Sunday, March 26, 2006

Happy Women's History Month!

This issue, there are several stories about the accomplishments and the plights of women.

As always, the sources are links to the actual website for the story. Stories that have no links will be featured in full length at the very end in the body of the newsletter. Feedback is desired and welcome. Feel free to email me at jdavis@powerflowmedia.com. Hope you're enjoyceinglife!!! JD


JJ Advertising Opportunities:
Want To Reach More Than 10,000 Industry Decision Makers?
Advertise in The Joyce Journal

Contact jdavis@powerflowmedia.com for rates and more information.


In The JJ This Issue...

Colleges Open Minority Aid to All Comers
New York Times
Amid threats of litigation and pressure from Washington, programs created for minorities are being opened to white students.

Youngster's Black Power Poem Upsets School Officials
New York Post
A 7-year-old prodigy unleashed a firestorm when she recited a poem she wrote comparing Christopher Columbus and Charles Darwin to "pirates" and "vampires" who robbed blacks of their identities and human rights.

Ice Cube To Star In/Produce 'Welcome Back, Kotter' Remake
AllHipHop.com

10 Plus 1: Ed Bradley, On The Other Side Of The Table
CBS News
In his 25 years with "60 Minutes," Ed Bradley has asked questions of everyone from Bob Dylan to Timothy McVeigh to Neil Armstrong. But this week he's kindly agreed to put himself in a different role and answer some questions from us.

Gentrification Changing Face of New Atlanta
New York Times
For the first time since the 1920's, the black share of Atlanta's population is declining and the white percentage is on the rise.

Is T.D. Jake's Deal Going Sour?
BlackCommentator.com
T.D. Jakes has not gotten his $20 million Katrina check because the corporate rulers have no intention of allowing Blacks from New Orleans to regroup and return.

Michelle Williams Announced as Minority Owner of Chicago Sky
WNBA

The Business of Education
Joseph C. Phillips
Unlike other big businesses, the business of education remains accountable not to the consumer -- parents and students -- but to the bureaucrats and politicians that write the checks and continue to churn out mandates.

Target Market News buys Black Issues Book Review from Cox, Matthews & Assoc.
Target Market News

Pimp Pop Culture Brushes Aside Girls' Fate
Washington Post
The recent conviction of Jaron R. Brice for pimping could have been accompanied by the Oscar-winning song, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." Except that only the most depraved audience would have sung along.

Scant Drop Seen in Abortion Rate if Parents Are Told
New York Times
Parental notification laws have not produced the sharp drop in abortions that advocates had hoped for, a Times analysis shows.

NYC to Subpoena Ad Agency Execs in Diversity Probe
AdAge.com
Industry's Minority-Hiring Practices Called a City 'Embarrassment'

'N.Y. Times' Needs Diversity Improvements, Study Finds
Editor & Publisher
The "Jayson Blair debacle continues to haunt the Times and continues to affect diversity efforts, according to dozens of interviews with employees."

Armed Kenya media raid condemned
BBC News
Diplomats from nearly 30 countries have joined Kenya's opposition and media groups to condemn the raid by armed, masked police on a media group.

Belafonte Won't Back Down
SeeingBlack.com
He not only calls George Bush a terrorist, he takes on the debacle of Hurricane Katrina and illegal wiretapping.

Why Is Tavis Smiling? - And Why Are We Watching?
BlackCommentator.com

Prisons Often Shackle Pregnant Inmates in Labor
New York Times
Corrections officials say they must strike a balance between security and the well-being of the pregnant woman and her child.

The Latest "Role" Models for Black Women
NiaOnline
Having four movies about sisters out at the same time is good news, says Jill Nelson--although she'd prefer it if two out of four parts weren't played by brothers.

Pittsburgh Black Cultural Center Renamed the August Wilson Center
Diversity Inc.

'Black Family Today' magazine is launched through physicians' offices
Target Market News

Schools Where the Only Real Test Is Basketball
New York Times
An investigation by The Times found basketball-centered schools where students were athletes trying to raise their grades.

Street Lit With Publishing Cred
New York Times
Relentless Aaron's Journey From Prison to Four-Book Deal

Online book videos bring words to life
USA Today
When HarperCollins' Amistad imprint wanted a fresh, new way to promote Lolita Files' fifth novel, Sex.Lies.Murder.Fame, it jumped on the hottest promotional bandwagon in publishing and created its first online book video.

Ving Rhames Brings Nat Turner to the Big Screen
EURWeb.com/BlackAmericaWeb.com

NBA To Launch Upscale Men’s Wear Line
AdAge.com
Dress Items to Be Branded With Basketball League's Logo

Selling Junk Food to Toddlers
The New York Times
With more than nine million obese youngsters over 6 in this country, it's time to stop encouraging another generation to eat wrong.

Smithsonian To Host Museum's First Ever On Going Exhibit On Hip-Hop Culture
AllHipHop.com

The Next Big Things for Newspapers: Podcast, Vodcast
Editor & Publisher
Are you taking them seriously at your newspaper? It's time to do so. Publishers looking for advice can study the industry's pioneers. What's clear is this: It's imperative to reach news consumers via digital channels.

Hallmark Cards To Launch Lifestyle Magazine
AdAge.com
Hallmark Cards, which recently announced its intention to get out of the TV business, is now moving into magazines.

Best Selling Author Bebe Moore Campbell Takes Time To Recuperate From A Neurological Condition
Press Release
Full Recovery Expected As Author Continues Writing.
SCROLL TO END

Maryland Lawsuit Seeks to Eradicate Wrongful Foreclosure in African-American Community
Press Release
SCROLL TO END

April Silver Gives Her ?Two Cents? as Co-Host of New Music/Talk TV Show on BETJ!
Press Release
SCROLL TO END

Giant Magazine Taps Publishing Visionary Smokey Fontaine As Its New Editor-In-Chief
Press Release
Founder of america Magazine Takes Top Post at
“The Ultimate Entertainment Magazine

SCROLL TO END


THE SHAMELESS PLUG

PowerFlow Media - Where the Power of Public Relations Meets the Flow of Marketing
www.powerflowmedia.com

Recent and Upcoming Media Impressions for PowerFlow Media Clients: CNN, OverTime Magazine, 790TheZone, Good Day Atlanta, Focus Atlanta, Oz Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Southern Screen Report and CinemaATL.

First Quarter 2006: Events Featuring PowerFlow Media Clients Why Not Sports, music executive Jacqueline Rhinehart, Descending Dove Productions (The Last Adam), Heart & Soul Editorial Director Yanick Rice Lamb (Rise and Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist), Lori Robinson (I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse), and Evelyn Coleman (Born In Sin).

OPPORTUNITIES

Hurston/Wright Foundation Seeks Submissions For Summmer Writing Workshop

Submissions from African American Writers Needed

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) - The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation is accepting applications for its annual Writers' Week summer workshop for Black writers. It is the nation's only multi-genre summer writer's workshop for writers of African descent with a tuition-free component for high school students. The workshop will be held on the campus of American University in Washington, DC from July 16 to July 22, 2006. To participate, writers must submit an application along with samples of their work by April 21, 2006.

