Burbank, CA – Burbank’s own self-confessed housewife by day and stripper by night author, A. A. Jones was recently acknowledged as a 2013 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner in the “Relationships” category for her memoir, “Tilt Diary of a Virgin Stripper.” The award ceremony was held in Miami, FL.
A corporate fitness instructor and dog behaviorist, A.A. Jones enthralled readers with the literary reveal detailing her moonlighting nightlife escapades. More than just a day-to-day account of a housewife thrown into the underground world of exotic dance, sex and drama, “Tilt Diary” emerged as an intimate, soul-bearing memoir of a woman making her way in a man’s world and owning her power. As demonstrated by Readers’ Favorite, “Tilt” fueled the imaginations of readers around the world and also empowered and liberated its audience.
“As a new author, I am honored to be acknowledged by Readers’ Favorite,” says Jones. “It is an incredible accomplishment and has fueled my determination to deliver the sequel to ‘Tilt.’ I’m also planning to eventually take the ‘Tilt’ to the big screen.”
Founded by Debra Gaynor, Readers’ Favorite is the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. Over the years Readers’ Favorite has earned the respect of such industry giants as Random House, Penguin, and Harper Collins.
Tilt with Jones at http://tiltdiary.wordpress.com/.
Federal Criminal Attorney Jeremy Gordon Puts a New Face on Legal Defense with Compassionate Counsel and Resourceful Representation
Waxahachie, TX – With the broad appeal of the popular Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” the release of celebrated actor/author Hill Harper’s new book, “Letters To An Incarcerated Brother,” and television’s Judge Greg Mathis’ launch of his own Prisoner Empowerment Education and Respect (PEER) Initiative, the public perception of America’s prison system and its prisoners is rapidly evolving. Discriminatory drug laws, the high rate of black incarceration and unjust over-sentencing procedures have become major societal concerns now that the U.S. incarceration population outranks any in the entire world. Even mainstream media’s focus on the prison industrial complex has intensified with daily coverage highlighting the many atrocities.
Enter attorney Jeremy Gordon. The only African-American lawyer in the small town of Waxahachie, Texas, Gordon is emerging as a champion force and astute advocate determined to bring more awareness to the plight of prisoners and effect much needed reform within the legal system. His private law practice, the Law Office of Jeremy Gordon, boasts an instructive web portal at GordonDefense.com; a non profit organization, Prisology; and a quarterly “Commitment to Change” college inmate scholarship, all of which serve to highlight his determined stance to educate the masses while providing compassionate legal defense and representation.
Gordon opened his offices 18 months ago with the concept of instilling social change versus profit as his motive. With a mission to bring enlightenment to a broken criminal justice system, Gordon and his staff operate with the goal of humanizing society’s perception of inmates while working diligently to amend discriminatory policies and outdated laws. Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent call for revisions with crack cocaine sentencing has fueled Gordon’s drive and direction. Even Holder noted that, “As the so-called ‘war on drugs’ enters its fifth decade, we need to ask whether it, and the approaches that comprise it, have been truly effective. Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.”
Gordon’s new web portal, www.gordondefense.com is unparalleled with the information, insight and resources it provides to persons facing prison time and the families that support them. In addition to updated statistics about prison population, the site offer tools and information covering a wide range of topics and questions, including Going to Prison, Food in Prison, Transfers, Drug Programs, Jobs and Education and even Religious concerns. Links to criminal justice groups, the Innocence Projects, as well as support organizations for families can also be found on the site.
Explains Gordon, “Many of our clients are individuals who have already been sentenced and have exhausted their initial appeals. They feel jaded by the system and we acknowledge this. We also recognize that many of the individuals who are in prison are there because they simply made a mistake. That mistake does not have to define them, though. Compassion and respect are proven rehabilitators. Personally, I hope to change the hearts and minds of the public, one person at a time. The only way true, systemic criminal justice reform will be effectuated in this country is when society embraces it first.”
Gordon serves as the General Counsel of Prisology, a non-profit organization that unabashedly tackles criminal justice issues. Headed alongside executive director, Brandon Sample, one of Prisology’s first projects is a website called www.bopsucks.com. The site features actual first hand accounts from federal prisoners about how the Bureau of Prison really operates. The stories and revelations are presented to impact greater public awareness of the appalling issues and conditions within the Bureau of Prisons system.
