Sun04202014

Greater Metro

Open house beckons children and parents to Kamp KSI

kampksi 600Inside Kairos Services, double doors opened, and children ran excitedly to a large table set up with green and gold pawns. Rather than video games and iPads, these children are excited about chess, just one of the disciplines taught during Kamp KSI.

Kairos, a nonprofit that works to help people become self-sufficient through employment, hosted an open house for the camp, which is in its second year. The camp for children ages 6-12 teaches an array of disciplines to foster critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. Herbert Lester, executive director, says the goal is to prepare children to be globally competent, which will help them secure jobs and become model citizens.

"The United States has fallen in academics compared to other countries. Our children must learn skills and competencies to compete with students from across the globe," Lester says. "Kamp KSI equips our campers to think critically, problem solve creatively and work collaboratively through fun activities that children enjoy."

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Where are all the black baseball superstars?

baseball 600Jackie Robinson Day – celebrated this week – is the annual day when Major League Baseball celebrates the incredible change and integration Robinson helped usher into the sport, and society as a whole.

Robinson broke baseball's color barrier so that more African-American players would have the chance to play the "national pastime" at its highest level.
Sadly, 60-plus years later, potential black players aren't taking advantage of that opportunity.

Last month, the league released a report that said just 8.3 percent of players on 2014 opening day rosters identified themselves as black.

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‘My baby wants to see’

wanttosee 600If you were asked to define Retinoschisis – or pronounce it for that matter – most likely you'd be stumped. That's what happened to Gino and Alicia L. Hall when Dr. Steven Charles, founder and CEO of the renowned Charles Retina Institute in Memphis, diagnosed their son, Gino LaVon Hall Jr., with Juvenile X-Linked Retinoschisis.

Retinoschisis is a blinding, hereditary disease that affects males – about 5,000 to 25,000 of them worldwide – and causes progressive loss of central and peripheral vision due to a split of the retina or retinal degeneration.

Gino Jr. has suffered from it since his mother first noticed a problem with his left eye when he was 16 months old. Now he's 10 years old and blind in one eye. Dr. Charles is monitoring the other eye to make sure it doesn't degenerate.

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Breaking The Cycle Boys Symposium a no-nonsense good time

BreakCycle 600Minister Adrian Johnson drives a really cool car. Pimped up in sparkling green paint, squatting on dubs (street language for the 20-inch wheels that make the cars ride high in the air), Johnson's ride fits right in with what's called "D-Boy smooth" on the streets, but with a hard-to-ignore difference.

The word "Jesus" is emblazoned across the side of the car in bright gold script.

Posted up at the Breaking The Cycle Boys Symposium last Saturday (April 5th) at Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Stage Road in Cordova, Johnson's "whip" perfectly symbolized the church's mission to reach out to youths and speak to them – in plain but impactful ways – of how temptations can ruin their ambitions. Several hundred were in attendance, some transported by bus by Memphis Police Department, a sponsor.

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Teens learn to plan brighter financial futures

teensummit 600About 100 students from Memphis high schools such as Booker T. Washington, Melrose and White Station spent Saturday (April 5th) preparing for their financial futures.

The Planning Your Dreams Summit was held at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis Technical Training Center, where the teens focused on improving their understanding of financial terms and learning how to budget and manage their income.

The summit was hosted by The RISE Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers Memphians by improving their financial literacy skills. The teens who participated are members of the RISE Foundation's Goal Card program, an incentive-based program that requires goal setting and improvements in grades, conduct and attendance.

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‘MED Night: A Soul Celebration’

temptation 600Regional One Health held its annual fundraising gala at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night (April 5th) to raise money and awareness for the former Regional Medical Center at Memphis (the MED).

The premiere event, dubbed "MED Night: A Soul Celebration," benefits The MED Foundation and featured, as always, an all-star cast of soulful musicians and entertainers who'd topped the charts in their heyday and remain today as influential as they were during the days of vinyl records.

The sold-out event attracted a gala audience of men and women who listened intently and moved their bodies to the melodious music of the New Ballet Ensemble and the captivating performances by Shirley Alton Reeves, once the lead singer of The Shirelles, Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue, and Kool & The Gang.