The week brings together Black writers from around the United States, as well as Black writers from the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe, who create a nurturing, safe space to discuss their work, its meaning, and unique aesthetics. Hurston/Wright Writers' Week is distinguished by the diversity of the writers it attracts: published, unpublished, college students, high school students, seniors, retirees, professionals-all chosen to participate in the Week on the strength of their writing.

"The Hurston/Wright Writers' Week workshop allows Black writers to create a space where our unique story is completely understood," said Marita Golden, founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. "Participants build relationships with mentors and become part of a supportive community that sustains them long after the week has ended."

All courses during the week are taught by published authors and include workshops on fiction, memoirs, creative writing, and poetry. Confirmed workshop leaders include:

* Marita Golden, acclaimed author of 12 works of fiction and nonfiction, including the popular best sellers Long Distance Life, Migrations of the Heart and Don't Play in the Sun. She has been a member of the graduate creative writing faculties at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

* Wil Haygood, author of Two on the River; King of the Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.; The Haygoods of Columbus: A Family Memoir; and In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr. He is currently a staff writer for the Style section of the Washington Post.

* Venise Berry, author of best selling novels, So Good: An African American Love Story, All of Me, A Voluptuous Tale, and Colored Sugar Water. Berry is an associate professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa City, Iowa.

* Patricia Elam, author of the novel Breathing Room. Her fiction and nonfiction writings have been published in The Washington Post, Essence, Emerge, Newsday, and in such anthologies as Father's Songs and New Stories from the South.

* Steven Barnes, author of best selling novels such as Dream Park (with Larry Niven), Legacy of Heorot and Beowulf's Children (with both Niven and Jerry Pournelle). His solo novels include Streetlethal, Gorgon, Child, Firedance, The Kundalini Equation, and Blood Brothers. He has been nominated for the Hugo and Cable Ace Awards, and is the writer of "A Stitch In Time," the Emmy-winning episode of Showtime's The Outer Limits.

* Tyehimba Jess, a winner of the 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. His first book of poetry, Leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Jess is an assistant professor of English at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

* Kenny Carroll, a creative writing teacher at Duke Ellington School of the Arts. For the past 10 years he has been the executive director of DC Writers Corps, a non-profit organization committed to engaging middle and junior high school students in the literary arts.

Participants may choose from a base tuition of $650 or for advanced writers, the tuition is $800. Room and board is available at an additional cost. Qualifying high school students will receive a full scholarship including room and board.

Hurston/Wright Writer's Weeks is made possible with the support of American University, Verizon Foundation, Broadway/Doubleday Group, and the generous support of individual donors.

For more information about the Hurston/Wright Foundation and its annual Writer's Week or to download an application, visit www.hurston-wright.org or call 301-683-2134.

About the Hurston/Wright Foundation
The Hurston/Wright Foundation is a nonprofit resource center for readers, writers and supporters of Black literature. The mission of this literary organization is to discover, develop and honor Black writers for the purpose of preserving the legacy and ensuring the future of Black writers and the literature they create. Since its inception in 1990, the Hurston/Wright Foundation has grown from serving only one segment of the community of Black writers, college writers of African descent, to providing culturally sensitive services and guidance for Black writers and their readers at every stage of their development.

BET PR Interns Wanted:

BET's Corporate Communication's department seeks high performing students (undergrad and graduate level) for internship opportunities. BET, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc., is dedicated to providing a solid learning foundation for student interns. Internship applications are accepted throughout the year, however; participants must commit to a minimum 12-week non-paid internship. We are currently looking to fill several spots for the spring and summer semesters (spring dates: March 15 - June 2, 2006 / summer dates: June 12 - August 25, 2006).

As a PR intern, your responsibilities will include supporting the press department with various tasks such as answering phones, filing, creating media clippings, researching information, compiling and distributing screener press kits, maintaining database, as well as other administrative and PR duties. Assistance with special events, such as the BET's Spring Bling, BET Awards, as well as our music programming (106 & PARK, RAP CITY, BET STYLE, THE STUDENT CENTER, etc.), are also a part of internship duties. The internship program allows students to receive first-hand knowledge of the rewards and challenges of working for a multi-facet entertainment company such as BET.

All interested students, please submit your resume and a recent writing sample to:
BET C/ CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
555 WEST 57TH STREET, 10TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NY 10019

Any questions, please call Tricia N. Newell or Tara Smith, 212-975-4048.

Managing Editor / The Source Magazine

The Source magazine seeks a Managing Editor.

Responsibilities will include:

Create, update and manage the issue plan, editorial tracker, and
editorial closing schedules.

Oversee the traffic of all content in the copy, mechanical, and final
layout stages. Ensure flow of page movement between editorial,
copy/research, and art departments.

Manage assignments to and supervise junior, copy and research editors.
Assign and manage freelancer work schedules and contracts.

Create, manage, reforecast and have fiscal responsibility for
editorial budgets reporting to Associate Publisher.

The successful candidate will have 5+ years experience in a consumer
magazine environment and will possess excellent organizational,
prioritization, communication and management skills.

E-mail resume to jobs@thesource.com ***Mention InaNet

MORE NEWS

Best Selling Author Bebe Moore Campbell Takes Time To Recuperate From A Neurological Condition
Press Release
Full Recovery Expected As Author Continues Writing.

Washington, DC – Today, Ellis Gordon, Jr., husband to bestselling author and mental health advocate, Bebe Moore Campbell announced that his wife was recently diagnosed with a neurological condition that will require her full attention for recovery. During recovery, Campbell will continue her writing, but her other activities and appearances have been cancelled for the next 90-120 days. Ms. Campbell’s physician, Dr. Keith Black, a world renowned neurosurgeon who made the diagnosis stated, “With the prescribed treatment for her condition and with the proper time to heal and rest, there is every reason to believe that Ms. Campbell will have a normal recovery and will resume her regular schedule of activities. She is in the best of care.”

Calls and expressions of concerns have been received and acknowledged by Campbell’s family. “We appreciate the care, love and acts of concerns of our many family and friends,” said Gordon,Jr. “Your continued prayers are invited.” The family requests that the public respects Ms. Campbell’s privacy during this time. “She needs this time to heal and recover so that she may return full time to her life’s work and continue with her passion and one of her greatest gifts from God, writing,” Gordon Jr., said.

Expressions of concern and comfort may be sent to Ms. Campbell at 3255 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90010-1418. Email messages may be sent to
ellis@bebemoorecampbell.com and visit www.bebemoorecampbell.com for updates.
For more information, please contact, publicist, Linda Boyd of The Wharton Group at (202) 291- 6435, (202) 726-4515 or (202) 669-9139.


Maryland Lawsuit Seeks to Eradicate Wrongful Foreclosure in African-American Community
Press Release

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) - A lawsuit filed in the Federal District Court of Maryland is asking the Court to address the common foreclosure practices that has undermined the American Dream for African-American families in areas heavily populated by minorities. The action is denouncing the practice of "reverse redlining" whereby mortgage servicers have specifically targeted the African-American community in regard to certain services, practices and policies. The implementation of these acts has caused a substantial increase in the number of foreclosures in the African-American community as compared to non-minority communities.

The mortgage servicer is typically an intermediary which engages in the collection of mortgage debt. Rarely originating the loan, the mortgage servicer is often assigned the loan or purchases the loan from the secondary market.

