Monday, December 31, 2007



In order to attain a measure of success, power and wealth, I shall uphold the principles of saving and investing as well as controlled spending and disciplined consumerism. I vow to fully participate in the capital markets and make a solid commitment to a program of wealth accumulation. Determination and consistency will serve as my guides, and I shall not allow external or internal forces to keep me from reaching my goals. By adjusting my course and embracing a new mandate that stresses planning, education and fortitude, I lay a strong, unbreakable foundation for the preservation and enrichment of my family, children and children's children.

I, _______________________,from this day forward, declare my vigilant and life-long commitment to financial empowerment. I pledge the following:

1. To use homeownership to build wealth

2. To save and invest 10% to 15% of my after-tax income

3. To commit to a program of retirement planning and investing

4. To engage in sound budget, credit, and tax management practices

5. To measure my personal wealth by net worth, not income

6. To be proactive and knowledgeable about investing, money management, and consumer issues

7. To provide access to programs that will educate my children about business and finance

8. To support the creation and growth of profitable, competitive black-owned enterprises

9. To use a portion of my wealth to strengthen my community

10. To ensure that my wealth is passed on to future generations

I have committed to this unwavering, personal covenant as a means of bolstering myself, my family and my community. In adopting this resolution, I intend to use all available resources, wisdom and power to gain my share of the American Dream.

Agreed and signed: _____________________ Date:______

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

NGUZO SABA (The Seven Principles)

1. Umoja (Unity) : To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) :To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) : To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.

4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) : To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

5. Nia (Purpose) : To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

6. Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

7. Imani (Faith) : To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Kwanzaa is a unique African American celebration with focus on the traditional African values of family, community responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement. Kwanzaa is neither political nor religious and despite some misconceptions, is not a substitute for Christmas. It is simply a time of reaffirming African-American people, their ancestors and culture. Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits of the harvest" in the African language Kiswahili, has gained tremendous acceptance. Since its founding in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa has come to be observed by more than18 million people worldwide, as reported by the New York Times. When establishing Kwanzaa in 1966, Dr. Karenga included an additional "a" to the end of the spelling to reflect the difference between the African American celebration (kwanzaa) and the Motherland spelling (kwanza).

Official Website:


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mychal Wynn: Educator, Author, Consultant and Motivational Speaker

Mychal Wynn is one of the world's premiere authorities on Black male achievement, school improvement planning, closing the achievement gap, and college planning.

A first generation college graduate, he and his wife created a college-bound plan that resulted in their older son's acceptance into Amherst College, the country's top-ranked liberal arts college. Their 12-year-old son is working his plan to be accepted into his top-choice school, "Yale."

While there are no guarantees, armed with the right plan, top-ranked colleges are within the reach of any student.

Published works includes:
Don't Quit
Empowering African-American Males
The Eagles who Thought They were Chickens (Teacher's Guide)
The Eagles who Thought They were Chickens (Student Workbook)
Ten Steps to Helping Your Child Succeed in School
Follow Your Dreams: Lessons That I Learned in School
Teaching, Parenting, and Mentoring Successful Black Males


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Great Debaters

Inspired by a true story, "The Great Debaters" chronicles the journey of Professor Melvin Tolson (Denzel Washington), a brilliant but volatile debate team coach who uses the power of words to shape a group of underdog students from a small African American college in the deep south into a historically elite debate team. A controversial figure, Professor Tolson challenged the social mores of the time and was under constant fire for his unconventional and ferocious teaching methods as well as his radical political views.

Source: The Great Debaters
Related Links:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Aisha's Crowning Glory


Local African-American Children’s Author Unveils Aisha's Crowning Glory
Philadelphia, PA – September 2007 – When Eloise Prescott taught in the early 1970s, she noticed that there were very few children’s books that contained pictures of African Americans. This observation encouraged her to make up stories for the children in her class, which later inspired her to write her book, Aisha’s Crowning Glory.

Eloise has introduced the public to young Aisha and the mystical ride that she and the mysterious woman who braids her hair take as she finds self-love, self-esteem and self- initiative. Aisha will ultimately learn that “The greatest gift is knowledge of who you are.”

Aisha’s Crowning Glory contains an educational supplement at the end of the book that provides parents with a methodology for reinforcing some of the material learned in the story. Children will learn more about how to set goals and achieve them, information about African history, and the significance of the Kwanzaa holiday.

Over the past year, the Council of the City of Philadelphia honored Eloise Prescott with an award for her participation in the 15th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair and for her hard work and efforts in the promotion of children’s literacy. The book was featured during the 76ers Game during Black History Month and she also did a reading during half time at the 76ers Game the following month for Women’s History Month. In addition, Aisha’s Crowning Glory was on display at the mid-Manhattan library in New York City last year as part of “The Art Collection.”

Aisha’s Crowning Glory is available through
Eloise Prescott holds a Bachelor's Degree from Temple University in Journalism. After college, she worked as a teacher in a private school called the Lotus Academy that she co-founded. She has worked in various university administration positions over the last 16 years. Originally from South Philadelphia, she resides in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania with her husband, a financial planner. They have three children; the oldest daughter is an elementary school teacher, their son is a web analyst and the youngest daughter is in a doctoral program at the University of Maryland.

Eloise is currently working on a nutritional cookbook and attending the Won Institute for Graduate Studies to study Acupuncture Medicine.


Purchase: Aisha's Crowning Glory

Contact: Eloise Prescott

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Leslie Esdaile Banks: New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author

Ms. Banks is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Wharton undergraduate program, and alumnae of Temple University’s Master of Fine Arts in filmmaking program. Ms. Banks began her career in corporate marketing for several Fortune 100 firms and worked as an executive for over a decade at Xerox, Hewlett Packard, and Digital Equipment Corporation. She then subsequently evolved her veteran marketing experience into a solid entrepreneurial career as a marketing consultant within the economic development and community-based organization environment.

