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By Jay Reeves and Darlene Superville

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President Obama embraces Congressman John Lewis

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SELMA, Alabama

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merica's racial history "still casts its long shadow upon us," President Obama said Saturday as he stood in solidarity and remembrance with civil rights activists whose beatings by police a half-century ago galvanized much of the nation against racial oppression ,and hastened passage of historic voting rights for minorities. Tens of thousands of people joined to commemorate the "Bloody Sunday" march of 1965, and take stock of the struggle for equality. Under a bright sun, the first black U.S. president praised the figures of a civil rights era that he was too young to know, but that helped him break the ultimate racial barrier in political history with his ascension to the highest office. He called them "warriors of justice" who pushed America closer to a more perfect union. "So much of our turbulent history - the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham; and, the dream of a Baptist preacher - met on this bridge," Obama told the crowd before taking a symbolic walk across part of the Edmund Pettus Bridge where the 1965 march erupted into police violence. "It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills, a contest to determine the meaning of America," Obama said. He was 3 at the time of the march. A veteran of that clash, Rep. John Lewis, who was brought down by police truncheons that day in 1965 and suffered a skull

fracture, exhorted the crowd to press on with the work of racial justice. "Get out there and push and pull until we redeem the soul of America," Lewis said. He was the youngest and is the last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, a group led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that had the greatest impact on the movement. In the crowd stood Madeline McCloud of Gainesville, Fla., who traveled overnight with a group of NAACP members from central Florida and marched in Georgia for civil rights back in the day. "For me this could be the end of the journey since I'm 72," she said. "I'm stepping back into the history we made." Also in attendance was Peggy Wallace Kennedy, a daughter of the late George Wallace, the Alabama governor who once vowed "segregation forever." Selma's fire department estimated the crowd reached 40,000. Former President George W. Bush shared the platform. Republican congressional leaders were mostly absent but one, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, joined the walk. The walk progressed under the bold letters on an arch, identifying the bridge named after Pettus, a Confederate general, senator, and reputed Ku Klux Klan leader. Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters walked about a third of the way across, accompanied by Lewis, who has given fellow lawmakers countless tours of this scene. Bush, his wife, Laura, and scores of others came with them before a larger crowd followed. Two years after King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, the “Bloody Sunday� march became the first of three aiming to reach Montgomery, Ala., to demand an end to discrimination against black voters and all such victims of segregation. Scenes of troopers beating marchers on the bridge shocked the nation, emboldening leaders in Washington to pass the Voting Rights Act five months later. On his way to Selma, Obama signed a law awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to participants of the trio of marches, the last of which brought protesters all the way to Montgomery. The shadow of enduring discrimination touched the event as Obama addressed his government's investigation of the Ferguson, Mo., police department. The investigation, he said, "evoked the kind of abuse and disregard for citizens that spawned the civil rights movement." "What happened in Ferguson may not be unique," he said, "but it's no longer endemic, or sanctioned by law and custom. And before the civil rights movement, it most surely was." The Justice Department concluded last week that Ferguson had engaged in practices that discriminated against the city's largely black population. The department also declined to

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re you accomplishing what you were created to achieve, or has the comfort of your current situation made you blind to what your true purpose is? We all tend to move in a multitude of directions within our day-today lives, because going full speed ahead with the tasks of work, family, education, romance, and financial gain will eventually get us to where we want to be…or so we think. Many of us live each day with our “eyes wide shut.” You can see, but you have no true vision. You labor every day, but you are not fruitful. You have income, but have no self-worth. And you say you know how to love someone, but you don’t love yourself. Do you know who you are, and the person you are meant to be? I challenge you to take time to study, pray, meditate, and become acquainted with your inner self to determine who you really are. Get to know the person you see in the mirror so that you can recognize, understand, and conquer your insecurities and your fears. Focus on your own journey, and not someone else’s. Take back your personal power that you’ve distributed among other people who misuse and abuse you. Let self-love be the power that changes the dreams of your life. Then you will be able to recognize your purpose and move forward as the person you are meant to be, living a more meaningful, driven, and focused life. Your eyes are wide open, but can you see… your purpose, your inner self, and the person you are meant to be? ■

Willie Stewart, Publisher

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PUBLISHER’S NOTES

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VP NOTES

TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS PUBLISHER

Willie Stewart / Atlanta, GA VICE PRESIDENT / CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR

Derek Payne / Columbus, OH Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12

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mother’s instinct is priceless! My brother has made the statement to me many times, “Man, if it wasn’t for mama, I don’t know what I would have done!” I can honestly agree with him on many occasions as well. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not overlooking Dad and his contributions. His time is coming later to expound on him. I recall a story I’ve told many times of when I was a junior at Alcorn State University and our choir planned a tour during Spring Break. I needed to come up with enough money to finance the trip. Not having the money on hand, my mother sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts and raised enough money for me to enjoy the best Spring Break of my life! How many mothers out there would do such a thing? That’s just one example of her love and support towards me over the years. Mother’s Day is fast approaching and what better time to reflect on our mothers. The role of the mother in the typical American family is to bring unity and structure to the family unit. The mother plays multiple roles in the household. The stay-at-home mom generally considers her role a full-time responsibility. Working moms contribute financially to the household to pay for bills and the physical needs of the child. Nurturing, counseling, educating, nursing, juggling family and personal relationships along with their careers, mothers are considered the emotional backbone of the family. As with most holidays, Mother’s Day comes only once a year. Make it special for her, and it will come back to you. There is something beyond words to express to the person who helped you to walk and talk, who gave you your first puppy, who helped you with school, and who gave you all the love she possibly could. Show her you care by acknowledging her value in your life. And if you don’t have your mom around, spend some time with someone who is like a mother to you. Take her out for brunch, dinner or even a short walk. In closing, I send much love to my mother, Cassie M. Payne. She is the best mother on the planet. I can say that because she belongs to me! I pray that the Lord continues to bless and keep her in His loving care and allows her to be here with us for many more years to come. Make sure this Mother’s Day, your mother knows how you feel about her. Honor your mother today,,,and everyday! ■

DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL NETWORK MARKETING & WEB DEVELOPMENT

Lukeither Willingham / Atlanta, GA DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE SERVICES & BRANDING

Lacie Williams / Atlanta, GA DIRECTOR of PUBLIC RELATIONS Glenda Scott / Atlanta, GA EDITOR Melody Edwards / Atlanta, GA FREELANCE WRITERS Greta Wheeler / Atlanta, GA Shernita Wiggins / Atlanta, GA Beverly Hill Shelley / Atlanta, GA Glenda Scott / Atlanta, GA Melody Edwards / Atlanta, GA Tina Williams / Atlanta, GA CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Linda Amerson / Arlington, TX Joseph Booker / Baton Rouge, LA Carrie Johnson / New York, NY PHOTOGRAPHY Joe Carter (J. Carter Photography) Atlanta, GA Rodney Adams Photography Memphis, TN

GScottPR Atlanta, GA

TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS MEDIA GROUP RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PUBLISH ANY MATERIALS RECEIVED. WE APPRECIATE ALL MATERIAL, HOWEVER, SUBMISSIONS MUST BE OF A POSITIVE AND INFORMATIVE NATURE. PLEASE MAIL OR EMAIL ARTICLES TO WSTEWART@TRENDTOTRENDMAG.COM | TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS MAGAZINE, 3007 PANOLA ROAD | SUITE 283C | LITHONIA, GA 30038 / 1-866958-7363.

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STEVE HARVEY TO SPEAK AT THE 20TH ANNUAL BLACK ENTERPRISE ENTREPRENEURS SUMMIT Quincy Jones and Clarence Avant to be honored at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit in Atlanta, GA May 13–16

BLACK ENTERPRISE

at the 2015 Entrepreneurs Summit hosted by Nationwide on Wednesday, May 13 through Saturday, May 16, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, with a powerhouse lineup of some of the nation’s most accomplished and celebrated entrepreneurs and motivational speakers. Steve Harvey, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, Emmy Award-winning television host, and renowned radio personality, is confirmed as one of the Summit’s keynote speakers at the 2015 Entrepreneurs Summit. An annual highlight of the Summit is the presentation of the nation’s top awards for African American business achievement and community involvement. The Black Enterprise Trailblazer Award will be presented to legendary record producer, musician, and humanitarian, Quincy Jones; and, music executive and entrepreneur Clarence Avant, at the BE 100S Gala on Friday, May 15. This award recognizes the outstanding achievement of an individual who has had broad and positive impact on his or her industry as well as the community at large, while serving as a champion of entrepreneurship and business growth, employment opportunities, and wealth creation for African Americans. Celebrating more than 60 years of performing and music industry involvement, Jones’s creative magic has spanned more than six decades, beginning with the music of the post-swing era and continuing through today’s high-technology age. An impresario in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, Jones’s career encompasses the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multimedia entrepreneur and humanitarian. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, he has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live performance, movies, and television. As producer and conductor of the historic “We Are The World” recording (one of the best-selling singles of all time) and Michael Jackson’s multiplatinum solo albums, Off The Wall, Bad, and Thriller (the best -selling album of all time, with more than 50 million copies sold), Jones stands as one of the most successful and admired creative artist/executives in the entertainment world. Avant was the chairman of Motown Records and board

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member of PolyGram. A renowned entertainment industry executive known for his keen business sense and unique deal-making skills, Avant is regarded in the highest esteem and is arguably one of the most influential African Americans in entertainment business history. He has worked with industry greats, such as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, and veteran music executive Doug Morris, but his scope extends beyond the music industry to people such as Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, BLACK ENTERPRISE Publisher Earl Graves, Oprah Winfrey, and BET Founder, Robert Johnson. He serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Network Foundation Technologies L.L.C. Among the many honors he has received are the Heroes Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the Recording Academy, an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College, and the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award. The 2015 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit boasts high-powered sessions on critical business topics such as Attracting Angel Investors, Accelerating Your Tech Startup, The Art of Raising Money, It’s Called Show BUSINESS, and Selling Your Ideas and Building Consumer Brands. Confirmed speakers include: Steve Harvey, Author, Radio Personality and Television Show Host Lisa Nichols, CEO, Motivating the Masses Michael Eric Dyson, Author, Professor and Radio Host Roland Martin, Journalist, Commentator, Host, News One Now Paul Judge, Managing Partner, Judge Ventures, Advisor Opportunity Ventures Jermaine Dupri, Record Producer, Songwriter and entrepreneur Randal Pinkett, Co-Founder & CEO of BCT Partners, Speaker and Author Ken Coleman, Chairman, Saama Technologies Don Peebles, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Peebles Corp. Reginald Hudlin, American Writer, Film Director, and Producer Necole Parker, Founder and CEO, ELOCEN Group Samuel Gilmore, Founder and President, Overnight Success Inc. Tom Chikoore, Founder, Techstars Risingstars Program Kim Kimble, Celebrity Hairstylist, Owner of Kim Kimble Salons and Kimble Haircare System

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here Innovation and Capital Meet. Join


A smiling Coretta Scott King stands beside her husband. It had taken them 54 miles on the march and their entire lives to reach their goal of voting rights for blacks. Photo by Stephen F. Somerstein

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what’s inside 06 Publisher’s Notes 07 VP’s Notes 16 Young & Trendy 20 Up and Coming Trendsetters 21 Education Trends 25 Health & Wellness Trends 29 Fitness Trends 40 Inspirational Trends 44 Philanthropic Trendsetters 55 Fashion Trends 56 Arts and Entertainment 61 Travel Trends

features 31 Business Spotlight Keith Parker

34 Trendsetter Spotlight Arnold W. Donald

36 Trendsetter Spotlight MICKI

04 ERIN

38 Trendsetter Spotlight Matrice Ellis-Kirk

48 Author’s Corner 51 Trendsetter Spotlight Maritza Smith-Romero

52 Beauty Profile Tisa Edge

Deitrick Haddon on the Stellar Awards Red Carpet. Photo Credit: Earl Gibson III, Courtesy of CCP/ FrontPage Firm

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10 CONTENTS

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32 MANNS

36 MICKI

ALL BOY’S SCHOOL

Photo by Karin McKenna

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“MAYNARD” the documentary movie on the life of former Atlanta Mayor Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. announced by Auburn Avenue Films.

