I am wondering if I would get another chance to find love again or should I say love finds me. I keep myself actively busy with work, modeling with Ageless Beauties (The Lyngale Agency), working out in the gym, and spending time with family and friends. Overall, my journey sounds like everyone else’s story; however, my story is customized just for me. I have taken every accomplishment and set back as a stepping stone in my life. I live life with no regrets. I’m a blessed woman!! ▄

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Damon Peeblee Photography

CHARISSE RENEE


TINA Summer Skin Simplicity

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n the summer, I like to keep things easy breezy, but yet so simple when it comes to modeling. My summer beauty tips and secrets are simple! I like to get my GLOW on and breeze right on through summer by getting a microdermabrasion. Since I have hyperpigmentation scarring due to adult onset acne microdermabrasion has really helped my skin. Microdermabrasion uses an abrasive instrument that gently sands your skin to treat light scarring and discoloration. For my microdermabrasion, I see a Skincare Esthetician at a Medi-spa, who is also my best friend. Another way to have radiant healthy glowing skin in the summer is heading down to your local Spa for a facial. There are different types of facials, but my favorite is a honey face mask for clear glowing skin and is great for acne. They use raw honey on your face which calms the inflammation on the skin. By working as an exfoliate, the honey removes the dead skin cells off your face. As a model, you have to take good care of your skin and your skin will take good care of you by looking radiant and FLAWLESS!â–„

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Photographer Kevin Washington of Washboy Photography MUA Lisa Bella Luciano Shades by Shadedolls Fashion Eyewear Wardrobe Stylist Toni Alexander

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RICH How to Prepare For Bikini Season

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h Boy! It is summertime and nothing is quite more intimidating then wearing a bikini in public in front of strangers who you don’t know. I work hard during those long cold winter months to look good in my bikini, but when summer comes around I’m still intimidated about going to the beach or swimming pool wearing my bikini. Here are some easy steps to prepare for bikini season: Exfoliate. You want to exfoliate your dead skin cells that way your skin looks radiant and healthy. You can buy body scrubs, sponges, or brushes to remove the dead skin cells. After you exfoliate your skin you will be able to tell the difference and believe me your skin will thank you for doing it, especially after the battle your skin just went through during those harsh winter months. Removing body hair. I prefer waxing my body hair because not only does it remove body hair, but it is a great way to exfoliate your skin. Waxing is a great way to remove body hair because the hair grows back slower and the hair becomes less coarse. Moisturize. Always keep your skin moisturized by applying body butter or simply applying your favorite skin care lotion. Everyone loves moisturized skin because when skin is moisturized it is healthy and radiant. Toning. Find your area that you like to tone up. For me, I like to tone up my legs because my legs are my best assets. I tone up my legs by hiking up a hill in my neighborhood or riding my stationary bike with 3 pound leg weights and increasing my resistance. Finding the perfect bikini. Find a bikini that is flattering to your body type. There are a lot of choices out there on the market for you to choose from. For me, I prefer a string bikini because that is a bikini that is flattering for my body type. You want to also choose a color that will compliment your skin tone. ▄

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Photographer Kevin Washington of Washboy Photography Hair Tenisha Clemons Makeup Lisa Bella Luciano Wardrobe Stylist Toni Alexander


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How To Kick Hair Frizz In The Butt…. This Summer! By Lamecia King