In 1992, Banks added another facet to her career, entering the publishing industry. She writes under the pseudonyms; L.A. Banks, Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, and Leslie Esdaile Banks. She has won several business as well as literary awards, and has penned over 30 novels and 10 novellas in genres as diverse as romance, women’s fiction, crime suspense, and paranormal. She has contributed to magazines, newspaper columns, and has written commercial fiction for five major publishers simultaneously: St. Martin’s Press (NYC), Simon and Schuster (NYC), Kensington Publishing (NYC), BET/Arabesque (NYC), and Genesis Press (MS), now adding Parker Publishing to the list.

Banks’ writing career took a new twist in 2000 when she won the coveted contract with Paramount/Showtime in collaboration with Simon & Schuster/Pocketbooks to write a book series for the popular cable network television series, Soul Food. From there, Banks transitioned into another hot genre—the world of paranormal fiction, where she is currently penning a 12 book Vampire Huntress Legend series under the pen name, L.A. Banks, for St. Martin’s Press: “Minion,” (June 2003), “The Awakening,” (January 2004), “The Hunted,” (June 2004), and “The Bitten,” (January 2005), “The Forbidden” (July 2005), “The Damned,” released January 2006, and “The Forsaken” just released in July 2006, with additional titles to follow in 2007 thru 2008. In addition, Banks was recently signed to a St. Martin’s Press inspired paranormal romance anthology, entitled, “Stroke of Midnight,” contributing with Sherrilyn Kenyon, Amanda Ashley, and Lori Handeland, which hit the New York Times Bestseller extended list in 2004, Her story within that anthology, “Make It Last Forever,” tells of the back story of one of the key Guardians in her Vampire Huntress Legend series (Jack Rider), and how he joined the Guardian team. She has also contributed short stories to “My Big Fat Paranormal Wedding,” and “Love At First Bite” – both St. Martin’s speculative fiction anthologies. Look for a hot new werewolf series from Banks via St. Martin’s in 2007 as well.

She has also worked with other horror anthology collections, Dark Dreams I and Voices From The Other Side for Kensington Publishing. Her most recent project is the novelization of the movie, Scarface, for DH Press (under pen name, L.A. Banks), which takes a look at the main character’s life (Tony Montana) two years before he emigrated from Cuba to American in 1978. That novel will be released in March/April 2006. Currently she is working on the second book in that series.


Friday, November 30, 2007


The G-Unity Foundation is a public foundation that will provide grants to nonprofit organizations that focus on improving the quality of life for low-income and underserved communities.


The major goals of The G-Unity Foundation include:

* Emphasizing the critical importance of supporting academic institutions;
* Supporting nonprofit organizations that focus on the academic enrichment of a child, and
* Supporting after school activities.

Board of Directors

Curtis J. Jackson, III "50 Cent"
Christopher C. Lloyde, Jr. p/k/a "Lloyd Banks"
Marvin Bernard p/k/a "Tony Yayo"
David Darnell Brown p/k/a "Young Buck"
Chris Lighty
Theodor K. Sedlmayr, Esq.
Bruce Seckendorf, CPA

For more information on grants made by the Foundation, please visit our Grant History page.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

How Master P is helping to change the inner city.

By Mike Winslow
Hip-Hop mogul Percy "Master P" Miller continues his charitable efforts, revealing that he will be building and expanding P. Miller Youth Centers in impoverished cities in the United States.

According to Miller, he is opening a number of P. Miller Youth Centers, which will include a gymnasium and a library at each center.

The mogul will start in New Orleans and then open P. Miller Youth Centers in Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles.

“Our goal is take kids off the streets, provide education, financial literacy, and hope for a real future," Master P said of the centers. "We want our kids to pick up a book or a ball and put down the guns. It is time to save our kids… let’s give them a better vision."

Master P, who was recently named NAACP Youth Ambassador by Julian Bond, the Executive Director of the NAACP, has sold over 75 million CDs and is the father of actor/rapper Romeo, as well as the older brother of rappers C-Murder and Silkk The Shocker.

The mogul recently released his first book Guaranteed Success, which reveals his rise to the top and what it takes to make it in business.

He also runs Take A Stand Records, a profanity free record label co-owned by his son Romeo.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Multi-Platinum Rap Artist Jay-Z to Donates His Proceeds From Denver Concert to Families of the Victims of Columbine High School Shooting


Hard Knock Life Tour mate DMX Also to Contribute His Profits

of April 27 Denver Coliseum Show

Multi-platinum rap artist Jay-Z has announced that he will donate his proceeds from last night's Hard Knock Life concert at the Denver Coliseum to the families of the Columbine High School shooting victims.

DMX, a featured act on the tour, has pledged his profits from the night's show as well.

After hearing of the tragedy last week, the rappers realized that the tour was heading right to Denver, stopping at the Coliseum on April 27, and decided immediately to help the affected families in the most direct way possible. Their donation is also meant to be a symbolic gesture, a demonstration of support from the hip hop community.

Jay-Z has sold over 4 million copies of his current album, Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life (Roc-A-Fella Records). His current tour is the most successful hip hop tour to date, selling out in every venue, and featuring acts such as Redman, Method Man and DJ Clue.

For further information, please contact: Gabrielle Peluso, director of Publicity at 212/229-5222, Lauren Murphy, senior vice president of National Media & Artist Relations at 212/333-8511, or Jolyn Matsumuro, senior director of Media & Artist Relations at 310/288-5378.

