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buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

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Friday, June 17, 2016

The Emmanual 9 one year later

buzzz worthy. . .

Never forget the Emmanuel 9. It's been a year since the dreadful day 21-year-old Dyan Rooth, a white man murdered nine black Christians including Pastor Clementa Pinckney, at the Mother Emmanuel AME bible study in Charleston, SC. Rooth was seen holding a confederate flag on FB, which many recognized as a symbol of hate. Following national protests Gov. Nikki Haley signed a ban to prohibit confederate flags from flying over state buildings in the Palmetto State. It took  this tragegdy to mae progressin removing symbols of discrimination and hate.
 9.  It is
The recent Orlando club massacre  is a painful reminder of the that threat against religious freedom. Tee Emmanuel 9 were parishioners gathering in their church to The Orlando hooting show the threat against same sex relationships.  Shirley Caesar has released a tribute song in their honor entitled "Mother Emmanuel."
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NEW YORK—June 17, 2016—Fresh off of a packed live recording for his new album in Houston earlier last month in May, with a high-energy night of performing that had the crowd on its feet, award-winning gospel superstar and producer Fred Hammond will deliver his much-anticipated new album WORSHIP JOURNAL LIVE this fall.  The album is available for pre-order now at all digital retailers. 

Scheduled for release on September 30, 2016 on RCA Inspiration, capturing his first live recording in 17 years, Hammond’s new worship album features 12 tracks filled with the dynamic ministry and acclaimed live musicianship that has made him one of gospel’s most popular and influential artists over the past 30 years, with the new single “Father Jesus Spirit” just released to radio and also available now digitally as an instant grat track with album pre-order.  WORSHIP JOURNAL LIVE follows on Hammond’s most recent chart-topping release, the 2014 hit album I Will Trust. 

Maintaining a busy schedule throughout the rest of 2016, Hammond will bring his stellar live concert performances to fans across the country, with a national tour kicking off in conjunction with his new album’s release.  Helming the Festival of Praise 2016 Tour, the star-studded annual tour he founded, Hammond kicks off the third consecutive year of the Festival of Praise Tour on October 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, NV, welcoming a revolving all-star artist lineup that includes Hezekiah Walker, Israel Houghton, Regina Belle, Karen Clark Sheard, Casey J, and comedian Earthquake.  Running through December, Hammond plans to take the Festival of Praise 2016 Tour to over 50 cities, hitting Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, New York, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Austin, his native Detroit, and more.       


Google Play


Apple Music

Get a physical copy of WORSHIP JOURNAL LIVE with purchase of ticket(s) to the Festival of Praise 2016 Tour!


Always Praise
God Is My Refuge
Take Care Of You
The Lord Is Good
I Will Sing Hallelujah
John 3:16
1 Touch
Let Me Touch The Hem
Worthy Is The Lamb
More Love, More Power
Call On The Name Of The Lord
Father Jesus Spirit


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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gospel and Classical Singer Karla Scott Publishes Dissertation Linking Gospel Music Training to Leadership Development in the Military

buzzz worthy. . .

