Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nation’s First and Only African-American Owned Computer Supplier in Major Retail, A Unity System, Teams With Office Depot

Deal is third of its kind; CEO to discuss strategy on The Tom Joyner Morning Show

ATLANTA, GA – February 21, 2005 A Unity System (AUS), an African-American-owned computer supplier and distributor and Office Depot, (NYSE: ODP) a leader in consumer and business office products – including retail stores, contract delivery, catalogs and the Internet, has announced the completion of a distribution agreement to offer A Unity System computers at AUS had similar agreements with Kmart and Staples.

A Unity System’s chairman and CEO, Tonee Bell will discuss the relationship and why it is important to AUS’s mission to close the digital divide by offering best value, customizable, computer solutions with Tom Joyner, Reach Media Inc.’s founder, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and radio personality, on The Tom Joyner Morning Show®. The show will air at 6:30 a.m. CST on February 28, 2005.

“Office Depot’s presence in the communities we want to reach makes it a perfect distribution partner. We want to use our business as a platform to build stronger communities that consist of technically prepared and empowered people. We are doing this community by community,” said Tonee Bell, Chairman and CEO of AUS. “Establishing distribution channels like Office Depot and promoting our vision via media venues such as The Tom Joyner Morning Show will not only reach our targeted markets, but help us fulfill our mission,” continued Bell.

As a part of the initial product launch, will feature the following AUS computer systems: Voyager, Eclipse, Premier, Endeavor and Envision.

About A Unity System

A Unity System, Inc. (AUS), founded in July 1999 and incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia in January 2001, is the first minority-owned supplier of personal computers, laptops, servers and related products in major retail stores. AUS offers high quality, high-performing equipment, and one to three-year warranties on parts, labor and on-site repair. AUS provides toll-free, technical support for hardware. AUS constructs its PC’s with high quality name brand components and offers competitive pricing and build-to-order (BTO) systems.

About Office Depot

Office Depot is a leader in distribution channel - from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. With $3.1 billion in online sales in Fiscal Year 2004, the Company is the world's number three Internet retailer. In North America, Office Depot has 969 retail stores in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 22 delivery centers and more than 60 local sales offices. Internationally, the Company conducts wholly-owned operations in 14 countries via 78 retail stores and 25 distribution centers, and operates 153 retail stores under joint venture and license arrangements in another seven countries. With annual sales of more than $13 billion, Office Depot sells more office products to more customers in more countries than any other company.

About the Tom Joyner Morning Show®

The TJMS, reaching over eight million people every week, is broadcast on over 115 affiliate stations across the United States and is the top morning show in many of the markets in which it is broadcast. TJMS is under the umbrella of Reach Media, which was founded by radio personality, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Tom Joyner. Reach Media also operates various other businesses associated with Tom Joyner including the Tom Joyner Sky Show, the Tom Joyner Family Reunion and various other special event-related businesses. Additionally, Reach Media operates one of the leading African-American targeted Internet destinations, and recently developed a Tom Joyner television show in conjunction with TV One, LLC.

For more information on this partnership or to book or schedule an interview with Tonee Bell, please contact:

A Unity System, Inc.

Director of Communications
Ms. Jewel Daniels


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Little Known HBCU Facts

HBCUs enroll upwards of 370,000 students and graduate a significant share of all African Americans receiving degrees. While comprising only three percent of the nation's 3,688 institutions of higher learning, the 105 HBCUs are responsible for producing approximately 23 percent of all bachelor's degrees, 13 percent of all master's degrees, and 20 percent of all first professional degrees earned by African Americans annually. Black colleges and universities contribute to the continuing rise of black intellectuals, professionals, and creative artists which is so evident throughout American society.
  • Nine of the top ten colleges that graduate most of the African American students who go on to earn Ph.D.s are HBCUs.
  • More than 50 percent of the nation's African American public school teachers and 70 percent of African American dentists and physicians earned degrees at HBCUs.
  • Over half of all African American professionals are graduates of HBCUs
  • In 2000, Xavier University in New Orleans individually produced more successful African American medical school applicants (94) than Johns Hopkins (20), Harvard (37), and the University of Maryland (24) combined. Two other HBCUs also placed in the top ten producers of medical school applicants, including Morehouse (33), and Spelman (38).
  • Spelman and Bennett Colleges produce over half of the nation's African American women who go on to earn doctorates in all science fields; more than produced by the Ivy League's Seven Sisters combined (Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Wellesley, and Vassar Colleges).
  • HBCUs significantly contribute to the creation of African American science degree holders: agriculture (51.6 percent), biology (42.2 percent), computer science (35 percent), physical science (43 percent), and social science (23.2 percent).
  • HBCUs produce 44 percent of all African American bachelor's degrees awarded for communications technology, 33 percent of bachelor's degrees awarded for engineering technology, and 43 percent of bachelor's degrees awarded for mathematics, and
  • HBCUs produce 40 percent of all African American doctorate degrees awarded for Communications.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Think HBCU

When the time comes for you to select a college or a university to attend, please THINK about attending a Historically Black College or University. These institutions of higher education offer degrees in every field imaginable. You will obtain a quality education that you will be proud of for the rest of your life!

Some people have questioned the need for these schools as we know them. For those who question the necessity for their existence I would like to say that these schools are still needed. These schools will be needed until there is parity in the educational funding system across the country, especially in our nation's inner cities. HBCUs understand the challenges of inner city students who may need just a little more support to make it in college. We are there for you because we care, we share and we understand that you may not have been afforded a few things along the way. With that being said, we also attract some of the country's brightest and highest achieving students. We also have very diverse student populations unbeknownst to many. HBCUs are not just for African American students. Our doors are open to everyone!

HBCU campuses provide a very rich social environment which will help to prepare you for the life after college. In addition to earning your HBCU degree, you will have a network of friends that you will stay in contact with for the rest of your life! You also look forward to attending your school's annual homecoming event because of these special relationships.

A majority of today's Black leaders, doctors and entrepreneurs received their degrees from a historically Black college or university. Most of them will also tell you that they are who they are today because of their Black college experience.

Although this site features historically black colleges and universities, the scholarship links are the most important aspects on this site. It does not matter how smart you are. If you do not have the financial resources to complete college, a college degree is just a topic of discussion.


Copyright © 2007- 2009

You Come...You Learn...You Graduate!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Michael Vick tells Philadelphia high school students to avoid peer pressure

PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Vick, speaking to a group of Philadelphia high school students Tuesday, warned against the dangers of peer pressure and offered himself as a cautionary tale of what can happen when someone is a follower instead of a leader.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, who served prison time for running a dogfighting ring, addressed a rapt audience of 200 freshmen on their first day at Nueva Esperanza Academy, a North Philadelphia charter school. He urged the students to make the right choices and to resist the temptation to follow the crowd.

AP Photo/ Joseph KaczmarekMichael Vick addresses students at the Nueva Esperanza Academy in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

"I didn't choose to go the right way, which led to 18 months in prison, which was the toughest time of my life," he said. "Being away from my family, being away from my kids who I adore dearly, and being away from the game of football, doing something so foolish, and I wish I could take it all back.

"I was influenced by so many people when I should have been a leader, not a follower."
Speaking without notes, Vick told the hushed assembly during his 10-minute talk that his poor decisions imperiled the goals he had set for himself.