COPYRIGHT 1999 Business Wire
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Give One Get One
Between November 12 and November 26, OLPC is offering a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. This is the first time the revolutionary XO laptop has been made available to the general public. For a donation of $399, one XO laptop will be sent to empower a child in a developing nation and one will be sent to the child in your life in recognition of your contribution. $200 of your donation is tax-deductible (your $399 donation minus the fair market value of the XO laptop you will be receiving).

For all U.S. donors who participate in the Give One Get One program, T-Mobile is offering one year of complimentary HotSpot access. Find out more.

Please be aware that we will make every effort to deliver the XO laptops by the holidays, but quantities are limited. Early purchasers have the best chance of receiving their XO laptops in time for the holidays, but we cannot guarantee timing.

Please review our terms and conditions.
Only for US and Canadian residents

Give One - Get One

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

RUSH Communications: Empowerment

Russel Simmons

"Everything my companies have done is based in hip-hop culture, whether it is Def Jam, Phat Farm, or Def Comedy Jam. It is done with attention to the subtlety of marketing hip-hop on a global scale. I think it's something we're very good at. My whole career has been about cultivating, understanding and expanding this core audience for hip-hop culture and then watching the impact ripple out to the mainstream." -- Russell Simmons

RUSH Communications

Welcome to Rush Communications! Founded in 1991 by Russell Simmons, CEO of Hip-Hop, entrepreneur and cultural icon.


We know we can do better. At RUSH Communications, we're committed to providing tools and create opportunities. When our communities are strong so are we. Through educational, financial, philanthropic and creative programming we are there to enhance lives through personal growth.

The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) is dedicated to harnessing the cultural relevance of Hip-Hop music to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the empowerment of youth. HSAN is a non-profit, non-partisan national coalition of Hip-Hop artists, entertainment industry leaders, education advocates, civil rights proponents, and youth leaders united in the belief that Hip-Hop is an enormously influential agent for social change.

Rush Philanthropic
Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to under-represented artists and artists of color.

RUSH / Baby Phat Card
The road to financial empowerment begins with the right tools. Our pre-paid debit card helps empower consumers to get on the right track towards sound financial management.

UniRush is in the business of empowering consumers. The Pre-Paid Visa RushCard and Pre-Paid Visa Baby Phat RushCard are designed to provide access and financial empowerment to consumers without traditional banking relationships.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Jay-z Joins The U.N.

In partnership with the United Nations and MTV, Jay-Z shares his experiences in the documentary "The Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life". The film will be aired worldwide, starting on November 24 at MTV USA and will be available at MTV’s website. It is a joint effort to get young people involved in the world's water crisis. Struck by the sight of children playing near open sewers in an Angolan slum, rap star Jay-Z thought back to life in the "hood" — the poor neighborhood where he grew up – exclaiming: "In my business, we like to say we're from the hood, we're not in the hood. By no means. Not even close."


Additional Information:§ionid=137

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Raising kids harder than KOing foes for Alexander

By Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports
November 1, 2007

Houston Alexander chuckles and begs you not to make him out to be Superman.

After carefully examining the facts, though, you arrive at the inescapable conclusion that Superman is the perfect nickname for the fast-rising UFC light heavyweight contender.

And no, it's not because of his two knockout victories in his first two UFC fights, which took a combined one minute and 49 seconds, though his victims, Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara, may be buying into the Superman hype a bit at this point.

And neither is it because of his ability to bench press as much as 450 pounds, or more than twice his body weight, because being a star weight lifter is no guarantee of success as a mixed martial arts fighter.

Alexander, who faces his biggest challenge on Nov. 17 at UFC 78 in Newark, N.J., when he meets Thiago Silva, earns the Superman moniker every day as the single parent of six children.

Taking care of six children between the ages of 5 and 16 is a big enough job for a small squadron of adults. For a guy who has emerged as one of the world's elite light heavyweights, with all the training and business demands that entails, to also be able to cook and clean around the house each day is super hero kind of stuff.

Cooking, cleaning and beating people up makes for a full day.

Admittedly, though, the image of one of mixed martial arts' baddest men pushing a vacuum cleaner and cleaning a toilet is priceless.

"But you tell all those UFC fans, they come to my house and they'll see me pushing that vacuum," he says, laughing. "I'm no different than they are. I have to clean the house, too."

He's already begun to clean house at 205 pounds, one of the UFC's deepest divisions. Alexander made his UFC debut in May, when he took a bout against Jardine on short notice.

At the time, it looked like Jardine was moving inexorably toward a title shot and there was a lot of backlash about the UFC selecting a guy precious few had heard of as his opponent.

Looking back, the hubbub seems ridiculous, but Alexander said he understood the concern.

"They didn't know me," Alexander said of the UFC's fan base. "Keith fought on TV (on the UFC's reality series, The Ultimate Fighter, on Spike TV) and he was well known. There was a way of doing things, where if you beat this guy then you fought that guy type of thing.

"But to a lot of the people, I came out of nowhere. I didn't, really, and I never doubted that I would win that fight. But because people didn't know who I was or what I was capable of doing, they sort of doubted me."

Alexander then went out and caught Jardine with a combination that made a sound so loud it resonated like the casino implosions that have occurred up and down the Las Vegas Strip.

It took only 48 seconds and Alexander was the winner.

"You do that and then all of a sudden, things change a lot for you," Alexander said. "The thing that pleased me, I got another fight (in the UFC)."

And though it took longer, this time, Alexander put those extra 13 seconds to good use. He pulverized Sakara at UFC 75 in London, making the battle of strikers essentially a one-man show.