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ost of us look forward to the summer because of endless traveling endeavors, vacations, swimming, holidays’ concerts and countless celebrations. The truth of the matter is many of us dread the summer heat just as much as those that embrace the sunny season. The summer heat and humidity can not only be damaging and harmful to the skin but also to the hair. Women complain about their hair swelling, not holding a desired style or curls dropping because of the humidity. One common complaint is wanting to work out or go to the gym but don’t know what style would be sufficient for the gym and the everyday look without the dilemma of hair reversion or having to go to the hair salon everyday which can be pretty expensive. Well most of your concerns can be solved in just a few simple steps. Taking some extra steps in the beginning can make all the difference in the end. Following my professional advice can save countless time and take away some stress. First, ladies who are natural and don’t want to bother with hair extensions this is for you. It starts in the shower or shampoo bowl. Switch out your normal shampoo for an anti frizz shampoo; there are several brands on the market containing anti frizz nutrients. Look for anti frizz shampoo that has keratin in it or infused nourishing oils like coconut. These shampoos block humidity, conditions hair and nourishes while leaving the texture smoothed and polished. Next follow up with an anti frizz conditioner with the same properties as the shampoo. The conditioner is designed to fight frizz, knots, and tame the frizzes. You can know feel free to style hair as desired, if you like wearing natural twist outs, apply a small amount of holding custard or curling moisturizing gel before twisting, once hair is dry either by hood dryer or air dry follow up with an anti-humidity hairspray. This step is just as important as the rest, skipping this regiment can sabotage the entire style. Anti-humidity hair spray, acts as a barrier to humid conditions locking out frizz while locking in the style. If you are one who prefers a silky straight press minus the frizz, shampoo and condition with Anti frizz products, while hair is wet apply a moderate amount of anti frizz hair serum then blow dry hair. Before flat ironing use an anti frizz thermal protectant spray. Style hair as desired then spray the anti-humidity hair spray of your choice; now you can enjoy a day full of frizz free hair without reversion. Now for those who love their extensions like me and 90% of my clients this is your guide to a flawless summer. Crochet styles are all the rave, whether its crochet faux locs, senegalese twist, braids, jumbo twists, curly or wavy hair the possibilities are endless. This style is perfect for working out, or everyday wear and keeps your hair protected. My clients can’t get enough of the endless styling options they are able to create. My clients can leave straight from the gym to a business meeting or lunch with the girls either way their hair is flawless and on point. Another way to beat heat damage, counteract frizz and stress on your hair are Sew-ins. There are literally several types of sew- ins that are light, comfortable, worry free and very manageable. Sew-ins can be very beneficial contrary to many myths that are out there. Sew-ins can be achieved with a variety of different textured hair to achieve the exact style you want without worrying about heat damage, frizz, breakage, or reversion. The key is finding a hairstylist that specializes in Hair Extensions and promote hair growth while maintaining the integrity of the hair like myself. You should be able to see a significant difference in the overall health, integrity, texture and growth in your hair. These points, tips and professional advice will help your hair beat the blazing heat and summer madness. Now you can finally enjoy a summer with one less Dilemma while looking FLAWLESS at the same time. ▄


Styles of Diane Linston was featured in 2016, 11th - anniversary edition of “Who’s Who Black in Cleveland Ohio. Being the only African American female manufacturer company

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aple Heights very own Fashion Designer, Diane Linston steps out as one of the most talented fashion designers in the state of Ohio. Linston, has been featured in more than 20 magazines; nationally and internationally. She was featured in Today’s Black Women September 2013 issues. Madame Noire Magazine, December 2013, issues Ohio Cleveland.com 2013 issue and a host of others. Linston has participated in New York and Washington DC’s Fashion-week. Linston’s NGU Collections garnered national attention, positioning her to work with local and national celebrities. Her credits have allowed her to work with Actress Jazmin Lewis, Dwight Eubank of the Atlanta Housewives, and the mother of Singer John Legend. Recently, Linston modeled for Maple Heights Mayor Elect Annette M. Blackwell, Blackwell is the First African American Woman to be elected to serve as Mayor. Styles of Imagination is the umbrella name for all of Diane’s collections, the N.G.U. Design label is Diane’s signature line. N.G.U., stands for Never Give Up, and has been Diane’s rallying cry throughout her pursuit of becoming a high-fashion designer. “My dreams are more than just being a fashion designer,” states Diane, “It’s a dream come true for me. My career has not been easy; I have learned everything about fashion the hard way and I never gave up on my dreams, hence N.G.U. was born!” In 2010 Diane, was diagnosed with a debilitating disorder called Trigeminal Neuralgia, it is universally acknowledged as one of the most painful afflictions known to adults, aka the suicide disease. It affects 1 out of 25,000 people a year. Diane never gave up faith, 2011 she had brain surgery to correct a damaged nerve, and 4 months later she was doing what she loved to do, designing women’s clothing. In November 2014, Diane found out she had blood clots just inches from hitting her blood vessel. “Twice I beat the face of death. I am here for a reason God has a purpose for me in life. If not he would have taken me a long time ago. I will not stop until I accomplishes my dreams in life says, Linston. Diane Linston opened her showroom on June 1, 2015 at 3500 Payne Ave, Cleveland Ohio. The N.G.U. collection can be seen in more than 15 stores across the United States.■

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Imagination “Fashions Beyond Your Imagination”

Mention this AD and receive 15% off on your order www.stylesofimagination.com

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3500 Payne Avenue Unite 1C Cleveland Ohio 44114 216-713-0353


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ANGIE STONE: In-Tuned with Her Gifts and Talents By Keina Kennedy, Trendsetters to Trendsetters Media Group/Dominion Entertainment