Auburn Avenue Films produces the theatrical documentary about the life and legacy of Atlanta’s first African-American Mayor, Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. The documentary film, MAYNARD, is in pre-production led by an Oscar nominated and Emmy award-winning team. MAYNARD offers an introspective look into the life of the political and business titan who became Atlanta’s first African-American Mayor.

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y father fought the good fight for equal opportunity especially for African Americans. He believed the way to accomplish that was through the power of the vote, economic strength and educational achievement or, the ballot, the book, and the buck, as he put it,” said Brooke Jackson Edmond, daughter of Mayor Jackson. “All Atlantans have benefitted from his work as have countless others far beyond Atlanta. There is a thriving AfricanAmerican business class largely because of Maynard Jackson.”

nity; and, redeveloping more than 20 of Atlanta's historic neighborhoods. Yet, in spite of his professional success, there were personal challenges as well. “Most people only remember the public side of Maynard Jackson, Jr. but they never saw the man who struggled with the loss of his own father at the age of 15, the brother who buried two sisters, the husband who went through divorce, or the father who feared he would lose his only son,” said Maynard H. Jackson, III, son of Mayor Jackson. “In this documentary you will definitely see the giant of a mayor but, more importantly, you see the giant of a real man.”

MAYNARD will be produced by Auburn Avenue Films, one of Atlanta’s newest MAYNARD, the movie offers an intimate view of Jackproduction companies. The producson from those who knew him best. The film will in“We want people to tion team includes Executive Proclude personal family photos and rare interviews ducers: Wendy Eley Jackson; with his widow and his former wife, his five chilknow how much he Maynard H. Jackson, dren, his siblings, as well as many of Jackson’s cared for all people in III; Elizabeth Jackson Hodges; close associates and confidants. Howie Hodges, and Brooke Jackthe city…” son Edmond. Oscar-nominated “We want people to know how much he cared for producer/director/editor Samuel all people in the city that he loved,” said Elizabeth ELIZABETH HODGES D. Pollard will direct the film, and Hodges, oldest daughter of Mayor Jackson. “He Oldest Daughter of Emmy and Peabody Award-winner wanted everyone leading successful and fulfilled Mayor Jackson Sheila Curran Bernard has been lives, and he worked hard for this purpose. However, tapped as writer. Winsome Sinclair, we totally understand that if we want our stories to be C.S.A. joins the production as producer told correctly, we need to tell them ourselves. This is why along with Donald Jarmond as co-producer. An the movie about my father is so very important for the world to official release date has not been announced. see.”

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Auburn Avenue Films Inc. is an Atlanta based television and film company specializing in development, production, and post production. For further information, contact us at www.auburnavenuefilms.com or call us at 404-505-8188. “We want to hear your story,” says Wendy Jackson. ■

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Mayor Jackson was known as a charismatic and compassionate leader who served a record three terms as Atlanta’s mayor. He is credited with building the world's busiest airport; leading the crusade to bring the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta; revitalizing downtown Atlanta as a thriving business and residential commu-


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My Life Changing Experience ‘At The Bridge’

Selma – 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday By Mone’t Moman, Age 17 Duluth High School President, The Stewart Foundation

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t’s one thing to read about the Civil Rights Movement in textbooks; it’s another to relive moments of history and experience firsthand, the Movement that meant so much in our past and means so much to our future. At first, I didn’t understand the magnitude of this rare opportunity to travel to Selma, Alabama for the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday with Congressman John Lewis. Now, I do. And, now I know what my responsibility is, and how I will make a difference in this world we live in. As the 2015 Youth President of the Stewart Foundation, I was given the opportunity to travel to Selma and represent the Foundation and Atlanta youth. Everyone tried to make sure I was prepared for the trip and that I knew how important it was. My mother made me do research on the internet, and reminded me to call her with updates and to send pictures. The Stewart Foundation Board had a conference call with me to go over details, and, Mr. Hank Stewart and the team told me they were proud of me, excited for me, and gave me lots of advice. Going to Selma was a life-changing weekend for me. Just like Congressman Lewis, I was 17 and making history, traveling with the United States Congress and other like-minded youth leaders to learn, listen and act. The aura was very powerful, just being surrounded by so many important individuals and listening to living legends. Over the course of the weekend, we traveled to many historical sites such as: 16th Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Civil Rights Museum and Memorial, and met on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol. At each and every stop, we heard from individuals who helped influence the Civil Rights Movement, and helped make the changes we see today. We listened to Congressman John Lewis, Ms. Betty Mae, Mrs. Cotton, and many others about their experiences and how they've made a difference to gain equality for all in this country. A big connection between the past and the present was made for me when I heard President Barack Obama speak on Saturday afternoon. He connected the dots of our history and spoke about what changes we still need to make. He thanked those who paved the way for progress and even gave their lives to create equal access in America. The President said that we’ve come a long way in the last 50 years, but we still have a

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long way to go. “We know the march is not over, we know the race is not won,” Obama said. As a youth leader, I realize my actions matter. Progress continues with me and my peers. Mr. Lewis challenged us to “use what you learn and make the world a better place.” Although segregation isn’t legal in America, it still seems prevalent today. My school is about as diverse as you can get, but I still see all the races segregated on campus. The black kids will sit with other black kids; the white kids will sit with the whites; and so forth, with Asians and Hispanics. I often wonder why we separate ourselves? Is it self -segregation, or as humans are we just naturally attracted to people who look like we do, and act as we do? Now, the biggest question for me to answer is how can we integrate? Of course, it is important to be proud of who you are and where you come from, but at the same time, shouldn’t we remove the desire for self-segregation? I know it starts with me, because I have influence. I accept the challenge to make a difference and make the world a better place, starting right where I live, in the school I attend, and college I will go to in the Fall. I will be positive; I will stand up for human rights; and, I will include all others. It becomes a chain reaction. I am determined to live and see more changes in the world we live in today, just like we’ve seen progress over the last fifty years. ■

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“ON THE RISE”

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rin is a rising singer and actress who has performed and been involved in numerous showcases, events, and projects all around the nation. Most recently, she performed at Georgia’s 5th annual Legendary Awards. Erin has sung at numerous venues and events including the opening for Colt Ford, the National Anthem at Gwinnett Braves, 3rd Annual Voices for Christmas, Purpose World Church, Roswell Methodist Church, Chris Kids charity Charge Blue event, Relay for Life events, Freedom Festival Ball Ground, Pickens 4th of July Celebration, Dawsonville Poultry Convention, and the Atlanta Hawks game at Phillips arena. Known as the little girl with the big voice, Erin is an old soul who has been influenced by artists like Sam Cook, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, and current artists, Sam Smith, Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, and Jessie J. She has recorded two original songs which are available on iTunes and Spotify, and has recorded numerous songs for her current EPK and EP. Her song, “Have Mercy,” is featured in the 2013 film,

Breathe. Erin has several videos on her YouTube channel, and continues to work on original music. She is currently working on filming her video for the cover song “Take Me to the King,” by Tamela Mann. In addition to her music career, Erin’s acting career is taking off. She was featured on Lifetime Network show Kim of Queens (episode 6), appeared in the music video for Fabio Legardo’s Charitable World Cup Video “El Campeon” which benefited Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and was featured in King Tatie’s video, “Hash Tag.” She is also a spokesmodel for the Glam Girls Rock campaign. When Erin is not busy entertaining, she finds time to participate in a number of fundraising events including Bert’s Big Thank You, writing hundreds of letters to soldiers, volunteering at the animal shelter, visiting nursing homes, and fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network. She received the President’s Volunteer Service Award (gold pin) for her outstanding work in the community. Erin is currently collecting clothing to donate to those in need, and items for the local animal shelter. ■

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www.erinkirbymusic.com Twitter: Erin Kirby music YouTube erinkirby music facebook: erin-kirby Booking: erinkirbymusic@gmail.com


Xzandria Armstrong

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his Warner Robbins native is unquestionably on the rise and quickly becoming one of Atlanta’s most sought after casting directors for film and television. Xzandria Armstrong, 29, is no stranger to the entertainment industry. She, along with her identical twin sister who also works in the industry, were pretty much destined to work in some capacity in the world of entertainment. Their mother, a theater major herself, not only encouraged their creative genes, but also supported them. “I remember one time I was in high school, and Tyra Banks was having tryouts in L.A., and it was the last tryout, and my mom was like ‘if you wanna go for it, go, let’s go for it…“ Xzandria recollects. “I was like… well mom, it’s this weekend, and my mom goes, ‘well let’s get on the plane.’” She chuckles as she recalls that moment. While enrolled at Kennesaw State University, Xzandria began working as an extra for various projects around Atlanta, but it was her involvement with Tyler Perry Studios that enabled her to connect with individuals behind the scene. She was ultimately offered the Extras Assistant Casting position for the 2010 film, “For Colored Girls,” directed and produced by Tyler Perry. “That kind of role just paved the way for me as far as casting. Acting has always been my first love, but it’s just something really special about seeing people’s dreams come

true, and being a part of that.” Since working as the Extras Casting Assistant, Xzandria has worked with various artists such as Terri Vaughn, Roger Bobb, and of course, she continues to work with Tyler Perry. Xzandria’s career did not happen without hitting a few bumps in the road. She has recently overcome a life-changing ordeal that would probably leave most feeling downtrodden. But through the tears, heartache, and pain, Xzandria chose to view her experience differently. She went through a season of loneliness after the seven- year long relationship with the man she thought she would one day marry. That relationship came to an abrupt end, leaving her, and her 3-year old daughter without a home, and living in a shelter. In the midst of this ordeal, Xzandria was afforded the opportunity to fulfill one of her dreams when she was accepted for a teaching position in China. Her stay overseas was short -lived, as she had to return home to her daughter, who was being cared for by her parents while she was away. But the trip to China was more than a dream come true. It also yielded a financial blessing that allowed her and her daughter to move into their very own place. Xzandria is certain that it was God who got her through those hard times. She is now settled back in Atlanta, and has already received several requests to serve as Casting Director for upcoming television and film projects. ■

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All Boys School in Ohio Has a 0% Dropout Rate and Here is the Reason Why By: Krystle Crossman

In its first three years of being open Ginn Academy attracted more than 300 students. While the city of Glenville itself had a dropout rate of 54%, Ginn Academy had a dropout rate of 0%. Not a single student dropped out of the school or gave up. Many came to the school after hitting a rough patch in their lives and realizing that they were headed down a bad road but a normal public school was not going to help them get their lives on track.