He returns at UFC 78 with a potential 2008 title shot looming if he can get past Silva. And though Silva is 10-0 and was impressive in defeating Tomasz Drwal at UFC 75, he's facing a totally different type of opponent.

He attacks with a ferocity rarely seen in the fight game.

"If this guy is to beat me, he has to be a terror," Alexander said.

He's seen all kinds in his lengthy fighting career, much of which was completed in obscurity in small towns around the Midwest.

Alexander figures he has around 40 wins, though his official record has him at just 8-1. But regardless of whether the missing fights were non-sanctioned or amateur bouts, they were fights just the same and provided Alexander with the experience to be able to take on the likes of world-class fighters such as Jardine and Sakara.

And though his future will in large part ride upon how he performs against Silva, it's not causing him to lose so much as a wink of sleep.

"Pressure is raising six kids by yourself," Alexander said. "That's pressure. As far as fighting, I'm 35. I've got a lot of fights. However you want to categorize those fights I had, there still was someone standing across from me intending to hurt me. You learn from those – or at least you try – and after you've had a few, you don't feel any pressure.

"My pressure comes from wanting to do the right thing for my kids. I want them to have the best life possible. And there is so much work that has to be done. Fighting is just a job. Kids are work, believe me when I tell you that. You want pressure, that's pressure."

Kevin Iole covers boxing and mixed martial arts for Yahoo! Sports. Send Kevin a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fight To Learn: Rodney Moore

The "Fight To Learn" Program is Founded by the President/C.E.O. Rodney Moore, former professional welter wt. Boxing Champ and 2-time Boxing Hall of Famer.

The Fight to Learn After School Program provides a safe space and structured activities during non-school hours so children can learn and grow.

Our objective is to have 75% of the young people stay with Fight To Learn for the full contract period, thus one of the chief evaluation tools will be participant retention. In addition, we will continually solicit feedback from the participants, their parents, and their teachers to evaluate the success of the program and determine how it can improve.

Our goal is to expand the Fight to Learn Program throughout the Philadelphia area. Once established, the vision is to became a national organization. Our objective is to affect the lives of many children in a beneficial way and to help break the cycles of drug addiction, illiteracy, and incarceration.

Source: Fight To Learn

More About Rodney Moore

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ben Wallace joins the 'Starbury' movement

Stephon Marbury started it. Now, Ben Wallace is joining the cause.

Wallace is lending his name to the Starbury Movement, endorsing an affordable line of sneakers and apparel started by the New York Knicks’ star. Wallace will begin wearing the Starbury II basketball shoe Thursday when the Chicago Bulls play his former team, the Detroit Pistons. And his own sneaker — Big Ben — is expected to hit the market in late August or the fall.

“Kids don’t really understand what it takes to go out and buy a pair of $300 pair of shoes,” Wallace said at a news conference on Tuesday. “We don’t understand the pressure we put on our parents when we’re growing up. This is one of the things where I think the parents will appreciate it a lot more than the kids right now because it eliminates so much stress from the parents. All parents want to see their kids have nice things.”

Launched a year ago, the Starbury line is expanding from 50 products to 200 — nearly all available for $14.98 or less at Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear. It includes a joggers shoe, skater shoe, casual shoe, gym shoe, woven shirts, jackets, jeans, T-shirts, shorts, hats and other accessories.

At a time when youngsters feel pressure to wear expensive brands of shoes and clothing and are even being killed for what’s on their feet, Marbury and Wallace are trying to provide an alternative.

“Once parents and their kids begin to see that other pro athletes are getting down with this, then it just makes a world of difference,” Marbury said in a phone interview. “It’s not just one person doing it. Other people are wearing the shoes. Other people are putting their feet inside of shoes that they’re saying are cheap.”

Marbury and Wallace are not paid to endorse the products. Instead, they earn royalties on sales.

Marbury and representatives from Steve & Barry’s started developing the line after discussing it over dinner about a year-and-a-half ago, while Wallace joined in about four months ago.

Marbury said adding the four-time defensive player of the year “gives the brand some credibility,” and he plans to get more players involved. He hopes that, in turn, will help spread the word to children and their parents — that there are good, cheaper alternatives. Alternatives he wishes were available when he was younger.

Growing up on Coney Island in Brooklyn, Marbury couldn’t afford the top brands. So he wore “everything. No specific shoe.”

For Wallace, it was a steady flow of hand-me-downs.

The 10th of 11 children and the youngest of eight boys, he grew up poor in White Hall, Ala. He knows he had shoes, but which brands? He couldn’t say.

But with the Starbury line and the Big Ben sneaker coming out, there are more opportunities.

Although the shoes are inexpensive, Marbury and Wallace said they’re as durable as the more expensive brands.

“If you were to cut this in half, there’s absolutely no difference between this and the most expensive sneakers on the market,” Steve & Barry’s spokesman Howard Schacter said, holding a red, white and blue Starbury II. “This provides arch support, a reinforced heal. It really is the same deal, and what Ben and Steph are wearing on court is exactly the same shoe.”

Marbury said: “It’s not that they’re cheap; they’re just affordable. Now, as we begin to sign more players, kids won’t feel that burden.”

Wallace acknowledged he had doubts, but they went away once he tried a few pairs.

“They last just as long as any other pair,” he said. “I hope people do realize that regardless of how much you do pay for a pair of sneakers, eventually they are going to wear (out) somewhere.”

The Associated Press News Service

Click Here For Video


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Maurby's Starbury

For years, high-end basketball shoes, especially those endorsed by NBA stars, have been the ultimate status symbol for inner-city kids. Often priced in excess of $100, the shoes are unaffordable for many, which results in kids being robbed, beaten, and even killed for their sneakers. While few pro athletes have addressed this issue, New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury, who grew up in the hardscrabble Brooklyn projects, has tackled the problem head-on with an initiative on affordable athletic shoes. Correspondent Bernard Goldberg examines this disturbing trend and profiles one athlete's campaign in this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration.