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ngie Stone, born a native of Columbia, SC, is known across the globe as an electrifying recording artist, producer and actress. Angie began her music career with the hip hop trio, Sequence. Later working with the hip hop & rap group Mantronix and singer Lenny Kravitz, where she further crafted her unique style. Angie is a self-taught keyboardist who formed the classy R&B Trio, Vertical Hold. She later signed to Arista in 1999 as a solo artist. From there, Angie has become one of the industry's most notable creators and has held her spot among the industry’s contemporary R&B and Neo-Soul leading ladies. Today, we met with Angie to get a better perspective on her music journey and the woman behind the sharp, seductive and smoky sounds we've all come to know. Sitting down with Angie Stone, we immediately noticed a shift in the atmosphere between the Angie THEN and the Angie NOW. Same Angie Stone; however, this Angie has blossomed into an even more beautiful butterfly - the kind we need to multiply in today’s society. Angie opened up and revealed what she wanted the world to know. “People need to know that we are all individually created to be individual. The industry now is different. If you don't have thick skin, you can't really make it. There's no more research and no more A&R. There's no more cushion. It's either yes or no or do or die!" Angie even often prepares her son for the real world by telling him, "Throw a dozen eggs on the wall and whatever sticks, sticks!" Diving deeper into herself, Angie admits that she has been through a lot in her career. She indicated not having the accolades and winning many prestigious awards; however, Angie recognizes those things never de-valued her. STILL Angie is in-tune with her gifts, talents and plans for the industry. In fact, Angie spoke about the industry being different due to the social violence, decision makers and music choices of this generation. She believes self-preservation is the least of our concern. “We are missing the Betty Wright's and the Marvin Gaye's of the world. These are people who understood who they were. We have to take a stand and come to know OUR culture and what it is we're gifted to do. So my job with this album is to go back to BOOTCAMP." Angie is going back to the soulfulness of her deeply rooted Mahogany Soul album. She is currently working with Candice Nelson, Belawa Muhammad, Teak Underdue, and Walter Millsap on the album entitled, "DINOSAUR". The new album and single tells women in order to find the end result of where she’s going, she needs to stop digging up old sores and understand dinosaurs [things that happened in her past] are extinct. Her song "PERFECT" has thought-provoking lyrics describing the images of what we think women look like. "WHY WE STILL CAN" is a record that prompts us into a forgiving mood and puts us on the road to settling differences and getting things right. "GLITCH" is a smooth and dirty love song that Angie feels, "Yawl are going to be making baby music to." But, the song with the most interesting

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title is called "NEVER BRIDE"…the cut is too raw to spoil. ;-) Ms. Stone attributes everything relating to her success to trusting God. She voiced that she wasn't looking for "it", that "it" found her. This lady was so humbled in her interview with us, she affirmed: "It's not about me all the time." She mentioned her desire to help others by doing more producing for celebrities and upcoming artists and overall helping others. That's when she told us about her rap/singing group 565 and her non-profit, Cornerstone Care for Senior Citizens. Her venture, A Heart of Love, stops young girls from experiencing jealousy, envy, and things that don't apply. Her mission is changing the thought patterns of our younger generation and creating ways to supplement the damage and hurt done to children resulting from single-parenting/absentee parents. This was our gateway into learning more of Angie's spiritual journey and how she got to this point to date. "Life – Life happens because that's YOUR journey." She grunts – "The enemy sets traps...but God positions us all. He's the one who gives." Angie is positioned where she is today because she stands spiritually for God, herself, and everything that’s to come beyond herself. She was adamant that Satan doesn't scare her and conceded she's no stranger to coming through the fire. With conviction she confesses, "I ain't going back no more!"…Angie has maintained her integrity and is not afraid to keep it 100%. She knows it’s the only place to touch lives due to the missing realism in the industry. With everything Angie Stone has gone through, she still manages to propel on to the next! Currently, Ms. Stone has a brand new radio show and will be receiving an honorary doctorate degree. Look out for Dr. Angie Stone's new album in stores and online everywhere in September. ▄

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Jazz Guitarist…

NORMAN BROWN

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orman Brown is a Grammy-winning smooth jazz guitarist and singer from Kansas City, Kansas. Many times he is compared to George Benson and Wes Montgomery. Interest in his brother’s acoustic guitar around the age of eight was the catalyst that sparked his own interest in the electric guitar. Brown’s first inspirations came from the music of Jimi Hendrix and Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers. Soon he would discover legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery, who happened to be one of his father’s favorite artists. Brown’s music evolved to a different level after his discovery of Montgomery! Listeners have been graced with the music of Norman Brown for over twenty years! In my opinion, he is one of the all time best guitarists. Just Between Us in 1992 was Brown’s debut album. This was followed in 1994 with his successful gold album After the Storm which remained on the charts for two years. It received a Soul Train Award for Jazz Album of the Year and also received Jazz Album of the Year on the Gavin Awards! In 2002, he released his Grammy award winning Just Chillin’ which won Pop Instrumental Album of the Year! Also in 2002, Groovin’ was released. This was a mixture of songs introduced by his smooth jazz group called BWB. The group consisted of Brown, saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun. He then returned to his solo work in 2004 with West Coast Coolin’, and two years later Stay With Me. His 24/7 collaboration in 2012 with Gerald Albright garnered him his second Grammy nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category in 2013. Brown rejoined BWB for a tribute album to Michael Jackson titled Human Nature also in 2013. He continued to split his time between his solo work and BWB releasing his third album of originals in 2016 simply titled BWB. I met Brown in 2015 at Hank Stewart’s Hot Chocolate Affair and again in 2016 at The 15th Annual White Linen Affair, another Hank Stewart event. This year’s musical lineup for the 16th Annual White Linen Affair features Norman Brown again! Also this year he will be presenting his first Christmas tour and will be traveling to many cities during the holidays. He conveys that Bobby Caldwell and Marion Meadows will be joining him in spreading peace, unity, joy and spiritual power. Brown says, “It’s going to be a fantastic show! When we come to your city, come out and hang with us and let’s have joy together!” This year Norman Brown released his first solo album in six years for Shanachie Records! This album has something for everyone; this one seems to be his baby! Brown eagerly states, “This is a very spiritual record, I call it Let It Go. The concept is to sacrifice the lesser for the greater. We tend to sacrifice the greater for the lesser. All the little things in life that we sweat and call problems, challenges and obstacles, we must learn to let them go because there is GREATER.” Brown says that every song title brings a message, so let’s explore each song as he

