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    National Week of Action, Oct 12 -18, focuses on Victor White III’s death

    DRUM CALL: OPEN LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY

    Victor White III was a 22-year-old whose death in police custody is becoming known as a “Houdini Suicide.” Police in New Iberia claim Victor committed suicide in the back of their police cruiser. They allege that after being pat down twice and being detained in the back of a police car,  Victor produced a gun and shot himself in the back while his hands were cuffed behind his back. The coroner’s report later showed that the bullet entered in his chest.

    How did Victor produce a gun in the back of a police cruiser after being searched twice? How is it possible that Victor shot himself in the chest while his hands were bound behind his back?


    Victor’s father has a simple question: “My son was not Houdini.  So, who [did] it?”


    The Justice for Victor White Committee is working directly with the family of Victor White III for a National Week of Action to be held in New Iberia and Lafayette, October 12-18, 2015. We seek to honor the life of Victor, raise awareness of his untimely death, demand accountability for law officers’ actions, and ensure transparency in future investigations.  We invite organizations, community leaders, elected officials, and citizens to stand with us in this fight for justice.

    The Victor White case embodies a blatant disregard of human rights.  Here’s how you can stand with Victor White’s family in their fight for justice:

    1. Attend the March Against Police Violence on October 17th at 11 am  in New Iberia, La.  and connect other organizers to this event.
    2. Participate in Week of Action (October 12-18) events as a host, guest speaker, or attendant. The week will consist of coordinated student walk-outs(Oct 12), Police Brutality Symposium(Oct13th), a two-day teach-in workshop series Oct 14-15), a music concert (Oct 16th), March Against Police Violence on (Oct 17), and day of healing on (Oct 18). See www.justiceforvic.com <http://www.justiceforvic.com>  for more details on events.
    3. Make a donation at GoFundMe.com/JusticeforVic. Financial support will be needed to make these efforts successful. You can also send donations directly from your Paypal account to the email address JusticeForVictorWhite@gmail.com. To be listed as an Official Sponsor, please contact Dawn at (337) 344-4462 <tel:%28337%29%20344-4462> .
    4. Make an in-kind donation. We need signs, shirts, water, printing services, etc,
    5. Attend Justice for Victor White planning meetings held every 2nd and 4th Thursday at Imani Temple (201 East Willow Street – Lafayette, LA 70501).
    6. Share Victor White’s story.  Commit to sharing Victor White’s story everyday, like us on Facebook, share his story on social media using the hashtag #JusticeForVic, etc.
    7. Tell your story. Post a video or message completing the prompt, “I want to trust the police, but…” Be sure to use the following tags: #IWantToTrustThePoliceBut, #JusticeForVic, @Justiceforvic [instagram],  and @JusticeForVW3 [Twitter].

     

    Victor White’s case deserves more local, regional and national attention. We believe Victor White was murdered by police while in police custody. His death and subsequent cover-up represents a systematic failure to hold police accountable for a growing trend of abuse, which disproportionately impact people of color.
    Join us in this fight.  Please contact us by phone or email to let us know how you and/or your organization can support this effort. 

    Justice for Victor White Committee

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    Baker candidate forum scheduled for Oct. 13

    Main Street Pilot International will host a Baker Candidate Forum, Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 5:30 p.m., Baker Municipal Center, 3325 Groom Road, Baker, Louisiana. 

    The non-profit, headquartered in Baker, mission is to transform communities by developing youth, providing service and education, and uplifting families.

    Candidates qualifying for the following races are invited to participate: BESE District 8, State Senator 15th Senatorial District, State Representative 63rd Representative District, EBR Clerk of Court, and City Judge City Court, Division C, City of Baton Rouge.

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    NBR Initiative to host Aug. 27 discussion with Superintendent Drake

    Members  of  the  community‐led initiative  Our  Schools…Our  Excellence  (OSOE)  are  hosting an  open  forum  with  East  Baton  Rouge  Parish  School  System  Superintendent  Warren Drake, Thursday,  August  27, 6pm, at Star  Hill  Church, 1400 N. Foster Dr.    

    An  Evening  with  Superintendent  Drake  is  purposed  to  connect  the  North  Baton  Rouge  community  with  the  new  parish  leader  as  he  shares  his  plan  for   schools  in  North  Baton  Rouge.  

     “I  believe  it  is  critical  that  we  engage  our  stakeholders  from  every  area  of  the  parish  in  a  discussion  about  the  future  of  East  Baton  Rouge  Parish  schools.  I  look  forward  to  the  opportunity  to  meet  with  members  of  the  North  Baton  Rouge  community  to  address  issues  of  importance  to  them,” said Drake.

    Since  taking  over  as  superintendent,  Drake  has  shared what  he  believes  is  required  to  improve  the  education  ecosystem  in the parish. OSOE leaders said Drake’s  plan  “greatly  aligns  with  OSOE’s  Community  Compact.  Thus,  our  goal  is  clear:  to  allow  Superintendent  Drake  to  explain  his  vision  to  an  audience  that  needs  it  most,  and  to  challenge  the  community  to  work  with  our  new  leader  to  see  it  come  to  pass.”

    The meeting is free and open to the public but registration at  https://eveningwithdrake.eventbrite.com is encouraged.

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    Black Lives Matter Summit scheduled for Aug. 22

    The Baton Rouge Delta Alumnae Chapter, Planned Parenthood, and the Southern University Law Center will host a Black Lives Matter summit, Saturday, Aug. 22, at 8am at the Southern University Law Center’s AA Lenior Building.

    Organizers said the summit will address and discuss issues such as high incarceration rate, Black-on-Black crime, problematic relationships with law enforcement, disparity in educational opportunities for poverty-stricken areas, funding restraints of Historically Black Colleges and the breakdown of nuclear family.

    The summit is free and open to the public and CLE credits will be offered to all attorneys.. A lite breakfast and lunch will be served. Registration at www.eventbrite.com is requested.

    “There is strength in numbers and we believe in order to make a true impact and address these issues that have plagued our community for years, we must make this a total community  effort to provide positive solutions for these concerns,” said Karmen R. Davis, Baton Rouge Delta Alumnae Chapter president.

    Panel discussions will cover family matters, the judicial system and Black America, community involvement, and education.

    Speakers include Juvenile Court Judge Pam Taylor Johnson; Tasha Clark Amar, executive director of East Baton Rouge Council on Aging; Lamont Cole, CEO of ColeGroup; Ron Gathe, assistant district attorney for the 19th Judicial District; Louisiana State Trooper James Jefferson; Jacqueline Mims,Ph.D., clinical director, Eclectic Cognitive Behavioral Center; Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., senior associate, HCM Strategists; Walter Tillman Jr., Ph.D., Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals; attorney Charles Toney; Family Court Chief Judge Lisa Woodruff White; and assistant Southern Universaity New Orleans professor Carey YazeedPh.D.

     

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    Kiwanis to bowl for kids, Aug.22

    The Kiwanis Club of South Baton Rouge and several regional Kiwanis Clubs are coming together for the 2nd annual “Bowling for Babies” bowl-a-thon, Sat., August 22, 2pm, at Circle Bowl, 8878 Florida Blvd. 

    The bowl-a-thon is organized in the spirit of The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. Tetanus kills one baby every nine minutes or about 160 newborns each day. Kiwanis International is raising US$110 million by 2015 in an effort to protect at least 61 million women and their future babies who are at risk of this deadly and highly preventable disease.  The event supports Kiwanis’ mission to serve the children of the world.

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    Baton Rouge Police to offer Equalizer Women’s Self-Defense class

    The Baton Rouge Police Department is offering an Equalizer Women’s Self-Defense class. The free class will be held at the Baton Rouge Police Department Training Academy, 9000 Airline Hwy, 6 pm – 10pm. The course covers: facts about violence against women, reducing the risk of becoming a victim, defensive striking, common grab defenses, head-lock defenses, bear hug defenses, striking and knife defense and group escapes. The class is open to women over the age of 13. Participants should wear comfortable clothing suitable for physical activity. Participants must attend all 4 sessions to be certified.

    Class size is limited so participants should register early by following this link.

    Session 1

    Tuesday, August 18th

    Session 2
    Thursday, August 20th

    Session 3
    Tuesday, August 25th

    Session 4
    Thursday, August 27th

     

     

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  • Welcome to Port Allen, Mr. Gossett

    Actor Louis Gosset Jr. is probably best known for his role in the landmark ABC miniseries “Roots” ; as the tough by-the-book drill sergeant in “An Officer and A Gentleman,” and roles in “Iron Eagle”, “A Raisin in the Sun”, “Left Behind”, “Daddy’s Little Girls” “The Grace Card”, “The Least Among You”,”The Olive Branch” and “One More River to Cross”.

    On Friday, July 31, he will keynote the CPM Bible College “Spirit of Excellence Scholarship Education Gala” at 7pm in the West Baton Rouge Community Center, 749 North Jefferson Avenue.

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    osset authored the book, “An Actor and A Gentleman” where he writes frankly of the pressures in Hollywood, struggles with and triumph in God over drugs, alcohol and his current work to eradicate racism and violence in our communities. Gossett has been recognized for his work with the Wings of Hope Anti-Drug Organization and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America. Currently, this versatile actor, national, international spokesperson, missionary is forging the vision of the Eracism Foundation, a non-profit entity aimed toward educating the youth, mentoring and reconnecting the generations with the goal of eradicating racism.

    ONLINE: www.centerpeaceministries.com. 

    @jozefsyndicate

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    Scotlandville area elementary schools come together for Back-to-School Bash, Aug. 3

    The East Baton Rouge Parish School System elementary schools serving the students of the Scotlandville area are coming together on Monday, August 3, noon – 2 pm for a Back-to-School Bash, at Progress Elementary School, 855 Progress Road.

    To get students excited and prepared for the 2015-16 school year. Families of students currently enrolled or interested in enrolling in Crestworth, Ryan and Progress Elementary Schools are invited to participate in the Back-to-School Bash from noon to 2 p.m. at Progress Elementary.

    The event is designed to bring together the Scotlandville community for a time to learn more about the community partnerships and the three elementary schools. Students and parents will have an opportunity to meet school staffs, register onsite, and receive free school supplies. Community partners will be on hand to provide information on adult educational opportunities and career options. There will also be health care information available.

    The celebration will include a DJ, face painting, BREC on the Geaux mobile recess activities, as well as refreshments, inflatables and other fun for the entire family. More than 10 area barbers and hair stylists will be providing free basic services to students as they get set to go back to school.

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    Month With Mada: Black Lives Matter Symposium brings youth, adults together

    “The Quality of Life in the Baton Rouge Community regarding all age groups, genders, culture needs to be addressed,” said The Rev. Dale W. Flowers during A Black Lives Matter Symposium, July 6 – July 10, at New Sunlight Baptist Church, 1777 America Street.

    Many Black males have been victims or have lost their lives to police brutality and other others, and this has had a major impact in many communities all over this nation. The symposium presenters discussed a wealth of valuable information ranging from crime, poverty, violence, racism, drugs, education, and healthcare. East Baton Rouge Parish Constable Major Reginald Brown provided the bike giveaways. Gift cards came from local businesses.

    On Monday, July 6, panelists discussed adjudicated property, increase in crime, blighted areas, and first-time home ownership. Attorney Winston Riddick and Nun Judith Brun of Sacred Heart Catholic Church shared tips and techniques for better decision making for teenagers. The smaller age group children had information shared from the Southern University and Louisiana State University agriculture centers.