"Growing up, I had dreams and I always wanted to have this great, lavish life and make it to the NFL, go and accomplish great things and leave a great legacy. That was my goal from a young kid," Vick said. "My future was promising ... at some point, I got sidetracked. I started listening to my friends and doing some things that were not ethical and not right."

He said he tried to do the right things at school and at home, "but I had another side to me, and it was a dark side."

Vick visited the school with Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Pacelle has said he met with Vick in prison at the quarterback's request and that Vick sought to work with the group after his release.

Vick and the organization are working on "a national campaign to try to reach especially young people so we can all be voices against organized animal fighting," specifically dogfighting and cockfighting, Pacelle said.

"It's really a test of our character as individuals about being good to those who are less powerful," he said.

Once the highest paid player in the NFL, Vick spent 18 months in federal prison and was suspended from the league following his conviction in August 2007 on charges of conspiracy and organizing the dogfighting ring. He was released from federal custody on July 20 and the Eagles signed him last month.

Several animal rights groups criticized the team's decision to sign the quarterback, saying he is a poor example for young people.

Eagles spokeswoman Pamela Browner-Crawley has said the team has an obligation to the community and work with children particularly, to discourage them from engaging in dogfighting or any animal abuse.

Vick is suspended for the first two games of the regular season and is eligible to play beginning Sept. 27. In two preseason games, Vick completed 11 of 15 passes for 45 yards with one interception and rushed for 36 yards on eight carries with one touchdown.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life - Wal-Mart

Tony Dungy's words and example have intrigued millions of people, particularly following his victory in Super Bowl XLI, the first for an African American coach. How is it possible for a coach--especially a football coach--to win the respect of his players and lead them to the Super Bowl without the screaming histrionics, the profanities, the demand that the sport come before anything else? How is it possible for anyone to be successful without compromising faith and family? In this inspiring and reflective memoir, Coach Dungy tells the story of a life lived for God and family--and challenges us all to redefine our ideas of what it means to succeed. Includes a foreword by Denzel Washington and a 16-page color photo insert.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ten9Eight: Shoot For the Moon

In America, a kid drops out of high school every nine seconds. Imagine if they didn’t. This is the compelling question behind award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio’s newest project TEN9EIGHT, a thought provoking film which tells the inspirational stories of several inner city teens (of differing race, religion, and ethnicity) from Harlem to Compton and all points in between, as they compete in an annual business plan competition run by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

In theaters: November 13, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

The biggest lies about Black male and female relationships

THE "happy Black couple." To some, that phrase seems like the ultimate oxymoron. That's because so many people buy into the notion that the battles between Black men and Black women are so fierce that maintaining a stable, committed relationship is virtually impossible. True enough, Brothers and Sisters often find themselves staring across a great divide that makes coupling up a challenge. Still, countless Black folks are hooking up and staying hooked up, defying the stereotypes and the mythology that says Black couples can't make it.

In fact, as Black and White scholars have demonstrated, Black family relationships were as stable and strong as Southern White households and Northern White ethnic households until the 1930s. Since that time, the situation has changed, primarily because of a lethal combination of racism, urbanization, unemployment and drugs. "What is astonishing under these circumstances," as one historian noted, "is not that some Black couples have problems, but that so many Black couples still love and give." These couples are all around us, and we can learn from them and from Black history how to identify--and how to defy--the biggest lies about Black male/female relationships.

On the following pages are some of the biggest myths associated with Black male/female relationships and some ways in which you can avoid falling into the emotional and mental traps that make these pitfalls seem too big to steer clear of.

1. Black Relationships/Marriages Don't Last

Many people accept this notion as fact despite the contrary evidence presented by the thousands of Black couples who each year celebrate marriages that have lasted 50 years or more. Jet magazine features them each week. They are couples like Lurline and Wendell Cotton of Garland, Texas. The Cottons, both 80, celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on February 6.

Not only have the Cottons lived together for most of their lives, they worked together for nearly 40 years in Wendell Cotton's dental practice in California. Lurline Cotton served as her husband's office manager until the couple retired and moved to Texas in 1984. What's the key to their marital longevity? "Mutual respect," says Lurline Cotton, who had three sisters, each of whom also was married over 50 years. "You've got to have that respect for the other person. There are going to be hard times and some disagreements in a marriage. But when you have that respect, then you are allowed to be who you are and your partner is allowed to be who he is, and you can work through anything."

2. Black Male/Female Relationships Are Only About Sex

It's true that sex is a critical component in any marriage or committed relationship, but its significance as the only thing that cements Black male/female relationships is highly exaggerated. "Sex is important; every man will tell you that," says Dr. George Smith, a Chicago psychotherapist who has counseled more than 2,000 couples in relationship trouble. "But if sex is all you have holding your relationship together, you're in trouble because you don't have a true relationship."

Smith says he tries to show the couples he works with how to communicate and trust and support each another so that their relationship is about more than sex. More often than not, he's successful. He helps couples find the bonds and mutual goals that make their sexual relationship a sustainable partnership. "Any relationship of substance has to be based on trust and commitment and respect," he says. "If you have those things, you'll not only have a true partnership, you'll have great sex."

3. All Black Male/Female Relationships Are Filled With Arguments, Hardship And Pain

Love may hurt, but it doesn't have to, the experts say. Many Black couples in healthy and stable relationships can and do disagree without becoming disagreeable.

But the image of the constantly bickering Black couple has taken over popular thought to such a degree that most people assume it is the norm, says Tiy-E Muhammad, assistant professor of psychology at Clark Atlanta University. "Many people believe that couples must have dramatic occurrences--cursing at one another, being put out of the house, keying somebody's car--in order to appreciate one another," Muhammad says. "WRONG! It is very possible--in fact, it's the norm--for a couple to have a nice, respectful relationship without all of the drama that society is starting to make us believe is normal."

The way to avoid having your relationship dispute degenerate into screaming matches is to learn how to fight fair. Don't choose the moment of a dispute about money to hit your partner with a "low blow" about sexual performance or inattention to your emotional needs. "Make sure that what you're fighting about is really what you're mad about [at the time]," says Kathy Grant, a Miami marriage counselor. "When arguments blow up into huge, dramatic fights, there's more at work there than what people say they're arguing about. That's why constant communication is important."

4. All Black Men Cheat On Their Partners

This is such a widely accepted belief, many Black men won't even dispute it. But while monogamy can be hard, it's a behavior many Black men conform to with the love and support of strong Black women.

But due to the myriad social and environmental forces that have not been supportive of strong, Black male role models, "a lot of Black men don't know how to be a husband or father," says Dr. Smith. "But if you work with him, nurture him, talk to him, you can help him to be the husband and father you want and need him to be."

Smith also cautions Black men not to allow ego and insecurity to push them to live up to the myth of the Black superstud at the expense of their relationships. "A lot of times, as Black men, our huge egos are all we bring to the table in a relationship, and when that ego gets hurt, we strike out with the one weapon we think we have," Smith says. "But a lot of Black men, with the help of their women, are learning to open up. They're learning how to deal with frustrations in their relationships in other ways besides having a woman on the side."