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Soprano Saxophonist… MARION MEADOWS By: Beverly Hill (Shelley)

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ern day American music history. Meadows expressed that he wanted educators to expand this knowledge so that the next generation can see the big picture of how it is all tied together. Aside from teaching origin, he also teaches the influences of each type, style and genre. He says, “For our children, American music history is getting lost, fading out, and I have to make sure it never is forgotten.” A monumental event in Meadow’s life was a recent performance at the Cape Town Jazz Festival in South Africa! He shared, “We played with Hugh Masekela. He did a chant; it was the freedom song for South Africa, the one they wrote for Nelson Mandela. There was a sea of 45,000 people all bawling including me. I was so overwhelmed that I cried uncontrollably.” Meadows continues, “To see all these people, twenty years since their freedom, finally together crying and singing this freedom song was awesome! It was not just Zulus. It was Indian people, White people…everybody! They had lived through the apartheid struggle and were exhibiting the tears of people trying to move humanity forward! I had never experienced anything like this. This was so touching. If I never play another note, if I never play music again…after experiencing this, I would be just fine.” Committing to being a full-time musician can have a total effect on your personal life. Meadows says, “You must be ready to go at anytime. You may have a tour around the world for six months, and you’ve got to go. That's what you bought into and sometimes your family suffers. We are messengers sending out a message, and we’re hoping that people resonate with that message. Our goal is to help KEEP humanity moving forward. To be the partner of a musician is not for everybody, because we are sometimes misunderstood. As a couple, if you're truly spiritually vested it will work out. I would not do anything differently; everything is as it is supposed to be.” Meadows doesn’t have any advice for young people coming into the music business. He says, “They’re going to find their way anyway if they have the talent and the drive and if this is something they really want to do.” The only advice he has is general and will work in music or in business. He adds, “Whatever you do, just do it with integrity. Be kind, bring love through the door and you'll get love back, and also leave the door with love. I'm proud of the musicians and artists around the planet, those people in the Arts that have made a true contribution to moving our people forward. My friends that I'm around are the loveliest people I know. They are wonderful, wonderful people…they hug, and they're sincere, that's the only kind of people I want to know.” Oh course by now I chimed in, "And now you’ve got another lovely person to know…ME!!" We both laughed. He left us with these words of wisdom, “The only thing you have in your whole life is your integrity.” ▄

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arion Meadows is a phenomenal soprano jazz saxophonist originally from West Virginia. He was raised in Stamford, Connecticut. By the age of nine he was playing the clarinet and studying classical music. As a teen, Meadows moved from playing the tenor saxophone to the soprano sax. His mentors were Norman Connors, Eddie Daniels, Sonny Fortune and Grover Washington. Meadows majored in arranging and composition while in attendance at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He shares, “As musicians, we provide an outlet for people to be emotional and to see the world through our eyes, through our experiences. There may be very little reward monetarily, but the rewards are so spiritual and enlightening. That's the way it’s been pretty much of my life. I'm so happy I chose this. Even if I never made a dime, I still would have felt the same way about my choice.” In the late 80’s, an impromptu encounter happened while Meadows was waiting for a train in New York’s Grand Central Station. He decided to take his horn out and began to play. The melodic sounds caught the ear of another traveler passing by. This traveler happened to be producer and TV composer Jay Chattaway who was so blown away that he introduced Meadows to legendary keyboardist, Bob James. He and James did collaborate on a recording. It was never released but lead Meadows on the road to much success. Meadows says, "I got a lot of sideman jobs in college, and I have always said I got my real graduate degree playing clubs.” I learned that a sideman is a professional musician who is hired to perform or record with a group for which he or she is not a regular member. Meadows became a well known sideman, recording or performing over the years with Eartha Kitt, Phyllis Hyman, The Temptations, Michael Bolton, Angela Bofill and Will Downing just to name a few. Being a sideman with jazz drummer, composer and producer Norman Connors for three years, Meadows had no thought of going solo. He continues, “Not long after I finished school, Connors recorded one of my songs Invitation, and then he asked me to join his band.” Later Meadows produced Connors’ Passion album with colleague Jacques Burvick from the music group, Aquarium Dream. Meadows solo debut album was For Lover’s Only which was released in 1990 by RCA and was a huge success! Following this debut, he released Keep It Right There, Forbidden Fruit, Body Rhythm, Pleasure, Another Side of Midnight, Next To You, In Deep and many more. In 2016, Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, Ohio) recognized Meadows for his music history research. He introduced a compilation of musical references that connects the dots of mod-