    On Tuesday, July 7, Chief Administrator George Bell discussed the closure of the Mid-City Baton Rouge General Hospital’s emergency room while Sherry Asberry from Our Lady of the Hospital talked about healthcare. State Representative Alfred Williams discussed funding sources that could have been considered in saving the emergency facility. Other presentations involved HIV/AIDS, Clerk of Court-Identification Cards and Fingerprinting.
    Representation from the Baton Rouge Police Department was given by Riley Harbor focusing on crime prevention, proactive/reactive measures, and the importance of Neighborhood Watch Programs and Civic Organizations. The highlight that added to the session on Wednesday July, 8th along with other topics was Tanesha Craig, a fitness instructor talked about healthy diets and led the group in an exercise fitness class. Terrell Johnson, African American World History Professor from Southern University, also gave a dynamic and profound presentation.

    On Thursday, July 9, the topic was education. EBR School Board member Evelyn Ware Jackson and Liz Frischert discussed assessment and accountability, the importance of having an education, and the Common Core Education Program. Marcus Coleman, Dean of Students at Southern University A & M College, shared college preparatory information, academic readiness for the upcoming school term. Norma Veal gave tips on fire safety, and a representative from the Baton Rouge Constable Office talked about the D.A.R.E. Program

    Finally on Friday, July 10, the culminating sessions wrapping up the Black Lives Matter Symposium included a period of questions and answers.

    Flowers said the primary focus and concentration is to devise a plan to improve the quality of life in the community where we reside, work, and live.

    The Black Lives Matter Symposium reached out to children as young as pre-K toddlers to senior citizens. It was a very informative and a much needed dialogue for alerting and keeping the Baton Rouge Community aware of issues affecting many citizens. This symposium showed the importance of knowing what is happening and going on in today’s society.

    By Mada McDonald
    Drum Columnist

    The Month with Mada column shares commentary on community and current events compiled by Mada McDonald, a public relations professional and community activist in Baton Rouge. Leave your comments below.

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    Crump to keynote national asset building conference

    The Southern Regional Asset Building Coalition (SRABC) will hold its eighth annual conference Oct. 8-9 in Biloxi, Mississippi, at the Beau Rivage Resort. The featured keynote speaker is Maxine Crump, the executive director of Dialogue on Race Louisiana.

    Crump made history when she became the first Black woman to live in a residence hall on LSU’s campus, then again in 1975 by becoming Baton Rouge’s WAFB Channel-9 News’ first Black reporter. She’s been inspiring others to make history ever since, through her work in television, radio, humanitarian efforts and community development. She also plays an important role in working to eliminate race discrimination in Baton Rouge with the  Dialogue on Race Louisiana, which aims to educate the community on ways to make their future free from “a vivid racial divide that still exists in Louisiana.” In February earlier this year, she took the TEDxLSU stage with her message “Using Talk to Create Action”.

    “The public is especially invited to join this dynamic network at the 8th annual conference and become engaged in making concrete steps to ensure economic inclusion and wealth building for all,” said Gena McClendon, SRABC project director.

    Since 2007, the SRABC conference has brought together 250 advocates and experts from 18 states to collaborate on specific strategies and efforts that increase financial security for communities across the nation.

    With special emphasis on defining policies and programs that support low-income families and communities, this year’s conference provides participants with provide opportunities to collaborate utilizing the latest research and innovative ways to assist low- to moderate-income families in building wealth.

    SRABC is a partnership of state coalitions dedicated to the advocating for and the development of asset-building policies and programs for low-income families and rural communities.

    ONLINE: www.srabcoalition.org

     

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    Urban Ag Farm opens for tours

    The Southern University Ag Center’s Sustainable Urban Agriculture Demonstration Farm has launched its farm tours. The show-and-tell garden provides information on vegetable varieties, planting instruction, composting techniques, and other relevant information. The farm tours will be available throughout the year.  To schedule a tour, please contact Dawn Mellion-Patin or Zanetta Augustine at the SU Ag Center by calling 225-771-2242.

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    Juneteenth event, book uncover history of Scotlandville

    Local authors join forces with citizens to create tribute to small town’s history, June 19.

    Telling a story in pictures is Images of America: Scotlandville, the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series. The book by local authors Rachel L. Emanuel, Ruby Jean Simms, and Charles Vincent released the book June 1, 2015. The book contains wonderful vintage images capturing this African American community’s history.

    A rural village that was once the entry point for the slave trade and home to a cotton plantation, Scotlandville became the largest Black town in Louisiana.

    Located in the northern part of East Baton Rouge Parish, Scotlandville’s history is intricately tied to Southern University and A&M College System, the naton’s only historically Black university system

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    . Southern University relocated from New Orleans to the bluff of the Mississippi River on the western edge of Scotlandville in 1914.

    The story of the university and town is a tale of triumph and struggle in the midst of racism, inequality, and oppression. Presented through the theme of firsts in businesses, churches, schools, residential developments, environmental issues, politics, social organizations, and community service, Images of America: Scotlandville focuses on the people who shaped the community economically, politically, socially, and culturally.

    Using photographs from institutional and personal collections, Emanuel, Simms, and Vincent describe the origins, development, and heyday of the vibrant neighborhoods of Scotlandville before the community’s incorporation into Baton Rouge.

    Emanuel is the director of communications and development support for the Southern University Law Center; Simms and Vincent are both professors of history at Southern University.

    EVENT INFO:
    Juneteenth Celebration Book Launch
    Friday, June 19,  4-5:30 p.m
    Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church Family Life Center
    6700 Scenic Hwy
    Baton Rouge, LA

    Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers.
     

    @jozefsyndicate

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    Month with Mada: Awards luncheon, golf tournament, lawyers’ gala

    The Gloryland Educational Resource Center, Incorporated, will host the 10th Year Anniversary “A Decade of Service”  Awards Luncheon, Saturday, June 6, at Boudreaux’s, 2647 Government Street.

    Warren Drake, the newly appointed superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. 

    The Resource Center concentrates on five programs:  Filling The G.A. P. (Gloryland After-School Program); Operation R.E.A.C.H. Summer Enhancement Program; Balm in Gilead Health and Wellness Educational Program; Food Pantry and Clothes Closet; and the Scholastic Scholarships Program. Scholarship recipients, scholastic achievers, graduates and the community service award to Amerigroup and Demetria Perkins for volunteer service will be recognized during the noon luncheon.

    Tickets are available for a donation of $25 per person (tax deductible).  For information, contact Gloryland Baptist Church at (225) 356 – 0577.

    The Capitol City Golf Association will observe its 50th Annual Capitol City Golf Association Amateur Open Tournament to be held June 13-14.  It will be held at the Copper Mill Golf Course in Zachary, Louisiana. Approximately, 120 golfers from Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Florida are expected to participate.  Members of CCGA over many years has provided an array of golf activities.  CCGA concentrates on providing opportunities to help youth play and understand golf tips and techniques and reinforce life skills as well as mastering educational experiences.

    One major accomplishment for 2015 is to support the First Tee of East Baton Rouge Parish and the Melrose Elementary mentoring and assistance project.  There have been other community based charitable projects as approved by the CCGA Board of Directors.  The CCGA was established in 1961 and the legacy of the CCGA was founded and organized by Coach Larney Owens.

    The association is a chartered non-profit corporation.  In recognition of the 50th Anniversary, CCGA will appreciate any support from corporate sponsors, sponsor a hold and/or initiate merchandise for prizes to be given away at the tournament.  The Capitol City Golf Association invites the Baton Rouge Community to come and be a part of this endeavor and offer any assistance for our youth related to positive golf activities.

    During the Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Annual Scholarship Gala held Friday, April 17, Donna M. Lee, Esq., of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal presented the Martinet Southern University Law Center Scholarship to Lillian Williams, the Martinet Paul M. Hebert Law Center, LSU Scholarship  to Andrew Hairston, and the Martinet High School Scholarship to Cameron Murray of Catholic High School. Rolando R. Urbina, Esq., presented the A. P. Tureaud Award to Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, the Dutch Morial Award to Kean Miller, LLP, and the Lifetime Achievement Award to attorney Johnnie A. Jones Sr.  Quintillia K. Lawrence, commissioner, 19th Judicial District Court conducted the swearing in of the society’s president Rolando Urbina, 1st vice-president Tayla Bergeron, 2nd vice-president Carlton Miller, treasurer Lykisha Vaughn, secretary Ashley Greenhouse, and immediate past president Christopher Hebert.  About 300 people attended the festive gala. ONLINE: http://www.louismartinetbr.com/

    By Mada McDonald
    Drum Columnist

    The Month with Mada column shares commentary on community and current events compiled by Mada McDonald, a public relations professional and community activist in Baton Rouge. Leave your comments below.

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    Small business and recruitment events end June 4

    East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden will host a series of events during the first week of June to foster the growth of opportunities for small, woman-owned and minority businesses, and individuals seeking employment.  All events are free, but participants for each event are asked to register in advance online at http://businesswithbr.com.

    The Mayor will kick off the week by welcoming the Women’s Business Enterprise Council, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana and the Southern Regional Minority Supplier Development Council fora 6pm networking event on June 1, at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel, 777 L’Auberge Avenue.

    From 9am – 1pm, June 2 the Mayor will host a technology recruitment fair for those seeking employment opportunities.  Representatives will be sourcing business consultants, designers, certified professionals, programmers and other highly skilled technical professionals.   This fair will take place at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel.  Holden encourages those attending to come dressed for success with several copies of their resume.

    The Mayor will then host his 4th annual Small Business Development Summit on June 4 , to help local businesses explore possible contracting opportunities with the City-Parish. The summit will be held from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel.

    Representatives from the following city-parish departments will be on hand to discuss their processes for procuring goods and services, and to provide information about how small businesses can take advantage of those opportunities:
    •           Purchasing
    •           Mayor’s Office of Community Development
    •           East Baton Rouge Parish Library
    •           Downtown Development District
    •           Sanitary Sewer Overflow Program/Department of Public Works
    •           Fire Department
    •           Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
    •           Division of Human Development and Services
    •           Juvenile Services
    •           Information Services

     There will also be opportunities to meet one-on-one with city-parish departments, procurement managers and technical assistance partner.

    “Building on our past successes, this year’s upcoming summit will again work to strengthen the local pool of qualified small businesses and  help small business owners achieve success by providing one-on-one consulting, networking opportunities and other assistance,” Holden said.

    All three events, including the summit are free, but participants are asked to register in advance online.

     

    Business with Baton Rouge is part of the Mayor’s Small Business Investment Initiative administered by the Mayor’s Office of Community Development to stimulate the local economy through small business growth.   The program is funded by an SBA grant obtained by the Mayor for supporting entrepreneurship, creating jobs and stimulating local economic recovery and growth. 

    The Business with Baton Rouge program, coordinated by the City-Parish Business Development Coordinator, Stacie Williams,  brings our City-Parish agencies together to assure there is consistency across programs designed to encourage small business participation. 

     

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    The Diabetic Kitchen hosts ‘Why is Diabetes Called the Silent Killer?’

    The Diabetic Kitchen will host its monthly meeting, Thursday, May 28, at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 119 Jefferson Street in New Iberia. The 5pm meeting time is free and open to the public.