(Bowie, MD ) – Acclaimed and world-renowned Gospel and classical singer Dr. Karla Scott’s recent dissertation, “The Impact of Gospel Music Training and Performance Practice on Leadership Development and Performed Nationalism Within a Collegiate, Military Community” was presented for defense on March 25th, 2016 at the University of Maryland College Park.  In it, she discusses correlations between Gospel music training, authoritative leadership and technical leadership development within a military setting.
Best-known as a classical singer, Scott has performed throughout the United States, several times at the Kennedy Center, as well as in Zimbabwe, Africa, Rome, Italy (where she made her operatic debut) and Beijing, China. She has sung with various orchestras including the Annapolis Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, National Orchestral Institute Orchestra and the University of Maryland Summer Chorus Orchestra. In addition to performing at the funeral of Rosa Parks and in concert at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Scott has performed for Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. Scott possesses a voice of uncommon clarity and beauty and has been described by the Washington Post as “a vividly expressive soprano.” Scott is equally comfortable performing classical, jazz, contemporary worship and Gospel music. 
Since 2006 she has directed the United States Naval Academy Gospel Choir completing 27 successful tours throughout the United States and a Goodwill tour to South Korea.  Under her direction, the Naval Academy Gospel Choir performed at the 2009 Inaugural Concert for President Barack Obama on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, providing backing vocals for Beyoncé and opera star, René Fleming. They also performed at the nationally televised 2014 Kennedy Center Honors.
Scott focused her doctoral studies in Vocal Pedagogy (the art and science of training singers). Her unique perspective as a classical singer who has also directed the Gospel choir at the U.S. Naval Academy for the past decade, led her to write a dissertation that is interdisciplinary and groundbreaking in its content. In it, Scott discusses the unexpected intersections between Gospel music, military leadership and American nationalism (how we define ourselves as Americans).
For most of its 170-year history, the US Naval Academy’s core population has been white and male. In 1949, Wesley Brown became its first black graduate, a turn of events that would encourage a small, but steady stream of black graduates thereafter. By the mid 1980s, a Gospel choir was formed at the Academy and its presence served as an overt demonstration of Black culture at a majority institution. Within the first decade of the choir’s existence, Naval Academy leadership began to promote the choir as a way to recruit minority applicants. 
Leadership development is central to all student activities at the Naval Academy. Based on this understanding, Scott’s dissertation examines the ways that the Gospel choir and specifically the training and performance mechanics of Gospel music directly benefit two aspects of leadership. First, she examines Gospel music training’s impact on ‘Command Presence,’ the ability of a military officer to communicate orders authoritatively especially in times of crisis.  Scott also discusses how the training mechanics of Gospel music positively impact spatial reasoning, a type of brain function required to master the technical engineering training required of all students at the Naval Academy.
Professor Carmen Balthrop, whose operatic career has included performances at the New York Metropolitan, Houston, San Francisco, Berlin and Venice opera houses, as well as concert appearances and recordings with most major American orchestras, served as chairperson for Scott’s dissertation committee and said, “Karla is an exceptional classical performer and her singing in jazz and contemporary Christian music is equally gorgeous, so I knew her project would be musically inclusive in its scope. As Karla read her findings to me, particularly the history of the Gospel music at the Naval Academy, I could feel myself gaining respect for Gospel music and realizing that it deserves its place in American music.  Karla has met the quintessential requirement of a doctoral student, to discover something new, to edify her committee in hopes that they will then edify those they teach.  I felt a great sense of pride to be associated with her and the courage it took to choose a topic that isn’t always taken seriously in classical settings. I encourage her to take this message around the world, in the hopes that Gospel music will gain the respect it deserves.”
Visual artist Patrick Delaney, whose 30-year corporate career included roles in international banking and as a senior executive at a Fortune 500 corporation, was equally impressed with her findings. After reviewing Scott’s dissertation, Delaney said, “On the surface, this project is about music, but her teaching method and its results have important implications outside of the musical world.  Scott’s approach would be an effective training tool in the corporate world as it relates to team-building, leadership development and diversity training.”
As a worship leader, she had the distinct honor of leading President Obama and the First family in worship during Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday services in Washington, DC.  She recorded a worship hymns project with Damien Sneed and has shared worship settings with Bishop TD Jakes, Twinkie Clark, Smokie Norful, Alvin Slaughter, Ron Kenoly, Vicki Yohe and many others.
As a professor and teacher, Scott partnered with Wynton Marsalis, Damien Sneed and Jazz at Lincoln Center to teach multi-city workshops during the world premiere tour of the Abyssinian Mass, conducted by Sneed.I have known Karla Scott for over 20 years now and I've had the pleasure of working with her in several different capacities and musical genres,” says Sneed. “When I first met her she was in the studio of the well-known operatic soprano, Carmen Balthrop, at the University of Maryland College Park while working on her Masters degree.  Karla has performed with some of the greatest symphony orchestras, conductors and opera houses in the world. Karla's arrangements and compositions are extremely versatile and diverse.  Karla served as the educational coordinator going ahead of the tour group (Abyssinian Mass) in each city to work with local area schools, universities and community choral groups to prepare them for our performances. It's just a matter of time before the world will be heralding her name across the globe for her excellence in music.”
Scott also served as Instructor of Music at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she taught vocal literature, French, German and Italian Diction, as well as private voice. She also directed Bennett’s touring choir, which performed 40 concerts annually.  While pursuing her doctorate at the University of Maryland, Scott served as Graduate Teaching Assistant and was responsible for teaching private voice, Vocal Pedagogy, Vocal Literature, as well as English, French, German and Italian diction.
Since 1998, Scott has successfully conducted workshops in churches, schools and universities across the country through her company, The Vocal Spa. She remains passionate about providing comprehensive vocal training (body, soul and spirit) to singers, worship leaders and choir directors in the Body of Christ. She combines scientific knowledge of the voice and body with her God-given ability to encourage, re-align and refresh those called to music ministry.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

'Gospel Mix All Stars' Father's Day Concert Kicks Off Tour

buzzz worthy. . .

SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2016 @5:00 PM

 Birmingham, AL: The Magic City will host the biggest gospel tour of the summer this Sunday, June 19th @5:00 PM when the “Gospel Mix 2016” All-Stars hit The Cathedral of The Cross Church for a special Father’s Day concert. The big show features gospel music legends Luther Barnes, Kathy Taylor, Earnest Pugh, Byron Cage and Grammy Award nominee Ricky Dillard.  The program also features performances from seasoned performers such as Zacardi Cortez, James Fortune, the trio Half Mile Home, quartet king Damon Little, urban inspirational artist Mike E., James Grear & Company, worship artist Chad Brawley and The Brown Boyz.

One headliner in particular Zacardi Cortez is hot as fire right now and his latest hit “#YDIA” was no. 1 on last week’s Mediabase Gospel Airplay chart. He will release his third solo album this fall. Most of the artists on the show are also featured on “Kerry Douglas Presents Gospel Mix,” a Top Ten best-selling album featuring some of the biggest current gospel radio hits by both established artists and newcomers.  Tickets are available at JB’s House of Fashion, online at www.610wagg.com or by calling (205) 602-3432. The Cathedral of the Cross is located at 1480 Center Point Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35215. Organizations desiring to book the “Gospel Mix 2016” concert tour, should directly contact Kerry F. Douglas at 713-245-6204.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016