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Papa J SEZ Trumpeter, Joey Sommerville By: Beverly Hill (Shelley)

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His 2011 album was The Get Down Club. Jazz veterans Jeff Lorber, Marion Meadows, Bob Baldwin and Najee all appeared on this album. Sommerville says, "Music is a collaborative art form and I want to take my version of it to the next level. At the time The Get Down Club was the ultimate expression of my artistic vision.” Sommerville’s 2014 album titled Overnight Sensation received excellent reviews including an endorsement from USA Today. This project featured Sommerville along with notable guests, Jeff Lorber, Jeff Bradshaw, Elan Trotman and jazz guitarist, Earl Klugh. He has also performed and recorded with mega-rock group Phish and played with Ronnie Laws, Phil Perry, Wayman Tisdale and many others. Sommerville’s performances have included major venues and festivals nationally and internationally. Among them have been Nashville's Music City Jazz and Blues Festival, The Seabreeze Jazz Festival, The Atlanta Jazz Festival, Jazz Summer Festival in Nassau (Bahamas), The Uptown Market Festival (Bermuda) and The Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg (Germany). For the last four years he hosted Joey Sommerville's The Get Down Club on The Capital Jazz SuperCruise. I wanted to know where the name Papa J came from, laughing he said, "Papa J came from my grandson Solomon. I had to figure out a name for myself and I wasn't going to be called Grandpa. Papa J stuck and I thought it sounded cool and decided to roll with it on stage.” Sommerville’s advice to others starting in the music business is to always be yourself. Papa J Sez, “If you do you, there is NO competition. Trying to be like someone else… I've never seen that end well. Embrace your uniqueness. Stay educated and know what's going on. Be selective about those you are surrounded with to make sure they are of good character and integrity.” He wholeheartedly stresses that character is more important than talent. Look for Sommerville’s new album, Papa J Sez! He excitedly says, “This album has a funkier, contemporary blues vibe, but it’s still me…Papa J!” ▄

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ontemporary Jazz musician, trumpeter Joey Sommerville, was born in Detroit, Michigan. His music can best be described as a funky musical gumbo of jazz, R&B and gospel. As with a lot of musicians, the root of his musical essence was during his formative years in the Baptist Church. “I've got two big influences,” Sommerville says. “The first was Sister Yvonne Murrell. She was the pianist, organist and choir director at the church where I grew up. When I was a teenager, I would judge the caliber of my playing by the number of people in the congregation who 'got happy'! The Holy Ghost isn't bound by a building; I have church in the club!! This is in one of the songs on my new Papa J Sez album. It’s the same energy. When people get happy at church, you feel the same thing when you're in the club! It doesn't matter where I am, it's the same, but it's different... same energy...you're just in a different room.” Tenor sax player and blues singer, Big Joe Burrell, was Sommerville’s main mentor. Burrell played with Count Basie and BB King for a number of years. “I played with him and the Unknown Blues Band throughout his solo career. He taught me how to be an entertainer. You NEVER stop being an entertainer”. When I inquired about his greatest achievements he replies, "That's a tough one, I don't really think of it like that. All of them are great achievements, and you just try to do it again the next time. I live in the present and look forward to the future not worrying about the past.” He continues, “If you aren't touching the listener's soul, then you aren't really playing music. Communication is the key.” Sommerville chuckles, “My wife gets a free show every day…all the time. I'm putting on a show half the time when I'm at home. I tell her she might get mad at me, but she'll never get bored! My personal life is entertainment; my entertainment is my personal life. My family and I have a good time all the time.” His album, Like You Mean It garnered international airplay and led to numerous accolades and awards, including The American Society of Young Musician's All That Jazz Award for 2009.


