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Curry Takes on the Confederate ‘Legacy,’ Pg. 26



Cosby Controversy Continues, Pg. 5

Blues Alley Marks 50 Years, Pg. 29

DC Youth Get Help with Jobs, Pg. 10

Ben’s Chili Opens New Venue, Pg. 32

Vol. 50, No. 40 July 16 - July 22, 2015

(L-R) Ward 4 Councilman Brandon Todd, Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen, Ward 8 Councilwoman LaRuby May, Ward 5 Councilman Kenyan McDuffie and Councilmember-At-Large Anita Bonds join Mayor Muriel Bowser as she signs new synthetic drug legislation on Friday, July 10. /Photo by Nancy Shia

Bowser Gets Tough on Drug Sellers New Law Now in Effect By Sarafina Wright WI Staff Writer In light of the recent Metro stabbing death, a woman abandoning a baby in downtown D.C., and dozens of overdoses, District officials have taken action to send a strong message to retailers who sell dangerous illegal cannabinoids that it will not be tolerated. Mayor Muriel Bowser joined by Police Chief Cathy Lanier, administration officials and members of the DC City Council, signed the “Sale of Synthetic Drugs Emergency Amendment

Act of 2015” into law on Friday, July 10. “These chemicals have led to overdoses of dozens of individuals. Synthetic drugs pose a serious threat to public health and safety,” Bowser said. “Beginning today, any business that possesses synthetic drugs will face harsh penalties for the first offense and will lose their license after a second offense.” The new law states that the Metropolitan Police Department now has the authority to shut down a first time offender for up to 96 hours with a $10,000


President Barack Obama, keynote speaker at the NAACP 106th Annual National Convention held in Philadelphia, Pa., discussed plans to reform the U.S. criminal justice system on Tuesday, July 14. /Photo by Shevry Lassiter

Obama: Prison Reform Needed President Strong in NAACP Speech By Stacy M. Brown WI Contributing Writer Even before his keynote address in front of a cheering crowd at the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 14, President Barack Obama was busy practicing what he had already prepared to preach. A day earlier, the nation’s first

black president, and the 44th man to command the Oval Office, commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders, giving them an opportunity for freedom – 13 were serving life in prison – and a once-in-a-lifetime chance at redemption. And, when it comes to redemption, Obama clearly has re-energized an African-American base

who have largely felt abandon during the first seven years of his historic presidency. “The president’s speech was groundbreaking and it was sweeping in what he said,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said. Passionately, Obama spoke of


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Is Everywhere! Dr. Charles Vincent & “Mickey” Thompson Vincent

2015 LAW DAY

The Washington Bar Association hosted the Annual Law Day Dinner at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC. The Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit was presented to this year’s winners, the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court) and Attorney Barbara R. Arnwine (Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law) by the 2014 awardee Attorney Allie B. Latimer. Atty. Karen E. Evans, 47th President of the Washington Bar Association, presided over the event. The WBA also presented the Charles Hamilton Houston and Eugene Hamilton scholarship awards to the winners of the law students’ competition. For more information go to “2015 Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit Awardees”

(Left Photo) The Honorable Thurgood Marshall, The Honorable Hubert B. Pair, (L-R) Atty. Barbra Arnwine (Dir. of the Atty. Charles Hamilton Houston, Atty. Maurice R. Weeks, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Under Law) & Ruth Joan Bader The Honorable William S. Ginsburg (Associate Justice of the “Turk” Supreme Court of the United States) Thompson. Below (L-R) Chief Judge Richard Roberts, Judge Lee E. Stterfield, Atty. Karen E. Evans (WBA Pres.), 2014 Awardee Atty. Allie Latimer, 2008 Awardee Atty. Jack Olender (Seated) Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court) & 2012 Awardee Inez Smith Reid

(L-R) 1994 Awardee Atty. Elaine Ruth Jones with Edna Lee Moffitt and Atty. Ludlow Mckay

(L-R) Photo left Atty. Charles Byrd & Atty. Maurice Foster

Iris McCollum Green (WBA Past President)

(1st Above Photo) (L-R) Judge Herbert Dixon & his wife Atty. Kim Keenan (Gen. Counsel NAACP) and her hubby Phoebe with Judge Arthur Burnett and his (2nd Photo Above) Atty. Robert (Former WBA Pres.) & Roberta wife Ann Bell

(L-R) Attys. Keith & Patricia Waters with WBA President Karen Evans & Immediate Past President William (Billy) Martin & his wife Michelle

Above: Judge Anna Blackburne Rigsby, Atty. Natalie S. Walker, Atty. Barbara Arnwine, Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Atty. David Morrow, Judge Claudia Crichlow, Judge Inez Reid, Atty. Karen E. Evans (WBA Pres), Atty. Bridget Bailey Lipscomb

Judge Anita Josey- Herring (c) & Friends

(Above Photo Left) Joe Brown (Standing) - (L-R) Seated Atty. Felicia Chambers (Past WBA President)), “Mickey: Thompson Vincent (Widow of Judge William “Turk” Thompson & Publisher of Social Atty. Nicole Austin-Hillery (L-R) Atty. Annamaria Steward, Atty. John Brittain & Attys. Charlotte & Gilbert Douglas Sightings), & Atty. Donald Thigpen (Past WBA Co-Chair of the Event Atty. Christy Burnett President)

Social Sightings -the MagaZine

(L-R) Former Awardee & Atty. Joseph Harriston (WBA Treasurer) with his wife and family & friends


Kurt Pommonths, Sr, Photographer * Photo Enhancer * Graphic Designer Social Sightings-The CoLumn is published in the Hill Rag, DC Mid-City, East of the River Journals, The Washington Informer Newspaper and in the Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlingnton, Loudoun Woman Magazines 2003 © SOCIAL SIGHTINGS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — DUPLICATION IN ANY FORM REQUIRES WRITTEN PERMISSION | E-mail

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7/16/2015 – 7/22//2015 Around the Region Pages 4 – 12 Prince George’s County Pages 14 – 15 Business Pages 18 – 19 Lifestyle Pages 29 – 33 Sports Pages 36 –37 Rev. Dr. William Barber II (center), North Carolina NAACP president and founder of Moral Monday Marches, held a voting rights march in Winston-Salem, NC that attracted people from 22 states on Mon., July 13. /Photo by Nancy Shia

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Women Cycle W I HBreak O T Tthe OP I C Sof Compiled D. Kevin McNeir | WI Managing Editor Domestic Violence

Meekins Tagged for Public Safety Gig By Tia Carol Jones

enforcement. She said they hasthreat,” said.Meekins to take D.C. law Attorney General Karl A. Racine tappedshe Tamar comeAttorney togetherGeneral to bringfora PublicAmong over ashad Deputy Safety.the Theprograms tenured Marlow associsense ofClinical uniformity in the director way wants to see implemented are ate professor, Law Center and supervising attorney in the When L.Y. Marlow's 23-year- domestic violence victims and stricter restraining order policies, Criminal Justice Clinic at Howard Law School since 2002, Meekins will lead old daughter told her the father survivors are treated. rights for families the Office of the Attorney General’s effortsmore in juvenile andvictim's adult cases. of her daughter threatened her usingexpertise her owninpersonal to intervene on behalf of a that vic“Tamar“She's Meekins’ criminal justice and passion to ensure life, and the life of their child, story, her own personal pain to tim, a domestic violence assesscarried out in a just manner make her perfect for this job,” she knew something had toprosecution be push isforward,” Davis-Nickens unitefforts coupled with further Racine said. “I’m excited that she will helpment led our as we continue done. Out of her frustration said about Marlow. training for law enforcement to build a smarter and more effective system for juvenile justice, fight the with law enforcement's handling Davis-Nickens said anyone agencies, a Child's Life Protecof synthetic drugs, ameliorate nuisance properties and carry out the of the situation, she decidedscourge to who reads Marlow's book will tion Act and mandatory counselother law to keeping residents safe.” start the Saving Promise cam“getbusiness it.” Sheintegral said she “puts theDistrict ing for batterers. Meekins, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania Juris paign. case in such a way, the average “If we are and ever her going to Doceraditorate from the University Virginia, School of Law, is a founder member of the Greater Washington “It seems to be a viciousofcycle person can get it.” She said at the cate domestic violence, we must Urban League turn Urbanmy Roundtable as a the foster parent the District Columbia that won't family and endhasofserved the day, book willfor look at bothofsides of theChild coin. and Family Services Agency. loose,” Marlow said. Marlow help people begin to have a dia- We need to address both the vicshared her story with the audi- logue about domestic violence. tim and the batterer,” Marlow ence at the District Heights Also present at the event was said. Domestic Violence Symposium Mildred Muhammad, the exMarlow would also like to see on May 7 at the District HeightsDr. Nana wife of John transitioned Allen Muhammad, Seshibe peacefully programs in her Washington D.C. to home at designed raise Municipal Center. The sympoto sixinconsecamongofchildren in the agewho of 74was onsentenced June 19. Born the South awareness African township Alexandra, sium was sponsored by at thethe age utive terms parole public and To private She of life seven, she without went to live in Johannesburg. help schools. support her Family and Youth Services Maryland for his role attending in feelshigh children need to be educatfamily, by shea worked in ajury factory while school. Because of her Center of the city of District the Beltway about domestic fight against apartheidSniper she wasattacks forced in to fleeedher home countryviolence. in 1963. She Heights and the National HookMildred Muhammad is “We have to being met and2002. married her husband, Jerry Seshibe in Tanzania andstop moved to pasthe Up of Black Women. founder After the Trauma, sive-aggressive poor chilU.S. to the continue herofeducation and to speak on behalf of with the Pan African Marlow has written a book, an organization that helps the dren about domestic violence,” Congress. “Color Me Butterfly,” which is After a survivors of domestic said. earning three degrees violence including aMarlow doctorate of education at the story about four generationsUniversity of and of their children. Marlow has worked to break Massachusetts in Amherst, the couple moved to Washington domestic violence. The bookD.C. is where “I lived in fearthree for sixsons: years. Six Sakhele, the cycleand of Selelo. abuse in her family, they raised Sefako, inspired by hertaught own experiences, years in fear long time. of It isthe District and is confident the policies Dr. Seshibe at Howard University and is thea University of Columbia as well she as and those of her grandmother, not an easy thing to come out is pushing for will start that several other local public and charter school programs. Wife, mother, sister, friend, revolutionary historiherlinguist, motherteacher and her said. process. an, anddaughter. activist, she of,” was she passionately committed to family, community and justice for all She said every time she reads Mildred Muhammad said “I plan to take these policies to humanity. excerpts from her book, she still people who want to help a Congress and implore them to Services for Seshibe will be held Friday, July 17, at Rankin Chapel on the campus of Howard Univercan not believe the words came violence by victim mustservice change our laws,” said. sity. Viewing will be from 11 a.m. to domestic 12 noon followed a funeral and repass at theMarlow University’s from her. “Color Me Butterfly” be careful of how they go into “I will not stop until these poliBlackburn Center. won the 2007 National “Best the victim's life, and understand cies are passed.” Books” Award. that she may be in “survival Tia Carol Jones can be reached “I was just 16-years-old when mode”. at my eye first blackened and my “Before you get to 'I'm going A largely civil rightsasheroine, Lou Hamer was a woman of lips bled,” Marlow said. to killunsung you,' it started a verbalFannieWI indomitable spirit. Elaine Davis-Nickens, president of the National Hook-UpHer heartbreaking testimony at the Democratic National Convention in 1964 was instrumental to the groundswell in activity that led to the of Black Women, said there isAugust no consistency in the way domestic passage of the Voting Right Act of 1965 which prohibits racial discriminaviolence issues are dealt withtion by in voting. Hamer learned the value of voting in the segregated south in the state of Mississippi where she grew up as a poor sharecropper. In “This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer,” which opened this year’s March on Washington Film Festival on Wednesday, July 15, director, Robin Hamilton, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, delves into the life and work of Hamer. Her legacy deserves a fresh look by all – she remains an inspiration to all Americans, particularly in light of recent efforts to wipe away the right to vote for all citizens, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, place of origin or former state of incarceration. WI Staff Writer

D.C. African Affairs Commissioner Dies

The Washington Informer Newspaper THE WASHINGTON INFORMER InPUBLISHER Memoriam NEWSPAPER (ISSN#0741-9414)Dr.isCalvin Denise Rolark Sr. Barnes W. Rolark, published weekly on each Thursday. Wilhelmina J. Rolark Periodicals postage paid at WashingSTAFF WASHINGTON INFORMER ton,THE D.C. and additional mailing of- NEWSPAPER (ISSN#0741-9414) is published weekly Thursday. Periodicals paid atMcNeir, Washington, D.C.Editor and additional D. Kevin Managing fices. Newsonand advertising deadlinepostage mailing offices. News and advertising deadline is Monday prior to publication. is Monday prior to publication. AnAnnouncements must be received twoRon weeks prior to event. Copyright 2000 by The Burke, Advertising/ Marketing Director nouncements must be received two Washington Informer. All rights reserved. POST MASTER: Send change of addressweeks event. Copyright 2015 Barnes, Assistant Editor es toprior The to Washington Informer, 3117Lafayette Martin Luther King,IV, Jr. Ave., S.E. Photo Washington, by D.C. The 20032. Washington Informer. All No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permisJohn E. De Freitas, Sports Photo Editor rights POSTMASTER: sionreserved. from the publisher. TheSend Informer Newspaper cannot guarantee the return of change of addresses to The rates Washphotographs. Subscription are $30 per year,Rowley, two yearsOnline $45. Papers Dorothy Editorwill be received not more than 3117 a weekMartin after publication. Make checks payable to: ington Informer, Luther Brian Young, Design & Layout King, Jr. Ave., S.E. Washington, D.C. THE WASHINGTON INFORMER 20032. No part of this publication may Mable Neville, Bookkeeper 3117 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., S.E. • Washington, D.C. 20032 be reproduced without written permisPhone: 202 561-4100 • Fax: 202 574-3785 Mickey Thompson, Social Sightings columnist sion from the publisher. The Informer E-mail: Newspaper cannot guarantee the return Stacey Palmer, Social Media Specialist of photographs. Subscription rates are Angie Johnson, Circulation $45 per year, two years $60. Papers will PUBLISHER be received not more than a week after Denise Rolark Barnes REPORTERS publication. Make checks payable to: STAFF REPORTERS Stacy Brown, Sam P.K. Collins, Eve Ferguson, THE WASHINGTON Brooke N. Garner INFORMER Managing Elton Editor Hayes, Tia D. C. Jones, Laiscell, Dorothy KevinEdMcNeir, Carla PeayLuther King, Assistant Managing Editor Odell B. Ruffin, Larry Saxton, 3117 Martin Jr. Ave., S.E Rowley, Barrington Kia Croom, Ron BurkeD.C. 20032 Advertising and Marketing Mary Wells,Salmon, Joseph Young Washington, Sarafina Wright Mable Whittaker Bookkeeper Phone: 202 561-4100 LaNita Wrenn Administration PHOTOGRAPHERS Fax:John 202 574-3785 E. De Freitas Sports Editor Lafayette Barnes, IV, Victor Holt Photo Editor John E. De Freitas, Maurice Fitzgerald, PHOTOGRAPHERS Zebra Designs, Inc. Layout & Graphic Design Joanne Jackson, Roy Lewis, Robert John E. DeFreitas, Shevry Ken Harris / Webmaster Ridley, Victor Holt Lassiter,

Festival Salutes Fannie Lou Hamer

We have to stop being passive-aggressive with poor children about domestic violence. I plan to take these Will Body Cameras Keeppolicies Cops Honest? to Congress and A video has gone viral that shows four Philadelphia police officers beating a youth who allegedly had drugs in his possession. While the youth may implore them to change our have broken the law, many are questioning whether the police used excessive force in restraining him. The video shows the youth on the ground beat I will not stop until while the officers continued him. In another controversial case, a Cleveland, Ohio judge recently declined policies passed. to charge the officer these responsible for the death of are Tamir Rice. Critics are

In Memoriam Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, Sr. Wilhelmina J. Rolark

angry over the judge’s decision and wonder if justice will ever be served. Marlow Finally, a father of two was recently pulled from his horseL.Y. in Mississippi and choked to death by police officers. The facts surrounding the case Paul Trantham remain hazy. However, in all three incidents, critics, including a panel that INTERNS appeared on last Monday’s TV One daily news show hosted by journalist Roland Martin, say that while Jordan Shanks mandatory police cameras would curb the disproportionate violence lodged by police officers against blacks and Latinos, that a real national discussion needs to be held and laws changed. 4 / May 15 - 21, 2008 The Washington Informer / The question remains whether police officers have too much leeway when they confront citizens and then say they were “in fear of their lives” in order to justify their actions. The panelists asked what rights citizens have in such cases. Roy Lewis, Corey Parrish, CIRCULATION Travis Riddick, Nancy Shia

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Bill Cosby mural will remain for now outside of Ben’s Chili Bowl. /File Photo

Ben’s Chili Bowl, Smithsonian Keeping Cosby By Stacy M. Brown WI Contributing Writer Disney has confirmed that a bronze bust of Bill Cosby at its Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando is being removed while an identical statue of the disgraced icon that was visible on the grounds of the Television Academy headquarters in Los Angeles is also being taken down. Earlier this month, a national sexual awareness and education group asked President Barack Obama to rescind the Presidential Medal of Freedom Cosby received from President George W. Bush in 2002. Now that a deposition has been released in which the embattled former “Cosby Show” star has admitted to plying women with drugs before having sex with them, many have turned their attention to the nation’s capital, specifically to the famed Ben’s Chili Bowl, where a mural of Cosby remains, and to the Smithsonian, where the comedian’s prized art collection is still on display. “We’re very sympathetic about recent news, very sympathetic, very saddened by all of that,” Virginia Ali, the founder of Ben’s Chili Bowl, told reporters gathered for the opening of its new location in Northeast on July 8.