Gordon’s most compassionate offering aside from his legal services is the “Commitment to Change” college inmate scholarship project. Offered four times a year, an inmate is selected to receive free tuition and books covering one, three-credit semester college course from an accredited institution. Incarcerated participants are selected via contest entries, which have included art, poetry and writing submissions.
Gordon actually began his career as a prosecutor. He changed his focus after personally witnessing the special needs of federal prisoners. His first hand accounts of racially motivated and unjust crack cocaine penalties and the subsequent devastation upon urban communities compelled him to become part of the solution and not the problem.
Though located in a small Texas town, the impact and outreach of the law office of Jeremy Gordon is resonating on a national scale. Jeremy Gordon is determined to make society remember that prisoners are people too.
About Jeremy Gordon
Jeremy Gordon graduated from South Texas College of Law in 2006. From 2007 to 2010, Gordon worked as a prosecutor in Houston, Texas, serving as the chief prosecutor in one court. In 2010, Gordon became a prosecutor in Ellis County, Texas, and remained there for two years until going into private practice in 2012.
Gordon’s private practice focuses on federal criminal defense. Jeremy has tried over 30 cases in his legal career, worked on appeals, and handled numerous post-conviction challenges.
Support the effort at www.gordondefense.com. For more information about Prisology visit www.prisology.org and www.bopsucks.com.
Connect with the Law Offices of Jeremy Gordon on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GordonDefense .
Theodore Myles’ Christmas Angel Network Delivers Door-to-Door Trees, Fundraising Opportunity and Charity for the Holiday Season
Los Angeles – Christmastime brings the warm waft of evergreens in the air. But for anyone who has ever stacked a six-foot Fraser Fir on the roof of a car, sometimes the transporting of that wondrous pine scent can be more than challenging. With the establishment of the Christmas Angel Network (CAN), entrepreneur Theodore Myles has not only effectively tackled the transportation issue, but he has also created a method to provide holiday fundraising for charities and organizations in the process.
The Christmas Angel Network offers cost effective delivery of holiday trees door-to-door anywhere in the country. In addition, organizations, churches and charities can make use of the Christmas Angel Network Fundraiser Program by utilizing their own special Christmas Angel Network discount code on all their sales referrals and receive a percentage of the proceeds on every order.
“The holiday season is big business reaching up to 1.5 billion dollars with just fresh tree sales alone,” cites Ted. “My intention was to tap into that market and offer an effective fundraiser for charities, while at the same time providing a valuable service to the consumer. The Christmas Angel Network is able to deliver the most cost efficient and affordable door-to-door delivery service available while offering organizations and charities the opportunity to also tap into and benefit financially from the market as well!”
The Christmas Angel Network Fundraiser Program is designed to boost charitable organizations nationwide with an annual, continual stream of revenue derived from sales from the site. A free discount code is provided to each agency which stores their accumulate sales activity. At the end of the season, the number of times the code was used will determine the amount to be paid to the organization.
The Christmas Angel Network’s added benefit is that unlike most trees that are cut down in October and sit until sold, their trees are cut to order and arrive within a few days of being harvested. Therefore they have a stronger, fresher scent and last longer throughout the holiday season. The online network also offers wreaths, garlands, tree stands and decorative accessories. The vast selection of holiday décor is perfect for seasonal fundraiser opportunities.
Ted’s love affair with trees began as a youth while working on Christmas lots during the holiday season. He learned to distinguish between the varied saplings including the Noble Fir, Fraser Fir, White Pine, Balsam, and of course the Evergreen, all of which are sold via the Christmas Angel Network. The experience taught him that the right tree was just as important as the right price and led him to create the Christmas Angel Network.
Placing an online order with the Christmas Angel Network is easy and fun. Selections include trees of all sizes and varied origins. Organizations can also sign up for their own fundraising discount code. A vast grove of delectable firs await at http://www.christmasangelnetwork.net/ .
