Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Parents Empowerment Group Presents POWER

 We would like to invite you out this Saturday to be a part of the POWER (people organized working to eradicate racism) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Penns Landing, PA starting at 10:00 am.  Philadelphia author, activist and co-founder of POWER Ewuare Osayande will be facilitating the workshop.  I would love it if you could send press coverage to attend. Please contact me at  mlgoldsborough @yahoo.com or 856-462-5873.  The event is free and we will be providing breakfast and lunch. To contact Ewuare, visit his website at

Source: www.resistracism.org

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Terence Willis - CEO, IC Data Communications

Terence Willis
If your company needs info-technology services and you're not a Fortune 500 company, who do you call? This Detroit IT startup by Terence Willis and Dwayne Carson might be just the ticket.
After serving in the U.S. Army and taking college courses in his spare time, Detroit native Willis returned home and started the business with his friend Carson based on providing IT services to companies and non-profits that can't afford their own IT departments. They took advantage of a local incubator: TechTown, the research and technology park associated with Wayne State University.
Willis views the whole globe as his company's marketplace. Work for a client led to a trip to Lagos, Nigeria, where Willis saw immense oil wealth and imagined a variety of opportunities for Detroit-based businesses to sell in sub-Saharan Africa. "The concept is for Detroiters to export technologies to these markets. You see lots of Korean and Chinese businesses there -- we should be there too.''

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ralph Gilles - SVP of design, Chrysler Corp.

Ralph Gilles
SVP of design, Chrysler Corp.
CEO, Dodge Car Brand 

Gilles became a household name among car buffs after leading the design team that came up with the retro-elegant look for Chrysler 300 luxury-sport sedan, an instant hit in 2004. Now head of the Dodge brand, he has six new vehicle designs scheduled to emerge in the coming year.

For Chrysler, which emerged from bankruptcy last year under the control of Fiat, the new look comes not a moment too soon. Gilles, born in New York City to Haitian immigrant parents, went to design school in Detroit. He believes the region is set to blossom because of a "different corporate culture, a whole bunch of old companies with new innards," as a result of restructuring.

"We've looked at ourselves in the mirror and listened to our critics. You'll see the domestics hold their own against the imports, you'll see the collective competence of the Big Three. I'm very excited to see all the elements align so that the dream can come true.''

Source: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/fortune/1007/gallery.detroit_visionaries.fortune/2.html

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Skillman Foundation - CEO, the Skillman Foundation

Carol Goss
CEO, the Skillman Foundation 
Goss heads a $457 million Detroit charity that devotes the majority of its giving to one cause: the city's children. Using that leverage, Goss has made progress in bringing credibility to the city's disastrous public-school system, where barely 3% of its fourth-graders meet national math standards.

She did it with the lure of a $200 million fundraising infusion for all the city's schools, without prejudice toward one kind or another -- public, charter or private. Goss persuaded everyone from parents to teachers to politicians to agree on higher standards and bolder actions.

Goss, a grandmother of three and a long-distance runner, is known as tireless and immune to negativity. She believes the schools are now accountable enough to attract national philanthropy. "Detroit is ready for investment," she says.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alexandre Dumas - Author

When a mulatto general from Napoleon's army retired to the small northeastern town of Villers-Cotterets, France, little did the natives know that their town was now destined to become the birthplace of the great Alexandre Dumas. On July 24, 1802 the forty-four year old General learned that he had fathered a son. A statue in the town now commemorates one of the most prolific and loved writers of the 19th century. Alexandre Dumas was to excel at both the dramatic genre and the romantic novel. His works involve adventuresome plots, which depict the heroic triumph of human strength and endurance.

Dumas' plots were inspired by his father's wild adventures. Beginning early in life Dumas learned of the wartime triumphs and hardships the General had experienced. Unfortunately for the young boy, these proved insuperable for his father's aging body. The General had suffered from poisoning and imprisonment. Dumas' father thus died only four years after his son's birth. Dumas then led an isolated childhood. His protective mother could not part with her boy though his education was at stake. Thus, Alexandre did not attend college. Only once that his mother's monetary funds had been exhausted did she concede to the prospect of his voyage to the big city, Paris.

Once in Paris, Dumas tried to kindle relations with his father's old friends. This however proved to be anything but fruitful. Luckily, General Foy, who represented Dumas' town district in the Chamber of Deputies, was also friendly with the Duc D'Orleans. As a result of this connection Dumas obtained a clerkship with the Duc. Dumas possessed the fine penmanship necessary for the post. Dumas, however, already had higher goals in mind. He is reported to have commented to Foy, "General, I am going to live by my handwriting, but I promise you that I shall someday live by my pen."

It did not take long for the spirited Dumas to start working towards this dream. Shortly thereafter, he was inspired to write a drama, Henri III, et sa Cour. This was performed in February 1829.

Next, Dumas became temporarily distracted with political ambitions. He became a captain in the artillery of the National Guard. These duties did not hinder his literary output for long, however. Five Dumas dramas were performed in Paris in 1831. It was not until 1844 and 1845 that his most celebrated works The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers were written.

The explosion of Dumas' career as a romance novelist was controversial. Assistants and secretaries with whom he collaborated wrote in his style before he then reviewed what they had written. To their work he added his inventive touch and the finished product was published under his name. Dumas was criticized and even brought to trial for this collaboration. Despite this, the public loved his work. Dumas held his readers captive. Pieces of his narratives were published daily in journals. Each day the readers were left with the phrase, to be cont? They anxiously wondered what would happen next.
Dumas' economic success was hindered by a lavish wild lifestyle. He was always in financial trouble. He once left Paris to live in Brussels because his creditors allowed him no peace. Fortunately, Dumas was brought back to Paris once a friend had regulated his accounts.