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The Ginn Academy has a very intense interview and background check process for potential teachers. They hire only the most qualified. On top of having the best teachers, the school also has life coaches that are available for one-on-one mentoring with the students. They are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Ginn believes that this is one of the biggest factors of the non-existent dropout rate. If they need anything, from advice, to a shoulder to cry on, the life coaches are there for them even when no one else is. The students have teachers who care and who know exactly what they are teaching. The curriculum that is used in the school is heavily concentrated on math and science. These are two of the main subjects in the state graduation tests. Ginn wants to make sure that all of the boys are as prepared as possible for the testing. He is a very hands-on director. He knows all of the students by name and knows each of their unique situations outside of the school. He makes sure that he is very involved with every one of them and lets them know that he has an open door policy at all times. These relationships that are built between the educators and the students are the most important tool for learning and the success of this school proves that. â–

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ed Ginn used to coach football at Glenville High School in Ohio. He was also a security guard there. He watched the students struggle every single day because of the rising pressure to do well on tests and state-required exams. He watched students drop out, flunk out, and give up on themselves. He decided one day that he didn’t want to stand by and watch the male youth of the city lose all of their potential and end up in jail or worse. He wanted to do something about it. Ginn went to the school board and the superintendent and told them that he wanted to start a public all-boys academy that was for at-risk youth. The program would be based off of a mentoring model which is very different from regular public schools. The motion was approved and in 2006 Ginn Academy was born.


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Dr Valerie Montgomery Rice /Morehouse School of Medicine

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Dr Valerie Montgomery Rice: President and Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine

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search Board (2012-), and the executive committee (2013); March of Dimes Board (2012-); Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans Administrative Board (2012-); FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs (2011-); American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, board examiner (2007-); Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (2006-); President’s Commission on White House Fellowships Regional Panelist Selection Committee (2010); Every Life Matters, Every Dollar Counts Campaign chair, National AIDS Fund Board of Trustees (2009-2010); National AIDS Fund Board of Trustees (2007-2011), Wal-Mart Healthcare Insights Panel chair (2007-2010); and, Wal-Mart External Advisory Board (2006-2008). Instrumental in generating multimillion dollar research grants, Dr. Montgomery Rice has received numerous accolades which include: the National Coalition of 100 Black Women – Women of Impact (2014); YWCA – Women of Achievement (Atlanta-2014 and Nashville-2007); National Medical Association’s President’s Citation Award (2013); American Medical Women’s Association Elizabeth Blackwell Medal (2011); Working Mother Media Multicultural Women’s Legacy Award (2011); Maternal Infant Health Outreach Program Award (2009 -2010); Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) Mentorship Award (2009); and, The Links, Inc. Portia Searcy Award (2007). A Georgia native, Dr. Montgomery Rice holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She also completed the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program at Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ■

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r. Valerie Montgomery Rice provides a valuable combination of experience at the highest levels of patient care and medical research, as well as organizational management and public health policy in her role as President and Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine. These assets make her an invaluable strategist, influencer, and community partner. Dr. Montgomery Rice is the sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution. In addition to President, she will also retain the deanship. Dr. Montgomery Rice is a renowned infertility specialist and researcher, and most recently served as Dean and Executive Vice President of MSM, where she served since 2011. In this role, she led MSM’s widespread academic and clinical programs in health sciences, and led its strategic planning initiatives for patient care, research and community engagement. Dr. Montgomery Rice is the founder and former director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., where she also served as dean of the School of Medicine, and Senior Vice President of Health Affairs. The Center for Women’s Health Research is one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. Prior to joining Meharry Medical College, Dr. Montgomery Rice held numerous administrative and faculty appointments at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Her dedication to health care research, preventative care, and mentoring are manifested in every aspect of her work and life. As such, she has been honored with membership in the following: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and Office of Research on Women’s Health/National Institutes of Health (NIH) advisory councils (2013-); Society for Women’s Health Re-


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The Co-Washing Myth

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By Dr. Linda Amerson

hat is my opinion about co-washing? For the past ten years or more, I have been asked this question by hundreds of consumers, natural hair transitioners, and consumers who attend my Trichology Seminars. I received the question below last week via email, from a concerned consumer after having a conversation with a selfproclaimed natural hair expert. ‘Dr. A…A lady insisted that I not use shampoo on my hair, because it strips the hair of its natural oils, and forces one to use a conditioner. The beauty products industry is very profitable because the products are created to damage. Is this true? This lady told me she uses eggs and mayonnaise, and mixed her own kitchen oils for her scalp…says her hair is greasy but long.’ This is NOT true! I am not sure who began this recommendation, but I completely disagree with it. Your hair and scalp holds an unpleasant odor. A person should ALWAYS shampoo to cleanse their hair first to remove dirt, debris, product buildup, odor, improve scalp health, give your hair more body, healthier looking hair, and many other benefits. Secondly, a person should use conditioner on their hair to soften the hair for grooming manageability. If there is a scalp condition, a treatment product line should be used. By this lady using these kitchen cooking ingredients on her hair, there is definitely a hair and scalp odor. She is not cleaning her hair, product buildup is visible, her scalp is unhealthy, and there may be other scalp diseases present. It is obvious to me that she has been listening to the wrong advice. When a person uses only a conditioner, no shampoo…they are using a conditioner on dirty hair. Period! For example, when a person showers or takes a bath, he/ she will use a shower gel or soap to remove dirt, sweat and odor to feel clean. Then a lotion, body spray, body cream, powders, etc., which soften the skin. In addition, consumers have excretory glands which include sweat and oil glands. Some consumers only have sweat glands. When a person sweats, this leaves an unpleasant body odor. Using deodorant on a daily basis is common practice in the United States by most cultures. This is good hygiene, to avoid people around you from looking at you funny, frowning or talking about you. On the other hand, some cultures in other countries do not use deodorant. Furthermore, your clothing and socks hold odor from your body. This is why most people change their undergarments

daily and wash their clothing with detergent. Do not omit head coverings, such as hats, night caps, scarves, du-rags, etc. Head coverings need washing on a weekly basis. For men/women who wear night hair coverings, I suggest purchasing two night hair coverings, so you may easily alternate and wash them regularly. In conclusion, to avoid hair odor and promote healthy hair/ scalp, always shampoo and condition it, and to avoid body odor, bathe/shower followed by changing your clothing/socks daily and washng them. ■

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Tune in every Wednesday at 11am CST with Ask the Hair and Scalp Doctor radio show on www.DfwiRadio.com with Dr. Amerson. Visit www.hairandscalpessentials.com Twitter: @ScalpDoctor Facebook: www.facebook.com/divadoctor09


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DAWN Alexis FUSARO: Dying to be Beautiful

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Dawn Alexis Fusaro was born on June 2, 1984 in Sacramento, California. Her mother is African American, Cherokee Indian, and Irish; and, her father is Italian and Scottish. Dawn grew up in Nevada City, California until the age of 10, when she and her three siblings moved to Sacramento, California, where she has lived ever since. Dawn struggled with body image and weight issues from a very young age. “I just always seemed to be too heavy, too tall growing up, and I was teased all of the time… by my peers, and even my own family. Kids and adults could be cruel, if you weren’t wearing the right style clothes, if your hair wasn’t worn a certain way, you weren’t really accepted,” she recalls. It was hard for Dawn. When she looked around on television and in the magazines, all she saw were slim women. She would then look at herself, and because she was not slim, she started to think there must be something wrong with her. She did not feel beautiful, because she was not skinny. It was a challenge to go into the stores and buy clothes that other kids were wearing, because they didn’t make them in her size. She was 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighed 235 pounds in high school, often skipping PE class because the thought of changing her clothes in front of all the other girls with “perfect figures,” scared her. She didn’t want to be laughed at or made fun of. There were no dates or dances during her high school years; the boys weren’t

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interested, because she was too heavy. When Dawn was 25, she gave birth to a handsome, healthy baby boy named Chase. “As a single mom to a new born child, I didn’t have any time for myself. It was even more challenging for me to accept my body and all the changes it had undergone during pregnancy,” Dawn remembers. She was almost 300 lbs and very unhappy with her appearance. She tried dieting and exercise, but it seemed like she wasn’t able to make the weight go away fast enough, or stay away for very long. When her son was 3 years old, she couldn’t use the excuse of having a new baby anymore. She was tired of everybody always telling her that she had such a pretty face, and wanted someone to tell her that she had a nice behind. Then Dawn decided to try something different. She remembered reading something about women taking diuretics (water pills) to lose a few pounds in a few days. She went to the store, and for $4 bought a pack and started taking them as directed. Although she didn’t think it would work, she didn’t know what she was getting into. Dawn Fusaro was tired of being fat, and just dying to be beautiful. That’s when things went from bad to worse... Look for the next installment of Dawn Fusaro's story, "Dying to Be Beautiful", in the next issue of Trendsetters To Trendsetters Magazine. ■

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

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

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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 selfworth. 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. ■ 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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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


