If the Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival, Inc. were a person who had just turned 27, what would one who knew him or her well say?
"At 27, alive and well, 100 percent plus and moving on up," said Yvonne B. Acey, the festival's associate director.
"We are quite excited and quite grateful for those who started with us and helped us along the way and gave us encouragement."
Acey said people often ask her and her husband, Executive Director David L. Acey Sr., "Why Africa? Why April?"
Friends For Life will celebrate its 5th annual Dining Out For Life® in partnership with 39 of Memphis' finest restaurants on April 25.
Memphis is among 60 cities participating in this national effort, which raises more than $3 million annually for AIDS service organizations throughout the country and Canada. Food Network stars Ted Allen and Daisy Martinez, Project Runway All-Stars winner Mondo Guerra, and actress Pam Grier, are the national spokespeople for the event.
"I'm attracted to Dining Out for a few reasons. I like the group, and they do an enormous amount of good," sad Allen. "But the real reason is because the event is such a winner for everyone. The true heroes in the fight against HIV/AIDS are the activists and researchers, but we can't all do that."
It may have been stifling hot last Saturday (April 13) evening for grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and for fun and games, but Alexius Wilson didn't seem to mind. The 9-year-old gallivanted around the school grounds at Hanley Elementary and jumped in and out of inflatable bouncers, all while her mother, Veronica Black, kept a vigilant watch in the shade.
Black was one of several dozen parents who attended the family barbeque and registration drive hosted by Aspire Public Schools, a nonprofit organization operating 34 high-performing, open-enrollment and neighborhood charter schools in California. Aspire was assigned the operations of Hanley in 2012 to begin managing the school in the fall of 2013.
"My baby wanted me to come up here to see what was going on. So I signed her up (for the 2013-14 school year)," said Black, 41, the mother of seven girls, including Alexius. "I want her to learn more about technology. She's a good student. She even shows me stuff that I don't know."
This year marks the 27th Anniversary of the Africa In April Cultural Awareness Festival, which is scheduled for Wednesday through Sunday (April 17-21).
The festival, which unfolds downtown at Robert R. Church Park (Fourth Street at Beale Street), will showcase the Republic of Senegal from an international perspective using a various mediums – education, economics, culture, fashions, arts/crafts, music, history and cuisines.
A host of African dignitaries and other celebrities are scheduled to attend.
iTEEN REPORT: Many people think that teens only think about themselves. Well, I'd like those people to meet one teen that doesn't fit that description at all.
Angel Ray is a 17-year-old Southwind High School student with a heart to help others. Recently, Angel hosted a fashion show in the Hickory Ridge Mall that featured several teen models. Designed to motivate youth through something positive, the fashion show was also to benefit the community. The proceeds from the show went to the Memphis Family Shelter.
Angel says she wanted to do an event to help a charity that wasn't widely known and doesn't get as much recognition as some of the more popular events. After locking in on the idea, the next step was finding sponsors for clothes, food and decorations. One of her sponsors was Belle of the Ball Consignment, which provided several of their dresses for the fashion show's prom sequence.
Television star Judge Joe Brown attended a fundraiser recently at the Bruce Turner Law Office to kick off the campaign of Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks, who is running for Juvenile Court Clerk.
Brown is also supporting the expected candidacy of current City Court Judge Tarik B. Sugarmon, who confirms there is a "99.9" percent chance that he will seek the Juvenile Court Judge position.
Voters will make the final selection for the offices in the next general election scheduled for 2014. No primary has been scheduled so far. It is up to officials for the Democratic and Republican parties to request a primary if necessary to choose a candidate for each.
Rose Jackson Flenorl represents the heart of the FedEx Corporation and she will deliver the keynote address at The New Tri-State Defender's Women of Excellence gala on April 27.
Manager of Social Responsibility at FedEx Corporation, Flenorl will speak at the Women of Excellence (WOE) Champagne Brunch and Awards Celebration at the Memphis Botanic Gardens, 750 Cherry Road.
A previous WOE honoree, Flenorl is among 250 outstanding African-American professionals and community leaders who have been honored by the TSD. All are distinguished by their civic contributions and career achievements.