“But we’re focused on opening our new store today,” Ali said, dodging the controversy surrounding the “Fat Albert” creator. One of Ali’s customers, Janette Harris, a former D.C. government official compared the Ali’s position to that of someone who has a family member who’s done something terrible. “Do you cut your ties with your uncle or your aunt or your mama or your daddy if they did something really bad? “ She asked in an interview with ABC 7. “I think you feel bad about it, you chasten them for it, but do you leave your family? No, not really.” When asked whether she believes the Ali family should cut its tires to Cosby, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she knows the family will evaluate the situation and “do what’s right.” The Ali family said Cosby has frequented the restaurant since the late 1950s. Last year, Cosby and his wife Camille debuted one of the world’s pre-eminent private collections of African-American art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Southwest. The collection, “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” was

viewed as a major part of the museum’s 50th anniversary. “At the National Museum of African Art we are excited to show the world these treasured AfDenise Rolark Barnes rican-American artworks for Independent Beauty Consultant the first time ever,” Johnnetta www.marykay/ Betsch Cole, the director of the 202-236-8831 museum, said at the time. Officials said they would continue to showcase the collection despite the latest developments in the Cosby scandal, in which nearly 50 women have accused him of drugging or raping them. “The National Museum of African Art is aware of the recent revelations about Bill Cosby’s behavior. The museum in no way condones this behavior,” officials said in a news re(301) 864-6070 lease. “Our current ‘Conversations’ exhibition, which includes works of African art from our permanent collection and AfMCCOLLUM & ASSOCIATES, LLC rican-American art from the collection of Camille and Bill ADA, Age Discrimination, Benefits, Civil Rights, Cosby, is fundamentally about COBRA, Contracts, Deaf Law, Defamation, Disability Law, the artworks and the artists who Discipline, Discrimination, FMLA, FLSA, FOIA, created them, not the owners of Family Responsibility, Harassment, HIPPA, OSHA, the collections. National Origin Discrimination, Non-Compete, “The artworks from the Cos‡ Please set all copy in upper and lowercase, flush left as indicated on artwork at these point sizes: Consultant name in 11-point Helvetica Neue Bo Beauty in 9-point Light;Discrimination, Web site or e-mail address in 9-point HelveticaAct, Neue Retaliation, Light; phone number in 9-point Helvetica bys’ collection areConsultant being seen byHelvetica Neue Race Rehabilitation To the Independent Beauty Consultant: Only Company-approved Web sites obtained through the Mary Kay® Personal Web Site program may the public for the first time. The Severance Agreements, Sexual Harassment, Torts, exhibition brings the public’s atWhistleblowing, Wage-and-Hour, Wrongful Discharge tention to African-American artSERVING MARYLAND, DC, & NORTH CAROLINA ists whose works have long been omitted from the study and (301) 864-6070 preciation of American art.” WI


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Black Facts July 16

1862 – Crusading journalist and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells Barnett is born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Wells-Barnett was a true militant activist. Her editorials so angered whites in the Memphis, Tennessee area that a mob burned down the building that housed her newspaper. She was also one of the original founders of the NAACP and in 1884 she committed a “Rosa Parks” type act when she refused an order to give up her seat on a train to a white man. It took the conductor and two other men to remove her from the seat and throw her off the train. 1882 – Violette A. Johnson is born. She would become the first Black female attorney allowed to practice before the United States Supreme Court. July 17 8930 Brookville Road, Silver Spring MD 20910

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2002 - Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa. July 19

1925 - Paris debut of Josephine Baker, entertainer, activist and humanitarian. July 20

1950 - First U.S. victory in Korea won by Black troops of the 24th Infantry Regiment. July 21

1986 - Mary Church Terrell elected first president of the National Association of Colored Women. July 22

1939 - Jane M. Bolin of New York City, appointed first African-American female judge.

1942 - Muhammad Ali (Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.) was born on this day. 1944 - Actress Diahann Carroll was born in the Bronx, NY. 1959 - Death of singer Billie Holiday (44) New York City. 1967 - Innovative and famed jazz musician John Coltrane dies. 1981 - Fulton County (Atlanta) grand jury indicted Wayne B. Williams, a twenty-three-yearold photographer, for the murder of two of the twenty-eight Black youths killed in a series of slayings and disappearances in Atlanta. William denied the charges but was convicted in February, 1982. July 18

1753 - First black minister to serve for a White congregation, Lemuel Haynes was born. 1863 - Sgt. William H. Carney won Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery in the charge and became the first Black soldier to receive the coveted award.

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VIEWP INT Adrienne Matthews Takoma Park, Maryland I think the person who will take the nomination will be the person who can capture the Latino vote. I tend to think that it will either be Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Trump’s lead right now is a bit of a façade, because he’s really blowing things a certain direction with his comments. I think it’s getting a lot of people upset and riled up. I think that’s what the wants, but in the end, when the dust settles, the Republican nominee will be the person who gets the Latino vote.

Emille Robinson Washington, D.C. Trump is leading in the polls right now more because of his charisma rather than anything else. I’m afraid that’s what people will wind up voting for. I think the candidate who will win the nomination is someone who hasn’t announced yet, but that person will share some of Trump’s extreme views. Trump is leading the pack right now. He’s vocal, and what he’s saying might be out there, but he’s at least saying something. The other Republican candidates haven’t been vocal.


Gabrielle Smith Washington, D.C. Trump is really putting himself in a bad spot by talking about how wealthy he is, and by his comments about immigration. I think he’s going to need to have some support from minorities if he’s going to win the nomination. His comments will lessen his chances. I don’t think people will forgive him since he’s alienated so many. It’s going to be really difficult for him to get past that.

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Celeste Diggs Washington, D.C. The GOP field is so large, and it’s hard to narrow down who believes in what. Trump might be leading the polls now, but when it comes down to it, I think people will eventually look past what he says and see him for who he is. He doesn’t have any political experience, and others in the race do. He might have entered the race to play spoiler and build up his name and brand. That could be what he’s doing, too.

Vacylla Williams Silver Spring, Maryland Even though Trump is leading the pack, there are so many candidates on the Republican side who will weed the other out either financially or politically. In the end, I would put my money on Jeb Bush. He can cohesively unite the Latino vote and everyone else.

July 16 - July 22 2015


AROUND THE REGION SYNTHETIC DRUGS from Page 1 fine for its first violation. Repeat offenders face store closings for up to 30 days, a $20,000 fine and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) will move to permanently revoke its license. Spokesman for the Office of the Attorney General, Robert Marus, said the city’s top law enforcer would work collaboratively with the Metropolitan Police and the DCRA. “We will continue to bring actions in court against the owners of properties where synthetic cannabinoid products are housed and distributed to ensure that those sales are shut down,” Marus said. Synthetic drugs are a herb, incense or leafy like material, sprayed or laced with laboratory-made chemicals that imitate the effect of THC, an active ingredient that naturally occurs in

marijuana. These products often sold at convenient and liquor stores are packaged in bright colorful packaging with cartoon characters like the popular Scooby Snax, K2, Bizzaro and Spice. “This is very much a street level drug. It can be bought, broken down and sold as marijuana blunts,” Lanier said. Those in poverty are disproportionately affected by this.” In June of 2015, 11 people outside of a downtown homeless shelter, the Community for Creative Non-Violence in Northwest, overdosed on synthetic drugs. “These kinds of drugs pose a significant threat to public safety. Synthetic drugs are dangerous for users as well as those who come into contact with the users because they can lead to hallucinations, psychosis, increased agitation and paranoid delusions,” Marus said. On July 4, 18-year-old Jasper

Council members Anita Bonds (At-Large), Brandon Todd (Ward 4), and Charles Allen (Ward 6) support Mayor Bowser at the signing of the “Sale of Synthetic Drugs Emergency Amendment Act of 2015” on Friday, July 10. / Photo by Nancy Shia

Spires accosted Kevin Sutherland, 24, aboard a southbound redline train reportedly stabbing him 20 to 40 times to death. It is believed Spires had been under




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the influence of synthetic marijuana. Last week a woman with a baby in her care, left the child on a busy intersection on E Street Northwest. Police found her blocks away where they believe she had been under the influence of K2. “Synthetic drugs have no place in District businesses. Stores that profit from the pain and suffering of their customers by selling synthetic drugs will forfeit the opportunity to do business here,” said DCRA Director Melinda Bolling. Executive Director of the Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, David Do, began working with his constituents as early as last year to inform them about the illegal selling of synthetic drugs. “Last year we hit 500 stores in all eight wards and 130 this year informing store owners of the laws regarding the sale of synthetic drugs,” Do said. “Our outreach team makes sure everyone who may have language and cultural barriers understands the consequences of selling these products.” Many members in the community youth and adults have spoken out against these potentially fatal cannabinoids. Community activist Ron Moten believes the penalty for storeowners selling these harmful substances are too soft. “Somebody who sells K2 in our community who doesn’t even live here gets a slap on the wrist with a suspension and a $10,000 fine. That’s nothing. That’s the cost of doing business,” Moten said. Back in March of 2015, D.C. Prevention Center for Wards 7

and 8 youth leaders debuted a public service announcement video about the dangers of synthetic drugs. They also got storeowners to take a written pledge that they would not sell these substances. The Office of the Attorney General said they’re doing everything they can to get synthetic drugs off the streets. “It is already illegal to possess and distribute synthetic cannabinoids; they are Schedule I Controlled substances under federal law and are prosecuted criminally by the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Marus said. “The Office of the Attorney General will continue to bring civil cases to stop synthetic drug sales.” Councilman Kenyan McDuffie (Ward 5) said that due to the high profile cases regarding synthetic drugs word has gotten out. “This effort is not a new one. This campaign has been going on for years,” McDuffie said. “We want the youth of the city to know they can die from using these drugs.” Department of Health Director Dr. Laquandra Nesbitt reported beginning next week emergency rooms in the District would begin drug testing for synthetic drugs. Standard drug tests cannot detect synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic marijuana first became available in the U.S. in 2008. In July of 2012, a national ban against the substances became the law. “We don’t want to go back to the crack cocaine days where people are addicted to dangerous drugs. This is not where we want to be,” Lanier said. WI

“Over the last few decades, we’ve also locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before, for longer than ever before.” – President Obama OBAMA NAACP from Page 1

how blacks are often the target of the criminal justice system. He said blacks and Latinos are more likely to be stopped and frisked and the president acknowledged something that black leaders and those throughout the community have lamented for decades: jails and prisons are full of African Americans and minorities, many receiving more time for similar crimes committed by whites. “Any system that allows us to turn a blind-eye to hopelessness and despair, that’s not a justice system, that’s an injustice system,” Obama said to cheers. “Justice is not only the absence of oppression; it’s the presence of opportunity.” The president noted that America is home to five percent of the world’s population but he said it’s also home to 25 percent of the world’s prison. African Americans and Latinos make up 30 percent of the U.S. population, but represent 60 percent of American inmates, Obama said. Upon arriving in Philadelphia for the convention, the president met with those who’d previously been incarcerated. The group shared their stories with Obama and discussed their reintegration following their release as well as the work they’re doing to help other formerly incarcerated individuals and at-risk youth through community service, mentorship and education. “By just about every measure, the life chances for black and Hispanic youth still lag far behind those of their white peers,” Obama said. “Our kids, America’s children, so often are isolated, without hope, less likely to graduate from high school, less likely to earn a college degree, less likely to be employed, less likely to have health insurance, less likely to own a home.” “Part of this is a legacy of hundreds of years of slavery and segregation, and structural in-

equalities that compounded over generations. It did not happen by accident. Partly, it’s a result of continuing, if sometimes more subtle, bigotry whether in who gets called back for a job interview, or who gets suspended from school, or what neighborhood you are able to rent an apartment in which, by the way, is why our recent initiative to strengthen the awareness and effectiveness of fair housing laws is so important,” the president said. He added that no one can be satisfied or not satisfied until the opportunity gap is closed for everybody in America. Then, the president made sure not to pull any punches, highlighting the real nature of his speech and one of the evil that ails America. “I want to focus on one aspect of American life that remains particularly skewed by race and by wealth, a source of inequity that has ripple effects on families and on communities and ultimately on our nation and that is our criminal justice system,” the president said. “In recent years the eyes of more Americans have been opened to this truth. Partly because of cameras, partly because of tragedy, partly because the statistics cannot be ignored, we can’t close our eyes anymore. And the good news – and this is truly good news – is that good people of all political persuasions are starting to think we need to do something about this.” The black community had oftentimes been under-policed rather than over-policed, he said. “Folks were very interested in containing the African-American community so it couldn’t leave segregated areas but within those areas there wasn’t enough police presence,” Obama said. The result: “Over the last few decades, we’ve also locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before, for longer than ever before. And, that is the real reason our prison population is so high. In far too many cases, the punishment simply does not fit the crime.

AROUND THE REGION “If you’re a low-level drug dealer, or you violate your parole, you owe some debt to society. You have to be held accountable and make amends,” Obama said. “But you don’t owe 20 years. You don’t owe a life sentence. That’s disproportionate to the price that should be paid.” The president said taxpayers spend a whopping $80 billion to keep individuals incarcerated. Obama’s appearance at the NAACP convention was just one of the highlights of the president’s mission for prison and overall criminal justice reform. His latest round of commutations brings Obama’s total to 89 – more than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s. Obama’s agenda for the week also included a visit to the Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, making him the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. He also met with four inmates in Philadelphia, including two blacks, one Latino and one white.

“All of them had amazing stories. One of them, Jeff Copeland, was arrested six times before his 38th birthday. He was drinking, using drugs, racked up DUI after DUI, sentence after sentence,” Obama said. “And he admits that the sentences he was getting for DUI weren’t reflective of all the trouble he was causing [whose results] could have been worse. And Jeff spent so much time jogging in place in his cell that inmates nicknamed him ‘The Running Man.’ And he was literally going nowhere, running in place.” “And then, somehow, Jeff started examining his life. And he said, ‘This isn’t me.’ So he decided to hold himself accountable. He quit drinking.” “He went to AA, met a recruiter from the re-entry program at the Community College of Philadelphia, enrolled in classes once he was released, made sure to show up every day and graduated summa cum laude with a 3.95 GPA. And this fall he’ll graduate from Temple

University with a major in criminal justice and a minor in social work. And he volunteers helping former inmates get their lives back on track.” The president noted that Copeland ran his first marathon two years ago and noted that the former inmate said “You never look at crossing the finish line. You attack it by putting one mile after the other.” “It takes steps,” Obama said. “That’s true for individuals and it’s true for our nation.” Shultz, the Democratic rep, called the president’s speech amazing, connecting with a minority base that supported him overwhelmingly in both his election victories. “If we could accomplish a tenth of what he talked about, we could make significant progress in breaking the cycle of crime that grips too many families,” she said.WI















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Fresh Summer Dials Up Youth Activities By Barrington M. Salmon WI Staff Writer @bsalmondc The first summer into her tenure as mayor, Muriel Bowser has focused on providing a mélange of programs across several District agencies to provide children, teenagers, adults and families options to fill up the dog days of summer. The initiative, labeled Fresh Summer, is what Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Brenda Donald describe as a robust and rich array of programs that includes evening activities, a free summer meals program for kids and young adults from July 6-August 14, and other events and programs. “Agencies have come together to pool resources and develop these programs. They are positive alternatives to crime and we’ll have rolling activities all around the city,” said Donald. “We’re focusing on key districts. We’ve seen reductions of crime (because of these programs) in the past.” Some of the activities include targeted teen programs, movie nights, swimming, sports and athletic activities, spray parks, the Skatemobile and fun wagon. Bowser is encouraging young people to get outside and enjoy the city’s many green spaces, community gardens and dog parks. And she also said she hopes all residents take advantage of all the amenities the District has to offer with their fitness in mind. From May 30-Aug. 31, children and teenagers can win prizes for reading. This year, D.C. Public Library has teamed up with The Washington Nationals to help young people reach their summer reading goals. The inThe Washington Informer

centive comes in the form of two tickets for young people who complete their assignments. Not only will they get a chance to watch a Nats baseball game, but children, teenagers and adults will also enjoy a free meal from Chipotle. An important component of the slate of summer activities, Bowser said, is the meals program that will provide 18,000 free breakfasts and lunches, plus a snack to take home each day for D.C.’s children, teens and young adults all summer. Another way to keep young people off the street and gainfully occupied is the newly named Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program. Bowser has built on the brainchild of Barry, a four-time mayor and three-term Ward 8 council member. SYEP was one of Barry’s signature projects and one close to his heart. Barry opened the doors of opportunity to generations of Washingtonians, many of whom point to the program as the source of their first jobs. Through the program, 16,000 of the District’s young people are gainfully employed this summer. They are earning money and gaining meaningful work experience. While being thrust into the workforce, they’ll be developing the skills, attitudes and commitment critical for anyone seeking to deliver a positive impression and make some headway into the 21st century workplace. On a more serious note, Bowser and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier have brought public attention to instances of domestic violence, an issue that is squarely on their radar. In 2013, according to the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Metropolitan

Police Department received 32,794 domestic violence-related calls, approximately one call every 16 minutes. This figure represents an increase of nearly 1,000 total calls, or two additional domestic violence-related calls per day as compared with 2012. Further, according to D.C. Superior Court records, 5,005 petitions for civil protection orders were filed in 2013, a 7 percent increase in filings from 2012. These numbers have been consistently trending up in recent years, with the number of total filings in 2012 also reflecting a 7 percent increase over 2011. “(We’re seeing domestic violence in the form of) intra-family incidents and stabbings. We want to ensure that all our community members can identify those needing help,” Bowser said. Domestic violence experts point out that this issue entangles teenagers and the elderly, married and unmarried people, gay and straight people, and those of all different classes, races and backgrounds across the U.S. and throughout the world. Last month, Lanier said law enforcement officials noted two spikes in domestic violence cases in the prior two weeks. “Nonfatal shootings are down, but what we’re really struggling with is violence in the home. Not every case is evident,” she said. “We’re asking community and family members to reach out to get help. There are lots of government agencies that are focused on the entire family.” If people are experiencing or facing domestic violence, they are encouraged to contact the Metropolitan Police Department, Lanier said.WI

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Mixed-Use Development Proposed for Capitol Heights By William J. Ford WI Contributing Writer @jabariwill A local developer looks to revamp the Kingdom Square Mall in Capitol Heights, Maryland, that would include 600 residences, a 250-room hotel and a grocery store. According to documents from Velocity Capital of Capitol Heights, the company also proposes to build 125,000 square feet of office space on the property south of the Beltway and about 3 miles from FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. “The proposal looks real good,” said Henry Zhang, a master planner in the Prince George’s County’s Planning and Development office. “If [Velocity Capital] gets all its approvals complete, then construction can start next year.” The county’s Planning Board approved a conceptual site plan June 11 but with several conditions. Some of those include: outlining dust control requirements to make sure no dust crosses over property lines and impacts adjacent properties during demolition and construction, showing facades with attractive fenestration patterns, and identify bicycle parking on the site. Velocity Capital’s proposal dubbed “Hampton Park” sits on

land previously zoned commercial shopping center but became mixed-use/transportation oriented in 2010. The current zoning permits housing, retail and other businesses to occupy the same tract at Central Avenue and Hampton Mall Drive. The 24.5-acre parcel occupies several entities that include a Home Depot, Enterprise RentA-Car and Kingdom Square Sanctuary church, which owns the property with plans to relocate to Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Zhang said the Home Depot will remain, but two other businesses – International House of Pancakes and Dunkin’ Donuts – will be torn down. Attempts to reach Brandon Bellamy, a representative with Velocity Capital, by phone calls and email were unsuccessful last week. Anthony G. Maclin, pastor of Kingdom Square Sanctuary, also could not be reached for comment. The project would be subdivided and constructed in two phases, according to the conceptual plans. The first phase would include a hotel, half of the residential units and portions of the office and commercial spaces. The second phase would build the rest of the housing, office and retail businesses.

Developer plans to reconstruct Kingdom Square Mall in Capitol Heights, Md. /Courtesy photo

One of those businesses might be a regional health and human services building, Thomas Himler, deputy chief administrative officer for County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), said in an email July 6. “All of that is subject to the county working out a deal with [the] developer,” Himler said. Zhang said the residential units would house apartments and condominiums above com-

mercial businesses. He also said an indoor parking garage would be built. Because of the number of residences, “a recreational facility package worth approximately $570,000 is needed to serve this development,” according to the Planning Board resolution. Zhang said more discussing about recreation would continue during the preliminary plan stages.

The plan will now be reviewed by the District Council, a legislative body comprising the County Council members who discuss projects on zoning and land-use matters. No date has been determined for when the plan will be discussed, but the District Council’s next meeting is Monday, July 20.WI

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HELPING SHAPE THE FUTUR E OF P UBLI C P OLI CY The Permanence Project is an online community for people who are concerned about public policy. It engages people in the policy making process and helps them to understand how public policy impacts their daily lives. The Permanence Project is an extension of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). The ALC is the leading policy conference for African-American leaders, lawmakers, and concerned citizens who want to engage in challenging conversations about civil and social justice. The Permanence Project reaches individuals across the country and around the world who are passionate about advancing the global black community. S H A P E T O M O R R O W ’ S F U T U R E . JO IN T O DAY.