Source: HBO: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel - Stories - Marbury's Starburys

Oprah Winfrey Highlights - Starbury Sneakers

Starbury Snearker's

Store Locator

Friday, October 5, 2007

`Oh my God, you're Allen Iverson.'

The college student was driving on Interstate 64 from Newport News to Hampton. It was after midnight, and Eileen Mellon was reaching toward the cup slot to her right, where she had tucked away her cell phone. She was pulling onto an exit ramp. She saw heavy construction cones and swerved. Her friend in the passenger seat screamed. The car flipped three times and landed on its side.And that was how, roughly six weeks ago, Mellon and Ashlee Skweres met Allen Iverson.``I turned the car off,'' recalled Mellon, who attends Roanoke College; Skweres attends Old Dominion University. ``I just figured I should do that. We were fine. And then there was someone knocking on the window, asking if we were all right. He told us to roll down the window. I had to turn the car back on. He pulled Ashlee out. I looked up and said, `Oh my God, you're Allen Iverson.' He got us out.

``By then, an ambulance came. They checked us and suggested we go to the hospital. Ashlee went. I waited for my mom.''It was all so fast, so surreal. It was enough for a friend, April Snoparsky, who has Philadelphia roots, to write a letter to the Philadelphia Daily News. She's an Iverson fan. All three girls are. Snoparsky wanted people to know about Iverson's rescue effort, that there was more than controversy to the former 76ers star.Iverson, who grew up in Hampton, said he was with some friends on I-64 ``on our way to see my uncle's house.''``I feel good that they're appreciative,'' Iverson said in a telephone conversation during a break in the Denver Nuggets' training camp. ``I look at it as just being a human being. They needed help. People have helped me.''Iverson said he hadn't thought about the situation ``in a while.''He said he had been unaware that it had become public knowledge until he was informed by his personal manager, Gary Moore. He hadn't seen Snoparsky's letter until Tuesday.``I just saw the car on the left side of the road,'' he told the Rocky Mountain News this week. ``It was crashed all up. You could see all the glass and stuff in the street from the wreck. The car was smoking. I was like, `We've got to go see what's up with these people.'``Both of them said they were all right. One of them (Mellon), her seat belt was still on. I remember looking in there and asking, `Are you sure you're all right? Is anything broken or anything like that?' One of them looked up and said, `Oh my God, are you Allen Iverson?' I was like, `Yeah, but don't worry about that. We're trying to get you all out and make sure you're all right.'''Pulled to safety, Iverson saw the girls suddenly realize the severity of the moment.``When they got out of the car and looked at (it), that's when both of them lost it,'' he said. ``They realized what it could have been. That's a scary sight. You can be in a car and be all right, but when you get out and look at the damage done, you're like, `It could have been so much worse.' ``Iverson said some other cars had pulled over to offer assistance, but when the police arrived ``they said they had everything under control.''``I've seen accidents before, but usually you see police, fire trucks,'' Iverson said Tuesday. ``Nine times out of 10, the people are getting assistance. Here, I didn't see anybody. I saw a car parked (nearby) on the grass, with the (headlights) shining, but I didn't see anybody.''Iverson said that one of his friends later stopped at the hospital to check on the situation. He said he had not had contact with either of the girls since the accident.``It was kind of crazy, to be rescued by someone of that nature,'' Mellon said. ``He didn't have to stop.''But Snoparsky, a 2005 graduate of Trinity College now living in Vermont, felt compelled to let people know what Iverson had done.``I'm a huge Iverson fan,'' Snoparsky said. ``I think people just don't hear enough about the good side of him.''As for Mellon and her cell phone, ``I was in the car one day and thought about sending a text message. I waited until I got home.''

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

4 Years of College for Free

The mission of the Call Me MISTER (acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) National Initiative is to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader more diverse background particularly among the State’s lowest performing elementary schools. Student participants are largely selected from among under-served, socio-economically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities.

The Call Me MISTER program is contributing to the talent pool of excellent teachers by identifying and supporting students like Mr. Mark Joseph (shown here), who are literally “touching the future” by teaching children. Mark’s teaching degree was made possible through the Call Me MISTER program.
Please forward to anyou know who could benefit from this wonderful opportunity. Do you know any Black Males (who are Seniors in high school) who want to go to college for FREE. These black colleges are looking for future Black Male Teachers and will send them to Universities/Colleges FOUR (4) YEARS FREE; THIS IS FOR MALES ONLY.
1. Have parents fill out this application.
2. Read the Mission Statement: There are Ten (10) different South Carolina Colleges and Universities including:

Benedict College Claflin University Clemson University Morris College South Carolina State University Greenville Technical College Midlands Technical College Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Tri-County Technical College Trident Technical College 3.

Send this to your family and friends also.

The web link is below:

Sunday, September 30, 2007

10 Ways To Uplift The African American Community

There are a few things that Blacks can give to themselves, which will continue to give throughout the year, making us a stronger, more unified and powerful people.

Top Ten Gifts Blacks Can Give Themselves:

1. A Black Women's Rights Movement. My sisters, the women's rights movement duped you into thinking that it was for you, but it was not. It was for white women and you were pimped. If you want a real revolution, create a Black Women's Rights Movement and many of your brothers will be first in line. Black women have been speaking about their rights and talking about Black men as their oppressors, which is ridiculous. Oppression is a product of power, and quite frankly, Black people in this nation have not exercised power in any intrinsic manner since the 1960's. Let's exercise our creativity (Kuumba) and create something that will benefit us all.