In 1860, Dumas' whimsical nature brought him to Naples where the political insurgent Giuseppe Garibaldi had requested his presence. Here Dumas became involved with politics and also served as superintendent for an art museum. 1864 brought him back to Paris where he was watched over by his son. His son was also a writer who had amassed a glory of his own, as well as the fortune his father never could. His son tended to his father's financial needs until Dumas' death in 1870. Alexandre Dumas died on his son's estate on December 5, 1870.

Dumas is best remembered for his historical novels such as Monte Cristo. Here, history forms the backdrop to the fantastic fictional inventions of a wild mind. Dumas' output also contains romances such as the Valois romances and D'Artagnan. These works involve real historic characters and events to teach the French people their national history. Explanations of events are, however, a fabrication of Dumas' imagination.

Never ceasing creativity is the heart of Dumas' genius. His action filled dramas and novels capture the true essence of human spirit. Dumas' sense of adventure lives on through the pages of his works.

Source: http://www.gradesaver.com/author/alexandre-dumas/

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Urgent Action Alert: Support Black Farmers and Native Americans

The United States Senate is expected to take up legislation to provide settlement dollars to Black Farmers and Native Americans, because of decades of discrimination and mismanagement in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Please call both of your Senators today and tell them to support funding for the Pigford and Cobell settlement.  We aren't sure exactly when this will go to the Senate floor, so it is critical you make your calls to your Senators as soon as possible.

Call the Senate switchboard and ask for the Senators from your state:
(202) 224-3121

The Issue:

The Pigford II settlement, which was announced by the US Department of Agriculture and the USDepartment of Justice in February of this year, would provide as many as 70,000 African American farmers, many of whom suffered blatant discrimination at the hands of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for decades, with cash damage awards and debt relief. These claims cannot even begin to be investigated, let alone settled, until after Congress has appropriated the funding. Funding for the Pigford settlement had been approved by the US House on July 1, 2010, but the money was stripped by the U.S. Senate on June 22, 2010.

The legislation to be considered also contains $1.41 billion to provide for the Cobell settlement, which involves lost royalty funds flowing from the mismanagement of natural resources on Indian land by the U.S. Department of the Interior for more than a century.  In the Cobell case, the federal government mismanaged billions of dollars in oil, gas, grazing, timber and other royalties overseen by the Department of Interior for Indian trustees since 1887.

The Urgency:

Essentially, Black Farmers and Native Americans won their lawsuits, but Congress has to appropriate the funds for the settlements to actually be paid.  There is incredible urgency to pass this appropriation to settle the class action lawsuits of African American farmers and Native Americans. Many of the farmers who would qualify for monies under the settlement have waited as long as 10 years to be compensated; some have already died or lost their farms. After years of discriminatory treatment by USDA credit and program agencies, these farm families have already waited almost a decade for compensation for these well-established claims. It is time to allow these farmers to focus on the future, and move forward unencumbered by the racial discrimination of the past.  The longer the Senate delays, the more difficult it will be for this funding to be appropriated.

This bill has the support of President Obama, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Senators and House members of both parties and the Congressional Black Caucus. Your Senators need to hear from you.  Call your Senators today!

For Future Generations...

Rev Yearwood

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Portrait of a Bronx Chess Champion, Age 12


By Joy Resmovits
When Bronx student Justus Williams started third grade at P.S. 70, his mother, Latisha, urged him to take on chess. The hobby was “less common” than basketball, she said.

But Justus wasn’t enthusiastic at first. “I thought I was going to be embarrassed,” he said.
As it turned out, mom knew best.

Justus, now 12 and completing sixth grade, is the highest-rated chess player in the U.S. in his age and gender group, and fourth overall in World Chess Federation international rankings for his age group.
Justus found out recently that he will travel to Halkidiki, Greece in October to represent the U.S. in the 2010 World Youth Chess Championship. That’s after a summer filled with tournaments such as the Pan American Youth Chess Festival in Brazil and the World Open in Philadelphia.

Justus first played at a Chess-in-the-Schools program in the Bronx’s P.S. 70, when he was in the third grade. His instructor Shaun Smith said Justus had more focus than his peers, and pushed himself to the top of the class—and the country—by fourth grade. “He’s a very mature sixth grader in that he’s stoic and adult-like,” Smith said. “He’s the quietest person. He’s very shy.”

As he started winning, the champ began to see chess as less of a chore. “My mom didn’t have to push me to go to tournaments anymore,” he said. His grades got better, too.

Smith, who coordinates Justus’s tournament play, started bringing him to more prestigious games when he hit fifth grade. He now practices one or two hours a day.

How does a 12-year-old chess champ prepare to become a master? His mom figures that out. She makes sure Justus gets a good night’s sleep and steers him from junk food; healthier foods such as fruit and chicken salad help his mental stamina, she said.

“It’s tempting for him to fall out of that because he sees other people there with the burgers and fries,” Latisha said. “He thinks, ‘Here I am, eating a salad, I look like the freak of the week.’ That’s the role I play, letting him know it’s okay.”

Justus now attends middle school at I.S. 318 in Brooklyn–a 90-minute commute from home, but the school’s strong chess program makes it worthwhile, he said. Still, Justus said he gets nervous before tournaments. “After the first round when I win, I start to get comfortable,” he said.
Regardless of what happens in Greece, Justus is confident he can achieve his goals: One, to become the youngest African-American chess master, and, later on, an international investment banker “because they make a lot of money,” he said. But, he added, “I’ll never quit chess—not while I’m winning.”

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/06/29/portrait-of-a-bronx-chess-champion-age-12/