But women also bear some responsibility for the promulgation of the belief that all Black men cheat. "A lot of women withhold sex as a form of behavior modification or punishment when they're angry with their spouse or boyfriend," says Dr. Grant. "That's not only not healthy, it doesn't work. It's the surefire way to send a man looking elsewhere, especially since society is conditioning him to believe that's what is expected of him."

Both Grant and Smith say communication and maintaining an active sex life are essential to keep a man from straying. "It can be tough," says Grant. "Especially for the working mother, who on top of her job, still takes the lead role in caring for the kids and home. She's often just too tired for sex. But you've got to find ways to make that a priority in your relationship. Help him see how sharing in the housework and taking care of the children will also help in the bedroom. Don't withhold sex if he doesn't do those things. But help him to see how rewarding it can be when he does."

5. Black Women Can't Hold Relationships Together Because They Are Too Domineering And Demanding

It is ironic that the strength and determination for which Black women are revered as mothers and stalwart family supporters are also the qualities around which a great deal of relationship mythology is centered.

Part of the problem is the ambivalence many men have about what they really want in a partner/mate. "Modern-day men enjoy having an independent woman," says Tiy-E Muhammad. "Most men will say, `I want a woman who's got it going on.' But after the relationship has begun, those same men will now want that woman to submit and be a part of his vision and his dream. He will want to be the dominant figure in the relationship in order to feel whole."

In relationships that work--those that endure for decades--the individuals who make up the couple take turns allowing the other to be "boss." "You don't have to be totally submissive," says Lurline Cotton, "but sometimes you go along with what he wants to do, even if it's not exactly what you want, and he goes along with what you want to do, even if it's not exactly what he wants."

This only works if there is trust in the relationship. "You have to be secure in the feeling that your mate is operating in your best interest," says Dr. Grant. "But a lot of Black women have had experiences that may lead them to believe that every guy is trying to get over on them, and that's a hard barrier to get over. So men have to work hard to show them that they're deserving of that trust. It may take time and a lot of effort on the man's part to get through that barrier, but a lot of couples manage it."

Black women also must relinquish some control, especially on the home front, which many women see as their dominion. "Just because he doesn't feed the baby exactly the way you would or make dinner exactly the way you would, you don't just take that away from him or degrade his approach," advises Dr. Smith. "If you nurture him and show appreciation for the way he does-things, you're showing him respect and building up that trust in the relationship."

The bottom line is that Black couples do make it--more make it, in fact, than our society ever really acknowledges. And if more people followed the examples of the couples whose relationships do endure, and the tips from the experts who help struggling couples get over the hump, perhaps the myths about Black male/female relationships would fade--replaced by more stories like those of Lurline and Wendell Cotton, whose 59-year marriage is still going strong.

"It takes a commitment to what you're trying to build together," Lurline Cotton says. "But if you have the respect and th,e love, the commitment is a lot easier to maintain."

COPYRIGHT 2002 Johnson Publishing Co.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

he Nobel Committee said he was awarded it for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples".

The committee highlighted Mr Obama's efforts to strengthen international bodies and promote nuclear disarmament.

There were a record 205 nominations for this year's prize. Zimbabwe's prime minister and a Chinese dissident had been among the favourites.

The laureate - chosen by a five-member committee - wins a gold medal, a diploma and 10m Swedish kronor ($1.4m).

2008: Martti Ahtisaari
2007: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore
2002: Jimmy Carter
2001: UN, Kofi Annan
1994: Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin
1993: Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk
1991: Aung San Suu Kyi
1990: Mikhail Gorbachev
1989: Dalai Lama

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the Norwegian committee said in a statement.

"His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."

Asked why the prize had been awarded to Mr Obama less than a year after he took office, Nobel committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said: "It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve".

"It is a clear signal that we want to advocate the same as he has done," he said.

He specifically mentioned Mr Obama's work to strengthen international institutions and work towards a world free of nuclear arms.

The statement from the committee also said the US president had "created a new climate in international politics".

"Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play," it said.

The committee added that the US was now playing a more constructive role in meeting "the great climatic challenges" facing the world, and that democracy and human rights would be strengthened.


Friday, October 9, 2009

African American atheletes that make a difference. PT1

A.C. Green Youth Foundation
The mission of the A.C. Green Youth Foundation is to serve both youth and the communities in which they live by providing information about sexual abstinence and social issues that concern our young people and educating them to make responsible choices to prepare them for their future. PROGRAMS FOR YOUTH believes that young people must develop morally, ethically, educationally, physically, and mentally to fulfill their dreams and goals in life. The underlying theme throughout is to accept each person for who they are, in an unconditional atmosphere of love and respect.

Adalius Thomas S.L.A.S.H. Fund
Adalius Thomas is one of the most active Ravens in the community, donating time and financial support to organizations that assist underprivileged children. Thomas annually hosts a group of 45 students from the Knights of Valor chess team to take part in a chess tournament against Ravens players and, for his work in the community, was honored as a finalist for the Byron "Whizzer" White Humanitarian Award in 2004, given to the NFL player who best represents dedication to team, community and country. Also in 2004, Thomas hosted his 1st Annual S.L.A.S.H. (Sportsmen Lifting Academics and Sponsoring Hope) Golf Tournament with proceeds benefiting the foundation.

Allen Rossum "Healthy Kids Klub"
The Allen Rossum "Healthy Kids Klub" works with entire families to provide education on healthy lifestyles. The Klub activities emphasize good eating habits (nutrition) combined with athletic programs (healthy activities).

Alonzo Mourning Charities, Inc. (“AMC”)
Founded in 1997, Alonzo Mourning Charities, Inc. (“AMC”) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that allows donors with valid interest in children’s issues the opportunity of giving to several charities from their one contribution. All benefiting organizations aid in the development of at-risk children and families, including those who have been abused, abandoned, and/or neglected. It is the goal of the AMC to improve the quality of life, enhance educational and economic opportunities for all minorities based on the percepts of respect for family, education, spirituality, justice and integrity. Together with donors, AMC makes it possible for young people to develop a better way of life and encourages them to dream and reach for a more positive future that might otherwise have been thought unattainable. AMC supports organizations and programs that provide human services and mentoring in several locations in addition to South Florida, such as Hampton Toads, VA and New Jersey.

Amani Toomer Foundation
In 2001, Amani Toomer and his wife Dr. Yola Dabrowski, founded The Amani Toomer Foundation (TATF). TAFT if a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing the awareness of, and providing resources to after-school recreation programs in the New York metro area. The mission of TATF is to identify established after-school programs in these underserved communities and assist them in furthering their efforts. or

Anthony Weaver Foundation
The Anthony Weaver Foundation was established in 2004 with the purpose of providing both financial and personal assistance to children living in the Greater Baltimore Area and Saratoga Springs, NY. In living up to his high school and college nickname, "Dream Weaver," the Anthony Weaver Foundation will assist in making the dreams of children become a reality.

Barry Stokes Foundation
The Barry Stokes Foundation offers "hope for a better tomorrow" for youth as they grow spiritually, athletically and academically. The Foundation does this by supporting The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Striving After Self Sufficiency (S.A.S.S.) and The Davison High School Athletic Scholarship Fund in his hometown of Davison, MI.