buzzz worthy. . .#stateofwomen


FACT SHEET: Government, Businesses and Organizations Announce $50 Million in Commitments to Support Women And Girls
Tomorrow, ahead of the first-ever United State of Women Summit, the Obama administration, private-sector companies, foundations and organizations are announcing $50 million in commitments, along with new policies, tools and partnerships that will continue to expand opportunity for women and girls. These announcements include a pledge by more than two dozen leading companies to take actions to continue to close the gender pay gap, new resources to empower community college students to negotiate their first salaries, new campaigns to change how our country values caregiving and improve portrayals of women in media, and enhanced global efforts to promote gender quality worldwide. Each of these new efforts build on the work that President Obama and his administration have done since the day he took office ensure that women and girls have equal rights, treatment and protections.  He's signed major pieces of legislation like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – the first major bill he signed into law in January of 2009 – and the Affordable Care Act. He's dramatically expanded fair pay and paid leave protections. And his administration has systematically encouraged cities and states to embrace policies like higher minimum wage and paid leave.
Underpinning these actions, the President has spoken out and driven a conversation about treating women fairly. He convened the first-ever White House Summit focused on working families to help build 21st century workplaces that better support the needs of families and companies. He has pushed for cultural change that gives women the respect they deserve in schools and in workplaces, and joined advocates in dramatically changing our country's approach to sexual assault on campus and elsewhere. That conversation has spurred changes in cities and states, businesses big and small, and schools from pre-K to college.
To continue this conversation, tomorrow the President and Vice President will participate in the United State of Women Summit to highlight the progress that has been made over the course of this Administration, and discuss public and private sector solutions to the challenges that still lie ahead. The First Lady will join Oprah Winfrey for a conversation aimed to inspire the next generation of women, shedding light on the progress the First Lady and Ms. Winfrey has seen women achieve and to encourage young women to take action so that progress continues for generations to come.
The primary goal of the Summit is to build a roadmap for future policymakers, stakeholders and advocates to continue to expand opportunities for women and girls. The Summit is being convened by the White House Council on Women and Girls, hosted in partnership with the Department of State, the Department of Labor, the Aspen Institute, and Civic Nation, and will bring together leaders across a wide array of public and private sector industries, along with students, advocates, entertainers, and athletes, to explore six issue areas that are critical for women and girls: economic empowerment, violence against women, health and wellness, civic engagement, education and entrepreneurship. Learn more about the work of the White House Council on Women and Girls here.
The new commitments, resources and initiatives being unveiled tomorrow will build on the progress we have made over the past seven and a half years – both domestically and internationally – on behalf of women and girls. They include:
Commitments from leading companies to join new White House equal pay pledge
·         Tomorrow, highlighting the critical role that businesses must play in reducing the national gender pay gap, the White House will announce a new private sector engagement, called the White House Equal Pay Pledge, for companies who share this commitment – many of which are already taking steps on their own. Each company signing this pledge commits to take action within their organizations by conducting an annual company-wide gender pay analysis across occupations, reviewing their hiring and promotion processes, embedding equal pay efforts into broader enterprise-wide equity initiatives, and identifying and promoting other best practices that will help ensure wage fairness for all workers. As part of this announcement, 28 companies have signed on to the pledge, including Accenture, Airbnb, Amazon, American Airlines, BCG, Buffer, Care.com, CEB, Cisco, Deloitte, the Dow Chemical Company, Expedia, Inc., Gap Inc., Glassdoor, GoDaddy, Jet.com, Johnson & Johnson, L'Oréal USA, PepsiCo, Pinterest, Popcorn Heaven, PwC, Rebecca Minkoff, Salesforce, Slack , Spotify, Staples, and Stella McCartney.  Additional companies are invited to join this effort in the coming months. The pledge and additional commitments and statements from signatories can be found here. Read more about the gender wage gap in an updated report released by the White House Council of Economic Advisors, available here.
Modernized protections against gender-based discrimination in the workplace
·         The Department of Labor will publish a final rule comprehensively updating its sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors (including subcontractors) for the first time since the 1970s.  The rule newly addresses a variety of sex-based barriers to equal opportunity and fair pay in the workplace, including pay discrimination; sexual harassment; pregnancy-related accommodations; family caregiving discrimination; and discrimination on the basis of gender identity or transgender status.
New collaboration with Harvard Negotiating & Mediation Clinic to expand career readiness resources through making available negotiation training for community college students nationwide
·         Negotiation training can be critical in helping workers of any age secure a good job, salary and benefits – but many workers, especially women and those newly entering the job market, can face distinct barriers. Tomorrow, the Department of Education and Harvard Law School’s Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program – as part of their program in negotiation training – are announcing the development of a new toolkit for community college students around the country to equip them with the knowledge and tools that will better prepare them for starting a career and successfully negotiating their first salary. In addition to being available for community college students, the toolkit will be made publicly available later this year – so will be an important readiness resource for all those newly entering the job market.
·         The Department of Labor will award more than $54 million in grants to give working parents the ability to train for higher wage jobs while addressing barriers faced by those with child care responsibilities.  This will help working parents address key barriers to participating in and successfully completing training for middle-and high-skilled jobs in in-demand fields, as well as help bridge the gap between the workforce development and child care systems.  By leveraging additional public and/or private funding, the grants promote activities that address barriers to accessing training and employment including co-location of training and child care services; increased access through unconventional training delivery times or locations; flexibilities related to scheduling and child care exigencies; and improved access to child care and other related participant supportive services.  This more than doubles the grant awards previously announced as part of the Department’s Strengthening Working Families Initiative grant program.
A New Coalition to Change How We Value Care in the 21st Century
·         Child and elder care are key to the economic growth of our country and the wellbeing of our families, but too often, we overlook the needs – and vital economic and social contributions - of paid and unpaid caregivers. Today Care.com, Caring Across Generations, and New America are launching the “Who Cares Coalition,” a unique partnership bringing together a corporation, advocacy campaign, and think tank to spearhead a broad-based social change movement redefining the cultural norms, behaviors, business practices, and policies around caregiving in the US.  The “Who Cares Coalition” will reach millions of families and caregivers by uniting the world’s largest online marketplace for family care; the nation’s top advocate for families, caregivers and aging Americans; and the leading, nonpartisan civic enterprise focused on creating new data and policy analysis on caregivers and changing the narrative around care. 
New advertiser-led campaign to improve portrayals of women and girls across advertising and media