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BUSINESS TRENDS


The road to his current position started with one simple question, “Do you know how to do computer mapping?” That is what the CEO of the Greater Richmond Transit System asked Parker while he was a college intern. His answer, “Yes I do.” The CEO handed him a project on a Thursday afternoon and told him it was due Monday morning. There was just one problem, Parker had no idea how to do computer mapping. With no time for fear or doubt, he used the rest of the week and the entire weekend to teach himself computer mapping and finished the report on time. “That is when I discovered my passion for public transportation,” says Parker. The project eventually received the federal approval the transit system needed and he was on his way. Parker’s passion for this industry has led him to some of the most prestigious jobs in public transit. Parker is credited with helping create some of the highest ridership increases in the country in both San Antonio and Charlotte, while keeping cost down. He says he learned how to give the public what they wanted by reaching out and listening. “While I was in Char-

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lotte, we had meetings with the public to learn what kind of experience they wanted while riding the train or bus. The goal was to give people who had to use public transportation a more dignified experience and to give those with cars a viable option to driving alone. We succeeded and now Charlotte Area Transit System is one of the biggest attractions in the city.” Parker has only been in Atlanta and at MARTA since December 2012, but he has already started to make major changes. Fares have not increased, riders are seeing the reopening of restrooms in stations, and service improvements are now being planned. “We are working to change the image of MARTA by reinvesting in employees, balancing the budget and encouraging safety,” he says. Atlanta is the largest public transit system in the country that doesn’t receive state funding and he knows fiscal responsibility plays a major role in building trust and garnering investment. “We want everyone to be a part of MARTA’s success,” says Parker. That is why he and his team have implemented “How to do Business with MARTA” sessions for small business owners. This is a step-by-step process that explains in detail how entrepreneurs can become eligible to do business with the transit system. Changing the perception of MARTA won’t be easy, but Parker is determined to succeed. With the success his teams have enjoyed in other cities, there aren’t too many people betting against him. ■

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you ask about Keith Parker in the world of public transportation, you will quickly learn that he is a superstar. He has broken barriers, exceeded expectations, and created positive public transportation experiences in cities like Vancouver, Washington, Charlotte, North Carolina and San Antonio, Texas. He is now the general manager and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the nation’s 9th largest transit system.


Grown Love and Money: A 1-Day Wealthy Love™ Intensive on Romance & Finance, Plus Book Signing, In Atlanta!

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empowered to make better decisions that will improve their love lives and their finances. Describing the duo as “relationship “mixologists,” Green says, “Love and Money mix really well when you have a solid understanding of both, a reliable standard of decision-making and effective tools for blending them together. Those attending this 1-day intensive will receive all that and more.” Edmond points out that the longest chapter of Loving In The Grown Zone is devoted to love and money. The book boldly addresses reasons for failed relationships and their ripple effects, including fatherless families and destructive financial habits, while providing tangible solutions based on the Grown Zone principles of self-love, better decisions, and healthier relationships for the sake of establishing solid foundations for lasting love and prosperity. “Let’s be clear,” says Edmond. “Grown Love and Money isn’t just about grand financial gestures and warm-and-fuzzy feelings as proof of love. When it comes to love and money the rules are the same as in boxing: Protect yourself at all times. Losing money in love is high tuition that we don’t have to pay.” Green warns, “The reality is that our willingness to put our love lives and wealth building potential at risk are driven by our natural, too often desperate, desire for a mate, material possessions, and the financial and emotional security many of us associate with material possessions and increased bank accounts. Choosing or chasing a mate who doesn’t complement you in love and money could bankrupt you both emotionally and financially. Without the kind of information we share at our Grown Love and Money 1-Day Intensive, most people are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.” Go to GrownLoveandMoney.com to register and to gain additional details about Grown Love and Money: A 1-Day Wealthy Love Intensive. ■

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he inability to effectively mix romance and finance leads to more conflict, breakups and divorces (as well as destructive money decisions) than any other issue. That’s why nationally recognized business and financial expert Alfred Edmond Jr. and Certified Heal Your Life Workshop Leader Zara D. Green, co-founders of the GrownZone.com personal growth initiative, will be at Atlanta’s Cobb Galleria Conference Center on Saturday, May 16, to present Grown Love and Money (GLAM): A 1-Day Wealthy Love Intensive on Romance & Finance. Also, at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, May 16, the couple will host a special book signing at the Barnes and Noble, Cumberland (at Akers Mills), 2952 Cobb Parkway SE in Atlanta, for their new book, Loving in the Grown Zone: A No-Nonsense Guide to Making Healthy Decisions in the Quest for Loving, Romantic Relationships of Honor, Esteem, and Respect (BalboaPress.com). Edmond is widely known as SVP/executive editor-at-large at Black Enterprise and the host and producer of Money Matters, on American Urban Radio Networks, while Green is a trusted personal growth speaker and trainer, individuality advocate, and expert authority on temperaments. Together, they’ve created the Grown Love and Money (GLAM): 1-Day Wealthy Love Intensive, kicking off on national tour in Atlanta, to educate and empower singles, engaged, married couples, divorcees, those cohabitating and those just dating—or in “complicated” arrangements—with the tools, and resources to achieve both financial prosperity and healthy, loving relationships. Addressing the top problems raised by both couples and singles when it comes to money and relationships, including financial infidelity, emotional decision-making, and conflicting money-management styles, Edmond and Green help attendees to recognize the patterns of how they love, how this creates their problems, and how to begin to make better decisions to avoid and resolve them, resulting in healthier, wealthier relationships and finances. Attendees will leave this 1 Day Wealthy Love™ Intensive with new knowledge,


COMEDIAN, ACTORS, GOSPEL SINGERS and EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT HAS NEVER BEEN SWEETER:

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“MANN-STYLE”

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his witty and lovable couple has given new meaning to “wholesome” family entertainment, and it’s no secret where they get their inspiration…to inspire. David and Tamela Mann have become “household” names, and are quickly becoming the epitome of what most families strive for. One can guess that the ingredients they use to achieve this consists of 2 cups of Jesus, blended with 27 grams of true love, 5 parts of themselves, a dash of determination, sprinkled with multi-talented gifts, mix well with laughter, and “Voilà!”

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The “dynamic-duo” of family entertainment, will celebrate 27 years of marriage with a relationship book that expounds upon the defining factors behind maintaining longevity and happiness in their marriage. One of their secrets includes the fact that they are not only still in love, after all these years…but they still “like” each other. “First thing, we have taken divorce off the table as an option and I still love my wife,” David shares with passion in his voice. “And I still like him…I mean liking him and being in love with him is exciting. It’s like cake and ice cream,” Tamela chimes in with a loving laugh. You can almost picture her playfully punching him in the side and lookMAY/JUNE 2015


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to replace his mother, but simply letting him know that he will not be separated out, and I will love him like my own child. I explain that I am just focusing on bringing us together as one family…It works for us and it’s so familiar,” Tamela shares. “They want the audience, whether they have a blended family or not, to be encouraged to bring unity into the home. The Mann Brand aspires to bring good wholesome family entertainment doing what we love to do. Today, some shows are just for adults and some are geared towards children, but we want to create shows that the entire family can enjoy,” David explains. David and Tamela are grateful for the various opportunities that television, film, and music has allotted them to “drop nuggets” of ministry that clearly distinguish them from other entertainers. So it’s no surprise that this amazingly talented couple’s legacy would consist of this heartfelt message:…“that we made a difference and an impact in someone’s life. We hope that we were able to bring hope that they could move forward, as we share the love of our Lord and Savior.” Everything this “Midas-Couple” touches turns to gold— literally. Tamela Mann’s album just went Certified Gold. “I’m just in awe and so grateful to God and all of the supporters,” Tamela explains. The two of them will also co-host the 30th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, with Comedian Rickey Smiley, that will air on TV One Network on Easter Sunday. Their response to this opportunity was, “It’s going to be exciting for us. This is our Grammy-moment for Gospel music. It’s special because the Stellar Awards provide a togetherness that no one else does.” Remember to tune in to the Stellar Awards, watch their new show, “Mann & Wife,” and be on the lookout for their new relationship book, and Tamela’s upcoming new album release in 2016. FaceBook: David and Tamela Mann Website: www.tillymannmusic.com Twitter: @davidandtamela. ■

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ing into his eyes as she spoke. In his naturally comical way, he inquired in response, “What am I? The ice cream or the cake?” His wife jokingly tells him that “it doesn’t matter, because both of them are good.” All you have to do is listen to this God-fearing couple to know that they’re serious and not “stretching” the truth, but very much “standing on it.” “I just thank God that He gave me what I prayed and asked for in a husband, and it’s the greatest thing,” Tamela tenderly states as she speaks about her husband, who added, “Ain’t nothing like when you like somebody. Most couples only love their spouse and yet they don’t genuinely like them. They be like, ‘Boy, I’ll be glad when she go to work,’ instead of looking forward to enjoying quiet time alone together.” The Manns are already making plans to host seminars with the release of their new book. What else is blazing on the horizon? The duo’s NEW television sitcom that will be airing April 7, 2015 on BOUNCE TV, entitled, “Mann & Wife.” This originalscripted series will share the various real-life circumstances of a blended family. The premise of the show is based on the life of a recently divorced father of two, Daniel Mann, who lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He meets and marries Toni, also a mother of two who was residing in Texas. Daniel moves her and the children to Atlanta to start their new life, with an additional person already in residence…his mother. “I play Daniel, who is a private detective, so there’s no telling what you will see me go undercover as on the show; and, Tamela plays Toni,” David explains. “So you’ll are in for a treat,” Tamela adds laughing. It’s clear that the Manns can relate to this “Brady Bunch” couple, raising two children from previous relationships, two of their own, and a niece, which means that they bring a plethora of experience to the show. “David and I have a blended family and we believe that when you marry, the children of your spouse become your own. There is no such thing as step-children in our house. I was a step-child, so this show really hit home for me. In one episode, one of Daniel’s sons tells me that I’m not his mother. I tell him that I am not trying


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rnold Donald, a New Orleans native, is the President and CEO of Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world. Donald first got his start in entrepreneurship when he would purchase large quantities of candy and resell them to his sisters at markup prices.

Born of hardworking parents, Donald was the youngest of five children. He attended an all-black, all-boys Catholic high school in Louisiana. Though living in the time of segregation, Donald believed he could do whatever he set his mind to, thanks to encouragement and inspiration from his family, school, church, and civil rights figures. In 1976, Donald received a B.A. degree in Economics from Carleton College. He then went on to Washington University, in St. Louis, where he received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 1980, Donald received his M.B.A. from the University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business. Before joining Carnival Corp., Donald served as president of the agricultural, consumer and nutrition sector at Monsanto, an agriculture company where he had a career for over 20 years. In addition, some of Donald’s former leadership roles included President and CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, President and CEO of TransCanada Corp, CEO at Merisant Company, and head of the Executive Leadership Council, a network for African-American executives. After serving on Carnival’s board for 12 years, Donald became President and CEO on July 3, 2013. He has also been an Independent Director at Bank of America Corporation since January 23, 2013. Arnold Donald has a firm belief in the Carnival brand and all the services it provides for their valued customers. Travelers expect quality from Carnival and Donald’s efforts to improve the brand will only ensure that expectation.