America’s First Black Female Impressionist, Sylvia Traymore Recalls Her Saturday Night Live Experience Over 30 Years Ago
Comments OffPosted in Popular PostsNov 7, 2013
Washington, D.C. – When Sylvia Traymore watched acclaimed actress Kerry Washington impersonate several characters in a comedic sketch on a recent episode of Saturday Night Life (SNL), a deep sense of overwhelm overtook her. As the first black female impressionist to emerge on the entertainment scene back in the late ’70′s and early 80′s, she vividly recalls having high hopes of performing a similar scene over 30 years ago after she first met and was hired by the show’s creator/ producer, Lorne Michaels. SNL veteran Garrett Morris had been so impressed with Traymore when she hosted Muhummad Ali’s roast at the Apollo Theater that he personally arranged the meeting with Michaels for her. The year was 1979.
As a result of that meeting, Traymore was offered a position as an associate writer at Saturday Night Live. She is one of only a very few African American women ever offered the position. With SNL currently under the media microscope for their lack of diversity per hiring women performers of color, Traymore was compelled to reflect on her SNL memories. Traymore takes us back down her SNL memory lane with the first entry of her new blog, “Saturdays with Sylvia.”
One of the first solo artist to tour with and open for powerhouse Whitney Houston, Traymore’s career in Hollywood is legendary, even if not well known. The illustrious Redd Foxx recognized her talent early on and signed her to her first management deal. She has opened for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, The Temptations and Cher and amazingly impersonates Wendy Williams, Diana Ross, Mo’Nique, Whoopi Goldberg, Nicki Manaj and First Lady Michelle Obama, to name just a few.
Traymore’s recently released memoirs, available on Amazon.com, “Almost There, Almost…The Many Faces of Sylvia Traymore Morrison” vividly recaptures her escapades in the entertainment industry. She is slated to open her new one woman show, “Come See About Me…A Fan’s Diana Ross Story,” in her hometown, Washington, D.C., at the Naval Heritage Theater on November 21.
As excepted from her blog, Traymore reminiscenses, “True to his word, Garrett and NBC sent a limousine to pick me up at my apartment and take me to the offices of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Garrett took me to Mr. Michae’s office and the three of us sat there to discuss my future with Saturday Night Live. The show was not yet the icon it is today, but was certainly on its way. I must admit I was a little nervous and excited at the same time. Other than the pageant and European television, I had not done a major TV show or even had a chance to do “Sanford & Son.” Mr. Michaels proceeded to tell me what my job would be like…”
Catch the performance art of Sylvia Traymore at www.sylviatraymore.com and for ticket information for “Come See About Me… A Fan’s Diana Ross Story,” go to http://comeseeaboutme.eventbrite.com/ . Her book ” “Almost There, Almost…The Many Faces of Sylvia Traymore Morrison” is available in paperback and as an eBook.
Leander, TX – The ‘Goddess of Aromatherapy’ and master Khamitic Yoga teacher, Het-Heru Maatkeru, has been guiding her patrons to deep dimensions of inner sanctity via the olfactory nerve for almost a decade now. Mixing mysticism and spirituality with an acute knowledge of aromatherapy her Het-Heru Chamber line holds a sacred space in the realm of scentilizing offerings that include essential oils, candles and body and hair products. With the introduction of her new divine blend, IMANI, designed to connect the wearer with their courageous self, Het-Heru has produced another exquisitely immersive experience of perfumed peace and equanimity.
IMANI, which means faith in Swahili, is a bold addition to the Het-Heru Chamber Nefer Atum Sacred Oil collection of seven magical blends. A whimsical combination of lavender, Egyptian musk, patchouli & Nag Champa essential oils, IMANI is a defiant declaration of intention bequeathing the wearer to “to live by faith and not by sight.”
An expert in the early Egyptian sciences of sensory alchemy, Het-Heru has embodied her creations as sensations to stimulate dimensions that transcend the physical aspect of existence. The Nefer Atum collection is an invasion of aromas that harken ancient memories of temples, palaces and pyramids. The oils of musk, geranium, bergamot, majmua and myrrh are just a sampling of the ingredients used to sweeten her distinctive formulas. Blended as pure concentrates with no additional additives, only a few drops are needed. By anointing the wrists, inner elbows and neck pulse points, one is blessed for the entire day, while the affirmations provided with each vial serve to sear the spirit with positivity and gentle resolve.
“It has been almost 10 years, and as the consciousness on the planet has evolved, so has the receptivity to Het-Heru’s Chamber of gifts. Yet with the increasing anxiety that is building daily in our society, I was prompted to mix the new IMANI blend. There was an experience I had recently that reminded me of the importance of hope,” reveals Het-Heru. “I received an inner message from my spirit guides that I had given up on something that I had wanted to see manifested in my life. I was reminded that the remedy for this was faith. They then prompted me to channel a new sacred oil to help us all remember this important step toward life empowerment. I am hopeful that IMANI will inspire and enhance our capacity for faith.”