Charlie Batch – The Batch Foundation
Quarterback Charlie Batch launched the Best of the Batch Foundation in 2002 to help support educational and recreational opportunities for underprivileged children. Activities include Project C.H.U.C.K., a six-week summer youth basketball league for inner-city children in the Homestead, Pa., the Pittsburgh suburb where Charlie grew up. The program targets children ages 7-18 and provides a structured summer recreational activity for children, which takes place in the evening so parents can attend.

Chris McAlister Foundation
The Chris McAlister Foundation raises money for the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena, CA and contributes food and money to Baltimore area churches so that they can provide support to needy families. In 2004, McAlister provided game tickets to the Echo House Multi Cultural Center in Baltimore, hosted a Halloween Extravaganza for over 300 area youth, donated food and supplies to 200 families for Thanksgiving and provided televisions and games to patients at the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Outpatient Center for Christmas.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rapper Ludacris gives away cars to contest winners

AP, Sep 7, 2009 6:09 am PDT

Talk about a one-man stimulus package: Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris has given away 20 cars to people who wrote about their struggles to keep their jobs for a lack of wheels of their own.
Ludacris said he was taken aback after reading thousands of essays by people struggling or unable to buy cars needed to get to and from work or find jobs. The 31-year-old rapper felt he could step in and move them ahead, partnering with a suburban Atlanta dealership for Sunday's giveaway.

"People are getting laid off, and now are looking for jobs," Ludacris said. "To be efficient, you need some transportation of your own to get there. That's why I wanted to give back to those who need it."

Each of the used vehicles included free gas for 30 days. Winning contestants were responsible for tags, registration, tax and insurance. About 4,000 contestants submitted a 300-word essay to the rapper's foundation, explaining why they deserved a car.

One of the most touching stories Ludacris read was by Mading Duor.

Duor described how he moved to the United States six years ago after his mother, father, and five brothers and sisters were killed in Sudan. The man also wrote that a son was killed by a drunken driver in Atlanta a few years back.

"His story touched my heart," Ludacris said. "He's endured so much in his life and he's still here standing. I'm very proud to have helped him."

Duor, 33, has been able to keep a steady job at a school, but each day he felt stressed about how he was going to get to work. No longer.

"I'm so happy, that I'm nervous," said Duor, who won a Nissan Maxima. "When I look at my new car, I say to myself, 'Is this really happening?'"

Crystal Beauford, a single mother who used to ride the bus to two jobs and school, now has a Saturn Ion. The 26-year-old college student doesn't know how to drive the stick-shift vehicle, but said she'll learn.

"This is going to help me out so much," Beauford said. "It's a blessing."

Ludacris won Grammys for Best Rap Album for "Release Therapy" and Best Rap Song for "Money Maker."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

We seldom post about books at Gizmodo, but if this story of a self-taught Malawian boy using junkyard parts to build windmills and bring life-changing electricity to his village doesn't make you misty-eyed, then you must be one cold-hearted bastard.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence, and William Kamkwamba has it in spades. At age fourteen, while many of us were sneaking out of classrooms, William was struggling to sneak into them—his family was unable to afford the $80 annual tuition. As is bound to happen to most students, he was caught. But instead of being sent to detention, he was barred from the school. In a show of the driven man he would become, he didn't allow that to hinder him and instead started spending his days in the local library. While there, he encountered a book called Using Energy:

Using Energy described how windmills could be used to generate electricity. Only two percent of Malawians have electricity, and the service is notoriously unreliable. William decided an electric windmill was something he wanted to make. Illuminating his house and the other houses in his village would mean that people could read at night after work. A windmill to pump water would mean that they could grow two crops a year rather than one, grow vegetable gardens, and not have to spend two hours a day hauling water. "A windmill meant more than just power," he wrote, "it was freedom."

This book is what changed his life. And I don't mean that as an exaggeration. It was truly what made a difference in his life. Because of that book, and the potential he saw in its ideas, William began to build:

William scoured trash bins and junkyards for materials he could use to build his windmill. With only a couple of wrenches at his disposal, and unable to afford even nuts and bolts, he collected things that most people would consider garbage-slime-clogged plastic pipes, a broken bicycle, a discarded tractor fan-and assembled them into a wind-powered dynamo. For a soldering iron, he used a stiff piece of wire heated in a fire. A bent bicycle spoke served as a size adapter for his wrenches.

Imagine that. A young boy being so motivated by ideas and the sheer need to build something life-changing that he discovered materials and uses for them which most of us wouldn't even dream of. As Mark Frauenfelder put it:

For an educated adult living in a developed nation, designing and building a wind turbine that generates electricity is something to be proud of. For a half-starved, uneducated boy living in a country plagued with drought, famine, poverty, disease, a cruelly corrupt government, crippling superstitions, and low expectations, it's another thing altogether. It's nothing short of monumental.

After completing his first windmill, William "went on to wire his house with four light bulbs and two radios, installing switches made from rubber sandals, and scratch-building a circuit breaker to keep the thatch roof of his house from catching fire." His project had the attention of village locals early on, but at this point he gained the attention of TED, Technology Entertainment Design, through whom he was introduced to individuals willing to contribute to his plans to "electrify, irrigate, and educate his village, as well as pay his tuition at the prestigious African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg."

In short: A young man struggled to educate himself, to build something his village needed, and in the end made a difference to the entire locale and gained the education he'd always wanted. Yes, it's a fluffy, feel-good story with a happy ending. What should you take from the it? Maybe that there's hope in the bleakest of situations, maybe that your teachers and parents were right about the power of education, maybe just that I'm a sappy bookworm with a soft spot for happy endings. No matter, if you wish to learn more, you can read the recently released The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, check out William's blog, or peek at this video from before he ever wrote his autobiography.

Source: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Persistence, Jury-Rigging, and Ingenuity Against All Odds - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - Gizmodo

Friday, September 11, 2009

Check out "First Meeting of the School Year" on NAACP Philly Youth NAACP

Time: September 12, 2009 from 2pm to 4pm

Location: NAACP Office

Organized By: NAACP

Event Description: As a reminder there will be a meeting this Saturday at 2pm at the NAACP office 1619 Ceil B. Moore Ave; Philadelphia,PA 19121.See you there!

START THE SCHOOL YEAR OFF WITH A BANG!!We know as students or people who have kids that started school that the only way to succeed is to start good habits from the very beginning. On behalf of the chapter we want to invite everyone to come out to our meeting this Saturday at 2PM at 1619 Ceil B. Moore Avenue.LOOK FOR THE SYMBOL OUTSIDE THE DOOR!For those who want to created good habits start attending our meetings regularly and become an active member. This is a way for some of us to something else to look forward to besides the regular 9-5 or for some 8-3 dragging day M-F.

See more details and RSVP on NAACP Philly Youth:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jay-Z to give 9/11 benefit concert in NY

NEW YORK -- A benefit concert that rapper Jay-Z is planning for Sept. 11 is a step in the direction that his career - and life - is heading in, he said Monday.

The 39-year-old is set to release his 11th studio CD, "The Blueprint 3," the same day of the charity concert, which has been billed as "Answer the Call." The performance will be at New York's Madison Square Garden and air live on Fuse TV.