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These past experiences only validate that Donald has what it takes to be Carnival’s new CEO. His previous leadership roles have helped develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed at this level, while allowing Donald to stay true to his professional style. ■


Live with Soul! MICKI’s Journey of Success By: Boss Lady Mae Author/Professional Freelance Writer

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uccess is typically gauged by achievement. This has been the case for Micki, the principal broker who leads the Atlanta-based Lhuillier Fine Properties, a luxury real estate boutique. Micki is a well-established broker who is driven by providing excellence in the luxury real estate market niche with a focus on specific needs, direction, and attention required for the boutique’s exclusive clientele. Blending her extensive experience and forward-thinking strategies, the company offers better and broader services to clients. Her primary focus is negotiating multi-million dollar real estate transactions for a very affluent audience, and being privy to this environment of representing celebrities, professional athletes, and high profile business executives. Her relationships with these individuals, as well as other titans of fashion, film, music, and sports, gives her the advantage of direct access, in addition to representing anyone requiring her assistance in the acquisition and liquidation of residential and commercial real estate. Micki is an influencer + a Real Estate authority. She understands her clients’ needs, preferences, and demanding schedules, which allows her to provide top-notch service effectively. Micki has an extensive sphere of influence due to her continuous community involvement and client interaction; whether locally, nationally or internationally. With a professional career spanning over 20 years as the Chief of Staff for a variety of Fortune 500 CEOs, Chairman of Board, and a Senator, this environment afforded her the opportunity to learn various aspects of business, operations, marketing, and negotiation skill sets. She was featured in Luxe Home Magazine and selected as a Woman on the Rise for VertikalLifeMagazine.com. It is a resume that would impress nearly anyone. Micki has a different take on the subject. Rather than the status achieved, success should focus on the journey taken.

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Winning, Losing and Redefining She is proud of every pinnacle of success reached in the business world, but also feels a sense of immense accomplishment in the journey that has involved winning, losing it all, and having to redefine what success truly means. Domestic violence nearly ended her life, yet she continued on as a divorced mother of three children to reach levels of success that many people never have the opportunity to experience. After venturing into the real estate market, the collapse happened. It took learning and redefining who she is, to go from homelessness back to redefining the definition of success in comparison to the world’s standards of achievement. Live with Soul has become her mantra. She has discovered the formula, and is currently writing her first book that will further define her journey.

Life Lived Better with Value and Integrity Micki is on a mission when it comes to the real estate industry. She is showing her clients, as well as others, that real estate can return to its true basis of exceptional integrity and value, by setting new standards and defying the odds. She is doing this by being an authority in the area, and developing a keen instinct for bringing the right properties and families together; by knowing the market, trends, and providing exceptional customer service. The rebounds in the real estate market are only happening through efforts of bringing integrity and a sense of caring for a community back into what was once a highly respectable arena. This is a standard and responsibility that Micki has honored steadfastly over the years. She has always viewed the Realtor Oath as one of the most important anyone can take. She strives to protect the individual rights of real estate ownership,and have integrity and honesty in all dealings, while increasing knowledge to serve clients better. The Rewards of Giving Back Her position as Chief Development Officer of the Dukes Foundation has helped provide the tools, opportunities, and support for these young men to dream, achieve, and become healthy, successful adults. Their current initiative: organizing a College Tour that will begin on April 7th through the 11th in Washington D.C. and New York City. To make this Tour possible the support of businesses is critical. The rewards of the journey have been far greater than financial. It has been a process of finding and reclaiming peace and tranquility after the life experience of losing everything. She has taken her life experiences and is developing a motivational website called: “Live with Soul” based upon her social media following of inspirational, life lessons, and business related posts. It is all about the quest towards inner peace. It is about how to live life from the heart while being your true authentic self. Life is about giving more in value than you ever take. Micki offers these parting words of advice “Know, that you are enough and with this knowingness, you are unconquerable. “Live with Soul!” .

If you would like to make a donation to the Duke Foundation College Tour, please go to: {www.DukesFoundation.org}. ■

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Matrice Ellis-Kirk : A Role Model with a Sense of Duty and Style By Who’s Who Publishing

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any in Dallas may know Matrice Ellisquality that has served her both professionally and personKirk as the former first lady of Dallas. ally. Her grandmother and great grandmother not only gave her Her husband, Ron Kirk, became the positive examples to follow, they also instilled in her business city’s first black mayor. However, even and common sense. As young as eight years old, she gained a more know her for her own distinctive rare perspective on service while working at her grandmother’s character and unwavering leadership in dry-cleaning shop in Cleveland. Ellis-Kirk read Wall Street business and the community. Journal every day with her grandmother, which is how she disA trailblazer in her own right, Ellis-Kirk casts a long covered her fascination for business and banking. She then set shadow in terms of her career as well as civic interests. She is a off to the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her managing director at the executive recruiting firm RSR Partbachelor’s degree in economics. ners, where she leads the firm’s Dallas office and is a senior It is the influence of these role models that gave her the member of the firm’s national board of directors practice. She sense of duty and style that she now shares with her own previously worked for nearly two decades with two global redaughters, Elizabeth and Catherine, as well other young cruiting firms, Heidrick & Struggles and Spencer Stuart. Prior women. An advocate for women’s issues and education, she to a career in executive recruiting, Ellis-Kirk spent her early learned early on that achieving goals requires strength, courage career honing talents in investment banking and financial manand perseverance. Today, she sets an example and encourages agement. young people to strive to be who Combined with this expertise, they want to be – whatever those Ellis-Kirk’s passion for business dreams may be. Paying close governance and the Dallas comattention to this guidance, her munity positioned her for a seat daughters, Elizabeth, an art hisat the table on multiple local and torian, and Catherine, a dancer, national boards. Appointments have carved their own paths and include the President’s Commisboth have followed their passion on White House Fellowsions in New York City. ships, North Texas Tollway AuLike most professionals, Ellisthority, and The Dallas Center Kirk leads a life with many facfor the Performing Arts Foundaets, and in all roles, she brings a tion. She has served on the Unilevel-headedness and strength versity of Pennsylvania Board of even when facing the tough Visitors as a non-executive direcchallenges. Her no-nonsense, tor of public company boards and bottom-line approach demonalso as a member of the World strates her ability to turn diffiEconomic Forum’s Global Councult concepts into clear, simple cil on Women’s Empowerment. words and actions. Most recently, the board of direcSo while she always suptors of the AT&T Performing ported her husband’s highArts Center announced that she profile elections and presidential will serve as its chair, beginning appointments, she always has in 2015. maintained her own persona, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk Shaped by the strong women leading with authenticity and Photograph by Steven Visneau who raised her, Ellis-Kirk procharacter, humility and grace. ■ jects a confident and authentic


SURPRISE REUNIONS, ROUSING PERFORMANCES AND LEGENDARY HONORS WERE BESTOWED UPON THE BEST IN GOSPEL MUSIC AT

THE 30th ANNIVERSARY STELLAR GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS SHOW By The Front Page Firm

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ubbed the greatest night in Gospel music, the 30th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas turned "Sin City" into "Salvation City." Celebrating 30 years, the Stellar Awards was co-hosted with comedic flare by David Mann ("Mann & Wife), Tamela Mann ("Sparkle") and Ricky Smiley ("Dish Nation") during the 2-hour taped telecast premiering Easter Sunday, April 5 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on TV One. The Stellar Awards recognizes the year's best performances in the genre, honors Gospel music icons and acknowledges the accomplishments of individuals instrumental in advocating for the industry. The big surprise of the evening came at the top of the show, when opening act Michelle Williams was joined by former bandmates Beyonce and Kelly Rowland in a show-stopping reunion that brought the audience to its feet singing her song, "Say Yes," a winner for "Best Music Video of the Year." Ten-time nominee Erica Campbell took top honors, winning six awards including Artist of the Year, The Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year and Urban/ Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year. She acknowledged her sister, the other half of award-winning duo Mary Mary in her heartfelt remarks. "Thank you Tina for saying that you needed a break," said Erica. "...Cause I wouldn't have done it ("Help") if you didn't say that." Ricky Dillard and New G followed Campbell with three wins, and Deitrick Haddon tied with The Walls Group for two trophies apiece. On stage after winning the Male Vocalist of the Year award, Haddon expressed gratitude for being recognized following a difficult time in his life. "A couple of years ago I messed up so bad I thought I could never inspire anyone again," he shared. "I was ready to quit and God spoke to me - He said, if you humble yourself I'll lift you up to places you're never seen. This award is for people who think it's over for them." Haddon later brought the house down with a star-studded rendition of "My City" collaborating with Dorinda Clark-Cole, Clareta Haddon, Kierra Sheard, J. Moss, 21:03 and Shelby Five. The New Artist of the Year award was presented to Tasha

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Page-Lockhart, making her first Stellar Awards appearance, performing "Great Is Your Love" and "Faith Come Alive," with fellow first-timers The Walls Group. Other masterful performances included Smokie Norful, Jonathan McReynolds, Erica Campbell and Pastor Beverly Crawford who all delivered passionate hand-clapping and footstomping presentations to the delight of the filled-to-capacity crowd. The Stellar Awards signature is its powerful collaborations, and this year was no exception with Rance Allen Group, Lisa Knowles & The Brown Singers, as well as Uncle Reece, Willie Moore, Jr. and Canton Jones teaming up to deliver amazing musical numbers. Bishop Paul Morton received the Allstate James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award for his accomplishments and was honored in song by Kurt Carr & the Kurt Carr Singers with Zarcadi & Crystal singing a medley of "I'm Still Standing". Al "The Bishop" Hobbs, received the Chevrolet Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award for his career accomplishments on Capitol Hill. Yolanda Adams and Israel Houghton performed "How Awesome Is Our God" celebrating the life of Andrae Crouch which set the tone for one of the most moving speeches of the night from his twin sister, Sandra Crouch. Speaking from the heart on behalf of her legendary sibling, Crouch was honored posthumously with the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award for his lifelong contributions to Gospel that have influenced artists from every genre and around the globe. "When the storms come and when there are no trophies, no Grammys and there's no light shining," she proclaimed, "...you still say to God be the glory." This year, award show founder and Executive Producer Don Jackson, implemented a new tradition celebrating the extraordinary achievements in Gospel by presenting the inaugural Stellar Honors Club. In the tradition of the Kennedy Center Honors, The Stellars Honors inductees received a medallion to commemorate excellence in their respective fields. The inaugural awards were conferred upon Pastor Shirley Ceasar, Byron Cage, Clifton Davis, Ricky Dillard, Kirk Franklin, Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones, Vicki Mack Lataillade, Dottie Peoples and Vickie Winans. â–

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The Stellar Awards opening performance featured Michelle Williams and a surprise reunion with Beyonce and Kelly Rowland singing her nominated single, "Say Yes."