Tony Terry “When I’m With You” By: Beverly Hill (Shelley)

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don’t know anyone that does not remember Tony Terry; he had several R&B hits in the late 80’s! Remember his song “With You” from his self-titled second album in 1990? This song still makes women swoon today! It’s one of the most requested wedding songs of all time!! Tony Terry was born in North Carolina and raised in Washington, D.C. While in D.C., he attended and graduated from the Duke Ellington School of Arts. He currently lives in Atlanta with his family. I had the privilege of being invited by Terry to the Howard Hewett, Tony Terry, and Rome concert on October 14, 2016. He is a very personable man with a contagious smile, and he’s an absolute delight to be around. He dedicated the show to his friend Tommy Ford better known as Tommy from the sitcom Martin who transitioned October 12, 2016. I wanted to know what inspired his famous song “With You.” He states, “A friend of mine by the name of Raymond Reeder wrote the song. I had a lot going on in my life at that time and that song represented how I felt. The actual reason the song was written was a different story, but I recorded it because of the things I was going through and had just won custody of my baby…that made me happy. A lot of people don’t know it but Anita Baker is the reason that the video “With You” exists. I didn’t even know her at the time! She gave me the money to produce it and she is the Executive Producer.” Terry has had many amazing and memorable moments. He was a 1991 Soul Train Music Award nominee. He reminisces, “I was honored to be in the category with Michael Jackson, and Luther Vandross… (Chuckling) Michael Jackson won!” Another memorable event for him was when he worked on a musical titled Sisterella that Michael Jackson produced. Terry continues, “The song “She’s Fly” was released in 1987 and written by one of my high school friends whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. I had just finished my album when I ran into him. I took him to the studio right away; we recorded “She’s Fly”…it ended up being the first single off the album that started the whole thing!” I wanted to know more about Tony Terry the person, so I

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asked him to share a couple of things that most people don’t know about him. He proceeds, “A lot of people don’t know that I can cook…I can burn!!” Of course, I asked for an invite!! (Laughter) I asked if he played any instruments, and this was his response which had us both laughing, “I don’t play any instruments; I have a short attention span. The patience that it would require to learn an instrument I didn’t have, so I wanted to sing!!” He continues, “As far as hobbies, my son plays football so I’m active in that, supporting him and making sure he has what he needs. I take care of my family and keep a normal existence. I also spend a lot of time in the studio or in the gym.” In 2010, Terry was the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) spokesperson. The association commemorated National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in Anaheim, California. Terry, whose wife has fibromyalgia, performed a special concert during the closing Lights of Hope candle lighting ceremony. He also created a not for profit organization, Tony Terry All Lives Matter, Inc. The proceeds from his 2015 released single, “All Lives Matter,” serves to benefit the victims of violence and brutality, and their families. Terry stated, “World peace is something that must happen without delay.” Tony Terry has definitely not been idle. He is continually working on great music. His most recent album was iTony 6 which was released October 2015! In late 2016 he released a single titled “December Goodbye” which he tells me was an end of the year song…a break up song. He states, “I’m singing it with a friend, Sylver Logan Sharp. I went to high school with her; we had a long-term relationship. Emotionally it’s just a powerful song.” During this year’s 16 th Annual Hank Stewarts White Linen Affair, Tony Terry will be part of an awesome musical lineup that includes Angie Stone, Norman Brown, Marion Meadows and others! He also has a CD compilation of his old and new songs that he has compiled especially for this event!! This man is steadily on the move! It’s clear to see that Terry is a multifaceted man, full of talent and has a lot going on. Look out for his new single coming soon! Good luck Tony! Remember we are “With You!” ▄

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HI-FIVE R&B RECORDING GROUP

Interviewed by Lady LaDonna/ BridgePointe Media & Entertainment

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...The82 " Talent, the Journey, and the Story behind the American R&B 90's Musical Group - Hi-Five..." JULY/AUG 2017


Hi-Five! Hi-Five Members: Treston Irby, Marcus Sanders, Shannon Gill, Farqu Evans, Billy Covington and Tony Thompson (Deceased). When asked of Hi-Five, how did you know that you were going be one of the phenomenal R&B 90's groups in which you still remain today? The guys humbly replied... "Each one of us knew deeply in our hearts that we were "Called" and "Destined" for greatness beyond our imagination! Although we all grew up in different areas and experienced different life case scenarios, man...to be picked and accepted out of many voices and groups, we are blessed to be placed in such amazing positions!” The group originally signed to Jive Records in the late 80's, HI -FIVE released their self-debut album in 1990. The album went platinum and was produced by the legendary Teddy Riley; it included such singles as "I Just Can't Handle It" (R&B #10), "I Can't Wait Another Minute" (Pop #8, R&B #1) and their biggest hit to date, "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)", which went to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the U.S. Hot R&B/HipHop Songs chart. The group was aggressively marketed by Jive and was part of the "New Jack Swing" sound that dominated much of the early to mid-1990s urban contemporary radio format. HI-FIVE enjoyed some mainstream success and were essentially similar to R&B counterparts such as H-Town, Shai, Public Announcement, and perhaps most notably, Boyz II Men. The group's single, "Too Young" was featured on John Singleton's Boyz N The Hood, soundtrack. HI-FIVE’s second LP, "Keep It Goin' On", came out in 1992. Though not as successful as their debut effort, several tracks from this album, including "She's Playing Hard To Get" (Pop #5, R&B #2) and the R. Kelly-penned "Quality Time" (Pop #38, R&B #3) received major airplay in East Coast (US) urban markets. In 1993, HI-FIVE emerged with a third album, Faithful, which featured the songs "Unconditional Love" (Pop #92, R&B #21) and "Never Should've Let You Go" (Pop #30, R&B #10). "Unconditional Love" was also featured in the multi-platinum Menace II Society soundtrack, and received extensive airplay on urban, contemporary stations throughout the summer of 1993 as the movie increased in popularity. "Never Should've Let You Go" was featured in the Sister Act 2 soundtrack. In 2013, the group's single “Favorite Girl” topped the Top 50 Urban AC charts at #37.