"The first 'Blueprint' was a return to my roots, like those soul samples my mom and pop listened to, and now on this one we're becoming those guys we looked up to on all those records," he said. "It's my evolution and it's me now in the forefront, not as the performer who looked back ... but me taking the initiative being the one, and being the icon, or being the philanthropist," he said in an interview after a news conference Monday.

Jay-Z was joined by his wife, singer Beyonce Knowles; Gov. David Paterson; Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Jay-Z said he will donate all proceeds from the concert to the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund. Tickets are being sold for $50, and the show is expected to raise $750,000 to $1 million.

Paterson says the rapper is best person to perform because of his connection to young people.
"It is outstanding that perhaps a younger audience, one that needs to know the dangers of terrorism and also the benefits of the freedom this country allows, (will experience this) all in one night," he said.

"He has a message. He's a great performer. He's very sensitive to the problems of other people," Paterson added.

Jay-Z, a Brooklyn native, has sold out Madison Square Garden seven times. He said plans to perform material from his new CD, and like many concerts in New York, fans can expect him to bring out special guests.

"I'm trying to put that together," he said.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

14-year-old 'surgeon' to present findings today

Tony Hansberry II is a ninth-grader who, as it happens, will be presenting his findings today before an auditorium filled with doctors just like any of his board-certified - and decades older - colleagues would. He would say he was following in the footsteps of "Doogie Howser, M.D." - if he weren't too young to have heard of the television show. Instead, he says that his remarkable accomplishments are merely steps toward his ultimate goal of becoming a University of Florida-trained neurosurgeon. "I just want to help people and be respected, knowing that I can save lives," said Tony, the son of a registered nurse mom and an African Methodist Episcopal church pastor dad. To be sure, he had some help along the way, but, then again, most researchers do. The seeds of his project were planted last summer during his internship at the University of Florida's Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research, based at Shands Jacksonville.

To understand why a teenager would be a hospital intern, it's important to know that Tony is a student down the street from Shands at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School, a magnet school geared toward all things medical. (Students, for example, master suturing by the eighth grade.) At the simulation center, where medical residents and nurses practice on dummies, the normally shy student warmed up to the center's administrative director, Bruce Nappi. In turn, Nappi, a problem-solver with a Massachusetts Institute of Technology aeronautics degree, found someone willing to learn. One day, an obstetrics and gynecology professor asked the pair to help him figure out why no one was using a handy device that looks like a dipstick with clamps at the end, called an endo stitch, for sewing up hysterectomy patients. In other procedures, it proved its worth for its ability to grip pieces of thread and maneuverability.

What Tony did next is so complicated that the professor who suggested the project has to resort to a metaphor to explain it: "Instead of buttoning your shirt side to side, what about doing it up and down?" Brent Seibel said. Here's the literal explanation: The problem was that the endo stitch couldn't clamp down properly to close the tube where the patient's uterus had been. Tony figured that by suturing the tube vertically instead of horizontally, it could be done. And he was right. Nappi said he came up with the idea but didn't tell Tony, letting him come to the conclusion himself. "It was truly independent that he figured it out," Nappi said, adding that a representative for the device's manufacturer told him that the endo stitch had never been used for that purpose. Tony's unpracticed hands were able to stitch three times faster with the endo stitch vs. the conventional needle driver.
Further study may prove whether the same is true for more experienced surgeons, Seibel said. In addition to cutting surgical time, the technique may help surgeons who don't do many hysterectomies because it's easier to use the endo stitch, he added. Tony's presentation today is part of UF's medical education week, a time to spotlight teaching advancements, a hospital spokeswoman said. Tony often speaks in the highly technical, dispassionate language of doctors. In that respect, he's not the exception but the rule at Darnell-Cookman, said Angela TenBroeck, the school's medical lead teacher. But he has surged ahead of others when it comes to surgical skills. "I would put him up against a first-year med student," she said. "He's an outstanding young man, and I'm proud to have him representing us.", (904) 359-4083

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Grad Prep Academy

An Initiative Focused on Preparing for Doctoral Study in Education
Penn GSE has made a serious commitment to preparing promising undergraduate scholars for admission to and success in Ph.D. programs in the field of education.

We are seeking to identify talented undergraduates who are entering their junior year for participation in our Grad Prep Academy, a program that includes a four-day visit to the University of Pennsylvania in November 2009. We will select 10 college juniors and cover all their travel expenses, lodging, and meals. During their visit to our campus, the selected scholars will learn more about applying to and succeeding in graduate school; hear about the excellent research of our faculty; interact with our graduate students and alumni; and tour Philadelphia. Next spring, we will pay for Academy participants to take a three-month Kaplan course valued at $1,200 to prepare for the Graduate Record Exam (the GRE is required for admission to most education doctoral programs). Additionally, each Academy participant will be paired with a current Ph.D. student in education at Penn GSE or elsewhere who will offer mentoring throughout the graduate school application process, feedback on essays and other application materials, and advice on where else to apply besides Penn GSE. Lastly, Academy Scholars who apply for Fall 2011 admission to one of our Ph.D. Programs at Penn GSE will receive an application fee waiver; that deadline is December 1, 2010.

Because a master’s degree is not required for admission to Ph.D. programs at Penn GSE, our goal is to enroll as many of the Academy participants as possible in our doctoral programs in Fall 2011, the semester after completion of their undergraduate degrees. Each of our Ph.D. students is fully-funded for 4 years and supported by paid research assistantships with faculty. Academy participation in no way guarantees eventual admission to the University of Pennsylvania. If not at Penn GSE, our larger aim is for all 10 scholars to enroll in highly-selective graduate programs in education at top research universities in Fall 2011.

THIS PROGRAM IS FOR JUNIORS ONLY — those who are starting their junior year of college in Fall 2009 and anticipate earning bachelor’s degrees at the end of Spring 2011. Applications are invited from students across all majors, not just education. However, only those who have intellectual interests that are somehow related to education (the study of teaching and learning, human development, educational psychology and counseling, history of education, K-12 or higher education leadership, sociology or philosophy of education, language and literacy, educational disparities that disadvantage certain populations, education finance, research methodologies applied to education, student affairs and college student development, or K-12 or higher education policy) should apply.

All application materials must be submitted electronically (using the form below) no later than 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Friday, August 21, 2009. Each applicant will receive a decision within four weeks. Please direct all questions to the Grad Prep Academy Co-Directors, Professor Shaun R. Harper ( and Penn GSE Dean Andrew C. Porter (
Submit An Online Application Now

Online Application / Source :

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Heart of Stone

In theaters: July 17, 2009
Copyright © 2009

Good Footage Productions Bloods, Crips, College?

Passionate principal of an inner-city high school inspires dueling gangs to relinquish their weapons for education’s sake. Before 1960, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, the older Jewish and current African-American alumni cross cultures and join in raising funds for college in order to return their alma mater to its former glory.

Official Movie Site:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Buried City in Oasis Lends View of Ancient EgyptBy Rob Goodier, LiveScience Staff

A trench that was cut through collapsed mud bricks and the compacted debris of buildings leveled centuries ago is revealing a dusty scene of roof-topped streets in ancient Amheida, a city marooned on an oasis deep in Egypt’s western desert.

The latest in a chain of archaeological discoveries in a site that dates back at least 5,000 years, the covered streets are a glimpse into rural life under the Egyptian sun.