Rickey Smiley, Tamela Mann and David Mann

New Artist of the Year, Tasha-Page Lockhart Yolanda Adams

Erica Campbell

Dr. Bobby Jones, Erma Gray-Davis and Don Jackson

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.

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Tim Norman and Miss Robbie


STELLAR AWARDS

RETURN TO SELMA: Continued from Page 5 prosecute the white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black 18-year-old last year, sparking days of violent protests and marches. "We just need to open our eyes, and ears, and hearts, to know that this nation's racial history still casts its long shadow upon us," Obama said. Yet, he said, "if you think nothing's changed in the past 50 years, ask somebody who lived through the Selma or Chicago or L.A. of the '50s. Ask the female CEO who once might have been assigned to the secretarial pool if nothing's changed. Ask your gay friend if it's easier to be out and proud in America now than it was 30 years ago. To deny this progress - our progress - would be to rob us of our own agency, our responsibility to do what we can to make America better." In New York, a multigenerational and racially mixed crowd of about 250 people crossed the Brooklyn Bridge in a "Selma is

Michelle Williams

(Top) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King (Bottom) President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with Former President and First Lady George and Laura Bush, along with Congressman John Lewis)

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Loretta Devine

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Tiijon DaCosta Sr., Diijon DaCosta and their cousin, Dawit Willis

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THE DEKALB KIDS PROJECT, INC VISION

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he DeKalb Kids Project, Inc. (DKP) was established as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2014 by a group of three young individuals who wanted to create a better educational and living environment. “We are seeking an environment with activities and support services that would cater to the specific needs of the community. We are conscious of the changing demographics in our community and are committed to growing and adapting our program to meet the emerging needs.” This organization has been uniquely designed based on the principles of God’s unconditional love, compassion and concern for the youth and the desire to reconstitute the communities throughout DeKalb County. Founded by brothers, Tiijon DaCosta Sr. and Diijon DaCosta, and their cousin, Dawit Willis, DKP was developed based on the founders’ childhoods and mentoring they received from members of the community upon first moving to DeKalb County in 1989. Additionally, the organization thoroughly stresses the importance of education to each student and reaching their fullest potential. DKP utilizes the expertise of tutoring, extracurricular activities, and mentoring to positively influence each child on an individual level. DKP firmly believes in providing each child with the necessary tools and skills to fulfill their passion, make their visions a

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reality and obtain physical, emotional and mental wellness with the assistance of parents, educators and community leaders. “We stand firmly on the belief that strong connections and involvement in academics between teachers, community leaders and parents benefits all parties in successfully raising each child to cultivate phenomenal character traits that they will possess for a lifetime.” DeKalb Kids Project, Inc. consistently engages in developing self-confidence and discipline within their community.

Volunteering In Our Schools Dekalb Kids Project, Inc. gives back to the youth by volunteering at the local elementary schools. We make sure to bring the FUN out of fundamental by acting out the stories and helping the kids capture a visual of the stories they are reading. It helps the children understand how to match words to actions.

Community Activities DeKalb Kids Project, Inc. organizes events to gather the community together to meet and greet for both the children and adults. “Our activities are created to get our kids back outdoors and in the habit of playing together while working on sportsmanship, understanding what teamwork is, and learning to communicate through trial and error.”

DeKalb Kids Project, Inc.’s first project was hosting a back to school drive with Nick's Barbershop; during the event they were able to donate book bags, and school supplies to the neighborhood kids going back to school. Free haircuts were also given out to the kids. “Thanks always to Nicks Barbershop for hosting our first DeKalb Kids project.” DeKalb Kids Project, Inc. partnered with the DeKalb County School District, 100 Black Men of DeKalb County, and Radio One to organize an event that brought out 290 registered young men and adults. The conference, titled "I am My Brother’s Keeper and My Child’s Supporter," focused on the major behaviors that cause academic difficulties and social challenges for young males. The event also served as a forum for fathers and male role models to increase their understanding of their role in educating young men. Currently, DeKalb Kids Project, Inc. is working along with Keep DeKalb Beautiful, Inc. to improve DeKalb County's environment. We are focusing on the presentation of natural resources by educating residents, businesses, and students on anti-litter, recycling, beautification, and many other community improvement projects. ■

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MISSION To promote healthier lifestyles, build a stronger community, and sustain academic success by engaging students in positive relationships. "It takes a village to raise a child."

We will provide our youth and community with resources and opportunities that will promote health, safety, and education. DeKalb Kids Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to enhance the learning experience, to develop creative minds and improve the livelihood of children through adolescence within DeKalb County, Georgia.


A Lori A. Manns

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s a girl, she knew in her heart that one day she would grow up and work with children. This knowledge eventually led her to become a philanthropist and start a non-profit organization dedicated to children’s health. If you ask her today, Lori A. Manns will tell you that it must have been God’s plan all along. You see, Lori’s biggest goals include being the change she wants to see in her community, and making a difference. Her love of children, combined with a desire to serve her community, was the inspiration for founding the Live Healthy & Thrive Youth Foundation, Inc. (LHTYF), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, activate, motivate, and empower youth in the areas of academic achievement, health, nutrition, fitness, and overall wellness. “In a sense, this foundation is my baby,” Lori explains. “I help children realize they can have a better life if they choose to establish healthy habits while they are young. It’s an issue that truly touches my heart.” Lori consistently strives to make healthy choices to avoid illnesses such as high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes that aren’t only in her family, but prevalent among many of her friends, and the population at large. Since bad habits often start in our younger years, Lori wants to help change that vicious cycle. In addition to being a non-profit leader, Lori is an award-winning media expert, and sales and marketing consultant. As CEO of Quality Media Consultant Group LLC (QMC Group), Lori skillfully develops multi-media, marketing and advertising campaigns for entrepreneurs and small business owners. “I saw business owners, who desperately needed to get results from their advertising and marketing efforts, trying to navigate the world of entrepreneurship; and, I wanted to shorten their learning curve,” Lori says. QMC Group specializes in business optimization strategies pertaining to advertising, marketing, and sponsorship sales; and, Lori finds fulfillment in helping business owners succeed. Lori's expertise stems from her ability to identify the “brilliant unique factor” in each of her clients which enables them to stand above the competition, share their gifts with the world in a bigger way, and accelerate revenue. With a background in radio sales and marketing, Lori spent nearly two decades of her career selling and managing advertising and marketing solutions for Fortune 500 companies all across the United States. However, it was Lori's passion for small business owners that led her to make them a focus at QMC Group. Having accomplished many of her hopes and dreams through her foundation and business, Lori is not finished yet. She says, “I’ve been blessed in my career and had many great days, but I believe the best is yet to come.” To learn more about how the Live Healthy & Thrive Youth Foundation is impacting the community, visit www.livehealthyandthriveyouth.org. To learn more about the work Lori does to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, visit www.qualitymediaconsultants.com. ■

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LaBelle); nationally recognized fitness expert Andrea Metcalf (“The Today’s Show”, “Good Morning America Health”); Illinois State Senator Iris Martinez (first Latina Assistant Majority Leader); Shea Vaughn (master trainer, founder of SheaNetics ®, mother of actor Vince Vaughn); onair personality Tammie Reed (executive producer, “Talking with Tami”); and author and minister Dr. Barbara King (Founder/World Spiritual Leader, Hillside International Truth Center, Inc.). Although Traci can be found among such stars, she has continued to remain down-to-earth, with a focus on those with everyday struggles like the ones she overcame. Traci is quite an energetic spirit who is preparing for several upcoming fundraising activities this spring on behalf of C.H.A.M.P., and gearing up for the next stop

they often face. Currently, the C.H.A.M.P. Within Program is in Chicago, Illinois; Carrollton, Georgia; and Nairobi, Kenya. A dynamic talent, Traci is the host of a radio show and blog entitled, “Inside Out w/ Traci S. Campbell”. She has interviewed the likes of: veteran actors Harrison Page (Law & Order, CSI, JAG, Grey’s Anatomy), Tippi Hedren (Alfred Hitchock’s “The Birds” and “Marnie”, mother of actress Melanie Griffith), Mary McDonough (“The Waltons”), Alison Arngrim (“Little House on the Prairie”), Grammy Award winning singers Crystal Nicole and Chilli (TLC). The tagline of the show is: “A prescription for a better YOU!” where she conducts celebrity interviews, highlights organizations helping communities throughout the United States, and features an expert panel who addresses a myriad of topics affecting teens and families including relationships, health and wellness and business topics. Traci surrounds herself amongst the very best. Many that have been recognized by the Beauty In Beauty Out Tour include: Erin Merryn of “Erin’s Law” (seen on Oprah’s Life Class, Katie Couric); Dorothy Brown (Circuit Court Clerk of Cook County, IL); Tressa Thomas (“The Five Heartbeats”, “Flatliners” and has performed with Stevie Wonder and Patti

on the BIBO Tour: Las Vegas & Los Angeles this upcoming September, and Chicago In October 2015. More information about C.H.A.M.P. and BIBO Tour can be found at www.champcommunityproject.org and www.beautyinbeautyouttour.com. Her radio show is aired on BlogTalkRadio; blog articles and podcasts from the radio show can be found on her website at www.traciscampbell.com. She is available for interviews, media and press by contacting her Marketing/PR team Amirakal Marketing at pr@amirakalmarketing.com or 678-545-6276. ■

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raci S. Campbell is a life coach, public speaker, author, radio host, IT consultant and founder of two organizations, the C.H.A.M.P. Community Project, and the “Beauty In / Beauty Out Tour.” The C.H.A.M.P. Community Project is a 501(c) (3) organization which aims to provide support to single parents and their children and teens. The “Beauty In / Beauty Out Tour” also known as BIBO Tour, seeks to recognize dynamic women demonstrating leadership in their communities. Traci is the product of a struggling single mother, and as a teen and young adult, this lovely young lady worked as a print model and as a hostess of a formal dining room at a prestigious hotel. This allowed her to help her mother pay the bills as they struggled to make ends meet. Despite the perceived "glamour" of these jobs, Traci still experienced periods of low self-esteem and low self-confidence just as many young women experience today. It wasn't until she encountered mentors and role models in her professional career that she overcame these issues. Recalling this period in her young life, and seeing the same issues rear their ugly heads even more in today’s young women, through her work with C.H.A.M.P. Community project, Traci developed the BIBO Tour. The Tour sheds light on what REAL beauty is and at the same time, celebrates incredible women who are the TRUE role models for young women to emulate today. After 13 years of serving as her mother’s caregiver while building her IT and consulting career, Traci lost her mother to heart disease in 2007. Growing up dealing with her mother’s depression and personal struggles, this dynamic young woman was led to author The C.H.A.M.P. Within, a book and interactive workbook program designed to help teens and single parents overcome the mental and emotional challenges and roadblocks