2. A Million Man (And Woman) Investment Club. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan made history with the Million Man March, but I propose we bring one million Black men and women together to invest ten dollars each in one company. It's too easy to do. That's ten million dollars and that is empowerment and reflective of Ujamaa (cooperative economics).

3. Black Love. We hear the song "Give Love On Christmas Day," and we like it, so why not give that love to ourselves as a people? Tell someone you love them and then turn around and show someone that you love them. Finally, look for ways each day to demonstrate your love for yourself as a Black person. For a list of things to love about us, refer to my Top Ten List Of Things To Love About Being Black (

4. Black Pride. There are a plethora of things to be proud of as a member of the most oppressed race in the world, and we need to focus on those things every day to spread the feeling of pride that will allow us to move forward in the new millennium with faith in ourselves, reflective of Imani (Faith).

5. Black Unity. How can any of us progress and feel good about it, when so many of us are not progressing? Our gift to ourselves should be to care for the least of us, so that we can all move onward and upward together. This is reflective of Umoja (Unity).

6. Peace in the streets. There are many brothers in the streets working for peace among the warring gang factions across the nation and they need the support of the entire community. You can talk about how bad it is in the streets, or you can find out what you need to do to make it better. I don't want to talk about peace in the Middle East until there is peace in the Black community. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

7. Self-Awareness. My gift to my people would be to make them aware of the most critical issues facing us, and then to focus on those things without being confused by politics of religion, class, sex or political parties. I would also give them the gift of history, so that we could remain mindful of whence we came. If you know where you came from, you can more easily determine where you are going. This is reflective of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination).

8. Mutual Support. As a people, we have everything we need to manufacture, distribute, buy and sell the goods and services we seek from others. If each of us supports another of us, we can begin to recycle Black dollars and resources more productively.

9. A good conversation. Many of us just need someone to talk to who will listen and understand. Let's stop talking at or about each other and start talking to each other.

10. A collective consciousness. Today, many of us scoff at the idea of most of us coming together for common purposes (Nia), but no matter what the socio-economic differences, we are still all the same people with the same challenges and the same work lying before us. This is also reflective of Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility.

Source: Black Monday

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Chrysler 300: Designed by Howard University Graduate

Ralph Gilles: How To Create Cool Cars

“So, how does it feel to be a suit?”

And with that question, Ralph Gilles, the man who is undoubtedly the reigning rock star of U.S. car designers, a man who is lauded far and wide for his design of the breakthrough Chrysler 300, stares back with incredulity, arrayed as he is in something of a designer’s uniform, the obligatory black (sports jacket) on black (shirt) on black (trousers) on black (shoes), with nary a tie in sight. “A what?!?”

The man behind the design of the Chrysler 300 has been raised to the level of suitdom, but his approach remains completely authentic, which is particularly important given that his purview is now in the extremely important Jeep and truck categories.
“Well, you know, a suit—an executive—after all, you’re the vp of Jeep/Truck and Component Design for Chrysler Group. An exec. A suit.”


This isn’t going so well. Gilles is not in the least bit happy with this characterization. He’s been with the company since ’92 when he joined the Design Office as a designer, the year he received a BSc from the Center [now “College”] of Creative Studies in Detroit. In the following years he has been a manager (’98), senior manager (’99), and then director (’01) in the Design Office. In ’05 he was named director of the Truck Exterior/Interior Design Studio before quickly getting his present position. A meteoric rise for a man who turned 36 in January.

“A suit!”

Well, I guess that characterization is belied by not only what he’s actually wearing, but also what appears to be a Little Tikes TotSports Golf Set* he has in his office in the Chrysler Technology Center. He’d been told that people at his level are expected to play golf—well, suits do, anyway—so . . .

One of the things that Gilles emphasizes about the way work is done at Chrysler is that it is not the individual, but the team that matters. The entire group of people who are responsible for transforming ideas into sheetmetal. Simply stated: “One designer by himself with the greatest sketch in the world won’t mean a hill of beans if he doesn’t have the engineering people and the management behind him.”

He cites, for example, the experience that he’d had with the 300. He explains that about two years prior to his receiving the brief to develop the vehicle’s design, people were working on the vehicle, defining what the vehicle was to be. Fundamentally: “A V8-powered, rear-drive, five-passenger luxury sedan.” About which Gilles says, “In that lies the design of the 300. The idea of the car was already there.” Of course, that’s sort of like a sculptor who is presented with a block of marble and can “see” the finished work within.

But he points out that there are some key design drivers defined by those words: because it was to be a V8-powered vehicle, there needed to be a hood of certain dimensions. Because it was to be a five-passenger car, there needed to be a certain proportional area. Because it was to be a luxury vehicle, it required a classic silhouette.

But then, of course, Gilles needed the support of the executives in the organization to approve his approach as well as the support of the engineers who would be tasked with transforming the design into an automobile. (He observes that so far as he is concerned, the actual manufactured 300 is better looking than the 2003 concept car.)

This, of course, leads to a question of, simply, How? How do you get people to go beyond the ordinary, the expected? After all, there are cars that can be defined as “V8-powered, rear-drive, five-passenger luxury sedans” that don’t hold a candle to the 300. So how does Chrysler get the next one (or in the case of Gilles’ new position, the next Dodge Ram)? His simple answer: “Empower them. Support them.” Which are key things that he must do, now that he is in a position where he is no longer on the screen designing. He amplifies: “A beautiful part about Chrysler is the culture. Since this company’s been around it’s been a bit of an underdog culture, a scrappy, risk-taking culture.”