Through the Permanence Project, the CBCF: • Provides nonpartisan, fact-based analyses and resources about public policy issues • Explores the implications of current public policy on black communities • Empowers people with the knowledge they need to advance public policy debates through civic engagement and community action The Permanence Project benefits and unites students, educators, health practitioners, business leaders, lawmakers, and people from all walks of life. It serves as a bridge for civic-minded people who are joining together to build a better future for black families, communities and our nation. Every voice counts, and we need yours.


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National Harbor Casino Resort Making Progress Development Taking Shape; Company Lauded Internationally By Stacy M. Brown WI Contributing Writer The $1.25 billion MGM National Harbor Casino and Resort project is by no means a mirage. Crews have been steady at work and progress is beginning to be very visible to passersby well beyond the site’s location at Harborview Avenue. “We’re currently still on schedule,” said Logan Gaskill, MGM National Harbor’s vice president of human resources. “We are working on the third-tier parking deck, so you’re starting to see the project come out of the ground.” With a projected opening in

the second half of 2016, MGM Resorts is building a world-class destination resort casino at National Harbor, creating thousands of new, local jobs, while providing enormous economic benefits to the region. Gaskill said MGM has always maintained a proven commitment to corporate social responsibility. The development will include a luxury hotel; dining that will feature local and celebrity chefs, shops and what MGM said will be the finest retailers in the world and a luxury spa. After the garage is completed, it’s expected that work will commence on the main area, which

Construction continues on MGM National Harbor, the world class casino resort expected to open next year. /Photo courtesy of

will feature a 21-story, 300-room hotel and a concert and entertainment venue. “The [MGM] team is so passionate about this project. When I’m in Las Vegas people are excited. When I’m in Detroit there


are a lot of people interested in being part of this,” Gaskill said. “Being a part of the organization is not only about the project, but the community.” Late last month, MGM Resorts International was named one of the nation’s most reputable companies in the hospitality and travel industry, according to findings of research by Reputation Institute, a leading global source on corporate reputation. The company ranked 18th on Reputation Institute’s inaugural top 50 list which rates U.S. hotel companies, airlines, travel sites and quick service restaurants, according to a news release. Other companies on the list included Chipotle, Marriot International, Panera Bread and Starbucks. “Reputable hospitality companies recognize that even though products and services are important and constitute 20 percent of what drives their reputation, whether they are responsibly run companies that are perceived as fair and transparent drives 15 percent of their reputation,” said Brad Hecht, chief research officer at Reputation Institute. The list is derived from data collected for the 2015 U.S. RepTrak 100 study, an annual survey that examines perceptions of companies by the U.S. general public and is based on

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more than 50,000 interviews. The database examines 15 stakeholder groups spanning more than 25 industries, 50 countries and 7,000 corporations with companies evaluated according to seven key drivers of reputation, products/services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance. “We are delighted to be named to the list among other leading U.S. brands that are recognized by their guests, customers and the general public for not only offering world-class experiences, but also strong leadership in governance, social responsibility and other areas establishing trust and excellence,” Jim Murren, MGM Resorts International’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Locally, MGM National Harbor plans to hire a large percentage of its employees from the immediate area. While celebrating its 1,000th construction hire earlier this year, Gaskill said the company looks forward to its 2,000th hire. He said even his goals have been exceeded. “We’re very focused,” Gaskill said. “MGM has exceeded even my expectations, providing amazing opportunities even during construction.”WI

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EDC President Focuses on Helping Businesses, Residents By William J. Ford WI Contributing Writer @jabariwill Jim Coleman wants to instill strong business acumen for his nephew, Ismail Young. After the 19-year-old incoming sophomore at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, graduates, Coleman will buy Young a suit when he gets his first job. “He’ll have to earn it, though,” Coleman said at his office Thursday, July 9. “My father taught me to be self-sufficient. I want that for [Young].” Coleman’s family pig farming operation in Lexington spurred his enthusiasm as a businessman. It continues today as he serves as president and CEO for the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corp., a quasi-governmental agency that works to expand, retain and relocate businesses. Since he joined the organization in May, Coleman shook hands and networked with members of the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable, the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce. He led the agency’s “We Care Top 100 Employer Retention Blitz” this week by visiting the top 100 Prince George’s companies to discuss expansion opportunities, workforce programs and other services. The county-wide road tour continues Thursday, July 16, and Friday, July 17. Coleman, 55, plans to see more of the county’s 16,000 employers as part the blitz this year. However, he did get a chance to speak last month with employees at Science Systems and Applications Inc. of Lanham, Maryland. The 38-year-old company works on science, engineering and technology projects with organizations such as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Both federal agencies have offices in Greenbelt, Maryland, and College Park, Maryland. According to a SSAI flier, the company generates $8.8 million annually in wages. “Having federal agencies like NASA and NOA in the county makes it easier to hire and retain the right people,” said SSAI

President Anoop N. Mehta on Friday, July 10. Mehta said about 400 employees work in Lanham, with one-third living in the county. It opened an office about nine years ago in Hampton, Virginia, with a workforce of nearly 300. “But we’ve been in Prince George’s County for 38 years. I’m looking forward to working with [Coleman] and making this county a great county,” Mehta said. Besides promoting the business community, Coleman wants to decrease the more than 20,000 unemployed county residents to zero. One EDC workforce program, “Prince George’s, Hire Prince George’s,” aims to increase jobs. Thanks to a multimillion-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, county employers can hire a resident currently unemployed and receive money to pay for that person’s salary for the first six months on the job. “It’s designed to be able to give [an] incentive to the employer, especially for a small company … so they can get the business going and ramp it up to be able to absorb that cost,” Coleman said. David S. Harrington already supports Coleman’s leadership. “What I like about him is he has a laser focus in bringing businesses [to the county]. Sometimes, you can get distracted in that job with so much going on,” said Harrington, president of the county’s Chamber of Commerce. “He has strategies in completing those goals and making a different in Prince George’s County.” Coleman got tapped to lead the EDC thanks to his college buddy, County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), whom he met in 1978 at Howard University in Northwest. Coleman graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Coleman has nearly 30 years’ experience in the public and private sector that include Oscar Meyer and Co., American Express and his role as chief of staff for former New York state Sen. Greg Ball. Before taking the EDC position, he worked two years at a similar job as executive director for Westchester County, New York’s Industrial Development Agency. He said the IDA helped

Jim Coleman, president and CEO of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corp., said Thursday, July 9, that some of his goals include decreasing unemployment, recruiting high-tech companies and enticing businesses to use the county’s economic development incentive fund. (Photo by Robert Roberts)

secure millions of dollars in sales tax exemptions, provide financing for capital projects and create 6,000 jobs.

Coleman replaced Gwen S. McCall, who led the EDC for nearly four years and helped retain and create more than 6,000

jobs and organized a three-city business tour last year to China. Coleman wants to continue with programs McCall helped start such as “Thirsty (for Business) Thursday,” an event to network business leaders with nonprofit, community and government officials. A one-year celebration will be held Thursday, July 30, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Largo, Maryland. He admits the job can become personal because of the values his father taught him, which he wants to infuse into his five nieces and nephews, including Ismail. Coleman and his wife have no children. “My father said, ‘The best thing a man could do is go to work.’ If your five best friends are a success, then you’re going to be a success,” he said. “The best social program is a good high-wage job. Our goal is to put all of our residents to work … and expand and bring new companies here to Prince George’s County.”WI


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Activist Bree Newsome scaled a 30-foot pole in Columbia, South Carolina, to remove the Confederate flag. /Photo courtesy of

District Residents Join Petition for Bree Newsome By Stacy M. Brown WI Contributing Writer

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The online petitions are as direct as Bree Newsome proved to be strong. From sea to shining sea and from various locales abroad, support has poured in for Newsome, who last month made headlines when she scaled a 30foot pole in Columbia, South Carolina, and removed the Confederate flag in the wake of the hate-filled shooting at a historic black church by a white man that left nine African-Americans dead. “We could not sit by and watch the victims of the Charleston (South Carolina) massacre be laid to rest while the inspiration for their deaths continues to fly above their caskets,” Newsome said. She and a man, James Tyson, were arrested after the incident on June 27. They were both charged with defacing monuments on state capitol grounds, and each faces up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. But several online petitions, including one that’s already raised approximately $100,000 for Newsome and Tyson’s defense, have called on charges to be dismissed. The petitions have been signed by individuals as far away as Japan. Residents of the District have also signed petitions, including one at “What Bree Newsome did was as heroic and courageous as anything we’ve seen in years, probably decades,” said Leslie

Hudnell, of Northeast. “She doesn’t deserve jail; she should get a medal and a parade.” Tina Knight of Southeast said Newsome did what many others probably wanted to do but were too afraid to do. “Big [congratulations] to her. A lot of folks probably wanted to do the same, but she’s the one who showed she had the guts to do it,” Knight said. The petition states that Newsome’s actions follow “a growing trend of prosecutors from Oakland to Baltimore and across the country overcharging people who take non-violent direct action in defense of black lives.” Newsome, an activist and filmmaker from Charleston, North Carolina, and Tyson were part of a multiracial group of Carolinians led by teachers and activists determined to take down the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds in South Carolina. The petition noted that within an hour state workers had raised the banner once again in time for an 11 a.m. white supremacist rally. “The Confederate flag was born out of a government defending the enslavement of black people and resurrected as an emblem for whites violently opposing racial integration. Any government that recognizes the flag is declaring that it cherishes a history of racial terror,” petitioners said. “It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial jus-

BREE Page 23


Alpha Leadership Program: Changing Young Men’s Lives By Barrington M. Salmon WI Staff Writer @bsalmondc It’s common knowledge in education and other circles that there are distinct differences between the way boys and girls learn, the maturity each sex exhibits and how they process and absorb what they learn in the classroom. African-American and Latino boys, however, face even more daunting challenges, and in the District of Columbia, the numbers tell the story: Young men of color struggle to succeed in the current educational setting, and while they make up about 43 percent of D.C.’s school population, they trail many of their peers. According to statistics provided by District of Columbia Public Schools, by fourth grade, nearly 50 percent of black and Latino males are reading below grade level, the dropout rate of black and Hispanic boys and teens is troublingly high, and despite recent gains black and Latino males are still graduating at rates lower than their peers. For the past five years, officials of the District of Columbia College Access Program have been upsetting the educational status quo in a distinctive program called the Alpha Leadership Program. Argelia Rodriguez, DC-CAP’s president and CEO, said young men of color face myriad challenges and issues at home, in the streets and in the classroom that ALP seeks to mitigate. “Boys in general seem to be struggling, and it’s more pronounced in minority and Latino communities,” Rodriguez said. “Girls are fast outpacing the boys. We’ve found out that some of the issues that contribute to the problem are poverty, lack of male role models, violence – the usual suspects. We also found that in some households, there’s a difference in the way boys and girls are raised.” The differences are manifest in mothers’ difficulty in inculcating the provider role in boys, telling their daughters but not their sons that they’ll be raising their own children, and not passing on the responsibility of raising a child to boys. Rodriguez said she’s immensely proud of the program,

which predates President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper project. “Resolving these problems is at the root of what we do,” she said. “We predated MBK by five years. This is data-driven with the aim of college retention. Education is the key to overcoming poverty and violence. People understand that. This cannot be ignored anymore. We understand that stronger black men and a stronger culture equals a strong family.” ALP currently operates in five D.C. schools, although as many as10 times that number are needed, Rodriguez said. A primary goal is to keep young men in school and to reach and maintain a 90 percent high school graduation rate for all participants. In 2014, the District of Columbia Public Schools graduation rate sat at 58 percent. ALP’s graduation rate in 2014 was 88 percent. At the Capital City Charter School, earlier this year, just before a leadership class began, two dozen 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders from all over the District made their way to a classroom on an upper floor where for more than an hour the young men discussed diversity, stereotypes and racism. Guided by DC-CAP ALP Project Director Matt Avery, they had an animated discussion about race, religion and politics, as well as the personal challenges they face day to day and how society and people in their communities perceive them. At Avery’s prompting, the students called out some stereotypes people have about blacks, Latinos and whites. Trayvon Breckenridge, a 14-year-old ninth-grader, said being in the program has given him a perspective he lacked, access to information and a mentor. “I’ve been through seven months of workshops. I thought it would be work to prepare us for college, but after the first day, they opened up to us,” he said. “They started talking about real-life things, such as grades and how hard it is for young black males and Hispanics to get a job. They said we can’t even get into McDonalds without a bachelor’s degree.” Breckenridge and several of his peers, including Janoski McNeill, said the group discussed the po-

Young men participate in a program designed to help them change the perception of the community about black boys. /Courtesy photo

lice-involved killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, the stereotypes that contributed to their deaths and the public reaction. But they

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might just as easily talk about playing football in college, girls or what they plan to do after graduating from high school. DC-CAP advisor Sekenia Welch said he remembers what

it was like being a young man in high school. The Virginia Beach, Virginia, native said he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hy-


July 16 - July 22 2015


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We like to hear from you! IT’S WEDDING SEASON By Aimee D. Griffin, Esq.,

Thanks to the Supreme Court now everyone can get married! As we plan for the day with guest list, music and menus, we should plan beyond the day and the lifetime. This is a major shift in responsibilities for those who are joining their legal identities. There are a number of things that are to be considered. As an estate planning attorney, I encounter those folks who have some misconceptions and many folks who have never thought about the estate planning at all. In many cases, when joining lives we are coming from two different places and stages in life. We may have different financial positions as well as family members. All of these considerations should be discussed before getting married, BUT for the majority of folks who don’t plan ahead. Take the time and do it now. There once was a time when you married your high school sweetheart. You were from the same neighborhood, meaning you were from the same socio economic community. You had comparable assets and no children from previous relationships. This still requires planning and conversations regarding health care plans and final wishes, yet there is often a collective life plan. Yet, due to the complications of our world, we have developed laws that protect our privacy and simply being married does not breach the privacy laws without legal intervention. As many married couples have assets that are separate, this separation continues in many aspects if your assets are indeed separate. Do not take for granted that as the spouse there will be access to information and assets. Blended Families require special attention I, unfortunately have had the misfortune of experiencing litigation when blended families do not do the planning and anticipation for the joining of two families. The laws of intestacy challenge the emotional, cultural and spiritual legacies of the families. This misfortune can breaks families. There are hurt feelings and great legal battles that cost the family far more than money. Prenuptial agreements are not just safeguards in divorce but also for the benefit of the blended family. There are some common situations where a couple might sign a prenuptial agreement. They might do so if one person is significantly wealthier than the other or–the opposite–if one person is entering the marriage with large amounts of debt. In the latter case, the couple usually agrees that the spouse not in debt will not be responsible for paying back the other’s loans. Prenuptial agreements are also popular in second marriages, particularly where one or both spouses have children from a prior marriage. In that case, a couple may be concerned about a potential divorce, but also about what would happen to his or her property at death. A husband or wife can agree in a prenuptial agreement to waive his or her right to what is called an “elective share.” This is the share of the deceased spouse’s property to which a surviving spouse is entitled. But the key is the conversation and the planning. When you plan together you build a strong foundation. The goal of marriage is the developing a family of unity. As we build families we need to think beyond our lifetime for the strength. Aimee D. Griffin, Esq., The Griffin Firm, PLLC 5335 Wisconsin Ave NW Suite 440 Washington DC 20015 202-379-4738

18 July 16 - July 22, 2015

The Washington Informer


Addressing the Black Agenda Followers of the 2016 presidential campaign encounter a daily blizzard of questions, but “What are you going to do for me?” should be the question all blacks pose to candidates. Blacks are among the most valuable voters in the 58th quadrennial elections being held Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Victory in 2016 may come down to turning out minority voters and wooing seniors in battleground states. President Barack Obama is barred from seeking re-election to a third term. A large crowd of candidates will likely compete for the Democratic and Republican nominations. Plus, there are lots of likely third-party hopefuls. As the nation moves toward the presidential election, some blacks are disillusioned that Obama’s election hasn’t noticeably improved their lives. Most blacks saw little change in their economic status under Obama. Actually, since his election in 2008, Obama’s attention to blacks’ needs has been closely monitored. Blacks’ annual average unemployment, has sat at, or above 11 percent, and blacks’ wealth dropped a collective 53 percent between 2007 and 20014. Black America’s economic situation has grown so dire that any policy that fails to target their challenges will likely fail to resolve one of the nation’s biggest problems. In order to move forward, blacks have to be honest about where we’ve been. Obama could have done much more to provide leadership and hope to black Americans. In light of Obama’s avoidance of black issues, who is your favorite candidate in the current presidential field? What are they saying about the black agenda? What position or platforms have they articulated that merit your vote? Does the candidate you like have your interest at heart and actually understand the problems of people like you? Surely, it is up to how blacks act in their own self-interest as to whether we will gain economic headway in the next presidential admin-

By William Reed istration. Blacks can’t afford to make the mistake again of giving political candidates that think that they have no need to address a black agenda our vote. Led by cheerleaders of mediocrity, too many black voters gave Obama a pass on not targeting black Americans’ woes. For many it’s going to be hard to demand accountability of current candidates. Adherence to the concept and adoption of a black agenda could go a long way toward reshaping and improving the lives of black Americans. Obama has had some pieces of legislation that could positively impact black Americans, such as the Affordable Care Act intended to provide Americans broader access to affordable health care. The current field of presidential candidates numbers almost two dozen. A major priority among African-Americans is to find and select people willing to lead initiatives designed specifically to uplift them. Political leaders must know and react to the facts. Blacks disproportionately attend subpar schools, are taught by the least-qualified teachers, face sky-high incarceration rates and suffer from low levels of health care coverage. The disparities in income, employment and wealth are pervasive and long-standing in America. So, call it a black agenda or “the right thing to do,” but any presidential candidate needs to be made to address the concerns of black people, uniquely. Candidates must articulate policy and show deeds on issues such as unemployment, health care, voting rights and education. “The business of America is business,” but black-owned businesses only make up 7 percent of all U.S firms and

REED Page 19


RISE Center Marks First Anniversary


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By Kia Croom WI Contributing Writer It’s been nearly one year since the historic St. Elizabeths East Chapel was transformed into the RISE Demonstration Center with a goal of “connecting the innovation economy, the surrounding communities and District residents.” The Washington Informer talked with the Center’s leadership to learn its programs progress to date. “The center has become part of a growing movement in the District to bridge the innovation gap and provide more access to technology and educational programs in our most underserved communities,” said Catherine Buell, executive director, St. Elizabeths East. “It is also a place where people are coming together to address some of our most pressing challenges while serving as an anchor to help spur greater economic opportunities to both the campus and surrounding neighborhoods,” she said. Over the last year, RISE, which stands for Relate, Innovate, Stimulate and Elevate, lived up to its name by offering programs designed to pipeline Ward 8 and District residents into jobs in tech and science, technology, engineering and math industries. At the core of the center’s programming is its Digital Inclusion Center – a state-of-the-art computer lab that features trainings and development programs designed to engage community members in the tech sector. The development also included a meeting center, lecture halls

REED from Page 18 less than a half percent of all U.S business receipts. More emphases must be placed and practiced in entrepreneurship, education and unemployment regarding blacks’ American

Catherine Buell, executive director of St. Elizabeth’s East /Courtesy photo

and classrooms available for use by community groups and businesses interested in engaging District residents. Last year, the District contributed $8.3 million in funding for the RISE Demonstration Center’s development, including $1.75 million in for WARD 8 funding, to build the Digital Inclusion Center to advance the District’s technology initiative and pique east Washington residents’ interest in the tech sector. Since its opening in August, the RISE Demonstration Center has hosted 550 events and programs including job readiness training and afterschool programs for children and youth. This month, in partnership with Code for Progress, the center will host the “CFP Fellows Summer Cohort Program,” connecting 40 youth with coding professionals for activities and projects. The Center has hosted a number of community events including a STEM Carnival, holiday events, workshops and a technology festival that have reached more than 20,000 people, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development reports. In May, the University of the