What is most interesting about the lawsuit is its attempt to draw a distinction between predatory lending and predatory mortgage servicing. Recognizing the inability of minorities to obtain conventional financing, the lawsuit notes that aggressive foreclosure practices innately attaches itself to those individuals and households with sub-prime loans. Sub-prime loans, due to its costliness and high interest rates, are inherently harder to maintain by the homeowners and has become quite common in the African-American community. Considering the fact the minority community has been the target of sub-prime loans in years past, it goes without saying they are predisposed to foreclosure when unfair and deceptive trade practices are implemented by the mortgage servicer.

While addressing the predatory lending dilemma garners the attention of the press and legislature, the failure to address predatory mortgage servicing will allow this problem to persist. With the family home often being the largest investment of the vast majority of people, it is time certain protections are in place to prevent mortgage servicers from stealing the African-American dream.

About William C. Johnson, Jr. & Associates, PLLC
William C. Johnson, Jr. & Associates, PLLC is a Civil Rights and Consumer Protection firm practicing in the jurisdictions of Maryland and Washington, D.C. The firm typically provides litigation and transactional advice to businesses and individuals.

April Silver Gives Her ?Two Cents? as Co-Host of New Music/Talk TV Show on BETJ!
Press Release

Brooklyn, New York - - AKILA WORKSONGS, Inc. is pleased to announce that its Founder and President, April R. Silver, will co-host a new television show on BETJ (formerly BET Jazz). My Two Cents features Silver, author Keith Boykin and media executive Selwyn Sefu Hinds as the regular fixtures on the show. Lawyer/on-air personality Ryan Smith, television producer Cassidy Arkin, and other guests will rotate as panelists. As a weekly music/talk program, My Two Cents will present ?fresh and original voices discussing the issues of the day stitched together with Classic Soul & R&B videos.? The program premieres Wednesday, March 1 at 1:00 pm EST. Repeats are scheduled for 9 pm and 12 midnight. Next week, the show will start its regular schedule: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friedays at 1:00 pm (with repeats at 9 pm and 12 midnight).

According to BETJ, the 10 year-old channel will be revamped, but ?jazz programming will remain at the core of the channel. BET J will continue to present the best of Jazz in its day parts and late night programming.? In primetime, however, the network will ?branch out and present ? Neo-Soul, R&B and Classic Soul. These genres will be featured alongside compelling Pop Culture programming that targets African Americans age 30 and above. BETJ will fill the void in the marketplace for meaningful topical and nostalgic programming for African American adults that speaks directly to them and their experience?.wrapped around its musical play list are other lifestyle and cultural offerings that include short films, spoken word, celebrity interviews, nostalgic retrospectives and engaging conversation.? Beginning March 1, BETJ will reach 23 million subscribers in the United States and the Caribbean.

?I was completely taken off guard when BETJ reached out to me for this, but it?s a sweet opportunity to amplify some of the philosophies and opinions that have driven my life?s work.? Silver says. ?The vibe with everyone has been great and the discussions have been fluid and dynamic. I think My Two Cents will be welcomed by the mature audience that Keith, Selwyn, and I reflect,? she adds.

For more information on My Two Cents or BETJ, please visit www.bet.com/betj. For more information on April Silver or AKILA WORKSONGS, please visit www.akilaworksongs.com or contact Lea Byrd of LEABYRD PR at 917.319.5449.

Giant Magazine Taps Publishing Visionary Smokey Fontaine As Its New Editor-In-Chief
Press Release
Founder of america Magazine Takes Top Post at
“The Ultimate Entertainment Magazine”


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Neil Steinberg
5W Public Relations
212.999.5585
nsteinberg@5wpr.com

NEW YORK, NY (MARCH. 2, 2006) – GIANT Magazine (www.giantmag.com) announced today that Smokey Fontaine has joined the magazine as its Editor-in-Chief. Fontaine, one of the most innovative forces in magazine publishing today, brings to Giant an impressive resume highlighted by his founding of america Magazine. With his hiring, Fontaine will work alongside Giant Magazine’s Founder and President Jamie Hooper in taking the Giant brand to the next level. Giant, now boasting an ABC-audited ratebase of 300,000, has developed a devoted reader following with its intelligent and humorous pop-culture coverage.

At america Magazine, Fontaine spearheaded one of the most critically acclaimed glossies in recent years. The magazine was hailed by print press including The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Advertising Age and The Village Voice who named the publication as its “#3 Most Stylish Magazine of 2004”. The magazine attracted some of the music industry’s biggest stars, featuring covers of Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Kanye West and P. Diddy among others. Before founding america, Fontaine served as Music Editor of The Source Magazine and as US Editor of Trace Magazine, while also authoring several books, including EARL: The Autobiography of DMX, from Harper Collins Entertainment. Fontaine is also a featured music correspondent for the BBC and Channel 4 networks in England, and makes numerous appearances on FOX News and VH-1.

“Smokey Fontaine is immensely respected as a journalist and editor—especially within the music world -- and we are thrilled to have him at Giant’s helm. His leadership and unique point-of-view will further broaden the scope of Giant’s entertainment and pop culture coverage,” said Jamie Hooper, Founder and President of Giant Magazine. “With this move, we will fully realize Giant’s role in the marketplace as ‘The Ultimate Entertainment Magazine’.”

“Giant is already one of the most cutting edge magazines in its arena, and I look forward to raising its profile in the industry,” said Smokey Fontaine. “Giant will be a one-stop resource on all things pop culture to an even wider audience.”

With an ABC-audited ratebase circulation of 300,000, Giant Magazine provides top consumer brands the opportunity to reach the desirable young adult consumer. Featuring the latest in movies, music, electronics and everything pop culture, Giant provides “entertainment intelligence” for readers in every issue.


ABOUT
GIANT MAGAZINE
Giant is the ultimate entertainment magazine for America’s growing and thriving culture of 20- and 30-something pop-culture enthusiasts — people for whom movies, music, TV, games and books, both new and classic, are the most important thing in their lives. Giant shares a common passion for these subjects with its readers through a fun, humorous tone, exciting photography and graphics and an intense attention to editorial detail and fact. Giant provides information and a unique point of view on current entertainment and pop culture trends, so our readers feel smart and excited to tell their friends what they’ve read.
###

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy Black History Month!

This issue, there are several stories relevant to why we celebrate this month, how far we’ve come and just how much further we have to go. I’d like to give a shout out to James Andrews and Monica Hooks of Brand Influence. If you get a minute check out their industry inside info e-letter Key Influencer. Please let 'em know I sent you.

As always, the titles are links to the actual website for the story. Stories that have no links will be featured in full length at the very end in the body of the newsletter. Feedback is desired and welcome. Feel free to email me at jdavis@powerflowmedia.com. Hope you're enjoyceinglife!!! JD


JJ Advertising Opportunities:
Want To Reach More Than 10,000 Industry Decision Makers?
Advertise in The Joyce Journal

Contact jdavis@powerflowmedia.com for rates and more information.


In The JJ This Issue...

Catch 'Em Young
The Wall Street Journal
High economic return for investing in disadvantaged kids

AOL Black Voices Launches Books Feature
Target Market News

Drugs and Racial Discrimination
New York Times / The November Coalition
Mandatory sentencing laws have discriminated against members of minority groups, who are disproportionately singled out for harsher mandatory sentences, often because of where they live.