·         The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE) will announce a new initiative called “#SeeHer” to incentivize advertisers, content creators and the media to develop and showcase content that portrays diverse women and girls authentically. The ANA is the largest representative body for the marketing community in the United States, including over 650 member companies with 10,000 brands who collectively spend more than $250 billion in marketing and advertising each year. The AFE is a coalition of ANA members with family-driven brands. With the launch of #SeeHer, the ANA will share toolkits to support the campaign and lay out the roles of partner organizations to ensure success.
New foundation-backed initiative to invest in young women of color
·         Seven women’s foundations are announcing their commitment to launch a Young Women's Initiative in 2016, which will invest and catalyze resources to improve equal opportunity and the prosperity of young women, with a focus on young women of color and those experiencing the greatest disparities in outcomes in our communities. The Young Women's Initiative will be built on cross-sector partnerships, including: government; philanthropies; nonprofits; corporations; and, most importantly, the young women themselves. The foundations announcing this commitment include the Women's Foundation of Minnesota, California Women's Foundation, Washington Area Women's Foundation, Dallas Women's Foundation, The Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and The Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts. The New York Women’s Foundation previously launched a Young Women’s Initiative in 2015.
Academics and Advocacy Groups Launch a Policy Platform to support Marginalized Girls
·         The Girls at the Margin Alliance, a group of  more than 150 alliance members, steered by The National Crittenton Foundation, Rights4Girls, the National Women’s Law Center, Georgetown Center on Policy and Inequality and Girls Inc, will launch a policy platform that will propose concrete, actionable recommendations to ensure that marginalized girls and young women are met with system responses that honor their experiences and voices, provide opportunities for them to heal, develop their strengths, overcome challenges, ensure their safety, and support them in building thriving lives. This platform will provide a framework for change for all organizations and individuals dedicated to the potential of girls and young women. The Alliance was created to advance the best interest of girls who are marginalized by their communities, and often by their families and by the systems charged with their care.
New report and convening on early educator compensation
·         Tomorrow, the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education are releasing a new report on the compensation of the early care and education workforce. The report examines the low – and often poverty level – wages that child care providers and early educators receive, the vast majority of whom are women, the growing demand for high-quality early education to both support working families and foster children's early brain development, and the key role that early educators and child care providers play in preparing the next generation of girls, and all young children, for success. To organize around solutions that address this issue, the Obama Administration will co-host a convening on June 15th with early childhood stakeholders, in partnership with the National Head Start Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Service International Employees Union.
Enhanced global efforts to empower women and promote gender equality worldwide
·         The U.S. Department of State will release a new strategy for women’s economic empowerment across the globe. The strategy will outline four broad policy objectives: promoting women's equal access to resources and services, promoting women's equal access to decent work, promoting women's entrepreneurship, and addressing overarching issues that impede women's economic participation, such as gender-based violence.  The State Department's overseas missions and domestic offices and bureaus will use the strategy to guide their efforts to support women's economic participation and pursue gender integration across their portfolios.
·         The White House will announce updates to two global strategy cornerstones of the U.S. Government’s commitment to advancing human rights and promoting gender equality worldwide. The updated U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally, jointly led by USAID and the State Department, reflects our growing understanding of gender-based violence, including historic provisions for vulnerable populations, such as lesbian and transgender women. Established in a 2012 Executive Order in order to prioritize U.S. foreign policy and programs to combat gender-based violence worldwide using a whole-of-government, interagency approach, it lays out the tools the U.S. Government is employing to prevent and combat this scourge.  Annually, the State Department and USAID contribute approximately $150 million to support projects all over the world that support women’s and community groups broadly. USAID alone has reached more than five million survivors of GBV with vital, sometimes life-saving services in more than 40 countries worldwide, and has awarded more than $17 million in dedicated incentive funds to support innovative pilot programs, research, and scaled best practices to address GBV in 15 countries.
·         Likewise, the newly updated National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security will provide the framework for U.S. efforts to increase participation of women in peace processes, prevent sexual violence in conflict, empower women to prevent violence, and ensure that women and girls have equal access to relief and recovery resources.
More than $20 million in new commitments to the Let Girls Learn Initiative to support the 62 million girls around the world who are out of school with the opportunity to attain an education: 
·         CARE is committing to reach three million adolescent girls, by investing $15 million dollars in six countries through its Udaan “Second Chances” school program. Through this new commitment, Second Chances will broaden from India into Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, and Malawi to double its reach. This program provides an intensive, nine month curriculum to help girls who were unable to finish primary school, catch up to their peers. Through Second Chances, some of the world’s most marginalized girls have returned to school and some have even gone on to college. With a 95 percent success rate, CARE plans to broaden this program with the support of ministries of education, corporations, foundations, and local organizations.
·         Oracle is committing to invest more than $3 million in direct and in-kind funds over the next 12 months to promote and support educational opportunities for adolescent girls around the world. Under this Let Girls Learn commitment, Oracle Academy, Oracle Women's Leadership (OWL) communities, Oracle's Diversity & Inclusion program, and Oracle Volunteers will offer more than 65 direct educational events and support conferences, summer computing camps, and codefests for girls, reaching more than 55,000 students around the globe and inspiring them to explore and pursue opportunities in STEM fields.  The Oracle Education Foundation and Oracle Volunteers will teach girls coding, electrical engineering, and project management through four immersive girls-only workshops. Oracle also plans to expand the work of its Oracle Academy program in Egypt by making an additional investment of nearly $1 million in resources and services over the next four years as part of a new partnership with the Ministry of Education in Egypt to expand computer science education for girls in nine newly developed STEM schools. These schools, also supported by USAID, will provide three years of paid secondary education for each girl.
·         The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is committing to deliver new programs worth $1 million to adolescent girls in the most conflict-affected states in Africa and the Middle East, including programming that addresses how violence impacts girls’ learning and their ability to access education services. Through its education and GIRL SHINE programs, IRC will target the hardest-to-reach adolescent girls with an in-school and out-of-school enhanced package of services, including girl-only safe spaces and discussion groups, life skills and social and emotional skill development curricula, remedial support in math and reading, parent and caregiver support groups, and an interactive visioning program that breaks down barriers, reduces violence, and ensures increased access to education.