Q: With all of their successes, the trials and tribulations, the victories and triumphs of Hi-Five, they are now back on the musical scene thriving like none other...What has kept and sustained each one of you personally, and as an iconic group? Marcus Sanders..."Only if you knew the "miracles" that each one of us has faced personally, and as the group...ONLY GOD! You MUST have a "Plan B" on the business side. In both the low and high moments, you must love what you do, not for the pay...but, wholeheartedly love what you've been "Called" to do! Our testimonies have and will continue to be an encouragement and a blessing to the listeners...in all, BE A VESSEL!”

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Treston Irby …”YOU GOTTA WIN! YOU GOTTA WIN! Maturity and understanding the "role" that God has placed in our lives. Leave EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING in God's Hands! Have positivity all around you...family, friends and those who will hold you accountable! The money will come when you "love" what you do! Study your “craft”. Know why and what you’re doing. Be business savvy!”

Q: Now, many Record Label Companies, even other musical artists, and fans continue to ask the question...Is R&B, as we once knew it, still ALIVE? Marcus Sanders: ..."R&B is NOT dead. R & B has set the pathway for many past, present and upcoming artists, and although R&B music has somewhat taken a back seat....YES, R&B is still ALIVE!” Treston Irby also agreed…”Yes, R&B has taken a back seat, but R&B is still ALIVE, we just need to search for it! We need more lyrical content...Hi-Five, WE ARE STILL HERE!"

Q: With all of your accolades and accomplishments, what were your greatest moments? Marcus Sanders: "...Being recognized for your hard work. Living in the moment, and appreciating every moment." Treston Irby: "...#1 Records. Being recognized by your peers, such as actors and your musical colleagues." : There are many industry greats who have impacted the world, is there anyone who stands out to you, and who you look up to? Marcus Sanders "...Yes, Tommy Hearns, Mike Tyson, Barry Sanders and others. Treston Irby..sure, Ronnie Harmon, Jason Williams, Wayne Walker and others." Hi-Five has been on a “30 City Tour”, now you are headed to Atlanta, GA for the “Back 2 The 80’s Tour” July 8, 2017 appearing at the Wolfcreek Amphitheater.

Q: What are your expectations of the show? Marcus Sanders: “Great Music” Treston Irby “Great Show” and to take our fans back in time with our songs like “Can’t Wait Another Minute” and “Kissing Game”. Shout out to all of the acts on the show! In closing, is there anything you would like to leave rising artists about the music industry? Marcus Sanders: ...“Do it because you love it and most of all, learn your craft” Treston Irby: …”Include God in everything that you do! Don’t rush! Have a meeting with God! Have God lead your business and pray over your business! Most of all, keep God first!” ▄ The group continues to keep Tony Thompson’s memory alive, by keeping Hi-Five ALIVE! Hi-Five Forever!

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ne may ask the question, who is Hi-Five and where did they come from? Emerging from Waco, Texas, this talented group of guys who loved everything about music, and the musical World...were discovered and began their unparalleled journey. Thus, the story of the R&B group