    Dr. Kimberly Smith Dauterive will explain why diabetes is called the “Silent Killer.” She will also discuss the complications of uncontrolled diabetes, including blindness, kidney failure, and blockage leading to limb amputation.

    The Diabetic Kitchen founder Nathaniel Mitchell Sr. said the meeting promises to be an information filled and lively exchange.

    ONLINE: www.thediabetickitchen.org

    or
    The Diabetic Kitchen on Facebook

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  • Hundreds attend Black journalists luncheon

    About 250 people recently attended the Third Annual Baton Rouge Area Association of Black Journalists’ Scholarship luncheon.

    The April 23 event honored pioneering journalists Jean West, former anchor at WAFB and the first Black anchor in Baton Rouge; John Williams, (posthumously) who was the first Black photographer at The Advocate;  Ivory Payne, publisher of the Weekly Press which has served the North Baton Rouge community for more than 30 years, and Genevieve Stewart, former host of “Question of the Day” on KQXL-FM.

    “I really enjoyed the event and so did my guests,” said Danielle Kelley.  “Job well done.”

    “A beautiful affair,” said Attorney Paula Clayton.  “It’s always special when the awards are shared because of the rewards received from others.”

    “Congrats on a beautiful event,” said WAFB Anchor Donna Britt.

    “I thought the event was very, very inspirational,” said Mada McDonald. “I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end. It was nice to see the community coming together for a positive activity and there was a lot of love in the room.”

    Money raised from the event will be used to send LSU and Southern students and a professional member of the organization to National Association of Black Journalists’ Convention (NABJ) in Minneapolis in August. Last year, BRAABJ sponsored three students at the NABJ convention in Boston.

    “This event is our way of thanking our pioneers in the business for paving the way for us in the industry,” said BRAABJ President Michelle McCalope. “And we are so grateful for the support we receive from our members, the community, and our media sponsors.  We couldn’t do it without them.”

    Since 2013, the event has raised more than $40,000 which includes this year’s donations. Past honorees include Maxine Crump, Henry Stewart, Mayor Kip Holden, Ed Pratt, Bob Rene, Yvonne Campbell, Henry Baptiste, and Sylvia Weatherspoon.

    BRAABJ is a non-profit organization made up of local media and media-related professionals and student journalists. The organization was founded in 2012.

    Its mission is to highlight and support journalists of color, give back through mentoring and scholarships and promote diversity in our newsrooms. It is an affiliate of the National Association of Black Journalists.

    ONLINE:  brareabj.org and facebook.com/BRAABJ

     

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    300,000 nationwide expected to Stand Against Racism

    YWCA Greater Baton Rouge is calling on all individuals, organizations, businesses and religious institutions to join us in taking a Stand Against Racism on Thursday, April 23. YWCA Stand Against Racism will unite our community in a bold demonstration that delivers a clear message: Racism can no longer be ignored nor tolerated.

    “Racism continues to be a pervasive issue in our community and communities across the United States,” said Jennifer A. Shoub, CEO of YWCA Greater Baton Rouge. “Participating in ‘Stand Against Racism’ is just one way we can make change by coming together to organize and show our commitment to eliminating racism.”

    YWCA Greater Baton Rouge will take a Stand Against Racism in unison with others throughout the country. On Thursday, April 23, YWCAs will join in a National Day of Action to urge Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act. From Thursday through Sunday nationwide, more than 300,000 people are expected to participate in a range of locally organized events involving public policy advocacy, community education and trainings that will lead to a commitment to working for racial justice by taking the pledge Against Racism.

    The local event, sponsored by YWCA Greater Baton Rouge with partner East Baton Rouge Parish Library, 4pm, Thursday, April 23, 7711 Goodwood Boulevard. Registration begins at 3pm. Participants will register, have an opportunity to sign the YWCA’s pledge to eliminate racism, make a personal statement on a provided sign, and stand with like-minded people committed to eliminating racism. Social media opportunities will also be available.

    Founded in 2007 by YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton, Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA. This campaign is designed to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism. Stand Against Racism is one part of the YWCA’s national strategy to fulfill our mission to eliminate racism.

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    Chief Justice Johnson declares May 1 as Law Day

    The Louisiana Supreme Court issued a resolution urging all Louisiana state court judges to dedicate the month of May 2015 to reaching out to schools to provide students with an opportunity to learn about the law, the role of judges, and the court system from members of the judiciary. Law Day was established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to strengthen our heritage of liberty, justice and equality under the law. In 1961, Congress issued a joint resolution designating May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day. Every president since then has issued a Law Day proclamation on May 1st to celebrate the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. The 2015 national Law Day theme is “Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law.”

    “During the month of May, the Louisiana Supreme Court will host school students participating in Law Day activities including: mock trials and tours of the Royal Street courthouse which include visits to the Louisiana Supreme Court Museum and the Law Library of Louisiana,” said Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson.

    On this 57th anniversary of Law Day, the resolution states in part that “all judges have a unique ability to educate young people about our legal system and respect for the law.” Teachers or principals interested in coordinating a Louisiana Supreme Court tour or a Law Day presentation with a local judge, contact the Louisiana Supreme Court Community Relations Department at 504.310.2590.

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    “Springing into Health” to demonstrate holistic treatment of cancer

    Join Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards, Gamma Eta Omega Chapter, area physicians, cancer survivors and a host of educators, pharmaceutical representatives, community vendors and public service agencies for “Springing into Health” Saturday, April 18, 9am, at the Charles R. Kelly Community Center, 3535 Riley Street.
    “I am excited to help bring attention to a unique panel discussion happening at 10am on holistic (spirit, soul and body) treatment of cancer through a partnership with the Center and stakeholders involved in wellness education, prevention, intervention, traditional treatment as well as alternative medicine. Since beginning my own battle against treatment for pancreatic cancer, I have been encouraged and inspired by their stories and tenacity to live against the odds. Their dramatic testimonials are quite compelling and offer hope to patients, families and friends of survivors with a focus on their unique journey (i.e., the medical diagnosis, their treatment plan, how family and friends helped them and what was their daily regime to get victory,” said Edwards.
    The general public is invited to take advantage of free health screenings for blood pressure, blood glucose and body mass Index (BMI). Included are free workshops and panel discussions regarding fitness and nutrition and stress management.
    To register, call 225.389.4831 or (225) 389-5464.

    Read more »
  • ,

    Fonzworth Bentley visits LSU, April 16

    Derek “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins, a philanthropist, actor and producer who was named GQ magazine’s “First Gentleman of Hip Hop.” will keynote LSU’s second First Impression event,Thursday, April 16, 6:30pm, at The Club at Union Square.

    First Impressions is hosted by LSU’s College of Engineering Diversity Programs and the Black Male Leadership Initiative. The event presents business and casual styles for young men who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.

    “We know nationally that there is a shortage of African-American professionals in the STEM fields,” said Vincent Harris, LSU BMLI graduate coordinator.”This event will benefit Black LSU males by providing a venue that demonstrates the value of a strong first impression when interacting in the professional world.”

    ONLINE: LSU’s Black Male Leadership Initiative

    Read more »
  • ,,

    Everybody with Diabetes Counts classes offered Mondays through May 18

    Everyone with Diabetes Counts program is partnering with Jewel J. Newman Community Center to provide free diabetes education in North Baton Rouge and surrounding areas Mondays, April 13 – May 18, 10:30am in the Recreation Center of the Jewel J. Newman Community Center, located at 2013 Central Road.

    The EDC program is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It is administered by Quality Insights in Louisiana as well as Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The program offers free classes that are open to people with diabetes, their family members and caregivers. Individuals with pre-diabetes can also benefit from these classes. The classes are designed to empower each participant with the knowledge to effectively manage diabetes, meet glucose targets, and prevent or manage complications from the disease. Participants will learn about diabetes risks, nutrition, weight management, stress control, how to properly manage medications and much more. Past participants have reported weight loss, improvement of lab results and a decrease in medications.

    “We are very excited to partner with the EDC program,” Carla Powell, Manager at the Community Center, said. “The need for diabetes education is so great in our area and we feel the community will greatly benefit from the classes. We hope our community members will also consider registering.”

    The classes will be by the Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network. For more information or to register for the upcoming class, email jjncc@brgov.com.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    Sen. Broome to hold three district meetings

    State Senator Sharon Weston Broome will hold a series of community meetings in the Senate District 15 area prior to the 2015 Regular Legislative Session. Senator Broome will highlight legislative issues and her priorities for the upcoming session.

    Broome urges citizens in the area to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about important state issues.

    Save the date and join the conversation!

    Monday, March 23
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
    Baker Branch Library
    3501 Groom Road
    Baker, La 70714

    Monday, April 6
    6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
    BREC Headquarters
    6201 Florida Boulevard
    Baton Rouge, La 70806

    Tuesday, April 7
    6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
    Zachary Branch Library
    1900 Church Street
    Zachary, La 70791

    The session will convene at noon on Monday, April 13.

    For more information, contact
    lasen15@legis.la.gov or (225) 359-9352

    Read more »
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    Citizen to deliver letter to OLOL president to find emergency room solutions

    A delegation of clergy, community leaders and concerned citizens will gather tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, at noon, outside of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, in the 7700 block of Hennessy Blvd, as they seek to continue a dialogue with the leadership of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and urge them to take the lead on developing solutions to address the impending closure of the Mid City ER and several specific problems that have led to that closure.

    They will meet at noon in the grassy area near the entrance to the in the 7700 block of Hennessy Blvd.

    Organizers with Together Baton Rouge said, “This is not a protest or a picket. We will, in a word, be delivering a letter — a letter from a broad group of clergy in our community addressed to Scott Wester, President and CEO of OLOL.”

    The letter asks Mr. Wester to work with the community through Together Baton Rouge to develop solutions on three fronts:

    1) That the Lake embrace and propose changes to its Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with the State, so that the costs and funding for uninsured care is distributed proportionally to those institutions to the extent that they are providing that care;

    2) That the Lake take the lead on helping to develop a proposal for the continuation or restoration of emergency medical services in Mid City; and

    3) That the Lake do everything within its capacity to expand its provision of care to the uninsured and to prisoners under the CEA, pending more permanent reforms to that contract.

    “Why are we engaging the Lake on these matters, and not Baton Rouge General or our Governor? We are doing all three! ” wrote Fr. Rick Andrus of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in an email.

    But we do believe that the Lake is in the best position to take the lead on developing solutions, because of its mission to serve the least of these and the resources available to it under the CEA. We have a meeting scheduled with Mr. Wester later in the month, to engage him around the three goals outlined above,” wrote Andrus.

    Read more »
  • ,

    HBCU climate change conference comes to New Orleans, March 26-29

    Dillard University’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in collaboration with the Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs will host the Third Annual HBCU Student Climate Change Conference March 26-29 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference is designed to strengthen the partnerships between students and faculty at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and organization leaders from climate-impacted communities. It is a response to the call for HBCUs to step up and lead on climate justice since many of the schools are located in communities that are on the frontline of climate assault. The Third Annual HBCU Student Climate Change Conference theme is “Bridging the Gap between Theory and Experience.”