There is also an awareness of what it takes to be competitive in a market where there are a seemingly never-ending flow of new products to market: “Everyone does a decent product. So why would someone buy a Chrysler versus any other? It has to have an element of passion. I think the passion comes through loud and clear on a lot of our products because of the energy that starts at the design table—and obviously the engineers understood it because they did the layout. The end user can feel it.” All for one and one for all.

*It actually isn’t a bona fide Little Tikes set, but it is far closer to one, say, than anything that would come, say, from Callaway.
But there is another element to Chrysler’s history and its culture, which is a certain frugality. In other words, people within the company understand that they must be cost sensitive when they do their jobs. So how does that affect design? It could to a considerable extent, Gilles admits, but then goes on to explain that making their designs both possible and practical are computer-aided tools such as simulation. As he puts it, “When you have to invest cubic dollars into a tool, you might play it safe unless you have the data that says it’s OK to take this risk.” As an example of making something possible, he references the comparatively small windows on the 300, which he admits “was a tough one.” The question was whether they’d be found acceptable by the market. “We were able to show our management that the aesthetic pulls the car away from the crowd and makes the vehicle distinctive, sporty, and more interesting.” The simulation allowed the executives to see the way the car would look before it was actually built with some of the aforementioned stacks of cash.

This leads to another example, one that goes to the point of practicality or produce-ability. “In the old days we might have said that we’d calm a fender form down, take a radius out to simplify the design.” They’d be inclined to be more cautious because the only way they’d really understand what they had would be to create a stamping die and produce the actual part. But now they’re able to make the assessment while the design is in virtual form.

Providing simulation with the level of props that Gilles’ own design chops have been lauded with, he remarks, “Cars are approaching almost a conceptual look because of this technology.”

A suit? Maybe in position. Certainly not in practice.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

America 's High Tech "Invisible Man"

" America 's High Tech "Invisible Man"

You may not have heard of Dr. Mark Dean. And you aren't alone. But almost everything in your life has been affected by his work.

See, Dr. Mark Dean is a Ph.D. from Stanford University . He is in the National Hall of Inventors. He has more than 30 patents pending. He is a vice president with IBM. Oh, yeah. And he is also the architect of the modern-day personal computer. Dr. Dean holds three of the original nine patent s on the computer that all PCs are based upon. And, Dr. Mark Dean is an African American.

So how is! it that we can celebrate the 20th anniversary of the IBM personal computer without reading or hearing a single word about him? Given all of the pressure mass media are under about negative portrayals of African Americans on television and in print, you would think it
would be a slam dunk to highlight someone like Dr. Dean.

Somehow, though, we have managed to miss the shot. History is cruel when it comes to telling the stories of African Americans. Dr. Dean isn't the first Black inventor to be overlooked Consider John Stanard, inventor of the refrigerator, George Sampson, creator of the clothes dryer,
Alexander Miles and his elevator, Lewis Latimer and the electric lamp.
All of these inventors share two things:

One, they changed the landscape of our society; and, two, society relegated them to the footnotes of history. Hopefully, Dr. Mark Dean won't go away as quietly as they did. He certainly shouldn't. Dr. Dean helped start a Digital Revolution that created people like Microsoft's Bill Gates and Dell Computer's Michael Dell. Millions of jobs in information technology can be traced back directly to ! Dr. Dean.

More important, stories like Dr. Mark Dean's should serve as inspiration for African-American children. Already victims of the "Digital Divide" and failing school systems, young, Black kids might embrace technology with more enthusiasm! if they knew someone like Dr. Dean already was leading the way.

Although technically Dr. Dean can't be credited with creating the computer -- that is left to Alan Turing, a pioneering 20th-century English mathematician, widely considered to be the father of modern computer science -- Dr. Dean rightly deserves to take a bow for the machine we use today. The computer really wasn't practical for home or small business use until he came along, leading a team that developed the interior architecture (ISA systems! s) that enables multiple devices, such as modems and printers, to be connected to personal compu ters.

In other words, because of Dr. Dean, the PC became a part of our daily lives. For most of us, changing the face of society would have been enough. But not for Dr. Dean.. Still in his early forties, he has! a lot of inventing left in him.

He recently made history again by leading the design team responsible for creating the first 1-gigahertz processor chip.. It's just another huge step in making computers faster and smaller. As the world congratulates itself for the new Digital Age brought on by the personal computer, we need to guarantee that the African-American story is part of the hoopla surrounding the most stunning technological advance the world has ever seen.. We cannot afford to let Dr. Mark Dean become a footnote in history. He is well worth his own history book.

Source: Tyrone D. Taborn

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Salome Thomas-EL: I Choose To Stay

Teacher Salome Thomas-EL first learned he had been promoted and transferred to another school in November of 1997. He had been a teacher at Roberts Vaux Middle School in Philadelphia’s inner city since 1989. The promotion came because he had not only helped to improve morale and discipline at his school, but he had taught children to play chess—they went on to win local and national competitions. Besides a $20,000 raise, he would have authority to make changes and greater opportunities to influence a larger number of students.

He turned down the promotion.

“I can’t leave my students,” he said. “What happens if they come in on Monday and I’m not here? They’ll say ‘He left because of the money,’ and I don’t want them to think that way. I’m the only male role model these kids have. I want them to know at least one black male who is committed to staying.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger was so impressed by Thomas-EL during a visit in 1999 that he “came bahhhk” in 2000. His foundation awarded the school a $20,000 grant.

Inspiring and warmly human, Salome Thomas-EL is a true hero. His lecture, “I Choose to Stay: A Teacher’s Fight for America’s Inner City Schools” is moving and full of hope, and proves beyond a doubt that a commitment to teaching in the public schools can result in excellence and success for children most of society has abandoned.