 

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National Civil Rights Museum’s grand day stirs smiles, laughter and tears

iamaman 600

Mulberry Street was overflowing with hundreds of people as they gathered to witness the Breaking of the Chains grand reopening ceremony of the newly renovated National Civil Rights Museum on Saturday.

Reflecting myriad differences and a common appreciation for the significance of the event, they stood shoulder to shoulder on the day after the 46th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination at the Lorraine Hotel. They already had been stirred by the Freedom Forward Parade that began at the Cook Convention Center and proceeded along Second Street to the museum than incorporates the old hotel.

Audible laughter could be heard as journalist, actor, director and producer, Tavis Smiley, jokingly said twice that he wanted the ceremony to move as swiftly as possible, so as to not prolong seeing the inside of the newly renovated center.

 

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The New Tri-State Defender selects 2014 Women of Excellence

woe 600The New Tri-State Defender's "Women of Excellence" will be acknowledged and honored by their peers, family, friends and community leaders in a grand Champagne Brunch and Awards Presentation on Saturday, April 26th at 10 a.m. at the Memphis Botanic Gardens, 750 Cherry Rd.

The annual event will celebrate and honor 50 African-American women who motivate and inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and personal contribution to the community through service.

Over the past seven years, The TSD has honored 300-plus outstanding African American professionals and community leaders.

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What’s the holdup with the Southbrook Mall?

southbrooks 600The proposed plan to renovate Southbrook Mall was delayed for another two weeks at the Memphis City Council meeting on Tuesday (April 1st) and the management team for the mall's owners, Southbrook Properties, took the development in stride.

The team's spirits were bolstered earlier in the day during a probing session by the council's Economic Development Committee (EDC) that seemed to point toward a decision that eventually would be in the group's favor.

"I'm happy. We all are. We have to be," said Southbrook Properties Chairman Willie Harper, who huddled outside of City Hall with team members Cherry Davis, Jerry Johnson, consultant Greg Grant and mall tenant Coleman Thompson.

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Museum’s facelift work reflects diversity

ncrm 600As Memphians head to the National Civil Rights Museum for grand reopening activities on Friday and Saturday, they can be assured that the renovation represents true diversity, with a conscious effort having been to reflect a high-degree of minority participation in the $28 million project.

That's the sentiment of museum officials and from a number of those selected to participate in the facelift of the museum, which opened in 1991.

To begin with, several minorities participated in the 24-member National Scholar Review Committee. The committee was responsible for the interpretive plan development and review of the exhibits content.

 

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The Neelys come back home with 3rd blockbuster cookbook

neelys 600They met in the 1980's at Melrose High School, star-crossed sweethearts who lost touch after graduation. A 10-year class reunion, marriage in 1994, a thriving family barbeque business in Memphis – 20 years later, America gets to come "Back Home With the Neelys."

"We know our home folk in Memphis will really get a kick out of this third book," said Patrick Neely, one half of the superstar cooking couple in their own Food Network Show.

"Gina and I tell stories about our grandparents, stories we can all relate to. Along with our recipes are the stories we can remember growing up, memories on my grandfather's back porch over there in Orange Mound. Those are our roots. Those are our beginnings, and we want to always remember them."

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The 19th Annual Sisterhood Outreach Summit & Showcase postponed

sisterhood 600The 19th Annual Sisterhood Outreach Summit & Showcase sponsored by Grace Magazine and typically held in June has been postponed.

"We regret any disappointment created by the postponement of the Sisterhood Showcase," said Christina Stevison, owner and publisher of Grace Magazine, in a released statement.

"The Showcase has a rich legacy and reputation for being one of the Mid-South's favorite events. Unfortunately, due to litigation filed against former employees Toni Harvey, the magazine's former editor-in-chief, and Chris Boyd, former operations director, Grace Magazine will not be able to produce a Showcase in June 2014.

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City Of Memphis launches 30 Day Car-Free Challenge

NoCarDay 600Throughout April, the City of Memphis will host a 30 Day Car-Free Challenge encouraging residents to park their cars at home and get around the city using any number of alternative transportation options.

Any Memphis resident can register to take part in the challenge, for any amount of time. Commitments to being car-free can range from one day to 30 days, depending on an individual's ability and resources. Prize drawings will be made each week from the pool of residents registered in the challenge.

"We know that an increasing number of residents are choosing to live in Memphis and get to the store, to work, to school, and to other places without a car." said Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

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