In addition to the Nefer Atum Sacred Oil ensemble, the Het-Heru Chamber includes the Nefer Atum Sacred soaps and Sacred soy candles; the “28 Day Chakra Balancing Program”; and the Sacred Love, the Gye’ Nyame and the Prosperity beauty products which all include body oils and body butters.
As a true ‘Goddess of Aromatherapy,’ Het-Heru continues to lead us by the nose weaving a magical web of sensual sensations. Enter the inner sanctum of the Het-Heru Chamber at http://www.Het-Heru.com and emerge smelling like roses from a world beyond.
Comments OffPosted in Popular PostsOct 29, 2013
Los Angeles – Bernard Stanley Hoyes has vibrantly animated imaginations for over four decades now. Lauded for his keen ability to capture the radiant essence of island life on canvas, the visual master paints with fire in his brush. Italy is in for a torrid touch of the Caribbean as Hoyes joins a gathering of invited artists at the Gallery Mentana for their “International Independence” and “Light and Matter” exhibitions. “International Independence” opened last month and “Light and Matter” opens Saturday, November 2, 2013. Located in the heart of the historical center of Florence, the Gallery Mentana’s shows are a presentation displaying a collage of visual effects, including photography, mixed media and sculpture by artisans from around the world.
A cultural icon in his home of Los Angeles and the Caribbean, the invitation to exhibit in Italy is another affirmation of Hoyes’ international appeal and his ability to bridge language with the stroke of his brush. “It is indeed an honor to be invited to Italy. It fulfills my heart to know that Jamaican imagery, rooted in traditional African perspective, is embraced around the world. As a young boy growing up on the island, I never imagined that art would open so many doors for me. As one of the truest expressions of love, art has always shown itself to be a magical portal and a gateway to adventure,” expresses Hoyes.
Hoyes is exhibiting from both his “Ribbons Series” and “Revival” collections in Italy. The “Ribbon Series,” which he painted while doing a residency and exhibitions in Amsterdam, is a brilliant tapestry of color reflecting an expression of celebration that merges African Caribbean and European sensibilities. Hoyes’ iconic “Revival Series” reflects the retention and journey of African based spirituality in the Western world.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Hoyes exposure to revival cults, ceremonies and rituals planted seeds deep within that would manifest as art in his later years. His formal art studies began at Junior Art Centre at the Institute of Jamaica. At age 15 he left Jamaica for New York City. His lessons continued at the Art Students League and Vermont Academy. A heady combination of his drive to excel and the influence of the civil rights movement placed Hoyes at the helm of propelling the academy to institute social and cultural programs. Upon graduation he was the first recipient of the Frederick Stanley Art Award and saw the launching of the school’s first formal arts department. When Hoyes attended an alumnus reception some years later, to receive the Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumni Award, he felt pride in seeing the new edifice housing a formal art department. He earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts in painting and graphic design from the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
His recognition and affirmation of traditional African religion and spirituality continues to find universal appeal, stunning audiences worldwide as evidenced by his “2009 Fall Tour – Europe.” Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Cole, Steve Harvey, Keenan Ivory Wayans and the National Urban League are among his collectors. Selections of Hoyes’ work have been featured in several television shows, including the Showtime hit series, “Dexter” and movies including Chris Rock’s “I Think I Love My Wife.” President Barack Obama has even been photographed in front of his work. His craft has been fêted internationally in galleries around the world.
Hoyes’ work was displayed in Los Angels as part of the “Places of Validation, Art & Progression” exhibit organized by the California African American Museum as part of the Getty initiative “Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980″ exhibition; and he is featured in Lyn Kienholz’s coffee table New Art Encyclopedia pictorial, “L.A. Rising: SoCal Artist Before 1980,” also supported by the Getty Foundation.
His “Revival Series” made art history last year when the actual paintings were recreated on stage during an innovative theatrical production entitled “Seven Paintings, a Story in Performance,” as part of the “The Ford 2012 Dance Series” in Los Angeles.
Revel in the visual poetry that is Bernard Stanley Hoyes at http://www.bernardhoyes.com/ .
LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anna Maria Horsford, Mahira Kakkar, Issa Rae, & Tonya Lewis Lee among Honorees at BronzeLens Film Festival Women’s Superstar Luncheon
Comments OffPosted in Entertainment NewsOct 23, 2013
Atlanta, GA — The 2013 BronzeLens Film Festival’s “Women Superstars Luncheon” will roll out the red carpet for industry insiders, celebrities and aspiring filmmakers on hand to honor some of the most accomplished women of color working in the film and television industry. A coveted signature event during the five-day festival, the luncheon will take place Friday November 8, 2013, 12 noon – 2 PM at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Hosted by former television news anchor, Monica Pearson, the 2013 BronzeLens superstars are: Anna Maria Horsford (“Friday”); actress and wife of Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson ( “The Fighting Temptations”); actress, Mahira Kakkar (“Hank and Asha”); retired Coca Cola executive Ingrid Saunders Jones; producer, Issa Rae (“Awkward Black Girl”); producer and wife of Spike Lee, Tonya Lewis Lee (“The Watsons Go to Birmingham”); producer, Valerie Benning Barney (“All Star Comedy Jam,” “Eddie Griffin: Freedom of Speech”); and costumers Mabel and Shilla Benning.
“We are excited about our powerful honorees this year. These women superstars demonstrate the diverse areas where women excel in the entertainment business,” said Kathleen Bertrand, executive producer of the BronzeLens Film Festival. “Whether behind the scenes or in front of the camera, these women continue to play an integral role with films that impact our lives.”
Designed to empower, entertain and educate attendees from various film industry disciplines, students and the general public, the BronzeLens Film Festival offers an array of expert panels, workshops, domestic and international film screenings and signature events.
In addition to a Monologue Slam featuring renowned director John Singleton, festival highlights include an encore presentation of legendary casting director and producer Reuben Cannon’s, “The Producers Roundtable” a groundbreaking session that brings together high-level entertainment executives to share their strategies for producing successful film and television projects. Participating producers include Jeff Clanagan, David Talbert, Lyn Talbert and Paul Hall.
The BronzeLens Film Festival takes place November 6-10. Visit www.bronzelensfilmfestival.com for more information and registration information.
About the BronzeLens Film Festival
Founded in 2009, The BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for film and film production for people of color, and to showcasing films and providing networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers. Since its inception the BronzeLens Film Festival has evolved as one of the most comprehensive film festivals for filmmakers of color in the United States.
Sponsors of the BronzeLens Film Festival are Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Coca-Cola Company Turner, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Delta Air Lines, HBO Documentary Films, BET Networks, Georgia Pacific, The Woodruff Arts Center, AT& T, Macys, Institut Française , The Sai Sai Group, Inc., Southern Company, MHR International, Movie Magic, White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails, National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Atlanta Technical College: The Cleveland Dennard Center.
The Jenesse Center Salutes Hair Stylist to the Stars, Dr. Boogie as a Hope Angel During Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Hollywood – For years Dr. Boogie has styled the locks of Hollywood’s rich and famous, including most recently the likes of Vivica Fox, Debbie Allen and Kym Whitley. His Dr. Boogie’s Do-It-Yourself Clip-On Hairpieces and his chemical-free, organic, all natural skin and hair products are also all the rage in Tinsel Town and beyond. However, what most don’t know is that the “hair stylist to the stars” has a special clientele that he has been privately catering to for years now. They are the women seeking shelter and support from the Jenesse Center, the oldest domestic violence intervention program in South Los Angeles.
The Jenesse Center is honoring Dr. Boogie as a “Hope Angel” during October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, for his volunteer service of providing self-esteem building makeovers and glamour shot portraits to their clients as gifts. It is indeed star treatment for women who need it most.
“Dr. Boogie has made such a huge difference in the lives of Jenesse women and families. Many of our clients experience unbelievable stress and trauma from horrendous cases of battering, domestic violence and abuse. Dr. Boogie has a special magic for making the women feel loved, appreciated and yes, beautiful! We are just thrilled that he shares his gift so freely with us,” expresses Jenesse’s public relations representative, Jeanine Taylor.