New Programs Spur Working Poor To Begin Saving
The Wall Street Journal
Incentives, Counseling Inspire People to Clean Up Debts;
Setting Aside $50 a Month;Just Paying Bills Is a Struggle


Sony Launches Gay Music Label
Los Angeles Times / News.com.au
The music giant launches "Music with a Twist," the first major label to be dedicated to nurturing LGBT artists.

Brazil’s Black Network Raises Tough Questions
Los Angeles Times
TV da Gente, billed as Brazil's first television station aimed at black audiences, has been called "racist."

Mixed Like Me
The Village Voice
Interracial roadtrip documentary takes Civil Rights out of monochrome.

The New King
The Village Voice
A floating world of soul with honey, vinegar, and machine poetics.
Greg Tate on Jamie Foxx's Unpredictable


Women's Place, Revisited
New York Times
The women who are now leading nations are the most independent and accomplished group of female leaders ever collected.

Voice of Hip Hop Generation Given MTV Executive Post
The Hilltop – Howard University

Starbucks debuts sales of DVD's in its stores with independent black film
Target Market News

The 'Whites Only' Retirement Fund
The New York Times
Georgia should do whatever it takes to give justice to all of the black police officers denied membership to a supplementary retirement fund.

Memo to Big Oil Companies: Africa’s Oil Belongs to Africans
BlackCommentator.com

Md. Lt. Governor Michael Steele Discusses Race and Changing the Culture in Washington
The Hilltop – Howard University
When Maryland's lieutenant governor, Michael Steele, announced late last year that he would run for the United States Senate, the significance of his announcement fell on some deaf ears within the African American community.

Mixed U.S. Signals Helped Tilt Haiti Toward Chaos
The New York Times / Gobal Policy
As Haiti prepares to pick an elected president, questions linger about the effect of U.S. foreign policy on the chaos there.

Athlete Profile: Scott Turner
OverTime Magazine
On December 27th, 2005, the community leader, motivational speaker, and NFL defensive back for nine seasons announced his candidacy to represent the 50th District of California in Congress

Black and White and Read All Over
The Village Voice
If you're mixed-race, they never stop asking 'What are you?'

Outspoken and Feared but Largely Forgotten
The New York Times/ Newszine
Robert F. Williams, an architect of the modern black power movement who has faded from the public consciousness, is profiled in a new PBS documentary.

Radio One and REACH Media launch syndicated black news/talk network
Target Market News

Extra!: History of Black History Month
CNN.com
February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a federally recognized, nation-wide celebration that provides the opportunity for all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African Americans have played in the shaping of U.S. history. But how did this celebration come to be -- and why does it take place in February?

The Knicks Dropped the Ball
BlackNews.com
“What genius in the New York Knicks organization thought it a good idea to fire one of the highest-ranking black women in professional basketball immediately after she leveled charges of sexual harassment?”

Vanilla Ceiling: Magazines Still Shades Of White
The New York Observer

The 6th Annual Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference
Spelman College
SCROLL TO END

Greenwich, Conn. - Rich and Racist
The Hartford Courant
SCROLL TO END

THE SHAMELESS PLUG

PowerFlow Media - Where the Power of Public Relations Meets the Flow of Marketing
www.powerflowmedia.com

Recent and Upcoming Media Impressions for PowerFlow Media Clients: CNN, OverTime Magazine, 790TheZone, Good Day Atlanta, Focus Atlanta, Oz Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Southern Screen Report and CinemaATL.

First Quarter 2006: Events Featuring PowerFlow Media Clients Why Not Sports, music executive Jacqueline Rhinehart, Descending Dove Productions (The Last Adam), Heart & Soul Editorial Director Yanick Rice Lamb (Rise and Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist), Lori Robinson (I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse), and Evelyn Coleman (Born In Sin).

OPPORTUNITIES

Gospel Music Channel Opportunities:

JOB OPENING: ADMIN ASSISTANT/ Gospel Music Channel/Atlanta: 3-5 yrs exp supporting senior managers; fast pace, internet prof. req. Janice@gospelmusicchannel.com

JOB OPENING: MARKETING & PROMOTIONS MGR/Gospel Music Channel/Atlanta: 5+ yrs exp (media or agency, programmer). Keen executer. toni@gospelmusicchannel.com

JOB OPENING: SENIOR MGR, PUBLIC RELATIONS/Gospel Music Channel/Atlanta: 7-10 years experience in cable related company. Report to SVP Marketing. Strategies for mrktng, programming, affil and ad sales Janice@gospelmusicchannel.com

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MGR/Gospel Music Channel/Atlanta Reports to SVP Marketing. Recommend, develop and field research for programming, marketing, affiliate and ad sales. Hands on position. Janice@gospelmusicchannel.com

Food Critic and Editor for Creative Loafing

Creative Loafing, Atlanta's alternative newsweekly, is seeking a food critic and editor to helm the paper's award-winning coverage of restaurants and dining trends. For more information login and go here:
MediaKitty.com

Nickelodeon Legal Opportunities

Job Title: Senior Counsel - TV Land/Nick at Nite
Location: New York

Experienced business and legal affairs attorney for TV Land and Nick at Nite programming services.

Responsibilities:

This attorney will handle business and legal affairs matters across all departments of TV Land and Nick at Nite, including development and production, programming/acquisitions, marketing, online and brand creative. Primary duties will include negotiating and documenting agreements with producers, talent, writers and rights holders in connection with original programming; handling production legal matters for series; negotiating and drafting license agreements for acquired programming; counseling the client group on a wide variety of legal matters, including intellectual property rights, off-channel marketing and promotions, sweepstakes, online and music; working closely with the online group regarding the distribution of online content; coordinating with various company departments (e.g., Production Management, Music & Media Licensing, Pre-Broadcast Review, Risk Management, Labor & Employment, Litigation, etc.) to implement production legal policies and procedures; reviewing and handling rights issues; and analyzing guild and union issues.

Requirements:

Qualifications: J.D. and 4+ years experience of law practice (including significant experience at a recognized entertainment law firm or in-house position with a media company) with at least two years experience handling programming/production agreements. Excellent negotiating, analytical,drafting and interpersonal skills a must. Qualified candidates must be members of the New York Bar.

Job Title: Senior Counsel - Nickelodeon Preschool/The N
Location: New York

Experienced business affairs attorney will provide comprehensive business affairs and legal support in a wide range of areas for Nickelodeon’s pre-school bloc, Nick Jr., and Nickelodeon’s pre-school/teen digital channel, Noggin/The N.

Responsibilities:

Primary responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: negotiating and drafting talent agreements; counseling clients on union and guild issues; overseeing all on-camera and off-camera performer-related issues for the channels (including, but not limited to liaising with third party production companies); negotiating and drafting all production-related agreements for above- and below-the-talent (e.g. producers, writers, creators, production services, directors) in connection with original program development and production; negotiating rights acquisition agreements, co-production and co-financing agreements and other development agreements; and coordinating with various company departments (e.g., Consumer Products, Production Management, Music & Media Licensing) to effect the company’s multi-platform agenda and implement production policies and procedures. Candidate should have experience negotiating and dealing with AFTRA and SAG issues.

Requirements:
Minimum of four years hands-on, transactional experience in recognized entertainment law firm or relevant in-house position with media company.
Must have direct deal making responsibility for a variety of TV development production deals. Familiarity with entertainment unions/ guilds a plus.