A doctoral student at Nova Southeastern University, Salome Thomas-EL is the author of the bestsellers, I Choose to Stay and The Immortality of Influence.

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Millionaire at the age of 14 - Dr. Farrah Gray

Dr. Farrah Gray Biography Celebrity Entrepreneur,
Philanthropist, Bestselling Author and Syndicated Columnist

Dr. Farrah Gray was named as one of the most influential Black men in America by the National Urban League's Urban Influence Magazine. At 21 years old, he was recognized by Ebony Magazine as an entrepreneurial icon, business mogul and best-selling author. Raised in the impoverished South side of Chicago, Dr. Gray defied the odds and became a self-made millionaire by the age of 14. At the age of 21, he became Dr. Farrah Gray, receiving an Honorary Doctorate degree of Humane Letters from Allen University. This was in recognition of his ingenious economic mind and distinguished commitment to the development of values such as leadership, integrity and scholarship. In his rise from poverty to national and international prominence as an entrepreneurial icon and pre-eminent power speaker, Dr. Gray has inspired millions around the world.

He is also a syndicated columnist with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) federation of 200 weekly newspapers and more than 15 million readers. As an AOL Money Coach, Dr. Gray gives advice to millions of AOL subscribers daily. Dr. Gray addresses more than half a million people per year on leadership, personal development, diversity, strategic planning, creativity, business development and financial management. At the age of 22, he has achieved more than many achieve in a lifetime.

Since his first interview at 11 years old on KVBC Channel 3, Gray has become a celebrity, featured in thousands of print, magazine, radio and television media including The NBC reality show Starting Over, 20/20, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, The Montel Williams Show, Tom Joyner Show, The Tavis Smiley Show, CNBC, BET, NBC, FOX, CBS, NPR, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

Dr. Gray began his entrepreneurial, personal and civic development as a stellar young citizen at six years old selling home-made body lotion and his own hand-painted rocks as book-ends door-to-door. At age seven, he was carrying business cards reading "21st Century CEO." At eight, Gray became co-founder of Urban Neighborhood Enterprise Economic Club (U.N.E.E.C.) on Chicago's South side. U.N.E.E.C. was the forerunner of New Early Entrepreneur Wonders (NE2W), the flagship organization he opened on Wall Street. NE2W enlisted, educated and engaged "at-risk" youth by creating and developing legal ways for them to acquire additional income. Gray is the youngest person to have an office on Wall Street.

Between the ages of 12 and 16 years old, Dr. Gray founded and operated business ventures that included KIDZTEL pre-paid phone cards, the One Stop Mail Boxes & More franchise and The Teenscope "Youth AM/FM" interactive teen talk show, Gray was also Executive Producer of a comedy show on the Las Vegas Strip and owner of Farr-Out Foods, "Way-Out Food with a Twist," aimed at young people with the company's first Strawberry-Vanilla syrup product. Farr-Out Foods generated orders exceeding $1.5 million.

As a pre-teen, Gray reached 12 million listeners and viewers every Saturday night as co-host of "Backstage Live," a syndicated television and radio simulcast in Las Vegas. Gray's inspirational spirit and grounded personality sparked speaking requests from organizations around the country. Dr. Gray's sense of social responsibility motivated him to create the non-profit organization, The Farrah Gray Foundation. Among other programs and initiatives, his foundation focuses on inner city community-based entrepreneurship education and provides scholarship & grant assistance for students from at-risk backgrounds to attend HBCU's (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Dr. Gray donates his honorariums from speaking engagements (which can be upwards of $15,000) and the proceeds of his book to his foundation in what he refers to as his "self-imposed" youth tax.

Dr. Gray's work did not remain under the radar-screen for long. He was given a three-year term on the Board of Directors of United Way of Southern Nevada at the age of 15 and also became the youngest member of the Board of Advisors for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Gray was also the youngest member of the "African-American Leadership Roundtable" to be invited by President Bush and the Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Dr. Gray is also the spokesman for the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Marrow Donor Program.

Dr. Gray is the Co-Chair of Relational Brokers Alliance Consultancy (RBA). In addition, he has consulted with JP Morgan Chase and the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Development Agency. The Farrah Gray Foundation is also in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, launching entrepreneurship programs in inner-city schools across the country.

Dr. Gray is the author of Reallionaire which was nominated by NBC & Publishers Weekly Quill Awards in the category of "Health/Self-Improvement." His book appeared on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble's Best-sellers lists two weeks before its international release. Reallionaire was also named as the #1 Best-selling Nonfiction Paperback book in the August 2005 Issue of Essence Magazine. Gray's book and his journey to succeed against the odds have become required reading and part of classroom study from elementary school to entrepreneurship departments on college and university campuses such as Harvard University. Reallionaire has been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, Pierre Sutton, Stedman Graham, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. Gray is also a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul. He is also the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Prominent Magazine, an entertainment, business, fashion, and lifestyle and culture publication.

Dr. Gray's honors include Keys to the Cities of Dallas, Shreveport, and Cincinnati. He has also received Proclamations from the Governors of Illinois and Nevada, the Mayors of Chicago, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Wilmington, Delaware, and Clark County Nevada Commissioners. Dr. Gray's Awards include The National Urban League Whitney M Young Jr. Entrepreneurship Award, The Indiana Black Expo (IBE) Hoosier Lottery Entrepreneur Award, The Alabama A&M Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Award, The Davidson College Love of Learning Lifetime Educational Achievement Award, Central State Award of Appreciation for contributions made in the area of entrepreneurship, NV Magazine Vision Award and the American Red Cross Award of Appreciation. Gray's biography is recognized in the Marquis "Who's Who in America."


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