    ,Ph.D., known as the father of environmental justice, will be the keynote speaker. He is the author of image001seventeen books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity. Professor Bullard was featured in the July 2007 CNN People You Should Know, Bullard: Green Issue is Black and White. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. And that same year, Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award.
    More than 80 percent of the 104 HBCUs are located in the Southern United States. Forty-three HBCUs are located in the Gulf Coast States: TX (9), LA (7), AL (15), MS (8), and FL (4)–in cities like New Orleans and Houston that are at ground zero in the fight for climate justice. Nearly a decade ago, flooding from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans drowned that city’s three HBCUs (Dillard University, Xavier University and Southern University at New Orleans) in 2005. Three years later, Hurricane Ike caused major property damage to Texas Southern University in Houston–the nation’s fourth largest HBCU. Read more at: OpEdNews.com
    Read more »
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    MARCH INTO SUCCESS – Workshop presents matching funds for business’ growth

    Baton Rouge businesses located in and serving clients in the 70801, 70805, 70806, or 70807 zip code areas will receive information on obtaining matching funds from $2,000 to $10,000 to support business growth. The total reimbursable matching fund is $40,000. Representatives will answer questions on the use of the funds. The number of approved businesses depends on the size of individual awards. Applications will be available at the presentation.

    The workshop is Saturday, Feb. 28, 10am  – 11:30am, at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, 616 Harding Boulevard.

    This program is sponsored by the Southern University Center for Social Research, Housing and Urban Development-HUD, and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center-SUBR.

    REGISTRATION INFORMATION
    This seminar is open to the general public; however, advanced registration is required due to limited class size. To register for this seminar, you may call the Louisiana SBDC at (225) 774-9213 or visit the LSBDC website at www.lsbdc.org. The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University-Baton Rouge (LSBDC-SUBR) is a partnership program funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Louisiana Economic Development, and Southern University-Baton Rouge.

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    Edwards announces Dist. 5 community meetings

    East Baton Rouge Metro Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards invites the public to air grievances, speak directly to department officials, and learn about community programs at her district meetings on the following dates at 10 am.

    Saturday, Feb. 28
    Maplewood BREC Park
    8200 Maplewood

    Saturday, April 4
    N. Sherwood Forest BREC
    3140 North Sherwood Forest Dr.

    Saturday,June 6
    Times of Refreshing Ministries
    3745 Mohican Street

    Saturday, August 1
    Delmont Gardens Library
    3351 Lorraine Street

    Saturday,  October 1
    Greenwell Springs Library
    11300 Greenwell Springs Road




     

    Read more »
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    Summit on Louisiana Families of Color to present quality of life, incarceration reports, Feb. 27

    PICO Louisiana and The Micah Project along with members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus will come together, Feb. 27, at the Southern University Ag Center to present a Summit on Louisiana Families of Color. Reports presented at the summit will show the connection between the health and quality of life of children and the injustice of mass incarceration.

    There will also be a discussion on how to prepare communities for civic engagement and the La. Legislative Black Caucus will hear public concerns through guided discussions around these issues. This FREE event will be an opportunity to learn more about the systems that perpetuate injustices in our state and how your voice can make a difference in creating real change in the lives of our families.

    Date: Friday, February 27, 2015
    Time: 9 am – 2:30 pm
    Location: Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center Baton Rouge, LA
    Breakfast and lunch will be served and free parking is available

    THIS SUMMIT IS FREE and open to leaders, clergy, and concerned citizens who want to assure that ALL families of Louisiana are thriving and ALL children of Louisiana are healthy. Space is limited.


    Register online at http://summitonfamilies.eventbrite.com

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    And the 52 nominees are….

    More than 50 professionals from across the Greater Baton Rouge area have been nominated for the first class of the Baton Rouge Black Professionals Forty Under 40 Entrepreneur Award.  The inaugural class will be honored at a noon ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Belle of Baton Rouge.The winners will be announced by emcee Tiffany “Mic Chick” Dickerson.  Miss Black Teen Louisiana USAM 2015, Cathy McLeod will present the awards on behalf of the organization.Organizers said the nominees exemplifiy an entrepreneurial spirit and have company statistics to support their claim.

    The nominees are:

    • Jaubert G. Ambeau IV of Total Body Anatomy
    • Angel Askew-Murchison of Mommie’s Minis Cupcakes
    • Tonia Askins of Tonia Askins International, LLC
    • Wilson Battley III of Battley Home Inspection Services and VIP Daiquiri
    • James Benton III of The Law Office of James Benton III, LLC
    • Oonarissa Bernard of Over and Beyond Apparel – Manufacturing/Make Me Over Artistry
    • Robert Broussard Jr of Greater Louisiana Insurance Group
    • Gabrielle Briley-Johnson of Aspire Consulting Solutions, LLC
    • Kimberlee Collins of Assurance Tax & Accounting Group
    • Tanesha Craig of XtremeLife Fitness
    • Maryam Diaab of OpenBarre Fitness Studio
    • Michael R. Dunbar of Amazin Advertizin’
    • Jackie Edwards of Happy Hair
    • Erika Elzy of Until Then, LLC and Erika Press
    • Karah Martin Fields Affordable Health Solutions LLC and Accurate Records LLC
    • Jamar Franklin of Franklin Enterprises of LA
    • Hilda Trenise Gautier of BayouHarpiste
    • John Gray of Continuum Music
    • Letrece Griffin of Power Move Management, LLC
    • Keshia Hardnett of JTK Prints
    • Lucianna Harris of Luciana Massage & Spa Therapies, LLC
    • Cosha Hayes of Bran Nue Productions, LLC
    • Jessica Haynes of Make-Up by Jess
    • Josh Howard of 2 Broke Guys
    • DJ Hunter of Prince Photography
    • Jeremy Jackson of State Farm
    • Natasha James of Pinkolicious Birthday Party Spa and Allstar Community Care Counseling Agency
    • Ted James of James Law Office, LLC
    • Brianne Joseph of Sly Fox Investigations
    • Shawn Lagarde of Baton Rouge Cheer Stars
    • Terrica Matthews-Mitchell of Premier Planning and Consulting Group, LLC
    • Yalandra McClain of DYPA Foundation
    • LaTonya McMillian of Happy Hair
    • Vincent Perry of Perry Productions
    • Malonna Peters of Mosiac Solutions, Inc.
    • Trina Pullum of PullCorp Media and Business Consulting Group
    • Latrina Raddler of Oasis Behavioral Health
    • Victoria A. Roberts of VAR Events
    • Terrell Robertson of DIG Deep Fitness, LLC
    • Joy Russell of S Corp
    • Brandon Simmons of Mr. Carter’s Exclusive Grooming Lounge & Spa
    • Katrina “Moe” Smith of KAS Productions
    • Danielle Tennent Stanton of National Star Pageants
    • Ariel Steib of Beyond Flawless
    • Ursula Stewart of Ursula’s Boutique
    • Britney Monet Temple of Fit Lab Fitness
    • Torrence Thomas of The Thomas Brothers Group, LLC
    • Thurman Thomas, III of The Thomas Brothers Group, LLC
    • Christopher Turner of Art By Christopher Turner, LLC
    • Don Williams, ESQ of Don Williams Law Firm
    • Sevetri Wilson of Solid Ground Innovations

    The Baton Rouge Black Professionals mission is to cultivate, empower, and sustain the African-American professional community through business and social networking activities within the Baton Rouge region. Tickets can be purchased at  https://brblackpros4040.eventbrite.com/

     

     

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  • Pecue Lane/I-10 Interchange public meeting scheduled for Feb. 25

    East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Public Works and the Green Light Plan Team will conduct a third Public Meeting for a proposed I-10 interchange at Pecue Lane on February 25.  All interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend.

    This project is currently in the planning stage.  Representatives of the Green Light Plan Team and the project team will be present to receive comments and answer questions related to the proposed project.  The team will ask for input on the specific proposed design alternatives. All interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend. The Public Meeting is scheduled for the time, date, and location below.

    4:30 pm to 7:30 pm

    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    St. George Kleinpeter Activity Center
    7808 Saint George Drive
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809

    Members of the public may arrive at any time between 4:30pm and 7:30pm.  The meeting will include a brief, continuously-running slide presentation.  Verbal comments can be recorded at the meeting.  Written statements can be submitted at the meeting, mailed to the address shown below, or submitted via email to ponder@csrsonline.com.  All comments received or postmarked within 10 days following the meeting will become part of the official meeting transcript.

    Should anyone require special assistance due to a disability to participate in this meeting, please contact the Green Light Plan Team at the address shown below, or by telephone at (225) 769-0546 (Ext. 276), at least five working days prior to the meeting.

    CSRS Program Management

    Attn: Brad Ponder, P.E.

    6767 Perkins Road, Suite 200

    Baton Rouge, LA 70808

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    Community Meeting Snap Shots

    Share photos from your recent community meeting with The Drum readers. Email photos and cutlines to news@thedrumnewspaper.info or submit your photos online.   The Southern University Ag Center recently held an official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Sustainable Ag Urban Demonstration Farm located on the Baton Rouge campus, March 19. Two local schools attended  along with […]

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  • Events: Feb 3 – 15, 2015

    Tuesday, Feb. 3, 6pm
    Baton Rouge Youth Coming Together: Citywide Youth Strategy Prayer Meeting
    Antioch Full Gospel Ministry
    6538 Mickens Road, Baton Rouge
    Advocates against crime, entrepreneurs, concerned citizens, and prayer intercessors will join youth leaders and parents for this united prayer movement. Contact: Minister Patricia Gail, facilitator, (225) 247-3534. Event repeats Tuesday, Feb. 10, 6pm. Free.

    Tuesday, Feb. 3, 6pm
    Beyond Bricks EBR: A Community Driven Discussion
    Mckinley Middle School
    1550 Eddie Robinson Dr. Baton Rouge
    Speak up and be a part of a positive movement to recharge our public schools. Online: beyondbricksebr.org. Free.

    Tuesday, Feb. 3, 7pm
    Mister and Miss Imani Pageant: “A Night in Harlem”
    LSU Union Theater, Baton Rouge
    LSU celebrates Black History Month every February, recognizing the struggles, strides and accomplishments of African Americans. This year’s theme is “The Dawn of a New Renaissance: Celebrating a Century of Black Life, History and Culture.” Free.

    Wednesday, Feb. 4, noon
    Blacks in Academia Lecture Series
    Eugene Kennedy: “Increasing the Success of K12 African American Students in Science and Math: Ways for College Students to Get Involved”
    LSU African American Cultural Center, Baton Rouge. Free

    Mrs-Rudolph-1963-todayThursday, Feb.5, 6pm
    The Fifth Little Girl of the 16th St. Baptist Church Bombing
    BREC Independence Park Theatre
    7800 Independence Blvd, Baton Rouge
    BREC presents this citywide Black History Month Celebration of monologues, dining, dancing, and a discussion with Sarah Collins Rudolph. Open to all ages. Free.

    Thursday, Feb. 5, 6pm
    Beyond Bricks EBR: A Community Driven Discussion
    Baton Rouge Magnet High School
    2825 Government Street
    Speak up and be a part of a positive movement to recharge our public schools. Online: beyondbricksebr.org. Free.

    Friday, Feb. 6, 4pm – 6pm
    “Say it Loud: What’s Black & Proud?”
    LSU African American Cultural Center
    Co-sponsored with the LSU Black Male Leadership Initiative and LSU Career Services, Baton Rouge. Free.

    mardi gras tangi

    Friday, Feb. 6, 4:30pm – 6:30pm
    Tangipahoa Parish’s 2015 Mardi Gras in the Zone
    North General Pershing Street in the Pennington Center Parking Lot, Hammond, LA
    Celebrate Mardi Gras with the TRACC Coalition and PEEPS. Games and activities for kids. Bring lawn chairs. All children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Free.