·         The Hershey Company is committing to support projects that will empower and educate adolescent girls through a $250,000 three-year commitment to the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund. The Hershey Company has a long history of giving underserved children the resources they need to be successful. Tomorrow, the company will advance this shared social purpose through this new commitment to Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund.
·         PayPal is featuring Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund in its Back to School charitable giving campaign this August as part of an effort to raise awareness and encourage millions of PayPal U.S. users to support Let Girls Learn projects around the world. In addition to encouraging customers in the U.S. to support the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund, PayPal will add 1 percent to each donation, ensuring that 101 percent of every gift made by PayPal U.S. users reaches Let Girls Learn projects. 
·         American Airlines, through its Change for Good partnership with UNICEF, commits to expanding support for adolescent girls’ education by working with UNICEF’s “Let Us Learn” initiative. American commits to build upon Let Us Learn's successes to-date, including awarding more than 4,000 scholarships to girls in Madagascar to help them enroll and stay in school through the lower secondary level, and helping over 8,000 out-of-school adolescent girls enroll in non-formal classes that provide flexible learning opportunities in Nepal. 
·         Just Like My Child Foundation (JLMC) is committing to reach an additional 10,000 vulnerable adolescent girls with their Girl Power Project® in Central Uganda, thereby doubling their current program reach by 2020. An initial investment from the Toni Ko Foundation will launch the JLMC’s $250,000 commitment. The Girl Power Project® was created to empower adolescent girls and to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing secondary school. The Girl Power Project® (GPP) “System in a Box” is an evidence¬-based, innovative, targeted, and scalable mentoring program totaling more than 60 hours of training over two years. It addresses the complex needs of vulnerable adolescent girls’ aged 10¬-15, by ensuring that they stay in school and avoid obstacles in the transition to secondary school. The GPP® empowers girls to live healthy lives by avoiding forced child marriage, HIV transmission, early pregnancy, rape and disease.
·         AOL, a media technology company with a mission to connect consumers and creators, is taking action in support of Let Girls Learn by announcing the Let Girls Build Challenge. The Challenge, powered by Citizen AOL and AOL’s #BUILTBYGIRLS platform, calls for young women to use the power of technology to conceptualize tech-enabled solutions to the problems facing the #62million girls without access to education. The Challenge will conclude with a final "pitch off" to a live audience, as part of the #BUILTBYGIRLS Challenge, which young women with a background in entrepreneurship to fund tech projects built by other girls. Through the Let Girls Build Challenge, AOL and Let Girls Learn will provide the resources, funding, and mentorship needed to empower the leaders of tomorrow to help open the doors to education globally. For more details please go to builtbygirls.com/letgirlsbuild.
New resources to support efforts to combat and prevent violence against women
·         The Department of Justice, through its Elder Justice Initiative and its Office for Victims of Crime with support from the Office for Access to Justice, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, will announce Elder Justice AmeriCorps, a $2 million grant program to provide legal assistance and support services to victims of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation – the majority of whom are women – and to promote pro bono capacity building in the field. This grant to Equal Justice Works will be the first ever army of new lawyers and paralegals to help victims of those who prey on our nation’s elders.
·         The Department of Justice, through its Office on Violence on Women (OVW), is investing $3.2 million in new initiatives to prevent domestic violence homicides. This includes $700,000 for the establishment of a new National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and Firearms to improve the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence homicides involving firearms, as well as a new $900,000 technical assistance grant award to a consortium of organizations that will work closely with OVW to provide enhanced training and technical assistance to implement an effective firearms response at the local, state, and tribal levels. OVW has also entered into a partnership with the National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to launch the new $1.6 million National Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Initiative (NIPVII). NIPVII will work with three cities, to be selected as part of the demonstration pilot, to replicate a successful strategy for reducing intimate partner violence and homicides. The National Institute of Justice will oversee an evaluation of the initiative through a grant to Yale University. Additionally, OVW will announce the addition of two new cities, Miami, FL and Winnebago County, IL, as replication sites for the Lethality Assessment Program model. This model was included as part of OVW’s Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative, established in 2012.
·         The Department of Justice, through its Office on Violence Against Women, will award nearly $1.2 million to two organizations to help jurisdictions implement the Department of Justice Guidance on Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, which was released by the Attorney General in December 2015. Through training and technical assistance, these grants will develop resources and build the capacity of law enforcement and advocacy organizations to improve responses to domestic and sexual violence victims.
·         Tomorrow the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will release a special report, Down the Road: Testing Evidence in Sexual Assaults. It highlights findings from NIJ-supported action research projects in Houston and Detroit, where two multidisciplinary teams of criminal justice professionals developed effective strategies to address the large numbers of sexual assault kits that had not been submitted for DNA testing. The report offers key lessons for improving responses to sexual assault based on research findings from Houston and Detroit and discusses NIJ’s forensic and social science research portfolios as they relate to using biological evidence to solve sexual assaults.
·         The Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families Office on Trafficking in Persons has partnered with the Office on Women’s Health to create a training for healthcare and social service providers offering trauma-informed services to survivors of human trafficking. This will be complemented by a new initiative to collect data to improve understanding of how trafficking survivors interact with the health system and with social service providers, and will begin in August 2016.
·         The Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will invest $1.35 million in holistic services for American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking in urban settings. Organizations awarded funds through this investment will be supported by Project Beacon, a training and technical assistance project that will help service providers’ work to promote the healing of sex trafficking victims. OVC will support Project Beacon through an additional investment of $450,000.
·         The Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, through its National Girls Initiative, will provide an additional $700,000 in funds to support eleven community programs in Iowa, Hawaii, New York, California, Texas, Connecticut, Washington state, and the District of Columbia, that are working with young women and girls at-risk of entering the juvenile justice system. These programs are culturally-responsive, and build on girls’ strengths to empower them to build brighter futures.
·         The Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women will release a report summarizing the sustained impact of the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) throughout communities across the country, drawing from conversations with domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking service providers from over twenty states and tribes.  
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Comedian Kym Whitley will host Judge Mablean's 14th Annual Honoring Unsung Fathers Awards & Scholarship Brunch