At Amheida, archaeologists led by Roger Bagnall at New York University have sifted through the remains of a settlement far removed from the thoroughfares of the Nile Valley. The site is in the Dakhleh Oasis, 500 miles (800 kilometers) from Cairo and 185 miles (300 kilometers) from Luxor, a religious and political hub of ancient Egypt.

The archaeological work has yielded a treasure trove of art and writing. Through this rural lens, archaeologists are shifting their notions of education in ancient Egypt during the Greek and Roman empires. And they have noticed deep connections between powerful central governments and the outposts in the oases.

Bagnall described the latest discoveries at a conference in Manhattan last month.

First glimmer of Egyptian culture

The Dakhleh Oasis stretches several hundred square miles below a barren escarpment, hedged by the dunes of the eastern Sahara that roll to its edges. The sand contrasts with the farms and the cattle-grazed meadows within. Wine, olives and dates remain important to the economy for the 75,000 residents of the oasis today.

People settled in Dakhleh at least 5,000 years ago during the Neolithic period, the twilight of the Stone Age as agriculture began to catch on. At that time, the climate was wetter and residents were surrounded not by a desert, but a savanna. Bagnall suspects that Egypt's first farmers may have worked in the oasis before agriculture arrived in the Nile Valley.

“They may well have contributed something to the development of Egypt before the time of the pharaohs,” Bagnall said.

The early settlers of the oasis cultivated figs, dates and, later, olive groves and littered the site with pits. They were expert vintners, as well, likely producing finer wines than those available in the Nile Valley, in part because they could control the irrigation. Until the 19th century, those who lived in the oases may also have been the sole producers of cotton in the Roman period, a luxury at the time.

“They were always, in some sense, peripheral or marginal,” Bagnall said. “But they were important sources of things people couldn't produce in the [Nile] Valley.”

By the time the Greeks and then the Romans conquered the region, excavated statues and paintings suggest that Amheida followed the dominant culture in lockstep. In spite of their geographic isolation, they were fully integrated in the Roman world, Bagnall said, displaying the same art and mythology found throughout the Roman Empire.

The surprising quality of education

Scholars have thought that schools in Roman Egypt were chintzy affairs, often with just one teacher who held forth to a handful of students and charged their parents for his effort.

“I always laugh because they were exactly like the teachers now. They were kind of looked down upon.” said Raffaella Cribiore, a classics professor at Columbia University in New York. Today, like then, teachers are paid little, she explained. But the denigration of the profession cut even deeper centuries ago. “If someone said your father is a teacher, it was a common slur, it was really an offense,” she said.

The school room that archaeologists uncovered at Amheida lent a different perspective. Divided into three rooms lined with benches for more than 50 students, it more closely resembled today's formal institutions. Students were segregated by subject and age, and the teacher’s lessons were scrawled on the walls, which were treated like blackboards at the time. What remains of that writing has caught Cribiorre’s attention.

"There you have a poem written on the wall in the column in red ink. The poem speaks of rhetoric. It says, 'come on, get up, get to work,'" she explained. "It's encouragement from a teacher of rhetoric to his students. But it's all poetry. In Greek."

Scholars had thought that rhetoric, not poetry, was taught in Roman Egyptian schools. The schools churned out politicians and bureaucrats, aristocratic young men destined for leadership. Prior to the find, Cribiore had suspected that they might also have learned poetry, and this confirmed it. The teacher had written his lessons in verse, showing that schools from the period were more formal than once believed.

Brasso and sagging stairs

The archaeologists at Amheida apply dental tools,Brasso metal polish and gentler chemicals to hundreds of Roman coins and sift through millions of potsherds, sorting and drawing some of them for records.

"You can learn a lot from pottery," said Jen Thum, an undergraduate student from Barnard College who accompanied Bagnall early this year. They can help date a site, for example, or a concentration of them in one spot is a telltale sign of an ancient kitchen.

Like many of the oasis' residents, Thum lived in a mud-brick house, ate variants of falafel called tameya and watch televised soccer games. The walls of her borrowed home cracked and the earthen staircase sagged during an especially intense rain storm this year. It's a quirk of excavation in the rural oases. Bagnall and his team continue to piece together this oblique perspective on ancient Egypt. Still on the docket are the hunt for a church, and the exploration of large, buried cemeteries.


Friday, July 17, 2009

CrossOver Foundation

CrossOver Foundation helps children and youth reach for the stars. Youth who are struggling with life's greatest challenges are among those who most deserve to feel like a star. By partnering with organizations that provide enrichment services to our youth, the Crossover Foundation strives to do just that. The Crossover Foundation is a nonprofit organization that develops the dreams of youth by exposing them to pathways of success with College Tours, summer enrichment programs, and the Allen Iverson Student Athlete Scholarship Fund. The Foundation relies on the generous support of individual donors, corporate donors, and others to carry out its mission.

If you would like to help develop these dreams, send your tax deductible contribution to: The CrossOver Foundation, P.O. Box 16904, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

We become leaders by watching leaders lead.We become teachers by observing teachers teach.Young people become productive citizens bylearning from positive people.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Voice Ringing O'er the Gale! The Oratory of Frederick Douglass Read by Ossie Davis

Barack Obama has brought powerful black oratory back into the spotlight. He follows in a long tradition with such notable figures as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and quite a few others including Shirley Chisolm. These contemporary speakers all build from the foundation laid by a man named Frederick Douglass.

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was an abolitionist, women's suffragist, author, and statesman who escaped from slavery to become one of the most powerful American orators of the 19th century. His words effectively changed the course of history. In 1972, renowned actor Ossie Davis brought to sonic life several of Douglass's visionary writings, plying his resonant voice to produce riveting renditions of the Douglass classics "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July," "If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress," "A Plea for Freedom of Speech," and "Why I Became a Women's Rights Man." More than a century after his death, Douglass's commanding calls for freedom and equality continue to capture our hearts and our minds.

A recording of Douglass' speeches done by Davis is available as part of the Smithsonian Folkways African American Legacy series, co-presented with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The African American Empowerment Blog supports this project because it offers a unique opportunity to empower the African American community through Douglass' words and example. For more information feel free to visit their website at

Friday, July 3, 2009

Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson began drawing at age 3, displaying artistic acumen before he could even write or spell. "I have always been an artist," Nelson explains. "It's part of my DNA." At age eleven, Kadir Nelson was apprenticed by his uncle, an artist and an art instructor. "My uncle gave me my foundation in art," says the artist. Kadir experimented with several different mediums and later began painting in oils at age sixteen under the encouragement and tutelage of his uncle and his high school art teacher.

Many of Kadir Nelson's paintings can be found in the private collections of actors, sports figures and musicians including Debbie Allen, Jalen Rose, Spike Lee, Terry Lewis, Venus Williams, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith and Ice Cube. His paintings have also decorated the sets of television sitcoms "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and "The Jamie Foxx Show," as well as feature films "Friday" and "Set it Off." Most notably, Nelson was the "Conceptual Artist" for Steven Spielberg's feature film, "Amistad," and the animated feature "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron."