NORMAN BROWN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 75

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expounds: 1) Lessons Of The Spirit - Brown says, “This is a quiet piece. It's short and the purpose is to get the mind in the state of trance, meditation, being calm and at peace. This is our nature. 2) It Keeps Coming Back - “If we don't learn our spiritual lessons, we will have to repeat them again and again. Our journey is about lessons, and we learn lessons through the scenarios that we live. 3) Let It Go - “Sacrifice the lesser for the greater. Once you do that, then you can say ‘ooh child’… which is the next song.” 3) Ooh Child - “Everything's going to be alright. 4) Conversations - “This song is about those two parts of us that speak to ourselves. The lyrics say, ‘as I talk to myself, I put my ego on the shelf. It's time to listen to my spirit. Talk to me. Speak to me. Teach to me. Empower me. Shower me. Let it flow through my being Spirit power." He continues, “When we have challenges, we question ourselves should I do this or that…that's the conversation. We have to learn to distinguish between the voices, the bad or the good which is the God in us!” He says, “I wanted to give what works for me and what I see as true and apply it to my music.” 4) Living Out Your Destiny - “Enjoy the love that life brings. Feel what it is to really feel, make it right, keep it real…take some time to just chill.” 5) Holding You - “This is a sensual piece for unification between male and female that I sang with Chante Moore.” 6) The North Star - “Featuring Marion Meadows, this is that place where there's peace, where there is no opposition. You live in joy; peace and happiness therefore show love.” 7) Very Woman - “This is a bluesy, gutbucket kind of song. It's like you're MY woman, you're my very woman. You're the very woman that I need. You're the very woman that I want. You're the only woman that I see. You're the only one that's right for me.” 8) Liberated -“This song is about becoming liberated from the lower parts of the spirit.” 9) Remember Who You Are - “We have to remember who we are and not let this world take us out of our nature. Our nature is peace. We are supposed to respond to all life challenges, obstacles and problems in a place of peace. When we do this we get God's wisdom, spiritual power, laws of protection and divine protection. We get all of these

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great laws and principles working for us. Remember who you are. Don't let this world tell you who you are. I'm not a black man. I'm not even Norman. I don't even know my real name. I'm a spirit. I'm a Divine being. I'm more than human. I walk around in a human body, but that burning fire and energy in me is a spirit.” 10) Man in the Mirror -“Look in the mirror, that's what it's all about. We're all looking for answers outside and pointing fingers outside when it's all inward. God is inward, heaven is inward, answers are inward, the ability to solve problems is inward, and our basic nature is inward. I want people to look at the man in the mirror.” It was fascinating hearing Brown’s take on his songs, and he wanted everyone to know that all of this information and more is on the liner notes in his album! Beyond the music of Norman Brown, he shared some things from his personal side. Brown is a father of six well-educated children. He has three girls and three boys and states that he is currently in a beautiful relationship. He says, “I've been through many relationships as many of us have, and I learned so much about life through them. These lessons inspired the concept for my new album Let It Go.” After spending time talking to Norman, we discovered that we shared many of the same spiritual beliefs. I found him to not only be a very mesmerizing, phenomenal guitarist but also an extremely informative and spiritual man. Brown also has an interest in developing spiritual divinity, studying Egyptian spirituality and Chinese life force. He is a family man, and he keeps himself balanced by practicing these methods. Brown expounds, “One thing that solves everything is realizing the fact that we are divine beings. We become the vessel of God on Earth, and then we receive everything! The key to living life comes down to answering three questions. What is the essential essence of the Supreme Being, why creation and what is my purpose in creation? When we get the answers to these things, success is all that can happen. If we develop our spiritual divinity, everything else is perfect.” In the words of Brown…LET IT GO! ▄

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The Magical Hidden Paradise: A must see destination is located in

Mexico at the Las Grutas By Tribel Nickerson/ Independent Travel Agent

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basically like an allnatural sauna with a pool for swimming. If that's a little too steamy for you, then a dip in the slightly cooler river might be more of your speed. The flowing water provides an almost massage like effect and it's mesmerizing blue hue adds to the effect, not only does it make the whole experience feel more magical, but the waters color comes from salts and minerals dissolved in it perfect for soaking in. You can always get an exfoliating mask or mud treatment to further the relaxation. You can also enjoy hiking and camping in this serene environment as well. If you can't get enough unwinding, then head to the waterfall pools, natural springs that have been damned up to create 40 or so Cliffside travertine terraces, each with natural spring water for bathing and relaxing. They've also got zip lines and an epic suspension bridge because the experience of getting an adrenaline rush from the zip line and then coming down from that high in a Cliffside hot spring is kind of the best. And if camping isn’t quite your style, you can rest assured that there are several hotels at the hot springs, as well as several delicious restaurants, so your family can make the most of your stay. ▄

TRAVEL TRENDS

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as Grutas De Tolantongo is a spa resort in the Mexico state of Hildago. It's a canyon surrounded by the volcanic mountains. It is heated and water drips down into the pools on the side of the mountains, they are also caves to explore at this location. This is an all-natural hot springs Cliffside breathtaking Valley resort. Thanks to the surrounding volcanic mountains, thermal springs spill out into incredible hot springs that hang off the side of a cliff, rendering it one of the most beautiful spots in Mexico. This resort is built along a box canyon, open on one end and closed on the other. The mountains around the Canyon are volcanic, heating the water to steamy temperatures and infusing it all with minerals. Thus forming some of the world’s loveliest hot springs. Whether you'd prefer to just soak in all this natural beauty for as long as possible, or you want something more exciting, this resort delivers. There are several ways to enjoy this Mexican geothermal wonderland. The first is to explore the tunnel and cave. This grotto features a warm spring fed pool and river, and also has warm mineral rich water misting in from the walls and ceiling...it's


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Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine July/Aug 2017  

Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine July/Aug 2017

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