    Sunday, Feb. 8, 2pm
    Beyond Bricks EBR: A Community Driven Discussion
    Broadmoor Methodist
    10230 Mollylea Drive, Baton Rouge
    Speak up and be a part of a positive movement to recharge our public schools. Online: beyondbricksebr.org. Free.

    Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2pm
    Beyond Bricks EBR: A Community Driven Discussion
    University Baptist Church
    5775 Highland Road
    Speak up and be a part of a positive movement to recharge our public schools. Online: beyondbricksebr.org. Free.

    Tuesday, Feb. 3, 6pm
    Beyond Bricks EBR: A Community Driven Discussion
    Capital Middle School
    5100 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge
    Speak up and be a part of a positive movement to recharge our public schools. Online: beyondbricksebr.org. Free.

    Wednesday, Feb. 11, noon
    Blacks in Academia Lecture Series
    “Journey to the Graduate Degree: A Panel Discussion”
    LSU African American Cultural Center. Free.

    Wednesday, Feb. 11, 5:30pm-7pm
    Credit Counseling Seminar
    Goodwood Library
    7711 Goodwood Blv. Baton Rouge
    Learn cost effective tools to build or repair credit, connect with credible lenders, meet realtors, learn about homes available for purchase. Hosted by Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation and CapitalOne Bank.Fee: $25 for registration and credit processing. This is the first of a six-month series on credit counseling seminars. The seminars will take place each month in partnership with various Baton Rouge financial institutions and real estate professionals.  Attendees will learn the tools necessary to improve their credit and to prepare for homeownership.  A nominal fee of $25 for registration & credit will be assessed during registration.  Advanced registration is required.  For more information, email info@urecbr.com or call (225) 356-8871. Register online at www.urecbr.com.

    Thursday, Feb. 12, 6pm
    Sankofa Poetry & Open Mic Night
    “Masterpieces of Black Eloquence”
    LSU African American Cultural Center. Free.

    Friday, Feb. 13, 8pm
    Mardi Gras Ball
    Southern University Royal Cotillion Ballroom
    500 Jesse N Stone Ave, Baton Rouge
    Formal ball of the NAACP Baton Rouge Chapter. Tickets: $50. Online:naacpmardigrasball.eventbrite.com. Contact: (225) 287-4673

    Saturday, Feb. 14, 9am – 10:30am
    Fueled to Geaux Free Breakfast for Kids
    Dr. Leo S. Butler Center
    Thomas Delpit Drive
    Sponsored by Geaux Learn Educational Solutions. Free.

    To be included in the EVENTS section,submit details to thedrumnewspaper @ gmail. com. Include full name and contact
    phone number. Or complete this form online

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  • Sybrina Fulton to headline community gathering, Jan 30

    “A MOTHER’S CRY” EXAMINES IMPACT OF KILLING OF CHILDREN ON FAMILIES

    On Friday, Jan. 30, at 7pm, citizens from the Baton Rouge area will gather at the BREC Independence Park Theatre to discuss what can be done to prevent the rise of what organizers call “senseless killing in our community”. This event, “A Mother’s Cry – The Community Gathering of The Voices,” focuses on helping mothers who are healing after the violent deaths of their children.

    “By sharing their stories with the larger community, everyone can become more aware of how we can all work together to keep our youth from becoming participants and/or victims of street crime,” said organizers with Stop the Killing Inc.

    They will hear from Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin who was murdered in 2013 by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Other presenters include RCA artist and Hip-Hop reformer Dee 1, Houston community activist Deric Muhammad, Louisiana radio journalist Tony Brown, Stop the Killing organizer Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed, and West Baton Rouge assistant district attorney Tony Clayton.

    BREC’s Independence Park Theatre is located at 7800 Independence Boulevard. The event is free of charge to the public.

    Stop the Killing Inc. is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization established in 2003 to work toward eliminating the violence and senseless killings that disrupt the social fabric in our communities. The organization’s goal is to create stronger and safer living environments by teaching youth to value life, get an education, and make positive choices.

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  • Events: Jan 24-31, 2015

    Saturday, Jan. 24, 11am
    So you want to be an author?
    Baton Rouge Area Association of Black Journalists Monthly Meeting
    On the Boarder Restaurant
    2552 Citiplace Blvd, Baton Rouge
    Local authors will discuss how to start book projects. Free for members and $5 for nonmembers. RSVP by email to brareaabj@gmail.com.

    Saturday, Jan. 24, 10am – 2pm
    Prayer Rally for the Soul of Louisiana
    Southern University Felton G. Clark Center
    The rally is focused on Louisiana’s mass incarceration rate, Medicaid expansion, and the state’s failing education system. Organizations involved: national and local Baptist conventions, Missionary Baptist groups, Full Gospel fellowships, the Louisiana State NAACP, and churches affiliated with AME and CME.

    Sunday, Jan. 25, noon – 4pm
    Cu-Mit To Be Fit With CuRobiks Inaugural Health Fair
    Dupuis Center/Brown Park, Lafayette
    Live fitness concert with Cupid, CuRobiks trainer certification classes, health and fitness vendors, run/walk, and health screenings for all ages. Contact: Lynettebaptist.curobiks@gmail.com

    Sunday, Jan. 25 – Feb. 8
    Ultimate Prom Giveaway
    Participating YMCA locations
    The Cinderella Project and No Glass Slippers are accepting donations of new or gently used prom appropriate dresses and
    shoes. Drop off items at the Americana YMCA, A.C. Lewis YMCA, Baranco Clark YMCA, C.B. Pennington Jr. YMCA,Charles W. Lamar Jr. YMCA, Dow Westside YMCA, ExxonMobil YMCA, Paula G. Manship YMCA, or Southside YMCA

    Wednesday, Ja. 28, 12:30pm
    Beyond Bricks Listening Tour
    BREC Cadillac St. Park
    Speak Up! Be a part of a positive movement to recharge our public schools. Register at beyondbricksEBR.org for next week’s sessions: Wed., Jan. 28, 12:30pm at BREC Cadillac St. Park; Thurs., Jan. 29, 6pm at Scotlandville Magnet High; and Sat. Jan 31, 10am at Bluebonnett Library. More dates are posted at http://www.ebrschools.org/

    Thursday, Jan. 29, 6:30pm
    Information Session
    Online at www.louisianaconnectionsacademy.com
    Louisiana Connections Academy will host online information sessions for families and prospective families to learn more about the school’s K-12 curriculum and programs. Call the school at (225) 372-8389 or attend one of the following online sessions:
    Thursday, January 29, 2015 6:30pm
    Thursday, February 12, 2015 11:00am
    Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:30pm
    Register at www.louisianaconnectionsacademy.com

    Friday, Jan. 30
    BR Black Professionals 2015 Forty Under 40 Entrepreneur Awards Deadline
    To nominate, visit brblackpros4040.eventbrite.com. All nominations must be received by January 30, and winners will be announced during the award ceremony, Saturday, Feb. 28 at The Belle of Baton Rouge. All proceeds generated from nomination fees will benefi t the BR Black Professionals Middle School Laptop Give-Away. ONLINE:www.facebook.com/BRBlackPros.

    To be included in the EVENTS section,submit details to thedrumnewspaper@gmail.com. Iinclude full name and contact
    phone number. Or complete this form online

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    LSU to host MLK Commemorative Celebration Week

    Martin Luther King Jr. once said that life’s most persistent and urgent question is: “What are you doing to help others?”

    Every year, the LSU community comes together to answer that question with LSU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration Week, where the highlights and memorialization of the work, accomplishments and legacy of one of the greatest Civil Rights and African American leaders in modern history are honored.

    The Commemorative Celebration kicks off at 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 19, where LSU and Baton Rouge community members come together for “MLK Day of Service.” Approximately 200 registered volunteers from LSU’s students, faculty, staff and administrators, as well as other community partners will participate in revitalizing multiple Baton Rouge programs and their facilities to better the community. Students, faculty, staff and community members participating in events can share their #MLK week experiences with LSU on Twitter @LSU or Instagram @snapLSU.

    Following the Day of Service, a candlelight vigil and march sponsored by National Pan-Hellenic Council will be held to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The vigil will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a short program beginning at the Memorial Tower in honor and remembrance of King’s work.

    On Wednesday, Jan. 21, the Student Union Theater will host the MLK Performing Arts Night, where people can celebrate the life and legacy of King through the arts, poetry, dance and musical expression. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

    The signature program is the MLK & Black History Month Commemorative Celebration, which will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Student Union Theater. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month Committees will host journalist, scholar, author and activist Marc Lamont Hill as the keynote speaker for the celebration.

    Marc Lamont Hill

    Marc Lamont Hill

    Hill is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country and is the host of HuffPost Live and BET News; commentator on Our World with Black Enterprise; and political contributor to CNN and Fox News. A distinguished professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College, Hill is also an award-winning journalist, receiving several prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalist, GLAAD and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

    Throughout the month of January, the MLK Committee will host a food drive to aid in LSU’s Food Pantry. Drop-off locations include the Office of Multicultural Affairs, located in room 335 of the Student Union, and the African American Cultural Center, located behind the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at 3 Union Square.

    The 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration is coordinated by the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee and the Black History Month Committee.

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  • West Baton Rouge Museum open for King holiday

    On Monday, January 19, a day when many institutions will be closed in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr holiday, the West Baton Rouge Museum will be open with free admission, 10am – 4:30pm, to commemorate the life’s work of King.

    There will be a moderated film discussion at noon presented by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, LSU History Department’s Fred C. Frey Professor of Southern Studies. The film discussion will focus on the 19th century abolitionist struggle that has been noted as America’s first Civil Rights struggle. As part of his presentation, Sheehan-Dean will share clips from the documentary film, The Abolitionists featuring brave men and women who risked their lives to end slavery.“Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” series, a Bridging Cultures initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities

    Throughout the day, the public is invited to walk through Brave Steps: The Louisiana Native Guard. This exhibit, curated by West Baton Rouge Museum’s Angelique Bergeron and guest curator, Emmitt Glynn, illustrates the history of the Louisiana Native Guard, the first Black troops to be mustered into the Union Army during the American Civil War and the brave first steps toward life out of slavery and working toward equality.

    West Baton Rouge Museum is located at 845 North Jefferson Avenue in Port Allen. For more information, visit www.westbatonrougemuseum.com or call 225-336-2422 Ext. 15.

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    South Baton Rouge Wall of Fame opens to tours, Feb. 2

    In observance of Black History Month, the Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center, 950 East Washington Street, is inviting local churches, youth groups and schools in the South Baton Rouge Community to tour the center’s “Wall of Fame”.

    Housed in the center, the South Baton Rouge “Wall of Fame” displays pictures of African Americans from the South Baton Rouge area who made profound and significant contributions to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the nation, as educators, politicians, entertainers, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, religious leaders, athletes, law enforcement officers, and community activists.

    Organizers said this is truly an educational opportunity for our children/youth and Baton Rouge residents/others to visit the Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center.  Overall, the project was a fifteen month planning/research endeavor culminating with a community unveiling on Sun., May 18, 2014, at the community center.

    The SBR Wall of Fame is a learning experience. It highlights the individuals in the SBR community whose success reflects the arts and culture of South Baton Rouge and the State of Louisiana. This is a historical landmark, said members of the planning committee.

