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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.

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  • 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.

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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

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    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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