District of Columbia began offering training courses on Microsoft Word, Excel and network security for Ward 8 residents. Microsoft is one of the center’s strongest programming partners. The company hosts and sponsors a number of events at the center, including its own pop-ups, where the company showcases its latest products. The District’s long-term plan includes building a “permanent Innovation Hub” that will occupy 250,000 square feet of the east campus and feature tech companies giants like Microsoft. “The Innovation Hub will be driven and funded by a number of entities, including Microsoft. It will serve as a co-location of community enterprises, universities, technology businesses and technology-focused amenities, such as business accelerators, an innovation marketplace, and other related components. The idea is to create a unique space for innovative entities that are focused on cultivating globally significant economic opportunities,” Buell said. Buell said the permanent innovation hub will be developed over the next 15-20 years. WI

agenda. To ensure that our nation achieves rapid, sustained and broad-based economic growth that our communities will enjoy too, blacks need to support candidates who have their interest at heart. Let’s sound out and support candidates that hold

up: small business, affirmative action, equal minority contracts and admissions, and setting aside a representative percent of highway funds for minorities and women. WI William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in black Corporate America” and is available for projects via

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Southeast Community Convenes Emergency Town Hall K2, Violence Against Women, Youth Discussed By Sarafina Wright WI Staff Writer The youth in Wards 7 and 8 are in dire straits as synthetic drugs, mass incarceration and crime continue to impinge on hope and progress in the District’s often forgotten neighborhoods. Councilman Kenyan McDuffie, Councilwoman LaRuby May, Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney Snowden and Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes attended the roundtable at Union Temple Baptist church in Southeast on Saturday, July 11, to offer support and accountability for the looming issues affecting Washington’s most vulnerable. “Domestic violence, homi-

cide, all of these ills in our community is something we can work together on. It’s my job to take the resources of the government and bring it to the people,” May said. “The people in Ward 8 want the same things the people in Ward 2 do.” May offered that she wanted to appear at the town hall to represent her commitment to her constituents. “So goes Ward 8, so goes the District of Columbia,” May said. Host and moderator Ron Moten of Art of Peace said that the community and the people who represent them have to take responsibility for themselves. “Somebody who sells K2 in our community who doesn’t even live here gets a slap on the

Ron Moten hosts and moderates an emergency town hall on violence against women and youth in the District at Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast on Saturday, July 11. /Courtesy photo

wrist with a suspension,” Moten said. “Meanwhile, your brothers are doing life sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.” Many community members in attendance echoed his sentiments about synthetic drugs be-

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ing in the black community but hard to find in other places. “In Alexandria, one murder was too much. One child dying was too much. One store harming the community was too much. We have got to get our people to practice citizenship,” Moten said. McDuffie called the synthetic drug issue difficult. “Three years on the council, the head of the judicial committee and we have not figured out how to fix this problem,” McDuffie said. “As a 40-year-old Washingtonian, I am responsible for any young man killed out in the streets.” McDuffie offers anyone who wants to collaborate with him on the issues a listening ear. “I need your intellectual capital to help me figure this out,” McDuffie said. Snowden said that Mayor Bowser and their teams are doing all they can to ensure economic opportunity for residents in the District. “We are working to grow businesses in this community. When there is a business here, guess what they hire, those who live

here,” Snowden said. “A job is the foundation of economic opportunity.” The panelists included community activist Tony Lewis Jr., Trayon White and hip-hop artist Princess Best. “Oftentimes we talk about the black community, and the focus is men. We seldom discuss the pain, trauma and abuse black women endure and how that really affects everyone,” Best said. “We need more younger sisters at the table that are actually empowered to speak.” Moten’s commitment to the importance of the state of black women shines. “This is our fifth event focusing on violence against women and youth in the last three months,” Moten said. “Thirty percent of the juvenile lockups are young girls. Ninety-one percent of the mothers east of the river are raising their kids alone. If the mothers are in bad shape, so are the kids.” WI

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20 July 16 - July 22, 2015

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African Americans encouraged to take advantage of free services offered by the National Coalition for Sexual Health. /Courtesy photo

Sexual Health Coalition Urges African Americans to Use Preventive Health Services By Ajoya Long Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American The National Coalition for Sexual Health (NCSH), which consists of over 50 leading health and medical organizations, is urging African Americans to take advantage of littleto-no cost preventive health care services. With increased access to health insurance coverage, African Americans can now utilize many recommended sexual health services for free, including the HPV vaccine, female contraceptives (including the IUD, implant, and pill), pap smears and screening for sexually transmitted diseases. However, statistics show that not enough African Americans are using these services. For example, in 2013, only 34 percent of Black girls and 16 percent of Black boys received all three doses of the HPV vaccine, the only cancer prevention vaccine currently available. “You and your health matter. We know you have a lot on your plate, but we all need to make room for our sexual health. Just like protecting your heart health,

managing your blood pressure, and exercising regularly – it’s worth your time,” said Christian J. Thrasher, director of The Center of Excellence for Sexual Health, Morehouse School of Medicine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force also recommends that all Americans take advantage of these services. “Knowledge is power. It’s important to take charge of your own sexual health, and get informed about the services that are recommended for you. Don’t assume that you are automatically getting these services when you go to your health care provider. You need to ask your provider to be sure,” said NCSH Co-Director Susan Gilbert. To help Americans get the services they need, a free guide and website are available from the NCSH, which features action steps for good sexual health, charts of recommended services for men and women, questions to ask health care providers, and other resources.WI

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July 16 - July 22 2015



Education Reformers Must Unite Around Three Goals By Mashea Ashton It’s fair to say the ultimate goal of the education reform movement and the education community in general, is to ensure that all students – no matter where they live or what their background is – have access to a high-quality education. This is a big and intimidating challenge, and addressing it requires acrossthe-board commitment to three foundational goals. First, we have to ensure that low-income families have access to high-quality educational opportunities at local private schools. Too often, those at the lower end of the income spec-

trum are limited to sub-par or failing public schools simply by virtue of what neighborhood they live in. This is an unacceptable outcome for those of us committed to educational equality. That’s why we should focus time and resources on ensuring that workable solutions like vouchers and tax credits are an option for our nation’s most disadvantaged students. Second, we have to be committed to providing access to high-quality public charter schools. As public schools operated independently of their district, charter schools are in a unique position to lead in educational innovation, setting an example for both private and traditional district schools. But too often they lack the funding and access to facilities that other public schools enjoy. All students deserve equal access to educational funding, facilities and opportunities in areas where charter schools are available, and we have to work even harder to make sure charter schools are available as an option in those

“We have to take a kids-first approach to the issue ... our kids are more important than politics.” Mashea Ashton /Courtesy photo

places that don’t currently provide educational opportunity. Third, we have to work to improve the quality of the traditional public schools we already have. There’s a temptation for education reformers to focus on progress we can make outside district school systems. In many ways it’s easier to enact change through private and public charter schools than it is in district schools. But committing to high-quality education for all students means making sure that every school is providing the best possible education to its students. It’s easy to embrace an “us versus them” mentality, especially between reformers and the establishment, but even among reformers. Each sector of the re-

form movement has its own priorities, and when we focus only on our goals we risk losing sight of our purpose. Ultimately, we’ll only realize our shared vision if we learn to work together, both as reformers with different priorities and in collaboration with the establishment. That’s what we’re trying to do in Newark, New Jersey, where parents, educators, administrators, students, clergy, community leaders and other local stakeholders are coming together for educational opportunity. Despite significant budgetary and community challenges, we have been able to establish significant changes in the educational landscape. Nearly one-third of Newark’s public school students are now served in charter schools,

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22 July 16 - July 22, 2015


and the entire community is talking about ways to continue expanding access to high-quality options. I’ve said before, and it bears repeating, that we have to take a kids-first approach to the issue. If charter, private and district schools can all acknowledge that we have the same universal goal, if we can acknowledge together that our children are more important than politics, ego, or legacy, we can increase access to high-quality options across the board. WI Mashea Ashton serves on the board of the Black Alliance for Educational Options and is the CEO of the Newark Charter School Fund.

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BREE from Page 16 tice and equality,” Newsome told reporters following her release on bail. When asked about a recent poll that suggested most people see the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride, Newsome told CNN that the mentality shows that people need to be better-educated about the history of the Civil War. She hoped her actions and that of the state, which had a black worker put the flag back up about half an hour later, draw attention to a moral dilemma. “It’s a moment for society to

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LEADERSHIP from Page 17

peractivity Disorder, had problems sitting still or concentrating and sometimes acted mischievously, and so when he’s dealing with the boys, he makes the lessons interactive and entertaining as possible. “I think it’s important for them to get a sense of what it will be like to be a young man of color,” said Welch, who is in his third year as a DC-CAP advisor at the school. “We let them know how to handle themselves, the pitfalls – it’s hard out there for them.” Despite the challenges, the young men are excelling. Both Trayvon and Janoski have very good grade point averages, Welch explained. Trayvon plans to go to The Ohio State University where he hopes to be a defensive end on the football team, and Daniel Nguyen – one of the first to get into the program – has a 4.2 GPA and a high SAT score and stays engaged in a raft of activities. Nguyen doesn’t know what college he wants to attend but visited Carnegie Mellon University last year and Stanford University recently. “He has crazy options,” said

do a gut check of our values,” Newsome said. On her Facebook page, Newsome noted that she is a western North Carolina field organizer for Ignite NC, which protests voter laws it sees as discriminatory. After she finished doing her round of media interviews, she told CNN, she’ll go back to the same thing she was doing before her time on the flagpole and in the spotlight. “The work continues until we are no longer in a place of being dependent on institutions and systems that don’t value our lives,” Newsome said.WI

Welch, a graduate of James Madison University. Participants are referred to the program by their teachers, and each teen has a mentor whom they connect and interact with online. The teens are given incentives to perform through the Wolf Points program, where, for making the honor roll, getting good grades and attaining As, they get prizes like gift cards to Chipotle or Beats by Dre headphones. Parents are encouraged to be active in the program and are offered parent training through online video workshops. Completion of the workshops ensures that the son will receive a $2,000 scholarship lifestyle award, which is guaranteed if the child completes his freshman year. “We really want our students to be leaders. We encourage them to be role models,” said Avery. “ALP serves a tremendous need. We develop responsibility, move the young men towards manhood, promote academic achievement and develop self-esteem. We are a resource and advocate, helping with further planning career-wise.”WI

“SO YOU’D LIKE TO OWN YOUR OWN BUSINESS” CONTEST If you have ever considered owning and running your own business (even while day-dreaming!), here is your big opportunity to do so! And you know what they say about opportunity, right? For most of us, it knocks once! Well, Sankofa African & World Bazaar, located in historic Charles Village in Baltimore, Maryland, is up for sale! This special neighborhood treasure has been in operation for over 20 years, and during this time, it has acquired an amazing inventory of assorted and unique products including a truly exceptional collection of ethnographic art to satisfy the most discerning clientele in the world. (To get a sample of our offerings, please watch our video on Alas, it is time to pass the torch and we are offering a contest to allow you, and all passionate future business owners like you, to compete for this wonderfully exclusive shop, for the small entry fee of $250.00 The grand prize consists of the Sankofa name, our client list, our vendor/supplier list, fixtures and other equipment as well as our extensive inventory, too many to list here. We will also offer up to six weeks of training as needed so you can familiarize yourself with your new business. Please be aware that this is a contest – not a lottery, and as such you will be required to demonstrate some element of skill, knowledge and exceptional passion for such a business. The Sponsor will select a “winner” based on merit. Each entrant will be required to complete a simple questionnaire, part of which will test your knowledge or familiarity with the continent of Africa. You will also be required to provide some information about yourself, your interests, your skills and how you plan to take this shop to a new level of success. Please read the contest rules carefully as we will adhere strictly to them We thank you for your consideration. Please feel free to share this opportunity with family and friends that you think will benefit from it.

cross fingers fight global

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July 16 - July 22 2015


DCPS EDUCATION BRIEFS Compiled by Dorothy Rowley WI Staff Writer

Construction still underway at Roosevelt Sr. High in Northwest. /Photo by Shevry Lassiter

Modernization Delayed at Roosevelt High

Supporters of modernization efforts at Roosevelt Senior High School in Northwest have joined forces to demand that school officials reconsider a decision to delay reopening of the modernized facility until the 2016-17 term. The project, budgeted at $136.1 million, had been scheduled for completion in August, just in time for the 2015-16 academic year. School officials who said the renewed campus would center on a new enclosed, central atrium that would serve as the “heart” of the modernized school, added that the goal has been to create a model 21st-century building for Roosevelt’s students, staff and community. The original structure, designed to accommodate 1,200 students, was constructed in 1932 and consists of approximately 332,000 square feet of space. Following renovations, the newly-refurbished school is expected to accommodate between 800 and 900 daytime students and up to 600 part-time evening students. But word of the delay came on the last day of classes this year, and since then, the community in the Petworth area of Ward 4 where Roosevelt

is located, has voiced ongoing frustration. As a result of the delay, students will have to deal for a third year with cramped class spaces and other inconveniences at the former MacFarland Middle School, where they’ve reassigned.

‘New Teacher Orientation’

Orientation sessions for teachers new to the District of Columbia Public Schools system take place all day on Wednesday, Aug. 12 and Thursday, Aug. 13 at Columbia Heights Education Campus in Northwest. Registration on both days begin at 7:45 a.m. and mandatory sessions run


from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Optional sessions immediately follow and run until 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 and 4 p.m. on Aug. 13. The classes will include a welcome from Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Washington Teachers’ Union President Elizabeth Davis. Topics of discussion will include DCPS’s strategic plan, professional development, and IMPACT, the teacher evaluation tool.

Silverman having filed a resolution earlier this month to have a renewal contract with the vendor disapproved. The future of the menu program, which provides nutritious meals to approximately 47,000

students each year, lies in limbo in light of the D.C. Council’s return to the table last month to consider the contract with Chartwells and Thompson Hospitality, which had recently settled a $19.4 million fraud lawsuit surrounding its D.C. food services. Chartwells and Thompson Hospitality, which has provided lunches to the city’s schools since 2008, has been accused in the lawsuit by a former District employee of overcharging the city for food services. According to the online publication, “Education Dive,” council members and other city officials fear that canceling the contract that’s already in place for the 201516 academic year could disrupt food services and create additional costs for the District. Meanwhile there has been discussion for DCPS to eventually operate food services in-house, as had been the case for several years before the decision in 2008 to privatize the services.WI

Schools Menu Contract

The schools’ menu contract remains at issue with Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh, Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau, Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen, and AtLarge Council member Elissa

New teacher orientation sessions will be held in mid-Augusts. / Photo courtesy



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24 July 16 - July 22, 2015

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EDITORIAL D.C. Trying to Get Handle on Synthetic Drugs

Mayor Muriel Bowser signed emergency legislation on Friday, July 10, that increases the sanctions against retailers who sell synthetic marijuana and spinoffs. The new law puts the brakes on local retailers who’ve been selling the drug under the counter at gas stations, liquor stores and elsewhere. Known by a variety of different names, such as Bizzarro, K-2, and Snax, the drug over the past few months has startled local law enforcement and city officials as scores of people have fallen prey to synthetic marijuana and overdosed in different sections of the city. From now on, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier is authorized to shut down businesses caught selling the drugs for four days with an accompanying fine of $10,000. A second offense would shutter stores for 30 days and could lead to the establishment’s closure. This weekend, a number of Ward 8 residents took part in a summit to discuss the influx of the drug and the associated effects on the community. There were no immediate actionable solutions coming out of the summit, but health and social professionals, residents, city officials and others continue to search for answers. Bowser and D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt have warned about the dangerous nature of the drugs, citing the consequences, including hallucinations, seizures, violence, suicidal behavior, criminal activity and death. During a news conference last month, Nesbitt said her department is more concerned with health versus criminal issues associated with the drug use. She said staff has been monitoring and conducting surveillance, with an eye to tracking trends and being able to anticipate the ebb and flow of drug use, overdoses and the like. One of the things health and other officials are dealing with is the continually changing contents of the drugs on the street. A vital but still unaddressed aspect is what and how we, as a community and society at large, are prepared to deal with pervasive drug use from a public health versus criminal justice perspective.

The Fight to Remove Confederate Symbols

The murder of nine members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by an avowed white supremacist has caused ripple effects across much of the South, which may have far-reaching consequences. The murders led to the removal from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse, a Confederate flag raised up a flagpole every morning for the past 54 years. The despicable act against unarmed, innocent civilians attending Bible study has also stirred a rancorous and heated debate in Southern states about the efficacy of continuing to display this symbol so despised and hated by African-Americans. As expected, there has been monumental pushback by those supporters of the Confederate flag, who argue that the flag honors Confederate soldiers and is a symbol of Southern heritage, not hate. But throughout America’s sordid racial history, the Ku Klux Klan and others steeped in racial hatred embraced the flag as they killed and sought to intimidate and terrorize black people. Closer to home, well over 3,000 people have signed petitions seeking to have Virginia officials remove Jefferson Davis’ name from U.S. 1, which runs through the state south to the North Carolina border. These moves, while laudable, are primarily symbolic and fall far short of the hard work needed to bring equity to a multifaceted, layered system that favors white domination and control of most of America’s resources. As long as whites continue to enjoy the power, perks and privileges this system engenders, there will be no rush to eliminate the systematic racism that plagues the lives of nonwhites. Therefore, it behooves all those of all colors and ethnicities who seek lasting change to remember that the path to racial equality will be a marathon, not a sprint.

Shocked and Saddened

As a long time reader of the Informer and admirer of the late Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, I was shocked to hear the news that Denise Barnes had passed. I couldn’t believe that the publisher, who took over the newspaper after her dad passed, and who appeared to be doing a fine job, had succumbed at such an early age. Later on, when I realized that Denise Rolark Barnes is still alive and well, I was pleased and exhaled. But I was saddened to learn that the other Denise…W. Barnes, whose work I also admired for years ever since she wrote for The Washington Times, is the person who passed and at an even younger age. I don’t know if there was a different way the Informer could have shared the news, as I am sure I am not the only reader who experienced such a reaction, but to me the readers have experienced a significant loss. My prayers go out to Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes and the entire Washington Informer staff. You all do great work. Stay safe and healthy for the sake of those of us in the Washington areas that need you to continue reporting our story. Vivian Hamer Ft. Washington, MD

Serena Deserves A1 Spot

When I saw Serena Williams on the front page of The Washington Informer last week, it further confirmed my reasons for reading The Washington Informer. Undoubtedly, I am a sports enthusiast and tennis is among the many sports of which I am a fan. I agree with your editorial teams’ decision to put Serena Williams on A1 because she is an A-plus athlete. I was thrilled to watch her play at Wimbledon last week and to witness her sixth Wimbledon singles title after defeating Garbine Muguruza of Spain, and to win her fourth straight Grand Slam tournament. She is a phenomenal athlete. Our heroes deserve such recognition for the world to see. Thanks for including her on your front page. Maybe it will inspire more young girls to follow in Serena and Venus Williams’ path. Jonathan Green Vienna, VA.