    Guided tours will begin on Monday, February, 2, through Friday, February 27. To schedule tours, call (225) 389-4860. Hours at the community center are 8am – 3pm, Monday – Thursday, and 8am – 2 pm on Friday.

    By Mada McDonald
    The Drum Community Reporter

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    Jewel J. Newman Center hosts benefit ball, Jan 17

    SCOTLANDVILLE–The Jewel J. Newman Community Center has partnered with the Culinary Arts Department of Career Academy to cater the center’s first Masquerade Ball and Silent Auction! This semi-formal/formal event will be held Saturday, January 17, in the recreation center with a Silent Auction beginning at 7:30pm. Musical Entertainment will be provided by One More Time “OMT” band.

    The proceeds of this event will benefit the Jewel J. Newman Community Center Playground Capital Campaign. Tickets are $50 for individuals, $80 for couples, and $350 for tables of 10.
    Call, (225) 775-3938 or email at jjncc@brgov.com.

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  • Biblical Institute offers certification Jan. 5

    The 2015 spring classes for the first term at Southeast Regional Biblical Institute will begin on January 5, 2015.  This certificate program is through Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama.  This certificate program of biblical and theological education is being offered to ministers and laypersons.  According to organizers, this Extension Institute has been designed for persons who want to improve their biblical and theological knowledge.  This Institute will further prepare men and women for ministry.  ALL interested persons, with or without college degrees are invited to participate.  The courses will be taught by seminary trained instructors and experienced pastors. Registration required by January 5, 2015
    at www.samford.edu/continued-learning/ministry-training-institute/

    On-site Registration is scheduled for Monday, January 5, 2015
    at 5pm.
    Baton Rouge Community College
    Small Business Training Center
    350 N. Donmoor
    Baton Rouge, LA 70806

    Classes will begin on Monday, January 5, 2015, 6pm.

    Class Offering :
    Basic Level- How to Think Theologically 
    Advanced Level – The Study of the Book of Ephesians

    The required textbooks are:
    The Study of the Book of Ephesians- The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to Ephesians (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) by F. F. Bruce and How to Think Theologically by Howard W. Stone and James O. Duke.

    For additional information log on SRBI’s website-www.srbi-br.org

    Contact Mary W. Moss, Director of The Southeast Regional Institute at  (225) 772-0307 or   email-pastormoss@att.net.

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  • COMMUNITY EVENT: HIV Health Day Dec. 6

    HAART, Volunteers of America, the Black Treatment Advocates Network and Walgreens invite the Baton Rouge community to join them for a family friendly event on Saturday, Dec. 6, 10am. at the Walgreens located at 5955 Airline Highway. This community event will promote an overall healthy lifestyle by providing free HIV testing, health screenings and employment assistance. The event will also feature games, space walks, raffles, door prizes and food.

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    SU hosts fall concert Nov. 18

    The Southern University Concert Choir, under the direction of professor Charles Lloyd Jr., will present its Annual Fall Concert.  Guest performers will be Jacqueline Paige-Green, soprano and Richard Hobson, baritone. Students Briannica Thompson, Derelyn Williams, Nicolas Lockett, Ryan Alexander and Arthur Gremillion will be featured soloists.

    The Nov. 18 ” We’ll walk in the light” concert will begin at 3pm in the Stewart Hall Auditorium.  The program will feature Christmas selections, choral anthems, and Spirituals.

    The concert is free and open to the public.

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  • 1984 World’s Fair 30th Anniversary Celebration scheduled Nov 7

    NEW ORLEANS - Mark your calendars for November 7, 2014 and head to the New Orleans Morial Convention Center to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1984 World’s Fair. At 5:00 p.m., a large bronze plaque celebrating the Exposition will be unveiled at the corner of Julia Street and Convention Center Boulevard, the heart of the fair site.

    Thirty years ago today, the Louisiana World Exposition was wrapping up with just days to go before closing. Fondly known as the 1984 World’s Fair, it occurred from May 12 through November 11, 1984 and was the catalyst for revitalizing 82 acres of the warehouse district and opening up the Mississippi River to the public.

    Before it became the official New Orleans Morial Convention Center, the building was first used as the Great Hall of the World’s Fair. Those who gather will be reliving memories that include the Wonderwall, the gondola, the space shuttle Enterprise exhibit, the riverfront amphitheater, the synchronized swimmers at the Aquacade, the Vatican exhibit, the Italian Village, the Kid Wash, partying on Fulton Street, and visiting the many pavilions from around the world.

    Three decades later, the Fair’s long-term residual benefits are evident in the vibrant warehouse district and CBD, the blossoming of residential development, an expanded convention center, and public access to the riverfront and visitor amenities. New Orleans citizens still fondly remember the fair, and elements of it can be seen throughout the city in yards, photos, and as décor on public buildings.

    The nostalgic crowd will gather Friday, November 7 at 5 p.m. at the Plaza at New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center where the beautiful commemorative plaque will be unveiled. (Corner of Julia and Convention Center Boulevard)

    Following the dedication, a second line will proceed to the food court at The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk for a 30th reunion of former employees, contractors, exhibitors, concessionaires, performers, and lovers of the 1984 World’s Fair.

    Parking is discounted to $5 in the Hilton surface lot with voucher provided at event.

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    Forum to detail voter suppression in Louisiana

    Louisiana Progress will present a public forum, “Jim Crow Tactics: Voting and Not Voting in Louisiana,” moderated by Jim Engster, 7pm,  Thursday, October 23, at the LSU African American Cultural Center.

    This forum on voter suppression in Louisiana will feature panelists Chris Tyson, associate professor of law at LSU Law Center;  Roland Mitchell, associate professor of higher education at LSU; Alfreda Tillman Bester, General Counsel for NAACP Louisiana; and State Representative Patricia Haynes Smith.

    The panelists will discuss their expert opinions regarding the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder, gerrymandering in Louisiana, and how the legacies of race discrimination in voting continue to have consequences for Louisiana today.

    RSVP Online: https://m.facebook.com/messages/read/?tid=mid.1413898987749%3A5f7b0a61b56eb3bb49&soft=notifications

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    Summit on the Plight of the African American Male starts Oct. 17

    NEW ORLEANS - While Post-Katrina New Orleans has experienced tremendous progress and some quality of life improvements, Pastor Tom Watson, organizer of the 20th Annual Citywide Summit on the African American Male, argues “that there still exists the ‘tale of two cities’ when juxtaposed with the harsh realities of African American males living in New Orleans.”  Fifty-two percent of New Orleans African American men are unemployed; disproportionate numbers of Black men and boys are still being incarcerated in mass numbers; NOPD continues overuse of serious force or racial profiling (noted in the Consent Decree) and, nationally, a recurring trend of unarmed Black men being murdered by police could make New Orleans ripe to become the next Ferguson, Missouri.
         
    Former Mayor Marc Morial is the summit’s speaker. The summit is free and open to the public, as it is intended to elevate a participatory solution-based dialogue addressing these issues with community residents and a distinguished panel of local experts/stakeholders including: Dr. Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University; Dr. Patrice Sams-Abiodun,executive director of the Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy at Loyola University and co-author of Recognizing the Underutilized Economic Potential of Black Men in New Orleans; Jason Williams, New Orleans Councilman At-Large; and Kenneth Polite, U.S. Attorney will weigh-in on the state of Black men and boys in this city. The summit is free and open to the public.  WWL-TV Anchor Sally Ann Roberts will moderate.

    2014 Conference Events-Sponsored by Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries & The Family Center of Hope

    Stopping Murders-Rap Sessions & Workshops for 300 school-age males
                    Friday, 9:00 a.m.- Noon
                                            
    Restoring Men-20th Annual Summit– National Urban League’s Marc Morial
        Friday, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


    Healing Mothers–Helping Mothers Heal Conference
                     Saturday, 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 pm


    Helping Mothers Heal-From Interruption to Intervention


    As an outgrowth of the 2012 Conference on The African American Male, Helping Mother’s Heal was born as an intervention to aid mothers and families victimized by the murder of their sons. Due to the overwhelming outcry for help, this year’s conference will feature a new convening for victim’s mothers and their families. Mothers will address law enforcement and justice system officials and share with them their grief from these egregious crimes and a persistent, lingering source of their pain, the fact that their loved ones murders remain unsolved. District Attorney Leon Cannizaro, Crimestoppers Darlene Costanza, Juvenile Judge Ernestine Gray and Police Chief Michael Harrison have agreed to take part in the conference. Rev. Patricia Watson, founder, states “our purpose is to turn these mothers’ pain into purpose.” Registration for the conference is $35. To register, call 504.891.3264 or visit www.fchnola.com.

    “These two very important convenings are about bringing community residents together to have a voice,” said  Pastor Tom Watson.  “We cannot wait for top-down government solutions to the issues related to violence that affect us-hence, the conference attempts to explore and influence better outcomes and greater accountability for prevention and intervention.”
     

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    New Venture Theatre presents CHOIR BOY

    New Venture Theatre continues its 2014 season with Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play, Choir Boy. This play is directed by Clarence Crockett and will be performed at the Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre located inside the Manship Theatre.

    The Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys is dedicated to the creation of strong, ethical Black men. Pharus wants nothing more than to take his rightful place as leader of the school’s legendary gospel choir. Can he find his way inside the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key? Choir Boy is a gripping new play with music that examines, race, sexuality, faith, bullying, education and strained family relationships.

    The cast are: Christian Jones as Pharus, David Sylvester as Bobby, Toi Bonnet as Junior, Greg Williams Jr. as David, Marcus Anderson as AJ, Brandon Lewis as Headmaster, and Roger Ferrier as as Mr. Pendleton. The crew members are: director Clarence Crockett, set designer Kelly Latchie,  costumer Angela Perry, musical director LaNea Wilkinson, and assistant director Nikki Nadkarni.

    This is an adult-rated show for mature audiences only. No one under the age of 12 will be allowed in the theatre. Performances are at the Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre located inside the Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, on Thursday, October 23 at 7:30pm, Friday, October 24 at 7:30pm, Saturday, October 25 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, October 26 at 3:00pm. New Venture Theatre is the resident theatre for Manship Theatre.

    ONLINE: newventuretheatre.org

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    Women`s Help Center celebrates 20 years

    For the past 20 years the Women’s Help Center has been dedicated to upholding family values through offering women and families facing an unplanned pregnancy life-affirming support and compassionate care. The Women’s Help Center, located at 7515 Scenic Hwy in Scotlandville, provides free services to women and their families including: pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, HIV testing, prenatal and parenting classes, abstinence support, and compassionate counseling.

    In support of its mission, the Women’s Help Center held its 16th Annual Leaving a Legacy of Life Fundraising Banquet and Silent Auction on Friday, August 15, 2014.  Featured speaker Dr. John R. Diggs Jr, a board-certified Internist, who has put his medical training and 15-plus years of clinical experience to work in developing a series of messages advocating the sanctity of human life and the proven benefits of sexual restraint, captivated the audience with his dynamic presentation.  Featured musical guest, Anita Jarrell-Robertson, melted the hearts of the crowd with her captivating voice and shared testimony of her life-changing experience. All proceeds from this event will be used to help The Women’s Help Center continue to serve families in need.