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Ms. Stevie Flowers

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n August of 2010, I scheduled my annual physical examination with my doctor. My test results came back with some concerns that needed to be addressed immediately. Never having a sick day in my life, I was not afraid, but adamant about getting to the bottom of what could possibly be wrong. In November of 2010, I discovered a nodule under my left armpit. Not overly concerned, I contacted my doctor and was given antibiotics in an attempt to reduce the swelling and inflammation. The antibiotics had no effect on the nodule; in fact, it appeared to be getting larger. In February of 2011, I was scheduled to have an ultra sound. Two days later the nodule was biopsied, and the results came back malignant for breast cancer. I was unaware at the time that I had stage IV breast cancer. I didn’t have time to have a pity party, or question “why me?” My attitude was to get rid of the cancer by any means necessary. I wasn’t afraid; I simply wanted to be cancer free. The next four weeks were full of different doctors, blood tests, CT scans, bone scans, PET scans, MRI’s, and medical information overload. Never having any direct contact with breast cancer, I didn’t know what to expect. I quickly found out that prayer, faith, family, friends, and alkaline water would play a vital role in my total recovery and victory over my cancer. Eventually, I had to undergo 25 weeks of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and finally 31 radiation treatments all in less than 8 months. Keeping a positive attitude about the entire situation and asking God to keep my care in His divine order gave me the victory to overcome my illness. Today, I am cancer free, treatment free, and I don’t take any medications to maintain my optimum health. What Satan did for my harm, God made for my good! I survived this life-altering event emerging more dynamic, confident, and radiant than I was before I was diagnosed. God has allowed me to be a walking miracle, and I walk proudly in it. He has given me an awesome story that I have written in a book entitled BeeStings, Bumblebees, and Butterflies. I pray that my book will encourage others to stay positive, and don’t give up. We are healed by his stripes… “Faith Always Has a Future.” ■

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Amealia MILLER

Doing great things with a big heart By Kim Hodge

provide basic necessities to survivors and their children transitioning to a life free of abuse. The most rewarding thing to Amealia is the joy she sees when an individual smiles, and if she can make them smile, she knows their heart smiles also. Mia states, “It hurts tremendously knowing there are so many out there in need and not being able to provide for them all.” Every year between October and December, Caring is Doing for Others collects new and used blankets through their Blanketing the Homeless Project. They also provide food and toiletries during the day. If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, partner, speaker or mentor please —go to www.cidfoinc.org Facebook page www.facebook.com/cidfo or follow them on Instagram at instagram.com/cidfo for pictures. ■

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ast year, the President signed the third reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act – the backbone of our nation’s response to violence against women, authored and pioneered by Vice President Joe Biden – which commits unprecedented resources to breaking the cycle of sexual violence, among other measures, of VAWA 2013. Amealia Miller is passionate about social justice in all forms, but especially domestic violence and homelessness, and directs her energy toward helping those affected. Her individual and cultural experiences on these two issues have been fueled by her own life experiences, and her life purpose is to do whatever she needs to do to bring as many abuse victims to self-reliance as possible. Amealia states, "For many years my life was a façade, and behind a beautiful smile were hidden hurts, fears, and low self-esteem because of psychological and physical abuse. My hope is that every woman currently experiencing or whohas experienced abuse, chooses victory over violence because you are VICTORIOUS through Jesus Christ." She is a selfless woman of God, a life coach, and the author of Faith of a Mustard Seed. Her outreach toward victims of domestic violence includes volunteer activities at the Gateway shelter in Atlanta, battered women's shelters, advocating in connection with legislation, and serving as interim Secretary of the Henry Grady NIA CAB at Grady hospital. Amealia is a member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW-Dekalb), The Democratic Women Council of Douglas County, Iota Phi Lambda, Inc., is featured in Who's Who Black Atlanta 16th Edition as a successful entrepreneur, and she is the recipient of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (Stone Mountain-Lithonia) 2014 Bold and Fearless Advocacy Award in Domestic Violence and Sex Trafficking. Originally from Aberdeen, Maryland Amealia, the founder and director of Caring is Doing for Others, a 501c3 organization states, “We are a small organization with BIG hearts, meeting needs. For those of you who have never lived in a home of domestic abuse, it's hard to imagine how helpless a victim feels. Domestic abuse always involves power—whether it's physical, sexual, emotional, or economic victims typically feel helpless as they experience the escalating number of incidents of violence at the hands of a family member.” A condensed overview of the problem:  Nearly 1 in 5 women – or nearly 22 million – have been raped in their lifetimes.  1 in 71 men – or almost 1.6 million – have been raped during their lives.  Nearly half of female survivors were raped before they were 18, and over one-quarter of male survivors were raped before they were 10. College students are particularly vulnerable: 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted while in college.  Over a third of women who were raped as minors were also raped as adults. Amealia’s mission is, to educate, encourage, empower, and


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eet Tanja - a multi-talented and creative author, singer, dance teacher, dancer, choreographer, and motivational speaker. Working with children and the youth inspired Tanja to obtain a degree in Education and continue to study dance. Her specialty is teaching our youth, African, Spiritual and basic Hip/hop dance. She started dancing as a young child, under the instruction of her mom, who managed the BC Brown Sugar Dancers in Charlotte, North Carolina. While attending North Carolina A&T State University, she studied African dance, Katherine Dunham dance techniques, modern dance, tap, and spiritual dance. Tanja believes that she was born to have a spiritual influence on the world. She was raised by her mom and dad in Charlotte, North Carolina, and also grew up around two strong, praying grandmothers, and a god-mother. She always felt tremendous love and support from them. For this Tanja will be forever grateful and share with others the love of God, and inspirations which were planted in her heart. â–

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Contact information for LaTanja Williams (404) 246-1177 MLATANJA@hotmail.com

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Maritza Smith-Romero Southern University student wins coveted $10,000 Google scholarship

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aritza Smith-Romero said she just wanted to see “what would happen” when she completed the application to be in a competition for a $10,000 scholarship from Internet giant Google. Several weeks later she received a document saying that she was one of 12 recipients of the Google Lime Scholarship Program scholarships. “I got kind of lightheaded,” said Smith -Romero, who is in the computer science master’s degree program here at Southern University. According to Google, competitors for the scholarship must be pursuing a computer science or computer engineering degree, maintaining a strong academic performance and must have long-term or recurring disabilities “that impact one or more major activities that others “It says a lot about what I may consider to be a daily funchave learned and tion.” Smith-Romero is a quadripledownsizing program at her job. She came to specifically, it says a lot gic, the result of catastrophic injulive with her mother in Baker. She entered about what I’ve learned at ries suffered during an accident in Southern’s computer science program in the fall Southern University.” the 1990s. She has a motorized of 2010, encouraged by Deanna Roquemore, an Maritza Smith-Romero wheelchair and is assisted by her assistant professor at the time in the Computer mother. Science Department. “I owe everything to her,” SmithDr. Ebrahim Khosravi, chair of the Computer SciRomero said with a smile. ence Department, said Smith-Romeo has been an exSome of the other winners of the Google traordinary and no-nonsense student since she entered the Lime scholarships are from a who’s who among major U.S. program. “She knows what she wants to do.” Khosravi said. colleges, including: Stanford University, Brown University, the The students and faculty are so accustomed to seeing Smith Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie-Mellon Uni-Romero and her mother that some of the students call Smithversity and Columbia University. Romero’s mother, “mom.” The 48-year-old Smith-Romero said she is proud to be “Southern has done everything right from Day One,” Smith among a distinguished group of students. “It says a lot about -Romero said. “Southern has done what they said they would what I have learned and specifically, it says a lot about what do to assist me.” I’ve learned at Southern University,” she said. Smith-Romero will receive the Google scholarship for the The money should help her tremendously toward complet2015-2016 academic year. She and the other recipients will be ing her degree and launching her career in the technology field, invited to attend the annual Google Scholars’ Retreat at the she said. Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif. Winners will also be conSmith-Romero is a 1984 graduate of the Southern Universidered for software engineering internship opportunities with sity Laboratory School. After graduation, she focused on a caGoogle. reer in veterinary medicine and later zoology at Louisiana State Smith-Romeo said that sometime in 2016 she will obtain University. her master’s degree and that she intends to find a job in her She moved away to the Boston area in the 1990s and it is field. Khosravi said he believes she will be successful. where she suffered the accident that left her with profound physical disabilities. “I know she will,” he said. ■ She later returned to Baton Rouge after she was part of a


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Photo by Darkroom Photos-ATL. Jumper by Bella Brown Plus.

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Photo captured by Paul Biagui, styled by Marcia AlwaysUp Day

………. FULL FIGURED AND FABULOUS

Tisa Edge

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lus size model Tisa Edge has hit the Atlanta scene and is taking control. Modeling for only a couple of years, she has walked in numerous fashion shows, hosted a number of red carpets, entertained various audiences, and motivated people in different capacities. Tisa is a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, cousin, and friend to a huge circle, but juggles her professional career and personal life with the greatest of ease. "It's difficult and can be very demanding,” says Tisa. “But with the help of the Lord I am able to conquer it.”

Yes, her faith remains first and most important during her daily journey through life. And, as a motivational speaker, Tisa prides herself on maintaining a proper and respectable image. “Sex sells, but it doesn't feed the hungry,” Tisa states. “I want to help women of all ages to realize their inner beauty; I want to FEED THOSE HUNGRY for attention through my motivational speaking; and, I want everyone who hears me to not only hear what I am saying, but also see that I truly do PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH. Body image is EVERYTHING!!!"

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Photo captured by: Joyful Visions Media Hair by: Alicia Hayward.


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Morehouse College men now have a distinguished watch to match their mystique. Hodges Watch Company [HWCo] donated a new watch at the Morehouse Candle in the Dark Gala to benefit general scholarship fund.