All candidates should apply online at
MTV Careers


BET Public Relations Interns

INTERNS WANTED
BET's Corporate Communication's department seeks high performing students (undergrad and graduate level) for internship opportunities. BET, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc., is dedicated to providing a solid learning foundation for student interns. Internship applications are accepted throughout the year, however; participants must commit to a minimum 12-week non-paid internship. We are currently looking to fill several spots for the spring and summer semesters (spring dates: March 15 - June 2, 2006 / summer dates: June 12 - August 25, 2006).
As a PR intern, your responsibilities will include supporting the press department with various tasks such as answering phones, filing, creating media clippings, researching information, compiling and distributing screener press kits, maintaining database, as well as other administrative and PR duties. Assistance with special events, such as the BET's Spring Bling, BET Awards, as well as our music programming (106 & PARK, RAP CITY, BET STYLE, THE STUDENT CENTER, etc.), are also a part of internship duties. The internship program allows students to receive first-hand knowledge of the rewards and challenges of working for a multi-facet entertainment company such as BET.

All interested students, please submit your resume and a recent writing sample to:
BET
C/ CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
555 WEST 57TH STREET, 10TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NY 10019

Any questions, please call Tricia N. Newell or Tara Smith, 212-975-4048.


Edelman Opportunities

A message from Michelle Deese of Edelman:
I’m certainly available to speak with anyone who wants more information about Edelman diversity and culture, however, the recruiters can speak best about specific openings in their regions. I encourage you to apply online (www.edelman.com) to positions you qualify for, and then follow-up with the appropriate recruiter below, referencing the job req # of the position.
NYC – Lindsay Harris, lindsay.harris@edelman.com
Chicago and TX – Jessica Trantowski, jessica.trantowski@edelman.com
ATL – Lindsay Neuweiler, lindsay.neuweiler@edelman.com
CA and OR – Elizabeth LeMoine, elizabeth.lemoine@edelman.com
DC – Melissa Judis, melissa.judis@edelman.com
Thanks for your understanding and interest in Edelman.
Michelle Deese
U.S. Community Relations & Diversity Manager
Edelman
202.326.1789
michelle.deese@edelman.com
Edelman.com


Attorney Position - Interscope, Geffen, A&M (IGA) Santa Monica, CA

Job Title: Attorney City: Santa Monica State: CA Job Description: Interscope, Geffen, A&M (IGA) is currently seeking a Business & Legal Affairs Executive for the Santa Monica, CA location.

This position is responsible for a heavy transaction flow in connection with all aspects of the music business, including signing recording artists and other acquisition of content, as well as the exploitation of content.

Responsibilities:
Provide ongoing legal counseling resulting from the above-mentioned transactions. This will include shaping, drafting, reviewing and negotiating a variety of legal agreements such as recording agreements, label agreements and license agreements.

Job Requirements: - BA/BS degree & JD required
- 5 - 7 years recorded music-related experience preferred
- Strong law firm experience/training preferred
- Proven, in-depth knowledge of agreements relating to recording artists and exploitation of music must
- Must be adept at drafting and negotiating
- Familiar with record label issues
- Strong customer/client service skills a must
- Must be able to work under time constraints
- Ability to multi-task and juggle competing priorities
- Computer experience: Internet, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook
- Must have excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
- Highly motivated and with a desire to work in a team environment
- Ability to keep information confidential
- Must be self-directed and well organized

Business Title: Business & Legal Affairs Executive Business Unit: IGA Function: Legal/Business Affairs

Method Acting Coach needed to go to Nigerian Film Festival/Marketplace

We are in need of a method acting coach to present a workshop, during the upcoming "Best of the Best" in African TV Market, to take place in Abuja Nigeria, March 12-16, 2006. All expenses will be paid to Africa, including travel, meals and hotel for the chosen candidate. For those not familiar with what is happening in Nigeria, regarding film and film production, I have embedded a recent "Feature Story" produced by A-List Magazine, for your perusal.
If you are interested in this great networking opportunity, please do not call me, but do send your resume or CV to, khafreba@aol.com, please indicate in subject line, "Method Acting Coach. Looking forward...
C.Sade Turnipseed, Managing Director
FESPACO/PRAI
KHAFRE Productions
www.khafre.us

FEATURE STORY

Nollywood & Beyond: Film Production In Africa Heats Up

Look out Hollywood. Forget Bollywood. Nollywood in Nigeria is the new frontier on the global front when it comes to film; and the rest of Africa, especially South Africa isn't far behind.

In Nigeria, things have gotten so intense that it has been dubbed Nollywood. Experts have noted that because of political changes, the Nigerian film industry is experiencing a renaissance. In fact, according to the UK's Guardian newspaper, Nigeria has surpassed India's Bollywood, making it now the world's fastest growing film industry.

Notable Nigerian film companies include NEK, Gabosky and Cheskay, Moving Movies, Zeb Ejiro and JBM. Most of the films are produced by independent by companies and businessmen. However, the big money for films in Nigeria is made in the direct-to-video market. The average film costs between $17,000US and $23,000US, is shot on video in just a week--selling up to 150,000-200,000 units nationwide in one day. With this type of return, more and more are getting into the film business there. By most reports, Nollywood is a $115-million industry. And it keeps growing.

In fact, according to Frank Ikegwuonu, author of Who's Who in Nollywood (www.nigeriaentertainment.com), about "1,200 films are produced in Nigeria annually." And more and more filmmakers are heading to Nigeria because of "competitive distribution system and a cheap workforce." Further, Nigerian films seem to be better received by the market when compared to foreign films because "those films are more family oriented than American films," says Ikegwuonu. However, he has not seen a rise in Americans venturing to use the production there. "They are not aware of the phenomenon yet as Nigerian filmmakers lack the marketing tools [to get the word out]."

South Africa, on the other hand, is not only creating a wealth of new films itself, but has become a popular shooting location for international filmmakers.

According to Brin Kushner, an associate producer, his Cape Town, South Africa-based company, African Film Services (www.africafilmservices.com), does "10-12 major international commercials a year and between 2 and 4 documentaries." The reasons people are choosing South Africa, says Kushner, "is that we have fantastic weather, amazing locations and very experienced crew. We are also cost competitive. There are lots of savings on equipment, crew rates, talent rates and buyouts as well as increased shooting time due to great weather conditions."

And with African countries actively targeting the U.S. film business, it is getting easier for foreign production companies. "[African governments] are becoming more film friendly as they realize the revenue that the film industry is bringing into the country," notes Kushner, adding that American companies have increased their presence in South Africa. "South Africa is now becoming a major filming destination for American Companies. In fact, Black Diamond with Leonard DiCaprio is currently being filmed over here."

Even black Americans in the entertainment industry are coming to the Continent in search of great locations and better production values. "There is a definite trend for black Americans to want to work in Africa as they feel a strong affinity and tie to our country. We have seen numerous famous black actors on our shores," says Kushner. Plus, they can deal better with black South Africans in the business, unlike in the States where the majority of crews would be Caucasian. "Black South Africans are very involved in the industry...We have amazingly talented black south African filmmakers and crew," explains Kushner.