Dr. Boogie’s own experience with domestic violence goes back to his childhood. He recalls how he could make relatives around him feel better when they were suffering from instances of abuse. “Often times I would see those close to me sad, hurting and crying. I would do their hair and it always seemed to help raise their spirits. I came to understand that on a very deep level, when you look good it helps you to feel better. I understand on a personal level the trials the women who come to the Jenesse Center are experiencing. Bringing a little sunshine into their lives probably makes me happier than them! I love being able to share my gift, it is honestly the best part of what I do throughout my career.”
In addition to his work at the Jenesse Center, Boogie has been busy styling OWN-TV’S Kym Whitley as well as working with Vivica Fox on her syndicated show, “Mr. Box Office” and Lifetime’s “Prank My Mom.” He is also one of Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles & Care Guide’s celebrity hair consultant experts.
Comments OffPosted in Popular PostsOct 15, 2013
Washington, D.C. – When songbird Lori Jenaire brings her sultry sophistication to Washington D.C’s famed Blues Alley, it will be an evening to remember. Dubbed Lori ‘Magic Mona’ Jenaire for her long heralded physical and tonal likeness to legendary chanteuse Phyllis Hyman, Jenaire will pay a special homage to Hyman. The soul drenched tribute will take place, Tuesday, October 29 at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Blues Alley is located at 1073 Wisconsin Ave., NW in Washington D.C. Blues Alley was known as Hyman’s favorite club to perform in. “Magic Mona,” originally from the soundtrack to the basketball movie “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh,” was one of Hyman’s most sought after songs.
Blues Alley will be Jenaire’s first appearance since a recent vocal surgery. Like many dedicated singers, including Adele, John Mayer, and Keith Urban, Jenaire has recuperated from a throat operation which left her completely voiceless during recovery. “I experienced nearly two weeks of total silence after the procedure and had to take speech therapy. I am so thrilled and thankful to be able to sing again! My return to Blues Alley is going to be a tremendous celebration. In addition to honoring the remarkable Phyllis Hyman, who was a D.C. favorite, I plan to perform some of my own originals and cover some classics.”
A Chicago native now residing in Los Angeles, Lori Jenaire has been influenced by several legendary divas, but her comparisons most often parallel her to Phyllis Hyman. An accomplished songwriter, producer and performer in her own right, Lori has three acclaimed CD’s to her credit, “Presence,” “Within Reach” and “Fruition.” Her cover of the classic “California Dreamin’” on the “Fruition” CD made waves on the Smooth Jazz charts, while her smash remix of Hyman’s “You Know How to Love Me” achieved Bullet status on the Billboard Top 20 Dance Charts and Grammy consideration. In addition to her beauty, she is often heralded for her amazing range, searing vocal ability and powerful delivery.
Phyllis Hyman, one of the most treasured vocalists in contemporary times, will come alive through Lori Jenaire’s song. Sample the aural sweetness at http://www.LoriJenaire.com and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKjnSrVzvV0 Lori Jenaire promo video
View Jenaire’s video “Angel in Uniform,” a tribute to America’s veterans and soldiers, co-written with jazz pianist Gail Jhonson at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JNe5Bx0N_E. Jenaire\'s \"Angel In Uniform\" video
From Rock Hard Tator Tots to Salad Bars, It’s National School Lunch Week and the Lunch Tray has Come a Long Way
Comments OffPosted in Non Profit NewsOct 14, 2013
by Monifa Bandele, Senior Campaign Director MomsRising.org, a national organization with over a million members across the country, advocating for the health and economic security of our families.
Remember leg warmers and when ketchup was a vegetable? Is it just me or have the 80′s been making a comeback? I can’t get the sound of my kids singing Another one Bites the Dust in the car on the way to school out of my head. When I was a kid, I sang that song too! I remember imagining someone actually eating dust, or worse, my school lunch.
National School Lunch Week also has me thinking way, way back to chocolate milk, square pizza slices (that needed a buzz saw to cut), rock hard tater tots, and a heaping side order of ketchup. Nostalgia?
I know I am dating myself, but I also vaguely remember my parents and others getting fired up about the controversial proposal about what constituted a vegetable for school lunches. It all started like this: The Ominibus Reconciliation Acts of 1980 and 1981 reduced the budget of the Federal School Lunch Program by 25 percent! So, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service issued a proposal to allow school food services directors to expand (or better yet, cheapen) which food items fit the guidelines for “vegetables”. The proposal went as far as listing pickle relish, as an example of a substitute for veggies.