    Community news submitted by Natalie Thomas
    Photography by James Walker

    image

    Charles “Trey” Thomas III, Rev. Gene Mills, Senator Sharon W. Broome, Barbara Thomas, Dr. John Diggs, Charles Thomas II.

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    Housing listening tour comes to Baton Rouge

    Louisiana Housing Alliance (LHA) will host the Annual Listening Tour in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on August 29, 2014. The Listening Tour is a week-long road trip during which LHA visits each of Louisiana’s 9 regions to listen to the concerns and successes of housing providers, advocates, working, families, local officials and policy makers.

    The information obtained enables LHA to set its legislative and advocacy agenda for the following year, and work collectively with local regions to promote housing opportunity and strong communities for all. LHA also uses these conversations to learn about technical assistance and capacity-building needs of housing providers and advocates, so that it can design a series of workshops programs to address the needs identified.

    The Baton Rouge Listening Tour meeting will be held at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, 402 N. Fourth Street, 9:30am–11:30am. To register, visit www.lahousingalliance.org or call 225-381-0041.

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  • ‘Booking It With Baby’ tour returns to Baton Rouge

    The Glen “Big Baby” Davis Foundation and the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System’s fourth annual “Booking it With Baby” literacy tour will begin Wednesday, July 9.

    “Over the past four years, my foundation has accomplished more than I ever imagined through our literacy initiative. I am so humbled by the kids’ response and I can’t wait to meet and interact with them this year.”  Davis said

    Los Angeles Clipper and Baton Rouge native will be traveling through his hometown via the library’s mobile unit to bring books and promote literacy to children in the community.

    This year’s tour will include a special stop on July 10 at The Eden Park Library where   the first ever “Big Baby & Hollingsworth Reading Center” will be revealed.

    The tour will end on Saturday, July 12, with the second annual “Big Baby’s Family & Friends Day” at Star Hill Church. Open to the public, this event will provide a more relaxed setting during which guests can interact with Davis and other community leaders.

    For a full schedule of this years stops click here

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  • Medical Training College to host Open House

    Attendees will learn about programs offered by the Medical Training College on June 21 a 1p.m. Tours of the campus will be given and staff will be available to answer any questions. Free. Online: www.mtcbr.com. MTC is located at 10525 Plaza Americana Dr.

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  • Mason sets open door meetings May, June

    The entire Southern University System including alumni are invited to one-on-one conversations with SU System President Ronald Mason Jr. He has reserved May 22 and June 26, 9am -noon, for individual meetings as part of his “President’s Open Door Day.” The meetings are by appointment only, on a first-come, first- served basis in the President’s Office, 4th Floor, J.S. Clark Administration Building. Sign up at the Office of the President or call 225.771.4680

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  • Mobile Pantry to make stop in Scotlandville

    Together Baton Rouge and the Greater Baton Rouge Food bank will host  the Scotlandville Mobile Pantry Saturday, April 26 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. The pantry will provide free produce to Scotlandville citizens starting at 9 a.m. until the produce runs out.  St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is located at 1620 77th Avenue. Patrons are asked to bring a chair and food carrier.

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    Hill to host community meeting on House Bill 1177

    Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) District 8 Rep. Carolyn Hill will host a community meeting 6pm, Tues., April 22, at Capitol Middle School, 5100 Greenwell Springs Road, to discuss the impact of House Bill 1177, which would restructure the administration of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.East Baton Rouge School System Supt. Bernard Taylor, Attorney Domoine Rutledge as well as State Representatives Pat Smith and Alfred Williams will speak. Refreshments and door prizes will be provided.

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  • New main library at Goodwood to be dedicated Saturday

    The  East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library at Goodwood will host its formal opening and dedication on Saturday, April 12 .

    The celebration begins at 1 p.m.  with a ribbon cutting by city-parish Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden, members of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control, State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton

    The flagship of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System, the new Main Library at Goodwood enjoyed a soft opening in January.  The 126,000-square-foot library, which will be completed fully this summer, more than doubles the space offered patrons at the former site at Goodwood Boulevard (65,000 square feet).  The new location houses more than 500,000 items, ranging from books and movies to circulating artwork and electronic resources.

    The  new Main Library at Goodwood enjoyed a soft opening in January.  The 126,000-square-foot library,  will be completed fully this summer and more than doubles the space offered patrons at the former site at Goodwood Boulevard .  The new location houses more than 500,000 items, ranging from books and movies to circulating artwork, electronic resources.

    The new site is home to 140 personal computers, meeting room with a 300-person capacity , quiet reading room, rooms for meetings and Storytime, study rooms, free WiFi throughout the building, many electronic plug-ins and power outlets throughout the site, a Technology Lab, a Teen Room, and  a Children’s Room.

    When construction is complete it will also have a la Career Center, Baton Rouge Room/Archives and Genealogy Collection.

    The Main Library is open seven days a week (except for holidays) – 2-10 p.m. Sunday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

    The East Baton Rouge Parish Library celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.  It includes 13 branches, two Bookmobiles, more than 1.9 million items in the Library System’s Collection and more than 325,000 cardholders.  In 2013, there were 2.2 million visits to the library ,more than 2.4 million items checked out  and 1.85 million website hits.

    Following the ribbon cutting a variety of grand-opening events will take place throughout the day:

    10:30 a.m. — Mary Jo Kelly, the Book Doctor, who is a storyteller
    Noon – Silly Nilly the Clown, who makes fun with twisted balloons
    1 p.m. – Dedication and ribbon cutting, followed by tours and a reception
    1:30  p.m. – Daniel Collins, a Ton musician who uses bowls to make melodies
    2:30 p.m. — Harvey Rabbit & Friends
    2:30 p.m. – Minecraft Game Club for teens
    All Day – 3D Printer demonstrations, tours and a reception

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  • NAP to host neighborhood art project

    The LSU Museum of Art takes the Neighborhood Arts Project out to a new community in Gardere, a new proposed site for summer 2014′s NAP.  Until then the NAP will host free art making classes for all ages. Learn more about NAP, the Red Stick Farmers Market, the ICARE organization. The event will be on Saturday, April 12 and starts at 1 p.m. at the Gardere Initiative located at 8435 Ned Ave, Apt A. Free food will provided for the youth from the Sheriff’s Burbank Substation.

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  • Louisiana Jumpstart and EBRPS to host “Financial Smarts”

    Financial $marts for High School Students & Families event is free and open to all high school students and their families on Saturday, March 22.

    Louisiana Jump Start Coalition and EBR School System have partnered to bring pertinent financial information to families with high school students, regardless of their school affiliation or parish of residence.

    “We are trying to start a productive dialogue between parents and their high school students about what to expect during the transition families face when their youth start their journey to financial independence and the challenges of life after high school,” says Jump Start COO, Debbie Lapeyrouse.

    LELA is offering a $500 scholarship drawing for a graduating senior and the workshop is a series of fun, interactive and informative sessions designed to address concerns of students and families.  Topics include “Getting Real About Money: Making Ends Meet’, “The Inside Story On Financial Aid” and “Financial Face-Off: Meeting In The Middle”.

    Financial $marts for High School Students & Families from 9:30AM to 12:00 at the EBR Parish School Board’s Instructional Resource Center (IRC) located at 1022 S. Foster Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

    To learn more and to register for this free event, visit LAJumpstart.org or call 225-931-6296.

     

     

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  • Southeast Community Health Systems to host “Big Baby Shower” health fair

    Southeast Community Health Systems will host “The Big Baby Shower” on Saturday, March 28 from 1p.m.-4p.m.

    The event is free and open to the public.  Attendees  can take advantage of a  variety of activities aimed at preparing them for parenthood  ranging from car seat safety classes to free blood pressure screenings.

    Expecting parents will also have the opportunity to win baby beds, strollers, car seats, play pens and many other giveaways.

    Southeast Community Health Systems is located at 6351 Main Street, Zachary LA 70791.

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  • State Rep. Edward “Ted” James to host town hall

    As Louisiana’s 2014 Legislative Session begins State Rep. Edward “Ted” James , District 101 will host events to keep the community informed.

    Rep. James will host a town hall meeting on Thursday, March 13th at the Green Well Springs Library from 6p.m. to 8p.m.

    He plans to use the town hall as a platform to inform the community  on issues being discussed during the 2014 session ranging from the Recovery School District to the effects of legalizing medical marijuana.

    Rep. James will also host “District 101″ day at the State Capitol on Tuesday, March 25th.

    The Greenwell Springs Library is located at 11300 Springs Road.

    Read more »
  • Virtual charter school begins recruiting for 2014-2015 school year

     Louisiana Connections Academy will host free parent information sessions to answer parent and student requests for information about their virtual school program at the beginning of March.

    Wednesday, March 5 at Forest Community Park an Enrollment Kick-off Party will serve as the first information session in Baton Rouge.

    LACA staff will be on hand to answer questions and get parents started in the enrollment process.

    The information sessions will review the school’s curriculum, programs and provide opportunities to ask questions of teachers and currently enrolled families.

    Another meeting for interested parents has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 26 6:30pm at the Best Western Richmond Suites Hotel-Baton Rouge 5668 Hilton Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

    Louisiana Connections Academy is an online charter school; providing high-quality, free public virtual charter schooling for grades K through 12. Louisiana Connections Academy offers personalized education for students, offered by Louisiana certified teachers, with the freedom and flexibility of an online education that meets the state’s standards.

    The school is headquartered in Baton Rouge at 8281 Goodwood Blvd., Ste J, (225) 372-8389.

    Student field trips, graduation ceremonies, parent-to-parent events and school information sessions are regularly scheduled and promoted at the school website.

    The charter school is authorized by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to accept students from any parish in the state.

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  • Al Sharpton to speak on HIV in Baton Rouge

    The AIDS Healthcare Foundation will kick off its  “AIDS is a Civil Rights issue” tour, headlined by Al Sharpton, on Friday, February 28th at Greater King David Baptist Church. Al Sharpton believes AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue because historically the south did not have equal access to resources such as healthcare. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said the highest concentration of new HIV/AIDS cases are found in the south among the black population and the disease’s progression, in Baton Rouge, is the highest in the region. Sharpton and the group want to raise awareness about the epidemic’s effect on the Black population. The tour’s goal is to encourage organizations and community leaders to take action in preventing new cases of STD’s and HIV infection. The event is free and open to the public. It will begin at 6pm and Greater King David Baptist Church is located at 222 Blount Avenue.

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  • Students want to teach community “How to End Poverty in 60 Minutes”

    This is not a play. This is not a lecture. This is not an interactive workshop, a theatre piece or a public conversation. Sojourn Theatre’s “How to End Poverty in 60 Minutes” is all of these things. The performances will take place at the HopKins Black Box, 137 Coates Hall at LSU. Performances are Friday, Feb. 21, at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. Donations will be gratefully accepted at the door.

    Bryan McCann, assistant professor of communication studies at LSU, explained, “The performance will bring activists, experts and other members of the Baton Rouge and LSU communities together to discuss strategies to combat poverty in our community.” 

    “How to End Poverty in 60 Minutes” is a performance project co-produced with LSU students and faculty from the Department of Communication Studies. It challenges audiences with the question: how do you attack the problem of poverty in America? Audiences will listen, explore, and choose how to spend money generated from the performance’s box office donations. The performance is an experiment in dialogue, collective decision-making, and the potential for art to make the world a better place.

    A number of local organizations will play an active role during the performance. Organizations like the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, or BRYC, and Louisiana State Youth Opportunities Unlimited, or LSYOU, will work with performers and audience members to grapple with issues that the Baton Rouge community is currently facing.