Will the trend continue to grow? Kushner hopes so. "There is always pressure from other countries such as those in South America which become flavors of the month, but on the whole the future is looking positive."

And it is not just American film productions that reaping the benefits. Many African films have been considered quite well done in the past, but now they are getting the attention some think they deserved long ago. In fact, the South African independent film Son of Man, about Jesus as an African man, was recently chosen for the World Cinema competition category at the Sundance Film Festival. It was the first South African film ever to be selected for competition at Sundance; last year another South African film, Drum, premiered at the festival.

Also on the rise for film production, say experts, is Kenya and Namibia. Namibia even passed a the Namibia Film Commission Act in 2000 "to support the film industry and film marketing in Namibia by promoting the country as a location for film production on the international market."

So on either front, Africa may be the next filming Mecca or the place to pitch films--especially black movies--to an eager audience.


MORE NEWS

The 6th Annual Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference
Spelman College

The 6th Annual Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference continues the legacy of African and African Women's activism at Spelman College on March 24-25, The conference will engage Spelman students and faculty, and members of the Atlanta community in panel presentations, discussion forums and interactive workshops that explore multiple forms and sites of activism including: writing, filmmaking, cultural/artistic expressions, popular education, and grassroots community organizing. There are no registration fees. Don't miss out on this wonderful event!! More info:
Spelman.edu

Greenwich, Conn. - Rich and Racist
The Hartford Courant
Although Greenwich officials say they have zero tolerance for discrimination, their hearts and minds apparently have yet to catch up.

For proof, consider that Greenwich's affirmative action officer, of all people, was asked in December by the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to undergo anti-bias training to settle a discrimination complaint by two prominent nonwhite residents.

The complaint lodged by Millie Bonilla and Sheila Foster, the wives of former New York Mets baseball players Bobby Bonilla and George Foster, said they were denied access to the beach at Greenwich Point Park on June 7 because of their skin color. Mrs. Bonilla is Puerto Rican and Mrs. Foster is African American. They were part of an exercise group meeting at the beach.

Kelly Houston, the town's affirmative action officer, dismissed the complaint on grounds that the women were not carrying the $25 resident beach cards that are required to enter the park.

Ms. Houston might have been able to sustain her ruling had she not sent an e-mail three weeks earlier to the exercise group leader the women had hired for their class. Her e-mail advised him to be discreet about bringing "black people" to the beach and to cut the number of black participants in the class.

Mrs. Bonilla and Mrs. Foster hired Hartford attorney Joseph A. Moniz and appealed Ms. Houston's decision before the human rights commission.

The human rights commission's settlement offer requires that Ms. Houston and other employees in the town's human resources and parks departments attend anti-discrimination training classes.

Greenwich officials would also have to incorporate language guaranteeing equal access to parks in town policy and display anti-discrimination posters in town facilities.

Greenwich officials should accept the offer and be happy that more serious penalties weren't recommended. They may also want to consider hiring a more astute affirmative action officer.

Perhaps the agreement will move Greenwich from merely saying it opposes discrimination to actively practicing fairness and racial harmony.

Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Happy New Year!


Welcome to 2006, JJ Readers!

New this issue, the sources are links to the actual website for the story. Stories that have no links will be featured in full length at the very end in the body of the newsletter. Feedback is desired and welcome. Feel free to email me at jdavis@powerflowmedia.com. Hope you're enjoyceinglife!!! JD


JJ Advertiser:


    Gerald M. Smith
    Premier Mortgage Funding

    404.493.3106 Cell
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    Call or visit our website for more information on:
    Refinance - Purchase - 2nd Homes - Investment Properties
    "I will deliver the best loan with the most value." — Gerald M. Smith


In The JJ This Issue...

Visions of a Continent That Is Rich With Life
New York Times
A sweep through several African art exhibitions makes this clear: There are too many Africas to allow any easy synthesis. By Holland Carter

Mary J. Blige Takes On The Role Of Legendary Singer Nina Simone In Film
BallerStatus.net News
Mary J. Blige is finally flexing her star muscle and using it in the world of acting. The singer has been given the starring role in an upcoming, yet-to-be-titled film that will focus on the rise of the late jazz/soul singer Nina Simone, according to MTV News. By Allen Starbury

Snoop Lands Job With XM Satellite Radio
New York Times
Snoop Dogg has been named executive producer of XM's Hip-Hop channel 65, The Rhyme. Snoop's in charge of developing the creative direction of the channel, in addition to developing content. "We need more Snoop Dogg music all the time because the music I play makes people feel good," Snoop said. "Consider yourself a part of this new Snoop Dogg eargasm." By Nolan Strong

The Eighth National Black Writers Conference
Medgar Evers College, NY
Black Literature: Expanding Conversations
on Race, Identity, History and Genre


Radio One Diversifies
The Network Journal
The company said it will launch the first national talk-radio network geared for a Black audience in 2006.

BET Founder Bob Johnson Partners With Carlyle Group to Form Largest Black U.S. Buyout Firm
The Journal News
Investments open doors for blacks in business. By David Schepp

Ghana's Uneasy Embrace of Slavery's Diaspora
New York Times
Ghana, through whose ports millions of Africans passed on their way to plantations in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, wants its descendants to come back. The country hopes to persuade the descendants of enslaved Africans to think of Africa as their homeland - to visit, invest, send their children to be educated and even retire here. By Lydia Polgreen

A Chance to Meet the Author Online
New York Times
Amazon.com is offering author blogs and extended personal profile pages as a way to increase the visibility of books in a crowded media marketplace. By Edward Wyatt

The Net Is a Boon for Indie Labels
New York Times
Exploiting online message boards, music blogs and social networks, independent music companies are making big advances at the expense of the four global music conglomerates. By Jeff Leeds

In Middle Class, Signs of Anxiety on School Efforts
New York Times
Dozens of parents from the middle class and upper middle class have complained of an increasing focus on standardized test preparation and remedial work. By Susan Saulny

Poorer Black Women Going Without Pap Smears
HealthDay
By Steven Reinberg

Which is the Black Oriented Media?
BlackCommentator.com
The awful truth is that Ebony has been A.W.O.L. on every big story in recent years & By Alex Walker

Woman Lives in Goddess Factory in Harlem
The Village Voice
It's so gentrified. Hip-hop kids have nicknames for us _New Harlem. By Toni Schlesinger

Bigger Brother
The Village Voice
A better charity: Microfinance site connects you with borrowers in East Africa By Julian Dibbell

Move over, mister; Women are rising as anchors, stars
Baltimore Son
By David Zurawik

The Untold Story Of Emmett Louis Till on DVD
THINKFilm
The ground-breaking documentary detailing the true story of perhaps the most notorious civil rights cold case murder in American history, debuts during Black History Month on DVD February 28, 2006.

Morris Brown College Raised $1.2 Million at Statewide Rally in Macon, GA
Press Release
SCROLL TO END

When It Comes To Quality Education for African Americans and Latinos, New Visions Foundation Survey Asks, Are We Still In the Back of the Bus?
Press Release
National Survey Brings Attention To Funding Needed At Inner-City Schools To Help Bridge Achievement Gap.
SCROLL TO END

THE SHAMELESS PLUG

PowerFlow Media - Where the Power of Public Relations Meets the Flow of Marketing
www.powerflowmedia.com

Recent and Upcoming Media Impressions for PowerFlow Media Clients: CNN, OverTime Magazine, 790TheZone, Good Day Atlanta, Focus Atlanta, Greatness By Design, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Southern Screen Report and CinemaATL.