buzzz worthy. . .

WHAT: The Mablean Ephriam Foundation presents the 14th Annual Honoring Unsung Fathers Awards & Scholarship Brunch. Celebrating the Unsung Fathers in the community.  The event will include an awards program with an you can eat brunch buffet, with entertainment, featuring performances by, Dorinda Clark-Cole (Grammy Award Winner) and Mike Phillips (Jazz Saxophonist). The H.U.F. Awards 2016 Co-Chair is the Honorable Isadore Hall, III (California Senate District 35). In addition to the awards, the foundation will present (17) scholarships to students from the Greater Los Angeles area, high school graduates, nursing and continuing college students between the ages of 25 to 40 who did not go to college, but have now returned. 

WHO:  Marla Gibbs, ( Madea’s Witness Protections), Wendell James (Raising Whitley), Renée Lawless (The Haves and the Have Nots), Angell Conwell (The Young and Restless), Ion Overman (Madea Goes to Jail), Darius McCrary (TV One’s The Miki Howard Story) Mother Love (Radio & TV Personality) will present the winning father’s with awards for their outstanding commitment to their families and or community. In addition to these awards, Judge Mablean and the MEF Board of Directors will make a special presentation to the Founder’s Awardee; Aundrae Russell, (102.3 KJLH FM) and Board of Director’s AwardeeDanny J. Bakewell, Jr. (Los Angeles Sentinel).

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hilton Long Beach
701 W. Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802

11:00am - Media Check-in 
12:00pm - Red Carpet Arrivals
1:00pm - Event Begins            
4:00pm - Events Ends

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Statement from Hillary Clinton on the Orlando Club Massacre

buzzz worthy. . .

I join Americans in praying for the victims of the attack in Orlando, their families and the first responders who did everything they could to save lives.
This was an act of terror. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are hard at work, and we will learn more in the hours and days ahead. For now, we can say for certain that we need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad. That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home. It also means refusing to be intimidated and staying true to our values.
This was also an act of hate. The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America.
Finally, we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals. This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.
This is a time to stand together and resolve to do everything we can to defend our communities and country.

