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Is now the right time to shake up housing finance?

CharleneCrowell 600In an unconventional move, legislation designed to reshape the nation's $10 trillion housing finance market was released last Sunday (March 16th). Since then, reactions to proposed broad changes have ranged from strong support to 'wait-and-see, and outright opposition.

According to the bill's authors, Sen. Tim Johnson, chair of Senate Banking Committee and Sen. Mike Crapo, the committee's ranking member, the rare weekend release was the result of months of effort to accommodate varied input to secure bipartisan support and move the proposal forward – in time for a full Senate vote by November.

In a news release, Chairman Johnson said, "This proposal includes an explicit guarantee in order to add stability to the economy, keep costs reasonable for borrowers and renters, and ensure fair access to the secondary market for all lenders."

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This Sunday!

ElaineSanford 600Rev. Elaine Sanford to keynote Women's Day at St. John Baptist Church

The Rev. Elaine Y. Sanford, who has provided outreach ministry and support services to needy women and children for 20-plus years, will be the keynote speaker as St. John Baptist Church hosts its Annual Women's Day program on Sunday (March 23rd).

The Women's Day service begins at 3 p.m. at the church at 640 Vance Ave. Rev. Sanford is an active minister at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church (The Blvd). in Memphis, Tennessee.

St. John's Women's Chorus will provide the music, with a reception to follow the program in the A. McEwen Fellowship Hall. The program is coordinated by Sandra Cohns-Jones, chairperson, and Carolyn A. Simms, co-chairperson. The Rev. Henry L. Key is the host-pastor.

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With the community’s youth in mind, April 4th Foundation ‘steps’ forward

April4 600The April 4th Foundation will hold its 14th annual fundraising banquet on Friday, April 4th at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Peabody Hotel.

The banquet supports the foundation's youth component of the "Footsteps" Program, which teaches students about the civil rights era through direct interaction with civil rights icons and visitation of historic places. The mission of the foundation is to "Tell the story...pass it on" and in the process detail the sacrifices and successes.

The Rev. Johnson Saulsberry Jr., founder of the April 4th Foundation, said the banquet has become "everything we wanted it to be, but there's always room for growth. We look for that growth through the young people that we have in our youth program to help us grow into a bigger and better organization in the future."

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‘Afraid of Dark’ filmmaker hopes to make black men ‘harder to kill’

filmmaker 600Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Oscar Grant, Jonathan Ferrell.

The news seems saturated with stories of young black men and boys whose lives were cut short — often because they were perceived as a threat.

Moved to action by the trend, one director has set out to investigate the images and myths around black males that feed those negative perceptions.

With "Afraid of Dark," documentary filmmaker Mya B. says she hopes to make real the lives of everyday black men onscreen in hopes it could, "make them harder to kill."

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Body too toned for Planet Fitness?

tootoned 600Tiffany Austin was just hoping to get back into shape after a car accident and, like so many others, went to her local Richmond, Calif., Planet Fitness in hopes of working it out ... only to be told by an employee that she was "intimidating" others, according to KTVU.

That's right. Austin was allegedly told by one of the branch's staff members that her toned body was intimidating other gymgoers and was asked to put on a baggier gym-issued shirt over her more flattering workout gear.

"We've had some complaints you're intimidating people with your toned body. So can you put on a shirt?" the staffer said, according to the news station. Shrugging it off – although she didn't see the issue with her crop top – Austin amicably agreed to put on a shirt.

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