Source: Kadir Nelson Artwork

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

16 of Michael Jackson's Greatest Non-Musical Achievements

The Michael Jackson Burn Center

On January 27, 1984, Jackson suffered second degree burns on his scalp while filming a Pepsi commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. A pyrotechnics accident set his hair on fire in front of the auditorium full of fans who were there for a simulated concert. Jackson sued PepsiCo and settled out of court for $1.5 million. The settlement was donated to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California, where Jackson received treatment for his burns. Using the money donated by Jackson, Brotman was able to get the best available technology for treating burn victims. The burn ward at the hospital was later named the "Michael Jackson Burn Center" to honor Jackson and his generous contribution.

Received Award from President Reagan

Michael Jackson was invited to the White House on May 14, 1984, where he received an award for his support of drug and alcohol abuse charities, presented by President Ronald Reagan.

Donated Profits of Victory Tour to Charity

The 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by the Jacksons, introduced more than two million fans to Jackson's solo material. Following the tour, Jackson donated his $5 million share from the tour's profits to charity.

We Are the World, We Are the Children

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote the charity single "We Are the World" in 1985. Both artists were among the 39 musicians who recorded the song. The single was released around the world to and proceeds went to help the needy in Africa and the U.S. Almost 20 million copies of "We Are the World" were sold, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The project raised millions for famine relief.

Treated Underprivileged Children to Free Shows

During the Bad World Tour, Michael Jackson played to sold out crowds and smashed Guinness World records when 504,000 fans packed Wembley Stadium for each of the seven sold out shows and the tour grossed $125 million. During all of this, Jackson invited underprivileged children to the shows and donated to hospitals, orphanages and other charities.

100 Percent to Charity

Jackson donated 100 percent of the profits from him single "Man in the Mirror" to charity.

Donations to the United Negro College Fund

From 1985 to 1990, Jackson donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund.

Honored by President George H. W. Bush

President George H. W. Bush commended Jackson for his achievements and presented him with the White House's special "Artist of the Decade" award in recognition of his musical influence during the 1980s.

Heal The World Foundation

Jackson founded the "Heal the World Foundation" in 1992. The charity organization brought underprivileged children to Jackson's Neverland ranch to ride theme park rides the singer had built on the property. Heal the World also gave millions of dollars to help children around the world who were threatened by war and illnesses.

Dangerous Profits Go to Charity

Jackson started the Dangerous World Tour on June 27, 1992 and completed it on November 11, 1993, after entertaining 3.5 million people at 67 concerts. All of the profits from the concerts were donated to the Heal the World Foundation.

Publicly Pleaded for More HIV/AIDS Research

When Ryan White, a hemophiliac teen from Indiana was kicked out of school in 1985 because he contracted HIV from a contaminated blood treatment, Jackson became one of his advocates. After White's death in 1990, Jackson pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton's Inaugural Gala for more funding for HIV/AIDS charities and research.

Teamed with Luciano Pavarotti for Charity

Jackson and Pavarottii teamed up for a benefit concert in Modena, Italy in June 1999. The concert was focused on support of the non-profit organization Warchild. The artists raised a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo and also donated money to help the children of Guatemala.

Michael Jackson and Friends Benefit Concerts

Also in June 1999, Jackson organized a series of benefit concerts in Germany and Korea. He recruited Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana Chandrakumar, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti for the Michael Jackson and Friends concerts. The proceeds were donated to the "Nelson Mandela Children's Fund", the Red Cross and UNESCO.

Guinness Record for Support of Charities

Jackson was listed in the 2000 book of Guinness World Records for his support more charities than any other entertainer or personality. Jackson supported 39 charities through cash donations and sponsorships.


Jackson released his first autobiography, Moon Walk, in 1988. The book took four years to write and detailed alleged abuse Jackson suffered as a child and his plastic surgeries. The book topped the New York Times best seller's list.

Support After 9/11

After the 9/11 attacks, Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., which aired on October 21, 2001. Dozens of major artists performed at the concert and Jackson sang "What More Can I Give" as the finale.


Friday, June 26, 2009

J - Board (Real Estate Game): Invented by African American

Joel Harden’s Mogul® was developed as a learning aid for real estate, yet the rules and gameplay are simple enough to be grasped by children who are old enough to understand the concept of a percentage. It is the perfect learning tool for any one interested in learning real estate basics while remaining simple & fun enough for any family gamenight.

Mogul is the first real estate board game that accurately recreates real world scenarios germane to personal financial management, real estate investment, speculation and management. The game teaches most basic real estate terms and factors, and more importantly how multiple factors combine to create market conditions i.e.: Opportunities or hardships. Mogul is the first board game to encompass and teach how a credit rating will affect your business endeavors.

Joel Harden’s Mogul® teaches the following terms & concepts during the course of gameplay:

• Mortgages
• Closing Costs
• Credit
• Deeds
• Interest Rates
• Zoning
• Institutional Investments
• Property Taxes
• Speculation
• Assemblages
• Prenuptial Agreements
• Due Diligence
• Money Management


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dr. Farrah Gray - Reallionaire

A look at Dr. Farrah Gray...Celebrity Entrepreneurial Icon, Philanthropist and Business Mogul.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LT Foundation

Tomlinson’s Touching Lives Foundation, Inc.
(the “Foundation”) engage in a number of programs designed to promote educational, social and cultural awareness, positive self-esteem to enhance the lives of children, families and communities whom are less fortunate. The Foundation engage in the following activities to further its charitable purposes:

(1) The Foundation facilitates educational and recreational trips for school-age children in an effort to promote and augment their education and exposure.
_ L.T.’s 21 CLUB- Provides opportunity for 30 kids per game from San Diego youth organizations and non-profits to participate in the “L.T.’s 21 Club” giving them the opportunity to attend a San Diego Chargers home game and meet with LaDainian Tomlinson after the game. Each child who participates in “L.T.’s 21 Club” has field side seats, receives a t-shirt and is given a coupon for a free hotdog and beverage during the game. “L.T.’s 21 CLUB” is designed to promote positive self-esteem, academic and social achievement, literacy and genuine goodwill. Interacting and highlighting a positive role model/athlete instills confidence in children and encourages them dreams do come true if you work hard and continue to dream. Children are selected through various not-for- profit organizations, missions vary with children causes: treatment for terminally ill, low income, foster care, homeless, gang prevention, group home residence and children living with cancer. Each organization select kids who have performed well and/or have never had an opportunity of this kind. Main highlight is exposure and interaction.

(2) The Foundation distributes Thanksgiving dinners to indigent individuals. It also distributes Christmas gifts to children who are seriously ill.
_ Giving Thanks with L.T. – Distributes 1,400 Thanksgiving Dinners to needy families from San Diego County the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Each dinner include a 16lb. turkey, vegetables, canned food items, stuffing and a beverage. Various, pre-selected, organizations form lines out front of Wal-Mart awaiting their Thanksgiving dinners. In addition, 21 kids are selected to enjoy a mini-shopping spree at Wal-Mart. Families are pre-selected through not-for-profit organizations serving individuals whom are less fortunate. The pre-selected organizations missions vary from helping families that are homeless, government assistance, home care aid, church assistance, single parent homes, etc. In total there are 20 organizations that select families to participate in the program. The 21 kids are selected from middle school on citizenship and level of need (income).