First Quarter 2006: Events Featuring PowerFlow Media Clients Why Not Sports, music executive Jacqueline Rhinehart, Descending Dove Productions (The Last Adam), author and journalist Farai Chideya (NPR's News & Notes with Ed Gordon, PopandPolitics.com), ArtsTalk, Heart & Soul Editorial Director Yanick Rice Lamb (Rise and Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist), Lori Robinson (I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse), and Evelyn Coleman (Born In Sin).

OPPORTUNITIES

Director of Brand/Corporate Communications: Tauck World Discovery, the global leader in upscale, escorted land, cruise, riverboat and family journeys, is looking for a new director of brand/corporate communication. The director or brand/corporate communications reports to the vice president of marketing and is responsible for the development and execution of all marketing communications consistent with Tauck's brand positioning. Login and go here: MediaKitty.com

Public Relations Director: A multinational supplier of adult beverages (portfolio consists of beer and wine) is looking for a public relations director. The ideal candidate will have a strong media background, media contacts with lifestyle publications, and will have luxury goods and/or high-end wine, spirits or sparkling wine on their resume. Login and go here: MediaKitty.com

Step Your Way Into Hollywood
Calling All Step Teams to Vie for a chance to Appear in Highly
Anticipated Big Screen Release
Media Contact: ARPR Marketing, 323-330-0555, info@arprmarketing.com

Los Angeles, CA -You were mesmerized with the amazing dancing in "You Got Served" and uplifted with the inspirational singing in "The Gospel", now the studio behind both films is bringing America an incredible film that focuses on the art of stepping. This time around, the hype will be focused on precision, creativity, difficulty and timing, all the ingredients needed to create the flavor and realism essential to STEPPING. Hollywood is searching for the nation's hardest stepping Greek and Non-Greek organizations. The time is now for your organization to prove to the world that you have what it takes to step onto the big screen.

You may have won the homecoming step show, but can you out stomp thousands of other talented steppers vying to become Tinseltown's next find? Don't miss out on the opportunity to be a part of movie history, display the essence of stepping to the world and represent your city or college campus. This movie is guaranteed to deliver an indescribable and exclusive look into the long and intense preparation that make up the tools to deliver a crowd-pleasing performance. The traditions and pride that come along with the impact a step team has on a community and/or college or university will be defined in this breathtaking movie. However, this can't be done successfully without your submissions.

So how can your organization step into the limelight? Capture your organization's best performance on tape and read the details below!

WHO: The Hollywood studio that brought you "You Got Served", "The Gospel" and "Two Can Play That Game"

WHAT: Requesting taped submissions of Greek and Non-Greek Step teams from across the country to be a part of a new Hollywood movie about Stepping.

WHEN: Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 10, 2006. Those organizations selected to appear in the film will be notified at a later date.

WHERE: All VHS or DVD tapes, 10 minutes max should be mailed to the attention of, Stepping Call, 5900 Wilshire Blvd. 26th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036 and must include official submission form. Official form can be downloaded from www.steppingcall.com Submissions WILL NOT be returned.

MORE NEWS

Morris Brown College Raised $1.2 Million at Statewide Rally in Macon, GA
Press Release
Media Contact: Getchel L. Caldwell, II, Getchel.Caldwell@morrisbrown.edu (404) 739-1010

President Samuel D. Jolley, Jr. reported that Morris Brown College Alumni and the Sixth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (SED-AMEC) launched a rejuvenation and renewal rally (Georgia Tour) of alumni, friends, and supporters that started on the campus during 2005 Homecoming weekend and moved to Macon, Georgia and raised an unprecedented $1.2 million in cash and pledges. It is not coincidental that this event was held during the Christmas season, a time of celebration and renewed commitment to the values and principals that have sustained Morris Brown College since her establishment in 1881. Founded by the AME Church shortly after the end of the Civil War with just 107 students, Morris Brown College has been in continual operation every year and will celebrate her 125th anniversary in 2006.

Bishop William Phillips DeVeaux, Presiding Prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Chairman of the Board of Trustees stated, “My commitment and passion is to move Morris Brown College forward. I am challenging the AME community to make a special effort during this holiday season with this special initiative to illustrate to current and potential partners that the AME community goes on record of supporting the re-engineering the College in record numbers." Likewise, Stella Taylor, President of the Morris Brown College National Alumni Association, Inc. stated, “Alumni are staying the course and providing extraordinary financial and volunteer support to sustain and grow the College. Both sectors, the AME Church and MBC Alumni have committed to three years of consistent giving to grow the College in preparation for accreditation and financial restructuring.”

The College has a current faculty-student ratio of 1:5 and offers bachelor’s degrees in Management, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MET) for traditional students and an Organizational Management and Leadership (OML) for adults. All (100%) of the Morris Brown College faculty have earned doctoral degrees in their areas of concentration.

Join with others during this holiday season in making a special year-end gift to Morris Brown College. We need your help to continue to ensure Morris Brown’s forward movement. Make checks payable to: Morris Brown College and mail to Morris Brown College, Building A New Foundation Campaign, Division of Institutional Advancement, 643 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, NW, Atlanta, Georgia, 30314-4140.

When It Comes To Quality Education for African Americans and Latinos, New Visions Foundation Survey Asks, Are We Still In the Back of the Bus?
Press Release

Media Contacts:
Shari Nakakura, Inspiring Minds Communications, 509.628.9919 or nakakuras@aol.com
Carla Sameth, Inspiring Minds Communications, 626.564.0163 or carla@inspiringmindscom.com
Terri Hernandez Rosales, Inspiring Minds Communications, 626.793.4337 or hernandezrosales@sbcglobal.net

National Survey Brings Attention To Funding Needed At Inner-City Schools To Help Bridge Achievement Gap

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 29, 2005) ñ With our nation’s deteriorating educational system rife with overcrowded classrooms, a shortage of qualified teachers, school safety issues and a lack of basic resources due to budget cuts, a new nationwide survey conducted by the New Visions Foundation reveals that a majority of those surveyed (64 percent) agree that the level of funding of schools in inner-city and low-income neighborhoods affect the quality of education those children receive. The survey was conducted with 1,000 randomly selected respondents by market research firm Synovate.

In contrast, 49 percent believe that African American and Latino children in inner-city schools would excel in greater numbers if they attended better funded or private schools. However, 25 percent of the respondents were not in agreement. The other 25 percent are unsure if African American and Latino students would excel if they attended better funded public or private schools. These statistics reveal a perceived disconnect over the role that funding plays in a quality education, according to New Visions Foundation Executive Director Paul Cummins.

“What troubles me is the so-called—achievement gap,” says Cummins. “ It’s a code word that masks what is really going on in our schools: educational apartheid, as Jonathan Kozol so aptly describes in his latest book, The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, which addresses the rapid re-segregation of America’s schools.”