Hillary R. Clinton
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Sunday, June 12, 2016

All Female Hip Hop Trio - Blushhh Music -Releases New Single on Mathew Knowles' MWE Label

buzzz worthy. .
Blushhh Music

Recognizing talent when he sees it is a well-known trait in Mathew Knowles, one that the public has proven it appreciates-to the tune of an unprecedented 300 million+ worldwide sales for his Music World Entertainment label alone. Never to disappoint, Knowles has spotted, groomed, prepped, and properly mic'd three sizzling new sensations called Blushhh Music. With a debut single, "Old School Back," released June 9, 2016-introduced from their first CD, "Old School Hip-Hop Past, Present, and Future"-the proof that they came to deliver the 90's era vibe which so many crave is about to be made official. The group has already charmed their way through the media recently with their sexy/tough visages, complimented by their quickly evolving talent (and fan base). Getting to watch this time is part of the lure of the group-showing us more of what Knowles has been doing behind the scenes at his star making organization, MWE. Blushhh Music shares openly with fans, showcasing their ever-expanding styles and performance strategies-as well as their triumphs over personal and professional challenges. They are equally as candid in their music and inviting to those hungry for what they represent-old school recipes with new school flavors. In "Old School Back," harmonies slide smoothly under a beat that is at once new, yet familiar. Hard and headnoddin' is its effect, and for listeners it appears to be infectious.

Meaning, "Beauty Lives Under Stone Hearts," Blushhh Music is composed of powerhouse vocalist Tali, alongside two lyrically dexterous rappers, Sunni, and Bunni Ray. Blending hip-hop and R&B, the group established itself in 2013 by aiming to revive the impact of the '90s hip-hop sound, while weaving in their energetically unique own. The project is hard earned after a two-year enrollment in the same boot camp that Knowles used to groom super group Destiny's Child (Beyonce Knowles, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland). There Blushhh Music discovered a more polished approach to performance. This rigorous but fundamental coaching by a professional star-builder like Knowles enforced teamwork and respect for their fans, not to mention how to face a tough industry. Thus seasoned, the trio is already connecting with audiences and increasing their visibility on high profile shows such as "The Tom Joyner Show" as well as other media appearances nationwide. Rehearsing five days a week, while performing live on weekends; the group paid dues in real sweat as they kept up the pace of training for a shot at stardom. "

Two rappers and a vocalist have never been done before. The sound is different, and the imaging is different than Destiny's Child," says Knowles. Although comparisons and even challenges can arise, including on the Tom Joyner Show appearance(http://blackamericaweb.com/2016/05/12/mathew-knowles-challenges-kelly-rowland-to-group-off-video/), the trio maintains a distinction not just as an intact hip hop group (all female at that) but as individual talents, now polished tough enough to shine. Honing their show has included extensive treks throughout the southern region from Houston and Miami, to Atlanta before growing audiences. In a compelling teaser MWE released in the spring, Knowles hints at what could be TV's next hit reality show as he takes us into his musical world. There we find Blushhh Music both growing and glowing-with a new single to open the show as the media, and a growing audience of fans all eye their next moves.

Listen to "Old School Back,"  the latest single form Blushhh Music.

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Obama: Orlando was an act of terror, hate

buzzz worthy. . .


"You will notice that I am not using the victim's name and I will try not to do that." So far we no indication that this was a plot from outside of the U.S. He made three 9-1-1 calls from the club. He said he was doing this for the leader of ISIL, but he also alluded to honoring the Boston marathon bombers. . .The FBI's Miami office opened a preliminary investigation for 10 months. He admitted making inflammatory statements that his co-workers reported but said he said it because he felt his co-workers were making fun of him for being Muslim. Obama advised Americans to "channel their anxiety" into awareness, live their lives an let the professionals o their jobs."

By Mona Austin

For the fourteenth time Pres. Barack Obama stood at a podium to grieve  and extend condolences for lives lost in a mass shooting on Sunday.   This time gays in Orlando, FL were targeted when a homophobic gunman opened fire in a crowded gay night club. The massacre claimed 49 lives early Sunday morning as Latin Night at Club Pulse was in full swing.  The shooter carried out the slaughter with a hand gun and assault weapon, yet another dangerous person who obtained access to weapons with ease. Orlando, a tourist attraction families and fun seekers of all ages,  Newtown, Columbine and Aurora that sends chills down the spine of the nation What is now known as the "Orlando club massacre" is on record as the deadliest massacre in U.S. history.  It was an act of terror, a hate crime Obama said.  

The tone of Obama's voice was flustered from repetition, a voice wearied as he pondered when the nation, particularly Congress, will unify to bring an end to senseless gun violence.  

In a press briefing the POTUS stated, "We have to decide if this is the kind of country we wanna be.  To do nothing is a decision as well."

The alleged shooter has been identified as Omar Mateen, an American born Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS just recently. 

"I don't know what went through his mind that he went after a gay bar," his father Seddique Mateen said. However, he added that his son expressed anti-gay sentiments recently, growing angry months earlier when he saw two men kissing in a public restroom.

Officials in Orlando are calling for calm. as Orlando Mayor declared a state of emergency  A Muslim Imam spoke at the Sunday morning  press briefing in Orlando echoing their sentiments.

This tragedy has put a horrific stamp on the month of June, which is LGBT Pride Month in the U.S. and the month of Ramadan, a Muslim a worldwide Muslim observance .  

Continuing Obama said, "This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends -- our fellow Americans -- who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.  The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live.  The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub -- it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights. 

So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American -- regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation -- is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.  And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans."

Conservatives, including presumptive GOP candidate Donald Trump  for not calling out the attack as the work of Islamic extremists.