The Synthetic Drug Dilemma Will Mayor Bowser’s bill to crack down on the sale of synthetic marijuana make a difference? One would hope so. But I don’t know if people really understand how this once legal and easily accessible product impacts our community. To tell the truth, I don’t really understand it either. I have friends in the medical community who have shared with me stories about the increase of patients showing up at area hospitals showing evidence of their use of the synthetic drug. It sounds like a drug that either puts folks to sleep or makes them go crazy for a brief period of time. This is clearly a time for one of those scared straight documentaries, to share the stories of those whose lives have been impacted by this crazy drug. I believe legislation is just a small step in putting a stop to the use of synthetic marijuana. Community education is a necessary next step, as well. Keisha Rampart Washington, DC

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The Washington Informer

July 16 - July 22 2015



Guest Columnist

By Marc H. Morial

How Will 2016’s Presidential Candidates Save Our Cities? “You must register. You must vote. You must learn, so your choice advances your interest and the interest of our beloved Nation. Your future, and your children’s future, depend upon it, and I don’t believe that you are going to let them down.” – President Lyndon B. Johnson on the signing of the Voting Rights Act, August 1965 For four days beginning in July, political, business, and community leaders will convene in

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the 2015 National Urban League Conference. Conference attendees should expect to engage in thought-provoking discussions with leaders and experts in a variety of areas, including economics, entertainment, civil rights and politics. This year, following a long-standing tradition of major-party presidential candidates addressing the conference, the National Urban League counts several 2016 presidential hopefuls – Republicans and Dem-

ocrats alike – as invited guests. The candidates, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, will share their respective vision and strategies to save our cities. The candidates’ plenary session, “Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs + Justice,” falls under the umbrella of the National Urban League’s “Save Our Cities” campaign, an unprecedented mobilization to influence public

Guest Columnist

policy through grassroots political action. As we know far too well, our country faces tremendous challenges. Rather than recite our problems, rather than fall into the trap of recycling failed solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges, we will reunite in Florida to deliberate on solutions and fresh ideas to the economic and social troubles plaguing our cities. These are discussions that are too important to take place in silos. The solutions to our challenges are stronger with buy-in,

engagement and resources from all concerned stakeholders. So, it is vital that those contending for the highest office in the land be a part of that conversation. The ravages of inequality on American families, particularly among those in African-American and Latino communities, continues to rip our nation apart. We must question and listen to any candidate’s proposals to reverse this ever-widening trend

MORIAL Page 46

By Julianne Malveaux

Tear Down the Walls of Economic Equality After a spirited debate, the South Carolina House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to remove the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds at the urging of Gov. Nikki Haley, who quickly signed the measure into law. The flag was lowered for the final time on Capitol grounds Friday morning. Many South Carolinians hailed its ceremonious removal as a “new day” for their state as well as a fitting trib-

ute to State Senator Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine massacred at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, where he was the pastor. Revulsion from the Bible study slaughter sparked conversations all over the country about the Confederate flag. An Iowan who sold ice to Walmart with a Confederate logo (go figure) was told he had to change his logo or sell his ice elsewhere. The U.S. House of Representatives has banned display of the Confederate flag on sites maintained by

the National Park Service. Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker say the Mississippi flag should be redesigned to remove the Confederate symbol. At the same time, support for the Confederate flag is unwavering. A poll conducted for CNN found that 66 percent of Whites consider the Confederate flag more of a symbol of Southern pride than racism, a view shared by only 17 percent of Blacks. While 72 percent of Blacks consider the flag a symbol of racism,

Guest Columnist

only 25 percent of Whites agree, with the remainder of them saying the flag represents each point of view equally, they were undecided or they had no opinion. Removing the flag from public places and putting it in museums is a victory for those who reject this symbol of racial subjugation. Still, every economic statistic screams racial subjugation. President Barack Obama had it right (if belatedly) when he said that employers are more willing to employ Johnny than

Jamal. Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that black unemployment rate was 9.5 percent, more than twice the 4.6 percent rate that whites experienced. Some economists will say that African-Americans are less educated than Whites and that this explains part of the unemployment rate gap. Others will cite other factors, such as occupation and location. Race still plays a role in unemployment


By George E. Curry

The Confederacy’s ‘Heritage’ of Slavery The disclosure that Dylann Roof, the admitted killer of nine unarmed African Americans attending Bible study at Emanuel A.M.E. Church June 17 in Charleston, South Carolina, was photographed dozens of times holstering the Confederate rebel flag ignited a long overdue discussion on what that flag represents and prompted the removal of the flag from the state Capitol grounds in Columbia,

26 July 16 - July 22, 2015

South Carolina, after more than 50 years. An examination of the documents of the states that seceded from the Union, beginning with South Carolina, as well as the statements and documents surrounding those traitorous acts made clear the rebels were primarily worried about one thing – their ability to maintain and expand the institution of slavery. But Americans, including many blacks, casually toss about the term “slavery” without comprehending the extent of its

cruelty. Below are excerpts from the website that will serve as a reminder: Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, to aid in the production of such lucrative crops as tobacco. Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 solidified the central importance of slavery to the South’s econoThe Washington Informer

my. By the mid-19th century, America’s westward expansion, along with a growing abolition movement in the North, would provoke a great debate over slavery that would tear the nation apart in the bloody American Civil War (1861-65). Though it is impossible to give accurate figures, some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million slaves were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone, depriving the African continent of some of its healthiest and ablest men and women. In the 17th and 18th centuries, black slaves worked mainly on the to-

bacco, rice and indigo plantations of the southern coast. After the American Revolution (1775-83), many colonists (particularly in the North, where slavery was relatively unimportant to the economy) began to link the oppression of black slaves to their own oppression by the British, and to call for slavery’s abolition. Slavery did not dominate the economy of the North as it did the South. From 1774 until 1804, each Northern state abolished slavery.

CURRY Page 46


Guest Columnist

By Harry C. Alford

Dream of Homeownership a Nightmare for Blacks Without argument the subprime mortgage crisis was the most devastating economic attack against black America in history. We saw it coming, but did nothing about it. Mainstream banks such as Wells Fargo showed no shame in fleecing black communities. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (two government-sponsored enterprises) strayed way off their charters and soaked up severe amounts

of risk. It began to crumble in 2008, and within two years, black America lost more than 35 percent of its collective net worth. The saddest thing is that this fiscal slide has yet to stop for us. The Dodd-Frank Act, which was supposed to stop the bleeding, has made things worse. Credit requirements and mountains of paperwork are prohibiting much of the black population from capital access. Mortgages in our communities are still becoming less and less available. The U.S. Department

of Housing and Urban Development seems to have no focus on this matter. It is sidetracked with looking at housing discrimination. After six years of being under the administration of a black president, we are worse than ever before. According to The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University’s annual State of the Nation’s Housing, “Overall, homeownership, the cornerstone of the American Dream, is down to 63 percent, a far cry from the 69 percent registered

Guest Columnist

in 2004. Those figures, however, are much worse for minorities, especially Blacks. The homeownership rate for minorities continues to lag: It peaked at 51.3 percent in 2004, and has now fallen to 47.2 percent. Of all minority groups, African Americans have the lowest rate of homeownership, just 43.8 percent.” It is getting worse. The key to American homeownership were our two Government Sponsored Enterprises – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. After World War II and the beginning of the mort-

gage component within the GI Bill of Rights, our nation went into a housing boom and created a viable middle class with home equity being the biggest part of a family’s net worth. This gave Americans a big advantage over people in other nations who had no GSE programs. So now guess what the Obama administration is trying to do? They want to kill Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Instead of policing the programs and allowing them to

ALFORD Page 47

By George H. Lambert, Jr.

Our Seniors, Our Dilemma I like to describe the Greater Washington Urban League as “boots on the ground” in our community, providing valuable services to help people survive and thrive. Whether food, housing, training, or personal finance, these programs can make a real and lasting difference. And when we review who’s taking advantage of these services, it is both sobering and gratifying to see so many elders in the files.

We find it sobering, because we sometimes imagine that life should be a breeze for those who have worked hard and contributed so much over the years. And yet 16% of the seniors in D.C. live below the federal poverty line. D.C., one of the most expensive cities to live in, has the highest senior poverty rate in the nation! At the same time, we are gratified to be able to help so many men and women who enrich us all with the wisdom and perspective of their years. We would do

well to bear in mind the African proverb, “What an elder saw while sitting, a youth cannot see it standing,” and to view seniors as assets to the community. African Americans have a rich tradition of respecting elders. It is one of the pillars of our culture, one that I personally subscribed to even before I became a grandparent. And it is one of the guiding principles of the organization I am privileged to lead. Consider the case of an 84-year-old gentleman living


on a fixed income who recently came through our doors. Given the exorbitant cost of housing in our region, it comes as little surprise that he had difficulty paying all his bills and affording groceries. GWUL staff referred him to the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (a federal effort for seniors). Or consider the woman in her early sixties who came to us seeking assistance with her utility bill, and through discussion with her, staff discovered she needed and wanted to find meaningful

work. We referred to her to potential employers in the community and periodically check back with her on her progress. Many seniors lack Internet access or find it difficult to use the Web to navigate the many systems available to them. Our caring staff has worked with some of them to help set up utility bill payment plans, provide assistance to enroll with transportation service providers to obtain reasonably priced or free trans-


By Askia Muhammad

Joy of Ramadan and the ‘Old-Time Religion’ The Islamic holy month of fasting and prayer known as Ramadan concludes this week. Ramadan is one of the “Five Pillars of Islam”– Shahada, Salaat, Zakat, Ramadan and Hajj. Shahada is the declaration of belief in the One God, whose name in Arabic is “Allah,” and belief in His Prophet Muhammad. Salaat is prayer. Muslims pray five times each day at designat-

ed times. Zakat is the practice of charitable giving. Hajj is the Pilgrimage to the Holy City Mecca during the month of al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, to be performed once in each Muslim’s lifetime if he or she can afford it. Ramadan is when Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk for one entire month and are to be especially mindful of other sins. The fast is meant to allow Muslims to seek nearness to Allah, to express their gratitude to and depen-

dence on Him, to atone for their past sins, and to remind them of the needy. During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, harsh language and gossip and to try to get along with people better than normal. In addition, all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided, and the Islamic scripture – the Holy Quran – is read or recited in 30 parts each day. Fasting The Washington Informer

during Ramadan is obligatory. I have lived most of my adult life as a convert to Islam. I have observed many Ramadan fasts. Twice I have been blessed to make pilgrimages to Mecca, though not in Hajj season. Those pilgrimages are called “Umrah,” not Hajj. Once though, my pilgrimage was during the month of Ramadan. There is a “Hadith”— a saying of Islam’s Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), which was verified by reliable witnesses when he was

alive — in which Prophet Muhammad said: “Making Umrah during Ramadan, is like making Hajj with me.” I have been truly blessed during my life in Islam. In 2001, President George W. Bush began the White House tradition of hosting a meal with Muslim diplomats and others, breaking the fast one evening. That meal is called “Iftar.” I have attended several White House Iftar events as a reporter hosted by Bush and by his successor,

MUHAMMAD Page 47 July 16 - July 22 2015


LIFESTYLE Walter E. Fauntroy Family Fund Those who wish to help the Walter Fauntroy Family can write checks payable to the to the fund’s fiduciary agent National Congress of Black Women in Memo Section write: “Walter E. Fauntroy Family Fund” mail to: 1250 Fourth St. SW, Suite WG-1, Washington, D.C., 20024 (L-R) Community Activist Tony Lewis Jr. speaks with All Eyes On DC host and founder Sam P.K. Collins about issues of re-entry and mass incarceration on Friday, July 10, at We Act Radio in Southeast. /Photo by Corey Parrish

All Eyes On DC Offers Millennials Infotainment News, Food, Music and More By Sarafina Wright WI Staff Writer




28 July 16 - July 22, 2015 WASHINGTON INFORMER THURSDAY 07/16

Native Washingtonians who feel the gentrification of their neighborhoods leaves them without cultural safe spaces can access a new movement receiving live, unfiltered news and analysis about the changes happening in the District from the people who know best. All Eyes On DC founder, Sam P.K. Collins hosted another installment of ‘Taking The News to the Streets’ on Friday, July 10, at We Act Radio in Southeast in an effort to reach those citizens living in underserved communities. “Oftentimes it appears poor people don’t consume news as much as they used to. People work hard, and when they come home they want to escape with “Love & Hip Hop” and things like that,” Collins said. “My effort is to just meet people where they are and bring the medicine to them. I am meeting them where they are instead of acting better than them.” All Eyes On D.C., founded in January of 2012, gives viewers a variety of news topics affecting the black community at large. Collins asserts his online news program can only be described as a solution-based organization with the intention of bringing community leaders and field experts together to answer resident’s most dire questions. Tony Lewis Jr., a resident of Northwest and a community activist, believes native Washingtonians are in a state of emergency. “We’re so demonized. Our humanity is not recognized. A part of the The Washington Informer

problem is the leadership. Take away the mayor and two councilmembers, you have nobody in charge that is from here. They don’t understand the nuances,” Lewis Jr. said. “We have to get Washingtonians to the table.” Lewis affirmed that DC’s poorest communities can be saved, but he said mass incarceration remains an obstacle. “We have to stabilize the family; re-entry has a lot to do with that. There needs to be an opportunity and workforce training. Finding somebody a job is not workforce training,” Lewis Jr. said. “Why wouldn’t you identify incarceration as an aspect of trauma? Everyone in a family is affected by their loved one being away.” Trauma, the new buzzword for identifying roots of societal ills, can be categorized as individual, group and vicarious, said psychotherapist Lanada Williams of Alliance Family Solutions. “A lot of the psychological trauma we have experienced starting with the transatlantic slave trade perpetuates itself today,” Williams said. “We invest in shoes, clothes and our homes but we have to invest in our minds too.” For black men, vicarious trauma can be described as the constant stories of unarmed black men being murdered by police throughout the country. “If a situation, whether it happened to you or not changes the way you behave, move, think or evokes fear, it is considered traumatic, and it has to be treated,” Williams said. Williams suggested the ancient African ritual of libations can assist in working through bad experiences. “Libations are a self-sustaining rit-

ual of African tradition honoring and calling on the ancestors. The water that is poured into the plant represents the body, and the plant represents life,” Williams said. Xavier Brown, an urban farmer and partner in the environmental nonprofit The Green Scheme brings gardens to project housing in food deserts in the District. “We show people how to grow and prepare foods such as fruits, vegetables and traditional African food. We started with one raised bed and now we have gardens all over the city,” Brown said. “The best thing is exposing kids to the healing properties of working with the earth.” The D.C. Urban Farming and Food Security Act of 2014 allows citizens to contact vacant lot owners to use their space for gardening, and those owners will receive a 90 percent tax break. “This act gives people the opportunity to take control of their community,” Brown said. Along with the discussing of relevant issues, All Eyes on D.C. gave local talent the opportunity to perform, such as hip-hop artist Princess Best and 15-year-old singer Alia. Collins admitted that efforts to get the message to those who need to hear it often fall short. “Finding ways to get to those people has always been a challenge of mine. I am constantly working on that. The strategy is collaboration working with those who can touch the kids,” Collins said. “Everything I do is purposeful and aimed at addressing the issues and creating solutions.” WI


Kindred The Family Soul /Courtesy photo

Popular Blues Alley Turns 50 By Kia Croom WI Contributing Writer

Blues Alley patrons and jazz and blues connoisseurs won’t want to miss the Blues Alley Club’s 50th Anniversary Concert Saturday, July 18, at the Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda, Maryland. In celebration of the landmark venue’s big 5-0, Strathmore and Blues Alley have teamed up for a night of star-studded entertainment featuring legendary R& B singer/songwriter Angela Winbush, Kindred the Family Soul and Strathmore artist and alumna Chelsey Green. Tickets are available online at “This year’s event will give concertgoers a taste of R&B’s past with Angela, its present with Kindred the Family Soul and a look into the future in with Chelsey Green,” said Kris Ross, director of operations, at the Blues Alley Club. The event will begin with a preshow party on patio at 6:30 p.m. before the 50th anniversary concert at 8 p.m. Nearly 2,000 people are expected to attend. Winbush has sold over 10 million albums and singles worldwide including top-

10 hits “Your Smile,” “You Don’t Have to Cry,” “My First Love” and others. Founded in 1965, Blues Alley is a jazz and supper club in D.C.’s Georgetown District. Dubbed by The New York Times as the “nation’s finest jazz and supper club,” the venue has featured a long and impressive list of jazz greats over the years, including Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Ramsey Lewis, Sarah Vaughan, Wynton Marsalis and Phyllis Hyman. Since 2008, the venue has booked almost exclusively jazz artists. “Blues Alley provides a unique entertainment experience reminiscent of clubs and speakeasies of a bygone era. For years we’ve hosted internationally renowned artists in an intimate environment where there’s direct interaction between the artists and audience,” Ross said, speaking to the rich history and reputation the venue has established. The 50th Anniversary Concert comes as a collaborative effort between Strathmore and Blues Alley. The two venues have partnered as co-presenters on a number of successful events over the years, and the Blue Alley’s 50 Con-

cert event will be nothing less.

“Strathmore and Blues Alley share a passion for bringing great artists together with audiences who are equally passionate about great music. We are thrilled to partner with this legendary venue on such a momentous occasion,” said Strathmore’s president, Monica Jeffries Hazangeles.

Blues Alley operates a nonprofit initiative called the “Blues Alley Jazz Society,” which provides jazz education and performance opportunities for youth. The program features education and outreach programs including a youth orchestra and summer jazz camp. Strathmore is a nonprofit multidisciplinary arts center that features performances by major, international artists across a variety of genres at its word-class venues, the Music Center and the Mansion at Strathmore. The Music Center is a strategic partnership of a number of local arts organizations including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The National Philharmonic, Washington Performing Arts, Levine Music, CityDance, InterPLAY and Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras. WI

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July 16 - July 22 2015


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What is the role of a lifetime? What is the role of a life? How many lives might live in one role?

What is the role of a lifetime? What is the role of a life? How many lives might live in one role?