_ L.T.’s Touching Lives Holiday Program - distributes over 1,500 toys and videos to kids at Children’s Hospital and Health Center during the Christmas Holiday. L.T. and Friends make rounds throughout the hospital handing out toys to patients(children) being treated in various centers of the hospital. Distribution of toys to Children’s Hospital helps make a difference in their lives and helps with the recovery of children whom are patients. Children’s is a total healing environment dedicated to restoring, sustaining and enhancing the developmental potential of children. The purpose of “L.T.s Touching Lives Holiday Program” is to touch the life of a child who may be suffering during the Christmas Holiday with a smile. Selection process: every child is given a toy upon arrival.

(3) The Foundation administer and fund a scholarship program for graduating high school students planning to attend four-year universities, community colleges or vocational training centers after graduation. The candidates for such scholarships submit an essay on topics; relating to positive influences on the community, and/or what does it take to become successful. The candidates are required to submit an unofficial copy of their high school academic records, a copy of their SAT or ACT scores, the essay and at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor or community leader.

_ L.T. School is Cool Scholarship– Is to assist worthy students with their educational and occupational endeavors. The monetary value of each scholarship will be $1,000. Applicants must submit the attached formal application. In addition to the application form, the following items are required:

1. At least one (1) letter of recommendation from the student’s principal, teacher(s), coach (if applicable), counselor or a community leader;
Unofficial high school transcript, including current grade point average (GPA);
3. resume of honors, activities, community service, hobbies and work experience;
4. a typewritten essay addressing the required essay topic.
Completed applications must be postmarked on or before the due date to be considered for the following academic year.

A committee consisting of educators, civic leaders and community members will evaluate the scholarship applications and additional information according to the following criteria:
1. academic and/or community achievement
financial need
letter of recommendation
4. uniqueness of essay
extracurricular activities, achievements, volunteerism and work experience

(4) The Foundation facilitates a football camp that provides an invaluable opportunity for kids to work one-on-one with some of professional and college football’s greatest players and coaches. In addition to outstanding sports instruction, Camp L.T. clearly emphasizes the importance of academic excellence.

Camp L.T.” – The LaDainian Tomlinson Football Camp (“Camp L.T.”) is open to middle and high school level students. Campers are separated by grade and ability to receive hands-on experience from a chosen group of NFL stars, college athletes and professional coaches.

  • learn fundamentals, along with inside tips of position play

  • participate in speed work and agility drills

  • study game strategy

  • learn classroom techniques

  • take part in team competition

  • discover what it takes to be a champion

  • learn “Hard Work Pays Off”

Participants must be pre-registered to attend. “Camp L.T.” is conducted in San Diego, CA. in the month of February and Waco, TX. in June.

(5) Although the Foundation has not planned any fundraising programs to date, it intends to raise funds through charity benefits such as dinners and golf tournaments. The Foundation will seek corporate sponsorship.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Pressure Cooker: Cooking up a Future

Three seniors at Philadelphia's Frankford High School find an unlikely champion in the kitchen of Wilma Stephenson. A legend in the school system, Mrs. Stephenson's hilariously blunt boot-camp method of teaching Culinary Arts is validated by years of scholarship success. Against the backdrop of the row homes of working-class Philadelphia, she has helped countless students reach the top culinary schools in the country. And under her fierce direction, the usual distractions of high school are swept aside as Erica, Dudley and Fatoumata prepare to achieve beyond what anyone else expects from them.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Paul Robeson

"Like every true artist, I have longed to see my talent contributing in an unmistakably clear manner to the cause of humanity."



1998 marked the centennial of Paul Robeson's birth. On April 9, 1898, an eighth child was born to Maria Luisa Bustill, the Quaker abolitionist, and William Drew, the former slave who had escaped to the north, gone to college, and become a minister. Paul was brought up to value education as much as his parents did.

Paul Robeson attended Rutgers University (he was the third black student in that school's history) in New Jersey, where he was an All-American football player and excelled in other sports as well. When he graduated, he was valedictorian of his class. He enrolled in Princeton Law School and became a lawyer, but due to the racism of that time, he had trouble finding employment.

It was this inability to move forward as a lawyer which compelled Robeson to change his life's course. Thus, he began the acting and singing career by which so many people came to love and admire him.

Robeson had a natural talent for performing and an enormously deep voice. When he appeared in the Broadway musical, Showboat, he sang a song that will always be remembered by the sound of that voice. "Ol' Man River" is now considered classic Paul Robeson. He also played the title role in three different productions of Othello, both in America and England, and in movies such as Sanders of the River, King Solomon's Mines, and The Proud Valley. He was greatly admired as an entertainer.

Robeson was deeply political. He believed in justice for all people. Even before his fame was at its peak, he traveled the world performing in benefits and speaking out for worker's rights, racial equality and peace. He fought for racial justice in America, but he also devoted his time, energy and money to groups outside the American black community. For instance, he spoke out against the Nazi's persecution of the Jews (among others) in Europe during the 1930s and 40s. Along with many other Americans, he participated in the Spanish Civil war against the fascist dictator, Francisco Franco.

Of all his pronounced ideologies, perhaps the most controversial was his support of communism. Despite the growing fear of communism in the United States, Robeson remained steadfast to the idea of worker's rights and even to the Soviet Union, which was at that time still attempting to establish a working communist society. It was not uncommon for people suspected of sympathizing with the Soviets to be brought before a governmental panel called the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Many artists and actors were brought before this committee. This committee declared that Robeson's outspoken support of communism was unpatriotic and accused him, for instance, of trying to set up a Soviet state in the American South. The committee was powerful: It managed to take away Robeson's passport, and to coerce other black leaders into testifying against Robeson, but no one could prove any of the ridiculous accusations.

Robeson eventually recovered his passport and was able to tour and perform again for awhile. When he became ill, he left the stage and managed to live a private life for a short time.

Although he faded from public view, his work and dedication to political causes remained active. He died on January 23, 1976, at age 77, in Philadelphia. The courage of his convictions and his strength before adversity make Paul Robeson a hero to people around the world.

From left to right: Theatre Artist Avery Brooks, Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman, Vice President of Diversity Development for the Postal Service Murry Weatherall, Paul Robeson, Jr., Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., Princeton University Provost Amy Gutmann and NJ Secretary of State Regena Thomas applaud as a stamp honoring entertainer Paul Robeson is unveiled in Princeton, N.J., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004. The stamp is the newest addition to the Black Heritage Stamp Collection. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen)

Paul Robeson continues to inspire people and his memory lives on. On January 20, 2004 a postal stamp honoring Paul Robeson was unveiled in Princeton, New Jersey. The stamp is part of the Black Heritage Stamp Collection.
Written by TONY


The Literature and Culture of the American 1950s
Find out more about the political climate of the fifties. A detailed reading list.

Paul Robeson's Heroes

Paul Robeson Online From the Princeton Public Library


Listen to Paul Robeson's music online (3,128 K)

Much of the information for this story came from Martin Duberman's book Paul Robeson: A Biography.


Here I Stand
by Paul Robeson, Sterling Stuckley (Intro)
Paul Robeson: A Biography
by Martin Duberman

Paul Robeson: The Life and Times of a Free Black Man
by Virginia Hamilton