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owie Hodges, class of ‘82 at Morehouse College, took his commitment to “The House” seriously when he created a trademarked design for a signature watch to be exclusively worn by the formidable Morehouse Man. Hodges Watch Company (HWCo) donated one of the "luxury hand-assembled" watches to the college to be auctioned at the 2015 27th Annual Candle in the Dark Gala that was recently held in Atlanta, GA. The silent auction winner was Morehouse Alumnus Gregory T. Burrell, class of '90, a prominent businessman from Philadelphia where he is president & CEO of the Terry Funeral Home. The HWCo watches are an élite and limited Morehouse College collection where only 350 will be offered for sale. Morehouse gets a percentage of all sales through an approved

licensing arrangement. Watches are custom-made-to-order with a remarkable layered dial of iconic "Graves Hall" crafted from sterling silver, over iridescent mother-of-pearl. All movements are SWISS made and imported by HWCo. Hodges, says, “I have a passion for watches, and I wanted to design and manufacture a ‘collectable timepiece’ that could be passed down from generation-to-generation of Morehouse men and to help my Alma Mater and have fun doing so. And, to remind me of the momentous years I spent on campus.” ■ For more detail about the various styles of watches in the Morehouse Collection, one can visit the website at www.hodgeswatch.com or contact Hodges at the hodgeswatch@gmail.com

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First Class, Inc.


“The legacy I want to leave other than my children making me prouder is for people to know that I was a man, not just a singer… I was a man. And I hope that I played a part in someone’s life to make the world a better place.”

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Will Downing

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Will Downing R & B AND JAZZ ARTIST, WRITER AND PRODUCER

SOPHISTICATED SOULFUL SOUNDS THAT ARE TIMELESS Written by Shernita Wiggins

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a flame no matter where they are. The other classic tune is entitled, Does Your Momma Know About Me, a 60’s track that expounds upon interracial dating originally cut by Bobby Taylor. Will manages to share the intimate notion in such a way, that you find yourself rooting for the couple just from the sweet lingering tones; and, realize that “love is just love” no matter the color of your skin. The next track to get you in the lollipopmood is This Song Is For You. This song is the candy-man version of inspiration to those who need that little extra encouragement, and it is sung to the tempo of a Stepper’s beat. Next on the list of “sweets for my sweetie.” is I Could Never Say No To You. For all you lovers who find it hard to resist doing whatever it takes to please that love of your life, Will Downing draws you into the storyline with tantalizing crooning that will either have you wishing that you were the object of that man’s affection, or taking notes on how to keep her from saying no, to you. And the last tasty treat on the “platter of love” is a chocolatecovered strawberry temptation created just for YOU, Till U Come Back. This number is toe-curling and sure to make you put it on repeat. That’s enough drooling for now; lick your lips, and remember… when Will Downing’s Chocolate Drop album… drops in April 2015, make sure you are there to catch it (wink), and get your copy as quick as you can. Just in case you were wondering how this magnificently sexy and soulful artist is able to put out hit-after-hit for his fans…it came from his deep spiritual connection, and realizing early on that one of his gifts was singing. The foundation was inspired by some of the late-greats like, Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross, along with Stevie Wonder who is still “relevant” today. So, Will is determined to produce albums that are timeless, no matter the change of the times, or his battle with health issues. He is only slowing down long enough to keep lighting fires under romance and retaining its kindle by adding his own cinnamon touch of a “spice o’ life” for the grown and sexy fans. ■

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he Prince of Sophisticated Soul has done it again! His last album, Euphoria, combined the soulful sounds of R&B and Jazz to create melodies and lyrics that shared a little flava with both genres, for his dedicated fans. Now, get ready for the New Chocolate Drop album, filled with the sensational and audible sounds of Will Downing’s smooth R&B vocals, flowing just like the delectable title that bears its name. He’s dropping spectacular sounds that are continually tugging at the heartstrings of the ageless baby-boomers, peaking the curiosity of the young crazy-in-love generation, and even opening a floodgate of heart-stopping memories—for the young-at-heart. In other words, Will’s faithful fans who have followed him for 27 years…18 albums later, will not be disappointed. He’s even picking up some new generation music lovers who are developing a savory appetite for the sultry and familiar “old school” R&B sounds that many have labeled, “baby -making” music. It is apparent that the success of Will Downing’s music comes from his consistent ability to share songs that are relevant today. I am talking about those timeless scenarios that speak about love and relationships that he knows all too well. He shares that the inspirations behind the songs come from his own experiences. “I live it every day, the good and the bad. I also observe those around me, like my kids and their relationships. I believe that it’s important to talk about the things we and others go through that will be repeated for generations. This type of music will always be relevant to the time you are living in, no matter when that may occur,” Will explains. Although his music spans across the sands of time, the Chocolate Drop album will quench the thirst of the most advantageous person seeking for that heart-throb answer to love, or appease the tastebuds of the one in need of a solution to their broken heart. “Actually, I think as a whole, this album from top to bottom will be something for everyone. Whatever you play on it, I am proud of,” Will elaborates. So what are the scrumptious melodies that you can expect to hear? Let me give you a mouth-watering sample. Will has two classic remixes, and the first of the two is Saving All My Love for You by the late and amazingly talented, Whitney Houston. You’ve heard Whitney’s breathtaking version, but now you can indulge in the scintillating vocals from a man’s perspective. Will Downing was on tour with Patti LaBelle when he was inspired to sing this song during sound check one day. His keyboardist started playing it and he said the composition just began to flow. Then he jumped in singing the familiar tunes as the rest of the band joined in and it erupted into some rearrangements taking place. One thing is for sure, Will Downing has some of the most talented groups of musicians working with him and ready to spark


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Written by Glenda Scott

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ore than 73,000 attended the Jazz in the respectively, on the new, red-hot, Fox television series Gardens (JITG) music festival last week"Empire." They were among several notables who made onend as the City of Miami Gardens celestage cameo appearances including reality TV star Angela Simbrated the festival's 10th anniversary mons, J. Anthony Brown, co-host of "The Tom Joyner MornMarch 21st and 22nd. Approximately ing Show," and Sybrina Fulton, founder of the Trayvon Martin 42,000 festival-goers attended Saturday's Foundation and mother of Trayvon Martin. show, the first sold-out day in the history of the event. A-list JITG also featured local artists, soul singer Valerie Tyson, musical talent continues to attract more and more attendees saxophonist John Erinosho and Karina Iglesias of NBC's every year. Once a festival of roughly 1,800 patrons in a corner "The Voice," along with more than 40 exotic food vendors, a of Sun Life Stadium's parking lot, JITG is now the fastest Vendor Marketplace, and the most anticipated lineup for the growing jazz and R&B music festival in the nation. City's milestone 10th year celebration. This year's lineup The City of Mifeatured Maxwell, ami Gardens was Erykah Badu, R. Kelly, born in 2003 and the then City Toni Braxton, Run D.M.C., Brian CulbertCouncil sought to son, Sheila E., Men of create a signature Soul's Jeffrey Osborne, event for the largPeabo Bryson, and est predominantly Freddie Jackson. Also African-American featured were Jazz in the municipality in Gardens All Stars Ronnie Florida, which is Laws, Roy Ayers, also the third largLonnie Liston Smith, est in the United and Tom Browne. ComeStates. In 2006, dians and nationallythe City of Miami syndicated radio personGardens presented alities D.L. Hughley and the inaugural Jazz Rickey Smiley co-hosted in the Gardens, an the festival. intimate jazz-only "This year's attenfestival featuring dance was unprecedented, food and music, and our lineup of musical setting the foundatalent was second to none, tion for the decade City officials, Rickey Smiley, D.L Hugley, City official, (Miami) Mayor Oliver Gilbert and Freddy Jackson a fitting tribute to our 10th -long, signature year of producing an inexperience that credible festival experience," said City of Miami Gardens followed, adding R&B to the lineup. Mayor, Oliver Gilbert. "This is our signature event and we are In response to the popularity of the festival, the City of Miso proud that people from all over the world look forward to ami Gardens has added two events to the JITG Weekend: The attending every year." Women's Impact Conference & Luncheon (WICL) which The event also drew celebrities including actors Bryshere kicked off the weekend Friday morning and included an AuY. Gray and Jussie Smollett, who star as Hakeem and Jamal, thor's Lounge and keynote address by Omarosa Manigault.

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Photos by GScottPR

Record Breaking 73,000 Attendees


Jeffery Osborne

Brian Culbertson

On Friday night, the Opening Night Party gave a preview of the city's two-day fest and featured the D.M.C. Band and a comedy show hosted by "The Rickey Smiley Morning Show" crew. JITG is unlike any other festival in the nation. From the lineup, to the food, to the weather, the JITG weekend is an un-

Scott Gartner paralleled experience. By its explosive growth in just 10 years, it is certain that JITG is an experience that has earned its stripes, while its guests have earned their tan lines and enjoyed the camaraderie and first class performances year after glorious year. â–

Toni Braxton

Erykah Badu

Photos by GScottPR

R. Kelly

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Maxwell


Peabo Bryson

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Sheila E.

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By Monda Ervin

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city and commercial centre of the commonwealth of Bahamas, the tourist guide drove us around the beautiful island. The spectacular beaches were perfect for snorkeling, jet skiing and swimming. There are many options of things to do in Bahamas. We had a blast and would definitely book our next vacation through Paycation Travel. Paycation Travel offers incredible savings on vacations, airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel services, cruises and more. Remember it’s never too late to book a vacation through Paycation Travel Consultant Monda Ervin @ www.mondaervin.paycation.com Paycation Travel is home based with flexible opportunities: you can become a Travel Club Member Independent Associate, Referral Travel Consultant (RTC) or a Certified Travel Consultant (CTC) and earn 6 streams of residual income. Please let me know if you are interested in any of the benefits we have to offer and it’d be my pleasure to assist you! Monda Ervin Certified Travel Consultant

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here’s an entire world out there and you should experience it. Spring and summer can be the most active period for traveling and vacations. Traveling and vacations promote creative thinking, sharpen cognition, expand your cultural horizons and create unforgettable memories. During June 2014, a group of us explored the Nassau Bahamas by the bouncy beat Carnival Ecstasy Cruise. “The bright lights of the grand atrium reminded us of the big city’. The ship was equipped with great features for fun for the kids including the Seuss at Sea. The adults indulged themselves into the Comedy club, the casino, the fierce competition game show, the Hasbro and the adult night life where the DJ rocked the boat with the latest tunes. Let’s not forget that, the meals and non-alcohol beverages are all inclusive. The dine-in Captain Dinner was served on an upscale menu; while, the pizza station stayed open all night. The sea day brunch was delicious. Throughout the day; “the Lido restaurant featured a nice variety of casual dining options like Mongolian Wok, Chef’s choice, salad bar, Carnival deli and more.” When we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas which is the largest


Trendsetter to Trendsetter Magazine May June 2015  

On the cover: David and Tamela Mann host The 30th Annual Stellar Awards. Also: Bounce TV's "Mann and Wife." 5o Years: Return to Selma