K E I T H H A M I LT O N C O B B ’ S



Thurgood Marshall Center Trust Executive Director, Thomasina Yearwood (right), hosted a screening of the film The Wilmington 10 followed by a panel discussion with moderator Jamaal L. Craig, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., Lani Guinier, Elaine Jones, and Jim Ferguson in Northwest on July 7. /Photo by Travis Riddick K E I T H H A M I LT O N C O B B ’ S

Film Explores Challenges of Wilmington 10


Thurgood Marshall Trust presents “Pardons of Innocence” ANACOSTIA PLAYHOUSE JUL 17- AUG 16 2015

By Jordan Shanks WI Intern

#MoorToThisStory @KeithHamCobb

2020 Shannon Pl, SE | Wash DC | | 202.290.2328

30 July 16 - July 22, 2015

The Thurgood Marshall Center Trust celebrated what would be United States Supreme Court #MoorToThisStory Justice Thurgood Marshall’s @KeithHamCobb July 107th birthday on Thursday, 2020 Shannon Pl, SE | Wash DC | | 202.290.2328 2, by screening the documentary film “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington 10” in the gymnasium of the historic Thurgood Marshall Center in Northwest. Marshall’s titanic leadership in the 1954 case of Brown vs. Board of Education led to the integra/ Photo by Travis Riddick tion of public schools. Marshall’s granddaughter Cecilia was in attendance. stand any longer.” As a group, the Wilmington 10 The film chronicles the journey Chavis was the ringleader of were sentenced to a total of 282 of nine young men and a woman, the Wilmington 10. He played an years in prison. who are known as The Wilmingintegral role in the film’s produc“Some people misunderstood ton 10. The group of students tion, alongside filmmaker Cash when they saw black people fought to improve race relations among New Hanover County Michaels. Michaels is known for raising their fists. Some people School students in Wilmington, his documentary “Obama in thought we were about to hit North Carolina. In 1971, the 10 NC,” a documentary indyweeek. somebody. No, this is a symbol were wrongfully found guilty of com describes as being “about of solidarity,” Patrick said. During a confessional, Patrick burning down a grocery store North Carolina’s racial issues from Reconstruction through the explained the importance of induring a school protest. election of Barack Obama.” tegration. He stated that access “It was after sundown that I Chavis told The Informer his to quality education would affect left Wilmington,” said 67-yearhope is that the fi lm is watched African-American students beold African-American civil rights by all audiences, especially millenyond the classroom. leader Benjamin Chavis, ex“Black kids, at the time, didn’t plaining the end of his journey nials. “All the settling points that have the opportunity to know through the complex maze of race relations in the public school happened in history are still rele- about themselves, Racism isn’t vant today. I think what will be in- always about somebody using the system in Wilmington. In 2013, the Wilmington 10 spiring to millennials is that this is N-word. It’s about somebody uswas granted ‘pardons of inno- a movement that was structured ing the structures of the town to cence’ by North Carolina Gov. and led by young people,” he said. keep people down and to make The film features a number of sure they never get out” he said. Beverly Perdue. The governor Chavis is the acting president was quoted in a 2013 Wilmington natives who share article, saying, “These convic- their experiences with integration and CEO of the National Newstions were tainted by naked rac- and race relations during the early paper Publishers Association, ism and represent an ugly stain on 1970s. Sixty-three-year-old Mar- which he depicts in the film as North Carolina’s criminal justice vin Patrick was 19 when he was being instrumental in spreading system and cannot be allowed to sentenced to 29 years in prison. the word about the case. WI The Washington Informer


TV One Releases Another Blockbuster

‘Runaway Island’ to Premiere Saturday, July 25 By D. Kevin McNeir WI Managing Editor Summertime always brings a slew of new films aimed at luring vacationers from their lawn chairs and pools back indoors to their television screens. Now TV One, launched in 2004 to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult black viewers, hopes it has the right fit with an exciting movie that premiers on Saturday, July 25. The film, “Runaway Island,” written by the 2014 American Film Festival screenplay competition winner Christopher Brandt and directed by Oscar nominee Dianne Houston, explores the challenges facing a group of troubled strangers who seek refuge from their woes on a secluded island. But what they don’t count on is their sharing a transformational experience in an isolated location whose history is rich with black heritage and culture. The cast includes Lorraine Toussaint, an Emmy contender known for her role in “Orange is the New Black”; former NFL Running Back Thomas Q. Jones (“Being Mary Jane”); stage and screen star Aisha Hinds (“Star Trek Into Darkness”); and a new face for most viewers, Herizen Guardiola, who was most recently featured in “The Get Down” on Netflix. Other actors in the film include Branton Box, Leon Thomas, A. Russell Andrews, Erica

Tazel, Melanie Liburd and Tom Wright. The film’s logline says that five people travel to an island resort and none of them leave unchanged. “Runaway Island” tells the story of a group that seeks a place to escape the vicissitudes of life at Isle du Soleil, a secluded 1700s Gullah Sea Island resort run by an interracial couple. The couple’s slow-paced, holistic lifestyle places the visitors in a position where they must consider the strengths and weaknesses of their relationships while examining their own insecurities and finally taking a serious look at their lives and renewing their love for one another. The story has all kinds of characters, similar to an Agatha Christie thriller including a recently widowed, wealthy Capitol Hill woman and her wayward grandson; a successful pastor and his wife who are dealing with the death of their daughter to leukemia; a media socialite whose engagement to an NFL star plays havoc with her well-cultivated bad girl image; and the teenage daughter of the island’s resort owners, who appears to be wiser than her age would suggest. TV ONE serves 57 million households and offers a unique combination of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music. It’s also the home of “News One Now,” which is hosted by award-win-

Thomas Q. Jones /Courtesy photo

ning journalist Roland Martin, and remains the only live daily news program targeting black viewers. Look for the world premiere of “Runaway Island” at 8 p.m. ET. WI

Lorraine Toussaint /Courtesy photo

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Ben’s Chili Bowl to Tickle Palates on H Street By Barrington M. Salmon WI Staff Writer @bsalmondc The newest crown jewel of Ben’s Chili Bowl’s burgeoning empire opened to great fanfare as a substantial crowd of area residents, passersby, city and business leaders and those who just love the food gathered in front of the restaurant, waiting for the ribbon cutting and opening of one of the District’s most beloved businesses. The Chuck Brown Band set the festive tone that had those gathered around the bandstand dancing to go-go, moving rhythmically in sync with the bass line and drums, their faces alight with satisfaction. Red and yellow balloons festooned the front door, and a red rope and burly police officers kept hungry patrons at bay until Ben’s matriarch, Virginia Ali, members of the Ali family, Mayor Muriel Bowser and other dignitaries cut the ribbon. Ben’s stayed open in the Shaw neighborhood during the deadly riots that consumed parts of the District after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the building of the Green Line on U Street Northwest, recessions, economic downturns

and other challenges, but the business – started by Ben and Virginia Ali in 1958 – continues to survive and thrive. “This is a small family-owned business which weathered the storm, served quality food when many businesses could not,” said Bowser, who sat at the counter and enjoyed her favorite meal: a half-smoke with French fries. “The owners call D.C. home and care about what happens here. They saw H Street and its needs and came here.” “Anywhere I go outside of D.C., everybody’s face lights up when I talk about Ben’s Chili Bowl.” Bowser was joined at the corner of 10th and H streets Northeast by a host of wellwishers including D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, former D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, TV/Radio legend Donnie Simpson, D.C. Council members Charles Allen and Vincent Orange, Harry Wingo and Angela Franco of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, assorted business leaders and Anwar Saleem, executive director of H Street Main Street. Prior to the ribbon cutting,

DC Metropolitan Police officers with members of the Ali family. Sonya Ali, Virinia Ali and Nizam Ali during the grand opening of Ben’s Chill Bowl at 10th & H Streets, in Northeast on July 8. / Photo by Robert Roberts

speakers celebrated the deep ties the Alis have to D.C. and commended the family for serving the city, hiring District residents and helping put the District on the map even more than it already was. Mark Cruce, a resident in the area since 2009, walked around with his dog, soaking up the atmosphere. “I think the significance is that the Ben’s brand brings the neighborhood legitimacy,” said Cruce. “Until now, it was main-

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By volunteering with AARP Foundation Experience Corps as a reading tutor, you can make a tangible difference in the life of a young child. All you need is your life experience and compassion to get involved; our volunteers receive extensive training and support throughout the year. Join us for an information session to learn more about our program and the volunteer opportunities we offer for adults 50 and older. Tuesday, July 21, 2:00–3:00 p.m. | Wednesday, Aug. 5. 10:00–11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2:00–3:00 p.m. | Wednesday, Sept. 2, 10:00–11:00 a.m. Call us at 202-434-6495 or email at for additional details and to RSVP.

32 July 16 - July 22, 2015

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ly hipsters, but this is an established brand and a black brand that will bring black people back to H Street.” After Bowser, city officials, Virginia Ali and other Ali family members cut the ribbon, patrons streamed inside the multimillion-dollar landmark to check out the cool red and yellow interior, escape the stifling heat and nosh on half-smokes, French fries and other goodies on the menu. Large-screen televisions flashed highlights of the restaurant’s storied history, and photographs of celebrities and luminaries such as comedian Chris Rock, President Barack Obama, former first lady and 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and longtime friend comedian and actor Bill Cosby dotted the wall. Kamal Ben Ali, one of three Ali sons, kept an eye on the buzz of activity inside, greeting guests, posing for snapshots and directing employees. When asked about the grand opening, he smiled. “This is very important to the family, and I hope it’s important to the community,” he said. “We’re glad to be participating in the city’s economic revitalization. We want to see old neighbors stay and welcome new neighbors in high-priced condos who are also representative of D.C.” “We’re really blessed to be in D.C. There’s great business in this corridor. Small businesses here have inspired me. We can’t sit on our laurels. We have to continue to build the brand. It’s about supplying the community.” With the opening of this out-

post – just the second full-sized restaurant so far – there are now Ben’s Chili Bowls at four locations: Nationals Park, Arlington, Reagan National Airport and FedEx Field. When the festivities died down, Eugene Dewitt Kinlow stood in a long line of patrons that snaked down the street, waiting to enter the iconic restaurant. He, like a number of Ben’s Chili Bowl lovers, reveled in the fact that Ben’s is now located along the H Street corridor. “I’m a generational fan who’s loved Ben’s for a long, long time,” said Kinlow, the scion of a respected D.C. family, a recent candidate for the Ward Council 8 seat and former radio talk show host. “My dad owned a business on U Street, and I used to go to Ben’s there. I’m a fan of the family, worked with Virginia and feel real close to Kamal.” “I’m a big fan of their food. They set a high standard for the city and stressed family first.” Saleem, who for years has worked tirelessly to promote and develop the H Street corridor, was ecstatic. “This is a great day, a great day for us,” he said. “I thank Mayor Williams, who believed in us when many city leaders didn’t. He provided seed money and believed in the promise of H Street. The Ali family has a key spot. A strong icon left, and a stronger icon came.”WI



ARIES Partnerships continue to be featured this week. This week is especially favorable for a fresh start or a new beginning for you in love. Avoid distractions at work this week and you’ll get much accomplished. Soul Affirmation: There is a funny side to everything I see. Lucky Numbers: 2, 17, 37

“Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga”

TAURUS Friendship remains highlighted; you may be attending a social event with good friends, or may be planning one. Whichever, it will be a very happy occasion. Be happy! You’ve got many loving friends. Soul Affirmation: Hope is a beautify jewel. I enjoy owning it. Lucky Numbers: 22, 26, 31

by Pamela Newkirk c.2015, Amistad $25.99 / $31.99 Canada 299 pages

The animals look a little restless. Maybe they’re hungry, bored, or tired of being watched. They seem angry. Observing these creatures caged, it’s easy to believe that wild animals shouldn’t be penned like this – and in the new book “Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga” by Pamela Newkirk, neither should humans. When visitors arrived at the New York Zoological Gardens in the Bronx on September 6, 1906, they were probably there for more than just the “sunny and warm” day. Chief curator William Temple Hornaday knew that, and he stood at the gates, directing people to what he claimed was his “best attraction yet.” At the very end of the Monkey House, past the chimps and baboons, visitors looked upon an orangutan penned with a “103-pound, four-foot eleven-inch chocolate-colored” man that Hornaday claimed was a cannibal and that he knew as Ota Benga. What he didn’t know, exactly, was how Benga got from Africa to America.

Author Pamela Newkirk

JULY 9 - JULY 15, 2015

GEMINI You may find out this week that the project you didn’t really want to work on has been scrapped. That leaves you plenty of time to finish up the stuff you want to work on! Money concerns ease up. This week a romantic get-together will remind you of what bliss really is! Soul Affirmation: He who asks might seem foolish for a while. Lucky Numbers: 3, 10, 17

Samuel Phillips Verner had once hoped for recognition as a scientist and explorer, first traveling to Africa as a missionary, then as a hired acquirer of artifacts. Known as somewhat of an expert on “pygmies,” Verner had procured several young Africans and brought them to America. Rumor had it that he’d “gone insane.” Whatever it was that drove Verner, he often created stories to fit the moment. He said that Benga asked to come to America. He claimed he’d saved Benga’s life in the Congo, which is possible because of atrocities being committed on behalf of King Leopold of Belgium. For a fee, he offered to leave Benga with Hornaday, and said he’d return shortly. Instead, Verner appeared to have dumped Benga there, and fled. Within days of Benga’s appearance in the cage, local ministers demanded his freedom, and they hired a lawyer. At first despondent (his appearance at the Zoological Gardens wasn’t his first experience), Benga became combative with handlers. Hornaday was forced to turn him over to Brooklyn Howard Colored Orphanage. For the first time in years, Benga was free… But was he? Author Pamela Newkirk leaves readers hanging, not on purpose but by necessity because “… the true story will probably never be known.” What is true, though, is that this is one shocking account; my hand flew to my mouth in astonishment by the time I was on page 8 of “Spectacle,” then it got more intriguing: while Benga is the obvious focus of the book, his story is told more through his capturers, his handlers, and his helpers. Indeed, Newkirk introduces us to shady characters, as well as many good people, and she does it with a sense of the times in which things occurred. Then she’ll squeeze your heart dry with an ending that… ouch. This book may take a little getting used to. It’s loaded with early-twentieth-century national and world history, and you’ll need to call forth everything you learned about that time – but I think it’s worth it. Five minutes with this book, and you’ll know that “Spectacle” is a well-penned work.WI

CANCER Keep an eye on your budget this week, but also indulge your creative senses with the visual and the tactile. You might find yourself wanting to “feel” something new in your hands. Just the feeling may be enough; you don’t necessarily have to spend money to satisfy your artistic urge this week. Soul Affirmation: Happiness is my only goal this week. Lucky Numbers: 4, 15, 22 LEO Call early in the week and make a date so you can catch the person that you want to spend time with this week. An old love may turn up in your romantic mix, and romance will be very sweet if you rise above the temptation to remember why you split in the first place! Soul Affirmation: What I need to be is fully present inside of me. Lucky Numbers: 21, 36, 43 VIRGO This is a good week for exercising that clever mind of yours. Luck will be with you in all endeavors you start. Luck is with you always because positive outlook attracts positive vibrations. Soul Affirmation: I appear to others what I know myself to be. Lucky Numbers: 5, 8, 10 LIBRA Exercise will work off some of your excess energy this week. Take a walk and remember that your world is made up of many beautiful parts. The part you are focusing on so intently this week is not your entire world. Proceed accordingly! Soul Affirmation: All things work together for good Lucky Numbers: 12, 16, 30 SCORPIO Wear your smile like it was your favorite fashion accessory this week. You’re sure to feel better when you see how many times your smile is returned to you this week. Do what makes you happy this week. Soul Affirmation: The slowness of my week gives me time to refresh my energy Lucky Numbers: 20, 40, 55 SAGITTARIUS Everything seems to be moving along in a very pleasant way this week. Friends are helpful, family is supportive, even the sun seems to be shining just for you! Enjoy this harmony and count your blessings. Finish a task at work. Soul Affirmation: I let go and let the spirit take control. Lucky Numbers: 1, 17, 32 CAPRICORN You have very creative mental energy this week! You’ll probably be wanting to talk or write or read about health or career matters. Your ability to absorb information is remarkable. Make phone calls for work early in the week, then phone calls for play in the afternoon! Soul Affirmation: I give my mind a big rest again this week Lucky Numbers: 26, 32, 36 AQUARIUS Remember that exercise is a wonderful tension-reliever if things get too intense this week. A walk over your lunch hour could make all the difference in how you feel this afternoon. Love yourself and reward yourself with perfect health and happiness. Soul Affirmation: The essence of life is in each grain of sand. Lucky Numbers: 4, 22, 41 PISCES Take a week off from sparkling at work and spend some time thinking about what is most important to you. The solution comes while you are thinking about love. Healthy habits are easy to keep. Soul Affirmation: I can see clearly now the rain is gone. There are no obstacles in my way. Lucky Numbers: 2, 16, 25

The Washington Informer

July 16 - July 22 2015



ACC Honors Wards 7, 8 Commissioners By Misty Brown WI Contributing Writer The historical Anacostia Coordinating Council presented an “An Appreciation Reception for Wards 7 and 8 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners” on June 30 at Anacostia Playhouse in Southeast. Former Mayor Anthony A. Williams, who is now the CEO of the Federal City Council, and Doug Siglin, executive director of the Anacostia River Initiative at the Federal City Council, introduced the Anacostia Waterfront Trust. “The new Anacostia Waterfront Trust has been created to restore a clean and healthy Anacostia, improve adjacent public lands, and help strengthen communities near the river,” Williams said. Besides economic growth, Williams is renowned for his commitment to restoring “one of America’s most polluted rivers.” “I call it the dirtiest river. The Anacostia and its riverbanks have enormous unmet potential to be the place where District residents and visitors come together for recreational and cul-

tural activities across income, racial, social and language lines. Today, however, negative public perceptions of the river and persistent pollution have limited recreational use of the Anacostia while preventing the Anacostia watershed from becoming a major event hub for city residents.” It was a fun-filled evening with over 150 guests networking with the who’s who in the political, business and community leadership east of the river. Arrington Dixon, chairperson of ACC and former D.C. Council chairman, said, “ACC wanted to acknowledge and celebrate the unpaid heroes of every ward in southeast. East of the river has 69 ANC Commissioners. It is important that each and every one of us knows each other and knows what ACC is doing for southeast. ... The focus of the reception was the Anacostia River and the Anacostia River Park.” Philip Pannell, executive director of ACC, elaborated on the importance of honoring the first river settler, the Native Americans, who were called Nacotchtank. “The ACC is dedicated to finding viable ways to conserve

Arrington Dixon, former Mayor Anthony Williams, and Doug Siglin at the Anacostia Playhouse on June 30. /Photo by Bruce McNeil.


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CEO and executive director of the Federal City Council former Mayor Anthony A. Williams, Deputy Mayor Courtney Snowden, Ward 7 Council member Yvette Alexander, Community Liaison Manager, DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative, Sharita Slayton, Executive Director, Anacostia River Initiative and Anacostia Waterfront Trust, Doug Siglin, Chariman of the board, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, Eugene Kinlow, Sr., Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May and FSFC’s Executive Director, Perry Moon. Photo by Bruce McNeil

and preserve what they left us with—a clean river. Eventually, in our lifetime and generations to come we will see the hard work and efforts of many of us in this room. We will restore the river to its former glory.” Mary J. Cuthbert, the 8C Commission chair, said, “I have been serving as an 8C commissioner for 20 years. My track record is that I work hard for the The Washington Informer

community.” Newcomer 8B02 ANC member Paul Trantham said, “First, we are servants. ANC Commissioners are here to serve each member of their district. My mission is to reconnect the community and to be an excellent servant to and for the community. In order to reconnect the community, the residents must come back out, and attend the

meetings. They must discover, learn and know what’s happening in their community, who are their neighbors, who are the business owners, and what services are available for them. One major concern is that the community must eliminate the mindset of hopelessness about they can’t create change.”WI

CAPTURE THE MOMENT 2015 Essence Festival Exceeds Expectations!

Iyanla Vanzant offered encouragement. Urban League President Marc Morial and AT&T Public Affairs VP Tonya Lombard with Melanie Campbell during appreciation brunch. Gospel artist Yolanda Adams pay tribute to Kim Burrell. Bryshere Gray of Empire on the red carpet. /Photos by Shevry Lassiter

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New York Liberty Defeats Washington Mystics 79-76 (OT)

Mystics forward LaToya Sanders is double-teamed by New York Liberty center Carolyn Swords and guard Sugar Rodgers (r) in the first quarter of Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Children’s Matinee action on Thursday, July 9, at the Verizon Center in Northwest. The Liberty defeated the Mystics 79-76 (OT). /Photo by John E. De Freitas.

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Mystics guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt drives past Liberty forward Swin Cash in the first quarter of WNBA Children’s Matinee action on Thursday, July 9 at the Verizon Center in Northwest. The Liberty beat the Mystics 79-76 (OT). /Photo by John E. De Freitas.

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Mystics guard Ivory Latta drives past liberty guard Sugar Rodgers in the second quarter of WNBA Children’s matinee action on Thursday, July 9, at the Verizon Center in Northwest. The Liberty defeated the Mystics 79-76 (OT). /Photo by John E. De Freitas.