Needless to say, this proposal sparked considerable outrage among parents, educators and public health officials. The most well know condiment, ketchup, became the movement’s poster child for “veggies gone bad.” Finally, the proposal to upgrade condiments into the elite realm of the vegetable food group was withdrawn before the end of 1981 and never implemented.
Its a new day! But, its a long time coming.
That incident, more than 30 years ago, gave rise to a movement that has helped to lay the groundwork for today’s huge steps forward in school nutrition. Parents have been speaking out and, all over the country state, local, and school-based polices have given rise to salad bars, school gardens, and healthier options in the lunch line. Even better, this year, new national guidelines are taking effect from coast to coast.
The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2011 has made way for lunchroom standards that require more whole grains and double the amount of fruits and vegetables! Many people thought the new guidelines would be a heavy or impossible lift for schools; but parents remained vigilant in speaking out, taking action, and letting all decision-makers know that better nutrition in schools is critical and doable. And, we were right! Last week, the USDA announced that so far 80 percent of schools are serving healthier meals that meet the upgraded nutrition standards.
Like all parents, I hope that the images of poor quality school lunches that are low on nutrition and high on fat, salt, and sugar become extinct. I’d also like to limit leg warmers to re-enactments of Flash Dance.
Renowned Radio Personality Michael Baisden Launches “One Dream One Team” Mentoring Initiative to Recruit Male Mentors for 12,000 African American Boys
Orlando, FL – When renowned radio personality Michael Baisden posted “A real man takes care of his kids no matter what the relationship is with the mother of the child,” on his Facebook page, he never anticipated the over nine million views or one million plus likes and comments he received as feedback! The overwhelming response prompted him into immediate action. A diehard advocate for mentoring since 2010 with his “One Million Mentors National Campaign to Save Our Kids” 72-city tour, Baisden has now launched a new initiative, the “One Dream One Team” Mentoring Initiative. His specific goal is to help recruit African American male mentors for the 12,000 African American boys on the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) waiting lists for a one-on-one mentor match.
A known social activist since his organizing of the 2007 Jena Six March and his work with the 2012 Trayvon Martin Rally, Baisden has always demonstrated a strong show of commitment via his actions. True to this trait, he has adopted a classroom of 28 boys at Evans High School in Orlando, Florida to spearhead the “One Dream One Team” momentum. Baisden takes time out of his busy work schedule for a mentoring session with the students weekly.
In addition, the New York Times best-selling author and motivational speaker is hosting a special “One Dream One Team” Think Tank event in Orlando on October 26 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Venue sponsorship is provided by Mr. Harris Rosen of the Tangelo Park Project and attendees will include various African American fraternities, local and national organizations, community leaders and churches. The gathering is an orchestrated effort to strategize a plan for recruiting additional qualified male mentors. The boys on the national “waiting-to-be-matched” list average 14 years in age and the goal is to have mentors for all 12,000 within a year.
This is an urgent matter and an urgent call,” cites Baisden. “Too often we are quick to criticize the behavior of our young men but are slow to step up to correct them or show them a better example. You have to see a man to be a man, the question is, what are we showing them? These young men need us desperately. It only takes one hour of your time each week to positively impact and change some young man’s life. We can’t afford to say no and we cannot ignore this issue. Their lives and yes, their futures are depending on it!”
Outside of his career as a radio personality, Michael Baisden has always mobilized around the issue of mentoring. His foundation was founded in 2005 as a non-profit organization that was formed to promote mentoring with a dedication to education, literacy and advancement in local communities. The foundation has donated half of the nearly one million dollars raised to mentoring organizations in over 70 cities nationwide with a goal to inspire caring adults to become responsible mentors. With that success “One Dream One Team” takes his personal mission even further.
Big Brothers Big Sisters acknowledged Baisden as one of its celebrity ambassadors in 2012 and presented him with The Michael Baisden Inspiration Award. The Baisden Inspiration award is now an annual honor given to individuals demonstrating consistent generosity and dedication to support the nationwide mentoring organization’s African American mentoring programs.
As a bestselling author, Baisden has always been an advocate of books and reading. His foundation has already purchased the first two books for his adopted classroom of young boys to read, “The Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodson and “The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys” by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu.