    Suzan Gaston, director of LSYOU, an organization that provides the tools and support for at-risk high school students to succeed, said that creating a forum space will benefit the organizations involved, as well as the greater Baton Rouge community. 

    For more information or to reserve a spot, contact LSU’s Department of Communication Studies at 225-578-4172.

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  • LSU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21

     The signature program for LSU’s MLK Celebration is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month Commemorative Celebration, which has been rescheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, in the LSU Student Union Royal Cotillion Ballroom. The MLK and BHM Commemorative Celebration is free and open to the public.

    The Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. Committee and the Black History Month Committee will host professor, author, Civil and Women’s Rights activist, and social commentator Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw as the keynote speaker for the celebration. Crenshaw is executive director of the African American Policy Forum and professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School. 

    Crenshaw has lectured nationally and internationally on race matters and on “intersectionality,” a concept she coined to capture the multidimensional dynamics of discrimination. Her work was cited in the drafting of the South African Constitution. Crenshaw has lectured throughout the world, addressing audiences in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. 

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    Public to gather against St. George incorporation, Feb. 4

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    Several hundred people are expected to attend the first public assembly of the Better Together Campaign, a citizen-led movement to oppose the St. George incorporation.

    The assembly will take place Feb. 4, 6:30pm, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 12424 Brogdon Lane.

    The event will include the debut of a new public information presentation about the effects the St. George incorporation would have on our economy, taxes, public services and our schools.

    The event will launch a grassroots strategy of action to oppose the breakaway effort.

    “The silent majority on this issue has been silent for too long,” said Kathleen Randall, a resident of the proposed breakaway area and a leader in the effort. “It is time for us do the work we need to do to hold this city-parish together.”

    The Better Together campaign started organizing just a few weeks ago, under the leadership of Residents Against the Breakaway, a newly incorporated non-profit organization.

    Already, the campaign has a Facebook page with 3,000 followers, a website with information about the effects of the breakaway and hundreds of  grassroots leaders who are dedicated to holding our city-parish together. 

    ONLINE: www.bettertogetherbr.org.

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  • Affordable Healthcare Act classes offered

     SEVEN EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS ABOUT the Affordable Care Act at East Baton Rouge Parish libraries

    through March.

    The Affordable Care Act 101 program will offer one-on-one assistance from  specially trained federal navigators and certified application counselors who will help  local  residents  evaluate  the  available  health  insurance  coverage  that  is  available through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

    The federally funded navigators and certified  application counselors  are trained to provide  unbiased  information  in a  culturally  competent  manner about  health  insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplace, qualified health plans and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

    There will be an educational video and a presentation on the Affordable Care Act, followed by a question-and-answer session.

    The  ACA navigators and certified application counselors will provide  private assistance  to individuals  to  help  them  understand  the  health  insurance options and to determine the plan.

    February classes are Thursday, Feb. 13, 6, at the Zachary Branch Library, 1900 Church street; Thursday, Feb. 27, 6pmat

    the Delmont Gardens Branch Library, 3351 Lorraine Street.

    Read more »
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    State library celebrates Black history with Kim Marie Vaz

    In celebration of Black History Month, the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana is hosting author Kim Marie Vaz for a discussion of The ‘Baby Dolls’: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition. The presentation will take place at noon on Feb. 6 at the State Library Seminar Center.

    Vaz’s book is a history of the Million Dollar Baby Dolls, one of the first women’s organizations to participate in Mardi Gras, and its post-Hurricane Katrina comeback. The ‘Baby Dolls’ traces the tradition as it spread to different New Orleans neighborhoods and empowered women.

    The book uncovers the fascinating history of the women who wore baby doll costumes—short satin dresses, bonnets and stockings with garters—and their bold behavior during their journeys into the predominantly male Mardi Gras celebration.

    Vaz will share photographs from different time periods to highlight how the practice changed over time. The photos, along with short video clips, bring to life the spirit of fun and play that constitute the practice of masking.

    The ‘Baby Dolls’ served as the basis for a major installation on the Baby Doll tradition at The Presbytere as part of the permanent Carnival exhibit.

    Vaz is associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and education professor at Xavier University. Her research focuses on art as a response to social trauma.

    Registration is not required for this free event. Attendees are invited to bring brown bag lunches.

     

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  • Civil Rights attorney to speak at LSU, Star Hill

    Civil Rights Attorney Constance Slaughter-Harvey will speak at LSU on Friday, Jan. 31, at 1 p.m. in the African American Culture Center Multipurpose Room.

    Slaughter-Harvey will speak on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. at Star Hill. Star Hill is located at 1400 North Foster Drive, Baton Rouge. Her appearance is part of the church’s Black History Month celebration.

    Slaughter-Harvey is the first Black female to receive a law degree from the University of Mississippi. She was the first Black female to serve as student government president at Tougaloo College (1967); to be appointed to serve as judge in Mississippi (1976); to be the president (first female) of the National Association of State Elections Directors (1991); executive director of the Governor’s Office of Human Development (1980-1984); and to serve as assistant secretary of state for elections, public lands and general Counsel for the State of Mississippi (1984-1995). Slaughter-Harvey’s commitment to social justice spans many decades and continues today.
     

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  • BRPD offers women’s self defense classes

    The Baton Rouge Police Department is offering an Equalizer Women’s Self-Defense class. The class will be held at the Baton Rouge Police Department Training Academy, located at 9050 Airline Hwy (in the building behind the parking garage). The class times are from 6:00pm until 10:00pm for each session.

    The course covers: facts about violence against women, reducing the risk of becoming a victim, defensive striking, common grab defenses, head-lock defenses, bear hug defenses, striking and knife defense and group escapes.

    There is no charge to attend the class which is open to women over the age of 13. Participants should wear comfortable clothing suitable for physical activity.

    Session 1

    Monday, February 17th or Tuesday, February 18th

    Session 2

    Wednesday, February 19th

    Session 3

    Monday, February 24th

    Session 4

    Wednesday, February 26th

    Participants must attend all four sessions to be certified.

    Class size is limited so participants should register early by calling the Baton Rouge Police Department Training Academy at 225-389-3886.

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    Leaders to be Honored with Martin Luther King jr. Leadership Award

    Nine community leaders will be recognized at The Baton Rouge MLK Leadership Awards, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at the Baton Rouge Marriott, at 7pm. These community leaders mirror the image, character, life, and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The 2014 award recipients are: JOHN G. DANIEL, executive director, Girls Hope and Boys Hope; GREG WILLIAMS JR., founding artistic director, New Venture Theatre; WENDELL JAMES, HIV/AIDS counselor,  Bernard Taylor Jr., East Baton Rouge Parish School Board Superintendent; JASON GARDNER, owner, Vivid Images Graphics and Printing; MICHAEL W. MCCLANAHAN, NAACP President; KEITH RICHARD,pastor,  Elevate Church; JARVIS BROWN, CEO Executive; TONYA G. ROBERTSON, executive director,The Young Leaders Academy.

     

     

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  • ,

    Globetrotter says ‘expect magic’ in Baton Rouge, Jan. 18

    image

    Red, white, and blue basketballs spinning behind backs, between legs, and bouncing off the opposing players’ backs.

    Players showing off high-flying dunk shots.

    The world’s fastest dribbler trying to break another record.

    Ballers chasing each other with water bottles, taunting referees, and pulling down the opposition’s shorts.

    Even, players dancing on the rim of the goal.

    Take these tricks in any combination and Baton Rouge is in for basketball wizardry, Saturday, January 18, when the Harlem Globetrotters  bring “magic” to the court, said the team’s 12th female baller, Joyce “Sweet J” Ekworomadu, 27. She shares the female star title with fellow Globetrotters TNT Maddox and T-Time Brawner.

    The world renown Globetrotters are known for their combination of basketball skills, tricks, dancing—and a lot of personality. “You can’t miss out on this,” she said. “We are wizards of basketball.”

    But don’t get lost in the entertainment of it all. Basketball is serious business for these players who were All-Stars college standouts. 

    Sweet J, who is currently a rookie, hailed from Texas State University of San Marcus as the Southland Conference Player of the Year and third place winner of the 2008 College 3-Point Championship. She now plays professionally for the Globetrotters and the Nigerian National Team. She was given the name Sweet J by the Globetrotters because of her sweet jump shot—and her first name is Joyce.

    She said the Globetrotters plan to bring their best, high energy, thrilling game with a message of empowerment for Baton Rouge families.  “They will be inspired and feel nothing but positive energy,” she said. “They will take home a lifetime of memories.”

    The Globetrotters have played for more than 88 years around the world. This year, in the United States alone, the players will compete in as many as 300 games in 250 cities during the 4-month Fans Rule Tour. Then, they will take the game around the world to places like Germany, the United Kingdom, and France for the remaining of the year.

    At 2pm and 7pm, the Globetrotters will face off against Select at the Baton Rouge River Center.

    “There really is no off season. We play 12 months and do a lot of community outreach,” said Sweet J. But that type of commitment isn’t hard for 5’10” point guard. She has played basketball daily since age 10 and has a passion and “calling to be around kids through the (basketball) court.”

    “Every time I did something different, God brought me right back to the court,” she said. “Now, I’m impacting children on a bigger scale,” she said.

    “This is the dream job. I get to play ball, display my personality, and work with children, all together in one package.”

    After graduating with a marketing degree, Sweet J taught at Granbury High School briefly. She also played basketball overseas professionally before trying out for the Globetrotters last year. (She was encouraged to do so by current teammate Freddie Bush.)

    “I am privileged to be in position to inspire others. The Harlem Globetrotters is such a positive brand,” said Sweet J. “You have to be energetic to play and have personality, and keep a positive image.”

    Sweet J frequently plays for Nigeria’s basketball team when schedule permits.  Although she’s a Dallas, Tx, native, she qualifies to play in her parents’ native country. This gives her the opportunity to see family and parts of the country she said she would not have seen otherwise.

    “From a young age, I’ve always wanted to have a prolonged basketball career,” she said. Now 27 years old, Sweet J said, “My court time will be until I can’t walk.”

    The Globetrotters have a 2pm game Sunday (Jan. 19) in the Lafayette Cajun Dome.

    ONLINE: www.harlemglobetrotters.com

    By Candace J. Semien
    Jozef Syndicate reporter
    @jozefsyndicate

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  • Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools to Host Workshop

    From January 16-18, the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) will host “Apply Yourself! Boot Camp” for educators, advocates and community members interested in opening a charter school at the Louisiana Resource Center for Education, 5550 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806.

    The two-and-a-half day program brings in national and local experts to present on a variety of important topics to help participants navigate the charter application process, including providing a broad overview of the application process and timelines, how to build a charter board, how to choose the right leader for your school, and creating a sustainable budget that will keep your school viable.

    The fee to participate is included in the cost of becoming an LAPCS School Developer Member. For additional information, including membership fees, contact Simone Green at sgreen@lacharterschools.org or at (504) 274-3627. Each member can bring and additional two people to participate.

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  • Kings Children to Host HIV/AIDS Forum, Dec. 13

    Community partners and Kings Children Full Gospel Church will host a HIV Community Forum, Friday, December 13, 7pm at the church located at 3024 Amarillo St, in Baton Rouge. The public is invited to attend. Contact: Eugene.Collins@LA.GOV

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