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Mystics guard Tayler Hill is defended by Liberty forward Essence Carson during the second quarter of WNBA Children’s Matinee action on Thursday, July 9, at the Verizon Center in Northwest. Liberty defeated the Mystics 79-76 (OT). /Photo by John E. De Freitas.


Washington Divas Defeat Atlanta Phoenix 40-6 Washington Divas Ashley Whisonant evades Atlanta Phoenix defender and runs for a six points in the first quarter of Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) action. The Divas advanced to championship game after downing Atlanta 40-6 on Saturday, July 11, at the William E. Trussel Jr. Stadium in Clifton, Virginia. They host the Chicago Force on July 25 for the conference title and the right to go to the WFA national championship in Los Angeles, California. /Photo by John E. De Freitas.

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Exemplary Entertainment at 2015 Essence Festival! Kendrick Lamar, Usher, and Mary J. Blige gave stellar performances and celebrities such as the Browns were spotted throughout the weekend while D.C.’s own celebrity Chef Huda with Nephew Tommy closed out the Festival. /Photo by Shevry Lassiter

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The Religion Corner Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church

Turning Hearts Church 4275 4th Street, S.E. Washington, DC 20034 Phone: 202-746-0113 Fax: 301-843-2445

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Virgil K. Thomas, Sr. Senior Pastor/ Teacher

Foggy Bottom • Founded in 1867 728 23rd Street, NW • Washington, DC 20037 Church office: 202-333-3985 • Fax : 202-338-4958

Services & Times Sunday School 8 – 9 AM Worship Service 9 – 11 AM Tuesday Night Bible Study 6:30 – 8:00 PM Wednesday Daytime Bible Study 11 AM – 12:30 PM

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Mountain-Moving Faith 23. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:23-24. Have you tried a new idea, but because you were not successful at it, you quit? And others of you tried and failed several times, and then you quit. You’re not alone. Every successful person, except those born with a silver spoon, has had to overcome failures. In this column, let’s focus on scripture and real-life, true stories of millionaires and billionaires who succeeded in a big way yet failed over and over again. As my mentor Les Brown always told The Les Brown Speakers, “Fail your way to success!” According to the Online College website, a list of 50 successful people from various industries were first fired, told to forget about their dream, or told they should put that thing down and find something else. Had these persons not possessed mountain-moving faith, we never would have heard of them. Let’s take a look at some of them. Henry Ford, known for his American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. Ford’s early businesses failed, he was left broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Co. Oprah Winfrey, one of the most iconic faces on TV, one of the richest and most successful women in the world, Oprah had to endure a rough and often abusive childhood

as well as numerous career setbacks. She was fired from her job as a television reporter back when she started in Baltimore because she was “unfit for TV.” Elvis Pressley, was still a nobody in 1954, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired him after just one performance, telling him, “You ain’t goin nowhere, son.” You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” Walt Disney started The Disney Company, which rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He started and failed in businesses that became bankrupt. He kept plugging along, eventually finding a recipe for success. Sydney Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” Poitier vowed to show him that he could make it, going on to win an Oscar and to become one of the best-regarded actors in the business. Lucille Ball is seen around the world today in reruns, but before starring in “I Love Lucy”, she was widely regarded as a failed actress. Her drama instructors advised her to try another profession. Be encouraged when the going gets tough; this is when the tough will get going. Just reread this column and notice the pattern. When you fall down, just get back up again and find a way, but don’t quit. Either way, what you decide is only an indication of your own faith. No one else can succeed for you.

with Lyndia Grant

Your success depends on your ability to listen and hear the voice of the Lord. Ask the Lord to “order your steps.” Hang up this scripture: Proverbs 3:6 says in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. After all, it is what you came to this Earth to do, and no one can do that thing better than you! WI

Lyndia Grant is an author, inspirational and motivational speaker, radio talk show host and columnist; visit her new website at, email lyndiagrant@gmail. com or call 202-263-4621. Tune in Fridays at 6 p.m., to the radio talk show, 1340 AM, WYCB, a Radio One Station.

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Pilgrim Baptist Church Rev. Louis B. Jones II Pastor

Schedule of Services: Sunday School – 9:30 AM Sunday Morning Worship Service – 11:00 AM Communion Service – First Sunday Prayer Service/Bible Study – Tuesday, 6:30 PM e-mail:

Worship Sundays @ 7:30 & 11:00 A.M. 5th Sundays @ 9:30 A.M. 3rd Sundays: Baptism & Holy Communion Prayer & Praise: Wednesdays @ Noon & 6:30 P.M.

Schedule of Service Sunday Service: 8:30 AM & 11:00 AM Bible Study: Wednesday 7:30 PM Communion Service: First Sunday

Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ Drs. Dennis W. and Christine Y. Wiley, Pastors 3845 South Capitol Street Washington, DC 20032 (202) 562-5576 (Office) (202) 562-4219 (Fax) SERVICES AND TIMES: SUNDAYS: 10:00 am AM Worship Services BIBLE STUDY: Wonderful Wednesdays in Worship and the Word Bible Study Wednesdays 12:00 Noon; 6:30 PM (dinner @ 5:30 PM) SUNDAY SCHOOL: 9:00 AM – Hour of Power “An inclusive ministry where all are welcomed and affirmed.”

Dr. Henry Y. White

5757 Temple Hill Road, Temple Hills, MD 20748 Office 301-899-8885 – fax 301-899-2555 Sunday Early Morning Worship - 7:45 a.m. Church School - 9:30 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship – 10:45 a.m. Tuesday – Thursday - Kingdom Building Bible Institute – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday – Prayer/Praise/Bible Study – 7:30 p.m. Baptism & Communion Service- 4th Sunday – 10:30am Radio Broadcast WYCB -1340 AM-Sunday -6:00pm T.V. Broadcast - Channel 190 – Sunday -4:00pm/Tuesday 7:00am

“We are one in the Spirit” e-mail:

2498 Alabama Ave., SE • Washington D.C. 20020 Office: (202) 889-7296 Fax: (202) 889-2198 • 2008: The Year of New Beginnings “Expect the Extraordinary”

Rev. Dr. Alton W. Jordan, Pastor 800 I Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 202-548-0707 Fax No. 202-548-0703

Sunday Worship Services: 8:00a.m. and 11:00a.m. Sunday Church School - 9:15a.m. & Sunday Adult Forum Bible Study - 10:30a.m. 2nd & 4th Monday Women’s Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Tuesday Jr./Sr. Bible Study - 10:00a.m. Tuesday Topical Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Tuesday New Beginnings Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Wednesday Pastoral Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Wednesday Children’s Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Thursday Men’s Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Friday before 1st Sunday Praise & Worship Service - 6:30p.m. Saturday Adult Bible Study - 10:00a.m.

Sunday Morning Worship 11:00am Holy Communion – 1st Sunday Sunday School-9:45am Men’s Monday Bible Study – 7:00pm Wednesday Night Bible Study – 7:00pm Women’s Ministry Bible Study 3rd Friday -7:00pm Computer Classes- Announced Family and Marital Counseling by appointment E-mail:

“The Amazing, Awesome, Audacious Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church”

“God is Love”

Third Street Church of God Rev. Cheryl J. Sanders, Th.D. Senior Pastor 1204 Third Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 202.347.5889 office 202.638.1803 fax Sunday School: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship: 11:00 a.m. Prayer Meeting and Bible Study: Wed. 7:30 p.m. “Ambassadors for Christ to the Nation’s Capital”

Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church Bishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr.; Senior Bishop & Evangelist Susie C. Owens – Co-Pastor 610 Rhode Island Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 529-4547 office • (202) 529-4495 fax Sunday Worship Service: 8 AM and 10:45 AM Sunday Youth Worship Services: 1st & 4th 10:45 AM; 804 R.I. Ave., NE 5th 8 AM & 10:45 AM; Main Church Prayer Services Tuesday – Noon, Wednesday 6 AM & 6:30 PM Calvary Bible Institute: Year-Round Contact Church Communion Every 3rd Sunday The Church in The Hood that will do you Good!

Isle of Patmos Baptist Church Reverend Dr. Calvin L. Matthews • Senior Pastor 1200 Isle of Patmos Plaza, Northeast Washington, DC 20018 Office: (202) 529-6767 Fax: (202) 526-1661 Sunday Worship Services: 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Holy Communion: 2nd Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday Church School: 9:20 a.m. Seniors Bible Study: Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Noon Day Prayer Service: Tuesdays at Noon Bible Study: Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Motto: “A Ministry of Reconciliation Where Everybody is Somebody!” Website: Church Email:

ST Marks Baptist Come Worship with us... St. Mark's Baptist Church 624 Underwood Street, NW Washington, dc 20011 Dr. Raymond T. Matthews, Pastor and First Lady Marcia Matthews Sunday School 9:am Worship Service 10:am Wed. Noon Day prayer service Thur. Prayer service 6:45 pm Thur. Bible Study 7:15 pm

Reverend Dr. Paul H. Saddler Senior Pastor Service and Times Sunday Worship Service 11:00 a.m. Communion every Sunday 11:00 a.m. Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Bible Study Tuesday 12Noon Pastor’s Bible Study Tuesday 6:30 p.m. Motto; “Discover Something Wonderful.” Website: Email:

Mailing Address Campbell AME Church 2502 Stanton Road SE Washington, DC 20020

Mount Carmel Baptist Church

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Joseph N. Evans, Ph.D Senior Pastor 901 Third Street N.W. Washington, DC. 20001 Phone (202) 842-3411 Fax (202) 682-9423

Rev. John W. Davis, Pastor 5101 14th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20011 202-726-2220/ 202-726-9089

TV Ministry –Channel 6 Wednesday 10:00pm

Lanier C. Twyman, Sr. Bishop

Rev. Dr. Michael E. Bell, Sr., • Pastor

Crusader Baptist Church

(Disciples of Christ) 1812 12th Street, NW Washington, DC 20009 Phone: 202-265-4494 Fax: 202 265 4340

2562 MLK Jr. Ave., S E Washington, DC 20020 Adm. Office 202-678-2263 Sunday Worship Service 10: am Sunday Church School 8: 45 am Bible Study Wednesday 12:00 Noon Wednesday 7:00 pm Thursday 7: pm “Reaching Up To Reach Out”

Holy Communion 4th Sunday 10:00am Prayer and Bible Study Wednesday 7;00pm

St. Stephen Baptist Church

Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church

Twelfth Street Christian Church

Campbell AME Church

Sunday Worship Service 8:00am and 11:00am Sunday School 9:15am

4915 Wheeler Road Oxon Hill, MD 20745 301-894-6464

Blessed Word of Life Church

4001 14th Street, NW Washington, DC 20011 (202) 265-6147 Office 1-800 576-1047 Voicemail/Fax

Rev. Paul Carrette Senior Pastor Harold Andrew, Assistant Pastor

700 I Street, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 547-8849

tel: 202-291-6565

Dr. Dekontee L. & Dr. Ayele A. Johnson Pastors

Church of Living Waters

Sunday Church School : 9: 30am Sunday Morning Worship: 10: 45am Bible Study Tuesday: 6: 00pm Prayer Service Tuesday: 7:00pm Holy Communion: 3rd Sunday 10: 45am

40 July 16 - July 22, 2015

The Washington Informer

RELIGION Shabbath Commandment Church 7801 Livingston Road Oxon Hill, MD 20745 301-534-5471 Bishop Adrian A. Taylor, Sr. Pastor Sabbath School 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Service 11:00 a.m. Praise & Worship Preaching 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Motto: “A Church Keeping It Real for Real.” Website: Email:

Zion Baptist Church

All Nations Baptist Church Rev. Dr. James Coleman Pastor 2001 North Capitol St, N.E. • Washington, DC 20002 Phone (202) 832-9591

Website: All Nations Baptist Church – A Church of Standards

“Where Jesus is the King”

Israel Baptist Church

4850 Blagdon Ave, NW • Washington D.C 20011 Phone (202) 722-4940 • Fax (202) 291-3773

1251 Saratoga Ave., NE Washington, DC 20018 (202) 269-0288

Rev. Aubrey C. Lewis Pastor 1415 Gallatin Street, NW Washington, DC 20011-3851 P: (202) 726-5940 Sunday Worship: 11:00 a.m. Sunday School: 9:15 a.m. Holy Communion: 11:00 a.m., 3rd Sun. Bible Institute Wednesday - 1:30 pm Prayer Meeting Wednesday - 12:00 Noon

St. Matthews Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Maxwell M. Washington Pastor Worshiping Location Knights of Columbus - 1633 Tucker Road Fort Washington, MD 20744 (240) 838-7074 Order of Services Sunday Worship Services: 10:00 am Sunday School: 9:00 am Holy Communion 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer / Bible Study: 6:15 pm - 7:20 pm (Tuesday)

2324 Ontario Road, NW Washington, DC 20009 (202) 232-1730 Sunday School – 9:30 am Sunday Worship Service – 11:00 am Baptismal Service – 1st Sunday – 9:30 am Holy Communion – 1st Sunday – 11:00 am Prayer Meeting & Bible Study – Wednesday -7:30 pm

Rev. Dr. Morris L Shearin, Sr. Pastor

St. Luke Baptist Church

Rev. Daryl F. Bell Pastor

Sunday Church School – 9:30 AM Sunday Worship Service – 11:00 AM Holy Communion – 1st Sunday at 11:00 AM Prayer – Wednesdays, 6:00 PM Bible Study – Wednesdays, 7:00 PM Christian Education School of Biblical Knowledge Saturdays, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM, Call for Registration

Rev. Keith W. Byrd, Sr. Pastor

Sunday Worship Service 10:15AM- Praise and Worship Services Sunday School 9:00am Monday: Noon Bible School Wednesday: Noon & 7PM: Pastor’s Bible Study Ordinance of Baptism 2nd Holy Communion 4th Sunday Mission Zion Baptist Church Shall; Enlist Sinners, Educate Students, Empower the Suffering, Encourage the Saints, and Exalt Our Savior. (Acts 2:41-47)

King Emmanuel Baptist Church

Sunday Worship Service: 10:00 A.M. Sunday School: 8:30 A.M. Holy Communion1st Sunday: 10:00 A.M. Prayer Service: Wednesday at 6:30 P.M. Bible Study: Wednesday at 7:00 P.M.

Mount Moriah Baptist Church

Lincoln Park United Methodist Church Rev. Dr. Diane Dixon Proctor, Pastor 1301 North Carolina Ave. N E Washington, D C 20002 202 543 1318 Sunday worship 10: am Holy Communion first Sunday 10: am Sunday school 9: am Bible Study each Wednesday @ 12 noon and 6:30pm Motto: “A CHURCH ON THE GROW”.

Eastern Community Baptist Church

Emmanuel Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Clinton W. Austin Pastor 2409 Ainger Pl.,SE – WDC 20020 (202) 678-0884 – Office (202) 678-0885 – Fax “Come Grow With Us and Establish a Blessed Family” Sunday Worship 7:30am & 10:45am Baptism/Holy Communion 3rd Sunday Family Bible Study Tuesdays – 6:30pm Prayer Service Tuesdays – 8:00pm

Sermon On The Mount Temple Of Joy Apostolic Faith

623 Florida Ave.. NW • WDC. 20001 Church (202) 667-3409 • Study (202) 265-0836 Home Study (301) 464-8211 • Fax (202) 483-4009

4504 Gault Place, N.E. Washington, D.C 20019 202-397-7775 – 7184

Sunday Worship Services: 10:00 a.m. Sunday Church School: 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Holy Communion: Every First Sunday Intercessory Prayer: Monday – 7:00-8:00 p.m. Pastor’s Bible Study: Wednesday –7:45 p.m. Midweek Prayer: Wednesday – 7:00 p.m. Noonday Prayer Every Thursday

9:30AM. Sunday Church School 11:00 Am. Sunday Worship Service The Lord’s Supper 1st Sunday Wednesday 7:00pm Prayer & Praise Services 7:30pm. Bible Study Saturday before 4th Sunday Men, Women, Youth Discipleship Ministries 10:30am A Christ Centered Church

Matthews Memorial Baptist Church

Christ Embassy DC

Elder Herman L. Simms, Pastor

2616 MLK Ave., SE • Washington, DC 20020 Office 202-889-3709 • Fax 202-678-3304

Kelechi Ajieren Coordinator

Early Worship Service 7:30a.m Worship Service 10:45a.m. New Members Class 9:30a.m. Holy Communion : 1st Sunday -10:45a.m Church School 9:30a.m. Prayer, Praise and Bible Study: Wednesday 7p.m Bible Study : Saturday: 11a.m. Baptism: 4th Sunday – 10:45a.m “Empowered to love and Challenged to Lead a Multitude of Souls to Christ”

Sunday Worship Service 10:00 A.M.

Sunday Apostolic Worship Services 11:00 A.M and 5:00 P.M Communion and Feet Wash 4th Sunday at 5:00 P.M Prayer/Seeking Wednesday at 8:00 P.M. Apostolic in Doctrine, Pentecostal in Experience, Holiness in Living, Uncompromised and Unchanged. The Apostolic Faith is still alive –Acts 2:42

New Commandment Baptist Church

13701 Old Jericho Park Road Bowie, MD. 20720 (301) 262-0560

Sunday Worship Services: 7:45 am and 10:45 am Holy Communion: 1st Sundays at 7:45 am and 10:45 am Sunday School: 9:30 am Prayer & Praise Service: Tuesdays at 12 noon and 6:30 pm Bible Study: Tuesdays at 1 pm and 7 pm Youth Bible Study: Fridays at 7 pm

Service and Times: Early Morning Message 7:30 AM Sunday Morning Worship Service 10:00 AM Sunday Church School 9:00 AM Holy Communion 1st Sunday 7:30 AM & 10:00 AM Prayer, Praise and Testimony Wednesday 7:00 PM Bible Study Wednesday 7:30 PM

Services: Sunday Worship 11 AM Sunday School 10 AM Wednesday Mid-Week Worship, Prayer & Bible Study - Wed. 7 PM

Web: Email:

“Real Worship for Real People” Website: Church Email Address:

Salem Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. George C. Gilbert SR. Pastor

Dr. C. Matthew Hudson, Jr, Pastor

8213 Manson Street Landover, MD 20785 Tel: (301) 322-9787 Fax: (301) 322-9240

Rehoboth Baptist Church

Dr. Earl D. Trent Senior Pastor

5606 Marlboro Pike District Heights, MD 20747 301-735-6005

Rev. Stephen E. Tucker Senior Pastor

1636 East Capitol Street, NE Washington, DC 20003 Telephone: 202-544-5588 Fax: 202-544-2964

Holy Trinity United Baptist Church

6839 Eastern Avenue, R1 Takoma Park, MD 20912 (202) 556-7065

Damion M. Briggs Pastor

Dr. Lucius M. Dalton, Senior Pastor

Florida Avenue Baptist Church

“A Church Where Love Is Essential and Praise is Intentional”

Shiloh Baptist Church

Peace Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Michael T. Bell

Sunday Morning Worship Service 7:15 am & 10:50 am Sunday School 9:30am Sunday Morning Worship Service 10:50am Wednesday Prayer & Testimonies Service 7:30pm Wednesday School of the Bible 8:00pm Wednesday - Midweek Prayer Service 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm “The Loving Church of the living lord “ Email Address

First Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Rev. Alonzo Hart Pastor

Rev. Dr. Wallace Charles Smith Pastor

Rev. Reginald M. Green, Sr., Interim Pastor

621 Alabama Avenue, S.E. • Washington, D.C. 20032 P: (202) 561-1111 F: (202) 561-1112

917 N St. NW • Washington, DC 20001 (202) 232-4294

9th & P Street, N.W. • W. D.C. 20001 (202) 232-4200

602 N Street NW • Washington, D.C. 20001 Office:(202) 289-4480 Fax: (202) 289-4595

The Church Where GOD Is Working.... And We Are Working With GOD

Sunrise Prayer Services - Sunday 7:00 a.m.