Baisden shares a passionate testimony as to how books changed his life. “In ten short years, I went from driving trains in Chicago to becoming a four time best selling author, television talk show host and a nationally syndicated radio personality. Dreams do come true,” he reveals, “and that dream for me began when I opened a book. Books change lives and I’m living proof! I look forward to instilling these young men with dreams and I’m looking for 12,000 Black men to join me and do the same.”
About Michael Baisden
Michael Baisden is a best selling author, noted speaker and undeniably one of the most influential and engaging personalities in radio history. His meteoric rise to #1 redefined radio with a syndicated show heard in nearly 100 cities with millions of listeners. As a college dropout, former Air Force Sergeant, single parent and transit worker from the south side of Chicago, he wanted his life to mean something. That opportunity came when he stepped out on faith to live his dream of becoming a writer. That courageous step resulted in five best selling books with nearly two million in print and two stage plays. He is also a TV talk show host, film producer, social activist, philanthropist and founder of The Michael Baisden Foundation with a national mentoring partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The accomplished speaker makes it a point to promote mentoring at all of his engagements. Baisden’s newest book, “Raise Your Hand If You Have Issues,” will be released in October. Join the effort on Facebook, follow on Twitter, YouTube and online at www.BaisdenLive.com .
For information on “One Dream One Team” go to
Find or Follow Michael on Facebook or Twitter: BaisdenLive
Washington, DC – Women played an integral role in the 1963 March on Washington and the civil rights movement overall, however, their story is rarely told. Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), an initiative of
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), will bring leaders together to discuss the contribution women have made – past and present – to the civil rights movement and to begin to craft a multi-ethnic women’s public policy agenda. Hosted as part of the official 50th Anniversary March on Washington Week of Activities, the women’s gathering is focused on the march themes of jobs, freedom, peace and social justice, and will be held Thursday Aug. 22, 2013, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. The discussion will be presented in three segments:
Segment 1: The Past:
Telling HerStory: An Intergenerational & Multi-Ethnic Conversation
A delegation of women leaders and participants in the 1963 March on Washington and the 60′s Civil Rights Movement will discuss how they fought and overcame gender discrimination sharing insight with women leaders of The Movement today.
Segment 2: The Present:
The Unfinished Business for Women’s Rights 50 Years Later
This panel is an intergenerational & multi-ethnic discussion among leaders to examine unfinished business of the civil rights, women’s rights and social justice movements. Women leaders will recommend public policy solutions and strategies to address current issues impacting women and girls.
Segment 3: The Future:
Visioning Conversation: What Women’s Equality Will Look Like in 2063
In small groups the women will prioritize issues and discuss organizing strategies to address key policy priorities impacting women, girls and families. Outcomes will be captured in a brief document.
Black Women’s Roundtable, the women’s initiative of NCBCP.
Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, NCBCP & Convener, BWR
Tamika Mallory, National Executive Director, NAN
Clayola Brown, President, APRI
Rev. Bernice King, CEO, The King Center
Dr. Thelma Daley, Chair, Women in the NAACPmarched in 1963]
Marian Wright Edelman- President, Children’s Defense (invited)
Christine Chen, President, Asian Pacific Islander Vote
Ingrid Saunders-Jones, Chair, National Council of Negro Women
Felicia Davis, Director, Building Green, Clark-Atlanta University
Jessica Gonzales-Rojas, Executive Director National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and co-chair of the National Coalition on Immigrant Women’s Rights
Denise Fairchild, President, Emerald Cities
Joy-Ann Reid, The Grio.com & MSNBC Contributor
Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, Author, Speaker, Radio Host & Social Entrepreneur
Terry O’Neill, President, NOW
Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., President, YWCA USA
Ellie Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation
Makani Themba, Executive Director, The Praxis Project
Karen Sees, President, Coalition of Labor Union Women
Myrlie Evers-Williams, Chair Emeritus, NAACP
Beverly Alston – attended 1963 MOW
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes at 1963 MOW (invited)
Congresswoman Donna Edwards (invited)
Congressman John Lewis (invited)
Women Leaders of The Movement: Past, Present and Future, Dialogue & Luncheon as part of the official 50th Anniversary March on Washington Week of Activities
DATE: August 22, 2013 TIME: 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW Washington, DC
Media is invited to attend. Please RSVP to Edrea Davis firstname.lastname@example.org 770.961.6200