“This achievement gap between the have and have-nots has created a growing chasm that is increasing steadily with no end in sight. Take the 48 percent of high schools in the nation’s 100 largest districts, which are those in which the highest concentrations of African American and Latino students tend to be enrolled, where less than half the entering ninth-graders graduate in four years. Nationwide, from 1993 ñ 2002, the number of high schools graduating less than half their ninth-grade class in four years has increased by 75 percent. By contrast, in the 94 percent of districts in New York State where white children make up the majority, nearly 80 percent of students graduate from high school in four years,” added Cummins.

In well-heeled private schools in Los Angeles County, for example, Cummins said that $23,000 is the average per pupil spent annually. “When you compare that to the $7,000 the LA Unified School District spends per student annually, it’s not surprising that students who receive less than one-third of what is spent in a well-to-do community are not engaged in their less-than-adequate environment and dropping out,” he explained.

“If the late Rosa Parks had walked into today’s inner-city school that looked like a penitentiary because it lacked the basic resources (with a student population that was 99 percent black or brown), would she celebrate how far we’ve come since she took a stand or reflect how far we have yet to go?” said Cummins. New Visions Foundation (NVF) has been nationally lauded for its model for school reform and as an “incubator” for developing effective academic and community partnerships. Through a variety of distinctive academic schools and student-centered programs, NVF devises successful educational alternatives for students of all economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Cummins’ great insight into educational issues has been instrumental in implementing new models and innovative solutions that provide quality education for all children. Founded on the belief that academics and an engaging education are the rights of everyone regardless of race, social-economic status, style of learning and disability, Cummins’ approach mixes an unusual combination of academic and intellectual perspective that result in tangible outcomes for children of all ages (K-12). His mantra is simple: At-risk kids need better funded schools. Better funding translates to academic success and a brighter future.

According to the New Visions Foundation survey, more Americans are willing to look at funding and low household income as contributing factors that impact the quality of education vs. believing that race, in general, is a factor in receiving a quality education. Interestingly, while half of those surveyed agree that better funded or private institutions would help more African American and Latino students excel academically, these respondents happen to represent:
- Younger adults ages 25-34
- Those with higher household incomes ($75K+)
- Living in the West
- Nonwhite
- Well-educated (post-grad)

“What this tells me is that the other half who aren’t living, studying or experiencing the reality are either on the fence or not informed. We can address the drop out rate by engaging kids to buy in and this takes better funding that allows schools to hire more teachers, pay them what they are worth, cut the classroom size in half and give them an environment that will breed success,” said Cummins. “It’s about personal dignity; making sure the basics such as clean bathrooms and comfortable classrooms are de rigueur; building playgrounds and gymnasiums that allow kids to thrive; and creating empowered, well-funded schools in low-income neighborhoods ñ and that takes money.”

He believes that a national commitment for underprivileged students to experience total engagement in school will require funding that will make a radical difference in their lives: well trained, knowledgeable and passionate teachers; desirable, reasonable teaching conditions; encouraging, warm, caring school environments and rich, diverse curricula. And his personal mission is to spread the word to those with the means to raise the funds. Says Cummins, “Funding matters!”

About New Visions Foundation: New Visions Foundation, a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1994 to envision and develop innovative educational opportunities for underserved K-12 youth, including model curricula and learning environments.

# # #

New Visions Foundation Backgrounder

The New Visions Foundation (NVF) was founded in 1994 as a not-for-profit organization aimed at creating independent schools that provide all children equal access to quality education and academic excellence. Since its start, NVF has been nationally lauded due to its multiple successes and is viewed as model for school reform and as an “incubator” for developing effective academic and community partnerships. Through a variety of distinctive academic schools and student-centric programs, NVF devises successful educational alternatives for students of all economic and ethnic backgrounds.

New Visions’ first school is New Roads (K-12). Launched in 1995, New Roads’ mission is to develop a student population of social, economic and racial diversity and to promote personal, political and moral understanding. New Roads School has a highly academic curriculum, which concentrates on social and ecological justice. With this approach, New Roads has become a new model of education through which a cadre of educated and compassionate leaders can develop from the nation’s many populations to make a difference. Serving 500 students, ages 4-18, from throughout Los Angeles County, New Roads School’s student population mix is approximately 37 percent Caucasian, 30 percent African American, 21 percent Hispanic, eight percent Asian and five percent other. To support this diversity, New Roads allots 40% of its operational income for financial aid. This degree of support is notable as independent schools usually allot only up to 15 percent of its potential operating income to financial aid

In 1999, NVF embarked on its most recent project: The Herb Alpert Educational Village. The Village has been designed to respond to extensive research findings noting: 1) learning improves in small settings; 2) school violence is grounded around the inability to accept differences; 3) test-driven curriculum has forced the removal of the arts, community service and other engaging curriculum, thus, disaffecting children from the entire learning process; and 4) educational policy has been formed away from practice. Expected to open by 2007 in Santa Monica, California, the Village will span more than 115,000 square feet and will be a dynamic environment—full of life and unprecedented collaboration where people of all ages can experience growth and share a curiosity and passion for learning. Additionally, The Herb Alpert Educational Village will be architecturally beautiful, symbolizing respect and admiration for students, teachers and the community. Further, this unique place will become a new educational forum and serve as a think tank for subsequent projects.

Prior to 1999, NVF recognized an incredible demand in Los Angeles for new schools. School-age population was soaring, and public school administration battled with a classroom space crisis. NVF responded by creating new charter schools in the city. It partnered with Pueblo Nuevo, a not-for-profit community development organization, and with EXED, a financial management firm, to design its first charter school: Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. The school opened in 2000 with 380 students; today, it has three campuses with approximately 1,000 children enrolled. NVF’s second charter school, Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise, will open in 2005-06. It was formed through a partnership with Moctezuma Esparza, founder of Maya Pictures (Salena and The Milagro Beanfield War) and EXED. A third, the New Village School, will be a unique residential middle and upper school for foster children and youth, designed in cooperation with Los Angeles Appleseed and EXED.

NVF’s special programs and national models include the Center for Educational Opportunity. Begun in 2000, the program matches foster children with appropriate independent and public schools and stays with them as a supportive presence until they go to college. The enrolled foster children have maintained excellent attendance and academic records, defying grim national statistics.

Another NVF program is Community Partners. This engaging after-school educational program, now in its third year at Camp Gonzales (a youth detention camp in Calabasas, California), is designed to offer positive alternatives to youth offenders while in camp and provide them with transitional support post-detention. After school courses include journalism, film-making and computer graphics. Anecdotal evidence points to the program having positive effects on the incarcerated youth, with some outstanding success in placing youth in private schools, community colleges and career paths post-detention. Quantitative evidence shows that the Community Partners program also results in dramatically lowering recidivism rates for participants. NVF created and manages this innovative program through three competitive grants awarded to them by the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

Families Helping Families (FHF), a third outreach program of NVF, sponsors needy local families in the short-term so they can eventually be entirely self-sufficient. FHF believes that a relatively small investment of time and dollars now can literally change the destiny of a family when that commitment is focused on developing quality education for the children, helping to locate safer family homes as well as job or job-track programs (community college, vocational training and adult education). Efforts have already produced dramatic turnarounds in families served.

Friends for the Future is now in its third year. This is a student education and exchange program whereby high school students from Japan learn English and have home stays in Los Angeles area homes. Conversely, high school students from Los Angeles also have educational and cultural exchange experiences in Japan. The program has nearly doubled in size after one year in operation and hopes to expand to other countries in the future.

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