Obama has postponed a trip to Wisconsin that was scheduled for Wednesday in the wake of this event. It would have been his first campaign appearance in support of recently endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.  Clinton also called the massacre an act of terrorism and hate.  She said  she is praying for the victims' families and first responders. 

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Statement from Vice President Biden on Mass Shooting in Orlando

buzzz worthy. . Statement from Vice President Biden on Mass Shooting in Orlando

Last night, at least fifty innocent people gathering to celebrate love and life were brutally killed in an act of pure hate and unspeakable terror. Scores of others were injured in the attack. They were our brothers and our sisters; our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. In the coming days, we will learn more about these fifty souls and the lives they lived and the world they made better.

As the President made clear, we are closely monitoring and fully involved in the investigation of the country’s worst mass shooting. We are grateful for the heroic actions of the Orlando Police, first responders—and many bystanders—who charged into danger and saved lives; who rushed the wounded to hospitals in ambulances, in police cars, in the backs of pickup trucks, and carried others to safety. As in the midst of so much evil, their acts are a reminder of the best in our common humanity.

Jill and I offer our prayers and deepest condolences for all those affected by today’s horrific events. But our prayers are not enough to end these kinds of senseless mass shootings. The violence is not normal, and the targeting of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans is evil and abhorrent.

Our law enforcement and intelligence professionals are still gathering the facts, and we do not yet know what, if any, connection or inspiration there may be with terrorist organizations. But we do know this—we will never rest in our relentless campaign to bring to justice all who would do America harm. And even as we grieve and pursue justice, no act of terror—no despicable act of hate—can tear us asunder. Times of unspeakable tragedy and evil like this are the moments to remind the killers, and the world, of what is best in us, and what unites us.

May God give strength to the families, friends, and all those who grieve today, with broken hearts, but unbound resolve. And may God continue to watch over our great nation.

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Orlando mayor declares state of emergency in the wake of mass gay club shooting

buzzz worthy. . .

After the death toll in a club shooting in Orlando rose to 50, more than twice the initial estimate, the mayor has declared a state of emergency in the following statement:

We are dealing with something we never imagined. Since the last update, we have gotten better access to the building, cleared the building. It is with great sadness I share that we have 50 casualties, in addition to the shooter. Because of the scale I have called Governor Scott to request a state of emergency and we are issuing a state of emergency in the City. This allows us to bring additions resources to support our efforts.
Our focus in the coming hours will be identifying the victims and notifying the families. We are setting up a hotline for concerned family members – 407.246.4357. The identification process may take some time. We ask for your patience as we want to be accurate. I continue to be proud of how our community has responded.
-Mayor Buddy Dyer
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Presidential Proclamation -- LGBT Pride Month, 2016

buzzz worthy. . .

June is LGBT Pride Month. Obamahost LGBT reception for LGBT Pride Month at the White House today.LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2016
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Since our founding, America has advanced on an unending path toward becoming a more perfect Union.  This journey, led by forward-thinking individuals who have set their sights on reaching for a brighter tomorrow, has never been easy or smooth.  The fight for dignity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is reflected in the tireless dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more inclusive society.  They have spurred sweeping progress by changing hearts and minds and by demanding equal treatment -- under our laws, from our courts, and in our politics.  This month, we recognize all they have done to bring us to this point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Nation toward justice.
Last year's landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality in all 50 States was a historic victory for LGBT Americans, ensuring dignity for same-sex couples and greater equality across State lines.  For every partnership that was not previously recognized under the law and for every American who was denied their basic civil rights, this monumental ruling instilled newfound hope, affirming the belief that we are all more free when we are treated as equals.
LGBT individuals deserve to know their country stands beside them.  That is why my Administration is striving to better understand the needs of LGBT adults and to provide affordable, welcoming, and supportive housing to aging LGBT Americans.  It is also why we oppose subjecting minors to the harmful practice of conversion therapy, and why we are continuing to promote equality and foster safe and supportive learning environments for all students.  We remain committed to addressing health disparities in the LGBT community -- gay and bisexual men and transgender women of color are at a particularly high risk for HIV, and we have worked to strengthen our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce new infections, increase access to care, and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV.
Despite the extraordinary progress of the past few years, LGBT Americans still face discrimination simply for being who they are.  I signed an Executive Order in 2014 that prohibits discrimination against Federal employees and contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  I urge the Congress to enact legislation that builds upon the progress we have made, because no one should live in fear of losing their job simply because of who they are or who they love.  And our commitment to combatting discrimination against the LGBT community does not stop at our borders:  Advancing the fair treatment of all people has long been a cornerstone of American diplomacy, and we have made defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT individuals a priority in our engagement across the globe.  In line with America's commitment to the notion that all people should be treated fairly and with respect, champions of this cause at home and abroad are upholding the simple truth that LGBT rights are human rights.
There remains much work to do to extend the promise of our country to every American, but because of the acts of courage of the millions who came out and spoke out to demand justice and of those who quietly toiled and pushed for progress, our Nation has made great strides in recognizing what these brave individuals long knew to be true in their hearts -- that love is love and that no person should be judged by anything but the content of their character.  During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, as Americans wave their flags of pride high and march boldly forward in parades and demonstrations, let us celebrate how far we have come and reaffirm our steadfast belief in the equal dignity of all Americans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

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