Sunday Morning Prayer Service: 8:00 a.m. Sunday Church School: 9:15 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship: 10:40 a.m. Third Sunday Baptismal & Holy Communion:10:30 a.m. Tuesday Church At Study Prayer & Praise: 6:30 p.m.

Morning Worship: 8:00 a.m Church School : 9:30 a.m. Morning Worship: 10:55 a.m. Bible Study, Thursday: 6:30 p.m. Prayer Meeting,Thursday : 7:30 p.m.

Theme: “The Kingdom Focused Church” Matthew 6:33 and Mathew 28:18-20, KJV

Sunday Service: 10 am Sunday School for all ages: 8:30 am 1st Sunday Baptism: 10: am 2nd Sunday Holy Communion: 10 am Tuesday: Bible Study: 6:30 pm Prayer Meeting: 7:45 pm

Email: Website:

Motto: : “Where God is First and Where Friendly People Worship”

The Washington Informer

Sunday Worship Services: 7:45am & 11:00am Sunday school For All Ages 9:30am Prayer Services Wednesday 11:30am & 6:45pm Bible Institute Wednesday at Noon & 7:45pm “Changing Lives On Purpose “ Email: Website:

Friday Evening Service 7:00 P.M. ; Last Friday “…Giving Your Life a Meaning”

Pennsylvania Ave. Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Kendrick E. Curry Pastor

712 18th Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 Phone 202-399-3450/ Fax 202-398-8836


150 Years of Service

Wednesday Bible Study 7:00 P.M.

3000 Pennsylvania Ave.. S.E Washington, DC 20020 202 581-1500 Sunday Church School: 9:30 A.M. Sunday Worship Service: 11:00 A.M. Monday Adult Bible Study: 7:00 P.M. Wednesday Youth & Adult Activities: 6:30 P.M. Prayer Service Bible Study

Mt. Horeb Baptist Church Rev. Dr. H. B. Sampson, III Pastor 2914 Bladensburg Road, NE Wash., DC 20018 Office: (202) 529-3180 Fax: (202) 529-7738 Order of Services Worship Service: 7:30 a.m. Sunday School: 9:00 a.m. Worship Service: 10:30 a.m. Holy Communion: 4th Sunday 7:30 a.m. & 10:30a.m. Prayer Services: Tuesday 7:30 p.m. Wednesday 12 Noon For further information, please contact me at (202) 529-3180.

July 16 - July 22 2015







SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

Administration No. 2015 ADM 722

Administration No. 2015 ADM 701

Administration No. 2015 ADM 000080

Administration No. 2015 ADM 181

Administration No. 2015 ADM 780

James Jones Decedent

Frances E. Fuller Decedent

Keisan Griffith-Roberts Decedent

Ronald Dixon Bynum & Jenkins 1010 Cameron Street Alexandria, VA 22314 Attorney

Dalton Howard, Esq. 4020 Lee Street, NE Washington, DC 20019 Attorney

Ora V. Bruce Decedent

Willie J. Baldwin aka Willie James Baldwin Decedent



Janice Ford, whose address is 1503 Anacostia Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20019, was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Ora V. Bruce, who died on October 15, 2012 without a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 9, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 9, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Karen Anita Baldwin, whose address is 11103 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735, was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Willie J. Baldwin aka Willie James Baldwin, who died on December 18, 2014 with a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 2, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 2, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Date of first publication: July 9, 2015

Date of first publication: July 2, 2015

Janice Ford Personal Representative

Karen Anita Baldwin Personal Representative



Anne Meister Register of Wills

Anne Meister Register of Wills

Washington Informer

Washington Informer

Washington Informer

Washington Informer

Washington Informer

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

Administration No. 2015 ADM 737

Administration No. 2014 ADM 001319

Administration No. 2015 ADM 733

Administration No. 2015 ADM 511

Joseph Bonds Priester Decedent

Carrie B. Stewart Decedent Ronald Dixon Bynum & Jenkins 1010 Cameron Street Alexandria, VA 22314 Attorney

Delores B. Harris-Perkins Decedent

Rande K. Joiner Joiner & Green, LLC 8804 Hidden Hill Ln Potomac, MD 20854 Attorney

Herman S. Washington aka Herman Sylvester Washington Decedent



Kenneth Mark Deal, whose address is 7309 Beverly Manor Drive, Annandale, VA 22003, was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Joseph Bonds Priester, who died on April 16, 2015 with a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 2, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 2, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Ronald Dixon, whose address is Bynum & Jenkins, 1010 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314 was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Carrie B. Stewart, who died on December 4, 2010 without a Will, and will serve with Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 2, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 2, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Administration No. 2015 ADM 723 Maurice Kevin Powers Decedent NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT, NOTICE TO CREDITORS AND NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS Erin Shauntice Powers, whose address is 641 Irving St., NW, Washington, DC 20010, was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Maurice Kevin Powers, who died on May 18, 2015 without a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 2, 2016 . Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 2, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship. Date of first publication: July 2, 2015 Erin Shauntice Powers Personal Representative TRUE TEST COPY Anne Meister Register of Wills

Washington Informer

42 July 16 - July 22, 2015

Date of first publication: July 2, 2015 Kenneth Mark Deal Personal Representative TRUE TEST COPY Anne Meister Register of Wills

Washington Informer


Shanelle C. Patterson 1455 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20007 Attorney



Ronald Dixon, whose address is Bynum & Jenkins, 1010 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of James Jones, who died on January 22, 2013 without a Will, and will serve with Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 2, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 2, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Jacqueline F. Banks and Oney F. Dickens, whose addresses are 4238 Southern Ave., SE Washington, DC 20019 and 512 Bentwood Drive, Fort Washington, MD 20744, were appointed Personal Representatives of the estate of Frances E. Fuller, who died on November 4, 2013 with a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 9, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 9, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Sandra Griffith, whose address is542 East 49th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11203, was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Keisan Griffith-Roberts, who died on December 26, 2014 without a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 16, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 16, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Date of first publication: July 2, 2015

Date of first publication: July 9, 2015

Date of first publication: July 16, 2015

Ronald Dixon Personal Representative

Jacqueline F. Banks Oney F. Dickens Personal Representative

Sandra Griffith Personal Representative

TRUE TEST COPY Anne Meister Register of Wills

Date of first publication: July 2, 2015 Ronald Dixon Personal Representative TRUE TEST COPY Anne Meister Register of Wills

Washington Informer

The Washington Informer



Anne Meister Register of Wills

Anne Meister Register of Wills

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT, NOTICE TO CREDITORS AND NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS Cynthia A. Brock-Smith, whose address is 2939 Fort Baker Dr., SE, Washington, DC 20020, was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Herman S. Washington aka Herman Sylvester Washington, who died on December 30, 2014 with a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 2, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 2, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship. Date of first publication: July 2, 2015

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT, NOTICE TO CREDITORS AND NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS John A. Perkins/Bruce L. Jones Jr., whose addresses are 1650 W Street, SE, Apt. #403, Washington, DC 20020, were appointed Personal Representatives of the estate of Delores B. Harris-Perkins, who died on July 11, 2010 without a Will, and will serve with Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 16, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 16, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship. Date of first publication: July 16, 2015

Cynthia A. Brock-Smith Personal Representative

John A. Perkins Bruce L. Jones Jr. Personal Representative



Anne Meister Register of Wills

Anne Meister Register of Wills

Washington Informer

Washington Informer



SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

Administration No. 2015 ADM 772

Administration No. 2014 ADM 1238

Charles Jerome Decedent

Lillie I. Mann aka Lillie Ivy Mann Decedent

Edward M. Biggin 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 405 Rockville, MD 20852 Attorney

H. Jeffrey Ziegler 4 Reservoir Circle Baltimore, MD 21208 Attorney



Charnikka L. Jerome, whose address is 2205 Champlain Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Charles Jerome, who died on April 15, 2015 without a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 16, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 16, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Kemberly Joi Mann, whose address is 700 Arlington Mill Drive South #102, Arlington, VA 22204 was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of , Lillie I. Mann aka Lillie Ivy Mann who died on June 12 2001 with a Will, and will serve with Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 16, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 16, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Date of first publication: July 16, 2015

Date of first publication: July 16, 2015

Charnikka L. Jerome Personal Representative TRUE TEST COPY

Kemberly Joi Mann Personal Representative TRUE TEST COPY

Anne Meister Register of Wills

Anne Meister Register of Wills

Washington Informer

Washington Informer

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131

Administration No. 2015 ADM 771 Oscar Taylor aka Oscar Taylor, Jr. Decedent

Administration No. 2015 ADM 782 Margaret E Watts Decedent



Arlene Taylor, whose address is 91 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of Oscar Taylor aka Oscar Taylor, Jr., who died on February 18, 2011 without a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 16, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 16, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Charlene Watts Martin, whose address is 7518 Creighton Drive, College Park, MD 20740 was appointed Personal Representative of the estate of, Margaret E Watts who died on May 4, 2015 with a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before January 16, 2016. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before January 16, 2016, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship.

Date of first publication: July 16, 2015

Date of first publication: July 16, 2015

Arlene Taylor Personal Representative

Charlene Watts Martin Personal Representative



Anne Meister Register of Wills

Anne Meister Register of Wills

Washington Informer

Washington Informer

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MORIAL from Page 22 of inequality. An educated citizenry is best prepared to choose the candidate who will advance his or her interests and, ultimately, the interests of a stronger, healthier and more inclusive nation. During his remarks on the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Johnson said, “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” The stakes are too high for us and for future generations not to have these discussions together. In this year’s analysis of the State of Black America, the National Urban League found that while strides have been made in black and brown

MALVEAUX from Page 22 rate differentials. White men and white high school dropouts have about the same unemployment rate as black high school graduates, and highly educated blacks always have higher unemployment rates than less well-educated whites. While education pays off for blacks, as those with better educations are paid more than those with less education, whites get a greater return on education than blacks. If we want to remove vestiges of racial subjugation, we ought to pay attention to unemployment rate differentials and work as hard to eradicate them as we did to take down that Confederate flag in South Carolina. How? Obama could sign an executive order directing the Department of Labor and other federal departments to target money and programs to the inner city or, more specifically, to African-Americans. In these closing months of his presidency, he has used executive orders for other purposes. Why not use one to ensure that Jamal gets treated the same way as Johnny?

CURRY from Page 22 Though the U.S. Congress outlawed the African slave trade in 1808, the domestic trade flourished, and the slave population in the U.S. nearly tripled over the next 50 years. By 1860 it had reached nearly 4 million, with more than half living in the cotton-producing states of the South. Slave owners sought to make their slaves completely dependent on them, and a system of restrictive codes governed life among slaves. They were prohibited from learning to read and write, and their behavior and movement was restricted. Many masters took sexual liberties with slave women, and rewarded obedient slave behavior

communities, tremendous gaps continue to leave us with a crisis in education, jobs and justice. In the case of justice, a series of horrific acts – from the deaths of black men and women at the hands of police to the racially motivated murder of nine people in a South Carolina church to the legislative efforts in some states to rob Americans of their constitutional right to vote –cries out for serious and immediate reform. While our economy is improving after the recession, the bounce back has not been as evident in many black and brown communities. For too many Americans, the recession is alive and well. As Congress continues to debate reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we, along with a diverse coalition of policy-makers, families

and community activists, are fighting to ensure that any new legislation adopted protects civil rights and promotes equity, equality and accountability in education. These conversations are indispensable in this moment in which we as a nation find ourselves of perhaps the greatest social and economic upheaval in a generation. Choose to be a part of our discussion and conversation, or choose to get involved in the discussions and conversations that are happening or will happen in your communities – every voice and vote matters. WI

In addition to Jamal and Johnny, how about Tamika and Theresa? Though the unemployment rate gap is smaller between black and white women, there are gaps in pay and working conditions. Because more than 40 percent of black families are female-headed, low pay for black women translates to different living conditions for black families. Similar differences are measured in the poverty rate, where more than a quarter of black families live in poverty, compared with less than 10 percent of white families. Average pay for an African-American family is about $31,000, compared with about $52,000 for White families. Congress has been hostile to any poverty-prevention programs, fighting to reduce food stamp programs and pushing back on Obama-backed legislation to increase the minimum wage. In the midst of legislative hostility, could Obama do anything to lower poverty and especially the gap in the poverty rate? Certainly appointing a presidential commission to propose legislation on poverty prevention would be a first, if only symbolically. The wealth gap is staggering.

African-Americans have a scant 2.5 percent of our nation’s wealth. The median wealth for white families is $120,000, compared with $7,000 for black families. The wealth gap is partly a function of the inability for African-Americans to attain wealth, certainly during slavery and the Black Codes era and beyond. There were exceptions, of course, but the gaping wealth gap affects the quality of life for African-Americans. What to do? The president might consider the Institute of the Black World’s proposal for a John Hope Franklin Commission for Reparatory Justice to explore the possibility of, among other things, reparations. Taking down the Confederate flag without tearing down the walls of racial economic inequality is a partial victory. While I am elated that Haley has expressed her opposition to the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate and White supremacy, I wonder if she will fight to end the institutional racism that results in higher unemployment rates, lower incomes and less wealth for African-Americans.WI

with favors, while rebellious slaves were brutally punished. Even against tremendous odds and at a distinct disadvantage, enslaved Africans rebelled every way possible, including taking up arms. The most famous rebellions involved Gabriel Prosser in Richmond, Virginia; Denmark Vesey in Charleston, South Carolina; and Nat Turner in 1831. Turner’s group, which grew to approximately 75 men, went from farm to farm in Southampton County, Virginia, killing more than 50 White slaveholders over two days. When they were captured, the men were immediately killed by white slave owners

who had formed militias. Turner eluded capture for two months. When caught, he was quickly tried and hanged. Free blacks and other antislavery northerners had begun helping fugitive slaves escape from southern plantations to the North via a loose network of safe houses as early as the 1780s. This practice, known as the Underground Railroad, gained real momentum in the 1830s and although estimates vary widely, it may have helped anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000 slaves reach freedom. The South would reach the breaking point …when Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln was elected as president. Within three months,

Marc H. Morial, former mayor of New Orleans, is president and CEO of the National Urban League.

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MDDC 2x2 DISPLAY AD NETWORK seven southern states had seceded to form the Confederate States of America; four more would follow after the Civil War (1861-65) began. Though Lincoln’s antislavery views were well established, the central Union war aim at first was not to abolish slavery, but to preserve the United States as a nation. Abolition became a war aim only later, due to military necessity, growing anti-slavery sentiment in the North and the self-emancipation of many

African Americans who fled enslavement as Union troops swept through the South. Five days after the bloody Union victory at Antietam in September 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation, and on January 1, 1863, he made it official that “slaves within any State, or designated part of a State…in rebellion,…shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free. IWI July 16 - July 22 2015


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grow back to their former greatness of allowing home mortgages throughout our nation, they want to put a bullet through their heads. This is very serious, and it is going through the courts. It is so serious that the National Black Chamber of Commerce is jumping into the fray. We have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the federal court of appeals. Here is an overview that we formally submitted: “Amicus curiae the National Black Chamber of Commerce (“NBCC”) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African-American communities through entrepreneurship. Incorporated in 1993, the NBCC represents nearly 100,000 African-American owned businesses and advocates on behalf of the 2.1 million Black-owned businesses in the United States. The NBCC has more than 190 affiliated chapters located throughout the nation, as well as international affiliates in, among others,

LAMBERT from Page 23 portation to medical appointments, and much more. Beyond the support we provide individuals, the Greater Washington Urban League participates in a community of caring agencies to find solutions to systemic problems. For example, we’ve recently taken on a knotty challenge that disproportionately falls on the shoulders of African American seniors—grandparents raising children because, for whatever reason, the parents are unable

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46 July 16 - July 22, 2015

President Barack Obama. Ramadan, according to Bush back in 2002, is “a time of prayer and fasting, contemplation of God’s greatness, and service to those in need. According to Muslim teachings, this season commemorates the revelation of God’s word in the Holy Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. Today this word inspires faithful Muslims to lead lives of honesty, integrity and compassion.” I heartily concur, Mr. President. Those are among my most treasured Ramadan experiences, and they remind me of my experiences growing up in Missionary Baptist Churches in both Los Angeles and in Indianola, Mississippi. When I was in Mecca at the Holy Grand Mosque — the Ka’ba — during Ramadan one The Washington Informer

the Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana and Jamaica.” “Because the NBCC is dedicated to creating economically-thriving African-American communities, it is extremely concerned about the prospect that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) will effectively eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The NBCC believes that without those corporations providing for affordable credit, African-Americans will be disproportionately unable to obtain conventional mortgages. Thus, if the FHFA is allowed to complete its attempted liquidation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, affordable credit may well dissipate for minorities (who already have a very difficult time obtaining loans). The NBCC therefore asks this Court to consider these interests in the course of its deliberations on this case.” The above is our Statement of Interest portion of the amicus brief, which is 18 pages long. We must make all of black America aware of this. Does the Congressional Black Caucus have

a concern? What about all of those civil rights organizations that have been around since the beginning of the 20th Century? What is their position on homeownership? How about the National Black Caucus of State Legislators? I don’t find the outrage anywhere. If the federal government has its way, the future of mortgages will be up in the air. Our subdivisions will turn to blankets of rentals, and their values will sink much further than they have already done. That’s why we are fighting this. Our financial future is on the line, and it could have a negative impact on the quality of life for our children, grandchildren and their children. We have no choice but to fight. WI

to do so. Many District seniors live in apartment complexes that lack an open-door policy. Specifically, they do not allow children or teenagers as permanent residents. Our staff is talking to council members and other community leaders to identify and develop alternative housing options for grandparents with custody of their grandchildren. The solutions lie in staying collaborative and flexible, and in remembering that the values that our grandparents imparted to us

continue to nourish us. In the words of author Deborah L. Parker, “A conquering force sustained the old folks and now centers us. Forming a collective of comeback saints, let us rally behind them and move forward. We’re called to a new awakening and application of what we’ve learned from those who’ve ‘looked over Jordan’.” WI

year in a delegation led by Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, we went to pray on the 25th night and back again on the 27th night. We stayed until dawn. The odd-numbered nights during the last 10 days of Ramadan are very special, because Muslims believe that one of those nights is what is known as “The Night of Power,” which is said in the Quran to be a night that is “better than a thousand months.” The Imam (spiritual leader) in Mecca was reciting the Quran in Arabic. I don’t speak or understand very much Arabic at all. But that “preacher” was so full of spirit and emotion that I experienced feelings I hadn’t known since my days in the Baptist church my grandmother took me to in the Mississippi Delta, where the pastor only preached one Sunday per month because he had to travel among other rural congregations.

I could not understand the Imam’s words, but I understood his sobbing with joy. I could feel his passion. Whenever I think about that night I remember the sobbing deacons I would occasionally hear at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Each Sunday the older church members held what was called the “Devotional” an hour before the 11 o’clock service. Like the Imam in Mecca, the Deacons at Providence would moan their testimonials like hymns without music in words I could not comprehend, but the feeling was the same. And, at that moment in Mecca, I once again felt that “Old-Time Religion” stirring deep inside my soul. You may call me a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I wish a blessed and glorious conclusion of this Ramadan 2015 to one and all.WI

Harry Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: www.nationalbcc. org Email:

George H. Lambert, Jr. is the President and CEO of the Greater Washington Urban League.

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July 16 - July 22 2015





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